I solemnly swear that I am up to no good

harry-potterOK, I admit it: I love Harry Potter. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

My beautiful wife and I have been HP fans since the beginning of the franchise. I’ve really enjoyed J.K. Rowling‘s writing, and the movies have been excellent as well. But most of all, I like the themes that she presents throughout: losing someone is really hard (but you can recover), friendship matters in ways you can’t possibly anticipate, and real magic is just a state of mind.

Not sure about that last part. Maybe that’s just what I believe.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I’ve never understood why people get tattoos. Everyone I know has a story of someone who got a tattoo of their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/canine unit, only to have to scratch it out or tattoo over it later in life. Ha, I thought to myself, I’ll never do that. I’ll never permanently mark myself in some way that I might regret later. Never.

Never!

Possible new direction

‘I have an idea, forming in my head.’

– Og, Time Bandits (1981)

Time Bandits is one of my all-time favorite movies. Directed by Terry Gilliam, it also stars fellow Pythoners John Cleese and Michael Palin (who also co-wrote the movie). And it’s really the writing that makes this movie, in my opinion. The special effects are great for 1981, and the story is interesting and unique — a true dark comedy — but the writing is spot on:

Wally: Lads! Here’s to stinking rich!
All: Yeah!
Fidgit: And to Kevin.
All: Yeah, Kevin!
Og: Stinking Kevin.

In the midst of my job hunting, I’ve started to shift gears a little. My beautiful wife already runs a website selling ‘alternative’ clothing (think urban hippie). A friend of mine supplies the clothes and accessories, and it’s really her website, where she can refer her store customers and potential wholesale customers. Our business arrangement is pretty cool for us: she gives us what she wants to have online, and if it sells, we pay her the difference between the wholesale price and the retail price. This last weekend, we went to an indoor/outdoor flea market in Tacoma (about twenty minutes from our house). It got me thinking: what if we bought more clothes at wholesale prices from my friend, and then sold them at the flea market every weekend? Could we make enough money to survive and make our own business profitable?

Julia loves going to the flea market, and I kind of like the idea of having a booth. The fee is $20 a day for a space (almost nothing), and I think we have enough cash in our business account to get started. I wouldn’t give up looking for a job, but if we can make decent money at the market, maybe that could become my new career. ‘Flea Market Guy’. ‘Marketing Flea Professional’. ‘Retail Flea Sales Consultant’. Hmm, I might have to work on the verbiage for my resume…

What do you think? Has anyone tried selling at the flea market/swap meet? Any tips for newbies?

Recalibration

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Color of Money. Say what you will about Tom Cruise (who I thought was decent in this movie), the film won an Oscar for Paul Newman, who was outstanding as the alcoholic has-been Fast Eddie Felson, who still wants a shot at the big time. This movie was my introduction to the game of 9-Ball, where you’re shooting pool with nine balls, and the object is to sink the nine. The hitch is that the cue ball has to hit the lowest ball on the table first, before striking any other ball.

The movie was also an awesome tutorial on the art of the hustle.

Vincent: Don’t worry. I’m not gonna lose that often.
Eddie: Yes, you will. That’s what I’ll teach you.

I haven’t been posting regularly to my blog. I have to admit, I’ve lost my focus. My beautiful wife has been at a loss, as I’ve sort of lost my me, if that makes any sense. My job was a huge part of my life, but in losing it, I stopped doing the things that are important to me. Things that I care about. Things that made me who I was before I lost my job. It took me a while to realize that. It’s taken me even longer to get back on an even keel. I loved my job, and being an Adobe employee was one of the most excellent experiences of my life.

This is my recalibration post. I’m returning to my blog with renewed gusto because I simply love blogging. It’s one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done over the last year, with or without a job, and it helps define who I am. I’ve also realized that I’m in good company: more and more people are joining the ranks of the unemployed. If I can offer any beacon of light in the grim wasteland of our economy, even if it’s just to say ‘I’m still here,’ then this is it — the summation of my recent job-hunting experiences and mental health exercises as (of course) a Top 10 list.

Vincent: Eddie, what will you do… when I kick your ass?
Eddie: Pick myself up and let you kick me again.

Top 10 ways to look for a job and keep your sanity:

10. Check out Craig’s List for job postings. Seriously. Tons ‘o jobs.

9. Tailor your resume to fit a job posting.

8. Don’t stop doing the things that you enjoy, even if you have to scale back the time or money you have to put into them.

7. Tell absolutely everyone you know that you are looking for a job. Everyone.

6. If a friend needs a place to crash for a month or two, and you have room, take him in. It might be your turn soon enough.

5. Look on the bright side: your plight is probably not as sad as an unemployed clown’s (no offense to any actual unemployed clowns).

4. Think of cashing in your 401K as ‘getting out of the stock market while you still have some money left.’

3. Two words: O BAMA!

2. Play the lottery. Baby needs a new pair of shoes. No, seriously, she does. Even an old pair. Anything.

1. Launch a contest on your blog offering $150 to the person whose job lead lands you a job.

Hey, I like that last one. Hmmmm…..

Eddie: If I don’t whip you now… I’ll whip you next month in Dallas.
Vincent: Houston.
Eddie: Houston, Dallas.
Eddie: If not, a month after that in New Orleans.
Vincent: What makes you so sure?
Eddie: Hey, I’m back.