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Avery is taking an oddly early nap as I type this. She woke up, ate, watched “Caillou” and then wanted her “boat” (the infant carseat that she prefers to nap in). I’m a little concerned. It’s unlike her to go back to sleep so quickly. I really hope she isn’t coming down with something.
My son is doing a three-hour panel for a local entertainment company, for which he will be paid $100. Not bad for a nine year-old. This is his second such assignment. The last one was dull; he was just an alternate. But he only had to hang out for about an hour, and he made about $120. Great work if you can get it!

Chris is at a job interview, a second interview. In an odd turn of events, the company where he has been working part-time has an opening for a full-time position in one of their branch offices, and he was recommended for it. (They do like him where he is, but it seems unlikely the division he was brought on to be a part of will be up and running any time soon.) The first interview went very well. The manager primarily seemed to be concerned with selling Chris on the job/their branch. That sounds good, but Chris is worried that the guy is selling so hard because he might not be able to get the money Chris needs. He does have a minimum requirement, odd as that sounds. We do have bills, and our goal is to be able to pay them. We aren’t seeking to be “rolling in it,” but not picking and choosing which bills to pay (and who to piss off) each month would be helpful. Additionally, the branch office in question is a fairly ugly commute from here, and it’s unclear if it can be accomplished on public transportation. If it can’t, the job would have to pay well enough to cover the multiple tanks of gas it would require per week. On the flip side, this would be a direct hire. He would not be going through an agency, he would be a “real” employee from the start. That would have a lot of advantages, as well as offering at least the illusion of security.

I don’t mean to get ahead of myself. While it was clear the manager loved Chris, I have no idea how today’s meeting will go. It should be fine; Chris happens to have almost 15 years of experience doing this very specific thing for the exact same type of company. In fact, Chris and the manager who interviewed him yesterday both previously worked for another company at the same time. It’s a small world. The trouble is, all of those years of experience mean that Chris is not entry level, and his pay has to reflect that. They can hire someone else to do the same thing who has less experience, and take the time to train him or her, and offer less money, but that’s a choice only they can make. It’s daunting, requiring a certain level of income. It isn’t a particularly high level… at our best, before kids, when we were both working, we were solidly middle class, at least by SoCal standards. When you have so little, as we do now, it sounds asinine to say you need x amount. But we do, because our goal, as always, is to keep our home. To keep my son in the school he loves, to offer him the stability he both needs and deserves. Ultimately we want the same thing for Avery, of course. I would love to see her go to the same schools, follow in her brother’s footsteps…. I want that so badly I ache from it.

Chris also got an email from a friend who had passed along his resume, and the person he passed it to is interested in speaking to/meeting with Chris. Amazing. Chris has truly had more interest and activity in the last month than in the last year and a half combined. That’s a good thing, obviously. Overwhelming, but good. I am praying – fervently – that something concrete comes from all of this, or any of it. I have been a nervous wreck the last couple of days. Again, this interest is a good thing, but to have the carrot dangled so closely in front of your face does tend to get you worked up. I’m used to silence, to the grim certainty of having zero hope on the horizon. A little hope is a dangerous thing. Also, having just gone through the whole, “It’s a job! …wait, it’s kind of a job; well, it’s a part-time job; actually, it’s so slow there is no work” ordeal, I am more than ready for the roller coaster ride to stop for awhile. The ups and downs are killing me, and the thrill of this particular ride, if there ever was any, is long since gone. All I want is a nice big patch of solid ground. Too much to ask?