Friday, February 25, 2011

Anatomy of Today's Job Market

Dena started work this past Tuesday for the first time in 18 months. Thankfully, due to the Obama and democratic moves to extend COBRA supplemental coverage (health care for the unemployed) and extend unemployment benefits for 99 weeks we managed to survive this relatively unscathed. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't without hardship, adjustments and anxiety but we didn't lose our house, or our car and the only thing we gained was a stronger relationship.

How did she get this new job? Dena applied for jobs every day. She would sit on the computer and search, sometimes even applying for jobs that pop up Friday nights and Saturday mornings. Not sure who posts jobs then but ? At one point she even applied for a Starbucks store manager. She was over qualified and probably too old, but of course, they cannot say that.

Finally in January of 2011 something happened. Not sure if the economy is really starting to turn the corner or if all the planets started to align but really good, interesting jobs in her field started to pop up on a daily basis. She applied and actually got calls back. In the previous 17 months she had a total of 3 interviews. In the first two weeks of January she had had ten. At the beginning of February she was past the first interview stage of three good looking jobs. For those of you who haven't had to hunt lately, the first stage is a phone interview. I suppose you could say the first stage is actually getting an email or phone call acknowledging that you exist, but I digress.

She then proceeded over the next three weeks to move through interviews two, three and four. These were all face to face. Only the final contestant went to interview four. The first two ended at interview three and haven't been heard from since. Both of those interviews had great vibes and no reason not to get an offer or some kind of courtesy call. I think it's unprofessional but it's not uncommon.

On January 22nd she started with contestant number three. We couldn't be happier.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Beauty of Living in Los Angeles

more knocking, more pounding on our front door.
We run to the front door, Dena is looking out the curtain screaming, what is it? What is it?
She thought our house was on fire, again.
Our neighbor Joe is standing outside saying that someone has broken into my truck. He's spotted the guy and spews out a license plate number. I dash into the kitchen for a piece of paper while Joe continues to spew the license plate #
5:10 am - call 911, give dispatcher plate #
5:11 am - dispatcher calls back, that plate # is a neighbor
5:12 am - another moment of panic.....
5:20 am - one cop car arrives As I proceed to be interviewed, a report taken, Joe is interviewed, another report taken
5:35 am - 3 more cop cars arrive
5:45 am - 6 cops walk across the street and bang on another neighbors door. The owner of the reported plate. Sleepy, frightened neighbor walks out of house to 4 cop cars with flashing lights.
Here's the full story - Joe hears breaking glass. Peers out his window and sees a 6' black guy grabbing stuff out of my truck and then using a flashlight to look into other vehicles on the street. Joe comes out of house and yells. Guy drives away in silver Honda Accord with the lights off.
Why did the cops bang on the other neighbor's door? It turns out that the bad guy switched plates from his stolen Honda to this neighbors Honda.He actually had the time to take the plates off the stolen car, unscrew the neighbors plates, screw on the stolen plates and then rob me.
Then the pounding started....and you're up to date. The guy got my tool bag, about $2,000 worth of tools.

6:30 am - Another neighbor comes out of her house to drive her kid to school and is met by a cop car in her driveway.
6:35 am - finally the cops drive away, after I've given my solar panel spiel, lent them a screwdriver and got my report #.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Duct Tape Man

At least I think it's a guy....not too sure. This guy was walking back and forth down the street while I was pumping gas. As you can see he's taped all of his pant rips with duct tape and he's made himself shoe soles out of duct tape as well. It is a phenomenally versatile tape isn't it. He made a dragging kind of sound not unlike a zombie. I've been watching a lot of undead shows lately. Of course, this is quite sad, I'm sure the guy is not quite all there but it was quite a sight none the less.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Do you watch that ABC show Castle? I really like it as it's witty and there is good chemistry between Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic). Kind of funny that both these actors are Canadians....We are taking over North America, one TV show at a time. They do a tremendous amount of filming on our little dead end section of Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles. So much so that there are probably fewer days of no filming than there are the opposite. Sometimes it's very irritating and sometimes it's fascinating. This was one of those fascinating days. Here are pictures of Beckett consulting with the director on a scene and of Castle shooting the breeze with some crew as obviously he is not in the scene.

Remember to click on any picture to enlarge it.