money


338.5 Microeconomics
669.143 Scrap metal

I’m still collecting aluminum cans, which are never in short supply on these streets, and taking them to a redemption center for cash. It’s really a firsthand way to see how the economy is tanking. The first time I went there, they gave me about 50 cents a pound. The next time, I got about 40 cents per pound. Today, I gave them 16 pounds and got $4 back.

So I probably made back what it cost cost me to drive down there. On the plus side, the place has, as I have said, some interesting things to look at. There is the aforementioned beer can pyramid. Today, they also had a knight’s helmet sitting there on a folding chair, and other interesting discarded metalworks.

The Kinzie Industrial Corridor is not far from there. Obviously, I’m not the first person to realize the area’s photographic potential, but I plan to put my own spin on it one of these days.

636.7 Dogs
331.7 Work

My time as a professional dog walker has nearly ended. Two nights ago at around 8:00 p.m., I received a call from a client informing me that his dog has a new collar, and he wanted to make sure I knew how to use it. I calmly told him I was familiar with the model he described before hanging up and throwing the phone across the toom.

I gave my notice today, somewhat warily, as I am not sure how long my book researching gig will last. But then again, who knows how long any job will last? I have said it before, but it bears repeating, the days of cradle-to-grave employment security are gone. We will not see their like ever again. Some of you, perhaps many of you, will say I sound like a broken record, but there is always somone out there who doesn’t know this. What always takes even me by surprise is just how much work it takes to find work, more so now that even the mighty city of Chicago is half a billion dollars in the red.

Regardless of the seriousness of the economic situation, the rules (I would hope) are always the same, and this is something I always mysteriously forget until someone gives me a dope slap: it’s a numbers game. Call, call, call. Network, network, network. Tell everyone you know you’re looking for work. Today, I magically remembered that elusive dictum and began my carpet-bombing campaign. A friend in New York may have something for me. An old boss gave me some tips. Hopefully, some people who have interviewed me recently will call me back to tell me how I did. And maybe, on my 100th call, someone will offer me something I haven’t seen in four years: a real job, with all the trimmings, benefits and paid vacation, retirement and dental. Does anyone remember those things?

And now, if you want to see some really good writing, surf on over to this page. Ya done good, Harvey.

332.4 Money

This morning, while out on my appointed rounds, I spied two dimes in good condition on the sidewalk near Campbell and Grand. Glinting in the sun, they drew me in. (They would have drawn me in regardless of their condition; I am hard up for cash and pick up anything that is cash, looks like cash, or that I know I can turn into cash.) I tried to pick up one of the dimes and nearly bent my fingernail back in doing so. I realized that someone had glued both coins to the pavement, in what must have been some sort of sociological experiment or art installation. Tomorrow, I will bring a hammer and a chisel, and if they are still there, I will pry them loose. If there is any extra money involved for participating in whatever experiment this might be, I’ll take that, too.

Florida library braces for ‘perfect storm’