Monday, April 24, 2006

Three in one night!

I was inspired to make this now. Enjoy!

One more thing

See Andrew, Moose exist in Massachusetts too. :)

An update...

So you know how on the Brady Bunch they had cousin Oliver come live them for a while, well we've got cousin Milo. Brit and Tony aren't taking it so well. We were hoping it wouldn't be too bad since they've lived together before, but aparently in the last year and a half they've forgotten each other.

Also, temporarily with us (as mentioned in the comments of Mel's blog) is Andrew's stuff. Anyone need a computer? How about some clothes? Or beer? Oh wait, the beer is already spoken for. So now we get to decide if we want to hold onto his stuff and move it to our new apartment, or pass it off onto one of my parents. This is mostly his stuff that he wants right when he comes back from the trail, so we can't really take it out to store with the rest of his stuff. I'm sure we'll figure it out, but for now I have no clue so it's in the entry hall.

And in other news, we put in an application for an apartment we saw on Friday and we were accepted. I was nervous that my out of work status would affect us, but apparently it wasn't an issue. I have a really good credit score, so I guess that's all she really cared about. We took a bunch of pictures on Friday when we were looking at the place, so I'll try to get them up here shortly. The only thing it doesn't really have is a good patio/porch/gardening area. There is a place out back where we can grill, but it'll be a slight pain to get to. And there are some overgrown flower beds, so maybe I can ask to plant some stuff in them. We'll see. or I can jsut do without gardening for a few years.

Two more interviews today. One I'll be going back in a week or two for a second round and the other I'll know on Thursday about my status. Then tomorrow I have a second interview for a place I was at last week as well as a couple of networking things. And on Friday I have an interview with a place that I had a phone screen last week. So many interviews! Hopefully I'll have a job soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A productive day

In between giving Mel hints to figure out 10 Things I Hate About You, I scrapped! Wow, I feel like I haven't done that in a long time. Also got to drive all over trying to find the local Petsmart to use a GC that we had gotten for Christmas. We needed cat food so I figured now would be a good time to use it. Doesn't help that the road I was looking for has similar names in both Somerville and Everett and it's right on the border. Finally I found where I needed to be, but I found it kind of by luck as I thought I was going in the wrong direction at the time.
Anyway, here are today's masterpieces.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Challenge Revisited

A couple of weeks ago I gave Christy the challenge to do a layout of 10 things she loved. So, I've been mulling that over for a bit now and here's my take on it. 5 points to the first person who can identify the inspiration for my journaling style. This font's a little funky. I don't like how the "b"s look like "p"s, but otherwise I like it so I decided to use it anyway.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ah, to be a teenager

So Chris and I just spent about half an hour watching the Waltham High channel. We love this station! It's so cheesy. We were just watching their music videos. We watched a bunch of students, teachers, and cafeteria workers dancing around and singing to Built this City on Rock & Roll, Friday I'm in Love, Mmm Bopp, a Michael Jackson montage and Gettin' Jiggy With It. Loved it! Last spring there was one song that they were always playing and it was hilarious. Chris just reminded me that we have to stay in Waltham because no other town would have such great TV! And last week we got to watch a rep from Cabot Cheese teach how to make some chicken fingers. And he showed how the fast food places make them. Yum, that was apetizing.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Silly flowers

Daffy-down dilly came to town
In a yellow petticoat
And a green gown.

(Random nursery rhyme that my mom taught me.) Anyway, I planted these in the little flower bed next to our front door. These two flowers amuse me because they didn't bloom facing the sun like most flowers. Nope, they're facing the side of the house. It's not showing in this picture, but normally the sun reflects off the siding very brightly, so I guess it makes sense to the flowers. They get more light off the side of the house, but it makes it difficult for me to see them and enjoy them. May need to cut them and put them in a vase in the house.

Tales from interviewing hell...

Well, I promised Mel that I would blog about my lovely experience interviewing with Professional Staffing Group. All I can say is, oh my!

I kind of had a negative vibe going into it. Last Friday I had posted my resume on Monster and three search firms/staffing agencies called me to set up interviews. One was Wednesday, one was Thursday, and one is next week. Two of the people I spoke with actually took some time to hear what I was interested in, etc. With PSG, not so much. They just wanted to get me in their door. I figured I would give them a shot anyway.

So I get there with plenty of time. Find their building and then walk around a bit. My first impression when I saw their office was to call them from the sidewalk to cancel. I almost wish that I had.

I’ve worked with temp agencies before. Most have your standard office set-up. Reception area in front, offices in the back. Then they’ll also have a quiet space set aside for employees (like me) to take the various skill tests- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, typing, and any other specialty programs. Not this place.

PSG’s office was primarily a big open room. There were 30 employees all working at small desks. They were in 3 groups of 5 desks facing each other, so pods of 10. Everyone was on the phone on a headset. Lots of noise. I asked about it afterwards and one group focused on Boston, one on the suburbs, and the last was about half financial/legal and the other half creative. In the front there were 21 (I think) desks/cubes set up for prospective employees such as myself to do our testing.

So I walk in the door and it took me a minute to visually find the reception desk. There were too many bodies and stuff and I wasn’t sure if that was reception or if it was part of the company’s inner-workings. So I check in and she sets me at one of the testing stations to fill out my application paperwork and take the tests. Meanwhile, from time to time, a bell was rung and then everyone would start clapping. During my hour and 45 minutes there the bell was rung about 10 times. I asked about it later. Anytime one of the employees got a new client or set up a temp with a client they would ring the bell. Also at one point there was a gong. This is for when someone who was in a long-term assignment became permanent.

Anyway, I’m done taking my tests amongst lots of distractions. I let them know I’m done and am waiting for my scores to be printed out. Someone picks up my scores and then collects me and brings me back to a small office. He then presents me with this, “as our gift to you.” Um, thanks. A notebook. Just what I always wanted! I think I’ll have to alter the cover. Then maybe I’ll get some use out of it.

So I’m in the office and I do meet with one of their staffing people. She seemed nice enough. However, at this point I’m interested in direct placement. Yes, they do this, but it isn’t their main focus so she’s trying to push me into agreeing to do temp or temp-to-perm assignments. I left agreeing to check in with her next week, but I don’t have high hopes of them finding me anything.

In more positive news, the firm that I met with on Wednesday has an interview for me on Tuesday as well as phone interviews with two other companies on Tuesday and Wednesday. And one of those companies responded that of the three resumes that had been sent to them, mine looked the best. Woo hoo! Go me! I find this whole interview process really tiring and stressful, but I am glad to be going on interviews. I’m not sure if any of these three positions are really what I want to be doing, but the money on all of them will be good.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Observations on a warm spring day

Had an interview in Boston today. Took the T and wasn't sure how long it would take to get to Government Center, so gave myself plenty of time. Plus I knew it would be good to get out of the house or else I would risk losing track of time and then being late. So I got there with over an hour to kill.

Currently in the middle of City Hall Plaza is the Big Apple Circus. I was there when I show got out and then the cast came out to take some publicity shots. The photo is crappy, but that's because I took it with my phone. Must start carrying my camera around with me. The second one amuses me because it's crew members on top of the big top waving.

Anyway, here are some of my other observations. (Love people watching!)
1) One thing I like about cities is the ability to flowers from stands on the street. It's probably a good thing I don't live in the city or else I would always be buying flowers.
2) Business wear- It got very warm sitting there in a suit. Would hate to have to wear one in the middle of summer. Also hate nylons. They were slipping and the crotch was a few inches below my actual crotch with no way to pull them up. (Also, realizing not a fan of the word "crotch".) Bought some new springish clothes yesterday and I was really wishing I was wearing them.
3) Andrew- saw someone with a patch on his bag that said "2,000 miler". Unfortunately he was walking away from me and he was too far away by the time I realized what the patch said to ask when he hiked.

In other news, took a test called the Campbell Interest and Skill Survey. It rates you in 7 different categories- Influencing, Organizing, Helping, Creating, Analyzing, Producing and Adventuring. As stated in the name, it rates you in both interests and skills. Apparently I'm way too harsh on myself and my standards of skills are too high because I was consistently ranking myself very low. Anyway, my Creating category was much higher than the others and my next two highest were Producing and Adventuring. Here are some suggested careers that I might want to develop- realtor, insurance agent, carpenter, and ski instructor. Those were just the ones that amused me. It also suggested landscape architect, commercial artist and musician. I think I'm pretty much going to take it all with a grain of salt. Good to know, but I don't think I'll be making any drastic life changes as a result of this test. Next up is the Myers-Briggs.

And finally (wow, lots of topics here!) here's a work in progress of the new site. Any thoughts/comments/other? I already suggested to Andrew changing the order of the celebrity photos, with the order being Heidi, Margie, Karen, Bazzill- that sound about right for in order of "fame"? How about for options- fabric swatches or pictures of the toolbelts in different fabrics? Which would better sell them? Oh, and Andrew, yesterday you had a comment about the picture changing when moused over. Today it's gone and Mel didn't know the pic did that until I told her. Maybe put that at the top, taking away what you have their now? I don't think the debut info is really necessary, and cost/ordering info will be on the purchase page. Right? Everyone should feel free to disagree with me on things. Looking for multiple opinions.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's Finally Done

My Christmas Album is finally done! Now if only I could get my 2005 album done and start on 2006 I would be in great shape. I had big plans of cranking out a bunhc of pages today, but that just didn't happen. Last week I was also going to get a lot done, but so muhc for that idea.

In other news, I have three interviews this week with search firms- one tomorrow and two on Thursday. Hopefully they'll start sending me out on bunhces of interviews.

In apartment news, meeting with another realtor on Friday. I keep flip flopping between which apartment I like best from the ones we saw on Saturday. Each had its own set of pros and cons. We had a couple questions about each place and waiting to hear back to see what the answers are.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Apartment hunting

We need to let our current landlord know by the 15th if we will be renewing our lease or moving out. If we choose to stay, we can only stay for one more year due to scheduled constrution on the building. So, today we went and looked at three apartments. If you care, go to Preservation Properties and the listing numbers are 12075, 12644, and 12622. (We couldn't get that third number to work. I'm hoping it will eventually work.)

Anyway, apartment hunting sucks. Each place has its pros and cons. The first and third both had washer and dryer, the second might be getting a hookup in 6 months or so. (Of course by that point we would have sold our old washer and dryer.) The last one has storage space in the basement. It also has a small office. The second probably wouldn't have quite enough space and we might need to pay for storage. The first one however, has a huge living/dining room as well as decent sized bedrooms and tons of closets. We could easily fit all of our stuff in this place. Only problem is that the windows are tiny. It seemed really dark when we were there. This could be because it was grey out and the blinds were angled poorly, but I'm not sure. Did I mention I hate apartment hunting?

I just checked and I realized my comments weren't necessariliy corresponding to the correct apartments. I had the first two numbers reversed. So it's the second and third listings with the washer/dryer and number 2 has the huge kitchen/living/dining.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How I Spent my Friday

We've had a week of nice weather, so yesterday Chris and I decided to take advantage of the 75 degree temperature and head outside. A few weeks ago I had seen something on about The Keystone Arch Bridges in Chester, MA. So, we drove the two hours to Chester to go for a walk.

It was roughly a five-mile walk plus some detours to check out the bridges. These used to be old railway bridges, but the line was changed and most of them are no longer in use. The walk went on an old carriage round, through the woods, and along the old train line. We also took our own detours following the current line.

It was interesting to see how there was still snow and ice in some patches. Definitely felt strange given the temperatures and our attire, but they were primarily in shady spots. And this is New England. It can still be cold here. Actually, I’ve pretty much realized that it doesn’t stay consistently nice and warm until after Memorial Day.

So anyway, here are some photos from the walk.

Here we have the map at the start of the trail. It's a good thing I took a picture of this as well as the part of the sign indicating what the numbers meant as there were no other maps to carry and there were times we wanted to investigate where we were and we were able to consult the camera.

Here is Chris and I on top of the first bridge that we came to. The next couple are all of that same bridge from various angles.

Next we came across this retaining wall. It was interesting getting into places to take some of these pictures. These I was leaning against a tree and if I had slipped I would have gone down a rather high cliff.

Next up was another single arch bridge. This was was about 5 feet taller than the first one. We liked how the stones of the buttresses were going at a different angle. I think you can see that in the picture with Chris.

Here's some of that ice I was talking about.

This next bridge we didn't really get to go see that much. It's not officially part of the walk because you need to cross the active rail line to get to it. What's kind of interesting about it is that when they moved the rail line, in this spot it is very close to the old line. The grass you see in the front of the picture is from the edge of the embankment of the new bridge. The bridge in the back is the old one. By this point we were getting kind of tired and didn't want to have to trek through the woods to get pictures and then have to climb back up again. The climbing back up was really what was holding us back.

One more bridge- this one a double keystone. And as you can see, I'm doing my best to keep it standing up.

And finally, just a mixture of other pictures. Some trees that caught my eye, an old abandoned car, a pile of rusty bolts (actually saw similar piles at a couple of different points), and my tattoo/sock combo.