Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good News and Not So Good News

The good news is, as of January 1st, I started working Fridays again. My mother's cancer is being managed well and she is stable enough, at this point, where I felt safe enough working 5 days (I took Fridays off to be with her, do stuff around the house, and give her husband a break). I was looking forward to the extra pay, too, since we just bought a house last summer and there are additional bills to pay.

The bad news is, my company isn't doing so hot. We just got word yesterday of some really drastic measures they are having to take to ride out this shitty economy. For me, this results in a 5% pay cut and losing my full time employee status. Everyone in the company will lose this status, too, except for directors. So, basically, if there isn't a project waiting for me when the one I am currently working on ends, I will be out of a job. This could happen as soon as March 15th. I am still far better off than a lot of people. My company is a wonderful, caring and highly ethical organization. They are doing everything possible to soften this as much as possible for everyone. I've heard some horror stories. Right before Christmas, the bank shut down a very large national developer and there hadn't been any notice to their employees whatsoever. People came to work and were greeted with locked doors. Can you imagine?

So, now I have to make some decisions. If I file for unemployment, we won't lose the house. But, we won't really be able to live without dipping into savings. We might have to get rid of one car, too. This isn't the end of the world, my any means. We don't have kids to provide for, so I am not really panicking. I am just in this bizarre place, professionally. I always wanted my current employer, whom I love, to be the last place I worked before going full time with Stella Marie. I am wondering if maybe this could be an opportunity in disguise. Part of me just wants to go nuts building my business. Truth be told, I would have to dig really deep to find enthusiasm for project management again. Plus, no one is really hiring right now. My heart says, KICK OUT THE SOAP, MOTHER F*CKER and my head says, "Go buy a new suit and polish off your resume."

Thank goodness I have a month and a half to live with this information. And who knows? A new project might come along come mid-March.

Meanwhile, George Bush sleeps oh so soundly.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Dream

I have a dream.

I want to open my own soap store. A real one with a door and a welcome mat. I want the sounds of kickass punk to come wafting out, along with the smells of all the bath goodies inside. In an ideal world, anyone who comes in can watch soap being made right before their eyes. I sort of envision a kitchen in the back with a large glass window for people to look through and demystify the process of making soap. I would like a bath salt bar, too, that works like a deli. You can purchase them by the pound. Bordering the walls will be photos of my heroes: favorite punk rockers, feminists, baseball players, civil rights activists. There will be a large porcelin tub in the window with a huge mohawk clad mannequin bather. She will be soaking in handblown glass bubbles. There will be a sink for testing soaps and body scrubs. Products will be made fresh, daily. One night a month, I will have "free facial day." I will also host events for friends, like maybe my neighbor can have a fashion show of her burlesque clothing. I would love to sell handmade bath crafts, too, like cool towels, soap dishes, candles and toilet seat covers.

I want this all so bad I could cry. I haven't a clue how to get from point A to point B. Especially with bills to pay. I don't know much, but I do know this: Businesses do not profit for like, 2 years. I also know that I am not getting any younger. I am angry with myself for not going after this with my usual gusto. I just feel stuck between *reason* and my passion for this goal.

Any advice?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Don't Get People

A little over a month ago, I noticed that my tire was getting a bit low. Cold air can cause this to happen. Jere and I pulled up to a gas station and filled the tire up. We drove home (we were in western Massachusetts at the time) and upon checking on the tire in the driveway, realized that we forgot to put the valve cap on. The tire was fine, but I thought it best to visit the nearest Benny's the next day and pick up a replacement cap.

While there, we saw that they had these cool skull caps. Without hesitation, we purchased them.

A few weeks later, I was getting into the car when I noticed that the skull cap was gone. However, the thief was considerate enough to replace it with their own plain-Jane style cap.

Who does this and why? Just when I was beginning to restore my faith in humans. Ugh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

About Damn Time!

As soon as I find the t-shirt I made in 2003 to will Jim into the Hall of Fame, I will post a pic. For now, here is a happy shot of Coopertown's newest inductee, Jim Ed.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Alright, Mommies ... I'm Calling On You

Firstly, this is not a sarcastic post. I am being completely serious here.

You probably know my back story, but here it is in brief:

I am an only child.
I have zero experience with children, except for the few times I babysat my younger cousins.
I am not planning on having children, main reason being that I was born without a maternal instinct (though I do love caring for my 2 lovely cats).

Taking all of this into account, I need a little advice. Over the years, many of my co-workers have brought their children into work. There are few situations that utterly paralyze me, but this is one of them. Shamefully, if I hear a child enter our reception area, I actually go all the way around our office to the 2nd entrance to use the restroom, in an effort to avoid the situation altogether. It has nothing to do with the mom and her offspring. It's really all about me and not wanting to look like a freak. Normally, I am a very capable and problem-solving type person. But, you bring a child into the picture (particularly a newborn) I become a total deer in headlights. I smile a lot like a dummy, but I have no idea what the expected response is. I must look like a complete fool to the poor mom. All the other moms seem to know exactly what to say, what sorts of questions to ask and, most importantly, they have no fear of the situation at all, which completely blows me away! I get cold sweats just thinking about an encounter like this. So, maybe if I am armed with the types of questions and responses that are appropriate, my fears might be squelched and I wouldn't look like a total weirdo.

Here is my list, so far:

1. Smile a lot.
2. Say something kind, like, "He/she is so beautiful!" (I really emphasize the word beautiful. I think it makes the mom happy and it's usually the last thing I say, so I really stretch it out.)
3. More smiling and blinking. It's at this point that I start wondering if I've spent enough time with this. I begin crafting an excuse to bolt.
4. Quietly shuffle to the side, stating that I don't want to hog all the room upfront.
5. Wait for a really new and excited person to come along and seize the chance to leave the scene unnoticed.

This is not a very good list. I want to improve in this area. Should I ask how much the baby weighed? Is that a good question or would the mom be offended? I hear a lot of conversation about how much/little the mom and dad are sleeping. Should I ask about that, too? Would this be a desired question? Maybe I should just keep finding alternate ways to the bathroom.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Rocco Comes Home

It's about time.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Loving Sci-Fi

Oh, the New Year's Twilight Zone marathon on the Sci-Fi channel never, ever gets old. What a great time to (a) be cuddled up inside during a snowstorm and (b) home on holiday. We went sledding in our driveway yesterday. It was fun - like the old days when you get on a skateboard and take off from the top of a driveway as one of your friends plays "look out" below. I also have this serious hankering for soup, but Jere doesn't like soup (for some reason that escapes me now). Anyway, we've really been enjoying this break and there are still three whole days of it left!

It's fun to make soap at my leisure, without the pressure of a show or holiday forcing me to pull an all-nighter. I've been using this quiet time to brainstorm business ideas for the new year, too. I've got some nutty gift set ideas - take a look and tell me what you think. Does "Sex Farm Woman" push the envelope?