Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dreams, job hunting and poker

I was up late last night until about 4:30 a.m. setting up equipment on my computer to enable me to convert audio from DVDs to mp3 files. This allows me to capture songs from my large catalog of concerts on DVD and put them in iTunes, on my iPod or on CD eventually.

I'm using my portable DVD player sitting on top of my printer with a 7-inch diagonal screen as the source, and an ADS Tech Instant Music USB converter for A2D processing. This also requires me to set up a second pair of speakers on the desk for audio monitoring and a lot of cables. As I mentioned in a previous post ("Movies and music" - Feb. 25, 2009) this is something I've been meaning to do for a while, and now that it's all set up, I can start capturing individual songs, which is a bit time-consuming doing it track by track. But if it's one thing I have right now, it's time on my hands.

I had a really intense and lucid dream last night where I was being recruited to become the station manager for KUHF, the Public Broadcasting System radio station in Houston, based on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Houston. My old boss from my PR agency in Houston had recommended me for the job and he was going with me to meet the station's management. I was very apprehensive because I have no experience in radio and don't have the first clue on what a station manager does, but it sounded like too good a job opportunity to pass up. And of course I was thinking about everything and everyone I would be leaving behind in the northeast, plus all the emotional baggage I'd be stepping into if I went back to Houston.

So when I woke up this morning I was determined to crank up my job search another gear and subscribed to TheLadders, a job board that specializes in positions over $100K in compensation. One of my old bosses at Agent K suggested that I try it out, and it does seem to have several positions that I would qualify for. I submitted eight applications today for several well-known companies, and some to recruiters for law firms, since I have a specialty in that area. So we'll see if my investment pays off with some interviews.

My family came over last night to watch Heroes and Saturday Night Live off my DVR, and play some poker, which we haven't done for a couple weeks since watching our Lord of the Rings cycle. I took the opportunity to teach them stud poker, the game made famous by Steve McQueen and Edward G. Robinson in The Cincinnati Kid. We are slowly getting up to the proficiency when I used to play once or twice a month with Pearl, Amy and other friends from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. One year I codified all our poker rules and games and put them in a binder that I still have for reference. The difference is with little kids, they like to play with a lot of wild cards, and things start getting a little ridiculous. For adults, a few wild cards can be helpful to stimulate action since we're a small group of players, but we generally limit them to four or fewer.

I saw the Nicolas Cage movie Knowing this week, directed by Alex Proyas, who did one of my favorite sci-fi noir movies Dark City. Unfortunately, his new movie, while certainly interesting, was just a little too dark for me. I don't want to give away anything by explaining why, but this is not exactly an uplifting movie, so don't expect a happy ending.