Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In the past, when I encountered something that was mind-bendingly irrational, I used to use the phrase, "Now I've seen everything". I do my best to avoid that phrase now. Why? Because I know that no matter how much this particular thing might seem like the most bizarre thing in the universe, something else is eventually going to come along that will out-weird it. And sure enough, just when I thought I'd heard of the strangest theory ever, I googled the word a few hours later and came up with two more theories that made it seem almost normal by comparison.

Exhibit A. The dinner conversation that our group of friends had during our Memorial Day get-together. Now, if you've read any amount of my blog, by now you've surely realized that we are, shall I say, a unique group of people. The sane people of the world, *if* there are any (which I doubt), might even consider us all to be a bit eccentric (Understatement of the Century). So garden-variety eccentricity generally wouldn't cause any of us, who have a lifetime of experience of marching to our own personal drumbeat, to even raise an eyebrow.

But what I'm offering up as Exhibit A is not material that any of us, personally, provided to the conversation. It's the theory that Karla explained to us. She quoted someone who posted on one of the internet message boards that she frequents, and said that the poster of the commentary is a fruitarian.

The poster is a what?

The shortest possible explanation of "fruitarian" is that these are people who eat only the fruits that grow on plants, because the plant itself need not be destroyed in order to obtain food from it. (And no, they don't avail themselves of eggs or dairy products, even though the animal needn't be killed in order to obtain those particular food items.)

For kicks, when I got home, I googled "fruitarian" just to see what would appear. Upon reading the search results, one of my first reactions was, "There's a whole realm of insanity of which I was hitherto unaware." Interestingly, one site debunking fruitarian claims says that the biggest gurus of fruitarianism WERE NOT following their own dietary advice, but that the people who DID follow their teachings to the letter ran into numerous medical issues.

In my reading, I also ran across a couple of new words. For example, there's the word "liquidarian", which I will offer as Exhibit B: the diet that consists solely of the consumption of juices. I couldn't help but wonder how long a person could remain out of the emergency room if they attempted to follow that regimen.

But then I hit upon the pinnacle of all pseudoscientific insanity. Exhibit C: Breatharianism.

This would be the regimen of being nourished only by light and air, as sufficiently enlightened souls are able to do. "Permanent non-eating, inedia or breatharianism are states which usually appear as a side effect of expanding one's sphere of the Consciousness.

I think they have it backward. I think the permanent state of inedia (non-eating) causes the side effect of expanding one's sphere of consciousness so much, that the person shuffles off this mortal coil and joins the choir invisible. Of course, then the person is not only permanently non-eating, they're also permanently non-breathing. Oh, and permanently non-living.

People aspiring to turn themselves into human air ferns. Un-freaking-believable. If they had anything resembling a self-image, they'd realize that in the REAL natural world (and not the pseudoscientific fantasy one their mind resides in), living beings actually USE RESOURCES. They eat. They drink. They sometimes eat meat and consume an entire plant, not just the fruit and seeds that grew on it. And then their, ah, digestive output can be used as fertilizer to go and sustain something ELSE to live.

Instead, these people apparently don't even think they deserve more than light and air, and by gosh I can't wait until I hit on the philosophy of the group that tries taking it one step farther. That will be the ones that have an even more enlightened consciousness than the inedia squad. Surely there are people who think that they can expand their consciousness even past the level of the breatharians, to the point where they don't even need to breathe to survive. What would they call themselves? No-air-ians? Anoxians? My mind just boggles at the very thought.

Then I really WILL have seen everything.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

LMHO! Who thinks of these things?

Can you balance 11 nails on the head of one nail? Watch this video and find out!

Trick Of A Dozen Nails - video powered by Metacafe

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mark called the roofer to find out what time he/his brother would arrive this morning to pick up the payment. Turns out they're on a job. They asked if they can come tomorrow, instead.

Darn, but they're awfully lax about getting their money for two days' worth of work! I guess they figure they know where we live. ;o)

We told them that tomorrow will be fine, but call us first to make sure we're not at church. Just watch: the way these attempts to provide payment have gone, they'll probably show up, without calling first, during the one hour we're out of the house and at Mass. If I were the gambling sort, I'd bet on that.

Mark also exchanged the ex-cable-box for a new one. To describe the current model Comcast is using as "small" is a major understatement. The previous device was the size of a VCR. The current one is slightly smaller than a steno pad. DogGONE, it's wee! I've eaten sandwiches bigger than this thing.

I wish it displayed the channel it's tuned to, and I wish it at least had an on/off switch instead of being o 100% operated by the remote. Other than that, bring on the new, functioning cable box.
Good old insomnia... it's baaaaack. (Grrrr... *$&@#!!!)

So as I sit here listening to the neighborhood birds waking up, I figured I'd do something constructive, like post. ;o)

The roof is done. Thank GOODNESS. Thursday afternoon's "Is 8 AM tomorrow too early? We only have a little left to do, it should take about an hour" observation from the roofer became a "begin at 9:30 AM, finish shortly before 3 PM" event. Eeeee... but at least it's DONE.

All but the paying, that is. He forgot to bring the receipt book, and the receipt states the guarantee for how long the roof will last on it. Long story less long: he or his brother will stop by here today, pick up the payment, and provide us with a receipt.

In other news, the freaking cable box in our living room went kaput yesterday morning. It's utterly dead -- it won't power on for the remote control OR manually via the ON button on the device itself. Mark disconnected the TV, cable box, and DVD/VCR from one another. The plan was that once the roofer was done, I'd head to Comcast and exchange the nonfunctional cable box for a new one.

Sounds uncomplicated, doesn't it? So of course, you KNOW that's not how things are going to work out. I called Comcast to make sure that I'd be able to get a replacement cable box, and the tech on the phone wanted me to try "a few things" to make sure that the box was actually broken. I suppose he wanted to be certain that it's not pinin' for the fjords like the Monty Python dead parrot.

Well, I couldn't have followed the tech's instructions without reconnecting all the pieces of equipment. I thanked him and said that I'd have to call back later, that I was primarily checking to make sure that I COULD exchange the broken device if I brought it in. Moreover, I already KNOW that this thing is dead -- it won't even power on. It's dead, it's shuffled off this mortal coil, it's run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible. THIS IS AN EX-CABLE BOX.

Oops. Got a little carried away, there. At any rate, the roofer left SO much later than I'd expected, that Mark and I decided to just BRING the box in this afternoon. No more calls to the techs, no more unexpected troubleshooting advice, no need to hook anything back up only to disconnect it all again, etc.

Now I'm going to try and get some sleep before *I* join the Choir Invisible. I hate it when I'm weary but not sleepy. Good night. Or good morning. Take your pick. ;o)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I thought I'd better post this before I forget... I got an odd little email a few minutes ago.

Seems that my old friend "Karo" (and I'm omitting the last name that was provided) wanted to get back in touch with me via a network called "Where Are You Now?". I would have to join their network in order to read the message.

There are a couple of things wrong with this picture. First, I don't know anyone whose first name is Karo, nor whose last name is the name in this little email.

Second, if this old friend actually was able to provide my email address to the network, why didn't the person just EMAIL ME in order to reconnect? You know, cut out the middleman and all that sort of thing.

My mental "Something is amiss here" alarm was ringing. I decided to google the name of this "where are you now" network. Sure enough, I found a bunch of discussion forums where people complained about this network. It seems that if you join them, they magically email everyone in your address book telling them you have invited them to join up. This, of course, is something that you'll only discover if/when/after your friends start asking you what's up with the invite you sent them.

I didn't join the network, and therefore no one on my mailing list will be getting spammed by them. Or, at least, they won't be getting a spam because of their presence on my mailing list.

But if you do get an unexpected note, remember what I said. Be careful of what you join from unsolicited invitations.

And Karo, if you're out there... if that's an online pseudonym and I'm not recognizing it, sorry for having a brain-lock moment. I'm lucky I remember my own name some days. But apparently, this network got my email addy from your address list, so feel free to email me directly if you actually did want to get in touch. :o)
Eeeee, my nerves with this roof. The roofer was supposed to come on Monday. No dice; rain was predicted, so it was postponed until Wednesday. (Monday's rain never arrived. Grrrr on delays.)

On Wednesday, we had a downright monsoon, so the new roof got rescheduled to today.

They arrived on time, which is good. But it turns out they have to finish the extension above the kitchen tomorrow morning.

I can't figure out why they weren't able to finish such a small rowhouse roof in eight hours. Oh, well. Tell ya what, though -- no finish, no $$$$. They'll get the money when the kitchen extension is done. Period.

Thank God this nonsense is afoot while I'm between job assignments. If I'd had to take 4 days off from a job assignment (without pay, of course) to see that this roof got done, I'd be on the rampage right now, and most likely so would the temp agency.
Oh, and I forgot to mention yesterday...

We received an interesting piece of mail yesterday. Some Einstein from the Philly Parking Authority gave Mark a parking ticket for exceeding the 2-hour parking limit on our street. Given that Mark HAS the parking permit for our street clearly on display in his rear window, I can't imagine how the parking agent made this mistake.

In addition, they're trying to charge Mark a $20 fee for not responding in the original amount of allotted time. Given that Mark never received a ticket under his windshield, and therefore was unaware that he had been cited (incorrectly or otherwise), it'd have been quite a challenge for him to respond to the ticket that he had no idea existed.

Needless to say, he's contesting the ticket. He had his letter in the mail less than an hour after receiving the notice from the PPA.

Freaking pains in the caboose... did no one alert the parking authority cop that they're supposed to CHECK whether the car has a permit before citing it? Look in the rear window of the car, folks, this isn't rocket surgery!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It was bound to happen, I'm sure. I saw the warning signs over the past year, when I kept having to take my glasses off in order to read small print.

I just came back from my optometrist's appointment. I'm about to join the bifocals club.

It was either get bifocals or continue the "take the glasses off" regimen, which is annoying. Plus, the medical insurance does cover progressive bifocals (the ones without the line in the middle), so I can partake of Ben Franklin's invention without it costing an arm and a leg. Welcome to one of the side effects of breathing -- the longer you breathe, the more your eyes change. And eventually, this generates a need for bifocals.

From there, my next challenge became "find a style of glasses that I actually like". This is no small feat, because I find the miniscule lenses in many current styles to be impractical and annoying. Whose bright idea was it to make glasses where the lenses are almost exactly the same size as the wearer's eye? For cryin' out loud! If I wanted lenses that small, I'd skip the glasses entirely and go for contact lenses.

The problem is that I don't like how it feels to have only my central field of vision be covered by the prescription, with ALL my peripheral vision left to its own devices. This is particularly true when I'm out in the sun and relying on either the darkened Transitions lenses, or the lenses plus the matching clip-on sunglass accessory. This isn't a case of being finicky; ever since I got concussed a few years ago, I can't tolerate direct sunlight hitting my eyes anymore -- it's a recipe for a migraine if the sun is in my eyes for too long. It's bothersome to me to have such a small area of my field of vision protected from direct sunlight, yet still have 100% unmitigated glare falling on my eyes from every direction that isn't "straight ahead". (BTW, how can manufacturers claim that their lenses provide UV protection, when they leave more area uncovered than they protect?)

Besides... the first time I had glasses small enough that when I aimed my eyes downward, I was looking below the glasses frame, I darned near broke my neck walking down my front steps. The change in focus when going between "looking through my glasses" to "not looking through my glasses" took some getting used to. How I stayed out of the ER (rather than damaging myself walking on stairs or up/down curbs) is a mystery.

Now that bifocals have become part of the equation, I have even MORE reason not to want glasses with thumbprint-sized lenses. I can't imagine what they'd have to do to segregate two separate areas of such small lenses for distance vision and close-up viewing. The phrase, "logistical nightmare" springs to mind.

Fortunately, I did find a frame that I like. It's small enough to be stylish but large enough to be at least somewhat practical.

In the meantime, I'll just cross my fingers and keep hoping that Styles Change Again, allowing for glasses frames to increase in size. I mean, how much smaller can some of the styles GET? If they shrink any more, people will need to put on a pair of glasses just to FIND their glasses.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd been accepted as a reader for text/audio files for a site that's intended to teach people English and other languages.

Well, I finally was able to submit my first three files today. They had a system outage that lasted until a day or two ago.

I might have to re-record and resubmit one of the files, though. While I was recording the audio, some Einstein honked a car horn outside our house, and doggone if the microphone didn't pick it up. I submitted the file, but if they have an issue with the background noise, I'll re-record it.

Note to self: record future audio files after midnight, when these geniuses won't be driving around honking car horns. (mumble grumble)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's pouring rain and it's pretty brisk outside. The temperature actually is pretty nice for this time of year -- it's an "open the windows and use the fan" kind of weather, which is nice even in the rain.

But as Mark and I arrived home a little while ago, I was worrying about how our little cat friend was faring in this weather. Brisk and wet can't be a good weather combination for those who are likely to spend the entire night out in it.

And then I saw her, on the step of the house two doors away. I got her attention and she came RUNNING over to our front step full speed, mewing to be fussed over.

I'm glad we have awnings to stand under, because I was able to close the umbrella (which was kind of spooking her if I happened to move the wrong way) and have a major dote session with one small, stripey, madly purring kitty. What a big motor there is in that little tiny cat!

I'm so relieved to see that she's still OK. Every time I don't see her for an extended period of time (hours, actually), I start worrying that she's been hurt or something's wrong.

I desperately wanted to bring her indoors, but a) I can't do that without a clean bill of health, as I already have two cats, and b) Mark would get upset if I did. We have a good-sized bill or two about to come down the pike, and this wouldn't be a good time to pay for a full veterinary workup for a new cat.

So instead, I brought out a dish of cat food. She came running. I put it under the loveseat, which is under the awning. I could see that the pavement is dry there, so it's doubly protected from being rained on. And so will SHE be when she decides to eat it. After verifying where I'd put the dish, she went over to our next door neighbor's patio where they have a larger awning AND padded furniture. Yep, she's all feline, all right -- if you want to know the most comfortable place in the ZIP code, just follow the nearest cat. The kitty will lead you directly to it, right before curling up and taking a nap there. :o)

I hope the fact that she didn't scarf the cat food down the instant I gave it to her means that she's eaten somewhere else already. I hope at least one other person is feeding her, because she's too thin. She could use every last calorie.
OK, here's the latest:

1. I'm in the process of having my check card replaced. Card Services called ME to verify a questionable transaction that had appeared on it, and guess what? I questioned the transaction, too. So now my card is deactivated, and I can expect a new card in 5-7 business days. Arrrrgh... I hope I don't need much cash until then. If I do, I'll have to go to a bank branch and withdraw it the old-fashioned way.

2. I did hear back from the HR person at The Bank. She forwarded my resume to two recruiters at The Bank, one of whom left a message that he'd like to speak to me on Monday. So we'll see where THAT leads.

3. I'm on about fifty billion mailing lists for jobs. Which is fine with me... I used an automated resume-distributing service last year, and BOY do they ever send your information all over the planet.

However... in the past couple of weeks, I have gotten emailed notices of job openings in VA and... oh, phooey, where was that other job? I forget, but what I remember is that it was at least 300 miles from Philly. What the heck IS this, anyway? Why am I suddenly getting notices about jobs that are a 6-hour or more drive, one way? Sorry, but I'm not driving six hours, working 8 hours, then driving 6 hours to get home five days a week. Not gonna happen.

Meanwhile, I bet unemployed people in VA are getting job notices about Philadelphia job openings and saying, "What's wrong with these pinheads? Why are they sending me this?"

Mark saw Ms. Surprise Visitor kitty walking past our house, a few hours after I posted that I hadn't seen her in two days. That was a few days ago. If she's still in the neighborhood as of now, I hope someone is feeding her, since she hasn't been by here to eat anything for nearly a week. Cute little furball... I really hope that she gets adopted and spoiled rotten. Even if I'm not the one that takes her in, as long as some big softy does, I'll be glad.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

And while I'm in email mode... here is a photo of dainty little Ms. Surprise Arrival, taken on Monday.

I haven't seen her since she told off Captain and Stanley and jumped off the outside windowsill on Tuesday evening. I hope she's OK.

Captain admires himself in the mirror on a regular basis. So does Stanley, but I happened to get a shot of Captain first. :o)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

On Sunday evening, Mark returned from picking up a few odds and ends at BJ's, and told me that there was a little grey tabby kitty outside the house.

Well, not only was she outside the house, but when he opened the front door to show me, there she sat on our front step, outside our storm door, looking through the glass and meowing her head off to be let into the house. Talk about knowing what she wanted and knowing how to ask for it! :o)

There's a park a few blocks from here where ignoramuses who masquerade as humans dump unwanted pets, and unfortunately, I think that's how this kitty came to be in our neighborhood. She's extremely friendly, totally adorable, and appears to be about 6 months old.

I took one look at how thin she was and my heart went out to her. If we hadn't already had cats in the house, I'd have let her in on the spot, but it's not wise to bring a new cat into the household before it's had a clean bill of health from a vet.

So instead of letting her in, I brought food and water out to her. The only cat food we have in the house is Oral Care cat food, which is made of large kibbles that the cat has to chew, so it can clean the cat's teeth... I didn't know what kind of shape this kitty's teeth might be in, so I shredded a couple slices of baloney and brought that out instead. She proceeded to inhale it, then demanded petting while purring loudly enough to register on the Richter scale. Did I mention how adorable she is, and how friendly?

I asked Mark to bring out one of our oversized cat carriers (big enough for a small dog) so we could put it on the patio. It was going to get chilly overnight, and I wanted the cat to have some kind of shelter from the weather.

Meanwhile, Ms. Surprise Arrival continued to make it known that she really, REALLY wanted petting. :o) I'm certain that she was someone's pet before ending up on our front doorstep, because not only did she crave attention, she let me pick her up, check her fur for fleas (she's clean), turn her over to make sure of her gender(!), and to my great surprise, she allowed me to check her teeth(!!!). That pretty much confirmed that she's about 6 months old, because at least in the front, she has her adult teeth. I didn't check farther back than that... it would've involved prying her jaws apart, and even cat whisperers shouldn't push their luck that far in the first five minutes after meeting a stray cat.

In the time since then, she's tended to go off to I-know-not-where during the day, then come back in the evening and meow to be let in. On Monday night, instead of being let in, she got some doting and some more cat food. (Actual cat food this time, now that I know her teeth are healthy.)

Then there was last night.

Temperatures in Philadelphia are just right for leaving the windows open, so we are. Captain and Stanley looooove being able to get the breeze coming in the front window as they sit there, watching Kitty TV and beautifying the neighborhood by displaying their stripey selves to the world. :o)

But I was surprised, just after sundown, to hear kitty swear words emanating from the region of the front window. "Maaoowrrr... grrrrrr... FFFFT!" Captain and Stanley were both there, looking out. Neither of them tends to make any such noises, not even while playfighting, so I got up to see what was going on.

When I got there, I saw Ms. Surprise Arrival sitting there on the OUTSIDE window sill in a Sphinx stance. (Just the fact that she can fit on a 4-inch-wide windowsill gives an idea of how slender she is.) I have no doubt that she's been able to smell Captain and Stanley for the past few days, through the open window. However, as far as I can tell, this is the first time she's actually SEEN them close up, and I think she was a bit freaked out by how much bigger they are than she is. Stanley, who's about 10 lbs, is easily twice her size. Captain's somewhere between 13-15 lbs, so he's larger still. She was the one swearing in feline at them both, but they wouldn't go away. They sat there staring in amazement at this new little cat who sat there, glaring and using unprintable kitty vocabulary that we don't generally hear uttered in this house.

It took everything in me not to burst out laughing on the spot. Stanley, delicate soul that he is, was so unnerved by this miniscule bit of feisty felinity that he jumped down to the floor and sat next to my feet. All the fur on his spine was standing straight up like a mohawk hairdo. Captain continued to sit there, staring in astonishment, seemingly unable to grasp what he was seeing. ("There's a CAT out there! And she's, like, all growling and stuff!") I talked quietly to them all about what good kitties they are, and how I'd like them to all get along and be friends. The little girlcat eventually got tired of Captain's ignoring her orders to go away, and she jumped down to the sidewalk. I put Stanley back up to the window, and Captain sniffed his face emphatically, with huge, dilated eyes, as if to say, "Did you see that? What was that? WHO was that? What just happened here?"

The boys resumed watching the neighborhood. Stanley meatloafed, and Captain sat with his tail draped over his brother's back for moral support.I don't think either of our bewildered boycats wants to mess with the miniature tuffgirl kitty with the potty mouth. ;o)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happy Blogday to me!

Today's the fourth anniversary of the day I began blogging. Darn, but time flies! :o)

I realize that the rest of the universe is celebrating Cinco de Mayo today, but in my case, today is Quattro di Weblog. ;o)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Eeeee. I swear, sometimes, that my entire family has broken a mirror.

I was just IMing with my cousin, T. His dad, Uncle T, has been battling with shingles for the past few weeks. As shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, he asked the doc if his wife (Aunt J) or son (T) can contract chicken pox. He was told, "No".

Well, I know that Aunt J and my mother, who are sisters, both had chicken pox as children. (I found this out when I came down with chicken pox myself, at age 7.) So in her case, "no" was the correct answer.

But T, apparently, never had chicken pox as a kid. I could have sworn he did, but evidently, I was mistaken... because he's in his 30s and he's got them NOW. Argh and double argh!

So, as a note to self since any person who's had chicken pox can have an episode of shingles later: yes, a person with shingles CAN transmit chicken pox to someone who's never had the virus before.

Whoever finds a way to get that dormant chicken pox virus out of a person's system will be doing the human race an immense favor.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The good news: all 24 employees of the junkyard, where the fire is now under control, are uninjured and accounted for. As of the 11:00 news, there are no injuries.

Also, the helicopter noise has been constant, but there hasn't been a siren in quite a while.

The bad news: the wind shifted, and GOOD GRIEF, what a reek of burnt rubber suddenly came in the open front windows! I think I broke some kind of land speed record running to shut them. Holy freakin' mackerel! No wonder the cats were freaked out and both parked on top of me and one another. They probably smelled the smoke well before it started coming in the house in earnest.

Channel 6 said the stench caused complaints as far away as NE Philadelphia (!), so no wonder it's overwhelmingly nasty at a distance of less than a mile away. Whew.

I hope that in the morning, the updated news still says, "No injuries". Good night!
Heh. I spoke too soon.

It's been nothing but sirens, sirens, and more sirens going through the immediate area for an hour or more. Mark spotted a large column of smoke in the general direction of the refinery, which of course is never a good thing.

I looked online and discovered that there's a junkyard fire not far from the refinery. So far, it's up to two alarms.

Here's what Channel 6's site had to say.

I hope they put it out soon. Unfortunately, in the minutes since I located this headline, there've been nonstop helicopter rotor noises, plus a WHOLE lot more sirens passing by -- ambulances, fire engines, and I think just now a police car. I don't like this AT ALL. :o(
It's been an interesting few days.

For one thing, my dad got the phone number of an HR person of the bank where I used to work. She's based down at the bank building that's near the airport. I called her and left a voice mail message on Tuesday, but I haven't heard back yet.

My dad has called me every day since then at least once, and on Tuesday, twice, to find out if I've heard back from her. I think I finally got through today when I explained that I don't get my hopes up at all anymore until something actually happens. Because if I let myself get all disappointed and devastated every time something didn't come through in the time since the downsizing, I'd have jumped off a bridge long ago. (No exaggeration.)

I think he finally understood where I'm coming from, and I think he's going to wait until I actually call him and mom with news. Which is kind of good, because if there's one thing that will start me on the path to feeling low, it's going back into the CONSTANT cycle of "Have you heard anything? Have you got a job? Is there anything new on the job front?" that I get from some well-meaning people EVERY TIME I SEE THEM OR TALK TO THEM ON THE PHONE. I know they mean well, so I keep my mouth shut instead of getting grouchy and saying, "*NO*, there's nothing new; don't you think I'd have said something to everyone I know if I got a new job?"

They mean well. I *know* they mean well. So I don't take out my frustration on them. But it doesn't mean there's no frustration. There is.

I think I've finally gotten through to the Parental Units on one other score, too. Dad tries to brainstorm with me about job-search methods, which unfortunately are things that I've already tried. (Again, I understand that the advice is well-intended.) But one thing he used to do a lot was talk about his friends' kids. JE's son has a business doing this. JB's daughter works doing that. FP's son-in-law is a salesman making good money.

Finally, every time he brings one of these people up, I ask, "Is he hiring?" "Is she hiring? Does his company have any openings?"

After the third or fourth, "I don't know if they are", and the third or fourth calmly-stated, "Well if they aren't, it doesn't help me find a new job", I've stopped hearing about everyone else's grown-kids-with-jobs that our family knows.

Then there's this item that I've been hearing a lot lately...

"You should really network. You can hear about a lot of jobs if you network with other people".

Well, I think to myself, I've been talking to everyone I know. Anyone who knows thing one about my personal life is aware that my long-term temp job ended a month ago and I'm looking for work again. But I don't say all that out loud. Instead, I've substituted this: "I've already spoken to everyone I know. They haven't got anything. Do YOU know anyone I can contact?"
"Ah, well, no, I don't know anyone. Why do you think I would know anyone?"
"Well, you're telling me to network, so I am. With you. I already networked with the people I know. Now I'm trying to find out if anyone ELSE knows anyone I can network with. Do you know anyone who's hiring?"
"Uh, no. Not really. But I'll let you know if I hear anything."

Then I stop hearing from that individual about networking. They never mention it again. So much for talking to everyone I know. :o(

Anyway, enough griping. I've just got this on my mind because my Parental Units have been ringing my phone off the hook to ask about a conversation that I haven't had yet with this person from HR. Sigh.

So anyway, other stuff's been going on, and it's a lot more interesting. For example, the Starbucks closest to here is having a Sign Language workshop every two weeks, on Tuesday nights. The first one was on May 1, and the place was Standing Room Only. I was pleased to see how many people attended. There was a really diverse crowd there, in terms of hearing and deaf; older, middle-aged, young adults, teens, and kids; and a pretty wide assortment of ethnic backgrounds. For every person that attends, Starbucks will be donating $10 to the deaf school where one of the people coordinating the workshop works. So if you're interested in learning some basic ASL, let me know. I can be emailed at Gabey8 at aol dot com .

I finished the latest five-day course of antibiotics last Sunday. I'm still taking the prescription decongestant. Result: I feel better than I did, but DARN IT, I still have plenty of congestion to spare. The one good thing that I've noticed is that my ears are finally starting to pop, I can hear a bit better than I did before, and I have less earache pain than before. I think the ear congestion is beginning to clear up, though unfortunately neither the congestion, the hearing loss, nor the ear pain are entirely gone yet. Hey, improvement is better than staying the same or getting worse, so I'll take it.

Unfortunately, I did have to cancel out on singing a Mass on Sunday. I still get coughing fits when I try to sing more than a little bit, and I'm not at all convinced that the symptom will be gone by May 6.

Hmm. I think I've covered most of what's going on these days. Later!