lookingforlissa

Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Me! Me me me!!!’

Back to school for me!

Posted by Lissa on January 10, 2011

Good moring all!  Thanks for leaving me your input in the last poll — I really did have constipation of the brain.  So, um, my dear readers are the figurative equivalent of Ex-lax.

Crap.  You know what?  I’m not liking the direction this post has taken.  I’m starting over.

Good morrow, dear friends! Per your stated wishes in the last post, I shall at once describe the change in vocation that I hope to bring about.  Tally-ho!

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As y’all know, I went to Ye Olde Liberal Arts School.  It was a very nice school, with very lovely professors and very accomplished students.  I learned a lot about myself during those years, started to grow into my skin ( a process I continue to this day), and made some friendships that I do think will last me the rest of my life.

Aaaaaaand . . . that’s kind of all.  Sure, I graduated cum laude. Sure, YOLAS is considered an elite school.  But it’s not that well known outside of its regional area.

I graduated in 2002 and jobs were nonexistent.  After what I like to call my Lost Year, I started working for Ye Olde Financial Company in 2003. I stayed there until we left MA this October.  The company was a good place for me; I moved around some, got promoted some, and generally had a successful career.

I thought, when we moved down here, that it could not possibly be as hard to find employment down here as it was in 2002/2003, and I was right — I’ve got high hopes for a couple leads I’m following.  But the fact remains: It’s damn hard to quantify being a good worker in that industry.

Let’s compare my resume to Made Up Person, who was in my group back in Boston.  Now, the folks there hated MUP.  He didn’t do his work on time, wasn’t attentive to the bosses, was careless in his editing, and generally belligerent.  Every time he was assigned to a project, the other participating folks would groan internally and plan on doing more than their fair share of work — they knew they’d need to.

Me?  (Sorry, but I’m gonna toot my own horn here — bear with me for one paragraph.)  They loved working with me.  Higher-ups would request me specifically on projects, or approach me independently with small projects that I’d have to clear with my boss. I was always careful in my review, massively hard on myself when I made mistakes (I **HATE** making mistakes!!!!), and diligent to such small things as whether the higher-ups preferred their copies double-sided or single-sided, paper-clipped or stapled.

And yet on paper? His resume and mine will list roughly the same thing in that position.  The average recruiter will see no difference between his resume and mine.  This despite the fact that I was told explicitly (well, I would have been told, if I wasn’t making up the MUP character) that they cut MUP’s bonus to increase mine.

I’m so TIRED of this.  I’m so tired of looking for work with nebulous credentials.  And now tack on the fact that there’s a decent chance we’ll have to move again within the next seven years, so I’ll get to do it all over again.  Yay! . . . umm, not.

Soooooo . . . I’m going back to school!

Mind you, I never missed school.  Well, not school per-say.  I missed having tons of friends within walking distance, along with my two choirs, but that’s all.  I have enough younger siblings and friends to remember exactly how much I hated doing 20 page papers and cramming for tests and having the fear of unemployment hang over me.  I never wanted to go back.

But I’m hungry for an actual skill set.  I’m eager for a license or qualification that frees me from depending on the intuition of an HR person who will believe that I’m a good worker.  And I need something that will transfer easily if we end up moving.  Oh, and since I’m tired of being frightened of unemployment — a fear I’ve had my whole life, btw — I want a job in an industry that I know is growing.

Can anyone guess?  I bet people have guessed!

Yes, I’m going to nursing school!  Hooray!

Well, actually, I’m starting at a community college this week to get the prerequisites so I can apply to a university Advanced to BSN program.  I’ve got my BA, so it should take about two years total — one year to knock out the prereqs (who wants to butcher a pig?) and one year for the actual program.

I think I’m suited to being a nurse. Whether it’s caring for the camp kiddee who scraped his knee or holding back some girl’s hair in the graduation party bathroom, I somehow end up caretaking for the folks around me.  I’m fairly sure my stomach is strong enough — I don’t have a problem with blood and guts.  I volunteered at a hawk shelter for months and got to play with rats and dull scissors; that didn’t bother me.  (“Let’s see, 18 red-tailed hawks . . . each one requires one-third of a giant rat . . . wish they didn’t have rat shit all over the hindquarters . . . ”  **)  I don’t have a lot of trouble switching my biological clock — I could do the midnight-to-8-AM shift without difficulty. I know the job can get gross, and I know the job can get absolutely heartbreaking, and I think I’m prepared for that.

Of course, whether it’s nursing or parenting or whatever, everyone *thinks* they’re prepared, right?  Perhaps the first time I get puked on by a complete stranger I’ll hang up my Crocs.  😉

But I’m determined.  And, assuming that I get my license, I’m guaranteed a growing industry.  I mean, does anyone think that the medical profession is going to become less important?  And with ObamaCare rolling down the Pike and doctors quitting willy-nilly, does anyone think nurses are going to become less valuable?

So that’s my story, folks.  Wish me luck!

P.S. I know Christina‘s doing sort of the same thing.  Thanks, Christina, I’m braced for Microbiology!

 

**The rats didn’t bother me.  Nor did the chicks.  However, the osprey food? VILE.  It would take HOURS for me to stop smelling that nasty slimy fish on my fingers.  Even if I was imagining it.

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I’m not dead! Now what shall I write about?

Posted by Lissa on January 6, 2011

Helloooooo beautiful people!  I am NOT dead, contrary to rumors.  I simply got overwhelmed by holidays and guests and napkin rings and envelopes and mail merges and ribbons and Christmas trees.  I kept making little mental notes for posts I wanted to write, and the notes piled up, and then the pile fell over, and now there’s a gridlock in my head.

Sooooooo . . . help please!!!

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This post is warmly dedicated to Mail Merge

Posted by Lissa on December 14, 2010

Because the only reason I have time enough for a quick blogpost is that I didn’t have to write out the addresses for seventy-five recipients.  Sure, I had to transfer my paragraph-form address list from Word to Excel, format it, and then merge it back into Word, but after that was done — voile!

Envelope after envelope spat out — closely monitored by Rajah, who worships at the altar of the Printer God — and I had only to write the notes, seal ‘n’ stamp ’em, and send ’em on their way!

I can’t believe I only figured this out now.  Gods and goddesses, I love living in the future 🙂

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Strapping on my dancing — er, BAKING shoes!

Posted by Lissa on November 18, 2010

Good morning all!  I slept REALLY hard last night — I skipped my usual “Oh god it’s 4 AM why the hell am I awake” and instead slept like I’d been wrestling alligators all day.  Naturally, the trade-off is that I had some seriously cracked-out dreams.

MIKE:  “How would you know what being cracked-out is like?”

LISSA:  “Dude, you see them all the time on COPS.”

After dreams of being 22 and moving to Canada (to share a studio apartment with three other people; even in my dream I was horrified); of being in Brazil for a dinner party, in which we had to turn off all the lights at dusk because the bats were vampiric and had nasty diseases; and a beach party in which some of the party-goers were half-human, half-alien . . . well, short version is, I was groggy as hell.

I’ve now chugged down a mug of coffee and, more importantly, figured out what desserts I’m going to make for the family dinner tonight, and now I’m so impatient to get the grocery store that I’m not sure I’ll be able to squeeze in breakfast first.  But it’s a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.  Isn’t it?

I hope that tomorrow’s post will have pictures of sweet, delicious and pretty treats!!

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What I did yesterday

Posted by Lissa on October 8, 2010

  • Drank coffee and ate a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich
  • Cancelled some insurance policies for the MA apartment
  • Did a walk-through of the Raj Mahal
  • Fought with a bank
  • Closed on the Raj Mahal
  • Exchanged high-fives with Mike
  • Ate a trio of side salads – Pea salad (with onions and bacon), chicken salad (meh; didn’t do more than pick at it) and tuna salad (with lots of capers and tomato relish – it was excellent!)
  • Indulged in an hour of recoil therapy — ahhhhhhhh . . . . Siguette says she has missed me; I told her I missed her too!

Siguette at 7 yards

  • We played with our new Evil-Looking Black Rifle (an M&P 15-22) and killed a zombie:

(Full disclosure — it took me a while to get used to the sights. Therefore most of the holes in the upper-black circle are mine, but ALL the eye-holes are Mikes.  You go, sweetie!)

  • Ate some leftover Italian with delicious Gascon Reserve and equally delicious pan-roasted brussels sprouts
  • Watched some TV
  • Went to bed
  • Listened to the cat MEOW, MEOW, MEOW at my husband’s ears for a good portion of the night

We’re perpetually short on sleep, over-busy, stressed and a bit frantic, but it’s also relaxing and warm and sunny.  Very odd.

Thank you everyone for your good wishes; I’ll keep you posted as we set up life in the Sunshine State!

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Workout Wednesday: Outdoors edition

Posted by Lissa on September 15, 2010

Good morning everyone!  Soooooo, Mike and I started running outside this month.  Hooray!  Mind you, we only did it after he promised me

1) We could go as slow as I wanted

2) I could take a break whenever I wanted

3) He wouldn’t complain about 1) or 2)

He was also nice enough to let me lead the whole time (except for up the two hills; he took over there because I tend to wimp out halfway).  I run so much faster and better when I’m leading someone than when I’m following someone.  I’m the same way in hiking.  Isn’t that funny?

We have a nice 2.6 mile course laid out by the Kitty Den and I’ve run it six times so far. Running outdoors is SOOOO MUCH NICER than a treadmill!!!  There are things to look at, and a breeze, and cars, and lakes, and geese!  (And hills.  I hate hills.  They kick my ass.)

I thought treadmill running was easier than outdoor running — a set pace, lower impact to your feet, and a/c — but I was wrong.  It’s so easy for me to quit halfway through a treadmill run: “I’m booooooored.  I’m tiiiiiiiiiired.  I ran for fifteen minutes already.  I wanna go eat breakfast!” Etc., etc.  Whereas running outside . . . well, if I quit halfway, I’m still gonna have to WALK the second half in order to get home.  This has a lovely effect on my mental hardiness.

I also recommend the iMapMyFitness app.  You have to start it up before you leave the house — if you don’t start with wifi access it doesn’t work so well — but it maps out the roads you jogged, how far it was, how long it took you, and — this is key — your elevation during the run.  Eventually I’ll crop out one of those elevation maps and show you exactly where I die every run.  Twice.

Strap on those shoes!  Get outside!  There’s a pretty and interesting world that wants you to jog by it!!

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Preparing to move. A.K.A. THROW AWAY ALL YOUR &@#%

Posted by Lissa on September 14, 2010

I’m HUGELY grateful that Mike’s company will do our packing for us.  It’s the only reason I’m not a gibbering hysterical wreck right now.  That being said, there’s still a bunch of work to be done on our part.  The movers can’t pack up that random stuff under the spare room bed, which includes cat toys, hair ties, a pair of shoes, random batteries and a pair of flip flops, y’know?

So this past weekend I tackled the big cupboard underneath my bathroom sink.

I was ruthless. I was merciless.  I pictured myself as the Genghis Khan of bathroom paraphernalia.  I dispatched toiletries like Michael Moore dispatches doughnuts.

Half-full bottle of hairspray last used one year ago? Toss!

Bright cranberry lipstick received as a gift and never worn in public? Toss!

New bottle of Clinique black mascara . . . hmmm . . . Oh, received as a Christmas gift two or three years ago? Toss!

Sunblock left over from 2008? Toss!

Sample bottles of Renu that I no longer need?  (Hooray!!!!)  Toss!

The hairdryer I bought back in college and last used a year ago? Toss!

Any bottle of nail polish older than twelve months? Toss!

I threw away TWO GARBAGE BAGS FULL of junk.  I don’t know how it was physically possible for that much crap to live under my sink.

Next up: The Closet!

P.S. Mike has kindly agreed to do a guest post for me in the next few days; keep an eye out!

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As promised: The Oyster Shot!

Posted by Lissa on August 30, 2010

Alrighty, here we go!

Down the hatch!

OMG! WTF!! GACK!!!

Why would you DO that to me?!?

Thanks for all the comment-love, y’all!!

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No atheists in foxholes, right?

Posted by Lissa on August 27, 2010

So we’re driving back from a lovely visit to Shoothouse Barbie’s Cape retreat . . .  quiet drive, not much traffic, smooth sailing really . . . and suddenly the headlights and the dashboard lights start flickering.  Not going completely dark, mind you.  Just dimming and flickering, like a flashlight with a dying battery.

It’s a little scary, but I did have this happen once before.  I take a deep breath and switch on the brights. The dashboard lights flicker flicker flicker and then go completely dark before blasting back on at full power.  I’ve lost my radio station presets but everything is now glowing steadily; I turn off my brights and unclench my shoulders.

Flicker flicker flicker. “Oh sh*t.”

I do the brights trick again.

And again.

And then once more.

Only this time, instead of resetting the car’s electrical system it just turns everything off.  My headlights die — with me traveling at 60 mph, mind you — the car goes into neutral, and every interior light goes dark.

I have about two seconds worth of panic.  Thank god it’s a moonlit night. And just as I’m hitting the brakes to coast to the side of the road and call AAA — all the lights come back on.

Flicker flicker flicker.

“Well, the hell with that.”  I can live with flickering.  There’s enough light to see by, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to do the fun oh-my-god-my-car-just-died trick while driving full speed.  Uh-uh.

I drive the next hour and a half with slightly shaking hands and the occasional prayer.  A little help here, God.  Please? Just please have the car keep going for another hour.  Please and thank you.

The mile markers have never ticked by so slowly.

Please, God.  Just another forty-five.  Okay?  Please and thank you.

I stay behind other cars when I can so that my flickering headlights aren’t solely responsible for lighting up the road.  I’d follow a car all the way home if it would just go less than ten miles over the speed limit, but no one’s quite that obliging.

Please, God.  Just keep it going another half hour, okay?  Please, and thank you.

By the time we make it home the power locks are ignoring me along with the interior lights.  I don’t care.  My hands are trembling and I’m not one tiny bit sleepy despite the late hour.

Thank you.  Miserere nobis and all that.  Thanks, God, for getting us home safely.

And now I’m running off to the car dealership.

Hope you all had a lovely week!  Happy Friday!!

P.S. I’ve been blog-neglecting and now I’m comment-starved.  Tell you what – if I get more than five comments on this post I’ll post some pics from my very first oyster shot 🙂

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Hypocrisy, the MSM, and “neutral” storylines

Posted by Lissa on August 13, 2010

One of the things that started my transition to an Evil Conservative was the realization that the media was institutionally biased.  (Stop laughing, y’all!  I really didn’t know!)  As I’ve written before, I tried really hard to have a balanced viewpoint: I read the New York Times every day and articles from the Economist/Wall Street Journal/Al Jazeera every few days.  You know, for balance.  When I started realizing HOW biased they were, I was furious. I felt betrayed.  I felt ashamed and foolish – I’d been working so hard to stay current and informed, and all I’d been getting was one side of the story.

Ace has a bang-up post on how bias in the MSM works:

But consider the case of Sestack and Specter: The media will once again have its choice of two “neutral story lines” when that primary is resolved. It’s heads the Democrats win, tails the Republicans lose, as far as the media is concerned.

If Sestack wins, the media will in fact push the “neutral story line” they could have pushed, but chose not to, in Bennet’s case: That we’re retiring an old warhorse in favor of a fresh face and that proves that our system works.

On the other hand, if Specter wins, they’ll push the “neutral story line” that the Democrats, unlike Republicans, are welcoming of moderates. (And Specter, a moderate Republican turncoat now voting as a somewhat-less-moderate Democrat, is still pretty moderate.) So that story line does have something to it.

But we’ll have no stories about “overly-partisan and inflexibly ideological Democrats driving out a true moderate and fence-crosser” if Specter should lose — trust that. Instead we’ll have the other supposedly-neutral story line, the one that once again just happens to wind up praising Democrats.

And this is how media bias works 75% of the time. Most of the time, the media is selecting between several possible “rules,” many of which are arguably correct, but which are contradicted by nearly opposite rules, which are also arguably correct. The media never decides which rule is correct in the most cases; instead, they choose whichever “rule” benefits the Democrats this cycle.

Are we too interested in personal scandals which don’t really have much to do with a party’s governing philosophy? The answer is “No” if you mean Mark Foley or Mark Sanford; the answer is “Yes” if you mean Eric Massa or John Edwards.

[snip]

Here’s how it works: When a Republican is caught in a sex scandal, his party affiliation is extremely relevant because the Republican Party stands broadly for family values and sexual restraint, so party affiliation is very relevant, as it shows hypocrisy, that is, it tends to undermine the public image of the party.

Is that true? Actually, standing alone, that is basically true! Standing alone, I could see that rule as defensible.

Now, what happens when a Republican is caught in a money scandal? Well, that’s not really hypocrisy, really, as Republicans have the reputation of being into dirty filthy money. But in that case — in the case of a money scandal — the media says noting the Republican’s affiliation is relevant because it reinforces widely-held public opinion about the party.

Do you see the brilliance of that? Of those two rules together? Republicans get hammered — not just personally, but the sins are attributed to the party as a whole — on sex scandals because sex scandals undermine the party’s public image, so noting the party is relevant; and money scandals also get attributed to the party as a whole, and party affiliation is very relevant there, too, because such scandals reinforce the party’s public image.

Heads the MFM wins, tails, the GOP loses.

So these two rules, taken together, mean that in 99.9% of all scandals, the party affiliation of the Republican is very relevant to the story, in the MFM’s eyes. That this is a scandal not just of a fallen man, but of a fallen party, which is tainted along with that man.

Now: Does the media use the same rules with Democrats?

Click over to find out.  (I’m sure you already know the answer, but the post is awesome so go click anyway.)

Borepatch has the nice companion piece featuring Time Magazine and the Gores:

Pistolero pretty well guts the PMRC’s (Parent’s Music Resource Center, the Gore’s institution set up to fight the scourge of “satanic” music) arguments, so I won’t comment on that other than to saw RTWT.

What I will comment on, however, is the curious lack of coverage from the same Dinosaur Media on this. It seems to be almost a clone of the Larry Craig scandal: some blue-nose, big-mouth politician makes a lot of noise about the threat to morality by issue X, and then turns around and does a 100% reversal on issue X.

It’s not even like the Clinton episode – after all, by the time Monica came around nobody thought for a minute that Bill was the sort of guy you let escort your daughter to the Prom. Bit [sic] Al and Tipper did a 180° turn when he ran for vice president, courting the Music Industry’s money.

How do you say “Vote ’em all out” to the media?

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Was last night some kind of fun, or what?? That hour FLEW by.  Our gracious hostesses were Most Fabulous and Jay G was great company.  Me, I think I did okay — the only stated complaint was the worry that listening to me any longer would cause diabetes.  Oh, and apparently I have an accent, and it’s “a cute Northern accent” rather than a caffeine-mainlining Elmo accent.  I’ll take it!

Happy Friday, everyone!!

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