Friday, February 27, 2009

Slacker

There's been an intervention, and it has been pointed out that my excessive use of twitter at the expense of this blog is a cop out, a sin and all around lame. I have been instructed to remedy this immediately. The intervention came from this guy:


I know what's good for me, so I apologize for my excessive lameness and will begin my regular and frequent full-length blogging with a bulleted list of updates to bring you to speed on my days in Chicago. (I will, however, act out passive-aggressively by mumbling something about how Simon should probably not wear yellow on days when he's that hungover.) Now, for the updates:
  1. The job search continues. I've revised my resume seven times since I first sent it out. First to Americanize the content and language. Then I had some feedback from a very generous soul (my landlord's mother, who showed us our apartment back in November,) who made me shorten it up and helped me tailor it to management consulting. Of course, in December I got a temp assignment at a recruiting agency that specializes in helping displaced workers find new jobs (paid for, of course, by their former employers,) and I got all sorts of formatting tips to make things stand out. Whew! You'd think I'd be done, right? Nope. More changes, first at the request of my landlord's mom before she sent it to a few people, and then to tailor it to other types of jobs (3 total) so that I can expand my search from management consulting and change implementation to project management, event management and business development. BUT, with the economy as crap as it is, I also have to start looking at jobs that are perhaps less responsibility, less pay and a bit mundane compared to my ideal - rent needs to be paid and a girl's gotta eat - so I made a version that leaves off my MBA and dumbs down my experience so that I do not get tossed out as overqualified. I think I have used up all remaining hard drive space with the various versions of me.
  2. I'm trying to figure out how to use social media to network my way to a job. LinkedIn helps me find people to speak with about various positions, but I just know that twitter has potential, too. So I spend a lot of time online researching ways to use twitter, ways to load your resume online, and other ways to meet people who might be able to help me get a job.
  3. I have cut out most white carbs and alcohol. Not all, mind you. We live near a bitchin' pizza place with a wood-fired oven imported from Italy, so it's foolish to pretend that I'm never eating flour again. Plus, as a rule, I like bread now and again, and it's fun to watch Cali drool when you eat a piece of toast, and you know I like me a cocktail now and again. But for the most part, we're solidly low GI in this house.
  4. Have you ever been completely obsessed with sherbet? Delicious, tart, tangy, creamy sherbet? Well, I have. And that was the tipping point of #3.
  5. I switched my computer to US settings. This means my clock says 3:23PM and spellcheck now knows not to add all those "u"s to my words, but that I no longer have the symbol for GBP on the shift-3 and the @ is back on the shift-2 where " used to be. My computer is like a minefield for people who can't touch-type.
  6. I have been blessed with many visitors. I got to spend several days hanging out with my friend Sue-Bee and her handsome poet while they attended a conference. It was absolutely wonderful. We went to see a really cool show at the History Museum highlighting high fashion in Chicago's history. We also had a delicious dinner at the aforementioned pizza place, and since the wait was so long we got little bites of truffle pizza and ricotta bread while we waited. Oh! and since the mini-canoli were gone by the time we left, we got white roses on our way out instead.
  7. Then it was autoshow day! Little Sister and I met up and had a big day out in the city. We sat in tons of cars, and I have decided that I will be rewarding myself with an Acura TL once I get settled in my new job. And FYI to American automakers - I no longer want to bail you out. Your cars are cheaply made and pale in comparison to your European and Asian competitors. Yes, I'm talking to you, Chrysler and GM. (Though those Town and Country Vans redeem you a little bit.) Ford, you get a pass because that Fusion and the Taurus are pretty nice. But the Flex? Really? Did you really think we needed something dumber-looking than a PT Cruiser?
  8. Next, my friend Will arrived for a whirlwind meeting, and I got taken out to dinner at Coobah.
  9. And then the next day, the mean yellow man showed up and lectured me. About several things, but since he is my co-coach from Cranfield I listen to him. He knows me pretty well, and he's usually right. And there has also been much fun had since he arrived. He is travelling with a friend and we had a big day out yesterday. Went to many hot dog stands and ended up meeting a friend for cocktails and dinner. I hear they had a huge night out, but I was obligated to stay sober and leave by 1030 so I missed the biggest part of the debauchery. I will say, however, that Simon's friend Marco is delightful - he's handsome, smart, funny and he knows damn well that he's sex-on-legs. Quite the handful, actually. But he seems nice enough, so on him it ends up charming and not callow. Not that I would tell him this, because he would use it to mercilessly taunt me.
  10. Plus they have Glaswegian accents.
  11. Today I have two phone calls to make and then I'm off to do yoga before I take Cali for a walk. So we'll stop here, and I will see you again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pre-Valentine's post

So yesterday I wished you Blossom. Today, I am offering you this video...my dear Poor George emailed the link and petition, and I want to do my part to help spread the world.

There is not nearly enough love in the world. Why try to kill some of what we DO have?

Public Service Announcement

Men, don't believe the ads. Unless you're dating a 13 year old, it's unlikely your girlfriend will be thrilled with a Vermont Teddy Bear.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rest in peace, Blossom

Blossom Dearie died Saturday.

This makes me incredibly sad.

One of my best memories ever is seeing Blossom on my 40th birthday at Danny's Skylight Room. Blossom was magical - incredibly talented, with a soulful voice that encapsulated innocence, experience, love and heartache in every breath. She will always be my go-to-girl.

Take a listen. This Valentine's Day, I wish you Blossom.









Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pandora is out (again)

Back when I lived in the UK, Lulu turned me on to Pandora Radio, and I loved it. I listened to it all the time, especially when I was studying...with the headphones on to block out noise, I'd be immersed in my own little think tank and my productivity soared. Of course, the folks in the music industry started smelling blood in the water and pretty quickly they had to shut off any accounts using the feed from a non-US IP address. I mean, they might lose a penny or two of profit, and therefore it had to be bad thing. So I switched to my iPod, deleted my bookmark and forgot about it.

Now, however, I am tuning in from Chicago and nobody can say anything to me. Lucky for me, then, that Pandora came up in conversation over Christmas - my mom's "hip" friend Jim listens to James Taylor and Jimmy Buffet via Pandora - and it reminded me to renew her acquaintance.

Today I've been at the kitchen table getting caught up on job applications. And Pandora has kept me going with a diverse playlist, tailored specifically to my musical taste. The last 20 songs:

Nanci Griffith
Lovage (Stroker Ace is a bitchin' song)
The Raconteurs
Beck
The Fratellis
SCOTS
Reverend Horton Heat
Batmobile
The Hollisters
Jack Johnson
Everclear
The Clash
Elvis Costello
Hem
Radiohead
Everything But the Girl
Bitter:Sweet
Thievery Corporation
Thin Lizzy
Tom Waits

All good.