Another phone interview next week

John SGA pensive
It's weird. I had an entire month go by with nothing moving, job-wise. Now I have three phone interviews next week and a face-to-face one the week following.

Speaking of the face-to-face one, I have a question. It's my second interview. I'll probably need to walk a lot (it's a big campus), and it'll probably be pretty chilly. I have a very sleek looking black pantsuit I'm thinking of wearing. I'm a woman. What do you think of pantsuits for job interviews?

More employment possibilities

Lestrade's enjoying this
I have a phone interview with another potential MI employer next Monday. And an HR person for a WA job that I'd written off months ago sent me an email saying, basically, yeah it's been forever--still interested? Which I am. (It's in a nifty area and the pay looks great!) Nothing's certain until I sign a contract (or even then, she said, giving her former employer a bit of a side-eye), but it's nice to see some movement.

Illinois

John SGA pensive
Another potential employer has asked for an interview next month, up in Illinois. That could be fun. It's downstate, and I have friends who have friends in the area, so I wouldn't be coming in completely blind. And I could see meeting up with my sister in Chicago occasionally, which would be a blast. I'd still rather get the job in MI. But at the end of the day, I'd like to get a job.

In utterly unrelated news

JB explains it all
Does anyone know where to find upholstery cleaner? I've heard good things about Woolite. Anyway, I tried Target, Kroger's, Harris Teeter, and CVS today, and none of them had upholstery cleaner. Carpet cleaner, sure, but the fabric on my recliner is probably a bit less durable than the carpet.

It's hot and buggy in NC. But, since, I've been unemployed, I figured I might as well get outside and move, so I've been walking 1.5-4 miles a day, 5-6 days a week. My calves look great! Still, I had to practically bathe in bug spray, and I worked up quite a sweat. And once I finished my walk, I'd sit around drinking water and cooling down before my shower. I tried to be good about putting a towel down, but the combo of sweat and bug spray has worked its way into the fabric on my favorite recliner. Now it stinks. Hence, cleaning.

Apparently I'm the only person in NC who has this problem, because my search was fruitless. Kudos to the kind, if puzzled, store clerks who tried to help me find what I wanted. Does no one else have cloth covered furniture? Or am I just the only person who gets sweat on hers?

And how are you?

Lestrade's enjoying this
It's been almost a year since I last posted, and quite a year at that. The big news for me is that I was laid off at the end of June. I had a month of vacation that they paid out, and I also got a bit of severance, so I'm not fighting the cat for his food. Still, it's been odd having most of the summer off, but not wanting to do much of anything that costs money. I've gotten a lot of walking in--up to four miles at a go occasionally. And I've rediscovered the local library. A friend had major knee surgery, so I've been able to help her out with rides to PT and the occasional hanging out.

I've also been job hunting like whoa, as eventually the severance will run out. The local job openings haven't panned out, but I've had several interviews with some Midwestern organizations. One of them checked to see if they could contact my references, so that has potential.

I'm a bit torn about moving. On one hand, I'd have winter again, and I've missed that. Many of the Midwest openings are closer to my sister, too, and that could be very nice. But I have a terrific network of friends here, as well as having all the townie stuff down (the good dentist with the geeky assistant who talks superhero movies while cleaning my teeth, the bar with the fantastic craft cocktails and no drunk frat boys, the person who cuts my hair just the way I want it, the terrific landlords and neighbors [who also count in the terrific network of friends mentioned above]). On the other hand, it could be fun to discover a new place. Friends aren't replaceable, but I could add to the list, maybe.

Or maybe none of the Midwestern openings will pan out, and (if I'm lucky) one of the local orgs. will come through. It's all very open and uncertain right now.

Are you registered to vote? Are you sure?

Lestrade's enjoying this
Originally posted by nagasvoice at Are you registered to vote? Are you sure?
gakked in its entirety, with thanks,from twisted chick's entry of the same name.

In the commonwealth/state of Virginia, you can check here to see if you are registered to vote.
https://www.vote.virginia.gov/

Why is this important? Virginia is booting about 40,000 people off the registration list for dubious, illegal reasons.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/10/17/virginia-election-officials-purging-almost-40000-voters/

And a stupid federal judge has allowed it.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/18/1248777/-Federal-Judge-Allows-Approximately-38-000-Names-To-Be-Purged-From-Virginia-Voting-Rolls?detail=email

Lest you think this only happens in Virginia, no. Being female in Texas can deny you the vote -- or, rather, being female and having your ID not reflect your currently used name, such as if you have just been married or divorced.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/18/1248705/-Texas-Has-Found-A-Way-To-Deny-Women-The-Vote-Voter-Suppression?detail=email

Know someone in Virginia or Texas?

Pass these links on.

Sometimes I miss my LH flist.

Lestrade's enjoying this
No one's keeping me away, but at least some of the fannish conversation seems to live on tumblr. Which is fine and pretty and all, but it was easier for me to track conversations here. Oh, well. It's not like I've tried bringing the conversation back, so I probably shouldn't bitch. I guess autumn's the nostalgia season.

Movement, family, stuff

autumn tree by the water at dusk
Yes, long time no journal, blah, blah, tumblr-cakes.

Life of late has involved a quick trip to Vermont (nice vacation spot, but I was mostly there for BFF time, and it did not disappoint), gardening, Leifur, hanging out with the Media Grrls Collective, and thinking about moving back to Michigan.

Vermont: I had a lovely time. I'd definitely recommend it for vacations involving lakes, mountains, jazz, nifty small cities, and dairy products.

Gardening: I've corralled most of my rampaging salvia, so my back garden looks mostly lush rather than abandoned. I went heavy on the hardy geraniums this time around, and they aren't looking as good as I'd hoped. My hardy begonias, on the other hand, are doing splendidly. Curves and roundabouts.

Leifur: He is not loving the neighbor cats who moved in a couple of months ago. They get to roam freely. He does not. They want to play rough. He does not. I like them well enough, but the big orange one needs to stop trying to jump on Leifur, 'cause he's just not that into it. They roam freely near two busy roads, so, sadly, Darwin will probably resolve the issue.

The MGC: awesome as always. I'm looking forward to the SHIELD tv show starting, so we have some weekly appointment tv to watch together.

Moving: Thoughts of moving have lasted through a winter spent regularly comparing weather conditions in northern lower MI and NC. I have a job alert set at the Traverse City community college. I have a search set up in Zillow for pre-war houses in TC. I've been checking out reviews of various neighborhoods, internet providers, and CSAs. None of which obligates me to move in any way, and that's probably just as well.

The thing is, I don't know a soul thereabouts. My remaining family would be in state, but four hours away. (I have no desire to live in southeastern MI, their area). I grew up three hours across the top of the mitt, and while a few of my parents' friends are hanging on, almost everyone I knew in my age group left before I did, back in the 80s.

But when I went up there a year ago, it felt like home. I'm trying to sort of check in with myself, to see if it's some odd, lingering mourning for my parents. Moving up there won't bring them back, much less in the younger, healthier, active form they had when we were residents. But the sky is bigger, with the horizon spreading out almost as far as when I was flying in the Skyhawk. The accents sound right. The water tastes right. The lakes aren't fucking ORANGE. The job market is . . . better than it was. The state government is being run by right wing assholes, but then you have to go a mile or two further down that road of crazy to even come close to the current crop of NC right wing assholes. And the difference between a 4 hour trip to see family and a 14 hour trip to see them is non-trivial. But everyone I know and like who isn't a relative lives elsewhere, mostly in NC. NC spring and autumn are delightful. And I really like my current job.

Oh well. Until I have an alternate job offer or become independently wealthy, it's not something on which I have to reach a conclusion.

Still, lakes man. Blue ones.

My hardy begonia lived up to it's name!

dandelion summer
We've had a few weeks of spring here in NC, and my garden is doing pretty well. A lot of things planted in years past came back, a few things I put in earlier this year have come up, and I found just enough empty space within which to make plans for New Things (OK, some of that space I'm creating with judicious culling). One unexpected recurrence—or, rather, three of them—were some hardy begonias I planted last fall. After I put them in they sulked for a couple of months and then disappeared. I pretty much wrote them off. But there they are, pushing gorgeous, red-veined leaves up from the mulch. Yay!

On the down side, my daffodils threw out a ton of leaves and never bloomed. Last year they bloomed a little, but it was pretty sad. I'm throwing in the towel on them and handing them over to my landlady, who is doing some planting of her own over the next few weeks. They'll probably be much happier in a place with more sun. I'll put a handful of hellebores and hardy cyclamen in their place for early spring interest (the cyclamen blooms in the fall, but its leaves are still quite lovely in February and March, when not much else is green yet).

In sort of neutral news, the fall-blooming yellow salvia is taking over the area where the black and blue salvia use to reign supreme. I'm fairly ok with that. I've moved a ton of the black and blue to my front planters, and, honestly, it's supposed to be an annual in these parts. Getting 4+ years of regrowth is far more than I'd expected.

My front deck pots are partly planted. Since the landlord took down a tree that blocked some morning light there, I'm giving herbs another go. So far I've planted thyme, dill, marjoram, chamomile, nasturtiums, borage, lavender, cat-mint, calendula, and tarragon. The camomile, nasturtiums, borage, and chamomile were all seeds, and they all came up. The chocolate mint and sage from previous years came back. Oddly enough, the chive seeds I planted did nothing. I thought you couldn't kill chives with a hammer, but I guess they need to establish themselves first. Eh, seeds are cheap.

I also planted cup and sauce vine seeds, but after weeks of nothing happening, I've decided to find a nice, tall salvia and put that in their planned place instead. I'm also planning on putting lemon verbena in between the calendulas (they're in window-box style planters), but it's not available at the nursery yet. And eventually the big pots of pansies will succumb to the heat, and I'll have to find something to put in their place. We'll see how the current herbs do. Maybe I'll try sorrel or one of the more interesting mints or thyme varieties. A neighbor has his annual basil plantation started, so I don't really need to plant that. And another neighbor has a nice rosemary planter going.

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Seeeeeeeeds!

Lestrade's enjoying this
As the header might suggest to the very perceptive, I'm giving seeds a shot this year. Part of it is that there are some things that just haven't shown up at the nursery yet. Another part is that they're just so darn cheap. There are about 30 would-be plants that I'm trying: borage, calendula, chamomile, nasturtiums, and cup-and-saucer vine, in varying amounts. I paid less than $15 for them all, with plenty of seeds left over to share with a neighbor. If even the cup-and-saucer vine and borage come up I'll be doing better than if I'd bought them in pots (if I could even find cup-and-saucer vine in a pot, which I've never seen around here). And where ever things don't come up I can just buy the seedlings and fill in, the way I usually do.

Spring's starting relatively late around here. I had frost on my car this morning, which isn't common in central NC in late March. So I've been itching to get some things in the ground, and they just aren't available yet. This has actually been a good thing in some ways. For example, I had been planning on buying some more toad lillies. But the ones I planted in years past came up along with several offspring this year, which I was able to just transplant to the desired location. Yay happy perennials! And I changed my front porch plans, leading to a bunch of previously potted leadwort filling in bare spots in the side garden. On the whole, the wait (and rethinking my side-bed plans) has probably saved me about $70 in plants. (Perennials can be pricey. But you don't have to buy them over and over, once you figure out what grows where, unlike annuals.) I still plan to buy some specific hardy geraniums, if the Orion cultivar ever shows up at my nursery. And I'm sure there will be one or two other things I fall in green-love with. But the overall cost will be way lower than originally planned. Yay! I can put the money into wine and comic books instead.

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