Sunday, May 31, 2009

Be Bold - And Mighty Forces Will Come to Your Aid

I awake with the dream still imprinting on my sub-conscious state. I was interviewing with a potential employer of the nontraditional variety. I met him somewhere in Surreal Land, being the altered campus of Murray State University as he left the Sig-Ep house. I caught up with him and began to spill out my best "elevator speech" and his cell phone rang.

He took the call and began to walk away from me. I followed him and the moment he ended his call I began again with the clumsy question, "Are you hiring at your company?" and he then gave me an on the spot skill assessment test.

I had to fill in the "a's" in a sentence and I was handed a large sheet of paper. I was momentarily caught off guard and had not listened to the sentence so that I could repeat it. I turned to my husband (who had materialized behind me and is always telling me I do not listen) and asked for him to repeat the sentence. He just shook his head.

I attempted the beginning and knowing it was useless began to plead my case to the potential employer. Making my excuses....

I awoke and upon opening my eyes this thought rushed into my head.....

"Get out of your comfort zone......"

And so, whatever that dream meant besides pay closer attention, today I embark on getting out of my zone. I have to shake off the longing for someone to call me and offer me a job...any job. I would wait tables as Crackerbarrel if they asked.

And I am going to step away from the computer. If it's on the job/career boards, then everyone and their Grandmothers are applying.

I must be Bold.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm Always Home! I'm Uncool.

I am flip flopping with committing to the NANANANABLOGPOOPOO again. Basically, blogging daily for a month.

It will be good because I will become accountable even if to no one but the blog. I am realizing that if I have to report daily on several issues, the most pressing being the JOB QUEST, then I will have to schedule out my plans for the employment search instead of this willy nilly half hearted attempt at securing income intake. (income intake, I like that).

Also, I have determined I am unemployable because I have turned into an uncool old coot and need to shape up. Therefore I am undertaking the 100 day challenge, since the elliptical machine in the garage has thrown down the gauntlet, and I am going to loose this 20 pounds that is causing potential employers to discount me as a middle age old hag who does not take care of herself.

I am 10 days in! I am giving myself a break from the unrealistic goal of doing them consecutively. I have discovered that with the MP3 player I exercise with a lot more enthusiasm and vigor than listening to books on CD's. Those seconds were dragging into hours! With the switch I jumped from 22 minutes to 30 the next day.

As is my nature to allow myself to become totally distracted, I have been following with interest (and amusement) the press' attack on Susan Boyle. Amusement because they never once kicked old Paul Potts around but give them a lady and a middle age woman and they have gone nuts!

As I listened to her sing MEMORY from Cat's I just fell in love with the song. I'm certain I must have heard it before, but I also realize I am probably the only person who had never seen CATS. So, I checked out Elaine Paige singing the song and found myself crying.

For the love of God, what a beautiful song. (I also sobbed out loud when I saw Phantom of the Opera back in the day) and I have downloaded as many versions as I can find. Barbara Streisand is ....well, ..........

I found the original lyrics were changed because they were thought to be suicidal. They are heart wretchedly beautiful.

(Discarded Lyrics)

Touch Me, is there no
one to touch me
It was easy to love me
in my glamorous past
As I leave you a shadow of
the light I once as
May my memory sleep at last

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

City Cemetery Sepia Style

I find myself always looking for a shot for sepia scenes. Today I saw the cemetery on the hill overlooking the Cumberland River. I found the entrance and stumbled into this very old resting ground with a spectacular view. From the west, a thunder storm approached which gave a surreal feel to the surroundings, softening the light and the air was alive with electricity.

On the corner in the eastern corner stood a smattering of old CSA graves adorned with both the American and Confederate flag. I researched and found out that some 300 odd soldiers were buried behind the Female Academy. A landslide exposed many of the soldiers remains and they were transferred to the City Cemetery and laid to rest.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sepia Junk Yard

I really like this site Sepia Scenes! I took this picture while living in North Indiana. There were numerous junk yards scattered through out the roads and routes I drove. This made me pull over, a car sticking out of the dumpster! Originally I colored the car yellow, but this time I thought I would just add a light blue sky.

Rolling with the Hoity Toity

The remnants of yesterday haunt me this morning. I have an odd feeling that teeters on despondence. My shoulders are slumped, there is a heavy feeling on my chest. I truly dislike feeling so defeated.

I dropped off an employment application and a resume yesterday. I was not prepared for an impromptu interview. I was wearing the most unflattering outfit. As a matter of fact, I have no business type or "make a great first impression" type clothing for the summer months! And if I do, I no longer fit in them and have probably slipped them into the Goodwill bags I dropped off last month. I'm positive I did. The bright spring blazers .... what was I thinking!!

So, the manager of the retail jewelry store is a beautiful amazon who emerged from the repair section of the store clad in a skin tight black sheath and spike heels. She looked over my resume and application....really looked it over and glancing up at me says, "What have you been doing for two years??"

I should be prepared to answer this question and sometimes I am but I was so caught off guard, wearing the wrinkled white linen pants that I survived Hurricane Wilma in and a skin tight red T with a gossamer blouse over the T to hide my rolls of fat.

I blinked and said, "Farting around...."

She resumed reading and then asked,"Like vending machines..." I nodded. "If I were a club, how would you sell in your beverage?" (I worked for a major beverage corporation in another life, so it seems).

"A Club? Well, you wouldn't want a vending machine, you would need bag in the box."

"Not a club...", (oh boy, I thought) "...but a club that sells video games."

(oh that sort of club, I though to myself) I began to get nervous, how did I do it? It was then that my mind began spinning at a rapid speed trying to find the words to tell her that I did not do that type of selling, that I did business to business sales and would be prepared with a list of questions, several testimonies and more than likely their business was a chain that already had our product...

...but she wanted me to do the old, "Sell me this pencil...."


I stumbled through something that sucked.

Could I pass a back ground check?

I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Guess what, my husband informs me that we are going to a dinner in two hours! Shit again. I laid on the couch and fell into a hazy semi-consciousness with dancing soda bottles performing the can-can across the living room floor.

At the bottom one of the bags that did not make it to Goodwill I find my old Charo outfit. I slip it on and because of the style and the outrageous colors, it actually makes me look slimmer and it definitely makes me feel better.

Off to meet the Sheriff, the Mayor and one of the Board of Directors of Joe's company at a fancy dinner party on the River.

The wine was flowing and I did feel better.

(May 21 with spy camera)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Project 365 with a Cell Phone

Or....why didn't I think of this before!

Last year I took on this monumental project which requires you to take a picture every day for 365 consecutive days, preferably the calender year. I struggled through about three months. It's hard to carry around a big old Nikon 50 with you every where.

Now I find out my cell phone will work just fine, because after all, it is like a spy camera! If only it did not make that annoying shutter type noise!! I felt the need to cough to cover it up yesterday while at the Career Center filling out an application for employment.

Every day life becomes more adventurous and fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sense of Urgency

Side Trip to Tiny Town Produce (beware, I have learned to send my cell phone pictures to my e-mail then save them! Little crooked, but I like it. Over exposed but it was a very bright afternoon.)

I hear this question from my husband quite often over the past two years, "What do you do all day?"

If I were the honest type I would tell him this....I make coffee then sit in front of the computer for several hours. Sometimes I will attempt the crossword puzzle only if it is Monday because they tend to be easier on Monday, then I will do the SUDOKU puzzle, then I will read the paper, then I will think about what I should be doing, i.e. looking for a job, so I get back on the computer and peruse Career Builder, then I slip over to Bloglines and then I will go to Craigslist. Then I will be startled to see it is closing in on noon and I have yet to brush my teeth. Then I will brush the teeth, wash the face think about taking a shower, but now I have no time and I go to Walmart, ALDI, maybe take a side trip somewhere like Goodwill to see if anything is interesting there, then I will cruise by the Dollar Movie theatre and see if anything good is showing and plan to see it sometime during the week, then I go home, check the computer to see if I have any job offers or interest piqued from the resumes I sent out earlier, I check the snail mail, send out bill payments and maybe a card or two to my mother and others, then I relax and maybe read something from the novel/travel book I am currently reading...blah blah blah. It's a busy day!

Sometimes I do take a shower.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quest for Job

So I ambled on down to the Career Center in Clarksville because I could not figure out how to apply for their job listings via the website.

And, I found out that you have to show up at the Center to apply!

I filled out the two pages, front and back, application and returned to the line to hand over my papers. Along with SS card and a picture ID. I was again sent back to the tables to read the "job openings" and list up to and only three jobs that I am interested in.

I quickly filled those in, since I had identified them earlier in the day on their web site, and returned to the line to once again, hand in my "application".

I was told to sit down and wait till until my name was called.

With a heavy heart, I sought out a chair that was not attached to one of the round tables that supported the books with the job openings and the desperate people. Myself, being one of them.

A guy sitting at the nearest table smiled at me and raised one of his eyebrows. Isn't that the secret signal for "I am a smart aleck"? I smiled back and as I sat I asked him how long he had been waiting.

"I came in at 1 and signed in, had lunch and came back."

Since I am unemployed I have stopped wearing a watch. Isn't it funny those things that are ritual and second nature are quickly thrown aside and forgotten. So I had no watch to look at to see what time it was and how long he had been waiting. I sighed.

We had a nice chat and I learned a lot of important and relevant things. One being that the local University, Ausin Peay, is offering a special degree for people wanting to gain employment with the MEGA corporation that is building THE MEGA factory on the north side of town. If I understood, you need some sort of Chemical Business degree. He stated that he already had a business degree which made it OK for me to state I had a college degree too! He thought that if you already had a four year degree, getting a two year Associate Degree in their Chemical Business curriculum wouldn't be too difficult.

And so it went until my name was called. In surprise I marched towards the counter...again....and the semi interrogation began.

In the middle of it she says, "I see from your drivers license that you are from Indiana. I am too."

(Not we all know that I am from Kentucky and that because of my husbands job(s) we were transferred to Ft Wayne in 2005 and then to Louisville in 2007, elected to buy a home across the river, and therefore are technically only Hoosier.)

"Where abouts?" I asked.

"Up around Ft. Wayne."

Now here I am, 500 miles from Ft Wayne, the only place in Indiana I truly have lived and meet up with a bureaucrat in the Career Center of Clarksville Tennessee who hails from the same area.

And Indiana is a big state with lots and lots of people.

"You have to be kidding" I gush, "We were living in New Haven!" (a township that is part of Ft Wayne)

"Get out! I had my hair done in New Haven! At Duce."

"No way!!Me too! Who? Not Micheal!"

"Yes! Michael!!!"

I'm telling you, the longer I live, the smaller the world becomes. (I hope it helps me get a job.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where did I put that darn Camera?

The camera was dusted off and carried/concealed in my Pink Birthday Purse (which could house an elephant... I love large carry-all's) for the trip to downtown Clarskville last evening for the celebratory anniversary meal.

Since I have been neglecting the camera, the flash did not fire and the pictures are very disappointing, but I am determined to return and click happily away as soon as it stops raining.

In the meantime I submit this offering to the Sepia Scenes website. I took this a long time ago at the Mayberry Train Museum. My daughter and I (back when she was younger) took several rides on this train. The Halloween Train, the Civil War re-enactment when Morgan's Raiders robbed the train to name two off the top of my head.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Screwed Up Big Time

I can not figure out how to upload my old Hippie Gypsy picture from Photobucket. As many times as I try it does not happen. So I am depressed because I want her back. I like Alphawoman and all missed her, but I will be the first to admit I am wishy washy and not that I have AW back, I want Gypsy back.

Such is life, never truly getting what you want.

Oh, by the way, I am back on line. It only took a week and a half. I now have DSL and it is okay, so far I do not see any major differences. I was taking the 15 minute trip to the library in town. I like escapism. Now that it is easy to write an entry, I am void of material.

Why? Queen of the Non-Stop, open the flood gates? Because I just want to bitch bitch bitch. And I realize it is no good. But, I can't help myself.

The SIRIUS does not work. This is bad, because I love SIRIUS and can not stand to listen to it as it stops and starts and searches for the satellite. I almost cried today. But, this is good because I have shifted through my CD's and am now listening to Ashley MacIsaac who I have been neglecting for sometime now. John Prine, Lila Downs (oooohhhhhhhh....I forgot how much I love this genre!)

I am being invaded with ants! No matter what I do, they come back. I have sprayed (which I hate to do because of the cat) cleaned with the vengeance of a scorned lover, and have the house smelling like vinegar because I read somewhere they hate it and will not return. God, I hate invaders!

And today is my anniversary. I am going out tonight and I have nothing to wear.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Toonces the Cat

Yesterday I transported the three legged cat from Louisville to Tiny Town.

I have never traveled any great distance with a cat in the vehicle before. My only experience prior to this was hauling WildThing to the vet after being bit in the butt on several occasions while living in Mayberry or hauling WildThing home from the Human Society when he was picked up for loitering and thrown into the Cat Slammer. WildThing had a habit of madly running around the car and trying to get under my feet and inhibit my driving! I always had a very young Bridget with me back then. She was little help. I imagine WildThing freaked out whenever he found himself in the car because he thought he was on his way to the vet for shots, surgery and stitches. And of course, the neutering, which no way effected his nocturnal and wandering wily ways.

WildThing. What a cat.

The Three Legged Cat is of totally different temperament. I had him in a tiny carry bag and he cried so pitifully and looked at me with such big eyes that I let him out about 20 minutes into the trip. He checked out the car then lay down on his mustard colored blanket that he loves and had claimed as his own. He watched the windshield wipers for a spell, then noticed the moon roof and watched the clouds. When night fell, he too decided to take a nap.

Suddenly he jumped up and crawled into my lap. I rubbed him behind the ears and murmured words of comfort to ease his confusion. Then, he decided he wanted to drive. Toonces the cat immediately came to mind and if my memory serves me correctly, he always wrecked!

But, Three Legged Cat was easily lured back to the passenger seat and endured the rest of the ride with minimal disruptions.

Joe and TLC had a joyful reunion that consisted of wine, turkey and exploration of the garage. The cat was made to feel at home immediately and slept with a smile on his furry face.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Another Road Side Attraction

This morning as I drove down the major connector road to the other main connector road I noticed an old guy walking a tiny dog down the sidewalk in front of the 19th century houses that line the main thoroughfare.

He was wearing a denim jacket with the sleeves cut off, a black short sleeve t-shirt underneath, a leather cap on his head, Levi's with a chain attaching his wallet to his belt to thwart and discourage theft. Under the black leather cap, his grey hair was pulled back into a pony tail that spilled over his collar and traveled half way down his back.

Damn, I thought to myself, we have landed in the place where old motor cycle gang members retire. As I looked around it became even more evident that this was true. Rail Roaders' and Aging Harley guys.

I have been meeting the locals, one at a time. Since the town's population is slightly over 1400, I should have it completed in no time. Today, after a night of tremendous thunder storms and numerous tornado watch issued, which I gloriously slept through waking only long enough to shout out "DAMN" at the loudest claps of thunder to roll over and resume dreaming.....I ambled over to the the Storage Units where I am once again forced to rent one because I have too much stuff.

The owner is Jr. Johnson, past sheriff of this fine community. A small man who I imagine was no nonsense at one time. He was very nice and now knows everything about me that brought me to have to rent a storage area. He sent me down to the local hardware store to pick up a heavy duty lock from Boogie.

I've yet to go, saving Boogie for later.

Next there was Ed, the BBQ smoker guy who has a small shack by the side of the road. I passed it, famished last Sunday, and quickly found out if it is Sunday in this here parts, not much is open if you do not travel into Clarksville. As I flew by his road side attraction I noticed the Motor Cycle Gang of about eight to twelve bikes lined up in the gravel parking lot (I am always reminded of Pee Wee Herman sashaying out of the Biker Bar only to knock over the row of Harley's lined up)and took note. As I flew back by a little later on I slowed down and pulled in. The neon light was still on flashing "OPEN" and in I went.

He is old. And by old, I mean in his 80's or quite possibly his 90's. He sits behind a make shift drive thru window and seemed surprised that I wandered in. "My waitress is gone for the day" he told me with sorrowful eyes weighed down by enormous purplish bags. "That's fine, I just would like something to go".

I was so hungry I slapped together a sandwich in the parking lot, cold slaw on BBQ with hot sauce served on a hamburger bun.

It was heaven! Sweet and smoked and the best ever pork BBQ I have ever tasted. I went back in to tell him how it was like magic and he talked about UK Basketball, since my accent is not quite right, where am I from? Central Kentucky, outside of Lexington...and so it goes.

The guy who owns the Flea Market, Jimmy C., has put me open a waiting list to rent a booth space. (I thought I would sell my books at the Flea market rather than house them in the storage unit and make some money). I am number 75. "How long do you think I will have to wait?" "Maybe forever. Unless some of those before you die or leave. You see, once they grab ahold of those booths, they hardly ever give them up." "Sounds to me you should expand your flea market." "Lord no honey!! It's too much work right now."

I have yet to venture into the State Line Bar which also sits on the Main Main Drag, a small red shack of a building with a gravel parking lot. The lot is normally filled with pick up trucks and motorcycles. I think I may be fine in there, but Joe just shakes his head and hums the theme to Deliverance.

I can't wait to get in there.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Catholic School Girl Confessions - Part II


(Courtesy of spending so much time in the Clarksville Public Library)

One time at Catholic High School, the library was run, maintained and policed by a Nun who went by the nickname of The Rat. My class was not only the largest ever to attend the school, (class of 120+ depending on who was expelled from Catholic or who was expelled from one of the surrounding public schools and had to attend Catholic as the only viable alternative because the other private school was just "too private" ie: expensive)we were also the smartest of any previous or succeeding! This enabled us to come up with very amusing and cunning nicknames for our teachers and staff.

We were a wicked class. Catholic was a coed school but the sexes were separated. It was for our own good, or so we were told. We were able to concentrate on our studies and not on the opposite sex. Or so the theory went. We were mixed for our language classes. French, Spanish and Latin. And my class was the very first ever in the schools history to have a coed home room. Little did we know, we were an experiment. They had decided to separate the classes into the Smart Group and the Dumb Group (I sweat to God, it went on for years) (my brother T. was just reminiscing about it last week, how he was mistakenly put into the dumb class). As I was saying, my homeroom was the smartest of the smart!

And the most wicked of the wicked.

Back to The Rat......

To enter the library you went through two swinging doors that opened out into the hallway. Our high school was built in the shape of the letter E the opened end of the E faced the parking lot and the baseball fields (it's all changed now, with the million dollar donations, the addition of a highly successful football program, the multiple Basketball State Titles and the accusations of recruiting!!). The library was one of the corners of the E. Our Homeroom was next to the library and we liked nothing better to harass The Rat.

And the Rat did not take it laying down. We had something called Conduct Cards (I sweat to God, I may still have one stashed) and she would ask and you would hand over and she would slash away points. Your conduct grade would be what was left over at the end of the quarter.

The students would race by the library door and bang on it. Rat would rush and throw open the door trying to figure out which one of the innocent faces looking back at her was the culprit.

But the major coup was when some genius stuck the broom between the two door handles and banged loudly.

We were doubled over laughing as the Rat's face appeared in the tiny windows trying to see what was holding the doors locked tight! She was red faced angry.

I have many tiny snap shots of those four years spent at Catholic, terrorizing the Nuns, being whipped into shape by the faculty and smoking in the bathrooms, skipping school and having a major crush that lingers slightly today.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Catholic School Girl Confessions- Part I

This morning I finally found a spot in the house that the SIRIUS will receive an uninterrupted signal. As I sifted through all the stuff that seems to multiply whenever I turn my back, as if I have taken the wrong turn and entered the Twilight Zone, Bob Seagers RAMBLIN' GAMBLIN' MAN began to play and transported me back to high school.

I am standing in the girls bathroom, the only girls bathroom if you do not count the one in the gymnasium. I spend a lot of time in the girls there because I am one of the clandestine smokers who pile into the stalls and share a cigarette with the other smokers in between classes. I can feel the butt clamped between my two fingers, the ash about two inches long and glowing red. We pass it around and blow smoke out our nostrils.

Myra throws open the door grabs the community fag and takes a deep drag. As she exhales the smoke, which is mysteriously also red, she begins to belt out,

" I was born lonely
down by the riverside
learned to spin fortune wheel
and throw dice
I was just 13 when I had to leave home
knew I couldn't stick around
had to roam"

We wore the typical Catholic School Girl Uniform, blue sweater, blue pleated skirt, white blouse with "peter pan" collar (whatever that was but that is what we called it)either white socks with saddle shoes or blue knee highs with Bass Weejuns (you never mixed the two!!). Our skirts were rolled at the waist to give the effect of a mini skirt. We were made to kneel to ensure that our hems brushed the floor. We spent a lot of time rolling and unrolling those hems while puff puff passing in the girls bathroom at the end of the hall way at the ready to rush out as some duty bound Nun would rush in trying to catch us.

We were all on the road to "never gonna slow" down for that "funky world".

See ya round.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Phase II

...and so I moved the big house from Jeffersonville Indiana to the smallest town ever (from now on when ever referred to as STE..not to be confused with STD) and then jumped into a car and headed to Memphis to move that apartment to STE. This has been labeled Phase II.

Upon arrival we knew that the sofa, lawn mower, refrigerator, washer and dryer and this acoustical guitar would not fit into the vehicle with all the clothes, pots and pans, clothes (did I mention clothes already!) exercise machine, pictures, vacuum cleaner...well, you get the picture.

So, we did what everyone is doing now, we used Craigslist. And we were very successful. My husband would be annoyed that his phone did not start ringing the moment he would exited Criagslist.

By the time he received the 100th phone call about the $50 Toro lawn mower, he was totally crazy.

Out biggest problem was the refrigerator. It may have had something to do with the fact it was raining relentlessly all day Saturday and Sunday. People said they were coming and then did not show. Our first price on Friday was $150. Saturday it was $100. On Sunday "LAST CHANCE" price was $75.

We cleaned the carpet and I spent over an hour in the bathroom scrubbing away at the caulking as if we made that hundred year old stuff look that bad! All I wanted at this point was to not let Louise, my landlord down. She said to me, "I know you are going to leave that apartment better than you found it." That is an understatement as I spent the first months desperately trying to eliminate the odor left behind by the trio of five pack a day smokers.

Then I posted her Kreepy Krawly on Craiglist - $150, paid $375 and only used two months!

"I am on the list at the library to learn how to use the computer", she confided to me, "I'm number 25 in line. I was number 37, so I am getting there. Lord, I'm 79 years old, they better hurry!"

We rode over to her house with the car loaded up with the last of it and handed over the keys.

"Do you still have that refrigerator?" she asked and we nodded that yes, unfortunately we did. "Well, I can't give you $150 for it, but I'll give you $125. I need to look at it first."

So we climb into the car and head back over for the inspection.

As she climbed out of her 2006 pale yellow Lincoln (watch out any body who happens to be driving south of Memphis!) she waved her readers at the half acre of lawn, "Did that grass need cutting when you all moved in?"

You have to imagine her southern accent dripping with those syrupy elongated vowels. Joe, peering at the enormous lawn as the torrential rains caused the neon green grass to appear to grow right in front of our eyes, said, "Why yes, I mowed it as soon as I moved in."

We proceeded into the kitchen where she opened the refrigerator and looked it over and nodded her approval that the deal was sealed. Then her attention turned to the stove, "Did this stove need cleaning when y'all moved in?"

I shrugged and mentally kicked myself for not scrubbing the pans under the burners as she lifted them up in disgust. "Well, I normally replace them anyway." As she moved out of the kitchen and into the living room to continue with the once over.

Once it was over and we had our deposit back and a second check for the refrigerator we were giddy with joy! Joe more so because Louise had not checked the windows. Joe, late one evening had the scare of his life. As he took out his small pistol for some absurd reason (I am not a gun person) and it went off (this is why I am not a gun person) and he shot through the curtain, the blinds, the glass, and the screen.

I can hear Louise now, "Was this bullet hole here when you moved in?"