Friday, February 29, 2008

Time...too much, that is

I must have too much time on my hands. Not just in the job search area, as that continues, but also in other somewhat quirkier things…like the newest members of the clan.The cats, of course.

I have more than enough time to see the visual differences between L & R and our late resident feline Sir Humphrey. L & R are furry…Sir H was fluffy. A subtle distinction for sure. (Or is that fur sure?). Bad pun, but animals have that kind of effect on me.

As I wrote in the epitaph for Humphrey, I like to experiment with song lyrics by substituting some of the real lyric with words that, well, add more of a cat component to those songs. Such as the Commodores Brick House:

He's a White Cat,
Mighty, Mighty

Just Letting it all Hang Out”

And not to forget that one-hit-wonder Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music:

“Play That Funky Music White Cat
Play That Funky Music Right
Play That Funky Music White Cat, etc”

Wow, I’d better get a job soon, lest I think up some more of these! Yep, too much time…Way too much


Monday, February 25, 2008

Climb every mountain

Climbing whatever, that is. I don't seem to be doing that as I'd like, but I do persevere. 'Climbing' is useful as a metaphor in terms of a means of achievement, like climbing a mountain, climbing a ladder, and so on. Not that I'm scaling Everest, nor want to (am very comfortable at my present scalable elevation of only 440 feet above sea level).

Not to say I feel like the always unfortunate Wile E Coyote in that his being successful will probably never occur, at least in capturing his speedy and elusive target. But he never stops trying, no matter how often he gets zinged. So it is that I must persevere.

And be honest, didn't you want Wile to finally catch and thrash that obnoxious roadrunner too?

Speaking of climbing and obnoxious, how about that felinus appropriately named Linus on top of the stack washer/dryer? They seem to have no issues in climbing to the top...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Employ this

Had an interview today. The position is for an inventory analyst, and is the ubiquitous (for this era) 'temp-to-perm'. As it is an international company that is growing at 10-15% per year. This could offer many possibilities. Provided, of course, I am offered said position.


Although these days I am neither confident nor non-confident about obtaining this. This is as it should be. Just because I utilize a wheelchair for ambulation, I do not expect a red carpet greeting...I have to be as prepared for an interview as everyone else. As such, I did well IMO. When asked to describe myself, one term I used was nuanced. Merriam-Webster describes the word nuance as:

- A subtle distinction or variation
- A subtle quality

I’ll leave it to Patti about the subtle part. I guess that I see myself as bringing a subtle quality to any position or event. Which certainly doesn’t make me better than any other candidates, but more, um, nuanced. We’ll see.

If not this, something else will be there. I posted a while back about faith and belief. It sometimes sounds a bit abstract, because maintaining faith in yourself is harder to do when the proverbial chips are down. But maintain you must. It’s not so much that I need the opportunity to succeed, but more so, I really want the opportunity to fail as well. I remain confident about the future. I was advised once that I “have the brain, not the brawn”.

Well, that is like batting .500 in baseball, where a .300 hitter is considered to be successful, which means a 70% failure rate (in getting a hit). Yet I have a better rate of success at 50%...Not to compare myself to my fave Red Sox Big Papi David Ortiz, who looks great when hitting the ball out of the park, but a .332 hitter. Therefore, I’ll take my chances at .500

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The fix is in

I have wondered how animals communicate with each other. To go a step further, I wonder how our pets deal with, um, personal things?Much like the Far Side doggies here, I’m left to conclude that perhaps Biff will have the last laugh here. What would our erstwhile felines would think about such a procedure vis-à-vis themselves? Perhaps their conversation might go like this:

Rigby – Were we tutored?
Linus – Maybe, I don’t know.

R – Would that make us geldings?
L – I think those are horses.

R – What about bullocks?
L – Nah, those are cows.

R – Why would someone tutor us?
L – So we would be compliant and obedient animals for the humans and fully respond to their beck and call?
R – Remind me when to stop laughing...

I have to remind myself how they aren’t deep thinkers. Still, I wonder what they discuss while we are asleep. Of course, that is something that should be on a ‘need-to-know’ basis…perhaps I’d rather not know what they are talking about…

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Affairs of the heart

As it is the Valentines holiday, I am happy to reminisce of this day in years yore. Perhaps I am somewhat, if not hopelessly romantic about le jour de Valentine. When a kid, it seems that I never received many of these valentine hearts, not unlike Charlie Brown who seemed to wish for one, especially from the red haired girl. As much as I enjoy Snoopy, he got a mailbox full of these heart shaped treasures instead. Not just, says I.

Be that as it may, I rather enjoy this holiday as a grown-up, or at least since 1985, when I was swept off my feet by the ever lovely Patti. Not my famous neuromuscular affliction, but rather it was/is love. That year, the very first of this holiday for us, we went to a long gone restaurant in Guilford called Westwinds. I knew the piano player, and the piano was next to the fireplace which was roaring. Patti requested from said piano man the Rodgers and Hart song My Funny Valentine. It is a great song - "You make my smile with my heart", "But don’t change a hair for me...Not if you care for me", etc. We like old romantic songs (my request was the always wonderful Satin Doll). But was it the warm fire, red wine and a piano? These were nice things, but the more important thing was we were becoming closer and closer. It was a great day, and all that followed were as well.

But one thing is different this year...my favorite florist, Daisy Dock in Derby, had a fire last August and is no longer in business. They were the best in that I could speak over the phone and leave the petal arranging to them. I could surprise Patti with a fine arrangement, they did it so well. I realize that there are other florists, but I am sentimental for all the years they were my Valentine's flower source. Alas, no more.

Of course, the finances might preclude flowers this year anyhow, but I will work on a preparing a nice romantic meal for us and we can reminisce about the nice February 14'th days in the past while looking forward to more. It may be an artificial holiday to some, but not for me...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Merrily we roll along

Patti mentioned in her post today that I would be a sub at a private school today. The school is a well-known (although unnamed here) K-12 school in the New Haven area...for the über affluent parents who can afford the college-sized tuition.

I was curious, so okay I put on the tie and the wheelchair and myself went to the school. Ah, but can you guess my conundrum? The classroom buildings are inaccessible. Really. I put the best face on things, but I am clearly miffed at the agency (they should have known about the lack of access). After a couple of calls I will be paid for the day, so lesson learned: I will perform the due diligence regarding egress...


The takeaway here goes beyond any inconvenience to me. The fact that the buildings won't work with wheelchairs means that some potential students, even those whose parents can foot the bill, cannot go there. This place, being private, obviously has a large endowment and has an office of development...the funding to make the place wheelchair friendly at least to a minimal degree.

This is a private institution, so these things aren't necessary for legal reasons. Forgetting legalities, changes need to be made because that is
the right thing to do. I am not knocking this school, it is a good one. Even though, they ought attend to the details.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Workin' for a living

As if I knew!

The job hunt continues, I will not know more about any employment possibilities probably until early next week, so I wait. I had a sub assignment yesterday nearby, but the assignments available today necessitated more driving miles, and I would prefer to not take my behemoth (15 MPG at $3.27 per gallon) for an extended drive.

Being a sub, well, it beats (not) working, but not by much...in horse racing, the term is 'by a nose'.


At least the cats are earning their keep by being watch-cats! L0ok at these brave felines as they investigate their far reaching territory, scanning the horizon for all enemies, real or imagined (more of the latter, I'd say).

Maybe they are courageous felines. Although brave as a descriptor here may be a tad overstated...That word is probably overused here: our furry friends, although gallant, indomitable and even fearless, derive their strength in this suburban jungle only because that pair is separated from said jungle by double-paned glass, sheetrock, concrete and vinyl siding. But they look so cute in their defense...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Faith matters...

You need to have faith that things will work out...you do. Without getting too spiritual, you need to believe that your prayers will be answered, but not necessarily in the way you would expect...

This is the last week of unemployment benefits...so there could be money issues later, but there is no point to dwell on that. But things are looking up :>)

The interview went well the other day. It is for a position in logistics at a freight airline based in Fairfield county. I see a lot of upside at a company like this, and I am reasonably knowledgeable about the airline business (hence the moniker '
Airhead 55'). It would be a good company...although the commute to Norwalk is horrendous. I can't prognosticate about my chances, but will feel a bit more certain if I am asked for a second interview...

But what if that doesn't happen? I have a lead on a couple of assignments for Accountemps, and am talking to someone about these possibilities on Tuesday. If these don't lead to anything, let's just say I am more optimistic about the future than I may have been...

To have faith work, you might have to assume that there are no coincidences, that things do not happen in a vacuum. To wit, I needed to be laid off last June. Why, you ask? Well, for one thing, the seven year battle with the
government will finally be over: not having a job means they have to settle based on my current economic status. Also, when we filled out our FAFSA college aid form based on last year's income may mean more grants and scholarships for our kids. That remains to be seen, but in the end I believe that this is a positive for the family.

I am more confident right now. Sometimes it is all too easy for me to revert to a sort of pity. It is easy to say that
all employers will not hire someone in a wheelchair. Actually, IMO, it is probably true that most will not, but not every one. In my profile, I list as one of my favorite movies Chicken Run...a delightful animated feature. There is a line when one of the chickens says that their escape from the yard is doomed: "The chances are a million to one". Whereupon Ginger, our plucky hero, replies: "That means there is still a chance!". Indeed, I intend to keep the faith.