Thursday, August 31, 2006

The best thing about today is that tomorrow is Friday

Today has been beastly. I overslept (I need a new alarm clock, or I need to put mine where I have to get out of bed and go turn it off, or something), so that was fun. Got out of the house in relatively timely fashion, though - even showered and dressed nicely for my client meeting this morning.

Then there was drop-off at school. J didn't sleep until 11 last night, and was up by 7 this morning, so he was a GRUMP. He didn't want me to go, didn't want to stay at school, and ran after me crying every time I headed for the door. One of his teachers finally asked him to go on an errand with her and took his hand, but he was still crying and screaming as I left. So I was late leaving school, and I still had to put gas in my car. Some days (like yesterday, when he said "Bye!" and ran off) go really well, other days (like today) I get the howling wildebeest.

Traffic sucked on top of all of that, so I was 10 minutes late to work. If I do get the job in Waco, I will SO not miss Dallas traffic. I hate my commute. I hate having to maneuver around construction work and delivery trucks and stupid drivers in downtown. I hate having to pay for parking. Yuck.

Got to work, had a committee meeting at 9:30, that went OK. Had a client meeting that was supposed to start at 10:30. 10:30, no client. 10:45, no client. 11:00, no client. They finally called at 11:15 or so - they were at another building in downtown, where they thought we were located. I walked over there. They then wanted to come back to my office where it was quiet and they could hear. By the time we all got back over here, it was almost noon, and that was when the meeting actually started. We didn't finish until almost 1:00. It didn't end up being what I thought it would be about, but it wasn't bad, and now they feel like there's someone here they can talk to. So it was a much longer process than I thought, but it was OK.

In just about a week exactly, I'll be at my interview. The closer it gets, the more I really, really, really hope it works out, because I really would like to be somewhere other than where I am right now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is this day over yet?!

It's not getting any better. Every time I turn around it's something - make this callback, research this issue, approve these 42 transactions, do these seven account reviews by tomorrow, work on this initiative and document your efforts because all of this is being tracked and we'll want updates every two weeks - and today, at this particular moment, I'm having a very hard time caring.

I feel like Eeyore with PMS - gloomy *and* pissy, now there's a fabulous combination.

Hard to give a crap

You know, I love having my day start off with someone sending me an e-mail telling me I suck. This person isn't directly a client, so I can take it with a grain of salt, but still. I don't like seeing the word "sucks" following my name.

I have clients that want to meet with me tomorrow. I have no idea *why* they want to meet with me. Hopefully they'll give me some clue as to what they'd like to discuss before they get here, so I can actually prepare.

I'm just in a foul mood today. Rotten. I should be at home, far away from people. But no, I'm at work. I have callbacks to make, things to prepare for committee tomorrow, this meeting about who knows what to get ready for, a co-worker who wants me to cross-train her on certain aspects of my job (how this happened, I'm not sure - she just volunteered me to do it, and I really don't like training/teaching people, so that vexes me), research to do, mail to respond to. And today? I'm finding it very hard to get motivated to do the least little thing. It feels like I'm moving through slowly drying cement, like it takes more effort than I can muster just to keep my head from falling over onto my desk.

I wish my interview were tomorrow instead of next Thursday. It's still a whole week away.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The logic escapes me

K gets off work at 4:30. I need soy milk for J - just milk, and I have no extra cash for folderol and don't feel like fighting the "I want a toy" fight just to go in and get milk. I called K and asked if he'd stop and pick some up for me. He asked if I needed it tonight, I said yes. He hemmed and hawed and then asked me if he could go back to the store and get it after he worked out (he bought my treadmill, but it's still at my house, so he comes over and uses it), that that would be easier. ??? I said that was fine, but it's beyond me how it would be easier - he'll go out to my house, then go back to the store and come *back* out to my house. Seems like it would be easier just to swing by the store on the way to my house and be done with it. Oh well, as long as J has milk, I'm happy - however K wants to accomplish that is up to him, I just don't understand his thought process.

Well, here's a guarantee!

I told my team lead about my upcoming interview. She said that as shorthanded as our team is right now, I'm bound to get the job just to make her life more difficult. LOLOL She was glad for me to have the opportunity, but we are grossly understaffed at the moment. One of my former teammates was making a move internally, and she hasn't been allowed to give up her responsibilities on this team yet, even though she's physically moved to her new work area. That's pretty sad.

I am so tired. J didn't sleep particularly well last night - he was awake until after 10:00, then up at 4-something wanting milk, climbing in my bed, squirm squirm fidget fidget, wanted more milk, and on and on. I think it was after 5:00 before he settled down and went back to sleep. Just in time for my alarm to go off, yay!

I'm having the hardest time concentrating on work. I look at all this stuff on my desk, and I think, "I just don't care." I wish my interview was this Thursday instead of next Thursday.

Monday, August 28, 2006

More job-type thoughts

K has mixed feelings about Waco. He's nervous about Brian being there - worried that someone else will be around J a lot and try to take his place as J's dad. (Not gonna happen - even if I were stupid enough and mean enough to try to replace K with someone else in J's affections, J wouldn't go for it, and I wouldn't try it anyway. And no one meets the boy until I have a pretty good feel for where things are headed and until K and I have talked about it.) He's not crazy about the possibility of being an hour and a half away from J. (I'm nervous about that myself, because then I really would be on my own most of the time, with other family all out of state.) But he understands that I have to go where a good job is to be found, and that I'm not going to make a hasty decision - if I'm offered a job in Waco, I'll have to be pretty certain that it's a good fit, and one I'll be happy with for the long term, before I'll accept it. Believe me, I don't want to be in the position of having to move out of Waco in a few years because I don't like my job anymore, or because I lost my job, and there are no other jobs to be had - been there, done that, that's how I ended up here.

I did want to smack him this afternoon, though. Here's what the placement agency's website says:

A____________ Legal Staffing is currently interviewing qualified candidates for the following opportunities:

IP / trademark infringement attorneys on a contract basis for a downtown law firm.

Corporate paralegals contract and full time for a downtown firm.

Contract Litigation / Document Review Attorneys for downtown and mid-cities area.

Experienced Real Estate paralegal for downtown firm.

Contract Litigation paralegals downtown, far north Dallas and mid-cities.

I was trying to make this point: If the only positions the placement agency is looking to fill are the ones listed on its website, then I'm not sure there are a great number I'd 1) be interested in, 2) be qualified for, or 3) both. And any contract position would have to offer a pretty kick-ass salary and benefits *and* be for an extended time period before I'd take it - it would be pretty short-sighted to leave a full-time job for something with, say, a three-month contract. K got all upset, telling me to stop selling myself short, stop making up my mind before I'd even talked to them. Um, not doing that (or at least that wasn't my intention) - it just seems like, if they're looking for, say, someone with intellectual property (IP) experience and I have none, then it's pretty unlikely that they'll want to consider me for that position (and pretty unlikely that I'd want to take it). For all I know, they've got hordes of positions not even posted on the site, and one may be just perfect for me. I'm just saying *if* that's all they have, then this interview may not lead to an offer right off the bat - it may be one of those "meet and greet" sessions only, with my resume kept on file for future reference. Granted, my previous job, they were looking for a tax attorney with five years' experience - and for some unknown reason, they hired me instead. So you never know what employers might actually go for as compared to what they say they want. I'm just saying that it's possible the agency doesn't currently have anything that's a good fit for me. And it's possible that they do.

We'll see what they have to say when I go talk to them. The trick is for K not to get so hung up on wanting me to stay here that he pushes me to consider something that's almost right but not quite, and for me not to get so hung up on wanting to go to Waco (which I told myself I wouldn't do) that I overlook possibilities here.

And another

I got a call from a placement agency here in Dallas late this afternoon, wanting me to come talk to them tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 PM. A week ago, two weeks ago, I'd have been tickled if they'd called me. They didn't, and I pretty much gave up hope and crossed that off my list of possibilities. Well, now they've called. And it's funny - I'm not as excited as you might think. In fact, I'm feeling downright let down right about now. And I'm not sure why. Is it because all they have to offer right now is contract work, and a permanent position would be far preferable to any kind of long-term contract position? Is it because I feel miffed that it took them a good long time to call? Is it because I'm nervous about taking off for a late lunch to go over there and talk (given that I'm sort of under the microscope at work, I'm hesitant to be away from my desk for big chunks of time at "off" hours)? Is it because I know it's not the right thing for me? Is it because an actual interview is closer to delivering a real employment opportunity to me than a chat with a placement agency is? Or is it just me not *wanting* it to be the right thing for me? Have I gotten my heart set on Waco, even though I didn't want to do that, told myself I wouldn't do that unless it proved to be the right thing?

I'll go talk to the placement agency people (although I think I'll ask if there's a day when I can come in around 11:00, 11:30, so it can be a lunch-type time that I'm away from my desk), but right now, my heart isn't in it. If they offered me any kind of work, it would have to be fabulous for me to be the least little bit excited about it. I don't want to set my heart on Waco if that's not where I'm supposed to be, though. If I'm meant to be anywhere in Dallas/Fort Worth, I'd hope I'd be a little more excited than this about an opportunity if it presents itself.


I. Have. An. INTERVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 7, with the Brazos River Authority. I saw that 254 area code on my cell phone and nearly jumped out of my chair.

I'm so excited, I could cry!!!

One miracle coming up!

It's RAINING! We haven't seen rain in I can't remember when, so this is much needed. (That's the miracle to which my post title refers - seriously, it probably hasn't rained in over a month here.)

However, it's not a lot of fun getting into the car in the pouring rain (not just a shower, but a drenching rain) when the garage door opener is broken, and your child doesn't like getting wet. J had his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles umbrella, and he was all excited. Then he realized he was still going to get wet getting into the car, and he started howling about halfway in the car. I had no umbrella, so I was completely soaked, and I told him that the sooner he got in the car, the sooner he'd stop getting rained on! By the time I got my things in the car and got the garage door put back down, I was soaked to the skin on my backside. Ugh, nothing more fun than cold, wet, clammy clothes sticking to you.

At school, J didn't want to get OUT of the car because he didn't want to get rained on. But once we got in, he was fine - ran off to class with barely a second glance. So that was nice. And I made it to work on time, even with the rain - I was expecting that to really slow down my commute, but it wasn't as bad as I'd feared.

Last night's sleep wasn't as good as I'd hoped, though. J was asleep by about 9:15 or so, but he woke up at 2 AM and climbed in bed with me. Then he wanted milk. Then the milk was leaking from his cup. Then he was just squirmy and restless. And at some point during the night, he pulled off his underpants - I found them in the floor this morning. Thankfully, there were no accidents, and the bed was dry. But still - no underpants.

No word on anything job-related at the moment. I'm doing my best to wait patiently. I could do with a little financial miracle right now, that's for sure. If I don't pay my attorney occupation tax by August 31, to the tune of about $300, my law license will be suspended until I do get it paid. No law license, hard to find a new job. Ugh. I'm tapped out. K is tapped out - I haven't even mentioned this to him because I know it won't do anything other than freak him out. Miracle, anyone?

I'm hungry - no breakfast this morning. And all I have for lunch is soup. That won't cut it. I may have to have some popcorn as well.

At least my clothes are finally drying out.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

One more thing

This morning J summoned me to the kitchen, "Mama, Mama, come see what I did!" I figured he'd built something. Oh, no - the little Picasso had colored a masterpiece. On the tile floor. With purple crayon. D'OH. He was so proud of himself, I couldn't be mad - I just laughed. I pointed out to him that we don't color on the floor or the wall, just on coloring books and paper. He told me, "But I LIKE coloring on the floor!"

He's too much. Thank goodness for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Of meat and mess

Well, should I get a job that requires me to move, it will be a miracle if I get this house clean. How the hell did I accumulate so much CRAP?!?! I've got so much junk, I don't even know where to start. And with J trailing behind me like a little wrecking ball, if I DO get it clean, how will I KEEP it clean?! AAARGH! Needless to say, I didn't get much done this weekend. I wish I had the vacation time to take a week off work and just clean like mad.

Last night was fabulous. J must have been worn right out, because he told me to go away so he could read about 8:30 or so. I did, and realized in about 10 minutes that I hadn't heard anything from him. So I went to check, and he'd fallen asleep with his book in his hand. This was about 8:40 or so, which is uncommonly early for him. And the kicker? I didn't hear a peep from him this morning until nearly 8:00. I'd gotten smart and gone to bed shortly after 11:00, so we both got a good night's rest for once.

Today J and I went to church. Nursery care is only for kids up to age 3, so J went to the sanctuary with me. This was his first time in "big church". He did OK with the prelude - asked me what that noise was, and I told him it was the piano and the organ. And that was OK. Then came the processional, with everyone singing and with instrumental accompaniment, and he lost it. Poor baby, he was sobbing and saying it scared him. The music was too loud for him. (This from the kid who thinks he'd like to go to a monster truck show.) He really was freaked out, so I told him we could leave, that I knew it was his first time and it was a bit different than what he was used to, but we'd try again. He said he'd go back, but he told me tonight that he didn't like going to God's house. Oy, I've scarred my child for life, trying to bring him to church.

On the way home we ran by Whataburger - he wanted a cheeseburger and fries. He snarfed down the whole huge thing of fries and left his burger virtually untouched. After he'd left it for a good 45 minutes or so, I asked him if I could eat it. He said yes. I asked him if he was sure he didn't want it, and he said he didn't want it, that I could eat it. OK, fine. I ate the meat and left the bread. A good five hours later, he came wandering into the living room asking where his hamburger was. I told him I'd eaten the meat, and he just started to sob like his heart was breaking. "Mama, I WANTED the meat! I LIKED my meat!" LOLOL It was sad, but it really was comical, too. Poor baby. I told him that if he wanted to keep something for later, he needed to tell me that and not say it was OK for me to eat it. Then we went back to Whataburger for our second cheeseburger of the day, and he ate the whole thing. He told me as we were getting ready for bed tonight, "Mama, you ate my meat. I wanted it." Yes, dear, I know, I'll never make that mistake again.

Tomorrow is work. It makes me tired just thinking about it. If I'm smart, I'll go on to bed again. Maybe then I won't sleep through my alarm.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cute but stupid

I just overheard a couple of co-workers talking - apparently some kid that one of their children knows was dumb enough to put on their Myspace account that they egged the principal's house. Um, you think they'll get in trouble for that? LOLOL


This morning is off to a horrific start. We totally overslept - woke up at 7:30, which meant we were running late from the get-go. I didn't even take a shower, just tossed on some deodorant and ran. I had to pilfer J's piggy bank to get $8 to put (hopefully) enough gas in my car to get me to work and back home. J didn't want to go with Ms. Shannon at school this morning. I was late getting to work. K called me freaking out over the whole money thing, asking me what we should do. If I had an answer for that, I wouldn't need to freak out. I don't know what we should do, besides pray for a miracle. I know K was wanting to keep me from having to take a second job, but I may have to. Doing what, I don't know - I have no idea what's out there that would pay enough to where I wouldn't have to work four or five nights a week to make it worthwhile. K wants me to talk to my dad, but 1) the thought of that makes me want to throw up because I know it would get ugly, and 2) any money I got from him would be just a stopgap. And I know he's got most of his money tied up in stuff to where there'd be penalties if he took it out, and he's not going to take the penalty hit on my account. I wish I had a relationship with my dad like K does with his parents - they'd give him (and have, in the past, given us) the shirts off their backs if it would help him out. My dad, not so much - he's of the opinion that I'm a grown woman now and can support myself and live within my means, with no help from him, thankyouverymuch. I'd rather take a second job than ask my dad for money. Seriously.

Then I get to work (late - not by much, but still), and shit is hitting me from every direction. I have a voice mail and TWO e-mails reminding me that I have account reviews due today - reviews that I'm covering for someone else and that were just assigned to me about a day or two ago. I KNOW they're due, PLEASE trust me to get them done, huh?! And there are questions on the reviews to be answered that I don't know the answer to, and things that need to be done that I don't freakin' have time to do because they're not my accounts and I don't have enough time to do my own stuff, and I just can't stand it.

And I pray, and I'm trying to keep the faith, but things keep getting worse instead of better, even when you think there's no more "worse" to be had. WHEN DO THINGS GET BETTER?! When do I freakin' get some GOOD news?

Today is one of those days when you can sort of see why sometimes people reach the end of their ability to cope and just drive into a bridge abutment or something. I read a quote somewhere to the effect that suicide happens when the level of pain outweighs the ability to cope with that pain - that's not the exact wording, but that was the gist of it. Good thing my pain tolerance is somewhere near astronomical, isn't it?

Tuesday the 29th better be a humdinger of a good day - I am beyond overdue for something GOOD to happen.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just make it stop, OK?

SHIT. The payment for my A/C repair just now hit my account, and I'm overdrawn again. I am SO SICK of this crap. Yeah, a new job will help with finances over the long term, but I need some kind of miracle now. Can't a Wells Fargo truck lose a bag of cash outside my front door or something?!?! So stinkin' sick of this. I'm going to go throw up now.

Done deal

My application is sent, along with a prayer that this will work out as it's meant to. It's out of my hands now. So I wait, and keep looking to see what else is out there.

K and I have worked something out that should allow me to stay in the black if I scrupulously track my expenses and don't spend one dime more than I need to, so that will be a relief. But it's not something I want to continue forever, you know? I want to have a job that allows me to support myself and J, with K's child support maybe going into a fund for J's college or something if I don't have to use it to pay actual expenses.

Drop-off this morning was a challenge. J was up until after 10:00 last night, per usual, and came and crawled in bed with me during the night. He woke up a bit before 7:00 and laid down on the sofa while I was in the shower, saying he was tired. Once we got to school, he didn't want to go to the gym as is his new routine, he wanted to sleep on me because he was tired. I was tired, too, so probably wasn't as patient as I should have been - he was clingy and crying and not wanting me to leave, and I know it's because he was tired and trying to adjust to a new routine. I was impatient because I was worried about being late for work, and I feel bad about that. I did tell him that if he was tired, he needed to go to sleep earlier instead of fighting it so hard. We'll see if he remembers that tonight.

Oh, and we're having orientation tonight - I told J that when I got there to pick him up this evening, we'd stay at school for a little while so I could talk to his teacher. He told me, "I don't WANT you to come in class!" So tonight should be fun - I fully expect that I'll be trying to talk to his teacher and fill out the necessary paperwork with a 50-pound boy pulling on my arm and howling to go home.

At least it's Thursday. One more day and it's the weekend.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Well, K and I talked a bit. As I suspected, his biggest fear was that I'd move down there and Brian would then be around J all the time, trying to take K's place as J's dad. I told him no way, that the same rule we've agreed to would apply no matter where I lived, and that's that no one spends time with J until I'm fairly sure where things stand, and until K and I talk about it. I told him, too, that no matter what, he's J's dad, and no one will ever take his place. I certainly would never encourage J to call anyone else daddy - he's got one of those, thankyouverymuch. And if I want to go out with Brian while J is with me, then I'll find a babysitter. So we talked, and talked about the jobs I've found, and he said to go ahead and apply for the third one (Brazos River), and I think we both feel better now. Nothing is a done deal yet, but at least we aren't at complete loggerheads.

The voice of reason

One of my girlfriends made the point that it's not necessarily unreasonable for K not to be on board with any potential move I might make at this point. I thought about it, and yeah, she's right. K is relatively happy with his job(or at least not unhappy enough that he feels a burning need to find something else) and his apartment, and he doesn't like change as it is. He just has it in his head that he'll never, ever live more than 10-15 minutes away from J, no matter what, and he's come out and said that Waco "isn't an option." That's what gets me most - not that he's less than enthusiastic about it, with the possibility of talking things through and reaching an agreement if it turns out that that's what's best for me (and isn't what's best for me also good for J? Not ideal, maybe, but at least good?), but that in his mind, he's completely ruled it out of consideration. He's made up his mind, and once he gets an idea in his head, it doesn't budge. So if I were to say I'd accepted (or wanted to accept) a job in Waco, he would come completely unhinged and I don't think any amount of talking would make him any happier about it. If I found a job that was just perfect for me and paid 25% more than what I'm making now and wanted to work there until I retired, and it was in Waco, he'd tell me I couldn't do it. (Not that he gets to make that call, but that's what he'd say.) It wouldn't matter how fabulous it was for me, because he's already made up his mind that Waco just isn't happening. So yeah, in retrospect, I can understand that he might find the idea unnerving. But at this point, I don't feel like I can or should rule out any good jobs that are in this area. At least with Waco, I could drive there until my house sold and I could move. If I were to get a job in Austin or Houston or San Antonio, I'd have to move as soon as I started, and that would mean having money to rent a place to live as well as pay moving expenses, and I certainly don't have those resources right now.

And I can't keep waiting and praying and hoping for something to come through here in Dallas/Fort Worth. Yes, I keep looking, and I give first consideration to anything I find here. But I can't *make* something come through here. I wish I could. The thought of moving makes my stomach hurt, because I've got almost 11 years' worth of crap in my house. It was bad enough getting K's stuff moved out, weeding through and packing up everything else would be a flaming nightmare. But I'm to the point where I have to consider all viable options, and to my way of thinking, any job in Waco that paid what I'm looking for and was a good fit and where they could give satisfactory answers to the questions I have is a viable option. It has to be at this point. I NEED a better paying job, and that's just all there is to it.

I wonder, if I were offered a job there and everything was just right about it, would K attempt to find a job in that area? Or would I be the one combing the want ads and career listings to see what I could find that would suit him? I don't think it would ever be in the plan for us to be away from each other for the long term. I think that if I found the right job there, then something would work out for him as well - something good that he could stay with, because the job market *is* a lot smaller there than it is here. He's an involved dad, and I don't think the ultimate plan would ever include taking away his ability to stay involved. I'm just not sure he can make that leap of faith, though. Maybe that's it more than anything else, the fear that he will be apart from J (even though neither he nor I want that). I just hope that we can talk about this without either of us getting testy or seeing only our own viewpoint, that we can be open-minded about it, and that he can understand why I feel the need to at least apply. The Brazos River Authority job does sound like something I'd be quite good at:

Announcement of Vacancy
Staff Counsel
Waco, Texas

SUMMARY OF POSITION This position provides legal services within the Authority that include reviewing and preparing legal documents and contracts, conducting legal research and providing legal advice. Essential duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: performs legal research; reviews services contracts; prepares and reviews legal documents and other correspondence,
including pleadings, agreements, and contracts; prepares drafts Authority water supply contracts using standard forms; researches, studies and interprets ordinances, laws, rulings, and regulations to assist management with developing strategies for compliance; keeps informed of and analyzes existing and/or proposed rules, regulations and programs pertaining to state and federal regulatory agencies pertinent to the Authority; reviews laws and regulations regarding procedural requirements and confidentiality to ensure compliance; reviews current Authority policies and develops recommendations on additions or changes to existing policies; and performs such other related duties as may be assigned.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, & ABILITIES Skill/Ability to demonstrate proficiency in legal research skills; demonstrate proficiency in both oral and written communication; read and analyze contracts, policies, and reports; write correspondence and legal documents; establish and maintain effective working relationships with other employees and the general public; and maintain appropriate necessary certifications.

ACCEPTABLE EXPERIENCE & TRAINING A Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (J.D.). Eligible to
take BAR examination or License to practice law in Texas from the State Bar of Texas.

SALARY RANGE: $45,474.60 - $68,211.38 per year. This is an exempt position.

I got chills when I saw the listing, because it just felt right somehow. [Can I explain that? No. Is it how I felt? Yes.] The low end of the salary range isn't enough, but they're also looking for someone right out of law school. I personally think I'd have a good argument for at least the midpoint of the salary range (about $57,000), being as how 1) I have experience drafting and reviewing and researching and interpreting statutes and regulations, 2) if I come to Waco, I'd be planning to stay for the long term (and I'd be willing to bet that most young lawyers want to go somewhere bigger to make their mark), and 3) I've been out of law school 13 years and have a certain amount of maturity and experience dealing with people, which makes me worth a good bit more than a wet-behind-the-ears baby lawyer. And I'd never know if my argument would succeed if I didn't apply for the job and get an interview. If I were to move to Waco, the cost of living would be less. Property taxes would be less. My commute would be shorter, so I'd save on gas, and I wouldn't have to pay for parking. My house note would be less. With a smaller house, my electric bill would be less. My combined bill for water, sewer and trash pickup wouldn't be much more than my water bill is now, and I'd no longer have to worry about maintaining a septic system. I have no idea how much daycare/school would cost, but I'd be saving $90/month just on parking, and probably $150 on gas. I can't imagine any preschool would cost $240 more per month than what I'm paying now.

I know it sounds like I've made up my mind, but I haven't. I'm just trying to look at pros and cons, and right now I'm focusing on the Waco job because that's where the apparently good opportunity is. So to be fair, let's look at the pros and cons of staying put.

Assuming I can find a good job soon, my finances would improve. I wouldn't have to pack and pay movers. I wouldn't have to find a new place to live or worry about qualifying for a loan for a new house. My commute would remain fairly consistent, as opposed to the looooong drive I'd be making were I to get a job in Waco (at least until I could move). [The con side of that is that up here, I'll never have the opportunity for any kind of short commute unless I move into Dallas proper, and I'm not doing that - with a job in Waco, the commute would be short once I got there.] J wouldn't have to go to a different school. K wouldn't have to try to find a job where I ended up, but could stay where he is.

So there are ups and downs to both ways.

The one given is that I cannot continue to stay where I am. I must find a new job, and sooner rather than later. I'd prefer that K and I be in the same general area if not the same town, but there are divorced couples everywhere who live farther apart than an hour and a half, and they make it work. I'd prefer to stay in my house, but when it comes down to it, it's just a house. I've got to go where I find a job that I like, that I want to keep for the long term, and that will allow me to support my family. And when I'm settled financially, that will benefit me and J, and will benefit K as well, because I'll be in a position to start paying him back. Ideally, yes, the job will be here in Dallas/Fort Worth, and I won't have to move and K won't have to move to be where J and I are. But as we all know, sometimes life is less than ideal. I think my current job situation establishes that pretty clearly.

And if it were a question between taking a job in Waco and starting to see improvement in finances in two months or holding on for a job in Dallas/Fort Worth for an indefinite time period and starting to see an improvement in finances in six months? I'd be sorely tempted to take the two-month route, because I'm not sure I could keep hanging on here for six.

That's the kicker, though - you NEVER KNOW when the good and right thing is right around the corner. So all I can do, I think, is apply to what sounds promising and not totally out of the realm of doability, and keep hoping and praying and believing that the right path will be made abundantly clear to me. And I hope K can understand that any decision I make will be made only after much thought and prayer, and not just on a whim.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm going to scream now

I. Could. SCREAM. I just talked to K. He's all weird about me applying for jobs in Waco - he's convinced that he'd never find anything there, says he'd be dead against me going there, says he doesn't want to move there, doesn't understand why I'm even considering it, doesn't want to be apart from J. OK, I understand that when we lived there before, he couldn't find a job. Well, neither could I, when I lost the one I had - hence, we moved here. I had to go where the job was. But just because he found nothing before doesn't mean he'll find nothing now - I certainly didn't expect to find job openings in Waco, and it's not like I went looking specifically for Waco, I came across them in the course of looking for some job, any job. It's like he's already made up his mind that he won't even consider it no matter what, like he wouldn't even try to see if there'd be any jobs in the area that he'd be qualified for, and like he wants me just to rule the jobs out that I've found without even applying. He didn't mention Brian, but I'd be willing to bet that the fact that he's in Waco plays a part in K's unease as well. (Never mind that I'd apply whether he was there or not. I LIKE Waco, always did.) I told him that everything would need to work out for me to take a job down there, and to me, that includes him being able to move - I don't want him two hours away from J any more than he wants to be two hours away from J. Does that mean we'd find jobs at the exact same time? Not necessarily. Does it mean an opportunity would be there for him? Yes, and I believe it would if I'm meant to be there. And what would he do if I found a job in Austin, or Houston, or San Antonio? I'll bet he wouldn't be nearly so twisted about the possibility of me moving to those places - he'd say he has a better chance of finding something there. You'd think that would be the case, but you'd also think I'd at least get a phone call from a stinkin' placement agency or two here in Dallas. You'd think the odds of me finding a job would be way better here than in little old Waco. Thus far, it's not playing out that way. And it's not like I'm not looking.

My job sucks. It really sucks. It may be moved to someplace up north before all is said and done. I'm constantly broke, and K can't help me out anymore. And he's asking me not to apply to jobs that sound promising just because they're in Waco. I don't believe it. I'll bet if I asked him, he'd say he'd rather see me take a second job here and stay where I am than even try for the positions I've found. And yes, I need to consider his feelings, because he is J's dad. But I also have to be able to support myself, and to do that, I'll need to go where a good job is to be found.

Would I *rather* stay where I am? Well, yeah, all things being equal, I would. If it were my call to make, I'd have preferred to get the CPS job with Ellis County and have a ten-minute commute while staying in my house that I love. That seemed like the perfect opportunity. But things didn't work out the way I'd prefer, and I didn't get that job. Why? Beats the hell out of me. Why might something work out in Waco and not here? I don't know, it's not *my* divine plan and grand design.

Now I'm just vexed. I understand that he doesn't want to be apart from J, but I don't think he'd be near this wound up about the possibility of me moving if it was to anywhere else.

Am I wrong? Knowing it's not just me that I've got to consider, knowing I'd be flying completely solo if K and I weren't in the same place, knowing that he wants to be close to J, *should* I just blow off these opportunities?

And I'd have to feel damn certain after an interview that any job I took in Waco was one I'd want to keep for the duration. I've already moved from there once because the legal job market wasn't great - I'm not going to move back there if I don't feel sure that I'll make a career out of any job I may take, because I don't want to be in the bind of having to move again if another job in Waco falls through on me. I don't think he's taking that into consideration, or realizing that I've thought of that. I'm not going to jump into any job in Waco if I don't feel pretty confident that it will be a good fit and that I'll be able to stay there for the long term and do well there. Besides the smaller job market, I'm at a point in my working life where I'm tired of moving jobs. I *want* something where I can settle and stay and hopefully retire. I'm almost 40. I can't keep job hopping indefinitely. Does K not think I'd consider all of this?

Besides, I haven't even gotten a call for an interview yet, much less a job offer that I'd have to make a decision on.

And so it begins?

Well, well. One of our units has been hit hard by attrition, and they're down from four people to one. The positions have been posted as open, but here's the kick - they're listed as being based in the Northeast, not here in Texas where they have been. The one remaining person here will be given the opportunity to see if she can work effectively from here with the people there, and if not, then she's out of a job and that position will go up north as well. I'm telling you, I still think they're going to try to move the whole shebang up north at some point. Is this how it begins?

And now?

Job applications have been sent. Let the waiting commence!

I was looking back through another journal I have, and found this little tidbit from a reading that a friend of mine did for me:

So... where's the future headed with Brian? Because that's where your job is.. where he's going. Is he coming up to you, or are you going down to him? If you're moving, start packing, because this is your next job. I don't see one in between.

And it's bloody fantastic.

Huh. Well, Brian has recently decided that he's going to stay where he is for now and get his MBA (which will help in finding a new job, but will take a bit of time) instead of looking so much for a job up this way (and yes, I did wonder, well, then, how might we ever know what direction things might go if we're perpetually in two different places?). And I certainly never expected to find any kind of job opening in Waco - I mean, think about it. Dallas/Fort Worth: 5 million people, give or take. Waco: 113,000. Logically, where would you think a job opening would come up first? But I haven't even had any luck getting placement agencies up here to call me back (and usually they at least call you in fairly short order and want you to come in, fill out their paperwork, and talk to them a bit about what you're looking for). I don't know that any of this means anything, I just find it all interesting - I'm just sayin'. Coincidence, or meant to be? I guess we'll find out.

And really, if it did work out, it might be an answer to two prayers - the job situation, and the question of where things might be going with Brian (when you've been dating someone for nine months, the thought of what direction things might take does cross your mind - we've never talked about it because I'm fairly sure we both realize there's not a lot of reason to do so as long as we're in two different places, that practically speaking any kind of long-term deal tends to require that both parties be in the same area).

A lot of pieces would have to fall into place, though, for it to work out. Getting the job at a salary I can live with. Finding a house. Selling my house at a price that allows me to pay off the existing loan, pay for moving expenses and some other odds ands, and put a big down payment on a new place to live. Getting a loan to buy a new house (because I wouldn't be able to pay it all off). Finding a good school for J. Ideally, finding a good job for K so he can move (I know, 90 miles isn't that far in the grand scheme of things, but I also know he wouldn't want to be any farther away from J than he absolutely had to) - and knowing the job market from past experience, if that were to happen, then I'd KNOW it was meant to be.

So. We'll see. And yes, I'd apply for the job even if Brian weren't in that area - I like Waco, always have, hated to sell my little townhouse and move in 1996. But I had to go where the job was, and the job wasn't there at the time. It's just bonus that a guy I like happens to live there.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wonderful weekend; now I'm back at work

I had a lovely weekend with Brian. I'll write more about it later. :-)

J and K are on their way back to Texas! Yay! I had a nice free weekend (and was a lot more relaxed once I knew they'd made it to Louisiana safely), but I'll be glad to see my little monkey boy.

From my Astrology Zone horoscope for August:

Your very best day of the month will be Tuesday, August 29, when Jupiter and Uranus will be in gorgeous angles. The only way to describe this is that it will be a cosmic gift, and news should hit when you least expect it. Your career will bring the kind of news that will make you over-the-moon happy, and in the light of what might happen earlier this month, with the tension and uncertainty, this news might seem almost miraculous when it occurs. Nothing similar to this will happen again until 2008, although you did recently enjoy this aspect in late November 2005 and early May 2006. The third time may be the charm!

From the summary of the horoscope for the month:

An explosive confrontation could occur with an authority figure during the weeks of August 3 - 23. There appear to be powerful changes going on at home due later in the month, yet surprising news will emanate from work at this time. Something will end - pressure will build until a decision is made. Afterwards, you will feel better, although at the time, you probably will feel nothing but panic. Once it is over, though, you will see that this ending has created an opportunity, one that you would not have been able to take advantage of had you not ended this one circumstance.

Just when you will be nearly exasperated by a month that will put many demands on you, you'll have an exciting career breakthrough near August 29, one that will rate a "10" on the Richter scale. You'll have a big victory to celebrate, so pop the champagne and invite close friends over to join in. It appears that excellent work you did on a project has created a buzz that reached the higher echelons of the company or in the industry at large. It could well represent the break you've long awaited. Think back to late November and early May - the development you have at the end of this month could be related to a certain initiative you took at that time.

Let's hope that my horoscope holds true, shall we? Heaven knows, I've been woefully short of good news on the career front.

And in that regard - Hill County (30 miles away) and McLennan County (where Brian is!) are both looking for assistant DAs. Guess what I'll be working on tonight? I know I've said before that I don't consider myself a trial lawyer, but I'd go back to doing prosecutorial work to get out of here. I do think I'd be better at it now than I was 10 years ago, just because I'm not the same timid little mouse I was back then. And it wouldn't be *here*, which is key. And if the possibility exists of there being anything long-term for Brian and me, well, it would be helpful if we lived in the same place. I'd apply, though, even if he weren't living there - that's just lagniappe. So we shall see what we shall see!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just a little bit nervous

K and J are on their way to Louisiana today, going to see K's parents. This is the first time K has made the trip with J by himself. At first I was pretty excited - they're going today and coming back Monday, which means I have three nights and two days free. I can't remember the last time I've had that much time to do whatever I wanted - before I was married, probably. So my initial reaction was, WHEEEEEEEE!

Until about 3:00 yesterday afternoon. Then it started to hit me. My baby will be AWAY from me, TRAVELING on an interstate highway with God knows what kind of lunatic drivers, who neither know nor care that the heart of my heart is on that road. What if, God forbid, something happens, and J wants me, and I'm not there? What if something happens and they're in an area where there's no cell service (because it can be a bit spotty). WhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatIF?! I was sitting at my desk yesterday afternoon with tears rolling down my cheeks, unable to stop them, because I'd gotten myself into such a state. Logically I know things will be fine, this is a trip we've made bazillions of times. But emotionally? Let's just say yesterday wasn't so good. Would I feel better if they'd driven during the day instead of after K got off work? Well, maybe a little, but I know he's hoping J will sleep a little during the trip. (Don't count on it, though. Even if it is 11:00 at night when they're driving.) But right now, I'm at least calm on the outside. I'm not a basket case like I was yesterday, but I'll rest easier when I know they've made it to Louisiana safely (I told K to call me no matter what time it was and no matter that I've got plans this weekend, this is my baby boy we're talking about here, I'd like to be kept informed, and if Brian were to get horsey about it [not that I think he would], I'll hit him with a big stick), and when they're back safe on Monday.

Of course, it will probably take a total of about three hours for me to contemplate selling J to the gypsies. LOL But still, I'll enjoy my time to myself, but I'll miss him like mad and be glad to see him back.

And I know this won't be the last time he travels with K, without me. I'm going to have to toughen up to the idea a bit, I guess, and learn not to nut myself out every time J is away from me for something other than the usual routine things (school, weekends with K, etc.). *SIGH*

Thursday, August 17, 2006


A friend of mine on a message board I frequent found a website with songs for each of the zodiac signs. She passed this one along to me.



Oh, yeah, that's me.


I do! I finish people's sentences all the time. I realize it's probably a pretty rude thing to do, but sometimes I just can't help myself. It's like my mind moves so fast, I know what they're going to say before they do, and I'm ready to get on to the next thought.


Funny that it says this. Watching K just get completely twisted over his former girlfriend recently, I wonder about my ability to really feel deeply. He's not sleeping, not eating much, even with meds - I mean, Ambien doesn't knock him out, and I'm just a tad worried about him. But he's just that hung up on her, never mind the fact that she did something egregious enough that he feels like he can no longer date her, that it's really getting to him. I don't think I've ever done that. I get emotional about things, sure, but I don't think I've ever been so deeply affected by something that I just couldn't function. No matter what crap is going on, I keep eating. I sleep fine at night. I go on with my life. So yeah, I do feel like this at times. Even with Brian, I like him a lot, a lot, a lot. If we stopped seeing each other, I'd be sad. I'd cry. I'd mope for a while. I'd hate to see that happen. But knowing myself, I don't think I'd just be so deeply heartbroken that I couldn't dust myself off and go on living. Sometimes realizing that about myself makes me feel kind of shallow, and that makes me a little sad.


Coffee, and lots of it. 'Nuff said.


I can see both sides of just about any argument. This is why I seldom post in the debate forum on the boards I frequent, because I'll argue one way, read a good post on the opposing point of view, and think, "Hmm, they have a good point - do I still agree with my previous post?" It's that Gemini duality thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Way I See It #150

From my Starbucks coffee cup:

All unhappiness and stagnation result from a feeling that you are at the mercy of the world and the people in it. But what a joy it is, what a major shift to strength and power, when you no longer wait around for others to favor and love you, for others to flatter and reward you. Reward and flatter yourself, favor and love yourself.

~Kira Salak, Writer and National Geographic Emerging Explorer

Would that it were that easy, huh? And once you've decided to reward and flatter, favor and love yourself, how exactly are you to carry that out?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Like a hamster on a wheel

That's what I feel like some days. Run run run run and get nowhere. I got to work this morning and felt like I'd gained twenty pounds just from pulling into the parking garage. It's that oppressive to me to be here. Ugh. So, needless to say, the job search continues.

But let's talk about other things for a bit. J slept all night in his own bed last night. No middle-of-the-night wandering down the hall to find mama and climb in my bed. Not that I mind snuggles from my little boy (because too soon he'll reach that age where he'd rather eat nails than have mama kiss or hug him!), but it was nice not to have the interruption to my sleep. It surprised me when I woke up this morning and didn't have a little boy's foot up my nose. LOL (He's a fairly squirmy sleeper at times, although he's getting better about that.)

And next week, J starts pre-K! He has an actual school supply list. That just floors me. I'm going to have to put it in his scrapbook (when I get everything put in there). He's been in the habit of bringing toys to school, and I found out that the pre-K teacher doesn't allow that. So I've already told him that Ms. Shannon won't let him have toys in class and whatever we bring needs to stay in the car when he goes to school. He's gone along with that, no muss, no fuss. So that's been an easier adjustment than I was expecting, which is nice.

In other news, K and J are going on a road trip this weekend! They're going to Louisiana to see K's parents. I think this will be K's first big trip with J by himself. I'm sure he's a little nervous - I know I was the first time I took off cross-country. But they'll be fine. J is a surprisingly good little traveler, and this is even without a DVD player in the car. :-) As long as he's got toys and trucks and the occasional snack or drink, he's good. He's even good about letting you know when he needs to make a stop. I'm debating whether I should send the CD of Bedtime Stories and Farm Songs and Playtime Songs along on the trip - I'm sure J would love to hear "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" over and over and over again on the 350-mile drive! Nah, that might be kind of cruel of me to do that to K, you think? I'll spare him. This time. ;-)

They'll be traveling back on Monday, so that leaves me three nights and two whole days of me time! Wow. I might actually make some candles on Sunday afternoon, or work on my calligraphy, or cook some meals ahead, or pull out my cross-stitch stuff for the first time in forever, or practice the piano. Or a little bit of everything. I'll actually be *early* to work next Monday - what a concept!

Friday, August 11, 2006

So glad it's Friday!

I'm very glad today is Friday. This morning was a drama-filled fiesta - J howled when it was time to turn the TV off, howled when we were in the car and I told him no, I wasn't going back into the house to get candy. (Candy! For breakfast? As if.) I don't understand the dramatics, especially since 1) he's not consistent with what he's dramatic over, and 2) he's dramatic over things that aren't new concepts to him. He knows we turn the TV off every morning to go to school, he knows I'm not going back to the house to get something unless it's vital (and he knows candy for breakfast does not fall in that vital category). It's not like this is something newly sprung upon him - they're things we've discussed numerous times. I was never overly dramatic as a child, and this just wears me out.

On the bright side, he was very good about not taking a toy to school (we found out the pre-K teacher doesn't allow that, and as he'll be starting pre-K in about a week and a half, I figured it was a good time to start getting used to that concept), and he was very good about drop-off. So those were pleasant surprises.

Work. Eh, work is work. I'm just hoping to make it through the day with a minimum of fuss and excitement. My mother always told me not to wish my life away, but sometimes it's hard not to wish that bits of it would pass just a tiny bit faster. But only if the parts you're wanting to fast-forward to could last proportionately longer, of course.

I'm contemplating ways to raise a little extra cash. I've applied for proofreading jobs. No guarantee that I'll get any or that I'll get a specific amount of work, but if I do, it could be $25-40 an hour. Hey, enough money for a tank of gas is nothing to sneeze at. I can sell my Bowflex. It was $1500 new if I remember correctly. Think I could get $500 for it used? I've had it for several years. I could sell my wedding dress. I'm not sure how much that would bring, but I don't need it. It's boxed up and hermetically sealed in the top of J's closet, and I'm not going to wear it again. Should I ever get remarried, I don't think I'll be doing the whole giant foofy dress/big church wedding/huge production thing, and I don't have a daughter to pass it on to. Yeah, I may have a granddaughter someday, but what are the odds she'll be short and fat like me, and would I really want to keep a dress for the next 30 or 40 years waiting for a theoretical granddaughter to be old enough to wear it? Um, no. I have pictures of it, I don't need to keep the actual dress. So that might bring in a few bucks. Take clothes to the resale shop, that might bring in the odd bit of cash here and there. They only pay once a month, but it's a nice surprise to get a little check in the mail. I wish I could find more time to devote to Pampered Chef - maybe that could bring in some money, but I can't ever seem to make time to really drum up business, and I suck at that anyway. Think, think, think.

Surely there's something good out there somewhere. I just have to hang on long enough to find it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Still looking

Well, the possible lead that Marta found for me turned out to be something I was wildly unqualified for, so no go there. But, I did find a placement agency looking for contract attorneys to do document review, which would be a very Lisa thing, assuming the contract was long enough and salary and benefits were right. (I was quite pleased to see that a lot of the legal placement agencies offer benefits like health insurance and 401(k).) I also found Lawfinders, a firm that does writing and research for other attorneys and firms. Again, if salary and benefits were what I wanted, that would be a *very* Lisa thing to do. So I've sent resumes to those and to some other placement agencies, and tonight I'll fax to the ones that don't have websites where I can apply online. I'll just keep plugging away, and something will work out eventually.

My friend who does readings did one for me last night, and here's what she said in response to my question about surviving financially:

Hi Angel,

Light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel is four months away. I'm sorry, love, I know that's a long time.

You'll cope, but it's a big test. I'm not going to hide the hard stuff from you because I know you can take it - you've been taking it. It's not going to get worse (or at least not much worse if it does get worse), you'll survive, but it's a matter of getting through these next few months rather than enjoying them.


Four months. Sigh. But, that can change - these things aren't set in stone. So, resumes will go out wherever I can send them, and I'll keep hoping.

And it's not just for myself that I want to get a better job and a better financial situation. K has helped me out beyond his means to do so, and now he's in a bind, too. I feel really bad about that. Bad enough that I've run through my savings because of my crappy job, but now I've pretty much single-handedly demolished his as well. So I want a better paying job to improve my own situation and to pay him back as well. That way we can both get ourselves back on decent financial footing. Surviving is good for now, but I want - need - to find an improved situation for all of us. Yes, K and I are no longer married, but we're friends, he's J's dad, and he's helped me out to his detriment. It's not fair to him for me not to repay that kindness as soon as I'm able. I know he's really worried, and I hate seeing him so upset because of what he's done for me. So, I persist and do my best to keep the faith that better things are coming.

I'd kind of shied away from sending my resume to the place I worked before where I am now - the CEO has a reputation of not even considering taking someone back once they leave, and I'm sort of scared of rejection. It would be a longer commute, which isn't necessarily good with gas prices like they are. And I'd thought that perhaps I wouldn't like it so much now that several of my friends are no longer there. But you know what? Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I'm going to fax my resume. If they tell me no, well, it's not like I haven't heard that before.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's good to have girlfriends!

My friend Marta, who's moved on to a job where she's much happier, called this afternoon. There's an opening where she is now that she thought I might be interested in. Guess what I'll be doing tonight after J goes to sleep - online application, baby!

I also found a listing for an interesting contract position with a legal placement firm, so I'll be applying for that as well. If the pay were right and there were at least basic benefits like health insurance, I'd take long-term temp work. I won't leave my job for a one- or two-month project, but if I found something six months or longer where the pay just kicked ass, I'd do it.

So - hope springs eternal. Could it be that just when things seem darkest, good things are just around the corner after all? We'll see!

Done in

My curious feeling of lightness has dissipated, to be replaced by a crushing weight of apathy and despair. Just coming into work has this effect on me. Every e-mail I get, every piece of mail to be addressed, every question to be answered, I just look at it and can't seem to muster up the enthusiasm to do anything with it. I find it hard to care about this job, and I despair of finding a new one anytime soon, just because right now it does seem hopeless. I feel like I'll be trapped here forever, never able to move up, never able to move forward, until I'm just buried under the workload.

I'm trying to remind myself of what I *do* have and be thankful for that, and when you look at it, I'm indeed blessed. I have a house I can still make the payments on. I have a freezer and pantry full of food - maybe not what I'd choose to eat were my choices unlimited, but it's still good stuff. I have a car that goes. I have a wonderful, big, busy, happy, healthy son. I have K, who's helped me far beyond his ability to do so. I have friends who'll loan me lunch money and listen to me whine about work and make me laugh when life sucks rocks. Got no money, but money isn't everything, or so I'm told.

So why, then, does it feel like the weight of the world has settled on my shoulders and won't budge an inch? I've gotta get out of here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


And another person has given notice at work. What does that make, 15 or 16 gone since the first of the year? Is no one higher up the food chain concerned about the turnover, or are we all just interchangeable and easily replaceable cogs in the corporate wheel?

I applied online for proofreading work today. There's no guarantee I'll get any, and it's likely to be sporadic at best. But if it pays $25-40 per hour, hey, that kind of extra money is better than a kick to the head.

Curiously light

Well. Considering I'm about half a breath away from financial disaster, I feel curiously light. My bank account is overdrawn, I don't get paid until next Tuesday, I can't withdraw money from my 401(k) because there isn't enough in there, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. I can keep looking fast and furious for a better job, I can find as many things to sell around here as possible, I can cut expenses wherever possible, and the rest of it is out of my control. I can't make payday come any faster, I can't wish myself a raise, I can't make a job open up for me any sooner. It's out of my hands, and I feel almost a sense of relief, if that makes any sense. Yeah, being broke sucks ass. But I have to trust now that it will all work out for the best, because worrying about something I can't control is a complete waste of my time.

Today has been a delight. I was already planning to stay home to get my dryer fixed (which, fortunately, was free - hooray for the extended protection plan!), which turned out to be a good thing, as my A/C went on the fritz last night. Niiiiice. And my DSL wouldn't connect last night, either - I thought, well, I paid the bill, it can't be that. Wrong. Called this morning, the bill hadn't been paid in spite of me scheduling a payment online for August 1, so I paid that. A/C guy came out this morning, nice. $190 bill, not so nice. But I can't function without A/C in August in Texas, so I was glad they could come this morning and not, oh, sometime around next Thursday. And voila, things paid and - overdrawn account!

That does suck, though, to be at the point where I'm having a hard time paying for things I *need* (like A/C repair). It's kind of getting past the point of cutting out frivolous expenses, so something has to give soon. Hopefully it won't be my sanity!

I've got to get some sleep. Since DSL was down last night, I was in bed by 11:00 and had a good night's sleep (even with J waking up at 3:45 convinced it was time to get up and watch monster trucks - um, no). I should do that more often.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back to life, back to reality

I had a lovely weekend with Brian, even though it was shorter than I might have hoped - he had to go back yesterday evening. And now the rest of my life comes crashing back in. I don't want to go to work tomorrow (and J has already started with the litany of "I don't want to go to school, I don't like it", so I'm sure when time for school actually arrives, it will be a joy and a delight). I've got stuff to pay and no clue where the money is coming from - daycare, insurance on car and house, miscellaneous bills, gas in my car so I can drive to my sucky job. I feel like I'll never find a job, that my career choices up to this point have doomed me to be stuck where I am. I'm so far removed from prosecuting that I'll likely never get back into that field, even if I want to. (The CPS position has been filled, by the way. I never even got a call. :( Maybe I didn't leave there on good terms like I thought.) I'm looking at the possibility of proofreading jobs, but all seem to want professional experience, which I don't have. I just feel stuck, and right now I can't see a way out. It makes me feel claustrophobic.

I'd like some new clothes - found lots of different things I like in catalogs that I get. But I can't afford any of them. I feel like I dress about two steps above bag lady, and right now I can't afford to do a freakin' thing about it. I hate that, too. If I were to get a new job, how would I afford the upgrade that my wardrobe would likely require?

I just feel STUCK. Trapped. Not quite hopeless, but not far from it. And I hate it. I'm so tired of life feeling gray. I've read books that talk about living life and getting the most out of it, not settling, improving your situation if you don't like it, blah blah blah. Well, that's all fine and good, but me wishing it won't make it so. And it clearly won't happen overnight. So how am I supposed to get past the grays and the blahs in the meantime, I'd like to know?

And why does it feel like everyone else my age has their shit together and I don't? I'm almost freakin' 40. That's old enough that things should be starting to stabilize and be comfortable, not still scrabbling and scratching and crying between paychecks. When do I have a chance not to be so stinkin' stressed about every aspect of my life?

Ugh. I depress myself. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

So what's wrong with me?

Still not sure, although I have a guess. I kept running fever off and on all weekend, with no other symptoms, something I've never done in my life. So I went to see my doc yesterday. Given the lack of symptoms, it was hard for her to diagnose anything - she checked/asked about the obvious suspects (ears, nose, throat, lungs, kidneys, bladder) for infection, all of which were fine, and then she ordered bloodwork. In the round, though, I found out my blood pressure was pretty nasty - 138/106, on one medication already. YIKES. So she added Toprol to the Hyzaar I'm already taking - we'll see if that helps. I haven't heard anything about the bloodwork yet, but I'm fully expecting it to show nothing out of the ordinary. I think this weird fever was God's way of prodding me to go to the doctor to get my blood pressure under control before my head popped right off. Had I had anything going on that I'd been able to say, "Oh, it's just a sinus infection" or "it's just a cold", I'd have blown it off until I felt like total crap. A weird fever, well, that got my attention.

And the blood pressure was epiphany #1 yesterday. I'm not going to be the next heart patient at my company (and there are several). I'm convinced work is the biggest single contributor to my high blood pressure. When I go to the doc on meds after going to work and it's through the roof, but then go when I've been out of meds for two or three days but haven't been to work at all that day and she comments on how good my blood pressure is - you do the math on that one. I now need a new job for more than just financial reasons - it's a matter of my health and well-being now, and I don't mess around with that. I've got a little boy who needs his mama to be here for a good little while yet, and I'm fairly confident that if I don't get out of where I am now and into something better suited for me and a lot less stressful, I'll either become a heart patient or just drop dead of a stroke, and I don't like those options. So - the job search continues, but with a bit more urgency now.

Then there was epiphany #2 at the grocery store. I was waiting for my prescription to be filled, and picking up a few odds and ends for J and I, and I saw a little girl with her father. The little girl may have been 7 or 8, and there's no way to say it other than that she was fat. Bless her heart, she was, and not just baby pudge that will drop away as she grows up. This was the kind of weight that sticks with you unless you make a concerted effort to get it off. I recognize it because I've seen it on myself. Her dad was a big guy, too, and it hit me. I don't want to look like that. I don't want J to be the fat kid in his class. I need to eat better so that J will develop good eating habits based on what he learns at home. So, I'm working on it. Unfortunately, it's not particularly cheap to eat the good stuff, and money is in short supply. Reason #4,783 why I'd like a new job now, please.

And now that I've done my share of venting about K, I'll say something nice. :-) My dryer is out of sorts. I took the lint filter out a few days ago, and I thought a big gob of lint had fallen off and down into the dryer. Not wanting to start a fire, and thinking I'd be clever, I wrapped a Pledge Grab-it around a hanger and tried to fish the lint out with that. Problem was, the Grab-it also came off in the dryer. D'oh. I then tried fishing the whole mess out with duct tape wrapped on a hanger. No luck. K pulled the dryer out for me and disconnected the tubing so I could try to pull the offending lint and Grab-it out, but we couldn't find it, couldn't suck it out with the vacuum cleaner. Bother. So I thought, well, I'll just try the dryer and see what happens. I turned it on, and within about 30 seconds it was making this horrible whining noise. It went right back off. And K kindly took J's laundry and some essentials for me and washed and dried them and brought them back. :-) Good thing, as I was out of underwear! I'm glad he did that for me. But I've got to get the dryer fixed, because I still have a crapload of other laundry to do, and I can't ask him to do all of it. Good thing it's still under warranty, so it shouldn't cost anything to fix. For once I'm glad I paid for the extended protection plan.