Friday, October 29, 2010

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  I have harassed my daughter living in Philadelphia for having no interest in attending the Jon Stewart Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear being held in Washington DC this weekend.  She has shown little interest in DC at all in the years she has lived there despite my constantly professed love for the city and it's museums.  Sigh.

My son and I would go to the rally in a heartbeat.  We would get ideas for cool signs here.

2.)  I admit that I don't watch baseball all the time.  But I have attended a number of Giants games over the years and will call myself a fan.  So- GO GIANTS!!

3.)  Ally got her SAT scores and was surprised to find out that she scored higher than all of her friends.  Why is it you can tell a kid all her life how smart she is and she just fights the idea? 

4.)  If we can believe the polls, it looks like we are going to vote to keep Boxer in the Senate and put Brown in the Governor's office.  Not that they are going to be able to do much to fix California.  We are in a big mess.  At least we won't have amateurs in office with questionable agendas.  And a big bottom line for me is the pro-choice issue.

I like the political sentiment I read somewhere that said something like:  Ok, vote the bums out of office but don't replace them with idiots.

4.)  The upside of losing my job is that I can go to Monterey on Sunday and take my son out to breakfast for his birthday.  What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

TERMINATED

Today I had one of the most humiliating experiences in my life.  I was let go from my new job.  They did not think I was a "good fit".  I did not enter information fast enough and have not learned to do the job to their requirements.  There was more, very non-specific stuff that he said - I was so stunned that I didn't really take it in.

I am so embarrassed and trying hard not to feel like a complete loser.  I am not quick on the keyboard, I never really learned to type.  I had not realized it was causing  problems.  Apparently I was not communicating things properly or to the right people or in the right way - it was not made clear with any examples and no one had corrected me at any point.  So I guess the statement that I was not a "good fit" for them is apt because I did not see this coming.

Is it just possible that I am not employable?  That I don't have the skills and mind set to operate in today's workplace?  I know I am very good at the customer/client interactions, but that is not enough.  I have a lot of education but few skills called for in the workplace now.  I am outdated and feel very uncertain of my future.  Actually, I have felt that way for a long time.  Getting this job seemed so lucky and now I have lost it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.)  I think that it is interesting that an entire generation entered the work place with legal protections from sexual harassment on the job, primarily due to the groundbreaking efforts of Anita Hill to keep her harasser off the Supreme Court.  The Tea Party Activist wife of that man is stirring things up 19 years later looking for an apology.  Anita Hill didn't actually seek to go public with her accusations, her confidential statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee was leaked to the press which unleashed a storm of publicity, hearings and public debate.  Thomas used the race card and managed to squeak by and be affirmed to the Court, but the way that sexual discrimination was viewed from that time forward was different and we have all benefited from that.
 
Anita Hill has nothing to apologise for.  She is a hero in my book.


2.)  Have you tried to buy a pound of hamburger lately?  At least here in CA I am finding it difficult to buy just a simple pound of ground beef - the packages are always somewhere between 1 and 1 1/2 pounds.  So for a recipe which calls for a pound I either have to use more than it calls for or find something to do with this little bit of meat left.  I think I will go back to buying the frozen ground beef from Costco which comes
 in 1 pound "chubs."   I don't use it very often, but at least I will have the amount I want.


3.)  Did you hear about the next trend for Halloween "tricks"?  Scarrots!  Yes, Give a mini bag of mini carrots to the trick or treaters when they come to your door...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MORE ON BEING A PARENT OF A SENIOR

Beware parents of young children.  You not only need to be saving for college, you need to save for your child's Senior year of high school!

As I complained  posted about before, the escalation of each event in the lives of our kids has gotten ridiculous.  The "Senior Picnic" was held, not in a park with Frisbees and BBQed burgers, but at Waterworld and cost a whopping $85.00.  The payment form for the Senior Grad-Night  presented to me at registration in August was $175.00.  Of course there were other add-ons including a t-shirt stating that I am the parent of a senior for $26.00! 

Now, in October, I am required to pay for the graduation "materials."  After I waded through all the class rings and class hoodies and class memory book and senior jewelry and "bling charms" for the tassel - I am getting closer to the bottom line.  They hide the cost of the simple cap, gown and tassel choice.  It isn't even on the individual items order form!  They are pushing their "packages" so hard that they make it near impossible to compare the prices for what you really want or need.  They have thrown in so many little charges for this and that and require that you order a minimum of 25 of everything.

Finally I located the cost of the cap and gown (which we buy now, not rent like in the olden days.)  That is $24.00 and is required by the school.  To order just the 25 announcements it is $27.25.  ((Last time around, I needed maybe 10 announcements, maybe I can find someone to share a package...)  So to get the minimum it will cost me $51.25.  The "Value Packages" start at $116.10. 

I might not be so outraged  irritated by the whole thing in March.  But they insist on the payment for this now - 8 months before graduation.  And it appears to have nothing to do with the actual graduation items, because they are shipping the "senior celebration" items in 4-6 weeks.  They don't even say when the actual graduation items will be sent.  So they are forcing us to pay for his stuff now in the hopes that we will buy a bunch of other stuff.  Why not just send out a catalog of the other stuff as "holiday gift giving ideas"  and leave the grad stuff closer to graduation? 

Right now I can afford this.  I finally have a job again and my husband is having a good year, too.  I think of how hard this would have been to take last year and I feel for those families who are already wondering how they are going to handle the holidays. 

No one wants to cheap out when it comes to our kids.  My daughter already feels like she is the only one of her friends not "spoiled" by their parents.  But I'll be darned if I am going to give in to this money grab.  I am buying the minimum and no more.  I'll make it up to her in other ways.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

THE LONG NIGHT

Last night at work it was like the pet apocalypse.  We had one case after another come in the door with life threatening problems.  I would up staying until 4 am because it was just so busy at 1 when I usually leave that I just had to stay and help. 

I am learning a great deal about what kinds of things pets can get into which are toxic.  Rat poison is obvious, but did you know that untreated the animal may seem fine for a week or so and then start bleeding internally?  Yikes.  The other new one last night was black walnuts, especially if they are in the husk and moldy.  This time of year the squirrels are carrying them around and storing them for the winter - if they choose your yard and your dog tries to eat one, it can be cause tremors and seizures.  And did you know that Xylitol the artificial sweetener used in gum and candy is very toxic for pets?

The Costco sized bag of Halloween candy consumed by one dog was a sight to see when it (er) came back up with the help of the vet!  A gorgeous standard poodle ate so many cookies that she, too, needed help getting rid of them...'tis the season, I guess.

We had 3 dogs came in which could not be saved, that it so sad to go through with the families, especially the old dogs that have been part of the family for so many years.  Cats, too.  We had one come in that was 22 years old!

Some people had to wait a long time with their less seriously ill pets, with so many critical pets coming in the door (which everyone can, of course, see)  they were so patient and understanding.  I really appreciated that.  Late last week I had my first really obnoxious client.  She was rude and abusive, demanding and selfish.  I was very disappointed to hear her say something about being a teacher.  With people like that you wish you could expose them, but...that's not for me to do.

Thank goodness my dog has been so healthy all these years;  now I see how many thing could have gone wrong.  And oh, how I wish I could nap.  I woke up 5 hours after I went to sleep!

Friday, October 15, 2010

FRIDAY FAST ONES

1.  As the election grows closer and the political ads dominate the airwaves, I have the strong inclination to vote against whatever and whomever have the most money to spend.  You can't trust anything they say, and time after time we find that the big money behind the propositions comes from special interest groups and corporations pushing for their own gain.

2. There are 71 days until Christmas.  This year I have to get used to the idea that all my children will not be home with us.  The practical part of me knows that is to be expected with a daughter on the other side of the country with her first job.  The  rest of me is wondering how I can get her to move back to California so I don't have to be practical.

3.  Ten years ago I got Lasik surgery and I have been happily without glasses for most of those years, but aging eyes continue to require help, so I am getting a new pair of glasses for computer use and distance, I can still read pretty well without glasses.  Finally glasses have gotten cool and it was fun to chose frames with some flair.  They are red wire with little cutout designs on the wings.  The bottom part of the lens is wireless, which I found blends in with my face better and distracts from the wrinkles and crinkles.

4.  We are late to the party, but have discovered "Dexter".  Anyone watch?  We have almost gotten through all the previous season's episodes and will probably start watching the current season next week.  The only other new show I am watching is the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire."

5.  Ally has sent out her first college application.  She is struggling a bit with others and trying to decide where she would like to go as back-ups to her first choice.  I have put my foot down and said I would only pay the application fee for schools she would actually attend if accepted!  The California schools are so broke that instead of allowing multiple school choices on one application, we have to pay and apply to each.

When are we going to wake up and recognise that we are going to pay one way or the other?  If we refuse to pay higher taxes, we are going to be hit for fees and rising costs for everything to male up for the shortfall.  Are we all so brainwashed that we think all these things we rely on from the state and federal government are going to continue without being funded somehow?  It is fine for me to pay for each college application, but we all have to contribute for the roads, the teacher salaries, the parks and yes, even the "welfare" programs like childcare subsidies.

We all pay - be it in lost services, reduced availability of education, enforcement of civil rights, enforcement of laws and regulations, increased personal miseries of homelessness, lack of medical and psychiatric care ad the despair and lawlessness that follow.  We all pay. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WORK, WORK, WORK

I only work 3 nights a week.  I have pretty much the whole day before I go to work to get things done.  In reality, I am only up working about 3 hours more than I would have been up watching TV or reading at home.

Why does my life feel so different? 

I am more tired.  Getting off work at 1 am does not mean I am asleep by 1:30.  I need time to unwind.  This does not mean that I sleep in every morning, however.  I am not one for sleeping once the sun fills the room.  I close the blinds, but somehow my body knows.  Sleeping until 8:30-9 is the best I can do.  And I can't nap.  Tried all my adult life, just doesn't happen.

I am feeling selfish about my time.  I don't want to spend all day cleaning and taking care of everyone when I know I have to go to work at 4:30.  I want to have some energy for work.  When I used to come home from work I was tired and did stuff for everyone, but then I could drag myself off to bed early.  The other women who have the same job say they sleep all day and do pretty much nothing on workdays.  Compared to them, I do a lot, including making dinner for my husband and daughter before I leave.

Work is hard.  I still have a lot to learn to do my job well.  I have made mistakes big and small.  Sometimes I feel I am not up to the expectations of the company, sometimes I am bored and sit with nothing to do.  Sometimes I really miss my old job.  It is stressful and tiring, and I do realize that it will be easier in time, it already is.

All in all I know I just need to give myself some time to get into the groove and find the right balance of activity and rest.  The work can be very fulfilling - helping people gives me a great deal of pleasure, the staff is caring and professional.  After a year and a half of unemployment, these are not insurmountable problems!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WHAT'S GOING ON

My computer crashed and it looks like it is a goner.  Getting a new (used) one soon - meantime, I am without access.

Also, we are going off to the beach for a few days to celebrate our 26th anniversary.  Hope to be up an on line when I get back in town.