California Dreamin’ (Continued)


Good news!  I haven’t received a rejection letter!  JPL sent me a rejection letter within 48 hours of my application to a requisition for ME IV, for which I wasn’t qualified (I don’t have flight hardware or space shuttle design experience).  Since I applied for the Cable Harness Engineer III position over 72 hours ago, I’m taking the lack of rejection letter as a sign that they’re still reviewing my resume.  WHOO HOO!!

Thanks for all the encouraging words and the good luck you’re sending my way.  I expected someone to tell me that I’m being silly and that I should be happy with the kickass job that I have now.  For the record, I am happy here, and will continue to be so if I don’t get the job in Cali.  HOWEVER, I am shooting for the moon, and I super appreciate everyone who wished me well!


P.S. I planned a vacay and Sally Ann pitched a fit!  I’ll tell about it soon.  She’s so adorable when she’s in a snit!  Who can say, “No” to that adorable blue-eyed angel?  #WrappedAroundHerFinger

California Dreamin’


“My friend works at Google and she said that they have a job opening that would be perfect for me.  If you want, I can ask her if she’ll pass on your resume, too.  You’d be perfect for Google!” my friend tells me.

My gut reaction is, “No, I wouldn’t.  Google is software, and I am a hardware engineer.”  Then I check out the links that he sends me: self-driving cars, Google glasses, Project Loon, Makali…Google has some brilliant, wacky projects that I’d LOVE to work on!

But, I’ll have to move to California.  This deserves a Pro/Con List.  Ok first, beaches: I am ambivalent.  That is, I like to visit…for about 5 minutes.  Then sand sticks to my skin and makes me itchy, the sun scorches my pale white Irish skin, and I swear I can see fish poop in the water.  Plus, I get boat sick, even if it’s “just around the bay.” (Reference: the sightseeing boat trip I took to see the dolphins in Destin; I turned green and almost hurled.)

However, I do like to kayak; or did, at least, the one time I tried it.  I’m not much of a water person, ok?  I do want to try it again.  And since the weather is more temperate by the ocean, I can hike more months per year, and there will mountains close by.

MOUNTAINS!  I love mountains.  I’ve thought about moving to Colorado, but…snow.  Gala Pear tells me that I’ll get used to it, that the sun shines even with the snow on the ground so it doesn’t really feel cold, and that skiing is awesome.  But…shoveling snow, driving in snow, shivering in snow.  I think living in Indiana for 3 years of my childhood (age 8 to 11) may have scarred me for life.  Sorry, Gala—I love to visit you, but only during the summer.

While I am working on the Pro/Con List, an old coworker pinged me on Facebook.  We exchanged a few messages, then actually picked up the phone and had a conversation.  Old school, I know.  That’s how I roll.  Well, that’s how I roll when my thumbs are tired of talking, anyway!

Here’s his story in a nutshell, “After I was laid off, my wife left me.  I moved back in with my mom in California.  It took me 8 months, but I found a job in the bay area.”

The hottie remembers me after all these years, is SINGLE, and is living near Google!  *happy dance*  I tell him, “I may be applying to Google.  If I get an interview, we can hang out.”

“Don’t move to California!  The cost of living is so high.  Your quality of life is better in Texas,” he tells me.

“But…dream job!” I say.  Then I realize: that’s the only item on the list that truly matters, so I updated my resume and emailed it to my friend.  Then he emailed it to his friend.  OMG OMG!  AN EMPLOYEE AT GOOGLE HAS MY RESUME!

Then…nothing.  After a week, I prepared a cover letter and sent it to the Google-ite, asking, “Could you give me some suggestions?  I’m submitting applications online and would appreciate your feedback.”

The same day she responded with specific ways to improve my resume.  Then she wrote, “Cover letters are discouraged, because your work should speak for itself.  Let me know which job you’re interested in, and I’d be happy to pass your resume along.”

YAY!  She’s going to help!  YAY!  I went back to the Google Careers website and printed out the postings to which I had applied.  Then I had the difficult task of prioritizing them.  Shit, which one do I want most?  How do I choose?!

Finally, I settled on one and let her know, “This job is my first choice, but I also like that one.  But really, I’d be happy at any job at Google!”

I haven’t heard back from her, but I check my phone several times an hour in case a hiring manager calls.

Then I did some soul searching: is Google really my dream job?  I mean, it’s AWESOME, but what did I want to be when I was a little girl?  What was my goal when I enrolled in college?  That’s easy: I wanted to work on the next space shuttle.  Truly, I chose mechanical engineering so that I could work for NASA.

Today, though, NASA outsources most of its work to private industry.  Space X is launching satellites that deploy satellites.  Russia’s space agency launches astronauts into space and brings them home.  Lockheed Martin was building the next vehicle for the astronauts, though that project is so far over budget and off schedule that I don’t think I want to work on it.   Plus, Lockheed Martin – I’ve had some dealing with them; just let me say, I don’t want to work there.

But the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) still works on Mars rovers and other awesome, cutting-edge space projects.  JPL is in Pasadena (about 6 hours south of San Francisco), so it’s still in California, but not next to Stanford.  But wait—it is partnered with NASA and CalTech.  CalTech is Sally’s second choice for grad school!!  If she gets into her first choice, Stanford, then she’ll be right up the road and can visit once a month, like she does now.  If she gets into her second choice, then we could live together!  Or, she could visit on the weekends and do her laundry.  Woot Woot!

I look on the JPL website and find a Mechanical Engineer post.  Ok, so I don’t have some of the qualifications, like I’ve never worked on a space craft before.  No big deal, I’ll apply anyway, and see if they’ll let me get experience.

I receive a, “Thanks for applying, but we’re not interested,” email within 48 hours.

I could give up.  I could wait and see if Google is interested in me, or I could simply be happy at my current job and forget about California.  But that’s not me.  I revisit the JPL website and skim through the other postings (not the mechanical engineer listings, which all require flight hardware experience).

The Process Engineer position would utilize my materials science knowledge, but it sounds like a lot of paperwork, documentation, and—in short—a snooze fest.

The Quality Engineer position is like being a referee—you have to tell people when they make mistakes and no one really likes you.  Even if you’re awesome, you’re a GD ref who puts everyone in their place, like we have at my current job, engineers still think, “Thank you for keeping us all honest, now shut up and let us do our jobs.  Thank you.  You’re appreciated, really—go away.”

Then I saw it, and almost fainted.  “Cable Harness Engineer III.”  These beautiful words describe what I’ve been doing for 10 years (more or less); they are what I’ve been training for, what I am comfortable doing, and most of all: this is what I’m qualified to do!!  I read through the post and, sure enough, I am more than qualified.  For example, they require 6 years of experience; I have 10!!  They require a BS (that’s bachelor of science, not bull shit, though at times they are closely related).  Excited, hands shaking, I add a new opening paragraph to my cover letter, “Cable Harness Engineer III could have been written just for me: I was one of the interconnect experts at Company R and am now writing a book on the topic.  I am excited about this opportunity!”

That line will either make them think that I’m an egotistical narcissist or show them just how f’ing excited I am about OMG THIS JOB IS F’ING PERFECT FOR ME!!!!!

I email and text Sally.  I text Gala and ask her to call me.  I start thinking about what I want to pack, what I should donate to Goodwill, and how I’ll get Sally’s stuff to her.  A condo near work is what I want, ideally, so that I can walk to work.  It doesn’t need to be big, just a two bedroom for me and Jack.  Maybe three, so that I can have a study.  Then again, we really like having a game room/art gallery/library/guest bedroom, so maybe we need four bedrooms.  We’ll see what we can afford.  I mean, a guest bedroom would be really great, since all my friends need to visit (especially Allie Apple and Gala), but then again, they can sleep in the study or on the couch if I can’t afford a guest bedroom.

Reality check: I may not get the job.  I may not even get a phone interview.  Regardless, I’m going to let myself daydream for a week or so and enjoy the possibilities.  Last year when I was laid off, I couldn’t leave north Texas, because I was still working on my degree.  Now, my master degree is complete, and I can move wherever I please.  Damn, it’s good to be me!

To think, all this happened because a friend of mine thought of me.  It really is true that the people we meet, alter the course of our lives.  If he hadn’t asked me if I wanted a job at Google, I wouldn’t have thought about moving to California, and I wouldn’t have found my other dream job.  Now, I have two opportunities that I’m excited about; and face it, I’d be over the moon excited to get interviewed for either of them!  Thank God for my friends – I love you guys!

Reality Check: these are world class organizations which receive hundreds or thousands of resumes a week.  I would be lucky to get a phone interview.  So I know that it’s a long shot; I haven’t turned in my two week notice.  However, I am going to let myself be excited about the possibility for a week.  It’s fun to dream!

Now, excuse me, I need to go compulsively check my email again, for the 30th time this hour.  Then maybe I’ll clean out my closet, or organize the garage…


PS More on this is in “California Dreamin’ Continued.”

Drunk at the Company Party


JNS_20160304_Work Party.jpg

Rockin’ my new glasses on the way to the party

“Too far,” I tell Kevin Kumquat.  He had just called me a slut in his efforts to get me to go to a bar with him after the company party.

“Now I’m offended!” he says, a little too loudly.  “There is no too far between us.”  He sways drunkenly.

I step back from him.  We are in the lobby of the convention center, where the work party is being held: a retirement party for one of the CEOs.  Two of our coworkers stand nearby.

Blushing and painfully aware of the gentlemen listening, I reply, “Look, I don’t know these guys that well, so I really don’t want you talk to me that way in front of them.”  Seriously, calling each other sluts or bitches in private is one thing; in public, in front of professional colleagues, is QUITE another.

“You don’t know Eric?!  How do you NOT know Eric?!  I work with him ALL the time!” Kevin says, again too loudly and with an open arm gesture that almost knocks him off balance.

“I don’t work with him,” I say truthfully.  Kevin and I work on different programs.  Turning to Eric, I say, “All I know is what one of the speakers said about you: that you once tooted in an elevator.”

Eric looks down at that, a little embarrassed, but he recovered quickly.  “What can I say?  It was one of those days,” he says good-humoredly.  I mean, he better have a good sense of humor, since the entire company heard that story.

The other guy present is a guy who had worked in our building, but had transferred out.  I had invited him to lunch, but we had never gone.  Damn, he looked good; the man had to work out.  “Mike!” I say to him.  Yes, of course I have a crush on the guy named Mike!  “Who let you into this party?”  I say it with a smile so that he knows that I’m teasing him.

Kevin, however, is not done with our conversation.  “Listen, you need to go to the bar with us,” he reiterates.

I sighed.  We had been having this conversation for about 20 minutes now.  At the beginning of the conversation, I had asked him for his keys and gave them to a coworker for safe keeping.  “Look, I took away your keys because you’re drunk.  You really don’t need to go to the bar.  Besides, I told you that I can’t breathe in smoky bars; I get asthmatic.”  Which is completely true.  The minute he had told me that the bar allowed smoking, I had told him that I couldn’t go.  Not, “wouldn’t,” but “couldn’t”.  “Call me selfish, but I like to breathe.”  I turn back to the cute guy, hoping Kevin would shut up.  He doesn’t.

“Do we need to give you two some space to work this out?” Eric asks.

Shit, Eric thinks we’re a couple.  So Mike probably does, too.  WTH, Kevin is really getting on my nerves about now.

“No, we’re fine,” I say with a forced smile.

“Hey, you need to come!  There’s going to be live music!  And you can be the second woman to divorce me this month!” he says.

My eyes get wide.  OMG DID HE JUST SAY THAT?!  Now our coworkers are REALLY going to think that we’re dating.  OMG what an asshole!  Sure, he’s going through a divorce, but that doesn’t mean that he can be a total DICK!

I say, as calmly as possible and with a lot of sass, “I’d have to marry you first!  Whatevs!”

Now Mike steps in to defend me.  “Kevin, when a woman says whatevs, you’ve already lost the argument!  You’d better stop now,” he says, firmly but with a hint of teasing.

Thankfully, Kevin stops to think about that.  Which gives me the chance to make an exit.  “Time for me to go home,” I say.  “Eric, good night!  Mike…”

He winks at me.  HE WINKS AT ME!!  Yay, maybe he’s interested after all.  MAYBE he’ll call me next week to ask me out to lunch.  I wink back.

I turn to Kevin.  “Good night,” I say, and turn to leave.  There, now Mike sees that I’m leaving alone.  I’m NOT with Kevin, I don’t have a date, and I’m completely available.  Damn, I’m glad that I dressed up for this now.

I wonder how much Kevin will remember the next day.  I hope he doesn’t get his keys back tonight.  I wonder if Mike will call me.  I think that Kevin did more harm to his reputation than mine.

All I know for sure is, I’m still sober, and there’s a bottle of wine at home with my name on it.



Psych Eval III


She only has three pictures: at the Kentucky Derby with a friend in big, colorful hats; selfie in the bathroom mirror; and a sticking-their-tongues-out pic with a little girl.  She’s beautiful.  I’d date her.

You know, if I was Gary.

What jumps out to me is that she wrote, “Life’s to short.”  It should be “Life’s too short.”  Am I grammar Nazi?  Whatev.  It’s an easy mistake to make, but also an easy one to correct.  Ok, I sound like an English teacher.  Renee (my friend the English professor) would be proud, but for the rest of you, I’m moving on.  (Preposition at the end of the sentence, I know that’s bad form, but I’m going to be cool and deal with it.)

She typed, “what ever,” with a space!  Urgh!  Ok, ignoring that, too.  She didn’t list her occupation, but it’s obviously not English Teacher!

So her profile tells me nothing.  Likes to go out, but can stay in.  She’s playing both sides of the fence and casting a wide net.

Stepping back, that tells me that she’s new to online dating.  She hasn’t read enough profiles to know what to put in hers.  And, she’s not sure what she wants.

Quick, Gary!  Scoop her up before she’s online for too long!  Get her before she gets cynical!

Other News

I bought $77 in toys for work.  True story.  See, we’re working on a project that is hard to conceptualize, so I bought some building toys to make a mock up.  A mock up is a non-functional prototype.  That is, it looks about the same as the end product, but it doesn’t do anything.  Kinda like a life-sized cardboard cutout, except in 3D.  And last week I bought colored pencils, so that I can sketch out concepts.  (Sometimes it helps to sketch before using the computer.) So, yes, I buy colored pencils and toys for work, using my company credit card.  I love my job!

A guy on Match didn’t get my story about how I felt empowered by changing my car battery.  He wrote, “I hope you bought their most expensive one… that one lasts the longest and probably will die during the free replacement…btw if you dating me last year you could have been my AAA buddy and they would have come by and do it for you.”

Um, no.  The answer we were looking for was, “Way to go!  Congrats!”

What was he thinking?  Seriously, why would he hope that I bought the expensive battery?  I don’t understand some people.  And he obviously doesn’t get me!  I can’t date a man who doesn’t know how to use ellipses (the three periods).  I’m such a nerd.

And the Peanut Gallery asks, “How big a nerd are you?”

I’m SUCH a nerd that I had a hard time transposing his email.  I’m itching to correct it!

On the bright side, I’ve been emailing the guy from Speed Dating.  I still have no clue which one he was.  I asked him to hang out on Friday night; hopefully he’ll say yes, because I’m dying to know! #Impatient

G2G – I’m playing softball tonight.  My new company (the super awesome one) invited me to play on their team.  For the record, I’m not that good.  But I do like to get outside, and I love to swing the bat.  Oh, and maybe there’ll be cute guys on the other team. ; – )


This is the third in a series of profile evaluations that I’ve done for my friend Gary of Skipah’s Realm (  Next time: Softball and dating update.

I Love My Job!

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  I’ll spare you my bad poetry and make a list instead – because I truly love my new job!!


  1. I’m working on a challenging project. I can’t tell you exactly what we’re working on, because it’s proprietary.  But to mis-quote Burt Reynolds’ character in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, we’re trying to cram two bowling balls into a marble bag.  (He was referring to putting on a Speedo.)
  2. Snacks and drinks are free! And fresh fruit every Monday!
  3. A female electrical engineer joked about working with analog and digital signals. “My dad thought that it was funny that the only two women engineers in the company worked in mixed signals.  Glad to have another woman on the team.”  Um, does that mean that I get to send mixed signals now, too?
  4. I brought up an idea that is out-of-scope and potentially difficult to implement, but which might improve the overall product. The senior engineer listened to me, asked questions, then said, “I can see the benefit from that.  Could you do a little research and bring me some numbers?”  Best. Response. Ever.
  5. I’m already a team lead. Ok, so it’s just a group of 6 people in the company wellness competition.  We’re competing against 7 other teams to see who can walk the most (record the most steps on our pedometers).  Still, these 5 teammates recognize my natural leadership abilities.  Ok, so they didn’t want to do the extra work.  Still, I’m taking it as a compliment!
  6. My supervisor is totally supportive of my classes. When I told him that I would be leaving at 1 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, he answered, “Work 40 hours per week and that’s fine.”
  7. I have an office with a door. The last 3 companies that I worked for, installed cubicles.  Ah, a nice wooden door, and full-sized walls, how beautiful you are!  How well you protect me from loud coworkers and constant surveillance!
  8. Drugs in the break room. It’s the good stuff, too.  Advil, Zantac, Tylenol, and more!  I didn’t really appreciate this until I showed up with a really bad sinus headache today.  Thank God for good pharmaceuticals!
  9. Everyone is super friendly. One guy introduced himself, so I asked him questions about what he did and where he did it.  He gave me a tour of the lab and introduced me to some other people.  Others have taken time to answer my questions, too.  And always with a smile.
  10. I had to order a box for a prototype and my boss said, “No problem, it’s about $50, go ahead and get it.” It was $660.  He said, “Ok.”  The purchasing guy said that it would arrive in 1 to 2 months.  I responded that we need it in 1 to 2 days, so I’d look for something else.  He found one in stock at a distributor.  At my prior employer, Company R, I couldn’t get a supply chain person to email me within 2 days!  I’m going to get a part in that time?!  I’m in heaven!
  11. I suggested a shortcut for some work and my super busy coworker was ridiculously grateful. I’m not lazy, I’m efficient.  (“Same thing,” Reggie would say.  “The best inventions were made by lazy people who wanted to do less work.”)
  12. We work a 9/80 schedule That means that we work 9 hours/day for 9 days (Monday to Friday, then Monday to Thursday) and then have a day off.  So, every other week, I’ll have a 3-day weekend!  That is, I will after the semester ends.  Expect more weekend road trip stories this summer.  Woot!
  13. It’s about 3 blocks to my favorite bar.
  14. One of my coworkers (walking team mate) suggested a happy hour. Another couldn’t attend, so she asked me to have 1-2 drinks for her.  Happy to oblige!  J
  15. I told my boss (quite honestly) that one of my former coworkers was the best of the best. Bossman interviewed my friend today!  I love that he values my opinions already.
  16. There are some awfully handsome guys at my company. I don’t plan to date any of them, but it’s nice to have some eye candy.  Human Resources would send me back to Sensitivity and Sexual Harassment training if they could read my mind.  Good thing they can’t! 😉

I’m researching my idea tonight and putting together a short research paper.  Normally I hate homework, but I’m darned excited about this assignment, because I gave it to myself!

I hope that you are enjoying your job, too.  If not, I hope you’re enjoying the fact that it funds happy hour!