Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Things are in motion. I can't see the pattern yet. No vertiginous drop and no big rise, more like rocking on the tippy balance point of the seesaw.

My employment: I've been almost offered a new position in IT and someone expressed some enthusiasm for acquiring me which was gratifying. However the job description I expected on Friday has not appeared. I just emailed an inquiry. My office manager has gotten a new job and is out of here after next week. I was jealous and felt very inept by comparison but that has receded and I am happy for her. Yesterday it occurred to me that I can let myself be bad at job hunting right now. At least since Plan B is coming along. I prefer this to feeling like I am losing at job hunting.

Nod's employment: his first choice firm stopped responding so he lined up another job interview damn quick and it went well. He's got a position as soon as he is done with school in mid July. He will be commuting to north Kansas City, that's the downside. But after an initial ride-along period (how long? I don't know) he will be able to use a company van. And once he's proven his solo capabilities he will be working service calls closer to home. He's taken a leave of absence from bus driving after the end of May. So he'll go to school 4 days a week for 7 weeks. And have three days off in a row every week! Then barring weird developments, he'll tell the bus co. he won't be coming back as he starts his new gig.

Kid care: There are two weeks between the end of school and the beginning of the Boys and Girls Club summer program for the kids. Nod and I have worked out who's with them when. There's Memorial Day and a colonoscopy (not mine thank the force) and two kid dental appointments in there too. I think my mother is coming but will stay in a hotel. A friend of ours from Colorado will be couch surfing with us for a few days. Things are very much coming together in the week or so before they happen. Which is not a new experience for me but I am feeling awash in the waves a bit. Or teetering on my balance board. As I succeeded in getting the kid care nailed down, today it feels like it will all work out. Oh my mother has also recruited me to come with her to a cousin's wedding in Livermore CA June 18-19.

I'll keep my nose into the wind and try to stay upright.

Read about the True Finn party and their "Euroskeptic" point of view. They object to paying for Greece and Portugal's financial troubles as part of the European Union. They look to a time when Finland could withdraw from the Union. Anti immigrant but pro wealth equalization and the social safety net. This quote jumped out at me, '"After all, empires always end badly, as did Rome and the USSR," says Mr. Elo. "That will happen to the EU as well, because it's a misguided piece of history."' I sense lyricism and over simplification at work here. But maybe that's because I'm a citizen of an empire and it seems better than many alternatives.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tangy pleasure churn

I am tickled to be reading Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. (The author photo on that website is much less old and bearded than I expected!) It's a very informative and user friendly introduction to many different ways that humans use natural yeast action to modify food. The author is an HIV pos faerie who lives in community in the hills of Tennessee, a demographic I don't see represented nearly often enough. I saw the book recommended by boingboing and I got it through our local library. His writing style is accessible and his enthusiasm for all things funkified via fermentation comes through. I see that he'll be leading a fermentation workshop at Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley on May 14. I am moved to do my own dabbling. I don't have the containers assembled yet to make sauerkraut but I am already on the way to my own wild sourdough starter. Such fun to experiment. I'll spare you the quote about the fermented goat meat that almost made Nod barf. (I thought it was a hoot.)

We all are entertained in our own ways. My husband is aquiver at the thought of the Thor movie. I am innocent of any knowledge of those comics but I'm all for the superhero genre. And as someone who went to see the long version of Branaugh's Hamlet in the theater I am interested to see his directorial hand at work. His tendency to shout down the place as an actor should fit right in with supervillains and such. There's no better way to start getting in the mood for summer than a comic book movie. So I am scheming for us (just the adults) to go on Sunday. The thought of going out to a movie makes me rub my hands in glee. I'm going to be sad when movie theaters can't make it any more. In my alternative world there are roller rinks and movie theaters in abundance.

I misread a reference in the Bookslut Blog as "pleasure diaries"* and was intrigued. I thought of Now's the time, a blog that is about observations and pleasure. Blogging is a wonderful medium to share what is giving one pleasure at the moment. But a "pleasure diary" sounds more formal and mysterious. I envision a book for the faithful reporting of each day's pleasures. Might have to try that out.
*It was really a reference to "pleasure dairies" (you see my confusion) and the book Dairy Queens about Marie Antoinette and her play farm Le Petit Hameau and that sort of thing. Also interesting but not something I can recreate with a book and a pen.

Back to work! In this week's meeting with our new IT superstructure we two admin support people got more of an idea how we'll fit in with their group. Our office manager will work with their fiscal/budget team. And I will go to customer service in one form or another. If I qualify for the more in-depth "account management" (two words baffling in their nonspecifity) it would be good for my resume and portable skills. Yet to be determined. It was mentioned that we are of course free to look for positions elsewhere. Rather pointed reminder seeing as how free will is generally in play. In that spirit I applied for a grad student application tracking position, something that would fit with my background and interests. As it stands, fitting in with IT is Plan B and finding an on campus job with a more natural fit with my experience is Plan A. It's good to have goals.

The Subaru has a cracked head gasket and a variety of less lethal things wrong with it. Nod is using my car for his last two weeks of spring semester. The kids and I are hoofing it. So far so good. Nod and I are both feeling rather powerless as we can't afford to spend $3K on the old car nor can we afford much for a new one. I'm sure we'll find a solution before winter! So much uncertainty and change as we go to summer. Nod had a good interview experience with the firm that hires repair folks in town here. He sent an email and left a message with them to follow up and firm up a plan to hire him part time for summer. He hasn't heard back. I talked him out of calling again. Until next week. I hope it's something unrelated that has kept them from responding. There are other possible employers but it's disheartening to absorb a rejection and let your first choice go.