Monday, April 19, 2010
This was another one of my famous patented mixed-up weeks. I began with another small gain. Eek, up almost 8 lbs. since the all-time low. Which was only 2 weeks earlier. Gawd.
Okay, regroup. Move on. Think happy thoughts.
We got your resume. Love your background. Come in and interview.
It's a Data Analyst job.
I swore I wouldn't be doing any more data analysis. Or at least no more as my primary function.
Ah, well, but we have a lot of $$ for you (I didn't tell them the part about not wanting to do DA work any more, of course. Mama didn't raise no foo'). And the location is perfect. And you've worked here before and the people are always nice. And Management is decent. And we want someone to do some Web Dev while they're at it.
Which is what I've been doing, and enjoying, and would definitely enhance the whole Social Media Specialist career I'm trying to start.
So, sure. We set it for Friday.
Tuesday was a wacky evening. I went to a networking event for Robotics. Now, I know diddly about the field, but every company needs some sort of social media marketing. I handed out business cards. I smiled at the earnest young men, all young enough to be my kids. I chatted amiably with the dude from the press (he actually had the best leads for me).
Wednesday was 2 more networking events. Cards leapt out of my hands. Oh, would you work freelance? Sure. Hmm.
Thursday was a lunch in Waltham. Lovely people. More cards. Steered clear of the cole slaw (it was a barbecue joint) in favor of salad and pulled chicken. Who needs dressing when you've got hot sauce? Talked to new friends and old, my weight loss came up. Was called "inspiring". Um, okay.
Friday. Interview. I think it went well. I should hear some time early this week. I am guessing Wednesday at the latest.
Then yesterday was the first 5K of the year. I ran it in 40:31. See: www.coolrunning.com/results/1
0/ma/Apr18_Luv2Ru_set1.shtml . Yes, kids, I was dead last. But I don't care. It was the first race of the year. I was hoping to break 50 minutes and I nearly broke 40. It was the second-best performance of my little ole racing career.
Oh and I'd lost 2 lbs. when I weighed in this morning.
What's next? Well, hearing about the interview, of course. Will I take it if offered? Yes. It's a 6-month contract so, unless I'm renewed (this company renews a lot, but you never, ever know), I'm back looking in October or November or so. In the meantime, more experience, more resume enhancement, more web development and more, well, cash.
And I'll keep going to whatever networking events I can, keep writing and pumping out articles, keep putting myself out there. The scattered business cards are like seeds. Some will find purchase in the soil. Many will not. But in the meantime, while I wait for my garden to grow, I water it and feed it -- and get my salads from Star Market.
I'll let you know either way about the interview. In the meantime, my next 5K is May 1st. :)
Monday, April 12, 2010
Things are percolating along.
I do web development every blessed day now. No rest for the weary, no weekends off. Of course I've only been doing this for a couple of weeks. But it's a lot to do.
This is because - ha! - I have come to realize that, for the scope of my actual ambitions, I ned a staff of something like 50 people. Artists, designers, SEO (search engine optimization) experts, content managers and creators, web developers, PR people, a social media specialist to manage Twitter and Facebook (this is the actual job I am really looking for these days), etc.
I'm just one person.
So excuse me if I'm more than a little nutty. Or, at least, more than usual.
Although all this activity did give me one serious bounce: I had less time yesterday when I went to the Reservoir, so I ended up running about 1/3 or so of the time. And that lopped a nice 6 minutes off my 2.5K time. This is helpful as we have the first 5K of the year next Sunday. Eek. I am a lot less prepared than I was in October of last year, but I am infinitely better prepared than I was last June.
Hence I figure my time will not be super-fabulous but I am hoping to blow away last June (1 hour, 4 minutes and some miscellaneous seconds). I figure anything under 50 minutes will be great.
I also started up Pilates again. This is simple at-home stuff and focuses on the abs. My abs kill me while I do it. This is not because it's so hard; it's actually fairly gentle. That's more because of the continuing aftermath of surgery. But I'm improving.
Another recent idea is to get a kettlebell. I've been pricing them and like a particular 15-pounder on Amazon. I already have a good 35 pounds' worth of weights in here so that would up it to 50, although I wouldn't hold them all at the same time (it's not possible; no one's hands would be big enough). I'd also like to do the kettlebell kind of stuff where you really swing it around although I suspect, with my luck, it will fly out the window (thereby breaking said window), and then go sailing to the ground where it promptly clonks some random passerby in the noggin.
With my luck, this random passerby will be the Hiring Manager for some sort of major massively wonderful dream job I haven't even heard of yet. Hmm. I better wear the weight lifting gloves when I swing the kettlebell around (assuming I get it at all).
In other news, I'm waiting to hear whether I'm going to be interviewed for a particular job. Now, I wait to hear all the time, but this is something where the recruiter has called me regarding my application. Hence it's further along than most. This is a place where I used to work, it would be data analysis but they want someone with (aha!) web development experience, plus I have great internal references. I'll give the guy a day or so and then send an email or call.
It's not a perfect situation but it's a good/not bad one. Plus making some $$ for a while (it's a temp position) would be of use right now. In the meantime, networking goes on. And I have another date with the Reservoir today.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Okay, yeah, I know about the song.
I was actually considering a Gilbert and Sullivan version of it (parody of course), but that was getting even weirder. So here's the original. Slap on the headphones if you're at work. Unless you don't mind your boss giving you that look. You know that look, the one where the boss thinks, man, you're one weird employee.
Anyway, uh, where was I?
It's been an eclectic week. I've been working on my site a lot. Trying new things, adding pages, correcting things, working on design, etc. I've got a ton to do. I don't want it to look too amateurish. But at the same time, heh, I'm no web developer. But I'm realizing: I'm everything. Not just the developer even though I've never thought of myself that way. I'm also my own press agent, my own employment counselor, my own, God, everything.
So excuse me if I'm low on time.
Every day is a meeting. Or it's website work. Or blogging. Or networking. Or or or ....
This is why I'm going to contact my gym and tell them to suspend my membership. I'm just not going these days. Plus the weather is beautiful. Why stay inside and walk on a treadmill, when I'd rather walk around the Reservoir? Plus, unfortunately, getting to the gym is a three hour round-trip production when conditions are good. When they aren't, it's more like four. And I just can't afford that time right now. It's not that I don't want to exercise (although I've kept inside and rested recently because of the mega monster cold from hell which I'm only now finally getting over). It's that I need to make the best possible use of my time. And three or so hours on a bus or trolley is not it.
So, what else is happening? Oh, and why the song???
The song is because, and this is odd, I've been complaining lately that it hurts to sit on a hard chair or bench for too long, say, two hours or so. I mentioned this to Mr. J and he laughed and said, it's because I've lost much of my, ahem, padding. I look at myself, and I don't see it. And I'm a good 60 (yes, that number is correct) pounds heavier than I was in High School and I didn't feel this way. Something is happening. My body is reconfiguring again.
I had a good weight loss week last time, but this time it was abominable. I regained almost 7 pounds. Now, since I had lost 4 last week, I'm mainly just evening out. But it's still odd. And, heh, yeah, that comes with the, erm, sitting pain. My measurements have not changed significantly. Where am I keeping it all? Certainly not in my, ahem, back.
Perhaps I've got really beefy toes.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Oops, I owe you all a month in review post. In fact, I think I missed it last month.
Anyway, here goes.
This has been quite an eventful week in terms of numbers, even if it's been quiet as I'm still trying to get over a cold and now my husband is getting it, too. My main goal is to be well by Friday, when I am meeting with a serious work prospect. Now, don't get all hope-y. The prospect cannot pay me. This is, as they say, the ground floor of a startup. But it's a way to continue to enhance my presence and if it comes to something then it's a good thing. Plus, if nothing else, I need to be able to field such things.
But on to the numbers.
Oh.My.God. This morning: 173.4 lbs. I'm only .4 lbs. away from having lost half of my starting weight (yes, I have a song specially planned for that). Pretty amazing. This all happened in about 2 years, 2 and a half months or so. Not too shabby.
BMI is 28. And, I'm finally smaller than Mr. J. And so I hope we stay that way.
Happy news here, too.
Bicep: 12.5" (originally: 19") down 6.5"
Bust: 36.75"; 1/2" above personal best (originally: 55") down 18.25"
Band: 33.5" 3/4" above personal best (originally: 47.5") down 14"
Waist: 34" (originally: 49") down 15"
Belly: 36.25" (originally: 59.5") down 23.25"!
Butt: 41" 3/4" above personal best (originally: 64") down 22.25"!
Hip: 41" 3/4" above personal best (originally: 54.5") down 12.75"
Thigh: 19.25" 1/2" above personal best (originally: 32.5") down 13.25"
Average of all eight measurements: 15.66" off.
Average of six measurements (no bicep, no thigh): 17.58" off
These past two weeks are somewhat misleading due to my cold. I'm not sleeping too well and am headachey on and off so that's throwing everything off. But I'm spending a lot of time reading and learning. In some ways it's a good thing, as it's keeping me inside in order to do website work. I was able to go to the gym once last week and twice the week before. I had been going at a three times per week clip but that's not back yet. The gym is fine but not while I'm this sick. Plus I think I overdid it in the beginning of last week and feel I may have extended the cold accordingly. Feh!
While it's not a part of my weight loss it does occupy a great deal of my head space so I suppose I should report on it. My two chief activities are networking and building a website. I am still reading about website building and right now networking is suspended until I'm better. Hence I'm back to job applications, which tend to be far lower margin affairs. Fortunately I have nothing specifically planned until Wednesday, which I can blow off if I have to, and Friday, which I really want to attend. Then next week I have doctor's appointments so, if I'm still sick, I can step up treatment. These are planned visits and just so happen to coincide with the cold. Oh and on Sunday we have Celtics tickets. :)
Other Health Issues
I think my surgery issues are more or less all resolved but it's hard to tell as I am taking OTC meds for my cold. These contain Tylenol so it's tough to say whether the Tylenol is only going to my headache or if it's hitting me where I had surgery.
My right breast still has the seroma and that does not appear to be going away. It might be smaller, but it's not easy for me to ascertain that as I look at it every day. My other issues are fine; wounds are all closed and scars are, well, they're no worse. I'll have scars forever; it's really just a question of them fading in time.
My abs are more or less resolved although I do still feel them when I get up from a prone position. I am back to situps and those are okay. At the gym, it was hard for me to use the ab machines. I'm not back to chest exercises yet as I still have the seroma. I'll ask the surgeon about it when I see him a week from today. I suspect I'll be able to go back to chest work but I want him to confirm that.
I've still got tons of reading to do and I've still got a cold. I know that building my own site is key for me getting the kind of work I really want. I am really hoping to have something up soon. Perfect? Of course not. It will be a work in progress for, for, well, potentially forever. But I want something up there already. Somewhere to point people to. Somewhere to call home. Content swirls around my head, and sometimes it butts up against design. And SEO seeks a place at the table as well.
It will be a LOT to do. I am going to be acting like my own development team, my own marketing team, my own PR team and my own writing team. The only one I really know how to do is the last one, and I have to be sure to not let it dominate everything else. What's the use of great content if no one sees it, or if the site is hard to use?
But I also feel this will be, ultimately, incredibly rewarding. Even if I don't see a dime from it. A site. Made by me. With my own grubby lil paws. My quirky self, all on display.
It must be the Nyquil talking.
Monday, March 22, 2010
But I won't know -- or at least you won't -- until I get it all online.
Huh? I hear you saying.
I've bought a half a dozen domains. Two are my name (variant spellings, e. g. with and without the hyphen in my last name). One is my userid on this site. Another is the name of my chief team on Spark. The other two involve results and effects. All are dot-coms.
I have zero content right now, so there's no reason to go and look. Nothing to see, nope.
But there will be,
See, I am looking for social media work. And I end up putting a huge number of links into any cover letter. And I finally realized -- duh! -- I'm giving Hiring Managers far too much to do. Better to just give them one link. This way, everything can be coherently organized. Plus I can (once I've figured out how to do what I need to do) show my stuff.
I am not intending to become a programmer or a web designer or developer but I am looking for a role whereby I can speak to such people intelligently. I figure that building my own site will do just that.
I spoke with a man who's successful in the Social Media space and he said he thought it was a good idea. It's a way to bring order to the party. It's a way to not just say I can do things, but to actually demonstrate that.
I have so much to learn. I have books on Web Analytics (I started this one first as it's the longest one), AdWords, Drupal and SEO. The HTML book is on its way. Hopefully the weather will get good again and I can sit on the front porch steps, read and take notes.
But even if the weather is lousy I will be reading and absorbing. Right now, it is very chicken and egg. Do this, oh, wait, first do that. No, this other thing. Which depends on the first one. And around and around we go.
But I've done the first part: parked the domains and paid for them and hosting.
Now onto method. Then comes content, although I already have ideas about that. Then design.
I like projects and this one is a beaut.
Will it get me work? I have no idea. But it's useful no matter what. And, yes, there will be a weight loss/Spark portion. And a blog. But no, I won't stop blogging here.
I guess I'd better go and rest -- a cold is coming on. Perhaps I will dream of cascading style sheets.
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