I’m a little over-caffeinated…

Let’s talk.  Or since I’m over-caffeinated, I’ll talk!

I’m at Starbucks in Plainville.  Been here since 2:00 and it’s a little after 7:00.  I like it here.  Except for the 2 year old that was screaming her frigging head off but her mother took her away.  I think Starbucks should be like a bar.  No kids allowed.  Feeling a little speedy jittery LIVELY!!!  Have to look out for that from now on.  Caffeine!

My second week of not working is at an end today.

And I have just discovered something good on my computer.  I had my little earbuds with me and I searched online radio and typed in Joni Mitchell so now I can’t hear the guy next to me blah blah blah.  He is very full of himself.  And this lovely name “Joni Mitchell” has led to Rickie Lee Jones and a perky, live version of Chuck E.’s in Love.

Had lunch with my old (not so old really) friend Corinna today.  Yup.  I conned another one into buying my lunch.  I’m good.  Then we came to Starbucks so she could help me out with Linkedin.com which did seem mysterious and complicated to me.  But under her tutelage, I am feeling better about that.  She is a good teacher.  However, I must remember to say DECAF when ordering.

We (Corinna and I) have decided to meet here next week with our laptops and drink coffee and look for jobs.  If any of you would like to meet us, please do come.  I think Wednesday at 10:00.  Need to check my Daytimer when I get home.  I know I should use the calendar in my laptop or my “smart” phone but I love paper and pencil.

Went to Literacy Volunteers last night and met my new students for the first time.  I loved it.  I was very nervous before we met but now I feel much better about that too.  They are very sweet, smart, brave individuals and I hope I can help them.  I followed the tutor training we received and it went well.  I read up on their native country, Columbia, and bought a Spanish/English dictionary and some index cards.  Every word I used that they didn’t know, I used my big blue marker and one of the index cards and made a “flash card”.  English word in big letters, Spanish word in small letters in the corner.  Gave them the cards and asked them to come back next week and use each word in a sentence.   Here are some of the words – fake, brave, poodle, lend and borrow, chick flick.  I think I will add one weird idiom a week – inspired by my saying “chick flick” when they told me they like to watch movies.  And I asked them to bring me anything they come across during the week that they don’t understand.  And to speak English to each other, only English, for 30 minutes every day.  Already have next my lesson planned.  We will review all the things we discussed yesterday, work on writing the sentences they bring to me, and my first real lesson will be about going to the bank.  What you say, what you do, how you request services, new vocabulary, how to fill out a deposit slip, a withdrawal slip.  Our conversation inspired this lesson.  Very very excited.

Love keeping busy but not working.  Laughing.  Oh Powerball please come to Mama.

I just took my earbuds out after a half hour.  Guess what – still blah blah blah.

I think I’ll do all my computer/job searching at Starbucks.  Come on down!  Remind me to ALWAYS bring my earbuds.  And remind me to say decaf every time.  YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!

So things are going well.

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I love not working. I hate not working.

The alarm does not go off at 5:00 A.M.  I get up at 8 and have no place special to go.

I drove to work with the sun coming up and came home with the sun going down.  Now I see the sun all day.  It comes in all my windows – especially in the morning into the big eastern facing slider.

I was tired all the time and I never cleaned my house.  My house is getting a little cleaner and more organized every day.  And I’m not exhausted.

There were a couple of people at work who were real nimrods.  But as for the other 99.9% – I miss you my work buddies like crazy.

I was listening to a really good audio book in my car.  It’s been a week and I still don’t know how it ends.

My desk at home is getting very, very neat.  My former desk at work is also very neat.  Unfortunately when no one works there, that’s the way it is.

I was getting a pay check every other Friday.  Now I’m worried about money and also wish that if I had to be out of work, it was the summer.

But do let me tell you things I like a lot.

Since the alarm is not going off at 5, I can do one of my favorite things in the world.  Read in bed as late as I want – 2:00 or even 3:00.  Until I cannot keep my eyes open for one more minute.  It’s good!

I have lots of time with my most precious boy Mike Dog Bunn every day.  All I have to do is touch the phone, and like a bad child, he throws every toy he owns into my lap in hopes one with be the magic one that causes me to hang up and play with him.  And sometimes when I don’t hang up, he bays at me like a hound.  He’s a 65 pound poodle for goodness sake!  Shouldn’t he have a little dignity?

I have tons of time to play on the internet, read books, watch movies.  I have had dinner with my friends.  I have had lunch with friends.  And they all took pity on me and paid too.  Smiling.  My clothes and laundry are clean and put away.  My house is almost all clean.  I’ve spend a long time on the phone with Comcast Signature Support and my desktop computer (the one that has the Microsoft Suite, my resumes, references, and is hooked to a printer) is working again.  I have plenty of time to do volunteer stuff.  Been at BARC three times including today.  Start working with my Literacy Volunteer students on Thursday.  I can’t wait!  I’m well-rested and relaxed.

I’m sure some day I’ll be back at it again.  And I’ll like it too.  But in the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy my time off.  And buy Powerball tickets.

Wish me luck and send me good juju

I was laid off today.

And if I didn’t need the money, I wouldn’t care at all.  But I do.  Need the money.

Since I’m not going to work for a bit, I wish it was summertime.  I would be in Maine with a big stack of books by the weekend.

I find alarm clocks to be quite uncivilized.  When I got home, I went upstairs to get the dog out of his crate, and the very next thing I did after setting him free was to turn the alarm off.  My dog was happy to see me and he’ll be even happier in the A.M. when I don’t leave him.

I can blog every day if I want.

I need to work on Linked-in .

If I had just a little extra money, just a little, I’d pack up my dog and my car and head to Florida for a couple of weeks/months.  But the economy has been unkind to me over the last few years and I am out of money.  All the way out.  Goddammitalltohell.  Maybe I can sell something.  I have stuff.  Laughing.  But not too much.  I’m serious.  Kind of.  Anyone want service for 12 – Old Country Roses with tons of extra pieces.  And quite a bit of Waterford Crystal – pattern Kildare?  And jewelry – I can make you a deal.  I have an extra fridge in the basement – great for keeping your beer cold.  I’m laughing at this but I do have stuff to sell.  Craig’s List here I come.

My friend Susie is a very good friend.  She came right over this afternoon with coconut decaf iced coffee and flowers.  I am lucky to have her.

I wish I could retire.

Once I was unemployed for a very long time – 20 months.  When I was feeling desperate, I sat and looked around my condo and asked myself if I lost everything, would it matter?  I thought about what I would want to have, to keep, what was important to me.  I looked at everything on the first floor and the only thing I really really cared about was my dog.  I still feel the same way.  That is very liberating.

When I was 40, I had cancer.  I lived.  Apparently.  I know what is important.  Really truly important.  Again.  Liberating.

I hope I don’t lose my condo.  I don’t want to have to do this but I think I’m going to look for a roommate.  It would help a great deal.  Anyone know anyone?

I finished my Literacy Volunteers training last week and I went over there tonight for my observation.  I left with the names of my students.  I’m excited and nervous.  I want to do a good job at this.  It’s important.

Perhaps I will take this opportunity to clean the basement and strip the wallpaper in my living room and just paint everything a nice peaceful off-white color like the rest of this place.  I really hate the wallpaper.  Lots.

I’m going to try really really really hard to stay positive.

I’m going to go to bed soon and read my book.  I’m going to get up in the morning and make coffee and then lists and phone calls and a plan.

Wish me luck and send me good juju.

When I grow up, I want to be a French teacher. No – an editor. No – a veterinarian.

The problem, well one of the problems anyway, was that I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was way past deciding.  I’ve gotten an idea or two over the last few years.

Here are my choices – editor, veterinarian, French teacher.

I find myself strongly attracted to all of these professions.

If I had been an editor, I could have spent my life reading, which is something I always always want to do.  And I can write.  Of course there didn’t used to be editors in the olden days of writing so we ended up with Charles Dickens – a verbose boring guy – who was paid by the word.  If you’ve read him, you’ll recognize the truth of this per word compensation right away.   I love to say this about Dickens.  It always gets people up in arms.  But I don’t care; I mean it.

I didn’t know until I was almost 40 years old how much I really loved animals, dogs in particular.  They are wonderful.  And I would have 10 if I could afford them.  They are right out there, no hidden agenda.  They are beautiful and playful and simple and honest and loyal.  Perfect really.  I could spend my whole day with dogs.  Easily.

And a French teacher…  The whole teaching thing – summers off, being with kids.  I like kids, always have.  And the big perk of teaching a foreign language now – taking students to France every couple of years.  I took to high school French so easily and completely, I felt like I might have been French in another life.  Madame started in me a life-long interest in the French language, French culture, France, all things French really.  I have been to France three times and hope someday to go again.  I love to speak French.  The first time I went to Paris, I didn’t speak French at all – I felt shy about it and uncomfortable.  One does not really need to speak French in Paris anyway.  Many French people in the city speak English.  My second trip, I spent some time in the French countryside.  I did speak a little then.  The second trip also involved spending time in Italy which I didn’t like as well as France.  And I know that was strictly because of language.  I didn’t like not knowing what was going on.  The third trip, I spoke French as much as I could even though most of the two weeks was spent in Paris – just three day trips to Versailles, Normandy, and Giverny.  I just wanted to know if I could communicate – get along in my learned language.  And yes – YAY!  I could.

But here I am.  56 years old and working in printing.  And it all started in 1977 when I got a job through Kelly “Girls” answering phones and doing some clerical work at a small printer in Orlando.  And I have enjoyed it for the most part.  My years in advertising were good.  I liked the problem solving part of the print production job.  I’m a good problem solver.  I always say my specialty is taking a big huge mountainous pile of messy crap and turning it into something.  There is not as much use for that particular talent in printing.  At least not in what I do.  But what I do now is more precise and I like that too.  It appeals to my sense of order.  I do have to laugh sometimes, well not out loud but people are so funny.  They will die if their printing is not delivered on Wednesday.  Wednesday is the right day.  If it arrives on Thursday, the world as we know it will end.  Really?  Huh.  But I’m not complaining.  I do it.  And I’m glad to.  Because it’s important to them and I’m getting paid to make customers happy.  And I believe in it; I really do.  It’s good to have satisfied customers.  Then they come back and we make them happy again and they pay us and my employer pays me and the world is right.

But now that I’m not a kid anymore I have found my passions.  Books, dogs and Frenchy stuff.  Funny, isn’t it.  Just in time to retire, I know what I want to be.