Dec 27, 2011

Here We Go Again!

I've been meaning to post for quite some time but have grown lazy, even for me and considering all that's been going on. I hope that everybody had a wonderful holiday season and are gearing up for kickass new year!

My youngest son (who's now 3) has inherited his brothers habit of rehashing commercials and he totally got us with this one's just too cute not to pass on! His new favorite commercial is the Hanes underwear spot where the fruit rides in on horses medieval-style.

His grandpa gave him a rocking horse for Christmas, along with his cousin, and while riding them together this morning he comes off with "We bring news! Of a new tee...that fits like no othah!" Call me an enabler but I'm trying to get him to say "Wear them well. We ride!" My sister and I are still cracking up!

I'm including the ad for reference....I wonder what he'll come up with next...LOL!

Sep 24, 2011

ARRRGGGH!!! It's All Just Too Much!!

Another bitch session...Read at your own risk!

Why do people go out of their way to make you feel sorry for them, so you go out of your way to help them...only for them to throw fits and act like idiots when you don't do things the way they think you should?

I'm dealing with that a few times over right now. My mother-in-law is telling sob stories to get us to let her move back in. My boyfriend and I both have family and friends who want to do the extended-stay thing. Despite them all acting respectfully when they visit short-term, we're not so sure about all that. Yesterday, the friend I did let stay, thinking she was solid and just needing a leg up, showed her true colors and I had to kick her out.

Things were fine at first, but quickly turned into very typical crying sessions that interrupted my ability to get things taken care of (like schoolwork, interviews, etc). That's fine...I know she's had a rough go of things for a long time and felt she earned the self-pity sessions. Hey, I've done it myself a time or two and it has it's therapeutic benefits. I am cool to be a shoulder for friends in need, especially once they've proven themselves to me and she had (she saved my life a few years back - I could've died in a fire).

However, this had gotten to be a constant and involved her getting drunk whenever my brother-in-law brought liquor over (he had a crush on her). Once, she even got drunk and passed out while babysitting my youngest (he couldn't wake her up and it scared b-in-law told me about it after the fact), which she tried to justify by being depressed and never did apologize for.

Anyway, my car is in the shop and my boyfriend needs the other for his (now) long commute to/from work. I can only get it on occasion and only when I'm able to pay the double gas back and forth. Well, she walks in just a couple minutes after I get up yesterday and asks in a snarky tone, "so you didn't get the car again today, did you?" Excuse me?!?! As if it was my obligation to run her to town on HER timeframe...especially after she'd gone calling people, giving out my number and address (once to my worst enemy even) and telling them things to make them think we kept her isolated from society as our live-in slave. Really?

I was starting to see why there were so many bridges burned between her and other friends lately. Yes, we're in the country now and I can't get to town on a whim these days, but "live-in maid" doesn't usually refer to someone who stays up all night to talk to some guy she thinks is going to be her savior, while she leads other dudes on out of boredom and sleeps most of the day. Sure she helped with my son, some chores, helped us move, put in applications for work and all that but she was rarely asked to do any of those things. She just did them on her own and was thanked repeatedly, kept in cigarettes and given the run of the place (she got more use out of the computer and phone than the rest of us). We tried to make sure she was made to feel at home and connected to friends, family and her kids, while she tried to get herself together.

We had a few heated exchanges yesterday and she's yet to apologize for scaring my son, starting the frustration/angst-riddled arguments, leading on my brother-in-law and causing a stir between him and his brother. She just thinks she's entitled to create havoc with those who try to help her and we're supposed to give her what she wants in return. No sir, not this bitch! I don't play that way. So, now she has no place to stay (said burned bridges), until she can coerce some poor schmuck to take her in and I'll play the villain in her next sob story. I really didn't want things to end that way, but she kept spitting on the olive branches I was handing to her in between arguments.

Some people refuse to be helped and have to do it for themselves. If I can scratch and claw my way from the bottom...staying with various friends and not having a job, to getting my first place (on my own) and going back to college, to juggling a new baby (working and studying) the more recent home ownership/work/school/mommy juggle with a happy relationship thrown in...ANYBODY CAN! The only catch is that it's not easy at the least, takes years of building up (and re-building, even) and takes not letting anyone (be it friend, foe, an old flame or a struggle with depression) throw you off track. It's all about holding steady through the inevitable obstacles.

It sounds like it but I still don't hate her. I actually just think she's messed up and trying to pass the blame of her self-hatred to others. I really hope she finally gets it through her head that you don't make progress in life without being willing to sacrifice or change things (like negative reactions to little things and escapist behavior) can't run from everything that's unpleasant in life and expect others to do the work of "fixer". She does have the potential to do great things with her life and I hope she gets past this whole "user" phase...she wasn't always like that and I like to think she'll return to her old self soon enough.

Anyway...that's enough bitching for now. I'm spent! Besides, there's too many reasons to look forward, rather than backward, and that's where the focus should be. Here's to hoping my posts get sunnier!

Sep 2, 2011

Hecticity and the Libra Complex

Yet another major delay on the blogfront! Since my last post, I've gone on a pretty constant job/car/house hunt, which literally ate up about 15 hours a day. My goal was to have all that set up before the move and school starting...a goal I'm juuuust barely meeting (school starts Monday and we're still unpacking). A steady job is still being hunted.

No offense to Libras (you know I love you's!) but it seems I'm dealing with their more unreasonable, drama-whore sides these days. Between my mother-in-law, my sister and my youngest son, it's been pretty relentless!

My mother-in-law wanted to move in with us, so we moved her 2 hours down to do that (under the condition that she switch doctors to avoid constant trips out of town). She agreed, but then started insisting on keeping her doctor - who BTW, is about to lose his license anyway for improper practices - and expecting us to drop everything to drive the 4-hour round trip multiple times a month. She's since decided to move in with her friend back up north and put constant pressure on us to send her mail to her and pay her storage fees down here (during an already stressful move).

I try to be patient with her because she has severe emotional problems that have gotten progressively worse (we suspect she's in first-stage alzheimer's, to boot), but it got to the point that I told her to quit calling and cussing out our answering machine, that I'm hip to her "pity-me" games and the lies she tells to get her way...not gonna fall for it! (She apologized to me, then said "it was worth a try") Her friend even called to cuss out my boyfriend and call him a bad son for not bowing to his mother's unreasonable demands (I made sure I was home for the next call from that number!). My boyfriend even lost his patience, which is pretty significant for a Pisces to do, but wound up driving her stuff to her just to stop the calls. I don't abide BS phone calls, especially when they're perpetuated by a "friend" who doesn't even know the situation. I love his mom but the pressure had us both ready to just be done with her entirely. Last I heard, she was asking if she could move back in if things don't work out with her friend...I'm not so sure how I feel about that at this point.

Enter my sister, another Libra. I had made the decision to turn custody of my niece back over to her, because I was at a point that I wasn't sure about finances and really didn't want to have to transfer her to yet another school system (we moved quite a distance away from home). She wants to be with her mom and she's already been to the school district her mom lives in, so she's got friends there.

My sister has made no bones about the fact that she thinks she shouldn't have to pay child support and has even asked if I thought they'd give her her money back (seriously? everyone here knows the state keeps that when they make the custodian take a state check for a family member they take in). She makes it sound like it's all about the money but what about my niece's well-being? It's making me think twice about signing custody over, especially since she's in such a hurry for me to sign paperwork that I don't yet have access to, that she's wanting to go through the courts (which requires fees neither of us have the money to pay). Why do that, when we can file a consentual form for free? I don't get it.

My youngest, bless his little heart, has been acting the fool something fierce! I understand that he's almost 3 and kids that age act up, but the little guy is straight up off-the-chain these days. I can't get anything done for chasing him around and keeping him out of and work has become an after-thought at this point, which is a bad thing because we need my income to cover our mortgage and bills and I have to finish this degree.

I totally kidnapped a friend of mine (not a Libra but a fellow Scorp!) who'd hit some rough times and she's been staying with me and has been a HUGE help, but my boy is sometimes too much for even the both of us. Here's to finding a good daycare or pre-school way out here in the sticks, so she and I can meet some work and school goals! If we can work in the time to create some web-things we came up with, that would be a major bonus!

The good news is that we did find a house in a good location, with the right amount of space and (the best part) a significantly lower payment than we were paying at that horrible, mold-infested house we were renting (court date pending on that!). We're getting settled into our new area and into the home. I've lived in the general area briefly as a teenager but my boyfriend isn't familiar at all, so I'm happy to say we're navigating our way around very well. As soon as I can get it formatted, I'll add a pic of the view from my driveway of those gorgeous hills!

Now, if I can just keep the Libra complex at bay until this cosmic psycho spell passes, maybe I can maintain what's left of my sanity (if anything) and get some steady work and start school on a good foot.

Hope things have been well with you all...I'll be catching up your blogs as soon as I get my latest copywriting project out of the way!

Jul 16, 2011

Why so unprofessional?

!!!!RANT ALERT!!!!

I don't know what it is, but this week has been horrible for dealing with so-called professionals. From potential clients to job sites, it's been pretty bad.

Due to the drop in my hours and lack of quality job postings on oDesk, I've branched off to build profiles on other sites as well. So far, I've signed up for Solvate (who has a review period I'm still waiting on), PeoplePerHour (UK-based), Workaholics4Hire (who turned out not to have many listings at all) and SOHO Jobs. I don't particularly like the set-up of Elance or Guru, so I haven't gone there - yet.

SOHO looked really good at first and promise quality listings and encourage sign-up. I looked over the TOS and signed up. I soon realized that their free version only let you SEE the have to pay a subscription fee to apply. WTF? Why wasn't this mentioned upfront? I sent a complaint to customer service and deleted my account.

The owner(?) herself replied, stating that she was ticked off at my complaint because she and her staff will not work for free. First off, who ever suggested anyone work for free? My complaint was at the requirement to pay just to apply to jobs. Other sites charge employers a small fee based on actual work done, not on the job hunt itself.

In the midst of all this unprofessionalism, I've been getting hit up for interviews...even straight up offers... on oDesk. Sounds great, but when I reply back wanting more information on the company, industry, tasks, etc. (many invites give very little info upfront and usually read like "I like your profile and want to know your availability for a part-time gig"), they decline my application. Really? You think employers would want to hire somebody who's interested in knowing their needs and discussing the best ways to serve them. Are we supposed to be mind readers?

One guy invited me to interview for a job he posted no more than one brief sentence about and asked for my email, phone number, etc. I don't give out my personal information at all and only established clients receive my email and skype (NOT my personal phone numbers) because there are many scam artists out there trolling job listings and I loathe spam, so I politely told him I don't give out that information on the outset.

He responded by messaging me (via oDesk) that he wasn't trying to "virtually rape" me then declining my application (or, rather, my invite), stating I lacked the necessary skills/qualifications. Again, really? If I lacked the skills, don't invite me to interview for your job! I feel his childish behavior totally justifies my policy...and this guy was supposed to be a company president!

Things are stressful right now anyway, with my hours down and dealing with my landlord (whom I'm taking legal action against for various contractual violations). My mother-in-law moved in...I love her but she requires 2 trips a month back to her hometown (which is 2 hours away, one way, with gas costs as they are), until we're settled in at our new place and get her doctors transferred there. On top of that, my health has decided to go helter skelter again...they really need to do the follow-up Crohn's tests. With all this going on, why must I have to deal with a new batch of idiots at every turn?

There are bright sides to all this, oddly enough. The severe drop in hours actually opens me up to go ahead and start my own business, assuming we figure out which home we're moving to because it will determine how far I can go initially and which products I'll start with. Both houses are out of town, so I'd need a second car to work outside the home, but that might still be an option.

You know what they say about creation out of destruction...right about now, there's plenty of room to build! I just hope I can maintain what's left of my sanity in the meantime. I'm putting on my seat belt for this ride!

Hope you're all doing better on your ends of things!

Jul 12, 2011

Major Changes...and a Proud Mama!!

Another long delay on the homefront...there have been so many changes this summer.

We got into the one house and, after spending a lot on paint and cleanup prior to moving in (with no reimbursement and in addition to the deposit, mind you!), we moved in and found the house leaked like crazy! We've started the escrow process and the landlord is coming to fix the main leak tomorrow (I get the feeling he'll ignore the roof leak though). We're thinking that we'll pursue legal counsel for getting our money back on at least the cleanup and painting.

In the meantime, we've been looking to buy a home and I've been looking in 3 separate locations in my state. This house is for sale but we decided we didn't want it - even to continue renting!! We found a gorgeous - immaculate! - home that we're working out the details on...hopefully we can get that, though it will mean my getting more work to cover the extra costs. It's no prob, since I was looking for more work anyway - my hours have dropped and my current interviews are on-going (still!). When I find something closer to full-time that's long-term, I'll jump on it!

The highlight of my day was just a few minutes ago, when my 8 year old was telling me what he wants to be when he gets older. He said doctor first (for the money) and when we were talking about what goes into becoming one, he mentioned wanting to "create buildings and construction". I asked him if he meant architecture and he said "yeah, that's it!" and gave me his typical thumbs up with a big grin.

That's when it dawned on me...he's uber-creative, even to the point of eccentricity, and building things with Legos is his #1 passion...he's perfect for that type of gig! I'm making it my mission to teach him about various styles (art deco, modern, grecian, etc.) and help nurture his interest, like I'm doing with his cousin (who wants to pursue nursing).

Now, to figure out what my 2 1/2 year old wants to be.... :)

Apr 29, 2011

It's Almost Over...

School, that is. I just finished this week's coursework and all I have next week is one chapter to read and 4 assignments (3 that actually integrate into one large final assignment and my final blogpost on my social media metrics blog I started for school). Then, I have the summer off, which I needed to take, lest I lose what's remaining of my sanity :)

This week started my new contract so, after today, I'll have put in over 30 hours, which is better than I've done in a long time. The work is varied and sometimes tedious but I'm so happy to be working again (particularly in marketing and ecommerce!) that it doesn't matter. Tommorow, I'll be able to devote time to my third contract, which will take a few hours I didn't have for it during the week. Then, I'll be as caught up as I can be until Monday.

The delay for the new apartment is still going on, but I'm OK with that because it buys me some time to find a place better suited to my family's needs. If it comes down to it, I'll take the one in my building to be able to provide my niece her own room (even at the expense of my having a dedicated office space b/c the place is laid out different than my current apartment). However, I will move again if I find something better, even though it will mean adding to my expenses (it's an acceptable trade-off at this point). Needless to say, I'm hoping something else presents itself to avoid the extra work of moving twice. So far, two good prospects have slipped through my fingers, so I'm hoping the third time's the charm.

Here's to an awesome and productive (without being exhausting) weekend!

Apr 22, 2011

Still Reeling From the Whirlwind (and loving it!)

This has been quite the busy week and I couldn't be happier!

For starters, we didn't have to move yet...the new apartment wasn't ready yet and won't be till sometime next week (painting, etc.). But the delay, along with some new developments, may put my original goal back in sight. My fingers are crossed in a major way!

I started a new contract on Tuesday as a Marketing Assistant for a lady whose business is very much in line with what I enjoy doing...working with start-ups and small businesses! I also started a contract with a young college student who is starting up his own business and needs some marketing help. Furthermore, I got another contract from a lady who was referred by my new client I started with Tuesday...I literally just got the confirmation on that and it starts Monday!

With so much going on, I'm glad I have only two more weeks of school and decided to take Summer Term off...all this work puts me close to full-time, which is great! Needless to say, I canceled all the interviews that had been initiated, then sat dormant after...I don't like interviews that are sitting open too long feels inefficient somehow.

Now I just need to see if that house is still available for rent and see if I can borrow from my dad what I need to get us in there quickly! I hate the idea of asking him for anything, much less money (and particularly that much!), but I should see a decent disbursement this fall and could pay him back in full. If everything gels, we'll be in a place with all the space we need and in the best location for us.

I hope everything works out...and that you all are doing well and seeing Spring's fruits blossom as well!

Apr 12, 2011

Quick Interlude

I am interrupting my previous post to mention that I saw my hometown on A&E's show Intervention last night. I heard they were there filming but didn't realize it would air so soon. The topic: "hillbilly heroin" (prescription drug abuse/dangers of "pill mills" and the fact that ole P-town is still among the top list for it in the U.S.) - no real surprises there, 20/20 was there a few years back because it had been named the Oxycontin Capital of the U.S.

Not hard to see why I'm so Not proud to call that place my hometown...that kind of thing has been rampant there longer than I've been alive! However, I was glad to see that there are people trying to kick their habits and organizations trying to help them do it. There is also (finally!) some initiatives for laws that regulate the pill mills and may even shut them down completely.

Progress is progress!

What a Week! (a.k.a. Is It Coming Together Yet?)

I'm checking in early! LOL But I figured since I had to create a blog for school last week (attached to my Blogger profile, if you're interested) and had to pop in weekly for that anyway, then I could surely pop in here also, even for a sec.

There's been some good and bad this week, but I'm hoping it's all coming together for the good. The bad is that I'm stressed from constant job-hunting and resume-sending, as well as a nasty incident at Dollar General that involved my cussing at the cashier for trying to assault me with the turnstile and the manager for claiming I couldn't file a complaint about it (she was "never given the paperwork for customer complaints" - my foot!). I pretty much never behave that way in public, but I was already stressed to the gills and the situation called for it.

All I asked was for the cashier to void one of my items...I only had about 8 to begin with and it wasn't my fault if her, nor her manager, was not properly trained on how to void an item and they had to void the entire purchase and re-scan everything. It certainly didn't call for her to try to take my arm off with the turnstile as I was picking up my bags to leave. I filed a complaint with DG Corporate's HR department and am waiting to hear back. Considering I could've called the police and pressed charges (or worse, try to hit her back), I think I behaved myself pretty well, in regards to how big a scene was caused.

But annnnyway...

The good is that I've started getting hit with interviews and have negotiated possible side-work helping a student with an interesting start-up in my free time. I don't know how I'm going to work it all into my schedule, especially if I get 40 hours/wk, but I'm going to have to work it out. There's one in particular that came about today that I'm especially excited about (albeit, it may involve the most work).

Another good thing is that a 3-br came available in my complex and we're next on the list! It should be ready sometime next week and it's not far from where my 1br was located (when I lived alone, aside from visits from my oldest, before I gained a houseful). I'm started to feel shuffled around but it's biggest issue is where will my desk and sewing table go, as the layout is tricky that way. Hmmmmmm

Unfortunately, the house we wanted may be out of our reach. It's still available but there are certain things that aren't so negotiable. I'm hoping that is something that will change and preferably before making the move next week. My fingers are still crossed.

In any event, I better go and finish up my homework for this week...who knows, I may have a job that needs started on the horizon!

Apr 7, 2011

WOW, it's been a while since I've posted (I know, I know...randomly posting has become my theme). I'd like to say it's that I've been so uber-busy, but this time, it's just laziness on my part, a.k.a. sleeping in my free time.

Just to update my previous rant-post, that woman no longer says one word to me. I like that because it means I don't have to be a bitch but it sucks because she's earned me being a bitch and it denies me socking it to her because there's no sense in bringing it up now. She's on my list, though, for next time...

A lot of my time has been spent tweaking my work profile and applying, like, everywhere, both online and off. I got a call from a top company (full service marketing in the automotive industry who was looking for an SEM specialist) in my boyfriend's hometown, wanting me to begin the recruiting process. I was stoked...until they backed out prior to the official interview.

That's OK, though, because I've got resumes to other top companies in the area (they certainly aren't the only's a big city), as well as an application to intern at one of the top companies in the country. I hope something comes of that because the position the internship is for is something I'm already equipped for (more than the other companies, which the positions are admittedly a bit out of my league). Anyway, an internship with this company would be a very pretty addition to my resume and could also lead to a full-time position after graduation. Nice...

Why am I on the hunt for a full-time gig when some days, it's all I can do to complete my schoolwork and run everyone around? Because I'm sick of living in a cramped apartment and being broke, that's why. I am willing to work myself silly to reach my goal, whether it means we move into this awesome house we found in my hometown or we move to the big city. The place in my hometown means my niece could walk to school and see her friends more often, but paying the extra rent on top of bills we aren't having to pay right now requires me working full-time. Is it worth it? Hell, yes! Along with my niece's independence, my boyfriend could take over the whole getting Bubby to daycare thing and free me up some time to work.

Will it come together for us? That remains to be seen. I had an interview yesterday, another scheduled for today, one possible for next week (won't know till then) and a whole mess of applications and resumes floating around out there. If I can secure a solid job, my dad may be able to cover the costs of moving in quickly and I could pay him back in a couple months time. At this point, I'll do anything to get out of where we and maintenance here have always been nosy (interrogating everyone at every turn - they got my neighbors yesterday, who are also good tenants - then act like you're lying even if they know you're not), but it's gotten worse lately and it's annoying me to death.

I've been spending more time looking for a job than studying, online from early morning to late at night hunting good leads (with occasional naps because that gets exhausting). My fingers are crossed probably more than they've ever been. This house is in the right location, for the right price and with the right amount of space...if we lose this, I'll do something I rarely do anymore...cry!

I can't believe how big this post got...I think I should just stop now.

Mar 10, 2011

Some Days, I Just Really Hate People

UPDATE: Thanks to "blog therapy", I decided to not call this time and be the grown woman I pride myself to being. However, if another comment is made toward me or my child, I will commence to telling her off then and make a formal complaint (to both offices). After that, I'll decide whether or not to switch daycares (he's made some friends here but this one was actually my second choice).

WARNING: Excessive Rant Alert!!

It's no secret that I have very little tolerance for ignorance...within reason, at least. Babies are ignorant of how to walk until we teach them...that sort of thing is understandable ignorance and so not what I'm bitching about right now.

There's this *lady* (and I mean that quite sarcastically) at my son's daycare who really gets on my nerves. She's always sneering at me whenever I drop him off and pick him up...first strike against her because I not only don't know her but she's the lunch lady...she doesn't even take care of the kids.

I overlooked that because looks don't exactly kill, it's only a minor annoyance, and I chalked it up to her being one of the many people in my small town who are just naturally grouchy people. I'm way more used to that kind of thing than I should be...(there's a legend in town that when the white man came, the natives here put a curse over it to doom the newbies to lives of unhappiness...not sure how true it is but there is a cloud of negativity here that doesn't go away and you can see it daily in the inhabitants).

Last week, she started complaining that his hair needed cut. Granted, it was a bit overdue but things were tight this month and meshing our schedule with our stylist's is generally dicey because the one day a week we normally have to do those things is the one weekday that she's has to be worked in wherever we can do so. Also, it's none of this woman's business...he's clean, healthy, exceptionally intelligent and isn't abused in any way, so an "emo-style" swoop on a two-year-old should be the least of her worries. Strike two...but I overlooked it because it was the first time she actually said anything and I try to give everyone the benefit of having a bad day.

Enter this morning. She follows me back to the coatroom on her way to the cafeteria to make some snarky-ass comment about me having to shift around his days to make time for appointments (which I do give them notice on whenever I can, BTW). Her claim was that "we have to shift our workers around and fill his spot on those days with paying parents..."

That's what pissed me off! While it's true that, as a broke student, the state is covering 25 hours/week for daycare to allow time to study, it's also true that I'm not milking the system like the drugheads around here do. For someone to imply that I'm among that group really razzes me...strike three! Everyone at that daycare knows that he's there because (1) I need the study-time free and (2) it's good for him to be around kids his age fairly regularly and he isn't old enough for pre-school yet. Not to mention that I do pay a co-pay every month for his being there.

She would also know that, since she spends her time chatting the care-givers up instead of working. I accept assistance with this and medical because we need to until we're out of this town with its bullsh*t stereotyping. I take as little as I can get by with because I feel it leaves more for those in a tighter spot than mine...they had to literally make me take a check for my niece when she came to live with me because it was "part of the process" (which actually wound up coming in real handy after I transferred to a more expensive college and got smaller disbursements). If I could afford it on my own, I'd be paying for a full week, not just taking him 3 days a week.

I didn't say anything at the time because I was a combo of a bit shocked at her inability to keep her damn mouth shut and had to go back to pick up my niece for school (normally she's with me, but she goes after everyone else on Thursdays and wanted to finish getting ready). I thought about overlooking her remark, but the more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off. I am so sick of sh*t like that, I could scream. I almost went back just to chew her out and my niece told me I "shouldn't let stupid people bother me". True enough (she's a smart kid), but I'm still seething...I just can't seem to shake it. It's not my fault if she lacks satisfaction in her life and feels the need to berate others, as though she knows anything about them.

I'm debating whether or not to call and make a formal complaint (with the daycare and, if necessary, the state agency that handles my case with them). To one degree, it seems excessive for one ignorant remark but, on the other hand, I don't want this idiot thinking she can start making me her verbal punching bag. I've been around people like this all my life and I can spot 'em a mile away...she's definitely one of those. If I don't make sure she's clear on some consequences for acting like that, she'll keep doing it and it will escalate to the point that I may have to knock her ass out to shut her up. I got in a lot of trouble as a teenager for doing that kind of thing, so I'd really prefer to keep my adult record clean.

I can only tolerate ignorance like that so far before I snap...which is saying a lot because I do have some pretty good self-control...I have to be REALLY mad to react like that. However, that said, I've been under a lot of stress the last couple years and I'm seeing some of my old anger patterns re-emerging. I don't like it but I recognize it as a natural reaction to long-term, on-going pressure, though I do worry what will happen when I finally lose the ability to hold it together. Some days, this is what I use to fuel the energy and intensity I need to get things done in a has its positive uses.

Whatever I decide to do about this incident...I'm sure going to get a lot done today!

Mar 7, 2011

Whew! Finally Made It Back!

I can't believe it's been a month since my last certainly was not intended! I've come across so many things to blog about in that time but had become so busy with everything that I kept forgetting to log in and post it.

Thank you for the comments you sent. The ultrasound went very well...not only is my gall bladder in good shape, the lady overseeing the intern doing my test made comments like "see her pancreas? that's what a healthy pancreas is supposed to look like". Since that test, I've been put on a heart monitor (for the occasional racy heart symptoms), which came back great, saw an allergist (test showed no allergies, despite lifelong sinus symptoms, which I suppose is good?) and had a CT scan for my long-swollen lymph node (no results till tomorrow but the node doesn't really bother me...they just want to be sure it's fine).

I suspect the CT scan may not be entirely necessary but I've had doctors in the past get concerned when they found that lymph node swollen, so who knows? As each test result comes back, I'm convinced that I'm still fairly healthy but I'm no closer to finding out why I can't shake the exhaustion and still have the GI symptoms. I've gotten a little of my energy back but I still take the occasional long naps (prob. 4-5 days a week). As I gain energy, I'm planning to use it to get back into shape and see how much that helps everything...I'm actually wondering if it's as simple as that. Is it possible that I was in such good health before that this dip could have made the difference and caused these symptoms? It's a curious thought, at the very least.

On the career front, I don't think I'm keeping busy enough. Everything's basically ad hoc and I'm finding that I keep going into these uncertain phases...for example, I might get caught up in a task, get it up to date, but get stuck on where to pick it back up after it's been a couple of weeks away. It seems weird to me, because I typically leave 'save points' for myself. On top of that, being completely ad hoc keeps me in a 'strictly maintenance' doesn't really allow me to make the kind of money I need to afford a bigger place. Since getting custody of my niece, she's been crammed into an already small room with her male cousins...not ideal for a teenage girl...and, though we're on the list for a bigger apartment in this complex, they're hard to come by. Something's gotta give.

So, I'm on the hunt for something more regular, that also pays well. By my estimates, seeing how I haven't had much come in besides a quick copywriting project that I'm pretty well finished with, I find myself in the position to discontinue my current assignments amicably and start fresh with new criteria. The only thing I aim to keep is the online marketing internship I started last week with a personal finance website. It doesn't require many hours and is flexible enough that I can work elsewhere on a regular schedule and maintain school.

I found something local that pays well and sounded like something I'd like to do. It's weird for me because I have social anxiety disorder and have gotten used to pretty much shutting in over the last couple of years but, on top of being bored, I think part of my problem is that I'm starved for adult interaction. I feel the need to challenge myself more and think now's the time to get started already.

So, I sent in my CV and a cover letter this morning. I'm not entirely certain that I'm qualified enough for middle management but took the chance anyway. Their requirements weren't too far out from where I'm currently at and I'm a fast learner. On top of that, getting CPR/First Aid Instructor-certified won't be too much of a problem, so that's covered too. If they're willing to take on a student, I'm willing to work. The only thing is that it appears to be a full-time position...but it's in the evening, which helps a lot, and I discussed it with my family and my boyfriend and niece said they were willing to help as much as possible so that i could do it, if hired. I'm sure my dad would help as much as he could too if, for instance, I got called in early and needed him to pick up my boyfriend from work or something like that. I love the feeling that I'm not as on my own with everything as I family is great at pulling together when we need to.

If this one doesn't pan out though, I'll be on the lookout for things on oDesk, as well as locally and will be keeping track of the corporate internships I found in Marketing. I find 'corporate' to generally be a bad word, but I'd be kidding myself if I didn't admit the experience and references it would bring would be a great career boost...and earn enough money to sustain us until I got my own thing started.

Anyway...I'll stop rambling now, LOL...I'll be back soon enough! Hope all's as well with you!

Feb 6, 2011

Halfway to Spring, A New Pic and Finding a Good Doctor

I meant to post on Feb. 1 to ring in Imbolc with you...we're now, officially, halfway to Spring. I can't wait for the weather to warm up...

I added a more recent pic to my Blogger profile. The old one was almost 5 years old and this one was taken almost a year ago, not long after I added the blue streaks to my hair. I know I keep saying I'll add one with my (now, not so new) glasses, but they all turn out making me look really, really tired. I'll probably bring the original one back, if I can't get used to this's still my favorite.

I fell a little behind in my schoolwork this week. Normally, I turn things in early but I turned in the last thing that was due this week today (the due date). There's more on the list, but it's not due till Saturday. I need to get on this coming week's work to avoid getting swamped, which is possible as I'm waiting on the word to send out the email campaign for one client, am waiting on word about finalizing an interview with a hire, have this week's schoolwork and need to read my chapters for Advertising class (which starts the 14th). Add that I have an appointment tomorrow and an out-of-town gall bladder ultrasound on Friday, on top of the usual errands (driving everyone else around to work, school, daycare, etc) and it's looking pretty bad for even an hour's free time. My fingers are crossed....

If I can, I'll work in the time to paint the face on my friend's doll. I'm waiting on some kind of inspiration for it, so I can sketch an idea out to work with, but it hasn't come yet. Not sure if it's being too busy to think too much on it or that creativity has forsaken me. In all fairness to creativity, I have been feeling like a zombie the last couple years, so we'll call it exhaustion or burnout.

On a lighter note, the doctor I was referred to is taking my health seriously. I asked about pyroluria, as it was brought to my attention by a client who has a bi-polar relative. She thought that, as I have it too and share an interest in alternative therapies, I would be interested in knowing about it. My new doc has never heard of's not in the medical database (he even showed me!). When I mentioned it was more a diagnosis from a naturopathic practitioner, he was intrigued and said he'd contact OSU's genetics department to see if they're familiar with it and the urine test used to detect it and get back to me. When he heard about my sleep issues (particularly my strange symptoms upon waking, like racing heart), he set me up with an appointment to wear a heart monitor for 2 days and mentioned sleep studies. I had to wear a heart monitor for one day when I was pregnant with my youngest, only to find my heart was in perfect shape (it was my son's aortic stenosis that was showing up as palpitations in my sonograms), so we'll see how everything goes.

Now, how many doctors are likely to admit not being familiar with a possible illness and show a willingness to find out more? Not many where I come from. His honesty and taking me seriously really struck a chord with me. I need to remember to thank the doctor that referred me to him! The so-called medical professionals in my area won't even run tests in some cases to see if a particular illness is causing someone's symptoms...they're much quicker to write them off as hypochondriacs that are simply wasting their time. I believe finding a good doctor is like finding gold...I'm keeping Dr. H!

Evening is coming on...I think I better read some chapters if I can't focus on the assignments themselves! At least I can get that much done!

Jan 31, 2011

Closer to a Cure for Cancer?

I had recently become privy to the fact that the FDA has approved a therapeutic vaccine as part of the treatment plan for prostate cancer. Apparently, it works by using the body's natural disease-fighting mechanism and sort of turns it against the cancer. This is great news and, while still in clinical trials for the most part, some experts are already starting new trials to see if they can get the same successes with other forms of cancer.

I saw on Dr. Oz one day that these trials were spreading out to other states and Ohio is one of them. Couple this with the fact that lung and colon cancers were among those chosen for the new trials. As I mentioned in a previous post, my sister's boyfriend is battling stage 2 colon cancer and one of my friends is undergoing chemo for stage 4 brain and lung cancers. Needless to say, I got the info to them so that they can at least discuss it with their oncologists. I'll double-check to make sure they check into it.

I did get some good news earlier tonight about my friend. I actually made it out of the house (which I've barely done all year!) and visited them to help his wife with her homework (she's in college too). He mentioned that they got the brain cancer when they operated and that the chemo is steadily shrinking the tumors in his lungs. Very good news! They invited me to go with them tomorrow to his next treatment. If I don't wind up going with my dad tomorrow, I'll go with them.

On another note, his wife made another doll (she's my friend that I made those awesome dolls with). This one's over 2 feet tall (the originals were more like 16 inches) and she asked if I was still cool to paint the faces. Am I? Of course! I bought an artist's paint set back around my birthday and still haven't touched them...and I really need to get back to having a hobby, even if I don't have time to design any clothes.

At any rate...I had to pass on the news about the vaccines. I've heard the success rates are good, though I haven't researched that myself yet. And, if we keep making advances in this field, we bring ourselves that much closer to eradicating cancers of various forms. Can you imagine a world without cancer? What a beautiful world that would be!

Jan 28, 2011

Me, A Collegiate Scholar?

In the last few days, I've gotten an email and two letters inviting me to join the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I'm flattered, no doubt, but I'm actually quite surprised...I didn't think I was doing THAT well, especially considering the Algebra thing last term. I even, jokingly, told my boyfriend that if I qualified as a National Collegiate Scholar, not having a perfect 4.0 GPA or doing volunteer work, etc., than the nation was in bad shape. LOL

I checked out their Facebook page and read the stuff they sent. Apparently, they offer access to a job website, scholarship opportunities, professional networking opportunities and even programs to study abroad (which I obviously can't do, having kids, but it's a nice thought). The pamphlet said that, to qualify to join, a student must be in their 1st or 2nd year, have at least a 3.4 GPA and be in their school's top 20% for their degree program.

Honestly, I had no idea I was doing that well and was starting to question why I hadn't made Dean's List at this school, like I did at a previous one, if I was scoring so high, when I realized that the first contact actually came via my school.

However, the catch is that there's a membership fee required to join and there's a deadline. I'll have to wait till my disbursement comes to be able to accept, which hopefully, will come in time. I'm actually kind of excited about this, albeit, still surprised. I guess studying really does get you somewhere, even if others don't always understand why a student stays so busy doing it.

Which reminds me...I need to read a couple chapters to prep for for next week....

Jan 27, 2011

WOW...I Didn't Know That...

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Omega 3 can create issues with bipolar medications, though it may be a natural treatment on its own for it...under the advice of a medical professional! If you're on any medications, always be sure to confer with your doctor before taking any supplements, herbs, etc.!!!!

I'm a huge Dr. Oz's no secret. From watching his show, I've become privy to things like Celiac's disease, surprising health risks and helpful diet/exercise tips. I was just watching yesterday's episode (recorded on my DVR) and got schooled on Omega fatty acids.

I knew there was a difference between the 3's and the 6's and that one was better for you than the other but I always kept forgetting which was which. Not anymore! Hands down...Omega 3 is what you want and Omega 6 is what you want to cut down on. The expert for that segment, Dr. Hyman, stated that our hunter-gatherer ancestors got the correct ratio (1:1 or 1:2...Omega 3:Omega 6, respectively) but that in modern times, we're getting more like 1:27! No wonder we're so out of balance (symptoms of deficiency include brittle nails, dry scalp and chronic fatigue).

Salmon was said to be a prime source of Omega 3, but only if it's wild caught because farm raised salmon eat corn and various feeds that load it with Omega 6. I love salmon, so it's good to know that I should go straight to the butcher for the good stuff. I wouldn't mind paying a buck or two extra since I won't need much...sad to say that I'm the only one in the house who enjoys seafood, so it isn't purchased often.

It was suggested to take an Omega 3 supplement (600mg being the recommended dose) and to watch for the type of Omega 3 that is in processed foods. According to Drs. Oz and Hyman, unless it says explictly "DHA" (EPA and ARA are fine too, but DHA is best), it's likely just hype. Again...good to know.

Other great tidbits I picked up was on face cream and vitamin supplements. Did you know that face creams with antioxidants lose their benefits once exposed to the sun? Or that taking a Calcium/Magnesium supplement with any other vitamin or supplement (or drinking calcium-fortified orange juice with them) can keep your body from absorbing them? It's best to take them alone a couple of hours later. Some of you may have been privy already, but it's more or less new to me. I'd heard bits about it but it never sank into memory. I'll remember the antioxidant one when I start manufacturing my organic skincare line...use only at night and use one with sunscreen in it during the day! I'm learning helpful new things for my future business everyday...things I'd only touched on when making my face masks as a teenager all those years ago!

In any case, I'll cut it short. Just thought I'd pass that on, as we're all on the hunt for ways to stay healthy and look younger.

Till next time...Be well!

Jan 22, 2011

Some Things to Consider When Blogging Professionally

OK, I know I've been blogging a lot lately but, true to my nature, I go with my inspiration. This is an optional homework assignment from my first lesson at IMU, but it raises some relevant points that I'd like to address about professional blogging.

A lot of people worry about SEO with their blogs and the use of keywords/phrases to bring about some search engine results, increase page rank, etc. In my opinion, this is a bit counter-productive because it takes the focus away from your audience and the content-relevance that involves them in the "conversation" you've initiated with them...content really is king! The point of a company blog is to engage your target audience with information that they would find useful, working any keywords in naturally. The traffic and even conversions follow from there.

Adding in images or videos is a good way to appeal to readers who are more visually stimulated. It emphasizes the written text and boosts your blog, as long as you don't engage in image overkill (it IS possible!). In a similar tone, adding things like polls, relevant interactive widgets and responding to comments (even addressing negative ones) will work in your favor by offering a communication exchange and highlighting your brand in a positive way.

Lastly, keeping an organized and easily navigable blog will keep potential subscribers from running the other way. Obviously, you want readers to stay, read, engage and refer. It seems a no-brainer to make your blog easy to use, but many overlook this or try too hard by cluttering images, ads and content. It helps to have an objective third-party review your site for you and to use their feedback in a constructive manner. After all, if it improves your blog and retains readers, it was well worth the effort, right?

Before I sign off...I'm aware that I haven't been so good about using some of my own advice on this blog. Being a personal blog, I've neglected some aspects that would improve it. I certainly wouldn't have overlooked these things if it were a client's blog. So, I've decided that I will start working in some changes of my own that you will, hopefully, benefit from. Among these are to consolidate my content; I want to maintain some range of interests (business, green and 'mom' stuff), but I want to do away with pointless posts and fillers. I also want to go through and actually make use of the tags for each post (starting now) and, eventually, add in an HTML header with links to my other sites (as I build them). I may even try to add some more interactive features and will certainly try to check in more often than I've been known to do.

With any luck, this will improve the blog and make it more useful to you and more enjoyable for all of us!

Marketing Certifications

The other day I had set up a LinkedIn account, the first social media profile I've had since canceling my long-time MySpace and Facebook ones. I received an invite from the CTO of the company I am doing email management for, so I figured, "Why not?". I'd been meaning to get one anyway, really, and accepting her invite is a good a reason as any.

Today, I was going through the groups and came across one that has a website, Inbound Marketing, that offers free retraining and certification in Marketing. Sounded good to me, since I'm always looking to learn what I can faster than school will get to it...because, you know, I'm not impatient at all :P Besides, it can only be good for my career to get as much usable knowledge as possible, so I can use it already!

I've got to finish reading my chapters for this coming week's assignments, so I can start the first lesson or two and get back to my French lessons tomorrow. I just wanted to pass that little nugget along...

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Jan 20, 2011

Newsflash! (a mood lightening post from earlier)

DISCLAIMER: I know I don't post about celebrities, really ever, but...

I was happening along the Net, in between finding articles to base a school assignment on, when I found it...

Kat Von D is engaged to Jesse James!

I know...they came out as a couple during the opening of her gallery (which was on her show this past season) but this came as a surprise to me. Cute as he is, the guy has a history of cheating on his wives (at least I believe I heard he did the same to his first one...I could be wrong there). Sandra Bullock is one of my favorite actresses, is very much a lady and hearing of their divorce upset me both as a fan and a feminist.

I like Kat Von D. She's a dedicated tattoo artist and business woman who is unashamed of showing her big heart. Much respect to the gal! I like her products too...she did a great job with her Sinner and Saint perfumes (I have both). I haven't tried the make up yet, but would like to get a tattoo from her one day.

But I digress. I dig them both. All I'm saying is that I hope he treats his new lady with more respect than he's been known to do in the past. I wish them a happy life together.

Time to Get Cracking!


It seems I've been too easy on my niece. Since she's lived with me, I've provided an allowance (which pays for her phone), my sister and I set her up to go to Homecoming recently and I've gotten by on simple discussions and setting of the 4 big rules of the house, because, you know, I'm such a hardass.

In return, she has slacked off in school (convinced that barely making it on a C- is going to get her successfully through nursing school too), saying "well, I can't be a perfect student...I'm not a nerd like you were" (she already knows I rather like being a nerd). Her mom wasn't/isn't a nerd but still made A's, so I think she may be stereotyping a bit there...all I ask is that she at least strives for B's. She gives attitude without provocation, cusses out her mom and is deliberately mean to my sons because she claims they should be held, at 2 and 7 years old, to the same expectations as she is at 16. Riiiight. There's no developmental differences between any of those ages at all....mmmhmmm. I think she's gotten worse because her mom recently moved back to where she wants to move back to and she's stuck in my custody until she's 19 (graduated) or moves back in with her mom (which is at my discretion and won't happen until my sister cuts the flighty, self-absorbed bit). Don't get me wrong, I love my sister and she's made many great turns lately but she still has farther to go to prove to me she can be responsible again.

I've switched my approach with her and have started a tougher discipline campaign, effective yesterday. Due to this week's antics, she will be without her phone all next month (I can never find it to take it, so it'll just sit with no time on it) and the many hours she normally spends texting in a day will be spent studying harder. That phone is the one thing she takes seriously, so we'll see how she likes having that privilege removed. She wants to play the brat after that and I'll cut off the TV, Internet access and any after-school time with friends too. If she thinks she's bored now, she'll really be bored after acting up again. I've been easy on her during her adjustment to our situation so there's no excuse for her ridiculous "I'm so mistreated" protest campaigns.

I remember being 16 (it's only been 14 years ago) and was actually not living with my parents by then and had first gone to college as a Psych major. I thought I knew it all too, but I knew how to treat others with respect and that makes a big gotta give to get! I'm aware that teens are naturally defiant and try to give some leeway for self-expression but I'm not about to let a previously undisciplined child take over my home. It's simply not going to happen. Her adjustment time is's time for Auntie to get tough. The poor girl has no idea how tough I can get...I can go from permissive to drill instructor without batting an eyelash...but, one way or another, she'll learn the score.

Jan 18, 2011

What A Year This Has Been So Far!

I meant to post for New Year's to "pop the cork" with you guys, but even as things have slowed down a bit (finally, right?), they've also gotten a little crazy (so, what else is new?). Here's a run-down of the good, bad and ugly that 2011 has rung in so far.

The Good:

Things are looking good on the work front. In addition to my current work, I've started on as an email marketing manager for a bio-diesel company, which is exposing me to a form of marketing I've only read about before...awesome! I'm also in the middle of an interview for an online marketing manager for a finance website...again, exposure to something new, at least in practice. I'll know more there by the end of the week. It will cut into some of what's left of my free time, but the timing's flexible, the mentoring's there if/when needed and the experience would be helpful since I'll eventually do the same with my own website.

I've started some chi-enhancing supplements and they're really working! That or I'm manic, maybe both, but they seem to be helping! I found them at may have seen Dr. Mao on the Dr. Oz show (I thought he looked familiar!). I also got a Qi Gong/Tai Chi DVD from Amazon, but I haven't found the time to open it yet. One way or another, I'm getting back into shape this year!

The Bad:

School started and I'm getting a B in Management. I'm down to 89.?%. I know, I boyfriend's laughing too but after the ass-whooping I took in Intermediate Algebra (failing by a mere fraction of a percent!), my GPA could use some babying, LOL

I had an appointment yesterday to see if my endometriosis is causing my mid-section woes...that looks good, but they did find a fibroid (not big enough to warrant a surgery to remove but we're keeping an eye on it). If it isn't one thing, it's something else, isn't it? The good news is that my OBGYN is taking me seriously where the nurse at the local office did not. I asked her to check my gall baldder and she kind of huffed, said "It's GERD, here's some Nexium" and walked off. My doctor (an hour's drive from here) set me up with a family doctor up there and scheduled a gall bladder ultrasound for Friday morning! Maybe they'll even re-do the Crohn's Disease test since the other place still hasn't given me my results (months later).

The Ugly:

OK, it wasn't bad enough that my sister's boyfriend has Stage 2 colon cancer (she moved back up where he lives from here a week or so ago). I had gotten back in touch with a good friend, only to find that her husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain and lung cancer after Thanksgiving! He had brain surgery and is going to start chemo before they operate on his lungs. What adds to it is that he'd been having horrible headaches for years now and was told, after some scans, that they were "cluster headaches, here's some pills". Now, his oncologist (an hour the other way from my doctor) is saying that he had to have had it for some time and wants my friend to get copies of those scans so he can see if there was any negligence on the part of local doctors.

I hate to say it, but healthcare in my area is like that...doctors do the bare minimum and many people have died because of it. There are lawsuits galore and everyone is going elsewhere for their treatments. It doesn't help that the county I live in is number 1 in the state for prescription drug abuse (in some cases, doctors are actually running the "pill mills") and is actually in the top 10 (or something like that) for drugs in the entire country! This tiny little town...really! I really hope that my friends get past their cancers and they and their families can move on from these experiences!