Tuesday, June 23, 2009

But that train keeps rollin' on down to San Antone.

And....we're off! Next time I log on I will be in the Lone Star State - sweating. I am sure I will have plenty of stories to tell about about the pregnant mover (!), drugging two cats for a 25 hour trip and maintaining my sanity and regularity on a steady diet of crap food because the movers packed up everything in my house a day early. EVERYTHING. I didn't realize this until I sat down to go to the bathroom.

and on that note....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I’m pretty sure the automated customer service voice for my phone company just picked a fight with me

I had to call to cancel services and, because we are no longer living in 2002, I called with my cell phone. We didn’t even have a phone hooked up in our house until I needed to use our fax machine a few weeks ago. I haven’t even looked at a bill since 2005. Why did I need three-way calling again? And an unlisted phone number? Because of all the stalkers calling a number with no phone attached?

My conversation:

ATT asshole automated voice: Hello, and what can I help you with today? Please say your request clearly.

Me (speaking slowly and crystal clearly): I need to cancel my ATT services

ATT asshole automated voice: I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Please repeat.

Me (speaking louder, because everyone understands you better while shouting into the phone): I.Need. To. Cancel. My. SERVICES!

ATT asshole automated voice (using his automated condescending tone): OK I see you are calling from 216-###-#### (again, my cell phone) we do not have that phone number on file. Are you sure you have an account with us? Please say the number attached to your account now.

Me: 216-###-#### (my home number)

ATT asshole automated voice: OK, let me just pull up your information then.

**waiting, waiting, waiting***

ATT asshole automated voice: I am transferring you to a live customer service rep, please hold.

Me: D’oh! What is the point of the automated service if you can’t service me!!! Stupid-dummy-computer voice!

Cue slow jazz Muzak. This is 2009, you’d think they’d want something more upbeat while I wait. Perhaps some Beyonce? Black Eyed Peas? I could totally rock out to "Boom Boom Pow!" while dealing with phone ’tards.

**20-freaking-minutes later**

Live customer service script reader: Hello Mrs. (insert my maiden name), I see you want to cancel your services and I am very sorry to hear that. Can you tell me the reason?

Me: Yes, I’m moving to Texas and no longer need a phone…in Ohio.

Live customer service script reader now going off script: Ah, it’s definitely warm down there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

By The Numbers

Pounds of taco meat made for nephew’s Mexican-themed graduation party: 12

Number of freshly graduated 18 year old boys who helped consume said meat: 20

Cans of 5 lbs. pre-made nacho cheese purchased: 4

Dares made to drink entire can of nacho cheese: 2

Number of people who collected on dare: 0

Gallons of lemonade made: 8

Number of people who likely thought said lemonade was margarita mix but already committed to a glass: 10

Times my father bitched about the foamy beer in the keg: 30+

Times he offered to get ice to ensure foam would dissapate: 0

Beers he drank from said foamy keg: 8

Times my father made dirty jokes about cornhole: 10

Times this made me feel like I was in an episode of All in the Family: 8

Bad jokes told about illegal Mexicans and the foreseen quality of landscaping in my yard in San Antonio: 9

Number of Hawaiian shirts: 4

Number of relatives present who did not even know I was married (although he had attended our WEDDING): 1

Times temperature was mentioned upon learning of our move to Texas: 100,000

….or River Walk: 100

…or the Alamo: 50

…Or referenced Pee Wee’s Big Adventure: 3

Time youngest nephew strategically woke up to help clean up the next day: 1 p.m.

Number of times I cried after saying goodbye to someone: 6

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hell is slightly cooler than Texas

People, I am just not manufactured for hot weather. I sweat - a LOT, I have really thick hair and when it's hot - even my hair follicles sweat. And today, cold chills went down my back when I looked at the forecast in San Antonio for the next 10 days.

ThuJun 11
Partly Cloudy

FriJun 12
Partly Cloudy

SatJun 13
Partly Cloudy

SunJun 14
Mostly Sunny

MonJun 15

TueJun 16

WedJun 17

ThuJun 18

FriJun 19

Somebody hold me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Set Adrift On Memory Bliss

There are only three reasons people ring my doorbell in my neighborhood:

Jehovah’s Witnesses who want to help me get into heaven (too late. I'm hoping perhaps I am allowed a small box fan in hell? You know, for all of those Girl Scout cookies I've purchased to help better tomorrow's young women?)

A “troubled youth” selling magazine subscriptions (or candy, or wrapping paper or ... fruit. Yes, the day I buy fruit from the door-to-door salesman with dirty fingernails is the day you should take me to the "special place" at the hospital)

Someone whose car broke down "a few streets over" and just needs "$3" for the bus. (But if all you have is a $5, that's better)

But today? A guy pounded on my door and asked if he could take the rad collection of cassette tapes that were on my tree lawn awaiting their fate in the garbage truck.

And that’s when I realized that there is still one PM Dawn fan left in the world. And I shouldn't stand in way of someone who can truly appreciate a rap love song mixed with the smooth smooth melody of Spandau Ballet’s “True.”

I know this much is true.

Monday, June 8, 2009


In the nine weeks (!) I’ve been unemployed…I have been rejected 12 times.

Well, I wish I could say I knew with certainty that I’d been rejected, because no one has ever bothered to call me or e-mail me to tell me, “Your resume was impressive but we went with someone with [insert lame reason, like someone more “local” even though I am moving there in two weeks, or “younger” meaning they think I want a lot of money. Seriously? As long as it’s more than the $350 or so I make a week in unemployment I don’t really care about the amount of zeros at the end of the salary.]

I didn’t even get one of those generic postcards that let everyone know – even my postal guy – that I am not qualified for whatever job I applied for. “…But thanks for your interest!”

..and I really don't believe they keep those resumes on file for a year.

What’s that? Maybe I should stop applying for Manager of Rocket Science At Really Important Global Company?

I wish it were that easy.

I am applying for entry-level positions here. And clerical jobs. I applied for a part-time assistant office manager for chissake. Do office managers really need assistants? Isn’t that…what the office manager is for? To assist with the office and manage its “complex” inner workings of planning the holiday party and sorting the office supplies?

I have even been witty and said in my cover letters “I bet you think I want a huge salary to go with my impressive resume, huh? Nope. I just want to mark ‘employed’ on the lease of our rental in Texas.”



I am so going to be peddling overpriced lotion at Bath and Body Works. Or slinging lattes at Starbucks. Both jobs of which I have had prior experience. But those nine years of journalism experience? Not important in “today’s economic downturn.”

The economy can suck it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Smooth Move

Yesterday the moving company people came over to inventory our house for the truck. They left some “useful” pamphlets and stuff about how this will be the Smoothest Move We’ve Ever Had!

The info is great … but the pictures are better. The marketing department had fun with this one.

For example …

Yep, this man is packing up a fish. Whose does that? I totally hope it breaks into "Gimme back my Filet 'O Fish" and this guy freaks out (or decides to hit up a McD's for lunch - either way, McDonalds' marketing department wins) . And he’s totally violating one of the rules in the pamphlet: no perishables. Next...

Why is this guy huffing a box around on his back? Is he in training and this is, like, his hazing? Can’t he not borrow that dolly from Mr. Condescending I Can Move Four Boxes At Once? Plus, that’s totally gonna fuck up your back, dude. You better not carry my Crate and Barrel dishes like that. We’ll have words.

"Have a question about your move? We’ll put you in touch with sexually confused Tom here. And his teeth glow in the dark"

"Ah, it’s great to be in my new home even though my cheap ass husband only bought me this one daisy."

"Let’s just relax on the kitchen floor here as a family. And hey, let me just get to second base here with my wife while my small children watch." (and…dude? Kurt Cobain called - he wants his jeans back)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

You didn't expect a blog about unemployment to be a complete whine-free zone did you?

I only have 20 more days left in the Land of the Cleves and, well, I’m really bored. I thought my days here would be crazy busy – trying to squeeze in as much friend time as possible. Turns out … no. Most of my friends have jobs.

I am starting to feel a bit like Bill Murrey a la "Groundhog Day." My days generally go as follows:
-Wake up
-Work out
-Sit at computer, look for jobs, email friends, write sinfully witty blogs for my loyal fans.
-Eat lunch
-Work out (again, yes. If I’m gonna be unemployed, I might as well be in the best shape of my life.)
-Eat dinner/drink copious amounts of cheap wine

Sometimes I will also wander around aimlessly at Target and I’ve also rented the entire new release wall at Hollywood Video. The 17-year old Twilight-obsessed, Hot Topic shopping goth kid at the desk knows my name.

I’m going absolutely nuts here! Yesterday I talked to the mailman for ten minutes. I was just excited to hear someone else’s voice other than my own. Yeah, that’s right. I talk to myself – and the cats. You have a steady, busy full-time occupation taken away from you and we’ll see just how SANE you are after two months, buddy.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I could volunteer at an animal shelter or soup kitchen. Better myself. Go to a library. Teach a child to read. Yeah, people have it worse than me.

But, this is MY blog. I’ll whine if I want to.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Construction Zone

When we bought our house four years ago, we really thought it was “move-in ready.” Until the pipes burst in the bathroom. And we realized our taste in kitchen fixtures did not match the previous owner’s (a BLUE sink? With brass trim. Just … no. And he had used contact paper as the wallpaper. Did you know that contact paper is permenent? Yep.) And I realized I wanted a subtle NEUTRAL living room instead of the dark green cave we created with “Forest Glen” paint. And the deck became a condemned space because it was so rickety (read: poorly built) And I realized I really CAN’T live without air conditioning. And Jim decided we needed to tear down the entire basement ceiling because … he couldn’t recreate the way the previous owner had painted the swirlies. And Mr. Cat McVomitsALot set up camp in the office and ruined the carpet. And we finally scraped enough money to replace the original tile (in our 50 year old home) in the bathroom. Oh the many feet that have touched that dingy black and white floor.

Ah but who doesn’t like a home improvement project? The people on the Home Depot commercials always look so happy to be forking over dollars to do it themselves.

Jim and I? Not exactly Do-It-Yourselfers.

So we’ve hired help along the way for many of the projects. Let me tell you, it is REALLY hard to find a normal, honest contractor in the Cleveland area. We find them through referrals and they’ve all done a great job (read: We have no idea but we did know we couldn’t do it). But they’ve all been just a little … off.

First, the guy we hired to do base molding in all of the rooms downstairs resembled Owen Wilson and had an unhealthy infatuation with one of my cats. Every day he would comment “She’s just such a pretty cat. I love cats.” I was afraid I’d come home one day and find the two of them snuggling up on the couch watching Animal Planet. Or he would be in the kitchen frying her up for dinner.

Then, the guy we hired to finish the basement was like five "Seinfeld" episodes in one pudgy middle-aged man. His hair looked like a five year old had taken a pair of safety scissors to it. He had perpetual dragon's breath.

And he liked to talk. A lot.

About the weather, construction, the economy, Cleveland, the Indians, his childhood, the weather in Florida (don’t ask .. it’s a 40-min. conversation), his divorce, his children’s mother and their relationship, his daughter’s illness, his acid reflux, his credit score, his political views, his view on abortion, his view on Obama, his view on vegetarians … In the five days he spent in our house I learned things about him no one needs to know in a strictly contractor-client relationship.

[Editor's note: It should be noted (because if Jim is reading this he will point it out) that Jim and his dad did the majority of the home renovations – just the two of them. Impressive right? They have their own quirks though. My father-in-law’s meals mainly consist of four things: chicken fingers, rice with butter, Pepsi, and fries. And anything else must be grouped into the Things That Are White category: deli turkey, mashed potatoes, white bread biscuits and gravy … That man's passion for carbs runs deep.]

Now, right this very minute, there is yet another contractor in my house finishing up some base molding upstairs. He is, for all intents and purposes, normal.

Except … he whistles while he works. All. Day. Long. If I hear "Zip-a-dee-do-dah" one more time today it will NOT be a wonderful day for him.

However, he doesn’t like cats though, and he’s not much of a talker. And ... he's almost done.