Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Update

I've been remiss from posting mostly because I didn't trust myself that I wouldn't leak out the big surprise that I had. The truth is (and most of you know this now) is that I've been in Arizona since Thursday. With no job lined up, I decided to spend a week back home before a weekend trip this Friday to Vegas with my girlfriend & assorted family\friends. The main purpose of this trip was to surprise my Mom for Mother's Day, and to maintain the surprise, I decide to just not blog. Since I don't post that much, it wasn't very hard showing such restraint.

So what's the latest in my world?

For those who don't know, I also maintain a poker blog. It's basically just a place for me to talk about poker only, since I know most of the readers of this blog don't care to read that stuff.

Perhaps you would care more if I told you I made almost $3000 within 24 hours last week? So yeah, that was kind of nice.

I left for AZ on Thursday night. I really didn't tell anyone I was coming except for my dad (to help plan the surprise) and the friends I'm staying with. But I realized that probably was a bad idea, because the last time I tried that I ended up not having anything to do since everyone already had plans. So I called my brother & sister up during my layover in Salt Lake City to tell them. I probably should have called them earlier so they could join me at our parent's place on Sunday. As it ended up, my niece was able to join me.

Anyways, there's a story in here that needs to be told.

I'm in SLC waiting for the boarding announcement. I had gotten up to look for a good magazine, and when I came back, my previous seat was taken. So I sat down in a good spot with some open seats to each side. All of a sudden, I detect the smell of whiskey in the air. I look to my left, and a young blonde girl wearing a Dodgers t-shirt had sat down two seats away. Girlfriend or not, you'd think that having a drunk blonde girl two seats away would be enjoyable, right? Not in this instance.

I tried my best to avoid eye contact so that she wouldn't make conversation with me. The reason being is that, as soon as she spoke up, I could tell conversation with her wouldn't be pleasant. The first thing I heard her say was "Hey you! Are you going to Phoenix?" Hoping that she wasn't talking to me, I just stared at the ground, playing with my iPod. The poor sap across from her took the bait. I won't recall the entire conversation, but what I learned during this time was:

1. She lived in Phoenix & hated it because it was ugly (at one point describing it with the word "ugly" 7 times)
2. She wanted to move to a place that had squirrels because she "loves squirrels"
3. She really had to pee
4. She didn't like the book Doctor Zhivago because, in her words, it was about "some dude who cheats on his wife & fucks some other chick"
5. She really like Stephen King
6. She really had to pee
7. She hated religion (at one point, audibly stating in the middle of SLC International, Gate C13 "I fucking hate God!")
8. She really had to pee

The poor sap finally left and she finally moved her attention to me. I tried my best to ignore her. She took up an interest in my music tastes; I worked to deflect her attention to woman's restroom just a few feet away. Even though she had to pee so bad her "vagina hurt really bad", she thought it was a better use of her time to write her email address on my hand so I could talk to her about music. She finally got in line to board; I wiped off the chicken scratch she left on my hand. The last I heard from her was her next attempt at conversation with some other unlucky soul waiting to board: "Hey, do you like the Dodgers?"


It's been nice being back in AZ. Of course, it would be better if my girlfriend was here too, but sadly, she still has a job. I've spent my time here so far between catching up with a couple of friends and doing random things like shopping for shoes, as well as the overnight trip to my parent's house last night for Mom's Day.

Each time I come back to AZ, it seems like the number of people I get in contact with shrinks more and more. It becomes too much of a hassle to try and squeeze time in with a larger group of people, especially those that I don't really maintain a relationship with when I'm back in Seattle. I haven't told everyone I'm here because I'm not looking to use all my time here to catch up with friends; I really just want to relax and be a bum in a place I'm familiar with. So if you're reading this blog and I haven't called you yet, I'm sorry, but we'll just have to meet up again next time.

It may sound boring, but I've spent a good portion of my time here just at the house I'm staying at, hanging out with my old roommates, playing games like Uno, Mastermind, and Guitar Hero. It may not be the most exotic vacation, but it suites me just fine right now, and I don't have any plans to really change that before Vegas. The rest of the week, all I have planned are a couple of lunches or dinners, a poker tournament with my brother, and a job interview (more on that in a second). Maybe some basketball in there too. It just depends.


Regarding the job search: I'm now 0-2. I had made it through the second round of interviews with a company for an HRIS position. I was really excited about it; it felt like a great opportunity, but the company felt otherwise. The questions in the second interview were a bit more pointed, really focusing on what I had accomplished within HRIS. They are in the processing of implementing a new program for their employee database, and I could tell they were looking for someone with more experience in that. I walked away from that interview feeling less secure about how I'd done, and when I saw the job got reposted a couple of days later, I pretty much knew I was no longer being considered. Others tried to convince me that the job reposting was just standard procedure, but when I got an email from the position's manager late this afternoon stating "thanks but we're going in a different direction", it confirmed what I already knew.

The good news is that I have another opportunity tomorrow for another HRIS position. It's just a short prescreen interview via phone with the recruiter. I'm not as excited about this position because it's on the other side of Lake Washington, in Kirkland. Google Maps says it's only 40 minutes away in traffic, but I think that's being generous. I'm REALLY not looking forward to driving to work again; I enjoy the fact I only fill up my tank about twice every 3 months. It's only about 6 miles so it probably wouldn't be that bad. Taking the bus would no longer be an option though; I'd have to take three buses & commute for over an hour just to be there by 9am. I've sent out a couple of applications since I've been in AZ; hopefully one of the jobs a bit closer to our apartment will work out.

At this point, I'm just hoping for something that I can start ASAP. The whole point of passing on the job to stay with Macy's was that I would be able to find something soon and bank my severance package as a nice little bonus. Although I am claiming unemployment during this time, the longer I'm unemployed, the more of my bonus I have to use. That's the last thing I want to happen.

It's time for bed now. I need my rest. I leave for Vegas in three days and I'm starting to come down with a cold. I need to get my rest & let my body get well so I can spend 48 hours destroying it in Sin City.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Sweet Scent Of Unemployment

I guess there really isn't a reason for me not to blog now, huh.

The good thing is that I've got lots to blog about. Maybe I'll blog about some recent events, such as drinking with ex-colleagues for 8 hours on Friday. Or traveling to distant countries (OK, just Canada). Maybe I'll finally get around to finishing a story I've been working on since January. Or maybe I'll just stay home and recap my days for you. Here's a preview:

8am: I think about getting out of bed.

10am: I finally get out of bed.

10:20am: I lose some money at poker

10:45am: I lose some more money at poker.

11am: I take a nap

1pm: I finally put some clothes on

1:05pm: I revise blog to say "1pm: Have a sammich"

1:10pm: I finally put some clothes on

Anyways, for those of you still dutifully sticking around for my blog updates, enjoy them while they last. If my interview goes well tomorrow, you may not see a flurry of blog posts like this for a long time.