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...