OK, ThumbTack.com?

October 18, 2010

I don’t usually respond to Spam/unsolicited e-mail, but I just decided to take a flyer at this site. Let’s see what happens.

All the words you’ll ever need


Back in the saddle again . . .

October 18, 2010

Time to break the radio silence . . .

Yes, the job hunt continues. I did come really close last month for a job at the high school where I used to teach, but I think I came out second or third, so it’s back to the drawing job.

Opportunities certainly seem to be cyclical. You’ll go a week without much of a sniff, then suddenly there are three or four really quality jobs in a day or two. What do I mean by “real quality?” Jobs that are challenged, utilize my skills, pay a fair wage and are not too far away. Are those the only jobs to apply for? No. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself with a reach, and sometimes your sights cannot be set quite as high as you might like.

It’s getting to be a real slog here. It’s been almost 10 months, and while there have been a couple times that things looked really good, freelancing is still the best I have going. Still thinking about doing it full-time, and I think it could work, but it would take a great deal of hustle to do it. I know people who are making it that way, but it’s a whole different mindset.

At some point, I want to reflect on how not having a full-time job changes the way you think about work. I still define myself as a writer and as “a teacher by trade,” but not having an office, classroom, colleagues, lunch room, etc., does change things. Certainly, you define your own work culture.

It’s an “up” week, I think. I have resumes in on two excellent opportunities and just sent a third one today.

So what’s the updated drill for job-hunting these days? Still checking the local paper and the state capital paper regularly, as well as the Craigslists in both cities. I still get some good looks from Indeed.com and stay active on the NY state teaching site – OLAS – as well as SchoolSpring.com. Getting active e-mails from Monster.com and several other similar sites and looking at more focused sites such as JournalismJobs.com and idealist.org. The state Department of Labor job search site has been improved, and I am still getting suggestions from the state’s SMT – skills matching technology – program.

Back to work on the search.

I am going to listen to my sister and start blogging again

September 24, 2010

For reasons that will become apparent in the next post, this blog is going to become more active again.

I took some time off from the blog during the summer, but I am going to get back into it again.

I am also actively looking for folks who need resume-writing, social-networking or other word-smithing skills. Please contact me at toscano.bill@gmail.com

Jobs I Didn’t Apply For — You’ll see why

June 15, 2010

It’s time for another round of “Jobs I Didn’t Apply For.”

1. This would have been the ultimately cool job, but I do not have the athletic skills, and I am not sure the costume would fit. (I have edited and included only parts of the requirements)

Mascot Performer – Full Time Position

Organization: Adirondack Phantoms (AHL Affiliate of Philadelphia Flyers)
Title: Director of Fun and Community Development

The Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League are searching for an enthusiastic, organized and motivated individual to provide top quality fun and entertainment as the team’s mascot. This is a permanent, full time position. Of particular enjoyment, the successful candidate will work along-side team executives and the original “Phillie Phanatic” to assist in the creation and transition into a newly designed and created lovable character to replace the existing mascot. The successful candidate should have one or more of the following attributes:


• Perform and Entertain at all Home Games, Team Events and Community Appearances, and Various Other Games or Events
• Responsible for mascot costume operations including creativity, care, cleaning, maintenance, etc.
• Manage Teams’ Calendar and Scheduling of Community Appearances
• Maintain Mascot’s Social Networking Sites
• Responsible for Hiring, Training and Managing of the Back-Up Mascots and Handlers

• Must be able to Work in a Costume
• Must be Courteous, Friendly, Energetic, Reliable, and Punctual
• Must be proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Publisher etc.)
• Must be able to Communicate Nonverbally and Create Spontaneous Crowd Interaction
• Must have a Great Sense of Humor and Love Working with People
• Must be a Great Dancer

2. Editorial Intern at FreeGeorge.com. It’s a hyper-local Internet site. You get to work 16-20 hours a week, take pictures, and write, edit and post stories. All for the glory of working in the media, and maybe college credits.

3. “Key Grip for low-budget feature.”

Sure, tell us right up front that not only do you get to run around like a madman, you get to do it for low pay.

4. And here’s another time where I rue never having gotten my tattoo license:

Just as it appeared:

Artist Needed For Busy Tattoo Shop!

we r addicted to ink tattoo and we downtown and hands down the highest volume tattoo shop in the capt dist. we do upwards of 30 tattoos per day. no kiddin so we will train the right person male or female just need to be willin to learn. and of course make lots of money!! u can call the shop @ 434-OUCH

5. “Unlicensed JD wanted for research for pro se litigant. $10 per hour.”

Low-budget much?

6. “Baseball Coach for Youth Travel Team”

Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake Junior Baseball’s successful youth travel baseball program would like to take it to the next level.

We are seeking one or more managers/coaches for the summer travel program to help us do that. Positions are part-time temporary between June and August, with possibilities in the fall if desired. Players ages are from 13 to 18 years of age including many players for the successful Burnt Hills High School athletic program.

Candidates should have experience in the game. This can be a great opportunity for high school or graduate assistant coaches.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for this year or next.

This year or next? Job security much?

It’s $1200 for the season (summer) for putting up with parents who are adamant their kid is the next Great One.

7. “Good Wit People”

That’s all I need to know.

I am “good wit people,” but it also looks like an ad for Belgian beer.

All jobs from the Glens Falls or Albany Craigslist.

Not dead — or employed full-time — yet

June 15, 2010

Yes, “Working” Press is still alive and kicking.

Believe me, I wish I could say that I’d stopped writing because I was so busy back with a full-time job. Sadly, no. Still pumping out applications and hustling for writing and resume jobs.

I’m at 100 jobs applied for since Jan. 28. The number really stuns me.

There are a lot of thoughts running around my head, but I just wanted to get something up to let folks know I am here.

Much more to come.

A change of pace: A restaurant review

May 4, 2010

Sometimes, I like to change things up, and I would like to get some samples of my writing up here. Please check out my review of The Black Watch Steakhouse here  in Glens Falls, NY.

From the first forkful of braised pork belly until the last remnants of the chocolate cake and Crème Brulee were licked clean, our visit to the soft opening of the Black Watch provided substantial evidence that Chef Jason Baker will almost certainly be successful in his swing for the fences.

Baker, his wife Suzanne and a team of others have opened the restaurant at 21 Glen St. in Glens Falls, in the space formerly occupied by Fiddleheads. The bottom floor is done in dark woods; the newly-added upper level, which is larger, in light woods with a center staircase. The menu is built around local agriculture, and the beef is raised in nearby Washington County. Baker, who previously ran a small restaurant in Greenwich, focused on local ingredients, produces food with a certain zest and vibrancy. The freshness of the food is apparent throughout the meal.

This was only the second night the kitchen was open to customers.  If there was a downside, there was a sense of too much saltiness, especially in some of the steak appetizers, the lamb and the bok choy. But again, that was specific to dishes with ingredients that bring salt with them, such as soy sauce.

But other than that, the food met or exceeded expectations. This is critical at a high-level restaurant where entrees range from $18 to $29.

My dining partner and I started with heavy, crusty rolls served with herbed butter. Our  meal started in earnest with the braised pork belly, which comes with caramelized onion relish, orange emulsion and applewood smoked bacon. This is not something either of us would usually order, but it was a night for experimenting. For me, it was the best, most vibrant dish of the evening and had very little of the expected fatty taste. Even more surprising was the reaction of my companion, for whom this was a huge stretch. She immediately asked for more.

Fortunately, she had the Beef Trio of carpaccio, tartare and black and blue beef, so sharing was easy. She said the tartare, something she likes a great deal, was excellent, while the other two were good, but a touch salty. The black and blue was my favorite.

For my dining partner, the star of the night was one of the most creative pairings of the evening – lobster bisque with pumpkin seed, pumpkin oil and pumpkin butter. It worked perfectly and yes, there were pieces of lobster meat in the bisque. The other soup was corn bisque with white truffle oil and crème fraiche, which was also excellent. An example of the restaurant’s style came when the waitress – who was delightful – offered that the chef suggested stirring the top items into the bisque itself.

Of the four salad choices, two were without lettuce, and that’s where we went. The chilled root vegetable and chevre with fennel pollen, hazelnut and pickled onion, added to the local foods theme and was quite different and refreshing. The fresh mozzarella with balsamic vinegar and basil pulp was excellent, but this diner might have liked something other than the “charred baguette slices” – that’s what the menu says —  which accompanied it.

There are two ways to order dinner, either an entrée or a la carte with choices of steak, potato and vegetable. The rack of lamb entrée came with homemade gnocchi, another vibrant-tasting item, and the signature root vegetables, which were very good.

The other choice for the table, and there was a lot of passing food back and forth, was the ala carte filet mignon with crème fraiche (see a theme?). whipped red bliss potatoes and Asian style baby bok choy. Clearly, the filet needed to be one of the best items of the evening, and it was, being a perfect medium rare and tasting fresh. The potatoes were a victim of the other courses filling up my partner, and the bok choy, while a touch salty, was excellent.

Suzanne Baker, a pastry chef, will make the desserts. The offerings for the opening were crème Brulee and a chocolate cake. Both were excellent, as was the coffee and the tea selection.

We drank ginger ale, and had an appetizer, soup, salad, main meal, coffee and dessert. The total came to $124 before the tip.

There was no doubt in our minds that we would have to try the Black Watch, and now there’s no doubt, when we can, we’ll be back.

The Black Watch Steakhouse is now open for dinner. The menu is here. And the facebook page is here.

There’s always good news

May 2, 2010

I have lined up a freelancing gig for an advertising section for a local weekly, and I will be meeting with the weekend editors at the local daily this week to talk about some freelance work for them as well.

I am getting a list of story ideas ready for another couple of papers. I need to keep working at this.

I am getting close to finishing two resume projects, and I am looking for more opportunities along those lines.

Please pass the word on if you know anyone who needs writing or photography work done.