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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

Spent the Day Watching a Movie

Yes, that was correct, singular. Me and The Kid had wanted to see “Interstellar” at a theatre. We’ve not been in some time, in fact, I cannot put my finger on the last movie we saw in a theatre. I mean, after having Netflix, and Amazon Prime and Roku and HBO Go, in addition to cable television and a few hundred more channels to watch, why would we have to go to a theatre to see a movie?

This one, however, stood out. I hadn’t heard a lot about it, but enough to piqué my interest. And that The Kid wanted to go as well, just put the icing on the cake. So, last night we used the internet to find where the movie was playing close to us (10:00) and made plans to be at it the next day.

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It was a long movie, but let me tell you, it was hard to tell. Every minute of the movie was thrilling and entertaining and important to the overall story. There was so much to the story, in fact, that watching it once was not enough. So, without much discussion, we opted to see it again. We went in to the theatre the first time at 10:30 and walked out from the second one about 5:30.

And let me tell you, if he suggested watching it again tomorrow, I would gladly take him again.

I won’t ruin any of the movie for you, just know it is well worth the cost to see it in the theatre. We learned as we left that it is also being shown in IMAX… I am not normally a betting woman, but I would say that odds are very good we will see it in IMAX as well.

But the best part of the day was having The Kid all to myself! I thank God every day that I was lucky to have him for my son. And let me tell you, he still tells me every day and many times each day, that he loves me.

Who knows a teenager that does that?

MacCupcake

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The Life of a Contractor

Today is another one of those days where someone might look at the situation and think: this is bad. But me? I try to see the positive. Although in this case, it is really, really, REALLY hard.

Yesterday, I got the news that my project has been postponed. I was hired specifically to work on this project, so what that really means (to me) is no more job. 😦

And more so, what that means to me is that I am NOT working but even more so, it means I am job hunting. THE. WORST. THING. EVER. (Okay, I get that this is probably one of those “first world problems” that don’t mean jack to the majority of the world. I get that.)

Even worse than that – for me anyway – is being newly hired and feeling totally dumb ’cause you have to ask where the bathrooms are and what’s the printer’s IP address and what was the name of that guy I just was introduced to? Because for me, this is what unnerves me, makes me uncomfortable and causes me to feel sick to my stomach. It takes just about 90 days to really get my feet on the ground and my head wrapped around a new language (just ask anyone what a TLA is) and who is who in the company. Huh! Guess where I magically was for about the last two week? Yep… finally feeling like I knew what I was doing. Just in time for the carpet to be pulled from under my feet.

You see (as the title indicates) I have been doing a lot of contract work lately. And although early in my career I did contract work as well, those contracts always seemed to be much longer. My very first contract? Almost 4 years. But in the last two years, I have had an 8-month, two 4-month, a two-month and one that last just 30 days (that was unusual even for me). But the all seemed to last just about enough time for me to get “comfortable” and then its back to the grind of interviewing.

Maybe I should hold out for a full time position?

MacCupcake

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Snubbed at Macy’s (Or Is This Classism?)

I’ve been in this online “discussion” for a few weeks with a popular women’s blogger, ostensibly about  racism, but really more about really recognizing racism in every day societal interactions.

I had contended that her much of her post about being the object of racism was misinterpretation of interactions and other people’s behaviors. That really what she was doing was looking for racism where it didn’t exist. In short, I thought she was blowing things out of proportion. It has been a lively debate, with plenty of very carefully worded sentiments and statements. Bottom line, it is all forced pleasantries – but we’ve agreed to disagree.

What I garner from her is that while she looks at me with my very white complexion and wonders exactly what I might know of racism. So while not “racism” per sé, there is much bigotry still out there for women – especially women in what is considered to be a “man’s industry” – as well as religious intolerance. And while I, for the most part, pretty much consider myself agnostic, my religious heritage is there nonetheless.

The one thing I never thought I would encounter is financial bigotry. So in the middle of the week in the middle of the day, I opted to spend my lunch stocking up on my cosmetics. I don’t wear a lot but what I do use, I am very loyal to (as a brand). And let me tell you, this stuff ain’t cheap. Between the two counters of cosmetics and fragrance, I dropped five bills in about 20 minutes. And those weren’t ones, fives or twenties – if you catch my drift. While there, I opted to check out the shoe department, since it was right there and I was wearing one of my favorite new pairs of pants (in blue) that I’ve been unable to find shoes to match.

Okay, first let me just set the stage. Lots of sales clerks. Lots of merchandise. Not that many shoppers. I think it would be fairly obvious that I was looking for something in particular. Yet, even though I walked right up to displays and picked up shoes (in an attempt to show I was trying to match shoes to pants) where a store clerk was standing not 3 feet away from me.

I was this close to walking out!At least four times in a row, those store employees turned the other way or “overlooked” me. I was this close to walking out of the store when I finally had someone ask me if they could help me. Not only was I carrying two Macy’s bags (proof that I had already been shopping) but I was looking at expensive shoes.

df0168-492x660Granted I was wearing a Monster hoodie and wearing one of my favorite pairs of the most comfortable shoes on earth from Payless Shoes, and wearing my just slightly better than jeans – Lee pants – so I might not look like some of the women who were shopping around me, but I was presentable!

As a side note, there was a woman next to me in fragrances that was dressed to the nines in a suit, wearing a hat and literally had a fur stole on her shoulders. She was the epitome of high class – “old white money”.I don't "do" pointy toe shoes!The funny thing is, I walked out in a new pair of shoes that I don’t think I even like! They are fashionable and so far, comfortable, but not really my style. I almost think I did it just to prove to the salesclerk that I could afford it. Which is laughable! And disappointing.

Yes, I am disappointed in myself. I’ve never dressed for anyone but myself. Well, at least in the past 20 years or so. And honestly, I don’t really feel like I have to prove anything to anyone. But I honestly felt like I was being ignored and intentionally ignored. And it did not feel nice.

Perhaps I need to rethink my stance in the argument that I am having with the woman about racism. Maybe I am wrong.

MacCupcake

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How Do You Know When You’ve Lived Enough?

Thoughts about the recent state sanctioned suicide in Oregon had me thinking.

Years ago when I was living in California and my parents were both alive and living in Iowa, I had a very strange conversation with my mother. As best as I can figure, she was about 65ish and had celebrated forty some years married to my father, given birth to ten children and experienced two of those children’s deaths. She had lived a fairly hard life, yet she had overcome every battle and gone on.

It was a simple statement and I don’t recall what brought the discussion to that point, but in a matter-of-fact tone she told me that she was ready to go. I think I stopped, stumbled for words and asked her to repeat what she said. She explained that she had lived past the point of the ages of her parents when they passed away and now that it was just her and Dad, she was ready to die.

I remember stumbling over words and probably said something like didn’t she want to be around to see her youngest grandchild get married (my son) or have his own kids? She was finally retired (as well as my Dad) and didn’t she want to enjoy her life now that she wasn’t living it for the sake of others?

I don’t think the conversation lasted much longer than that. I probably just dismissed her comments as crazy and brushed her words aside. My mom, in fact, would live another almost twenty years.

But those words have returned to me briefly from time to time. I think she was saying something pretty profound but I don’t think I was listening. As it turns out, those twenty years she would go on to live, were pretty much just existing – not at all living. She spent those years for the most part sitting in front of a television that she didn’t really even watch. Slowly, the things that had meant anything to her over the years, were discarded and she tuned out from the world. She still enjoyed when her children would visit, more so when they brought their children (and her children’s children). The younger, the better. It was about the only joy I recall seeing her have.

So, when does “life” end? We all have our own definitions, and for me, it will be when I no longer can coax joy out of those things and people who bring me joy now. My son – who is my whole world – and is the only reason my heart still beats. I have been truly blessed to have had a really great life and wouldn’t change one minute – even if I could. I’ve had a long and rewarding career which has given me the funds to do much of what I now enjoy… I guess for the most part you can wrap it all up under the broad category of “creating”… art, words, quilts, painting, etc. etc.

But I have always had health issues, including but not limited to, my weight, headaches, joint pain. Living round the clock with almost constant pain truly wears a person out – both physically and mentally. I have found a way to deal with it these past few years, but I am now finding that I am building a tolerance (or the headaches are getting worse) and the pain is more prevalent. I’d love to finally be free of that.

In some way, age seems to have stolen much from me: my youth, my looks, my vibrancy and my enthusiasm. More and more I find that all I want to do is sleep (probably a side effect of the drugs) and my energy and desire to do things wane more with each passing year.

A few weeks ago, my former sister-in-law passed away… and though we had only really met one another once I believe, it struck me when I was told that she was a year younger than me. She simply came home from work one day, sat down in a chair to relax for a few minutes and died. Her husband found her like that a few hours later. And though you may think that this sounds harsh, I think it is a great way to go. Go to sleep and simply never wake up.

I suppose that is why death has been on my mind lately. One thing that runs in both sides of my family is longevity… dying young in my family means you didn’t get to your 90th birthday!

MacCupcake

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