Saturday, September 30, 2006

No No Phone. No You're Never There

Get it? No - except for Morty, I would bet that most don't.

At my "going-away" lunch, there was food. But NO cake! WTF? Granted I can't complain too much. I didn't want any to-do in the first place, so I stayed away from any planning even when they asked what I wanted. I would have rather had cake than lunch. Overall though it was nice. Decent mexican food and everyone was nice and seemingly sorry to see me leave the department.

I still don't know I'm going away. I am definitely exiting the department and my job, but possibly not the organization. Interviews on Thursday went well. I think I'm their top candidate. Actually, I think I'm their only candidate. Not because no one else applied. There is nothing to apply for. There is no approved job via H.R. This new division approached me out of the blue. So there is hope of employment.

Some good news I found is the job I began to interview for a few weeks before my notification of termination has not been filled yet. I thought (and think) I am a strong candidate. I know their initial interviews are done - but no word. After some time with no word, I began to doubt my viability and assumed they chose someone else and are just really bad about notifying people.

I guess there are a few reasons no one has been selected. One being the old person is still there, now doing two jobs. In this home stretch of the fiscal season, it makes sense not to hire anyone just yet so they can be favorable to budget. My other thought was that they know I'll be out of a job and they can offer it to me and lowball me somewhat. I'd never tell them, but I'd take the job for what I was making - even though it is larger in scope. I don't mean that because I need a job. I wanted the job, and I know that I was well paid for what I do. I don't want them to think they can't afford me.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining, but having possible two or three jobs (my old dept, which I am not interested in) almost immediately upon leaving is great, but leaves me no breathing room to look. I think it is extremely difficult to do a real job search when you're fully employed. Career searches can be full-time jobs in themselves. The ultimate would be time off to do that search and then if need be, come back to all those available options if needed. And that they held open just for you.

....a boy can dream.

Friday, September 29, 2006


This is it.

My last day of work.

Told a month ago that my job was being eliminated, the countdown began (and even extended four days!). But today is the day. I'll leave the job I've been at for almost two years in an organization I've spent the last 11 years of my life.

I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to be feeling.
  • Angry? A month ago I was a little stunned, but I don't think I got angry.
  • Sad? I'm not. Any sadness I felt was for possible loss of income - not the job.
  • Elated? Nope. Not that either.
The pay is very good. But the job itself wasn't horribly challenging. Let's face it - if you must spend most of your day in the office, you want some challenges and hopefully not make a 10 her day seem like 22 hrs.

There are a few people in the department I will miss. A number of people within the organization I will miss as well. But you know how it goes - emails and phone numbers are exchanged, but once you're out of sight, you're out of mind (and vice versa). At least for 99% of those you think you'd like to stay in contact with.

I would have liked to get through this day acknowledgement of this being my last day. I know this is not possible. The department is insisting, against my wishes, of having a lunch for me. Sure, I can bring home the leftover cake - but I'm not much for the attention. I'm a Leo who is ok with bringing attention upon myself, but not to have others do it for me. I'm self-conscious at any even that draws focus to me. People wonder why I don't really care about my birthday - and trust me, it has nothing to do with getting older.

This afternoon, I think I will just walk out with no fanfare, or as little as possible. The office is clean. I have like three things for my briefcase and that is it.

Maybe I don't know how to feel because I'm not sure I'm gone gone. Just yesterday I had two interviews here in the organization for a job that does not yet exist. I have a good reputation around here, so it was nice to be thought of as they create this position. Outside, I have another hospital who is looking at my resume with some interest and a recruiter and with whom I have been playing phone tag.

I've come to peace (somewhat) with being outplaced. It could be a launching pad for other jobs and organizations. It can be an exciting time. I say this now. Ask me next week when I will be lounging around in sweats, eating kettle chips and watching Judge Judy! Oh - then just SHOOT me.

The last few days I've been reflecting on how I left University Orientation. I was closer with some of the people there than I am here. Phyllis, my dear co-worker, and I are still in touch, but that last day was ruined by our boss. The man who'd never see a day through decided to stay until I left. And not just in the building but in my office. No proper good-byes for Phyllis and myself. My car sat outside. Packed. I got in and drove to Cleveland and to the house where Denton (and Howard! grrrrrrrrrr) and the cats were waiting for me.

Time will tell how this will actually play out. But I'll land on my feet. Of this I am sure. And at least for the next week I have a focus. Not a job, but my parent's 50th Anniversary party, which we are hosting.

I assume I will have much time to update this blog. Not just the content, but the look and to switch over to my other URL - BlobbysBlog.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I don't know gas prices elsewhere in the country or even township to village. Cleveland seems odd in how the price of gas is determined. First, Cleveland is split into the East side and West side (no Jets. no Sharks. ...that I know of.) One would think that when the streets turn from, say E. 3rd Ave to W. 3rd, somewhere inbetween you've hit the West side. You'd be wrong. The west side actually means the west side of the Cuyahoga River....which is past W. 9th. Don't ask. And people are realllllllly weird about the whole "'re an East sider!" kind of thing.

One thing the west side has going for it is its gas prices - they are always lower. Not by a penny or two, but usually by a dime. Sometimes more. The east side isn't less accessible for tanker trucks to deliver their goods. Refineries aren't either. We're even closer to the MidEast! What gives?

Anyhooo...I filled up last Saturday at what many would consider a ridiculously low rate of $2.05 a gallon. I understand supply/demand economics. I know that summer is over and vacationers are not demanding tanks full at this time. I get that the hurricane season wasn't the disaster they claimed it would be. I know that some gas company found what is possibly one of the richest veins of crude in the Gulf of Mexico a few weeks back. And I know that prices are supposedly based on 'futures'.

And here is the new future: mid-term elections. What else can it be? Maybe Shurb's low low low polling numbers when it comes to energy!

It's hard not to be a bit skeptical about Shrub and his boys (hey, he's gotta keep them happy w/high energy costs). Conflict in the mid-east isn't any better than it has been in two years. The vein of crude they found in the Gulf is a minimum of five years before they produce a drop. So are we saying that lack of hurricanes and decreased travelers let gas prices drop by almost a dollar in a month? PLEASE.

The government and the oil companies have gotten us to a point where when we're just above $2 a gallon, we exhale and think 'wow! that's low!!'. And to the rest of the world it's dirt cheap. To the U.S. it is not. They have succeeded in inflating prices over the last 2-3 years so that when prices fell, they are still statistically much higher than they were before then, the gas buying public's expectations have been shifted.

Well played Mr. Bush.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Though I'm sure there is some niche blog demographic out there that would love to have a series of entries with this title, I can assure everyone this will NOT be an on-going thread.*

I just happened to find this funny, and so over-looked by the majority of people who see/use it every single day.

*Unless of course I find a continual funny stream of things in restrooms during my travels!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Big Gay Office

I knew it would happen. My oldest niece and nephew's favorite show is The Office. They love love love to quote from there and have eagerly been awaiting the season premiere. I mean, so had I, but probably not to the degree that they were. These kids have downloaded every episode for their video iPod and can pull reference out of their heads like their uncle (that's me) can do Simpsons quotes. And they know I'll get all their tourettes like lines.

If you've never seen the show, I highly recommend it, though it can be painfully embarrassing to watch. I know that sounds odd, but watch a few episodes and you'll know of which I speak. Not only was last week's show no exception - it may have jumped to the head of the class. This is not only because of the content and delivery, but because of what I knew I'd have to endure Sunday afternoon when seeing the kids.

While trying to refrain from spoilers, I will just say that the words, 'gay', 'faggy', 'homo' and 'gaydar' all come up in the script. Several times. Oh - and just a little man-on-man action.

There was no disappointment on Sunday - in front of my parents and theirs - when the kids could not wait to ask me if I saw it. Of course I had, I replied. Matt says he didn't think the episode was that funny except the gay stuff. I laughed and said, 'that's all there was'. He pointed out that his disappointment stemmed from Jim no longer at the Scranton branch. It was still funny at two different Dunder-Miflin locations - and you know it's only a matter of time before Jim returns. I mean - you just know it!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Am A Good Uncle

Or at least I think I am.

For a long time I was the funnest (ok, I still am) and bought the bestest gifts. At least when there were only a few nieces or nephews. When there became eight of them, the gifts became less original, eventually with me just getting whatever their parents told me to. For awhile, through the gifts I'd get, it was fun to have someone to mold, at least in my own limited way. I have to say, I also liked buying things that I knew would annoy the fuck out of their parents: the popcorn popper that Fisher Price makes (you push it and the balls pop into the plastic dome). Or for Maddie, getting her the instrument set that had a triangle, blocks, tambourine and I think maracas, and giving it to her just before their eight-hour car ride. Even I stopped short of the annoying million piece Lite-Brite set.

But in the 15 years I've been an uncle, I've never had any of the kids stay over. I've babysat for many of them. I've even done overnights at their house during these babysitting jaunts. Two of the younger kids (five and seven years old) have been dying to stay over and been asking us for at least the last year. We kept putting them off - all for legitimate reasons. Either Denton was traveling or the house was under construction. Katie, the 15yo, wants to stay too, but only because she is convinced the house has to be haunted. Granted, it is almost 100 yrs old and big, but haunted it is not.....and I know from haunted (right Jon? right Dity? right Becca?).

So this last weekend we had the kids. Ok, that's a stretch. We had them for like 22 hours. But it was 22 hours in a row!!! It just felt like an entire weekend. It is times like these I know I am now and was never cut out to be a parent. Not that I haven't touched on that here over the years, but things like this just confirm it that much more. I love them, I do, and they were very well behaved.

What is the problem you ask? ME! Even though they are young, I swear I have a shorter attention span than they do. Ok, that's not quite fair, but it's not too far off. I can only feign interest in their likes/dislikes for so long....and the length of time is definitely too short for a babysitter. Denton is so much better about it than I am. Sadly, I subscribe to the "play with them and give them back" method.

I will give them this - they were not weepy about being away from home. I loathed staying with my relatives when I was their age. Well, when I was ANY age. It was also Dominic's first sleep-over. Tough for any kid. They did great though. Carmen didn't do a bang-up job eating dinner (just as Morty predicted she wouldn't) and it was only cheese pizza. But it wasn't the cheese pizza her parents got, so it was only one small piece which she consumed. Since our waffles weren't cinnamon waffles (who knew? ok...I mean, besides Morty!) she would not eat those either, even if (or especially if) we added the cinnamon ourselves. Dominic ate every piece of his individual pizza and a pudding!

When it came to entertainment, they both wanted the GameCube, but not the same game (natch!). Or when it came to TV, one wanted The Incredibles, one wanted Schoolhouse Rock. There wasn't time to watch both, let alone of them through completion before bedtime...which was to be 7:30p, but we let them stay up later. However, they opted to stay up much later, coming downstairs multiple times ('we forgot how to turn off your lights'. uh-huh!). I think their lights upstairs went out at 10p.

Since we've never had kids over, there were questions I should have asked their parents, like their sleep,eating and peeing patterns etc. But I didn't, nor did they offer it up. The one thing the kids did request was to go to Dunkin Dounuts. We thought that was a hit - mostly because they did. While there, Denton thought we should go to a new park that had just opened up, which we've seen being constructed over the past year.

Preston's Hope is in our Jewish Community Center, and built with the specific thoughts of children with disabilities. It really is a small town with great access for all kids. It is quite extensive and extremely impressive. Carmen & Dominic loved it (so did we). We literally had to pull them out of there, but they had to get home to get ready to attend a wedding.

Both kids were better than this uncle. The good uncle, who'd get secretly annoyed at the mess they made. The uncle who was also was peeved (at himself) for not having a better plan to entertain the kids. I don't think they cared and seemingly had a good time. Hey - they want to come back, so that is something.

Maybe I'm not such a bad uncle, but Denton is a great uncle.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

One by One All Day

I say I don't use the YouTube virals too often - and I swear I somewhat, kind of attempt not to. But it is Sunday and traditionally it is the day of the lowest hits to Blobby's Blog.

I don't want sound like I am disrespecting my reading public and I try not just go through the motions. Honest, I have semi-interesting things to write. Honest!

That being said, I do like this viral.

Noah has taken a pic of himself everyday for over six year. I think one would be hard pressed to say these are arranged in order, as hair length changes can happen pic to pic. And yes, I know I don't have much hair, but from my recollection, hair does not grow THAT quickly.

The music fits the sequence, and the entire package is somewhat hypnotic. What I find interesting is Noah's eyes and mouth, or just his general expression. Rarely, if ever, does it change.

How he do that?

Song by:  the Shins

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006


we're gonna party like it's 5767!

Yeah - it just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Clearly, Prince is not a jew - or apparently a man who wears briefs. Going by this pic, one could almost surmise the his royal badness could be jewish!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Besides just calling him 'the devil' (which is way too forgiving), he went on to say of Shrub at the U.N. "The devil came right here... And it still smells of sulfur today."

Say what you want about Chavez. No one in an authoritative position has called W out they way they should. The French tried - too nicely - and now we get Freedom Fries, Freedom Doors and Freedom Kissing.

What will W do w/out Blair as his only butt-kissing friend? Clearly back-rubs are out in Germany.

It is (more than) time for just the american voters to turn their back on this administration.

In the meantime, Bush says he'd order U.S. forces to go after Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan if he received good intelligence on the fugitive al Qaeda leader's location.

ummmmm..........he had NO intelligence for WMD in Iraq and it didn't stop you sending a few thousand troops there to die.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I don't own jewelry. I don't wear a watch (isn't that what the clock on my cellphone is for?). I rarely wear contacts. I'm not a candidate for lasix surgery. My only real accessory are my glasses. I currently have three pair. One really cool pair which I have had for years and just have the lenses swapped out as my prescription changes. Another are my old Armani frames where I have had transitional lenses put in. You know, the ones that turn into sunglasses when UV rays hit them? They never become completely clear, even out of the sun, making them look a bit creepy like a predator would wear (and you can see what I mean by a posting on July 29th w/me wearing them). And then there are these - which I call my 1957 algebra teacher glasses. Or my Malcom X glasses, as my staff called them.

I liked the look of the Malcom X frames, but after a few hours they are uncomfortable, and heck it's been two year, so time for new frames!!

Yesterday I got my eyes checked - including dilation. I hate that. Morty stated it best that afterward he feels like Mr. Magoo. For the younger readers here, you might have to Gooooogle that. And why is that I always feel like I'm never giving the correct answers during the eye exam? Someone would make kirjillions if there was a device to just hold to your eyes to determine your perfect vision. No more "one or two.....two or three".

So before my exam I stopped in to look at frames. It's doubtful I'd ever buy from where I was - but it gave me some ideas. I snapped some pics while I tried on, b/c well....when my glasses are off, I am blind. How else is one to evaluate? What I wasn't expecting was the clerk to catch me doing it. I found out not only am I not the first one to do it - I wasn't even the first one that day!!
So any thoughts on the styles I tried on? Anyone? Anyone???

The Moby

The Obermann

The Too Close to my OGI frame?

The Too Rectangular for my Face?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dear Abby......

This is a letter a 5yo child of one of my doctors had to write. He posted it on his door for all to see (the doc, not the kid).

Note that Matt was sorry (or so he told Janie!), but not necessarily unhappy w/his choice. It seems that his teacher and the asst. principal were the buzzkills!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Nothing fun this weekend. Just working to keep my/our mind(s) off of possible unemployment. The emotional rollercoaster remains. There are only nine more days of work. Ten actually, but damn if I'm not taking off next Friday too.

So yesterday we cleaned up the western perimeter of the property. I don't know it was really ever done before. We cleared out some of the brush along the sidewalk and then lopped off the overhanging branches. It is probably unnoticeable to the anyone else but us and the few people who walk up the hill. It was nice to get some validation for the work. While we were doing it some guy stopped to thank us, as he walks it daily and thought it was great that someone took the time to work on it.

The maps below show our house (the actual house in the top pic. The arrow in the bottom pic is on the wrong side of the street). We cleared all the way to where the M is in Martin. Yes, it's a big lot and I know MLK is a major street, but man motorists are pigs. I picked up what I'm guessing is between 20-25 lbs of trash. Mainly empty bottles of hootch. You know - the smaller rectangular ones that TV bums seem to drink out of. I easily found 15 of those. At some point we'd like to clean up the hill, leaving enough coverage not to easily see the house, but to know that someone lives there and it is well cared for.

Sunday, September 17, 2006



Cable is the home for really really crappy products and advertising. Who knew the Ron Propiel Pocket Fishersman or the Bedazzler would be the high-brow items? The Egg Wave doesn't seem so far-fetched at this point.

Last night we saw some horrid product. It got to the point where Denton turns to me and says, "Is this bloggable?"

Silly silly man. Of course it is.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I almost apologize for a second YouTube posting in as many days. I think anyone who reads my blog with any regularity would know this is not my modus operandi. Yesterday's post was really because I had nothing else to write about - that and I just love Samantha Bee. But it was a funky day - another one I took off from the limited time with my current employ. ...and I'm taking next Friday off too. Smell me!!!

No - this is one video I think everyone should watch. Is Keith Obermann angry? Yup. Is it partisan? Probably. Does it strike a chord? Absolutely. To the core - is it the truth? You fuckin' know it.

It is also long - almost nine minutes in length (trust me - it's worth it). My suggestion is to take a few minutes and let it load. Meaning you will want to hit 'play' initially and then hit 'pause' almost immediately. This will allow the video to keep loading and then when you hit 'play' a minute or so later, the video will actually stream w/out those annoying pauses. If that doesn't work - you can always view it (or just read the transcript) here.

Sorry - but you just have to love Keith.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Another day w/nothing to say. Just sitting (or walking. whatever) on eggshells waiting to hear a job status. So today I'm distracting w/a YouTube experience....from the 2004 election season.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I've said it before, I am not a huge Colbert Report fan. But who can resist putting eight things/people on notice? It's like your very own electronic Grandpa Simpson-isms or Peter Griffin ("you know what really grinds my gears?"). In a way, I guess one could argue that blogs themselves are a huge 'on notice' electronic board.

Actually it was harder to come up w/eight than I thought. I was slanting to all anti-GOP things. I had to fight my urges. It would have been too easy to put: Shrub. Rove. Cheney. etc.

You can make your own On Notice board here!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).

Remember, this is what I am listening to, not necessarily what I recommend - though usually if I'm going to post it here, I pretty much like it. Maybe I should change the title segment of these monthly postings.

While pondering that, I am not not recommending (did you follow that?) Shawn Colvin or her brand-spankin'-new disk, These Four Walls. It only came out yesterday. Even bad Shawn is still usually pretty good.

I really haven't formed a solid opinion yet. My initial thought was - "eh, it's ok". Her last disk, Whole New You, took a long time for me to appreciate - but that turned out to be her best disk. There are usually a few songs that jump out at me - and so far only one has ("Tuff Kid"), though the first single, (they don't make those - do they?) "Fill Me Up" is ok, in a light kind of way. Producer John Leventhal has not gone out of his way to distinguish this disk from her last two.

Colvin covers the Bee Gee's "Words", and it works ok. If you want to hear her do a killer cover, check out her greatest hits collection where she does the Beatles' "I'll Be Back".

Blobby did purchase this via iTunes and w/there is an additional track there that is not found on the versions sold at the brick & mortar.

I do, however, love the cover art.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


It's come to my attention that in the upcoming weeks / months of potential (or should I say 'probable') unemployment, I might need a hobby.

Sure I'll be job searching, but I suspect there will be lulls in the market as well as in my spirit. And there is only so much job hunting that one can do in a day. So I need something else to do that isn't reading, television or even blog related.

I figured that I can ride for a few more weeks, possibly up to two months, after my last day on the current job - weather permitting. But all these things don't add up to a full day.

But hobbies are money related - usually. I might have to suck up some expense to keep my mind going. And then there is the thing that this is the opportunity and time for me to do something new and different. A chance to better myself. Ok, maybe not in the big societal way, but in a way I've thought about or wanted to, but never got off my ass to do anything about it.

  • Guitar. Always wanted to play (acoustic). I tried once a long time back, but the instructor was of no use, as I'm left-handed. He couldn't grasp how to teach me backwards and upside down. I couldn't translate what he was attempting to teach me. Of course, I was in 4th grade. Maybe now is the time to retry.
  • Piano. I know which keys are for which notes. I can read music. Haven't done 'chords' per se and then there is that whole playing chords w/one hand and notes w/the other. Oh - and I don't have a piano. But those are just minor details.
  • Gym. I need an upper body. I'm fine w/my weight. The number is correct even if it's not distributed to where I think it should be.
  • Cooking. Taking cooking classes. Do they tell you how to make Kraft Mac & Cheese at these places?
  • Knitting! (ok, I'm soooo not doing that. I just had to take a jab at Dity and Becca.)

But these are just a few things I've thought of off the top of my head. I'm open to suggestions. Please be kind - oh, and realistic.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tower of Song

They are gone. The towers.

For anyone who'd never been in/to the World Trade Center, it is hard to say what you were missing other than the view of them and from them. I'd been in the concourse dozens of times, but I'd only been at the observation deck twice and at Windows to the World only once. All of them hazy days. The first time was my inagural trip the city - my high school graduation present from my parents. I still have the pics I took w/my Pentax K100. The second time was with a friend which was her first visit to the city. That meant a little more to me - as I knew the city at which I was now looking. I pointed things out that weren't the Empire State or Chrysler bldgs, which was about all I could identify that first time.

My one time on Windows to the World was just an office outing with the library staff @ Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. The WttW experience was only drinks, no dinner, but it was with a fun group of people, that unfortunately I have fallen out of contact with over the last 22 years. Hands down, that was the best summer ever (thanks Ade!) ! At that time the firm was located at 1 Wall St. Literally the office existed within the shadow of the towers. Actually, not much down there didn't. The thing that strikes me now is that without the towers how light downtown has become.

My first time back to the city post 9/11 was only a month after the fact. We had already had a trip planned to DC, then directly up to NYC. Both cities were in flux. In DC, the Metro was free, as the city was practically begging anyone to do anything around town. If it weren't for Becky and Andrew, we would have skipped DC. Jon and Tommy did. (yes, they were the ones that let the terrorists win!).

Driving into Manhattan was most unnerving. The approach to the Lincoln Tunnel was disturbing for two reasons: one being the jet that was approaching Newark and low in the sky over the Hudson. Never has a jetliner make me stop and think "OMG" - (unless I was on it and it had screaming kids, but that is a differnt kind of OMG). The other was curving down prior to entering the tunnel - where you get a great view of the city - and what was missing. The downtown skyline is so packed, that in a weird way, from that angle, if you'd never seen the city before, there did not look like any building - let alone two - were missing. But they were - and the loss was palpable.

Subway lines in NYC were sporadic at best. Waiting on platforms for trains that never came b/c of suspicous packages left behind. Or worse, stuck in trains for 40 minutes while they checked out said packages. On a day out, we actually walked from mid-town to Battery Park with no real intention to see the site....but there it was. Unavoidable. And still burning a month later.

I know many people who found the WTC an eyesore. Personally, I liked the buildings. I never worked in the WTC - but they served such a useful everyday puprose. For anyone unfamililar with the island and attempting to navigate Manhattan, all you needed was to spot the towers, which were visible from just about anywhere, to figure out which direction you needed/wanted to go or at least were headed in.

I actually made my first trip to the Empire State Bldg. I never felt any need to go. This time I did. It was a few nights before they turned off the beams of light that shone into the sky from the WTC site. I don't know that I've ever been colder. 20 degrees at street level became 20 below eighty-six flights up. Literally, I could stand outside for about 30-60 seconds at a time. And it was all worth it. Those spots were a better tribute and memorial to the towers than any Freedom Tower, which I find to be completely self-indulgent.

When my OCD kicks in, it can kick in hard. If I get on a subject, I can read and/or watch everything on it. This wasn't too much the case for 9/11. I watched a number of PBS specials on 'why the towers fell', but in reality, most of them are just too painful to deal with. Even in Farenheit 9/11 when the screen goes black and doesn't even show a plane hit, I turned away from the movie screen. But there are two WTC things I recommend:

Ric Burns' eighth part of his New York series: Center of the World. It is a three hour history of the WTC and doesn't completely focus on 9/11. Actually parts 1-7 on city history are great.

For something a bit more harrowing: the book 102 Minutes. As best of a reconstruction of what happens in the towers from the time the first plane hits until the second tower falls. It is both an easy and uneasy read. I don't know how else to describe it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!

It's been months since I've posted a Shopping with Blobby segment. I've never been thrilled w/the grocery store chore. I guess me not having to go is one of the perks of Denton being out of work.

This might be stretching the 'shopping' part - but I was in a party store, as we acquire supplies ("supplies! supplies!") for my parent's 50th anniversary party. I'm not sure I've ever been to a party supply store - so had no idea all the crap they sold. I've decided these costumes were amusing at first, but just kind of lame overall.

The good ones are a little more imaginative. I remember back to fall of 1982. A young Blobby was in scrubs, carrying a hanger...along with a plastic bag w/broken eggs mixed with a little catsup.

Oh before you judge - keep in mind there was a staunch republican in the White House who'd have done anything to set-back woman's reproductive rights. But that was 24 years go. At our leaders have progressed so far beyond that now. ........oh.....wait.

If you're good - and I mean REALLY good - I might just post those 1982 pics closer to all Hallow's eve.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


No updates. Not really.

I took off work yesterday. Gotta burn through that PTO before my last day. In reality, I'm thinking I'll only get one or two more days done before my last official day of work.

We did some decorating things as the painters are trying to finish up, like finding a rug for the entry way. It wasn't the bathroom tile row of 2000 - but wasn't pretty. But we moved past it a lot quicker than the tile incident.

I was forced (kind of) to go to a happy hour where I knew someone who was guest bartending for charity. But the main reason is, she works at the cancer center which I'm trying to get employment. I figured face time w/any of her bosses could not be all bad. None of them were there.

Since the bar was having a promotional tie-in w/Miller Lite, they were trying to shove that down my throat. I was having none on it. If I wanted to drink urine, I would. But I'm not paying for it. The bar-staff was not exactly pleased w/me. Everyone else I knew caved and was drinking that swill.

I did get info out of Denise though. Her boss is the person I interviewed w/on Wed. and she really liked me. But the first guy I interviewed w/ two weeks ago said he didn't think I could do the job b/c I was "too nice". Denise's response: "clearly, he don't know fill in my name here". And the guy has only been there 3-4 wks. Yet when I left the interview, his response was: "I thought this went well. I can't imagine why we wouldn't hire you.".

But they're discussing me - which I'm taking as a good sign. And they're discussing me before the initial candidates are done w/their interviewing. Or at least that's the story.

I have been given the possibility to go back to my old department which at first presented great relief. This has been replaced by angst of what it was like and why I left. I am leaning against it - going against my security issues. Taking David & Becky's advice on using the time. Or using a colleague who was in a similar situation to avoid going backwards. It will be tough - but necessary.

btw....painters should be done. Before, During and After pics should be posted in the next week or so. We still have pictures to hang, lights to hang, etc. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Rollercoaster......of love. Rollercoaster. Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo

The week has been a rollercoaster. I figured it would be. Highs. Steep drops. Nausea inducing. Pain in the neck. Long long lines....wait, I think I lost my analogy. The next few will be similar - or at least I'm guessing. My interview on Wednesday went fairly well. Now it's just a waiting game. As Homer said: "oh, the waiting game sucks. Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!" They are actually finishing interviews with other candidates. OTHER CANDIDATES?? Are they out of their frickin' mind?????

I've been fairly mum at work about my 'outplacement'. I was hoping to know something more about the possible new job before saying anything. When that was clear it wouldn't materialize I had to make a plan to let my staff know. I did that today - telling my direct reports in person and to the masses via email. It had already started leaking anyway, though oddly enough, not to my own team. And everyone is sooooooooooooooooo sorry. They can't believe it..... not that they know what to believe. But as luck would have it (not), invariably I'd end up trying to make them feel better about my misfortune. It's like when you're in the hospital yet you feel the need to entertain the visitors.

So two more weeks of at least of this rollercoaster. But next summer there is going to be a new Cedar Point. It looks ok, but nothing outstanding. Or is it just me? Jon? Jon?

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This is the way that CNN's website had a paragraph of their wrap-up of Katie Couric's first go at anchoring CBS' nightly news. It was from yesterday morning and it has since been fixed, so clearly some other than me caught it.

Couric's only real nod to her newbie status came at the end, with a joking report on her difficulties coming up with a signoff. She showed clips of Cronkite, Chet Huntley, Dan Rather, Ted Baxter and even fictitious anchorman Ron Burgundy giving their final words, then invited viewers to submit suggestions on the CBS News Web site.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Do I grieve for my job? Or should I say - my soon to be gone job?

Oddly enough - no. I grieve for the thing my job brings: security.

I know most people would say money. Trust me, I'm not immune to the want/need of cold hard cash (or in this case - direct deposit!). But I'm not talking material things, but I won't lie that those can't be nice. And I'm not even necessarily talking about house, food, heat and medical/dental benefits, though there is something to be said for all those things and the security they bring.

It should be no surprise that I'm a worse-case scenario kind of guy. It is just my nature. When you live in that world, it is hard to be disappointed. Case in point is that whole tumor issue 14 years ago.

On some levels I will always be that guy who was making $14,000 gross (!!) and living off Mega pizzas (for the uninitiated, Mega pizzas were/are individual 7" pizzas that one could get for $0.69-0.89 - and tasted like it). Sure, I spent equal amounts of my rent and car payment on beer - so I brought on that poverty by lonesome. Even when we got our first house almost ten years ago, it was surreal. Who'd-a-thunk I wouldn't be a renter my entire life? Certainly not me.

Last week David and I discussed that though we loathe to admit it, we often identify w/what we do for a living moreso than who we are as people. If I am out of work, what is my self-worth? What do I do w/my day? There is something to be said about the security of structure - at least there is for me. ...and trust me, it's not watching Judge Judy and Ellen!

Denton and I discussed that in other jobs we made a difference. We had impact in how things ran - good or bad. When you leave in an unexpected manner you immediately begin to question your contribution - and was it all just a waste of time.

The loss of a job is still a loss. Why shouldn't you go through the five steps of grief? Ok, not all five. I don't really believe one goes through all five - and definitely not in the order they say:
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Even with cancer I pretty much skipped Bargaining. So far, this time, I've missed Bargaining and Acceptance - though it's early. Denial was a blip here. I tend to bounce between Anger and Depression.

I border on Acceptance, but it's not there. Not yet. David has been encouraging me to take the six months and do something....anything. It is so tempting. But I go right back to security and stepping outside my comfort zone. It's scary. Denton has been supportive in me not going back to my old department (who wants me back) if it would make me unhappy. Again, I gravitate to security - at this point for the household. Everyone has been great and supportive.

I guess I'll just take it as it comes. Today is a third interview for a job I wanted and now need. My goal for that hour today is to convey the want and not show the need. All of the sudden I hear John Lithgow and Jon Lovitz in my head from their bad SNL skit ( that redundant?) saying: "ACTING!"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Every year, I promise Denton that we will go out to more movies. The goal is at least one a month, at least on average. That sounds doable - right? Then why do I have so much problem meeting expectations in this field?

Socially, I swear I'm turning into my father and his mother. They never wanted to go anywhere. Our best laid plans always shot down at the last second (by me) in favor of staying in and just doing our thing. Leaving Columbus a decade ago, and throwing ourselves into long-houred, demanding jobs really stunted our ability to get out there. The little time we had at home and together really took hold. Jerry Seinfeld was right - you can't make new friends after you're 30. can, it's just so much more difficult. I at least recognize the not-going-out cycle....and now I have to break it.

Partially though it's the movie theatre experience - start to finish - which is why I avoid films. It makes it hard for you want to get out there. It's not the movie price. It's the crowds. We were the youngest people there today - and the elders behaved worse than any children I'd encountered with their yammering through the entire movie. Then there is the 30 minutes of forced commercials and the previews. You have to be there for them if you want a seat that is not front row center. Oh - and it's the movies themselves. Predictable. Try finding 12 movies you actually want to go out and see in a calendar year. Anymore, what you really hope for is one good performance w/in the movie that is destined to be fair (i.e. Meryl Streep's great job in the otherwise lame The Devil Wears Prada).

So here we have Little Miss Sunshine. The rave of much of the indie and film festival circuit. And I give it the big -"EH"! (actual word/phrase I muttered upon movie's completion. Denton agreed.) What do you say when the best performance is by an unknown seven year old? Even Toni Collette, whom usually pulls off a really good performance in any movie was just ok. ...and then there's Greg Kinnear. I mean - well with him, what you see is what you get.

All the hype - and it's just not that good of a movie.

Monday, September 04, 2006


From the Iowa Basics to the SAT & ACT, I loathed them. Even a minor 16 question test can throw me into little seizures. Though the scores are not bad - everything (to me) seems askew. Me? Below Average in Logic? Me? Exceptional in math? GET OUTTA HERE!

Your IQ Is 115

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Above Average

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Travolta's wife is looking a tad too manly - don't you think?

I can't claim originality on this, not even in the slightest. You can't sneeze without tripping over this pic, which appears on just about any and every site on the internets....except maybe (not that it necessarily exists).

Becca? Does this help w/the gay/not gay question??

Saturday, September 02, 2006


So - how am I doing after Thursday's big news? Am I reeling? The answer is yes and no.

I have never been out of work before. Not really. When we moved to Cleveland 10yrs ago, I quit my job to be with Denton. From my last day of work to my next job, it was six weeks. That included looking for employment, interviewing and pre-employment health screenings. I've never been 'let go'.

I decided not to go into work yesterday. On one hand, why bother? On another, I want to remain in good standing, as I was trying to move positions anyway. I don't want to look like some bitter guy....but I do have about 70 hrs over the maximum of Paid Time Off. I'd lose it at the end of the year if I had my old job or the new one. I will definitely lose those 70s hrs at the end of September if I don't get another job in the same organization.

So yesterday was a bit trying. There was an army of workers doing painting and woodwork. The main house was uninhabitable. We (including the cat) took refuge in Denton's office. At some points in my life I thought I might be able to last in prison. It turns out I wouldn't make it a day. And prison doesn't even have wireless access. I was stir-crazy. Is this how it will be after there are no more office days?

I flash on things where I am like "oh, I should be at work." Then it's "no, I don't have a job".....but I actually do. At least for another month. I fret about being broke - but I'll pretty much have full pay well into next year.

David called yesterday after reading my blog. I should take heed from his experiences. He is a man who knows about job transition. G-d does he know. Don't even ask what his new dream job would be. He can tell you himself. He WILL tell you himself. It's safe to say we don't have the same career aspirations.

I do agree w/David that is time for self-reflection. What DO I want to be when I grow up? Does what we do really define us? Why do all my sentences seem like I'm Carrie Bradshaw writing her crappy little column?

David thinks I have a good book in me. He believes I'm bitter enough, sarcastic enough and funny enough to pull it off. He also says the last few entries of this blog have been kicked up a notch. Let's did he phrase it? Something to the effect that: 'it was a like a sad little tv show that finally got a good storyline'. He wasn't being rude and I couldn't help but laugh. Do I take the subtitle of 'stuff and nonsense' off the header?

I do believe my biggest challenge will be these upcoming three and one-half weeks. I'll close-up some of what I'm working on and make sure not to take anything else on at all. That can be the problem of the administrator to which they are transitioning my work. Of course, I'll be helpful, but why take on bigger pieces they'd eventually be responsible for anyway?

I will use up as much of the now 63 hrs of PTO that I have in overage while continuing my quest for the job I really wanted. If that doesn't come to fruition, I have short term non-work goals: my parent's 50th. maybe a trip. lots of house stuff.

Did I mention that I will have full access to an executive search firm who will work w/me at no cost to me? So, I have that going for me - along w/a great support system of friends and family. Well, some family. I will wait to break this news depending on the next week or so, after seeing how the my next interview turns-out.

Friday, September 01, 2006


There is a line in Angels in America which I love: "you don't intuit well at all". It is a word I like and one rarely sees in that form.

(Un)fortunately, much of the time I do intuit well. Let's take yesterday's post by chance (feel free to read it first if you'd like to catch-up)

2p came around. I walked into the appointed conference room w/my boss and a Human Resources rep. Even before a word was spoken, I knew of my sealed fate. But the first words were a doozy - and uttered by me: "Fuck! This can't be good!". Technically, I was not fired. My position was eliminated. I was "outplaced". Call it whatever you fuckin' want.

I mean, I knew it was coming - didn't I? Many many people tried to tell me I was on the wrong track. They weren't being mean - just supportive. I appreciate that too. I flashed back 14 yrs (!!!) or so to when many of those same people tried to reassure me that the shadow on my xray was not a tumor. They almost had me believe it too. But my worse case scenario mind actually got me to a place mentally that when it was confirmed to be a tumor, I was well prepared. Today was a lot like that.

As predicted, it was not performance related but a consolidation of resources. Why me? I don't know - there was no real point in asking. The decision was made and the severance package made up.

It's a decent enough of one. One that will keep me in ok shape at least until March 2007 for pay and benefits.....and beyond that if I indeed need unemployment.

I am still hoping not to need the severance package, let alone the unemployment lines. The other job I mentioned, for which I am interviewing, I'm still in the running and a viable candidate. I even went to the person I interviewed w/and would report to, so that I could update her on my situation. Some might think that was a mistake - but I think it was more important that she hear it from me and not via a grapevine. I was on an adrenaline rush so I figured do it before chickening out. I tied it back to my interview when she asked if I was worried about reorganization in my current area. I answered at that time that while I thought eventually it would happen - it was not the reason for my interest in the job I was interviewing for....and that IS the truth. Both my admin. boss and my doc. boss said they'd talk me up for any position I was considering.

So beginning in October (yes, I'm gainfully employed until near end of Sept), I can get a lot more bike riding in - and will have lots and lots of time to work on my blog. I know - you shiver with anticip.............................(SAY IT!)............ation!