Mandaris Moore

I'm not a fan of automotive repair. My first memorys of doing it was me attempting to help my dad work on something on the car. He'd be under there sweating and grunting as he changed the oil and then ask me to go and fetch something from his usually disorganized1 workbench. Unfortunately, it seemed like no matter how quick I was it wasn't quick enough or the part was exactly what he wanted. I understand that it could be frustrating to wait underneath a car in the middle of the summer, but you'd think you'd be a little more prepared (i.e. have the tools ready) for a job that you've done every month.

Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful that my dad wanted make sure that I had some of the basic man skills, because there have been more than a couple times that I've had to change a tire, jump start a car or countless other little things that have popped up over the years. The only drawback is that working on cars with my dad has really left a bad impression on me.

I don't like it.

I cringe when it comes down to the maintenance of it all. I'm willfully and woefully ignorant with it comes to anything beyond the basic maintance. I cry a little bit inside everytime that I have to bring my car into a maintenance shop. When I'm with my other no-car people friends, we complain that there aren't any honest mechanics out there that we can trust.

I mean, I've run into a few who are honest, but they tend to either lose there job (drinking, divorce) or no longer able to work on it (it's complicated). It's shortly after those times that I wish I had taken a class or two on automotive repair. Not only to stop myself from getting ripped off, but to show my dad that I could do it.

But maybe that's a different issue all together.

  1. My dad had a workbench in the garage that he constantly was adding and re-arranging tools on. It was one of those "I know exactly where everything is and if you couldn't find it, someone else must have moved it". After a while, we all learned that this wasn't always the case. 

I don't really know why I find relationships to be difficult sometimes. I think it is because of the way that I see the world. When I was younger, it felt like I was an outsider looking in. I could almost see the connections between people as threads and see how what one person could effect another. I remember feeling alone in this because none of the connections to me seemed to be that strong. I made a conscience decision to focus more on being in the world instead of just looking at it...

I know that I've made some really good connections with other people, but I don't know if I ever forgot the feeling and viewpoint of looking at the world in that way. There is a part of me that looks at the way people treat each other and says, "No matter what I say, that person is going to treat that other person like shit". But maybe that's all part of growing up; seeing that we can't change everybody and that being able to recognize that people must make their own decisions.

Now that I have a wife and kids, I find myself dreading going back to that outlook with them. Sometimes, I feel that I'm only watching them as opposed to living with them. I've been making more time for those I love to tell them that I love them and that I'm proud of them.

Because, they are the most prized connections that I have.

Today is the second day that I've been without a job.

Although it's due to the end of the contract, I still feel kind of lost. That was my first contract, and it's weird to look back and think that even though I knew it was going to end... it still ended.

Honestly, if you had asked me last week whether or not I was feeling confident about what my next step was going to be, I'd tell you that I'm walking forward to the next phase in my career, but --thanks to a lot of little doubts placed by those closest to me-- I no longer feel so warm and fuzzy inside. I constantly hear "It's hard out there", "What's your plan?" and even the contractor who is replacing me was out of work for a year before he found something1. Which has caused me to stay up tonight to write this down, get it out of my system and onto my filesystem.

The fear

The fear is that I won't find some kind of employment soon. In my mind, I have constant questions floating around.

What if I could never find someone to hire me again?
What would I do to make income?

The parent in me jumps up and screams "I'd do anything to make sure that my family is happy and well taken care of", but I can't feed a family on good intentions and I'm not the kind of person to go out and rob others. Although, I have started looking around the house for things that we can sell.

The Plan

The plan or desire at this point, is to take the next couple of days thinking about what I really would like to do if I wanted to run my own business. In case, I don't get a phone call on Monday-Tuesday, what would I like to do to bring in the money. I'm not going to fool myself that I'm going to make something over night, but I'd certainly like to spend more time on making something other than comments on other people's blog.

Ultimately, I want to move from wantabe to somebody in a lot of areas in my life.

  1. At first, I thought the idea of being a contractor was awesome. Employers like to think of you as kind of a hired gun; you come in do the job and leave. After doing it a year and talking to the other contractors and some of the people who used to be contractors, I now think of it as being a prostitute with the old joke that you don't pay a prostitute for sex, you pay them to leave. A lot of people seem ok with the idea that we are hired with the idea of being replaced and with the economy and globalization being what it is, I can't find too much fault with companies doing that. 

I'm not going to lie. I'm nervous. Today, I had an interview and it was really very difficult for me to express myself in the most positive light. The guy kept asking me questions about where I stood as far as the support structure at my last place of employment.

It really brought all those old feeling all over again.

What did I do wrong?
Why did this happen to me?
Where am I going? Who am I now that I can't provide for my family?

Despite all that I tried to find the best answers for the problems and finally I said that if they truly wanted to know how I was as a worker they can contact some of my references.

My wife says that was a good answer and I honestly believe her because the guy stopped asking questions after that and we moved on.

Last Days

Today was also the beginning of the last week working at Intel and -to tell the truth- the last month has been really difficult for me. In addition to the stress and worry of finding another source of employment, I've had to spend all of this month training the person who will be replacing me. Honestly, I've been trying to get him up and running but he's been running into a number of problems related to permissions and other little gotchas along the way.

I wish him the best and I see a lot of new and exciting opportunities for him going forward.

Today, I got a phone call for a job interview on Thursday.


It's certainly better to have something going for me in that regard, I've been having trouble focusing on what my next step in life is going to be and was in danger of just freezing up. I feel that even if I don't get a job the fact that I'm going to have an interview makes me feel confident to go out and put my résumé in all kinds of places that I didn't think to put them before.

Going back to the point about a finding a new job, the position actually sounds like my old position at Unify and I'm hoping to do it again in a company that isn't going to treat me and the customers like resources that should be exploited until they are squeezed to death. I think the one thing that I look forward to this that I would be helping people with their problems which something that I truly enjoy. One thing that I want to look at is learning more of the back end when it comes to these kinds of systems. The last time, I relied on development to work out the details on connecting the front end to the different databases, which was the wrong decision.

Working out

One thing that I've been thinking about for the last couple of days is how I'd start working out. Currently, most of my time is spent working or driving my daughters to various activities. But life is better when I work out, I wonder if I should just wake up earlier.

Today, I'm thinking about doing my push up challenge again. The push up challenge has been something that I've done many times over the last three years to start off a work out routine and I've always liked the quick results it gives me.

We took the girls to see the Disney on Ice show today and it was equally enjoyable to see the show and to have the girls watch it. They both were on the edge of their seats as they watched the Toy Story 3 characters run around and try to save the day. I wonder when my children will understand some of the bigger plot lines from the movie, because it's kind of deep.

Also, the prices for things at those things are crazy. I understand that as parents, we all want to give our children the best but don't think the best things in life are $12 stale pop corn and 15 dollar iceess that come in mugs with buzz lightyears face. What kind of leasson are we teaching out children when we spend 20 dollars on something that has a value sooo much less than that?

On the job front

Still no calls, and it looks like I'm going to have a harsh road ahead. I feel that this is partially my fault for trusting that I'd have something at the end of all this. I worked hard, but in the end it leads to nothing because I'm worried about what will happen next week. I know a lot of people worry like I do, but it doesn't make it better.

Not in the slightest...

A couple of weeks ago, I challenged myself to write 250 words every day and although some days were harder than others, I found myself enjoying it and going over the required minimum. I really enjoyed making the transition for having a ton of words running around my head to having them placed into something that I can review and format1. For most of my life, I've been a little bit of a perfectionist and sometimes the words that I want to say don't quite measure up to the standards I'd like. This whole thing, although only weeks old has been rewarding as a way to become better at writing and allowing me to get past my own hang ups on writing.

Unfortunately, I got sick about a week ago and had to take a little bit of break in order to focus on not throwing up followed shortly by a scramble to look for another job because my contract at Intel is going to expire soon.

But, the writing bug has bit me and I don't want to deny it any longer. I enjoy journaling because it allows me to get my thoughts together and think about what my plans are going to be moving forward. I hope that who ever reads this in the future and learn something.

  1. That isn't to say I didn't stress out about the best way to store all these snippets that I've built up, but it was nice to put most of that aside and just work on my thoughts and getting things out of my head. 

I'm feeling sick. All I want to do is go to sleep.

Today was another great day for dancing. I went to the lindy hop lesson again and I think I did pretty good on most of the drills except for the lindy circle and I rediscovered that I have a small issue where I pull a follow out of their anchor step. It's weird to be reminded that there is a little "and" before you start dancing. I met a couple good people during the dance and it was great meeting people who dance for the sheer enjoyment of it versus trying to meet people.

I think I've matured quite a bit because I didn't get stuck in my own head and compare myself against every other dancer including what I imagined what I was able to do during my "glory days". I just took it as a chance to have fun and work on my basic1.

The eyes have it

My daughter has a bug bite on her eye and it's swollen up pretty bad. Today, after I picked her up, she told me about how all the kids were asking about it. I don't know exactly how she felt, so I tried to let her know that she'll be alright and that the other kids just wanted to make sure that she was alright. Luckily, the eye is getting better.

  1. I honestly feel that a follow would rather have a great experience doing basic moves then a lousy one with lots of moves that drive her crazy. That isn't to say a follower won't enjoy a good turn or two. 

Today, I stayed home with my oldest. She had woken up with a very pink and very swollen right eye. We didn't know if it was pink eye or something else so we had her stay home and then we took her to the doctor later in the morning. It was pretty nice spending time with her during the day because although the eye looked pretty bad, it didn't really hurt her too much.

She seemed to really enjoy the day that we had together and I even thought about taking her to work tomorrow if her eye doesn't get better. I think it would be nice for her to see where daddy works.

Playing Hooky

Despite the fact that I'm not in the office, work still comes in. Normally, this isn't a problem because I would connect to all of my necessary machines remotely ad do the work without having to deal with lag. Things have changed because I've since given away those machines to the guy I'm training to replace me. File transfers are horrible and the performance of the machine is terribly slow when I'm attempting to make a video, run a test or just check my email.

Star Wars

For the last week or so, I've been trying to get the girls to sit down and watch Star Wars with me. Apparently, they do not have the patience to learn about a galaxy far, far away... They ask to watch it, but 30 minutes into it they fall asleep or go off and play.