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What a Fucking Week So Far…

“Life moves pretty fast.  You don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.”
— Ferris Bueller
Today is Wednesday. Monday was a holiday, so there’s only been two functional days so far in the week.  I used Monday up building fences at the farm (which, for me, was an excellent use of a Memorial Day – around 800 feet of four wire fence is nothing to sneeze at, and the work always feels good.)
So how much could life change in two days?  Allow me to detail the week so far:
Tuesday:  Davis Becomes A Teacher
I knew this was a done deal before it even happened – lets face it, I’m good at sales, be it a service or an idea.  Two weeks ago I got a customer so excited he couldn’t SPEAK.  Last week I approached Skyler with an idea: how about I teach a course on video games?
Skyler is an interesting gal – I made friends with her on Twitter.  Eventually she talked me into speaking to her graphic design class, which was a bit of a ruse really – she wanted to get me down to Butler to see the place, see what they were up to, and meet Shiva.  Shiva met me, and geeked out (In all fairness, Shiva geeks out a lot from what I can tell.  High energy guy who’s passionate about technology.)  He presented me with a plan – Butler was looking at the possibility of a Video Game degree.  And when he found out I had LOTS of experience with Torque, he presented the idea of me doing something like teaching the TorqueScript portion.
Yes, I would have been teaching college courses.
But it fell through – instead, it evolved into the “Interactive 3D” degree program at Butler, of which I’m still involved.  I’m on the Advisory Board for it (which is a great deal less boring than it sounds.)  I admit I felt a slight bit disappointed at not getting a chance to teach.  It would have been another TShirt, and a lot of fun.
Along with being a teacher at Butler, Skyler owns “Pixel Time”, a digital arts training center.  Photoshop, final cut, stuff like that.  Cool place that’s still trying to get a foothold (It’s in a cool location though – it’s in City Arts, right beside the downtown Warren 🙂  So I had pitched the idea to her on my Monday Margarita night (which is it’s own interesting blog post one of these days.)
Oh, and a trivial bit… Skyler is married to Albert Goldbarth, who apparently is a famous poet.  I was not aware he was famous, or even a poet, until other people informed me of this fact.  I’ve met him – interesting guy to chat with.  Even more fun was when I told Kat that Skyler was married to Albert Goldb… “I can never remember his last name.  He’s a poet.”  “Goldbarth?!”  “Yeah.”  Her mouth dropped, and she walked over to her bookshelf, and handed me a book of poetry, with part of his stuff featured prominently.  Shows how little I know about poetry!
Anyway… So Tuesday we met, and I laid out my plan. She laid out her portion of the plan.  A deal was made.  I am now a teacher.
I’m teaching two courses – one is video game development for teens, and one is video game development for adults.  Similar subjects, different focuses though.  I’m teaching on Wens. nights starting in July, and the course is only four two-hour sessions long (actually, it’s a 1 1/2 hour session for the teens, and a two hour session for the adults.)  So wens nights are now booked.  I don’t make MUCH – I’m paid 70% of what is paid in for tuition in the class (which is $100 for 8 hours of training) and it boils down do about a maximum of $1000 / month in income.  However, I’ve already go a second class setup planned for rapid iPhone / iPad / Android development – but that’s after I’ve made sure I really want to do a second round of teaching in a month or two 🙂
But it gives me a slightly more plannable income level – along with the small ass amount of money I’m making now, I should be able to survive.  If those classes should happen to be packed to the max, and I make $1000 a month for teaching them, well, then things get even better (I’m expecting I’m going to end up making at most $250 / month off of this.  But trust me, that’s better than NOT making $250 / month.)
So I now have my TShirt (too bad I don’t get to pull off the title of “Adjunct Professor” at a college while I’m at it), and extra cash.  Cool.
Tuesday:  The World of Gamer Zone, Resurrected
I actually had TWO agendas for talking to Skyler.  She has a nice little lab full of iMacs used for teaching.  I want to resurrect The World of Gamer Zone.  And yet again, I walked away with everything I wanted for free – that show has some sort of aura of good luck around it when it comes to costs.  
This time it’s being retooled a bit (the focus is more heavily on game development), and shooting for online only.  It’s also going to (potentially) have a live audience watching it’s tapings – I’m going to do primary shooting between class sessions every other week (I don’t feel like doing the weekly race again – while editing is going to be easier this time around, it’s still going to require work to produce.  
WHY would I want to resurrect that thing?  It’s been dead a while now.  Pretty simple really – it’s another form of self promotion for selling games and books.  And unlike most podcasts, it actually WAS a TV show, rather than something cooked up in someone’s basement (OK, broadcast or not, it’s only a stones throw from having been something cooked up in someone’s basement.  But little distinctions like that are important for self promotion 😉
So, two fairly large events, back to back.
Wednesday:  Yes, I Take Payments
Finances have sucked balls.  To say I’m barely making it is an understatement.  But I’ve had a little luck – I’ve got one customer making monthly payments (it’s the only way they could afford to pay for the site work they needed done.)  And they are a “trusted” customer who pays on time – so I’ve got $158 in income per month I can depend on for the next year.
I’ve trimmed my budget (admittedly, I haven’t trimmed smoking back out yet), but let’s face it – it’s pretty damned hard to stretch $158 very far.
Today I had a meeting with another trusted customer, and sold them a project.  Yet another “too excited for their own good” situation – we were almost done with the meeting when he suddenly asked “What’s it going to look like?”  He was so excited about what I was going to do, he never thought to get an idea what the whole thing would end up looking like.
Unfortunately, while a trusted customer, it’s still someone who doesn’t have much cash, and it’s another monthly payments thing.  $38 / month.  But… the upside to something like that is knowing I’ve got $196 / month coming in.  When you’re sinking in mud, finding any piece of bedrock you can depend on is important, no matter how small.  From there you can plot ways to get out.
It also feels good to sell projects, so that always improves my mood.  I also did a service call too, so that also helped a bit today.
Wednesday:  “In A Relationship” (And it’s not even complicated)
One of the oddities between Kat and I is “dating”.  A friend described it as Kat and I were “semi-sorta-kinda-datingish”.  While Kat and I were going out and having good sex, by her point of view there was no real “dating” between is – she was avoiding a relationship at the moment.  And honestly, I’m fine with that, and can understand some of her reasons.
Today I got a text from her (which was funny, I had picked up the phone multiple times to text her, and couldn’t find anything important to say, so I just put it back down until she texted):  “BTW, you have got me almost convinced to date you.”  (The BTW makes it sound like an insert into an ongoing conversation, but it wasn’t – that was pretty out of the blue.)
“Convinced” is an odd word.  I haven’t bothered to try and convince her to date me – the only thing I’ve ever said about that was the whole bit about her thinking I was a good match, and me thinking she was a good match.  Anything else was just me being me.  Actually, if you want to know the truth, me being a bit toned down version of me when dating – she hasn’t gotten any “romantic whims” from me, that sort of thing.  I knew she was on the fence about things, and I would rather her make up her mind on her own rather than me try and push her over the edge with things like that.
So, later in the night, we started talking about it again – she had texted me and asked “If we started dating, what would change?”  I explained, in my mind, I don’t see much changing.  If asked to define where we were currently, it would be “non-exclusive dating”.  We have sex, we enjoy each other’s company, we do things together, and we have both shown an interest in the concept of a relationship.  
The conversation went on for a while, but the sum up is this:  we both changed our Facebook statuses to “In A Relationship.”  Yes, I officially have a girlfriend now.  Hell may freeze over tomorrow (though I could give a shit less, I’m not there 😉
Wednesday:  Well, How About We Do This On Payments?
The Ren Fest has come and gone, and so has the Wichita Highland Games (which ended up being fairly successful by the director’s definition.)  This begins a new era, in some ways, for the director.  Up till now, things have classically been very “last minute.”  During the planning process for these events, I started pointing out optimization points, including the scheduling problems.
Well, next week we start meeting on the Fall Ren Fair project.  This is a bit of a surprise – this is WAY earlier than we’ve normally done it since I’ve worked with the project.
But we’re not just meeting on one project – there’s actually multiple projects in the pipeline, one Sci/Fi and games related.  So I laid out a plan on the Sci/Fi one, and decided to throw a new bit into my usual sales tactic “Well, how about we make this one on payments?  Say, like $200 a month?”
It was shortly after that Richard said we should meet early next week to get things rolling on these projects 🙂  This, of course, would double that baseline number I’ve got to work with for about three months – and my bills would be paid.  Nothing else above that, unfortunately, but that means now I’ve got some consistency, and sweat just a little less each month.  Whew.  
This, of course, is after a dismal two or three months of sales.  Now any sales I make for the next couple of months may actually move me ahead in the game a bit. Maybe.
There, of course were other little things thrown in there – some progress on book projects, some progress on iPhone projects, etc.  Again though… I’m looking at how much changed (three major facets of life – now teachning, back to the show, and a girlfriend) in such a short span of time.  
Life moves pretty fast.

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