Sunday, February 27, 2011

Farewell February...

February... the end is almost here. Finally.

It's the shortest month but it feels like the longest, like it will never end and it's a really bad, bad dream on a continuous loop. It's tiring, it's monotonous and I for one am glad to see its tail end.

This winter has been harder than most, especially given the fact that we had much more snow than we've had in the last few years. I know it's not over. The snow brush will remain in my car over the next two months, and for those who've seen my car, it will probably be there in July too. While my house and my desk may be tidy, my car is not. It's a flaw. It's a bad habit, and like February I'm sure there are a few people who wish this one habit will just go away.

That being said, if there's ever a freak snowstorm in August Scribe is prepared. And I will rent out the snowbrush on an as-needed basis 'cause I'm giving like that. Plus, I'm presently unemployed and I need as much cheddar as possible. I'm just being an entrepreneur, biatches. Deal with it. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Circus clowns and other assholes

A half dozen circus clowns came into my town and they've set up residence in my home - my womb, that is. And they have just evacuated the Volkswagen Beetle and have set up to start the juggling any minute now.

Yes, the circus is in town and that means five days of no fucky fucky, bleedy bleedy and a rather horrendous bout of hormonal tears. That was today and my inner suck came out and I cried at everything, even Kim Cattrall as she searched for her dead-beat, polygamist grandfather. I guess it struck a chord. My grandfather may not have been a polygamist (as far as I know), but he was as dead-beat as they come.

I also realized today that even two weeks after being released from my job at Cell Block C just talking about the still existent drama still gets my stress level rising. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even though I'm not there any longer it's status quo at the prison, with the prison guards and the garrison manager having screaming matches in front of their employees.

I miss working with some of the people in Cell Block C. What I don't miss is the stress inducers such as above. Today was one of my down days. I was told I was bound to have them though I've been trying to keep the glass half full. What I realized is how much worse it would be if I was still subjected to a toxic environment in which everyone is yelling and no one is happy. It was bound to have affected my health even further if I had stayed. Praise Darwin for small mercies. Now to get rid of the clowns...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Show me the money... please?

I bought a ticket today for the Lotto Max. I bought one last week and was disappointed I didn't win the $43 million. My disappointment was short-lived as I realized that no one claimed the jackpot, raising the stakes to a sweet $50 mill. What I would do with that kind of money...

My temporary money woes would be no longer. Not only that, but I wouldn't have to worry about any subsequent pay cheques and the companies that may or may not be forking over the dough for my work. I visited my brother this evening and was not surprised that he had the same hopes and dreams for the potential cheddar. Paying off the house and doing some much-needed reno work was on the list. So was paying for an around-the-world dream trip for our parents. It was like our lists were mirrored.

And that's not all. Tonight I discovered we shared another dream - buying our grandmother's house in Markdale, our father's hometown, the house that bore all of our initials and the names (and dates) of our ancestors. He has a better memory of the house than I do. He remembered which way to turn to get to the bathroom, our grandmother's bedroom and the walk-through to the larger than life bedroom situated at the front of the house. He also remembered the porch that held residence on the top bedroom window, a porch that was no longer there. Structurally, it was probably the one thing that should have been removed. As far as I could remember no one went out onto it. No coffee on the porch, no rapunzel like visits. Besides, my hair has never been long enough for that.

"I've always wanted to go back and buy the house," he said. "How much do you think it would go for today?" It was like he had reached into my brain and tethered himself to my exact thoughts. With the $50 million, it wouldn't matter how much it would go for on today's market. We'd have enough, and then some.

Other items were on the list too: the same around-the-world trip for the parental units, trust funds for his kids' (my neice and nephew's) education, putting away exactly half for good, solid, sound investments and a major trip for the family and perhaps a new car or two. I would also set up a charity for kids with Christopher's rare form of brain cancer, funding research and new initiatives and money earmarked to help these kids realize once-in-a-lifetime dreams. During Christopher's journey, he stayed at the Darling House in Milton, a home away from home for kids with a full-time medical staff and very caring social workers who were there to give parents a break and give kids all the hugs, kisses and laughs they could bear. There's always a need for those, and Christopher was notorious for melting my heart with his laugh, hugs and kisses. He is still my own personal darling and I would love to give back to the people who made his days a little more bearable, even if he did steal all of the cookies from the kitchen.

I think most of us have similar lists. What would you do with your sweet mill or 50?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scribe crossed the border and they spit her back...

This past Monday (Family Day yo!), I ventured across the Canadian-U.S. border with one goal - to rake in the good deals in Buffalo.  And, I found them. Purses, people. Purses. I'm a purse whore and if I knew anything about the Burlington Coat Factory it's they hock amazing purses. I's gots me some bling, bloggers. Green aligator purses, huge luggage-like handbags - they're my drug and I went willingly into the abyss.

I went along just for the drive, or so I told myself. Across the border, I entered my first store and scored. Two purses, a pair of yoga pants and (get this) a Rubbermaid veggie peeler in acid green... It got worse from there. I was on target in Tarjay, picking up a long louffa brush and a new wallet to match my snazzy green aligator purse, designed by Beyonce's mom. I got replacement underwear, socks and footless tights in Walmart and an amazing look-like-handmade quilt for the guest bed. And then they spit me back across the border where thankfully  the friendly border cops accepted my total for the day and didn't tear the car apart for more purses. And there would have been if I had a paycheque coming in!

It wasn't the ideal time to go crossborder shopping, but it was therapeutic. I spent the day with two cool gals and got my retail therapy in a relatively cheap atmosphere. There were deals and I had them. In all, it was a great way to start the week. Now it's time to buckle down and start the job search again, but not before I test out the alligator green bag. After all, I still have to keep up my style quota while I hock my wares...

Happy Family Day, Happy Presidents' Day, Happy February people!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A little faith and hope

I had complained... well more lamented than complained about my lack of human interaction. What I failed to mention is the outpouring of help I've received in the seven to eight days I've been on the lam from Cell Block C. Lose a job, post a blog entry and make a few dozen phone calls and you'll be amazed at how many responses you get. Everyone understands. Others have been in the same boat. I'm told there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not all doom and gloom, which is sometimes hard to see when you think you're mired in shit.

I had a little ESP going on before the axe dropped on my head last week, and I've been very proactive, so much that I had already set up a meeting with one of the execs at my old college. He met with me on Monday for what I thought was a potential freelance job. It was... sort of. While he does not make the final decisions, he said he wanted to meet with me, discuss my qualifications and look through my work so he could personally recommend me to the people who do make the final decision.

I was disappointed for a minute until I realized the ramifications: to have the vice president of academics of a major, ground-breaking college on your side and willing to back you is big. Universe big. And while I still crave human interaction, that act of contacting me and setting up a meeting, let alone backing me is huge. It makes me feel like I have a heavyweight in my corner looking out for me.

He's not the only one. The Man's brother has mentioned a contract position. I'm not sure if it's in communications or even the duties it entails but again hope is there. I can count on my fingers, toes and other body parts the friends who have passed onto me information on potential jobs and offered to hand my resume to potential bosses. My mentor Nancy continues to feed me details on upcoming jobs and my first college instructor has offered to look over my  resume and feed me a list of his contacts who may or may not be hiring. Every little bit helps and I'm thankful to everyone for their advice, feedback and well wishes.

I would be lying to say that I'm always this hopeful. It changes every day, every hour and sometimes in minutes. I'm trying to take it one step at a time and I've devoted about five hours every day to searching and applying for positions. At times, I'm working blind and operating on blind faith that all of my little blocks will fall into place, and when I least expect it. At least that's what I'm hoping.

A friend of mine has said to sit back and enjoy the time now, to work on finding myself, on reworking my resume and discovering where I'd like to be rather than to panic and accept the first job that comes my way. I'm taking this advice too and I'm still nervous.

Tomorrow will see me search again but I'll also take time to visit friends, to take my mind off of my search and the fact that I don't have to get up and go into work at Cell Block C. I don't miss the place. I don't miss the owners' attitudes. I do miss the person I used to be before I started work there - the confident person who laughed at my own jokes and looked at each duty as a chance to prove myself, to myself. It's amazing to see how many people in my corner still have that faith when mine has wandered off.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hankering down

I crave human interaction. After only four days away from the office and two days of networking and job searching online, I need to hear a human voice. It's become so dire that I would even settle for a telemarketer. At dinner time.

I've worked steadily since I got my first babysitting gig at the tender age of 12 where my neighbour's kid decided to shock me by walking around the house naked with a sock hanging off of his dick. He thought I would be embarrassed but with an older brother nothing fazed me. I wonder if he would think it was so cool now, at 30, to be reminded how I whipped off the sock and told him it was nothing I hadn't seen before. Boy, I was brazen at 12!

I'm less brazen now, four days in from my escape from Cell Block C, knowing I'm set to cash my last pay cheque on Thursday, weeks before my pogey kicks in. I have never been without a pay cheque. I put myself through school on three days a week of work at the gym. After graduation, I held three part-time jobs and continued to work a part-time and a full-time job until a few years ago. In my head, I know I'll be okay. I have money saved and pogey coming. And, I know it's my time to buckle down and finally secure my dream job (or as close to my dream as possible today). I'm on the cusp of the unknown, of new possibilities, and it's all on my terms. I'm nervous of the unknown.

So, I take a deep breath and hanker down for long haul.

February 9th -- a good mental health day

It's been all over the airwaves, microwaves, all waves... February 9th was the day to talk openly about mental health. My own mental health has been in question for a while. For those who don't know, I have battled depression for the past 10 years. It comes and goes like those waves. Ebb and flow. In and out. Down but not out. Some days are good, some days not so good, but the fact that I am aware of how easy the downfall comes is a positive. I constantly remind myself that I am good enough, that I am worth the fight, that I deserve happiness.

This year, this February 9th was a mixed blessing. The afternoon of February 9th, when I should have been talking about mental health and perhaps my own depression story, I was called into the office at Cell Block C and told that I would no longer be working there. There was a portion of me that was relieved - my out. The other side was embarrassed. While there was a work shortage, with two salespeople down and sales dismal, the fact is that they did not want me anymore. And I didn't want them. It was a toxic relationship and no matter how hard I tried, it was a relationship that was unsalvagable.

I am not going to point fingers. I think a read through my blog would unearth the reasons for the dysfunction. It was a relationship that was not getting any better. There was no ebb and flow, just the flow of energy from me into an environment in which my efforts were not appreciated. My talents lay elsewhere.

So, I gathered my things and my pride and I bid farewell to the people I met there. I went through my orders with my office manager, cleaning up tasks and leaving as few waves as possible in my wake. And while the environment in the office was often negative, I made sure that my name was not associated with the negativity. The Cell Block C wardens were hospitable in the end. While I was told I was stupid while an employee, now that I "enjoyed" a layoff status I was told that it was not personal and that I should come away from the experience with a positive outlook - a new beginnings outlook.

I agree. It's time for a new beginning. I was trying it the old-fashioned way - to find another position and then give notice. They played their hand before I had a chance to organize my own. The hand was dealt and I'm not sure if there was one true winner. I would like to think we both are - Cell Block C no longer has to deal with me and I no longer have to dread waking up each morning to enter an environment that was no longer mentally or physically healthy.

Many of my friends would say I'm being politically correct here. "They're the assholes," they've already said. "You're better off." Both are true. The wardens are pricks. They're pricks that do not think of themselves as pricks. They think they are justified for their often inappropriate actions and interactions. I just no that job or no job, I'm 10 times happier having the day to myself to look onward and upward, for jobs nay career choices that are more in line with my happiness.

February 9th for mental health. Who would have figured it would be my own that would be saved that day.