1. That awesome weekend I said I'd talk about
Yeah, I don't know if any of you care about how my weekend was 2 weeks ago, but I said I'd talk about it, and I want to talk about it, so fuck it, I will.
Friday night February 20th, I went to BZBI for Friday night services like I frequently do. But I really felt like I knew lots of people in the room, for the first time ever there. My usual crowd of Dave and his friends (who only a week before, at the first shabbos dinner I went to with BZBI peers, really started to become my friends), plus Mike from Mt. Airy was randomly there, and maybe a couple other people I knew from other places. BZBI is really starting to feel like a community for me, which is unquestionably nice, even though I didn't really want it because I still expect to move out of the area and to Mt. Airy relatively soon. It's good to have this in the meantime, especially since that meantime will almost definitely extent to over a year after graduation.
After services was the young adult dinner. 70ish people eating kosher chinese food at the synagogue. Awesome. I sat with Dave and his/(my) friends and had a good meal.
During dinner, Jeff, the guy who organized it, and I talked for a bit, as we had agreed, even though it was shabbos. I had sent him my resume earlier in the week, and in the brief time we had to talk that day, he seemed like he wanted to hire me. So I don't really remember what was said at this Friday night conversation, except to say that I didn't really fully get it at the time, but we did talk about salary numbers and shake hands. But it couldn't be that simple.
After dinner, a few of us sang for a bit, but then we had to leave the synagogue, so about 10 of us went and crammed into Joanna's apartment and sang, Hebrew and English songs, for a few hours. And man, did I need that. I hadn't sung at all in almost 2 months, hadn't sung Jewish songs with non-Havurah people in much much longer than that, and was starting to think that everyone in the world aside from one little niche really didn't like to sing. Boy am I glad I'm wrong.
Saturday wasn't very noteworthy. Saw another handful of good people to see at synagogue that morning, including Ezra from Mt. Airy who I almost moved in with in Novemberish, and AJ who is only there sporadically and who's always fun. Who wouldn't want to hang out with someone you're friends with, who you were also friends with when you were 11, but not really in between? And Saturday night I just relaxed.
Sunday morning, back to synagogue! I know, that's really hardcore. But it was an occasion. The Cantor had offhandedly mentioned months ago that it would be fun to make a big ol' musical deal about Hallel sometime, if it ever fell on a Sunday. (Hallel is a special prayer service added to morning prayers only at the start of a new month or on many holidays. It lends itself very well to singing. The point of making a big deal out of it on a Sunday was because people would feel rushed on a weekday, but instruments aren't allowed on Saturday.) And I pointed out to him several weeks earlier that one of those occasions was this weekend. So he hyped it a lot, brought his band, set up lots of seats, and told me I better come because it was my idea. I told him I wouldn't miss it.
And it was great. Kind of surprising to see that his band actually used some electric instruments, as I was expecting a more unplugged atmosphere, and that they occasionally treated it more like a concert than like praying. (In other words, for those who know what I mean, it wasn't quite "Kol Zimrah style.") But that's a minor complaint in a beautiful service. I'm so glad it happened, and I'm particularly glad that a conservative synagogue, a sort of thing generally known for resistance to change, did something this progressive. Sara from Mt. Airy came, but had to leave early. Also, one of the synagogue regulars said to me "So I hear you're going to be working with Jeff." Oh?
After synagogue, I ran over to Penn for the Penn Hillel (holy crap, my life really does revolve around Jewish stuff) poker tournament! I came in 41st out of 69, but that's okay because all of the top 8 were from the Penn Poker Club and had never set foot in Hillel before. I helped Scott run it after I was eliminated, and that was at least as fun as playing. And I like poker enough to like playing it even when I'm losing. Plus, it was only a $5 buy-in. I lost on a pair of jacks, all-in shortstacked preflop, and the board ended up with like Q-Q-K-A. I lost to a straight, and if that didn't hit, would've lost to trip queens.
2. Good stuff since then
So what I'd gleaned from Jeff that weekend was that he just wanted me to interview with his tech guy, JD, who had already seen my resume, who liked me, but who was out of the country last week, and then I'd be hired. This seems really good, if the other indications I've already told you about weren't enough. But, for reasons that you'll see later, I didn't want to wait too long. So I called him this Monday morning at work. He said that JD had just landed and wasn't back in the office yet. I said we'd talk later in the week. I called back yesterday afternoon, apologized for bugging him so much, and asked if we could "finalize" things this week.
"What do you mean? It's final."
"Well, I mean, talk about salary, benefits, starting date, I thought you wanted me to meet with JD..."
"JD just wants to meet you before you start, if you can, as like a courtesy. As for the other stuff...[etc]"
"So that's it? I don't have to sign anything or something?"
"You've never really had a full-time job before, I know. With a small company like this, it's really just this informal."
"Oh. Well. Great! Thanks. Bye!"
So...yeah. I'm employed! I start around April first. I'll be doing coding in C# and C++ on .NET. I have to learn C#, and will start now. The company does outsourced R&D work.
I immediately went out to celebrate. Got myself a new cell phone. And a C# book.
Today wasn't as good, because I had issues with minor car repairs, and my cell phone works even less than it did right out of the box due to service screwups, but it didn't damper my mood! I have a job!
3. Good stuff which will result from that
So since everything seems to be working out according to plan so far, I'm going on that road trip! The plan is to take a big loop around PA, NY, and Lake Ontario, while hopefully not spending too much time in any of them. Specifically: Leaving Tuesday. 2 nights in the DC area, 1 night in WV, 2 weekend nights at Oberlin, 2 nights in Toronto, 1 night in Montreal, and finish it up with Wednesday through Saturday nights, the 17th until the morning/afternoon of the 21st, in some combination of Boston and Providence. I hope to see at least benjifus, bloomable, dizzierizzie, freeswim, gutwoman, lunrgoddess, outcastspice, pprbagprinces, ruthonfire, and sherbieroni.
More details on contacting me while I'm gone will be posted before I go.
Then I'm going to Florida for a weekend to see relatives (including myq, and also probably a non-relative like pato, and maybe also ladypeaches) before my job starts.
And I got Bob Dylan tickets.
And I might go see Les Mis this month.
So, yeah, I'm happy.