Friday, December 30, 2011

There are worse problems to have

So, I was offered a job. Yay me! But, it's a job I never would have applied for had I known the salary. I was expecting it to be half as much more, and yet, no it's not. So, the dilemma now is, since I have a choice, do I go with the sure thing that will pay little, but yes, have benefits, or take a chance and do temp work to make money (but not much, especially since I still have to pay for health insurance!) and keep looking for a different job? They are nice people and I think it would be interesting work, but... but what? What's my issue? I'm nervous about lowering my salary scale so much, but as one brother said, I can always say I went for skills and lower salary in a slow economy. But where will it lead me? I'm not sure... though it will indeed increase my skill set. Am I willing to pay the price for the skills? Another kinda snotty thing was that their interview process wasn't exactly rigorous. So, do I want to work for an organization that does not have a rigorous process? Am I just nervous about losing my free lifestyle? I would start Tuesday! There's a possibility of my salary going higher if the org gets another grant that they could build me into.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday travels

Happy belated Chanukah and Christmas! I ran out of time before I left and didn't want to post when I was at my brother's because of browsing history.

I ended up driving to Seattle, with an overnight stop in Portland, OR so I could meet up with a former colleague. Oh, and also met Silly Rabbit in OR. Of course, meeting someone you only know from online is kinda like a blind date. We were both a little nervous, but I think mine was dampened by the fact that I had driven 8-10 hours. It was very nice to meet and we had a great time at the Chippendale's. Ha. Our shoes got along swimmingly.

I drove back in one day yesterday, but there wasn't rain ALL the way, so that was good. I had one stop in Vancouver, WA - there's a Salvation Army Thrift Store you can see from the highway. I drove 5 minutes and decided it was ok for me to stop, so I drove back and did. Got two pairs of pants and a top. I have to curb my spending in the new year, but whatever. I also stopped in Grants Pass to get Oregon info, and spent a half hour talking with the women there, who were very nice. One woman asked us other two why the elves in Polar Express were all Jewish. My guess was that only Jews would work on Christmas. Anyone else know?

I do love driving such long distances. It's very tiring, but you get to gradually adjust to your new location. It's interesting to see the changes in landscape along the way too.

OK, so I need to go hydrate. I didn't drink much at all yesterday so I wouldn't have to stop. Note that it's not the best idea to start a long driving day with a cup of relaxation tea. My first stop I bought some regular tea (Lipton actually has cold black tea with no sugar! It was great.)

Hope all is well for all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's winter

I'm trying to make it continue to feel like Christmas. This was a photo I took last year at Mt. Diablo. There was snow up it was a zoo... because it's rather rare that there's snow within an hour of San Francisco.

In my house, since this was supposed to be temporary rental location, I don't have much at all - it's all packed. My rosemary Christmas tree from last year is outside and has doubled in size, but I won't bring that inside since last time I brought the grass inside for Billy a ton of little bugs invaded our house. So I have a jade plant that I hung an ornament on (was free at some flea market). I also found some reddish small branchy things that have red little balls at end of branches, so I'll put that on the jade plant, and maybe some outside. I also like to hang any cards I get.

So, doing what I can. And others too... One thing that was great. I was returning from an interview yesterday and on the exit ramp someone had decorated a small tree on the side. Brought a smile to my face.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That's Life

I just finished reading Keith Richards - Life. As in Keith Richards Rolling Stones Keith Richards. I was very sad to see it end. It's excellent - really brings across the voice and you learn a lot about music. For instance, I had always heard the line in Sweet Home Alabama but never understood or looked up: what I heard as: Mussel Shoals has got the Swamprush. It's actually Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers. Muscle Shoals is a town in Alabama where many legends recorded, including the Rolling Stones. Swampers is a rhythm section for hire.

It was/is a crazy life. But you can tell he's a songwriter. Poetry just kind of jumps out. M hadn't seen it when he read it, but I couldn't help but notice things like:
-- Sometimes a kiss is burned into you far more than whatever comes later.
-- My feet were soaking from walking through tears.

Needless to say, read it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bag o' Pomegranates

So, I went this weekend to a Christmas party held by my friend B in Paso Robles. A bit of a drive, but it's a pretty drive and well worth it. Not only to see her, of course, but also to slave in her kitchen to help prepare, and sleep until 9:30 this morning. Note I put that second bit in because she now knows this blog exists and may begin reading. This is my life!! Or, a bit of it.

I hadn't been feeling the Christmas spirit, but this certainly made up for it. In part because she played Christmas music ALL DAY on Saturday... But also because Paso Robles has a now 30-odd-year tradition of closing off Vine street one night for blocks and blocks and letting pedestrians walk along and look at all the amazing Christmas lights. And experience the various extra perks, such as:
- musicians
- Mr and Mrs. Winter on their thrones
- A VERY creepy walking moving snowman posing with kids in the yard.
- Hot line to Santa (a small phone booth where kids could go and call Santa - so great!)
- Scrooge's house all lit up and Scrooge himself coming in and out of doors yelling "bah humbug" and "you smell: and all that
- A 'hill' of 'snow' that kids under 4 could sled down
- various choruses of kids
- A 'werewolf' you could pet.
- Santa himself (I only saw the one, so perhaps it wasn't quite so confusing to the kids.. not sure.. I would think they kind of organize that so every other house doesn't have a Santa)
- A beautifully decorated area. They did lines of fishing wire horizontally on high (tree tops height) and then hung various color ball ornaments at different heights and different depths into the yard. Seemingly simple, likely very complex to actually do, and very very magical looking. Everyone who came across it looked up in wonder.
- free coffee, tea, popcorn, and.... my favorite... cotton candy!!! I was walking along and saw a father and son with cotton candy. I wished for it, and then there was the line to get free cotton candy! A pediatrician (of all places, yes) had set up THREE cotton candy makers and were pumping it out. And big balls too! I stood in the long line and it went very fast. Yum Yum Yum. But it went so fast. So I wished I had more. And then I saw ANOTHER place that was giving away cotton candy. Smaller, but I didn't care. Got in that line and got some more. My Christmas wishes came true.

It was a very nice 24 hours. I left with wine made by the guy next door (who became dear to me the night before when he arrived with a bottle of good champagne - I was first in line! Apparently Leo's love champagne. Who knew. And then because I was sad there was no more, went home and brought back another bottle), a bag of pomegranate bits that were from a friend's yard, various cheeses and veggies and other leftovers from the party. So far my dinner has been nuts and pomegranates. Maybe I'll have some cheese and bread and perhaps salami...

mmm.... I'm hungry.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Movies and Books

I get Entertainment Weekly and I've saved so many because I want to write down the books and movies that seem interesting. My big problem is writing them down. So thought typing would be better. Will post periodically. It's all for me... but maybe you'll like the list too. They are different orders of important, but not marking that here.

- The Artist
- The Kids are All Right
- The Other guys. Will Ferrell Mark Wahlberg
- Crumb - documentary
- The Help
- The Circumstance (Sundance, Tehran, girls)
- Pee Wee's Big Adventure
- Benda Bilili! (music, Congo)
- Last Train Home (Chinese migrant workers once a year home)
- The Town

- You Lost Me There, Rosecrans Baldwin
- The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise Julia Stuart
- Packing for Mars Mary Roach (science, space program)
- The Dovekeepers Alice Hoffman (strong women, Bible based)
- The Warmth of Other Suns Isabel Wilkerson (Great Migration - blacks leaving south)
- Must you Go? My Life with Harold Pinter Antonia Fraser
- Half a LIfe Darin Strauss Memoir (struck girl on bike)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


So, I've been let go. Believe it or not, from my dentist. Got a letter today in which he says he basically doesn't want to be my dentist anymore and he'll be happy to transfer my records to someone for a fee of $45.

I was shocked. M says not to waste any emotional energy on it, but given it's 6 hours later and it's still on my mind, you can see how well I listen to his advice. I want to figure out the exact reason and what part I played in it, but perhaps I should just give it up.

Back story is that I went last Tuesday because over Thanksgiving I had gotten something sticking up on one tooth that was kind of sharp and wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. So, I'm in there for a few minutes, he looks and doesn't see anything, starts smoothing even though he's not sure where he should be, and he hits my filling such that it hurt and I jumped. And the appointment was over and I paid $80.

So, when they sent their customary 'how did we do' letter, I wrote that I felt rushed and because of that wasn't entirely convinced that everything was ok. But writing this now, perhaps that was it. That I didn't have 100% confidence that what he was saying was true.

In the end, yes, it's all for the best. And it just so happened that M had had to find a dentist and he had one recommended. So I have someone. But still, it hurt. Oh well... as ever, life goes on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fading, or getting brighter?

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Went to my job networking thing this morning. I so didn't want to, but did anyway. I'm still either beat up from the migraine or I'm getting sick, but wah wah wah. In any event, I was happy I went. It was a great conversation and really good people and got me motivated to send some emails out. So that's something! Step by step.

Monday, December 5, 2011


M and I did some trail work Saturday AM. There were a ton of teenagers who had to fulfill some volunteer requirements by Thursday. Most of them really did work, which was great. I have the 'leader' hat now since I've been more than 4 times in a year, and it makes it a little less fun, since I have to be on my toes and act respectfully. :-) But it does make people listen to me a little bit more, not that I have too much trouble with that.

Anyhooo, so that combined with not drinking enough the rest of the day, and stress from Sunday morning (am I the only one who possibly has stress on a Sunday morning??), came to a head at around 1:30. Slowly, and then really quickly, migraine struck. Dammit! And I had so much to do. I even resorted to taking one of my $25 pills, but I took it too late, because I ended up having to throw up, as I often do with a migraine. Because it wanted to keep it down as long as possible, for the first time in my life...well, let's say, there was a lot to clean up. M wasn't home, lucky him. He helped later by getting an ice pack and other stuff. I managed to get out of bed at 10:30 PM.

So, today I'm trying to make sure that special muscle/nerve in my back to my head doesn't get inflamed and want to create another headache. I went to the pharmacy to get medication, and also picked up some Christmas card photo holder things, because I was stressing about what photo to put on my cards I wanted to make which it's way too late to do. So, I have 9 different photos and we'll see who gets what.

This is the worst one - doesn't work all that well, but it's a neat photo anyway.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I hereby interrupt my pieces on my family with a thought...

It turns out my mom I guess had started making a sort of scrapbook about me. I found a photo album that had all these photos of me from kindergarten to perhaps 15 years ago, and a few postcards I had sent. It's great to have.


Since I don't have kids, who will want these photos after I die? Who is going to be interested in my history? I may need to make a website celebrating my life so I will exist on the internet for all eternity.