Monthly Archives: February 2010

Ownership of Human.

On Thursday night, we were relaxing and watching a movie or something. Maybe a Lakers game. Tony looked over at me and rolled his eyes and started laughing. Not at me, but at what was stretched on the lower half of me.

Look for yourself.

Have you ever seen anything so ridiculous?

LOOK at that, from my hips to my ankles, Tug is like a 30″ long heated blanket.

Relaxed or just really happy, or both. That cat spent all day trying to get on my lap. Meowing when I dared to get up and walk around or *gasp* leave the house to run errands. Oh my!

Here’s a closer view… look at that paw of his, all stretched out.

Right now, this moment, he’s on my lap with his head awkwardly perched in the crook of my elbow while I’m typing. Dude’s got some serious possessiveness going on these days. He’s gonna freak when I go back to work.

Speaking of which, my six months of unemployment pay is running out in a couple weeks. I can’t believe it’s been six months since my position was eliminated. That boggles my mind. I’m guessing there’s some sort of extension or something that I can get, since I can’t seem to get a job? I mean, hell, I had a half price sale on me and I still didn’t land the job. Sheez. I can’t seem to find anything about how to apply for the extension on California’s EDD website and everything in the news about unemployment is all about the extended benefits for the 1.2 million who are unemployed that is running out this weekend. Which I don’t think applies to me, not yet anyway.

That’s been the worry gnawing on my mind for the last couple of days, and Tug’s been doing his very best to squash it with all of his warm fur and neediness and charm me into staying home with him.

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Filed under Kid Substitutes, Money Hump Building

Love & Loathe — 02/25/10

Loathe:

* I had forgotten about these sinus headaches I get when storms move through. I probably forgot because we don’t get that many storms here in California, but this time of year we do. Sometimes. I would be one big walking headache if I lived anywhere else, huh?

Love:

* Honey sticks. I’ve been on a tea with honey kick lately. Could have something to do with my half sore throat, which may be a teensy tiny sinus infection. Or something to do with my sinuses (see first loathe up there). But, yeah, honey sticks. Yum.

* The Mess. That is what I order at the restaurant we go to in the mountains. It has eggs, hash browns, ham, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, jalapenos and probably a few things I’m forgetting right now. I put my hot sauce on it and it’s absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s enough food that I make four or five breakfasts out of it. Delicious and thrifty!

* Opening the windows and watching the cats scramble to get up on the window ledge. I love seeing feline bliss.

One Last Thing:

So, I had my interview yesterday and I got the call today that they decided to hire the candidate who had 6 years of experience in their type of business.

Their decision is actually a HUGE relief to me, because if they had offered the job to me, I couldn’t have turned it down, since I need one. But after I processed yesterday’s interview, I honestly think I would have hated working there (or the PC way of saying it, “I didn’t feel like we were a good match”), which absolutely surprised me given how excited I was about the interview.

The HR person said it wasn’t me, they believed I was “an excellent candidate” and am “a very talented young lady with a lot of skills,” and that my “resume is incredible,” they just wanted someone who already had experience in that industry. Since I hate nothing more than wasting my time, I was grateful when she offered me a couple of critiques about my responses yesterday during the course of the conversation today.

I feel like at least I learned something from the experience, which I can use going forward. For me, that’s what this whole process is about. That and finding a job, of course.

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Filed under Love/Loathe, Money Hump Building

Where’d It Go?

The weekend went way too fast, but don’t they always?

Our mini trip to the mountains went smoothly. We even had a dusting of fresh snow when we woke up Saturday morning. It looked so nice and pretty and fresh, because it covered all the dirty snow. Like a fresh coat of makeup, though it wore off when the sun came up.

Fresh snow…

We had breakfast at our favorite restaurant up there. Funny thing, that. One of the waitresses had seen us in one of the stores up there last November. At the time, I had been looking for dark chocolate covered marshmallow candy in the clearance bin from Halloween. She remembered that incident and found some dark chocolate covered marshmallow candy on clearance from Valentine’s Day and bought it for me the previous weekend, thinking we’d be up there. Well, we weren’t and sadly, the candy didn’t make it through the week, but it made for a pretty funny story.

Ohhh, also, the waitress shared about her trip down the mountain to some sort of gag store where she picked up The Freeloader. What’s The Freeloader, you ask? It’s an expandable fork. How hilarious is this?

Normal…

Expanded… looks pretty handy, doesn’t it?

Sunday was church, and then went to pick up the husband’s parents at LAX. They were full of stories about their Habitat build and, also interesting, that it had been mid-summer (hot!!) where they had been (New Zealand). Coming back to California, with our rainy weekend, was quite a bit cooler than where they’d just been.

Field of flowers by the in-law’s house…

View on the way home. That shiny ribbon on the horizon? Ocean. Not always visible from this far away.

We had movie night last night and watched a marathon of Ice Age movies. Someone tried microwaving some expired popcorn and the house hasn’t smelled the same since.

Like I said, the weekend went by way too fast.

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Filed under Entertainment can be Cheap, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile

Love & Loathe — 02/18/10

Loathe:

* Junk mail. Since I’m getting old and persnickety, I simply don’t have the tolerance or fascination for all the catalogs and crap that companies send out. I used to make phone calls and request being discontinued, but nowadays, that’s no longer effective. So, I’ve resorted to ripping off the back page of the catalog (or whatever shows my address), sticking it in an envelope and mailing it back to them with “REMOVE FROM YOUR MAILINGS” written across in big, red letters. It really makes me happy if they’ve included a postage pre-paid envelope.

* Bill collectors. Especially the ones from Chase. Even moreso because they’re trying to collect a debt from someone named “Neil or Christine Trudeau” and I’ve advised them that I am “Jammie” and have been “Jammie” my whole life and there is no one at my number by the name of Neil or Christine and to please stop calling. I’ve been nice to them, I’ve tried being grumpy, I’ve tried sending them to my fax machine. I’ve called Chase back and told them the story, I’ve talked to every department possible, including their legal department, all to no avail. I now call them “my boyfriend” because I talk to them more than I talk to my husband during the day. Seriously, 4-6 times a day is the normal number of times they call me — every single day. At least my phone skills are staying up to date!

Love:

* My husband. He has been and continues to be one of the biggest rocks in my life. No matter what scary path my life takes me on, he is intuitively supportive and a great communicator. I respect him and cannot even begin to put into words how much I love him. I know I’m being mushy, but it’s Valentine’s week, so I’m entitled.

* I have an interview next week with a company that would totally kick ass in the “cool” department and would look great on my resume if I land it. The phone interviews have gone well, and it’s everything I’m looking for in my next position… except for the pay. It’s half of what I was making before (ouch!!), but we all know, jobs these days seem to be an endangered species.

* Organizing. Gosh, do I love organizing things and things are never organized enough, so I’m always tinkering in my brain with ways to organize things even better. Problem is, the external processing of my internal genius oftentimes looks messier than I like.

* Our neighbor’s little girl gave us a little bag of candy for Valentine’s Day. GAH! Be still my heart from the cuteness of it! I don’t remember if I ever told you the story about how she came over with her dad and didn’t want to leave (about a year ago)? He finally left her here after we told him it was OK with us, and then checked on her a bit later, and she STILL didn’t want to leave. She was pretty low maintenance, actually, just wanted crackers and toys. hehe

* We’re going to the mountains this weekend. A quick trip, but still, I always look forward to that.

* Showers. Never undervalue the pleasure of simple things, and I do love my showers. Nice hot water with good smelling soap? 10 minutes of pure bliss.

One Last Thing:

I realized it’s been awhile since I wrote a hair (no shampoo) update. It has, as of yesterday, been 9 months since I stopped using shampoo. Instead, I use a mixture of baking soda/water which I rub into my scalp, when needed, and then rinse it completely out. If I’m swimming daily, I’ve found that I only need to use the baking soda/water mixture every 4-5 days. If I’m not swimming daily, it takes about 2 days before the grease starts to bug me.

For a “conditioner,” I use a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, aloe vera juice and a stalk of rosemary. This mixture acts as a clarifier, removing the chlorine from all the swimming I do. I use this mixture immediately after I get out of the pool.

Occasionally, if the tangles get out of control, I use L’oreal’s sulfate free conditioner.

This process is now just as normal to me as using shampoo was for years and years. Although, apparently airline security didn’t feel it was normal at all. They inspected my luggage, and opened the two bottles when I traveled in January. I know this because they didn’t securely close the top on the baking soda/water bottle. Thankfully, they did return it to the plastic bag I had it in, so it only leaked a little onto my packed clothing.

9 months, no shampoo:

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Filed under Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation, Love/Loathe

One More Day.

We tried to send my mom home this morning. We really did. We took her to the airport and everything. Normally, we just dump people at the curb, you know? Why go through all that heart wrenching goodbye stuff. For some reason, we decided to break from the norm and park the car and wait in the check-in line with her.

Thanks to the east coast folks who are hoarding all the planes due to the weather (How can it be so cold there, when it was 84°F here today?), our airport was short on planes, and her flight was canceled as a result.

We could have driven her to LAX, but that would have put her at her ultimate destination late at night, with luggage, to be greeted by snow and public transportation.

So, she’s staying another night. We’ll try again tomorrow morning, and the next morning, and the next morning, until we’re successful. Or Tony will, I’m not getting up that early. HA!

One of the fun things we did a couple days ago was a drive-about. I always enjoy driving out in the hills and canyons near my home. Those are the types of roads for which my little car was built! This time of year especially, the fun driving part is enhanced because it’s all green and Ireland-looking back there.

See?

This picture wasn’t on our drive-about, it was later that evening. My cat, Tug, took over my mom’s lap. Totally cracked me up, because my cat is just about as big as my mom.

I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day… I scored a ton of chocolate, and chocolate is always good. Unrelated to that (even though it’s in the same paragraph), half of my throat feels weird and swollen. I hope I’m not getting sick…

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Filed under Entertainment can be Cheap, I have Family, I Left Home for Awhile

Love & Loathe — 02/11/10

Loathe:

* My mom leaves this coming Monday. I really don’t want her to leave.

* Bloating. I still, after all these years, have not learned to enjoy, tolerate or like this bloating thing that my body does. Even when the doctor had me taking diuretics back in 2006, my body overrode the diuretic. It’s ridiculous, really.


Love:

* Sleeping in, just because I can. I mean, what on earth do you people who get up at 5:30 AM do anyway that’s so important?

* All this time with my mom. I have really been soaking it up and basking in it. It sounds so simple — visiting, talking, sharing and quality mother/daughter time. I feel so blessed and grateful. She is truly a gift to me.

* Kidney beans. I know I’ve mentioned how much I love those silly things before, but I decided that since my love for them hasn’t diminished, maybe I should find a cheaper, more affordable way to cook them. Say hello to dried beans, cooked in the crockpot. Plus, it makes my husband cry… if you get my drift. If you don’t, we can safely say that he does.

* Frozen yogurt from Golden Spoon (another oddity that I can eat their yogurt). Doesn’t this look delicious? It’s half cheesecake and half toffee flavored.

* Time wasters such as this website. (Click it!) Great fun, and someone took a whole lotta time to do those pictures.

One Last Thing:

I saw this truck in the parking lot at Costco a couple weeks ago. As I walked past it, I wondered just how many conversations or comments the owner elicited from total strangers by having his truck custom painted, down both sides and the back, indicating his love for USC. I’m guessing he can’t be a fair weather fan with a paint job like that…

(Click to make larger…)

When I left Costco a bit later, I saw him engaged in conversation with another couple and overheard them talking about how the team has done this year. The couple moved on to their own car, laughing and chatting with each other. The owner of the truck got in and started it up to leave. I smiled to myself, because it answered my question — A LOT.

Then I wondered if he has to allot extra “chatting with strangers time” to every errand he runs?

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Silly Critters.

When I began my most recent job back in 2006, there was an umbrella tree that was in my office. They tried to move it with the person who moved out, but it wilted, so they moved it back… it really thrived in that particular office.

One day a pink, rubbery, plastic ant showed up in the tree. I don’t know who put it there, but she was kind of cute and I let her be. A couple months later, my boss brought in a purple one she had received in the mail from one of the vendors and smiled, feeling a little bit silly, as she put in the tree next to the pink one. The IT Crew had a blue one in their office and, a few months later, without pomp or circumstance, he joined the pink and purple one.

They kind of became my office’s mascots. People would come in to ask questions or talk, and they would mindlessly move them around in the tree or play with them. It was kind of a neat thing.

The IT Crew started kidnapping them. Back in April of 2009, I found the blue one taped to the power strip behind one of their computers. I had missed him within a day, so I investigated and eventually rescued the poor thing. A couple months later, the pink one went missing and another investigation ensued. The mystery was eventually solved by the gal in the IT department. She text messaged me and said not to worry, I’d find the pink one when I left for the day, because she had been taped to the window of my car!

It became a game, something fun, a connection. When I was terminated, the critters came home with me. After about a week, I realized the critters could be an easy way to maintain a connection with my friends. Everyone had played with them, everyone remembered them.

So, I started a blog for the little critters and emailed the IT Crew the link. It’s something for me, and it’s something for them. Maybe it brings a smile to their faces for a moment.

A smile or an adventure is always a good thing, because there will never be another moment exactly like the one you are living now.

Just thought I’d share: Link

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Filed under I Blog about Blogging, I feel Amused