Seeking Out Me

Day 164 – When it rains, it pours

Posted in contest, job search, life, San Francisco, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on May 10, 2010

When it rains, it pours and it is literally pouring not only rain here, but opportunities for me as well. A few, both freelance and regular, job interviews in the pipeline this week and next, but I’m not going to get too excited just yet. What will be, shall be.

I know it’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy. Amazing how time flies when you are not employed. I gave my first webinar last week to 18 nonprofits and it went really well. I did the first one for free. A few things that need to be polished, but otherwise, I’m pretty satisfied with it and the feedback was positive overall. I’m now even more stoked about presenting at the Center for Nonprofit Success’s seminar on Social Media: Tips and tools for using social media to build support for your mission.

Still keeping busy with writing for the Examiner, RedRoom and some freelance gigs. Had our 4th documentary meeting and it’s coming together. It will really come together if we get accepted for the Pepsi Refresh Project grant.

And I have to share this book that I am reading right now, because it is so damn funny. I think I am especially enjoying it because I love food. It’s called Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. It’s a compilation of essays from authors who confess their own stories of what they eat while dining alone (in or out). It is not only hilarious, but it includes a few recipes too. With each story they intertwine little one liners that will have you laughing out loud. From one chick’s recollection of Halloween being  like a “Beggar’s Banquet” to another guy’s curious question of why the Jews didn’t think they were persecuted enough to still be eating brisket and gifelte fish in modern times.It’s available on Amazon.

And now, in keeping with my latest tradition, I am off to the gym to get a workout in. I’m only eating fruit, vegetables and protein. No bread, no pasta, limited rice, no cake, no cookies, no ice cream (and you know I’ve been known to eat right out of the half gallon container of Breyers).Why the madness? My clothes were starting to feel uncomfortable again. Plus, all of this research for the documentary has got me eating my way to a  healthier life.

Later in the week, I hope to enlighten you all to cooking with coconut oil. A friend just introduced me to it last week and it was phenomenal and apparently there are health benefits too. A win-win.

Ciao for now.

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Day 147 – Lady who lunches

Posted in job search, life, Lost, Lunch, Project Management, San Francisco, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on April 23, 2010

Okay, seriously. I have previously stated that all I do is “lunch” with people to network to see if they can help me find a job. And while I love eating, this whole unemployment thing is making me fat! Yesterday I went to lunch with a former boss, he’s awesome. It was great. The food was delicious and the conversation was stimulating. He knew of an opportunity that he thought I would be good for so we’ll see.  When I told him that I had registered with The Ladders and with M Squared consulting, he found that interesting and said that most people don’t go about finding a job that way these days. Most people do what I am doing now, which is go to lunch and get jobs through people they know. Makes me want to totally re-think that whole MFA program thing, I tell ya.

Well, lunch was yummy and informative and I felt like I had a food baby in my belly. At the end of the day, my husband calls and says that I could convince him to go to the gym if I met him there. Hmm, although I didn’t feel like going, and had no plans to go, I decided it couldn’t hurt me. After all, I did have a food baby to work off.

Today I knew I was meeting a friend for a long overdue lunch at 1pm, so I had plans to either go to bikram yoga or the gym in the morning. That way it feels more justifiable eating a fabulous lunch at a place like Waterbar and drinking cocktails. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure that the lunch was going to involve cocktails but was fairly certain. When my friend wound up being twenty minutes late due to her job, I wound up ordering myself a glass of Sauvignon blanc (which I decided is way better than Chardonnay, but that’s just my opinion). When she arrived at 1:20 it turned into many glasses of champagne and splitting appetizers, entrees and dessert. The bill was steep. Over one hundred dollars and I’m unemployed – yikes!

Before I went to lunch my husband forwarded me a job he saw posted for a social media blogger/editor position at a gaming company. Well, if that isn’t right up my alley. However, the position clearly stated that the career level was “student’. So I applied anyway, because I decided that I would love to work for half of my value if it meant doing something that I loved, and I love blogging and social media. So I applied. I don’t know if I’ll even get a call or a response, but hell, what have I got to lose….um, nothing.

Day 121

Posted in Examiner, FarmVille, life, Project Management by Tracy on March 26, 2010

Today started off great with 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga. Then a quick call with a friend to discuss putting together a documentary. Very exciting!!!! Three of us are meeting next week to kick it off. Did I say, VERY EXCITING!!!! Okay, I’ll try to relax about it.

Heading out to pick up brochures for the nonprofit. Hope to get petitions signed at the Ferry Building tomorrow morning from 9-12 for American Heart, American Lung and American Cancer Society to increase the tobacco sales tax in CA for the first time in 20 years to $1 per pack.

Made brownies and guacamole for my friend’s pity party tonight. She’s stressed out and we’re all going over there for moral support, mexican and of course to drink wine.

Two possible job prospects and a third in the works. I’m excited about all 3 companies so we’ll see how it pans out. All 3 are referrals so hopefully that will at least get my foot in the door.

It’s been a good week for Examiner articles and if you know me well then you probably got a kick out of the article I wrote this week on “Career Limiting Move – Saying the wrong thing at work and how to recover” What can I say except that it was long overdue. If I only I practiced what I preach. LOL!

Life in FarmVille is as boring as ever and I cannot wait to write my synopsis on the whole stupid game. Too bad I can’t post that to the Examiner. Well, maybe I’ll figure out a way. Either way, I’ll post that link here when I write it. But I have about 40 more days, ugh! But last night I checked that blog and it has had over 2000 hits to it. Insane!! I think people really liked my WTF is up with the Foal and the Stallion piece. What can I say except that I crack myself up sometimes.

I don’t feel lost anymore about what I want to do. I feel like I have figured it out. I want to do something creative. I like exercising that part of my brain. It feeds my spirit and maybe that’s why I liked project management so much. It allows me to be creative and solve problems. That’s also probably why I am so energized about doing this documentary with my friends Shanan and Stacey. I definitely want to go back to school for my Masters. But I need to get a job first and then go part-time. And I’m still writing like crazy for many different avenues. Still working on the second book on the nonprofit industry.

Busy, busy, busy, but enjoying myself. Might have something to do with working out again.

Happy Friday!

Day 114 – An awesome day!

Posted in FarmVille, life, Project Management, San Francisco, Uncategorized, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 19, 2010

Today was fantastic because I was productive and social. I love it when those two things come together. I got up bright and early, applied for a couple of jobs and was showered and out of the house before 10am. I picked up a new friend, Laurel and we headed to a new writer’s group in San Mateo to meet our friends Carol and Cheri at Specialty’s Bakery which has some of the best sandwiches, not to mention cookies. Did I mention cookies??

Unlike the disastrous writer’s group I attended a few weeks ago where it ended in flaming emails, this group seems to be a good group of easy going, yet serious writers and they make me laugh. Who could ask for more?

Driving back into the city I noticed the temperature gauge on the dashboard reading eighty degrees! In San Francisco? That’s practically unheard of, but oh so welcomed! Time to shave the legs, put on the skirt and head to the roof top deck and pop open a bottle of ice cold champagne. But before all that, I had to run a few errands. A local cobbler promised he could bring back to life my Athena Alexander’s (and I tell you that I could walk 10 miles in these heels and not get a blister). The dry cleaner promised to have my husband’s shirts back by mid next week and I finished tending my farm in FarmVille for my other blog. So, to the roof I go! And then, meeting up with friends at Tony’s Neopolitano. If you haven’t read my food review on Foodie Fool of this place and you live in San Francisco, you need to read it. For the first time ever in San Francisco history, I think Californian’s are finally getting a taste of what real pizza tastes like (spoken like a true East Coaster).

Ciao for now.

Day 108 – A leisurely life

Posted in FarmVille, life, Rob Pattinson, Writer by Tracy on March 13, 2010

Today is one of those gray rainy days where I normally would resign to staying in my pajamas all day. But instead, I have been both productive and yet leisurely. I did all of my nonprofit stuff last night and this morning. My to-do list is complete.  Then I treated myself to the movies. I went to see Remember Me – the new Rob Pattinson film and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at how above average it was. The ending was a surprise and the overall movie was just good writing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend you see it. Also Rob Pattinson was also co-executive producer. Who knew? Plus the previews before the movie were Eclipse (June 30th) , The Runaways (TBD) and Iron Man 2 (May 7th)- looking forward to all of those as well!

After the movie I had to stop home to tend to my farm in FarmVille, blog about it and gather my petitions for tomorrow’s volunteer work at the Farmer’s Market ( I really hope it is not raining tomorrow because that will suck). But in about an hour I am headed to Press Club to meet a friend for drinks and then dinner followed by girls night out at: Point Break Live! Woohoo!

Day 106

Posted in 80's, embarassing moments, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Red Room, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 10, 2010

Yesterday I gave my first chapter of my memoir to my husband to read. Was I crazy? Actually, it wasn’t that bad. But he’s bias and he knows the story well. He did have some good feedback though. I also received some good feedback from my writer friend Amy Lamphere.

Speaking of writing, I am still doing that experimental blog on FarmVille “99 days on FarmVille” and I’ll admit, it’s a time suck. But I only have 27 more ribbons to get and I will be finished with that nonsense. My plan for today is to write an article for either Divine Caroline, Red Room or the Examiner. Red Room’s  article submission is on your most embarrassing moment in high school. So many to pick from, but I did manage to narrow it down. I also want to edit my first chapter of the memoir again and to do a DVD workout. That seems like a lot to do in four hours since I have a fund-raising call at 3pm and have to pick  my husband up at 4pm to go celebrate my niece’s 14th birthday.  Happy Birthday Lia!

Alas, I finally did a workout DVD yesterday. It was called Dance with Julianne by Julianne Hough from “Dancing with the Stars”. I didn’t love it. She’s a good dancer, but not a good teacher.The one I have from Crunch Fitness called Latin Rhythms is way better. Perhaps I’ll do that one today.Exercising and being productive does seem to get me out of a slump when I am in one.

But on Friday, I will definitely get out my slump because I am going to see Point Break Live with friends. What is it? A live performance where the movie is acted out. Comes with ponchos for the big tsunami storm and is not an event for the fair at heart. They even pick someone from the audience to play Keanu Reeves! Cannot wait.

Day 105

Posted in Examiner, life, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 9, 2010

I don’t know what it is exactly but I am lacking motivation to do anything these days. I have an entire list of things to do and don’t feel like doing a one. Ever feel that way?

I’ve decided to volunteer one day a week with the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association to get signatures to raise the tax on tobacco products in California for the first time in 20 years. At least that will get me showered, dressed and out of the house for the day.

I published another article on Divine Caroline last night, but I am still behind on the Examiner and editing my memoir. And the nonprofit stuff is piling up, although I did finally just update the website. It’s amazing how much little time you have when you have so much of it to sit around and waste.

I did apply for 4 more jobs today and I heard back from one company who said that I’m still in the running.  Job count is up to 85 resumes.

Last night I looked at schools for M.F.A. programs. I am seriously considering going back for my masters in fine arts.  I’ve always wanted to go back and get my Masters in something, just not an M.B.A. and recently I think that something might be writing. Still toying with the idea.

p.s. I am super happy that James Cameron did not win for Avatar because that would have just given him carte blanche to go spend zillions of dollars on a film so that he would win an award.

Day 104 – Rejection

Posted in Examiner, life, Project Management, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on March 8, 2010

I’ve been radio silent because I was hoping to report back good news from my various job interviews last week. I was hoping that no news was good news. But today after I sent an email to follow up with a company, only then did they tell me that they were not going to move forward with me as a candidate. I wonder how long they would have let me wait if I hadn’t followed up with them? In fact, I wonder how many companies are really good about closing out prospective candidates?  I was also told last week that I was over qualified for a job -yet  again. That seems to be my biggest road block. But how to convey that I want to work hard but with less responsibility is tricky.

I have one more iron in the fire, but that didn’t seem promising. At the end of that interview I asked the person if they thought I was a good fit for the job and they seemed leery about my experience.

I also met with my career coach on Friday that my old company generously paid for. I am not sure how she is going to help me but since it is free, I am willing to suck up any information she can give me.  I am meeting with her weekly for the next few weeks and who knows, at the very least maybe I’ll get some material for my Examiner column.

Speaking of which, I am way behind on writing for the Examiner.

Day 99 – hard sell

Posted in Certifications, life, Project Management, unemployed by Tracy on March 3, 2010

I had 2 job interviews this week and overall about a dozen (phone and in person) and the hardest thing I have to do is under sell myself. It’s extremely difficult to play down my experience. All I want to do is be an individual contributor for a change. A  little less responsibility. Be able to go home at 5 or 6 and not be married to my iPhone or CrackBerry. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently it is because if I had a nickel for every time someone told me that I was overqualified, I could retire by now. Everyone is afraid that I’ll be bored. I try to explain that I don’t really get bored and can find processes to improve and things to do. But it’s of no use. And here I just want to scream out “You should hire me because I am a rock star AND I will make you look good! and p.s. I don’t want your management job either so relax.” Perhaps a t-shirt or a new business card that I can just hand them when they hand me theirs. And if I have one more person ask me if I am PMP certified I think I am going to scream. I’ve decided that the next time someone asks me, I need to come up with something clever. Any ideas? Maybe instead of saying I think that certifications are for people that have no experience, perhaps I’ll ask them, “If you had as much experience in project management as I did, would you think it would be worth your time to go back for a (silly) certification?”

I did have one nice person tell me today that although they thought I was overqualified they knew of someone that was hiring for a manager position at a company in the South Bay. But I politely declined. Why? Because that’s a non-starter going back to a 75 minute each way commute if I can help it. I really don’t want to have to do that if at all possible.

I just got back from Cavallo Point (right over the Golden Gate Bridge) for a nice over night stay and then spent the afternoon in Sausalito with my hubby. We had a great time and then we saw our last Oscar nominated film, An Education. It was really good. We also saw Precious the other night and that was good too, but heavy. Made me cry.

Tomorrow, lunch with an old friend and former mentor and getting my hair cut and then happy hour at Iluna Basque as they celebrate their 6th year anniversary with half price appetizers and bottles of wine from 5:30-7:30. Woohoo! And the beauty is that I can actually make it there by 5:30 because I am not working and don’t have that long ass drive. Just yet another reason to keep my job search closer to home.

Until tomorrow.

Day 94

Posted in Damages, Examiner, FarmVille, life, Lost, unemployed, Writer by Tracy on February 25, 2010

Interview in person next week and a phone interview, making progress. Got a rejection yesterday but it was really a stretch for me anyway.

Just posted to my FarmVille blog that the rumors about Zynga charging subscription fees is false.

I’ve also been writing a lot for Divine Caroline, here’s my page. Yesterday I posted about my experience with speed dating.

Today I posted a new article at the Examiner.com and just finished baking my friend’s tasty kona banana bread. Now I am going to hunker down to finish the layout of my memoir before shipping it off to the editor. I hope I can finish it before my leadership council meeting tonight.

Oh, and although DAMAGES is the best TV show on television right now, I am also hooked on an old HBO series called The Wire. Just finished season 1 last night. And if I don’t start actually getting answers on LOST, I am going to be pissed! That’s all I will say on that in case you haven’t caught up to real time yet with your DVR.