Archive for December, 2005

I am a networking madwoman

Thursday, December 29th, 2005

I guess I haven’t announced it publicly, but I’m leaving my position at HCA within the next few weeks (Friday the 13th is my last day). There are many reasons, some more benign than others, but as I just explained in an email to a contact, a big part of my decision is “a cumulative effect of the intranet product reaching a point where my contributions here are less unique and, hence, less rewarding, as well as the loss of my father earlier this year leading me to wish for a new challenge.”

That new challenge, for the moment, is figuring out what to do next. Part of what I want to do is spend more time at home working on songwriting. Going back to contracting for my old agency is, therefore, one possibility, and one I’ve been exploring. On the other hand, I don’t really feel like Karsten and I are in the ideal financial position for that kind of flexibility, and I’d feel more secure with a steady income for maybe another year or two. So I’ve also been exploring other full-time staff positions.

In order to do so, I’ve been contacting some of the people who’ve known me in this capacity, and it’s a very reassuring process. I knew that I’d done good work in the past, but lately my confidence has been shaken by all the time off I’ve had due to my father’s illness and death, and the lack of focus I’ve had since getting back to work. But I must have established good relationships with people, because quite a few are coming through with leads and possibilities. Not solid openings, per se, but ideas that could turn into some really good career moves.

So although this was initially a difficult decision to make, I am increasingly excited and optimistic about what the future holds.

And what a perfect way to finish this madcap rollercoaster year.

[Edited to add: a link to my resume, for anyone who might want to point me in any good directions.]

Was I an idiot? :-)

Saturday, December 24th, 2005

My birthday party was fun, I think. I was pretty wasted, so I have no idea if I was a complete dork. :-) But I really needed a good release, and I did get some of that. So yay.

Happy birthday to me…

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

31 was one hell of a wild ride. I’m counting on 32 to be exciting and fun and full of happy times.

flickr people

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

I’ve set up a filter for folks I know are on flickr. If I don’t already have you as a contact on flickr, comment here or add me as a contact there and I’ll sync up the filter and my contacts.

Thanks!

2005 Year-End-y thingy

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

1. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before?

Started taking anti-depressants. Got my first single-song contract. Somehow that combination seems very rock’n'roll, so I’ll leave it at that.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My 2005 priorities were to improve my nutrition, improve my fitness, improve my finances, and improve and advance my songwriting. I stuck with those, for the most part. I think I let the nutrition and fitness slip a bit now and then when I was too depressed to pay attention, but I did pretty well on the finances and the songwriting.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one close to me, no.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Lordy, yes. My mother-in-law in March, and my father in November.

5. What countries did you visit?

I travelled frequently between the southern and the midwestern United States. Seems to me you should need a passport or something to cross the Illinois-Kentucky line.

6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?

A pay raise.

7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 5th, 2005. Something tells me the loss of my father will remain a pretty significant event for me for a long time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting the single-song contract, I guess.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Being unable to keep working while spending time in the Chicago area. It has cost me professionally, I fear.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

If depression counts, yes.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

It’s a tossup between my Treo 650 and my 17″ Powerbook. They’re both rockin’.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Karsten’s. He was a total trooper.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Some of my relatives.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Into the new old house! Lots and lots and lots of money went into fixing up the house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The house! The single-song contract!

16. What song will always remind you of 2005?

Live Like You Were Dying” written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman, and recorded by Tim McGraw. It really is a great country-pop song, but its significance this year has partly to do with how ubiquitous it was (#1 on the charts, for, like, EVER and winner of who-knows-how-many “song of the year” awards), but also, of course, in my life, how timely it was. I just wish my dad had had an opportunity to do the kinds of things the song suggests — living an uninhibited life knowing that your death is imminent — because he was too weak to do that in any kind of physical way. But he “loved deeper” and he “spoke sweeter” (sometimes), for example, so at least some of it was true for him.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

Heh. My answers to these questions prove that the world is so not a binary place.

i. happier or sadder? More of each.

ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner but, in some ways, less fit.

iii. richer or poorer? Lower income, greater net worth.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I don’t know. Maybe cooking.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Crying.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

My mom is coming here the week prior to Christmas and leaving Christmas morning, so I’ll be seeing her off and then Karsten and I will probably spend the day lounging around the house with the kitties.

21. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

Apparently the neighborhood has a big party, so we’re going to check that out.

22. Did you fall in love in 2005?

It may be corny but I found myself falling in love with Karsten again and again.

23. How many one-night stands?

None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Arrested Development. (”Come on!”)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I’m too tired to hate. I have some pretty annoyed dislike for some people, but it’s a pretty passive dislike. Hate seems so much more active and energetic than I have the capacity for.

26. What was the best book you read?

To be honest, I did very little reading, and what I did read tended to be pretty fluffy, like “The Lucky Guide to Shopping” or “What Not To Wear.” They were both pretty good, though. ;-)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Was “Garden State” this year? I can’t remember. If so, like many people, I discovered The Shins because of that movie, and I love them. Also, I think Anna Nalick debuted with “Breathe (2 AM)” in the beginning of the year, and that has become one of my favorite songs ever (although most of the rest of Wreck Of The Day doesn’t impress me much). I think Keane got most of their visibility this year, too, and I just love them.

28. What did you want and get?

A single-song contract. :-)

29.What did you want and not get?

A promotion at work. Not just for the position of manager of our group, but for the next level of seniority within my own position (from Senior Business Analyst to Consulting Business Analyst). I think the perception is that I’m just not ready since I wasn’t around much of this year to prove my value, or whatever. It annoys me because I already deserved it for the work I’d done before this year so it’s like I’m being passed over for the second time.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Tossup between “Garden State” and “Sideways.”

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Haven’t gotten there yet, but I’ll be 32 and I’m having a pizza party with, like, two attendees. (Everyone else is going to be out of town.)

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Oh, how could I narrow it down? I don’t know. It’s really kind of depressing to try to pinpoint.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?

I was shooting for urban professional sophistication with a twist of unexpected hip, but I probably missed entirely. ;-)

34. What kept you sane?

Now THIS I can get specific about. Karsten, for a start. Every day in some way, Karsten kept me sane. Then there were the long walks; the gardening; the cats; putting the kitchen together; Absolut Raspberri vodka & tonics; pedicures; girly-scented body washes; dying my hair burgundy.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I don’t think there was one, really.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I guess it was the lack of response immediately following hurricane Katrina.

37. Who did you miss?

Too easy. I missed my dad as he was before the strokes made him less communicative.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I think that honor goes to nothinganything. Congratulations! I don’t think you win any prizes, but, really, isn’t my fawning admiration enough?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:

We don’t live in years; we live in moments.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

I think, more than anything, it’s this from “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush:

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking

Of all the things we should’ve said,
That were never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.

Oh Christmas shirt, oh Christmas shirt…

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

“Hey Enid, the atheists are decorating for Christmas again.”

We have a Christmas shirt hanging in our living room! Complete with ornaments and garland! I’ll bet it’s the best Christmas shirt any of you have ever seen.

Also, we have oddball Christmas decorations picked up at various thrift stores, like a two-headed reindeer metallic candelabra.

But on the outside of the house, we opted for classic and timeless, to match the historic look. It’s cute! It’s festive! And even though I think we’re the only atheists on the block, we’re the first ones to have our Christmas lights up. What’s that all about?! Get with the Christmas program, people!

I’m thinking of making one room all Hanukkah decorations. Maybe the kitchen, since the accent color is cobalt blue anyway. Yeah. If I happen to find any Hanukkah decorations at thrift stores, that is.

La di da. Back to work.