Archive for July, 2008

Congratulations C-R

“Take me out to the ball game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack
I don’t care if I never get back
Let me root, root, root for the home team
If they don’t win it’s a shame
For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out
At the old ball game!

~Jack Norwith

Congratulations to Ch, Ca, Co, My, Ma, J, P, A, S, I, and E, winners of the state little league tournament. You are the first team from these towns to ever advance to the regionals. Who says the the southern districts are more competitive? You’ve now gone undefeated in the districts and states… There is no reason you can’t keep going. Stop thinking of yourselves as the underdogs. Your younger brothers, who now have even more reason to look up to you, don’t think that way. As I told your Assistant Coach, this is it; this is the last year most of you will have this opportunity. Enjoy. Live it up! Yes, continue to play a good game, but don’t forget to play – that element has been essential to your team spirit all along.

Assistant Coach, don’t forget, this is their dreams and their games, not yours. Your real-world adult work will be here, mostly unchanged, when you return, so enjoy the last chance you have to coach your son. Bring out the best in him, even if it isn’t the best you imagine. And take pictures; they’ll help the memories last.

And don’t worry, I will not go with you to the regional games, physically. I know I’m supposedly bad luck and all, so I wish you all the time of your lives and the best of luck from my couch at home.

A Good Computer Day

I have (successfully) changed up the appearance of my blog. Look Up: can anybody identify where the header pic was taken?

AND, for reasons unknown, my email is working again!!

Hmmm

I decided to change the display theme on my blog, because I was getting kinda bored with the red and gray. But I’m having trouble uploading a new header image (I’m trying to put a picture into the blue space at the top of the page). I think the problem may have something to do with my lousy internet connection. I’ll try later.

Update: WordPress is currently having trouble with images, so I’m stuck with blue until they resolve the situation.

A Fragile Existance

“You’re gonna die of fright
Here comes the razors edge
You’re living on the edge”

~ACDC (The Razor’s Edge)

In the nearing-three years that I’ve spent at my current job, I’ve seen very few employees leave, for any reason. A small handful have quit, and of those, at least four have returned after some time doing other things. I believe only two have been laid off, despite frightening annual rumors of work shortages and massive layoffs. Three have been outright fired. Now, for a staff of 60, one would have to say that the chances of being asked to leave the company are slim. Right? So why am I so freaked out?

The third firing happened this past week. P had been a fixture at the company for something nearing ten years. Every single other employee found her irritable, high-strung, and reluctant to be of any assistance; behind her back she was known as the “______ Nazi”. In a typical day, she had more contact with people outside the company than pretty much everyone except the secretary who answers the phone, and her behavior on the phone was as deplorable as in person. She twice dug through personnel files to find out just how much we were all paid. She spent company time researching other jobs and voicing complaints about upper management to anyone with an ear. She knew I don’t plan on working for this company forever either, so she thought she had an ally in me. I found conversations with her to be unprofessional, inappropriate, and extremely uncomfortable.

Frankly, she should have been shown the door long ago. I think the company was concerned about a replacement’s ability to come out of nowhere and be able to figure out the job quickly enough to keep everything running smoothly. But all this has gone on for so long (certainly longer than I’ve been at the company), that it came as a total shock that she was actually asked to pack up and go.

I feel sorry for her; I wouldn’t wish an unexpected job termination on anyone, and I know she has had difficulties trying to find something different. Firings and layoffs scare the shit out of me, because I want to believe we control our lives. To be abruptly tossed into the crappy job market is beyond my comprehension, and quite possibly beyond my stress tolerance level. The economy isn’t particularly good right now, and aside from tourism, there is very little industry left in my local area. It is hard to find a job, much less find one that would be suited to my [limited] skill set and pays a livable wage. I really don’t feel optimistic about my financial future. No, I don’t love my job, but my [false?] sense of security is somewhat paralyzing and likely inhibiting my job search. Fear is also the number one reason I can’t seem to move anywhere else.

How do I get past this feeling like everything can fall apart in the blink of an eye? How do I temper my gut reaction to stress out with the primal survival need to adapt and take more risks?

Wedding Bells

Here comes the Bride
Doo do d’doo
Doo do-d’doo do d’do do d’do.

There are three weddings this summer of my peers, marking the first of probably many more to come. Certainly, people have gotten married before, but these are my friends and relatives near to me in age and in life journeys.

My Cousin A will be married in September to D, her boyfriend of eight years and an already accepted member of the family. To be honest, I’ve previously wondered why they weren’t already married! The wedding will take place in their favorite restaurant, an old converted barn, near where they live (Massachusetts). Her younger sister, J, is the Maid of Honor, and is way more involved in planning the wedding than free-spirit A. Examples: J is absolutely horrified that A has already purchased her wedding dress – without trying on 100 first. A found her dress on EBay – and it fit, no alterations necessary. A still hasn’t sent out her save the date’s yet, because they are being handmade out of metal by D. J is impatiently awaiting that mailing so she can send out wedding shower invitations. A and D are currently trying to buy a house and have a two-year-old dog – an Australian Cattle Dog/Border Collie mix named Tig. They have experienced stress and grief together, including the long-term illness and death of her father (my mother’s brother). I have no doubt that these two will be strong together for a long time to come.

My coworkers L (the bride) and S (the groom) will be married in August. They purchased a house last fall and are in panic mode trying to get it fixed up in time for the wedding, which will be held in their backyard. It was originally suppose to be a fairly low-key affair but seems to be ballooning beyond what they pictured. Their biggest hurdle seems to be S’s mother, who is picky and a control freak, but not helpful. L and S have been living together for several years, including at least two years spent living on a 40 foot boat in the Caribbean. I don’t know them well outside of work, but as employees they are both intelligent, hard-working team players, but I get the sense that L maybe pushes S around a little.

My old friend, A, is getting married today, to T, a pretty, quiet ER nurse, who I’ve only met a handful of times. She strikes me as quite unlike every other girl he’s ever dated, and there have been a lot. Maybe that is the attraction. It is a destination wedding for 35; the guests are almost all family members. It sounds beautiful and peaceful and most definitely not the stereotypical extravagance (which, perhaps I should note, would be absolutely unexpected from pretty much everyone I know…we aren’t divas and socialites). I’m not one of the four friends invited, but I’m not surprised by that as we’ve grown apart in the last couple years. I hope it works out for them and they are happy forever. I also hope they manage to work out their financial issues: she has an obscene amount of student debt, and he has a history of maxed out credit cards and phone lines getting shut off due to unpaid bills. They have already been denied for home loans twice.

So, among all of this, Boyfriend and I have recently passed the two year anniversary of our first date. People keep asking us when we’re going to move in together already (uh, we’re not), or what the future holds. I suppose we’re just (quite happily) taking things one day at a time – it really doesn’t seem like we’ve been together nearly that long!

An addendum: Wow! There are so many young mothers in this town! They can’t all be baby sitters. It seems to be the thing to do to push a stroller around downtown, with flip-flops and skanky unflattering clothes. Extra points if ciggy-smoking baby-daddy shuffles along beside you. Absolutely frightening. I’m proud to say I don’t know any of them.

Ahhh. It’s Over.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my city and I love my apartment, but each year, this weekend really tests that love. I didn’t even know it was this weekend; I should have gone camping or otherwise gotten out of here!

The city hosts a festival in the town park that stretches both days and blasts crappy music that can be heard blocks away. To sit inside the gates costs money – something like fifty bucks! People come in from out of town, and considering that tourism is the number one industry here, I guess that’s good for the town.

Beyond the daytime in-the-park part, there is the nighttime part. All of the bars in town participate and many of the restaurants as well. Main Street is closed from 6 pm to 2 am on Friday and Saturday nights, to accommodate crappy cover bands playing in the street and drunken tourists stumbling around. By morning, the street is covered in broken glass and assorted other trash.

I live on Main Street. My driveway is within the road closure gates. If I get home before 6 I’m trapped – forced to listen to crap music and drunks all night long. From my windows, I can see two bands where they set up in the street and three bars that have bands inside. If I get home after 6, I have to park elsewhere. If I park on a nearby street, I risk getting a ticket, Or if I park at the grocery store or high school parking lots, I have to walk half a mile in.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? Wrong. Without a festival ticket, I’m not allowed in any of the bars in town. No matter that my friends and I support them the other 51 weekends a year or know the bartenders’ names – no ticket, no drinks.

Boyfriend thought it was all kinda funny, until he heard a couple groups setting up out side my windows. Then he rescued me and we had dinner out of town and stayed at his house. *dreamy sigh*

Well, since it’s been a while…

…here are a few updates on my life. I don’t really have the words to express all my thoughts on some of these topics, so this will be a quick overview.

1) My email is STILL messed up. I’ve been reading the Yahoo Mail Blog, and they made some changes to their system about the time that my account stopped working. These changes supposedly messed up paid-for accounts ending in @something-other-than-yahoo.com, and mine should not have been affected. Those changes were fixed, but I still can’t use my email at home. I’ve reached a point of acceptance that it may never be the same.

2) My job search has produced zero phone calls. Zee-Row. Nobody even wants to talk to me. This does not help my self-esteem. Which brings us to point number…

3) I fired my therapist! And stopped taking my drugs! And I feel fine. The drugs didn’t do anything, and the therapy just made me more upset anyway.

4) My grandfather passed away recently. We weren’t close; I blame much of that on my relationship with my mother. I even skipped the last two family get-togethers, because I didn’t want to see my own parents. I still don’t, but I feel cheated. I guess I’m just a selfish brat (which is how my entire family on my father’s side already sees me). The extended family was surprized to see me at the funeral, because apparently my mother had previously told them that I would not attend. What the Hell, Mom? Of course I’d go, but if I wasn’t wanted, why did I bother?

5) All of my cousins (yes, including the youngest, entering grade 9) all seem really happy and comfortable and confident with their lives. The two out of university have real jobs – that they like! And the one who just finished her first year at Georgetown has an internship at a cancer research hospital in NYC. Even A. (the youngest) is doing a summer program in the fashion and event planning industry. What happened to me being the one with the most promise? Yes, I’m jealous, but that doesn’t get me any closer to figuring things out.

6) There was a fire at work a couple days ago. Well, not actually at work but within our sphere of influence. I don’t feel I did anything extraordinary (I’ve been doing this sort of stuff my whole life!). However, Manger and Big Boss both took note of my actions and ability to function in an emergency situation. I scored major brownie points, but in some ways I’m totally pissed off: they assumed I was capable of nothing, and this is the first time in almost three years that I have done something that actually garnered their positive attention. I suppose I will now go back into my nonexistence.

7) One of the alto sax players in my band has suggested that I quit, because I’m not good enough. Screw him. I didn’t try out for the group – it is a community band, open to all!. I never said I was any good, and nobody ever asked! I think he should take his elitist attitude and go elsewhere.  At least I have a volume control, unlike him – he just has forte. And at least I don’t sound like one of the other tenors, who frankly, sounds like a goose (as in HONNNK). We’ve had 6 performances in the last week-ish and another one on Tuesday (in my town!!) and then it looks like our schedule slows down a bit.

I think that about covers it. Questions?