Thursday, August 27, 2009

I had a little miscommunication this morning with my sister-in-law about what time exactly I was supposed to meet them at the park. Obviously, before leaving (early, as it turns out), I thought it prudent to leave my phone at home, causing me to miss subsequent calls from said sister-in-law trying to tell me "See you at 9:30!". But I've found a silver lining in the cloud of our misunderstanding. Since I was at the park early, I was lucky enough to see the Corp of Stroller-Exercising-Mothers**. Have you heard of this? It's a thing. A scheduled, organized thing. If you haven't personally witnessed this curiosity, you are unfortunate indeed.

Before I make fun of them, let me say this: I actually think it's fantastic. So many women have a baby and then get fat and bored, but not these gals. They all looked great, including one very preggo mama, and I think having your children involved is fun and sets a good example for them. In fact, were I in possession of a small child and an all-terrain stroller, I would have joined them. It really looked fun! But they have to know they make quite a spectacle.

There's a weird, slightly unsettling sameness about 2 dozen 20 and 30 somethings, all dressed similarly in their brightly colored spandex exercise outfits, baseball caps, and smart ponytails, with strollers, doing the same motions simultaneously. Picture this: a whole mess of strollers stand on the grass. Near them stands the woman who is obviously presiding over the session, shouting at her charges. The women are leaping and bounding-almost frolicking- across the field, they are lunge-walking back, they are walking sideways like crabs, they are shuffling backwards and trying not to bump into each other. Meanwhile, a little boy is chasing another through the sprinklers nearby, wielding a long stick, and one mother is forced to leave the festivities to discipline her charge.

Later I turned down onto the main paved path, and there they were, all gathered along the edge of the grass, jumping up and down. Then they started walking, and I can't even begin to describe what they were doing... the best approximation I can give is women's boot camp meets the Ministry of Silly Walks. The whole ensemble is very amusing. At this point I tried to pass them- they were squatting sideways while walking- but while I was in the middle of the group, they started high-kick jogging. I got caught up in the middle of the group and couldn't get out, and the woman is shouting at them to "Kick higher! Higher!" I had to bite down on my lip to keep from laughing (because I don't want to be discouraging... or get the crap beat out of me by a bunch of postpartum babes).

You know, there's power in numbers. I have been known to lunge walk and do push-ups at the park, and I always feel self-conscious. I'm fully aware that I look strange, even if it is obvious that I'm working out. But with 20 or so comrades and our kids, I can put a serious look on my face and crab-walk to my heart's content.

* This may or may not be the official motto of CoSEM.
** I totally made up this name.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wow, it's been a while since I've looked at this screen- the empty field of a new blog post. A little intimidating. A little hopeless. Lots of font choices.

I haven't written because, for a while, there was no time. And now, because I don't think I have anything interesting to write about. I've been on a lengthy, undesired hiatus from gainful employment, and whilst job-searching my way around the internets, stumbled upon several websites that pay by the article. I joined a couple as a freelance writer but every time I sit down to do my 500 word writing sample, I get stuck. So I thought maybe I should pick up my blog again and do some low-pressure writing... because 500 words on my favorite city to visit is so high-pressure. Blerg.

Moving on.

We've been back from South Carolina for almost 2 months. We're living in my Grandmother's basement till' September 10th, when our blessedly private apartment will become available. Stephen, of course, got a job right away. We were here a short 3 weeks when he got an offer one Thursday, and he started the following Monday. He likes it, and they pay him. It's really a lovely arrangement.

I, still unemployed, have made a job for myself out of applying for jobs. Every day I sit down at the computer and check craigslist and for new job postings for receptionists and administrative assistants. There's LOTS of openings out there. The tricky thing? We only have one car. So I can either walk to work or work in the vicinity of Stephen's office, so we could drive together. The other tricky thing? Our neighborhood- and Stephen's new job- are not exactly at the epicenter of corporate America. Or even corporate Denver. So out of an average 30 or 40 new postings every day, 15 or so are in our part of town. I then have to weed through the sketchy ones ("send a photo of yourself with resume please") and the scammy ones (" WOrk from *HOmE* $100,000 a yEAr!!?!") and the just plain weird ones ("DO NOT send me a resume! I can't read a resume! I'm not a resume guy! Just tell me in a few paragraphs why you would like to be my assistant!"). That leaves me with a scant 3-5 postings I might be barely qualified for, which I dutifully apply for.

I also realized about a week ago that I had been sending my resume out with a word misspelled on it, and a major timeline mistake. Perhaps I could use it to my advantage.

Interviewer: What would you say your strengths are?
Me: Well, I'm very good at multi-tasking. For instance, did you know that I worked as a receptionist for two different companies at the same time? In different states? For, like, a year?
Interviewer: I see...
Me: I'm also an excellent proof-reader, and-
Interviewer: You misspelled the word "broad" right here. :::points to resume:::
Me: Oh yes, I'm also a liar.

Hopefully anyone who reads Rachel Resume 1.0 will be as lazy and ignorant as I was and not notice. Resume 2.0 has been in use for several days and I feel cautiously optimistic about it.

Updates will be posted as applicable, supposing I can apply myself to writing them.