Sunday, December 19, 2004

An interesting week, which comes up to the minute as I have a 5-gallon pot of boiling IPA wort on the stove as I write. I started a little late in the day (maybe 2 o'clock), and spent a hell of a lot of time sanitizing and getting everything together. It's just starting to dawn on me that I might have to stay up significantly longer than I would've liked waiting for my beer to cool down enough to drop in the yeast. Right now, though, my apartment smells absolutely divine.

And for probably the first time ever, I'm having to choose between two jobs: my current position and one offered next month. Not an entirely easy choice --

Current job: probably the most entertaining and jocular crew I've worked with, with maybe the exception of the Playa Vista (Los Angeles) All-Stars, a selection of the most enjoyable of the Embassy Suite group. I've worked with Tierra for the past two weeks, dug the hell out of it (yes, pun), and just learned that this current project will probably extend through the end of next month. After that, I've been promised continuing lab work until the beginning of the following project, which will last forever or so.

Other job: Starts on the 10th of January south of town. I don't know anybody connected with the project, except that the woman who hired me over my e-mail is engaged to a guy I worked with a few weeks ago. I believe the work is still prehistoric, and the drive's about as far. And it pays about 30% more. And so I took it.

Meanwhile, somebody apparently broke into Janine's Jetta and made a very big mess of all the papers and worthless crap that was in there. Janine's pretty freaked out about it, but I can't help but think it's funny. Primarily because they didn't find anything to steal (that we've noticed, which is roughly equivalent), and because they didn't cause any damage (because, well, I think I forgot to lock it). They just risked at least a few months in jail squirming around, frantically digging through archaeology books and miscellaneous papers and Maxell tapes and a big purple blanket and some LSAT apocrypha, looking for at least a juicy cd wallet or some electronics to rip off. Silly felon. We value only accoutrements of the mind! Try fencing the Penguin dictionary of archaeological terms, you fucking dick.

I am still sending out resumes, so don't let up! I do consider correspondence with the company for which I'll be working next month as a sort of resume, so I'm really pretty much on task...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Just applied for a local job that starts next month -- actually, just applied for a salaried assistant crew chief job that I'm probably overqualified for, but still can't count on getting. Lotta archaeologists in these parts, damn it. And there's a good-lookin' job in Moab, Utah -- full-time, permanent historical archaeologist -- that I'll probably apply for tomorrow but probably won't take if it's offered. It'd be so nice to be offered, though...

And I made some niiiiice beef jerky over the weekend and promptly ate it all. I have to stop making food I like. Which is why I'll be brewing an aromatic IPA next weekend.

And I found this!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Dear Mr. Bockhorst,

Thank you for you inquiry. There is a chance that we will need to add a few more folks as field techs over the next several weeks. Be aware, however, that these are hourly positions with no benefits for which the rate is $9.50-11.00, depending on experience. Though the prospects are good for fulltime work over at least the next 2-3 months, if not longer, there are unfortunately no guarantees (i.e., there may be brief episodes with no work due to bad weather or unforseen circumstances that delay fieldwork). I don't mean to discourage you, but given that you would have to relocate to within commuting distance of Williamsburg to accept such a position, I want to ensure that you have realistic expectations of the type of opportunity we have to offer here, especially since you have an MA and may be overqualified for such a position.

On the other hand, depending on your career goals, I think there are lots of opportunities in this region given a relatively high number of CRM firms and academic programs in historical archaeology, archaeology, historic preservation, etc.

If you are still interested in the field tech position here, I'd recommend contacting me when/if you get a specific sense of your availability. If we still have an opening at that time, and can confirm that you'd be qualified, it would be a relatively quick process on our end to bring you on board without delay.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions, and best wishes on success in your job search.



Okay, so I didn't apply for anything today. I went to the gym, came home and watched Jackie Brown. It's Friday night, whatdya want?!

Anyway, what the above seems to indicate is that there is archaeology back East for the likes of me, and the lower end stuff pays about what it does here. The question now (and feel free to jump in): How to proceed?

1. Stay here for a while longer. I might have to do this anyway, as Janine will be waiting until probably March to discover her law school fate -- she's taking the LSAT in February, and applying to schools simultaneously. If she gets in, a lot's going to depend on where she wants to attend. If she doesn't, there's nothing keeping us here besides inertia.

1a. Stay here for a while longer and possibly climb the career ladder until we hear about law school. There's already been talk of me being hired on as crew chief sometime reasonably soon, and there's a position open for a project next month for assistant crew chief. Either would be a promotion. And having that on a resume would mean being taken more seriously for bigger jobs back East. So maybe I get one or two of these in the upcoming months and then look for something substantial up Yankee way.

2. Bug out now and take something like the job essentially offered above for a few weeks, using that time and networking potential to land something more lucrative in the future. That would mean leaving Janine here, which neither of us would like much, but greater good and all. I'd probably come back to Tucson temporarily, after I'd made some contacts and secured long-term employment, and if law school falls through, we pick up, move East, and Janine starts a tea shop and I dig by day and knit doilies by night.

Anyway, that's me thinking out loud. Tomorrow, more resumes traveling at the speed of light.

Work. Kind of.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Only one today:

The William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research is seeking qualified archaeological field technicians for upcoming field projects in Virginia. This is full-time work on a project-by-project basis. Some of the work is local and any non-local work is completed on a Monday through Friday schedule, requiring crew to arrange their own accommodations within commuting distance. Preference given to those with experience in Virginia. Lodging and per diem is provided for weeknights, however, for projects located beyond an hour's drive from Williamsburg, Va. Starting pay for field technicians is $9.50-$11.00/hour, depending on experience. If interested, please email or fax a message of interest and availability with a resume and references to: Joe B. Jones email: fax: 757-221-2564

Dear Mr. Jones,

I'm an archaeologist currently living in Tucson, Arizona; however, I'm planning on moving back East soon, and am very interested in the position you mention on I received a Master's degree from the University of Arizona last year, and I've got several years experience excavating in Arizona and California. I have a good deal of knowledge and some experience with archaeology of the Eastern U.S., having attended a historical field school on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx, and having taken graduate-level classes on the region here in Tucson.

Please let me know if I may be of service to you. I've attached my CV, and can provide further information and references if needed.

Thanks very much,

Andrew Bockhorst

Tomorrow, I'll be applying for a position with the Ottery Group in Silver Springs, Maryland. I'll have to ask Dan to appeal to his spirit animal for his assistance on my behalf...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


About that last posting -- that was actually supposed to contain some musings about working with local legend-in-the-archaeology-circuit Lyle Stone on an early 20th century dam south of here. Pretty cool, but maybe later.

As the holidays approach, I'm reminded once again that I'm only a few billion miles away from most of the people I want to be with, and that a.) airfare is expensive, b.) archaeologists don't make all that much, and c.) under most circumstances, I can't plan my way out of pair of styrofoam handcuffs. Ergo, I should live within driving distance.

So begins Project Carpetbomb -- as I feel I have enough field experience to make a run at actual permanent jobs in archaeology, I'll be commencing an assault on the contract firms of the Eastern U.S., and by "assault", I mean sending them resumes, networking, schmoozing, cold-calling, and other aspects of this horrible job-hunting experience.

And I intend to keep track of my resume-sending progress in this space. As many as possible per day, but at least one daily.

What I want from you people is to keep on my ass. Job hunting is one of the most noxious, degrading, soul-clenching experiences I can think of -- I've described it in the past as being like begging someone you don't like for a date. If I get a chance to procrastinate, I just might take it, and I can't let that happen. If I slack off, make sure I hear about it -- you folks are an articulate lot. You can make me feel bad, real bad. I'd deserve it. I'm a baaaad boy.

Today's Day One, and as Heather from Dub Narcotic Sound System says, "It's not good, but it's not bad either." I sent in a resume to ACS, a firm in Phoenix that's beginning a project here in Tucson next month. Yes, I know, but I doubt I'll get a job back East before New Years, and I must stay in the game, even if it is here. Tomorrow the real bombing begins.

And thanks in advance for the very welcome abuse.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Mad Dogs & Archaeologists