It's messy out there. But O.K.

Other than difficulty sleeping while the wind smashed twigs and leaves against my windows, I had a pretty good time of it last night.  The wind gusts' whistling through everything outside was something else.  The power flickered about a dozen times, but it stayed on.  I know some parts of my town definitely do not have power, though.

Even the mail carrier said the power was off this morning at the postal facility, which is in the next town over, and they were guided in by flashlight and had a delayed start until it got lighter outside.  He's a nice guy--I wish we had him all the time, but with all the changes in the postal service in the past year, we have a different carrier almost every time.  He remembered my last name and asked if my parents were O.K. (he sometimes delivers to their neighborhood, too).  He also said there wasn't much mail today (evidenced by my water-damaged phone bill and a campaign flyer) because all the flights had been canceled--something like 14,000--but there would be a lot once those flights started up again.

So I guess it's just local mail for a little bit.  I put my rent payment in the mail and that's all that matters to me.  I'm out of stamps so everything else I need to mail will have to wait until tomorrow.

Around 2:00, I took the trash out and walked around the parking lot and around the buildings.  Not a lot of big branches came down, so that's good, but there's a good coating of sticks, leaves, and shredded leaves everywhere.  Plus there is a chilly, steady rain coming down.  It's light, but it's cold. 

I heard from a couple of my trivia teammates (and our host) and everybody's O.K. (even if not everyone has power) so that's good.  And the pub owner emailed that they're open this evening and trivia is on.  Originally I wasn't going to go anywhere until tomorrow, but based on the information I've gotten I think it would be pretty safe, not to mention good to get out and exercise my brain.  And who knows about tomorrow, because I have a feeling the town where my school is located got hit pretty hard by Sandy.  I don't think they have power.

But first--more work on my de-cluttering project.  Might as well take advantage of not having anyplace to go.



Updating While the Wind Blows & the Power's on

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted, but then again, there have been a lot of demands on my time during the month of October.  I guess you could say my work and social calendars were pretty full, and who besides me is surprised about the social calendar part?

I'm typing as fast as I can, because I don't trust the winds blowing all around to refrain from playing around with the power lines and trees and what-have-you.  As of last night, our school administrators announced that school would be closed both today and tomorrow, which makes for a strange week because there are holidays on Thursday and Friday of this week.  And I guess the family/student/teacher meetings that were scheduled for tonight and tomorrow evenings (during which the library is run ragged selling books) will have to be postponed--I'm thinking probably to the following Monday and Tuesday.  It's a shame because everyone had everything prepared. . . and then we had to run around all weekend making preparations for something else entirely.

So where have I been since the not-so-happy ending to my interview situation?

Well, that weekend, even though I didn't feel like it, I went to a party at the house of two of my trivia teammates (husband and wife).  It was the first time I'd been to their house, and I was the last of my team to have seen it since they moved in--I was thwarted by bad weather the last get-together.  I walked in not knowing anyone else, but everyone was very nice and I actually wound up sitting in front of the fire pit outside (it was chilly that night!) chatting with someone for a while.  I didn't know any of my other teammates were going to make it, but a few more did show up after about an hour or so.  It was a very good distraction from how bummed-out I felt. . . not to mention my one teammate who showed up later mentioned I looked chummy with the person I was talking to.  I didn't see that person the rest of the night, so I don't know.  Maybe I dropped the ball on that.  But I did ask around at the next trivia night, so maybe word will get back to him.  Who knows?

As I mentioned, Younger Sister came in for the weekend.  Unfortunately, she did not get to see the kids (family had something else planned) but we had a nice little brunch at home with the parents.  We spoiled Mom with presents for her birthday, and YS gave me some pretty cool glasses that were a bit of nostalgia for our childhood.

YS thinks I had the Barbie in gold. I think I had a similar one, only she had short hair.

Most of that week, I was in a fog of panic over the impending book shipment signaling the start of Hell Week--I mean the book sale--and trying to get everything graded in time for midterm grade reports.  Seriously, I kept forgetting my birthday was that week.  We did celebrate in an understated way, at a little diner, just me, my parents, and my cousins who went with me to L.A.  The funny thing was that my parents got me a cool travel bag (yes, I felt spoiled) and the only wrapping paper Mom had that was big enough to cover it was "pink Disney princess."  So all the little girls in the diner were eyeing my present!

After that, we had another brunch at my parents' with Older Brother's family and my oldest first cousin's family, and that was a lot of fun.  I got to see my niece and all my nephews, including Bunny!  Then right into more work, cantoring Mass, buying enough honey maple turkey breast to bribe The Cat for taking her steroids--oh, and this past Saturday, I went to a wedding.  (Another event where I didn't know a soul besides the happy couple, so I think this shy blogger deserves some applause for being brave.)  We danced, we ate yummy food, we had a good time.
I was so busy with everyone at brunch that this was the only photo I got.

And then I went back to hurricane preparations.  Honestly, I think I wore myself out yesterday with all the scurrying around.  Also, generally I feel a little anxious about the whole storm situation--I keep thinking something might fall on the car, but trees are kind of unavoidable in this area, so I will keep hoping the branches stay on those darn trees.

The Cat can't figure out why the patio chairs are in the living room, but she is doing best to take a nap despite their presence.  I've got water coming in off the one corner of the ill-fitting air conditioner in the dining room (no surprise), but other than that, things are O.K. for now.  How the next 24 hours will go is anyone's guess.  But already it's looking like a big puddly mess out there.

I hope all my East-Coast friends affected by Sandy are safe, and I ask everyone else to keep up those prayers!




If You've Been Keeping Track This Year. . .

. . . I got my third rejection (first, second) yesterday.

This must be timed so that Younger Sister is always coming in for the weekend and can cheer me up.  I think I am too disappointed to cry, and also a bit angry.  I just feel stuck and pigeonholed--the longer I spend in this job, the less I qualify for anything else.  I don't have money or time to "train for the job I want"--heck, I'm not sure I even know what IS the job I want anymore.  

All I know is that when I signed up for school, I was promised there were so many jobs going to be opening up because of all the retirements, and I was encouraged because I was pretty adept with technology and instructing people.  Then the economy tanked, and I wound up underemployed and underpaid.  And every single time I apply for a job now, I'm edged out by someone with just a little more experience, just a slightly different "set of skills."

One thing I did decide before I called to hear my "No"--if it was a "No," then I was going to contact my mentors and let them know I was struggling.  I may or may not get a response right away because I know they're busy, but I think they are the kind of people who will respond.  I'm not looking for a handout.  I'm not looking to vent.  I am looking to get in gear in my field and use the degree I worked my ass off to achieve.  And as a teeny-tiny up side to the rejection, at least I made contact with another librarian (she was with another school in the district and sat in on the second screening) who is very active in the one professional organization to which I belong.  I am hopeful she is interested in helping me get more involved--at least give me some direction.

However, on the other side of this decision lurks the thought that maybe I should just forget it all and try going back to being an overeducated office assistant so at least I can pay my rent when it inevitably goes up in April.  (Moving back in with my parents is not an option for many reasons).  And I still dream of going back to writing and finishing all those stories I've started long ago.  

I have a little bit of time to figure out where I'm going with all this, but not long, so I am going to give myself about two days to try to enjoy myself this weekend while Younger Sister is here and we're celebrating family birthdays.

It just that I was hoping a better job/financial situation was going to be my birthday present.



A Really Short List of Things that Have Annoyed Me in the Past 36 Hours

1.  The strange lull in the plot or whatever that happens during the last 15 minutes of a TV show and makes me doze off so I miss the ending.

2. Knee-high stockings.  (Are there any reasonably priced brands that don't pill or disintegrate while parked in a drawer?)

3. That insincere and quick "Sorry" tossed off by a student before I even say what the problem is.  It doesn't short-circuit the warning--and it pretty much qualifies as disrespectful for interrupting me.

4. That message left on my home voice mail that (a) I couldn't listen to until I got home after 5:30 (b) tells me nothing, (c) forces me to call back during work hours tomorrow, and therefore (d) requires me to hide any and all reactions after said call for the rest of the work day.

And yet--thinking about tomorrow--TGIF.



I Have Two Things to Say About Today

1. Aunt Flo can take a hike.  

2. I know some people might not believe it, but I do think that good thoughts and prayers can be quite powerful.