Thursday, March 31, 2005

This feels like an apt quote for today

With thanks and a nod to the Quotes of the Day page for reminding me of this one, I present what feels like an appropriate quote to go along with current events.

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. -Voltaire

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Spring has sprung

Today, we're having our first real spring-like day. The temperature is in the low 60s, and the sun is out.

The flowers just started coming up. Even though much of the beds and plants remain brown for the moment, the first bits of color are present. Here are a few snapshots I took in front of the house this afternoon...

By the way, these flowers are in front of the current house. The new house has a different--but spiffy--look. :)

Monday, March 28, 2005

A culinary master

Yes, my food skills are amazing. Today, Marc said he'd meet me at the new house for lunch. I was cleaning and arranging things over there, and Marc--not being unemployed (unlike yours truly)--was at work.

I pointed out that we had some of his wonderful chicken stuffing (from the other night) in the refrigerator. The chicken, on the other hand, was vacuum sealed and frozen, so it really couldn't be ready for lunch (there just wasn't enough time to deal with it).

So I came up with the perfect solution. "Hon, just call and tell me when you're on your way, and I'll zap the stuffing in the microwave. You'll have to pick up the chicken on the way."

Marc asked where I wanted him to pick up chicken (the food type--get your minds out of the gutter!), and this is where my culinary genius comes in! "Go through the McDonald's drive-up on the way and get McNuggets!" I clearly heard a groan from the other end of the phone, followed by chuckling.

Yes, they always laugh at the geniuses! But a fine lunch it was! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

A yummy time was had by all

We had a busy day, cleaning out and packing stuff here at the "old" house, having started the day at the "new" house where Marc made pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon, while Jeff helped him and I did things like taking Pledge and a rag to the fireplace mantle, several pieces of furniture, the grandfather clock and a few other wood items.

This evening, the plan was to go back to the new house and use the super-duper Trivection double-oven to make dinner. While Marc got a chicken ready for roasting, I went to the store with instructions to get some chicken broth. While there, I noticed some important items on sale. So I called Marc to make sure he and Jeff (who deserves a medal for all the help he has rendered to us during our pre-move period) wanted these items... Oreos and ice cream! Of course, they were all for it. :)

So here is dinner in pictures. Marc prepared the chicken...

...and Jeff cut up vegetables to add to the oven bag, so they would cook nicely with the chicken...

Marc also made stuffing...

...that he added to the chicken...

In the meantime, our hero (that would be me *g*) stayed out of the way. I started a fire...

...and sat myself on the love seat with a book...

At one point, I took a break to make sure dining room was ready (well, as ready as can be, since we still have some stray items on the table and the plantation shutters have yet to be installed on the windows)...

But the chandelier looks nice, doesn't it?

Check it out up close (and notice how the light refracts through it, although you can't see it well here--it really looks nice in person)...

Okay, back to the food. Here's the chicken right after it came out of the oven...

That Trivection oven is amazing. What would normally take about two hours took this oven around 45 minutes. Here we see Marc carving the chicken...

And some sliced pieces...

The chicken was very juicy and delicious, and the vegetables and stuffing were phenomenal! After dinner, out came the ice cream...

...and the Oreos got added... Marc did the Coldstone Creamery thing, mixing and cutting in the Oreos...

The end result was extremely fattening (just what I need), but it was delicious...

Oh well, I can go back to dieting tomorrow. :)

One last note (and I will post more on this soon) for anyone who will be participating in the gay bloggers event in the NYC area from May 6-8: on Saturday, May 7, Marc and I will be having a barbecue/party at our new home. It will start around 2pm and will go until everyone has had enough (or, for those who have plans for that evening, until folks have to return to Manhattan). We're on Long Island but not far from the city. It's a bit over half an hour by train, and we'll be able to pick people up at the station. So if you'll be in town, please keep this in mind. Mark (of Zeitzeuge) will be posting info on his site, but I wanted to give anyone reading this blog a "heads up!"

Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Mighty Quinn

As of this morning, my brother and his wife hadn't picked a baby name they both loved. My brother settled for one of his wife's choices. So my nephew's first and middle names are Quinn Matthew.

Quinn Matthew, as I mentioned before, was 9 pounds 3 ounces when born. By the way, he was born by Caesarian Salad Section, so there was no difficulty in delivering such a large baby. Well, no difficulty in the traditional delivery sense, but my sister-in-law will be recovering from the surgery for a bit. We visited them this evening, and she's still hurting (of course).

It probably won't surprise you that I think Quinn is adorable, but it's surprising to me. Most newborn babies (even when I'm related to them) don't look adorable to me. They look kinda icky. Not so with Quinn. I guess his being so big has something to do with it. He doesn't have that usual pink, not-quite-done-yet look. He's truly adorable and looked especially so when he was snuggling in his Uncle Marc's lap.

So, without further adieu, here's a picture of Quinn (shot with my cellphone camera)...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

We're uncles again!

Today, Marc and I added another nephew to our family. Okay, I suppose my brother and his wife did the adding, but you know what I mean. :)

The baby, whose name has yet to be announced, was born at 2pm. He was a healthy 9 pounds, 3 ounces. Mother and child are resting comfortably.

Nice stuff.

Yay! My computer is back

I've been hounding Micro Center to get my computer back to me. Late last week, they said they'd follow up on it with HP (it was still under the HP warranty, so it had to be sent to them for the screen repair). On Saturday, the "tech" from Micro Center called to say that HP was done and sending it back.

He gave me the FedEx tracking number, in case I wanted to follow its progress. Given how he sounded, I wasn't terribly surprised at the result--when I entered the tracking number, I found that this brilliant young man had given me the tracking number from when they sent it to HP a couple of weeks ago! Yeah, that was a lot of help.

So I just relied upon his statement that it "should be back on Monday or Tuesday." He also indicated that he'd prefer I waited until Tuesday, since he was out on Monday. Uh huh. I was going to wait for him, since he was so damn sharp. Pleez!

So I called Monday and got someone else on the phone. He indicated that the computer was back, but they have a policy requiring that it run for eight hours to be sure the repair was done correctly.

Okay, okay, so I'd wait until Tuesday. Tuesday came, and I didn't bother calling. I went there after lunch and asked for my computer.

The guy at the desk said it wasn't there. Well, I'm usually pretty laid back, but I just dropped into New Yorker mode for this. "It's here. It got here yesterday."

He said, "it is?"

"Yes, it's here. In the store. It got here yesterday, and you wanted to 'burn it in' for eight hours to be sure the repair was done right. Now you need to go find it and give it back to me."

Well, that got him moving. "Oh, let me go see if I can find it."

This was followed by over half an hour of waiting that included their asking for $50 for shipping. Their claim was that warranty service didn't include the cost of shipping it back to the manufacturer. I was forced to explain that they didn't mention this charge before this point, and, to put it bluntly, it would be a cold day in Crawford before I paid them $50 for a repair that was supposed to be free.

The bottom line is that my lovely computer is back. Marc's Mac is a wonderful machine, but it's not what I'm used to. This is what I'm used to, and I'm glad to have it back! Yay! :)

Monday, March 21, 2005

A wonderful meal in a wonderful house

There's no point in rehashing everything that Marc already blogged about, so I'll just suggest that you take a look at his post.

The short version: I bought some salmon fillets, leeks, cream and some other stuff needed to make dinner. Then I met Marc at the new house, and we made dinner there. The new appliances lived up to their billing, and the meal was wonderful. It also was wonderful to have an actual dining room to eat in. When we don't have guests, we'll probably do more eating in the nearby eating area (in the sunroom) or (I hate to admit it) in front of the TV, but it's very nice to actually have a separate dining room now. We structured things to give more space to the entertainment and library areas of the house, so the dining room isn't huge. Even so, it's lovely (with wainscoting and a lovely chandelier) and is a lot more than we have in our current house.

Anyhow, go read Marc's blog for more details. Needless to say, I'm a happy camper!

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Fire is fun!

We spent much of the weekend moving things over to the new house. We're not moved in yet, but we're getting ready.

Today, we took a ton of kitchen stuff over (as much as the truck could hold--and that's a lot!). Of course, with Marc as master of the kitchen, yesterday's and today's loads of kitchenware leave us far from done with the kitchen move.

Jeff helped us move all of this stuff, but only Marc could decide where everything was to go in the new kitchen. Knowing enough to stay out of the way but also wanting to make the most of my time in the new house, I decided to make use of a feature of the new house that our current house lacks--the fireplace!

This was a nasty, cold, wet day. So I loaded some wood in the fireplace and lit it up. Ahhhh, so nice!

The warmth of burning wood and the mesmerizing effect of the flames is so nice on such a nasty day. It's refreshing and relaxing, all at the same time.

I added wood once, to keep it going, but eventually let the fire die down as our time there was ending for the day. Even in those last embers, I was fascinated. One particular piece was about the size of a jumbo egg. I stared at it, watching the fire within. No flames licked up from this piece, but it pulsed with heat as its inside burned. It looked as if it was hollow with a moving orange light somewhere inside it. I stared and stared, marveling at the intricacies of the fire as it moved within the wood, eating away at it a little at a time.

What a lovely time in our lovely new house. Someday soon, Marc will even be able to join me in enjoying the new house. For now, I'll leave him to do what he wants, and I'll have the good sense to stay out of his way! :)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Catch-22 (dollars)

My lack of employment has let me make significant inroads into the reading pile. Yesterday, since I had to spend the day babysitting contractors, I brought with me to the new house two magazines (one on photography and the other gay travel) and a book.

I skimmed the gay travel mag, and then I perused (as in, to read thoroughly) the photography magazine. The book was a 305 page novel. I read the entire thing. I'm not a speed reader, but I had most of the day to read it. So it's done.

This is where the problem comes in. I love reading, but these books cost money. Not all are twenty-two dollars, my post title notwithstanding, but some actually are more (okay, some are less). The problem is that I can't keep buying books if I don't have a job. That wouldn't be very smart!

I have a few books left in the stack, but this could soon become a problem! I just have to hope something new comes along soon on the job front, for the sake of the publishing industry. Everyone finger your crosses for me! ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Well, that was a good day

This morning, I went to the interview I mentioned in my last post. I was interviewed by the Director of Talent Acquisition (this is a BIG hospital network, so they have such people). The interview lasted a little over an hour and seemed to go well. I say it "seemed" to go well, because I'm never sure. It's hard to tell what people are really thinking. I know I have a pretty good poker face when I'm interviewing a candidate.

Anyhow, this afternoon, I got a decent indication that it went well. There was a message on the answering machine, telling me that they want to set up another interview, this time with one of the VPs. Yay! This still is a long way from a job offer, but it's certainly a positive step. I had a second interview (actually, round of interviews) at another potential employer over a month ago, and nothing ever came of that (although the headhunter says I'm supposedly still in the running), so I'm not getting my hopes too high.

Even if this isn't the one that leads to a new job, it's encouraging that they want me back for a second interview. I take such things as a sign that everything will be fine. If potential employers think I'm worth a second look, then it's just a matter of time until one of them decides I'm worth hiring. Of course, it's just a matter of time until the sun explodes. The real question is, how long? :)

Another encouraging thing today--I was asked to go into Manhattan for an interview next week. So that's another possibility.

Oh, and yet another--someone I've worked with in healthcare HR (someone who runs a placement and consulting firm) suggested that I might be a good candidate for a position at a hospital in the city. He then had one of his placement guys call me and go over some of the details of the position. That evening, an e-mail arrived, asking me to take a test called the "LSP". Um, okay. So I click on the link and find that the test is over 350 questions!

It's one of those things where you choose one of five answers from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree" to various things. Stuff like, "I often lose my temper at work" and "I consider myself an active person" and (many) other questions,. When my colleague and I spoke a few days later, I busted his chops about sending me the test. He laughed and said, "hey, we're high tech nowadays!" Anyhow, he said that he got my results from the LSP, and I "did very well." He said they can't share specific scores, but he sounded impressed. More importantly, they were sending my information on to the client. So that's another possibility.

Needless to say, in light of all of this news, my hopes are high. Keep thinking good thoughts for me, kids! This unemployment is scary shit, so I hope it ends quickly!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I'll write a fuller blog entry soon. Really!

For now, I'm just too pooped.

The good news is that I've been keeping quite busy, despite being unemployed. Also, I've been getting a decent amount of interest from a few potential employers. It's all still a long way from a new job, but the interest is encouraging. I even have an initial interview at one tomorrow morning. We'll see how that goes.

As I said, more soon! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Where do they find these people?

First, lest there be any doubt, let me say that I believe in equal rights for all people. With that said, where do they find some of our fellow gay men and women for interviews on television?

As you probably know, there was just another court ruling (this one in California) that said withholding marriage from gay couples is unconstitutional. I haven't read about the ruling in any detail yet, so I don't know if it was decided under the California or US Constitution, but I believe it was a lower court, so I won't get too excited yet. Besides, that's not the point of this post.

What brings me to this post is the collection of folks they were interviewing on the morning news programs. I just have to ask, where do they find these people? We know many gay men and women who act like any other men and women--in fact, most do. They look like other men and women, and some are even gorgeous, but we don't seem to see the gorgeous--or even normal--ones on TV.

Every time there's a news story about gay issues, the people they interview either are flaming queens or the oddest looking people I've seen in some time. Yes, they count as much as anyone else, but I see each of these stories as a chance to show our fellow Americans that we're just like them. Instead, time and again, we see these rather unusual folks. Why? It makes me think there's a big conspiracy against us.

Well, actually, there is, but I thought much of the entertainment industry and the supposedly liberal news media were on our side. Okay, so what's the deal?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

24 hour day bug

Is it just me? Well, just me and Marc, since it happens to him, too?

In years past, I would get sick, but the illnesses, whether they were mild or harsh, seemed to come and go in a few days. At most, they lasted a week. I've even had the flu*, and that didn't last much more than a week, if that, as I recall.

Nowadays, it seems that many of these little bugs last for weeks. Marc and I are now in our second week (at least) of this virus with which we've been suffering. Modern medicine is no help, of course. I like my doctor, but I haven't bothered talking to him about this. He'd just tell me that it's a virus, there's nothing much they can do, and I should just get rest, eat well, drink plenty of fluids and take over-the-counter stuff to make myself feel a bit better.

I might chalk this up to aging (not that I'm all that old yet), but it seems like it's not just me. I think the viruses are getting tougher and harder for our systems to beat. It's a scary thought.

Has anyone else noticed this? Or am I deluded? :)


Special Bonus Rant

*flu: I've heard many people tell me that they have the flu. Now, it has been quite a number of years since I had it, but I have had the flu! First of all, you weaklings, I'm immediately skeptical if you're standing upright as you tell me you have the flu. If you're not so dizzy that you can't stand, then the self-diagnosis of influenza is immediately suspect. Next, tell me if the following have been afflicting you: high fever ("high"=103+, not 99), vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, sweats, body pains, chills.

No? Those don't seem to be a part of it? Then suck it up, and count your blessings. You have a cold, you wuss, so stop telling me you have the flu or I'm going to figure out a way to give it to you. Those of us who have suffered through a real bought of the flu have trouble withholding an ass-whupping from people with the sniffles who say, "I have the flu."

Okay. Thanks. I feel better now. :)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

So busy (and sniffly)

Sorry for that I haven't posted more often over the past few days. Given my lack of employment, one would think I'd have tons of time to post to my blog. Actually, that hasn't been the case.

I'd like to say that I'd been spending all of this time looking for a job, but there's only so much one can do. I've e-mailed my resume, in response to some ads I saw, I contacted some headhunters I know, and I've let colleagues know that I need a job. After that, there's just so much I can do. I can't walk the streets looking for a job--you'll never see "HR Director [or employment lawyer] wanted" in a store window. So I'm doing what I can, but that doesn't fill the days.

I have had plenty to do with the house, though, and Marc and I both have nasty colds. So all of this has filled my days. We had a bit of a disaster in the laundry room of the new house, but I'm not going to tell you about that because Marc is preparing a post on it (and he'll kill me if I steal his material--okay, he won't kill me, but he'll withhold sex and that's almost as bad). The disaster was resolved, but it was rather harrowing, especially in our lovely new home!

Tonight, Marc and I will sniffle our way through his credit union's annual dinner. We're barely well enough to make it, but we're going. He's senior management, so he will go unless he's very ill. I go along to be the good spouse (yes, everyone there knows I'm his partner), as well as serving as their photographer. I rarely get anything for this, but it helps Marc (and looks good for him, too, since they know their wonderful photos come to them as a result of Marc's partner).

That's the update from here. Relatively boring, but, hey, that's life sometimes. I hope everyone else is having a wonderful (and illness-free!) weekend.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

New stuff

Funny how this works. When I get a new pair of shoes, I carefully untie them before taking them off. I place them side by side, and I keep them clean. Then they get a little older, and I take them off by stepping on the heel of one with the side of the other. The poor things don't stand a chance.

I thought of this this morning. As anyone around here knows, we got some crappy weather in the past day and had a couple of inches of snow and ice on the ground this morning. So I cleared the mess here and headed over to the new house. Marc was there first this morning and called to warn me about the ice on the steps over there.

So I brought some calcium chloride with me to the new house, ready to spread it on the ice. Then I thought about my the new carpet in my lovely new house. I thought of all the times I dealt with it being tracked in here on people's shoes where it would then get stuck to the carpet here ("here" being the current house, where I am typing this--you could tell that, right?).

When I got there, I decided that I'd clear the ice a little more with a shovel and not use that nasty ice melting stuff. I then proceeded to spread cardboard out near the inside of the front door, as I knew the upholsterer would be returning our loveseat today, and I didn't want anything tracked in.

The upholsterer arrived shortly thereafter, along with his assistant. As they carried the lovely antique (it was my grandmother's) loveseat into the house, this nice man stepped right on the ice, slipped and fell right on his ass. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt--and it was too soon after I got there for the ice melter to make a difference (probably)--but I felt bad. And the icing on the cake steps? When he came in, he commented on how lovely everything looked and then kicked off his shoes, instructing his assistant to do the same, so they wouldn't track anything into the house.

Yeah, I felt like a great guy. Well, the carpet was unsullied, and the upholsterer was unhurt. So I guess it's okay, even though I'll soon think nothing of walking all over the house with my own dirty shoes. Funny how that works. ;)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A great, sucky day!

Today was great because the carpet was installed in the new house, and the carpet is fabulous.

Today was sucky because our general contractor is an asshole who is going to cost a bunch more money before this is done, the weather was abysmal and the screen on my computer died. Okay, actually, that last piece happened last night, but I took it to Micro Center today for warranty service. Apparently, it's the "backlight". I knew it was the screen, as opposed to whatever tells the screen what to show--when I plugged in the monitor from my old desktop PC, I was able to use the computer. I just couldn't deal with that long-term. For the time being, I'm using Marc's Mac, while my computer is at the doctor.

Despite the sucky stuff outnumbering the great stuff, it still was a good day. I'm really psyched about the house renovations reaching an end. There will be a few things that will take time to get done. The plantation shutters are still at least a few weeks away, there are some light fixtures on order, etc. Also, I think we may put off some concrete repairs until the warmer weather comes. Even so, we'll be in a position to move in within the next couple of weeks.

No plantation shutters? Well, I guess we just won't screw with the lights on until they get installed (I never was much of an exhibitionist). :) I can live with that, just so I can get into the new house. It's going to be great!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Blurry pictures from my busy day

Today was a full and productive day. Good thing, since it keeps my mind off of other stuff. (By the way, just one brief note on that "other stuff"--I received confirmation today that they let me go because they need to save money. Apparently, once I got them through their union negotiations, they decided they could get someone less experienced and save money on the salary. Whatever.)

Anyhow, during my busy day, as I was running up to my late grandmother's apartment to get some things done there, I ran into a literal roadblock. During the 15 minutes or so that I was stuck there, I was trying to figure out what they were doing and what was taking so long. Fortunately, I was at the head of the long line of blocked traffic, so I had a good view. I could see an "oversized load" truck across the overpass from where I was stopped, but it took me some time to figure out the deal with the guys walking around with measuring instruments and surveying equipment. Clearly, these were engineers of some kind.

After a while--and a good look at this beast and the ten thousand wheels under the cargo--I realized that they must have been working out the safest way to move the load across the bridge. I guess there's an optimum place on the overpass for the passage of very heavy objects. Whatever the case, I took some photos with my cell phone. Here they are, in all their blurry glory:

Hey, I even caught my oil change sticker in that last one. It's a visual feast for my readers today! :)

The front of the oversized load had a sign on it that said, "DO NOT HUMP. FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE." By coincidence, the blogger boys recently voted to have that exact phrase put on a shirt for Jase to wear, to protect his innocence when we take him out to bars. ;)

Other than the roadblock, my day involved calling the plantation shutters installers, the central air contractor and the tiling contractor. Then I did lots of errands--to the estate attorneys, to the house to see if the GC showed up today (of course not), to Marc's office to bring him lunch and eat with him in my truck in the parking lot, and to lots of other places before finally returning to the new house and moving lots of ceramic tiles out to the garage so they won't be in the way when the carpeting is installed tomorrow (geez, those tiles are HEAVY!).

Oh yeah, I also did grocery shopping, cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes and washed laundry. By now, Marc has to be hoping to hit the lottery, so I can be a house-husband in perpetuity. ;)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Oh well, life goes on

We spent the weekend working our asses off. The carpet is going to be installed in the new house on Tuesday. It was scheduled for a week from Monday, but I suddenly have a lot of free time, so we decided to move the date up and get it done.

Here's where all the work comes in. We've cleaned the house a few times during the construction process--as both the construction and the painters (as they scrape, sand, etc.) created lots of dust and dirt. With the carpet coming, however, we needed to really get into every little corner and get the place as clean as possible. We don't want any dirt under the carpet/pad where it could eventually work its way through.

The dogs make it hard enough to keep the house clean. We don't need to start with a handicap! So we did lots of cleaning yesterday and today, moving things around, vacuuming, wiping things down, etc.

I'm sore, but it comes with a feeling of satisfaction. Not as good as some other satisfying sore feelings ;) but not bad.

In the meantime, I've been getting calls and messages from friends (some of you, of course) and colleagues, saying, in essence, "they did what?!" Yes, they did, but life goes on.

Now, on an entirely different subject, I've decided that, from time to time, I should point out new blogs that I think are worth watching. So I'll start today with one that was first pointed out to me by the Rebel Prince. While RP's blog is well worth watching, that's not the one I'm talking about (he doesn't need any help from me!).

Rather, I'm referring to the blog of a bright young man named Eric. The blog came to the aforementioned blogger's attention because this young man also called his blog Rebel Prince. His blog is found here.

Eric just came out to his family, and his account of that process is a portrait of a smart young man, mature beyond his years. Speaking of his years, keep your comments clean--he's only 14! :) Despite his youth, he writes better than many people much older than he.

Rather than going on and on about him, let me just suggest that you visit his site. It's worth the time.

Friday, March 04, 2005

A nice day for a walk

Okay, so it was too damned cold for a walk, but that didn't stop me. I needed to clear my head a bit.

As I've gotten more feedback from colleagues at my former place of work, I've had further confirmation of the fact that the reasons they gave for my departure were pure bull. Still, the fact that they did it is upsetting and insulting.

As much as I like to talk--even talking about myself--I don't tend to do that at work. I do my job, protect my bosses, colleagues and the institution overall, but I just do it quietly. I don't try to show off or brag. So I was wondering if that may have been a mistake on my part. Now, with the feedback I've gotten, I don't think it would have mattered. I covered their asses countless times, but I believe the result would have been the same anyhow, since my performance had nothing to do with this outcome.

I'm amazed that they did this so abruptly. I'm the one who deals with a lot of their legal issues, so I'm surprised they didn't worry that I'd sue them. I can think of a couple of decent grounds for a suit, but, despite being a former trial attorney, I don't tend to be too litigious. So if they keep to their bargain--that is, pay me my severance and the pay they owe me--I'll just go on my way. Of course, if they proceed to screw me, then that's another story.

Anyhow, about that walk. Marc and I had told some friends that we'd meet them at the new house, so they could see the renovations, and then go to dinner. The new house is a mile or so from here, and I thought a walk would help me clear my head. So when the time came, I grabbed my iPod and got going.

The walk helped a bit, but it was rather cold out. Also, for one long stretch of the walk, the wind was really blowing. So the cold took a lot out of me. Despite all of that, I think it was healthy to go for the walk. It was a nice break.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Out of work

Well, today was one for the books. The short version is: I lost my job.

The long version is as follows. The hospital has been overseen by a court receiver since long before I got there. He called me in this afternoon, after the CEO had literally fled the scene. He told me they had decided to take HR in a new direction.

He said I did great at what they hired me for--getting them through negotiations and dealing with the unions--but they want to focus on more administrative HR stuff now. Okay, so let's review that piece of things.

When I got there, they couldn't even find a lot of the personnel files. Months later, when we had our Joint Commission survey, everything was in order, and HR got a perfect score.

My guess is that they're going to do with my position what they have done with a lot of others at the hospital lately. They're going to bring in a relative or crony of the CEO. Okay, so be it.

The loveliest part of this was that the receiver told me around 3:30pm and said I had to clear out my office today. Thanks for all the time to clear out! Geez!

I had to be out today, he said, because the new guy will be coming in tomorrow! This just reeks of another nepotistic move on their part. Well, so be it.

So does anyone on Long Island or in NYC need an HR Director? I've got lots of experience and a law degree! :)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A small glimmer of hope

Kansas has brought some wonderful things to the world, like my partner. Overall, however, Kansas isn't my favorite state. They have serious issues with the theory of evolution (what year is this?), and they don't care much for gay boys.

So I was watching today's vote in Topeka that pitted a lesbian city council member against, among others, the hate-filled granddaughter of hate-filled Fred Phelps. There also was an effort to repeal an ordinance that granted limited protections in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation (it only applied to municipal hiring).

The results are encouraging. The good guys won this round.

In a way, Fred Phelps, a truly evil man who protested at the funeral of Matthew Shepard and is known for enlightened phrases like "God Hates Fags", may have been the reason the ordinance in question didn't get repealed.

Sometimes it takes a stark example of hatred to make people wake up. Sadly, 47% of the voters still voted to repeal the ordinance, but the fact that 53% of those who turned out in Topeka voted for it offers some hope. A victory's a victory, and I'll take it. The fight goes on, but this was nice to see.

Hard to say if this is good or bad

As I mentioned before, I had a second round of interviews for a job that sounds interesting. Well, almost a month later, I finally heard something.

The headhunter told me today that he had good news and bad news. The good news is that I'm still in the running. The bad news is that they're still looking around to see if there's anyone they liked better.

I asked the headhunter what kind of feedback he got. Apparently, he was told that they liked me, but the HR staff felt I didn't ask them enough about their concerns. Okay, now I asked them about their concerns and challenges, but to what length was I supposed to go? I was under the impression that the main purpose of the meeting was for them to interview me--and each person took a turn, from the Receptionist to the Assistant Director, and it actually was a nice, if unusual, experience.

Anyhow, it seems that the high-ranking people I met (the CFO, the head of educational programs and a few other folks) thought I was good, but someone in HR has reservations. The icing on the cake is that the Assistant HR Director is literally brand new, so they can't rely (or shouldn't rely) too much on her, and at least one of the other staffers is someone the top folks have already told me they'd like to see gone. So to whom, exactly, are they listening?

The whole thing's a little bizarre. The reason I titled this Hard to say if this is good or bad is that the place seems a little odd in how they are handling this. So while the job is still of interest to me, if they let this sway them away from making me an offer, I may be better off.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens.