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Roughly two weeks ago, I likely caused many long-time readers to slap their foreheads when I announced that I'm moving back to Nevada... Las Vegas, to be specific.
Because the last 3-4 times I tried to settle down in Vegas, it ended horribly.
Two months away from the "action," however, have given me clarity as well as a pretty solid plan to keep me productive and out of trouble. (Yes, I constantly harp about the importance of improvisational skills, but failure to plan is planning to fail, so keep improv as a backup.)
Here's how I'll maximize my odds for success.
WORKING NINE-TO-FIVE FOR THREE GEN MEDIA
I am a proud contributor to Three Gen Media, a company that provides writing services including content writing, Search Engine Optimization, and editing. The owners are generous, flexible, and encouraging. They treat me like family...
...actually, since my blood family was abusive, the supervisors at Three Gen Media treat me better than family.
They are literally and figuratively helping me achieve my writing dreams. So it's long since time that I roll up my sleeves and return the favor.
I can't provide specific details since I'm bound by a Non-Disclosure Agreement. However, I can say that I will be taking on additional duties to help maintain and grow Three Gen Media. These duties will require a slightly more rigid schedule as well as factoring in the two-hour time zone gap that we will have (I'll be in Pacific Standard Time, and they'll be in Central Standard Time). There will be flexibility, but my core hours will look closer to those of traditional office jobs, with me starting between 7am PST and 8am PST and being active -- or on-call at the very least -- until about 5pm PST.
One activity that I plan to do... and that I've already begun doing, truth be told... is to look for writers to refer to my supervisors.
Note: Please do not email me resumes, LinkedIn profiles, etc. Readers who wish to be proactive and apply should visit Three Gen Media's contact page. Feel free to ask me questions; I'll answer to the best of my ability. However, a hard sell will lead to a hard "No."
As for my "recruiting": on my social media accounts, I encounter a variety of people who brilliantly convey their knowledge and experiences. When someone like that implies or flat-out states that they're looking for additional income, I'll send them a message and do a soft-sell. I'll almost always ask for previous writing experience. And when I'm on the fence, I'll request that the applicant take a compensated mock assignment. When I'm convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is a good match, I'll gladly refer them to my supervisors so they can get writing and get paid.
CREATIVE WRITING? I'M GETTING SOGGY WITH IT
I may have mentioned a talented artist operating under the handle "Soggy" once or twice... or three times. Soggy -- who has a NSFW Twitter account, a NSFW personal Patreon account, and a NSFW business Patreon account -- is my new creative partner. We are actively helping each other with our individual projects. I'm offering my writing skills and various experience to bolster them, and they're my go-to artist for fortifying my upcoming e-books with high-quality art. We're also collaborating on what can accurately be described as a NSFW sex-filled deconstruction of fictional deconstructions. Or it might be Porn With Parody. Either way, we're currently world-building. I hope to release the first chapter of our collaborative work by the end of the year.
In addition to their artistic talent, Soggy's a hoot with which to interact. We've been chatting, plotting, and laughing almost every day on Twitter, Discord, and SMS. If we get along half as well offline as we do online, then the worst-case scenario is that I'll have a new best friend.
Because of our creative and interpersonal connections, I'm prioritizing twice-monthly in-person jam sessions. Upon my arrival next week, I'll be in Las Vegas, and they'll be near Laughlin. The current plan will be to have two three-to-four day meetings a month; I'll head down to Laughlin for one trip, and they'll head up to Las Vegas for the other trip. I've already budgeted the estimated costs of the April trips into my April budget.
For a long-term solution, Soggy will assist me with getting a more permanent residence in Laughlin, Bullhead City, or the surrounding area. Completing this move will save money in the long run as well as put some much-needed distance between me and the more disturbing elements of Las Vegas.
KEEP IT SIMPLE, STIMULUS
I'm going to purchase a high-performance computer from the Microsoft Store. That may not be the cheapest option, but it is the option that yields the largest BTC rebate from Lolli.
I'll use the high-performance desktop computer for video recording, streaming, podcasting, cryptocurrency mining, and any other business-related or income-related activity that requires significant processing power. I'm keeping my laptop; it works wonderfully for daily activities, including all of my writing tasks, social media management, personal finances, and cryptocurrency tasks that do not rely on processing power.
If I have any stimulus funds remaining after making this purchase, I'll re-evaluate based on the remaining amount and my personal and professional situations. However, the top three ideas I currently have are additional accessories for the new computer, investments, and buying Soggy a pasta dinner.
WALK IT OFF: LOSING WEIGHT AND WINNING MONEY WITH STEPBET
I've had the StepBet app on my phone for months, but I haven't used it. This is mostly because my current circumstances aren't conducive to meeting daily step counts. This will be less problematic when I'm back in Las Vegas, and I suspect that will also be the case if/when I end up living in Laughlin or Bullhead City. Even if I want to avoid touristy areas such as the Las Vegas Strip or the Fremont Street Experience, Nevada has a variety of step-friendly locations. I can just as easily meet daily step goals in an outlet mall or at a frisbee golf course as I can sandwiched between casinos.
One of my top priorities once I get permanent-ish lodging in Las Vegas is to buy a one-year membership. This will allow me to take up to three challenges at a time and get a 100% share of the pot when I win a challenge.
This will not be easy. The biggest hurdle is my bipolar disorder, which makes getting out of bed an insurmountable challenge on my worst days. And I'll need to accessorize for the weather; a sturdy water bottle and additional handkerchiefs will be required, for starters. However, the prospect of boosting both my physical health and my personal income is a powerful incentive.
LOONY, HEAL THYSELF
I became retroactively eligible for SSDI in May 2019. Since the ruling applied in Kentucky, there was a two-year wait for me to become eligible for Medicare. This will be great, especially since I won't have to respond to "Who is your primary care provider?" with "...you're kidding, right?" Yes, I'll have to allocate funds for the monthly premiums associated with Medicare and supplementary coverage, but that's a price I'll happily pay to get my mental and physical health problems under control. I've put out some soft queries to Nevada agencies regarding gap coverage, but I'll intensify my efforts once I get a permanent-ish residence in las Vegas.
SPEND SMARTER, NOT SLOTTIER
Gambling would make more sense to me if it were enjoyable. Considering how many hostile, rude, and angry people I've encountered in casinos, that's simply not the case. Many times, I've walked away from a "hot streak" just because I could not stand the other players (or, in some cases, an inattentive or combative dealer).
This isn't to say that I won't make a single wager. But I can confidently say that Craps and Poker will be the absolute lowest priority.
To drive the point home further: I'm currently working on my April budget. I probably won't be able to finalize it until after I settle back into Las Vegas, but the current categories, ranked in order from highest expense to lowest expense, are:
- Business Trips
- Expenses Related to Business Trips
- Vegas Vacation Fund (for friends, not me)
- Art Commissions
- Lyft Credit
- RTC Bus Passes
The combination of lifestyle changes and investment opportunities mean that there are a myriad of ways to use leftover funds.
If I have $20 of unallocated money, I could, in theory, head to the El Cortez and play their $1 Blackjack machine or their $1 Craps machine. But I have plenty of alternatives:
- I could buy four 24-hour bus passes.
- I could tip 2 to 4 artists.
- I could put the money into the Vegas Vacation Fund and help a friend plan their next Vegas vacation.
- I could buy a round-trip shuttle to or from Laughlin.
- I could splurge and get a cheat-day meal.
- I could buy a game on Steam or allocate the funds for a more expensive game.
- I could buy 163 GH/s of DCR mining power to earn an approximate 0.176720544 DCR over a two-year period.
- I could either buy a Socially-Responsible Investment or allocate the funds for a more expensive SRI.
- I could buy 20 USDC and stake them to earn an approximate $5 over the course of a year.
I'll grant that investments are delayed gratification. But a practically-guaranteed $20 earning $5-$6 is preferable to a 2:1 chance of $6 winning $11.
A week from now (on 2021-03-14), I'll leave Chicago and arrive in Las Vegas. I've already made arrangements to spend three days in Vegas with Soggy, during which we'll hang out, collaborate, and plan for our professional and personal futures.
After our meeting, though, it's time for me to roll up my sleeves and get to work. And the combination of professional writing, creative projects, and self-improvement means that there's plenty of work to be done. I used to own an LLC in Colorado; it was a necessity to operate a cab. This time around, I'd like to investigate launching an employee-owned company just in case our joint project achieves success. And I have personal debts to pay to my Three Gen Media supervisors and friends who I drained of physical and emotional resources.
The previous times I attempted to settle in Nevada, my attempts were literally a gamble; I had few plans, loosely-defined goals, and a strained personal network. This time, I have plans, outlines, responsibilities, and plenty of short-term and long-term potential to wean myself off of SSDI and establish a healthy lifestyle.
You can bet on it...
...is what I would say if I were a gamblin' man.
Fig. 1: Luck Be a Loony Tonight