Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Will work for food... (Wait, don't I already do that:?)

First of all, I had a very ironic loss lately. Well about a year ago, I lost my grandfather to cancer. After he passed and my lizard Lohan died, I decided I wanted a hamster. I went to the pet shop with Jessica and picked out a teddy bear hamster and I named him Alan after my grandpa. About two weeks ago, I changed Alan's bedding and gave fresh food and water and nothing seemed to be wrong with him. About a week later I picked him up out of the aquarium that I kept him in and petted him and noticed something weird. A gigantic growth had appeared on the side of his head. It was about the size of a silver dollar but much thicker. Almost the size of it's own head. I felt really horrible because little Alan looked like a mutant. I took him to the vet that night that was in the neighborhood and he said it was either an infection or abscess or it could be cancer. The only way they would know for sure was to do a test. The test cost $200. If it was cancer, the operation for such a thing would be another $400. This was something I could not afford. There was no guarantee that it wouldn't come back even if we went though all that. So I got the anti-botics and tried them because if it was only an infection then the anti-biotics would work. They gave me a needlel-ess syringe and I had to give it to him twice a day. The doctor gave him a shot and I left the office. I gave him the meds the next day and you could tell he hated it. I shot the syringe in his mouth and put him down and he was twitching like when you have an awful taste in your mouth and can't get it out and your head twitches. The vet said if it was going to work, it would be within a couple of days. That was Monday. By Friday I didn't see any change. It looked worse and the poor thing was so uncomfortable he was biting at it and pushing it which was stretching his eye socket because it was partially attached to his eye. I wasn't going to let him stay like that and I couldn't afford the treatment, so we had to put him down (a term I hate, but the alternatives seem wrong too). So the hamster I named after my grandfather who died of cancer now had to be put down because of cancer. :( Jessica went with me to the vet and I handed him off to the girl that works there. Apparently I'm pretty good with accepting death. It made me cry and I was sad but Jessica seemed to take it harder than me because she felt bad for him.

Things have been shitty all around though. Me and Jessica have been arguing a lot over stupid shit, mostly because of the stress that we hate our employment situations at the moment. As most of you know, I had a really great interview with a company called Madison Performance Group. The people that interviewed me, which would have been my supervisors, were really nice and personable. The job itself didn't seem very difficult. The environment was very casual and the pay range and benefits were good for me. Everything went perfect. And then the assessment test happened. They use an online assessment to gain an insight into prospective employees. Which is fine, but it's flawed because you can't change anything once you've made an answer. I didn't realize this at one point. There was an audio portion which you had to listen to the audio, take notes and answer the question. The screen had a part that flashed "please answer the question after you hear the audio" and there was a next button. I guess I didn't pay attention and clicked next. Well the audio was supposed to play on that page and then you were supposed to hit next. I did that twice. There was also a multi-tasking portion in which you were supposed to answer fake emails on one side and trivia style questions on the other. The system said "you probably won't finish all the questions. With about half the time left, the emails stopped coming and I finished all the questions. I figured, well damn, I was so fast that I must have aced it. But then I got an pop-up that stated that I need to be answering both sides. I'm like, "wtf?". So I just finished up the questions and emailed the guy that was supposed to review and told him about my mistake and the possible glitch I encountered and was told "don't worry, we got everything fine, we'll be in touch in a few days". After not hearing anything for a week I emailed again and was told "You're the lead candidate for the position but we've got to interview some people and we'll be in touch in a few days". Three weeks later, nothing, so I've chalked it up to a fail. The shitty part it was the only position I applied to or interviewed for that I was excited about. The job listings since then have also be crappy and I have less than a month to find a new one. And if that doesn't happen, depression city. I'll have to wait til January before I have to make a decision of accepting a job I really don't want and go back to school.

In the competitive eating world, I took a trip to Michigan to enter a hot dog eating contest. The prize was a value of $1000 package of 4 Detroit Pistons tickets with parking and dinner. Joel felt confident that he could sell the package for a decent price so we made this our second trip. Getting there was cool. It seemed to go easier than the NC trip. Less stressful, more efficient, even though it took the same amount of travel time. We went to the contest at Hillers, who were doing their first event, and then checked into our hotel which was within walking distance. To supplement the prize, they also were donating $1000 to a charity of your choice. Second and third were just donations to the charity of your choice in the Michigan area. Joel chose MS of Michigan because of his girlfriend and I chose Covenant House of Michigan which is a homeless teen/runaway organization. When we got there, there only seemed to be one threat, this stocky bald dude with peppers tattooed on his arm. In the end we were right, but I was sort of defeated by the intangibles. First of all there was no loud speaker (I'll get to this in a second). Second of all, the countdown was flawed. For non-CE people, the countdown process is USUALLY a loud countdown to start and end. There wasn't a dedicated MC who was there to pump up the crowd. Thirdly, my headphones worked against me for the first time. Basically what happened was that instead of a countdown, the guy kinda just went "go" out of nowhere. Everyone seemed confused, so I awkwardly hit play on my headphones and went to work. I had a decent pace and saw that the pepper tattoo guy was separating, so I couldn't get a good count on how much he was eating, but I seemed to be ahead by a few HDB's. Then, I was trying to time things out based on song length on my headphones but I had to guess because I couldn't look at the ticker on the MP3 player. Suddenly, the crowd of supporters was cheering loud and people stopped eating and I had to ask someone "was that the end". My pattern is that I go fast, struggle toward the middle and then try to get down as much as possible in the last minute. Between the lack of a loud notice of the time that was left and my headphones being on, I missed the "one minute left" announcement. At the end , I lost by half a hot dog. That one minute notice, as well as no 3,2,1 countdown at the end is what worked against me because I would have had either that last half a piece or even an extra dog for the win.

There's a few contests coming up soon that I can try and make a few bucks and victories.
For now, I wait for a new job and hope things work out...


  1. I am so sorry about your hampster. That was a little too ironic to. Poor little guy!!

    As far as the job thing, you know I (should say Chad) feels the same pain. He has been out of work since JANUARY.. imagine! That's why I had to take on the second job and work 7 days a we both feel your pain!

    That stinks you lost that contest by that close. I am sure there will be more coming up soon that you can ace...
    Thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way... I know things will look up soon. Every low is followed by a consequent high, and so on... so yours is coming, trust that ;)

  2. U should do another one in Michigan before Sept. *smirks*

  3. Sorry about your grandfather...Alan...and Lohan. Ironic and sad. :(