Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jobless, Clueless, Penniless

I have been at my current position for about 10 years.  I have been in my current field for over 15 years.   Basically, all but one of my "grown-up" jobs have been within the same industry.  I love my current job and my current boss but the decline in business has finally come to a head for our little office. 

At the end of this month, I am jobless.

I am trying to remain calm but minor episodes of madness seem to keep bubbling up and leaking out  when I least expect it.  I imagine this would have been a lot easier to handle without the fact that life has been imitating a caged chimpanzee for the past couple of years, flinging all kinds of crap on me at every opportunity.  Still, I am trying my best...breathe in...breathe out...put on my hazmat suit...damned chimpanzees!

I go about updating my resume, realize I haven't done so since I was in my twenties, chuck the whole thing and start fresh.  Quite symbolic, wouldn't you say?  I contact all of my, well...contacts and start faxing and emailing resumes, filling out applications and making phone calls.  Attempting a positive attitude, I envision potential interviews and practice prospective interview questions.  I feel confident, completely prepared to being the job hunt.  I go to sleep dreaming of perfect interviews and jobs so surreally perfect, there should be a fairy godmother hovering at my shoulder. 

Early the next morning, I have a phone interview set up.  Though still somewhat groggy, I answer the phone in my most professional phone voice and my first interview begins.  The interviewer asks me to list some of the computer systems I have worked with and I draw a blank.  I actually respond by saying, "I'm not sure, what does my resume say?".  I then proceed to try to lighten things up when she talks of the long hours tied to a desk and phone by stating,  "I prefer to do my work sitting down, that's where I shine.".  It sounded funny in my head.  By the end of the call, she says they will make their decision by the end of the week and someone should get back to me by Friday afternoon.  I thank her and then brilliantly ask, "What company is this?".

I realize then that in this new reality, I am clueless.

There is one other issue that makes my job search less than promising.  Because of the crap-slinging life chimp, I am dealing with some pretty horrific finances.  I work in a fiduciary field and my credit will definitely be considered.  If my credit history were viewed as a line chart, you would see a slowly elevating line with some minor dips in the beginning but basically a softly inclining hill of a line.  Then, as of last year, you would see the line drop.  Not a slanting decrease but more like there was an error with the printer, resulting in a vertical line appearing and effectively stopping all other information from printing through.

In other words, I am penniless.

So, if you hear of anyone seeking a jobless, clueless, penniless person with a mostly positive, mildly crazy demeanor who has lots of job skills but apparently can't recall them without having to use her own resume as a cheat sheet...I am your girl!

Wish me luck...I have a feeling I'll need it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I was cleaning out a box that had yet to be unpacked since my move last year.  (A lot of you are probably shuddering at the thought of all those unpacked boxes stacked in my garage for over a year now)  Not the point to this post though so I shall continue.

I found my old yearbook and as I was going through it, I decided to see if I could locate some of the people from my senior class.  (This wasn't really about nostalgia or even vague curiosity.  This was all about avoiding having to keep unpacking the damn box.)

Through the privacy invading phenomena of Facebook and Google, I was able to locate most of these past phantoms.  It was disturbingly easy, even for someone as technologically challenged as myself.  (I wonder if I can claim that as a disability?)  Anyway, back to the post.

Obviously, over the broad spectrum of years and geography, lifestyles, relationship statuses and personal philosophies have altered a bit.  Amongst students of human nature, I suppose it could even warrant an interesting if irrelevant study of human nature.  Well, maybe not a study, more like a short unsubstantiated observation.  Since I'm not a student of human nature, unless you count people watching (which I happen to be great at), this is still not what inspired this post.

My high school years occurred in the late eighties, where all the girls had big hair and all the boys had, well, big hair.  Now that it's 2012, I noticed most of us made the socially responsible decision to tone down our earlier grooming practices.  Some of us, however, have clung to our teen looks with a death grip as secure as the NRA reps with their guns.  Others have left their coifs behind by force rather than personal awareness of themselves or our planet's atmospheric health.

Coincidentally, these victims are all male.  They were all attacked by the same culprit.  Who was this villain, you ask?  Why, it was male pattern baldness, I answer.  Although, that may just be an alias used to give a semblance of blamelessness since these particular males come from an era where excessively long tresses were routinely teased and sprayed into submission.  It's possible the baldness was simply a result of hair abuse or a protest by the poor follicles to the humiliation they endured for years.  (Lest you forget, long, ratted out hair for males turned into mullets and rat-tails.)

Either way, bald is really not that bad.  In a world where shaved heads are considered a fashion statement, these individuals should be fairing quite well.  The problem?  Women aren't the only ones obsessed with their youth.  (gravity defying breasts, frozen faces, inner tube-esque lips...)  Men have a mysterious relationship with their youth that seems to center primarily around their hair, their car and their penis.

There's the Friar Tuck, the combover, the roadkill...err...toupee, camouflage in the form of trucker caps, cowboy hats, bandannas...and many many more.  To me, a shaved head shows a man who has come to terms with the inevitable and has decided to face it with his balls in tact.  Still, this particular person's choice seemed at once, rebellious and sad:

Graciously, while leaning heavily on my strong command of the English language, I remain silent.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Promises. Promises.

Recently, I promised myself I would write more often.  I am fully aware that hasn't been the case.  I've made a lot of promises to myself in the past year and to others as well.  I haven't really kept those either.  I could blame the loss of my husband last year, the move to a new house and the financial and emotional abandonment of the old one, the pending bankruptcy due to astronomical medical bills while Hubby was in critical care, or even my own ever worsening crappy health ...Yep, I could point my finger at any of those things or all of them, but it wouldn't be true.

The reason I've failed to follow through is because I didn't really mean it.  I say what I say, I do what I do, I promise what you want to hear from me but I'm just going through the motions.  I don't have good days and bad days.  I have bad days and days when I feel nothing at all...depressing huh?

But this past week or so, something changed.

Last year, my life was altered so drastically, I've felt as though I haven't been able to catch my breath ever since, but last week...I heard myself sigh.  I could feel the air filling my lungs, all the way to the bottom.  I know it isn't much but I am starting to feel again.  I hadn't realized how numb I'd become.

Why the change?  My baby girl, at 19 yrs old, gave birth to her own little girl last week.  She's beautiful, healthy and she's my granddaughter.  At 41, I became a widow and my whole world blew apart.  Now at 42, I became a grandmother and somehow, my world, though still a wasteland, might possibly be rebuilt.  This tiny little baby with her grabby fingers, soft delicate skin, hungry cries, and poopy diapers has brought me hope.

So I will make new promises, about writing more, caring more, doing more...And I will try my best to keep them.  But, if nothing else, I will never forget the moment I saw my precious little grandchild for the first time and how suddenly I could breathe again.  I will never forget how that little baby was able to reach past everything right to my heart..I PROMISE.

Welcome to the family, baby Nari!  That's right...they named her after me.

She has ten little fingers too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


He wakes.  Keeping his eyes shut, he lets his senses stretch out around him.  He's laying on something-not the ground.  A mattress?  There's a low mechanical hum and the air swirls across his skin, moving along his legs, his chest, his arms.  It feels good.  He inhales the scents around him.  No dirt, no gun powder, no sweat.  He smells soap, clean sheets...a woman.  He must still be dreaming.  He can hear her breathing beside him now and slowly reaches out his hand, wanting to keep the dream going for as long as possible.

His fingertips brush against cool satin, moving lower until he feels the silky softness of her skin.  She sighs but doesn't wake.  His hand runs up her bared thigh, over the curve of her hip.  When he reaches her waist, his fingers curl and grip, pulling her against his side.  His heart threatens to pound right out of his chest.  Is this real?  Fearing the answer is no, he squeezes his eyes tighter, and wraps himself around her feminine softness, letting her warmth seep into him.  She smells so good, like she always does, and his whole body aches for her.  She turns in his arms and whispers a kiss across his mouth, nuzzling her face against his throat.  It feels perfect.

Knowing he can't put it off any longer, feeling the trappings of this beautiful recurring dream slipping away, he forces his eyes open, preparing himself for the sight of his brothers, the sound of enemy gunfire, the smell of sweat and dirt...but he's still lying in his bed with his woman in his arms.  He just stares at her and she smiles, looking up at him, running her fingers through his hair.

Then, she says the one thing he needs to hear most.  Her confirmation.  "You're really here. We're really here.", she whispers softly and as he looks into her beautiful eyes, filled with love and longing, he knows that it's true.  Here, with her in his arms, one word echoes though his mind...HOME.


She wakes as his breathing becomes more shallow and knows he will wake up soon.  She waits to see what will happen and then feels his hand brush against her moving lower to her leg and then back up again.  Moving so slowly and gently that she wonders if she's imagining it.  She releases the breath she's been holding in anticipation of this first morning and trembles beneath his light touch.  Thank God.  It still feels the same.  He still feels the same.  She feels his fingers wrap around her waist and pull her to him.  After a moment, he completely surrounds her body with his.  His love and his undeniable strength a part of her again, sheltering her and keeping her safe.

As the heat from his hard chest sears through her nightgown and sizzles along her spine, her body begins to hum with yearning.  She turns in his arms and sees his eyes are still closed.  She kisses him softly and puts her nose to his neck to fill herself with his scent once again, feeding her soul as her body yields to his.  She can feel his eyes on her and looks up, seeking more contact.  She can see his longing, his love, his wariness and imagines hers must look the same.  She smiles, reaching up and touching his hair.  She can't bear not touching him.

With a lump in her throat, she manages to choke out her plea, "You're really here.  We're really here."  Hoping to make them true by voicing them out loud.  His eyes seem to flash for a moment with what...relief?...and then his mouth descends to hers.  His lips strong, confident, insistent.  The same as before and she knows it's finally true...he's HOME. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Linking In

Yesterday, I peeked in to read some posts from some of my favorite bloggers.  I haven't been around for a while.  No posts, no comments...nothing.  I don't know what compelled me to get on and see what you all were up to yesterday but I did and this is what I discovered:

The talented and funny Vinnie continues to have wonderfully hilarious conversations with Mrs. C.  (It's good to know some things never change.  My heart eases with the laughter he coaxes out of me)

The beautifully descriptive and enchanting baglady has taken me to Mykonos.  (It's true.  I went to Greece.  It was wonderful)

A brilliant, quirky and honest man, Mr. L Street discusses siblings, with humor and honesty.  (Plus, he shares the true benefits of a zen garden)

My favorite paramedic, Spence, shares the story of an untimely death from his unique viewpoint.  (His stories always provide a personal connection to the scene, through the people, the scenery, even the inanimate objects)

And this, boys and girls, is what I have life may feel bottomless right now but to keep going, I need to be connected.  Maybe that's why I signed back on yesterday.  I know I've distanced myself from everything for the past year, stretching the tethers that connect me to the rest of the world to the point where you could probably play them like harp strings at this point.  This is one of the ways for me to link back in which is why I have linked a few noteworthy bloggers into this post.

Thanks for checking in with me too.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November is Difficult

November is difficult.  On the 20th, we would have been married for 12 years.  We never really celebrated our anniversary.  We had been together about 3 years prior to the wedding and we just considered the date a mile marker of sorts.  It was something to make note of; a point of reference.

I remember our 10th anniversary.  That morning, my husband and I had gone over to my Mom's house to help her out with a couple of things.  My phone rang.

Me:  "Hello?"

Daughter:  "Happy Anniversary!"

Me:  "Anniversary of what?"

Daughter:  *sighs* "You're wedding?"

Me:  "Oh...thanks."

Daughter:  *rolls eyes* (I can hear that through the phone, being that I'm a mom) "Whatever.  I'll see you when you get home."

Me:  "Okay, bye sweetie."

*Husband walks into room*

Me:  "Guess what?  B______ just called to say happy anniversary."

Husband:  "Anniversary of what?"

The memory of that conversation always leaves me with a smile.  I find myself clinging to each and every memory but this memory, ironically a memory of forgetfulness, this one I store safely at the center of my heart. 

Why?  Because I suspect I won't ever forget that date again. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I sit at a little cafe table with my notebook, sipping on a cup of tea.  There are similar tables around me, occupied by people performing actions similar to my own, as would be expected within the assumed confines of this little outdoor cafe.  I take another sip of my mostly hot tea, containing the absolute perfect amount of milk within its depths. As I swallow, I close my eyes for a moment, feeling the warmth slide across my tongue and coat my throat in a soothing sense of rightness, eventually settling in my stomach and wrapping around my soul.  With a sigh, I settle the cup within its saucer and pick up my notebook and pen. 

Diligently, I write.  Pondering my decision to use a pen and paper for my work rather than typing on a laptop or even just transferring my thoughts to a recorder.  I shrug, not really caring.  After all, we are who we are, are we not?  My pen glides along the lines of the paper and I can hear it's point scratching the surface and I watch the ink form all of its curls and turns and angles, the sound broken occasionally for punctuation or for a thoughtful pause on my part.  I can feel my eyes adjusting to the pinpoint focus of the page, my ears closing at the same rate that my mind is opening.  This is it.  This is how I work.

There are a couple of larger groups at the cafe.  One of which has pushed a couple of the tiny tables together so they may all sit more comfortably while the other group has decided to just crowd around one teeny table, standing close and holding their cups.  There are mostly twosomes and threesomes here, which is not surprising based on the cafe's offerings when it comes to furniture.  Single tables, such as my own, are also common, with people working, reading or just observing.  I understand them best since we share that particular preference.  People walk by, some not really noticing the cafe at all, some glancing over, longing to stop for a moment, maybe for a much needed dose of caffeine.  As this little corner of the world rotates, I observe and I write.

I notice a young woman entering the courtyard, in search of a free table.  I look around and realize all of the tables are occupied.  As I prepare to wave her over to share mine, the woman is approached by a handsome young man carrying a table and chair.  With a flourish, he arranges the table and chair before her and motions for her to sit.  Even from my vantage point, I can see the pink tinging her cheeks as she smiles shyly and gestures for him to join her.  He quickly grabs a chair from the group he was previously with, the large group with the pushed together tables, and returns to the pretty girl.  I watch and I write, smiling even though the whole encounter has little potential.  They have no kindred threads at all.

Luckily for them, with no kindred threads there are no opposing ones either.  They were free to explore each other without harm coming to either.  Regardless, I could not interfere but at least I knew it was all harmless and for them, the mystery and discovery would be fun, brief as it would be.  A little memory that may someday combine with other moments so that upon reflection, down the road, a transformation may occur, like the growing of a new thread.  I knew that was wishful thinking, having still found no proof for my theory.  Ah well, back to work then.

My work focuses on the young since there is no other way to document the proof I require other than to witness the growth of a new thread.  I, myself, am still young.  Not to all of you but amongst my own kind, I am still within the realm of my educational years.  And I am enjoying my education immensely.  My youthful ego constantly wondering, if my discovery proves true, how will it affect the future?  Does it even truly matter anywhere else but here, in this moment, in this world? 
Within this unique place, where relationships begin blindly, not knowing when one might find a friend, a lover, even an enemy, I realize anything seems possible.  With my restless mind, I can certainly understand the allure of mystery and self discovery and find myself wondering if their way isn't better.  I tuck my pen into my notebook, leaving my teacup at the table, still partially full of cold tea and milk.  As I open the gate to take my leave, I happen to glance back at my table and my teacup, the vessel of such warmth and comfort less than an hour earlier.  A busboy approaches and I turn away as he quickly clears my table of the little cup and saucer, giving access to someone new in the continual stream of early morning patrons.

As I approach the building in which I currently reside, I see the older gentleman at his hot dog cart.  He smiles and nods his head slightly.  I respond with a tiny smile of my own as I feel the slight weight pulling at my heart.  I have spoken with him before.  I knew he was lonely, as unlucky in love as he is.  As I was turning towards my building, a gray haired lady rushes by the cart, coming very close to colliding with it .  In such a hurry, she didn't even look up.  Neither did the man as he busily stocks drinks in the cart's side compartment.  I bite down on my tongue, pressing my lips into a flat line.  Oh, how I want to say something but I can not interfere here.

As I set down my pen and notebook on the little desk in my room, I laugh at my foolish whimsy back at the cafe.  Mystery and adventure may be a fun notion, briefly, but is it worth the risk of a life untethered, a love or friendship never experienced?  To me, there is nothing worse.  I think back to that old man and woman, so oblivious, so separate.  If only they knew...they are kindred.

I got the idea for this story from this picture that a Facebook friend posted on her wall.  Thanks Amber for the inspiration!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Notes of Nostalgia

A certain talented blogger has decided to start posting about memories she has been transported to via the vehicle of songs from her past.  You can read about it here.  She asked her readers to share their own tales of music and memory with her and although I admire her writing and would love to do nothing more than impress her with a wonderfully endearing or clever memory linked to some poignant song, I confess that I can not.

Therefore to pacify my shrunken ego, I will share the types of things my odd little brain is able to conjure from the music of my past.  I don't have memories in my life that I connect with through specific songs.  Instead I connect to stages of my life in which certain styles of music have played a role.  Because of this, what I actually recall when hearing past songs are the sounds, smells and emotions evoked during that time.

My teen years were spent in a heavy metal world, with a little punk and new wave, even a small sprinkle of rap (mostly in the form of funny satire).  When I hear an old eighties metal song, I can feel high school.  I find myself walking the halls, my nose kind of sticky from inhaling all the hairspray (my generation, with their big hair and aerosol cans may carry the sole responsibility for the condition of the ozone) and of course, the underlying scent of tobacco that seeped out of our lockers and our purses and clung to our clothing.  After all, our school had a quad between the cafeteria and the gym so we could have a smoke between classes.

The dazed sleepiness of school with its fluorescent lights, windowless rooms and constantly blowing air conditioning surrounds me.  I can even hear the occasional buzz of a pager going off and thinking it must be a drug dealer because who else would have a pager?  The sound of my pumps (worn with lacy bobby socks, of course) clicking across the linoleum floor.  The feel of my plastic geometric earrings, swinging back and forth, tickling the sides of my neck, my eyelids heavy with the weight of the blue mascara caked onto my lashes.

If the song happens to be just right, school thoughts vanish like smoke and are replaced by summer vacation.  Living in Vegas, the nights were never very dark due to the ever present glow of the strip.  Summer nights were always hot, the air dry and stifling.  There would be loud music, cigarettes, wine coolers and an occasional joint.  The alcohol would always be too warm and we would always be a little sick to our stomachs.
I remember feeling my own potential, possibilities laid out at my feet stretching to infinity, and I remember feeling free.  Those feelings were so rare.  As a matter of fact, as a teenager, I recall feeling caged in and powerless most of the time.  But...just in those moments, during random hot summer nights, surrounded by friends I thought I would know forever, I felt free and fearless. It was a freedom that came with youth, with the safety net of parents, and the financial independence that comes from having no job but also having no bills.  Feeling powerful, beautiful, unattainable. 

This isn't a memory but a feeling.  Something that happened when the night was hot enough that even a hot breeze felt like a blessing, and the amount of alcohol consumed was just enough to feel slightly removed from reality but not enough to feel sick.  During those moments, when just the right song would was freedom.

And even now, if I hear the right song at the right moment, I'm there once again.  I am free.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dating in 2011: a third party observation

 I didn't know what to write about but thought I should post something today, so while speaking with some of my friends, I came up with the idea to write down some of my observations on the current dating climate.  As the title states, this is a third party observation as I have not been on a date since the last millennium.

 A lot of today's relationships, whether platonic or romantic, tend to be electronic.  I'm sure most of us can relate to that.  Without a social network, would you really have 659 friends right now?  Really?  In case you're confused, the answer to that question is...NO.  Still, I'll bet there are people on that list, people you've never even met, that you consider some of your dearest friends.

Our definition of friendship has definitely changed so...what about romantic relationships?  Can you fall in love and maintain a relationship with someone you've never met?  I know people who do just that but I can't seem to grasp the concept.

If your, hmmm...E-lover?, gets a computer virus (STD) or his Internet connection keeps failing (erectile dysfunction), could this put a strain on the relationship?  Can you get counseling for that?  Is someone with a faster Internet connection, better typing skills and a bigger hard drive more appealing?

Will romance novels change in the future...?

What would constitute, know...relations?  I've been told men have to do it regularly or they'll die...

Sorry, my mind tends to wander.  Let's get back to Dating 2011.

According to my single friends, other than changes in mode and method, dating is still similar in a lot of ways.  There's still that search going on for Mr. or Ms. Right.  Looking for that spark, that connection...

Unfortunately, it's kind of difficult to differentiate between one spark and another.  Which has left a lot of people suspicious (thus, the invention of the pre-nup) or jaded...

Some of us have been lucky, finding the right kind of spark.  A true love story set in real life.  Some haven't had that luck yet but someday they will.  I know it for a fact because since the dawn of time, there have been men searching with their brains and their libidos and women searching with their faith and their hearts.

Eventually, they will find each other...

 ...because somebody's gotta kill that damn spider!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm Okay

My family and friends are concerned about me.  I understand why but I don't know what to do to reassure them.  When asked, "How are you doing?"  I answer as honestly as I can, "I'm doing okay."  It doesn't seem to be enough and everyone seems to feel as though I'm either brushing over things for their benefit or for my own.

The truth is, I'm okay.  I'm not good, I'm not fine, I'm just okay.

Am I sad?  You bet I'm sad.  I'm lonely and I mourn the loss of my Hubby every single day.  I find myself having a hard time catching my breath.  I take a lot of deep breaths but I don't seem to ever get enough air.  After work, I rush home as fast as I can.  I feel a mild flutter of panic as I drive and as soon as I open the door and come inside, I am overcome with a huge sense of emptiness that falls over me like a thick blanket that was left out in the rain overnight.  I shiver and I can't breathe.

Am I functioning?  I am.  I go to work.  I go shopping.  I spend time with my Girls.  I visit my mother.  I occasionally go out with friends.  I pay my bills.  I eat.  I sleep.  I read.  I cry.  I even laugh.  I think I'm functioning quite well.

There are times when I am so overcome with grief that I feel as though I'll crumble to dust under the weight.  There are times when I am so angry at the senselessness of it all that my nerves practically hum with the tension of my fury.  There are times when I encounter a scent or a sound that surrounds me with a sense of peace or happiness so beautiful that I want to laugh and cry at the same time.

I don't think about my future but I do still look forward to my children's futures.  I've lost a lot of my inspiration and desire to write but I still love to read anything and everything I can get my hands on.  I am having a hard time adjusting to not being able to share the mundane moments of each day with my best friend but I still enjoy catching up with my girlfriends when we find the time to get together.

I miss him but I was lucky to have loved him.  His death has given me a lot of tears but his life gave me a lot of laughter.

Well, that's enough of that.  I just wanted to let everyone know that when I say, "I'm okay", this is what I'm saying.

Thank you for caring and checking in on me.