Well.. I’m coming up on 8 months since my unemployment journey started, or as I like to call it… My unplanned beach vacation. I was so certain that I would be offered a job right away, you know.. at least within a week or two, right?!? After all, radio has been good to me. 25+ years of number 1 ratings, consulting, TV commercials, creative awards, serving on boards & panels, coaching top talent in the country….. and still nothing. When I look back over the 8 months.. it’s easy to get discouraged, so I try to focus as much as possible on the positive things that have come out of this so far… cuz it doesn’t look like there will be a quick end in sight. I stopped counting the number of resumes that have been sent out at 70 something, emails to inquire about jobs and phone calls made. It still feels as if I have moved into a foreign country with no cell service. You know when you go on vacation without any emails or calls.. then you get back within range of your service and your mailbox fills up with messages and phone calls missed…. I must still be on vacation, with no service… and returned phone calls.. really weird.

This week I also took a brief moment to recount the number interviews that were “ready” to make some changes that would include me… There was the GM job, the PD jobs (several of these, mainly out of market), OM jobs, the agency job, the corporate job, the on air jobs….. wow.. nothing materializing from any of them. What a funny place to be.. I have to laugh. Getting depressed just wastes time and creates more frustration.

I am thankful that Lelani’s company is doing well, the PCTV morning host job happened (even though it basically pays gas) and that we’re all healthy and have a place to live. Oh and the house in Houston should be closing soon… cross your fingers.

The funny thing is, that everybody still says things like “oh with your experience you’ll get something soon and it will be good..” guess we’ll see. I find myself looking at jobs lately that I wouldn’t mind doing. Like working at Wheeler Farm, fixing trails, Wal-Mart stock boy… yes it’s getting to that point. Hell I’d even consider applying for a McDonald’s manager again (I’ve done that two or three times in my life).

One of my more interesting job possibilities has been one cancellation after another.. it’s actually become an inside joke (that’s not real funny) between his assistant and me. Every time an appointment is set I ask about a “plan B” and she laughs.. reassuring me that “this time” it won’t get cancelled or rescheduled.. and of course it does. Don’t get me wrong, at least he keeps putting me on his schedule.. it just starts to send the message that I’m clearly not a priority, or he’s seriously disorganized.. or both. Which forces the question, is this the environment I want to be in if this finally happens for me? At least I know what to expect… now we’re down to trying to catch up over the phone and email… am I missing something here. Why do I feel like a “break up” is coming?!?!?

Last week I also learned that my knee pain was nothing more than tendonitis (runners knee). So I have to wear one of those bands just below my knee when I run… does the trick. So I’m continuing my running this week. The Doctor was funny, when I got the x-rays done on my knees, he stood back and said “wow, those are nice knees.. you look great for your age” WTF??!! “Excuse me?” he said, “usually people don’t come to see me unless they have totally trashed their knees.. for your age and activity.. yours look great”.. Okay, that’s better. That’s doc..

Vegas Baby

This week Lelani had a convention in Vegas with the ALC.. it’s a language conference. I joined her for the weekend. It’s so nice to spend time together.. away…. yes, from everything. We used to do that more. Need to keep that in our plans no matter what.

Her friends are cool people. I was introduced around the table as Lelani’s elusive husband. I guess she’s been bragging about me over the years, so I had a lot to live up to. All these people are smart too, so I played it cool and didn’t try to out smart-talk them… yeah, like I could.. anyone that knows me, realizes real soon that I am in fact mildly retarded.. it’s obvious.

We had a couple of life changing experiences while in Vegas… and it had nothing to do with buffets. But.. one DID include and In-n-out Burger.. double-double animal style….

First In-n-Out burger in years.. fell off the wagon..

This was the first In-n-Out burger in years.. Even though they’re in Utah now, I just can’t go there. It just doesn’t feel special anymore.. and after eating my burger, hate to say.. it didn’t taste as good as I remember either… Hmmmmm.. life changing..

Another thing that seriously affected us deeply was a man drowning in the Bellagio fountain pond. It was really weird, we walked up to the fence to watch the show that was about to start and noticed that the people were watching something in the water below us.. I looked over the side and saw a foot floating in the water. We pushed closer to the edge and saw a couple of guys down in the bushes lifting a limp body out of the water. As he was hoisted over the ledge and placed on the sidewalk, foam was coming out of his mouth and nose. Everything seemed to go into slow motion, Lelani turned her back so as not to see the lifeless body before us. The EMT’s arrived all at about the same time and started working on him. The crowd took a couple of steps back to give them room to start the suction and defibrillator. One of the girls standing next to us said they all” thought he was just messing around and jumped in, then he just went under and didn’t come back up.” She thought he was one of the homeless guys that lived in the area. By the looks of his feet and weathered face, he was probably one of the many “invisible” masses that live on the streets. The EMT’s were moving slow and the security from the hotel showed up and started yelling for everyone to move on…. as we left, shaken and sad.. we noticed that the rescue guys finally started CPR.. this was a bad sign. We noticed as we walked away, the pile of clothes that the drowning victim left on the sidewalk before he jumped. Beat up shoes, torn/dirty shirt and an old discarded tourist looking cowboy hat. Sad.. everybody was saying it must have been a suicide.. I was maddened by the number of people that pulled out their phones and cameras to take pictures of the dying man.. why? Morbid curiosity is a strange thing.. and disrespectful.

Water show right after the drowning.. the man jumped in right by the bushes in this photo

This event of course created a lot of deep conversation for the rest afternoon..  Life has a way of continuing to put this right back into perspective. This was also the day and approximate time that the end of the world had been predicted.. regardless of his state of mind, the end of a life is a sad thing..

The next day we went for a hike in Red Rock canyon just a few miles North East of Vegas…

Red Rock Canyon

There were so many cool things to see.. the desert was in bloom, we saw petroglyphs, sandstone and pine trees.. so pretty.

Blooming cactus

I think this is where we picked up our other life changing experience… Lelani had asked about ticks and how it worried her that we might pick some up….

Well.. as we drove away from the canyon, she said “hey look at this, is this a spider?” “Holy shit no, it’s a tick” as it crawled up her arm.. she didn’t panic but calmly get a piece of paper and tried to squish it. I laughed and said, “you can’t squish a tick, they’re really strong”.. so she tried even harder to kill it. A few miles down the road i asked her if she had killed the tick, so she opened the paper to see her dirty work… and…. no tick!! It had escaped. Uh oh.. As we pulled into a casino for lunch, I saw a tick on the dash crawling right for me. I thought, maybe I just need to show her how it’s done and smash this arachnid with my thumb… right.. no good. I pulled over, grabbed a piece of paper and threw him out of the car and onto the ground… he crawled away no harm done.

Needless to say, the rest of the day was filled with laughing and random scratching.. we both went into a bathroom and did our best at “self-exam” searches for more rouge critters.. didn’t find any. Phew!!

It’s still raining here in Utah.. floods to follow, and Spring/Summer just around the corner. This “beach” sitting has been interesting……..  kind of!

Need more sunscreen…