Friday, February 21, 2003

Friday's Five Questions

1. What is your most prized material possession?
My pictures. Being a military brat, I moved around a lot. You make friends in various places, but inevitably, you lose touch. My pictures remind me of days gone by, sometimes making me smile, sometimes making me sad. I also love to look back and see the various hairstyles I've had, and cringing at my wild 80s garb: flourescent orange, big earrings, black Madonna bracelets, fingerless gloves. What was I thinking? I have many photo albums, and they're growing more and more now that I have a beautiful daughter who looks much better in pictures than me.

2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?
My "Book About Me" by Dr. Suess. I got it when I was five. It has this great picture of me in a cowboy hat, when I was too young to be self-conscious about how I looked in pictures. The book talks about how many pairs of shoes I had, how tall I was and what I wanted to be when I grew up (a movie star and a mother). The best part, to me, is a story that I wrote about visiting Disney World and seeing the Bear Jamboree. It's pretty good for a 5-year-old I must say!

3. Are you a packrat?
A litte. When I was growing up, we moved a lot, so we could never keep anything that wasn't absolutely essential. The government would only pay for so much weight in moving allowances so we always had yard sales to sell anything that we really didn't need. Maybe it was efficient, but I miss not having my favorite teddy bear, school assignments, etc. Just like not having a house that I can call my childhood home, I don't really have a lot of memorabilia from childhood either ... except my Book About Me.

No, I tend to save things, just in case. But then I go on random cleaning sprees and just throw away anything I haven't used in a few years. Except books. They're probably my second most-prized posession, and I keep those, even if I know I'll never read them again. I just like to have them. I like the way they look on the shelf.

4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?
I'm pretty much in between. I like order. I like when there isn't a lot of clutter on the counters or tables. I like when towels hang straight on the bar, when they're folded with the rounded edges out in the linen closet, and when the forks and spoons nestle neatly into each other in the drawer. But I don't mind if my shoes are on the floor near the couch, or if a few dishes are left in the sink overnight. I guess I just choose the things I like to be anal about.

5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?
I'm trying to make the things in each room fit. Our living room is purple and gray with elements of cranberry. The kitchen/dining room is more naturals, with sage green. But there is a flow from the living room to the dining room. The dining room area rug has both sage green and purple in it. The master bedroom is a mix of sage and a deep blue purple. Our daughter's room is Classic Pooh. The guest room has dark blues and greens and the office is a hodge-podge of my husband's school work, with elements of Mexican art. I guess there are elements of greens and purples/blues in every room.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

I had a job interview yesterday! I real live job interview. This is the first one I've had since I've been laid off. To be honest, it's the first job interview I've had in almost 7 years. It's a whole different ball game when you interview for an entry level job (like I did 7 years ago) and when you interview for a substantial position in a company.

How did it go? I have no idea. I guess I can say that I think I sold myself pretty well -- something I'm not really good at. I think we had a good rapport. I made him laugh so that's always good. But he didn't really ask me a lot of questions. Just told me a bit about the job, which I think would suit me perfectly, and then sat back to listen to me explain why I thought it would suit me perfectly.

I think I would have felt better about the interview if I hadn't asked him what the next steps in the process would be. When I asked him that, he said they were re-running the position in a trade journal to see what other applicants they would get. But that they also had applicants that were going into their second round of interviews, and that one of those applicants would most likely go to a third round. So why are they still advertising if they think they have some good applicants?

I think because this is a newly created job, that they have time to find the "right" one. Since they don't have to replace anyone, they can afford to take some time. But this position has been open since December. I applied back then, but didn't hear anything. Then I found the job on an alternative website that lists everything from jobs to community events to housing to personals, so I applied again. And this time I got called in. Now they're advertising in an advertising publication. I guess they're just trying to see what kinds of people apply. But make a decision already!

Anyway, I'm not going to be devastated if they don't call back. Ok, I will be a little disappointed because I would totally love to do this job, but at least I got my first interview out of the way and I'll be that much better on the second one. If I get one.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

My first real job was working in the supply division of an Air Force Unit. Sounds pretty fancy for a 15-year-old, but it was actually part of a summer work program for military brats who were stationed in Germany. I'm sure they had these kinds of programs in other countries, but I can only speak to my own experience.

I say this was my first job, because I don't count raking leaves for neighbors or collecting bottles and cans to turn into the local convenience store for money as a real job. The supply division job required that I be there every day from 9-5 doing menial tasks such as typing, filing or answering the phone. I think the pay rate at that time was $2.50 or something like that. But to me, that extra $100 a week was pretty cool and helped me expand my wardrobe for the coming school year. I also got to hang around some pretty fun people. Most of them had entered the military right out of high school so they weren't that much older than me.

Since then, I've had some good jobs, and bad jobs, and weird jobs. But they all added something to my work experience, even if I choose not to put some of them on my resume. I worked in retail at JCPenney during my senior year. Not the best, but I learned how to make change and put clothes back on a hanger. I used the mimeograph machine to make copies of test papers during my freshman year of college. The bad part was the room was very small and not well ventilated, so I'm sure that's why my brain couldn't process dates in my history class.

After my freshman year, while I was putting myself through school, I had several sales jobs: one selling pens made by the handicapped (or so they said) over the phone, one selling beef over the phone, and one selling encyclopedias door-to-door. Needless to say, none of those jobs lasted more than a week.

I also worked in a video store, was a Time-Life customer service agent, and worked in the security department for a check guarantee company. I was an office clerk, a marketing coordinator and an assistant to a stock broker. Now I consider myself an expert at corporate communications. I wonder how each of these other jobs helped contribute to that.

Monday, February 17, 2003

My favorite teacher when I was in school was Mr. Boyd. He was my geography teacher during my 10th grade year. There were quite a few things about him that made him special.

That year was Mr. Boyd's first year teaching at our school. That in itself always made students take notice. You always wondered about the new teacher. He was also interesting because he was fairly young, probably mid-30s, and wore OP corduroy shorts to school (this was when OP shorts were cool). So he seemed pretty young and hip to us.

My first day of class, we had to go to the front of the room and tell the class something about ourselves. My best friend and I were in every class together and she was sitting in the front row when I went up. She looked very prim and proper, her hands claspsed in front of her, intently looking at me as I began to talk about myself. Just seeing her look so completely different from her everyday self made me laugh. Mr. Boyd looked up to see what was going on. I tried to continue but you know how once you start laughing, just thinking about why you're laughing makes you laugh harder? Well, that happened. He eventually just told me to sit down. But he wasn't mad. He just looked at me in an amused way, trying to figure me out.

A few weeks into class, we knew we were going to like him. He just made learning about different continents and countries very interesting. But one day, while he was teaching from the front of the room, I noticed him scratch his face, and something seemed a little off. So while he continued to teach, I examined his hands. It was kind of hard because he kept them down and sort of behind him. But I discovered that he didn't have a thumb or middle finger on his right hand. And his left hand was missing a pinkie finger. I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before. I told my other friend in class and he was surprised that he hadn't seen it either. It made us like him that much more to know that this extremely cool guy had overcome something that might have made him self-conscious.

But the best part about him was the way he interacted with his students. He seemed to genuinely care about us. I had started to date a guy on the tennis team. Mr. Boyd was also the tennis coach and had heard about this guy's reputation. He talked to me about it, told me to take care of myself and to not be pressured into doing things I didn't want to do. Not many teachers would do that, and I've remembered our talks to this day.

Mr. Boyd moved away the next year, and I don't know whatever became of him. But, he definitely had an impact on my life.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Here are my answers to Friday's Five Questions. I know it's not Friday, but I actually spent the day doing nice Valentine's Day things with my husband and daughter. We went to lunch at a really nice place that is impossible to get in at night, went shopping, and made a nice dinner at home that night. You couldn't ask for anything better.

1. Explain why you started to journal/blog.
My friend, Josephine, turned me on to it. I thought it would help me with my writing ability. Writing for work tends to take the creativity out of your craft, so I thought this would help me write more creatively. I'm not sure if it's working so far, but it's been fun.

2. Do people you interact with day to day or family members know about your journal/blog? Why or why not?
Some do. Some don't. Josephine reads it every day. I've sent the link to others who I feel would respect it. My husband I tell about it, but he's never read it. I think he wants me to have my own private outlet.

3. Do you have a theme for your journal/blog?
Not really. It's just random thoughts. Sometimes I tell old stories. Sometimes I vent about work. Other times I just make general observations. I found some questions to use to learn more about your family, and they've been participating in that project. So I include some of my own answers to those questions in my blog.

4. What direction would you like to have your journal/blog go in over the next year?
Just to have it remain true to how I feel. And to hopefully see an improvement in my writing over time.

5. Pimp five of your favorite journals/blogs.
Secret Agent Josephine and the Queen of Rambles. Those are the only two I read.