Monday, March 31, 2008

sunshine and lollipops

Well... (yawn, scratch my butt)... there's not a whole lot new going on around here. Just another day in paradise.

Not that I haven't accomplished a whole lot, mind you. I've done some laundry. Finished reading a book. Eaten some chocolate. I haven't managed to put a bra on today, but I've penciled it in for the last possible minute before I have to go pick up the kids.

The Liberty Jubilee was on Saturday. Zach and Ali, Terri, Jacob, Vic and the kids and I went, and Dalt and Natthan. It was anti-climactic. Everyone kind of split up and went their separate ways. It was hot. Two dollars for a canned Diet Coke was a little pricey, if you ask me. And the kids are getting older, so I guess the thrill is gone.

I know that feeling quite well these days.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

All in a day's work

I got a response to my resume.

Yesterday morning I received an e-mail from the assistant to the CEO of H Texas Magazine inviting me to apply for an editorial position. She said they were looking for a strong editor with "a way with words." How cool is that?

We set up an appointment for this morning at 11. It was all very exciting. I woke up at 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep for hours. Finally my alarm went off and I got up to shower and beautify (there is nothing natural about beauty.) Then, with the kids off to school it was time for the fateful decision: what to wear.

Mind you, my conversation yesterday with Mom did not inspire confidence. I had already pretty much decided to wear my heeled boots with nice jeans, a simple burgundy button-down shirt and my go-to blazer. The first thing she said when I told her I had an interview was, "For God's sake don't wear your boots! You want to look polished, not sexy!"

Wow. Did my boots make me look like a tramp? I wear them everywhere. Does everyone think I'm a slut? That would explain a lot.

"Mom, I don't own anything that looks polished. I'm broke. I raise kids and I write. Who am I trying to impress?"

"Borrow some money, buy an expensive outfit, keep the tags, and take it back after the interview. People do it all the time."

Um, no. Not this people. "Mom, there is no way I'm going to do that. How can I say I'm trusting God to show me what to do, then steal clothes to get the job?"

Disappointed pause. "I guess you're right. Just do your best." Disappointed sigh.

Wow again.

I wore the jeans and boots and felt pretty good about everything. The office building was easy to find, especially with the giant HCN on the side of it. Never mind that HCN stands for Houston Community Newspapers, which is the owner of the Cleveland Advocate, which I left on kind of suckie terms. I decided it was God's ironic twist.

The office itself was also easy to find. Suite 300. No worries. A sign said to knock on the door, so I did. A slightly exasperated young man in jeans and running shoes opened up. "I have an 11 a.m. appointment with Margaret," I said brightly.

He sighed and did a partial eye roll. "I'll go see if she's around."

That gave me time to kick myself for the 11 a.m. comment. Duh.

I was ushered in, filled out an application, which sucks because my penmanship is somewhat... poor. (Those of you who know me can stop rolling on the floor laughing now.) I was briefly interviewed by the owner/editor-in-chief and then left on my own to edit a piece she'd written the year before. Finally, something I knew I could do. Except it was a real mess. She'd already warned me not to take too long, so I hoped she didn't have an open intercom because expletives were flying as I tried to polish the thing as fast as I could.

Finally, after about 20 minutes, I finished in triumph. It was good. The job sounded exactly like what I love to do and I thought the interview had gone well. Then the lady swept into the room, thanked me curtly and said they would be interviewing all week - if I seemed like the best candidate they would call me in for a second interview. In effect, don't call us, we'll call you.

Even so, my integrity remained intact.

Although I am considering borrowing the money to buy a lawn mower, keeping the tags, doing a few yards for cash, then returning it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

On the bright side, I can totally fall off a ship and not need a life preserver

Well, I've posted my resume on Yahoo! Hot Jobs, CareerBuilder, and Monster. We'll see what happens, but what I really want to do is freelance from home. I've queried an editor with a magazine that published me a few years ago.

I have GOT to lose weight. I saw a picture of myself that made me want to cry. So, I started walking the track again yesterday and today I had half a bagel with cream cheese and half a cup of milk for breakfast, carrots for a snack, a Lean Cuisine for lunch, and nine Russell Stover cream centered chocolates for dessert. Good thing I stuck with Diet Coke to wash them down.

We'll have a breakfast dinner tonight - french toast, pancakes, and turkey bacon. I can feel the weight falling off even as I write.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Willie Wonka, will you marry me?

If you read yesterday's post - you might want to read it again. I was very tired when I wrote it, so I cleaned it up a little today.

About the chocolate factory. WOW. We went to the Russell Stover outlet in... Oh, I can't remember, somewhere between here and Dallas. I think it was Corsicana, but I'm not sure. Anyway, it was fun. These two great big burly guys were going up and down the aisles with goofy grins on their faces, like kids on Christmas morning. An elderly woman stood transfixed by the sugar-free choices. My cellulite jumped for joy when I found my favorites and saw the bulk discount. I had more fun making my kids' powdered candy tubes than any of the kids there. Ah, the power of sweets - my drug of choice.

I may still be aimless, job-wise, but I have lots of chocolate.

And that's the important thing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chocolate and testosterone

It's been a long day of doing pretty much nothing.

I had a great weekend, though. I went to "Extrication Fest" in Fort Worth. If you ever wondered where firefighters go to learn how to cut people out of metal, i.e., cars, 18-wheelers, cement trucks, etc., this would be it.

At one point, I was actually sitting in a room with over a hundred guys and maybe four women, myself included. Maybe it was because I'd never been in such a large group of males, or maybe it was just that I'm older and more observant, but whatever the reason, I got a glimpse into the masculine mystique that was a real eye opener.

I sat in the back and watched the guys sitting around, chatting it up, and it was like a curtain opened up. For the first time, I realized why the men's club is something a woman can never really be a part of.

They were comfortable with who they were and with each other because, on a very basic level, they were the same. They were all men. They all had the same body parts, the same thought processes, the same core experience. This, they understood. There may have been an unspoken pecking order - you know, Alpha Male and all that - but I didn't see it at all. It was just that they were the same, and they knew what to expect from each other. Uncomplicated. Primeval.

Suddenly, I understood how foreign a female must seem to the inexperienced male. And, for those men who are in a relationship with a woman, what a relief it must be to occasionally gather with their comrades for a respite from the unfamiliar worlds of vulnerability, mysterious mood swings, and "talking things out."

I never got it before.

No wonder misunderstandings happen so often between the sexes. We try to act like there is no difference between us when, in fact, we are incredibly different. If we approached the opposite sex like an alien culture that must be learned - and taught them our own culture as well, instead of expecting them to inherently know everything - then we could live together much more effectively, and peacefully.

I also got to visit a chocolate factory. Which made me happy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


So, I'm unemployed again.

I worked my butt off for nearly two months; helped reformat and put together two magazines - one of which was a two-month issue; revamped advertising sales; smoothed over what could have been a very detrimental change in making the switch from a monthly publication to bi-monthly; wrote and edited a ton of articles; and was thanked by being snubbed, condescended to, and demoted. And my company gas card was declined.

Suffice it to say, I am not a willing participant in office politics. I will not mudsling. And Walmart is back on my personal roadmap. I also now hold the title for the most interesting string of former jobs, ever.

Can you just hardly wait to find out where I wash up next?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

When opportunity comes knocking


We got the magazine out and it will hit the stands tomorrow. It looks fantastic and I'm very proud of it. Sales were on an upward swing with this issue and everything seemed to be going smoothly. And today I was told that I will no longer be the publisher/editor, but only the editor. That's nice.

Fiction writing has been knocking on my door again. Something I would like to pursue. I should have some time, now. So we'll see where that takes me.

Maybe I'll find my sense of humor along the way.