Suicide Blonde

Friday, September 29, 2006

Miscellaneous Again

It's been more than a week since I last posted. I am still struggling with a lot of work at the office. Not only do we have a lot of students with problems but we are interviewing for two new positions.

I am also keeping very busy with shopping for snacks and stogies to send my son and his buddies in Iraq and keeping in touch with the battalion's parents' group. It is incredible that these people in the group, mostly way-too-involved middle-aged mothers (like me!), but also wives, girlfriends, so's, dads, sisters, aunts of Marines, are so organized and in touch with one another. As soon as anything happens on the other side of the world where our sons are, we all hear about it. It never ceases to amaze me. And we also give each other a lot of support. Every morning when I open my email I have 30 or 40 emails from our group. We take turns falling to pieces or supporting the nervous wrecks and trying to "be there" for each other.

It has really helped me cope and I have to admire these people. They are organizing Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Whatchamacallit decorations for the battalion mess hall for the end of the year. They bake and send their yummy home-made goodies to the whole battalion. They write cards or send boxes to Marines who never receive anything. They console grieving families and whacked-out family members who don't know whom to turn to... They are wonderful and I love them.

Ok, now that I got the emotional, touchy-feely stuff out of the way, you may be asking WTF is that picture? Well, that is a huge (about 8ft) metal sculpture called "The Angel of Justice" by an incredible Haitian sculptor, St. Eloi. I came upon it by accident about 2 years ago when I was racing past the Art Museum at the university. Something shiny caught my eye through the big glass window and I slowly backtracked and my eyes met this beautiful thing! I got goosebumps when I saw it and I stood there for quite a long time just gazing at it. I can't explain why it speaks to me, or what it means to me, it is such a gut thing. This angel was part of a Haitian sculture exhibit that lasted about three months. I do not lie to you, I went to see this angel every day. Why does it make me happy, and why does it make me feel serene and why does it make me sigh contentedly when I look at it? I have NO idea. It just does. Since I'm not an outwardly religious person, and since I am suspicious of any type of fanaticism or close-mindedness religious freakiness, I know it's not that at all. I am not even going to pretend that I have any kind of artistic je-ne-sais-quoi sensibility or any nonsense like that. It is like when you fall in love with someone and you can't explain the chemistry or the magnetism you feel for that person. That's how I feel about this angel. It just speaks to me, sings to me, signifies something that I can't put my finger on. Go figure. BTW I hope you enjoy it. I do.

When I first downloaded the angel's picture I sent it to all my family, friends and coworkers. I printed it out and put it in a frame on my office wall. I had little wallet-sized pictures printed that I gave out to people close to me. Everybody got sick of seeing it. I even sent it to my deployed son TWICE. He told me during one of his calls "Mom, stop sending me pictures of the Angel, the guys are laughing at me." So yeah, I stopped sending it to him.

It is Friday again, and any of you visiting the Miami area will find me in Casa Juancho's after work with my BF, my sister, and our little group of middle-aged, crazy-dancing semi-alcoholics. Really, people, nothing really changes in life. We are all 40, 50, or 60 somethings and yet we still vie for position at the bar, are possessive about out boy- or girlfriends, flirt like crazy with everyone, sometimes get into silly little fights over imagined slights, shake our booties shamelessly, sing along to the songs we grew up with, and maybe get a little bit tipsy and have to be assisted to our cars. Just like middle-school all over again. Oh Joy!

Have a great weekend everyone! Love yas!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Work is interfering with my life

So I love work. Or rather, I love to be AT work because I'm comfortable here, I like sitting at my computer with my feet propped up on the hard drive. It's nice and cold thanks to the great AC. I see all my peeps and catch up on the latest. We make mediocre coffee but we have awesome creamers that would make a cup of crap taste good.

BUT, and that's a big BUT, I have not had time to even blog this week. I have just gone in and out of my favorite blogs (and you all know who you are) and scanned the posts. I am not doing careful reading which is what I usually do. I don't have time to blog because it has been crazy, whack-o, dingaling, insane around here. Sigh.

Why do I have so much work, you ask? Even if you don't ask, I may answer: Because of all the darn procrastinators in the world. I am not the greatest organizer or planner, nowhere near it. I am happy to say that I never had a palm pilot or a blackberry, never really obsess about everything being in order. But I am not a full-blown procrastinator, the likes of which abound where I work. The stuff I have to do over and over again, such as appointments, paying bills, renewing my driver's license or auto tag, etc. I try to do on time. WHY? Because no one is going to put up with my lame excuses about not knowing about the deadline, or no one told me I had to renew my license, or any such stoopid and inane crap.

That's why it bothers me so much when stoodents come in at the fourth week of class to demand (with attitude) that they be allowed to register in a class.

Me: Are you not aware that the Add/Drop period ended two weeks ago?

Them: No one told me.

Me (Sarcasm quickly sets in): No one is going to stop you in the middle of the hallway to inform you of the deadlines, you have to print the schedule from the web.

Them: Where do I find the schedule?

Me: On our website, right where it says "Academic Schedule" in bright blue.

Them: Ok, but I have to sign up for this class, I was dropped because I didn't know I had to pay.

Me: You didn't know you had to pay?

Them: No, but I've been attending all this time (Me in an aside: They think this entitles them to be registered in the class even if the semester is over).

Me: The fact that you have been attending the class does not give you the right to register for it. Where is your Add/Drop Form?

Them: What is that?

Me: .....sigh..... it goes on and on like that. This is just one conversation, and they file through my office like busy little ants, and they each ask the same exact things or give the same lame excuses.

Ok I just took a deep breath. It helps, a little. I remind myself that each of these students is someone's baby, someone's sweet son or daughter. I remind myself how it was when I was in school and the sarcastic bitches that worked in the office would get exasperated and talk down to me, or not look at me, or not smile. So while I'm mentally pulling my hair out by its (increasinly platinum) roots, I force myself to keep breathing slowly, to smile, to make jokes (for some reason it seems to evaporate the sarcasm), and to be NICE. Why do I try to be nice? Because they are getting an education, because they are supplicants at the doors to their future. If they don't get into this class, they may be set back, if I mistreat them they may actually think that they are not smart enough or organized enough or on-the-ball enough. Whatever. It is my responsibility, in my office and in what I do, to make sure I don't put down these students. That I treat them like (young) people. That I show them how a professional advisor acts. I also remind them that they need to organize themselves so they don't ever have to go through this process of late registration and give silly excuses ever again I am burdened with the responsibility of giving a good example. And that's what I try to do. But it's not easy. Sigh. Soon I'll get back to regular postings of a somewhat intelligent nature... nah, I'll get back to posting regularly and commenting on all ya'll's blogs.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Finally Thrusday

Ok, my coworker, the one that coined the term "Thrusday" is a trip and I have to tell you about him. This is my coworker from my part-time employment at the fine jewelry department of a famous retail store of Thanksgiving balloon parade fame.

In our department, we are a bevy of about 15 women of varying ages, nationalities, ethnicities, civil status, etc. We are all very different and yet, contrary to popular belief that "Women cannot work together" we get along so well and we are very much a team. Except for one or two difficult people, who exist in every environment. It would be an interesting sociological research question "What is the average percentage of difficult people (aka SOB's) in each work environment?" My guess is that the percentage would depend on how much money is at stake, more SOB's the more money is involved. But I'm also guessing that there is a stable and average number of agitators or sour apples or just plain obnoxious persons in every work group regardless of education, religion, gender, etc.

Anyway, our little group of women, some full-time and some part-timers like me, work like a charm together and they are absolutely a great collection of wonderful people, warm, friendly, sweet, and very, very intelligent. We spend the time at work selling jewelry, but also hearing about each other's lives, troubles and tribulations, love interests or gripes about spouses, offering each other cheap and unprofessional advice for every imaginable situation. Within our group, there are some that are practically best friends with each other and call each other every day and meet for lunch, etc. One of my women coworkers was the one that gave me a beautiful freshwater pearl rosary another coworker had brought her from Venezuela as a gift, so it would protect my son in Iraq. Another one is 61, works a full-time job at the HR deparment of a local hospital and works a part-time with us at the store. Even though she only works part-time, she is the department's top salesperson in $$. She knows everything there is to know about diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones. She also cares for her elderly mother who needs constant attention. Another is in her late fifties, does math word problems "for fun," works full-time at her daughter's bridal gown business and works part-time at the store. She is one of the most intelligent people I know. She can analyze a problem in the most logical manner and come out with viable solutions that actually make sense. Another studied music in her native country and is selling jewelry here because she still does not know English very well. Despite that, she is taking classes to become a medical biller and is struggling but getting excellent grades in her classes.

Even though I've only worked there for two years, as opposed to almost 10 at my full-time job, I feel so close to all these women. In a very short time they have endeared themselves to me and vice-versa and we have worked harmoniously and enjoyably together.

In this group we have two male co-workers who are charmers and we love them. One of them, "Antoine," is tall, dark-skinned, handsome with his hair closely trimmed, sporting a neat goatee and impeccably dressed always. He is so much fun to work with because he is so creative and outgoing and at the same time a warm and lovely person. He has given each of us a name, a twist on our real names according to our personalities. He calls me "Kermesse" because he says that I am like a school bazaar, I am a communicator, I get around and talk to everyone and find out what they are doing and what's going on. Another co-worker, whose name is Martha he calls "Martillo" (hammer) because she is one of the difficult ones. Working with Martillo is tough because she, unlike the others, competes with everybody to get sales. We have our courtesy rules in our group and they are almost always respected, mostly to keep the peace. If you have shown a couple twenty engagement rings and they decide on one particular one but don't want to buy it that day for whatever reason, you give them a print-out of the item description with your name on it. If that customer comes another day and you're not there at the store, whoever helps them should ring up the sale on your number, since you were the one that helped them. Well, Martillo does not observe this rule, or any other. She is ruthless and will sell the ring under her number, getting the comission. This causes a lot of friction, needless to say but I said it anyway. Martillo is not a popular person with her coworkers but I feel sorry for her so I treat her nicely too. We have another co-worker "Clara," which means "Clear" in Spanish, whom Antoine calls "Un-Clear" because she is one of the top salespeople in our department but she forgets to write down what she sells in the log, making for huge discrepancies at closing time.

I usually work night part-time and weekends at the store. Most of the time, when I get out of my day job I feel really tired and I have to force myself to trudge to my part-time job. BUT once there, I have a wonderful time, and I really look forward to seeing my friends there and catching up on the latest goings-on with them. I love those people!

Friday, September 01, 2006

To all my loyal readers - all three of you...

Yeah, I'm still here. Crazily trying to pick out a font color that will go with the eyeshadow... This one is way too turquoise but the program will not let me mix my own shades.

It's funny how little insignificant details keep us blessedly unfocused, distracted and unproductive... But who cares about that on a Friday morning? All that is needed is to make my presence known at work (albeit a bit late, but I made it), do stuff like this (blogging) until lunchtime, shuffle some papers around in the afternoon, maybe answer a few calls, put on my "concerned and busy" face when my supervisor passes by, and then...CONTENT HOUR!!!

On Wednesday night, I was working my four-hour part-time shift at a major department store and one of my co-workers put out a new sign-on sheet for the next morning. He wrote "THRUSDAY" on the top of it, and I said to myself "He hit the nail on the head, it should be called "Thrusday" because we must get through it to get to Friday." I loved it, and from now on it will always be Thrusday to me.

Sweet, wonderful, unproductive, social Friday! I look forward to it the entire week. It's the day when nothing gets done unless someone insists on making you do something, which is then strongly resented... In essence, my work ethic spans from Monday thru Thrusday full-steam and Friday is preparation for Content Hour.

More random and insignificant thoughts: Just like Blanche DuBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire" I'm always pleasantly surprised by the kindness of strangers. I think it takes a lot of courage, love, concern, empathy, and who knows what else to reach out to someone you don't know very well just to let them know that you are there for them. I admire such acts and usually they come from where you least expect them. At times, complete strangers are sweeter and more sympathetic and helpful than your closest friends. Some examples: A co-worker at my part-time employment overheard me talking to another about my son being deployed etc (you all know the details), and out of the blue she walked over to me and gave me a beautiful rosary that a friend had brought her from Venezuela. She had tears in her eyes and told me that she wanted me to have it to comfort me while my son was gone. I tried to say no because someone had given her that gift and she should keep it and she said no, that I should take care of it until my son came home, then I could give it back. I hugged and kissed her, she's an angel. Another sweet and wonderful blog friend, whom I've only talked to through comments, sent me an inspiring email of hope and faith that took me completely by surprise and has given me strength in the face of despair. Another co-worker, this one from my full-time job, added my son and his battalion to her prayer group at her church and sent me the bulletin where his name was mentioned. Other bloggers that I have met on here have been sweetly inquiring about my son and letting me know that they are there: Anna and Alternative Anna, Kat, Ziggi, WW, Pammy, Tommy, FE, HE, Cherrypie, my dear cabbage Vicus, and last, but not least, cute and flirty Markie!

My soft, squishy heart beats happier because of persons like this, who are not afraid to love, not afraid to feel and to express themselves. I want to be just like them!

Ok, enough teary-eyed sentimentality. On with life, on with Content Hour. My BF (in caps, ok?) is coming back from a week away in some convention in Orlando and I'm looking forward to having a couple of drinks and talking a LOT of crap with him, my sister, and my friends. Besides, it's my sister's birthday so we're celebrating that as well! As I've mentioned before she is scarcely a year younger than me but at our age that margin gets narrower and narrower, making us twins for all practical purposes. And she is a beautiful, wonderful, loving person so I would love to be her twin.

To all my loyal readers...Have a great weekend and I send you all besitos from the bottom of my half-century-plus-old squishy heart.