JESPAH   182,202
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Full Stock of Thoughts and Dreams that Scatter

Monday, June 23, 2008

I got the job I really wanted.

I was so scared that I would have to compromise on the money and it turns out I didn't have to. The offer was $2k less than the other place but the superior benefits are worth about $10k so I'm way ahead of the game, not just in the tangible areas but in the intangibles as well, intangibles like going with a permanent job this time and what will hopefully be added security.

I report on July 7th, which is exactly when I wanted to start as we'll be visiting my folks during the previous week.

The only thing pending is the results of the background check, which the recruiter feels will come out by Wednesday morning at the latest. I have nothing to worry about but I do like all of the t's crossed and the i's dotted (hey, I am a former attorney; it's what we do).

I'm really psyched and yes I will fit a glass of wine into tonight's calories. Thank you all for your support for these months as I've run around like a nut and sometimes doubted myself.

I am overwhelmed with joy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 7/5/2008 10:13PM


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EMMASMART 7/5/2008 12:46PM

    Nice. I'm coming up behind you. maybe I start Tuesday....


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JESPAH 6/24/2008 11:26AM

    Thank you all -- still biting my nails a little bit about the background check. Zero to worry about, just want it to be done already.

I cut the other guy loose this morning (he called at 8:50 AM!). So, for better or worse, I'm committed.

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ELFITZPA 6/24/2008 10:40AM

    Congratulations!! That's excellent news.

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WOODLANDMYST 6/24/2008 10:09AM

  emoticon Congratulations! Wishing you all the best ~ Cyndy

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RATSAMONGUS 6/24/2008 9:49AM

    Congratulations! YAY!! This is awesome news indeed!
Nancy emoticon

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JESPAH 6/23/2008 9:30PM

    Thank you both so very much! :)

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THEOTHERHALF 6/23/2008 8:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Fantastic news - Todd

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LILLIAN364 6/23/2008 5:42PM

    Congratulation on getting the job you wanted.

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I Think It Would've Showed

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Since I missed doing this on the 19th, I'll plunk it here -- it's the month in review. I was, er, a little busy on the 19th. Today is a quietly hypnotic kind of a day, hence the song.

Anyway -- it's been 5 months since I started alli, or about 21 or so weeks or something like 150 days. Lots of changes.

Weight and Measurements
Right now I'm 282.8; I started off at 346. Tomorrow is the official weigh-in day and it might not hold as I'm getting TOM, but it'll be close to that. Certainly I've lost more than 60 lbs., which started off as a year-end goal and then it was the September goal and now it's not even July and I'm there and past it.

Bicep 15.5" down 3.5"
Band 42.75" down 4.75"
Bust 50" down 4.75"
Waist 45" down 4"
Belly 56.25" down 3.25"
Hips 49.5" down 1.5"
Rear 50.25" down 13.75" !!!
Thigh 28" down 4.25"

Down an average of 4.97". The difference in the rear is undoubtedly due to how I do measurements so I suspect the difference is closer to 4 - 5" but it's still impressive.

28s are long gone. 26s are mostly gone (although I sleep in them sometimes) but I do need a few in order to have some clothes to wear. I am definitely a 24 with some aspirations towards 22s but once they hit my hips I've gotta have a 24. It'll come soon but the hips are still very frustrating.

I still wear the same size underwear, but I suspect that that is a function of (a) wearing stuff too small for me for a long time and (b) stretching the heck out of what I own. I just bought some new bras, but in the same old size. I just needed 'em. But I am looking forward to being able to finally toss them. It's not ready to happen, not just yet.

Oh -- these days I mainly wear clothes I used to wear in 2000.

I went from doing almost nothing to walking about 5 or 6 nights per week. Once I start working, that'll happen automatically with the commute and then we'll see how much more we do. The #1 choice job would give me 30 minutes of walking every single day unless I took an alternate route. Then if 20 - 30 minutes is added on at night my fitness level should really soar.

I went from maybe 2 or 3 reps with 4-lb. weights to 3 sets of 15 reps with 10-lb. weights. I'll probably move onto 15-lb. weights before the Summer ends.

I see it mainly in my biceps and waist. My calves are pretty good, too, and my thighs are starting to show some. My triceps need the most work. My belly is, well, it is what it is. Every inch off is, I figure, an inch worth of pretty much pure fat.

Eating habits
I'm really in a groove, and working again is going to add to that. I know my breakfasts, lunches and dinners except for Friday night dinners and weekend lunches (usually leftovers we didn't get to during the week). Things are mixed up enough so as to not get boring or kick me into a plateau. I am using my slow cooker more than ever.

Restaurant meals are good and I am doing well with Mexican, diner, Thai, Vietnamese, Pizzeria Uno and Indian foods. I am going to try to add Chinese back; I know my husband misses it very much but I need to watch the portions.

I continue to feel good and did not let looking for work or my relative's illness get me too far down. It will help to start working again and hit that routine. My relative is doing rather well so that's a relief.

My main challenge is chainsawing some fat off my hips. They just don't move that fast and are keeping me from going down a size. Right now this isn't a huge problem as I have a good selection of clothes in size 24 and very few in 22 or below, and right now not a lot of bucks to overhaul the wardrobe. I will probably continue wearing 24s into size 22 or even 20, not that that'll look so good but buying too much transitional stuff is no good as I won't be wearing it for too long. Once I get to size 18, though, I will absolutely have to buy clothes, even though my final size destination is probably a size 10 or less.

Oh and I need a dress for my nephew's Bar Mitzvah in September. It'll probably be a 24 or a 22. After that, though, I am totally stumped.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 6/23/2008 3:29PM

    Many thanks!

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KITRAE1 6/23/2008 2:22PM

    emoticon You are doing so well!!!

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LILLIAN364 6/23/2008 12:58PM

    Congratulations on your progress. Keep the momentum going!

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JESPAH 6/23/2008 11:49AM

    Thank you very much! :)

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ELFITZPA 6/23/2008 11:29AM

    Congratulations on your progress - you're doing amazing!!


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JESPAH 6/23/2008 6:59AM

    Thank you all very much. As I was kinda fearing, I'm up a lil this week. Hey, it happens.

Hit a new personal best in one of my measurements, though, so it'll all wash out soon enough. :)

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THEOTHERHALF 6/22/2008 7:32PM

    emoticon that is some awesome progress and you should be mighty proud of yourself - Todd

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TXAGGIEARCHER 6/22/2008 2:26PM

    Congrats! It sounds like you're doing all of the right things and making the right lifestyle choices. Keep up the good work! Maybe throw in a reward for every 10 lbs and buy 1 new pair of smaller pants or one new shirt. That way it's not too hard on the budget but you still get to look as great as you feel.

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STEPH523 6/22/2008 2:12PM

    Congrats on your progress! All of your hard work is paying off. Keep it up!

Good Luck!


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WOODLANDMYST 6/22/2008 2:00PM

  Look at you go! Woo hoo! Congratulations on your losses thus far.

I've found that thrift stores are my absolute best friend as I go down sizes. I found jeans for $1 a pair this past week. If you'll be shrinking out of your clothes fairly quickly, why bother spending big $$ on them? It may take some searching but you can find some decent things.

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Every Day You See One More Card

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm technically still unemployed. It's weird, but that's what's happening. The #1 place was waiting on a references check yesterday before extending a formal offer and they couldn't reach anyone (pretty typical for after 1 PM on a Summer Friday in Boston) so the whole thing is still in limbo.

Which isn't horrible; it gives me a chance to reflect on the process and enjoy the whole thing. It also gives me a chance to regroup my head. I need some transitional Summer work clothes, the car needs to be inspected, there are things that have to get done and they are easier to do now so I'd better get cracking.

Monday is going to be, if that's at all possible, even nuttier than yesterday. On top of everything, I actually have a phone screen, still scheduled for 2:30 that day, with a wholly unrelated job (the Needham job I had mentioned previously). Of course I'll cut them loose, but not until after everything is settled with the other places. And if they don't settle by 2:30 well, I guess I'll do a phone screen. What the heck. Nothing to lose.

I also got the wireless router totally set up and the computer room is looking really sweet. I cleaned up and moved wires and now things can actually be found without too much trauma. My husband was actually on at the same time as me earlier this morning and that's exactly what we both wanted all along. We will be able to work at home at the same time, and if I get a laptop it will also hook in nicely with the wireless connection. It's golden.

These are the times to remember when life gets discouraging. I'm going to bank this feeling and take withdrawals when I'm feeling low.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 6/21/2008 11:42AM

    Our very professional computer room has, of course, a set up ironing board and a bookcase full of baseball trivia books. :)

Setting up wireless was surprisingly easy. We have a Vista PC and an XP and they both were done in about a half an hour. The longest time was spent trying to figure out how to get the wires to go (there are a few wires) so that no one would trip.

Todd -- that's what the bank's for.

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RATSAMONGUS 6/21/2008 11:16AM

    You set up your wireless yourself? You ROCK! I am so jealous! I need to go wireless and am pondering a laptop too but I have not kept up with my computer prowess and so now I need to have someone else set it up for me. arghhh.. lol Your computer room sounds awesome!

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THEOTHERHALF 6/21/2008 10:24AM

    Your last sentence is something we should all ponder and use - thanks - I need to make a withdrawal - Todd

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It's Your Business if You Want Some, Take Some

Friday, June 20, 2008

Man oh man how the world changes in 24 hours.

At 10:30 this morning I heard from the place that gave me the lousy offer. Since I had not yet heard from the #1 choice, I chatted with the guy at that place and pointed out that standard pay for my skill set is about $10k more than they were offering.

Well, the guy caved so fast I realized immediately I should have asked for more. He sent over a new offer letter and, sure enough, it was for $10k more.

Then he called again, at 11:15, just in case I had heard yet from #1 (I hadn't). The guy really wants to get me into a place where they do regulatory work. I'm not 100% qualified -- or at least I think I'm not, though I'm not telling him that -- but he seems to think I am. In any event, his colleague had told me about this back on 6/4 and it was already a rush then so it must be mondo-urgent right now. If I was all --and only -- about the money, I'd be leaning on him even more. I can smell blood in the water.

But it's not just about the bucks. It's about benefits, which are far better at choice #1, and it's about stability, which #1 has in buckets. For this other place -- I'll call it #2 to keep things clear -- is where they loan you out to other companies. That's all well and good (it's what I was doing in my last gig), but if they can't place you, eventually you're just not profitable to them, and you get laid off. This is what happened to me in the last place so I am determined to not be burned again. If #2 hires me without a concrete assignment (let's say I don't get the regulatory gig) then the clock starts to tick. How long would they hold onto me and my salary? A month? Two? It's hard to say whether July would be a good job hunting ground. The positives are that it's the start of the fiscal year (and brand-spankin' new budgets) for most places but the negatives are that the summer is usually an abysmal time to be looking for work in Boston.

But that doesn't get to talking about #1. Shift gears.

The recruiter on #1 called at about noon. There's an offer pending a references check. Great! But, of course, it's Friday afternoon so no one's in. I tell her I have another offer (though I don't tell her for how much). We talk money. She throws out a figure, asks if that would ice it. I say, "I think so." The figure is $3k more than #2 but frankly I'd be fine even with as low as $2k less than #2 as the benefits and the stability mean that much to me. I don't tell her that but we part amicably.

Other calls come in, from other places, including the cypher company. Now that I'm suddenly almost engaged, it seems the suitors are coming out of the woodwork. Nothing's breaking my focus.

1:30 PM - the recruiter for #1 calls again. She's sure that nothing will happen until Monday. Can I hold out until then? Sure, I say. She tells me she thinks the salary won't top out as high as she'd hoped (e. g. $3k more than #2). Not a total loss, I figure, though I don't tell her that. She wishes me a nice weekend.

Then I start doing everything I can to take my mind off things. I call my mother. I go and put gas in the car. I prepare lunch. I read the paper. And now, 4 PM, here I am.

Poor recruiter for #2 will not be getting a call from me today unless I hear the final yes from #1, which at this point I'm doubting will happen today.

Monday is my day. I can feel it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RATSAMONGUS 6/21/2008 10:47AM

    This is getting exciting, lol.. how nice to have so much going on. And so true, it does seem like when you are not looking, that's when it all comes around. What's up with that? :) Hang in there, it's getting down to the wire now. Hoping you get what you are asking and then some!

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JESPAH 6/21/2008 9:43AM

    I had no idea I had it in me, to be honest.

I used to work as a lawyer and had to negotiate all the time, and I hated it and had zero confidence in my abilities. Now it's a whole other ballgame. I feel great and I'm sure it shows in that area, too.

Frankly, the thing I have to remind myself of these days is that I've still got a ways to go -- 60 lbs. off is lovely but is not even 1/3 of the way to the finish line. But I'm gettin' there. :)

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APRILSMILEY 6/20/2008 11:02PM

    rock~n~roll! btw I'm taking copious notes... I have A LOT to learn... awesome negotiating =) thx-A

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KARBIE18 6/20/2008 10:43PM

    Prayers and good wishes from me as well. Never knew being wanted could be so much work!


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TUESDAYS 6/20/2008 10:32PM

    You go! Wheew... all those negotiations make my head hurt. I hate bein' in that place --- and why does it always happen over the weekend?? LOL! I think Monday's your day too. Just be clear about what you want and make them fill YOUR dance card. I'm saying a prayer for you.

Looking forward to the concrete news!.....

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THEOTHERHALF 6/20/2008 7:45PM

    I'll be sending positive thoughts your way on Monday - continued good luck - Todd

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Boy You Can't Play Me That Way

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well, I got the offer from the loan out place yesterday, and it was less than stellar. In fact, it was lousy -- $1,000 less than I made at my last job and now of course gas (and in the Winter, heating oil will also be, I'm sure) is through the roof. So I would be losing money on the deal.

Better to hang on until the fiscal year begins and see what opens up -- academia jobs will probably really open up then. Here, of course, gown (of town and gown) is a pretty large employer. Hence that's an option.

And, I still haven't heard from the place where I had two interviews. They are still my top choice and if the money is good -- as in, at least $5,000 better than this one -- I'll take it. In the meantime, I'll also see if I can get anything else out of the loan out company as I'm sure this is an opening salvo and so perhaps I can push it for something decent.

As for the others -- the cypher, the Brighton place, the Needham place, the medical place and the temp Boston place, I have a phone screen with Needham today. For the others, I can send some emails, let them know that I have an offer on the table (they don't have to know that the offer stinks and I won't be taking it) so I'll see if I can get them to move more quickly. The hire out place certainly isn't dictating anything to me right now (they'll call on Friday but I won't duck their call or anything) but I would like to push this along and get some resolution.

If resolution isn't favorable, say, the two-times interview place says no, the hire out place doesn't significantly budge on money and the other five fizzle, it'll be close to the start of the fiscal year (only 8 business days from today) so I can sit tight and then start afresh. I have an overhauled resume, my cover letters are in the process of being updated/upgraded and I can still afford to live on Unemployment.

They can't play me for a fool.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 6/20/2008 10:49AM

    Today so far is proving interesting. Man, I had no idea I was such a negotiator. In fact, the dude caved so fast I bet I coulda asked for more. But let's just say that the place with the offer is now back on the table.

My head is spinnin'!

PS Still waiting to hear from choice numero uno. Eep!

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EMMASMART 6/19/2008 11:29PM

    Hey, mercury is out of retrograde. Tomorrow will be better than today was.


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JESPAH 6/19/2008 12:11PM

    I should have Unemployment at least until the Election, even without counting a possible extension.

In prior years, I'd've just jumped at the chance to work and swallowed my resentment. No longer.

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WOODLANDMYST 6/19/2008 11:49AM

  As long as your unemployment is still available, I have to agree - hold out for what you want. Blessings! Cyndy

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JESPAH 6/19/2008 11:45AM

    Thanks! I've told 5 places that I have an offer -- no need to tell the place that made the offer and no need to tell the place where I've interviewed twice. So ... I can relax. Maybe I'll go watch the parade on TV (Celtics victory thing -- I am SO glad I'm not going downtown today!).

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THEOTHERHALF 6/19/2008 11:24AM

    Keep the faith and hold out for what you really want - sending good thoughts your way - Todd

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