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Job Search Nadirs

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In a city (LA, holla) overflowing with strikers and "collateral damage," unemployment is on the agenda. After a period of what production people call hiatus (e.g. show canceled, creative differences, internal restructuring, blah blah blah: no work), I'm back on the TV show wagon again, and it feels good to leave the fetid batting cage of the for-all-practical-purposes unemployed. But lest I soon forget what it's like to be, um, radiating lack, I thought I'd take a poll and see if anyone else out there wants to revisit those halcyon times when you were desperate for work.

Back in '95, with my high school career languishing, my parents told me it was time to get a job. The first place I applied was Kroger's--the nation's largest grocery store chain! I picked up their application, filled it out at the counter and handed it back. A week later they called to set up an interview and in I went.

Now, this was the grocery store of my childhood, the one I grew up with and so there was a mild thrill in entering its mysterious recesses, like suddenly finding myself in Johnny Carson's Green Room. That excitement was short-lived, though. The manager--a four-foot-tall woman who used to work in the now-defunct video section back in the middle-late-80s--asked me why I wanted to work at Kroger's.

And seriously, why does anyone want to work at Kroger's?

"I really like lettuce," I told her, because at that moment the smartass in me wasn't desperate enough for minimum wage.

Oh, how times change. I didn't get the job then, but four years later I crawled back to the grocery store and became the best damn Night Stock Clerk the Kroger's union has ever seen. Two weeks in, I quit. Something about dialectics and liberal guilt. I was going to a $40,000-a-year school in the northeast and spending my summers with guys who'd spent ten years getting to $10/hour one $0.25 raise at a time.

Ten years of my own have now passed and back amongst the ranks of the occasionally unemployed, I find myself almost addicted to the occasional job search.

Some people shop for flat screen TVs. I'm just shopping for an alternate life.

So, today I found the perfect job. It pays $50,000 to $70,000 a year, it's a job in communications, defending some "confidential" health care provider in San Jose. The full posting can be found here but I'm giving you all the pertinent information and all you have to do is send your resume and cover letter to the gatekeeper for this confidential employer -- the email address is

Anyway, the best part about this job is that you have to understand the health care industry to represent the health care provider, and even though they pay you $70K and give you paid holidays and sick time and vacation... they just can't afford to give you health insurance.

this job's a joke!

They really do need communications help, don't they?

So, what is your worst job hunting experience?

Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock
6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.


59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.


116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.


74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.


111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.


430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.


327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.


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