Saturday, June 23, 2012

Now That I Have a Spreadsheet, Can Success Continue to Elude Me?

This past Tuesday I finally put up a profile on the professional networking website (LinkedIn), and uploaded my resume to DICE, the IT jobs website that was once the place for this kind of thing, though I gather that now people just use LinkedIn to search for jobs, plus do research and connect with others.

On Wednesday I had my six-month mammogram, which was strangely unpainful, which normally would be good, but since the mammogram that found the problem in the first place was bordering on excruciating, I asked if there had been sufficient compression. The technician said she was trying not to mash the surgical site, and that she had gotten clear pictures. Maybe it was also less painful because there’s somewhat less flesh to mash, per the new anti-cancer ingestion habits. I got the results ten minutes later—everything appeared to be fine—which is one perk of having had breast cancer. They said from now on, I will always get the results immediately.

I went then to see my surgeon, who did a clinical exam and said everything seemed good and that it didn’t appear there was any damage from the radiation.

In the past year or so, I acquired a tape deck that will make an mp3 from a cassette tape (or from a CD) and, though I’m normally opposed to this kind of project, actually thought I might convert all of my cassettes into mp3s. I’m opposed to it because it’s just undoable. It’s a waste of time to even think you’ll get around to something like that, and if you did somehow do it, it would be pure folly, because you’d never even listen to any of those mp3s, plus by then the whole mp3 thing would be over in favor of planting a chip right in your brain.

That has to be coming: everyone gets a chip in the brain at birth, and then you just stand near conveniently located scanners to download music into your head and pay for stuff.

Nonetheless, because all those songs are my winning little friends, I thought about converting them, and decided to fish five cassettes per week out of the brown paper grocery bag and perform an evaluation: convert or take straight to Green Citizen for recycling. I did actually convert a few initially just to see how it worked, and it worked perfectly, but the plan to assess five cassettes per week didn’t work at all—a worthy candidate might be identified, but I couldn’t force myself to actually do the task.

On Thursday I looked at every cassette I have and decided I could live on without about half of them, and I think now that I will just look at all of them periodically until I’ve taken every last one to Green Citizen, and then sell the tape deck. Voila!

Yesterday the job search networking phase officially began, complete with a spreadsheet! I wanted to make sure that the recruiting firm that originally sent me to the job I just left (maybe it’s getting to be a stretch to say I “just” left it) was in possession of my updated resume, and was able to find the exact person who helped me out 13 years ago—one of the biggest benefactors in my entire life. Turns out she’s back at that same firm, and she now has my resume.

I’ve always thought that not coloring one’s grey hair was a sign of growing old naturally and gracefully, and I still do, but it’s kind of pointless when practically everyone else on earth sees it as being frumpy. I read somewhere that if everyone tells you your grey hair looks marvelous, then don’t touch it; otherwise, do. One of these years, it could happen that I have a job interview, and everyone else my age will have dyed her hair, thus placing me at a disadvantage. Maybe. Are there people out there who don’t think it’s bad to be old? I like to think so, but fear that’s giving my countrymen too much credit. (Not you, of course! I know you and I are in accord.)

I used to bleach my hair when I was in my 20s, but the chemicals were pretty hard on the scalp, so I decided to experiment this time with semi-permanent hair color, which still uses peroxide, but much less, and it washes out in about six weeks, though you don’t see brown water running down the drain in the shower.

Decision made, I went to see Tom. There is another fellow at Tom’s salon, but I’ve identified him as being what is known in Buddhism as a grasping type. You don’t want that kind of person to touch your hair because they like a lot of things and are full of enthusiasm: “I know, we’ll try this! Have you ever thought of doing this before? Oh my god, it looks so great!” No, no, no. You want the curmudgeon—the aversive type, in Buddhism, because they look at things critically and carefully and proceed with caution. That’s the upside to being an aversive type: improved discernment, though you still have to be careful not to believe everything you think.

Tom and I discussed the color options and went with “brown.”

C. had not liked this idea at all and tried to convince me that I should love my hair as it is, and indeed the freshly colored hair looked pretty strange. I thought everyone was going to say, “Holy crap, you colored your hair!”, but no one has said that, probably for the same reason I never say that to anyone else: sometimes people do color their hair. Also, it doesn’t sound polite.


lisajean1015 said...

Sad but probably true that you can't ignore the implications of going gray until you're in an economic position to tell the rest of the world to shove off. I suspect the freshly colored hair "looked pretty strange" not because it actually looked strange but because it looked unfamiliar to you, kind of like a new pair of glasses.

Bugwalk said...

I actually think it may have looked kind of strange--a flat, uniform, dull brown sort of color--but you may be right, and in any event, it began to evolve in a day or two, subtly, so that it didn't look so monochromatic.