Saturday, December 31, 2005

Stop Thief!

Where did the year go? Speaking of stolen, the following was taken
from the The Peanut Queen but slightly modified. I did ASK for her permission—about two minutes before I took the meme, or whatever you'd call it! So she didn’t have time to reply yea or nay. But here goes:

Blog first lines from my first post of each month:

August 2004
Finally set up a blog but don't have time to write much on it tonight.

September 2004
Hey, reread my blog so far and it's sure not very damn interesting.

November 2004
It's been a long, long time since I've blogged.

January 2005
Just came back from a sandwich and coffee with a friend.

February 2005
Worked on my font sizes again last weekend.

March 2005
The Beargrease Dog sled race is probably done by now, I haven't checked yet this morning.

April 2005
Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time.

May 2005
*High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

June 2005
I did some more digging last night, also applied for a day off next Monday to finish the digging, raking and planting of the garden.

July 2005
I'm really tired, to the point of being groggy.

August 2005
Before going to work today I'm going to have to go out and water the gardens.

September 2005
My Mom’s birthday today!

October 2005
Another beautiful, sunny day today!

November 2005
Hope you had a great Halloween, with lots of your favorite candy left over!

December 2005
Hey, nice to be back!

In reviewing the above list, two things become very apparent: I'm quite fond of run-on sentences and exclamation points! I think compiling a list of blog post titles would be quite interesting too. Maybe I'll do that someday.

From my E-mail
Words of Wisdom
Life can be only understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

Trust everybody . . . then cut the cards.

Don't do for others what, given the chance, they wouldn't do for themselves.

Summer must be over if your neighbor has just returned your lawn furniture.

If you are willing to admit you are wrong when you are wrong, then you are all right.

It's good to question authority, but not mine.

Love doesn't really make the world go round, but it makes the ride worthwhile.

Age is just a number and mine is unlisted.

An expert is someone called in at the last minute to share the blame.

The first Ten Commandments are the hardest.

A retired husband is a wife's full time job.

Heredity is something parents comfortably believe in, if they have a bright child.

Only one shopping day left until tomorrow!

Happiness is the place between too little and too much.

Circular arguments often make the rounds.

Even at a Mensa convention, someone is the dumbest person in the room.

When in doubt. . . mumble.

Money can't buy everything . .but then again, neither can little or no money.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! It's been a great year of reading and learning from your writings and musings. I've really enjoyed reading your blogs! Have fun this New Year's Eve, too. "See" you next year!

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Civil Service cheater

Civil Service, as I typed the words I thought of "customer service" in the sense of civil meaning "polite"! Civil Service doesn't always mean that, of course! Although one entire section on the test was about how to act with the customers and the public. There were also a lot of questions about switchboard phones. I've worked as a temp and used many types of switchboard phones--and some of them operate differently! So hope I picked the right answers. I took three separate tests this morning.

The driving was horrendous, I could barely get out with the jeep, our road (NOT the driveway, I shoveled that twice today already and the plow came through so I must shovel again, ouch) wasn't plowed, the main road wasn't plowed the even more main road leading to the freeway wasn't plowed. The snow was deep and the jeep bottom dragged. No way could my son's car have gotten much past our driveway. But now, much later, he's gone at work. He had trouble getting out and the roads were much better than this morning.

Anyway, I arrived at the county courthouse to take the civil service exam bright and early, parked on a one-hour parking meter. And even though I was at the courthouse over three hours I didn't get a ticket. The first test had many sections, most were not too bad except the Math section.

Here is ONE question from that wicked Math section: one position gets paid $431.45 biweekly, another position receives $5.15 per hour, another position gets $262.34 every week, another position gets $5.25 per hour, and another position gets $10,557.82 per year (the test was written in 1997, I checked!). What percent more is the highest paid position than the lowest paying one?

Lovely, eh? Of course I made up the above numbers, but they are very close to what one question asked. No calculators were allowed, so I and the three applicants to the right of me were busily trying to figure it, and all of the other wonderful math problems on the one sheet of scrap paper. But the applicant in the corner to my left was clicking away on a calculator! At first I tried to just ignore it, but had such a strong negative reaction that it was becoming difficult to concentrate on the test. We all were in a closed-door room with no monitor. I got up, went out and told them. Now I am thinking probably I shouldn't have been a tattletale, but it just wasn't fair!

But if I had it to do over, I would have stood up, said aloud, "Are we allowed to use a calculator?" to make sure the other applicants realized she was cheating. The test people didn't do a thing about it, at least not that I saw, because later I was in the typing test room with the cheater. She had finished the written exam first of any of us, of course.

I took a word processing test after the written exam and passed, not as good as I would have liked. Then I took the typing test. It was weird to try to type as fast as I could but not make mistakes. I've gotten very careless about typing on a computer. Most word processing programs automatically correct common misspellings and spell check catches most of the rest. So I had to slow down and concentrate for the five-minute test. I did OK, 68 wpm with no errors, so I was more pleased with that test than the word processing test.

After all of that testing I was relieved to be done, so I drove across the bridge to visit SLA. The driving was somewhat better but still not too great. I couldn't call SLA because she has no phone now. It was fun to sit and talk for a while, then we went out to eat. Just now as I'm watching the news on TV, I see that the bank across from the restaurant we were at was robbed. It happened right around the time we were there, about 2:00. I think we must have been going out the back of the restaurant to the parking lot right about then. When we were sitting in the restaurant in a booth, I was facing the window and could see that bank! Guess I should have been paying closer attention, but I wasn't, too busy talking and drinking my second and third cup of coffee. Bad bad bad! About the coffee, I mean.

Last night after work I went to see the Vegetable Man. His house was 55 degrees F but we warmed up and fell asleep for a couple of hours. When we got up, he had to build a fire in the woodstove, so I was helping him carry in some wood. He didn't really want me to help because I was wearing my work clothes and nice wool coat. So on my third load which was the remainder of the wood to bring in, as I started carefully going down the basement stairs, he was coming up with a laundry basket.

He was using the basket to carry wood. He was several steps below me on the steep stairs and held out the basket saying, "Here, dump the wood in here and I'll take it down." Well, I had a bad feeling about it but started to put the wood in the basket when the top log rolled off and down. I could not catch it because I still had the armload of wood and no free hands. The top log hit V-Man right in the face, on the right side of his cheek. He sort of dodged, the best he could. Good thing he did or he could have been missing some teeth!

The house got warm again, we munched on some leftover Christmas goodies and it was time for me to go home again. I still had to clean the refrigerator, the ferret cage, do the recycling and the garbage when I got home, plus I was sort of wound up. So I ended up staying up pretty late last night, hope I did OK on the civil service tests!

Hey, it's Friday night! Hope all goes well for you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Hump Day

It's Wednesday already and still a great week! There are some reasons: I had to use up some personal time before the end of the year, or lose it. So I'll have half of today off and all of Friday! Also, BZ is gone all week for vacation. It's a shame I couldn't have taken the time off when she was in the office, but oh well, I don't want to lose it. I was really busy at work yesterday while those who were in did very little. It was kind of an exaggeration of the normal around there, me working, others buying things online, coming in late, leaving for appointment, leaving work early. Actually I took two hours for a doctor appointment yesterday too, so counting Monday off, I won't have been at work all that much this week compared to the normal grind.

Completed all of my Monday "To Do" list except the grocery-buying. Have two civil service exams scheduled for January, one in each state! I wonder how I will be able to take parts of those days off, though. Too bad I couldn't save some of that personal time for it. Maybe vacation? But we have to request it 30-days in advance and the first test is the first week of January and the second is January 10th!

The doctor appointment was originally kind of stressful, like they can be sometimes. I had to go in and talk to the doctor about a test result, and was a bit nervous about it. Why didn't she just talk to me over the phone? But it was OK and we even laughed a few times, can't remember doing that with this doctor before. And I lost 8 pounds since September. The doctor asked me what I was doing differently (to lose weight) and raised her eyebrows over "yoga and meditation". No, that's NOT when she laughed!

from my E-mail
Last summer, Bill, took his wife Sharon camping for the first time. At every opportunity, he passed along outdoor-survival lore.

One day they got lost hiking in the deep woods. Bill tried the usual tactics to determine direction - moss on the trees (there was no moss), direction of the sun (it was an overcast day). Just as Sharon was beginning to panic, he spotted a small cabin off in the distance. Bill pulled out his binoculars, studied the cabin, turned and led her right back to their camp.

"That was terrific," Sharon said. "How did you do it?"

"Simple," he replied. "In this part of the country all TV satellite dishes point south."

Tax Dollars at Work
The FBI and the DEA are joining efforts and will be assigning some of their agents to a quasi-FBI/DEA enforcement team specifically targeting the illegal allergy pills sales that occur on the black market.

The agents will be called "Pseudo Feds."

Tall Tale
Shirley was on vacation in Texas, and was appalled by Dallas' chaotic traffic.

She asked the bellhop at the hotel why it was so disorderly and was told,

"In some countries they drive on the right, in others on the left. Here we drive in the shade."

An off-duty police officer, familiar with radar guns, drove through a school zone within the legal speed limit when the flash of a camera went off, taking a picture of his license plate.

The officer, thinking the radar was in error, drove by again; even more slowly. Another flash. He did it again for a third time, at an even slower speed. Same result.

"This guy must have screwed up the settings," the off-duty officer thought.

A few weeks later, when he received the violations in the mail, he discovered three traffic tickets: each for not wearing a seat belt!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Things to do

Well, hope you all had a great day yesterday! I'm having a pretty good day today, so far. Not having to go into work is the major reason it's so good! Yay, a day off, and it's a Monday! I LIKE this Monday. OK, I don't want to get too carried away with all the joy and freedom, after all, tomorrow will be a "Monday" and a work day.....That's not a joy to consider.

I've had a great morning so far. Let's see what I've done up to now:

Got enough sleep. For once. Wow, does it ever feel good! Had forgotten that nice, really rested feeling.

Filled the jeep with gasoline. After two trips out to my Mom's, the tank was getting low.

Bought some milk.

"Fixed" breakfast by just rolling down the car window. (Yes, it was fast food, of course.)

Ate breakfast while blogging. What a way to spend the morning!

Had TWO cups of coffee. I think I need to get back on the one-cup wagon. (or is it off the wagon? Remember that Seinfeld episode?)

Did not meditate. Need to get back on (or off?) the wagon for this one, too.

Still on the agenda for today:

Grocery shop

Cook a decent dinner

Go to the discount store (hope it won't be crowded now)

Buy more ferret food. I usually buy three different types and switch them. The poor little guys can't eat any people food so I try to make their meals more interesting.

Fill out the civil service job application.

Hunt online for jobs.

Hunt online for apartments.

Well, guess I still have lots of things left to do! Have a great Monday!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Holidays and Happy Christmas to you!

I've already had my Christmas, last night. My younger brother and crew of wife and four teen-age and almost teen-age boys, and my older brother, wife and his oldest son and two children all congregated at my Mom's house to celebrate and exchange gifts. We don't draw names but all buy for each other. It's a lot of gifts to buy and wrap, this year I think I had 42 or so gifts to wrap and give!

I survived BZ's office Christmas party from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 or so on Friday (she was not a great hostess, I was a bit surprised as she prides herself on being the best at everything)then SLA and I searched for apartments during the afternoon. My Mom had been calling my work and my home phone number frantically to summon me for the celebration--which I had thought was going to be late Saturday afternoon! So the gifts were not all wrapped, but at least the kids' presents were. So I put the adult's gifts into gift bags instead of wrapping them all. This was pretty lazy of me but worked out just great.

The driving was treacherous, icy rain on the road but I hurried to get out there and arrived much sooner than expected. The bad thing was that I had to get back home again so didn't dare drink the beer and Bailey's like all of the other adults. My son couldn't attend, as he was slaving away at Retail-land. Even though the last food I had eaten had been at noon and there was all sorts of lovely things to eat, I wasn't hungry. It had been a brutal day and I had been very (privately) depressed and crabby. But my sweet sister-in-law packed up some ham and bread which my son later enjoyed when he finally got home from work. I left my Mom's house and celebration around midnight for the long drive back home. The roads were just as bad, if not even worse as it had gotten colder. I was glad I had a cup of coffee before leaving and not any alcohol! I had to drive around 35-45 mph all the way back, so it took a long time. My son had just pulled into the driveway from working all day when I got back home.

At the Christmas celebration both of my brothers were overjoyed at the "perfect solution" of ME living with Mom, but that's part of the reason I was crabby and depressed. I don't think it's going to work out. Today she called me in the morning to (again) say that she doesn't want any animals. Well guess what, we have the dog, two ferrets and a chinchilla. Neither of us want to find new homes for them. I've told her that several times already, sigh. No, it's not going to work out. My friends, and especially Vegetable Man have been warning me about that. I saw him today and we exchanged gifts, so my Christmas is pretty well all done with. The good thing is that my brothers weren't speaking to each other and last night they spent hours alone in the kitchen drinking beer and talking. So I guess they've made up.

Son and I (he's off work, finally tomorrow on Christmas Day) are going out to Mom's again on Sunday, like I usually do each week, but only she will be there. It will be fun to hear how the visit went, as my younger brother and family stayed with her and she got caught up on all of their news. It was wonderful to see the two little kids last night, I was totally charmed. They are my older brother's grandchildren so would that make them my grand neice and nephew? I think so, not sure. The little girl is almost six and the older boy is eight years old. Beautiful intelligent children, and very well behaved.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas or Holiday, whatever it is that you like to celebrate!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Weird Habits

I was tagged for the Weird Habits Game by by Deni, of Time to Tell. It's a good thing too, as I'm feeling quite depressed and down on myself today because I received the written annual review back--and it's even worse than the verbal, if such a thing were possible. Also, BZ's Christmas party is today. Everyone else can just go straight to the party but I have to go into the office and work three hours first.

Thank you for your comments on my last post. Yes, I'm being bullied and nothing seems to help. I've stood up to her, for momentary satisfaction, but then she repays me 10x later, I've gone to the HR to ask their advice. So today I'm feeling sorry for myself and feeling like quite a sorry person too. So at least the meme has sidetracked me from a long, bitter, whiny post. And it was fun! Go and check out Deni's cool answers, if you haven’t already!

Here are the rules: The first player of this game starts with the topic five weird habits. People who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals.

My 5 Weird Habits !

Only five? I could come up with a whole bunch of weird habits! But here are the requested five:

1. I hate, repeat hate when people touch or pick up my knick-knacks. Especially when they pick them up and put them back in a slightly different spot. So Weird Habit #1 is that all of my knick-knacks must stay in the same exact spot or position and only can be moved by me.

2. I wash my hands constantly. One time the kids counted how many times I washed my hands while cooking dinner. Care to make a guess how many times it was?

3. Since we have to carry in our water, I really, truly conserve water. Many of the methods I use could certainly be classified as weird habits involving buckets and funnels!

4. Every water bottle, beer bottle or can, or soda can that is taken out of the refrigerator must have an immediate replacement of the same beverage put back into the ‘fridge so it gets cold.

5. I have a tiny little pantry that doesn’t hold my cooking pans very well. Every time I have to get a pan from the pantry, or when I’m putting the cleaned pans away I have a full-blown hissy fit about how they won’t fit in the pantry. Every single time. It used to really bug my son when he first moved back in with me but now he just ignores it and knows enough to stand back!

I would love to read about the five weird habits of The Peanut Queen Sumo Merriment Dan, from Not the New Scientist
Michelle, of the beautiful photos
Lorna in Wonderland

-(If you haven’t already done this meme!)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Half of a Day

Well, I had half the day off yesterday, anyway. I had stayed up until after 2:00 a.m. the night before (happily thinking I was going to sleep in) but stayed up cooking and reading and doing things around the house. After I finally went to bed, I lay awake wondering, should I really not go into work when I don't have permission to stay home? So even though I only got a couple hours of sleep, I got up, showered and got ready for work. I couldn't call BZ to ask because she doesn't come into work until later in the morning and calling her at home (and waking up her little kids) would definitely be a big no no. As in so many areas at work, I knew I was damned if I did stay home, and damned if I didn't. I parked the car on a meter on a nearby street, fully expecting to go into work, find the signed "permission" slip in my mailslot and leave for home again.

As you've probably already figured out, it didn't work out that way. The slip was not in my mailslot! So now I was really glad that I'd come into work as it appeared as if BZ was NOT okay with my staying home. But the car was parked outside on a meter. Normally I park blocks away in freebie parking. So I had to go and move the car, luckily I found a fairly close parking spot, and walk back to the office. I'm required to come in really early so nobody was there yet by the time I'd finished doing all of that. And I was annoyed at wasting money in the parking meter and very very tired. I hadn't prepared my clothes to wear to work the night before, like I always do, and so was dressed barely appropriately for the office. I had thought I'd be in and out before anyone saw me! But at least I was showered and clean. It was not a great start to the day and it got worse before it finally got better.

Only one co-worker asked me why I was in (had previously told most of them I was taking the day off). I had a meeting with BZ like I have every morning, and before that she was demanding figures of this and that. Her requests of me are always ASAP but she actually put that: "I need this ASAP" in one--which would make it a sort of super-ASAP, mega-ASAP or, go back in time and do it before I ask, request! So I was running and trying to get the figures for the meeting, good thing I'd started on in right away in the morning before she came in.

During the meeting she was firing questions at me and my poor brain was foggy with only two hours of sleep. And I felt rather disoriented because it wasn't supposed to be a work day! Finally she asked, "Weren't you going to take today off?" and I said rather meekly, by this time "Not without permission." So she huffed like I was being very non-assertive about it, which had been one of her many criticisms of me at my annual review. And it's true, so it hurt. By the time I'd gotten through that annual review (wrote about it in a previous post) my confidence was shot--and that was a criticism too, lacking self-confidence, and I was feeling roughed up. It felt far too much like the abuse of a bad romantic situation, where the other person picks out enough truths to really deal a low blow and then complains that you're lacking in self-confidence! And worse of all, many of the criticisms are true, or there is enough truth to them to really sting.

But I'm off the track of my present work story: So I told BZ that I wanted to switch the days, take half of Wednesday off and all of Friday instead of the reverse, as I had put on my "permission" slip. She agreed, gave me an armload of work and told me to do that first before leaving.

So I worked the half day and left to meet SLA at her new apartment. I took her out to eat lunch then we cruised around looking for 3-bedroom apartments! In the "town across the bay" where SLA lives and my Mom wants to live, they apparently don't advertise rental in the newspapers much but just put a sign out in the yard. SLA and her Houseguest had each found apartments in that way. So it worked out really well, I drove and SLA wrote down telephone numbers and addresses. Now I have two pages of numbers to call about apartments! The day ended well. Hope your day is good!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

For Sale

Well, my house is on the market now. I signed listing papers on December 19th and the group of realtors came over during the day today to look the house over(Bet that didn't take very long, ha ha!) I'm curious how it all went but my son who was home and let them in is now at work until late tonight. So I'll just have to wait to hear the story. SLA called me at work today. She still doesn't have her cell connected or a regular phone in her new apartment, but was visiting her sister and called me from there. SLA also doesn't have a car! She has had such a run of bad luck this year, surely next year will be better.

Last night I made some chocolate Oreo Balls from a super-simple recipe I saw on PBS (appropriate, eh?) I have no counter space, a tiny little oven and not much room for baking supplies. Simple is good at my house! I ate three of the finished product, which was one or two too many, as they're very rich and taste like candy. My son ate quite a few of them and I had to make him stop so I had some left!

The remaining little candies I put on a new snowman plate and covered with that pretty colored saran-wrap to take over to the neighbors. They are, bless them, still plowing our driveway. I had found a matching Christmas card with snowmen on it and it was specific to "neighbors" so very nice and obviously picked out just for them.

This morning I raced over there on foot as soon as I saw their yard light go on and their truck come out of the garage. They usually have the truck warming up in front of the house for a little while before leaving for work. They leave almost the exact time that I do (very early!) and so we usually get to wave at each other on the road.

Mrs. Neighbor was pleased to get the plate of goodies and the card. She told me that the city is putting a sewer line in to our road this coming summer. I told her that I'm putting my house up for sale. She thought I might do well, because it's such pretty land, up on a hill with a nice view. Yes it is, sigh. But we both agreed that having city sewer will help with the sale.

I have tomorrow off from work. Had twelve hours of leave remaining that would have disappeared when this year ends. I applied for the time off, did not hear back from BZ before I left work tonight. I stopped and picked up a few groceries on the way home and then cooked dinner. Now I'm wondering if I should just stay home tomorrow and not worry about it? It's true that I applied for the time off pretty late, but BZ is usually quite good about things like that. Guess I'll risk getting into trouble again and use up my hours. I'd planned to pick up SLA at noon tomorrow too, and had hoped to visit the V-Man again but he's gone all day and working all night. He suggested that we exchange gifts on Thursday night.

Do you still have a busy rest-of-the-week ahead of you?

From my E-mail
Dealing with Chocolate
Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.

The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.

Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite, and you'll eat less.

Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.

The Problem of the Drum
There was once a small boy who banged a drum all day and loved every moment of it. He would not be quiet, no matter what anyone else said or did. Various attempts were made to do something about the child.

One person told the boy that he would, if he continued to make so much noise, perforate his eardrums. This reasoning was too advanced for the child, who was neither a scientist nor a scholar.

A second person told him that drum beating was a sacred activity and should be carried out only on special occasions.

The third person offered the neighbors plugs for their ears;

a fourth gave the boy a book;

a fifth gave the neighbors books that described a method of controlling anger through biofeedback;

a sixth person gave the boy meditation exercises to make him placid and docile. None of these attempts worked.

Eventually, a wise person came along with an effective motivation. He looked at the situation, handed the child a hammer and chisel, and asked, "I wonder what is INSIDE the drum?"

No more problem.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Coming Closer

Christmas is nearing. I got the last of my Christmas cards in the mail yesterday, pretty late, I know. Sure hope they'll arrive before the holiday! Also I received a box from the Royal Mail! Magpie from Magpie's Den has sent me the most wonderful gifts, beautifully wrapped. The first is a Boyds Bear! It is the most adorable fuzzy little creature, holding on to a star. This is such an appropriate gift in so many ways, its name is "P.B. Starcatcher" which would be cool enough just in itself, but my childhood nickname and the one my family still all use is "Twink" or Twinkle" as in -stars! Stars have always been my thing. What a fantastic gift from somebody who has never even actually seen or met me! Also she sent a box of candles and incense in a great scent "Woodland Walk". I often use either a candle or incense while sitting meditation. So thank you thank you to Magpie for the great, perceptive gifts! Some people are just so good at that. But it's a rare talent.

Today I go out to see my Mom. Soon, probably this spring, the weekly drive may no longer be necessary. Last week my Mom consented to sell her house and land and move into town. She lives on a dead-end road with no nearby neighbors and we (her children) have worried about her health and safety for the past several years. She had an interesting idea--that we all live together! My son and his Grandma get along really well, he and I do too. My Mom and I could, with some modification, get along too. We both are pretty strong willed and want things OUR way at home, but there would need to be compromise, like for any roommates or sharing of space. Since there will be three of us, we will pool our resources to get a larger place so each of us will have a large, private bedroom for individual space. I've lived in the living room/dining room/kitchen for the past few years with little actual privacy, so the bedroom with a door sounds pretty good to me!

It's quite ironic that my private office with a door at work is turning into a public, no privacy at all space while my home situation is turning into its opposite! But I'm working on the job thing, have a couple of bites. This is a tough time of the year, plus there just aren't many decent jobs any time of the year in this location. Something will come up. And of course, once I have a cheaper place to live, I won't need to be paid the (quite substantial for this area) salary that I'm now receiving.

My little house will go on the market next week. The real estate guy said that it's in a prime location and the land and placement alone are worth something even if the house isn't worth much. I'm hoping to get enough extra from the sale to pay off my jeep loan and the credit card bill that I ran up to nearly $1,000--I've never had one that high before, for the jeep repairs and Christmas gifts. Of course, like job hunting, now isn't a great time for home selling. We are thinking that it may be June by the time this all comes together, hopefully not too much later than that. Monday night after work the real estate guy is coming over and I will sign the papers so he can start the marketing and selling process. Today I'll talk to my Mom about when she wants to have the real estate people come and look at her house. Big exciting things are on the way for us! We'll just have to be patient.

Have a super Sunday!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's Deep

I've had a busy couple of days. For one thing it's snowed and snowed. It was thigh-high this morning when I was out in my skirt and boots shoveling. I was also wearing a long black wool coat which was dragging in the deep snow. I didn't have the time or energy to do a lot of shoveling, just enough to get the jeep out. My son probably had to shovel quite a bit to get his little car out, later for work. It was the same yesterday, in fact the schools were closed. But not our office. We still had the last half of the staff meeting, which went almost as well as the first half. I just let the warmth and good cheer pour out of me. And, no, I wasn't faking it, either.

Today we had a company holiday party with good food and awards were given out. Are you surprised to learn that I didn't get an award this year? I received one last year and the year before. I do have a pretty good idea now who may be replacing me. She's from a different department and really has caught the higher-ups fancy. She received two awards. I was kind of a supervisor to her, and if she gets the new job (with the fun tasks they took away from me) she will be MY supervisor. Isn't it funny how life twists and turns? Good thing for me that I've always treated her really well. Hope she remembers that and doesn't let her new status go to her head.

Last night I came home from the second half of the two-day staff meeting and had to dig (shovel) my way back into the driveway. I'd only done about 2/3 of it when I was too tired and decided to go inside and take a short break before finishing. I clicked on the kitchen light, the bulb went out with a snap and the entire house went dark! I grabbed the flashlight, went to the power box and snapped the circuits on and off, nothing. Then I started unplugging things and snapping the circuits on and off, still nothing. I had a real estate guy coming over any minute to look over my house---this is a story that I haven't told you yet----and he was going to have to see it by candlelight and oil lamp! I planned to tell him that it was "mood lighting"!

I got the phone book and called an electric company. As I was doing so, I happened to notice that there was an orangish-red glowing on the outside of my house! I slipped my boots back on and dashed out into the deep snow to see what was causing it. All sorts of fire-related possibilities were going through my mind. I was mentally preparing to run back in and start rescuing my animals!

It was the electric meter which had a bright orangy light glowing in the bottom on it. I've been a meter reader and have never seen anything like that, it looked ominious. The electric company told me they would also call the power company because it sounded like a relay was out. Apparently that sort of thing happens, it just had never happened to me. So in about 20-minutes I had all sorts of power utility vehicles in my mostly shoveled driveway and men wading around in the snow and coming into the house with flashlights. It was pretty exciting in a nerve-racking sort of way.

The last man was just finshing up when the real estate guy finally came, puzzled at all the commotion. I blew out all the candles and we sat down to talk. I noticed that he kept his jacket on, the house was pretty cold because my heat is electric and also because the door had been open so many times. Hopefully I will be able to get twice as much for the house as I paid for it. That's not a huge amount, however, as it was (and still is) a tiny, cheap house!

Tonight I met SLA at a downtown grill after work. I was beginning to be worried about her, as I had no address or phone number and had been waiting for her to contact me for over two weeks. After dinner we first went to her landlord's beautiful house for a couple of hours, and then to her ex-houseguest's new apartment, which was very roomy. When we tired of bothering her (she was on the cell talking to her new man) we went to SLA's new apartment. It was also very large, with lots of storage space. I'm glad she found a great new place. Maybe now things will go better for her.

From my E-mail:
When one wishes to unlock a door but has only has one hand free, the keys are in the opposite pocket. (Von fumbles law)

A door will snap shut only when you have left the keys inside. (Yale law of destiny)

When ones hands are covered with oil, grease, or glue, your nose will start to itch. (Law of ichiban)

Your insurance will cover everything but what has happened. (Insurance so sorry law)

When things seem easy to do, it's because you haven't followed all the instructions. (Destiny awaits law)

If you keep your cool when everyone else is losing his, it's probably because you have not realized the seriousness of the problem (law of gravitas)

Most problems are not created nor solved, they only change appearances. (Einstein's law of persistence)

You will run to answer the telephone just as the party hangs up on you. (Principle of dingaling)

Whenever one wants to connect with the Internet, the call you've been waiting for all day will arrive. (Principle of Bellsouth)

If there are only two programs on TV that are worth your time, they will always be at the same time. (Law of wasteland)

The cost is always higher than one budgets for, and it is exactly 3.14 times higher, hence the importance of pi. (Law of pi eyed)

The probability that one will spill food on one's clothes is directly proportional to the need to be clean. (Law of Campbell scoop)

Each and every body sitting on a commode will cause the doorbell to ring. (Law of ogolly gee!)"

Wind velocity will increase proportionally to the cost of one's hairdo.(The donking principle)

After discarding something not used for years, you will need it one week later. (Law of fatal irreversibility)

Arriving early for an appointment will cause the receptionist to be absent, and if one arrives late, everyone else has arrived before you. (Law of de lay)

Do not take life too seriously, because in the end, you won't come out alive anyway." (Theory of absolute certainty)

Have you been following any of these laws or principles today?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Day Two

Well, I survived the announcement yesterday. The sad and ironic thing is that none of my co-workers seemed to think it was that much of a change! It certainly was to me, my position and status have been drastically altered. Bosszila didn't announce favorite co-worker's change. So did BZ decide not to go for it and change her job? Was it a test to see if I'd tell her? My head hurts from thinking about it, so I just won't dwell on it.

I purposefully sat next to Bosszila at lunch and talked to her about her kids. Least-favorite co-worker was on the other side of me and we laughed and had a good time. I was happy and cheery all day long. Maybe that's why my co-workers didn't realize that I had been QUITE demoted. And BZ was puzzled too, ha ha!

I was going to ask the former Big Boss if I could use him as a recommendation (he'd be a great one!) but even he was less than sympathetic on our elevator ride down alone. So I didn't. Am applying for a job today in which it would have really helped too.

As an added slap in the face, they are hiring someone else to do the fun bits of my job that they took away from me! Well, it's great motivation in looking for something else, for sure! DL of "Time to Tell" was right-on in that Bosszila is just trying to get rid of me without having to pay unemployment.

Well, today is Day Two of the staff meetings. I can survive another day of it. Have a Happy Hump Day!

From my E-mail
These have been around awhile. I might try some of them at work :)
Ways to Keep Your Sanity
At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in."

Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."

Don't use any punctuation marks.

Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."

Sing along at the opera.

Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.

Put mosquito netting around your work area. Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.

Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.

Have your coworkers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Hard Kim.

When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won!", "I won!", "Third time this week!"

When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "run for your lives, they're loose!!"

Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

And then the theme of “slow” came to my mind, because the time spent sitting at the meetings goes sooooo slooowly:
Slow on the Job
A young man was a slow worker and found it difficult to hold down a job. After a visit to the employment office, he was offered work at the local zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper, aware of his reputation, told him to take care of the tortoise section.

Later, the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing and found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open.

"Where are the tortoises?" he asked.

"I can't believe it," said the new employee, "I just opened the door and whooooosh, they were gone!"

Defining Characteristics...of Slow People

1. Slow people always walk side by side, even if they don't know each other.

2. They drive side by side, too. If they can't find another slow driver to pair up with, they drive in the fast lane.

3. Slow walkers never look back. When they drive, they never look in their rear view mirrors, either.

4. Slow people drift sideways so they'll block the path of anyone trying to pass them. If two people or vehicles are trying to get around them at the same time, they drift into the path of the one that is moving at the highest speed.

5. Follow behind a slow person in the grocery store and you'll wind up with soggy ice cream every time.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Open heart

Today was a rather good day, actually. Despite it being a Monday, and despite being a work day. Very strange, I know! I spent some time this weekend searching and applying for jobs online (instead of blogging, sorry) and now, since I'm taking action, I feel much better.

Of course the position change hasn't been announced yet. That's tomorrow. So we'll see if I still feel pretty good after all of that. It's on the agenda almost first thing, so the impact will happen quickly, which is good. Favorite co-worker guessed part of what's going to happen to her. I confirmed it but didn't actually TELL her. Can I get in trouble for that?

I tried to keep my heart open, like we did while meditating in the yoga class. It worked! I actually laughed with Bosszila twice today over the antics of a client. The big boss was back from an awesome business trip with wonderful stories to tell. It was a very good day. Who would have guessed? Hope you all had a great day, too. Thanks for all of the support. That has made me feel much better about everything. It's going to be all right.

I'm also starting a new exercise routine besides the yoga. Daily, I'm going to:

01) Beat around the bush

02) Jump to conclusions

03) Climb the walls

04) Swallow my pride

05) Pass the buck

06) Throw my weight around

07) Drag my heels

08) Push my luck

09) Make mountains out of molehills

10) Hit the nail on the head

11) Wade through paperwork

12) Bend over backwards

13) Jump on the bandwagon

14) Balance the books

15) Run around in circles

16) Eat crow

17) Toot my own horn

18) Climb the ladder of success

19) Pull out all the stops

20) Add fuel to the fire

21) Open a can of worms

22) Put my foot in my mouth

23) Start the ball rolling

24) Go over the edge

25) Pick up the pieces

Whew! That's a workout! After all of that, I'll sit down and

26) Exercise caution.

Yes, it's from my E-mail, of course. Then maybe I'll go and help Vegetable Man with his non-smoking program! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Wow, am I ever glad it's a weekend! Hope you are enjoying yours, too. Things happen for a reason, and I'm beginning to see the great timing involved in starting a meditation/yoga practice a few weeks ago. Also, on coming back to blogging a couple of days ago. Funny how those things work out without our even knowing it or realizing until later. Well, I certainly have a great opportunity to practice self control and retaining my calmness.

I had my annual review at work on Friday. It was the worst review I have ever had in a long long history of work (I have a 20-some year-old son, so obviously I've been in the workforce quite a while!). The practiced breathing came in handy, if not essential during my face-to-face interview alone with Bosszila.

First, she asked me to tell about my accomplishments over the past year, which I did. Those were the only positive things said during the entire interview. Then came the (dirty) laundry list of grievances she had against me. These included the expensive trip I took--which she had insisted I go on despite my telling her it was going to be costly because of being so last minute; my problems in dealing with the contractor--which were due to a really loosey-goosey contract--but the event went smoothly and everyone raved about it and the fine job I had done; and the time I doodled during a staff meeting! Yikes!

But the next part of the review was a huge shock to me, even though it wasn't a surprise, does that make any sense? It logically followed what's been happening at work lately, yet I was unprepared and caught off guard.

First, she stripped me of my beloved library duties, which was why I was originally hired. Then she took away the contact with our clients, which is my very favorite part of my job and had received high praise and rave reviews during my last annual (a review which had been also done by her).

And then she dropped the boom on me, when I was already reeling from the shock of the first two things, that I am being demoted to a receptionist. I will lose my nice private office with a door and now will have to sit in front. I was ordered to tell no one and that an announcement will be made to everyone at the strategic planning meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. I can hardly wait to be publicly denounced and demoted.

The really sick thing is that the most loyal and the only other hard-working person in the place, favorite co-worker is also getting screwed over. I wish I could warn her or give her a heads-up but I've been ordered not to tell. So while I was in shock and numb the remainder of Friday, I was hoping she would not come over to chat or ask me how the annual review went! She gives me lots work to do (as does everyone else, all eight other office people!) but we share a good work ethic and commitment to quality, so except for a little spat a while back, we've always gotten along really well.

I stopped at Barnes and Noble on the way home to look for a specific (career oriented) book but they didn't have it in stock. So I ordered it and then bought my younger brother's four boys each a Christmas present. Now I'm nearly done with shopping. When I got home and was debating whether or not just to go to bed, Vegetable Man called. I briefly explained what had happened, he invited me over but I said that I was too depleted and exhausted to drive that far. But he urged me to call back if I changed my mind. Which I did after about an hour of looking at jobs online. He had problems of his own, he's in the first days of trying to quit smoking. I jokingly told him that I have read that keeping one's mouth and hands busy will help. So he did. And we both were a lot happier.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tidying up

Just a quick post. I've been spending a lot of introspective time but also a lot of time clearing and cleaning the house. It's amazing how much paper a little house can store! For the past two weeks I've had heaps of recycling and a bunch of things in back of the jeep to drop off at the thrift store.

Oh, that reminds me of something that happened on the way home from work on Wednesday. I've been having problems with opening the doors of the jeep. One night the passenger side won't open, the next night it's the driver's door. At least I've been lucky (so far) that BOTH doors haven't been stuck at the same time! The jeep is parked in a rather scary downtown neighborhood and it's dark when I walk up the hill from work. Whether or not one of the doors will open has been a daily little adventure in controlling my nerves!

Anyway, the rear hatch door has not opened for a week. In fact the last time I bought groceries I had to put them all in the back seat instead. Well, wouldn't you know that I was going up a steeeep hill on the way home and the hatch suddenly opened? This was after my trying to open it for days. It would have been far more hilarious had not a co-worker with a shiny new vehicle been in the lane right alongside of me! The thrift store bags in the back nearly fell out before I could safely pull over and shut the hatch. I was feeling like a total grub with a salt-encrusted, beater vehicle (sorry, Jeepers) that was spewing junk on the highway. It wasn't a great way to end the day but did induce me to wait in line a very long time last night to run the jeep through an automatic car wash!

Another discovery: the windows don't seal tightly on the driver's side of the jeep! I had never taken it through an automatic carwash before, instead I always washed it by hand in one of those little stalls. Anyway, now the left arm of my winter jacket is properly washed and waxed!

Ever had something like that (car doors, hatch opening, car wash) happen to you?

from my E-mail
New Breeds of Dogs
The following breeds are now recognized by the AKC:

Collie + Lhasa Apso
Collapso, a dog that folds up for easy transport

Spitz + Chow Chow
Spitz-Chow, a dog that throws up a lot

Pointer + Setter
Poinsetter, a traditional Christmas pet

Great Pyrenees + Dachshund
Pyradachs, a puzzling breed

Pekingnese + Lhasa Apso
Peekasso, an abstract dog

Irish Water Spaniel + English Springer Spaniel
Irish Springer, a dog fresh and clean as a whistle

Labrador Retriever + Curly Coated Retriever
Lab Coat Retriever, the choice of research scientists

Newfoundland + Basset Hound
Newfound Asset Hound, a dog for financial advisors

Terrier + Bulldog
Terribull, a dog that makes awful mistakes

Bloodhound + Labrador
Blabador, a dog that barks incessantly

Malamute + Pointer
Moot Point, owned by....oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway

Collie + Malamute
Commute, a dog that travels to work

Deerhound + Terrier
Derriere, a dog that's true to the end

Bull Terrier + Shitzu
Oh, never mind....

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Hey, nice to be back! And this time I hope to be more regular about it. I've missed reading blogs and the rhythm of writing my thoughts down every day.

Yesterday I received a beautiful calendar from Fizzy! and I realized that I hadn't sent out Christmas boxes to the two bloggers with whom I've exchanged addresses. So sent those out today, after work. It made me wish that I'd exchanged more addresses for Christmas though. But it's a bit late.

Although my life isn't going particularly well right now, the meditation (and following yoga practice) has really helped me cope with things. I only sit 20-minutes in the morning before work and 20-minutes in the evening when coming home. And sometimes another 20-minutes right before going to bed, but it's calming, not only at the time, but later when upsets hit.

When I was being yelled at and falsely accused at work, I managed to take deep breaths and stop my mind from racing. When I started to think bitter thoughts about being backstabbed by an outside contractor, I mentally said, "stop thinking!" and recovered, somewhat, to go on working the rest of the day. When both friends and Vegetable Man disappointed me, I somehow managed not to dwell on it. I highly recommend meditation even for when your life is going great, but especially when it isn't!

Stacy, The Peanut Queen had a fun astrological compatibility link. So I tried it for the Vegetable Man and me:

It was not a match made in heaven.
V-man gives PBS the impression of living a wonderfully exciting life and this could be the initial attraction for PBS. (it was) The independence and self reliance of PBS gives V-man the impression of strength and a sense of relief in finding someone who will not lean too heavily on him, thus making the attraction between them strong enough to start a relationship on first impressions alone. Not a good way to start out together in life!

Both of these signs get their motivations from mental stimulations (we both dearly love ideas and concepts--and discussing them thoroughly) and PBS fully expects to get her encouragement from within the relationship while V-Man looks to outside influences to supply his. (Yep, that's always been the major thing that bugs me about our relationship.) V-Man's preoccupation with other peoples problems are not apt to leave a lot of time for sharing of the quiet life that PBS enjoys and it would not be long before V-Man will be feeling the effects of the sharp tongue that PBS is so generously endowed with. (Hmmm, I don't think this is true, but maybe...)

V-Man's outside influences could be the cause of disaster in their sexual relations. Since their appetites are about equal this should be a good match sexually, but PBS may not be able to get V-Man's mind off other peoples problems and back in the bedroom for very long at a time. This relationship will have a hard time just making it to a short affair status. (well, it was a six-year affair, but rather rocky at times for just the reasons stated!) Not a match made in Heaven.


V-Man and PBS have so many different and conflicting facets to their personalities that they will have a hard time just making friends with one another let alone forming a business partnership. (we were good and instant friends, for other reasons than sun signs)

So the astrological compatibility was QUITE accurate! It just didn't take into account the other connections in our charts like a venus/uranus conjunct ascendant/jupiter and north node conjunct sun, which provided an instant friendship. Our charts are flip-flopped, his ascendant is in my partner's house and vice-versa, so while our sun signs aren't really that compatible, there's still quite an attraction.

This is really a fun link to try out. I compared sun signs for my ex's too, which also came out pretty accurate. Have you tried it?