Monday, December 29, 2008


New word, courtesy of my fella

Luddsite \ˈlə-ˌsīt\ - noun. A website which seems to be designed by and for technologically disinclined individuals.

Usage. "The Luddite Reader continues to track luddite films, books, and music, along with news and luddish content links, at its luddsite"

(the source of this quote has a link to the luddsite which directs, rather appropriately, to a page full o'spam.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


And disquieted. This is how I feel.

It's not a particularly intense feeling, but it is nonetheless compelling, like a sound you can hear but not well enough to identify either its origin or cause.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

thunder and lightning and snow

That was yesterday. It was only one roll of thunder and one flash of lightening at the height of the storm, but for those of you who have not experienced the snow thunderstorm, let me tell you, it's a bit creepy. I think we had a winter with thunder snowstorms a few years ago, after a very stormy Fall (possibly this was the same year as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita). Come to think of it, this might be why it disturbed me so much last night.

My usual seasonal mix of antipathy and apathy has struck, finally. I had been dodging it while I was working but now that I'm home and my days are much less structured (alternating between hours long job searching, speed reading, and futzing around with the occasional photoshop or cooking project), I find I haven't got as many places or tasks in which to hide from the "Hap-happiest season of all".

A___ and I did get a tree (courtesy of cjblue, thanks!). It's an artificial tree, which suits me fine since our place is a bit small this year for a real one (baseboard heating and real trees in a crowded apartment are a combo I'd like to avoid). But very soon after getting it - before we got a chance to get it out of the box - A____ hurt his arm. The injury meant strict no lifting limits for most of the past week. Today, now that his arm has been feeling better for a whole 24 hours, he's off to dig out the cars, after which we maybe will do the furniture shuffling that is necessary to even get started with the tree. Snow shoveling is a less enjoyable but necessary use for the newly and barely recovered limb. The problem is, although A___ seems to think he'll be fine, I am not convinced his arm is recovered enough to do either let alone both.

The situation is a familiar one for me, although I am hardly ever on this side of it. I'm usually the one deciding how to use my own small physical exertion allowances. I am happy the joint upon which the choice to do this or that (or both) hinges is not mine for once, however I am sorry for A_____ because I know how much it sucks to have a limited physical resource with which to (even attempt to) satisfy wants AND needs.

In the more here and now, practical side of things, I am really hoping A____ doesn't reinjure his arm shoveling. There's a shit load of snow out there.

In part because I want my place to be nice and less depressing and in part because I'd be overcome with guilt if I sat on my ass doing nothing while A___ busted his ass (and shouolder) shoveling, my job for today is to clean up a bit inside, move and carry the light shit for setting up the tree. While I find my rational side is quite motivated by wanting to feel like an equal partner here and while I'd like very much for my home to be pretty and calming, I am finding it very difficult to muster up that spark I need to get up and going.

This is why at these times, I've learned not to wait for a spark of insipration. If I did that, I'd be waiting a long god damned time. If those totally shitty years between 16 and 22 taught me anything, it's that I am not going to get a burst of energy which I can ride into a spirited and friendly chore-doing frenzy. Nope. At times like this, to get my apathetic, soggy, weary self up and moving, I find it's better to think of it as something that needs to be done, like a job. That is, there's plenty of disinteresting shit out there that I would do simply because it offered me a paycheck. And so this particular bit of disinteresting shit is something I will do because I believe that later on me, me who will not be in such a crappy mood, will appreciate having a clean apartment with something pretty to look at.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

happy cat

Oh my cat is happy. He has a new canned food. Nature's Variety Instinct Lamb, Rabbit, and Venison formula. He digs all of them, and so far all of them are kind to his gut. Pending lab results from his next vet appointment or a turn on the gut symptoms, I think we have a winner.


I've applied to two jobs since Friday. One is about 12 miles away (through Hartford, blech) and is in insurance (because that is what you have in Hartford) and one is 3.5 miles away and is in academic support (advising).

Can you guess which one I am hoping I get?

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

that time of year

Just waiting for the "Two A holes Sell a Senate Seat" skit.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


On with the job search. My temp position has ended, both blessing and curse. Really it's more of a curse but with a bright side. The bright side is of course that the people I worked for/with were the sort who can't get the hell out of their own way. K-cop and her buddy, Queen B (with all that B stands for) were chronic thorns in my side. They were each causes and embodiments of much that was wrong culturally with that office, however I can't say the "big boss lady" didn't hold some responsibility in the mess that was the office climate and overall philosophy of "let's just assume everything will go according to plan". I don't get that mentality. It doesn't fit with my own experiences in any domain and I can't imagine running an office like that. Sure, sometimes you can't cover all the bases. It might be impractical or impossible. Time constraints, personnel allocation, and budget may conspire against preparing for possible outcomes. And some shit is just straight up unpredictable. However, at this past job I witnessed some seriously blatant head in the sand, grossly shortsighted behaviors which left me simply stunned and left everyone scrambling when the shit inevitably hit the fan.

And so I am somewhat happy to be done there. I am very unhappy to be unemployed though. Another day on the internet, surfing the job boards and updating my online resumes and candidate info sites (think PeopleSoft but worse). I just rewrote a cover letter, my entire resume, and revised my work experiences on this god awful hosting site called Taleo. Holy crap that thing was a pain in the ass....speaking of the link between poor business culture poor business practice, it seems Taleo sucks in ways beyond my limited job seeking perspective.

While I am off and in need of projects, I've decided to look for cat food alternatives for my cat Max. Max has IBD, probably some food intolerances. For some time now, he's been on a limited ingredient/novel protein diet. We had him on Hill's prescription diet D/D, rabbit, venison, and duck. He tends to eat only one kind, then after some time, he refuses it and we need to switch to a different flavor. A few years ago now, he stopped eating the D/D altogether so at the advice of our vet, we switched him to Royal Canin's limited ingredient/novel protein diet. He ate that happily for a while and with less good (but still not horrible) digestive results than with the Hill's. Then he started getting bad in terms of digestive symptoms (as a friend calls it, "Pandora's Cat Box") and also constitutional symptoms. We took him to the vet and he had some funny blood chemistry values. So back to Hill's, which he ate as if it were new and which agreed with him better. But now he's refusing the Hill's again to the point where he's losing weight. He's hungry, he wants food, but not that food apparently.

We have been punting with just feeding him meats he can eat "au jus", mostly consisting of shredded pork with water and fish oil since he has a demonstrable intolerance to chicken, turkey, and beef. But this is not going to give him the nutrients he needs, moveover, he's still losing weight. I took some time on Monday and Tuesday to research cat food that meets the following criteria:
Has no chicken, turkey, or beef
Has no glutten/wheat or corn products

The first we tried was California Natural salmon and sweet potato. This was a bit of a risk since I suspect the cat doesn't do well with salmon. However, it wasn't clear if his past salmon problems were a result of salmon alone, salmon in combination, or were simply due to some other product in the salmon based food he'd eaten in the past. Yeah, well, turns out that salmon is apparently a definite part of the problem. So no more of that. This morning we are on to Nature's Variety Instinct for cats. The one I've selected is Lamb. It's in no way a limited ingredient formula, nor does it have a single source of protein, however it has none of the items I know or strongly suspect Max to have an intolerance to.

So far, he's had most of a can and not pooped it all out. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Thanksgiving. I ate too much, not just turkey and sweet potato puff and mashed potatoes and apple almond stuffing but also pies, more pies, birthday cake, and french toast casserole the next day. This practice continued for most of the weekend., I love you but my gut does not. The price started this morning with a wicked stomach ache which has continued all damned day.

Food and my gut aside, it was overall pretty nice. Family stuff, but this is a constant so we can factor it out for now. A___ and I went to Provincetown on Cape Cod (MA) to spend it with my brother and my sister.

The traffic didn't suck too much and it was a good day for a drive. A___ had never been to the Cape. PTown is on the very tip of Cape Cod and getting to it kind of screws with your sense of direction (if you have one). So although you're on the east coast, you can watch the sun set over the water on account of having spiraled around to face the mainland. It's a nice place to visit in the off season - a bit chilly but still not outright cold and quiet in that nearly spooky but mostly contemplative way.

So I am thankful for having had nice long weekend before my last week at The Job. I hope you all (those of you in the U.S.) had a nice holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I used to work the weekend evening shift on a (largely elective) inpatient surgical unit at a small community hospital. My shifts were much like work was this week. Very, very quiet. I was one of four employees in yesterday, the rest took it off. It's a school, classes aren't in session, etc. If the job is to primarily serve the students, then there isn't much to do. However, if the job is primarily to wrassle with payroll and think of creative ways to solve the "where DID that person's paycheck go?" problems and write brief yet informative memos about it, then there's ALWAYS something to do at big F.U.

Today, I will be one of three. I'm sure to get lots of memo writing done.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

grey tuesday

It's raining and gross out and I'm sick - a hard to drag myself out of bed kind of day. So here's some humor. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Thursday

Today is officially "Don't take shit too seriously" day. It is for me at least. I was hoping to try this earlier in the week, but the hormonal storm that is my period on progesterone made it impossible to take anything at a level lower than very, very seriously.

My arms hurt, my job is ending, one of the few people I like at work has been told to stop talking to me (long story, I'll write later when I actually know more about it), the holidays are coming, I dislike christmas on a less bad year but this year I think I'm really going to want to drop kick some lawn ornament Santas. I can feel all this stress over things which are largely out of my control building in me. And so today I've resolved to try to let shit go, and what can't be let go, I'm going to try to laugh off. I don't have to take the job too seriously because now that I know there's no way in hell I'm going perm because they have a bias against temps, my work consists of not fucking things up too much. This is liberating if approached correctly. E.g., most if not all of my problems with K-cop result not simply from her being her but from me being me too. I want to assume that people have logical reasons for doing shit. When I discover evidence that they don't, it just blows my mind so completely. Moreover, when I believed that there was even an eensty chance of this job being permanent or longer term temp (or of these people being good connections to find another job), I cared more about not following K-cop's effed up reasoning.

The big problem with this kind of reaction is that I have the anti-poker face. I can't keep the look of what I imagine is shock tinged with outrage and/or disgust and/or contempt off it. This does not help matters because even idiots like K-cop can read that level and type of emotion when it's displayed right there at eye level.

So if K-cop is in my face with her moronic crap today, rather than start down this path to horror at the largely unexamined self serving idiocy, I'm just going to laugh at her.

To get me started on not taking shit too seriously day, I thought I'd share this video.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

revenge of the lazy

Been scorned? Dumped, duped, hurt, or treated in a way that made you sob not just from the hurt or harm but the utter injustice? Then you've probably had a revenge fantasy. (Not necessarily an endorsement of the entire content, here's a free online article from the American Journal of Psychology on (compulsive) revenge fantasies in psychotherapy)

The kind that is most compelling for me is the idea that I will get a front row seat to the object of my vengeance's trauma at the hands of fate. I think this appeals most to me for several reasons.
1. Low investment for me.
2. Low risk of me getting caught or hurt in the process or of me causing hurt to someone else who doesn't deserve it.
3. The feeling of cosmic justice that comes from it. Whether you chalk it up to a higher power, fate, furies, or simply the great wheel spinning its way back around, the sense that - yes sometimes the asshole gets what's coming to him is (for me) life affirming in some small way. The article I linked to above calls this "pride at being on the side of some spiritual primal justice".

Is it small to feel that way though? Maybe sometimes, if what was done to you was a small or slight offense. But what about when it wasn't?

I have absorbed the socialization that it is petty and mean to experience a happy warm feeling of knowing someone who hurt you is hurt. I know this because I do have that momentary flash of something like guilt when I enjoyed, say, hearing that a faculty member was getting divorced*. When I heard about his divorce, I smiled. Then I thought "gosh, am I a shitty person for enjoying this? Maybe I shouldn't be enjoying it" I tabled the guilt and got on with enjoying it more or less quietly and have continued to warm myself by the glow of the thought now and then when I encounter this man directly or indirectly, and remember that he so casually invalidated so much suffering I had gone through, however Bubblewench recently held a contest which has provoked me to return to the issue.

The responses could be thought of as a continuum which runs from the episodic little schadenfreude moments to revenge fantasy to actual revenge acts. I'm not sure they are all of a piece emotionally or societally, but culturally, my experience is that we (especially women) are taught that all of the above are bad because nice ladies don't do or feel things like that. Underlying that message is reasoning along the lines of nice ladies don't get intentionally hurt, raped, hit, or oppressed, so if this did happen to you, it's probably your own fault and you've got no one to blame but yourself so stop "playing the victim card"/"grinding an axe"/"holding a grudge", etc.

I vehemently disagree with that reasoning. Also, I take issue with the notion that all feelings of vengefulness are all bad, although I do so cautiously. I do believe that consuming vengeance is not healthy for the person who is consumed. What's more, for me personally, the thought of my moving from a revenge fantasy to actually committing a deliberate, premeditated, and for lack of a better term, large vengeful act makes me feel a bit discomforted (I'm not talking about not holding the elevator or stuff on that level). Is my feeling due to internalized cultural norm, fear of getting caught, or does this really go against my principles and morals? Now that I put it out there, I have to say I think it's mostly pragmatics for me. Either that or just serious laziness.

With most things, I weigh cost with product, or risk of cost with promise of product. I could be high minded and say the gain is restoring the balance, taking down a villian, etc. Sometimes my desires for vengeance are born at least partly of this but it would be absurdly arrogant to say that is the entirety of my motivation. Truly, the (desired) product is also in no small part that feeling I described in (3) above. That a bad guy didn't get to make me feel bad or hurt me without getting hurt him or herself. And to be certain of that, I'd either have to do something really expressly bad to this person or I'd have to do some serious homework and legwork to calculate a specific torment which would, to anyone else, not be a big deal (best example: My brother says when our father is old and in a nursing home, he will be sure to drop by at least once a week and force the man to watch Three's Company reruns for hours on end). The former is likely to violate my morals, and the latter is, well, work. It's time and energy and possibly cost I could spend on something else that might make me feel good without being about this asshole. With most cases where someone's gotten a chunk of me, if I take the time to think about it, I find I don't want to give that person MORE of me. Plotting is time, and so even if I have the desire to wreak vengeance on someone in a wily and well executed way, I peeter out as time passes and I realize I'm letting this asshole take up more of me and my time.

But if I stumble across an opportunity which is not a lot of effort, isn't horrible, and has a pretty good chance of making that person's life difficult even for a minute without screwing someone else over in the doing, I am quite likely to jump right in and do it. Low cost, low risk (to me and to unimplicated bystanders), high probability of result.

* This was a faculty member who just one year previous, while I was recovering from a second surgery for endometriosis, had trashed me to other grad students for what he saw as my lollygagging my way through a PhD program. Lollygagging is not what I'd call getting divorced, needing 2 surgeries for extrapelvic endometriosis, having undertreated neurolyme for a year before a month of PICC IV antibiotics (the placement of which line was a disaster and a half), developing what looks to be an autoimmune disease and all that comes with it, "breaking up" with my toxic parents, and dealing with a dear family member who has life threatening substance and medical problems.


I do not want to go to work today.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


K-Cop and I were working on a request for facilities yesterday. She asked me to come in while she did it, I guess because she forgot the short but detailed email I sent about the request (the one that said I had tried to log in to do the order myself but the system denied my account...the joys of temping). I mentioned this and she responded "Oh that's right. Well, if you do it with me then you'll know how to do it next time". I didn't bother untangling that little logic knot she had thrown out. I said "Ok" and sat down in a chair in her office.

Since I was involved, when she stopped (and she did, often) while writing what turned out to be about two sentences worth of instructions (i.e. "please do X to Y in manner Z such that Q will result. Thank you."), I offered wording. Toward the end she was at a loss as to how to conclude. "Do you think they'll understand?" she asked. "Yeah. But we could write something like 'Please call if further details or more information is needed'." She typed "Please call if any questions", quipping to me as she wrote it "Ha, it's not like anyone THERE is going to really READ it anyhow!" And then she laughed really hard and loud, and she laughed alone, which gave her statement an extra creepy and awkward effect.

Now, you should know this comes on the heels of her telling me that these folks are very nice and very accommodating, complete with a little vignette about how one guy went out of his way to do this and that, etc. on this one order. So to me, these sound like people who would take the time to read something. To me, it also sounds like K-Cop believes they are the kind of people who take the time. Then this leaves the source of her mirth, or at least the basis of her jest, to be the likelihood of someone in facilities READING, or at least READING at the level where they'd distinguish between our phrasings. Maybe she thought it comically likely that the facilities staff member would get to the embedded clause and lose all of their minimal intellectual function.

I don't know for sure that this was what she thought, but it or something like it seemed most plausible to me based on the context, the office culture, and what I know about her (K-Cop has a thing about grammar and punctuation (which she has fused together in her mind to be the same, a practice which is a serious pet peeve of mine) and makes vocal judgments about the intellect of people who commit cardinal "grammar" sins like misusing commas and...and well, I could go on but the point is that I fucking hate when someone gets all high and mighty about that shit, especially someone who doesn't know the difference between grammar, diction, usage, and punctuation).

What pisses me off is that she assumes I share her classist attitude because I have degrees. No, I'm not reaching there. She's remarked on it.

November 12, 2008

Today is the first day that same sex couples can marry in Connecticut. In October, the Connecticut supreme court heard a case arguing that same sex civil unions (which had been legal) did not bestow the same rights and privileges as marriage. It's sort of the "separate but equal" thing.

And speaking of separate but equal, I was sincerely unhappy with what I heard in the news about black support for the same sex marriage ban in California. It wasn't that long ago that our laws used marriage restrictions as a means to further a racist agenda. It's not at all nice to see that people have managed to convince themselves that while bigotry on the basis of race is wrong, bigotry on the basis of sexual preference (and sex) is apparently fine, possibly even thought of as justified in the minds of over half of California, Arizona, and Florida voters*.

I don't like the state of Connecticut but I gotta say, today I'm quite happy to live here.

* And Arkansas, where voters passed "a...measure banning unmarried couples from adopting or serving as foster parents."

Monday, November 10, 2008

plain ol'idiot

(from Palin blames Bush policies for GOP defeat, AP November 10, 2008)
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, amid speculation she'll run for president in four years, blamed Bush administration policies for the defeat last week of the GOP ticket and prayed she wouldn't miss "an open door" for her next political opportunity.

"I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door," Palin said in an interview with Fox News on Monday.

drunk idiots

Cops have tough time finding sober driver for boy
Associated Press, November 10, 2008
SCHERERVILLE, Ind. – Indiana state police said that after a mother was arrested for drunken driving, the three relatives who came to pick up her 1-year-old son also had all been drinking.

The boy's father arrived later to pick him up, but officers determined he was intoxicated and also arrested him on a drunken driving charge.

Police said the boy's grandparents then arrived. Both of them also had been drinking, state police said, but the grandmother who was driving was not over the legal limit, so officers escorted them home with the child.


I'm not blogging too much these days. First it was from lack of time. Now that I've finally slipped into a groove with work, it's pain. My hands and forearms are SO damned sore. Did I do something to make this happen? This is the first thing I wonder and it's actually more about self empowerment than not in that if I did it, I can undo it. At least this is how my not very explicit reasoning goes with things like this.

"Things like this" is the uneloquent term for a lengthening list of physical ailments. To say that it brings me down to add a new sometimes disabling habit of my body to the list of sometimes (or always) disabling habits of my body is the understatement of all understatements. Here's the latest impact. While this pain was at its peaks (there were several), I could not hold a book to read let alone type or push a pen to express myself in writing. I have been literate and writing for so long that this feels like taking away my air.

Ah crap. As with so many other difficult things in my life, I find anger is safer. Yeah, how's that? When you can't fall apart, anger is safer than desolation because anger can impel you to action where as the more sorrowful feelings don't (usually). So who am I pissed off at? I'm going to go with the insurance company for canceling my refill of pain medication in the middle of the very badly needed refill this weekend. I berated the pharmacy staff into giving me three free pills (see, anger is useful) but now I have to call my GYN doctor to have him do the authorization and he's going to be like "?" because who the hell is he to comment on the GI stuff that makes this particular pain med necessary? In my idealistic view of things, he could and therefore SHOULD be able to comment on it what with him being a fucking MD and all, but I know better than to expect this. The division of labor in the practice of medicine has the effect of treating the patient as if s/he were a set of disembodied parts, thus my gynecologist won't comment on the need for me to take a selective COX2 inhibitor rather than the old school NSAIDs because there's nothing about my lady junk that makes this necessary.

Ok, so I can add pissed off at my doctors to the list of how I'm going to deal with these feelings. But that was a freebie. I'm pissed off at my doctors any time I have to stop and think for more than three minutes about them or certain intersections of my health and my support.

Shit, time to go to work.

Friday, November 07, 2008

potty snackers

Nastiest thing I saw yesterday:
A young woman came through the door to the restroom while I was washing my hands at the sink. She was eating what looked like a mini candy bar or a cookie. As she pulled open the handicap stall, she was still munching down on the food she held in her other hand.

Now when I hear about sudden and severe outbreaks of things like Norwalk Virus that are passed from the "fecal/oral route" no more will I wonder "what person over 2 should be susceptible to that?" Instead, I'll think of this young lady.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Elections, they aren't just for presidents

While we wait for the results of the California vote on a state gay marriage ban, I am heartened by other election day news:

US House and Senate
Senate Democrats edged closer to a supermajority by ousting Republicans in North Carolina and New Hampshire and adding three seats held by retiring GOP incumbents to a fragile 51-49 majority in the Senate. Four other races involving Republican incumbents were too close to call early Wednesday.

In the House, Democrats captured GOP-held seats in the Northeast, South and West, adding at least 15 seats to the 30 they took from Republicans in 2006. With fewer than a dozen races still undecided, they were on a path to pick up as many as 20 seats. Going into Tuesday's election, Democrats controlled the House 235-199 with one vacancy.

...Those wins bring the Democratic Senate majority to 56, but that number is anything but final. Four races remained without clear winners early Wednesday in Oregon, Alaska, Georgia and Minnesota.
(Democratic majorities stronger, tougher, AP, November 5, 2008)

State Governorships
At the end of an Election Day in which 11 governorships were decided, the Democrats won seven....Tuesday's races were a prelude to 2010, when a majority of states will elect governors who will help preside over the redrawing of legislative and congressional districts.
(Democrats win 7 of 11 contested governorships, AP, November 5, 2008)

Civil Rights/Medical Access
For the abortion rights movement, it was a day of relief and celebration. A first-of-its-kind measure in Colorado, which was defeated soundly, would have defined life as beginning at conception. Its opponents said the proposal could lead to the outlawing of some types of birth control as well as abortion. The South Dakota measure would have banned abortions except in cases of rape, incest and serious health threat to the mother. A tougher version, without the rape and incest exceptions, lost in 2006. Anti-abortion activists thought the modifications would win approval, but the margin of defeat was similar, about 55 percent to 45 percent of the vote.

Elsewhere, the marijuana reform movement won two prized victories, with Massachusetts voters decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug and Michigan joining 12 other states in allowing use of pot for medical purposes. Henceforth, people caught in Massachusetts with an ounce or less of pot will no longer face criminal penalties. Instead, they'll forfeit the marijuana and pay a $100 civil fine.

The Michigan measure will allow severely ill patients to register with the state and legally buy, grow and use small amounts of marijuana to relieve pain, nausea, appetite loss and other symptoms.
(State ballots feature hot-button social issues, AP, November 5, 2008)

Voter Turnout
In terms of turnout, America voted in record numbers. It looks like 136.6 million Americans will have voted for president this election, based on 88 percent of the country's precincts tallied and projections for absentee ballots, said Michael McDonald of George Mason University. Using his methods, that would give 2008 a 64.1 percent turnout rate.

"That would be the highest turnout rate that we've seen since 1908," which was 65.7 percent, McDonald said early Wednesday.
(Obama makes history; turns to sobering challenges...AP, November 5, 2008)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I was up extra early today. Not quite giddy with anticipation, more that 5:00 AM knowledge that while I could go back to sleep, I shouldn't because I have too much to do this morning. My morning routine is somewhat cramped (sometimes literally) so squeezing in a general election requires expanding the time a bit to include things like going to the polls and finding what I need to prove I am who I say I am and that I live where the town registrar of voters says I live.

That last one's going to be a bit tricky. Somewhere in this apartment there is a mail/debris pile which includes the motor vehicles change of address sticker for my license. My driver's license is two addresses out of date now. Sometimes it's not an issue when presenting myself at a polling place (I've moved a lot over the last 10 years), sometimes the discrepancy between where I'm listed as living on the voter records and where my license says I live can throw the poll volunteers and workers into a state of minor panic. But my address change sticker from the Department of Motor Vehicles is nowhere to be found and I don't have the time to turn the place upside down looking for it. Oh well, panic it is.

So I turned to having my coffee and reading the pamphlet I received from my town's registrar of voters called "Town of ______ explanatory text for election day referendum questions and amendments to the ____ town charter". The pamphlet is written with many assumptions, not the least of which seems to be that anyone who cares enough to read about the charter items already knows enough about them to not need to read about them. A bit of a paradox, isn't it? On the back of the pamphlet, it refers voters to the town of ______'s website for "additional information on the charter revisions" however again, we have some presupposition failures. Here, it is that anyone who knows enough about the town government to find this not highlighted information on the town's website probably doesn't need the information.

While browsing through the town site, I discovered that in the lovely town of ______, one can take a tapercize [sic] class. It took my sleepy brain way too long to resolve that this was meant to be a blending of "tap" (as in dance) and "exercise". I kept reading the first part as "tape" and trying to imagine what one would do with tape to get a work out.

I think I know how I'm voting on this from what I can glean off the pamphlet...and if I err, it will be on the side of giving the town government less power (relative to the public) rather than more.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Polling place info

Someone nicely sent the following link to a list I'm on
I was sweating whether I'd be able to try to vote before work tomorrow, so I found the feature which lists the hours for the polling places to be very handy. And so I pass it along.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fall back

Daylight savings is messing with my head. First off, I never know if we start or end daylight saving time in the Fall. Second, is it "saving", "savingS", or "saving'S"? And then there's the effect it has on my body, my internal clock. My internal clock is a bit whacky anyhow. I've tried to retrain it, with some reasonably ok results. I.e., I don't stay up until three AM without feeling wiped out now and I am not as sick when I get up before 7:00 AM most days. Still, I can't help thinking that if my internal clock were to be made manifest as an actual time keeping device, it would be a somewhat off kilter cuckoo clock - the kind that have little figures which come out and perform a mechanized play on the hour, or in my case approximately every hour. A little mechanical figurines doing various things like doubling over from wrenching pelvic pain or hobbling haltingly up and down tiny little flights of stairs. What would your internal clock look like?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fear, or "Does this computer make me look stupid?"

I have a theory about tech-learning impediments in adults. It's fear, specifically, fear of looking or even just feeling stupid. The latter is, I think, an internalization of experience with the former. I had this theory before this job, but working with K-Cop and her ilk has added observations to my casual data. My hypothesis wouldn't hold much water if it weren't generalizable to other domains of learning. Nicely, second/foreign language learning provides some support for it I think. As a kid, you can screw up and it's cute, or at least expected. Ok, unless you're trying to learn to spell and you had my dad in which case it was grounds for being disowned but my father was a major league butt-wad. I'm talking about the general, usual (or at least not abnormally dysfunctional) cases where children are not expected to waltz in and know everything right from the word "go". Moreover, they are allowed certain styles of exploratory experience that in an adult is just frikkin bizzare. E.g., Language - it's perfectly acceptable for little kids to look or stare at and even touch talking faces. They can engage in open proprioceptive exploration too (babbling or repetition).

Adults? Nah, not so much. Take my friend B____, who upon learning that inhabitants of a region of Connecticut pronounce the name of a town in bordering Rhode Island (Warwick as "wahr-ick", which sort of comes out like "work" but not quite) was so taken with the strangeness of it that she found herself muttering it under her breath as she walked across campus one day. "wahr-ick, wahr-ick, wahr-ick" she said quietly as she walked, rolling it around in her mouth and trying to get a sense for how these crazy Connecticutians were producing the word. She called me later to tell me the story about how she ended up looking like a nutter to the folks who crossed her path that day.

So adults can't do this. Similarly, you can't grab the mouse and just go crazy clicking on shit. Why not? Because it's WORK dammit (not to be confused with wahr-ick) and you are supposed to be doing serious stuff, moreover, you are supposed to do it RIGHT. Heaven forbid you click something wrong and then whoops, the whole thing is lost or seemingly so. You can call for help, sure. Call. Your boss is just in the next room. Give her a ring up and let her know you were screwing around with the payroll authorization system and might accidentally have deleted something....

Scary, right?

But some people do have the courage to click. Sometimes this is born of false confidence, e.g. the men who think that they "know" computers by virtue of having one less leg on a chromosome or something. Why are women like K-Cop not going to indulge in this behavior? Because they don't have this (could be false) belief that they can fix it if they screw something up. Moreover, they believe they are likely to screw something up because they've been socialized to think that the missing bit of DNA amounts to a missing area of innate technical knowledge. And so there they sit, without that (probably false) belief that they will be able to fix whatever (inevitable) mistake they make, thinking they will end up needing to call for help if they even touch the mouse the wrong way - or at least feeling that helpless "holy shit I killed the _____ (insert machine here)" feeling. It's a bad feeling. I had it with the electric typewriter the other day, sort of. Except I DO believe I can fix most of the things I am liable to fuck up at work. K-Cop, on the other hand, heard the typewriter beeping each time I overrode the margin and called to me from another office "Oh do you need help?" She came hustling in saying "I heard the beeping..." like it was a fire alarm or something. "Nope. It's just fussy" I told her and went on typing past the margin. She insisted on showing me how to turn off the beeping anyhow, and I really believe that she thought she was doing me a favor. Because of course the beep was making me incredibly anxious, right? I mean, it would make HER incredibly anxious afterall.

That's my not well thought out rant/hypothesis of the week. I hope you enjoyed it. (I can practically hear my sister getting ready to unleash a volley of text on the topic of gender and adult learning....)

Pumpkin past

This was a quick jack o'lantern from last year. This year's been so busy we haven't had a chance to make one, A___ was out of town last weekend and now it's work work work...I'm guessing it'll be another last minute pumpkin this year. Man, I really want to carve me a pumpkin! Maybe they wouldn't mind if I did it on my lunch break at work, K-cop be damned.

halloween fun

I found this uproariously funny.

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To me, halloween has never been about the sexy costume. Not ever. Ok, sure I didn't necessarily want to look unattractive, but I have not once done the sexy kitten or the naughty nurse - I was a nurse one year when in college and working evening shift at the hospital because I had no costume and had a party to go to after work. That nurse costume was about as close to real nurse as you could get...with the addition of a nursing hat with glitter, combat boots, and a syringe (sans needle) for doing "shots" with. If you feel comfortable in a pantsless/sexy costume, then more power to ya. But for the rest of us, enjoy the fun and know that yes, you can do it with your pants up.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Cat's out of the bag I guess. So Kindergarten teacher, or rather Kindergarten Cop, has been working my nerve with what should properly be described as her ladylike behavior. Oh what, did you think only socially dysfunctional stereotypically masculine behavior pissed me off? How wrong you were.

There's a certain set of feminine behaviors, affectations, styles, thought processes, and yes fashion, that puts me right over the edge. Although usually it's the one specific detail which I fixate on in my rants, it is NEVER just that one thing. Take Kindergarten Cop's shirt (please). The shirt is one (very) bright beacon in the sea of kCop's appallingly screwy femininity. In most of her behaviors, as with the shirt, I can see the kernel of cause and I understand it - sort of. That is, I understand as in I comprehend. I do not, as the hippies would say, "dig" kCop's causes. When wrung through kCop's filter of fem, these causes have some unfortunate behavioral outcomes. E.g. wanting to enjoy what is an enjoyable season (Fall) + wanting to put on a positive face for work (despite some shit in the private life, not speculating here, she shared a lot on day one of the job) --> [fem] --> that crazy get up.

Shirts and such are easily recognized symbols. Easy to put your finger on, so to speak. The other less physical ones such as elements of a person's management style are not necessarily so quickly recognizable, especially when your interactions in the presence of that person are limited to ones in which you are an active participant. When that is the case, it's hard (and I'd say somewhat cumbersome) to be both fully participating and carefully observing. But sometimes you are blessed with a few moments of dissociation in the confines of the discourse and you can sort of watch and talk at the same time.

I had one of those moments yesterday, a peek at what's behind the dayglow orange/yellow curtain. I am less than thrilled at what I saw.

This kind of explicit awareness is going to make working with kCop much harder, at least short term. Maybe given a few days to process this, I will be able to temper my reaction to the freak show which is my coworker but for now I'm going to have to blog, etc., to work out the utter horror she elictis in me.

Monday, October 20, 2008


So I have this job, this temp job. It's ok. You know it's not a great job when one of the things you tell yourself to get through the day is "I'm just a temp". Honestly, I think there'd be more to like if I were not just a temp. For starters, I'd be compensated better and boy there's a lot I can tolerate if I'm being paid to tolerate it. As it is, my current compensation is just barely enough and thus the consolation of being "just a temp".

On the plus side, one of my coworker's recently remarked, at least I'll have payroll experience now. I have nicknamed this coworker "the kindergarten teacher". The nickname has been coming for some time but was cemented by an outfit she wore last week which featured a turtle neck shirt the color of that crayon you are never sure whether to call orange or yellow.

Yeah, that's catty. Ok so add being clandestinely catty to my list of things I do to get through my day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Since we're trying to get by on reduced income and no promise of a job for me after December 5th (I'm temping and the job market is sucky with an extra helping of suck), my fella and I have undertaken an ambitious program of weekend cooking. This weekend was a huge vat of spaghetti sauce with something like 48 meatballs, butternut squash soup, and banana nut bread. Man, I love the Fall. It's finally cold enough to cook without parboiling ourselves. One drawback: This evening's spaghetti feast has left the two of us staggering around the apartment muttering the "oof"s and "hmmmph"s of the very (very) well fed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


From today's Washington Post on the news that the US Federal Reserve has just authorized lending another $38 billion to AIG:
On Sept. 16, it was announced that the government would rescue AIG with an $85 billion loan. The company was on the verge of collapse because its financial products division had made some risky and complex investments that had gone bad.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I have one and it sucks.

I think when one picks up the office cold, one should be able to claim some kind of worker's comp or something. I'm feeling resentful because this shit goes around an office when some idiot with something to prove simply MUST show up sick so everyone else can all see how seriously s/he takes the job. As my sister pointed out, we've been rewarded for "zero absenteeism!" since grade school (and yes, I agree, the school yard may have actually been better for some strategic absences) so it's small wonder there is a set of adults who can't shake the belief that they will get a reward for coming in and showering the office with their virus and bacteria swarming snot.

Yes, there are folks who don't have sick time and this plays a role in whether or not you stay home, right? I'm one of those people with no sick time, and have been for a long, long while now. You know what that means for me? It means that if I'm sick enough (i.e. more than the sniffles), I know I need to take the time to get better rather than risk this turning into a pneumonia or even just a miserable lingering upper respiratory infection because it's better to lose something on the order of a day or two than something on the order of weeks. However, I have to add in the social/soft cost for calling in sick, a cost which is measured in a reality which includes the grade school perfect attendance addicts. It is this cost which is making me extra irritable at the moment. I'm going in tomorrow - I'm still feeling shitty but not as shitty as I was and moreover, I'm starting to get the bitchy emails that let me know my "choice" to be sick right now is really inconveniencing my coworkers.

So I'm propped up here at the computer waiting for another cup of tea to brew and I was looking for other jobs (ones with sick time) when a series of largely stumbled upon images suggested a nice halloween costume idea - group costume - Kool Aid guy, Orville Reddenbacher, and Mrs. Butterworth. Could be the cold medicine talking but I think this is a combo that spells F-U-N.

I was going to add Ronald McDonald and Tony the Tiger to this list but you know, those guys get too much press. I think the concept is better if it's the sort of lesser known food mascots. Like the Fruit Pie Magician and Count Chocula (Lucky Charms dude could get your ass kicked if you end up around any overly nationalist Irish or Irish-Americans so I'd recommend that one only with caution).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Interesting Times

I don't know if it's urban legend or a true curse, but I do believe we are living in some quite interesting times, no?
Here's an excerpt from an AP news story on the current political response to the consequences of excessive and irresponsible deregulation:

A bad day for the GOP on politics, bailout plan
By Charles Babington, Associated Press Writer
Friday, September 26, 2008
A White House summit meeting on Thursday meant to shore up John McCain's shaky campaign "devolved into a contentious shouting match." And that's how McCain's own campaign described it.

The meeting revealed that President Bush's $700 billion bid to combat the worst financial crisis in decades had been suddenly sidetracked by fellow Republicans in the House, who refused to embrace a plan that appeared close to acceptance by the Senate and most House Democrats.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson begged Democratic participants not to disclose how badly the meeting had gone, dropping to one knee in a teasing way to make his point according to witnesses.

And when Paulson hastily tried to revive talks in a nighttime meeting near the Senate chamber, the House's top Republican refused to send a negotiator.

"This is the president's own party," said Rep. Barney Frank, a top Democratic negotiator who attended both meetings. "I don't think a president has been repudiated so strongly by the congressional wing of his own party in a long time."
Ordinarily a Republican president's problems are with Democrats, especially if they control the House and Senate. In this case, Bush seemed almost over that hurdle.

To be sure, Democrats demanded a number of changes in his $700 billion bailout plan, but administration insiders signaled they probably were acceptable. They included greater oversight, more protections for taxpayers, efforts to head off home foreclosures and piecemeal allocations of the federal money to buy toxic mortgage securities.

What caught some by surprise, either at the White House meeting or shortly before it, was the sudden momentum behind a dramatically different plan drafted by House conservatives with Minority Leader John Boehner's blessing.

Instead of the government buying the distressed securities, the new plan would have banks, financial firms and other investors that hold such loans pay the Treasury to insure them. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., a chief sponsor, said it was clear that Bush's plan "was not going to pass the House."

But Democrats said the same was true of the conservatives' plan. It calls for tax cuts and insurance provisions the majority party will not accept, they said.

At one point in the White House meeting, according to two officials, McCain voiced support for Ryan's criticisms of the administration's proposal. Frank, a gruff Massachusetts liberal, angrily demanded to know what plan McCain favored.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

happy birthday

Hey, it's my birthday! Seeing as I'm working as a temp and I've only been there for 5 days now, I think it will be a fairly anonymous birthday out of the house unless I call my friends on campus and announce it. And that's kind of, eh. Most of my good friends from campus are hardly ever on campus anymore and I'm not in the mood to round up a half hearted not well known posse of birthday support. I have been assured that I will be made a nice dinner and given chocolatey cake when I get home though. This is good. And tomorrow's Friday, which means one whole week of fulltime work under my belt. Also good.

I'm no stranger to the "new kid" birthday phenomenon. In primary school, there were many years when I had some well intentioned teacher who would organize a birthday calendar or board but by the time they were able to get around to it, all of us September kids' birthdays had passed. On my 18th birthday, I had my first day (post orientation) at my first remotely adult job as a unit secretary on a surgical inpatient unit, then I went home to my dorm where birthdays hadn't even come up yet (the kids were still quite absorbed in that heady early period where they engage in flirtatious/competitive comparisons of SAT scores, class rankings, high school social inventories, and stories about trips overseas).

Who else has this birthday?
Bell Hooks
Shel Silverstein
Barbara Walters
William Faulkner
Also, Will Smith, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christopher Reeve, and Heather Locklear.

* = I'm not age-phobic. Everyone who lives long enough to get old will live long enough for their bodies to let them down in the most primal ways - e.g., no taking for granted that you can move yourself around with or without assistance. Mine body has already started and so I have had a preview of this process. In case you were wondering, yes, it sucks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eye catching

When I log into my yahoo mail account, I get a screen that has a little news blurb box in it. I usually glance at them so passingly I actually have to click back if something catches my eye.

This one sure did.


I got a job! It's a temp job working at my (former) university as an administrative assistant and it starts tomorrow. Yikes! I'm happy but I'm freaking out because I have, as usual, work jitters.
What if they think I know how to do all sorts of Excel magic?
What if they give me all this shit to do and I have NO IDEA how to do it and they're like "PFG is a moron, what the hell did we hire her for?"

On the plus side, I'm starting on a Friday which means even if it SUCKS, I have the weekend to regroup. Wish me good, productive thoughts.


I'm not uploading a lot of them because they have other folks who I'm not sure would want to be making an appearance on my blog. But here are a few...

A____ and I getting married in our living room.

My sister brought us ring pops.

My siblings showed up with a florist bucket full of flowers...

...which when you split them up don't look anywhere near like as many as there were.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

oh boy

Today I noticed an ad for a book called "The Trouble with Boys". That tired shit again? It's so January 2006. Oh wait, it turns out the author of the article (Peg Tyre) has written a same titled book which was just published.

I can sum up the arguments in the article as follows: boys' needs aren't being met because boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dogs tails, thus they like to get up and move around and girls like to sit quietly like little sugar and spice-full ladies. Therefore any educational context where students are not treated like monkeys in a zoo is an environment where boys will not thrive (and by "thrive" we mean dominate) and everyone knows boys just DESERVE to thrive even if it is at the expense of not only other students' learning but safety.

I'm going to assume Ms. Tyre expands on this general theme in her recent book devoted to the topic of the boys' entitlement movement.

Interestingly, within just 9 months of Tyre's Newsweek article alerting everyone to the crisis of boys not thriving in schools, prompting the claims that boys were "under attack", the US had two high profile mass assaults which provided what I'd consider clear evidence of girls being under actual attack. Platte Canyon High School - September 27, 2006 and West Nickel Mines school - October 2, 2006.

So my thoughts on this Wednesday morning are this. When our boys are similarly systematically hunted and assaulted, then I will respond to calls of boys being under attack. Until then, Ms. Tyre and the other boys' entitlement advocates can fuck right off.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yay politics!

One of my local papers just ran a story about a couple of folks here in CT who decided not to wait for national democratic party censure of Senator "Traitor Joe" Lieberman.

Back when Lieberman lost the state democratic primary in his last run for US Senate, he refused to give up on his senate seat even though he had clearly given up on the people who had previously elected him. "Traitor Joe" made his own party so he could get a line on the ballot that November. The party was called the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party (or CFL). Lieberman, as stated in the Hartford Courant article, "...abandoned the name and the embryonic party as soon as he won".

Since then, John Mertens, a Trinity College engineering professor and John Orman, a Fairfield University political science professor have put the abandoned party to use. Here's a statement of the revived CFL party's new purpose from their website:

The Connecticut for Lieberman Party (CFL) rejects the fraud perpetrated on the members of this party and the citizens of Connecticut by Joe Lieberman when he used the creation of this party to get on the general election ballot in 2006. The CFL is an independent, anti-war, anti-corruption, pro-fiscal responsibility, pro-democracy party, that stands for individual liberties and real problem-solving in government. The CFL wants everyone to know that in the United States of America, voters are free to join any party they wish, and participate in the democratic process according to the laws of Connecticut and the United States.

I have one word to describe this move and that is BRILLIANT!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

married, etc.

Hey I got married yesterday! I gotta say, small and casual is definitely the way to go. My siblings were down, A____'s siblings (some) were up. We had the ceremony here in our apartment (and Skyped to some of A____'s out of state family), then we went out for chinese food. It was much lower stress than the big frufru wedding and really nice - even with scorpion bowl/zombie induced mayhem (we think all that differentiates a scorpion bowl from a zombie is whether the shitload of rum and "fruit juices" are served in bowls or a tiki cups...yes BW, there were tiki cups!). I'll post pix later. Now I'm off to bed so I can get up early tomorrow because I have TWO job interviews tomorrow! I'm cautiously excited. Man I hope I get one of these jobs. That would be a super nice wedding present.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Lordy that sounds like a cult or something. Well Blogger has a new widget, it's called "followers" so that you can display the people who read your blog. This is all well and good for the people whose blogs sport intentional hits rather than the folks coaxed here by google searches for heat miser costumes and the lyrics to the I am a pizza song.

But since the mistress of Bubble was nice enough to add herself as a follower for my blog, I've added the feature. See, it's up there under my profile link on the right side of the screen.

not on crazy pills

I was just doing a little research on the US and CT legislative candidates. I ran across this gem from US Rep Joe Courtney (D, district 2):
(from 2nd District Race: Candidates for Congress address high fuel prices, By Adam Bowles, The Norwich Bulletin, Aug 24, 2008)

Locally, Courtney insisted the state take a fresh look at how it retains its younger workers, calling the current thinking in Hartford "reactive" at best.
“Other states are more predatory when it comes to growing their job bases," he said. “If you take a look around, there’s not much available (in Connecticut) when it comes to entry-level jobs...”

Ok so I'm not crazy.

Also, if you're eligible to vote in the upcoming US election (not to mention any possible state primaries between now and then), please check out Project Vote Smart for information about candidates who will be on your ballot.

If you already know what US and state legislative districts you live in you can access candidate information in the following way:
From the link/navigation bar near the top of Vote Smart's site frame, select the header "Candidates" and you'll get a drop down menu which includes the items "US Congress" and "State Offices".
Here's what you get if you select US Congress and then Massachusetts.
And this links to the results for State Offices, Massachusetts, Senate.

If you don't know your US and state district info and if you're not in the mood to track it down via internet search of phone call to your town clerk/city hall, I suggest you use your zip code to zero in on your candidates on Vote Smart. Here's what to do:
You'll need your full zip+4, which you can find here. Once you have your zip+4, type/paste it into the field on the upper left side of Vote Smart's site frame titled "Find Your Representatives - Search by Candidate's or Official's Last Name, or Enter Your ZIP Code". This takes you to a page which allows you to navigate to all your area's candidates for state or federal office.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Worst job?

Job searching has me thinking a lot about what I want in a job - not that I'm in much of a position to be choosy. This line of thought is more or less an obsessive stream I go through after sending an application in somewhere. It starts with "God I hope I get something" then, depending on the job, moves through "but really, I don't know if I want that job..." Because it's far away, or working under a person I already know and already know to be unstable and prone to crankiness. Or it's working for too little money. Or it's too few hours. Or it's in insurance.

So I've been thinking about what I do want in a job. More on that later. For now, worst jobs. I want to hear from you about what was the worst job you ever had, and why. Mine was working at a hallmark store in my home town the summer I finished high school. Really, it was for about 3 weeks, if that, at the beginning of the summer I finished high school. I applied hoping I'd get to work in back a lot. This was back in the days of typewriters and handwriting, the accoutrement for which I found endlessly fascinating (much as I like hardware stores and lamp shops).

Alas, no, I did not ever get to work in back with the stacks of linen stationery or crisp typewriter paper. I was exiled to the front of the store which was pretty much what you usually see in hallmark stores these days. Cards - lots of cards, but also figurines, small stuffed animals, and various doodads, thingies, and whatzits themed for festive/ornamental/quasi-religious (these days you can add spiritual, but not then and not there) intent. What got me worst was the figurines. And June. June was the older woman who ran the front. This was silly as there were, as far as I could tell, only two employees. Mike, the guy who hired me and who inhabited the cool side of the store and June, who glided through the front noticing every stray hair or smidge of dust on the floor to ceiling mirrored shelves that supported many nurseries worth of creepy snow babies and at least an entire village of apple cheeked hummels. June did not like me. I did not like snow babies. Also, I have this problem with being surrounded by breakable things on breakable surfaces. We don't mix. My brother and I firmly established this first in our youth (we took down mannequins and knocked over rickety tables covered in merchandise). We were nearly ejected from the Urban Outfitters in Ann Arbor after an "incident" in the hipster homewear section.

At the hallmark store, my job was to dust.

I hated being there. It was not bad in an overt and evil way, it was just this low level WTF feeling all the time. Kind of like a David Lynch shot of an otherwise normal room. There's just something wrong, you know? June's attitude was 100% frosty, whether she was speaking to me or not and I was still very, very ego centric and overly self conscious thus I interpreted all of June's frost as a seething hatred of my very being. I tried really hard though, obsessed over straightening the cards, going very slowly so I could avoid the figurine shelves. We had approximately one customer every two hours, so getting "stuck" on register wasn't even a remote option. Each day came down to this passive aggressive war between me and June, played out on the figurines and cards. I'd straighten, then reorganize, then straighten some more. I'm sure my face was a picture of adolescent panic whenever June would approach me with a dust rag and a bottle of glass cleaner.

Eventually, I was called into the back among the carbon paper and tracing pads and let go. I don't even remember the reason Mike gave, not that he needed one, but he was polite enough that I'm sure he offered something. I was too lost to notice and feeling heady with my impending freedom. My mother's insistence that I have a job for the whole two months between the end of high school and the start of college was why I had this shitty job in the first place. Getting fired was the perfect out.

I know this is far from horrible. I've asked this question at parties (btw, a nice "chit chat" conversation and you get to find out some really interesting things about people, their experiences, but more importantly their attitudes) and heard some truly terrifying, gross, shocking, outrageous, and otherwise just plain awful examples. There are a lot of ways a job can suck. So what's yours? Worst job, or at least bad.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Teeth, etc.

I had a dream last night that my tooth was falling out. And lo, I woke at 3:40 AM and my tooth hurt like crazy. As I fumbled with NSAIDs and light switches, I recalled my dentist saying something about a root canal the last few times I saw her. Now which tooth was it that was a ticking time bomb of expensive fuckery, I thought. Was this the one? Maybe. I didn't and still don't remember. The whole pain and scraping and drilling thing has a way of driving details like which tooth might be in for even more of that right out of my head.

I got some some semi-good news today. Actually, I just got news, mixed news, but I'm so desperate for any good I'm happy with the mix in today's bag o'news instead of a bag full of uniformly shitty shit. The shitty news was that I didn't get chosen for an interview for the job that the temp agency sent my resume in for last week (which I had sort of figured on account of not hearing anything after Thursday when they called to tell me they sent it in). The good (comparatively) news is that there are two other jobs now and the agency sent my resume in for both of those.
Ok, so I'm not doing backflips over this news but at least I'm not feeling as totally depressed as I would have if all today's news entailed was a confirmation that I was passed over for another interview. All your good wishes and good job karma/juju and whatnot are appreciated.

gay marriage - good for economy

Over this summer, Massachusetts and New York have made same sex marriage more accessible. NY governor Paterson ordered that same sex marriages be recognized in NY and the MA state legislature repealed an old law forbidding out of staters to be married in MA.

A Milestone for Gays, A Boon for Massachusetts

Nonresidents' Same-Sex Weddings Bring Economic Boost
By Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post Staff Writer
September 3, 2008
The two steps, taken independently by New York and Massachusetts within about two months, marked an unexpected summer milestone for proponents of same-sex marriage, even as more than 40 other states have enacted constitutional amendments or statutes limiting marriage to a man and a woman. California is the only other state that has legalized same-sex marriage, though that decision by the state's highest court will be subject to a statewide referendum in November.
The recent changes have prompted a flood of gay New Yorkers coming to Massachusetts to get married -- and that seems to have made same-sex marriage big business for the Bay State.

There are no firm figures on how many gays from New York have come here to marry in the few weeks since the law took effect. But anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers are huge and likely to grow. Hotel rooms are full, flower shops are doing a brisk business, and everywhere, it seems, pedicabs adorned with "Just Married" signs are hauling gay couples down the town's main strip.
Town Clerk Doug Johnstone said Provincetown has become "the premier destination for gay marriage." He said the town first saw a boom in same-sex weddings after they became legal here in 2004, even though out-of-state couples had to express an intent to reside in Massachusetts -- although how to define that intent was left vague and was often at the discretion of local officials. "Now, with the repeal of the 1913 law, we're seeing another little boomlet," Johnstone said.

For the town, that boomlet means an influx of cash at a time when the state is suffering from high unemployment and the effects of a sluggish national economy. "There's got to be some residual economic benefit," Johnstone said, considering the meals, the hotel rooms for family members and friends, and the rings -- a bonanza for local jewelry companies.
A report prepared for the Massachusetts economic development office estimated that 32,000 same-sex couples are likely to come to the state to marry over the next three years, pumping about $111 million into the economy. The report said the state stands to gain about $5 million of that from sales taxes and the cost of marriage licenses.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

License, etc

A____ and I applied for our marriage license today. It's officially down on paper and stuff. A friend who is a justice of the peace is officiating and the venue? TBA (tbd, actually...gotta pick a wall of my apartment to get married in front of).

Also, did I mention I really need a job?! Still nothing. Man, this is starting to make me feel like a total loser...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Got dog(s)?

My sister recently alerted me to a dog toy recall from Four Paws. The recall is on a series of toys which have been reported to cause massive trauma for some dogs. The full recall alert can be found at the Four Paws website. I've put some info below also*.

The info above is in a jpeg format. My apologies for any inconvenience imaging the text makes for anyone who wants to pass the info on, which I encourage you to do.
If you want text for copy/paste, go to the Four Paws recall site, or you're welcome to use this image if you want. My reason for doing this is that while sometimes I think it would be nice to have more visitors, I don't think I want the ones who will be brought in via searches run on phrases constructed from certain isolated words in the names of the various dog toys above.

Friday, August 29, 2008


See I can do that because I skipped Friday last week.

Many people talking politics, presidential politics that is. I follow politics, not so much as an enthusiast but as er, a citizen I guess. My level of interest never struck me as odd until I moved out of Massachusetts. How people in other places I've lived are during presidential campaigns is how most people around where I grew up are in general. At least in my personal experience. Possibly this has influenced my take on voter empowerment. See, I think that presidential campaigns (and elections) are to a truly democratic governmental process as Brittney Spears is to music.

This observation has ripened as I age. As I get older, I find the furor around presidential campaigns has become a bit more irritating. Of course the last eight years have amply demonstrated the kind of hell a president can bring down upon a nation. This shows up most especially with presidential appointments. Consider just Gonzalez and Ashcroft for some excellent cases in point. But with the exception of talk of supreme court nominations, we don't hear much about that in the mainstream big ticket item news. I.e., if not talk of specific picks, then what kind of climate and policies do the candidates believe will be appropriate and right in their FCC, their SEC, their FDA, their Justice Department, their Health and Human Services? How would Hilary Clinton's EEOC and Labor Relations Board picks have differed from Barack Obama's?

Since I've been unemployed, I've been in a bit of a bubble. I don't get out much on account of my laying around and eating bon-bons, watching my "stories" and scouring job postings oh about 5 times a day. But today, I was on campus primarily to deal with an amazingly screwball fuckup from payroll (someone accidentally changed my name in a database that communicated with my insurance companies to reflect a mutated form of my (former) married name, the equivalent of which would be a change to PEG-S instead of just plain old legal PFG). For most of the day, I managed to not speak too much to anyone. I scared a grad student who stumbled into the lab where I was trying to troubleshoot a program for my former advisor. I bumped into a former co-worker and plied her for information about possible job leads. But no politics. And then, just when A___ and I were getting ready to leave, we ended up chatting with A___'s office mate R___. R____ was all atwitter about the campaign - specifically the news about McCain's choice of running mate.

"Well I read that she's got the Tina Fey vote tied up" he said. "Huh?" "Because she looks like know?" he said. I think this was supposed to be ironic. "Oh, yeah I saw her. I kind of thought more Julia what's her name, the one from Seinfeld." R____ went on to discuss her record a bit too and give me his analysis on the reasons why McCain picked her. I said I felt McCain and Obama both choose people who seemed to have the aura of just the other side of the center. McCain picked a woman (to show he's a stand up guy who the ladies don't hate for having let rip a stray rape joke) and Obama picked Whitey McWhiterson. I know, I read Biden's bio. But when it comes to presidential elections, it's a show. And for democratic mainstream and a safe, nice, clean articulate white guy who makes the less than liberal center folks feel like everything is in "good hands", I think Biden is the man, so to speak. "Well, there's Dodd too. He's really fucking white." A___ quipped. Yes, Dodd. But Dodd's a dud. He's from CT (ew) and he's recently had some bad press, at least locally, involving special mortgage deals. Anyhow, I said all that and R___ told me that he likes Biden and then went on to say why. I feel like a jaded churl when I hear him discuss Biden as anything other than a PR device which panders to a low and likely racist electorate, but I can't help how I feel.

However, that is the point. It's how I FEEL, not how I think. How I think would reflect research on the potential Vice President picks and since I am just not that enchanted with presidential campaigns, I haven't brought myself to do that research. And without doing the digging, I'll never get real info. I'm certainly not going to get it from the tickerworthy news stories like this one, which was ambitiously titled "Obama says he'll 'fix broken politics'. "Oooh," I thought. "What's he gonna do?" because I really am a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington kind of gal. Term limits? Campaign finance reform? Ethics regulations? What might he be proposing to fix broken politics? I read on. And on. I got near the end still waiting for that crucial bit of information, but knowing who the entertainers were at the convention (Jennifer Hudson (who the fuck is she?) and (?)).

Anyhow, because this is how I FEEL and not how I think, I've decided I am just not in the mood to engage in political bullshitting about this particular aspect of the upcoming election. I think instead my full attention would be better spent on the other races and issues that will be decided in the upcoming election. E.g.
The U.S. Senate...
Elections for the United States Senate will be held on November 4, 2008, with 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested. Thirty-three seats are regular elections; the winners will be eligible to serve six-year terms from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2015 as members of Senate Class II. There are also two special elections: one in Wyoming and another in Mississippi; the winners will serve the remainder of terms that expire on January 3, 2013, as members of Senate Class I.
And the U.S. House of Representatives...
The 2008 U.S. House of Representatives elections will be held on November 4, 2008, to elect members to the United States House of Representatives to serve in the 111th United States Congress from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. All 435 seats are up for election. Democrats, who regained a majority in the 2006 elections hope to retain or expand their control of Congress.

Also, we have state legislative elections this year as well. How important are those? Consider same sex marriage in Massachusetts. An amendment to the Massachusetts' state constitution was proposed which would have defined marriage "only as the union of one man and one woman." The first vote by the state legislature involved a majority against it (yay), but still enough support (61 votes for) for the amendment to warrant another vote in the next legislative session (boo). The next vote resulted in only 45 for the amendment (yay). The required number of votes to pass it was 50 (yikes! just five votes from banning same sex marriage? Holy shit!).

So again, how important is your state legislative election? Rather, I'd say. And yet the news coverage is buried if present at all and the interest is low. My god, am I the only person who remembers Newt Gingrich?

So...(I say that a lot, how about "thus"?)
Thus, while I certainly do believe who the next president and vice president and presidential cabinet and federal executive appointments will be is terribly important, I can't help THINKING when I hear people around me all riled up and wanting to gab about the latest media mangled presidential campaign PR/news that they are sort of johnnie come latelies to the realities of their power as members of an electorate. And I am just not going to be a part of that bullshit. I care, I really do, but I'm not going to let that concern divert my attentions into what is a essentially side show extravaganza. I know the political icons are the elephant and donkey, but I THINK that perhaps at this point they should retire those fellows and replace them with the dog and pony.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

work out

What, no leg warmers?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

job posting of the day

Retail Sales Opportunities in Women's Lingerie at Nordstrom

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I'm taking a break from the job search bonanza that is my life these days. This morning's highlights included applying for one more low paying clerical position at a place which has already discarded two of my applications for being "overqualified" and "not best fit". Excellent. Also, I rearranged my resume so that the job titles appear before places of employment and modified descriptions and skills to fit HR jobs.

Wow. How's that for fun?

I opted to take a few moments away from this laugh-a-minute romp that is my job search to attend to the serious work of stream of consciousness internet surfing. Here's today's catch.
Addictionary, or more specifically The Political Addictionary.
What is The Addictionary? In their own words: The Addictionary is a site for word lovers and those who like to see our beloved English language grow in serious or humorous ways. We built the Addictionary to empower word-play and to help lovers of word-play showcase and market their cleverness and creativity to the world.

Discover new and exciting words like "suffragitis", "hibridicule", "preciselessness" or add your own.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Well Thursday wasn't too bad. I was on campus, did what needed doing, and got my tooth filled. Turns out I have another filling due next week - gah. But hey, fillings and not root canals, so there's a bright side.

On the down side, I've been feeling like shit lately. I mean physically. I don't post too much about that stuff here anymore but weeks like this one make it impossible to write about me without this coming into it. I am in pain and feel sick every frikkin time I eat. Aside from losing weight again (yeah, this is why I dread buying expensive clothing...the yo-yoing weight issue), I'm feeling drained and angry. The anger come from exasperation, a lack of validation, and too many limitations. This anger is potent and it's in the form of a blank check, just waiting for some fool to stumble across it and write his or her name in the "Pay to the order of" line. Currently, I'm fighting to keep my primary care's office out of that line because I don't need to be any more surly with them if I want to maintain functionality of my relationships there. But it's not easy. I had an ultrasound on Thursday and was told by the tech they'd have results that day. No calls. No calls on Friday either. I had planned to give them most of Friday and then call around 4:00 but I forgot about it until about 20 minutes after I ate dinner Friday night.

Ok, enough of that. Thursday was good. I was energetic despite eating so little (no food for two hours after the filling and only being able to chew on one side of my mouth kept my food intake, and thus pain and nausea, down). One of the prof's whose house we were at offered for A___ and me to get married there. They have a nice place and it was a nice offer. But knowing him, I told him he should make sure that weekend works with his wife. Come to find out that no, it does not. So we're back to the justice of the peace at someplace pretty and then out for dinner/lunch somewhere plan. This isn't too bad, not just because it was what we had originally figured we'd do but because having it at the faculty home was starting to put it into the more formal category. I wanted to avoid that for some good reasons that will nonetheless sound jaundiced and jaded to some. Then again, most of that kind of person doesn't read my blog so fuck it. The reasons have to do with the fact that once you open that door, it's like you invite in all the expectations about "real weddings". E.g., my brother's reaction after I told him we might have this at the faculty house, which he's been to and knows is pretty and a slightly more formal venue.
"Do you have a theme?"
"Ah, a theme? Well we were thinking everyone could wear hats."
"You know, like I was going to get one of those ridiculous sun hats they sell at the drug stores in the summertime and A____ can wear this plastic party hat bowler thing because it will go with his tuxedo t-shirt."
"Oh no no no. He needs to wear a suit. We'll go shopping."
"We don't have money for that. Plus, A____'s wearing the tux T, we already bought it. He wanted to get one for you but I said you wouldn't wear it.
"I'm wearing my Calvin Klein suit."
"Go right ahead."
"What about cake? Are you doing cake?"
"I was thinking of asking our sister to make one."
"No. No no no. I'll go to my bakery (my brother has a bakery?). We'll get something, I won't say wedding but lots of flowers and a cake topper. You're having a cake topper."
"If you must put something on top, can it be a unicorn?"
"A___ would love a unicorn."
"A unicorn?"
"Yeah...oh and rainbows. Put a unicorn leaping over a rainbow on it."