Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blogaround for Ellie

Ellie is this lovely woman from New Hampshire with whom I had an online video conversation yesterday. She works for a staffing agency whose office happens to be a couple of floors above where Marie Javins works; alas, Marie doesn't come into the office on Fridays, so she wasn't there when I swung by. It had been a good morning despite the major casualty of my job folder becoming completely destroyed in the rain (I purchased a water-resistant one in the afternoon); I hope all those old reference letters look okay after they dry! Anyway, my interview with a potential employer was mostly a preliminary screening but seemed to go okay and I'd love to work for them; it was the second day in a row where I'd interviewed at a company that not only offers the usual medical/dental benefits but they're 100% employer-paid, just like I remember they used to be at most every company in the '80s. Those two interviews alone make me feel very positive that there are enough good opportunities out there that I'm bound to land one of them soon!

So after that interview I went to one staffing agency which really didn't have anything for me, and pretty much said that any admin job at the salary level I wanted was bound to involve doing personal work for the executive(s) involved, something I knew wasn't true based on my own interviewing experience so I don't hold out much hope to secure a decent position from them. But then I went to see Ellie.

And my, what a breath of fresh air! She's the type of person that I'd want to be friends with even if she doesn't get me a job. From what I saw on the video screen (and this was my first Skype interview ever, although Rob and I have video-IM'ed back and forth via our respective Macs), she looked almost exactly like my old friend Anni Ackner, with whom I've lost touch lo these many years and whom I miss exceedingly. I wish Anni had a blog, she's a brilliant writer. During our somewhat rambling conversation, I got to "meet" Ellie's cats, we trash-talked the administration a bit (as NH has just had their dog-and-pony show), we discussed comics (she's a big fan of Little Lulu and wondered if Friends of Lulu derived its name from that comic, which indeed it did) and lots of other stuff. All in all, a great morning, most of it dry (after the initial soaking), and I made it home just before the heavens opened up again so even my timing was pretty good.

But alas, I'm way behind in blogging and reading and such, so let's try to clear out some open links, many of them going back to the start of the year:

• Due to the job search and being slightly under the weather and whatever other excuse I can dream up, I've missed a number of things. First and most importantly, I wanted to pass along my condolences to the family of Major Andrew Olmsted, who blogged regularly on Obsidian Wings as "G'Kar" and who was killed in Iraq. Here's his posthumous post, here's Hilzoy's remembrance, and here's the family's follow-up (which also has a collection of all the blog tributes to Olmstead collected by Hilzoy).

• On a much happier note, belated happy birthdays to two of my favorite Chrises ("Chrisim"?), Clark and Weston.

• Speaking of Chrisim, another Chris just celebrated his third blogiversary by inviting comics bloggers to submit "30 second recaps" of comic book storylines. I loved Lisa's take on Amazons Attack, even though I didn't mind the story itself. But my favorite, even though I don't think it was part of the contest, was Cheryl Lynn's LOLCat version of the controversial "One More Day" story in the Spider-Man books.

• My ex-husband and his wife got to see the Rose Parade in person, and here are some pictures Steve took. See, I told you I've been bookmarking old posts!

• Robin and I were watching some old episodes of A Cook's Tour on the Food Network over the holidays, wondering why in the hell the channel would show 5-year-old reruns of a show that was sort of a proto-No Reservations. I mean, we figured "ratings and money" but we were very curious as to what Tony Bourdain himself would say about it. We didn't have long to wait.

Sweet Jesus I'm sick of the 2008 Presidential campaign already, in large part due to the way it's being covered by the talking heads. I'm also pissed that finances play such a big part in the matter that at least one candidate for whom I'd planned to cast my vote dropped out (after the first state!) before I ever had the chance. There's something fundamentally wrong and sick about all that. Even Olbermann is swept up into this nonsense, and the only person who actually told it like it was on his post-NH show was Craig Crawford. I can't deal with Crawford's cadence so I usually tune him out immediately but he was spot-on when he talked about how it was the media (he even used the dreaded first-person plural!) rather than the polls which went so horribly wrong in NH. Here's his HuffPo equivalent of that conversation. The one good thing about the political season is that we got to hear from Professor Wagstaff again.

• I have no use for Gawker, but I love love love their new group blog io9 about geek pop culture, not the least of which because it's being run by two women whose work I greatly admire, Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders. Considering Graeme McMillan is one of their contributors, putting this on my must-read list is a no-brainer. (I will be clearing out a lot of my sidebar blogroll soon, as it seems most of the political bloggers to which I link haven't reciprocated in awhile.)

• Most thinking people know Parade Magazine sucks but, as John August points out, what really sucks is when their cover story is all about how Benazir Bhutto will save Pakistan and the magazine comes out after her assassination. "Long lead time," my grandma Fanny. (I know the expression is "my aunt Fanny" but Fanny was my grandmother so there.)

• Whatever your feelings about anti-theists versus atheists, you must concede that by and large they're not going around preventing religious people from adopting children. Via PZ Myers, that unfortunately cannot be said to work both ways. Many religious people have a difficult time grasping that you don't have to be religious in order to be moral and upstanding (in fact, quite a few would consider religious fanaticism a clear impediment to living a moral and charitable life).

• As expected, Mike Netzer has a messiah complex, which seems to get more and more. Complex, that is. Although basically what I think he's saying can best be summed up by Bowie: We can be heroes.

• David Malki has the best take on Facebook that I've seen so far.

• Why couldn't Val D'Orazio have written the Newsweek article on Wonder Woman and Gail Simone instead of Yet Another Cliche-Ridden, Clueless Journalist? (And no, in case you ask, the Playboy Nude Wonder Woman doesn't bother me; being married to an artist, I've seen him "paint" costumes on nude figures for years now. That's what about 90% of superhero costumes are, because most artists find it easier to just draw costumes on essentially nude characters than to bother with folds and such.)

Lastly, in case you missed it, another great post by Melissa on feminism. Ellie kind of reminded me a bit of Melissa as well...