Friday, October 29, 2010

In Which I Tell You What To Do

You guys? I know that I literally just posted, but then I went to check in with my idol (and yours by now I should think) Jen Lancaster and realized that this post was way too good not to share with the masses. Or, you know, the 40 people that read this. And my mom.

Anyway, I hope you go and check it out today because its totally worth it.

This post is one of the reasons why I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve Jen Lancaster.

Why are you still here? Go read it now!

Ghetto Friday Morning

We didn't get around to the cleaning yesterday. So we spent the better part of the morning doing that today. One part of my morning was particularly ghetto and I wanted to share it with you now.

I have been making a conscientious effort in most things to not spend money unnecessarily. You know, since I'm not earning any right now, strictly speaking. Since there is no money coming in on my end, I have to be tightening the proverbial belt.

So there is the self imposed book ban (that is going well for the most part but that has failed a couple of times), the shopping ban (unless it is something needed for the eventual return to work--but you guys? I looked at the bag of pants I bought when I first got laid off and I swear there is a thin layer of dust on it from non-use. Tragic), the ban on going out (you don't need to go out to drink. Its cheaper in your own home, and less douche-inflicting) etc. I realize that all of these bans have explanatory notes attached but please don't take that to mean that I'm not making a serious effort.

I am.

One of the ways we're saving money is by not buying shampoo and conditioner.

You're thinking gross. And if I were no longer washing my hair at all, going for dreads, I would agree with you. But I said we're not buying shampoo and conditioner, not that we're not using them anymore. I have 2 boxes of sample shampoo and conditioners, donated to my cause by the hair fairy. Rather than use a new little bottle every few days, I spent a good 15 minutes this morning transferring the contents of the little bottles into my existing shampoo bottles.

No lie.

As I was doing it I thought to myself "I have got to get a job soon". Although, why waste all that free shampoo and conditioner?? Its still nice not to have to buy it. And don't worry Record, all the bottles were recycled. The Boyfriend tried to throw them away, something about them being soapy, but I told him I would tell you that he threw them away and into the recycling they went.

Happy Friday office workers. And a Happy Halloween as well! I'm going Trick-or-Treating! Jealous? You should be.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To Do List

Yesterday VEG introduced me and all her lovely readers to this link and I don't mind telling you that it inspired me to create my very own unemployed list of things to do. Who doesn't love a good To Do list?

Let me rephrase that. Who doesn't love a To Do list filled with things you have already done that you can cross off your To Do list so that you feel productive?


So here is my list of things to do today, Job Snob version 1.0.

1. Wake up.

2. Check email for job offers and/or encouraging family emails.

3. Check job websites for jobs

4. Feel bad about not checking for jobs this morning.

5. Attribute lack of job searching ambition to poor sleep last night.

6. Do groceries.

7. Do laundry.

8. Admit that you did the laundry yesterday so it can't count towards your Things I Did Today list

9. Go to the gym.

10. Feel bad about not going to the gym.

Look at that! There were 10 things on my list and I did 7 of them. I'm amazing. I don't know how I did everything that I needed to get done back when I had a job. There aren't enough hours in the day. Bonus points for also blogging. Super bonus points for blogging and cleaning the apartment simultaneously. And by cleaning simultaneously I mean letting The Boyfriend get started without me. Its really a one person job anyway.

Its not?

Fine. I'll go help. Maybe after that I will look for work.

But maybe I will get ready for Book Club tonight instead.

Like I said, there just aren't enough hours in the day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Revenge of the Baked Goods

Instead of job searching, yesterday was much more about f*cking around. Don't get all up in arms, Record, I applied for a job this morning. Every once in a while I just need a break from the depressing reality that I don't have a job and what better way to do that than youtube?

It started innocently enough. I just wanted to get that clip of Gordon Pinsent reading Bieber's autobiography for you (really? a 16 year old needs to write an autobiography? really?) and one of the related clips was this:

Don't pretend like you don't like it. Its adorable. She's adorable. The song will get stuck in your head and it will be annoying but she's adorable. I especially like the tiny little baby dancing.

Now I'm not kidding when I say that this came up as a related video to Gordon Pinsent. I didn't go looking for this on my own. But I'm glad it was a part of my yesterday.

OK. Now onto the fact that I almost died yesterday while The Boyfriend alphabetized his DVDs.

So after messing around on the Internets getting nothing done in the way of job searching, apparently it was time to go to the mall because The Boyfriend needed some kind of cable for the TV. I'm not sure why I agreed to go. There was nothing in it for me. Remember when you were a kid and you were too young to stay at home by yourself but your parents had to go out to run impossibly boring errands and you ended up fighting with your brother in the store and getting grounded when you got home?

Yeah, thats what it was like yesterday. There was no point in my going yet I found myself traipsing around the Sony store and Best Buy like it was my idea to go.

Anyway, when we got home I rewarded myself with a slice of cake (yup, I made more baked goods for no reason. This is starting to become a problem). I must have inhaled wrong or chuckled at something because next thing I know cake crumbs are making their way to my lungs and I'm full on choking to death. I can't breathe, I'm coughing, tears are streaming down my face and The Boyfriend? Is busy doing something.

I gasp for water, please get me some water.

He turns and evaluates me, decides I'm fine and goes back to his "job". Meanwhile I'm still choking.

After about a minute of this I think the noise gets to him (how annoying can your girlfriend be, choking in the background while you are trying to get sh*t done?!) and he gets me a glass of water . I'm pretty sure it saved my life. My throat has been kind of raw ever since, you know from all the choking and wretching and coughing, but at least I lived to tell the tale.

I need to go back to work. Do you know someone that will hire me?

That or I need to stop baking.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sharing Is Caring

Today is not so much about the job searching (on my blog anyway, in real life, its always about the job searching) but more just a couple of things that I wish to share with you.

First up, some sad news or some awesome news depending on your view of the whole thing. Remember back in the summer when the Dutch lost the world cup and my cousin wanted to make calamari? Well she can save herself some airfare because the little bastard died last night. Oh what? I'm supposed to be bummed that an octopus died? Please. A) he's an octopus, a creature I'm not terribly fond of to begin with and B) he predicted the demise of my team. I don't know what kind of crazy octopus voodoo he was using but at a time when my people needed all the positive energy, Paul the Octopus predicted the worst. So rest in peace Paul, but I for one am glad that I don't need to listen to your 'predictions' next time around.

Now the other thing that I wanted to share with you involves 2 famous Canadians. The thing about being a famous Canadian (do you like how I wrote that like I am one?) is that even if you're an idiot, we will still claim you as one of our own. I hope you enjoy this clip. I'm off to search for employment.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Spooky Little Girl

Over the summer, my idol Jen Lancaster recommended some reading material. I read through them, wrote some down on my list and more or less forgot about them. 

When the TV broke The Boyfriend decided that it was a dire enough situation that my reading materials were just not going to cut it. He needed reinforcements. Since there is no way you can convince me to go to the mall on a province-wide professional day (where do a-hole teens go when they have a day off? Exactly) he thought it would be a good idea to bribe me. A book on him if I agreed to battle tomorrow's leader's with him.

I can never turn down the promise of a book.

I was on a budget though. So no fancy new hardcovers (and there are quite a few that I have my eye on!). I wandered aimlessly for a while. I picked up The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte but that was only $5, it doesn't count. Nothing struck my fancy. Nothing. And that's weird. In a bookstore. But I was limited by budget remember? There was an awesome 'authorized' biography of Roald Dahl (he basically shaped my childhood) but it was hardcover. There was a history of the world since 1945, but it wasn't cheap (probably because it was ginourmous). 

Finally I pulled out my list of books that I want to read. Yes, I do always carry it with me. Along with a list of all the books that I have read this year (we're at 55 as of last night).

I settled on Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro. I would love to insert a cover picture here for you all but you will just have to take my word for it that its awesome. 

Its been a while since I read a book that I could not put down. Its a quick read, less than 300 pages. But its so fantastic. Basically this girl has the worst 2 days of her life back to back- I'm talking life shattering. So she decides to move away to her sister's place with her dog and start again. Except then she dies and finds herself in ghost school learning how to haunt before she will be given her assignment. Turns out she can't get to 'Heaven' until she does some extra credit because she was kind of a C+ human being. And her assignment?? I can't tell you that but its good. So good. 

I'm going to go on record now as saying that I think this would be a fabulous movie. And you should read it. I literally had to keep reading until I finished it last night and then I couldn't fall asleep because I was still thinking about it. I'm still thinking about it! Enough that I'm writing about it on a Sunday!

I wish I were still reading it.

Anyway, now I'm a fan of Laurie Notaro. And I think you should get your a$$ to a bookstore and pick this book up because I know you will just love it too.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Ray of Hope

The other night I had dinner with a friend who loves her job.

I feel this is worth mentioning because for the most part I only have friends that are really not that fond of their jobs. The Record started a new job at the beginning of the year and quickly realized that her boss had his head up his a$$ and that her responsibilities were a lot more than she ever realized. Her paycheque though, obviously, stayed the same. Anna and Gloria hated their jobs right along with me and Gloria's new job is not exactly thrilling her.

Basically for a really long time I have been surrounded with like minded people. The kinds of people that are bored with their jobs, hate their bosses, and dream of something else.

But not my friend from the other night. No no. She loves her job. She's a grade 3 teacher in case you all were wondering. It was a long road to get here, she was working several different jobs, never had a weekend to call her own, sometimes wasn't even really making any money and still she kept going because she knew exactly what she wanted to do. And then when she was finished all her required teacher schooling, against all odds, she actually landed a full time job as a teacher (that's almost impossible to do here).

Obviously I am jealous. But honestly she so deserves this job satisfaction after how hard she worked to get it. Mostly it was just reassuring to know that it is possible to love your job. After my previous employment fiasco I had kind of forgotten that it was even possible. The people that I worked with never meant to get into the industry, started off the same way that I did, as a means to an end. And before they knew it, a couple of promotions and 15 years had passed. Game over. You know?

I'm glad that didn't happen to me, but will I ever be lucky enough to have a job that I love? Its definitely possible which is good to know. Honestly I'm pragmatic enough to know that I won't love every single aspect of my job. But I would be so thrilled if I could say that I enjoyed my job, enjoyed getting up to go there in the morning and didn't want to slice my wrists on Sunday night knowing that Monday morning was a short sleep away.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Electronic Meltdown

I currently have a very grumpy Boyfriend on my hands.

The TV is breaking in front of his very eyes. His TV, his best friend, the one he watches all important games with, the one that will keep his insomnia company, is failing.

The TV, along with pretty much everything on his car. When you turn right you can hear things scraping, its not good. Obviously the tires still need to be replaced, the gas gauge is broken so we count kilometers to our next fill up and living on top of a mountain, the breaks wear out pretty quickly too.

None of these things seemed to break while we were both gainfully employed. But now that we rely on the one paycheque for everything, well The Universe, or some other rather more sinister source, has decided to have a little fun (for them) with us.

I would say that The Boyfriend has been looking at buying a new TV since we met. Or thereabouts. He's a tech guy, very savvy in that department, but also always looking at the next best thing. If you're having problems with your tech gadgets, or you're in the market for a new TV or some such television enhancing machine, he's totally your guy. He will speak to you in a language you didn't even know existed, unless you are also one of these people in which case you are kindred spirits. Every once in a while he will go online and just look at all the new TVs that have come out just so that he can want the most up-to-date version of the one he wants. If we're in a mall and walk anywhere near a Future Shop or Best Buy, we go in just to ogle the TVs.

So you can imagine how it hurts him to consider that this TV, which has been through so much with him, which he teasingly refers to as being 'ancient' is possibly at the end of its lifespan. Even more devastating is the fact that should that day come sooner than we ever could have expected, right now we aren't even close to being in a position to replace it.

Right now the only solution is to carry the wounded to a place that will hopefully be able to fix it. We'd make them come to us but that would cost us an extra $100 where this way it will only cost us $40 and that money will go towards the repair. Please Universe, let it be an easy cheap fix.

In the meantime, The Boyfriend's quiet devastation has forced me to do something I don't always do-job search in the afternoon. And Universe, if you're listening, can you please send me a friggin' bone here? An interview perhaps? That would be great. If not for me, then for my-ever-patient-quietly-suffering-possibly-soon-TV-less boyfriend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Volunteer Position

For the first time since I lost my job I was up before the sun.

I went back to my morning ritual of having my breakfast in the company of the folks at the Today show. I left my apartment at 7.23 on the dot to take my place among the thousands on their way to work.

Except that while I passed commuters waiting for their buses, I was just on my way to help out my parents by driving my brother and sisters to school.

I know, I'm an awesome daughter. Due to some unforeseen car troubles, it looks like I will be something of a bus driver for the next few days. That's a job right? Think I can pad my resume with that? A volunteer position perhaps?

Probably not.

On a glorious morning like today, it wouldn't have been such a hardship to get up and head to work (I'm so not a morning person). But I haven't completely lost my marbles- I well remember the mornings fighting with my umbrella in gale force winds while passing buses spray road water in my path.

So to the smug employed commuters I say: bad weather is a comin'! I'll wave to you from my warm, dry car as my siblings do their best impression of well behaved kids.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 15, 2010


Here we are at another non-Friday Friday. The end of the week just doesn't hold the same sparkle for me anymore. Its kind of a shame. What to look forward to if not the weekend?

I have been accused of having too much time on my hands. Why? Because I made a radically delicious, perfectly moist banana bread. From scratch. All by myself. Sure there's way too much of it for me to eat alone and The Boyfriend is a proclaimed banana bread hater so there wasn't much point in making it (except that otherwise the bananas would have gone to waste). Its not really a party food either so its not like it will hold over until the housewarming party tomorrow.

But its so delicious. Honestly after force feeding The Boyfriend a piece and being sure that he really doesn't like banana bread (even with chocolate chips in it) I will probably just drop it off at my parents' later today. I'm sure that they will enjoy it. Someone at the house will enjoy it.

So where was I? Too much time on my hands.

Obviously I have too much time on my hands! That's really all that I have going for me right now. If I don't even have the chance to look forward to a Friday, the silver lining to any existence, then clearly I don't have that much going on.

Unless these are comments that you are making in an effort to lead up to something like "but don't worry I have the perfect job for you" and it actually is the perfect job, you probably don't need to tell me that I have too much time on my hands. If you're not here to solve the problem, you can probably save your hilarious commentary.

Aside from the banana bread, and job searching, I think that I have read 4 books this week. Anna, remind me to give you Little Daughter back tomorrow- it was great. For those of you wondering if you should buy Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen, you should probably save yourself the cash and go to the library. I'm not sure what happened to Philippa, but its nothing good.

I apologize for the repeated MIAs but when I have nothing to do, I have nothing to share.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Long Weekend Letdown

Yesterday was a holiday- Canadian Thanksgiving for me, Columbus Day for you (if you hail from south of the border. If you are from neither of these places then I guess yesterday was just a regular Monday).

On Friday I was scrolling through Facebook status' (but not participating because I had nothing earth shattering to say) and everyone was on board the long weekend train. There was excitement about the fact that the workweek was done, that drinks were waiting, that the Canucks home opener was happening, and that there was turkey involved at some point during the weekend (unless I was reading international status' and then it was either long weekend or just regular weekend but weekend was definitely the theme).

So here's the thing: being funemployed? Long weekends just don't hold the same joie de vivre that they did back when they meant an extended reprieve from my sh*thole job. My 'long' weekend was pretty much the same as every other day/weekend in my current state of hobo-ness. Except that instead of going about my own business there was family Thanksgiving business to attend to and my mother to disappoint (went to The Boyfriend's sister's place for the big meal).

I spent yesterday, the long part of the weekend, in my pyjamas (which I got back into after I went to the gym) reading We Need To Talk About Kevin. Which is a horribly depressing book, but I should have known that since my friend that only reads horribly depressing books recommended it to me. I probably would have done that on a Monday anyway. Except that yesterday I allowed myself to play hooky from the job search which is about the only thing that sort of seems like work to me these days.

I guess in that way today is just like your Tuesday- long weekend hangover but looking forward to the shortness of the week. Even more so for me because we're finally having our housewarming party. First we thought to wait until we were unpacked, then we thought to wait until I had a new job because we would have 2 things to celebrate. But when it became apparent that this process would take a smidge longer than either of us suspected, we decided that we needed a reason to get blind drunk (one that doesn't involve just the 2 of us in the middle of the day) because not having a job can get kind of depressing.

Who knew not having a job could be as depressing as working where I used to work?

No I take that back, it for sure has its moments but it all comes down to not having a paycheque right now. The rest? Is 1000 times better than the last 2 and a half years in that place. Even if I don't get excited about long weekends for the moment. Here's hoping things are different at Christmas. Remembrance Day even!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Elvish Work

I just saw a job posting asking for Christmas elves.

I actually know someone that works for the company looking for these elves. Its a pretty bad day if I'm considering applying for a job that forces me to dress like an elf and interact with people's snot-covered children.

Here's the rub: even the lowest elf makes more money an hour than I used to in my Cubicle hell. Is it to make up for the embarrassment? Because they value the contribution the elves make?

I could totally be an elf. In fact I was an elf in my kindergarten Christmas play. Totally rocked it too. See? I already have previous experience.

The fact that they are hiring elves is not a good sign. It means that Christmas is coming--at least according to the people that make mall Christmas happen. And if mall Christmas is just around the corner (elf start dates of November 12th) then real Christmas is really coming.

I have no money for real Christmas. This makes me sad. Perhaps some token gifts for the children (brother and sisters, godchildren etc) but no one else. I'm practically destitute over here. At least there is a lot of alcohol at Christmas. That's always a good thing.

I was watching TV yesterday and I realized something. You know when you're sick and you're forced to watch daytime television? And they have all those ads for jobs training? University of Phoenix, dental or medical assistant programs, office management courses, IT training? You dismiss them right? Because you are already gainfully employed and you don't need them.

Well I'm not gainfully anything.

I found myself wishing there was one that I could take to get a job. Six months of training? Financial aid? Yes please! Those people (not actors) are so happy in their new careers! How could I not want to do that?

Oh that's right. I have a degree. A degree! I've worked in offices. And still. Still! No one will interview me. Maybe if I had jobs training through Sprott Shaw Community College (since 1903) (its a local thing I think) then maybe I would be taken seriously?

Why did I go to university again?

Its a long weekend yes? Canadian turkey day. Which means I can rationalize not thinking about any of this again until Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Don't Normally Do This BUT...

...I'm totally putting Glee on notice.

I can't tell you what I felt when I first saw a commercial for this new show that promised to be a musical once a week. My heart was filled with gladness at these tidings. Finally musicals were going to be embraced for the awesomeness that they embody.

Last night's episode was a long way from that initial feeling.

I've overlooked the crappy writing on this show for a long time, preferring instead to focus on the ridiculously talented singers and the awesomeness that is Jane Lynch. I've tried to pretend that Mr. Shue doesn't grate on my nerves in the hopes that they will all sing a peppy, choreographed number and he will sit on the dark somewhere. I've ignored the elevator music'd Full House lesson moments at the end of each episode in favour of the moments where Brittany says something amusing or Kurt busts out another fabulous outfit.

But after last night, I just don't know how much more I can take.

Grilled Cheesus really? For the first time in my Glee life I fast-forwarded through a song. A song. The whole reason I watch the show are the songs, and I fast-forwarded through one. Comments were made like "this is like a bad American Idol". Considering the state of American Idol these days, comparisons are not a good thing.

And Finn, if this Grilled Cheesus was so amazing and did everything you asked for, why the hell aren't you using it to make Kurt's dad better? How hokey was is that Kurt's dad only started showing any kind of positive response once Kurt had decided to let prayer into his life?

I'm all for spirituality but that? That was lame.

Glee, you've hurt me. I mean you've done some cringe-inducing songs in the past, (She' Having My Baby and Bust A Move come to mind) but last night? It actually hurt me to have to watch. Are you having problems finding permission of songs to sing? Are the writers starting to give up? What's going on?

When you were shiny and new you were awesome, all Journey'd up. But you have seriously lost some of your shine and I don't even know if I can keep coming back week after week.

Sort it out.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Giant Rats

I had a dream last night that I got a publishing job.

So this morning I took it as a sign (as I'm apt to do) that something good was going to pop up for me on the job boards and I searched like a madwoman.

Maybe it was just a dream after all because there was nothing there. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

I'm obviously after immediate gratification here. I had the dream, that had absolutely no basis in any kind of reality (there were giant rats, and I still lived at home which was a giant patio...) and I woke up this morning and expected a job to roll my way. That's just how my brain works. In my dream I had an interview for some kind of publishing job and then I got it. Sure the interviewer was 14. The point is, I got the job.

In my dream that is.

Its probably more a Mad Men withdrawal situation. We started watching it a couple of weeks ago and quickly became addicted. Its all about working, its no wonder that it sort of drifted into my dream world. A couple of episodes of season 1 turned into running out and buying season 2 and last night we finished season 3. Season 4 is airing right now and the DVD for season 4 won't come out until probably March (based on last year's release- why isn't this being released for Christmas??) and I don't know what I'm going to do without my Mad Men fix.

I already looked at the free shows on the PVR-- there is something messed up with the Mad Men section. We can't risk finding out more about any one episode because we might find out something we didn't want to know. Like when we were on the 4th season of Dexter and we watched TMZ and they completely ruined the end of the season for us. I don't want to be responsible for ruining someone else's enjoyment of a truly stellar season but if you are a Dexter fan, remember how season 4 ended? Remember how shocked you were? Yeah, thats the part they ruined for us.

I recognize that my post about my dream job has turned into a recitation of my television viewing habits, but you have to admit, my TV habits are way more interesting at this point.

Oh and if you are wondering, I don't feel any more sick than I did yesterday, I did job search like a good girl (even applied for something). AND I went to the gym. I'm a f*cking star.

Here's hoping my dream comes true in the form of a job. But no giant rats please.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Unemployed Illness Guilt

I feel like I'm getting sick. Which makes me even less willing to look for jobs than I was before.

Its not that I don't want a shiny new job, obviously. Its that I hate looking for one. I feel the same way about studying. Just don't like to do it. A necessary evil I guess. But like I said, I'm getting sick.

Back when I was working for the devil, I would have welcomed the opportunity to legitimately miss out on some work days. Especially on a Monday! But these days obviously I don't have a job to call in sick to. All I really want to do is drag my blankets off my bed, move them to the couch and watch terrible television.

I totally have the freedom to do this. But I would feel super guilty all day.

Therein lies the rub.

When I had a job (the one that I hated you might recall) I didn't feel guilty about taking a sick day, even if that sick day was more that The Boyfriend's parents were in town. I felt guilty when I first started working there but that was before I really knew what it was like there. I should also point out that before that job I never took sick days unless I was honest-to-God dying and couldn't leave my bed. And let's face it, that kind of illness doesn't  happen very often.

So to recap: employed me welcomed the chance to skip out on work due to illness as a way of getting back at the establishment for treating me like a second class citizen.


Now that I don't have a job and the only things that I have to accomplish each day are job searching and gym going, I agonize over whether to take a time out. Because the only person that it affects, is me. Well me and The Boyfriend since its my fault we have no money to spend on fun things right now.

Plus if I'm just starting to get sick now one of 2 things will happen: either it will continue to be a false alarm like it has been for the past week and I will have wasted a job searching day for nothing or I will get really violently ill and I will have to waste 2 days of job searching.

I guess I'm job searching today. But I'm not happy about it. Think of it as my version of your sucky-office-Monday.