It’s way too early for my brain to be working

11 10 2010

I woke up at 4 am, back screaming at me and my brain cycling through the things I need to do.  The kids are on fall break so that means today and tomorrow will be spent watching TV and seeing if I can con the g’parents into watching a couple of them.  I may even bathe in sunblock and take them to my family’s communal playground.

Lupus makes me have to be extra cautious but it also does miraculous things with my body.  That bite from last week?  Totally healed.  All that’s left is a small callous – smaller than the sharp end of a pencil.

Yesterday we had my nephew’s 4th birthday party and he’s ADORABLE.  Being a ham runs in the family.  We played at Chuck E. Cheese for a while then he opened his presents.  The one from us ended up being last and when he pulled it out of the bag he yelled “WHAT?? WHAT?!”  It was one of those new Hot Wheels tracks that have the robot obstacle course.  Then he grinned real big and said “ok, we need to go RIGHT NOW.”  LOL  No one even got a hug goodbye – he just escaped with his toys and made Grandpa put them all together.

It was really great to see our family all in one place again.  I miss my family A LOT.  Bob has been working insane amounts of hours and Sister has been getting married and moving.  Grandmommy works overnight.  I have 3 kids and a disease that I have to judge each morning on whether I can handle what I have planned.  The only person I’ve seen with any regularity lately is my Dad who works around the corner from me.

Halloween is coming up and did you know that Ben 10 costumes only go up to a size 8?  What am I supposed to do with THAT BS?  LJ is a size 10/12 at the smallest so it looks like I’ll be making his this year.  All he’s talked about for months is how he wants to be Ben 10, who is his hero.  Alyssa’s going to be a fairy and E-baby is going to be Bumblebee from the Transformers movie.  That means today I’ll be trying to figure out how to make a Ben 10 costume out of a T-Shirt.  I got a 6 pack of white tees, so I have some room for error.  😉

No word yet on if I’m dressing up but I found a slutty Ninja Turtle costume that looked ADORABLE.

Yesterday I went totally OCD and hung shelving, rearranged books, and totally let my crazy take over.  I would be more effective if I weren’t so crazy but I’m in the middle of stepping down on the dose of Effexor again.  It’s the only thing that has ever controlled the OCD so I may just have to get used to this new normal.  Oh well, it’s an asset when I have a job because I don’t screw up.  Screwing up is the most terrible thing ever to a person with OCD because that means the universe is about to dissolve into oblivion.

Cyndi Dollins:  Using mental illness as a tool since 1986.

On that note, I’m working on perfecting my resume so I can get it online.  I don’t know if I can handle a full time job but I’m going nuts not having a challenge.  My self-worth is definitely tied to what I can do and I HATE feeling like I reached the peak of my career at 26.  I also don’t want to be left behind by the industry during this whole get myself better/get the kids raised thing I’m doing now.

In the meantime, I’m going to work on learning everything I can about computer networking on a larger scale and I may even get my Microsoft Office certifications.  I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to school – my choice would be Breneau – but I’m not sure if I can get financial aid.  We’re in that weird middle ground where we’re not rich enough to pay for schooling but not poor enough to get them to pay for it.  I wonder if there are any grants out there for SAHMs with Lupus.

I have more of my sketchbook project to photograph and get online.  I think it’s coming along rather nicely and I hope I can finish by the deadline.  My current page is an interlude from ways to get revenge and it’s on things I hate with a passion.

Then I need to update our family calendar… and get Ernesto to the vet because he’s been limping on his front leg… I need to finish printing and putting together my sister’s wedding album… photograph and list stuff on Etsy… talk to my dad about getting a couple of computers from him… work on altering a couple of Alyssa’s uniforms… go through all the kids clothing and get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit…

And you know how it is:  when your brain is that full, it’s impossible to sleep.  So I took my meds, I’m sipping on some coffee and I think I’ll work on my sketchbook until I feel like I can rest a little more.  Later today, hopefully I’ll write a much less boring post, but no promises!

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make it work

17 03 2010

I’m toying with the idea of going back to work full time and letting Shaun do a stint as stay at home Dad.  Or at least hire a nanny or something.

When I say toying with, that’s what I really mean.  I know that with the heart problem and the migraines, that I need a very flexible environment and I also know that I can do the best for our home and children by being here.

I just REALLY miss working.  Not only is it 10,000 times easier than this SAHM deal, I miss figuring out problems.  I’m one of those people who has a knack for making abnormal things fix what needs to be done.  I like instruction manuals because if you read them with a critical eye you can find the ways to… adapt it to your purpose.  There, that’s a nice way to say “open door.”  If there isn’t a manual, that’s ok too.  I’ll figure out how to break it into its parts given enough time.

Tim Gunn would say I make it work.

I just hacked a mop.  I’ve been painting my Circa discs with nail polish.  Later today I’m going to turn a computer desk into a table for my sewing machine.

I even scheduled laundry days for everyone and color coded the hampers (they’re really rubber bins from the garden department at walmart) to match their water bottles and their toy boxes.  They also match their junior Circa journals.  (Which the therapists promptly copied and started using for other kids they treat.)  And yes, when the kids are on a scorecard/reward system – those will match their colors too.

I miss feeling like I’ve done something worthwhile at the end of the day.  Well, on some days.  Other days I came home feeling like I was the captain of the good ship WTF.

Ok – I miss being able to say “I can provide a service that you aren’t going to find anywhere else.”

xkcd today says that the average internet user SAYS they have an IQ of 147 and has a 9″ penis. I may not have a penis, but my IQ is a bit higher than that.

I used to say “if you can teach it, I can learn it.”  Now I’m more likely to say “if you can build it, I can break it.”  Then again, I also say “if you need a better mousetrap, you may as well just start naming the mice and congratulate them on their upward evolution.”  You can either make the problem work for you or you can buy a cat.  I’m a big fan of making problems turn into assets.  “That’s not a defect, it’s an unexpected application!”

Then I get a call from the teacher saying that my child is screaming that if the teacher doesn’t make it so that she isn’t in trouble, then she’s going to make life living hell for everyone.  I can hear her screaming in the background at the top of her lungs.  And it’s good I’m only 5 minutes away from the school because I know how to fix her, too.

This is the part where people laugh and say “a good smack would fix her!” But no, my daughter is not an Apple nor does she suffer from chip creep.

I know how to make it work because her IQ is a little lower than mine but still higher than 90% of the people in her school.  I don’t talk to her like a child and I don’t dumb it down.  If she can manipulate you or out-think you, you’ve already lost the game.  I’m probably the only parent you’ll ever see saying to a 6 year old kid “I don’t appreciate you trying to manipulate your teachers.  You can’t change the past but you can stop making it worse.  Your part on the team is to take care of yourself and keep your brain turned on.  If it’s not smart – don’t do it.”

She has the mental capacity of a child twice her age.  I get pissed off when someone talks down to me and I don’t expect her reaction to be any different.  (And yes, we’re both Capricorns.)  It’s best that she learns objective and logical reasoning skills now.

OK – off the tangent.

Another problem I foresee with going back to work is that I don’t have a degree.  I have several certificates from several colleges.  I have some co-op experience at a different school.  I have a year of actual college down but I got REALLY bored with it.

I was one of those kids who was hired directly out of high school into a dotcom because of my “special” skills.  Financially, it was the right decision because I was smart enough to put a little in real estate and made some well-timed stock sales.  It’s enough to make it where we’re able to live off of one income as long as we’re frugal. It just meant that I turned down a scholarship (and it’s accompanying student loans) to take the road less traveled.

Not having a degree wasn’t a problem with my resume as long as I stayed with that company because I could bank on my reputation alone.  Now that I’m looking at jobs equivalent to what I did for that company, they require a BS or a BA.  Only one listing I saw said “or equivalent work experience.”  Now, if the company does their own hiring, it won’t matter but if they’re using a recruiter or head-hunter I’d be hard pressed to get an interview.

THEN, once I did do the initial interview, I’d probably decide that the company didn’t fit my “niche.”  I’ve tested the waters and applied to a few places since quitting and here’s how one of my interviews went:

Nice Lady: I need to be sure you know <name of certain retail book keeping software.>

Me:  I haven’t used that particular one before, but I do have extensive experience designing and reporting with many of the more complicated financial systems.  <I named a few that I’m sure she’d never heard of.>

NL:  But you’ll need to know how to enter the data from our invoices into this program.  You really need to be experienced.

Me:  By the time we speak again, I’ll have learned enough about it to make it do exactly what you need it to do.  I just have a knack for software.

NL:  I see that on your resume you have experience coordinating teams and schedules.

Me: I do.  I’ve coordinated a team of 34 people and designed reporting systems on several hundred team members that were hand delivered to all levels of management.

NL:  You will, if you get this job, need to greet people as they walk in and also handle the schedules for myself and my husband.  You’ll also keep the files orderly and handle invoices and incoming phone calls.

Me:  Ma’am, your ad said that you were looking for a coordinator and manager with experience in financial systems.  Isn’t that correct?

NL:  Yes…

Me:  It sounds to me that you’re looking for a receptionist.  If you need someone to create reporting systems or work out a specific problem then I’m your girl.  However, if you’re looking for someone to smile at customers and do basic data entry, you probably need a different applicant.

NL:  Um… ok… thank you for your honesty.

Me:  You’re welcome.

This was all over the phone, thank goodness.  I doubt she could have looked at me and been as polite.  All my tattoos cover up and I clean up very well, but I’ve been told that I’m rather intimidating when I’m talking.

I’m the secret agent girl. 😉  I walk in to a meeting, looking young and well-dressed, carrying my signature bomber jacket Circa and a few documents disguised as simple files.  I get mentally written off as a girl who got hired to do grunt work and be an art piece for the male and lesbian contingent.  Then I wait for a lull in the conversation of “power players” and I say something outrageous.  All eyes turn to me and I open the file to my supporting document and prove to everyone that I’m right and I am going to get what I want.

Smart managers know how to use that to their benefit.

Not so smart managers are either enlightened or pissed off.

Neither matters.

Because THAT is what makes work worth going to for me.  I’m not looking for money or acclaim or to climb the corporate ladder.  I could give less than a damn about a vertical promotion.  I love solving problems in interesting ways, making them work, and convincing people to support the solution.  My thrill is in creating harmony where there was none and in turning data into a language people can understand.





Home Management Reviews

22 06 2009

When I left my job, my resignation stated that I had received a promotion to VP of Home Management or something like that.  I have had co-workers who now work for Homeland Security, so my boss thought that I’d landed a kick-ass, high power government job.

After he put his eyeballs back in his head, I explained that really, I was just going to be a stay at home mom.  Since then, I’ve used my extraordinary problem solving skills to get the house running smoothly so I can spend time with the kids and my computers.

I tried out two new products today, hoping to make my life easier, lessen the clean-up time, and start delegating responsibilities to the kiddos.  One was great, the other was not so great.

For the great one:  Pledge Multi Surface Cleaner

I used it in our sunroom/dining room today and wow.  It cleaned my antique wood table, the glass and the wood on the china cabinet, and the glass end table in the little conversation nook.  I like how the lid is built into itself – it just turns to open and close – because lids ALWAYS get lost, then fall to the floor, then get crunched by a dog or a shoe.  Also, it’s not stinky.  I got the Lavender scent because Rainstorm anything makes me shudder.  It still smelled like cleaner, but it wasn’t that overpowering “I can taste this in the back of my throat” kind of smell.

I like that you can use it on electronics.  Remember, kiddos, stay away from putting glass cleaner on your LCD screens.  This is what made me choose the Pledge brand over the Endust brand.  It’s not too sticky and doesn’t saturate a paper towel with just one spray.  I used a total of three paper towels to clean the sunroom.

The total flop:  Scrubbing Bubbles Flushable Bathroom Wipes

Wow, there are so many things that make this not worth the money or effort.   I’ll just list them numerically:

1.  The top is hard to open

2.  The threader (wet wipe style) shreds the cloths

3.  Unrolling a cloth to get it to a wipe sort of shape is nearly impossible

4.  I get the feeling that they found already-biodegraded paper to make these out of

5.  They definitely aren’t strong enough to wipe down the bathroom

6.  The cleaner leaves a weird soap scum feel on your hands and it doesn’t seem to wash off

7.  It smells icky

8.  Regular old TP with nothing on it cleans up the toilet seat better than this

I think I’ll stick to castille soap, vinegar, and a washrag to clean the bathroom.  I’ll probably let Shaun have a try at it and see if he can get a single wipe out without shredding it into little bits. I don’t think he’ll be able to since it looks like they come pre-shredded.