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It's electric!

This Christmas turned out to be one of our more eventful ones. It started off with no electricity when we arrived at Brian's mom's house early that afternoon and ended with a power surge in our neighborhood soon after we arrived home later that evening.

Brian, Jordan, and I were sitting at the dining room table at about 8 p.m. when the lights went out. While Brian went downstairs to check the circuit breaker, the lights came back on, accompanied by a popping sound, complete with light bulbs popping out over our heads! A lovely burning smell ensued, and, alas, our dinner became inedible thanks to the bits of light bulbs scattered across the table.

Within moments, I could hear people talking outside, and I noticed many houses were dark. I went outside to talk to some neighborhoods, and a couple minutes later, two fire trucks were on the scene. Apparently a transformer/wires (no idea exactly) were burnt.

All in all, it made for an exciting, electrifying evening. I was pretty freaked…

Merry Christmas

No long winded post from me tonight. I just want to wish you all a merry, happy, healthy, peaceful Christmas. I hope you get just what you want. And even better, what you need.
God bless,
Faith

The Christmas letter

A friend forwarded me the following email. I have no idea the origins, but I really liked it, and I hope you do too. If you are religious (and some of you are far, far more than I am), I hope it is meaningful. And even if you are not religious or don't believe in God, I think you should be able to appreciate most of the sentiments in the letter.

*********

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just get along…

Some random ramblings

I have a number of thoughts swimming around my head, so I thought I would put them down, in no particular order. Here goes.

I think this holiday season people are less rude and crazy. Am I the only one seeing this? Maybe it just seems that way because I am in a better place emotionally and I am doing my best to be kinder and more observant. But so far, I don't think I have witnessed a single rude act (traffic not withstanding). In fact, people seem friendlier than I remember.I know that people saying "Happy Holidays" bothers some of my Christian friends. Me? Not so much. It is a holiday season after all, and there are Jewish people out there shopping for Hanukkah gifts. On the other hand, I have never forgotten when one of my Jewish friends from college actually scolded me for sending her a Christmas card. I was not trying to offend her; I simply wanted to send her a card as I did all my other friends, and as a poor college student, I did not have the extra money to get h…

Why do bad things happen?

As both a parent and a person who wants life to be fair, I hate that I cannot explain why bad things happen. I think about children who are abused. I think about parents who have lost their child(ren). I think about young widow(er)s. I think of broken marriages and relationships. I think about people lacking health insurance who owe 100k in medical bills. I think about those out of work or underemployed struggling to pay their bills. I think about people suffering from horrible diseases, deformed in some way, or addicted to drugs. I think about countries so poor that some may not eat for days or have clean drinking water. I think about places where war and strife are constant. I think about people right here in the US killing each other.


Why?


As someone who believes in God, I tell myself that our life on earth is but a brief moment compared to eternity, whatever that is. And that we live in an imperfect world. And that we all have free will. But sometimes those explanations are not enou…

Pick me! Pick me!

In the late part of last century and the early part of this century, I was very lucky when it came to winning things. From bridal shows and contests the Post-Gazette had, to various raffles and events, I have snagged cookware, crystal, candy, tickets to events, CDs, cosmetics, and money. In fact, if you have been reading this blog since the beginning, and you have a better memory than I do, you probably know this already.

My favorite win was at a bridal show in 1998. I really wanted to win a gift certificate to a small bridal shop near where I grew up. So when the MC announced that prize, I slowly started to stand. I recall my mom telling me to sit down, but I kept inching my way up, until I heard my name called. My mom was surprised. Me? Not so much. That was the just the way it rolled for me.

But for whatever reason, once I had a kid, I stopped winning things. In fact, the last thing I won and cashed in on was a VIP pass to Steelers training camp just a few weeks before I had Jordan. …

I'm 30-old, but doing A-OK

Today I celebrated birthday 38. Nothing too monumental about that one, although I am pretty sure I can no longer deny that I am in my late 30s. Funnily enough, I did tell a group of students a few weeks ago, when I was impressing them with my stretching abilities, that I was almost 40 and could do that. Who says they are almost 40 when they are still 37?!

Regardless, I never understood lying about your age. My mother did it for years, until one day when I was at grandma's for the week and happened to look at some old yearbooks. Strangely enough, she was a senior or junior and yet her two "older" brothers were underclassmen. A quick attempt at math also revealed that she must have graduated from high school when she was 13. I showed the evidence to Grandma Yoyo, whose reply was, "Your mother was gifted." When I further protested, she told me to ask my mother. That was worse than finding out the truth about the guy in the red suit!

But back to me. I had a great wee…

Then the rain comes

Yesterday when I dropped Jordan off at school, I felt inexplicably sad, and the feeling continued the rest of that morning and afternoon. In fact, I found my eyes tearing up a few times throughout the day. Normally I love this time of year. Once Thanksgiving hits, I enjoy the Christmas songs on the radio and in the stores. Most of the time, I don't even mind the frenetic pace and crowds. But yesterday something was just not right. And I think it was more than I was having troubling finding a sweatshirt or t-shirts suitable for an elderly woman for the giving tree.

I am thinking that this is how people suffering from depression feel every day or most days. Pretty much nothing makes them happy, and they are unable to see the joy in anything. I know people who have gone through or are going through this, and it is tough. And it is real, despite what Tom Cruise (maybe he was just anti-drug) or anyone else may tell you. You just can't say to a person who is depressed, "Just be …

Most of us have more than we need

Just because Thanksgiving is over does not mean we should stop counting our blessings and being grateful for what we have. But just as important, in my opinion, are having some compassion and doing the right things.

When I picked Jordan up from school on Monday, she asked me if I saw the Christmas tree at church. I told her it was actually the Giving Tree, and that even though I did not have a job and money was tight, we could still pay our bills and were blessed. Therefore, we would be giving someone less fortunate a gift. I explained to Jordan that I chose a tag for an elderly woman who probably had no family. I went on to say that some people have little or no money and they probably wouldn't be getting any presents. Jordan then said she could give someone one of her toys. That thought made me smile (and brought a tear to my eye).

After I picked out a tag from the Giving Tree last week, someone in my choir commented that people should not be studying the tags; they should just pi…

A lot to be thankful for

Like many people this time of year, I am reflecting on all the blessings in my life. So, as I did last year, I want to list the many, many things I am thankful for.
Jordan. To think I did not want kids and could have missed out on her. She is truly my greatest blessing.Brian. We drive each other crazy more than we should. And sometimes we want to run the other way, far, far away. But he is a good husband, father, cook, and handyman who is doing the best he can. And he just walked in with wine coolers!Family. Jordan and Brian are at the top of my list, but I am also blessed to have the rest of my relatives, especially my mom, dad, brothers and their families. Friends and acquaintances. I have many (more of the latter) and for that I am lucky. Faith. It gets me through tough times and often helps me better appreciate the good times. Health. We have been blessed by relative good health, aches and pains notwithstanding.Home. Unfortunately there are people out there who don't have a pla…

Sitting at the kids' table

Yesterday Jordan and I went to a local country club to support the athletic association at her school. You pay some money, get to eat a lot of food from a buffet, and watch the Steelers on giant screens. We got there a few minutes after kickoff (mercifully, we missed the all-too-common kickoff return for a TD) and tried to find two seats at one of the many tables. Eventually we came upon an empty table "claimed" by a couple of coats; said table happened to be near one of the screens, so good deal, I thought.

That is until I see a handful of boys heading our way. Not just any boys, mind you, but boys from sixth grade, one of the more challenging classes I have subbed for. As they noticed me sitting there, what can only be described as a look of horror crept over some of their faces. I just smiled sweetly (well, maybe more like sarcastically sweet), and as more boys showed up, I offered to keep moving down, proclaiming there was room for everyone! About 15 minutes later, the pr…

Community

I am not talking about the TV show "Community," which I particularly like. Rather I am talking about an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location. The key words being interacting and common.

Last month, in between school drop off and semi-monthly school mass, I starting visiting a small coffee shop a few blocks from Jordan's school. The first time I went to this place, I instantly liked it. The friendly owner chatted with me; and as others walked in, it was clear the owner knew pretty much everyone and what they typically ordered. There were four people who were there during my 45-minute stay, and I felt comfortable enough to join in on part of a conversation. I discovered the two women walk around town before coming in for their morning joe, and one was married to a guy who arrived later.

This past Monday, I decided to walk to the place. It was a beautiful crisp morning, and I figured if I was going to down a few hundred calories, the le…

Sweet November

As if having the best holiday this month is not enough, Pittsburgh has experienced some pretty rocking weather the past few weeks. I think I have been to the park with Jordan more times this month than I was in any given month this summer.

Saturday, after attending a nice pancake breakfast at a local church, we decided to drive to the North Shore to check out the Nina and the Pinta (no Santa Maria). I figured the kid could use a little relevant history lesson (sans the did Columbus really "discover" America debate), and we could take advantage of the sunny early September day, which just happened to be in mid-November.

The area was crowded and none of the lots near the stadium were open yet (I guess in preparation for the Pitt-ND game), but that made no never mind. We were in no hurry on this beautiful day, so I rather enjoyed the long walk and was not the least bit bothered by waiting in line for a ticket.

I would like to tell you that I imagined what it would be like to be…

I touch the future, I teach

Yesterday after a nice, long run for me (30 minutes, plus five minutes off and on of sprints), I was stretching near the upper gym entrance at Jordan's school. One of the teachers saw me and came out to talk about her daughter running a marathon and how her entire family went to PSU. Then another teacher commented on how she saw me last week doing the same thing. It was a nice few minutes, and then I went to my car to wait for my kid, thinking I should be teaching with them.

Even while volunteering for lunch duty yesterday, several kids ran up to me and asked me if I was substitute teaching. I am at the school so much anymore, between volunteering and subbing, that I really do feel as if I work there.

I said to my mom a few days ago that I just think I am going to get a job teaching at J's school. The chances are so small (though greater, I am sure, than winning the Powerball), considering the student body has been shrinking over the past few years thanks to charter schools. Ye…

An optimistic, an idiot, or one of those people?

Over the years, I have often wondered about people who have gotten in over their heads. The ones who just before payday have about $25 in their checking accounts. The ones who have no savings to speak of. The ones who carry balances on their credit cards.

Although I know most every situation is different, I have to think that some of those aforementioned people think it will all work out somehow (e.g., they will win the lottery or get a 40 percent pay raise). I also think some people are living for the moment and not really sure if they will be around tomorrow, next month, or next year, so they figure why bother planning for the far future.

Even though I have been critical of those kinds of people over the years, I'm afraid my current situation and how I am dealing with it puts me in the same neighborhood (well, at least the same town or county) as those people. When this past weekend my little brother said I had turned into a democrat, it was like a slap in the face to me. Nothing …

Three funerals and no weddings

In BC (before child) times, weddings were almost always fun. You were typically surrounded by numerous friends or relatives. You "got your groove on" (at least I always did). You imbibed (often over-), ate well, and generally were merry. And the occasion was happy. Two people in love, vowing to spend their life together. On that day, all seemed right.

But this weekend, rather than looking forward to witnessing the joining of two people, I am instead watching two people say good-bye to their spouses. If you are keeping score, Grandpa (Brian's grandfather) died at the end of September, and his service was three weeks ago today.

This week my uncle's father passed away (my uncle is married to my mom's sister, lest any of you think he is my grandfather). I had seen Glen over the years at family functions, and I know how well loved and respected he was, so I felt the loss, particularly for his family. On the very same day, Aunt Dodo, the oldest of my mom's siblings, …

These dreams go on

For many years, I have had a recurring dream where I could not find my locker or a classroom. More recently, I had lost my class schedule, so I did not know which classes I had or where I was supposed to go. Usually I was wandering around a version of my old high school, though in my dreams it was sometimes supposed to be college. And every once in awhile, I would forget the lines to a play I was in.

I recall reading a few years ago that dreams like those indicated I was unfilled in my life, not challenged. And that made sense. I was at the same job for many, many years (though I did do different things over the years). And once I had a kid, I pretty much completely lost the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants attitude and started to plan things well in advance. Plus I was not exactly trying new things or traveling to new places.

Now that I am taking a couple of classes, these dreams come less frequently, but I still have them at times. But more strikingly to me, over the past few months I have…

What I would really like to say

I am not big on confrontation. Sure, if I really told some people what I thought about them, particularly when they are speaking their mind to me, I might feel better. But probably only temporarily. I am much more about keeping the peace and turning the other cheek.

But just once, here are some of the things I would like to say to people who ask me why I have only one child:

I don't ask you why you are fat, so how about not asking me why I have only one kid. Yours might be due to a medical condition, just as mine could be. Why assume otherwise?And if not, you may like to overeat, and I may prefer the benefits of having one kid. To each his own. I don't ask you how many people you have slept with or why you are so rude, so how about not asking me such a forward, personal question.You seem to have trouble with the kids you already have, so why would I want to risk putting myself in the same situation? You are often asking people to watch your kids so you can go out and have fun. Y…

Seriously

I just don't get Jeff "Skippy" Reed's latest run-in with the law. A bigger mystery could be why Matt Spaeth did not use the bathroom in the bar before leaving McFadden's. Presumably that bar, where Reed and Spaeth had just left, had restrooms, so there does not really seem to be a need to relieve oneself outside.

But I digress. Here is what I don't understand: When Spaeth gets cited for public urination, why does Reed feel compelled to get out of the car? I think the vast majority of police officers are good people. But I bet even the ones who are questionable probably won't do anything unless you challenge them. In other words, be nothing but respectful and cooperative. A little "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" certainly cannot hurt. But it should not have come to that. Reed should have remained in the car while Spaeth was being issued a citation. It did not concern Reed.

My guess? Reed probably was trying to stand up for Spaeth, talk th…

My triumphant return to the classroom

I spent the past two days substitute teaching, something I had not done since Bill Clinton was little more than a year into his first term.

When I found out Tuesday that I would be subbing, I was at once scared and excited. Scared because I had done this before and I know how kids can be (as high schoolers, I know how we were around subs). And excited because it seemed like a good first step to jump back into the teaching pool (well, perhaps a second step; vacation Bible school was more like a first step).

So how was it? Overall, I call it a success. I might even call it great. I managed to teach social studies to 5th through 8th graders, which is quite a feat, considering I hated social studies back in the day. Religion proved to be a little less challenging since I have been going to church for nearly 38 years now. In all the classes I knew most of the answers (usually thanks to the answer key, which was sadly missing for a couple of classes). And I managed to come up with some activi…

Digitally illiterate

Yep, that is me. In addition to my bullying class, I am also taking a class on digital literacy. I figured if I want to return to the classroom (which I am still not 100 percent sure I want to do), I should be aware of the technology teachers and students are using. Fellow teachers are throwing around words like promethean boards and elmo projectors. Here I thought Elmo was just the furry red monster. Sigh.

I used a Mac for 13 years at my last job. I do not like PCs, but, alas, this is what we have at home. When I put in a disk last week, it took me almost five minutes to figure out where it went. On a Mac, it would have shown up on my desktop. But on PC, I had to go somewhere else (where, I already forget).

I cannot figure out how to close and not quit out of programs (I want command W!). My computer seems to freeze/lock up way more than the Mac ever did. And when it does, I get this irritating message that asks me if I want to "End Now." Except now is more like three or four…

You are beautiful

I am currently taking a bullying class online as I probably mentioned (as has been clearly established here, my memory is like a sieve). The lesson I worked on yesterday was about eating disorders and body images, things I can speak to and issues I hope my daughter never has to worry about.

When I was a junior in college, coming on the heels of a breakup with a boyfriend (I broke up with him and then he had the nerve to find another girlfriend!), I drastically reduced my food consumption. A typical day of eating for me would be a few pretzels, a can of tuna, and a half a bagel. I was not clinically anorexic because I was not underweight; fortunately, I ate like this for probably only a month or two (maybe it was a little longer, but I also had days where I would eat normally). I don't remember exactly what set me off to make me eat this way. Was it more that breakup or my parents' rocky divorce? Was it the pressure of college and wanting to find that perfect guy and thinking he…

Beautiful day

Today is one of those days that makes you really appreciate the sun and just being alive.

Jordan and I went to a local outdoor church festival where

I got to stir a giant kettle of apple butter (which was more like applesauce at that point).
Jordan sat in a fire truck.
We partook in various eats and drinks, including some baked goods, a hot dog, and hot apple cider.
And we just got to enjoy the beautiful fall day surrounded by members of our community.
Good stuff.
(And it came on the heels of a Pens and a Pitt victory, so that helped.)

And it's over

I was pretty sure when I wrote my post about Grandpa last evening that he would probably not live much longer. Not that I am full enough of myself to think my writing the post caused him to go. But more because that is sometimes the way things go.

Brian just called to tell me Grandpa (Pap to him and Pappy to Jordan) died around 5 this morning.

I am sad. I will never hug the man again. I won't have to practically shout so he can hear me anymore. I will never get to hear his stories about growing up in Greenfield, working in the steel mills, and the war.

One of my best memories of Grandpa was Thanksgiving a few years ago. One of my cousins is overly cautious about germs, and when I told her that Jordan had a cold, she asked that I not bring her to Thanksgiving (which meant none of the three of us would go). I was pretty upset; it was my favorite holiday after all, and we would not get to see my relatives or eat the delicious food. But I decided to visit Grandpa at the nursing home inst…

The Death Watch

That is what Brian's family is on. Grandpa (or Pap, as Brian calls him, or Pappy, as Jordan calls him) fell again while at the nursing home this past Friday and had bleeding in his brain. Since his health has been deteriorating, Grandma (I forget what Brian calls her; Jordan calls her GG) decided it would be best not to drill holes in his head/brain, knowing this 90ish man might not survive the surgery. So he is on pain medication but pretty much nothing else. The doctors said it could be a few hours or a few days before he passes away. Well, it has now been four days.

So we wait. And wait. And I am thinking maybe Grandpa should have had the surgery. I realize he might not have lived through it, but is lying in a coma for days (or even a week or more) really much better? What if he would have been okay?

Friday evening, Brian and I pondered what to tell Jordan. We were not sure if we should wait until he passed (notice how I am avoiding saying "death" or "dies"), …

We shall overcome

I don't completely get the G20 protest thing. As I said in response to a friend's Facebook post, do the idiots who are breaking windows and overturning dumpsters think that any world leaders are going to take them seriously? Would you rather listen to someone who is calmly making intelligent arguments or someone else who is damaging property? And some of the protesters aren't doing themselves or anyone else, for that matter, any favors by protesting for no real reason. I read in the PG that some woman help up a sign that said, "I protest everything!" C'mon. Have a purpose. Get a life.

And how about Greenpeace's stunt on the West End Bridge a few days ago? It was kind of cool looking and all, but their sign-hanging and people-dangling tied up traffic, which resulted in pollution. Not so smart, if you ask me. Kind of like half of Hollywood who cry about pollution, energy, and the depletion of the ozone layer and yet fly and drive all over the place and live …

Can't cry hard enough

Late this afternoon, I read that Kelly Frey, a news anchor for WTAE in Pittsburgh, had her baby today. If you don't know the back story, you can read about it here. The gyst of it is early in her pregnancy, Kelly discovered her baby had a major brain defect and likely would die soon after birth. She and her husband decided to terminate the pregnancy, but when they discovered doing so (look, I cannot even write the "a" word) would not be covered by his health insurance, they took it as a sign to keep the baby. A local photographer beautifully captured the birth here, and the pictures are at once heart-warming and gut-wrenching.Kelly and her husband's difficult situation brings me back to something I think about almost daily (and mentioned in passing in one of my blog posts). This past April, two kids who went to the same preschool Jordan did were killed in a car accident while riding with their father on the way to his house in New York. I had never met the mom until …

It's a Burgh thing

On my way to drop Jordan off at school this morning, I noticed several people in their Steelers garb. I looked down at my Pens Stanley Cup Championship t-shirt and wondered if maybe I should change when I got home. Since the Steelers last played in a meaningful game over seven months ago, I had gotten out of the habit of wearing one of my Steelers t-shirts or my Hines Ward jersey on Fridays. And I knew the Pens were playing tonight (albeit preseason), so my attire seemed more logical.

But it also got me thinking: Are other cities as fanatical about their teams as Pittsburgh is about the Steelers and, to a lesser extent, the Penguins? I kind of doubt it. But that is part of what makes the Burgh so special.

I like seeing people in their Steelers best on fall Sundays in church. And this spring, during the Stanley Cup playoffs, I appreciated seeing church-goers attired in Penguins jerseys and shirts. I try to dress up when I go to church, which for me means no jeans or shorts. However, this…

Running like the wind

Well, more akin to running like a gentle breeze.

Jordan is done with school at 2:30 p.m. The pick-up process involves parents backing into spaces and waiting for the children. Once every car has a child(ren), the teacher on duty dismisses the cars one at a time. There are about 40 to 50 spaces for cars; however, there are always more cars than that. If you don't make the first cut, you have to wait for the entire, one-by-one dismissal process before you get to back into a space. Most parents are not fond of the second wave, so people start arriving before 2 p.m. to ensure a space. Once I arrived at 1:52 and I was the fifth car. Crazy.

But I have decided to make good use of my time, thanks to the great weather we have been having. At first, I started walking around the neighborhood for up to 30 minutes. Last week, I decided to try running again, something I had not really done since I ran the Steelers 5k three years ago. The first day went well. I managed to run (and by run, I really…

Never forget

I spent the past two hours watching CNN and Fox News, preceded by a moment of prayer at church. I hope most of us take some time today to think about what happened eight years ago and how it changed our lives.

I was so shaken by those events when they happened. For weeks, I spent hours a day watching CNN and Fox, constantly checking those same sites on the web, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. I remember the Saturday or Sunday after, when planes were again allowed to fly. I was doing sit-ups at the gym and saw a plane fly overhead. I stopped cold. For months, I found myself watching planes, almost waiting for them to fly into buildings. I just reread my post from last year and, not surprisingly, I said some of these same things. They just stick with you.

I continue to try to watch programs about 9/11. There was just one last week. I especially appreciate hearing about people who were directly affected, those who still mourn the loss of their loved ones. Watching video from…

I've been searching my soul

I remember that song from Ally McBeal. I really liked that show, as I could identify with Ally's quirky ways a bit.

Yesterday I signed up for two online classes so that I can reactivate my teaching certification. One starts next week and the other begins a week later. Does this mean I am going to teach again? I honestly don't know. But over the past few months, while searching my soul, I have mostly come to the conclusion that I need to make a difference. Not an MLK difference. Nothing that will make me famous or change many, many lives. But I just think I need to do more. To give more. To help more.

Brian pointed out a management job in the paper, starting salary of 70k. Would I like to make 70k? Sure. I made nowhere close to that at my last job. But I would rather make half that or even less than half that and do something meaningful and something that I like. I keep thinking that job is out there somewhere.

I talked to Jordan's principal at the beginning of August about su…

Care for THIS

I have complained about health care here and on Facebook a number of times. As I have said, I don't have the energy to read through over 1,000 pages to figure out what this reform is all about, especially knowing the final bill will look different from what is out there now. But I am all for making things better in the health-care industry.

I am a pretty open person, but when it comes to complaining about medical care, I tend to keep my mouth shut. Why? I pretty much blame it on an episode of Seinfeld, when Elaine complained, and a doctor wrote something in her file. I seriously worry that if I say something, I will have a black mark on my file.

I have a litany of complaints with the ob-gyn practice I have been going to for about 10 years. It started when I was pregnant and one of the doctors told me I could have two mixed drinks a day. What doctor, in the 21st century, would give you advice like that?! Don't enough doctors get sued? Only one doctor in the practice bothered to l…

Doing the right thing

Often when Jordan and I are in the car together, she hears me telling people at the bus stop to have a nice day or profusely thanking and blessing the people who let me in their lanes. Jordan typically reminds me that these people can't hear what I am saying since the windows are up and we are driving by. But I tell her I like to say nice things and perhaps these people are feeling my good vibes.

As much as I can, I try to let cars turn in front of me, so much so that Jordan will sometimes ask why I did not let a car go. Most of the time it is because traffic is moving, and doing so could cause an accident. But she gets that it is a nice thing to do. And it is such a simple thing to do.

The "theme" for Jordan's school this year is kindness. I truly believe if we could all make an effort to be kinder, the world would be a better place. I sometimes wonder what makes people unkind. Are we all too busy in our lives to let a person with a couple of items go ahead of us in l…

I don't want to work

There. I said it. Right here in print (well, online). I don't want to work!

I have gotten too used to being off. Driving on an overpass over the Parkway East this morning and seeing all that traffic makes me dread having to join the masses again. I don't want to do it.

I don't want to have to get dressed up. I like my shorts, tees, and jeans too much. And I really hate curling my hair. I could get away with it at my last job, but maybe not with the next one.

I don't want to have to be around people who are not as dedicated as I was at my last job (all jobs, really). I never understood how people could not "care" as much as I did. At the same time, I also don't want to be around those who are so much smarter and better at things than I am. It is kind of a blow to the self-esteem and is taking a toll on my job search, this fear of failing, not being as good as others.

I want to be able to drop my kid off to school every morning. I want to be able to help her cl…

These are a few of my favorite things

I am sure that some people find my blog kind of boring. Unlike fellow bloggers who come up with a variety of topics, I tend to write (and by write, I mean ramble) mostly about the following:

money (expenses, spending, taxes, etc.)sports (easy to do when you live in the City of Champions AND are not a big baseball fan)kids (well, mine specifically) politics (though I have been lying low on this subject for awhile)It is easiest to write about something I feel passionately about. Or, as is often the case with me, something that bugs me. When I was trying to come up with a name for the blog, I was debating between "Facie's ramblings" and "Facie's rants" (in either case, I probably should capitalize the R, but I am so sick of people capitalizing things they should not, that I left it lowercase out of spite). Since I tend to ramble more often than rant, I went with the former. And considering some coworkers asked if my blog was called "Facie's Rants"…

People first. Then money. Then things

That is Suze Orman's mantra, and I like it, even if I do not agree with everything she says. That has been my philosophy over the past few months while unemployed. As I have written many times, I have been blessed to be able to spend this time with my daughter. Sure, I am not so good at disciplining her, something that will come back to bite me in the butt, I am sure. But I like to think just spending the time with her, watching and helping her learn, etc., will outweigh the negative.


I have also spent a lot of time with my mom; every two weeks on average, Jordan and I spend a night or two at her house. Brian is happy to have us out of the house, since we have been together pretty much 24/7 since Brian works from home; Jordan gets to swim at my mom's, and we just get to be with her, which is nice. It will be a little sad for me not to drive up there during the week, but we still have weekends. If only the rest of my family lived closer.


As for the money part, I, along with many …

Crime and punishment

It seems a little too simple to say, "Do the crime, do the time" or however that saying goes. Sometimes it is not so cut-and-dried.

I think about Plaxico Burress, former Steeler and NY Giant, who accidentally shot himself in the leg while at an NY nightclub with a gun he was not licensed to carry in NY. He will be going to jail for two years. He certainly deserves some prison time for breaking a law (and covering up what he did). But it seems kind of harsh to me. Had anyone else been hurt, I would have a different opinion, mind you. But I think a month or two in the pokey may have been more appropriate.

Which brings me to Donte Stallworth, a Cleveland Brown who killed a pedestrian while driving drunk. He got less than 30 days in prison (plus house arrest, probation, etc.). A man is dead because of what he did, so I feel as if he got off lightly. Yet from what I read and choose to believe, the act was not intentional and Stallworth feels remorseful. Of course, anyone who drives…

My baby is six

Six years ago today, without the aid of drugs, I brought the most important thing in the world to me into the world.

We've come a long way, baby.

Tick, tick, tick

That is the sound of a clock ticking. Or perhaps my heart, but that might be more like a pounding.

My kid is going to be six this week, and for some reason that freaks me out. My kid will be heading to first grade next week, and that fills me with worry and apprehension. This might have something do with my freaking out about Jordan turning six.Not only do I not have a job, there are no prospects in sight.
And I still have no clue what I want to do anyway. Oh, and people have really disappointed me lately.
I am feeling a little better about Jordan academically, since I wrote my last post. But I still worry about Jordan being in the cafeteria the first morning (I have to drop her off at the door and say good bye), meeting new people (there won't be any kids from her kindergarten class), focusing all day long, figuring out her lunch money, and carrying a tray. The list goes on and on. And these worries, as small as they probably seem to most of you, really, truly keep me up at night.

Th…

Not enough or too much

Jordan starts first grade in just over two weeks, and I am rather panicked, thus contributing to my returning insomnia.

Kids are under so much pressure to learn a lot and early, and I worry Jordan is not where she should be, even though I worked with her a lot this summer. Fortunately, she does know a lot of sight words, but when it comes to sounding out words, Jordan acts as if she were in increasing pain with every sound she says.

But it is more than that. I worry about structure in general. Jordan and I had a great spring and summer together, but I fear I let her play too much. Some of you are probably thinking that sounds crazy; she is a kid. But how can I expect her to learn, pay attention, listen, be good, etc., for about 6.5 hours a day, when she probably has not done any one of those things for more than 30 minutes at a time a few times a day?

Ah, the discipline. Jordan, for the most part, respects, even fears, authority. I am hopeful that will continue into first grade. But isn&…

You just never know

A few hours after a crazy guy shot about a dozen women and killed three of them in a gym, I thought of how what he did affects so many people in many different ways.
The injured woman may never get over the emotional trauma of getting shot. Some will probably endure nightmares and require counseling, which could affect their jobs and personal lives.Some may have physical injuries that take months to heal. This too could affect their livelihoods. What if one of them worked at a minimum wage job and had little or no health care?Many family members and friends who knew and loved those women will also be affected. It may take some of them years to get over this. The kid who lost his mother may very well think about this daily for the rest of his life. Think of the parent who has to bury her daughter.The health of perhaps hundreds of LA Fitness gym goers may also be in jeopardy. Some may never be able to work out again, for fear of a repeat occurrence. I am guessing some at the very least w…

Get your head in the game

As I have probably written before, I am a pretty open, honest person. I say it like it is (or at least how I think it is), and I am just not about pretenses. Which is why this whole job search is seemingly adding to the already multiplying gray hairs I have and further stressing me out.

For all my weaknesses, I like to think I have some good things to offer. So why do I have to, in some sense, be someone I am not? Why do I have to use certain buzzwords just to get an interview? Why do I have to put on a suit and curl my hair, just to be taken seriously? Can't someone see that I would be a good editor, even though I am not technologically savvy? Does it make me a bad worker because I really want to find a job where I can work five shorter days or three or four days a week so I can spend time with my kid?

I have already second guessed myself on the jobs I applied for last week. I had to copy and paste my cover letter into a text box. I did that, but I jumped right into the "Dear …