Friday, December 21, 2007

The Big No.

It has been five weeks since my interview at the design firm.  No call backs.  No emails.  So I knew at some point bad news was coming.  This morning on my email were those not so fun words:  we have decided to pursue further talks with other candidates and are not interested in offering you a position...  What a wonderful way to say Merry Christmas.

I am excited and thankful that I got this interview, and knew it was a long shot - all of my interviews are long shots since I am looking to change industries.  But I did not get a second interview, so they must have known for some time that I was not the one.  It would of been a bit more polite to tell me around the beginning of the month instead of the Friday before Christmas.  Did they not think of this?  Or were they more like... let's ruin that guys Christmas weekend by letting him know he's not wanted.

I'm done talking about interviewing.  I'm done blogging about it.  It just makes me feel worse about it.  Not sure how I will find a new job, but I need to do something different since sending cover letters & resumes is not working.

I'm done blogging for the year.  I might post some photos, and I will definitely play lots catch up on the many blogs I have not had time to read.  Thank you all for reading and commenting.  It has been a good year of meeting some of you, and getting to know the rest of you.  

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Step Tagged Me.

Thanks to Step Right Up for tagging me a month or so ago.  I'm slow to getting to this.  So I guess I need to do some alphabetical list of things about me.  Here goes...

Anchor Christmas beer is something I look forward to since the taste changes every year. 
I am totally obsessed with Baseball. I spend way too much time discussing the game with my brother, my pals Jason and Luke, and my White Sox family (the people we sit around). LP gets tired of it really quick. 
I love dogs, but I have always owned Cats.
I enjoy DJing... spinning records, but have not done much of it since moving to Chicago (outside of my house).
The Electric Company was one of my favorite shows as a little Niner.  So was the Muppet Show.
People who ride Fixed-Gear bike drive me nuts. Grrrr.
I do not Gamble, at all.
After reading and watching High Fidelity I wanted to quit my job and open a record store.  It sounded perfect to me.  If I did not have to earn an income, it would still sound perfect to me.
So many I's in this post... me me me.  It's getting kind of dull.
James is my favorite band of all time... but I bought my fist record in 3rd grade and it was by Jefferson Starship.
Do you remember the Spin Doctors and "Pocket Full of Kryptonite"?  Sadly, I do - I saw them at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA when that song was big.
I have a strong need to go to London... and love LP.  That reads weird.  Those are two different thoughts.  Although when I do go to London, I'll still love LP - but I do not have to go to London to love LP.  Next...
I am a sucker for chick flicks, and some Musicals.
I miss NYC, but I also realize I miss more the time in my life when I lived there.
I've applied three times to work for Oprah, but never heard back.
LP hates when I drink PBR because she says it makes my whole body smell like cheap beer.
I was never a strong Reader, and I have really struggled because of it.  I try to read the paper every day, and tackle the pile of books I have at home.  Just writing this blog has helped me with my vocabulary building.
I started Skateboarding when I was about ten years old. I still have three skateboards... but as I get older I need to talk myself into getting on it so I don't forget it. And now being in Chicago there is six months in the year I cannot skate. (I bet you thought I was going to write about a scooter for my letter s.)
I do not have any Tatoos, nor do I want any.
Remember Urge Overkill?  I do.
I've never been a big supporter of Valentines Day... it rubs me wrong for some reason.
It's all about the White Sox for me when it comes to Chicago baseball.  Yet I'll always be a Giants fan too.
I'm still waiting for XTC to tour... which will never happen.  Sadcakes.
I drives me nuts when LP blasts "Youth Gone Wild" in the car.
I have yet to go to the Brookfield Zoo. The Lincoln Park Zoo is fine, but everyone says the Brookfield Zoo is better.

As I usually do... I choooooose to tag no one... because I am no fun.  :)

A Thoughtful Gift.

Yesterday I got a call from my father-in-law in Memphis... and he was bubbly, bouncy, and very excited to tell me that he got me a really cool gift. He had just been at a pancake restaurant in Memphis and saw Willie Mitchell sitting at one of the tables. Knowing that I am a Willie Mitchell fan (he was a big part of the Memphis soul sounds in the 60's & 70's at Hi & Stax) he went over and introduced himself to Willie and got an autograph for me. Willie just happened to be in the Memphis paper that same day, so he signed the article. My father-in-law then went back to work and scanned and emailed the autographed article to me before he popped it in the mail.

I am lucky to be one of those people who really likes his in-laws... they both a good people with hearts of gold.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Favorite Albums of 2007.

Year 2007 is almost finished... so this means it is time for my annual list of my favorite music of the past year. A year that saw terrible sales, more downloads - but some fantastic releases and reissues... especially the Brit Box on Rhino (even though it is not perfect, it is a lot of fun). I was a little bummed out that I did not find more jazz releases that really grabbed my attention... but indie rock and electronic sounds seemed to keep me more than happy.

The biggest disappointment has to be the unlistenable comeback release from Siouxie Sioux - what a complete bummer of an album. My favorite reissue was the expanded version of Culture's 1978 masterpiece "Two Sevens Clash." And the two singles that were listened over and over and over by me were easily "Drivin' Me Wild" by Common with Lily Allen and also Modest Mouse's "Missed The Boat."

My Favorite Albums of 2007...
1. Band Of Horses "Cease To Begin" (sub pop)
2. Menomena "Friend And Foe" (barsuk)
3. LCD Soundsystem "Sound Of Silver" (dfa / capitol)
4. Bishop Allen "The Broken String" (dead oceans)
5. Jay-Z "American Gangster" (roc-a-fella)
6. The Broken West "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On" (merge)
7. The Narrator "All That To The Wall" (flameshovel)
8. Justice "Cross" (vice/ed banger)
9. Oh No "Dr. No's Oxperiment" (stones throw)
10. Radiohead "In Rainbows" (self released)

and the +10:
Battles "Mirrored" (warp)
Budos Band, The "II" (daptone)
Clientele, The "God Save The Clientele" (merge)
Feist "The Reminder" (cherrytree/interscope)
National, The "Boxer" (beggars banquet)
Okkervil River "The Stage Names" (jagjaguwar)
Om "Pilgrimage" (southern lord)
Pharoah Monch "Desire" (src/motown)
Rhianna "Good Girl Gone Bad" (def jam)
Stars "In Our Bedroom After The War" (arts & crafts)

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Month.

Saturday marked one month since my interview at the design firm. Yes, the same firm that called me for an interview and then it took five phones calls back to them (over two weeks) for them to call me back and set up a time. One month with no feedback or response in any way. I understand it was a little stretch for me to land this job - I had the skills, but a background in a different industry... so it was up to them to decide if they had the time to deal with my learning curve. But it's been over a month - and no word always means no job. Sorry, but it does.

Sure, it's disheartening to not get picked, or even make it to round two. I'm excelling in getting knocked out at round one for many different reasons, but the number one conclusion is my changing industries. It is frustrating that every company I have interviewed with takes over a month to get back to me, and most only do it after I make a few follow-ups, and then request some kind of conclusion / verdict.

How hard is it to send a quick email, or make a quick phone call to let a candidate know they were not chosen? This is why companies have a HR department. Rejection blows ass... but sitting around waiting for an official rejection is not good for one's mental health. Maybe they are waiting to tell me on Christmas Eve?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday Night.

Friday night after work, LP and I took our separate El rides downtown to meet at the Bean for A Gospel Christmas. Every Friday night from Thanksgiving through Christmas a different choir leads the public in singing carols. Everyone gets candles and song books... and freezes their buns off while being surrounded by strangers, the snow, and the skyscrapers of Chicago.

Chicago does Christmas so well. It is still at place where people say "Merry Christmas." It is a city that sponsors Christmas activities such as this Gospel Christmas, and is not hung up on being too p.c.

It was a fantastic time. The music was inspiring, the candles dripped hot wax all over my gloves, LP's feet were frozen... and we both appreciated having and sharing that feeling of Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Commenting, Keeping.

I have been debating (with myself and friends) about removing the comment feature on my blog. My goal was to start 2008 with no comments, although I would still comment on other's blogs (which I've been really bad about these last couple weeks... sorry).

I keep telling myself that I am doing this blog for me. I do it to better myself. I also like to make others think and laugh. I never want to be part of a popularity contest (ooooh, I got 18 comments - I must be cool, people finally like me).

The past couple months some readers have posted some amazing comments. Comments that helped me in many ways. Most just made me feel like I am not the only one going through these struggles, and some of the advice has been so helpful. Sure there has been the funny, or annoying comments - but the few gems have out weighted the idea of getting rid of commenting.

So I am keeping the commenting function, because when it comes down to it my readers are wonderful... and occasionally I'll take off the function for certain posts.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


For some reason my friend Keith has been on my mind lately. I think about him on my walks to work, and then home. I find myself at work zoning out a times remembering growing up together... skateboarding, spinning records, recording music, going to shows, watching way too much Comedy Central.

I am sure it's the purchasing of Christmas gifts that is sparking these memories, see Keith always ALWAYS bought me music for presents. Every time I unwrapped a gift from him it was already opened. Keith just figured he was going to borrow whatever I got, so why not listen to it first and record it, then wrap it up and give it to me. It never bothered me one bit, it was one of those things friends just understood.

This past September marked five years since Keith passed away, but it really did not hit me until about a week ago. I was not the best friend the last couple years, and maybe I could of helped. I wish I could call him. I hope he hears me when I talk to him. The Christmas seasons with Keith in them will always be a cherished part of my life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sick, Kind of.

I had all of these plans for the weekend but got none of them done because I was sick. LP and I did manage to go get our Christmas tree (LP named it Penelope). Saturday night I came down with something... a head cold or something that makes you feel all head clogged and simultaneously hot and cold.

This meant that Sunday was a wash. My Sunday went something like this...

Woke up.
Fed the cats.
Ate some brownies.
Felt guilty so I drank some water.
Made coffee.
Ate some chocolate.
Felt guilty so ate some real breakfast.
Sat in bed and tried to read awful book.
Made some tea. Did not drink it.
Ate more chocolate.
Got up, looked at the cat, fell back asleep.
Ate canned low sodium soup.
Watched "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead."
Got really grumpy.
Went to mass but did not make it through it.
Slipped on the ice.
Watched "Cool As Ice."
Ate more chocolate.
Made Dinner.
Ate more chocolate.
Went to bed.
Got up and ate another brownie.
Went back to bed.

Feel better today. It was the "Cool As Ice" that did the trick. I highly recommend a good crappy movie when not feeling well.

Friday, December 07, 2007

More Snow Photos, from the Mobile.

This week has been about snow... and being too busy at work. So I end this week with a few photos of the snow this past week from my trusty (and crappy, way too much blue adding) mobile phone camera.

Last night I went outside and sat on the stoop, smoked a Cohiba my friend Jason gave me, and sipped on some Nob Creek while watching the snow fall. Sure it was relaxing, warming, probably not super healthy... but I was so entertained because in the house across the street was this guy playing Guitar Hero and totally getting into it. He had spins, and headbanging, and he even kicked the legs out a few times. It was complete entertainment.

The walk to work.

More from the walk to work, right after I pass the Brown Line El.

Mmmm... Cohiba.

The railing on our stoop.

Across the street... to bad I could not zoom in to take a photo of Guitar Hero guy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Today is the first morning of autumn/winter that it got down to zero degrees. It was a beautiful walk to work this morning. The skies were crystal clear and the sun was shining. Sure it was in the single digits but if you live in Chicago you have the clothes for it. When I got out of the shower I pulled on my black long underwear and danced around the house pretending I was Mikhail Baryshnikov... which made LP laugh and scared the cats.

Some people live for the summer. I live for the winter, even if I did grow up in California. And we are supposed to get another 2-4 inches of snow tonight! Snow angels!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Real Snow.

It's that time of the year... my favorite time. Snow time. I absolutely love the snow for so many reasons. Last night I sat on the couch and watched The Bells of St Mary, drank some excellent wine, and watched the snow pile up outside.

Snow time seems to be a good time to sit still (after snow angles, of course)... if only we had a fire place. It's a good time to unwind and think about life. I've been thinking (maybe over analyzing) about my career and my struggle for a new job lately. It seems like the only thing on my mind, which neglects other parts of it. It has been weighting me down. Sitting on the couch last night, and also my enjoyable walk this morning, I could not help but think that it has been almost three weeks since my interview at the firm. Not a good sign at all. After three weeks usually comes another and then in the mail is a letter letting me know how much they enjoyed meeting me, and how well qualified I am, and how they really could not fit me in. I kind of wish they would just say "You Suck." It might be easier. But the snow falling helped me see how lucky I am. I've been so busy at work this week I have had no time to blog. I have a job. I have so much.

I had breakfast with a friend of mine this week that does not believe in things happening for a reason. For example, if you meet a new friend - some may think there was a reason for it. Or if you get a new roomate and the two of you hit it off - maybe you just got lucky, or maybe there was a reason for it (fate?). It was an intriguing topic of conversation, something I never really thought about in depth. I quickly came the realization that I do believe things happen for a reason. Sure it's because of my faith, but it is also a calming way of looking at life. Not getting a second interview is the pits... but maybe it's not the right place for me. That's a difficult pill to swallow, but many people in this world face much more difficult challenges on a daily basis.

I am thankful for the snow for many reasons... and I cannot wait for the end of the day when I can go play in it some more.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

First Snow, Mobile Phone Photos

This afternoon I had to go down to the Art Institute of buy a Christmas present for a family member... their gift shop has perfect gifts for Great-Aunts. Right when I was leaving the house we started to get our first snow, snow that stuck to the ground. Not much, maybe an inch or two - but it really put downtown in the Christmas spirit.

Not really sure why my mobile phone adds so much blue to photos, but I cannot figure out how to change it.

Walking from the Brown Line El to the Art Institute...

Looking down Michigan Ave...

Looking out onto Michigan Ave from the doors of the Art Institute...

Buses, etc...

My friend, the Lion.