"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Monday, March 29, 2010

What a remarkable turn of events

I've been wallowing in unemployment hell (well, I WAS freelancing the whole time though) for more than six months. My son (age 19) lost his job at a fast-food joint a couple of months after I lost mine. So the household has been pretty down looking at the financial situation for a while.

Then today -

I started back to work at my old newspaper office. (Lower pay, but still, back to work.)

My daughters (ages 9 and 11) got a job walking a neighbor's dog each evening.

My son got a call from the census bureau saying he was hired to be an enumerator.

Suddenly, the entire household is employed!

The girls start their dog-walking venture tomorrow evening. It all started because Munch got it in her head that she wanted to take care of animals - although she doesn't even feed our cat. She started making up these preposterous signs advertising her "Pet Care" service and posting them in our front window. It offered such things as walking, pet sitting, washing and even flea treatment. The child cannot yet wash her own hair, yet she's advertising that she can wash and flea treat a cat?! Well of course, I kept taking down the signs and told her in no uncertain terms that she was not to put them up anymore. So Gin decided to make her some nicer signs - and they posted one at the neighborhood market without my knowledge. I got a call tonight from a lady asking them to walk her dog. Thank goodness it wasn't for any of the other services she offered! I immediately sent Gin down to the market to TAKE DOWN THAT BLASTED SIGN! But I did allow them to call the lady and accept the dog walking. We'll see how it goes, I suppose.

Pooh took the test for the census job several weeks ago, and he was just assuming that he hadn't gotten it, since he hadn't heard anything yet. He was quite surprised when he got the call this evening. He was asked a couple more questions and then was told he had the job. He has to report for three days of training about three weeks from now. It's temporary, of course, but they offered quite good pay and 40 hours a week, plus mileage. He's a little disappointed that he'll have to miss out on a trip to Florida with his friends, but he is more eager to work again and to save up some money. We're hoping it will be enough that he can enroll in classes again at the community college for the fall term.

Oh, and yesterday, I completed my taxes and found that my refund will be enough to completely pay off my student loan and the one other small remaining debt I had, with some left over, so I will be completely debt-free!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Looking up. No, seriously.

Work back at the office begins tomorrow morning, and I'm looking forward to it.

Yet tonight, though, I still have to write my last freelance (sort of) assignment. It was meant to be a story on stamp collectors (yes, really), but thanks to a ridiculous comedy of errors, that's fallen through and been pushed back for another month. My editor asked for a replacement story, so I'll be writing up on social media, localized appropriately. It shouldn't be too terribly hard - I know the subject.

I had to go to a singles dance Friday night for another freelance assignment that's actually due a little later. THAT was an adventure. I'm 37 years old but generally am perceived to be in my 20s. The clientele at this singles dance (it gets about 250 people at each week's dance) probably average somewhere in their 60s.

I was hoping not to be there too long, and I did manage to get out in one hour. But it was an eventful hour. I found a couple who'd started their romance at the weekly dance, and I interviewed them. I also interviewed three other singles who were regular attendees. I got the necessary pictures for the story. In the meantime, I got asked for my phone number five times, got offered six drinks and got dragged on to the dance floor for three dances - two were with a guy called "Moose" and one was with a guy about twice my age and six inches shorter, wearing a cowboy hat with its huge brim hovering just below my chin, who kept spinning me around and around and around. I was glad I wasn't drinking, because I probably would have been sick at that point.

I've taken the opportunity to do my taxes this morning, and I've discovered that once and for all, my student loan will finally be completely paid off! I'll make the phone call tomorrow that will finalize everything, and this monkey will be off my back forever! Say Hallelujah!

It's about time something started falling into place in my life. Now, if only I could sort out the whole romance thing..... D, you know I'm irresistible, so stop being so stubborn. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Flashback Friday - My Sharona

Here's a timeless classic. :) It's The Knack singing My Sharona for Flashback Friday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The word is in....

I've gotten the official word now that I'll be returning to work March 29. I'll be going back to my old paper - where I worked for almost seven years - as a half-time copy editor/paginator and half-time reporter. It's really the perfect arrangement for me. I always liked copy-editing and paginating, because it just comes completely naturally to me. And I've rediscovered a love of reporting during my last six months of freelancing (though I still and will probably always hate writing feature stories).

When I got the initial verification, my old boss told me that I'd be working at the same wage that I started at eight or so years ago. Then I got a follow-up call from him today. It seems the publisher signed the personnel requisition without really reading it, and now he's informed my editor that the job was only budgeted for a dollar less than that rate. My editor's still arguing for the higher rate for me, based on my experience, but it's unlikely he'll be able to get it. So it seems that I'm actually going backward from where I was before. Actually, it would have been backward anyway, as I'd managed to squeeze a tiny raise out of the company during that seven-year period. Oh well.

The county's at a 14 percent unemployment rate now, so I'm happy just to be going back to work full time. And to be staying in my own field. I can't complain too much about the pay rate, because the few jobs I've seen available - that aren't within my field - all seem to have starting wages of about a dollar an hour even below what I'll be making. Seems the financial struggle will continue, but I've managed to live on quite a bit less over the past six months - with my mother's help. At least I'll have to ask a little less of that help now and can take some of that pressure off her.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Flashback Friday - Good Times

Man, I almost forgot! How about some Good Times for Flashback Friday this week? Belt it out Jimmy Barnes with INXS! (And it's timely too, isn't it?)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another today

I've been battling my insomnia with some pharmaceutical assistance lately. Don't worry - I take only one pill a night, only if I'm able to sleep at least six or seven hours, and it's non-addictive medication. It's been working for though, and even though I still feel tired when I wake up, at least I am getting actual sleep. It's got to be better than sleeping only an hour or two a night. At the very least, my eyes don't have that sunken, corpse-like look to them anymore.

I had a raging headache when I woke up this morning. Part of that might have been that I waited a bit late to take the pill, and part of it might have been that the girls were especially slow and difficult this morning, so I woke directly to stress and anger as I tried to get them moving to go to school.

I was able to go back to sleep for a couple of hours after they left for school, and when I awoke again, the headache was completely gone, though I did feel extremely tired still. I'm nearly through my large morning cup of coffee and seem to be recovering from that as well now.

In a couple of weeks, it appears that I won't have the opportunity to go back to sleep after the girls leave. I should be starting back to a regular job - FINALLY - and life will get back to normal - whatever that means. I am looking forward to it though. I've been feeling rather useless without a regular job, even though I've been keeping pretty busy with my freelance work. And I'll be happy to be earning all of my money again, little as it is.

I've got a couple of stories to write today, as well as the Man United-AC Milan Champions League match to watch. I'm hoping for a good, exciting game to get my blood pumping and a United win (OF COURSE!) to give me a good solid boost in the spirit.

Tomorrow I'll be heading into town to do some preliminary work for a freelance editing gig I've been offered and for a chat with my editor before my return to work.

And though I seldom do any kind of star memorials, I'd like to add here a word on the death of Corey Haim. It is especially sad to see the loss of someone who had such potential and whom we have watched over the years slip from the path of greatness due to human weakness and exposure to stardom and excess too young. When success comes early and easily, the vagaries of life are sometimes too much to handle for a person unprepared for and uninitiated in failure. Strength is artificial, and escape is easier than the fight. That Corey Haim recognized his weakness is admirable and that he succumbed to it is cause for sympathy and empathy rather than derision.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flashback Friday double - Naked Eyes

Ok, so I forgot to post a Flashback Friday last week. I'm making up for it this week by giving you a double dose of Naked Eyes. It's Always Something There to Remind Me, and Promises, Promises (with both the US and UK versions, so it's a triple today!). Enjoy!