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Archive for April, 2009

I’m writing this post from my iPod Touch, an amazing little gizmo that unfortunately falls short when it comes to composing blog posts (Thumbs? Please!).

My posts have been kind of brief lately because I’m still having trouble recovering from last month’s hack. It’s kind of a long story, but I’m pretty sure it’s one that’s going to end with me reinstalling WordPress.

Until I get things sorted out, I’m going to have to advise you NOT to comment on the posts. It’s another long story that involves some unscrupulous Latvians, but until I say otherwise, it’s probably not a great idea to start clicking lots of links around here. Damn Latvians.

You can, however, click on the link to my friend Meg’s blog (“Sleepy New Mommy” on the left sidebar). I’m guest posting over there today while Meg’s indulging her hedonistic side in Vegas.

But just in case, if any link you DO click takes way too long to load, it would probably be best to just skeddaddle.

Damn Latvians.

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Flying blind

So what’s worse than the swine flu? Foot in mouth disease.

I came down with a case last night at the little league park. We were there to watch our best friends’ oldest child play t-ball. His grandpa was there as were both sets of his aunts and uncles. One of the couples was newly pregnant, and as I approached I smiled and said, “Congratulations!”

The look on her face was strange and I thought maybe I had the wrong aunt and uncle. A few moments later my friend’s father pulled us aside and said said they had recently lost the baby. Blargh!

I spent the rest of the evening trying not to feel like an idiot as I sat in the bleachers and watched the game with Autumn. It was yellow shirts against orange and they played a very diplomatic game in which neither side won.

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Brain bits

I was helping post grade repeats today and came across my name. Well, it would have been my name if I’d been born a boy. That got me thinking about what kind of life Scott would be leading right now and whether or not he’d be rushing to the salon after work to get his hair cut tonight.

I cracked open an egg this morning to find double yolks. I used to think that was a sign of good luck but now wonder if it really just means twice the cholesterol.

And? The swine flu has hit Michigan. People are dying and all I can think about is the possibility of dropping a couple pants sizes if I contract it. Of course I don’t want to catch the swine flu because that would put my daughter’s life in jeopardy and I really don’t care to become that friendly with the toilet.

But I’d still like to drop a few pants sizes.

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Heat and high heels

For some reason leaving Nathan home with Autumn for several hours today has him completely unraveled.  I had to work, one of two times during the year I’m required to put in some overtime and he has reached his tipping point.  I have a feeling he will be reaching into the liqueur cabinet before the day is out.

Today was university commencement, and although I wasn’t required to work both the morning and afternoon ceremonies I did because I’m all about paying off the debt that’s keeping me in the job in the first place.  And hell was it hot.  I’ve worked nearly every commencement ceremony since I started at the university and we’ve never had a day as warm as this in the spring.  It made the already cramped quarters seem all the more tight and grads were fanning themeslves with their caps and sneaking off to the one working vending machine for water whenever possible.

During the morning commencement ceremony I was finally able to meet the lovely Shannon from doahleigh, though our introduction was a fleeting one since she had to be ushered to the front of a very long line with all the other master’s candidates (congrats!).  Since I’ve been to so many of these ceremonies I tried to give Shannon as many tips to survive the event as possible, but I think everyone was unprepared for the heat and accompanying humidity.

The day cooled off some as the thunderstorms rolled in and the afternoon grads were treated to a good bit of rain.  Actually, it poured buckets and many arrived soaked to the bone.  And these women with their shoes?  Oy!  I know some can work stillettos like nobody’s business, but just looking at those things makes my feet hurt, especially since I know how much standing around and waiting is involved in the whole process of graduating from college.

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Kismet

Back in the day I used to work at Target. I started there my senior year of high school as a cashier and eventually worked my way around the store doing different things. I worked on the sales floor, the fitting room as their phone operator, price change team, stocked toys over the holidays and managed the funky signage that hangs all throughout the store.

The last couple years of my career at Target were rough. It was during a time when I was dropping into and out of college and I somehow found myself being bounced back and forth between working third shift and first shift. I expressed my dissatisfaction with the schedule to my supervisor, a great lady named Bev, but her hands were tied because she was not the one who dictated when we were to work nights. That job belonged to one of the store managers, a diminutive Philippino lady named Charito.

Charito also knew I was unhappy, but my unhappiness was not her concern until the day she approached me to let me know I’d be working another week of nights. It was at that moment I’d had enough. I couldn’t stand the thought of working another graveyard shift only to be put back on days again and I gave Charito my two weeks notice on the spot. I had thought of quitting many times, but I always imagined it would happen after I found employment elsewhere.

I went home that day feeling liberated and scared out of my mind. I was 22 years old and facing unemployment. I was a college dropout with no savings, no prospects and a father who expected to be paid rent every week. Quitting a job without having another one waiting was something my brother would do (and has done repeatedly).

Later the next week, close to the end of my final two weeks at Target, I got into my car after work and found I couldn’t insert the key into the ignition. No matter how hard I tried, the key would not go in and I wound up calling a tow truck. As I watched my car being hoisted out of the spot I’d driven into that morning, I thought this might be a sign I wasn’t meant to leave. At least not yet.

So I stayed. When I came back to work the next day I approached Charito and rescinded my resignation. She was happy. Me? Not so much. I felt defeated and embarrassed and was not looking forward to several more months, if not years, of bouncing back and forth between days and nights.

Eventually I went back to school (temporarily) and was able to get a steady schedule during waking hours. One evening, about a year after the incident with my car, I ran into a guy I used to work with. He and his wife both used to work at Target and had moved on to other jobs months before. They had since separated and he was splitting his time between working at a furniture store in Ypsilanti and working for his mother at her grain elevator on the weekends. Even though I hadn’t cared much for the guy when he was my coworker, I felt bad about his impending divorce and threw him a bone by giving him my phone number.

Sometimes I know when I’m being tested and sometimes it takes years for me to figure out why things happened the way they did. Right now I’m being tested and I would love nothing more than to be able to look into the future as easily as I’m able to look into the past and know things are the way they are for a reason.

Maybe there is no such thing as fate and maybe I’m romanticizing the past a little too much because I know what happened after I gave the guy my phone number.

He called me.

But if my car hadn’t broken down in the Target parking lot I may have actually quit the job and wouldn’t have been there when Nathan came back looking for me.

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I slack therefore I am

Yeah. Hi.

So you know how I said the blog was going to be down for a week?  Yeah.  That turned out to be several weeks during which I did not even touch the blog.  I sort of got used to not blogging and really enjoyed having all this time freed up to do other things.  Would you believe I’ve been exercising and getting to bed earlier?  I kid you not.

So I’ll try to make a long story short here; this site was attacked by a hacker  last month and it turns out this person, who I hope will one day reap his bad karma in the form of a painful incident involving his genitals, inserted a virus that brought down every one of my blogs.  At first I didn’t realize it was a virus.  I thought someone was repeatedly sneaking in through some unseen back door and preventing my access to the blogs because every time I thought I had it cleaned up I’d wake up the next morning to a screwed up blog.  That’s when my hosting provider told me it was a virus.  Real nasty one, too.

Before I go on, I must give props to Bluehost for helping me out with this because they went above and beyond their responsibilities as my hosting provider.  I probably should have hired a professional to clean up the malicious code, but someone at Bluehost took pity on me.  Maybe it was the way I explained to them that I had just finished Financial Peace University and “catastrophic hacker attack” was not one of the things laid out in my monthly budget.

While I’ve been absent I’ve had some time to think about where the blog is going and how it fits into my life.  Before the hacker attack I think it was safe to say the blog was taking over my life. I was spending huge amounts of time here, time that should have been spent doing other things and I was starting to have less and less fun with the site.  I started feeling like I had to write instead of wanting to write.  I was focusing on growing and marketing so much that I forgot what it was that brought be to blogging in the first place; the writing.

I guess in a weird, twisted way I owe the hacker some thanks because he kind of put things into perspective for me. I still mean what I wrote about karma and his genitals because fixing this has caused me undue stress, but had this not happened I wouldn’t have discovered how far I’ve strayed from my original vision for the blog. It’s not about PR connections, product reviews or networking with the right people.  For me, it’s about sharing and creating and, hopefully, making people laugh.

That being said, I really need to focus on my family and my life outside this blog more than the blog itself, so I won’t be posting as frequently as I was before.  This resolution may or may not stick because you know sometimes I just can’t shut up, but until I have more time at my disposal I’m not going to be making the blog a priority.

Besides, Michigan is getting some sun and I’m getting my butt outside, yo.

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