Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Good grief. If you like horror stories, take a look at today's date on NOAA for Philly and Southern NJ and look at all the flood warnings. There is a monsoon passing through this entire region. My weather-alert radio has been sounding alerts repeatedly since early this evening, and there's no end in sight.

The weather alerts stating "flooding is occurring or is imminent" included references to several local creeks and rivers that I'm familiar with. That'd be bad enough even if one of the rivers WASN'T the Schuylkill River. They're talking about the area near the Art Museum and it sounds like the river is going to expand past its banks around there, at about daybreak. UGH.

DOUBLE ugh because the area where we live is pretty close to the place where the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers meet. If it's going to be bad upstream, what happens when all that excess water gets down this far?

Stay tuned. If you want me, I'll be looking online for "how to build an ark" instructions.
So it's been back to Job Search mode for me, after the disappointment over not getting the South Philly-based job I interviewed for. The night after I got the letter informing me that they had decided on another candidate, Mark and I had reason to pass by the office, and their "Help Wanted" sign was removed from the window.

Beans. I really hate this economy.

I wonder if my blood pressure is still as elevated as it was earlier in the month, when I was in the midst of the interview process? I can tell you that since then, I've switched to decaf for the most part, other than first thing in the morning. Not that I was overdoing caffiene before, but hey. Whatever helps nudge the blood pressure back toward normal is a good thing.

I'm still looking for places online where I can possibly sell photos. Ebay hasn't borne fruit in that regard, and I don't feel like paying insertion fee after insertion fee for auctions that haven't attracted a bidder.

If I can figure out how to set up a freebie website (like on geocities.com, for example) where I can offer photos for sale, it might help. Provided I can also figure out how to publicize the information, that is.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I just finished reading the Sunday Inquirer, and I feel literally sick.

It's not bad enough that the pastor of my parish, Fr. S., is on a leave of absence because of allegations of sexual abuse of several minors (which allegedly took place in the 1980s).

Today, I read some additional coverage of the ongoing investigation of how the Archdiocese handled the cases of priests who were accused of abusing minors. In the article, the stories of three priests who had been dismissed by the Archdiocese after "credible" allegations were raised against them. I take it that dismissed means defrocked, unless someone can offer me another explanation for that verb in this context.

Imagine my horror to see the name of a priest who, when he was stationed at the parish where I grew up, was someone I genuinely liked. Let's call him Fr. C.

It's bad enough to see the pastor of my current parish being connected with some hideous allegations. I never in a billion years would have thought Fr. S. to be capable of any such thing, and there is a part of me that hopes (against all odds) that the allegations against him are a big mistake. In truth, the more likely case is that either the accusations are true or they're lies... the probability that the wrong person was named as the abuser is slim. Whether the allegations are true or false, the windup is that SOMEONE innocent has been harmed severely, perhaps permanently, and that doesn't sit well with me AT ALL. :o(

I read the articles about Fr. S. on Friday before leaving for work, and felt upset for pretty much the rest of the day. I vented to Donna H. via email, telling her pretty much the same things I just wrote. It's upsetting to think that a person for whom one has respect could be capable of a truly hideous crime. Or worse, they could be GUILTY of said hideous crime.

I was able to get my mind off all these ugly allegations yesterday, when Mark and I joined Jean and Joe J, and two other friends Joe P and Edie, for a day in Atlantic City. That was a terrific outing, so I'll have to post about it in a bit, after I collect my thoughts from reading the things I read TODAY.

Because if I was worked up after reading the article about the accusations against Fr. S on Friday, that pales in comparison to the upset I'm feeling right now after reading the article that told the story of Fr. C. It would have been bad enough of a shock if today's article had merely said that Fr. C stood accused of abusing minors. But seeing that he was not only accused, but DISMISSED due to CREDIBLE allegations, well... the only way I can describe how I feel is to say I feel nauseous. I don't mean that as a euphemism, either: I mean it literally and I feel physically sick.

Never mind whether I knew someone who MIGHT have been a predator but the allegations are as yet unproven (Fr. S.). I *did* know someone who was a predator, and I had absolutely no idea. NONE. I thought he was a nice person with a great sense of humor who cared about the parishoners. The very idea of him preying on kids, for years, is horrifying. Not only is that exactly the opposite of what I THOUGHT he stood for, but it drives home the point of how well the predators blend in with the rest of society. But the fact that the Archdiocese dismissed him in 2002, even while they're experiencing a dire shortage of priests, tells me that they truly did find the allegations against him to be credible.

@#$&*%... If the sick, dangerous people look normal, how are you supposed to tell the difference?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

BTW... Blogger has released yet another interface for creating new blog posts. I'm testing it right now, even as I type, on the handheld device, and I have to say it looks a lot better on here than the previous interface did.

Thank you, Blogger. :o)
I got my car back from the mechanic today, after it was inspected and some work was done on it. The front brakes were replaced, the oil was changed, and it's going back over the weekend so he can fix the muffler with a part that is supposed to come in on Friday.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that even though he recharged my a/c with freon, it's still not working. The compressor is shot. The mechanic said that due to the age of the car (it's from 1989), it's not worth it to fix the compressor. He didn't even say what it would cost. Mark, who picked the car up after work, didn't ask, and I'm afraid to ask.

So I guess I'll have no a/c in the car from now on. At least the fan works. That's better than nothing.

In other news... I'm surprised that I've only had one minor headache so far. Well, two, actually, since I had another one today. I've been so tired since Friday, when I found out that I didn't get the South Philly-based job, that a part of me has been waiting for the migraine to come crashing down at any moment. Extreme fatigue -- not just a little bit tired, but "ready to fall asleep as soon as I stop moving" tired -- is often a precursor to a migraine for me, and BOY have I ever been tired for the past few days. Maybe it's because I haven't been sleeping all that well since Friday, either.

Anyway, I hate to come on here and do nothing but gripe, so let's see... where's some good news? Ah, yes. I know. On Monday evening I went with Jean and Joe J. to a sign-language get-together in NJ. Every Monday, some Deaf people meet up with ASL students in the food court of a nearby  mall, and just chat from dinnertime until the mall closes. Jean and Joe J went once before, and this was my first time going there, but we liked it a lot and we'll be going again. Karla would've been there, too, but she wasn't available on Monday. She wants to come some other week, though.

Gotta scoot. I need to make a phone call.

Monday, July 19, 2004

I spent the weekend tired. I knew I would. Practically every waking minute during the day, I was fighting to remain awake and not doze off the moment I stopped moving.

Then at night, the drowsiness departed and I was wide awake.

Friday night through Sunday night, that was how I felt. Tired all day and restless all night.

Actually, it’s how I feel TODAY, too. Like if I had a cot to stretch out on, I’d be asleep in a moment.

I’m on the alert to see if the REST of the migraine symptoms show up (the light-sensitivity and the actual headache). So far, knock wood, they haven’t.

Mark thinks I’m taking the declination letter from the insurance agency better than he is. I told him, "I just LOOK like I am", but I didn’t elaborate. Why bring everyone else down?

Feeling like this makes it hard to focus on anything. I fight through it when I’m at work, though. Especially for the past few days. H, who has been seeing a bunch of work that used to come to me, was off for two days last week for vacation, and today she is on jury duty. (Is it selfish to hope she gets picked for a long, drawn-out trial? SHE has a permanent job and gets paid when she’s not here. It won’t hurt her if I stay "necessary" to this company for a while longer.)

I have some stuff to write about, regarding the assignment of some priests in my former and current parishes, but I havent’ got the energy at the moment.

So that’s two things I’m going to have to sit down and write about later… the stories from the Slap Shot fundraising banquet, and the parish stuff. Consider this the bloggers’ equivalent of a raincheck.

Friday, July 16, 2004

This just in... Mark (who is home today because of Round 2 of the plumbing problem) emailed me at work to say that I'd gotten a letter from the insurance agency where I interviewed.
I called home and told him to open it.
I didn't get the job.
More later. Gotta get back to work...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

For the record, whoever invented the music-playing screen saver that's being used in the cubicle across the aisle from me should be forced to sit and listen to it for hours on end. Just as I am doing right now.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I love music, and classical music in particular. But I don't consider a batch of notes that repeats every 31 seconds (yes, I timed it) to constitute music. Not even if it DOES consist of notes played by oboes, violins, and various and sundry other orchestral instruments.

The cubicle's occupant is elsewhere, and the screen saver tune has been playing nonstop for a good three hours now. Did I mention that the tune repeats every 31 seconds?

YOU do the math. Then you'll know why I want to smack the numbwit who created the soundtrack for the screen saver. I'm gonna have this group of notes ingrained in my subconscious mind for the next few years, at this rate. ARRRRRGH!
Mark and I went to the doctor's last night. Both of us were in need of having prescriptions renewed -- his had run out and mine was on its next-to-last refill. He also needed to get the results back from a recent fasting bloodwork, and I had to get something for the scrape on my ankle which has been getting worse instead of better after I've-lost-count-of-how-long.

In his case, since he had run out of the thyroid meds prior to having the blood test, his thyroid numbers were all fouled up and he needs another test in a few weeks... AFTER having stayed on the thyroid meds for a while.

In my case, my blood pressure's up -- no shock there. I told the doctor about the impending end of my temp job (bad stress) and the interview process I'm going through with this potential new job (good stress).

I also got a prescription lotion to put on this stupendously annoying, itchy, sore, refusing-to-heal spot on my ankle. When I fell on the stairs a few weeks ago, I scraped a few other spots on my left foot, along with scraping open an area on my ankle which had *already* been inflamed and annoying prior to my taking the spill.

The other scrapes from that fall are all healed. The ankle is not only NOT healed, but it had been getting steadily worse prior to the doctor's visit last night.

He gave me a steroid lotion to apply twice daily for one month, and said if it comes back after that, I have to see a dermatologist. Ugh -- that's all I need. I hope this lotion does the trick. I'm tired of having the Itchy Ankle from Hell.

In other news: my first eBay auction of a photo didn't sell. However, I've re-listed the item and am now hoping that THIS time, the auction attracts some bids.

I also listed the same photo for sale on philadelphia.craigslist.org , which is a pretty interesting site if I do say so myself. Free ad postings are a good thing. :o)

Now we'll see if I get any takers from either site.