Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hardly anyone is here, so i'm just going to talk about myself.

My first week of retirement was spent  in Manzanita, (Oregon beach) Sept. 2013

1. I like that photo above, not only because we both look so relaxed and happy, but also because i'm wearing a hat. I love wearing hats and i look pretty good in them, if i say so myself. But it's difficult to pull off hat-wearing as regular fashion in normal public outings...know what i mean? It's nearly impossible to not notice a hat (unless it's a baseball cap) and it often feels like the person is seeking attention.

When people seem to be trying too hard to get my attention is exactly when i don't want to give it.      

HOWEVER a hat is not only allowed, but recommended, if you are at the beach. You can do what the shit you want at the beach, that's why i love going there.

2. Plus the hat helps camouflages those lines between my eyes.

3. I actually had to look up the word camouflage. (I was putting the 'u' in the wrong spot. I put it is flauge.) Damn that pisses me off when i have to look up what i think is an ordinary word like that because while i know i don't have the best vocabulary, i think i'm a pretty good speller.

4. So far my retirement has not been leisurely. Tomorrow i am spreading beauty bark.

5. The wine dude has not called me back for the wine bar job even as HE was the one who came to ME! The following week after he mentioned it I dropped off a resume with references so he would know i was serious because i didn't always sound serious when i went in there. Tomorrow it will be a week and he still hasn't called.

6. I feel a little bit like i did when i was a single gal waiting by the phone.

7. louielouie... did you give me a BAD reference? Maybe that's why he's not calling!

8. No hurry for me though really for that job.  I'm still working three days a week for a while, maybe until June and i'm not really looking to work 5 days a week at all.

9. I read about 10 books this summer but can't really recommend any as something you MUST read, like i've done in the past summers. I wrote up a list and then lost it.

10. Do you do this too? I write up a grocery list and then almost always leave it at home or on my desk at work. Sometimes just writing it out helps me remember what i needed. But today i left off toilet paper.

11. Which means i should make a Costco run now, which i was trying to avoid. Toilet paper at Costco costs $7.99 at Albertson's and about $150 at Costco. You know why.

12. Our grocery clerks may be going on strike. It sucks what they are doing to this union. The one that speaks to me is cutting out any benefits, even pro-rated, for employees working under 30 hours. Every grocery chain in this union will cut fulltime employees hours from 40 to 29 so they no longer have to pay any health benefits.

This is fucked.  Because like the guy who checked me today he said they will make it so no one will be paid any health care if this is ratified. He did say they had three chances to vote and he voted that morning and it was super busy.

I told him i would come and walk a picket line if it comes to a strike. I'm going to get some friends too.

I guess in some ways i haven't lost my mojo for this stuff. Funny how something adversarial can be a good thing to get your juices running.

Notes to Self:                                  
Sunset: 7:03 pm
Sunrise: 7:00 am
High/Low temp: 60/43
All time page views: 48,600
Last book read: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Shout Out: EoDe and amulbunny

Monday, September 16, 2013

Let's Talk About Our High School Life !

This idea came from me surfing Ryan Adams on YouTube and he was singing one of his more youthful angsty songs Come Pick Me Up (which i love and i believe was in Cameron Crowe's movie Elizabethtown).

Accompanying him was Neil Finn and Janis Ian. Remember her? Anyway that song of hers which i have linked above At Seventeen came out when i was seventeen years old. I related to that song SO much and made it my teenage anthem. (Especially the "clear skinned smiles" lyric because i had terrible acne and was so self conscious about it.) .

So it got me to thinking that we should all share stuff from our high school years. But first be sure to tell us what year you graduated so we get a feeling for the times.

1. I graduated in 1975 as a new senior student in Tacoma, having just moved here from Colorado Springs. I never ate lunch once in the cafeteria that whole senior year. It was awful being a new senior so i talked to a school counselor, and shortly after with her help, enrolled in Vocational School so i didn't have to stay on the high school campus except for two periods a day. (I took a library assistant voc tech class that was nearly a whole year course.)

2. I attended three high schools - (Get out the violins! Poor me, right?) I was a  junior in Colorado Springs (we lived there only one year) and a sophomore and freshman in Zama, Japan.

3. We were military and my dad was a low ranking E-5, non-comissioned Air Force sargeant - so with four kids and a non-working mother, we were poor, (like free and reduced lunch kid poor), only too proud to apply.

4. With my babysitting money i bought vinyl records at the PX on base. I wore out Cat Stevens Tea for The Tillerman and Neil Young's After the Gold Rush, (which incidentally is still some of my favorite music today).

5. I dated an African American football player for nearly my whole sophomore year. He was my first real boyfriend. This was when we lived in Japan.

His name? ....Michael Jordan. He was a senior. His dad was a West Pointer army officer. The year was 1973, which was a pretty turbulent time for blacks and whites to be dating, but on base in Japan it was different. My parents tried to stop it at first, but then my dad relented and Mike spent a lot of time with my family, even visiting me in Colorado when we moved away. Mike was super polite, raised with class, a very cute and sweet man. All the teachers loved him and he was popular for the right reasons.

6. I used to dye my hair blonde myself with Clairol's Midnight Sun and it was just terrible (and why i don't mind spending lots of money today to pay a professional.) When i was a junior i tried to dye it back to it's normal brown shade and it turned khaki green. And it was like that for awhile before i could fix it again by dying it more red.  I also used to iron it with a real iron.

7. I never got below a "B" grade in all of high school (but i have to admit to taking the easier classes: Spanish instead of French; no harder math class than algebra, etc.) and i never missed turning in my homework. Not even once.

8. My favorite movie was (I hate to admit this because it's so cheesy).....was.....Love Story. And as I have mentioned here before, I had a girl crush on Ali MacGraw.

9. My favorite book was Catcher in the Rye and Gone with the Wind. (I read them both twice.)

10. My favorite class was Creative Writing. I still remember my junior year teacher Miss Tarver and how pretty she was with her super long straight hair. The reason i remember her is because one time when she handed back one of my stories she told me that I was too young to write so well and that she had liked my story so much she had given it to a friend of hers to read. (I remember being most fascinated by her sharing it with a friend!)  She encouraged me to send it to a magazine for publication. (I did, of course, and saved all the rejection letters.)

I also liked math and had some excellent math teachers, but i don't remember their names.

11. I never went to the prom my senior year. I did go to one junior dance in Colorado that was not prom. I sewed my own dress and went with a guy I knew from Japan who had moved to Colorado before us. He wasn't cute, but he was in college so i thought that was cool.

12. I had a babysitting job for four kids from 3-6 pm nearly my whole junior year in Colorado.  I made 50 cents an hour. The year was 1973. I think that job is the reason i never had kids. I used that money to buy records and Clearasil.

13. I never drank in high school, but my parents once let me have some pink champagne when i was a junior and i was so sick the next day. I never smoked pot either. I was a goody-goody and spent a lot of time in libraries, probably had something to do with not having that many friends since we moved a lot. I was a senior before a lifeguard asked me out to a kegger. I didn't know what a kegger was, i thought beer only came in cans! (I went to that kegger, but didn't drink anything.)

OK, so what were your high school years like? My school years weren't really all THAT terrible, at least i was never bullied or beat up, but my clothes and hair were always wrong and i always felt out of place, especially my last two years. And like most people i know, there is not enough money in the world to make me want to relive them, even knowing what i know now.

Notes to Self:                                                              
Sunrise: 6:48 am
Sunset: 7:22 pm
High temp: 65 degrees
All time blog posts: 48,261
Last iTunes purchase: Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits
Last Book read: Brewster
Longest run this week: 45 minutes

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why I don't own a cell phone....& stuff.

And NO....this is not the reason, though i have to admit,being around folks who do this when I am with them make me crazy!

So many people are incredulous that i don't own a cell phone. And I don't miss it. I can't remember a time when i thought to myself, damn if only i had a cell phone.

I am not making this up.

And i realized just very recently how much the phone has affected me because of my job in the union office. I've worked in this job for 25 years (not to mention the previous 10 years in the school district where i was a secretary).

I am now retired but temporarily working part-time in the union office and one thing i no longer have to do is answer the phone.

It's only been two days post retirement, but i realized how much more i like going to work just knowing the phone is no longer my duty.... I feel lighter... I feel happier! Just knowing when that phone rings i don't have to have some conversation with the person on the other line has freed me up to be more positive and ready to get to work.

Here's the deal: nobody calling the union office ever does so with positive news. They call crying, venting, whining, griping, yelling, and i am not kidding, even suicidal (That has actually happened to me four times. One time...  months later i read the member's obituary and that's where i found out she was really serious....And on that call i actually had access to the mental health place next door who I had a colleague summon to come over and take the call.)

They have even called drunk.

It was SO rare to receive a good phone call that i actually started to save any voice mails i received that were nice messages. I had calls from a few members or colleagues who liked what i wrote in a newsletter, or what i said in a meeting,  three of those calls were from my friend Julie (jj here) who had her little kindergarten or first grader kids in her music class sing happy birthday to me.

Because of retirement and cleaning up my office,  I also recently cleared them off my voice mail. There were 9 messages in all.

And sometimes when i had a particularly negative experience at work i would play all 9 messages and listen to them again. (Julie's kids singing were the best.)

So now i'm thinking maybe after i de-program myself from this union job there are a few things that I think will change me. 

#1. I will be a more positive person.

#2. My house is going to be in much better order because i actually like doing things like putting things where they belong - for example my next project now that the refrigerator is done is to put up new shelf paper and reorganize my kitchen cabinets.

(I don't have THAT many kitchen cabinets so this is not that arduous a chore really.)

#3.  I will like being around people more.

#4. My health will be improved. Already i have been able to quit the blood pressure meds. Going on two months now and my blood pressure has been just great.

#5.  Hell, I might end up getting a cell phone. (Not saying i will really use it, but i might get one.)

How do you think YOU would change if you weren't working at your current job? What do YOU think you would be doing differently? How might you feel differently?

Notes to Self:                                           
High temp today: WOW! it hit 90 degrees at 4:05 pm. That might be the record high all summer. We have had the most fabulous summer ever in the history of Washington State summers. (However, next week it changes and goes back to 62 degrees for the high.)
Sunrise: 6:42 am (right now as i type at 7:46 pm it is 83 degrees outside! That's amazing!
Sunset: 7:32 pm ...
it's going SO fast now! :(
Longest run this week: 51 minutes
All time blog posts: 48,081
Blog posts last month: 1084

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Day of Non-Vacation Retirement

Here's what i did today.

  • Got up at 7:30. 
  • Found out i didn't win Thug Kitchen's contest. :(
  • Called the furnace guy to come out and fix it. 
  • While waiting for him to fix it I decided to tackle cleaning the refrigerator. 
  • Changed this blog.

Damn, the refrigerator took two hours but the furnace guy took only a half hour to add a part. (Yay! We have air conditioning again! ) Plus I found an old diet pepsi way in the back that had an expiration date of 2006. (Makes sense since i don't drink it!)

So it was a good first day.

Cleaning the frig was also a great way to procrastinate going running. Now i think I'm too exhausted, all that bending hurt my knees. 

Maybe it's time to settle in and watch some Matlock and Murder She Wrote on the retro cable channels. Tomorrow I might see what time those quilting ladies are on! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dear Thug Kitchen

Thug Kitchen's recent recipe for blueberries muddled with basil and lime
As i write you from my vacation in Manzanita Beach, Oregon (a very hip vegan kind of place, you would love vacationing here in this quiet beach town i am sure) I am trying to decide which red i like better as i write you to plead with you one last time to choose me for your contest.

One is Three Rocks Red and the other is Three Rivers Red. (The threes was a happy accident.) They are both Washington, one from Zillah, one from Walla Walla. (I'm leaning Walla Walla).

(Thug Kitchen must approve of wine, i am sure.)

I hope you were so entertained by my blog entry for the contest from May 31 this year ripping off your voice to post a recipe for my bacon wrapped tator tots that you continue to check in.

I really need that knife because i got suckered into spending good money on Cutco knives, first from my ex-stepchild and then from my friend's son who i really like a lot. And not one of them is a good everyday knife.

I hope you are not offended that i tried to mimic you. I actually think i did a pretty good job of it, considering i am not as well versed in cussing.

(Ok, that's a lie. I work in a union office and the F-word is my friend.)

From what i can tell, Thug Kitchen does not take itself seriously and the bacon is pretty funny you have to admit. (The tator tots were just an added plus as i am sure you have very strong opinions, as you should, about tator tots.)

And no lie, these are the first things to go at a party and i know you have lots of carnivore readers who would really appreciate this recipe. It shouldn't be a copyright thing either because i changed it up on the measurements.

Not only that, i'm certain that Thug Kitchen is also about breaking rules too!

So i hope you choose me. My blog actually reaches more people than it seems, which is an added bonus for you! My readers are shy, they lurk, but don't always post. According to my stats they are checking in, OK, maybe not like Huffington Post, who plugged your blog and probably helped you win Best New Blog, but my readers are resourceful and sharing and smart AND they too all eat like they give a fuck.

So on the chance that you continue to check back here or Google your name and my blog pops up, here is one last plug for the thug.

I hope to hear from you on Friday.

happy eating,


P.S. I really need that knife. I promise not to use it inappropriately in any way, as one of my Facebook friends inferred.  When she saw the knife that i copied and pasted from your blog link, she laughingly referred to me as applying for a job as a serial killer.

note: for y'all reading in case you missed it: Click here for Thug Kitchen's website