Thursday, May 6, 2010

I would like you to meet my new boss!

Thank you, internets, for everything you've given me. I met my husband through you, my best friend through you, and now, my boss through you!

Yes, that's right, it only took me a year and six months, but I am finally back among the workers of the world. I'm not counting the mall job because that wasn't technically work, that was a level of hell in Dante's Inferno, the lost chapter that his dog ate. You don't know how I wish I could tell you some of the things that have gone on there recently. I could write a best seller, but I'd probably get sued.

Anyway, back to the good news. For a few months I've been talking on and off with this friend of mine about taking a position at his company when one of their partners retired. I wanted to tell you about it then, but I just couldn't believe my luck was going to hold and I was actually going to get the job, so I kept it to myself. After all, the other partners had to agree to hire me too. Last week I went in for an interview, and I myself was smitten with them. Turns out they must have liked me too, because yesterday I got a call from the retiring partner offering me the job!

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to my new boss! I called him the bee charmer in the post where I talked about meeting him for the first time. Now I'm going to call him my knight in shining armor because he rescued me from mall work and gave me a wonderful new job! A round of applause please for mister Brad Crane. Oh, and he told me that he stopped reading my blog when we first began talking about the job because he wanted to give me the privacy to talk about whatever I wanted, so he won't see any comments you leave here. If you want to comment to him you'll have to either email him or send him a note on Facebook.

I just think it's the coolest thing ever that I met my friend and future boss through my blog. The world and God work in mysterious ways. And I do have to give a little credit there, because for the last year or so of this year and six month ordeal I've been saying that I was sick of hearing people say "God has a plan for you". It's hard not to get discouraged when a plan takes so long to come to fruition, but I have to say, maybe there was one in place after all. One night when I was feeling very blue at the mall I was telling my coworker Jen how depressed I was that it had taken me so long to find a job. When the cranky receptionist from my last job got laid off a few months after I did, she had another job, and a better job at that, within a week! And here I was a year and a half later and still at the mall. I mentioned how sick I was of people telling me that God had a plan for me. Suddenly Jen started crying and she said "I think God DID have a plan for you! If you hadn't been here I probably would have walked out long ago, and then I would have been homeless and living in my car since Eric (her husband) lost his job! And I never would have gone to that job interview if you hadn't pushed me to it and told me I could do it, and I wouldn't have got the job without you coaching me and fixing my resume and loaning me the money to buy a suit!" And then of course I started crying, and I am proud to report that Jen DID get the job she applied for, and it's with a better store and she's actually the assistant manager there now. So ok, ok, maybe there was a plan. Because I think this job with Brad is tailor made for me and I'm going to love it, and if something had come along sooner I wouldn't have worked with Jen and I would have been stuck with a job that paid the bills but that was just ok.

Thank You for prayers answered, and for my friend and new boss, Brad.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Justice has prevailed

Thanks to a certain officer in my city's police department, the person who stole my checks and cashed them has been caught! Can you believe they were stupid enough to use their own drivers license and current address? My husband is feeling sorry for them now, but I am not.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Choosing my religion

THAT is one thing I missed about blogging, being able to drop song lyrics and titles into "conversation" on a regular basis.

Last year at Easter Mo and I each decided that we needed to find a church. So we agreed to take turns picking a church and trying it out together each Sunday until we hopefully found the one that felt like home.

I was raised Catholic and have left the church for personal reasons. I've always been curious about different religions, so I thought this was the perfect way to learn a little bit more about how other people worship and also find a new church in the bargain.

Let me tell you, it was an eye opening experience. The first church we went to turned both of us off because the pastor spent a good part of the sermon making fun of various people she had come across during the week who didn't understand what Easter is all about. That left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe instead of making fun of them, or belittling them for not understanding, you could try inviting them to attend the service and help them figure it out. Just a thought. Also, there was a woman who was knitting during the service, and her ball of yarn was easily the size of a basket ball. At one point it got away from her and rolled a good way down the aisle toward the altar before she managed to reel it back in. No one said a word. I thought that was strange. Maybe she was knitting for Jesus, but I don't think it's necessary to carry that on in church myself.

The next church we went to was a Unitarian church. We realized after being heartily welcomed and assured that they accept people of all sexual persuasions that they assumed we were a lesbian couple. After being raised a Catholic, the lack of ceremony in most services feels a little strange to me, but this one took the cake. People actually took coffee into the service. Seeing McDonald's and Starbucks mugs on the floor at people's feet in church was.... strange. Also, this particular church has a large glass window behind the altar, and the garden behind this window is beautifully landscaped and contains several mature trees. One tree directly behind the pulpit had a bird feeder, and three squirrels spent the entire hour playing grab ass and hanging upside down from the tree limb by their hind feet to steal the bird seed. I could have ignored these things if I'd liked the feel of the church, but everything felt just a little too loosey goosey for me. I don't want pomp and circumstance, but I'd like just a little more formality than that.

One church we attended left me feeling very angry because in a PowerPoint presentation that was shown during the service I was informed that I am "the devil's reject" because of a certain belief that I hold. I almost got up and walked out, but stayed out of respect for Mo.

And there was the church where we walked in very close to the time for the service to start, so the pastor waited whilst name tags were made for us and then personally escorted us into the church to sit among the other 5 attendees. I have been to some small services before, but 5 was a little uncomfortable. Especially since they put us on the spot as part of the service and asked us to introduce ourselves. And this is the point in my life where I realized that it's ok, I can stand up and talk in public. So we were honest. We just told them that some people go on pub crawls... we are on a church crawl, choosing our religion.


Why you should write checks with a Sharpie Pen

Because apparently acetone won't remove the Sharpie ink.

Saturday, for the first time ever, we mailed our bills from our home mailbox and put the little flag up to indicate outgoing mail. Saturday, while we puttered around in the house, someone drove by and stole our mail. They took our mortgage payment and a credit card payment and "washed" them.

Washing involves using acetone to remove the ink in the "To" line and the "Amount" line, and rewriting the check out to another individual, usually at a higher amount. Like say, several thousand dollars.

One of the great things about using a small bank is that the tellers recognize me, and recognize my face. So when this person went to the bank and actually had the brass balls to walk in to the bank and sit down in front of the camera to cash my check, the teller sensed something was wrong and tried to call me. IF I had up to date information on file with them, the worm would have been caught then and there. But we had cancelled our home phone last year and moved to using our cell phones for all calls, and neglected to let the bank know that fact. Oopsie. So when she wasn't able to reach us, and could find nothing physically wrong with it, the teller cashed the check.

Then, because this worm, this slime on the bottom rung of humanity, is apparently fairly intelligent, they took the next check to a different branch and wrote a contact phone number on the check for the teller, who this time did not recognize or know me, to call and verify the check.

So, several thousand dollars later I have learned a couple of new lessons. Never, never, never, no matter how busy you are and how convenient it may seem, never mail bills from an unlocked box. Make sure your credit card and bank have your up to date contact information. And also, use Sharpie pens to write your checks because the ink cannot be washed. Sharpie makes a very nice pen which I love using anyway - it will now become the only pen in our desks.

Oh, and a note to the slime herself: Not only is your face on camera at the bank, honey, but you left a nice fat fingerprint on one of the checks! And taking mail out of a mailbox is mail fraud, which is a federal offense.

Note to the universe: I think I've learned enough lessons this year! Couldn't I have some time off for good behavior?


Friday, February 19, 2010

Retail Therapy

Lay down here on my couch for a little retail therapy, if you please. We're going to have a discussion about shopping. Actually, I'm going to get on my soap box, but feel free to return fire if there is anything about this subject you'd like to discuss.

First of all, never, never, never ask me (your friendly sales person, notice how I put sales in bold?) if an outfit looks good on you. Please don't put me in that position. Take a friend or your partner shopping with you if you want an honest opinion, but please don't put me, a stranger, and a stranger who has a sales goal no less, in that position. Do you really expect me to be honest with a total stranger about how something looks on you? Because the chances are really high if you are asking me, you KNOW it doesn't look good. And somewhere in the store, lurking like a spider, is my boss, who would flay me alive if she heard me say something negative that caused me to lose a sale. So if I say something along the lines of "That looks good! But let me go get you blah-blah-blah, you might like that even better!" please take the hint.

Second, if you try on several pairs of jeans or pants in what you think is your size, and none of them fit right, there's a really good chance that the problem doesn't lie with the clothing itself, but that the size you're trying on is not your actual size. Which leads me to my next point...

Why obsess about the number? No one but you knows whether the pair of jeans you are wearing has a 6, 8 or 12 on the tag! The number doesn't matter - get over it. Is it better to have a smaller number with a huge muffin top bulging over the waist band, or a larger number but the pants fit you right and ultimately look better on you? Sure - if you think the number is too large, do something about it. But don't buy the pants in the smaller size because you're convinced that you'll lose weight and be able to wear them soon. Because if you're struggling to zip them, that's going to take a pretty significant weight loss, and in the meantime wouldn't it be better to have the pants that you can actually sit down in, and which you can wear with a belt after you start losing weight? The pants that actually fit you are going to look much better on you and make you look slimmer than the smaller size that doesn't really fit. Then you'll have the satisfaction of trying on the smaller size after you've lost weight and having them actually look good on you.

And last of all - please, please, please talk nicely to yourself. You know how they say if you tell a child he or she is stupid, that they will start to believe they are stupid? It's the same way with your body image. If you constantly look in the mirror and say "I'm fat" or "I look terrible", what do you think your body is going to do? Dress to your body style. If you don't know how to do so, that is an appropriate question to ask your friendly sales person for help figuring out. Make sure you aren't wearing clothes that are too tight. LIKE what you're wearing and don't dress a certain way because you think you are supposed to, or because of your age. Who cares what other people think? If YOU like what you're wearing, you'll feel comfortable and be happier. And speak kindly to yourself! If you don't, who else will?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Year

A year ago I was still in my 30's.
A year ago I felt like I was in my 20's.
A year ago I thought, pssshhaw, I won't have any problem getting a job.
A year ago I thought a positive attitude would see me through anything.
A year ago I thought, I'm about as thrifty as I can get.
A year ago I was afraid of confrontation.
A year ago I cared a lot about what people think about me.

2009 was one hell of a year for me. I turned the dreaded 4-0. I'm not sure I can put into words how much I've changed in the last year, but cleaning up the old posts on my blog brought it home to me. A year ago I was silly, naive and immature. I think I've aged about 10 years in one. The generation of Americans that I fall into has never really experienced tough times like these before, so they've come as a big shock. I always assumed (that dreaded word) that if you really wanted a job, you could get one, and that anyone who didn't have a job was just lazy. It's amazing how assumptions tend to bite you on the ass and come back to you as lessons to be learned.

I always assumed as well that no matter what went wrong in my life, I would be able to fall back on my own brand of faith and my positive attitude. This year for the first time I realized that having a positive attitude isn't always enough, as evidenced by the break down I had in the bath tub one morning. Pretending doesn't make everything better, and sometimes we all need a little help to get by. Better living through chemicals!

I remember thinking, and even posting, a year ago that I lived a very thrifty lifestyle. I learned in this year that I was lucky to be brought up by a parent who lived through the great depression, who instilled in me the lesson that you do not always have to have new and that you can always find ways to economize. I learned that I can live without cable t.v., even though I remember trying to make it just one weekend last year, and failing. I learned that I can get by with a lot less, and still be happy. In fact, there is even a kind of pride to be found in getting by with less and realizing that doing without this means that I can still have that. And I am one of the lucky ones, I still have my house. I know there are many out there who had/have it much worse than I do.

This year I learned that I can take a job that I would never have dreamed of taking a year ago, and I can do my best at it, and I can even learn from it. I've realized that no matter what situation you find yourself in, handling it as gracefully as possible, doing your best, and learning from it will make it a lot easier to accept.

This year I have realized that life is too short and full of too much crap to put up with crap from other people. I have realized that if someone doesn't bring joy to my life, then I don't have the time to be around them. That sounds cruel, but in the past I have put up with a lot from people I thought of as friends, because I thought that was what friends do. This year I learned that real friends don't do that. Real friends don't put conditions on friendship and they accept you for who you are, warts and all.

This year I realized, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about me. As long as I am happy with me, that is all that matters. I am flawed, I'm still learning from my mistakes and probably will be till the day I die, but I've worked hard to get to where I am, and I am happy with me - flaws and all.

My glibly given advice to others has always been: be happy with what you have - and- you have to make your own happiness. I'm trying to take a little bit of my own medicine and find happiness in what I have, but it's a bitter pill and I'm still having to work at getting it down. And yet it is during the tough times that we learn and grow the most, and I am grudgingly beginning to see the truth in that now. Bear with me, I see the sun coming back.


P.S. I'm sorry, but I had to turn on comment verification. Apparently some bot got all hot & heavy with my comment section and ruined it for everyone else. I'll turn it off again in a few weeks and see if it goes away.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The way of things...

Ok, who turned out the lights?
And where did all these beer bottles come from?!

Hm... yes, I like it here, but it needs some revamping. It's been awhile since I've been here, and after all, I am not the same person I was a year ago.

I think first of all, that frog and this green color have got to go. And I'm axing the blogroll. You can feel free to axe me from yours, I know I've been gone so long that there's probably not anyone left who cares, but it just feels like it turned into a competition to see who knows who. I'm not posting or giving out any more awards. They're very sweet, but again, it's so hard to pass them on without feeling like I'm leaving someone out or making someone feel unloved. And lastly, no more memes, I don't care who tags me, and I promise I won't be tagging you. I think blogging got to the point where it felt like an obligation, and that sucked some of the fun out of it. So I'll only be writing when I actually have something to say. Not that memes aren't fun to read - I love reading them about other people, I just won't be doing them myself. Oh yeah, and seriously lastly, I have strange religious views, liberal political opinions, and the propensity to occasionally cuss like a sailor. I hope you can keep an open mind and that none of this offends you, but I'm finished with trying to edit myself to please others. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.