Sunday, August 30, 2009

Walk On By

My parents separated (and eventually divorced) when I was very young, six or seven. At the very beginning of the separation, the first few days (perhaps weeks) I was very happy as my father was mean. He seemed especially mean to his only daughter for some reason.

He, rather than mom, was the disciplinarian. He delivered discipline by hitting. A leather razor strop was his instrument of choice, but he'd use his hands in the forms of slaps and even a punch at least once.

I caught it often, not only for my own mis-behavior but also for my younger brother's. For it was my job to keep him from mis-behaving, depending on the day. You see, in addition to being mean dad was also erractic.* He'd lay down the law on Tuesday, on Wednesday he'd tell us to, "lighten up" and on Thursday we'd get beat for acting on the "lighten up" cue.

It went on like this for the entire time he was home. No surprise then, that early on I didn't miss him. But, later . . .

Part of me wanted him to be part of my life. Or at least, wanted him to want to be part of my life. I couldn't help but miss him. I couldn't help feeling devastated by his apparent disregard for me and my life.

Throughout the rest of my childhood and until this very day, he was more out than in my life. Years went by where we didn't speak. He was notoriously bad about returning letters and at least once reported that he couldn't afford to call. I've created all kinds of scenarios about our next meeting, when, where, and under what circumstances.

I figured I'd see him on the street somewhere. We'd recognize one another instantly but neither would make a move to acknowledge the other. We would simply, "Walk On By".

Dad will celebrate his 71st birthday in a couple of days. Despite our estrangement, I do wish him the best.

*Upon learning of dad's recreational drug use, I elected to lay the blame for much of his behavior at that door.

Friday, August 28, 2009

C. A. T. Tales

No, this isn't Buttah but I couldn't resist. It soooo could be him if he was the kind of feline to flatten himself tummy down. He's a tummy up kinda cat. However, title and photo aside, this posting isn't about the cat(s) again.

I'd like to talk about climate control. Not world climate, warming or otherwise, but office climate. The office space I spend much of my time in during the weekdays does not have central air (or heat for that matter). The cooling efforts are accomplished with the aide of four window units. Three in the warehouse area and one to cover the offices.

You may have heard, in fact perhaps it has been a theme around the country, this summer has been most un-summer-like. I don't know how many 90 degree days we've had, I do know that there have been very few. That day back in June might have been our first real taste of it. That day may have been IT for summer. We've spent most of the summer hovering around the mid to upper 80s. Most evenings have been cool-to-cold (to me). The humidity too, for the most part has been moderate to low. So, in my mind the need for any A/C has been minimal, at best. That is not to say that guys haven't cranked it up every day since June. The guys (especially the warehouse guys, and the boss) are always hot (so to speak).

Me? Not so much, flash moments aside. Though I have experienced, in recent years a greater tolerance for cooler temperatures and don't layer up nearly as much or as often, I am still more often than not, cold over warm. I do feel that my body temperature has risen, is rising and I do feel warmer more than ever before. But still, I am hardly ever flat-out hot in that sense of the word. I certainly haven't felt a need for A/C ever before and this summer in particular.

For years now I've often been the odd person out. The majority would always vote (if such a vote were to ever take place) for A/C. So, I have had to deal. I keep extra long sleeve shirts, fleece jackets, or sweaters available for use to fight off the the chill from the A/C on any given day.

Today is such a day. It is overcast, damp, barely 70 degrees. In fact, I doubt the air temp topped 70 today. I'm wearing a t-shirt, a long-sleeve denim shirt, and a fleece jacket. It is friggin' cold. To elaborate, I hardly ever drink coffee after 10 AM but here I am in the late afternoon chug-a-lugging the hot beverage.

I once had a co-worker, Gladys, who couldn't stand the cold, she and I were the odd ducks in the pond during that time. She'd sit at her desk, typing away, with a hat on her head and a scarf around her neck. In between projects she'd don her mittens. Gladys was cold when it was hot because the A/C would be kickin' and she was cold(er) when it was cold because that was Gladys.
I didn't have it bad like Gladys then, and don't have it that bad today, but I do wish they'd turn off the freakin' A/C. Open a window for cripes sake, there is a nice breeze and since the Air and Water show is long gone, no jet noise over-head. Heck, there aren't even any jack-hammers in use today.

On the upside, it is Friday and a new assistant has been hired. The adventure begins anew.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inaugural Video Effort

Shot this with an K*dak Easy Share back in June. Added the audio (from YT's files) today.

Just because.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shit Storm

The day started pretty much as any other work day. My body clock woke me around 4:00 or so. I knew going back to sleep would mean rushing out the door, so while I lounged, I avoided sleep mostly by watching Abe Lincoln special on The History Channel.

An hour later, time to rise. The cats and dog camped outside my bedroom door, Pete making his presence known by throwing himself into the door.

After tending to bathroom needs, I feed the animals, clear and clean the litter pan (Oh Mah Goodness, The Boys!!) wash and have my breakfast of multi-grain Cheer*os with skim milk.

My daughter sent me a message that . . . well, angered me. Greatly. I didn't have time to deal with the issue and the shit storm it will cause, work beckons. The hardest work being ditching my attitude before I make it to the office.

Success, almost.

I'm the second person in the office. My early arrival allows me time to gather myself, thoughts and emotions and by the time folks started filing in, I was my usual self. Everyone arrives, files past my office door, speak a greeting, which is returned in kind. Chatterer didn't speak, but in about 30 minutes it wouldn't matter.

Having foregone coffee or tea before leaving home, it isn't long before the body begins to crave. There wouldn't be time to satisfy this craving as this is when the shit hit the fan. The owner is in the outer office, just beyond my doorway faxing. Chatterer had been assigned to the space next door. For whatever reason she came back into our space supposedly to report her whereabouts to owner, "I just wanted you to know where I was. I'll get back to the spreadsheets..." The exchange went back and forth with him finally saying, "just go do the work."

She leaves, briefly. Returns, slamming the door on her way in, grabbing up her belongs, punching her time card and working up a head of steam to storm out. Owner slows her progression, asking if she had keys (or any other property) calling me out to witness. He asked, "are you quitting?"

Once I confirm she never had any keys and she didn't appear to be in possession of any other company property, she exits. He follows. A short time later he returned noting that she'd uttered some very vile words while getting on the elevator and threatening him with her daddy's lawyer.

And so . . .

The day progresses more than the usual ups and downs. The owner is frantic, not over chatterer's leaving or her threat, but over the fact that he wanted the (new) company to go live days ago and the highly touted software isn't working, the freight carrier he was looking to contract with won't stand by their original quote, the secondary carrier has communication issues, the phone system isn't working properly, and then the guy he hired to be his GM decided he needed to be home (he lives in another state, comes in for the week and heads home on the weekend) full-time. He'd like to remain with the company with a smaller role.

And so, it seems to me that the very full litter pan first thing this morning, as it happens, turned out to the quite the literal interpretation for the day. I don't know what the recent turn of events will mean for the (new) business over time. Immediately, it means I'm back on the recruiting train and it means me, my GM, and the rest of our staff will work to mitigate the impact the additional support we'll be called upon to provide will have on (our ) business.

I suppose, given the givens, having a job is preferable to the alternative, but still . . . Friday, please, or better yet, Saturday. And if the turd rain could be kept to a minimum, that'd be good.

Thank You.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The hours sandwiched between work weeks 33 and 34 found me doing more or less nothing. That is to say, nothing that needed doing. Except for make it to the dentist appointment, which turned out to be a huge disappointment (more on that some other time) and participate in a fantasy football draft, not much of anything else was accomplished.

Long story short, I spent too much time after the work days during work week 33 sitting, sipping, and staring. I didn’t do any yard (or grounds) work, no laundry, no grocery, no…nothing. Well, except for those little things that must be done to avoid living in squalor.

I could blame it on the rain as we did have a lot of rain and threats of rain, but no, it wasn’t that, at least, not just that. The net result of my sloughing off things, regardless of the reason(s) was facing a Saturday and Sunday with a mountain (and in terms of laundry, that statement is quite accurate) of things to do. And not wanting to do any of it. I just couldn't muster up the verve.

And so I didn’t do most of it.

Work week number 34 has to see a different Deborah.

An observation: Dani had a house- sitting / pet care gig Thursday evening through Sunday morning. She popped home a bit but spent each night at the gig. These little gigs offer a taste of what it might be like to live alone. (I never have, you know). I’m finding that I’m getting more and more warmed to the idea. I did spend some moments Saturday night serenading a cat, which truth be told had me a tad concerned, but it was groove time and Buttah insisted on being included.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meme: Adult Sized

Lifted from Pat:

Pat describes this meme (generated on FB) as a more grown up quiz, separating it from so many of the others that pop up there, apparently. I haven't been out there that long and though I've seen some, I've avoided most. Anyhoo . . .no tags, no pressure . . iffin you wanna, go for it.

1. What bill do you hate paying the most? I don't know about hate but I'd sure be happy when all car related bills are paid. (not -my- car).

2. Do you miss being a child? Not. At. All.

3. Chore you hate the most? Grocery shopping.

4. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner? Romance? What's that?

5. If you could go back and change one thing what would it be? I would have left Illinois after HS.

6. Name of your first grade teacher? Kindergarten (Mrs. Stomper) Second (Mrs. Kelly) First? drawing a blank.

7.What do you really want to be doing right now? THIS !

8. What did you want to be when you grew up? A grown up woman

9. How many colleges did you attend? One

10.Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now? It's black and was the first one I put my hands on.

11. What are your thoughts on gas prices? Outrageous.

12.First thought when the alarm went off this morning? Who needs an alarm?

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night? Maybe I should open the door. Naaaaah.

14. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? Toni Morrison

15. Have you ever crashed your vehicle? Crashed? No. Dinged? yes.

16. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer? Volunteer where I work? NOOOO. But, somewhere else, at something else, absolutely.

17. Get up early or sleep in? Get up early.

18. What is your favorite cartoon character? ----no opinion.

19. Favorite thing to do at night with a guy/girl? See Number 7.

20. When did you first start feeling old? I'll get back to you on this one. ;)

21. Favorite lunch meat? turkey, pastrami, corned beef, salami, ham, . . uhm....hard to choose.

22. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart? A headache and batteries.

23. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? No.

24. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about? . . .and you expect me to spill it here? Uhm..let's see..."The Abyss"

25. What’s your favorite drink? Martini w/habernero stuffed olive(s) or classic margarita.

26. Who from high school would you like to run in to? Ick. except for Dorothy

27. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now? No car. No radio.

28. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives? Bada Bing! Sopranos. If those are the only choices.

29. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back? Well, considering the divorce and all...that'd be the one. Though, thanks to that relationship I've a lovely daughter and son.

30. Do you like the person that sits directly across from you at work? Well, no one sits across from me, unless I'm "in a meeting" . . . so, that varies.

31. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purposes? No I haven't. I haven't even been in an area where one has been used.

32. Last book you finished reading?
Word: On Being A [Woman] Writer

33. Do you have a teddy bear? Several including Molly.

34. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth? Define strange.

35. Do you go to church? Not anymore.

36. How old are you? I'm a 49er.

That's . . .

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday

I have finally made an appointment to see a dentist. I haven't been to a dentist since I left a former dentist's office after being kept waiting forever . Wow, that was over three years ago.

My medical doctor has been pushing me to get to the dentist. Dental health is as important . . yada x3. I know, but I can't stand the dentist. Plus which, there was the rigmarole of finding a new dentist, dropping the old dentist, getting a new dentist authorized as primary. She'd given me the name and number for her dentist on at least two of our visits. Her dentist is not in my insurance network so I couldn't see him.

I searched the insurance company's data base for possible good fits and eventually came up with three prospects.

Each office was contacted, asked some questions toward me getting a feel for the staff and office procedures. One office stood out among the other two. The person who took my call was friendly, professional, patient, and thorough.

That was months ago, and having danced the insurance administrative paperwork jig, all that was left was to make the actual appointment, which thanks to yet another nudge from Doctor F, I have finally done.

The staffer who assisted me last week was as friendly, thorough, and efficient as the one (possibly the same, point being...consistency) who answered my questions those many months ago. As you might imagine, I was the one answering questions this time around, Name? First time here? Carrier? D. O. B.? At hearing my reply, kindly staffer wished me a happy belated birthday.

How is that for being in the moment? Anyhoo...

Here's hoping the dentist is as nice (not to mention being good at the dentistry stuff) as this staffer presents.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thought For The Day

We were in a truck that wasn’t her Escape, pulling up and walking into a yard that wasn’t our yard. The cats, Pete and Buttah were in said yard digging at the grasses. Perplexed, I asked, “you let them out?” Dani replied, “I didn’t let them out, they got out through the hole in the refrigerator.”

And that is where the dream ended or rather all that I can remember.

I have chosen to believe that the meaning of this dream is no deeper than my desire and need for a new refrigerator, plain and simple. No, there aren’t any holes in my current refrigerator nor as far as I know, no portals to the outside world, but yeah it is in a state and must be replaced.

The assistant survived last night's meeting. The owner told me they had a talk, she was very defensive, didn't see where she was "chatty" and / or how disruptive she was being. She didn't say a word to me all day. No good morning, no good evening. She did say, "thank you" when I held the door as we were leaving for the day. However, throughout the day she gifted me with the queen of cold shoulders she even hummed whenever we were in the same space, to avoid any direct interaction.

She avoided eye or any other contact with me all day. Like the "Laugh-In" line, this is getting verrrry interesting, but stupid.

C'est la vie.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Red Letter Day

First, let me say Buttah's habit of lying on his back with his feet in the air is a tad disconcerting, especially when I find him in said position during the middle of the night, early morning trips to the bathroom.

Second, mom's habit of bringing me food items to try is a tad disconcerting. I can't say how many times I've said, "I'm avoiding boxed and bagged, sticking to fresh as often as possible. Yet, on Saturday, two more . . .

Third, the new assistant cried today, not once but twice, perhaps even three times. When I left today at 5:05 she was in a closed door meeting with the owner and general manager. Long story short, this was the third of three "meetings" with the owner, the first was one-on-one. Office grapevine reports she cried sometime after. I was the third wheel in the second meeting and no rumor, she cried afterwards. I suppose I'll discover in the morning the aftermath of meeting number three. I know she went into the third meeting wondering what she did to incur his wrath. Perhaps he explained it to her in more detail.

Fourth, it was warm today. But, I was hot. All day. Uncharacteristically so. Today I experienced a few of these moments. My first. Talk about disconcerting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My, How Time Flies

A year ago last Friday, Buttah (incorrectly identified as Butter) joined the menagerie. It feels like longer, as his presence and personality has permeated every fiber, every corner of our lives. He has taken over the cat title from Pete, as Pete, more often than not defers to Buttah's judgment.

Buttah, the younger of the two cats often assumes the dominant role in their play, he teases Pete into chasing him. Though, it happens the other way as well, just not as often. Buttah, seems more interested in going outside, he's always at the door ready to dart out whenever one of us enters. He languishes in the open windows.

Diamond is still wary of Buttah and the attention he commands. She's quite jealous of his ability to hop in laps and doesn't waste any time camping by your feet, darting her nearly covered by fur liquid eyes up at you to plead her most adorable case.

Lately, Buttah has decided that five minutes before I leave for work is the new "cuddle time". If I'm sitting he'll take over my lap, or try to . . . I don't like shooing him, but shedding...I'm on my way out. the. door. almost. If I'm standing, sipping the last of whatever beverage, soaking in the last of whatever I'm listening to or watching he will pace in a circle at my feet, mewing up a storm. If that doesn't get me to sit, he'll leap (from behind) as though trying to snag a piggy-back ride or something. He can only manage to get as high as my waist.

His addition has been an experience i a very good way.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Because I'm Not Sleepy Enough, Yet

It could be blamed on the energy drink, R*ckstar, I think. But, then again, maybe not. I haven't been sleeping very well lately, again. I'm reluctant to go to bed when I'm not tired or rather, sleepy enough, yet. I lie there thinking, reading, listening to the radio, watching television. Toss, turn, toss and turn again and then finally, sleep.

Only to be awake an hour or so later not remembering in full the dream that jolted me to rousing. I can only remember being chased or being the chaser . . . probably a side effect of falling asleep to too many episodes of "Burn Notice".

I try again and the pattern repeats, until finally the cats are bouncing themselves off the bedroom door, lobbying to be fed. It is 5:00 a.m. And a new day begins.

The plan was to work my way into exhaustion tonight. I wanted to fall into bed with no energy, no thoughts, but so far, I'm not there. I haven't been able to burn enough energy and equally unsuccessful at turning off the thoughts.

My cleaning effort resulted in me breaking a figurine. The few I had (not a huge knick knack fan) are falling at an alarming rate, thanks to my clumsiness and Buttah's curiousness.

I tried to fix my flat tire (on bicycle) only to find out I need a new inner-tube (maybe) but, moot anyway, since I didn't have any patches.

I played on-line, hung around, keeping my *light* on hoping a new friend would come by and chat, but alas, no...not tonight.

I played one too many games of Bejeweled on F*cebook, had to best Danielle's score. Certain folks who shall remain nameless will never be beaten, not by me anyway.

Mom called. She's having issues with her urologist, with home care agents not being able to find her street, twice in as many weeks. We won't discuss her concern that correspondence with watermarked stationery is meant to "track" her is some way. The paranoia seems worse.

And then there is work. It seems Ms. Memphis might chatter herself right out of a brand new job. I don't know if it is specifically her chatter that the owner is, "not crazy about" but there is something. He prefers not to spell it out, but I've been put on notice . . . we will re-visit the subject of Ms. Memphis, soon. He'll be looking for my (& the GM's) considered opinion . . . is Ms. Memphis a good fit?

In too few hours the cats will be clamoring for their Friskies.


Monday, August 10, 2009

At Week End

"Knees" - Dora Natella

I have a standard 40 hour work week. Tack on another half-to full hour on either end for the commute, you have about 50 hours give to take devoted to work and work related travel.
That doesn't leave much time for laundry (I do not have facilities on site), routine house-cleaning, cleaning around the building, grounds, yard work, and / or any diy projects I might decide need attacking. Throw in a trip to the barber, grocery store, workouts, a chore or two for mom, and a little thing called sleep that leaves even less time, during the week.
Still, I try to do as much as I can during the week to allow a little bit of pure leisure time over the weekend in keeping with my concerted efforts to get out, be more active and sociable.
Never-the-less, more often than not, my weekends are full of said routine tasks and chores. I find that there simply isn't enough time before or after work to do too much beyond a perfunctory (ok, maybe a little more than perfunctory) workout.

The week ending 5:00 p.m. 8/7/2009 ended one of the longest work weeks in recent memory. By 5:10 p.m. I'd thrown my brain into full leisure mode, preparing for my evening out with some Thrifty Queer Adventurers and yes, Friday night was karaoke night and no, yours truly did not perform, this time. On Sunday I communed with some woman made artwork.* I only wish I'd known before this weekend, last Friday was the artist reception. That would have been cool. Next time, for sure.

One day down, four to go, here's to the weekend.

*click on photo for link to site.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New Recruit

First, thanks all for the happy birthday wishes!!!

Some time ago I made mention of a search for an assistant. I had the field narrowed down to two, with final interviews scheduled with me, general manager and owner. Well, the owner chose candidate one without even seeing candidate two. So, now after having spent three days with candidate one, I am hoping that the non-stop chatter Ms. Memphis has displayed is the result of nervous energy.

The woman can talk. And not just innocuous chit-chat like the merits of soft serve over hand-packed ice cream. No, she's broached politics, religion, private schooling, social justice programs, racism, bigotry, suicide, drug addiction, and elitism, all before lunch.

Soon (hopefully) the IT folks will have her computer up and the software the new business will employ will be viewable so that we can begin the tutorials. Soon (hopefully) I'll be given clearance to adjust her current schedule to part-time, as previously discussed. Hopefully, if all the chatter is nervous energy, it will burn off P D Q!

However, if she continues to underwhelm the owner, well . . .

Mayhaps she's just nervous. For her sake, I sure hope so and hope she can and will . . . chill.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

11:50 A. M.

I celebrated a birthday recently. Well, point of fact, I'm still celebrating. There remains a brunch to share with the son. Given the mixed schedules of the three principals in my life and because of the fact of our lives, celebrations are varied and spread over a few days.

Works for me. Birthday celebrations should extend beyond the day, especially after a certain age, yes? Anyhoo . . .
Much of the actual day, Thursday was spent with mom. Apropos, I suppose given that she was a key player in the very first.
Hanging out with my mom can be challenging primarily because her conversational gambit is 20 (or 100) questions and the impending or actual death (of others) one of her favorite topics. She opened our lunch by re-visiting the topic of Rose. Days earlier she'd related Rose's death:
Mom: You remember me telling you about Rose?
Me: No.
Mom: You know, the lesbian?
Me: Oh yes, the lesbian. I just didn't know her name was Rose. What about her?
Mom: She died. And she was your age. She would have been 49 in August.
As of Thursday, some 13 or more days since Rose's death no burial or other disposition has taken place. It seems the family or partner don't have the means and . . .
. . . well, I won't subject you to any more of the conversation, it wasn't (as you might imagine) very chipper. Looping in my mind was the thought, the best thing about turning 49, is turning 49, happy birthday to me.
Still, given the givens, it was not a bad restaurant (oh, my mom and restaurants, a whole other issue) experience. There was another woman celebrating her birthday with a woman (I presumed was her mother, though could have been, a partner--no, on closer inspection, certainly not a partner, but perhaps not mother either) anyhoo, the woman, after hearing my mother order (very loudly) a piece of cake for me (she pretended to be afraid that the staff would start to sing, "happy birthday" thankfully, they didn't*) came to our table and announced, "it's my birthday too!! 7-30-1966!" We exchanged pleasantries and happy birthday greetings.
While sitting on a bench outside the restaurant (mom's breathing is becoming more, and more labored. Troubling, that. And yes, we're looking into the causes and possible remedy) in the midst of talking more about Rose, adding the deaths of John and her sister's (another Rose) displeasure with her son, she announced, "you look younger than she did, that woman in the restaurant."
Well, now . . . I don't know about me looking younger but I sure was looking (she was pretty cute).
Anyhoo . . . one of mom's many questions of the day was, "do you know what time you were born?" I hadn't committed the time to memory and I don't peer my birth records very often, but I did take a look, because I knew she would ask again and the next time, I'd have the answer, 11:50 a.m.
*one day I'll share the Joe's Crab Shack birthday celebration.