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Posts Tagged ‘stories’

The story that I am looking forward to telling

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I have been unemployed for almost three months now. (You can read about it here.)  I thought it might be fun to tell the story of my new job before I actually get the job.  So, that is what this blog is going to be.  A little fantasy story for you to enjoy.

The quest for a job is not always a fun one.  When I found out last November that I was going to be unemployed in March, I figured that it wouldn’t be a problem to find a job.  To be honest, the first couple of months, I mostly just worked on my resume and focused on finishing up that semester’s classes in Seminary.  When January rolled around, I started looking harder.  My wife would even jump in and do some searching for me.

I applied for a job at a Christian conference center.  I didn’t get an interview for that position, but when an even better position opened up, I sent my application off once again.  I went through the interview process which included a failed trip to visit the center.  That trip was interrupted by the tsunami warning and our family drove back home in the middle of the night.  In the end, I was disappointed in being the second choice for the position.

So, it was back to finding other positions to apply for.  Along the way there were a few interviews, but nothing ever materialized. It wasn’t until the end of June that I got my big break.  Jen and I had determined that if possible, we would like to be able to live close to where we had been living so that our kids could go to a particular school.  I was applying for all types of different jobs all up and down the I-5 corridor in Washington and Oregon, so I could end up getting an offer that would cause us to move.  We spent much time in prayer about what job I would end up with. (FYI up to this point, the story is true…the fantasy takes over now.)

So I was called in for an interview.  Was I ever excited and nervous.  After not getting call backs from so many different applications, I was excited to finally get to the interview stage again.  I changed things up from my normal interview attire and went with some clothes that would go with my new dress shoes and tie.  I figured that I needed some new mojo going into this interview.  I arrived a few minutes early and found the bathroom so I could check my appearance and make sure I looked okay.

After one initial interview I had commented on facebook “that interview couldn’t have gone any better!”  I didn’t get a second interview, so it must not have gone as well as I thought it did.  But this interview actually couldn’t have gone any better.  The man who would end up being my boss was extremely nice. He had a great understanding of my skills, even though I hadn’t worked in a non-ministry job in over ten years.  But he was willing to take my experience and apply that to this job.  It was so refreshing to have someone appreciate my skills and abilities instead of just throwing my resume into the  recycle bin.

At the end of the interview, he told me that I would hear in a couple of days.  Now, I have heard that before and usually it is one of two things: I don’t ever hear back, or it takes weeks until I hear.  But he was a man of his words and the next day he called and offered the job to me!  Not only is this a job that I believe that I can do well, it is a job that I am going to enjoy. It will challenge me while I will be able to help people.

And my wife is so happy as well.  It pays me enough so that we will are buying a great house with a great yard.  Her dreams of a nice garden and raising some chickens are coming true.  And it is a job that will allow me to be home every evening.

So…this is the story that I am looking forward to telling.  I don’t know when I will get to tell this story or at least something close to this.  Keeping checking back to see when I really do actually get a job.

Categories: About Me, Jobs Tags: , , , , ,

The Autobahn (do I have to say more?)

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Growing up, I had heard about the Autobahn.  The place where fast cars got to go fast.  No speed limit.  For someone who enjoys driving fast, it sounds like a dream world.  When I learned to drive, the speed limit was only 55 mph, and that seemed slow to me (and to Sammy Hagar too!)  But a place where there isn’t a speed limit?  Sounds like somewhere I would like to go.

I got my chance while we lived in France.  Our church was a part of a convention of churches from around Europe.  Each year we would have an annual meeting somewhere.  One year it was outside Venice, Italy.

Me and Jen in Venice

One year the meeting was in Frankfurt.  Our pastor, music pastor, Jen and I drove from Paris to Frankfurt for the meetings.  While we were there, I was invited by a friend of mine to come and visit his youth group in Kaiserslautern.  This was more or less an hour drive.  I drove over by myself, following my friend.  It was raining and he didn’t drive too fast.

But after the youth group, I got to drive back to Frankfurt on my own.  Here was my opportunity.  I get to drive on the autobahn all by myself!  Oh…how excited I was.  I couldn’t wait to get my chance to drive fast!  Now, at this point you might be asking what sweet driving machine I was behind the wheel of.  If I made a list of 100 cars that I would want to drive on the autobahn, the car I was in wouldn’t have even made the list.  It was an Opel Vectra.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Opel, it is a German company that was owned by GM until 2009.  They have been making cars since 1899.  But really, they are not exciting cars.

But this was the car that I had to drive, so I was going to see what it could do.  In the car’s defense, it was a well-built car that had been maintained very well.  So it was a safe car.  But how fast would she go?  I had no idea, but I had a goal in mind.  200 KPH (124.27 MPH for those who don’t want to convert this in their head).  If I could hit 200 kph, I would feel that I had really accomplished something.

What I needed to find a good long stretch of road that would allow my non-super car to get up to this speed.  Add in the challenge of other cars and I was going to have to pick my spot well.  When driving in Germany, you have to watch your mirrors for the faster cars coming up behind you.  If they flash their headlights  at you, you should move over very quickly.  As I was making my assault on 200 kph, I had to get over a few times to let people pass.  This slowed me down a bit, but didn’t deter me at all.

I pushed that little car and I was able to not only hit 200 kph, but go over it slightly.  My heart was thumping so loud and the adrenaline was pumping.  I was loving life.  And, to my amazement, even at 200 kph I had cars passing me!  I didn’t stay driving that fast for long.  I slowed down to 135 KPH…which is the smarter speed to drive.  While it is true that there isn’t a speed limit on the autobahn, what you don’t hear is that many insurance policies don’t cover you if you are driving over 135 KPH.  So if you get in a wreck going over 135 KPH, you are liable for any damages

I would have to say that driving on the autobahn was a blast…when I was going 200 KPH.  When I wasn’t, it really was just like driving on any other freeway…well, except for the fact that all of the signs are in German and I never did figure out where the heck Ausfahrt was.

“My” Chevelle and the Impala.

June 10, 2011 2 comments

1974 Chevelle. Ours was burgundy with a black top, but still had the sweet rally sport wheels.

Ah…my Chevelle.  Now, I say that it is mine, but it was supposed to be a family car.  But as far as I was concerned, when I turned 16, it was mine.  I went to a small Christian school, and so our parking lot wasn’t real big.  So, I quickly claimed “my spot” right across from my two friends’ spots.  I loved this car and would wash it and dream of ways to fix it up to make it better.

I do have to tell you that I did everything in my power to keep my older sister from driving it (sorry, sis!).  One of my best tricks was whenever I knew she was going to drive it, I would run out to “my” car and disconnect the main wire on the distributor cap.  This would keep the car from starting.  It would sound like it should start, but it never would.  She would get mad and take our 1975 Impala and I would then get to take the Chevelle.  This worked well until my father, who was a mechanic, figured out what I was doing.  Then I would be in big trouble if I tried that.

Now, the Impala looked horrible.  I actually got into my first accident in the Impala.  It wasn’t my fault, and didn’t do much serious damage, but it did make the ugly brown car even uglier with dents all along one side.  The top had the vinyl covering that was a faded off-white and was flaking off.  This didn’t help the look of the car either.  But, this car could fly.  I could burn out (spinning the tires) with just a little power braking, (sorry Dad, I used up your tires)  and this was always a hit with my friends.

1975 Impala…Our was ugly brown and didn’t look this nice.

The Impala was easily the faster car between it and the Chevelle, even though they had the same size engine.  (I attribute this to the transmission in the Impala that was geared better.)  So, my choice of cars to drive depended on what I wanted to do, look cool (Chevelle) or go fast (Impala).  When I did drive the Impala, I would usually amaze people with how fast this big old boat really was.

Since I loved driving fast, my parents would let me go to the local drag racing strip and race there on some Friday nights in the summer.  Now, my dilemma was…do I want to look cool or go fast.  Well, since it was racing, I went with the Impala.  I took a bit of a hit driving that ugly boat with all of the other cool cars there, but in the end, it was so worth it.

Now picture the other drivers, that come with their very cool looking Novas, Camaros, Mustangs, and other sweet looking muscle cars.  And I roll up in my poop brown, dented up Impala.  I know that I heard some snickers and saw some people point.  But, like I said, that car was fast.  After I ended up beating them in a race, they weren’t laughing anymore!  I even made it to the semifinals one time, but I lost because I went too fast!

It was also fun, because many of the guys that my dad worked with had really awesome drag racing cars, and they were all there.  So I was able to hang around with them and their cool cars.  That helped a bunch.  Plus they would give me good pointers on how to race faster.  My parents would come out and watch me race.  I know that my mom didn’t really like the racing all that much, but I knew that she was up in the stands yelling as loud as she could for me to win.

Eventually, after I graduated from college, my dad sold both the Impala (someone bought it to take the engine and put it in another car for racing!) and the Chevelle.  I was sorry that these two cars had to go away.  Not as sorry as when my dad “sold” our Chevy Biscayne, but that is another story for another day.

Can I parallel park? Bien sur!

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment

One of the most interesting things about driving in Paris is the parking.  It is hard to find places to park on the street.  You can usually find a parking garage, (“un parking” in French) but what fun is it to pay a bunch to park?  No, the challenge was to circle the block for an open spot. It is cheaper (or free) and you get to hone your parallel parking skills.

Now, here in the good old US of A, many spots are marked out for you.  Whether you have a big car or a small one, you get the same size spot.  Not so in Paris.  If you can fit your car in the spot, you can park there (one of the reasons that Smart cars are so popular…you can park them anywhere).  So, your parallel parking skills are really put to the test.  But on the flip side,  you can be aggressive in your parking.  What?  That doesn’t make sense!   Oh yes it does.  You can totally bump into the cars in front and in back of you.  So the spot only needs to be a few inches bigger than your car in order to fit into it. 

One time I had to take a friend to pay a bill at a hospital.  I saw a spot and told him I would wait for him there.  This was going to be tight, but I managed to park in a tiny spot, on a hill no less.  While I was sitting there playing games on my lame cell phone, I felt the whole car rocking and shaking.  I looked around to see what hit me when I realized that it was just a car parking behind me.  It felt like bumper cars, but that is just how they park!

Most Friday nights, my wife and I would drive in from the suburbs to our pastor’s apartment a few blocks from Trocadero for a Bible study.  This is when the fun would begin.  We drove two different station wagons while we were in France, first an Opel Brake and then a Volvo V40.  Both of them were small by American standards, but in Paris, they felt like trying to park a Humvee!   Our plan was to circle the block (or about four of them) and find a spot to park.  Then the fun ensued!

I would determine that our car would fit into the spot, then I would begin my 15 point parking process.  Now, if you have plenty of room, you can parallel park with a three point process (which would have been nice to be able to do on my driving test, but that is a completely different story).  But when you are trying to get in a spot with much less than a foot on either side, you can’t do it in a few moves.  In order to maximize every inch, it is acceptable to touch the bumpers on the cars on either side.  This allows you to get into much smaller spaces than you could ever imagine.  It is a fun challenge!

I came back with the ability to parallel park like a pro.  But, often I lament to Jen that I really miss my bumper car parallel parking.  But I try to be good and not touch anyone’s bumper.  Look at me, not being aggressive.  (If you haven’t read my blog about driving in Paris, check it out here.)

It is possible to be too aggressive.  Here is not how you park in Paris (at the end, listen to the people who are watching yell at the guy).

Who am I?

May 29, 2011 1 comment

PabcoHello and welcome to my blog.

Here is a little introduction to who I am, starting with my family.  I have a wonderful wife (Jen), a five year old daughter who was born in Paris (Princess), a three year old daughter (who loves to eat, go barefoot, and is cute…Hobbit), and my year and half old son (Little Man).  We currently live in Tacoma, Wash. where I am looking for a job.

A little background from me. My name is Paul and I was raised in what I refer to as God’s country, Spokane, Wash.  I went to the same small school from first grade through high school. I then went to college at Multnomah School of the Bible in Portland, Ore.  (which then changed to Multnomah Bible College and now is Multnomah University).  After working for the school for a couple years after graduating, I started my first ministry job which only lasted for 5 months (more on that later).  I ended up in Spokane until 2000 when I moved to Olympia, Wash.  It was there that I met Jen and after getting married, we eventually moved to Paris for three years (yes, that Paris in France).  We moved to Tacoma in 2006 and have been here since.

I love my family, God, the Mariners, the Seahawks, and telling stories.  Since I worked with youth since I graduated high school, I had many opportunities to create some great stories and to share great stories.  One of the things which I hope to do through this blog is share some of my experiences and small adventures.