Olympics Fever! And Job Hunting Rituals!

Once again I love pairing disparate topics into a post title, mostly because this is REAL LIFE all at once in my little world!

We're just about at the end of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, BC and while I consider myself a die-hard fan most years, in truth I haven't been following everything super closely this time around. Some of my hard-core hockey fan friends even joke that the Winter Olympics are "...Hockey...and a bunch of other stuff going on too." Ha ha.

Who'd have thought the Norwegian Curling team's pants would stir up such a sensation? Those red and blue diamond-printed pants drew nearly 500,000 Facebook fans for starters! Too funny. I admit I've likely watched more curling this year than I have in the past 15 years combined. I don't understand it but I can appreciate the dedication and passion the teams put into scrubbin' the stones!

I would have killed for a chance to attend a few events given I am just a few hours drive and a border crossing away, but given my Money Diet mantra of these past few months, I've stuck close to my stringent policy to "spend less than I make," as much as it pains me at times.

Opening ceremonies? Normally I am a blubbery, teary mess...I just burst with pride knowing that, at least ideally, for a couple weeks all the nations come together in peace to compete no matter the state of our wars and disputes. And I usually am sobbing by the time all the flags have processed into the arena and the U-S-A, U-S-A cheers echo throughout.

THIS year, ahem, it was a tad different.

I have yet to see a single clip of the opening ceremonies. And from what I've heard I haven't missed much. It was no Beijing 2008 apparently. Hmmm. And, as far as the flag procession was concerned, well, I was still in that "interlude" with a certain gentleman (see my earlier February posts for more on that) so I was uber-distracted. So uber-distracted that I saw only the late "H" and early "I" flag processions, meaning something like only Honduras, Hungary and Iceland. Hoo boy.

Hockey has not disappointed. I admit I thought the Russian men's team would take Gold this year, as I literally broke out in a sweat after first reading their roster. The American men, meanwhile, I figured had their work cut out for them as total underdogs.

Women's hockey? Amazing that it's only been an Olympic sport since 1998 in the Nagano games. And while I would have loved the USA ladies to take Gold over Canada, they ended up with Silver after a 2-0 loss in that final game. It was such a downer to see sad faces while getting OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALS bestowed upon them, however I can understand the down and dirty drive they had to take it all the way, and how Silver in the heat of the moment would seem a 'failure' of sorts.

But trust me, ladies, you did your country proud. Remember the countless hours of blood, sweat and tears you toiled to get to this moment. And remember how many hundreds you beat out for a chance to wear your country's team sweater and skate your asses off. And it was so entirely classy of the Canadian audience in the arena to chant "U-S-A, U-S-A" during the medal ceremony.

Men's hockey? Well, I had the unique privilege of watching the USA/Canada men's prelim at the wonderful Spitfire Grill in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood...sitting smack dab in a sea of Canadians. Yes, my dear friend J (from Calgary) invited me as her guest to watch the game on a huge screen TV in a private backroom reserved by the Seattle Chapter of the Canada America Society. At first I tried to hold back and not cheer too loudly for risk of getting thumped on the head or getting beer or food thrown at me, but there was no holding back on a 5-3 USA victory!

Some people have tried to compare that win to the famous USA win over the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Trust me, that 1980 win was the truest, purest UPSET of ALL TIME in sports, period. Nothing ever to this day compares. The USA and Canadian Olympic teams today are all professionals, and while fiercely competitve, each player has an innate understanding and appreciation of eachother's playing abilities.

In contrast, the USA men's Olympic team in 1980 was a bunch of college kids who went up against a Soviet team who could have defeated any NHL team at the time. Plus, there was zero respect for the Americans from the Soviets, not to mention the hostile US/Soviet relations at the time. President Carter was thisclose to boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow due to the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan (which eventually happened). It was a completely different world 30 years ago and I hope people take the time to research and appreciate that who weren't alive or old enough to remember. Major, major Kudos to the late great Coach Herb Brooks for molding that USA team into men who knew how to unify and go after the ultimate prize of Gold.

Other random musings: who was in charge of picking the music for the hockey games? A few of my friends were chuckling about this: "If you're happy and you know it," "Dueling banjos," "Does your mother know [ABBA]," "Hava Nagila," "Doo wa Diddy," For crying outloud already?? Hilarious!

Amongst all this excitement I am still juggling my pro bono work and networking hard to land a new job.

So what happened today? In the midst of the excitement of the men's USA/Finland semi-finals game I had 4 hours of what was to become absolutely wonderful interviews with six different people 1:1. This is called a "loop" interview by the way.

I've gotten pretty good at interviewing but would never consider myself an expert. However, I've been in the workforce over 20 years so I like to think I've learned a thing or two.

First and foremost: when interviewing, be comfortable. Yes, right down to the right bra, underwear and pantyhose. Don't laugh, but it makes a huge difference. Before I really knew what worked for me I would literally do "dress rehearsals" suiting up in various outfits to see what worked and what didn't.

You have to have a hair and makeup/grooming routine that is foolproof. Oh, and don't forget a good, understated manicure. I am a makeup freak and have tons I admit, but when it comes to interviewing I go with just a few different tried and true looks I could put on in the dark and won't fail me but still look polished. THAT'S the key. Note my jobs are more on the corporate scale so "less is more" works for me. My signature look is what I've coined as "corporate smokey," using Stila's original smokey eye shadow palette, a thin layer of black liquid liner on the upper lashes, black mascara (upper lashes only), a light layer of blush and subtle lipstick/gloss. I tend to be ruddy and blush naturally so just a light blush like MAC's Mineralize in Moon River works great. If I'm feeling pale or have more prep time on my hands I might use a little bronzer as contour [props to NARS bronzer in Laguna].

But, you've gotta have a Plan B. Always. Right down to having a spare pen in your portfolio or a few extra hard copies of your resume ready to rock.

For some reason I woke up today a tad sluggish. And I ended up overdoing it on coffee to counteract that so I ended up more sweaty and jittery than I'd have liked. Given that, it was a no-go for anything corporate smokey on the eyes as my hands were a little shaky, so instead I put on just a light cream shadow on the lids and a no-fail black pencil liner on the upper lids. For the record, MAC's Blanc Type shadow is great as an eye brightener as well as a softener for anything that might have been put on a little heavy handed.

Other routines as I head into an interview? Chew a piece of gum on the way and get rid of it before getting out of the car. Turn off the cell phone. And walk into the building like you own it! You never know if the person you pass by in the lobby or ride up with in the elevator ends up being one of the people you interview with!

About 2/3 of the way through the interviews today my friend K, who was on the interview schedule, pulled me into her office and immediately brought up the USA/Finland men's semi-finals streaming on her computer - what a fun break!

SO...I now wait and wonder. Wait and wonder how the interview results will pan out, as well as how the USA men will do in their quest for Hockey Gold. The Slovakian team awakened and came back to life tonight vs. Canada in the semi-finals enough to where I bet lots wondered if the game would end up tied after a predicted 3-0 Canada blowout. Meanwhile, the USA men spanked Finland 6-1 earlier today.

It's USA men vs. Canada v. 2.0 on Sunday for the Gold. No matter what happens, it's been an incredible Olympics!


Falling Sheet Rock and Down Allergies

As that famous line in Risky Business goes..."sometimes you've just got to say what the fuck."

Consider it Bonus Week this week as I've got more stuff rolling around in my head that has to come out and not sit still. Partly because it's just too, well, memorable/funky/wonky to not share. And also partly because this brief, ummm, interlude of sorts is drifting further and further into my rear view mirror on life so why not wrap it all up now.

And if I've attracted a couple more readers in here as a result, well, all the better. My posts are 100% non-fiction, people; frankly, my interpretations of reality are much more interesting than anything I could possibly make up.

Believe me, I'm not one to normally go into a lot of detail about my love life on a Blog like this. Just check out my other posts as I am the Queen of Eclectic.

But. This time we're gonna 'go there.' Buckle up.

It's important to keep a sense of humor about the unexpected things that can happen in life. Why not choose a positive attitude about it all, right?

So...when you've been out on a few dates with someone and know the next time "it" is likely to happen, you imagine a wonderfully romantic and passionate night, right? And, maybe, a nice morning with coffee, breakfast or maybe breakfast out, both of you grinning and still somewhat rumpled from the night before.

You don't expect to bring him back to your place and find a square piece of sheet rock and wood molding fallen from the ceiling, leaving a dusty mess on the carpet and bent wood and nails jammed into the wall, having wedged themselves off of the stair railing. Holy crap!

For the record I have an 18" square patch of sheet rock in my townhouse entry area ceiling to cover up where the prior owners had cut in to get to the plumbing. No it ain't perfect but it's framed with a piece of white molding and up until now has stayed in place for the past seven or more years. It blends in well with the ceiling to where it is (or now WAS) hardly noticeable. Kind of looks like a classy version of a Crawl Space entry.

Trust me, my house is not falling apart!

And if that wasn't enough unexpected quirks of the evening, I have now officially for the record met (and 'hosted' if that is an appropriate way to say it) a gentleman who is allergic to down.


I have had a down comforter for years and years and love it. And a few years ago after staying at a very nice hotel in Portland visiting my brother and his family after their youngest child was born I fell in love with the beds - they had a simply scrumptious, down-filled pad on the mattress which literally felt like sleeping on a cloud. After I got home I marched straight into Macys and picked up one for myself. Best $350 or so I've ever spent. Period. I've never slept more soundly...not that that's ever been a problem, thankfully.

Now, I am in my early 40s and single so it's fair to say I've been around the block a few times. BUT I am very particular about not only who I have 'over' but also when. So let's just say I'd never encountered anything quite like this. Trust me, when the poor guy is so choked up he can barely breathe it puts a damper on the mood. I had NO idea and no he had not asked prior. Whoops.

OK, well, it's just bedding and that is easily swapped out, right? And holes in the ceiling are easily patched up. If either of these were deal-breakers then, well, OK that's too bad.

As he was leaving he said the one single non-truth in our entire few weeks of knowing eachother: "I'll talk to you tomorrow." Turns out that was bullshit. And you know, I remember the exact moment he said that. It's hard to explain, but the teensiest of little gasps immediately welled up in my soul, almost like a little, breathy voice that said so quickly and softly yet with a sense of conviction: "he's lying." That was my gut screaming at me with a whisper and of course in that millesecond of the moment I brushed the thought aside - I had had no reason to doubt one single thing he had ever said he would do or did up until that very moment.

People reveal their true selves in time, and I am grateful I learned his sooner than later.

But as I wrote earlier, I'm not bitter or angry. Rather, I smile to myself and move forward. There is an excerpt from an astrology book written by Joanna Martine Woolfolk which I just LOVE. It's about the Taurus woman (raising my hand, yes - that's me alright) and her amorous ways.

"While you preen yourself on your supposed conquest, she never lets you know that you never had a choice."

Ahhh...THIS. I have likely read that a thousand times but I still smirk. Spot-on precision!

Fifty days into 2010 and WOW. It's already been a hell of a year!


And on the Sixth Day I Plopped back into the Pool

Have you ever written one of those fantasy emails or letters where you just wanna rip the recipient a new one but never send it? Piercing, boisterous words straight out of your soul? Words that tickle and rumble all restless in your email drafts folder, itching to be released like a racehorse chomping and foaming at the starting gate? AND have you ever entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe you’d send said particular email oh so juicily to just ‘go there’ and be a little different or daring this one time? After all, life is short so why not let the recipient know how you’re REALLY feeling, right? Maybe feeling fueled by a little Pinot Grigio or another beverage perhaps? Oooh so dangerous a little wine can be with an itchy finger ready to hit ‘send’.

That’s why whenever I write those types of emails I make sure the “send to” box is empty! No joke!

A little unsolicited feedback: it’s RUDE to not call a girl after she lets you not only into her home, but into her bed and her body as well. Just so you know.

Oh yeah…how’s that for a skewer-y message of sorts? Any male readers out there who just like to casually hook up? Here's a hint: don't lie and call it things it isn't. Read that paragraph above and listen up, peeps.

Am I a cold-hearted, bitter bitch? Nope, hardly. Just airing what's on my mind. No one's ever held a gun to my head in the matters of my heart or my, um, loins, so there are no boo hoos here for sure. And I will likely not get into more detail than that...after all I think a few immediate family members might likely tune in here.

Sooo...onto more PG-rated thoughts - Today was such a warm and wonderful taste of what Spring holds in her hands. Blue sky for starters. I cracked my windows open for some fresh air and drank it all in. And tonight I stepped out to check on my likely-overflowing snail mail box (I am bad and probably only get to it once a week). My lungs immediately choked up in the clear, icy cold – what a contrast from earlier in the day. I looked up and saw the constellation Orion blaring down on me so white and bright with that unwavering pattern of those 3 diagonal stars and the even more bright bluish white star Sirius (the Dog) toward his lower left. And I see my own sign (Taurus) faintly to the upper right - the outline of the horns of the Bull. I glance back down to the right and see my neighbor’s daffodils – the first one has popped opened and bloomed, yes you heard it here first on February 17th – an unheard of early record around here.

I shivered while walking up to my mailbox, while remembering that same constellation Orion has shone down on me every winter since I was old enough to recognize and understand the stars, and of course for many millions and millions of years prior. I remember my 3rd grade teacher who introduced us to astronomy probably as a required part of our curriculum, not knowing what a profound impact those slide shows or readings would have on a 9-year-old like me. One who would go on to devour Carl Sagan's COSMOS TV Series, his books, the whole works. Just like my grandparents' gifts of the globe and atlas.

What else was in my mailbox, other than 90% junk mail? Yet another book about Arctic studies - a reminder about my tangent study of sorts as I continue to job hunt and peruse forward. Very excited to dig in!


No, the clocks are NOT broken...

Time has a steady tick-tock, an unwavering rhythm marching forward no matter our emotional states or perceptions. Ever have days where you blink your eyes and "all of a sudden" the day's flown by? Or those days you check a couple extra clocks around the house or on your phone just to make sure your watch hasn't stopped or the power's gone out? So baffling how the same timeframe can feel so vastly different.

I met someone recently while getting back out there dating - an absolutely wonderful, charming man. Something different about him; I can't tell you how incredibly rare it is to have a first date that doesn't feel like a first date - rather more like a continuation of "something" but you can't put your finger on exactly what. Frank conversations about what we're looking for. Things like no games and no drama. Charm, chemistry, laughs, daily calls and texts that set my heart a-flutter and my feet floating.

My schedule's been fairly busy even without having a job right now. The networking continues, my 2010 job search record (a bigass spreadsheet) continues to grow daily, there are a couple of warm leads in progress and I know every day is a day closer to whatever the next gig is supposed to be. I try to get in the gym every other day and relish the time now when I can go during off-peak hours (I've got a 5K coming up in about a month so this is good incentive!) And I'm still playing hockey once a week. I had a great night out with a group of friends recently and got another job lead - a nice, unexpected surprise (the hockey community here is very tight; we truly look out for one another - thanks K if you are reading this).

I haven't felt a need to wonder and wait by the phone after these first few dates. I've felt cherished, reassured and adored.


Either I have been royally schlugged over (yeah, I just made that word up) or I am letting insecurities bubble up and try to drive me batshit crazy. A handful of wonderful dates, fun and effortless conversations, great food and drinks at nice restaurants, chemistry, warmth, loads of compliments, talk about wanting me to meet a good friend of his or being mentioned to a very close sibling, oh and to be told to be sure to call his landline instead of the cell around "x" times because the cell doesn't work in "y" location - yeah I ate it all up with a spoon and big ol' swoon. Agreeing we want to focus on dating one person at a time and not "date around." No one would say that stuff if they didn't care about keeping in touch or wanting to see where things might lead, right? Hell, I don't even know right now if I should be writing this in present or past tense!!

My phone's been silent a little over a day and a half. So why does it feel like three fucking months?

Hoo boy. They say traditionally a woman shouldn't have any need to call a man. Men do the pursuing, right? Give them space, they're like rubber bands and need to stretch out before springing back and all that. I do get that for real. But I admit the bar got set very high here very early on...daily, romantic chitchat on days we weren't seeing eachother for starters. And plans made in the future to look forward to (none of that "I'll call you" shizz). So when that suddenly grinds to a screechy halt I have to wonder. I wonder if this is really for real or if it was just a fleeting thing.

I caved. Or, rather, I decided to put the 'no games' talk into motion. I sent a quick 'good morning, hope you have a wonderful day' text today. I have a very good feeling I'll have my "answer" of sorts sooner than later.

I wonder if I will be able to go back and redo this post in the past tense, delete it altogether or edit to add how silly I was to think this was just a delicious blip.

For now, ahem, we'll have to call it Pipe Cleaning.


February goes boinnnnggggggggg

That was the first thought that popped into my mind this morning so it's time to get it out and on 'paper' here, so to speak!

So first of all it's early Spring Fever time around here. I think the Groundhog seeing his shadow earlier this week (meaning, six more weeks of winter) was only meant for east coasters who are getting their asses whooped with a boatload of snow right now. Meanwhile, way over here it's bright, mild dry, blue skies most of the day and I actually ran errands without a coat on Thursday! We're normally water-logged and dimmed over with thick, grey skies and it can get downright depressing if you are not used to it. I am a pacific northwest native so while I admit it gets me down, I try to think positively and remember all that drizzle and rain is why it's so beautiful and GREEN here compared to other parts of the country.

I feel a different vibe these days all around and I think it's partly due to the nice weather. People are in good spirits, smiling, friendly...and dare I say the economy is bubbling back to life just a little. Every recruiter I've talked with has been buried with new job openings to fill (YES!), and a good friend of mine in real estate has a couple listings to work on after a rather dry and comatose stint.

It feels like there's another swirling crescendo of goodness wrapping itself around me and frankly I'm not going to question it. I'll take it! Ever get that feeling when you're on a roll and ready to pull out and up over being a bit dormant perhaps or a bit down? Maybe it's the psychological boost of the fresh new decade and the promises it keeps secret with a wry smile. What will happen at each turn of the calendar page in 2010?

There are a couple of job leads that seem promising but I know to keep patient and that if it doesn't happen it wasn't meant to be. Frankly, I rocked out in a "go-see" type of meeting with a consulting firm I've kept in touch with over the years. I felt good in my standard dress-and-heels interview attire, hair color freshly touched up, happy and glowing. You know it's a good sign when you're feeling confident and it shows - genuinely. You have a good hair day and your makeup goes on effortlessly. And if you accidentally punch a thumb through your pantyhose you can stop the run with a little clear nail polish before it turns into a racing stripe down one leg. When an 'interview' is really more of a conversation...even better. I have a phone screen on Monday with the client - these guys are moving fast - love it!

Meanwhile, the pro bono work I'm doing is rumbling along too. Our Founder/CEO was selected to be interviewed by a prominent local business publication - what an honor! Will a paying gig come along soon for the company? I cross all my fingers and toes and wonder.

And I decided it was time to start dating again. I haven't been in a relationship for about a year and a half and while I've had a few dates since then nothing really took off. Honestly, I've felt very fulfilled being single - I'm not one of those types who "always has to have a boyfriend." I'd thought about waiting before giving it another shot, with the reasoning to first find a job, wait till I got back in shape and blah blah blah.

And then...I said to myself - "what the hell am I waiting for??" I'm the same person whether I am size 6 or size 12 and whether I have a "real" paycheck or collect unemployment!

I'll keep this part short and sweet for now - I know to trust my gut...and I am so very glad I did.