Friday, September 29, 2006

Enough of this week

Glad it's Friday! I've had about enough of this week.

In reply to (some of) the questions and comments:

Lisa: Normally a temp would be doing the reception work. This one is grouchy and not really a people-person. Maybe I should ignore people too or stare at them unsmilingly? No, I couldn't do that.

HB2: Yes, the IT guy DOES run the show for the move and new office space. BZ has let him have free rein. When I told him I was going to take it up with her, he just looked at me knowingly with a slight smile, "I'll talk to her too, on Monday." That doesn't bode well as he's her little pet.

Monkey: I'm not lucky to have an office space!!! I sit on a pedestal out in the lobby of the office, no room for all my files, no privacy. It's the temp who's getting the office space. And the rest of my co-workers. Everyone but me, in other words. Yeah, see, you got me frothing at the mouth again!

Lorna: Ha ha I'm a lot nearer your age than you think! I'm also old enough to be most of my co-workers' mother, as they are in their twenties, not much older than my son. Well, a couple are in their 30's, but I'm certainly the "old one" at the office. The biggest one too, as the other woman are all 5'1" to 5'3" at the tallest and weigh 100 pounds. I'm just the perfect choice to be on display in the front of the office!

Katie: The temp was supposed to be there only until December, but it looks like she may be there longer than me (I hope...where's that good-paying other job).

Everyone above and those who commented who aren't mentioned--thanks for your support! It seems unreal that this stuff can happen. It seems like there ought to be a way to fix it. I thought that about the original losing-my-office situation too, and was wrong. So, I guess we will see what happens.

I have piles and piles of work to do but I didn't stay late to work on it last night, like I usually do; left the office at the time I'm supposed to, went grocery shopping and went home. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

She's baaaack

It just gets worse and worse, even though I keep hoping things will change. No, I don't mean ND, although she came back with more questions while I was discussing a work project with favorite co-worker. And yes, they were stupid asked-them-already-several-times-type of questions.

It's a cold, cruel work-world for older workers. Well, it's bad for everyone but especially for older workers, of which I am one. I'm starting to see that they/I have a lot to be bitter about. I come in early, work late, work hard, almost never call in sick, have a huge workload, do a fantastic job (as occasionally said by others, not just myself, ha ha!) and what do I get? Just listen to this, I'm so angry that I'm actually dizzy. This is not helping my health or borderline high blood pressure--which I keep in check by diet--by not using salt.

First: I was promised an office in the new space. I specifically asked about it and was reassured that we ALL were getting an office. But that, as you know, has long since changed so I will be sitting on display in the front to be the receptionist.

Second: We hired a new obnoxious co-worker on July 26, so I had to move to the front early.

Third: Yesterday we had a meeting with only part of our "work team" (as they call it). The training manager, favorite co-worker, the IT guy and I met to discuss storage space in the new office. It seems there really isn't any! Now if the IT guy, who is the sole mastermind of the new office space have asked for input much earlier from us three other co-workers, that would not have happened. So he was quite on the defensive, which leads to the fourth and most horrible recent development;

Fourth: I don't know if it's because he (IT guy) is now irritated with me because of (his own fault) lack of storage space--but he's going to GIVE THE TEMP HER OWN OFFICE!

So how in the f'k'g hell is that going to work? I, the receptionist (visibly the lowest position, no door, no privacy, constant interruptions) is going to supervise the girl in the office, with a door and a lakeview window? OMG, I was so angry that I swear I saw some stars!

They couldn't find any office space for me, the long-time, loyal worker but can find a nice private office for---the temp?

As I mentioned in a previous post, having a temp helper is always a mixed blessing. They want your job. They go behind your back to cozy up to your co-workers. Sometimes they even try to make you look bad so they can climb over your aged and bruised body.

Yep, work is cruel to us older people. The temp is, of course twenty years old, overly confident, brash and yes, pretty cute. She has the notion that she can do anything, but then does it wrong, re-does the work, and it's still not quite right. And I'm going to have a heck of a time supervising her if she gets her own office while I'm sitting in the front! She's really good, for a temp, but constantly cuts corners and doesn't do things the way I ask her to do them. A-huh, this is going to be really fun....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When will the new become old?

Yawn, another day. I dreamt that Dougie was dying but suddenly he developed super-ferret strength and leaped two buildings. He also turned a different color right before he leaped.

Yesterday the big-wig meeting went well but it was quite the commotion getting it all together. The coffee shop, which didn't take pre-orders took a half hour to get the three boxes of rolls and goodies together. They gave me a large carton of cream for coffee and a heavy little bag of butter, cream cheese, jelly and peanut butter. All of this I had to carry out of the mini-mall and up the hill to our office.

The three boxes and the bag weren't so heavy at first but by the time I reached the office I was a sweaty mess. Then we (temp had arrived by that time, I'd asked her to come early) went into high gear getting the cart ready and dragging all the stuff upstairs. The meeting room was only open to us for a certain period of time, so we couldn't do that in advance either.

While I was putting the coffee on the cart, with only ten minutes left to go, the women who took my office came up to me with one of her dumb questions. Now it's true that anyone new becomes rather of a pest to me because I'm the one they come to with all of their questions. But usually the questions taper off after a while and the new person becomes a regular person and doesn't need to ask about stuff all of the time.

This woman started on July 26 and was asking me where a particular office supply was, one she had asked about before and should have long knew where and how to find. I (still sweating, hadn't combed hair yet so it looked a fright) told her exactly where the thing was located and then she said, "Can you show me?"

I swear if we hadn't needed the coffee so badly I might have thrown it at her! But I replied with clenched teeth, while still frantically getting the cart ready, "The meeting is in ten minutes. I have to finish this cart and get it up there BEFORE then! Maybe later."

She walked away, and for the rest of the day would not say anything to me but just gave me this sad look every time she walked by my desk. Does she expect ME to apologize? I don't think so! And I've tried to like her and internally counteract the bad feeling I have about her having my old office, but I just can't. She's such an insensitive dork. Yesterday is not the first time that she's come up to me with some stupid question while I was very, and obviously, busy. This was the most dramatic though and the only time I didn't cater to her, like usual. Poor thing.

The rest of the day continued on, frantically busy. At least the new dork, ND did not come and bother me with any more questions!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food server with a cart

I woke up with "Gold Digger" that song by Kanye West playing in my head. I always wonder if one of those cars that are actually thumping to the (loud) music went by in the night as I was sleeping. I like that song, though, and the new one from Justin Timberlake, "Sexy Back" although the only thing sexy about that guy is his name!

Had some good dreams last night too, including one of a fashion show with MEN on the runway. Too bad I woke up from that one! I think it might have come from the movie (from the library) that I watched before going to bed, "Love Actually" with Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and that Rowan Atkinson for comic relief. Who I really liked in it was Rodrigo Santoro, who played Carl. Ummmmm, just ummmmm. Well, that solves it, that's where that dream came from!

The hair and the mini-presentation both turned out well yesterday. And today it's on to a new day of VIP visiting at work. I have to get coffee and treats and all the fixings and information packets ready and up to a different floor! They decided to have the big-wig meeting at a different level and not in our office. I started gathering things last night before leaving, the temp did the packets, after I laid out all the materials. Good thing I have her to help me get all the necessary stuff upstairs in the elevator!

I have to buy and carry a huge box of stuff early this morning too. That meeting is so early, at 8:00 a.m. That's not a bad time to HAVE a meeting but a brutal time to have to prepare for one! Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Yeah, it's Monday

Happy Birthday to Fizzy!

Also, happy birthday to my younger brother. Hope he the birthday card I finally found for him arrives on time's a milestone birthday for him.

Well, not much good to say this morning as it's Monday and I'm looking at a really busy week. I have to do a mini-presentation at work at the 9:00 meeting. I had no time to prepare for it on Friday with the stuff that BZ was throwing at me. I have a project of hers to finish up early today, too. At least it's very interesting stuff to work on! So it could be worse.

I have hair dye in my hair as I type this. I'm doing a quick touch up this morning before my shower and before work. Sure hope it turns out ok and doesn't turn some funny color or all fall out or something! Doing my own hair can be stressful but looking in the mirror and seeing what the salon did to it is far worse! The horrible side bangs they cut into it last time drive me crazy as no amount of gel or hairspray will keep them out of my eyes. I can't wait until they grow out again to a manageable length--and the rest of my poor, butchered hair too. I paid good money--and it looks awful.

I kind of like to do my own hair, because I have better (but not total!) control of the outcome. My son has cut his own hair since he was 14 years old. I always warn him not to tell people that, though. It's really weird but other people will rave about my hair until I tell them that I did it myself. Then they seem to feel obliged to mention their own salon and stylist, or how there is (suddenly) some small flaw in how I cut or colored it! Some people can be so annoying!

Here's a cute doggy photo I got through an E-mail. No, it's not my dog:

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Through thick and thin

After the nice long shower and then a bath, I felt pretty normal yesterday morning. Guess I'm lucky that I can usually knock out minor illness if I take counteractive measures right away. I try to avoid taking any sort of medication, if possible. My own feeling on it is that they interfere with the healing/getting well process.

But medicine would certainly be in order for anything serious. When I had "Walking Pneumonia" twice--which sounds a lot like what poor Fizzy has right now--nothing but very strong medicine would knock it out, as it was down in my lungs and made it difficult and painful to breathe. Woke up this morning with a very slight sore throat, so the germs are still trying to get me but some hot tea with honey should chase them away, I hope.

The bath certainly was nice, hadn't had one for a long long time. We only had a shower in the country house, no room for a bathtub. Maybe I'll take a bath again today, too. Yesterday I spent with Mom and doing a lot of shopping for little things. Oh, and I found a perfect birthday card for my brother! It's spoofing Dr. Seuss' "Thing One" and "Thing Two" and calling his special birthday, "Thing ___(age)" Perfect, because my Dad taught us to read using Dr. Seuss when we were four years old. It was kind of last minute, so he may not get it on time, though. Oh well, I did my best.

It rained and was dark and dreary most of Saturday. It would have been a great day to sit on the couch and read. I did read a little, later in the evening. Finished up "Boundaries in the Mind: A New Psychology of Personality" and it was fascinating. The doctor who wrote it was testing a theory of his about thick and thin personal boundaries. He did a lot of research on it and found that thin boundary people remember their dreams while thick boundary people usually do not. Thick boundary people usually stay married, stay at the same job, etc. while thin boundary people are unhappy doing the same things day after after day and need something new.

Gee, guess which one I am, ha ha! Thick boundary people are action and goal oriented, very concerned with doing the right thing, and usually consider the thin boundary people as "too flakey" while thin boundary people tend to be artistic, moveable and changeable and consider thick boundary people to be "too rigid and boring".

Most people marry a person in the same grouping as themselves, as thin boundary people scare off the thick boundary ones because of the uncertainty of the life ahead. Thick boundary people scare off the thin boundary people because they have everything all laid out for the future and life doesn't work like that for thin boundary people. So luckily, the thick boundary people usually marry other thick boundary people and live, if not happily even after, at least for a long long time together to celebrate their 30th, or 50th anniversary.

It's just a psychological theory, but pretty interesting, huh? Which do you think you are?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hot and Cold

A photo of Dougie and Nebby that I've posted before. Right now they are anxiously awaiting their daily shower and (destructive) romp in the bathroom. I've been awake for a couple of hours. Woke up sneezing and felt very hot, so much so that I thought my son had really cranked up the heat. He hadn't. The thermostat is still set below 60F (but that's not the actual temp in here, it's more like 62). I lay awake trying to remember two dreams, one about overeating and the other about being 20 years old and being a new receptionist! I felt too ill to pursue thinking about the (not so interesting) dreams and instead worried about all the projects at work enough so I couldn't get back to sleep.

The sore throat has gone away but in its place is a headache, stuffed up nose and general not-feeling-so-well. Nevertheless, if this was a work day, I'd be getting ready for work. I've only stayed home sick a handful of days in my entire (long!) working career. Now I'm suddenly feeling too cold and will need to put on a sweater or robe and make some coffee. Mint tea will help later, but first the coffee!

I worked late last night and after that was looking for a birthday card for my younger brother. He has a milestone birthday on Monday and I haven't been able to find a decent card for him. I was hungry and crabby by the time I finally got home last home. Good thing there was still some leftovers so I didn't have to start cooking, too! What made me extra crabby was that my brother hadn't sent me a birthday card this year, nor come to see my new house. I'm trying to take the nobler road by sending him a card, but will still gripe (just to you) about it! Well, have a great weekend!

Friday, September 22, 2006


I had four dreams that I remember from last night:

The first was about three moose in the backyard, trapping us in our house, which was a little cabin-like structure like my old country house. We did manage to get away just as the largest one put its head right through the window and started eating food off the table! I looked up the dream meanings of moose and wasn't totally satisfied, none of the meanings seemed to fit.

The second longest, and most interesting dream was of joining a club where the members stayed up all night doing things. There were several different groups of the club. They all still went to work in the morning and for the entire day, but spent the night hiking, singing, talking, etc. They had certain routine activities that I was trying to learn, like when they would get up from their chairs or who would go first. A lot of the dream was meeting the other members and talking with them.

The third was more vague than the others. I was meeting with friends and discussing a Japanese tea ceremony. In real life one of my co-workers, the ex-big boss is going to Japan again in December. He's been there two or three times before. In the dream two friends and I were sitting in a booth talking about guys in suits and how the most senior person would perform the tea service for the others. And the last dream, right before I woke up was very vague and had to do with a misunderstanding with another friend.

We had frost warnings for Wednesday night so I dug up and potted my three herb plants. Had trouble finding pots large enough for them! It took me until August to get the garden ready so they hadn't been out there that long but had grown large. Herbs grow like the weeds they are when the conditions are right. I also dug up the two pepper plants, one is hanging with long, thin (hot) peppers in the bay window downstairs. The other is just a baby I got from the ex-big boss for taking care of his plants when he travels.

I had given away my (probably) hundreds of various sized plant pots when moving from the country to the apartment because there was no room. Now I don't have enough pots and wish I had some of my old ones back! Especially those very large, expensive ones that I had collected over many years. Oh well, my plants are safe for the winter and today is Friday. Have a good one!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Breakfast is bad for you

Don't eat breakfast, it's bad for you. Or rather, bad for your computer. Hey, this could be Advice to Myself #3, I knew they would count up!

I keep a plastic water bottle at my bedside (good thing it has a top, turns out). Yesterday I decided to have some cereal with milk along with my cup of coffee as I was catching up on reading favorite blogs. I was in the process of pulling up Sumo Merriment's blog. The water bottle, without my touching it, tipped over off the high dresser and hit the cereal bowl with a splash.

The cereal bowl was sitting on my computer desk right by my large speaker and some milk went into the speaker. The speaker was not even turned on but started to make some horrible, loud sounds. The computer desk was, of course, swamped in milk and cereal. I had already run to the kitchen for towels to mop it up.

I had to shut down the computer at the surge protector and turn the keyboard over to drain it out, rescue the little speaker and other stuff from the computer table. It was a mess but you can see that my computer is working (so far) right now. I let it dry out for a day before turning it back on. Well, I guess breakfast wouldn't be so bad for you if you actually ATE it and didn't spill it all over! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Not really moving

Last night I had a dream that I was moving. Again. That would be the sixth time this year! Let's recap:

1. Sold house and moved to an apartment in Feb
2. Mom sold her house and moved to the apartment two weeks later
3. Mom moved to another apt the beginning of May
4. Bought a house and moved there the beginning of June-- oops, July 5th
5. Moving from my office to the reception desk in front, at work

Lest you think I'm cheating by counting my Mom's two moves, I did everything from finding the apartment, renting the moving van, packing, and the heavy lifting. And I had to take vacation days off from work--so they count as moves for me! And moving all my files and stuff from my old office all by myself was not fun either.

The dream was that I had moved (or was trying to) to a different city. I was going on interviews and filling out utility paperwork for electrical, etc. service. The apartment I rented had stairs that went up to an office right through the middle of the apartment! It was weird. But then I woke up and realized that I didn't have to rent the moving truck, pack and lug stuff again, whew!

I had a check in with the temp at work like my boss does for me. It seems to have helped things, at least so far. I didn't have to go ballistic yesterday anyway, so that is good. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The good and the bad of having a temp helper

Another bit of advice to myself (if I keep this up, maybe there will eventually be 100!): when it's 40F outside don't walk many blocks with no jacket, sandals and bare feet, and still-damp hair. Despite the fact that some people call it an old wive's tale, you will get a sore throat before the end of the day. Well, maybe YOU won't, but I do, and did. Some mouthwash, orange juice and hot beverages (not together or all at once, of course) seem to have knocked it out. I hope.

Monday was a busy day at work but every day seems to have more work than I had possibly get done! Even with the temp to help me (but she's working on special projects, not my regular stuff) I'm really pretty swamped. But the up side is that it doesn't give me much time to think about things and the days go by so fast. (of course--is that really a good thing?)

Yesterday I did go off on a co-worker for giving the temp work directly. It's the second time I've done that, two down and eight to go, ha ha! Even though they all have been told that the temp is working on special projects (and working for me) they will sneak her their weird extra stuff to do without checking it out with me. No wonder the special projects are behind schedule, I was pissed off in the US sense, not the UK meaning! I have to answer to the Manager and to the Executive Director on those projects, so it will make me look bad to be falling behind on them.

Having a temp for a helper is always a mixed blessing, as that person basically wants your (my) job and is trying (behind your back) to get in good with your other co-workers and look better than you do. So she was very happy to deal directly with co-workers, whom she'd have to be blind to not realize are higher up in rank than I am. Even though I have told her from the beginning, and many times since then, that she is to accept work only from me. Part of the problem is that I'm too busy to really supervise her properly and have found out that kind of thing only after the fact.

But hopefully after yesterday I put some fear of God into her and the co-workers. I mean what I say, darn it, quit messing with me! We'll see if today is any better. After my rant the co-workers either avoided me or came up to talk about it privately, depending on how friendly we are to each other. It was funny to watch and note the difference. You can tell just who your office friends are after something like that. But the bottom line is that none of them are really my friends and I always have to watch my back. Oh well, nothing different about that, same old, same old. Office life goes on. Have a good one!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Who would be your choice?

A word of advice to myself: don't go grocery shopping while still queasy. I did that on Sunday and truly thought I was going to be sick, in the UK meaning of the word (see previous post, below)! Luckily I could make it a smaller, quicker trip than originally planned.

Later still on Sunday, son wanted to go out to eat. He almost never wants to do that, plus he's seldom home. He's been home more often now lately. His place of work is not so happy about his going to school and has cut back on his hours. I have found (in my various past places of work) that work is a jealous suitor for one's time! No matter what they SAY, the higher-ups at work do not like a person to work another job or go to school. They say it's because of falling job performance, but ties into their finding out about it, not the actual start of the school or work! I got laid off one time because of working another job. They didn't know about it for over a year but once they found out, they made an excuse to get rid of me.

When I finally read the Sunday paper, quite a bit later on Sunday night, they had the question, if you could could a day with someone who is gone, who would it be and what would you do? I'd spent the day with my Dad, planting long rows of trees on the land where I grew up. That's the land that my younger brother bought from my Mom this last spring. I haven't been out there since then and used to go every week. Every year when he was well, my Dad would get 2,000 to 7,000 small trees and plant them. I would often help, if I wasn't working two jobs. It was great to bring some water and a sandwich and stay out in the woods all day, talking and working or just being silent together.

It's 45F outside right now, which is not horribly cold (yet) but not so good when I left a window open. Brrr and brrrr. Who would be your choice to spend the day, and what would you do?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Too much fun, again

Despite the fact I didn't get up until 9:00, I've done a few things already today: showered with ferrets first of course, then walked to get the Sunday paper and some milk. 18 motorcycles passed by and the traffic is very heavy, wonder what's going on today? Then I buried the two cans of compost in the garden, scooped the ferret cage, picked grass for Ricky, potted that little willow twig that I saved last fall from construction, dug out the four bulbs from the Mother's Day potted flowers I got from my son. I can replant them for next year--but in the garden! And I'm doing the laundry, cleaned the upstairs bathroom floor, all of the above tasks done while slightly hung-over.

Yes, we went out again last night to a little country bar that had a benefit and karaoke singing. It was really fun and I didn't get home until nearly 5:00 a.m. Now that I'm sitting, I don't feel so good. Must keep active! Have a great rest of your weekend!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Just not enough

Not having enough rejection on Friday night (from the company at which I'd interviewed) I decided to call a friend that hadn't returned my calls for quite a while. I'd finally stopped calling her two months ago. We had used to go every Saturday to lunch as some of the original "scone club" members. Even though she screens her calls, she answered this one. Ouch. The less said the better. Like I first said, I think I was trying to find more rejection and it was successful.

Anyway, I had a good Saturday despite that, went to the library, did some errands and spent time with my Mom. And per request here are what the author of "Rules, Britannia" feels are the "biggies" in differences between language/word use in the UK and the US:

Anxious: in the UK it means nervous about something. In the US it can also mean eager or looking forward to something, as in Sally was anxiously (happily, eagerly) awaiting her date with Matt.
Co-ed: In the UK it is never used for bathrooms or for students as it's used in the US.
Cute: In the US it also means good-looking, handsome or pretty.
Dear: in the UK usually means expensive or pricey, not beloved, as in the US.
Dirt/Soil: Americans call garden soil "dirt".
Fag: Cigarettes in the UK, of course.
Fanny: innocent and even a cutsy word in the US, not in the UK.
Favor: to prefer, but in the US is also used to mean "looks like" as, the baby favors (looks like) her mother.
First Floor: ground level in the UK, the level above ground level in the US.
Homely: Means ugly in the US, not necessarily in the UK where it can mean plain looking but not actually ugly.
Ill/Sick: To be sick in the UK means to throw up, in the US it means any illness.
May/May Not: are commands on signs in the UK, in the US it implies a choice in the matter.
Momentarily: for a fleeting moment in the UK, means in a monent in the US such as "I'll be back momentarily" meaning to return in five minutes or so.
Neat: tidy or clean in the UK, cool or great in the US.
Pavement: The sidewalk in the UK. It means the road or the street in the US--a dangerous difference!
Quite: the author said this has almost the opposite meaning in the two countries. Is that true? I use "quite" quite a bit! In the UK it means something was only OK, in the US it's an positive adjective like "great" example: The band was quite (very) good.
Smart: in the UK, nicely dressed. In the US it means intelligent.
Tick Off: in the UK it means to check off or to reprimand, in the US it means to get someone angry, "to tick them off".
Vet: in the UK, to check something over. It's not used as a verb in the US.
To Visit: to physically go to meet someone in the UK. In the US it means to talk or to chat.
To Wash Up: means to do the dishes in the UK. In the US it can mean to wash one's hands, or a euphenism to go to the toilet.

The book is full of examples of behaviors, customs and rules. It's fascinating!

The rejected deject

I'm crushed. Got home from a long week of week and found a skinny letter in my mailbox. It was from the company where I'd interviewed, and, you guessed it, it was a reject letter. When I first took it and the stack of mail into the house I wondered and hoped that it was not what it appeared to be. Then, when I let the dog out I sat, took a deep breath, and opened it. It was short, polite, and a form letter.

I was a dejected reject, or is that a rejected deject? Anyway, I was pretty depressed about it at first. Despite the fact my current job has been much better lately, I would have jumped at the chance to switch jobs. This position was within walking distance, paid better and sounded oh so interesting. So why was I not the most qualified for the job? It was a very good fit, I had all of the attributes they desired, and more. Did I not communicate that fact properly to them? The interview went great and seemed extremely positive.

But there were other things that I communicated, without using words. I was overdressed for the interview, for one thing. They seemed quite casual and the rule for interviews is to dress only one step above the normal office wear. I was decked out in a brand new expensive suit and shoes, not so cool. Also, and I hate to keep saying this but I think it may have been a factor, I was LOTS older than any of the other women there. Anyway, they didn't want me. That stings. The company where I currently work barely wants me either; I truly felt like a rejected deject.

So I ate a handful of peanuts and an apple for dinner and read more in the PI book and Marilyn Ferguson's "Aquarius Now: Radical Common Sense and Reclaiming Our Personal Sovereignty". That last book cheered me up as it had a weird synchonicity with my blurb on stories, posted earlier this week. The most unlikely pairings can have a certain, same pattern. That's why I read more than one book at a time, there are weird connections and I love that!

There is an Urban Garden Tour happening later today. Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 15, 2006

new hairstyle and some reading

I'm all storied out for the time being. At least for telling them, making new stories and reading stories has been good, though. Speaking of reading, I'm reading the usual weird mix of books, and may or may not actually get through them all.

"By Myself" by Lauren Bacall is the book closest to finished. I just got through the part about Bogie dying of cancer, great timing, on my Dad's anniversary. The title is somewhat ironic as Bacall was never alone or "by herself" but constantly surrounded by helping people from an early age! Now I'd like to watch some of the movies she wrote about in the book.

Another book that is only halfway done is "Rules, Britannia: An Insider's Guide to Life in the United Kingdom" which is quite interesting. Much of the material has been kindly covered by some of my favorite bloggers(!) but the book basically tells us Americans the differences in behavior, and especially, language between the two places.

Then there's Marilyn Ferguson's "Aquarius Now: Radical Common Sense and Reclaiming Our Personal Sovereignty" I find her a bit hard-going and only am a third of the way through that one. It's the kind of book that I take notes in my journal about, it's basically "a blueprint for the future".

"Boundaries in the Mind: A New Psychology of Personality" is interesting, but I haven't read very far into it yet. Another book that requires notes.

Of course I read some lighter books, and am pretty far into "Too Darn Hot" by Sandra Scoppettone. It's about a woman PI set during WWII and reminds me somewhat of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. It's more delightful, though, especially the slang that the main character uses. I'll be looking up more books by that author!

So, what have you been reading lately? And it's Friday, finally an end to this long, very busy week. Happy Friday and weekend!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yet another story

I love stories, my own and especially, other people's stories. And I love having experiences and making stories best of all. I think that is the definition of really knowing a person---is when you know their stories and can even finish telling a few of them! That's why I like hearing dreams almost as well. Dreams are a garbled story. Stories can be entertaining, informative, or just long and boring but the person telling you their story is giving you an opportunity to bond with them, to know them better. I think all of our stories are interesting. The manner of telling may get a little long-winded and tedious, but usually the story itself is interesting.

My Mom sometimes tells me the same story three or four times when I see her. Do I tell her, "I've already heard that, Mom. You already told me that story." No, that would be rude and would really hurt her feelings. It also would make her feel self-conscious about telling stories like some older people who anxiously ask before telling "Have I already told you this?" Instead I listen patiently again and maybe there's some odd detail that I missed the first or second time. If you've been around a particular older person much, you've probably heard nearly all of their stories, and more than once. Older people don't HAVE many new stories! In fact, as long as I'm giving out personal definitions, I'd say that's the definition of an old person is--no new stories. When we stop making new stories, we are old. But the young 'uns can learn from hearing those stories!

Speaking of long-winded and boring....the above is that, ha ha. Anyway, I was going to relate the story of when my Dad died. It will be six years ago tomorrow. He had been fighting cancer for ten years, up and down, some years were near normal and others, like his last year, not so good. I was working two jobs at the time but went out to see them every other week on a Sunday because I only worked nights on weekends. Ironically I had taken Thursday, Friday and Saturday off from both jobs to get that eyeball surgery done, you know, the one so you don't have to wear glasses anymore. I hadn't told my parents, as they would not approve, especially the cost of such a procedure back then. So I was uncharacteristically home when my Mom called in a panic, "I called you at work and you weren't there, Dad is dead. What do I do? What should I do?" My Mom almost never panics, over anything, so that was a small shock to go with the larger one.

I told her to call the neighbor, Mrs. Nurse and have her come to pronounce him dead. I'd heard horror stories of ambulance crews being required to try to resuscitate dead bodies. Then I told her to hang on, we were coming out to help. It took me much longer than I thought to call both jobs and request the following week off, and to call to reschedule my eye surgery. Then I had to get my son from work, pack for a week and drive out. It took me two hours before I arrived (but the drive out is 50 minutes) and by that time my older brother had come, the funeral home had come, but the neighbor nurse had come first of all so everything had gone as smoothly as one could hope under such circumstances. The next few days are a blur, when a family member dies there is a lot to be done. Plus the telephone rings non-stop from family, friends and neighbors, people appear at the door carrying food. We needed a receptionist to deal with it all!

Well, that's enough story for today. I got up on the second alarm. I set two clocks, the regular wind-up clock and my travel alarm. Neither clock uses electricity because it wasn't that dependable when we lived in the country. Anyway, the regular clock must be broken because I woke up to the second alarm and thus lost 20 minutes of my morning 45 minutes of blogging time! Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A 9/11 story

It's warmer in here today. Even though son complained about the furnace noise again, I had turned it up to 72F. Once I'm snug and warm in bed, if he truly can't sleep I'd let him turn it back down. He has long days of work and school and needs his rest, too. But I don't think he did turn it back down, either that or it's warmer outside. It never did get that close to freezing like someone had told me, I looked it up. The weather "only" dipped to in the 40's. In the daytime, though it's glorious! The past few days have been a perfect 60-70F.

Now that I can think of something besides shivering, here's my story of what I was doing on 9/11:

I was working in the library as a temp at the place where I work as a real employee now. In fact I was sitting exactly where our temp sits and doing much of the same things I'm having her do for me. The receptionist, who always kept a radio on suddenly came rushing around the office, "A plane hit a building in New York!" Nobody paid much attention to her, but I turned on my little radio and listened to the events onfolding. Nobody at work seemed to take it seriously and kept working and going in and out of the office. I felt a growing horror and disbelief as I listened to the news. The receptionist was the only one who was distraught. She took an early lunch and came back crying, "It's bad, really bad PBS."

I had a job interview with the school district in the afternoon. People at work knew I was going, the receptionist wished me well. I walked over to the HR office and sat in the waiting chair. A friendly woman who did the calling for subs chatted with me as I waited (we later became good friends!). We didn't talk about the news at all. Soon the HR person who had called me on the phone came to get me for the interview.

We had to pass through another large set of office suites and it was deathly still. They had a little TV turned on and were watching the news. I excused myself for having to walk right past the TV, and as I did--they were showing the towers coming down. It was the first time I'd actually seen that footage. It all suddenly became so real to me and my knees got weak, but I kept following the HR person into a large board room.

I was introduced to many people in the board room and couldn't remember a single name. I botched the first couple of interview questions, I was so shaken by what I had just seen. I started answering the third question and stopped, "Sorry, I've forgotten the question...." and then I explained that I hadn't actually seen the news until just now, listening to the radio hadn't had quite the impact. (also that nobody in our office seemed affected or concerned except for the receptionist--but I didn't say that)

The rest of the interview went much better and I was offered the job a few days later. It was the job that I only worked four-and-a-half months for a crazy boss who later had a nervous breakdown. The place where I had worked as a temp wanted me back desperately and made a new job especially for me. I'm still at the same place, but not working that same job. We all have memories and a story about what happened to us on that day, where we were when we heard the news. Some of the stories are much sadder than others. The world has certainly changed since that day.

Monday, September 11, 2006

brrrrr, and brrrr again

Today is the anniversary of the day that changed so many lives--and ended many. It's great to read the beautiful tribunes that some of the bloggers, like Lisa and Michelle have written.

Brrrr, and brrrr again! It's cold in here. It's cold outside. Where did our nice hot summer go? For the first time I used a blanket instead of just a sheet like I did all summer for sleeping. I also turned the heat on and made the not-so-good discovery that my bedroom has no heat vents! Well, at least none that I can find and I don't remember seeing any either, come to think of it. I could have covered it/them with boxes under the bed or with the two dressers or with the file cabinet or computer table. Or they might be in the ---shudder shudder--- closet, a place I've been meaning to clean up more, soon. I've done some straightening up in there but there are still boxes on the floor. Maybe the heating vent is there under the boxes, I hope so.

Poor son came up several times last night to complain about the furnace noise. I didn't think it sounded any louder than a normal furnace, and I had checked things out when I first turned the heat up last night, because it was the first time we've turned on the heat here in the new house. We're used to electric heat, which is very very quiet, so that might be it. Or, most probably, it's because he's down in the basement and very near the furnace. But sleeping nearby the furnace sounds quite nice right now!

Anyway, I let him turn the heat back down in the middle of the night last night, so the furnace shut off. Why does 60F not feel too bad outside but INSIDE it's so chilly? Actually, I used to keep the indoor temp at that when we were poor because heat is so expensive. But now with a better-paying job to pay for it I'd like to feel a good 75F, which is quite a bit warmer than presently. Son will just have to get used to the furnace noise so his Mom doesn't freeze up here! Probably he has by now, like I said, last night was the first night that needed some warming up.

I may change the planned work outfit of today to a sweater! Hope you have a good, warm Monday!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's possible to have too much fun

It is possible to have too much fun, not during the actual fun part, but in suffering the aftermath. Today is such a day, ugh. I'm feeling rather unwell and a bit woozy. But last night was fun fun fun, so much fun that I didn't get home until 4:56 a.m. (yes, I had checked the exact time, because I'm so time-oriented) in the morning. I'd gotten up at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and had a busy day of errands, Mom and shopping. Then, later at night some friends wanted to go out to hear a local rock band.

This morning I was awakened by the neighbor woman yelling commands to her dog at 9:00 a.m. too early, far too early. But so far I've showered, taken care of the animals and searched for that band's Web site--with no success. I just looked at the poster I got from them, and it's not on there either. I did notice that one of the guys put his phone number by his scrawled signature, ha ha! They tore that poster off the wall for us, because we asked for one. It was one of only two posters, the other was up behind the drummer.

I don't know why the band seemed to like us, maybe because we liked them, and they were an older band, around our age. Although to be honest, I had heard of them but knew nothing about them except that they're considered one of the better local bands. Anyway, the lead guitarist came down from the stage and played for me! I was thrilled and just a little embarrassed. He later went around and played for many others, but I was the first. Everyone at the table was nudging me and being annoying about it.

Later, after we had downed many pitchers, the lead guitarist came back, jumped up and stood on my table! I was alone at the table (adjacent to the others, of course) and it was a little, tippy but quite high up table that threatened to fall over with his rocking! I was desperately clutching on to the table so he wouldn't fall off and kill himself, so didn't enjoy the attention as much as I might have. Then, to my relief and to the others in my party's excitement, he stepped over on to their bigger table and played. I wish someone had videotaped it--my hanging on to the table instead of just enjoying the music. It had to look hilarious. Oh well.

The men of a drunken wedding party started passing people overhead on the dance floor, but it stopped soon because there wasn't a big enough crowd and some people were dropping the ball, so to speak. The band came over to us first at the first break but during later breaks they didn't. We were having fun passing notes at our tables, since the music was too loud to talk. We had a pen and one of those little yellow tablets and were laughing loudly at our own jokes and being pretty obnoxious in general. I would like to read that tablet now and see if some of those things were really all that funny!

So, did I go off into the sunrise with the lead guitarist? None, some little drunken college chicky snagged him shortly after his table performance for us. She just went up to him during the last break, put her arms around him and stayed there. They went off together hand in hand without a backward glance. It was just as well as I'm not into, um, moving things along quite that quickly, and our last conversation from him standing on my table didn't count as a great getting-to-know-you activity.

We all went out to eat, where I found out that a friend's new guy graduated from the same (small, rural) high school that I did! But not the same class (or I would have known him) small world. We talked over coffee for hours, which was a good thing because I was one of the drivers and had to get back over the interstate bridge.

So today I'm downing a pot of coffee and have raided my son's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that he keeps for his girlfriend. I feel better already, have a great day!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

new addition to the living room

As Rainy Pete requested, here is a photo of my new tables. It's a stock photo from the Web site, so doesn't really show how they look in my living room. Much better than the photo, actually! The silver trim and legs on the tables look so nice resting on the (light gray running through the mostly white) carpet. And the tables look good with the taupe leather couch and chair too. Wish I could show you! When my son comes home I'll try to borrow his camera and take a photo of the (unfinished) living room.

I'm debating what sort of curtains or drapes would look good. I loved the look of the white blinds in the apartment, but those blinds could not be cut down enough to fit these smaller windows. So the blinds are installed on the outside of the windows. I don't like the look, it looks like a porch or something, too sloppy and casual. So the choices are to either buy all new, smaller blinds and rehang them, or put drapes over the windows to conceal the blind's edges hanging over the windows. Not sure which I would prefer, but I do like the airy look of white blinds against white walls.

So those are the burning issues that I'm dealing with today. Also, if that Canadian company offers me the new job, should I take it? I'd be on probation for three months, the lowest person in the department and most apt to be laid off. I have no record with them, while in my present company, I do, four years worth--six, if you count the time I temped for them.

See, the thing is, and I'm almost embarrassed to admit this after some of the things I've said: I kinda LIKE my job now! It's sort of like being at an event every day, and events have always been my favorite thing about this job. I sit in the front and deal with everyone and anything that comes into our office. I have to admit it, but I'm kind of loving it!

OK, I don't like the loss of privacy and my office with a door and a window and a place to hang my coat and put my shoes, my two office plants (which I miss) and some other things like having my own bulletin board and space for personal stuff. It was an adjustment because everything is public when sitting out at the reception desk. Anything I'm doing on the computer can be seen by anyone who steps into the room, I can't have personal stuff on my desk (no room) and phone calls are overheard by anyone in the two open rooms adjacent to the reception area. And people are usually in at least one of those two rooms!

Anyway, a lot to think about. But then, again, the other company may not offer me the job either. So, off to do errands and look at drapes! Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 08, 2006

shaping up

The new coffee table and the two end tables were delivered yesterday! And best of all, they look great in the living room. The place is shaping up, still some things to get and do. I've got several painting jobs but was waiting for summer to be over before tackling them. And the lawn is getting long again. Son has been busy with school and work and hasn't touched it for weeks. I could mow it, but then it would miraculously become MY job instead of his forever more, and we had an agreement. Funny how that works...

I gardened quite a bit last night. The weatherman said it would be our last nice day before temperatures would drop 20 degrees! He may be right, as it's cold and rainy this morning.

The temp at work hand wrote the labels for two boxes we were sending out. I had told her to type them. Although it sounds nitpicky, I always type them. We've had bad experiences with mis-deliveries and mis-billings for hand-written labels, although some people in the office handwrite them and maybe she saw that. Am I micro-managing here? But I'm the one who has to fix the problems caused. She has a difficult time typing, for some reason and I think she just decided I was being unreasonable. Guess I'll have to talk to her to find out, but I don't want to be a bad or unreasonable boss. My criteria is that I wouldn't ask her to do anything that I wouldn't (or hadn't) done myself. Would that include cleaning our booth displays? I've shied away from asking her to do cleaning-type jobs and end up doing them myself, like cleaning the kitchen and our conference room.

It's Friday, yay yay yay! Have a good day and a great weekend!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ricky, the chinchilla

Ricky, the chinchilla. Just look at that nice, soft fur! Ricky is difficult to get a photo of because even though he sits quietly on your shoulder, he tends to look like a white blob in photos.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

meme meme meme

Deni from Time to Tell had a great meme that she has so kindly passed along. So here it is.

1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blog with its content and look?

I like the black background, don't want a lot of frills. I might take my photo back off since I look a bit creepy in it.

2. Does your family know about your blog?

My son and Mom both both know about it. But Mom doesn't have computer access or interest. My son might have found the blog by now, hope not. As much as I love them both, I need a place to vent about the relationship occasionally.

3. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?

No, I'm not embarrassed by the blog and talk up the fun of blogging to friends, family and general acquaintences. A couple of people have asked for the address, but I've not given it out to anyone that I know in "real" life. It's a private thing, like my notebook journal.

4. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?

I have so little time that I often don't even make the blog rounds on my list. Once in a great while I'll explore other blogs and enjoy doing so. Usually the blogs I check out are linked on blogs that I already read regularly.

5. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?

I had a counter on my old blog because I had the feeling it was being read at work--and I was right about that! My new blog doesn't have a counter as I think they're kind of sneaky and really don't like the idea of them.

6. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?

Yes, I have matched each blogger that I read regularly with someone I know or knew in real life! Usually just because certain things they say remind me of someone or their writing style seems familiar. Quite often they turn out to look quite a bit like the person I know, too, a weird coincidence!

7. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?

Oh yes, a huge benefit. I started using blogging in place of journaling but it has turned out to be so much more than that: educational, social, amusing, sad, so many emotions. The venting and complaining I do on my blog really helps to get it out and then to put things in perspective.

8. Do you think that bloggers society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?

Blogger's society is so much a part of the real world. It deepens and broadens my world. I often learn about events from reading blogs (example: Steve Irwin) before I hear about it on the news.

9. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it's a normal thing?

I don't really take criticism that well, but am aware of that failing. I tend to think that unless someone is requesting blunt opinion, it's rather impolite to criticize. Unsolicited criticism might be a normal thing, but it's sort of rude.

10. Do you fear of some political blogs and avoid them?

I got into a political argument on a blog I used to read regularly, felt disrespected so have never gone back there. I'm not afraid of political blogs, just that many of them are really annoying, so what's the point of reading them? I'm interested in politics but think that both sides can be far too extreme and name-calling. There aren't very many political blogs that I like to read, there's one really good one that I read regularly.

11. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?

Why, has somebody here gotten arrested? Or is this question referring to something in the news? I guess it would depend on what they were charged with and the circumstances.

12. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?

I have asked my son to go on my blog (to find it, if he hasn't already) and leave a note, if something should happen to me.

13. What do you like to hear? What's the song you like to put its link in your blog?

I listen to a wide variety of music but don't really want to put any of it on my blog.

14. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?

Yes, reading blogs has interested me, inspired me, evoked curiosity and emotion. The process of putting my thoughts down (nearly) every morning is theraputic and has a positive effect.

Five bloggers to be the next "victims"?
Magpie, Bikercandy, Heidi, Dale, Lorna, Katie
I haven't made blog rounds so please excuse me if you've already done this meme (or if you don't want to do it). Have a great day!

Too much of a good thing

Back to work today. Yesterday it almost seemed like the START of another weekend. Why is it that for long weekends it seems like there should be even more days off? Last week at work it seemed like a longer week, too, even though it was only four days. Very weird.

I had a nice Monday off. Mom and I went shopping. She had wanted to go and I got in the mood too. In fact I got a little too much in the mood! For someone who used to be so frugal and not shop except at rummage sales and thrift stores--I've changed my ways. This isn't necessarily a good thing!

Mom bought some blouses, while I bought two pair of jeans and a jean jacket. Before that I bought a coffee table and two end tables. They will be delivered on Thursday and I'll have to run home from work to let the delivery people in. My son normally does that type of thing because his work is later but now he's in school all day and at work at night.

The coffee table and end tables are round and (for some reason) remind me of the Jetsons, that futuristic animated couple from a long time ago on TV. The tables have a retro feeling, like back in the 50's, my son will hate them. They have a shelf below the top and are on casters for easy moving. They're in a dark brown to match the wood beams in the living room. I can't wait to see them there, the furniture is nice but still looks incomplete with no coffee or end tables. I'm just hoping that THREE tables in the same style aren't going to be too much of a good thing. If so, I can just move one or both of the end tables elsewhere, like down in the basement family room.

Well, Happy Tuesday to you, hope you have a good week!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Un-Labor Day

What a great way to celebrate working--by NOT working! I'm off today for Labor Day. It's been an interesting weekend so far:

Friday night went well. My Mom wanted to go to a Chinese place for her birthday. My older brother knew of a brand new one that had opened up across from our Perkins, so we went there. We were standing in a big line waiting for a seat and my brother just hung around the door. I'm not very outgoing, but the most outgoing of my family and I did not want my poor Mom to be waiting there while people were geeting ahead of us! So I stood in the line, caught the busy hostess' eye and held up my hand, "Table for five?" she asked, and soon we had a table. The food was excellent and it was a good choice. Nobody wanted to sing Happy Birthday to the two birthday people, and I would have been singing alone (no one would want that!) so we didn't sing, but otherwise the meal and interactions went fine.

Saturday was a mixed day of doing errands, chores and looking stuff up online. My Mom had told me (during her birthday dinner) that my younger brother was coming up on Saturday night. He would be taking her to church early on Sunday and that we would be going out for lunch before he left.

On Sunday I spent a little time online but not too much as I didn't want the phone to be busy. But when the call didn't come, I started to get restless. "Just call them" my son advised, as he was getting ready for work. But I didn't want to because my older brother and wife have this thing of wanting to cook for my Mom lately. They bring the food and tear up her kitchen in cooking. I'm not sure she really likes it and I wouldn't either. It's easier to just go out to eat, and poverty isn't the issue, he's a CFO and earns tons of money. He owns four houses now and doesn't rent out any of them. Guess he just thinks it's charming or something.

I was getting hungry and ate an apple, then quickly walked the two blocks to get the Sunday paper. The paper was a good way to occupy my time. I had the rodeo to go to at 1:30 anyway. Finally Mom called, "I've missed you" she said, and I reminded her that it had only been since Friday. Then she said that they had just pulled away and invited me over FOR LEFTOVERS! My brother and family had indeed cooked for her and had now left for home. I probably should have just gone there but it was getting late and I was a bit angry with them. Why hadn't I been invited to eat with them, why just for leftovers? I was glad that I hadn't called them (some instinct told me not to) because I would have been crashing their party, I wasn't invited.

But I knew why the later invitation, my Mom wanted me to clean up her kitchen and put away all the food. So I just said "No, I'm going to the rodeo, remember?" and without (too much) guilt that's what I did.

The rodeo was awesome, held outside in the weather of course. I had both a rain jacket and a fleece jacket and ended up loaning out my fleece jacket to someone who had come in short sleeves. As for the rodeo, I loved it! Such a fun blend of sport, patriotism, and American Kitsch (well decribed as: "fabulously tacky excesses and desirably hideous objects, and music in an outlandishly kitsch tribute to all things tack!") They had several country songs about patriotism before the Pledge of Alliance, all with girls on horseback waving flags around. Then they had a prayer. Apparently they had Rodeo Church in the morning, wish I'd gone to that as I didn't go to the regular church.

I bought some cheese curds during the intermission, as the apple hadn't been enough, and a straw cowgirl hat! We looked at horse tack and lots of leather. It was so dusty that I had to put my sunglasses on even though it wasn't that sunny. What a photo that would have made with the cowgirl hat! I liked that girls' barrel racing the most, and we cheered them on. The bronco riding and especially the bull riding were dangerous. Two of the guys got hurt, both during the bull riding, which was the last event. Then I came home to a peaceful, empty house (son at work) with no doors left unlocked or open.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Open house

I came home last night with the (heavy) two desk tops that I scarfed up from the office next door at work. They were just throwing them out and neither son nor I have a decent computer desk, so I took 'em. It was a mini adventure getting them to the jeep (I park up the hill, remember) into the jeep, and actually into the house without any help. Yes, I'm kind of a packrat, it comes from being so poor for many many years.

The first thing I do when coming home is to let my little dog out, she's been waiting since son left for work. He's started school this week and leaves the house very early. We let the dog out the back dog, on a chain, well, it's not really a chain but one of those light, long plastic rope-things.

The house felt funny, different, when I first walked in, but I was sweating from dragging those two heavy desktops around so it didn't really register--until I went downstairs to the basement to let the dog out--and our back door was open! I don't mean unlocked, I mean wide open!

I already had walked through the upstairs and the basement, but now I started looking in closets and hidden corners and up in the loft. It was like one of those cheesy horror movies where the people go into the attic, down to the basement or wherever and you're saying to yourself, "No, no, don't go there!"

But I'd rather be checking out the house than be sitting and eating dinner, or sleeping at night and be confronted by someone who had got into the house. Anyway, I didn't find anyone and everything appeared to be still there. Our back door is hidden unless someone is walking in the alleyway. But many people do walk back there, plus did my little dog go outside, loose, all by herself? Bet she did. And we have major traffic on the road next door and a bus stop across the street.

But I found out when son came home early, at 6:00 p.m. (normally it's more like midnight or later) that he'd stopped home around noon. So that means the house was only open for five hours, what a relief (ha ha). But it could have been so much worse. Well it's Friday, so have a good one and a great weekend!