Administrivia: 21 May 2022

Had even more Fun With Temping after my previous post: to wit, the last temp agency I tried anything with kept doing this bait-and-switch thing where I would inquire about one job but be offered another and then the hours suddenly disappeared. And then they called me about one job and I called back and they offered me a different one and I’m desperate so hey, sure, so I lasted one day and then realized it was going to be a dead end too. If the lazy co-worker breaking rules left and right didn’t send me running away screaming then I was going to be shorted hours because I didn’t get there early enough, and we’re talking about at least half an hour early when it already took me half an hour to get there. Unworkable either way and did you know it’s very painful all over your body to be on your feet but not able to walk around for twelve hours straight? In your twenties it’s probably doable. I’m not in my twenties and all sorts of stuff’s wrong with me now. Nah. Done.

But that was weeks ago. More recently I got two interviews in a week, one an employer I pursued and one an employer that pursued me. In a twist ending which will surprise probably no one, Pursuing Employer worked out. So far. No, really, the job looks good. I’ll still be on my feet but the point is I will be moving. About the only way anything could go wrong at this point is if I bleed through my britches and damage someone’s automobile upholstery, but I’ll do what I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. If I have to carry a folded-up puppy pad in my pocket at all times, y’all, I will make sure that doesn’t happen. And when my medical kicks in I will be seeing someone about those damn fibroid tumors. Enough. I’m done. I can’t wait until menopause when this is messing up my life now.

I don’t know if it will be enough pay to get me into an apartment. It will definitely be enough pay to keep me in this weekly-rate motel without having to scrounge all the time. Or the one in Dublin, actually, because that’s a lot closer to work, so when I get things stabilized and make sure shit’s not gonna blow up in my face I’ll be moving there. In the meantime, if things are looking good, I’ll put myself on the waiting list for the apartments where I was living before Thea and I moved in with Matt. It’ll be either the one-bedroom or the studio. The two-bedroom (I’d use one bedroom for an office) is out of the question unless I make a LOT of extra money from the fifty cents extra per car and the tips. I have no idea how that’ll go. We’ll just have to see. I think I will still opt for the one-bedroom though, if I can even get in, because I need to be saving more money, not spending more money. (I’d get the studio, but it doesn’t have a full-sized fridge. I will if that’s all they’ll let me rent, though.)

I have plans! I’d like to pursue them before I die! I have never had Big Plans for my life before, and I kinda like it!

…..

I don’t talk about my kids much anymore other than to occasionally share random anecdotes here and there, either because said anecdotes are fun to think about or to bolster various discussions or arguments. It’s like walking across a minefield and I don’t fancy being blown up.

I love both my kids. I don’t regret having them, I just regret becoming a mother. That doesn’t make sense, I know. What I am saying is that if there were some way both of them could have come into existence as the exact same people without me being their mother, I’d rather that were what had happened. I am shit at being a mother. I always have been. I don’t know just how shit — how much of this is just me unfairly comparing myself to other people, and how much actually me being a bad mother, and I will probably never know, but I know it’s at least somewhat the latter.

It’s got to be that, because the alternative is that I had both my kids ripped away from me for no reason. And if I ever find out that’s the case, a whole lot of people are going to regret being born, because they made my kids regret being born, and they made me regret something I have wanted since at least my late teens.

I’m not a fucking bear, but with all of us mama mammals a lot of the essential wiring is the same.

Do not fuck with me. You WILL regret it.

Or I will shit on your fucking grave.

And I don’t care which it is. Though honestly, the latter would cheer me up a LOT, for reasons I hope are very obvious.

In the meantime… I stay away because I’m ashamed, because I know I fell short, because I know I can’t go back and fix it, and I want to be able to go back and fix it more than anything in the whole wide world. I do not speak to them because I don’t think they want me to speak with them. I’m here, anyone can see how to contact me, both of them know where to look for me, and… silence. I am not going to chase them if it turns out I would be unwelcome anyway. I don’t know if that’s the right answer or the wrong answer. Does it make them feel worse that I don’t pursue them after months or years (decades, in Sean’s case) of not being around them? I have no idea, and I can’t bring myself to ask. I feel like if the answer were going to be something I’d want to hear, we’d already be in touch with one another. The lack of attempting contact is its own answer.

I feel a lot like I got used to produce a couple of citizen-units for the man-state and now that I’ve done my “job” I’m obsolete and it’s time to throw me away.

I don’t quite hate men yet, but I’m getting dangerously close.

Thank fuck my reproductive life is almost over.

Administrivia: 13 April 2022

I am never sure how much of my life to share here and how much to gloss over because although I will readily just tell stories about my life to whoever’s listening and I usually don’t care who hears or reads them, I don’t need added complications from people being drama queens* in response. This will make you laugh if you have known me any length of time but trust me, nothing says “unreasonable” like reading someone’s account of her own life’s goings-on and then (1) getting offended and yelling at her; (2) offering advice she didn’t ask for and then getting offended when she doesn’t take it; and/or (3) starting some kind of weird online crusade against her because you made (1) or (2) happen, you utter utter control freaks.

But, uh, I’ve never personally had anyone do anything like that to me. πŸ™„

(P.S. Apparently, rolling your eyes at someone is Literal Murder. Or domestic violence, at least.)

But! Here’s how it all has sort of broken down since February.

Temping

I’ve had half an hour at one temp agency for orientation, about twenty hours at another temp agency comprising training (four hours) and actual work (sixteen hours), and… filling out some forms at a third one? Yeah. I got a little money out of the deal, and the twenty hours at Agency #2 were particularly helpful, but I swear I have some kind of anti-temping force field around myself because as soon as I’m in the picture, the temp agency’s gig app starts malfunctioning or the employer drops hours or both. The most recent, memorable (to me) example of this was when I went to download the app and… it’s iOS only. [headdesk] If the universe is consciously communicating with me, y’all, it’s telling me I will get nowhere with temp work. Which is odd because I still see NOW HIRING signs screaming on every street corner. What are y’all “hiring,” anyway? Shop-window dummies?

Permanent job searching

I get as far as the interview and then… pbbbbbt.

It can’t be my massive gap in employment or I’d never make it that far.

I don’t have interview clothes, really. I have like one outfit and it’s barely acceptable. That alone can sink me and I know it. Shopping for clothes is expensive if I buy new, will take time if I order off the internet, and if I go to Goodwill there’s half a damn day I wasted to find maybe three garments that sort of fit me but are faded because, duh, they’re used. Even if I got the clothes sorted out through some charity, and there are some here in town, I won’t get the shoes sorted — no one can find dress shoes to fit my derpy feet, forget it, it’s a lost cause — so I’m probably still screwed. You have to look like you don’t need the job to get the job, but if you need the job and can’t get the job, you’re “just lazy” and deserve to starve.

I realize I look like I could starve for a good six months or so and be fine, but you don’t store vitamins and minerals in your body fat and your body will turn your muscle and organ protein into glucose in conditions of starvation, so guess what.

And anyway

I vacillate between “I will take any fucking thing that pays me $14 an hour and up so that I can get into an apartment” and “I don’t want things that make me stand in one spot for eight fucking hours and therefore kill my feet” and other similar considerations. I feel like if I could just get moving and build up exercise tolerance I would be all right, even at the tender age of two years shy of half a century on this earth. But really I wish I could just get a nice little medical office job again. One in which I wear scrubs. So then I could wear my stupid sneakers and NO ONE WOULD CARE.

In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to see.

…..

Oh and I have to account for the fact I have fibroid tumors and therefore have two different sets of health issues which require me to have irregular, on-demand access to a restroom. This ruled out the Amazon warehouses very early on, and it probably rules out most other warehouses too.

Most of the people making hiring decisions are women who are young, women who have good health coverage and — most of all — men, so they’re really not going to grok this.

All of this is, of course, why I was a “gold-digger” πŸ™„ with Matt for so long. I knew that the second I stepped out there and tried to be independent again I’d be in trouble. If anyone still had any questions about whether I moved out of Matt’s house on a whim, here’s a shovel for your doubts… go bury them. I’ll say a little prayer.

It will probably sound a lot like, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”

…..

I have another interview tomorrow which may or may not also go pbbbbbt. If it works out, I have no idea how that will go. I try to assume things will go a certain way and I am almost always disappointed. I will say that it is a housekeeping gig (okay, not gig, I’ll ACTUALLY BE EMPLOYED DIRECTLY) and that I have zero problem with the idea of being a housekeeper if I am also being PAID FAIR WAGES and have TAXES WITHHELD FOR THE IRS AND SOCIAL SECURITY GODDAMMIT MATT. (I am not explaining this to him anymore. If he hasn’t figured it out by now, he’s a hopeless case.) Houses need cleaned; it’s an honorable line of work. I’ll be relieved to have regular paychecks, and they’ll even be weekly. Anything else, we’ll just have to see what happens.

If the interview DOES go pbbbbbt, I was already doing Uber Eats and I also recently signed on with GoPuff after having been advised by a random stranger who showed me his earnings numbers on the app. Likely I will transition over to doing GoPuff on weekdays and Uber Eats on the weekends — and at other times I need near-instant cash; UE lets you insta-deposit your earnings, whereas GoPuff only pays once a week. I would have just stuck with these sources of income anyway, but I’ve been concerned about my car. I was still in the 70k range on mileage when I first got back to Ohio in February and now it’s over 80k, closer to 81k maybe, and it’s been maybe a month and a half since my last oil change and I already need another. I think the car also needs a tune-up. I worry that that’s not all it needs.

I also worry that although the apartment community I want to move into bases your eligibility on one month’s income and says nothing about what sort of employment you are supposed to have, they might still turn me down for being a gig worker even if I hit the minimum income threshold and then some.

Also, we have hit a stage in this pandemic where people have forgotten there’s a killer virus on the loose. I have mostly given up masking in public because there’s no point; it’s supposed to protect other people from the wearer, not the wearer from other people, and I can’t be protected in that way when almost everyone’s bare-faced. So at some point the scales will tip and most people will be shopping and getting restaurant food in person and then I don’t think delivery will be quite as lucrative, not that it’s winning the Powerball in the first place.

Otherwise I’d be content with the status quo. Pretty much.

So the other thing I need to be doing is studying my ass off to get my proofreader course done. It will help immensely that my father will no longer be glaring at me over the top of my iPad because I am “goofing off” again. πŸ™„

I don’t know what people’s problems have always been where I was concerned, but I’m about ready to go full hermit. Fuck all y’all.

—–
*There is no such thing as a drama king, my sweet summer child. If you act like a bitch, I’mma call you one.

memory lane

I don’t have much here yet. I want to add in some photos to the header on the front page (it won’t show very well on any other page) but I’m not really in a good position to do that yet; my printer (which has a scanner built in) is still in my car and I feel averse to bringing it into my room. Probably irrational, but there it is. I’m basically white-knuckling my entire life right now, hoping I don’t terminally fuck up.

But I’ve got some poor-quality image files here and there I can share for now. Thought I would.

High school art class, 1990-1991 school year

1990-1991 school year when the first two hours of my day were spent in Commercial Art. I don’t know why they called it that. My teacher was very fine-art-oriented and that came out frequently in our lessons. Anyway, this was taken by a photographer from The Covington Leader when I won a local 4-H poster contest by one vote. I wish I could have obtained the original photo. Good photos of me are rare.

Homecoming Week, fall 1992

Homecoming Week in my senior year of high school, autumn 1991. Every individual day in the week had a theme; this was Tacky Day. I had drawn pawprints on my face because our school’s mascot was the cougar, and someone in my chorus class liked the pawprints and wanted her own.

(Years later I was working in an internal medicine practice and we all dressed up for Halloween, and one of the nurses was dressed like a convict and really wanted a fake tattoo on her face. I don’t know why she asked me, maybe I just overheard her talking and offered, but I ended up drawing one of those hearts with an arrow going through it and the word MOM on it on her cheek, also with an eyeliner pencil, just like this.)

July 1992 induction into the U.S. Army

My first morning on active duty in the U.S. Army. I frequently label it as having been taken 08 July ’92, but it may have actually been the ninth; I think it was nighttime when we got to the reception station in Missouri on the 8th and then I was up very early the next day for all the ID-card-making (what this photo was for) and such.

Nearly thirty years ago, anyway. Jeeeeezus.

official Army portrait

Taken the same day when I had woken up a little bit, but you can still see I’m exhausted if you know what you’re looking at. This wasn’t even my real uniform, just a drape (probably an actual uniform top and jacket, but not specifically mine, which I didn’t get until weeks later anyway). My real Class A uniform never got much more decorated than this, though. I get impatient with people who claim that all members of the military are “heroes” — my time in service was so lackluster it was ridiculous. When I wasn’t getting into trouble for reasons equally ridiculous. I’m amazed I got out of there with an honorable discharge, frankly.

Christmas season 1993

Christmas season 1993. That’s my former stepmom on the left. By this point she and Dad were separated but not yet divorced. I was home from the Army and firmly in the throes of my Beavis and Butt-Head obsession. Heh-heh, mm heh.

selfie in April 2012

This photo’s ten years old this month! We had a black shower curtain in the bathroom and I found it was the perfect backdrop for a selfie. Hell, no one else was taking my picture.

…..

Don’t feel much like posting anything more recent. It’s nothing to write home about, anyway. If you didn’t know what I looked like before, now you sort of do.

a misuse of manners

I went through what I’ll refer to as “my Neopagan phase” from the early ’90s on up to about… 2004 or 2005 or so. I can’t remember, but something like that. I remember when I was in the thick of it, I was particularly fascinated by Celtic folklore, or at least the sanitized hyper-Americanized version of “Celtic Paganism,” because scholarship in this area that’s actually accessible to the public is thin on the ground and when the Llewellyn author crowd can’t find it, they just make it up. And it was hard for me to make much sense of what was there because the Celts haven’t been a direct influence on Western culture as a whole the way the Greeks and Romans have; the cultural biases of the latter are much more prevalent today.

That said, I remember this one author, and I’m vague now because it’s been close to thirty years but I think she said something to the effect that saying “thank you” when someone does something for you was frowned upon among the Celts. The reason, I think she said, was that they believed that if someone does something for you then you are obligated to do something for them, and saying “thank you” was viewed as a shortcut and a way to try to get out of that obligation. Again, it’s been almost thirty years and I might be getting something slightly off, but I’m pretty sure that’s what she said. I haven’t asked any Irish or Scots directly if it’s true, but I have noticed that people in the UK particularly seem more likely to say “cheers” where Americans would say “thank you,” and I wonder if it’s a coincidence.

Now, saying “thank you” is almost unbelievably important in the United States by comparison. Maybe we get it from the French. I have no idea. I do know the fact of this has been the source of much embarrassment for me over the years when I’ve been distracted and forgotten my manners in situations where I ought to thank someone. Doesn’t happen as much as it used to, but occasionally I still trip up.

But I do think there’s some merit to the idea that one of the reasons we like “thank you” is just as the Celts may have seen it: we thank so that we do not owe. I can think of numerous examples of people doing this in my own life and I bet you can think of several in your own as well.

I think we abuse “I’m sorry” the same way.

You see this most often in small children. “Why are you still mad? I said I was sorry!” At that age we think words are magical and that if we say the right ones it will solve all problems. That’s understandable, in small children. In adults it becomes a character flaw, and too many adults possess that flaw.

Sometimes it’s OK to just say you’re sorry with the aim that that will fix the situation. In minor situations, this works. If it was your turn to bring the plastic flatware to the potluck party and you flaked, you’ll just have to run back out and get it, and it’s polite to say “I’m sorry” to demonstrate that you understand you inconvenienced people. But no one in their right mind is going to expect any more than that. The situation’s easy to fix and no one’s feelings should be hurt…

…unless it’s the 50th time in a row you’ve forgotten the plastic flatware. That points to a larger problem, and “I’m sorry” probably won’t fix it. Even going to the store won’t entirely fix it. Maybe you should volunteer for something else next time. Cleaning up the potluck table after the party, say. You got invited to fifty parties, dude. Either you are tired of parties or something else is going on. Work it out. Not at your friends’ expense.

If all you ever do is say sorry and you don’t even run back out to pick up the flatware, that’s an even bigger problem. Feeling sorry about your flakiness isn’t going to help your fellow partygoers scoop the hot chili from the slow cooker into their mouths. Ouch. And if you also forgot the napkins? Maybe stay home next time and don’t volunteer anything.

Magic words only exist in fantasy books. You can’t Wingardium Leviosa away the consequences of your wrongdoing.

If you lied, tell the truth.

If you broke it, repair it or replace it.

If you stole it, give it back or replace it.

If you can’t fix the problem directly, find some way to pay compensation that is appropriate in the recipient’s opinion. Demanding that the wronged accept your opinion of an appropriate restitution is arrogant in the extreme and adds to the damage you have already done.

Those of us a bit more clueless about social skills tend to believe that manners are just empty gestures. But that’s exactly what manners cannot be if they are to mean anything.

Faith without works is dead.

Words without deeds are just wind.

Stop breaking wind and start fixing what you broke.

a life with many rooms

I lived with a man for over a decade. This was ill-advised for many reasons. Large among them was that I knew what a terrible housekeeper he was. He had been living in a communal situation when I met him, and they had a chores chart on the wall, and his roommates had to constantly remind him to do his share, which of course he might have managed about half the time, if they were lucky. He wasn’t the only offender in this regard; the house was never strictly clean, but it got much worse when the most responsible adult moved out. So I knew, going in, that I’d be in for a wild ride when it came to household cleanliness. It was only being convinced I was required to move in with him that led me to do it.

One of his quirks was that he would completely trash a room and then give up on it and close the door. The entire second floor of the house, which was one big bedroom, was one of the rooms he so treated; the second-largest basement room was another. In the latter there was a literal aisle cutting through the waist-to-shoulder-high piles of mess going from the front of the room to the back.

The problem is that a house has a finite number of rooms. Sooner or later he will have to clean up his mess or he will run out of living space. And he owns the house, so he can’t just pick up and move.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that with relationships. Unfortunately, there are three and a half billion women on this planet which, for all intents and purposes, is an endless supply of potential future relationships he can mishandle, fill with trash, close the door on and lock it. And he never has to come back, because there will always be one more room.

I am in the end stage of being thusly trashed.

He wonders why I am so often enraged.

I would say “if he had to live in his own garbage, maybe he would understand,” but he does, and he doesn’t. I don’t think he ever will.

Administrivia: 07 March 2022

Finally have a mailing address on the contact page (look in the menu ^^^). It is not my home address, but it is a street address because I’m not in permanent housing yet (why do we call rental houses and apartments “permanent housing”? They’re not) and I’d like to be able to get FedEx and UPS if necessary. Also I think the 43214 post office is tired of me and my mailbox drama. Hahaha.

I want to add photos here into the layout that would be visible from the front page but I’m not in a good place to do that yet. I have equipment but some of it’s still in the car, and all my photos are there too. Feel superstitious about completely unloading my car. The week I do that I’ll find myself incapable of paying the weekly rate and will have to put every fucking thing back in it again to go somewhere else. Ugh.

Administrivia: 17 February 2022

So, for a long time I was running something resembling a website at this URL using WordPress, and then I moved South to the sticks for four months and thought, “I’d better take it back to basics because otherwise I’ll hardly have time to update it because internet access is so bad,” and then I changed my mind and came back to Ohio and that was no longer an issue, so we are back to the WordPress thing again.

Expect this site to always be half-finished and constantly evolving.

I suppose it rather resembles its owner in that way.

Okay, okay, that’s not quite true. If I were “cOnStAnTLy eVoLviNg” I wouldn’t be in my current mess… probably? But the mess will probably make me evolve, and long overdue, I’d say.