Ummmmm

The content of this blog is comprised of my own opinion. If you want to voice your opinion, go get your own blog.

December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, everyone!

courtesy Bing images

Happy New Year
and may 2015
be prosperous and happy
for you and for me.

(Bing images)

I did not know that 2015 is the Year of the Sheep.  Hmmmmm.

(Bing images)

Just because we should have fun, and these guys always make me laugh.

Love, 365

December 29, 2014

At least there's no drama on Monday mornings!

We did have snow on Christmas evening, so pretty.

Well, I'm glad Christmas is over, aren't you?  The crazy malls and grocery stores, the tree and decorations in the house are getting old.  I won't take the tree down until after New Years though, even though I'd love to!  Romeo asked me if I wanted him to bring down the boxes for the decorations & tree, but I told him to wait.  Plus, I'd kinda like some help, so if I wait until Jan 1, everyone will be home and be able to participate in the fun!  I'm sure they'll be so happy and excited to help.....ha ha ha.

#2 son worked on his truck this weekend, putting in vinyl flooring.  It was really cold this weekend, and he was grumpy...I asked him why, and he said he wasn't happy with the result.  I looked at it and told him I thought it looked great.  At least now when he spills something (which is what prompted it) he will be able to clean it up.  I think the flooring will smooth out when the weather gets warmer, but he is doubtful.

I have spent the last 3 hours online, applying for my weekly unemployment benefits, and applying for positions I see on various websites.  I did run across a new website today, named jobing.com.  There was a job listing for UNM Hospital that I applied for, and think I would really enjoy, so I hope they call me for an interview.  I think that the further we get from the holidays, there will be more opportunities/jobs posted.....I hope so, because they have been pretty dismal.  I never heard from the lady I interviewed with, but it was good experience.  I had thought about it, and decided that I was not really thrilled about driving to the east side of the mountains every day (especially during the winter), and I know that someone with experience was interviewing with her after me.  I'm kinda glad she didn't offer me the job, because the pay was a big disappointment, although it might have been a fun environment to work in.

I had volunteered to work at the food bank today about a month ago, and totally forgot about it until last night, so most of my plans for today have been cancelled.  I need to be there at 1:30.  Hopefully I won't get lost, although I do have the address and my handy dandy Google maps app on my phone.  I do notice that the driving directions you get aren't always the most direct, but as long as I get there, I'm happy.

Well, gotta go get ready, still need to shower & do my hair ~ which looks fabulous thanks to Jess, my hairdresser.  I had an appointment on Friday, and she was so kind to give me a great discount due to my circumstances.  When I am fully employed again, I shall have to do something special for her.  

Love, 365

December 27, 2014

My darker side.....

Courtesy Google images.

Lately I've been thinking of my choices....nah, nothing mind blowing or anything, but why I like sad songs, why I prefer "dark" movies (not horror, although I do love a good zombie flik).  If you listened to my i-pod you might look at me in horror.  I have to watch many movies of my choice when Romeo isn't home "Wow, how depressing" or "Do we have to watch this?".  Case in point, I ran across a movie I'd never seen before called 8mm...Nicholas Cage is in it (OK, whatever, I do like some of his movies & think he's a good guy).  Very dark movie about a PI who is looking to bring to justice a group of men who made a snuff film that was real.  

And after a bit of thought I realized what I like is the pursuit of JUSTICE.  This is why I like dark movies like 8mm, Silence of the Lambs (altho there wasn't as much justice in that one), Citizen X.  I suppose that there have been some crappy situations I have got myself into, and I'm constantly seeking either justice or closure.   Still looking in some instances, got it in others.  I suppose that there are times that I wish I had had that fairy tale childhood, but that just didn't happen.  It wasn't terrible.  It just wasn't great.  It happens, and probably happens more often than we know.  And I sometimes make terrible decisions based on my childhood experiences.  

Lukily I have a wonderful husband and kids.  I have a wonderful support system of friends and family.  I'm very fortunate in many ways, which takes the sting out of some of the crappy parts.  But, it's kinda weird.  I accept that about myself.  

Love, 365

I don't wanna......

Mr. Grinch, could you please come to my house & do this????

Another Christmas come and gone.  This one wasn't particularly memorable, just your usual day off with a lot of cooking.  More about cooking later on....  When I lost my job, Romeo and I declared a ban on gifts for this year (although he was perfectly OK with it no matter what the reason).  I have to admit that the 9 year old that still resides within (and is remarkably prominent sometimes) was very unhappy, not only to not receive anything, but unable to give anything either.  No matter how much Romeo says that "he doesn't want anything" ~ which he says every year ~ I enjoy going out and finding something he might not buy for himself & sticking it under the tree from Santa.  But, we all stuck to our guns, so the space under our tree was conspicuously empty.  Romeo was unhappy when I didn't reply to his hearty "Merry Christmas!" that morning.  He went back to bed for awhile.  I knew I was being unreasonable, but my 9 year old self didn't care, so I moped around for an hour or so, then got busy with stating our Christmas dinner.  

#2 son received a turkey from his workplace before Thanksgiving, but I already had a turkey, so we stuck the monstrosity in the chest freezer & figured we'd have it for Christmas (the frugal part of me figured why buy a ham when there's a perfectly good turkey....even though none of us was particularly enthused about turkey even once a month).  The damned thing was huge ~ 22 lbs.  I have roasted one larger than that before, and apparently forgot that I never wanted to do that again.  I put it in the oven (unstuffed of course, I hate dressing in the turkey, it's all gooey and gross) around 9:30am.  Figuring it would be done by 1:00pm, according to the roasting guidelines.  Nope.  Not done.  Romeo began to carve it, and we noticed it is most definately not done.  Back in the oven for another 40 min, nope still not done.  Back again, another 40 min., and I declared that it would be consumed no matter what.  So we ended up eating at around 3:20pm....we were all starving by then.  It's hard to resist the urge to snack on stuff knowing theres a big meal soon.  If #2 son gets another gift like that next year, we will donate it to the food bank, or something.  No more turkey's over 15 lbs.  Ever.  In fact, it's still such a recent memory, the very thought of turkey makes me want to plan on some other type of animal protein for next year.  Ugh.

Very sad news: Buck Pennington is no longer with us.  He is currently residing in the sunshine, on a beach, with a his favorite happy hour beverage.  Being waited on by girls in bikini's.  We will miss you Buck.  For more, go here or straight to Buck's blog.  I spent 20 minutes reading over some of his posts, which made me laugh.  He will be missed.

Love, 365

December 18, 2014

Replacing something rarely used requires self education....

Courtesy Bing Images

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  On the west side of the mountains (which is an important distinction because the east side gets a lot more snow and rain, it's much greener, etc).  We really don't get much moisture.  We average 9" of rain and about 9" of snow yearly.  Windshield wipers are not something I use very often.  When I do get new ones, the main replacement reason is the sun, not the rain.  A month ago while using the self service car wash, I noticed that my wipers were shot, and I peeled off the "tail" on both of them, which meant that I basically didn't have any wipers left.  A few weeks ago, it was raining while I was out driving, but I couldn't use my wipers because the remains of the ones I had might scratch my windshield.  It wasn't raining very hard (it usually never does here), so I handled it OK, but it was funny how hard it was to resist the urge to turn them on.  I found some at Costco for $7.99 each, and bought some for me, and for Romeo.  I had to watch the installation video, because there were 3 different types of connectors depending on what type of vehicle you have.  
Really?
Yes, really.  I suppose I should be thankful that they provide a video instead of just written instructions (which were also in the box).  Yeah, you know how written instructions are.  They never quite give you that one key piece of info that you need to either get started or finish up.  So, thanks, Goodyear, for making it possible even for dummies like myself.  Now when it rains or snows, I can safely use my wipers.  Whew!

Good news, folks: I have a final grade in evolutionary medicine of A+.  I ain't never had no A+ before!  Kinda exciting. 

Other good news: I should receive 3 weeks of benefits payments this Friday (unemployment insurance).  I was amazed that Leticia spoke to her supervisor and then helped me finish out with the info they wanted.  Turns out that Sunday & Monday are the only days you have to give them your qualifying info.  Something that I didn't find on the website anywhere.  Nor did I find the "workbook" link to explain how to do all of this unemployment benefits stuff.  I cried in frustration, which probably went a little way to garner her sympathies.  

Just news: I have been thinking a lot about the interview I went to on Monday, and think that she is not offering me a decent hourly wage.  I would probably not even get what I'm getting in unemployment benefits, although of course, doesn't last forever....I think it lasts six months, and I've already used up one of them.  So, still not sure what I want to do, other than continue to mull it over.  It is possible she won't even offer me the job!  I don't really have any experience in construction, other than to hold the wrench Romeo wants when he's doing household repair....and somehow I don't think that qualifies as experience, lol.

Love, 365

December 16, 2014

Screaming.......

It's ok, I had a good scream and a coupla shots of tequila......

Yesterday I decided I needed to go to the unemployment office...because I had called & waited an hour with no luck three different times.  Guess...nah, you'll never....they don't have a physical office, only a call center.  This is what the interesting lady at the "workforce solutions" office I went to told me yesterday.  (Interesting because she was so loud ~ "CAN I HELP YOU?")

Problem: only have cell phone, with 700 calling minutes per month.

Solution: spend $10 more a month for unlimited minutes.

Situation: Spending 2 1/2 hours on the phone, listening to the recording that says "thank you for your patience, a customer service representative will be with you shortly", and assorted other noises (music?).  I had my phone on speaker, and the volume turned down low so that I could still hear it, but not loud enough to make me want to tear out my hair.  When the rep finally did come on the phone, she repeated her name and id#, and said she couldn't hear anything.....
AND SHE HUNG UP as I was yelling "Please don't hang up!!!".  

Later: I figured I had my phone volume down low enough that she couldn't hear me.  
Spent 3 to 4 minutes screaming at the top of my lungs.
Heard a siren a few minutes later, and wondered if the neighbors figured I was being murdered over here, but no.  That would have been an interesting conversation.

Cried a little.

Then, resigned myself to calling another day.  
-----------------
Good news tho, I have an interview today.  Patty told me about a job opportunity with someone she knows.  I called, sent ye ol' resume, and will be there at 10am.  I can't lie and say that it makes me hopeful.  We'll see!

OK, gotta go & shower & get dressed for said interview.  
Love, 365

^^^^^^^Later on:
The interview went well (I think).  I was there for 1 1/2 hours, and I hope she invested that amount of time because she was interested.  Good: I think I could be happy working for them.  Bad: The pay kinda sucks.  But she did mention that I would be eligible for a raise after a few months.  I plan to send her a thank you note for her time, and remind her of my attributes.  Some web sites don't recommend a thank you and some do.  So I figure I'll cover my bases.  Plus, she'll be reminded.  I should have mentioned that I'm an awsome baker & because we don't always want to be tempted with all these baked goods, you can bet I'll bring some in.  Well, maybe not.

I am really disappointed in the job availability these days.  I know it's the holiday season, but wow.  How am I supposed to keep up on my applications?  Of course I still haven't received any benefit payments.  S H I T.  I plan to call tomorrow & see if I can discover why.  Hopefully no 2 1/2 hours again....please.
Love, 365

December 13, 2014

Done.......!!!!

Bing images

I finished!  With 2 hours and 15 minutes to spare! Yeah me!

I would love to say it was easy, and I'm certain it was totally brilliant.  It wasn't easy, and probably isn't "brilliant" material.  But I was happy with it, and I'm certainly glad I'm now done with the semester and ready to enjoy a break from classes.  So far I'm the only person signed up for the spring class I mentioned in previous posts, but it's all cool as Prof. Stuart will hold the "class" off campus and I will still get 3 credit hours for it.  He is such a wonderful person.  It's too bad all of the students he's helped over the years couldn't get together and hold him a fun party to thank him for the generosity of him time and trouble.

Well, got stuff to do...have a wonderful day.

Love, 365

P.S. Dee, why r you following me?  You don't even like this stuff.  

December 12, 2014

Dogs....they always sense when you have a deadline.....

Yeah......

Nope.  I didn't finish my paper yesterday.  I stopped (I thought temporarily) to make sweet & sour chicken over rice for dinner, and never went back.  I did make a lot of progress.  At first it was wrenched out of me kicking and screaming, then I got into a flow, so I'm nearly done.  Which is probably why I decided not to go back after dinner was done.

I do have a scheduled activity today at noon, but I don't see that as holding me back from finishing.  Ha ha, my racquetball friends play at noon on Friday, and until recently I haven't been able to join in the fun.....and it is!  Fun, that is.  Hoping to finish the paper & then edit it after I get home.  However, if you notice, I'm goofing off right now, and it's nearly 9am, so will have to get to it.  I wanted to leave you a few cartoons before I go.....







Love, 365

December 11, 2014

What writing is like.....for me

(Bing images)

Good morning, everyone!  The weather is beautiful, I have hot coffee (& a cookie for breakfast, lol), my notebook with class notes is on my left, and a small notebook on my right.  Oh, yeah, and I have a pen too.  For notes.

The evolutionary medicine class ends in less than 48 hours.  I have a 5 page paper due by midnight on Friday ~ I keep reminding myself that Friday is tomorrow.  However, as I am unemployed, I have all freakin day to write it, so no prob, right?  Welllll.....

The hardest part: getting started.  I sit down and immediately write about 4 sentences.  I re-write.  I delete it all and reword the same basic info.  I re-write.  I get up to get something to drink, let the dogs out, look through the freezer to see what I should make for dinner.  I let the dogs back in.  EVENTUALLY I sit back down and look at the mere beginnings, and sigh.

Second hardest part: meeting my own deadlines.  I figure I will write a page every day beginning last Thursday, giving me time to re-write, edit, add, etc.  I don't get anywhere close to a page.  All I manage to do is decide the specifics of what I will write on, as the professor left us an announcement stating that very successful students in past courses have picked a theme.  So I picked the psychology aspect of it, because there's lots of material about it, and since I'm the master of short and sweet, I'm a little intimidated about writing 5 pages, single spaced.  Just typing that down gives me shivers.

Third hardest part: because this particular professor has been so complimentary of my work during the course of this class, I feel only a little bit of pressure to write something that doesn't make me sound like a 5th grader.  It's a reflection paper, so I have to include my feelings and observances and stuff like that too.  Should be easy, right?  So why do I feel like my brain is nothing if not a wad of spitballs floating around in my skull?  Why, God, why?????

Observations about myself: I must love the looming deadline.  I don't know if theres more electrical activity in said skull full of spitballs, but I do work better when I'm under pressure.  I must, because I procrastinate until I have hours left, when I've had weeks to do this.  Shame on me, shame!!!

No matter, because I'm finishing this sucker today, and editing and turning it in tomorrow before noon.  We'll see how I do on that deadline.......

Love, 365


December 5, 2014

Foci ~ or, in english, focus. Tip of the iceberg, Ma.

Courtesy Google images


Maybe its just me, you know?  I'm reading the required papers for class, and from the very first to (very nearly) the last, I have words underlined with little arrows -> for the definition I had to look up. Like loci.  Now, it means focus, which I kind of figured.  However, you never know what word might be a key one in a sentence, so you look it up to make sure.  Here's a short list for one paper.
conspecific - animals or plants belonging to the same species.
phylogeny - evolutionary development of a species or group of organisms.
helminthes - a parasite, like a hookworm, whip worm, etc.
~~not too bad, right?  Then, I run across this one:  UATHROS.  I drive myself crazy.  I look up in the dictionary, and online.  I finally figured out, it's a freaking misspell of the word authors.  I'm gonna send a little "thank you" e-mail to my professor for providing comic relief while writing my discussion post on said paper.  
Just goes to show you that even academics occasionally fail to use spell check.

Love, 365

December 3, 2014

Bright spot in my day........

Brodie on the left, Sioux on right.

Well, Brodie is doing much, much better, and exhibiting his usual happy behavior, waggin his tail, etc.  I spoke to a guy who owns a pet food store here in town (of course, I'm not going out of town for dog food, lol) and he said that we need to return to regular dog food very slowly over the course of a coupla weeks.  So, beginning this Saturday, I will add 1 tablespoon of regular food to the boiled chicken he's been eating ~ he loves the chicken, of course ~ so I hope we don't have too much trouble transitioning back to a less expensive food.  It could be that he won't ever have this problem again, or it could become chronic.  We just don't know.  However, I am happy to say that this incident has finally convinced Romeo not to give either dog table scraps anymore.  It will take the dogs longer to quit hanging around him during meal times.  Who knows, they may never stop begging!  

I am very grateful for unemployment insurance, but I think their website needs to be reconfigured, because navigating the system always gives me a headache.  I think they had a monkey design it....

Prof. Stuart has generously paid (through some emergency fund at UNM) for me to take his class next semester.  However, if not enough people sign up for the class, they won't hold it.  :-(   I'll let you guess what I'm wishing for!!!

Well, I gotta go, I'm currently doing laundry.  Romeo will be really late tonight because the department is hosting the data management people from out of town.  He's not too happy about it, and I mentioned that one night ain't so bad....& how grateful I am that he has a stable job. 

Love, 365