Sarah527 Blog

The life of a single mom of two boys as she explores new ideas, new thoughts, and a new career.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Warning: More Mr. A-Z album discussion

I gave the CD another chance. I put it back in and listened some more. I stand by my opinions of my first 3 songs. Didn't like them.

Track 4-"Did you Get My Message?" was a bit more promising. I liked it!! It's a duet with a female who had a deeper voice than Jason. It was a witty little song about wondering what happens to our text messages/IM's after we send them.

Track 5 - "Mr. Curiosity" This was another song I heard live, in a couple of different forms. I had heard it sung as a really upbeat tempo with his full band and a strong bass line as well just him, slowed way down. I always thought the slow version of the song was more in keeping with the melancholy feel of the words. On the CD I was excited to see that they went with the slower version. It was very simple sounding and his voice really embodied the emotion he was feeling when he wrote it(after a bad break up). I was thinking "this is more like it" that is until the middle. In concert Jason will often break out into a "falsetto" opera voice. He says he does it for his mom who favors the classics. It's a funny bit and something you look forward to...At the concert that is, not in the middle of this, what could of been a gorgeous song.

Track 6 - "Clockwatching". I liked it! More upbeat, interesting play on words, easier to listen too since I had never heard any versions of this song before. Most of the reviews I read considered this one of the better songs on the CD and I agree.

Track 7 - "Bella Luna" what a pretty sounding song. It is a basanova beat and really pretty. Not a fan of the words but they aren't all his, he wrote it with his friend, so I'll forgive him. I agree however with one critic that you shouldn't rhyme Luna with Moon-ah.

Track 8 - "Plane" biggest surprise on the CD. I was not a fan of this song in it's live version. I loved the passion in which it was written, telling a girl that if the plane went down he would still love her and how he couldn't wait to land to share his experiences with her. When he sang it live he did build it up to a really rousing emotional finish. I could admire all that without liking the song. I wondered if they would be able to capture the emotion of the song when he recorded it and I think they did. They took a song I didn't really like before and made me like it, not love it, but like it and it was a big surprise to like it.

Track 9 - "O. Lover" Love it!! Only song on the album I had an immediate like for it. It's catchy and filled with double entrandes. It's very much like Jason and true to him. A little more polished him....

Track 10 - "Please Don't Tell Her" I heard this song only once before, when he performed it live when he opened for Alanis. I liked it then, liked it on the CD. It's the perfect anti-love song and makes me wonder what kind of girl his ex-girlfriend was to inspire this song. I love how it starts out very slow and easy and lulls you into thinking it is a love song but then he gets his point across in the chorus

Track 11 - "Forecast" well, I don't know what to say. The piano in it sounds like something I would hear on say Charlie Brown. Not that it sounds childish, just like a Charlie Brown special or something you would see on Seasme Street when they sing about rain. I liked the words though!!! He was definitely in love when he wrote it. I think the CD could of done without this one and "I'm yours" would of been a much, much better choice, but hey, no one asked me.

Track 12 - "Song for a Friend" I love the addition of the choir, however you lose interest long before they come in. WAY, WAY, to long of a song, could of cut a 1/3 out and still have enough song.

So in a word, it's OK, not great, not horrible, just Ok. I can't even begin to say how horrible I feel for thinking these things. I do appreciate he was trying to branch out and they did a lot of really cool things in the recording and the mixing. I know he is really proud of it and has said several times that he wouldn't change a thing and that this is the record he wanted to make. I also don't want to be one of those fans that put their idols in a box and not allow them to do anything different. Still I am not a fan of this CD. It's too slick, too polished and way over produced. It's also just noisy, not just the instruments but all the other stuff. It's hard to find you way through it all to get to the core of the songs and to the core of Jason. It just doesn't seem like "him".

Maybe it will grow on me.....

UGH!!! I can't find Jason through all the noise!!

I should warn you the following is going to consist mainly of my Jason ramlbings...

Even though I didn't shell out the $12 for shipping my Jason Dual Disc CD arrived in today's mail. It's very slick looking. The liner notes are so funny to read and he even thanked his fan board, which in turn made me feel like he was thanking me personally(which I know he wasn't). I'm still confused with the whole school theme to it all but whatever.

The journal book was a tad of a disappointment. I had hoped for "old" journal entries(or should I call them blog entries now). The were instead entries he had written during the time of the making of the record(I should of figured). Probably half of them were ones I had already read and many of those I have printed and filed away already. Still they had some funny polaroids mixed in.

I had never seen a dual disc before. One side will play on a standard CD player, the other side plays on a DVD player and it contains a some promo clips, some stuff Jason shot himself, himself, lyrics, and photo's(maybe a few extra's I haven't uncovered yet) and the album in "surround sound". I put it in the DVD player and hit play.

The first song "Life is Wonderful" is one of the songs I was not a fan of when he played it last year in concert. I like what it says but not a big fan of the pacing or the melody of it. I have only ever heard it acoustically and it was almost jarring to hear all the other instruments and background vocals thrown in. Jason's voice sounds amazing, more so than ever, he has really grown in that aspect. It's so rich and full and I don't think it was all in the mix. His voice has really grown up and improved but it's hard to find it through all the other noise going on in the song.
Second song is "Wordplay". What can I say. I hate it. I hate it on the radio, I hate the video, hate it on the CD. It's not a surprise.

Third song "Geek in Pink". Again this one I've only heard him as live recordings. The first playing of it was with his band. It had a funky white boy soul bass line to it that was really interesting. I had also heard him sing this song at a couple of different tempo's so I didn't have one "set" version of it in my mind. From his promo video and the 30 second clip I heard on his site I knew the had "changed" it so that wasn't a surprise. What was a surprise again was finding him through the noise. There is too much stuff going around him that's it's hard to hear the beauty of the song or his voice. This album version however was completely unrecognizable from any of the versions I had heard. It wa the biggest disappointment on the album. I was so looking forward to this song, and they ruined it.

I turned it off after that song because I was feeling a little disappointed at what I heard so far. I knew it was more produced than his old album, I had heard it was "polished". I was ready for more music and backgrounds but I don't know if I was ready for it to sound so "slick".

I have heard other songs later on the CD are better and the are a couple that I don't have the "live" version of the song in my head so maybe it will be easier to hear them. Still I'm not blown away....I can't find him through the noise.

I also now more fully understand some the critical reviews I had read of this CD.

He's going to be on Leno tonight, singing "Wordplay" but I'll still tune in and take a look. I am now fair weather fan and I will love him always, even when he's singing a crappy song!

and maybe later after listening some more I'll have better things to say about it. Right now I'm kind of speechless(really, I am).

Still no word on the job for Billy. I'm going nuts but maybe by the end of the week. Today he's hanging out with his brother at his house. I'm glad for it. I love him, love having him home but sometimes I need my space. I also have to say I'm getting stick of this all "steak" diet he seems to be on. I know I should be thankful that after 17 years of being together he still desires me but I thought my days of daily steak(or even twice a day) were over. I guess not!

Something that just struck me as funny. I can't spell so I always run a spell check on just about anything I write. It's funny that "blogspot" tags the word blog as misspelled!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

It's been awhile!!

It's been awhile since I've been here. There's been a lot of reasons...I don't have anything really new to report, it's been way to hot to sit at the computer and with Billy home there has been lots of other things to do then the computer.

Still nothing new on the job front. He has had several meetings and talks with a company about him coming in and managing their shop for them. We(or I should say *I*) had hoped to hear something on Friday but nothing. They do want him to come back in on Monday to look over their network and work on a laptop for the owner. Maybe then they will make up their mind!! I think it would be a good situation for Billy. It's very similar to what he was doing at Color Production and they seemed really impressed with how well rounded of an employee he is. He did give him his references and they are excellent. I think the company is jut waiting to see if they really want to give up that much control and if they really need him. Rationally I know it's better that they all take their times but I can't help but be anxious.

Due to some careful money management and some odd jobs I've been doing for some of the Lodge members(I suspect the word has spread about Billy's lay off) we will just barely eek out our August house payment and keep the utilities going for another month. We've spoken to all our other creditors and most are being pretty decent. My one card though is having a computer call me on almost a daily basis. Even though I've spoken twice to a rep and explained the situation she did admit the calls will continue. It's super scary how much they say I "owe" them now with late fee's, over limit fee's etc. I swear I will never, ever use my CC again, EVER in my life!! It's been a costly lesson but one I have learned....And then some.

Yesterday I GTG with a few of the Michigan Stitchers. Misty and Brat couldn't make it. Carmen and her mom thought about coming from Canada but had to babysat at the last minute so it was just 4 of us, Ruth, Shannon, Delphine and I. Delphine was kind enough to open her apartment to us. We did a potluck kind of lunch/dinner and had lots of goodies to snack on(cookies, chocolate cake, chips).

I also got to cuddle her newest addition, a new kitty named Jelly. Well, actually he's not "new", he's 9, but belonged to her roommates sister. They got a puppy and Jelly and the dog did not get along. They took him in and he is in heaven there. He's such a sweet kitty that took a liking to me. He just snuggled on my chest most of the day. It was nice and much needed stress reducer.

We all brought something to stitch on but most of the day was really spent chatting and laughing and eating...As usual!! I did work some more on Christmas Flourishes which has been severely neglected lately. It was heavenly to sit in her nicely air conditioned apartment and not sweat while I stitched.

The day was made even nicer by me taking the "long" way to her house. I skipped the expressway and took surface roads there and most of the way back. I brought a couple of my favorite Jason concerts, cranked up the music and enjoyed some much needed solitude. As much as I love have Billy home, I do miss having time to myself.

Billy is doing great with his forced "vacation". Much better than I thought he would. He looks so rested and he's in such a good mood. It reminded me of the guy I fell in love and married. He's joking and happy and being so good with the kids. Every time I feel worried or anxious I just remind myself how desperately Billy needed this down time. He's also shared a few stories of what it was like at his last job. It was really horrid and he is not one bit sorry to no longer be there.

We've also been spending a lot of time with our friend Mary. She has taken me and the boys to the pool several times in the last few weeks. I've developed a very nice tan and have been enjoying swimming. I forgot how much I liked to do it!! The boys have had a blast as well. Last week we were there literally all day and the boys barely left the pool. 10 minutes out of every hour they have an "adult" only swim(mainly to give the life guards a rest I think) and that is the only time they got out. The chorline(sp) from the pool has dulled the colors of both their suits. I swear I thought it would take days for their hands/feet to become un-pruned. I've been trying to teach them to swim or to float but they just would rather splash around. I discovered that the pool has swim lessons for non-residents so next year I'm going to sign them both up.

We've also been just trying to survive this heat wave we've been having in Michigan. I hate to complain because I know it's been hotter elsewhere but it's just downright nasty. We've had several days in the 90's or near 90. Factor in the humidity and well, I feel like I'm about to melt into a puddle. I've been trying to do my cleaning and stuff early because once noon or so rolls around it's just too hot to move. We've broken down twice and turned on our a/c, mainly to just dispel the humidity in the house. One day it was as hot/humid in the basement which is rare for our house. The kids haven't minded too much though because we've relaxed the rules regarding TV/computer time. It's been too hot to send them out in the afternoon so we've been letting them stay in during the hottest parts of the day. The kids have started to developed an appreciation for old movies. Last weekend we watched a bunch of Laurel and Hardy movies, on Monday it was Red Skelton with some Abbot and Costello right before bed. This morning we all watched Cary Grant in "Mr. Blanding Builds his Dream Home".

I thought we might get some relief today weather wise because when we woke up it was rainy and cool. It rained for 3 hours and then the sun came out...All I can say is UGH!!!!

All of our schedules are completely out of whack. We keep going to bed later and later and sleeping later and later. I've been feeling out of sorts because of it. I'm so use to "early to bed, early to rise" and it's weird trying to get used to a new schedule. This morning I forced myself out of bed as soon as I woke up. I needed to get the laundry done and I wanted it done early. I was up by 6:30am and I have to say once I got moving I actually felt better and more energentic then the mornings when I haven't gotten up until 8am or so.

Next week looks to be more of the same ole same ole. I am looking forward to the arrival of my Mr. A-Z. Some on his fan board that paid the $12 express shipping have already received it, even though it's not hitting stores until Tuesday. Mine was shipped out on the 19th so I hope to have it mid-week. I'm anxious to hear it though I have to say I haven't read a single good review of it yet. Some have highlighted a couple of songs(one I've heard live and loved, one I've yet to hear)as winners but most places have given him a C rating(or the equivalent). Maxim magazine was particularly harsh...But what do they know but half naked women. Still it makes me nervous. I want it to be a hit, not a huge hit, because like I've said before I like having him as my little "secret".

He's gotten a lot of press with lots of articles in big magazines, and he's also in this week's Best Buy ad. Next Saturday he will be on the weekend Today show along with a few other TV appearances(conan and kimmel but I forget the exact dates). He posted a recent journal entry where he talked about rehearsing for the upcoming "exploitation". I sometime sense he doesn't want to be a HUGE mega-star either. I think he would be happy to just plug along the country, playing what he wants, the way he wants. I think he realizes a certain amount of "selling out" is required.

I'm also perplexed when I read some of the critics who talk about him lacking substance and one guy chided him for using too many words. It's better to just incessantly repeat the same phrase over and over and over?Or better yet sample someone else's music? Or lip synch to a song someone else wrote? I love that Jason writes from his heart and I love his use of words and phrases. I *like* that you aren't always sure *exactly* what he's talking about but hey, I'm not his target audience.

But I will admit to being concerned about the album. I really don't like the single "Wordplay", I think it's too poppy, too cocky and most annoying, but it does stick in the head. Even Jason sounded surprised that the record company went for it. He said he wrote it as a whim, a spoof on having to write a single for the album and the company liked it.

A couple of songs I loved live have been changed around for the album. One had a really cool hall and oaths kind of r/b vibe baseline that seems to be missing in the little 30 second preview they had on his website(they had 30 second clips of each song, one per week, along with a little blurb from Jason on the song, either where/how it was written etc). There are also a couple of songs he did on his tour last year that I didn't like that are on the album. Unless they improved them greatly I know there are at least two songs I won't like. He also has another two songs that he did on the tour and in several other venues since then that didn't make it(one you did get as a free download when you pre-ordered the ablum)

The one good thing I can say from the preview clips they had on his site over the last few weeks was his voice sounds awesome. Not that he has ever sounded bad but his voice sounds more mature and richer and fuller. I'm looking forward to hearing more of that. He has also started doing some super yummy pictures too. He is one hot geek!!

Still I will have to wait and hear it for myself. I'm purposely avoiding all the "fan" reviews of the songs so I can form my own opinions. Ok, I guess that is enough Jason gushing for now!!

Hopefully I will be back here about this time tomorrow with super good news on the job front!! I'm not sure how much more I can take.....

Monday, July 11, 2005

They called just like Dh predicted!

No, not a job, I wish, but his old company called this morning. They called under the guise of wanting "permission" to pass on his phone number to other companies where they might see an opening. Why they wanted permission do this I'm not sure.

But of course that's not all they wanted. One of the things they did while Dh was there was was to change the type of system they used to work on. I don't understand it all since I'm not in the business but there was a lot of resistance to the new change over. Not one employee wanted to go for the training so Dh went and was quite excited with the new system. It was faster and once you got it configured right it was pretty user friendly. The only drawback is it required a bit of system maintenance with archiving and keeping the "servers empty"(yeah, I have no clue what it means either). In fact the last weekend Dh was employed there he put in a good 6 hours maintaining the system and getting it ready for an upgrade.

One of the things he said was that the person taking his place(an old employee had quit, got fired from her new job, and they hired her back. That's the reason they were "over staffed" and let Dh go) did go for the same training as Dh but Dh felt when she got back and from the kind of questions she was asking that she didn't get as much out of it as she should of . Dh has made jokes here and there along the way that he can feel the "servers filling up". Sure enough if he wasn't right. After the 30 second part of the conversation with the company about his job search and getting his permission to give out his number the owner then had a bunch of questions about the system. I know Dh wanted to just hang up on him but you can't do that. Printing is a small industry and you can't afford to burn any bridges.

And yes, he is going to pass Dh's name and number to two more companies that both have openings at the moment. Dh also is trying to follow up on a job that he sent his resume to last week. I just have to keep thinking good thoughts. A good friends husband was laid off in May. He just got hired last week so there are jobs out there. I know it will just take some time but Dh has good skills, good contacts and we just have trust that he will find the perfect job soon.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A little vent here!!

My husband is a slob. He's always been a slob and it's not like it was a surprise when we got married(we did not live together before getting married). I've learned to live with it somewhat. We argued about it a lot when we were first married and both working full time. I wanted a more equal division of chores but I learned early on what I "wanted" and what I "got" were very different.

When I stopped working to stay home it didn't seem to be such a big deal. I was home, it was my job and as long as he was willing to help with the kids(feed, change diapers, take care of some of the night time stuff) I was Ok.

Now that he has been home for a few weeks it's starting bug me again. Some of it is now that he's home the dishes seem to have increased 10 fold. I encourage my kids to use the same glass all day, make sandwiches on a napkin instead of using a plate, simple little things that keep the number of dishes down. DH however seems to go through a dozen glasses a day and pretty much eats from sun up to sun down. Most pile up in the living room.

Yesterday with the cooking of the big Turkey meal I had a lot of dishes to do. I was very tired from not sleeping the night before and I asked nicely if maybe he could help me. I would do some, he could do some and it would be done in no time. He asked if we could put it off until Sunday. Fine.

I took something Saturday to help me sleep that night so I slept in a little bit this morning. When I got up I walked into the kitchen, hoping maybe he had done something, anything, but alas he had not. Before even eating I started to getting the kitchen under control. We do have a dish washer. It's old, it doesn't work very well, and uses a lot of water so it's not something I use on a daily basis. Since I had so many dishes though I filled it and then started in on a few of the pans.

I then moved on to doing a few other things around the house, laundry, mowing the lawn, vacuuming, picking up etc. I was in the basement or outside for awhile. I came back in hoping that maybe he had emptied the dishwasher, put the pots/pans away, or washed what was left(a couple of pans needed to soak). Nope, not a thing. He was in the same spot he had been in when I saw him an hour ago. Vegged on the couch, reading a book and Fox News in the background. I was really ticked. He had also dirtied quite a few dishes in making lunch for him and the kids. yes, I should be grateful he thought to make the kids dishes but do they really require two big plates for a PBJ sanwiches?

I don't expect him to do everything and if he was working again I wouldn't even of though of asking or expecting him to help out but he's been home now 2 1/2 weeks. He's been golfing several times with his brother, chats often with his brother via the phone or ICQ or out playing with the boys. I know he's trying to enjoy the time off he has and I'm sure once he's back to work he'll be working as hard as ever. I too am trying to enjoy this limbo we are in but really is a few dishes or putting some clothes away really that much to ask?

I love my husband dearly and I hate to complain, especially now, but it's frustrating to have someone in the house who can't seem to see a dirty dish or dirty clothes piled on the floor.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Now that is a MAN!!

This morning I was happy to run across the beginning of "Gone With the Wind" on cable. This is one of my very favorite movies and even though I own it on DVD it's always fun to run across it unexpectedly. I am a fan of the book as well but they are very different from each other(like the fact in the book she had kids with all her husbands while in the movie she only had Bonnie Blue Butler) and I can think of the two of them separately.

I love this movie for so many reasons. First of all it's so beautifully filmed and in such vibrant color. It's nice to see a old movie and know when you see a crowd shot you know that "all" those people were there and not "digitally" put in. Sure some of the scenes are kind of cheesy but for the time it was a great achievment.

I also think Vivian Leigh is the perfect Scarlett. Not only is she gorgeous but really does a great job of portraying her spunk and selfishness and eventual realization of love.

I also love Clark Gable in the movie. Now a days he wouldn't be considered handsome I'm sure. He's no Brad Pitt but in the beginning of the movie when he's standing at the bottom of the stairs and the camera pans down to him staring up at Scarlett he really does look like he knows what she looks like without her chemise on.

I love the way he woo's her and waits for her. He knows exactly what she is about and loves her for it. It's a shame they could never be on the same page at the same time.

I'm sure by today's standards it would be a dud but to me it's a truly classic movie that I enjoy every time I see it.

I couldn't help but wonder about Margaret Mitchell this afternoon. She wrote such an in depth, detailed, character driven novel. It's a huge book(over a thousand pages if I remember right) and then never wrote another book again.

Today felt like a more normal day since Billy left first thing this morning with his brother and friend to go golfing(their treat). He was gone until well after 4pm. I as able to get some much needed stuff done around the house. I think that is the hardest thing about him being unemployed is our schedules are all off. I feel funny stitching or cleaning in front of him because those were things I used to do when he was at work. It feels weird to have him watching me. I was able in between watching GWTW and stitching to pick up, do a little laundry and get dinner made.

I also decided that even though it's summer and it was a bit warm today I made a turkey for dinner. It wasn't a whole turkey but a turkey breast. They were on sale at the grocery store so I got it for .80 a pound. We had gravy, mashed potatoes, corn and rolls with it. It was really good and I have enough meat to make sandwiches for quite awhile. I'm also going to send some over to my MIL house because there is no way we can eat it all.

The other hard thing about this is my inability to shut my mind off at night. I'm doing much better about not fretting too much because I know it's pointless and you can only worry so much before you run out of energy for it. At night it's a whole new ball game. Some of it I know is the upset in schedule, we are all sleeping later, so we are going to be later. It never fails the second I get into bed my mind runs a million miles an hour. If I watch TV then I feel sleepy, when I turn it off then I'm wide awake. Last night I wasn't asleep until after 3am and up at 7am. I'm hoping maybe tonight I'll sleep.

I also felt a tad angry at DH last night. He doesn't seem worried at all. In fact he is more relaxed then he's been in years. He went out with a friend the other night for a drink and she told him that he looks a good ten years younger and she is right, he does. He looks tan(from playing ball with the kids and a couple of golf trips with his brother), well rested, he's lost a little weight, and his psoriasis is hardly noticeable(he got in the pool last weekend. Normally his legs are not so great looking so he's self concious of them. They are almost cleared up as well as his arms, the back of his hands are normally very red looking but they are almost psoriasis free). I'm not saying that I don't think he's unconcerned with the situation and frankly I think it would freak me out more if he was freaked out but I couldn't help but be angry with him for taking it so much better than I. You would think I was the one laid off!! My rational mind is really thankful that he is this interlude to rest and recharge but my not so rational side it a tad annoyed with is "I have a good feeling, everything will work out" attitude.

I got a lot of progress on my project today. She now has a hand and I'm getting more of her dress done. She is moving along quickly and still really holding my interest. I think this is the longest I've worked on one single project without getting distracted by something else. The only thing that is frustrating me is the fabric count. I bought 32ct hand dyed fabric because 1) that's what the pattern called for and 2)I could then fit it on a fat quarter. I had never worked with a hand dyed before and I did not realized the shrinkage that occurs. It's not just the fuding I've had to do with the gold beads(and some of that is Mill Hill's fault cause the beads are bigger than other color beads in the project) but I can't' stitch on the project at night. The holes are just too tiny for me to see even with my desk Ott-Lite. At least I hope it's the fabric and not my eyes....I am getting up there in age you know!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My sympathy to those in London

Like most mornings when I woke up I rolled over and turned on the radio. I was shocked and sadden to hear about the explosions in around the city. How horrible and seeing all the people on the streets brought back painful memories of 9/11. What a horrible way to start to day especially in contrast to the happiness of yesterday with the winning of the 2012 Olympics. Let's hope there were few casualties and few injuries.

Of course now I feel completely frivolous talking about anything else but I wanted to show off my progress on Christmas Flourishes. It's a bit anti-climatic since I showed most of it earlier in the week but I got a bit more done yesterday and some more beads added:

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"Christmas Flourishes" Designed by Nora Corbett, Copyright Mirabilia designs

Here is a close up on another section of beading:

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It's funny that the gold beads require so much fudging but now that I've started to add the bluish/greenish beads they are smaller and require very little if any fudging. Ah the fun of Mill Hills!!

The tooth fairy made her first visit to G last night. She gave her usual $2 and a new hot wheels which is normal for the first tooth lost. After that it's just $1 and she was quite pleased to have an entire days notice.

I watched the Season Finale of Dancing with the Stars last night. I've really enjoyed the heck out of the show but I was a little surprised out the outcome. I think Kelly Monaco(sp) did a great job and greatly improved as the show went on but I wasn't sure if she should of won. I think her popularity on the soaps helped and she was the only one of the stars with a "real day job" so I'm sure it was a lot of work for her to try to juggle both. I would of bet anything that John O'Hurley and his partner would of won. I thought he was good but sometimes instead of dancing I felt like he was "acting" like a dancer. All in all it was a fun show to watch and I look forward to see what stars they get for the next time around.

Speaking of reality shows I've started watching the new season of MTV's "Real World". I've watched every season since season 2 and never have I seen a more screwed up cast. I thought that with the Las Vegas season until I saw Frankie on the San Diego season, now I think this is by far the most screwed up bunch EVER. MTV also sucked me into their new show "That 70's house" where they make kids live in a house with only 70's clothes, hair, and technology. One kid was practically in tears at the thought of giving up his cellphone. The final showdown of the night was over a game of Operation. One funny twist is whenever they here the hustle music played over the speakers in the house, no matter what they housemates are doing they have to stop and dance. It was quite amusing. Of course at the moment I'm easily amused!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Soooo close but not quite...

Today Billy got offered 2 jobs, kind of. He got a couple of calls this morning from some contacts(nothing from his resumes yet). Unfortunately neither are full time permanent or have an guarantees of hours. One place *may* turn into full time but at much less than what he was making. Through the summer they say they could get him about 30 hours which would turn out to be a just a hair more than unemployment. It is also an hour commute both ways so the cost in gas would eat up any extra money over the unemployment check and still not guarantee a permanent job at the end of the summer. He had to say no to both.

No matter how little unemployment is we are at guaranteed to collect it for 21 weeks with a possibility of an extension.

Still it's really hard to turn down a job when you don't have one and you have no money in the bank.....Still we know there are people out there passing his name around so maybe something might still turn up. It's only been a couple of weeks and summer is a slow time in the printing business.

Until then I'm still trying to enjoy having him around the house. He's been getting up with the kids and making breakfast and lunch and the snacks. It's been a nice break from always being the one to do all that kinds of stuff.

We are still kicking around the idea of trying to get me to school. It will take less than 2k for the training to draw blood. The lodge offers a scholarship and we need to check out more closely how it is worded(does it have an age limit and does it have to be for a "college" only). We might be able to get some from there and the Grand Lodge of Michigan would match it. It would be a start.

Dh was also joking that he would love for me to go back to school, get a good job, so he could stay home for awhile. I think he would be a terrific SAHD and I wouldn't mind going back to work for awhile. I've been pretty bored the last couple of years and feeling really out of control of the situation. If I was making the bucks at least I'd be in charge!!

It's a pipe dream though I think even with education under my belt it would be awhile until I could make enough to support the household by myself but I sure could make things a whole lot better!!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Unemployment Week 2

I know that this is really a very short amount of time but the past couple of weeks have seemed so incredibly long. With the holiday weekend the want ads were mighty slim looking. Still there was 1 ad that Billy sent his resume off to this morning and he his old boss knows a guy there so he put in a call to him hoping his old boss would put in a good word for him. Hopefully he will hear something about one of his resumes this week. He does have an interview on Thursday and I have hope that it turns out to be good but I'm not "counting" on it. I want him to take the time to find something right. Both of us were too nervous the last time to look around I think and we paid for it. Billy is so much more relaxed and it's nice. I don't want him going back to being a stress bucket and having chest pains. And for the most part all the "big" bills are paid(house, utilities, cable/modem). Billy is starting to make the calls to other creditors today and being honest. I figure most places are willing to work with you a month or two at least. If I could just stop worrying about losing the house but again I think we might have a month or two leeway on that. July is paid for so I just have to once believe that it will all turn out. Now if I could just convince my stomach of that I'd be good(it's in a knot most of the time). At least we are saving money on food for me and I'm kicking my Diet coke addiction. I could drink a 2 liter by myself in a day, or 3-5 cans without even thinking. Now I'm cutting back and drinking a lot more water. I'd like to say I feel better but I don't. I miss my Diet Coke but really that much was not good for me so in the long run it will be good.

We had a really nice weekend. Saturday the weather was the best I've seen. I spent most of the day on the porch, stitching on something small, reading, watching the boys play. Then we hear the most awful, incredibly loud R&B music wafting through the neighborhood. It was so loud my windows rattled. We discovered that a house 2 blocks over and 5 houses down was having a graduation party. We let the music go for awhile but after 4 hours we had really had enough. We were just getting ready to call the police to see if there was anything they could do. I'm not a fuddy duddy and would put up with some noise but I think this was a bit much. Just as Billy picked up the phone one of two things happened: either we went deaf or the police were already there. It was then tuned down to a much more reasonable level. We could still hear it drifting through the backyard but it wasn't so loud that we could make out every word. I'm just thankful they were playing "radio friendly" versions of songs...things like Beyonce, and Mariah. We have some in the neighborhoods that pull in their driveways with radio blaring and some not so nice kid friendly words pouring out of the speakers.

Sunday was the Lodge breakfast. I suspected that we would be short handed and that we would have a low turn out(not just because of the holiday but because the monthly newsletter hasn't gone out because Billy hasn't gotten the info/date/articles from the master). Instead we had more than enough help and were only off about 30 people. We didn't make a profit but only lost a couple of bucks so it wasn't bad.

I ended up hurting my hand quite badly on a cupboard. I was taking some plates out and got my hand caught between them and the edge of the cupboard. My last two fingers on my right hand are very bruised, they swelled up and gave myself quite a scrape on my cuticles. The one on my pinkie finger bled on/off most of the day. I wasn't able to roll out the biscuits but thankfully we had someone who could.

After the breakfast our friend Mary invited us to her house so we could take the kids up to her city's pool. We also threw together a last minute BBQ. Boy did we have fun. The boys played in the pool until their lips were blue and they were chattering. We then pigged out on hot dogs and hamburgers off the grill. Mary spoiled the kids rotten with 3 kinds of cookies and peppermint stick ice cream for dessert. They ran around the yard while we visited and it was nice to hear about her kids as they were growing up and her teaching job. As we were leaving I hugged her and thanked her profusely for the really nice afternoon. I needed it. She said thank you too me. She said that Sunday afternoons are particularly hard for her since her husband died earlier this year so I felt like instead of us leaning on her for the afternoon, we had all leaned on each other. That was a good thing. The boys slept like rocks that night and none of us were up until after 8am. We are becoming slugs!!

G got a bad mosquito bite on his foot and he's having a horrible reaction to it. It's quite swollen and weepy. I've been keeping him barefoot, and cleaning it well with soap, alcohol, and anti-biotic cream. It is looking better but I wish we could have a dr. Look at it. I'm sure it's not serious but I would feel better.

Monday we hung around the house most of the day, had home made pizza for dinner and then hung out with my MIL for awhile. We were thinking of going to some fireworks but rain moved in so we came home and watched the Macy ones on TV. Man, some day I'd like to see them in person.

Billy got up early as he and his brother had to go call on a lodge brother this morning to help them with some financial matters. Every time I think we are in bad shape I hear about someone in worse shape than us.

Keep good thoughts going for Billy. He was very *excited* about the listing he found in the paper yesterday. It's a good company and think he would like to work there. It's also close to home.....

I also got some of the beading done on my project. I had to really fudge this line of beads so it took forever but I think I finally got it to look Ok:

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

The phone is slowly beginning to ring...

Dh has his first interview scheduled for next Thursday afternoon. It's a small shop looking to expand. He got the lead from a salesperson friend who is also looking over his resume and will hand it out if he can(he services a majority of the print shops in the area). The only downside is it's quite a drive from here. We shall see though and it's a start.

He also got a lead on another job. It's closer, a big company, but better run then where he was. He originally saw the ad listed on but he now has the direct number of the person who is doing the hiring. Of course he got that number late in the day on Friday so he will have to wait until Tuesday morning before he can use it.

I thought I was freaked last time but man, this time I'm so afraid. I know it can just as quickly turn around but man, having faith is not my strong suit.

It does help that he got paid for the consulting he did last week. We were able to get to the grocery store and use that money(with some left over) to pay for it all so we didn't have to touch our savings(what little there is). I think I did well money wise. I took the sales flyer and tried to buy only what was on sale. We also went to a bread outlet for all the bread products and another store for the milk, juice, eggs and butter. It is a relief to know that we will at least eat for the next week. What is it with kids that they want to eat all the food the second it comes in the house? Of course with 3 stops instead of just one, grocery shopping took all morning instead of just 1 1/2 but Billy was willing to go with me so that helped.

The kids are bit tired and whiny today but that's to be expected. We went last night to see some free fireworks. A nearby racetrack puts on a display after their last race. We were able to park in a parking lot across the street and hung out in a nearby field to watch the display. We were directly across the street from where they were setting them off. I don't think I've ever been closer to a display than I was last night. It was amazing!! The were so close and took up so much of your field of vision it was almost like you could touch them. The people watching before hand was pretty entertaining too!!

Tomorrow is the Lodge breakfast. We were going to skip but now free breakfast and lunch sounds pretty good right about now. Plus we really don't need anymore time off.

Monday night we are going to another town to see more free fireworks and maybe one day next week we are going to the beach. It's only $4 for a day pass and not something we normally get to do.