So I had all these plans for the new year right? Well the gym isn’t happening (I dunno what my deal is, but I just have a strong aversion to going…); however, I have been taking walks with John. He got this Polar watch last time we were in the States, and now he’s obsesed with getting his target heartrate or whatever. I’m happy that he’s really into exercising now, but sometimes it seems a bit much. Better than the other way around I suppose.
I went to Toastmasters on Thursday night, but the meeting was canceled and they didn’t tell people. Nice. That’s a terrific first impression in my book. Met some people– they are all locals. Seemed very nice and professional, but sometimes I wonder if Toastmasters here is more about honing their oral English than about improving my public speaking. I dunno, seems too demanding to expect that it can do both for native English and native Chinese speakers.
I attended an American Women’s Club of Shanghai Meet and Greet earlier this week. It was well, a lot of intimidating middle-aged, uppercrust women– really well-dressed with lots of bling… I know, I can be so judgemental. They were certainly nice enough; sometimes I just feel like an outsider– I just can’t relate or maybe I just don’t want to relate. But I suppose networking is all about relating right? Regardless, the best thing that came out of this meeting was that I sat down at a table with three other women, and all of them had doggies. I was so psyched. I went home and went on and on about it until John convinced me to setup a Shanghai dog website. So StarPups Shanghai is in the works. I have written and pulled together a good bit of content, but I’m struggling with the aesthetic parts of it. Mainly, I need a logo and color scheme. I chose a black background with gray and some orange, but John says it’s too serious. To further his point, yesterday, my friend Amanda asked if I ever wear colors. 🙂 I can’t help it: I’m just drab and depressing that way. Anyway, stay tuned. I hope to launch StarPups soon. Of course, special thanks to Bubs, the star coder. He doesn’t believe in using WYSIWYGs so he’s gotten several good laughs from my coding mess… I’m trying to learn.
Oh, I also emailed the Women’s club about volunteering for Lifeline, this telephone hotline for expats. I know, I don’t really want to help expats given that there are so many locals who have far more serious issues, but I do want to get some phone counseling experience. To volunteer with Lifeline, you have to undergo 24 hours of training, so I think that would be valuable for me, if I want to get into domestic violence work.
Job-wise, I’ve decided to focus less on trying to fill my schedule with full-time work (whether it’s teaching or some shitty IBM-like job) and more on doing little gigs here and there. My only exception is this Microsoft job. MS is a 5-minute bike ride from my place, and I dunno, somehow I’m hopeful that there is a big Fortune 500 company out there that does things right. I was disappointed with Big Blue, but maybe Gates won’t let me down. I like MS products. Sorry Macophiles and MS-phobes. So the interview for that job is next month. I haven’t heard any details except that it’s a tech writing position. Other than that, I’m looking at some part-time editing work.
This weekend has been really cold again. What’s new, right? Yesterday, I woke up to snow and ice. People were out taking pictures and someone made a bunch of snowpeople. The snow in SH rarely sticks, so this was apparently a day to remember. In the evening, John and I went to Amanda and Enrico’s. John set up their wifi, and afterwards, we went to a house party. Ugh. Yeah, it was like a smoky, overpacked, college kids’ thing. At least that’s how it felt. It was all about yelling at the person right next to you to hold a conversation. We left as quickly as possible (but still not soon enough). Yeah, I know. I’m supposed to practice my social/networking skills. Well, sometimes, you gotta pick who’s worth it. I’m into making professional contacts, not club night buddies. Writing this, I suppose my absorbtion of Lowndes’ “How to Speak to Anyone” wasn’t very successful. Well, I’m trying: I mean, I did my share of small talk. But come on! I have standards. 🙂