Selfie fails

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Irritated

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Classic resting bitch face

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So fake

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Incredibly fake

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Scared or incredulous,  take your pick

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Smug, my final choice

Jerry always tried to get me to smile in pictures but it didn’t look right. I have a serious case of Resting Bitch Face, there’s nothing anybody can do about it.  It didn’t help that I hated having someone take my picture. In our wedding video I give the camera guy the fish eye at one point.

Jerry didn’t like having his picture taken either but when he smiled it looked genuine. It often was.

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Jerry being himself

I’m trying to take a decent picture to post on LinkedIn, my current pic sucks rocks.  I usually look pissed off, incredulous or fake, especially when I smile, it is so not me. But I don’t want to look hostile and scare people and I worry that my being older, something quite obvious, does not put off people either.

Jerry didn’t care, he was comfortable with himself. He took great pride in pointing out that Brad Pitt had gray in
his beard too. But I think he’d be irritated that growing a beard is trendy now, he had a beard in high school. When people thought it meant you were a hippie, stoner, anarchist or something worse, not from here.  The only person who touched the beard was Larry, his barber for 27 years.

It’s hard to find a job when you’re old. Older. When interviewers ask why I want to move I have to tell them about Jerry. They usually say something like “I’m sorry,” there’s a brief moment and then it moves on. Which is what I’m trying to do, more or less.

He would encourage me to try and do better. Even though it wasn’t true he would say I was the smartest person he knew and made me believe it.

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Taleo

Anyone who has applied for a job online has probably come across a Taleo application at some point. Taleo has an exact match keyword search that kicks out applicants if you do not meet a narrow and specific criteria. I hate them, feel a sense of hopelessness and defeat when I see Taleo on the top of the page because I know I’m doomed. Even if I meet the qualifications.

I’ve been weeded out of jobs and while there are different reasons why nearly every time the company used Taleo. So I take it personally,  from Taleo not necessarily the company.

I’m still out there trying, including cover letters hoping they might counterbalance the evil prejudice of Taleo but not really expecting it to work. My previous job titles are probably to blame and I acknowledge that seeing “bookseller” in my past is not going to fire up many potential employers. Not even Barnes and Noble, I applied for a job in Tukwila and got turned down. They used Taleo.

Museum pieces

I have realized I’m meant to live alone, to be as Kim Cattrall calls it, “romantically retired.” She says she is but I think a woman who has been married 3 times believes and I imagine she may go for number four, besides she is a great looking older broad and it could happen. But this isn’t about Ms Cattrall.

I’m okay alone, not excited or thrilled about it, but I accept it and made my peace with it. What did surprise me was though I am not a participant I am an avid observer. Attractive men still catch my eye and I appreciate the pretty.

Which led to my understanding of where I stand and how I will live with it. Good looking men, handsome men are pretty shiny cases. Something to be admired for its beauty, the lines, shape and *sigh* texture, like a work of art in a museum. Not mine, I have no claim to ownership, I do not have responsibility for the care and maintenence and all I know, all I need to know, is how wonderful it is to look at and admire the craftsmanship. Like a painting or sculpture I can admire it and visit it when I want then leave it where it belongs. I accept the beauty, grace of form and like music, the sound and tone that make me want to sink into it, for a little while, until the song and the experience ends. Of course I can hit repeat and let it happen over and over, but even as I enjoy it I know it isn’t permanent or will be mine. Just in that moment, from a distance and then it’s over.

Written down like this it is pathetic and sad. It is, if I am honest. Yet I acknowledge the limitations and if I am willing to accept them I know what to expect and won’t be shocked when I have to leave the museum. I don’t live there, it isn’t mine or my place. So there will be a twinge of sadness or disappointment but it will fade. As I get used to it I can anticipate it and move past it easier, like a pothole in the road I know I have to hit.

Fortunately for me there are few occasions in daily life where I am faced with male beauty. That’s not snarky, I just don’t get out much.

It does happen, it happened last night when I saw a good looking man onstage at Shakespeare in the Park. I can appreciate his looks while knowing I won’t see him after this night or know anything about him. Probably a nice guy, likely gay or married, maybe both. Very nice to look at and I know I wasn’t the only woman who thought it, some of the men probably did too. So I objectified this dude, admired him as I would a painting or sculpture in a museum and I moved on.

I know people are more than the sum of their parts, that a person’s heart and mind, wit and tastes matter more than their appearance. But I am not interested in finding out because I am not investing in a relationship with this person. This dude might like country music for all I know but that doesn’t distract from his looks. But if I had to talk to him that would detract from his overall attractiveness. I am being very shallow and I admit it.

Since I am not pursuing a relationship with this man or any other I might be physically attracted to being shallow is not a bad thing. I’m not made for this, I don’t want the anxiety or fighting against what nature/life/God deems right for me. I will admire the gorgeous shiny cases for what they offer, beauty, and be grateful. I won’t ask for more and I won’t be disappointed or do any damage. I will respect the rules of the museum.

Walking again

The first fitness post I’ve written in awhile.

I walked today for the first time in well,  nearly a month. I went to the river and told myself it would be a short walk since it had been awhile, I figured maybe an hour. I did an hour and half, going a little further than I planned.

I didn’t push myself, I did sweat a little but that was it. I don’t know how far I went but it wasn’t about that, it was getting back into the habit. I wanted to know I could still do this and I was a little worried I might not, that what conditioning I had was gone. I’m probably not as strong as before the move but I haven’t lost it, not completely. It felt good.

I stopped at the halfway point where I turned around to take these pictures. Then when I finished I went to Sonic for a diet cherry limeade. I felt I earned it.

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the job search

This is turning into an account of my rather dull job search and attempt to relocate to another part of the country. It’s only of interest to me and this is mainly a way to keep track of which jobs have closed, which are still open and where I stand in the process.

I admit I forgot how long the process can be, from the time a job is posted or officially opened to the close date, to sifting through applicants, scheduling interviews and finally deciding on a winner. A job can remain open indefinitely, especially with a high turnover position. Accepting applications for a month or longer isn’t that unusual I’ve learned as well.  Which means waiting, being anxious and counting the days on the calendar and constantly checking email becomes a regular thing.

I have received a couple of rejections, which I am grateful for, oddly enough. At least they put me out of my misery and now I know. Even when the answer is no the wondering part is finally over and I can go on to the next job and worry about it.

I received my third rejection this morning, from the job fair interview with a local company. I should be disappointed and let down but strangely enough I am relieved. Because if they offered it to me I might have said yes and that would have ended my relocation hopes. If I said no I would be wondering if I made a huge mistake and start kicking myself for it. By telling me no they took that burden off my shoulders.

I checked my remaining applications, so far 9 remain open and accepting applications so I’m still in the running. There is hope, for now. I still haven’t heard from the Seattle company I applied with last week but followed up and confirmed they received my faxed application. So I got that going for me, for now. I know that I may not hear from any of them until sometime next month.

I’m still applying for jobs but only ones that I really want, that pay enough and are with companies I want to work with. I’m being more selective because it cuts down on record-keeping and because I’m picky, lazy and want to cut down on the number of rejections.

Right now I wonder about what I ‘m going to do. I can stay with my sister, kick in for bills and save a lot by not paying rent, pulling out money from savings for a deposit for an apartment I might not need for long. Yet I know this isn’t a realistic long term solution. We aren’t going to be a cute sitcom family like Full House who get along and have no problems. We’d be more like Mob Wives, but without the gangbanger spouses/dads. Also my pets have fleas despite the flea meds. Her cat has been gone over a month and she’s talking about getting another kitten when she comes home. So there’s that.

I’m trying to be patient, to pray and depend on God. I lit a candle last week for my job search. I am calling in favors. But like one of my yoga teachers says, be in the moment,  don’t worry about later, just be for now. So I try not to speculate too much on what I can’t control and do what I can, for now. It’s harder than I thought.

Inertia

Sounds better than laziness but amounts to much the same thing. I don’t seem to be doing anything. I’m not working, the move is over and every day is a blank space I have to fill some way.

I should look at this as a vacation, time off, time to relax.

I went to a job fair yesterday and had a 10 minute interview before seeing the door again. I applied for 3 jobs today, 2 here and 1 in Seattle. I don’t know if any of these or any of the other applications I’ve filled out will come to anything.  I am trying to stay hopeful and remind myself it takes time. HR depts do not move quickly,  there are delays of all kinds, be patient I tell myself. Some days I seesaw between anxiety and fear. Other days it’s denial. I worry that the fact I don’t live in WA is keeping me from finding work there, that employers don’t want to deal with someone who will have to move 2,000 miles, that it’s easier to pick someone who already lives in the area.

Another concern is my weight. Frankly I eat a lot of junk food and have done some emotional eating. Granted it’s usually protein bars but it’s still chocolate and soothing. I haven’t walked in over 2 weeks. I went to yoga last night for the first time in 2 weeks. Moving took up all my time and energies, I couldn’t do anything else and I didn’t. Now that it’s over I’m not bouncing back like I thought I would. The spandex in my jeans is working harder now. I’m not scared but there’s a feeling of shame and guilt when I get dressed now. Ah, Shame and Guilt, it’s been awhile,  I almost missed you.

The occasional sense of fear, when I remember stories of people who had bypasses and then regained the weight they lost. I have worked hard to keep my weight down but any gain spurs the fear of gaining it all back. It may not be healthy but I know I’m not going back. Back to diabetes meds, taking my sugar 2 times a day, being less strong and flexible, feeling large and awkward (as opposed to just awkward) and having to  buy bigger clothes, no way. But I know I’ll feel better when my jeans feel loose, and when I get a job. I know the job is the bigger goal but I really want to feel comfortable in my clothes again.

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I bought this backrest today at a garage sale. The highlight of my day.

Job Update: I got a call from the job fair people and they scheduled an interview for me on Monday. Relief and anxiety kicked in. Then I got a call from Seattle to fill out an application here ro be faxed to them. Excitement joined relief and anxiety. I’m trying to stay stable, do my best and see what if anything comes of either one. I admit I am bullish on Seattle but will not say no to any job offered to me without thinking long and hard.