Thursday, March 01, 2007

Project Woodshed

For the last several months, I have been kicking around the idea of taking some time off work--not just a week or two, but something on the order of six months or so. For years, I've often lamented the fact that work, or school, or whatever, keeps me from focusing on artistic and intellectual pursuits. I'm hoping that this experiment will help determine whether this is just a pretty story that I tell myself or an actual truth about my nature. In either case, I'll know something that will help me figure out where to go from here.

So here's the plan:

1. Work my butt off in order to reach a target savings of $7500 -10,000, which, by my calculations, should be sufficient to support myself for six months without serious financial strain.

2. Non-op and store my car so that I can cancel my insurance and save money on gas.

3. Put 70-80% of my belongings in storage in the interest of minimizing clutter and distractions, with a related goal of temporarily narrowing the books that I have ready access to to what can fit in one bookshelf.

4. Find a cheap apartment or other living arrangement and put up six months of rent in advance.

5. Make arrangements for a hiatus from my three part-time teaching jobs, with an eye toward returning to work when the experiment concludes in the event that I don't decide to do something else.

6. See what happens.

My hope is to put all this into effect at the beginning of 2008--I will try to keep this blog updated regularly with my progress.

Wish me luck.


  1. I had a good friend plan a similar experiment back in 2000. He ended up, I like to believe, faking his own death. The Walrus happened upon a photo of what looked like our friend living among the Maori, having adopted their traditional dress. He is now presumably traveling the globe, Floyd on the headphones.

    Not that I'm suggesting Rich that you should go that route. But please go forward with your endeavor so that I may live vicariously through you.

  2. Man, if I tried this, I'd dry up and get nothing done for 6 months -- unless you count significant advancement on the playstation levels...

  3. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Terrific idea. Good for you.

  4. Anonymous8:25 AM

    You can dooo iiit!

    I have to share this with you. I'm in the middle of a battle on a message board for March Madness. Wait, please keep reading. Well, this guy keeps playing off of my name, thecaliforniapoet, in order to try to get to me. Well, it's not working and the other members of our group are calling him an idiot. ANYWAY, here is my response to his message where he wrote a poem for me:

    Wussradio: A critique of your poem

    Mar 20 7:18am Posted by: (thecaliforniapoet)

    A quote from one of my previous postings: "I hate UCLA, but they will win."

    I do not like UCLA. I never have. I did not go to UCLA, therefore I feel as though I cannot be a fan. Did you go to IU?

    If anything, I'm a USI fan. That's University of Southern Indiana. I know, you have a hard time with acronyms. I attended USI and California State University, Sacramento. Well, Sac State’s teams will probably always be horrible, so I’ve got to stick with my original alma mater: USI.

    Like mjkleinhenz was trying to tell you, you just need to stop while you’re only a lot behind. You’re making yourself look REALLY bad here.

    Here’s my critique of your poem:


    I’ll approach this one psychoanalytically. It is obvious that you were sexually molested as a child due to the overwhelming obsession you have with sucking…since the two main subjects in this poem are depicted as in fact sucking. Really, half of your “poem” is about sucking, possibly representing how half of your life involves sucking, or you in fact fantasize about sucking. In addition, the outward aggression displayed through your punchy diction combined with your incessant attempts to put others down would lead me to believe that you were also verbally abused as a child. Finally, you also suffer from an Oedipal complex, one that is apparent with your constant reverence to mothers and the inclusion of flowers, the natural symbol for women, in your so-called poem.

  5. Dude, this pretty much confirms that you are in fact an elitist.