Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Panic mode

I've been up for a couple of hours packing boxes. Even sorting out lots, we have so much stuff. Right now taking a break for my cup of coffee and to breathe. I seriously don't know how we're going to pull this off. I think I'm in panic mode.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Home, and exhausted

Well, I'm home and exhausted. But which home? It's been quite the day, but let's start with Sunday. I stopped at the apartment on my way to my Mom's and dropped off some more plants and some other stuff. The toilet was still not hooked up, although they had told us they'd do it Saturday night. I visited with my Mom during the day, loaded up a floor lamp and a couple of her chairs to bring to the apartment. Sunday was snowy and the country roads were slippery, so she did not want to follow me up to see the apartment and pick out her bedroom. I stopped and unloaded the lamp and chairs on Sunday night--and the toilet was not hooked up yet. I put a roll of TP on the holder in the bathroom, laid out hand soap and towels, hint hint!

Woke up early Monday morning and started in on cleaning and packing. The packing has been difficult, because there is absolutely no room to put the boxes. We had been hoping to clear some of the large furniture out to give us more packing room. When it got to 7:00 a.m. I started calling places, like the phone company. If you have a lot of patience, let me tell you how THAT went!

I called our old phone company to switch the service to our new place and--they don't have service in our new state! I was so surprised at this new development that I was pretty well stopped in my tracks. When I asked them what company does the local phone lines, they couldn't tell me, said they didn't know. Have you ever tried to look up a telephone company's number in a rival company's phone book? Guess I'd never thought of it in quite that way before, but I can tell you now that it's surprisingly difficult! What compounded the problem was that I didn't know the name of the new company, was searching blind, so to speak. If it hadn't been 7:00 in the morning, I could have just called my friend, who moved there recently, and easily found out. But she's a night person and would not appreciate a call at that hour. So I went back online (have dial up, so can't do both at the same time) and searched for phone companies in the new city. There were all sorts of wireless, internet and other services but I couldn't find a plain old land-line phone company.

Son and I had visited a cell store on Saturday to check some of the family plans and I had run it by my Mom on Sunday during our weekly visit. My Mom wanted a land line. There was one local phone company that turned up a lot in my searches, so I got offline and called them. Turns out that they do local service, but tried to sell me internet, wireless, DSL and everything else too. They did let slip the name of the regular phone company, so I cut off my conversation with them, hung up and called the other company. This went fine until I gave them my new address. They said they had no record of anyone having phone service with that address, was I sure it was correct? I told them that was what the landlord had said. They asked who at last lived in the apartment, which I didn't know. They suggested I call the landlord to doublecheck the address. Even though I insisted that it was correct they refused to start new service! So I called the landlord at work and asked again, also about the toilet situation. The landlord said, "I thought you guys were going to move in on Saturday?" And I said, "We couldn't very well move in with no working toilet." But the landlord did reassure me that the address was correct, just that the former tenants hadn't had a phone!

So I called back and got that straightened out. The whole phone change had taken an hour-and-a-half, much longer than I'd planned. Then called the long distance company with our new number. I called the insurance company and happily told them we didn't need homeowner's insurance any more. And since I had just received a $700 + bill due on February 15, that was pretty sweet. Then called the car insurances and some more stuff, and did more packing, putting boxes on top of boxes. It was a mess.

While packing, I suddenly got really dizzy and had to lie down. It scared me a bit but I think I was just so worked up from everything that's gone on, plus, as mentioned in the last post, my son was a bit sick this weekend, even though he still went to work. I was still feeling kinda whirly when my son finally got up (he had worked late) and we got Pseudo Son and went to the U-Haul. At 2:30 we rented a truck, went to the storage shed for the large bed and kitchen table, then home to add more chairs, the smaller table, a desk and a bunch of other things. Drove to the new place, carried them all up, got fast food, zipped back home where my son had to get ready and get to work by 5:30!

I just brought Pseudo Son back home. It was his birthday today, but he was too tired to want to go anywhere or do anything special. The place is a mess after taking out some furniture, but at least we've gotten a start! More moving tomorrow.

If I ever blabber on about moving again, please just hit me on the head to set me straight!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

False alarm, we didn't move yesterday

Well, we didn't move yesterday. Here's the story on that. Are you getting tired of these stories and all of the drama associated with this move? I know that I sure am...at this point I just want it all to be over.

My son and I went over to the place bright and early yesterday. We had to wait for quite a while for the landlords to show up. It was windy and felt bitterly cold, even though the temperature wasn't that bad. My son met the landlords and took a tour of the place (that didn't take very long, even though this is the largest 3-bedroom apartment available). Then we paid the first month's rent, read through the rental contract. The lease agreement is pretty strict about the animals, the poor ferrets and chinchilla are not supposed to be out of their cages. While we never allow them out unsupervised, we do take them out to exercise and play with them. Now if we do that, we'd better not get caught. It's going to be different living in an apartment after owning for 12 years! My son was not disturbed by the animal restrictions in the lease. He's lived in an apartment much more recently than I have. He said it's the "rodent clause" where creatures like that are not ever supposed to be loose. They can make us get rid of the animals, if we don't comply with their rules.

OK, we signed three sets of the lease and got to keep one copy. The landlords gave us only one set of keys, so I need to go and get more made today before going out to my Mom's house. She's eager to hear all about the move. I wanted to bring her to town to select which bedroom she would like. I had them sorted out, more or less, with me taking the smallest, most boring one. But my son (who has a better eye for such things) says that the L-shaped room will barely fit a queen-sized bed. Both he and my Mom will have that size bed. So I will probably get that room, which will be good for me. Son was initially quite happy with the apartment and the move, but today he's not very positive about it, and fretting. I'm afraid my Mom may be like that, too, once she sees those stairs. I really wish the two of them had been with me in my long and frantical search for something better. Then they would appreciate this choice much more, oh well.

After we had signed the lease(s) the landlord said, "So, are you going to bring in some things today?" And we had barely started telling her of our plans to move two truck loads on Saturday and basically be living there from then on, when she said, "We didn't get the toilet hooked up yet, so I hope you won't be saying overnight here yet."

What? Now that would have been a good thing to know before I had planned and organized the entire day! We were going to move our beds and all of our stuff. I can't do the sleep-on-the-floor thing anymore, like I could when younger. So we called off the move. Of course I had to go to the bathroom as soon as I heard the toilet wasn't hooked up!

I did move over a jeep-load, including some plants yesterday while going to meet a friend for tea. The load barely made a dent in all the stuff we have to move and the running up and down the stairs seven times yesterday was a good workout. Now I'm fretting about the move a little, too!

We're hoping to move tomorrow. My son works later in the day so we'll start early. I'm bringing another jeep-load over today while on the way to my Mom's. I'll check to see if the toilet is hooked up yet. Geez.

Yesterday was the V-Man's birthday. I mailed him the card and gift. He called and left a message of thanks. I just knew there would be no time to drive out there to see him. Hope he had a good one.

Also yesterday in the mail we each received the notification for the postal service test. Guess when it's being held? On Friday morning, of course, the same time as the house closing. So now I will have to change the time, if I still can. My son is not feeling well this morning but has to work later. I sure will be glad when this all is done. And I'm sure you will too, after all of my complaining and stressing out over it!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

We’re moving TODAY!

Today, in two hours, we’re going over to sign the lease, get the keys and officially take the place. After that, we’re getting a U-Haul and will begin hauling the large stuff, like furniture. Son and Pseudo Son are the heavy-lifters. Yes, the place has stairs. All of them did.

Thanks for all of your great comments and guessing as to which place we rented. Here’s the story:

I went to see the (wonderful!) house on Tuesday night after work. The potential landlord said he had another tenant interested in renting the place. He would take my application, but they were first in line. They had 24-hours to show him the money, and if they didn’t, he’d give the place to us. Well, I waited the 24-hours (all Wednesday) and there was no word from him. I called him and left a message on Thursday. After that, I was trying to avoid the apartment landlord while trying to connect with the house one! Not easy to do, because both had my work number. I did not have a good feeling about the house by then, because in that situation, no news was probably not good news!

In the meantime, my mother had called several times. At first she was excited about the house, and then she started turning away from it because it is more expensive and she had wanted to get away from maintenance like shoveling and lawn care. I told her that we (son and I) would do all of that stuff, and that the house had ever-so-much more room, plus a laundry in the basement, besides all the other good stuff already mentioned.

On Thursday night, right before leaving work I saw the red message light on my phone. There was the awaited message—the other tenants had taken the house—what a bummer. It drastically changed what I can bring and what I must dispose of from my current house. The house landlord did offer to send back the $20 application fee, so even though I was thinking him a bit of a jerk to make me wait (when we were running out of time) I guess he’s an OK guy as that was supposed to be non-refundable. He said he had a two-bedroom house for rent now; the one the other tenants were in. I’m sure it’s nice, but we need a three-bedroom whatever!

So I quickly called the other landlord to cement the deal there. They already had our deposit but we hadn’t paid the first month’s rent nor signed a lease. The apartment landlord said they were not done with remodeling the place yet and maybe we could get in by Tuesday!

Tuesday? That was two days before we had to be totally moved out from this house. I hate last-minute stuff because things can go wrong. What if we had a blizzard or some really bad weather? What if someone got sick (like my heavy-lifters) and couldn’t work for a couple of days? What if my poor uncle suddenly died and we had to go to his funeral? I was not a happy camper about this and did my best to push the landlord into letting us at least start moving in on Saturday. She wasn’t very pleased with me, and I worrried a bit about losing the only place we had to go!

But on Friday she called back and said the carpenters were over at the apartment all night finishing up. We could sign, pay the rent and get the keys early on Saturday morning. Wah hoo! Finally, finally a place to go! I would rather have had the house, but this apartment is much better than any others I’ve seen. It will work, and it’s across the street from a very good friend.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 27, 2006

I got it!

Well, last night we finally got a place. But we can't move into it yet, so are still in a holding pattern.

Guess which one it is?

A. 3-bedroom apartment across the street from my friend
B. 3-bedroom house, with deck, porch, dishwasher and garage

Whew, what a relief this is! Complete story to follow later.

Blame Lorna for giving me the above idea in one of her comments, ha ha. And she just got a new place too!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

And the beat goes on

The hunt is still on, but at least now I have two possibilities. Both have stairs, though. Everything has stairs! When I did my last-ditch, desperate hunt on Monday afternoon, I looked at expensive apartments, cheap places, places that didn't allow pets, you name it, and I took a shot at all of them. Everywhere has stairs. There isn't a place suitable for a person who has trouble walking. I even called some of those "elderly" apartments, but they were all income-based, and my Mom gets a good retirement income as well as SS, so doesn't qualify for those. She wouldn't want an income-based apartment even if she was a lot poorer!

I called my Mom yesterday (yes, from work. bad bad as it's long distance)and told her of the situation. She took it really well, but I feel bad that she won't be able to come and go freely without getting help. The ironic thing is that my (former) house in town, the one with the mortgage all paid up, would have been physically perfect! The back door was at ground level, one bedroom and a bathroom were downstairs at that level, along with what they called a "kitchenette" extra sitting room. It was a huge house and the neighborhood kids would come and go, I loved all the action! I'm hoping for a place that's decent enough for entertaining.

But that neighborhood was getting worse and worse when we lived there. We had a meth house across the street, a car fire, break-ins and other problems. The neighborhood wasn't a great one, so that's why I sold the house and moved.

Yesterday after work I went to see another place, a three-bedroom house. And it was wonderful! It still had stairs to the bathroom and bedrooms, but also had a glassed-in porch, a deck, a yard and a two-car garage! Wow, now that would be comfortable living. It was in a good neighborhood, too. I had called the landlord about a house I'd driven by a couple weeks ago, but it was a two-bedroom house and he hadn't mentioned having a three-bedroom house available soon, even though I'd asked.

Guess who told me about this wonder-house? BZ, who had driven by the first house (the one I'd called about) and said that the "For Rent" sign said "3-bedroom house for rent" so I'd called the landlord again to ask and found this beautiful place!

The catch is, and isn't there always one? He has some tenants who are interested in renting the house and they're first in line. He's waiting to hear back from them. But I filled out an application, went through what was practically an interview and he said he'd get back to me on it. He'd better make it fast, I have EIGHT days left to find a place and move!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Almost perfect

Whew, I tried everything yesterday to find a different apartment for us. A ground-floor place that doesn't have stairs. "As God is my witness!" like Scarlett said in GWTW (although I'm certainly no Scarlett...) I tried my best. Had lots of accounting work to do yesterday but took the afternoon off in a last-ditch effort to find a more suitable place for my Mom. I had called a three-page list covering both cities and set up a few appointments in both cities, figuring that even though my Mom wanted to live in the one, particular city, if I could find a place without so many stairs, even in the other city, that it would be better. Whew, again. That was a long sentence!

I visited many apartments in a whirlwind tour of desperation. Man, some apartments are small. In fact MOST apartments are small! Some of them, I swear, would fit into my tiny two-room house. Some of those bedrooms were about the size of my car. I don't know how one could even get a bed or dresser into the room. There might be three bedrooms, but they are like closets! I think the landlord took a normal-sized one-bedroom and chopped it up into three bedrooms to receive a higher (ungodly) rent! If it wasn't so cold out, maybe we could just live in the jeep.

After a few hours of this, near tears and ready to hurt someone, I thought I'd better stop. I also had to get home to meet with the septic inspector who had called me at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning to make the appointment. I was awake at the time, but still in bed and thought it was my mother calling with bad news about her brother, my uncle who just lost his wife.

The inspector was a jerk on the phone but OK in person. By that time my son had joked around and calmed me down. He knows enough not to say, "But how is Grandma going to get up and down those stairs?" but the rest of the family won't be so tactful. I feel horrible about it, but really truly did my best. Apartments are just not that easy to find with all of our specifications. Maybe we will just have to move and then keep looking. The apartment is perfect (and huge, compared to the others I've seen!) except for the stairs.

But it's a big except...and I think we're going to have to take it for now. We're out of time and I've called, looked and gone anywhere and everywhere that was even a remote possibility. Just thinking about it wears me out all over again.

Well, off to work. Hope your day is a good one!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Today is the bluest of Mondays

Today is the bluest of Mondays
PSYCHOLOGY:A British researcher's equation pegs today as the year's worst day.

NEWS SERVICELONDON - Having a bad day? Well, no wonder. According to one scientist, Monday, Jan. 23 is the gloomiest day of 2006.

Cliff Arnall, a health psychologist at the University of Cardiff in Wales, has devised a formula that combines personal and seasonal factors to calculate the year's emotional low point.

Arnall said January is a time when people are simply working and don't have a lot of events, parties or holidays to look forward to.

People are struggling to cope not only with the bleak weather, but also with the debts they amassed by spending too much over the holidays.
It's also a time when people are starting to feel like failures because they've broken their resolutions so shortly after making them.

On paper, the formula looks like this:
The variables are (W)eather, (D)ebt, (d) monthly salary, (T)ime since Christmas, time since failure to (Q)uit a bad habit, low (M)otivational levels and (NA), the need to take action.

"All these elements converge to make for a very unhappy day on the 23rd of January," Arnall said.

He said his formula holds true for the United States as well as Britain, except perhaps in places such as Texas, Florida or California, where better weather could help to lift the day's depressing mood.

But Arnall said there are ways to beat the late-January blues.
Instead of trying to turn over the same old new leaf every New Year's Day, he suggested, why not resolve to make a change in a different month, such as March or April?

"I also advise people to do the unusual every January," he said. "Go for a walk in the woods or just get out and about."

Arnall said groups of friends or even co-workers could throw parties to celebrate the 23rd, because being around people you like can be a great way to boost your spirits. People also could resolve to make a budget for their holiday spending next December.

Leslie Godwin, a LosAngeles-based author and life-transition coach, agreed that January is a tough time of the year. She encouraged people to try to exercise, even when the weather is bad.

"Exercise releases hormones that give us a sense of well-being, and it should be seen as an antidote to feeling down or blue," she said.

Godwin, who emphasized that it generally takes three weeks to create a habit, said the best exercise is any kind you are likely to do at least five days a week.
"If you start exercising around New Year's, then you will have formed a positive new habit by the end of the month," she said.

Even if you aren't exercising, there is some good news: It's only six months until what Arnall figures will be the happiest day of 2006 -- June 23.

"In June there is a lot more of an emphasis on nature, with plenty of flowers and trees in full bloom," he said. "There's also the likelihood that people are seeing more of their neighbors because of more daylight.

"People are experiencing positive memories of their childhood summers and they are looking forward to taking their holidays," he said. "All this happens in June, so that it's usually a very good month."

Found the above article in the online part of our newspaper--while looking for apartments! Finally saw the hidden treasure apartment last night, and it's an apartment, not much storage space. The stairs are a bit steep for my Mom. I don't know if the stairs part is gonna work. Cripes. We have until the 3rd of February to find something. No pressure or anything. People are on me about it, but there's not much to even look at that fits all of our categories. So even though I have a busy day of work today, I'm going to have to do some more calling on apartments.

There is, like one new possibility in the newspaper that I have to check out. Then it's call all of the old ones and see if anything has changed in the past two weeks. Wish me luck! And have a great Bluest of Mondays!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I earn too much money

We still don't have a place to move. And the deadline to be totally out of this house is February 3rd. I'm really trying not to get too nervous about it. There are one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments all over the place, but three-bedroom apartments are hard to come by, especially AFFORDABLE ones. You readers in large cities will probably laugh at what I'd consider too expensive--but our wages are quite low here--when we can find a job, that is. The normally three-bedroom apartment around here is $900 per month, plus utilities. Yikes, that's high! I was hoping for a decent place around $600 or so, with everything included. Dream on, I guess.

The landlord who's fixing up the formerly trashed apartment said I may be able to see it tomorrow. I gave her three phone numbers to reach me, which may have been overkill but I'm getting a bit desperate! I called my ace-in-the-hole apartment building to go and see one of their three-bedroom apartments on Thursday, and the rooms are income-based. That means we don't qualify, as the three of us together earn too much money. Who would have known that? I thought there was no such thing as too much money! Heck, my income alone is too much for that apartment. Huh? So there went my backup plan. Well, Plan C is another three-bedroom place, but it's not where my Mom wants to live and it's too expensive. So I'll just keep hoping on the formerly-trashed place to come through for us.

I'm still researching archetypes in my spare time (but don't have much of that!). Mr. GonSings had an interesting comment about the tarot arcana as ancient archetypes. Those are:
0: The Fool 1: The Magician
2: The High Priestess 3: The Empress
4: The Emperor 5: The Hierophant
6: The Lovers 7: The Chariot
8: Justice 9: The Hermit
10: Wheel of Fortune 11: Strength
12: The Hanged Man 13: Death/Transformation
14: Temperance 15: The Devil
16: The Tower 17: The Star
18: The Moon 19: The Sun]
20: Judgment 21: The World

And, of course the 12 types of personality as zodiac types in astrology. There are several personality systems using 12 types, the 12 disciples as personality types is another. Here's one (of the many) places that correlate the two systems:
The Rorian Tradition

Yellow, Leo: BARTHOLOMEW (and Evangelist MARK)
Yellow-Green, Virgo: ALPHAEUS
Green, Libra: JUDE
Green-Blue, Scorpio: THOMAS (and Evangelist JOHN)
Blue, Sagittarius: ANDREW
Blue-Violet, Capricorn: PETER (or JAMES)
Violet, Aquarius: JAMES (or PETER) (and Evangelist LUKE)
Violet-Red, Pisces: JOHN
Red, Aries: JUDAS
Red-Orange, Taurus: MATTHEW (Disciple and Evangelist)
Orange, Gemini: SIMON
Orange-Yellow, Cancer: PHILIP

Someone who combines astrology with christianity (also many).
Biblical insights

And back to the Rorian page for combinations of mythologic gods, zodiac signs and archetypes.

Yellow, Leo: APOLLO --- the Imaginer or Creator
Yellow-Green, Virgo: DEMETER --- the Enchantress
Green, Libra: ZEUS --- the Caregiver or Priest
Green-Blue, Scorpio: HESTIA --- the Seeker or Fowler
Blue, Sagittarius: DIONYSOS --- the Planter
Blue-Violet, Capricorn: ATHENE --- the Mason
Violet, Aquarius: HEPHAESTOS --- the Smith
Violet-Red, Pisces: HERA --- the Forester
Red, Aries: ARES --- the Warrior
Red-Orange, Taurus: APHRODITE--- the Lover, Diviner or Abbess
Orange, Gemini: HERMES --- the Mage
Orange-Yellow, Cancer: ARTEMIS --- the Sage or Scholar.

Rorian combo with Archangels. Now doesn't that sound like "archetypes" to you?

We may enumerate these Archangels as follows:
Yellow: Center --- Buddhic Constellation (Seraph MICHAEL)
Yellow-Green: Center --- Buddhic Song (Cherub IOFAEL)
Green: Center --- Buddhic Throne (Throne ANACHIEL)
Green-Blue: Center --- Buddhic Phoenix (Power AURAEL)
Blue: Center --- Buddhic Flower (Virtue URIEL)
Blue-Violet: Center --- Buddhic Stone (Archangel RWKAEL)
Violet: Center --- Buddhic Metal; Grail (Archangel GABRIEL)
Violet-Red: Center --- Buddhic Tree (Virtue SHAISHUNAEL)
Red: Center --- Buddhic Dragon (Dynamis ZADOCHIEL)
Red-Orange: Center --- Buddhic Treasure-Tower (Throne RAPHAEL)
Orange: Center --- Buddhic Word (Cherub EREMIEL)
Orange-Yellow: Center --- Buddhic Planetary Body (Seraph MYRRHAEL)

Well, enough of the type-lists and combos. Guess I'm probably more of a librarian than a free spirit from the first archetype list! But chose the last as part of my makeup, too because of my living quarters, which are always playful and whimsical. I really hate boring rooms, which is just about every room, because boring is the normal way to decorate! Favorite co-worker has a beautiful house with nice things but it's so boring and sterile and predictable, same with BZ's house. My Mom's house is not as bad, but still follows the traditional formula for home decor. We may have a problem in reconciling our two styles!

In my house I have Hawaiian silk shawls thrown over lamps, tied by beads, lots of wicker baskets for storage, stuffed toys wearing jewelry, cheerleader pom poms on my CD player, leis on my exercise bike, windchimes in my closet, stuffed (toy)lizards on the TV, flowers from the cemetery on my "coffee table" which consists of a round, heavy, glass-framed picture set atop of a large wicket storage basket! My cobalt blue drinking glasses are in the window sills to catch the light, I have a candle-stack in the window next to my elbow, and…well I could go on and on. Guess I don’t need to say that my decorating is, um, a bit eclectic. My son calls it "rainbow decorating" which it is. Nearly any color would match. What does YOUR decorating look like? Does it show your personality?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Which are YOU?

While looking up other information, I ran into a fascinating topic: archetypes. Carl Jung supposedly invented the idea of certain groups or categories of people and the notion has been used in psychology ever since then. The Myers-Briggs Personality test has 16 categories of personality, as determined by a questionnaire. The idea has been used by authors in inventing characters, and that is where I found this: 16 Master Archetypes by Tami Cowden

Here are the archetypes she listed:
The Chief: a dynamic leader, he has time for nothing but work. He might have been born to lead, or perhaps he conquered his way to the top, but either way, he’s tough, decisive, goal-oriented. That means he is also a bit overbearing and inflexible. Think William Shatner in Star Trek; Harrison Ford in Sabrina, or Marlon Brando in The Godfather.
The BAD BOY: dangerous to know, he walks on the wild side. This is the rebel, or the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s bitter and volatile, a crushed idealist, but he's also charismatic and street smart. Think James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing
The BEST FRIEND: sweet and safe, he never lets anyone down. He's kind, responsible, decent, a regular Mr. Nice Guy. This man doesn't enjoy confrontation and can sometimes be unassertive because he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But he'll always be there. Think Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life, Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, Hugh Grant in Four Weddings & a Funeral, Kevin Spacey in American Beauty
The CHARMER: more than a gigolo, he creates fantasies. He’s fun, irresistible, a smooth operator, yet not too responsible or dependable. He might be a playboy or a rogue, but he's doesn’t commit to a woman easily. Think Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, James Garner/Mel Gibson in Maverick, Don Johnson in Nash Bridges, Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy
The LOST SOUL: a sensitive being, he understands. Tortured, secretive, brooding, and unforgiving. That’s this man. But he's also vulnerable. He might be a wanderer or an outcast. In work he's creative, but probably also a loner. Think Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, David Duchovny in The X-Files, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Shrek
The PROFESSOR: coolly analytical, he knows every answer. He’s logical, introverted, and inflexible, but genuine about his feelings. At work, he likes cold, hard facts, thank you very much, but he's also honest and faithful, and won’t let you down. Think Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek, Robin Williams in Flubber, Kelsey Gramner in Frasier, Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind
The SWASHBUCKLER: Mr. Excitement, he’s an adventure. This guy is action, action, and more action. He's physical and daring. Fearless, he’s a daredevil, or an explorer. He needs thrills and chills to keep him happy. Think Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro, Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone, Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The WARRIOR: a noble champion, he acts with honor. This man is the reluctant rescuer or the knight in shining armor. He's noble, tenacious, relentless, and he always sticks up for the underdog. If you need a protector, he’s your guy. He doesn’t buckle under to rules, or and he doesn’t go along just to get along. Think Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Mel Gibson in Braveheart
The BOSS: a real go-getter, she climbs the ladder of success. This is a “take charge” female, who accepts nothing but respect. Reaching her goal post the most important thing in life to her, and she isn’t bothered by a few ruffled feathers along the way. Think Annette Bening in American Beauty, Candice Bergen in Murphy Brown, Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth.
The Seductress: an enchantress, she gets her way. This is a lady who is long accustomed to sizing up everyone in a room the minute she enters. Mysterious and manipulative, she hides a streak of distrust a mile wide and ten miles deep. Cynicism guides her every action, and her tough sense of survival gives her the means to do whatever is necessary to come out ahead. Think Liz Taylor in Cleopatra, Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Win. Madonna in Evita.
The SPUNKY KID: gutsy and true, she is loyal to the end. She is a favorite of many writers, and for good reason. You can’t help but root for her. She’s the girl with moxie. She’s not looking to be at the top of the heap; she just wants to be in her own little niche. She’s the team player, the one who is always ready to lend a hand. Think Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, Mary Tyler Moore in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act, Fiona in Shrek.
The FREE SPIRIT: eternal optimist, she dances to unheard tunes. Playful and fun-loving, she travels through life with a hop, skip and a jump, always stopping to smell the flowers and admire the pretty colors. She acts on a whim and follows her heart, not her head. Think Jenna Elfman in Dharma & Greg, Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, Alicia Silverstone in Clueless.
The WAIF: a distressed damsel, she bends with the wind. She’s the original damsel in distress. Her child-like innocence evokes a protective urge in the beastliest of heroes. But don’t be fooled, because the WAIF has tremendous strength of will. She won’t fight back; she’ll endure. Think Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, Peta Wilson in La Femme Nikita, Demi Moore in Ghost, Halle Barry in Monster’s Ball.
The LIBRARIAN: controlled and clever, she holds back. She’s prim and proper, but underneath that tight bun lurks a passionate woman. Dressed to repress, she might be the know-it-all whose hand is always up in class, or maybe she is the shy mouse hiding in the library. Think Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone, Ellen Barkin in The Big Easy, Shelley Long in Cheers, Gillian Anderson in The X-Files.
The CRUSADER: a dedicated fighter, she meets her commitments. No shrinking violet, no distressed damsel, here. This lady is on a mission, and she marches right over anyone in her way. Tenacious and headstrong, she brushes off any opposition to her goal. Think Diana Rigg in The Avengers, Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Lucy Lawless in Xena, Warrior Princess
The NURTURER: serene and capable, she nourishes the spirit. Not always Suzy Homemaker, this lady takes care of everyone. She is a wonderful listener, and a joy to have around, this heroine takes care of everyone. She’s serene, capable and optimistic. Think Michelle Pfeiffer in Ladyhawke, Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

OK, here are the villains:

The TYRANT: the bullying despot, he wants power at any price. He ruthlessly conquers all he surveys, crushing his enemies beneath his feet. People are but pawns to him, and he holds all the power pieces. Hesitate before getting in this man’s way – he’ll think nothing of destroying you.
The BASTARD: the dispossessed son, he burns with resentment. He can’t have what he wants, so he lashes out to hurt those around him. His deeds are often for effect – he wants to provoke action in others. He proudly announces his rebellious dealings. Don’t be fooled by his boyish demeanor – he’s a bundle of hate.
The DEVIL: the charming fiend, he gives people what he thinks they deserve. Charisma allows him to lure his victims to their own destruction. His ability to discover the moral weaknesses in others serves him well. Close your ears to his cajolery – he’ll tempt you to disaster.
The TRAITOR: the double agent, he betrays those who trust him most. No one suspects the evil that lurks in his heart. Despite supportive smiles and sympathetic ears, he plots the destruction of his friends. Never turn your back on him -- he means you harm.
The OUTCAST: the lonely outsider, he wants desperately to belong. Tortured and unforgiving, he has been set off from others, and usually for good cause. He craves redemption, but is willing to gain it by sacrificing others. Waste no sympathy on him - he’ll have none for you.
The EVIL GENIUS: the malevolent mastermind, he loves to show off his superior intelligence. Intellectual inferiors are contemptible to him and that includes just about everyone. Elaborate puzzles and experiments are his trademark. Don’t let him pull your strings – the game is always rigged in his favor.
The SADIST: the savage predator, he enjoys cruelty for its own sake. Violence and psychological brutality are games to this man; and he plays those games with daring and skill. Run, don’t walk, away from this man – he’ll tear out your heart, and laugh while doing it.
The TERRORIST: the dark knight, he serves a warped code of honor. Self-righteous, he believes in his own virtue, and judges all around him by a strict set of laws. The end will always justify his nefarious means, and no conventional morality will give him pause. Don’t try to appeal to his sense of justice – his does not resemble yours.
The BITCH: the abusive autocrat, she lies, cheats, and steals her way to the top. Her climb to success has left many a heel mark on the backs of others. She doesn’t care about the peons around her – only the achievement of her dreams matters. Forget expecting a helping hand from her – she doesn’t help anyone but herself.
The BLACK WIDOW: the beguiling siren, she lures victims into her web. She goes after anyone who has something she wants, and she wants a lot. But she does her best to make the victim want to be deceived. An expert at seduction of every variety, she uses her charms to get her way. Don’t be fooled by her claims of love – it’s all a lie.
The BACKSTABBER: the two-faced friend, she delights in duping the unsuspecting. Her sympathetic smiles enable her to learn her victims’ secrets, which she then uses to feather her nest. Her seemingly helpful advice is just the thing to hinder. Put no faith in her – she’ll betray you every time.
The LUNATIC: the unbalanced madwoman, she draws others into her crazy environment. The drum to which she marches misses many a beat, but to her, it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Don’t even try to understand her logic – she is unfathomable.
The PARASITE: the poisonous vine, she collaborates for her own comfort. She goes along with any atrocity, so long as her own security is assured. She sees herself as a victim who had no choice, and blames others for her crimes. Expect no mercy from her – she won’t lift a finger to save anyone but herself.
The SCHEMER: the lethal plotter, she devises the ruin of others. Like a cat with a mouse, she plays with lives. Elaborate plans, intricate schemes; nothing pleases her more than to trap the unwary. Watch out for her complex designs – she means you no good.
The FANATIC: the uncompromising extremist, she does wrong in the name of good. She justifies hers action by her intent, and merely shrugs her shoulders at collateral damage. Anyone not an ally is an enemy, and therefore, fair game. Give up any hope of showing her the error of her ways – she firmly believes you are wrong, wrong, wrong.
The MATRIARCH: the motherly oppressor, she smothers her loved ones. She knows what’s best and will do all in her power to controls the lives of those who surround her – all for their own good. A classic enabler, she sees no fault with her darlings, unless they don’t follow her dictates. Don’t be lured into her family nest – you’ll never get out alive.

The interesting thing about the archetypes is that I could easily type everybody I know! It was a bit harder to type myself, probably a free spirit with some librarian thrown in.

Tami Cowden has some type-determining help on her site, she says:

I am serious – what the character does is not the defining element. The defining element is WHY the character does what he does. “Any archetype can do anything –
the question will always be why.” Repeat that a thousand times. Tape it to your computer screen. WHY, WHY, WHY – always look for the answer to that question to determine an archetype. The existence of these archetypes, by the way, does not mean that in all of literature, there are only eight heroes. Members of the same archetypal family are not photocopies of each other. Heroes within a single archetypes share a similar psyche, but they are not and should not be clones of each other.

For example, Captain Kirk of Star Trek is a CHIEF. He gives his orders, never doubting his loyal crew will jump to follow him. His work -- his ship -- is his mistress, his one and only true love. He does, indeed, boldly go forth into the universe, and presents the very picture of a leader. But Henry Higgins, of My Fair Lady is also a CHIEF. He, too, blithely announces his will, knowing his commands will be obeyed. He has no doubt that his opinion is correct, and anything he wishes to be done, is, in fact, the correct thing to do. But Star Trek would have been a very different program had Henry Higgins sat in the Enterprise’s captain’s chair. Eliza Doolittle would not have brought Captain Kirk his slippers.
Archetypes are not stereotypes; they are not cookie cutters. They can be considered a framework, or even better, a lump of clay of a particular color and consistency. Use the archetype as raw material to create a full bodied character.

And there's more on her website. It's pretty interesting and thought-provoking. What archetype are you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In waiting mode

I'm still in waiting mode for the move. Suffered a couple of disappointments yesterday, which I won't go into but today is a new day, right!

Here’s a business ethics quiz from Monster, the resume and job finding people.

If the apartment thing works out, I’ll be moving to a neighboring state. No more:
(from my E-mail)
I came, I thawed, I transferred.
Survive Minnesota and the rest of the World is easy.
If you love Minnesota, raise your right ski.
Minnesota - where visitors turn blue with envy.
Save a Minnesotan - eat a mosquito.
One day it's warm, the rest of the year it's cold.
Minnesota - home of the blonde hair and blue ears.
Minnesota - mosquito supplier to the free world.
Minnesota - come fall in love with a loon.
Land of many cultures - mostly throat.
Where the elite meet sleet.
Land of 2 seasons: Winter is coming, Winter is here.
Minnesota - glove it or leave it.
Minnesota - have you jump started your kid today?
Many are cold, but few are frozen.
Why Minnesota? To protect Ontario from Iowa!
(not funny at all )
WARNING: You are entering Minnesota, Please use an alternate route!
Minnesota: theater of sneezes.
Jack Frost must like Minnesota - he spends half his life there.
Land of 10,000 Petersons.
Land of the ski and home of the crazed.
Minnesota - home of the Mispi-Mispp-Missispp (Where the stupid river
10,000 lakes and no sharks!

And My Favorite (of the friend who sent it to me)
There are only 3 things you can grow in Minnesota: Colder,Older, &

Actually, after the above, moving to another state doesn’t sound so bad! But I wonder what the “State Slogans” are for the neighboring state?

And how did you do on the Business Ethics quiz?

Have a great Wednesday! It IS Wednesday, right? Losing a day to a holiday tends to confuse me. But in a good way!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Everybody wants to sell us a house

Everybody wants to sell us a house! Since I've mentioned the sale of my house, everybody has helpful suggestions about what to do next, some of those are:
-A co-worker told me about some condos for sale in her area.
-Friend SLA's landlord wanted to sell us a house.
-Friend UHI introducted me to her co-worker with a house for sale.
-A friend who used to be a co-worker has a friend who wants to sell her house.
-The V-Man wants me to buy his (ex?) girlfriend's house!(hmmm to that one...).

Now I've said very clearly that I want to RENT a place, that we are looking for an APARTMENT, so what the heck is going on?

It's my son's birthday today!! I gave him his gifts last night when he came home. He received a belt, a calendar and a clock radio. Grandma (Mom) gave him a card with money and made him a banana cream pie. He opened the card with the gifts I gave him but doesn't know about the pie yet, as he's gone working. That will be a pleasant surprise to him when he comes home, tired!

Your Birthdate: January 15

You take life as it is, and you find happiness in a variety of things.
You tend to be close to family and friends. But it's hard to get into your inner circle.
Making the little things wonderful is important to you, and you probably have an inviting home.
You seek harmony with others, but occasionally you have a very stubborn streak.

Your strength: Your intense optimism

Your weakness: You shy away from exploring your talents

Your power color: Jade

Your power symbol: Flower

Your power month: June

from my E-mail

How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
They Take The Psycho Path.

How Do You Get Holy Water?
You Boil The Hell Out Of It.

What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall?

What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long?

What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work?
A Stick.

What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
Nacho Cheese.

What Do You Call Santa's Helpers?
Subordinate Clauses.

What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire?

What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches?
A Nervous Wreck.

What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup?
Anyone Can Roast Beef.

How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit?
Unique Up On It.

How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit?
Tame Way, Unique Up On It.

Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils?
Because They Have Big Fingers.

Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
Because It Scares The Dog.

What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?

What Is The Difference Between a Harley And a Hoover?
The Location Of The Dirt Bag.

Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down?
Because They Wore Their Belt Buckle On Their Hat.

What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?
A Bad Golfer Goes, Whack, Dang!
A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack.

Now, admit it. At least one of these made you smile !

I have tomorrow off, yay yay yay! But it will be spent going through stuff and packing boxes, time is running out.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm wiped

Back home and I'm wiped. It's been a busy, and now sad, week. The funeral today was tough. My little aunt was so sweet that it's painful to think of her gone. I remember at my Dad's funeral as my two brothers stood each holding one of my Mom's arms, I stood quietly, alone behind them as “Taps” was being played at the cemetary. My Aunt saw me standing alone, quickly came forward and slipped her arm through mine for emotional support. I'll always remember how observant and kind that was of her. She was a warm and loving person, a little redhead, lively and talkative.

The funeral mass was beautiful, full of ritual and meaning, from the smell of incense to the singing of “Ave Maria” echoing off the stained glass windows. It was the church she had been very active in and her kids had grown up attending there. Her seven grandchildren came in with her casket, her husband was not there to say goodbye. He’s in the hospital with pneumonia. They met as teenagers and had been each other’s first and only true love, inseparable for all of these years. It’s very sad. We don’t expect my uncle to live much longer without her but he could surprise us.

On a happier note, the landlord DID call me back on Wednesday. We made plans to meet at 5:00 at a nearby business so she could draw me the floor plan and give me an application. I was at the business early but it closed at 5:00 and she was not there yet so I stood outside for quite a while, waiting. Good thing it was fairly warm outside! Finally she came, so we got to meet face to face. She’s friendly and businesslike, drew the floor plan, gave me the application, but still insisted that I can’t even SEE the apartment until they’re finished with renovation.. So I took the floorplan and drove the short distance to the apartment and looked at it from the outside, to see where the bedrooms are located, etc.

Then I went to my friend SLA’s apartment, right next door. Houseguest was just leaving so I told her the good news that I’d sold my house (they didn’t know yet as SLA has no phone) and knocked on SLA’s door. She wasn’t expecting me, of course but was thrilled to hear about the house and gave me a great cup of coffee. My coffee intake has crept up again to 2 or 3 cups per day instead of only one. She told me about a great interview she had gone on and the update is today when I got home there was a message on my answering machine. She got the job, Friday the 13th turned out to be pretty lucky for her! She had been out of work since last February.

I wanted to read a bunch of blogs and catch up but only could do a few. I also wanted to write about the new development in the sale of my Mom’s house but that will have to wait until a future time. I’m tired and even though it’s early I’m going to sit and watch TV until I fall asleep. Happy Friday the 13th to all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Not for lack of trying

I called my (hopefully future) landlords yesterday to check if I could see the apartment. I have the first month’s rent and the deposit ready to give them as soon as I make sure the place is suitable for us. I’m almost positive that it is, but just need a brief walk-through to check it out. I might have blown it this time, she sounded annoyed. I think she thinks (always dangerous!) that I’m pushing her, and she’s right, I am.

We need a new address to start changing all of our mail, my son and I will need to take a driver’s test to apply for a license, because it’s a different state. There is a lot to do and only a few weeks to do it in—and I’m not even counting the actual packing and moving—the biggest jobs of all! So, yes, I WAS trying to get her to let me see the place so I could give her the rent and deposit!. But (future?) landlord was stubborn and not as happy with me as the first time I talked with her. Hope I didn’t blow it, I really want that place! It’s in the perfect location for my Mom and right next door to my good friend SLA. (future) Landlord said maybe by the end of the week, which is the 13th already, time is going by fast! And I will be out of the office on Friday, but I don’t dare call the (future) landlord again until she calls me. She also said I need to fill out an application and they will do a background check. I really really wish she would let me get going on those things TODAY!

I’ll be out of the office Friday for a sad reason. Yesterday morning as soon as I got off line to go to work my Mom called with bad news. My Aunt has died and her funeral is in a far away city, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. I’ll have to drive out to my Mom’s on Thursday night, even though it’s in the opposite direction of the city where the funeral is being held. This will be a hard funeral to attend, my Aunt was so sweet that everyone loved her. Her husband, my Mom’s only remaining brother, is devastated. It was my cousin who called everyone about her mother. She’s the cousin I know the best, we went to school together for a year. I’m not looking forward to it at all and hope the weather holds out so the long drive is decent at least.

Yesterday I took the second civil service test. Well, actually it’s the 5th since the first test was four separate tests: written, bookkeeping, word processing and typing. This test was in the other state where I hope to rent that apartment. Yesterday’s test was the most fascinating test I’ve taken for a long time if not forever! It mostly consisted of paragraphs explaining types of crime, or a matrix on which police cars are available at which hours of the day. Each paragraph had one or two questions about it, so there was a lot of information in the test booklet. Wish I could have taken it home to reread it! The sample question was an easy one:

SAMPLE: Police uniforms are usually which color?
A. Black
B. Green
C. Brown
D. Blue

And here is one of the questions I remember:

1. Citizen A called the emergency number with a report that his car had been broken into and his CD player and some CDs stolen. What category of crime is this?
A. Break in
B. Burglary
C. Larceny
D. Theft

Pretty interesting test, huh? Sure hope I got a good score. The next step will be a test on actually fielding emergency calls (fake ones, of course). I’m not good at role play, hate faking responses. Guess I’d been terrible in theater! We’ll see how this goes.

There's so much going lately on that I've probably forgotten to tell you about something. Did you figure out the answers to the above questions? Have a Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Another civil service test

Well, not too much new to mention. I'm still waiting anxiously for the landlords to call me back. In fact, today is my (mental) deadline so if they don't call, I'll call them. I don't want to be a pest but I don't want them to rent to somebody else, either. My Mom gave me some money for the deposit, as we will have to pay the first month's rent and (probably) the same amount as a security deposit. The two together were quite a large sum! I would have had to take out of my savings to pay them both myself. So I'm ready to pay but they're still working on the apartment and don't want me to even see the place until it's ready. Their estimate was January 15th but I need to find and move into a place by February 3rd, so the waiting is making me nervous. If this place doesn't work out or isn't suitable for us, I want to have a Plan B, or C ready.

This afternoon I go for the other civil service test; the one in the state where my Mom lives and where we might move. I haven't even thought of it much, have been too busy. Hope I do OK. I need to find the paper they sent me about where to go for the test before I leave for work this morning.

Work has been very interesting and busy. BZ is gone on a trip for work. She called me and we had a very nice conversation. Maybe things will be better? They have so far this year anyway. Hope you have a super day, even though it's only a Tuesday!

From my E-mail
Fan Mail
After trying a new shampoo for the first time, a guy fired off an enthusiastic letter of approval to the manufacturer.

Several weeks later he came home from work to a large carton in the middle of the floor. Inside were free samples of the many products the company produced: soaps, detergents, tooth paste, and paper items.

"Well, what do you think?" his wife asked smiling.

"Next time," he replied. "I'm writing to Chrysler!"

Dressed Down
Employed by the human-development center of a corporation in the Midwest, Karla trains employees in proper dress codes and etiquette.

One day as she was stepping onto the elevator, a man casually dressed in jeans and a golf shirt got on with her.

Thinking of her responsibilities, Karla scolded, "Dressed a little casually today, aren't we?"

The man replied, "That's one of the benefits you get of owning the company."

How Far is That?
An old man was a witness in a burglary case.

The defense lawyer asked Richard, "Did you see my client commit this burglary?"

"Yes," said Richard , "I saw him plainly take the goods."

The lawyer asks Richard again, "Richard, this happened at night. Are you sure you saw my client commit this crime?"

"Yes" says Richard, "I saw him do it."

Then the lawyer asks Richard, "Richard listen, you are 80 years old and your eye sight probably is bad. Just how far can you see at night?"

Richard is a calm and patient man, but tired of the casual ageism of many people. So Richard says, "I can see the moon, how far is that?"

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wah Hooo!

I sold the house I sold the house! Can you believe it? It was only on the market this Wednesday and Thursday and had four people tour it. One of them made an offer Thursday night. The real estate agent called me at work this morning during a day that was already going really well. He told me that he had an offer, should he come by my workplace and present it? I asked him to run it by me first so I could think about it. OK, he said, It's a CASH offer, no septic or well inspection. I stopped him right there and told him I'd take it. So an hour later he brought the papers by and I signed many times and sold the house.

Of course I still need to go through the closing. It's set for February 3rd--that's, what, four WEEKS away? Yikes! So I stopped at the post office to ship the CD I sold on Amazon, then home to start calling apartments. There's a three bedroom in the neighboring city/state right next to my good friend SLA. It would be so ideal and they're renovating it. I can't see it until next week. I talked to the landlord for quite a while and basically got her to move me up to the first spot of people to call when it's ready. The price is right, the only thing is I don't know if they take pets. If not, I'll try to talk her into that one, too as I don't want to give up my little dog.

Well, after the long (future?) landlord conversation, I called my mother and told her the good news. She is all excited about it too and wants to sell her house ASAP. They haven't contacted her about it yet. I reminded my agent that my Mom was really going to be anxious to sell her house now that I've sold mine. And he apologized and said they will have the agent licensed for that state call her very soon.

Well, I just have a couple more things to do here and then I'm off to celebrate with the Vegetable Man! Have a super, great, very pronoia weekend!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A very Pronoia week

Yep, this has been a great week at work. It’s especially weird, because it’s right after a holiday and usually it’s difficult to come back to full five-day weeks after having many days off.

We had the job description meeting (BZ, someone from HR and I) on Wednesday, actually. At the beginning of the meeting BZ apoligized to me for not saying one good thing at the review. Then we talked over each of the points I had rebutted in the written review. You would think I would feel satisfied and vindicated after that, but I didn’t, it felt awkward. I felt sorry for her and not one bit better about her apology. Well, maybe a little, as she also said I was a valuable member of the team blah blah blah, which was nice to hear. At the time I thought it was a bit like a parent making their child say, “I’m sorry” when they really aren’t a bit sorry.

But the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday she really was pleasant and cooperative. It’s a good thing too, as my new job has me working very closely with her—as her assistant! This state of affairs which should have been a horror has actually been quite challenging and fun, for at least the day-and-a-half so far. I’ve done contracts and other legal things, a little writing (which I normally don’t do) and some other interesting and creative tasks. I’m actually looking forward to going in to work tomorrow because it’s been so interesting! It helps that it's a Friday and a payday, too, of course!

Had a couple more house showings and the agent said maybe there will be an offer, but haven’t heard anything yet. They are marketing this house as a normal house--wish I could show you the listing on it—and it’s not a regular house. So I’m supposing that many people think they are going to score a real deal on it because of the low price and then when they see it, they realize why it’s priced so low! It’s a cool place, in many ways and the land is beautiful, but it’s not a normal house with all the little comforts and amenities. Living here is like living in a rustic cabin and roughing it!

I sold another book through Amazon and mailed it out today. Tonight I sold a CD which I’ll have to mail tomorrow. Tonight I received the most awesome book that I’d ordered (used from Amazon!) in the mail, wish I could post huge parts of what I’ve read so far. It really reminds me of George Breed of Warrior Geezer maybe it’s really him under an alias? The book is Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings by Rob Brezsny. Here is the blurb on the book, see what you think of it:

Glory in the Highest
from the book PRONOIA Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings
Thousands of things go right for you every day, beginning the moment you wake up. Through some magic you don’t fully understand, you’re still breathing and your heart is beating, even though you’ve been unconscious for many hours. The air is a mix of gases that’s just right for your body’s needs, as it was before you fell asleep.

You can see! Light of many colors floods into your eyes, registered by nerves that took God or evolution or some process millions of years to perfect. The interesting gift of these vivid hues comes to you courtesy of an unimaginably immense globe of fire, the sun, which continually detonates nuclear reactions in order to convert its body into light and heat and energy for your personal use.

Did you know that the sun is located at the precise distance from you to be of perfect service? If it were any closer, you’d fry, and if it were any further away, you’d freeze. Here’s another one of the sun’s benedictions: It appears to rise over the eastern horizon right on schedule every day, as it has since long before you were born.

Do you remember when you were born, by the way? It was a difficult miracle that involved many people who worked hard on your behalf. No less miraculous is the fact that you have continued to grow since then, with millions of new cells being born inside you to replace the old ones that die. All of this happens whether or not you ever think about it.

On this day, like almost every other, you have awoken inside a temperature-controlled shelter. You have a home! Your bed and pillow are soft and you’re covered by comfortable blankets. The electricity is turned on, as usual. Somehow, in ways you’re barely aware of, a massive power plant at an unknown distance from your home is transforming fuel into currents of electricity that reach you through mostly hidden conduits in the exact amounts you need, and all you have to do to control the flow is flick small switches with your fingers.

You can walk! Your legs work wonderfully well. Your heart circulates your blood all the way down to replenish the energy of the muscles in your feet and calves and thighs, and when the blood is depleted it finds its way back to your heart to be refreshed. This blessing recurs over and over again without stopping every hour of your life.

Your home is perhaps not a million-dollar palace, but it’s sturdy and gigantic compared to the typical domicile in every culture that has preceded you. The floors aren’t crumbling, and the walls and ceilings are holding up well, too. Doors open and close without trouble, and so do the windows. What skillful geniuses built this sanctuary for you? How and where did they learn their craft?

In your bathroom, the toilet is functioning perfectly, as are several other convenient devices. You have at your disposal soaps, creams, razors, clippers, tooth-cleaning accessories: a host of products that enhance your hygiene and appearance. You trust that unidentified scientists somewhere tested them to be sure they’re safe for you to use.

Amazingly, the water you need so much of comes out of your faucets in an even flow, with the volume you want, and either cold or hot as you desire. It’s pure and clean; you’re confident no parasites are lurking in it. There is someone somewhere making sure these boons will continue to arrive for you without interruption for as long as you require them.

Look at your hands. They’re astounding creations that allow you to carry out hundreds of tasks with great force and intricate grace. They relish the pleasure and privilege of touching thousands of different textures, and they’re beautiful.

In your closet are many clothes you like to wear. Who gathered the materials to make the fabrics they’re made of? Who imbued them with colors, and how did they do it? Who sewed them for you?

In your kitchen, appetizing food in secure packaging is waiting for you. Many people you’ve never met worked hard to grow it, process it, and get it to the store where you bought it. The bounty of tasty nourishment you get to choose from is unprecedented in the history of the world.

Your many appliances are working flawlessly. Despite the fact that they feed on electricity, which could kill you instantly if you touched it directly, you feel no fear that you’re in danger. Why? Your faith in the people who invented, designed, and produced these machines is impressive.

It’s as if there’s a benevolent conspiracy of unknown people that is tirelessly creating hundreds of useful things you like and need.

There’s more. Gravity is working exactly the way it always has, neither pulling on you with too much or too little force. How did that marvel ever come to be? By some prodigious, long-running accident? It doesn’t really matter, since it will continue to function with astounding efficiency whether or not you understand it.

Meanwhile, a trillion other elements of nature’s miraculous design are expressing themselves perfectly. Plants are growing, rivers are flowing, clouds are drifting, winds are blowing, animals are reproducing. The weather is an interesting blend of elements you’ve never before experienced in quite this combination. Though you may take it for granted, you relish the ever-shifting sensations of light and temperature as they interact with your body.

There’s more. You can smell odors and hear sounds and taste tastes, many of which are quite pleasing. You can think! You’re in possession of the extraordinary gift of self-awareness. You can feel feelings! Do you realize how improbably stupendous it is for you to have been blessed with that mysterious capacity? And get this: You can visualize an inexhaustible array of images, some of which represent things that don’t actually exist. How did you acquire this magical talent?

By some improbable series of coincidences or long-term divine plan, language has come into existence. Millions of people have collaborated for many centuries to cultivate a system for communication that you understand well. Speaking and reading give you great pleasure and a tremendous sense of power.

Do you want to go someplace that’s at a distance? You have a number of choices about what machines to use in order to get there. Whatever you decide—car, plane, bus, train, subway, ship, helicopter, or bike—you have confidence that it will work efficiently. Multitudes of people who are now dead devoted themselves to perfecting these modes of travel. Multitudes who are still alive devote themselves to ensuring that these benefits keep serving you.

Maybe you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people in the world who has the extraordinary privilege of owning a car. It’s a brilliant invention made by highly competent workers. Other skilled laborers put in long hours to extract oil from the ground or sea and turn it into fuel so you can use your car conveniently. The roads are drivable. Who paved them for you? The bridges you cross are potent feats of engineering. Do you realize how hard it was to fabricate them from scratch?

You’re aware that in the future shrinking oil reserves and global warming may impose limitations on your ability to use cars and planes and other machines to travel. But you also know that many smart and idealistic people are diligently striving to develop alternative fuels and protect the environment. And compared to how slow societies have been to understand their macrocosmic problems in the past, your culture is moving with unprecedented speed to recognize and respond to the crises spawned by its technologies.

As you travel, you might listen to music. Maybe you’ve got an MP3 player, a fantastic invention that has dramatically enhanced your ability to hear a stunning variety of engaging sounds at a low cost. Or maybe you have a radio. Through a process you can’t fathom, music and voices that originate at a distance from you have been converted into invisible waves that bounce off the ionosphere and down into your little machine, where they are transformed back into music and voices for you to enjoy.

Let’s say it’s 9:30 a.m. You’ve been awake for two hours, and a hundred things have already gone right for you. If three of those hundred things had not gone right—your toaster was broken, the hot water wasn’t hot enough, there was a stain on the pants you wanted to wear—you might feel that today the universe is against you, that your luck is bad, that nothing’s going right. And yet the fact is that the vast majority of everything is working with breathtaking efficiency and consistency. You would clearly be deluded to imagine that life is primarily an ordeal.

Well, hope you got this far, it’s a worthy read (the quote from the book, I mean!) what did you think of it?

Have a very Pronoia day!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Go figure

Yesterday, my first day back at work in four days was a fabulous day! Go figure. I'm certainly not complaining, had lots of interesting stuff to do, even a creative writing piece for our company newsletter. The day was good, better than any I can remember for a long long time. But why? I should just enjoy it but it puzzles me. Bosszila, HR and I are all having a meeting about my changing job description on Thursday, that's tomorrow. BZ was pleasant to me all day. And I had written up my rebuttal to the annual review and given it to her last Thursday. She would have received and opened it with her mail early yesterday morning. I basically disagreed with the points she made and I covered them one-by-one. Why is she not upset with me, I wonder? Can't help but being ready for the other shoe to drop!

On Monday I put 18 books and 3 music CDs for sale on Amazon. Have wanted to do that for a long time but just hadn't done the prep work for it. It was a real procedure (when you have dial up) had to fill out the pages, go offline so they could call me. The first automated call from them didn't work. I spoke the secret code, as they said you could either punch it in or say it. It didn't work and the call disconnected without giving me a second chance. So I had to go back online, find the Amazon Seller's spot and set it up again--and again go offline for the automated phone call. This time it worked.

To my amazement, I've sold two books so far and made a profit of $8.00! Yes, I know it isn't all that much money but the books were just lying around the house collecting dust. The type of books that I buy from Amazon (used, of course!) are usually non-fiction, but the two I sold were both fiction. Seems like the fiction books might go better, but hard to say after just a day or two.

The funny thing is that my son saw the pile of books and immediately protested, "Not THAT book, Mom! I thought you liked that book." about a beautiful soft-bound atlas. I do like the book but it's big, doesn't fit into any of our shelves and I've opened it twice in two years. That's the trouble with getting rid of extra things. I'm not going to tell my friends if I have a rummage sale this summer. Have done that and they have picked up some old item sadly and said, "But this is the ceramic anteater I gave you for your birthday! Remember when ... blah and blah?"

It's better to just quietly dispose of things like that. But things do seem to have a memory-force attached to them, that's why it's so hard for some people (me!) to get rid of knick-knacks. Next, I may try E-bay.

Questions for today:

A. Have you ever sold on Amazon or E-bay?

B. Are you a "keeper" or a clean-slate type of person?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Well, Happy Dappy New Year to me

I can’t believe how this new year started out! If I were at all superstitious it would not bode well. Sunday is the day I drive out to see my Mom, so Sunday morning I was loading up the car with the laundry basket of empty water bottles to fill with her well water. Another laundry basket, of, um laundry also was carried to the back seat of the jeep. Yes, I know that I’m a bit too old to be bringing laundry home to my mother, but it’s lots handier for me to do it when I’m out there. Since my son was still off with his friends, I also loaded up the dog basket and food, water, leash and toys for my little dog so I could take her out there to see her “Grandma Chihuahua” which they both enjoy.

All of this took much going in and out of the house. I had just brought my dog out and settled her carefully into the dog basket, and thrown my purse into the front seat, when I reached into my pockets for the keys to start up the jeep. You guessed it, they weren’t there! I searched my jacket pockets, my jeans pockets and my sweater pockets several times, I looked on the car seat to see if I’d thrown the keys in while carrying out all of the stuff. Nothing. They weren’t there. I went back to the house, praying the door was unlocked. It wasn’t.

Now, I have only locked myself out of the house three times in the five years I’ve lived up here, which is pretty good considering the lock is installed upsidedown and the door locks and unlocks the opposite of a normal door. Confusing. My son used to lock himself out quite often and still does once in awhile. But the big difference this time than the previous two times was that I had put the house up for sale. Guess who had the extra key that we usually hide in an obscure place on the property? And guess who had procrastinated about having an extra key made, and in fact, hadn’t had an extra key made yet? Oh yes, the only extra key was with the real estate agent and my son was not at home. In fact I had no idea where he was at and the real estate agent was out of town for his daughter’s wedding. And I had not had an extra house key made yet.

I have a pocket knife with lots of attachments, so tried to pick the door lock. It didn’t work. I tried to pry loose the storm windows on the two windows that open. No luck. The good news is that my house is really hard to break into. The bad news was I was outside in the cold, not really dressed that warmly, with my now shivering little short-haired dog. Not a great way to start the new year.

I went to sit in the jeep and keep the dog cuddled up and warm while I tried not to panic. It was cold in there, too and my toes hurt with the cold already. I’m out in the country and my two closest neighbors are gone for the holidays. The little gas station convenience store (which would have been a walk, especially carrying the dog) was closed for New Year’s Day. Luckily I had thrown my purse into the jeep, and also lucky was the fact I had my work cell phone. I don’t use that phone for personal reasons, but figured this was sort of an emergency. I just was hoping that it was still charged enough to make some calls. I hadn't used it since my last travels for work--in October.

My first call was to a friend of my son’s, I was hoping he’d be there but nobody answered the phone so I left a message. The second call was to the 411 directory to get the number of a locksmith, the call went through (I wrote down the number) and I had to leave a message there too. Then I remembered that my son had taken his cell phone with him. He normally doesn't when he's working because they can't use them there, and he's always working. So I almost never call him on that number, we use the home phone number. I even had to look up what his cell number was, and left a message there, too.

Then I sat with the dog and got colder and colder. The cell phone rang, and it was my son, I never was so happy to hear someone! He had gotten called in to work and was at a fast food place with his friends to grab a quick bite first. He said it would be 20 minutes or so before he could get home. I called the locksmith back and cancelled my first call. Then I waited. It did seem a bit warmer once I knew the dog and I were going to be rescued.

So he came home, opened the door and there were my keys on the table. I normally put them into my pocket right after showering and getting dressed every day. And normally we have an extra key for emergencies. It was not a normal day. I had to call my Mom and tell her I would be arriving late, for I had been locked out 45-minutes (it seemed like much much longer than that!). Also had to warm up my feet, my socks were wet, probably from wading around in the deep snow by the windows when I was trying to break into the house. Hopefully the rest of this year is not going to go like this! Hope the first day of this year went MUCH better for you!

OK, the holidays are over now, but I found this quizzy thing in an E-mail link:
PBS, your holiday theme song is Let It Snow

Maybe you enjoy all of the year's holidays, but there's just something about this time of year… Even if Mother Nature cheats you out of a White Christmas, you know how to make the most of the season — whether with loved ones or strangers you meet along the way.

As much as you might like to bundle up and romp outdoors, you also enjoy kicking back to bask in the glow of the season — or maybe the glow of a dozen strings of lights in your living room. You, more than others, really know how to feel cozy. And for someone who enjoys curling up by a fire, warming a cup of cocoa, or snuggling down with a classic Christmas movie, there's no better theme song. So just remember: If the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and if you've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
What’s Your Holiday Theme Song?

I think my holiday, or daily theme song should be, “Remember the Keys”! And you can bet that I've already fulfilled my first New Year's Resolution, get an extra house key made! Went to my son's work (only place open yesterday) and had one of his work friends make a couple of extra keys for me. Whew!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Got Resolutions?

For some reason I thought of the “Got Milk?” ads when I was (briefly) thinking of writing my New Year’s Resolutions. But haven’t done them yet. I have to get the feel of the new year before I can do that, to get a glimpse of what might be possible for me this year. Or maybe I’m just procrastinating. What would the photo for an ad of “Got Resolutions?” look like, anyway? Got any suggestions?

From my E-mail

Subject: A husband.....
A husband was in big trouble when he forgot his wedding anniversary.
His wife told him: "Tomorrow there better be something in the driveway for me that goes zero to 200 in two seconds flat."
The next morning the wife found a small package in the driveway. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.
Funeral arrangements for the husband have been set for Saturday.

Well, actually I DO have sort of a rough draft of my resoluations. I always do at least ten of them. Had plenty of time to work on them last night. I had a pleasant night of reading Terry Pratchett's book Going Postal. What a wild ride that book is! I really appreciated the wacky humor because I had worked two years for the US Postal Service. I had been hearing people talk about his books but had not read any before now. And I wrote some in my journal, did some meditation. I had no radio or TV on, so it was very peaceful and quiet. My son was (and still is!) out with his friends, of course.

Instead of resolutions, one of my friends and I used to do New Year Predictions! Where would we find ourselves at the end of the year, what was going to happen to each of us. We made some crazy predictions, like getting married (when not even going with anyone at a time) and having a child (another year's predictions) job changes, moving, all sorts of things. The eerie thing was that just about all of the predictions we said, made just in fun, actually came true during the year! We've long since stopped doing New Year Predictions, too risky. So be careful if you want to try that one!

Happy New Year to you all!