Showing posts from January, 2010


I have been reading What Color Is Your Parachute, hoping to glean some job tips, further find myself, etc. Last night I did this exercise where you compare, two at a time, two values (what the author refers to as broad outcomes of you life) to figure out which value you value more. In the end, after you have compared all nine to each other, you end up with a ranked list of the most important. The idea is you can use your talents and skills to serve these values. My top ones were as follows:
Will/conscience (when I am gone, I want there to be more morality, justice, righteousness, and honesty in the world)Heart (when I am gone, I want there to be more love and compassion in the world)Human spirit (when I am gone, I want there to be more spirituality, faith, compassion, forgiveness, love for God and the human family with all its diverseness) Possession (when I am gone, I want there to be more savings, simplicity, and a broader emphasis on the word "enough")It was a difficult ex…

Read it and weep

How many times have you heard someone, usually on talk radio or a news channel, imploring you to write to or call your congressperson? I have done just that with one senator, several times now, only to be left more frustrated than before I ever composed my email. I will call this man Senator C (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

This past November, while reading Senator C's newsletter, I learned that C and another senator were cosponsoring a bill that would extend the Cobra subsidy program for six months. This was welcome news for me, since my subsidy was ending in December, and I really could not afford for my health insurance premiums to triple. So I checked C's website a few times over the next two weeks, and when I found no updates, I emailed him. I explained that I had been out of work for eight months and even though it bothered me to accept this subsidy, which is really, or will be soon, taxpayer assistance, paying the full Cobra premium would be nearly impossible for me right no…

Why blog

As I am sure I have written before, I have come up with some of my best blog posts while lying awake, unable to fall back asleep. Unfortunately, by the time I get up the next morning, most of those gems have left my head.

With all the technology we have, you would think someone would be able to invent some type of osmosis-y thing that would enable whatever thoughts you had in your head to end up on a piece of paper or in your computer. In college, friends and I would often stick our heads up to one of our textbooks and pray for osmosis rather than study for hours. That was almost 20 years ago. We've come a long way, baby.

Anyway, I have some various things I have wanted to write about: kids' birthday parties (I have a rant about that one), friends and moving on, frustration with my job search (I have already touched on this on), guilt, the state of the world, taxes, health insurance, and other things I forget. If I can remember any of those posts that come to me in the wee ho…

She was like my grandma

Yesterday, Jordan and I stopped by her former preschool/kindergarten. While waiting in the car for the classes to let out, I went through her school folder. It was then that I spied a paper announcing that Cathy, a long-time lunch lady, unexpectedly passed away the day before. My eyes immediately welled up with tears.

At Jordan's school (which I think is true of all Catholic schools in the diocese), parents are required to do four lunch duties a year or pay $40. Because I am (pretty much) not working, I have done over a dozen at this point. I really don't mind them, actually. I enjoy being around the kids (remember, I do want to go back into teaching, at least most days), and it has been nice getting to know the teachers and some other parents. And getting lunch at the end of the shift is pretty nice too! But most notably, I have worked with Cathy, a woman who not only looks a little like my late grandma, but also has her same personality.

Whereas this paper in Jordan's …

Be the best you can be

On Monday, Jordan and I had the pleasure of attending a program about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at our local library. Greg Kenney, from Educate Us Productions, acted as both narrator and Dr. King during the presentation.

Prior to that evening, I knew very little about Dr. King, other than he fought for racial injustice and was tragically killed when he was very young. When I was in school, we did not talk about MLK, probably because we never made it to the '60s in our U.S. history class. And Martin Luther King Jr. Day was not made a national holiday until the mid '80s, and even then, not all states celebrated it.

But now that I am an adult, I am very interested in social studies and history. I first heard MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech when I played it for my speech communications class in the mid '90s. I was so moved by it and still am. To this day, my eyes well with tears whenever I hear certain lines from it. Mr. Kenney's program at the …

I want my memory back!

I used to have a great memory. When I was an editor, I could tell you the status of every one of my spec guides, even when I had 15 or 20, without looking at a tracking form. And I guess I still do remember a lot of mostly useless things. But over the last year, my mind is not working as well as it once did. This blog is the perfect example of that. For at least the third time in a year, I wrote most of a post before checking previous ones, only to discover I had written almost the exact post at a different time. Sometimes the titles were even the same. In fact, before I finish this post, I should wade through some old ones. I am 100 percent certain I have written about my failing memory, but I am hopeful just not these words.

I guess I feel strongly about some subjects and/or they are just on my mind a lot at some points. But that is pretty sad. And yet I am fairly certain if a blogger that I have followed for quite some time repeated her post, I would know it.

I was looking throug…

Ten months

As I was sitting in a chair at the bank today, I noticed a calendar and read the date, January 13. At that moment I realized it has been 10 months since my last day at work. Wow.

Ten months ago, I never would have guessed I would be sitting at home at 10:35 a.m. during the week. Probably not even on a Wednesday, which had been my day off since Jordan was born. No, I figured I would have found a job by now. What kind of job? That I was not so sure. And, of course, I'm still not.

Most days, I really, really like staying at home. C'mon, who wouldn't? I get to run errands and do housework (though not as much as Brian would like) sans kid. I can blog, check out Facebook, and do a myriad of other mindless computer activities. I both drop off and pick up my kid from school, and then be with her and Brian in the evenings. I run and/or walk while waiting for J to be done with school. I volunteer a lot at said school.  I attend church an extra day per week. And I substitute when I a…

Slacker mom, slacker kid

I don't think I will ever be one of those moms who puts her kids in a plethora of activities. I am against over-scheduling (let kids be kids), but I am kind of a slacker mom anyway. But at this point, I almost wonder if my kid will ever willing be involved in anything.

Growing up, my brothers and I were typically involved in one activity at a time. I recall taking dance lessons for a short time when I was three. For the first three years of grade school, I was a Brownie, and for the next few years, I was back to dance lessons. Oh, and one year I was an awful pom-pom girl (which was probably the year I did not take dance lessons). My parents were all about family time. But I am fairly certain that back in the '70s and maybe early '80s (and certainly long before that), that was the way most parents were.

I knew when Jordan was a baby, toddler, and even a young preschooler, I would not be taking her to Gymboree, an art class, soccer, or dance lessons. Because she was in day…

What is the nature of your emergency?

Last evening, I had a scary experience, though not so much for me. While playing with Jordan, I heard yelling down the street. I looked outside, but saw nothing. A few minutes later I heard it again, and this time Brian had opened the window and said he could actually hear people hitting/punching each other. As a member of the local crime watch, I did what I should do: I called 911.

I could hear the call being recording, which kind of freaked me out. But what made me stop cold was when the 911 operator asked me if there were any weapons. I was several houses away and it was dark, so there was no way I could tell that. But I immediately thought back to last April when the three Pittsburgh police officers were killed responding to a domestic disturbance, thinking there were no weapons. And just last month a Penn Hills police officer was shot to death while sitting in his car, again responding to a disturbance.

As the 911 call was wrapping up, a car with the "fighters" drove …

Shiny trophy, I am gonna miss you

What is the above a picture of? If you said a trophy that the Steelers will not be hoisting next month, you are correct. Probably the only thing the Steelers will be lifting in the near future are boxes, as they clean out their lockers for the season (and some for the last time ever). They certainly won't be preparing for the playoffs, as I fully expect them to be doing this time of year, every single year.

As I was telling my priest this morning, I would rather the Steelers go a decade or two between Super Bowls than ever miss the playoffs (assuming it was an either or proposition). Weird, perhaps, but I just always think that they are going to make the playoffs; it happens so much more often than it does not, so this assumption is not exactly crazy talk. And, now that the Steelers have won the most Super Bowls ever, well, I am cool with their not getting another one for awhile.

This season will undoubtedly go down as a disappointment; after all, the Super Bowl Steelers returned mo…

Resolutions I should make

Years ago, I gave up making new year's resolutions. I pretty much never keep them, at least not for more than a few months, so why set myself up for failure? This year, I decided to instead list resolutions I should make, but won't (except for number 3, which I clearly need to do). Here goes:

Eat betterExercise moreFind a jobSpend less time on the computerBe a more consistent parent when it comes to disciplineRead booksVolunteer some place in addition to Jordan's school and my churchI am sure there are others I can come up with if I spent more than a few minutes thinking about it. But since I don't plan to do any of them (again, except for number 3, which I would love not to do, but probably cannot avoid), why tax my brain coming up with them?Anyway, I wish all of you a great 2010 (I am pronouncing it twenty-ten, by the way. How about you?)! Oh, and wouldn't you just know it, I checked and at the end of 2008, I wrote a post entitled "Resolutions I should make.&…