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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The first few days

I will walk out of the darkness
And I'll walk into the light
And I'll sing the song of ages
And the dawn will end the night


Day one and two of unemployment have passed and I'm already bored out of my mind.  I cleaned up my room today and tomorrow I plan on doing more cleaning and working out because I don't know what else to do.  The job hunt is not going so well because there just isn't much out there.  I've even looked at going somewhere, anywhere but I don't want to go anywhere without my girl. 

I find that I'm back to where I was in Freshmen year of high school.  I remember we had to draw a four year plan to help pave our way into college and thus, a career.  I agonized long and hard over this because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  I have medium interests in a bunch of things but not enough to warrant them as my true passion.  I'm hesitant in starting a career in the environment because I don't think I really have a passion for it.  I mean I like being outside and learning about the how's and whys but not enough to want to make money off of it.

When I was laid off last week a number of my superiors and coworkers would shake my hand and say, "hopefully you'll come back sooner than later" meaning that things should pick up and I might get called back.  I guess I consider that to be some sort of a time limit in that I need to find a better career before they call me back in.  I didn't mind my former job but I also didn't love it either.  The coworkers were nice and helpful but they weren't lifelong material.  I don't know if I value coworkers more than the actual work because I've always said that the worst job in the world would be a piece of cake if you have great people working around with you.

I would love to own a business someday but what business would I own?  What entity do I know thoroughly enough to be a leader in it?  I figure that the internet is still going to be around in the future, so perhaps taking web design class would be a good route (maybe I could find a better template for this place).  I suppose I have some soul searching in my time off and I hope I can gain some experiences and learn some more hobbies. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cuomo Crap

And even though I know
How very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing
On the same bright star

Crap List

1.  Mario Cuomo

I spent about a week in a half watching Ken Burns' documentary Baseball which is spectacular.  It's so good that you want John Chencellor to narrate stupid parts of your own life just to make it interesting.

John Chancellor:  ...and that is when, with the gleam of his bluish grey eyes and the raw durability of his worn out work gloves, he struck the alley cat with the broad side of the shovel sending it in the hated neighbors lawn.

The documentary is about 20 hours long and it gives great detail about baseball throughout the different decades.  It was as close to baseball purist porn as it gets which had me constantly on the edge of my seat. 

One of the most moving parts of the documentary was during the 40's when the African Americans were struggling to enter Major League Baseball and the semi success of the Negro Leagues.  It gives great detail about what Jackie Robinson had to go through and how strong he was to have been through it.

The first time I started to frown was when I was watching the 40's because alongside the success of the Yankees, Dodgers, and the Negro Leagues they had about 15 minutes of Mario Cuomo playing minor league baseball. 

What the hell does Mario Cuomo have to do with anything?  I found myself sighing whenever he took over the documentary because I didn't really give a damn.  I actually would've been slightly more interested in seeing George Bush as a Yale player than Cuomo.  What really irritates me is that throughout the entire 20+ hour documentary, they only say "Twins" once and never mention "Carew", "Killebrew", or "Puckett" once.  At the time Puckett was one of the most popular players and the 91' World Series was quickly glossed over.  What the hell?  They didn't even talk about Koufax and the '65 World Series. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WBC Bits

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside


-I must admit, I have been ass deep in watching the World Baseball Classic since it started last weekend.  For those who don't care or figure it's boring, think again because I'll give you a brief rundown of WBC history

February 2006:  Critics pan it before it begins while countries like Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Cuba start salivating for world baseball dominance. 

March 2006:  Almost immediately after the first weekend the popularity sky rockets with ESPN frantically adding games and lazy sportswriters starting to take notice.  The Domincan/Venezuela game receives more press pass requests than the Superbowl.  Chipper Jones announces that the WBC is more intense than the World Series.

Late March 2006:  Koreans booing Ichiro, David Ortiz cocks off to the Cubans, and the US loses to Canada to the surprise of the ignorant US sportswriters.  I spontaneously explode to my delight of the whole tournament.

This year is no different.  Even after the success of the first tournament, sportswriters (as worthless as they are, especially in this town) still ridicule it and would prefer watching spring training because... they're stupid.  I will admit that it didn't have the best preview with numerous players announcing tennis elbow problems, bumps on the knee, and spiders being in the WBC clubhouse scaring all the players away but these teams do have really good talent.

-Speaking of the WBC how about that Dutch team?!  The Dominicans were supposed to be the favorites in the tournament with all the power hitters they have.  They were like the steroid poster team from 2006 and now it's like they can't get through an inning without booting the ball around the infield. 

The Netherlands on the other hand were playing great baseball.  The pitching specifically was impressive by keeping the Dominicans down to 3 runs in 20 innings.  I can't help but to think that Bert Blyleven has something to do with it since he's the pitching coach.  Remember, this is the team that had a no-hitter in 2006.

Monday, March 09, 2009

More Laid Off Crap

Grasp at straws that don’t want grasping
Gaze at clouds that come down crashing
Never turn your back on mother earth


Crap List

-The Parents reaction

For the record, I'm doing pretty well for getting the pink slip at work.  I've been playing out my last couple days and I'm making it a point not to burn any bridges although the thought is very satisfying. 

When I told my dad the news he made sure to hold a press conference for all of his work buddies and the news went out like wildfire.  My dad should've been a reporter of some sort with the amount of people that listen to him when he has some juicy dirt. I'm wondering if my dad is on Twitter or something (a thought that would blow my mind seeing as he can't maximize a window). 

Anyway my parents are in full blown job hunting mode which is very nice of them...but very annoying of them in the same light.  My mom has just discovered Craigslist so I'm sure she's about ready to suggest the first 20 entries to anything that comes up.  I'm just very lucky to not be single because before I know I know it I'll have my dad calling me up,

"So I found this singles add on craigslist.  This one is blonde, tall, pretty swell body, and she sounds like a keeper.  She only wants 100 roses and I think roses are on sale at Rainbow!  She could be marriage material!"

...When in fact she's a full blown whore. 

I did get a phone call from my dad on whether I applied to the public works job and he had the idea where I find a job in--alright get ready for this--

Radio and TV.


See, the thought is that I went into college and studied radio and tv for about a year in a half while working on studio equipment which was 30 years old and this was ten years ago.  We used the Amiga for computer graphics!  I would give him credit for knowing my bio but the idea is so damn stupid that I would hope my future kids would send me in a home for saying something like that in the future.  (future kids: if you're reading this, you will have to fight me first)

After all, if construction is the biggest victim of the recession, the media is probably coming in at number 2.  Not to mention if I even did have some sort of a desire to be in the media (and I can assure you, I don't) I would've

A.  Finished school
B.  Taken an internship about 8 years ago
C.  continued to take an interest in the media
D.  Moved far, far away from my parents.


-Reactions to my laid off news

I'm finding that people are very uneasy around me at work nowadays.  I have the very weird situation in that I was purposely tipped off at getting laid off two weeks before hand and everyone knows about it.  What is weird is that everyone is walking on eggshells around me about the news.  It's as if they think I'm going to go insane about receiving the pink slip.  Like I would go insane about that gig.  pfff

Whenever people call me I get the inevitable elephant-in-the-room startup with,

"Hey Tom,
Uh, so I'm sorry about the news.  (insert some sort of humbling selfless comment). I'm sure you'll find your way on your feet someday, (two second pause) someday."

My mom even told me that she's "praying for me" which is nice I guess...

But I'm not dying.  It's a very uneasy feeling because I'm actually passed getting laid off and I'm looking forward to learning about something new.  I'm dreaming about different things that I could on a nightly basis and the thoughts are endearing.  Steph even messaged me with,

"So are you going to find some really fun baseball job now that you have more time on your hands?"

Oh my god that would be sweet!  See, THAT is the kind of response that wish to generate.  Even a little 'well wish' is a very nice gesture which It isn't riddled with weird cancer undertones and I don't feel like I should be mourning something.  I don't know, I'm a pretty optimistic person and I feel very confident that I'll find a better job at some point someday...someday.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Unemployment Crap

Heal me with a smile, Darling Pretty
Heal me with a smile and a heart of gold


1.  The Writing on the Wall

On Friday I got a call from my boss that he wanted me to come to his desk. 

I had this same call about three weeks ago.
I remember thinking that I still had some work in my area and someone even told me a rumor that I have the most work out of anyone in my department because I was on another shift than anyone.  Also, the last time I was laid off about 8 years ago I had my actual "boss" (aka: the guy who signs my checks) call me up before work started and tell me the bad news. 

As it turns out my boss just wanted to know a little info on one of my current projects that I was working on.  No bigs.

Last Friday I kept thinking,

My real boss would call me if I was getting the axe wouldn't they? 
Probably not since there's no one with a spine who is left in our company.  That worthless HR woman wouldn't even know my phone number or know what to say other than,
"Did you have to wake up for this phone call? haha"  *shudders*

I stepped up to my boss' desk and he looked at me and said,
"Ah, consider this to be your unofficial two-week notice."  He didn't feel good about telling me the news but he also knew that I could smell the bullshit if he were to delay the news.  Right away I thought of all the fears that come with being laid off like soup lines, beards, hobos, being a loser, not having enough money, and having to tell my girlfriend was the worst one to come to mind.

It wasn't like it was out of nowhere either but I had been trying to encourage myself the last 6 months that I might avoid the whole situation because I work a different shift.  Our department has dwindled from about 23 people to only 9 when me and the others pack up and leave.  It's a little frustrating to think about because we're contractors and we're expendable whereas the internal people have and ironclad agreement to stay there, recession or not.  I also believe that there's a lot of really good contractors that are worth much, much more than the jobs they're saving however it comes with being a contractor--we're there because we're expendable. 

The first day I found out the news I didn't tell any of my workers because I didn't know how I would do it.  We worked together for nearly the duration of my time there and they're great workers.  They know how I run things and they understand the level of trust that comes with the job.  In two weeks there will be another (higher paid) colleague who will lead them and who knows how much things change. 

I really hated telling my girlfriend the news because there is always a fear that they'll leave you during rough times.  There's always the fear that you'll have to handle being jobless, heartbroken, and being alone with nothing but time on your hands.  It almost feels like you're less than a man suddenly being jobless especially for me because I've generally been working since my 14th birthday when it was legal to work.  I need a job and I hate the idea of not working one.  I hate the idea of collecting unemployment or government charity.  I hate knowing that I have to put my home buying plans on hold yet again especially with the money they've giving first time home buyers.

Luckily the girlfriend was sympathetic beyond belief and gave me no doubts to my worst fears. Since her kind words I've been optimistic of leaving knowing that the options are out there and I'm not necessarily tied down anywhere by bills or leases.  At least this time around I can say goodbye to everyone compared to 8 years ago when I was told that "today is my last day".  Either way I'll work the last 2 weeks like I worked any other two weeks and see what happens in the future.  I've heard plenty of people say that the best thing that ever happened to them was being laid off.  I hope it's the second best thing for me.