Ha! I just happened to randomly think today, "I should post", and it means that it's been less than a year since my last post. OK, so only by a day, but that's not the point!
I don't have cable TV at home. I've told several people that lately, and it's amazing the reactions I get. Mostly slack-jawed stares while their brain tries to figure out (usually unsuccessfully) what life looks like when there is no cable TV. One person even asked "What do you do?" Often the reaction is followed by, "well, at least you have internet, right?" And the answer to that is no. I have a wireless card in my computer. Sometimes I can pick up on a stray signal, sometimes I can't, so I don't have a reliable internet connection.
I'm a technophile. I love gadgets and computers and the internet and all those things. But I get enough of that at work most of the time. I like to have my home life be separate and different than my work life. Not because work is bad, but I get 8-9 hours of it a day, why would I want more when I get home? So my life at home is much more about being with people (usually Louise and her family) than it is about technology. But apparently that makes me weird.
It wasn't that long ago that none of these things existed. But there will be the day in my lifetime when there is no one alive who didn't know TV from the day they were born. What will the world be like then?
This morning I found out that my sister's mother in law was diagnosed with two cancers, one in her lungs, one in her liver. She isn't given long to live. "My sister's mother in law" may not sound like much in terms of emotional connection, but she really is an awesome person, and a great mother in law to my sister and I've always loved her attitude and sense of humor and felt close to her. It's so sad to hear of her illness, and I don't really know what to make of it.
Needless to say, she is reorganizing her life. Years ago they moved to Oregon to "get away from LA", and now they are planning an almost instant move down to LA to be near their children and siblings. She was running a business and literally got home from the doctors and threw all the paperwork away for the business and will be giving it away. Not worth worrying about.
It will be nice to have her close again, for as long as that lasts. I look forward to her sense of humor, including the ability to look death in the eye and laugh. (She said that when she called to give the news, she was tempted to say "OK, everyone who still has a mother, stand up. Scott, sit down.")
Today was my first real job interview ever (sort of, it was a phone interview). And for those that don't know me, I have a PhD, I've held several jobs in my life. I've just never been interviewed before. Up until now (miraculously), my resume and references have been enough for someone to hire me. Of course, they all knew that I was being hired for limited time positions, so there wasn't much to lose. All the jobs I've had, I got through e-mail.
Overall I don' think the conversation went well. I got rather flustered on the question "what areas of technology do you want to work with?" Quite frankly, the job that I am being interviewed for is, of those I've applied for, the one I'm least qualified for (leave it to HR departments to do that, right?) and least excited about. So that question was hard to answer and still stay within the realm of the possible job. Another one that got me (since I'm applying for a job that involves RF antenna design) is "what RF experience do you have?" to which the only answer that would be wholly truthful would have been "What RF experience?" I fudged and mentioned how the electronics I've used in the past have been sensitive to RF noise. Since I was talking to HR, I think that worked. I did admit, though, that I had very little RF experience, but would be willing to learn.
So I know that for the next interview, I need to be a bit more prepared, say 'um' a few less times, and hopefully be interviewing for a job I really want.
I leave New Zealand just 9 days from today. It's hard to believe that I've been here over a year now, but I have.
It's odd to live somewhere like this, so far away, and know that there is very little chance that I'll ever come back. I have invested a year of my life, perhaps only for the memories. This isn't a bad thing, it's just different. In other cases, I've moved to new places and done new things, but never so far away that there wasn't the (easy) possibility of going back there and continuing. And in most cases, one or two friends followed me (or I followed them?) and so there as a connectivity between events.
Here there is nothing. I'll leave this place, and leave behind pretty much everything I knew here. I'll keep in touch with a few people via e-mail. probably only a few times a year at best (this is realistic given me and the people I'm dealing with.)
I've loved New Zealand, both the country and the people that I've met here. I'm very sad to leave it. I look forward to being home and seeing family and friends, but I don't want my year-long "vacation" to end. When I go back, I have to get a job. A real one. That has probably two weeks of vacation that don't start accruing until I've been there a while. Yuck. I've taken off about 6 weeks in the year I've been here. It's been great. Perhaps I can find a job where I rely only on my income for 11 months of it, and where they'll let me take unpaid holidays. But those are two things that will probably never coincide. What company gives frequent unpaid holidays and who doesn't want that extra month of income?
I'm interested to see where my life goes. I have no job right now, just people willing to take care of me until I do. I'm trying to stay in San Diego, but the job market there is dim, so it will be a struggle. Where will I be in a year, and what will I be doing? I haven't a clue.
I guess I haven't updated anything in quite a while here, too rapidly approaching a year before that last entry. But sometimes I just need to be inspired to write, and I wasn't until I wanted to write that.
Things in life are great. I live in New Zealand. I've been travelling all over the place, and have had a chance to fly through fjords, go glacier climbing, jet boating, paragliding. I've seen rare birds and plants and animals. I've seen glow-worm caves that astound the imagination. I've dug my own hot-spring at low tide on the beach. And I've only been here four months. I have 8 more to go. Of course, many of those will be cold, and I probably won't do as much, but I've done a lot already, and I look forward to more!
Yesterday (US time) was two years after Marie broke up with me. The woman I had expected to marry. I scroll down and look at some of the not-so-happy posts about it, and they all seem so far away. Two years really isn't all that much, but in that time, I have gotten completely over her. It took a lot of work, and at times I didn't think I could, but I did. And now I can move on in my life without having her hold me back. In fact, we e-mail occasionally on a friendly basis, and it doesn't cause any hurt whatsoever.
I'm proud of myself for this accomplishment. It shows how much I've matured over the years. I remember how long it took me to get completely over my girlfriend from high school (about 5 years), and that relationship only lasted a year. And I still have a great affection for Marie, and all the people who have touched my life in that way. I always will, and that's another thing I like about myself.
Last night I was talking to Louise on the phone. We were talking about memories, and more specifically, some of the memories that I have of my grandparents. I've shared a lot of those memories with her. My grandparents have long since passed away, but I love all those memories I have.
She told me that when I talk about them, she forgets that they have passed away, and when I mention it, it surprises her. She says that she can still imagine them travelling around the country, meeting new people, and learning new card games. I broke down in tears when she said that. It makes me so incredibly happy to know that my grandparents who I love so much can live in someone else's mind because of the stories I tell.
Louise just has a way of saying these kind of things. It's one of the reasons I love to be around her.