Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Fish without a Bicycle

I have been electronically cut off from the world for 10 days; no phone, no Internet, no TV, nothing.  I felt very much like a Fish without a Bicycle.

While some people long to escape the constant connectivity of the world in which we live, I cannot stand being in a sustained "blackout".  More and more my computer is my driving link to the outside world.  I keep on top of the news, I can follow my friends through various sites, and I keep up with my correspondence (something that never happened when I had to actually write a letter, find an envelope, find a  stamp and then get it to the post office. )

What can happen in 10 days? 

A friend can shatter an elbow and have replacement surgery, while I remain ignorant, and thus unable to offer assistance.

We can go about bombing the snot out of another country (Libya).
Several hundred emails can accumulate, and that is not including the mind-boggling amount of spam I deleted.

An amazing number of blog posts can be logged by my friends; all of which I cannot wait to read, even though I will be Miss Tardy-to-the-Party in my comments.

So, I am once again able to connect with my World.

Hi, World!  I MISSED YOU!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Acute Paranoid Psychosis... in a Kitten?

After running my son to school, I usually head home and spend some time in front of the computer, caffeinating, waking up, and reading blogs. (It is a good thing his school is only 3 miles away... I can drive that far half asleep!)

Suddenly, from the living room, there came the most bloodcurdling yowl, and then Q'Tesh came streaking into the bedroom, fur standing on end, ears flat to the head, eyes wild, and a pair of my super fuzzy soft socks in her mouth, with a stance that said she had captured the Holy Grail of Kittendom, and woe unto anyone foolish enough to approach her! Of course, that meant that Valla the little kitten was hard on her heels. She got to close and got a nasty, no-nonsense, smack from Q who then made a "GGGRRRRUMUMUMUMUMUMum-mum-mum-mum!" noise. I was hysterical. I wish I had a way of recording the sound. This continued for a while, flying all over the house, knocking over lamps, tumbling the freshly folded laundry, and sending various household items flying. It was enough insanity that the 2 old girls actually got up, and joined the fray. Great.  Now I have one psychotic kitten being pursued by 1 determined kitten and 2 extremely wily old cats, who kept mounting ambush attacks. At one point I tried to take the socks away, and got slashed for my efforts. That is waaaaay out of character for her.

Finally, the other 3 have mostly given up (the young kitten still keeps trying off and on and gets a severe beat-down for her efforts.)

Q is is lying in the middle of my bed, half on top of the socks, chewing and shredding them, and making goofy ummm-mum-mum-mumuGRRRRUMmm-mum-mummmmm.....  HISSSSUMNUMNUMNUMNUMMM-Mum-mum-mum-mum-mum-mum noises.

She has an expression of kitten ecstasy on her face as she rolls around on, and gnaws upon the socks.

Just another strange day in the Wise household.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Qualifications and Rejections (or things that make you say, "Really??!!")

First a tiny bit of background, boring, but necessary.  Sorry!

I have been unemployed since the Army decided to medically retire me last year.  It was partially due to my disintegrating spine, and more directly due to my battle with bi-polar.  Now, I am fairly lucky, I have found a medication cocktail that keeps me very stable, by bi-polar standards. (Of course, it took over 2 years, and dozens and dozens of medication to get to that point.)  Unfortunately, however stable I am by bi-polar standards, by "normal" human standards I do have some issues blending in as well as I should.  I am pursuing a permanent disability rating, but that is very slow going, and is not guaranteed, therefore I have been job hunting as well.

I have worked in many types of jobs over the years... I've worked in an auto repair shop, I've managed bakeries, I've worked in a hair salon, I managed a commercial cleaning company, I worked as a caterer, I was a reservations phone operator for a major airline, I worked as a business trainer - training management staff to run bakeries and restaurants more efficiently, I've done costume design and production for a local theater group, I've worked as an Army administrator, keeping an entire unit running smoothly and getting them everything they need to stay that way, I've been a data entry monkey,  I've worked in graphic arts and design, I worked in financial accounting, I've been a secretary for a vice-president of a Fortune 100 company, I've run a home-based business, and so on and so on and so on.  Generally speaking, at one point or another, I've touched on just about every major job-skill group you can possibly think of.

The story:

I have been submitting job applications for various positions over the past 6 months or so.  I have applied for jobs for which I am eminently qualified. I have applied for jobs that are on the upper bounds of my qualification bubble, but are jobs which I know I could do, given the chance. For the vast majority, I might just as well have chucked my resumes into a gaping rent in the space-time continuum.  They go out, and that is the last they are ever seen of or heard from again.  It used to be, that when you applied for a job, if you didn't make it, you got a very politely worded letter that basically said, "We're sorry, but you are not qualified to work in this position; and, in fact, you are worthless pond scum, and we can't even believe that you had the audacity to submit your resume to us.  Have a nice day!"  These days, you get nothing, at least most of the time.

Now, having been unemployed for a while now, my finances are a tad bit strained, especially since I am feeding a teen-aged boy who consumes, on a daily basis, more food than your average 3rd world country; but, I digress.   This all means that I have lowered my job standards to the menial jobs for which an average Shih Tzu would be eminently qualified to perform. 

Last week, I applied for a position at the Veteran's Hospital.  Since I am a displaced government employee, I get some preference in hiring, over John Doe from the streets.  The position was as a laundry room worker.  Duties included, "Preparing standard hospital items for laundering, examining them for stains, tears, and other imperfections.  Operating the washing and drying machines, and sorting and properly folding the items for standard hospital use.  May also be tasked to perform minor repairs to items using a sewing machine."   Seems simple enough, right?

I just received a letter from the VA Hospital.  I opened it eagerly, thinking that I had received a request for interview.


The letter said, and I quote:

Dear Catherine Wise,

We appreciate the time and effort you put forth to complete the application process for a position with our Medical Center.

Your application materials have been reviewed and, unfortunately, your qualifications did not match the minimum qualifications required for this particular position; therefore, your name was not referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Thank you for your interest in employment with the Department of Veteran Affairs, VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, and best wishes for success in your employment search.Scott Harvey
(xxx) xxx-xxxx  (phone number hidden to protect the monumentally stupid)

Sewing Machine Operator/Laundry WorkerLetter Value: 17F18C-49FC1

Wow. Really?!!   I am so very tempted to call Mr. Harvey and ask him to expound upon which of the obviously myriad of qualifications I fell short.

Oh, well.  Time to start thinking about my next evil plan!



Saturday, March 5, 2011

ThunderBunny above me

We recently moved from a nice country house into a city apartment so that my son could attend an excellent college prep school.  It is nice, as far as apartments go, and has more room than most.  It is near to shopping and entertainment and walking trails. In fact, it would be as perfect as a city place could get, except for the ThunderBunny living above me.  Now, she isn't really a bunny, she is a very young Indian girl, perhaps 2 years in age.  She looks like a little doll, with those big dark eyes, the tiny gold jewelry, the little patent leather shoes, and the mop of jet black hair.  Ah, but as we know, looks can be deceiving; she is a doll, like Chuckie was a doll.

Her favorite activity is jumping.  Jumping for hours on end.  Jumping on the bed directly above mine, jumping on the couches, and jumping off of any raised surface she can find.  For such a tiny little thing, she lands like a bull elephant.   Whenever she wants something, which is frequently, she shrieks.  Those guinea hens on John's blog sound like purring kittens in comparison.  She does not talk.  She can, but she doesn't need to.  She has everyone conditioned to race around and figure out what she is screaming about.  If they don't figure it out quickly enough, she lays down and screams even louder and kicks the floor and the walls with those hard-bottomed patent shoes.  She apparently has no set nap time or bed time.  I can tell when she is getting tired,  because it gets even noisier, and she shrieks and screams and kicks and jumps incessantly for about 2 hours before falling asleep wherever she toppled over, finally exhausted.    At night, this is usually about 2:30 a.m.

I have reported it to management.  They've come back and told me that the parents say they cannot control her actions, that she is acting like a normal toddler.  Really?!   Sigh. 

Some believe that the devil wears Prada.  They are wrong.  The devil wears black patent leather, size 4, and lives above me.