Unemployment

Today was a good day.

***

I’ve been having unpleasant and vivid dreams every night.

It all started three weeks ago when I went to the doctor for a followup appointment. He said my cholesterol is high normal, most likely due to genetics and not my diet (thanks for that boost, man), and started me on a low dose of Lipitor. Three days later, I was wondering if that was the cause of my crazy ass dreams and googled it–yup, that can sure happen.

I also learned that Lipitor can increase your risk of diabetes. Thanks, doc, like I don’t already have enough strikes against me. So I stopped taking it. But the dreams haven’t stopped. Last night was the worst one yet, involving burnt pieces of people, mostly children.

But it was just a dream, so I’m okay.

***

I had to wake up early to wake my husband up so he could take his dad to the doctor, but I went back to sleep, so there’s that.

***

I woke up half an hour later because my mother’s home health nurse showed up. My mother had a knee replacement done last week. That is a whole ‘nother story, my friends. But whatever, I went back to sleep for another little bit.

***

I finally got up and took a shower and figured out what to wear to my interview, and my husband still wasn’t home. Eventually he made it, bringing his brother for a haircut. He shaved his brother’s head, which was interesting, as I’ve always known him to have long hair.

Then he brought his brother home and dropped me off for my interview. He let me out at the employee entrance, and one of my friends from housekeeping was taking a load of trash out. He was happy to see me, and asked if I was working there again. I told him no, that I was just coming for an interview, and he wished me good luck. I stopped by and said hi to my old assistant manager, who wished me luck, and headed to my interview.

I went into the store and said hi, I’m here to interview with Mr Manager at 230. The girl at the counter raised her eyebrow and said no, you’re here for an interview with me. She seemed mighty offended that I assumed that since Mr Manager asked me to come for an interview with him at 230 that I would be interviewing with him. Jeez, I’m such an idiot.

She told me I would have to wait. Okay, no big deal. I moseyed around and looked at body jewelry for ten minutes while she sassed a customer, wandered to the office, wandered back out, rang up the customer that she’d sassed, rolled her eyes at a coworker’s question, kicked a backpack around behind the cash wrap, and flipped pages on a clipboard.

When she’d made me wait long enough for offending her, she simply walked toward the front of the store without saying a word to me. Her coworker told me she’s ready for you now. All three of us stood at the lease line, me quite awkwardly witnessing my interviewer berate her coworker for bringing some jewelry with her to ask another question.

We sat at a table behind the closed gelato stand to talk. First she handed me a copy of my application and asked me to make sure all of the information was correct. I looked it over and told her that the only change was that I was no longer employed, but since I’d already put that I could start immediately, that didn’t affect anything else on the application.

I also explained that while I’d answered the question about how many jobs I’d had in the past two years with the number three, they were simultaneous jobs, and that I’d maintained steady employment with my most recent employer for the past four and a half years, the first three and a half with a second job. She reassured me that was fine, even thought there was no place on the application to explain that.

No small talk, just four pages of pre-supplied interview questions including when was the last time you shopped with us and what were you shopping for, tell me about a time when you received bad guest service, and who was the best manager you’ve ever had and what did you learn from them. She didn’t care about my answers, but at least she took notes.

When she was done she told me that she would speak with Mr Manager tomorrow and he would give me a call to let me know their decision. I think she was upset that I wasn’t solemn enough about the whole situation, which is funny because the company’s slogan is life’s a party, we’re making it fun.

But I’ll find something out tomorrow. Probably.

***

My husband picked me back up at the employee entrance. We dropped off his dad’s prescription and went to the hardware store for some supplies to use in our crystal-making endeavor that we had planned for this evening. That, my friends, is yet another story, which you may possibly read about tomorrow when I have the final results.

***

We went to Walk-On’s for dinner and then hit Target up for two whole hours of date night fun. I got three new books, and here is a picture of them, a la Stephanie at AoaB.

Good night!


Sesame Chicken, Please

Jana Burke peered into the fridge. Same old bunch of celery, bag of baby carrots, not enough milk for a bowl of cereal, and leftover chili alongside the year’s worth of condiments that always manages to build up in the shelves on the door.

She blew her bangs across her forehead and rocked back on her heels, still holding the door open. At least I’m fortunate enough to be able to order out, she thought, slamming the poor fridge shut and reaching across the counter for her phone.

“Pizza or Chinese?” she hollered down the hall. No answer. She stomped back to Daniel’s room in her stocking feet and knocked on his door, chuckling a little at the thought that she was old enough to parent a teenager. After a moment of rustling, the door opened inward.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“Pizza or Chinese?” Jana repeated. 7eac64caabfeea155248ab641bace029.jpg

“Oh. Sesame chicken, please. And eggrolls. Thanks.” Daniel turned back to his desk, closing the door as he went.

Jana shook her head and dialed their favorite Chinese restaurant and sat down in her favorite chair as it rang.


Cosmo and Wanda

I blew out a breath, directing it upwards to flutter my bangs across my forehead. This wasn’t going to work out. I pushed away from my desk, the carefully aligned row of Erlenmeyer flasks and the murky deformity that lay within the last one to the right.

“What’s for dinner, babe?” I hollered down the hall. My partner was in his own office, proofreading college essays. A thankless job, but it brought in enough extra money that we could afford a fancy dress date night once a month.

He didn’t respond. This wasn’t entirely unusual; sometimes he got super engrossed in whatever cockamamie theory some student was proposing and tuned out the rest of the world.

I tiptoed down the hall to the door of his office, where I paused to listen quietly. Sometimes a soft chuckle would escape the confines of his office, but I didn’t hear the occasional paper shuffle that usually accompanied it.

I lifted a finger and tapped gently on the door, then more insistently when he didn’t answer me. Maybe he had his headphones on again, but he hardly ever turned the volume up loud enough to not be able to hear me yell if I needed something, which was pretty dang often.

I’m pretty accident prone, and in spite of a ton of safety equipment, I’ve been known to stab myself with a needle. Once I even got a tiny droplet of extremely corrosive acid up and over my safety goggles. I still have the little scar right next to my left eye. Man oh man, that was a scary day, let me tell you.

I dropped my still-gloved hand to the knob and turned it as I pushed on the door. And there he was, the man of my dreams, kicked back in his recliner and watching YouTube videos on his phone.

“Instead of working like a responsible adult!” I hoped that I raised my voice enough for him to hear me over whatever garbage he was watching. I had.

He slammed the footrest of the recliner down and closed and quickly snatched the headphone cord out of the jack in his phone. “Oh, hey, babe, I didn’t hear you knock. You did knock, didn’t you?” He raised an eyebrow at me.

“You’re not gonna get off that easy, mister. I know we have our rules to leave each other alone while we’re working, but you didn’t answer when I did knock, loudly, and besides, it sure looks like you’re not actually working anyway. Are you? Is this some new sort of research that you’ve embarked upon?” I was pretty upset that he’d accused me of being a jerk when he was the one being a jerk. The jerk.

He raised his palms in submission. “Okay, okay, you’re right. I”m not working. But I’m just taking a quick break from working, so I might as well be. Jeez, calm down.” He turned his wrist to check his watch. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize it was so late. Let’s go get something for dinner, shall we?” He rose and gave me a kiss on my cheek as he passed by, towards our bedroom where I’m sure he was going to get a fresh pair of socks from the dresser.

How can I stay mad at that? I can’t. “Did you have something in mind for dinner?” I whined as I followed him to the bedroom, where sure enough, he was digging furiously through the sock drawer, brows knit in fierce concentration.

“Have you seen my green socks? They’re not in here.” He trailed off, pouting his lower lip out the tiniest bit. “I could have sworn I washed them when I did laundry last weekend. I specifically remember folding them and tucking them back into the sock drawer.” He looked up at me. “Have you seen them?”

I hung my head, abashed. “See, you were sleeping so good this morning that I didn’t want to turn the light on wand wake you up, so I just grabbed the first pair that my hand touched when I went in the sock drawer, and well,” I grasped my pant legs and slowly raised them. “Sorry.”

He laughed and gave me a kiss. “But where’s the other one, silly goose?”

dirtysocks

 


A Lovely Saturday Evening

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Everyone left today. It was glorious. My husband went to work and my mother took a nap and it was just me and the cats, who were snoozing merrily. So I sat at the dining room table all by myself, and I practiced calligraphy and listened to ambient music for an hour.

And then I made meatloaf and the broccoli and cheese sauce that I forgot to make on Thanksgiving. It was delicious.


Carrots and Carrots


I’ve cooked more carrots in the past week than I usually do in months. But we had a ton in the fridge; now, not so many. 

Friday night I roasted some baby carrots tossed in cayenne pepper infused olive oil and topped them with toasted chopped walnuts and green onion. 

Last night I stir fried sliced carrots with celery, sesame seeds, and soy roasted pumpkin seeds. It went well over fried rice. 


Weekly Get-Together

Carrie’s car backfired, and she jumped, letting go of the clutch and causing it to stall out. She rubbed the tense muscles in the back of her neck and took a deep breath. Some life lessons are easier to learn than others, I guess, she thought.

“Yoo hoo!” Someone called from the garage door. “Anybody home?” It was Carrie’s main accomplice, Sky. Their annual Labor Day Weekend bash was the stuff of legend. Mostly because of that one year when the twins had one too many raspberry mojitos and tried to go home with each other’s boyfriend.

Carrie gratefully exited her vehicle, dropping the keys in the seat behind her. She welcomed Sky’s arrival because it meant tapas were near. “Just let me grab my shoes,” she called.

Sky nodded and bounced back to her own properly maintained car to wait. Carrie was horrible about being ready on time. Today Sky ran ten minutes late on purpose just to see if Carrie would notice. Her bet was on not.

Today, it only took Carrie eight minutes to find the most disgusting pair of sandals she owned. At least, that was Sky’s assumption. They might once have been Birkenstocks, but time and abuse and disfigurement caused them to look like some alien creature had attached itself to Carrie’s flesh. And the color was just gross.

Sky shrugged, and put the car in reverse. Tapas Thursday was a tradition that wasn’t worth losing over a pair of godawful ugly sandals. Besides, Carrie’s existing fashion sense wasn’t ever anything to write home about.

On the way to the restaurant, they passed the train station, which was decorated in a giant banner welcoming some gymnast to the local competition. Sky pointed a finger at it, and Carrie scoffed.

“I haven’t been interested in gymnastics since my mother stopped forcing me to go,” she said. “Not that I was interested before then, either.”

Sky laughed. “I know, silly. Just like me and piano lessons.”

They pulled up to the fine dining establishment where all the Thursday staff knew their names. Sky parked the car, and the pair walked up to the door. A moth flew down from the awning, flapping in Sky’s face, and she flailed her arms wildly at it, panicking.

“It’s just a bug, girl, you look like you’re directing a ship into port,” said Carrie.

Sky’s face was red, and she briefly tried to defend her actions, but quickly gave up and shrugged. “I know, I just don’t like them.”

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They went to their usual table in the corner by the kitchen, not normally a popular table, but they liked it because the chance of the waiter dropping their tapas down someone’s back was pretty much nonexistent.

Natalio was their waiter tonight, and he was their definitive favorite. Even before they figured out the near-the-kitchen trick, he’d never dropped a single item from their order.

Sky picked up a dot of sauce with her finger and licked it off before continuing the conversation that had flagged due to their mutual admiration of Natalio.

“So, you don’t think that I’m being stupid about Fletcher, huh?”

Carrie quickly shook her head. “Of course not! He was absolutely faithless assuming that you were going to dump him for losing his job. He’s the one being stupid. I mean, a preemptive breakup over local employment? I know it sucks, but he’s being a jerk.”

“I know, but still…it just breaks my heart. I thought we were so good together. I didn’t know about the big streak of crazy he had until it was too late. But I guess it isn’t too late, since we’re broken up.” Sky shrugged. “What about you? How does your blood work look?”

“Oh, it’s fine, lately. My serum levels are down, which is good. Hopefully it’s just a waiting game now.”

***

Today I generated a list of twenty random words from this site. I wrote half at work this morning and finished the rest tonight. If you pay attention, you can tell where I started to struggle with the last few words!