Archive for the ‘job searching’ Category

Here’s my take on it: I like baking bread, cookies, canning, entering recipe contests, etc. because they give me projects, goals, and satisfaction when I’ve completed/entered them! Sending resumes out into the great void of employers is demoralizing and depressing (I send out 12-20 cover letters  and resumes per week, I hear back maybe 3-5 times per week, most of those being something like “We have received your resume and will contact you if we would like to interview you.” If I don’t get some curt, reply-all, email I don’t know if a person or a computer has screened me out but I typically don’t get so much as a note saying “Your application has been received” to let me know that the email and attachments even went through. Thank goodness for mailer daemon or I might think they’ve all been rejected!

And Emily Marchar‘s take on the subject of why my peers and I like doing stuff is why she’s a writer and I’m not:

There’s a degree to which this New Domesticity helps people justify and feel good about the choices that they basically had to make. A lot of women are pushed out of the workforce, and nobody wants to feel like they’re a pawn, nobody wants to feel like they don’t have any power.

D.I.-Why?: Emily Matchar on the Allure of the “New Domesticity” | The Hairpin.

home made sushi

home made spicy tuna and carrot maki rolls, for a gluten-free friend’s birthday in 2009

UPDATE: And while we’re at it, THIS! Our life isn’t ready for a baby but I am: let’s talk about dealing with baby fever” | Offbeat Families. I just wanted to throw that our there too, to add to this morning’s general “Woe is I” feeling. I ♥ you, ladies of the interwebs.

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English: Drum Point Light, Solomons, Maryland,...

English: Drum Point Light, Solomons, Maryland, December 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ben was in Triste, Italy last week. He learned lots of stuff, met some new-to-him atomic physics folks, and got to show off his 3 month-old knowledge of his current lab’s research and publications at the International Centere for Theoretical Physics. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. He took some really lovely photos that he might let me upload later.

I, on the other hand, have been temping at a lovely firm on K Street. It was a two week gig to cover the interim between hiring a new person an when she started and was subsequently extended to three weeks to cover someone else out vacation. I wish I could stay here…. Oh well. I did have an interview for a job I don’t want, so I left that to the staffing agency to communicate for me. If I’m going to leave the path to being a paralegal I’m going to do so in the non-profit world, not in employee benefits (albeit serving law offices, which is why they were hiring someone with a legal background).

This weekend is Memorial Day and we are going out to Solomons, MD on Saturday evening to spend some time with my gramma and see some museums. I’m excited to share the Calvert Marine Museum with him (even though it’s not yet fiddler crab season), but apparently the Calvert Nuclear Facility stopped offering tours or having a visitor center after 9-11. Doh. We were also hoping to go up to Annapolis and visit the Naval Academy Museum or we might just walk around, find somewhere to eat rockfish for lunch, and have some unscheduled time.

Bonus: I found this wonderfully written blog post while looking for a recipe. This woman writes how I would like to: http://youmadam.com/2009/02/21/what-to-do-with-those-daikon-you-bought-at-whole-foods-that-have-been-hanging-out-a-bit-too-long-in-the-fridge/

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When I was in Boulder, and between jobs, I would bake a lot, volunteer with our CSA, volunteer at our synagogue (before I worked there), and blob-out (like I’m doing now).

Now that we live so close to my parents, I can tag along with my dad on business trips! Woohoo! In February I went to NY with him for 36 hours. This time we went to Philadelphia for 24 hours. It was too short of a trip to meet up with anyone, but I did get to visit some smaller museums and go for a lovely walk in the sunshine, The NEW Barnes Foundation Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences, while my dad was attending a lunch meeting at the Museum of Art (yes, with the Rocky stairs).

Neither museum permitted photography, but I did take a few snapshots while wandering around outside. If you’re ever in Philly, the new Barnes museum is GORGEOUS!

I could get used to this not being lobster-red after spending an hour outside at mid-day thing. No wonder visitors to Colorado always end up sunburnt, the sun is so much friendlier here!

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This has been a BUSY month. During Passover I went through a few rounds of interviews for a new job, which I was only at for about two and a half weeks. It wasn’t a good fit. Tax law was too passive for me, I really like getting to do legal research and helping support aggressive arguments, and tax law was more about actuarial calculations and data entry; not enough law for me in the long term. Oh well. At least I hadn’t gotten too settled yet. It was never meant to be, I was just too optimistic to realize that at the time. The entire time I was there, I felt a bit like this:



That is NOT how one should feel at work when the job and the employee are a good fit.

In cheerier news, we went downtown as the cherry blossoms were starting to bud (but before most had blossomed) 2 weeks ago.

Now, I’m back to where I was a month ago, looking for a NEW new job, but at least I have a slightly better idea of what to look for and what I should have seen as warning flags earlier in the interview process.

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Ben got the NRC (National Research Council) Fellowship! WOOHOO! That’s 2 years of funding, starting July 1! Sweet.

In my job news I’ve registered with a bunch of temp agencies, had work with one, as well as TWO interviews with the same firm. I’m waiting to hear back about the interviews, but WOOHOO, I might be employed soon. Sweet.

We bought our plane tickets to Austin, for WBF’s wedding later this month and will probably be renting a room through AirBnB or someone’s carriage house/in-law suite through VRBO. We’ll have Saturday daytime to explore as well as all day Sunday (we fly in Friday afternoon for the rehearsal and then fly out on Monday since it cost the same to stay overnight on Sunday or try and fly out on Sunday and the Monday flights had less crazy timing).

Today, it’s sunny, chilly, and WINDY, so I’m camping out on the couch with the classical radio channel, my laptop, and letting my plants soak up all the open curtain light they can.

Anyone out there have any advice about container gardening? My “full sun” plants don’t seem to be suffering in our reflected-light only corner unit, but I worry about food plants not getting enough oomph from reflected light. I’m thinking Rainbow Chard, and any herbs that I say they’re happiest in partial shade. What else does well in partial shade?

Last little piece of news, Weight Watchers works. Seriously, I’m fitting into my old clothes, feel like a rock star, and have lost over 10 lbs!

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I just got REALLY busy. First, we moved into an apartment (WOOHOO!) in Rockville, MD, with a big patio. It’s a 2ish bedroom/1 bath, 900 sf with a HUGE patio. There are two little caveats though: the only grills allowed are electric (WFT?), and we’re in the corner of the courtyard and get almost no direct sunlight. Oh well, the plants from my dad are still doing well and we’ll be super glad of the lack of direct light in the summer, when it’s super hot outside.

Two days after we moved in I went on a 2 day business trip to New York with my dad. We saw Jersey Boys, I met up with a friend at an awesome bakery, I took a tour of the New York Public Library, ate an amazing salmon burger at Oceana, and took my first Amtrak Acela trip (it wasn’t much different from the regular train, just an hour faster and with more power outlets).

After I clean for Shabbat I’ll try and remember to take photos of the apartment. We’ve been there for 2 weeks now and there are only 5-6 boxes left to unpack!

Here are some photos from the Library:

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Around the high holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and for some people Sukkot too), I found out that the office I had been working at over the summer was closing. DOH! Laid off again!

I bummed around the house for a bit, getting REALLY into my yoga practice but still generally bored and baking too much. Then, about a month ago, the executive director at my synagogue contacted me and asked if I would work there until I moved and they hired a real office administrator. I said yes and I’ve been busy since then.

Between working 30 hours/week, going to yoga twice a week, and trying to get to at least one WeightWatchers meet per week I’ve kept myself busy. I wish I could say I’ve been skiing, but the weather has been unusually warm and I don’t have plans to go up until next week. Plus, I’ve been trying to make a big deal of shabbat so that Ben gets a real break in his week. About a week ago he successfully defended his thesis! Not that anyone ever doubted him, but it was nice to see a little note from his advisor and his approval of 72 credit hours of ‘A’ for his thesis work.

Now, we’re trying to get the house ready for Ben’s birthday party next week and then we’ll start packing. We’ve already been slowly purging things, a few paper bags full at a time, and dropping them at the Goodwill truck that parks behind the grocery store. After Ben’s party we’ll start unloading our storage closet and really packing.

For now, other than Ben’s thesis defense (all my photos came out HORRIBLY), the only fun photos I have to share are from Shabbat Hodu, our made-up name for the shabbat following Thanksgiving.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone! I could list a million things I’m thankful for, but I’m going to be lazy and just give everyone a virtual hug >______☺_______<

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Ben is stranded in DC, at my parents house, with no power. Oh well. He was supposed to give a talk to at JQI yesterday, but the Metro and University of Maryland were both closed due to hurricane Sandy. Whoops. Ben braved the early fingers of the storm and drove my dad’s car to College Park for an interview with his potential (now future) PI and got a draft offer letter! WOOHOO! Then scurried back to McLean before lunch and hunkered down for the storm (they lost power around 3:30 PM).

I’ve been doing a lot of nothing lately. Some babysitting, going to yoga classes, and trying to resist the siren songs of internet shopping. Also, a lot of looking at home for sale in the area we want to move to (Silver Spring/Tacoma Park, inside the Beltway) and house porn in general. Some day, we’ll find a home and I’ll get to decorate it!

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I finally feel like I have the right number of friends: enough that I can call someone if I need someone to talk to and not overwhelm any one person but not so many that I feel like I’m constantly playing catchup to keep up with all of my friends.

Then there are my volunteer commitments, I recently backed out of one because I didn’t want to leave them in a bind when we move, and am looking for someone to replace me in 2 others (CSA media/newsletter writing and shabbat kiddish team). I’m concerned that once I leave our CSA will have no media presence and no bi-weekly newsletter. Bleh. I hate that I let things get so reliant on me!

Employment is a whole other issue. The firm I’d been working for all summer sold their building and closed shop. Doh. Thankfully, I had an interview for a new job before the old office was even packed out. Supposedly I’m the first choice of the interviewees, but they’re still debating whether to fill the position or just shuffle current personnel to fill the vacancy. I’ll just keep waiting. Until then, I get my last paycheck, for a 1/2 day’s work tomorrow. That ought to cover the groceries and tank of gas I bought on Sunday. I felt torn about even taking the interview, I don’t want to make them feel like I’m abusing the job opportunity by taking it for only a few months and then leaving, but I need a job. Our savings our not as much as we’d hoped to have by the time Ben graduates in December, so the only way we can really afford the 2-3 week trip to Europe we’d been hoping to take is if I get a job and put most of what I make into our savings account so that we don’t deplete it by taking a month off to move and go traipsing around Europe (my mom is currently working as a Child Psychiatrist for the US Army in Germany).

Yes, it’s offical: Ben is graduating in December. He’s been extended an offer to apply for a job at UMD College Park and is planning to take it. I’ve been looking at townhouses and condos online, since rent in places that aren’t corporate apartment megaplexes are PRICY! We can afford a tiny bungalow, but those are all old and require lots of maintenance, something I don’t think we’ll have the time or desire to care for if we also want to grow our family.

I’ve been chatting with a realtor who is looking for an end unit townhome or upper level condo with 3 beds and 2 baths that is near a bus line connecting to UMD and in Montgomery County. She’s found us a few things worth visiting if we were closer, but I’m sure they’ll all be sold in 3 months when we’re closer to moving. We’ll have to visit some synagogues in the area too, but

Uh, and to compound it all there’s family planning mishagas to deal with. No, I’m not pregnant, despite the unflattering outfits I sometimes wear and once-overs from old ladies. I don’t want to be until we’re settled somewhere. I just bought new skis! Skiing is probably a no-no while pregnant, even early on, so I’ll just nip that in the bud and keep taking the little orange pills. Also, I have trouble sleeping when I’m stressed. I’m guessing that moving and looking for a home will be stressful. I prefer to tackle challenges one at a time when possible. No babies (yet).

What other brain-dumps can I make on the internet? My in-laws are in town for sukkot. They’re here in time to watch people spin around helplessly after a teacher/awesome lady at our synagogue lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last week. The funeral is today, in half an hour. I’m having trouble deciding if I want to go, it’s so beautiful outside and I’m in a weird mood. Also, I volunteered to make shabbat dinner for her husband and adult son next week.

In other news both of my brothers are currently employed (Dan in San Francisco and David in DC, living at my parents house). Apparently only 2 of the 3 of us can be in a goos spot financially at a time. Doh!

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Since mid January I’ve been working part-time, as a contract legal assistant in Golden. It’s great. I really enjoy estate planning, it’s helpful! Seriously, law mostly feels like civilized arguing, but estate planning is helpful to the people who seek it out. OK, I’ll stop kvelling.

What else is going on….. Our betta fish, Mr. Rocky Balbetta, has been adopted out after eating my oldest cherry shrimp, one of the younger shrimps is now pregnant (although it’s her first clutch and she drops an egg or two every time she shifts her gestational sack to poo). We also added two spiky dwarf snails to the aquarium, who ate all the algae off the windows in 3 days! Now we have to add algae tablets to the tank once a week to keep them well fed.

Two weeks ago was Ben’s lab ski retreat. I did the meal planning and took the two first-years who organized the trip to Costco. They seemed to think it was going to be a bachannal, it wasn’t. Some of the older students (Ben’s age and post-docs) brought their Magic The Gathering cards, and someone else brought National Parks Monopoly. It was what we all needed, two days of great skiing and evenings of eating too much and hanging out in the hot tub.

Last week, Ben and I went to a preconception class at the Boulder Community Hospital. It made us realize that 1) BCH is awesome and it would be a great place to birth a baby, 2) we’re not financially or really even emotionally ready to have a baby, and 3) I need to loose 10-15% of my body weight to have as healthy a pregnancy as I can. That might take a while. The good news is that I can indulge my selfish emotions and spending habits by continuing to ski, buying new skis, and exercising on them in the meantime. So the only thing that’s changed since the Affordable Healthcare Act has upgraded my insurance to include dental and maternity care is that I’m going to the dentist next week and I’m experimenting with starting pre-natal vitamins and trying to find one that doesn’t block me up (apparently high doses of good-for-you-stuff makes me have sad tummy). Please, don’t ask about anything until Ben graduates (December at the earliest).

This past weekend I fell in love with a pair of demo skis. I’ve been using Becca’s old skis, but they’re not right for me, so I rented a pair of regular old intermediate skis and HATED them. Seriously, I don’t know how to ski on those, it was like skiing on 2x4s, so I went back to the rental shop and told them as much, after chit-chatting with the technician he asked what I usually ski on (busted old hand-me-down 156 Nordica Dobermann skis with some seriously heavy racer bindings). He gave me last year’s Volkl Kenja skis, 149, and ultralight Marker bindings, and I fell in love with them. They’re some of the lightest skis in the all-mountain category, and they felt GREAT, but I’m not sold yet. So, Thursday, Lisa and I are going up for a Women’s demo day, up at Loveland, to try out my dream skis and some cheaper ones too. Becca and her dad, Ed, have sourced my dream skis for $425, un-mounted, and I’ve heard rumors of financial assistance when it comes to bindings…. That’s still a lot of money compared to the free ones I was on, but those no longer suit me.

Also this past weekend was  a big fundraiser dinner for Aish Kodesh, the local modern orthodox congregation. I got a free ticket by being one of the board members for the local Jewish CSA (Tuv Ha’aretz), since we donated a large share with a fruit share to their congregation (the original idea was that it could be used for kiddishes but they decided to auction it off, whatever), so they gave us a ticket to the gala as a thank you. It ended up being one of the highest valued ticket items, and one of the most bid on too. Ben was able to go as a representative of our Young Adult Minyan for only $36, and we entered the iPod Touch raffle and big on a pair of earrings (and won!), so we didn’t feel like complete free-loaders. It was fun and we actually knew a lot of people there.

Finally, this week my boss in Golden is out of town (thus the Thursday ski trip), so I’m working about an hour a day from home for her. It’s nice to have a mini vacation! I get to blog, catch up with my TiVo, give the aquarium a through cleaning, and I’m going to experiment with making granola tomorrow and elaborate challah braids later this week.

So there you go, great voyeurs of the internets, you should all be caught up on the past month’s major goings on now.

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