Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our new sweet ride!

This week, I've been working on a project for Ford. It has been a lot of fun because I've been working with good people, and the job involves meeting people who just purchased a new Ford. For the most part, they are really happy to share their car with us. I was even able to get Jenetta hired on for two days this week, so it was nice to commute with her and to have our meals together. She is on a different team, so it has been fun to compare notes and share our experiences.

The project also involves finding people who do not drive Fords to get them to talk about their cars and see if they are a good candidate for a later project. In this one, the new Ford owner we spoke to earlier will talk to the non-Ford driver about how great their new car is. So we were able to get two of our friends to be interviewed for the project, and we hope they get picked! We have the "tell me about your car..." question burned into our brains.

When we got back to the hotel tonight, we had a surprise waiting for us:

We sang the song. Come on - you know you want to sing it, too!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Job update

It has been a while since I've posted anything on the blog. One of my friends was talking to me the other day about the same thing - he hadn't posted anything recently either. His reasoning was that he didn't have any pictures to show and so he didn't feel he had anything worth sharing. Although I had never thought about it that way, I think I feel the same way. Work has been so slow that I rarely take out my camera anymore. This kind of carries over to our social life as well. I haven't shot much of anything of late.

I guess the biggest thing to happen recently just went down in the last two days. I had an interview with Sony on Thursday morning and was offered a position with them yesterday afternoon. I also got a callback on a resume I sent in to another company requesting an interview. I am 95% sure I'll take the Sony job, but I'm planning on doing the other interview for practice and to see what else is out there and keep some options open.

I don't have a lot of time to write about it right now, and quite frankly, the actual nuts and bolts of the Sony position are a little vague to me, so I will write in more detail about it later. It is a contract job and will only last one year, but it seems interesting, and I think I will really appreciate the experience and the opportunity to network with a major company while on the inside of that organization. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has been praying for us. It has been a long time that I've been trying to find substantial consistent work. It's nice to know that the mortgage will be covered. I went into the interview thinking that God knows our need, and that if the job is right for me, it will work out. I had a real sense of peace about it either way, and I'm grateful for that.

Some other highlights of the last two weeks:

- we got free tickets to see a production of "The Music Man." - community theater quality, but fun
- I went to see Coldplay in LA - crummy seats, but good concert
- Our modem and router died and we discovered how completely dependent we are on high speed internet - not fun
- We got to visit with Wendy Rodriguez and her kids and Wendy's parents for an evening. Craig couldn't make the trip from Phoenix because of work - always a great visit
- Jenetta did a big wedding trade show last week - fingers crossed!
- I got a random job at a community center flipping burgers over the grill last Saturday for a huge neighborhood party - hot and greasy!
- I'm currently working on a commercial project for a car manufacturer where we interview people who recently bought a new vehicle. - good money, good people, fun project!
- We got free tickets to the new batman movie - too many teenagers - we'd rather watch movies from home (wow I'm sounding old...)
- Our social worker asked us to consider taking three children (3 siblings), but we know our limitations (if kids outnumber us, we're in big trouble) - kind of sad, but best for our family, and in the end, best for these children.

So that's pretty much it from our end. I'll post more about the job when I know it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Outdoor performances this weekend

We attended two interesting events this weekend. Last night, we went to San Elijo Park which is just down the hill from where my Aunt Barb and Uncle Harold live. We went to a free performance of Macbeth done outside. It was a nice date. The play isn't one of my favorites. Macbeth is just such a weenie. He has to practically have his hand held before he does anything, and then he falls apart because of the consequences. Grow a spine, Thane! Anyway, the performances were OK for the most part, and it was nice to hang out in a park and watch a show for free. Jenetta's mom, Joy, and her friend CJ were there as well. They both returned tonight to see the same company put on The Taming of the Shrew, which I probably would have enjoyed a lot more.

Then tonight, we were invited by Cris and Alana (our cousins-in-law) to go down to the main park in Coronado and listen to a free concert. Coronado puts on a free event at the gazebo every Sunday night in the summer. Tonight featured a group of singers from Lamb's Players singing a variety of pop songs and show tunes. We enjoyed just hanging out with the people enjoying their picnic dinners and wine. We met two families who were also invited by our cousins, and it was a lot of fun getting to know them and sharing their goodies! We even bumped into Robbie's parents afterwards. The whole thing just seemed really small-town, middle-America-like. I would definitely go again.

I hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our kitchen

I made a really, really, really big mess today.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's up?

My mom and dad are in Poland, and they said they are checking our blogs everyday to see what is happening back home. I haven't posted for a while, and although nothing too out of the ordinary has occurred since then, I thought that for their sake, I'd write about what has been going on.

At work, three people have recently left or moved to other positions. Two of them are extremely competent people who have been with the real estate division since the beginning. The third has been there for over two years and had also grown into an excellent resource. When I heard this was happening, I pretty much knew that my time with them was coming to an end. The majority demographic of our clientèle is 50+ year-old women. Most of them don't handle change very well, and few of them are technologically savvy. They have outstanding people skills and they are drawn to vendors with the same ethic. They are used to hearing a familiar voice on the other end of the phone telling them that it will be taken care of.

To further compound the problem, the person who was "hired" to replace our main customer service person was actually just moved from another department and will be returning when a permanent hire is found. This means that a recent trainee will train a new person - effectively wiping out years of good customer service relationships. And, this person still is working in the other department, so the response time to communication has been severely affected.

This week has been awful on the work front. On Mon-Wed, I did the amount of work that I used to do in one single day. I have no jobs today or tomorrow. It is very depressing to think about because I really enjoy what I do, and in the past, it provided for us very well.

So, rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself, I have tried to be more productive in other ways this week. I went surfing with my friend David three times this week. We are planning on going again tomorrow. We both have skin rashes from the salt water. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with him. He's a great friend, and he is a lot of fun just to be around. He is one of those people who can find the joy and the wonder in just about anything, and I really admire that trait in him. Simple things like a good bagel or a good cup of coffee or a nice left that you expected to close out but didn't bring a huge smile to his face, and his spirit is infectious. I sort of felt like I was a kid out of school in the summertime as it is not often that I hang out with the same friend three days in a row. That was pretty cool.

I have been applying for jobs like crazy, and I've decided I need to get more organized about that. I've gotten some responses back from companies, and I can't remember what type of job I applied for since there are 4 distinct positions that I feel qualified for. (4 different resumes - countless different cover letters.) I think printing out each job I apply for and writing some notes on it will help with that. I'm going to a job fair down in the city next week. I'm hoping that since it is hosted by and is being held in San Diego, that it will be more productive than the small one I went to last week up here in Escondido. Jenetta found a book for me to read, and I think it will help a lot. She feels like it was written directly to me. Here is a link to the book and reviews on Amazon, and here is a link to a google summary/partial content posting.
Hopefully reading this will help.

Jenetta and I went on a great hike last night before sunset. I enjoyed it more than she did because part of the hike had some really steep hills. But it was nice to hang with her and talk about things together.

In a few minutes, I am going to have lunch with my friend Geoff. He is the youth pastor at our church, and we meet together to pray regularly. He is the guest preacher this week while our main pastor is on sabbatical. It will be interesting to get a sneak peak into his thoughts for Sunday, and I always enjoy hearing about his life and encouraging him in the challenges he faces. There's nothing like focusing on others to get over whining about yourself!

There is kind of a recurring theme or conversation that goes on in my head sometimes many times a day. When I look at the calendar and the bank account, I start to freak out about what we are facing. We usually are able to save in the summer for the lean winter times, but now we are earning less than we need to get by at this time. Without significant changes, the winter will be terrible. I don't see how we can keep the house. I don't see how we can keep up with bills and mounting debt. It is so awful and menacing that I could just sit in the corner and cry about it and not do anything.

Or, I can reflect on Matthew 6:25-34. I can think about the fact that God knows what we are facing. I can remember the times He provided for us in the past. I can meditate on the truth that He is my Father and He loves us. I can then use that lens to look at today and tomorrow (or through the end of the week for that matter!) We have enough for today. We won't starve or lose the home today. Instead of focusing on what I don't have (namely gainful employment), I can focus on what I have been given. I have lots of time, and I have ears to listen and a heart that cares about other people. I'm going to kiss Jenetta goodbye and then go spend time with Geoff.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July

We had a pretty neat experience last night. Jenetta is shooting a wedding today down at Humphrey's by the Bay for a really great couple, Adam and Jasmine. We got to know them a little bit at their engagement photo session done at UCSD. You can see some of their photos from them here and here.

They are a great couple, and we enjoyed our time with them. They were kind enough to invite us to their rehearsal dinner which was held at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island in San Diego Bay. The food and the company was very nice, and we were rewarded with about the best place to watch fireworks I could imagine. We didn't bring any cameras, but here is a photo of the event from last year. It will give you an idea of what I mean.

They launch the fireworks from these 5 barges in the bay, and we were really close to the most northern barge near Shelter Island. You could smell the gunpowder and the explosions were accompanied by hundreds of car alarms going off in the parking lots. We could actually see two other displays as well - one from Coronado, and one from Sea World. They weren't doing the exact same thing as the barges, but basically the whole sky was filled with color. It was hard to know where to look!

Probably the coolest thing was that when the fireworks started, we moved closer to the launch point on the other side of the restaurant, and we were next to a family with a young kid who exclaimed "Did you see that one?" after almost every one! We thought that was pretty cool, and we wondered if we would have someone to share fireworks with next year.

After the finale, the reserved parking that Adam and Jasmine secured for their guests really came in handy. We were among the first 20 or so cars to get off of Shelter Island. I'm sure the traffic jam lasted for an hour or more behind us.

Jenetta leaves in about an hour for the wedding. It was nice to be included as friends and not as workers last night.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In honor of Canada Day

I thought this was pretty funny.

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