Wednesday, September 06, 2006

24 Hours

So after work on Tuesday I had Octavio drop me at the airport.
"What did you pack?" he asked, eyeing my suitcase.
"My suit. Underwear. A t-shirt."
"A suit?"
"Yeah, I figure short of a tux, you can't be overdressed. Especially in Texas."
"You know," he said, being very Octavio, "This week in eWeek, they had interview tips, and one of them was that companies will now not hire you if you overdress for the interview."
"The heck you say."
"Apparently they think that if you overdress, you don't understand their corporate culture and won't fit in."
I thought long and hard about my suit and decided I was going with the suit, anyway. After all, it was wear a suit and hope that was okay or buy all new clothes when I hit Austin. And these people might not have read the article in eWeek, nor bought into that particular philosophy.

Nonetheless, it was not exactly what I wanted to hear.

The flight went well. I read my Superman/Doomsday collection which literally had the lady sitting next to me looking at the pages and then looking up at me repeatedly. She was, I assume, trying to guess how a 12 year-old got so large.

I arrived at Jason's around 11:30 CST, ate my Wendy's value meal, chatted some and hit the hay. I couldn't sleep so I stayed up reading "Wasted", a true crime book based on a case Jason worked on years ago. There's something odd about a book that portrays real people in what I assumed are imagined conversations. I know it's not exactly journalism when one writes a sensationalistic crime book, but... I dunno. I'm more of a "stick to the facts" sort of guy.

I panicked at 1:45 am when I realized Jason didn't have an alarm clock. Well, he DOES have an alarm clock, he tells me, but I didn't see it. Anyway, I lay in bed desperately trying to pre-program my brain to wake me up as soon as the sun came up. This didn't happen.

I did get up at 9:10 AM Central, which is a repectable 7:10 AM Arizona time. I realized I had nothing to eat, no coffee or hairspray, jumped in my sweet rental car and saw a warning in the LCD display.

"Oil 0%: Oil Change"

I sort of freaked out. I was not willing to pay for an oil change for a rental car, but I also didn't want the engine block freezing up on MoPac. Nor did I want to miss my interview.

I ran to Target, got my goods, ate some breakfast bars, made some coffee, reviewed the company's website (which had been completely redesigned since I'd looked at it the week before), drank the coffee, showered, put on my SUIT and headed off.

I think the interview went well. Anyway, I do like their approach, and the job is almost exactly what I was looking for coming back to Austin. It's project management for a computer based training company that has solid clients. Really, it's probably a little too good to be true, which means if I don't get the job, I'm going to feel pretty blue.

I then called Kerry (our long suffering realtor) and was told to cool my jets for a while until she finished some appointments. I drank some coffee, read three sections of the Statesman, then headed to CVS to get a disposabel camera to take some shots of the house. Instead of a still camera, I found a disposable video camera.


For $29.99.

Do you know how @#$%ing crazy that is? I love technology. I love that in two years a disposable video camera will be something you get in a box of cereal. I already saw a still digital camera for sale for $4 at Walgreens.

So the camera holds only 20 minutes of video, and the lens is a cheap, fixed lens. But you can review the last "scene" you shot and you delete it if you don't want it. At the end of the process you bring the camera to CVS where they "develop" the video to DVD. That sort of irked me because the cost was $12, but in a way I feel like the $42 I spent today means that I'm supporting an industry that I think is a good idea and will drive the price down in the future (for those of us who constantly forget our cameras and won't pay out the money for a video camera in our phone).

Smaller, faster, better.

And Jamie now has a narrated DVD of the house we're going to get.

So, anyhoo, Kerry picked me up and we went and saw the future House of El (my choice) or Hall of Justice (Jamie's choice). I'm pretty excited. It's a cool house. Lots of space for us to spread out and do our own thing. A usable front porch and a balcony porch upstairs where I shall be placing a rocking chair for Jason to sit upon and play me country tunes while we all drink lemonade and throw rocks at passing cars.

All in all, a decent place. Come on over. We'll leave the porch light on.

Wound up my appointment with Kerry, drove to Austin books, picked up a few items and headed back to Jason's. I abandoned my suitcase and suit, put on a t-shirt, jammed a few items into my travellin' Man-Purse and headed for the airport.

My car still hadn't seized up on me with the 0% oil efficiency notice, and when I pulled in to refill my tank: I could not. The gas kept "splashing back". Luckily the good folks at Enterprise completely understood I was verging on being an unhappy customer and gave me a pass on the cost of gas, etc...

I checked in, changed my seat to a window seat, had nobody between me and the guy on the aisle, and settled in with a comic and my iPod for the duration.

A succesful 24 hours, I like to think.

We're scheduled to drive out of here next Friday. Wish us luck!

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