Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?



where do we go

This is a post seeking opinion and suggestion.  As you know, I work for our local city government.  In May I’ll celebrate acknowledge my 5th anniversary here.  I have a good job that I enjoy, and believe I do well.  I work with people who can make me laugh ‘til I cry.  So, why am I miserable?  Why are Laurie and I exploring other jobs in far away places?  I actually told Laurie last night that if wherever we’re looking has a McDonald’s I’ll be ok with “do you want fries with that?”  I’m willing to work retail, cleaning, babysitting.  I just don’t want to work for a business that’s in the paper everyday. 

heaven-hellHere’s today’s entry:  Today's diatribe from our Mayor.  This is the one that sparked so much outrage:  I'll have the Puss 'n Boots - to go

I know that to the outside eye this might seem like much ado about nothing, but it isn’t.  Those 2 articles are only a piece of the constant flow of insulting, hate-mongering bullshit coming from our mayor.  He’s been in office since November, and everyday since I feel the guillotine over my neck.  He would like nothing better than to see an exodus from the city payroll, and then blame those who leave for creating the lapses in service that would arise.  He is blaming us without any knowledge of who we are or what we do.  And then he’ll blame us for leaving.  I cannot describe the constant turmoil, bitterness, anger and almost-hate that I have felt everyday since he took office.  Those of you who know me, know that I try not to stay mired in misery….but I cannot seem to shake this.  I haven’t been this unhappy in a job since the weeks before Lisa Cramer (a c*** if ever there was one) fired us.  I feel like my city employee status is sucking the joy, and the life, out of everything.  It’s a feeling that doesn’t seem to go away.  This is such a city-wide divisive issue, that even when out shopping or dining, you can hear a snippet of conversation about it. 

Maybe, if we were economically stable, if we weren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck, it wouldn’t bother me so much.  But we aren’t.  We’re struggling more now than ever before.  Everything costs more, and we’ve had more than a few economic speed bumps in the past year and a half.  Trying to get back on track is difficult enough without being told every single day that you are overpaid and lazy. 

Laurie’s job has minimal direct customer contact.  Mine faces the public all day, everyday.  Phone calls, face-to-face, email, it doesn’t matter.  My co-workers and I hear it at least once a day….”you f^%$(*) people” or a variation on the theme.  These angry citizens curse us, our children, our lives.  They spew hatred filled vitriol without a second thought.  They make it personal.  They start out cussing the city and end up cursing us.  It makes for a long day.  Our stress levels are at “ORANGE” meaning you never get a restful minute.  I find myself bracing before I answer the phone, or approach the counter.  We even get yelled at sitting at our lunch table outside the office.  Then, if we read the paper, or watch the evening news…there it is again.  I am at a breaking point.  I’m ready to throw in the towel and leave.  I’m ready to face uncertainty and the unknown just to get a minute’s peace.                                                            giveup

So, any ideas on where to go?  Do we stay in Florida because we have friends here?  Do we venture west because we’ve always been intrigued?  Do we stay here because we know this devil?  What to do?  Where to go?  When to do it? 

where now

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friday ~ Part I

Also known as payday, the longest day of the week, Friday ~Part I, or just plain old Thursday.  Yay!  Tomorrow is supposed to be Friday...I hope God doesn't play a "Groundhog Day" trick on me; I don't think I care to relive any day of this week.  Oy.  So yesterday I was a little out of control, embarking on a tremendous rant at God.  Today, surprisingly enough, I don't feel a need to apologize for any of it.  I don't feel a whole lot better either.  I did receive some great encouragement from Garret, and I can't thank him enough.  For those who may not know about Garret & Jim's Blog, I encourage you to check it out.  His blogging is world class.  Reminiscent, in some ways, of Seinfeld, in that Garret can take "nothing" and make it entertaining, and memorable.  His blog can be found at Living With Jim & Garret .    I also encourage you to check out two other blogs, the first one is by a lovely lady named Alix Hice, her blog address is Casa Hice. Alix blogs on life within her casa, and it's a crazy ride! You might as well click on over,I 
promise you won't feel gypped. ;o)
The second one is Laurie's brand new blog ~Waytwisted Ramblings.  With this blog you will be challenged to think, and to encourage this you will read many thought provoking articles and ideas.  I hope you like all of them.  :o)
Anyway, I'm leaving this short.  I want to share with you a few last thoughts:
1)   Prayers for the trainer who died at the fins of one of her favorite animals at SeaWorld.  The Orca may not know exactly what he's done, but I'm sure he will miss his friend.
2)  Former VP Dick Cheney is home recovering from his mild heart attack.  I'm sure he'll be fine.  Personally, in my professional opinion, his heart attack is in some way related to an attack by his conscience.  Hopefully he will learn.
3)  I love my family, and I have the most amazing friends,  Thank you Garret, I needed your words, and I will take a raincheck on a much needed hug.
4)  Why is the American Pediatric Association pushing for labels on hot dogs advising that "this food may pose a choking hazard."  Why aren't they advocating that parents actually "parent" their children.  Inquiring minds need to know.
5) The middle school math teacher in Littleton, CO is a bona fide HERO.  He saved the lives of countless students when he tackled the man who opened fire at the school as the students were exiting the building.
6)  I will continue to wish you good night and sweet dreams, this is as close as I can get to hugging you all goodnight, and whispering that everything will be okay in the morning.

For now, Sweet dreams, and for my snowbound friends, again be safe and warm.
That is all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bandaid helps the hurt stop hurting

I want a bandaid.  Not one of the "I am stuck on bandaid cause bandaid is stuck on me" kind, but rather an emotional, psyche healing bandaid.  I want to stop hurting literally and figuratively.  
I know, I know...I'm whining.  Too flipping bad, it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.  There is soooo much happening in my oyster right now ~ the constant threat of being laid off; trying to get finances back on track; an ever increasing mental funk that won't  go away; and a new chronic illness to adapt to.  Cripes I wish I could pull a Rip Van Winkle about now.  I think I need a 20 year nap.  
I have lived my whole life on a seemingly endless supply of faith.  I am not a worrier.  Life goes the way life is supposed to.  I have never asked the common "why me?" because the better question is always "why NOT me?"  It all has to start somewhere, and God (or whatever higher being you might believe in) obviously believes me to be very strong and capable since He keeps piling all this stuff on my shoulders.  Thank you for the vote of confidence.  [eyeroll]
Today I would like to scream at the rafters....ENOUGH!  I can't take anymore.  I have hit the fucking wall, please back off.  I'm tired of being tired.  I'm sick of feeling picked on, picked over and taken advantage of.  I'm tired of hearing I can't take a joke...frankly if you have to explain it was a joke or that you're kidding MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE IT WASN'T FUCKING FUNNY ~ IT WAS MEAN.  Learn to know the damn difference.  Listen to yourself, your tone of voice, your choice of words.  Condescending and belittling statements are insulting and hurtful.  If the people who are your audience are put off by your remarks maybe it's YOU and not some sort of defect in them.  
Monday our "mayor" told the local media that he wouldn't stand by as the residents of this city eat Puss n' Boots Cat food and the employees eat filet mignon.  Fucker. My 19 year old daughter didn't know what filet mignon was.  As a result of that comment, city residents have come in to the Utility Billing Office where I work and verbally assaulted us about being over paid and lazy.  City employees on the front line trying to do inspections, or direct traffic are being verbally assaulted by residents.  How long before a disgruntled citizen pulls a knife on one of us?  How long before one of them gets our home addresses from the City Clerk (where I live is public record) and vandalizes our house or car or worse?  What then?  Do I call the mayor to thank him personally?  
Of course when your job is threatened it seems your finances go to hell.  I earn a nice salary compared to many other people, but I bring home very little net pay.  In fact I being home about $10 an hour.  Feed a house full, pay insurance, rent, prescriptions, gas, food, etc. on $10 an hour and it becomes a little strained.  I'm not complaining, I'm just tired and it hurts.
And when money is tight it strains relationships.  Add to that the "your kid my kid" battle and you know that Laurie and I are co-existing and that is all.  There is no cure for this apparently.  We are both right and we are both very wrong.  For the first time in 9-10 years I feel like Laurie is choosing sides, and it isn't mine.  I'll assume she feels the same way, but since we aren't speaking I don't know.  Like I said, I want a bandaid.  We usually have an exceptional relationship, very much on the same page ~ but not lately.  Laurie is the "friend" mom, and I'm not.  I'm the one that hears complaints and some defiance, but Laurie makes them laugh, and laughs with them.  
Last but not least is this new diabetes thing.  I'm not adjusting fast, or well.  I'm irritated by this.  I don't have time for it, and yet I have no choice.  I'm sticking my fingers 8 to 10 times a day and they're sore.  I'm tired and not sleeping.  I'm nauseous, and irritable.  And I feel like I'm alone in this.  My best friend is caught up in life, and my spouse is caught up in anger.  I don't like this.  I want my best friend back.  My best friend wasn't living the same drama as me, and she would sympathize and offer support.  She would ask how I was and offer suggestions.  I miss that.  
So I'm yelling at God....I'VE HAD ENOUGH.  I QUIT.  I CANNOT TAKE ANYMORE.  I want to go curl up with the blankets over my head and cry and feel sorry for myself, and hate everything.  I want someone to tell me they're sorry this is happening, and tell me things will be ok.  I want someone to treat me the way I always treat others when they're at this point.  I want someone to feel bad for me.  
I want a fucking bandaid.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm so sweet

It's true!  Well it's true, but maybe that statement is a little misleading.  The fact is that my body apparently missed the 40 year tune-up, and now, at a little over 47 years it's kicking my ass.  :o)  There are a lot of jokes and cliches out there regarding aging, getting older, approaching death, being over the hill, etc.  I lived a good 40 years before I believed that our bodies do, eventually, begin to fail us.  Up until 40, things were pretty good.  I had the RSD thing with my hand, but that seemed to be under control; depression runs in the family and had finally run into me, but that too was under control.  Once I was a few years past 40 though, I hit the wall.  Oy!  Hypothyroidism, high cholesterol, insomnia, hot flashes, pre-menopause.  It seemed as though parts were beginning to wear out and flat out rebel.  I ignored what I could and treated what I had to.  That's cool....selective medical treatment by a former RN. (We are the worst patients.)  Now, it seems I have acquired Diabetes Type 2.  Are you flipping kidding me?  Yep.  What was insulin resistance a few years ago is now full blown Diabetes, basically a huge fuck you from my home grown insulin.  It's there, and it may even be enough quantity wise, it's just slightly dysfunctional.  Bahahaha, what a surprise.  Thankfully, that RN thing I used to do helped me come to the diabetic conclusion before it became life-threatening.  I won't go into the numbers and stuff, let me just say that after a very life-like dream I checked my own fasting blood sugar, found it dangerously high, and called my doctor.  After 2 more blood tests he concluded I am diabetic, gave me the pills, the rules, the warnings, and another appointment.  I do feel better with the medication on board, but I have a lot of learning to do.  A sad fact of life is that RNs can be very good at observing, treating, caring and teaching, but we have to learn the same way everyone else does.  I'm finding that I now must snack between meals, and I absolutely  must eat 3 meals a day.  This alone is tough for me, as I am the champ of "drink coffee all day, eat only at dinner", and then only if I remember.  Diabetes can't be controlled like that.  Consistency is key.  It's okay though, I'll learn, and I'll manage.  This really ain't nothin' but a thing.  I'm good at managing things, or so I've been told.  For now, I have a new tech toy ~ a glucometer, a lot of new log books, some new dietary habits, and I need to get new bling.  I will have to wear some kind of diabetic medical alert jewelry.  (Wow, some girls will do anything for new jewelry!)  Look at it this way, all those jewelry giving more wondering what to get Pearl, if it says "DIABETIC ON BOARD" it's a good fit.  :o)
Happy Sugar Free Valentine's Day everyone!  

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm a Devi-Aunt

It's a headline article on NBC News this week; "Study: Tattoos linked to deviant behavior".  Go ahead, check out the story.  Finished?  Good.  So, now that you've been enlightened let me just tell you that I have 9 tattoos.  (Damn, I'm unbalanced...I need another one.)  According to the study I must be creating, cooking, selling, growing, using all kinds of illegal drugs, binge drinking, and sleeping with bees, birds, boys, and babes.  Whew, I'm a wild thing.  (I do sleep with a cow-bunny, but again, that's another blog.)  Hahahahahaha!  The reality is that I'm old, slightly more conservative than I'd like, and increasingly boring.  But I still have 9 tattoos.  Oh...and piercings.  I have 2 sets of "traditional" ear piercings, my belly button is pierced, and my conch.  (Go ahead, look that up )  I'm considering another ear piercing, but I haven't decided yet.  I binge drink coffee.  I smoke Pall Malls.  I'm in a long-term, monogamous relationship.  (I'm sure there are a lot of people who might think the whole lesbian thing is deviant but that's another blog.)  Our kids have curfews, and we know their friends.  I think I'm the only person on the entire flipping planet who doesn't watch porn.  (I'm almost positive that last one IS deviant behavior!) 
The study might have had more meaning to me if the researchers had included adults 
instead of just college students.  I've been to college, that environment encourages, and almost requires "deviant behavior" just to survive.  This can be proven through the years by recalling many of the on-campus trends through the years; swallowing goldfish, bed races, panty raids, Greek Week, pub crawls, fraternity parties, and on and on.  You learn in college to conform, resist, or ignore and that choice will most likely impact your entire future.  So, college kids are probably not a good group to study when looking to qualify deviant behavior.  Maybe they should have used college kids to study levels of deviance. 
Some time ago Laurie did a paper about tattoos and how they tell the story of the person wearing them.  The final thought was what will your tattoos say about you?  It's a good thought.  Unlike a lot of people I took a great deal of time and invested a lot of thought in choosing each of my tats, and where to put them.  Each of them tells a little about who I was, and where I was at the time I had it done.  They start out a bit small and placed in areas that are conservative, private, easily covered.  As I live and age and learn they've become a bit bolder and perhaps a bit more complicated.  They've also become more meaningful.  My most recent one is a celtic knot rendered into a ring and applied to the fourth finger of my left hand.  This is a tattoo that has been talked about, planned and drawn and changed and drawn again.  This seemed like the perfect time for this tat.  It's beautiful, meaningful and so important.  It honors that part of my life that is most private and most public, the woman who makes my heart pound and my blood hot, and at the same time offers me the great gift of stability in an unstable world.  This is a public symbol of a private commitment.  This is the symbol of my most reprehensible of many deviant 
Qualities, it represents love.  Plain, deep, endless, blessed, patient, awe inspiring love. 

And for the record....using a feather is erotic, using the whole chicken is kinky.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Was that window open?

Belated Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  We are just past Turkey Day and a mere 3 and a half weeks away from Christmas.  My, how time flies.  We had a nice Thanksgiving here. Again, a very low key day.  No dressing up, no good china, just enough food.  The turkey was picture perfect, very tasty, and just the right size.  Minimal leftovers for the first time ever, woohoo!  I think we were all so excited to get to Friday that Thursday was just another day.  Yep, we're weird like that.
Friday arrived, crisp and cool.  Very cool.  Remember, this is Florida, so a 40 degree temp is only cold when it was 75 or 80 earlier the same day.  At 40 degrees I need a jacket, preferably with a hood.  Gloves would be smart, since my hands do not do well in cold temps, but unfortunately I don't have any.  So anyway, we load up for the 150 mile drive to Ft. Meade and the impending Ghost Hunt.  No, we are not professional ghost hunters.  No, we are not auditioning for Paranormal State.  No, we aren't off our rockers.  We are functionally dysfunctional people who scare ourselves silly, ghost hunting is right up our alley.
Laurie's BFF Stacy managed to make arrangements with a Ft. Meade business owner who says his property is haunted, and was more than willing to give us a key, and a tour, so we could ghost hunt after dark.  He had 2 parting comments for us: 1 - if you show up here after dark you're more of a woman than I am a man, and 2-if I hear an ambulance heading out here I'm leaving town, and you're trespassing.  Great, I feel MUCH better now.  The business is an old munitions plant, and a manufacturing site.  It was severely damaged in Hurricane Charley.  Some of the buildings date back to the 1800s and some are just dilapidated offices.  The place was used in commercials a few years back to promote Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.  Ugh!  There is also an old Mercedes tucked away in one of the bays that the previous owner used to commit suicide in, method unknown. His family couldn't part with the car so they stored it out there. Well, we all arrive after dark and it's creepy as hell.  Our family has never been ghost hunting so we had to learn the ground rules.  Make lots of noise, if you're Jordan - fall through the floor almost to the floor below, shriek and laugh and act like a dork.  Check, I've got that.  (BTW, only Jordan's pride was injured in his fall).
The hole we pulled Jordan from.

Well we tromp through, take lots of pictures in total darkness, and then approach the car.  The car is coated in really thick dust, it's fairly certain no one has touched it in a long time, so of course several of us wipe the dust off and try to peek in the windows.  RIP after we gawk sir.

Load up and move along...first stop an old bridge in the middle of nowhere darkness.  What the hell do we do here?  Oh, get out of the vehicle, walk to the bridge, take lots of random pictures in total darkness, load back up and head to another bridge.  Jordan & Phoenix & "friend".

Repeat this action at two additional bridge stops, and then head to a very, very old cemetery.  The church buildings here are in very good shape, but apparently no longer used as a church.  The cemetery itself dates back to the 1700s.  The older grave sites are behind a wall of some sort and we did not venture in.  We really didn't venture in to the cemetery at all.  A few of us entered in only one or two rows, and then headed back toward the car.

Stacy's son decided to videotape the windows of one of the buildings the entire time we were there.  He was waiting to see if something would happen.  The skeptics among you would scoff at what we have on video, but we were there, and we know.  Phoenix not only captured the image of someone walking through the building, past the window, but we all saw the windows when we got there, and they were closed.  As we were all rapidly heading back to the car after the figure walked past, someone asked, "hey, was that window open?" No was the resounding reply, and then I shined the maglite across the window, and I'll be damned if it wasn't open.  OPEN.  OPEN.  Yep, jump in the cars, race toward home, laughing and wondering and freezing.  Repeatedly asking if that window was open.  Repeatedly asking "did you see that guy walk by?"  Disbelieving, skeptical and convinced.  We have pictures, and video.  We know what we saw and heard.  We know who took what photos and from where.  We know and we believe.  And we're still shaking our heads, asking the questions, and totally amazed at what we saw.  Ghost hunting was a blast!  I can't wait to do it again...but no more suicide cars for me.  Nope, not doing that again.  Here's some photos.  I'll explain if you have questions.
Happy Merry In=between.

This is what Kathryn & I look like if you could see in the dark.  :o)

                                                                 Who you gonna call?  Ghost Hunters!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's in a name?

I can picture it so clearly....the clue reads "Teeth or tentacles.  On this detour teams have a choice of "Teeth", where they have to assemble a scale model of the Eiffel Tower using only their teeth and 10,000 toothpicks; or, Tentacles, where teams will be submerged in salt water, to their chins, with 10,000 octopi.  The second task will probably be quicker, but teams will likely suffer from nightmares of sea creature suckers for the rest of their lives"
Cut to the living room....I say, "yep we'd lose, right here.  Damn, made it to the final three teams only to be beaten by a damn octopus."  LOL.  This is just a sample of the Sunday evening conversations you'd hear in our wacky household.  We are HUGE fans of "The Amazing Race."  It's probably the only TV show I routinely ask to have taped, DVRd or recounted, moment by moment.  I've been a fan since the first episode, and I'm happy to say this show has been a family viewing event quite often.  We enjoy the brief geography / history lessons, watching how teams relate to each other, and loudly proclaiming when, and why, Laurie & I would lose.  
Our kids would love for us to apply.  We've kicked the idea around half-seriously before, but then there's always "that" challenge.  Eat something still moving; jump off a perfectly good bridge; ride the train in Bhopal and get your ass grabbed; somewhere during the race, that challenge ALWAYS shows itself.  That challenge is the deal breaker for Laurie, me, or both of us.  
In addition to the deal breaker, there are also the tough decisions that would have to be made.  Some decisions are obvious, Laurie would be the driver, I'd read maps.    I'd try to speak whatever language presents itself, and carry all money and passports.  Laurie would be the cheerleader.  We both suck at things like swimming, and paddling.  Heights are an issue, but we might be able to get by some of that.  Laurie hates flying.  That could be a big problem in a race around the world.  I'm completely arachniphobic, and that could present problems along the way too.  But the really tough decisions....what would we use for a team name, and what would our "signature" color be?  See?  These are the questions that keep us from applying.  No, really, that's all it is.  Having a camera person follow us and tape our every complaint, compliment, argument, flaw and foible...and broadcast that all over the country?  Nah, no big deal.  It's definitely the team name.  
I wish they'd do an all gay Amazing Race.  Just picture it....16 teams, more queens than in all of Europe combined.  The arguments would be fierce; the fashion undeniably awesome.  The bitchiness and sneaky game play would be top notch!  Yep, that's a competition we'd enter...and probably win.  Okay, maybe not, but at least we'd fail with style, and be complimented for it!
Laurie & Pearl, I'm sorry to tell you, you are the last team to arrive.  But you looked FABULOUS doing it!