Wednesday, August 31, 2005

No looting of Children's Hospital

http://www.nola.com/newslogs/breakingtp/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_Times-Picayune/archives/2005_08.html#075510

I'm glad to hear that that report was inaccurate. :-)

This is just pitiful

Looters target New Orleans hospital
NEW ORLEANS | August 31, 2005 4:11:50 PM IST


The hurricane-battered Children's Hospital in New Orleans has come under siege by angry and desperate looters, the New Orleans Times Picayune reports.

Late Tuesday, Gov. Kathleen Blanco's spokeswoman Denise Bottcher said the facility in the city's north end was being targeted, and people in the hospital were in danger.

Bottcher said the director of the hospital fears for the safety of the staff and the 100 children inside the locked-down hospital. The director said police had been summoned, but due to rising floodwaters, neither they nor National Guard have been able to respond.

At least three shootings and several carjacking attempts were reported in New Orleans Tuesday.

Hurricane Katrina's western edge hit the city Monday morning with winds of 140 mph, breaching levees and flooding the city.

(UPI)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bad enough that there's looting. But to target a hospital, and a children's hospital, no less?!?! That's just beyond sad.

Thank goodness for small favors

http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/WWLBLOG.ac3fcea.html

12:15 P.M. - Army Corps: 1,200 sandbags that are 20,000 pounds each are being brought in to bridge gap...water level is no longer rising.


12:11 P.M. - Army Corps: Water has become level with the Lake in the city so no more water should flow into the city, except at high tide.


12:10 P.M. - Engineers and construction experts are at the 17th Street Canal. They've filled 100, 3,000 pound sandbags and are trying to drop the bags and concrete barriers into the area.

The worst

http://www.nola.com/newsflash/weather/index.ssf?/base/national-50/1125491642281932.xml&storylist=hurricane

This was the first time mandatory evacuation was ever ordered. This is the first time everyone has had to leave in the aftermath of a hurricane. This *is* the worst in Louisiana history. Everything I've read that compares Katrina to Betsy or Camille says this is worse. Flood waters reaching higher marks, more damage, more, more, more. I can't find the links right now, I've got too much to do at work. But it's worse than it's ever been, that's for sure. I hurt for my home state.

This morning I was on my way to a town hall meeting for work. People who were also going to the meeting but who are from other parts of the company were riding up in the elevator with me - no one I knew. They were talking about the situation in New Orleans, and one man made the comment, "Well, now the Saints have the stadium they deserve." (For anyone not a follower of football, the New Orleans Saints have historically sucked rocks - it's only in the last four or five years, I think, that they've even made the playoffs, and hell will freeze before they go to the Super Bowl.) What a horrible thing to say about a situation where so many people literally have nothing left and no place to go. And maybe I'm just sensitive because I am from Louisiana - if I were from somewhere else, maybe I'd have chuckled at the black humor. I'd hope I wouldn't, though, because this is nothing to laugh about.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Life as we knew it ended today

Nagin: Entire City Will Soon Be Underwater

Why didn't the helicopters show up to try to block the breaks in the levee? That could have made a big difference, but we'll never know now.

"I love life as we knew it,
I just can't believe we threw it away,
Goodbye, that's all there is to it,
Life as we knew it ended today."
--Kathy Mattea, Life As We Knew It

It just seems to fit.

It's getting worse, not better

It's not sounding good after all. K's bio mom lives (lived?) in Bucktown, and they were right there close to the Orleans/Jefferson Parish line.

http://www.nola.com/newslogs/breakingtp/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_Times-Picayune/archives/2005_08.html#075237

Bucktown, West End devastated

Tuesday, 6:41 p.m.

Homes in West End, Bucktown and at the Orleans-Jefferson Parish line are nearly underwater, with residents being plucked from the water and rooftops by passing boats, WWL-TV video shows.

The video shows that the popular Sid-Mars restaurant is gone.

Along Pontchartrain Boulevard, the video shows only the rooftops of single-story homes and the upper floors of two-story homes.

Many of those rescued are being brought to the I-10 near its split with I-610. They said the area survived the actual hurricane. But soon after it seemingly had passed over the area, the floodwaters rose, swamping houses.

Neighbors spoke of going house to house, using pickaxes to break through roofs to get to people hiding in their attics.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, K's brother and sister-in-law live (lived?) in Waveland, Mississippi, one of the areas hardest hit by Katrina. A Hancock County official reported on a blog for the Sun Herald (Biloxi newspaper) that they had 9 feet of water in Waveland. If they even have a house to go back to, it will be trashed beyond repair.

The longer we go, the more this sucks.

K and I started talking about all the things that will be gone. We went to St. Francisville (The Myrtles) and New Orleans on our honeymoon. The World Aquarium in the Quarter. Cafe du Monde, where you could get those yummy beignets and coffee. Lafitte Guest House, right off Bourbon Street. Ralph and Kacoo's. Commander's Palace. The Saenger Theater, where we saw Phantom of the Opera (I surprised him with tickets, and was oh, so pleased with myself). The Italian restaurant that was so wonderful - I can't remember the name, but it was fabulous. All these places, if not damaged beyond repair, are never going to be the same. It makes me sad to think that. We think that places and buildings and such will continue to exist long after we're gone, but that isn't always the case. And even if they can rebuild New Orleans to look exactly like it did before Katrina, it won't be the same. The character of the city will be different now, some of its magic is gone, I think.

Everything in my life that I thought was crap pales in comparison to what our family will be dealing with over the next few months (maybe even years), and to what everyone on the Gulf Coast will be dealing with. I've got a roof over my head, a dry place to sleep, a little cash in my wallet, food in the fridge, and clothes on my back. I've got plumbing that works and running water. I've got a toothbrush and a sink where I can use it. I have all my precious pictures and family mementos and knickknacks that clutter up my house. My son is alive and well. K is alive and well, and I know where he is. I'm not seeing visions of my family members being pulled from my grasp by floodwaters or wondering where my loved ones are. I am blessed beyond measure, and I am thankful.

God bless our family and all who are dealing with this nightmare come to life.

Possible good news

A woman on a hurricane message board was able to tell me that her parents' house, which is about seven or eight blocks from K's bio mom's house, had no flooding, no water in it at all. So there's a decent chance that if water got in, it may not be too bad. We won't know for sure until they're able to get back home and let us know, and given the state of the roadways and the area in general, who knows when that will be. But still, that's a little bit of encouragement.

Don't know yet about the areas where K's sister and brother live. Hopefully I'll be able to get some more information.

Still no word

Haven't heard from K's family yet. That's understandable, given that cell and landline phone service is disrupted (text messaging still works, but I don't know if any of the family has text messaging - I don't think his sister even has a cell phone). But still, I know we'd feel better to get word that they're OK.

We've been trying to figure out how their area might have fared, but it's pretty hard. There are various blogs and discussion boards for the different parishes, so a lot of what's out there about their specific area is anecdotal. And a lot of it is conflicting - some reports say there's 10 feet of water, some say it's bone-dry. We may just have to wait until family gets back in to really know how their houses fared. Word is that people will be allowed back in in a week to get essential items, but then will have to leave again, and will have to stay out for a month. Yikes. How are they supposed to live for that month with no job, no money? Of course, depending on where people worked, they may not have a workplace to go back to. This wasn't the direct hit they feared, and it could have been far worse. But still, it's bad enough, and it will take the region a while to really recover.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Well, this is just lovely

I really *am* going to have to get a better-paying job to afford my commute.... I'm just glad the winters aren't bad here - toss a few logs in the fireplace, put on a sweater, and we're good to go, no heating oil needed.

Oil Soars to Record as Hurricane Katrina Shuts U.S. Production
Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil soared to a record above $70 a barrel in New York after Hurricane Katrina forced companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to shut operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil had its biggest gain in 29 months as Katrina may become the strongest storm to hit the Gulf coast since 1969. Hurricane Ivan last September cut oil output by as much as 1.4 million barrels a day, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service. Natural gas, heating oil and gasoline all rose to records.

``It's as bad as it can get,'' said Marshall Steeves, an oil analyst at Refco Inc. ``Hurricane Ivan came through almost a very similar tract and did a tremendous amount of damage.''

Crude oil for October delivery rose as much as $4.67, or 7 percent, to $70.80 a barrel in electronic after-hours trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was at $69.88 a barrel at 10:34 a.m. Singapore time.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato said last week that ``rising oil prices will present an increasing risk'' to global economic expansion. Share prices in Asia fell and U.S. 10-year treasuries had the biggest gain in over a week after oil prices rose, stoking speculation the economy will slow.

U.S. wholesale prices rose in July by the most in nine months on energy costs, reinforcing expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to fight inflation. In the same month, China's crude oil import bill rose 61 percent to $4.2 billion.

Shell

Natural gas for September delivery gained as much as 23 percent to $12.07 per million British thermal units, the biggest one-day rise for 11 months. It was at $11.780 at 9:17 a.m. Singapore time.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it has shut 420,000 barrels of daily oil production in the Gulf because of Katrina. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which handles about 11 percent of U.S. imports, closed Aug. 27 and has since halted all oil movements to shore.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest oil company, evacuated workers and shut about 50,000 barrels of daily oil production and 300 million cubic feet of gas, spokeswoman Susan Reeves said. The company removed 430 employees and contractors from its Gulf facilities last night, she said.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, did not have figures immediately about the amount of oil and natural gas that will be shut, spokesman Matt Carmichael said. ``We are still doing the math,'' he said.

State of Emergency

Katrina is a Category-5 storm, the most severe on the Saffir- Simpson scale of hurricane strength. It would be only the third storm of that magnitude to hit the U.S. since the government began keeping storm records.

States of emergency have been declared in Louisiana and Mississippi. New Orleans, a city of 500,000 within a metropolitan area of 1.3 million, is being evacuated of all but essential personnel. Much of the city, 100 miles upriver from the Gulf, lies below sea level.

Katrina was centered about 150 miles (240 km) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River at 4 p.m. local time, the National Hurricane Center said in its most recent advisory on its Web site. The storm was moving northwest at 13 mph, and is likely to make land early Monday local time, the center said.

``The storm is more severe than we've thought; it's turned into a monster,'' said Paul Sankey, senior oil analyst with Deutsche Bank Securities in New York. ``The amount of lost production is equal to almost all the spare capacity in the world.''

Ivan

Oil prices jumped 22 percent in the month after Hurricane Ivan, the third most costly hurricane in U.S. records, tore through the Gulf last September, toppling platforms and damaging underwater pipelines.

Lost production in the Gulf because of Ivan peaked Sept. 16. Gas output was reduced by 6.5 billion cubic feet of gas, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, which oversees offshore production. Shut production from Katrina could match those numbers, Sankey said.

U.S. supplies of refined products, including gasoline, jet fuel and diesel, may also decline as refineries near the path of the storm also shut down. ConocoPhillips, the biggest U.S. refining company, shut its Alliance refinery south of New Orleans. Chevron Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. also shut refineries and evacuated staff.

Record energy prices are hurting economies across Asia. Indonesia's rupiah last week slumped 4.1 percent, the most in three years, on concern about the country's ballooning oil import bill. Malaysia's inflation has more than doubled in a year, while Thai consumer confidence fell in July to a three-year low.

Earnings

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia's biggest refiner, said today first-half profit rose 17 percent, less than a third of the year-earlier gain, as oil costs cut earnings from making fuels and chemicals.

Air New Zealand Ltd., that nation's biggest airline, forecast its full-year profit may tumble as much as 40 percent should jet fuel prices hold near their recent record levels.

Gasoline for September delivery rose as much as 21.31 cents, or 11 percent, to $2.14 a gallon in after-hours electronic trading. It was at $2.1351 at 10:13 a.m. Singapore time.

Heating oil for September delivery rose as much as 16.94 cents, or 9.2 percent, to $2.0060 a gallon. It was at $2.0045 at 9:47 a.m. Singapore time.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Gavin Evans in Wellington, New Zealand at gavinevans@bloomberg.net

Riding the storm out

We're keeping a nervous eye on Hurricane Katrina. We've got family in New Orleans - K's birth mom, brother and sister and their spouses, and his sister's little boy, who's a little bit younger than J. They won't be riding the storm out there, as so many in south Louisiana tend to do when hurricanes threaten - everyone who can get out is getting out, since evacuation is now mandatory. But this is such a big storm, and such a powerful storm, that we're hoping they can get far enough away. His mom and her fiance headed to the Baton Rouge area, but his siblings and their spouses headed further into Mississippi. Did they not look at the weather reports and see that Mississippi isn't going to be much better off than south Louisiana?!?! So we're anxiously waiting to see what will happen with the hurricane, and to hear that family is safe. I personally think that if it were me living in New Orleans, I wouldn't want to rebuild my house even if I had a house left (and after this, a lot of people may not - K's birth mom said they would be surprised to have a house to come back to after the storm blows over). If there's as much flooding as is predicted, the pump system that keeps the city from flooding in regular weather will be underwater, too, so they'll have no way to get the water out. K said he heard somewhere that if the flooding is as bad as they think it will be, it could take six MONTHS to get the city dried out. I can't even imagine. And even with the cemeteries being above ground (since N.O. is below sea level, you can't bury people underground, too much water), with that kind of flooding, they could have coffins floating around, and God knows what other grot that's been building up in the French Quarter. Ewww.

So when I think my life sucks, I'll just think of those people in south Louisiana who may lose everything but their lives and the clothes on their backs. It could be worse. I can't even imagine being on I-10 right now, trying to get out of New Orleans, sitting absolutely still on the Ponchartrain Causeway, knowing what's coming up behind you. We'll feel better when K has heard that his family is safe.

The craziness isn't contained to K's family, oh, no. My bio family is just as nuts. My sister's landlord has been illegally dumping stuff from his septic system into the city's newly built sewer system - he's apparently too cheap to repair what's wrong with his system, so he's just taking a little of the "load" off of it, if you will - so she's got some serious issues with continuing to live there. She'll be moving somewhere nicer soon, which is good. And my mom has apparently picked up a stalker through her work. She works at a check cashing business, and this young guy came in, having just moved to where she is now from a town she used to live in for a few years some time back. So of course, being the outgoing person that she is and being that they'd lived in the same town, she was making friendly conversation with this guy. She told me he was acting kind of flirtatious toward her, and she thought that was odd, being that she's old enough to be his mother and then some (her words, not mine!). But he left and she didn't really think anything of it. Not too long after that, a call came in to her workplace on a day she was off, and it was a guy asking for her cell number, saying he was supposed to work on her floors. Her co-worker called her and asked about this, and of course my mom said, hell no, there's no one fixing my floors, and got a little freaked out. They figured out by looking at the phone number and looking at the guy's information from when he cashed a check that he was the one who made the call. My mom's car had problems that required it to be in the shop overnight while this was going on, and she got a rental car. She's the first one in of a morning, so she drove by work to let her co-workers see what she was driving, so they wouldn't be concerned to see an unfamiliar vehicle there. Well, she went in, and not two minutes later, in comes this guy who'd called for her cell number. By this time, my mom was already in the back, behind the bulletproof glass, and she did her best to stay out of his line of sight. But he kept looking around the woman who'd gone to help him to see my mom, and after he left, one of her co-workers said she didn't like the way he was looking at my mom, that it creeped her out. Great. Like we don't have enough drama already without a nut job following my mom around. So she's now equipped with industrial strength pepper spray (her friends on the police force were able to tell her what to buy) and she's going to get her concealed handgun license and a gun. My mother with a firearm, oy vey - this guy better seriously rethink his plans to bother her, God only knows where she might hit if she shot him.

Add to that the attitude that my son serves up daily (today he told me, out of the blue, that he wasn't my best friend - um, what brought that on, and I'm not supposed to be your best friend, I'm your mom), and there's never a dull moment. Nothin' but fun.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Kids say the darnedest things

I must clean J up a lot. This morning as I was getting him out of his carseat at daycare, he stuck his finger in my nose and said, "You've got a booger, Mama, let me get it out." Tonight while we were eating dinner (at IHOP, so out in public, no less), he stuck a finger in my ear and said, "You've got grot in your ear, Mama, I've got to clean the grot out." He's too much.

And yesterday, when I picked him up, he told me he'd lost his socks in the ballpit. OK, no big deal, it's just a pair of socks. Well, this morning, his teacher told on him - she told me he'd THROWN his socks into the ballpit, and then the conversation went like this:

Teacher: J, why did you throw your socks in there?
J: Because I don't WANT them.

Oy. At least it's only socks he doesn't want - if he started tossing his new Stride Rites into the ballpit and proclaiming he didn't want them, we'd have to have a little chat.

Just saying no

I'm proud of myself. I wanted a snack, and I ate a little container of non-fat yogurt instead of giving in to the seduction of Reeses peanut butter cups sitting on my desk. And I'm going to work out today. I should lose three pounds just for resisting the chocolate.

I'm really glad it's Friday. I'm sure I've got more to write, maybe I'll have more time tonight after J goes to sleep. It's just about time for me to go work out. This will be my third workout this week, so I'll make my goal for the week. I plan to stick with it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ever tried to pick green peas up off the carpet?

It's been a long evening. It started when I picked J up from daycare and he didn't want to go home because he wanted to stay there and play with a truck. Then we had to go potty before we left. Then he wanted to climb up on the decorative carousel horse that's out in the entryway of daycare. Then he wanted to pick rocks up in the parking lot. Some days, getting him to go home is harder than dropping him off, and that's just a puzzle to me.

When we got home, J asked for green beans. He'd been asking K for green beans, too. I told him I didn't have green beans, I had green peas, did he want those. He said yes, so I fixed some green peas. Almost the whole can eventually made its way onto his plate, and he ate almost all that he took. But before he could finish, I heard a shriek. I thought he was hurt, and I ran frantically to where he was, asking if he was OK. He was just sobbing, saying, "Mama, I spilled, I spilled!" His plate was in the floor, upside down, which meant green peas and hamburger and pears had gone everywhere. UGH. And of course, I fix my green peas with a little butter. Have you ever tried to pick up buttered green peas off of carpet? It's no easy task, I assure you. Now my carpet is more revolting than ever, I don't think any amount of spot remover will help, although I tried. If I get a decent tax refund this year (I should, being as how I'm paying beaucoup interest on the house refinance), I'm using it to get new floors. I guess technically it would be a refund for me and K, since we'd probably still file jointly for 2005. Maybe he'll be generous and offer to share if floors would cost more than half of what we got back.

Speaking of things financial - we must be WAY under market at my current job in terms of salary. A college friend (my friend Don, if any of you remember mention of him from when I got my reading a few weeks ago) works at a competitor institution, and is kindly checking around for me on the job front. In the course of conversation, he sent one listing he'd found on their website and said it was the only one he'd found in Dallas, but I was probably overqualified for it and the salary probably wasn't what I was hoping for. This was for a support-type job, not even what I do now. I told him that the listing he'd found pays about what I currently make, and he said he was surprised, he'd have thought I'd be making close to $100,000 by now. Don't I wish! But how pitiful is that, that a support position there pays the same as what I make here?! So we'll see what comes of that.

I'd better get some sleep. More later.

Is the worst going to come to pass?

I don't have all the details yet, but K has e-mailed and told me that things don't look real great for anyone there at work. Their government contract is up for renewal, and due to issues that have nothing to do with the quality of their work, the renewal process hasn't been going smoothly. K has said he's going to update his resume. If he loses this job, I don't know what will happen. He's got reserves in savings, but I'd hate to see him burn through it for living expenses if he does lose the job and a job hunt takes a while. I'm pretty sure he could find temp work in short order, so at least he could have some income, but it wouldn't be near what he makes now. I'm trying not to get too twisty until there's something to be twisty about, but I hate this. I hate it for me and for him. He likes this job, he's good at it, it pays decently, and they actually appreciate their employees enough to give raises and bonuses. This is the only job he's ever talked about making a career of, and I'd hate to see him lose it - indeed, for the firm to lose their contract entirely - because of some political bullshit. Y'all please pray, light candles, send positive energies, whatever, that the worst will not come to pass.

In other news: My child has the attitude of a teenager. At this rate, he may not make it to school-age, because I might pinch his head off before then. This morning he wanted milk, in the cup that was in his bed. The cup wasn't where I could reach it comfortably (one side of the bed is against a wall, and we have a bed rail on the open side so he won't fall out), and I asked J to hand it to me. He looked at me and said, "No, mama, you're a big girl, you get it by yourself." !!!! I've never told him to do something by himself because he's a big boy, so I'm not sure where he picked this up. I have been known to tell him good job for doing something, that he's a big boy to be able to do that by himself, so maybe that's where he got it. I don't know. All I know is, that was never going to do. I told him no, if you want milk you hand me the cup - he didn't, so I just left the room. He handed me the cup. He then didn't want to get out of bed to drink his milk. I told him it was time to get up, I was leaving the milk on the dresser, and he'd need to come get it if he wanted it, and I left the room. He was out of bed in about three seconds. Dealing with all this attitude is tiring, and sometimes I'm sure I'm a lot more short with him than I should be. But sometimes it's almost enough to drive me to drink. It should be loads of fun when he's a teenager - I expect some serious power struggles then. OY.

I'm sure there's lots more I want to write about, but I just don't have the time right now. Lots of work to do, a phone call I don't particularly want to make, and a continuing education seminar at 3:15 - fun!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Three going on thirty

I took advantage of J's time with his dad this past weekend to do a little rearranging. When he went to check out the alarm, K had moved J's train table into the music room. Well, it was in there, but things were a bit chaotic, so I decided to do something about it. When J came back on Sunday, his train table was there, with his trains organized in plastic containers under it. His Fisher-Price Little People things were organized as well, with people and miscellaneous pieces in one container and vehicles in another (I'm amazed at how many different Little People things are out there). The music room looked pretty good, if I do say so myself. When K brought J back, I told him I'd rearranged some things, to come with me and I'd show him where I'd put things. He took one look into the music room and said, "Oh, wow! What's this all about?" I nearly hurt myself laughing. "What's this all about" coming from the mouth of a three-year-old just struck me as funny, and I have no idea where he added that to his vocabulary. There's no way to tell what will come out of his mouth next.

I think J is going to play the guitar. Everything he watches, if there's a guitar part, that's his favorite part. On the Wiggles, Murray is his favorite - Murray plays the guitar, and J must play along. Our current favorite thing is Lilo & Stitch. For those of you who haven't seen it, Lilo is an Elvis fan, and there's one scene in the movie where she turns Stitch into an Elvis impersonator and he plays the guitar. J loves it - he'll shout, "I have to get my guitar, I have to play!" and go grab his cheapie guitar and jump up and down and "play" along. It shouldn't be a surprise, K plays and J has always (once he got over the fear of how loud a guitar can sound run through an amp) been fascinated with them. Who knows, maybe he'll grow up to be a rock star. :-)

And thanks to Stitch, we listen to Elvis in the car now. Good thing I like it. Stitch is all we watch, Elvis is all we hear. I got a portable DVD player, which should come in handy on the road trip over Labor Day weekend. I'm thinking I won't need to change the DVD much, though - I have a feeling it will be all Stitch, all the time.

Other than that, I don't have too much to write about at the moment. Or maybe I do, but I just don't have the energy to write about it. Hopefully that will change now that I'm starting to work out regularly.

I'd better get back to work - the end of the month is almost here, and there are phone calls yet to make. Ugh.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A quiet Saturday night

I'm in a peculiar mood today. Not sad, not upset, just...pensive. That's as good a word for it as I can come up with. I went to the library today, got a crapload of books and a few CD's. One of the CD's I got was Alison Krauss - I've been listening to that and the new Daniel Lanois CD, and it just seems to fit my mood.

I've gotten the house moderately presentable (getting it truly, deep-down clean and organized is more work than can be accomplished in a month of weekends!), and that's nice. In a bit I'm going to go read one of the many books I checked out today. But for now, I'm trying to write here, see if anything comes out that makes sense.

One of my online friends lost her mother unexpectedly, much like my mother died. So that's got me thinking about my mom. It's been ten years, and the pain isn't nearly as sharp as it once was. But I do miss her. I wonder what she'd think of what I've done with my life, of how J is growing up, of what's happening with my marriage (although based on what I wrote in my old journals, she'd probably have given me something along the lines of "I tried to tell you" in that regard!).

I watched "About Schmidt" this afternoon. Jack Nicholson plays a man who's just retired when his wife dies suddenly, and throughout the movie he's writing letters to a boy in Tanzania who he's sponsored through one of these child welfare organizations. In one of the letters he's wondering what difference his life has made to anyone, what he's done with his life, and talks about how when he dies and when everyone who knew him dies, then it will be just like he never existed. So that's got me thinking - what difference has *my* life made to anyone? Oh, I know I'm important to J right now, but suppose I'd never had children. Would I have made a difference anywhere along the way? Some days it sure doesn't feel like it.

And the music I've been listening to has got me thinking. When I was about 8 or 9 years old, our family went to Branson. This was back before it was a big tourist trap, when you sat out on the grass and listened to bluegrass and country outside under the stars. At the time, Branson was my idea of hell - I loathed country music, and couldn't think of a worse way to spend a vacation. But this afternoon, I started thinking - that music is who I am. I'm from the country, from a small town. My dad was a farmer who came home with dirt under his nails every night, and my mom retired from teaching to stay home and raise me. I'm nothing fancy, nothing high-maintenance. I'm just a little ol' country girl here on the outskirts of the big city. I like it here, like being close to Dallas and all it has to offer, but I'm never going to be some sophisticated high society type. And I'm OK with that, I like who I am most days, but sometimes I wonder - are there men left out there who appreciate an old-fashioned (if fairly headstrong, above average in terms of intelligence and pretty self-sufficient) girl? Again, some days it doesn't feel like it.

Boy, I'm just wallowing in it tonight, aren't I? I haven't even eaten dinner. (Funny how I can forget to eat at home, but find myself snacking constantly at work - can we say stress-induced eating?!) I think I'd better get off of here, go find something to eat, and take my mind off this depressing train of thought with a good little mystery or sci-fi novel.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Update

K checked out the house - everything was fine. It was the balloons that set the motion detector off. They were in the ceiling fan, and hadn't been there this morning. The air conditioner caught one just right, and moved it enough to set off the alarm. Lesson learned: don't leave helium balloons floating around the house, and it's good to know the alarm works like it should.

And now I'm here at the office for two more hours. Joy and happiness. I think tonight I'll just go home, take it easy, and get a good night's sleep, and tomorrow will be big cleaning day. If I get a lot done, maybe I can treat myself by going to that pool party with my girlfriend. It might do me good to get out of the house.

From good to bad

The day started off pretty well. We had a horrifically long staff meeting this morning, but the good thing was, it lasted long enough that I got to go straight to my workout afterward. (I've joined Curves - I know people who've done really well with it, hopefully I'll be one who does well, too. Goal: work out 3 times a week.) So I went to my workout, finished up feeling good, went to get myself a salad for lunch, and ambled back to the office. I had about a zillion messages to call K.

So I did. He asked if I'd gotten the message from the alarm company. No, just got back to my desk. They'd called around 1:00, saying my alarm had gone off, showing motion in the living room. So I called back, pretty well beside myself. I talked to someone with the company. He said that the police were dispatched, and they hadn't heard anything back from them. He said that usually that means it was a false alarm, that the police will notify the company if they see signs of a break-in or trouble. He said they would call me if they heard from the police. As soon as I hung up the phone, I thought, D'OH, those helium balloons J got at the birthday party he went to are in the living room. I've left them in the house before with no problems, but I'm thinking/hoping that the air conditioner blew one of them just enough to set off the motion detector. Those things have been nothing but trouble - they've caught in the ceiling fan twice. (The fan isn't on right now, so they can't have tangled up in it again.) Guess what's going away while J is with his dad?! Yep, those balloons.

K is on his way to the house now to check things out. He told me to just stay put, that he'll call me when he's there. He was glad to hear I thought it might have been the balloons, but he said he wouldn't get a lick of work done if he didn't go check it out. So he'll let me know if there's anything to be worried about.

At any rate, I've now been at work for 3 1/2 hours without accomplishing a blinking thing. My workout was great. I think I'll enjoy going to Curves, and hopefully I'll get to see myself shrink. Getting out of the office to do something physical will be a big help as far as stress goes, I think.

Tonight is my late night - if I don't have to go home and check on the house, I'll be here until 7:00. Joy. (Another reason I'm glad K is going to check on the house - I'd hate to be going into my house later than usual when the alarm has gone off, not knowing what I might be walking into.) And now, I'd better get some work done. I'm so glad it's Friday.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The fun just never ends

First the poison oak. Then I started feeling fairly rotten Tuesday afternoon. The feeling got worse, so bad that I had to stop twice on the way home thinking I was going to throw up. I called K, and he picked J up from daycare and stopped to pick up dinner for the two of them, figuring (rightly) that I wouldn't be even remotely interested in food. (In fact, the smell of takeout when I walked in the door that night nearly did me in.) He helped get J to bed, then stayed over here that night in case J woke up, figuring (again rightly) that I might not feel much like being up with J during the wee hours. I was glad K was here to help. I started running fever of about 100 before I went to sleep, and I woke up around 2:30, threw up and started feeling better. Still, given the almost 24 hours of stomach upset (throwing up and otherwise), and the fact that I now had a pink rash all up my neck that didn't look or feel like the poison oak, I went to the doctor Wednesday morning. She couldn't tell me much - only that the new rash on my neck was likely an allergic reaction to something (couldn't tell what without blood tests) - but she gave me meds for the nausea and stomach upset, and some Zyrtec to help with the itching (by that point I was just about ready to scratch my neck until my head fell off). So at least the meds helped. The committee that plans special events (which I'm on) had a tasting on Tuesday - the people who will be providing the barbecue brought samples for us. Hmm, I got sick that afternoon/evening - coincidence? I think not. I'll be bringing my own lunch to the fall picnic, thanks.

Let's see, what else has been going on? Not much, really. Same old, same old - I'm tired of worrying about money. Along those lines, let me just say how much I HATE Cingular Wireless. K and I used to have our cell service with them. We had some problems - on more than one occasion, K would check his call timers, and would find that the timer showing the length of the last call he made had run up some insane amount of time, like six or eight hours (this on days when he was at work, and had been on and off the phone with me several times, for a few minutes each time). Of course, Cingular couldn't find a call with that length of time, and so wouldn't do anything about the horrendous bill that resulted. They said we owed over $2,000. I was filing bankruptcy right about then to clear out my debt, so I said, hey, the phones are in my name, guess what - screw you, Cingular, it's going in the bankruptcy. My attorney said the contract would be terminated when the bankruptcy was filed, and the $2,000 was what I allegedly owed at the time of filing. Well, that was all finalized a little over a year ago, and Cingular pestered me once, saying I owed for charges accrued since the $2,000 debt was discharged - my attorney told them to back off, that the contract had terminated as a result of the bankruptcy being filed, there should have been no charges over the amount discharged in bankruptcy, and I didn't owe anything. Well, now they're back AGAIN, now saying I owe the $400-something they tried to get from me before, plus fees and interest, etc., for a total of $535.76. Bastards. I'm faxing the bill to my attorney tomorrow and letting her know they've called and left messages on my phone (and correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're trying to collect a debt, aren't you supposed to *say* that in your message? Not so with this one - just an ominous-sounding message to call so-and-so immediately upon receipt of this message, it's in regard to an urgent matter, blah blah blah). I hope she tells them to go poke sticks in their eyes. I wouldn't have my cell phone service with Cingular again if they were the only wireless company around. K and I both have T-Mobile now, and gee, our bills are consistent every month, no surprises from one month to the next. What a concept. But anyway, all that to say, I am beyond sick of financial crap. I'm 12 years out of law school, I should be better established than this. When do I stop living paycheck to paycheck?!?!? At the rate I'm going, I'll be working when I'm 85 just to put food on the table. I'll get to stop working when they carry my cold, dead body out of my cubicle.

And on that note - I did a little checking online, just for grins, and found out that my company pays way below the median salary in this area for what I do. That SUCKS. And since I have my law degree, I probably make more than some of my co-workers, which means their paychecks are even farther below the median. That REALLY sucks.

I've got to go pack J's bag - he'll be with K tomorrow. Not sure what to do with my free time. One of my girlfriends left a message saying that a friend of hers is having a pool party on Saturday. I haven't decided if I'll go yet or not. On the one hand, it might be fun, and I guess it would be nice just to get out of the house and have a drink or two. On the other hand, I'm not sure how social I'm feeling - I might prefer to hibernate at home. We'll see.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A good night's sleep isn't enough

J slept well last night - he woke up around 4:15 to go potty, was asleep again by about 4:45, and slept until 6:45. I toyed briefly with the idea of just staying up after he went back to sleep, but decided I wanted that extra hour or so of sleep. I should have stayed up - I overslept, waking up about a minute and a half before J did, and running seriously late. Ugh. I dropped him off at daycare - he seemed fine when I left, but I saw him standing at the window crying as I drove away, and that hurts. And now I'm at work. I swear, it feels like I gain twenty pounds the minute I drive in the garage, it brings me down that much some days.

I am going to do something good for myself today, though. I've been whining for ages that I don't have time to work out, boo hoo. I found out when we had a health fair a few weeks ago that there's a Curves just a couple of blocks away. I have a couple of friends who've been going there with good success, so I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a try. I can manage a 30-minute workout and count it as my lunch break, and it's just about the only way I can think of to get any consistent exercise in. I know that will help my mental outlook and hopefully shrink my butt, too. :)

I'd better work. Lots to do and a two-hour conference call for a training class this afternoon, oh joy. More later.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Weekend update

It's been a big, busy weekend here at our house. J passed out at 7:20 tonight, he was so worn out. Woo!!! :) Tiny boy, he needs the rest - he hasn't slept well for about five nights running, and after yesterday's excitement, I know he's pooped. Here's hoping he sleeps soundly all night and that he doesn't wake up at some insane hour just because he went to sleep earlier than usual.

I think I've mentioned T before - we've talked via e-mail and phone and gone out a few times. I'd mentioned to him in e-mails about J's and my bouts with poison oak, and also about all the running around we'd done yesterday. He said this in an e-mail to me:

"I really can't believe that you took J to the gym and the birthday party. I mean, he still has the rash, and it can be easily transmitted if the rash is still "open." I think I would be rather upset at you if my kids were there."

Um, 'scuse me, did I ask for your thoughts on my parenting decisions? This is someone who's known me for about four months. If a dear friend of mine were to make a parenting decision I didn't agree with, I might not agree, but I wouldn't say anything about it unless she were possibly putting her child at risk (i.e., not putting the child in a car seat). J's rash isn't open, he has one little dry patch on his nose and some blotches (blotches, not open sores) on face and arms and legs. I started with it after he did, and my rash isn't open. The birthday party was for a friend's daughter - she knew about the poison oak, had it bothered her, she could/would have said something to me. I kept J home from school for two days, when they would have taken him back after just one, just for his well-being and to give his meds more time to kick in. You CAN'T catch poison oak from contact with the rash or anything that might come from it - only if the plant oils are on another person's skin or clothes and you come into contact with *that* can you "catch" it from another person, and by golly, J and I have both washed thoroughly with soap and lots of hot water during the past week. And it pisses me off that he'd think I'd risk knowingly exposing anyone to the flaming, itching hell J and I have been in for the past few days. GRRRRRRRRRR. Maybe I'm overreacting, maybe I'm taking it way to personally, but it just struck me the really wrong way. At any rate, I guess it's good that his kids weren't there, isn't it?

It has been a busy, busy weekend. Yesterday was Little Gym, lunch (stopped for Chinese takeout, J saw "Blue's Clues" on the TV there and didn't want to leave!), haircuts, and the aforementioned birthday party. My friend's daughter is just a couple of weeks younger than J, she and I have known each other since before our kids were born. J was quite the hit at the party. He'd been on a tear most of the day, no nap, and I was worried he'd be a grump. Then he sacked out in the car on the way to the party - I thought, great, either this 10-minute nap will refresh him enough that he'll be good to go, or he'll be such a crab that we'll be back in the car by 5:15. He was good to go - we didn't leave until after 8:00, and he was in rare form when he wasn't in the playroom playing with toys! He came out to see his little friend open presents, and I think he was more excited about them than she was - he exclaimed over everything she got, much to the entertainment of her family members. They told me how cute he was. :) Of course, I have to agree! He had such a good time, he's still talking about the party today.

And he finally went to bed early. Sweet boy, he needs the rest.

And tomorrow it's Monday, back to the grind. Blech. I've not heard anything back from any of my interviews. Wait and wait some more, and keep looking.

I'd better get some sleep - the alarm goes off early, and I don't want to miss this opportunity to get an earlier-than-usual night myself!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I missed this

Just realized, thanks to Jay, that I never wrote about the great ER adventure of Sunday night/Monday morning. What a mess. I'll have to write about it later, right now it's time for me to GO HOME!!!

Gonna need an ocean...

of calamine lotion. Actually, calamine has been pretty much useless, as has its medicated cousin, Caladryl. Last night I got some Ivy-Dry scrub (supposed to remove the poison ivy/oak oils from your skin) and some Band-Aid anti-itch gel (supposed to work pretty well to stop the itchies). After I used those, I was much improved compared to the burning/itching feeling of yesterday that made me want to scratch my face off. But today it still itches/hurts, and I look a fright. I'm not a very vain person, but right now I'd like to put a paper bag over my head so I don't scare small children with my appearance! I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow at 9:15. Hopefully she can give me a nice steroid shot and help get this cleared up.

I thought I'd have to pinch J's little head off last night. He asked to turn the light out and lay down at 8:30. I thought, yay, bed at a decent hour! Ha, HA, the joke was on me. That little rascal didn't go to sleep until 11:00, and by that point I was so frustrated I was about ready to bang my head into the nearest wall. Now that he *can* go to the potty, he had to go a zillion times. I'm glad he's realizing when he needs to go and his underpants stay dry until bedtime, but boy, it's vexing to see him fighting sleep for all he's worth, by whatever means possible, when he's so tired he can barely stand up.

OK, I take it back. My face is about to itch right off my body. Is it 9:15 tomorrow yet?!?!?!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Itchy owies

J is better - the swelling is gone, he looks like my little boy again, only blotchy. I, on the other hand, am about ready to scratch my face off. Mine isn't nearly as bad as J's was - if he felt like this, it's a wonder he didn't draw blood. I'm going to try some of the over-the-counter cortisone cream and see if that helps - Caladryl and comparable products just aren't cutting it.

Today hasn't been horrible. We had our last training session this morning (I've been going to this class twice a week since the end of June, enough already). It was pretty entertaining. It was a review of all the lessons, and for the first half of the session we divided up into teams and played Jeopardy. My team won, largely because I really do know the technical side of estates and trusts (yeah, I'm a tax lawyer geek! LOL). I got a coffee mug. Woo!

And now there's only about an hour and a half left in the day! :)

I've taken my profile off of two of the sites I was on. I just don't have the time and energy to invest in meeting new people and trying to always put my best foot forward. Even if you aren't looking to be serious (and I'm certainly not), it's still hard work getting to know someone, and early on, even if you're only interested in friendship, you do want to put that best foot forward. I need all the energy I can muster to deal with other areas of my life right now, so I'm not looking anymore. When I have time to myself, I don't mind spending it with myself.

I'd better try to get some more work done before the day ends. I am so ready to go home!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What is wrong with me?

First, an update on J. He's better today - the swelling is almost all gone, he's just blotchy and crusty still. He still looks pretty rough, but he's healing. Of course, I now have one large and two small blotchy, itchy patches on my face. Oh, goody.

And now, what is wrong with me?! I've just felt unbearable today. I got a nap this afternoon (thanks to K coming over and helping with J), and I'm still tired. It's like I can't ever get caught up on my rest. I'm dreading going back to work tomorrow, because I know I'll be miserably far behind. How rotten is that, to have a job where a couple of days off puts you so much farther behind that it's hardly worth taking the time off? I've been short-tempered, and tonight J has been pushing my buttons big time. I got so vexed, I cried, and he looked at me and said, "Mama, you need to go to the doctor, you crying." That made me feel about three inches tall, let me tell you.

And I thought 2005 was supposed to be a better year. When does that happen? My job reeks. I'm still broke. I'm constantly tired, and my butt isn't any smaller. I'd love to sign up and go to Curves (they have one a block or two from my office), but I'm not sure I can squeeze $29 a month out of my budget. That's pathetic. So when does the year get better, and how the hell do I help the process along? I'm tired of constantly being financially strapped. I don't want to be filthy rich, I just want to make enough to pay all my bills, on time, to get the things I need, to pay for J's education and - oh, what a concept - to maybe save a little for retirement. I'm tired of going to a job that sucks the very heart and soul out of me. I don't necessarily want to save the world, but I'd like a job where I feel like I'm making a difference to someone, instead of just making so many people more upset, and I'd like a job where I felt like I could get a handle on my workload, and it would be nice to actually feel appreciated once in a while. Is that so much to ask?

Now, to complete the wallow in the pity pit, I'm going to have a glass of wine. Maybe two.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I just thought I'd have some free time

J is coming down with something. This morning his face was very pink, so he came back here this afternoon - he was a roaring grump for K last night, took until 10:30 to sleep and then was up at 2:00 for an hour and 4:00 for an hour, and up for the day at 6:30. When I saw his face, I suspected that something wasn't right. And it's not. I don't know yet what it is - I fear it might be measles or chicken pox, immunizations apparently having no effect - but he's got a red, raised rash with a couple of larger bumps all over his face (from his hairline to his chin - not completely covering his face, but not far from it), to the point his face looks swollen. :( He's also started to get some blotches on his arms and maybe one or two on his legs. And they itch, because he was scratching like crazy before he went to sleep, even with some anti-itch gel on there. No fever, but the rash itself feels pretty warm. He was snoring by 8:20 - I guess he was tired, after being such a little wildebeest for his father last night. I hope he sleeps all night. Assuming nothing seems serious enough to warrant a trip to the ER tomorrow, we'll go see his doctor on Monday. This doesn't look like something that will be gone by Monday morning.

So J is home. He said he was glad to go to the bitty house, but that he was glad to be home. When you're sick, it just feels better to be in a familiar space. And even though he's been to K's apartment, it's still not as familiar as this house is. Sweet boy, he looks pretty rough right now with all those blotches on his face.

K said he'd owe me a day later, and I'm good with that. You know, when a kid is sick, he just needs his mama. I'm a grown woman, and there have still been times I wished for my mama when I was sick!

I'm off to grab a bite to eat and watch Hitch.

Friday, August 05, 2005

My reading

After my astrological/intuitive reading last Saturday, I came across my deck of Wicca cards (I'd just about forgotten I had them!), and decided to do a reading for myself. I wanted to write down the outcome - the position of each card, the card I drew, what it means. I thought it was pretty interesting. Here goes! (And I realize this may not be interesting to anyone but me - if you're bored, feel free to stop reading! LOL)

Huh. I just read this about the layout I used - the Star Spread. My book says, "Use this spread for revelations about your soul purpose, potential and lessons. This is a deep reading, and should not really be used more than twice a year."

Card 1
Positional meaning: Saturn. Saturn is the planet of lessons and timing. Saturn reveals what needs attention, what is needed for soul growth. It points to the limitations you place upon yourself, or that are put upon you, in order for you to see what you may have missed.

Card drawn: Gaia (Healing). Gaia is offering you the seed of healing. You have the healing touch at the moment and will find that your vibrations resonate well with those in need of help or guidance. By deepening your connection with the earth and all of nature's gifts, you will find that your skills and abilities are given the chance to grow as you celebrate that you, too, are a child of nature. Your gifts are many at the moment. Mothering issues are highlighted. Expect a healing to occur. Try to be unconditional in the love that you give out to others at this time. Heal your relationships, for in so doing you also heal yourself.

My thoughts: This immediately brought to mind what's been going on with my dad. Talk about something that needs healing.

Card 2
Positional meaning: Moon. The Moon is the planet of the inner personality, those things that are hidden in your subconscious. The Moon represents inner-world influences, the intuitive voice, the revealer, and the card in position 2 on the Star Spread will point to those factors, people or circumstances that are motivating your soul at the present time, for good or ill.

Card drawn: Crone (release). The Crone sees that you are being called to the wisdom place, to go within and release any attachments to the outside world at the moment, so that you can gather understanding of your current experiences and so make sense of your life. A maturity is called for that gives no place to familiar emotional patterns or thought processes, but rather uses each opportunity to see beyond the illusions of small self and so step into a far greater reality. The Crone coming into your life now shows that you have just experienced (or will shortly experience) a change or release that requires some deep responses. You are being advised to let go and let life shape itself.

My thoughts: Um, hello, my whole life lately is a change that requires deep responses! And the part about going within really struck a chord with my inclination to keep more to myself.

Card 3
Positional meaning: Mercury. Mercury is the planet of communication, study, and travel in the physical and spiritual dimensions. Mercury reveals your potential and what you could consider learning from your current life circumstances. It also shows what the lessons are likely to be.

Card drawn: Broomstick (cleansing). Your energy is potent. You have the ability to see what needs to be cleared away. Therefore, this is a good time to sort out the various cupboards of your life, and make sure that they are fresh and up-to-date. Broomstick reminds you to enjoy who you are. It may also increase psychic awareness.

My thoughts: I'm doing a whole lot of clearing out these days, literally and figuratively.

Card 4
Positional meaning: Jupiter. Jupiter reveals the forces that are available to bring assistance, comfort and support to you. If a negative card falls here, it will reveal those forces that may be blocking your way forward through self-imposed attitudes or from necessity.

Card drawn: Book of Shadows (experience). Gathering experiences is the tone of this card. Journeys of discovery in your inner and outer world will provide a rich fabric with which to weave your life. The Book of Shadows writes each chapter of your life. Embrace and welcome these experiences, because they are the teachers and will show you the ways of the wise if you let them do so. Explore yourself and explore possibilities. By doing so, you will make discoveries beyond your imagination. Be wise and understanding. Whenever you are deep in the dark night, remember that life is changing. You are about to have worthwhile experiences.

My thoughts: If the last year or so hasn't been a learning experience, I don't know what is.

Card 5
Positional meaning: Venus. Venus is a feminine planet of love and harmony. She reveals what you can expect to gain from your current course, and what you are being asked to give or look at.

Card drawn: Owl (wisdom keeper). Owl shows that your life direction has led you to places of wisdom and understanding, and that you are (or have been) successfully navigating your way through some dark nights of the soul. You are being advised to spend time in silence, away from the crowd, so that you can make very personal decisions about your life path and soul direction. Owl is watching and guiding your soul to its rightful place in the universe. Trust the process and know that this time of separation from social situations is necessary so that you can hear the quieter song in your heart. If your soul has been calling for direction, it is on its way. If asking a question of the cards, the answer is to navigate your way carefully. In times of darkness, we reach out for solidity, for normality. Don't be tempted to hold on to something just because it is there. Trust that Owl will navigate your soul through the night, through your fears, so that you emerge to a new day with clearer vision and a firm understanding of your soul purpose this time around. Expect there to be a death of the old around you, and trust that all will still be well.

My thoughts: Well, this one reached right out and whopped me over the head. The bit about spending time in silence, away from the crowd, away from social situations - haven't I been thinking about that? The part about not being tempted to hold on to something just because it's there - I don't need to hold on to K and my marriage just because he's here and my marriage is what's familiar and known to me. And my marriage is gone for all essential purposes, so I guess you could say that the old around me has died. I'm doing my best to trust that all will be well.

Card 6
Positional meaning: Mars. Mars, a masculine planet, will suggest the course of action. This can be in thought, word, or deed - whatever area is currently highlighted in your life, Mars will reveal a positive step to take.

Card drawn: Serpent (power). When Serpent enters your life, you can be assured that creative energy is high. Like the phoenix rising out of the ashes, you have the ability to rise to any challenges at the moment. Serpent is associated with Kundalini, the energy of creation. You may have to shed a skin, having outgrown something in your life. Serpent power brings to you the gift of intimacy. Observe how you crave or avoid close contact with others. Let your power rise and express itself in all areas of your life; being as wise as the serpent with any directions you consider.

My thoughts: I've outgrown my marriage, I'm shedding it. And one thing I thought was really interesting - in Dance of the Dissident Daughter (a book I've been reading - many, many thoughts on it, I just haven't taken time to write), the author talks about how, before Christianity, snakes were a symbol of and associated with the Goddess and the feminine. Interesting, then, how the snake was chosen as the villain in the Garden of Eden story - possibly patriarchal Christianity trying to stamp out vestiges of goddess worship?

Card 7
Positional meaning: Sun. The Sun represents the face we present to the world and your soul's overall destiny. If you draw a card you don't feel positive about, you are being shown which clouds need to be cleared away before your sun can truly shine.

Card drawn: Bell (awakening). Bell appearing in a reading indicates that this is a time for celebration, for ceremony and for change. You are invited to step into a new situation as a result of waking up to a call from spirit. This could be a marriage, a new job, new beginning, but whatever it is, you can be assured that spirit is listening to your needs. Prepare yourself for an increase in your power, and remember that spirit always heeds a call, so word questions and prayers with care and attention to detail. Your words carry meaning at the moment, as do the words of those around you. Listen. What is calling you? What do you wish to call for?

My thoughts: Another one that reached out and whopped me over the head. Change doesn't even begin to describe my life. I'm leaving my marriage, questioning the faith I grew up in, and looking diligently for a new job - that's a lot!

And that was my reading. In light of the astrology/intuitive reading I had done, and all the things I've been reading lately, it struck me as very interesting and fitting indeed.

I'm going to finish my wine, have some ice cream, and get some sleep.

Friday, Friday!

Ah, Friday. I'm hoping for a fairly low-key day here at work, which would be nice after the craziness of the week.

On tonight's agenda: a nice glass of wine, a good book, and a bubble bath! J will be with K this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to having a little time to myself.

Other than that, I'm really craving a chocolate chip cookie right about now. A trip to Paradise Bakery may be in order....

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A case of the blues

I don't even know where to start. I'm just in kind of a funk. I can't point to one specific reason for it, I'm just feeling down and tired and like it's too much effort to get out of bed. I know, some of you may think that sounds like I'm depressed. I don't think that's it - I do actually have moments where I feel OK and am pretty happy and content (I just don't write about them here! LOL). No, I think this is just a case of being down in the dumps, and it will pass.

Work is getting to me. I find that some of the things I'm asked to do don't sit well with my own personal beliefs and opinions. No, I'm not being asked to do anything illegal or immoral. It's just that I don't always feel like things that benefit the company are necessarily in the best interests of our clients, and it's starting to bother me.

I think I mentioned T a while back - we'd talked via e-mail and on the phone for a good little bit, and gone out a couple of times. I thought we'd gotten along pretty well, but he's suddenly disappeared on me. I haven't heard boo from him in almost three weeks. You know, if he's gone off me for whatever reason, that's fine, there's certainly no law that says you've gotta keep going out with someone you aren't interested in. But please, I'd rather know than be on the receiving end of the disappearing act. And maybe he really does have a lot going on, but I think all the things that might be keeping him occupied now were present in his life before we went out, and somehow he found time to talk to me then. This just confirms to me that I should take a break from trying to meet people. If there's a guy out there for me, it will happen when it's meant to.

J is, as always, mama's little sunshine. Two funnies - first, the booger story. K took J to Little Gym last Saturday. During class, K noticed that J had a big booger in his nose, and thought he'd discreetly remove it. But when he tried to clean J's nose, J hollered (right in the middle of the gym, and no doubt loud enough to be heard outside), "NO, Daddy, don't clean my booger! I want to lick it!" When K told me this, I nearly hurt myself laughing. It's so oogy (obviously the conversations about not eating boogers haven't sunk in yet), but still, that's pretty funny. It still makes me laugh now, thinking about it. I guess he's getting to that age where he will say *anything*, so we'd better just expect anything.

And now the time out story. I picked J up from daycare yesterday, and he told me he got a time out in the ball pit. I asked him why, and of course he artfully dodged the question. The afternoon teacher told me she thought he got the time out for not listening to his primary teacher (oh, yeah, J not listening, that doesn't surprise me a bit). So we came home, and K came by. I told him about the time out, and he asked J why he got the time out. J's response? "Just for fun!" OY, that child.

In other happy news, Mike Modano has signed a five-year deal with the Stars! WOO!!! That means he'll likely retire as a Star, and I'm glad. I'd have been sad to see him go somewhere else after being here or on the North Stars all this time. I don't think he's played for any other franchise during his NHL career, and that's pretty rare. Is it hockey season yet?!?!?!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stop the world, I want to get off!

It's been absolutely bonkers at work today. It's one of those days/weeks where so much is clamoring for my attention, I have a hard time focusing on one thing and completing it before moving on to the next - my brain keeps jumping in fourteen different directions at once.

J is a stinker. He woke up yesterday and informed me he wasn't going to school. I said yes, mommy's going to work and you get to go to school. He then said, "Mama, I don't feel good." Of course I checked for fever - none - and I asked him what felt bad. He said, "I don't feel good, I need to go see Dr. Jean!" Ah, now I see. I asked him if he'd just said that to try to put off going to school and he said, "Yes." LOLOL Well, at least he's honest, and I guess it's progress that he *likes* going to the doctor now. When he was younger and having so many ear infections, he'd start screaming the second she set foot in the exam room! But he's three, and he's already trying to find ways to con me out of sending him to school. And of course, he did *not* get out of going to school yesterday.

So many things I've encountered lately, as far as horoscopes, readings and the like, have indicated that I may be moving toward a time of (self-imposed) regulation. Here's a bit from my August horoscope at Astrology Zone:

Mars in Taurus seems bent on keeping you in some sort of isolation, but it appears to be voluntary, so perhaps you'll be in a sumptuous library or log cabin by a lake, turning out page after page of excellent work.

And the more I think about it, the more just keeping to myself for a while sounds like a really good idea. It's like I don't have the energy to put myself out there and be cute and perky and fun right now. Some days it's all I can do to keep things afloat at work and at home. I don't know about a sumptuous library or a log cabin by a lake, but just being in my own house and getting it organized sounds pretty good right about now. Time enough to worry about meeting people down the road.

And now, I have a phone call to make. Ugh. No one told me I'd also need a degree in counseling to do this job.

Monday, August 01, 2005

A minor inconvenience

I noticed earlier this afternoon that my watch has stopped. Bother. I keep looking at it like I expect it to magically start keeping time again. It's my cheapie $10 watch that I got from a little shop in the tunnels here - it's almost more cost-efficient to just buy a new one rather than mess with a battery for this one!

Can I just go home?

Ugh, it's such a Monday. Bedtime was easy last night - J sacked out with his head in my lap while we were reading before bed, he was out by 8:30. But he woke up at 3:30 and was up until 4:15, and I didn't get back to sleep until 5:00. Stupid me, I should have stayed awake, because I'd completely forgotten to set my alarm. I also slept through the backup alarm I set on my cell phone, and I woke up at 7:02. YOW. Talk about hit the ground running.

And work - ugh, ugh, ugh. I'm just feeling beat up and bruised by this job. Seems like I talk with more people who are unhappy with us than people who are happy, and that's just draining.

I've got some fairly unpleasant phone calls to make before the day ends, so I'd better get to it. Happy happy, joy joy.