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Tuesday, January 2, 2007
This would have been better if Tripod had been working earlier!
Now Playing: Ends by Everlast
Topic: just letting off steam

   I'm feeling pretty lost without my blog today, it's currently out, the whole tripod organization seems to have dropped off the face of the world wide web. I admit I rarely look at info on the tripod home site so maybe this is planned maintenance & I just wasn't paying attention, there's never a good time for maintenance but a Tuesday since 1030 am? (It's currently quarter to 3pm) It's making me look at other blogs, I was shocked at how hard it is to put a picture on blogger! I couldn't even get a picture on my profile (Which I have for people who do blogger blogs & insist on only blogger profiled people commenting) I was thinking about beginning a blog there but I love my pictures, I think it's really boring to read blogs without pictures. Tripod may not have the most spectacular layouts (though I love mine since it's teal) but I can post tons of pictures easily!
  Of course, from the looks of this I wouldn't really be doing any monumentous blogging anyway. I'm just sitting here running random thoughts,
  I've been looking at my addiction to the computer with new eyes, the day before new years my bookmarks all disapeared & I'm slowly getting them back, not all of them though, many are lost & not coming back it's not exactly a bad thing, I think an enforced clean out can be useful & I tend to take things like Mozilla dumping them without warning as a meant to be 'clue' to me that I needed to clean it out a little.
  Mozilla stopped opening things in tabs (which I prefer) at the same time it dropped my bookmarks, I'm beginning to think it's time for me to have the computer looked at again.
  Miss 16 came home in a royally ill mood, she & her boyfriend are having stress, I didn't help matters by flipping out on her because she asked for a dollar twenty five I owed her (I only had a ten dollar bill)
  Then just as she was beginning to unfreeze I mentioned to all 3 of them that the tax refund may be a bit smaller than usual this year, I'm earning more & the company gave me (& everyone else) 25 shares of company stock, a matching amount of cash (out of which they took taxes for both) & then I sold the stock, I think I'll need to pay tax on what I sold the stock for. There's also the fact that back in august of '05 I claimed exempt to federal tax to get myself some extra cash, I never changed it back (it makes a pretty big difference) & so whatever my actual tax burden is (With 3 kids & myself as the whole household its usually just under three hundred bucks) so the EIC will cover it & then some but the last 3 years we've cleared over 5 grand in refund & EIC. I sincerely doubt we'll see annother year like that again- The price of success.
  Miss 10 is still getting caught up on her homework, she has until next monday to get it all caught up for this, the third, marking period. Keeping her focused is one of my greater challenges, she's the biggest procrastinator I've ever seen (& belive me, my father was a master) she keeps walking around doing anything but homework, I offered to let her clean her room instead but she wasn't buying it.

Mr 7 being younger & only in second grade, came home with 2 sheets of work, one from before Christmas & one for tonight, this is the benifit to it having been the week before Christmas at school they do little more than crafts & have fun that last week & again the last two weeks before school closes in the summer. (spring I call it- they're out 5/31 barring any really severe weather which I doubt is going to happen this winter at this point, though I admit the worst ice storm I ever witnessed personally was in March 1994)
  When I was a kid the kids who went to public school got out around the 25th of June or so.
  I'm reaching a point in my life where what went on when I was a kid is irrelevant to everyone!
  This whole schedule change is going to take some getting used to, I keep thinking, 'I'll do it tommorow'  but tommorow I'll be at work not at home! I'll be home Friday & for a lot of reasons it is going to be better but the transition is a challenge. I spent yesterday telling myself I didn't have to work tommorow (Which is normal & often the only thing which gets me out of bed) but usually the mental mantra on Mondays is 'you don't have to come back for two whole days, just get through it' & I had to keep amending it to you don't have to work tommorow, you'll have Friday & Saturday off too! If they ever force me back on a schedule where I have to work any more than 2 days in a row I'll either loose my mind or quit!

   Last night (ok, early this morning) I was in bed, I was sitting up with my back & head against the wall because I do that when I first go to bed so I can breathe & in case I have an food in my stomach (I get awful heartburn if I lie down with anything in my stomach- not the case last night but still...) So I'm sitting there beginning to fall asleep & suddenly the back of my head begins vibrating, I reached up & touched the wall & it seemed to be vibrating to my hand too. In the dining room a room away I heard one of my hand painted (By me) snow village pieces fall to the floor. A few seconds later it stopped, did SW Virginia have annother earthquake? There was one back in 2003, I was sitting on the couch at our old trailer & so was miss 10 & we felt the wall & the couch rock, Miss 16 in the next room saw my earrings swinging on the thing I have them hanging on. but standing up in my bedroom (which was attatched to the trailer & made of wood) she didn't feel the quake. No one else felt anything though Miss 16 heard the ceramic house fall down from upstairs. & there was nothing on my favorite local news' website. Still, I wonder!

Posted by Becky at 7:25 PM EST
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
How Frustrated am I? (warning, Bitch session ahead)
Now Playing: Always by Saliva
Topic: just letting off steam

The internet is wonky at best, this may get lost.

I've had miss 10 home sick up to today & now miss 16 is complaining of intestinal discomfort, there was a report on the news at 11 last night about a flu bug fitting 10's description of her symptoms  so at least we know it's not something she ate somewhere. 

The Christmas tree smells awsome, every once in awhile I catch a whiff of the scent of it from the next room & it makes me smile. 

 I am worried beyond belief due to my mother calling last night to tell me that my  grandmother's kidneys are shutting down & her heart is getting weak (She's had a pacemaker for about 17 years already bad hearts & high blood pressure run in my family on my mother's side I'm afraid) She's been in & out of hospitals & rehab centers & nursing homes for months since she broke her hip, most recently she re-broke her hip at the nursing home & when she went back to the hospital they replaced her hip, now she's taken what my mother says is a fairly drastic turn. My mother wanted me to know that it would not be long, they think maybe before Christmas. She's got a living will in regards to drastic measures to prolong her life & she, like my mother & myself don't want any thing extreme to be done to keep her alive.

I can understand that but it still is hard, I've always been very close to my grandmother, more so in many ways than with my mother. Miss 16 especially is too. up until she was in the nursing home (where she didn't have a phone for quite awhile) we were in touch at least every other week. Now I have to think that the last conversation I had with her (where she was coherent) may be the last conversation I ever have with her. 

16's very upset & being dramatic & already in a funk (it's premenstrual) she called me weeping from school during lunch (mostly she was raging about the crappy food! This is her grade's 'standards of learning' test week - they couldn't have picked a better acronym this: SOL, as in shit outta luck! & she got a perfect score on her English yesterday, this is an off day & she has her History sol tommorow, the stress is killing her- & us who have to deal with her) 

The plumber was awsome, he was late but it only took 2 & 1/2 hours to fix all the things which were wrong. We had no water pressure, the tub ran constantly, the toilet was leaking through the floor into the basement on a farily large support beam, he noticed while checking things out that my hot water heater pipes were plastic when they should be copper & replaced those too, all my pipes between the holding tank & the main were small & narrow so he replaced them to increase the water pressure & also found that something in the holding tank was wrong which was a lot of the pressure problem. I kept telling him I had only $500 budgeted to spend on plumbing & when he presented me with his bill it was only for $337! Needless to say I was thrilled & still am, Miss 16 being impossible to please (& even harder to deal with) says it's not that good, that the shower's water pressure is not as good as the ones in Mass, But I'm satisfied that it doesn't take 2 hours to do a load of laundry because the washer is filling up with a trickle of water & I can wash dishes in about 10 minutes due to a normal flow of water from the sink faucet. (I haven't taken a shower yet but I have to tonight since I go back to work tommorow. I'll let you know) 

 All I have to do for Christmas now is finish making gifts & wrap everything, make cookies & candies for giving & hope I don't have to drop everything to go to Mass for a funeral.

 I'm still trying to get over my annoyance at miss 16 for taking her menstrual moods out on all of us, she's home now, slamming cupboards, binging on cereal & complaning that Chicken Divan for dinner sucks. She's also wearing my shirt which I am pretty pissed about. It's my Censorship:off Free speech: on shirt & when she came in to my room to get it I thought she was there to steal socks & didn't say anything. 

  My annoyance at one is rapidly changing to annoyance at all. Miss 16 has pissed off miss 10 & got me involved because miss 10 is supposed to be in the dining room at the table doing her homework & instead is on the couch doing it in front of the tv. not acceptable as far as I'm concerned. 

Since this is rapidly deteriorating into a bitch session about kids who don't know how to shut up & I have to go out & get gas for my car & kerosene for my heat & then make some dinner I will finish this up, posting may be spotty in the near future due to general life stuff. 


Posted by Becky at 4:52 PM EST
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sick Again?
Now Playing: Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox
Topic: just letting off steam

Other than the nasty cold I contracted Saturday I had a really good day, the kids & I got up late & in our every other Saturday semi-tradition made homemade pancakes. I had woken up with a little tickle in my throat & was dumping 32 ounce cups of water down my throat along with chewing up 500 mg, vitamin c tablets like they were going out of style, but my head started aching & my nose getting stuffier. On the plus side it was a beautiful day, over 65 outside & Sunny.

    Around noon Miss16 took off to walk towards a friends house & the friend headed out in the direction of our house so they met in the middle & walked back here, meanwhile Miss10, Mr7 & I went to town to get some groceries & run some other errands. We got some subs for dinner too so I wouldn't have to cook. We came home & I was feeling some pressure over the report cards the little ones had recieved on Friday, they weren't much better than the previous marking period (miss 16 carried the same, 3 a's & a b but the b was in a different class) So I was looking for things we could do which would promote learning, especially in the reading & english departments (I think I mentioned previously 10 & 7 take after their dad rather than me & are better in Math than English) & decided we would play Scrabble, Mr 7 & I were a team, Miss 10 played on her own & 16 & her friend played as a team, we had a great time, good enough that after 2 games of scrabble we decided to play rummy, which took us through the rest of the afternoon, un-fortunately I was getting sicker & sicker, my throat was closing up, I was getting more & more stuffed up, my sinuses began pounding & my cough kept getting deeper & deeper (as a daughter of 2 heavy - a pack + a day smokers- & a former weekend/party smoker, every cold I get goes right to my lungs) I consoled myself that just sitting & playing rummy was restful, after a little tv I went off to bed at about 11pm. I got up Sunday morning feeling very unlovely, I could barely whisper, an axe had taken up residence in the center of my forehead & I couldn't breathe at all Man, I have read some bloggers who described their colds in (fairly amusing) detail & I have always thought I wouldn't do that, but here I am, describing the depth of my misery just like everyone else! 

  Anyway I called work & left a message for the attendance people & my boss & went back to sleep for a few hours, after my boss had been there for an hour or so I called him back to see if I could arrange for an emergency paid day off (I have one for next Sunday in honor of my birthday & at that point was very willing to swap so as not to get in trouble etc.) He said he doubted that was going to happen & suggested I try some Zicam for my cold, he said that it helped him kick his last cold really quick. I remember that cold & I think it was the same one I have - though he got it back in early October- he was out for 2 & 1/2 days with no voice himself-  I went back to sleep for awhile longer, I can always sleep all day when I'm sick, I then sat up when Miss 10 who wasn't feeling a lot better than I (though her throat isn't so sore or her voice as hoarse- the price I pay for talking for a living) Crawled into bed with me & started talking. She's abducted my old cell phone which no longer can charge a battery, she was pretending it's on & making calls, later she found the old battery which I had swaped with the new battery in my replacement phone (same phone- same battery) to make the newer battery last longer, I swapped back to the new one about a month ago when the old one started only being able to hold a charge for about half a day. She inserted the old battery & was able to make the phone work to play ring tones & so she could take pictures, she can't download the pictures but she's happy just being able to take them. we listened to the radio & I played tetris on my phone while she took pictures of everything (60 pics in about 10 minutes!) while playing the dial on the radio I heard an ad for that same Zicam stuff my boss recommended & never being one to take a hint lightly I got dressed & made everyone else get dressed & off we went to the store, it was a lot more at my local grocery store than my boss had told me it was at wallyworld but if it really worked/s then it could be worth it, it did say on the package that it has to be taken within 48 hours of your symptoms in order to help but at 11 am sunday I was only about 26 hours into my symptoms & felt pretty good about it. Miss 10 & I both used it, Miss16 flatly refused & mr 7 has a slight runny nose but nowhere near what the rest of us do & also has no real cough to speak of so he declined. Got lots of dirty looks in the grocery store for coughing in public (I guess that was what it was for, mr7 insisting on riding on the back of the cart, making it hard for me to steer & my rasping at him to get OFF the cart may have had something to do with it) Back home I couldn't even face the computer, or read, trying to focus on anything that closely was next to impossible & intensified my headache something awful, I settled in on the couch to catch up on some movies & tv shows on my dvr & worked on the kid's Christmas gifts to their teachers & other family members this year, I'm making cloth bags for them to fill with rice & Lavendar or Mint which people can keep in the freezer or microwave them to heat them up & then use the bag on a neck, ankle, forehead or any other part of the body giving them pain, I made them for everyone about 5 years ago & they were quite well recieved. our own bag tore & spilled the rice about 6 months ago & so I figured it was time for new ones. So I'm just sitting running a needle & thread around pieces of folded cloth 3 or 4 times to make the seams sturdy, I accidentally stictched up the fill holes on 3 of the 4 bags I completed yesterday afternoon & evening through not paying attention & a little too much cold medicine. (though I'm grateful that I had some in the medicine cabinet still) 

It dawned on me at about 8:30 last night that if I didn't go to work today, Monday, it being my last scheduled day before the Thanksiving holiday that I would n't get holiday pay for Thanksgiving, (of course I still have to make it there Thursday & Friday to get that extra days pay) So I went to bed at 930 & slept as well as I could, got up at regular time & went to work this morning, I remembered after I was there that my boss is off for the rest of the week & so I had to have the person taking his place find out from human resourses how long I had to stay to be able to qualify for holiday pay, it used to be 3/4 of your shift, they've recently changed it to 1/2 so I left at 2pm today, after hearing from nearly every person I talkd to today that I sounded terrible, I did have a good day on the phone, except for too much between calls time (we're alotted 10 minutes a day, at 5 hours, halfway through I'd used about 20 minutes) On the way home I stopped to get some cold medicine & came home to 3 sick kids, Miss16 had put the dishes in to soak (I admit I had left Saturdays & she had not done Sundays so it was a lot of dishes) but not done too much else. Miss 10 was still on the couch & mr7 was full of beans as usual, he's got to be pretty sick before he actually stops running around & jumping off things etc. That's how I know to worry about him if he slows down he's REALLY sick! Considering Miss10's cough she's probably going to have to stay home tommorow too. Not good since I have to go & get tires replaced on my car, I love sitting at the auto parts store/garage with a semi hyper 10 year old! 

Posted by Becky at 10:27 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2006 12:17 PM EST
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday At Last (very sad, I worked 2 days since my last day off)
Now Playing: I Am The Highway by Audioslave
Topic: just letting off steam

Feeling a little sick tonight, came home & ate stuff I should not have eaten (cream cheese Jalepeno poppers & ranch dressing I should NOT eat fried greasy stuff even as late at night as 9pm which is when I ate them)

  It was all because we had an earlier than usual lunch today because we were collecting our reward for having won the Halloween decorating contest at work. We had a theme, each desk in our 'pod' was a different horror theme (mine was The Fly) & we really got into it, fake blood & body parts for frankenstein, a smalish coffin & crosses, stakes & garlic for Dracula, a blue background & a large paper set of sharks teeth (hand cut & surprisingly effective looking) with barbie parts splayed out around it for Jaws. Our prize was pizza & then a movie on the clock, I got paid more than 10 bucks an hour to sit & watch RV- which was funnier than I expected- heard from a few people that it wasn't very good at all-, probably because the teenage girl in it sounded so much like 16 I looked around more than once thinking she was in the room with us. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the movie & it was a nice break to be off the phones for 2 whole hours (plus the hour before for lunch) It took almost a half an hour for the managers (yes, it took 2 guys) to get the dvd playing on the theater size screen in the auditorium & so we discussed our strategy for the Christmas decorating contest & wether we are going to have a gift grab this year or not. (we are I have a beautiful leather bookmark & a knitted winter hat with cat ears (I don't wear it but my 10 year old loves it) from 2 other years when I was in groups who were friendly enough to do gift grabs) After this respite from people yelling at me about their bills or the fact that rain can impede satellite signal I was feeling really relaxed & not at all stressed about the last 4 hours of my day at work & they did pass surprisingly quickly. On the way home I was pleasurably entertained by a book on tape, the name of the book is American Gods (I don't remember the name of the author, I'm more of a story reader than an author reader, I just care about what it's about not who wrote it - except for a select few authors-) I love books on tape, I drive 40 minutes each way to work & back & though I'm a music lover & can't stand to listen to books all the time about once every 3 or 4 months or so I get a book to listen to. The last one was Endlesslove & I was surprised I liked it, I've never seen the movie though I'm of the age where when it came out I 'should' have - everyone I knew loved it- I just didn't go to the movies much back then -or now for that matter.  

Came home to the kids all snarling at each other, I'd left instructions that mr 7 & miss 10 clean up their rooms today & I'd already heard, when I called at my last break time tonight that they were'nt listening to miss 16 as she tried to enforce my request. When I arrived they were arguing about who had & hadn't done what, we had those Jalapeno poppers I'm lamenting still & I reviewed report cards, miss 16's having a banner year so far- 3 a's & a b for the 2nd marking period in a row! I'm not going to say much about the other two, there's only so much you can say when they're just not feeling it! I'm afraid they're both much more like their father than like me & would rather be out running around, riding bikes & catching frogs down by the creek than reading a book or studying, I can see though, that I'm going to have to start really cracking down on their study time.

 Tommorow will be either total chaos or quiet & relaxed, it all depends on Chrissie who asked me awhile ago to do a perm for her- I said yes & that I'd do it tommorow, but she may not have time & that's all I know so far, she never got back to me this afternoon when we were text messaging back & forth about it- I guess I'll find out tommorow what it brings.... I already know what my 'weekend will bring this week, a lot of mudane stuff- Tuesday I have to get tires replaced on my car, Wednesday I'm trying to get a plumber to come over & fix my bathtub (it drips- a lot-) So I'll be out or busy cleaning the house before the plumber comes (mostly the bathroom- I just got a new Vacum Cleaner so the rugs look pretty good- it's a new toy as far as my kids are concerned & as long as they look at it that way I'll have clean rugs! 

Posted by Becky at 12:17 AM EST
Friday, October 6, 2006
WatchThat First Step its a Big One!
Now Playing: Bad Seamstress Blues by Cinderella
Topic: just letting off steam

Annother week totally screwed up by my own emotions, I admit, I could have stayed, as a matter of fact, I almost did, almost said 'never mind' & took my lunch break & stayed until 8 like I should have, but once you tell your boss you have diareah it's hard to take it back, my boss is a heartless scorpio, If I had said to him 'look, I've been yelled at, treated like an idiot (even after I fixed their problem) & verbally abused today, I just can't take anymore, I've already fought down tears on 3 calls & it's not even 1 pm yet.' He'd have said 'get over it, let it roll off, they're not yelling at you, they're yelling at the company' Most of the time I'm able to remember it but today I could not do it, adding to the problems is that there's some things I just can't help, if someone is coming to a customer's house to fix their problem the customer is given a 4 hour window in which the repair person is supposed to arrive, since a repair person is given 4-6 jobs in a day if they run late at 1 job, all the rest end up late too, that's a given, most people can understand that, even I can understand that. However, the amount of late jobs, jobs where no one shows up or calls at all sometimes on even 3 or 4 different scheduled dates is rising, it used to be I'd talk to 2-3 people a day on this issue, now from 1130 on through the rest of the day (yes, even up to 8 pm & later - we're nationwide so my 8pm is 5 in California) I hear this nearly every other call. People who've been stood up are always really pissed off too! Not that I blame them, I just can't understand why they have to be so damn hateful to me.

  So I couldn't do it, I just couldn't, especially since our sink broke last night, Mr 7 for reasons known best to him sat on the kitchen sink's water faucet over the summer, I patched it up, taped it up for awhile but it's been getting worse & worse, the metal ripped through where it was stressed & the hole kept getting bigger, The whole faucet broke off last night Needless to say I was not pleased, why do these things happen on the week I don't get paid? Luckily that's what credit cards are for! So when I left work I headed to the stores to get a faucet, I'd been pricing faucets in Lowes & Home Depot for weeks & they were all pretty expensive, the cheapest was over 40 bucks. This morning though, while I was telling a co-worker about the faucet breaking right off last night he told me he'd had to replace the one in his new (to him) house this summer & said that Walmart had them for less than $30. got that, some socks (I'm a barefoot person & hate socks, but since I heat alternatively I have to have socks in cold weather, its the first truly cold day of the season today & I haven't bought socks in 2 years for myself so when I went to put some on this morning I found they all had holes in them!) & Some metallic paint pens for the kids & my craft project this weekend. Then I went home, feeling better for being away from the toxic atmosphere at my work (The really insulting part is that they make out like it's such a great job & that it pays SO well & is such fun) So the same co-worker who told me about getting a cheaper faucet at Walmart & my boss both told me that all I had to do was turn off the water, unhook the tubes which feed the water, unscrew the connectors under the sink, pull the old faucet out & put the new faucet in & tighten everything really well, but not too much. The instructions confirmed it, turn off the water, take out the old, put in the new.

No one mentioned that the old one has been there since 1959 & the hot water base's nut would be so corroded & rusted that I wouldn't be able to get it to budge, or that the water shut offs under the sink would be useless & so I'd have to turn off the water at the main source in the basement! I spent 4 hours pulling & tugging on an adjustable wrench (all I would need, I was assured) most of a can of wd40 (& man do I wish I had that stupid little straw that came with it!) & then a set of vice grips (always my tool of last resort & usualy it works) I did, with the vice grips get the cold water bolt loose but the hot water pipe is not moving an inch & I'm starting to chip pieces of metal off it, stripping the squared off parts of the nut which will make it even harder in the long run. I broke the hot water pipe under the sink off at the join, the cement holding it together was dried out & the whole thing just snapped, I have an aching back & I'm now intimately aquainted with the underside of my sink & all the stuff I keep in the adjoining cupboards, I've got mouse turds & wd40 in my hair & rust flakes in my eyes ears & cleavage & I can't take a shower because it's still in pieces & I can't turn the water back on. To her credit, miss 16, while not standing over me the whole time did come every time I called her with out complaint to bring me water to drink, the vice grips, the step stool to support my back, towels to lie on to support my back more, a rag & my socket set (none are deep enough) we went out & got pipe cement & a new joiner for the hot water pipe & they're back together nice & tight but since the shutoff valve under the sink does nothing I still can't turn the water back on. 16 has a friend who's a guy who she's going to ask to come by tommorow & see if he can loosen the nut, he works on cars she says so he should be able to get it loose (I don't doubt that, my ex was really good at that sort of thing & he worked on cars most of the time we were together) I don't actually need someone to do the whole job- just take that stupid nut off, I'm confident I can put the faucet in, if I could just get past that first step- taking the old one out!

Posted by Becky at 10:20 PM EDT
Friday, September 15, 2006
Sexisim, Rampant in my Workplace! Well, on the Phone at Least
Now Playing: Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Topic: just letting off steam
I have to write a diatribe tonight, I'm sorry but events have conspired to require a bitch session.

 I work in an industry dominated by men. Without giving too much info & getting myself in trouble with my company I work tech support, I talk on the phone & tell people how to make their tvs work with the dbs set top boxes my company provides. I also upgrade & down grade programing, discuss billing, check to find out why the installer who's supposed to be there by 12 or 5 has not arrived & order pay per view for customers, I mostly do tech though. & I'm female, I work a 10 hour day & do on average, since the computer system at work was changed to a cumbersome, slow system, 55 calls a day (I used to run 65 to 70 calls a day- here's to progress!) at least 10 calls a day I hear the same thing, 'I don't think I got the right department honey, I'm looking for technical help' (begin rant to customer:) Look you backwards, foolish person, I don't know what rock you crawled out from under but this is the beginning of the 21st century & how dare you presume that just because I don't have a dick I don't know how to fix your problem, how dare you perpetuate the myth that women are generally less technically inclined? Don't take that condecending tone with me or call me honey, I am not your honey I am a level three technical support agent, I can point a dish in less than 5 minutes WITHOUT a signal meter, I can tell you how to set up your surround sound, dvd & make recordings of the entire season of Lost on your dvr while I'm balancing my checkbook, choosing christmas presents for my kids out of a catalog & writing a grocery list. Before you start honeying me or questioning every word I say to you remember, you called ME for help! (End rant to customer)

  I have worked at my job for over 5 years & I found very quickly when I began there that you have to have a confident attitude, if you don't or you're unsure in the least the customer will smell it or hear it or something & ask to speak to someone else or to speak to your supervisor, (the real joke about asking to talk to a supervisor when you're looking for technical help is that with only 1 or 2 notable exceptions all my supervisors have been less tech savvy than I -or any of my coworkers for that matter- To give credit where credit is due, it's less about the supervisor's technical abillity & more about the fact that technology changes so quickly that even 6 months off the phones without practical application every day ruins most supervisors abillty to troubleshoot effectively. They have so much to do being in charge of 10-15 people they can't keep up) Even more amusing, If I go to my supervisor or annother supervisor nearby & mention that the customer requested a male (That happens more often than you might think) they will find a female supervisor to take the call for me. I had a guy today that everything I told him to do to get his problem fixed he'd say 'are you sure you want me to do that honey?' as if I might change my mind because I'm a flighty little woman! (I post pictures on here, there's nothing little about me!) The old guys are the worst. Old people in general seem to have a lot of trouble taking instruction from a woman & I actually had an old geezer say to me after I instructed to put his tv back on channel 3 & press the correct mode button on the remote- restoring his picture & his abillity to change chans- 'I hate it when a woman is smarter than me' & hung up on me. that happened within my first year there & I still remember it.
  I can not get over how many women will not even begin to do anything which seems technical, they're ok with the remote usage but if they have to check the back of the tv or the set top box- omg!! you'd think the world was going to end  'oh honey, (there's that honey thing again) I'll have to have my husband (or son, or boyfriend or brother) call back when he's available' they say. so they're going to stop watching tv until they have some man around to help... Sometimes I despair for my gender too! Or the women who say 'well, if I mess it up too bad you're responsible', if I can tell you how to fix it why wouldn't I be able to tell you how to put it back together? Of course, it all boils down to how badly do they want the tv to work, if they're like me, they can take it or leave it, I'd honestly rather be online or reading than watching tv, though I have been in the situation of the stay at home mom who says: 'just tell me what to do, whatever it takes, I'll get on the roof if I have to but get my tv back on, these kids are killing me & I can't take any more Barney tapes!'

   On the plus side of all this, there's always someone during the day who just goes right along with what I say & is ecstatic that I was able to fix it for them, I have heard customers tell people on their end, 'this one knows what she's talking about!' I have walked cocky teenage guys through fixing their parents systems & had them thank me very politely afterwards. Then there's the little kids, I have troubleshot with children as young as 5 who are speaking for their parents because the parents don't speak english- I really feel for these kids, if it's a spanish speaker I have a transfer so I can get them to someone who can speak to their parents immediately, unfortunately we supply people with programing from many many different countries & if the parent speaks arabic, cantonese or hindi it's a 24-48 hour wait to have someone who speaks their language call them back & so I troubleshoot with little kids too. My favorite customers though, are the guys who are obviously smart & don't have an ego about it, after 10 minutes or so fielding every question they ask with a clear concise answer they often tell me they appriciate that I know my job so well & that it's nice to talk with a woman who knows about technology, like everything else, you have to prove yourself, at least to those guys, most of whom, no offense to anyone reading this who might take offense, are under 55. It's a help to have someone appreciate the work, lord knows the company doesn't, it's all more overtime, you need to work more, faster, longer, quicker. I try to always see the upside to everything one way or annother, yes, it may involve dark gallows humor but I can usualy find something to laugh about in most situations. & of course, there is the fact that this job has made me smarter, quicker to come back when I'm confronted, not afraid to deliver bad news to anyone, financialy independent, not afraid of my ex husband (I talk to bigger & meaner every day at work- he's actualy sorta stupid when it comes to arguments, I find, now that I'm better at it & don't start crying when I'm confronted) Then there's the best upside of all: I get home & get greeted with hugs & its all worthwhile!

Posted by Becky at 11:17 PM EDT
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Saturday = Day of rest
Now Playing: Once in a Lifetime by the Talking Heads
Topic: just letting off steam

If everybody is happy doing their own thing why do I feel guilty that I've been wasting the whole day looking at silly stuff on my computer? All three kids are busy with their own pursuits, no one has asked me to do anything which I've said no to because I'm absorbed in the computer, but yet, I still feel guilty for being on here just messing around- as if I should be doing something which is more productive, house cleaning I guess, that's my mother coming out in me, she's the type which cleans the whole house top to bottom & then sits down & reads or goes online or what ever she's into doing after she's all done! Well I cleaned the house yesterday, you can't tell today but I did do it, even swept the floors! I don't usualy make it that far but miss 16 pushed me into it with the point that we're rarely both home together with out the little ones & we should be able to get the whole house nice & clean together- we did, then the little ones came home & an hour later it was trashed again!

Miss 16 is in her room sulking- or whatever its called when you're not talking to anyone who lives in the same house as you, she's had a bunch of friends who've just gotten their liscences stop by all afternoon, one comes, annother leaves, as long as I don't smell something burning up there & I can hear my computer speakers over her stereo speakers I'm not going to worry too much about it.

Miss 10 & Mr 7 are involved in an 'All Dogs go to Heaven Marathon' which is odd, because I thought there were only 2 movies by that name, They'll be headed out side soon though, because it's becoming a nice day out there & they need to get out & run around.

No one has needed me to do anything all day today, we ran errands in the morning & came home & I've been there ever since, I've been looking at funny pictures & reading funny things 

Both of which are addictive, I could sit & check this stuff out for hours, for those of you who are old hands at internet & saw all that stuff when it was new & exciting (yes, 80% of the world, I know) Please bear in mind I have had a computer with internet for only the past 7 months, before that I went to the library to use their free computer time & check email once a week. Its still all new to me!  My work has computers of course & I use them daily so I'm fairly proficent in their use, just haven't spent as much time browsing the web as most people have- they have web blocking software at my work so I couldn't do it there either.

Annother weird week, missing work the last day & a half due to sick kids & then on top of that because our call volume will be off because of the holiday Monday I am working tomorow & have Monday & Tuesday off & then work Wednesday, Thursday & Friday instead of 2 days off, 2 days on etc. I like having the time off while the kids are home from school though, especially when there's annother day afterwards where I can have the house to myself & relax but I'm all out of whack, hell, I've been out of whack since my vacation & have missed so much time since then that I may never get back into whack again! (I hope I do though, it's pretty bad when you work 2 days in a row & resent that even!- i so need to win the lottery which will be hard to do since I never play!) 

This weeks paycheck was a little lacking, well really it's that theres too many bills for the amount the paycheck was for!...So I can't really go anywhere at all, just work & back, yes, gas prices are down, by nearly 45 cents in my area (we're supposed to be one of the lowest in the country & after traveling from SW Virginia to Massachusetts with forays into New Hampshire & Maine this summer I agree to a point.) But $2.43 is still a lot of money to pay for a gallon of gas. in illustration, there's a store with a gas pump out front which closed down awhile ago, Chrissie & I were driving past it & the prices out front for gas were frozen at $1.76 & $1.86 & we were struck by how those outrageous prices were actually looking pretty good from our vantage point of $2.87 which is where gas in this area peaked recently. Anyway, I am more than a little worried about getting through the week, or until my payment to my credit company gets posted onto my credit card! 

Well, as usual, my day gets completely sidetracked & still this sits, unfinished, I've made dinner, done the dishes, 2 loads of laundry, talked to my ex- aunt in law, picked up a little, shooed kids outside to play because too much tv is bad for them, ate dinner on the porch with the kids because too much computer is bad for me! & sorted out a bunch of craft stuff my grandmother gave me while we were on vacation! 

Once I'm through here I have to take a shower, clean up the kitchen, fold 3 big baskets full of clothes, make my bed with clean sheets, watch the news on dvr cause I can't stand commercials & get the kids to turn off the tv again, bathe & go to bed at a reasonable hour (but mom, we don't have to get up in the morning- why do we have to go to bed at 1130?)  

 All in all, a pretty good day off, if only there was no work tommorow, note to self, as soon as have a discretionary income again, begin playing lottery in hopes of living a life of lesiure & fun!

Posted by Becky at 8:48 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 2, 2006 8:53 PM EDT
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The 100th Post
Topic: just letting off steam

Does it really matter that this is my 100th post? Probably not, I only just recently noticed that in the create area they're numbered & so it shows how many entries I've posted here & in other places.

Yes I have a lot of free time right this minute & so I can just write at my leisure but I have found that there's never enough time for everything you want to do & so I have stopped even trying to post on my heavy work nights (those are the ones where I work - often overtime- & come home needing to go back to work the next morning, unlike most people that only occours 2 days of my week but I do work a 10 hour day minimum so I take my sleep pretty seriously if I have to go back to work the next morning!)

 So,  100 posts, considering how many memes I do it's probably more like 60 posts, I love mems, but I don't consider them posts really, more like a game or a fun thing to glance over. Not actual writing, of course being a reader I don't consider my blog entries to be actual writing either, more like whining with a little (I hope) introspection thrown in. 

I started back in Februaury & I wasn't too sure I'd keep with it, I used to write a lot when I was a teenager but after my ex & I moved back to VA in 1997 I burned all my writings from the teenage years (it was partly a practical thing, we couldn't afford a newspaper subscription & needed paper to burn to light fires in our wood stove- man I do NOT miss those days) I still have my diaries from back then & once, on annother blog, considered putting some excerpts out there but being homeschooled back then & only having a couple of friends I led a pretty boring exsistence so after browsing through one or two of them for a few hours one day & coming up with about 2 lines I felt I could use I gave up on that Idea. (I was also pretty spoiled, selfish & hateful- at least in my diary if not in public back then & my kids would have raked me over the coals. I had intended to put the whole vacation to Mass on the blog & it is in the works, but I'll be past posting it, slipping it in as if I posted it at the time I was doing the things on the blog, my private blog has that info already on it, I wrote blog entries by cell phone & posted with pictures each day either early in the am while the kids were asleep or late in the evening when they were bathing or asleep again. Cell phone posts are ok, but they advertise my cell phone company & they also somehow get all these little mistakes, either I'm transposing letters or for instance every post ends with the last word broken up with an '!' in the middle of the word! So I'm working on combining posts (you only get a thousand words on a cell post) to make a diary of the vacation on here. (working on it means I've copied all the words out of the private blog onto notebook & have 1 line written in my 'retranslation' of what I was trying to say there!- I'm very slow) 

Back when I started the blog I wasn't really set on any one thing I wanted out of it. I knew I didn't want it to be a place where I just bitched about work or about the kids etc. though I do a fair share of bitching about both of those subjects, along with my annoyance with Tripod though really, since I'm not paying for this I shouldn't really bitch too much. But no spell check? how can they do that? I'm just a really poor speller is most of the problem. 

I also didn't really want to be too political, I do put stuff which is interesting to me on here occasionaly. that Peak Oil thing the other day still has me thinking in depth about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. For the most part though I try not to put too much on here one way or the other, I notice that Tripod 'tries' to tailor the ads they put at the top of your blog to what you're writing about, mine has been surprisingly religious, I'm not religious, I'm Unitarian, brought up in that church & would go weekly if I didn't a) live 40+ miles from the nearest church & b) work on Sundays most weeks (I understand the current head of my religion would be annoyed to hear me say that being Unitarian means I'm not religious, But Unitarianisim as I understand it to be is that whatever speaks to me, personaly is what it is to me, wasn't that what all those years of learning about other religions in sunday school was for?)

I'm always interested to read what other people my age are saying & thinking though, probably due to my parents not ever talking down to me & being homeschooled I didn't fit in too well with most kids my own age & most of my friends both as a child & an adult are older than me by at least 4 years & much more in some cases. (except Chrissie & my Cousin Jen they're both 68 babies just like me) Then there's the fact that my ex is 5 years younger than me & so I hung around with a younger crowd for nearly 10 years while with him. Not a lot of exposure to people my own, exact age & so I'm always interested to see what they have to say on their blogs. I have to say though, that I'm a born lurker, I hate to comment & rarely can think of anything to say which doesn't sound stupid to me in retrospect!

I love posting pictures, mostly of the kids, I admit, but it's a fun thing to do & they get a kick out of seeing themselves on the computer, Miss 16 comes on here & reads what I've written occasionaly then yells a lot but I ignore her, she's got myspace, I have this, it all works out in the end. 

So, maybe after 100 posts it's time to change the format or the color? I've been feeling restless, Look out! 

Picture is from Friday when I relaxed in my hammock for a few hours hanging out with miss 10 & then miss 16 when she got home an hour after the little ones.  I was planning on reading but visiting with the kids is much better. 

Posted by Becky at 3:32 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Chaos reigns, at Home & Especially at Work
Now Playing: Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime
Topic: just letting off steam

Did you ever have a dream where you can not figure out what anything is, you try to read what's in front of you, you try to click on the link but none of them go anywhere, every button you press does nothing or opens up annother bunch of possibillities that you either don't understand or are not what you need? Welcome to my LIFE! I felt pretty good after yesterday, I felt like I had the whole new computer program at work under my belt, I could schedule a tech to come out, I could set up to replace equipment. Then Monday came, I knew it would be more difficult, the sheer volume alone, people who don't do business on Sundays & people who assume we don't do business on Sundays always call on Mondays so there's Lots of calls coming in. & there's a lot more random stuff, people who are mad because the tech didn't put the cable in where they wanted or left it hanging off the gutter, people who select tech because 'I thought it would be the fastest way to get a person on the phone honey' I was woefully under prepared for what today brought & I know, from looking at my co-workers faces that they were too!

In other news miss 16 finally got a picture of her boyfriend from KY. He's cute & I belive, considering her excitement over the pictures, that he's exceeded her expectations of how he would look. So all is very calm & even a little hyper/happy on 16's front.
Miss 9 is having a lot of fun with Chrissies daughter, they're sharing a room & are deep in cahoots when they're not at each other's throats.
Mr 6 is adjusting pretty well to watching tv in my living room, he definitley enjoys having Chrissies dog here, he loves to run & the dog likes to chase him so that works out well for both of them. We had the garden plowed (the guy still has to come back & till it & break the turf up more in depth) on Saturday. & he's having a lot of fun checking out the hills & valleys of the plowed area, looking for worms & digging up tree roots (I had to cut off 5 or 6 which were 3-4 inches thick) We had a little bigger area plowed to expand the garden this year, last year I was hesitant because I thought it would be too much to take care of & it was, but I also found that stuff will grow even if you don't weed much, you just have to look harder for the stuff that grew!

Posted by Becky at 1:05 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 1:18 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Time, Money & the ultimate time suckage machine! the computer
Now Playing: Funk # 49 by the James Gang
Topic: just letting off steam

So, monday is memory day on many of the blog sites I read, I would so love to have time to write a lot, I could dredge memories from my childhood all day, but so little time, why couldn't we have had a computer when I was a stay at home mom? the answer is clear & obvious, because I was a stay at home mom so there was only 1 income & that was patchy to say the least, work for 6 weeks & stay home for annother 8 or so was his usual way of working. I used to say it didn't bother me because my needs were less than his, I just wanted to have enough food & to keep the electricity & the rent paid up. (& even those small needs were not always so easy back then) Now I have enough, enough to make the ends meet at least, not always enough for new clothes when people are in growth spurts, or when my 3 year old sneakers are falling apart & beginning to stink! but there's always more overtime right? (I have set myself a goal of 4 hours in 2 weeks on the pay period where it's not mandatory & 6 on the pay period where it is mandatory- since I already have to do 4 hours the mandatory week) last night I reneged though because the weather was looking so bad, it was snowing & below 32 but when I left at 8 the roads were fine & at 9 when I would have left if I'd stayed for an extra hour it was still about the same, light snow, wet but not slick roads. so I could have stayed but you never know what the roads are like (unless it's summer) So for money I can do some overtime, but that brings me back to the never enough time thing, it's never an even balance, instead of asking for peace of mind about my life in my going to sleep affirmations (yes, I do this-) maybe I should be asking for balance!
2 hours later, ok so there's a nice diatribe about time & not enough of it & what have I been doing for the past 2 hours? I googled Owls as omens & the majority shows death & change so I have decided to not take the Owl as an omen, only as a guide (especially since nothing but my self esteem died last time I saw an Owl - see last night's entry-) then I read the blogs I read every day that I have time to do so & saw a new link on Open Book Jennifer's blog & clicked on it & that was it! it's a link for scrabble & you play by yourself & have been messing with it ever since!!! played 2 games & am itching to get back to the third, especially now that I have help from my 6 year old! I'm putting this link in the sidebar too but be warned if you like scrabble it's going to be addictive!

Posted by Becky at 3:40 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:46 PM EST
Sunday, March 12, 2006
And I thought things were bad before!!!
Now Playing: Where it's At By Beck
Topic: just letting off steam

For today & the past 2 days I worked before that. My co-workers (on our 'team' all 13 of us)Have been on a special call path, they're trying a new voice response setup & so when you call in & 'tell' the machine what you want to do it then sends you to me so I can ask you again what you're calling for & track it on a computer form & resolve your problem- if I'm able, I don't speak spanish after all!. This makes for aggravated people, a lot of people who don't speak english or follow instructions well & a LOT of billing calls. On my average day as a 'normal' advanced tech agent I take 55+ calls & maybe have 1 call where they ask for my supervisor in a week or 2, I & everyone on my team is getting 4 or 5 calls a day where they want our supervisor. It's telling on everyone & I for one, would much rather explain how to wire 10 decoder boxes than explain why we're charging what we're charging for 'that crap you call programing' which is what I hear all day now. The original rumor was that we'd be doing this for 2 weeks, my Boss told me yesterday late in the day - when I went to get him for my 5th escalated call of the day- that it's looking like monday may be the last day- The plus side of this is that we're waiting aprox. 5 minutes between calls most of the time & sometimes a lot longer than that.
Stupidest thing I heard today: Me: ok, press the menu button on the remote, do you see the main menu?
Me: now press 6, 1 & 5.
C: my tv's not interactive yet. I guess I can't do this.
Me: no, sir, on the remote, use the remote.
(he thought I meant on the tv screen, not on the remote. now most people use the number pad on their remote daily to enter channel numbers don't they?)
The other striking thing, which I had forgotten since most of my callers normally have been transferred to me by someone who couldn't help them, is how little respect people have for you when they think you might just be the operator & will need to direct their call to someone else. I had a couple people assert that I must be lying to them about my credentials & say essentially, that because I answered the phone I couldn't possibly know enough to help them.
One of my co-workers put this whole (ugly) experience in this context: On one hand it's nice that the company thinks so much of us that they assume we can handle anything callers throw at us. On annother it's upsetting to think they had to pull level 2 & 3 agents off their normal splits to take these calls because we're the only ones they can be sure can handle getting every possible kind of call under the sun & filling out a computer form on every single call without taking 3 calls an hour!
The whole thing takes me back, my first year & 1/2 there I took calls like this all the time, just whatever was thrown at me. since then we got away from the all purpose agent (the people who handle billing all the time were terrible at tech- though those of us who learned tech first don't have all that much trouble with billing- go figure!)
ok, that's enough diatribe about my boring Job! I should know better than to write on work days!

Posted by Becky at 11:01 PM EST
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Many thoughts, Little time
Now Playing: Limp Bizkit: Re-arranged
Topic: just letting off steam

I know I shouldn't complain, I know there's people all over the country out of work & worried & I should be happy (or at least thankful) for my good fortune. still though, if it's all the same to everyone (& it isn't) I'd really rather not work mandatory overtime.
*It makes me more tired.
*The reason I work 4 10 hour days is to eliminate the need to drive 27 miles each way for a 5th day, this saves me gas, wear & tear on the car, exaustion & aggravation.
*The frustration is increased by looking out the windows at work (small, up high & hard to see out of) & seeing the sun out & the sky blue & knowing it's beautiful & warm out & tommorow it's going to be no warmer than 35.
*They won't even tell us if this is the last week of m/o or not. it was supposed to be for 2 alternating weeks in January & then at the beginning of February they told us we had to do annother 2 weeks. they're now not commiting to it being over, they're telling us they 'should' know wednesday if we have to do more.
*When I try to explain to people in management that I'm a single parent & my kids have no real, steady adult influence besides me all they ever say is 'oh if you're a single parent you should be here for even MORE over time than you're already pulling'
*I don't get the trash taken out, the laundry done on time, the meals cooked, the errands run or the sleep I need when I work an extra 4 hours a week.
*I have made the offer to work an extra hour a day after work instead of 4 hours on Saturday- well at least 2 out of 4 days a week - & belive me they need me from 8 to 9 pm most nights- But that's just not good enough.
*When I point out to people in management that I drive 40 minutes to work & the same to go home so it is wasteful to come in for 4 hours their response is that I should stay longer to 'make it worth the drive'
*I get a blank stare when I suggest that I have other things I need to do besides work
*Management also is trying to make it a requirement that we recruit- twisting it to fit their need 'if you all recruited people to work here you wouldn't have to do mandatory overtime'
*Annother blank stare recieved when I point out that most people I know either already work there or have been fired because of the companys punitive attendance policies.
*I won't even begin to address the job itself...it's not a lot of fun.
*The #1 reason I hate to work mandatory overtime is that we sat waiting for calls... all day, I had at least 3 minutes between calls & all this week while at work & other poor saps were there on m/o we sat available for even longer, for awhile Friday I waited 32 minutes between calls not just once but 4 times (I timed it)

OK enough complaining. In other news: I have yet to w/b to mrs sc since my initial 2 line note right after I recieved her first email. The more I've thought about it the less I like the feel of the whole thing. it still makes me laugh my head (& other parts) off. But I just see too much potential for mahem involved in my getting deeply involved with my ex husbands wife- or soon to be ex wife- yesterday during all that time waiting for people to lose signal or screw up their tvs & call in with snowy screens I wrote about 8 pages 'to' her. but that (except for a few clear & well known examples of the ex's true nature which I will transpose to an email for her) will go right in my journal. I told a friend at work who is 'sensitive' (shall we say) about the whole thing & with out knowing much more that I'm divorced & he might or might not be overseas the first thing she thought of was that telling mrs sc too much could hurt me later, especially thru the ex.
I don't mean I think it's a predeveloped plot (though I would NOT put it past him- he is very cunning & sneaky in ways most people don't even realize) I just can see she's mad & that she's out for blood (she's a scorpio. So is he for the record- I told him when he first told me about her that if they didn't rip each other to shreds they'd be unstopable) And I know how many chances I gave him in 9+ years. She's just beginning they're barely at 5 years. If they do work their issues out (& her second email told me she'd just recieved a letter from him asking for exactly that) I do not want anything I told her to be used by him or even on his radar screen (which is remarkably wide given his true eyesight)
The kids (9&6 at least) know none of this.They did ask the other day why Dad hadn't been on instant messenger lately (I have 2 theorys, supposedly he's been in Kuwait & was going to Iraq very soon- this is what he told me last time we I/M'd 2 weeks ago yesterday- so he may be in transit & not able to use his pooter for personal stuff. the other is that I gave him the link to my online photo album & it has a bunch of pics of my new house. he is a jealous s.o.b & I know how much seeing what I've acomplished with out him must get under his skin- his usual reaction to being jealous is to avoid & ignore so likely that's why we're not hearing from him)
Mr 6 is absolutley bottomless just what I've seen him eat today: cereal, ramenn noodles, peanut butter & jelly sandwich, peanut butter & jelly right out of the jars, chicken divan, pop tart & an apple.
Miss 9 came back for seconds on the chicken divan & she said 'do you want any more mom?
I said 'yes, please' she came thru the room I'm in & said 'I left you some' when I went to check she'd very generously left me 1 piece of broccoli & 2 cubes of stuffing!
16 reads the blog now so I have to be careful what I write (next mood swing 3 minutes- put your protective headgear on- anyone who's ever had a teenage girl knows what I mean) It's not enough that I have to request visitation with MY cell phone 12 hours in advance with a written notice of who I intend to call & how long I'll be (maybe I exaggerate a little!) now I have this phantom lurking over my shoulder while I'm online moaning: 'Are you almost done? how much longer will you be? don't you think you should take a break? DON'T WRITE THAT!!'
So I cede the computer to the evil 16 year old hormone machine, at least long enough to watch the news & take a shower...

Posted by Becky at 8:37 PM EST
Monday, February 20, 2006
a couple of things bothering me today
Topic: just letting off steam
When setting up my homepage with my new satellite internet provider (Wild blue & it's great by the way) I was chosing options: horoscope, news, etc that I wanted on my site, including weather here in VA & in my adopted hometown of Haverhill MA. a quote of the day & so forth. I noticed they had a 'new word of the day' piece so I added it thinking I'd like to learn some new words & this would be a painless way to do so although I do have a pretty good vocabulary. Well it's been 2 weeks now & they have yet to show up with a word I did not already know! The only thing they're helping me on is pronuciation! (that's because most of the words I know I learned from reading in books & the bigger superlatives don't get a lot of spoken word use so I'm not allways sure how it should sound)
In other news I'm continually shocked at how used I have become to having a cell phone by my side every day in only 10 months it has gone from being novel to being irreplaceable & I miss it every day now. You see: the 16 year old's phone died, it dosen't beep when you plug in the charger & so can not be charged. She had dropped it a few weeks before this happened & broken her front screen which is customer damage & voids the warranty so no new phone with out purchasing one. I work in an industry where I have to discuss warranty & out of warranty daily so I didn't freak out on anyone at the store because I know what that's like. I did however go off on miss 16 who dropped the phone in the first place. The response? 'oh, come on mom, I've dropped the phone a thousand times, it just hit the floor wrong that time' I'm ashamed to say I could not restrain myself from pointing out that my phone, the same 10 months old as hers is in perfect condition & I don't drop it at ALL - that got me a goggle eyed look & a 'so? your phone has a camera, it's a better phone- that's why you haven't broken it yet... can I borrow YOUR phone?' Since then I haven't seen my phone much at all... I'm not one of those lucky people with charge cards that aren't maxed to the limit so I had to put 16's money for a new phone in the bank, write a check to the credit card co & am currently waiting for it to show up on the credit card so we can go on ebay & get her a used phone. (cheapest used phone at the phone store? $149.00) she's counting the days & so am I. on work days I only miss it because I'm so used to having it. on days off I flat out refuse to let her take it to school which gives me some time with it to check bills & usage (sharing 1000 minutes a month with a teenager is an adventure let me tell you - thank god for free nights & weekends & free mobile to mobile usage!!) & actually call someone if I should want to. the worst part is knowing it's going to be at least annother week maybe more before she gets her new phone & I get mine back to myself. My contacts list is full of her friends names, I went thru this morning & added a 'z' to all of them so they're grouped together & I'm waiting untill after 7 when usage is free to find a ring tone for all of her friends so when the phone rings that song I know it's for her. I doubt she will appreciate my efforts on her behalf... I think that's the worst of the whole thing the whole assumption on her part that I have no one to call & if I did, it could wait. HER calls are Important though, Life & Death to hear her talk about it.
You spend the first 12 years protecting them from everything & the next 6, 8, 10 (or more?) trying not to kill them yourself....lol!

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EST
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Snow way!
Topic: just letting off steam

Typical Saturday: every other week I get paid, we go shopping & get 2 weeks worth of groceries, before the house we would go out for a nice meal, get clothes etc. (now with the house it's mostly groceries) I never thought last night there'd be any problem today. The weather man confirmed this, 'oh theres snow on the way, but it's a fast mover, shouldn't leave more than an inch on the ground,' is what he said... so when I rolled out of bed after being awakended by my 6 year old's rapturous joy at 'all the snow' I was quite unprepared for the 2 inches on the ground!!! & it's still snowing too... those little flakes that you just KNOW will last all day. A trip to the computer weather map confirms this, what was supposed to pass to the south of us & just dust the area has turned into a full out, all day barrage of snow... the tv's weather man? hiding behind the saturday morning cartoons! Coward

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EST
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
My Loves...hah!... For Valentines day
Topic: just letting off steam

I've had many more crushes than reciprocated loves In my life...being Fat & Shy is a poor combination if you're hoping for Love after all

#1 first heavy one, at 11 was JH, he was a spoiled preppy guy this kid wore elasticized belts with spouting whales on them...uhg! Now he seems to be a tv reporter in my home state... my Grandmother & Mother get to tell me all the time 'oh, I saw JH on tv the other night'

#2 it's a fairly reocuring theme of mine to go from 1 extreme to the other I went from the goody two shoes sunday school prep to my neighborhood's bad boy... that was a disaster... TM never even looked at me except when aiming snowballs or rocks at me

#3 Then I made a cardinal mistake..never develop a crush on someone who someone in your family is involved with! especially not when the family member is the same sex as the crush is... It was fairly depressing becoming a fag hag at 15...lol

#4 I carried most of these crushes for years alternating between them at the same time... there were others, CC was a big one, annother guy who didn't pay the slightest interest to me

#5 My first 'real' boyfriend was AD who I met my first year away from home living in Hull Ma. He was a friend of my roommates boyfriend & I was more concerned over why he would want to go out with me... we didn't last long..I'd had plans to visit family & when they fell thru I went back to my apartment & slept most of the weekend, he was mad I didn't call him instead & broke up with me

#6 next sorta boyfriend was a guy from work who was ok but sort of slow... I felt more like he was better for me because I was so socially retarded anyway being shy, having been homeschooled & relating a lot more to books than to people... I moved away to Virginia to get away from S (I can't even remember his last name!)

#7 In VA I had annother crush on DB he was lonely but not, apparently lonely enough to go out with me ( & this was during my thinner phase...how depressing! I'm starting to regret even starting this.......lol..) Everyone thought we should go out except him & when I was getting ready to go back to MA he deigned to sleep with me as a last gasp sort of thing... told me he felt it was abuse of a sort to do so. the same evening we did it (afterwards though)

#8 I had a few meaningless affairs after I was back in MA, nothing I'm too proud of... then I dated DP for awhile. he was of annother nationality & we worked together.. my kids still love to look at the pictures of us in my album... his mother broke us up because she didn't want him dating out of his nationality

#9 I met my oldest daughters father by picking him up hitchiking.. this may sound very odd in most parts of the country but as everyone in Hull Ma knows if you need a ride stand at the rotary & you'll get picked up...when I lived in Hull ( see #5) I used to hitchike from there everyday... there was a bus to Hull but it only ran in the 80's when they felt like driving it....so since I was driving around aimlessly & going thru the rotary & this guy was standing there I had to stop... any one who's stood in that spot knows this... when you've got a car & someone's there you HAVE to stop....

#10 D's & my relationship started at the Dungeons- annother well known Hull place, we went to dinner at Jakes for lobster & the very next night I took him to Topsfield fair which ended as a disaster... he had a delicate stomach & was an alcoholic at the same time... needless to say the rides I wanted to go on were not his cup of tea.

#11 ignoring this we began a relationship & had quite a few (alcohol soaked) good times, we found we'd nearly met about 3 different times, he was a cook at a restaraunt where I had been going to wash dishes thru my friend/roommate who he knew from the restaruant too... & then he was a house painter when a friend of my roommates & mine was a brush cleaner for the same co & when J lit his arm on fire D was there...I was telling him this story & he finished it for me because he already knew it. the relationship culminated in my renting a room in the house he was janitor in (this was in trade for his rent) I got pregnant in May & by August he was so unpleasant & I was so upset that I moved out...Last time I saw him was about a week before my daughter was born & last time I spoke to him was at 330 am on the night she was born (she was born at 257am) he told me he was 'glad everything worked out for me' he's never seen his daughter.

#12 I've known my ex since he was 8, I was 13 at the time & unimpressed.. I grew up with him being at my house all the time. he was a friend of my brothers though my brother avoided him at hockey season because my brother had little to no interest in sports & R Loves hockey.

#13 a few years after my oldest was born R & I started hanging out together & this developed into a relationship which was on again off again for 8 years, we married 2 years into the mess & had quite a few good years but there were allways ups & downs... he wouldn't hold a job steadily & while we had very young children (most of this time) I was at home with them because day care would have cost almost as much as I ccould have made working. he agreed with me on this to my face but I know now from friends & relatives that he was telling everyone else I was lazy & didn't want to work.

#14 when he left in 2000 I tried a couple of jobs & settled into what I do now & I've been there nearly 5 years... he just as always has had more jobs than I can count... it's a nice but mean feeling to be able to say 'well, who's lazy now? I have a house, a car & don't worry about where the payments are coming from & you're still living hand to mouth'

#15 still there's no guy at all in my life now... have had a few crushes at work but no one has been interested yet...lol.. guess I have too much baggage.
Well, anyway happy Valentines Day to all

Posted by Becky at 12:01 AM EST

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