Thursday, April 29, 2010


I really love the title 'Job', because it could mean both 'job' like one of those boring things you have to go to every day in order to be able to afford wine so you can go to sleep and get up and do it again the next day only this time with a headache, or it could mean 'Job' like that poor suffering bastard in the Bible who had all those bloody locusts after him all the time.

You probably know that Lloyd recently left the Air Force, and you might also know that we had planned to take a little time off before doing something else. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Lloyd is constitutionally unable to take any time off. Doing nothing drives him CRAZY. Naturally, I have plenty of ideas about things he could do to occupy himself, but they apparently do not meet his criteria for suitable activities. And so, he is looking for a job. And by 'he' I mean 'we'. And I thought it sucked when all I had to do was brush my hair once a week, whether it needed it or not, and go to the OSC coffees, and maybe kiss the COW's butt once in a while.

You might wonder what 'job' and 'Job' might have in common, and since I know some of my military pals might be reading this and dreaming about the day their shackles will be shattered forever, I'll just go ahead and tell you. Finding a real job after an Air Force career is a major undertaking, my friends. Somewhat on the order of being constantly chased by giant swarms of man-eating bugs, say. And let me just preface my less than complimentary comments about the whole ordeal by saying in no way am I sorry that Lloyd retired instead of staying in. NO, SIR.

First off, the good news: there are plenty of jobs out here, despite all the constant gloom and doom from the fear-mongering media. Come on in, the water's fine! BUT (here come the locusts!), every single one of those plentiful jobs requires a carefully and specifically constructed application package. You can't just whomp up a resume and send it out to 8,000 places and wait for the job offers to roll in. For example, jobs with the Federal government are good opportunities for ex-military members. It sounds really easy: just go to the job site and use their online tool to build your resume, and then click 'Apply Online' when you see a vacancy that interests you. What could be simpler, right? So far, every time we've clicked to apply online, we get a nasty gram that tells us we have to go to a different system to apply, like this one or this one, each of them requiring a new account and a new resume. Oh, and don't think you can cut and paste, either: One of them has a very strange list of which punctuation marks are acceptable. On the no-no list? Apostrophes. Don't even think about trying to submit a block of text that contains one, got it?

Oh, and then you have to know which medals you have. I guess some of them are better than others? I dunno, and neither Lloyd nor I have any idea which medals are which. I don't even know what medal I have. I have one, you know. I got it when I worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I used to wear it, too, until I dropped it in a bin at the $1.39 a pound store and almost lost it forever. People would look at me weird, but what good is a medal if you don't wear it? That's what I always say. Anyway, you might think that list of medals is worthless after you retire, but hang on to it. And make sure it's right. Faking medals is some kind of big deal felony, or so I hear.

I think we are getting the hang of it now, so I feel qualified to offer a little guidance about where to start for my friends who will be retiring soon. Definitely get signed up on the main Federal job site and start getting a resume in. It takes FOREVER, so you might as well start now. Set up searches with auto-notification so you get the listings you want and can see what's out there. Check out if you have a security clearance, and for aviation jobs. There are tons more, too. Just get clicking and you will find plenty of vicious locusts to chase you, too! I promise.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


So. I'm not quite sure where to start with this one. My mother has been hounding me FOREVER to go through some old junk I have at her house: letters, pictures and assorted detritus. I finally looked through it and was astounded at the letters from my freshman year of college. I must have been quite the little writer, because there are stacks of letters from tons of different people. The funny thing is that some of them I can barely remember knowing that well, like Dopey from the letter below. Also interesting to me is that I don't have contact with any of them and with a few exceptions, I have no idea how or where any of them ended up.

I chose the Dopey letter to post for its sheer entertainment value, more than for any deep insights. It does have its intriguing points, some of which I might dive into sometime, just for funsies. Maybe I'll get all introspective and boring on here, what do you think? I can write long and badly punctuated missives on all my innermost thoughts and feelings, doesn't that sound AWESOME?

I have fought off the urge to make a bunch of preemptive disclaimers in my own defense, like how I am not now, nor have I ever been,either a snob or a pot smoker. Oops, sorry! Couldn't help it. And also, it's sort of a lie. I was possibly a snob for a short time. But believe me when I say I have some other letters from Dopey that make him sound even WORSE. Like, so bad that I would have felt guilty posting them even though no one could possibly have any idea who this person is. Names have been changed to protect the complacent.

Dear Anna,

Now that Sneezy and his printer have moved out I have to hand write my letters. What a drag. Oh well, at least I have my own room now.

I did it: I smoked pot every day last quarter and got 4.0's in all my classes. Now I'm giving my body a much-needed rest from drugs. I'll abstain at least until my birthday (about a week) but even after that I won't smoke as much as last quarter- when you get high all the time your tolerance builds up and it costs too much to stay high.

Sleepy's life is progressing at its normal pace of misfortune: he is just one of those guys that lives a fast and free life. It's a choice he makes and every once in a while he gets caught and has to deal with the consequences. It's hard to decide if he lives an enviable life or not. Sure he has a lot of free time, money and fun; but let's see where he is in ten or twenty years.

It's too bad about your decision to go to WSU. What made you make that decision? Every time you go there or come back here you will have to make that long drive through desolate desert or over snow clad mountain passes. You will live in a depressing and small agricultural town with few distractions capable of entertaining your sophisticated mind. You really deserve better than WSU.

That's all for now.

Signed, Dopey

I really, really wish I knew what happened to Sleepy.