Backstory off a Short Career.

FocusImage by phr3qu3ncy via Flickr

A Blogging Retrospective

How I got from Point A to Point Z
to … what was the point?

My uprooting and eventual flotsam status in the deep end of the unemployment sea began soon after I left my job of nine plus years at a mommy magazine from which I needed a change, not a Chapter 11 restructuring. At the time, change seemed inevitable despite the fact that change and I never really got along, and I preferred wearing an old pair of broken in sneakers to new shiny unyielding ones.

The fact that I took a chance at all was nothing short of a miracle in a life that rarely deviated from old habits rooted in a lack of discipline, compounded by zero self-confidence, not to mention time management issues and a propensity for being late. Enjoying the same old same old ruled my life and kept me returning to ham and cheese themed lunches.

At 54, I’m not what you’d call a young duckling, yet I certainly should have ducked when the bakery owner hurled the job offer at me. If I had only known the owner discarded people like used cupcake doilies, I wouldn’t have jumped from the frying pan into the convection oven and stayed seated on my old broken chair, at my wobbly desk, another year or two longer. Had I known, but hindsight is best viewed through a high-powered lens and my lens prescription didn’t compensate for astigmatism.

After nine plus years, I had reached the point of no return with, Stu and Lou, the two co-owners of the mommy magazine who preferred screaming at deafening sound decibels rather than speaking at tempered librarian tones.

Stu and Lou’s loud vocal profusions, prompted by their tendency to provide conflicting directives to the staff, usually left everyone dazed and confused including Stu and Lou. The diametrically opposite duo also had a knack for giving strange and insulting gifts during the holidays. I once received a $25 gift card for Christmas with a star registered in my name. I was not amused.

On a brisk September afternoon, the last day of my two-week holding pattern, I grabbed my baggage and took off, bidding adieu to a screaming Stu and Lou. The words “We need two more weeks,” followed me down the hall until I slammed the door behind, silencing their screams forever. My nine year time out at the mommy magazine had finally ended.

With thoughts spinning inside my skull like a universe caught in a cosmic flush, I approached the other side of the New York border ready to start work as a customer service rep for a bakery where the cupcakes were nut-free, but the owner was not.

Frank, the CEO, CFO, and pistachio in charge, enjoyed several hobbies, one of which involved pacing the length of the office while shouting on his cell phone. Apparently, my ears wouldn’t be safe here either.

Blessed with wide-angle peripheral vision, Frank’s other hobby involved office reconnaissance and searching for employee transgressions even if there weren’t any. It was unfortunate for me that my desk stood in the range of his special ops sweep.

Frank’s pacing route started at the front door, continued past my desk, and ended in the back of the office at the assembly table where illegal immigrants stuffed bags of hard candy into boxes. As he raced past me, the air from his cold front sent a chill down my spine, while the burn of his glaring eyes charcoaled my back.

On days that Frank’s wife and business partner Lynn made a cameo appearance, the couple’s combined four-eyed stare set my clothes on fire.

To best describe baking diva Lynn, in a nutshell, the pistachio didn’t fall far from the tree. Speaking of trees, while working at the bakery, I learned what happens to trees when they die; they’re reincarnated into stacks of paper on my desk. Sifting through dead trees was a favorite pastime of mine. Another fun game: hunting for press packages buried beneath sheets of trees.

Thus, I learned a new word, paper-plotzed.

        Image via Wikipedia

To my dismay, I discovered I had to send out complimentary press requests before, after and simultaneously, while handling customer and inventory orders, processing invoices and billing, and manning the phones set to “perpetual ring” since they were answered by humans instead of a machine.

In retrospect, I should have quadrupled my spinach and Ritalin intake or not responded to the job at all.

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Perimeno Menace, Not to be Confused with Jose Jimenez.

Color Martini:

 


From the estrogen files … archived but not forgotten.


Anyone for a Perimenopausal Cocktail?
(Originally posted Friday, Oct 30, 2009)


 

Time to smash the rose-colored glasses.

Damn it! I’m moody. This gloomy weather and gray drippy sky doesn’t help. I want to be five years old again, find a mud puddle, jump in it, and ruin my black patent leather shoes. Being sent to bed without dinner would be a fair trade off, as tuna casserole would likely have been on the dinner rotation schedule.

Back then, my mother didn’t have an elaborate menu. She was one of the first working moms in the neighborhood. While other mothers spent their days at health clubs or boutiques, my mom went back to school to earn her broker’s license and then sold real estate before it was socially acceptable in the burbs. Most nights, my two brothers, father, and I dined on a variety of chicken, TV dinners, tuna casserole, or meat loaf, which mirrors the complexity of my cooking cuisine, minus the tuna casserole.

Needless to say, I’m a disaster in the kitchen. Before getting married and taking my husband’s last name, he begged me to take a cooking course called “How to boil water?” Somehow I managed to pass the class even though I burned the water.

Which brings me back to “Doh!”

Tonight in the present, we’re having leftovers again. When in a hypersensitive state, I try to stay away from carving knives and incendiary devices a.k.a. the stove.

God, why does the ceiling hang so low it crushes my skull, squeezing my cerebrum out through my ears. Some of you might understand this brain wreck. Some of you might think I’m a whiny bitch and call long distance to say, “Why not exercise your troubles away and take a hike?”

Because sweating will further depress me. My mental state is that fragile. Only a hot bath, chocolate cake, and a refreshing cocktail on an inflatable tray will save me. Then, it’s off to bed where I’ll dream the dream and wake up to face another day of hormonal hell.
  

Got a hormone war story?
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Totally Retro-spective!

Some simple cutout cookie cuttersImage via Wikipedia

When I started blogging two plus years ago, I had zero readers but that was irrelevant. Having an outlet to keep me sane was my prime directive.

Earthly writing also kept me sane but required at least 5,000 words, the typical length of a short story, my chosen literary genre.

Whereas, blog posts averaged 300 words, a shorter less formal vehicle for spewing my thoughts. No fuss. No muss. No rejections from editors. During that emotionally fragile time, I couldn’t handle failure on a creative level when I had already been leveled on the 9-5 playing field.

Current playing field hours 11-4 — Priceless!

This weird trip I’m on began two years ago after I left my job of nearly ten years for what I thought would be an opportunity working as a customer service rep for a bakery where the cupcakes were nut-free, but the owner was not.

Image via Wikipedia
Three months later, as I sifted through online job sites for other employment opportunities, I saw my job posted on Craigslist. When I confronted the head pistachio in charge, he confirmed my suspicions.

I learned through a clandestine call from the production manager, who was hiding off site in the bakery, that the gal who preceded me was also let go at the three month mark, which also turned out to be true with gal number three, who followed me … out the door. They say that bad things happen in threes.  

One of these days, we’ll find out who they are.

In the bakery business, they also like to say, “That’s how the cookie crumbles,” an old cookie cutter proverb.

If only my days had cookie cutter boundaries. A wise old woman, who also happens to be my mother, once said, “You need structure.” Mothers always seem to know. After all, they have eyes in the back of their heads. At least most moms do. I’m a mother, too, but don’t possess rear-view vision. The only object that appears larger in my mirror is my butt.  I can’t see ten feet in front of me or ten feet behind my behind.

That is why the road I travel in life requires a GPS system and a street with double yellow lines. Without lines, my ADD mind veers off onto the breakdown lane or takes the next exit to windy back roads.

ADD tangents lead my thoughts astray, a directionless joyride that never ends. On an ADD trip, Point A never leads to Point B and usually ends up at Point P, Q, or Z. All the while the calendar on the wall and clock just laugh at me.

Soon after the bakery owner cut off my dough, I moved into a blog lot in Blogger Shanty town and started writing about my daze while sending out hundreds of resumes into the employment black hole.

My first post on Friday, May 29, 2009 summed up my predisposition for getting lost in my head, the ADD road map to nowhere.

Today Friday

A day without work. At home trying to get organized. A problem. Always. Can’t reign in my thoughts to stabilize the content in my head. The executive function in my brain takes too many coffee breaks, gets in late, and leaves early. The proverbial cluttered mind with a desk by the window. I look outside and see trees but can’t see the forest through them …

As I look out the window at 12:00 a.m., all I see is the black glut of night. I know the trees are there somewhere. I guess I’ll have to wait until daylight to see them.

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Random Thoughts: Land of Lost Moments

Fontaine de Vaucluse or Spring of Vaucluse in ...Image via Wikipedia

 
Poetry

Land of Lost Moments

I hold the answer in my hand held tight in a fist.
Inside it, I carry the weight of years lost in quiet introspection.
Dreams discarded,
like tufts of dead grass tossed on the side of the road,
laying in a pile that grows higher every day,
now too unwieldy to take away.
I gaze at the brown spots that litter my lawn,
exposing my flaws for all to see.
I know that snow laden winters and warm spring waters
can no longer give sustenance here.
The years have been cruel to my land, my house,
my lot of moments castaway in impulsiveness.

I have spent too many afternoons looking across the road.
In doing so, I have neglected what was intrinsically mine.
My creations, my livelihood of moments gone by without regret,
until now. I know the grass will never grow here again.
I lost the fight the day the grass died,
and I hurled the scraps across the yard like words
promised in haste and then forgotten.
The responsibility was mine and mine alone.
I own all the mistakes, the blemishes that proliferate.
Only when night falls will I find salvation. Only when darkness
covers the dead brown spots that litter my lawn.

I’ve been going through so many changes lately. 

My thoughts continue to take me through different levels of my mind. One day I’ll find the answers.

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Kamikaze Saki Shots!

Haiku!
Gesundheit!

Forget the sneeze. It’s a red herring.

Focus on my mouth.

Saki shots whiz across the table.

The chef fires the salvo from the other side.

Then, everybody starts to count. 
I made it to 27…

Before my throat burned and my mouth locked down.

Saki blocked, with no place to go. It bled across my blouse.

You see, I killed it, or rather, it killed me.

Photobucket
Cut!
I swear I’m not gargling. 

My son attacked the rice wine with gusto.

Photobucket
Banzai!
Captured by my husband on digital file,
a birthday romp through Hibachi land.

My son now 22. Another year older, pushes me over the top.

I never got a shot of hubby getting a shot.

Because I don’t have an iPhone with a built in flash.

Sick!

My phone just makes calls. 

Disclaimer:  If I can take a picture on my phone, would that be a lie or creative license?  Still, I don’t have a fancy phone with a strobe light or a cappuccino machine.

Old Moldy Post – Stuff Gets Stuck In My Head and Grows There.

Barbed wire fence with snow.Image via Wikipedia

Found this buried in the back of my blog.

Next Exit Past Asylum Street.

On the road, Mom, Dad, and son head to college admissions. We’re watching all the signs.

Just passed Asylum Street.

A warning.

On the shoulder, a discarded sneaker left standing.

Farther down the road, another sneaker on its side.

Where are the feet? I dare not ask.

Strange roadside happenstance up ahead.

Minimum security prison on the left. Prisoners trapped in gray jumpsuits jogging in line across a yard, or not. It’s more like concrete grass. Prisoners like concrete, especially the shoes.

In the side view mirror, barbed wire fades into glass.

Now gone.

We continue past moo moo cows and cornfields, past boonie towns and weathered barns. On the road to infinite asphalt sky. Zero. Nothing, but gray ribbons twisting in the wind.

Luckily, GPS Gladys is our gal. Her voice, calm and reassuring.

“Continue along route 666 for another mile,” she says.

We follow.

Close to our destination we are told.

A sign confirms it. “Cheer up your lawn with manure.” It says. I say, “WTF?” We’re heading toward Crazy 8 Campus, stuck in mud beneath morphine sky.

“You’ll be taking a right in one mile,” pipes Gladys.

In exactly a mile, we turn onto Crazy 8 Road behind a slow moving Honda, with a bumper sticker on the back that brags, “You just got passed by a girl.”

We pass the Honda. A guy is at the wheel.

“Destination on the left in 500 feet.”

“Thanks, Gladys.”

Click.

She takes a nap.

We take a seat in Crazy 8 hall.

Taken any road trips lately?

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Two-Year Blogiversary Head Cleaning

The wind, depicted by a fir tree at Lake Ivacs...Image via Wikipedia

 Airing My Thoughts.

Two years of windy words waft through the blogosphere. Losing altitude, accelerating toward earth, cyber air whooshes through my window screen.

Cold air slams hot, as parallel universes collide. A rogue gust of wind rips the screen from the frame, whacking the side of my head.

I pass out on the bed, then later, open my eyes inside the eye of a tornado; the house spins in the sky. Outside my window, a witch zips by on a Dyson.

Where’s Toto?

Woof. Woof. Yelp! Sssssssssssst.

Poor Toto. Got sucked into the vacuum. He was mistaken for a fur ball.  

A contemporary twist!

Click your heels three times.

I’m back!

Two years went by like – Snap! Or Crack! – Rather quickly, factoring in the days spent unemployed in my warm up suit ensemble that turned rancid by the end of days – Wasn’t that two-weeks ago? Missed the locusts and tidal wave, although we did get a lot of rain. Coincidence? I think not.

Recently, I’ve been spending my days in Harriet the Spy mode. No, not flat or middle grade, but in three-dimensional investigative mode, searching for clues in a dubious deal that’s all about the dirt. To avoid suspicion, I adopted a dumb blond persona. No one discovered my true identity despite the fact that I’m a brunette.

Does Dirt Travel from the Ground up or Fall from the Top of the Tree? 

It’s probably a “Who comes first, the chicken or the egg?” scenario unless the yolk broke, then it’s an omelet. All I know. Something stinks in my quaint New England town, and it’s not horse manure.

I know you must be on life support by now hearing about the cell tower, but that’s where the speckulation of dirt began because the tower people (sounds like a sci fi movie) want to blast a hole in sacred wetlands ground in order to plant the faux pine death tree.

The trajectory of the killer ray will travel a horizontal path toward my house, situated at the top of the mountain. The good news. We’ll be able to microwave TV dinners on the TV or on my head. Good times!

I also think the tower people are responsible for citrus flavored toothpaste that glows like an extraterrestrial element on my toothbrush. Citrus is a tangy tooth treat that wakes up my mouth in the morning, to which my tongue responds, “WTF?” My feelings on the aberrant flavor a.k.a. freak of nature. Citrus should stay in the fruit where it belongs.

Have you dazzled your teeth with citrus?
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