Thursday, August 18, 2011

At a Loss

Yesterday was the last day of my parents visit. Today is the first day I've had mostly to myself since they arrived, and I am finding myself at a bit of a loss for something to do.

This visit with the folks was great. They arrived last Thursday and over the next week we did a great many things. We ate out at some great restaurants, we went to the Point Defiance Zoo, we went to the Renaissance Faire, we went on an Underground Tour of Seattle and walked around downtown. We did a lot, and that is not even counting seeing Les Mis, which they didn't see with the BF and I, or the party the BF and I went to. I have been running around like mad the past week and yet now, with the parents gone and the BF at work, I'm just sitting here going "Well, what next?"

And the problem is not that I don't have things to do. I have a long list of projects and tasks that need to be completed. I just keep waiting for someone to pop up and for us to go off on some trip.

Sitting around at home is going to feel weird for a couple of days after all the activity.

And I will miss having the folks around. Normally after a visit I'm 1,000% ready to get away and get some time to myself. Whenever we travel in their motor home or I visit them in my hometown I'm surrounded by them 24/7. They are there when I wake up and I'm around them until I go to sleep. But this trip they were staying in a campground 30 minutes away from the apartment, so at nights and in the mornings I had a couple of hours time without them around. And just that little buffer made things so much more relaxed and nice. I actually would have been fine with them hanging around a little longer.

I suppose that was my vacation for the year. Now I have to reorient myself and get back to the grind of job hunting and whatnot. Blech. Can I go back to the zoo instead?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some Days I Hate Titles

Well most days I hate titles. I am so very not good at summing written works into just a few words. It takes more brain power than I have.

I feel that I haven't had a lot of brain power lately. Yesterday and even today I am feeling very blah. Part of it I know is due to the fact that I have a couple of different events coming up this month that I am looking forward to (PAX and my parents visit) and I'm stuck waiting on them to happen. I wish they would just hurry up and get here already.

Especially PAX. Not that I am not looking forward to my parent's visit, but at PAX I get to play a bunch of shiny new video games, which I can't wait for.

And speaking of my parent's visit, they will be here on Thursday. I don't know yet how long they will stay, but I know it will be at least a week. I've been coming up with a list of different things we can do and it should be fun having them around. If nothing else it will give me something to do, which I seem to be lacking lately.

I should rephrase that statement. I have plenty of projects to work on, but none of them are calling to me. None of them feel like they are worth working on, if that makes sense. I know I should just shake off my listlessness and tackle something, but it is easier said than done.

And I fear this entry is beginning to head in the direction of mopeyness, which I want to avoid so I think I will wrap it up. Short and sweet today, with not much said. Like many TV shows on the TV these days. Ha!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Last Class for the Summer

Last night was the last session of the Professional Editing I class I was taking. It marked the end of the second class I took this summer and the end of the last class I am taking this summer. I wanted to start with two just to get a feel for the classes and see if this is something I want to continue with.

The Fundamentals of Technical Writing class I didn't really enjoy. Part of that was just the nature of the class. A fundamentals class is going to cover just basic stuff and I already know a lot of basic writing stuff. I found myself bored for parts of the class. Part of it was the teacher. She was nice enough and was knowledgeable about the subject, but there were times I felt like she was trying to be my friend and not teaching. And part of it was that we had a group project to do. I hate group projects. I understand that they are a part of any job and a large part of being successful at your job is knowing how to work well with others. But in a class situation I think they are more of a hindrance to learning than anything else. Though the class was suppose to be about Technical Writing, after we were split into groups it almost became about doing the group project. Every break we got we spent talking about the group project and we were even given the last 40 minutes of class each night to talk about our group projects. Add that to the fact that the class was only 5 weeks long AND we weren't able to get together outside of class and the whole thing just became a nightmare. We got the project done, but I don't think it was very good nor do I think it was a successful use of my time.

And don't even get me started on the fact that we had to pay 80 bucks for a book that we pretty much never used. >.<

The Professional Editing I class I enjoyed much more. For one, it was a topic I was very much interested in. I've discovered through taking these classes that I enjoy editing. It can be a little monotonous and time consuming, but it is also one of the few activities in life where I lose track of time doing it. That is very very rare for me, so it is significant whenever it happens. The class itself was more structured, had a teacher that was teaching rather than trying to be friendly and engaging, and best of all, had a project that was solo AND a good learning tool. I learned a lot about the process of editing just from working on the project. The class was a bit boring at times and the teacher seemed a little shaky, but it was still much better than the fundamentals class.

Now I'm left with a little dilemma. Originally I was torn between whether to go for the Technical Writing certificate or the Editing one. I liked the Editing class a lot more, but I think it would probably be easier to get a job as a writer. However, I was informed halfway through the editing course that Bellevue College is getting rid of the Editing certificate and is only offering a writing one. If I want the editing one from them I have to decide right away and have to commit to getting it finished in a very short amount of time.

In addition, I am also no longer sure I want to continue on with this educational track. The classes are expensive, and I am unemployed. I don't know that I will have the funds to take all the classes needed for the certificate. Plus, I'm not sure that the certificate will help me get a job. It can't hurt, but while I am learning things, I don't know that I am picking up the skills I need.

I know how to write and the basics of editing. What I don't know are the different programs used for these practices. For the editing project I had to use Track Changes in Microsoft Word. I had never used it before, and rather than cover it in class I had to figure it out myself. It wasn't hard, thank goodness, but it would have been nice to have had a class on it. Because that is what I need. I need classes on how to use Framemaker or InDesign or something like that. I don't necessarily need classes on sentence structure and grammar.

I also need classes on graphics. Apparently graphics are a large part of technical writing and design these days, and I am completely out to sea when it comes to them. So I almost think it would benefit me more to take classes on these skills instead of taking the classes for the certificate.

So I'm left with a thorny decision to make. And for those that know me, you know that I suck at making decisions. Ugh. >.<

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Visit

So this time next week my parents will be in town to visit. Eeeeeek!

It is always a little stressful when they visit. My mother is a clean freak and no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to get the apartment clean enough for her. And they always comment on my weight, which I struggle with. I know it is just out of concern, but pointing it out and saying I need to work on it does nothing to help. And then there is the BF issue. This is the first time they've been out for a visit since we moved in together and I'm still not sure my Dad has any clue that the BF is more than just a friend. >.<

All that aside though, I am looking forward to seeing them. The last chance I got was in January and I do enjoy being around them. It has been two or three years since they last visited Seattle so it will be very nice to have them out here for a change. I love travelling, but sometimes it is fun to show off your hometown too. I've been busy coming up with a list of things we can do and places we want to eat. Since I'm out of work still I should get plenty of time to visit with them. And that is a very good things, since I'm not sure when I'll be able to visit them again after this.

So yeah, even though I have a bunch of other things on my plate, this is what I'm focused on now. My parents visiting. There is so much to do, and such little time to do it. I suppose I should start on this cleaning then. Ugh. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Scottish Highland Games

Saturday the BF and I got out and went to the Scottish Highland Games. In some ways the event is almost like a Renaissance Festival, only instead of people wearing generally medieval costumes you get a bunch of people in kilts. And instead of various performers putting on random skits, you get various groups of children in kilts doing traditional Scottish dances, lots of bagpipe music, and burly giant men in kilts throwing sacks of hay around. But the vendors are about the same and the food trucks are about the same. There were still lots of swords and shields to be had.

The weather was beautiful for a change. We hit one of those rare sunny days we get out here in the Pacific Northwest. It was hot, but not too hot, and there were occasional breezes. The BF and I got our obligatory meat pies and scones and walked around looking at the vendors and listening to the music. We discovered a new band we had not heard of before and avoided spending any money, though we did see some pretty things amongst the vendors. The BF almost got some canned haggis, which sounds vile. He was curious to try it, being a professional chef and all, but opted on the side of caution and did not get it. Which is to say he chickened out.

I wish I could say the trip was cheap, but it wasn't as cheap as I would like. The Games were an hour or so away from where we live, so we ate up a lot of gas getting there. And then tickets were 15 bucks a pop. Then we had to pay for parking and food. So even with not purchasing anything, we spent a fair amount of money we shouldn't have. But it was nice to get out and enjoy the weather and walk around the festival. And the food was delicious, and something we can't get anywhere else, so that was a plus. I don't regret going, I just wish it wasn't as expensive as it was.

Later this month will be the actual Renaissance Festival which I plan on us going to as well. What can I say, I'm a sucker for medieval events.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Aches and Pains

I woke up this morning with the muscles around my collarbone aching. I have no idea why. I'm not the most active person in the world. Yesterday the most I managed was walking around Target and Costco. The only thing I can think of is that I had an intense dream last night about dancing. I was part of some dance class and we were doing this rigorous routine with lots of twisting and twirling around. So maybe I was flailing around in my sleep?

Either that or it is just old age pain, which given that I'm only 30 I find hard to believe. At least I hope 30 isn't when you start getting old age pain.

In other news, I added an old friend from college to Facebook yesterday. He posted a bunch of pictures our time at the university this morning and I browsed through them while I ate breakfast. Those were some good times. My memory isn't the best so I don't remember everything, but I remember having fun and how happy I was. As I looked through those pictures I wished for nothing more than a time machine so I could go back to that time.

College wasn't all fun and games, I know that. There were bad times along with the good. But at least at college I felt like my life was full of potential. I had been a star student in high school and with all the various disciplines and courses taught at college I felt I could literally be anything I wanted there.

I've always tried to live my life with no regrets. I never wanted to look back at my life and wish I had done something different. And yet, I do. When I was at college I had an awful time trying to figure out my major. And instead of going for the degree in the area I loved, I decided to go for what I thought was a safe option. I tried to go for a major in something I thought I might like and that I should be able to make money in. Instead I ended up with two degrees in a field that is neither.

It is hard to live with the knowledge that you've made a mistake, a very serious mistake at that. It is hard to look back at your past and wish for a do-over with all your heart. But I have to live with it. I have to move past it. I have no other choice.

And at least I can say that other than career my life is good. I love the city I live in, I love my friends, I love my BF. I am happy with most of my life. And if I hadn't made the choices I had made, I may not have ended up here. I can't say with any certainty that if I had made a different decision my life would be better. I suppose it is more important to focus on making this life better.

Though if I ever get my hands on the Tardis, just watch out. ;-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where Have You Been???

I come back to you today, with my head held in shame. In my defense, I never intended to stop blogging as long as I did. It was just something that happened naturally over the course of events. I'll give you the lowdown on what has happened this past month I've been gone and try to explain why I haven't been blogging.

When last we left off, the BF had just come back from his trip to China. I was so happy to have him back I skipped a few days of blogging just to get more time with him. He had a wonderful time overseas and had lots of stories to tell. A bit more troubling was his talk of wanting to go back and his dreams of maybe moving there. I'm sure China is a wonderful nation and there are some perks to living there, but I can't think of any. It definitely is not one of the few nations I want to move to. Thankfully since then I think the BF has come to his senses and doesn't want to move there permanently anymore. He is still talking about going back though, for a visit, which is a whole other, much more acceptable beast.

The day before I was to pick the BF up at the airport, I got called in for a job interview. For a company where two of my friends work and where I want to work. I was quite nervous but also excited to get this opportunity for the interview. Unfortunately it was set for the day after the BF got home. And did I mention that I started a class at Bellevue College that week too? After all this hit, I found myself stressed to the max. I went from having no balls in the air to having a bunch. But it is better to be busy than bored, right?

The interview was nerve-wracking, but welcome. The agency and the people who work there seemed more amazing than I can say after my last job. Everyone was nice and welcoming, they talked about how much they loved their jobs and their work, they had all these fancy electronic devices and free bottles of water. It felt a bit like a dream. I thought the interview went well, though I know I dropped the ball on a few things, and I left feeling positive and hopeful for the first time since I was laid off. I was suppose to hear something the next week and I looked forward to posting to the world that I had finally gotten a new job.

It was close to a month before I heard anything back and when I did it was that they had decided to hire someone else. The first week of my wait went quickly. I felt very optimistic and was confident that I would get the job. Still, with the job sword hanging over my head and with my new class, I found I was unable to focus on anything for long, much less try to form a coherent blog post. The second week I started to worry and by that Wednesday I called to follow up. I was told they still had someone to interview and would let me know something the following week. I relaxed a little, but was still worried. The third week passed with no call and I had a bit of a small breakdown from the anxiety. It was the Wednesday of the fourth week that I got the call they were going with someone else.

Other stuff happened during that month. There was the 4th of July and the start of True Blood, which is one of my favourite shows on TV. There was a camping trip in which I learned I don't really enjoying camping (I kinda already knew this). The BF had a couple of interviews during this time, which didn't amount to anything, though he has finally landed a part time job working as a teacher/kitchen assistant at his former school. I finished one class at Bellevue College and started a second. It will end next week. But regardless of all these things, the past month has been defined by the interview and the waiting to hear back.

To say I was devastated would almost be an understatement. I had felt so positive about the job, and had looked forward to it so much that not getting it felt like a blow to the chest. In hindsight it shouldn't have been so surprising. I had no experience and was lacking some key skills, which I'm sure other applicants had. Regardless, I was brought low by it. Unfortunately, or thankfully depending on how you look at it, the day after I got the news was the BF's birthday and we had a slew of events planned. Events I had to at least pretend to be happy about for his sake. And because of these events and the general happiness of his birthday, I was able to pull out of my funk after only a couple of days.

So it is time to wipe myself off and get back on the horse. It is time to pick up the things I've forgotten about the past month and dust them off. It is also time to re-evaluate my employment strategy. I was laid off in March and since then I have managed to land one interview that went nowhere. That is not good. That is not acceptable. As much as I wish I could just live without a job, that is not an option. I need one to survive. So I need a new plan of attack.

There is hope. There has to be hope, otherwise what is the point. And there will be blogging. No more blog vacation for me! I must get back to putting word to page. And I will.

But there is what has been happening while I was gone. That is the condensed version of the past month. I apologize for my absence. I hope you will forgive me. I was not myself. I would promise to never leave you again, but I try not to make promises I am unsure if I can keep. I will endeavor to get back to blogging regularly. Maybe not every day, but at least 3 times a week. I am back and I hope you all are too.