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Saturday, November 29, 2008 |

Turkey Day was wonderful! For both Lyle and Lili, it was perhaps their very first Thanksgiving away from their families. Amanda Rae and I had long known that those people whom you dread to see twice a year don't have to be the "family" you spend holidays with. All in all, it was just the four of us. I cooked my first bird and felt like complicating the whole thing by following an unconventional recipe. Of course, everything turned out perfect. It already has me plotting out roasting a couple more (though much smaller) within the weeks to come. BTW - Thank you Bridge and Tracy for those wedding present Pottery Barn treasures...amazement!

So, we've moved again. When I last posted, we were in the Woodstock neighborhood, pondering where our house rental would lead as our landlord was an utter disappointment of a human being - He failed at keeping us even barely abreast of his plans on selling the property. Because of this, within a week of our moving in, he gave us informal notice. Yes, this was against the terms of our lease. Yes, this could've been communicated when we signed the lease, whilst in Connecticut, let alone when we took possession. Yes, we were forced to generate capital enough for another security and deposit at a likely more expensive apartment.

Ironically, the unit we found and fell in love with was in the apartment community we'd eyed back in Connecticut. Had we just gone for this one from the start, we could have saved a number of grey hairs and fits of swearing. Anyhow, we were able to explain (read: write our in single syllable, large-type words) to the landlord how this reversal effected our bottom line, how his douche move forced us into a lease at a more expensive locale. Over the next couple of days, I was able to get him to understand the following: 1) We aren't looking kindly at being forced to move for the third time in less than a month; 2) We have found somewhere (more expense though now priced in our budget) to go within the terms of our initially agreed notice; 3) In order to quit possession even sooner, we would lose that unit and be forced to lease a more expense one and that would require "assistance".

Happily, he was nervous at the prospect of losing the house sale and cut us a check to cover the price difference over the next year (read: more than $1000). He and his circle of sketchy friends provided the man power & logistics to deliver a three-hour move and we haven't heard from any of them since.

Life since has been performing the nesting and settling we had been looking forward to all along. Lili found a job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic about a mile away from our flat. It's everything her old job wasn't. Examples: There - Phonecalls on her day off asking her trivial questions and yelling at her for not accomplishing an unimportant goal the day prior. Here - Calling her on her day off to comment that her hard work hasn't gone unnoticed over the previous weeks, that the entire staff is abuzz at her drive and friendliness and how they felt it was very important that they let her know this as soon as possible (note: they even apologized at calling her on her day off in the first place).

I haven't been as lucky... Even though I've pounded the pavement (literal and on Craigslist, Monster, etc.) and applied to dozens of positions, I've haven't landed anything yet. Last month, I knocked an interview out of the park for a case management position providing services for foster families. Even though I've followed up in polite due diligence, to date I haven't heard back from this agency. My amazing wife is quick to frame this setback as, "Well, if they're treating you like that now, it's probably all the better it didn't work out." Perhaps but, it's still really defeating. Some of it is job market stuff but, some of it is also education minimums. I've found that a number of agencies refuse to take experience into account, especially if they're contracted by state entities that enforce their own guidelines. The good news is there's a type of certification in Oregon that I'm eligible for that replaced the overwhelming need for a Bachelor's. Once I'm hired somewhere, I'll likely be able to receive it and have the employer cover the bill. The bad news is of course, I don't have it yet.

I'm waiting to hear back from a recent interview for a position within a group home based agency. The interview was very comfortable - I was able to present that I'm overwhelmingly qualified and had seven years of experience to prove it. They asked the usual questions and responded very well to the answers and discussions that arose because of them. At this point, I've followed up with the contact person and she's promised that everything's moving along & will be in close contact. Unfortunately at this stage if I'm not hired, I'll be forced to take anything that comes my way, whether drawing on old job experience (UPS package handling, slinging coffee, retail mall life) or settling for a minimum-wage gig. Time and this blog will tell.

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Posted elsewhere mid-October: Well friends, the eagle has landed... Lili and I arrived into Portland in the last few days of September. The whole drive took us about 8 days altogether and went extremely well! The saving graces were Sirius satellite radio and their comedy & new wave stations; Iowa wineries, cheese & fruit lunches and well-maintained picnic areas; lumbar pillows & 8-hour drive times and lastly, most importantly, having a co-pilot who's a fucking crack-up, at least when she isn't homesick.

While the Mrs. is dashing around attending two jobs interviews, I figured I'd fill you guys in. That way I feel less guilty in that I'm not doing the same. confused So I'm writing from the house that we're renting at the intersection of SE 43rd & SE Woodstock. Amazing neighborhood! It has reminded me of attending Berklee, walking out of the dorms and having everything I want within a three-block radius.

Yes, there is a but. Though it is a house we're renting, it is a heating hemorrhage. There's no insulation and the only source of heat is sketchy wall-mounted space heaters. We're talking about moving a couple of miles away, closer to Reed college. It's a apartment community that is sized & priced right but, I feel that it'd be a little isolated and farther from Amanda and her beau. We'll see...

Other than grumbling about our landlord, we're performing the usual filling in at home, replacing abandoned items left in Connecticut - TV's, computer desk, etc. The challenge in doing so is trying to avoid dashing to Ikea and just buying one of everything (Guiltily, we've done a little). We're instead trying to branch out and explore local shop and craft meccas. Saturday Market is a good example. Next week's purchase will likely be a baby bjorn-style dog carrier for wheeling around town with Eggy.

Okay, time served and breakfast is waiting. Good news is coffee's across the street & two cups are needed!

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