Saturday, December 31, 2005

A nice twelve miler to finish off the year.

It's been a long time. I spent far more time in North Carolina than I had planned, but it was nice relaxing and eating Mom's home cooking. I ate way too much for far too long and now I return a few pounds heavier than when I left. It's good to be back. Even though my mind is heavy with money troubles and other issues, it's nice to be back. It was great to see N last night. We met at her place for some Mellow Mushroom and gift exchange. All of her family gave my great gifts. She did a good job, her Mom got me something totally unexpected yet very cool and her brother hit one out of the park with his gift. She seemed to like the small things I gave her but I'm planning on getting her something nice once I get settled into my job and my financial situation stabilizes.

I ended up with a pretty decent haul for Christmas. Not as nice as last year mind you but still quite nice. I'll detail it in all it's linkable glory later. Today, I got up and ran with the running club. A nice twelve miler to finish off the year.

According to my log book, I ran 622 miles in 2005. I estimate that that is probably at least 175 under my actual total. I didn't start logging my mileage right away and there are some days that I ran for time rather than a calculated distance. I'm certainly pleased with that.

I'll post more later, but now, I'm off to spend the day with N. I know the break I just took was hard to bear. I'm sure you all went through withdrawls while I was gone. That said, it will probably be next year before I blog again. Try to remember me and not to forget.

See you next year.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I even assumed my 'seat' at the dinner table.

It's done. I'm all graduated. It was a pretty crazy weekend, but it is all over now. I'm glad it's done but I don't think I'm as sad as I would be if I were having to leave town. I know that in a week and a half, I'll be headed back to town to settle into the routine of the working man.

Until then though, I'm resting/relaxing at home with the family. Last night when Brother and I got into town, Mom had a big pot of chili waiting on us. It was nice to sit down to the table as an entire family for the first time in a year to enjoy a meal. I even assumed my 'seat' at the dinner table.

I don't know how much writing I'll get in in the next week but, I'll be back after next week. So, don't go anywhere...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blood for Oil.

Oh the irony. Blood for oil.

At least until the 'real' job starts.

Well, well well. What a ride it's been, the ups and downs, mostly ups recently.

I landed that job at the big box retailer. I'm pretty excited about it, for it will allow me to stay here in town and live the college life for the next six months. I've been hired on as the manager of the electronics department at a rate of $10.75 an hour. I've got to tell you, in wage depressed Alabama, I wasn't really expecting to be started at that rate, but I'll take it. That will definitely get me by for a little while. At least until the 'real' job starts.

As a condition of employment, I had to take a forensic toxicology screen. This morning was spend trundling across town in my little pickup, dodging puddles and peeing in a cup. What a delight my life is.

I was talking to my roommate last night about all the hoops I've been jumping through trying to line stuff up so that I can stay here and extend out lease with him. Then he dropped it. He basically said that extending the lease was fine with him but something had to be done with the cat and that basically that something was for the cat to be gone. I'm not sure why he waited till the last minute, because at this point I don't really have an option but to cave to his demand. Maybe he's that diabolical and knew that ahead of time, it was all part of his master plan.

So, this morning before my tox screen, I took Thumbs back up to the store where I adopted him from. My old boss didn't really care, I think she looked at is as if he had a good foster home for a year. That's the way I guess I'd like to think of it as well.

I liked Thumbs but he wasn't as cool a cat as I was hoping he would be when I first got him. I knew that I'd have to give him up a sometime, when I moved later this summer or whenever. Oh well. I guess it's for the best. He'll find a good home and until then, I can still go visit him in the catroom.

Today is an off day. I've got pretty much nothing going on save for relatives and friends coming into town tonight. I think I'm going to start cleaning the apartment shortly. N and I were scheduled to take pictures today. We were planning on doing some cap and gown pictures around campus as well as some 'senior' type pictures. I don't know that that is going to happen though. The weather has been quite nasty all morning, with the rain just now moving out of the area. I don't know if it will clear up enough by the afternoon to be worth it. At least the weather is looking nice for tomorrow, G-day.

Tomorrow, I'll officially be a graduate. It's been a long nine semsters in coming but I finally think I'm ready.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The stars have to line up.

I got home and had to write a paper in place of taking a final. The paper was due by three p.m. Sunday. I started approximatly eleven thrity. It wasn't too bad since I had already discussed it with my friends and had a good idea of what I wanted to write, it was just a matter of putting it all down in coherent form.

I got it turned in on time and I felt pretty good about my analysis of the case. I knew that I would put myself in position to make and A in the class depending on how strictly my professor graded the papers. I checked my grades last night and sure enough. A for me! A's have been fairly few and far between in my college career and it was particularly satisfying to finish off my Marketing degree with an A in the capstone class.

With my decision to take the job at the large ocean shipper, it left me in a bit of a bind. Since the job doesn't start until July, I have seven months to kill. Ideally, I'd love to stay here in this college town and get a job paying just enough to get by and still be allowed to live the college life. Maybe I can even save up a bit and do some traveling before my 'real' job starts.

In order to stay here in town several things have to happen -- the stars have to line up. 1) I need to decide if that is what I'm going to do fast for roommate and lease reasons. 2) In order to commit to a new lease, I need a job, fast. 3) Being kicked off my parents welfare train effective January 1. I need a quick infusion of cash to keep me afloat (see reasons 1, 2). It's really a vicious circle I'm dealing with here.

The likelyhood of these factors all coalescing into something meaningful in the next week were remote on Sunday. If these things didn't come together, the only reasonable thing to do at this point would be to move to Charlotte and hang out with my parents for the next six months. That I'm not so averse to, seeing as it would only be temporary, but it's not the ideal option.

Sunday after writing and turning in my paper, I headed out in search of a job. The Frog works at Walmart and told me he'd put in a good word for me if I wanted to apply out there. I was kind of turned off when he told me what I could expect to make and that I'd probably be hired onto third shift.

I headed off to a different big box retailer instead. I put in my application and was informed that I would be granted an interview. They weren't doing interviews on Sunday so I was asked to come back bright and early Monday morning. That's just what I did. I did an interview and was asked if I could stay and do another. I did. It went well, it should have, I've had plenty of practice at this point.

I was passed off for a third interview. Then a forth. I was all set to do a fifth (and I'm assuming last), with the store manager but she was tied up. I scheduled the fifth interview for Wednesday morning.

At this point, I feel like I'm in good shape to be offered a management position in the electronics department. That's fine with me. It's not ideally what I want to be doing with my life but the job seems to be right on target. The pay scales that I've looked up online seem to be on target with what I need to live comfortably for the next six months.

By this time tomorrow, I will be done with my final college exam. I feel sad about leaving college, but at this point, things are falling into place for post college life to be damn fine. Hopefully, I'll also have a job offer that will tide me over and allow me to stay here in Auburn an life the college life for another six months.

Laying in bed last night as I contemplated everything, I've started to sketch out my spring racing schedule, I'm ready to be recovered from Saturday and ready to hit the pavement again. It's my addiction.

Monday, December 12, 2005

This is going to be a long one.

Sit back, settle in, and let me tell you of the awsomeness that was my past week. Please, make yourself comfortable, this is going to be a long one.

First off, I had a blogaversarry on December 7th. I didn't remember. Needless to say, I've been sleeping on the couch for the last week.

We'll go way back to last Tuesday to start this post. I took of in the afternoon for New York, again. This time for the third and final interview. They put me up in a hotel for the evening. I was told to order room service if I was hungry. I wasn't really that hungry, but I ordered anyway. I got a sandwich, mashed potatos and a coke. It was twenty nine dollars. The company had One and a Half Billion Dollars in profit last year. I didn't feel too bad.

I woke up early on Wednesday to prepare for the interview and got dressed. I was intimidated when I saw the other guys who were interviewing but after I spoke with them for a minute, I was at ease.

The executive interviews went really well. I enjoyed talking to the men I met. They were nice and down to earth. After the interviews, we had lunch with some of the second year trainees. They were also very nice.

As we were leaving, the three of us who were left were told that we were going to be made offers. I was super stoked when I got that new. The other interviewees were all very cool and I could see myself being friends with each of them. I was the only southerner of the bunch. The rest were from Big Ten schools, which was interesting.

I came back to town Wednesday night on a high. I had good reason to be. I had a group meeting that evening to discuss a case for marketing.

Thursday I got up and did some stuff. Then, it was time to head off to South Carolina for the half marathon. We were late leaving town. We were already going to get in late, but leaving an hour and a half later than planned really chapped my hide. That in conjunction with the rain we encountered on top of my friend driving like a grandmother almost sent me over the edge. What should have been a six to six and a half hour trip turned into an eight hour trip with us arriving at one forty five local time.

We got into my grandmothers and pretty much headed straight to bed. Friday was a day to sleep in and try to recover from that monster trip over. We headed down to Kiawah in the late morning to pick up our packets, scope out the venue and drive the course. It was well worth the trip down.

Friday afternoon was nice but my grandmother was being kind of pushy trying to get us to do things when we just wanted to hang around and stay off our legs. N, the Frog (my racing buddy), and I watched A Mighty Wind. I love that movie as well as Best in Show and This is Spinal Tap!
Friday evenin was a dinner of spaghetti care of my grandfather. He does awesome spaghetti and this weekend was no exception. The only problem was my grandmother was drunk, as I expected she probably would be. She was being such an obnoxious bitch that I almost decked her. I hate when she drinks. That's why I don't go visit her. She went to bed early and passed out. Thank Jeebus.

I had trouble sleeping on Friday night. I was anxious, nervous and excited all at the same time. Previous to the race, I'd never run anything competitive over a 5k. There is a big difference between a 5k with 200 runners and a half marathon with 3500.

We got up super early and were out of the house by six. There was a monster traffic jam trying to get onto the island and I thought we might miss the start. As it turns out, the traffic jam was due to different traffic patterns and a muddy parking lot. The start was delayed fifteen minutes. We were there, ready for the start and waited the extra fifteen.

The Frog and I planned to go out at 7:30, 7:15, 6:45. Being on under pace by the third mile, we figured we could gain our time back over the next ten miles. My goal was to run the half in 1:30:00. That was perfect to bring the Frog to the half way point.

I felt suprisingly strong until mile 9 or so. We were running about 1:15 below are target pace. At mile 9, I let the Frog go and put about 30 yards between us. At the half, he turned to do the second loop while I pulled it into the chute crossing in a time of 1:29:15. I finished 56th of 2070. I came in 5th in my age group. I got my goal!

The Frog was about 100 yards ahead of me at the turn and probably ran the half in about 1:28:55. He was looking good. From what he told me, through mile 16, he knew he had it. He felt strong and he could feel the 3:00:00 mark within his grasp. He had tucked in with a group of three to four other guys and they were going strong. At mile 17, he slowed slightly to take a Gu. He said that the pack he was with put some distance on him. Even though he gave it a valiant effort, he was not able to catch back up with them. From what he told me, he lost 10 to 15 seconds a mile from that point.

After recovering from my run, I walked back to mile 24 to wait for him and help run him in to the end. Even though I knew he would not be breaking the three hour mark, when I saw him he was still looking strong. We had a nice run on in. He finished strong breaking 3:10:00. He finished 60th of 1021 with a super time of 3:09:55. He once again qualified for Boston.

The event was great fun and super well organized. I can't wait to do it again!

We headed back to town that afternoon. The trip home was almost as excruciating as the trip over. We hit two traffic snarls in Atlanta. I pretty much came in and crashed.

I got a job and I ran my first half marathon in under an hour and a half. I'd say it was decent. You can see more pictures of me in all my sweaty, racing glory here.

The best part is, there is still more...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hence this short entry.

I'm back from New York and in less than a few minutes, I'll be driving off to South Carolina for the marathon. Well, the marathon I would be running if my knee was well. From all I've heard, the Kiawah Island Marathon is supposed to be a good one. The weather looks like it is going to be just about perfect for me, my friend and the 3000 or so other runners.

I'm still registered for the half and looking to turn in a time of an hour and a half. I hope I can do it.

Good news on the job front. This weekend, I have lots of decisions to make. Today has been way too hectic for real sit down and blog it out, hence this short entry.

When I return and things settle down, I'll be sure to let you know how it all went.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I hope I do well.

I'm heading up to NYC again tomorrow. This time it is for the Third and final interview with the major shipping company. As of this moment, I'm a little nervous and do not really feel prepared at all. I'm sure that will change with time though. I have some time tomorrow and all of Tuesday night to gather my thoughts and get prepared.

Apparently there are five candidates interviewing on Wednesday. Luckily, we are the first round to go through so there is the potential that all of us could get into the program. That's what I'm hoping for. I'll be interviewing with the head honchos of the North American division. That kind of stuff always intimidates me. I hope I do well. I'll know if I'm going to be made an offer by the time I land back in Atlanta on Wednesday.

The next time you will hear from me, I will either be happy that I have two offers to choose from or will be depressed that I blew it and can only take the one offer I already have...

See you then.