Noe

taking life one mistake at a time


hateful
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
Just got called hateful by someone attempting to fundraise door-to-door.  They managed to talk to my wife first, which is good, because I would have opened the door and shut it immediately.  As someone who is a seasoned fundraiser, over phone, email and in person, I have to say, door-to-door is really really hard. Speaking of shucking and jiving, I'm running for State Representative, feel free to donate here.  Whoever trained Mr. Fundraise did not train him right.

He tried various ways of establishing a connection, asking my wife questions about what she does and things that they might have in common and he outright FAILED.  My sweetie is awkward at the best of times, and he was clearly not up to the task.  His language was wrong, and he sounded not very confident, asking questions more than providing information.  It's good to memorize a spiel and actually USE it.  To be fair, dinner time is probably the hardest time to door-to-door.  The best time would probably be right before dinner time, somewhere in the 5-6pm zone.

I also disliked his body language.  He was very close to the door and didn't give my wife space, it looked like he was trying to come in.  She was holding the door open, which meant she was blocking his way and she was reluctant to let him in.  As someone who went door-to-door to collect signatures for my own candidacy and other people's candidacy, the doorway is perfectly fine, and is a perfect place to complete a sale (whether that's a signature, or money, or a handshake) as long as you know how to do it.

I was, of course, making a lot of noise in the background.  When my wife asked me if I wanted to look up the information on the internet just to confirm he was legit, I said "No, just no.  Goodbye."

My wife looked up the information after he left.  It was not legit.  I hate being right.  
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Life update: job hunt and first interview
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
So, I finally had my first real interview since I started hunting for a job a few months ago.  I think it went poorly.  Here is the basic breakdown:

Mostly, it went as follows:
Interviewer:  "What about this issue?"
Me:  "I think . . . blah.  Gesturing, asking questions, giving answers, occasionally getting it hella wrong, occasionally getting it all hella right."

At the end, I asked point blank:
Me:  "Do you think I could do this job the way you want it done?"
Interviewer:  "I need to think about it."

So, yeah, not the worst interview ever, but a lukewarm response.  *shrug*  I think, if I'm going with my metrics from 2008, I probably have to go on at least three more interviews to get a real job.

On the bonus side, its one more thing I've done that I don't have to do coming up in my unending todo list that is job hunting.

Life update: job hunt and birthday
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
I had a great birthday party yesterday with a few friends.  It was a tea party!  With warm water and such.  There was cake, scones and so many cookies.  I definitely gained quite a few delicious pounds.

Today, instead of being useful, I wrote a ~4.5k length fic.  Whoo!  Dirty 30 indeed.  Time for a nap.

Job Hunt:  ha ha ha.  Similar to hunting because there is a lot of preparation and sitting around.
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Been a while! Job Hunting . . .
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
Is terrible!  Which I'm sure everyone knows.

I've been managing to pull in people to help me and one of my perceptive, awesome friends has noticed that my resume needs serious help.  I've made changes that make sense and am prepared to cut even more off of there.

I haven't managed to do the LinkedIn thing yet, because I'm still bumbling along the traditional path of networking and reworking my materials, but I will probably do that soon.  
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The downsides of public funding
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
Is that sometimes you don't get it.  My job is winding down by next year, or so my current boss has said.  My hours are getting cut starting November and then it'll all go downhill until next September or so.

If anyone has any help to offer for job hunting in the New England or California areas, please feel free to send me a message.  I'd love help with getting my resume out and interviewing because its been a while since I've done this crazy dance.

A curmudgeon's guide to Paris
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
Do you have few feelings for the French?  Do you feel like you have an overabundance of money?  Do you enjoy long lines?  Do you think all tourist destinations should only have one entrance?  Then Paris is the city for you.  If you actually want to see the beauty of France, I imagine Marseilles, Avignon, Cannes or Nice would do quite nicely, and they're all in the South.

I'll admit that my main problem with Paris is the price tag.  I know that life is not about how much money you spend, but if you should go to Paris, bring as many euros as you can with you.  Actual tourist attractions, such as any Musee or architectural wonder such as Basiliques or any of the many Notre Dames are quite cheap as is public transportation via the Metro or bike rental via the Velib.  Everything else has the strange ability to change price quite rapidly and while the rhyme and/or reason is mostly taxes and/or cost of running a business (one place charged 6 euro for coffee, but was near the Tour Eiffel and thus frequented by tourists who only ordered drinks so they could use the toilette . . .), it can be disheartening for people with tightened purse strings.  On that note, should you choose a hostel/hotel within Paris, expect one of these three things:  cleanliness, friendliness or value.  The cheaper accommodations will also tend to be in the gritty areas of the city.  Postcard Paris does exist, but you should prepare yourself to pay more, in euros and patience, if you want to stay and/or visit those types of things specifically.

Patience is a limited thing.  If you want to do typical tourist things in France, remember:
L'enfer c'est les autres.  -- Jean-Paul Sartre
Often translated into English as:  Hell is other people.


Hell really is other people.  A lot of things have been written about the disdain of Parisians, and I agree that Parisians don't really love tourists, but . . . I hate tourists.  I grew up in a tourist destination.  Watching strangers swoop onto sacred land and destroy wildlife in order to get the perfect photo opportunity and then swoop out with nary a care pisses me off.  It pisses the French off, too.  They have managed to make things more difficult for tourists.  Their signs and maps for tourist destinations will send you the long way around and cleverly away from the one entrance, and there usually is only one entrance.  If you bring a car, the car park will be a ways away from the thing you want to see.  When I realized this, I clapped my hands and did a little dance of joy.  Hate is a lovely thing sometimes.  The tired, sweaty look on the faces of other tourists did my heart a world of good while I waited in lines.  Paris flips the middle finger to those of you who only want the perfect picture, and I love it.

One note about Parisians:  they won't hang out with you unless you pay them.  Paris is an international city.  Its got immigrants who don't speak the language.  Its got pickpockets and people out to make a quick euro at your expense.  These things are part of its charm.  What isn't charming is that everything is crowded, unless you are willing to wake up early.  So, for those of you who are averse to large bunches of strangers, visit Paris in the morning, say around 9am, and then take a train to the South.  You'll be much happier.  The nightlife is supposedly spectacular, but it is more international than it is French.

Thieves and assholes are just as much characters of the big city and they're here in Paris, too.  People tried to pick my pockets and take things from my bag at least three times that I noticed in the three days I've been here.  Someone succeeded, which is why one of my free maps disappeared.  I hope they enjoyed that free map as it led them up a hill via the most inconvenient route.    People have also pushed me in every conceivable way you can push a person.  Paris is crowded and it hates everyone.  There are pleasant places and people in Paris, but I'm not telling you how to find them.  You might want to visit and that's not the point of this post.

One thing that impressed me was the state of their homeless people.  Many seem well-fed, well-exercised and  kept pets who also looked to be in a similar state of health.  Rent in Paris is ludicrous, so I wouldn't expect that people who work in Paris actually live in Paris or that the homeless are unemployed.  Not all of the homeless are beggars.  Apparently, beggars are discouraged from begging, so they will stand or sit with signs and a container.

If none of this convinced you that you shouldn't visit Paris, then I would advise you to pick your experience wisely.  Sign up for a tour if you want to visit all the tourist destinations.  Visit with people of the same temperament and a similar amount of money they are willing to spend.  Only frequent patisseries if buttery pastries are your thing.  Volunteer for and send aid to agencies that support the sans domicile fixe (SDF).  Mostly, I wrote this so you wouldn't come here and be disappointed.  As long as you know that there are horrible things, it makes the existence of horrible things more palatable, I find.
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The end of a horrible week
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
We were at Charlie's Kitchen a few hours ago when news finally came in that the last known living suspect had been apprehended.  I was happily, tipsily drunk since the lockdown had lifted and cheerily read the closed captioning from far, far away from the TV.  As soon as everyone there knew, there was a collective cheer and a bunch of applause.

And then, of course, as you do, we scrambled to our phones to spread the good news.

The general mood of the entire outdoor patio lifted.  Originally, I could hear snippets of conversation about how scared and angry everyone was.  No one was outright screaming, but we were all freaked out.  Then, after the news hit, everyone started talking with each other.  High fives all around.  We left a 30% tip and got ice cream at JP Lick's.

Not a bad moment to be a Bostonian.
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So, uh, yeah, Boston this week.
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
So, there was a shootout and an MIT Campus Police officer was shot and killed last night.  Two perpetrators were chased to Watertown:  one died and the other remains at large.  These are the people who are suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon.  We're currently on lockdown.  Our public transit service is suspended and all public events and areas are cancelled and closed respectively until further notice.

I've been reading a lot of the media that has been disseminated via the internet.  I don't think I could handle watching live news right now: since Monday every time I pass a TV its like pulling a bandage off of a raw wound if bomb footage gets played.  I won't be passing a TV today, because I probably won't be leaving my apartment today, and I won't be going near the windows.

But, my overwhelming emotion is not fear.  I was prepared to go to work today, knowing what had happened last night, shocked and sad over what has unfolded this week, but I still wanted to go.  Telling my wife was the hardest thing, and she is now wide awake.  If anything, the whole week has shown me that overall, Boston is resilient in the face of tragedy, and this is not a bad place to be.  This is where my friends are.  This is where my work is.  This is where I am supposed to be.

So, if you're in Boston, stay indoors.  Stay safe.
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Today's bad news
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
Hi!  By now you may have heard that there were several bombs planted around Boston during the Boston Marathon and that about two of them went off this afternoon.  Two bombs were defused.  Controlled detonation is being used to take care of suspicious looking packages.  People have been injured and two have been confirmed as dead so far.  If you are in Boston, much of the MBTA is delayed or diverted at the moment.  Evacuate the Back Bay area if you are in it and try not to congregate in large crowds.  Use text to contact people with your cell phone.  If you want to help, do not self-deploy to the area.  Many events have been cancelled due to the incident ranging from university classes to the Bruins hockey game.  If you have the ability to donate blood at a local donation center or hospital, please do so, and feel free to contact either the Red Cross or your local hospital to see if that is feasible.

I am okay.  My local friends and family have checked in with me, and I've reached out via the internet to most everyone else.  If you are looking for someone you know who may have been there, feel free to use either this widget from Google or Safe&Well from the Red Cross.  We are sitting tight.  It is possible that the incident will continue to effect Boston this week, making it impossible to work or otherwise.

I hope that there will be a resolution to all of this soon, and I send out a prayer to the injured and their families.  

TVM: Somerville Theatre Feb. 9, 2013
jokebunny
puffy_wuffy
Just reminded by a castmate's post to shamelessly plug Theatre @ First's production of The Vagina Monologues.  See me in the flesh at either the afternoon or evening show.  :)  Tickets are available online through Vendini at the Somerville Theatre's website here.
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