Thursday, March 30, 2006

Put what up your what?

Tomorrow I have my first real interview here in Denver. I have mixed feelings about this position, some positive, some wary, for several reasons:
a) I am underqualified for this job and knew it when I applied
b) it's a 30 min commute (fucking gag me)
c) the pay will probably make up for the commute (score)
d) it's in a bedroom community
e) the bedroom community makes it somehow less intimidating for a first interview
f) it's in healthcare
g) it's in HOMEOPATHIC healthcare
h) they make stuff you put up your nose including, among many other things, mercurius corrosivus
i) the recurrent use of the word "dilution" on the Web site doesn't make me any less cautious of the use of mercurius corrosivus

I'm just going to go ahead and aim low - I will try not to make any bodily noises during the interview. Or get hives. Yeah, I'll try not to toot or get hives. Bloody hell, I need a manicure!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

At least the pig shared his slop with me

Okay, I am trying not to personalize my continued rejection by employers. They haven't met me in person yet (most of them) so it can't be that they're repulsed by my hideous face or the fact that I walk like Quasimodo, and I certainly am not a member of the stanky armpit brigade. I do, however, have a bone to pick with the way it's being done. It seems like business etiquette is dead. No one bothers to return phone calls, or be respectful of those seeking employment. I think the fact that, especially in marketing, it's an employer's market has lead to a degradation of proper correspondence and manners. If I am no longer being considered for a job for which I spent a lot of time, consideration and work to prepare for, then just send me a danged letter! I can take it. Are you, the employer, AFRAID to let me know? It seems just and courteous to do so.

I had a great phone interview last week with an organization for which I would be PERFECT. The qualifications section almost seems like it was written from my job history. Following the Q&A of the phone call, the man assured me he would call to follow-up last Friday, send an email detailing benefits and asked me to call him should I have any questions. He never called, never sent an email, and when I called to ask about scheduling interviews for the week never returned my inquiry! Seriously, I know everyone is busy, but if you were to turn the tables it would be completely inappropriate behavior. I think that just because you are in need of a job doesn't negate the fact that companies advertising positions should be courteous and equally timely in their communication. If it had been one job, or two, or three out of the eight million to which I have applied, I might understand - but it's every freakin' one. I think part of my impatience is the fact that prior to this I have been sought out and stood out in the job pool. Perhaps the market is so saturated employers feel they don't have to follow the rules but honestly, I am not excited about going to work for one of these companies that use barnyard manners.

Check it out

I am actually wearing a pair of jean (board-style) shorts today. Yesterday I got my first walk around Cheesman Park, it was absolutely lovely and very warm. I rolled up my pants legs and the glow from my skin blinded 18 runners coming from the other direction. They simultaneously fell to the ground, writhing in agony, screaming, crying and then their eyeballs rolled out and into some dog poo. So, I figure I'd better try to give them a little light. To my shock an horror, I also realized I hadn't shaved my legs in more than a week and I looked like the Irish Wookie. This morning I spent close to 40 minutes in the shower trying to de-fur myself. How - repulsive. When you're single you don't think as much about these things, or at least I don't. Now, I'm smooth styling.

I rode myself down to the library this afternoon, and gots me a library card! I brought all the necessary paperwork as I don't yet have a Colorado ID. This place is beautiful (beee-u-tee-ful). A nice man helped me find the library, I knew I was close but everything downtown is kind of confusing and I felt like a little kid. It actually wouldn't be a terrible walk to come downtown. I am starting to expand my comfort-zone boundaries. Concentrated in downtown are museums, libraries, theaters, galleries, the Denver School of Art - lots to see and do. Today is nicer than yesterday, if that's possible, and the bike and I aren't having too much difficulty getting around. I think I'm starting to adjust to the altitude.

I know there are SOME people out there who are going to ask me, so I'll be upfront: I wore the fucking helmet, and I looked like a goddamn tool. Happy?!?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Move it, shake it, work it, throw it out

I'm in! I'm in and moved! (I'll be unpacked by oh, the end of the lease) I'm officially a Denver resident, oh yeah. So take that, Elway, Dannielle is in the house.

Moving - sucks. It's no great revelation, b/c I don't really know anyone who says, "Man, I LOVE packing up all my shit, sorting through it, hauling it, carrying it up a set of stairs, and THEN getting to do it all over again for my roommate!" I do, however, love all the help we had this weekend. I love the beautiful neighborhood I'm living in AND, as it turns out, I'm living in some kind of crazy hipsters-w/dogs-dormitory.

Our apartment building looks like a motel. The layout is rectangular with a large common courtyard in the middle , anchored by a surprisingly calming fountain. The mixture of rocks and grills, the picnic style cement table and bench give it the look of a quiet motel. At night, the lights in front of each apartment come on and the courtyard is lit by lights around the walking path, blue fountain lights and various open windows. Crunchy, squeaky sounds emitted by the rocks underfoot remind me of the old-school McDonald's playground. Windows in the apartment are cheap, thin and are covered by long and noisey metal blinds. Everyone really does seem to know everyone else AND their dog - literally. We might be the only people there without one. So far I've met a Great Dane, two black labs, two doxins, some kind of corgie mut and TWO, count 'em two, pugs. Disturbingly, my bedroom has complete audio access to the next-door neighbor's apartment and the bathroom above us. I can hear every sound of someone using the toilet - almost certainly a man. Men have distinct peeing sounds, which might be most disturbing in the fact that I can distinguish this. I'll just pretend that I have a boyfriend in the house.

We moved on Friday and Saturday, the majority of heavy-lifting being done on the latter. I was exhausted after hours of moving and the stress of moving. My roomie had been called in to work and so I was left alone. It was the first time that I felt a little overwhelmed by the situation, a kind of throw-back to sleepover homesickness and panick that I used to feel as a kid. I went to Target to get beer and pizza for myself, unable to share the traditional end-of-moving-day food with anyone. In some small way I almost felt compelled to run up to an adult and tell them, "I am here by myself. Isn't there anyone you can call, shouldn't someone be notified?!?" I wasn't lost, but that's how I felt. Even Target, which I kind of thought would be a comforting place, seemed larger and foreign and different. Departments weren't in the proper places and the grocery side had all kinds of foreign and ridiculous third-party vendors. Everyone had someone with them or something to purchase, I was there just there under the pretense of browsing for Lysol. Somehow the success of a moving day celebration meal was diminished by the fact that I ate a personal pan pizza in an empty bedroom on the floor, a single light and ceiling fan humming above. The building was rushed with sound of people getting ready to go out on Saturday night and I felt shabby.

Beautiful mornings mend so much - and I've had two in a row. I think the excitement of the move is ramping up and I'll soon be taking Denver by storm. For now, I need to find my way to the grocery store and the closet bar.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Pompus and my Circumstance

I am really feeling quite the failure. This is bound to happen after so much time standing still. Now that I am ready to be on the move and going again I suppose it follows that a watched pot never boils.

The other day remembered, kind of out of the blue, the feeling from my high school graduation. Now, mind you, I had no sentimental attachments to high school. I was ready to go to college from the time I was a freshman and Amy, Lynn and a few extra-curricular activities were the only things I cared for. I think I was the only person in that stupid, hot gym that didn't cry. In my mind, I was thinking, "See ya, suckers!" I was thinking of all of things I wanted to do in life, that I EXPECTED to do in life. I had no master life schedule, wasn't anal about it or such a compulsive driver I had an exact expectation about where my life would go - but it was the sense that something greater was to come - a sense of freedom I had never had before and maybe will never again. The flaw, I have found, in my future planning was that it stopped after college. I envisioned college, and my own apartment, friends and lovers, getting a good, impressive job in an office and that, well, was it. That's where it stopped. Honestly, working in an office wasn't such a letdown to me. I like having structure b/c my mind is so UNstructured - it gets loose and floppy without it.

I didn't allow my mind to wander or deviate from that plan, to explore what other things I could do or might want to do. So, when life deviated from that plan I didn't know what to do with myself. There was always an unspoken expectation about how my life would progress, my mom was open that we could do what we wanted but made it clear she wanted for us college, jobs, marriage and children, in that order. And I think I held that in my own mind as well, even if I wouldn't admit it. I worked very hard at the university, to both achieve good grades and to gain the internship experience I would need to go on and do great things. I belonged to honor societies, and the J-School's Student Advisory Board, I was on the Cather Mentoring Circle and worked. I felt certain that if I worked hard enough that I would be successful and get to that point in the plan where I had air-conditioning and a nice car.

When forced to, its sometimes amazing the things that you're able to do or at least, that's what I'm hoping for. I am waiting to see what will come out of my move - to force my floppy, uncreative mind to figure out what to do next. Its my adaptability that has made it easier for me to acclamate to Colorado. But it was also the same flaw that allowed me to get comfortable in a rut at home following unemployment - eating, drinking, leaving my mind unused and my heart depressed. In remembering that feeling of freedom from graduation, feeling like I had potential, I saw a younger, tireless, shinier version of myself. Neither my looks or my age were what made me want to reach out to her - it was the fearlessness with which I had looked to the future, unafraid to take risks or to fail, not knowing what I would do with my life but confident in its success none-the-less. The remembrance has given me a dichotomy of thought - both a crushing feeling of failure and embarassment of my self-indulgent naive confidence, and a desire to reconnect to it. This is more than about getting a job, or starting over in a new city, its about realizing that the plan was flawed and deciding to write a new one or reseign myself to the fact that flaw lies in the planning itself.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I love conversation dropping, especially if someone is on the phone

Overheard here at the Castle Rock library.

Drunk guy, deep voice, maybe in his mid-forties, slurring like, well, a drunk:

But I need someone to cover overhead. Its so fucking ex­pens­ive, I can cover everything but the overhead. I know, I know [slur­ring], well, I don't care - guns or no guns. Money, money is the root of all evil. You have to get on your knees and call on the ssssspirit of the lord, before you're snatched. Is that the one you figure out, how you figure it out...[BARKS OUT LOUD]

Snowy, man

It is so snowy, cold, slushy, shitty, nasty and mean outside! Wowzah! Last night, I was jonesin' so badly for some email, some chatting, some contact that I drove into Highlands Ranch to go to the Panera (free wi-fi). And about half-way through my visit, realized it was BLIZZARDING outside and my car was already covered in snow. This doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but driving on crappy interstate roads, in the FOOTHILLS really makes a difference in one's driving experience. I think that my complete lack of access to media aids in things like, say, me being SURPRISED BY A FRICKIN' BLIZZARD! I made it home just fine, but today was a trick to get out of the driveway. It looks like starting Wednesday it is to get warmer each day. This is wonderful news b/c we move to Denver on Friday...dun dun dun.

Friday, March 17, 2006

TEMPorarily insane

I just drove 80 miles roundtrip to go to a temp job, that told me, upon my arrival, they didn't need me anymore! I thought Barb and I were friends, I was even going to send her a thank-you note. Not now! You hear that Barb?!? When you call someone and know they're coming in one hour, you pay that person for their time and effort. [shakes the angry fist] I was actually super sick this morning and went in b/c I didn't want to leave Barb in the lurch, so I managed not to throw up in my car and drove 40 into Northern Denver.

Damn you, Swisslog and your constipated cheesieness!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I think these chickens are in love

Just to qualify to my wonderful friends at home who are encouraging, supportive and who, I'm sure, are probably feining interest in the mundane things I have to share which can be, at times, frustrating to me:

I love Colorado. I am having a great time and learning how to entertain myself and learning how to reconnect with who I really am. I know that at times I sound negative because I am lonely and frustrated with my lack of employment and activity. Just ignore me. Sometimes I just need to vent and then, after a little time, will recollect myself...usually. Many friends at home and abroad have sent me lovely notes, and as my internet time is so limited right now I am slow to respond. It does me so much good to have such wonderful support - just know that I am grateful for this opportunity, I have faith that I will find a job, and I will at some point have a friend or two here. It's just in my nature to be emotional first, a storyteller second and rational third. *SHOCKS AND OOHS AND AHHH'S* ;) Don't lose your faith or hope in me, I'm not floundering, I'm just blowing off steam. tee hee. blowing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Job hunting sucks

I have had three qualified job leads today – all thanks to the next town’s up much better AND NICER library system. I was actually able to keep working as long as no one was waiting. Who knew? What a concept! I am feeling much better this evening than this morning. My heart is awash in lonliness and so I feel like I’m competing with that. Quit working, start crying. So I’ve been working hard all afternoon!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

ESCAPE FROM BEIGE CARPET, coming summer 2006

This hilarious banner was hanging off a building we would have actually like to see. I think its hitting its target market head-on.

Want some more cheddar...CHEESEman?!?

We spent all afternoon on Friday looking for an apartment in downtown Denver. We finally found something, a little spendy but right off of Cheeseman Park in an area called the Humboldt Street Historic District. That's right - its called Cheeseman Park. I don't know who this "Cheeseman" was but seriously, I might have taken my mother's maiden name. I was so winded and so drained from the altitude that I was huffing, puffing and crawling by the end of the day. It was sunny but cool - and I got sunburn. ON MY FACE. Weather is weird. I also got a wicked ass blister but did talk the gal into holding a second level apartment for us. Its tiny - I think it'll be interesting to see how we consolidate everything. I was vacillating about whether or not to put a deposit down on this apartment. It’s a little overpriced but is very close to the huge park, a bus line and only one mile from New Roomie’s work. The leasing agent (who is, as she mentioned fifteen times, from Louisiana) gave me lots of crap about being unable to decide and I just wanted to say, honey, you can’t bullshit a salesman. Personally, I blame my blinding fear of commitment for being so hesitant about signing this lease…the altitude…and PMS…and the drugs. Lots of drugs. Okay, no drugs, but maybe that’s actually the problem.

Governor's Mansion - what if they need take out?!?

This is the governor's mansion in downtown Denver. We were looking for an apartment in this neighborhood. I guess even the gov needs a new phone book to keep his take-out info up-to-speed.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Love Is...

One friend buying you Love Is thongs for Valentine's Day and another friend putting on your underwear to make you laugh.

Read-A Library self-enrichment class poster

WTH? My library never did anything supa cool like this! Most exciting thing ever at the Valley library: name the nylon worm that hung above the main room contest in elementary school. I won. I named it Read-A Bookworm. Get it?!?! Like Rita, but Read-A. For a third grader it was v. pun-y. I think the weird thing about this poster is that it’s ostensibly for teenagers, and the woman on the poster is like 35. I took this picture inside the potty stall. New Roomie’s digital camera makes the loud shutter sound through the speaker – and I was really glad no one walked in.

Apartment Town USA

This is my apartment “complex.” Its enormous – I think it looks like a small town, from the bike path the complex is so big that was my point of origin, I could see if from the hills behind it. I bet more people live here than my hometown…if not, its gotta be close.

Chris Columbus I ain't

This was the first bike trail I went on, it’s a small, pretty and hilly neighborhood path that runs underneath Meadows Parkway for probably four miles. I admit, on the bike some of the hills made my glutts burn like a gas-soaked bonfire. I got off of the path's end instead of turning around and going back…and got lost on Saturday. I ended up WALKING my bike up 90 degree hills and having to ask some man washing a Mustang if he could help me find my way back. I felt no older than the five year old girl he had running around the lawn. “Excuses me pretty please mister – I lost and I sooooo scared. Help me please!” Then, I went home starving b/c I had been out (lost) FOR TWO HOURS and started a fire in the kitchen. Funniest thing about this walking path? It has a parking lot – and NO BIKE RACK. WTH?