Monthly Archives: November 2006

On Why I am Searching For a Job…

Last night I went out to dinner at Utopia on First Street in downtown Long Beach with Lauren and two of her work colleagues from the “Ad Agency“. Dinner and the company were delightful. Afterwards we moved two doors west to the House of Hayden where I was to meet up friends celebrating Kimm’s birthday and more of the “Ad Agency” folk were having a lovely time.
During the course of dinner and cocktails, Lauren and her friends offered many ideas about my job search, told tales of a career in advertising, made recommendations and offers of help to get a job in the advertising agency world. I stated that I preferred to work at a technology company or design firm, but the others argued that things were riding high in ad world and that I could easily get a job. Stories were told of agencies in New York, San Francisco and LA.
I got home and felt off. Not due to the wine, nor the duck dinner, nor the dogs going crazy upon my arrival, but something was off. I woke up at 4am with Belle wanting to play ball (having a small dog dropping a tennis ball on your chest at 4am is hard to ignore). It was in the time that it took to go back to sleep that clarity arrived.
As I took Belle’s ball away, put it out of her reach on the mantle piece, and then turned back to my bed, I realized why I am very ambivalent about ad agency work. Yes, it is creative. Yes, it is a great opportunity to work on high profile websites for large companies with large budgets. Yes, it is an opportunity to work with a team of highly intelligent and creative folk. But… but…
My main reason that I want to give up my freelance business and go to work for a tech company or design firm is that I want to participate in the creation of an interface, device, or software that could impact or make easier a small or large part of someone’s life. Whoever that someone or someone’s life may be.
I have watched several techno-phobic friends and family members who wanted nothing to do with computers or cell phones come alive to the technologies and possibilities when a program or device came out that helped them do a task easier than they could do before, and they went from hating the technology to loving it in less than an hour.
* Blue would never ever touch her email the whole time I worked with her. I would read her email and call her to let her know that she needed look at it. Then I invited her to gmail, she moved, and now she loves email and uses her gmail account daily.
* Alex hated email and really had no use for computers. His cellphone was the bane of his existence, as he hated answering it. Then he got a Sidekick and I watched him in the course of one afternoon go from a playa hater to a Sidekick lover. And he returned his emails from his Sidekick.
* My mom recently threw her cell phone at the dashboard of her car out of frustration, it bounced and shattered her windshield. She could not see the screen nor navigate the interface even with her glasses on. She went over to Verizon and demanded a new phone, they up-sold her to a smart phone, and now she is moblogging. Really. She figured out MMS on her own and I was stunned to find a picture message from her when I was in Ireland, and when I returned, I set her up on Vox. Even more shocking for my luddite parent, she ordered cable broadband this week so that she can spend more time on Vox: writing captions, making comments and otherwise enjoying her new blogging adventure.
* My friend Shawn in Dublin is fully deaf in one ear and has only 25% hearing in the other with a hearing aid. He is a Ph.D student at Trinity and he conducts most of his non-face-to-face communication via text messaging. One can’t leave him a voicemail, as he can’t hear it. Shawn would really like it if his voicemail could send him a text or email that is the voice message all typed out. Wouldn’t we all?
All that said/written, I want to participate in a team that creates a program / software, an interface, website, or device that changes lives even if in a small way that creates joy. I want to make a difference and I heard Vint Cerf when he spoke to the TCD computer science grad students on changing the world, even if in a small way. Some may claim that an ad agency can and does shape the way individuals and cultures behave and thing, I am reluctant to join that world and ambivalent about it. I would rather brave the tech world with all of its flaws. I would love to work in mobile, as most mobile interface and menus are difficult at best and windshield shattering at worst. I would love to help my mom and Shawn be able to communicate to the best of their abilities.

Happy Birthday, Kimm

Happy Birthday, Kimm

Tonight a bunch of folks met up at the House of Hayden in downtown Long Beach to celebrate Kimm Gardener’s birthday. Kimm and Kelli above. It was good fun to catch up with the whole CH3 crowd of folk. Shawna Gregory and I brought out our cell phones and compared dog photos. ;o)

Electric Kettle

Electric Kettle

During my year in Dublin, I got very used to the convenience of the purple Morphy electric hot water kettle in my apartment’s kitchen. I found a variety of uses for the less than one minute to boil hot water that the Morphy cooked up beyond just a cup of tea, like unstopping a drain, boiling water in the kettle quickly and then making pasta which reduces prep time, pouring the boiled water over chopped veggies in a strainer for insta-blanched veggies to go over rice, etc.
Since returning to Calif., I have missed insta-hot water and have looked around at various stores for a hot water kettle only to be very surprised that Ranch 99 carried a variety of rice cookers but not a single water kettle. Yesterday, I went to Long’s Drug Store near my brother’s house for some cleaning supplies and in walking to the cleaning supplies I walked past the electric home appliance section and found two different brands of kettles.
Both types of kettles are of thinner plastic and do not seem to be as sound as the Morphy brand in Ireland, and the one I did end up buying is not quite as fast as the Morphy. But the good news is that the above kettle that I did buy is a lot better than attempting to boil a cup of water in the microwave and then buring myself as I try to get it out of the microwave. Yes, I do have a metal kettle for the stove, but it is in a box in the garage, somewhere…

All Souls Day

While I like Halloween, I don’t love it, and in recent years I haven’s really gotten into it. I much prefer Groundhog’s Day over the other 3 solar cross-quarter days (May Day, Aug 1, and Halloween).
Halloween last year found me hiking around the hills above Glendalough and that evening sitting in my room amazed at all the fireworks. Halloween in Ireland includes lots of bonfires and fireworks and not so heavy on the costumes/fancy dress and/or trick or treating. It is a good old fashioned fire holiday. Goodbye summer, hello winter.
I am a fan of All Saints Day, even though I did not grow up Catholic. In college instead of throwing a Halloween party, I had an All Saint’s Day party on Nov. 1 where everyone had to come as their favorite saint. The best part is when the “Hermans” came dressed as the 80s metal band, Saint.
As I am a day late on a post about All Saints Day, I shall celebrate All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos today by going to lunch at El Camino Real and then attempting wake Alex from the dead mid-afternoon… ;op