Sunday, February 21, 2010

Next Set of Digs (and Drinks)

I will have a new website opening soon. There will material from here as well as professional, portfolio-style things. If you've actually read my writing here, I thank you, and I hope that I will give you more to read at the new website. I may be contributing here still. I'll let you know. There's a bit more freedom here and less expectation. I can post a link to my writing about Unintentional Porn (on the sidebar to the right) without thinking, "I wonder if a potential employer might look negatively on that." In this place, I can think & write without an additional layer of second guessing. Plus, I made it my mission four years ago (yes, this blog has been around that long) for this to be the dive bar of blogs. My independent press to be read with a cheap beer. I still like that idea, but I've also developed a taste for a fine IPA. So while cheap beer is an important accessory to life, it's okay to order a bottle of the more sophisticated stuff once in a while.

These words make it sound like closing time. Maybe it is. Working the job search while day caring for my two children (ages two and 0.5) has taken most of my time from me. It's a stretch to devote the time I need to putting together something even remotely post-able. So maybe it's better to have all my shit, ahem, stuff (sorry, potential employers) in one spot and make it look nice. It's one more thing to show those who can give me salary.

But, as I know too well, I greatly value my freedom. So, if you are truly one of the precious few folk who actually read these cheap beer thoughts of mine, don't stop looking for me here unless I tell you to. And please do go to the new website when it's up. Look for it within the next week or so. I'm thinking of it as an expansion of my blog bar menu. Hopefully you'll have some draught writing to look at and maybe even a little something from the top shelf. Finally, I thank you for reading anything I've written. I'm lucky to have any audience at all. I hope you come back for another round.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Job Market

It's tough out there.

But there's always career advice:

Maybe I should look into selling encyclopedias.

Monday, December 07, 2009


It's come to this. It started here. Then continued here. Along the way, the unexpected happened. There was more. There were familiar foibles, hopes that rose and fell, and finally a closing up of a familiar pastime so that the next season relieves the last. I speak of baseball and my own life.

I thought things were a little too cozy and predictable. Predictions were overly favorable, which often leads to trouble. Some critical pieces didn't deliver as expected. This lead to losses. Other pieces did what was expected and leave hope alive at season's end. There's a sense of half-emptiness; good things happened but couldn't provide what was needed for success. This, too, is baseball and more.

Unfulfilled seasons and the events within them threaten to disgorge maudlin emotional writings. When baseball started, I had one child and a steady job. Now I have two children and no job. The lost job is a by-product of these economic times. My (former) company lost a lot of business and I was laid off with 49 others. I expected to work at that company for a long time. Looking back, I saw that this was too cozy and predictable. A critical piece didn't deliver as expected. Despite this, a brand new player emerged into this game. I have a daughter now. I have a son and a daughter.

These are beautiful facts. Yet I'm troubled because I need to provide for them. Luckily, I have an employed, capable, and insurance-providing spouse. I'm taking to my new position as full-time Child Provider Within Home Environment (Housewife) with fits and starts. I always knew being a homemaker was a hard job. I respected people who did it and built their lives around it. It's rough. Despite the benefits of happy children and earning Diaper Genie expertise, it's also something I don't feel totally committed to. It's because I don't feel like the best person for the job. I find these two little people I'm managing to be challenging in their behavioral habits and frequent emotional outbursts. Still, this is a unique time in their lives that I get to share in. They still break into huge smiles when they see me. It makes me glad, but I know that there's so many other people who are better at this than I am. I just hope these two don't figure that out too soon.

So, what's next for the offseason? Unloading disgruntled pieces? Re-thinking of strategy? Finding a left-handed bat? This is where the baseball and life analogy breaks down. I could draw parallels to this point, but the Cubs have a staff and a boatload of money to help them decide their future. I have no idea what I'm doing. Sure, I'm applying. I've been having beers with old friends Monster, C. Builder, Circle of Creative, and Chicago Reader. I've placed ads on Craigslist and other national web sites. Searching through my files reveals over 180 different cover letters. I've made over 50 applications in the past few months alone.

I have to wonder if anyone's listening. Or reading, or even looking. I want to think that I'm not simply feeding an online black hole that devours resumes. But I know it's bad out there. This is Winter. A very long, bitter Job Market Winter, perhaps. There's a lot of cold people out there. For now, my jacket still fits, the house is warm, everyone's fed, and we can maintain this for a while. Through Spring? Probably. Through the actual changing of this Season? We'll see.