Job Shit Is Crazy, Dudes

Look. I just don't have the energy for a big thing on this, but observe:
  1. I have an interview next week for two(!) possible community college teaching jobs in winter term. A combination of connections and extraordinary luck brought this about; let's hope I don't totally screw the pooch on this.
  2. I turned down a possible tech job this morning. Because it pretty much sucked: too much work for not enough money.
  3. I have been having a great time at the software company I'm temping/contracting/consulting/your-mom-ing at. The big guys there would like me to learn how to code in C-sharp, ASAP. I am actually going to try to do that. (Ha, ha...ha. No, Seriously. I really am.)


Unsolicited Baby Update

...in case anyone was wondering.

We just had Plan C's six-month checkup and immunizations. Here's the status:
  • She's 14 pounds, 10 ounces. That puts her in the 25th percentile for weight.
  • She's 27 inches long. That puts her in the NINETY-FRICKIN'-FIFTH percentile for height.
  • She's now immunized against various bad baby diseases. Side note: people who don't get their babies immunized are morons.
  • She rolls around, grabs toys without having to look directly at them anymore, shakes rattles, and carries on extensive conversations in baby-squawk language.
  • She sits up as long as someone or something is supporting her back.
  • She starts on solid foods tomorrow - brown rice baby cereal stuff, later followed by sweet potatoes, pears, and avocados.
  • She is a gorgeous, sweet, extremely "good" kid in public. She loves people and loves looking at stuff.
  • She gets extremely bored with us when we're just hanging out at home. B and I have to keep improvising to keep her entertained. We take lots of walks and do a lot of sweet dance moves to disco beats to keep her entertained.
  • She's still a good, albeit not great, sleeper. Sometimes she likes to wake up for an hour or so in the middle of the night. Sometimes she likes to not nap all day. But, mostly, she's good about it.
In sum, all's well in the tiny weird world of the Baby Croc.


An Eventful Couple of Days

I was looking for the most prosaic post title, and I think I found it.


First, left-coasters be aware: the rain is coming. Portland in the rain is my favorite thing in the world.

Second, I now (kind of, sort of) have a lucrative IT job. The company my homie T works for hired me to come in and do the kind of mundane stuff they haven't had time for (workstation builds, cabling, setting up VLANs, getting their phones to transfer calls successfully, etc.) It's hugely intimidating, because it's a small software company staffed with ridiculously smart and tech-savvy guys, but I'm going to go in guns blazing and try to figure it all out as fast as I can.

On the same day, which remains yesterday, I received notice that I made it to the last round of interviews for a different tech job, this a real salaried / benefited (is that a word in that context?) one. I'm still skeptical about my prospects of actually getting it, but it's nice feeling like my whole would-be transformation back into a tech is at least plausible to the people doing the hiring.

Third, I forgot to post about this last week, but we gots an apartment. We're moving in sometime around the second or third week in November. It's a two-bedroom on SE Stark, about twenty blocks up (i.e. east) from where B and I lived when we first moved in together one million years ago. I have really enjoyed living in St. Johns, but SE is where the heart is and I'm stoked to be closer to most of my friends (my homie K is our neighbor. In fact, she will be on the other side of the wall from us, which is rad.)


Joe: RIP

I found out that my old friend Joe, who was the drummer in the Varicoasters for just about the entire time I played with them in the mid-late 90s, died suddenly of a heart attack while on a cross-country race yesterday. He was 47.

The thing I remember best about Joe was how cool he was in putting up with his teenage bandmates; he was in his 30s when the band started and most of us were about 16 or 17 (we also had a couple of guys in their 20s.) For me (and I realize that this sounds cheeseball, but it's true), he was kind of an icon of what it might mean to be a man. He was funny, tough, smart, and he never seemed to get shaken by anything. He was also incredibly nice; he just never acted like it was a big deal that he'd seen it all before and we really hadn't.

The other thing I remember about him was that he and his (later ex-) girlfriend were the first parents I knew as friends; they had a little girl and they stayed the same people they had been, playing music and writing and hanging out with everyone while being great, supportive parents at the same time.

I hadn't seen Joe in years, but I was really saddened to hear about his passing. 47 is way too young to go.


On the Other Side of Academia

...just be persistent! That's what people have told me, right after they tell me that there are no teaching jobs in the entire greater Portland area, population just under one million (counting the suburbs.) People who work at the community colleges tell me that, sure, they would be willing to say something to the department heads, but it wouldn't really make a difference. Other people hear that I'm looking and just laugh (albeit in a very sympathetic manner.)

Meanwhile, I have an interview on Friday for a tech job and several friends in tech companies all around the city. More to the point, I've noticed this...let's call it an "absence of desperation" in most of my friends here. I always liked the craziness of academia, the gallows humor, the kind of camaraderie you get out of a bunch of people feeling equally screwed, but on the outside, it looks a little nuts, frankly.

We got an apartment yesterday. The lady at the property management company was really cool; she took our sob story at face value ("we are nice people with degrees and savings but no income to speak of") and signed off on the bunny to boot. I can easily imagine myself going to a normal job, grumbling about the early wake-up and the routine stress, but never having to speak mangled French to anyone or give two shits about "the state of the literature" again.

So we'll see (dramatic closing statement!)



I mentioned a few posts back about semi-destroying my trusty iBook. Two days after that happened, I ordered a new cheapo laptop from Dell to replace it, which showed up the next week.* Since then, it's been a veritable nonstop cavalcade of compu-debacle, ending (perhaps?!) yesterday. Here's how it all went down:
  1. I pour cereal and rice milk on my iBook. It doth protest.
  2. I semi-revive it after tearing it open. The keyboard, touchpad, and half of the RAM are fried.
  3. I bring my PC up from the basement and discover that it's dead, too. I order a new motherboard.
  4. The motherboard shows up. I install it. The thing is still borked.
  5. I order the replacement laptop for less than 500 bucks.
  6. It arrives. I resize the Windows 7 partition and install Debian Linux on half of the hard drive.
  7. I cannot for the life of me get wireless to work in Linux. I futz about with updates, a new kernel compile, and all kinds of nonsense.
  8. It completely dies - neither OS will boot. I start over.
  9. Windows installs but wireless ceases working. I switch to Kubuntu over stock Debian, which works...except for wireless.
  10. I get wireless to work in Kubuntu, because I am an amazing computer hacking stud.
  11. Days pass as I try everything known to man or beast to get wireless to work in Windows. Right before I give in and think about another reinstall, some random combination of steps fixes it.
B has been very patient with this crap. Now I actually have to get some work done instead of wrenching on a laptop all day...

* BTW, Dell is no better or worse than any other big PC manufacturer. Seriously.


The Job Hunt So Far

I'll keep this brief.

There aren't any teaching jobs. Friends in grad school: beware. It's terrible out there. Position yourselves as best you can, primarily by looking for teaching jobs while you're still in the program, because when you get out, you'll find that even the old lecturer / adjunct gigs that used to be the "fallback" jobs for people who couldn't get tenure-track positions are all but nonexistent.

There are some IT jobs. I had a phone interview this morning (I give myself low chances on this one, just because it was a kind of weird position involving running reports and crunching data, not things I have much of a background in.) In fact, because of my many beautiful friends in Portland, it looks increasingly likely that I will end up being an IT guy again. I mean, the jury's still out and everything, but I can't overemphasize how impossible it looks to just get a job teaching at a community college...

In other ideas, I might be even better at being unemployed if I got a pair of funny Gadhafi-style sunglasses and a scarf. What do you think?


Got 8 Minutes and 43 Seconds?

David Cross's latest thing that wasn't picked up by Adult Swim slew me: