Monday, February 27, 2006

It's been 8 years today since my mom passed away. At the time, a woman I worked with was telling me that her dad had passed away 5 or 6 years before, she couldn't remember exactly when. That astounded me, because I thought this is a day, an anniversary I'll never forget. But I guess everyone's different. I found this photo strip in a box of things from my dad's house. It's from the Christmas of 1974. I was 5 years old. I think we went to Florida that year to see my grandparents over Christmas break.

I've heaped quite a bit of guilt and regret on myself concerning her death. I should've gone to see her more once I'd moved away from home. I should've been more insistent that she see a different doctor. I shouldn't have moved in with K before we got married. I could go on and on. It's taken a long time, but I think I've finally let most of that go.

Now, when I cry over it (which is still often, especially now that my dad is gone, too, and usually in my car when I'm alone), I miss her. I wish I'd appreciated her more while she was still here. She had her faults, no doubt about that, but she did the best she could. I wish I could take back the horrible things I said over the years, in the heat of arguments (Such as 'You're not my real mother, so you can't tell me what to do!' I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for that one.). I wish she'd been around to see my son born, to have lived close enough to one of her grandchildren to see them regularly and be the kind of grandmother she dreamed of being.

I hope there is a heaven. And I hope I've done enough good things to get there one day. And when I get there, I hope I get to see her again, so I can tell her all these things I didn't take the time to say while she was still with me.

Martha Louise (Schneider) Love
August 16, 1934 - February 28, 1998


For the 4th time this morning, I am listening to the saga of the woman that sits in the cubicle behind me’s furnace going out this weekend.

I have my the volume of my headphones up so loud, to drown her out, that I think I’m risking serious eardrum damage. And I can still hear her.




Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ah yes....................

For Christmas, the woman that sits in the cubicle behind me received a Barnes & Noble gift card from the woman that sit behind her, and I bet you'll never guess what she bought with it!

Yesterday, after the weekly Friday morning discussion of Thursday night's episode of Survivor, we got a chapter by chapter run down of this fine work. Apparently, is it absolutely riveting and if you only read one book in 2006, this should be it. Run out to your favorite bookstore now before all their copies are gone.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A quick note...

How very frustrated I feel at not being able to sit and write longer. I have several topics in my head that I'd like to expound on, but fixing dinner for my 2 yr old and 38 yr old children beckons.

Stay tuned...

Casa de Insurance Energy Conservation

We received this email yesterday afternoon from our building manager…

Good Afternoon Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Per the directive from XXXXXXX and XXXXXXX & XXXXXXXXX, the facility will begin an energy conservation program. A few weeks ago I sent an email to all regarding the limited lighting at the facility on the weekends. This week we have begun to eliminate one bulb in each light fixture, these are only in the fixtures that have three light bulbs in them. This will completed throughout the entire facility. It may take a bit to get used to, but the initiative is being taken throughout the entire portfolio. The end result will be extremely large amounts of energy and money conserved. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns. I am hoping we can make this as positive as possible considering............

Thanks in advance for your tremendous cooperation !

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Getting to know you...

This meme is the invention of the oh-so creative Pax... open to anyone who cares to answer the questions! As he suggest - if you answer them on your blog, leave a comment so I can check out your answers!

1: Black and White or Color; how do you prefer your movies? Depends on the movie. Some things are meant for b & w, like 'Good Night and Good Luck', or 'On the Waterfront', but I can't imagine lighthearted fare such as 'Pillow Talk' in b & w

2: What is the one single subject that bores you to near-death? My husband and his dad talking about playing cards

3: MP3’s, CD’s, Tapes or Records: what is your favorite medium for prerecorded music? CD's right now, although my iPod is a very close 2nd.

4: You are handed one first class trip plane ticket to anywhere in the world and ten million dollars cash. All of this is yours provided that you leave and not tell anyone where you are going … ever. This includes family, friends, everyone. Would you take the money and ticket and run? No

5: Seriously, what do you consider the world’s most pressing issue now? The direction the US is headed in

6: How would you rectify the world’s most pressing issue? Electing a democrat in 2008

7: You are given the chance to go back and change one thing in your life; what would that be? Getting my teaching degree, instead of just a BA in music

8: You are given the chance to go back and change one event in world history, what would that be? The bombing of the World Trade Center

9: A night at the opera, or a night at the Grand Ole’ Opry – Which do you choose? Opera - love it, love it, love it!

10: What is the one great unsolved crime of all time you’d like to solve? The Lindbergh kidnapping.

11: One famous author can come to dinner with you. Who would that be, and what would you serve for the meal? Chaim Potok... and I make a mean lasagna

12: You discover that John Lennon was right, that there is no hell below us, and above us there is only sky: what’s the first immoral thing you might do to celebrate this fact? Wow... there are so many things to choose from. It's almost impossible to pick just one.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Did I stay home from work again Tuesday?

Yes, yes I did.

Do I feel bad about it?

Not at all.

I will be the first to stand up and admit that I have a very bad attitude about my job right now, for reasons that extend beyond the woman who sits in the cubicle behind me. First, my boss is a fucking moron. Stupid and worthless is he. He has no business being a supervisor. We (the unit I work in) think the company is just shuffling him around until they find an acceptable reason to fire him. He's come close several times to be charged with sexual harrassment, and is known to have tried on at least one business trip to get the female co-worker traveling with him into bed. He has barely a vague clue as to what our department does. He's a schmoozer. When K met him, he told me later that Dave reminded him of a used car salesman. The sound of his voice sends chills up my spine in the same manner as fingernails on a chalkboard. My desk is about 10 feet diagnally outside his office, which apparently makes me his de facto assistant. There are times that he, rather than picking up the phone or walking the 10 feet to my desk, just shouts out my name if he needs to ask me something. I ignore him when he does this.

Second, the job I do seems very insignificant right now. I work for an insurance company. I rate and process policies that our computer system won't support. I push papers from one side of my desk to the other. It's very unsatisfying, but it's my lot in life right now. Somedays, though, it's just too much to deal with.
I really need a vacation.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Shhhhhhhhhhhh..... I'm playing hooky from work today. I just couldn't face it and decided about 6:30 this morning to take a mental health day. I can justify it by saying that this way, K had the chance to go to school and register for the evening classes he needs (today is the first day of registration) without having to worry about making arrangements for someone to be with W.T. Sure, the in-laws probably would've taken him, but we (read I) don't want to wear out our welcome with them. My f-i-l made the comment while I was pregnant that he didn't retire to become free baby-sitting for grandkids, and that has stuck with me (as things like that do).

It's weak, but it's all I've got.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Blah, blah, blah...

Well, I’ve survived the weekly Friday morning re-cap of Thursday night’s episode of Survivor. I’ll admit it… I do watch it occasionally, and I’m in the office pool. But who can pass up the chance to win $200 for just a $10 investment? I’ve endured a 30 minute discourse from, you guessed it!, the woman that sits in the cubicle behind me as she extolled the virtues of Neal Boortz and his ‘Church of the Painful Truth’ to the woman that sits across from her – one of her conservative AM radio converts. My putz that I work for supervisor is working from home today (hallelujah), and has finally put away his lap top because the barrage of emails from him has stopped.

Is it time to go home yet?

Everything seems to take so much effort right now.

Our darling boy’s monster side is showing itself more and more. Partly the terrible two’s, yes, but mostly (I think) from lack of sleep, since he won’t take a nap most days and averages probably 10-11 hours a night (where everything I’ve heard and read says they should get 12-15 hours per day, including a nap). My mother-in-law was even nice enough to point out the dark circles under his eyes one day, wondering if maybe he was coming down with something, and then wondering if maybe dark circles under the eyes were something hereditary, because she’d often noticed the dark circles under my eyes, too.

That made me feel warm and fuzzy.

K is wading through the red tape and bureaucratic crap-ola of getting his unemployment started, and trying to get approval for school through this TAA program that will pay for his tuition and books. Hurry up and wait… they told him at his appointment this past Wednesday that on March 1 he’ll sit down with the person that will be his contact at the unemployment/Job Center office. But we still don’t know if this will be the person that will approve his school program. Registration for the Spring quarter starts Monday. He’s going to register despite not knowing if he’s approved, to make sure he gets the classes he needs at the times he needs them (which means he’ll be at school 3-4 evenings each week, from 4pm until 8 or 9…). Apparently, as they get further into the medical assistant classes, they have to start wearing uniforms to school (to get used to them?). I think he’ll look cute in the scrubs…

And a bad winter storm is supposedly heading our way, so darn-it-all I may not be able to come in on Saturday morning to work overtime after all.

That would be a shame.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

For the love of all things good and pure..... I'm speechless. And I think I need to move to a different state...

"Woman died of heart disease 2 1/2 years ago"

This just sums it up so beautifully today.... I wonder if my prescription plan would cover this?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

It's February in Ohio...

… and February in Ohio means the return of the Friday night all-you-can-eat fish fries at the area Catholic churches. Note to my Catholic friends before moving on – this is in no way an insult to the Catholic church. Just wanted to make sure we were clear on that. These events are unbelievably popular in the sprawling metropolis of Dayton, OH among Catholics and non-Catholics alike. For usually $10 in advance, or $12 at the door, you can sit for 3-4 hours on a Friday evening and eat all the fish, fries and cole slaw you can handle. Not a bad deal. They also have games and silent auctions of items donated by people in the parish. We used to all go - the in-laws, brother & sister-in-law, K and I. We'd make a Friday evening out of it. One Friday night a few years ago, my sister-in-law went ga-ga bidding in one of the silent auctions... and that night she and my brother-in-law went home with a lovely red kayak for the reasonable price of $250. Do they kayak?


I haven't been to a fish fry since. But K still goes to 2 or 3 each year with his dad and brother.

Now… have I ever mentioned how frugal my father-in-law is? (You had to see this coming… you must know by now that I will take each and every opportunity I can find to blog about the oddness that is my in-laws.) How can I put this nicely? The man knows how to pinch a penny. If pinching a penny would turn it into diamonds, my father-in-law would be the man to see. He rarely buys anything that isn’t on sale, and every time I see him, I get to hear about his latest shopping victory. When we went to his place for Christmas, there were 12-packs of diet Sierra Mist stacked in two rows in his garage – no joke – about 8 feet high. That’s a lot of Sierra Mist. But, what a deal! The store had them on sale 4-12 packs for $10, but you could also pick up a coupon for a $5 mail-in rebate, which meant you were getting them at 4-12 packs for $5, which meant you were getting them for $1.25/12-pack. We regularly get rebate checks, coupons, or gift cards in the mail, because he’s used our address to get an additional discount/rebate/coupon/gift card in some kind of promotion that is restricted to one offer per household. I’ve told him there’s a 10% handling fee for this, but he has yet to pay up.

And he loves fish.

So put 2 and 2 together here…

You’ve got it.

What’s the saying? In Spring, young men’s fancies turn to thoughts of love? February in Ohio turns my father-in-law’s fancies to thoughts of the fish fries. It's like an obsession.

He has a no-fail system to get the most value possible out of your fish fry experience:

Don’t eat anything the day of the fish fry.

Buy your ticket in advance, so that when you get there you don’t have to waste valuable time in the ticket line before getting into the fish line.

When you get to the fish, take two plates. If necessary, tell them one is for your wife/mother/uncle/whoever that’s already sitting down.

Fill your two plates only with fish. Don’t fill up on the unnecessary side-items such as French fries, cole slaw or baked beans.

If possible, get a beer from the beer table without giving one of your beer tickets to the person working the table. This way, you can get more beer without having to pay for additional beer tickets.

Bring and empty bread bag with you, but leave it in your jacket pocket (I swear on the graves of my parents, I am NOT kidding on this. I wish I were.). This bread bag will be used throughout the evening to sneak pieces of fish into, to be taken home and eaten the next day.

Does this leave you speechless? Staring at your computer screen thinking 'These people are absolutely nuts'?

Me, too...

Friday, February 03, 2006

This entire day has just had a strange feeling to it. Today's was K's last day at the vile manufacturing plant. As of 3pm this afternoon, they've shut their doors and locked the gates. This is a good thing in many ways, but it is bittersweet. He's been there over 9 years. And it's always more comfortable to leave a job because you're moving on to something better, not because they're going out of business. He is now officially a full-time dad. He's excited about that, and has enthusiastically volunteered to handle the potty training of our little darling. Who am I to argue? Wednesday he meets with a counselor for the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which will pay for him to go to school full-time for up to 2 years, and collect unemployment at the same time. He's settling for a medical assistant's program at the local community college, which will eventually (hopefully) lead him to some sort of position in medical records management (long story short, the health records management program at the local cc has a 2 year waiting list, and he can't wait that long). He'd wanted to go into their environmental technology program, but apparently the T.A.A. counselor didn't think there was enough of a demand in this area for that degree.

These next 2 years are going to be stressful, to say the least. But we're used to that. I could give you quite a list of things we've been through since we met, but no one wants to hear me whine about our troubles. And it takes too much energy.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I ran across this today while cruising the net on my lunchbreak. I couldn't pass it up, and I hope no one finds it offensive.

And, or course, I have to comment...

1) It's stories like this that make me proud to be an Ohioan.

2) If you put something in your yo-hoo that isn't meant to be there, you deserve what you get.

3) Perhaps this will teach her a valuable lesson, and the next time she tries to pull something like this, she'll make sure the safety is on.