It's never that easy

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I am working on a book. I feel like every other person is doing the same thing or they feel they have at least one good story waiting to be told, so I am not too vocal about it.

After years and years, I'm almost done. My husband has been gently shoving me towards the next move: finding an agent. This is the tricky part. Find someone who thinks your story is as good as you say it is. Find someone willing to slog through the pre-edited mess and see the potential, but in order to find that person, you have to advertise what you're selling with a teaser--a query letter. This will inevitably bring countless rejections, and I will inevitably have to tell myself exactly what I've been saying to myself throughout my job search: It only takes one. Then those interested will request a manuscript and those who like that enough to peddle it to the publishers will do the hustling on my behalf. This doesn't faze some people, but for some reason I find it very daunting.

In the back of my mind I hear that what I have isn't good, people won't pay to read it, the voices of the characters are totally off. I know I need to ignore that and press on. I've read so many so-called best selling books that aren't all that great, but they had a great marketing machine, and somehow people were convinced that these stories were better than they actually were. While I still want to write a good book, I know that I need effective marketing.

My husband talked to a friend who is also working on a book. A few years ago I connected with another writer who was writing a story on West Point. He emailed a bunch of graduates to get them to read what he already had and make corrections. I'm not lying when I tell you that it stunk. It was awful, and yet I admired the guy for trying and for believing that he had something worth publishing. I helped him with many things so I figured when he got somewhere, he would put in a good word for me. He claimed to know an author and then as soon as I asked for the guy's contact information, I got the back pedal. "Oh no, you don't want to talk to that guy." I wrote a scathing email message in response and promptly added him to my block list.

The most recent offer to connect was through a friend of my husband's, who apparently has his own book in the works. "He's going to send his agent's contact info," my husband said, which elicited a shrug from me. My instincts told me something was off.

Today I received a link to the agent's website. In my mind, I was thinking "Oh, it's probably some hack." I was hoping something would prove me wrong, but no, I was right, it really was some hack. In addition to being a veteran, the guy has a string of advanced degrees listed after his name, which might as well have been red flags. In addition to that, he's got information about himself, probably in an effort to seem "real, but when you write:
Remember - I don't take life too seriously, soooo don't expect this over-educated academic pundent to continously prove his literary skills, because I've been there and done that and I just won't anymore.

I mean is it considered arrogant to write "pundit" instead of that non-existent word listed? I'm also going to admit that the confederate pride and the wearing of a cap with a confederate flag on it didn't win points. I get it. Some people are proud of that, but is your professional website really the appropriate venue to show your rebel pride? If I wasn't turned off before (I was), this was the thing to push me over.

So this just confirms that I probably need to take the hard road, hustle and hope that someone out there believes what I have is good enough to sell.


And then--

After you find the song, you OD on listening to it.


"Who buys CD's?" (AKA iTunes doesn't have everything)

The title of this entry is a question posed by my husband. I understand what he's getting at (he also thinks books and DVDs that can be converted to something stores on a hard drive or streamed from a server, will eventually become obsolete)

My reasoning behind purchasing a CD is this: because iTunes doesn't have everything.

As much as I scoff at Hummers, I love the song used in this commercial. It really stuck with me to the point that I felt compelled to hunt it down to the ends of the earth. It turns out it's a song from some obscure scandinavian techno compilation. I could not find this song for anything. It turns out that it just required some patience. I did find the CD online but the website was foreign and the price was in Euros (possibly. I just know it wasn't a dollar sign). I considered illegal downloads, not because I'm cheap but because I could NOT find it anywhere. I would go to YouTube and play the commercial. I'd hum it to myself. My husband suggested I recreate it in Garage Band (and maybe if I didn't have a life that would be fun, but I don't have the time or patience)

Well, friends, today my CD arrived. Yes, Amazon came through and I'm one of those people still buying CDs. In fact, it's used but in "like new" condition. I had a high school history teacher whose 8 track collection was his pride and joy and I fully realize that I might be turning into that guy.

I played it on my laptop for my husband and said "Remember this?" He listened for a moment, admitted he liked the beat but did not remember the song. Ah! Don't you remember? I tried finding it forever! "iTunes?" he said. This is always the answer from him, and my response is always "iTunes does not have everything!"

This is the same guy who was haunted by this song and I'm happy to admit that I did a little sleuthing on late '90's Euro techno and I delivered, but to his credit it wasn't all that hard. I found it on iTunes.


Thoughts (deep and not)

I signed my offer letter and returned it yesterday. Oddly enough, I did this using the fax machine provided by the job search assistance people, which was a service paid for by my last company. I guess that's something. Of course now that I have an end to my free time, it feels like the walls are closing in. I don't hate working, especially if it means I am getting paid. I just hate starting at a new place, even if I know some of the people there. I hate new situations and feeling like I have to learn everything all over again. I've done it so many times you'd think being new would be old to me, but I just can't get used to it. I think once I am settled into my routine, it will be better.

Just before I accepted the offer, someone from another company spoke with me. He basically asked that I speak to him before I accept the offer. We had a great conversation over the phone. It turns out he works very closely with the people I will be working with. He laughed and said "Hm, I've never done an interview quite like this." He pretty much acknowledged that I would be accepting my offer. Could you imagine if I listened to the whole pitch and got an offer with this guy? I would be stepping into an office and sitting around the corner from the people I rejected. How bad would that be? He threw in "If things change and you're looking again, please consider us..." which is great. It's always a compliment when someone asks you to contact them if you need a job. It's a lifeline.

Yesterday I had to pick up some packages from the post office. Evidently, the postal person could not deliver them to the house. Never mind that I have been here for most of the day for the past month. I don't think the guy wanted to walk down to the house and ring the doorbell. i don't believe he even tried. I can't prove it, of course. So I went to get my packages from the post office. I had two messages from Amazon telling me to go, which meant there were two packages.

I walked up to the counter, and because I didn't have the slip, I just turned over my driver's license. The post-lady returned with one box and I said "Oh, I have two, actually." Why did she try to tell me this was the only one she saw (No, what happened was, she stopped when she found one box with my name because she didn't think there were more.) I said "Well, I got two messages..." (unsaid: and I'll be damned if I have to come back in a separate trip because you only found one)

"Give me that again," she said before disappearing to the back. What do you know, she found the other box. From her annoyed look, it appears she is well on her way to a lifelong career of postal disgruntled-ness.

I know that's a stereotype. I have found some happy postal people, but some are really miserable. It seems as if there is no in between. Either they are jovial or cranky. I don't get it.

In one of the boxes was a toy accordion for my daughter. She loves music and I want to expose her to some instruments. Even if she's not inclined to play anything, at least it's there and it can be fun. I know, it's a toy accordion and I'm probably going to regret buying that, but at least it's not a drum set. I tried my hand at it yesterday, and it seemed like fun.

So as my time comes to a close, I have all sorts of thoughts on ways to not be dependent on "the man" for pay. I could live off of the land in a yurt, farming what I need and being a vagabond in the colder months. It sounds sort of appealing, and some people have done this. Then one word comes to mind: Outhouse. Or, in my friend Mick's words, "Outhouse... If you're lucky, otherwise (four words): Hole-in-the-ground."

I like indoor plumbing. I like a lot of things that require some amount of money. I don't like roughing it. We had porta-potties at my work site in Korea (Army days) and there were many times I held it because I couldn't deal with the lack of flushing. How in the world would I do with a hole in the ground? So it's a trade off--I go to work and in return, I get toilets.


Favorite TV shows of the '80s and early '90s

I recently came up with a list of shows that I enjoyed while growing up. I can even remember the theme songs to most of them.
Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (corny, I know, but I loved it, especially Trolley and the world of Make Believe)
Sesame Street (Not the Elmo show racket that's going on now. Who doesn't remember this?)
Inspector Gadget
The Real Ghostbusters (I had a crush on Peter Venkman)
He-Man (I had a crush on He-Man)
Galaxy High (*ahem*, bought the DVD set of this one)
Mr. Belvedere (Mashed potatoes slopped into Bob Uecker's lap in the intro=comic gold)
Benson (who can't love a show where the wise-cracking butler makes it to lieutenant governor?)
The Muppet Show (a show that I loved, which also spurred what I call "M.A.M.M.A. phobia")
Diff'rent Strokes
Perfect Strangers
The Golden Girls
The Facts of Life
Gimme a Break (I sure deserve it!)
Webster (Yes, a total "diff'rent strokes" knock off with a height challenged black kid and adoptive white parents, but we still watched it)
Amazing Stories
Wonderworks specials on PBS (Very favorite episode is "All of summer in a day)
Double Dare
Moonlighting (The Taming of the Shrew episode was classic)
Dynasty (or, as my sister and I called it, "Die nasty)
The Cosby Show
A Different World
Friday Night Videos (we didn't have cable so this was our MTV)
What's Happening
Monty Python's Flying Circus
Quantum Leap
Murphy Brown
The Wonder Years (My favorite line is probably "In your sleep, pal." threat uttered by older brother Wayne.)
Doogie Howser, M.D. (Wasn't the computer journal he kept so high tech at the time? It was like a predecessor to blogging)
Family Ties (We wanted a pushover of a dad like Michael Keaton)
Growing Pains
MacGyver (Richard Dean Anderson+sandy blond mullet+ability to weasel out of impending doom=hot)

Some of these can be watched instantly on Netflix. I attempted a Quantum Leap episode, except I didn't make it past the opening theme song. Sometimes you watch these things and realize they were better in the era that they were first viewed. Some things just don't stand the test of time. If I watched many of these shows now, the list would be a whole lot shorter.


I did a double take

We were shopping for food to cook for Mother's day when I happened upon this:

I had to look at it twice, to make sure I was reading the label correctly. It's chocolate wine. Who comes up with this? It looks like Yoo Hoo for grown ups.


Now for something shallow

I know, I know, shut up, shuuut uuup, already!

I bought these (yes, I know, jobless, but...)

I know they're not quite as hot as past shoe choices(full post here) but man, they are so comfortable and kind of cute, if I say so myself.


I actually had something on the schedule today (and I managed to fit it in between my blog posting-I am prolific today). It was an appointment for my job placement service. My company paid for 3 months of this service, which is really pretty generous, considering I was only with them for 6 months. The HR director wanted me to go and let her know how it went, "especially the resume class." The office isn't too far from my house, so it works out pretty well.

Today's meeting was an orientation. There was only one other person besides the instructor (facilitator? leader?). We had to fill out forms about ourselves, to include salary amount (which was noted to remain confidential). But then we're all sitting out in the open, so how in the heck is that "confidential?" (Yes, I peeked at the other person's amount, even though it has zero relevancy since she had a different job, in a different industry, in a different job market, and so on. What can I say? I'm nosy, petty, and *ahem* competitive).

We went through the slide briefing. We paused for questions. It was almost like a real business meeting, except a whole lot shorter. I got laid off and then it felt like I needed some time to decompress and process everything. Then I felt like I needed to jump into getting a job, so I worked on that. Now that I am getting interviews and possibly an offer, I might not get to use the three months I'm allotted because my time is short (so I spend it blogging, go figure).

We discussed other classes available. We discussed negotiation techniques. The other person got on my nerves a little, but i guess I just feel like I'm the type who says as little as necessary. Sometimes that's good and sometimes you come off cold, but I try to keep personal things personal. This woman was an open book. I knew she had an iPad, her husband was an apple geek, she was with two different companies for 8 years, they had moved from Pennsylvania, she's been jobhunting for 2 months and so on. I mean it went on and on, and some things were mentioned several times, as if we had missed the first pass, but it wasn't just that. Some of it seemed like bragging. As in, the instructor (Facilitator? leader?) saying, "We have a website which we'll log in to later on..." and her throwing in, "Oh, I should have brought my iPad™! I could be logging in right now!" (insert eyeroll from me)

Or, when we did log in, and she had problems, she piped in with, "Oh! Well, it's a Dell. I'm used to Apples." The instructor-facilitator-leader replied, "Really? Is that what you used at work, then?"

"Well, no, but..."

(insert eyeroll with a side of Schadenfreude from me)

"...my husband's an Apple geek and we have an iPad, iPhones, a MacBook..."

(insert twirling index finger from me)

I didn't say, "Oh yeah? Huh. So do we, but somehow I don't feel compelled to mention it every five minutes. Or at all, really. Huh." I did, however, brag that my last company provided me with a MacBook. Ha! I win. Well, not really because (as evidenced by my presence at the job placement assistance meeting) I don't work there anymore. It's not like they let me keep it as a parting gift.

I know, I know, I'm being mean. Maybe she felt comfortable. I just didn't feel like I was there to share and commiserate. I was asked about my class ring. I know it is kind of ostentatious (and the men's version is even more so). So I had to admit it was a West Point ring (and I even threw in the bit that we were the first school to start the ring tradition). The instructor-facilitator-leader just gushed on and on. "What a great school! Where did you serve?" "Korea," I said, "Oh, thank you." He replied, in a completely solemn tone. But wait, I wanted to say, the Korea where I served is a whole lot different than the one that was in place fifty years ago. We had our own rooms and cable TV. It wasn't like we were camped out on some mountain in the cold. It's embarrassing when people thank you for your service when you have only served in peacetime. It was a minor hardship in some areas but overall it was a great deal. When there is a war you're not in, you appreciate that even more. What I did then doesn't even compare to what my serving classmates and other servicemembers are dealing with now.

The service was helpful. I wish I had a little more time or I had started the process sooner, but I will try to make the most out of it.

The thing about books

I love reading. I usually like a book better than the movie version because there is so much more depth and you're not limited to a two hour run time to develop characters and play out the entire plot. You can picture things the way your mind wants to, instead of having someone else's vision unfold on the screen. This being said, there are certain things about movies that I prefer. If it's a bad movie, it means I've only lost 90 minutes to three hours of my life, tops. It's still time, but not nearly as much that gets wasted when I read a book. I've started giving up on books, but I try to give them a chance. If it's marginally good, I might hold on till the end, in hopes that it will get better. I'm a tough critic, I know. Sometimes the plot picks up and it's enjoyable. Sometimes, I'm wrong and the book sucks.

I picked up Sistah Souljah's "The Coldest Winter Ever" from the library. Well there's a start--it is free so at least there's no money invested. The cover is kind of icky looking but don't judge a book, right? The first page threw me. Specifically, the line "I came busting out of my momma's big coochie on..."

I mean do I need to continue? Give up or press on? Does any real human being actually talk like that when describing her own birthday? Between this and my commentary on certain movies, maybe I'm not as open minded as I'd like to think I am.

Out of over a thousand reviews, there are none in the one and two star categories on Amazon. I have friends that liked the book. I want to give it a chance, but I don't know if I can stick it out for the three hundred plus pages I have left to read.


Today is the anniversary of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's farewell speech at West Point. We had to memorize parts of this speech and during Beast, we were all herded into Ike Hall to listen to it. I am embarrassed to admit that I was so exhausted from heat, stress and P.T. that as soon as the lights dimmed and I heard the words, "Duty, Honor, Country," I fell asleep.

Anyway, here's the speech.

The Truth Shall Set You Free

I'm a younger sister. In fact, since there are only two of us, I am the youngest sister. Anyone with siblings will tell you there are advantages and disadvantages to being the oldest or youngest. As the youngest, I always felt like I was the lowest ranking family member--I was the one listed last on the Christmas cards, I was the youngest household member if you didn't count the pets. I was the one who had been around for the shortest amount of time. This usually means you don't make any of the rules and you're at the mercy of everyone else. This can also mean that your older sibling is the boss of you. This is a story of how I figured out how to turn that around.

We were visiting my mother's cousin in Italy. I was 9 years old and I had to pee. As luck would have it, so did my sister. We both took a trip to the bathroom. My sister pulled rank and took the toilet. My consolation prize was the bidet, which she kindly filled with water. I wasn't too keen on new things and no one really explained that it was sort of like a sink for other body parts. It was just so foreign, and I wanted nothing to do with it at all. I thought I could hold on until my sister was done, but I couldn't. Looking back, I should have just gone there, pulled the drain, rinsed the thing and been done. I don't know why I didn't. Who can explain the workings of a nine year old brain? Anyway, I peed myself.

As it was happening, I could still remember the look of "Oh, shit, she really did have to go!" on my sister's face. I know she had to have felt guilty. She very wisely wet the rest of my shorts and helped me clean up so it wouldn't be obvious to the adults what happened. I remembered going outside and resting on a chaise in the sun so my shorts could dry quickly. We were in the clear. You'd think we could then put the entire episode behind us when no one caught on, right?

Wrong. This is where things got a little twisted. Every moment after this incident, when she asked me to do something for her, and I refused, I was reminded of it and then threatened with "I'll tell!" This meant she had a servant for weeks and weeks. I was old enough to fear the mortification of my parents learning that I peed my pants at nine years old. At that age there's really no excuse. I didn't think it through far enough to realize they might actually understand if they got the whole story or that pants peeing wasn't really punishable. I just wanted to spare myself from the embarrassment.

This went on for months. "I'll tell, I'll tell" loomed over my head anytime I stepped out of line. It was awful. If only I could have that kind of problem now. I didn't know how easy I had it, but back then it seemed like a colossal dilemma. Serve the older sibling or face certain shame. It was a miserable time.

I can't tell you how long it went on, but at one point I decided to call her bluff. It wasn't because I didn't think she would tell them, it was because I got tired of the burden I carried. I got tired of the threats. "I'll tell!" I heard and I responded with, "Okay. Tell them." And you know what? That was it. There was no more bartering, no more currency to the story because it just didn't matter to me anymore. It was better for my parents to know then to have to drag this secret around in fear. And in the end, she never told.


Road Bird

The year was 1985. The show was "Street Hawk." The viewers were me and my sister. This is probably why it lasted one season.

Let me explain--the star was Rex Smith. The only reason we knew about this guy was because of my mom's repeated viewings of a VHS copy of the Pirates of Penzance. I might have been a kid, but even then, I appreciated Rexy-poo's fineness.

So imagine how I felt when I saw that this was on DVD. Of all the obscure, short lived series to air in the '80s, this one gets burned to DVD for the ages?

Don't get me wrong, we were thrilled about it in 1985. It meant watching Rex in a new role that didn't involve singing, dancing, prop swords and other broadway musical-converted-to-film hokeyness. We did watch a few episodes and in my sister summarized it to be "Knight Rider. Except with a bike."

This makes Rex Smith like the Hoff, except a little less well known (but judging from his website, he's pretty derned cringeworthy).

Here's where I draw the line.

There are some movies I just won't see--Transformers 2 was one of those (I didn't like the first one so why bother?) Then there are movies that are far, far into the No Zone. Movies like "The Human Centipede"--um, who greenlighted this? I am all for art and expressing yourself, but who actually paid money and said "Yeah, let's do this!" It's a horror movie, so you know that can get gory but for those who don't know, the following image gives you a pretty good idea of the plot:


Embrace the kooky side

I am waiting for a phone interview for a job I may or may not take. I have all but accepted a verbal offer from another company. I am just waiting for the official letter at this point. I also filled out an application for the other company. Maybe this is just insurance--a back up plan in case things fall through. I always feel like once I get too comfortable with something, the floors going to fall out from under me. It's pretty much what happened at my last job and the one before that. The moment I feel settled into the routine is the moment things start to shift.

This phone interview is for the job that could be ending in six months. This was presented to me as if it was some kind of advantage--like knowing how long you've got to live. I think I'd rather not know so I don't spend the weeks before the date of doom wringing my hands and stressing out. The position is going to switch to federal and move to San Antonio...and from what I gathered, this means that they want to hire for these jobs in San Antonio, which is understandable. It's a lot cheaper to hire people who are already there than pay for someone and his or her family to pack up and get settled. The person conducting the interview was upbeat--"well, if you do good work, the company will try to keep you." Do you know how often I've heard this? Do you know how often I've been the employee trying to be kept? It's like flying on standby. You might get a seat, or you might have to camp out at the airport and look for another airline with a flight where you need to go.

On top of that, something is preventing me from being able to email the employment application to the company's HR representative. She sends things to me successfully, and I have emailed a few things to her successfully, but for some reason, when I attach and send my completed application, it doesn't go through. MAILER-DAEMON has already sent a couple of friendly messages telling me that the one email with the application attached didn't quite make it, even though MAILER-DAEMON's repeated valiant efforts to send it out. And before anyone asks, the attachment is well within the limits of the email service that I use.

Upon seeing that the application can't be sent, the kooky new agey type might say "Ooo, see? There's a sign! It's just not meant to be!" I'll admit, part of me is thinking this too. It makes things easier because it removes me from having to make a decision. If you can throw up your hands and claim fate is at play, then you don't have to make a choice.

I did speak to the HR person today and I asked if she received anything from me. She said no and told me to send it through the mail instead, which I did. If that one doesn't make it, then I'm really going to wonder.


Not free to a good home

Last weekend we helped my mom run a garage sale. It was a new experience that I don't ever wish to repeat. You have a seller who is reluctant to give up her nice things to people who "want something for nothing" and then you have buyers who want something for almost nothing. You can probably already tell this was a formula for disaster.

I sold some things that I didn't need, to include a toaster oven for $3 and a small-ish crock pot for $1. This wasn't bargain basement, this was more like "Earth's mantle" pricing. I tried to think of it this way--at least I didn't have to waste cabinet space on these things anymore. They had already been replaced but they still worked. The common sense thing would have been to donate them but I was hanging onto them "just in case." I know that's not a good enough reason. I have a Target AND a Wal Mart directly across the street in case I need anything, and they even carry toasters and crock pots.

My mom was incredulous that I let the things go for what people asked. I didn't even attempt to haggle. I hate haggling, on both sides. It's not fun for me. We don't haggle in stores, so why do we do it at car dealerships and garage sales? It's just silly, especially when it gets down to the last 50 cents. At that point it's just pure egotistic competition.

It was interesting. It was an unusually hot day and my feet swelled up to 8 months pregnant proportions. The Amish people came through with horses and buggies, or on foot, or on their scooters that look like bicycles. Some people did drive bys, browsing from the windows of their vehicles as they slowly passed. People will look at anything you have out there, even the table with markers, plastic bags, newspaper, a calculator and a tin full of quarters. They'll look around at those things as if these are somehow not the tools you're using to help sell and wrap the items. Some people can't help themselves and they may even openly brag about how much stuff they have already as they browse and purchase. Then you wonder if you'll catch them on a Hoarders episode.

Unpaid labor

On my lay off letter, it's mentioned that I was supposed to get severance through the 3rd of May. Well, I checked my account on the 3rd of May and there was nothing extra in there. It was the same low balance I've been gliding on for the past few days. I let it go. Then I had a dream that I did get my severance and it was roughly half of what it should have been. Don't you hate when this happens? It's like you don't want to worry but then the subconscious interferes and you can't help but worry. I emailed my former HR person who got back with me right away to say it will be direct deposited on Friday. Duh. Friday was when I would have been paid if I still worked there. I don't know why I expected the money to be there on Monday. It's not as if they are going to adjust their payroll timing just for me. I replied thanking her and neglecting to admit that I was being impatient and ruled by a bad dream.

The time off from work is flying by. I am getting small things done. I am working through a basket of work clothes that either need to be hand washed or mended. They have been sitting in that basket for months. I have been effectively ignoring them because I didn't have the time to bother with them and my last job didn't require "work" clothes. I could wear jeans. So I would glance at the basket and think, I'll get to it...eventually. Well eventually is now.

Things discovered while mending clothes:
-I have no idea where I put my big spool of black thread. I've improvised with navy thread.
-A Q-tip dipped in diluted bleach is the poor/cheap/lazy person's bleach pen.
-I have a lot of little buttons in little plastic bags and I should probably sort them. I'll bet half of these are extra buttons for clothes I don't own anymore.

Things discovered while applying caulk:
-If you're caulking a tub, make sure you have waterproof caulk before you snip the end of the tube (oops)
-They sell caulk that doesn't need a gun and it's my new friend
-Even if the caulk looks right when you're done, it shrinks when it dries and you get little holes.
-This stuff is nice in concept but it doesn't work

I have also been filling out employment applications. I filed for unemployment too. Because I worked in Virginia, I had to file on Virginia's website. I'm sorry to admit that their site looked a lot better than Maryland's site.


Creepiest movie poster ever?

I'm talking about this. I remember seeing a few commercials on this before it ran in the theaters. It had a voice cast full of famous people (Freddie Prinze, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anne Bancroft, Chris Kattan, Val Kilmer, Malcolm McDowell, Louis Gossett, Michael Clarke Duncan, Eric Idle, Kelly Ripa, Burt Reynolds). It was a CGI film someone put together with a *message*. like the Birdemic guy, he got it done and got it to the theaters. It was also a complete flop.

Today I noticed it was available on Netflix Instant watch so I attempted to sit through it. Well, I didn't last long. It was basically unwatchable. It was sad because the animation wasn't so great but obviously someone tried to do something with it. The plot was based on the same old Romeo/Juliet theme of lovers from warring groups and the characters just looked funky (go on and look at that movie poster again if you doubt me).

Shock and Terror

I saw a feature on this over the weekend. While I have described my enjoyment of bad movies before, I think this one would test my limits. The writer/director/producer was featured and it appeared that he really, truly felt that he had something worth stretching into a full length feature. He got it done on a $10,000 budget too. I have to admit that I admire him for believing in himself and finishing his "vision." Aside from that, I'm not sure what else to say (because if you can't say anything nice, well, you know the rest).



Hello 2010?

Where are you going? Why is it May already? I feel like I'm just getting to know you and you're already headed for the door.

I have 2 interviews this week. One is a real interview and the other is not an interview, but lunch with a former manager. The former manager called me on Friday. I said my week was free and what day did he choose to meet up? Tuesday. The one day that actually was scheduled for an interview. Oops. I had to weasel out of that one. "Well, actually, can we do Wednesday? That would work better for me."

The Tuesday interview is for the position at the agency relocating to San Antonio. I actually had another interview set up for a different company in the same agency. The woman who called me was up front that the job was only good for about six months. I pretended to be excited about it, promised I could do everything in the description of duties and then when I said I would not be available until next (this) week, she scheduled a phone interview. I knew from the toll free number and access code that this would be a teleconference. Teleconferences are unbearable enough, but a phone interview teleconference? I was supposed to talk to three guys and before that, study up on an army regulation she named. She also flat out asked my salary requirements and in her words I was "pushing it out of the ballpark." So in other words, I was supposed to study up for a six month gig (I don't know about you, but this is usually how long it takes for me to even get up to speed at a new job), be prepared to brief generals, impress these three guys over the phone but I was asking for too much money. Needless to say, I canceled that interview.

I know I should look into every opportunity, but I also think gut feeling should weigh in. The guy at the same agency at least mentioned that there would be the option to convert to the federal position and move to Texas. He was okay with waiting until next (this) week for me to do an interview in person. I had a better feeling about this.

Then on Wednesday is my non-interview. I honestly don't know what to expect. He did throw out a potential start date and I mentioned right away that I had time off planned the following week. If you listened in on the conversation, you'd think I was in for sure. I'm hoping it's not too awful. I am pretty much eating crow going back to this manager and this group, but I think that happens pretty often in defense contracting.

I'm not working and all I'm writing about is work. Boo!