19 February 2018

On This Day...

14 February 2018

Happy Valentines Day

It's not a made-up holiday.  Love is love is love.  Celebrate those you love today.

15 January 2018

On This Day...

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

14 January 2018

Looking Back Forward

I had high hopes for 2018 and then it had me run into two former boyfriends in twenty-four hours.  Two more and I'll have revisited my entire romantic history.  *thanks, universe* <----muttered gritted="" p="" teeth.="" through="">
I mean it's not awful, it could have been worse.  There was no/little baggage with these guys but still.

Both times I was scrubby because the universe has a sense of humor.  The first time it was raining outside and because I hate coats, I was not at my best appearance-wise.  Although comparatively the last time he saw me was at his father's funeral so I guess I have that going for me? *wincing*

The second time I was with Kevin, which is always a hoot.  This is the one guy that Kevin very jokingly says "And you slept with him!"  Way to make it weird, Kev.  

These interactions came on the heels of a new "friend" on the facebook that I made during the holidays.  It was a guy I knew when I was dating/married the first time.  We never dated but he was the only one who said "What are you doing with this guy?" before I married the first time.

He posted a photo that just kicked my ass.  It was a photo of his car (that he had when we knew each other) parked in front of a shop that I spent a lot of time at (owned by the family of the best man in my first wedding) looking at the store he used to work at, and overlooked by my former husband's family business.  It was a weird encapsulation of my history in one photo.

It was a very Sliding Doors moment. A glimpse of what life not only looked like then but a glimpse of an alternate future.  You're giving me whiplash, universe.

(he's a former FBI guy so Hi! if you image search your photos)

Why I Hate White Elephants...

One of my least favorite things in the entire universe is white elephant exchanges.  Invariably, and I mean every.single.time, I get the crap present.  I knew this but never said anything about it to anyone until Kevin mentioned it during the holidays.  I didn’t realize that he noticed but he did.

His work did a gift exchange at their party.  The difference being is that the owner bought all the gifts and they were not cheap gifts.  As we watched, there were a few things that we nudged each other and nodded approvingly.  There were others that I was like “Umm, no. don’t choose a present that is that shape.”  Those were the kitchen appliances, like mixers and toasters. 

Kevin ended up choosing an expensive multi-tool, a definite boy thing.  He was mildly excited about it but not over the moon. It’s not really something he will carry with him and use frequently. He has some of my gift exchange karma, I think.

Now, fast forward to my work party.  I’m in a room with twenty people, many of whom I don’t know.  I’ve worked here for just over ninety-days at this point.  This gift exchange was $10 gift cards so not a bad idea, really.  Until it was.

I bought a Fred Meyer/Kroger card because a) I forgot about it and 2) I went with practicality. 

Yeah, I totally chose my own card.  They were all in all the same envelopes so you couldn’t tell which was which.  I played it cool, figured that I guess it’s a win.  Then the boss stole it from me so I had to choose again. 

A coffee card…hooray! Except it was for a town fifteen minutes away.  (see? Bad karma)  Then someone stole it. (I know!)  I chose another gift card and it was for Itunes.   Sigh.  I’m not an Apple person, I hate their products, actually.  But I thought “Shiny side: I can give it to one of the kids for their stocking.” 

Then someone else who also had bad exchange karma and he caught my eye.  Silently we agreed to trade cards after it was all said and done.  Hooray!  We both worked it out.

It was a $10 gift card for wally world.  Not great and my first thought was like the Itunes card: I’ll just use it on the kids.  But then I didn’t.  Fast forward one month and I’m shopping for a mattress topper.  I spent a little more than I planned because I had a ten dollar gift card.

I swear to sweet little eight pound baby jesus this is true:  It didn’t work.  I know!

Now I mentioned in a previous post that my mother-in-law wanted to do a gift exchange at Christmas for the adults.  We were against it because there is a person in the family who is sensitive pants and ugh, just no. 

We agreed that the gifts should be $15-20 and to buy one boy gift and one girl gift.  I purposefully and thoughtfully chose gifts that people could use.  Something useful and not something off the sale rack.  Something I wouldn't mind getting myself.

Then my sister in law decided to look up games on the interwebs just to make it more awkward, I guess.  We all were given a gift then had to roll a die to see if we passed gifts left or right or kept our gift.  We did two rounds of this with eleven adults.  It was awkward and weird and we all hated it. (and totally effed the boy girl thing, by the way)

Yeah, I totally ended up with a gift I bought.  It was a gardening set so it wasn’t awful but it also wasn’t something I was excited about or needed.  Kevin got a Ten-in-One game set that we’ll never use. 

I returned the gardening set and spent the cash at the dollar store and second hand store.  I guess it was a win, other than just being annoyed.  the game set is just going to sit in a cupboard until I get frustrated looking at it and send it to Goodwill.

So, can we just not with the gift exchanges?  Someone is always unhappy, people are usually uncomfortable, and it rarely comes out fairly.  

Let's just give each other candy and move on with our lives.  No one hates candy, right?  I mean I'd literally rather have a white chocolate elephant shaped candy than endure a gift exchange.  Can someone make this happen before next Christmas?

01 January 2018

This Year...


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story. 

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism. 

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass. 

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself. 

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. 

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

It's the New Year's Meme!

It’s tradition! The New Years Meme!

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
*thinking*  I'm sure there's something...

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I believe that I mostly did. I just can't even this year. 

My resolutions for 2018:
To be determined at a later date. Like, 2019.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, no new babies this year. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, a good friend at the end of 2016 and his father just a few months ago. An aunt we weren't close to.  It feels like I'm forgetting someone and isn't that awful?

5. What countries did you visit?

"Oh Canada, our home and native land.."
(This is not my favorite question...Let's try: What trips did you take?  Well, none but we went on a few fun roadtrips!)

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Peace and contentment

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I unexpectedly lost my job in March. I'm still not recovered from that experience and don't know that I ever will be.  The day of Kevin's procedure now with some time passed I can see the humor of it and not the initial worry.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Putting one foot in front of another each day. Not running away to Canada.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'm grateful that I can't think of one but this year as a whole felt like failure.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not this year!  I'm on a two-year spree!  Go, me!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Although upset at the time because it was unplanned, my new-to-me Durango.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who has made it through this no good, awful, terrible year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

He Who Shan't Be Named and the people who support him.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really excited about?
Dude, I got nothing.  I mean, I started a new job but i wasn't over-the-moon about it.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?
In Case You Didn't Know   This is the ringtone Kevin has set for me.  Almost thirty years in and this song is still relevant.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Meh
– thinner or fatter? Same-ish
– richer or poorer? Meh

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Read...where did all my reading skills/time go?  I suspect the interwebs.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

Eve - at my parents with an excited four-year-old who has discovered the joy of Tag!
Day - Next door, immersed in children's excitement and food

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?
Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I'm rewatching the entire E.R. series and have fallen in love again.  Same with West Wing.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

"No. I'm not a hater. It's a waste of time" is my standard answer but this year He Who Shan't Be Named is on the list.

24. What was the best book you read?
*scanning bookshelves*  I read a series by Nora Roberts that I wasn't wild about and put in the donate box.  See question #18...

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
The combination of Shazam and Amazon Prime Music. For example, I just downloaded Greatest Love Story by Lanco after hearing it on the Canadian country radio station.  Oh, wait. No. The Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack.  But if we're being honest, it's still Hamilton.

26. What did you want and get?
A job, even though it didn't turn out to be what I wanted.  Focusing on gratitude here because I'm lucky on that front and need to shush.

27. What did you want and not get?
I didn't go to Vegas this year and I was more disappointed than I thought I would be.  It's not that it's *Vegas*, it's time away and time spent with friends.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Batman Lego Movie, because I'm six.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had birthday cake for breakfast, worked in the morning because new job (booo), went to lunch with Kevin then bought Christmas decorations I didn't need on clearance at Michaels.  I watched Doctor Who for the remainder of the day and had taco Tuesday for dinner.  This is my last year in the forties.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Peace and contentment, I'm saying it again because it's so rarely out of my grasp and I don't like it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
I'm going to quote an old coworker "I'd like to get as close as possible to wearing pajamas to work yet still look appropriately dressed."

32. What kept you sane?

 Kevin. Lucy. Mochas.Television.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
It's a tie this year: Patton Oswalt because he's amazing and Wil Wheaton because he is also amazing.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

the whole gawdamned gawdawful thing.

35. Who did you miss?

My former co-workers.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I am rebuilding a friendship with one of my high-school best friends after being separated for years by distance/life.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:
Everything I think of sounds trite or from a Dr. Seuss book.Let's go with this: Things are rarely what they seem, plan accordingly.

Me at the End of 2017                                                                      Me at 12:01 am 2018


23 December 2017

In Prep for Christmas Eve

Adventures in Shopping

This year despite best intentions, I was really late with Christmas shopping.  Like, started and finished yesterday late.  There are a variety of factors attributing to this but mostly I refer to the previous post mentioning how difficult 2017 has been.

But, let's talk about how the day went.  Firstly, I knew I wanted to start at Wally World first.  This required getting up like a regular workday on my day off and being in the store at 7:45 am.  This is actually a little later than I'd planned but we've all met me.  I exist in my own time zone.

Oh, and I employed my focus technique of wearing my headphones while I shop. This is a serious game-changer for me.  I have always been Suzy commando shopper but the headphones really help keep me focused with a big task like Christmas shopping.  Thank you occupational therapist friend who mentioned this last year!  Musical selection you ask?  Hamilton, of course.

Surprisingly, it was not the seventh circle of hell that I assumed it would be.  In fact, it was pretty quiet.  Like the only person in the twenty items or less quiet.  It was a Christmas miracle.

A few details about the Wally World experience:
the book selection is dismal.  I wanted to get a romance novel (more on that later) but the range went from brand new hardcover Danielle Steel to dollar store bodice-rippers.  I did notice two books about He Who Shan't Be Named.  After considering if any laws would be broken by moving those books to, say, the trash can aisle, I opted to just turn them around so the backs were facing out.  It's Christmas, after all.

They were already consolidating holiday decorations and putting stuff away and that made me a little sad.

I bought brand-name tape and it has CHANGED MY LIFE.  I will never again buy inexpensive/store brand tape in my life.  That extra dollar is totally worth it.

The girl Little is obsessed with wolves.  Quick, tell me where to get wolf stuff right now and I will be your best friend because it's nearly impossible. 

I went to a craft store with the initials HL (against my own personal/political reasons) because I remembered seeing something in their Western decor aisle quite a while ago.  The store didn't open until 9:00, which is astounding to me being three days before Christmas.  So, I went to Starbucks and got a mocha then returned and waited because grownup.

And they didn't have anything.  A wolf coat hanger that screws into the wall and that's it.  UGH.  they had sloth and fox stuffies but not wolf ones. Sloth stuffies. Seriously.  There was a framed wolf picture that I dithered on because it was one of those cheesy state fair prize ones that change as you move your head.  I decided no and went to go grocery shopping.

ONE MORE THING. there was teen-aged boy sitting in the lobby of the store and he wore a t-shirt with "Straight Outta the Closet" with the rainbow flag in the background printed on it.  I told him "I like your shirt dude" and he looked completely surprised that I would say such a thing and said a cheery thanks.  Have I gotten that old?

I finished grocery shopping in a record amount of time, after Kevin confirmed that yes, we are doing a white elephant exchange with his family.  (internal and possibly external screaming)

the two bigs are into skateboarding so I went to this hole-in-the-wall skateboard shop to get gift cards.  I am astounded at how much anything skate boarding costs.  $25 for a cheap t-shirt and I don't even know which ones are cool.  The young man helped me out but I kept with the gift card idea and added some decals that they said were cool.  I so don't speak that language and boy did I feel old.

The boy littles asked for Zumiez clothing.  I knew I probably wasn't going to make that happen but was going to go to the mall (I know! a MALL) just in case.  During a conversation with Kevin, he actually volunteered to go with me that evening.  Hooray!

I decided to go home until as I was nearly out of town, I remembered that I didn't get stamps. sonofabiscuiteatingdog.  So I headed out to the tiny post office where I have a mail box.  It was far out of my way kinda but it was worth not having to stand outside waiting at a major post office. 

Which then sort of put me in the vicinity of the humane society where I wanted to drop-off a bagful of toys for the doggies.  This is risky because I've become one of those Bring Home all the Doggies person.  But I was distracted because I met Roman.  I recognized his voice first and he is just as adorable, as one would assume.  Here is the Roman story, if you don't know it:

Now, for real, I was heading home. I'm literally seven minutes from home.  I have groceries and a ton of presents in the truck .  But: wolf.   It randomly popped in my head that when Kevin and I went to the killing store (Cabellas) I saw a bunch of wolf stuff.  That specific store, however, is almost an hour away so big, fat nope.  I searched on the interwebs for the nearest sporting good store and they had some wolf stuffies. 

Back into town I go.  I bought the very last wolf stuffie in the store.  I think it might be the same as one she already has but I can't care.  But that cheesy wolf picture was still bouncing around in my brain.  Sigh.  I went even further away from my house into the next town again to buy it.  The cashier felt that girl little would love it and why would a cashier steer me wrong?

Finally I headed home with only some stocking stuffers to pick up and a trip to the mall in my future. And so.much.wrapping.  Fast forward twenty-four hours and still not done. 

But here's the best part.  Last summer I told the story of my nephew finally coming out.  He is a completely different kid now; open and happy. It's really something to see the change in him.  This is the kid that we wondered what his drag queen name would be at his four-year-old birthday party.  On his list was fingernail polish, specifically yellow.  He also wanted skinny jeans because of course and he was the one who likes romance novels.   I bought him many colors of polish, purple hair coloring, and skinny jeans.  It was an absolute pleasure shopping for him this year and so much easier than speaking skate board. I never thought I'd see the day this would happen. 

Overall, I think I enjoyed shopping more this year than any other in the recent past.  There was something about doing it all in one day (mostly).  The general attitude of folks were happy and pleasant that early in the morning and so close to the holiday.  I'm considering doing it again next year, just hopefully not cutting it so close.  Although that added to the adventuresome spirit of it.

I hope this finds you cozy at home and enjoying the holiday in whichever way you choose to spend it.

12 December 2017

Low Key Positivity

I just need 2017 to be over with.  I know, I know, everyone's saying that but I super mean it.  This has just been such a rough year.  I Can't Even with it anymore. Me, who is usually positive in a sarcastic way, am barely able to muster positivity.  Instinct is to list just how this year has sucked but I'm trying not to feed that monster.  

Here's how I'm trying to counteract the bleak:

Kevin and i have been trying to do one fun, just us, thing each weekend.  It's a simple as going for a drive or to the hardware store or to dinner.

When I return home from work, I change my clothes and take an hour to just watch television or play a game or write. (or all of that usually, because hello, it's me)   After that, then I do the grown-up things like chores, dinner, or whatever.

My new job requires a lunch break and I a) don't like that and 2) aren't used to it. I phone Kevin for a few minutes then I try to do something interesting in twenty minutes.  Go for a short drive, take instagram photos, go to the Goodwill.  Something little and fun.

Even though I hate them beyond all measure, I'm eating a banana a day. It's my one purposeful healthy eating habit that I'm working on right now.  Effing bananas.

I'm trying to stay off of the twitter.  While I like having my news in real time, it also sucks me into the negative abyss that is the government shit show right now.  I'm trying to only retweet positive stuff into the universe and follow low-key people that do the same. 

Although not evidenced here, I've been writing more.  Something I started a few years ago languished and I took it a different direction.  It's occupying my brain, sometimes to the exclusion of other things and I've forgotten how that happens.

I usually only go to Starbucks if we are Vegas or if it's just more convenient. (Where I live, there is a coffee stand on every other corner plus Starbucks.)  When I didn't get to go to Vegas this year as planned (I KNOW!) I decided that I would go to Starbucks that week like I would have if in Vegas (because I'm a thirteen year girl with strange coping skills)   But now I'm lightly addicted to using the app to earn more drinks. 

At my job, I email a group of people on the regular.  I've started finding funny little photos, memes or whatever to embed into the emails.  So far I've amassed two Ryan Goslings, a handful of Scooby Doo's, a Bob the Builder, Dr. Seuess, and a Monica Geller and a Hello Kitty gifs, among others.

Sometimes when we're feeling powerless, all we can do is rage-clean (it's a thing, look it up) and make tiny efforts to get through it. 

30 November 2017

Role Reversal

Kevin had to have a procedure the other day because that's how our life is going right now.  He's fine, it's all good.  It was just one more thing. 

Other than the cheating death thing in 2005, he's incredibly healthy.  He's had a handful of E.R. visits for the usual stuff (fun stuff like cuts, burn, foreign objects in his eye)  But he's never been in a hospital so just the stress of that was A LOT to deal with.

Me, on the other hand, have had a few things happen so it's not a big deal.  We know how to cope with me but this was whole new territory for us.  Funny thing is that we discovered that Kevin was just like me when it comes to doing something like this.  He didn't want to talk about it, he didn't want to tell anyone about it, just leave him be. 

We are rarely separated and work as a team on all things.  To not be able to approach this in a way we're used to was strange and disorienting.  My heart broke a little at not being there and also at the realization that he experienced that feeling when I was in the hospital. 

The nurses brought me to him as he was coming down off the anesthesia. Again, the disorientation of the situation was overwhelming.  This is a guy who is rarely sick and you'd never know it if he were.   Kevin is never not moving or talking/singing.  Never.  When I first saw him, I burst out laughing.  "You are so hiiiiiiiiigggghhhh."  (If you have ever heard/seen Christopher Titus "Normal Rockwell is Bleeding" you will recognize the phrase)

He had to be told  three times about the procedure and results.  One part of the information we were given was a time-frame of 10 years.  On a normal day, Grosse Point Blank would have been quoted at a loud volume.  Imagine my disappointment when I can't yell "TEN! Ten years!" 

They had him drinking apple juice to ward off hypoglycemia, etc.  He thought it magically appeared and we had to explain that they had a dispenser.  He was unconvinced.  The nurse was magic.

He was half in love with one of the nurses.  He was all twitterpated over her.  She was exactly the type he is usually attracted to, which ironically is opposite of me. She said goodbye as we left and I stage-whispered "He's half in love with you right now" and she laughed.  Later in the car, he told me again how nice she was "I wanted to hug her." he says.  This is not a huggy kind of guy so that made me laugh.

He was hungry and tried to insist that he was cool enough to go into a restaurant.  Big, fat NO. "You are so not cool right now."  his response was a dismissive whatever hand gesture that I've never seen him use.  I told him we would go through McD's drive-through and I would also stop for coffee on the way home.  I ordered him the Eggo-Muffin (he calls them that when he's not hiiiggghhhh) and the breakfast burrito.  It came with a juice box and his palpable disappointment at dealing with a juice box had me giggling all over again.  It is still in our refrigerator.

He finished his breakfast in between naps and telling me about the whole procedure and the nice nurse for the fifth time.  He asked "Do you want a bite?"   I don't like the burritos so I said no.  "Oh." he says, visibly disappointed.  "Are you sure?  Because they're really nummy."  I'm still giggling at that one. 

Of course he has no recollection of any of this.  He too was disappointed at the lost opportunity of the "10 years!" thing.  He denies saying "nummy".   Everything is back to normal now and we can forget it ever happened, or not remember as it were.

01 November 2017

Uncle Leonard is Alive

My mom has been fascinated with the family history research that I've been doing for her.  She phoned the other day to tell me about items she had found from my paternal great-aunt's estate. Here is how the conversation went:

"Well, my house is a mess right now.  I've been reading all the things that you brought out and I was looking for some other stuff to give you.  I found your cousin's names, the ones who have the family tree and the map of the Oregon Trail that your dad gave away. And I found some of Betty's papers."

"Your niece came over the other day and she knocked on the door but I was in the shower so she went and got the key then went to the north door (like I know which way is north) but I had moved the dresser that sits there so she couldn't get the door open.  So, she moved it. She's so strong, I don't know how she did it."  ( I don't know why she didn't go to any of the other doors but that's not the point)

"So, I was reading and it's all so interesting and I want to find out more so maybe you could look on your computer and find out about..."

"Then your niece left so I had to put the dresser back but it's so heavy. I don't know how she moved it, she's so strong.  I had to take one drawer out but it was still too heavy so I had to take another one out and then the other then I could finally move it.  But then when I was putting it back together, the bottom of one drawer fell out and made a big mess."

"But I found in the papers that spilled, a letter from your aunt's first husband, I can tell because of the way he talks, and I have it for you.  You're going to love it, there's a surprise in the ending but I won't tell you but you're going to love it."

This is the edited version but this is pretty much any conversation with my mother.  A LOT of listening.  (and perhaps a glimpse at who I inherited my ADD from)

But that's NOT EVEN the best part of the conversation.

My parents live on a lake and their driveway is on a hill that's quite steep. The mailbox is on the main road and my mom has been taking the car up to get her mail.  She's 81 years old so I'm happy to hear that she's not walking up it anymore.

She was getting her mail and realized that she had locked her car accidentally.  She pushed the key fob and it wouldn't work.  As she was standing there, she said that a motorcycle went by and she waved at them.  Not in a "Please help me" way but in a friendly way.  (81 years old, waving at strangers on a secluded road. Excellent choices my mom makes)

So, she walked around the car and continued to press the fob to unlock the car but it wouldn't work.  She had just decided that she would walk down to the house and call AAA to get into her car when the motorcycle returned.

Now, in my imagination, I have my mother dead and buried and on the 5 o'clock news but clearly, I am talking to her now so that didn't happen.

"Well, it turns out it was an off-duty Sheriff's deputy and he came back to check on me."  Thank you, universe.

One of my uncles was a California Highway Patrolman in the 1950's and he was killed in the line of duty.  It's one of the many losses that my mother's family endured.  With that, my mom has always had a soft spot for a man in uniform.

The deputy helped my mom unlock her car with the ACTUAL KEY instead of the fob.  I'd like to say this happened because she's in her eighties but it would have totally happened during any other time of her life.

This is where my mom tells me that she is convinced that the deputy was the reincarnate of her brother.  She said he looked the same as she remembered him, he had the same mannerisms, and it was like they just knew each other. 

She offered him a hug and he accepted then he made sure she got into the car and waited until she was safely back at home.  (You can see their house from the main road)  She was so HAPPY about the encounter.  It was sweet yet kind of funny.

While writing this, I searched ancestry for a photo to attach to this post but there wasn't one.  I searched the google next and look what I found:

The California State Patrol honors fallen patrolman and two years ago (almost to the date) my uncle was honored.  There were 97 shares, 65 comments, and 857 likes.    This is one of those times where I love the internet. 

To my mom and the internet, Uncle Leonard is still alive and remembered.

22 October 2017

Goodnight Moon

One of the writing prompts on the list that I've sort of abandoned...I've written some, just not posted...is "Describe What's in Your Bedroom and How it Came to Be There."

At first, I giggled like a teenager because c'mon.  Then I'm like "Hmm, what's interesting about that?"  Then in the middle of the night when my brain decides it needs to sort out random thoughts and I need to be awake-ish for it, I considered it.

So let's start with the elephant in the room.  Our bed.  Well, our bed is Kevin's bed that he's had since he was married the first time.  Now, the mattress has been replaced obvs. but the frame is the same.  AND, it's a converted waterbed frame.  Sexy, lol. 

I've never cared about who slept in the bed.  Especially now since it will be almost thirty years since we've been together.  But I get how that could weird someone out.  At most, it makes me giggle like a teen-aged mean girl.

One of our dressers is Kevin's grandmothers from the Moody House. (his parents house from years ago)  The other dresser and nightstands are new, inexpensive ones that we finally bought two years ago.  The lamps are also his grandmothers, very old ceramic with hand-painted bases.  We inherited them because reportedly I said I liked them at one point.

There is a set of gothic wrought iron candle holders, also from the Moody House collection, on the headboard.  I added a festive string of fairy lights last Christmas and they're still there, much to Kevin's dismay.   Books, of course because books.  I have a funky storage case/footstool kind of thing from the seventies maybe?  It has an Americana print on it and I think it's cool.  Kevin not so much.

There is also a hand-carved and decoupaged jewelry box that was his mothers from her childhood.  She said that she had found it along the railroad tracks near her house and "someone left it for her."  I'm going to go with someone stole it, took out any jewelry and tossed it.  But if she thinks someone left it for her to find, then okay.

I have a wingback chair that was my grandfathers.  I love it but it's so worn that I keep a cover over it.  It used to be dark burgundy but now it's a dusty pink.  It's from the 1940's, as near as I can tell.  It was one of my favorite chairs to sit in when we visited.

The artwork on the walls is very random.  95% of which is second-hand. We have a painting that was done by a great aunt or someone on Kevin's side of the family.  We've just always had it, not because we enjoy it, just because.  It's no great work of art. In certain light, you can see the painter's signature.  I really should look it up someday.  Oh, and it's huge, three feet by foot and a half.

So, what I thought was a boring, random suggestion actually made me think about where our stuff came from.  Few new to us pieces, lots of inheritance, and second-hand finds.  I think it became an interesting piece to write because it is an intimate space, not like a kitchen, bathroom, or dining room.

Also, it's always good to reflect back to what used to be.  Reminds us where we came from. 

20 September 2017

At the Bottom of the Laundry

Over the past few years, Kevin has talked about buying a handgun for home protection.  I am not onboard with this idea but know that it's probably inevitable.  He will do it legitimately with a license and training and he wants me to also.  It is the responsible thing to do, I understand.

We live rurally, response time from first responders is not as quick as the city, and we all know we've had some weird shit happen around here over the years.  So, I get why Kevin thinks it's a good idea.  However, I also know the statistics of something going badly because of the presence of a handgun sometimes outweigh home protection.  And, I'm just not comfortable with guns.  I never have been and I grew up in a hunting community.

Sidenote: this isn't a gun debate.  I will say it again: this is not a gun debate.  This is my opinion and feeling about it and that alone. 

Of course because Kevin said he wanted to do this, his brother had to do it also.  If Kevin says he's going to buy something, quite often his brother will do it also, sometimes before him, and will always spend more money on whatever.  It annoys me to no end. 

This was not an exception.  I didn't know until recently that Brother had purchased a handgun.  His brother is the exact wrong person to have one. I believe he's the guy that would shoot his wife because he thought she was an intruder or have an accident because he thought it was unloaded.  And let's talk about seven grandchildren visiting that house, one a being toddler.  And that he lives next door.

To further illustrate him, he didn't have the courage to call Kevin's best friend to ask for safety and shooting lessons.  He had Kevin do it because reasons. 

This is one of those instances where Kevin gives me the least amount of heads up that is possible because he knows I'm going to be annoyed.  In this situation, it was a quick, off-hand "Oh we're meeting Friend to go shooting. My brother bought a gun." twenty-four hours before they were meeting. 

I'm uncomfortable with this meeting because I'm uncomfortable about guns.  I'm uneasy with his brother having a gun.  I just had this unease about the whole thing.  That being said, I trust Kevin's best friend with not only Kevin's life but my own.  I've known him since I was eighteen years old and he is the best of humans. 

Kevin said that he was mostly going as an observer.  He wasn't super excited about shooting.  He's not a hunter and it's just not something that has ever interested him.

The boys met at lunchtime and off they went.  Kevin said he figured it would be two hours tops.  I have a cold so I just liked being able to watch television and sleep on the couch in peace. 

Then time started passing.  I didn't get a text or a photo or anything, which I thought was unusual but it's a gun thing.  Not time to be playing with selfies.  Also, Kevin and I both possess a talent for underestimating how long things take. 

Four hours later and I was concerned.  I didn't text him because I figured if something had changed or went wrong, he would text or call.

Finally, he walked in and sat down.  He was pale and quiet.  "Well, that went sideways.  Really. fucking.sideways."

The gun range they went to wasn't busy that day.  The three boys, another guy who was a soldier arrived at the same time, and another guy was already there when they arrived.  After spending about an hour shooting, they were starting to wrap it up.  OF COURSE, the brother's gun was jamming and having issues.  EXHIBIT A: Why This is a Bad Idea.  

Kevin had struck up a conversation with the soldier because he's never met a stranger. The soldier was practicing and using two of his father's guns that it sounded like he had inherited.  Kevin said he was a really nice, low-key kind of guy. He said he seemed a little lonely. 

He offered Kevin to shoot one of the military guns he had and Kevin did.  The soldier trained him for that specific gun and explained how he came to have it. 

Unfortunately at the same time that Kevin was shooting, the gentleman who had arrived before them ran onto the range and committed suicide.   Kevin said alarms went off and instructions were given to put everything down and step away.

All Kevin knew was that his best friend took off on a dead run and he followed.  Because they're helpers.  I can't think about this part because gunfire.  I waver between being proud and What.the.Actual.Fuck were you thinking. 

This is where I say that Friend is a First Responder.  He saw the actual act and ran to help.  Kevin heard but didn't see, then saw the aftermath.  The gentleman was gone instantaneously so there was nothing to do.  Someone on Facebook posted the nicest thing in the comment section of the news post on social media:
"To the firefighter that witnessed this.  You did well by this man. There was nothing you could have done to stop him. Praying for you, family, and all affected."

This made me cry.  I had held kind of firm until I read that.  

Kevin shared that he initially didn't know what had happened.  He didn't know if one of his shots had ricocheted because at the time he was the only shooter.  He has difficulty with human suffering so a little bit of him is struggling that a fellow human being can be in that dark of a place. (Difficulty as in empathetic, not impatience)  Plus just the abject powerlessness of the situation.

He said that the sheriff and state patrol interviewed him/them and took their information. They offered on-site counseling and it sounds like they did talk a little bit.  Friend has been checking in daily with him as well.  He hasn't been sleeping very well but that's to be expected.  I'm giving it to the end of the week before sounding any alarms.  He processes much like me, he just needs some time.

The gentleman had left a note so there isn't a doubt as to intent. He had brought his dog with him and asked for arrangements to be made for him to be taken care of.  I had a moment of madness, thinking we should see if he's adoptable but no.  The gun range guy said that he'd been watching him, sensing something was happening but had checked in with him twice to no avail.

Not to make this about me for one second but I can't think much about what happened.  Again, I waver between proud and fear knowing that those two boys ran toward danger.  My heart is broken that they shared this experience but am soothed that they have each other. 

AND THEN the fucking laundry kicked my ass this morning.  That day Kevin said he was going to shower and I asked him to put every stitch of clothing into the laundry.  It took two days for me to get to it but I finally started that load late last night.  This morning I switched it from the washer to the dryer and this is what I see:

(that's a spent bullet casing)
So, Godspeed gentleman whose name we'll never know.  I hope you found peace.  Send good vibes out for Kevin and his Friend.  Keep an eye out for your fellow man. 

17 September 2017

Work, Work, Work

(sorry, not sorry for the Rhianna earworm)

I've been working at the new job for over a month now.  Yikes!  Where does time go?

I have very mixed feelings about being in my old hometown.

It's changed quite a bit so there's a learning curve of how to drive here.  Roads that didn't used to be there, businesses that have moved or closed, and just growth in general.

As I mentioned, it's not even a little bit as picturesque as my old city.  I've been purposefully seeking out opportunities to notice beauty.  And not so much.  Maybe once I begin traveling for my job I'll have more opportunities.

My commute has possibilities.  Once the freeway breaks out of the mountain pass and lowers into the Valley, there are farm fields, Cascade mountains to the East, the largest American flag on the West Coast, and on pretty days a glimpse of the Olympic Mountains. But taking photos on the freeway is impossible so therein lies my frustration.

To get to my work, you have to cross the Skagit River.  I've yet to get a good photo because there is always  traffic.  Some of you may remember that the I-5 bridge over this river was knocked down a few years ago.  I think about that every time I cross it.

Almost thirty years ago this was the town that I essentially fled from my former husband.  Kevin and I moved to where we live now and never looked back.  I began working in another city and other than family visits and shopping, we really didn't spend a lot of time there. 

Now I'm there every day.  I find myself being a little vigilant, which I hope and assume will fade.  There have been a few "Oh, that happened there." moments which have been good and bad. 

The job is fine.  The people are nice.  The tasks are easy for me.  Right now, I'm just Meh.  Kevin says I'm looking for reasons to not like it so I'm trying to stay open to the adventure. 

But it does feel weird being back.  I get why novelist so often feature their protaganist returning home.

Watching and Listening

I've been celebrating my new job with a summer cold.  I've had laryngitis for two weeks with a very unattractive cough. Before that, I was figuring out a new job, a newish city, and working on a writing project I had abandoned.  Then...bam...cold.  Super.

So, I'm calling this post in. 

What I'm watching/reading/listening to right now...

I'm on the third viewing of Gilmore Girls.  I'm to the awful part where Luke has a daughter and Christopher has reappeared.  I've noticed that Rory's charm has worn off by the third viewing.  Mrs. Gilmore triggers me SO HARD  that I fast forward through her scenes.

The Bold Type.  OMG, so good.  I expected it to be vapid but it's actually very real. It's funny without being crass.  It gives an older person like me a good glimpse of what it's like to be a young adult in the social media world and just the world in general.  It lets me understand my nieces who are that age a little more.

The Property Brothers Buying and Selling.  I'm a shoe-in for a good design show. 

Car Spotting is a boy show but it is based in my home county and features one of the racers we know!

I swore I would never watch Nashville because I'm so not, not, not a Connie Britton fan.  She bothers me on a level I don't understand.  She must be like someone in my life or heaven forbid, remind me of myself. (thanks Confuscius)  Anyway, here I am binge-watching it after work on Thursdays and Fridays and downloading songs onto my phone.

The Oroville is fantastic if you grew up in the eighties.  It feels like watching Battlestar Gallatica.  I love the little sci-fi nods and subtle jokes. With Seth MacFarlane you never know. It can be brilliant or go sideways.  I think there's still potential for that but I loved what I've seen so far.

Game of Thrones is a favorite too.  I'm the nerd that reads the recaps right afterward so I understand everything that happened.  Now the long wait is happening.

Before I sound too smart, we've been enjoying Bachelor in Paradise.  I swear it's a case study in Human Psychology.  Also, it wouldn't be as fun to watch if Kevin wasn't yelling at the television with me.

 I love Ross Mathews Podcast, Straight Talk with Ross.  It can get a little raw sometimes and if you're not comfortable with overt gayness, it's not for you.  But I enjoy it so much. It's like listening to your best friends talk.   The fact that he is a local boy and occasionally talks about his home town just makes it more fun.

The West Wing Weekly podcast.  This sounds boring but I swear it's not.  It's a recap and discussion show of the show The West Wing with Josh Malina.  I can get lost in this podcast.

Chris Hardwick's Nerdist Podcast.  The Neil DeGrasse Tyson one that just happened kicked my ass.

Manic Rambling Spiral.  If you read Dooce, then you would probably enjoy this.  They do veer into parenting which doesn't apply to me but I can see where it would be good for others.

 Craig Ferguson on Sirius Faction Channel.  I confess I listen to his interviews only.  I think he's finding his feet when it comes to doing a radio show/podcast.

I've been trying to read on my lunch break.  I just finished a really old Nora Roberts book that I found buried on my bookshelf.  Now I'm reading Sarah Addison Allen First Frost.  Both very good but the Nora Roberts one was so old, it was a little dated. 

I'm paring down my magazines again.  I know, I say this often but for real.  I used to take my old magazines into work but that's not an option now.  Also, do I really need to get all.the.magazines?  Yeah, probably but not right now.

It feels like we're all looking for Happy Twitter versus The World is Ending Twitter. May I suggest: @colorschemz is entertaining in an odd, I feel a little high kind of way.
@obamapluskids  President Obama photographed with kids.  That.is.all.
@rumiquotes sometimes makes me think.
Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger and Wil Wheaton and his wife Anne because they both tweet at each other often.  I love when famous people are friends on Twitter and interact.
I follow a few authors but enjoy the YA author Sarah Dessen the most.  

11 August 2017

Crying in the Bread Aisle

The other day I was in the grocery store that I hate because I don't make good choices sometimes.  I was in a pissy mood because it was one of those challenging days where every thing seems a struggle.

I'm going down the aisles, with my headphones in to squelch my annoyance.  I caught someone's eye and said hello.  I knew that I knew them but it took me a beat to remember who they were.

It was a parent from the school.  Wait, back up.  I've been gone from the school for TWELVE YEARS.  Twelve.  I can't believe that it's been that long because it still feels like it was just a little while ago.  So, this is context and I just needed to say TWELVE YEARS.

She turned around and stopped me.  "You know I just have to tell you..."  Ugh, these conversations can go either way.  While I enjoyed this parent, she had her challenges so buckle up.

"Daughter is still best friends with Friend, after all these years.  Since they were toddlers!"   It was nice to hear that a relationship that was founded in preschool was still going strong.  That seems rare.

She continues on to tell me that she's graduating from University soon and going for her masters.  This isn't a surprise to me because even as a child, we knew this one was going places.  You just knew it.

Finally, she said (I'm paraphrasing)  "I just couldn't have done it without you and the school.  Daughter wouldn't have had the opportunities she had if not for the school.  I just need you to know how much I appreciate all that you did for me and Daughter."

So, now I'm almost crying in the bread aisle.

When a person works in social services or non-profit, you subliminally know that you're making a difference.  On exceptional days, you may see it occur in front of you.  But it's often a Karma thing, it may or may not happen and you probably won't know how everything turns out.

This mama gave me confirmation that work I did twelve years ago made a difference.  This is worth its weight in gold  to me.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do...Part Two

TFW you forget to click publish...

Today turned out to be my last day at the job I didn't want.  My official last day was supposed to be Friday.  I'm feeling a little disconnected.  I mean, I knew I wasn't staying but now I'm in limbo waiting for the new job to begin and yet a little bit missing the job I didn't want.

My replacement started on Monday and by the end of Monday I had trained her on the three things she needed to know that I could teach her.  In parallel to my experience, she didn't have all the tools she needs to do the job yet.  So, essentially we were both being paid to just sit there.

On Tuesday I made sure that she didn't have any questions, made sure she knew superficially who everyone was and what they did, and walked her through what a normal day may look like.  Then I hung out with the guys during the other three hours of the day.  So not exaggerating.

When I was driving to work on Wednesday, I was reviewing in my head what needed to happen during the day.  I came up with nothing.  I mean, I've been doing close to nothing for the past ninety days so it was naive to think it would be any different now.  There was virtually nothing for me to do but to sit and watch the new girl answer the phone.

This is where I say that the new girls is low on personality.  If she were fun to hang out with, I probably would have stayed.  Instead, it was just awkward silences.  Way to make this weird job even more weird.

I spoke with the guy I worked with one-on-one and he said it was up to me when I wanted to leave.  But I needed to talk to the boss also.  I waited until saw him about fifteen minutes later and described the situation.  He grinned and said "Well then, get the hell out" and laughed.

There are two schools of thought here:  I could have totally "worked" yesterday and today and gotten paid.  But I had no workspace (again)  and it just didn't seem like the ethical thing to do.  Or, I could do what I did and follow my instincts.  It felt like it was time to be done.

Until I had to say my goodbyes. I was surprised that I had become attached to these folks in the few short days I was there.

I did the most difficult first, my East Indian Canadian friend.  He yelled at me for not just sticking around then invited me to lunch the next day.  We're facebook friends and we've promised to keep in touch. We all say these things but I really hope that we do.

Next was hipster guy and he made me teary.  He was in someone else's office (guy I don't know well) and asked "Is it okay if I hug you?".  And of course he's the best hugger, the kind you feel in your soul.  I will miss working with him every day.  He is the best friend in the rom-com who eventually gets the girl kind of nice.

Then a few deep breaths later, it was easier after that.  I didn't get to say goodbye to socially awkward guy before he left to do a job so I just left a post-it with a smiley face on his monitor.  I awkwardly shook hands/fist bumped with guy I worked with, the shop guy hugged me, then I was off.  They invited me to stop by someday but we all know that's not going to happen.

Driving home was a little rough because it occurred to me that it's my last day in that town.  Sure, I will be up there from time to time but not almost every day like I have for the last nearly thirty years.  Not only was I sad about leaving my new friends but sad about leaving town.

Now onto my next adventure!

03 August 2017

After 30 Years

There's a scene in the movie Grosse Point Blank where Martin Blank's secretary is encouraging him to attend his high school reunion. She describes it as "It's as if everyone has swelled."   At the time, I didn't quite get the reference.  Now, I've just attended my 30-year reunion and I'm here to say that it's an apt description.

The interesting thing is that a person could easily figure out who the girls were, without nametags.  Girls don't seem to change a lot as they age, just get a little softer, if you will.  But the boys.  Holy Crackers, thank sweet baby jesus for name tags.  Twice we played the "Who the hell is that guy?" game and had to rely on the nametag.

I arrived early to help my friend and there were about six girls there.  Within moments, everyone is talking about how they just went to their stylist or colored their hair that night. Then it slowly morphed into which boy still had their hair and how many of us are having 50th birthdays soon. Which then segued into the "How did we get this old?" conversation.

Our high school class suffered a few losses right after high school so we're weirdly clingy.  Most everyone is friends on facebook and the reunion planning often starts at the current reunion.  This year it was discussed to do five-year increments instead of ten because "we're going to start dropping off any day now."  (dude. seriously.)   Then we talked about doing facebook events as impromptu get-togethers.

What I really enjoyed about this event was that everyone wasn't divided into cliques.  Sure, there were groups of people but everyone was open and gracious.  A person hears stories about reunions or has preconceived notions that nothing has changed but in this case, everyone were just simply friends.  No drama but the normal cast of characters that one would expect. Someone drank too much, someone was a little inappropriate, but nothing melodramatic.

One of the most popular girls in school still is and that being said, really is very nice.  She worked so hard to include everyone this weekend, take lots of photos, and personally talk to everyone. It was impressive to someone like me who finds that kind of thing daunting.  She greeted me with "you look exactly the same" (adorable) and I said the same because she actually does.  She laughed and said "Oh  honey, it's all botox."  I just loved the realness of that statement.

Only one other of the core group of my high school friends attended so we  were each others dates on both nights.  On Saturday, we drifted around until finally we plunked down toward the back of the room and circled our chairs to talk.  People came around off and on until there was about seven of us gathered.   The dance floor slowly filled up, mostly girls just like in high school, and we watched the show from our chairs.  Eventually I had the realization that for me, nothing had changed.  I am still sitting in the back of the class, hanging out and talking with my friends. The fact that this was immortalized on Facebook the next day pleases the high school me.

The other best part of this experience was to see photos the next day.  There was a class photo taken on Friday and Saturday night so that everyone was included.  Then the candids were fun to see.  The funny part of being together in 2017 versus 1987 was people getting facebook notifications and friend requests during the party.  There were selfies and texts sent to friends who couldn't make it. Smart phones allowed everyone to be there, even if they weren't.

So, my recommendation is to go to your reunion.  Even if you think it will be weird, because it will, and a little awkward too. Use the buddy system so you're not alone.  I believe the pay off is that you will see people who you've totally forgotten about in the now but were so important to you back then.  You will see that you did exist in others lives and were important to them. You may even make friends with someone you'd never consider back in the day. 

24 July 2017

On A Clear Day

Yesterday I decided that I would wash the exterior windows.  This is usually Kevin's chore but it was nice out and it was very overdue.  I mentioned it to Kevin and he was surprised because  I'm not usually a volunteer for these kinds of things.  And I'd spent the morning in the garden so I was setting the bar pretty high for myself.

Before starting I thought that I would look up "How to wash exterior windows",  just in case someone out there has an easier way than I had planned.

I tapped out after seeing multiple listings for microfiber cloths, vinegar and water recipes, and squeegees. I just wanted to wash the doggone windows. I wasn't competing for a spread in Better Homes and Gardens.  Instead I went with the tried and true dish soap, giant bucket, and Kevin's car wash brush.

The more difficult decision was whether or not to listen to music while I did this.  I decided no because my wireless headphones weren't charged and they're noise cancelling, which gives Kevin way too much leeway to be mischievous. Also, I had visions of tangling cords with the scrub brush handle plus a bucket of water and my phone. I didn't want to risk being a Three Stooges episode so instead I worked to the dulcid tones of my father-in-laws riding lawnmower.

It was both as easy and as difficult as I anticipated.  The windows are high and I am short so Kevin's brush on a long handle made it easy.  I was afraid I was going to have to use the ladder, afraid not because of heights but the hassle of getting up and down repeatedly.

The worse part was taking off and cleaning the screens. As I've mentioned before, I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest amongst the trees.  While pretty, trees can wreak havoc.  It's also damp here most of the year so I'll leave that description to your imagination.  It ain't easy being green, for sure.

Kevin also has what we call the Wheel Brush, which is a snub, soft bristled brush that, as you may have guessed - we use on wheels.  It worked perfectly for the screens.  One of the adorable things that the internet suggested was to let the windows and screens "air dry".  We don't treat our expensive racecar this gently, I sure wasn't going to follow this advice.

Luckily our house is small; it has only eleven windows and two doors. The doors were the most difficult because one is a storm door with a screen so figuring out the configuration of cleaning both the windows and the screen was a challenge for my brain.

Kevin's only concern was getting water in the house.  This is valid because he has met me.  I am pleased to say and much to my own surprise that the only place that water seeped in was one of our doors.  Whew.

Luckily for me, I had cleaned the interior windows not long ago but I was still anticipating needing to do it again once the outside was sparkly clean but  Nope, they looked good.  But, and there's always a but, I still had to do the window tracks.  This is probably one of the yukkiest grownup jobs there is. I envy folks who live in dry climates in this situation.

Again, the internet suggests vinegar and baking soda, q-tips, toothbrushes and microfiber cloths. I went with a wet rag and a small watering can. It wasn't the most thorough job but to quote the internet: Ain't Nobody Got Time for That.  It is probably not meeting Martha Stewart's unattainable standards but it works for me.

Once we settled down for the evening, I thought that it looked brighter outside but I wondered if it was just my perception because I knew the windows were newly cleaned.  This morning, however, seeing them with the sun shining in made the difference - wait for it - very clear. Even Kevin, still sleepy at 5:20 in the morning, said "The windows look very nice, thank you."

Now I don't have to worry about that until next year and I can tell Kevin "Remember? I did it last year!"

21 July 2017

Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Multiple Times

Breaking up is hard to do and I’ve been stressing about giving notice here at this job.  I work with a group of guys on a variety of levels.  Out of ten guys, there are only two that I’m “meh” about. The rest I have been dreading saying “Peace, I’m out”.

It’s been fun working in boy world, as I’d suspected.  Boys have no filter and little memory.  I’ve found that they are often action-oriented as well, which is how I’m wired.  Having worked in a predominately women oriented workplaces, the change is refreshing.  Not for one second disrespecting my past coworkers, most of whom are great, it’s just different.

Anyway.  I’ve lied my face off for a month about leaving so just the relief of not doing that is remarkable.  I didn’t think that it would bother me as much as it did.  I mean, I’ve been here five minutes, I don’t owe anyone anything really.

One of my favorite guys is a hipster but not in the obnoxious way; in the laid back, cool kind of way.  He’s #2 in the food chain here so he was who I told first.  He’s the kindest guy, really.  His immediate response was pleasure at the opportunity I’ve been given and said “We just want the best for you and are happy for your success. I’m sad that you’re leaving though.”  It made me a little teary.

The second person I talked to was the “boss”, who is kind of like Michael Scott from the Office.  He was fine, I caught just a flicker of annoyance and that’s okay.  I wasn’t worried about telling him.  He’s one that I’m meh about.

Then the difficulty level went up from there.  One of the guys I work with the most is kind of socially awkward and I get the impression that the person who previously had this job wasn’t very nice to him.  I mean, he was initially surprised when I was kind and helpful toward him and it broke my heart a little.  The look of disappointment on his face when I told him was tough.  I’m going to train the new person to be extra nice to him.

I don’t usually refer to someone by their ethnicity but it’s necessary in this situation. The finance guy is East Indian and he was one of the first friends I made here.  I didn’t have to tell him, someone else did.  So I got to just wait until I saw him for his reaction. 

As I was talking to socially awkward guy, I heard him approaching.  He came around the corner, stood in front of me, threw his arms out and loudly said “What.the.fuck.man!?!?!” in his East Indian accent.  It just made me laugh.  I enjoy him so much and I’ll miss talking to him.

Unfortunately, the guy I work one-on-one with was out this week so he heard through the grapevine.  Today is the first day that he’s been here.  I was worried about his disappointment but he’s been a complete smart ass about it, in the best way.  I’m now referred to as the “short-timer”, which has been funny because I’m also not tall and he really is.  He’ll start to give a task or instruction then has said “Eff it, you don’t care anymore” and laugh.

Now I have nine days to just hang out.  Any training that was remaining has now been shelved so I openly listen to podcasts and read the news for four hours.  The person replacing me doesn’t start for another week so I’m not looking forward to the next week of leisure. 

10 July 2017

Not the vacuum too!

My new job is in a different town and county.  After working up here for almost 30 years (shut up), this means I have to find new places for all.the.things.  I've decided that it's equivalent to moving. 

My favorite coffee stand is downtown, I get Lucy's pet food at a feed store, my favorite second-hand shop.  Barnes & Noble! There isn't a single new bookstore in the entire COUNTY where I'll be working.  My favorite grocery store also has stores in that county BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME.

I was talking this over with my sister-in-law then the subject changed to her wedding ring.  DAMMIT Tracy! She reminded me that I have to find a different jeweler.  (Swistle: Fairhaven Gold is still the best, hands down)

Then I was vacuuming, like you do, and I was all "Sonofabiscuiteatingdog".  The vacuum repair shop.

My credit union?  Also not in the other county.

Chiropractor?  Probably can't convince him to move.  Eyeglasses place?  Gotta find another of those too.

Instagram photos?  Not as easy in a farming community way off the coast.  Wanna see photos of strip malls and used car dealerships?  I'm your girl.  No bay photos to be had there.

This weekend I flipped into "OMG I HAVE TO DO ALL OF THIS NOW."   "All of this" being defined as taking stuff to Goodwill, dropping books off at my friends little neighborhood library, (do they even have those in that town?)  going to my favorite hardware store in the entire world.  And to add insult to injury, I found a cool consignment shop that has really cool home decor items, for the love of sweet baby jesus.

I mean, it's not like all those places are disappearing.  I can go to them during the weekend but it's not the same and you can't convince me that it is.  Sigh.

It's a really good job though...

28 June 2017

Seven Mondays

Last week I accepted a job at HeadStart.  It's a lateral move from the job I just left but with significantly better benefits and stability. It's in another city, which is giving me anxiety in such a stupid way.  I'll  talk about that another time.

So, I'm still working at the temp job and am still not enjoying it.  I mean, it sounds fun sitting for four hours with nothing to do, right up until you do it.  I've been there over a month and I'm still not fully trained, still don't have a permanent workspace, and still can't care about the business.  Private sector is not for me.  We knew this but we just had to  try one more time. *squint*

All that being said, I'm having guilt about continuing to work there while I've accepted a new job.  It's complicated so let's step back.

The job I'm working now is a temp-to-hire job that becomes permanent after 90 days, August 15th.
The job I just accepted works off the school year so it doesn't begin until August 7.
My unemployment claim is valid until September something.
I can't quit the job I don't care about because unemployment won't cover it and I don't enjoy being poor.

My solution thus far is to lie my face off and perform an Academy Award performance of pretending to be interested in this job for the next month.

The new job doesn't start for like 52 days.  That is way too big of a number for my brain to cope with.  It sends me down a spiral of "I Can't WANT To Wait That Long!"  So I broke it down into weeks.  As of the time of accepting the new job, it was seven Mondays.  That is much easier for my weird brain to accept.

Now because it's a week later, it's only six Mondays left.  Also, I just discovered that next weekend is a long weekend due to the holiday so after that it will be only four Mondays. (keeping up? I have very creative math skills)  See? It feels better in tiny bite-sized chunks.

The plan is to give two-weeks notice in mid-July and take a long weekend prior to beginning the new job so that lessens the days also.  This is assuming that they don't tell me to get out after giving notice.  (Which begs, is that a quit or is that a fired? See? this is complicated!)  They've hired another girl to work full-time (for reasons that escape me, other than being full-time) and she is starting the week I am giving notice. 

There is so much guilt at this duplicity because I do enjoy the guys who I work with.  They really are a great group of guys and I've enjoyed working in Boy World.  But it's a job that an entry-level person can do with unfulfilled promises of being busy. It's an industry that dances on my bleeding heart liberal heart.  (military contracted)   I can go on for an hour with a list of reasons why it's not a good job for me so let's just move on.  But the guys are so nice...

I'm usually honest to the point of damage to my life sometimes so to keep this a secret is messing with me.  I just try not to think about it while I'm there.

Then, this happened:   As I left yesterday, I said goodbye to the guys.  The one that I work with the most said "Write when you get work!"  which stopped me cold.  My dad said that all the time and he is the only one I've heard say it.  I don't mind saying, it put a little shiver down my spine.  My dad has been gone for eight years. 

AND, how awkward is THAT!?!?!! 

Six more Mondays...