Friday, March 31, 2006

Getting Back into the Groove

Got back from Chicago a couple days ago. Haven't really gotten back into the groove of home life only to get out of it again to make the final move to Chicago.

Ugh.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Orb Says. . .

Something that I don't know yet. The fiancee and I will see them on Monday at the Metro on Clark Street. Going to this concert will come as one of those interesting fortuitous events that may not have presented itself outside of the vacation.

I also have fun seeing bands that I like in cities where I don't currently live, even though it will all happen in my future neighborhood.

BUT UP UNTIL NOW

Pretty much the same type of stuff has been happening since I last wrote.

The fiancee and I just got back from eating at the Green Zebra, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a fish entree south of here. I don't know which neighborhood. Good food, good service.

I just made the mistake of having a couple glasses of wine and some tea. You probably don't want to hear the rest of that story.

Otherwise, though, I would say check it out if you want some good food and want a mellow adventure. Mellow works as the best adjective because the food tastes like food anyone would like and not like that distinctive taste that vegan food can have that scares omnivore/carnivore people away. Pooh on them.

Too bad I don't remember the dishes or really have the energy to provide a full review. Little too late right now, and I have to type up a resume then send it off to a couple ads on Craig's List. You won't hear much more of a description about the opportunities from me, though. Maybe once I get one of the positions.

WE ALSO HAD SOME GOOD LAUGHS

The fiancee and I have come to appreciate the multitude of comedy clubs here in Chicago.

One of the first times we came, a friend of a friend bought us tickets to Second City, named after the fact that at one time, Chicago was the second largest city in the United States after New York City. Once again, I don't remember too many of the details from that night, but we had a pretty good time laughing a lot.

Apparently, Second City has two other venues, Second City College and something like Second City, etc. We haven't visited those clubs, but the fact that one organization has three comedy clubs says something about the city. . .maybe that it likes a good laugh.

We went to a comedy club last night called The Playground. Two comedy troupes put on 45 minute skits each. Once again, I find myself too tired to remember many details, but the fiancee and I enjoyed a lot of the skits, almost too my surprise.

My surprise comes partially from the smallness and intimacy of the venue. They had it set up like a theater with only three rows of movie seats. We sat in the third row, but I had the impression that the comedians stood and ran about right in our faces. The hosts also came up to talk with us a little in ways to let us know how the place worked and so forth.

In a way, the intimacy felt awkward, as if we acted as voyeurs, sitting in on this private performance that a small group had put on for their friends. They more than likely appreciated that we had come and paid the cover, I'm sure, but realizing those facts didn't necessarily push the feeling away. The comedy and unabashed showmanship of the comedians did.

While looking through the Chicago papers and wandering around the city, though, we've seen plenty of comedy venues. The name of one really sticks in my head: The Improv Kitchen. The description of it doesn't totally appeal to me, though. You eat a meal there, but instead of having a comedian servicing you with funniness on stage in front of you, you watch them on a small TV at your table.

Long story short, though, Chicago has plenty of comedy for those who want it.

BYOB

The fiancee and I have felt completely fascinated by the Bring Your Own Beverage custom that Chicago seems to have. At least most of the establishments in our future neighborhood do it. We haven't taken advantage of it, but we look forward to doing it.

Last night at The Playground, we just saw people pulling out cans of beer or popping them open while wandering around this theater. I don't know how to accurately describe my fascination with seeing it, but the fiancee and I look forward to picking up some drinks then heading on over to the comedy club for some good laughs and drinks. . .especially after living in the Puritan city of Boston for so long.

Chicago is sooooooooooooooooo different.

I need to head on over to typing and posting that resume, though.

More will get written later. Don't worry. . ..

Thursday, March 23, 2006

3rd Night in Chicago

Mostly been tooling around Chicago, eating, exploring and so on and so forth.

Haven't done any career stuff other than research, though, which I had planned on doing originally. Like I told some people already, however, my hope of visiting temp agencies that specialize in editing, copywriting or public relations really wouldn't do much for me.

I need to reconsider my job search strategy and the type of job that I'll take until I can go back to school or finish my Marlboro Project (no longer calling it a thesis).

Tomorrow we will take a look at one site for the wedding.

I should call the good friend that I have in the city to try meet up for a meal or something. . ..

Monday, March 20, 2006

Artsy. . .

I kid you not. . .

Tomorrow. . . . . .

I got to Chicago. . . . . . . . . .

For a. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Week!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Poop on Technology

Instead of thinning out my inbox so that I can better organize my job search, I had to let my computer do its monthly adware destruction, registry cleanup (the first two occurs twice a week, actually) and full-computer virus scan. Argh!

Not a big deal, really. I accomplished what I had intended: fixed up my resume nicely for temp agency visits this week during my visit to Chicago.

Also got to do a little extra "reward" reading.

Still on the straight thought highway to landing a job, though.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Online Job Sites

Don't trust them. I have never seen them reliably format anything you upload to them or try to format in their text windows.

Jerks.

After spending about two hours struggling with a couple of these job boards and shopping today for another suit and some clothes (only really intended on getting a sport jacket. . .but one thing leads to another).

I look forward to finally get a job I like. I've dedicated approximately a year, so far, to accomplishing this goal.

Eat your heart out, Chicagoland job scene! Here I come.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Undependable

I guess I haven't been all that dependable when it comes to updating this Blog.

Tonight is a little different.

Not by much, though. I've had something of a stomach/digestive tract issue today. Not exactly sure what it's really about, but it stopped me from going to work and made me take things easy today.

I can't really bring myself to say much more, though. I should get some sleep so that I can hopefully feel good tomorrow.

Here's to health!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Productivity

HEALTHINESS

Lately, I've had issues with low blood sugar and consequently, not getting enough protein. This issue made it difficult for productive efforts last week. Tuesday night, I pretty much just watched Scrubs (BTW, awesome entry) then fell asleep on the couch until the fiance came home to wake me.

(Sometimes. . .now being one of those times, I have this strange feeling of connection with JD from Scrubs and his inner monologue. I think it happens a lot while writing in this Blog).

Trying to deal with the whole low blood sugar/protein issue, I did some research. I learned that for my body weight, I should be eating 49 or 50 g of protein a day (Your weight in pounds * .35 = how much protein you should be eating a day, supposedly).

I hit, according to my calculations at midday, about 25 g. I'm too tired to calculate how much I ate during the whole day. If the midday calculation is any use, I probably did hit the amount of protein I need.

Thinking about this protein calculation often makes me value my cruelty free diet (not so vegan). Whereas people who love their and would like to keep my body weight and stay healthy probably should only eat two hamburgers or a steak and a half or something equivalent to that, I can eat quite a bit during the day and have a hard time getting past 50 g of protein in a day.

I enjoy the taste of food. I like staying healthy. I like to maximize the things I like. This relationship between my health and the taste for good food works well.

THE MOMENTOUS JOB SEARCH

With the help of Resumes for Dummies, I revised the first page of my resume. It now provides more pleasure to look at, does a better job highlighting how I've demonstrated applicable skills in positions not so relevant to the ones I want and makes explicit that those responsibilities demonstrate those skills.

Tomorrow I will work on the second page then try revising the cover letter to make it much more exciting for prospective employers.

I really should get the resume all jazzed up, though, because I need to make appointments with temp agencies for next week when the fiance and I visit Chicago again.

THEN I'll revise the cover letter.

And after that. . .I will get myself a friggin' job to love.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Identity

MY EDUCATION

I've already inspired some discussion affirming me going back to school somewhere other than Marlboro and not finishing my Plan of Concentration.

Today, I had epiphany about how things started going wrong.

To illuminate the whole thing, I'll quote the Marlboro College (or as some refer to it, "That School"):

What is a Plan? An integrated study that focuses on an area of the curriculum or on a set of related questions or issues that cross disciplinary boundaries...

* an integrated course of study planned by the student
* in one or more areas of the curriculum
* under the guidance of a faculty sponsor or sponsors
* approved by the entire faculty

[. . .]

How do you do a Cross-Disciplinary Plan? Carefully.
Such Plans involve study in two or three different fields, sometimes with fairly equal distribution of weight, sometimes with one field clearly dominant. Whatever the structure, a cross-disciplinary Plan should have the same goal as a single-field Plan. That goal is the investigation in depth of a single problem or a set of clearly related problems. In cross-disciplinary Plans, it is the notion of clearly related that determines the success of such Plans in meeting the stated goal. Any student who ignores or forgets this essential Plan concept risks considerable disappointment when the whole is finally evaluated.

[. . .]

DON'TS
. . .
3. Don't forget that it is your responsibility to maintain a strong focus on your central question/ project, and to consult with your teachers and sponsor if you have any misgivings about the direction of your work.


Suffice to say, this e-mail that I sent to the fiancee sums up my experience:

I took on more than I could chew. Not because of what Marlboro required of me but because of misunderstanding on my part and miscommunication.

Marlboro doesn't require a thesis. It requires some kind of project, which generally includes papers that are related by topic but not by some problem or thesis statement necessarily. They can just address a topic from different angles or different "expressions" of a topic (like three different novels).

As for the miscommunication, I took on the sociology teacher as a sponsor, but I really just wanted to draw on sociology for theory and understanding. I didn't want to study sociology or even real life utopias/dystopias, per se. And somehow, I couldn't get this part across. . ..


Fun, fun, fun. . .not really.

Unfortunately, I have to focus on getting a job before even thinking about going back to school.

WILL WORK FOR EXPERIENCE AND NEED EXPERIENCE FOR WORK

My life situation has become something of a Catch-22 similar to the one a band experiences when it first starts gigging. I need work to get experience, but I can't get work without experience (unless I take an internship, then I can hardly pay the bills to survive to work).

The whole Catch-22 wouldn't give me trouble except that it grates on my self esteem and mood. Lacking a demonstrated education (in the form of an associates or bachelors) doesn't help, either.

Neither do I want to work some job that will bore me.

I feel like I can't do anything except insurance, but I don't like the insurance industry. It came as a fallback job years ago. When I try, I can make up descriptions that make it sound noble and even exciting.

On an everyday level, though, it bores me.

Having the feeling that I don't have skills to offer and that I feel strained marketing myself (when I generally don't do well talking about myself in the first place), I feel useless as a member of society.

It sucks, but I've got to get going to a games night.

Maybe that will get my mind off of my bad-employment self esteem.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Disappearing Tricks

I guess I've disappeared a couple times over the last couple weeks.

This moving thing has gotten pretty stressful. Monday night at the couples counsellor, I got a little emotionally worked up because the fiance wanted to come up with an education plan for me and the counsellor fell into the trap that everyone does: trying to help me by trying to come up with ways to negotiate less work, different advisors, etc. etc. when I've tried everything.

Tuesday night, I just shut down, felt depressed and fell asleep on the couch. It could've happened because I had a whole plastic thing of watermelon, though, just went hypoglycemic, making me feel horrible and depressed and so on and so forth.

The fiance and I went out for dinner last night with someone I hadn't seen for awhile. Funny really. We needed something like two months to schedule the dinner out so that I could give him his Christmas gift. Other than the gift, though, we had a fun time just getting to know each other more. Always fun to learn about someone you've known for years but never hang out with.

THESIS PROGRESS

Have been making some habitual progress on thinking about the thesis. After five years, finally have come up with some of a useful definition for utopia (duh!):

Utopia - 1. An archetype of an organizational type that is generally seen as good 2. An organization that attempts to embody an ideal or set of ideals.

Dystopia - 2. An archetype of an organizational type that is generally seen as horrible. 2. An organization that embodies a horrible organization archetype.

I have to thank Kik from the City-of-Kik and City-of-Utopia fame, a Yahoogroups list, for coming up with his own description of utopia that inspired my definition for it.

JOB SEARCH

Bought three more Dummies books last night:

* Job Hunt
* Cover Letters
* Resumes

I've only read a couple pages in the Cover Letters one, but it's provided some really great advice for sending job inquiries over the Internet in the new information transitory age.

Now, though, I really should get moving onto the job search and setting up my new Palm Z22.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Afternoon Haiku #1

The cats layabout.
   I've just awoken, relaxed.
Darn! Nothing to write.