Thursday, October 29, 2009

rough day

Today has been a hard day. I managed to coax all 4 of the kittens into the house with the food, and trap them in. The 3 originals were easy to get into the carrier, but the beautiful tabby boy was NOT having any part of being handled, and tried to get out the closed door, and then made his way into the kitchen and tried to go out the window that he usually sits in. THAT was a mess, he took out my pink ceramic parrot from Campo Verde, and my little elf man that had survived 1 leg/hand amputation & reattachment.
I had planned to clean him up and repaint him, because I do love him, he is older than I am, and spent MANY years sitting in a potted plant at my grandmother’s house, then at Mom’s. He’s now had his leg/hand amputation reamputated, his arm amputated to match that leg/hand, and had his other foot amputated, and chips are everywhere. *sigh* yeah, I think he’s going in the trash with the ceramic parrot. It could have been much worse, the crock from the large crockpot is still on the counter, the butter bell survived, and so did the garlic cellar. I eventually gave up and just opened the door to let him back out, and haven’t seen him since. I cried all the way to HSNT. I know that they stand a better chance there, probably, than at one of the city shelters, and I have a friend who works there, and can help be sure they find homes. The little tuxedo boy and the girl (lynx point) have already been vaccinated and taken to pet adoptions. They are both sweet, handleable kittens. She is much more of a cuddler than he is, but both allow themselves to be picked up and petted without putting up a fight. The grey is personable, but still pretty feral, he’s a flirt, and wants someone to talk to him, but doesn’t want to be touched, and is, of those 3, the mighty hunter… he regularly brought snakes and birds to the porch to show me, and there is a woman in the area who adopts cats to control critters around her barns, and he has a home there. I realize that this is the best option for them, but it was terribly hard for me to give them up, I suspect largely because they’ve been such a little spot of joy in my world lately, when it has seemed otherwise very dark. My situation is forcing me to give up so much, both physical possessions, but also my independence, and my lifestyle, and giving them up is one more thing that I am having to give up. I’m not nearly done packing, but most of what MUST go with me is packed, other than electronics that I’m not going to disconnect until the morning of the move.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Extravagant Generosity

Countdown to moving day, T minus 7 days to pack & prep. I’ve not done much yet, other than decide to focus on the bedroom first, packing EVERYTHING except for clothes to get me through the week. I’m in the process of laundering summer stuff so I can put it into the totes it will stay in until it’s warm enough to get back out again. I managed to get myself up, showered, and dressed for church on time today, and went for the first time in about 6 weeks. As a church, we are finishing a study called Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. It’s a 5 week study, and obviously, since I missed the last 6 weeks, I’d missed the other sessions (though I do have the book. Somewhere). Today’s lesson (and sermon) talks about Extravagant Generosity. In all honesty, I do have trouble with that, right now. Not simply because my pennies are so carefully pinched and budgeted, but also because, well, frankly, I believe that I have practiced that in the past, and while often I didn’t see the results of those actions, there have been some instances that I did see the results. One of those instances was helping someone get out of what was (so she claimed, though now pretty much all she ever told me is suspect) an abusive marriage, including paying for a car repair on the way, making sure she had a place to stay, insurance on her car, and food in her belly “until she could get back on her feet”. What I didn’t realize was that while she made as much money as I did, from the day after she arrived (as she had a job already lined up via transfer within her company), she had no intention of contributing to the household, car insurance, or anything else, and that she would repay my generosity (kindness, stupidity, whatever you call it) by trying to steal from me. Another instance I helped someone that needed it, and that backfired on me as well. My generosity in the last 15 months or so has put me into a poorhouse, homeless, save for some awesome friends willing to take me (and my cats) in. While I am loathe to even consider practicing much of any kind of generosity, I also realize that I find myself now on the receiving end of just such Extravagant Generosity. And for that, I am grateful. I am fully aware that I need to put my anger at the people who took advantage of my giving nature behind me, and move on. I will. Eventually. One is easier and less fury inducing now, and that one I’ve gotten to where I’m not quite as angry at her. The other, well, it had a much more far-reaching effect, and that one will take more time. Today, a pirate friend was asked by the owners of Weston Gardens to bring a crew and “take the ship” during their Cooking with Tea presentation. There was a previous invasion, back in March, which I missed because I was in Midland at the Celtic Festival, so today was my first experience. The gardens are awesome, and I would love to do more exploring and photographing than I had the opportunity for today. (will try to get pics posted later in the week) The audience seemed to enjoy it, and I think it would be great for us, or at least Captain Greybeard, to come up with a more practiced routine, that we could do instead of totally flying by the seat of our pants. After we determined that we would be unable to move the ship from the mud and sandbar, we released the prisoners (no royalty, so they were essentially of no value anyway), left the ship where it stands, and headed to Burleson to invade Golden Corral, which is always amusing. None of us thought about it being nearly Halloween until a customer asked me if we were dressed up for it. At any rate, the storms are headed this way, I’m pooped, and the cats are already snuggled up on the bed, so I’m outta here folks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Moving on

It’s been a rough several months. I’ve had good days and bad days, but more and more the bad days are beginning to overwhelm the good ones. I have had to make some decisions that, frankly, it pisses the hell out of me that I even have to consider! I realize that I am not the only one in the world looking for a job, and I realize that the lack of response to my resume and application submissions is not a personal attack, It does, however annoy the crap out of me that I did the “smart” thing and got my Bachelor’s degree. Not that it has done me a damned bit of good, thankyouverymuch. In the current economic climate, in the industry I have chosen, it is almost a liability, in that it’s not related to my field, and it really doesn’t add to my abilities or skills in my work. For months I have been trying to stay afloat and keep my head above water, but it’s become more than I can do in my current situation. As much as I love my house, I just can’t afford it. Fortunately, I have awesome friends who have offered me a place in their home. It means I have to SERIOUSLY downsize and liquidate a LOT of what I own. It means I will have to adjust to living with other people again. My cats will have to adjust to just one room in which to roam, rather than a whole house. On the one hand, it’s a great chance to start fresh, in sort of a new place, but not so far from family and friends that I feel lost. On the other hand, I’m scared spitless, largely because the last 2 people I lived with who were non-relatives were friends at some point, but by the time the living together ended, the friendship was either over, or stretched VERY thin. I have to trust that this is the right thing to do, and that it will turn out to be a blessing, and the beginning of a new chapter in my life. My goal is to have what I want in my room, and the cats moved by the first of November, and by the middle of November have sorted through everything else to sequester what is going to be moved to storage so I can have a moving/estate sale, instead of just a garage sale, because I think it will get me more $ to pay for the storage.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hump Day

Last weekend I headed west, for the first time since Thanksgiving, at which point I had decided that I would not likely go again, because of the stress under which I spent the holiday weekend. I made the decision to go this time because my #1boy had been asked (and agreed) to be part of a re-enactment team for the Fort Stockton Sesquicentennial celebration. He was part of the Texas Camel Corps, and had marched over 50 miles from Fort Lancaster toward Fort Stockton. They wore period-correct uniforms (other than underwear & shoes). Yeah, they marched for about 5 days, in the Texas sun, (fortunately, it’s been a relatively cool fall, so at least it wasn’t hugely hot) in wool pants and jackets. He DID get a touch of heat exhaustion, but he didn’t pass out or anything. I’m proud as hell of him, and I know his blood kin is as well. We had no less than 5 people tell us how awesome the boy is. Doug, who is the camel rancher that runs the Camel Corps treks said he fully expected to have to provide some help to the boy, as he is technically ‘disabled’, however he was amazed at the boy’s ability to not just pull his own weight, but also to pitch in and help wherever an extra hand was needed. The baby is not a baby anymore, he will be 3 in just a couple of months, and that’s hard to believe. He’s cute as all get out, and smart as a whip. Once he starts really talking, I’m guessing we’re ALL in trouble! Not all of his jabbering is particularly understandable, but we got along just fine, and he seemed to accept my attempts to understand him, even if I wasn’t exactly right. Anytime I asked him a question, he answered appropriately, sometimes verbally, sometimes with a shake or nod of the head. I did notice that he talked to me more than he did Darla, but that may be a conditioned response, in that his screeching generally manages to get him the response, whether it be to give him food/drink/toy, whatever, from the people who live with him, if just to get him to shut the hell up, so why should he bother articulating it. I didn’t respond to the screaming, and insisted that he tell me what it was that he wanted, instead of just pointing and hollering. I did learn, that in his vocabulary, “please” is “peas-tanks”. At least he has manners, right? I have concluded that there will only be 1 more trip out there, at least while they are living in the town they are currently in, and that will be at the end of May for graduation. There’s just BAAAD Karma in that town, and it’s just entirely too exhausting for me emotionally to keep my chin up and keep a decent mood while I am there.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


This afternoon my friend Victoria & her friend Andrea came in for Tribal Alchemy this weekend. They got here about 4:30ish, and needed caffeine, so off we went to Starbucks, then over to Sam Moon, because my most favorite shades, also a Sam Moon purchase, broke yesterday, and I'm unhappy about this, because I loved my Pirate shades. Vicki had never been to Sam Moon, and we spent an hour, easily, in the store, looking at various stuff before we went next door to the Sam Moon Luggage store to find me some shades. Of course the ones I had are no longer available, but I did find some other cool ones that I'll get pics of one of these days. Eventually I'll get photos added of the other funny shit I found in there, including the flask I NEED which says "Old enough to know better, young enough not to give a rat's ass" Once we finished, in there, we headed back toward the Stockyards to hit Byblos for dinner. They have an awesome buffet, and I tend to forget about them, mostly because I rarely get over to that part of town. I also forget how much I like a really good, GENUINE Feta. And by genuine, I mean made from goat and/or sheep's milk, not cow's milk. Yeah, I could have stuffed myself on just that, thankyouverymuch. In the end, I had a bit of vermicelli rice, a bit of beef, a chunk of the kebabed chicken, and a wonderful pita to go with my Feta. And just a note, unless you like a good dose of VERY rich chocolate, you'll want to limit your Baklava choice to not the chocolate. It was tasty, but, as much as I LOVE chocolate, I couldn't eat more than one bite. The plain was AWESOME though. My house is still a wreck, well, parts of it are a mess, but that's life. Tomorrow morning we're going to hit British Emporium and see what trouble we can get into before they head for Ft. Worth and I head for Sheffield, and ultimately on to Ft. Stockton for the sesquicentennial. It's late, and I'd better get off here and get some sleep with the driving I've got in store for me tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Better, I think

So nearly a week has passed since I last posted. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but the bottom line is that I never intended this to be a whiney, negative space, and therefore, I try not to post too much when I am feeling that way. 2009 has been a tough year for me, and I'm truly hoping that things will look up this last quarter of the year. On Monday I had a HUGE meltdown, as a result of a combination of things that have been ongoing, and things that happened over the weekend, and then receipt of a letter that stated "We thank you for your interest in XYZ Company, however at this time we don't have anything available for someone with your background and experience." Yeah, thanks bunches folks, not only did I meet EVERY SINGLE ONE of your requirements listed in the advertisement, I went above and beyond, AND took the initiative to print out and complete the application forms posted on the website prior to the interview. My sleep is out of whack, for multiple reasons, and I hurt all over, including my skin! It was HORRIBLE. Today my horoscope that comes to my phone every morning said: The establishment of a new business partnership could require a lot of paperwork today, dear Libra. It might be really tedious trying to make sense of all the jargon involved, but it's important to you, so you're more likely to be more persistent than usual. Someone more familiar with these matters may explain the ins and outs to you. This is likely to be a very fortunate development for you, so don't lose heart. Hang in there.
Yesterday I had a call from a recruiter about a position that sounds very promising. She asked me to reformat my resume so she could present it to the client company. Today she asked me to meet her at a coffee shop not far from the client's office, as well as being MUCH closer to me than her office in North Dallas. I believe the interview went well for me, and hopefully I made a better impression on her than the woman who arrived when we were nearly finished (who sat down near us, and made NO effort to pretend she wasn't listening to the conversation), as she arrived wearing toe ring sandals with no hose. Now, I will admit that I don't always wear hose when I go to a job interview, however I always have on slacks and closed toed shoes, so you can't tell whether I have them on or not! I should hear something from the recruiter tomorrow, hopefully in the morning so I can interview with the firm in the afternoon.
I am making an effort to be more positive, and once I finish getting the house back in some semblance of order, I'll smudge and cleanse out the negative energy. Tomorrow I have to finish getting the guest room ready for Vicki & Andrea who are coming in for a bellydance workshop over the weekend.
I've got several things rolling around in my head as possible posts, and am committed to making an effort post on a regular basis.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I just don't understand

how anyone manages to get a job in the internet age. I have submitted literally HUNDREDS of resumes and applications. I have had a grand total of, well, let's count them up here, 2 phone interviews, one of which led to an in-person interview, and a whopping 7 in-person interviews, including the one I already mentioned as coming after the phone interview, and counting the 2 I had for a position that was apparently not ever intended to be permanent, though they led me to believe that it was. I have submitted resumes and made phone calls to every reputable staffing/temp agency in the area. Yeah, I actually managed to get in to see ONE of them, now they won't call me back, or answer emails. Even the ones with whom I spoke with a person, I couldn't get an appointment to go in and speak to someone or do performance testing. TX Workforce has told me that I MUST consider positions that pay 25% less than what I was making, which was about 20% below the average according to every salary calculator I can find, INCLUDING THEIR OWN. Frankly, the TX Workforce job board hasn't done SHIT for me, except get me a job for 6 days, which I was led to believe was a PERMANENT position. I have completed my profile as completely as possible, including all of my experience, regardless of whether or not it is in my current field. If I'm lucky, on any given day, I get 3 'MATCHES', and my browse pulls up 75 jobs within a hundred mile radius. The 'matches' are actually jobs that are allegedly within my skill set, however more often than not, instead of an "accounting/billing clerk" they are looking for a CPA. UMM, yeah NOT a match. Or they are 90 miles away. The browse feature pulls up 75 jobs, and guess what? 60 or more of them are VETERANS ONLY. WTF? My profile clearly states that I am NOT a veteran, so why are these included? Take out the ones that are more than 30 miles (and thus over an hours commute by car), and I'm down to maybe 5. Take out the ones that are for legal or medical secretaries, accountants, HR generalists, and other specific administrative support positions, and well, if I'm lucky, there is ONE option left for me to apply for. I have put in applications at the area grocery stores, big box stores, and various other retail outlets. You have NO IDEA how tired I am of hearing "we aren't actually hiring right now, but we'll keep your application on file"! Every time I think I am past being angry about this whole situation, something pops up that has been part of my normalcy, but now it can't be, since I don't have a fucking job, and I can't collect fucking unemployment because someone LIED about how things were handled, and the state believed them! I realize that the anger doesn't hurt anyone except me, and I really am trying to get past it, but a person can only take so much rejection before they start really taking it personally. I realize that it is not my place to judge other people, and that sending negativity out into the world does not do anyting except increase negativity, but sometimes I really hope that what comes around goes around, and those who wronged me will eventually suffer something that leaves them feeling as lost and desperate as I have begun to. I recognize that I have awesome friends who love me and give me all the support that they can, and I am unbelievably grateful for that. I have had to seriously re-evaluate a lot of my relationships this year, and while I have always known that in general, I don't have a lot of friends who are the friend to me that I am to them, admitting to the fact that several of them I've long considered to be relatively equally give/take relationships are really not, no matter what I try to delude myself into believing. Over the weekend, I had my first birthday party in many years. Certainly the first since I've been grown, that wasn't hosted by me. There are 3 of us who have birthdays within 6 days. A large group of us had a plan to go to Middlefaire on Sunday, it's last day of the season. Unfortunately, rains came on Friday and Saturday that turned the parking lot and festival site into a major mud pit, and Saturday evening they decided to cancel Sunday's festivities. Already planned for after faire, was a birthday dinner, hosted by the birthday boy's parents, for the 3 of us. In the end, we spend the day with most of the originally planned group in Weatherford and then went to the dinner party afterwards. God bless MJ, for remembering my food sensitivities and making sure that in addition to her seafood gumbo there were a couple of other soup options, plus chicken salad, fresh fruit, tossed salad, and A-MAZ-ING pimento cheese bread! This coming weekend I would dearly LOVE to be going to TRF for opening, and to see my favorite Bard, Marc Gunn, as I've done for the last couple of years. But OH NO, I got screwed out of my job, and out of unemployment benefits, so I can't justify spending the $ to go, even to ride down with someone else and use a discount ticket. I'm sure I'll have a fine time out at Screams, with the crew up here that's doing that instead of TRF, using a free ticket, but it still makes me angry that I've had to make all the adjustments I've had to make, over some bullshit

Boycott is over now

I have heard now from 2 separate sources, that Victoria's Secret has made right the wrong. They aren't calling it a prize, but they ARE giving Casey the trip to New York, including airfare, hotel, spa, etc. While most of us that I know of, anyway, have not gotten anything other than an autoresponder notice about receiving the comment and getting back to you within 24 hours, it appears that our efforts made a difference.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Back in August, I was made aware of the Body By Victoria contest, because the daughter of a fellow rennie had entered. Her name is Casey, she is 19 years old and has Osteosarcoma, which is advanced enough that she will lose her enough of her right leg that she will not be able to have a prosthetic leg. This is part of the post that I first saw posted on "I don't love the parts of my body that are affected by cancer. I don't love my tumor, or any of the nerves it's currently pressing against. I don't love the bones it has weakened to the point that I will have to use crutches even after the fracture heals in order to avoid fracturing more bones. On the other hand, I love my legs because they transport me, because I like their shape, because they've been pretty reliable for the last 19 years. I love my legs because I can move my little toes out separate from the rest of my toes. I love them because they make it possible for me to get piggy back rides. I love them because they help me dance. I love them because they come in a pair, so even when my right leg is amputated, I can still enjoy these things with my left leg. I love my arms because they support my weight on my crutches and make it possible for me to still get around without having to ask for too much help. I love my fingers for being able to grasp some things while still holding on to the crutches, without always spilling or dropping those things. I love my body's tolerance for pain, and the fact that it can take so much without making me cry in front of people. I love it for the fact that I didn't cry that one time when they were trying to hook me up to the IV and kept digging around the more tender veins in my arms. I love my body even though it doesn't look like the Victoria's Secret "A Body For Every Body" ad to the right of my screen as I type this. I love it even though it's bald and can't sexily toy with its hair, even though it has no eyebrows to arch at men, even though its bra size is only a 36A, even though its weight fluctuates but will probably never have that flat of a stomach, even though it will soon only have one leg and some people will be disgusted by it. I love it even though it's falling apart. I love it because it's mine." The prize for this contest is a three-day all-expenses-paid trip to NYC, includung a full spa day and other pampering prizes that she could really use after all of this awful trauma. Over the course of the last month, there were lots of fraudulent votes, and Casey's supporters were vigilant about reporting the spammers, whether they were voting for Casey, or for other contestants. Casey won the popular vote, by THOUSANDS of votes. Unfortunately, Victorias Secret is run by toads, because though they admitted to her in a telephone call that her votes were genuine and fair, they'd decided to change the rules because of the tampering that occurred, and gave the top 50 vote getters in random order, to uninvolved judges, who then selected 2 grand prize winners, neither of them was Casey. As a consolation prize, they've given her a $500 gift card. What a slap in the face! I am FURIOUS about it, and have made my opinion known to them. I have also told them that I will be making sure that every forum I frequent, as well as the hundreds of people in my email box is aware of how they do business. I realize that I am but one voice, but if enough voices band together, it CAN make a difference! This is my letter to them Hello, I am writing you today regarding your “Body By Victoria” contest. I was made aware of the contest on one of several forums I am a member of, and I was one of the supporters of the popular vote winner, Casey. I am aware of the fact that there was more than one issue regarding fraudulent votes, and some of our forum members were among the honest folks who were watching and helping to ensure that your company was notified when they occurred, whether the fraudulent votes were being cast on Casey’s behalf or not. As I understood the rules when I read them, there would be a popular winner, and another winner would be selected by judges as well. I cannot quote specifics because I failed to print said rules off, and, well, they are no longer posted. I find it to be sneaky, underhanded, unethical, and utterly abhorrent that you decided, once it was clear that a real woman, who will never have a perfect body was winning, to change the rules. My understanding is that she received a call from your company, admitting that the votes for her were genuine and fairly cast, but that instead of awarding her the grand prize (which was now available to 2 winners, just not her), you were awarding her a $500 gift card. In my opinion, that was a slap in her face. Her entry is certainly the most genuine, and the most honest without being shallow, vain, and self-centered. To be frank, I have not shopped in your stores for myself for many years, as you do not carry anything in my size, however many of my friends do, and I have bought many gifts and gift cards from you. That has stopped now. I refuse to do business with a company that would handle its affairs in the manner in which you have handled this contest. I can assure you that I will be posting the information and my opinion of your practices on every forum I frequent, my blogs, Twitter, and all the hundreds of people in my email box. I sincerely hope that you will reconsider your decision and award the grand prize to Casey, however I realize that I am but one voice that you may or may not pay attention to. I used their comment form here to register my opinion and I encourage you to do the same!