30 April 2007

Profanity-Laced Day

I know it is going to be a bad day when the first coherent thought that passes through my head contains an expletive; as in, "How do people wake up every morning to do the same damn thing everyday?" When I arrived at work the receptionist called in sick and I was asked to man the phones and deal with requests I don't understand, my favorite profanity-laced phrase ("Bloody HELL!"[Yes, I am even an anglopiliac in my profaning, and yes, I know it is bad but it is my brain's go-to expression.]) mentally accompanied every ring. It was a long day of clock watching, even though I had a lot of crap to do.

In an effort to do something proactive, rather than mope about how I will probably die alone after 50 years bouncing from entry-level job to entry-level job, having been condemned to a life of mediocrity by some karmic sin I don't realize, and found weeks later after neighbours notice a gross smell, unable even to be eaten by Alsatians because my crap career hasn't even allowed me to afford to own a damn dog, I spent my lunch hour enquiring after that museum/art center position. Only I had to enquire at the local government-affiliated employment agency where I was the only person (employees included) whose first language was English and with whom I had to register before they would give me an application. An application that has to be freaking NOTARIZED before I can turn it in. Which means the kick-ass resume I spent two hours on yesterday counts for absolutely nothing. Also, I spent most of my lunch hour at the stupid agency and only had time to wolf down a PB&honey before rushing back to work. It gets even better.

After returning to work I was privy to a conversation between co-workers in which it came up that a previous employee was fired when the owners found out she was looking for a new job. Great. But it gets even better. I know, the mind reels!

I decided to get to work on the application while watching Jeopardy! (yes, I am a gigantic dork) and Scrubsreruns. It was going fine, although I will have to find another person to ask to be a reference because they ask for three non-relative, non-former employer references and I only have two (they don't ask for any other references, weird, no?). They also wanted to know where I went to junior high and if I graduated. Because graduating from high school and a well-respected university just isn't enough. Finally I got to the part where I was to list my employment record. First they ask if I'm currently employed, to which I am really tempted to answer 'No' even though it is a big fat lie and I shouldn't lie on a document that needs to be notarized. Then it asks form my most recent/current employer. Again, tempted to just start with my previous employer, since my 6.5 days at the current job can't possibly be anything but detrimental to my chances. Then, it asks if they can contact my current employer and gives a space for explaining why if I respond negatively. Then, under that, in bold letters followed by an exclamation are the words "If you are a strong finalist, we will contact your current employer!" Which means I have three options. I can choose to sign my name AND a notary's name to a lie; I can risk getting fired, not get the job and end up unemployed AGAIN; or I can just forget the whole enterprise and resign myself to the seventh circle of career hell (door prize: carpel tunnel syndrome). Which led to my last profanity-filled rant of the day while I dried my hair. Then I burst into tears.

28 April 2007

Is It Too Early To Start Hating My Job?

Because I did start hating it. At about 2:30 pm Monday. Does that make me a horrid ingrate, or a whiner with an overly large sense of entitlement? Or both. But seriously, I don't really want to make a career of doing data entry for the real estate other people are buying and selling. The only real estate I care about is the bits I'm going to buy in Vancouver, B.C. and London when my secret trust fund comes through. Honestly, the job is mind-numbing and butt-numbing and I will be permanently disfigured from the hours I have spent in front of the microfilm looking for deeds going back to 1900. Yeah, you heard me, microfilm. All the records from 1900-1965ish are on microfilm. Also, there is a Chatty Cathy receptionist/secretary with whom I share office space AND a guy who can't give anything but long, complicated answers to simple questions, answers which don't actually answer the question and only serve to confuse me more. He is also a nitpicker. Of the many, many documents I searched for and copied from the microfilm for him, there was one, (ONE!) that I had enlarged just a little too much and the last letter of every sentence was cut off. He had to point out the mistake AND give me a lecture about how it could be fixed. Did he think I just got lucky the other ninety-nine times? Big fat UGH!

And finally, I recently heard about an opening for the manager/director of the local art/history museum. Several people have told me to apply because I would be perfect for it. I think they think I'm more skilled than I am. But it would also be kind of a dream job. Would it make me a heinous wench if I applied and got it after my current employer has spent however many weeks training me? And if so, how much of one? Because I'm willing to put up with a lot of anger and resentment if I'm never going to see these people again. My home town is pretty small, but I had never met any of these people before and am pretty sure I won't be running into them on a regular basis. Any opinions?

19 April 2007

My Lucky Day

Not only did I get a job today and manage to plunk out a recognizable four bars of "When the Saints Go Marching In" (left AND right hands) on the piano this afternoon, I found this in my junk email folder:

UK National Lottery,
PO Box 1010
Liverpool,L70 1NL,
United Kingdom,
Draw Date 15/04/2007
Ref: XYL /26510460037/05
Batch: 24/00319/IPD


We happily announce to you the draw (#1167) of the UK NATIONAL LOTTERY, online Sweepstakes International program held on Sunday 15th February 2007.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 56475600545188 with Serial number 5368/02
drew the lucky numbers: 04 10 21 22 25 38 31(Bonus ball) which subsequently won you the lottery in the 1st category i.e. match 6 plus bonus. You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £1,532,720 (One Million, Five Hundred And Thirty Two Thousand, Seven Hundred And Twenty Pounds Sterling) in cash credited to file XYL /26510460037/05 This is from a total cash prize of £4,596,411 (Four Million, Five Hundred And Ninety Six Thousand, Four Hundred And Eleven Pounds Sterling) shared amongst the Three (3) lucky winners in this category i.e. match 6 plus bonus.

To file for your claim,Please contact our Fiduciary Agent for VALIDATION.
Mr James Keegan.
Foreign Services Manager, Payment and Release order
Tel: +44 703 184 5461
E-mail :payofficerkeegan02@yahoo.co.uk
Yours faithfully,
UK Lottery Online Coordinator.

Now, considering the British pound is worth over 2 American dollars this could be the secret trust fund I've been whining about all my life. Because I'm sure an honest and above board pay officer from the British lottery has a Yahoo address. Hee.

All Righty Then

So the interview wasn't so much an interview as an overview of the position and then an offer. Which is great. So I start training tomorrow at 1 pm. We'll see what happens.

18 April 2007

Fingers Crossed

I got a call today in response to one of the resumes I have submitted in the last few weeks and I have an interview tomorrow at 11:30 am. So readers, keep your fingers crossed. I could use a paycheck. I had to close out my savings account yesterday (there was a fee if you didn't have at least $300 in the account, which I obviously didn't and it was costing money to keep it open) and it was utterly depressing. Maybe I'll be able to open a new one soon.

16 April 2007

Good Times

I have been alternately grumpy and mopey for the past few days, mostly because we have been entertaining friends and relatives for the past fifteen days and I'm the sort of person who needs a lot of solitude to stay sane. So I've come up with a few reasons to be happy for the next few days and I thought I would share them with you.

This is my new best friend. I worked up the courage to try it and it works, so I can now enjoy all the wonderful dairy things I had to give up a few years ago. I had a milkshake this weekend and it was wonderful! I can actually eat things like enchiladas and eggplant parmesan again. I'm so very, very happy about this lovely drug. If you know anything bad about it, please don't tell me.

In related news, this morning the scale told me I had lost two pounds, despite the fact that a) I was so busy helping to entertain guests I didn't work out once and b) I ate my weight in Easter chocolate on a daily basis. Maybe an all chocolate diet IS the answer. I could make millions!

During the weeks of entertaining, it was hard to get to all my TV addictions. This was especially harsh, since The Office came back from a long hiatus that began after Roy issued the terrifying words "I'm going to kill Jim Halpert." So obviously I was anxious to see the returning episodes. I set the VCR, double checked and then hoped it all went well. It did NOT go well and I missed the super-sized return episode. I was beyond bitter until I remembered that you could buy episodes on iTunes. Which I did. It was totally worth the $1.99 to hear Michael Scott utter the immortal words "I cross-dressed by mistake."

We all know I have a lot of time on my hands. You can tell by how much more often I post and how much longer my posts are. But I decided to do some things to fill up my time and I started piano lessons today. I never took them when I was young, what with not having a piano and being the kind of child that only asks for something once, if at all. There is a woman in my ward who teaches all the kids in the ward and so now I'm her student too. Which I am very excited about. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Friday, I got an envelope from the BYU Copyright Licensing Office, about which I knew absolutely nothing. Inside was a letter asking for permission to publish a paper I had written for a religion class in 2001 on a website they are creating called Global Mormonism. The paper is entitled "The Impact of Emigration on the Church in Britain" and discusses how Church growth in Great Britain was affected by the mass emigration of converts to the United States. I get to keep copyright ownership and they are keeping a hard copy on file in the HBLL's L. Tom Perry Special Collections. I was giddy for a day and a half. I also had to search through all my disks, since I had only a vague recollection of actually writing the paper.

Finally, I found a very cute hat at a store in Leavenworth, Washington. Leavenworth is an old logging town that almost died when the logging industry left, but decided to reinvent itself as a faux Bavarian town. All the buildings look like ski lodges and Swiss chalets and they contain restaurants, specialty shops, and galleries. It is fun to go there about once every five years, but because of the several shifts of houseguests, I went twice in five days. This hat was the exciting part of the second trip. I found it in the Australian shop and someone needs to throw a tea party so I can have an excuse to wear it.

12 April 2007

Four Square

ZB tagged me, so here it is:

Four Jobs I Have Had
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Plant & Soil Processor
  • Assistant Event Hostess/Server
  • Chiropractic Assistant/Receptionist
Four Movies I could Watch Over and Over
  • Charade (Actually, I could watch anything with Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn, but they are together in this one!)
  • Rat Race (I giggle just thinking about parts of this movie!)
  • Sliding Doors (Really anything set in London is good, but this also has a fun plot.)
  • The X-Files Movie (Quelle suprise!)
Four Places I Have Lived
  • Moses Lake, Washington
  • London, England, United Kingdom
  • Washington, DC
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
Four TV Shows I Watch
  • The Office
  • House
  • Supernatural
  • Scrubs (I got addicted to the show after it was syndicated and on almost as many times a day as Seinfeld.)
Four Places I Have Gone On Vacation
  • Disneyland
  • Ayr, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Disney World
  • Spring Lake, Michigan (Honestly, most 'vacations' I have taken in my life have been to see family, so I don't know if they actually count.)
Four Websites I Visit Daily
Four of My Favorite Foods
  • Couscous with pine nuts, chicken seared in balsamic vinegar & olive oil, and veggies of any kind.
  • Eggplant Parmesan (I can't actually eat this without making myself totally and completely ill, but I love it!)
  • Coke & Lime (it is a food, no?)
  • Guacamole (My father is appalled I eat this without even the pretense of chips!)
Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
Four People I Tag

04 April 2007

Wuthering Heights

I decided to join the book club organised by our ward's Relief Society and thus undertook to read the book they will be discussing at their next meeting: Wuthering Heights. I read Wuthering Heights when I was in high school. Not because it was assigned, but rather because I wanted to. I had already embarked on my anglophilic obsession with 19th century British women novelists and had worked my way through Austen's ouvre and had finished Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights was the logical next step. Being seventeen and engaged in several intense crushes (well, intense as any high school crush can be) on inappropriate boys, naturally the book appealed to me. I felt the anguish of proud Catherine and anger of spurned Heathcliff. I was so engaged in the book that I declined an invitation to a co-ed snowmobiling party to finish it. I bought a copy of the book. It sat on my shelf through college and beyond and I haven't really thought of it in years except when packing and unpacking it during my many moves. Until now.

I don't know if it is age or wisdom, but the book doesn't hold the same power it once did. As I read it, often aloud to my mom so we can both get it finished by Tuesday, I am more annoyed with the characters than anything. Edgar Linton, who I mentally mocked along with Catherine, is now the most sympathetic. I have no patience for what I now read as Catherine's selfish rantings. Either I have grown cynical or just lost my naivete, but I hold no romantic notions about Heathliff. I pity him; I wonder what would have become of him if shown one ounce of courtesy or compassion by any in the Earnshaw or Linton households other than Catherine and her father. However, I no longer have any idea of hope that he might have some shred of human decency, an idea I harbored when I read the book a decade ago. And it isn't just because I know the end from the beginning now, because the genius of Wuthering Heights is how engrossing the story is, even though the novel's struture is such that the outcome for most of the characters is known from the beginning of the novel. The first time I read it, I knew that Heathcliff came to a bad end, because he opens that book very near the bad end. I'm just not connecting to book the way I once did, nor am I enjoying reading it as I once did. It is more like a chore.

An interesting corollary to this is that a decade ago when I read Jane Eyre I liked it, but wasn't moved by it. After seeing the recent Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of it, I re-read it and found it so much more engaging. Is this also a symptom of age or wisdom? Or do I simply not have the emotional energy for any entertainment without a fully happy and hopeful ending these days?

And in a superficial and wholly 'What the crap!?!" moment for you all, when I was searching Google for a picture of the book, I came across a Wikipedia entry that mentioned someone in Hollywood was floating the idea of a film adaptation of Wuthering Heights with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp as Catherine and Heathcliff respectively. Any thoughts?

03 April 2007

Ahhh, Silence

This weekend, we had 13 people staying in our house. Since the house is about 1600 sq. ft., that wasn't enough space for anyone. The whole thing started when my mom's brother, Agent X, and his wife, The Queen of Crafts, decided to bring their three kids, C, Lou, and Jo up for spring break. We were all very excited and couldn't wait for them to get here. Sunday they called to tell us their ETA and announced that they were accompanied by The QoC's sister-in-law and her four children. So, for Sunday dinner we had 6 adults and 7 children ranging in age from 17 to 5. And the 5 year-old, D, was a very emotionally overwrought 5 year-old. He would burst into tears at the slightest thing, or throw tantrums if people got near his toys. He told my dad to go away because he didn't like my dad for telling him not to throw things at my cousin. So every 5 minutes someone was yelling D's name. And my parents insisted that everyone stay at our house. Agent X and family had brought their trailer, so they stayed outside, but the others stayed in our three bedroom house. There were children and toys and people everywhere. I'm amazed our water heater didn't give up in exhaustion this morning! All of them packed up and went to Seattle for two days and only Agent X's family is coming back through to stay until Easter. And my brother Mime and his wife are coming up Saturday for Easter, so it will again be a full house. However, the youngest will be a very well-behaved 7 year-old. Right now, I'm enjoying the respite, just me, my computer, and The Temptations on iTunes. Ahhh.

01 April 2007

What A Little FauxtoShop Can Do

I have a lot of time on my hands and have been playing with my digital camera. It turns out that the computer I inherited from my brother has a diluted MicroSoft version of PhotoShop on it. So I have been having fun. And if you need any further proof of how different the world of fashion magazines is from reality, take a look at what an unskilled amateur can do with an entry-level program and 30 minutes.

This is the photo I used for my celebrity look-alike entry a few posts ago. Crazy, no?