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This year has been yet another busy one for the Boyers (is there any other speed of life than “busy” for the Boyers? Not yet at least!)
Connie is still working for Cambia Health Solutions and learning more about health care reform than she ever thought. She’s been active with IAAP, her professional association, doing training events around the Puget Sound area. Connie led a successful auction for the church this fall with the help of many volunteers. She’s now on the board of the Seattle Baptist Union (that’ll teach her for speaking out at a business meeting!!) Finally, Connie’s been working more consistently on her writing and hopes to finish her first short novel very soon.
Colleen has had a year of working—primarily as the Arc Room day-care teacher at Fairview Christian daycare. She also spent several weeks this summer as a camp counselor at Burton Camp on Vashon Island. Colleen is also baking up a storm creating gourmet cupcakes for friends and family. Colleen’s looking forward to going back to college this spring.
Sean’s year has been focused on the IB program at Edmonds-Woodway High School. In addition to hours of homework, he’s created a community of game players on Xbox Live who get together most Friday nights—virtually! Sean’s in the midst of college applications now, and looking forward to attending college away from home next year.
Kit has been working in the movie biz this past year in LA. If you want to see some of his credits, check out his IMDB.com profile. This past fall he directed a 1-act play by Olivia Peterson in the Too Dark for LA festival This winter he’ll be working for the E Network! (as far as we know just now)
As for Chris, in addition to his regular pastoral activities at Good Shepherd Baptist Church he has: worked as coordinator for the Seattle meeting of the national New Baptist Covenant in January, continued all year to serve as Ministry Associate for Fund Development for the Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches, been elected President of the Church Council of Greater Seattle and, just within the last few weeks, been selected and sworn in to fill an unexpired term on the Lynnwood City Council. A lot of people think he’s crazy but Connie is tolerant of his insanity.
We wish you all a wonderful and blessed Christmas!
Chris, Connie, Kit, Colleen and Sean
Well, we’ve not blogged in almost a year. Job hunting was too stressful to blog about (though I’ve got a job now!) and the fall and winter have zoomed past into an early spring.
Kit’s in his last semester of his film program, and the college has been hard-hit by the Washington State funding cuts to colleges. So he and his classmates are looking for some money to finish their final projects. Kit writes:
“If you weren’t already aware I am in my second (and final for this program) year of film school. This year my class is attempting to make 5 short films over the next 6 weeks. The program has had it’s budget reduced and it also usually only make 3 shorts per year, so we are very short on funds. The class of 18 students needs to raise $2000 to pay for things that the school can’t and won’t pay for, things like lodging, food, and transportation. If you are good at math you can see that is $111.11 per student and I’m asking that you help me raise my portion. Any little bit helps and it’s really needed, the project I’m directing needs to house, feed, and transport our crew and actors for 3 days in a little town outside of Seattle. I also have roles on each of the other four projects and due to this I will not be able to work my jobs during the shooting schedule, so anything over my $111.11 will go to keeping me under a roof. I know it’s crass and out of nowhere, but this is alas how student films get made. You will be providing me with the best possible filmmaking experience with each and every dollar you give so please help in anyway you can. ”
The secure PayPal link below will take you directly to Kit’s personal donation site.
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I’ve been re-designing the website for the church while I’ve been out of work. I’ve learned a lot about how powerful WordPress is, and just how much I don’t know about it too!
But *I* think the church site looks a lot more professional and “web 2.0″ that it did. Take a look at www.gsbchurch.com and give me feedback, or links to other church sites you like so I can borrow their design coolness .
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Well, yes it broke a record today here in the Seattle area–it was 102 F! Sheesh, we moved out of the Midwest and South to get away from all this heat! Most of you who are in the Midwest or south are likely thinking, “so what? crank up the AC!” Friends, I hate to tell you but most people here don’t have AC. Most small shops (like my fave coffee shop, Cafe Ladro) don’t have AC either. So we open the windows, turn on the fans, wear as little clothing as possible, drinks tons of water (yes, Mom, I got everyone to use just one glass today!), and move as little as possible.
I did have to trek out to the mall to Sears. Our 17 year old washing machine finally bit the dust, so I purchased a new one. It will be delivered tomorrow afternoon, which is not one moment too soon since the whole house smells of sweaty-people-clothes. I had Kit string up a clothes line in the backyard so I can hang out washed clothes to save at least a little bit of heating up the house.
In other family news, Kit has moved back in with the rest of the Boyer clan. He’d lost his job not too long after I lost my job, and though he’s now gainfully employed, he lost his room in his rooming house and is bunking with us for a while until he can get back on his feet. In two weeks he’ll be going off on his intership for his Film AAS program, crewing on “Perfect 10″.
Sean is doing daily workouts for freshman football and will be going to Jazz Band camp next week. Colleen is working about 15-20 hours a week at Cold Stone Creamery and going to online summer school (which she moans and groans about, but she’s working at every day and getting good grades). Chris continues his crazy schedule of pastoring, being on boards, writing grants, etc. I’m still pounding the virtual pavement for a new position–but I’ve got some good leads, and am thrilled to be getting calls from recruiters who have remembered my name and skills from previous interviews.
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Last Wednesday was our 26th Wedding Anniversary and Chris and I went out for a celebration. After our great experience at Sel Gris in Portland (see my blog entry here), we wanted to try someplace new here in Seattle (or at least new to us). I made a list of restaurants that I’d heard or read of, or which Chris and I had discussed in the past four years, and Chris made the final choice, which was a delightful trip to Perche No?
Perche No has become a north Seattle institution, first located in Queen Anne and now in Green Lake. The building looks like it might be a chain from the outside with the orange and white plaster and stone crenallated facade. But open the menu and you know you are going to have some seriously good food. After perusing the menu for what seemed like forever, we realized we simply couldn’t decide what to order, we chose the Chef’s special dinner, and let Chef-owner David Kong choose what we were to eat. I’m not going to detail every course, but I will say that the Ravioli Pomodori con Portobello e Burro Salvia e Olio di Tartufi was melt in the mouth and that the Copper River Salmon was some of the best we’ve had.
The day we went to Perche No was a beautiful, unseasonably warm night and we practically got the restaurant to ourselves. We met and chatted with both David and Lily Kong, and our waiter took the time to share his delight in food and wine as we went through each course.
A wonderful evening at a lovely restaurant. We won’t be able to splurge on a Chef’s dinner for at least another year, but we will definitely be going back for a plate of pasta or to try out the summer lunches.
Hey, peeps. Chris here. Connie’s mom registered concern yesterday that we haven’t been posting. I’ll let Connie tell her own story, but I’ve been flat out too busy.
In April, Good Shepherd Baptist Church, where I am pastor, saw the long-awaited groundbreaking for our affordable senior housing project (which is to say, affordable housing for seniors who are trying to make it on very low incomes, not that the seniors are affordable — that would be wrong on SO many levels). This has meant a pretty steady level of involvement for me as the construction impacts the operations of the church — where do we park, when are utilities turned off at the church building to allow for new connections for the apartments, how is church landscaping affected, etc., etc., ad infinitum… (If you want to follow the progress of the building, check out the church website at www.gsbchurch.com and look at our Flickr photograph site chronicling the daily progress at http://www.flickr.com/photos/29369362@N04/sets/) Add this to an unusually high number of special services (memorials, celebrations, etc.) and a growth in requests for pastoral counseling as well as the normal “Sunday comes every week” stresses and I’m spending WAAAY more than my contracted 30 hrs/wk at GSBC.
I’m also still working part-time for Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches (although my efforts for them have been woefully inadequate of late) and have volunteer duties with a variety of organizations, most notably the Church Council of Greater Seattle, where I am planning chair and on the finance committee. CCGS has been in crisis mode for the last several months due to a combination of economic stressors and a need to put the organization back on course after the departure of an autocratic and misguided Exec. I find myself being called on more and more as part of the new Exec’s “kitchen cabinet” at the very time when I am trying to scale back my volunteer assignments (I’ve resigned from three boards/committees/commissions in the last few months and turned down requests to serve on one national board and in leadership for three local boards and a couple of other memberships).
And, it’s busy at home. Even with Connie out of work, I still need to do my part in ferrying kids — Colleen has a new job, she’s still singing for Seattle Children’s Chorus, Sean is playing baseball (HOURS at various ballfields around the county) and taking drum lessons in addition to his middle school band and jazz choir. So by the time I’ve kept up with church and committee writing assignments, it doesn’t seem appealing to spend my few hours at home writing. (And, yes, thank you, I will have a little cheese with that whine…)
I still like the idea of the blog, though. Once things calm down a bit (if, God help me, they ever do), I have every intention of coming back to this forum on a more regular basis. So, keep those e-mails and comments coming, folks! Encourage me and I will write!
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I’ve job searched many times before–in brand new cities, and after being out of the workforce for a while. But job searching when each and every day I see yet another new statistic in the paper or online about how many people are out of jobs, is something else altogether.
What it is exactly, I’m not quite sure. But it’s thrilling–full of discovery of companies, people and positions I’d not heard nor though of. It’s nerve-wracking–like being the new kid in school and trying to figure out what’s cool and in at this new place. Like determining, from just a brief conversation with a recruiter, just what is business casual for this company? Really casual, like flipflops or actually business dress with no ties? What should I wear? Will I have a good hair day? Find parking? Find the business itself? Not get drenched in a sudden downpour? First impressions are made quickly, depend on things I can’t even begin to control, and generally can’t be taken back.
Then there’s the waiting. Wait, wait, wait. Waiting to see if that person I met a while back can actually get the recruiter to read my resume. Waiting to hear if the conversation with the recruiter went well enough to get me to the next round of interviews. Waiting to see if the hiring manager can make up their mind and offer the job to ME ME ME (or at least hearing that its been offered and accepted by someone else so I can take that job off my “waiting to hear” list). I carry my cel phone with me everywhere (even into the bathroom) so I won’t miss a call, and am devestated when noone calls me on any one day. Did you get that I’m really bad at waiting?
Hey, I just realized what job searching is like!! It’s like dating. It’s like being an hormonal teenager seeking approval from peers and the cool boy at work. It’s like auditioning over and over until you are so bored with your own routine or riff that you can’t see how anyone else will think its inspired anymore.
I guess I’ll wait and see where I can dig up some inspiration, and let you know the next time.
First in a series of I’m not sure how many.
Well, my last day at my former employer was April 24. I’m now a full-time job seeker. You may think that that means sitting in front of a computer constantly refreshing the saved searches on Monster or CareerBuilder, or frantically searching through CraigsList for new posts. But no, job searching these days is a crazy amalgamation of online, offline and web-assisted searching that never seems to end!
There are lots of Job Seeker groups–I’m a member of the Job Seeker Network (an offshoot of a Yahoo Group I belong to); I’m going to attend the next Seattle Job Social, perhaps the next JobTini event, and definitely attend the Edmonds Community College Job Fair (the organizer only allows in companies with real open jobs), and the seriously fabulous (I’m told) Professional Networking Group at the Lynnwood WorkSource office.
After attending one of these events, then there’s the follow up: Setting dates for coffee meetings, connecting on LinkedIn or Facebook, exchanging resumes for critique, etc… It’s exhausting just to think about it all.
Then there’s the new technology I’ve yet to attempt: Twitter for job searching; creating your own webiste for your job search; and learning how keywords in resumes and cover letters work.
And then, of course, ARE the relatively mundane tasks of posting resumes on Monster, CareerBuilder, YahooJobs and the like; reading the CraigsList and newspaper online ads; following up on references from friends and relations; finding all the things you can avoid paying for when unemployed (like student loans) and getting those fees waived; and doing all those things you thought “well, since I’ll be off anyway for a little while…”
I think I may be more busy than I was when I was employed, sheesh.
This is one of the funniest darn things I’ve seen in a good long time…
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Con’s out for drinks and snacks with her cronies, so after treating the kids to burgers and malts at Red Robin, I’ve got a little time to kill. In honor of that old Jeopardy category of answers from various categories, here’s my version of Potpourri:
Alex, What is “A Really Cool Website”? — When I was 6-8, and we were living at 22, The Grove in Bearsted, Kent, my best friend in the whole wide world was Mark Rossell. Like me, he was a foreigner, an Aussie by birth. About the time we moved back to the States, his family moved to New Zealand and we eventually lost touch. Pre-teen boys aren’t much for letter-writing and long-distance calls were too expensive. Years later, using the wondrous new invention called the Internet, I tracked him down and we’ve been corresponding semi-regularly ever since. In some ways, we’ve grown in wildly different directions but in some ways we’re still quite similar. Just as I spent most of my adult life until 4 years ago (this week, btw — happy anniversary, Good Shepherd!) working in the arts, Mark is also a working artist. And, somehow, that boyhood bond runs deep. Anyway, here is Mark’s recently redesigned website. I think his work is fascinating: mysteriouly beautiful. I’m very proud of him.
Alex, I’ll Take “Interesting Articles” for $20: One of the reasons I decided to start blogging (other than the fact that Connie forced the issue by starting this blog) was that I read several of them on a regular basis. Many are from my friends but some are from authors or speakers that I’ve read/heard. Jeffrey Overstreet’s blog, Looking Closer, is a regular stop. It’s interesting to me because he’s an Evangelical Christian commenting on culture. Also, Con really enjoyed his book on spiritual themes in contemporary films (It’s called “Through a Screen Darkly” and you can buy a copy here). Jeffrey’s more conservative than I on some things and sometimes his snarkiness makes me want to commit unChristian acts on his person. But he keeps me coming back with links to interesting cultural news, movie reviews and articles like this one — a theological review of U2′s latest album, No Line on the Horizon. I can’t quite decide if this is a deep theological exegesis of the latest work by the world’s most popular rock band made up of Christians or just a case of really high-quality bullsh*t. Check it out and let me know what you think.
“Great American Writers” for $30, Please, Alex: I’m pretty sure that the last book I commented on here was actually the first third of a book by Wendell Berry. I’d just finished his short novel, Nathan Coulter. Since then, among other things, I’ve read the other two novels in that volume, Remembering and A World Lost. I am now completely hooked. Berry’s writing is lyrical but not as impenetrably poetic as Annie Dillard can sometimes be. His work is deeply faithful without being sappy, wistfully nostalgic without being sentimental. While he’s certainly deeply suspicious of the modern world, it rarely seems like he’s got an axe to grind. I’m very impressed and looking forward to my next foray into his world.
Great Foreign Films: (OK, the Jeopardy-title thing was getting lame) Also in a recent post, I was less than enthused about Jean Renoir‘s classic, The Rules of the Game. A week or so later, Con and I watched another of his films, The Golden Coach. This, I found immensely more satisfying, perhaps because it so closely concerned life in the professional theatre, which was my life for 25+ years. The movie is beautifully shot with an entertaining, if somewhat predictable plot — it’s as much an updated artifact of Commedia dell’Arte as it is a movie about a troupe of that artform. The performances are delightful — even from Anna Magnani, who learned her English lines phonetically, since she did not speak the language. I never could buy her as the femme fatale, though. I guess myy taste has never run to the world-weary, “ridden hard and put up wet” type. I’d definitely recommend the movie for you theatre-types out there, though.
Con and I also finished watching the Ingmar Bergman mini-series, “Scenes from a Marriage,” and then saw his follow-up movie from many years later, Saraband. “Scenes from a Marriage” seems like a great introduction to Bergman’s films and is widely credited for making his work accessible to a wider audience. It’s painful to watch such truthful performances of people tearing each other apart sometimes but the work is fascinating and the writing is brilliant. Well worth a look and maybe should be required viewing for young couples contemplating marriage. It can work, kids, but it ain’t easy. Saraband shows the same couple, 30 years later, dealing with each other and the offspring from his earlier marriage. Once again, Bergman shows just how beautiful and just how dreadful human beings can be to each other. Wrenching, uplifting, nauseating, funny — what a piece of work is a man!
Finally, for this category (and, I think, this post), we watched Federico Fellini‘s great 1954 film, La Strada. This is another of those European classics that shows humanity at its best and its worst. Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart (yes, that Richard Basehart, the guy from “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”) deliver strong performances as the circus strongman and clown, respectively, who become rivals for the love of the gentle Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina). Masina is wonderful in her childlike enthusiasms and griefs. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her work with Fellini later. A terribly sad film but beautiful and strangely hopeful. Connie commented that Wim Wenders had obviously been inspired by it when he made one of our all-time favorite movies, Wings of Desire.
OK, my honey’s home. That’s all for now!