Monday, November 12, 2012
My personal life has been quiet lately, and I gotta say I'm grateful for that, as the outside world, between the hurricane and the election, has more than made up for that.
And now I'm ready for, hopefully, something else to happen.
The job search continues, but it is slow again. And that was before the election, so don't say it was due to the election's outcome. Instead, it just seems that things are slowing down. AGAIN.
Also annoying to know that I went through 5 interviews last month and only 2 are still viable. And I have serious doubts about one of 'em. I am sure the figure is really 1 - I just haven't seen that absolute, final nail rammed into that coffin.
Or, rather, the weight loss world.
In this area, there isn't a helluva lot to report, either. I continue to trade around the same five or so pounds. I continue to walk and lift weights (er, not at the same time). I shoveled snow last week. And so it goes.
And -- things are kinda dull.
But in a way that's good. For while it may feel routine, the truth of the matter is, life is routine because this IS my life. Daily walk? Check. Healthy food? Check. More water drinking than I'd prefer? Check that, too.
It's true, you lose enthusiasm. And that can lead you to backslide right into ugly, old behaviors. It's boring!
But the boring part, isn't that kinda what we're striving for, anyway? For things to feel normal? For when they feel normal, I think we feel less tempted by other stuff. I mean, why be tempted by uncomfortable things? And unhealthy behaviors, I've found, are pretty damned uncomfortable in the long run.
Have I convinced you yet? I sure hope so.
Now I gotta go convince myself. ;)
While walking. :)
Monday, November 05, 2012
Again, this is a song that I picked up long before Hurricane Sandy. There are quite a few images of devastation from my home town and surrounding environs. And it really is awful to see. My folks, who still live in the area, fled after a few days of no power. According to a neighbor, there is now power on an adjacent street. Hence when they return on Tuesday to vote, I think we can assume the electrons will be lassoed and corralled and back to doing what they were supposed to have been doing all along.
But through it all, considering even this, the truth is, the blog title still stands.
What awful things have happened to me? I lost my grandparents when I was pretty young - I never knew my father's father at all. I have lost jobs, and I have held work that I hated. Other relatives are gone; I am utterly uncle-free now. Friends have been through divorces, and have lost their parents. I have been through some weather muck of my own.
But in much of it, it seems, I am the detached observer. My parents are still here. My house is still standing. My credit is not torn to shreds. My marriage is strong and vibrant.
I am not asking for calamities to now fall on my head. Don't misunderstand me. But I am trying in some small way to gain and nurture perspective.
The other day, amidst all of the FB status updates about Sandy and getting power back and helping others, or not having power, or waiting in gas lines, or concern for others, or about the election, there was one Facebook status update that stood out like a sore thumb.
It was someone whining about gaining a few pounds.
I about leapt out of my seat.
Now, for this person, perhaps that was the end of the world. But really!
Slow down. Take a deep breath. Look around you.
A boatload (heh, pun partly intended) of people are now homeless. Schools are still closed. Infrastructure needs to be repaired.
There's an election going on. There is a lot of unemployment. Cancer and HIV still ain't cured.
Let's go global. Ever see pictures of an Indian slum? How 'bout pollution in Bulgaria? Animals that we call pets other people often call food. There's a lot out there, and a lot of it isn't sunshine and roses.
But through it all - the focus was on - what?!!??! - a few pounds gained.
Hey, you had pounds to gain.
The world is not just a black cloud. There is plenty of goodness. There are reams of wonder. There are wild horses, and there are people falling in love. There are folks who are fighting for change. There are scientists working for cures, and doctors delivering babies. There are ancient folk imparting their wisdom and there are engineers designing better tools for our lives. There are kids helping little old ladies across the street, and there are families adopting puppies and kittens. There are stars and there are chrysanthemums. There are books to read, and there's art to appreciate, or even to critique.
Pounds will come, and pounds will go. Step back and have some perspective and chill the F out when it comes to only a few of 'em. I am not saying to let yourself go.
What I am saying is - give yourself a break, and give the world a break. Hell, ya both need it.
Monday, October 29, 2012
When I originally grabbed a song for this blog entry, there wasn't a huge, honkin' storm comin' up the East Coast. Hence now it's almost comical, as fake horror is replaced with some real fear.
We are fine here, yes. Sandy is just a bunch of light rain and winds right now. The windows only rattle a little. It's not much, so far. Of course that may change. Local critters have all departed. They are undoubtedly far smarter than we are.
Fitness, right now, is a bit dicey. Go out and into the muck? Try the exercise bike which I hate? Run up and down the steps a few times? Helfino. I did lift weights this morning, but I do that every morning. I am a tad stir-crazy already. Eek, this'll be interesting if it keeps up.
The other thing is, of course, food. What to do, what to do, if the power goes out? Once night falls, there are few entertainment options.
Of course this is why a bunch of babies are often born 9 months after big power outage storms. Erm, no thanks.
Truth be told, my biggest concern is family. Me? Eh, I'll be fine. This is not my first rodeo. But others live to the South and I do fret about them a bit.
In other news, the five job interviews I have been through this month are now down to one, possibly two, that remain viable. And that's it.
Am I a bad interview? Is that it? I have gotten many jobs before; again, not my first rodeo. But I get the euphemistic, "They're going in a different direction." Er, whatevs.
The chaos of the weather seems to reflect the relative chaos of my life. Or, at least, of my working life. I await FEMA, to sweep up the detritus of my career and restore it.
In the meantime, stay safe and look out for old women flying by on broomsticks. This is why I took ours in yesterday. I don't want a broom-jacking.
Enjoy Michael Jackson.
Monday, October 22, 2012
It has been an incredibly competitive few weeks, and it's not over yet. One more to go, perhaps more, but ... er - wtf are you talkin' 'bout, jes? I hear you cry.
Er, sorry. I'll start again.
While doing the weight loss dance, I am also, yet again, looking for work. It colors my days, no matter how successful it is. It's tiring. I swear I should get cardio points for it.
And this month, in particular, has been busy. I have had four in-person interviews so far, with a fifth one scheduled for the day after tomorrow. And so - here goes -
The first one, on 10/3, was with L. I have worked at L before, and the commute is excellent although it has other things that are not so recommended. Be that as it may, they decided to pass on me but they also hauled my resume over to another department. I am not holding my breath on department #2 calling but hey, we'll see. Keep in mind that I kind of have a dual track going - social media and data analysis. The truth is, I want to do social media. But I can make a living doing data analysis, even though it generally bores me to tears. This one was for data analysis so I am not exactly sorry to see it go.
The second was on 10/11, and was with B1. Lovely people and it's in social media! Except the commute stinks on ice. I am still waiting to hear about that one.
The third was on 10/19, at B2 (sorry for the confusion; I don't name companies). Lovely people, kick-bun commute. But - le sigh - it's in data analysis. Feh.
The fourth was this morning, at C. Great commute, and it's in kind of a marketing/social media hybrid thingie but mostly marketing. This was one of those jobs that I applied to because I like to do something every work day. But the truth was, when I sent that one out, all I could think of was - you're out of your depth. And I ended up psyching myself up this morning before going in - they wouldn't bring you in unless they thought you could do this.
Well, no, that's exactly what they did. I get the feeling that the HR Department wrote the job description and did the initial screening 'cause there I was, babbling on about social media (which is all over the job description) and the interview said, "Well, we don't do too much of that." Oh. Then I was asked to comment on their website. And I mentioned that a particular blog wasn't up to date (although I thought the idea of a blog was a rather good one). And the interviewer said, "We don't have any blogs." Well, all righty, then!
I came home, and I checked. While there was no place to put comments, the entries were dated and had social voting buttons. Hence, I stand by my assessment. It may not be a blog in the strictest sense, but that is a freakin' blog.
I still think I blew that one.
The fifth one, on Wednesday, will be another lousy commute for a social media role. Sigh. We'll see.
Everything has a problem, yes. But at least there is interest.
In other competitive news, I ran my 34th 5K yesterday. It was a fairly big race with a lot of walkers and I landed kinda near the front of the final third of the pack. Not too shabby.
Truth is, I mainly despise competing. I like collaborating. If we could all run the 5K together by everyone, young, old, fat, thin, short, tall, fast, slow, holding hands and crossing the finish line together, I would prefer that.
And if there was a way to get a job without competition (and I mean a good job; I'm not talking about becoming a paper carrier), I would jump at it.
Working with people - for real - is what a lot of these social media jobs are all about. They tend to have Twitter and FB and blogging window dressing, but they are usually about company collaboration. Yet the very essence of getting these jobs is to be cutthroat.
What's wrong with this picture?
Monday, October 15, 2012
I have been thinking recently about the economics of obesity and weight loss.
At about the size 14 mark (up to size 18, depending upon the company), women's clothing suddenly turns about 10 - 25% more expensive. Now, truth be told, additional fabric is needed. And fabric is not free. I get the economics of this although it does not thrill me.
Larger automobiles cost more - and they often get worse gas mileage. Again, more sheet metal = more expenses. And that lowers fuel efficiency. Plus obesity lowers fuel efficiency. The same articles that tell you to take the junk out of your car's trunk in order to improve gas economy are often too polite to tell you to get the junk out of your own trunk. For gasoline efficiency does not care whether the extra 20 pounds comes from a pair of lounge chairs that are living in your car because you're too lazy to move them into your shed, or if it comes from a year's worth of Taco Bell.
Obesity can mean increased insurance costs, as your risks are higher. Insurance companies do not care whether your increased risk comes from cigarette smoking, living near an oil refinery, taking up sky diving as a hobby or that same per annum consumption of Taco Bell. They just make their actuarial calculations and you can come up short, and end up paying through the nose.
Yet, paradoxically, larger portion restaurants often cost less. And higher calorie foods (often the result of some serious processing) can also cost less. Funny, isn't it, that a lovely pound of apples which have had little done to them other than growth and harvesting can often cost more than a premade apple pie? Or a place that prides itself on its giant portions is dirt cheap, whereas a restaurant where everyone complains about portion size is often on the high end of things. Any size coffee - $2.69! Why the hell WOULDN'T you buy the biggest cup you could get? And cream and sugar are free. Why the hell WOULDN'T you load up on them as well?
It's an interesting dynamic, the push-pull of our culture when it comes to weight loss, dieting and obesity.
We recognize that we, as a nation, are getting fatter. We know we need to make better choices. We know we need to drive less and eat less and walk more and drink more water. Yet when it comes to that, we stymie ourselves at every turn. We make water hard to get (And public restrooms? Fuggeddabboutit!). We are plied with tons of cheaply made, mass-marketed, processed food for cheap. We are punished for our dietary choices with expensive clothing and the like. Yet we are rewarded for them with inexpensive food and billion dollar advertising campaigns and what is almost crack in that food, all to train our brains that it is delicious and addictive and we can't get enough of it.
We need to get off that train, people. We need to vote - with our wallets, and our feet, and our taste buds, and even our ballots.
Up with health!
Down with the paradoxical insanity!
Who's with me? I gotta find a castle to storm! Let's go storm a castle*!
*Er, maybe not a White Castle, okay?
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