Friday, January 29, 2010


1.) I have started a new blog about my "Diet Again - 2010".  Enough said on that subject except that being able to throw a couple of meals into my purse in two seconds flat was very helpful when it came to...

2.)  Spent the day in the ER with Ally on Thursday.  When I woke her up in the morning she was speaking nonsense so I thought she was talking in her sleep.  She put her hands to her head and said a bunch of words that didn't go together and when I asked her questions she looked at me like she couldn't understand me. 


While I was on the phone with Kaiser she came down the stairs and tried to participate in the questions the nurse had - she had improved a bit in her ability to understand and could show where her headache was.  We ended up calling 911.  The 7 EMT's who crowded into our livingroom evaluated her and determined it was not a stroke.

3.)  After seven hours in the ER, a CT and other tests (but short of a lumbar puncture) it was diagnosed as a migraine.  I was not aware that  aphasia was a side effect for some migraine sufferers.  This was her first migraine. 

4.)  One moment of levity at the hospital came when an aide came into the room to put the hospital bracelet on Ally.  The nurse was trying to put it on and the aide, a Vietnamese woman, was saying "Is it defective?  I'll get another one."  The nurse was saying yes it wouldn't stay on.  The aide said "Defective.  Probably from China!" in this lilting  accent - everyone cracked up.

5.)  When Ally was feeling better I told her I was worried and taking this all very seriously not just because the doctors and nurses and para-medics and everyone was so worried, but because she came down the stairs and left the house without her phone.

The true sign of serious illness in a teen.   JK  (Just Kidding)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This parady was done in 2007 on MadTV, I guess no one at Apple paid any attention because their new big product has been named the iPad.  And the jokes immediately began to fly, including:

"iPad: Proof not enough women work in the Marketing Department."

"Will the next version have wings?"

"So will the 64GB one be called the Maxi-Pad?"

"I'm holding out for the iRag."

Oh, they go on and on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have noticed that my children and their friends have been saying that I am cute. I am 56 years old, silver haired, over weight and for the first time since toddler hood – cute. I think this is in part due to the fact that I am an admitted fan of Lady Gaga.  Older moms liking pop divas is cute.

I do love Lady Gaga tunes on my iPod when I am working out at the gym. I also like the Black Eyed Peas, The Killers and some selected Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and the club versions of many other pop tunes. I jump climb up on the machines and pretend I am dancing instead of exercising.  I am cool that way.  Cool and cute.

My lovely son called me after his first day of classes and was complaining a bit about an “old man” who was in one of his advanced math classes who, apparently, had not taken algebra very recently and held the class up asking some really basic questions. He praised the man for going back to school to pursue his degree, but hoped that the entire class would not be held back due to his ancient algebra skills.

The conversation moved on to my frustration with my job search and the fact that I applied for a second time for a job that had been re-posted. A job which I have the perfect qualifications and skills for, but it is obviously for a youth focused company. It is behind the scenes but I am sure there is concern whether I would fit in.  The do not know I am cute and cool.

My son expressed outrage at this.  I pointed out that it was no different than his attitude about the “old man” in his math class. How old was he? He sounded sheepish. I understand that young people have an attitude about older people. As an older person who really needs to work, that discrimination is damned frustrating and virtually impossible to fight. I do believe that I could make a good case for myself given the chance to interview. In 11 months I have had 1 phone interview.

I am the same age as Oprah. How many employers would pass on the opportunity to hire Oprah? If they looked at her resume blind, based on her age, they probably would.

Friday, January 22, 2010


1.) I made a comment to this effect this week - and I will repeat it here. It seems like the Democrats in Washington act like the"Good Kids" in school. They think if they do the right things, and color inside the lines, use nice language, follow the rules and try to get along with others that they will be rewarded. The GOP acts like a bunch of "bullies" shoving people in the hall, lying, cussing, making up wild excuses for not doing their work, getting what they want by humiliating and intimidating people.

I don't want the Dem's to start acting like the GOP, but it is time to stop waiting for karma to kick in and actually get down in the mud and get something done. I could care less about bi-partisanship.

2.) Finally some good financial news for our family. We submitted a revised Financial Aid package to Penn, due to my continued unemployment, and they reduced our family contribution by nearly $6000.00! Don't be afraid to apply to private schools for financial reasons - they are so great and responsive to the needs the the families. Thank you University of Pennsylvania!
3.) Ally and her friends are upstairs preparing for their Drama Club Thespian Dinner. It has a Harry Potter Theme. I have not seen the get-ups, yet. There is a lot of giggling going on. I am making "Muggle Mac & Cheese" for the potluck.
4.) I am so dispirited by the Supreme Court decision to overturn decades old campaign finance reform allowing corporations unlimited campaign spending. It just makes me want to give up. The Supreme Court has ignored years of work done by the legislature to reform campaign contributions, to lessen the impact of corporations and in this decision it is all undone. We might as well agree to have the members of the House and Senate just represent ATT and Walmart and Shell Oil instead of states and districts and the people who live there. That is how it has gotten anyway.
Funny, too, I just finished reading two books about what happens to the world when the corporations take over and there is no government anymore - no one looking out for the interests of the people or the environment. It's not pretty and then we all die.
On that note. Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Okay. It is obvious that no one wants to hear about my sucky job search any more. So I will gossip.

Apparently the tabloids have been commenting on the attire of the children of celebs. Not about the ridiculous amount of money spent on the clothes, but whether the kids are dressing appropriate to their gender and age.

Case in point was Suri Cruise and her little high heels. I have always thought the photos of little Suri showed she is dressed in expensive but age appropriate, cute clothes. I would not have given in to the heels, except for playing dress-up at home. But so far, I think she looks darling and well groomed.

The Jolie-Pitt girls seem to sport their mother's edgier look. The tabloids are fretting over the gender identification of the 3 year old because she is so often seen in "boys clothes." I did a quick tour of Google images and it looks like both the older girls do wear darker colors, jeans, leggings and sport shoes rather than mary janes. The uproar started over a photo of Shiloh in a little hat, tie and "boys" jeans which she is reported to have picked out to wear (perfectly normal, according to the experts.)
As the mom of boy girl twins, I felt I had an opportunity to experiment a bit with the gender identity thing. We knew we were having a boy and a girl so we had a lot of pink and blue clothes for them when they were little, but I decorated their room in primary colors and when they were older, I dressed them for day to day activities in non-gender specific colors and clothing. The play area was full of all kinds of toys and they played with things pretty equally.
This was the case until about two. Then they started sorting the toys as his and hers. She started wanting to choose her clothes and wanting different colors like pink and purple. This stuff is somewhat hardwired, people. But is is also in what they see around them, what their mom and dad wears, for instance. No harm in that. We should be a lot more concerned for those kids whose parents allow them to dress like hookers.

Friday, January 15, 2010


1.) This has been a disappointing couple of weeks for the job hunt. I worked really hard and revised my resume and cranked out some good cover letters and nothing....sigh. Some of the jobs sounded ideal...

2.) Overheard in the showers in the gym tonight: Little swim team girl #1 "What kind of music do you like?" Little swim team girl #2 "Classical." Little swim team girl #1 "Have you heard of Taylor Swift?" Little swim team girl #2 "No." Audible gasps were them heard from throughout the locker room.

3.) I cannot believe that I have been in communication Ally's counselor and math teacher about her difficulties with the class and the fact she should not have been put in an advanced math class and it turns out she didn't even need to be in math AT ALL for graduation or for the colleges she will be applying to. Aaarrgghhhh! So she will drop at the semester but have a terrible grade on her transcript.

4.) Last night I finished Margaret Atwood's new book "The Year of the Flood." I LOVED it. Ran right out and bought a new copy (Mine is in storage and impossible to find) of "Oryx and Crake" which is the novel that is is set in the same time period from the point of view of different characters. I rarely re-read books because there are so many books I want to read for the first time, but I was so excited by "Flood" that I had to re-read "Oryx" right away. I adore Atwood's writing. She is brilliant and her writing is so crisp and evocative and creative.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Made a quick trip to Target today. Ally has been invited to play on a tournament soccer team and the coach wants her to bring a jump rope to practice. Guess it is an alternative to running on the rain soaked grass fields.

The sporting goods are off in the far corner of the store so I got a good look at the current "reinvented" Target. They are piling up the mega sized packages of toilet paper and super sized boxes of detergent and going for the warehouse store vibe with some industrial look tables loaded with towels.

I remember a few years ago when they were going for the Pier I look. Fake ferns, African masks and deep mahogany hued furniture. It seems that Target is becoming the Madonna of retailers. Reinventing itself as the wind blows.

Keeps things interesting.

Oh, and the bonus was I noticed one of the mosaic cones they had for the holidays tucked away in a kitchenware end cap. It was originally priced at $20.00 marked to $5.00! Snatched that up to add to the 2010 holiday sparkle.

Friday, January 8, 2010


1. There was a story on the news the other morning that keeps coming back to me. I may just be getting to be a cranky old bag - but I don't think so. A woman in Texas called 911 because her baby was choking. She stayed on the phone with this guy for 11 minutes asking him over and over what to do - he just kept saying calm down. (Apparently it didn't occur to her to hang up and call someone else.) Eventually the baby got to the hospital but died a couple of days later.

Without a doubt fingers are being rightly pointed at the poor training of the 911 operator who had no first aid assistance to offer. And to the police for making the 911 operator job such a low paying and low priority job in their department that they allow untrained people to answer calls from people who think their tax dollars have been spent on emergency training.

What gets me is the mother wailing and moaning over no help with her choking baby and being afraid it will happen to her other kids. Has it occurred to her to learn to care for her own family? Classes for CPR and First Aid are taught EVERYWHERE. You can even go online, read a book. My kids learned it. I learned CPR when I was in college and infant CPR before I brought my first baby home.

That old saying about needing a license for just about anything but having a child is so true.
2. Catholic hospitals and doctors have been mandated to provide life sustaining food, water and medicine to comatose patients who have no hope of recovery. For those who have directives and family members who know their loved one would not wish to be kept in this state are generally left to move the patient from the Catholic hospital or nursing home or doctor in order to carry out their wishes.
Certainly all involved with the faith have the right to practice as they are directed. I just think that if the Catholic Church is going to mandate such an expensive intrusion on the health care of it's members and non-members alike, the Catholic Church should pay for the life extending care.
3. I know it's not just me. Why is it the one receipt, the one tracking number, the one appointment card that you really need is the one you cannot find?
4. Over the holidays Tom and I started going to the gym at about 6 on Friday night and then to a light dinner at about 8. It has become our little date night. We have found that going out on Friday evening makes the weekend seem longer. Another bonus.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I went to an employment agency in December to get a jump start on the job search in the new year. I was dreading what I knew was coming - the skills questions. I want to be honest. Honesty will not help my chances of getting a job.

I never learned to type. I managed to pass typing in high school with a C, but it didn't take. The Consultant at the agency sent me home with some tutorials and take home tests.
I practiced and warmed up and took the 3 minute typing test. I tested out at 27 words per minute. Ouch.
I can create a word document and even do some formatting. Excel I can fill in pretty well and create a simple form, but forget those formulas. I know Outlook can do more than send and receive e-mail, but the only kind of merge I do is in a car. Don't get me wrong. I have worked in 2 different jobs where I mastered proprietary software. I'm not stupid.

Well, unless you ask me to do anything more than simple math. I worked as a bookkeeper in a restaurant back in college. My boss loved me. He said he never worried I was stealing because he knew I would never be able to figure out how to do it. So when a job description lists budgeting duties, do I go for it with a clear conscience? I don't understand "accounting" but I can add and subtract, after all.
My skills are my intelligence, my ability to make people at ease, my desire to be helpful, to solve problems, answer questions. I am patient, I can handle multiple projects and interruptions well, work well on my own and with others. I have a very strong work ethic and commitment. I have a positive outlook and I like to laugh.

When I think about it, I have never done the same job before. I have always started on something new. I take the skills I have learned and the talents I have and I make a success or I don't. The trick right now is getting the opportunity. I hope the agency is up to the task.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

HAPPY 2010 - DAY 2

So far the new year has consisted of putting away the mess from last year, trying not to eat the yummy leftovers (I am tossing it all today) and reading my new books.

I hit the gym this morning along with everyone with a membership card or a guest pass - what a mob scene that was!
The house always looks so bland and empty after the holiday tinsel is put away, doesn't help that it is grey and gloomy outside. But it is a new year, a clean slate and I intent to make the best of it.