Friday, November 17, 2017

My latest beading adventure: Videos!

I have decided with all this free time and the technology on hand that I should do a video series of how I work on a necklace. I mention in one of the videos that I can't find my tripod for the camera so I'm holding my phone for my first videos. I started the necklace then realized, A: I didn't have enough thread and B: I had made a mistake and taking the beads out would have shredded the thread even more so I restarted the necklace and videos as well.
Apparently the size limit for a video here is 100MB. My first video is 233MB. Oops, looks like it's link to youtube for now!

An update on my work situation.
I interviewed for a position at Home Depot that I knew I couldn't get. It involved in being at work at 5 am and buses don't run that early in the morning. I went through the interview anyway with the manager in charge of the MET (Merchandizing team that specifically only handles merchandise stocking and vendors). After the interview, which was mostly formula questions like I had seen on the assessment test, he said he would pass my packet to the actual store manager to see if she had any positions open for cashier or customer service. He said to give it a couple of weeks until she got back to the store.  I do think I thoroughly impressed him with my knowledge of retail operations as far as safety and procedure is concerned. He made some notes on my files and I can only hope it gets noticed. He said they only hire part time to start but the bonus is that dental and vision is part of the benefits for part time and 'incentives' like discounts for car rentals or other things for being a Depot employee. Whoopdee but it may well come in handy IF I get a job there.

In the meantime I'm trying to fill out the continuing claim form that was sent to me, which came on Monday the 12th.. and the date I needed to get it mailed back was... the 12th.  As usually for me I botched and didn't realize there was an option to go paperless until Katie told me. I went to the site, looking for that option and it keeps sending me to the new claim registration page (insert loud growling). Okay so I see a link for a 'helpful' video on filing a continuing claim on youtube... click on it annnnd.. video is no longer available (insert growling rumble with possible thunder).  Go back to the main site, try all the directions for getting to the UI online to file a continuing claim... annnd it sends me to the new account registration page (head exploding).
I am going to be force do use their phone system to try and find help. This is also not going to go well as I tried before and it shuffles you from one menu to another and pointing you to the UI EDD online site.
(full on volcano head exploding threatening village and entire island with anger lava).

So I'm trying to switch back and forth between looking for a new job listing, figuring out how to make a video, navigating the EDD site and frankly not having any stress relief.
Oh, it did rain this morning though.

 Image result for anger inside out

About my clumsy accident. 3/10/17

Friday night, stumbled on rough sidewalk going home and ended up face planting on the sidewalk. For anyone that saw my post on facebook, here's the full version.
So here's the rundown of what happened when I fell. Just all the bits and pieces of coincidence and irony, plus geek references.
So I fell luckily on a main street, sitting there dripping blood trying to call Katie and this couple walks up and asks if I'm all right. I don't have my glasses on (luckily not broken or even scratched) I tell them I'm okay but am calling my roommate to take me to urgent care. I mention making a 911 call and they were concerned, but I explained someone was coming.
The man said he was CPR trained and asked what day it was and frankly, not due to being injured but having been at work all day I had to think a moment. (Hahah).
We waited for a while and, as I suspected would happen, Katie turned the wrong way and had to turn around up the street to come back and get me.
I did tell her to bring a towel due to bleeding but she forgot it. Kleenex it was.
Oh I wore one of my Star Wars shirts under my work shirt that day.. when I got in the car, turns out my CPR guardian was also wearing a SW shirt, which I didn't notice until Katie pointed it out as he leaned in to make sure I was okay.
We get to the urgent care, and I mention to Katie that the last warning I heard from my manager was 'no one had better call in sick, there better be blood for a reason.'. (hence my mentioning the photo proof and blood.)
So waiting, get in and situated, triage nurse was 'Chad', nice young guy. He had to get a good look at the eyebrow and apologized for staring, I told him he was a medical professional, that's part of his job and to take his time.
He took my BP and blood oxygen, BP was off which is expected given the stress. Dr. Chen would be my ER doctor.. Jack Chen. Yes from what I could see he looked vaguely Asian.
So he gets all set up and said I would definitely need stitches in both places. Ick, no choice really so he got the lidocain or whatever they use and numbed me up. Kindly he sprinkled some on the sites before sticking me so the poke wasn't as bad. 
As he was stitching my knee after the eyebrow, I asked 'So what sort of thread do you use these days? Nylon?" he was a bit startled at my question but said yes, and explained why nylon for facial and another type for other areas.
He asked if I was a medical professional and I told him no, just a head full of trivia.
He asked if I was up to date on my tetanus and I said no, so that was ordered. Oddly coincidental Katie and I had mentioned not being up on that just the day before.
Welp, up to date for another ten years now.
 So, trying to type on my phone after the adrenaline wore off and the blanket they gave me was no longer warm so was annoying and tragic.  Katie messaged me to ask if I was done (she had to go home and do something with her mom), so when the doctor was finishing up he saw me shaking and tried to hand me my work shirt and I said, actually I need my phone. He unplugged it from the portable charger and handed it to me then stepped outside the room. I remember my hands shaking really bad and it reminded me of my dad with Parkinsons. 
So, I got out of the room, barely able to bend my left leg to put on my shoe, but got out of the room and Katie called me thinking I was outside already. 'Did you see one of the knitting ladies? She was there with her daughter.' I'm thinking which one? 
Well it turns out to be one that lives in Clairemont. Her toddler was running a fever and that urgent care was the closest one open.
All said and done, we were both hungry and Katie drove over to the Denny's so we could have some dinner. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Four weeks now. Exactly.

Four weeks ago I was 'released of my duties' at the nursery.
So far, I've made a lot of jewelry, started listing things on Etsy, filled out frustrating applications online that amounted to nothing had one interview and will be contacting the Home Depot Talent Acquisition line about the status on my application from Friday.
Oh yes, ploughed through the confusing EDD forms online but finally finished that and am waiting for physical copies in the mail.
Haven't finished the filing for MediCal as that is a bit problematic as well. I am sharing expenses with Katie therefore her income likely will be counted.
I'm attempting to get out and walk at least for a half hour instead of sitting at home all the time on the computer or making stuff.After being on my feet for almost 8 hours seven days a week and now am not that active, that's kind of important.
Money is tight. Katie's grandmother sent me some money to tide me over until she sends the rent money for next month but after that, she has to watch her budgeting as well.
I put an application in at a wholesale floral supply store but since he said to give him a few days and that was almost a week ago, I've had to drop that hope. It wasn't the best interview on my part, not  upbeat enough and admitted to being in the wrong when I got fired. Oh well.. I've been looking at the listings on as that was highly recommended by Katie.
I find it rather amusing that businesses are now using the term,"Talent Acquisition" for their hiring process.
I'm sorry unless you are Disneyland or a theater agent what you are hiring is not 'talent'. Well most of them, I certainly believe I have some talents. They are trying to put a spin on an otherwise average run of the mill job.
I've encountered three online application sites that use that term so I'm sure it's one company that farms out their services for the process.
So here's hoping that my interpretation of the EDD forms was correct and it isn't delayed. The issue was they ask if you worked for any other company in the last 18 months. Yes, BUT there is no allowance for it being a current job. It's either you did  and aren't anymore or you didn't. I found a work around by saying No then yes on the second half of the form. Should be getting that paperwork by the 13th and a replacement EDD bank card before the 20th.
I had a card when I was off work for chemo, then when we moved last year I thought 'I won't be needing this anymore' and shredded it along with all the account information. Of course.
So I'm making good use of my time anyway, got my Etsy account reactivated and am slowly uploading the pictures. Having a smartphone makes photos soooo much easier! I remember having to haul out the photo box, set it up on the table, take the pictures (digital camera thankfully at least) then have to take it to the computer and upload them, edit and then file them.
It is much faster and easier now with minimal editing ability on my phone, can upload directly from google photos. So it's much faster and easier these days and since it's only .20 cents to post an item, I can  do five or six a week without dinging the budget too badly.
People are sharing when I post on facebook so here's hoping someone wants to buy my stuff.

So, surviving for now, hoping for a job soon and IF the Home Depot does come through it's right up the road with a fifteen minute bus ride. The minor hitch was something about it being a 9-5 Monday through Friday job... I would only take that schedule if they promised me $13 an hour.  Even then I would still need a second job or more income.  As always, updates as they happen or the next month goes by.

"Live is not about how you survive the storm, but how you danced in the rain." - unknown.

Friday, October 20, 2017

5 Days Post.

So, the benefits thing will likely be contacting me by mail and most likely at the beginning of November when the current set runs out. I have a knitting friend in the insurance business and she is more than happy to help me out.

Job search... about that.
On the recommendation of Katie I signed up on and now I'm thinking I need to reconstruct the resume I put up there. I got one contact from Carmax and one from Office Depot.
Almost considered applying at Carmax but don't think I have what it takes to be a convincing car salesperson. The follow through is killer and I know I have a failing in that direction.
I took the buses down today to return my work shirts. Gave hugs to people again and when I gave one of the managers the shirts he apologized and I said I had been stupid, not his fault. He then said one of the stupidest platitudes that people can give. 'You'll find something better'.
That job was not minimum wage I had been there for 19 years, the benefits were some of the best in the industry and better than most of the retail jobs out there. I looked him in the eye and said, 'No I won't but thanks anyway.' I then smiled said 'see ya' turned around and walked away. Chatted with two of the cashiers that I was close to, one of which being another crafty person said that Hobby Lobby was hiring. Great! I can work there! If I get full time they pay $15/hr. The catch: They are an hour and a half transit ride from home, and for hourly positions you have to apply in person.
Going to hit Katie up for taking a trip out there tomorrow and scope it out. Having worked for Beverly's for 17 or 18 years I think that counts for some good experience in the craft and hobby field. Would like to have something a bit closer to home of course, there's a Home Depot up the road but no craft or fabric stores.
Why am I sticking with what I know? Duh! Because getting trained in a new field is something most employers are reluctant to do with someone completly unqualified for the job.

In the meantime, I am not sleeping well (gee wonder why?) waking up at 2 or 3 am and not been able to get back to sleep for at least an hour or so. I'm not drinking as much caffeine so I should be sleeping better. Right..get back to you on that.

So other than that, having to be rather stingy with my money which means I am behind on a couple of bills, one of which is storage and the other is internet. I don't think I'll have enough to do rent and both those bills next week. Sigh.

Oh, I did remember that I need to roll over my 401k to an IRA account so it becomes my money again. I also realized that I will be eligible for 'early' withdrawal without penalty next April. As some of you may know there's a hefty fine and tax on it if I chose dispersal before then. So that money is still locked up where I can't tough it. A little over $25k is not shabby and if I do get another job with a 401k then I have to decide whether to roll it over to the new account anyway.
That will happen when it happens but at least I know I'll have that money socked away as well as my refund next year about the same time and that is enough to get me a car and maybe some nest egg for moving out. I know decisions need to be made carefully with that or I can lose out big time. All depends on what happens in getting a job now.

Other than that, being pestered by our cat Crook when I'm home, trying to make more jewelry or put what I have up for sale and being online more. Made dinner the other night, going to tell Katie that if she gets the supplies I'll cook dinners. She gets paid at her new job today so that will make things easier on her.

Well that's it for now. Going to go scope out more jobs, see what the real estate market is like up in Washington... just for wishful dreaming.

"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which."
  - Douglas Adams

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Been meaning to post here so here goes.

Big changes have happened.  Mostly for good, but that's up for debate.
Firstly, roomie and bestest friend Katie got engaged a month or so ago. (Happened on the day of the eclipse and on their one year anniversary).  I guess I failed to update about that too. Bad girl.
So yeah she's been seeing a guy she had met at work and he popped the question which she had said she would say yest to.
We've been together for 8 years and it's quite a big difference in that time. The wedding isn't until next September 1 so at least there's time for planning and such.
Way back about a month before that I realized I would be turning 60 next year. Something told me that I had to do something different or something was going to happen that was monumental. I figured, well there you go. I'm going to have to either find a new roommate or a new place to live next year. That's a pretty big change.

But wait there's more!

So I've been considering moving north to Washington for the past two years. That seems a prime time right there to make the big move. Won't happen until sometime after that but there it is.

I also have decided that next spring when I get my tax return I want to get a car finally. Something reliable not new and sturdy that can tolerate a very long drive and in a different climate. So the search is on for that shift as well.

The other day (Oct 14 to be exact), I saw yet another post about plants that can be used indoors to create more oxygen, take out impurities and such. Being in the plant business I know about these things and on a previous iteration of it I went on a plant rant.
This time I was tired and decided I would post something like, 'all plants produce oxygen and not all of those will do well in a house for a long period but won't go into the details here'.
Well I failed to notice that it was posted on the nursery facebook page and someone else noticed.
Who then flagged me and said that I had called BS on that plant list.

Well nothing says screw you like tellilng the boss he's wrong and I am now no longer employed there.
Yep. They fired me for a 'disparaging comment posted on the companies Facebook page'. Now I can't find that post of course, and all I saw was the photo of a computer screen of the other commenter tagging me.
I will of course try to have that image sent to my phone so I can see it but whatever the case, 19 years of working for the company and a 'disparaging remark' is what did it in.

I was walking on thin ice for the past year anyway. I was getting tired of having to get up at 6 am to go to work at 9 am. Getting tired of the back biting, favoritism, communication issues and otherwise standard business BS that didn't used to be there.
My kids are more angry about it than I am. I think I'm kind of numb right now. I gave hugs and thank you's to the ones I enjoyed working with. At least the manager who hired me originally is the one that fired me and actually gave me a hug and as close to an apology as possible.

Will I go find another job? Maybe, will have to see how I feel. My benefits company will be contacting me tomorrow about COBRA coverage.
I have not been without a job in over 25 years.
I still have my part time job at the fabric store but considering how little unemployment might pay and having that ding into it.
It's kind of like being a slave or a corralled horse or something. All you've ever known is going to work, your entire life revolves around it and now.... it's not there.

I am still friends on facebook with several people still there and will keep up on that contact.
Do I feel empty all of a sudden? Maybe but then it could be the adrenalin let down from crying earlier today.
I didn't cry when I was told, actually didn't cry until I started getting hugs and that is mostly a response to their emotions.

So. Free agent mostly. Have to figure out what to do with medical coverage, my 401k roll over and all that. I have about 25k in my retirement account. Not much but enough to coast me for a while.

I may get a car sooner than next year, who knows.
I'm a bit scared yes, I was also supposed to have an appointment to see a joint specialist in December. Have to see if they can change that to sooner at another location before the end of the month.

So yah. New turn in life. Wow. I'll have a lot less knitting time not taking the bus for 2 hours four days a week now. But I'll have more time to work on my jewelry, maybe put some pieces up for sale on etsy again.

I haven't had this much time off since I moved to San Diego. Even then I started school and got a job almost immediately. Wow.
I wanted to retire but kind of hoped that wouldn't happen for another two years.

Well then. There you have it, my story up till now. I have weekends free again! Woohoo! Only yesterday Katie asked if I could get a Saturday or Sunday off in November to go to Sea World.  No problem with that now!
If I don't have a job still by December, I can go to Disneyland without worrying about taking a day off. Woohoo!
So you see how I'm conflicted on whether this is a good thing or bad thing?
Now for a quote from Babylon 5 that came to mind as I waited for Katie to pick me up.

This one is from Londo, one of the more poignant moments when he discovers he is going to be Emperor.

"Something my father said. He was old, very old at the time. I went into his room, and he was sitting alone in the dark, crying. So I asked him what was wrong, and he said, 'My shoes are too tight, but it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.' I never understood what that meant until now. My shoes are too tight, and I have forgotten how to dance."

Oddly enough I just bought a new pair of hiking boots for work and they're just a little too snug.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Another year ends, the wheel turns.

How fitting that on the last night of this horrendous year that at least in San Diego it will rain in the later hours of the night. There were many things that happened this year that shocked the world, changed people's lives and perhaps shifted our way of thinking.
What has been lost cannot be regained, days, lives, moments. Though we wish we could reboot the year, make it a year that we could say was a good one, it is done. Time for us to try and make the next one better. Some things are out of our control, the deaths of loved ones or people we never knew, we have no way of predicting or stopping. As much as we have dreams of superpowers, of turning back time, as real humans in this world, we must shoulder the bad and look to a hopefully better year.
There are several quotes from famous works that all speak of the tears shed from injustice, pain, loss and suffering. They are all the words of grief and release.
What we must do now is let the rain wash our own tears away, the collective anguish and perhaps a bit of the tears of joy as well.
There was much to be happy about this past year, even though we have forgotten it given the burden of the sorrow that came with it.
I'll leave you with one quote that came to my mind and could get hold of the quickest. J. Michael Straczynski, oft misspelled name but some of the best writing on Babylon 5.

Centauri Emperor: "No regrets then?"
Sheridan: "A few. But just a few. You?"
Centauri Emperor: "Oh, enough to fill a lifetime. So much has been lost, so much forgotten. So much pain, so much blood. And for what, I wonder. The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible inbetween. But there is still time to seize that one last fragile moment. To choose something better, to make a difference, as you say. And I intend to do just that." 
For those that know the show well, the images for that scene are embedded with the quote. The Centauri emperor  had seen his people enslaved, killed and his people fight among themselves for power. He did not survive to try and make a difference.
May we all find the fragile moments, be something better, and make a difference, even if it is on a personal level, it will be a change for good.
The balance of life happens, swinging one direction then another. Maybe, just maybe the coming year will see the balance return.
May it truly be a Happy New Year.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Well here it is September..

We've been at our new place for three months exactly.
We're settled in for the most part. All but a few boxes have been emptied and taken away. New couch is installed, all the furniture is in their place and we're down to a routine now. The commute is again, not so bad as long as I can get a ride on Sundays. Which didn't happen a week ago and let's just say I don't want to do that again. Door to door it took me two and a half hours to get home. I have a walk to the bus stop of about a mile according to Google Maps. In good condition, it's not hard, but recently my feet have been hurting more and doing research, I figured out I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Very painful to walk without support. I got new boots and got some arch support and padded inserts and it's helping along with doing the stretches recommended on various sites about it. What I really need to do is lose about ten to fifteen pounds. I'm working on that too.

Good news though, I got new glasses! Downside, which I suspected somehow, my left eye has the start of cataracts. No glaucoma thankfully, but there is a floater in the left eye as well so at this point, the cataracts can be managed with new prescription but nothing to be done about the floater. Right eye hadn't changed that much actually which is odd. Most of my accidents and issues have all been on my right side.
The cost of my glasses after insurance pretty much ate up the rest of my reserves.  I'm thankful I had that reserve though but discovered that I forgot to pay something important way back in April. State taxes. I had planned on having it taken out automatically but didn't know when the Federal would go through. So kept watching for that and then we decided to move and..... it kind of slipped through the cracks. So now got the notice that I'll have it taken out of my paycheck which will suck but I've managed before.
So, after floating on a good cushion of cash for about four months, back down to subsistence level. Ups and downs, it's all a balance.
Speaking of that, Amber is doing well as she has a new boyfriend now that is still working nicely. Have yet to meet him but heard him on the phone the other night when she called with her semi-regular updates. Got to see the grandkids over the summer and hung out with Ava and Devon at the county fair on the Forth of July.  Haven't heard personally from Devon since then. Seen him post on Facebook and nudged him about getting together for dinner with Amber and her boyfriend but that's about it.

 I started following a group on Facebook called Art Abandonment, and it's all about just that. Leaving pieces of art or creative bits randomly and anonymously (mostly) all over the world. I feel kind of unartistic compared to some of the things people are doing, but then saw a few others that did leave jewelry and didn't feel so bad.
My travel is rather limited being on the bus, but there are the bus stops and one is in the middle of UCSD campus so I left one of my ribbon bookmarks there for someone to find. Since I can't sell any of my things in a timely fashion, giving it away is the next best thing.
I did finish a somewhat involved commission Earrings to match necklaces and repairing one of the necklaces, so getting my head wrapped in that and coming up with some appropriate designs was a challenge.(pictures to be forwarded and items sent at end of the week hopefully).

Now that's all done, I have to start thinking about other projects and... dunh dunh dunnnn Christmas presents!
I am knitting a lot more with the long bus rides so getting some scarves done, but would also like to do more of my ornaments. I've made almost twenty of them over the past few years and have given away most of them. Only about eight or ten left now and have more blank ornaments than I know what to do with.  Well I know what to do with them it's a matter of getting it done. Like always.
So that's about it, managing mischief and keeping head above water.