Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
No, not poorly, just poor.
As in: not enough money for groceries, poor.
See, I finally tallied up the financial catastrophe that is my mouth.
Simply put, I could no longer afford to temp at my current gig. See, I have an emergency medical fund. I have always kept one, but never really needed it as I was either still the responsibility of my parents, or actually insured. The first time I dipped into it I was living in Mexico, and well, $10 doctor visits, $80 cavity fillings...not a big dent.
Hello the United States of America.
I'm pretty much cleaning out the account after today, my second to last (finally) visit to the dentist. This would be stage 1 of the "Crown Fitting." I'm going in all calm and collected though. Which was not me on Tuesday.
On Tuesday I went into the office of my "boss" (technically boss, she signs my time-sheet, but my agency pays me) and asked how long they really needed me. It's not that I want to leave, but I really really need something that will help me fill up my medical coffer once again. With or without insurance, this is a necessity for me. This gig? Not doing it for me. Every cent is pretty well accounted for at the end of the month.
Well, they need me. She wants me there at least until the end of the year. So she asked what the bottom dollar amount that I needed so I would stay, and I told her. Just a couple of dollars more an hour and I could start not living paycheck to paycheck (or mortgage payment to mortgage payment on my doctors' vacation condos...), and start actually saving again. She said she'd get back to me by the end of the day.
An hour later she had word, and the word was good. Actually the word was awesome! My raise is much more than expected. I'm still the least paid person in the place, but now there is hope!
Then yesterday....and now I'll jinx it, so please good thoughts my way...then yesterday I got some awesome news from one of the recruiters...who was actually not too happy to give it to me. I've scored an interview. But the recruiter doesn't want me to leave my current department. I really don't want to leave either, but the position I've been asked to interview in, is not in their department. A real job prospect.
We spent most of the time with him telling me why I should stay in my current spot. I swear it almost got down to, "They won't love you as much as we do!" So very sweet.
And so, on this Thursday morning of an overwhelming week, I share this with you.
Wish me luck that there are no more unpleasant surprises at ye olde' tooth pullers, cuz I can't afford them anymore.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I mean, I guess we were still writing letters, though, not really Corresponding anymore. That, as my high school history teacher once said, really was an art form. There were topics you could and should write about, and those that were to be avoided like the plague. Kinda like writing school papers, or having work conversations, maybe? How is the weather and all that noise?
Besides, we had "evolved," we were TELEPHONE people.
Who needed to sit at a writing desk and write and rewrite and edit and begin again and maybe one more time, with feeling! That's what the phone was for. Hours and hours blabbing to friends and confidants, or crank calling our enemies. No "Dear John" letters, instead, you could break up with your beau "live" if not in person. No more "angry" letters to your folks or complaint letters to companies, just get on the phone and torment them during business hours! Or something.
It was like having them right next door! And best of all, they could tell how you were feeling just by the sound of your voice.
Then came the internet. Why call when you can shoot off an email? Who needs grammar? Just write how you talk! What a concept! "Chat" live if you want to relay a message right now. Only, and therein lays a sleeping dragon that's been waking up recently, words on paper, written stylistically, grammatically correct or incorrect, if not done perfectly, or at least the way the "professionals" do it and geared toward a very specific audience? They will leave the reader lacking.
Just like you never know just how you look through other peoples' eyes, you really won't know just how you "sound" or "read" to others until after the reactions come in.
The thing about a written work is that it's a two way street. The writer really really really wants to convey particular information, a specific message, and maybe a certain feeling. It's the reader's job to take in the symbols on the page (written or electronic) and transform them into meaning. What that meaning ends up being depends a whole bloody lot on how your reader is doing that day: hungry? depressed? elated? tired? caffeinated? angry? You name it, it alters what you, the writer, have written.
So, say when reading a blog or an email or anything, if you are not the intended victim---I mean reader? You are going to take it in a way very different from the original intention. At the same time, if you, the writer, are so in your "moment" in your "groove" in your "in it" that you are not taking the uninitiated reader into consideration? It will be like gobbledy-gook.
Why or why is this all swirling in my brain?
There is the personal one that keeps scratching at me deep down. The one that says it's all my fault that I can't keep in touch with the people who I thought were close to me because we just can't/don't/won't communicate well anymore. Because something that was written in a card, an email, a letter, a text message, etc., was taken so far in the "wrong" way that ties were severed. How many people have come and gone from others' lives because of a mis-written word? The mind boggles.
And then there is the funnier work-related stuff that makes me want to bang my head against the wall until it makes more sense. This one I can go on about a little more as the previous reason still kinda smarts. I think I'm running into brick walls about the written word with certain folks because they honestly aren't used to using this "email" technology stuff and only have an email address because it's expected to be on their resume...or something.
I've completely given up using electronic means to communicate with many people to save both the head and heartache involved with the complexity of simply turning on a computer. Others I don't even pick up the telephone for, they need to be face to face, or still things will go terribly. Horrifically funny, yes, but terribly.
Then of course there is that aspect that, having been an English teacher makes me cringe...some people can't string more than a couple letters together to begin with. Let us not torture them or ourselves with anything written, because god almighty made people to be accountants and scientists and techies and NOT English teachers for a reason! These people are wonderful at what they do! It just might not have anything at all to do with the English Language. And if they read your email and are boggled because you use such things as humor or sarcasm, lord help us all.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Call me silly, but, the rules of the universe do not cease when drops of water fall on your head, or your car, or, by golly, the pavement.
So sweatshirt man, crossing AGAINST the lights at morning rush hour? Not the most Einsteinian of manuevers there, genius boy. That would be why everyone, including the HUGE bus bearing down on your ass, was honking at you.
It is not the time for you either, raincoat man, with hood up and all, to run blindly across the street because you cannot walk to the crosswalk like everyone else!
I used to love to ride the wooden roller-coaster at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in weather like this. The tracks would be super wet and the coaster would go much faster. Sometimes the momentum was so much that we would slam into the cars in front of us as the braking mechanism would be sopping and there was nothing anyone could do about it.
I keep that in mind as I'm driving on the sloppy wet roads and find myself in the live version of a frogger-esque video game where the frogs have all gone deaf and blind and pretty suicidal to get out of the eeek, rain.
"But I'm getting wet!"
I'm an equal opportunity disser, so I'm including the dumb ass in the blue pickup truck that decided I was going too slow and tailgating me wasn't enough; slamming his hand on the horn as he passed me made it so much better. Cuz, you know huge non-draining puddles on the road are not cause for him or anyone to drive more carefully, or even slowly (we've already discussed my gramma driving abilities). His zigging and zagging, and ultimately sliding into a car as I crept by at my snail's pace, that made me feel sooooo much better, really.
And I'd have honked, but well, I own a Toyota, and hearing the little meep meep from me wasn't going to alleviate anything.
I really really really miss riding the bus on days like this.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Remember when I said I was working on a gift for mom's day? Like back before I went to Italy and stuff? Wow, four months ago?!?
Then I came back from Italy and I mentioned I'd worked steadfastly on at least one of the two pairs of socks I'd cast on (one for bus work, one for "just before bed") and had even finished ONE sock of the pair?
Then life happened, I guess. And I got a temp gig where I don't commute on good ol' #304 and actually have to drive there as it takes five times as long if did walk/bus/walk/bus it. Add to that the fact that I don't take hour-long lunches so I can come home at a reasonable hour...and my knitting time has all but disappeared. So it shocked me when I actually finished these:
Whose link I am trying to find, but #1 I found the original "sport weight" pattern eons ago and #2 the fingering weight version, which I used, is protected behind a yahoo sock group that I actually joined JUST to get THIS ONE pattern. Okay, here (left hand side, last one under her "Free Patterns") is the one for the bigger weight yarn, at least.
My mom tells me she got her package, yes I finally got her gift together: socks, holy water from the Vatican, a rosary, chocolates (for the grandkids more than for her...I just know it), body lotion, and...the hardest part of the whole gift conglomeration, really, some "box" bras. Really.
I don't know how we got into this conversation, I'm still a bit mesmerized by the whole thing...but one thing led to the other and she mentioned that now that she doesn't get out at much as she used to, certain "non-essential"/not available at costco items have gone by the wayside. Including her favorite "come-in-a-box" bras. So silly me, I said, "I'll get you some."
Did you all know most department stores in the Seattle area no longer carry such "boxed" items? They have gone the way of the Dodo bird, apparently. After walking for miles and miles from one department store to another, I finally found them at good old reliable "Ya Si Pennies" as my mom calls it. 1/2 off, as they were culling their store supply as well. I bought them out of her size. Best not to take chances, I've learned.
See, they've already "retired" my favorite body lotion at Bath & Body Works, they keep changing the ingredients to my favorite shampoos, let's not even talk about what all they've done to my favorite toilet paper...TMI, I know, but it all boils down to the fact that sometimes it is a good thing to horde, cuz the next time you go to find the product of your dreams it will be NEW! and IMPROVED! Now with Flavor! Or, more likely, just plain NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
Have I really lived so long that I'm noticing such things...there I go channeling again, "Back in my day..."
What was I saying? Knitheimers, I swear.
So the sock details:
Needles: US2 to begin, 4 US1s and 1 US 0. Yes, you did not read that incorrectly. Somewhere in Sicily I noticed one of the needles seemed awfully skinny...I was way past the gusset by that point and it was a "What the hell" moment, so I soldiered on and made #2 the same way.
My ADD was appeased when I found the exact matching spot to have identical socks. The sock yarn...Sockotta, color 618 lot 901. The biggest laugh? The yarn is made in Italy, but bought on clearance in the US...such is life.
I still actually need to find out if they fit my mom. What with the special needle configuration and the cottony aspect (45%) I wasn't all that sure. The colors did not bleed much and for that I was so very thankful.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Another post sans pictures and also not about knitting
I am probably one of the few people that are not 250 years old in their profile. Why lie? I was six years old at the start of the 80s. As with the ten thousand other innovations that came about in that decade, the onslaught of syndication and "re-run hell" changed my world. How else could we see every single episode of the Love Boat? How about Gilligan's Island, anyone? Well, one that I just loved to watch, more for the opening credits than anything else? CHiPs No really.
No, I did not have a crush on Ponch, (hee hee, paunch?) or John. I thought one was too sleazy and the other? Well, too white, actually (hi, I am a Mexican-American born and raised in East Los Angeles and blond-blue-eyed John was such the anomaly before I hit high school that he kinda looked, well, alien.) Where was I? Right, the opening credits. They actually showed a stretch of freeway that every single member of my nuclear family had come to know far too well. It was mostly THE 10 (SoCal upbringing) as it meets up with yet not quite touches THE110 and maybe THE 101…it's been a while since I've driven those roads.
So in my "World According to CHiPs" eyes: THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE! I learned many things as I'm sure many of us did:
- Do not distract the driver by having kids climbing back and forth among the front and back bench seats.
- Do not carry jugs of gasoline in station wagons as the fumes will escape and make you sleepy.
- Wheels will fall off your car at the drop of a hat! (Which did happen to a friend of mine.)
- The people around you do not know how to drive! (Hi, look around you.)
- Or are "manipulating heavy machinery" under prescription medication that is keeping them from driving safely.
- Or are high.
- Or have stolen the car and are trying to get away, FAST.
- Or are angry and ready to lash out at you (which actually did become reality, now didn't it???!!!???)
- Airplanes/helicopters will land on the freeway at least once a season.
- Brakes fail, ALL THE TIME (this actually did happen to me in a parking lot while in college…eep.)
- If you drop something as you are driving it will inevitably end up propped underneath the break pedal and you will not be able to slow down or stop, thus causing a huge accident.
Does all this explain why I drive like a grandma? I am pretty much the first to admit it. Let's face it, the premise of that show had me seeing everything that could possibly go wrong with your vehicle/other people's vehicles and how horrible it could all become. So does it shock you to know that I don't exactly like being behind the wheel?
Right. Well, this morning I was thinking about "Smart" ROADS as opposed to smart cars (oxymoron waiting to happen) and how they would do wonders for keeping all those aforementioned "scary things" from mostly happening.
Since I was about 8 or so I had this, "wouldn't it be great" thought of having cars fit into "slots" in the "roads" or main highways that would be moving instead of the cars. People wouldn't be weaving into and out of your lane like the fellow who tried to "become one" with my car this morning. No accident, remember, I'm already thinking everyone around me is on drugs, suffering from fumes, or simply cannot drive while watching for planes and their need to land on my street, so I was able to slow down to let him practice his um, stunt driving or whatnot.
It had been my thought, um 25 years ago, that the little roads leading up to the main arteries could be your usual "free for all" and let the drivers actually, well, drive. The older I get though, the more I think that maybe roads should be more like a Disney/roller-coaster/tracked things that don't let the drivers do anything but only kinda steer.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
- The older guy dressed in a three-piece suit, leading his wee little doggie with a VERY LARGE bag of dog poo.
- The well-dressed young woman carrying a caulking gun, caulk in place and ready to go.
- "Fanatic for exercise" gal that looks like she was hit with the "logo" gun who jogged around and around and around the light post while waiting for the light to change--she was making me dizzy.
- TOO MANY PEOPLE trying their hardest to break the World Record for how many people can fit on a # 26 bus.
- The fellow so intent on dialing a number on his cell phone that he walked right into the bus stop.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Tim's newest cat though, the one I have not met yet? He (or she, I don't even know) and I might have some issues.
Andy was hanging out over at Tim's yesterday, and came home with the new cat's "proteins" on him (or so one of the recruiters tells me) and said "proteins," which I'd like to call "essence of new cat," got on my right arm and I started braking out in hives! Evil, nasty, hives! Hives that ended up on my left hand that was examining the arm, then my chin when I was contemplating the arm, and pretty much anywhere that I touched before the "essence of new cat" dissolved into the ether and/or I went, "OH SHIT you were playing with the cats!" And realized the horror of it all.
What's truly terrible in this instance is that Andy actually washed his hands and showered before he got near me. Really! It was his picking up his "essence" covered clothes to throw them in the hamper that must have done it. That's all I can deduce at any rate, and the repercussions are frightening, to say the least.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
It never phased me, really. You live, you live with the bumps, right?
I know many of you are shaking your heads wondering how I've survived this long without accidentally beheading myself or something. Shear luck, I guess. Speed in healing as well. In these, um, middle years (or if it were cave-man times we could say "gramma years" people only lived until like 35 right?), I am losing both the luck and the speed...and that is just sucking so very hard.
When push comes to shove, I fall down, hard. I tripped over my own two feet, and maybe one of those concrete parking space dividers, just the other day. I guess the throbbing in my legs and hand were to distract me from my silly backache, or something. (Something like, say, my body trying to kill itself and missed, again, or something.)
And that backache! Hello! I am 33 years old. Why is my back spasming out? I think it's all connected to my hip. Thanks, Andy, for putting the silly Them Bones song in my head after I mentioned it to you...grrr. Seriously though, I feel like my luck ran out hard when I was run off the road that day so long ago when I was on my bicycle heading to my lawyer's office to sign some silly papers. I fell HARD and damaged my hip and wrist. It's been two and a half years. The wrist is weak but doing fine, the hip? She doesn't work all that great, especially lately.
Lately the Hip has made herself known. I am not the most svelte of heavenly creatures, but the um "junk" in my "trunk" never really bothered me. Thanks to my lack of mobility immediately after the accident, I quickly gained too much weight...at least 20 lbs.--scary thought/post for another day. Along with the weight, I have gained an extra "hand-hold" around that damaged hip area. It looks and feels just wrong. It always has. Lately, my theory at any rate, is that it's messing with my muscles in every which way possible. It affects the way I walk, climb stairs, sleep...what a bitch. I want to believe it's still healing, but at a geriatric snail's pace.
I can't but think of how it would have been different if I were in my early 20s and such a thing had ALMOST happened--that luck thing. See, I rode my bike all over Santa Cruz and left many dents in car doors with my Dock Martins when they tried to force me off the road. It was, as scary as it seems now, second nature to jump onto and off of sidewalks and bounce off cars as I made my way to Capitola, CA to get home from UCSC or home from the bookstore in years following. There were a couple of tumbles, but I was invincible! Clumsy, yes, always, but invincible!
I really miss those days. Especially when I'm sitting here on what seems like the "Group W" bench wondering how many Advil I can take and not kill my liver so I can still function at work today...urgh.
Monday, August 06, 2007
I think they are stemming from my tweaked back. Oh yes, I am an old woman. I tweaked my back on Saturday while sorting laundry, I think. I'm not really sure when or how it happened, only that damn, it hurts! It's like having cramps just up above my right kidney. Not a happy camper.
And it's Monday and I need to get going and I just have so little motivation. I think I need a vacation.
Present? Right. Nope, not as such...but I did call and let her know there was one and it will arrive shortly. Just have to get on the ball about it. Why is that so very hard to do?
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I have to get my act together and send off the gift I've been fixing up since April. Will it happen? Quien sabe.
I'm having a horrible morning. It's nothing anyone is doing to me, I think it's all inside. A combination "too many things in my head" + friends visiting + working all day + not enough sleep, is giving me a pounding headache and an upset stomach. That last bit I just noticed a couple minutes ago as I sat down at my desk for the first time this morning. I feel all woozy/bad coffee stomach. Sour stomach? I'm not all that good at describing it.
The only positive thing I've found out thus far is that if I can find someone else to monitor them, I won't have to work a 10-hour day today! See, I scheduled candidate for an early testing appointment, so I was in far too early this morning. Well, sometime yesterday after I'd left, someone (not me) scheduled a late late late-almost-early-evening candidate for me today! Happily, somebody, though I don' t know who, else can monitor the LAST test of the day.
I swear, I saw it on my calendar and I just about cried. I'm sinking down a hole today. It's a slippery slope. I'm tired, cranky, and just want to go home and go to bed. I don't get this way very often at all and it's bothering me. The worst part is that unless everyone is out of the house doing whatever touristy thing they've planned today, I still wouldn't get any peace and quiet even if I was home.
I'm dwelling very deeply and darkly in the negative right now...