Friday, July 31, 2009

Slip-Sliding Away - Friday Fragments & Freewrite

Gosh, we're back to Friday Fragments again. I guess I need to be posting a little more often - if this keeps up, my whole blog will be fragments. Oh, well, it's summer. People are random in the summer, right? Anyway, this is the place for all those thoughts that run through your head when you're sitting at traffic lights or trying to sleep. It was the brainchild of the effervescent Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin' Time. Go visit her, and see who else is fragmenting this week.

I'm also joining Friday Freewrite, which is hosted by Sara over at Ordinary and Awesome, just because I can do it all with this one post, and it makes Fridays twice the fun!

* I'm having a hard time finding funny, or even non-miserable things to blog about. I found out that I didn't get TWO jobs (that I had high hopes for) this week. Add that to some other personal issues and you might end up with a recipe for depression. My current coping strategy is to try not to dwell on it and keep myself busy. I'll let you know how it works out. I did read about an excellent strategy that Yaya has found helpful, and, frankly, I think she's on to something.

* Under the heading 'Things That Irritate Me' you can add "finishing a puzzle only to find you're missing a piece." I've been working on a puzzle - a really hard puzzle - for a long time. It was part of a series called Buried Blueprints which I love. The puzzles are very unique and no longer in print, but I've been able to get most of them on Ebay in the last several years. My friend Jocelyn came over and helped me work on this one, which was called An Egyptian Chronicle, and we had a great time chatting while we puzzled. Anyway, we found out one piece was missing. Arghhh. I have to say, this is the first time I've gotten burned on a puzzle from Ebay, and I've been buying used puzzles there for years. The biggest problem now is that I can't re-sell it. Does anybody want a puzzle that's missing one of its thousand pieces? I'd be glad to send it!

Here it is. Isn't it cool? Can you spot the missing piece?

* I was lucky enough to have Girls Night Out last night, and it couldn't have been more needed. My two girlfriends from college are the best. They are smart, funny, beautiful and supportive. And, as we were noticing last night, we never run out of stuff to talk about. EVER. We're making some tentative plans to take a trip together next year, and I sure hope we can pull it off - although I'm not sure the world is ready for the three of us, unleashed, as it were. Broadway, here we come!

* I've been stress-knitting again. Socks, mostly. If you're on my Christmas list, you're probably getting socks for Christmas. Sorry if I spoiled the surprise. Here's one pair in progress:

* My stove is beeping. Well, the timer is beeping. All the time. It's not the same beep as when the timer goes off. It's much, much quieter - if you have the TV or radio on, you don't really notice it. But I can hear it. Mocking me. I have no idea how to make it stop. I keep setting the real timer to its maximum time, because when the real timer is on, the other beeping stops. Of course, this means that every 1 hour 59 minutes I have to go turn off the real, loud, beeping timer. It's not a perfect system.

* This week's theme at camp is Mystery. All the counselors are dressing up as either famous detectives or characters from Clue. Brandon and Sandy went as Colonel Mustard and Mrs. White (the maid). And yes, I was up making an apron and a maid's cap at midnight last night. I'll be rewarded in the next life, right? Here's what they looked like:

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hard to Believe

Proof that sled dogs and cats CAN get along: Bliss (semi-retired sled dog and part time couch potato) and Ursa Major (rescued feral cat who has really taken to the good life.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I didn't get the job. I just got the call. The company filled the position without even interviewing me and ignoring the recommendation of the employment agency. The woman at the employment agency sounded upset and told me that they hired someone 'outside the process' which I guess means directly, and not through the agency.

I'm so frustrated. Every recruiter that I have interviewed with seems to love me, but getting to the next step has been difficult. I'm beginning to wonder if it's my age. I found out that one job that I missed out on a few months ago was because they wanted someone young. All my years of experience seem to be working against me - either because the company wants to 'mold someone' the way they want, or because they think they can pay them less. Little do they know that I'm willing to work for a lot less than I'm worth at this point.

So, back to the drawing board. I have several other irons in the fire, but this was one I was very hopeful about. Time to develop some new leads. I knew I should have made friends with rich people who own businesses when I was young and cute.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Drift Away - Friday Fragments

We’re back to a rainy weather pattern (gulp) and also back to Friday Fragments, the time and place to unload weird, funny or random thoughts that are occupying cranium space that you could be using to store better stuff. The originator of this fun-fest is Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin’ Time, who always has some crazy tidbits to say. You can also check out the winner of her Favorite Fragmenter Award.

* Thank you for all the wonderfully positive thoughts and prayers for my job interview. I interviewed with an employment agency, and it went really well. They said they were going to recommend me to the client, so the next step will be an interview with the company itself. I’m cautiously optimistic, I guess, but mostly I just try not to think about it. I also have another interview this afternoon, so at least it’s progress!

* I’ve been wondering about how the blog clock works, and I’m hoping somebody will clue me in. My blog posts never show the correct time, and the comments are all off, too. What is the time based on – the commenter’s time zone? the blog owner’s time zone? Blogger International’s time zone? Inquiring minds want to know. And don't get me started about scheduled post nightmares.
* My car is finally legal – I have a valid inspection sticker, so hopefully I’ve seen the last of the nice local police officer. And to those of you who suggested that he might be letting me off with a warning because he ‘liked’ me – I want you to know that he’s more likely feeling pity than attraction. He’s more Doogie Howser, P.D. – and he probably wouldn’t even get that reference. Those of you too young to get it, go ahead and google Doogie. I’m sure Wikipedia knows all about him.

* I didn’t end up dogsitting for my friend with the puppies – her event got cancelled at the last minute – so I don’t have cute pictures for you. I may get over there this weekend, so I’ll try to remember my camera so I can snap some shots of the fuzzy babies.

* On my way to pick Alex up yesterday, I noticed that as I drove toward the Canadian border, the percentage of people who have a disconnected plow in their front yard went up exponentially. I think at one point it was better than 75%. One guy had spray painted LET IT SNOW on the front of it. Clever idea, but he should have spaced it out better, because the letters got smaller and smaller as he ran out of room, and it detracted from his message.

* Alex’s girlfriend caught a ride with us to her cousin’s for a couple of days, and it was nice to see her. She and her mother live ‘off the grid’ in a town called “The Forks” – I know, weird, right? They have solar power and a generator, but no regular electricity, although they do have a regular telephone, and wifi. Ahh, the wilderness.

* I passed a sign that read “Dan & Scott’s Funeral and Cremation” – am I the only one that finds that funny? Honestly, doesn’t that sound like the guys that always threw the keg parties back in college? “Hey, let’s head over to Dan & Scott’s – they always have those big red plastic cups…” I’m not sure I could trust them to care for my loved ones’ final remains. Or, at least I couldn’t trust myself not to giggle the whole time. Hey, don't judge me. I'm under a lot of stress.

* Oh, and one last thing. Whichever spam agent has decided to repeatedly bombard me with emails that begin “Are you troubled by incontinence?” I want to ask them, didn’t your mother teach you any manners? I am NOT troubled by incontinence (except for the occasional sneezing/coughing/laughing incident), but if I was, don’t you think it would be a little impolite to keep bringing it up? Geez.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Yes, I'm alive (but thanks for asking!). I'm just wicked busy (wicked, for those of you not from Maine, means VERY) and haven't had time to blog.

I've been running around trying to get stuff fixed on my car so that it will pass inspection. Mostly because the nice police officer who has stopped me three times to tell me that my inspection sticker expired in April is getting a teensy bit cranky. I think he was cranky because the last time he stopped me near a swamp and as he approached my car he was attacked by swarms of mosquitoes. This last time he mentioned that he had better not see me again - which I thought was kinda mean, considering we had become such good friends and all.

AND, in other news, after months and months and months of no luck on the job seeking front, I have two interviews this week. Anybody who wants to pray or meditate or send positive ions into the atmosphere around 2 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) or 1 pm on Friday, feel free! One of them requires me to run around and create a new portfolio of my work, which is a giant pain in the butt. The other one required a detailed online application that I swear to you took 3 and a half hours to complete. Still, if it results in a job, it will be a good thing, so I'm trying not to whine.

I'm driving to the middle of nowhere to visit Alex on Thursday, so I'll be away from the computer quite a bit this week. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with everybody in the early mornings - but don't blame me if my comments are a little odd. Sometimes my brain doesn't engage until around 9:00 AM.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thank God It's Friday (Fragments)

Time for Friday Fragments again. This is the place where I can spill all the weird and random things that occur to me while I'm stirring the spaghetti sauce or waxing my legs. FF were invented by a really sweet and funny lady, Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin' Time. Go check her out and see who else is playing with us this week.

* I read somewhere that the brain of a woman eating chocolate looks exactly like the brain of a woman during sex. That makes total sense to me. In particular, I find Ghirardelli dark chocolate mint squares very, um, satisfying.

* In the town that I live in there is a speedway, about 2.5 miles from my house, where races are held several nights a week during the warmer months – stock cars, modified, trucks, you name it. One weekend in July there’s a huge race – the Oxford Plains 250 – that is very popular. About 10 days beforehand, campers start arriving in town and begin parking on any patch of ground within a mile of the speedway, including the fields on both sides and the edges of the parking lot. There are literally hundreds of them, and they’re everywhere. It’s like a little community (we call it Trailer Village) and the beer is a-flowin’. There’s no actual campground facilities, but the speedway opens their bathroom facilities to the folks. I have no idea what they do about showers (and I don’t want to know.) The traffic in town gets crazy and the police force of our little town has to work triple overtime. It’s happening this weekend, and I’m going to take a drive or a walk through and get some pictures – I’m hoping to find the guy who makes a hot tub out of the back of his pickup truck – he’s my favorite.

* I’m getting pretty used to being home alone during the day. Tuesday I was wandering around the house after my shower – in just my underwear – when I noticed the FedEx truck driving away. There was a package in my mudroom. The guy had to walk right past my wide-open kitchen windows to get to the mudroom. The kitchen where I was dancing around in my unmentionables, singing along to Love Shack on my Ipod. Poor guy was probably scarred for life. I thought he drove away kinda fast.

* I’m housesitting this weekend for a friend of mine who has a litter of puppies she needs to have someone keep an eye on. I am making the supreme sacrifice to help her out, because I'm just a wonderfully caring friend. Did I mention that she has a gorgeous in-ground pool with a Tiki bar and outdoor fireplace? I know, I know. I’m just a giver.

* For those of you keeping track, this past week we have had more non-rainy days than rainy ones. Unbelievable. It wasn’t all sunshine, but it hardly rained at all. You can almost feel the pallor lifting from the whole state. Welcome to Vacationland.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shake Your Groove Thing

For many years, and up until a few years ago, I used to sing with the local chapter of Sweet Adelines, an international group devoted to barbershop singing for women. There were about 30 members, and I sang Bass or Baritone, since I have a low voice. It was not only some of the best singing I've ever been privileged to be a part of, it was also an excuse to dress up in girly clothes and makeup to a level I have not experienced before or since.

Once a year, the Sweet Adelines go to "competition" and sing two songs for judging by some incredibly picky professionals. We never won our Region (or even our division within the region) - although we did get 'most improved' one year - but we did our thing on the big stage, just like all the giant choruses. Each group sings one ballad (slow song) and one up-tune. During the up-tune, there's 'choreo' which is short for choreography, but sounds a bit more sophisticated than it actually was (at least in our group).

Anyway, here's a photo of my former singing group onstage at Symphony Hall during our performance at Region I competition. in the midst of the big finish of our up-tune. The song is "You've Got to See Mama Every Night (or you can't see Mama at all)." I am in the front row, second from left, and am shaking my, uh, feather boa, like nobody's business. I was hot, baby, but you can see that for yourself...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I'm having a hard time concentrating on the computer lately. Partly because I'm trying so hard to get a job that my computer time is spent looking for openings, perusing company websites, and contacting head hunters. I've been spending 6 or more hours per day just on the job hunt, and after that, my eyes can't take any more.

Oh, and then the other distraction: It's not raining. It's not raining. IT'S NOT RAINING!

I have been trying to speed-read through all my favorite blogs without commenting, but that seems a bit unsatisfying to me. I'm an extrovert by nature, and if I stop by to see you, I want you to know it. When I get to your blog, while I'm reading it, I feel like you're speaking to me. Just me - at least at that moment. In my mind, we're having a conversation, you and I, and I want to respond to you. That's what extroverts do.

Part of the problem is that a lot of the bloggers I read are funny and clever - sometimes downright hysterical, in fact. When I read something especially witty, trying not to comment on it is almost impossible. How else will you know I'm laughing my ass off?

Perhaps I'll give up sleeping. I mean, sleeping isn't that important, is it? Or, maybe, I'll get a great job where I can blog all day long if I want without them noticing. If anyone knows of an opening in a position like that, please put in a good word for me.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I usually don't pass on videos, but this one is simply amazing to me. Before you hit 'play' make sure your sound is turned up, and stick it out for the first 2 or 2 1/2 minutes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

It really says a lot to me about teamwork - if a large group of people can make the sound of a rainforest, imagine what we could do if we all worked together.

We've come to the end of the touchy-feely 'love is all you need' blog post. Join me tomorrow for our regularly scheduled salute to sarcasm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

F is for Friday Fragments

It's time for Friday Fragments again. This is where I can dump out all the random stuff that isn't fully formed enough to be its own post. Of course, I realize the line is a fine one. If you like randomness, go check out our High Priestess of Fragmentation, Mrs. 4444 over at Half Past Kissin' Time. She's the one who started this thing, and she's funnier than a cat in pajamas.

* I am following the Tour de France obsessively again this year. I have been watching the tour for about thirty years, and love love love it. I think it is the most amazing demonstration of the triumph of the human body - and the human spirit. It's a perfect combination of athletic prowess, strategy, physical vs. mental strength and a huge helping of human interest. It also doesn't hurt that the scenery through Spain and France is so spectacular. This race is unlike anything we have here in the U.S. and I'm glued to it.

* Some people have recently commented that they wouldn’t be able to stand living here in Maine because of the horribly rainy weather. To that I say this: Rain? That’s nothing. You should see our snowstorms. Truthfully, though, this is usually a beautiful place to live. Yes, we have to deal with difficult winters, but they are gorgeous and provide us with a climate for creative play – skiing, skating, dogsledding, building snow men and snow forts – you can’t do that in the south. This rainy spell in the summer is unusual for us, which is probably why it has been so hard to take. Maine is filled with natural wonders, from the rocky coast to the majestic mountains, and there’s a reason it’s called Vacationland. Just not lately.

* Oh, and for the record? Sunny again today, just like yesterday. It’s a miracle.

* My girlfriend Jonel, who has just started blogging (I knew I could suck her in) wrote a very sweet post about me on my birthday. I got all teary-eyed and everything. Click here to read it or check out her blog at Just Sayin'. I also received some wonderful comments and emails. You bloggy people rock. Sometimes I wonder if I'm going to make it, but somebody is always there with a kind word and it keeps me going. I'm sending you all one of those smacky Dating Game kisses.
*I was going to put in a video of the Dating Game kiss here (for you younger folks who don't remember the show) but when I searched 'dating game kiss' on you tube, I got a bunch of stuff that made me want to gouge out my eyes. Although I did find a video of David Cassidy from when he was on the show. Love you, David!! But I digress...

* In case anybody in Hollywood wants to know, there is no need to make any more animated movies about rodents. Rodents are creepy. Cutesy, animated rodents? Still creepy. Having to watch movie trailers about animated rodents? Cruel. And creepy.

* Earlier this week I stopped in at Wal-Mart about 9:00 at night, and in the entryway (between the two sets of automatic doors) there were 6 of those carts – the ones that people use to drive around in when they have difficulty walking - all gathered together, with their drivers all talking at the same time. I slowed my step, hoping to hear what was going on (because I’m the curious type. Or I’m nosy. Whatever.) Anyway, it turns out that one guy was having trouble with his machine, and the others all came to rescue him. I love that we still live in a time where people will help each other. My batteries have been running low lately, and I might need rescuing any minute. Good to know that someone will be there.

* I never get tired of helping Brandon get dressed up for theme days at the camp where he works. Every Friday they have a different theme, and all the counselors dress up to match the theme. Brandon refuses to be outdone, so he really goes all out, no matter what the theme is. He’s dressed up as Robin Hood, a clown, a robot, a court jester, and of course his favorite: a pirate (Johnny Depp, even, complete with eye liner). It’s great fun. This year his girlfriend Sandy, who also works at camp, was here for the dress-up fun. The theme today is Movie Premiere, complete with red carpet and fun movie-related activities all day. Brandon and Sandy went off looking like celebrities - he was in an all-black suit, tie. fedora and sunglasses; she was in a long black gown with heels and evening clutch. I know the camp kids really get a kick out of it, but I think Brandon enjoys it more. He’s a ham. I wonder where he gets that from? I forgot to take a picture this morning, so I’ll leave you with this one of him from pirate theme day.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Wanderer

Another rainy day. I can feel the melancholy in the air. It's hard to concentrate and I find myself wandering, both figuratively and literally.

Yesterday was my 49th birthday. I guess that means I need to update my profile (but I don't think I'll rush - let's pretend I'm still 48 for another couple of days). All day yesterday I found that I was holding a conversation in my head. A one-way conversation (okay, I guess that makes it a monologue) with my birth mother. I've been having this conversation since I was a child, but this year it seems particularly difficult, I think because I know who she is - where she is, even. It's one of those 'so near and yet so far' things. Since I can't seem to let go of it, I'm going to write it down and see if that helps. It went something like this:

Hey, do you remember what you were doing 49 years ago today? God, I wish I knew what it was like then - what you went through. There are a million things I want to know. Were you in labor a long time? Was anyone there with you? I hope you didn't have to go through it alone. I know you delivered me without C-section, and I'm glad you didn't have that particular scar to remind you - if you were trying to forget, which I'm guessing you might have been.

I wish I knew what it was like for you in the preceding 9 months, too. You must have been scared. I hope you had people - friends or family - who stood by you and helped you through it.

Do you think of me on July 7th each year - or is it one of those things that you thought about the first few years, but gradually stopped noticing? Did you picture me at different ages? When I turned one, did you wonder if I was walking? When I was five, did you think about me starting school? Were you ever curious about whether I got married, had kids of my own?

If only you'd talk to me. Answer some of my questions - or at least pass on the medical information I need so badly. If only I could say the things I've held inside for so long. If only I could tell you how much I appreciate what you did 49 years ago. Thank you for my life.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just a Little Bit

We've just had two sunny days in a row. TWO! It went a long way toward drying things up, but the ground is still saturated. At least the house doesn't feel damp any more, and I might even be able to mow some grass tomorrow.

Because it was the first sun we've had in about a month, I have been staying off the computer and trying to get some outside chores done. I've decided that if we're going to have precious little sunshine this summer, I'll have to take advantage and save my blogging for rainy days. The weather channel says that will happen soon enough. Arghh.

I have been applying for jobs at an amazing rate, so feel free to send some positive thoughts my way. And if anybody has any 'how to survive hot flashes' advice, I'd be thrilled to hear it. They're happening all day - and night - and are driving me batty. I don't know what I'll do if summer ever actually comes!

In the meantime, I hope you are well, and enjoying a rain-free summer. I can't wait to hear all about your adventures.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Welcome to Friday Fragments, the place to unload all those odd, random thoughts you might have while you're watching the rain fall day after day after day. Mrs. 4444, from Half Past Kissin' Time, is the hostess of this party, and she's probably a lot sunnier than I am, so go check her out.
* I’ve been watching reruns of The West Wing (since I’m stuck in the house up here in rainy Vacationland) and noticed that a bunch of actors from that show have gone on to star in their own TV shows. As a matter of fact, I think USA network’s entire original programming schedule includes actors that used to be on the West Wing.

* Alex, who’s away for the summer, has actually called me several times. I don’t know if somebody is prodding him to call, but I don’t care. It is so wonderful to hear his voice on the phone, especially because he initiated the call. I sent him up a couple of care packages (snacks that he likes, a computer game, a favorite shirt he forgot) and he called to say thank you, but a couple of times he just called to chat. Un-freaking-believable. It made my heart all squishy inside.

* If you were planning to visit our beautiful state for vacation this year, you might want to wait a while. They announced on the news that it has rained 24 out of the last 27 days. The ground is so saturated that people who live on the edge of hills, cliffs or water frontage are being encouraged to check the stability of the land their houses are on. THE STABILITY OF THE LAND UNDER THEIR HOUSE for Pete’s sake. You might wake up and find that your house is in the lake. Nice. Aren't you just dying to come visit? Maybe you could rent a cabin on a lake. One that's actually ON the lake. Vacation memories in the making.

* On the plus side, we’re saving on bottled water. We’re hardly going through it at all. I think we may be absorbing so much liquid through the humidity level of the air, so who needs to drink anything?

* I may have mentioned this before, but I think that commercials for things we can’t get up here should be banned from my TV. If I see one more Sonic commercial, I may scream. We can’t go to Sonic. THERE ARE NO SONICS. There are no Cici’s Pizza buffets, either. Stop telling me about them.

* I was trying on my sandals – pretending that it was nice enough outside to wear them – and found something troubling. My left foot no longer fits in any of the sandals I wore just last year. I guess whatever happened to my foot this past winter (coincidentally the thing that still hurts like a bastard) has caused it to grow. It’s noticeably bigger than my right foot. Hmmm. I hope that doesn’t start happening to other parts of my body. Maybe I have some disease that makes everything on my left side bigger – foot, ear, hand, boob? Boy, I really hope it doesn’t affect my left ass cheek – that’s already plenty big enough. Not that attractive, I guess, but I wonder if I could get my own TLC special?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Can't Stop the Rain

Can't talk about the rain. Can't talk about the rain. Can't talk about the rain.

I've promised myself that I will not devote any more blog-space to the rain. You've heard enough about the freaking rain already to last a lifetime. I know that if I mention that it is still raining, you might just click away and never come back. So I won't talk about how it is making everyone in the whole state cranky. About the ground that is so saturated that it's turning into quicksand. About the dog yard that has black and green stuff growing in it that I can only assume is mold (?) and that must not be good for dogs to be walking on all day. About towels that won't dry and carpets that feel damp to walk on.

Instead, I will talk about all the great stuff that's going on here.

Hmmm. Wait. Gimme a minute. I'll think of something.

I applied for several jobs this week. All of which I'm completely qualified for. A couple of them should be beating down my door, begging me to work for them. I've decided that I don't really like the whole 'apply online' trend. Often, there are online applications to fill out, and space to attach your resume, but it's not the same. They almost never list the name of the person you're actually applying to, which makes it difficult to call and follow up. My auto-filled work history doesn't look as nice as it does on a crisp, clean sheet of high-quality paper. An emailed cover letter just isn't as impressive as the one you can hold in your hand. It just seems to be taking the personality out of the whole job-hunting thing, and I happen to think that is where I shine.

That might be all I got...

Oh, except that yesterday I didn't have to clean up any cat puke. None. And none yet today. It might be a new record. Who says nothing good ever happens around here?

Are you scared about what Friday Fragments might look like tomorrow????