January 11 - July 25, 2006

The January 11th entry was found in Google's cache after diary-x crashed.

January 11, 2006
» a second first impression

This morning I went to a job interview, and I'm happy to report that it went much better than I expected. I really was expecting the worst (thinking about the last time I interviewed with them), but I had decided to go and try my best anyway.

The guy I talked to was younger than the last one (younger than me, I think!), and he seemed to relate to my situation of being recently out of college with not a lot of actual experience. For my part, I tried to remain as composed as possible since my résumé says that I am "able to communicate effectively." A couple of times I just knew I was giving a non-effective answer, but overall it went pretty well.

The guy said he'd definitely get back to me in about two weeks. If he doesn't, I *will* be contacting him! Unless I'm WAY off in the impression that I got, I think it could truly go either way. That's much better than the last time, when I'm driving away and really feeling like I blew it.

Like I said, I was absolutely expecting the worst. I just knew that my interviewer from the last time would be there, and he'd remember talking to - and not being impressed with - me before. I even considered just calling and telling them that I wasn't interested in the job. But I'm so glad I went. Like before, after talking to the guy, I really think that I could both do the job and be happy there. I considered mentioning being interviewed before, but I didn't. I thought that would do more harm than good; I didn't want to bias them against me just because they didn't pick me before. I consider this a second chance to make a first impression. ;)

Hopefully while I'm feeling encouraged by this non-sucky interview I can be in a better mood at my current job. I wrote that I thought of making a new year's resolution to gripe less at work ... I don't think I've started that yet. :sheepish:

In other news: a man is working to re-do on our bathroom. Mom started talking to this guy back in November, and he's finally getting around to us. He's replacing our tub, our sink, and the floor in the bathroom; I can't wait! I've been taking some pictures of the construction process, when the guy's not around of course. When he gets done, I'm going to paint the room - I plan to try something creative like sponge-painting - and maybe add a nice border. That room has been in *bad* shape for a long time. I told Jeff that after it's fixed he'll finally be invited to spend some time here! lol

February 26, 2006 04:34 pm
» thoughts and ramblings

Since 2002, I've had an on-line journal at diary-x.com. Unfortunately, it crashed a few weeks ago, and they just announced that the data is not able to be recovered. Thank goodness I had all of my entries from 2002 through September 2005 backed up, so I only lost the most recent entries.

However, I don't know when I'll have the time to fix those entries and re-post them somewhere. Sigh.

In order to keep from starting a new OLJ account somewhere, I've decided that I'll try posting here for a while.

So long, diary-x. I'll miss you. :`(

March 2, 2006 12:29 pm
» oldest entries

FYI, some of my old entries can be found at the page below, or from a link on that page.


Most of those are not the ones that were on diary-x. They were from back when I used to ramble more on-line. :rollseyes:

I still haven't decided what to do with the old diary-x entries.

It looks like diary-x.com is going to reopen, but I'm not going to go back to writing there. I'm having enough trouble getting used to writing somewhere else as it is...

March 13, 2006 08:47 pm
» my cup runneth over!

I'm cheating a bit with this post by recycling part of an email that I just sent to my friend Michele. (With all the projects needing my attention, it's the best I can do at the moment, sigh.)

This past week, Jeff and I were able to see each other four times in seven days: that's a record since we've been dating. He surprised me with a call on Wednesday. Since I was off, he wanted to see if I could pick him up in Decatur (the people from work would drop him off if I could get him) and take him back to the office. A chance to spend more time with him?! Absolutely! I got ready and hurried over. Since he was working, he was wearing a tie. He'd been given the rest of the day off, and I know he probably would've taken the tie off, but he knows that I LOVE him in a tie! He looked so cute, I kept staring at him as he was driving. And one point, he looked over at me and said that the look of complete happiness on my face makes him so happy too.

Since his birthday is Wednesday - and work will likely keep us from getting together, *pouts* - I treated him to supper on Saturday and I let him pick the place. We went to the Korea House, where he took me before. I was actually hoping he'd pick that place because I've been eating a lot of the same things lately, and they have a buffet with lots of different vegetables on it. Anyway, I had a dish that I first tried during the last visit: it was so good! Honestly, the best one of a delicious lot. However, as we were about to leave, we learned what the dish was: dried squid. :beyond stunned: It was with the vegetables, so Jeff had just said that he was sure it was some sort of vegetable dish; it was thin, kind of like a slightly crispy noodle. Jeff apologized, but I waved it off. I said, "I should have asked if it was vegetarian-friendly before I ate it, if I was that concerned." It really was good!

BIG news on the job front! I had sent off some applications for my alma mater's interview day. Well, of the three applications I sent, two were accepted! So I have two interviews this coming Thursday! I'm slightly concerned that both of the companies I'll be talking to advertised positions "nationwide" - I hope they don't try to ship me off somewhere. I definitely need some experience, but I really don't want to leave Jeff. *bites lip* I guess I need to wait to see what they have to say before I overreact, lol.

In less big but also good news, earlier today I applied the border in the bathroom, so all that's left to be done is to add the shower accessories, and it'll be open for business. :sigh of relief: The guy that was remodeling it finished his part back in January, so we've just been waiting for me to finish with the paint and stuff. The family has been very patient with me, but I know they'll be glad to have it finished. I want to give the border and few days to dry thoroughly. That shouldn't be a problem. I still have to get the shower curtain and rod, plus after tomorrow I'll be pretty busy for the rest of the week. Still, we should be able to use the bathroom to shower in again next week!

end recycled email content

Now that I think of it, I'll be busy tomorrow, too, with continuing work on redoing the MacGyver website layout, exercising, and preparing for my interviews.

If anyone is curious, I fully intend to have the MacGyver layout done before the end of the month. I've been working on it since January, and since season five will be released on DVD tomorrow, I need to have the layout complete so I can begin work on adding the season five info to the episode guide.

March 27, 2006 12:58 pm
» trolling for more work

I'm happy to report that I have completed my goal of posting the new layout at the MacGyver site. Today I plan to organize a bit more content and post that this evening. After that - unless a certain, um, venture pans out - I'll be able to continue work on adding the season five information to the episode guide.

In other news, my interviews went reasonably well. The company that I'm most interested in didn't keep me long in the interview, but it confirmed that this really could be the job for me. During the other interview, the extremely busy interviewer took a phone call. :rollseyes: I forgot to ask when the first company planned to make a decision, but I asked the second one and she said it would probably be April or May. Later, when I emailed some information to the first company, they wrote back that they'd let me know their decision "soon." Two different people assured me that's good, but I'm kind of scared to hope. I *really* want that job!

I'm happy to report that I've been in a good mood at work for the past week or two. I think the hope of getting something different really helps me tolerate my current situation. Which is good, when my current situation involves me going to work at six pm last night and leaving the store at 3 am this morning...

I'm off work today, thank goodness, and I'm using that time to catch up on some items on my to do list.

Oh, I started organizing my old journal entries; since I'm adding in some from my various journals, that is going to be quite a task. Plus, I wonder, "Does anyone even want to read all that mess?" Maybe someone does. In any event, with all of my other projects - and another one coming up, as Alias is about to return - that one will remain on the back burner.

April 5, 2006 08:12 pm
» maybe work is trolling for me...

I'm still waiting to hear back from the company I interviewed with. (Does "soon" mean three weeks? Because I don't have much experience with these HR terms. :rollseyes: )

Today, I found an email from another company, requesting an interview. Since this company is about two hours away, I took some time to ponder my response. I'm still optimistic about my interview from several weeks ago - even the seemingly delayed response from them doesn't deter me. But ... what if I'm wrong? I'd hate to dismiss this new opportunity without even hearing more about it. I wrote back to say that I *am* interested in interviewing for the position.

Just yesterday I was thinking again how nice it would be to have my own place. At the same time, we just now started using our newly remodeled bathroom: why is everyone trying to take me away from my dream bathroom?! lol.

If I haven't heard from my first choice by the end of this week, maybe I'll email my contact on Monday and ask if they know when a decision might be made. I really hope I hear from them first, because that job seems to be exactly what I want.

Either way, I hope to soon be able to tell my part-time job that I'm kicking them back to part-time. I've been in a better mood there lately (overall) but with everyone else complaining, it can be a real drain. Several people are always threatening to quit; I stopped doing that a while ago because I don't want to be one of those people who always complain but never do anything about it. I decided I'd muddle through but keep quietly looking for a job. Then, when I get one, I can tell them exactly when I'll be leaving.

Oooh, I look forward to that. :evil grin:

April 12, 2006 03:05 pm
» no news . . . is bad news

On Sunday, I wrote to my contact, following up on my interview from three weeks ago. The lady wrote back on Monday that the position had been filled. :`( She "thought they would have" let me know by now. *sigh* Whatever.

I cried. I'd been telling my sister that if I didn't get the job, I'd carry on, secure in my belief that it obviously wasn't the one for me - but I REALLY wanted it! From what I heard, it sounded like the perfect job for me. If that's not the one for me, I can't imagine what is.

So now the pressure's on a bit for this interview I've got on Friday. But as mentioned, this company is not exactly local. I'm trying to decide if my desperation to leave my current job exceeds my desire to find a job nearby. I'm trying not to speculate at this point. I'll just see how the interview goes. If it's like all the others I've been to, I won't have to worry about making a decision, because after talking to me, the company will dismiss me from further consideration. :glares:

May 2, 2006 06:36 pm
» not so bad

During the two-hour drive to my interview, I kept wondering why I was even going. I felt like I was wasting everyone's time by even talking to them when I truly couldn't see myself moving that far unless it was for the *perfect* job.

However, after the interview was over, I was glad that I went. I talked to the couple that owns the place. They described the work, and it sounded interesting. I know it would've been a learning experience, but I wasn't convinced that it was the job for me. Plus, on the drive down there on an interstate BADLY in need of repaving, I knew for sure that I didn't want to go that far. The lady seemed to recognize that moving so far would be a big step; I agreed that I was still trying to decide whether it was one I could take. Later, I emailed to thank them for talking to me, and I let them know that I just couldn't accept the job, even if they offered.

So, it's back to the drawing board with my job search. With nothing to even apply for since then, I was starting to lose hope, but a week or so ago, I received a form from a staffing company that I applied with. I'm not sure that temporary/"contract" work is for me, but if it gets me some engineering experience, I think I should try it. I sent the form (basically agreeing that they can check my background) back today. If they try to charge some crazy fee for finding me a job, forget it. I have read that form a dozen times, and nowhere does it say that I'm signing up.

Also today, on the way to an inventory, I noticed a sign for an engineering company; this afternoon, I took a chance and sent them my resume. The company isn't too far from where I live, and that is definitely what I'm looking for in my next job. No harm in writing to them, right?

May 24, 2006 07:10 pm
» here endeth the broadcast

It *must* be summer. Today I've got my first seven mosquito bites. :rollseyes:

In better news, I received a call this afternoon from a company wanting to set up a job interview! I'll be going to talk to them on Friday. *dances* The only thing is, they're looking for a systems engineer. Even entry-level, the description listed on the company's website seems a bit technical. Surely they looked at my major and such before they called me, right? Oh, well. I guess all I can do is go to the interview. If they'll hire me, I'll sure give it a shot.

Two nights ago I watched the series finale of Alias. I'm saving the bulk of my comments for my review, but I will say that I was disappointed that they took a predictable route by killing off a certain character.

Then again, I've never been a big fan of series finales. Our family got our first VCR so that I could record the finale of Beauty and the Beast; I taped it, but I finally recorded over it without ever watching it. I didn't want to see it end, so that I could remember it as it was, and - in my mind - it could still go on.

The Alias finale doesn't ruin the whole show for me, but I'll probably refresh my memory of the better times by watching some old eps.

I'm not glad that the show ended, but since it has, my on-line life will soon become less complicated. I have several Alias-related sites, and I suspect that they will become less and less visited. Therefore, I won't feel bad about working on them less and less. (Note that I have no immediate plans to close any of my sites, and my largest Alias site will remain open for a *very* long time.)

The end of the show also means that, except for watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition from time to time, I am *done* with broadcast television. The family and I don't have cable, and there are no other network shows that even remotely interest me. I plan to restrict my TV-watching to DVDs of my favorite shows from the past. I haven't seen most of them in years, so it'll be like watching them for the first time.

June 7, 2006 03:16 pm
» the good, the bad, and the ow-ie

A week ago Saturday, I had a bit of excitement. The kind that requires medical attention.

I was out working in the yard and stepped on one of our sharper tools. (It's like a small pitch fork with the prongs turned up so it can be used as a rake.) Yeah, OUCH! Fortunately, it was early enough in the afternoon that a nearby clinic was still open. I was able to sign in and see the doctor way faster than I would have at the emergency room. I got a tetanus shot and the doctor gave me some antibiotics as a precaution. It was a very minor wound - it could have been much worse - but I took off of work most of last week. So that was nice. :evil grin:

Oh, and I used my hour or so in the waiting room productively: I wrote a first draft of the recaps for the last two Alias episodes.

About the interview mentioned in my last entry, as I was getting ready to go to it, I got a little peeved, wondering why they were wasting my time and getting my hopes up when I'm not really qualified. As it turns out, they did know that I'm a civil engineer (well, a wannabe), but they'd seen my computer experience at my previous job and decided to talk to me.

They were really nice, but I could tell they weren't exactly impressed. When I asked when they'd make a decision, they got really evasive, saying that they had other people to talk to. I took that as them saying, "Don't get your hopes up."

And yep, I got a rejection letter last week. Still, I'm glad I went to the interview. I felt a bit unprepared for it, so since then, I've been organizing my work info a little bit almost every day. I'm preparing answers to some of the common interview questions, so next time, I'll be ready!

Last week, I accomplished another of my recent website projects by re-organizing my photolog. My main goal was to get the "last updated" date off of the main page. I don't update there very much, but there's *plenty* for visitors to see (almost 300 pictures); I'd hate for an old date to chase people away. I also added some more pictures:


I'm currently working on a new layout for rusted-crush.com. My goal is to post it on the 20th. I try not to add something to my sites until I'm happy with it, but I get a bit impatient, thinking how blah the current layout is and how it's been up there for WAY too long. Note that I don't post layouts that I think are blah, but after they've been up, and I get a new idea, the old layout is just not good enough any more.

July 13, 2006 04:27 pm
» a definite maybe!

Last Thursday, I spent about seven hours at the hospital because my mother had a biopsy. We finally heard the results yesterday: it's not cancer. *sigh of relief*

Last Friday, my sister and I went to see Cars, which we've talked about doing for a month. A theatre recently opened in our city, and we plan to try to support it.

On Saturday, I had to check email first thing to see whether Jeff and I were getting together. While I was on-line, I puttered a bit, and I was miffed to discover that yet another ebay retard had hotlinked to the banner at my Alias site. :glares:

Carrying on with my day, I went to meet Jeff as planned. I had a coupon for a free sub with the purchase of a sub at Quizno's, so - breaking with tradition - I actually had a suggestion for where I wanted to eat. We tried the Quizno's downtown only to discover that it is now closed on the weekends. We proceeded to the next one. However, as we were about to pay, I discovered that the regular sub I'd ordered had been made as a small. That REALLY ticked me off: I basically wasted my coupon! Grrr! :insert ranting here: Next time, even though the middle-sized sandwich is listed on their menu board as "regular," I'll order it as "medium." It'll be a good long while before I go to Quizno's again, though.

The petty annoyances continued for the rest of the day. Leaving Quizno's, I backed over a curb. We went to see Superman Returns - one scene of which I *really* hated - and they didn't show the trailer for Spiderman 3, like we thought they would. Plus, I found Lois Lane to be totally, annoyingly self-absorbed. Overall, the movie was okay, but I do not recommend seeing it while you are in a mood.

In better news, I have another job prospect! A lady from human resources called about two weeks ago (after getting my name from the college) and asked a few questions. I guess I answered like they wanted because she said that their VP would probably call me the next week. I made an effort to keep the phone line clear, but he didn't call until this Monday. Still, it's all good. I had my interview yesterday, and I think it went well! The guy even talked about a second interview. *gets excited, tries to calm down*

It all sounds SO good! The job is a structural engineer, which is *exactly* what I want to do. The guy seemed impressed with my college history. He even said that he likes to hire people right out of college so that they haven't picked up any bad habits from another job - I wish more people saw it that way! He also realized that I wouldn't be able to start out right away as a structural engineer. (They have to be licensed, and you have to work with an engineer for at least two years before you can take the test to be licensed.) My interviewer asked if I'd consider starting out in another position to learn the business, with the goal of moving into an engineer position. I said that starting out in another position would be no problem.

The only down side to this job - and it's not a biggie - is that it's about 45 minutes away from where I live now. I think it's a little more than an hour away from where Jeff lives. If I got the job, I'd definitely get a place there, because I'm so sick of driving 30 minutes or more every time I go to work. I'm sure I'd miss my family, but I know that I'd enjoy having my own place, like I did when I was a co-op student. And, as I mentioned, it isn't far away at all, so I could easily come home every weekend. So Jeff and I wouldn't see each other any less than we do now.

I'm trying to not get my hopes up too much, knowing how some interviewers will talk about you getting the job, or about a second interview, when they really have no intention of hiring you. Still, I find myself checking the internet for apartment listings and such, wondering what furninture I'll need, etc. lol.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: just having an opportunity arise from time to time encourages me to keep going.

July 18, 2006 07:18 pm
» interview number two!

My job prospect called yesterday, asking about a second interview! :gets excited, tries to calm down: We scheduled it for today.

I met with the two people that I didn't get to talk to at the first interview. One was a really nice lady; the other was a kind of gruff guy. I couldn't tell if he was impressed or just tolerating me, or what. They took me to lunch. The guy told me to take everything I learned about design in college and throw it out the window. So I'm not responsible for knowing anything? Cool!

Seriously, though, I get what he's saying. As that one commercial says, "I don't even know enough to know that I don't know." You know? lol. But I have to start somewhere! There's no class I can take to get the knowledge I need. It has to come through working with the material.

At one point, the lady asked about my hobbies. I cited digital photography and designing websites. She seemed to think that the boss would be interested in my website skills. Really? I thought the site they had looked pretty nice as it is. (Yes, I'm deliberately not listing that site.)

Yesterday, not long after my job prospect called, the lady I put down as a personal reference called. The place had left her a message, but the toll free number they gave kept going to a fax machine. I had their other toll free number so I gave that to her.

I think that them checking my references is a good sign. I wonder if they talked to my "business" references. It occured to me that the lady I put down for my current job might very well tell them that I'm often late. :blush: She's big with the honesty, but hopefully, she'll add that when I'm there I do a good job. Maybe if she's honest about the lateness, they'll be inclined to believe the rest of what she says.

After the lunch meeting, since I was in town, I drove around scoping out possible apartments. I found several possibilities, and I stopped by the Chamber of Commerce to get info about the city and local attractions. I didn't actually inquire about any of the apartments. I figure I'll wait until I know that I need one before I do that.

Still, I think it's looking very good...!

July 25, 2006 02:15 pm

I GOT THE JOB!!!!!!! :happy dance:

The guy called today. He's going to overnight the offer letter to me. THIS IS SO GREAT!!!!

From what the guy said, it looks like I'll be starting on the 7th. Wow, I have so much to do to get ready. As I wrote earlier, it's about 45 minutes away, so I'll need to get an apartment and move stuff down there.

I admit that part of me is petrified. I mean, this is what I went to school for all those years: what if I just can't cut it? But is that fear gonna stop me from trying? No way! As I recall, I've felt like this any time I've attempted something new, and so far, none of those fears has turned into reality.

I've just sent Jeff an email about it, but I'm also going to call him. He's at work, but I'll be brief. Maybe I'll just shout, "PRAISE THE LORD!!" I think he'll know what I mean. ;)


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