Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 17 - The Right Stuff

Question: How many days of unemployment does it take to bore me to tears?
Answer: 17.

My Day:
1. I found out that the New Kids on the Block - that's NKOTB to you - are touring.
I would have been totally interested in this at ages 10 through 10.5. Now I just think it is sad. This did not stop me from checking out the web site, where I learned that "the rumors are actually true. The Right Stuff" really is -- at long last -- returning to your block."

2. I made about 15 "Top Five" lists on Facebook, including: Books, Albums of All Time, Movies I have seen so many times I could quote them, Best Beers, TV Shows, and TV Shows Growing Up.

3. I checked out a site called "City Chase" which is where teams of 2 can register ala "The Amazing Race" and compete through certain US Cities. For those who haven't seen "The Amazing Race" on TV: teams of two have to travel all over the world on a massive treasure hunt, where they pick up clues and meet milestones along the way. This sounds very fun, but alas, Baltimore is not a featured city. I could do Philly or NYC, but I imagine being a native of the town (or at least a resident) is helpful - also, I am fairly certain I would fight with my teammate since the only time Adam & I ever fight is when we are attempting to navigate ourselves to a new destination.

4. I spent approximately 4 hours looking at potential houses. This is quick becoming an obsession for Adam & I...in between searches:
  • belatedly giving my asthmatic cat her pill - this while she proceeds to breathe like a zombie and hack disgustingly. Think Wizard of Oz head, only more pathetic;
  • forcing down icky "curried waldorf salad" which is part of Hippie Diet. I figured I would be a trooper and try the tofu-laden recipe since I have enjoyed many of the other wacko foods. All I can say is, "Why? would anyone eat this?" Luckily, tomorrow's lunch recipe looks ok - some sort of egg salad on spinach;
  • the Towson University newspaper crossword and sudoku;
  • perusing the gym class schedule...but opting for the crossword...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wii Kooza

One of my super-cool bloggy friends wrote this recent post about how theatrical performances with big budgets sometimes miss the opportunity to inspire imagination in the minds of the audience, simply because they can afford the real thing. For instance, consider mimes (which, despite their bad rap, I actually like, in a creepy sort of way...). The mime has zero props, no set, and a costume that is tied to no reality. Yet, he or she can effectively act out say, the eating of a sandwich in a doctor's office - and subsequently being kicked out of the office - without a single costume change or actual sandwich. A higher budget production might a) buy a sandwich, b) set out a few doctor's office chairs, c) hire extras to play the receptionist and other patients. This effectively removes thought as a requirement from the audience, and probably makes the whole performance a bit boring. As a former set-builder and ensemble member extraordinaire in several (low-budget) high school productions, I found her post inciteful.

Which brings me to the performances I saw this weekend: one, a BIG budget production (at least judging by the ticket price): Kooza by Cirque du Soleil. Two, a small budget production (ticket cost - priceless): my family on the Wii Fit Hula Hoop game after a few cold ones.

We successfully navigated ourselves to the Ravens Stadium O Lot where a large blue and gold tent was erected to house the circus. Kooza begins with a child-like person in a park, trying to fly a kite. There is plenty of wind, but the kite just doesn't fly. Then a man delivers a box to the person in the park, which turns out to be a human jack-in-the-box. The story is a bit fuzzy after that - in fact, if the audience was asked to turn in an essay on the topic as they left the Big Top, there would have been about 50 different stories. The only thing one can say for certain: it is very French. I probably do not need to elaborate for anyone who has seen a French movie like The City of Lost Children. Let's just say it is weird for the sake of weird, and leaves the story (if there is one) up to interpretation. Of course, the set and costumes were elaborate and expensive, but for a show like this - which includes tight ropes, trapeezes, and a large figure-8 shaped spinner with man-sized hamster wheels on each end - the money is in the props. It's a true visual spectacle, with talented performers: jugglers, contortionists, men on stilts, unicyclists, and clowns. Of course, my favorite was the scantily-clad man who built a tower of chairs and then hoisted himself up in ways that defied gravity. High budget, yes; but with creativity to spare.

Afterwards, we managed to get ourselves to the Pub Dog, where delicious beer and pizza was enjoyed by all. We returned home for show number two - Wii. Lots of laughter, some near falls, a definite need for the wrist strap and "clearing the room around you while attempting to bowl", and some Mii eye-brow tweeking ensued. Gravity was most certainly present. Though I think photos are available, I will spare you, Constant Reader. You're welcome.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 14 - Emission Testing

Several of my waste products have been scrutinized by "the man". I would love to leave it at that in order to create some mystery:
I imagine a Constant Reader: Woah, what could that mean? I will lose sleep waiting with anticipation for the awesome continuation of this humorous tale.

Unfortunately, the story is not that good.

Waste product number one comes from my tail pipe. A few weeks ago I received the dreaded "VEIP" envelope from the motor vehicle administration. (My most hated of all administrations.) In Maryland, we receive these no more than once every two years, and the registrations are supposedly selected at random. Somehow, I have been "randomly" selected every other March since owning my car. Under the guise of eco-friendliness, the state charges $14 to test vehicle emissions. Being a resident on Planet Earth (at least most of the time), I am a willing participant in environmentally friendly initiatives.
Not to fear, Constant Reader, for this does not stop me from complaining:

One, the program is slightly inconvenient for a lucky schlep like me who owns a new-ish car that starts every day and generally gets me from point A to point B unless I am thwarted by user error or mapquest snafus. The program can be grueling for those who own old junkers (i.e. the working poor). If the car fails the test, the owner must pay for repairs up to $200 before the state will accept that the car is just a pollutant-spewing beast.

Two, we all know the state is only doing this to make money, and they are just tickled to find a worthy cause. Environmental programs that might actually cost money stand on the wayside.

Three, the test (for cars made after 1998) consists of a guy attaching a reader to the computer and...reading it. My mechanic can't do this? I have to drive 40 minutes to the "conveniently located" official VEIP station? Whatever. To be honest, I can't think of a better solution.

Waste product number 2: my pee. I officially accepted the job offer with KCI Technologies on Wednesday! I start April 3, assuming there are no issues with the mandatory drug test.

Oddly, despite being absolutely certain I should pass both of these tests, I was struck with fear. All sorts of things crossed my stupid mind, but I made the prudent decision to do no internet research before going to the designated pee-collector. (We all remember what happened when I researched hemorrhoids...) Thank goodness I learned my lesson. Knowledge would have only increased my paranoia. According to research done today, a whole slew of things can cause false positives for drugs: liver or kidney diseases, any over-the-counter cold medications, certain vitamins, and, of course, poppy seeds. I haven't taken any cold meds (they make me a little loopey - oh, and I don't have a cold.) I don't think I have liver or kidney disease, but I do get a lot of urinary tract infections. Could this be close enough? As for the vitamins, I have been taking them all in excess due to my wacky Caveman Diet. Eeek!
I do take issue with the poppy seeds, though. I have seen scientific evidence presented before my eyes on Mythbusters that the number of poppy seeds required to create a false positive is huge. I would have to be drinking them by the cup full. This being the case, it is probably safe to assume that all these other things are hogwash too. Good logic, eh?
In reality, further internet investigation has shown that false results on drug tests are most often caused by poor laboratory standards. The lab I went to required that I wash my hands before peeing into the cup, not flush the toilet, and that I watch the technician pour my pee into a test tube. I then had to initial the tape on the tube to indicate that I watched this process. Yucky. I am very glad that the profession I have chosen does not require direct interaction with other people's bodily fluids.

Today, I think it is safe to assume that I have passed both tests. The emissions guy gave me a readout from the car's computer and told me I passed. The pee girl hasn't contacted me, but I gotta think no news is good news on that front. So...I think it's safe to say it: I have a job!!

Yay!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 12 - Time to Breathe

I had thought that being unemployed would suck, but at the very least, it would allow me a bunch of free time. So far, there could be nothing further from the truth (on the free time part - the rest of it still sucks.) Each day, I have risen from bed in a near panic, thinking of the resumes I need to send, the web page I need to update, the lunches I have scheduled, the interviews I should prepare for, the taxes I should pay, the health care coverage I should look into, the OBama subsidies I might be eligible for, the laundry I should do, the gym classes I should take advantage of while I can, the people I should call, the car that needs washing. Oh yeah, and the trip to Seattle I need to pack for. The past two weeks have been nothing but a frenzy.

Today, I finally had a chance to breathe, so I figure it is as good a time as any to tell y'all about my new diet. This was adopted one week before I was laid off, and though it is called "UltraMetabolism", I am torn on calling it "The Caveman Diet" or "The Hippie Diet". The Caveman Diet seems to fit because I am eating nothing but whole foods - no processed foods like Doritos or Tastykakes allowed. If my ancestor 10000 years ago couldn't eat it, then I shouldn't either. The Hippie Diet also seems to fit because I have to go to a lot of hippie stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Wegmans to buy this wacko food.

Already, I have made modifications to the plan. My book gives a menu broken down by day which includes different things each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks - all of these are small meals of 300 calories or less and I eat every three hours. Most recipes make 2 to 4 servings, so I have created a similar menu with less variety. Despite this, I found myself purchasing escarole, watercress, mixed greens, AND spinach. (These are all basically just lettuce, but they cost more.) I also had to purchase quinoa, amaranth, and wheat groats. (These are all basically just grains, but they cost more.) In the case of amaranth, they are also extremely difficult to find, even in a hippie store, and I gave up on finding "wheat groats". I was also unable to locate fresh figs, and gave up on dried figs as well. I figure they are close enough to plums, they just cost more.

My grocery bill for week #1 was $130. Week #2 was also $130. But I felt wonderful. I never once had a craving for...anything. I managed to stick to the diet at restaurants, and I remained calorically satisfied without counting calories! Freedom! But, then I went to Seattle. Mostly, I did manage to stick with the diet, but there were some places that had nothing but burgers and fries on the menu. There were also days when I was forced to put getting on a plane on time ahead of my need to eat every three hours.

Today, I begin anew (again). Due to my current situation, I created a budget for the groceries - though I am sure I was getting a variety of nutrients from the many forms of leafy greens, I had to prioritize. And luckily, I still had some quinoa and amaranth left over from previous weeks. Isn't it sad that it costs so much to eat healthy? I noticed that boxes of mac n' cheese sell 3 for a $1. Unfortunately, if it came down to paying the rent or opting for ramen noodles, I'd have to take the noodles.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Spaghetti Incident


We returned from Seattle last Thursday, slept a few hours, and hit the road again for a trip to Allentown, PA. Adam's friend from high school lives there, and my friend from college was having a baby shower there.

Late at night, I had sufficiently recovered from the mass quantities of delicious homemade food (pierogies!) I had consumed at the shower, and I decided to have a small bowl of spaghetti from the fridge. I have never had food turn on me so fast.

Oh, it began innocently enough. I heated the sauce and pasta in the microwave, and dipped a finger to taste the sauce. As is common with many store bought sauces, it was too sweet. I perused the many hot sauces in the fridge door.

*****

I pause here for a bit of background: I love spicy food. My love affair with Tabasco began as a child, when my Papa encouraged a few drops in my chicken soup. I get quesadillas with extra jalapenos, and I am constantly ensuring Subway employees that yes, I want more hot pepper relish. I nearly always choose a buffalo chicken wrap, or sandwich, or salad. I love hot wings, and they best be hot. However, I have never been a "dare-devil" hot sauce lover. Peppers, when used correctly, bring out the flavors of other spices and enhance your meal. When abused, they just make your meal too unpalatable to eat. Ok, enough background.

*****

So there I was, checking out the hot sauces, trying to find the "Dinosaur" brand suggested by Adam's friend. I found a bottle, but it was unopened, and so I picked up a few others. I didn't find it, so I figured I would just try out the one in my hand, which happened to be called "Dave's Insanity Sauce." Most hot sauces come with an inner lid that forces the stuff to come out in drops at a time. Not so with the insanity sauce. I turned over the bottle, and three to four large globs fell into my spaghetti. Yikes. I got a paper towel, and proceeded to remove much of the sauce. After a few minutes, I was satisfied with the surgery and I mixed the whole conglomeration as I walked to the table. Shovelful of spaghetti #1 - damn, too much sauce. Shovelful #2 - oh God. I need some milk!

In a panic, I rushed to the fridge, finding soy milk and whole milk. Which to choose? Oh! Oh! I haven't got time to decide, my tongue feels like I have just shoved it into the flame of a lit candle, and I think my throat is constricting. I am being advised to get ice cream, but I feel like that will take even longer, since the milk is right there. I opt for the whole milk, and begin to panic more as tears well in my eyes and my face reddens. I can't open the carton! But now the ice cream is in front of me, and I scoop a spoonful to place on my tongue. Three more spoonfuls, and I begin to feel better. I finish with the milk, and pour a glass. I have more ice cream. The pain subsides enough to be tolerable. I look at my bowl of spaghetti with disdain. Why? Why did you turn on me? Of course, it may have been the half gallon of ice cream I ate, but I was no longer hungry.

Meanwhile, Adam and his friend have been unable to resist. They dipped their fingers in to the offending meal, and brought them to their lips. "Wow, that is really hot," they exclaimed as they reached for the ice cream. I told them so.

As the night wore on, I felt the hot in my throat at the base of the neck. Then, I felt it traverse to the sternum , and to the tummy. And as I lay sleeping, the heat remained in the tummy, churning around with the ice cream. I only hope that I ate enough to offset it during the last leg of the journey...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 6 - Sleepless in Seattle

This moring, I headed out in search of something reasonably priced, healthy, and quick. And preferably not Starbucks, for Adam dislikes their coffee (too burnt tasting). However, after walking half a block and reaching Starbucks #4, I realized the task at hand was a bit over zealous. For $9, I got a coffee, a tea, and a "protein plate" which included an egg, some fruit, a bagel and peanut butter, and a wedge of cheese. This met 2 out of 4 criteria. Sigh.
We lucked out on the weather, which was supposed to be 50 degrees and rainy for our entire trip. It was actually sunny and clear, so we decided to head to the Space Needle first, then hit up the Experience Music Project. Honestly, when I found out the Space Needle costs $16 per person, I considered bailing on this uber-touristy endeavor. But, in the end, I figured you only live once, and the price of things like this was only going to go up. As we ascended in the elevator, I became very pleased with my decision. The Space Needle views were great, they have a ton of interesting interactive computer displays, and there was a great write-up on the design and construction of the building. I must nerdily admit that I really liked learning about it.
The Experience Museum is a "history of rock and roll" museum set up by the heirs of Jimi Hendrix, who was a native of Seattle. The coolest thing about this was a 50-foot tall sculpture made of over 400 instruments (mostly guitars) that actually plays a composition via a computer generated strumming machine. There were also a bunch of guitars, and exhibits on other well known Seattle bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I had a blast. The building itself is also an exhibit of its own. It is designed by Frank Geary and has his standard "ball up a wad of paper towel and model a building after it" kind of design. As an engineer, I must say this style is complicated for the sake of being complicated, and overly difficult to build. I much prefer a straight-lined, practical building.
After our two tours, we walked around Seattle and got a feel for some of the neighborhoods. We picked up apartment guides and Realtor books, and we got seafood on the waterfront. We watched the ferry load up with cars, and we got a bottle of local wine.
After a short nap at the hotel, we hiked out to a brew pub near the University of Seattle, and had one drink before heading back. I had sent a few text messages to friends and family from the bar, thinking it must be like 4am back home. They returned the favor by replying in a chorus around 5am pacific time.
Adam has just left for "the interview". We are both torn over this - I have a job offer, and another interview scheduled for next week in Baltimore. I have found no openings for engineers here. Do we like Seattle enough to uproot and move across the country?
Only time will tell.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 5 - Remember the 90's?

I am in Seattle! As I wait for Mr. Sleepyhead to get his patoot out of our lovely king size bed at the Hyatt, allow me to relate our travel day.

We awoke bright and early at 5am, and apparently took a stupid pill instead of vitamins. By 6:38am, we arrived (late) to my sister's house where she was waiting to take us to the airport before she went to work. (God love her.) We loaded up the car with almost everything - our suitcases, and Adam's carry-on made the trip. We decided to leave my carry-on in the back of my Cavalier in Baltimore. I realized this in a panic at the airport, thinking my wallet was in there. But luckily, my wallet did make the trip. No, I did not technically need anything in the bag for the trip - I only needed it to make me happy. Among my things to pass the time on the plane, it included a few pieces of fruit and some nuts for our breakfasts. Those bananas will be just delicious after four days in a car...
Next step, the check-in. Note that at this point, I am decidedly UNhappy. Adam checked in without too much trouble, though he nearly upgraded to first class for $150. However, the computer did not find me, and we were forced to ask the angry people at the front desk to help us. Actually, they were just on the border between rude and polite - they helped us, but they made it clear that if we were beings of average intelligence, we would have been able to do this ourselves. I also learned at this time that baggage checks now cost extra money. Yet, you are not allowed to take a carry-on with more than 3.5 ounces of fluid, so those of us with contacts are screwed. Even the trial size bottle holds 4 ounces. I had planned on the check-in due to the liquid, but I had not planned on the $15 fee. Remember the 90's? This used to be free!
Step number 3, the security check point. We proceed to the nearest terminal gate, and wait in line for about 30 minutes. At the front, we are told that we have waited in the wrong line. This is when I begin to wonder if perhaps the non-angry angry people at the front desk may have had a point. It said right on the ticket - gate C9, and we had waited in line for the D terminal. A brisk 5 minute walk to terminal C, where the line was only about 10 minutes long.
At gate C9, they are boarding the plane. I would have to wait about 3 hours to eat at the St. Paul airport, unless I got something at the nearest eatery. Adam thought it would be quick, and encouraged me to get something, since I tend to be unpleasant company without food in my belly. It was not quick.
The place was a bit understaffed, and it took about a bazillion years to get a bowl of oatmeal and a coffee. A man came running through the terminal with his bags trailing behind him. He stood in the boarding line, gasping for breath as the agent pulled up his boarding pass and instructed him (almost rudely) about where to put his oversized luggage. We were behind him.
Finally we boarded the plane with breakfast in hand. Remember the 90's? Food used to be supplied on the plane - for no additional cost!
In St. Paul I perused the Sudoku books with $4 in hand, which I felt would be sufficient for my purchase. Not. Every book cost $5.99. I picked up a USA Today for $1 - there is one Sudoku and a crossword puzzle, which would have to do. As I tried to pay, I got a phone call, but I did not answer because I think it is a bit rude to answer a call while you are trying to pay. Turns out I got a job offer! This was good news indeed, but as I called the guy back, I heard my name over the loudspeaker. I had to hang up, and I didn't get the specifics. Grr. But at least we got our seats changed so we could sit together.
In Seattle, our intelligence returned. Perhaps this was because we had eaten breakfast and consumed massive amounts of coffee by this time. While looking at the bus map, a man overheard us saying we need to get downtown, and pointed to a bus which was just pulling up. We hopped on, and another man told us which stop to get off on. We got off, walked two blocks to our hotel, and we were parked at our room in the Grand Hyatt - with view of the Space Needle - in no time. It was then that I found out there is no continental breakfast. Perhaps rich people are not aware that practically every other hotel chain has a breakfast! You do not need to pay $9.00 for a bowl of oatmeal! I expect you rich folks to work on that by the next time someone pays for me to sleep in one of your fancy hotels.

The bathrooms are cool though.

Well, I gots to find me some vittles, lest I wither and die. On to new adventures!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 4 - Where have all the Jennys gone?

I woke bright and early for my interview this morning and put on my new Sears digs. I pulled and tugged on a pair of medium panty hose, also newly purchased. Yes, you heard correctly - medium. Nearly all of the large shirts and pants I tried on at Sears were too big. Of course, the first few were considered flukes, but after 4 trips to the dressing room, I started picking the mediums. So, while at Target picking hose, I read the little chart on the back expectantly, hoping to be in the medium category. Average. Is that so much to ask? Anyway, with a little creativity, I decided medium was the way to go. Ooops. They are a tad too small and I had to resort to an old trick - put a pair of underwear over the hose to keep them snuggly snuggled you know where. Before leaving, I even applied some lip gloss. I do not do make up, so this is about the extent of my abilities. All in all, I cleaned up well.

The first person I was introduced to was a girl about 2 years out of school named Emily. Argh! Why are all engineers her age named Emily? Because of Emilys, I have had to add last names to all my contacts on my phone. When I was a kid, girls were named Jennifer. I remember counting about 10 Jens that I knew on my hand. I only knew one Emily, and she was in my sister's class. Now, it is all reversed. I still have a friend named Jen (with a daughter named Emily) but I have four Emily's in my phone. Only one is my age - actually I like to reminder her that she is 8 months older than me. I guess she was ahead of her time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 3 - She's Got The Look

Today, I am very glad that I saved my $80 Sears gift card from Adam's parents. In preparation for my interview tomorrow, I decided to swing by the department store to purchase some "proper business attire." The process took about three hours.

I talked to my sister when I returned, and told her of my accomplishment. Immediately, she said, "Did it take three hours?" and proceeded to list all of the pitfalls I encountered during my visit. At least I am not the only one.

So, Ladies, consider this blog a time saver. There is no need for us all to go through this experience only to learn lessons that are already known. I figure the process can be cut to about an hour by utilizing the following helpful hints...

Dressing Room Visit 1: Pants are no good. Proper suit pants that match a jacket are for some reason unbelievably long. You would need a tailor or some really good duct tape to hem them. Or, if you're a do-it-yourselfer, you might attempt sewing a hem. However, even if the idea of threading a needle doesn't phase you, the suit pants tend to sit unflatteringly high on the hips. They cost more than the skirt, and you will never never wear them again.

Dressing Room Visit 2: Business attire is just plain ugly. Ladies, you are not dressing for a cocktail party or a friend's wedding. You must relinquish all fantasies of finding a "cool" thing to wear to an interview. The hot-looking suits worn by female lawyers on TV are not sold at Sears.

Dressing Room Visit 3: Forget the skirt-shirt combo. If possible, find a dress with jacket combo. The dress, of course, is hideous, but so was the skirt. The difference is that the dress doesn't get all bunched up under the jacket.

Dressing Room Visits 4, 5, and 6: If you do not find a dress-jacket combo, you will need the skirt-shirt-jacket combo. Skirt and jacket are fairly easy if you remember visit #2's lesson about ugliness. Shirt? Not so easy. So I developed several shirt rules:
One, light colors such as white or tan work best with black (which was the only color available at Sears). Wacky colors such as turquoise, purple, or yellow must be avoided.
Two, quarter length sleeves should be avoided. Short or long are acceptable, while quarter length tend to bunch at the elbow, making it difficult to bend the arms. Option is to remain straight armed, which may make shaking hands a tad awkward.
Three, buttons up to the collar are needed. You do not actually have to button all buttons, but there were a ton of shirts which did not even include them above a certain level. Thank you fashion designers, but I think I can figure out which buttons to use on my own.

In the end, neither my sister nor I purchased a button down shirt. I found a regular shirt with a square neck. After all those button downs, the plain old shirt felt like heaven, and I ended up picking up a second one in red.

Then there are the shoes. I walked down the aisle and tried on shoes one by one. I have suspected for several years that my left foot is significantly larger than my right, but my normal shoe choices of hiking shoes or loafers have not revealed this definitively. Today, I confirmed my suspicions. There is very nearly a half size difference. Despite this, the shoe choice was the easiest one to make - I found only two pair that fit comfortably in my (left foot) size. One of the two had a cutsie strap that was less desirable, and so I happily tucked the other pair under my arm.

During my shopping spree, I did not consider cost. But after picking a decent looking dress-jacket combo and a pair of shoes, my total cost was $45. Sweet. This is when I went for the kill, and found a black skirt for $10, then picked up the two aforementioned shirts. Total was $84, so I handed the woman a fiver and popped down the street to a cheapo hair place for a trim.

At the very least, I will look good tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 2

I have never considered myself a self-motivator. In school, I was guilty of every procrastination imaginable at the time. I suppose I am old enough at this point to add those last three words to my sentence, because if "Facebook", "Blogging", or "Sudoku" had been popular in my day, I wouldn't have stood a chance. However, if I am excited about a project, I can usually get into it. Sometimes a looming deadline was the catalyst for excitement, so I spent a few late nights working on papers and projects.
I am excited about my current project: me. I consider it my job to get a job, so I have already sent five copies of my resume to friends at other firms, scheduled an interview for Friday, and booked a flight for Seattle to begin my west coast onslaught. The job looks pretty promising - it is with an old co-worker and friend who I remained in touch with for several years. I have two other friends at this company, and the office just moved into a really beautiful green building with an employee gym in the basement. It is about 7 miles from home, which means I may even be able to ride my bike there.
So, yesterday was spent determining exactly how long I could last without withdrawing from savings (6-8 weeks!), then figuring out how long the savings would last (more than a year!). Today, I am almost mourning that my "vacation" may not last very long at all.
Seattle is a bit of a whirlwind. Amazon is flying Adam out there, and picking up the hotel stay. He has an extensive interview with them on Wednesday in their office. It is his spring break next week, so the timing works well for him. I could have used a little more time to follow some leads. But it is what it is, and I am looking forward to the adventure.
Research suggests that Seattle is a city for people who like live music, brew pubs, and outdoor sports. Has anyone read my profile?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 1

There is so little time in a day. And so much time at night.

My first stop after losing my job was a trip to the liquor store. Is this bad? I am not sure. But it is the truth, for Monday is my night to cook for my sister and me. We have read that a glass of wine is healthy for a long life. There is a catch though - only red wine seems to reap these benefits. So we came up with

a plan.

Simple really: we decided to "taste" as many red wines as possible, until we have acquired the required pallets which might deem this desirable drink drinkable. This plan has, thus far, been working fabulously. That first glass goes down a bit harshly, but the second is much smoother. By glass number 3, we seem to develop a wonderful euphoria which makes us wish to consume a 4th glass. It is around this time we decide that perhaps, just maybe, we are canceling out our red wine benefits. Shortly after that, we decide we do not care. Incidentally, we do not, at that particular moment, care about much of anything. And on a day like yesterday, that is a very good thing indeed.

I refrained from further wine because I had to go to the office and pack up my many many things. Even with Adam as a helper, the process took over an hour, and we filled his entire car with the books, photos, and knicknacks I had lovingly placed in my home away from home for all these years.

Then came

the night.

I laid awake for hours. I dozed. I woke again. A short nap before morning. I watched the sun rise. I figure I got about 4 hours, not necessarily in a row. My head was throbbing, my nose was stuffy. Crying for approximately 6 hours (with breaks for wine drinking euphoria) will do that to a person.

Thencametheday.

I emailed pretty much everyone I knew today. I talked to friends and family. I filed for unemployment. I made room in my closet for my books. I petted a very happy pussy cat who was elated to have a lap to sit upon. I lost track of time, and was late meeting a friend for dinner. Some things never change.

I am afraid of

the night.

But I think it will be better than the last one, thanks to all your well wishes, Constant Readers. Keep those comments coming!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Finally, Something Interesting

I have not updated the ole' blog for a while. I have thought of it often, but it is sometimes hard to come up with interesting things to say. This is especially hard when you lead a relatively uninteresting life.
Unfortunately, I have news that is not really news these days: I am, as of about 4pm today, unemployed. (at least it is interesting.)
Honestly, I do not feel I will have trouble finding a new job, because I know a lot of people in my field. I do feel betrayed for having a sense of loyalty to my employer. I have felt the call to leave in the past, but thought better of it, knowing that to leave at one particular time or another would make it hard on the company.
I am too emotional right now, and I find myself crying whenever I am left alone in a room. I guess you will be hearing a lot from me in the near future...
I don't have anywhere else to be.