Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Your Conservative Immigrant Mother's Worst Nightmare

Oh where to begin...
So I've been chatting up that lady they brought in to replace the temp. who went off to become a stay-at-home dad, right? Yes, the lady who STILL CAN NOT put together a banker's box. (Which really irks me as we have to make and fill 50 or so of them in the next 3 days.)

I'd like to say that once you get to know her she's super with-it and uber intelligent and really good at being an AP assistant. I really, really would. Instead, after hearing about her kids and her other jobs and such, it is now my mission to scare the beejeebus out of her by simply being that which she hopes her 1st generation daughters NEVER become: An independent woman. People, I am a conservative immigrant mother's worst nightmare, just ask my mom.

It's not that I'm mean or anything, really it's not. Honest. I know I can be a right witch, or worse, you know, with the other spelling, but I'm hoping to save this woman from herself. I'm hoping that she will OPEN HER EYES and realize that if she continues down the road she's decided to travel that her daughters and I will have much more in common than she will be happy with. LET MY LIFE BE A CAUTIONARY TALE!!!

It's simple really. All I do is make sure she's listening as I talk "over the cube wall" to another AP Coordinator and chat about life, movies, what I'm doing this weekend, how we blame our mothers for all the awkwardnesses of adulthood because our rearing was so convoluted, and especially about the horrible double-life you have to lead when you are one person at home and a completely different person everywhere else. No, I wasn't a covert agent, or a "bad" girl here, well, depending on your culture and point of view I suppose. I'm seriously talking about "knowing my place" in the house and keeping a low profile, not snipping or talking back, doing as I was told, etc. You know, being a good subservient messican girl. Now, if you want to get ANYWHERE in life, you CAN NOT adopt those same loving, meaningful qualities in the real world in the United States. Really. They will eat you alive.

As fun as it was to live at home like that, is it a wonder I decided I needed SPACE to do some growing up? About 400 miles is a good radius marker. Not so far that you can't drive home in a day, not so close that your folks can just "pop" on over. Those were troubling years for everyone.

This lady? One of her daughters is going to school in LA. She doesn't like coming "home" anymore. Lady is frustrated that her daughter keeps calling L.A. "home." Lady calls her almost nightly to make sure she's eaten and that she's going to bed at a reasonable hour. She even tried to gain our sympathies by telling us, "can you believe she won't answer the phone sometimes?" Hooo boy. I looked her in the eye and told her how, over the course of about a year I weaned my mom off of the whole "phoning" thing. "You have to let your daughter do her own thing or she will stop talking to you, believe me."

I'm not making fast friends here, can you tell? I'm also not quite getting through to her. After telling her of how happy I finally was living the life I am, she busts out with, "you'd be happier married, with children."

It's a wonder I don't smack her upside the head with one of those banker's boxes.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I Think I've Figured it OUT! Or it's the Sudafed Talking...

Happy dreary, rainy, poopy weather Saturday.
I know, I live in Seattle, I should be used to the crappy weather, right?

Well, I've finally figured it out. I had an Epiphany about this weather thing! Really! Here's the deal boys and girls, Seattle is just like Tahoe in this one big respect: It is a rare day when it is not craptastic for weather ON THE WEEKENDS.

Really. The ladies at the library would joke about the built-in "tourist control" that Kings Beach/North Lake Tahoe had in Mother Nature. People did not flock up to us in the droves that South Lake Tahoe has to deal with because, well, 9 times out of 10, the weather sucked the big one on the weekends. We all laughed, and laughed mightily at times. Here we were in the prettiest place in the world for mountain/lake living, and everyone felt sorry for us and our foul weather.

Moving along 800 miles north to my new home...did the weather follow me? People come to visit Seattle/the PNW on weekends get that rainy Seattle impression. They must! Because really, rain? Not so much. Dreary? Well, that's another story.

I wouldn't mind the rain/foul weather so much if I had the same kind of hours/schedule as I did in Kings Beach. I worked most Saturdays and had most of my days off during the week. But having a 9-5 (well, 7:40-4:10 ish), Monday thru Friday gig is putting a cramp in my getting to enjoy the nice weather we see through the wall of windows at the "tower", during the week.

I'm not saying it doesn't get poopy out there Monday thru Friday or anything, cuz it does. But it's almost guaranteed to be 70-90% chance of hell on earth by Friday night/Saturday on the weather page.

I'm in a foul mood as the weather is also messing with my sinuses and I'm fighting the good fight...and losing, big time. I've had the same throbbing headache since yesterday morning. Crunching numbers when your sinuses are threatening to explode does not make for a happy camper--I mean Accounts Payable Coordinator. I should use my title for what little time I have left. (They say "first week or so of April" now. I say end of March for the accounting department. This will put a crimp on the monetary plans for Italy...I did have plans for those paychecks...oh well.)

Enjoy your weather everyone!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It Could Have Been Me

I know I don't have the widest readership in America, but go read Scout's post.
Or go straight the the article that has me shaking in frustration: here.

It's left a horrid taste in my mouth. How easily it could have been me if the the situation had been just marginally different. I had 5, FIVE (!) infected PCs come into my classroom when I took over the Yearbook class when I taught on the VERY conservative Big Island. The first one started throwing fits AFTER SCHOOL...I never realized just how thankful I should have been then.

Isn't it just hilarious I've found this article when I'm trying to get my head around renewing my teaching credential? Coincidence? Urgh.

Anxiety Dream Maybe?

So I've been bemoaning the whole "change of careers" trauma on these pages off and on, right? Well...
I still am, don't worry.  I'm not about to tell you that I'm taking on the ruler, dirty looks, and perpetual clipboard of my former years, not today at any rate.
It's just, well, I'm also a "play-it-safe" kinda gal.  I don't gamble.  I don't much like the lottery.  Game shows that even feel like there's a chance you'll lose it all?  Not my thing.  I'm not the most popular on any "game" night, lemme tell ya.  So what if I change my mind on the whole "teacher" thing?  A girl's got that right, right?
So, I'm renewing my California teaching credential.  It expires in August and I'm getting the paperwork together to do it "one last time..." maybe.  I'll have 5 years to see if I really do want to just give it up, you see.  For the non-teachers out there, in Cali, when I EARNED my credential (blood, sweat, and tears) back in '97, I fell into the lot of newbie teachers who have to gather together 150 "professional development hours" as well as have "a plan" and "goals" and "stuff."  You know, like an advisor to sign off on all of it.  You can pretty much do all that ANYWHERE, thank you liberal Cali.  So, while in Hawai'i, I gathered and was advised and "stuffed" for my upcoming renewal.  I'm not just gonna throw all that time and effort away!
That was now officially 2 states ago.  2 HUGE moves ago.
Now just ask me where I've put it all?!?
So the dreams have started.  My wonderful anxiety dreams.  Beginning with the one I had the other night where actually it was August of 2006 that the ol' credential 'spired.  SOL Loser!  I think I actually propelled myself out of bed in record time to physically look at the credential.  I do know where that is.  I "keep it secret, keep it safe."  (Just re-watched the LOTR, can you tell?)
Last night I was back in Santa Cruz.  For some reason I was taking a bath while wearing a jacket-style floatation device.  There were people doing acrobatics in the hallway.  Once dressed, or at least out of the bath, details are sketchy, I was confronted by an old friend.  He accused me of being a "teacher"--said in such a way that you knew he'd said a bad word--because I had an old-style wooden pencil in my room!  Which he brandished like a wand, or sword, or something.
Right.  Woke up on such a good note there.

Friday, February 16, 2007

You Don't Know What You Got Til Its Gone...

Being a temp is many things, both good and bad. However, there are certain advantages that I hadn't realized until yesterday. The major one, the one stewing in my head right now is the fact that I came into my assignment knowing it would end.

When the company gets sold twice in what seems like an overnight move by its new "parent" company/post merging partner and its first seller? (As in twice in a week.) Well, I still knew I had an end date and nothing had changed except that it might be 20-ish days sooner than I wanted it to be. The people who thought they'd be working for the company for ever and ever? (Does anyone still think that way when they work in the "big corporation" world/game?) They're talkin' 45-60 days.

Can we say the, um, atmosphere is starting to change drastically at my lovely, cool, calm, collected as yet unnamed work place? (BTW, I couldn't really tell you the name at this point as we're not quite one company and not yet another, yet, and soon to be yet another...Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Who's your daddy?"--And I can't take credit for that one either, one of the Admin Assists shared that thought with me.)

So, yes, lots more work during the day and coming home very tired and just wanting to chill or sleep in the evenings makes for very little blogging/knitting/reading/me time. Then there's the flu that's going around...I'm becoming a prime candidate for it. Tired+stress+not eating right...then throw in that Andy picked up a bug somewhere the other day...happy 3 day weekend for me! :(.

(Yes, I get the holiday, NO, I don't get paid...)

Happy Friday

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Can You Blame Me?

If you asked my long-indulgent friends, they will emphatically back me up on this one...I never out-grew the cheap cardboardy-paper V-day cards with the not-quite dotted lines that you inevitably ripped apart instead of "fold-n-tear" with their even cheaper onion-paper envelopes that would sooner become a crumpled piece of trash than to encase your thoughtfully chosen "Mr. T", "Hello Kitty", or "Bugs Bunny" Valentine's day motif cards.

My memory fails...but I think I even sent some out last year...

I blame it on teaching Middle School. Yup, that's it.
Anyway, all who come by today? This one's for you:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Is This Thing On?

Hmmm, it would seem that a number of my posts have decided not to appear on the WWW.

If blogger were still Beta, I'd be able to explain it away easily...

Ah well. Maybe some day all of my posts will magically reappear. Yes, that's it.

I'm 9/10s done with the footlets...pictures soon. I wanted to wait until the closing of the toe and maybe even weaving in of ends. Yes, basically I'm procrastinating and giving myself excuses.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The P(assive Agressive )acific North West

This might become a series...

Dear Newspaper Lady On the Bus,

Hi, yes, I'm the chick with the "messenger-esque" black bag with the state patches on it that you use to keep your newspaper in place EVERY SINGLE TIME I end up standing near you during our commute to "Seattle's Beautiful Downtown" (as this latest bus driver has begun calling it).

I know, I know, I'm a good shelf for your paper seeing as you're sitting facing me and I'm standing in the aisle and all. At least I'm not like that cute Chicana-looking girl who stands right up against your knees facing you and looking over your head out the window while humming whatever music she's listening to on her iPod. I mean, if you opened your paper then, well, you'd be resting it on her chest and I think even she couldn't ignore that one. I'm really trying to take up as little of your personal space as possible in comparison, see?

That being the case do not make HUFFY noises when I move and crinkle your paper! And on Friday? You know when you decided that the space between the straps was the absolute perfect fit to the top half of the paper as you were busy reading the bottom bit? So much so that you kept pushing it further and further toward me so I could keep hold of in my armpit? It was not my fault that the driver pounded on the breaks trying not to run into the idiot that cut him off and then slowed down below the speed limit, sending all of us standing passengers forward a good foot; so your making a big show that I had pulled some of your pages away with me and, oh my goodness, WRINKLED your precious paper? It didn't earn you any brownie points in my book.

The fellow who is pretending to read his paper on the other side of me, you know the one that won't give up his seat even to the little old lady with the cane? He FOLDS his paper to a nice compact size so that he can hold it right up to his face and pretend to be completely immersed in whatever article is there, completely ignoring the driver's suggestion to let the blind woman with the dog sit down. But at least he doesn't consider me a piece of furniture.

I wonder Ms. Newspaper Lady, if I were the one sitting and you the one standing, would you open your paper and rest it on my head? Somehow I get the awful feeling you would.

Furniture Girl

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

L I B!

Wow, is this really the third post in a row in as many days?
Now I've jinxed it, haven't I?

Okay, I said I'd give the answer to my super-suave visual joke of yesternight...to refresh the scene and give some insight:

While sailing up in the Sacramento Delta area, a rocket scientist (well, that's what his t-shirt said) friend of mine commented on the number of, um, odd folks in the "South of the North" that is the Delta region. He summed it up by scratching out these letters on a piece of paper for us all to take it all in and maybe acclimate, sort of...that there was a clue for y'all. And them there's another. So try it out again, with feelin'.


Still nothin'?
No, it's not Mr. Snakes.
Put some twang into it, maybe an exclamation point after the first line.
Give up?

This is what learning phonics can do for you:
'Em are snakes!
'Em are not.
Oh 'es 'a are!
See 'em beady eyes?
'ell I be!
'Em are snakes!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, I never said I was a complicated woman.

In a side note, I found out just how much a creature of habit I can be. I got to choose frames for a new pair of glasses today. Searching high and low and trying on pair after pair after fabulous pair, I finally found ones that might stand the test of fashion times. How do I know this? Because when I went to put on my old pair, the Optometrist and I busted out laughing loud enough to scare everyone else in the room...yes folks, it took almost 1/2 an hour, but I found a pair that pretty much matched the ones I've been wearing for the last three years. Though they are a shade darker! At the rate I choose these differences in my eye-wear, I'll have a completely different pair in about 10 years!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Greys

But not the Project Spectrum kind...well, sort of.
Okay, here's a progress picture on the "footlets."
I am having fun whipping them out on the bus where I keep getting the same comment, "Wow, that's an awful lot of needles!"
O S A R!

Hm, have I done this yet? It's a visual joke that I got a HUGE kick out of when it was first presented to me...maybe that'll cheer me a bit:


hee hee, sometimes it's the simple things.

I think my happy is being sucked out of me by the recent turn of weather. I was SO VERY MUCH looking forward to the weekend after all the beautiful sunrises I'd seen from 40 stories up. I was so ready to have some sunshine, cold and clammy as it might be, on my skin.

The weekend "sucked prune twinkies," to borrow a phrase my X uses/d/(?) with a passion.
It was gray and dreary and foggy.

I did get to see an awesome movie (on Superbowl Sunday...empty theatre people, ahhhhh): Pan's Labyrinth, which I might post more about later, after more people have seen it. Go, now even, do not miss this one. Let me tell you this as a warning-like-thing, though, if you're feeling glum, it will NOT cheer you. To borrow another phrase, this time from Crazy Aunt Purl, I am a cautionary tail, heed my words. The movie is thought provoking, yes, but also very introspective, at least for me. Having the gloomy on the screen match the gloomy in the real world was almost too much.

Yesterday my wall of windows at work showed me the mists of Avalon. There was NOTHING outside that window. It was erie and cold and numbing. I felt like I was lost in the fog. I have been, while on a boat...you start seeing things. Your eyes desperately want to make something out of the nothing. Today? it cleared a bit and I was able to wave to the people in the next building...no one waved back, they never do. Then the rain came. More gray, more dreary.

I mentioned to one of the ladies in the office (a knitter herself) that maybe it was time to pull out the sock yarn I won a ways back (scroll a bit). She had just finished winding up a shockingly pink shade of some Fleece Artist Sock yarn...also a way to make the dark go away, just a little.

So I might be abandoning Project Spectrum a bit...I'm not sure yet. Tonight I'm cooking up some beans and messican rice, my comfort food...maybe it'll take me out of the doldrums...

Monday, February 05, 2007


It's...ummm...I don't know what it is, actually...it's just plain bizarre how memories sneak by all the blocks and walls you've patiently built up over the years to pop in and say, "HOWDY!" at all the most inconvenient of times.

As I was putting together my grocery list yestereve, and doodling around the edges I thought back to what had to be third or fourth grade...it gets fuzzy as I had the same teachers as subs and then full-on teachers the next year, at that time...It was definitely Ms. Gomez. Yes, her real name. Not Mrs. Gomez, but her sister. I'd out her completely, but I have no memories of the first name anymore...

Yes, I am still maybe a bit bitter and need to let lots of things go...but this one...urgh. You decide if I'm maybe overreacting.

Anyhow, she had us drawing maps of California. The assignment asked us to outline the map using toothpicks. Yes, 3rd/4th grade and we had to manipulate little toothpicks and glue and outline the state of California on an 8.5 x 11" piece of special construction paper she gave us. We also had to label a whole bunch of stuff on the map....major rivers, capitals, cities, you know.

It was one of those "start in class" assignments with atlases and compasses and rulers and lots of help from your friends that then had to be schlepped home and finished with...um...yeah, from memory, cuz we didn't have anything near as fancy as an atlas at my house. I believe I borrowed a map of California from my baby-sitter to do this one. Stayed up pretty late with my mom kinda checking in on me.

By third grade I'd pretty much out-schooled both my parents and they encouraged me to to my homework...but help? Um, not so much.

I finished it though...even mounted it on a piece of yellow construction paper to make it more sturdy...the toothpicks were making the map kinda wobbly.

I was so proud. Took it right up to the teacher when she called for them. She lined us up and decided to grade them on the spot. All the A's were going up on the wall. I was shocked when one boy who never did very well walked away with an A and a pushpin. He put his map on the wall and my heart fell. Did she not notice it wasn't his handwriting? Then another A map, and wait, it wasn't on the paper she gave us and had what looked like an atlas map glued under that super thin typing paper you could buy at the drugstore. Another "A" went to a boy who looked like he'd used his older brother's work from the year before... One map barely had any labels on it! Then came my turn...

"Did you do this all by yourself?!? You must have, that's your messy writing all over it! Can't you be more neat? I'm going to give you an 'A' but this isn't nice enough to go up on the wall."

Yup...that's pretty much what she said. I really hadn't been paying attention to what she was telling the other kids, I was too busy admiring my accomplishment and wondering why those other maps had gotten on the wall. From that point on I listened to the "praises" and "scoldings" she was giving the rest of the class. Most everyone who even tried the assignment got an "A," but only those she felt deserved it got to go on the wall.

Last night, doodling on the grocery list...man, all I could think of was what a bitch that woman was. The entire year was filled with comments like those and similar treatment to her favorites. She was teaching at a private parochial school and I highly doubt she had a teaching credential. I think she only got the job because her sister had some clout. I have to wonder if she even liked kids! I do know she did not last more than a few years there. Gods! YEARS! How many groups of kids did she mess up! Urgh. But at the time? Yep, all I wanted to be was one of those favorites...let's just say I never made the cut.

How do experiences like this add to the person I am today? That's the more reflective part of this whole thing. What would my life had been like without those particular scars? How would my story have been different?

I think I think too much sometimes.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Blogger (Silent) Poetry Reading

Go here for the details.

My contributions:

Because this morning was far too melancholy:

The Hollow Men

T. S. Eliot

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.



Because the sunrise was this beautiful:


Carl Sandburg

THE fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hurray for the Blue, White, & Gray...

Project Spectrum starts today and I'm already in the groove...with no pics sorry.
But my black/grey footlets (Are they footies or anklets? We'll see when they're done...) have passed the heel turn and I'm at the gusset decreases. Greek to you, you say? I'm just finishing up the heel.

If I get a chance I'll also snap a picture of the blue yarn I've set aside for the next "foot adventure." Especially adventure-filled as I don't have anything to do contrast heels and toes for it if I run out...

Right, you're bored, no pictures, how could I... them's the breaks at 6 am.

Happy Thursday!