Monday, September 29, 2008

Some friends of ours tuned us in to - a political analysis website that attempts to offer a fair, well-thought-out, unbiased look at US government and politics.

This link: is an example of what they do - it is a look at foreign policy (what the presidential debate was supposed to be on last Friday) and what issues the next US president needs to address. I found this informative and very read-able and I encourage you to give it a read, even if you're not of voting age!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Killdares make me smile

My fave song, so far, is September. Or, maybe Gone West...but then, Farewell to Decorum is also good, and you've gotta give Dichotomy some props. Yep - I love the Killdares. And they're playing at the State Fair this year. So I'll get to see them live in concert yet again - and also pick up their new CD. I'm not sure about where they're going with this new sound...but I'll ride it for now - we shall see, Tim Smith, we shall see.

New Job!

Okay, so - in order to be able to tell the full story in all it's glory, and to avoid repeating myself, I will here-in tell about my new job. This is the job that God gave me, just like that, over there, is the house that Jack built. Its just the facts - God gave me this job, and I'll tell you how I know this, thanks to the magic of e-mail time-stamps.

At about 1:30pm on Thursday, September 25th, I had a terrific conversation with my mother-in-law, Ginger. We talked about how I was going about job seeking, she gave suggestions and encouragement and it was very good. After getting off the phone with her, I decided that I should really apply for a few jobs today. So, to "warm up" as you will, I went on Craigslist and looked through the day's listings. So, I whipped out an e-mail, attached my resume & references and went merrily along my way. I did not (as has been the case for some applications) spend very long writing the cover letter - this was just a "warm-up" job application, because everybody knows that you don't get jobs off of Craigslist, because the people don't know you and in this competitive market, the people need to know you to give you a job.

So, I sent said e-mail at 2:31pm. At 2:34pm, I received a reply from Amy at EuroSoft, asking me to call her. So, of course, I called her right away. We talked on the phone for about 30 minutes, basically a phone interview. It ended with her sending me 3 tests - a typing, a word & an excel. These I took on our computer and finished at about 3:50pm or so. I did rather well on these tests - scoring a personal best on the typing test (71wpm!) and getting close to perfect on the word & excel. So, needless to say, Amy was impressed. She told me she would send my resume & test scores to their COO and hopefully he would want to interview me soon.

So, I excitedly called my prayer warriors (Mom & Ginger) and told them the news. Much excitement was had by all.

4:42pm - I get a call from Amy. The COO really likes my resume - he loves my test scores. Can. I. Start. TOMORROW?!!! Amy has never had this happen before - he wants to hire me without ever meeting me face to face, without even talking to me personally! I hesitate, because of the newness of it all, but say yes - better to give a good first impression before they change their minds! about 2 hours....I go from the edging into the pits of jobless despair to doing the "I have a job!" dance! You can see how God is amazing, right? How He made this happen, as I'd been praying and PRAYING for Him to do.

Okay, now the people I have been telling this story to, at this point, say "That's awesome! But, WHAT IS YOUR JOB?!" Seeing as that is the actual question they have asked, I can understand. But, really, this story is too cool NOT to tell!

So, what is my job? I am the Corporate Receptionist/Front Desk Associate for a software & staffing company (Yes, I am, after all my temp work, working for a staffing company. I don't think this is a mere coincidence.) I work with the office manager, but get assignments from the COO & CIO (i.e., they are my technical bosses). I earn less than amazing, but way better than peanuts - and about what I had thought was going to be my starting salary here in Austin - $11.50 an hour, with a re-assess in 60 days and a promise of moving up to $12 at that time. I answer phones & receive guests, I input resumes and get the mail - I make sure that Wolf (the CIO) has coffee every 2 hours. I water 3 plants every other day. This job is enough to keep me busy, I assure you. And, did I mention it's a JOB?!

But, there are also intriguing futures in this job. At the end of yesterday, I was told that they want to make me the "office expert" on Word, Excel & Vista (good thing I ended up with a Vista computer!). So, I will be taking training programs for this software to fill in any gaps in my knowledge. This, to me, says they are making me an indispensable part of their office. The COO has also told me that there are several things on my resume that make him confident that I can move forward in this company. They use this position as an entry to their company, so I can see how this would be a good thing. Because of this, I already know a place I can contribute to the company. There are 3 people who had this job before me and are now doing other things in this office, and yet nobody knows the fullness of this job. So, one thing I know I'm going to do is make a Corporate Receptionist handbook, so that the next person to be in my position has a little more to go on.

So, that's my job - Corporate Receptionist for a staffing company that specializes in technical jobs. There's another office that is EuroStaff & specializes in office personnel (that's where Amy who interviewed me works) - but here they have a ship's bell that gets rung - once when a recruiter gets an interview, and a whole lot when a recruiter gets a placement. Everyone is super friendly and the atmosphere is definitely casual. (I think the unofficial uniform of the software guys is Hawaiian shirts.) So, a good thing all around. The only downside is that there's no bus anywhere nearby - so we are (unfortunately) dependent on our car. This is not so great - but, hey - I now feel really good about all the time I spent practicing driving it!

So, yes, we went out and bought Baileys and ice cream Thursday night. But I was in bed before midnight - because I had to get up early...for my JOB!!! (Another perk, Friday was an exception, but my typical hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm. Not EXACTLY Toronto hours, but about as close as you can get in the USA!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This graph will be gracing our fridge as soon as I get the color printer up and running.

Song Chart Memes
more music charts

Because we all need to eat more garlic! mmm....what shall I fix for dinner tonight? GARLIC! With a side of other vegetables. And maybe some noodles.

Monday, September 15, 2008

An interesting move for Kiera Knightley

First off, really - how perfect a name for an actress is Kiera Knightley. It's either a stage name or she was born to play women who wear corsets. In "The Duchess" she also has enormous hair and "dangerous liasons" - but I REALLY want to see this movie for the costumes.

So yes, you should check out: to see more of what I mean about the costumes!