Moving Again (Maybe)



Iron Mountain, San Diego, 3/31/17 – I have hiked this mtn four times now.

I’m moving to Pasadena!

Maybe.  I think.  Perhaps.

On my company’s internal job posting website, I found and applied for multiple jobs.  Sure, I have a job now, in the beautiful city of San Diego.  More accurately, I’m updating internal processes while I wait for a program to pick me up, which would be the equivalent of hiring me, even though I already work for the company.  Basically, I can stay where I am and continue to get paid, or I can look for something else in the same company.

Still with me?

So I looked for something else.  Like in my dating life, in my work life, I’m always looking for something better.  Unlike my dating life, in my work life, I found it.  The job is in Pasadena, northeast of Los Angeles.  Pasadena is awesome on many levels:

  • The Rosebowl (famous for the football game, though the huge rose-covered floats are amazing as well)
  • CalTech – a center of learning.
  • CalTech – where the guys from “The Big Bang Theory” TV Show work.
  • Jet Propulsion Lab – NASA and CalTech founded JPL to work on space projects.
  • The Planetary Society – I visited and stood in the CEO’s office. Seriously, the office manager Chelsea was very generous with her time, and gave me a tour, which ended in Bill Nye’s office.  I touched a table which once sat in Carl Sagan’s office!!!
  • Adjacent to LA, which has many companies working on Space projects, including SpaceX!

If you’re not nerdy enough to follow all of that, it boils down to: Pasadena is heaven for nerds who like space.

I’m a nerd who loves space.  Therefore, Pasadena is my Heaven-on-Earth.  And I get to move there!  I applied for a position, and the hiring manager invited me up for an interview, which went GREAT!  I’ll be working for a female team lead and a female project lead, who report to another female.  Go Girl Power!

During the interview, the hiring manager said, “We have three jobs that you’re qualified for, and all three managers want you on their team.  They’ll explain the jobs, then you’ll get to pick one.”

WAAAAAAITT a minute!  I get to CHOOSE from three AWESOME jobs?!  Ya, buddy!  Without revealing too much about my work (that’s not really the point of this blog), the jobs were:

  1. What I did for the past 10 years, so I know that I can do it and do it well.
  2. What I’ve done a little bit of, and what Gala Pear does; a stretch for me, with new challenges.
  3. A job that would use my master’s degree and build on what I’ve done in the past.

I listened to the managers describe each job, knowing that I really could do any of them.  But #2 stood out to me.  I’d get to walk around, talking to different people on different teams, solving problems and writing up reports.  There would presentations in front of managers and experts.  The work would be challenging and keep me on my toes.  I’m so excited!

The team lead led me to meet another team lead, and said, “I like that you have STEM activities on your resume.  I like inspiring the younger generation, too.”

OMG this woman shares my passion for STEM?!  I am going to LOVE this job!

My interview started at 9 a.m. on Thursday.  At 9 p.m., a job offer was in my email inbox.

After returning to San Diego and spreading the word that I have the job, my friends encouraged me to have a going away party.  I planned it for the following Thursday, because my boss wanted me to start the Monday after that (just over a week away).  I spent the weekend going through my magazines, taking donations to Goodwill, and looking at Pasadena houses on the internet.  I told my San Diego realtor that I was moving, and she put me in touch with a Pasadena realtor.  I’d find a house there in no time.

“Whoa, buddy!  Not so fast!” said Fate.  I can’t imagine that God would put the brakes on at this point; I prefer to envision a gremlin, who stole the car which is my LIFE.  A green-scaled, evil-smiling, wicked little gremlin who thinks that f-ing with my happiness is funny.

This is what happens whenever I get excited about damn near anything, whether it’s a new guy or this new job.  Like Keith, who seemed amazing until he started talking about himself in third person and invited me to hang out in the woods with him, “Bad Keith.”  Or the contractor who had really low rates, so I was excited to have him work in my house, until he told me, “You need sex.”  Or the Coast Rican vacation with a handsome man, which seemed like I won the lottery, until it became a Trip from Hell.  Sigh, here we go again!

Since I just moved from Dallas to San Diego, the company doesn’t want to pay for a new Relocation Package.  Sure, I could move myself; Pasadena is just a couple of hours north of San Diego, no big deal, right?  Except…

  • I would be walking away from thousands of dollars promised under my current Relo Pkg.
  • I would have to pay for movers, which could be $2k.
  • Since this is an internal transfer, the hiring manager cannot offer me a sign on bonus. So any benefit ($$$$) must come in the form of a Relo Pkg.
  • If I move before a year is up (which would be the end of November), I have to repay all the money that the company paid to move me out here ($$,$$$).
  • For me to get another Relo Pkg so soon and avoid having to refund my previous Relo Pkg, I need an Exception Form signed by the Vice President*.

*That’s the VP of the company, not of the United States of America.  Altho, it might be equally difficult to obtain the signature!

To recap: I need a program.  Pasadena has a program.  I want to move to Pasadena. I can’t move to Pasadena.

I expect the Marx brothers to come out and go “Woot Woot Woot!” or throw a pie in my face.  I mean, this can’t be real, so it must be a Saturday Night Life skit, right?  I mean, companies are perfectly logical, so there is an easy way to fix this, right?

Why do my friends start laughing hysterically when I said, “Companies are perfectly logical?”


In the meanwhile, this is how all the above is affecting my dating life:

  • Cancelled a date with a great guy (a Longhorn, nonetheless!).
  • Changed my Match profile to show my location as Pasadena.
  • Received several winks and likes from 56-year-old men in Pasadena.
  • Found a cute guy who said that he worked in Space, emailed him a “Hey, Rocket Scientist! I’m a mechanical engineer!  Let’s get together,” and waited for him to email back.
  • Found out I might not be moving after all.
  • Deactivated my account. After all, I might not be moving; but I might.

So here I am, in limbo.  Again.  I feel like I’ve been in limbo for over a year; first, waiting to hear if I got the job, then waiting to learn my start date, then waiting to find a program.  I’ve been living in an apartment, waiting to find out whether I can get a job in Pasadena or LA.  If not, I can buy a house here by the end of the year and settle down.  I’m pretty blessed to know that I’ll be ok either way.  But limbo sucks.

Going Away Party

Thursday night, I went to my “Going Away Party,” which became a “You’re Going to Have To Put Up With Me For A While Longer Party.”  My friends were happy about that, and hopeful that there would be a quick resolution to my situation.  We drank and ate and were merry.

As for me, I’m still dreaming of moving to Pasadena and dating a CalTech professor.  Or maybe a rocket scientist who works at JPL.  Sally will attend graduate school at CalTech and move in with me.  She’ll be married to Penny by then, so we’ll all live happily ever after.

Did you hear that?  I swear, I just heard a gremlin snicker!



Sunset as seen from my apartment’s balcony.


Elon, It’s Over



Elon, I had a huge crush on you, but I’m over it.  I was only halfway through your biography when I declared my affection, but now that I’ve read the rest and more news articles on you, I’m cured of my affection.  Here are the top reasons why.

  1. Sleeping in your office, seriously? I’ve already dated one workaholic (one of the Mikes), and I don’t want to do it again.  I need a man who will show up at least once a week. ()
  2. Two of your top executives quit because of your heavy-handiness. In your biography, you’re called a nano-manager.  That’s one step beyond micromanager.  It’s a real problem when you’re asking for schedules in 10-minute increments.  As one of your employees said, “Sometimes you just have to take a long shit.”  I don’t need a boyfriend who will question me if I’m in the bathroom for more than five minutes; hey, shit happens!
  3. “I do think of him as the Terminator. He locks his gaze on to something and says, ‘It shall be mine.’ Bit by bit, he won me over,” said Justine Musk, your first ex-wife. How about a little compromise, Mr. Musk?  Maybe you’d still be married, and maybe your top execs would still be working for you.  Like Sarah Conner, I’m running in the other direction.
  4. You expect your employees to work as hard as you do. According to the biography, you chewed out an employee for attending the birth of his child.  Ok, so you deny this.  Vance states, up front, that he fought for his journalist integrity; he said that there was an email, so I believe him; he was very careful to state facts, even if he chose to present more positive facts than negative ones.  If I were your girlfriend, would you expect me to work hard?  Listen, 9 or 10 hours is about all I care to work per day.  I’ll admit it, I enjoy vegging out in front of the TV when I get home, or reading blogs with a glass of wine in my hand.  Cheers!
  5. If you’re working 20 hours a day, and you have your kids 4 days a week, does that mean that I’d be taking care of them while you work? Your FIVE children?  My kids both had attitudes during their teenage years, so I can’t IMAGINE facing five teenage boys at once!  Much less twins and triplets, who team up against the rest of the world.  No thank you!  (Again, running in the other direction!)
  6. You fired your Pepper Potts. That is, Mary Jo Brown was your trusted secretary and right hand man (woman) for over a decade.  When she asked for a raise, you sent her on vacation, convinced yourself that you could live without her, and fired her.  That’s cold!  (Backing away slowly, then running in the other direction.)
  7. One of my friends tells a very different story of your involvement with Paypal. Instead of founder and inventor, he tells how your code copycatted another company’s, you inflated the number of users, and lied your way into a merger with the real Paypal company.  He used the word “charelton.”  Now, I heard this second hand; my friend is friends with members of the Paypal mafia.  Your version, I learned from Ashlee Vance, your biographer, paints a much brighter picture of your genius, HOWEVER that story is also second hand.  Which begs the question: would you trust a total stranger’s version or your friend’s?  Vance is a stranger to me, so naturally, I believe my friend’s version of events.  I really don’t want to date someone who would lie and cheat in business.  Again, no thank you!  (And, I’m so far gone, you can’t even see my dust.  Beep-beep!)

Elon, don’t call, don’t write, don’t text.  We’re through, before we even get started.

I’ll still be rooting for SpaceX to make it to Mars in 2018.  Good luck!  (I don’t want to work for you, either.  See reasons above.)

But seriously, don’t call.




My Big A** Crush on Elon Musk



Handsome, passionate, and makes things happen – WOW.  Elon Musk’s biography also describes him as intense, demanding, and unrelenting.  For someone who is making the world a better place, I’ll make allowances.

I’ve always wanted to design a space shuttle, so I applied to Space X.  From what the book says, Elon requires hard work, on the order of 80 to 90 hour weeks.  Heck, for something that I believe in, I’d be willing to work extra hours.  But…can’t we work 9 hour days, then have a nice dinner and watch a movie?  It’s called Work/Life balance, Elon – let me show you!

Ok, so the one time that Elon went on a vacay, he contracted malaria and almost died.  Maybe South Africa wasn’t the ideal vacation destination.  Let’s go to Hawaii or Puerto Rico; it’s highly unlikely that you’ll contract malaria there.

SERIOUSLY – how many of us wake up one day and say, “Hmm, I just made millions from the sale of Pay Pal, wonder what I’ll do next?  Let’s save the world, and colonize Mars.”  That’s what Elon did, then he founded (or organized, or made possible, depending on how you look at it) SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

I woke up one day and said, “I think I’ll write a book.”  Years later, I self-published my book.  Elon’s first wife is a writer, so I must point out that I have more in common with him than she does: I am a mechanical engineer with a master degree in material science and engineering (“Master of Science!” should be said with both fists on hips and a strong, superhero voice), patent holder, and Interconnect guru with 10 years experience.  My resume is damn impressive, if I do say so myself.

Still, Elon puts me to shame!  So he is the person that I wish that I could be.  That’s damn sexy.

Reality Check: 5 kids, two ex-wives, and he’s in the middle of a divorce.

Eh, I still have a crush!



P.S. Elon, in case you’re reading this, you should know that we have a lot in common.  We both played Dungeons and Dragons, love Asimov’s Foundation Series, and read Heinlein.  We are both twice divorced with children.  And we both have a drive to do more, to contribute more.  Call me 😉