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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I think I'll be working soon.
I really do. No matter what, today I'm getting an offer so something is happening. The reason why I know this is because this is a company where you are hired but they loan you out to other companies. My last job was like that, and it worked out okay, but as is probably obvious, I'm a bit skeptical and so I am looking for something better, but this would not be a horrible way to land.
The advantages of this place are, well, first off that they want me, but also that you get to go a lot of places and learn new things. This means making contacts and that doesn't hurt, either. At my last job, the two main beefs I had were (1) the pay was lousy and the raises were terrible (so I'll know that about this place pretty much immediately, but I don't think it'll be an issue) and (2) once I got on the bench (e. g. the assignment ended), they could not find me anything suitable in the area, and after 3 weeks I was laid off. I fear something similar happening. While there are no guarantees, one thing that is helpful is that this group is strictly Southern New England so the places I'd be sent won't be super-far. Still, New Haven or Hartford would mean me living in an apartment during the week, and that's the last thing I want to do. Even if they paid me extra and all of that, I just don't want to be away, particularly taking my ill relative into consideration. So I need to ask a lot of questions today, about how committed both sides will be, and see if I can extract an assurance that I'd get work close by and not off in Oshkosh.
But there are four others (hence the song; the Harry Potter theme is just for added weirdness). One is pretty much unknown except that I know it's temp and in Boston, but they want my skill set and it's in financial services. So that one's a cypher. The third is in Needham, which isn't a horrible commute but with the price of gas that will loom large. They're doing a phone screen with me tomorrow and that may turn into a face to face next week if all goes well. I don't know how I feel about them; a lot will end up depending on salary, I hate to say, because I could see myself filling the gas tank every 3 or 4 days and that's $80 every time.
The fourth is in my same area of Boston, Brighton. It's not exactly in walking distance, at least not yet, given my fitness level, but it's not bad and so would be something to strive for. I don't have much about them yet and it's possible the easy commute is dazzling me.
The fifth is the place where I interviewed twice already: I'm expecting to hear by the end of this week, as to whether they will hire me.
And -- heh -- there are actually two others, now that I think about them. One is a place in Waltham which wants my skills but may or may not have an actual job. Waltham is closer than Needham so the price of gas is less of an issue but not absent as an issue. Then the last one is with a medical place, again doing data analysis. I don't know how well qualified I am for it but it's a possible fit.
So my five -- I mean seven -- prospects are very real and right now I'm more than a little nuts with all of the adulation. I realize that I have to pull back because right now my brain just can't process any more than this. So I'll pull back and not apply anywhere else until a few more things start to resolve themselves, one way or the other. I suspect that #6 and #7 are not going to go anywhere, and the cypher and the Brighton place might also fall by the wayside. That would leave Needham, the hiring out company and the place where I've interviewed twice. Of those three, I'd say I've listed them in reverse preference order, but my mind might change if money or commute or other circumstances intervene.
No matter what, I'm going to see if the hiring out place can hold off on me giving them a decision until Friday, 6/27. That might be a pipe dream and they might balk at that, but I have to see how things play out -- although if the place that interviewed me twice says yes on Friday the 20th, I'll be set then, assuming all of the planets align and all of that.
Something's happening. I will be somewhere, and soon. But where?
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