Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bedazzling Sacramento Night

Once you enter the world of clothes that actually fit, it’s not long before you have to enter the world of shapewear. A very nice saleslady at Nordstrom shared that now that she’s a shapewear expert, she no longer has to visit the gym.

Last Thursday I rode my bike to the beach, went to the library and to points downtown including the hardware store and Green Citizen. I rode home the long way, by the ballpark. Exercise makes such a difference. On Friday, I walked for an hour or so, dropping off my new interview outfit at Pete’s dry cleaners on 24th St.

On Saturday I went to Rainbow because Tom and I had been invited to a birthday party for his nephew Chris on Sunday, my usual day for grocery shopping and cooking, but then I found out that Tom wouldn’t be coming back with me Sunday night because he had things to do around Sacramento on Monday. At first I thought I’d have to miss the party because I didn’t want to drive home alone afterward. I often drive there and Tom always drives coming back, and I fall asleep two minutes after we get on the freeway, which is less good to do if you’re the one driving. I pondered if having to skip the party could somehow be construed to be Tom’s fault, but concluded it couldn’t and decided just to drive home afterward by myself, asleep or no.

We set off at 3 p.m. Sunday with his niece Sarah but didn’t get there until about 6 p.m. because of heavy traffic (and possibly because of someone’s suggestion that we take the Golden Gate Bridge). I had to leave again at 8:30, so it was a short visit, but well worth it. Julie said she’s sure that not only will I get a job, I’ll end up doing whatever it is that I want to do. I’m far from certain of that, and appreciate being able to tap into the confidence of others while mine is running a bit low.

While I’ve never been behind the steering wheel coming back from Sacramento, I’ve been in the passenger seat tens of times, so I was a little shocked to go astray immediately after getting on the freeway. Good: lost on the freeway at night. I took the first exit and called Tom’s brother on my very first cell phone, which fortunately had arrived on Friday. (Every prior cell phone had been issued by my employer.) Paul gave me directions and all was well after that. Since I was alone, I could open the window to the chilly night wind and was bedazzled by the amazing green smell of the fields west of Sacramento, and the drive was really very nice.

Yesterday I had tea with my friend Rod, who recently retired, which is what I would also do if I were ten years older and had twice the savings. As it is, I’m “between opportunities” or, even more agreeably, “jobfree.” While I’m hoping to find an interesting full-time job with benefits and congenial colleagues that has a reasonable chance of lasting until I retire (which will probably be whenever Medicare starts, unless all of Obamacare goes into effect), all this job losing has brought home that no set of circumstances is ultimately reliable. “Once I have a good job, I’ll be all set” now sounds kind of ridiculous.

Yesterday evening I walked to Howie’s. Afterward, I noticed someone else leaving who, unlike others, wasn’t clutching a device or staring into a screen. Several blocks later, I saw the same fellow still just a few feet ahead, so I introduced myself and found out he lives half a block from me, and has been going to Howie’s for two years. I’ve never seen him before, a consequence of always sitting in the front row.

Today featured a nice bike ride to the ocean and back. Looking for a job is starting to seem kind of fun. It’s a project, with a big list of interesting things to do, though I’m absolutely pacing myself—getting nine hours of sleep nightly, turning off the computer at 5 p.m. to have dinner and do some reading. I’m eating my fruits and veggies and getting some exercise nearly every day. This would be a very pleasant way to live if it were actually sustainable.

Recently I checked dice.com to see how many IT jobs had been listed in San Francisco that day and saw there were 20 of them, which seemed promising, and then I noticed the San Francisco jobs actually went to the bottom of the page: 30. I clicked to the next page. Make that 60. 90. 120. 150. 180. When I got to a thousand or so, I knocked off because my clicking finger was getting tired. Holy moly! We seem to be in a tech hiring boom similar to when I got the job I’m now saying goodbye to. Very good news; I had no idea.
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