Tuesday, March 31, 2009

for a friend who needs cheering up

sometimes you need cheering up. hope this helps. i guess i also hope you actually see this. If not, I had fun watching the best Hospital show ever:
JD - always a dork


And because I can't resist my all time favorite...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

rotten tomatoes

Have you ever started watching a movie then realized about 5 minutes into it that it sucked and that you'd be wasting time by continuing to watch it? At that point you have 2 choices - if you're at the movies, you can either walk out or suck it up. When my father-in-law and I went to see Predator vs Alien 2 a couple of years ago, I realized about 5 minutes into it that the next hour and a half was going to be extremely painful. I hated the movie and almost fell asleep several times. But that's if you're at the movies. If on the other hand you rented a film from Blockbuster and didn't want your $4.23 to be wasted, you may have forced yourself to sit through it. Of course you also could have decided that no amount of money that you'd be losing would make you watch it and that you would actually pay to not have to watch the movie. For me its aggravating to see a preview or read about a movie, be interested in it, go to the theater to see it, rent it, get it from Netflix, whatever, and realize its crap. Thankfully with Netflix (or Blockbuster.com) if you don't watch it, you're not out any money.

So after wasting money at the theater on crappy movies or wasting my time waiting for movies to come in the mail, starting the movies, then stopping them, I thought that reading film critic reviews of movies might help me make a better use of my time. But as I read reviews, I realized that critics have different tastes - 5 film critics might give 5 different reviews - and I realized that I couldn't really trust a critic. Its not that critics are completely unreliable, but I wanted to hear from more than one critic.

A couple of years age I found a site called Rotten Tomatoes which is all about movies. My favorite feature of it is the ratings - RT compiles reviews from loads of film critics then gives an overall rating. So if you go to the site and search for Twilight (a movie I would like to see), you'll find it has a 49% approval rating. So the critics are split down the middle on that one. I'll probably still watch it anyway since its a Vampire flick. Watchmen got a 64% rating, so I'm debating on whether or not to see it in the cinema or wait until it hits DVD.

Anyways, I prefer not to waste my time (and money) if I can help it. Visiting Rotten Tomatoes for a few minutes helps me decide if I want to invest money as well as 2 hours of my life that I can never get back in a movie.

Friday, March 20, 2009

green roofs, 'heroes'

Lacking anything of substance to write here, I humbly submit my recent gleanings from the world wide interweb:

Pictures of some buildings around the world with green roofs: 17 Living Roofs

, a funny, quirky 9 minute film. It was made in Norway so its in Norwegian but has English subtitles. I love Scandinavia!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

musings on unemployment

Since I've been out of work for the past 3 months and a few days, I've had a lot of time to think about being unemployed. There have been lots of frustrations during this time. One of the worst parts is being in this 'limbo' stage (not limbo like the dance thing) this place of uncertainty - we're here in VA, but also kind of in NC. Some days I say to myself and to Jo, "This is what we're supposed to be doing!" But then there are other days I ask myself and her, "What the heck are we doing?!" It also feels really lame to be 34, married with 2 kids, unemployed and living in my in-laws' basement. And sometimes I feel unemployable, like no one will ever want me to work for them.

Those are some of the more negative things that I've experienced and felt. But just as there have been frustrations, there have been many joys as well. Below are a few of the positive things that I've gained from this time so far.

I'm viewing this as a furlough or sabbatical, almost like a vacation. Its a temporary liberation from employment. And I'm thankful for this liberation because I may never again have an 'extended vacation'. I mean come on, what employers would ever give me a 3+ month vacation? This time has been so valuable for me because I've got to spend so much of it with my family. I've seen Adelle and Evie grow and develop in ways I would have otherwise missed. Jo and I have been able to spend every day together and go out on dates without worrying about getting a babysitter. In general, these past few months has been good for my relationships with my family.

I also have learned what it means to struggle through unemployment. Because of this experience In doing so I can now sympathize and empathize with the unemployed. If I had never been without a job and never had to try so hard to get one, I would never understand the plight of many who lose jobs. When I was at a job fair last week, there many people there who are my parents' age. Its crazy for me to think that they were let go only a few years from retirement and are starting over. But there were also people younger than me. There were white people, black people, and Asian people. So there was a variety of people there and there was among us a shared experience - unemployment. But not only can I identify with those people, but I have also gained solidarity with the unemployed of the world. The unemployment rate in the US might be close to 10% in some states, but there are some countries in the world where there is more than 40% unemployment. So I have bonded with the unemployed of the world.

Lastly, I recently became certified as an ACSM Personal Trainer. If I had not experienced this temporary liberation from employment, I might never have even wanted to pursue this certification. And I might not have had the time, or at least not the amount of quality time, that I had to prepare for this certification exam. I feel a sense of accomplishment at having obtained what is considered the 'gold standard' in personal training certifications.

So while on one hand, unemployment stinks, there are lessons to be learned from this. And for me, there is definitely much to give thanks for - We have a place to live, we have food, and we are together as a family.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My wife the photographer

My wife Jo takes really great photos. Here's one of the most recent photos she's taken. To me its beyond gorgeous:

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm on TV!!!

I went to a job fair today in Raleigh/ Durham and there were a couple of TV crews there. I got interviewed by one of them. The interview didn't make it into this clip, but if you watch it, I'm there in the first few seconds. Find it on here ABC 11's website. Crazy!!

If for some reason the link won't work for you, go to ABC 11's site and look for a story called "People look for work at job fair."