The Gravy on Top

Last night I had a bit of a crisis, which is why I didn’t blog for the first time since I started blogging again. I was having a low night and felt overly stressed and treated my laptop a little too roughly and the screen stopped working. Since it was my fault, I couldn’t be too upset, but I was. I need it to look for jobs! But there wasn’t anything I could do about it last night so I went to bed. I needed to wake up early today anyway. I did a Scarlett O’Hara and said I’d worry about it tomorrow.

This morning I woke up early because I was going to see Katie! I have missed her. Even though we still text, I hadn’t seen her since my hospital trip to see Abby. This morning she needed someone to sit with baby Abby while she took her son to his preschool. It was just an open house so I wouldn’t be sitting with her long, which was good thing since I don’t have the ability to nurse anymore. That ship sailed many years ago!

So after I got there this morning we drove up to the school and I sat in the car reading B is for Burglar while Abby slept. Every once in awhile I’d hear her make little baby noises so I knew she was good. But I have forgotten how much newborns sleep!

After the open house, we went back to her house. We were going to Sonic for lunch but it was too early. We don’t have a Sonic nearby so I was very excited to go! We hang out for awhile talking and I played with my buddy Ben. He played with my phone. I love that little boy! He reminds me so much of JJ at that age. I’d forgotten how much I miss my little boy.

We then went to Sonic and we had chicken strips with gravy and tator tots. I think every meal should have gravy and tator tots! It was mmm-mmm good! We drove over to Starbucks and got Frappachino’s which made it the best lunch EVER. 

After that, we went back to her house and I honestly didn’t want to leave. It was so nice to talk to someone who wasn’t a cat or Scooter… Or male. We had lots of time to make up for!

Katie also wrote down some recipes for me and gave me a recipe box with many more blank cards so I’m set to write down recipes! I might have to make a trip to Pinterest now…

It really was a good day. I got home around five and was in a lot better mood. I still had to deal with my computer though. JJ suggested I bang around my computer a little more and see if I could undue what I did last night. I did that and that fixed my laptop. It truly felt like a miracle!

All of those things made me in a better mood. It was just the kind of break I needed to clear my head for my interview next week. I need it a lot.

Now I’m ready for a relaxing weekend with Sue Grafton…

Until tomorrow!


Sneaky Cat

Today I wake up to a truly rainy and dreary day. It’s so grey and yucky it makes me feel sorry for those over in DC at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Is it better to be rainy and humid or sunny and humid? Hard to say. I just know that no matter the weather, today is a significant historical day and will be special no matter what. Martin Luther King Jr had a dream and we have never forgot it.

With the day being like it is, I’m in no hurry to run out to the used bookstore, so I don’t rush into getting ready. I hang out at my computer and browse the internet. I still don’t see any jobs I’m interested in. It’s been slow this week. But I need two by Sunday, so I’ll resume my search tomorrow.
Later in the afternoon, Smoke comes home with the laundry from the laundromat and JJ finally starts to get ready to go. I put away the clothes and together JJ and I haul out two boxes of books to trade in for store credit. I love getting rid of stuff. And I no longer feel the need to hoard a lot of books. Just the books I really like and that changes from day to day as well.
When we get to the used bookstore I start going through the mystery section and I’m like a kid in the candy store. So many books! So many about cats! Why are cats always involved in mysteries? Strange. But this is how I know it’s the genre for me! Cat and mysteries go together!
They had the entire Sue Grafton alphabet series, but I obviously can’t afford all the way up to V so I get B-E. I pick up three more Diane Mott Davidson books and a Margaret Maron book. All of those were recommended on my Facebook page, but I also pick up two Magical Cats Mystery books written by Sofie Kelly. I’ll let you know how they go!
After a quick trip to Checkers for dinner, JJ and I go home with our haul. He had bought a couple books too, but he always seems to go for the expensive ones. He wasn’t really into the mystery books. He looks at them suspiciously saying they look a lot like romance books. I tell him all genre’s usually dabble a little in romance, but I don’t think he’s impressed. He’s always encouraging me to write something not romance related. Such a long way from middle school when he tried to get me to talk to his class! I was like, “Uh… I don’t think your teacher’s would appreciate me talking about what I write.” Definitely R rated! But it was sweet.
I ask JJ if he read any VC Andrews books, but realize he’s not a teenage girl who grew up in the 80’s. I try to explain the brother and sisters in Flower in the Attic and how incest only makes sense in these books, but finally shut up when I realize I sound crazy. I did show him the wall of VC Andrews in the used bookstore so he knew I wasn’t making it up and people really did like these books! 
Oh and all the books I trade in gives me $26 in store credit. Not as much as I hope, but better than nothing! And I don’t take any home even though they offer to give me the ones they don’t want. It just feels good to go in with two boxes full and leave with 12.
I also thought up a tentative mystery plot I would like to write. Who knows if I’ll go with it, but at least I’m starting to think about it. 
I just looked up at the television and a box showed it was autotuned to Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans. Smoke is asleep, but I know this was his handiwork. He knows I love my McDreamy!! What a good husband Patrick Dempsey is! I mean, Smoke is… That’s what I meant. Sure!
Here is my mystery cat:
She’s obviously very sneaky:
This is her grabbing her sister’s tail. She looks lazy, but don’t turn your back on her!
I have the cat (s). Now I just need the story! Mystery writer, here I come… 
Until tomorrow…

It’s a Mystery to Me

I’m thinking I might want to try and write a mystery novel. I’ve done romance. There can’t be much of a difference. It’s pretty much a mystery why people are attracted to one another, right? I just need to figure out the elements of a good mystery. I guess that means reading more! It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Today I finished I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, the next to last Flavia novel by Alan Bradley. After a slow start, it was just as good as the his other books! I love Flavia. She’s awesome as a teenager sleuth. Next on my list is The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling). JJ read it fast so it’s now my turn!

I think tomorrow we are going to trade in two big box of books I have at the used bookstore and get some more mystery novels. I really want some more Sue Grafton books. Strangely enough I was going through some old books of mine and found S is for Silence. Of course between A and S, there are a lot of letters, so I think it will be while before I get to the S.

Other than that, I emailed a few former coworkers, looked for some jobs and worked out on my treadmill.

Since I don’t have much else to say, here’s a brief list of things I like right now.

My view from my treadmill:

Even on the treadmill, I get to see cats!

My favorite music while on the treadmill: Born Sinner by J Cole and Chapter V by Trey Songz. I also have Robin Thicke’s new CD.

Favorite Snack:

These are yummy! I won’t lie and say they taste like cupcakes, but for graham crackers they are good! And the serving size is like 30 pieces so makes you feel like you have a lot!

My favorite Reality Show: Legend of Shelby. They call him the Swamp Man. Have you seen this guy? He had my heart back when I saw him walk his dog to the vet in bare feet. He had no car and had to walk him the whole way. The dog had worms and he had to wait for the medicine to work. That was devotion to me. Now he has his own. And it’s worth watching. Of course my second favorite will always be Duck Dynasty. That’s a show that always delivers.

My favorite guilty pleasure: Reruns of Friends. I have all the seasons on DVD and yet I still watch them every afternoon on TBS. What’s wrong with me? I can’t seem to stop watching that show. I will be watching at the nursing home JJ puts me in as soon as he can! Still doing Chandler. “Can I be any older?”

That’s about it for today.

Until tomorrow!

Mr. Telephone Man Part Deux

I wasn’t expecting to get a call for an interview today. Mr. Jobman led me to believe I wouldn’t hear from anyone until next week. But I guess that meant they wouldn’t be available for interviews until then. I now have an interview for next week on Thursday! Whoo!!

I have to admit that I’m nervous! But at least I have a suit! I just need to go pick up some black shoes. I have a pair, but they are pretty old, so I need to get a newer pair. I might need a haircut too. I’m not sure. OMG… I haven’t interviewed in 13 years!

I’m not getting my hopes too high. No matter what, just have the interview experience will be good!

After I found out about the interview, I made myself some spaghetti sauce and noodles. I deserved a celebration! Of course cake would’ve been better, but I truly need to keep the weight down. I don’t want to bust out of my suit! And not in a good way… I’m talking about the buttons on my skirt. Pasta probably isn’t good either.

That was about it for today, but it was a good thing! I’m ready to talk to someone who doesn’t walk on four legs!

Until tomorrow…

Hobby Horse

Today was the kind of day that went by really fast even though I didn’t do much. The kind of day I hated back when I worked because it made the weekend feel like a waste. But now that one day kind of floats into the rest it doesn’t really matter.

Smoke went golfing today and when he came back I think I drove him crazy. As soon as he walks in, I talk his head off. That’s what happens when you spend all day by yourself. JJ pops in from time to time, but he’s 19 and not a real conversationalist.

Anyway, this is the conversation that I had with Smoke:

Him: “You need a hobby.”

Me: “Well, I already read…”

Him: “You need to sew something.”

Me: “Sew?? Sew what?” Heh.

Him: “I don’t know. Anything. A quilt.”

Me: “Yeah, no.”

Him: “Sew some clothes. Sell them.”

Me: “Hahahaha. I don’t think that will happen.”

Him: “Sew Scooter some clothes.”

Me: “Hmm…” He would look cute with some costumes…

He is right though. Reading doesn’t always hold my attention. And TV isn’t really a hobby. I did find something I liked to do:

I can make deviled eggs. And I can eat them! That’s probably not a good hobby. Especially when I keep trying to lose weight.

I can also dress up cats. I didn’t sew this t-shirt. It was a shirt from a stuffed dolphin we got at the Baltimore Aquarium. Please don’t judge me. It was JJ’s idea! Yes, I didn’t went along with it, but I’m unemployed. I don’t know better!

*sigh* Yes. Maybe I need to start writing a book again. Anything to get me to leave the animals alone. And food. After I finish the deviled eggs. Someone has to do it!

 Until tomorrow…

Born Free

I took Scooter to Petco again. I needed a chain or something to hold him while we are working at the reno house so he won’t run away. I trust Scooter, but he does have a tendency to wander. There are neighbors with a German Shepherd and I don’t want him to end up in a fight. 

On the way to Petco, I’d stupidly hook on his leash and he chewed it off before we got there. Now I needed another leash! I try to tie the old one together to get us through the store, but as soon as we step out of the car, it comes aparts and he’s running across the parking lot. Wonderful. I start running after him, panicking, but luckily he goes straight to the store. A kid starts running towards him.

Scooter: “A-roo-roo-roooooooo!” Back away from me little person!

There’s a Petco employee out front smoking a cigarette. She sees my dilemma and tells me to go to the grooming department for a temporary leash. When I do that, the groomer stares at me like I’m stupid. “Do you have an appointment?”

Me: “No, my dog chewed his leash. The lady out front told me to come here.”

Her: “So you need to borrow a lead?”

Me: “Yes. That’s what I’m saying.” I’m holding a dog and a broken leash. Why was this so hard to understand?

We finally get into the store and needless to the say, I’m already stressed. Plus, it’s more crowded than the last time. And the kid that we saw in the front is running around the store like a maniac. I didn’t even think about Scooter’s fear of little people.

I pull him along and he’s fine around people. He even lets a woman pet him. But as soon as he see’s a kid, he’s like, “A-roo-roo-rooooooooo!!”

The kid from out front comes running down the aisle we are in and Scooter does it again. The kid: “Will he bite?”

Me: “I don’t know. I would probably leave him alone.” Nothing like scaring a little kid on a Saturday!

I finally grab a retractable tie-out thing and a metal leash. I throw in a Scotty stuffed toy for his stress. I’m pretty sure I will try to get him used to kids before he goes to a store again!

I drive him to the reno house where Smoke is working on one of the outbuilding’s we are going to use for storage. I read a book and just enjoy the outdoors. I love being outside. I miss it. I don’t get why anyone would want to stay inside. Growing up with only four channels of TV, (five if you included PBS, which we didn’t) I  spent all my time outside. Nobody wanted to stay inside with their parents. Especially in the summer when there was no central air and it was hot and stifling. Yes, now I sound like some geezer, but it’s true.

We set out a piece of plywood and a towel for Scooter, but I end up using it to stare up into the trees.

Scooter hangs out with Smoke, trying to help:

When Smoke is done working for the day, I drive home and eat a big dinner. Too big. My clothes really are getting snug. I put on a pair of jeans the other day and there’s not a lot of space in the waistband as there used to be. I do a hour on my treadmill tonight:

I made that treadmill my bitch! Of course once I got off it, I was walking like I was drunk. Stupid equilibrium!

That’s about it for today. Just another Saturday. I did apply for one more job this morning. I can’t rest just because I had one telephone interview!

Until tomorrow…

Mr. Telephone Man

I wake up this morning and the rain is coming down hard. I get up, eat my breakfast and drink some coffee, trying to wake up so I can make my job phone call. Since I don’t have a landline, I have to call from my cell phone. Since I live in the buttcrack of Virginia, the only way to get a signal is outside. Out front. In my car aka my office.

I grab my job hunting notebook, my car keys and my phone and make the wet trek to my car. Scooter comes with me since he’s my assistant. He sits shot gun while I make the call. I use my bluetooth to talk on the phone. Like a large speakerphone but I’m talking to my car. Kind of like Kit on Night Rider. Only I’m not actually talking to the car. Well, sometimes I do, but we won’t talk about that.

As soon as I call Mr. Jobman, we have problems because my phone starts breaking up and he can’t hear me. Crap. This is not making a good impression! Plus, my assistant is whimpering from his seat. Probably because he was promised a ride but we are sitting in the driveway in the rain not going anywhere. How am I going to explain that? “Sorry, I’m sitting in my car with my dog because I’m a redneck.”

I guess not. Anyway, luckily after that, the call clears up and we start talking. I immediately realize this is a phone interview and I’m nowhere near ready for that. It’s early. It’s been a hundred years since I’ve had an interview.

I don’t remember it all, but here are some highlights:

He asks about if I’m working now and I tell him I was laid off and then he looks at my history and is like, “Wow, you were there a LONG time.”

Err… Thanks for reminding me? I’m like, “I KNOW! 12 years.” And yes, because I watch Friends everyday, I say it like Monica.

He asks what I know about the job and how my experience will help me. I remember some of the job requirements but not all of them. I read a lot of jobs descriptions. A lot. But I’m not going to admit that. I just start talking about what I did in last job and then I say, “It’s very similar to the job you have.” Then I wait. He doesn’t say, “Girl, you are crazy,” so maybe I made some sense.

He mentions how long the commute would be for me. I explain how I live in the middle of nowhere. I know how to commute. Been there, done that. Him: “There’s no direct route from your house to *blank*.” I guess he Mapquested it or something. Little does he know there’s no direct route from here to anywhere.
We talk some more and then he says he will send my information to the department who will be doing the hiring. He says they will be out of the next week but I should hear something by the 4th.

That’s my first phone interview! I think I did ok. At least I know what to expect next time! And he did say he would forward my information on so that’s something…

After that, I call and deal with some 401k stuff. That’s always fun. That guy kept me on the phone a lot longer. I’m not a phone person. I would much rather talk to people in person. Finally my calls are done, which is good because my assistant is bored and needs to pee on things.

Later when the rain stops, I take JJ up to town. We stop buy Target and I replace The Mortal Instruments with JK Rowling’s, aka, Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling. I have to replace it because he came up to me earlier today and was like, “This book is a teenage romance.”

Me: “Just because Stephanie Myers provided a blurb doesn’t mean it’s a teenage romance.”

Him: “No, really, it’s just about teenagers.”

Me: “You’re 19. NineTEEN. Not 60. I think you can still read it.”

Him: “Whatever. You can have it.”

Oh well. It’s all good. All I wanted was for him to read. I will read The Mortal Instruments instead. And we got two books I wanted to read! Bonus!

Speaking of books, I finished A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. I really liked it! Early 80’s are awesome. No cell phones and since it’s a library book, it’s actually from the 80’s and the book looks like it was typed with a typewriter. The book is gritty, which seems to be what I prefer lately. Nothing pretty.

Other than that, I ate too much cake (and some gummy bears) and didn’t exercise. This weekend that will change! You can’t exercise on rainy days. It’s not allowed!

I want to thank everyone who gave me good wishes on this follow-up call. I don’t know what will happen, but I feel like it’s a good learning experience either way.

Until tomorrow!