Friday, July 27, 2012

Not on the same page

During the summer there are many many Jehovah's Witness conventions at the Convention Center in the city in which I work (and live). This peeves me because they rent out the parking garage I use. It doesn't really impact me totally since I have a monthly permit and the garage does not rent out the number of spaces that corresponds to their number of monthly permits. Although depending on what time I get there this does mean my preferred spot on the 3rd floor is gone. AND if I happen to leave like I did today and come back I have to wait until they open the gate because they close it once the lot is "full." But I've totally digressed.

I was commenting to my coworker about my parking difficulties. She hadn't realized the JWs had such a large convention (and I'm fairly certain that this is just some Texas contingency, also oddly interesting it seems to be the Hispanic Texas contingency since their name badges are in Spanish - it has their name and the name of their group).  Anyway, (I'm full of digression tonight) I was lamenting to my coworker about the difficulty in finding a spot (because honestly those JWs are filling the garage at the ass crack of dawn!). She said "that's so sad" and I said "Yes it is sad that it was hard for me to find a parking space but good for the city."*  Apparently that's not what she thought was sad. She thought it sad that there was such a large group indicating that there are so many misguided people who have joined a cult. It's apparently sad to her that  all these cultists are going to hell. So not what I expected her to say about the subject. Not even close. For the record, although she knows some nice Mormons, they are in a cult and well, obviously Scientologists are too. Seventh Day Adventists are not apparently. Wikipedia claims JWs are a form of Christianity. (You know since Wikipedia is so reliable).

*I joke a lot about how "my life is so hard" with her. I say it to her frequently with a heavily dramatic voice and motions. Usually it is for something like having to go ALL the way back to my office because I forgot my trash can on trash day or something equally inane. She plays along with me so when I was being overly dramatic about parking difficulties I really thought she was kidding.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Death of a Hero

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted it in the worst way. I studied stars and I dreamed of going into space. I wanted to be Sally Ride. I was 8 when she first went into space. Something about that just inspired me to want to do the same. I wanted to see the earth from far away and travel around with the stars. My 5th grade teacher continued to foster my love for space.  She entered into the teacher in space program. I don't know how far she got in it, but obviously she didn't go. She made special arrangements for us to watch the Challenger launch in the library live. I also remember the shock and disbelief when the Challenger blew up.  I was undeterred, though. I didn't change my view on becoming an astronaut. 

That was actually the plan for several years up until high school. High school is where I discovered advanced math and the fact that I can't do it. I also learned that in order to be an astronaut you really have to go to a military academy and to get into those you have to have a recommendation from a senator or congressman. For a shy, small town girl that was just too impossible so my dream was adjusted. (And continues to be adjusted.)

I was sad to read that Sally Ride died today. A lot of famous folk have died but her death has made me sad in a way that others' have not. I'm glad, though, that her legacy lives on with her science program for girls. Maybe had something like that been there when I was younger I may have achieved my astronaut dream. Maybe not. Geometry still would have kicked my ass.

Friday, July 20, 2012


The worlds of my old hateful job and my new not exactly perfect but I like it a lot job are about to collide. In what can only be described as a cruel game, my current employer is considering contracting with my old employer to provide a near-site clinic and other medical management. Seriously. By itself I wouldn't really care. I don't have to go to the physicians from that group. We would just offer a better deal if people went to those doctors. However, apparently this collaboration will require meetings to set this deal up. The first one will be in August and I THINK it will be at my old employer's corporate office - the office I used to work in. I don't mind the person the meeting would be with and if she were coming to our offices I would go, but I don't want to go there again. I don't want to run the risk of seeing hated boss. I wasn't on the initial invite so hopefully that means I won't have to go, although the way things work my bigger boss I won't know about it until about 15 minutes until we have to leave for the meeting.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Laboring for Labor Day

My father has agreed that they need help. It took him awhile to reply to my email proposing the help, but he is in favor of it. The downside, he thinks the front yard has to be done before March. So my sister and I are giving up our Labor Day weekend to make the front yard look less ghetto. When I was there a couple of weeks ago for my reunion (which I really should post about), there was a smashed mailbox in the yard. I say to my father, 'dad, why is there a smashed mailbox in the front yard?' His reply, 'because I hit it with a trailer.' Not the response I was hoping for. Or looking for really. What I was really asking is why is there a smashed mailbox in the front yard and not in the trash. Much of the front yard is like this. SO, instead of going to Alabama to get a new tattoo (Alabama certifies or licenses or something their tattoo artists so that I don't have to wait the 1 year to donate blood per the blood bank's rules), my sister, my niece and I are going to AZ to spend 3 or 4 (depending on if I can get Tuesday off) cleaning up my parents' front yard and maybe building a fence. We have not broached this subject with my mother. My father is worried about that. My sister is handling that aspect since I handled my dad. We're still going to be going in March, this just makes their neighbors hate them a little less. (Since there is about 3 with for sale signs in front of their homes I'm kind of surprised they haven't snuck in in the night and hauled away all the unsightly junk).

I've been doing some research on what we could do with the front yard once we've got all the junk and dead plants out and it seems like a clover yard is an easy, low maintenance, not requiring mowing way to go. We'll see if there's time to put that down once we get the rest taken care of. I'm not sure if I have to do stump removal (which I will have to google) if I'll be able to get the lawn clover seeded. But they need SOMETHING and most of the cacti are dead. (Which will be so fun to remove.)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A pending project

I've mentioned before, I think, that my parents are hoarders. My pop is 75 and my mom turns 70 this year. Their house is out of control and there are a lot of household tasks that they can't do. (Like taking down and putting back up a fallen wall).  I have enlisted the help of the remainder of my family to give up a week of our lives to spend at my parents' house to attempt to at least get them to the status not the worst house on the block. (Seriously when I was there for my reunion I'm pretty sure a truck slowed down because they thought it was a yard sale on Sunday morning). Since I don't visit that often, I wasn't aware how crazy it had gotten.  I got breakfast in bed on Sunday morning, not because my mom is nice (well she is sometimes) but because there was literally (and I do not use that word lightly) nowhere to sit except on the beds or at my dad's computer. There used to at least be spots at the kitchen table. Not so much anymore apparently.

They're both overwhelmed. They'll both admit it. Unfortunately due to my vacation limitations and the fact that the fall is the busiest time for my job (we have a black out period where nobody is allowed to take vacation during this period of time and it is about 2 months), and my little niece is still in school so we won't be able to begin this project until March, my niece's spring break. My goal, although my sister doesn't know it yet, is to get the front looking less frightening and then make their bedroom, the kitchen/dining room and living room livable. At the minimum. I'll be renting a dumpster to make that part easier.

There will be a lot more organization required. They do pretty well for themselves with their side business of refurbishing stuff they find at yard sales and then selling it through consignment shops. The problem, amongst many, is that they don't know what all they have and what they do have may be getting damaged further because of the fact that there is no space.

I don't know what their reaction will be when either me or my sister mention it. I hope they will let us help them. I'm not sure what to do if they don't. Except I won't visit again and stay with them. There's no place to stay.