Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let's Celebrate

After a three-hour interview, two months of waiting, an indepth background check, a drug test, and the unearthing of a very old high school diploma, I finally got the job I wanted as a Clinical Data Administrator.

I had to jump through a lot of hoops for this job. I hope that "benefits that start Day 1 of employment, excellent pay, tuition assistance, 401K and PTO" is worth it.

I kind of have a feeling it will be...

Put Off

"Hi honey. Hey, did you take care of your car today?"

"No." Irritation shows in his voice. "I didn't get up until late."

"What do you mean? I talked to you at noon!"

"Whatever," and then he goes back to playing Lego Star Wars on ;his PlayStation2.

The night before Thanksgiving, I received a call from Todd. His car wouldn't start. He wasn't far from home, and was at the vet's office. He asked me to bring his AAA card so he could get a jump.

I knew it was more serious than a jump.

As expected on the busiest American travel holiday of the year, AAA couldn't send anyone out for over an hour. So, I took Todd and Benny home, and he said he'd take care of it on Friday.

It's been over a week, and his car is still parked at Baring Animal Hospital (or at least we hope it is).

Every day, he has forced (okay, that's an about "strongly encouraged"?) me to take my other car to work, so he could have a car at home, on the premise that he needs it in order to take care of his car. For a week, I've driven my Vibe to work, and every night when I come home it's the same story: "I haven't taken care of my car because I didn't have the time."

And why do you think he hasn't had the time? I don't know. Ask PlayStation2. Or Splinter Cell. Or God of War. Even the newbie Lego Star Wars knows more about what he does in a day than my Honda does.

Oh well...never do today what can be put off until tomorrow. Right?

Friday, November 17, 2006

And a Whole Lot of Space to Breathe In

That's what I need: space to breathe in. And I haven't had any in three weeks.

THREE weeks. It seems like a lifetime.

Since going back to work, my life has been one of almost constant activity. Who am I kidding? The month before I worked, it was pretty much the same, only in a different way. Before I was working, I spent about 50% of my day looking for work and doing job magic, and another 25% of my day trying to mend my relationship with Todd. The other 25%? It was devoted to sleep.

Ahhhh...sleep. What has happened to my sleep life? But I digress...

As I was whining saying, I haven't had any time to myself for at least two months. I haven't been reading LJ...much. I haven't caught up with friends. I haven't emailed. Written. Phoned.

I haven't had time to read. I have a stack of magazines that I received in the mail that just keeps getting bigger. I have a zillion TV shows to watch. I haven't seen the mid-season finale of LOST.

I just haven't had time.

The good news is that my hard work paid off. Yes, Todd's still dating, but he and I are getting along better than ever. I feel connected to him lately in a way I haven't since I first moved here to Reno.

I'm working. The job magic and endless interviews and persistent nagging of OfficeTeam brought me a job I'm really enjoying. Sure, it's "part-time" (about 30-35 hours a week, depending), and no benefits, but my boss is great and the hours are a bit flexible (except on Mondays). Further proof of good job mojo is the fact that the CEO of the company emailed me this morning to tell me that I'm doing a great job and am a fantastic asset to the company. (A bonus or benefits would have been appreciated, but hey, I'll take the email kudo as well.)

As I was driving home tonight for a quick bite to eat before I turn around again to pick up a friend and go to Lake Tahoe for the evening, I heard the song "Hold On Loosely." When 38 Special sang "And a whole lot of space to breathe in..." I realized that's what's been missing from my life lately: breathing space.

I long for some breathing space. For a few hours to myself, during which I could just do whatever the heck I want to. Read. Watch "Lost." Write a letter. Make some postcards. Play with the cats. Or heck, even update Blogger.

When I worked at Acme, I hated my life. Or at least, I hated the last year and half of my life...that's when things really got ugly at Acme. Yet, I hung in there day after day after day because I had three-day weekends. Every time I complained to my mom about something at Acme, she'd say "but you don't want to lose the job, right? You get three day weekends."

Yeah. She was right. I cherished those weekends. It didn't matter how busy I was Monday through Thursday, because I knew that I could always do whatever needed to be done on Friday, and still have the weekend to play.

Well, those days are gone forever.

Am I sad about that? Not really. Life without Acme hasn't been easy, but it also hasn't been awful. It's nice to go to a job where I'm appreciated. It's nice to actually like my boss. It's nice to go home at night and not have a dark aura surrounding me from the detritus of the day.

And I think not hating my work life has contributed to the harmonious atmosphere between Todd and me. I'm not bitchy when I get home. I am not carrying the weight of the day on my shoulders. I am able to come through the door and just enjoy my home life.

Busy as it is.

So, I'm not complaining. Not really. However, God or Goddess or Universe or Angels or whoever is listening, please give me some breathing space soon. I'd really like to watch "Lost."

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Na na na na na na na NA

Today is my birthday.
na na na na na na na na
Gonna have a good time.

Or at least I hope to. At my age, it can be difficult to have a good time. You know, it can be quite the challenge to fit a little fun in between bouts of flatulence, dementia, stiffness (not the good kind) and random drooling. I think I can do it, though.

Wanna join me? Or does the drooling turn you off?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Still In The Mix

Late yesterday afternoon, I finally reached the HR rep for the position I really want. She had called me last week, and we've been playing phone tag ever since. The reason she called? To let me know I was one of two top finalists for the position, so she wanted to be sure I was still interested.

Still interested? Doesn't she know I've been obsessing about this job for weeks now? Of course my answer was "yes."

I also got in touch with the HR rep for a company with a Report Writer position open. I had applied for it several weeks ago, and the company finally got back to me. I have an interview scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

It feels strange to still be "looking" when I am working at a job I like, for a boss I really like. However, there are absolutely NO benefits with this position, and a girl likes a little security, ya know?

Here's hoping I end up being the chosen one for the job I really want!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I'm Too Sexy For My Legs

Last night, I went to the local witches' shoppe for their first annual All Hallows Eve party. I was to meet my new friends there, and if the party was as bad as the Friday the 13th Party was, we had plans to leave and go drink a few somewhere downtown.

Thank goodness the party wasn't bad.

Well, it wasn't good, either, but it was MUCH better than the Friday the 13th party. I think partly because Halloween and costumes attract a fun crowd. And partly because there was real food. And of course, then there's the fact that even though, for the most part, many of us didn't know each other, we were able to start conversations simply based on the statement "Hey, your costume is cool; where did you buy..."

This being the first Halloween party I've attended since acknowledging my witchy side, I decided to go as a witch. (Original, eh?) But not just any witch...a Sexy Witch. Of course, this was quite a stretch being as I'm not sexy in the least. (And my cellulite can attest to that, although I'd much rather it stay quiet at times like this.)

I found the coolest skirt at Savers. It is long and black, but the front has two gigantic slits in it, that go almost all the way up to the crotch. Underneath the front slits, there is a tiny mini skirt that just barely covers up the nether region. I built my costume around that skirt, adding a scoop-necked almost Renaissancey-top, a spider choker, a temporary snake wrap-around tattoo on my upper arm, fishnet stockings, high heeled witchy shoes, and a long, curly, purple-colored wig.

I must've done something right, because I won a prize for sexiest costume.

When I got there, my friend Vince was already there. We sat down and talked while I caught him admiring my fishnet covered legs several times. Yeah, I have to admit, they looked good. Nothing quite covers up cellulite like fishnets (and jeans).

By the time Monika and Tom showed up, the party was in full swing. Well, if you count sitting around in a circle talking in twos and threes full swing. Yeah, I didn't say the party was a rager.

Monika looked wonderful, and I am really surprised she didn't win sexiest costume (although for some reason she won spookiest). She had on a fetish latex gown, with a laced up back. The front was low cut, and she accented the gown with a sparkly "diamond" belly belt. She curled her normally straightish hair, wore realistic fangs, and "zombie" contacts. She looked great.

Her husband Tom isn't one to normally dress up, but in his fetish latex pants, red devil top, pointy devil tail, and horns, his effort paid off.

After we talked for awhile, my instructor (who is always the life of the party) got a trivia contest going. It started out with questions about obscure (and not so obscure) witch movies, and moved into mythology of all sorts (from Nordic to Asian to Greek to British). I was only able to answer one question: Who wrote the book "Practical Magic"? (Alice Hoffman) For my correct answer, I received a full-sized candy bar, which Dr. Atkins quickly snatched away from me.

Who invited him to the party?

When the trivia question round had begun to die down, Monika and Tom wanted to leave and go to a real Halloween party. There were several going on in town, and even a free one at Harrah's. But, being the non-clubby type, all I could think of was walking my sexy costumed self into bed.

Oh the exciting life I lead.

Vince walked me to my car (the neighborhood is somewhat dangerous after dark), and told me I looked amazing. Yeah, I think I did look pretty good for a change. Then he told me that if I wanted to catch a movie, I should give him a call.

We hugged, said good-bye, and I high-tailed it out of there for home. Parties are nice, but a warm bed covered in cats is even nicer.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Why My Local Newspaper Sucks

Once again, the Reno Gazette Journal proves their inability to publish unbiased opinions.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not naive. I know many newspapers have a bias, be it liberal or conservative. It's just that some are better at hiding it than others.

The Reno Gazette Journal doesn't hide thier bias. In fact, they relish it. Unfortunately, it's the only game in town as far as newspapers go, which is one reason I hate the RGJ with a passion.

In my opinion, the paper or any other news agency should not endorse any candidates whatsoever. Their responsibility should only be in reporting the news. And what passes for news these days just floors me, but that's a different rant.

News, news, and nothing but the news. RGJ, Let's try to keep the bias out, and be honorable like your newsreporting forefathers.

Working Girl

So, as my dear readers may have noticed with my last post, I am working.

About a month ago, Office Team posted a position for a Project Assistant. I applied for it through their posting. I didn't hear back.

About a week later, I went in to their offices, took all their silly tests, interviewed with one of the recruiters, argued with him about my references, and was assured I would hear from him soon.

I didn't. So, I called again when I noticed Office Team reposted the Project Assistant position. I asked to be submitted for it. I was assured that my resume would be reviewed, and if I qualified, I would be submitted.

I wasn't.

Another week later, I saw the position posted once again. I called about it, and was once again assured I would be submitted for it. However, in the meantime I was "perfect" for a position the mall had open for a Marketing Assistant. The job sounded interesting: if I got the position, I would be writing promotional material for the mall, along with all other sorts of promotional and marketing activities.

I went in for an interview, and was hired on the spot. That is, until I mentioned my December pre-planned vacation. No go. No vacations during the month of November and December. I was then told that I could only have the position if I canceled my vacation. I said no, I wouldn't do that as most of it was paid for already. So, we parted ways.

When I called Office Team to let them know about the interview, I once again asked them about the Project Assistant position, as it had been reposted just that morning. I was once again assured I would be considered.

I wasn't.

However, this week the Office Team recruiter I had originally interviewed with called me. "Pamela, I believe we have a fantastic opportunity for you..." and he went on to present the Project Assistant job to me. He said they had sent two other people to interview, but since the job was a part-time position to begin with (morphing to full-time in a month or two), they weren't interested.

I said "Of course I'm interested. I asked for this several times."

Anyway, I went in for the interview on Wednesday, was offered the job and asked to start on Thursday. And guess what? Next week I start working full time.

So, I'm not clear on what Office Team was doing with this. The other two people may not have been the right fit. I don't know. I do know that I got the job, after asking for a chance to interview for it for almost a full month.

However, in the "life is never quite that simple" department, when I came home from my first day of work, I found out I missed two calls for jobs I REALLY wanted (one in particular, with a company that offers a full benefit package starting with day one of employment). So, now that I'm supposed to work full time, I am not sure when I'll be able to meet with these other people.

I guess I'll figure it out. In the meantime, I'm making decent money working with a woman I really like so far. Even though I don't have any benefits, it's not such a bad gig. Money is money, after all.

Hocus Pocus

For the last two months, I've been doing job magic like mad. I would say it didn't work, but that would be a lie. It worked in very strange and unfocused ways.

For example, I really wanted to be considered for a particular job. I wrote an excellent cover letter, pumped up my resume, did a little job magic, and sent it off. A few minutes later my phone rang. I answered it. It was an HR manager with a catering company who found my resume on one of the job sites. She was hoping I was interested in a job they had.

Now, this wasn't the job I was interested in, but hey, the position sounded good, so I said yes and interviewed. Of course, as seems to be with my luck here in Reno, I didn't get the job. I wasn't too terribly disappointed, either, as the offices were cave-like (no windows) and the job seemed a bit...rote.

I kept my instructor updated as to the sorts of magic I was doing to get a job. He always said "good, good," or "great instinct." That is, until this week.

There was one job in particular I wanted. I did magic for this job as if I was Merlin. I wouldn't let it go. I did some sort of magic on it almost every day, and twice on the day that I finally got the interview (a grueling three-hour interview with three different people).

However, for all the magic I threw out there, it didn't seem to get me this position. Oddly, it got me more phone calls, and a position through Office Team as Project Assistant. But not this job.

So, when my instructor asked me in class on Tuesday what was going on, I told him. He questioned me about the types of magic I was doing (which I had already told him about several times), however this time he said "No wonder you didn't get this position. You are dong the wrong type of magic."

According to my instructor, the candle magic I was doing was great, but not specific enough. He said that candle magic didn't bind the job to me, and what I should've done was cord magic. So he went over cord magic with me once again (I am all thumbs, and have trouble making a witch's ladder). After he showed me how, he had me do a spell right there in class.

I did.

However, I wasn't convinced that I really nailed it, so when I got home, I did another one as well. The next day while I was at work, the HR rep from this company called.

Yet, because it's my life and nothing seems to go as planned, I haven't hooked up with her by phone yet. I left a few messages, but as it was Nevada Day here on Friday, she may have been out.

Oddly enough, on the same day the HR rep from the company I really want to work for called, I received another call from a very similar company about another high powered job I applied for (this one is as a Report Writer; the other is as a Clinical Data Administrator).

Obviously, the magic is working...however, it's still apparently not focused enough. Trial and error is one thing if I'm playing around with money magic or something like that. However, when it comes to a job I want, it is quite frustrating and - dare I say it? - annoying as well.

I just want the fucking job. Give it to me already, and stop yanking me around!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bad Girlfrienditis

I'm a bad girlfriend.

Of course, technically, I suppose I'm not really a girlfriend - at least when he's out on a date with someone else. But, since I do live here rent-free (for the time being) and get taken out to dinner quite frequently, and am treated like the princess I am, I guess I am a girlfriend.

But I'm a bad girlfriend.

Last night, I went to class. Todd was fine when I left. He had been in his computer room, IMing his new friends. I knocked on the door, said good-bye, and left.

When I returned home about 3 hours later, I could tell his office light was off. I figured he was downstairs watching TV. I was wrong.

I searched him out, and found him in bed with the light on. I thought he was asleep until he said "Hi, baby." I asked him if he was tired, and he said, no, he was sick.

About 2 hours later, the vomiting began.

After 11 p.m., he asked me to go get him some Pedialyte. I grumbled, because I hate going out that late, especially to places open 24 hours. It's like the dregs of society hang out at those places after hours. But, I knew he was sick, so after grumbling, I left him standing over the sink, where he was spewing into the garbage disposal.


When I got to CVS, there were two cop cars parked there, and a bunch of kids against the cars. The cops were talking to them. I felt creeped out until common sense hit me to let me know that I would be safe NOW that the cops were there.

I went in, got his faux Pedialyte, and headed towards the car. As I got in, another cop car showed up. I have no idea what went down, but it must've been serious.

When I got home, Todd thanked me, and then asked me why I was grumpy. I said that I hated going out late, because I feared for my safety (I was almost raped once - fought off my attacker - so I tend to be a bit fearful about stuff like that). I apologized, though, and that was that.

I finally got to bed some time after 12. I decided to sleep in my office, because Todd was still up, making runs for the bathroom. I must've been exhausted, because the next thing I know, I was woken up by the shrill, blood piercing ringing of the phone in my room. (Note to self: get another phone!)

I ran to the phone before it could wake Todd up. Turned out, it was Todd. He was calling me from the hospital. Apparently he called 911 and had an ambulance take him to the hospital.

Now, this is where Bad Girlfriend takes over. This is the third time since we've been together that, in my opinion, he has overreacted to what is simply a flu bug. He always makes a big production out of his sickness. He goes to the emergency room, gets put on an IV, and whatever else it is they do there.

I don't get it. And because I don't get it, I am afraid that sometimes I come off as uncaring. Instead of saying things like "Ohmygodhoney...Are you okay?" my first tendency is to roll my eyes. Some how, I managed to hold back the words "Aren't you overreacting a bit?" and instead asked what was wrong.

He said he wasn't sure, and told me that they thought it might be the flu, but were going to take a CAT scan to make sure it wasn't anything more serious.

I wasn't sure why he called an ambulance, and it turned out that apparently he didn't want to wake me up to take him to the hospital. Yet, for some reason, he had no problem waking me to let me know he was at the hospital. Not sure I get that...but maybe I'm not supposed to.

He said he'd be there for a couple of hours, and then would take a taxi home. I said okay.

I went back to sleep.

"How could you go back to sleep when your boyfriend was in the emergency room," you might be thinking. Easily. Because, in my head, I knew nothing serious was wrong; it was just simply a case of Manitis, you ladies know what I mean: Manitis is when men revert to babies at the slightest sniffle.

Okay. So vomiting up his dinner is not a slight sniffle, but it's not anything to call in the CDC for either.

As I am sleeping once again, dreaming of Vince and Kelly hanging out at the house talking to my mother, I am jarred awake once more by the shrillness of the phone. (Note to self: seriously, buy another frickin' phone!) I ran over to answer it, thinking that maybe I was wrong and Todd has some sort of fatal disease.

"Honey, did you say you couldn't pick me up?"


I tried valiantly to wake up, but I simply could not. I looked at my watch. I couldn't see it in the dark. I hit the little Indiglo button. Damn...It wasn't even 7 a.m.

"I thought you were going to take a taxi. I have an interview this morning."

"Oh yeah. Okay."

We hung up, and I went back to sleep.

Kind of.

I couldn't drift off, because now that I'm fully awake I felt guilty for not picking him up. I went downstairs and called him on his cell. No answer.

I called again. No answer.

I figured that must mean he was in a taxi, so I made some coffee and waited.

When he arrived home, I gave him the taxi money. At first he declined it, but I forced him to take it and apologized for not just rushing out and picking him up. I asked him what was wrong and he said...

"I've got the flu."

Yeah. Okay. And while I felt awful knowing that he's sick, I found myself about to roll my eyes. Again.

Why is it that every time he gets sick, it becomes a big production?

I am such a bad girlfriend for not being more sympathetic. Oh, I have my excuses: My mom used to get angry every time my brother or I got sick. If we had the flu, we were sent to our rooms with a new coloring book and some crayons, and given some ginger ale every couple of hours. We were never coddled or sympathized with, consequently, I never seemed to acquire any caregiver tendencies.

Yet, I sometimes wonder if even the most sympathetic woman in the world wouldn't just say "Honey, chill out. You've got the flu. It happens to everybody at some time," and go on her merry way.

I'm hoping she would, because then maybe I wouldn't feel so bad for being such a bad girlfriend in the face of disease.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Joseph Ernest Martin

This past weekend, one of my most favorite Reno events took place: The Reno Psychic Fair. I planned to go on Sunday, the day that Joseph Ernest Martin, designer of the Quest Tarot, was going to speak. His topic: Good Psychic, Bad Psychic.

I had also hoped to see the EVP workshop, which I had missed two times before. However, apparently it is not in the cards for me to see the EVP people, because I missed them again.

I went with two of my friends, Vince and Monika. Monika is am empath, so she was telling the both of us what sort of energy she was getting from readers. When we passed Martin, she said she felt a scattered energy. She felt he wasn't a bad guy, but he also wasn't someone she would get a reading from. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

She changed her tune a bit after we sat in on his workshop. He was energetic and funny. I immediately fell in love with him, although frankly, he didn't say anything new. But what he did say, he made fresh with his particular style of story telling.

After listening to him, I knew I was going to have to sign up for a reading with him, and hightailed it to his booth right after the workshop to put my name on his list.

See, I've seen him before, at one of the Bay Area holistic fairs. But, his sign-up sheet was full, so I didn't sign up. Plus, I almost always find women readers more in tune with me, so quite frankly, I wasn't too terribly disappointed to see his sheet was full. However, this time I was not going to let the opportunity slip through my hands.

This was his first time to Reno, and that's probably why his sheet wasn't full. Many of the attendees might not of been fully aware of who he was. Whatever the case, his sheet sure filled up after his workshop.

Vince and Monika decided not to get any readings, so they left me before my 1:30 reading. I looked around at the vendor booths until it was my time.

I was quite excited.

Joseph Ernest Martin couldn't have been any friendlier. He's like Pollyanna in men's wear. He exudes energy. He sprayed both our hands with holy water, then sprayed the air around us with sage. He then handed me the cards (his Quest Tarot, of course) and had me shuffle.

When I was done, I handed the cards back to him, and he asked me what my main concern was. I told him that I felt as if I was in flux. I told him I quit my job without having any sort of a plan, my boyfriend was leaving me, I had a cottage I desperately need to get rid of, and a job to be had.

He laid out the cards in a Celtic Cross. The first thing he said was "You're right, your life is definitely in flux. And in fact, from now until June you're going to have to move, move, move. Any stagnancy you employ - any laziness - will just set you backwards." He further stated that even if I was tired, I was going to have to keep moving forward.

He said the very next thing he saw was a change in career, one that would require more schooling (medical transcription???). He said to do it; go to school. He said it wouldn't be easy, but that I will gain more earning ability from doing it.

He also said that I wouldn't have to worry about my health; that I was going to be fine for now. (And, no I don't count this bout of food poisoning against him; he meant my overall health, as in no major sickness or reason to be hospitalized.)

He then asked me what my boyfriend's name was and I said "Todd." He threw some more cards down. He looked at them and guess what? They were all REVERSED. He said that he doesn't see at all that Todd's a bad guy (true). He said that what he saw is that the relationship has been a lot of work, and that if it is to succeed, it would require even more work...from me. He said that went along with the first set of cards which mentioned if anything is going to happen to me, it would require work (change of career = work at
school, etc.).

Then he threw down some more cards in regards to the cottage. Once again, they were all reversed. Anyway, he said the cottage would sell, but again, it was going to require a lot of work from me. He mentioned yard work (which I thought was interesting, because
yard work does need to be done on the place), and stuff like that.

He threw down more cards regarding a job. Once again, they were all reversed. He joked that I should've shuffled the cards longer. He said that I was going to get a job, but like everything else, it was going to require a lot of work from me. He said the cards
showed him I would have to be aggressive, something he also saw as not easy for me. (right on) He said that I was just going to have to keep knocking on doors, following up with thank you letters, etc.

He told me I still had time; did I have another question? I told him that I was considering moving out of state, yet felt the timing wasn't right. He threw down some more cards (again, many of them were reversed) and said that a move was definitely on the way, but not for another year or a year and a half. He said I wouldn't be moving out of state for a boyfriend or health reasons or family reasons. He said that I'd be moving for more earning power.

The 15 minute reading was $32; I didn't think that was bad at all, considering that there were several less experienced readers there charging much more. Plus, he included a tape of the session with that charge. Most readers seem to ask for an additional $5 for a tape.

As he handed me my tape, I told him that while I hadn't yet added it to my collection, I loved his deck. So,he gave me two items FREE: a reference card for when I do get the
deck, and a worksheet I can Xerox for the Celtic Cross.

He hugged me before I left.

Even though my friend the empath was a bit skeptical about Joseph Ernest Martin, I absolutely know he was the right reader for me this weekend. He was very nice, positive, and delivered the bad news with sympathy and advice on how to change it.

I am very pleased with his reading. I mean, sure a lot of it was bad news, but at least now I know what I'm up against.

And as soon as I'm better, I'm going straight to UNR to register for the medical transcription course. It's time for more earning power!
for the medical transcription course.

I'm Sick

Yes. You read that subject heading right: I'm sick. I'm rarely ever sick. I get sick maybe once every 10 years. I guess it's been ten years, because I am really very, very sick.

I actually think I have a mild case of food poisoning. Todd and I went to Sizzler the other day, and I indulged in the salad bar. I didn't feel sick afterward, but the next morning I was siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick. I was nauseous, and had, well, you know. Yeah. That.

As the day wore on, I became weaker and weaker. I couldn't even stand up. I had chills (no fever), and kept visiting my friend the bathroom.

Yeah. I was sick.

Today I'm not much better. I can't sit up or stand for long periods of time. I can't even eat.

Of course, that might be a godsend. Perhaps I'll lose some of this stubborn weight after all.

Maybe I should get food poisoning more often. It's a lot cheaper than liposuction.


My Risting instructor, along with the owners of a local witches store, decided to throw a party for Triskadecalia (the festival of 13). It was originally planned as a PJ party, but later was changed to just a casual evening of fun, black magic and Pagan movies.

Since my Risting instructor invited all of his students, I decided to go, thinking that there would be people I knew there.

I was wrong.

When I arrived, one of the store owners was there, along with my instructor. There was another woman there, whom I hadn't met before. She was very nice, if maybe a bit wacky. She was not a witch, but very into New Age theories.

She left early. As soon as she cleared the doorway, the others started to make in fun of her. I bristled at that, thinking it was mean-spirited and uncalled for. The rest of the evening did not get any better.

Soon, three UNR students joined in, and then a few others as well. The crowd was a strange mix of people...most of whom seemed to have a mean side to their personality. I wanted to leave, but every time I found a moment to escape, my instructor seemed to pick up on it, and would draw me into the conversation, keeping me there.

A few hours into the evening, one of the store owners finally brought down the ingredients for the Black Cat oil we were going to mix and use. The bowl of ingredients was passed around, and each one of us stirred our intent into the bowl. Afterward, we were each given a vial of the oil, while my instructor taught us how to use it.

He took a black candle, anointed it, and showed us the intricate details of the spell. Then he cast it, while we watched. He placed the lit candle on a makeshift alter, and we proceeded with the rest of the evening.

Finally, I had my chance to escape. My instructor's parting words were to use the oil when we all got home, as the best time to use Black Cat Oil was on Friday the 13th.

When I got home, I pulled out my black candle, closed the circle, and began the ritual. When I opened the circle, I noticed the candle was burning cleanly; a sign the magic was working.

I went to bed, and slept fitfully. However, come morning, I could not shake the bad vibes I had from the night before.

I spent the following morning (Saturday) crying on and off. Hunky asked me what was wrong, and I told him that I was sure it had something to do with the energy from the night before. Most of the people were mean-spirited, and I think that went home with me.

Later that morning, I spoke with a local friend about the incident. Her advice was that the oil, mixed with every one's intentions, was the real culprit. She suggested I get rid of it and never use it again.

After speaking with her, I did a purification ritual on myself, and felt much better. However, later when I returned home, the feelings came back to me. I can only surmise that even though I purified myself, I had not purified the room I did the magic in, therefore that bad energy was still hanging around the room.

Saturday afternoon, I met with two friends who had decided not to go to the party. We discussed what happened, and became concerned with the upcoming Halloween party the same place is throwing. We all have our costumes pretty much done, and were planning to go together, but all agreed that if the crowd is anything like the crowd at the Friday the 13th party, we might be better off skipping it, and going to the Witches Ball instead.

Even five days afterwards, I'm still feeling the effects of that evening. While I'm not completely sure of what went on or what I carried back with me, I know this: I hope to never find myself in a similar situation again.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Hunky is dating. He had his first date on Saturday night, and he has another one tonight. The girl he dated Saturday was someone he met through a parents of children with Asperger's support group. The girl he'll be meeting tonight is through a dating agency.

If you're wondering how I'm doing with all of this, I can't honestly say. One minute, I'm totally fine with it. The next minute, I'm concerned.

"Concerned" is the extent of my adverse feelings so far. For now, I'm not feeling threatened or worried or despondent. I am honestly glad he's meeting new people. Yet, I recognize that at some point, meeting new people will no longer be the gist of the exercise. At some point, he'll meet someone he connects with, and then that will really change the dynamic of our "relationship."

I'm not really sure what to think about that, so I kind of just don't think about it right now.

As for me, I've entertained the idea of reactivating my account. But, when I look at the type of guy available here in the local area, I cringe. Most have kids. Most are looking for someone to camp/hike/ski/sail with. And all are into sports.

That is not the kind of guy I want, nor the type of dating lifestyle I am fond of. The last time I went "camping" was in the Army, and that was enough for me. I'm allergic to outdoor sports, and watching sports on TV gives me the willies.

So for now I think I'll keep my profile hidden and hope for the best.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ten Things

Hunky's been chiding me for not updating my blog. "Why didn't you blog about X?" "Why haven't you writing about Z?"

In honor of hunky, here are ten things I apparently should've blogged about, but haven't:

1. The Amazing $9 Offer: Last week, I received a call out of the blue for a job that made me salivate. It was for a Marketing Assistant position, with a 30-hour work week. The woman I spoke to was nice, so I set up an appointment for an interview. I was definitely qualified, and the more I thought about my chances of getting this job, the happier I became.

On interview day, I put on my new interview dress, charged my now magical necklace, and tucked my sigil into my bra. I was set.

When I arrived at the job site (a bit tricky to find, but I got there,with minutes to spare), I was greeted by a festively decorated-for-Halloween office. Besides the decorations, the office was nicely appointed, and I knew this was an atmosphere I would enjoy working at.

That is, until I got the application.

It was a six-page form, asking me everything from salary requirements to permission for them to perform a credit check on me. I had to fill out two pages of personality traits (circling the ones that applied to me, including bad ones, because if at least three "bad" ones weren't circled, I would not be considered a serious applicant). Then I had to write an essay about what my perfect day would be like.

This was not going well.

When I finally sat down with the person I hoped would soon be my boss, she took a look at my application, saw my salary requirements and said "uh oh." She then explained that the position only paid $9 an hour.

Nine. Dollars. An Hour.

For all the skills they required the applicant to have, for the six page survey, covering everything from personality traits to bad habits to a one-page essay, they were only willing to pay $9 an hour. Needless to say, I told her I wasn't interested and left.

And that, my friends, is what looking for a job in Reno is like. Fruitless. And a huge waste of time.

2. Cottage Woes: My realtor called the other day. He said the good news is that he's getting up to 4 calls a day about my property. The bad news: everyone that sees it is scared of it. He suggested that I get some cleaners in there and get the yard fixed up.

And, I have put in MANY calls, with no calls back. Which is why I was getting rid of it in the first place, because I couldn't get a contractor over there to give me an estimate to save my life. My only conclusion is that people in Reno don't really want to work. They say they do, but when you actually give them a call, they decide that they're having much more fun declaring bankruptcy, so they don't call back.

And the frustration just goes on and on and on...

3. The Redefinition of an Eight-Year-Old Relationship: Two weeks ago, hunky and I were getting ready to leave for our counseling appointment. He turned to me and said "What are we going to talk about today? Do we even have anything to talk about?" That led to a discussion that lasted about two hours (we called our counselor to cancel mid-way through our convo). The basic boil down is this: neither one of us is happy with where our relationship is, so we're in the process of "redefining" it, as hunky puts it. This means, we are no longer exclusive.

I was going to move out, but seeing as I don't have a job, and hunky is currently juggling several offers, all of which would take him out of state, he decided it would be easier on both of us if I just stay here. We are best friends, and he figures we'll make it work somehow. In the meantime, I'll be here to take care of the dogs if he should leave suddenly, and he'll continue to provide me with a roof over my head until I can either 1) afford to move out or 2) get a job, which kind of seem the same to me, but what the hell...

4: I'm Gonna Be A Star: Actually, I'm not going to be a star, but I did have my chance, which I declined. Scraps, the local barkery, asked hunky and me if we wanted to be a part of their advertising campaign (along with the dogs, of course). The answer was yes, with the exception of me. I am scared of the camera (or rather, what I look like on camera), so I just went along to help manage the dogs during the part of the photo shoot that focused on hunky with a single dog, rather than the whole pack. So, if you're a local, look for Todd and the dogs in a print ad near you soon.

5: Wrestling With My Weight: It happened again. My metabolism decided that it will no longer respond to Atkins, so it slowed down and grabbed a few extra pounds, which it meted out between my thighs and my buttocks. I heard that for every decade after 30, the body's metabolism slows down by 10%. That would put my metabolism as about 25% slower than it was in my 20's.

It's so frustrating and aggravating for me. I watch what I eat. I count my carbs. I exercise. I do almost everything right (with the occasional monthly splurge when I go visit my parents, because they refuse to understand that when I say "no sweets, no carbs," that I really mean it). But no matter what I do, it only results in a momentary weight loss, until my metabolism realizes "Hey, she's trying to fool me again," and slows down again in defiance.

It's gotten to the point where I almost just want to give up and become a fattie. I am almost ready to buy a closetful of pull-on pants and muumuus and call it a day. I mean, I'm not enjoying much of my food now, and I'm still gaining weight. So why not enjoy it while gaining weight?

I don't know...forty-something seems a little early to be giving up, so I'm still hanging in there, bumping up my exercise and bumping down my carbs. But I tell you what, another year or two of getting nowhere with my metabolism will probably find me at the nearest Lane Bryant, that is, after I have a gigantic Cinnabon in the Food Court.

6. Finally, some friends: I think I've whined in here before about how difficult it's been for me to make friends in Reno. Every time I make a friend I start to get close to, that person moves away (Reno is a very transient area). However, through the local Witches Meetup group, I finally made a few good friends, and we've been hanging out frequently, doing things like outings to the Ren Faire, building an origami haunted palace for Halloween, and eating lunch at Claim Jumper. I am officially part of a group, and it feels good.

7. Fighting With Office Team: Yesterday, I received a call from Office Team. I had applied to a job they're trying to fill, and they decided I did indeed make a good candidate. So, they asked that I come in today to be tested. The recruiter asked me to bring in two forms of identification, and two names and phone numbers of supervisors, one of which had to be from my most current place of employment. I told them that I would be glad to bring in two names with accompanying phone numbers, but neither would be from Acme Consulting Company.

The guy I spoke to insisted, and I stood my ground, and said no, I would not provide that information. He said I need not be worried; as long as I hadn't done anything unethical, Acme couldn't give me a bad reference. I finally said that was exactly what I was afraid of, as Acme and I had a clash of what was and wasn't ethical. So, he finally relented and said I could use Westaff instead.

So, even though this particular job I applied for initially had me excited, I'm dreading this encounter today at Office Team. It seems like it might just be a replay of item #2 above...

8. I'll Put A Spell On You: Believe it or not, my Risting Tradition classes are almost over. My instructor told us that we only have five classes left. We end in January, at which time he'll let us know which ones of us he will initiate, and which ones of us won't have that honor.

Last week, I had a one-on-one class with my instructor, and he tested me on some theory, etc. Then he said something that I took for face value, and only later realized it could've had a hidden meaning. He said that no one in his Monday class was going to graduate, let alone be initiated, if they kept doing what they're doing. However, everyone in his Tuesday class (the class I'm a member of), was going to graduate. Then he said "But, not everyone will be invited to be initiated."

After class as I was driving home, it occurred to me that this might be a veiled warning to me that I might not be invited to be initiated. My instructor isn't always upfront, and sometimes uses hints to get his point across. The only way I have of finding out is to ask him directly. And, honestly, I'm not sure that I care enough at this point to do that...

9. Snilly Wills: Purrscilla (a.k.a. Purrsnickety, Purrsnilla, Snills, Snilly, Snilly Willy, and Snilly Wills) is recovering nicely from her surgery. She's still not peeing in large amounts, which bugs me. The vet, though, said as long as she's peeing, he's happy. Yesterday,the veterinary office called to let me know what type of crystal she had, and the type of diet to put her on to help counteract crystal formation.

A holistic vet in the area said he can help correct her system with a regimen of Chinese herbs and acupuncture. While I'm interested, he has very limited hours, which means as soon as I start working, I won't be able to take her anymore. So, I'm still mulling that around. In the meantime, I'll be getting her new food and continue to watch her pee. She thinks I'm a perv, but I keep trying to assure her I only have her best interests at heart...

10. Benny, The Well Hung Chihuahua: Benny is our youngest and smallest canine, yet the size of his doghood is HUGE. Unfortunately for him, it's often hidden from view by his big, blue diaper. However, on the few occasions we set him free, he celebrates by rubbing his gigantic schween on hunky, and then French kissing him. Todd keeps telling Benny that boys don't kiss boys, to which Benny replies "I can't quit you."

Simply Ridiculous

While drinking my morning coffee, I thought it would be a good idea to watch the news. I hadn't watched in awhile, and figured it was time I caught up with what's going on in the world.

Five minutes into watching GMA, I was reminded at why I often choose not to watch the mainstream news: stupidness reigns.

GMA reported that pediatricians are pushing for ratings of "R" for any movie depicting any character smoking. No matter how small the part, if someone is smoking, guess what? The movie should get an "R" rating according to these clowns.

I say "WTF?" Why aren't they working on alcohol or drugs? No, apparently smoking is the biggest evil in the world today, and must not be shown in movies. However, let someone curse their head off while smoking their fattie, and that's okay. And a kid who went to a party and downed a few beers, then got into a car, all under the disguise of a teen movie? Why, that's just fine too.

I honestly do not understand this kind of muddy thinking. One would hope that pediatricians were smart, however this latest news proves otherwise. Or maybe it just proves they have no common sense. Whatever the case, I'm glad I don't have children, because I simply would not know who to bring them to for treatment, should they get sick from all of my secondhand smoke.

Maybe a veterinarian would be a good choice...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's Always Something

Yesterday, before I was to go to the cottage to meet the realtor, I was in the bathroom fixing my hair (no, that's not a euphemism for peeing). Purrscilla joined me in the bathroom, and jumped into the tub. A few minutes later, she was scratching around, as if trying to cover something up.

I asked "What are you doing, Purrscilla?" Never much for spilling all, she kept quiet and kept scratching. I looked, and there was blood in the bathtub.

I made a quick call to the vet, and the earliest they could get me in was 4:10. So, I went to visit the realtor as planned.

Right before I left the house, I had something akin to a panic attack. I have been having bad dreams about the cottage most of the week. I had a feeling someone had broken in again, and didn't want to go there alone. But hunky was at the dentist, so I had no choice.

I sat down and grounded myself as my Risting instructor taught me. It took me a few minutes to clear my head, but all of a sudden I was in a field surrounded by falling leaves. The air smelled good, and when I opened my eyes, the panic had passed.

I got into the car, and drove to the cottage. All the while, I knew something was wrong.

When I got to the cottage, the door was open. I carefully got out of the car, and moved towards the door. I listened outside for noises. I didn't hear anything, so I opened the door all the way and stood outside looking in. I didn't see anything, so I walked in.

My brand new Todd Oldham Dexter La-Z-Boy couch was gone, and so were the matching pillows and a mirror. Other than that, it didn't look like there was any damage to the place (well, not any more than was done by the water leak).

I waited outside for the realtor. Who was late. And the later he was, the more I panicked.

A call to hunky helped alleviate some of my panic. Finally, the realtor arrived.

After taking a look at it, and crunching the numbers, I decided to sign the contracts right there and then. I'm not going to make much, if I manage to make anything at all. But, now that it's been broken into three times, I seriously just want to simply get rid of it.

The place is now for sale.

After signing the papers, I went home to pack up Purrscilla and bring her to the vet. The vet examined her and told me it could be one of three things, the last being the most serious and would require an operation.

Turns out, she has the most serious diagnosis, and will be operated on next week. She has stones, which means she will probably have to have a change in her diet.

Todd and I are trying to figure out how to separate the cats to feed them after the operation takes place. Right now, the cats are free-feeding. However, Schmutzy won't be able to eat her special food, and she will no longer be able to eat his. Since we hide their food in my office, behind a baby gate (which works out well and keeps the dogs out), it's been quite easy to feed the cats. Now, with this new wrench thrown in, it won't be so easy.

Of course, deciding how to feed them is the least of our problems. We first need Purrscilla to survive the operation. Since she's only four years old, it shouldn't be a problem.

I just can't help but worry, though...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Animal Totem

There's a monthly Witches Meetup in Reno on the third Tuesday of every month. I rarely get to go, as I take classes every other Tuesday, so quite often my class night conflicts with the Meetup.

Last night was one of those rare occurences when I was able to go.

The two organizers are wonderful. They always have some sort of plan for every meeting, which makes it fun (and is why I hate missing them when I can't go). Last night, they handed out an Animal Totem worksheet, so we could figure out what our Animal Totem is (at least, those of us who haven't figured it out already...).

One of the guys in the group and I have very similar views about cats. We both have three cats, and can't imagine life without cats. When we were discussing totems, it turns out we have the same thoughts: that cats almost seem like too convenient a totem for us, yet we can't help but think cats are our totem animal.

We answered as many questions on the worksheet as we could (the first part was easy, but when it came to figuring out our Journey Totem, Shadow Totem and Message Totem, it was much more difficult). Since we were sitting next to each other, I found myself periodically casting a glance at his worksheet, and caught him looking at mine a few times.

I think we found each other's worksheets fascinating because, at least on the first page, we had pretty much the same answer for each question.

So, it turns out that even though I've been doubting that a cat could be my totem (for many, discovering their totem animal is a huge revelation; for me, I've just always felt it would be a cat), I discovered that yes, according to the worksheet, cats are my totem animal.

The others, though, I just couldn't figure out. Like the guy beside me, I couldn't fill out those questions and I didn't have answers. Questions like "What animal are you dreaming about lately," and "What new animal are you attracted to," and "What animal surprised or startled you today" just simply don't have answers.

I don't dream about animals normally, although there have been times Glindy or one of the cats has popped into my dream life. But it's a rare occasion when they do. I tend to dream of places...not things or people or animals.

And, I suppose because I live in the suburbs, I don't come across "new" animals, nor do animals surprise me (although I understand the term "animals" is to be used loosely, as we're also supposed to think of insects as well).

So for now, I'll just have to take comfort with the fact that I do, in fact, have a totem animal and that if it's important for me to find out that I also have a Journey, Shadow and Message Totem, I will...someday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I Suck At Life

Okay. Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. I mean, if I truly sucked at life, wouldn't I be dead?

However, lately I have been feeling like I suck at this thing called living. The last few years just haven't been good ones. Oh hell, why don't I just be honest and say that hardly anything has felt "right" since I moved to Reno.

It's the energy here or...something. I haven't felt alive here. I've felt suffocated. Oppressed. And every venture - every journey, every step - I've taken here has failed.

The latest? Well, let's say it began when I had another ominous dream about my cottage. I just felt that something was wrong there (again). The next morning, I decided to pay bills and opened up my water bill. $260! What the frick? It's normally it's only $34, which basically pays for service, as I don't run the water there since I'm not living there.

So...I think "Okay, a neighbor is stealing my water." Wouldn't be a first. So, I do some investigating, and the water company thinks I have a leak or something. I had them shut off the water, then decided I'd had enough of this money pit that was supposed to be my home away from home, and called my realtor. She only works for buyers (which I knew), but figured she could give me a good recommendation.

She did, and I called him. We are going to meet this week and see if we can't unload this place "as is."

Then there's the whole job thing. I can't even manage to get an interview here...I've NEVER had that problem anywhere else. Normally I get an interview at every place I apply for. Not in Reno. Nope. And I don't know why; I'm definitely qualified for everything I apply for.

I just don't get it. If I were a superstitious person, I'd say that all signs point to leaving here. However, that's simply not an option right now. Todd isn't going anywhere, and I'm still committed to him.

So what's a girl who sucks at living to do?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Spencer Strikes Again

I guess the same thing is true for dogs that is true for people: When you gotta go, you gotta go.

When hunky let Spencer out this morning for his first pee of the day, Spencer wasted no time. Instead of heading for the grass as he usually does, he scooted out the door, and peed on the first available tall object, which happened to be the new water pail Todd got the dogs.

I guess the dogs won't be drinking out of that any time soon...

My Lucky Day

I'm not a lucky person. I never have been, and I probably never will be. But once every ten years or so, it's like bad luck forgets to rain down on me, and I have a very good day. Yesterday was one of those days.

It began when I tuned into my favorite local news station in the morning. Danita Cohen was interviewing the lead actress in the play Chicago, which is playing here this weekend at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. After the interview, Danita announced that they had a few tickets available, and to email the station for a chance to win.

I sent off a quick email, asking to be dropped into the raffle. I added that I loved the morning news team, and stated that Danita and Carlos rule the mornings.

Within 20 minutes, I had a reply from Danita herself. She stated I was a winner, and I won because I said they "rule." She asked me to confirm I'll be able to attend the Sunday evening show (which I can), and the tickets would be mine.

Then, I went to my early morning dentist appointment. I have a problem with plaque build-up, so I now have to go every three months for a cleaning. Nothing I do at home helps alleviate it, so regular cleaning appointments have been essential.

When the hygienist called me in, she asked what had happened to me since she'd seen me last. I told her that I quit my job, and we talked about that for awhile. Then she started in on my teeth. One of the first things she told me was that my teeth were in very good condition. She scraped for about 20 minutes, then polished my teeth. She couldn't believe that my teeth were looking so good.

When she discovered I hadn't been doing anything different, she stated she thought it was because I quit my job. She said that the problems I had with my gums and excess plaque could've been stress related. She told me not to go back to work, so I could save my teeth.

Well, that would be nice, but I have a feeling I have to go to work again and soon, or at least that's what my wallet tells me.

Then later that day, I got a package in the mail. What could it be? It was from Amazon. I opened it up and it was Tarot Art Nouveau, from a girl I did a reading for. Woohoo! It is a beautiful deck, and I took it with me everywhere I went yesterday, so I could look at it whenever I found myself with a free moment.

Last but not least, I remembered that I had forgotten to RSVP for a tea taking place this weekend. I looked everywhere for the invite, and finally found it...unopened. When I tore open the invitation to get the phone number, I discovered I should've RSVP'd by the 10th. Feeling lucky, I took a chance and called...Rosalie said she was so glad I called and would be more than happy to see me at the tea, and not to worry about the late RSVP.

So now it's Saturday, and my life seems to be back to normal. At least I have the performance to look forward to for tomorrow...and a new deck of cards to play with today. And even though I feel as big as a house, I'll indulge in all those tea sandwiches and scones and just be happy to be there.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bobbing For Beef

Last night, I made one of hunky's favorite meals for dinner: Spaghetti Squash with beef, mushrooms and Alfredo sauce and CarbQuick cheese muffins.

When hunky went for seconds (because he almost always does with this particular meal), he dropped some beef into the dog's water bowl, which is right below the stove. He alerted me and when I got up to clean it out, he said "leave it. It'll be a bonus for one of them."

After we ate, we let the dogs in the house. They tore over to the kitchen, where they knew our dinner plates would be waiting for them to lick clean. Hunky and I sat on the couch, finished our wine, and soon Benny and Spencer joined us. Hunky said "Watch out for Spencer. His face is all wet."

Neither one of us thought much about it...until I went into the kitchen to clean up. There I found a huge puddle of water on the floor. I fetched a towel and when hunky saw me with it, he asked me what was up. I told him that I wasn't sure why, but there was a big puddle of water on the floor.

He started laughing. Then he said "Is the piece of meat still in the water bowl?" I checked. It was gone.

We figured out that Spencer, our very food focused dog, decided that licking the dinner plates wasn't enough, and went bobbing for beef. This would explain his very wet terrier beard and the look of compete satisfaction on his face when he sat down with us.

When it comes to food, there is no stopping Spencer. If he can smell it, he will find it. And eat it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

My Short-Lived Career

Well, remember that job I was so happy to get? Yeah, it only lasted three days. And, if the truth be told, my happiness about the job only lasted a few hours into the job.

The position was at the Public Guardian's Office. Nice people. Great people, in fact. But the job? Not a good fit for me.

The temp that was leaving trained me on my first day. Of course, in four hours she couldn't show me everything, but she tried to show me some of the important things I would know.

My boss was in meetings all day, so he was not able to sit down with me like he had hoped.

The job itself was mostly legal filing. Every Guardian Case Manager keeps their clients' files in their office, along with an accordion file full of all the legal documents that need to go in those files. And, that's the temp's job: to visit each office, ask if it's a good time to do filing, and then sit in the office and do just that.

On the second day, the temp that trained me had given me some easy financial filing to do to get my feet wet. In the four hours I was there, I pretty much finished the filing.

During the last hour of my work day (the 1-2 p.m. hour), I was to watch the phones for the receptionist, who took her lunch during that time. There is absolutely nothing else for me to do during that time, but sit and watch the phones for an hour. During that particular hour, the most the phone rang was five times. So, that means I spent most of the hour staring at the phone and watching the clock.

On Friday, my third day, the receptionist was on vacation, so my boss (who still was in meetings and had not been able to sit down with me to give me the lay of the land) said that while she was on vacation, I would be manning the phone. I asked if there was anything I could be doing to keep busy while at the reception desk. He said unfortunately not; the only thing he had for me was phone coverage.

I sat down, and waited for the phone to ring.

And waited.

And waited.

After about thirty minutes, I found a magazine at the desk, and started to read. Finally the phone rang. I transferred the call, and went back to my magazine. In an hour, I had finished the magazine.

I took out a book I had brought with me and started to read. About two hours into my day, my boss came out of his meeting (which was still going on) and said to me "You know, I don't go for the book reading thing at work. I think we need to find you something to do." He then directed me to get G. to cover the phones, and sent me back upstairs to do filing. That's when I knew I wasn't going to return.

I spent most of the day filing, and finished the particular project I was working on. I still had 15 minutes to go before leaving. Then I remembered that the other temp had told me on Fridays she empties the recycle bins, so I did that until it was time to go.

At 2 p.m., I looked around for someone to sign my time card. One of the accounting ladies said she could sign it, so I got my card signed, cleaned up the desk I had been at, and left.

I got one block away when I remembered that I had left the book I was reading at the office. I would've just left it there, but it was a library book, so I went back. (The drama in going back has to do with the fact that the doors to the Public Guardian's office are locked, so I would have to ring a bell and get someone to let me in.)

I parked, walked up to the door, and before I could ring the bell my boss answered the door. He had seen me approaching. He apologized for not being able to spend any time with me that week, and said that next week looked just as bad.

He said he promised that the job would get better in time, but until he could spend time with me, I'd have to do simple things, which he knew was boring but at the same time, needed.

I nodded, said something pleasant in return, grabbed my book and left. I didn't tell him I wasn't coming back, because according to the temp agency's handbook, all my dealings were to take place directly with my recruiter.

I drove directly to the temp agency, walked in, and went up to my recruiter. I told her that I wanted to hand in my time card in person as I wanted to let her know that I didn't want to go back there next week. I told her that while everyone at the Public Guardian's office was nice, I did not want to spend next week answering a phone that rarely rings, while just sitting at a desk without anything else to do.

She didn't look surprised.

She asked if I was still interested in part-time work, and I said yes. She shook my hand and thanked me for coming in, and then I was on my way.

When I returned from the Bay Area last night, I checked the local job boards and saw that "my" job was posted on Saturday. I felt slightly guilty, because I had prayed for a job, done magic for a job, got a job, and then gave it up.

Why the guilt when I know this wasn't the right job for me? I have no idea...all I know is that I'm back to the drawing board and a quickly deflating wallet.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

You're Hired!

I was sitting around in my pajamas sweat pants, minding my own business when the phone rang. I didn't answer it, seeing as I was going to go to the gym and all. Well...I probably should've answered it. It was a woman calling about a job.

Uh huh. You heard that right.

For some odd reason, hunky answered it (he rarely ever answers the house phone). He thought I was already at the gym and took a message. But, in another odd moment, he decided to check to see if I did, in fact, really go to the gym.

I had not, so he gave me the message.

I tried to figure out what job Westaff could be calling about. I had applied for a part-time position through them about three weeks ago, however when I tried pulling up that particular job to refresh my memory, I was met with the message that the job had expired.

Well, if it expired, then what the heck were they calling me about?

Turns out, Westaff was calling me about a job I hadn't even applied for. The company (and I'm still unclear about which company) wanted to hire someone ASAP, and to make the process quick, just wanted to interview me by phone. The Westaff rep asked if I'd be interested in the job. I said sure. Next thing I knew, I was talking with the head honcho and he said "I'd really like you to start tomorrow."


So, I start tomorrow. I'll be working part-time, from ten a.m. to two p.m., five days a week. It only pays $10 an hour, but that's okay. I planned to take some classes, anyway (Medical Transcription), so this should all work out.

My boss sounds like a really terrific guy. He said he's working on a contract, which is up in June of 2007. They need some part-time office help to control the filing, answer the phones, and data entry. He said I'll probably be bored to tears, but he really wanted someone reliable because he's sick of hiring a new temp every couple of weeks.

I honestly have a good feeling about this. Now I can take the medical transcription course (online, through the university) I'm interested in, and work at the same time. Plus, while he couldn't promise me he could keep me on through June (contract work being what it is, if funds run low towards the end of the project, I'd go first because I'm part-time), he thought he could keep me employed at least through April for sure.

And, if I really apply myself, I could be done with the online transcription course by then.

As they say, timing is everything...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What It's Like

In my last post, I talked about how the topic of what it's like living with someone who has Asperger's has come up a lot. But what I didn't say was what it's like.

If anyone's been reading me for any length of time, they've been exposed to many of my "hunky rumblings." And most of those rumblings came from something he did that was Asperger's related. However, I don't often say that. Instead I vent and grumble and rant and rage via the keyboard.

Living with Todd isn't always easy. His psychotherapist asked me, "Do you feel as if sometimes you live with Todd and sometimes live with Asperger's?" The answer is no. I feel I live with Todd, who has a few (okay, maybe quite a few) quirky and sometimes maddening characteristics due to Asperger's. However, I never really separate the two.

Todd says that's to my credit, but sometimes I think it's not. I believe that half the time my anger could be alleviated sooner if I would just take a few minutes out to take a deep breath or two and say "He's not doing that on purpose."

However, both Todd and I knew what the psychotherapist was getting at. Some people differentiate between the two, and I don't. At least, most of the time. Sure, I might write about it here, or talk about it with Todd, but IN THE MOMENT, I don't differentiate between living with Asperger's and living with Todd.

One of the Aspberger's moms (who is also a physician) asked me this weekend if I ever forget he has Asperger's, and if so, how does that affect my reactions, etc. I told her that I forget he has it most of the time. Todd is so high functioning, that I really don't think of him having "an affliction," if you will. However, that works both in his favor and out of it. I don't coddle him or baby him, however because he is so high functioning, when he has what I have come to call a pajama day (the days when he simply does not have the energy to shower, get dressed and get out of the house), my frustration level with him almost boils over. In those instances, it would probably be better for the both of us if I remembered and acknowledged that he has Asperger's. But I don't...I treat him as neurotypical, expecting him to have the energy and disappointed when he doesn't.

Despite our difficulties (which aren't all related to Asperger's, by the way), we have managed to be together for eight years. The Asperger's parents and the Asperger's therapist we were around this weekend thought that a huge success. And, I guess it is. However,the success doesn't belong to just one of us; it's a success that belongs to the both of us, and probably more so on Todd's side, as he tends to be the communicator and peacemaker in our relationship.

When I talked with the psychotherapist, I told him that not all of Todd's Asperger's related characteristics were negatives. The positives are that he thinks outside the box, therefore he can come up with the most amazingly simple solutions to seemingly complex problems. He also has no filters, which means that he doesn't play games (there was none of that "get her phone number and wait three days to call" stuff when we dated) and he doesn't lie. Now, he is the master of conversational manipulation to hide the truth, but he just simply cannot lie. And since I am now well-versed in conversational manipulation, I know when he's trying to pull something over on me, and a simple straightforward question will illicit normally both a laugh and the truth.

There are also some other pluses as well, and again most of those have to do with the fact that he has no filters, so I end up feeling emotionally safe with him. For example, when we used to watch Joan of Arcadia, it wasn't unusual for both of us to be in tears at the end of an episode. He didn't feel a macho need to hide it, and he also never felt a need to belittle me for shedding a tear or two or three after an eppy.

Sure, there are times I think life would be so much easier for the both of us if he didn't have Asperger's. Yet, on the other hand, he is uniquely Todd, and in the end, that is part of his charm.

Living With Asperger's

Lately, the topic of what it's like for me to live with someone with Asperger's has come up a lot. Hunky's been hounding me since June to visit with his psychotherapist, so I could give him the low down on what it's like for me to live with someone with Asperger's. And, since I no longer have the "can't, I have to work" excuse, I went in last Thursday.

I really did not want to do this. I think I felt it would be like telling tales out of school. However, after a few minutes of reservations, hunky's psychotherapist got me to spill the beans. I spilled for so long, I took up the whole hour.

That's a lot of spilling. And I didn't even tell everything I wanted to.

Then, through several associations of his own, hunky was invited to be a, as he puts it, "talking zoo exhibit" this weekend down in Carnelian Bay. A therapist there that works with kids with Asperger's had a parent-child event at a local mini-golf place and thought it would be good for the parents to talk to Todd to find out how he coped with Asperger's growing up, and how it affects him now as an adult.

I went with him.

It was quite interesting. The parents and therapist couldn't have been nicer. They asked Todd intelligent questions. He was able to respond in such a way that I believe each parent went away feeling as if their kids were going to end up just fine (but not without struggles).

A few of the women had questions for me as well. Some having to do with our relationship longevity, and others about what it's like for me to live with an adult that has Asperger's.

The therapist treated us to lunch with the group. One kid, who for some odd reason I felt endeared to, actually approached Todd and asked him a few questions, too. When we finally left (we were the absolute last ones to leave, because so many people had questions for Todd), I could tell Todd, though tired, felt good about the whole exchange.

We talked about it in the car while riding back home. See, when Todd was a kid, Asperger's was so new on the spectrum that it wasn't ever considered by any of his doctors or therapists. It really is a fairly new diagnosis, so Todd had to deal with misdiagnosis year after year after year. One plus the parents we met have is that they have the (hopefully) right diagnosis, so now they can get their kids on the appropriate therapeutic tracks.

Todd felt that the parents were all positive, something he hasn't come across in many of the Asperger's groups he belongs to. Of course, we both noted that these particular parents were all fairly wealthy, so money probably plays a part in their hopefulness (i.e., they can afford to get their children into the types of schools they need and can get them the therapeutic help they need).

The day was a loooooooooong one, but I felt very a very rewarding one for Todd. He felt useful and helpful, and I think it put him one more step forward in the advocacy work he's been doing for Asperger's.

Ramblings From An Out-of-Work Loner

So, I've been out of a job for almost a full month now. I'm not too worried; my original plan was to take the month of August off, to only be interrupted by a really great job offer.

Not to worry (I guess): There have been no really great job offers. Actually, no job offers at all.

And there's the pisser.

I have applied for quite a few - all of which I was amply qualified for - reminding me again of how that first year in Reno was for me. No job. No glimmer of a was awful.

This time, though, I am prepared to visit every damn temp agency in town. I'm sure that once I do that, I will start working. I will admit, though, it's much more satisfying to find my own job.

This month has been awfully busy, considering I haven't been working. First there was the "get out of the house now, dammit" vacation, almost forcibly imposed on me by hunky, Then there were the "since you're here anyway" outings with hunky, and a few surprise outings as well.

Throw in a few afternoon naps, trips to Savers, errand runs, bill paying, classes, magical workings and hangovers (just kidding about the hangovers), August has been a rather busy month.

I am still occasionally haunted by dreams of Acme and Acme personnel. Thank goodness they aren't as frequent, or I'd have to kill myself with a hangover.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Days of Wine and Brownies

After visiting with my folks, I spent four nights, five days in Carmel. My original plan was to go to Santa Cruz (which always seems to be a healing place for me), but my inner voice told me it wasn't the right place to stay this time. And, after doing a search for hotel rooms and coming up blank, the city of Carmel came to mind.

I hadn't been to Carmel in years. But, I remember the beach as being quite pleasing and an easy walk from many of the downtown hotels. So, I decided that Carmel was the place to go.

My first choice was to stay at the Cypress Inn, Doris Day's tony hotel. However, the cheaper rooms were unavailable and the last two rooms went for $245 and $295 a night...way too steep for me. So, I decided that I'd just have afternoon tea there and find someplace else.

The someplace else was Best Western Carmel Bay View Inn. I got a special rate, and best of all, it was located about five blocks away from the beach. Plus, there was free parking, which is not so easy to find in Carmel. I was sold.

Sunday afternoon, I headed down to Carmel. I ran into a bit of traffic due to a car accident, but still managed to make pretty good time. I checked in, parked, and made my way to my room. It was PERFECT. I had no one above me (always a plus), and the room had a gas fireplace for the cool Carmel nights. After settling in, I looked for a place to eat.

Strangely, after walking around downtown Carmel for almost an hour, I found a place almost directly across from the hotel room. The reason I hadn't seen it earlier was because the tree-lined center street divider hid the sign, so when I left the hotel, I didn't see it. And since I walked down to the crosswalk, I totally missed it.

The place was great. I was able to snag a table outside (something hunky never likes to do), have a glass of wine and just enjoy the tree-filled courtyard. When I got back to the room, Lifetime kept me company until I fell asleep.

The next day, I got up early and explored the town. I walked all over, even checking out the residential neighborhoods to look at the cute beach town houses. I didn't have lunch, because I had reservations for afternoon tea at the Cypress Inn.

Tea at the Cypress Inn was both delightful and disappointing. Delightful, because I was able to sit in the beautiful courtyard during a pleasantly sunny afternoon. Disappointing, because there was no tea menu to choose from; therefore, there was no control over my menu choices. Two of the tea sandwiches were tomato and cream cheese; I can't have tomato, and it took me forever to get the waitress' attention so I could get two replacement egg salad sandwiches. I was also looking forward to splurging on tea dessert, however that was three hard cookies (the kind that comes in tins), so I left them and opted to get dessert somewhere else later. The scone, however, was probably the most delicious scone I've ever had. And the tea (Vanilla Bean) was wonderful as well.

After tea, I walked around town looking for a bakery for my much-anticipated dessert. Since Atkins, I have completely lost my sweet tooth, yet I was hoping to find a piece of cheesecake or something similar to enjoy.

I passed a bakery that had beautiful frosted brownies in the window. The brownies were topped with mocha-chips. They called out to me. So, I went inside the bakery, and snagged the very last brownie and brought it "home."

Once back at the room, I poured myself a glass of wine to have with the brownie. I wasn't quite sure if I'd enjoy it...while it was beautiful and big, my lack of a sweet tooth worried me.

I needn't have worried; the brownie was delicious.

After that, I ended up buying one of those brownies every day I was in town. Atkins shmatkins...I was on vacation and brownies (with the requisite glass of red wine) was going to be my splurge. Plus, I reasoned with myself, as much walking as I did every day, I am sure I walked those babies off my hips.

I visited the beach every day, wearing a bathing suit I had initially bought for my first trip with Acme Consulting Company. Chris had told me to make sure to bring a suit with me as we would have some time to hang out at the pool. So, I bought a flattering one-piece suit, but ended up never getting brave enough to wear it around my co-workers. (Flattering as it is, it still doesn't hide my cellulite, which loves to come out and play at the most inopportune times.)

Being in Carmel was so restorative that I found I couldn't leave on the day I was supposed to. So, I called Todd and asked if he minded if I stayed an extra day. He said while he missed me, he saw no problem with me staying longer. The hotel room was not booked, so I was able to retain it for an extra night at the same discounted rate.

On the way down and back, I listened to the audiobook Miss Julia's School of Beauty, which I also found relaxing. Jumping around radio stations, constantly barraged by commercials is not at all relaxing. But an enjoyable, fluffy audiobook just added to my relaxation.

And now I'm back...and still dreaming about Acme. Will the torture ever end?


Since I quit my job, I have dreamed about it almost every night since. There have only been three nights that I haven't dreamed about my job, and that worries me. Not the three nights without work-related dreams, but the fact that I've had SO MANY nights with work-related dreams.

In almost all of them (except for the one I had last night), I've dreamed that they took me back. Todd asked me if that was because I want to go back, or I wish they wanted me back. I said neither; I think that subconsciously, I think I made a mistake.

My dream last night indicated that I did the right thing, though. Yes, they had taken me back (or perhaps I hadn't yet quit). But, they had taken away all the nice things about my job, including a computer monitor, which they had given to Michelle. When they attempted to do one more crappy thing, I just up and left like I did in real life.

I honestly think I did the right thing by leaving, but without a back up plan in place, I feel like I'm floundering.

Which brings me to my online absence...hunky told me he was tired of me "moping" around the house, and asked me to please leave. See, I normally visit my folks the second Saturday of every month. This month, though, I was hesitating on when to leave, if I should leave, etc. Hunky said "Please...leave! I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but I really need some time away."

After the initial shock of having him ask me to leave, I realized in a way, he was right. Though I sincerely believe I haven't been moping, I think time away was needed. So, I made the plans to visit my folks as planned, and then made reservations at a hotel in Carmel to have a mini-vacation at the beach.

As soon as hunky discovered I was going to Carmel, he said "Hey, that sounds like fun. Mind if I join you?" Um, I thought he wanted some I said "no." Because, see, by then I'd already had a plan of sorts in place for my time off.

The trip was nice, and I even extended it while I was down there. Now I'm back, and the reality of not having a job has hit me smack in the face again. I have done some job magic, but it has yet to manifest itself in a real way. I am looking, though, and have faith that something will happen soon.

Until then, I hope I stop having dreams about going back to Acme. Truth is, I wasn't happy there, and even if they would take me back (and of course they wouldn't), I wouldn't want to go back there for all the money in the world. (Although the three-day weekends were awfully nice...)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's Over

So, ignoring everyone's good advice (and I got some great advice), hunky and I wrote up a letter of resignation last night. After my Risting class, I went to work, cleaned out my desk, and left the letter.

You know you want to read the letter! It's pretty good, if I do say so myself (okay, well, hunky wrote most of it):

Dear Acme Management:

I am writing to you today to officially tender my resignation from Acme Consulting Company effective Wednesday, August 2, 2006.

There was a time that I thought I would never leave such a great company as Acme, but things have changed. I now feel that I need to look for brighter opportunities elsewhere. However because I’ve invested such a great deal of time and energy in Acme, I’d like to leave you with a few constructive thoughts.

In no particular order, I’d like to suggest that you consider the following issues with future employees:

• Growth Opportunities: The position of Communications Manager lacks opportunities for significant career growth. Promises were made regarding the advancement opportunities at Acme, but management did not take an active role in expanding my responsibilities within the company, or provide me with career-enhancing training and education. The lack of solid mentorship was a large factor in my decision to resign, and will doubtless be a problem for others who may hold the role in future.

• Workplace Culture: The culture at Acme focuses too much on issues which are not work-related. Making communication styles more important than productivity is inappropriate. The focus of any job should be on adding value to the company by fulfilling one’s job description, and meeting measurable management objectives.

• Measurable Goals: In many cases, Chris and Dennis assign tasks with no guidance or measurable objectives. The goals are often implicit, rather than explicit. Objectives should be clearly stated upfront, and successful completion of objectives should be measurable.

• Employees’ Right to Privacy: Employees are entitled to a private life, and attempts to regulate what people say outside of the workplace — especially in cases which do not involve trade secrets, proprietary information, or company identification — are protected speech. It is both inappropriate, and possibly actionable, for a company to try to regulate an employee’s private life. It is also inappropriate for employees to share non-work related information with management, especially with the intention of creating workplace friction (i.e. Michelle bringing my personal weblog to management’s attention; contrary to statements made by Chris, I did not personally provide Michelle or anyone else in the office with the website address, as my intention was to express myself and not to cause any unpleasantness).

• Counseling Sessions: If and when it is necessary to counsel employees about workplace issues, you may want to spend more time focusing on creating strategies which lead to measurable success. Pointing out problems, especially in subjective areas such as interpersonal dynamics, without offering solutions or attempting to problem-solve, is destructive to morale.

In closing, I really no longer feel welcome at Acme and any opportunities I may have had in the past are no longer available, therefore it’s time for me to move on. I wish you all the very best of luck and hope you don’t repeat the same mistakes with future employees.

Thanks again for everything.



It is finished. Hunky did me a solid, and dropped the keys off at the office and picked up my check.

Now I'm jobless and scared, but at least I'm no longer miserable and scared.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Next Step

Just as I sat down to update my journal, the phone rang. I almost answered it, but seeing as I called the office this morning to leave the message that I wasn't coming in, I decided against it.

Good thing, as it was Chris. She said,"PJ, since you called in and didn't say you were ill, I believe we need to talk today. You know the number. Give me a call."


I wish Todd was awake right now, because I think I need his logical, rational input as to what my next step should be.

I am not calling. I'm not ready to talk. In fact, I'm not even ready to go back.

Which leads me to the reason why I sat down to write this entry in the first place. What is my next step?

I couldn't sleep last night. I woke up at 1 a.m., my stomach tied up in knots. After tossing and turning for about an hour, I finally got out of bed and went into my office. I re-read my entry, the replies, and just tried to listen to my inner voice. Unfortunately, that inner voice is drowned out by the sound of my fear.

I've NEVER been fired from a job before. I think, though, I just might be about to be fired. Yesterday, for not being a team player. Today for not coming in.

Well. What's next? Will I be able to temp without a recent job reference? Will I land on my feet after a situation like this? How do people do it? People that have gotten fired, that is.

I sincerely believe the ONLY reason I wasn't fired yesterday was because both Chris and Dennis aren't prepared to have an empty writer's slot at work. Chris doesn't want to do the writing, and neither does Dennis. They know that Michelle can fill my role completely, except for the writing. I believe the plan was to reprimand me, and keep me around while they silently tried to find a writer to fill my role. Once found, I would be gone.

In other words, yesterday or tomorrow, it's going to happen.

I guess it's time for me to be PROACTIVE and do something...but honestly, I'm not sure what that something is. Update my resume, of course. Temp agencies? Perhaps.

I'm just not sure how to answer the question "Why did you leave your last job?"

Monday, July 31, 2006

Just Not My Week

So, today's scolding by the Big Men on Campus wasn't the only thing sour in my world: had a huge fight with hunky yesterday and had a swap go pretty dang badly last week. Needless to say, it's just not sunny in Pammy's world right now.

The fight with hunky was ugly. It started out with something stupid; he interrupted me when I was watching a television show, and I snapped at him. Instead of letting it go (even though I admitted I was snappy), he ended up calling me an asswipe, which is probably the meanest thing he's ever said to me before. It really hurt my feelings, and I didn't talk to him for most of the day. I told him get out of my face; that I didn't want to see him again, and so he stayed out of my way.

The swap gone bad: joined a "gothic" swap group. The person's whose name I got didn't bother to fill out the survey (the theme was Gothic Romanticism). I didn't even realize the person was a guy until the swap almost went out ("friends only" journal, gender unspecific journal name, no real name given), and I found that out by accident. I sent a brand new DVD, Practical Magic, the book Sabine & Griffin: Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, some purple nail polish and toe separators (so he could paint his wife's toe nails purple), and candles.

When he received the package, he posted to the group that my package WASN'T at all goth, and that the one thing he'd say was goth (the movie) he already had. Didn't thank me, either, but after a slamming post like that, I guess I didn't expect him to.

When I read the post to the community, my face actually turned red with embarrassment. At first I apologized, but then I realized "Hey, you big fucking moron, you didn't even fill out the damn survey," and then I adjusted my reply to cover that (well, I was nice enough to leave out the "fucking moron" comment).

The book? Definitely goth. Maybe not "I'm a vampire" goth, but definitely not the average fluffy love story, either. And the candles, well, candles are always goth, but maybe only black ones?

Who knows...anyway, then the moderator (who turns out to be his wife) chastised me also. I wanted to withdraw from the community right then and there, except that I wanted to participate in the next swap (Fairytales gone bad). So... I don't know. I guess I'll give it one more try, but all this has me feeling like I'm a big fat loser in the game of life.

In fact, I think I need a good cry. Good thing it's quitting time...

Someone's In Trouble

And that "someone" would be me. Yep.

Today, there were a series of closed-door sessions. For a company as small as Acme Consulting Company (six people onsite), that's unusual. And, since I wasn't a part of any of the closed door sessions, I had a feeling it might be about me...especially since The Junior Executive didn't engage me in her normal "how was your weekend" Monday morning chatter.

This afternoon, I was called in to talk to El Presidente and The Junior Executive. The Junior Executive began by saying she hates to wear her supervisor hat, but sometimes she has to...and then she pretty much laid into me.

She began by saying that I am excelling at my new role as writer. However...and then that's when I got the one-two punch. Apparently, my phone manner is inconsistent, and two weeks ago, El Presidente’s Wife overheard me say something to (a customer? a telemarketer?) that left her concerned enough to voice those concerns to The Junior Executive, and to ask that maybe I be taken off the phones.

Now, don't get me wrong; I'd love to be taken off the phones. But seriously, I can't think of an incident that particular week that would concern El Presidente’s Wife. Sure, I was stressed being as I was the only person manning the whole office Monday through Thursday. (Well, sort of. El Presidente’s Wife wandered in a few times, and I'm assuming it's one of those times that she overheard me on the phone being less than jocular.) However, honestly, I know when I'm rude, and I don't remember being rude that particular week (not saying I haven't been rude, but mostly to telemarketers, who I frequently just hang up on).

And then there's The Cry Baby. Apparently she found an entry I made on my other journal complaining about how often she calls in sick on Tuesdays and showed it to The Junior Executive, who in turn showed it to El Presidente. They are disappointed in me, and because of me, had to revise the Acme External Service Standards to include a new action item: Other - No "public" discussion of personal company issues or employee issues.

So, The Junior Executive told me that she had no idea why I would do something like that, knowing that both she and The Cry Baby had access to the site. She even went as far as to say I gave them the address. NOT TRUE. I never gave either of them the web address for my journal; they found it on their own. And even though I didn't mention the company by name, The Junior Executive is mad because her name is on the entry (not in the body, in the comments) and also The Cry Baby's.

Boo hoo. But of course, now probably all my entries will be "friends only." Most are now, anyway. Not sure why I didn't mark that particular entry private, but I didn't, and now I'm in trouble. (Strangely enough, shortly after posting the entry I had the feeling it would come back to bite me in the butt. Why don't I ever listen to my "feelings"?)

The Junior Executive went on to say that when The Cry Baby calls in sick, I'm cold to her the next day. She basically told me to lighten up; that Acme's policy is that if someone calls in sick, they're sick, and if it becomes a problem, then they will get talked to. So, basically what she said is The Cry Baby can elongate her weekends as often as she wants to, because she is a valued employee, whereas I am treading water, and if I know what's good for me, I won't call in sick for quite awhile.

She also harangued me some more about The Cry Baby. She said that she had hoped I would've taken her out for coffee a while ago, and instead of bugging me about it, she decided to just step back and see what I would do. Well, newsflash: she said it might be nice, but she didn't feel it was necessary. And since I also felt it wasn't necessary to spend more time with The Cry Baby than I had to in the office, I just didn't do it. But of course, now I'm in trouble for not doing what she was hoping I would do.

Which brings me to the next point: my raise. I honestly thought they were going to take it back! She talked about it, and how I haven't lived up to their expectations, etc. Then she said that I am supposed to be coming to her on a regular (weekly? monthly? bi-monthly?) basis, and saying, "The Junior Executive, gee, I would sure like to have some more work put on my plate. Challenge me! Give me more." (And I know this sounds like I'm making it up, however that's what she said, basically word for word.) And since I haven't done that, I am in trouble.

She said it was all part of the original deal: That I would ask her for more work, grow my job, "RELISH" the opportunity to get so much work that my inbox would be overflowing (again, I do not exaggerate). Now, I never remember her saying that. I do remember both her and El Presidente saying that they would expect my job role to increase, and The Junior Executive saying that she would be giving me more of her workload and training me on it.

She did not do that. Yet, I'm the bad guy because, guess what?, I should've been ASKING for more work.

Then they both asked me if I even really want to be part of Acme. They said they didn't expect an answer today, but that they'd like me to think long and hard about it tonight, and maybe this entire week, and get back to them on that. They said that in many ways, I do not fit into the Acme mold, which is an exuberant, joyful personality, always asking for more work, and turning my head the other way when people abuse the Acme sick policy. (Okay, so I made that last part up, but it was eluded to...)

The Junior Executive mentioned several times that she doesn't like to confront me because she's scared to. Well, that's not my problem. I've never snapped at her. I've never given her any reason not to approach me. And yet, it's my fault that she doesn't feel that she can approach me to give me more work.

El Presidente concluded the session by saying that he does see a lot of potential in me, and believes I have what it takes to be an "Acme Ace employee." However, some of my personality quirks concern them, so please think about if I just want a job or if I want a job with Acme.

Which brings me to Todd, who just this weekend sat me down and said "Honey, what are you going to do about your job?" He knows I'm unhappy here. In so many ways, navigating Acme country is a lot like navigating life with my folks. There are a lot of landmines around, and I just never really know when I'm going to step on one.

Basically, The Junior Executive wants me to be a mind reader. She wants me to be "proactive" (and if I hear that word one more time, I think I am going to need a lobotomy) and come to her. And as much as I'd like to be that kind of person, I'm not. I like to skate. I went through most of my whole adult life without skates. I did everything the hard way in the Army and in my first few jobs afterwards. But at Acme, they just sort of gave me some stuff to do, and I do it. I don't look for more, but if they give me more, I will take it on and excel at it (oh, I guess unless it involves answering the phones...).

If this was the Bay Area, there's be no thinking involved. I'd give my notice, and get a new job. But this is Reno, and the job market (for someone like me who hasn't finished college) consists of casino work, warehouse work, or receptionist work, all of which pay a pittance. And yes, I like my Fridays off.

So what's a girl with a poor phone personality to do?