A Conundrum of Contradictions

The musings of one born in the wrong decade

>The Bennies? June 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 9:06 pm

>Honey mentioned tonight how it might be ok if I lost the gig as sales associate and underpaid grunt at the lamp store. He said I’d have more time to help with photo stuff, read the books and filter out the good bits, and though he didn’t say it, help with side work painting houses like the good ol’ days. I’m not, as far as I know, in imminent danger of losing the job. But, the other guy and I have noticed a certain level of neglect, of the building and equipment that has us concerned. The roof leaks every time it rains, the display on the main printer has been blank and unreadable since I started, and we’re babying everything else – the whole place needs to be rewired (properly), the phones are so ingrained with grime that we can’t clean it off, and in rotation usually at least one A/C unit is down (but more often two). A third of the merchandise they send us is damaged to the point we can’t sell it, so our damage costs are always high. They won’t let us do inventory – long story and stupid. The district manager let it slip when they changed the hours to seven days: we’ve got a year to make more money or they’ll close the shop. So basically, sometime around the end of March next year is D-day.

I haven’t really got a plan for that scenario even though I can see it coming. Based on the numbers I track from the registers everyday – we’re not making it. So I started looking for work, somewhat half heartedly. It’s always easier in my head than reality. I applied for 8 or 10 or 12 spots, some in my field, others not. Haven’t heard a word. We’re being fed a lot of BS about how things are getting better (at the shop especially, right before they give us shit about our sales numbers) but talking to people I know personally, it’s bad out there, maybe more so than it was a year ago. I heard the Hard Rock fired all its upper executives and offered to rehire them at lower salaries. Ouch. At this particular moment, I’m not worrying about it. Days prior I have, and I’m sure at some point later I will again. It’ll do about as much good then as it did before (none). Just do what I can and hope that God’s plan is not for us to be homeless again.

I had one of those completely random thoughts earlier: I miss having the leisure time to sit down with a good book, one I can actually hold in my hands and turn the pages. I have several books in .pdf format, but it’s not the same and my eyes get tired faster. Gonna have to start increasing the font size like a little old lady soon. The peepers are starting to burn now actually. I noticed earlier in the bathroom mirror how bruised I look under my eyes – that means I’m tired and its showing. Time for bed before an early morning. Night all.

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>Last Long Night – Yea! June 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 9:27 pm

>So you may have noticed a subtle change on the blog lately. I decided it was time to inject a little funk. The hippie swirls will be around until I get bored again. Let there be color!

Tonight is long night #3, but thankfully it won’t be as long as the previous two. My bed times have been midnight and 1am followed by work the next day – I am half past slightly retarded, I think. We got out of the later gig and I got out of helping caption, so depending on how long I spend chattering at all you folks…I might actually get some sleep (gasp! What is that??).

I met Honey in the press area of the gig today – I can’t believe I got where I ended up without someone questioning me. I walked right into the room where the news crew was interviewing winners of the Emmy Awards (Chubby Checker and the Spinners walked right by me) and no one said a word, not even the people wearing headsets and carrying clipboards. I asked at least two security guards for directions on the way in and nobody asked for credentials. Honey got grilled for credentials and he was wearing them! (He also got mistaken for security, twice). Here in a minute I’ll go downstairs and get my camera out of the car, and do my best with whatever software is on this computer, to post the pictures of him in his suit. He looked so handsome!
I noticed last night at Mandalay Bay: women who are all dressed up don’t actually see anyone who isn’t. If you’re not wearing heels and a dress they can compare themselves too, their eyes slide right off you. I saw some things last night that made me embarrassed for the person wearing it. I told Honey if I ever get thin enough to wear a dress and heels out, he better not let me make a fool of myself in my excitement.
Alright kids, off to bed!!
 

>Long Night #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 8:40 pm

>Tonight I’m sitting in something similar to a college desk in the race and sports book at Mandalay Bay. I can see the Lion King Theater from here. It’s not bad – padded chair, desk for the laptop, close to the restrooms, and with a nice view of the scantily clad booty parading by. Aside from being really early, I’ve got no complaints.

Tomorrow will see Honey decked out in his version of Johnny Cash’s classic attire. I’ll be doing my damnedest to get photographic proof and posting it as soon as possible. (Insert evil grin here).

I was just having a very serious conversation with a girlfriend about her relationship – the serious part being whether or not she should bother continuing with said relationship. I’ve been married longer than most people my age, and to a rather difficult man at that (Honey when you read this, don’t be offended – you know you’re my only brand of madness), so I can give some basic relationship advice, but after that it’s up to her. Indifference is a terrible thing to try to recover from. Also found out I’m missing out on a “girls night bbq” tomorrow night, which reminds me that hanging out with those girls can be very frustrating if I let myself believe any of the touchy-feely stuff means anything. For a girl like me, those are seriously mixed signals. Anyway, live and learn.

I’ve just discovered the downfall to my spot: I’m right inside the sign that says ‘No Smoking Beyond this Point” and a show just let out. Bring on the second hand smoke. 

The camping trip is booked. Trying to make it three days instead of two and a half. I’m super excited and can’t wait. Honey’s been telling me I don’t use my camera enough, so I will be making up for it on this trip.

–there are 7 black guys here all trying to hit on two white women, who claim to know all the lines. It’s rather pathetic. Proof pictures are being taken for something that never happened. Haha!

Oh! Oh! Oh! My money hand is itching!!!! Rub that baby like a genie bottle…come to me, sweet Benjamins…

I’ve been town-bound for too long. It’s starting to show.

 

>Long Night #1 June 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 7:05 pm

>Back once again at the Palazzo. Still not my favorite place, but upgraded from the bottom of the list, which is now occupied by City Center (last time we were there, my SUV, a limo, and a cabby all tried to share the same space – not fun). Three events in 5 days have turned to six events in three. It’s going to be a very long night.

I rode a bicycle last night for the first time in nearly 12 years. (No, I didn’t crash). I forgot how much fun it is, how freeing it feels. While marveling at how awesome the guy was who invented the contraption, we rode 5 miles. My butt hurts, so sitting on these chairs by the bathroom, and later the slot machines, won’t be too pleasant. Also our plans to ride every night are dashed for the short term future.

Our BBQ was awesome. We had maybe 9 people show up and cooked for 20. It was outrageous until 3am, when everyone suddenly realized they had to work in X number of hours and should probably go home. As always, the coleslaw was a huge hit. I’ve found the mother of all coleslaw recipes, one that has successfully made both Honey and I now hate our once-coveted KFC slaw. Plus people are really impressed that I make my own coleslaw; they feel special. So dazzle your friends at the next potluck with the following recipe:

1 bag coleslaw mix (usually about 10 oz)

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup vinegar (it calls for white wine, but I use whatever I have and it’s fine)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon celery seeds

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk everything together and pour over coleslaw mix. Combine, refrigerate, enjoy.

In other random news, I learned and perfected the tying of the Pratt knot on a man’s tie. Should you need similar information, I recommend the following link.

I was reading on Mother Earth News the other day about a good ol’ boy that’s perfected putting tractor engines in full-size pick up trucks to drastically increase gas mileage. I’m sure the manufacturers of said tractor engines never intended their products for that purpose, but logic has it that a tractor weighs as much as a car so… Anyway, the guy believes the gas mileage hasn’t improved on American cars in the last 40 years because the car manufacturers and oil companies pay for the political campaigns of most of our elected officials; and unless the American people stand up together, nothing will change. I watched the video of him driving a Ford F-150 onto the highway and back – it sounded like an angry beast that needed to eat something, but it worked. He’ll sell you the plans with color photos for $50 bucks. See him here.

Of course, my first thought was “I want one”. A way to keep my big SUV and get nearly triple the mileage? Hell yeah! Unfortunately it may be easier to have a diesel engine put in and find that book on making my own moonshine, which is basically ethanol without the added gasoline (they did that so people wouldn’t drink it). Neither option is in my budget at present.

I’m with a lot of people: the budget can’t get much tighter. I know several folks who don’t have jobs, are out of unemployment money, and very soon will be out of options. I suddenly feel very fortunate for my $10/hr job. But what do we do? I was really waiting for the massive roads project to put thousands of people to work across the country, similar to how FDR did with the Hoover Dam, and drag us all up by our boot straps. Hasn’t happened. I don’t have the answers. I know that everyone is unhappy with what’s been done, unless they happened to work for the banks and car companies that got bailed out. I thought it would be just as well to let them collapse under the responsibility of their own mistakes. Change, more often than not, has to be violent. I just know it can’t stay the way it is nor go back to the way it was. If we can get past the greed, we might have a chance.

I’m listening to the people around me…grown ass women all dressed up with their friends reverting to their childhood, squealing and blowing whistles in public. Other women wearing clothes that I wouldn’t leave my bedroom in, and all of them gibbering about some drama amongst their friends, that when viewed against the bigger picture, doesn’t mean a damn thing. Between this and working retail for the last year, I’ve discovered that I hate people. The majority haven’t got a clue about anything outside themselves and their little bubble. The destruction that’s inevitably coming is well deserved. Statistically speaking, smaller groups of people, like tribes, don’t have the greed and problems that plague larger society. So in a nutshell, there are just too damn many of us, and we all want. You do the math.

 

>Finally Made it to Print June 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 10:23 pm

>This is my fourth attempt at this post – and it’ll stay an attempt until I get it posted – but I’m hoping to dash home and get it up before passing out. It’s currently 9:23pm, I’m sitting in front of a pay phone right outside the ladies room at the Palazzo (reference: shock-creted hell and the only garage I’ve been kicked out of to date). I didn’t get kicked out again, it’s just too empty down in the basement so I figured air conditioning beat arguing with the minions in yellow. And it also beats sitting alone like an abandoned child on an under-stuffed, non-ergo couch in front of a storefront featuring pink bulldogs and overpriced men’s wear. Instead, I’m sitting under my own personal spotlight (kinda like an interrogation room) on a bar chair too talk for my short legs, staring at the continuous scrolling of this pay phone, telling me to “please lift receiver” and asking if I’m “calling collect?” I probably look rather strange to anyone paying enough attention to notice me – after all I’m staring into the smallest cubicle known to man.

Anyway, my first and second attempts at a post were left unfinished while stealth camping in the cargo area of my SUV. I decided if I had to be anywhere besides bed at midnight two nights in a row, I was going to do my best to sleep. Didn’t work out too well, unfortunately. It’s too hot still. The first night I had just a sleeping bag for cushion and got rather sweaty. The second night I took the couch cushions and it worked better. Both times, right about as I was dozing off, Honey would call and say he was done. It just takes too long to settle down to sleep after jamming down the freeway trying to make sure Honey isn’t late. And it’s a little weird every time someone walks by the car, oblivious to my presence…I feel a bit like a stalker.

I forgot my next thought…

Oh yeah, we’re doing our damnedest to go fishing next month. It doesn’t matter that the sensible thing to do would be save the money (who wants to be sensible after all, when the alternative is a day on a boat in the glorious sunshine?) I’ll be sensible another day. I need to get out of town or I’ll go stir crazy. We haven’t gone anywhere since they took the boat away, which was further back than I care to remember at the moment. We are overdue for a little time to mentally say “fuck absolutely everything” and take a breather from the drama that is inevitably life, as much as we try to prevent it.

As a side note: this mother just slapped the crap out of her whiny little kid for hitting her. It was awesome. Unfortunately, now she’s running around the reception area. An ass kicking is coming…

*sigh* there is a reason I will never have children. It’s probably child abuse.

Anyway, I made laundry soap successfully (finally) with a recipe I found in the comments section of Mother Earth News. I’ve been talking about it for a month or so though I haven’t posted to mention it to anyone. I opted for the dry powdered version, since most recipes are basically the same with varying amounts of water. Instead of 10 gallons of liquid, I made 1 gallon of dry, which will probably last a year or so in our house of three. I spent $15 bucks and won’t need to buy soap or worry about plastic container pollution or my skin freaking out until this time next year.  I am one happy hippie.

Soap Recipe:

1 bar Fels Naptha soap, grated

1 cup borax

1 cup baking soda

1 cup washing soda (not the same thing)

1 cup oxygen cleaner (think OxyClean, but I bought the generic for half price)

Put all ingredients into a food processor and run until a fine powder. Use 2 tablespoons per load. Everything but the baking soda is available in your grocery store laundry aisle. I went to Smiths. Three bars of soap and one container each of the other stuff will make three batches with ingredients to spare. I now have a gallon paint can on my shelf and my laundry room smells like the naptha. My clothes smell like clean water instead of perfume. Eventually I’ll be experimenting with bars of body soap and I understand it makes a lot, so anyone who loves the smell of lime like I do might get soap for Christmas.

Looks like the red carpet finally started. I see flash bulbs. We have three more here in the next 5 days. I found the other entrance to the parking garage which shoots you straight into the basement, avoids the Strip, and is a lot less crowded. Also found an elevator right by this night club where all the carpets are held. It’s still my least-favorite venue, but at least it’s bearable now.

 

>Thought Found! June 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 4:50 pm

>I remembered that thought I had…it was that I should introduce the three people who read this to Mother Earth News (see hyperlink to your right). I menitoned once that I was part hillbilly, part hippie – this is definitely my kind of site! Check it out if you have a few minutes. There’s a couple recipes for DIY laundry soap (I will be experimenting soon), tales of homesteading do’s and don’t’s, and an excerpt from a book that I’m still trying to find in person that has a recipe for moonshine (yes I’m aware it’s illegal – do you see the devilish glint in my eye coupled with the mischievious grin?).

I’ll also mention the new TV show called Dual Survival. Cody Lundin (pronounced “lun – dean”) is the hippie, no-shoe-wearing, naturalist with hair longer than mine. I like him. 🙂 You can check him out here.

 

>Good Thoughts Gone Missing

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 4:40 pm

>I’ve had several good thoughts since my last post, but finding the time and energy to articulate them…hasn’t worked out so well. Frankly, I could use a nap right now.

One of them involved a statistic quoted on the radio about how different men and women respond if their spouse works more than 60 hrs a week. Men won’t change a thing; women will quit their jobs to help pick up the slack of keeping kids and home. I explained to Honey that I wasn’t surprised and that we [women] went about it all wrong back in the day when we said we wanted to go to work. Our jobs at the time were to keep the house and have dinner on the table by 6pm. The guys took it as we wanted another job, so now we’re expected to do both. The men who’ll trade for housework when their wife is a power woman are few and far between.

There was another one but it escapes me just now. I feel slightly retarded. More when my head is hopefully more together.