Saturday, August 30, 2008

New babies fix everything, don't they?

When I get paranoid and worried, I tend to take on an "obsession du jour." It helps to take my mind off the dire matter at hand. Most of the time it's about acquiring something obsolete or rare. I scour eBay or Marshall's for hours in a vain attempt to find a Swedish pancake pan. My latest obsession is adopting another dog. My love for dogs is boundless and when I'm sad or hurting, they just make me feel so darn good. Nora Ephron put it best when she advised anyone with a teenager to get a dog. That way you'd always have someone who would be happy to see you when you got home.

Next week, Scot and I are going to Flagstaff for our 10th anniversary. We plan on hiking, hitting a couple of bars and coffee shops and eating some good food. Way back when, we planned on going to to St. John, USVI (where we honeymooned) but then we downgraded it to Mexico, then Cali. and now Flagstaff. W e're staying in Scot's brother's house in the sticks. Funny how life gets in the way of all your grand plans.

There is a dog that I hope to adopt while we are there. She is on the PawPlacement site in Flagstaff and I would love to bring her home. Never in a million years what I would have imagined this kind of anniversary. But I also never thought I'd have two kids and be looking for a second dog. If she becomes ours, we will name her Vera. I'm confident it's one acquisition I won't regret spending time and money on.

the beginning of the end

As most of you know, Scot's job was "impacted" on Tuesday. Nice HR word. Impacted. What the hell does that mean? A slight change? A major adjustment? Or, "you're fired, you ass. Clear out your desk and go." Yeah, that's what it meant. An impact that was like a meteor hitting the Earth.

I'm going to try to do a day-by-day synopsis of the down-and-out, and out-of-work.

The below is Tuesday's rant to friends and family.

It is with a heavy heart that Scot and I make this announcement. After a very successful run, it looks like the party is over. We are officially.... unemployed. That's right. You probably thought I was going to say "splitting up", right? Heck, this is much to fun to go through alone.

As of today, Scot is no longer with DHL . In a completely unexpected move, 74 employees were let go today in what is to be a massive lay-off. If you've been watching the news, you'll see that DHL is not doing well in the states, and their Ohio distribution hub is close to working a deal with UPS to take over all US operations of DHL Express. This leaves us sad, lost, and potentially homeless.

Scot saw a bright future with DHL. He put so much time and effort into a job he hoped would take us many places. An overseas stint in their Prague office was one of those places! However, it is not to be. Now, we will regroup, and put as many feelers out there as we can. Our hope is to get Scot working quickly, in a job where he can be proud ('Lane 6 is open, sir.') Ultimately, Scot and I would love to stay in Scottsdale, in our current house. But times being what they are, we are willing to relocate, downsize, and sell-off.

Any thoughts, recommendations, prayers, and gnashing of teeth would be appreciated. Scot has worked in Software sales, and Hardware Sales. At DHL, Scot was a Manager in the Vendor Management Department . Basically, he looked at names like "Vencat", "Kumar" and "Rajiv" all day. No funny intended there. He was responsible for matching up DHL contracts to staffing company employees (most of his vendor employees were Indian.) If you know someone who knows someone with any job connection, please let us know. Scot can get a resume out as fast as I can say "charge it."

Quite seriously, we are devestated. While it was just a job, Scot loved it. This is an enormously scary time to be going through a job loss, and I hope and pray that we come though it better, stronger people.
Tomorrow is another day. Thanks for taking the time tonight to lament with us.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Job dissatisfaction

One of the last jobs I actively sought was in 1989. I was new to Arizona, a senior in high school, and needing some spending cash. Our local supermarket , Fry's, was hiring baggers. I applied, and was turned away. Shortly thereafter, I was hired at a Hallmark store, and quickly advanced up the card ladder to balloon bouquet arranger. I never looked back.

When Scot and I returned to Scottsdale 7 years ago, we bought a house in the same neighborhood where I had lived in high school. We started frequenting the same stores, including the supermarket that had passed me up many years ago. On one of our shopping trips Scot noticed the tag one of the baggers was wearing. It said "Lisa", "A Fry's employee since 1989." Lisa is mentally challenged. Not Down's Syndrome, just not quite right. She weighs about 260 pounds and sports a blond bowl cut. Whenever I enter her lane, Lisa has a running conversation with herself. Scot still loves to tell me that Lisa beat me out of the job, that she is my "competition."

Yesterday I committed a supermarket faux-pas and entered the 15-item-or-less line with a handful too many items. It was an honest oversight. The line was empty when I entered, and more importantly, empty when I exited. I apologized to the checker, who didn't seem to care. It was then I noticed Lisa throwing my bananas into my recyclable bag. And hurling the corn into a corner. Lisa had a problem with my choice of lines. As she loaded, she muttered under her breath. A steady stream of incomprehensible grunts and groans followed each item into the bag. Thinking Lisa was having her own private moment of misery for Day 4650 of Bagging Hell, I started to leave. "THIS is an Express Lane, ma'am. " "15 items or less, " Lisa bellowed in her testosterone heavy voice. I looked around, embarrassed. I was being called out. And I wasn't going away without a fight. "Oh, we all make mistakes don't we," I said. "I'm sure you never have, though, huh," I continued.

I wasn't finished. I marched right up to the Customer Service Desk and promptly ratted out Lisa. I would not be treated like a naughty child. Forget the fact that Lisa still lives with her parents and endures a difficult life . I'm choosing to ignore the realities of her life right now. These are damn hard economic times. DHL is issuing a slew of pink slips this week. My husband's job is at stake. I might need to find a job. And Fry's might have one for me now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hi! Thought I'd do you all a favor and blog tonight. That way, when you go to my site in crazed anticipation of my newest drivel, you won't be met with the picture of "Tree Man" again. Let's move that image down the page, shall we?

A couple of things are on my mind tonight. One serious, the other, trivial. Interestingly enough, both issues came up on the hilariously stupid Headline News Show, Showbiz Tonight.

On the serious front, Christina Applegate recently had a bilateral mastectomy performed three weeks ago. Cancer was detected in one breast, and as a precaution, she had the radical surgery performed. Good for her. Applegate realized the levity of the situation and made a wise, but probably agonizing decision that now has Hollywood jaws dropping. Here's the part that gets me. The cancer was detected in an MRI, not a mammogram. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Applegate has an MRI every 6 months. "So?" you ask. "What's the big deal?" The big deal is this; insurance companies do not pay for breast cancer screening MRIs. As a matter of fact, they don't even like to cover mammograms for women under 35. As a woman whose own sister had breast cancer, my mammogram at 33 was not covered. After having a doctor's approval, I was denied reimbursement and was left holding the $350 bill for the mammogram. The mammogram that might, or might not, have detected breast cancer. Incidentally, my sister's breast cancer was found through an MRI as well. Kudos to Applegate for is bringing all of this bureaucratic bullshit to light. Her new crusade is to inform the public of the importance of MRIs in early detection of breast cancer, and to provide low-cost MRIs to high -risk women. Amen.

In other news, did you know that Britney Spears is once again looking fabulous? Yes, it's true. But I bet what you really wanted to know if "how did she do it?" Seriously. Because Headline News wanted to tell me. But I didn't watch. Because I already know. I bet it goes something like this - She had her calorie-portioned meals delivered, went to the tanning salon, and had her trainer stop by for 2 hours. After that she had a Red Bull, danced with her hip-hop friends all night, and fell into bed. It's not too hard to lose weight and get in shape when you have millions, spare time, and don't have custody of your kids. No, tell me how Lauren from Minnesota with a full-time job, two kids, and a crushing mortgage payment does it. That I would listen to.

Friday, August 15, 2008

When HPV runs amok...

The next time you get a cold sore, don't feel too sorry for yourself.

I would have a very hard time resisting the temptation to get the weed-whacker out.

In Indonesia, they call him the "Tree Man."

I've run out of things to say. I'm gonna just stare now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

John, Come back and give these boys some pointers!

When I heard John Edward's was having a little fling while his wife battled terminal cancer, I thought "this chick has gotta be smokin." Elizabeth Edwards is a beautiful woman, so I thought it must have taken some serious flash-in-the-pan to woo her despondent spouse. WRONG. Uh uh. The first glimpse of Rielle Hunter had me thinking I had stepped back into Clinton Days. Was that Gennifer Flowers with a headband? Why is she always wearing that headband? And where did the woman get that hair frosted? Clinton really picked some winners to throw himself at as well. Really, what was it that made him come on to Paula Jones? Clinton is a good-looking man, and he could have had his pick of pretty ladies. Somewhere, deep down inside that man, there is an issue with low-self esteem. Just once I would like to see one of these schmucks land a career-ruining worthy lay. The last Democrat to do it and do it right was John Kennedy. He had Marilyn. He had his fun, he was discreet, no one got hurt, and he got the hottest woman in the World.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lennie at the Olympics

Did you happen to catch any pics of Bush at the Olympics? On Friday night, Laura and Lennie attended the Opening Ceremonies. While Putin and other dignitaries sat in prime seats, the prez was up in nosebleed. Not sure if this was his attempt to be a common man, or if China was scared of the loose canon and wanted him kept away from the thinking folks. Both times they filmed Bush that evening, he offered up his usual fodder of laughs. The first shot showed him with his legs splayed, checking his watch. The second time, he was wildly waving the American flag, and hitting it on his thighs. Scot thought a "Bush Cam" in the corner of the TV would be fun, as to keep an eye on his antics. But sadly, the flag slapping incident was the last we saw of him that evening. Someone in his camp must have been looking out for him.