Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Animal Cracker Psychopath

How do you eat an animal cracker?
Like any sane human being, you bite the head right off that cracker animal.

Abraham, on the other hand, is the BTK of animal cracker consumption. He starts by slowly soggying each extremity and then nibbling from toe to torso, each leg of the poor animal. His bites are small and calculated. He makes sure that each piece causes more and more anguish to the cookie. When the cracker is left an extremity-less mess of torso and head, he turns his attention to the tale and nibbles it to a nub. He then breaks the cookie in half, the first act of mercy, but wait. He then faces the cookies eyes towards him so it can watch him slowly consume its lower half. He doesn't bite into this piece, no. He slowly puts it on his extended tongue and makes the cracker watch as its bottom half slowly melts into a doughy saliva, at which point, Abe rubs the cookie into the pool of mush. He removes the top half of the animal from his mouth, looks at intently and smiles, right before he spits the cookie paste on the floor.
He plays with the remaining cookie for several minutes, sliding it around on the table, and chair. Sliding it along the rough, half eaten edge. Small sand-like stars of sugar and cookie leave a trail of crumbs along his play route. And when he is done, when all the entertainment that could be derived from the animal cracker has been had, he gives the upper torso and head to our dog Francis.

Well, this post started out real, but I couldn't help but indulge myself. The thought of animal cracker torture was too good to just write that Abe doesn't eat the head first.

A quick update on some things real:

-The house is almost up for sale. Pia and I (mostly Pia) have been spending most of our time cleaning up the house (painting, washing walls, etc.)

-While I received a phone call from Fidelity confirming that I got the job, no official e-mail has come. They asked me which office I prefer and I unequivocally said Salt Lake (although I did say that I would accept either location). The more time it takes, the more likely it is that they have me waiting for a position in Salt Lake as opposed to American Fork; but this fact doesn't put me completely at ease about selling my house before I have a written offer. If the phone call was from some friend playing a joke on me, it would be the practical joke of a lifetime.

-I bought Minecraft for Abraham (okay, I have played more than he has). We used to play car racing games together (about 30 minutes, once a week or so), but now he just wants to build houses. I think that it's awesome. I built a replica of our current home which was a lot of fun. Minecraft is really just digital Legos and I am happy that Abe likes it. I read a lot of tech news and more and more I read that kids need to learn to program. A child should learn and instrument, but they also need to learn to code. Computer programming will only become more relevant and it's a skill that will put my kids miles ahead (unless they refuse to do it or hate it, which is probably going to be the case).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Trek to Utah

Heck yeah I am nervous.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Parenting and the driving game

Recently I have started to let Abe play a driving game that I have called Burnout Paradise. He sits on my lap and we take turns. My turn is always about 30 seconds and his a few minutes. I would let him play the whole time, but I can't pass up on a solid opportunity to learn to share and also I want to make sure he understands that it is an activity that we do together.

Burnout is an open world driving game and so we just hop into a vehicle and we don't do any races; we just driving around the city. You would think that playing a driving game, a parent could kind of shut down their parenting for a few minutes and just enjoy the fun, but that isn't the case at all. Abe loves the driving game, but more than just driving around, he loves driving that car straight into walls and other cars. He loves crashing. I have to wince as he just speeds up and rams, head-on into other cars, buses, and any solid wall he can find. Every time he crashes, he is penalized with a 3 second load and a brand new car to smash into the next city bus he comes across.

Now, my instinct is to tell him to drive within the lines and quit hitting cars, but I remind myself that it's a video game and he should just have fun. Should I reinforce real rules within a virtual world or can my kid discern? As I have time to think about it, I want to say my opinion is that I shouldn't try to subject my child to real world rules in a virtual environment because that is treating it as real and it should be treated as a game and nothing more. Driving games can certainly be a teaching tool (especially more simulation type games that really feel like driving), but for now if Abe wants to trash his virtual car, I will just be glad I don't have to pay the insurance.

Blog Post: News Flash Edition

- I burned my fingers while ironing a shirt because my right hand is an idiot and my left hand wanted to punish my right hand for being an idiot. Not hospitalization bad or even doctor bad, but I got some sweet blisters.

- Both my kids are suffering from some degree of croup.

- Fidelity got back with me and I have a second interview tomorrow. The job is a huge pay cut, but it will lead to better opportunities that are a substantial increase in pay from what I am making currently.

- Abe didn't say his line at the Primary Program, but he did stand up with the other kids (eventually) and for that, I could not be more proud. I know it's hard for him because I feel the same way and I know how much courage and rock solid balls it took to stand up there.

- Tonight will be spent studying Fidelity's website in preparation for tomorrow's interview.

- Abe made 50.00 in in-app purchases which will be the subject of a much longer post. Needless to say, children are no longer allowed to see the tablet. (It was in no way his fault)

- I met goal for the month, but it's not fair that I am ranked 17 in the entire company (top 5% and I am still stressed out of my mind that I won't meet goal for 95% of the month).

- Goodbye

Saturday, October 19, 2013


2 things about me: I love to drive and I can be rather impulsive. Sometimes I get an bit of an itch for a road trip. After I have sat in my office chair for 18 hours a day for months on end, I get the urge to drive somewhere. I don't need a reason more than to escape. Sure, I think of some ancillary reason, but it could be something as stupid as I really wanted Pizza from that place in Flagstaff, or in this case, Abe is now tall enough to go on the cars ride at Disneyland. That's right, Abe is 42 inches tall and as such, a whole new experience has opened up to him at Disneyland. He can now go on a few rides that have dips and dives.

After work on Friday I asked Abe if he wanted to go camping or go to Disneyland and like any sane child he chose the latter. He slept through the majority of the drive which was both good and bad. The drive was one of the hardest for staying awake because I didn't have anyone there to talk to, but we made it to just outside Disneyland before I had to pull over and arrange the makeshift bed in the back of the van.

I am always weirdly nervous sleeping in my car. I have a ridiculous fear of the owners of the parking spot that I have chosen for my campground calling the police and getting me in trouble. I can't imagine I would get a ticket for sleeping in my car, but I guess it's the feeling of vulnerability that goes along with sleeping out in the open (sort of).

We woke up and had breakfast, but even after the eggs were eaten, we were still a couple of hours away from the park opening. After parking and getting tickets, we got to the gates about an hour early. They were letting people in, but I assumed that it was early bird. I went ahead and asked one of the attendants if it was the case and she confirmed. I took Abe to the side and asked him if he would like to go get some hot chocolate while we waited for the park to open, but just then, the attendant approached me and said, "You know what? You can just go in now." "Holy crap," I thought to myself. I thanked her profusely and walked briskly to cars ride for which we had set out on this trek. In the hour before the park opened we managed to ride the cars ride and get our fast passes so that we could ride it again later that day.

Abe had a great time and while he was stone faced on Splash Mountain (see below) it was because he got a little wet and not because he didn't enjoy the heck out of the ride. There were a couple of times that Abe was a little upset getting off of the ride because he wanted to go again, but I was able to explain to him that everyone takes turns and that we could just get back in line. That worked all but one time. We waited an hour for a Toy Story shooting gallery at California Adventures and when he was done he started to whimper and eventually cry. Before it got to be a full on blowout, a young lady working on the ride asked if we would like to ride it again. "Now, I will let you ride again, but you can't cry, okay?" she said. Abe dried his tears immediately and we were led back through the exit to ride the attraction once more.

I don't know if people were taking pity on the cute kid with the hobo dad or the single dad with his son, but we got some really awesome special treatment and I can't express how much I appreciated it. It was a really special trip to Disneyland. One of my favorite and least favorite things at Disneyland is watching families interact. I love it because it's infinitely fascinating, but I hate it because it's also infinitely depressing. While waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, I heard a father and mother tell their excited young boy that he ruined the family vacation and that no one was having fun because of him. They berated him for about 5 minutes before my line moved out of earshot. That story happens every time I go, but this next one was one of a kind. As we were leaving the park, I overheard a kid in a wheelchair yell at his mother, "You couldn't spend ten god-damned dollars." He was on the brink of tears, but there was more indignation in his voice than anything else. I didn't get any context, but that is the fun of this game. I get to create my own story behind that crazy snippet of a scene.

It's good to be home, but this weekend is Evelyn's weekend with Papa. No big road trip this weekend (as we had some unexpected tire repairs that I will discuss later), but we will probably go to the zoo and have a great time. I love spending time with Abe and I need to make sure to spend that time equally with both my kids. I fear that because Abe is more reactive and interactive with things (only because of his age) that I spend more time with him than Evelyn. I can't wait to let her go crazy in the petting zoo area, but I am sure there will be more on that tomorrow.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The dry dirt at the bottom of the well

Today was it. I have officially hit dry dirt. I have applied for all posted jobs that I can think of and am now just waiting for new opportunities to appear.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A letter from the ugly girl in the class

**Please note: This e-mail message was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.**

Please review the attached update on your status for a position you have applied for.

Dear Jordan,

Thank you for your interest in the Splzd Inv Svcs Rep III position. For each opportunity at USAA, several candidates are considered. We regret to inform you that we have made the decision to select another candidate whose qualifications more closely match the needs of the position. 

We encourage you to continue to search current openings, create job search agents, check the status of your other submittals, and update your profile/resume as needed at the USAA Career Center on usaa.com.

Again, thank you for your interest in USAA.

USAA Staffing

Hope and yet another rejection

Fidelity continues to reject my petitions for employment as an Investment Sales and Service person. There is a silver lining in that Fidelity has multiple entry level positions and I haven't heard back on any location for the other one. If I don't hear back by the end of this week they are basically saying that they are not even interested enough to bother with a rejection letter. I figure I can thin my hair a little this week under that stress.

My current employer contacted me about a position for which I had applied. I have an initial interview today to go over experience and qualifications. It won't be the ridiculous, "Think of a time in which you were rock climbing and had to help a team member with a drug or alcohol addiction" questions. I can't lie during this interview and say that all my metrics are 110%, but I do have enough teaching and management experience to be a contender.

Last night, before I fell asleep, my mind was wandering and I realized that my church callings have way better work experience than most of my jobs do. I have prepared and taught Gospel Principles lessons for almost a decade. I have managed missionaries, filled out expense reports, and filed weekly accounts receivable reports (tithing/fast offerings). After I managed to fall asleep, I had nothing but nightmares.

The interview could have gone better. I had a hard time relating my answers to the position for which I was applying. They asked me questions about dealing with conflict and I should have tried to think of an answer that was more people focused and less sales focused. I should get my rejection soon.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Please remove the stupid from your mouth before talking to me.

I cannot understand the garbled language that someone told you was English. It sounds like someone knocked your teeth out and then you never spit them out, you just talk with them rolling around in that cavern of idiocy, you call a mouth. When I gain weight, it all goes to my face. You apparently gain all your weight in your tongue and it takes too much effort to lift that disgusting fount of unintelligible nonsense; Or maybe your tongue has somehow gained consciousness and knows that nothing you have to say is important, so it refuses to work with you to push out the borderline retarded things that you concoct in your quarter-capacity brain. Is it possible that you have survived these 30 years and still jam your whole fist into your mouth as my newborn children were want to do, and that is the reason I can't understand a word you say? Whatever the reason, maybe it would be easier to learn how to spell and write a letter.

Thank you,

-Anyone that has ever tried to communicate with you via telephone

Friday, October 4, 2013

Rejected but not dejected

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to interview with the hiring team this week. The team has decided to interview additional candidates before making final hiring decisions."

I received this message today. 

The message sat in my e-mail for about an hour before I opened it up to find the above message. I received the e-mail and just looked at it for a while. I knew that my answer was in there, so, of course, I was paralyzed by it. 

I feel almost relieved at the pseudo rejection because I didn't really want to live in CO and I doubt I would have accepted the job anyway, but rejection hurts no matter what. Maybe it should hurt more from a company that I would have rejected anyway. The ugly girl in class just said she wouldn't go on a date with me. How unappealing am I? I really thought the interview went well, but apparently not as well as I understood. I can try to console myself by saying that I wasn't interested anyway, but that only takes away some of the sting of rejection.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Role playing with a dude on the telephone

It wasn't quite a kinky as the title would make it seem. I had a telephone interview today with USAA. It is a little awkward to have interviews for jobs while on lunch from the one I currently work.

I am sure anyone that reads this thing is as sick of hearing about my job search as I am of looking for a job, so let's discuss something else.
I watched the entire third season of Walking Dead today (one of the benefits of working from home). I never got into comic books. I had friends that were way into them, but it never clicked for me. My friends would recommend less super hero type comic books and more "graphic novels" which is the basis for The Walking Dead. The paper comic industry has been hit pretty hard recently. The movie studios are doing great with their licenses, but the actual comics have declined in popularity in the last several years, or at least they had until they found a new home on tablets. Tablets offer a new and easy way to store and read comics.

I took the opportunity a few weeks ago to download the first Walking Dead comic (it was available for free) and it was actually pretty good. I enjoy some solid zombie fiction (as opposed to zombie non fiction which is just so boring). It didn't give me the impulse to put any money into comics, but I didn't think I had wasted my time either. Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) has said in the past that he doesn't believe in heroes, but rather that he just tells stories about people and tries to make the zombie apocalypse as real as possible. That is to say that there is no Arnold Schwartzanegger of the zombie apocalypse, but just a bunch of people who will probably get killed and have horrible experience in the mean time.

We are going through a very interesting time in popular media when not only are anti-heroes popular, but the most popular shows on TV feature stories in which nothing good happens to any of the main characters. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones are all great examples of this. It seems that for many people, the time has come to stop dreaming of a super hero in their media, but to watch people suffer. Instead of wishing for a hero to help us escape, we now escape our own sufferings by watching someone else suffer much more. The acting is pretty darn good too.

This is getting a little too deep and probably pretentious for my taste, so we will stop until tomorrow, when I can fill this page with more rambling ravings of the psychopath that is me.

Good night.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Compartmentalizing your disappointment

People deal with rejection in different ways. Some get sad, some get angry, and other are ambivalent. I for one get bitter. I have received approximately 10 rejection notices in my job search and part of me wants to respond something like this, "You think I am not good enough for your stupid company? I will show you. I will take the next job that walks through this door and I will do the best damned job ever. I don't even care what it is, but I will become the best at it and you will regret the day that you turned me away." Then McDonalds offers that cashier job and I become the best fry cook that company has ever seen. I don't like my job, but it does provide my family with a comfortable income.

There is danger in these rejections because as the mountain of rejections pile up, I feel a significant pressure to take anything that is offered to me. This may make more sense if I were unemployed, but the walls aren't closing in on me in the same way as if I were unemployed. Maybe the idea of being trapped in my current job is just as terrifying as being unemployed (never having been unemployed that is probably totally inaccurate).

Part of me just wants to get some piece of crap job and finish the last classes I need for my computer engineering degree, but I just don't see how my family can survive on that little income. I am probably making excuses, but going to school and the pressure of my current job just seems insurmountable. After an extremely rough September I know for a fact that I have to work overtime to simply make goal. 40 hours just doesn't cut it and that's a bummer, but... well, but nothing, that's a bummer.

Being an adult is hard.

Now that I have opened up to the idea of moving, I am dying to move.

I am off to bed, working a full shift of overtime tomorrow. I am not opposed to long hours and hard work. I believe that I would be more open to the idea of working harder for projects or for something that I do well, but working slave hours in the same menial task of which the results are still uncertain can be soul crushing.

This post was a bit of a downer (takes gun out of mouth), but it's been a hard few weeks. Searching for a job is me having to go face to face with my two greatest fears (fear of failure and fear of rejection). I think I am doing well and taking my rejections/failures in stride. I just keep plugging away and that is fine for now.

The Search Continues

It's a catch 22 that the longer you wait for a job response (to a point) the more excited you feel that you have not received a rejection letter and the more anxious you feel that you weren't even worth one.

The job search continues and if the calculation that my mother told me (1 month search for every 10k you want to make) my search will last approximate 13 years. Realistically USAA is interested, but I am not sure I want to live in Colorado Springs. In between a significant pay decrease and a significant cost of living increase, I don't think it's going to happen.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I have a blog?

What is this thing? Oh yeah! I have a blog. At one time I actually had a few of them. One writing experiment that I was planning never came to fruition because I can never seem to write consistently. I wanted to create a blog of a guy going through the worst divorce and separation from his family. You see him completely unhinge over the course of a month or two. It's still an idea worth pursuing, but I need to write it all and then just push post each day. I would hate to write half of it and then just lose it to time. I have a couple of other ideas kicking around in there somewhere, but we will have to wait and see.

I hope you have all been well.

I am currently on the job hunt and it has never taken me this long to find a job. I have always been very fortunate to obtain jobs very quickly, but now that I am looking to move locations and professions, it might take a bit. I think I am all but done with Insurance, at least in its current form. I would say that I am more done with Arizona than anything else. I have lived here for over a decade and it's time for me to go live somewhere I think is pretty.

Even at 29, I have never moved away from my family and the prospect is intimidating. There was a great tweet from Stephen Colbert this morning, “Scientists now say adolescence lasts until age 25. To which 25-year-olds responded "No it doesn't! GOD! Get out of my room!"

I know I am in Arizona because my family is here and while that is an excellent reason, I know I don't want to live here the rest of my life, so now seems as good a time as any to make take the next step. I know that moving around when I was a kid helped me to understand that it's not a big deal. I think if I hadn't have moved from state to state a couple of times that I would be way too scared to leave. Once you realize that other states and even (to an extent) other countries are largely the same when it comes to your day to day life, moving becomes a much easier prospect. That being said, I have been looking for opportunities in Latin America, but the search has been confounding in some regards and I would need to put an immense amount of research into an international opportunity.

I am not saying that I am back, because that never goes according to plan, but I will say that I know that this exists and I should probably start to respect that.