Friday, April 30, 2004

A very productive day

Well, my blog page is certainly coming along. I now have a little 'comments' link after each day's news, which, I think, is pretty much the coolest thing ever right now. Don't know what the whole 'trackback' thing is all about. Let me just say...HTML sucks. I am very satisfied that I don't have to code anything, now, or ever. Ugghh.

Now I am wondering if I should change my overall template look so it isn't so...bland. Its boring. Very, very boring. I'm thinking of changing to something more calming, like Tuscan corner-coffee-shop or something. You know, faux-finishes and stuff. Its ironic that I am this interested in decorating my blog page - my apartment is pretty much the definition of ugly. But what can you do when you can't paint or wallpaper? Makes the coffee shop feeling a little more difficult to attain when you are limited to white, pebbled walls and icky, brown carpet.

Icky is definately a word that should be used more often.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Definately NOT a Wheel Watcher

Wheel of Fortune is on so I am doing anything to stay away from the TV right at this moment, which, naturally led me to browse some different blogs out there.

And a couple things have come to my attention.

1. My blog - like my book - is poorly designed.

2. It's also not nearly as important as others in the blog universe.

I don't get it...I see other people's/group's blogs and they have links all up and down the sides...there are even links in the flippin' text. I assume this has something to do with FTPing files...but that seems much more complicated that my "Publish Post" button. Well, I guess you get what you pay for - which is nothing in my case. And, for the most part, all of these spiffy looking blogs seem to have something really important to say.

For instance, I just checked out a whole expose/essay blog on the evils and merits of everyone's favorite Supercenter - WalMart! Unbelievable stuff. And not just simple opionated stuff like "I hate WalMart cause they put my buddy Walt's Tire Rotatin' service outta binnes cause they offer it f'free." No. This is serious Hardball/Larry King Live debate stuff. Very impressive.

And then there's mine. "'I'm unemployed...blah blah blah.'" Let me just say that I am now very depressed that my blog sucks.

At least it isn't in Norwegian. Mine has to be better than those.


No title really...

Hmm...job selection is thin today. I can't seem to find the ad that reads:

"Junior Copywriter needed at Weiden + Kennedy. Must possess passion to create wonderful ads and meaningful brands. Applicant should be 6 foot 2 and love basketball and/or golf. First name Andy a major plus. Poorly-designed book required."

I must be looking in the wrong section...


I don't know where I read it, it might have been online somewhere, but there was a story about this teenage girl who just published a novel. She lives in Paris with her parents and wrote a little here and there and then as luck would have it, one of her stories just happened to fall into the hands of a publisher. Now its a best seller in Europe and she goes on press tours and everything. But only on weekends and school holidays.

Let me just say that I immediately despised this girl. I admit it. I am seriously jealous. Not only does this girl get published, but she's a freakin' teenager for God's sakes! This kills me. I have no shame, I want this to happen to me. I do. And hey, I don't have to worry about school or anything! I can go on press tours when and where ever I am needed!

I am sure she is very sweet and intelligent and obviously a hell of a writer, but let me just say that she now belongs on Andy's Archenemy List right behind Onions and Bill Lambeer.

But I guess the major caveat in this whole thing is that I would have to actually end one of my stories, so obviously the discussion is moot.

But still...

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Day 2 of the new job search. "New" only because I thought I had the last job that I interviewed for, so the search parameters have been reset. Its only fair to my self esteem. Otherwise I would be looking at Day 370 and, well, that just sucks...doesn't it?

So my wife read my first blog and she immediately pointed out a couple of errors. One: we have only been married for a half a year (I incorrectly stated that we had been married for two and a half years).

And 2: My project list doesn't have anywhere near 37 or 38 projects. She estimates it is really around 4 or 5 since most of the projects haven't even been started yet, so they don't count.

I dispute this.

See, being unemployed with a fantastic time frame on my hands, I decide to 'start' certain projects i.e. bookshelves and DVD storage shelves. She seems to think that just because I don't have tools or you know, wood, that this doesn't actually count as an unfinished project.

But if only it were that simple.

When one has unlimited amounts of time to waste, one doesn't need to make haste and finish things as fast as possible. For example, when I transfer the wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer and don't have a follow-up load, I am quite alright with wearing the clothes straight from the dryer. Why waste with the hassle of the hanging and folding when you don't need to? There is a problem, however, when it comes to wash more clothes in that I have to remove the leftover clothes in the dryer to make room for the new batch of wet clothes.

Other people with a limited time frame and unwrinkled clothes don't have this luxury.

So, when I say that I have this Bookshelve project that I need to finish, I am still in the initial planning phases. Just because I don't have the material first doesn't mean I haven't started it in my head. To point, do contracters just start building a frame without blueprints?

I think we all know who's right here...

Also: I am a firm believer in jinx karma. How else can you explain the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Mariners and the Portland Trail Blazers inevitable mid season collapses? Well, okay, so the Mariners and Blazers have pretty much sucked right from the start of their seasons, but still. But that isn't really as important as knowing why these teams falter. Sure you could say its the lack of hitting or team chemistry or defense, but in the end, it comes down to one thing: pre-season predictions.

The Saints, Blazers, and Mariners all were picked in their preseason to do really well. They didn't/aren't. They were jinxed. Someone said they would have a great season and just like that they have been relegated to the Bill Buckner Hall of Fame. To prove this theory, I bring up the recent Phone Call. Yes. The Phone Call. This phone call came and informed me that I did not land a job that I desperately wanted. And why? Why did I not land this job that I got so close to? I didn't screw up any of the interviews, I did my best, worked my charm, showed my stuff. But the other guy got it. Why?

I'll tell you.

Three days before the Phone Call I met with the owner of a drive/walk-up coffee shop that just opened up the street. Being interested in marketing and business in general, I offered to help throw around some promotion ideas and whatnot. He was very nice and took my name and number and said once things settle down he would give me a call. I was just about to walk back home when he asked it:

"What do you do?"

Guess what I replied. Just guess. Yep. For some reason, my mouth started moving and my voice came out saying:

"Oh! I just landed a job at a local agency as an Account Coordinator!"

Case closed.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I just checked my newly posted blog and discovered that it has been published twice. Why? I have no clue. Perhaps I accidentily pushed the publish button twice or something like that.

Which brings me to another point that I thought of when I went to grab some coffee with my dog:

whats the deal with my inability to finish anything? At last count, I have 38 projects that either need to be started or finished. This list includes:

•a bookshelf (I have no idea how to operate anything with rotating blades other than everyday lawnmowers...and even then it is still a pretty sketchy operation)
• a career
• DVD storage center
• 12 stories that I have a decent start on but can't finish for the life of me

That sucks. Some things I have an immediate excuse for (i.e. I don't know anything about woodworking) but for the most part these are things that I could actually start/finish. The stories, for instance. I get on such a good groove one day and then I can't recapture it the next. I try, but the words don't work. I don't know.

Well, here it is. A blog. My blog. I suppose I should start this out by introducing myself, but that seems rather generic and lame, right? Well, I guess it does to me. See, having read a few of these things myself, I know what works and what doesn't. Now, I am not saying that mine will work because I know what does, all I am saying is that I don't want to be one of those people who write stuff like: My name is so-and-so and I am going to write about my pet. I have a dog and an iguana, Perry and Pablo. They like each other and I like them...Today Perry ate Pablo and I am sad...

You get the idea.

Then again, maybe there is inherent drama in pets. Who knows?

Anyhow, my name is Andy. I live in Portland, Oregon and have been unemployed for just under a year. I have a degree in Marketing and Advertising from Portland State University that is currently hanging on the wall across from my computer, reminding me that I should be looking for jobs instead of wasting time on this blog.

But honestly, if I apply for one more job today, I think I will kill myself. Seriously. But then I think that one of those stupid jobs might call me back while I am laying on the kitchen floor, diswashing detergent bubbling down my chin, eyes all dialated, hands twitching, and the voice mail picking up saying, "Hi! We're not home right now, but if you leave a message, we'll call you back!"

"We're" is myself and my wife, Jaime. I love her dearly. We have been together for 6 years and have been married for two and a half of them. She is a social worker at a local hospital and makes just enough for me to have the luxury to find a job that I actually want instead of working at Blockbuster or StarBucks to make ends meet.

This blog is unique in that not only is it my first blog, but it is also being written the day after a particularly crushing event in my job search. First off, a little background. I am trying to get into companies and ad agencies as a marketing or account coordinator. I am also spending my time working on my book - ad biz slang for portfolio - to one day become a copywriter. If given the ultimate choice between account work or copywriting, I would take copywriting in an instant. That said, copywriting just happens to be under the mantra of 'creative' sectors, which pretty much means it is impossible to get into without a killer book.

I do not have a killer book.

I have a weak book. Its not that my ideas are bad, they aren't. Its because I can't design worth a damn. I am a writer, not a designer. Hence my current unemployment.

So, anyways. I have been looking for marketing positions and applying for them whenever they come open. All fo the openings have been for in-house marketing positions and never at actual ad agencies - untill a month ago. That's when I saw it: an opening for an Account Coordinator at a local agency that I was actually familiar with. I applied and received a phone call and an interview. I dressed up, sang and danced, fell in love with the place. And, guess what?! I made it to the next interview! This time I spoke with the agency execs, the people that run the agency, and seemed to make an impression because I received another call, this time to meet with the agency's main client's marketing reps. So, at this time I am buzzed, flying high. I am thinking that I am so close to actually working that this blog never even blinked into my mind. And then I get the call. Actually, it was on voice mail, so I call em back. Turns out I didn't get the job. Seems that while the people at the agency enjoyed my company, the client liked the other person they met with a little more. So that's that.

Back to the job search. That was yesterday. Fun times.