Christmas is Over, New Year’s is Here

It’s been a fairly productive past few months and yet, nothing has happened on this blog?  What’s the deal, blog?  You too good for people?  No?  Well, you could’ve fooled me!

Anyway, I’ve decided to start this thing up again, since it’s a good excuse for me to use both my digital and video cameras in an exciting and informative, multi-media sort of way.  Since my last post I’ve started my new job, gotten a couple more tattoos, started rebuilding my road bike, rebooted my desktop computer in anticipation of sending my laptop out to be fixed (not having a cd/dvd drive has sucked these past two years) and what?  I participated in my first wedding (and forgot to bring my camera) in November when my friends Matt and Chessa decided to tie the knot.  It snowed in Seattle for a whole week between December 17th and the 26th.  I went sledding!  That’s about as exciting as my life has been anyway.

What about Jermaine?  Well, let’s see…he got a new tattoo, too.  He’s still working his same job at Smith on 15th, as their Bar Manager, and he’s doing quite well there from what I can tell.  He built up a cyclocross frame and recently purchased a custom road frame from Tommasini, which we’re both really excited about.  What else?  Um…he got a haircut?  Yeah, very exciting, I know…

We moved into a new two bedroom apartment in October, which was kind of an ordeal with the painting and remodeling that went on, but now we’re cozy and warm in our new place.  It’s a nice apartment.  We bought a wine rack last night.  We have wine.  Enough for a rack.

My plans for New Year’s are pretty calm.  I’m going to my friend, Colin’s condo to visit with friends and have drinks early and then heading home before things get out of hand.  Jermaine has to work New Year’s eve, so I’m planning to cook a feast for New Year’s day.  We’ll celebrate not having hangovers with food and movies.  Maybe a couple of friends will come over?

As for our plans to go back to Japan.  I’m pretty strapped for cash right now, so our summer plans have been pushed back a little.  But, this might give us an opportunity to visit his family in Virginia next summer instead.  They just visited for Christmas and it was really nice getting to know them.  All of them.  There were a lot of them.  However, I’ve never felt so immediately accepted by a group of people.  I think this was due in a large part to Jermaine’s Aunt Annette who was the harbinger of all that is Heidi for the rest of the family.  She and I hit it off last year when she came to visit.

I’ll charge my camera and try to get some photos up here before too long.

Thanks for reading.

Things Falling Into Place

I’m proud to report that I got a job!  I’d started looking for new, library-science related, employment the day after we returned from Japan (I had been looking at jobs while I was there, but didn’t apply to anything because there was no way for a possible employer to contact me other than through email) and I think I applied for about ten jobs in those three weeks, which is actually a lot of jobs when you consider that I had to write a new cover letter for each position that outlined how I met all the requirements of each unique position I applied for.

One of the ten or so jobs I applied for was at a company called Serials Solutions.  I’ve known about their parent company, ProQuest, for a while (I use ProQuest all the time for article searches both when I was in school and for work), and I’d heard of Serials Solutions, but never really knew what they did over there until I saw several job postings for positions there on a listserv I was using to search for jobs.  Turns out they were started by a Librarian and his two siblings, in their garage, as a non-profit organization that creates software that libraries and other organizations use to manage their electronic resources.  It’s not non-profit anymore, but it’s still got that kind of feel.

The position I applied for was as a Library Support Analyst (LSA).  Basically, the job is to assist customers with any issues they’re having with their service, or, to put it more bluntly, a customer service job.  Not a totally glamorous job, but one that required my MLIS, and was close to where I live (Serials Solutions is located in Fremont).  I figured I could do a whole heck of a lot worse, and this company was in the area that I was interested in getting further into in my library career, library systems applications.  Someday it’d be cool to be the kind of librarian who goes around to vendors testing their products, determining if they’re a good fit for the system I work for and then teaching other librarians how to use them.

Last Friday I got a call back from the Recruiter at Serials Solutions who said that the company was interested in interviewing me for two (2) positions!  They wanted me to meet with them to talk about the LSA position and then, maybe if I was interested, I’d also agree to interview for an Administrative Assistant position they were also looking to fill, based on all my other experience.  I told her that I was interested most in the LSA position, because it uses my MLIS, but that I’d consider the AA position provided I didn’t get the LSA one.  She went off to talk to the supervisors of both of those jobs, telling me I’d likely interview sometime the following week, but who knew when.  Then, about 20 minutes later she calls back to ask if I’d be willing to come in on Monday!  YEAH!

I was scheduled to meet with 6 people on Monday, for a 3 hour long interview, but two of the people weren’t able to make it in to meet with me, so I only met with 4 of them.  The interview still ended up taking 3 hours, which I think was a good sign.  Everyone was terribly nice, all of the people who interviewed me asked if I wanted water or coffee (I didn’t want to drink anything for fear of triggering my nervous bladder), everyone was so easy to talk to and I really started to feel good about the position.  I mentioned to them that I was taking Japanese courses and that seemed to interest them.  They have accounts in East Asia and several employees who speak Japanese, so me also having an interest is good because it means I can help with these service issues as soon as my Japanese is strong enough.  ALSO!  There’s a possibility that they might open an EAST ASIA office, in JAPAN!!!!  If they did that, well, gosh…that’d be so awesome!  On top of that, they already have offices in Cambridge, England, where Jermaine’s brother lives, AND they might open offices on the East Coast, which is another place I’d love to move.  This place was just sounding more and more awesome by the moment.

As I left the interview (after I got a tour of the office) I walked back to my car (past the PCC, The High Dive, Les Amis, Burnt Sugar, etc.) thinking that things had gone pretty well.  Once I got home, I told Jermaine about what had happened and he said that he thought I did well, too.  About an hour after I got home I received another phone call from the Recruiter at Serials Solutions offering me the LSA position.  She said she’d never seen the group move so fast on a candidate before and that, in fact, both the Customer Support and Office Administration groups had fought over who would get to work with me.  All of this made me feel really good, of course, and I accepted the position!  I start on August 25th!  I was invited to the team building event on the 22nd (bowling) and I hope to be able to make it to that so I can meet my new coworkers in a casual, non-office environment.

So, barring a bad outcome from my background check (which shouldn’t happen since I’m a good girl) I’ve got the job!  The company seems awesome, and there appears to be a lot of potential for advancement, so even though I’m not the president of the world right now, I might be one day.  It’s all very exciting and makes continuing at my current job that much more difficult.  But, I carry on and keep looking forward to the future, which looks really bright!

Back in the States!

It’s been a couple of weeks since we returned from Japan, as I’m sure you know.  My return regimen seems to follow a six step process that works something like this:

Step 1:  Be happy you are home and have access to all your stuff/things (i.e. clothes, lotions, books, electronic devices).

Step 2:  Tell everyone you know about how awesome Japan was, but still be glad you are back with your people/stuff.

Step 3:  Look at and distribute all the stuff you got while in Japan, begin to feel sad that trip is over, continue to tell others how amazing Japan is.

Step 4:  Watch anime/look at pictures from trip and feel depressed you don’t live in Japan, because it is so awesome.

Step 5:  Begin to think about moving to Japan to fulfill your lifelong dream.

Step 6:  Start taking Japanese classes more seriously.

Now, in the past, this last step is pretty much where the process ended, and eventually I would give up on my dream believing it was impossible after Japanese classes got so hard that I was totally lost and hopelessly behind.  However, now that I’m older, wiser and more determined, Step 6 has lead to a new step:

Step 7:  Actually make a plan for how you’re going to move to Japan. 

Of course, this plan is still in its infancy, but it’s coming together.  I’m enrolling in language classes at Seattle Central this fall and I’ve tentatively scheduled Odyssey: Move to Japan for two years from now because that’s how long I think it’s gonna take for me to become fluent, find a job, and save up enough money that this plan might actually work. 

Now, you may be asking yourself, “But, Heidi, what about Jermaine?  How does he figure into your plans?  You certainly haven’t mentioned him up until this point?”  Never fear!  Jermaine is doing his thing, too.  We’d both like to live in Japan, I just don’t like to speak for him (“But, Heidi, you’ve been speaking for him this whole time.” No, I haven’t it just might seem that way to you.  He had full creative control over what was said about him in the journal, but I’m at work now and I’ll publish this before he has a chance to read it.)

So, it’s back to school for me (you didn’t honestly think I’d just stop going after all this time, did you?) and time to start studying up on Visa applications and all that nonsense.  I just hope the Dollar continues to be stronger than the Yen.