Prayer in the Face of Frustration

I could complain about how it appears my university's Education School has not sent in my completed application for teaching certification to the state dept. of ed. since receiving it a month ago.

I could complain about how I stayed up late working on my resume' last night because I thought I could get in on some of the deadlines to apply for jobs. . . until I realized every set of guidelines for application required a copy of my (not-yet-existent) teaching certificate.

I could complain about the jerks who fired my pilates teacher from her full time office job (on Monday!?), after leading her on about helping pay her tuition and having never given her a review or a raise in two years.

Instead, because tomorrow, May 1, is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, I'm going to pray. For my job search, for my pilate teacher's job search (and to thank God her share of the shore house she rented with friends for the summer is already paid off), for anyone looking for a job and/or having struggles with his or her current job, or feeling anxious about possibly losing his or her job.

Feel free to add any intentions in the comment box. Even if you don't exactly believe in or agree with asking saints to intercede, a little prayer never hurt anyone. (Although it might make you have to clean your car interior.)


It's Too Hot

But the AC is too cold, so let's sleep in the cabinet over the refrigerator!

Which end is that?


The Friday Five: Random

Because I'm running late and really need to get to bed (two jobs again tomorrow!), the five steps to choosing the winner of a fabulous (yet not 100% determined) prize:

1. Read over all the comments from last week again and enjoy them all over again.

2. Using memo cube pages, write an entrant's name on each page.

3. Fold each one in fours and place in fancy raffle bowl (below).

Check out what kind of cereal I like. And how I like to keep cooktop wipes handy.
(Maybe a little too handy.)

4. Swirl folded-up pages around to make it all official.

5. Draw a name and declare a winner. . .

Congrats to Mighty Maggie!

Thanks to all for playing and I hope to do a giveaway again, before post #400, I'm sure. I wish everyone a restorative weekend filled with things you like.


Just Checking In

Time's up for the giveaway--thanks to all who participated! The responses were really enjoyable and a lot of them had me cracking up. I'll be drawing the winner tonight, after I get my workout in, and will do the announcement with tomorrow's Friday Five. Not 100% sure when I'll be doing the Friday Five, though. I'll be up early (yikes) to go to the middle school for my very first booktalking with the sixth graders. . . totally freaking out about that, mostly because I don't know these kids at all and have barely read the books. . . that goes until 1:30 or 2 p.m., I think. Then the bookstore asked me to come in at 6. I think I'm helping cashier for an in-store book fair for one of the local schools, and that's 'til 10.

Sorry I've been so quiet. I've kind of been in a bit of a low physical/mental energy slump this past week. Someday I'll have a real job with a real health plan so I can address that, and someday the ghost of April past won't haunt me so much either. And maybe someday soon I won't be constantly humiliated at the library (let's discuss your failure to get paid in front of the whole office! let's have one person schedule you to work at the circ desk and then have another person ask you why you're standing there after half an hour!), but until then, it's burying myself in books and avoiding things like turning on the computer and loading the dishwasher until the last minute.

That said, I did read two pretty good things this past week: One was Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. If you like young adult fiction you'll probably enjoy it. (Note: the hardcover version I borrowed from the library had a way better cover design.) O.K., it's a little vulgar at times (but really not extreme at all) and there's a little too much mention of "MJ" in it for my preferences, but I like that there are a lot of references to music. Reminded me of times with my late friend of high school/college and all our music obsessions and concert-going. She probably would've gotten all of the music references right off the bat. The resolution at the end was really well done and not silly, which I appreciated. Some of those high school girl stories can get really sappy and trite at the end.

Also, I stumbled upon a really well-written article in (of all places) the May issue of Self magazine. I almost didn't buy this magazine because I can't stand the "celebrity" on the cover. The singletons among my readership might appreciate this more than others. It's a personal piece by Sara Eckel (pages 36-38 if you go look it up in the library or grocery store) about not taking one's "single state personally." It was good stuff; really hit it on the head WRT a lot of my own feelings and experiences.

Now I'd really better go do that workout so I can get everything else done I need to before I send myself to bed early.


The Friday Five: O.K. & a Giveaway

This week was, in summary, not a very good week. Nobody died or anything (thank God!) but it was just one irritating thing after another. . . culminating in my paycheck being short 5-1/2 hours of pay for the week, owing to an oversight. (Please, Lord, let the new director of the library cleanse the system of this baloney when he comes.)

Sometimes, when I get stressed out, I bury my face in reading matter. I don't even realize I'm doing it until an hour has passed and I realize I haven't moved from the spot, with a book or magazine sitting in my lap. Or sitting on top of the cat who is sitting in my lap or more accurately stretched out across the entire length of my legs.

I think that's O.K. That's one of my favorite features in one of the magazines I read on occasion (maybe Glamour?): the "Hey, It's O.K." list. As in, "It's O.K. to be the only one obsessed with the condition of your pedicure, even though it's the dead of winter." Well, they're not all so superficial, but you get the idea. So here are five more things to which I say, It's O.K. . . .

1. to deem funny cartoons the poor man's therapy session.

2. to be attached to an outdated technology (VCR, landline, the stereo you've had since your college days, etc.).

3. to shop at a store in city limits, and pay higher sales tax, even though nearly exactly the same store is around the corner from you, just because the staff is nicer at the city store.

4. to say hi to your neighbor's cat as he's sitting in the window watching you come up the stairs to the building entrance. (And not take it personally if he just keeps staring at you.)

5. to get annoyed when radio DJs talk over the beginnings or endings of songs. Especially songs you like. To the point where you're thinking maybe it's time to do something about #2.


This blog recently passed Post Number 300! Woo-hoo! I feel like giving something away. Haven't decided what yet. (I'm a Libra, and that's O.K.)

Here's what you do: Add your own "It's O.K." in the combox. Doesn't have to be literary genius (have you seen mine?); just take a stab. Multiple comments will not increase your chances of winning but will be highly entertaining nevertheless. I'll do a random drawing from all the names and pick one winner next Friday. Maybe I'll have the cat do it because she's been kinda bored lately. And I will send the winner one awesome prize. Doesn't sound hard at all, does it? No! Oh, wait-

THE CATCH: Because this is the Friday Five, at least FIVE (5) different people have to comment. Or I give myself a prize instead. Please, save me from my temptation to spoil myself. I know you all can do it.

Make me proud.

And have a nice weekend.


Post-Good-Friday Five: An Easter Tale

1. Today when I checked the mailbox, I was expecting bills and junk mail, but instead a little envelope showed up. When I opened it, out popped a handful of jellybeans and. . .
some cool fingerless mitts made by Lizzie!

2. They are snuggly warm (good because it is damp and cold out--and windy, right now).
Plus they look awesome.

3. Lizzie says this fluffy bunny pen is for signing important documents.
I imagine myself using it to sign cover letters for my resume'
(which for full Elle Woods effect should be scented).

4. Unfortunately, the pen had to go to an undisclosed location this afternoon, because. . .
someone else took a liking (and almost a licking) to it.

5. Thanks for the Easter present, Lizzie!
I wish I could send you some of the
marinated bell peppers I made for tomorrow's dinner.
Cooking and writing are pretty much where my talents lie.

Happy Easter to all my readers who celebrate the holyday and season--and to all, a very happy Sunday!


Been a Bit Buried

Yes, it is so cold and windy that you'd want to huddle under a blanket, too.

It has been hectic around here--and at the same time, I don't feel as if I'm getting anywhere. Ever have one of those weeks?

So, just to get back up to speed:

  • Because the library is closed Good Friday all the way through Easter Sunday, I'm cramming 17 hours of work into three days (because Thursdays I work at the bookstore). I know it doesn't sound hard, but (a) my supervisor has been out since last Friday and hadn't told me when she was coming back--until a co-worker asked me tonight if I'd seen her walk in on her way to the board meeting (uh, NO); (b) a lot of what I'm working on right now is dependent on outside information/responses, and I'm waiting; and (c) because of the Passover/Easter/spring break stuff going on this week, the library is either super-busy or super-dead. Today, it was super-busy when I walked in at 2:30 and super-dead from about 7:30 till close.

  • Cullen posted his answers to my interview questions!

  • Ashley made some tasty-looking cupcakes at her little apartment!

  • These are the kinds of things I get excited about these days!

  • I'm trying to get more exercise in during the week--so far, pretty successful. (The best part about exercise videos is that you can yell insults at the instructors and they just continue on with the same goofy smile on their faces.) Where I'm failing is the apparently concomitant increase in appetite. I hope that goes away.

  • Also going through one of those periods where it's just a drag being single. And I'm not talking about needing someone who, uh, understands me right now. I'm chaste, but I'm not dead inside, y'know?

  • Planning to sit down with the disc that supposedly has my salvaged data on it. I need to be able to do it at my leisure, which probably means the end of the week, after Good Friday. (In the meantime, I got my act together and ordered a back-up drive that my Mac advisor suggested--Thanks, Bingley!) I really need to start writing again, in full force.

  • Just simply looking forward to things slowing down at the end of the week. And having my sister home for Easter. And doing the "Polaroid project" with the kiddos.

Man, I sound sad. Don't you be sad! I know, I'll share one of the malapropisms that had me laughing really hard this past weekend:

Scene: Beavis & Butt-Head are watching the
video of Rick Derringer's "Real American" (featuring Hulk

BH: Hulk Hogan is a real American because he did
whatever it took to get big and strong--yeah, using all those

B: Um, I thought steroids were the
things you put up your butt to make you go poop.

BH: No, you dumba**! Uh. . . those are depositories.

B: Uh, oh yeah, right.

There's probably something very wrong with me that I find that funny. Did I mention the conversation segues into a discussion of how steroids are stupid because they "shrink your nads"?

Probably explains why I like working with teenagers, though.


The Friday Five: The New Season

This afternoon's monthly meeting of the library's "teen advisory board" went amazingly well--surpassed my (low) expectations. Even the voting for the new officers went fairly smoothly, as I'd been fearing a few hissy fits from some of the slightly more immature members.

Because the meeting ran late, I was spared having to run to my car and/or drive in a sudden downpour that came on a little before 6:30. I mean torrents coming down. It cleared up just as suddenly as it came on--and the sun came out! When I was waiting for traffic to ease up so I could exit the driveway, I looked to my left and there was a RAINBOW! Yay! If you look really hard at the photo below, you can see it very faintly in the center (to the right of the truck in the road).

Today's weather made people a little anxious to see if tonight's baseball (exhibition) game would be affected. Fortunately, the thunderstorms we'd had in the early afternoon, and that crazy downpour, were the worst of it. The game turned out fine (by my standards).

I'm excited about the start of baseball season--it means spring is really arriving! So let's talk baseball for the Friday Five:

1. Number of major league games I've been to in my lifetime: I'm not 100% sure but 10, possibly 12, is a pretty good guess.

2. Games I went to last season: One, with Younger Sister and one of her housemates who bought us beer and didn't openly root against the Phils. She's cool.

3. Rain delays: Two that I can recall. One when I was in my teens where we waited through it only to wind up leaving before the game was over because my dad thought it was getting way too late. The other was a couple years ago. I was in the suite of my former employers' outside attorneys, so I didn't mind.

4. Funniest moment at a game: A couple summers ago, Younger Sister wanted to go for her birthday, so I played hooky from work and went with her and one of our cousins. The new park had just opened and has a "Build a Phanatic" store--I gave her a gift card and she made a Phanatic doll to take with her back to Virginia (where they don't know what a Phanatic is). I let it slip that it was her birthday and the store employee made her wear a sticker that said, "I'm the Birthday Bear!" She was mortified. Hee hee hee.

5. Am I expecting another World Series win this year? Frankly, no. Not that I'm a fair weather fan, but it's a slightly different team this time around. That said, I like being pleasantly surprised. And I'm always up for a game.

Wishing you a non-stormy weekend!


Part Time Job, Full Time Grief

My brain's a bit fried after writing my first article for the regular "library column" that appears in one of the local newspapers today. I wrote it from home; it's hard to sit at my dinky desk in the middle of the busy public computer area (which leaves you open to being interrupted constantly by users who need help). The library gave me no guidelines and I have no idea if I did it correctly. It has to get approved by the library's (temporary) director.

I think that's what is bugging me about this job: there is minimal guidance and I feel as if I'm floundering around half the time.

That, and the frequent comments from the rest of the staff about how I'm "never there." Yesterday I nipped that one in the bud the minute it came out of someone's mouth. Maybe I was overreacting a bit, but I felt within my rights to smile and say with an exasperated laugh, "Hey, that's hurting my feelings! I'm here. . . just not at the same time that you are, every time." Which is true--often I'm there at night, after the people who clock out at five are gone.

I guess I picked my response at the right time, because my direct supervisor happened to walk in and she added, "And I'm sure she'd be here more often if they offered her a full time job!"

Good observation.