Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Officially Temporarily Unemployed

One of the surprising things about the last few weeks has been all the little signs that keep reminding me how lucky I am. On Christmas morning my neighbors invited me up to their apartment for breakfast. They made me a stocking too, exactly like the stockings I used to get as a kid. I really felt like part of their family, like I was being included not out of pity or obligation, but because I belonged there. And that truly is a peaceful feeling. I don't know how else to describe it.

In the afternoon I went to another friend’s house where it has become a custom for all us Christmas orphans to congregate around a gigantic pot of gumbo and watch movies. A few inches of snow, a few great friends, a ton of great food – without my family around, it was about as good as it could have been.

I am nervous about leaving my job. I have basically accepted an internship position that will only last for the next four months. I am not sure what I will do after that yet. It’s a bit unsettling. My former boss didn’t even bother to say goodbye, but I had other coworkers that took me out to lunch and out for a drink and they told me how much they’d miss me and that made my last few days a little less scary.

I have friends in Alaska and Wisconsin that have offered me a place to stay if I ever need it and I have been given a heads up on countless jobs, whether they are a good fit or not. But it makes me happy to know that there are people out there that are watching out for me. I've pretty much decided not to look at jobs up here anymore. If a great job falls in my lap, that would be wonderful, but otherwise I am on the May 24 ferry out of town, which coincidentally will be exactly three years to the day after I moved back. Juneau has a weird way of getting under your skin. But I am getting really sick of cross-country moves, so I have a feeling that if I do leave, I will only be back for visits. The thought of leaving the amazing people that have basically become my family terrifies me. But who knows what tomorrow will bring? All I am focusing on right now is how amazing my support system is and I know that no matter where I end up, there are people in my corner and that is enough right now.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 By the Numbers

Trips out of Alaska: 2

Miles flown: 12,992

Beeramids made: 2

Games of Bejeweled Blitz: 1,276 and counting

Layoffs: 1

Jobs applied to: 18
Job interviews: 6
New job offers: 2

Faceplants: 1

Pounds lost: Let's round to 30

Christmas cards mailed: 20

Christmas cards received: 3

Sexual partners: 2

Pregnancies/STD's: 0

Bottles of rum consumed: 3 (At home, doesn't count drinking in bars...)
Plants killed: 1
Books read: 18
Knitting projects completed: 5
Knitting projects started: 11
Cabins visited: 2
Trails hiked: 6 (hiked several of them more than once)
Trails biked: 2
Flat tires changed: 2
Weddings attended: 3

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Let's say you own a gas station in Alaska. And let's also say that it is winter. Why on Earth would you stock warm weather windshield washer fluid that freezes in temperatures below 20 degrees? Yeah, you wouldn't. Apparently the person who does the ordering at the gas station near my house didn't get that memo though. And now I get to deal with a very dirty windshield and a huge block of frozen windshield wiper fluid.

At least it was a really beautiful weekend.
Skier at sunset.
Sunset at Mendenhall Lake. I am still not used to skating/skiing/walking on frozen bodies of water but I'm glad I sucked it up and went out!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last Chance

It's down to the waiting game for the last potential job that could save me from my current uninsured, under-paid fate. I am not holding my breath. I am very sick of rejection at this point. And every time I get that 'sorry-but-we-hired-someone-else' call, I ask if there is anything I could do to improve my interview or my resume. I have never once gotten any helpful feedback from asking, so I don't know why I even bother any more. I keep hearing about how great my interview was and how enthusiastic I am - some have gone as far as actually telling me I was the second choice. They always encourage me to "keep plugging away" because eventually someone will "be lucky to get you". I understand that they just want to get the phone call over with and no one wants to be the bearer of bad news, and even though I am sure it would sting, just once I would like to hear the real reason I wasn't hired. Am I too old? Young? Too fat? White? Sure, some of those reasons would be illegal so I know I will never hear them, but hell, even if it was something like my breath smells - at least I would have something to work on.

Next week is going to suck. I am training for a new job that I am not excited about, and I still have to clean up some stuff at my old job. And now that all my disposable income is gone, I can't go out to eat or drink to try to take my mind off of how miserable my life has become. So, four readers, keep your fingers crossed for me. The odds of me getting this last job are slim to none, but I guess nothing is impossible, right?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scratch that

So, filling out paperwork for the new job this morning I realized that I was wrong and they do not, in fact, offer health insurance. Um, seriously? I thought that was the only thing non-profits had going for them. Crappy pay, but at least you get basic benefits. This job pays crap and doesn't have health or any type of retirement benefits. I no longer feel bad about setting up another job interview this week and I sure don't feel bad about leaving at any point in the near future. Ugh.


Looking over my unemployment ‘benefits’, I realized that my COBRA health insurance is going to be $608 a month. How on Earth is someone supposed to be able to afford that? Between that and rent, unemployment benefits gone. Bam. Seriously, what do you do if you have kids?

Anyway, I don’t actually have to worry about COBRA because I accepted a job offer. You read that right - I have to stop bitching about being laid off now. But don’t you worry, four readers, because I know you only come here to read my venting. Now you will get to hear all about a new job that I’m not really excited about. It’s a pretty significant pay cut, but it is waaaay better than having to ask my parents for help. I don’t really know what I’ll be doing yet so I am not being vague on purpose.

It’s obviously a huge relief to have something figured and I am trying not to think too far beyond that. I feel a little bit guilty because I am pretty sure that I am still going to move back home next fall, so I am taking this job knowing full well that I won’t be there very long. But that is thinking way down the road, which is exactly what I am trying not to do. Besides, knowing me I will have about 50 different plans before the Superbowl, so holding on to one plan all the way until next fall is about as likely as the Lions winning the Superbowl this year. (And I don't want to see any gd comments about the Lions beating the Packers yesterday. I didn't say the Packers were going to win either so just shut it.)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

2010 in Review

Aside from the last month and a half, 2010 has been a pretty damn good year. And even though I have no idea what 2011 is going to bring, I'm kind of excited about it. Hopefully it will be even better.
In March, I went to Maui and by the time I got back to Juneau, I even had a bit of a tan!
This summer I saw a ton of orca. I hate to say that I don't get as excited about humpbacks anymore, but they are just so common around here. It's like getting excited about seeing a deer in Wisconsin. But I still get a rush when I see killer whales. And I saw plenty of them this year. If I end up back in the Midwest in 2011, at least I got to see a lot of whales.
And of course, my sister got married this fall, which was awesome. Best wedding I've been to in a long time. Of course, it helped that I knew pretty much everyone there and got kinda wasted.
Anyway, I've been dwelling on the negative way too much lately and it's time to stop. It is not a resolution because resolutions are stupid, but it's definitely time to move on. I mean, don't get me wrong - I'll still complain about things because that's just the way I roll, but I think there is a difference between wallowing and complaining.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

If you are what you eat...

Then on Sunday, I was a McDonald's breakfast, bar nachos and a foot-long sub made by a guy who was so stoned out of his mind that my sub ended up weighing at least 2-pounds. The healthiest thing I consumed all day was the four Bloody Mary's I had at the bar. I've never been so close to becoming bulimic in my life.