Monday, February 24, 2014

She Can't Say No...

The Lucky Pauper's Editor editing services project is coming along well. I've completed one book of poetry, done a substantive overview of one novel, and am working on another full edit of a novel at the moment. So three projects since 2/14/14 is a reasonable indicator that this new business might fly.

In a burst of excitement and optimism, I called the other dreaded cashier job and quit. The manager was too busy to even talk, and said she'd call me back. She did and much to my amazement, she asked me not to leave. They have offered me a choice of shifts, as many hours as I want to work (not many), and the days I want...carte blanche. I was stupified. I was SURE they'd be happy I was leaving, as I feel so completely asea when I'm there, juggling the myriad tasks (see last post). I all but blushed with the acknowledgment, and said that I'd stay on. So now I need to set the hours and days I want. That old song pecking at my ears..."she's just a girl who can't say no..." The girl in this photo must have had the same experience.

When my life went into nose-dive last October, there were people who love me but thought I'd never do anything but crash and burn. My confidence in myself was shaken to the core, and my wings still wobble to this day but I'm seeing that I was able to take the controls and level out. Not flying at high altitudes any longer but still in the air. You can't imagine how heartened I am by this. My tendency is to always go the codependent route, trust the opinions of others close to me rather than rely on my own ideas. I held tight to what I wanted and as a result, those close to me stuck by me and supported me all the way. I wouldn't be here at all without my friends.

Pam’s Clipart Images

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Newest Venture

I'm afraid I'll be stuck with my intense little part time job for awhile.

I'm finally getting the hang of it without wanting to expire from the pressure, but it's still not my idea of a good time. Today, too many cashiers were scheduled, so I was asked to bus tables instead. No problem. But B-0-R-I-N-G after the high level adrenlin rush of taking food orders and running around like a maniac, filling them - here or to go? what kind (of 20) bagel? what kind of cream cheese? sliced and toasted? Do you want that sandwich grilled? What's that? you want to substitute three other things, why certainly, Sir! No lettuce, no tomato, no onion, but you'll have fontina cheese, spicy mustard, and extra chicken. No problem! Oy. It's just exhausting.

I finally learned how to make a mango smoothie, a caramel mocha, a cappachino and how to use the machines: the bagel cutter,(turn it off when you've finished!) the bread slicer,(one machine for texas toast, another for regular), the bagel/bread moving toaster, (run them through twice, it's not hot enough!), balancing the cash drawer (before and after the shift), the various sized bags and boxes (special box for cupcakes, don't use that!) and memorized the names and types of pastries, bagels, breads and all the little icons and names on the fancy computer cash register. Figure out how to ring up the hidden items for sale, like The Wall Street Journal! Don't forget to ask for their rewards card. Don't forget to assign a number in a holder for their table (for food delivery) or a first name if the food is to go. Don't forget that not all the soups are always available, so look at the menu on the wall, to verify the customer's soup request. On and on and on it goes.

Sweeping the floor, restocking the dishes and cups and plasticware, relining the garbage cans, making vats of coffee, time-stamping souffles and coffee so that nothing gets stale, cooking souffles in a huge oven, and putting them in little serving cups; refilling cream and milk containers, getting the manager for any and all out of the ordinary transactions (which are many).

On and on and on it goes.

But you get used to it.

OR I could do THIS:

The Lucky Pauper's Editor

Hey, wish me luck?!

Better yet, send me some business! :-)


Sunday, February 16, 2014

3 days without the dreaded job!

My work schedule this week allowed for a 3-day weekend! Hooray! I have time to work on my own new project (to be announced soon) and to dip into Season 2 (on Netflix) of the Kevin Spacey "House of Cards" series. (chilling political fare).

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Poetry's Yellow Warbler

For Daniel Tiffany**

Unwounded, feathered, safe, it rests -- sans song,
oblivious to sky or twig with nest unknown.

Caged in my hand, the downy chick sits still --
save for a heartbeat flutter on my palm.

A tiny clockwork tick? Its shiny beak
held shut by springs or cords of sinew?

Cleverness conceived by what? My own vein
pumps its diesel behind a bloody maw,

while plush pigs fly in squadrons. Bird tilts
its head, a convex eye, (a bead of glass?),

entraps me in a conjoined stare. My hand
unfurls, starburst of finger puppetry ballet

. A wondrous bit of engineering, that.
Chick vaults and flies as chip notes soar

in throaty song of freedom. My fingers
curl again--this time around my own metallic fog.

Yeats, God and you may ponder life and toys
while I can only marvel that pigs and birds
and aeroplanes stay up at all.

Originally published in GUD Literary journal

**Daniel Tiffany is the esteemed author of "Toy Medium" - an incredible book for the thinker.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Things I Love About My New House

Looking back at recent posts, I reealize what a root canal it was to leave my last home. I had figured it would be my "final" move and see me to the end. Funny how things work out.

But this wee little house in a wee little manufactured home park is starting to grow on me. 1. The neighbors are seriously nice and decent people. No airs, no Naples prestige/ego/money thing going on. It's refreshing. I don't feel challenged. Challenged is a feeling I get when I am around people who think they are better/smarter/happier/richer than me. Even if it's true, it gets my back up. Really superior people don't make me feel that way--only the pretenders and the jerks.

2. My elecric bill (once I got that A/C horror resolved) was $82 instead of $158. That accounts for not having a dishwasher, ice machine, TV, heater, hot water washer, (it only has plumbing for cold water), and of course a string of cold winter days which keeps the bills down. The addition of a small space heater didn't seem to mess up the reduced bill, however.

3. I don't have wall to wall, but instead tile and linoleum which is a snap to keep clean. It's soooo much easier with the cat and dogs too, and because all is white, I can SEE dirt, as opposed to not realizing the carpets are full of it. So everything feels cleaner, since I can sweep and mop and NOT have to vacuum to keep it tidy. Love that clean house feeling. No dishwasher means I keep the kitchen a lot more clean too, I believe. That hot water sponge in my hand (from dishwashing) is almost cosntantly wiping down counters and windowsills and tiny spots on the floor. (two sponges, actually).

4. One of my lanais (the entry) has a direct entry to the shed. In my old house, you entered the shed from the outdoor driveway. But in this house, it's all one big piece. I go down steps to the lanai and straight into the shed where the dryer (which is FINALLY working on 220 v. wiring) is located. It makes the shed feel more like another room instead of being an outdoor addition. Just increases the available space of the house, as does the other lanai which I converted to a dining room/art studio. In weird little ways, THIS house feels more spacious than the other. That tickles me no end. And we're all getting used to the smallness, and not tripping over each other like we did at first. (I stepped on a few furry paws, and they soon learned to make way.)

5. I'm three minutes away from my job. (my job is another topic altogether) but being able to just boogie that fast to work is killer. Love that.

So, this is when I bought it:

And this is now:

Very Floridian-Kitsch, and affordable! Love the one you're with!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowlery!

I'm so fortunate to have really good friends, and I've been invited to watch the Super Bowl at their house today. (I have no cable TV, so this is a gift!). I offered to bring the foodstuffs, the fare of Super Bowl (which I have NEVER done before. This is my FIRST Super Bowl party).

Well, when you say Super Bowl, what food comes right to mind? CHICKEN WINGS, right? So I have been doing intensive research on how to prepare chicken wings. There are only about a gadzillion recipes out there, everything from purist Buffalo to Thai and Orange Marmalade.

I bought two packages of wings at Publix, but until I opened them, I didn't realize I got a FULL wing, right off the ol' chicken.

What I need, of course, are those smaller pieces. So I looked up the many trusty videos on cutting wings. Believe me, there's plenty. Just put the blade at this little spot, and hit down....yeah, right. I went through EVERY butcher knife in my kitchen, and NONE of them were sharp enough to cut off the "flapper" (tip of the wing), and divide the rest into two pieces. Frustrated, I looked around my kitchen and spied the kitchen shears. Aha! Now mind you, these are just good large scissors, made of sturdy metal, not designed for the kitchen at all, but they are sharp. I've used them on plenty of things like removing fat from beef, etc. So I gave it a try. Voila, it worked. Easy peasy, snip snip and I got through two packages of wings in just minutes.

So I have floured them with some bread flour (my general purpose flour had bugs in it! Now I'm on the search for bug proof storage bins) cayenne and garlic powder and I'm letting them sit in the fridge. I shall bake them, and THEN sauce them with Franks RedHot sauce mixed with prepared chili sauce and a little chili powder, AFTER they come out of the oven (and just before I leave for the party.) I plan to make a blue cheese dip, and hoping the finished product comes out looking like this:

In addition to the wings, I've made Salad Olivier (a yummy version of potato salad that sounds like it comes from France, but seems to be popular in Iran?) and I will be making large wheat flour tortilla quesadillas loaded with spicy hummus, black beans, tomatoes, scallions, avocados, taco seasonings, and cheese. We figured some Mexican beer and Foster's Ale might be the finishing touch.

Now...the important thing. Who's going to win? I think I should root for the Broncos since they beat the Patriots (the team I wanted to win) but that Seahawks quarterback charmed me on a video yesterday...hmmm. Ha. Ask me how I bet race horses? The color of the silks, of course.

Happy Super Bowl, all you maniacs, whether you watch or not.