Um, I said 81, not 18!

It’s friggin’ cold out there!

When I moved to NC from Indiana about 6 years ago, one of the reasons for the move (besides being bored with the midwest) was the fact that each winter became a trial of how to survive in the great white north. It’s friggin’ cold, eh? Hozer.

So I moved somewhere that I was told you could play golf 11 months out of the year… where I would probably never need my ski jacket again… a place where, when people refer to toboggans, they’re talking about hats, not sleds… a place where I would have to DRIVE to see snow.

Riiiiiiiiight.

In the last several years, there’s been an uncanny cold snap down here. Not to sound arrogant, but I think the cold followed me as I moved. Because I’ve needed my ski jacket (the one rated well enough to keep sherpas warm while they scale Everest) every year I’ve been here! And yes, it really is only 18 degrees (F) outside.

So, if anyone has a direct line to the weather folks, please get them to turn up the thermostat. Thanks. 🙂

Convincing someone that I’m going to write…

So I told you that I was going to write. But I didn’t. If you know me, you can harp at me.

But such is life.

My life is consumed with work… and TiVo. Someone should’ve invented this YEARS ago. I’ve wasted a lot of time over the years trying to record shows that were of interest. Now, I just say whether I like certain types of shows and BAM, it automatically records them.

OK, so anyone remember that “as seen on TV” remote control with the dials that would supposedly work with any VCR? You just dialed in the time to turn on and off the recorder and wow… no more manuals and blinking 12’s. Sayonara, suckers!

Hehe… god, I love this device. You can ignore all of the crap you never wanted to watch anyways and simply focus on the stuff you did. And my god, if you need to walk the dog, tinkle, or even get some work done in the middle of your show, all ya’ gotta’ do is hit the big yellow pause button.

But hey, if that wasn’t good enough, now there’s TiVoToGo. Simply transfer what you’ve recorded on your TiVo to your computer and play it whenever. The only limitation is the size of the harddrive on your laptop.

Now all we need to do is wait another few months until someone develops an iPod-based media player. Then you can transfer your shows to your iPod and watch them there. If I could develop software, I’d be rich. 🙂

Been Busy!

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ve been gone awhile. But I’ve been busy.

Work, wedding stuff, more job stuff, ran for JC president (lost), etc.

But it’s been fun. I’ve gone to Disney again (finally broke down and bought a season’s pass – for if you go only 8 times in a year, it pays for itself)… and we’re going another time in about 2 weeks.

All my time these days is spent working, Turkey Shooting (no, not shooting turkeys www.raleighjaycees.com for more info) and Haunted Housing (www.jchauntedhouse.com). I guess I have a pretty limited life… but that’s ok. After the TS and HH are done, it’ll be back to HOBY (www.hobync.org) for me.

But I really promise to write more.

Really.

I swear.

I HATE moving!

So I’m homeless at the moment. All my crap is in storage with the exception of my car, dog and computer (ok, and a few clothing items, too).

But it’s the PROCESS that I hate. I think it’s because I’ve done it too many times.

Starting from birth here are the moves that have involved 2 weeks or more in a given location:

1. Moved from home for unwed mothers (come on… it WAS the 70s) to Adoption Agency.
2. Adoption Agency to my parents home.
3. Parents first home to Texas (Dad had to do basic training).
4. Texas to Germany for Dad’s Army assignment in Frankfurt.
5. Frankfurt back to US (Flossmoor, IL).
6. Flossmoor to Valparaiso, IN.
7. Valparaiso to summer camp in WI.
8. Valparaiso to summer camp in MI. (4 times)
9. Valparaiso to private school in Bath, Maine.
10. Bath to home at the end of the school year.
11. Valparaiso to military school in Mexico, Missouri.
12. Mexico to home at the end of the school year.
13. Valparaiso to summer camp in Indiana.
14. Valparaiso to military school again.
15. Mexico to home when I was dismissed from military school (interesting story… ask me sometime).
16. Valparaiso to summer camp in Indiana.
17. Valparaiso to summer camp in Indiana. (yes, again… three summers in a row)
18. Reverse move… I stayed in Valpo for college… my parents moved to Northfield, Illinois.
19. Valpo to Michigan summer camp to work for summer between Freshman and Sophomore years.
20. Valpo to Indiana summer camp to work for summer between Sophomore and Junior years.
21. Valpo fraternity house to Valpo dorm.
22. Valpo dorm to first apartment.
23. First apartment to second apartment (1.5 years later).
24. Second apartment to NC (3 years after that).
25. NC extended stay hotel to NC apartment.
26. NC apartment back to Chicago for work.
27. Chicago to NC when work and personal life conflicted.
28. NC apartment to NC house.
29. NC house to NC homelessness.

Wow. I’ve moved almost one time for every year that I’ve been alive. I should really stop doing this. I have a good idea that I’ll be moving again in the relatively near future – becoming UNhomeless is my goal. 🙂

Feed the homeless here:

🙂

NewJob

This is a crazy world.

From no job, to contract job, to self-job, to new job… the whole experience has been an adventure.

Have you seen the Monster.com commercials where they all end with “Today’s the Day?” Well, I searched monster.com for MONTHS looking for jobs. I went on dozens of interviews, received some offers and then I got a call from a recruiter saying that she’d found my resume on Monster.

I got the job. I took the job. I started the job. So now, I guess I can say that Monster.com is why I have a job. Wow.

And just when I think things are going to settle down, I get ANOTHER job call. Another recruiter found my resume on Monster.com. How weird is that? So I turn down this second job because I already now HAVE a job. When it rains, it pours.

But I guess I shouldn’t even PARTIALLY complain, because I’m now employed and things are starting to all come together. But I really wish it would’ve happened just a bit faster. 🙂

I have to look back through my calendar to see all that I’ve been doing in the last few weeks. Suffice it to say that I’ve been all over the place (did you know that you CAN, in fact, land an airplane in 40 mph crosswinds… and that when emesis is “deposited” on a plane, that the replace the seat and seatbelt?).

Anyways, the bulk of my days are consumed with trying to hawk raffle tickets for HOBY-NC’s Vette Raffle. I can’t believe we’re actually doing it. But we are… and when I got an e-mail from the Sacramento, CA’s DA’s office, I almost lost my mind.

Apparently, the raffle is illegal under California law… and since I’d advertised it in a way directed at California residents, I was violating the law. I don’t really think that’s true. Neither does the HOBY-NC lawyer. But I don’t feel like contesting the issue… so I withdrew our ads in California.

What a pain in the butt. 🙂

I’ve got to write more about the job search… sorry if that’s boring… but it’s really unbelievable.

There has been a position posted for this area (first cool thing) doing what I do (second cool thing). It pays pretty well (third cool thing) and it’s been open for awhile, too (fourth cool thing).

So I applied through a search firm. And then I started to find “similar” jobs from other recruiters in this area. But they weren’t exactly the same. So I wasn’t sure whether to apply to all of them or not (you can’t usually apply for the same job through two recruiters – it just doesn’t look good to the employers) because I didn’t know where they were.

One of the recruiters was initially really interested in me. Then she told me that she was going to submit me. And then she dropped off the face of the planet. Oh well.

So I talked with another recruiter. SHE also thought I was a match. She fell off the face of the planet.

And then I talked with yet another. SHE thought I was a match. She said she was going to submit me. I called her again today. She said she did, but didn’t know the results and regardless was going to submit me again with additional information just to get me in the door to talk with the hiring manager.

Let’s recap. One (apparent) job. THREE recruiters. ZERO follow through on their part. Which is interesting considering that they will make about 30% of my starting salary just for getting me hired. Not a bad days’ income for doing almost nothing (since I was finding THEM).

Pisses me off!

Oh well, I just do what I do. 🙂

Tina and I went to see Duke play Valparaiso University (my alma matter) in basketball at Cameron last night.

Want to guess who won?

90-something to 50-something.

It was a slaughter. But we had fun there anyways! I received lots of stares as I was wearing a maroon Valpo sweatshirt. 🙂 Next year they’re playing at the United Center in Chicago. So Tina will look out of place in a Duke sweatshirt. Heh.

OK… time to get back to invitations. We have to address the INNER envelopes now, then put everything inside. Then lick, stick and send ’em away.

I was raised on McDonald’s, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza. I LOVE fast food… not just the fact that I think it tastes good to me (given my finiky food behavior), but that it’s just easy to get and I don’t have to prepare it.

But the truth is that I should eat healthier meals. And Tina’s been encouraging me to cut back on the calories – since my lazy butt has been on a couch for a lot of the last few months. 🙂

So I went to the grocery store to find something that would be fairly quick and easy to prepare to encourage better eating habits. I found the Healthy Choice bowls in the freezer section – more specifically, a Chicken & Rice bowl which was just perfect. I bought them by the boatload. I LOVED these meals.

Well, one day, I could no longer find them in the closest grocery store. I had to go online to find where else they were stocked. Visiting about 10 other stores in the Raleigh area, I cleaned out every one I could find. But the very next time I went back, there weren’t any in stock anywhere.

OK. Don’t panic. Go to the customer service desk and ask them if they have any in the back. No, none in the back. Alright, can you special order them? Sure. No problem. How long til they arrive? No clue. Fine, I’ll just check back later.

For three consecutive weeks, I would call to check to see if they were in. Nope. Never. Sorry. So at this point, I was getting REALLY worried, as I only had 1 or 2 left! I was going to have to eat out more often if I lost my bowls.

I decided to call the manufacturer. I wanted to know where they recommended that I get them. Wanna’ guess what happened? Oh yeah…. they were DISCONTINUED!!! I couldn’t believe it. Apparently, the Chicken & Rice bowl wasn’t very popular. I was crushed. Because now I was FORCED to eat out again!

But as usual, Tina came to the rescue. She told me to go and pick something else out at the store. After several failed attempts, I think I might have found another meal I like. Woo hoo! Can you guys tell McDonald’s that I won’t be around much?

(Note: This is a cross-over blogisode – meaning that it’s the same post here as on the Wedblog with minor differences. Thanks for playing along.)

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!

I’m tired of addressing wedding invitations.

My fingers feel like they’re going to fall off. But at least the outside envelopes are done, now to do the insides.

What’s that you say? Why am I doing it by hand? What possessed me to grab a caligraphy pen and hand-write 200 or so invitations?

Well, I’m a sadist, really. And I’m cheap. An addressing service (yes, folks, there are people paid to address envelopes) will do it for about $1.50/envelope. This includes the outer envelope – the one with:

Mr. and Mrs. Full-first-name-middle-name-last-name
Fully spelled out street address
Fully spelled out city, state and zipcode

And the inner envelope:

First name of each adult on the first line
First name of each child on the second line

But as I’m only done with the outer envelopes, I still have to repeat the process with the inners. Sound simple? Sure. Simple for me? Of course not.

First we had to order the invitations – you can read about some of that adventure on our WedBlog. We paid a little extra so the envelopes would arrive sooner than everything else (with the idea being that I would actually get started addressing them sooner. I tried.

I say, “I tried,” because my first few envelopes were done with a caligraphy marker… and without me knowing that I was supposed to be doing the full-name-no-abbreviation thing apparently required by formal southern tradition. OH, and I had wanted to do the caligraphy in purple. Apparently, only black is the allowed color. Oops.

So first was a trip to get black caligraphy markers. I came back, did a few envelopes and Tina then informed me (after an hour of addressing) that while these were fine for my friends, it wasn’t going to work for her family. I realized that this meant that I was doing it wrong for everyone and was going to have to go back to the store.

See, the marker has a wide tip. I needed to see if there was a smaller version. I found two more black caligraphy markers and returned home to discover that nope, they’re the same size. Which meant that I just wasn’t going to be able to use markers for this. I was going to have to (insert dramatic pause here)… buy a real caligraphy pen. (I also had to get a “light box” – a little translucent table with a nightlight installed under it – so that I could project guidelines drawn on a piece of paper inserted into the envelopes. This way, it appears that I’m really great at making letters of equal height and in a straight line.)

Three guesses on who doesn’t know the first thing about caligraphy pens but had to learn quickly while standing in the aisle of the store! 🙂

Yes, I found what I thought I wanted, went home and opened the box. These pens aren’t the $2 bizillion pens that they used to use for nice writing. They’re idiot-proof pens for people like me. I followed the directions to insert the ink cartridge, attach the right “nib” and tried to start the ink flow.

Hmmmm… no ink flowing. I wrote with a down-stroke, an up-stroke, a side-to-side stroke. No flow. I tried a damp paper towel to help siphon the ink down the nip (this is a real suggestion made on the instruction sheet… I didn’t just make it up myself). No flow. I tried shaking the pen. No flow. Finally, I shook the pen in sharp downward motions (like I was ‘resetting’ a thermometer) and then used the paper towel method. Flow.

Now I started addressing. It’s an amazing thing to see how small I can get the letters with a real pen.

And today, two weeks after I started (and LONG after the rest of the invitations arrived thus showing us that we wasted a bit of cash on the envelope rush order), the outer envelopes are complete. But only because I did 80 of them yesterday.

So my fingers feel like they’re going to shrivel up and fall off.