Oh hi! The sun came out last week in Portland and everyone – including myself – went absolutely bonkers. The temperatures went beyond 70 and the sky was absolutely clear. When that happens you go outside no matter what and absorb as much sunlight as possible, because the next day is likely to be grey and dreary. But I think we actually had three solid days of wonderful sunlight. I hear tell it’s been a merciful winter and spring in terms of cloud cover and precipitation. I haven’t found it to be that much worse than winters in DC, which were almost as gloomy and certainly more grey. But then again I have the time to go outside every day even on cloudy days, which still helps with winter blues.
Before the bike ride on the sunny day where the above photo of Mt. Hood was taken, I went out snowboarding again with Kiri, on the slopes of the same mountain. Since it was the second trip of the season my body was in better shape and I had fun, but I still board on the safe side as an accident would be catastrophic. I suppose I could cloister myself in my room to be absolutely safe, but that wouldn’t be good in terms of mental health either. So I recreate. Lord knows I have the time for it. I don’t think I’ve been in this good shape in a while.
And I went hiking with some pals up the Columbia Gorge at Starvation Creek State Park, which had a lot of purdy views. Here’s me being bossy or making a point or something:
Yes, I did it. I killed Yvette. I...hated her SO much. It it...flames. Flames on the side of my face.
I had a chat with my friend who owns the house I’m living in about housing. They’re friends from DC and I’ve been able to crash at their place in a small room rent-free, although I do help out with the utilities. But it’s going on seven months and I was wondering “at what point am I imposing?” So I asked. They want to move forward with renovations by June, and will need the space I’m taking at the moment. So I gotta move on, job or not. I have some options. I’ve been avoiding temping in lieu of keeping up a focused job search for something that I really want to do and get paid well for, but little has come up.
I haven’t heard from the place where I interviewed last week, but it’s only been a week. I followed up with a nice thank-you note and continued interest in the position (and I really am interested in the position). So we’ll see. But it was three months between job interviews, which isn’t a promising rate.
“Give it a year,” someone said to me recently. I’d rather not have the second half of that year doing a job I don’t like, but it may become a necessity. I’ve been looking back to DC for Federal jobs like the one I left, but even those aren’t opening up due to government cutbacks. And I’d rather not move back, but if there’s work I might have to. I worked hard to forge a career path that I enjoy and pays well, and I don’t want to sully my resume with job experience at Dairy Queen or Kinko’s Copies.
I start my volunteer job next week at a homeless LGBT shelter in Portland that provides services and training to get the kids off the street. I will be working the front desk answering the phone and directing the clients to services available at the center and elsewhere in Portland. It took a couple months for them to put me in a position to fill. To give you an idea of the job market in Portland for just volunteer positions, here’s how it went: I went to an orientation session with 20 other people, mostly college-age kids looking to get some experience in social services to boost their resumes. All of them were attentive and eager to work. But all they could tell us in the orientation that all current volunteer positions had waiting lists. I filled out an extensive application with a background check, and went through two interviews, followed by a two-hour long training session, and another to follow. It was a more extensive process than a lot of positions I’ve filled for pay. So in other words, the job market is so bad in Portland the competition is stiff even for jobs without pay.