Friday, August 24, 2012


What a week, folks! So I had my Wednesday morning interview, which seemed to go really well and I am hoping to hear back from them to set up a face-to-face interview. I completed all the paperwork for submitting my receipts for reimbursement for my out-of-pocket medical expenses related to January's surgery, and when I called to confirm the mailing address I was told there was $500 sitting in the account from last year, so they're sending me a check for that too. I love found money!

And later Wednesday, I received a cold call from a recruiter for a Fortune 500 company who had spotted my resume online. We did an impromptu interview over the phone and she set me up with her boss for a second interview on Thursday who then sent my resume in to the Company. I was supposed to have an interview this morning but apparently the Company person called in sick today, so we're tentatively scheduled for an interview on Monday.

I am trying not to get overly excited about the job, but it is quite the ego boost to have someone reach out to me for a job rather than me sending out application after application waiting for attention.In the meantime, I received my next print freelance job today, so I will be working on that for the next while.

Apparently, the screens on the kitchen windows have become a favorite local hangout.

The little lizard guy was freshly hatched. I couldn't really get him in focus, but he still had eggshell bits clinging to his skin. And the butterfly/moth was just content to hangout for a bit.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What's New

Hey there! I figured I had better check in with an update. I am still on the job hunt and my severance pay is about to run out, so I'll be visiting the unemployment office soon if some thing doesn't pan out. I am finally starting to get some nibbles, though.

There was one job with one of the Big Six publishers in New York City I was particularly excited about it and my resume was an exact fit! And they were willing to let me work remotely with a one-a-month on-site presence. But then it became once-a-week, then multiple days a week, and they didn't want to cover the travel expenses.

Then there was the one in DC with an international finance organization, but once we got to the interview it was obvious they hadn't really read my cover letter where it stated I did not live in DC and could not relocate. And then the one outside Boston. Same story.

I did finally get an interview with a local company. It would be on-site in the Research Triangle and my commute would be 45–60 minutes each way—not much different from what I used to do in California, but without the gridlock. They want more experience with graphics than I have, but they're a start up and it sounds like the may be willing to train since I have the other half of the skill set they're looking for and it is fairly uncommon to find these skill sets together.

I have an interview scheduled for tomorrow with a company with offices in Chapel Hill; the commute would still be about 45 minutes. This company partners with universities to deliver online degree programs. I remember being excited about this job post when I submitted my resume over a month ago—in addition to full benefits, they also offer 100% paid tuition for employees, spouses, and legal dependents! Oh, and they wear jeans to work every day.

Aside from the job hunt, which is more of a full-time job than I remembered, I have been continuing to freelance for my previous employer. We've just finished closing out the ebook conversions for the spring season book, just in time for fall to kick into high gear. I've only been billing about 10 hours a week; I thought it would be more like 20. But summer is a slow time for publishing and expect the pace to pick up as we head into the fall season.

I've worked out a time tracking and billing process and have filed a business license with the county here. I've also started working on a website, but I have only gotten as far as purchasing the domain and setting up a hosting service. I've installed Wordpress, which I now have to figure out how to use. Scoob has been working on a logo for my company identity, but I think it hurt his feelings that I didn't really like the first one he came up with and he hasn't drafted anything new for me.

Now that my severance is about to run out, I feel I am at a crossroads. If I am really going to support myself as a freelancer, I need to stop splitting my attention between that and job hunting and instead put that energy into finding more clients.  Which means really moving out of my comfort zone and building a local network of people and business contacts. I am stalling on this. My preference is to work for someone else and freelance on the side.

I have noticed the change in light the past week or so. Sunlight is illuminating new patches of wall and floor in the house and has a more golden quality. I am seeing the first few leaves starting to change color. I may sneak out and get some pictures. It's a bit earlier than I expected, but the fall foliage won't really explode until late September. So I am told.

Our garden. Well. Our garden has been a learning experiment. We discovered our tomatoes really needed more shade and have not produced like we thought they would. Oh, but the tomatoes we got were delicious!

The kale was eaten by something, and the zucchini never produced even though it put out tons of blossoms. I am wondering whether it is just too humid and the blossoms never really opened to be pollinated, or if I need two zucchini plants so they can pollinate each other. The okra put out a crop, but not really enough to do anything with. Of course it would help if I knew what ripe okra looked like so I could pick them before they went to seed. The only thing that did really well was the basil, and the jalapeƱoes put out some fruits too.

We're still enjoying the neighborhood critters and they're still enjoying our landscaping, though we did get deer netting up around the largest flower bed and the particularly abused shrubs. We have more to do before fall, but at least we've made a start. Anyhow, that's most of my news. I do have recipes though, so I should be posting more regularly. That is, of course, if the beasties aren't using the computer.