caramel covered gainful employment

So today I started a new job.

I work at a place that's a tourist trap in Louisville, nestled next to the Jim Beam experience and the Hard Rock Cafe.

I get to sing and make fudge.

As cheesy as a job as this sounds like, right now, I have no complaints, really.  If you're going to pay for higher education and work your ass off to pay off a bunch of bullshit you don't absolutely need,  you go into the service industry.

Service industry can go two ways. You can find a mindless job that sucks that wants you to make you burn you eyes out so you never have to see it again on a regular basis, or you can find one that is mindless, but has a good crew which makes it tolerable while your making a paycheck to do what you really want to do.  Or you can go for the third option and do something you feel like is fun, surrounded by good people and you don't ever have to feel like you're working hard because you actually enjoy your work. What is the saying? Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life?

Hell, I get to make desserts.  I get to make happy.  Who doesn't want something chocolatey?  Or nutty? Or candied apples?  Or ice cream? (Other than you know, those poor people with allergies.)

I have been lucky enough to have an adventurous life.  I do owe a lot of that to my husband, who let me try to pursue the things that I wanted to try.  

So far, it looks like this guy has looked over my resume and decided he wants me to be the store manager, that he's going to 'learn me up' and pass off the keys to this place so he can go to the next level.  Which is good thinking for anyone that wants to succeed in life and move up in the company they work for.  And....I don't think I would mind being responsible for a store that makes fudge.  I mean...I know there are always customers that complain, but come on....it's fudge.

I observed a lot.  The guys sing beautifully.  I also realized 230 degrees is a magical number for cooking fudge.  It is also a magical number for cooking caramel, but caramel bubbles in such a way it spews and it causes tiny 2nd degree burns, no matter how careful you are.

But that's okay.  Thunder over Louisville is tomorrow, it's got a spotty forecast to rain, and I will be in the middle of it....giving out samples and selling chocolates.

I'm good with that.  I can be a productive member of society and hey, it's dessert...what's not to like?

Kinda nervous.  Texas girl is gonna be working her 2nd day during the Thunder of Louisville.  Wish me luck.

Over 20 years out of practice...

So I get woke up by 2 text messages from my oldest daughter.



Of course, my first response is, "Is he cute?"

Then I think about this through my sleepy haze, being as I didn't actually sleep last night - I remember looking at the clock at 5:30a before I rolled over...then 8:30a....and her text comes at 11:10a....

My oldest daughter just asked me for dating advice.

What the fuck do I know about dating?


Think about this.  I'm turning 40 this year, is a good, happy marriage of over 20 years.  We still make kissy faces at each other, we still are deeply intimate, and we hold hands across the table like newlyweds.  I know nothing about the dating scene and with all due respect, I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep my husband alive for as long as possible, because that's just another reason.

I would have no clue what to do.

She did give him her phone number.  I told her to take the dude out to play Battletech. That way the Vols can give him a shifty and see if he's legit.  I don't want my baby dating some jackass and I'm pretty sure the guys up there are a good judge of character.  Some of my favorite people.

Just so everyone knows...

...that way anyone nearby can give me a full status report.  That is all.  Thank ou.


high functioning anxiety

When we moved from Houston, we left the older one behind (it breaks my heart still...I feel like I abandoned her...) and the younger one came with us.  Now it's like she's an only child and she happily saps whatever I have to spoil her with to her heart's content.  Of the two, she seemed quite a bit more fearless and intrepid, with a penchant for all things Gothly and horror movies.

Recently, my PS3 bit the dust.  This actually created a lot of internal turmoil - that thing was with me right after my sister passed away.  My husband gifted it to me, giving me something else to do other than work and sleep (and see my way through a handle of rum or vodka every other day or so).  It let me immerse myself in a game rather than dwell on the fact that I was now having to take time to go through my sister's things and get rid of much that was of no use to anyone anymore.

My sister and I gamed a lot.  Not....gamer girls, you know, the pretty ones that pose licking controllers or whatever, but actual female gamers.  I loved RPGs and puzzle games, while my sister loved platformers and action-packed games.  And we worked oddly well as a team that way.  When I played, she'd listen to me logic out stuff and make suggestions and vice versa.  When she was sick and living with my mother, I came to visit while I was training for Walmart in Dallas.  She was playing Prince of Persia, sands of time.  We had dinner and visited and she was suddenly hit by the notion of showing me the game, where she was stuck.  She showed me his cool abilities and how he moved and the area where she was stuck.  I was immediately focused.  After a few moments, I asked, "Did you run across the wall to that platform and try to run up that ledge and jump over?"  She blinked at me once or twice, then did it.  She shook her head.  "I've been stuck there for a week," she said in disgust.  And...that's kind of how we gamed.

My girls have grown up gaming.  One is very into Pokemon.  The other....into the same types of games my sister played - anything and everything.  Except she will play horror games.

Now, for those of you who don't game, there really is an entire genre of video games out there filled with blood, guts, gore, jump-scares and all sort of sick and twisted shit.  Really.  Stuff that makes most people's hair crawl.

At one point, I observed my youngest playing one of these games, so somewhere down the road, I got it in my head that she really likes them.  I can't even watch horror movies, much less play video games like that.  So living vicariously, I buy them for her.  When she sits to play them, she just makes commentary like, "Ohhhh......oh, that's not good...."  Or snarky stuff. "Yeah....so you took my hand.  I still have a gun."  I took this as fearless and really into it, so...I continued to buy those kinds of games when the PS3 died.

So after a few days, she's playing something called Ori the Blind Forest or something like that.  It's a beautiful game.  But the other night, I was like, "Honey, uh, why aren't you playing Resident Evil or Silent Hill or something?"

She looks at me like I've lost my shit.

"Mom, it's late at night.  Are you crazy?" she asks.

"I thought you liked those kinds of games," I replied, uncertainly.

"Mom..." she says, teen-splaining it to me, "yeah, but c'mon.  It's a horror game.  I won't be able to sleep tonight."

Then I realize she is actually gets scared with those games. And state as much.

"Of course I get scared. They're damn scary!"

I shoot her a sideways look.  For some reason, she's getting into the habit of using those words around me a little too fluently.  "Taindee....you mean to tell me that those games where something is trying to eat your ass or kill you actually scares you?"

"Of course, ma! Geez!"

So all that snark, all that very controlled conversation with the TV that sounds casual, is actually my child chattering out her fear and playing the game anyway.

Damn...I wish I could do that.   Even taking an anti-anxiety med, the idea of it sends my mind crawling up walls.

So every now and then, like I said, vicarious living - I hear her say something snarky and I have to walk through the room with my hands over my eyes, peeking a bit, as she fights the shit that was born of someone else's nightmares.

I do gotta say, I think we both kinda freaked out when the dude was running after her character with the chainsaw.  That was a bit much for us both, regardless of my meds.

So she doesn't play those games after dark and that's fine by me.

Trying to get back in the saddle....

The last post to this blog was in 2013.


After friends poking and poking me, I think I'll try to take it up again.  The whole blogging thing.  At least then someone will get the happy thought they can go somewhere and read the bullshit I have to say and be done with it.

Maybe that's why I can't read anymore.  Because I need to write.

In fact, I'm not even going to go back and try to see where I left off, other than that month and that year.  Um, so around 2013 to about now in a few lines....or...you know, as the first blog entry, I guess.

I went to trucking school because my husband said I couldn't do it.  Did it for three months, rolled a rig on it's side 180* and laid it gently on the side of the road (unbelievably glad that it didn't rip the arm off my co-driver, who I adore, but her cat totally shot out the broken window when the truck came to a halt and we never found it, which broke my heart.  He was a beautiful tuxedo cat and was sweet - lost somewhere on I-10 right shy 3 miles of the Florida boarder - named Rio).  Did some recovery and dropped LSD (an analogue, don't judge) about every weekend for a solid four months (which is probably why I didn't wind up with PTSD in regards to getting in a big rig again....I think I could still drive...they never called me back....the official reports said that it was mechanical failure...I waited and basically my CDL expired....whatever).  Walked into a head shop looking for a pipe for my friend's birthday and wound up with a job behind the counter.  Worked for a month there as a clerk, became a store manager.  Worked solidly for four months straight without a day off and became the purchasing agent/warehouse manager for the chain (5 stores), helping out the general manager because she had her IUD ripped out of her body, got pregnant with twins, and was all-round miserable the entire time (which, that was a funny story too, the 'Hey, I'm pregnant' thing, but that's for another blog) and at some point in that first few months, had to take a week off because I had fibrous growths on my uterus and a cyst on an ovary so bad it was encapsulated (I think everything was taken.  She did leave me an ovary, which, the first 'period' I had after....holy shit, was it pissed off that it was doing the job all by itself...it HURT....).   Learned more about weed and drugs than I ever did in high school in the duration of 1 year.  Got 'laid off' because I took the time off to get gastric bypass surgery.  Got a job as a dispatcher at an AC company.  Office was quiet, folks were nice and down-to-earth country livin' types.  

A year into that, life went to hell in a handbasket.

In October of last year, my dad died.  It was a paradox of thought - I cannot say it was unexpected, but it wasn't expected.  I knew he had a bad heart and I imagined a heart attack would eventually take him out.  I had just hoped that he would live long enough to see both his granddaughters graduate high school. I loved my father so much and I even though we did not see eye to eye on religion, we had a good relationship.  I just didn't get to see him enough.  So now it just leaves me, my mom (three half-siblings which live literally on the other side of the world), and my stepmother.

A couple of weeks before my dad died, my husband and I had been talking a lot about my need to sleep more.  It's gotten to the point where he wanted me to seek medical attention, so I went to see a shrink.  Who wound up giving me an anti-depressant, an anti-anxiety med, and a sleep pill.  Two weeks later, my dad drops dead of a heart attack.

That was perhaps the only reason why I could stay and still stay relatively calm about the whole affair.  My emotions are chemically castrated.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.  In this case, I don't know how I would have made it through the past few months without it.  

A week after my dad died,, my husband got laid off.  Breadwiener of the family at the moment (Bread Winner - title given to the majority payer of the bills.... Breadwiener - same diff, save for the fact that we can tease each other about it from time to time), this was Really Bad.  At least in my mind, adjusting to meds.  Within the week after, he gets it into his head we need to do what we talked about years ago, right before my sister died.  We needed to move to pursue our spiritual side.

Um, okay.  I had thought earlier that we'd hacked out a sort of four year plan to get our youngest daughter out of school and then us move out there, but sure.  If that's what he wants.  I am really in no condition to be making life decisions two weeks after my dad died, but hey, we're a partnership, and at the moment, he's more than welcome to take the captain's wheel while I go starboard and hurk my emotional guts out.

So, the kicker was that we moved to Kentucky to learn witchcraft.  No shit.  Specifically, British Traditional Witchcraft.

Who had any idea that Louisville, KY, home of the Derby, housed so many traditional witches in the US?

But during all of this whirlwind of insanity, there had been a plan.  There was a plan kicking around before I got laid off from the head shop gig about going to Thailand for at least a month.  That plan had not changed and it was for January of this year.  That actually was several blog posts worth of shit, but if you're not on my facebook then you missed it.  I will, however, give you one picture (because, you know, thousand words):

 (If you want to know more about this place, look up Wat Rong Khun (see?  Isn't it spiffy of me to provide you a link to the wiki for easier access?).)

Anyway, amazing lifetime adventure, get home, flight of the bumblebee packing, head towards 'home'.  When I get back into town, I get generics for my meds.  This....was okay from the one I was taking, the mail order that does three months at a time?  I don't think it works the same.

Husband's insurance hasn't kicked in yet, so I'm into the last month of what I've been prescribed and I gotta find a shrink.  All the while, I've been looking for a job since the beginning of February.  I think I found one.

Having been an assistant manager with Walmart kind of gives me a little street cred in the retail arena - it's not an easy job, you really kind of get paid dick for the amount of stress involved, but because you can handle that, you can handle just about any kind of middle management hell they want to stick you in.

So...uh, the first gig I've gotten a good response from is a singing fudge factory.  And that's not some sort of euphemism for anything else.  Literally, your job is to sing and make fudge.  As an assistant, it just includes key turn, deposits, cash flow, and supply chains.  'Supervising'.

I keep telling people....I really just can't make this shit up.

So right now, my life is compromised of domestic tranquility of sorts (I try to keep shit clean, my cooking hasn't poisoned anyone yet, and maybe the laundry isn't folded, but it's been washed and put in the general vicinity of where it's supposed to go).  I'm fucking around on the computer, waiting for all the paperwork and red tape to put me into the candy-making store in a highly 'entertaining' part of town, trying to keep the cat from tossing it's cookies everywhere and diligently taking meds, trying not to worry about when they're gonna run out if the insurance has kicked in or not.  Occasionally, practicing some spiritual stuffs.  I watch my 14 year old kid (almost 15, she keeps reminding me) walk through the house painted in grey body-paint with white out contacts (Not as Goth as you think - she's a coplayer who refers to herself as Homestuck Trash....some sort of web comic where there are quads of feelers.....you'd have to read it.  But everyone that IS Homestuck Trash advises against it.  My husband works second shift, so things are just a bit weird so far.

Other than the coven we'd joined prior and the politics involved in having so many covens so close, I don't really talk to anyone or haven't made any 'friends', save for this nice burner fellow that likes to breathe fire and kind of fancies himself a circus kid - all good.  Somewhere in the above paragraphs of what I've been doing, during the time I was working at the AC company, my friend introduced me to a local Houston group that fancy themselves by the name of 'Burners', a collective of artsy people who lifelong goal is to party at the feet of the Burning Man effigy at Black Rock City.  Nice people.  Did some arting with them.  So when I came out here, I tried to find a few....Zootch is the only dude I've met so far.

I'm sure it's just going to get weirder.  Or more normal for me, anyway, even though it seems lonely.  I keep telling myself I just need to give it more time.

Anyway, my fingers are out of practice.  I'll just try to write more stuff tomorrow.


Wonderful television series and why the fantasy genre always gets an edge...

I used to never really watch TV.  That's okay, because of the past few years, I've picked up a few shows that I really like. 

Through the aid of modern technology and Netflix, I have become addicted to the newer Dr. Who (was never big on sci-fi), the Walking Dead (was never big on horror), and Bones (but I've always loved mysteries!).  My PS3, which I watch more shows on than actually play games, has made this possible.  My family and I watch a lot of these crazy shows together.

The most recent DvD I picked up has been The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  I know I'm kind of on the late bus for that, but I have been at the point in my life (a while back) where I just really didn't care about what was new, hip, or trending.  So ....while people pay astronomically stupid amounts of money to go watch shows with a hundred other people and overpriced popcorn, I just wait for the release on DvD...and now, Netflix.

I have to say though, that when it comes to spending money on useless junk, that generally the fantasy genre wins hands-down every time.  I mean, yeah, it would be neat to have a $40 sonic screwdriver pen, but why buy a pen when I can get something as cool as Gladriel's ring?

I know, I know, I painted the door like the Tardis.  And it's cool and all.  But to me, a reproduction of a magical ring, maybe some Gryffindor striped socks, or an elven star is something you can probably wear and get away with easier.

Not that I haven't seen a friend sport a Mockingjay pin, or even people with steampunk gear...but somehow...a 'prop' that's sci-fi and doesn't work doesn't seem as cool as a magic ring or talisman....that might work... I dunno.  Leave it to the imagination of someone who believes in magic to come up with that kind of backwards logic.


just the awe

I have no reason why I woke up at 5 this morning (I am NOT the morning person...), so I took the freshly-made rye out of the bread machine (which I bought recently at a FABULOUS deal) and started some wheat-flax, then baked cinnamon roll waffles in the waffle iron.  I hear mom shifting about, so this morning, we attempted to call my half-sister in Thailand.

I dial out the phone numbers through a 5 dollar calling card, hand the phone to my mother, and hear a strange, long beep.  My sister in law  answers the phone, and my mother and her begin a loud exchange over my cell phone, which mom promptly takes outside.  It's 8 am here, the sun is just beginning to break past the city skyline, and there's enough light to see so she's outside watering her Asian corn and talking to my sister in Nan.

It's moments like this I find remarkable.  Thirty years ago, any phone call attempt is kind of hindered through international lines, costs a fortune, and you're dealing with operators along the way.  Now....somewhere, a signal bounced from this hand-held device, across the atmosphere, and over half a day and half a world away.  For less than five bucks.

The timbre of Thai, the singsong language of my mother's people, I find soothing.  Perhaps its the inflection, or the knowledge that whatever she's talking about (I don't understand the mothertongue) is totally mundane and the chatter of a loved one calling you, but it sets me at ease.  The rate at which our technology has advanced is astounding, but I'm grateful it makes it possible to connect my mother to her family in Thailand, from which she has been isolated so long.


The Time Lord Door

So of recent, I've been on a Dr. Who kick.

I don't care too much for Sci-Fi, but really, I kind of enjoy the modern incarnation of Dr. Who.  My father has a passion for Sci-Fi, as do many of my other family members and friends.  But...all the technobabble and such really is kind of a turn-off for me.

I particularly like David Tennant.  For the short-lived incarnation before, and the 11th Doctor (who..well, I just got into that season on Netflix, so we will see), I think that Mr. Tennant brings a beautiful element of compassion to the playful eccentric attitude in which he plays the good doctor.  So...in tribute to that thought, I decided to make the outside facing back door of my shop disguised like that loveable blue police call box.

Firstly, my sister was quite the artist.  She got a degree in art, and I think for all intents and purposes, I felt overshadowed by her talent.  It took me quite some time to realize that regardless of how wonderful her art is, that in my own form and fashion, I too am an artist.  So I gave up on perfection or out-doing my big sis, and just kind of started doing my own creative thing.  Perhaps most people don't recognize me as an artist - I don't care.  I mainly just claim to being creative and witty, both of which pay poorly, but are more fun at gatherings.

The blue door has more meanings though, too.  It is fitting that it is the Tardis.  A time machine.  The blue in and of itself reminds me of happy moments.  One in particular (and kids, this is AFTER I started the project...here I am, gently caressing the door with my brush, trying to invoke a specific color...and with it, certain memories come rushing back) of taking portraits in front of a blue door.  Others from school.  Happy moments, which have drifted off into time, letting me gaze back in the wake, sometimes wistful.

But it is art, and it will move forward. And we will see what comes of it.