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Thursday, June 30, 2011

So Early

Yesterday I showed up at my interview so early (and they were so quick) that the interview was done before I was scheduled to be there. Today I'm using the Guest login at the school I'm interviewing with (to see if I want to attend) because I got here so early that the lady I'm supposed to see is not ready. And this is after I stopped to buy a waterproof folder for my resume.

I left extra time in both cases; yesterday because I did not know how to get there, and today because it is - in spite of the weather - that season known as "Road Construction" in the Seattle area. I did not run into any, so here I am, early. I've checked my email (nothing new) and written this blog post. I still have eight minutes until my meeting is scheduled.

Maybe I'm overdoing the promptness...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Random Days

So we've had a strange day. I had my interview; they were moving so fast that they said, "if we don't call you by 5:30, we've decided to go with other candidates. I think I was in and out of their office in about ten minutes. They haven't called so I guess I didn't get chosen for the next round.  I'm really not that disappointed; I haven't had time to be.

Today when I took Lizzy to the Nest, she met a little girl there who is just like her. She bounced in, announced her name (to which Lizzy said, "L-I-Z-Z-Y; that spells me") and they went off, hand in hand, literally falling all over each other. This other child and Lizzy even have the same hair - golden brown curls in an unruly ponytail. They were fast friends immediately, although now Lizzy can't remember her name. It's been a rough day on the potty front; Miz Liz has gone through four pairs of pants. One was due to water play, and one to mac-n-cheese sauce, but the rest... yeah, rough potty day.

While Lizzy was at the Nest and I was job-hunting, Abby and Gramma drove down to the place where Abby has day camp next week; they wanted travel time and so forth. Abby said it was fun. She is currently outside looking for someone to play with. Or she was until the boy she was playing with decided he didn't want to play with a girl and ran away. Boys are like that sometimes, but she's broken-hearted. Lizzy did not help this by announcing "Nobody wants to play with you, Abby". Jeez, kid, salt meet wound.

So we're watching one last Pink Panther short before we put in Harry Potter. We shall see what transpires.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interviews and Sartorial Elegance

I had one today, on the phone, for a potential degree. I was in the living room, so shorts and a tank were the order of the day. I have two later this week, in person, for schools as well, and I think I'll wear my standard Business Casual. Tomorrow I have an interview for a job.

And I have no clue what to wear.

You see, this job description includes the very scary words "Business Professional". I'm not sure I own anything suiting (ha!) this category. I have black slacks and some nice tops, but nothing even resembling a suit of any kind. And I certainly don't have the money to buy any. I'll have to go with the fanciest of my Business Casual clothes and see how we do.

Wish me luck that it does not affect my chances of a good job.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Wish...

"...more than anything. More than life. More than the moon... I wish to go to the festival, and the ball!"


What I actually wish is that prospective employers would call me with the same enthusiasm that prospective schools have today. Of course, I guess it depends on who is paying the money to whom, doesn't it?

I clicked a sidebar ad for online schooling Saturday evening - checked a bunch of boxes indicating my interests, and added my ZIP code. Between then and now - call it 45 hours - I have received calls or emails from seven different schools, some accredited, some not, some online, some not, some a mixture of the two. Most of them are agreed that I am correct in thinking that a degree in Communication (one can get an Associate of Arts or a Bachelor of Arts in such things) is the Way To Go for me. Of all the jobs I have held over the past twenty-five years, my favorites have been those dealing with people (such as customer service positions) directly, or from one step removed (such as documentation and writing roles). Sounds like Communication to me.

I have live appointments at local branches of two of  these schools this week, and a phone interview at another (which is online only and has no local branch). Ideally, I would have some sort of grant or scholarship (or both) so I would not have to pay back a loan. But in a job market this tight, I need a degree to get a job. I'd prefer to go back to school just for the sake of going back to school, but ah well... we do what we must.

In other news, I took the last of the books to Half Price Books and loaded up on some I was missing, Abby is signed up for Brownie Scout Camp, Lizzy is about ready to fall on her face with fatigue, and Laston is trying to market his cool TinkerToysAsFurniture idea. We have a busy household.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Game Day! And a New Project.

We had no Friday Night Game this week; we had a number of people who would be missing. Since I was sick, it was just as well. But today some of the Friday Night Gamers are having their own party, to which we are invited. As I understand it, we're going to be taking turns playing Dance Central, so as to finish it before said Friday Night Gamers get Dance Central 2. Party with exercise, yay!

We shall see how much playing I actually do; I'm getting over the bronchitis but it's in the draining stage, which means the breathing is not so good. However, with constant vigilance(!) and judicious use of my inhaler, I should be able to keep myself upright and breathing in and out at least, maybe keep the kids out of the adults' hair rather than actually playing more than a round or two.

I'm almost done with the books; I just have S-Z to do (and I don't have that many authors in those letters) and the ones that are series set in the same universe by many different authors that I - like the bookstores - shelve by series rather than by author. I should be done tomorrow, and then I can take the remaining books to Half Price Books and fill in a few things I'm missing. This in addition to the usual job hunting, and now a new task: looking into online schooling (or local brick-and-mortar) and Pell Grants and the like. When jobs are tight, that degree (or lack of) is an easy excuse for prospective employers to eliminate me from the running. Much careful homework (ha! a pun!) must be done by me to determine what is legit, useful, etc.

I think Communication is my best bet for a major...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Books!

I'm done through authors beginning with K. I had no idea I had so many books in H and K - between Heinlein and Harris on the one side, and Keyes, Kinsella, and Kellerman on the other (with a few Herbert and Henderson and Koontz and King in between) these take up three or four shelves by themselves. And tomorrow or Monday I'll be working on Lackey and McKinley and McCaffrey. That will take up a lot of space.

I'm not a fanatic about alphabetization; as long as Asimov and Anthony are adjacent, they don't have to come ANthony before ASimov. Since I have limited space, this saves my brain from the trauma of splitting authors between shelves. I hate that. I don't mind too much if there's a natural break - say Lackey's Valdemar series on one shelf and her Bardic Voices on another - but just splitting up the middle of a series bothers me. We all have our little quirks. Similarly, I have hardbacks separate from the other books for the most part. For instance, I have an omnibus volume of the original Dragonriders' series, and it's out here with classic science-fiction hard backs, where the rest of the books (in mass-market paperback) are in my room. Trade size paperbacks mess up my system pretty badly, but I can usually work around them with creative stacking.

ETA: Okay, done through L. Missing the three books of Lackey's Arrows trilogy (part of the larger Valdemar universe). I've re-read them recently, so I know they're around here somewhere. I just left a space big enough for them. And a space for the third book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series; I like them but not enough to buy in hard back.

Why yes, I am a little OCD about this. Why do you ask?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Constant Vigilance!

The Cottonwood Apocalypse of 2011 has caused me to develop asthmatic bronchitis. This is not unusual for me; I am prone to such things when under stress or exposed to excessive allergens. But Abby is aware that I - while good at taking any medications prescribed for a given illness - have trouble remembering the maintenance-type drugs, such as my asthma inhaler. So she made this suggestion: "So here's what you do, Mom. You pretend you're Mad-Eye Moody, only not the real one, the pretend one; his name is Barty Something Junior, and he has to drink Polyjuice Potion a lot so he stays Mad-Eye Moody. You pretend your inhaler is Polyjuice Potion and then you won't forget, see? Constant vigilance!"


And speaking of constant vigilance, Grandma's gonna need some. She got the little girls scooters for use at her house (they're there a lot, especially in the summer, and she wants them to get some outside time). Abby's is a standard Razor with pink and purple tassels, and Lizzy's is a Radio Flyer for toddlers (three wheeler). Abby's bike is at her dad's house, and Lizzy's trike is here at home, so Grandma thought scooters would be good for her place. But she will need to have (all together now) CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Books Books BOOKS!

I love books, as you may have noticed here. And I'm going through my books (as you may also have noticed, here) and taking duplicates or those I won't read again - (if, say... I remember whodunit) or won't share with the kids any time in the next ten years - to my friendly neighborhood Half Price Books.

And as long as I'm at it, I'm organizing those I'm keeping. So hardcover science fiction classics and nonfiction and comics are all out in the living area, and the rest are in bedrooms. This means that I have Card and McCaffrey and Duane and Eddings and a gazillion others I haven't seen for nearly two years to play with.  This takes a fair bit of work to organize.
I've finished up through Authors-beginning-with-E.

And I've discovered a slightly disturbing fact... there are more than a few books missing from the series I'm reading. Some of these are where I just have not kept up with them and I'm a few books behind, but some are books missing out of the middle of series, or even the beginning. This suggests to me that either they are a) loose in my storage unit or b) had been sold to used book stores when we could not find the rest of the given series. I want these books, and to that end, I'm using this handy little Blogger tool... where I can post my amazon. com wish list as a sidebar box (over there on the right). I'm not suggesting any of you, Dear Readers (with the possible exception of my spouse or my mom of course - nudge nudge wink wink), should buy these for me; it's more a list for personal reference.

I'm sure I'll find more things to add to this list later; I'm not sure I have all the books in a couple series by Authors-from-F-through-Z.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

School's Out for the Summer!

School's out! I had never before today seen a school bus do a victory lap, but at Abby's elementary school, all three buses were circling the parking lot honking Shave and a Haircut. It was hilarious. She even got a second grade diploma and a yearbook. At the risk of sounding like a stereotype ("I had to walk up hill both ways barefoot and in the snow. For ten miles! You whippersnappers don't know how good you got it!"), I never got a yearbook until I was in Jr. High.

We have a busy summer planned. Lizzy's going to the Nest a couple mornings a week, so as to feel like she has "camp like my big sistahs". Abby's going to Brownie Scout Camp for a week, and Museum of Flight Camp another (she did that one last year and loved it). They're both going to stay with Grandma at her time-share condo for a few days, and Abby's going to spend a whole week with her paternal grandparents, where she gets to engage in such rousing activities and "collecting eggs from real live chickens".

We're still cleaning out our storage unit - at least I plan to continue once the cottonwood fluff has settled some - so we can take it off the lease and save a hundred bucks or so. And there are always assorted household projects to complete. Should be a productive summer.