"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

The Beautiful White

By Shanathalas
Our earth is a miraculous thing. Yesterday it started snowing. Not unusual for Vancouver at this time of year, but this time its stuck. It was wonderful to be with Jaime when the snow started to fall, for though he had been to the snow before, he had never been in falling snow. We giggled as it landed on our noses. Its snowed all night and now everything is blanketed in a white velvet coat of snow. It certainly lifts my mood. Today we are going out take photos, build snowmen and make snow angels.

Loser with a capital "L"

By Shanathalas
(Warning: Self-pitying rant ahead).

So, what's wrong with me? I know that sounds pathetic, but after five months of looking I still cannot find myself a real job. Though I have managed to get a bit of temp work here and there, I cannot find myself permanent work. I have applied for over forty jobs and have only been interviewed for two. Its getting to the point where I am just desperate. Though I embellish a little, and don't believe in outright lies on your resume. But now I'm thinking I'm going to have to. In the past I have attended many a job searching courses and have honed my resumes and cover letters to what I and many people tell me is very good quality. I have helped many of my friends get jobs by advising them on resume writing. People have now started to suggest I leave my university degrees off my resume, as they may be hurting my applications for the less senior positions I now have to go for. I suppose it might help but it seems ridiculous that I spent six years and $30000 to get degrees that hurt my employment chances. I have removed all my archaeology experience from my resume now, unless I apply for an archaeology-related job. The only really promising lead, the contractor researcher job, is held up by my security clearance. Four months later I'm still waiting as they wait for info from the Australian government.

I could understand it if all my experience was in "x" and I only applied for "y" jobs. But I have a diverse experience and I am applying for a diverse range of jobs. IT, admin, archaeology, travel; I've tried them all. How is it that the stench of loser has tainted me? Am I too old? (I don't put my age on my cv, but they can work it out). Too fat? (I don't have a photo on my applications, so no).

We are now facing a pretty bleak Christmas with my measly income. Income that is about to cease. Instead of inviting the temps to the Christmas party, EA's giving us a big "your gone" just before Christmas. I also never imaged how much of my personal confidence comes from working. Confidence that is now gone.

Sorry for the self-pity and loathing. I'm sure no one wants to hear it but its better out than in.

Two Great Words: Free Coffee

By Shanathalas
Somehow the caterers at EA managed to find a way to boil large amounts of water, for when I arrived at work this morning it was to the tune of free coffee for everyone!!! After six days with no coffee, the timbre of the work environment had got very unhappy, and folks weren't sticking around for overtime. But today everything is happiness for we have free coffee.

TA-DA!!! A new cousin!!!

By Shanathalas
Tonight we received the very exciting news that Alison, Jaime's cousin Paul's wife, had given birth to their new baby girl Imogen Maree. We are just thrilled for them, and so happy to have new cousin in the family. A new baby is the most beautiful thing in the world. Today is a happy day :)

A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall

By Shanathalas
Time to build an ark. Its raining plenty out there. It seems Vancouver is making up for the gorgeous and very dry summer it's just had by dumping a massive amount of water on itself. While long spells of constant rain are certainly not unusual at this time of year, the heaviness of the rain is. Usually its just a week of drizzle; heavy fog if you will. But this past few weeks have seen record amounts of precipitation falling in southwestern British Columbia. While this is good for all things green, its ferocity has stirred up the reservoirs, making all the water silty. Its brown, dirt smelling, and apparently unsafe to drink without boiling first.

I now segue into my other bit of news. The wheel of fortune it does turn and this week I find myself back at EA. After dumping 95% of its temporary games testers, it now finds itself short-staffed, and I was lucky enough to be one of the few they recalled. Despite the RSI of playing all day, it's nice to be working again, especially when I get such a nice reception back.

How do these two pieces of seemingly separate news intertwine? Well, it seems that coffee machines do not actually boil water, they just make it hot. So this means that all the coffee machines in EA's compound cannot be used while Vancouver's water is contaminated. So yesterday I found myself in a building filled with thousands of game developers, and no coffee. The poorly staffed in-house starbucks was making americanos for a few hours before the health department advised that cappucino makers apparently don't heat the water enough either. When I left last night, things were starting to look ugly. Especially as we'd just found a massive bug in game that's due to go beta on Tuesday. There looked like overtime all weekend for most of the developers and lot of the testers. You try doing an 18-hour day with no coffee or tea. I'm scared to see what it will be like when I arrive at work tomorrow.

By Shanathalas
Ok, so my winning streak on the Melbourne Cup is truly over. But it was a very close race, with Pop Rock losing out to Delta Blue by a nose. Try as I might to get the VPN connection to Sydney Uni working so as to pick up on their satellite feed of the race, it did not work, and we were forced to read about the results in the Sydney Morning Herald. I like to think that if I had been able to watch, my mental cheers for Pop Rock might just have edged her ahead of her Japanese comrade. To those who picked the winner (did anyone pick this horse, it was 17 to 1?), I salute you.

To follow up, our Halloween photos are now up on Jaime's Flickr site. There are some nice shots from both the Parade of Lost Souls and the Sanctuary Halloween Party, as well as shots of my jack-o-lantern mid-lobotomy. Here are some of my favourites. (that last one is for Dan).

The Race that stops a nation...10 000 kms away

By Shanathalas
I've always felt a little gyp'd by the fact that Victorians get Melbourne Cup day off while us Sydneysiders had to go work. But it has been tempered by the fact that most of the work day after noon is a write-off anyway. How much work can you do after a couple of glasses of champagne anyway?

But today is Melbourne Cup day (well technically tomorrow is Melbourne Cup day: stupid time zones) and I find myself a long way from Melbourne. While not a massive horseracing fan, I always enjoy getting into the Melbourne Cup mood. Being able to slack off down the pub to watch the race goes right to the heart of my "stick it to the man" sentiments. And I love horses; they're such beautiful animals. Though it seems to me that the MC is a bit cruel; put a bazillion horses on the racetrack at once and someone/horse is going to get hurt.

So I always have a little flutter. But this year I am finding it hard to bet and/or find a place to watch the race (which is nicely fixed at 8:00pm Vancouver time). So just incase I don't get the slip to prove it, I am publicly declaring my tips to "Pop Rock" & "Yeats". Now that ol' Makybe Diva has retired I am hoping I will return to my winning streak that Miss Winthreeetimes ruined for me.