Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.~ Oscar Wilde

 Wow, it’s been a really long time since I bothered to post.    Don’t worry, I’ve pretty much been neglecting FB, G+ and SWTOR just as much.   Fell off the wagon where FF is concerned and am pretty much wallowing in FF14’s Eorzea these days.  

 As I might have mentioned in an earlier post (not sure, and not checking atm) - but in case I didn’t- I have been working part time since June.  22ish hrs a week.  Not in a salon, which still gives me a pang, but needs must and all that.   It helps that I adore the job and my coworkers, which is a constantly delightful surprise since I’m once again working retail.   

Still, it keeps me in liquor and wine.  Quite literally as I work for the NH Liquor Commission at their “flagship” store in Nashua.   Unlike every other retail and most salon jobs I’ve had, this one is pretty fun.   Having a great crew and management makes for a nice change.   

Things are a bit crazy now as we’re in the middle of our busiest month.   Historically, more people buy their alcohol in the lead up to Thanksgiving than they do during the Christmas season.  Don’t get me wrong, December is a busy month, but the day before T-day is our definite “Everyone’s Insane” Day.  

Being a kind and considerate sort, I’ve been warning our regulars that they might want to make their purchases before next Wednesday.   Of course, if this mean that I (and my coworkers) have less people to deal with on that day,  even better.  


Saturday, July 13, 2013

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and riffle their pockets for new vocabulary." ~ James Nicoll

A friend of mine recently posted a few critiques about how many common English words and phrases are used incorrectly which sparked an interesting debate or two on his Facebook Wall.   

This friend has been teaching high school (mostly Sciences) for close to 20 years.   His position is that English grammar and usage rules should not be allowed to "slip" and that those who don't follow standard English rules (and are native speakers) should be corrected.  Seemingly irregardless of circumstance or situation.    In a school or other learning setting this makes sense and I agree with it; since you need to know the rules to break them.  However, in a public forum or other social gathering to correct someone's English is incredibly rude and presumptuous.    

Now, he's a great guy and I respect him alot; but on this topic not only do I disagree with his argument about common English usage, I think he's fundamentally wrong.   Especially in spoken settings.  

His most recent post was a link to Sarah Brooks article for LIVING; "17 Phrases You're Probably Saying Wrong  and from just a brief skim of the article (not that it's a heavy read) it's clear that the writer made some pretty sweeping judgements.  It's also clear that she has little understanding of how written English differs from spoken, how regional accents, nationality of speaker and diction all play a role in how a word or phrase is enunciated or used.    

As a whole the article is pretty terrible and should be largely ignored as someone whining that clouds often mean rain. 

News at 11:  Water is Wet!  (Exclusive)

My biggest irks with the article:
  • The title.   It's correct, sure. However, It would be more correct to have gone with "17 Phrases that You're Probably Saying Wrong."   An article title should also not be in all caps, but since that's a pretty common failing of all web media these days, I'll give it a pass.  
  • Many of her choices can be explained as common accent or diction differences when spoken versus written.  1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 16  are most like speed and accent related.  ie. "Should've"  sounds exactly like "should of" when spoken.   "Beck and call" when spoken quickly (as we do here in New England) would sound like "beckon call" to those used to a less rapid spoken pace.  "Did you eat?" when spoken with a thick southern accent will sound like "Dijaet?"  to a Yankee.  
  • In #4 Literally is being used for emphasis and hyperbole.  Choose a better example like ATM Machine or something equally inane.  
  • In #5 she corrected on accident  to by accident but missed a common mistake that's completely national/regional.   Spilled is incorrect to me and most speakers outside the US.  I'd say would be more correct t o say spilt (International Choice).  No crying over spilt milk.  This one is personal choice, either are correct.  
  • In #9 we see another International vs US difference with towards vs toward. This one bothers me since she admits that "towards" is used and considered correct outside the US. That makes it as correct as "toward." Again, personal choice. I'm apt to use both. 
  • In #11 is one I love- irregardless. It's a real word that has been in common usage since the late 1700s in the US. It is a likely a portmanteau word created by combining the two words "irrespective" and "regardless." It's a non standard word that many grammar aficionados despise since it's a double negative that "breaks the rules" of standard English. Which it has been doing cheerfully for over two centuries now. Pretty long time to be in common usage and still not be considered a real word. Which is why I love it and use it. Irregardless of the purists. Tim Moynihan's defence of irregardless.
  • And finally with #17 she chose the old standard: "Could/could not care less." Again, in common usage here in the US despite the logical inconsistency of "could care less" versus "couldn't care less." When I use "could care less" (and I do) I'm using it as a sarcastic inversion in the sense of "Tell me about it!" or "I should be so lucky."  Which would be absolutely correct.      
English has about as many rules as a cat and is as contrary. Personally, I love language and studying it's evolution. Non standard doesn't necessarily mean "wrong" despite what the lexicographers like to insist. It simply means that it's in "common usage". Common usage is often used as a benchmark to measure when a word or phrase entered into the language. That makes spilt/spilled, toward/towards, irregardless et al as correct as the more grammar teacher approved words. 

I've gotten into similar debates with such words as orientate (IC) vs orient (US).  Just because a word isn't common in your region or country does not mean it is incorrect or that it doesn't exist.  In fact, if I say a word and you understood it; then it exists.  You would not have understood the word otherwise.   Don't like it, fine. Don't use it.  I will and can.  

I'm not saying that I am a modern day Shakespeare capable of creating some 1700+ words for this ramshackle language, nor am I perfect.  I'm sure there are many grammatical mistakes in this blog post for which I don't apologize.  To be honest, I am a bit bothered by how my grammar and spelling has slipped since leaving school as I find that I am much more reliant on the built in grammar and spelling checks than I was before graduation.   

It's frustrating and I'm not proud of it.  As I see mistakes in my posts I correct them.  I just refuse to apologize for them.  If the reader or listener is capable of understanding what I am trying to communicate to them, then my job has been successfully accomplished.  You understood me.   

Basically, stop seeing the trees for the forest.   Languages are beautiful and ever changing.  The English language is quirky, sexy, profane, charming, redundant, illogical and frequently jumps back through hoops to evolve forward.   Shoving it into a neat little box of rules just doesn't work very well.  

In closing, I'll leave you with this delightful Stephen Fry podcast excerpt.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"~. Arthur C. Clarke

For which I am grateful to be living in the age of increasingly advanced technology as without it, I and our dogs would be suffering greatly from the past two weeks of unceasing humidity and frequent temperature spikes into the high 90s.

Eight years ago my husband and I returned to our birth state and his hometown from GA.   Not impressed that GA weather has now decided to join us.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"If I'd known how much packing I'd have to do, I'd have run again.”- Harry S. Truman

And kept on running...

Not really, but damn, has this been a crazy, borderline insane week.  

We closed on Friday (WAHOOO!) and then rushed off to work (SSG) and my best friend's house (Me) to try and get the sudden mood of abject terror out of our systems.    SSG works to get his mind off things.  I tend to rush to my best friend's house for coffee, the occasional alcoholic beverage and a 2x4 across the head.  Applied as needed. 

SSG wandered off to his monthly Drill Assembly while I spent a pleasant weekend with a friend from CT and worked on the house in between visits to a local flea market and the river to cool off.   Monday was lazy  and unproductive because I was lazy.

In an effort to make up for Monday's sloth, my sister Rani and I walked into our new home intending to paint the day away.  However, as those of us who were force fed Stienbeck know, the best laid schemes of  Mice and Men oft go awry.  

We walked into a flooded basement.   After trying to rent a shop vac and failing (seriously, how can the Home Depot in the State Capitol NOT rent shop vacs?) and sighing over the carpeting that now has to be torn up, we at least got the rooms taped off by the time SSG joined us.  

Upon seeing the rising tide, he immediately went out and bought two shop vacs (one has a leaf blower attachment, which is apparently A Big Thing For Guys) which we used to suck the now standing water out of our basement before collapsing onto the couches for the night only to be greeted with the Nile once again overflowing her banks.  

SSG took the day off work (I still maintain that I did not attempt to coerce or guilt him into calling out) so we could hopefully fix the issue.   It is now Thursday evening and as of 1500 this afternoon I left my new home powerless and with yet another small lake in my basement.   PSNH decided to change out the meter, which required shutting off the electricity until the electrician arrived to do something that electricians do.  PSNH showed up at 9:30am.   As of 1500, we were still without power and the carpet went from a "well, maybe if we can get it dry..." to a total loss.  

We know where the water is coming into the house, we don't know what's causing it, if it's a recurring issue that was not disclosed to us or a freak accident/freak of nature.  Called our agent, took pictures, saved the receipts and informed our insurance company.    The only thing we can say definitively is that  my beautiful basement and new bedroom is a sodden, wet mess and that the water is bone aching cold.  

Oh, and we're still moving as planned this weekend.  After all, it's only a little water.  We may or may not be insane; but damn if we aren't half enjoying this, surprisingly enough.   It's a fucking mess, but it's our fucking mess.   

And on that note, time to skip off to bed.   


Sunday, May 26, 2013

"One loyal friend is worth ten thousand families" ~ Euripides

I love my husband, am grateful towards my in-laws for taking my husband in and raising him as their own when he was a child, but I am so glad that we're closing on the house this week and  moving in two weeks.

We rent from my FIL as many of you know and have for several years.  I shall be making offerings and lighting candles to every Saint I pray too and every superstition regarding welcoming the brownies/sprites into your home that I know in short order.

I'm that grateful. 

My FIL has apparently been fretting about a tree in the front yard and told SSG that he wanted to deal with it on Friday.

No mention that oh, your brother will be by Sunday morning and if you could help him out that would be great?

No knock on the door to let us know that they were here or that we could move the cars if we wanted too.  

The tree in question is near power and utility lines, BIL is not insured for that type of work and is a foolhardy idiot.  I sure hope his wife has a good life insurance policy on him.

Then the rest of my BIL's family arrived to "help with the clean up".

Still no knock on the door and we overheard someone whining that why weren't we out there helping.

Maybe because you didn't bother to inform us in a reasonable amount of time that you would be there.

So sorry, we're not at home to callers today.

No BIL is apparently bitching out my husband.  Oh, there will be blood.   So much.  It'll flow like wine.

/figuratively speaking, I'm quoting a book.  Not to be taken as a threat.  Idiot brother-in-law would take hyperbole as a threat.   

Friday, May 3, 2013

"If I'd known how much packing I'd have to do, I'd have run again.”- Harry S. Truman

As excited and thrilled I am about our new house I am just as less thrilled and enamored about having to pack.

It's been five years since we last moved and our things have predictably grown as well.   It's not that we've been pack rats or clutter fiends, we just moved from a small 2 bedroom apartment into a 2 story, 2.5 bedroom house with full basement.

I do admit that my painting hobby-business has a tendency to collect blanks, but I do try to keep everything under control.

Part of the challenge is trying to pack enough now so that we're not scrambling at the end of the month and still be able to live in our house for the next four weeks.  Still, packed two boxes yesterday and am going to try for more this weekend as well as weeding out the rest of the junk drawer.

One area of this whole house packing project that I am taking great delight in is finally being able to downsize my makeup.   My makeup collection is...impressive.   Being both a pro and having a passionate affair with makeup has led to having enough makeup to do any number of runway shows without running out.

Since attending Dragon*con last year and taking part in a seminar panel about an amazing pro makeup called Skin Illustrator- that's all changing.  Slowly.  Each palette is $75+ and the family does like to eat occasionally.   Ordered and recieved my first palette this week and I'm in love.  Never going back to conventional makeup again.   Especially foundation.

A foundation that can be perfectly matched to your skin tone easily, dries damned quick and doesn't smudge?  Ever?  Until you remove it?   Miracle of science.   I love living in the future.  

Which brings up a discussion that friends and I have had on and off over the years.  To varying degrees we all like and enjoy Renn, re-enactments and SCA life.    Biggest selling point for today over any other time in history?   Science and modern medicine.   I personally enjoy being able to see, treat infections and breath without trouble during the growing season.   And look fabulous at the same time.  

Week 2 and my ankle has been holding steady.  It still hurts, still needs to be wrapped for prolonged activity, but swelling isn't as bad and I can actually rotate it fully without feeling like someone just shoved a hot knife into the joint.   So progress!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." Henry David Thoreau

While, we're still working on success, we certainly have had a busy weekend! 

Friday had originally been scheduled to be a MFA day, but due to a badly sprained ankle on my part and other things coming up we postponed going to see the Samurai exhibit until after The Move.     

Scheduled the appraisal, filled out the Loan Application and generally busied ourselves doing the "should do"s we normally put off.   Saturday was a work party day for the local Ren Faire that we've volunteered for since Year 2.  Not thinking about how many years ago that is right now.  It hurts.  

Spent a pleasant afternoon repainting the signs and supervising the dogs adoring crowds.   It was a lovely, warm and sunny day.  We felt it was a crime to lock them in the house all day so brought them with us.  They spent the afternoon sun bathing and being cossetted by the other volunteers.  

I want to return as a pampered house pet in my next life.  Seriously.  

After that it was off to Nashua to color a friend's hair and dinner.   Today was for relaxing and dinner at my cousin's.   

Tomorrow I have more orders to ship, jobs to apply for and errands to run, but for now I think I'm going to relax with a favorite book. 


Thursday, April 25, 2013

“Budget: A method for going broke methodically” ~ Unknown

I'm sure there are many people in my socio-economic tier who don't have to budget and are not Diamond Members of the Half Inch Club.  

I am not one of those lucky people.  

There was a brief period when my husband and I did not have to budget out every expense.   That was over a decade ago when we were both making the same amount and living extremely cheaply in Korea in an apartment the size of my first floor and half the size of our new house.

/sigh I miss $5/month HI-Speed DSL (for the time) and $10/month cable.    

Since returning from overseas and especially since the downturn, we have had to stretch each cent to try and make ends meet.  Sometimes making them meet, but more often being a Half Inch Too Short.   

Half Inch Club Diamond Member, that's me.

Most of my friends are in the same Club and to that end my very good friend Kate and another friend Kirsten have created a non-denominational, straight talk Thrifty blog that doesn't get bogged down by too much "And You're Saving the Planet Too" cheerfulness.

Not that being eco-friendly isn't good, but that's not the focus here.  Being  thrifty and finding cheap alternatives to national brands/standard methods is.  

Everyone likes to save where they can and believe me, K + K are masters at it.

Check out their blog at Misfit Thrift.   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort." ~ Jane Austen

After 8 house tours I think we've finally settled on a house.  Sadly, it's not the grand old brick house that everyone fell in love with.  

We asked for the estimated payment options on both the Brick House and a very cute and cozy ranch in fabulous condition that was ideally more than we wanted to spend.   Those came back yesterday and the numbers were a bit surprising.   Due to the limits of the VA Loan- you can build, but you can't renovate.  Someone explain that to me- we would actually pay more per month under the 203k loan for the brick house than we will with the much more expensive ranch.

Still, it's a beautiful house with a fully finished basement that has a kitchenette.  Oh, and a fireplace.  Guess what will be my new bedroom?   

It's not set in stone and we haven't made an offer yet so I'm trying very hard not to rent a U-Haul this weekend and pack it up.   

Still- /squeeee!!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"I am SHE-RA!" ~ She-Ra

This morning I discovered that Netflix Streaming has both He-Man and She-Ra.  My morning was officially shot.  If Netflix ever gets the rights to Lady Lovely Locks I have a feeling that I will never get anything done.    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is bad enough.  

Not really, but I did spend the morning watching She-Ra: The Princess of Power while penning this post long hand and am currently listening to the 6th while typing this out.  I forgot how completely wussy Prince Adam sounds or how breathy-young-girl all the female characters are.   Not sure whether to ask them if they need a drink of water or voice training.  

Still, it's a cute show despite not aging well.  Childhood nostalgia ftw.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Never Trust a Jeep

For the past few years SSG and I have been dealing with ongoing motor vehicular failures.  Not lemons- just older cars that while once good were failing more and more as they crept ever closer to the 20 year mark.   As we live in what is generously defined as a "small town" of 6.8k (2010 pop. census) and generally commute to opposite points in the state, two cars have been a necessity.  

Fortunately, we are typically able to borrow my uncle's Jeep for the times when we are down to a single car.      Not so fortunately, my uncle's Jeep has become unreliable of late.   She's always been quirky.  She handles nicely and if the radio works only when she's "in a good mood", well that's what my droid is for.  The heater works great, even if the fan doesn't, but it's in general a good solid Jeep.    That is until she decided to start playing tricks.

Start up, get to driving and all of a sudden you're stopped at a stop sign and she'll completely shut down.  Battery dead, no charge.   That happened twice.   Then she wouldn't start up one morning, on a day when SSG was at Drill for the weekend and Not Home.  Of course.   Two days later, I have to do laundry, so haul the loads into the Jeep, go down to the laundrymat and do the laundry.   It's cold and boring watching the washer machines turn, so I climbed back into the Jeep to sit comfortably...and watch the battery go from charged to flat in less than 5 minutes.    Still, the seats are pretty comfortable.

 So....nothing to do but walk home after making sure the laundry was done and loaded into the Jeep.   Came back later that night with SSG to change out the battery.

She made it through the bi-weekly shopping and extra stops for house viewings I had scheduled for yesterday morning at least.   Driving the Jeep isn't as scary as driving my old baby when her brakes went (in the winter, morning of a snow storm- THAT was fun) but it is a tad bit disconcerting to see the Check Gauges light pop on and you see the battery gauge is flat-lining while driving at 60+ miles per hour and wondering just when the engine is going to decide to stop firing or doing whatever it is combustion engines do.  Combust?  Whatever, I'm not a mechanic.

SSG believes it might be the alternator.  What ever that thing is.   Again, not an engineer.

Phe's Maxim #9:  Vehicles go when you turn the key ignition and press on the pedal.  Add gas as necessary.    If you expected a mechanic you should have married one.  

As long as she doesn't play cutesy with the "I'm working! Oh, wait- now I'm not." game I'll be happy.

Phe's Maxim #10:  Never Trust a Jeep

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. ~ Jane Austen

Just over two weeks into our Quest for a Home and I'm already looking forward to the end.  

TL; DR Version:  We rent from my FIL.  He's in financial straits (4 rental properties, 3 of which have two mortgages each on them) and wants us to either buy the house that we rent  (for over 10k a year) for a price that's well over the current fair market price for a house of this size /acreage or he's going to sell it out from under us.   He's at least 3 yrs behind on taxes.  On a house that has no mortgage.   So, we're looking to buy a house WE want in an area closer to SSG's job that's 90 mins away. 

The Reality Show Dysfunctional Family Version:

We've rented from my father in law since we returned to New England 7ish years ago in 2005.    Our first place was a small duplex with a stunning yard that I still miss.   Sometime between our visit in 2002 while we were still stationed in Korea and when we moved back to NE, my father-in-law started to build the house we currently reside (and rent) in.   

From the very beginning he was pressuring us to buy the house from him; but we were struggling financially since I was still perusing my licensures and  SSG was struggling to find a job that paid for his skills and told him flat out is wasn't going to  happen.  

 (Phe's Maxim #1  Never Work For Family).  

 During this time, SSG (at the time- SGT) was involuntarily transferred and scheduled to deploy to the sandbox as part of the Troop Surge to Iraq, so any question of purchasing a house was put on hold until he came back.  Personally, I was hoping that my FIL would either sell the house or rent it out and leave us alone.    

14 months go by and now SSG is home.   I don't think my FIL waited two days before he was again pressuring SSG to buy the house, which meant SSG was pressuring me.  A lot.  We had several fights on the subject and all of his family got into the mix as well.    

(Phe's Maxim #2  The ideal distance between you and your family is 30 minutes travel.  Minimum.)

  This was in 2008 right before the rainbow bubble burst and the economy tanked.   In late May I discovered that SSG already promised his father that we'd take the house as a rental and explore the option to buy- and lying to me in the process.  

Not happy making.   I will tolerate many things, but not being lied too.   It's a childhood issue.   

So.  Faced with the decision of leaving my husband- no job (still in school, remember?) a kid in first grade and no where to stay- I opted to save my marriage, acquiesce to my FIL's demands and move into this house.   I was already Year 1 MIL Does Not Exist Mode and recieved some satisfaction in adding FIL to that Mode of Existence as well. 

(Currently in Year 6 MIL Does Not Exist.  It's been said I hold a grudge) 

We went through the motions- pre-approval, quote, appraiser, everything.   The house was appraised at 180k, FIL wanted 120k for it.   Then we saw the projected mortgage payments and started to go "Hmm..."

Then the company that SSG worked for started to have problems and his hours were cut.   

Sorry, FIL- can't buy the house.  Talk to your oldest son if you want to know why since he's SSG's BOSS.  

So, we've been renting a 1,200 sq ft 2 1/2 bedroom, 1 bath house on less than a 1/4 acre- that my FIL destroyed before we even moved in.   He put unsifted fill in the back yard to "even it off" which resulted in God's own rock garden as well as raising our lawn 4' over that of our neighbors.   

Hello, run off erosion.      

So, for nearly 5 years we've been paying $10,400 a year in this house.   In that time, we've both been laid off, found new jobs- in my case, been laid off 2x more- and are just finally able to make ends meet.  Most months.  

And then my FIL, on the day before our 12th Anniversary tells my husband that we're behind in rent (which is true- had to order heating oil and do a fairly major car repair in the same week in January.  Bye-Bye pay check) , that he (FIL) was behind on the taxes for this house and might loose the house if it's not sold.    I did mention that there's no mortgage on our place right?  And that he's at least 3 years behind on taxes?

He also made some bullshit complaint about my brother living with us (which he's known about since Day 1) and that we use too much water.  Love to know how he came up with that one since we don't have a washer hookup (that he promised to install) or a dishwasher.  

The real pisser was when he decided to question our financial management and why I wasn't working.  Let's see.  None of your business, and oh, none of your business.   

So, Dearest FIL wants 110k for a 1,200 sq ft house on a 1/5 of an acre.   Two streets over (5 min walk), same neighborhood, a 1800 sq ft house on a full 1/4 acre is being sold for 112k.  That has a pool.  Another home, 1300 sq ft on a 1/3 of an acre is going for $75k.

Right.   No.  

We went curbside stalking the local listings that weekend and in the two weeks since, have gotten pre-approved for more house than we could ever use and have our first showing tomorrow!

Stay tuned for more suspenseful action and drama as our heroes continue their search...  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Advice I Would Have Ignored That I Wish I'd Been Given Anyway

I am blessed, at times overly blessed, with a large family.   I am the oldest of five children, the youngest of whom is 18 years younger than me at 14 years old.  3 years older than my son, Child Minion.   3o3S (Third of  Three Sisters) is starting to look at what she wants to do after high school in just over two years.     

For anyone reading who is looking at 3o3S's age (14) and thinking that's awfully young to be a sophomore in High School- you're right.   Two years ago she was jumped from the middle of 7th grade to the middle of 8th grade.   Her birthday is in the spring, so she entered high school as a 13 year old.   She'll graduate 2.5 months into her 17th year.  

1o3S, H. Troll and I have had qualms about her early promotion to high school since the first.  Not so much about her academics, she is very bright, but because she is also very young.  As none of us are her guardians, this decision was left to our parents.   


Everyone goes through growing pains in their late teens/early 20s when they go out on their own.  Lord knows I did.  Looking back at that time, 15 years ago (ugh...I feel old)  I was supremely unprepared for being out on my own and responsible.   While I still feel that way, I've at least learned what NOT to do.  

On occasion.  

So, my sister and son's graduation presents will be a collection of advice from family and friends, that while I'm sure they won't listen too it,  it's advice I wish I'd been given when I left home.

~  Don't be afraid to ask "What does this mean?" when dealing with financial stuff.    Every time.   Be a pest until you're sure you know what you're signing and why.   Your signature is a commitment to pay back what you're borrowing.  Whether it's a credit card, car loan, mortgage, student loan or cell phone contract.    It's their job to explain to you and if they won't- walk away even if it means leaving money on the table.

I've worked in collections and know how many people are confused or not educated on what exactly they're signing for.  Your signature on a promissory note or contract is a legally binding agreement that you are obligated to fulfill.   ASK.

~ Don't replace something when you can fix it easily.   Your parents give you a car you know they bought for $200.00.  It starts to have mechanical issues that you could fix- you know a good mechanic, you like to tinker on cars, whatever- you could get if fixed without too much bother.   Instead, you trade it in for a "better" car and a car loan.   You'll pay more for that car over the life of the loan than you will that beater, even if you stay current on the payments and are never late just because of interest.

Maintain what you have.   It'll save you money.  

~ Perhaps the most important.  Don't get tangled up in The Crazy.  There's a difference between quirky/eccentric and Crazy.   If someone is hurting you verbally, mentally or physically- or themselves- get far. far. away from them.  Cut off all contact.  Don't listen to them when they come sobbing back asking for your forgiveness and saying that they didn't mean it, it was a joke, they love you and would never hurt you.  

It's never OK and never right.   If it means living on a friend's couch for a year until you can afford your own apartment, it'll be worth getting away from a potentially bad, very bad, situation with lasting consequences.  

A good relationship makes you happy and content with who you are and who you're with.  Don't settle for The Crazy.  You deserve more.   


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"A professional is one who does his best work when he feels the least like working." ~Frank Llyod Wright

Mother Nature is playing her typical games on New England.  It has been, by turns, freezing, snowy, 50 degrees, freezing, icy and foggy.  All in all it hasn't been a Bad Winter by New England standards, but it hasn't been a good winter either.

Weather wise or employment wise for me, sadly.

When I was let go from Great Clips last spring (corporate standard bullshit, nothing to do with my performance as a stylist)  SSG and I came to the conclusion that being able to walk after work was to be encouraged and I decided to find office work in the fall.  I hadn't had a summer off in awhile and Child Minion would only benefit from having a parent home for the summer.   

Well, I found employment with Delta Management Services, a collections company that handles defaulted student loans.  Very ethical company and one that takes their responsibilities under the Fair Debt Collections Act seriously.   The work could be rewarding and I learned a lot, up until I got sick.   As a new hire, Delta had a 90 Day New Hire period where I could only miss what amounted to 1 day or be late 5 times.  

I got sick with a stomach virus over Thanksgiving and had to miss Black Friday due to excessive praying to the Porcelain God in the bathroom.   Than, 3 weeks later I woke up with a fever of 102 degrees and couldn't talk for more than a few minutes without coughing.   Being smart and fairly sensible, I concluded that I most likely had the flu, that driving to work when it took 2 minutes to walk down a flight of stairs and talking for 8 hrs on the phone was not a Good Idea.   So, I called in my resignation and promptly went to bed.

3 days later, I woke up with a normal temperature and didn't regret my decision as I really couldn't remember much of that 96 hour period.   It wasn't until last week that I actually noticed feeling 100%- or as close to it as I ever get- again.

So, once again looking for work!

Other Goings On:

  • Ruined my year long streak of being sprain free today.  Stepped off a curb while trying to climb into Antika Nueva's mini-van and slipped on slush.  I'm still buying new heels to reward myself for a Sprain Free 2012 when I get the chance, however.
  • Anitka Nueva thought of a brilliant idea for my modest little hobby-business.  Miniatures!  Specifically, pendant miniatures.  I'm still working on developing the skill to paint images as small as 10mm x 20mm, but the faux gemstone cabochons that I did for Birka were simply gorgeous and gained a lot of attention.  

Faux Blue Lapis Lazuli  Cabochon Pendants

  • Market Day at Birka was my first big show of the year and by last year's standards was a huge success!  I had fun (despite the floor) and gained a lot of attention- including that of a Wandering Zombie Gnome.

Me and a Wandering Zombie Gnome

Now for bed and healing.  Stupid ankle sprains.