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Kent took the news better than I thought.  He had the moment of "You did WHAT!?!?!?" and when I told him what had happened, he just hugged me and assured me we'd get through this.

I ended up collapsing in bed before 7 last night, which means my body decided 1am was a perfectly reasonable hour to be up.  It was oddly freeing to think "Well, I can just get up, instead of tossing and turning for the next four hours.  I can take a nap later if I need to."

(Also, I can wake the spousebeast up with coffee and morning sex.  Talk about a win-win)

I'm going to take today (and possibly tomorrow--I think I deserve it) off, then hit the ground running in respect to jobs.  For now, though, it's all coloring, Joni Mitchell, and later I'll be baking a ginger apple pie.  Yes, in this wretched heat.  When Mr. I Don't Realy Like Sweets brings home apples, that's a gentle clue.  And I haven't made one in a while.  Besides, ginger is an appropriate spice for Solstice.

But I really, really want to make a lemon jello ice box pie.  Next week, maybe.  Or a peanut butter pie with a chocolate graham cracker crust.

I don't know what's with us and desserts lately. Of course, the constant stream of slightly damaged fruit coming in the house probably helps.

Ya know, tomorrow is Friday.  Bad day to look for work (but I can always do a million online applications).  Maybe I'll start the process Monday.

Jun. 18th, 2018

Woo-hoo!  Just past ten am, and I've got laundry on the line (no one is going to work naked this week!), the dishes are done, and I swept the floors (it is all hair and glitter, I swear.  Jareth must live here).

I think I'm done adulting for today.  I *was* going to spend the day walking around Carrboro, but with an air advisory AND a heat index in the triple digits?  Uh-uh.  I am heading back to work for a 7 day stretch tomorrow, so it is probably best if I don't get heat stroke.  I'll just settle in and binge watch Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and work on my shawl.  In my lovely, lovely AC.

(Oh, the man pronounces "Appalachian" correctly.  I'm a warm puddle of goo right now.)

Need to make the stir fry I promised since Saturday.  Now, I think it will be lunches for the week.  The spousebeast has to go get work shoes (his are toast), and he offered to run my Bojangles on the way back.  How can I say no?  I can make and eat stir fry any time.

So, apparently, his disdain for chicken only refers to the rotisserie variety.  Good to know (and makes sense, considering how many of them he makes on any given day at work)  He *did* ask, when we were making our lazy menu plan (it kind of goes "Oh...I'd like this.  We haven't had this in a while.  Is [random protein and/or veg] on sale this week?  Just wanna scrounge food at work on this day?") if I would start doing more veggies (oh, twist my arm!) and fish on the nights I cook.  I think I may be picking up more dinner shifts (you can take the girl out of the kitchen....) because I do MUCH better at light, summery dishes than he does.

Although I'm really wanting beef stew right now.  Hello, PMS cravings!  Maybe a cold roast beef sammich would fix that.  And, gee...who knows someone who works in the deli section at Fresh Market?  I know what I'm requesting for supper tomorrow night.

In totally unrelated news, I saw that zenni is selling Pride-related frames.  I think I need a backup pair of glasses.
You're up at a quarter to five, pouring rose into freezer bags for the cocktails you plan on making when you get home.

In all honesty, I get up at five anyway, but my bladder had other ideas.  So I figured I might as well get the jump on my two days off plans.  I saw a frozen rose cocktail on The Chew, so I figured it would be a pretty way to usher in what is going to qualify as my "weekend" and beat the heat. It's supposed to be 91F today.  Ew.

I got to see Santa Pete's new apartment yesterday.  I am so happy he has a place that is more easily accessible with his mobility issues (he fell AT LEAST 3 times at the old place).  He's thrilled that the majority of his neighbors are college kids, so there is no way to pinpoint where the scent of...certain smokeable substances is coming from.  It's really pretty, if a bit dark for my tastes.  AND it is conveniently located right behind where I do my big grocery shopping, so I have been informed I am never schlepping my stuff on the bus or taking a cab ever again.  <3

I see making lots of baked ziti as thank yous in my future.

I get to start a new paper journal today!  Yay!  This is my 15th one since my ass got dumped in NC a decade ago.  I never thought I'd be able to keep one again.  Too many people who have claimed they loved me have pried into  them, and didn't like the unvarnished me.  And used my own words against me.  I still carry my current notebook with me wherever I go, but now it is because I write whenever I get the chance, not because I'm afraid of someone reading it.  It's kind of a security blanket, knowing I can get the words out whenever and wherever the need hits.

Jaysus.  I sound like a journal junkie, don't I?

Okay...away I go.  Wish me luck, and happy Saturday!
So, corporate is now handling the schedule.

I found out yesterday that I am supposed to work every Saturday through the end of this month.  In other words, my two regularly scheduled weekends off?  Not so much.


Which is why I am filling out applications on my day off, when I should be relaxing.  Of course, Mother Nature decided it should rain today,  so walking to Carrboro and going thrifting is out.  Grrr.  Well, at least I can run Food Network in the background while I type out my work experience over...and over..and over.

If the rain lets up, I may run up to Flyleaf, order the new Charles DeLint book (first adult fantasy novel in 8 years!!!!), and sign up for their adult summer reading program.  It's like the ones I used to do at the library as a kid (there are even stickers involved!).  I think the public library has one, too...I'll have to take the bus out there on Monday and check it out (yeah, since they're screwing me on Saturday, I get Sunday and Monday off.  Which would be sorta okay, if I didn't have to pay for a cab on Saturday).

Speaking of libraries, I found out that the one in Carrboro does a stitch and bitch once a month.  I have been needing...something else in my life besides work and sleep.  And I need to be around fellow fiber arts types.  Who knows?  I might even be able to find someone who wants to teach me how to knit.  (I can do the basic knit stitch, but my brain can't grasp how to purl)
Still wrapping my brain around the loss of Anthony Bourdain.   The spousebeast and I both adored him for different reasons (Kent identified with him, from the "I'm a bad boy cook, not a chef" attitude to the addiction issues.  I admired his humanity, and envied his ability to travel.  Also, I dig his writing style).

Currently watching the No Reservations marathon on Travel Channel.  It's a weird way of pre-gaming for the Tony Awards, but...yeah, that's me.  I get to hog the television, because I worked today, damnit!

Of course, the spousebeast also worked.  I came home to homemade linguine with Bolognese.  Yum!

He mentioned how long it has been since we've had homemade noodles and sauce, and I reminded him he has had sufficient time to recover from Noodles & Co. to like pasta again.

Of course, now chicken is more or less off the menu, because of his current job.  Le sigh.  I kinda wish he would get a kickass job at a sushi place, so he wouldn't 86 entire categories of food I love off the general household meal rotation.  I've really been wanting to do a big Sunday supper of roast chicken, but it seems unfair when he spends 8 hours a day, 5 days a week...and a lot of it involves making/handling rotisserie chicken.

I'll come up with something for next weekend, since it's my weekend off AND a payday weekend.  Of course, I want to focus on using what we have, because it's getting to be freezer clean out time again.  Besides, I want to start saving up money (cutting even further back on groceries is one really easy way), because......



Okay...time to annoy FB with my annual Tony postings.

Wherein our heroine walks out of a panel

For fucks sake, people!  Has anyone looked at a calendar recently?  It is fucking 2018!

I was all excited for the Creative Habits and Deep Work panel today.   I figured it was just what I need to kick my rear in gear and maybe finish something already.  I was even more excited when I saw Seanan McGuire and Beth Rose were on the panel.

And two dudes.  I really don't mind, but the energy was hinky from the start.

So, said dudes talked about their writing rituals and how they can shut everything out.  "Oh, I spend time and have dinner with my kids, then I go into the office, close the door, and put on my headphones.  I can ignore everything and do the deep work of writing."

Seanan mentioned that, being raised as a girl with brothers, she was NEVER able to ignore the dishes in the sink.  That, as women, we are taught from day one that we have to do all the stuff around the house before we can even THINK about writing/painting/having a creative life.

And this DUMBASS (who is a bigwig at Baen, btw) said "Well, *I* do dishes."  And his dudebro BFF chimed in with "I do dishes, too" and they looked like they were expecting a fucking ticker tape parade.

A year ago, I would have sat and fumed quietly, or possibly slunk out the back.  This time, the Universe conspired that the only seat available was in the front fucking row.  No way to be sneaky and, besides, I was fucking pissed.  First of all, this is Seanan fucking McGuire...show some respect.  And y'all are making the damn point.

So, I stood, and said something to the effect that I was not here to listen to men pat themselves on the back for doing basic housework, or to hear them talk over the women on the panel and walked out.

What's that quote?  "Speak, even if you voice shakes"?    I did.  And now I think I'm gonna go have a drink by the pool.

[much, much later]

Well, never did get back to that entry, but I *did* have that drink by the pool.  Okay, more like chugged it, because despite the best efforts of SPF 3 million, I could feel myself starting to incinerate after about two minutes.  I am *never* going to get to be the outdoor pool type, at least not during the day.

It was a really good con, but much more low-key for me than last year.  I didn't push myself to go to every single panel, every single performance, every single room party. I did the stuff I really wanted to, but I really am all peopled out with work and needed the time away more than anything else (okay, and a few nights in a hotel bed.  Why are hotel beds so much better than, like, anything else in the world?)   Actually, I didn't do any room parties this year--but, Saturday, we *were* the room party, so that counts, right?  Chirp came over, so we had snacks and drinks and general silliness.  We ended up rolling some of our new dice to determine who chose music off YouTube, so we now have a set called the Travelling Rock N' Roll Dice.  Whee!!!  I also got Chirp addicted to the Harris Teeter brand Grilled Corn on the Cob popcorn  (I don't know why current mission in life is to let everyone know how awesome this stuff is, because they can barely keep it on the shelves at my usual store).

I *did* get to get Seanan McGuire to sign my copy of Indexing (my first name is Alicia, so I fell for that book immediately) and the Pretty Little Dead Girls cd I won on her Hogswatch give away a couple of years ago.  She was cool, but man, she looked exhausted.  I think *I* get peopled out?  I can't even imagine being to GoH at a con.  We also brought her an emmisarry from our splinter tribe of Aisling mice and a small bottle of Pearl vodka as tribute.  That got a genuine smile.  :)

We are such dorks.

Oh, and I almost denied knowing  said Mr. Dork twice.  I was looking at a really cool Team Harley necklace at a dealer table, and he started on his anti-Harley Davidson rant.  *facepalm*  The look of pity I got from the dealer was hilarious when I reminded him where we were and this was referencing Harley QUINN.  (In all fairness, I am a bit of a bike geek.  Riding is the only thing I miss about my ex)

I think she gave me a discount on the necklace based solely on that.

The truly hilarious one, though, was at 1am yesterday morning.  We'd left the curtains open to catch another sunrise (we were on the fifth floor).  He got up to get us a drink of water and saw a light ouside our window.  Then one slightly below it, flashing red intermittently.

Dude was convinced it was a drone.  We spent a good 5 minutes standing in front of the window, discussing it (while naked, no less.  It is a no biggie for me, but proves that *he* was freaked out).  He had me convinced.  He even called down to the front desk to report it.  (Boy, is THAT guy going to have a watercooler story!)

We pulled the drapes, settled back into bed...when he noticed the smoke detector.  He freaked out about THE REFLECTION OF THE SMOKE DETECTOR!

This will never not be funny.

I am so glad Past Me decided to take today off and not return to Happy Acres until tomorrow.  The late spring/pre-Con Crud cold I got last week rebounded on my ass on the way home.  I actually slept on the train for a good 45 minutes, came home and took a two hour nap, and was in bed before 8pm.   I'm still horking up a lung, but at least I'm well rested while I do it.

I won a Wookie!

At ConCarolinas.  I signed up for the blood drive, got a raffle ticket, and won a FunkoPop! Chewbacca with AT-ST.  I never win ANYTHING.  Apparently, I just have to bleed for it.

Is it possible to get addicted to donating blood?  This is just my second time (and there has been a reward both times, so it's not like I'm being entirely altruistic here) but...I like it.  I don't exactly get off on it, but there is something about the whole process and...jaysus, Alicia, you should not have a vodka tonic and post at 6 in the morning.  (Although I can probably blame this on my vampire fetish.  Or vice versa)

Yup.  I'm on con time/rules.

We have an amazing room.  The spousebeast and I both woke up around 4am, and we watched the sunrise.  It was glorious.  After all these years, we've never watched a sunrise together.  Strange to still be having firsts after so long.

Now he's snoring and expecting me to wake him for breakfast.  Through some magic, he not only got $200 shaved off our hotel bill, he got us into the executive suite (which we paid for last year) for free.  So, breakfast and "heavy appetizers" in the afternoon are covered, which means we'll probably do one "fancy" meal and that will be it for food costs.

Yeah...we con on a budget.  But this means more money for the dealers room!

I haven't gone near the dealers room yet.  But I have money!  The spousebeast made "an executive financial decision" that, this year, we should both have cash and not have to make every purchase together.  I like it!  And will probably come back with half my cash, because I am a cheapskate.

The real question?  How much of our stash are we going to spend on gifties for each other?  He donated some of his in my name to help foster a rescue cat (I love cats, but am horribly allergic) and I now have a "Meow the Force Be With You" can coozie.  I bought him a "Forget calm.  Die in battle and go to Valhalla" sticker.  His fantasy football team is Valhalla Maulers, so how could I not?

Yeah, we're goofy.

I am so relaxed, y'all.  *deep, happy sigh*  And I get to meet Seanan McGuire this afternoon!  Whee!

Okay, time to shower (did I mention this place has Crabtree and Evelyn verbena and lavender products in the room?  Yeeeeah, I will be shamelessly tucking those in my suitcase every day that we're here) and put on my cute outfit.  I decided that I didn't feel like relacing an exGF's corset OR dealing with high heeled boots.  I am on vacation, damnit!), so I shall be sporting the red plaid schoolgirl skirt with black tights and my vintage red Converse along with my "I'm a gamer.  I have PMS.  Don't Fuck with me" shirt.  Oh, and the inflatable rainbow unicorn horn headband that I decided I needed yesterday while we were eating breakfast at Parker and Otis.

And, yes, there will be pictures.


Yes, I woke up at 4am and the cab to take us to the train station isn't going to get here until 10.  I'm like a kid at Christmas.

It's ConCarolinas weekend!  I have five whole days away from Happy Acres! (I took Tuesday off to decompress and readjust to "normal" society, because going straight back to work was just a leetle too jarring last year)  There's even going to be a Chirp sighting!  Whee!

Even better, all of those ridiculous hours I've been working (96.94 in two weeks?  No wonder I feel like all I do is work, sleep, and get sick) is on THIS CHECK.  Hell, I could pay the rent on my check alone and still have a decent chunk of change to play with....and Kent gets paid today.  So I think I'm gonna buy myself something pretty at the Con.

(Oh, and I *so* out-earned him this time.  Yes, we have an ongoing competition.  It all goes into the household fund, so it really doesn't mean anything other than bragging rights.  But...go, me!)

Y'all behave yourselves while I'm gone, okay?  Or not.  I probably won't.  ;)
Thanks for the birthday wishes, y'all!  Despite the fact that I had to work, it wasn't half bad.  I made lemon butter cake and brought it in for the residents (don't get too excited; it was a box mix that I tinkered with.  I haven't gained magical baking powers upon turning 45).  I got rave reviews and pretty much reinforced my reputation around there of being a quaint, old fashioned sort of gal.

The volunteer activities director and her nephew Stevie brought me flowers (they get them donated from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to decorate the facility) and led a round of "Happy Birthday" with the residents.  It was very sweet.

My birthday gift actually happens this weekend (ConCarolinas, y'all!), but Kent still got me a very sweet card and a six pack of Sisters of the Moon IPA from Mother Earth Brewing.  He bought it because a)it's semi-local, b)he knows I am an IPA girl 4-eva, and c)the packaging is so pretty and witchy.

(He had no idea we were coming up on a full moon...but I let him claim he knew.  ;)  Of course, the fact that all I'd wanted to do a few days prior was sleep, eat, and fuck might have tipped him off)

He also made me a really tasty ginger/garlic chicken stir fry with jasmine rice.  Considering the majority of his work days involve cooking various forms of chicken in myriad ways, that was a real labor of love.  <3

I actually see many stir fries in my future (yay!).  TFM has this thing in the employee break room where they set out fruits and veggies and bakery products that they can't sell the next day or have too much to donate at the end of the day (they donate *so much* stuff!  I love that!).  I'm all about some free produce.

Which is good, because I need to start eating better.  My immune system is in the trash, and I am getting tired of catching everything that comes down the pike.  I woke up Monday with a sore throat and runny nose and have spent the last two days coughing up my lungs.  :(  Con crud is supposed to happen AFTER, not before, damnit!  But, to be perfectly honest, I'm getting very little sleep and am basically eating enough most days to keep my blood sugar from tanking. Hell, there are days when I come home that chewing feels like too much work.   NOT GOOD.

I'm 45.  I need to start taking better care of myself.  Yeah, I'm one of those people who sees a birthday divisible by 5 and goes into full on life revamp mode.

Annnnnd....I totally lost my train of thought.  Oh, well.  Back to cold meds and packing.  There's no way this can go horribly, horribly wrong.

sick, sick, sick

I swear, I think that job is killing my immune system.  Or my mind/body stress reaction is in overdrive.  Or both.

Woke up shortly after one this morning with massive stomach cramps.  I knew it couldn't be anything I ate, because Kent made us yummy burgers and he was fine (aside from sleeping like a log--oh, the snoring!--and night long provolone cheese farts, because he is incapable of having burgers without cheese).  Spent the rest of the night trying to determine which end went into the toilet.

Now, here's the part where I begin to doubt my sanity:  I still got up at five, determined to tough it out at work. See, I left in a bit of a pissy mood yesterday, because some dipshit who made the schedule had two of our 4:30 people scheduled on the same day, so we had to stay and pick up the slack (also, they didn't show up until 5:30, and proceeded to dick around out front until I frog marched there asses back to MC) and I was afraid they'd think I'd be calling out just to be a bitch.  N

Why do I even care at this point?

Anyway, despite feeling like shit AND knowing, with my symptoms, I am expected to stay home, I made my way to the bus stop any way.

When you miss your bus because you are heaving into a trashcan, that's a pretty clear sign from the Universe.

Thankfully, I got my favorite med tech and she basically told me to get my ass to bed and she'd deal with management.  <3  C is 15 years older than I am, and I think she sees something of herself in me.  She knows how hard I work, and has voiced numerous times how much that worries her.

So today was pretty much spent in bed.  I managed to hold down some tea and toast while watching a rerun of The Chew and whimpering that Clinton Kelly wasn't here to make *me* checken orzo soup (definitely trying that recipe).  And no phone calls from work, so I guess she put everyone in their places.

Dreading tomorrow, but when do I not?  AND I'm working on my birthday.  Feh.  This is NOT how I wanted to spend my 45th birthday week.

In better news, I WILL be taking the first 5 days of June off (the 2nd and 3rd are my weekend off anyway, and I have 2 vacation days left, so that covers most of it.  And if I don't get it after putting in the paperwork waaaay far in advance, all hell is gonna break loose).  Memberships and train tickets have been purchased, hotel room has been booked...and ConCarolinas, here we come!  *bounce*

After last year, the spousebeast and I decided this will be a combo birthday gift for me/non-relative involved trp for us...and his way of making up for the money he spends on Brokeback Fantasy Football Extravaganza and Jamboree (Now with Tiki Bar!) every fall.  I can live with that.

Okay...back to bed for me.  Happy (?) Tuesday everyone!

May. 19th, 2018

Why, yes, I did get up at 4am on my first day off in 12 days to watch the royal wedding.  I haven't missed one since mother kept me and the sibling unit out of school to watch Charles And Di get hitched.

That was a great day.  We were living in enlisted housing on Camp Pendleton, and all of the moms on our block kept the kids out of school and threw a tea party to watch it.  I loved it. We had tea and finger sandwiches and petit fours!  (Does anyone even make those any more?)

Beltane was lovely.  In addition to getting some good, much needed spiritual work done...I had a spousebeast at home!

He has decided that Beltane is his favorite pagan holiday.  *ahem*

I was going to go a-thrifting in Carrboro today, but a certain someone took the debit card with him by mistake. Sometimes, this whole single household debit card thing is a pain in the ass.

Then again, we haven't had an overdraft in 10 years of shared finances.

And when he called all apologetic, I cheerfully informed him that I just went ahead and ordered myself a birthday gift for myself (I really need to take the debit card number off the account).

Yeah, I'm about to be 45 and felt the need for a wombat stuffie.  I think I'll call her Julie.
Walked out of Happy Acres at 3:18 pm.  My next scheduled shift is Monday at 7am.

With any luck, that will be the shift where I quit.  We'll see.  In between hanging out with artists and making fabulous cocktails, I will be aggressively marketing myself to the new businesses opening up on Franklin St.  The students are in the process of leaving (we have yet another new-to-us bookshelf to prove it), so they will need summer help at the very least.

Yeah.  Don't want to talk about that.  I just need out before I snap.

But I have purple hair!  And I am gearing up for Beltane!  And the spousebeast is not working tomorrow!  And did I mention weirdly fabulous cocktails?

(It's rose infused simple syrup, vodka, and sparkling water.  I think I may have just concocted something too queer for Clinton Kelly.)

Good gods, they actually did it

May1-6....OFF!  Four paid vacation days (which still leaves me one) and my usual weekend off.

I was prepared to go off like a witchy Roman candle if I didn't at least get Beltane off, but I got the full monty.  *squee*!!!!

Working the next five days in a row (I already have two down) is almost tolerable.  I never thought working with M would be something I could tolerate, much less enjoy.  Oh, she still comes late and takes faaaar too long lunch breaks and frequently does changes with one hand while she texts with the other, but her work ethic *is* impressive when she works.

Yeah, I have ceased setting a bar for my co-irkers.  I'm just happy if they can skip over the half deflated garden hose.  But these short staffed trenches with corporate and state and everyone else tromping around have made us friends in foxholes.

M has been enjoying the movies I've been bringing in for the residents and somehow we got on the topic of Jessee L Martin (Law & Order is a big fave with some of the residents).  Turns out we are both HUGE Rent fans.  I brought it in today.  Most of the residents nodded off (it WAS after lunch), but one of the guys was transfixed.  He's a bit on the scary side (young dude, only wears grey sweatsuits, and calls me "Mommy"  when I feed him his meds or change him. Speaking of future L&O episodes....) but the film moved him.  He sat next to me at one point and whispered "You know that tent city they're talking about?  I lived there when I ran away."

One check of his chart and...yep.  I also learned a lot of other things I wish I hadn't.

Back up, Al.  This was supposed to be a positive post.

So, M and I have found common ground in musicals and drag queens (she wants the Friday double feature to be "To Wong Foo..."  and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."  Both of which I own.  I was going to sell my dvd collcetion off on craigslist, but I'm starting to wonder if I should donate them when I leave.  If I could trust that they would get used and not be thrown out during one of Hitler in Heels' housecleaning purges....).  I even brought her a gift from my thrifting excursion last weekend.

I thought about it long and hard.  I worried about the appropriateness of it.  I worried about the race element, and would that be offensive?

M is the one who twerks to gospel music for the residents.  No judgement...I'm just glad we don't work on Sundays together any more.

I found a coffee cup at PTA Thrift that reads "Coffee makes me twerk."  I presented it to her with the preamble "If this is offensive, I'm sorry aand..."

*tacklehug*  "Bitch!  You GOT me!"  And then she proceeded to send it all over her social media.

I'm so happy.  It said it needed to go to her, but I was afraid it would be read as racist.

Apparently, it just says we need to make more coffee. Because nothing says fun like a bunch of memory care residents n the coffee.

She suggested that someone needs to make one for me that says "Don't let that maidenly blush fool you."
Which she said in front of cute PT dude with the interesting accent  He asked me to pull residents' charts and asked me about my weekend.

I told him about the concert and my day in Carrboro and Meg Wolitzer (that will be a whole different entry) and YAY I am about to have time to sleep and write and paint and look for a new fucking job.

Dear readers, he flirted.  And I flirted back.

I had to let him out while he was making his notes.

He stopped and said, "I hope I'm not making assumptions, but that blush isn't exactly maidenly.  It is interesting, though."


Sexually, I am poly in theory and monogamous and a half right now.  Flirting, though?  *ahem*  We're less than a week from Beltane. Y'all do the math.

Did I mention he likes Rush and also used to play field hckey?

Um...yeah.  I shuld probably go over here.
Two days off!  A whole weekend!  Just like a "normal" person!

Yeah, this whole 12 days on, two days off bullshit has GOT to stop.  I am tempted to walk in to the ED's office Monday and tell her that, as long as the applicant doesn't having any open murder investigations, just HIRE some first shift people, for fuck's sake.  This is ridiculous.

I put in for my vacation days for the first week of May, and I had damn well better get them.  At the very least, I'd better get Beltane, or they are going to find out what a bitch this witch can be (or should that be vice versa?  Whatever).  Pagans have religious rights too, after all.  And I cover all of the mainstream religious holidays (and church homecomings.  And retreats.  And 3rd cousin's grandchild's baptism. And...y'all get the picture).  I have no problem raising a stink over this.

Besides, I need that time to look for another job.  They don't need to know that, though.

Okay.  Enough with the cranky.  Last night was fun.  The Tift Merritt concert was good.  Not great, but I think I'm just getting used to smaller venues and she would have been much better suited playing Cat's Cradle or The Arts Center.  But I got to go out with my guy.  :)  We had one of the best food truck meals I've had yet (Oak City Fish and Chips.  I would kill to know the recipe for the breading they use.  And they messed up our order--I got the fish; Kent got the shrimp and calamari--so we got to keep the extra order of shrimp they gave me instead of my fish.  I was too stuffed to even *think* about my promised gelato from Sugarland).  And the night was fair and cool, so we walked home hand in hand, stopping to kiss and take swigs of the pomegranate vodka he had so thoughtfully procured earlier in the day and carried in the flask I got him for Solstice.

At almost 45, I am a juvenile delinquent.  Finally!

I walked to Carrboro and back today.  Sounds counterintuitive considering I've been working my ass into the ground, but it felt *so good*.  And what's not to love about 70F weather, a little spare cash in your pocket, and hitting the thrift stores? 

PTA Thrift had a whole rack of jeans for $1 a pair.  I got a pair of vintage 70s Calvins that fit like they were made for me (and make my ass look AMAZING).  I also found a shirt that reads "Live by the sun.  Love by the moon."  I actually wore them out of the store because the outfit just felt so right for the day, and got a ton of compliments.

I almost got a pair of gold ballet flats, but they were just a skosh too narrow for my wide ass feet.  *pout*  At least I'm learning to not do the whole "oh, they'll stretch" thing.  But it did serve to reinforce that I really need some ballet flats for spring. 

I also picked up another soup mug for my collection (my Granma had the full set of ones with soup recipes printed on them.  I regretted never getting them before the house was levelled, so I'm getting them whenever I find them) and a couple of weird little owl figurines with hot pink rhinestones for eyes which needed to come home with me and will probably make Kent question why he married me.

I'd post pictures, but my camera finally gave up the ghost.  I guess after 17 years, it shouldn't be a surprise.  But, damnit, I'm going to the Meg Wolitzer reading/signing tomorrow, and I was hoping to get a picture of us together.  Maybe this is the Universe thwapping me upside the head to live in the moment a bit more and not feel like I need to document every living thing.  (Besides, I'm bringing books for her to sign, so I'm good.  And maybe I can convince Bookstore Boyfriend to get a photo on his phone and send it to me.  Yes, I am shameless that way)

I need to replace it.  If nothing else, with all these extra hours I've been working, I can afford/justify a cheap one.  I'm no modern day Ansel Adams, so I don't need the ones with all the bells and whistles I've been drooling over.  But the Hello Kitty one for under $20 on Walmart's website?  Okay, so it's meant for children, but but but...Hello Kitty!

(That would also pretty much guarantee Kent wouldn't take it on his fantasy football weekend and I'd have to scroll through 3 billion pics of sweaty, hairy guys doing stupid shit while drinking.  Again.  There are some things I just don't need to see, and can't un-see them after I do)

I am just so...relaxed.  I honestly never realize how tightly wound I get until I'm not, if that makes sense.  I have nothing on my "have to" list for tomorrow aside from making breakfasts for me for next week.  Kent bought me this cool mug with a vented lid (have I mentioned recently how much I love this job he has?  Between the discount and the free stuff in the break room, I feel like the most pampered wench on the planet), so I've been taking oatmeal with dried fruit and, wow...it makes such a difference in how I feel.  It's substantial and yummy and comforting...and a damn sight better than the stale, offbrand Froot Loops I've been eating off the breakfast cart at work.  I'm going to experiment tomorrow by adding shelled wheat and barley to the steel cut oats.  If it works, I'll probably try adding buckwheat groats next.

The bulk grains section at Med Deli Market is my friend.  I got the ingredients for about 10 days' worth of breakfast for--I kid you not--$4.20.  And the cashier and I had a little giggle over the total. 

I need to figure out something easy and portable for lunches.  Woman cannot live by yogurt and/or carrots with southwest ranch dip alone.

And on a related note, I am so fucking sick of people assuming I'm on a diet based on what I eat.  This has happened at every non-restaurant job I've ever had.  And I'm getting the "oh, whatever you're doing...it's really working!  You've lost some weight!"

Why is this even okay any more?  I'm losing weight because I am working circles around your asses, walk everywhere, and am frequently too tired to eat when I get home.  And the whole hot flashes thing ensures there are at least 3-5 days a month where I can't hold food down.  Yeah, THAT'S healthy.

I like what the spousebeast calls "weird ass hippie food."  I was born in southern California in the 70s!  There is a constant war in my veins for dominance: kefir or chardonnay.  My first science fair project was how to grow your own sprouts (which I sold after.  And donated the money to the nuns who taught at my school).  I learned how to forage for wild greens from my great grandma Kraysyk and 3 million recipes you can make from a cup of dried beans and some ingenuity from my great grandma Etheridge.   This is not a diet;  it's in my fucking DNA.

Oy.  Guess I'm still a touch cranky.

'Sokay, though.  While I wait for Kent to come home from work (poor guy closes tonight and somehow got roped into opening tomorrow.  Why can't either one of us say "no" when it's work related?), I have yarn to play with.  I've been wanting to make myself a granny square shawl forever and finally found a Youtube tutorial that makes sense to my brain.  AND I found the perfect yarn (Red Heart Super Saver Stripes in Fruity Stripe.  Hate all you want, but i LOOOOOVE me some Red Heart).  Now I just have to figure out where one of my three million g hooks wandered off to.

Does anyone else have a problem with wandering g hooks?  And does that sound dirty, or is it just my brain?

Or possibly the last of that vodka.  Ya never know.

I have been a bad LJ person

Eleven days without a post!?!?!? I can't remember the last time I did that when I had computer access.

I'm assuming I didn't get the job.  However, *no one* has been hired, so...?

Work has been hell (yeah, like they'd fire me.  I didn't even get written up like they'd threatened).  We've had the state crawling up our asses for the last three days.  Funny thing is the worst day was yesterday, and the problem was corporate, who apparently decided to come in, show off, and throw their own people under the bus, picking out things that state didn't (and wouldn't have) even notice.  Thanks, y'all.  That mandatory staff meeting on Monday is gonna be FUUUUN.  We were required to do TWENTY HOURS of online retraining recently, and none of the things corporate mentioned were included.  Yeah, I made a list.  And I WILL NOT be talked over this time.  I want answers.

I felt so bad for the residents.  Imagine a bunch of strangers walking into your home with clipboards, asking questions while you are trying to eat.  I know inspections must be done, but I feel like everything was handled really unprofessionally.

In better news, the Tift Merritt concert is a week away,   Yay!  And two days later, Meg Wolitzer is doing a reading at Flyleaf!  I'm not sure which I'm more excited about.

Okay...truth time.  I love Tift Merritt's music.  But Meg Wolitzer's Sleepwalking was such an influential book for me in high school and college.  I found a  hardcover copy in The Book Warehouse (do they even have those in outlet malls any more?  Heck, are there even outlet malls any more?) and bought it because it sounded like me....and, holy fuck, it was.  I've read it a bazillion times, and it kills me that that copy was probably bulldozed with my grandparents' house.  Buuuuut I bought a copy in the Great Amazon Shopping Binge of 2017 and it still holds up for me.  Okay, maybe in a more wistful, "I remember feeling like that" way.  But I love it.  Rereading it was so weird, because it was almost as if I had it memorized.  And now I get to meet the woman who wrote it.

I hope I don't fangirl too much.  Or cry.  Or babble.  Or all of the above.

Speaking of rereads, I just finished Anna Quidlen's One True Thing.  I saw it in one of the Little Free Libraries and thought "Why not?  I vaguely remember reading it fifteen years ago.  I love her work."

Ummm...yeah.  Given what I have seen, what I have experienced, what...fuck...what I work with every day...it's a very different book.  An amazing book.  A powerful book.  But...ouch.  This is really hard to process.

I put in my vacation time.  I decided to use it now, because I REFUSE to still be there by the 18 month mark.  Even without the fuckwittery, I am used to places where you get regular raises, no matter how paltry.  I've not seen one thin dime in 16 months.

So, in theory, I am taking off Beltane through Liam's 21st birthday (May 1-5).  I'll see if it gets approved.  And, oh, if they won't at least allow me Beltane and the day after, this witch will go ballistic.  Am I the most devout of pagans?  No.  But do I get stuck covering for every mainstream religion's holidays because everyone asks off?  Yes.

Oh, please, let them give me an excuse to bring a religious discrimination lawsuit.  I wouldn't ask for billions.  Just enough to float comfortably while I look for a job that doesn't suck my soul out through a bendy straw on a regular basis. 

Apr. 2nd, 2018

I think the job interview went well.  It was one of those out of the box sort of interviews that I tend to excell at, and I was there for 45 minutes and told about growth opportunities in the department and the store.  I don't think that's a bad sign.  Also, I made him laugh.  :)

  I want this so bad.  I'm one of 4 candidates, so I have a 25% shot.  *crosses fingers*

In typical me luck, I came home from the interview to find that my glasses managed to get pushed through early.  *headdesk*  Yeah, I was interviewing HUGELY sight impaired, and my glasses were sitting at Walmart (they called at the exact time I was at the interview!  AUGH!  And the nice person who helped me find my frames sounded so excited for me and said "They just came in!  Early!").  The spousebeast and I went to pick them up after he got off work.  And they fit *perfectly*.  My frames usually take some tinkering with because I have a weird facial structure, but these didn't require anything at all.

Progressives are taking a bit of getting used to.  Advil is my friend right now, because I *always* get headaches the first few days after I get new glasses, and these are no exception (plus, it wouldn't be a holiday if I didn't have raging cramps.  Yippee).  I *could* have gone into work Saturday, but elected to take the day off.  Yeah, the spousebeast and I had words over that Friday night.  I respectfully listened to his opinion, then informed him that--even if I still HAVE a job--if I went in with my headache I would probably end up saying something that I would not necessarily regret, but would almost assuredly lead to termination, if not possibly being banned from the premises.  He agreed with me on that one.

In spite being all hurt-y, I got a sudden burst of energy Saturday and cleaned the fuck out of the house.  I even organized under the kitchen sink...largely because I was looking for my bottle of lavender Fabuloso (I forgot that Kent used all of it the last time he mopped.  Because he didn't dilute it.  IWalking in that door was like getting maced by Provence.  *wheeze*).

Yeah...gotta quit stuffing plastic grocery bags under there.  That said, I now have multiple backups for bleach, white vinegar, garbage bags, and paper towels I didn't know I had.  And a random bottle of tonic water that must be from...New Years Eve? 

(Which means I have a perfect excuse to buy vodka in the near future, right?)

After I decided I'd cleaned enough, I realized I was in time to see Sarah McBride speak at Flyleaf.  She was amazing!  And I was so happy to see the turnout:  all different genders, colors, ages.   I made some good connections, and have some volunteer opportunities coming my way soon.  Yay! 

I was floating on a cloud and made it back for Lily's Hello Spring! party.  All the neighborhood children were invited, but none showed.  :(  But she had all of her favorite grownups, and bubbles, and pizza and possibly the coolest thing ever:  one of those parachutes like many of us had in PE class in grade school (truthfully, that was the only thing I EVER liked about PE).  Olivia (her mom) had a TON of colored flour leftover from Holi, so we spent a good while just putting that in the middle of the parachute and *poofing* it up into the sky.  Lily loved it.

Our college student neightbors looked at us like we'd lost a few screws, but...oh, well.  They do half naked beer bong parties; we set up canvases and do abstract art with paint-filled water guns.  I managed Lily's name for her room IN CURSIVE.  She was thrilled.  And it prompted one guy to remark "If you had a penis, you could probably write your name in the snow in calligraphy."

Totally inappropriate (and I bit back the temptation to say "How are you so sure I don't?")...but he CAN be credited for the fact that I had a moment where I thought "Damn!  I'd like to try.  At least once."

Welcome to Chapel Hill, where even kids parties get a little weird sometimes.

Kent brought home a small mountain of things from work for Easter brunch/lunch/early dinner.  He asked about the work thing, and when I told him I'd called and was informed I'd need to talk to the ED about my employment status (I was actually--reluctantly--volunteering to come in on Easter!), he really seemed relieved.  It finally dawned on him that the two roughest holidays for me are Christmas and Easter, because Granma loved them so, and he decided the best way to handle it was food at a 30% discount.  (His work gave everyone a 30% discount for Easter/Passover.  People with 5+ years got 35%.  Day-um!)

He done good, y'all.  AND he brought home a bottle of Chardonnay.  Brie, apricots, hummus, good bread and a California Chard.  He knows my weaknesses.

It was a lovely Easter.  I only burst into tears five or six times because it would have been my grandparents' 70th wedding anniversary.

Watched the live production of Jesus Christ Superstar while munching on things I'd never tried before (mousse truffee?  I can't even spell it, but it's very nice in small doses on water crackers).  Am I the only person on the internet who found John Legend's performance as Jesus a bit wanting?  he had some good moments, but I really didn't feel his voice was strong enough for the part.

On the other hand...I heart Alice Cooper for-evah.

Okay, bedtime.  'Night, y'all!

OMG, y'all!

Phone rang at 6:58 this morning.  "Are you coming in to work today?"

I swear these people never talk to each other.  And I was scheduled for 7am anyway.  What does that tell you about how early they are used to me getting there?  Yeesh.

I actually managed to calm down enough to go back to sleep (well, Kent helped.  *ahem*).  Then, slightly after 9, the phone rings again.  And I hit my "so angry I sound vaguely British" phone answering voice.  The ball of rage is building, and I am getting ready to go all scorched earth.

Um....er, or not.


I explained that I will still likely be without glasses, and the HR person said that was fine, and would I need assistance navigating the store?

The last job I truly loved (and would still be at if the shop hadn't closed), I interviewed for on Good Friday.  I felt like Granma gave her approval.  I feel that way about this, too.

Oh, and where is it, you ask?

In the bakery department of Kent's new job!  Part time (although, given my track record, we'll see how long it is until I'm FT), and I specified NO SUNDAYS, so we'd both have one day off a week together.  AND they like to hire couples (their sushi chefs have been married for almost 35 years).

The fact that the bakery staff adores him probably doesn't hurt, either.

So....keep y'all's fingers crossed for me, please.  I really, really want this.  I think the Universe (and Granma) is telling me something.

A friend of mine told me they'd long suspected I've stayed at Happy Acres so long as some sort of penance for my grandparents...and they weren't wrong.  It was a real wake up call that I am not as clever at concealing my hair shirt under my scrubs as I think I am.  Needless to say, it was a full-on ugly cry there for a while when they said that my grandparents don't want that for me.

And 24 hours, I get a job interview.  Coincidence?  I think not.

The whole lack of eyesight thing is still making me slightly buggy.  But I can crochet!  Yay, muscle memory!  I think I'm going to call this the "Fuck You, Happy Acres" scarf.

In other good news (and talk about giving me faith that April is gonna fucking ROCK!), Flyleaf listed their author events for the upcoming month.  Frances Mayes  AND Meg Wolitzer will be doing readings/signings!  Frances Mayes came to Foster's to do a lunch reading when I worked there, and brought the staff olive oil from her home in Italy.  I've seen her twice at Flyleaf since then, and she is always so warm and inviting and fun.

Meg Wolitzer's Sleepwalking was a *huge* influence/comfort to me in high school and college.  I found the book in one of those book warehouse thingies that outlet malls have and young, bookish, Goth Alicia fell in love.  "These are my people!  And that's totally going to be college for me!"  I bought another copy on one of my book binges last year, and was amazed how every word on every page felt so familiar, even though I hadn't read it in years.

I wish I had my original copy (it was hardcover!   *sob*).  But I'll definitely be carrying my current copy with me.  And try to not fangirl too much.

Things are lookin' up, y'all.  AND I have turkey sammiches for lunch.  Kent made them for me because, for some reason, he doesn't want me playing with knives right now.  ;)
I survived eleven days in a row!  I swear, this job is trying to kill me.  Our current schedule is only up through the 31st, but I know I've got AT LEAST another 7 day stretch in front of me (I work next weekend.  Hello, holiday pay!).

Oy.  At least this upcoming check should be impressive (85.3 hours).  Which is good, because Tift Merritt is coming to town.  I've missed her the last two times.  THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN!

Kent is still loving the new job, although he may never want to see a chicken again.  He came home yesterday and I suggested making chicken and waffles for brunch Sunday.  Poor dude turned green.  I guess rotisserie-ing 20 chickens a day and making 10 pounds of chicken salad and frying endless pounds of wings will do that to a guy.

But at least I'm getting nifty treats all the time.  :)  Every time they get new products in the store, they leave samples in the break room.  It's all hot and cold running granola bars, teas, and cereal up in here right now.  They even had the Dr. Bronner's rep up there yesterday.  She brought swag bags for the entire staff, and after her schpeel, Kent told her that his wife is a huge fan of their products and was actually born not far from the plant (it's in Escondido;  I was born in Oceanside) She *loaded him up* with samples of damn near everything, a couple of full bottles, stickers....as he put it "Thanks to you, I just hauled home 80 gallons of hippie soap."

*happy squeaky clean dance*  I love this new job of his.  He's happier.   He's in a much better space.  AND I get free stuff!

At some point, I'll find a job that makes me that happy.  This week, I'm just thankful that I got to sit with a resident while she transitioned and got to be part of a resident's 99th birthday.  I want to leave that place SO BAD....but I do have moments of grace that can never be replaced.  Just seeing that grin on Tully's face when she greeted everyone with "I'm 99.  Gimmee a cookie" was worth the lack of sleep (note:  EVERYONE from relatives to hospice workers hit the vending machine and she got cookies, crackers, chips. She was so happy.)

I also sold a piece of art this week!  I've been trying to get back in my groove and was basically throwing paint at a canvas on what passes for our back porch.  Lo and behold, weirdo guy who walks his dog while wearing a Jedi bathroce, pj pants and wellies happpened by and fell in love with it.  I would have said $15; he offered $50.

Well damn.

Oh, and for those of y'all who wondered about my DNA test that Kent got me for Solstice....I could be one of those damn commercials.  I grew up told I am mainly Irish, Polish, Romany, and Jewish.  Er.....

53.2% Scandinavian
31.8% Eastern European
7.4% English
5%  Irish Scottish Welsh
2.6% Nigerian

Why am I not six feet tall with white blonde hair and blue eyes!?!!??

Bowie Ball!

That.  Was.  Amazing!!!!!

There was music.  There were video tributes.  A costume contest.  An art wall.  A glamification station.  A photo spot.  And so many, many very beautifu, very strange beings.

Pictures to follow.  Currently about to attack homemade chicken pot pie and watch last week's Lucifer so I'm up to speed.

REALLY don't want to go back to work tomorrow.  Kinda hoping it keeps snowing.