Tuesday, December 23, 2008

LOST, season five, coming soon

I had a dream about LOST last night. I was on the island. Weird things were happening, but because it was a dream they were too weird to remember. I do remember saying, "But Ben, I think I'm in love with you." And he was touched because he thought no one would ever be able to love him! The island had moved, like in the TV show, and it was now located somewhere very cold. In fact, they were in danger of the island freezing over if they didn't get the island heater turned on, or something like that.

For those of you who don't watch Lost, first, WHY NOT?!! It has to be the best show on TV. But you can't just jump in anywhere. You have to start from the beginning. So go out and get the first four seasons on DVD and catch up! You won't be disappointed.

Second, Ben is someone who is either a bad guy or a good guy. We're not quite sure which yet. He has done some very bad things, but they may have been done for a good reason. But right now he's mostly a bad guy. I have a t-shirt that says, "Girls like bad boys." I don't necessarily think that's true (after all, it's Snoopy on the t-shirt), but my subconscious obviously thinks differently.

Ben is played by Michael Emerson, who is one of my favorite actors due to my love of some horror movies in which he's appeared, like SAW. He has also played some scary guys in a few TV shows, like The Practice, and The X-files. So maybe in my dream I was talking to Michael, not Ben. And maybe, just maybe, I need to get a boyfriend!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I feel better now.

I'm not happier about what happened at work on Thursday, but I feel a lot better today. You see, I was working my arse off at work because of the holiday rush, and that made me want to clock out and get home as soon as possible. And that's what led to the "problems" I had on Thursday. No, I'm not accepting responsibility for that day. But I'm not going to go into that right now because it will just tick me off, again.

Saturday and Sunday were, oddly enough, much slower days in the Photo Lab, so I was more relaxed and I had time to do things that were not photo-related. For example, I thoroughly cleaned the drip pans under the milk shelves in the cooler. I didn't mind doing this. I had the time - there were no customers who needed help with their Xmas cards or with scanning photos. So I cleaned the pans, as requested, and I "faced" the merchandise, and I cleaned the bathrooms. Yuck. But I did it. And I was calm. And I worked a little later than scheduled. And I didn't mind a bit. Which is why I get so pissed off when someone "talks to me" because I forgot to do something I was supposed to do ONE TIME. Or even twice.

The important thing here being that I'm fine. But I'm still looking for a different job.

I'm also looking for any way that I can move out to California near my mom, who could use some help now and then. My younger brother, Charlie - the one who died in July - was living with mom and my step-father, Jake, who is Charlie's father. He helped around the house and with anything they needed help with. Now he's not around. My older brother, Ken, has moved up to Oregon. So mom has none of her kids around to help out anymore. Ken's daughter, Jennifer, lives nearby with her husband, Gerald, and they're a blessing to have around in case something happens. But I'd rather have someone a little closer to check on them on a daily basis.

I could move in with them. I doubt they'd mind if I did. But I have three dogs and four cats that I have a responsibility to. I will not give them up. And I'm not going to burden my mom with their presence. So unless I can get a place of my own, which is not going to happen unless I win the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes, I'm stuck in Texas.

If anyone reading this is independently wealthy and wouldn't mind buying me one of those half-million dollar homes in Santa Clara, please feel free to contact me. I'll give you the house in Texas when I move out.

My friend Eric is going to London for a week. He really likes London. But if I were going to take a vacation in December, it would have to be in Tahiti, or some other tropical place where I could lie on the beach all day. Oh well. Different strokes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Going to Bed Early (or earlier)

Yesterday sucked at work. Totally sucked. Stupid things. Stupid little things. If you've been reading regularly you know that I'm losing my patience for my job in retail. Yesterday I lost a whole bunch more. Last night I stayed up until 4:00 a.m. looking for a job online. I really need to find a job I like. I really do.

Now I'm going to bed because I'm really tired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Punkin's Okay

He's fine. Feeling a little better. I was surprised as heck that he let the Vet mess with him this morning with no biting. He only growled once. He got a steroid shot and some antibiotics that I have to give him for a week. We tested him for FELV and he was negative, thank God. Gotta get him vaccinated soon. His vaccinations are not current. My bad. Right now he's sleeping on my desk in front of the computer as I type away. He loves me. He's a great cat.

He followed the neighbor kids home two Thanksgivings ago. He was a sick little kitten - had diarrhea for awhile before we got it under control, and had a little respiratory thing going on, too. Since it was Thanksgiving and he was orange, I called him Punkin. It fits also because he is a little Punk sometimes. Acts real tough. Then he climbs up on my pillow and wraps himself around my head and we both fall off to sleep together.

Getting real busy at work. Lots of people printing photos for the holidays and making photo greeting cards, among other things. I don't mind being busy. It makes the day go by a lot faster. What I do mind are the very small number of customers who take up a lot of your time. Not the ones who need your help because they've never used the photo kiosk before, but the ones who aren't real sure what they want or how they want it so you have to try several different things before they finally decide. And you know you explained something but they weren't paying attention so whatever you did wasn't exactly what they wanted so let's try it this way. And there are the ones who are absolutely sure they didn't order what the machine printed. Forty seven copies? I didn't order 47 copies. Well, I only print what the computer tells me to print, and the order came through for 47 copies. Sorry. No you don't have to pay for it and we can fix it and we'll do it all over again so it's right (i.e. the way you want it). I'll get someone to come over and help these other three people waiting for help while I take care of your problem. I can even tolerate these folks, but it's difficult when you're as busy as we've been getting as Xmas approaches.

I'm supposed to end my shift at 8:00 p.m. but didn't leave tonight until after 9:00, and that included skipping lunch because there were just too many things going on for me to walk away for a half hour. I suppose part of that is me thinking that no one will take the time to help the customers like I will. But part is also that it never fails - as soon as I'm ready to take a lunch break, a group of photo customers shows up. Then I'm stuck until I can either get them finished and out of there or find someone who can cover for me. Now, there are a lot of folks who can "work" the photo lab, but there aren't any who know as much about how to do this and that as I do. So if something out of the extremely ordinary happens, I get pulled away from my PB&J sandwich to advise.

Job security? Not really. Anyone could do my job. It's just that, right now I'm doing my job, so there's no reason for anyone else to do my job. If I were gone tomorrow (traveling to Tahiti to spend my lottery money, for example) someone else would learn all the little things that I know. I think. I hope. And the photo lab would go on.

Enough for now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Backyard Update

Didn't get the backyard cleaned up today. No surprise. It was just too cold to work outdoors. (Well, for Texans, anyway.)

Slept the day away.

Got to take Punkin to the vet tomorrow morning. I think he got into a fight. He has some swelling in his face and he doesn't want to be touched. I would love to be able to keep the cats indoors, but Roscoe will pee in the house if I remove the doggie door. And no, I won't leave the dogs outside when I'm not home.

Punkin, over a year ago

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Really, Really Warm

80 degrees today. From my bed I heard a lot of outdoor machines going - leaf blowers and lawn mowers and such. I could have done some of that myself had I not stayed in bed all day. In my defense, I did stay up until about 4:00 a.m. or so. So when I say I slept all day it isn't as bad as it sounds. But I never did a final lawn mowing this summer, so my dead (or dormant) grass is a little too long. I wonder if it would be a bad thing to mow dormant grass. The mowing would also chop up the neighbor's leaves that have fallen in my yard. There aren't a lot of leaves, and the mowed/chopped leaves would provide good mulch.

I should have let the backyard guy come over today and clean up. Again, I had no idea it would be so warm out. He's coming over Tuesday when the temperature is expected to be just above freezing. That's my day off, and that's why he's coming that day. Or not. We'll see.

Texas weather. You never know. Especially in the winter. At least, in the summer, you know it's going to be hot. You just don't know how hot. In the winter you don't know if it's going to be cold. Or when. Or for how long.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not complaining. I'm incredibly sorry for what the folks in the north east are going through right now. Freezing temps, no power. Sucks. I'd rather be here than there, and I pray they'll be back to normal soon. (At least they have a "normal.")

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Really, Really Cold

My backyard guy canceled on me when he found out that the temperature was 21 below zero with the wind chill factor! (Thank you God.) He'll come over and clean up one day when it's a tad warmer! Next week, probably. And I'll have the money I need to actually pay him in cash. I'll probably give him a little more than the agreed upon amount since the backyard is such a mess!

It's Cold in Texas

Brrrr. The "s" word is in the forecast. That's not unknown here in central Texas, but it's rare. Rain, sleet, snow. I saw a little rain earlier, but not the rest. It is cold, though. And windy. I went out to pick up a few things earlier and, outside the house I was fine, but when I got to the large, open space of the parking lot it got windy and cold! I put on my jacket over my sweatshirt. I'm not complaining. I prefer the cold over the heat and humidity of winter by a long shot.

I found out that my mom has had a minor stroke. I found out by accident. My brother in Oregon called her. She seemed forgetful on the phone, not like herself. So he called his daughter, who lives near mom, and told her to go over and check on mom. That's how we all found out she'd had a stroke. She didn't want anyone to know because she didn't want anyone to worry. That's the way she is. She worries about everything. Worries like crazy. So she never passes along bad news about herself because she's afraid we'll all worry for nothing.

I didn't inherit the worrying from mom. I don't worry about anything. I'd like to say that's because I'm a Christian and I know that God doesn't want us to worry. So I don't. I pray, leave whatever in God's hands, and that's it. But sometimes I think my lack of worrying goes a little too far. Sometimes I think that I should worry a little bit! But I don't. Well, not much. I did worry a little bit about a friend and his cat, who was in pain and had to eventually be put down. But again, I prayed and left it in God's hands, confident that God would watch over both of them.

I put an ad in (on?) craigslist for someone to clean up my backyard, saying specifically that I couldn't afford to pay much. I did that before I realized that I wouldn't have the money to pay someone to clean up the backyard due to double-paying my electric bill by accident. But I'd already committed, and my backyard really is a mess.

I tried to get the guy to reschedule because of the weather, but he really needs the money, so I told him I'd call him at 9:00 a.m. (today) and talk about it. Since the worst of the weather seems to have avoided my backyard, it looks like he'll be coming over. I hope he'll take a check. It won't bounce, but it'll go into my overdraft protection, and that'll cost me an extra $18.

I just finished watching the HBO mini-series John Adams. It was very good, and very insightful about that time in our history. I don't know how much was accurate, and how much was drama, unfortunately. I recommend it highly. Go out and buy or rent it. Watch it. Or read the book on which it's based, John Adams by David McCullough.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I'm losing it. I've been a pretty patient person for quite some time, but for some reason, recently I've been becoming increasingly impatient. Stupid stuff. There seems to be far too much stupid stuff going on, especially at work. Stupid things, or lazy people. I don't know which. Or maybe most of the things that I see are just "honest mistakes." A lot of honest mistakes. I know that my life would be easier and I wouldn't have to do as much work if everyone else did their work correctly. If they'd get smarter, or less lazy.

I suppose I should cut some slack. I was probably the same way when I was younger.

And the (ex-)military in me still causes me to become easily annoyed. I learned discipline and attention to detail (to some degree), so I get irritated at someone's lack of discipline and sloppiness.

I'm also getting tired of having a job where I have to do a little of everything. I'd like to have a job where I just do my job. You know? I don't want to have to sweep the floor and clean the bathrooms and take out the trash and clean up the break room. I don't want to have to stock the shelves and fix other peoples' mistakes. I want to be a Head Photo Specialist and do those things related to that position. I want to have to fix only my mistakes.

I need the money. That's why I'm in retail. It's close to home and it's easier to stay than to leave. I don't want to have to commute an hour each way to a job, even if it's a better-paying job that's more to my liking. But it's frustrating. Because a lot of folks in retail are there "until something better comes along." They don't look at it as a long-term job, so they really don't care too much about how they do it. And they're probably right that however poorly they perform, it won't matter much to future jobs or careers. That is, as long as they don't get fired for something like felony theft! (That recently happened where I work. Charges will be filed.)

So this is just me venting some steam. I'll be fine. Things will get better. I'm sure they will. Really. They will.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home Movies

I finally got out my old 8mm projector, blew the dust off, and plugged it in. It worked. The bulb even worked for about a half second. I bought a new bulb on eBay, and tonight I watched 18 of my old "Super 8" films from the mid to late 1970s. It's funny to look back and see what I filmed once I had that three-minute roll of movie film in my camera. I have a lot of movies of the cats I had back then (Misha, Sylvie, and Bessie, may they rest in peace), and of the husband I had back then (Ed). Most of the movies were taken while we were in Massachusetts, stationed at Fort Devens. I have movies of famous places, like the House of the Seven Gables, and some things in Boston, but not enough film of those things. Movies of visiting relatives. Movies of relatives we visited.

The one film that perplexes me is a single, three-minute reel that starts with movies of the cats in Massachusetts, then changes to the outside of my brother's cabin in Avery, California, then goes back to the cats in Massachusetts with snow outside. What possessed me to take the camera to California, use about a minute of film to film the cabin, but nothing else, then bring the camera home to Massachusetts and finish the roll with cat-in-the-snow movies? That's just weird.

The movie camera had the ability to shoot one frame at a time, so I went to the trouble of making an animation stand for the camera. I must never have used it because the only thing I have are test shots - distances, lights, settings - using the stand. I did make a little animation of two feet walking across a desk and writing "tschuess" (bye, in german) with an invisible pen. Ed made a better short movie with little toy cavalry soldiers, horses, and an ill-fated native-american. That was my short-lived brush with animation. Animation still interests me, but I've never done anything else. Pity, since I have all this neat computer stuff to help me.

At some point in the past I spliced together enough rolls of film to create a seven-inch roll of movies. I didn't watch that because I have sent it off to be transferred to a DVD. I figured since I'd already put it together in some sort of order (I hope), it could go off to be transferred without any review. Those movies are going to be from Germany, when Ed and I did some travelling. We were in Garmisch when we bought the camera. We were up in the Alps trying to capture a beautiful panoramic view with a still camera. When we got down the mountain we found the PX and bought the movie camera.

I suppose once I get the DVD back I'll post some, if not all, of the movies on YouTube. I'll probably write about it here when I do.

There are some movies of Ed's mom, dad, and other family. I'd like him to have those. I guess I'll have to try to get in touch with him. I had an e-mail address that worked. It doesn't anymore. Maybe he'll read my blog and contact me.

I shouldn't be up this late. I have to work tomorrow. Um, today.