Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nana Prepares For Another Job Interview

Remember Nana’s last job interview? The one where I forgot how long it takes your tongue to wake up after a visit to the dentist and scheduled my interview a half an hour after I left the chair. (Click here) I’ve got another interview this week and decided that this time I would prepare carefully.

Because I am interviewing for a position in another state, we’re going to do the interview over Skype. This will be my first Skyped interview. I’ve only used Skype once and that was to talk with my granddaughters. I thought I’d practice on them again before the interview.

Since the interviewer will only be able to see me from the waist up, that makes some of the pre-interview preparation easier. I did need to get a haircut, so on Monday I went to the stylist. I figured getting it cut a few days early was smart. I didn’t want that just clipped look. I chatted with the beautician and told her about the interview. “Oh, you’re so brave” she said to me. “Doesn’t the camera add like ten or twenty pounds?”

Damn, I hadn’t even thought about looking fat and I don’t have time to drop twenty pounds before Thursday.

My daughter gave me suggestions about where to setup my laptop. “Be careful about what you have in the background” she warned me.  I’ve got a couple of rooms in my house that are messy, but nothing approaching what you see on “Hoarders.” What does she think I’d have in the background?  Oh yeah, since she left home I turned the back bedroom into a crack house. I’ll have to clear out those junkies before the interview.

I decided to hook up a web cam to the computer in the back bedroom. I had purchased it several years ago and never taken it out of the box. I was using the camera to see which shirts and dresses looked best on camera when my son walked by the room and asked what I was doing. He rolled his eyes and said, “Maybe you could just hire someone younger and more attractive.” Yeah, that’s a vote of confidence! He also suggested I could hire a minority to do the interview for me and then sue if I didn’t get the job.

The down side to doing an interview on Skype is that there’s really no excuse to buy cute new shoes…oh, and the ten to twenty pounds the camera adds. I always try to dress professionally. I’m more conservative than trendy. My closet is full of black and white. My wardrobe isn’t very camera friendly. I’ve decided to wear a navy print dress and a bright fuchsia jacket. Perhaps I’ll post a sign on the wall behind me that says “Caution, camera adds ten to twenty pounds.”

Wish me luck...Nana's ready to come out of retirement!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nana Remembers a Lesson Learned

I posted last week about trivial irritations. Once I started focusing on the things that irritated me it was difficult to stop. All day after I posted I found myself getting irritated and thinking “Oh, I should have put that on the list.”

Readers posted comments of the things that irritated them. Uncle Skip suggested the car on the freeway with the turn signal flashing…for miles…and miles…and miles… Mrs. Midnite reminded me of bus riders who don’t give seats up for other riders who obviously need them. Yeah, that definitely should go on the list. Jules warned me to avoid Kentucky where spitting is a birthright and I got irritated all over again.   I said to myself “Oh, they’re right that irritates me too.”

I was wallowing in irritation.

Then I remembered the quote over on my other blog:

"What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life." – Oprah
Oprah’s a smart woman. If goodness expands if you focus on goodness, the opposite is probably also true. The more I focused on irritations, the more irritations entered my life.

Life is too short to allow the irritations to get to me.  June reminded me that it’s self defeating to count my irritants.   June and Oprah, you are both very wise women and I thank the universe for sending you to remind me.

It’s not like I didn’t know…but, like most lessons in life, sometimes I need to be reminded of what I already know. Once again the universe is sending me messages and reminding me to pay attention.

Lesson learned, or maybe that should be lesson remembered.   I made a list of my blessings and posted them over on my other blog. Click here to read it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nana Scores a Bag of Crap!

My husband has a hard time buying me gifts. He says it’s because I “don’t do anything.” To him “doing something” means fishing, hunting, or trap shooting. By his way of thinking, it doesn’t qualify unless it happens outside, preferably in extreme weather conditions.

When I was working and raising children there really wasn’t time to develop hobbies. For years I was going to graduate school nights and weekends. In my spare time I did the laundry and occasionally ran a vacuum cleaner over the big chunks on the carpet.

The children grew up and went off to college, and then I retired. I have no interest in outdoor activities, guns or ammo, bowling or fishing. I like cozy indoor activities. I read. I write.  So in retirement I expanded my interests. I started to blog, and I discovered Woot!

Woot is an online deal-a-day site. They sell one item a day. When it’s sold out, they don’t post another item until the next day. The exception to this is a Woot-Off where items are put up for sale one after another. Some items sell out in seconds, others (known as woot-killers) linger for hours. During a Woot-Off the Woot forum is a lively gathering place for Wooters. Woot is a quirky culture with its own specialized vocabulary and strange customs.

During a Woot-Off thousands of people sit on-line waiting for the opportunity to buy a “Bag of Crap.” Known as a BOC, it is what its name implies, a mystery purchase with no guarantee of quality. Waiting for the BOC to show up is half the fun. Wooters post strange pictures of cats, Star Trek characters and monkeys and keep up a constant banter about how it is the “worse Woot-Off ever.” Last month, after a year of trying, I finally scored my first “boggy old creature.” I was one of 3,000 people who made a successful purchase. The item sold out in seconds. A Bag of Crap costs $3.00 plus $5.00 shipping.

There are tales of BOCs shared in the Woot forums, videos on YouTube, and websites dedicated to reporting on Woot Bags of Crap. The fun doesn’t end with securing a BOC. The forum discussion continues through the delivery of the BOCs. Wooters anxiously check FedEx shipping to find out the weight and dimensions of their boxes. Many times the first deliveries are video taped and posted for all to enjoy. Woot legend includes BOCs with high-end electronics. Sometimes wooters receive hard drives and computers…some work and some don’t.

I received:

  •  1 wine bag
  • 6 copies of Disney princess software for a camera I don’t have
  • 1 Marvel comics tin toy
  • 1 Star Trek action figure-Nero
  • 1 Snowman speaker with lights that flash to music that hooks up to an i-pod

Pretty much crap!

On the forum I anxiously read about the three people who received letters in their boxes which apologized because part of the order was too large to fit in the box and was being shipped separately. These Wooters were the lucky recipients of Pallets of Crap. The POCs are legendary. Some people get big screen tv’s (2 people did this time). Once a Wooter got an entire pallet of car wax. Another time a Wooter received cases of “Band of Brothers” action figures…cases and cases of the same figurine.

In the last Woot-Off the forum crowd waited on-line with the POC recipients for the FedEx trucks to arrive. Video and pictures of the prizes were posted.

It’s fun. It’s like being a kid and waiting for Santa to come. You never know what you’re going to get. You just hope it’s not underwear.

There was another Woot-Off this week and I scored my second Bag of Crap!!!! Now I’ve got a week of anxious anticipation of the delivery, checking FedEx for updates, reading the forums to see what other Wooters received in their packages of similar weight and dimension…and maybe, just maybe, I’ll hit the jackpot and get a letter. There could be a Pallet of Crap in my future!

All this fun for only $8.00. And my husband says I don’t have hobbies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Trivial Irritations

Uncle Skip over at Rants and Musings has the following quote posted on his blog:

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves."

~ C.G. Jung

Which got me to thinking about all of the really trivial things that irritate me.  Here's a short list in no particular order:
  1. Getting mayonnaise or pickles on my hamburger when I specifically ordered "plain, with nothing on it."
  2. Drivers going 30 in a 45 zone...or actually anyone going too slow when faster is allowed.
  3. Speeding in a school zone.
  4. People with 15 items in the 10 item or less speed checkout.  Yes, I'll even let you count those three cans of soup as one soup item but a head of lettuce, three tomatoes, and a sack of potatoes doesn't count as one vegetable!
  5. Waiting until you get to the front of a long line before thinking about what you might want to order.
  6. Waiting until the checker has finished scanning and bagging your order before you start to search in your over-stuffed purse for a checkbook and a pen.  Yes, I know the total doesn't come up until the end, but you could fill in the date and store name and sign the @#$% check!
  7. Clipping your nails in a public place...gross!
  8. Using racial, ethnic, or homophobic slurs.  I guess this one doesn't really qualify as trivial.
  9. The Tea Party movement...those people scare me!
  10. Small print.  Why have a business card if you're printing your email and phone number in script so small that I need my glasses to read it?  Yes, your logo is lovely, but I'd rather you use the space to make the type LARGER!
  11. People who spit on the ground.  I don't care if it's the sidewalk, a parking lot or a dirt field.  Other people will walk there, some with bare feet and it's gross.
  12. People who "exercise" their dogs on school playgrounds.  Some of them even fail to pick  up after their pooches.  Our elementary schools have beautiful grass playgrounds.  Small children roll in the grass.  I hate to think of their little faces buried in the ground where a dog just whizzed.
  13. The self-righteous attitude of the religious right.  It's okay with me that you practice any odd rituals that you please, but please stop condemning to hell those who do it differently.
  14. Gossip...okay, maybe I have a love/hate relationship with this one!
  15. Slow Internet...Salt Lake City Airport has signs all over extolling their free Internet access, but the connection is so slow and inconsistent that I gave up trying to update my blog. 
Oh dear, once I started this list I was on a roll.  I could have gone on and on.  So what does it say about me?  For the most part these are trivial irritations and I refuse to waste my time fretting about them.

I hate to admit that I see a pattern.  I'm impatient and want every process to work efficiently, from supermarket checkout to ordering fast food, and to my Internet connection.  I want people to be considerate of others, not just themselves, and respect our differences.

I also know that I probably have a blind spot in assessing myself...self-awareness is probably not one of my strengths!

Thanks Uncle Skip for providing me the inspiration for this post.  He really has the best quotes over on his blog.

What really irritates you about others? 

 But wait, there's more...how about loud music interrupting the peace and quiet of a beautiful day at the park, or people who go on, and on, and on...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nana Learns About the G-Spot

This morning the TV was playing in the background as I checked my email. My ears perked up when I heard the announcer extolling the benefits of the “G-spot.”

The G-spot!  On TV????  I immediately lost interest in the email and looked up at the screen to see the following:

Oh, G-Spout an “innovative kitchen tool.”


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Equity, Are We There Yet?

I was raised in the 50’s in Southern California. I am a baby boomer. My moral and political belief system was shaped during the activist’s movements of the 50’s and 60’s. I immigrated to the United States at age five with my parents. I grew up listening to rock ‘n roll, reading The Saturday Evening Post and Life magazine, and watching world events on a nineteen-inch diagonal black and white screen. My America was hopeful, the “land of opportunity,” a true democracy.

My family went on a vacation once to Catalina Island, “22 miles across the sea.” My brother, Ross, thought we had gone abroad. We didn’t travel far from home, but the world came to us in the images delivered on television and in print. The only memory I have of a seventh grade report on Roosevelt’s four freedoms is a picture of a drinking fountain for “coloreds” that I clipped from Life magazine. I don’t remember which freedom I was illustrating, but the memory of the drinking fountain is vivid. Television images brought the world to my California living room. I remember watching the fire hoses and German shepherds turned on peaceful demonstrators. I remember the nightly reports on the freedom riders and I remember seeing George Wallace try to stop desegregation. I also remember the sense of injustice I felt and the admiration for those who were fighting that injustice. I wondered if I would have had that courage.

I was raised a liberal with a sense of responsibility for the rights of others. But, it was easy to be a “bleeding heart” when my own world didn’t change. As I matured my understanding of equity issues did too. I came to the recognition that I benefited just by being a member of the dominant culture, even if I didn’t consciously or actively discriminate. I didn’t have to; the system was set up for me.

Several years ago I attended a conference in Washington, D.C. and I visited the American History Museum. I rounded a corner and saw the Woolworth’s lunch counter. I knew immediately what it was. It was meaningful to me because I knew its history. I grew up admiring the people who risked their personal safety and position to change an unjust system.

Much has changed since my youth, but the struggle for equality continues. That’s why the issue of marriage equity is important to me. It’s a civil rights issue. Exclusion from marriage deprives same sex couples of not only the legal and economic protections of marriage, but also the intangible social benefits of marriage.

This summer my husband and I will celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. I just don’t see how my marriage is threatened by same-sex marriage. That Ellen and Portia got married did not devalue my marriage. What’s important is that each of us has the right to be who we are, to make the choices that are right for us, and not be judged or discriminated against. That’s equity…that’s what I learned growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Why are we still fighting this battle?

I'm entering this post in a contest Blog 4Equality to win a scholarship to attend Netroots Nation sponsored by Freedom To Marry  Click the link for more information.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Internet Changes My Life

Last week my washer started leaking water. My husband said “You really need to buy a new washer.” I like shopping for washing machines about as much as I like going to the dentist or the gynecologist. I can think of a lot of ways to spend money that would be more exciting. On the other hand, the last washer and dryer lasted for more than twenty years, so I won’t have to repeat this shopping experience anytime soon.

So I went to Sears and $1,800.00 later, the washer and dryer are being delivered next Wednesday.

Then my husband says “As long as we’re moving out the old washer and dryer, we should replace the floor.”

So I have to venture out into the world again to the flooring store which is about as enjoyable as an ingrown toenail.  I made a selection and arranged for delivery. The installers showed up the following morning and had the new floor installed in a couple of hours. And once I saw the new floor, I thought we really should paint before we install the new washer and dryer. So, out I went once more to pick up paint samples.

I do not have a gay friend to help me pick out paint colors. In rural Eastern Oregon, they are a rare breed. I’ve been on the waiting list for a gay best friend for years and the d├ęcor in my house clearly illustrates that I am decorating deficient. I purchased sample colors in various shades of beige/tan and then I painted test strips on the laundry room walls.

I heard my husband laughing in the office and went to get his opinion on the colors. He is not noted for his color sense, but I need his opinion so that the final choice will not be my fault when it turns out to be hideous. I like to be able to say, “I wanted Spring Fawn, but you told me that Cinnamon Toast was a warmer color.”

He was sitting in front of the computer laughing out loud. “Come here, you’ve got to see this.”

He found a site called People of Walmart and it’s candid photos of people shopping at Walmart. Click on the link below and you’ll see why he was laughing.


Once he stops laughing, he votes for Crushed Peanut which is close enough to Dapper Tan that he’ll think it’s his fault if it’s hideous. I was ready to head out the door to purchase paint when I remembered the people of Walmart. My paint splattered cotton jersey pants and 3XL T-shirt from a Norwegian cruise line accessorized with a green Nike baseball hat might just qualify me for the photo lineup.

I know the internet has changed a lot about how we shop, but now I’m combing my hair and changing clothes before I venture into the world.  All the more reason to be a recluse.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The One Where Nana Goes to the Dentist and Then Has a Job Interview

I went to the dentist yesterday. I had three teeth that needed attention. The dentist gave me shots of Novocain upper and lower on both sides of my mouth. Even my tongue was numb. After an hour of drilling and buffing and suctioning I was sent home decay-free. Forty-five minutes later I had a phone interview with a recruiter for a job in Austin, Texas. After being retired for a year, it is obvious that I’ve lost some of my skills in scheduling.

I was reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer goes to the dentist. Click on the link below and you’ll get an idea of how my interview went.

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