Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Will Write For Food

Over the last month or so I’ve been job-hunting, and finding it an endlessly discouraging process.

It’s an odd paradox: I have never been more confident in my writing-editing skills, yet am beginning to feel almost unemployable, in part because my virtual self is so unimpressive.

This post, though, is not meant as self-pitying drivel. Something will pan out sooner or later, all for the better.

No, I really just wanted to comment on the zany world of job sites – chiefly Indeed.com and ZipRecruiter.

I used Indeed.com about four years ago during the search that led to the position from which I got laid off about a month ago (though I came to that job via another site). I’d never heard of Indeed before. Now I’m seeing a lot of their ads on the tube, as I watch the MLB playoffs and other major (i.e. costly advertising time) sporting events.

Indeed and Zip have both matched me to some promising stuff, though nothing has yet clicked.

But they – Indeed, in particular – have also made some utterly incomprehensible matches. My track record is just about 100% writing and editing. In addition to feasible postings, Indeed has matched me to possible jobs for which I’m not qualified and have no interest in: real estate inspector, an executive position, editor for a quilting publication (quilting knowledge required), and an internship at an investment firm. There have been a few entry-level writing jobs, too.

Oh – I might also be a bagel maker, or a baker in a grocery store chain.

Go fig-ya.

I am primarily self-educated. To put it another way: a college dropout, and proud of it. The only downside is when I have to fill out employment applications. Let’s just say it doesn’t look good when, for “highest level of education completed,” I have to select “high school diploma/GED” from a dropdown list.

I also spent a bunch of years as a stay-at-home dad, so there’s a big gap in my employment record. Between diaper changes I managed to write a book, and even get it published. Most employers don’t give a shit, even when they say they want to hire a writer.

I suspect that all they see is no degree, and a yawning hole in formal employment.

Like I said, my virtual presence is not particularly impressive. Boo-hoo-hoo!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Trump, Yet Again

Every time I think Trump, the president in name only, cannot outdo himself in unadulterated asshole-ism, I am proven wrong by the Dumpster himself.

It is Saturday morning, Sept. 30, as I write this, and word of Trump’s Twitter tantrum against San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz is just coming in. This is a woman who has been seen on national and international television over the last day or two, pleading for help, in the aftermath of the catastrophe of Hurricane Maria.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency,” she said. “I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying.”

Can it get any more direct than that?

The “you” she referred to is, presumably, Trump. And surprise surprise, that cretin couldn’t take this justifiable criticism. “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” he tweeted this morning.

So she’s a nasty woman. Nasty.

I should not be surprised. I’m not surprised. This man has repeatedly demonstrated, with his own words and deeds, his complete lack of humanity. There is no point recounting any of it.

As I understand it, the main issue in Puerto Rico right now is one of distribution. Nevertheless - assuming you don’t have a truck you can spare, and get to Puerto Rico - I encourage you to make a monetary donation. I don’t know the best place to donate; I don’t trust most of them. The Red Cross reportedly helped Josef Mengele and other Nazi war criminals escape Germany.

But of course, this is not the time for such concerns. The Sierra Club claims 100% of donations made to their site will go to hurricane recovery. I made a small donation. I’ll trust them and hope for the best.

You can Google “Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico donations” or something similar. Or, you can check out the Sierra Club site:

Sierra Club donation site

Trump’s idiocy:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Unmarked Grave

There is no headstone on my father’s grave, only a simple marker thrust in the ground. No name, no dates of birth or death, this generic marker merely implies his service in the Navy. It looks plastic, although I did not touch it.

He’s been dead for a year. The lack of a headstone, I am told, is only temporary, the predictable consequence of red tape. It is the inaction of officialdom, which is footing the bill.

It’s a quaint little boneyard, tranquil even; a setting the words “final resting place” might conjure. I paid my first visit there recently. Or, my first since last year’s funeral. My father (or his earthly remains) is spending eternity at the foot of a gentle slope alongside headstones marked Kennedy, Manz, and Anger. This last is surrounded by plants with long spiny leaves resembling a strain of yucca. They seemed out of place, more appropriate to an arid, western climate. (Perhaps you can tell I don’t know much about plant life.)

I remembered approximately where the gravesite was, but still wandered around for five or ten minutes, searching. Finally some guy approached me. “Can I help you?”

He’d pulled up in a car a few minutes earlier, as I ambled among rows of headstones. The cemetery was otherwise deserted. As I strolled, I reminded myself to respect the dead and not step directly on anyone’s grave.

The guy turned out to be a member of the cemetery’s Board of Directors. He guided me to the grave I sought.

There are a couple of large stones a few feet from my father’s grave. The site did not need weeding or watering, so I took a seat on one. I did not speak to or commune with my dad’s spirit. I just soaked in the atmosphere, reflecting on a long and full life that had been lived, and enjoyed, and now was over.