Thursday, April 7, 2011

Job Hunter

I was laid off two months ago. The company I was working for was purchased and the buyer saw my position as redundant. My first reaction was anger and disbelief. After three and a half years in a place, devoting my time, energy, knowledge, and every part of me that I could to a job that I hoped would repay in kind and have it not pan out hit me like a cinder block in the chest. I took a few days to process it, pulled myself up by my metaphorical bootstraps, and got on with it.

Part of getting on with it was reminding myself that even though I was tossed out the door, I did have almost four years of experience being an admin. assistant. That job gave me a variety of experiences that I’m glad to tout on my resume, or an interview if I should be so lucky. I’m an excited and devoted employee, any company would be lucky to have me… if I could just get that far.

My goal in the past two months has been to apply to a new job, or do something for my job hunt every weekday. For the most part I have been successful, but often times I get disheartened by the feeling that I’m continually sending resumes into a vast abyss and getting nothing back.

I have had the good fortune of getting to interview with four companies in the last two months, and as of this post have been told “thanks but no thanks” by three of them. The thing that frustrates me most is not not getting any responses to the resumes I send out, but the length of time between the interview, the day they say they’ll tell you their decision, and the day that you actually hear back from them. I would prefer they tell me as soon as they know so I can get on with my search rather than continue to delay the inevitable and keeping my hopes up. No one likes to be the bearer of bad news; no on benefits from delaying. As a mature and professional candidate I will accept your decision, maybe I will be disappointed, but life goes on. That’s the beauty of the modern age and the invention of email. Most if not all job seekers will have an email address, and what a perfectly painless way for the company to deliver the news?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I forgot to send my grandmother her birthday card. I’ve become too busy to drop a card to my grandmother two days before her birthday. Most family members I send an e-card to them right around the day of their birthday is cheaper and more earth-friendly that way. However, it is also further proof to me that the art of letter writing is dying.

I have actually been thinking about this a lot lately. With my purchase of an iPhone, my parents learning how to text message, and emailing sometimes being a faster way to get a hold of some one than calling them we are more connected than ever these days. But the passion seems to have fallen out of those communications. It’s everyday and mundane, but we love it. Call me nostalgic, but I like going out to my mail box to find more than bills and junk.

When I was in high school I had a few pen pals. People I’d met at different functions and wrote back and forth with about monthly. This was in the late ‘90s when internet was starting to become a normal thing in the American household and I could have just as easily written emails back and forth but it wouldn’t have been the same. There’s something that goes in to sitting down and writing a letter to some one: picking out the stationary, what pen you’ll use, what you are and aren’t going to mention. There is so much more effort in that then writing 140 characters or less about your morning coffee. And really, if you think about it, not many people care about the mundane day to day things that we do in our life. In fact, there’s a line that we cross all too frequently in our over connectedness.

I’m not saying that I want to go back to a day when letter writing was the main form of communication, I would just like to revive the hand-written word. It shouldn’t be a dying art, but sadly it is.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When I arrived home last night my house had changed from Pepto-Bismol pink to a relaxing sky blue. I never realized how much I hated that our house was pink until that transformation occurred.

Hubby and I moved in to our current home about two and a half years ago. We bought the pink house on short sale because the house was great and all it would take was some paint to change one of the few things we didn’t like. A quick fix. Time, as it always does, intervened. More important things came up between moving in to the house and present day that the exterior color of the house became less a priority. Finally, with the wood siding exposing more of itself, and the shabbiness of the pink paint becoming more apparent we booked a painter.

The thought of changing the feel of the exterior completely nearly made Hubby and I giddy as we walked in to the paint store to face the overwhelming wall of paint chips. It took us half an hour and thirty or so paint chips held under various lights to decide between two colors. A light true-blue and a light shade of blue-gray. We took home sample sizes of each to paint on the side of the house. After a week at the coast, and realizing we live in Oregon where the sky is a shade of gray for most of the year, we decided on the light true-blue or “Respite”.

It’s true that if you change the color of something it will illicit a different reaction. Now, when I pull into my driveway and look up at my house I don’t loathe the look of it. I look at my home and my shoulders relax a little and as I pull my car in to the garage I begin to enjoy my respite.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Gym Synthesis

What I’m about to describe to you feels vaguely pretentious. But I tell you, it’s as far from it as we can get. I joined a gym in the beginning of March, a month away from my birthday when I always feel like I’m getting old and I need to do something drastic. I realize joining a gym isn’t a drastic change in a life, but getting my butt off the couch and to that gym on a regular basis is. Anyway, everything is going great I’m getting to the gym after work 3-4 times a week for the most part and I am physically feeling a lot better. But at some point I realize that I can’t just keep going in and doing the same thing over and over again because I’ll get bored and stop making all of this progress so I sign up with a personal trainer.

Already, I feel pretentious to mention that I have a personal trainer. It seems that only movie stars or people with a lot of money have a personal trainer… and there’s a good reason for that. Personal trainers can be quite expensive. Somehow I talked myself into employing the services of one because I am not a gym rat and left to my own vices likely would make much slower progress. My personal trainer, who I will call JT, is a 19 year old all-star football player type but a genuinely nice guy.

When I started up with JT he asked me what my goal was, I said I of course want to lose weight, but I want arms like Michelle Obama. He just smiled at me in a way that made me wonder if he knew who she was or even what her arms looked like. I’m sure he would have carried on his marry way if he did or not. So the basic plan for each one hour session is I come in and we work on a muscle group (arms, legs, or core) until I’m utterly exhausted and unable to further use said muscle group.

Yesterday it was arms and shoulders and as I’m struggling through a third set of incline pushups he declares “It is my goal for you to do a full push up.” I can’t help but think, “Well, good for you.” I have never in my 28 years done a full push up and never really had any goals to the contrary. And then I am suddenly aware while doing weight assisted pull ups that he is likely to reach his goal dragging me kicking and complaining the whole way. After all, isn’t that what I signed up for?

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I heard a statistic this morning that volunteering in the U.S. is up by 20% from this time last year. The news caster made a point that it wasn't a result of the Gulf Oil disaster, but an overall rise. I may be one of the people included in that statistic.

I have been volunteering since last July with a local group called CAT Adoption Team , the feline alternative to the humane society. It's a great group, doing great things for the homeless cats in the area who wouldn't have any options otherwise.

In my humble opinion, the rise in volunteering is partly a result of everything else in the world being so grim. It feels nice to be needed and appreciated for something even as trivial as scooping a litter box for a cat in a shelter.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


It's June 3rd, but it feels more like October 1st lately. All the rain we've been getting around Portland for the past few weeks gives me cabin fever and wish the weather would start acting like summer and not fall.

This morning I couldn't help but notice the sun shining. It's still cold but at least the suns out. That made me start wishing that the sun would stay out all day. And the I started thinking, what if it did? What excuse could I find to go out in the sunshine to get some vitman D? I've been so burnt out by work lately that I can't help but think about using one of my sick days for a mental health day. I likely wont but its nice to feel like i have the option. The sun coming out makes me want to escape that much more.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Taking the Cake

I grew up in Sacramento, CA. A place that I don't find much to brag about in retrospect. And I think that because Portland is so different from Sacramento is part of what I love so much.

When I was in high school a band by the name of Cake became nationally popular, and I had the pleasure of bragging that we share a home town. A pleasure that carries forward to today.

This morning as I was getting ready for work and their song "Open Book" popped up on my iPod. I love this song for many reasons, one is the lyrics: "you think she's an open book, but you don't know which page to turn to. Do you?" Another reason, like many of their songs, it feels so timeless.

They are by no means my favorite band. Even though most of their popular songs hit when I was in high school I can't help but love it and identify with it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Ode to Bacon

There are few foods in the world that feel sinful to consume. Bacon is one of them. Think about it, the fattiest part of the pig sliced into strips and fried until it's crisp for our consumption. It's so bad, that doctors will tell heart patients to stop eating it all together. But it tastes so good.

Hubby and I are making Migas (Mexican scrambled eggs), among other things it has four slices of crisp bacon in it. We have been using a common grocery store brand bacon, thin slices and mostly fat. We got a new brand of bacon when we were last grocery shopping, the slices not only looked thicker, but they looked meatier so we figured it would be worth a try. This morning when I plopped four slices in to the pan I knew we were in for a treat. These were were like slices you would get from a butcher shop, not prepacked in the deli section at Winco like the other ones. As they were cooking they barely shrank, a good sign of their hearty, meaty nature. When they were done cooking the slices were crisp, but substantial enough to not fall apart when you bit into it. Truly a a delightful change in our Sunday Migas.

So, I thank you Daybreak Bacon for giving me a bacon I can truly sink my teeth into.