~my thoughts about life~

Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Job - TBT

I am a person who has not had too many jobs, but the story of my very first job is kind of funny.

I was always good with computer design work, even when the only programs available were laughable.  It seems like the first graphic design program I used was called something like Wizard.  It did very little, but I was advanced in it.

The summer before my Junior year, a job came available for a beginner graphic artist at a local advertising company.  I thought that fit me perfectly.  The job also included making those giant banners that you see hanging across the street or tied to a fence around a baseball field.  They put decals on vehicles and made other promotional items.  I love that kind of stuff.

The bad news is that the job was full time.  I interviewed with the owner of the company, a morbidly obese man who was extremely grouchy and smoked like a chimney.  I explained that I could work full time over the summer but would need to go part time once school started.  He said that could be arranged.  I was offered the job right away.

It seems like the job paid around $5 an hour.  This was 1992, so that wasn't bad for a kid my age.  I showed up for work the first day to a literal sweatshop.  It was a garage attached to an office with no windows and no A/C.  The other person who started the same day was a 40-year old man.  I was embarrassed for him that he was doing the same job as me, a high school student.

The old dude could not get the hang of the job.  I caught on right away and was left to work alone.  He needed constant coaching and supervision.  The old dude and the supervisor (the only two people there) both chain smoked.  Smoking was only allowed in the garage, so the two of them took regular breaks to fill their lungs with tar.  Since I didn't smoke, I ended up working about twice as much as they did.

The job was exhausting.  I had never worked before, so 8 hours in a sweatbox was physically draining.  I remember when I took my lunch break, everything in my lunch was warm and my chocolate cookies were melted.  I was too hot to eat anyway.  When I got home, my mom realized the job was too much for me.  She called the supervisor and asked if I could reduce my hours.  After all, 8 hours was a bit much for a high school student. The supervisor said she'd talk to the owner and get back with me.

Me- bottom row, second from the left
We had tickets to a concert that night and were staying overnight in a hotel.  I needed to know what time to be at work in the morning, so we called home to check our messages.  Remember those days?  You used a pay phone, called home, then pushed a certain number to access your answering machine.  There was a message that they didn't need me to come in at all.  I was fired.  The owner thought I was a Junior in college, not a Junior in high school.  Even though I worked harder and better than the other employee, even though I advanced in the first day and they were starting me on computers the next day, and even though I was the best person for the job, they fired me.

Looking back, I certainly could have done something about that.  I was legally old enough to work.  I didn't want the job back though.  I was embarrassed to have to tell people I was fired after my first day.  Now, I think it's funny.  Back then, not so much.  I cried.  The next day, I dropped off the computer manuals they sent me home with and picked up an envelope of cash.

I didn't get another job that summer.  In fact, I didn't get another job until I graduated high school.  It was a job I kept until I started my student teaching.  After graduation, I had two other teaching jobs.  That's it for me with work experience.  I've been a mom now for over 14 years.  I'm very happy with my unemployed status and really enjoy owning my photo booth.  The good thing about being the boss is that I know no one can fire me for a stupid reason.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Throwback Holidays - TBT

Obviously, Bon had this topic scheduled for the week of 4th of July.  I'll answer it anyway.

The only 4th of July I can remember that has anything funny associated with it was when I was a teenager.  Every year, my church had a big picnic for the 4th.  It was a huge deal.  As kids, we played all day, barely seeing our parents, and came home utterly filthy.  Good times.

When I was a teenager, the picnics were spent sitting at the ball fields, watching the guys play softball.  The best was when I got a boyfriend and actually had someone to cheer for.  I remember being 16 or 17 one July 4th when it was really, really hot out.  We had some couple friends, which was a new and exciting thing.  We decided to hang out afterward, since we could.  We had cars now, ya know.

Someone came up with the idea of go-carting.  There were two couples, primarily, that we wanted to hang out with.  A third couple kind of invited themselves.  They were the annoying couple, the people we tolerated because we were good Christians.  Since we couldn't all fit in one car (Actually, I'm kind of surprised that stopped us.  We were stupid.), we decided to split up into two couples per car.  Of course, Hubby and I (Yeah, that was the guy I was dating.  Awwww!) got stuck with the annoying couple.  The girl was older than the guy and he couldn't drive yet, so she offered.  Fine.  We were already ticked about being paired up with them...we decided to just go with the flow.

As we started cruising down the road, the driver rolls down all the windows.  "By the way," she told us, "I don't have air conditioning.  Hee hee!"  Grrrrr.....  this unpleasant experience on this 90 degree day just got much worse.

We made it to the go-cart place, a little worse for the wear, and had a good time.  The time went quickly and we weren't quite done hanging out yet.  My parents had a rec room in our basement, which was always freezing cold.  We made plans to secretly meet there afterward, without inviting the annoying couple.  We drove back to the church, said our goodbyes, then met at my house.  When we went inside, we realized that my parents hadn't turned on the air conditioning that day.  It was horribly hot in that house.  I guess that's what we get for purposely excluding the other couple.

Ah, good times.  6 dating teenagers don't snuggle up too closely when they're hot and stinky from a very warm picnic, car ride, and house.  Hmmm....I might have to remember that one when my kids bring over their dates.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Questions of Life

Question - If I just stop yelling at the kids to quit fighting, will they eventually kill one another?

Question - When I'm at a green light and I hesitate because a truck in the cross traffic appears that he's going to run the light, and then he does, why does he give me a dirty look?

Question - On the same note, when I am the first to a 4-way stop and the guy to my right looks like he's going to blow the stop sign, but eventually stops, why does he get mad at me when I go first?

Question - When I spend the day baking for a bake sale, to make $35 minus expenses, and am left with a gigantic mess that takes me more than a day to clean up, is it worth it?

Question - If I'm running three times a week and eating the same amount of food, shouldn't I be losing weight?

Question - What is the big excitement with teenagers to stay up all night long?

Question - Why do people who live in the same house publicly Facebook one another things like, "Call me?"
Question - If my house was twice the size it is now, would it still be packed to the brim with all our junk?

Question - Is there any hope for this country with people being forced into early retirement, the cost of insurance skyrocketing, the cost of groceries going up, school levies failing, more people on welfare than ever before, celebrities continuing to overdose, children and women being kidnapped, internet scams, such a decrease of common courtesy, identity theft, and privacy invasion?  Sorry, things got a little deep there for a minute.

Friday, August 2, 2013

About Me

Yeah, I know that's a pretty self-centered post title, but isn't that kind of the point of a blog anyway?  It's always about me, baby!  Ha!

I heard from my doctor about the blood work that was done at my last visit.  Turns out, I'm anemic.  She asked me a bazillion times if I was tired all the time.  For a person with 4 kids, I don't think I'm all that tired.  Sure, the nap demons hit me every day at 2:30, but isn't that normal for everyone?  She said taking iron supplements should help pep me up a bit.  I'm sure not going to complain about gaining pep!  I've noticed that, when I run, I'm tiring out way earlier than I should.  I'm training pretty hard right now and I shouldn't feel like dying after a mile.  Maybe this will help.  Until then, I've let my family know that I will be totally working this anemic thing.  I haven't been getting attention for being tired, because I didn't know I was.  I will be making up for that now.

Also, I have hyperthyroidism (again? still?)  My thyroid level is .05, which I'm told is "quite low."  I had problems with my thyroid when I had Baby Girl.  I wasn't producing enough milk to nurse her, so I sought help from a lactation nurse.  She ordered blood work,which revealed the thyroid problems.  At the same time, I was having abdominal pain, which turned out to be appendicitis.  (It was a fun couple of months.)  When I went to have my thyroid scan, they routinely asked if I had had any contrast within the past XX days.  I replied yes.  Surprised, she asked why.  I told her I had a CAT Scan for abdominal pain.  They couldn't find the problem.  So, instead of having a thyroid scan that day, I ended up staying overnight (leaving my 3 week old baby at home) and having my appendix removed.  Talk about a weepy new mom!  The very small amount of milk I produced had to be pumped and dumped.

Look how thin!
Back then, I had obvious symptoms.  My hands were very shaky and I couldn't do anything that required fine motor skills.  Mixing a bottle of formula was a great chore.  I was also very nervous.  Like, if anything out of the ordinary came my way, I flipped out...possibly crying, yelling, or losing control.  I was also very thin, especially for just having a baby.  I have none of those symptoms now.  That's why I was so surprised.  I never got my thyroid checked again.  By the time I recovered from the surgery and past the newborn stage, my symptoms had diminished.  I always assumed it was pregnancy related hyperthyroidism.  Now I'm not sure if it's back or if it never went away.  But the #1 question on my mind is- If I have an overactive thyroid, why am I not thinner than this????

The doctor who gave me these results told me to follow up with my family doctor.  My family doctor is going through a divorce and is pretty much in the middle of a nervous breakdown.  He's losing it.  I really don't want to go to him because I no longer trust his judgement.  He calls his office manager on a regular basis, crying and wanting to talk for hours.  I never respected him highly as a doctor anyway.  His location is awesome and the office manager is a friend who is extremely efficient.  My old family doctor, who is awesome, is further away and his office staff is made up of a bunch of jerks.  So, I just sit here in limbo, not sure what to do.

On a good note, my running is improving, even though it's oh-so-very-hard.  My buddy and I have been trying to run 3 times a week!  I looked at my Nike app and realized I ran 22.7 miles in the month of July!  That's definitely a record for me!  On Tuesday, I ran a 5K in 34:45.  I believe that was my best time ever for that distance.  Tonight, I think we're supposed to run 3 or 3.5 (my buddy keeps track of our schedule) and then 5 on Saturday.  It really helps me to have a schedule to follow.  If I set a goal to run 3 miles, I can stop short.  I'm only disappointing myself.  If the schedule says I have to run 3 miles, I must.  I can't go against the schedule.  I don't know...it works for me.

A weird thing though, my right foot has been falling asleep when I hit 2.5 - 3 miles.  It starts out tingling, then it goes dead asleep.  I've never experienced that before.  I've tried hydrating more and using sports drinks.  If I stop and walk briskly, it eases up but still tingles.  When I stop completely, the feeling comes back right away.  Anyone ever heard of that?  I have never felt like I was in danger of falling.  I don't feel like it affects my run.  It just feels super weird.  I'm wondering if it's related to one of the problems above?

Even though I'm still only running short distances, I'm much better off than I was the past three years at this time.  I am doing more of a run/walk combo, but I can keep my speed up if I do that.  My friend runs consistently without walking.  I walk 3 or 4 times briefly during a run and end up finishing with or before her.  I'm still not sure about this 13.1 miles...we'll see!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Retro Birthday - TBT

Today's Throwback topic is:
Throwback Birthday!

I always had great birthdays as a kid.  Looking back, my mom didn't spend a lot of money.  She didn't rent petting zoos or magicians and she didn't invite a hundred kids.  My birthday was at the beginning of summer, so it was usually nice outside.  My parties typically involved my parents, brother, and cousins outside playing with water.  I still vividly remember the year we got a Slip & Slide!

My mom always made me a homemade cake of my choosing.  I remember one year that I was very specific.  I wanted a yellow cake with chocolate icing and red writing.  I also wanted a big #8 candle instead of 8 regular candles.  That's exactly what I got.

As a parent, I try to hard to make each birthday unique and memorable.  My birthdays were no big event but they sure were fun!

This was an actual Chuck E. Cheese, not the surprise party.
I remember complaining one year that I never had a surprise party.  Seems like the next day, my mom took me to a place similar to Chuck E. Cheese with some bogus excuse.  Out from underneath the table jumped my brother and cousins.  I'm not sure how I didn't see that one coming.

Now when it came to my 16th birthday party, my mom went all out.  I was allowed to invite the entire youth group from church, which was huge.  My mom moved all the furniture out of the living room to prepare for my Mexican Fiesta.  I remember our coffee table in the middle of the room.  It had a punch bowl on it with something floating in it....shaped ice?  umbrellas?  I can't remember.  She hung colored lights all over the room and turned off the overhead light.  There was Mexican music playing.  She decorated with sombreros and pinatas and served tacos.  I remember is as one of the best nights of my life.  I do remember that the man who is currently my husband did not attend.  I was just starting to get my crush on him.  When I asked him later why he didn't come, the girl who ordered him around, who he thought was his girlfriend, told him he couldn't go.  Nice.

My mom still tries to make my birthday very special.  I appreciate that.  As a mom of 4, I sometimes get overlooked.  June 2 is one day I don't mind taking all the attention and making it all about me.  I'm still a kid at heart.