Thursday, February 19, 2015

I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion

I'm reading Wise Children by Angela Carter. The Times has a list of best writers since 1945, and she's on it. There's this great bit in Wise Children when the narrator describes finding a raggedy young teenager on the doorstep. She's someone their uncle has found in his travels and sent to live with them. Somebody says to her something like, "We're not running a home for fallen women here," and the girl replies, "I ain't fallen yet. But I might." The fact that the girl is called Cyn (usually "Our Cyn") is part of the fun.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My undies have a new place to live

Free dresser from someone who is putting her house on the market. It's in excellent shape. Not a glorious example of wood craftsmanship or anything. It's crap, but it's a better class of crap, she says, with an artless laugh. It really isn't too bad. It's clean, and the drawers roll in and out smoothly. This is the first time I've had a dresser since I was forced to sell my furniture when everything went to hell. Gosh, I miss the furniture I had. And my flutes. And my piano. Anyhow, we're not talking about that right now, we are talking about the nice free dresser, shut up about the past, it's never coming back. The undies and socks have been living in Fedex boxes and such ever since the time we are not talking about. So this dresser is a step up. Or it will be as soon as I figure out how to get it up the stairs. 

P.S. I got it up the stairs by myself. I think it will work out fine.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Trying for art show and Thinking I will lose my job soon

The drop off date for the next art show at church is the 15th. I believe it's the one that is open to church members. Or is it only church members who are in it? Well, I don't know. They send so many emails. Anyway, I submitted an entry form by the deadline because when I heard that the theme this year is "water" I thought of Buddha and his belief that water is for drinking, not for falling from the sky upon him. So I printed off the poem I wrote late last year titled "My Dog Writes Poems About Rain" on nice paper I rescued from the office, and have spent four hours tonight trying to put together the poem, a studio picture of Buddha from some years back that I never really liked and also makes me giggle because it looks SO much like a school photo, and the title which I printed out on even nicer paper I discovered in the service center at work. (I use the verb discover as in Columbus is the discoverer of America even though there were people living here who didn't need him to come along and tell them where they were.) The wooden frame is a clearance bin item from Michael's (plus 40% off on one item coupon day) and the backing paper is a type of cream craft paper that has little ridges in it. It comes on a roll. It was on clearance. Now I know why. Never again. It should be renamed Pain in the Ass Paper That Curls, Cracks, and Rips Easily. I should have bought the art paper I was first directed to except that it was gorgeous and smooth and called out for ink or paint and talent and would have been some sort of sin to use it for this. Oh, and that gene for cutting a straight line with scissors? I was born without it. The extremely nice lady at Michael's who put on the wire hanger on the clearance frame for free also told me about the photo corners in the scrap book part of the store. They worked well. The frame has those flat metal things you twist to make the backer board secure. But the corners of the backer board didn't tighten up as much as I would have liked. So I dug in the recycling bin and found a lightbulb box, cut it up, and shoved the pieces in all four corners. The backer board is now nice and evenly tight. I'm kind of proud of this jury- or jerry-rigging (always get the two mixed up). Good old Yankee know-how. Except that I am a Minnesotan. Good old Flyover Country know-how.

Okay, it has Done on the Cheap all over it, I know. I'm the Craft Feeb as well as the Knitting Feeb. But I'm hoping people will get past that and read the poem. There are many, many poets, and I most often think that I am a total waste of oxygen, but I think that no one in the whole world would have written this poem but me. There's a voice there. I think. Sometimes I think so. Maybe. I don't know. Well, we'll see if the art committee will give me a shot. They didn't ask for poetry in their announcement but seemed pleased when I submitted my entry. 

Yeah, I wish I could have had it framed at Michael's. But even though they were having a really good framing sale, I needed to back away from the framing counter. 

Ugly shit is happening at work. I sent out a flier created by our Wisconsin partner that had MN Community Measurement listed as Minnesota Community Measurement. You should have seen my boss's face when she called me on the carpet about it. Rage. Lips pressed tightly together in rage. I don't understand what makes her tick. And I no longer want to. She's concerned about my lack of quality control. She kept shuffling this stack of emails and printouts she's collected recently that illustrate my lack of quality control. Hold your breath: I transposed two numbers on the call-in number I put on an agenda. "There was a two-minute delay before I could join the call. This is unacceptable, Katharine." Again with the rage and the clipped enunciation and the clenched body language. In January she sent me an email asking me if something was the something. I replied and wrote "No, it's not that, it's this." And then went on to explain. Again with the rage reaction from her. She objected to the No in my email and says that I corrected her and it's inappropriate for me to correct my boss. She also expressed anger that I still begin my emails with "Dear Steve:"or "Hi Steve:" when she has told me that she doesn't like people to use salutations because it's a waste of time for both the sender and the reader. (I skip the salutations in emails to her since it causes her so much groin pain, but she saw a forwarded email I sent to someone else. In fact, it was an email to the president of the medical directors association. I have never met him or emailed him before. I would think it the height of rudeness if I didn't start out the email to him with at least "Dr. So and So:" but she does not agree.)

Anyway, I think this will all end in tears. Mine. I have cleared out my cubicle. I even brought home my beloved made-in-St. Paul mug and my loose tea. I am using the Lipton teabags provided for free in the kitchen and using throwaway cups. When they escort me from the building, I don't want to walk down the stairs carrying a lot of stuff.

I don't know why she dislikes me so. It's been this way from the beginning. I keep hoping one of the companies I've been applying to will come through before she fires or lays me off. She fired my two predecessors. Also, this latest contract we have with the Medicare folks is very thin. We don't have enough money to do the work. Our indirect rate is through the roof. Letting me go and giving my work to an admin who is paid less might seem like a good idea to someone in charge. 
I wonder if I will have a job at this time tomorrow night. Friday at a little before 4:30 pm is still the traditional time to call someone in to an unscheduled meeting and fire them, even though all the management training says that when you do that people go home, have no clue how to begin a job search on a Friday night, don't want to face friends who still have their jobs, and so they sit at home drinking, and at 2 a.m. start cleaning their guns. Also, people at work don't know about the firing until Monday morning when they wonder where so and so is. And they see the empty office and think Am I next? 
I dream, literally, of never having to see her face again. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I can't afford to get my hair cut at Salon Elite in Woodbury. It's about $45 and tip. I don't want to go back to one of the cheapie places. Not since the girl at Great Clips cut a chunk out of the back of my head, and didn't notice until she held the mirror up to show me the finished haircut. "Um, what's that?" I asked. "Oh, shit," she replied. The previous time, the stylist pushed very hard for me to get a perm. I have naturally wavy or curly hair. I don't need a perm, lady. The shop had just started offering perms, so I assume staff had been asked to push them. On anyone. Or maybe she really, really wanted to practice. Gosh, I have curl there, wave here, wave over there, more curl, and two cowlicks. I could give curl to the needy. A perm - jeez. Anyway, I like Salon Elite. It's not top-tier, but it's a real salon, in a small way. They remember your name. They offer you tea. It reminds me of the salon I went to for years when I had a good job. Anyway, I can't afford to go, so I'm going to grow out my hair. We'll see how long I hold out this time. I always cave. I had to put the dog food on the credit card. And the water bill. For some reason, the sewer portion of the water bill is four times what it was at the Sherwood house. God, I'm going to be paying interest on dog food! What a loser I am. Well, I didn't know what else to do. He had to have his food. I've been thinking of getting a part-time job. But, with all the unpaid overtime I end up doing at work every week I don't what else I could fit in. I mean, shift-wise. I checked out the shifts they're hiring for at Target and I don't think I can get there from work to clock in on time. The woman I talked to there didn't seem to have any other options at this time.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Aloe Vera

Sleep seems like a skill I have lost, along with so many other things I used to know how to do. Been up for hours. I wish I could figure out what to do with the dog. He's like an anchor I can't cut away. I miss what I had. I can't seem to make a life with the pieces that are left.