Monday, July 21, 2008

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Monday was a terrible horrible no good very bad day. I wanted to move to Australia.

It started, as all days like this usually do, at the Watertown DMV. The branch opened at 8:30 am, so Lindy and I decided to head over there around 8:15, only to find that there were about fifty people in line already. We got our tickets which said we would have to wait about seventeen minutes before we would get our new licenses. Nearly an hour later, our numbers were called and we got our brand new temporary Massachusetts licenses (the real ones would arrive in 7-10 days). All in all it seemed like a pretty good start to the day, as we were finished at the DMV before 10:00.

Since I had newly registered the car in Massachusetts, I would need to get the car to pass the state inspections. Only nine months ago, this same car passed the California state inspection, which is arguably the most difficult inspection to pass. Some time during the inspection, I happened to look closer at the temporary license that I was issued that very morning, and noticed there was something wrong. According to the state of Massachusetts, I was officially listed as a Female.

This led to a long time on hold with the DMV, because the last thing I wanted to do was go back there and work it out in person. The exchange with the woman on the phone went something like this:

Woman: How can I help you?
Paul: I just got a license today, and it has me listed as a female.
Woman: And you're not a female.
Paul: No, I just checked and I'm still a dude.
Woman: Okay. What kind of ID card did you use to get your license.
Paul: Birth certificate and social security card.
Woman: Okay. Go back to the DMV and show them the card and the evidence.
Paul: Show them the evidence? Like right there in front of everyone?
Woman: No, not that evidence. Nobody wants to see that.
Paul: That's not nice. I'm sure somebody wants to see it.

So, lucky as I was, after passing the inspection, I was able to go back to the DMV for a second time and get the error taken care of. Thankfully I didn't have to get back in line, I just snuck up to one of the windows and was able to get it taken care of. In and out. Things were starting to go my way.

I spent the rest of the afternoon sending out resumes and inquiry letters for potential jobs, as this marked the one month mark of not having a job. I was waiting for a call from a place that I had applied to and had several interviews, both in person and on the phone. My last interview was seven days ago and they said I would hear by this afternoon, so I was hoping to get some good news to dilute the rest of the day. The phone did ring and it was a woman I had interviewed with. She did not have good news.

It turns out that instead of hiring anyone for the position, they were putting the position "on hold," while the higher-ups were going to think about restructuring the department. I didn't get the job. Nobody got the job. I wonder how many other people were waiting a week to hear this was the result. I would have been happier if someone else got it, just to know there was something I could have done better in order to improve my interview skills. Instead she said that I was a great candidate, but there was nothing to offer anyone right now. I wish there was at least some kind of awareness of this being a possibility of an outcome, instead of it hitting me from out of nowhere. I guess saying "Paul, while you're a great candidate, it's highly likely that we'll choose to take you through the whole process only to eliminate the position," wouldn't have gone over that well.

I was feeling down, but I knew that there were some good things on craigslist that we wanted to go pick up. One of them, a table, was only available after 8:00 pm, so I called the man involved around 7 and told him we could come get it. He said we could only come at 8:00 am and someone else was coming to get the table because we didn't call that morning, even though the e-mail he sent us clearly said 8:00 PM.

Sigh. We found another desk to look at and walked to the car to find that... the car was gone. We have a temporary parking space in the building lot that goes until the end of August. The building manager took pity on us trying to figure out the parking permit/registration process and let us have the spot for a couple of weeks. Little did we know that during this process, there is a good chance that when your license plates switch to Mass, you're going to get towed. In order to get the vehicle inspection I needed the new plates, so we sent a message to the managers blackberry telling him we were switching plates. He said to send the info and he'd inform the towing company of the new plates in order to keep our car from getting towed (this was the current agreement we had).

We sent the message containing our new plate information at noon.
At 2:45 pm we returned from the vehicle inspection.
A short time before 7:00 pm we found the parking spot empty.

The Boston parking department is the most efficient department of any branch of government in any city on the planet. The truck was ready to swoop in and take our car, despite it being the same make and model of the car that belonged in the space, just with different plates. After a series of calls with our building manager, he said we needed to pay $117 to the company, but we could subtract that from our August rent check. I told him straight forward, being without jobs, it's not so easy to just lay down $117 in cash, and he was able to talk to the tow yard manager and make the charges go away. The unsung hero of the night goes to our neighbor Ben who gave us a ride to "sketchy-town" where the tow yard was located. He's a cool guy.

That is the story of the terrible horrible no good very bad day.

In other news, we got some furniture:

Check out this rockin' Ikea dresser. Originally thought we were missing over twenty pieces that were required to hold it together. In the end we were only missing three pieces, and none of them were really required to build it. They were more like accent pieces.

Our awesome bed.

The couch and chair set we carried up the stairs ourselves. We had a bit of an adventure getting the furniture using a zipcar. We ended up getting the Honda Element, which was big enough to fit 92% of the couch inside, and the smallest bit was hanging out. It was secured using old telephone wires around the end, guaranteeing that sucker didn't move at all during the drive from Cambridge to Brighton. It's comfortable and will be warm in the winter, so come test it out.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wait, I have a blog?

Oops. I guess I jumped into the real shallow end (see above) and I just haven't remembered to post on here. Well, you know, it happens to all of us. Things start happening in your life and suddenly you forget about something. If you think this delay is bad, you should see my fantasy baseball league. I don't think I've checked that since May, just because there's been too much going on with moving. I bet I still have Curt Schilling as a starting pitcher.

Lindy and I are in Boston, getting nicely settled. We've got the basics covered: bed, couch, tv, bookshelves. We're looking for a desk for the computer still; as I type now it's balanced on top of two boxes that have clothes in them in order to stay weighed down.

Oh, and jobs. Jobs would be nice. Should know by tomorrow about one I applied for. Expect another blog about that, and I'm sure my general tone should be able to clue you in on what the results were.

Off to another humid Sunday morning.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 5: Cleveland to Hamden

After ten days, two weddings and more family members than I can count, we left Cleveland. The drive was a little different than we were used to, splitting up into two vehicles and transporting the new bride and groom back to New York. Lindy rented a van in Cleveland to transport her goods since my car was already full of my stuff.

Pennsylvania is long. Not as long as Kansas, but it felt pretty similar. There was also a 10 minute down pour and a giant dead bear on the side of the road. We also saw the winner of the best town name I've seen on the trip: Buttzville, New Jersey.

This picture sums up what it's like to drive through Pennsylvania.

And those two pictures are for the Office fans who are reading along. Mifflinville, PA is not too far from the junction you take to get to Scranton, so I'm sure someone who works on the show is both entirely clever and knows how to read a map of central Pennsylvania.

Here's what we did today:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Real Space Mountain

While driving in Utah last week we passed a rock formation that instantly looked familiar to me.

Take a look for yourself:

Aside from the spikes on the top, it looks pretty similar. It even has some ridge lines down the base. Of course there was no 45 minute wait to get on this mountain, but it still made me happy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Get Smart

Get Smart could have been a funny movie if not for the majority of the scenes that I laughed at being revealed in the trailer. The remaining funny scenes were scarce and there was just something about Anne Hathaway that didn't seem to fit with the rest of the movie. The movie only ran 1 hour and 50 minutes but it felt a lot longer, and that's not a good thing.

I do like Steve Carell. He's one of the main reasons that I went to see the movie, but even I as one of his fans has to admit that his schtick is growing a little stale. I suppose it's smart to stick with what brought you success, but he needs to branch out a little. The Will Ferrell sport-comedy was funny with Talladega Nights, but each movie there after (Blades of Glory, Semi Pro) was a lot less funny and made less money. I'm happy to see Carell signed on for three more seasons of the Office, maybe he'll get more time to sort through the movie projects.

I'm likely not going to see another movie until Dark Knight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Feeling Old

I was chatting with a few of Lindy's cousins and one of their family friends, all of whom were younger than I when the subject of conversation changed to our cell phones. All of them already had better cell phones than I did, which I had no problem with. When we discussed what our ringtones were, one of them said it was Taylor Swift, the other said something I hadn't heard of. When I told them my default ringtone was the opening theme song from Perfect Strangers all of them looked at me with a blank expression.

It was the oldest I've felt since I was a camp counselor; and those kids were seven.