Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I sleep with the fishes ... only not really

I promised a more upbeat post about my weekend, so here we go.

The boyfriend and I had a quiet Friday night watching the second Underworld movie (I can't believe he hasn't seen these), drinking some wine and lighting a fire because it was brr...chilly. Nothing like the rest of the country of course but cold enough to freeze if it wanted to, you know? But really this was all low-key since his company holiday party was to be held the next evening.
I know you're thinking "holiday party? I thought the holidays were over." and you'd be right, they are over. But their company likes to hold their party in January when it's not as busy.

So we booked a hotel in downtown Seattle that was pretty fancy for the evening along with another couple we're friends with and had plans to meet up in our room before arriving at the party.
On a side note, the boyfriend passed his PE (engineering) test and there was cause for celebration. Once we met up we drank Dom PĂ©rignon, headed to the bar downstairs for a quick drink since it was still pretty early and then to the party over at the aquarium.

Now I've been to the aquarium before, but every single time I've been surrounded by screaming children and no space to walk. So this was a completely different experience. There were appetizers, dinner, drinks, dancing and the entire aquarium to ourselves. There were even a few employees to answer questions we had about the fish etc. The only downside I had was the next morning, not because we were hungover (thank goodness we were NOT) but breakfast. I had been looking at the room service menu since we got there and all I wanted was crab cake benedict. When we went down to the restaurant it turns out they were doing Sunday brunch buffet and although there was eggs benedict it obviously not what I had my heart set on. All in all - a pretty good weekend. :-)

Monday, January 26, 2009

In a slump

It's Day *insert#here* (I refuse to count because it will make me feel depressed) of unemployment and although the job search is promising I've fallen into that phase of apathy. You know, that phase where cleaning & organizing your apt. seems more appealing than searching for a job? I know I'm going to get over it soon enough but in the meantime realizing I'm in that phase is so frustrating.

I'm doing well in the job search though, I'm networking like crazy and I've had a few leads to follow up on. My resume is updated and I figure I'll apply to a few positions this week. I also went to a career fair last week for the first time ever...I think this is where all my apathy is stemming from. I was pumped when I first heard about the career fair, I got my resume ready to go, dressed up all professional and headed into the big bad city of Seattle with a fellow friend that is also laid off. Upon arrival though we quickly realized that this career fair was over hyped and really not worth all the hassle.

There were approx. 10-15 companies there tops, most of which are not what I was looking for. Sure there were hospitals, insurance companies & the army/border patrol/navy but unless I wanted to work as a nurse, insurance agent or carry a gun my luck ran out. I tried to see the bright side in it all, I handed out some resumes, listening to them talk and planned to check out their websites later, but the amount of people at this small career fair was astronomical. Each line to talk to someone had at least 15 people deep and when I talked to most of them they told me to check out their websites.

At the very least I figured out how these fairs work, got out of the house and did something productive - but I thought there might be some sort of payoff in the end. Naive? Yeah I might have been but now I know how it all goes.

Next post includes some fun weekend stories so look for that. :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Facts of Life

I have that theme song stuck in my head and I never really watched that show growing up. :-)

It's 5:50pm on a Sunday night, and here I am watching Ocean Force on TruTV. The boyfriend is at the gym and I can see the sun setting out the window. Even better...when he comes home he'll be cooking me dinner...can it get any better? His family has been in town recently due to the birth of his new niece and it's been great to see them. They live on the other side of the mountains so it's not very often I get a chance to make a good impression, but this time around we've spent a fair amount of time with them. Friday night the boyfriend and I, two of our friends and his father went to the monster truck show down in Tacoma. Not usually my cup of tea but I've willing to try something new out at least once. We had a good time but there was a commotion in a section a few down from us that we were not sure what was going on. The next morning the boyfriend went into work early and texted me...turns out there was a little boy who got hurt from flying debris, he later died. Six years old, it's unthinkable. I know that something like this is a horrible accident and in the many years this show has been operating they've never seen anything like it before - but I think that something else should be done in preperation...I don't know what, but SOMETHING. They didn't stop the show, the continued the rest of the shows for the weekend. It just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day One

Like countless people around the country I am now officially unemployed. It hit me like a ton of bricks right in the chest but I understood. The economy is in the toilet and I know that it was one of the few ways that the company I was working for could stay afloat, but it still hurts. It hurts that I was one of the chosen few to be let go, it hurts that despite my best efforts to show how valuable I could be it didn't work, it hurts because I know there were better places to make cuts (like those people who actually don't do work all day).

But I can't dwell, I know it all happened for a reason and as cliche as it can be...it's a blessing in disguise. I can now find a job that I can be happier with. I don't know if I want to stay doing the same kind of thing as before, although if there are any positions in Seattle-ish for purchasing I won't ignore you. It's been suggested for me to go back and finish school, although I'm still paying off those loans from before and the idea of going into even more debt makes me anxious. Something else can fall into my lap or I could network with just the right people, so all it needs is time and I can make it work.

Besides, if I wasn't unemployed I couldn't pick my little brother from school today because he's sick. We're now hanging out at the parents while he plays video games, we drink candy cane tea and lounge by the fireplace. It can't be all bad.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Blast From the Past

There are only a few things more awkward or weird than running into an old boss, especially when the partnership didn't end on the best terms.

Let's flash back approx. 6 years ago. I was working at a small company not far from my house in a temp capacity. I got along really well with my boss (I was in reception, she in office mgmt.) and we were the same age. We ended up taking classes together at the community college and even spent time together outside of work. Her boss however, was not as pleasant. He was a little too friendly, pretty much the poster boy for sexual harrassment.

I spent approx. 1 year at this company in the temp capacity, the only real explanation for that is that I was apprehensive about going through the job search again. I think they kept me on as a temp as a precautionary way to make sure I couldn't sue the company due to this particular guy. But one day his post-partum suffering wife got the idea that I was having an affair with him (who knew what he said at home - no freakin' way on my part) and within the next week there was a phone call from my temp agency telling me not to come into work that day. Nice.

Running into this woman was definitely a surprise but it was nice to see her. I was updated on a few old employees and found out that the company folded about a year after I left. My spiteful nature says "serves them right" but I know everyone who worked there is better off now.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Confessions & resolutions

Another confession - I'm a packrat. Yeah I have a lot of stuff in my home and my place really isn't all that big (studio and all) but I just have tons of things. I can't part with anything and when I do it takes a while.

What's worse? I'm a digital packrat. When it comes to photos on my computer, or emails in my account I don't delete things. The other day I was looking at my gmail account. The whole point of using gmail is that you don't have to delete anything if you don't want to, which just fueled my habit. As part of the New Year what better resolution than to clean this stuff out? I started using the archive feature for those important emails (after all, having almost 2000 unread messages is just crazy) and deleting the others.

This took me a few days. I had email in there from 2004, seriously? Who has messages from 2004 that are not just things to save? I have a very bad habit. But I went down from around 6000 messages to a handful. In my archived? Approx. 600. My inbox? 1 - yes, one email.

Small victories are all we should hope for, any more than that it's hard to keep a resolution. What else is on my resolution list?

  • Travel somewhere new. It could be another state, a new city, a new country. I have plans to go to Mexico for the first time so I hope all goes as planned.
  • Learn a new skill. I knit and crochet but the extent of it is dishcloths, scarves & blankets of the most basic variety.
  • Lose weight. This has never been on my list before but I'd like to have what my boyfriend calls "a new Mexican bod". I'm thinking 5lbs.
  • New employment. I have a job that I should get out of, everyone says so. I don't make enough for what I do and I can definitely be treated better.

What are yours?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year! (and all that jazz)

It's 2009 already, where did the year go? I remember just the other day I was...having my first date with the boyfriend. That happened in March and who knew that would be the start of a serious whirlwind.

Confession time - I met my boyfriend on match.com*. Yes everyone, I did the online dating thing and it was, get this...successful.

How on Earth did something like this happen? I've heard horror stories, I've read about countless stories on blogs I follow and it makes me want to jump out from delurker status (because I'm still really bad at commenting) and shout from the rooftops that IT CAN WORK!!! I'm the exception it seems in the online community, and I'll share my story in the slight hope that it might help you out too.

Back on March 19, 2008 I had a date with the boyfriend and I almost fell head over heels for this guy. It all started out because I got this email. It said something to the effect that one of my friends decided to set me up with a match.com profile and I needed to complete it. Said friend was one I used to work with and become fast BFFs with, but I never thought she'd be into that sort of thing (she's gorgeous, has no probs with guys) and let alone her thinking I needed that kind of help. I mean, what kind of quazimoto did I need to be to need help in the dating world? I'm not horrendous looking, I'm spunky, love some random guy-type stuff and have guy friends. I shouldn't need help like this?

So basically I was a little offended. I called her up and gave the big WTF?!?!? about it and she told me point blank that I was an awesome girl and she wanted to see me happy. I rolled my eyes a few times and she told me to shut my mouth, I was amazing and although I was super busy and not focused on guys that she wanted me to possibly date a few people and get me back into the dating mindset.

Seriously, everyone needs a girlfriend like this. I think there's a few lists out there that tell you the people you should have in your life and she is one of them. Note to self: call her ASAP, it's been too long.

But I finished my profile and started looking around. I didn't see all that many people I liked but there were a few. Even though I was signed up I was in free status so I couldn't do all the cool stuff, like IM people or even email them so I thought that was lame. I bookmarked a few profiles for later and didn't think about it. But then I found out about a 7 day free trial.

I was wary, I'll give you that. But worse things have happened to me and I checked out the emails I had waiting. Some were douchebags, some I wasn't interested in and some were trying all too hard. But there he was. A guy who made me giggle in front of my laptop and score! He lived in the same city.

After a few emails back and forth (and me soon canceling my trial) we decided to try out dinner. We started at this Mexican place that had almost an hour wait, but headed to an all American restaurant down the street I've been to a few times. He was quiet and let me talk, which made me happy since I can't ever shut up. I think I babbled about my hair a lot, it was down my back in my photos but I had recently cut it and donated to Locks of Love. Boys like long hair so I was freaked out.

A hug was had at the end of the date but we planned to get together two days from there. His birthday & Easter were that weekend so we wouldn't be seeing each other for about a week...It didn't matter.

It's nine months later and we're still going strong. I see him almost daily, and talk at least once a day. I'm never sick of seeing him and even most of his quirks I still find endearing. We've been through a few family deaths, family pregnancies, meeting the parents (and actually LIKING them!) and countless other outstanding events.

What I'm really trying to say is...IT CAN HAPPEN. Don't sell yourself short, don't pretend to be someone you're not. It's cliche but that's for a reason, because all that stuff is true. Be you, don't be discouraged. Someone is there for you, and they're amazing. They might be online, they might be in your city or across the country. Remember though, it takes time. Some of us find that special person in their high school sweetheart and some find them two marriages down the line at the age of 60.

Live like you mean it - seriously.

*I promise, I am no way affiliated with match.com or made anything off this post. I just have a success story.
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