Thursday, March 27, 2008

In which our herione has contracted the Black Plague

Oh my lovelies I have so much to tell you and show you but I have been afflicted most awfully with a terrible bug the likes of which I have not experienced for two decades. In between fevered thrashing and the ribs smacking coughing I think of all the writing I need to do and crawl back into sleep.

I have knitting to speak about with photos, a party I crashed (well not technically but...), seeing new and old friends, lovely ride shares. Just lots of things. But it will have to wait until my fever stops rising and falling to more than normal.

So everyone stay happy and well, send healthy thoughts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It pays to be (politely) indignant

When I received that email from the temp agency that I mentioned recently, I quickly fired off an email back saying that I was confused as to how they could think I did have the skills required for their listings. It was nicely worded and I pretended that perhaps they simply meant I was not a fit for a particular job I applied for through the website.

I wasn't too surprised when I did not receive any other further correspondence. However yesterday the phone rang and it was someone from the "Workplace Group". Apparently the problem was my "extensive background with non-profits". I'm sorry but I was unaware that answering the phone, filing, data entry and general office tasks were done sooooo differently in the corporate capitalistic world. After a short discussion she set up an interview date with me to go over my background and do assessment testing.

Monday was the interview with the unknown company. It went well, I could do it with my eyes closed and I would be bored stiff within about two weeks. Right now it's part time but they are looking for full-time. Not what I want or need especially since I will be gone in June and August for other work.

Next week I have an interview for a call center job (that requires 6 weeks of training!) and one with the above mentioned temp agency. In the face of a large number of no response from applications and a hefty handful of "no thanks" emails, it's feeling a little better knowing that there is work in the future and some hope of more in other places.

Still, today is my day to face the computer with an unhealthy mix of hope and dread as I search the web for more job possibilities. Wish me strength.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thank god for the internet

So my cell phone rings, hit answer and say, leaving my phone on the stove is not the smartest thing huh? Clearly I thought it was TGF calling, because well no one really calls me. When there is no laughter at the other end I cautiously say "hello?". It's some woman asking for Dharma Rants to set up an interview for some job or other. She was rather brusque and not exactly forthcoming with any information so I set up a date and time (Monday afternoon if you're interested) completely unaware what job I am interviewing for, which is an odd feeling. I have been applying right and left to a wide variety of jobs so walking in completely clueless? Not an appealing idea, not at all.

With just the address and the initials that I hope stand for the business I hop on the computer. Whew! Now I know that type of company and have narrowed it down to two positions. Now if I can find which of the sites I used to apply for this job I might have an idea of how to present myself on Monday. It's an agency that does "community-based support services for children adolescents and adults with developmental, emotional, physical, employment, and social needs". Okay at least now I have an idea of the presentation style I should lead with.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Another several bite the dust

So last week I received an email from a temp agency that said:

Unfortunately, we will not be able to assist you in your job search at this time. Your background does not fall within the required skill set of positions for which we typically recruit. We wish you the best of luck in your job search.

This is so patently ridiculous that I could not help myself from writing Ms. Sarah back and asking how that could possible be true given I have over a decade of experience doing clerical/administration/data entry/etc which is the primary area of their temp jobs. I have heard nothing back.

Also in my email last week was a rejection letter for a job I don't really remember applying to but I applied to so many in the last two or so weeks, it's quite possible this was one of them.

Last week I spent at least 45 minutes doing an online assessments for one job, followed the next day by an hour more of assessment testing at their facility. Again for a fairly basic and well within my competency range mid-level administrative job. Today I heard back that:

we will not be extending you an offer of employment at this time. We will retain your application on file for a period of one year.

Well bully, you know? I spent at least an hour, possibly more, today searching for jobs. Nothing of any real note and it was rather depressing. However it does seem that I have been hired for another job like my DNE gig but this one is in California. So I get to head to the west coast in June for a bit and I am hoping to see some friends in the Bay Area before or after heading south to the camp. Nowhere near as lucrative as DNE but it's still money. It's kind of funny. My second year doing DNE I moved to the west coast and I thought, well at least I'll get to the east coast once a year. If this other gig works out it will be my "at least once a year trip" to the west coast. I would get to still maintain my identity as a bi-coastal girl. Pretty cool, huh?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A touch of nostalgia

For the first time all winter the forecasters were right, we are getting a snow storm of some consequence. It started yesterday morning. Here is a photo from yesterday late morning.

It snowed all day, mostly not very heavy but very steady. TGF was released early from work yesterday which was kind of nice to have a full evening together unexpectedly. Some photos from last night.

All those spots in the photos?
Snow falling.

Since she also had today off, I took the boy out for his morning bathroom break which was a full on romp because he adores the snow. You would think he had been raised in the stuff what with his whining to go out because there is snow, making doggie snow angels, and burrowing his snout in the stuff. This morning several more inches that had fallen and I shoveled the front and back steps as well a bit of the sidewalk. I also discovered that we had moved from a blizzard warning (early afternoon yesterday) to a Level 2 Snow Emergency (as of sometime later yesterday)

A bit later I was taking a shower and thinking it would be lovely day to see Jeriann and Cody except the roads suck. Somehow from there my mind drifted to snow days like this in Massachusetts. When Michele and Mike lived across the street and it was day like this they could cross the street or call my ex and I to come over for pancakes. Snow days and pancakes became our ritual in the winters they lived there. A pang of homesickness, nostalgia, and a wistfulness to somehow recreate something like that overtook me. It is rather amazing that tears didn't start flowing.

Since I left Massachusetts Michele and my friendship deteriorated most horribly. Various things conspired to make it all much worse. In the end I decided to stop reaching out to her and have had no contact w
ith her for over two years. I have missed her terribly since I left the east coast, I missed her more when it became untenable to continue to try to maintain a friendship. She was my housemate for about 3 years, lived across the street from me after that for another 2 years. I was present at all three of her children's births. We were like sisters but also more. She was very angry that I was left, that was part of the break, maybe a large part.

Earlier this week I finally dragged my butt to the po
st office to check the mail since I also had to put that scarf in the mail. It had been so long that I had to go back to the counter to collect my mail because the box couldn't hold it all. In between the junk mail, bills from credit cards that I haven't informed of my home address was a hand addressed envelope. The return address and handwriting were instantly familiar. She had written and wanted to try to rekindle our friendship, she missed me. I was caught so off guard that the only reaction I had was to laugh, rather hysterically, all the way home. In the end I emailed her, explained the lag time in responding (it was postmarked almost a month earlier). The next morning I had a response from her. I wrote a longer post answering some questions, like what the hell was I doing in Ohio (the envelope had the Casa de Cedar address). I haven't heard back from her and truthfully long to hear her voice so may give in and call. I am cautiously excited that I may be able to build a new road with her, to have my friend back in my life. But the snow and pancake days are clearly over.

Almost the same shot about 24 hours later.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Onto happier things

All in favour of distractions, say I!

So knitting it is then. A photo essay of sorts.

I saw this pattern eons ago back when I thought cables where hard. Cables are not hard but this pattern has errors. The yarn is my trusty steed, Cascade 220, colourway 9474. It's the same stuff I made a pair of Fetching out of so it's what's left from that adventure. While I have been loving this yarn and the needles (Inox circular size 6), I am not enamored of how it's turning out so although I am almost done, I think I will frog this one.

Pictures of entrelac have danced in my head for a very long time now, first catching my attention when the knitting blogosphere was all about the Lady Eleanor wrap. I had convinced myself for awhile that I had no interest in anything like that but I lied. When put out a tiny pattern for a head wrap/ear warmer thingy that was nothing more than a test swatch of entrelac I became obsessed. I also used this as an excuse to spend about $12 on some Plymouth Boku which is a cheap alternative to one of the Noro yarns, I forget which one. It does break, or at least this first ball does, more than I like. This project is almost finished and the other ball will be used to make some fingerless gloves or something like that so it's a set. TGF really likes it so it may go to her. I do love how the colours are working out in the pattern.

My consignment project, Fans of Family is done! Done I tell you, I blocked it yesterday and wove in the ends tonight. I love this pattern. So much that I wo
uld consider making it again, which if you notice I hardly make the same thing twice, so this is high praise. The yarn was a delight, Misti Alpaca Laceweight, held doubled throughout. I ran into a snag with this as I seriously underestimated the yardage needed but Ravelry came to my rescue. I love this thing and hope the recipient loves it to. I struggled to find a pattern that seemed like a good match for the goal of something not too warm, but pretty, and would offer me a bit of a challenge. It took some time for the 20 row repeat pattern to develop into a rhythm but after 20 repeats of the pattern, I established a bit of a flow with it. It looks quite lovely to me, but I'm biased.

Yesterday my friend Andi surprised me with a visit and spindle spinning lesson. Jennie gifted w
ith a drop spindle and some GORGEOUS roving before I left the west coast but I really didn't want to start with it because well it deserves more talented hands. Andi brought me some more basic roving in blue and gray to spin. Somewhat foolish perhaps I decided to spin the two colours together, however the result is kind of nice. Like any good teacher Andi noted that my drafting was getting more consistent already. I love a good liar!

More knitting news soon I'm sure.

Notes on stripping wallpaper with ugly picture soon too.

With the luck of the Goddesses without Husbands as Glamour Gal would say, I will have positive job news for me soon!