Friday, September 26, 2008

Schadenfreude rules

Happy Friday.
Yes, it's pathetic, but sometimes I just can't help myself. Schadenfreude rules, baby. Schadenfreude rules!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And then the lights went out

As my friend Nancy says, 'Seven days without power is six and a half days too long".

Last Sunday, while the wind whipped the trees in our yard into dangerous contortions, we held our breath, hoping that one of those old trees wouldn't come down and land on the house.

And then the lights went out. It was fun for a minute or two. The kids gathered flashlights and candles and improvised a "survival kit." That evening, we played Sorry by candlelight and watched "Joe Dirt" on our portable DVD player. We had fun "roughing it", for a minute or two.

Then Monday came. The wind had wreaked havoc all over the city. Schools and businesses everywhere were closed. Generators endlessly growled throughout the neighborhood. It was an adventure, and it was sort of fun. For about a minute, maybe two.

By Monday evening the houses across the street had power. We were sure to be next. Monday turned to Tuesday, then Wednesday. There were still over a half-million people in central Ohio without power.

On Thursday we were told that there was a 95% chance our power would be restored by 11:59 p.m. Sunday evening. Sunday! Seven days after the storm. Seven days is way longer than a minute or two.

The laundry piled up. The carpet needed vacummed. The milk was sour. School was closed three days in a row. Every Gameboy and iPod in the house was out of battery, leaving the kids bored and cranky and completely on my nerves.

Sunday evening came, and power -- glorious power -- was restored. It was a long week. And it wasn't fun even for a minute or two.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

How one knows she's getting old

Today I realized that I've crossed over from "older gal" to "old lady."

Here's how I knew: upon getting dressed this morning, I realized that I am more frequently letting comfort win over style. On a regular basis, I'll know something looks bad or silly or utterly awful, yet I still wear it due to sheer comfort or practicality. I'm like the old lady who wears the plastic rain hat or the grandpa whose polyester slacks are too short.

I'm like the man on vacation who wears socks with his sandals on the beach. Black socks.

I've taken to wearing these litte peds with my loafers (peds are like the little socks at the shoe store you use when you are trying on shoes, only they're not disposeable).

These peds stick out, they're ugly, and they unmistakeably qualify me as an old lady.

But they are very comfortable and without them, my feet and shoes smell awful. Okay, so the shoes themselves aren't all that hip either but they've got great arch supports, and do you know what a flat sole does to my heel spurs? Heavens to Betsy!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fall will bring you all that you want

My friend Cyndy commented on my last post (and yes, I am well aware that post was in April).

Cyndy said, "Fall will bring you all that you want."

Well, it's Fall.

For the first time ever, I spent all summer at home with my kids. We did a whole lot of 'nuthin, and it was great. I especially enjoyed all of our lazy mornings sleeping in and my not having to be a drill seargent to get them all up, dressed, fed and on their way.

My youngest son went off to kindergarten this week; my middle son to 3rd grade, and my oldest son started high school. High school!

Back in February when I lost my job, I promised myself that I wasn't going to just jump into another company where I'd again end up a cog in the a job where I had no real pride or passion for what I was doing. I wanted to find something where I would feel I was making a difference, and ultimately doing something for the greater good.

And I meant it. But time wore on and my severance monies began to dwindle. I started to wonder if I was being unrealistic.

Throughout the summer I had a few leads. I went on some interviews. It was depressing. All I seemed to find were jobs in mega-corporations, writing the sort of stuff that wasn't really going to impact or change anyone's life.

I began to face facts: It's nice to have high aspirations for changing the world and all, but it's also nice to pay the mortgage.

And then, Fall.

The day before yesterday, on the very same day my kids went to school, I had two interviews. the first was for a company that outsources call center operations (read: ESL telemarketing) for large clients. The work would be documenting their processes and procedures so they can become compliant for security certifications. 'Nuff said.

The second interview was at Nationwide Children's Hospital in their Childhood Cancer Research Center. Without getting too metaphysical, let me just say that the moment I stepped out of the parking garage and into the lobby I knew that the job was exactly what I had been looking/hoping for. And then when I interviewed with the director, I was absolutely certain .

Long story short: within hours, both companies offered me a job. The job at the first company would be contract for six months and then they would hire me as a full time employee. The Children's job would be a short term contract with no guarantee of permanent employment. And it would pay quite a bit less than the other.

I start my new job at The Research Institute for Childhood Cancer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital on September 8th.

Cyndy was right about Fall.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Well, ONE of us has a job!

And the good new is, it ain't me. (Yet.)


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Double Whammy Kick in the Ass

Last month, I lost the job I've had for the past 11 years to "corporate downsizing". It was expected. The particular corporation I worked for has been downsizing for FIVE YEARS (I'm not even exaggerating -- which okay, I admit I do sometimes). I've made it through FIVE YEARS of Thursdays (they always do the slashing on Thursdays) of saying goodbye to friends and I've watched them pack up their stuff and do the proverbial "perp walk".

Only this time it was me. And I wasn't sad or surprised or even upset in the least. Really, I was ready. I had calculated how much money I'd get in my severance package and just how long I could push being unemployed before it started to cause issues with our finances at home. I figured I could squeeze out the summer with my kids and then start looking in the fall. Not too shabby.

My plan would have worked out perfectly had my husband - across town at the job he's had for the last eight years - not lost his job on THE VERY SAME EFFING DAY.

When I called to tell him, he paused for a moment before telling me his bad news. And right then, my thought process went all stream of conciousness and probably sounded something like this:

"This does not happen to normal people ... this is some serious bad luck .... crap, now I'm not going to get the attention and pity I deserve, because he's going to be all crybaby about losing his job and get drunk all weekend while I have to be the responsible one ... double crap, I'm now going to have to spend way too much freakin' quality time with my husband.

And then me, being all supportive and wifely and positive, pretty much shrieked at him, "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME."

After the initial shock wore off, we were able to see the humor in it. Right now I can't think of any of the hundreds of funny things we've found amusing about being in this situation, so you'll have to trust me on that. But hey, dual unemployment is funny.

It seems like we've been busy, but the day goes by so quickly -- much more quickly than it ever did at work. We're looking for jobs. John is coaching second-grade lacrosse. We went to Florida for Spring Break; spent a week at my sister-in-law's beach cottage (it was warm and sunny and the water was gorgeous). Yesterday, John power-washed our deck and today he cleaned the garage. Now, if I can get a TV cabinet built and a screen porch on our deck before he finds a job, I'll swear this setback was divine intervention.

John had two interviews this week and one looks especially positive. Keep your fingers crossed.
Good night.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Found this photo on my new favorite blog.
The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks seriously cracks me up. People send “pictures” of signs that use gratuitous quotation “marks” to hilarious “effect”.


I'm a blogger with the idea that I shouldn't post a blog entry unless I have
some deep, meaningful thing to say or unless I have a funny story to share. I abhor reading blogs that are just one incessant blah blah blah about pretty
much nothing but the excruciating minutae of the writer's day-to-day life. And when I say day-to-day, I really mean up-to-the-minute drivel about nothing. They ate spaghetti ... had to wait an extra 15 minutes at the dentist ... the Kitty piddled on the carpet again … and on and on. (I'm not referring to the blogs of anyone who regularly visits here.)

I've been reading Madeleine L'Engle. She wrote more than 45 books, but if you haven't read any of her works or if you just need a bit of inspiration, read Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life. Sometimes when you read a great writer's words about writing, you just want to forget writing altogether and take up ping-pong instead. But L'Engle makes you want to start writing immediately, and to write with more passion and dedication than ever before.

So, I think I realize now that there must be some sort of "in-between" amidst those daily regurgitation blogs and the type of posts I want to write. L'Engle has shown me that though I've felt in the past few months I haven't had anything worthwhile to say, in reality I've really had way too much to say.

"Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it." --Madeline L'Engle