We've spent most of the day watching the Barrett-Jackson auto auction. Someday, I want to go to see that live. There is an action and energy that is somewhat reminiscent of a sporting event. Of course, I think I'd enjoy it a lot more with a million dollars in my pocket.
My father, mother, and (bigger than me) little brother are on their way! It's about a 22-hour drive, so they should be here late tomorrow afternoon. Here's hoping for great weather and a very safe trip!
The job was delayed, and will not be starting until after the beginning of the year. John is predicting they will extend the delay until spring though. Ultimately, we're not counting on it.
In other news...
We heard from the infamous "Lisa in Phoenix" today. She is currently recruiting for a job in the Rockville/Frederick area.
John contacted the recruiter regarding the Meadowlands Xanadu project in New Jersey. The recruiter explained that the hiring company is so big and important to the recruiting company, that he is not willing to push them for information.
A long time ago, my cousin told me a story about the building of a highway designed to span the entire country of Argentina. The short version explains that a crew of builders for said road started at each end of the country, and worked toward each other in the middle. Unfortunately, by the time they each reached the point where they should have met in the middle of the country, the two roads were a good mile apart.
Metaphorically speaking, that's how life sometimes works. Things just don't match up. But not today. Today I will revel in the sweet satisfaction that comes with making a connection.
Frozen Star, read Angie's post today. I think you'll find it to be of interest.
And on a completely unrelated note, I've made a decision. I am refusing to feel depressed, despondent, or any other negative words starting with the letter D. Instead, I am going to make a conscious effort to relish the hell out of at least one good thing each day.
Okay, maybe it is related. I'm super-happy that we put up the Christmas tree today!
John just got off of the phone with his mother. She is recuperating quite well. Already, she's been up and around at the hospital, and tomorrow, she's expected to go home. She asked that I send thanks for all of the well wishes. Hopefully, she'll be logging on herself again soon.
I had a fantastic afternoon today. After feeding JJ lunch, I put him down for a nap, and left John in charge.
I then went to lunch with two amazing women with whom I don't get to spend nearly enough time. I read someplace that small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas. These women truly are great.
With recharged batteries, I then set off to visit a friend who is fighting cancer for the second time. Even as she is starting to lose her hair again, she's still one of the most beautiful women I know. It was nice to see her in good spirits.
I also got to see her daughter, another good friend of mine. She is quite pregnant with her second child, and I was able to hook her up with some really good deals on some baby gear from some members of my mom's group. It felt good to see her so excited.
Then, I stopped by my former place of employment and visited with some friends. I must admit that I often miss working there. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't have any regrets about staying home with my son. But they were also my family for quite some time.
Home was my final stop. John had just put JJ in his highchair for a post-nap snack. They were both so happy to see me. I love coming home.
That is the sound of our big home, now empty except for the three of us. All of our family has returned to their own homes now. It's a little sad. But in only a month, we'll once again tidy the place up, prepare way too much food, and try to figure out where everyone will sleep. I can't wait for Christmas!
Technology today astounds me. John just got off the telephone with a representative of AN ACTUAL COMPANY in Buffalo, NY. They have so much work going on that they are creating a new position for which they would like John to interview. They will be sending him a webcam tomorrow so that they can interview him "more personally". Of course.
Every once in a great while, I wander through a day in which something that happens serves to renew my faith in the human race. Today was not one of those days. I found myself at the health department this afternoon requesting JJ's official birth certificate for a couple of non-important (for this story) reasons. I filled out the proper form, fished $20 out of my pocket, and produced my driver's license for the clerk beyond the sliding two-way mirror. A few minutes later, she handed me JJ's birth certificate. I looked at it for a moment, and discovered that, although John's birthplace was correctly listed as New York, it listed my place of birth as "**********".
I asked the clerk why my place of birth was listed as "the stars".
She corrected me by explaining that it was officially listed in their records as "Place other than the United States". "Where were you born?" she asked.
"Kansas," I replied laughing, "And last time I checked, it was still part of the United States!" Although I was not rude about it, I thought my sarcasm was pretty evident.
And here is where it got weird...
"Yes," said young clerk, with a reassuring tone of someone who could be trusted, "You're right. It is in the United States."
Suddenly, I was very afraid. Is that where we are now? Did she really believe that I thought Kansas could have been nullified as a state? Or worse yet, does she really deal with enough people who might actually think that Kansas, state found smack in the center of the US, might not be part of our country, that she felt she had to explain?
John received a strange call this afternoon. It was from the head of AN ACTUAL COMPANY, and by the time the call ended, John had been offered a job. (See, I told you so.) Put a hold on the happy dance though. It appears that this company is in need of a highly skilled person of John's caliber... part time. The strangest part is that, given the hourly wage they have offered, he could make, in 24 hours a week, almost as much as he made putting in 40 hours at his last job. The most unfortunate part is that there are no benefits with part time employment. He asked about the possibility of this job becoming full time in the near future, and the gentleman offered to create a full time position immediately... for less money, more driving, benefits, and a company car. Talk about taking the good with the bad!
I have been thinking about my post last night, and I may have reacted a little harshly. I was completely shocked that this town is so small that at least a full minute of our televised news was dedicated to two children and their underwear. How sad that there was nothing more newsworthy to report!
But I have come to a realization. This small town does not have enough murder, rape, and pillaging to fill a half-hour newscast, so they had to resort to a silly little fluff piece to complete their time. That is a good thing after all. The sad thing, as it turns out, is all of the multi-millionaire CEOs, doctors and scientists doing life-saving research who didn't have the luxury of wedgie-proof underwear when they were eight.
John received two interesting telephone calls today.
The first was from a recruiter asking if he was interested in relocating. (Duh!) He is working for a company looking to fill a position in Michigan. Of course, he later called back and asked John if he had a degree in Engineering. He hung up rather quickly after the no, so we'll see how that pans out.
The second call was from a recruiter in Dallas, Texas. Apparently, somewhere in Maryland (of all places), a shopping mall is being erected, and they need somebody to manage the... um... erection? (Sorry, Mom!)
Remember the interview with the actual comapny a couple of weeks ago? We sure do! The head of HR just called and told John that he has made it through the first two stages of the hiring process. Unfortunately, things are moving rather slowly because the company has so much work to do that they are having trouble keeping up. What a coincidence - that's just the type of problem John can help them with!
I just noticed that the ceiling in our hallway is painted the same color as the walls. The ceiling throughout the remainder of the house is white. This observation would probably fall under the category of unremarkable if we hadn't been living in this house for over three years - and repainted more than half of it. Observant is (obviously) not my middle name.
I went to visit Lisa, stylist extraordinaire, recently. As she was weaving color through my hair, she observed that, of every ten hairs she raised, four were only two to three inches in length. It's regrowth, she explained to me, from what I lost after JJ was born. Four out of ten, friends, is a statistically significant number.
Forty percent of my hair is regrowth... I lost almost half of my hair!
To everyone who thought I was "imagining" my hair loss: HA!
For over a month now, the story has been the same. Recruiters abound have repeated their mantra: "Your resume is fabulous, Mr. Lynk. With your wealth of experience and your willingness to relocate, we should have no problem placing you immediately - if not sooner!" And then he waits. And waits. And waits.
And the depression starts to get old, so he tries a new emotion... anger. He becomes angry with all of the recruiters and their promises of gold and rainbows. His own personal mantra becomes: "Whatever. I'll believe it when I get to talk with an actual company." (After hanging up the phone, of course.)
John is a hard worker, and he is damn good at what he does for a living. But a company can only see so much on paper - and he has to make the "paper cut" before they'll talk with him. History has shown that once they talk with him, they (almost) always offer him the job.
After six grueling weeks, the moment of truth has arrived. John has a phone interview - WITH AN ACTUAL COMPANY - next Tuesday. And thus begins a new cycle: Hope and pray. Hope and pray.
My father admitted to me recently that he spent most of my formative years convinced I was going to meet an untimely death due to choking. He told me that I would shovel an entire fork/spoonful of whatever into my mouth, chew twice, and gulp it down. It terrified him.
Fast-forward a few (okay, many) years, and I'm still here... watching my young son shove an entire handfull of Gerber puffs and Cheerios into his mouth... and swallow.
We've been watching the news this afternoon... I feel a little sick at the idea of capitalizing on others' misfortunes, but I've suggested to John that perhaps he should start looking in Southern California.
John has decided to try a new tactic. He is contacting former employers to see if they are currently hiring. I don't know why we didn't think of this idea earlier. John has an excellent history with every company for which he has ever worked. He's a great guy!
I received an email today from the Federal Republic of Nigeria Committee on Foreign Payment. It appears that I am the beneficiary of $6.8 million - there was a settlement on a contract, and I'm next of kin. I should have received my payment earlier, but somebody screwed up my file. Everything will be taken care of now however, as President Umaru Yar'Adua is laying down the law around that place. I know everything is official because they gave me a secret code to reference in all correspondence: 307 (please keep it a secret). They will send me a check just as soon as I give them a whole bunch of personal information.
And I didn't even know I HAD relatives in Nigeria!
I just had an amazing experience with a recruiter who is interested in John. She told me his resume sucks. If that was all she had said, I would have immediately donned my defensive gear and headed into a (no doubt) losing battle. But she didn't stop there. She proceeded to explain to me not only why John's resume sucked, but also how to fix it. We spent probably a half hour on the phone discussing how it could be improved to make John a more marketable potential employee. So he can get a job. And the forboding black cloud above us can be lifted and we may once again see the sun. If you'll pardon the continuing metaphor, our ray of sunshine today is named Lisa.
Thank you, Lisa. And if we're ever in Phoenix (and the possiblilty seems to be getting stronger all the time), we owe you dinner.
I absolutely love my son's Bumbo. I have hooked up the tray and used it as a highchair while we were on vacation. When we go camping, I sit JJ in it on top of the picnic table so he can see everything (and because I know it's clean). John likes to put him in it and sit with him on the couch to watch TV. Ultimately, I love it because it is like a small baby prision. He cannot get himself out of it... yet. Does that make me a bad mom?
I was in a department store today, and found a huge display full of Ravens apparel, and I started to think about whether or not I should be a fan. I mean, how do you choose? Should I be a fan of the team closest to where I grew up? Or in the state I went to college? Or is where I am currenly living the most important factor? Should I take into account the teams my family members support? Or does John's favorite team take precedence now? I hate the thought of being a fair-weather fan who just supports whichever team is most likely to win. I guess I could choose a favorite player... but what if he is traded? Do I still side with the original team, or does my loyalty make the move as well? Perhaps I should learn from my friend Terry's husband. When I asked her once how he became a die-hard Chief's fan, when he has absolutely no other ties to Kansas City, she just shrugged and replied: "Bob likes red."
No matter what he's doing, between 7:30 and 7:45 every night, John drops everything and comes up to our bed. There, he hangs out with JJ and I to read a few books. Then, he and JJ snuggle for a little while before I put JJ down for the night. John is such a great Dad.
We had a yard sale today. It was not exactly the wildly successful endeavor I was hoping it would turn out to be. On a more positive note, as it turns out, I am actually a pretty good judge of what is junk.
I love checking on JJ in the middle of the night. Although I always put him down to sleep on his back, each time I go in to check on him, he's in a different position. Sometimes he's just completely turned around, facing the opposite direction. Other times, he's turned over on his belly. Once, I found him in a sitting position, laying his head on his crib bumper. And tonight, he's wrapped his little body around his fuzzy bear "G". So, once again, I gently try to return him to his back without waking him. I guess I'm a bit partial, being his mom and all, but he is the most adorable little boy ever. Sleep tight, little one.
If I'm good at one thing, it's finding the positives in just about any (possible) situation. So, here goes...
Positive things about Omaha, Nebraska:
1. It's near my parents. 2. The schools are excellent. 3. We could live on an acreage/farmette in the country. 4. They have a great zoo. 5. It's close enough to KC that I could go back to my old stylist, Darin. 6. Omaha Steaks!
The recruiters - and their promises of fame and fortune (or at least a job) - are crawling out of the woodwork! This evening, John received a call from one of the nations largest recruiting companies. The gentleman asked John if he'd ever heard of their service. John tells them, "Yeah, you guys found my last job." The guy on the phone then asks which recruiter he worked with. John gives him her name and the guys tells John that she is his mentor! So this guy is beside-himself excited, promising John that they will be able to place him easily because he has a fantastic history with their company. John is like this recruiter's dream. Yee ha! They'll be able to make money off of him again!
Charlie has a very annoying habit of rushing into our bathroom and hopping into the tub if you give him even the slightest opportunity. This morning, rather than tossing him out, I just turned on the water. Little trooper just hung out in the corner while I took a shower. Sure, he whined about it. He's a cat.
An interesting call came for John this afternoon. A gentleman introduced himself as a recruiter who received John's name from a client he worked with last year at this time (when John was looking for a job after the "Centex on the Shore" dismantling). This gentleman told John that he has a position he is trying desperately to fill and he thought John sounded like the perfect candidate. He then asked John what his current employment status was. This guy hunted John down not even knowing that he is currently looking for a job!
To all of you who are praying for us and our current situation:
It's working. I find more and more reason to put my trust in God every day. And I'm sure there is a reason He's considering sending us to Phoenix, Arizona.
John, sweetheart that he is, told me this morning that because I am not feeling well, he would rather stay home and take care of me than go watch a bunch of millionaires drive in circles with a group of old farts. (He had a ticket to go see the races in Dover with his dad and friends.) Bless his heart!
Well, it's the end of the day now. I won't go into the gory details, but I feel pretty safe in saying that our marriage is truly the epitome of the phrase, "It's the thought that counts."
Remember Shel Silverstein's book "Where the Sidewalk Ends"? I love that book. In it's pages is a wonderfully descriptive poem called "Sick". If you haven't read it, you should. That is how I feel today. And I already know it's Saturday!
Well, today's interview was actually a recruiter. John was on the phone with him for over an hour though, and I think that's a good sign. Apparently this guy said that John is one of the most qualified people he's seen in his 20-year career. Coupled with the fact that we are willing to move, he's practically guaranteed to find John a job for what he's asking. He hung up the phone higher than a kite. It was pretty cool.
And on another positive note, our house is cleaner than it has been in a very long time. I managed to get the entire refrigerator cleaned and organized while John raced JJ around in his highchair/racecar (among other bonding activities). And today, John cleaned all of the carpets! I'm going to miss him when he goes back to work.
Once again, the search is underway. John interviewed with a company in Montgomery county yesterday, but he didn't find it particularly promising. He did get another call from a recruiter in Connecticut wanting more information though. And, he got a call this morning to schedule a phone interview at 2:00 this afternoon, although John isn't quite sure which company will be calling. I guess that's a good sign - there are so many possibilities that he can't keep track!
JJ and I flew back from my parents' house today. The first flight was fine, but the second I will treasure. We were on a full little Dash-8 for about an hour and a half. And from the time we left the gate until the time the door was opened, JJ was completely sacked out. All 16 pounds of his little frame were draped across my body, with his drooling head sweating on my shoulder. I could barely move, so trying to get a book out of my bag, or flipping through a magazine were really not options. So I just sat there, cramping up, and enjoying being his mom.
I bought John a smoker for his birthday. Of course, it came unassembled, and in our house, I am the one who puts things together. So I'm in the sweltering garage, just finishing the arduous assembly of this monstrosity, when I turn the lid around to reveal one of those obnoxious stickers listing the fabulous details of this particular smoker. Right in the middle, in larger type than the surrounding information, is the proclamation, "FREE Assembly!" Well, they were right - nobody paid me to do it.
I have been experiencing trouble deciding what action to take in an impending situation, so I posed a very personal question to a group of women I barely know today. Their answers were astounding - deep, thoughtful, honest, and touching. I was moved almost to tears in discovering that I share a bond with a bunch of people I just met simply because we're women. Women think differently. (I'm actually reading a book about that right now.) Had I posed the same question to a group of men, they would have just told me what to do. But these women helped me search for the motivations behind each of the possible actions, as well as each of the consequences. They shared their own experiences with me, thereby helping me make a decision for myself. I feel very lucky to be a woman today.
So I'm finally doing this. It's been a long time coming actually. I've just been looking for a reason to start. I was going to start when JJ turned one, or when the new year came, or on my 35th birthday. That's like me - to wait for an event or an occasion to start something. I'm pretty OCD when it comes to order and routine. But not today! I'm starting this even though there is absolutely nothing special about today. It feels kinda good.
There are a lot of people in my past that, for various reasons, I have not been able to keep contact with. Each of these people has meant something to me, and I feel they deserve to have that knowledge. I am choosing to list these names here because I have found the Googling of one's own name to be a very human action. If you found your name here, it is because I would like you to know that I have been thinking of you. Please keep in mind that this list will be continually updated, as the mood strikes me, or as something I hear, see, smell, or even taste brings back a memory of my days past. If you choose to leave a comment in a more recent post, I would like that very much. - Marly