Monthly Archives: January 2008

Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker

Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker

 The only butcher I’ve ever known has died. Sam the Butcher from the Brady Bunch passed away last week. You remember the boyfriend of Alice? Does anyone here know a butcher or have a butcher? (In fact, does anyone have a maid like Alice?) There are some girls at the Deli who slice the lunch meat and I guess there are some men who hand you some beef from the other side of the counter. I select it from the window or get it prepackaged (gasp!). I guess that someone had to cut it that way since I doubt it came from the cow all sliced and diced. Really though, I don’t know anyone at all who is a butcher. If I don’t know and butcher and you don’t know a butcher, are there not any more butchers? Do machines now cut the beef exactly perfect to get that cut that people insist on having?

Neighborhood Gossip

Neighborhood Gossip

 It’s been a while since I posted some neighborhood gossip. Unlike my home town in Southern California, neighborhood gossip slows down for part of the year. Back home, my neighbors walk back and forth across the street and sit in their front yards chatting with one another year round. Here, it’s too darn cold to do any such thing.

 
My fascination with what is going on in my immediate area started when I was about seven or eight. I’ve always enjoyed writing, being the first to know what’s going on and especially being the one that gets to tell other people what is going on. One day, my cousin and I happened upon a local business (at the end of our street) that had been broken into. The front window was bashed in and the glass lay shattered everywhere. I called the police and reported the crime. Then, I grabbed my new 25 cent Goodwill camera, ran down the street and snapped a bunch of photos. I asked questions, compiled them into a report and published my first neighborhood newsletter.
 
 
Selling monthly subscriptions for 25 cents didn’t pay the bills, even with the free Xeroxing thrown in by my dad’s company, so I sold advertisements. Eventually, I had more advertisements than news (sounds a lot like the magazines I read today) but I kept on reporting. There were the two fires around the block, the local business people to interview, the neighbors who had babies, and so much more! Every year my reporter friends (I had to hire a bunch of people to help) decorated a float and marched in the city parade. Every year we won some wonderful trophies. These trophies were almost as tall as me and they still stand tall in my parent’s home on top of the piano.
 
 
Eagle Eye News withstood the test of a competitor (disgruntled reporter breaks off and begins new paper – we bought them out eight months later), slow news months (everyone wants recipes!) and broken friendships (there were always new friends/reporters out there) but it really didn’t withstand adolescence. News became gossip, reporters became boyfriends and girlfriends and our business meetings turned into games of Spin the Bottle and Truth or Dare.
 
 
When I reflect back, I can see, the ‘Burb Blog is just the evolution of Eagle Eye News.

Update

Update

 I’m almost done with 48 Days to the Work You Love book and I couldn’t be more inspired. I’ve applied for several positions in several different fields and I’m setting my sights on one in particular. Coincidently, it’s the one position I haven’t quite applied for. I know that I’m good enough for the job but I want to make sure that they know this, so I’ve been working really hard at fine tuning my resume. I think I may be done with this part so now I have to write my cover letter.

When you have so many reasons that you want a job and that a job should belong to you, where do you begin? How do you give priority to just a few thoughts? How can I effectively sell my employment as a product yet not sound too self-centered? It has also been very difficult on my psyche to make the leap from many positions at non-profit organizations to a position at a company that is in it for profit. I’m trying to look at it from the point of view that this company is honestly about heading towards your calling and your purpose, much like working at a church. Okay, who has dibs on proof-reading my cover letter? :)

I wish

I wish

 I wish I could be as excited about snow as my dog. She has pure joy across her face when she has to walk through snow. I on the other hand say, “Oh no,” when I open the front door and realize I should have started the car and scraped the windows 10 minutes before I had to leave (right NOW)!
 

Ding Dong Ditch and Tequila Tuesday

Ding Dong Ditch and Tequila Tuesday

 Last night was so much fun! Double D Momma came over for “shopping” aka “Tequila Tuesday”. We drank (and spilled) margaritas in my fine crystal goblets with the platinum trim, we recorded a segment (perhaps not usable) for the radio show, we played ding dong ditch and I peed my pants in Special Friend’s driveway.

DDM decided she wanted to go play Ding Dong Ditch so she took off out the front door in her socks and ran across the snow covered lawn to Neighbor’s house, rang the bell and then we ran several doors down to Special Friend’s house. Special Friend had just come home from a date with Blonde Babe so they were sitting in the car. DDM and I knocked on the windows and were acting like a bunch of 12 year olds. Blonde Babe was laughing so hard at us that she cried (I saw her wipe her eyes). DDM and I ducked down in case Neighbor came out and we laughed so hard that I peed my pants…and I couldn’t stop…and it was like 20 degrees so my pants were freezing to my legs. Did I mention that I had declared it casual night so we were both wearing hoodies and pajama pants?

I had to take my pants off and carry them as we dashed back to the house; they were freezing cold and hindering my running. DDM barely made it back to my house before Tequila Tuesday ended up in the kitchen sink, not the toilet, the sink. What a fun night! I have a feeling we might need to start having Rum Wednesdays now…DDM might never want Tequila again!

Project Self-Esteem

Project Self-Esteem

“Here are some telltale signs your self-esteem may be slipping:
— Poor Time Management. Missing appointments or being late for commitments.
— Slacking off on Exercise program. We take care of what we value and this is a way of saying, “I don’t care about myself.”
— Dropping out of group involvement. Don’t have time this week for school committee, church meetings, study group, etc.
— Becoming a Couch Potato. The worst time use – combination of what is not urgent and not important. Excessive TV, etc.
— Relationship Deterioration. Withdrawal from nurturing friendships and personal relationships.”

I think that this is a very interesting list. Unless canceling my dentist appointment counts (because I can’t handle the pain today), I am only excused from having Poor Time Management. The other symptoms are definitely reflected in my life. Dan Miller indicates that this hurts a job seeker or someone trying to begin a new business. I wholeheartedly agree however, I also believe that these very same symptoms plague me when I am unhappy in a job or any situation in my life. That being said, several of these are also indicators of just not having enough time.

My biggest offense in the past 5 years has been slacking off on my exercise program. This in turn creates a cycle of poor self esteem. It’s weird because I would never, ever think that someone is too overweight to go to the gym, yet I feel like I’m too overweight and out of shape to go back. How selfish is that?

Next, my biggest offense in the past 2 years is dropping out of group involvement. As much as I’ve always loved going to church and being with my church friends and learning new things about God and worshiping Him, I’ve had the hardest time feeling happy or excited about going. It’s not that I don’t feel good enough or bad enough, it’s just that I am pretty much ambivalent to the whole process of getting up in the morning, getting dressed and going. I know that some would argue that this speaks loudly about my personal relationship with God but I can tell you that Jesus and I talk. It’s the feelings of ambivalence that have been hard for me to deal with, seeing as I am a former church employee. Then I just feel worse about going.
Ahhh, tears, honesty is rough.

Lists

Lists

 As a woman, I think I am genetically inclined to make lists. My grandmother does it, mom does it, my sister does it, and I cannot help but do it. I cannot even make it through the day without composing at least one list on paper; groceries, goals, bills, days I want off from work, places I want to go, people I want to have over for dinner, and on and on and on. Even when I’m not writing lists, I’m composing them in my head. I think my brain is made of one long list of lists.

 
To help with my mania, I won a notebook from another blogger, it’s called the Cross It Off List. It includes a section in the back where I can designate to-do’s from my list to another person. When I write it and tear it out, it leaves behind a carbon copy for me to refer to later! Now hopefully my lists will actually see fulfillment. I cannot tell you how many lists I find laying around my house with nothing or one or two things crossed off.
 
On the top of my list right now? Get those Christmas decorations into the attic!

Dude, where’s my job.

Dude, where’s my job.

 Just some more thoughts on the job search, no, make that the “Career Search”. One of the questions asked by the 48 Days book is, “What are you doing while you are unemployed”? The answer to that is, working. I am working really, really hard. The way that it’s been going, I might have about 2 ½ months off to spend intensely interviewing and job applying. Hopefully the position that I am meant to fill will be open and in the process of being filled in those 2 ½ months. I don’t think that I realized that the man who created the Monopoly game was unemployed when he created it.

Dan Miller says that all you need is one idea to change your life. In a way, my websites changed my life. It all happened very quickly and I didn’t get anything out of it monetarily, but I did get a few opportunities and a whole lot of encouragement to pursue my dreams and goals. So, while I am “unemployed,” I am working really hard on discovering myself and I am working hard to pay the bills.

Before my husband gave me the 48 Days book, I was reading a book called Road Trip Nation. It’s pretty good but I’m very few pages in. It’s mostly a collection of stories about the path of discovery taken by different people in terms of their careers. In Road Trip Nation, I learned, “People need time to find what things they are good at”. In 48 Days, I learned, “Just because you have the ability to do something does not mean that it is well suited to you”.

Now what? I ask you which advice is best?

A new year. A new book. A new outlook?

A new year. A new book. A new outlook?

I am reading the book 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. My husband bought it for me because it has a forward written by Dave Ramsey, the new muse of our financial life. After reading a particular part of the book I felt inspired. Dan talks about making tiny withdrawals of success from our life and how without deposits we become bankrupt (emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc.). This isn’t a new thought to me, my former youth director would always say the same thing but I began to think about my past few years.

 

I think I was on the verge of emotional bankruptcy a few weeks ago. I felt unsuccessful, pathetic and without purpose. I’m not saying that I am in a much better position but I did recently have a few deposits of success and purposefulness that brought me into the black. It has felt so good and so wonderful, I can hardly keep from smiling or grinning.

 

One of the worst parts of it all is that the way that I was feeling was almost constantly reinforced by people that I came into contact with. I faced a lack of respect from people at my place of employment and this summer during a part time seasonal stint I was even told by a customer, “That’s why YOU work HERE”. Until that moment I didn’t see anything wrong with where I was working, graduation was in my grasp, I had an unpaid internship for much of the summer and this place of work gave me some money to pay bills while I worked for free elsewhere. It was at that moment that any underlying, nagging, back of the head voices that had perhaps silently taunted me for the past few years, came forward full forced and mocked me, leading me to tears in the bathroom and for many days afterwards.

 

Thank you to many of you who have been so supportive and encouraging of my success, it has been these deposits that will get me where I need to be going!

Imagination, Unwrapped

Imagination, Unwrapped

Christmas was wonderful. I had the opportunity to work a lot, which means that I’ll be able to pay off a few bills. My other website was an international hit and we spent a little bit of time with Jay’s family. I really wish that we lived somewhere near my family. Even the distance of a days drive would be great.

In our neighborhood Christmas seemed to be sort of an awakening for lazy winter bums who normally play video games all day. All of the kids were out running around on Christmas day. It hadn’t happened since late fall and hasn’t happened again since Christmas day. The funny thing was that I expected they would all be showing off their new toys and one upping one another’s gifts. I didn’t see any presents outside yet they were all running around laughing and screaming.

I’ve come to the conclusion that for Christmas, every kid in the neighborhood finally got an imagination. This is way better than any present. Do you think that it’s because Christmas really is a day of imagination? Of what if? Too bad it only lasted one day; it looked like they were having a lot of fun.