Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Interesting Times

There's a saying I've heard, and I've heard it called an ancient Chinese curse, and as something to say to somebody to be nice. It's "May you live in interesting times". Right now I feel I'm living in those interesting times, and it's a combination of both ways of looking at that statement.

First, the date. For everything that went on beforehand, this went very, very well. In the morning I had the run-in with the waffle-iron-laptop. The day went pretty well, but then it was time to get home and get ready. Of course I showered, but the real fun didn't begin until I shaved. Men will agree that the risk of cutting yourself shaving is directly proportional to how much you want to impress somebody. However, I really outdid myself this time. Somehow, and I cannot for the life of me explain how, I managed to cut my nose on the left side (the front of my nostril, if you must know) while shaving.

Ok, I'll wait. Finish laughing, get up off the floor - I'll be here waiting.... now breathe....

Medically speaking, it is very interesting just how much a nose can bleed, and just how difficult it is to get it to stop. I tried direct pressure, a little piece of tissue paper, a styptic pencil and a sacrifice to the God of Nosebleeds. Nothing worked. It got to the point where I was seriously considering heating something up and cauterizing it. That's pretty desperate. The only thing that actually stopped it finally was some of that super-glue spray on bandage. I retained enough presence of mind to spray it on my finger and then apply it instead of spraying it up towards the wound, where I would have inevitably glued my eye shut.

The problem was that now a tiny cut looked like some kind of serious injury. I decided to clean it up and reapply the spray on bandage. Alcohol removes this kind of bandage, but I didn't have any, so I drove to CVS. I brought a myriad of first-aid material with me to aid in the cause.

My fears were confirmed as I approached the register with the alcohol swabs. The girl behind the counter looked at me and said (with a fair amount of concern in her voice) "Did you know your nose is bleeding?"

It took about 10 minutes in the car, but I managed to clean up and completely stop the bleeding. This was a big relief as you can well imagine. We met and we had a great time. Her pictures do not do her justice, and she is just as smart as she seemed on the phone. At one point as we walked, without even thinking about it I held out my arm and she took it. Later on we actually ended up holding hands. Eventually it was time to go home - I told her that I was not going to kiss her goodnight because I wanted her to feel comfortable. She had just met me, after all. I guess that was the right thing to do - I've heard since then that one of her friends thought that was a wonderful gesture.

I was supposed to have lunch with her yesterday, but the events I'll narrate later will explain why we didn't. So today I brought her lunch. It was going to be a surprise, but she figured it out on very few clues - she's definitely smart. Lunch was a lot of fun. She admitted something that made me laugh because I was doing the same thing - having trouble speaking. I find myself mispronouncing words when I'm on the phone with her and when we've talked in person. You sit there and wonder if the other person thinks you're an idiot when this happens, and both of us were apparently doing it. As we started back to where she works, I got the kiss I let get away the Friday night before. It was short, but very nice.

So, on to the Chinese curse side of the saying. Yesterday morning I got a voicemail message my manager had left the night before telling me that we were scheduled to ride together. I didn't have it on my calendar - I thought I remembered him cancelling this day a couple of weeks back. I called him and told him where we could meet and we had a decent day working together. Late in the day, however, we had long talk. It appears that my position is not as secure as I would have thought. I won't go into the details, but for business reasons (having nothing to do with my divorce etc) my position might be eliminated. It was not good news to be getting, of course, but I've got to give credit to my manager and the company. The last time a restructuring cost me a job I was given less than 12 hours notice - that one was tough, it was the first time in my life I had ever lost a job for any reason. My manager told me some things he admired about me which is something that you don't always expect from your manager. I think that would be the worst part of it all - he's a great manager and I like working for him.

In my industry, unfortunately, layoffs, restructurings, reorganizations etc are not all that uncommon. It is one of the things I dislike about my career the most. I was thinking about this on the way home and how I could go about changing careers to something more stable. I was deep in thought when my sister-in-law called me to say hello. She asked me how different things were going, and when she got to my job I just said it was going fine - no need to worry her and my brother over something that might not even happen. However, she had called for a reason. She had been thinking and started telling me she thought I should get out of my industry because she thought I worked too hard at it and it was nowhere near stable enough. She has a lot of experience with colleges, having been the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at a major university, so she is an excellent source of information. She told me I should get a job at a university and go to school at night, as most schools offer courses free to employees.

This appeals to me because since my son came into my life I've worried about the stability in my industry. Of course, I'd have to figure out what I wanted to get a masters degree in, and what I'd do with it, not to mention actually finding a job at a university.

So, some really good stuff, some not so good stuff. At the very least I'll have some great stuff to write about.