Friday, August 30


Where is the reset button?

Just had to do my first official retraction. Nothing major, I didn't misquote the tax rates for our city or anything, but I did accidentally invite almost 50 people to someones home for breakfast next Wednesday. (heh heh heh)

There is a group of mothers who have a prayer group for the school, and the children in it. A deserving storyline, but what they FORGOT to tell me, was that EACH individual school within our corporation had their OWN chapter and the breakfast was for only ONE of them. So it wasn't all MY bad, just a detail no one ever told me.

A hasty letter to my editor with a small article RE hashing the entire thing will be printed tonight. I felt like a huge retard.

What didn't help, was that the lady was kind on the phone, but near the end, wanted me to read all the information I'd collected back to her verbatim. THEN she wanted me to E-mail her everything I was going to print.

That's where I got a little owie about it. First of all, you DONT send a preprint story to a reader. There are just too many areas that the editors may need to cut, trim, reword or delete. And if the reader sees it one way, they get married to it and upset when it prints. Not to mention the fact that she came off making me feel like I was a 4 year old who needed supervision.

(That's nearly true, but she didn't need to presume it.)

The whole story was interesting to me. You all know my roots with religion, and if you don't I won't go there now. But to think that our small community school system had a collection of no less than 5 prayer groups meeting weekly, discussing specific concerns within each aspect of it's schools, 3 elementary 1 High School/JR High and 1 for the entire overall corporation is just strangely odd to me.

Not that prayer is odd or strange in any way, shape or form, I'd just never heard of this group.

I got my first birthday card today, YEAH Grandma. Thank God for Grandma's, while I'm at it. She and grandpa sent a nice card and the usual birthday stipend, with a little "extra" because they know I'm not working, and the medical situation has kept our budget well outside the realm of personal rewards. Once again, they seem to reach out and lend a hand and be helpful. I honestly hope that I am able to be as close to my kids and grandkids as they are when I am older. I know that they wish they could be a daily part of our lives, and I do too. It's just difficult to plan quality visits around 6 day-a-week kid taxiing.

I got a telephone call from my friend at the Senior Center. Seems they hired someone else for the assistants job, because my application was thrown in with a bunch to be considered for the Senior Activity Director or something like that. Thats a mental picture, aint it.
One application down, 48 to go.

I'm beginning to think I really shouldn't have made fun of my last employer who felt it necessary to pray to God about who's turn it was to empty the paper shredder. Could this be repayment for my lax spiritual life? I don't even have the energy to go there now.
Waaay too deep.

I found out another twist to the correctional officer's job as I was reading the information pamphlet this morning. I will be subjected to a criminial background check - a financial check (good luck finding any) and least attractive of all - a POLYGRAPH examination.

I can understand why they might want to interrogate me in the future,for exapmle "Have you every really, REAALLY enjoyed patting someone down?" or "Are you SURE that you always complete a body cavity search?" That, I can understand. What leaves me puzzled, is WHY they want it now.

Maybe my fear, is that I have so much I don't want ANYONE to ever know.
I don't pick my nose and eat it, if that's what you're thinking, but for everyone (I think) there are parts of their inner sanctum that they do not want disturbed.

Who cares that I stole a styrofoam easter egg from G.L.Perrys when I was 5? It was pretty, and I liked it damnit! Like a five year old has a way to get a job and pay for her own stuff. My mom made me take it back anyway, so I don't think that made it's way to my permanent record. I don't over imbibe, I don't, nor have I ever done drugs, I don't steal cars or rob banks. (though I have considered it recently)

What if there WAS an ultimately reliable test one had to take, lets say, annually. It would reveal accurately, everything you said as truth or fiction. Would you feel confident strapping up?
Imagine your most personal thoughts exposed for all to review. Kind of "Orwellian" in a sense.
The truth is shaped by how we perceive it.

Now I'm way off track and I've lost my train of thought. Maybe I should go do some laundry to clear my head.

Thursday, August 29

A Pause for Thought
Man, it's quiet around here. That's unnerving.
I've completed all my newspaper articles for this week, and other than a huge amount of laundry to fold, and the same old house to clean - I've got nothing to do. (in general)
The sad part of it is, I'm not joyful about it either. Usually a day full of nothing can keep me busy celebrating it.

It's the eerie silence that makes me edgy. I mean, COME-ON!! I've filled out an infinitive number of applications, surely someone needs something.

The jail officer position had my husband and I talking a long while last night. He read the information, which included a schedule of working 5 days, and off 2. He didn't like that. He pointed out an obvious disappointment which was that it would take me 7 weeks to get an entire weekend off. I pointed back, that this was the only app. where they seemed excited to see me.

I don't know what normal applicants for this job might look like, but evidentially they thought I was a shoe-in. After filling out my application, the training sergeant sat down with me and explained the test they set up for me to take, saying it shouldn't be a problem for "me"... and on and on.

It's a really interesting situation I think, but like everything , I'm sure it has it's pitfalls.
I really think it makes him nervous to think of me working around a collection of derelicts. Why that is different than a week with my family on occasion, I'll never know.
The correction's officer salary has a raise cap of $18.61 per hour after 6 years. That's real good money for someone who hasn't cracked a college book. And once I reach that cap, or even before, I could trade in my cellblock for another career inside the department.
I get my own GUN, and uniform, and spiffy shoes, and handcuffs, and baton, and man.............

Who knows where that application will end up. Probably in the dust bin if my husband has his way.
I'm hoping that someone closer to home calls and wants my skills.

I found that filling out applications is kind of like shopping, in a way. From where I live, Meijer is a drive to just go shopping. But if I am already out there, I may as well stop at a few places while I'm in the neighborhood. Being a weenie winter driver, I'd like to work as close to home as possible but my applications are near, and far. I figure while I'm already at this place, I may as well drive another 2 miles out, and try my luck there. Before I know it, I will be in Michigan working at Chrysler.

Maybe someone will give me a job for my birthday. With that wiggling it's gnarled finger at me from a week or so away, it's warning me that soon, I will be older. Yippee.
I will be 33. By my calculations, I should have had a real life and career long ago. Oh well. Add that to the list of disappointing things I've accomplished!

On another exciting note, my husband's knee WAS feeling much better. Until he was playing with our dog, and it hit him directly on the kneecap. Another one of those times where I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. To be safe, I walked away, then laughed. Once I get my gun, I can laugh wherever I want to. heh heh heh.........

I could have pummeled my daughter. That's not news, but still.... She called the vet's office yesterday to return their call, and they asked her if she would like a JOB. Riding along with the vet while he does his weekend calls. WHAT A LITTLE BRAT! She'll get $10.00 an hour too. Not bad for a 14 year old. That is the job I would create to give myself if I had the ability. I'm still not sure I will let her live long enough to do it. I could squeeze her out, and take it myself.

Instead of a birthday party, just send pity gifts, like your last pay stub, photocopies of your 401K, you know, things I will never see again (grin)

Ahhhh.........what else has been happening......
Sheep are all fine, breeding....etcetera.......
Kids ok.....
Husband on the mend...
Not much else today, but if I think of anything, you'll hear about it.

Tuesday, August 27

Sad, but True

You don't know how many times I read the title to this journal, and realize what a great job I did when I selected it as the caption for my life. We think we are always in control, making choices that will positively impact our existence here, or hope that the choices we make poorly will somehow be filtered over time - but as I take a glance backward, I realize that every interchange in my life can be viewed from a position of disbelief.
"What have I done?" Haunts me regularly, which is a good, and a bad thing.

Speaking of the good.bad things, I decided not to wait another minute for the perfect job to find me.
Had I only known we would both be off work this summer, during the cash collection phase of our year, I surely could have stuck it out at the doctor's office another 20 or 30 years. I feel bad, and nearly responsible now as we scramble with some creative accounting procedures to make sure we have somewhere to sleep, and things to eat. Electricity and Telephone service are at optional status now, and the dogs have put their own ad's in the paper for a new home that has pet food.
(It's not nearly that bad, but I see it on the bleak horizon.)

After telling my husband what I would do when I won the lotto, and he reminding me yet again that I have to play in order to win anything (who made up that silly rule anyway) I discovered that I didn't have enough spare cash to warrant a trip to town to get a $1 ticket. Gas, taxes and insurance included, of course.

So - yesterday, the JOB LOTTO began.
I suited up, checked my pre-trip gauges and prepared for liftoff. As my reality faded off into the horizon, I began the morning with the dreaded application - the last desperate attempt for employment. THE HOSPITAL.
While I liked my job there, the weekends and holidays really stink. Why can't people schedule to be ill during the week? I made good money, but the familial inconveniences were huge. Not to mention the off shifts. Now they are working 12 hour shifts, either 5a to 5p or the flip side of that. So, they will probably call me for an interview yet this week.

There were the other applications I already have percolating away, such as the 4 trailer factory jobs I have applied for, and I worked on those, I have several calls still in to people whom haven't had a second to call me back (chickens!)

Lets see, there was the Senior Center Secretarial staff, the Utility Company meter reader, Administrative Secretary for Different RV company, News Paper Sales and Marketing assistant, and the best to date - County Jail Officer. All that's left in my repertoire is Wal-Mart and a Mental Health Conglomerate. As far as that goes, I know I would end up being admitted, versus employed, so that is my hesitation there. You can't make any money drugged our on Risperdol. (well, maybe I could....)

It was almost fun filling out applications for things I'd never considered before. But when you have a full tank of gas, and a lot of spare time you have to do something to amuse yourself.

As I sat there, filling out the info, I really wonder why it's important that you know where a 33 year old went to elementary school. Are you going to call my Kindergarten teacher (she's dead by the way) and ask her if I colored inside the lines? Are you going to ask my 3'd grade teacher Mrs. Mahnensmith if I learned my times tables quickly? (Those 8's really gave me a hard time)
Who knows? I sure don't.

I also love those "trick" questions they slide in there. " What did you like LEAST about your last job?" Somehow, the thoughts of writing that they were all religious zealots, with a side order of asshole, didn't seem to be appropriate. But why ask, if you really DON'T want to know?

"What are your best traits?" If I tell them that I am good at hand delivering disproportionately sized lambs from a ewe's hind end, what exactly would that qualify me for? Probably something in accounting.

What I need to do, is to find someone who will pay me (dearly) to do what I am doing now. I love the paper, but it's limits are obvious.

You won't believe what I saw last night that got me thinking.
On another weblog, I found a link to a site that was called "Save Karyn"
No, it wasn't about a young lady who is dying from some illness or terrible situation in her life, it was worse.

She is a 20-something girl who gave in to the pressures of credit cards. Having amassed a fortune (over $20,000.00) in credit card debt buying Gucci purses, Prada belts and other high dollar designer items, she has no way to pay this off, a she is unemployed.
She makes no apologies, she clearly states that she is an idiot for doing this, and for a dollar, she will let you watch as her debt is magically reduced from the kindness of strangers, and while she changes her life to live more within her means. The odd thing is, that people are SENDING HER MONEY!

Not just a dollar, either. People send her sports tickets to be raffled off, gift certificates for food, other gifts for her personally too.
Bells in my head started going off. Surely, my cause as an underappreciated writer, mother, and wife of a crippled and ill husband would wreak major havoc on those who might send me a dollar. If 100,000 people sent me a dollar, or if 50,000 sent me two the possibilities are gigantic.

In 4 weeks, she has collected almost half her debt. Over $8,000.00 from people online who are either as stupid as she is, or really believe that she deserves it for the moxie it took to come right out and ask. People even E-mail her and tell her to show them her boobs, and they will send money. In my example, I could THREATEN to show my boobs, and pay off my home 15 years early. I can hear the money rolling in now.

While that's a serious consideration if someone doesn't take pity on my poor soul and give me a job, I think I will sit on it for now.
Only in America.

Sunday, August 25

The Weekender's

Now that I am living my life without a definate change to the importance of days as they roll by, I find that weekends are a bit disappointing. Everyone else seems to think they deserve a break from their already busy week, and I've been waiting all week for some hands to help me attack what I didn't feel I deserved to do all alone.
(When it comes to cleaning, I feel all involved with the mess should report for duty)

So, my husband has figured out a good plan. If he can beat me out of bed, and out of the house, he's in the clear. I loathe getting up at the crack of dawn just to say I saw it. So he's off golfing, or helping a buddy - whatever it takes for me to avoid sticking a dust rag or vaccuum cleaner in his hand.

My kids though, are not as fortunate. They rise about the same time as I do, so they unfortunately get caught by my cleaning dragnet.

Today was unusually painful for us all. We moved all the furniture, washed all the walls, cleaned ceiling fan hardware, dusted and swept EVERYTHING, (couch cushions and all) and THEN cleaned all the carpets. This lets us re-discover things we were sure to never see again. The magic place that is behind the couch or chair, always has a kind of lay-a-way for us lazy folks. The dog was gleeful, as her tennis ball collection grew from 0 to 5, and the cat found all of her long lost "fake" mice.

You know me - I'm either doing nothing, or everything at once. I'm a cleaning bulemic.
I let things go until it's a huge mess, and then I have to clean it all at once.

Thanks are going out to my brother, who's pound puppy started the whole top-to bottom cleaning frenzy by bringing over his dog, and "infecting" mine with something akin to Montezuma's Revenge. There are days when I wish I didn't own a house pet - besides a cat. So, for now, Sadie is in her crate - if only to spare my cleaned carpets and exhausted body.

My husband is doing much better as of late, he reported golfing all day and driving home WITHOUT any glasses. That's a good sign. We were really worried his sight may never come back full force. He says it's not 100%, but for him to not need a thing, it's getting close. The doctor reduced his initial doses of meds on Thursday, which might make us be more restricitve with his diet, but so far it's not making too big of a difference. I'm slowly gaining confidence that this may not be the most terrible thing to ever happen.

I'm on my last week of passive job hunting. Beginning next Tuesday, I think I may have to go to the hospital. I just can't wait around forever. I had high hopes of not taking a job just to have one. I wanted to find something I could really get involved in, that had a future for me, not just anything to bring in a check. My timetable for that expired about 2 weeks ago, so I need to get on the ball before it's Christmas, and we are giving IOU's.
Never know....those little bell ringers in front of Wal-Mart might just be for me this year. (grin)

It's been a while since I have come up with anything particularly witty to share, I hope that soon, I will feel normal enough to once again regard my life with some sense of humor. It's getting there, I can feel it.

Thursday, August 22

And the winner is.......

I really HATE sports.
Not the kind you see on TV, not the kind that you play as an adult, not even the kind that you buy a ticket to see some overpaid professional compete in.

I HATE kid's sports, PERIOD.

This post is not for you, it's not for dinner conversation, or telephone calls or a casual mention the next time you see me. Sorry to be a bag about it, but it's just for me and my journal. I consider all the "people" I am talking about differently when I talk about them in relation to sports, than when I talk about them as a person I know.

I need to learn how to divorce myself from any importance I place on my kids being in sports because I truly feel it's all a big bag of crap, and it's shaped by those who know how to kiss ass, and go along.

Maybe I wouldn't mind so much if I felt that everyone has the kids best interest in mind, or even if I felt they were at least TRYING to be fair, and scheming on the inside. But when it is blatantly obvious that the same kids win, and the same kids lose, I get all riled up.

Why do I care?

After all, it's not likely that any of the kids I know will be called from a division one school, offered a full athletic ride and then be "drafted" into the pros. So that's a non issue.

What's the big deal?

Unless I believe that everyone, regardless of ability, should play (which I don't) there always has to be winners and there always has to be losers.

What breaks my heart, is of course, when it's my kids. There is nothing like trying to comfort a child after they have been dropped, and branded unworthy. Some kids take it in stride, get a snack, go play playstation and forget all about it.

My kids, however seem to feel that they are defined by their ability to belong, or not. At least my youngest. News to the masses, she was cut from the team tonight.

I won't even go into the coaching issue, because I've been there myself and I know how it feels to have to grade you players by ability before you ever see them play a game - However, I would at least take each child aside before posting their fate for all to see, and give them some type of reason, or constructive criticism to chew on while they cried.

But, that's not my problem. I can see that - plain as day, but I have a hell of a time turning it over to them and letting them deal with it. Disappointment is a cheap commodity these days, and I guess they need to learn to handle it well.

My problem, is I need to just learn that some things will never change.
Even if it's promised to you.

Case in point...
My oldest daughter also loves volleyball. Her grades won her a parental trip to the bench at the end of her Basketball season. The school was quite satisfied with her grades - we weren't.
We decided that if she couldn't satisfy OUR requirements, she wouldn't play.

What we didn't consider, was that she would now be feared, as a player and considered a liability in a JV or Varsity spot, just in case she would fall behind again.

Bad parents, Bad.
Ok- so I can live with that.

However, in an introductory speech for all to hear, her coach let everyone in the program know that good players on a lower team would be moved up, and poorly performing players on a good team would be moved down. No one had a guaranteed spot. Soooo, after kicking some major ass, if I do say so myself, in several games, my daughters efforts go unobserved.

Why should I be surprised?
I'm a fool, that's why.

Now that's not saying that every kid who does well has parents, or is themselves, a good suck up. That's not my point. It's those kids that fall into the gray area - like mine, who's parents (at least their Mom can't keep their damn mouth shut, and just smile when fed a healthy portion of shit.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I wish my kids played chess, the accordion, liked fencing, square dancing or bingo. Anything but sports.

Is Prozac over the counter yet?
Normal, USA

This is the calm after the storm.
The newspaper totally claimed my life over the past few days, and I found myself missing several important firsts that went just fine without my complete attertion.

The first day of school came and went for the girls, and I guess it is going well. Up until 2 am the night before didn't leave me much time for the teary goodbyes as they stepped onto the bus. (Not that there would be any to begin with, ;-) )
All things have quietly fallen into place - so far.

I also missed the first game of my oldest daughter's volleyball season sitting in an orthopedic surgeon's lobby with my husband, waiting on the results of his MRI.

There have been things I have accomplished during this time - I finally finished the articles for the paper, all 16 of them and I'm in love with each and every one of them. I didn't know how satisfying it would be to create something like that. It's oddly like creating a child. Not the act of creating a child, but how you feel about the finished creation. You notice all the fine points, play down the less than attractive attributes, and want to show it off. I'm sure that it will become mundane soon enough, but for now I'm enjoying it.

DID YOU HEAR THAT? I ENJOY MY JOB!!! (Now I will surely be fired in the next 36 hours...thats my karma.)

My husbands multiple medical conditions are slowly retreating away from their emergency status. His diabetes is wellunder control, with the exception of a few days where he was really obstinate and ate whatever he wanted, and his knee is still in the investigation stages.

Seems some people are born with a condition called a bipartate patella. Instead of forming one complete bone, the bone develops an accessory peice which is connected by fibrous tissue. GENERALLY, but the time a person reaches skeletal maturity (16) this condition has stabilized enough to never notice it, unless you have an X-ray that might disclose it. Even experienced radiologist's may see the film, and declare that the patient has a fractured patella. Right now, his orthopod and the radiologist are arguing back and forth trying to determine exactly what it is. This, leads us to next Monday, where he will have a CT scan to answer everyone's questions once and for all.

If it's a fracture, we are looking at some screws and possibly a plate - and if it's the other, the surgeon has no idea what he will do.

I will be so glad when I can look at this time in my life and laugh, because it's over.

Tonight is the first Volleyball game I will be able to attend, it should be interesting. I won't get into details now, but the next few years of volleyball will be interesting.