Thursday, March 17, 2011

Today Feels Like Friday

Because it is for me. And along with that Friday-Feeling comes the inability to focus on tasks. Even ones related to the weekend’s mini vacation like a “packing list” so I don’t run around all Nutty Professor style this evening and tomorrow morning trying to calculate the exact number of underwear, bras, and socks I will require.

Prior to the ass-crack of dawn, we will be heading to Phoenix for spring training – the last time we went was 2007 – so damn long ago! I am selling out on my self-imposed AZ boycott (since I think the whole “ we can pull you over and ID you at random for deportation” is pushing the lines of freedom/privacy), but I am a sucker for cheap baseball games, Chompies, Four Peaks Brewing, and the Grand Canyon.

Inaugural Safari Park Half Marathon

A quick little recap on my race this past weekend, let’s just say I was ill-prepared for the steepness of the hills in the Safari Park Half Marathon. I was churning out 8:05, 8:08, 8:10 – exactly where I wanted to be – and then the first set of hills came at mile 4 and I chugged up them around 9:00. The unfortunate part was that just I had recovered from the hills we had to do the same ones on the way back (mile 8)! That’s where I came unraveled a bit and had a mile spilt of 9:33. The good thing about this race effort was that I really didn’t fade at the end. My last two miles were 8:15 and 8:21 – normally I am battling to maintain 8:30-8:40 in the last three miles. I finished at 1:50:01. I hate that :01. Seriously, 1:49:59 would look worlds better in my petty running mind than 1:50:01. I am just happy I didn’t get 1:50:00. That would piss me off even more.

Normally, I am not sore from a half marathon, but these hills really spanked you around (nevermind the unpaved dirt road hill on the way back). I still have lingering soreness today. Four days later. Not an easy course.

As I was milling around the finish area trying to kill time waiting for my other running buddies to finish, I spotted Broke Runner Linzay right next to me. So, I had to pull Crazy-Blog-Weirdo-Stalker on her and tap her on the shoulder. She ran a blazing 1:41 and change and I literally swore out loud (“holy f*ck", specifically, is what I said) when she told me her time. It was nice to meet a shorty that runs so fast!

The porta potty situation at this race was just OK. There were just barely enough of them, but, when you use them at 6:15am the day of the time change, you can’t see anything. Total darkness. No one likes to wipe their ass in total darkness. By 7am start time it was light but, there were huge lines and the stench was emanating so far you could smell them more than 10 feet away. Not sure what the story was with those, but, there is room for improvement there. They should not smell that badly from that distance.

I also never saw any animals while running. The Safari Park aspect of it, for me, kinda sucked. Maybe they were all still sleeping. Or we scared them. I did have the opportunity to curse out some dude in a car (window down) trying to cross the line of runners at mile 11-ish. I yelled at him “Come on, dude!” three times – that’s all that came to my mind at the time. It was said with the same affect that you would use for “Seriously?!” I am not sure why the traffic attendant wasn’t stopping this guy from inching forward.

Alright, folks, I am super chatty today, so it’s best I cut this short before I bore you all to tears. And I have to calculate my minimum required vacation underwear packing number.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yay?

CartoonUnemploymentLineRecessionOver 

I suppose I should write up a post about how The Husband's 2-year unemployment stint came to an end recently, but it is one of those things where you sort of question, "is this a real job?"  But this is par for the course with this job market. You envision and hope that it would be more along the lines of a normal, full-time job with a salary and benefits, and stuff, even if said salary is low and benefits are mediocre. And you’re quite happy about that outcome. But that's not really how it went down. More like a bunch of people on valium at a surprise party trying to be really enthusiastic. 

About 4 weeks ago, a company that had called him back in like November or something, about doing some project management work and then fell off the earth for, oh, 3 months, came back and decided they would like to have him work as a contractor for him. Seriously out of the blue. The main dude running the project (which is here) is on the east coast and seems to be very busy, so much so that it's hard to get a hold of him, get answers to questions and decisions, etc, etc. So we were sort of wondering (a) would he get paid, (b) how effective could the HZ be when he didn't necessarily have autonomy over decisions yet couldn't get a hold of this guy (that seems effective), (c) how long is this project , etc, etc.

EDD was nearly up, so, obviously, he took it, but, well, it pays only slightly better (though it is not full-time work, it is a part-time gig) and it’s 1099, so, when it goes away there is no EDD to collect since it’s not W-2 work. I'm not necessarily complaining, really, I'm happy he got something, but I suppose this is completely in-line with what you would expect in this shit-tastic economy. That those that finds jobs, well, they’re not great jobs. We are lucky as I have benefits and a good job so he could take a part-time gig that pays crap, is unstable, and has no benefits. When I put it that way, it’s definitely not sunshine and rainbows, however there are people who are in much, much, much worse shape, so, I am grateful.

And the other crazy thing? The group I work in is combing the earth in San Diego for a mid-level programmer and forget it! Everyone needs H1B sponsorship. Talk about disparity. We can't find someone to hire as a programmer to save our lives, yet, other folks have been out of work, looking diligently, for years. I suppose it all boils down to demand, and, well, we tech dorks are where it's at, apparently.