Sunday, February 28, 2010


This mama duck is having a tough day. Hope your Monday is better!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I had a great phone interview today and I am promised a call back for a face to face interview next week. This could be IT. Unemployment could soon be over! Sooo excited!
Then again, I could, maybe, be setting myself up for a tensy fall.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


A few weeks ago I bookmarked a post about optimism and health. There has been some bad mouthing of looking at the bright side and positive thinking, which I don't really see as the same thing as optimism, anyway.

For instance, I don't think visualizing or making a scrapbook of things I want will bring them my way. I don't think the circumstances around leaving my job last year were "for the best" or for "a higher purpose." It was all pretty crappy and unhappy. On the other hand, I have a husband who supported me in the decision and who has worked even harder to keep us from moving into a tent city.

While I do believe that having a positive outlook is beneficial to ones health, I don't think you can fight cancer with positive thoughts or cause illness with negative ones.

That said, this latest study is interesting to me because I can answer one of their key questions. I will just quote the article here:

Study author Hilary Tindle, "On the one hand it seems intuitively obvious, but we're not there yet in terms of the evidence we need in order to say optimism causes better health outcomes. All we can say now is that optimism is associated with better health outcomes, but without following people over a lifetime, we can't say which came first." It may seem "intuitively obvious" that positive thinking makes you healthier, but it's also pretty obvious that being healthy — or at least responding well to treatment — makes you happier. Some researchers may have figured out how to separate these effects, but it does seem that many studies of positive thinking and illness would suffer from the same problem: wouldn't people who start to get better naturally feel more positive? And, in a more general way, might people who have good jobs, stable finances, and happy relationships feel more optimistic? Might optimism be the result of a good life, not the cause?

I am not going to suggest that I have had a bad life. I have overcome some challenges and I struggle, still, with others. I have never in my life had financial stability and defiantly not in the past 7 years or so. I have been married for 25 years but it has not been an especially happy one, my husband is not an easy guy to live with. My kids are great. We don't have a social life at all so I get lonely. I am overweight and working at being more healthy, a lifelong issue.

I am also a very optimistic person. I believe things will work out. When my daughter had to go to the ER, I knew it would be okay. We just had to go through the tests and see what was going on and it would be fine, and it was. When I have had health issues, I approach them the same way. No fear. No cynicism. Ask questions. Do my own research if I need to.

I can always see the upside to something because it is always there. Our lives, emotions and connections are too complex for everything to be just one thing. As awful as the destruction is in Haiti, I believe the homes and buildings in the country will be rebuilt more safely and that new industry will go in to provide better conditions and living wages because a spotlight has been shown on the country and the amazingly resilient people there.

I disagree that it takes having a "good life" in the terms laid out by this study to be happy and optimistic. I think it comes from inside a person. And if that makes a person heathier - great.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Perhaps this belief makes me callous, but I do not think that all suicides should be prevented. I think that there are adults who have reasonably chosen to end their lives and that should be allowed and respected.

And then there are kids like the 14 year old girl from my daughter's high school, who ate lunch with her boyfriend on Friday and he broke up with her. She was distraught, she told her friends she wanted to die. At 2:30 she ran in front of the train that passes by the school and killed herself. That is a completely different thing.

People like Alexander McQueen, apparently suffered greatly from depression and determined to wait until his mother passed away to spare her the pain of his death. I don't doubt that he tried to save himself, that others tried to help him and love him and it didn't work for him. I think that is a choice, much like those with terminal illnesses might choose not to linger or go through prolonged treatment.

But the impulse of a girl in the throes of her first heartbreak. Oh! It is so sad. She didn't even go home and cry in her mother's lap.

Friday, February 19, 2010


1.) Okay world. I finally have an actual job interview on Monday. Please send out all the good Karma and whatever else you can send my way.

2.) Is it at all possible that the media will now leave the Tiger Woods thing alone?

3.) Loving the Olympics except for the fact that I keep missing the best stuff that NBC waits to show after 11 pm. Too late for me to do night after night when I have to get up at 6:30, so I tape to watch it in the morning - but I always end up hearing or seeing highlights before I can watch and be surprised. But loving it anyway.

4.) This week I have gotten to the point in my diet and exercise program (which I am also blogging about here) that I am down a size in my clothes and, even better, I am feeling much less pain and stiffness in my knees and hips. Just a month into my efforts.
5.) I really enjoyed this last week's weather. We had warm temperatures and the trees are starting to bloom and now I am even more looking forward to the real Spring in a couple of months! The rain is back, now. So it will be an indoor weekend. Have a good one.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We are having a little glimpse of Spring here in the Bay Area. After being enveloped in lingering damp grayness since December, it has warmed up o the mid-sixties and the sky is impossibly blue.

I saw patches of yellow daffodils and some flowering plum trees in blossom. People are out walking, riding bikes, tops are down on cars, dogs are being trotted around the park. I suspect the sale of sunglasses rose a bit in the local shops.
I cleaned off the BBQ last night and grilled a flank steak for my Valentine. And I barely complained at all about going to Ally's soccer game, I just turned my face into the warm sun and soaked up the vitamin D.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I guess I should not be surprised that the scam artists are targeting the unemployed. They are always seeking those who are vulnerable and in need. This is not the usual Nigerian banking scheme or the package pick-up or even the overpayment of funds kind of fraud.

It started out as a basic ad on The kind I have been replying to several times a week for the past 10 months. The job description was very general: data entry, answering phones, administrative tasks. The pay was on the high end at $19.00 per hour.

I received a reply! I was excited. I have only received a handful of acknowledgments and 3 actual responses to the hundreds of applications I have placed. The e-mail said they had 310 responses to their ad and needed to screen down the applications before proceeding. There was a list of questions.

This email, and the list of questions, unlike the ad, were not well written. It was in poor English, a bit confusing and the terminology was a bit strange. The questions did not ask for any information which was illegal or inappropriate. But now the job appeared to be a home based job, networked to the company.

So I checked out the company and it did exist, address matched the e-mail, the type of business and the work was as described. The name of the employee who signed the e-mail , Jackson Rantissi was not on the site, but neither were any of the other employees. They do not list employment opportunities on their site. So I spent about 2 hours carefully answering the questions.

A few days later - I am hired! I will be an independent contractor. They will send me a computer pre-loaded with their software. There will be a training period. They ask for a little more information, not a Social Security number, really just the information that is already on my resume. I have the option to be paid by check or direct deposit to Bank of America.

So I call Tom and tell him I want to forward the e-mail because I am not sure about it. Not even a phone call from anyone? Seems a bit odd.

He asked if I checked out the company, which I had. But in the few days since, this has appeared on the company website:

Possible Scam by Evertek Wireless Inc
posted on: 2/9/2010 10:43:00 AM

We recently have received numerous inquires regarding jobs being offered by Evertek Wireless Inc. This is not our company, nor are we affiliated with them. We would urge you to use extreme caution. Based on the information we have received, this may be a scam.

So it appears that they are slowly drawing people in and then will extract the information they need in order to extort money or identity information. They are smart. They are not using any of the known and often warned about methods. I am sorry that I was not one of the more thorough people who contacted the company directly. I admit I have read so many ads that said don't call that I have become concerned about ruining my chances.

Me, being the optimist I am, I had already planned out the rearrangement of the upstairs bedroom and the confiscation of the nice desk in Ally's room (which she only uses for storage) and what a nice workspace I would make for myself and I would miss having people to work with but $3000.00 a month would make up for it and I wouldn't have to worry about buying work clothes and a commute.

So I hope Jackson Rantissi, if that is your name, and the rest of you scumbag scamming people rot for raising the hopes of this emotionally fragile job seeker. I hope the police catch you if you manage to steal from anyone. And watch out job seekers - they are out to get us, 'cuz we don't already have it hard enough.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


1.) Driving behind a big truck with a big bumper sticker "Freedom is Not Free" and it just makes me crazy because these are the same guys that bitch and moan about taxes.

They think war is the way to solve problems and just how do they think money is raised to pay for wars? Corporate sponsorship? Do they think dead and maimed bodies are the only price of war?

With every one of those bumper stickers or tee shirts should come an invoice for the now 1.5 TRILLION dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan for our "freedom."

2.) I have a new plan for our financial salvation. At the rate things are going with my job search, I am thinking I have as good a chance of winning the lottery as I do of getting a job.

So I am going to start buying lottery tickets in addition to sending out resumes and going to agencies. I'll keep you posted!

3.) I love the new campaign for Valentine's Day "Love your Sweetheart but breakup with your big bank." The idea is to move your funds, no matter how small, from the big banks - BofA, Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup to smaller local banks, this is a political movement to make banks small enough so that they cannot hold their potential failure, due to their own greedy bad decisions, over our heads.
We did this some years ago and find we have better service and lower charges.
So how does moving my little $900.00 savings account change anything you say? Just like every vote counts, every decline in deposits is missed, even by the big boys. Just think about what even a 10% decline in deposits would mean - and then 20%...Come on everybody - practice some tough love on those banks!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Maggie sent this to me from here - for a larger version.

Just how long does it take to reverse, strike, repeal or otherwise repudiate all the ridiculous, racist, homophobic, sexist stupid laws and regulations we have on the books in this country? Why is it we must wallow in our own ignorance and cause so much pain and suffering?

All Men Are Created Equal - A simple concept that we just screw up 5 ways to Sunday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


We have a town newspaper which is distributed each week at no charge. One of the features is a "police blotter" which I scan through pretty quickly. It runs a week or two behind and if anything really interesting has happened, I have usually heard about it already.

It reports the usual accidents, shoplifting's and prank phone calls. Last week there was a new category Massage Misconduct. So that is what they are calling the "happy ending" these days.

I live in a suburban city with a quaint little downtown, good schools, some really expensive country clubs and homes, expansive sports parks and lots of churches. Within walking distance of our little downtown house there are at least 4 massage parlours. I am counting the ones with neon signs advertising that they are open at all hours of the night and day.

Tom used to have his office in a building with one of them. He said there really wasn't a steady stream of clientele from what he observed. Over time he came to believe that the reason the proprietors of the business were driving extremely expensive cars had less to do with massages and tips and more to do with, perhaps, money laundering.

That particular estabishment was asked to move from the premises when a children's art school moved in and the owner of the building had a guilty conscience about the kids potentially running into the clients in the hall. The ladies left and moved to another location down the street - the one which was cited for massage misconduct.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Today a bird pooped on my head.

And my old job, the one I loved? The one a twisted, crazy woman chased me out of? It is listed on craigslist. A year later I am still unemployed and we are in such a bad place and I suspect she is still there and has chased away the third employee.

But other than that, I had a really nice day and now I am going to watch Lost.