Wednesday, September 24, 2008

(relative) quiet

OK. I am alone in my house for the first time in 10 days.

Well, alone except for the workman who is amazingly cheaply fixing our totally rotten through roof overhang. I haven't even blogged about that, just mentioned it a few times - our second floor has a tiny porch that is over part of our kitchen. After putting up with leaks for too long, and seeing mildew spots grow on the kitchen ceiling, husband went through the kitchen ceiling all the way up to the roof and we realized we have a completely rotted through problem. It's been covered up with plastic (outside and inside) since sometime in July (with holes to let the water from the recent storms drip through. We are nothing if not classy!). Anyway, our neighbors had their roof repaired, husband talked to guys who did it, they had no other work, so for less than half of what we thought it would cost they are doing it today and tomorrow.

My dad is a man of few words, and when he arrived he immediately walked into the kitchen, looked up to the ceiling, pursed his mouth and said, well. Gotta fix that soon - you don't want icicles in your kitchen. Here's the ugly side "benefit" of the economy - everyone is sitting tight, not doing any work on their houses, so the small guys are hurting and willing to do small projects for less money. We have a million small projects in this house, and if I was working, we'd be getting them done right now. But for now, we're preventing icicles only.

If I was working. This was going to be a post about my parents and the in-laws, but instead let's just catch up, let me catch my breath, and later I'll blog about the bigger stuff. So, Jobs. I did the interview for the big job over an hour away. And the next day they called and told me I did not get it. Which was fine, because it saved me the trouble of turning it down. There was just no way, at this stage of my life. Two years in the future, maybe. Now, no.

This is the FIRST job that has had the courtesy of letting me know. Well, that possibility that was never really a possibility with my husband's company did let me know, but that was never a real option. I've applied for a ton of positions. Not randomly, only positions for which I genuinely thought I could do the job. I found them through Craig's List, through referrals, through networking, through organization's own websites. I have only gotten interviews from the referrals or networking. Not a single bite from just applying, so I've stopped just applying and focused on my network. It's been frustrating, to say the least.

So last week we were at a party with my friend whose husband works at the science center, where I interviewed for a government-funded position in August. I thought since it was government, it was just going to be slow, and I didn't entirely want the job anyway. Friend's husband tells my husband they've filled the position, hadn't I heard? No. No, I have not heard. Jerks. I know the hiring manager, too, we kind of worked together 12 years ago. Gee, thanks for the courtesy call/e-mail. Garr.

So. I have the interview in Boston, for the part-time gig, on Monday. We fly out Sunday for a mini-break. I really want this job, so fingers crossed. Meanwhile, I've started putting out feelers for short-term consulting gigs, and have two possibles. Next week I'll go into full press on that if the Boston interview is not good. I need to call them and tell the person I know there about the pregnancy, just so they're not surprised. I definitely can't hide it.

We did some financial accounting and figured out if we're careful, and have no more unexpected things like roofs, we have enough socked away to last til March, without dipping into our last resort emergency fund, and still contributing to 401ks, college accounts, keeping cable, keeping the nanny. We're lucky. I've been too busy to really follow what is happening in our economy, and I have to admit I don't understand what's really going on right now. I do know we're in ok shape. It's the people at the bottom who will hurt. If we have to let the nanny go, we'll be ok. Our nanny might not be. If we put off work on the house for a few years, we'll be ok. The workmen in this neighborhood might not be. Even if I don't find a position, I can find contracts with no benefits, because my husband has benefits. We have wiggle room.

So, slightly off topic, but concerning money. Today I got an e-mail asking if I wanted to do a paid review for some product. I like getting things in the mail, especially for free. Who doesn't, right? I never thought I'd have enough traffic to score any freebies and never really thought about it before. And I could give stuff away if I received it. This one seems to be pearl jewelry, with a free bracelet. I haven't set up advertising, though I think about it every once in a while especially after Antigone did. I don't really want a ton of traffic on this site, though I like watching my numbers. I could do more to increase it. This is really just my outlet during a crazy time. So, what about you? Where do you draw the line at commercialization? Have you accepted anything from someone who wanted a review? I know they're not all scams, though some are. Do you have criteria for doing so (like if a friend sold crafts on Etsy, definitely, but nothing solicited from a commercial company. Or maybe a book review, but nothing else? Or only if you then gave said product away?)? Jeez, I still have to send something homemade to people after receiving something from Niobe in DECEMBER. I can't think of what to make that would make sense from Which Box (any ideas? what would you like from me if I was offering? WHEN I offer!). Is your blog for you, or has it changed to something else? And is that ok in blogs you read, or is it a turnoff? In the commercialization of our lives, where do you draw your line?


Antigone said...

The ads don't pay well. I make enough to cover domain registration and the hosting I'd like if I get around to converting to WordPress or TypePad.

I've had luck w/ sites like Dice & Ladders. The recruiters found my resume and sought me. Different field though so may not make for much of a comparison.

Louise said...

I'm in the same boat as Antigone - the small bit of advertising I do doesn't effect how I blog, what I write about - and I don't make all that much money off it. Enough to cover domain and hosting, and about every three months it adds up to enough to buy a book on Amazon.

I hear you on the job seeking thing. I'm the main breadwinner in our household, and my husband lost his job last week. We'll be okay, but it's going to be tough. And nobody is hiring around here.

Astarte said...

I don't have any advertising, but I don't mind when other people do. I don't think I have the readership for something like that. I would love to review things, though! Who doesn't need free stuff!!! If nothing else, you could always re-gift it or put it on eBay.

My blog is my creative outlet. I like to write, and I like to talk to people via email, so it kind of combines them both.