Thursday, June 16, 2011

June Tumble

So I interviewed Monday for another admin support job on campus. It was a perfectly so-so experience. They had me in and out in 25 minutes which didn't make me feel like I'd made a big splash. They want someone who has experience setting up databases in Access. Which I don't have. Setting aside the disappointment of not charming them from the first moment, I am consciously choosing to look at the bright side. It was an excellent refresher for interviewing in general. I was asked where I saw myself in 5 years (I did well with that one) and to tell about a mistake I'd made (I gabbed blithely about a significant mistake I made but left out the oh-so-important follow up of what lesson I learned and improvement I took away from that experience, urgh) and a time that I'd taken initiative and accomplished something not specifically in my job description (not happy with my response here, thought of a *much* better one last night). Could hardly have been more textbook and I was left gaping a bit even so. All the better answers I could have given are replaying in my head. But I'm resolved not to beat myself up. Choosing to repeat that it was an excellent learning experience. (And we all know how enjoyable those are.) I don't have to have all the answers. Mistakes teach me more than first-time mastery. I just have to keep eating those metaphysical vegetables over and over in my life.

But imagine my surprise when I received an email this morning asking for permission to contact my references. Even if it's just a gesture of completion, that is a good sign. Maybe nobody who applied has the specific database experience they want. Maybe they're just a tough crowd. I've been having fun toying with the idea of another job offer but keep having to stop counting chickens and go back to staring at eggs.  

Banh mi hack
At some point this spring I came across this discussion of Banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches of deliciousness) and then searched out a few more online banh mi references. And then I yearned of course for a wonderful tasty pate on crunchy baguette with pickled carrots and cilantro leaves. Pretty sure that's not available in this town. But after considering the matter I had a brainstorm:  I can make pickled carrots. And for a tasty meaty filling? I can use meatloaf! I can buy fresh cilantro. The only thing I am missing really is the bread. And the mayo which isn't my scene.

I made a meatloaf and doctored my sliced carrots. On toasted wheat bread with the fresh cilantro -- Damn, ma'am! That was an excellent sandwich. I will do it again! If you want guidance for the pickled carrots here's Simply Recipes' take. I didn't do the tossing and rinsing though, just bunged 'em in a tupperware with the vinegar, sugar, pinch of salt, and water.

Cazalet and Wedding Travel
Bee has got me reading Elizabeth Jane Howard. I just finished the first of the Cazalet Chronicles, The Light Years. It was a great read. A "rambling realistic family saga" says Michelle Cooper and I agree. Really good stuff. On to Marking Time after my trip. I'm leaving tomorrow morning to go to a cousin's wedding in the East Bay in California. It's at the Wente vineyards in Livermore and there are four wedding related events in all over the weekend. Going to be seeing The Danish tomorrow night -- exciting!

Lexi has skinned her knees thoroughly this week. Walking back to the car after church she stumbled and even though I had a hold of her hand fell right on her knees on the asphalt. Bruised and scraped. She keened the whole ride home. At one point I asked her to put her hand over her mouth to keep some of the sound down. Yes, I am sorry. But it was making my stomach hurt and there was nothing anyone could do until we got home. She hates blood and feels every scrape as a personal insult. Once those scabs had hardened up and she was doing okay she bumped into another kid while riding on her scooter and scraped a spot that had been missed in the first assault. But she loves her new (used) scooter. It may be time for kneepads.


Bee said...

Did you mean to begin and end on painful learning experiences, or was that just a happy coincidence?

So glad that you are enjoying the Cazalet Chronicles . . . and they get even better. That wedding sounds fun; but then northern California always sounds fun to me. My parents just got back from Yellowstone and the Tetons and my mother was mightily impressed. We need a U.S. summer vacation again one of these (gainfully employed) days. Good luck with the job!

Lucy said...

Bravo on being so chipper about the interview, it sounds a bit gruelling but you might well have done better than you thought.

I enjoyed those Cazalet books; they have some surprisingly dark corners. I like a big saga!

Nimble said...

@Bee: NoCal was everything it's cracked up to be. A beautiful weekend in the crowded cities. I drove a lot which was satisfying and now I'm glad that's over with.

@Lucy: Thanks, one of the things I like about the 40s is my increased ability to be nicer to myself.