Thursday, August 30, 2007

What now?

I had thought that this post would originally have been titled "A Visit to the Land of Denial" but events worked out differently.

Yesterday I headed up to Sacramento to visit with my dad and stepmother. Originally my dad and I had planned on catching K.C. and the Sunshine Band but agreed that given the events of this week that perhaps we weren't really up to it. Well, I know I wasn't. So instead we walked around the State Fair a bit and then headed home.

There was dinner and then TV viewing with my stepmother. Once my stepmother learned that I would be staying overnight, she asked if I wanted to join her for a manicure. I haven't polished my fingernails in years but did say that I could probably use a pedicure. This was my first pedicure ever. And I might just be hooked.

And as I pointed out to my stepmother, you may as well go all out. Notice the design on the big toe.

Oh, and did I mention the massage chair? Well, there was a massage chair involved.

My dad was thankful that I was there because otherwise my stepmother would have driven herself there. I had my doubts about her driving abilities and insisted upon driving. When we stopped at the ATM and I had to help her because she couldn't read the text on the screen, we both agreed that it was for the best that I drove.

After chilling at the house for a bit, I headed over to my father's office. This was the important part because I was a little short on next month's rent and would need funds from Bank of Dad.

Then it was time for the discussion. What first? That perhaps it was time to swallow my pride and to move back to my mother's house. He pointed out that she will soon be returning to Mexico. Ummm, that would be sometime in October. A lot of stuff can happen in that amount of time. I told him that it was not a matter of pride but of my own mental health. I explained the events that led me to move to my current apartment.

He and other people to whom I have spoken keep saying that I only have one mother and it is important to maintain a relationship with her. During my years of therapy, this topic did come up. The therapist stated that I should only maintain a relationship with her as long as it is relatively healthy for me.

My dad also gave me the "You're much more intelligent than she is and should therefore be the bigger person" speech. Sorry. Been doing that for years and right now I'm kind of burnt.

Then there was the whole job situation. He said that I needed to start being realistic. He also shared some other stuff that I'm hurting over right now but just do not want to share here at this time. All I will say is that has to do with some untrue perceptions of me. And the fact that there may be some out there sharing these perceptions that could make it difficult for me to find other work.

I explained to him the whole thing about the old job. That I was being told one thing and that was why I had not given up hope on that front. And that if I had known the full facts of what was going on there, I would have taken a completely different approach to the situation. But one can only make decisions based upon the information to which one has access.

On a happier note, while I was driving back to the Bay Area today, I received a phone call. I have a phone interview tomorrow for one of the other positions for which I applied during this past week. And the dream job? Haven't heard from them but I left a message today. Live and learn.

Bottom line is I don't know what's next in life. I can't put into words but I'll know it when I see it. Until then, I'm just living day-to-day. And this weekend? Hanging with Dumb and Dumber once more.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The roller coaster

Last night's post was brought to you by a lovely combo of hormones and red wine. And a generally crappy mood. When my mother called last night, a little voice tried to tell me to not answer the call. Because I knew if I did, it would not be pretty.

It's been years since I've been to therapy. And yeah, I could probably stand another year or so. My mother could use a lot of years since she's never really done the therapy thing.

Last night's blow-up started because I called my mother to tell her about the surgery. She thought that I should move back in with her at this point. I lived in my mom's house for years, once she retired and moved to Mexico. Summers were the most stressful time of the year for me because she always returns then.

Three years ago things became rather heated between us. My dad gave me tickets to see Prince in concert. I chose to take Emerald instead of my mother. The next day she unplugged the garage door opener after I left. A week later on a day off from work, I was sitting around doing something on the computer. It was late afternoon. She started screaming at me that adults do not sit around in their PJ's all day long. Then she said something about not liking my attitude and that she had been trying not to say anything about it. I think my response was along the lines of "Puh-leeze." The next thing I know she's screaming at me and waving her fist in my face. I stood up to put some distance between us. She began to shove me across the room. At that point, I knew that I had to move. And I would do everything in my power to never move back there.

So her suggestion of my moving back there? Pushed a lot of buttons. And so we went through a number of past emotions. Like my feeling that she doesn't really listen to me and only hears what she wants to. And that as a result, she had no clue who I really am.

Today has been exhausting but overall it felt pretty good getting all of that stuff out.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fucked up?

Is it a bad thing to say to your parents that you think they are fucked up? And yes, I used those exact words.

So guess what? My mother and I are not speaking currently. She will account for the exchange to alcohol. I learned to get past that point. When my mother told me that I had to let go of being sexually abused, I firmly stated, "Fuck you." Yes, these were words I actually said to my mother.

Helping hand?

Sunday, for the first time this summer, my mother went to church. After she decided to catch up with folks. One woman is a retired school principal. My mother told her that I was still looking for a job. As it turns out, she knew of an opening at an OK school. The problem? It's kindergarten. 20 or so knee-biters? I'm not so sure.

Here's the kicker. Last Friday I had a phone interview for a dream job -- still in education but not in the classroom. They are supposed to be contacting me in the next few days to set up a second interview. Because they want whoever they hire to be able to start next week. And yes, my mother knew all of this. Her issue is that the dream job is a contract position. The pay is great but there are no benefits. I have repeatedly told her that they would be paying me enough money that I can pay for my own health insurance and still be ahead of the game.

This morning I called my mother's friend. Of course, my mother had not mentioned the possibility of the other job. And this woman? She agreed with Jade's take on the situation. I'd be a fool to not let it all play out. Because the schools? They will always have openings. This other opportunity could very well be a once in a lifetime chance.

Later today I had an appointment with the oral surgeon for follow-up, but more about that later. Since his office is not that far from the elementary school, I decided to go check it out. I met with the principal and the teacher who will be covering the class for the first few days. We agreed that I would come in tomorrow to observe/help out so that I could get a general feel for the class. They would want me to start work by Friday.

As a result of the visit to the oral surgeon's, the dream job is starting to look even better. Why? Because it seems that I will need another surgery. And the next one? Even more invasive. There was mention of bone removal and needing grafts and other such stuff. Like losing six teeth. He also agreed that at this point the surgery would best be handled medically so he'll be contacting the folks at Thrive on my behalf to get things going. Now we know how long it took me to recover from this last one. All I could think was that it would be difficult to take time off from a classroom job. The other job would allow me to telecommute, if I get it. So my thought was that while I was still looking hideous, I could still actually get some work done.

Decisions. I don't think that 2007 will end soon enough for me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shaking in my boots

Yesterday I was invited to a party at Cookiecrumb's. Words cannot express my love her food photos. The party theme was "Tacky Tiki." Normally this would sound quite innocuous but then I perused that invite list. These were people who take food quite seriously. I think at one point that I nearly vomited in my mouth over the stress. Why? Because the invite said that you should bring a dish. So in my mind I started off with tacky.

Vienna sausages stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon.

I must admit that this dish did not hit the table immediately. I was embarrassed. Even though I had promised that I would do something that involved Vienna sausages. But my people-pleasing self had also decided to do something else.

Fig walnut tapenade with goat cheese.

Is it sad that I usually have most of the ingredients on hand for this recipe?
The only things I had to purchase were the thyme and the crackers.

And then I learned that both were deemed good by the party-goers. I can sleep easy. Especially since I called my aunt, the therapist, immediately upon returning home. We've agreed that when she comes out here in a couple of weeks that I will give her lessons in blogging and baking. This, of course, was after we discussed my relationship with my mother -- the reason why my aunt told me at age 12 that I needed therapy. Because I was an anxious, depressed mess back then. It's so nice to have a therapist in the family.

Oh, and Gloria? I got to hold Bean Sprout. If it was not for your love of little white dogs, I may never have found my way to Cookie's. Thank you.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bad girl

Over the last few weeks, this song has haunted me. I have danced to to it way too many times to count.

Friday, August 24, 2007

When I get bored

It wasn't enough to just sit and watch "Mad Men" last night. Noooo. I needed more entertainment. Who would have known that Boris is so scared by bubbles floating over his head? And if one actually lands on him? I see many hours of entertainment in the days to come. And it's so cheap too.

And now I have just noticed that Blogger has added a button to upload video. Yep. Loads more fun in store.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mixed messages

Thank goodness for caller ID. It has helped to keep me sane this summer. Because my mother likes to call four times a day. I have learned that there is a reason for both caller ID and voicemail. That way I have limited exposure to her twisted mind.

Many years ago I was living in San Francisco in my first post-college apartment. My mother was still working so her calling was limited to the evening hours during the week. Missed her first call? Don't worry. She'll call back several more times before calling various family friends and my father. Because I could have been abducted. Or maybe I've suddenly died of some mysterious disease. You know. That one that makes your mother's calls a non-priority in your life. Because you finally have a life of your own now that you are free of her.

One weekend I decided that I actually should speak to her. (I usually do this right before she has planned to call the police. Because *gasp* it's been 24 to 48 hours since she last heard my voice.) Our conversation was going along nicely until I mentioned what I had been doing over the past few weekends.

"How are you ever going to find a husband if you keep hanging out with gay men?"

"I'm not looking for a husband. I just want to go out and to have fun."

Her displeasure about my choice in friends continued for another ten to fifteen minutes. (Another reason to avoid conversations with her is that they can easily last 45 minutes. And it's hard to get a word in so about the only way to end it before she is ready to is to hang up on her. I've tried that and don't really recommend it. Actually yes, I do. I didn't have to speak to her for at least two weeks after that.) Once she felt she had exhausted that topic, she was ready to move on. Next topic? Whether I would be attending her co-worker's ceremony in a couple of weeks. This would be a marriage ceremony for her gay co-worker. My friends and I laughed over this one for weeks.

This summer she has a whole new theme. I think she has given up on marriage and/or kids. (You do not have to have one to have the other. And I bet you just thought that after taking biology.) Nope. This summer's theme has been "You drink too much." Yes, I do on occasion. Because sometimes I just want to get wild and crazy. And I'm a grownup, damnit. And of course, there is the shifting definition of what "too much" can mean. Often it means anything more than one drink.

But now the tides have changed. Now it's, "You know that red wine that we like? Well, Bevmo has it on special. You should go pick up a few bottles. I have already." Or "What kind of whites does two-buck-Chuck come in?" At least she knew to ask the expert on that last one. Because I think I have sampled every incarnation of Chuck at some time or another.

So now that she has let go of this topic, I can only worry about the new one. The good thing is that I am limited to phone calls because she won't come to visit. Something about not liking cats. And of course there are the occasional jabs about how I had to have thought about this before getting Natasha.

*sigh* There's the phone again. Guess I should answer it since I've been avoiding calls all day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Giving into pressure

Monday night I finally gave in and watched "The Closer." And then I fell asleep in the middle of the episode. Probably had something to do with the fact that I had not had my afternoon nap. Yesterday I remembered that I could watch the episode on demand.

And then I felt the need to watch episodes of "Matchmaker" that I had missed. And what the heck. There were four episodes of "The Two Coreys" available. Why didn't anyone twist my arm about that last one? If I had watched that first episode weeks ago, I would never have invited Grasshopper and her boyfriend to stay with me.

Meanwhile I am fighting other temptation. Namely this urge to call that boy. I know I haven't talked about him much on here but things basically ended back in June. Basically we are at different points in our lives right now. Or at least that's what we each perceived. That's what usually happens to me. Meet a perfectly good guy at the wrong time. It was pretty nice to have that person you could call if you were having an exceptionally great day -- or an exceptionally crappy one -- and who would listen. Even more so, on the exceptionally crappy days, not only did he listen but he could understand. Now that is truly a rarity. I had someone like that in my life years ago and kept on thinking that it wouldn't be possible again. Now I know that it is. I might just have to wait another eight or so years for it to happen again.

2007 has been a hard year for me. Family health issues. My own issues -- health and job. OK, and boys too. And it hasn't helped much in inspiring me to look for a job. The thought of heading out and putting on a happy face seems a bit overwhelming at times. And don't mention therapy at this point. My health benefits disappear at the end of this month. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to continue to pay the basic expenses of life -- and health insurance is not included. Then again I will be going to visit the Bank of Dad later this week so who knows.

Oh, and last night I braised some pork with cumin and coriander. Sorry but no pictures. After cooking, I was talking to my neighbor in the hallway about how her cat had killed the mouse in her apartment. A random guy passed by. He could have been a visitor or a new tenant. Anywho. When he passed, he commented, "That smells great." Of course, I already knew that. If all else fails, I have the comfort of food ...

and of the cats.

All I have to do is hold out my arm and Natasha will come over to rub against it. Now if only I could get Natasha to expand her repertoire from killing flies to include killing spiders.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Today's fun

Nothing deep and insightful today. Nothing particularly witty either. Today is errand day.

First there's another visit to the optometrist. Apparently my last glaucoma test was a little questionable and they want to redo it. Ever have those days in which you wonder if you're falling apart?

Then it's off for a hair appointment. The last time I went, it only took an hour and a half. I know that I won't be as lucky this times as it is time to color once more.

And I guess I should continue to look for a job. *sigh*

Monday, August 20, 2007

Obsessive behavior

This is one thing that I have come to look forward to each week. The sequence reminds me of Hitchcock. It took me a bit but then I realized that I was reminded of Vertigo, a film that has always had a special place in my heart for various reasons.

My ex-boyfriend told me that I had a special talent for spotting cinematic themes in visuals as well as music. When we saw City of Angels in the theater, I commented on the way out how certain camera shots reminded me of Rain Man while the score reminded me of The English Patient. Well and the use of shadows was also reminiscent of The English Patient as well. Just check out the opening sequence of the desert in The English Patient and compare it to the angels standing on rooftops in L.A. in City of Angels. I can't remember now what scene prompted my thoughts of Rain Man but it was something else that involved shadows. I had correctly recognized the cinematographer and the composer. And my ex was the one who had the Masters in film. Oh well. And so now I keep a special eye for both as I appreciate their work. And both usually work with Anthony Minghella. But enough about the stuff in my head. Check out this trailer for Vertigo.

And the music in "Mad Men"? Haunting. So much so that I spent time Saturday night trying to discover what the tune is. Actually, it didn't take that long as they are now listing the music from each episode on the official site. (And then once I knew the artist, I checked out other stuff. I realized that I've heard RJD2's "Ghostwriter" as well and love it. Apparently the track has been used for commercials for Wells Fargo and Saturn. Have I mentioned how much I love music on commercials? Reminds me. There was some other commercial I saw recently in which I really liked the music. Must figure that out. Of course, I've always been a fan of lo-fi or however you want to categorize him.) I'm thinking that I might just have to re-watch all of the episodes to date (I have them all saved on the DVR.) to see if there's some other stuff that's just as catchy. At least now I will no longer have to repeatedly replay the opening sequence on my TV.

Along the way I have read comments about the blatant sexism and racism in the show. Well, gee whiz. Guess what? Folks did behave in that manner back then. And the government said it was OK. To expect anything else from a period show is ridiculous in my opinion.

In the meantime, I will continue to look forward to each week's episode. Because even though I know that I could not have been a part of their world, there's a part of me that wishes I was. Maybe it's just because I miss being able to light up indoors at work. ;-)

Oh, and a last note. I just realized that the last line in "I Could Just Kill a Man" is "All I wanted was a Pepsi." Classic. A line from one of my other favorite songs. It explains so much. Well, it does if you know the other song. And if you don't, the only hint that I will give you is think of ED. It was the next band I thought of after Rage Against the Machine while cruising in my car Saturday morning. Because if you try to buttonhole down my taste in music, you just won't be able to do it. I just like good music. Because it makes me feel good. And if you have any doubt, read this review. Trust me. It really is a music review.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Last night a DJ saved my life

OK. So it wasn't really last night. But a DJ did help to get me in better frame of mind.

I left yesterday morning after having a chat with Grasshopper about how I had hit my limit. I timed the chat so that I was ready to leave as soon as I had finished.

Then it was off to BWB's for the Commander's birthday party. And I was in a foul mood. Suddenly I realized that there was no music in the car so I turned the radio on. And what would you know. One station was playing Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man." It seemed fitting so I cranked it. I wasn't too into the next song so I searched for CDs. What I really needed next was some Rage Against the Machine. Maybe even some Limp Bizkit. Or Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Instead I had to settle on Pearl Jam's "Jeremy." I'm sure I entertained the other drivers quite a bit.

After hiding out at BWB's, I finally decided to face the music and to return home. No one was in except for Boris and Natasha. But there were signs that things had been removed. Within the hour, the pair returned to claim the rest of their stuff. They will be staying in a motel for now. And Grasshopper said that she understood, that sometimes he drives her completely nuts. We promised that one day we would finish watching the second season of Hex.

This has all been hard for me because I really dislike confrontation. It makes me more uncomfortable than just about anything. I avoid it like a plague. And as a result, I usually hold stuff in until it festers and I explode. Or I just behave in a passive aggressive manner. But this time I actually walked straight in to the situation. And at least yesterday I had given myself time to cool down so that I could be completely rational. And I stated what I didn't like and why. I stated my expectations. For the first time in my life, I think I truly stood up for myself. And in the end, it wasn't that bad. Well, at least the cats and I are a lot happier.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Yeah, right

Your Attitude is Better than 60% of the Population

You have a good attitude. While a realist, you do see the positive side of most things. People love to be around you.

Obviously I took this quiz before the various events of this week. Because I am sure that my attitude is pretty stinky right now.

Yesterday's discovery.

See the dark mark? Apparently some ass (Gosh. I wonder who.) thought that it would be a good idea to leave a burning cigarette butt there. I swear that I haven't seen shit like this since I was in college. Because I actually do own ashtrays. Originally I was going to give them a week but now I'm thinking it may have to be a hell of a lot sooner.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Standing up for myself

I had thought of posting yesterday but everything I thought of just sounded so full of wrath. Because I was annoyed. Yelling and slamming doors annoyed.

Grasshopper started the sofa surfing on Wednesday night. Well, actually I let her take the bedroom because the TV with the DVR is in the living room and I like to view into the wee hours of the night. Wednesday night her boyfriend helped her bring stuff in. He then used my computer to look for a job; he too is currently jobless. He started complaining about a hum. Turns out it was the CPU. And thus started my annoyance.

Yesterday morning he came back to take Grasshopper to work. He returned. I thought to use the computer once more. Nope. He sat down on the end of the futon in the living room and proceeded to go to sleep. And he snores. This was around 10 a.m., about the time I awake from my morning nap. (I get up at 6 a.m. to feed the cats every day. Then I usually watch a little TV and go back to sleep around 8 or so.) So around noon, I loudly asked, "Where did you park your car?" He grumbled something. I figured screw it. If you don't have a resident or visitor sticker in my neighborhood, then it's two hour parking. He got a ticket. Not my problem though because I'm not his mother. Heck. I'm not even his friend. He's the boyfriend of my friend.

And so the annoyance continued to build throughout the day. At one point I stepped outside to call Buzzgirl because I felt like throttling him. Oh, because I had moved from my end of the futon to check email at one point. When I turned back around, he had taken over the entire futon. Huh? What the fuck? So I didn't get my afternoon nap. And without that nap, I can be kind of cranky these days.

When Grasshopper returned, I was in my car once more. This was sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 8. And yes, the slacker was still asleep. When we walked in she asked me what was wrong. I told her to turn around. She woke him up and told him to move to the bedroom. But did he? Noooo. Instead, I hear from the kitchen, "You can't change the channel when it's recording?" Men are not allowed to touch the remote control in my home. Not at any time. That's part of what pissed me off about Retail Boy that time. Well, besides his begging for food. Finally around 8:30 he moved. And that's when I discovered that the DVR was not recording what I had wanted, "Big Brother 8." That was the point at which I completely lost it. I screamed something about how I would have had the opportunity to catch that mistake earlier if the futon had not been occupied for so damn long. And I happened to be on the phone with BWB at the time. So I grabbed my cigarettes and continued the conversation from the comfort of my car. I know. Sad. (Fortunately, Hilly reminded me that I could see the episode online. But still...)

When I finally returned, I explained to Grasshopper that I was highly annoyed and felt like my boundaries had been violated. I told her that I haven't had to live with another person in quite some time, especially one whom I barely know. I told her that it was imperative that in the day I have time that is completely mine -- no other people around. I told her that she was welcome to stay but I needed to have my space respected. She said she would talk to him. I hope to hell that she does.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Girl time

Yesterday I cleaned all of the dirty dishes and vacuumed. This may not seem like much but when I was popping the vicodins every three to four hours, the thought alone was tiring. I was getting tired of looking at it all. And when your home most of the day, there's plenty of time to look at all of this stuff. There were some other reasons as well but I'll get to that later.

Part of the inspiration for the kitchen cleaning was Cookiecrumb. I cannot function in a dirty kitchen. Instead, I have been eating my way through the freezer contents. First there was the quiche. This was followed by some leftover chili and then jambalaya. I still have a quiche in there and one container of chile. Of course this means there's room in there for new things.

Specifically potato leek soup. Left: before blending. Right: after blending and addition of cheese.

And potato leek soup means that I'll be out shopping today. Because you know what goes really well in that soup? Yep. Crumbled bacon. And there isn't any around here because some pig managed to eat a whole pound in a single day.

And I am so loving Ted Allen these days because of his comments on last week's elimination challenge on "Top Chef." When describing Tre's dish, he said something along the lines of, "Two words. Ba. Con." The minute I saw bacon-wrapped shrimp on a bed of cheese grits, I knew I was in deep love. In fact I haven't stopped dreaming about the stuff. But I digress.

How does Cookiecrumb fit into this all, you ask? Well, she keeps showing off the lovely bounty of her garden lately. And then I realized that I haven't really been eating salads over the summer. Perhaps because I think of salads as something that can be thrown together faster than cooking an average meal for me. And here I was all of this free time suddenly so why not cook all those things for which I normally do not have time? But I have started to miss my salads. Now I've noticed that Cookiecrumb usually uses a plate, whereas I am kind of partial to bowls -- especially if the salad is my entire meal. Last night I decided on steak with a side salad as well as one of my other weaknesses in life, a baked potato. (My top foods are (1) bacon, (2) fish and shellfish, (3) dairy products -- love them all -- and (4) potatoes.) There were so many choices to be made.

I ended up with this.

And so today I will be giving the apartment another go over. After going out to buy bacon. Because I will have a guest off and on over the next month -- Grasshopper! She has to be out of her current place by 6 a.m. on Thursday so for at least the next few nights, she'll be crashing at my place. She and her boyfriend have had a chance to talk to the landlord. The landlord now recognizes that they are not sleazy like the other inhabitants of their apartment and she has given them an application. Another unit is supposed to become available in the building in about a month. Until then, Grasshopper is couch surfing.

Grasshopper pointed out that this will be an opportunity to catch up on girl time that we have been missing. There will be wine drinking, watching "Hex," and more listening to 80s tunes. There may be the occasional trip to Naia. I pointed out that I have a gift certificate for Cesar; she has one for Macaroni Grill. Yep, some crazy girl days ahead.

Finally, a confession. Part of how I motivate myself is blog writing. I wrote this post before preparing any food. Once it was written, I felt obligated to follow through. I do this quite often.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A step backward?

I realized this past weekend that I really have not been going out much this summer. Well, except to eat. I think that part of the reason why I hadn't tried out some of the restaurants in my neighborhood was because most of my entertainment funds were going to my bar tab. And the strange thing is that I haven't really missed it much.

Then came Sunday. Grasshopper found out last week that she needs to move and wanted to use my computer. She just moved about a month and a half ago. Somehow her new roommates had failed to mention their problems with the landlord and now they have received an eviction notice.

So Grasshopper came over Sunday afternoon armed with wine. After she looked at apartment listings, we proceeded to drink. And to dance around the living room to 80s tunes. And to watch a couple of episodes of Hex. We also polished off most of the party leftovers that were still in the freezer. And it was fun. Kind of like the old days.

But the best part? This little gem.

And now that I have rehydrated and rested, I guess it's time to get back to the job search.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A bullet dodged

Yesterday I went to lunch with some food bloggers. I'll let them tell the tale though.

Instead, let me fill you in on the latest about my former employers. I received a phone call from a friend. Seems like she has an interview with the folks this week. Well, I didn't know at first if it was the same folks but it was the same company. I told her about my experiences. Then we figured out that it was indeed the exact same folks. She's going to call me after her interview. Fortunately, it's not her first choice in possible jobs. We are both wondering if it ever dawned on them that we know each other and that she might think to call me. Seeing as our last job was at the same place. I know if I was reading resumes that I might make that assumption.

Then later I got an email from a friend who just recently left their employ. The tales he told me made me thankful that I hadn't gotten the job. And now I am sure why I didn't get the job.

In my last interview I mentioned that during my previous employment there, this friend had really stepped up during chaotic times. I didn't know at the time that he had quit the previous week. So as it appears that they didn't get along, it seems only natural to me that they would not want to hire someone who they think might be too much like him. Mystery solved as far as I'm concerned.

And yes, I am still celebrating not getting the job.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More health stuff (and a little something extra)

My stepmother had her second chemo treatment this week. (She now goes weekly -- three weeks on, one week off.) Apparently she now has some weakness and has fallen a few times. Therefore, the doctors want her to get a walker. *sigh*

I went to the oral surgeon yesterday for follow-up. Apparently the thing in my face was ameloblastoma. The good news is that it's benign, but I kind of figured it would be. The last two times I had the surgery, the pathology report said that it was a benign growth. The bad news is that it's basically a tumor and the oral surgeon believes that more than likely it will return. So now it's just keeping an eye out for the return. Oh, and he says I'm healing up fine even though I still have some swelling. I asked about the pain in my teeth which makes it difficult to bite into things. He says it will take some time for that to go away. Say what? Does this man not realize how much I like to eat?

And just because I haven't done it some time, here's as quiz.

You're Totally Sarcastic

You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.
Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.
And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitutde, then too bad. So sad.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Finally food

Tuesday I had to venture out. My bed hair was beginning to scare me a great deal. The cool thing about getting my hair done is that there's a fish place not that far away, Tuttle's Seafood Garden. After my appointment, I swung by and got dinner for my mother and myself.

Fried catfish and snapper

Extra hushpuppies and greens.

Peach cobbler.

Normally I just get snapper but my mother generally prefers catfish. Not this time. My mother said that the snapper was far better. And the side of hushpuppies? Well, they only give you two with your order and that is not nearly enough. My mother also felt that the peach cobbler was not as good as hers. I don't think that the sweet potato pie in most restaurants is as good as my mother's but it doesn't stop me from eating it. My only regret was that on my way to my mother's, I realized that I should have also gotten some macaroni and cheese.

Yesterday I did leave home after some quality time with my comforter, to walk over to Cesar with a former co-worker. (Sorry. No pictures.) I had a pork chop with marsala sauce and garlic potatoes. My friend had a roasted lamb bocadillo. All was delicious. Especially when washed down with sangria. It also helped to put me in a much better mood. And so now the job search continues.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

101 Ways

Perhaps that number is too low, perhaps too high. It just seemed like a good way to start this post. (And yeah, I spoke too soon about the possibility of food. Perhaps tomorrow.)

If you ask the Drama Queen, I am in desperate need of more therapy. Funny thing is that when I told her yesterday about a conversation with my cousin who wanted me to take one of her kids for the next school year in which I told my cousin that she should seek therapy, the Drama Queen asked, "And what about therapy for yourself? Funny how we can see the need in others but not ourselves." Surprisingly my tongue is not bruised. Because all I could think was how much the Drama Queen was in need of therapy. Hell. If she had gotten therapy long ago, then perhaps I would not have needed mine.

But how does the title fit, you ask? That would be the number of ways in which one could kill one's self. But I'd never do that. Thanks to those years of therapy. It's just that I hit near bottom yesterday and started to toy with the idea.

Yesterday evening I strolled out to the mailbox sporting my pajama pants and a hoodie. At least me hair looked OK due to my appointment on Tuesday. On my way in, I flipped through the mail. The first thing I noticed was a thin envelope from my former employer. I knew what it said. I verified the contents once I was back in my apartment and seated. They were not hiring me. I dealt with two months of crap from these folks and they didn't want to hire me. Part of me was grateful to not have to work with these people. But most of me was really hurt. 2007 has been a really bad year and this was the last thing I needed to be added into the equation.

And so after the first shock-filled phone calls to my parents (They asked how I was; I stated "numb."), I quickly poured myself a glass or wine and then started to cry. How could I not? I had invested two months of my life into these people.

But now I'm better. I'm just pissed off as hell. What kind of person could do that to someone else? I know that karma will take care of them.

So now I'm just going to pick myself up yet again and to try to figure out how to go on. But first I think I might spend a day wrapped in the cocoon of my comforter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My meeting with the police

I completely forgot in my vicodin haze one of the memorable events of last week.

By Wednesday evening, I had decided that my face was not safe for public viewing. Early Thursday morning, I scampered out of the house to drop my latest Netflix rentals in the mailbox.

I did something similar yesterday morning but it was much later and there were a lot more people around. So I walked with my hand shielding the right side of my face. Most of the swelling is gone but there are some muscles in my face that still are not operational. Namely the ones that make your mouth go up when you smile. But only on the right side of my face. I have spent the past week feeling like my dad's mom who was a stroke victim. And then I worry about my face sinking on that side. I vaguely remember the oral surgeon saying something about this to his assistant toward the end of the procedure. Great. I go on Friday for a follow-up.

But back to my story. Thursday night I was on the phone with my mother. I walked into the kitchen to get some juice. Probably to swallow some pill. When I got to the kitchen, I noticed some guy outside my kitchen window. Well, not just some guy. This homeless guy who used to think the area around my building was his home. That is until about a year ago when my neighbors got a restraining order against him along with a keep away order.

About a couple of years ago, my neighbors had a son. Up until this point they had assured me that the homeless guy was harmless. But then he became obsessed with their son. He refers to the boy as "his nephew." One day they caught him trying to crawl into their bedroom window, trying to get to the kid. And so they called the cops and got the restraining order and all. He stayed away at first but over the last few months, he has started showing up again. My neighbors said that late at night he appears below their bedroom window, pounding on the wall, and screaming, "Give me my nephew!" My neighbors gave me instructions that if I ever saw him around, that I should call the police.

No problem. Especially given the winter of 2005. This homeless guy had found a way into the building. And so for a number of weeks during that winter, he and some friends camped out in the laundry room in the basement of the building. I always feel a little uneasy going to do laundry to this day. Especially now that I have learned that the lock that has kept them out of the basement was recently broken again.

So on Thursday night, I quickly left the kitchen. (He never saw me as far as I know.) I then somehow managed to get my overly talkative mother off the phone so that I could call the police without telling her that I needed to call the police. No need to freak her out.

About a half hour later the police showed up. I knew by then that he was long gone. One of the officers stopped me short when I started to describe the guy. It seems that the officer was well-acquainted with him.

I just worry about whether the guy realizes that I'm the one who called the cops on him. Because I see him when I am out and about quite frequently. He seems to think that I am his friend or something.

And no, I have no intention of sharing this story with my parents. My mother will use this in her neverending campaign to get me to move back to her house. There are a lot of things I'd rather do before I do that.

I keep wondering though. What did the cops think of my puffy face and black eye?

Oh, and don't worry. Tomorrow's post will probably contain food.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The idiot box

I had another post all ready to go for today but then I started thinking. I often hint around about my TV viewing but rarely do an entire post on it. Well, when one is looking like Quasimodo's cousin and is knocked out on painkillers, there aren't too many choices in entertainment. By the way, I tried valiantly to have yesterday be my first vicodin-free day. I made it to 8:00 p.m. And I think that's pretty good.

So my TV viewing. On Mondays, I start off with "Hell's Kitchen." I just hope that Rock wins it next week. Bonnie has always struck me as kind of pathetic. I keep wondering if Ramsay has kept her around because of her cuteness. This has been followed my "Making the Band 4." When Diddy announced the online voting, I had a feeling of deja vu. Did not "Making the Band 3" drag on for two seasons? And now "My Boys" is back. I was feeling for PJ this week. Man or job? So wrong. But I was happy to see the return of Trouty.

Tuesdays are all about "On the Lot," "Big Brother 8," and "Damages." I don't know why I still watch "On the Lot." Granted many of the shorts are great but overall I find the experience to be way too painful. BB8? I cannot begin to explain my love of that show. My only regret is that I have not been catching "House Calls," the online talk show discussing the events of the show, on a regular basis. Even more sucky this year is their slowness in posting past episodes of the show on the website. And "Damages"? Makes Glenn Close look pretty normal in Fatal Attraction, if you ask me. It also means that I have to watch because I must know how it all ends.

"So You Think You Can Dance" is starting to wind down -- one of my Wednesday guilts. At this point, I am loving Sabra and Lacey. I was heartbroken to see Sara voted off last week. I guess I should have actually voted. I follow this with "Top Chef." There are way too many personalities on "Top Chef." Each week I go back and forth on whom I like.

Thursday is one of my favorite days of the week. There's some BB8 action. I also get to see the "So You Think You Can Dance" result show. But more importantly, I get to see "Burn Notice." There are not enough adjectives for this show. And I like to think that it has something for everyone. Then there's the show that has ruined most nursery rhymes for me -- "Nick Cannon's Wild 'n' Out." You've gotta love a show that gives you a hip-hop version of "Yankee Doodle." And we won't even talk about what they did to the "Alphabet Song." But now Nick is on the side because I have to see "Mad Men." The sad thing about this show, though, is that I have to be in the totally right mood. Because I know that the show is going to be filled with the sexual and racial stereotypes that ran rampant in the 1950s. But in a strange way, it it completely refreshing to hear characters freely speak "their" minds.

Friday used to be about going out. In the 90s Fox changed this for me by scheduling "The X-Files" on Fridays. Now USA has done the same in their scheduling of "Monk" and "Psych." And if I'm lucky, they follow up the episodes with a rerun of "House." I like to think of it all as the perfect triple play.

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, right? Nope. I start off my day around noon or so. VH1 has "Rock of Love," "Hogan Knows Best," and "Scott Baio is 45 ... and Single." The first show has me wanting to bitchslap a bunch of bimbos. Even more so than "Flavor of Love" did. And Hogan? I keep waiting to see if Linda is going to file for divorce. Scott? Who cannot resist that train wreck of a life? I just keep tuning in to see when he will wise up and dump his friend, Johnny. So that takes care of Sunday afternoon.

Sunday night I have to see BB8 because I have to know who will be potentially thrown out the next week. (OK. I'll admit it. Sometimes I give into the online spoilers.) But I also get to see "The Dead Zone." And recently I have actually started to watch Lifetime -- "Side Order of Life" and "State of Mind." I knew that the second show had to be at least OK because it stars Lili Taylor. The other show is more like a guilty pleasure -- like watching a soap opera or a novella.

So there's the rundown on my TV viewing. Much less painful than the other stuff in my head currently. Like remembering telling my mom last night that I really was not in the mood of doing a daily dissection of why my old job still has not contacted me. Or my conversation with my aunt about what makes me happy. When I told her that I realized that I had made some bad choices in my past because I was trying to make other people happy, she asked, "Well, you know you can't blame these other people for your choices, don't you?" Ummm. Yeah, those years in therapy were all about me blaming other people and not myself. The other day my mother was applauding me for being the bigger person and forgiving my aunt for all the smack she said about me behind my back. (My mother still hasn't forgiven her.) I like to think that I am the better person. I also like to think that her cancer is her return from the crap that she has sent out into the universe. And after our conversation last night, I, the person who likes to see the best in everything, hoped that she dies a slow and painful death from the cancer. Because at this point it would seem only fitting. But then wishing that upon her means that bad things will happen to me. So I don't really mean that. But perhaps my mother does. Honestly.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Temptation everywhere

Or perhaps it is more like inspiration. Warning: There will be porn following soon.

During the past week, I didn't do much cooking because heating stuff in the microwave is not cooking. I did read quite a few food blogs though. And they were filled with stuff that I can't eat currently. Chewing is OK but the idea of biting into something that is not relatively soft fills me with dread.

I had purchased some wild salmon from Andronico's because of other bloggers. (Sorry Cookiecrumb, but I forgot to see if it was local.) Each of the three offered something that looked completely tempting. My usual is to do it with a leek sauce, but I had other plans for the leeks, or with a saffron mussel sauce, and seeing as I still do not know if I will be employed in the next month, I decided that splurging for saffron was not a wise choice at this time. Besides, I had already made the splurge on the salmon. And while these were all tempting, I suddenly had an idea. So I searched the internet to make sure that it wasn't just the vicodin talking. I found this.

Bacon-wrapped salmon.

Because that was what had started to drive me nuts -- bacon. I kept thinking, "Bacon makes everything else better. Why not salmon?" And bacon does make salmon better. I also decided to skip the spinach and went with chard instead. I don't know why but there is something completely appealing about chard and kale. Maybe it's because my mother never took the opportunity to overcook either -- This would be because she never cooked either. -- when I was growing up. She has ruined many vegetables for me. And I won't even get into the amount of salt that she uses. She will tell you that I have always been a kind of picky eater.

I think I can blame Zoomie for planting that bacon thought in my mind as well. Ever since I saw this breakfast sandwich, I had been unable to think of anything other than bacon. I wanted that sandwich. But biting into an English muffin is one of those currently scary thoughts.

Saturday I had to head out to return a pair of shoes because my 30 days were almost up and to pick up more food for the cats. My biggest fear these days is that I will run out of food and that the cats will kill me in my sleep. And then I figured that it wouldn't hurt to stop at the El Cerrito Farmers' Market on my way home because I definitely needed to go to Trader Joe's. Tuesday afternoon I had discovered that I had allowed myself to get down to just two eggs in the house. I have never been that low on eggs as far as I can remember as I like to think of them as a staple -- like butter, flour, and sugar. And having at least five different types of oils. And at least five different types of vinegar. And the same of mustard. I am starting to wonder if there is a 12-step program for condiment junkies.

Monster bunch of basil.

The basil was the first thing that began to call to me when I arrived at the Farmers' Market. I kept saying, "But I'm only supposed to be getting chard and shallots." Then I remembered that I haven't made pesto in years because whenever I see basil in the store I decide that it's a bit too expensive. That bunch of basil? $1.00. How could I leave it behind? Besides pasta is one of my happy foods these days.

Left: Pine nuts with olive oil. Right: Walnuts with walnut oil.

I have made both pestos over the years. Well, except I usually use olive oil with the walnuts as well. After I mixed up the first batch, I realized that I was starting to run low on olive oil. That's what I get for going shopping without checking the cabinets first. So I decided to go totally walnut since walnut oil is one pf the many oils that I always keep on hand as well. This was the first time that I was able to taste both at the same time. I prefer the walnut. The flavors seemed subtler, if that makes any sense.

French carrots.

And then the carrots called to me. Because I had some trout around and when I poach it, I like to use leeks and carrots. And I had enough leeks around to make potato leek soup and I always put carrots in that soup. Besides they looked pretty. Oh, and the carrots were $1.50 for the bunch. Another bargain, if you ask me.

So then it was into TJ's. I needed eggs, lemons, and limes. And more of the Italian Blood Orange soda. And crumpets.

Breakfast sandwich.

As soon as I finished eating this, I called my dad for suggesting crumpets as a substitute for English muffins when I whined about my inability to bite certain foods. He also shared with me that he actually prefers crumpets to English muffins.

So thank you friends and family for all of your wonderful ideas over the last week! (And yes, I am starting to feel better.)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Still reading

Every week I say to myself, "I should go out and get A Thousand Splendid Suns," but it seems like something always gets in the way. This week I finished the Midnighters series. Next on my list was supposed to be The Poe Shadow. Actually I have already read the first couple of chapters of Poe but had put it on hold to read the other stuff. So I was going to read A Thousand Splendid Suns after Poe. OK. I probably will. It just looks like there will be some other reading in between.

Yesterday I let my mother talk me into leaving home. My first public appearance. Occasionally people gave me strange looks. *sigh* At least my mouth is no longer crooked. An important lesson I learned yesterday is to not leave home without one's painkillers. I ended up out longer than I had thought I would and the painkillers had not been working for hours by the time I got home.

The plan was to go to the movies. The only problem was that we wanted to see two different things. My mother ended up seeing El Cantate while I opted for The Bourne Ultimatum. I think I enjoyed my selection a great deal more than she did hers. She said the best thing about the movie was the soundtrack. I also got to see some cool trailers before my movie.

There was a slight difference in starting/ending times of our selections so we both killed time shopping. She hit various clothing stores while waiting for her movie to start. I went to Barnes & Noble while waiting for hers to end. Mistake. I don't think I have ever walked out of a bookstore empty-handed.

Two years ago, I read two books that I still kind of remember -- The A-List and Sex, Murder and a Double Latte. I received two surprises. Apparently The A-List is now a series of books. And Kyra Davis has a new book out, Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights. I couldn't resist the Kyra Davis book and have started reading it. It's much easier to read now too since I had my mother stop by the eye clinic yesterday as well so that I could get my new glasses. Maybe one day I will read the rest of the A-List series but for now I am going to go with the latest Scott Westerfeld series.

And then there was that other thing that I noticed while shopping. I noticed this other series of books and thought, "No, it can't be." It seems that one of the new CW shows for the fall is based on a teen book series. Hmmm.

Well, time to get ready to head out once more. The cat food is getting low and I need to return a pair of shoes. And perhaps a little more grocery shopping.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Last fall Grasshopper rode with me to my mom's house one Sunday afternoon. I had already told her that the Drama Queen had boxes of old LPs sitting around the house. In fact after I moved to Berkeley, the Drama Queen told me that I had missed a box of LPs. When I saw the huge box in the hallway, I quickly corrected her. These were LPs that my parents had bought while they were still together for the most part. Her response was that I was welcome to whatever I wanted in the boxes.

Whenever I am over there alone, I forget about the boxes. But Monday? When I was supposed to be assisting with the garage door opener? I checked out one of the boxes in the garage. Not nearly as full as the box inside the house oh, but the stuff it contained. I saw original LPs from the 60s of Aretha, Marvin, The Supremes, The Temptations, and Sly. I carefully, and secretly, sorted these to the top of the stack. And did I mention that the Marvin was his duets with Tammi Terrill? I will go back for them at a later date.

Oh, and no one tell my mom that she is possibly sitting on a gold mine. This is purely a need to know basis and she doesn't need to know.

And yeah, I am starting to feel better.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I have been bonding with my freezer and my microwave. Tuesday I ate a package of TJ's Mac 'n' Cheese. Thank you, Heather, for bringing this tasty treat to my attention. I probably should have eaten more but I really didn't have an appetite.

Yesterday I was actually hungry. But I didn't have the energy to cook. And then I remembered that I had more treats in the freezer.

Crab and mushroom quiche.

I believe it also contains parmesan cheese, Italian parsley, and a little nutmeg. Whatever the combo, it was tasty once I defrosted it. And yeah, I had some difficulty getting it out of the pan as evidenced by the missing crust. But that's OK because the crust was overdone since I forgot to wrap it when I was baking. I don't really like plain crust anyway and rarely eat it.

Today I may be up for cooking. We'll see.

I had thought of posting a photo of my still swollen and bruised eye but decided that would be too icky of me.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More of the Drama Queen (and a friend)

I had completely forgotten until last night that I had not written some of the new gems from the Drama Queen.

Monday I had to go for a CT scan. The Drama Queen insisted upon going along. As I waited for my name to be called, she started telling me how the garage door opener was not working properly. I then started talking about something else. In the middle of whatever I was saying, she turned to me and said, "I'm not really listening to you because I'm too worried about the garage door opener." My thought was, "Why are you here?"

She then said that she needed me to come back to the house to look at the garage door after my scan. And then made a comment about how when I got home, I'd have to get the cats straightened out. Huh? It seems that the Drama Queen had assumed that I would be recuperating at her house. Ummm. No way in hell. This was settled when I told her that I needed to be at the office by 7:40 a.m. "You're quite right. You'll be driving yourself."

I looked at the garage door and told her where I thought the problem was. I also told her that I had no idea of how to fix it. She ended up messing around with it and making it worse. So of course then she had to call a repair guy. In the meantime, Grasshopper called me on my cellphone. While talking to Grasshopper, it dawned on me that it was 2:00 p.m. and that I had not eaten a single thing. I went to find the Drama Queen to tell her that I was leaving. Seems that she was miffed because the repair guy would not be able to come until Thursday. I explained that I needed to go grocery shopping. (I needed to stock up on soft food.) Her response? "Fine. Go take care of your stuff." I left the house in silence because I was afraid of what might come out of my mouth.

Last night I received a call from a friend. She got a cat a few months ago and realized that having him neutered cost more than she thought it would. Berkeley has a low cost spay and neuter program -- for residents. Therefore, she wanted to use my address to get the procedure done. She asked me about this back in June or so. So last night she calls and says that she has an appointment for her cat on Friday and that we need to pick up the voucher on Thursday.

My face is currently swollen from right below my eye to my jaw. It is so swollen that I can't even smile. Well, I can halfway; the right side won't go up though. My face also feels and looks bruised in some areas. Basically it is a really pretty sight. I had decided yesterday that I will not be leaving home until the swelling has gone down significantly. The way it stands right now, I do not think that it will be on Thursday. I tried to impart this to my friend. She said that she would call back to see how I'm doing. I don't think that she gets it.

Part of me feels like I am being horribly selfish. Then again I had told her repeatedly that I was having the surgery this week. And so I have decided that perhaps this time it is OK to be selfish.