Sunday, December 24, 2006

Spending my weekend with a married man

On Saturday, December 23rd, my plan was to go see the Grynch concert. Even though I've lived next door to these guys for almost 6 months now, I have YET to see one of their shows. *kicks self* But after I had a late breakfast, and just before I was about to clean the house, my neighbor, Jimmy, showed up, asking to borrow my dustpan. After I handed it to him, he started telling me he was having problems with his marriage and he was trying to get his house cleaned and ready for his Christmas Eve party the next day. His wife and kids were out of town for the weekend. Remembering how I'd thought of asking him if I could come over sometime to help get his house cleaned up (admittedly, it WAS a disaster area), I brought the idea up. Jimmy seemed relieved and I told him I'll be over later to do just that. I had to clean MY house first. Haha.

So I got my cleaning done. Then I went next door to get the cleaning done at Jimmy's house. (I was actually flattered he was up to letting me help him clean. Yay! Maybe he thinks I'm a good cleaner? Well, my daughter certainly thinks so, though there's been many times she'll stop me in action and ask, "Mommy, why are you cleaning the whole house?") I was surprised at how fast I worked, moving from one room to the next to the next. At one point, though, Jimmy stopped me before I could vacuum the dining room and said, "You're coming with me."

I froze, wondering what kind of infraction I had committed. I only moved the globe so I could vacuum! Honest! (Haha, it's been TOOOOO long since I've cleaned a person's house. Last person I cleaned for was my mom when she lived across from me in Rancho Mirage!) But actually, he had some shopping to do. At first, I was confused why he needed me to come along, but then I found out why when one pushcart became two and the back of his car got filled up. We went from one store to another and another, getting everything he needed for the food he'd have to make for the party. He kept telling me "you're going to help me cook all of this" and I could only dumbly look down at everything then back at him and ask, "How?" (His party has a Puerto Rican theme.) He only smiled and said, "You'll see."

When we finally got back, I ran over to my place to let my dog out, give him fresh water and feed him. Then I ran back to Jimmy's to help him cook the food. He said "now the real work begins" but, to me, it wasn't work. It was FUN! I love to cook so I thought it was fun to be in the kitchen cooking with him, chopping, cutting, sorting, frying and breaking things up. He gave me the job to break up the bulbs of garlic. I had NO IDEA how to do that and when he showed me, I thought, 'That looks like it requires some muscle.' But, actually, it turned out to be easy. I apologized that I wasn't moving as fast with all the food prep and cooking and he just waved it off.

At one point, he started blasting music and we had some tequilas. I...actually had three tequilas. LOL It was GOOD! Later, though, I was using the bathroom and I almost shrieked when I saw that my face was all red!! I told Jimmy I hadn't realized my face was red and he laughed and said it's probably from too many drinks. Well, I was a TINY bit tipsy, but not stumbling or messing up the cooking, or anything. :P

I did some extra cleaning in between cooking jobs. When there wasn't anything left for me to do, Jimmy encouraged me to just have a seat and enjoy a drink. We talked A LOT through all that time, about marriage and kids and just life in general. (Well, I'm not married. LOL But he did ask about my divorce, saying my ex-husband "seemed nice" so he was curious about what happened. I mumbled something about "emotional abuse" then warned him against throwing any pity parties for me. Nuh-uh, don't want that stuff! I'm charging full steam ahead through the here and now!) There was a movie playing on his TV. I looked at it from where I sat and saw this mother tucking in her little boy. It immediately reminded me of the many nights I've tucked my little girl into bed. That was enough to tug at my heartstrings and I almost started bawling like a baby, crying, "I miss my daughter!!" (I'm STILL not used to her spending the weekends with her dad...) But I swallowed that down, just like I have to every weekend. Instead, I turned to look at Jimmy and ask, "Are you used to your kids being away so much?"

He mutely nodded and continued working. Though now I noticed he was working a little faster. (His wife and kids go out of town a lot.) I had previously asked him if he'll be seeing his kids on Christmas Day and he said no. 'That does it!' I thought. I invited him to have Christmas dinner with me and my daughter. (I had planned to bake my usual ham but Jimmy had an extra turkey so he gave that to us for our Christmas dinner. Yay!!)

Another thing that tugged at me was the fact that I wasn't at home so much. I'm SO USED to being at home so much. But this whole "new life" I'm living means stepping outside of my comfort zones, so I told myself, "SO WHAT if I'm not at home so much today! What would I be doing?? There's NOBODY there! What, am I gonna sit on the computer for HOURS, chatting? This stuff is TOO FUN!! And I need to be with people, not by myself." Part of me thought maybe Jimmy needed to be around people, too. He's so sociable! There were people we were talking to on our shopping trip and we'd be hugging people and talking with them.

So, I was glad for the company. And I was glad that I could offer someone else a little company, too.

He kept reminding me to bring my digital camera with me to his party tonight. Even though it's a crappy camera, it DOES take satisfactory pictures.

It was after midnight when I got back home. Jimmy came over to store some food in my refrigerator. We talked some more for a bit before he headed on back home. I gave him a hug and said I'll see him tomorrow.

The party will be a great fun time. And I'm happy I got to have a hand in helping him throw this party.

I'm heading on over there again today to help out some more!

I've been sad my daughter and I won't be spending Christmas with family. But, at least we'll be spending it with our friends.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Computer problems? Blame ghosts

I wish it was possible for me to claim I live a normal life. But the truth of the matter is, my life has been far from the common definition of "normal." Rather, it's been a life of interesting highs and lows, but also interesting aspects in and of themselves.

One particular thing that stands out about my life is that I have seen ghosts. Ever since I was a child, I have seen ghosts.

One ghost who pops up from time to time is my grandfather, my dad's father. My mom first saw him at my crib when I was a baby so long ago, after I had the car accident. She was stressing out over if I would live, if I would be all right, and my ghostly grandfather assured her that I would be okay. Here's another instance: Shortly after I had my child, I awoke one morning to see his spirit in the bedroom, hurriedly leaving because he knew I was awake now. But he turned to take one last look at me before he left, and I still remember his face to this day. I told my mom and she guessed he wanted to see his brand new great-grandchild, who'd been sleeping in a bassinet in my room.

Then Grandpa made another appearance in my home, but this time he didn't show himself visually.

One evening, I was sitting on the couch in my living room, going over old family photos. I remember lingering over the photos of my grandfather with my dad. I'd sadly look at those pictures, wishing I could see him just one last time. I was a baby when he died and even though there are pictures of him with me, I don't remember him too well. Perhaps some things are remembered, deep inside, but I can't just "pull them out" to fondly recall my short time with him.

After I placed the pictures back in the envelope they were kept in, something bizarre happened. There was an entertainment center across from me, with a TV set, VCR and cable box. Immediately, the TV came on, but it was all fuzzy. Then it turned off again, came back on showing the same picture, then it turned off. A tape left in the VCR suddenly popped out and the VCR shut off.

I was startled by this, of course. But then I smiled, knowing my grandfather had somehow let me know he was still with me.

That's what I thought because I know that when there is a presence in the room, when spirit activity is occuring, a number of things can happen to confirm they are there. Some people suddenly get a headache (yes, this is true!), some pick up on smells, some feel a coldness in the room, the hair on the back of the neck stands up and some items move. A very common telltale sign of spirit activity, though, is when the electricity starts acting up. Lights flicker (this happened in the haunted house we lived in), watches stop working and radios just come on all by themselves.

I often joke that I'm a jinx around ALL technological things, because just using the microwave gets it working weird. Or even not working right at all. Ha. But I actually suspect that something else is to blame for these techno quirks: Spirit activity.

I wish I could say I "grew out" of all that ghost-sighting stuff, but I haven't. I can't, really! I still see ghosts from time to time. Admittedly, not as often as I used to, but I do see them. I will also see strange flashes of light and feel a touch on my arm or even a "hand" going through my hair.

Recently, I have been having computer problems REALLY bad. One such problem is my computer constantly rebooting itself. Unfortunately, it happens when I'm in the middle of writing something, answering an email or ordering something online.

And I end up sitting there as the computer reboots, grumbling about it.

So many people have been telling me to get this computer looked at. My ex can't figure out why it's been like this (and he's a computer expert) and others I have talked to don't understand why the computer does these things.

Well, since there's no other logical explanation for this....then it would seem I have nothing left but the glaringly obvious one to cite as my culprit: I had a special visitor around me, one which the computer couldn't really function very well around.

Often, if I surrender myself to this, it works out in the end. I'll step away, do other things and think about what I'd been writing or what I'd been trying to do or say. And usually that gets me to realize that perhaps the computer flatlining on me like that had been a good thing after all, because what I'd been doing before it shut down wasn't really the right thing to write...or even do.

But this also happens during other times, and not just when I'm writing. It'll happen during chats with people, when I'm checking stuff out, ordering online, etc. Usually, something ELSE comes up, which I realize while the computer reboots itself. I need to be somewhere, I need to call someone, I have to do SOMETHING that needs my attention RIGHT NOW.

So maybe it's my grandpa paying a visit after all, checking up on me like he always used to.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Guns and laundry

I think I picked a bad day to do laundry today.

This afternoon, my ex showed up, after disappearing for a couple of days due to him being sick. So he stopped by today, apparently not working, and he hung out here until the time to go home with our daughter in tow. While he used the computer, I was doing different stuff; making lunch, tidying, reading and doing a load of laundry. I use the laundromat down the street from me (it's not even a whole block down, really), so I took a load over there to wash. When I got them into the dryer, I walked back home and made lunch. After a while, I saw my daughter run to the living room window to look out at something. I didn't take much interest in this until I noticed my ex was at the window, too, looking in the direction of where the laundromat was.

When I got his attention, I asked him what was going on. He said there was a police car out there, right across from where the laundromat was. I figured it wasn't any big deal, maybe somebody was getting a ticket, or something, but apparently there was also a motorcycle police officer over there and more police officers in the alley behind my neighbor's house.

I started to panic, worrying that once again some lunatic was running around, shooting people. (This had happened before.) But I tried to stay calm and not stress over it too much. As long as we stayed inside, we'd be okay, right?

I started to worry about the laundry, though. I mean, I couldn't just LEAVE that stuff there! What if the owner was involved and what if they needed him to clear all that stuff out of there or what if the police wanted everyone accounting for what should and shouldn't be there?

Well, I didn't think whatever it was involved the laundromat. I mean, if there were cops behind my neighbor's house, chances are whatever went down happened in that alley.

Still, I was concerned. I SHOULD get my stuff out of there. I told my ex but he repeatedly told me DO NOT GO OVER THERE. I said it didn't look like anything serious had happened and he said he'd seen a cop run over there with a shotgun.

Whoa. Okay. Now I wasn't worrying about the laundry so much. I started worrying about my neighbors. Shoot. What if something had happened TO THEM?? Why were there cops behind their house? I mean, there was one officer, wearing plainclothes and one of those "crime scene" tags, walking around, looking at something. Had someone been shot? Had someone gotten hurt???

I wanted to run next door to find out. I started to worry that maybe Darrell or Tobby or even Sean had been hurt. That their home had been broken into, or something. Alley or no alley, the cops were RIGHT THERE. I could see them outside of my kitchen window.

But I knew I couldn't go out. I had to stay inside. If it was THAT bad, I could not go outside.

But at the same time...I was grateful. NORMALLY, I stick around at the laundromat while my clothes are drying. And I was SO GRATEFUL that today I had not. I was just thanking God Almighty I had come home and not stuck around there.

So, finally, the excitement died down. I was finally able to go get the laundry and bring it home. The police were all gone, there was no yellow tape and there seemed to be a sense of things returning to normal.

That's what I thought until I saw a news van pull up across the street. 'Oh, shoot. The frekking news,' I thought, hurrying home and PRAYING they didn't see me. The whole time, I was hoping a reporter hadn't spotted me and jumped out of the van to chase me down to ask questions. I was thinking, 'I didn't see anything and I LITERALLY did not hear anything. Please. I don't wanna be on TV!' I got home with no reporter at my heels. Whew.

My neighbors were okay. Whatever had happened hadn't involved them. I asked Tobby if he had heard anything while all that had gone down. He'd been really busy working and wasn't even aware that the cops had been outside. But at least he told me he hadn't heard any gunshots being fired. Who knows what had REALLY happened...but I'm just glad all of us were okay.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Once bitten

There is this Web site called that was recently part of an online scam targeting the deaf community.

As much as I have wanted to meet other people who are deaf (mostly in-real-life; it's not an issue with my online friends), I have not used But I DID use a similar site: I joined that site because I was hoping to find other deaf/HOH people in my area who I could meet up with. When I lived in the desert, I was a part of this "deaf club" that had "deaf coffee" and pizza gatherings and meeting for a bowling night, etc. It was really a fun thing to be a part of and it helped to be around others who were deaf/HOH, too. Though we DO have "deaf coffee" here in Oregon, the one closest one to me is about an hour away. (UGH.) So I joined to see if I could find any local deafies. I also used MySpace to find local deafies, but that didn't pan out. I HAVE met with other deafies through MySpace, but no one local. (Oddly enough, there is someone on there who is deaf yet CONSTANTLY advertising "free ringtone" bulletins. What the...?) And the same happened with the DeafSinglesConnection site, too.

Actually, something ELSE happened while I was a member of that site. Something similar to what happened at

When I had a profile on there, I received many messages from people, mostly men, interested in getting to know me better. I kept things discreet and went through messages that just gave me bad vibes or had guys saying "I LOVE YOU! Let's meet!" LOL I ended up deciding to delete my account there because I just DID NOT feel comfortable being a part of it. I mean, one guy wanted to meet with me for sex! (OF COURSE I blew him off! Good grief!!) But I ended up choosing one person to communicate with by email who ended up doing something suspicious.

Before I deleted my account, I contacted 4 people on there and gave them my email address. One person ended up chatting with me frequently and I ended up no longer chatting with him after things got a little...scary. But there was one other person whose profile appeared shady to start with, but I figured he was nice enough to talk to so we sent emails back and forth. Supposedly, it was someone living in the UK. (I'm such a sucker for those British gentlemen. LOL) At one point after a few weeks of our emails, he asked for money.

No longer did I see this person as someone just interested in communicating with another deafie. Now I saw him (or HER??) as a possible scam artist. I mean, the first thing I thought after I read that was, 'Smooth.' (This person had been professing his love to me, even though I kept saying "I want to take things slow" and saying he wanted to fly out to meet me, etc.) It's not like I had any kind of emotional attachment to this person, or anything. So I told him I couldn't do it because my finances were strained.

Didn't expect to hear back from him after that -- but I DID, after a while. This time, he offered to send ME money!

OK. This was getting weird.

I told him "no thanks" and after that, never heard from him again.

So I guess something WAS up?? After hearing about that whole thing, there's a big chance that perhaps something WAS. I have talked with one other person who had joined that site, someone who is the sole survivor of my original list. LOL But he told me the same thing happened to him, too. There were people who befriended him through that site and acted all nice, even sent pictures, then asked for money.

I would NEVER give money to people I don't know over the Internet. Not people I don't know WELL, anyway. I LOVE!! my friends at the Absolute Write Water Cooler, and they HAVE helped out me and my daughter during the hard times. They are TRUE friends to me who I would gladly help in return (when I CAN!!). But other than that, no. Not complete strangers. Not people I don't trust. Not people I barely know. Stuff like that is just TOO risky. And, I have a child who depends on me; I can't compromise that sort of thing. Also, the same goes for RECEIVING money. Deaf or not deaf, if they're not family, if they're not people I trust or people I KNOW very well, then that is NOT gonna happen. There are just too many scams and too many scary people out there to let stuff like that go down....

Good thing I have learned to be more careful with people online, from now on. Deaf or not deaf, you just CAN'T lower your guard so easily.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Every parent's fear

I need to talk about something that happened today because it REALLY touched on one of the fears I have as a parent. One fear EVERY parent has, really: When your child goes missing.

This did not happen to me. But it DID happen to my neighbor, Jimmy.

I spent a lot of time today on the Internet, looking for jobs, checking out job sites, checking out job assistant resources and job training programs and also going through ads both on and offline. My neighbor, Jimmy, showed up at around 4 p.m. asking if we had seen his 5-year-old daughter.

Suddenly, red flags went up as I told him we hadn't seen her all day. (My daughter plays with his daughter almost every day.) He said some things about how he was trying to find her and said as he was walking away that he was going to call the police.

I returned to my task, though this time not as gung-ho as I had been about it before. I was also chatting with people online (which my daughter occasionally joined in on), but I didn't say anything about it.

That was, until one of Jimmy's sons, Jeremy, came by. First he came by because he'd gotten locked out of the house and needed to use the phone, then he was asking about his dad and sister. I told him about how his dad had been here earlier asking about his sister and he got really nervous and then told me, by pen and paper, that it was his DAD who was supposed to pick his sister up from school and that if Jimmy had been here at the time I told him he was, something was "VERY wrong."

When he left, I saw him run to his mother, who was in her truck at the corner, then he jumped into the bed of the truck and it took off down the street.

I started getting nervous now. Actually, I got really scared and I started praying that little girl was okay. I told one of my sisters about it (she's one of the people I was chatting with) and I just couldn't be much talkative after that. I started moving around the house, trying to keep myself distracted with little manual tasks, but I kept going back to the living room window to keep an eye out for either her or any of them. My daughter wanted to go outside to play but I wouldn't let her outside. I don't let her play outside when it is dark but I REALLY was more concerned about some kidnapper going around, snatching kids. I would not let her go out at all, even to stand on the front porch. I just had to keep her close by.

Finally, about 25 minutes later, Jeremy came back and said, "We found her."

"Oh, thank God!" I said, a wave of relief flowing over me. "Is she okay?"

He nodded and tried to explain what had hapened but I couldn't understand him very well.

I asked if his mother was okay. He said, "No." His mother was distraught, just hysterical. She was crying and just going nuts.

I tried to find out more but all I really needed to know was that she was okay and on her way home. He seemed anxious to get back to his mom so I sent him on home and told him I'd come by later.

I felt horrible for that poor woman. I didn't know what to do to help her. Finally, I went over there and hugged her. I stood next to her as she waited for her husband to get home with their daughter then I noticed Jeremy waving to me from inside the house. I went inside and he told me about what had happened. (For the family's privacy, that part will not be revealed here. But the little girl is okay and safely back home.)

I'm so glad this story had a happy ending, but I know that, for a lot of parents, there was no child found. There was no child returned home. There was no grateful, tearful reunion between parent and child.

My own child is a hider, which of course isn't always a great thing. There have been many times I would not be able to find her and I'd run around, frantically calling out her name until I'd remember she hides and to check common places she hides at. There was also the time in Lake Arrowhead she had wandered off into the woods with her cousins, unbeknownst to me, and I freaked out because I didn't know where she was and I went nuts trying to find her.

Recently, we were at this park. While she played on this swing, there were two dirty, misdressed men who kept hovering around her. At one point, the two of them, plus their big dog, started circling her and talking to her while she stood near the slide. I panicked, of course. I grabbed her and got her out of there. Who knows if they had the intention of snatching her or not. But I didn't want to take that chance.

I would NEVER take that chance.

A child's life and safety is just too precious to take ANY chances with...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The wheels on the bus

Part of my participation with Vocational Rehab involves securing transportation for when I can get a job. Since my car is out of commission and one of the cars my ex is letting me drive stopped working, I have mostly relied on getting to places on foot. Sometimes my neighbor, Jimmy, gave me a ride. Or his wife, Melissa, gave me a ride. But mostly I would walk to places and mostly my daughter walked with me.

But with the winter season moving on and temps dipping as low as 34 degrees, walking isn't always an option. Even for me. Vocational Rehab is working with me to solve this problem. My counselor got me a bus pass for December and I was SUPPOSED to have bus training the other day, but that didn't happen.

Why do I need bus training? Because I have NEVER ridden a public bus before, in all my life. Not ONCE.

That is, until recently.

Since the bus training thing didn't happen, I decided to try learning all about how to use public transportation myself. I've never read bus schedules or anything like that before and I never knew what the numbers are on a bus. so I have been asking lots of people lots of questions, checking out the LTD Web site and also checking out the bus schedules people can pick up at certain locations.

And that seemed to work out okay for a while. I decided to take advantage of my freedom this weekend and REALLY crack down on figuring out how to use the bus. Getting to my destination was a breeze. I ended up getting off earlier than I planned to, but that ended up being a good thing because I saw a place with a "now hiring" sign on the door and went inside to fill out an application.

Now getting to my destination was no trouble. It's GETTING HOME I ended up getting wrong.

I checked the time and headed for a bus stop. Now, Allison has explained bus-riding stuff to me before. She said I need to check scedules posted at the stops. Some stops have schedules and some don't. This one did but I didn't check it. I pretty much relied on the schedule I had in my hands. Now therein was my mistake, because I ended up boarding the WRONG bus. Which took me to the WRONG stops. Then it went back to the station. I figured, "OK, I'll just stay on and it'll go to my stop next."

But what I didn't REALIZE is that a bus changes its number when it gets back to the station. So I ended up going all over the place again, nowhere NEAR my stop. (I pondered getting off at a familiar location then walking the rest of the way home, but by now it was dark and I try to avoid walking around in the dark when I can.) So I'm sitting there for two hours, thinking, 'Why aren't we going THAT way?' The bus got back to the station so I got up and asked the driver if he was planning to go along my route next.

Ah, actually, he was going home now. Whoops.

So I asked him about how to get to my stop and he pointed out the bus stop I had to go to.

Well, I FINALLY got home last night, but I was SERIOUSLY kicking myself over the mix-ups. OK, soo, to recap: ALWAYS check the schedules at the bus stops. MAKE SURE you have the RIGHT bus. If you're not sure about the route, ASK. The bus numbers CHANGE when getting back to the station. AND the bus routes stay the same after each round.

OK. Got that.

So this morning I was going to take the bus to get to church. But I overslept and missed it. So, I walked, despite the fact that it was FREEZING COLD. But something told me I HAD to get to church today. I HAD to be there. So, cold or no cold, I went. And it was a lovely service, really. I GOT THERE ON TIME!! LOL Yay!! People cried during the service and it was really enjoyable. As usual, I didn't understand a darn thing, but I still enjoyed it.

I had not been able to find my friend, Nicole, when I got to the church. (She signs for me.) But later, I got to the bus stop outside of the church, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I turned to see her walking towards me, smiling and waving. I REALLY thought my eyes were deceiving me. But there she was!! YAY!!

We hugged and talked. I'd been at the bus stop for a WHILE. As usual, I had relied on the wrong schedule and was waiting for a 12:38 bus that was actually a 1:11 bus. *groan* We talked about a lot of things, though. She said she was planning to move to Colorado to live closer to her dad and she had plans to do this next year. Of course, I was sad at the news, but I told her I had plans to move back to California next summer, so at least we'll be close. And I told her, "COME AND VISIT! I'll fly you out there myself!" She laughed and said one of her best friends lives in California and she knows a lot of people in California, so she'll definitely be coming out to visit, anyway. Sweet!

I told her about my little bus adventure and she laughed so hard. She said she has not had to ever ride the bus before she moved to Eugene over a year ago. This was the first time in her life she was relying on bus transportation. And I told her it was MY first time, too! At least Nicole had the smarts to rely on the schedule POSTED AT THE STOP to know what bus to get on when. I started eyeing the paper schedule in my hands more and more bitterly. Gah!

We also talked about her new job. She works at a feed store and she said it was funny how there are ALWAYS big ranch-type guys coming in to buy cowboy hats and cowboy boots. It was funny. She started imitating these big cowboy-guys coming in with their lopsided walk. LOL I told her about how I used to entertain the idea of getting one of those "ranch hand" jobs where you get room and board in exchange for doing the ranch work. I also told her I have always wanted to have a job working with animals. (My meeting Joleen Lambert has REALLY had that kind of an influence on me!! Ah, to live the life of a cowgirl.) She said right now in Eugene, there are NO jobs, but where she works at, they are hiring. She said, "We need people." I raised my hand and said, "I'm people!" She said they need help around the store. Stocking shelves and cleaning up. She gave me the name and phone number and I said I would definitely call them to see if maybe I could get something set up. That would be so awesome! Even more awesome would be working at the same place as Nicole. Yay!! Then I could FINALLY see her more often. (She MAY be younger than me, but we really are good friends.)

She also told me she hasn't checked her email for a looooong time. I told her I have sent her emails and ecards before. So! She needs to be checking that there email! LOL But I knew some emails I'd sent her were getting returned.... She has a Hotmail email account and I used to have one, too. The thing about Hotmail (and lots of OTHER free email accounts) is that if you go several months without checking it, your account gets deleted. So I started to worry maybe her account was a little...compromised and that's why some emails I'd sent her got returned. So I reminded her to check it soon.

While we were waiting there in the ICE COLD windy and rainy weather, this white minivan pulled up with two guys inside. I was nervous so I remained quiet as Nicole talked to them. I didn't get all she said to them but I did catch her saying "thanks, anyway" before it drove off. I asked her what was that about and she said that one of them goes to our church and he was asking if we wanted a ride to the bus station. She later told me she'd turned them down because she felt bad and didn't want them to have to go out of their way for us. She said she DID know one of the guys and that he was a real funny guy. She also said she had thought the bus would be there any minute now.

But, it wasn't. Actually, it took FOREVER for the bus to show up. Meanwhile, Nicole and I were standing there, freezing our butts off. (Well, our HANDS, really. Neither of us wore gloves.) It was COLD!!! At one point, I looked up and saw a rainbow and I pointed it out to Nicole. She brightened and we commented on how big and colorful it was. Then I turned to see that a light drizzle was falling. I didn't know it was RAINING!! I showed Nicole and I said, "I didn't see it without the sunlight."

She said, "I love it when there is sun and rain."

More time passed. Nicole kept checking the time on her cell phone and when it was 1:11, she said, "The bus should be here right now."

"We need to will it here!" I said, using my hand to mimick using mental powers to make the bus suddenly appear from around the corner.

"Yes. Will it! Will it!" Nicole cheered.

After a minute or two, I saw Nicole standing there, shivering and saying, "For the love of God!!"

Finally, like only a MINUTE after that, THERE was the bus! FINALLY!!!

I showed Nicole and we jumped up and down, cheering and saying, "Thank God!" (LOL It was VERY COLD!!! BRR!!)

So we got on the bus and got ourselves warmed up. THANKFULLY, the busses are warm. Wow, free transportation AND warmth. Ahh, life is good. LOL

We got to the station and parted ways. Nicole had to go to one bus stop and I went to another.

At least this time, I knew EXACTLY which one to go to in order to get home.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Life, as it is

So, yeah. Things are kinda hard right now. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to do anything. I just want to bury myself into a hole and cry. But, I won't do that. Crying won't solve anything. I am TRYING to hang in there. I am TRYING to get a freaking JOB so that my daughter and I can have a nice Christmas. Everybody is so happy right now and I can't even afford a tree.

OK. Enough of that.

I'm sick of being all on my own. That's ONE thing.

I applied for a job at the Burger King. They told me today, "We just hired 8 people and we're all full." Damn. Boy, you know you're pathetic when you can't EVEN get a job at a fast food joint. *smirks*

I'm pretty much losing my enthusiasm for everything. And I MEAN...everything. I just want to tell off the people at the newspaper and tell them to SHOVE IT because they STILL haven't paid me yet. And now I've done 4 articles for them. They're crazy if they think I'm gonna do any more.

Well, that pretty much sums up my mood right now. I've deleted some emails I've sent to some people and removed people from my Buddy List.

I guess I'm just mad at the world.

But most of all, mad at myself. For being a big fat failure.

Merry Freaking Christmas.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What good ARE possessions, anyway?

This month brings a bit of a financial crunch for myself and my child. After the rent, bills and car stuff gets paid for, there's very little left over for food and Christmas. Today I put together a "to do" list on how to tackle this problem. I was LUCKY my church helped us out to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner, but I know I can't rely on luck to help us have a nice Christmas. And avoid starving to death. So I'm working on solving that problem. I guess I gotta try to get a job EVERY DAY until I have one, asking my neighbor to watch my daughter so I can walk to places if I can't call them. And tell people, "If ANYTHING opens up, please let me know." There's this one business I tried to get a job at, but they said they were all filled. I left my resume with this department store even though they said nothing will be available until February, and that got me to realizing I should leave myself available at OTHER places in case something comes up. So, I should tell them "email me" if anything comes up. I mean, ANYTHING! Outside of being a mom, I have no real obligations, so I'm willing to work full-time, 7 days a week, doing whatever job I can get. (I sure would miss attending church, though. But as it is now, it's too cold to even WALK to church, and I haven't had the bus training yet to see how I could get there riding the bus.)

This is how it is being a single parent. I am slowly but surely learning the ropes.

But, anyway. I know someone who sells off his possessions for money. I used to try to sell some of my dolls, even though I want to save them for my daughter. But I have also thought of selling other things, too.

Actually, one common idea I'll have is to sell ALL of my worldly possessions and just live on the road. Haha.

I have thought of trying to get one of those live-in jobs. I've read about people who had those. They lived at someone's house and either did nanny work or housekeeping. I've thought of this, too, but...I have a child, so I don't see how that would work. She'd probably miss her toys, anyway. Me, I wouldn't mind parting with my stuff. I mean, AS LONG as I'm employed, able to provide for my child, etc., I am one happy camper. I know there are some possessions I have I'd get into trouble for selling off, though. My dresser belonged to my grandmother, so if I didn't keep it, it'd have to go to another sibling. My entertainment center belongs to a sister, and my table and chairs once belonged to a good family friend. I also have this ring that belonged to another good family friend and some books, photos and miscellaneous items that belong to my dad and other family members. Soo, parting with THAT stuff is out.

Well, in any event, I'm crossing my fingers something will come along soon. A job. A nice book deal. Getting a roommate. Or even winning the lottery! Ohh, wait a minute. I don't play the lottery. Well....something!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The teased becomes the teaser

Tonight I had soup for dinner. I was once asked "why just soup?" when I told someone what I had. My answer had been, "Because I'm cold." There is NOTHING like a nice bowl of hot soup during the winter season. Yay! :)

It was REALLY cold today. The temp was 37 degrees! I learned a VERY IMPORTANT lesson: NEVER, ever, ever, EVER go for looong walks when it's 37 degrees. LOL I was SOOO COLD!!

I've lived here for over a year and I'm STILL not used to this weather. I always say, "You can take the girl out of California, but you can't take the California out of the girl." LOL Which is probably WHY I keep saying "like" in so many sentences. Haha!

Meanwhile, my family members in sunny California are telling me, "Oh, it's SO NICE here." And, "I think it was in the 70's today." *grumbles*

But...I chat often with my best bud, Mark. He lives in NORTHERN Cali. Now, it DOES get colder there than it does down south, but not as cold as here. And he TEASES me about that!!

But, tonight, I got to tease HIM. Mwua-ha-ha!!

So we were chatting. And I told him how I had two heaters running, because it was so cold. He made it a point to tell me how FORTUNATELY he hasn't had to be in that kind of a situation yet.

I typed back, "Well, Mark, you're moving to Boston! It's even colder THERE!" I also made it a point to note that it snows MORE there than it does here. At least, more than where I'm at.

Watch. After he moves to Boston, I'll be getting messages from him along the lines of, "It's sooo cooold here. *whines*" LOL!! Haha. Neener, neener, neener!! :P

Friday, December 01, 2006

What would MacGyver do?

This morning an online friend IMed me with her latest blog post. The subject of that blog post was, "I MacGyvered the Snowblower!" Here's the link:

One of the things I typed back was, "I had a HUGE!! crush on Richard Dean Anderson LOL" My former brother-in-law used to tease me about it, cooing, "You LOOOVE him!" And even though I'd get all defensive-like and say "no, I don't!" it's true. LOL I remember just TOTALLY being into him and even fantasizing about marrying him one day. *blushes*

But, of course, I had other crushes. On other actors. LOL Ricky Shroeder and David Hasselhoff. But it's definitely RDA I had the loooongest crush on. And every time I read about him in the news, or something, I would always remember that crush.

But today, my friend's blog post sent me back to the 80's. Not only did I tell a family member in a later IM "I'm thinking of crimping my hair again" (yes! I once crimped my hair!!), and not only did she tell me "let the 80's stay in the 80's" (haha), but I even started thinking nonstop about MacGyver!

He even got into a posting I made at the Absolute Write Water Cooler: "I decided to skip over my character getting all McGyver with her computer and leave her with the doubts." haha I IMed my friend and teased her, "It's your fault I typed this!" And I showed her that. LOL It got me thinking ALL about MacGyver.

And not so much about Richard Dean Anderson.

Well....maybe not THAT much. *blushes*

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wrong choice of words

I can understand how people want to say the right thing, or the appropriate thing, during a conversation with others. I am the same way. Say the right thing and the appropriate thing.

But the thing I think about now is how people tend to say "I'm sorry" once they hear someone is divorced. And once they hear that I am divorced. I realize that with some people, divorce usually involves heartbreak or struggles or hard times. I know this.

But when people say "I'm sorry" to me after I tell them I'm divorced...they don't NEED to. I mean, really. They don't need to say it. I can understand the reason why they would say something like "I'm sorry" after I tell them I'm divorced. But me saying "I'm divorced" is just an answer to their question or to let them know I don't HAVE a husband when they ask "what does your husband do?" or "what does your husband think?" It's not me saying, "Give me your pity. Feel sorry for me. Oh, poor me." I don't want pity. None of it.

Life has been hard going since my divorce, but, you know, we're hanging in there. It's been a HUGE change for me on a personal level, but not in the way that I cry myself to sleep, or anything. You know, I don't cry over it. We were both civil about the whole thing. And even though we tend to get on each other's nerves even still, we are basically civil about it even now. There's no grief. There's no heartbreak. There's no "if only I had" or "if only I could."

There is just the fact that we are divorced. And, that's it. Life goes on. I am moving forward.

I don't want people to say that they are sorry that I am divorced. I don't want them to think I need any pity. I am just taking care of all the things I gotta do now. Sure, life is hard. But, it's JUST life. It's not me wishing it all away or hoping I'll be rescued by some "miracle thing," or whatever. But, you know, I'm getting through it. I've gotten over the pain -- that happened LONG ago. I have none of it remaining within me now.

Now, all I AM doing, is just living life. Picking up all the pieces of this "single life" I have to learn how to live right and just get everything back in order. I AM ready to be with someone new....but that will happen in its own time. I'm not rushing that sort of thing, because I no longer define myself by that sort of thing. If I remarry, then I remarry. If I don't, I don't. If I date someone, I date someone. If I don't, I don't. For the time being, I am just doing what I have to do with life. And I am letting God take the wheel.

My life isn't exactly "right" yet....but, you know. I'm getting there.

And I don't want people saying "I'm sorry" when I tell them I am divorced. Actually, a better thing to say to me would be... "Keep on keepin' on."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Embracing the Deaf World

I got my audiological report today. It was...kind of depressing. I guess I was disappointed. Apparently, my ability to comprehend what people are saying, even WITH a hearing device, was only at 48%. And that was WITH visual cues.

Darn. :(

I guess I got my hopes up too high. I wanted to believe I could have a problem-free conversation with others even if I wear a hearing aid. But I guess....short of a "miracle hearing aid" or something like that, I guess it can't happen.

I also guess on some level, I didn't want to believe I was THAT deaf. So I guess the proof is in the pudding now: I am SERIOUSLY, profoundly deaf.

I'm not ashamed of being deaf. But...I guess in some way, a part of me still wants to be in the hearing world. Wants to be a part of the hearing world. I was born into that world and it was a world which I embraced.

I guess losing some parts of that world are what hurt the most. Like music. It’s so hard living without music. Really hard. But, I deal with it.

And I know I must accept it. I haven’t yet, of course. I have just been hoping, on SOME level, I could hear music again. Enough to sing to it. Dance with it. Enjoy it! But, no. That can’t happen.

That’s stuff in the hearing world. Not in the deaf world.

It is the deaf world which I belong in. The deaf world that is my own.

It’s true the deafness happened many years ago. When I was 13. I’m 32 now. And it just...really was something that was never really easy to accept on a 100% level. But now I will, all the way.

A movie quote comes to mind here. The one from Elizabethtown, when Claire says: "You have 5 minutes to wallow in the delicious misery. Enjoy it, embrace it, discard it ... and proceed."

I will proceed.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I won't lie down and take your crap!!!

People....seem to think that it's perfectly OK to judge others and come up with their own opinions on what other people are like. Even more pathetic is how they decide to let this BLIND TRUTH continue to blind them. They believe gossip. They believe rumors.

But they don't believe the truth. You know, they don't even bother to even ASK!

I guess it's like they've decided they have figured out what kind of person someone is and have decided to NEVER speak to them again or...give them the silent treatment.

And if that is the way a person is going to be with me, fine.

You know what? I'm not going to lie down and let ANYONE hurt me ever again. At all.

I don't care if people call me "mean" or coldhearted or "drama queen" or whatever. I. DO. NOT!!! CARE. At all. And if anybody, ANYBODY has a problem with that, then they're the only one's with a problem.

Yes, I DO demand I be treated with respect by others. Especially if it's someone I am in a relationship with. If I don't get that respect, if I don't get that love, FORGET IT. It will end right there. Life has thrown me ENOUGH BS to make me where I will not just "take it" from people who refuse to grow up or show respect to others. I REFUSE to be in that company. Even if that company is my own blood.

And if that makes me the loneliest person in the whole wide be it. I have too much respect for MYSELF to let others treat me like dirt. I have been there and done that.... and I am NEVER going back.

And say what you want in your comments about this blog post. I am NOT posting this online as a "drama queen" act or wanting people to feel sorry for me. I want NO pity from anyone. This is just my little FYI -- to EVERYONE. And, yes, it's a PUBLIC FYI for the whole world to read.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I have been working with Vocational Rehab to get a job. They have had me running all over the city having one test after another, one being a hearing test. I grumbled and stewed over the last one. I was, like, "WHY take a hearing test?? Doesn't the fact that I go 'huh?' every time you try to talk to me act as proof that I am deaf??" But, like a fellow deaf friend said when trying to comfort me, some things just need to be on paper. So, I reluctantly agreed to the hearing test. walking to the audioologist center in the rain (blasted car still not working! Gah!). And so I filled out paperwork. Talked to them about getting meningitis when I was 13 and my previous use of hearing aids, etc., before they hooked me up to that...listening thingy to test my ability to hear any sounds. I sat there wearing those earplugs, not really expecting to hear a single thing. (Ever since I was told in 1999 that I'd lost even MORE hearing and would need the strongest over-the-ear hearing aid on the market to even hear a little, I don't have much faith in ever being able to hear ANYTHING anymore, though I DID hear my baby crying with the help of a hearing aid I could only wear for 3 months after she was born -- more on that later.) But...I ended up HEARING some sounds! I REALLY did! I had this BIG smile on my face, thinking, 'Cool!' I only heard the high pitch sounds mostly in my right ear and SOME low pitch sounds. Not a lot, but some. And my right ear has better hearing than my left. It was AWESOME!! But not as awesome as...the audioologist speaking to me through the headset and I could hear THAT, too!!!! OH JOY!!!! I think most of it was also lipreading, because I didn't "hear" as many words when she covered her mouth, but I was still so psyched about hearing ANYTHING again!!!

Now. She said my hearing loss is profound. And that I had two options for hearing ANYTHING again: An over-the-ear hearing aid or a cochlear implant (CI). The meningitis only affected my outer ear, not inner ear. I didn't suffer nerve deafness. My eardrums were functioning JUST FINE so a CI would REALLY help me. Practically restore my hearing at 100%! But she said I would need an inner ear X-ray first to see just how well it could work for me. When I was a teen, I wore an over-the-ear hearing aid for years. When I lost more hearing, I had to get a stronger hearing. For some BIZARRE reason, the ear mold on my hearing aid adversely affected the skin on the inside of my ear. This happened about 3-4 months after my daughter was born. It was VERY PAINFUL and I ended up having an ear discharge because of it. I just stopped wearing the hearing aid, having NO SOUND at all (a hard decision to make). When I finally went to an ear doctor a year or 2 later (after yet again failing to wear the hearing aid), he did an X-ray and, oh my Lord, it looked BAD. There were lumps all inside of my ear and the doctor freaked out. The skin on my ear was VERY RED and the discharge was happening again. He tried a new ear mold and suggested I treat the skin twice daily with Neosporin to get the rash to heal. But even THAT mold made my skin irritation flare up again. :(

Now this new place is going to try one last ear mold to see if it will take. It's made of a different material. Typically, ear molds on hearing aids are hypoallergenic (or so she told me), so I'm only hoping this could work. If not, my only hope is the CI.

And given the technological advances they are making with CIs, I'm now a little more interested in having one. There just MAY be an insurance plan I can get to help me even AFFORD one. So, that is cool.

I am just SO PSYCHED over hearing sounds!! It was AWESOME!!!! Now I definitely hope I can get something that will help me hear even more!

Monday, November 06, 2006

So much for the nocturnal housekeeper

It used to be I'd put off doing a majority of the housework until the evening. I'm talking about the sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, mopping, cleaning the bathroom and the dishes. I used to say to myself stuff like "the day is too special to waste away cleaning." Now, this comes after I'd go on cleaning sprees that lasted for hours. Sometimes it would take me anywhere from 3-6 hours to clean my old apartment (well, it WAS two floors). But lately, I wanted to focus my energies on doing OTHER stuff during the daytime. Like ALWAYS be available for my child and the mom stuff (even when I'm on the computer, I jump in and out of my seat a lot). And spend time with my daughter; going for walks, reading together and stuff like that. I'm also doing the "writing work" but lately I have favored focusing that on early morning and late night routines. I want to change my writing schedule to where I'm not writing during the daytime, just in the mornings and at night.

Actually, my writing schedule isn't the only thing I want to change. Often I would be spending time with my daughter and her friend on the couch, reading a story or talking, and part of me would be thinking, 'I SHOULD be doing something useful. Why not dust or vacuum or sweep the floors?' And I'd answer that with, 'Well, I can do that tonight like always.' But I got tired of saving all that stuff for my evenings. I KNOW I get incredibly restless and VERY energetic at night, but I could put that energy into doing aerobics, or something. I didn't like saving the housecleaning duties for the evenings. I felt I wasn't being very productive during the daytime if I'm not doing the cleaning jobs I'm supposed to do.

Yesterday, I got restless. And since I couldn't go anywhere (it was pouring outside and my car is still out of commission), I got off the computer and started doing housework. All of the housework. (Admittedly, I ended up going a little overboard with the housework. But, I don't care! So what if my cabinets are clean! So what if the shelves are clean! ... They're supposed to be.) But I was disappointed it only took me two hours to clean the whole house. Wow, just two?? Good grief. And I was done a little after noon.

Well, I had the rest of the day to just do whatever. My job for the day was pretty much done. Which meant my evening was free, too! And I realized, well, that's a good thing. My daughter comes home tonight and I can spend that free time with her.

So the rest of my Sunday went pretty much relaxed. I read poetry and looked at artwork online (on deviantART) and even worked on my NaNoWriMo book. I balanced my checking account (the best way I could, anyway! I still have to go to the bank and check what I have with what's in there) and even relaxed on the couch with a book. I took a nap, chatted online and made some phone calls. I also spent some time leaving comments on the pages of friends on MySpace. (I like doing that because I know how much something like that can brighten their days.)

This morning, however, I woke up with excruciating back pain. It was horrible. I could NOT bend over. At all. I couldn't even tie my shoes after I got out of the shower. (And the shoestring broke on one of them! Sigh.) I tried doing one of the two Yoga moves I usually do to help my back pain, but even that hurt. I tried another stretch; it didn't help. I was in so much pain, it was awful. At one point, I had tried to get on the floor to somehow maneuver myself to tie my shoes, but I couldn't. It just hurt too much. I was so mad! I even started crying. I looked up at the wall to see my "life list" and I wanted to tear it off and tear it to shreds. If I was going to be in such a poor physical condition as this, there's no way I'd meet certain goals on that list. I wouldn't be able to travel. Learn Tae Kwon Do. Even learn how to swim. Well, MAYBE I could meet a certain somebody I hope to meet someday. And MAYBE I would get through the college courses I have yet to complete so I can get a college degree. But, everything else? Forget it.

This greatly depressed me. I WANTED to meet those goals. Why is my back so bad? Did I need surgery? A brace? Could it even be FIXED? Was my crummy mattress to blame? Did I need to just be more active?

Well, whatever it was, I had to live with it. I have to live with it now. I have that pain, sure, but, it's life. This is the way things are for me.

I also remembered I had to wake my daughter up. It was time to get her up now, and I HAD to get up and wake her up. I looked up at my list again and saw it as one thing: A goal. I had a goal right here and now, not on that list: To get myself up off the floor.

And even though it hurt like hell, I put all of my strength into my arms to lift/pull myself up. I managed to get to the other side of my bed (she had crawled into my bed to sleep with me last night) and thankfully, it didn't hurt so much when I sat down.

Now I'm starting to wonder if all that "going overboard" with the housework is a reason my back hurts so bad today. Or maybe my back just wasn't used to doing that kind of exertion in the daytime.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What drives me

While chatting with my best friend, Mark, I debated whether or not I should post personal stuff in this blog tonight, as I feel compelled to do. He wanted to know WHAT KIND of personal stuff. To which I replied, "Loneliness drives me tonight." I ended up dumping a bunch of "I'm so lonely" angst onto his shoulders this evening, which I later regretted because I don't like letting that part of myself show. I try to keep a positive attitude. An "all is well" environment about me.

But that can only last for so long.

It's true, I AM lonely. I am not going to whine about that here. But I will say that I have been out of the dating scene for far too long; I have NO IDEA how to meet someone new. Really, I don't. And I'm SO not going to rely on the Internet for THAT sort of thing. While the Internet can be a convenient way of "meeting" people in the area and stuff, I will never again trust anyone on the Internet with my heart. No, thank you. The last time I did that, I ended up suffering crippling heartache. That pain lingers even still.... but, no. Not anymore. The Internet is just an illusion. I need people. REAL people.

I DID try an online dating site once, though. I got messages from too many weirdos and it just scared me. I deleted my account with that site and I'm never using anything like it again. No, I have left my love life in the hands of God. In the hands of...Fate. The universe, really. I suppose if I am to meet with someone to share my life with, it will happen in due time.

All the same, I know I just can't sit around and WAIT for it. But I honestly don't know how to meet anyone new. I've tried...going to the bookstore. The coffee places. The library. Nothing. Oh, some guys DID chat with me, but it never resulted in anything more than just talking. I don't go to bars or clubs. NO WAY. But...I don't know. I tried Parents Without Partners, but there isn't one in my area.

My deafness is something I think about, too. I don't know any other deaf people locally. YET. And as much as it would be nice to be with someone who is deaf, just as I am, I REALLY prefer someone who can hear. I know, it would make things difficult for us. I mean, I wouldn't be able to dance with them. We couldn't see non-captioned movies together. Stuff like that. But, I really do prefer a guy who can hear. And I think....well, that's a problem, too. So far, I have chatted with guys who can hear, and the conversations went down JUST FINE. But I keep thinking...what if the communication troubles spring up? Yeah. It could happen. That pretty much keeps me from initiating conversation with a guy. (They usually initiate it with ME!)

But it's not just....the "loneliness" loneliness that bothers me tonight. It's...the loneliness of not being around people. As I've told Mark before, in one of my "letting my guard down" moments, "I'm sick of being alone." And, this is true. I really am tired of it. On days my daughter is with her dad, I am COMPLETELY alone. With the dog. LOL I have no one to talk to, unless I get online. Then sometimes there's Mark or Ash or Jon or Angel. (I LOVE chatting with Angel. LOL) Those are the only people I actually talk with, really. "Virtual people." People who aren't there. I used to talk with my neighbor, Darrell, a lot. Now we hardly ever talk. And lots of times, I'll see another neighbor, Jeremy. And, of course, my daughter is here and her friends are here, who I end up refereeing (and sometimes feeding LOL). But, that's about it. I don't see my friends very often. Sometimes I'll see them if I get to church. (Since the car died, that's a BIG IF!!) But...we don't go anywhere. We don't meet for coffee, or anything. And, it's frustrating.

I keep thinking....when I get a job, I'll make friends. (IF I get a job! *sigh*) When I go back to college...if I can even get the student loan! I'll make some friends. Friends to hang out with and stuff. Maybe even a new guy to be with. Wow, THAT would be nice!

Basically, I'm a very private person. But, I don't want to isolate myself from the world. If I do, I'm left to battle my own demons. And, I just don't want to do that. There's just too much out there in the world to see.... can I write realistic stories with realistic people...if I'm not living out there in the world? I don't want to be out of touch with the world. I want to be a part of it.

I'm also thinking about what I have accomplished so far in life. And haven't accomplished. I mean, I've got five books published...another one getting published...still another getting fixed for another publisher. But, I just haven't achieved the kind of success I want to have as an author. Maybe I need to get an agent. Maybe I need to sign contracts with the bigger houses. Maybe I need to take some writing courses. Or maybe this "author" deal just isn't what I'm cut out for in this world, after all.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Mommy's sick"

It would seem every time I get sick, I end up ending my sentences with two words: "Mommy's sick." This serves as half-FYI/half-warning to my child. In other words: "Mommy's not feeling so good, so PLEASE, please, don't throw a tantrum, yank me by the arm or expect me to go chasing after you come bathtime."

In other words, "Mommy's sick" is code word for "behave yourself, PLEASE!"

Every morning, I can be found doing one thing: Starting up the coffee. This morning, however, I chose juice instead. Cold juice. I woke up with my throat burning. I'm still coughing my head off and my head feels like it's on another planet. Everything is moving soooo sloooow. I'm literally having a hard time mentally processing everything going on around me. I have this permanent "huh?" look etched on my face.

When I sat at the computer this morning, I was coughing and hacking up phlegm. Yuck. I need to get some better medicine, I think. I also almost lost myself; my head took a spin and I almost came crashing down on the keyboard. I say "almost" because when I was inches from the keys, I regrouped and softened the drop. Ugh.

Then there was when I was resting my head on the desk, comfortably slouched into my chair. I finally opened my eyes to see my 5-year-old bent over, curiously staring at me with wide eyes. "What's wrong?" she asked.

"Mommy's sick," I slurred, coughing. I had already told her this this morning when I went into the kitchen to get her breakfast. And when I had to explain why I kept putting my hand on my head as I looked away.

"Well, why aren't you in bed?" she asked.

"Because I'm a mom, Jennifer. And you can't stay in bed when you're sick if you are a mom."

I don't know if she did this out of compassion or not, or whatever the word is, but she snuggled up on my lap and said, "I'm sick, too, Mommy. Let's both go to bed."

Ah. Sounds like a plan.

At least tomorrow is the weekend.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I'm sick. Again. How appropriate, with this being NaNoWriMo and all. When I get sick, I write like crazy. Don't ask me how.

I have a sore throat from my bad cough. Darn thing kept me awake all night. Also got a stuffy/runny nose. Ick. I'm taking meds but also drinking herbal tea to help soothe my throat.

Filled out a survey. Posting it just because. I wanted to post on this blog tonight and so, yeah, decided to post a survey.

I'm online a lot lately but not really in a chatty mood. It's mostly to tackle my THOUSANDS of emails (eek!) and do book research, make phone calls and find out what's going on with family stuff.

Here's the survey.

130 Questions

.: The Basics :.
Name? Dawn
Age? 32
Gender? Female
Location? Pacific Northwest
Hair color? Brown
Eye color? Brown
shoe size? 8
height? 5'7 1/2"
interests: writing, books, wolves, dolls, coffee, movies

.: Favourites :.
food: Anything BBQ
drink: Apple cider OR coffee OR Cherry Coke OR water
music style: Can't even HEAR music
music artist/band: GRYNCH!!! :)
tv show: ER
movie: A Beautiful Mind
thing to do: write
ice cream: mint chocolate chip
colour: blue
song: I have many old favorites
book: One of my faves is "Sole Survivor" by Dean Koontz
computer game: DOOM
board game: Scrabble
dessert: chocolate
quote: "There ain't nothing like regret to remind you you're alive"
animal: wolf
holiday: Halloween
number: 17
name: A favorite NAME?? LOL For a boy, William. Girl, Josephine. There.

.: Friendship :.
who's your best friend? Mark
other close buddies...? Nicole, Christine, some fam
last friend you hung out with: We don't hang out
last friend you hugged: Christine
last friend you saw a movie with: Pass
last friend's house you went to: My neighbor, Jimmy's
any friends you cant stand? Just SOME online friends
any friends you've regretted becoming friends with? Nope
if so, who?
do you have a lot of friends of the opposite sex? Yeah
most annoying friend? Can I answer with a sibling instead? Please?
most preppy friend? None
darkest friend? Ash
hyper-est friend? Nicole
nicest friend? Christine
funniest friend? Laysha
meanest friend? I don't have mean friends but Mark really irks me sometimes
most outgoing friend? Katherine
shyest friend? Pass
hottest friend? Darrell! LOL
friend with the best personality? Darrell
friend with the best music taste? Pass
friend who sings the best? Wouldn't know LOL
friend who laughs the most? Pass
friend you enjoy being around the most? the Grynch guys
friend who your parents love? Mark. Of course. ... They love him more than me!! *bawls*
friend who your parents hate? I wouldn't know.
friend your parents don't know about? The one I keep in my closet LOL j/k Uhh, the Grynch guys??

.: Romance :.
got a crush/boyfriend? No....I had a thing for someone but my sister was all like "you don't even KNOW him; you're crazy!" so, so much for THAT!
if so, what gender? A guy!
name? We're moving on here. I'm not saying his name. Can't have any feelings for him.
how far have you gone? With a guy? Let me put it this way: I'm a mom.
with who? My ex-husband. LOL
the last person you kissed: see above. UNFORTUNATELY. I haven't been with anyone else since then. YET.
the last person you hugged: My daughter
the last person you wanted to kiss: The guy I had a crush on.
how far you do want to go (at this point in life)? If it's love, all the way.
hottest friend? DARRELL!! LOL Ohh, but Tobby is cute, too. And Sean. And...
hottest celebrity? Gah. George Clooney and Nic Cage.
if you could date any famous person, who would it be? I'm not exactly jonesing for anyone. LOL But, anyone? Roy Dupuis.
dream date: Candlelight dinner, walk along the beach, sitting together under a tree and snuggling, talking.
dream honeymoon: Ireland
age you want to get married (if not already) Been there and done that!
number of kids you want to have (if not already) Already have one. I would love to have more someday.
straight? Yes.
gay? Ask one or the other. LOL
bi? GUESS!
would you rather your boyfriend/girlfriend be gay or bi? If he was gay or bi, why would he get with me?....

.: This or That :.
Kerry or Bush: Not into politics
rap or rock: Rock
pop or country: Pop
movie or tv show: Movie
girl or guy: Guy
fire or water: FIRE
death or life: Life
cheerleader or punk: punk
prep or jock: jock
kroger or publix: ....say what?
walmart or target: Target
avril or jay-z: Excuse me?
pink or black: Black
cheez it or cheese nip: Cheez It
cat or dog: Dog
tape or glue: Glue
msn or aim: AIM
mall or movies: Movies
writing or typing: Writing
phone or computer: Computer (phones are EBIL!!)
baseball or football: Baseball
p.e. or health: Health
high school or middle school: High school
dunkin donuts or starbucks: DD
amc or united artists: don't care
walgreens or CVS: Walgreens
brownies or cookies: BROWNIES. *drools*
reading or writing: Uh. Uh. BOTH!
surveys or polls: Surveys
livejournal or xanga: LJ
Yellowcard or Ashlee Simpson: ...who?
AFI or Jojo: Dunno
Green Day or Beastie Boys: Green Day
kill or be killed: Kill! Kill!!!
eat or be eaten: *blushes* Oh, my. LMAO
hate or be hated: BE HATED
ocean or pool: Ocean
singing or dancing: Neither.
heart or peace sign: Heart
halloween or christmas: HALLOWEEN!
question or answer: Question
fear factor or the o.c.: Fear Factor
the simpsons or who's line is it anyway?: ....BOTH! LOL
Disney or The N: Disney
pancakes or waffles: Waffles
strawberrys or blueberrys: Strawberries
yogurt or frozen yogurt: frozen yogurt
kiss or hug: hug
guitar or drums: DRUMS

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

P.S. I love you

Here is the blog post I was too tired to post last night.

Today was really cold. This morning, the temperature outside registered at 25 degrees. 25!! Good grief! That is the LOWEST it has gotten since our move here to Oregon last May. I could just hear a friend of mine now: "Where the heck are ya, Alaska?" She has actually asked such a question in one of her emails to me before. And she lives in MASSACHUSETTS! This Ice-Ageisque weather has me often remembering a quote from a popular movie, "It's freaking freezing in here, Mr. Bigglesworth."

Later in the day, the temperature managed to move up a little, until it decided to settle in at 42 degrees. Even then, it was cold. The fact that I was wearing a skirt and sandals only made me colder! (Part of my Halloween costume, so I just wore it.) When I sat outside while my daughter played, I tried to get some writing done. Problem was, it's hard to write using pen and paper when your fingers are like icicles. My handwriting too unintelligible for even me to read, I abandoned this attempt and relied on memory instead, putting together scenes and figuring out problem spots to fix until my little girl, herself too chilled to the bone, decided she wanted to go back inside. Finally escaping into the warmth within my home, yet still chilled, I resorted to writing on the computer. It's a bad idea to try to type when your fingers are too numb to even feel the keys. Too many typos. But I had to get some writing done, anyway. I was in the middle of a chapter I was hoping to finish. I was also online as I worked and I shared my anger over my situation with an online friend. His response: "It's so hot hurr." (He lives in Florida.) Grr. Ack! I NEED CALIFORNIA!! I actually typed that right back to him. LOL I miss that California sunshine. I bet it was only 80 degrees in the desert! (Or maybe a nice 95 degrees.)

Not to whine and start going into one of those "I miss home" episodes, but after living in the California desert for 14 years, it's been a little hard for me to get used to living in the Pacific Northwest. I keep thinking about my sisters enjoying the not-so-cold late-Fall weather of the desert. If only I could be there to enjoy it with them. *sigh* I STILL want to move back. I STILL want to get a house in Palm Springs. Heck, I've wanted to live in Palm Springs for YEARS now. (And, yes, I KNOW it has its bad points, but there are some good points, too.) Well, at least now I can live there vicariously: My next novel is set in that very city.

Thinking about living in the desert made me think of my current writing troubles. When I lived in the desert, I wrote like a maniac. I was indeed the prolific writer. Of course, I know you can write from ANYWHERE, really. But it's something about the hot weather that gets my Muse into action, writing nonstop.

Wow. Thinking on THAT, I wonder if weather affects writers in that way. Do some writers work better in hot climates and others in cold climates? I wonder. I only know that living in a hot climate gets me writing. The cold climate just gets me doing everything else.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Reading, writing and research

I normally try to keep the writing stuff separate from the parenting stuff. Today, however, was an exception. I couldn't work on writing stuff at just one point then call it a day, because there was JUST SO MUCH information I had to wade through, that I kept getting back online again and again just to try to get a better grasp of things. I'm desperately trying to understand what EXACTLY my bad-guy character is suffering from, but after hours of research, I've pretty much decided I'm going to have to seek out an expert for some more in-depth help. I know my character suffers from some type of "delusional misidentification syndrome," but his is a case that doesn't fit a subtype. So I have to ask an expert for some help on this. I've visited several Web sites and even checked for books on this subject, but I can't get a really good "idea" on what a person suffering from this type of delusional psychosis is like. What I needed was a "profile" I could mold my antagonist into. I've already developed my antagonist, but in order to make the story's ORIGINAL premise work, I have to assign my antagonist with a mental illness which he cleverly fools a medically-trained nurse with.

My research got me to thinking about other things, too. Specifically, the whole idea of people seeing ghosts and experiencing paranormal phenomena. I never knew that such people could be considered to be "delusional." My own dream experiences were probably just that. My research was a real eye-opener for me with that particular subject, because I saw myself as I read one article after another and another. It was scary, really. I'm not in that position in my life anymore. I don't obsess over my dreams anymore, or over my "dream man" anymore. I am moving on past ALL of that. Just rebuilding my life (as slow as that is going, but I'm still doing it all the same), but I was really troubled that I was in it sooo deeply. I mean, it just really, REALLY had me in its grip. It was so real to me and, according to my research, the reality of the delusions is just one symptom of a delusional disorder. (I also learned that a serious illness could cause this type of episode to happen and I wondered if my having survived spinal meningitis was just the catharsis to send me into such a delusional state.) I ended up writing a 4-page essay about this, taking a break from my research to sit outside and write as my daughter played. It was 50 degrees today. Very cold and VERY windy. My fingers were icicles and I sat there shivering, but I tried to write as much as I could, anyway. That was until my daughter decided she wanted to come back inside. Then I sat at the desk to write the rest of it.

I feel guilty because I spent so much time on the computer today. But I am thankful that, at least, I know now I must find an expert to help me out with my character's mental illness.

I'd planned to have these novel revisions done by November 1st, but I don't see that happening. I'll probably end up working on the revisions even still while I do NaNoWriMo.

My daughter's friend came over today and they played. I took breaks from research to do other things, like try to catch up on reading this book whose author I must interview VERY SOON! I have a love/hate thing going with his book. The style of his writing isn't exactly one I favor, but the characters are endearing and I want to know what happens next. At one point, a character in this story comes across a published diary his late father kept before he died, and the character, with tears in his eyes, recognizes the gem he now has in his hands. It made me think about the novel I am writing for NaNoWriMo. It has something to do with keeping a journal -- and THAT is all I am telling the world about it! But it made me anxious to write this story. And I had to restrain myself from giving in to that temptation, telling myself, NOT YET! It also made me think of the journals I lost before I moved to Oregon. The journals boxed away in the garage I was denied access to and which were later hauled off to the dump by the landlady. I often wonder if it was destroyed along with my other irreplaceable treasures. Or is there some off, off, WAY OFF chance it is still intact? That even someone may find it in their rummaging and even sit down to read it? I remember once perusing one such journal. Reading it was like reading some novel. I kid you not. There was the time I'd written about my young sister's pregnancy igniting controversy in the family, how my house had caught on fire, how my uncle had had a heart attack and my older brother got all upset because he was the last to find out (I was the next-to-last), how my aunt had died and all the stuff I'd written about her, a funny conversation I TRIED to have with my then way-too-exhausted boyfriend, a "drama episode" my family was going through when rumors were being spread around about my youngest sister, etc., etc. Just a whole lot of crazy and alarming and unusual things. I wonder how someone reading all of that would take to it.

They might think it was actually a manuscript for a novel and not so much a REAL diary.

Well. I'll be putting together something just like that soon enough.

And that's ALL I'm going to say about it.

It's actually kinda scary I am taking on YET ANOTHER book project. I was chatting with an online friend this morning and she asked me how I juggled all of the books I'm writing. (Well, I have a system.) My plate is very, very, VERY full right now. I'm actually focusing on JUST getting all of my book projects done because I have SO MANY. I have a lot of book projects on the table right now and I can't accept anything more. Well, except for the NaNoWriMo book. But, that's about it. That's all, really. Gotta finish ALL of my book projects up before I take on anything new. (I have had to write down ALL of them just to keep tabs on where I am with which book.)

Anyway. I was acting awful silly a lot today. I think by now my daughter has been able to figure out when her mom is joking around and just being silly. Like at one point, I got the pliers to turn on the heater with in the living room. The girls were washing their hands in the bathroom. I stifled a giggle then walked in, holding up the pliers, and asking, "OK, which one of you needs your teeth pulled?" My daughter giggled but, her friend! Oh my God. You should have seen the look of horror on her face. I laughed to show I was joking but she still looked at me funny as I walked out.

Silliness aside, I came across an interesting incident today. My daughter came up to me upset because she and her friend were having a disagreement over something. She explained that her friend showing "three" on her hand was wrong. In ASL, the "3" and "W" are signed differently. My daughter knows the ASL alphabet and she knows how to count in ASL, as well. Her friend held up what is "W" in ASL and said, "This is three." My daughter said, "No, THIS is three" and held up the ASL-version of "3." (In ASL, three is the first three fingers -- thumb, pointing finger and middle finger -- and "W" is the pointing finger, middle finger, and ring finger.) I smiled to her friend and explained that in sign language, we sign "3" differently because that "3" she was showing was the sign for "W" and I showed her how we sign "3" in ASL. This is to avoid confusion. This was the very first time my daughter had a social situation where ASL clashed with something popularly accepted by society. It made me wonder what other kind of situations she might face in her knowledge of ASL compared to other popular nonverbal cues.

Maybe there's an article in there somewhere. Or an essay. Or even a book!

OK. Wait a minute. I'll stop myself now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Facing the music

I was up late last night. Of course, this meant doing the rounds with housecleaning, but I also logged in at MySpace to fiddle around with my profile and leave comments on pages. (An online friend recently had a baby and I wanted to congratulate her. I ended up FORGETTING to do that once again, and got distracted in checking out some pages.) I have also had to email someone I know named David. I have had to email him for WEEKS and....I KEEP FORGETTING!!!! ARGH! I swear, I need to stamp it on my forehead: "Email David." Ohh, but then I wouldn't be able to see it. Hm. Oh! I could write it on my hand! There we go! Now I just have to make sure I don't slap my forehead afterwards. Haha. Then I'd have "liame divaD" on my forehead.

Hmmmm.... liame divaD? Hmm.... Liam E. Divad. Yay! A character name!! IT'S MINE!!! *gets all possessive-like* Maybe I could model it after Liam Jackson (this guy: Liam Jackson ). Heh, that'd be cool. Then I could email him and say, "Hey, LJ, for once, I modeled a character after someone I know!"

Anyway. The MySpace stuff I did LATE last night wasn't for naught. I mean, sure, it HAS actually started to become a distraction for me. Not only am I constantly getting ideas for people to look up and changes to make to my profile, but I'm also TRYING LIKE CRAZY to post a bulletin about the latest issue of my E-zine, a latest essay posted online, and send out a call for book excerpts. (My darn weak Internet connection!) One person I know complained that I was "wasting so much time on MySpace" even though it wasn't like she was standing next to me with a stopwatch to prove that. At the time, she was wrong. I was only on there once or twice a day. But now I'm always going back there. It's like 'oh, I forgot to do this' or 'I forgot to return the comment favor with this person.' Etc. Sometimes I try to STAY OFF of there and my online friends IM me saying "please comment on my new pictures!" Etc. Ugh. Anyway. It wasn't a waste. I ended up checking the pages of the guys who are part of the band Grynch. I'm writing an essay about living next door to a band. In this case, Grynch (these guys: ), and as I checked the pages, I came up with some new material to add to my essay. For example, one member, the drummer Tobby, has a page and on it I read the comments about how he was on the radio. I was all like, "Eck. He was on the radio? When did THIS happen??" I was tempted to run over there and ask him myself, but it was kinda ten minutes to 2 a.m., so maybe that wasn't a good idea. I also checked Darrell's page, chuckling over how he listed himself as "78 years old." (WTF??) (As a side note, I don't know ALL the guys in that band. I mostly talk with Darrell, Sean and Tobby. I haven't yet "officially" met Kyle and Jon, but I HAVE seen some guys smiling and waving at me as they walk in/out of that house. I just smile, wave back, and sit there thinking, 'Who's that?')

I am trying to think of just the right angle for my essay. At first, I was going to make it into one of those "what it's like living next door to a band" type of thing. It's really not all that exciting, folks! LOL Besides the fact there are ALWAYS people going in and out of that house and I'll occasionally catch sight of them loading up this BIG van to go practice somewhere, it's really not all that much to write home about. (And I would LITERALLY write home about stuff; my family's in California.) (.....*bawls*) When I had first found out that I was living next door to a band, and not next door to a bunch of guys who liked to hang out on the front porch fiddling around with guitars (which is what I first THOUGHT! LOL), I told an online friend and he typed back, "How appropriate." I joked, "At least I can't complain about the noise." Then one day, my daughter, ex-husband and I were hanging out on my front porch, and my daughter started dancing. I asked her if she was hearing music (Note: I'm deaf, her dad's deaf, but she can hear. Got it? Good.) and she nodded as she pointed at my neighbor's house. Now, I knew they don't normally practice at home. Darrell told me that would cause problems with the neighbors. So I wondered what music they were playing loud enough for a child next door to hear. Maybe one of their tracks? Or maybe one of the neighbors had just pissed them off. Well....if it WAS one of theirs, I'd have to teach my daughter the RIGHT way to dance to that kinda music: Headbanging. So maybe I could write about being deaf and living next door to a band. Hm, when I read Tobby's page last night, he was talking about how music was his life and all that. It made me remember my passion for music, too. This passion suffered a HUGE blow when I lost my hearing at the age of 13, but even still, I grew up knowing music, hearing music, dancing and singing to music. Music was ALL around me. Now it wasn't. It was just next door! A reminder of the one thing I could never accept losing my ability to hear: Music. Something that represented that burning flame within me every time I had danced and sang with family members as we had the Beatles playing. Or Elvis. Or Creedence Clearwater. Johnny Horton, Ronnie Milsap, the Bee Gees, Beach Boys, Air Supply and Hank Williams, Jr. Yes, we had a VERY eclectic mix of music playing in the home as I grew up. I remember my cousin and I singing a Pat Benatar song as we swinged on the swingset. How my sisters and I would sing a beloved Bonnie Tyler song on car trips. How every New Year's saw us on the coffee table, dancing and singing. Darn. Just THINKING about it makes me nostalgic. Kinda sad, too. Oh, boy. I better stop talking about this before the tears start forming. :(

This morning, I woke up early. I DID NOT want to get out of bed. It was too. Dang. COLD!! Brrr!! I was a little sleepy, too, but as I thought more on that extra material to add to my essay, I became more and more awake. Yes, I COULD write about the MySpace stuff in this essay. And it just MIGHT be better off with the "being deaf" angle. I made a mental note to ask the guys if I could take a picture of them to go with it, and I inwardly groaned when I remembered my digi cam is LOUSY!! Ugh. I once tried to take a picture for an article with that thing, but it was soo fuzzy. Dang. My nephew, Nathan, gave me a digi cam, but I can't figure out how to get the darn thing to WORK! *sigh* I thought more about this essay. For some time, I've thought of pitching it to Rolling Stone Magazine. Now, THIS is my "dream magazine" to get published in. Forget Good Housekeeping. Forget Reader's Digest. Forget Newsweek. I wanna get published in the Rolling Stone! I love, LOVE that magazine. Even though I keep reading about bands and musicians I can never hear, something about this magazine keeps drawing me to it. Something just "connects" me to it. I have one Jimi Hendrix commemorative issue of this magazine, but I've gone through other issues, too. The thought of trying to get my essay published there had me all excited. I wasn't sure of my chances, though, but I had to TRY!! I'd have to write and rewrite this thing until my eyes bleed just to get it "right" but I was certainly going to give it my best shot!

I had to. I had to at least try. As they say in the writing community, "The worst they can do is say no."

I started thinking about something else, too, now that I was more awake: My novel revisions. I HAVE to get the novel revisions DONE. Finished. Over with. I'm planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, and since the editor said the door was open until December, 2006, I have to get CRACKING!! I'm running out of time. So, I REALLY gotta get this baby done and sent off to the publishing company.

That was enough to get me out of bed this morning and face the cold. That, and the prospect of hot coffee.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A mompreneur?

Ask me at any time why I prefer to be a stay-at-home mom and my answer is simple: "To be there for my daughter." My little girl, a child I desperately wanted for so long and who took more than two years for me to conceive, is the light of my light. Jennifer ("Jen") has become popular in my family, even though she's been out of sight from them since early January. At 5 years old, she's an overactive, creative and lovable child. Though she definitely has her bad days (don't ALL children?), I love her to pieces and actually feel no regrets in being there for her all these years, sans job. Of course, I managed to make a little extra money with my writing jobs, and this was fine for a while. Until, that is, divorce struck and I gradually learned the financial realities of trying to support a child on your own. I have a permanent income, but it's just enough for our rent, bills, car payment and fuel. (It's NOT welfare or SSI, btw. I wouldn't DO that.) I have that income plus child support. Still, my financial status is at the "just enough" level, and I know someday my daughter's going to want an allowance or I'm going to have to be able to afford getting her new shoes or new clothes for school. My writing jobs aren't bringing in the kind of money that it used to, and comparing what we don't have to what my child is later going to really need, it was with a sad heart I set out to try to find a job. My attempts led me to Vocational Rehab, which a neighbor friend pointed me to, and I've been working with them since in trying to gain employment. I sadly said goodbye to being a stay-at-home mom to my baby girl and have since been trying to get myself into a "mindset" of not being at home so much or having to work a job because my child depends on me for it. (Note: There are other reasons why I need to improve my financial status. One is that I would like to be able to travel AT LEAST once a year. I can't help it; I love travelling and visiting places. NOT the headaches behind all that, though. But, yes, I do enjoy travelling. And I can't talk publicly about the other reasons -- but they ARE things that need to be resolved, at some point.)

Then, yesterday, as I was paging through the ads from Sunday's newspaper, an idea for a home-based business struck. I liked the idea so much that I started writing it all out. Then I started to ask myself: Could I STILL be an at-home mom if I tried this?

Was I ready to join the club of mompreneurs?

I had actually thought about doing an Internet-based "business" in the past. I signed up for this course to teach a person how to run a resume-writing business from home. And even though that course offered me some interesting tips and tricks for writing resumes, and even though I put together a plan for that, I really wondered just how successful it might be. I used to work for a home-safety business, which emphasized fire protection. When I was giving one of the free demonstrations, which included the option for a customer to buy equipment such as fire extinguishers from us, I was told, "I could get that cheaper from the Home Depot." (And this was actually TRUE. It didn't take me long to learn I was "employed" by a business resembling one of those steak-knife-selling outfits. Still, what I learned from that experience, about home safety inspections, was still useful information.) I thought the same about the resume-writing thing. There are free resume writing sites on the Web. There is software available far cheaper than what many resume-writing businesses charge. (I thought a $100 flat fee for my services was fair but even now I'm questioning that amount.) Also, I figured people would find a way to get their resumes done for free. My older sister asked my then-boyfriend-later-husband-later-ex-husband to fix up her resume for her, and there was no exchange of money in that deal. So I figure people wouldn't really take to this idea very well. Also, I chatted with an online friend, telling her my doubts about this whole thing, and she pointed out that people without a job weren't liable to spend whatever money they have on a resume. Also, I can't gaurantee someone will get a job. What if a disgruntled customer started doing something scary out of respite? Uh-uh. I have a child; I'm not setting myself up for something like THAT!

But this idea I came up with yesterday just might work. It MIGHT work. The concept is unique enough, though it is similar to one used before but there is a way to set this particular business apart from the rest and I figured that part out, too. I got excited about it as I thought more on it and I wanted to tell my youngest sister ALL about it right then and there.

Then I think...what if this is just another swing-and-a-miss idea? I've had ideas for businesses before, but I never went anywhere with them. And part of me thinks that, no matter how much I want to do THIS idea, chances are, I won't.


For the same reason I never followed through on the OTHER ideas:

1. I don't know ANYTHING about starting/managing/running/owning a business.

2. I have NO educational training in owning a business.

3. I have NO experience in running a business.

4. I have NO clue on how to get the funds to start one up and keep it running.

5. I have very poor money management skills. It's true. I do! I am horrible at managing finances. I have tried several times to do this and I have tried to learn how to do this, too. But, numbers and me just don't click. I get SO confused a lot and I'm terrible at math. Often, I will think I'll have it all figured out and I end up being VERY WRONG. Ugh. And then the unexpected happens, which I don't have a safety net for. I just can't manage that stuff -- and too many horror stories of people getting bilked by someone managing their money for their business has me way too cautious about trusting anyone I don't know to handle THAT end of things. Sigh. I'm good with the idea stuff, but not with the logistics involved in keeping those ideas afloat. (As a side note, I have pretty much decided to throw in the towel on trying to manage a bank account should I ever....EVER, EVER, EVER get married again. Haha. Nooo, thank you. I'll let the man of the house take care of that stuff.)

It's still a nice thought, though. One I suppose will get tucked away with all the rest.

still not happy about no longer being a stay-at-home mom, though. I've even tried calling myself a "working mom" just to get used to it and that attitude is still hard for me to adopt.

DISCLAIMER: Please, please do not send me emails saying you have the perfect at-home job for me or some kind of job that requires an initial "investment." Please also don't try to talk me into some kind of "get rich quick" thing or pyramid scheme. I am not interested. I am not interested in getting "rich" or "wealthy" or becoming a zillionaire, or whatever. I just need a better income to SURVIVE. Thanks all the same, though.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanks, Borders

I realize that what happened at Borders was not a situation most job-training programs prepare you for. I also realize it was a situation that could have been prevented, on my part. But the fact remains that I still ended up going to Borders when I should have rested that day. And I ended up suffering a serious side-effect relating to my earlier donating visit in the day.

It also must be noted that the employees of the Borders Books and Music store, on Coburg Road in Eugene, Oregon, in the Oakway Shopping Center, acted with a strong degree of professionalism and kindness.

That last part is what stands out in my memory the most. Kindness. Not only did the employees and manager act as professionals during my personal medical emergency, but they were also kind and patient with me, a deaf customer. With every moment that they assisted me during this episode, not once did they show fear, frustration, impatience or distrust. They did not accuse me of making a scene or rushed to hide me away from the other customers obviously witnessing this unusual episode in their store. The fellow customers who likewise assisted me will never be forgotten.

Every single person in that bookstore who helped me on that evening of Saturday, October 7th, holds a special place in my heart and in my memory. I remember every face. And I am extremely grateful to each and every one.

Thank you, Borders bookstore employees, for assisting me in my time of helplessness and distress. Thank you for helping me and accommodating me to the best of your abilities.

Thank you, also, to the two other customers who helped me. Who wrote on the paper their questions and asked if I was okay. Believe it or not, the man who was touching my right shoulder helped, too. That very action was helpful to me, in regaining my awareness.

Thanks to all who helped me on that day. Perhaps I had not been in the wrong to go to Borders, after all. Perhaps going there wasn't such a big mistake, because there were angels in disguise ready and willing to help.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Borders, Part 2

I was aware of my head being on the table. I was also aware that I wasn't aware. While I lay sprawled on the table at the Borders coffee area, I had this voice in my head telling me two words: "Get up." Actually, it was a very demanding voice. "Get UP. What are you doing? You can't stay here like this. What if someone steals your purse? Are people watching?"

I managed to bring myself to wake up. I HAD to wake up. I was on my own. Had no one with me. I had to wake up. So I did. I got my eyes to open and I reminded myself, "OK. I'm at Borders. I just passed out at the table. I need to get some help here. I need to lie down."

And all this time, a wave of dizziness still had me in its clutches. I was barely able to stand. In fact, I had tried to stand. I tried to get up to go to the bathroom and splash cold water on my face. But I couldn't. I mean, I got up, walked around my chair, then had to sit right back down again. The dizziness was just too strong. Finally, I got my bearings, then got up and headed for the counter. I tried to stand up, I REALLY tried, but I couldn't. I fell over the counter, saying in short bursts of air, "Excuse me...I am...really...dizzy...I need lie down."

The girl looked at me with confusion.

"Is there lie down?...I'm so dizzy."

My breathing became labored and I was talking in short bursts of air.

My head dropped and the dizziness overpowered me as I realized I was facedown on the counter. That old voice started up again. "Get up! Keep your head UP!" it said. "Get your head OFF of the counter!"

I slowly raised my head to see with blurred vision the girl talking to some guy who worked there and they stood behind the counter. The next thing I know, the dizziness overcame me and I was swooning. I just wasn't aware of ANYTHING going on around me. Then I felt someone touching my right shoulder. This somehow brought me out of my reverie. I looked up to see this man wearing a cap and asking me, "Are you okay?"

I don't know how but this snapped me back to reality. Back to what was going on. I just said, "I'm so dizzy."

I noticed two other people to my left. They were motioning for me to sit in a chair they'd put behind me. Mentally, I was screaming "I need to lie down!!" but there was nothing to lie down on. A chair would have to do. So I just lowered myself, hoping I would sit in the chair I could no longer see and REALLY hoping I didn't fall right smack on my butt. I didn't think I couldn't get myself up if I did. Somehow, I landed in the chair, and I was still having trouble breathing. The guy who'd been behind the counter earlier was now at my left side and after I sat down, I kept saying "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" because I HATED it that I'd caused a scene. He kept motioning and talking and I guess he was telling me "it's ok" or "don't worry about it." I couldn't really tell what it was he'd said. I noticed him using the sign for phone and asking if there was anybody they could call. I shook my head and said, "I have no one." (My ex doesn't have a phone anymore. He is deaf, anyway. I also wasn't thinking clearly enough to REMEMBER I had my friend's phone number in my purse.) I was also BURNING UP! I was very hot so I took off my jacket. I was surprised to see drops of sweat all over the top front of my shirt. Two people were trying to communicate with me up until then but I couldn't understand them. I mumbled "I'm deaf" in between my bursts of whatever air came through my lungs then removed my jacket. I guess they saw the green bandage tape on my arm and someone wrote "how long has it been since you gave blood?" I wanted to say "I donated plasma, not blood" but I could barely talk and all I managed to put together in my head and mouth was, "What time is it?" Wow, what a question to ask when you can barely see and think right! When she showed me her watch, I thought it read "6:35" and so I said, "About an hour, hour and a half." (Actually, it had been 2 hours and 25 minutes. I'd finished donating at 5:05 p.m.) The woman who was writing on paper to communicate with me asked if I had any food allergies. Was I allergic to eggs or cheese? I said "no." I'd also told them I'd eaten after I donated. I ate before I left and after I was done. I thought it was enough. But, apparently, it wasn't. She let me know that the girl behind the counter was going to get me something to eat. I had asked for a wet rag and I was using it to put on my bare neck and my face. That helped just a bit. By now, my attempts to breathe okay had improved.

The girl communicating to me in writing motioned that I had to move to a table. Inwardly, I didn't want to move at all. I didn't think I could. But I got myself together, got up, dazedly walked to the table then plopped into the chair. They gave me ice water and I drank that as I sat there, occasionally using the wet towel to dampen my neck and face. After a bit, the male counterperson brought me a sandwich they'd made. It was a sausage, cheese and egg sandwich. I reached into my pocket, pulling out dollar bills to pay for it, but he motioned that I didn't have to pay for it. I thanked him for that. That was SO NICE of them!! I gingerly ate the sandwich, mostly drinking the water as I tried to get myself to feel more coherent again. I was still so dizzy and sometimes I dazedly stared at nothing in particular. I turned to notice the guy in the cap walking away from the counter and he looked at me and asked, "Are you ok?" And I tried to smile as I nodded. I was still dizzy but, for the most part, I was okay. I also started feeling a bit nauseated as I ate and I tried VERY HARD to keep the food down and not throw up all over the table. Thankfully, I was able to do this. Soon I'd finished off the water and it was a few minutes before I could get anyone's attention to ask for more water. I tried drinking the cider but I just wanted the water more than that. When the guy, whose name I read was Jacob, returned with the water, he signed "sorry." I was wondering, "What's he sorry for? I'm the one who's sorry." I tried to eat the sandwich but I was moving in slow motion. So I had to eat it really slowly. I actually started to worry and hoped they wouldn't get mad at me for sitting there for so long or maybe accusing me of pretending I wasn't feeling well. But, that didn't happen, and I was grateful for this.

After I ate 3/4 of that sandwich, I started feeling full. That was a GOOD THING! I was happy to feel anything else except that darn dizziness and feeling fullness was like being more aware of myself and not so dazed. I kept sitting there, thinking and gradually able to get my thoughts together more clearly. I took a piece of paper out of my notebook and started writing a note to one of the people behind the counter. Whoever I could get the attention of. So I wrote that I had a friend named Nicole and could someone please call her? I was NOT in any position to drive myself home. I knew this just from sitting there. I was feeling better but I knew I couldn't drive myself home. I didn't know if Nicole was driving (she'd always told me how her mom was driving her around) but I wanted to see if she could pick me up and take me home. (I had to see!) I gradually got Jacob's attention and handed him the note. He nodded then went to the front of the store. I felt awful being in this position. I didn't like it that I needed someone's help just to get home. But I knew if I tried to drive myself, I'd probably end up driving right off the bridge! I was going in and out of dazedness. I finally saw Jacob returning. He handed me a Post-It that said "the manager is calling her right now." I thanked him then forced myself to eat the last piece of the sandwich. They were nice enough to make this for me, I wasn't going to let one bite go to waste! I continued to dazedly stare around, in between getting my focus again. I noticed the girl leaving with a guy. She smiled at me and waved goodbye and her companion said something but I was too out of it to focus my attention on his face to try to read his lips. I finished the sandwich then just sat there, going in and out of the daze. Then I noticed the manager come to the table with a note that said, "Nicole is on her way." I mentally said "thank God" and asked her her name. She smiled then wrote down that her name was Samantha.

Soon, I finally noticed Nicole approaching the table from my left, softly waving at me as she said "hi." We hugged then she sat across from me and asked how I was feeling. I told her I was dizzy and relayed the events from earlier. She was alarmed and I kept telling her, "I've done this before. This has never happened. I know I passed out the first time, but it was never this bad."

So after we talked about what happened, she asked about my daughter. I told her she was doing ok. Just had a birthday party and was telling EVERYONE she's 5 years old now. I told her she's been having problems adjusting to the divorce, even though it's been a few months. Mostly, she has a hard time understanding why her mommy and daddy don't live together anymore, why we're not married anymore. That's just her biggest issue. Why. And I also told her that I've talked to my daughter about things many times. Have been there for her, telling her we still love her very much and we'll always be there for her. We talked about that for a while. Then I asked Nicole how exactly we were going to do this: Get me home with my car and her home in HER car. I suggested she could drive me to my ex's in my car then he could drop me off at home then bring her back to get her car, but that idea got nixed. After some thought, it was decided she would take me home in her car then her mom would drive her back tomorrow and she would drop off my car. I was concerned about my ex freaking out over this. It's not "my" car. It's one of HIS cars. And he gets paranoid about stuff like that. His car being in a lot all night, unsupervised. But it just worked out as the better plan to follow so I agreed. I wondered about the car getting towed away or ticketed, or something, if it was left there all night, so Nicole went to talk to Jacob about our proposed plan. Then she came back and informed me that he'd talk to the manager. Soon the manager came to the table asking about the car's color, model, description and license plate number. I swear, I couldn't remember the license plate number!! I told her the front fender had some damage, though. She said "ok" then that she'd take care of it. After a bit, after Nicole asked me "can you walk?" and I said, "I'll try!" we both got up. I had to move VERY slowly. I was able to manage ok if I didn't move too fast, but I DID end up stumbling a bit as we proceeded to exit the bookstore.

When we got into the parking lot, I showed Nicole where my car was then we went to hers. On the drive home, I realized it had been a good thing I had asked for a friend to pick me up. I was still a little dazed and my vision wasn't completely focused all of the time. Just some of the time. I had to close my eyes because the dizziness was still bad. I guess Nicole noticed this because I saw her fingerspell to me, "Are you okay?"

"I'm aware of the car moving but I can't see very well. The signs are all blurry," I replied.

The look on her face wasn't a very good one after hearing that. I hoped she wasn't worrying about me too much. But I was grateful to her for being there for me. It just really, really meant a whole lot that she came through for me. I had planned to sleep when I got home but I asked her if there was anything I could do or eat or take or drink to help me feel better. Would a multivitamin help? She thought for a bit then said, "Sleep."

"Sleep?" I asked.

She nodded and said, "That's the best."

When we got to my house, we talked in the car for a bit. Nicole told me, "I'm glad you called me."

I sighed then said, "I'm so worried that all the time you're too busy or there's stuff going on."

Nicole was shaking her head. "No. No," she said. Then she looked at me and said, "Call me." I knew what she was saying. "Call me if you need me." I can't even begin to describe my relief over knowing I DID have someone there to call if I needed help. It was so good to know I wasn't so "alone" after all. I hugged her tightly, thanking God for such a good and caring friend. Just really grateful I had someone out here to lean on if I needed her.

Nicole asked if I could walk okay to my door. If I needed any help. I told her that I thought I would be okay and she said she'll watch me from her car. I thanked her again and climbed out. I was still a little wobbly but I managed to get to my doorstep okay. I looked back to see Nicole looking out her window, smiling. I waved, said "goodnight" and she called "goodnight" back to me. I unlocked my door then went inside.