Tem42 noticed that the daylogs have dried up lately, so here’s a grab bag of stuff that might be of mild interest, plus some venting.

I have been writing up and preparing to run Lost Gems of Yesteryear: Odyssey Two. I'll have more to say about this as the quest officially gets underway on June 20th. I hope you will participate! The more write-ups get listed, the better it works! Please note that you can find, and let me know about, favorite writeups at any time—you don’t have to wait for the 20th to do so.

I've been watching the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. As a current resident of the Toronto Maple Leafs region, of necessity I have adopted other NHL teams at playoff time. For decades, one of those substitutes has been the Pittsburgh Penguins, so this year's playoffs have been exciting for me. The Finals have been amazing fast-paced hockey, and the San Jose Sharks' goalie, Martin Jones has been spectacular. For a low-to-no-talent beer league goalie like me, watching the 'tenders is a big draw of the professional game. Every game has been close and tense all the way through ... but tonight (June 12th where I am, though e2 thinks it's the 13th) the Pens have closed the deal. Whew! It's a tough loss for the Sharks, though, I feel badly for Jones, and for Joe Thornton and the other long-tenured Sharks players.

My dolorous job search continues to grind away. It seems that I have improved my resume and cover letter over the weeks, in that I am more successful in getting HR phone screens and initial interviews, but I'm not able to close the deal. In every interview I've had they want an experienced people manager who can also architect software, code when needed, provide technical vision, and more. I can speak comfortably to the people skills but I am a full decade removed from legitimate hands-on coding work, and it's costing me. I am clearly failing to win over the technical evaluators. I am rusty and I don't have experience with the latest languages and skills.

To date I have applied to 35 different positions. Of these, the posters of 16 opportunities did not reply at all. Three politely rejected my application by email without further contact. Four politely rejected me after an initial HR/recruiter screen, and one more simply stopped responding. One rather brusquely rejected me after a technical phone screen, and four more politely declined after a set of on-site interviews. Three positions were bad fits that we mutually agreed not to pursue. The last three are technically left active, but of those, two are overdue for follow-up and clearly about to end in rejection. The last is waiting to see if I pass the hiring managers resume screen, but the HR screener mentioned "hands-on coding" as a core requirement so I expect it will end like the others.

I really did not expect that I'd be out of work this long. I was, and am, confident in my skills and abilities, but either there's no market for what I have, or I can't sell it.

Bishop: That's it. Emergency venting.

It has always been my plan to switch to rebuilding my technical skill set if I got to six months with no job, and I'm now at seven and a half. With the slow summer period upon me, that’s the plan. My first project is to code up some small web tools to help with the LGoY:OT quest. Nothing that I do for that seems likely to address the perceived capability gaps that my interviews have identified, but I hope to gain a bit of self-confidence. I expect I’ll be lucky to land a mid-range developer job before my cushion from the severance runs out. That's my new goal, to drop back in seniority and get a basic individual contributor job that will bring in a paycheque. I am still working slowly towards a project manager certification too, because I need more than one iron in the fire.

My daughter and I biked past a Jiffy Lube today. She noticed a sign that says they’re hiring, and innocently pointed it out to me. Sure enough, there's an opening for a lubrication technician. That's not a choice that I’ll make today, but we’ll see what happens when the money from the severance runs out.

What I learned in 17 years: You can love someone without them being what you want. And when a relationship starts that way, it'll likely end that way.

I love my ex-wife; to this very day I love her with all my heart.  Lizzy is my dear friend and always will be.  When we met, she went head over heels for me.  Who can blame her?  I was a cool motherfucker.  I wasn't interested in her that way, and I was casually dating several other girls.  Lizzy was just a girl I knew and joked with and occasionally teased.  But to her I was more.  As a regular hangaround, she took every available opportunity to casually sabotage every prospective date I had with another girl.  After a few months of this, I called her on it and joked that if she wasn't going to let me have a girlfriend, then she'd have to step up to the task.  She had mousy blonde hair, so I teasingly told her I was only attracted to redheads and girls named Lizzy.  Corny, I know.  But I think literally anything I said would have gotten me a date with her, she was just that smitten.  We dated for a while, broke up, dated again, and eventually got married.  I wish there was a better story than that, but that's it.  She is an amazing person, and the best most trusted and loyal friend and lover a man could ask for.  Funny, smart, sweet, and patient.   And she was never my type.

Looking back, I'm an asshole.  I loved Lizzy for exactly who she was, and I never wanted to change her.  Regardless, I never quite felt satisfied in every facet of our relationship and young, stupid me thought you HAD to be.  So over time I tried to change her anyway.  She never loved motorcycling the way I did.  She dressed conservatively.  We were never quite sexually compatible.  She always joked that she had no idea why we were together because she was nothing like the women I found most attractive.  And my fucking dumbass never contradicted this or made efforts to reassure her.  Looking back, I can see that this caused her pain.  But at the time, I was so close to her and she was my best best friend who knew my innermost being like no other. When I talked to her, I talked like I was talking to myself.  I joked and downplayed and never had empathy for how she almost certainly must have felt about it.  She had to have felt like she wasn't good enough.  She had to feel like I didn't really want her.  And I had no fucking empathy at all.  For anyone, really.  Empathy is a relatively recent experience in my life. 

So it's no wonder that she got depressed over time, years and years of not being what I wanted, not knowing who she really was or what she really wanted.  It's no wonder at all that she became unhappy and began to question whether I was what SHE really wanted.  Looking back, I don't blame her for leaving.  Roles reversed, I'd have left a LONG time before she did.  She loves me even now.  I love her.  We're still friends, connected in ways that no one else will ever understand.  We have a child together. We're permanently bonded. But we're neither of us suffering under the delusion any longer that the other is the person we want to be with.  Well... she's not anyway.  I'm still a little stuck at times and I miss her sorely.  And so it goes. 

She called me to talk the other day, telling me that she's just committed to a guy she's been dating and wanted to talk about that situation as it pertains to our daughter.  She's such a great mom and so respectful of everyone's feelings, even mine.  She's a goddamn treasure.  And I'll always value what we had, and what we still have.  I'll always love her.  And maybe I've learned something.  Maybe I'll be so picky and selective about my next mate that there won't be a next mate.  Or maybe I'll meet the perfect woman for me.  Better still maybe I'll learn to love and appreciate people for exactly who they are.  If so, hopefully I've learned enough not to obliviously hurt another person I care about so deeply.

With all the nice truth out of the way, there's also the ugly truth to face.

I'm raging with jealousy right now, but it's under my concious control.  Actually, it's not really even jealousy at all.  It's envy.  When Lizzy left, she said she didn't want anyone else and only wanted to be alone for a while.  I on the other hand, have been grasping and clinging, lonely, and desperate to connect with someone else; that desperation has shone through in my interactions and I've not had much success except to scare off potential dates.  And here I am, still flailing. Longing. Dying for human intimacy.  And she's met this guy and they're connecting and spending time together and committing.  And my self esteem is in the fucking toilet.  The dates I do have end up fizzling with unbalanced attraction.  Or flaking out entirely. They stop answering texts. I don't blame them.  Who needs my shit?

Lizzy tells me I need to learn how to be alone.  My best guy friend says the same.  They're right of course, but I'm not wanting to face the prospect of trying to find myself.  I'm not ready to find peace and contentment in isolation.  I just want someone to want me.  My higher sense says that it's not fair for me to burden another person with my need and expect them to fulfill me.  I know I NEED to become content in myself before I seek to share life with someone else.  But I don't want to right now.  I just want someone as crazy as me, right now, to want me. And to obsess over me. And to fuck my brains out.

Does this get easier?

 

UPDATE: October 2017.  It does get easier.  In October of 2016, I found someone as crazy as me to want me, obsess over me, and fuck my brains out.  And it lasted 5 months.  It was just what it was.  It wasn't fulfilling.  And then I got my feet under me and dated about 50 women, dates night after night for a while.  And that wasn't fulfilling either.  And then I learned how to be alone and got myself back.  Found a happy place.  And just met the most amazing woman and I have butterflies and I feel hopeful about the future again.  Such is life I guess.

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