People Underestimate the Value of a Good Ramble

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy To Be Stuck With My Own Number

So the other day I was listening to the 80's station on our Sirius radio, cause it's pretty much the only station I ever listen to. Sue me, I'm stuck in the 80's.

Anyway, it's Huey Lewis and The News' Happy to Be Stuck With You, and I'm singing along, cause why wouldn't I be, and so I'm singing "We are bound by all the rest, like the same phone number, all the same friends and the same address" and I realized something.

Even if we're all stuck with each other, hardly any one I know just has one home phone number any more. Most people actually have their own cell phone and hence their own number.

Maybe we're not as bound to each other as we used to be.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To NaNo or Not to NaNo

I've been thinking about joining NaNoWriMo again this year. 

I did it last year and the stuff I was writing wasn't bad, but it wasn't really an actual novel. It was more like a really long blog post, or maybe what they're calling a memoir these days, I guess. It was based on all the things I hate. 

And since I hate pretty much everything and everyone, I figured that would give me lots to say. Not so much. I mean, once you say you hate everyone, what else is left?

But I've been contemplating adding to what I started last year. Some of it wasn't half bad and if I just added more, maybe I could edit it a bit and come up with something. 

We will be moving a couple of days before, so that could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe being in a new setting will help me become more inspired or maybe I'll just be too busy setting up my new house so everything is ready for the holidays.  

I don't know.  

But I have been thinking about joining NaNoWriMo again this year. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally, Some Good News

I've promised exciting news and here it is.  Only I have to tell you a little story first. Or actually kind of a long story. Also, keep in mind that this news may only be exciting if you're me.

I've lived in my house for 45 years. I was born and grew up here, then moved back in only two years after I had got married and moved out. It has 5 bedrooms (well, technically 4 bedrooms and an office) and three full bathrooms, as well as a huge eat in kitchen, living room, dining room and upstairs sitting room. Also a three car attached garage with a 14x12 foyer between it and the kitchen with a 10x12 walk in closet/pantry behind the foyer. In other words, it's huge. The yard isn't gigantic, about half an acre, but big enough.

We just recently upgraded the kitchen with all stainless steel appliances and Corian counter tops. It's big and bright with white cupboards and yellow walls and a huge picture window with a window seat.

We love this house.

But here's the thing. It's too much for us. I'm lazy and I don't feel like dealing with all this space, cleaning and maintaining it, including the yard. We've always talked about downgrading, selling this house someday to one of my nephews, so the house - my parent's house - can stay in the family. Especially since another one of my nephews actually lives in the house directly behind ours.

So then there's the story of my nephew, his wife and their two kids. See, they put their house on the market last year, getting ready to move into something larger and closer to everyone else, but it sold so quickly, they had to move into this tiny apartment right away. They thought they would only be there a short time, but it's been a year and they need to move, except they haven't found a house they want.

Turns out it's cause my nephew wants this house.

So although this is sooner than we planned, we're moving! We've found this great brand new model home that we are buying and moving into at the end of the end of the month.

I'm super excited about it and I can't wait to have my own place. This is also giving us a chance to clean up our lives, get rid of all the unnecessary stuff that we've been holding on to for no reason just cause our house is so huge now. The new place is a nice size and it has lots of storage, but we want to make sure we don't get it all cluttered like our present house has become.

So here are a few videos I took of the place right before we move all our stuff in.

This is walking in the front door, looking at the living room, dining room and then around into the master bedroom, the master bathroom and the closet:

This one is the master bathroom:

This one is around the kitchen and then towards the dining room and the laundry room and the side door:

Once it's all set up, I'll share more pics.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Did you ever have that feeling that things weren't going to be right for a long, long time?

Everything that's happened over the last few months has made me feel extremely depressed, but even so I've been trying to move past it. You know, just deal with it and keep a smiley face.

I'm sort of a fatalist, I guess.  Or maybe that's not really the correct term, cause it's not that I think things can't be changed or that everything is predetermined. It's just that I always feel like things are going to work out the way they should. Usually they do.

But I'm also a worrier. I know that those two concepts seem to be the antithesis of each other. And yet.

So even though right now things seem to be working out just the way they should, I'm still waking up with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, not able to eat breakfast. (Believe me, it's very rare that I'm not able to eat.) But then I have this wild mood swing to the other side and I feel super excited and deliriously happy.

Then I'm worried we're making a mistake. Then I'm thrilled that we're getting this chance and that it worked out so well for us. Then I panic again for a while.

I'm a huge proponent of change.  I think it's good to change things up on a regular basis. Although, I'm not one of those people who change their furniture around all the time or whatever. I just get bored easily and I'm looking for something new and interesting.  Maybe all the depression lately is why I felt the need for a dramatic change in my life now.

Anyway, I think we've found it.  The change we need right now to make things better and new.

I promise to tell you all about it.  Soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Memories from an October Past

Five years ago today, on Thursday, October 12, 2006, it snowed.  Here is the story of that time from a post on my lj dated October 27, 2006, at 5:50 pm, which was about an hour after our power finally went back on. 

I still don’t have my cable back. They are calling it the October Surprise Storm.

Thursday, October 12, 2006. It seemed like a normal day, except that after lunch, while I was headed back to work, it started sleeting a bit. About an hour later when I looked out the window it was snowing in earnest. I left work at 4:30 and the weather was not good, icy, snowy, sleety. Laura came over for dinner and couldn’t leave for two days.

The power went out around 7 pm, just as we were starting to watch Silverado. It didn’t come back on for more than a week. The first night we giggled a lot at how ridiculous it was that the first time Laura and I could get together for ages and now this happened! We put a fire in the fireplace, got out the candles and the oil lamps and sat under blankets in the living room reading Edgar Allen Poe (who, by the way, isn’t really as scary as I remember him to be. What’s that about I wonder?) About 10:30 that night, we ran out to move the cars before they were crushed under the falling tree limbs. It was a bit frightening, cause the limbs were crashing around us as we wiped off the cars and moved them as close to the garage and as far from the tree branches as we could. 

Jeff called from Jamestown at 11 pm and I told him to get a hotel. He almost didn’t believe me.

I joked to mom and Laura that we should get in the car and drive out of the storm to a hotel. Where, they asked. I said, how about Florida.

The next day was less fun. We woke up to about 2 feet of snow and all the trees and bushes seemed to be flat on the ground. Huge limbs were torn off the willow tree next door and the driveway was buried. Moving the cars had been a good idea, too, or they would have been crushed. We hung up curtains around the staircase to keep the warm air from rising upstairs. 

All that day we sat huddled under our blankets, feeding the fire and reading. We had tuna sandwiches for lunch. Laura’s cell phone died and our phone lines went dead. My cell had a very intermittent signal. We were feeling very sad and cut off. We did try to move the tree limbs in the driveway, but they were so heavy, with all the leaves weighted down with wet icy snow, we could barely budge them. Laura dug her car out, but it didn’t look like she could go anywhere for a while.

They told us not the drink the water without boiling first. It’s hard to boil water without electricity. I tried holding my hand over it and saying abracadabra, but it didn’t work.

That night I slept on the couch.

Saturday some of the snow started to melt, but the branches were still heavy. Around noon, we were visited by angels bearing treats from Tim Horton’s and the boys came to dig us out. Laura left about an hour later. If I could have, I’d have gone with her.

So now here we are, no lights, no heat, no water, no phones. No will to live! Jeff finally got home that afternoon. Poor boy had been working and sleeping in the same clothes for two days. I went with him to tour the neighborhood and almost wished I hadn’t cause it looked so sad. I took pictures. Jeff hung up sheets between the living room and dining room to hold in the warmth from the fire.

Sunday, Jeff started cleaning up the yard. Mom and I went to Mandi’s to do laundry.

By Monday, people starting getting their power back. We had a pole down in the backyard. When I called the power company, they told me we would have ours back, maybe, by next Sunday!! Jeff had to go back to Jamestown and he left the house at 5 am and didn’t get home until 9:30 pm. Our phones came back on around 1 pm. I went to work for about an hour to get some files and then just worked from home, since there was no power at work.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed about the same way. Debbie and John lent us their generator. Jeff was working in Newfane, about an hour away, in a building with no roof, in the rain. He was pretty miserable, coming home every night to a dark cold house when he was wet and cold all day. I don’t recommend cooking with sterno.

Wednesday the wood ran out so Jeff and I drove to West Seneca when he got home from work to get some from our wood guy, who couldn’t deliver because he is also a tree guy and obviously pretty busy. That night we went out to dinner. When we came home it was pitch black and poor Bambi was terrified. For the next two days, she wouldn’t let us out of her sight.

And then that wood must have been sitting in the rain for a while, because it wouldn’t light. Other than that, Wednesday night was better because Jeff hooked up some lights to the generator and the TV in the living room. All we could get was channel 7, but at least I got to see Lost!

Thursday afternoon the power went back on at work and they called me to go in on Friday. Also, the oil needed to be changed in the generator. I said I would do it. Jeff was tired and mad. He came home, showered and ate, and went to bed. Then got out of bed to change the oil. In the dark and the cold and the rain, lying on the garage floor, he drained the oil. Somehow, he managed to drop a washer into the oil pan. Bye-bye generator. He went back to bed. Mom and I read by oil lamp with our smoky fire.

The power guys showed up and were working in our back yard on the broken pole. We could see their lights through the curtains as we read.

I went in to work very angry and miserable, in a jean skirt, sneakers and one of Jeff’s hoodies. Everyone else’s power had come on, most of them since Saturday. I hated them all! I stayed all morning, then went home to help mom cook lunch and get the fire working again. I was gone for two hours. I went back for a little while and then I left again. No one said a word. I think they were all scared of me.

I was pretty sure I couldn’t take another day of it. I was feeling very suicidal. Jeff was miserable, mom was having chest pains.

When I came home from work my driveway was blocked by power company trucks!!! Jeff came home and was in the shower. Mom and I were sitting and reading. At 4:40 pm, the power came back on!!!!! Mom blew kisses to the men out the front door. I ran upstairs and started flashing the lights on Jeff in the shower. Everyone felt better immediately.

Our back yard is pretty ripped up from the men walking and standing around.

Also, just for fun, our power went out again on Wednesday for a while.

And, as I said, we still don’t have our cable back on. They tell me it will be sometime between now and never.

See more pictures.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The X Factor

I've been watching The X Factor. Not because I thought my life was missing a reality karaoke competition, but because in some unexplainable way, I felt like I owed it to Simon and Paula.

Cause, you know, we're buds.

It's become increasingly apparent to me that I watch way too much TV and the fact that I can even think that pretty much proves it.

So anyway, The X Factor.  I'm not sure if I like it.  I've been dealing with the auditions, but so far I'm not thrilled with anything about AI2.0. Except that I still love Simon. I just wish he was being more like himself. He's been far too easy on the losers. Added to that, Paula is definitely on her meds. I'm hoping that all changes when we get to the real competition part of this competition.

Also, I'm unclear about why they replaced Cheryl Cole, who I had  heard of and who had a super fun northern British accent, with some other chick, that I've never heard of and who has an annoying squeaky baby voice. If Cheryl's accent was the issue, then why keep the broad and sometimes hard to understand Welsh accent of the announcer guy.  I'm guessing he has a name, but he's not Ryan Seacrest, so I don't care.

Probably the one other thing that really bothers me is that they feel its necessary to take up two hours of my life, twice a week. I'm not saying that I have lots of other stuff to do or anything, but I might want to take up a hobby at some point, and how will I do that if I'm busy watching hours and hours of terrible reality TV?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just How Professional Are You?

I was talking to a friend the other day.  She's trying to find a new assistant and she's been drowning in resumes from an ad on Craigslist. I know the feeling. When I was recruiting full-time, it was insane. So many people looking for jobs and not taking into consideration whether or not they are actually capable of performing the jobs they apply for.

Trust me, people, this is important.  If you can't do the job or if you are just incredibly overqualified, you are wasting someone's time. And they won't like you better for it.

Anyway, she was telling me about one particular person who she interviewed and I could feel her pain. Once my friend - changing her name to protect the innocent, she can be....Sally - had called and screened a few people and determined who she wanted to personally interview, she decided to put the ball in the applicants' court by sending out an email and asking them to call her back. In her email, she gave some times to call her, including a specific time frame of about an hour when she could not be called.  This particular applicant, we'll call her Jane, chose to call in that exact time period and then said, "oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see that." Already, she's proven that she has no attention to detail.

The next nail in her coffin was when she went to the interview. She was given an address, 100 This Street, and also given directions; if you miss the turn onto This Street, you can also turn onto That Way, which loops back around.  So at about the time of the interview, Sally gets a call from Jane, "There is no 100 That Way. Are you trying to scam me?", you're just stupid.  I don't think Sally said that, but I probably would have.

Once she got to the interview - late when she was told beforehand that punctuality was a key component for the position - she handed over her resume. With a typo. She listed herself as a "professional administrative assistant" and left the second O out of professional. So she was a "professinal administrative assistant."

I'd like to say I'm surprised, but honestly I'm not. I've seen too many people just like that.

I'm guessing that, like so many I've seen, she's happy on her extended unemployment.  She has to keep interviewing, but she doesn't really want a job.

Or maybe she's just really, really stupid.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bad Energy

So tonight, around 6:30. I'm just getting dinner on the table and the phone rings.

I'll be really honest. Normally, I don't answer my phone. It's just that I spend all day on the phone so I don't feel like dealing with it when I'm not working. If you want to text me, I can handle that. Otherwise, not so much.

Anyway, I was talking and cooking and I guess I was distracted, cause even though I didn't recognize the number, I answered.

It was a chick doing a survey about energy...something or other. Since I'm a generally nice person and I don't wish to be rude to a complete stranger on the phone, added to which I cold call people for a living, I chose to not just immediately  hang up on her. She didn't ask me if it was a good time, probably because 6:30 on a Saturday night is pretty clearly not a good time, but just launched right into her little spiel. She made sure to mention up front that she was not selling anything and I almost believed her. I usually say exactly that when I make my calls as well, so maybe it just struck a chord. (And I really am not selling anything. Really.)

She starts out asking me questions and I just go along. At first. I kept thinking it would just be like a three question survey or something short and then I could get on with my life.  Instead it was these long, long questions where I had to rate my answer between 1 and 5, with 5 being the mostly likely. You know.  I'm more of a to the point kind of person, so I kept trying to answer her before she finished, since she was basically asking the same thing over and over, and telling me to give a likelihood of my doing such or so, between 1 and 5 with 1 being the least and 5 being the most likely.  Seriously. She told me that after each question. When I tried to just cut her off and answer without her saying that every time, she insisted that she had to say it.

I started getting testy. I'm not sure what she was after, but the thing was going on way too long and I had absolutely no interest in whatever she wasn't selling me.  Plus, my dinner was getting cold. My mother, in the background, kept telling me to just hang up on her. But, again, I hate to be rude.

We were nearly 9 minutes into this call, when I decided that I was done. She wouldn't just cut to the chase and let me answer her, she insisted on doing the entire spiel, every single time, and I said, look, I can give this another 30 seconds. She said, with a bit of a 'tude, well, there's quite a bit more than that.  I said, I'm sorry, then, but I have absolutely no interest in this and I'm eating dinner.  She sorta sniffed at me a little and thanked me in a really snotty tone, said goodbye and hung up.

Even though I didn't want to be rude to her and just hang up, I should have.  After all it was actually very rude of her to call me during dinner.