So today has been sort of a weird day, maybe because its been raining all day. I promised myself that I would start looking for a job today. Actually, I promised myself that I would start looking for a job yesterday, but an opportunity came up to go climb ::Buck Mountain:: (I’ll come back to that in a second), so I made the excuse that it was Sunday, and so it didn’t officially count as a day. I guess I’m making a similar excuse about today, that it’s Labor Day, and so I have no business looking for Labor. It makes sense. Trust me, I know a bit about logic. I only look for jobs for people who don’t look for jobs for themselves. Anyway, instead of looking for a job, I took a step in the opposite direction and watched Into the Wild. While I don’t exactly want to end up like the end of that movie, at least not anytime soon, everything up to that point seems like it would be excellent adventures (::Lauren’s:: been there, ask her).
So, in addition to the swing and the miss on the job search, in an attempt to be somewhat productive, I started looking at a plan to take the GRE again. So, I thought the tests happened in October and November, but turns out they happen in September and October. The registration deadline for the October 19th test is September 13th. This doesn’t exactly bode well for my suspended existence–I’m not sure where I am going to be in October, and I also plan on taking a week or two at the end of September to visit some friends in Colorado and Santa Fe, which means no studying. I think I may just have to wait until March for some stability. I don’t think that will be the worst thing, it will be motivation for me to keep doing math across the New Year. So, instead of undertaking the groundbreaking of conquering the GRE book today, I cracked open Munkres for what I hope is the first of many times over the next few months. I plan on trying to do as many of the exercises as I can and becoming elementary topology master. The beginning of the book is fairly dull, but I think it will be good for me to wade through the tediousness of the basics at my own pace. Hopefully this will parlay into doing some geometry studying of my own. Speaking of geometry, I finally got to a readable version of my paper on ::The Geometry of Music::. I have sent it out to a few different people, including the guy ::Dmitri Tymoczko:: who seems to be at the forefront of this study. I have a few more ideas to look at from here, like looking at circle of fourth progressions rather than chromatic movement.
So, back to Buck Mountain! I went with a couple of my aunt and uncle’s friends yesterday on a “walk” in the Tetons that took us up about 5,000 vertical feet in 9 miles up to almost 12,000 feet, the final ascent to the summit along a ridge hanging over a 2,000 foot cliff (mom, don’t read that part). It was still a very difficult hike/scramble/climb for me, and by the way I got my butt kicked by these guys, one of them twice my age and suffering from intense allergies the entire way up, but I can feel myself getting stronger as I’ve been trying to intensify my physical activity, and as I’ve been becoming more acclimated to the altitude. I feel like I’ve fallen into a pretty good routine of getting outside in the morning, then pursuing everything else in the afternoon. I have (tried to) run up ::Snow King:: a few times now, I did the 40 mile round-trip bike ride to Jenny Lake three times last week, and I’ve been bouldering as much as my increasingly calloused hands and forearms can stand. I feel like I am becoming superhuman! I’ll need to enter a 5k once I get back to someplace with oxygen in the air. Maybe that’s why I feel off today, I didn’t get outside this morning.
I’ve also been sitting in at jazz gigs around town. Fridays, I have gone up to this place called the Granary in the hills a bit north of town to see a group of older musicians, including bass player ::Bill Plummer:: (not to be confused with Bill Plummer Bass Fisherman) who has played with everyone including having studied with Ravi Shankar on the sitar. I think I have impressed everyone up there, which feels really good. I sat in with another group at a bar in town last Wednesday and caught the attention of some people my age (finally) who are musicians looking to get me involved in some of their projects. Oh yeah, I also played my first gig on trombone in several years with the ::Jackson Hole Jazz Foundation Community Big Band::. I forgot how much fun it is to play wind instruments in that type of ensemble. It certainly didn’t hurt that the gig was a wedding with gorgeous scenery.
Anyway, to summarize: My body and soul feel fantastic. My future plans and my financial outlook are hazy. At least for now, that seems like a good trade.