Category: Blog

Yet another post about how I hate my job

despairLet the stomach churning commence.

I’m not the only person who feels that way. I know many who feel the same. People who throw up before they leave for this place. One who needs to be chaperoned to actually get into the car and drive to work. People who regularly cry each night at the thought of tomorrow and working in this place.

If I posted the name of this joint you would probably be surprised. In fact, I’m sure you would be because on its face it would seem to be a very cool place to work. That’s what I thought too. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anyone with competence and options doesn’t last long. The people who prosper are the incompetent, which are nutured, and the evil, who are rewarded. I fall into the group of folks who hate the job, hate the workplace culture and the people who foster it but are trapped with the need of the rather premium health insurance that comes with the benefit package. I had huge hopes for the Affordable Care Act while it was being argued into law. I prayed for single payer or a public option but even when those hopes were quickly dashed I thought the health care exchanges would still give me an opportunity to get out. Not so. High deductibles and out of pocket expenses and the low cost options leave too large a percentage uncovered. So … trapped … like a rat.

And that horrible, horrible feeling that there is no hope and there is no end. At least not one that wouldn’t financially harm my family.

I just hope that one day I can be shed of this misery and if the gods are gracious and make it happen I will have zero compunction about naming names. All of them.

photo credit: Flickr photo by wallyg via photopin creative commons license

I will wish myself a happy birthday

because no one in my family could be bothered. Not a card or a call. And yeah, it is totally pathetic that I’m posting it.

Knitting: Owls Cardigan Sweater

Owls cardigan sweater

Finally finished this lovely pattern from Kate Davies. I converted it to a cardigan and decided to only provide ‘eyes’ to only one owl. Buttons came from the stash.

Really nice knit. Went relatively fast since it is Bulky yarn that I got from Knitpicks. Which also made it an affordable project. Hopefully it will wear well. I have to say the fit is fabulous. I didn’t do the back shaping which was a good decision. Shaping is all on the sides. I also didn’t do the short rows for the back neck because I just didn’t like the way they looked but that choice  doesn’t seem to have marred the finished project. I highly recommend the pattern.

Walgreens, iTunes and JUST NO

Let me register my disapproval of Walgreens right here on the internetz. Not that my little voice matters but I’m saying it anyway.

Last night we mistakenly bought a $30 iTunes gift card at the local Walgreens. By the time we got home (literally 10 minutes later) we realized we had made a mistake and went back to Walgreens and asked to return the cards. Still in the Walgreens bag, still factory sealed, with a receipt that says Walgreens will take back anything to keep you happy.

NOT SO. They refused to take the iTunes cards back. For no really particularly good reason except that they didn’t want to. Total douchebaggery. We called the customer service people and they were just as rude.

No more Walgreens for me. I have an equidistant choice of Walgreens or CVS. CVS it is.

Scrabble night

We play board games. Tonite was Scrabble night.

Scrabble Christmas

The Old Man is wicked good at Scrabble.

Scrabble Christmas

and the winning board ….

Scrabble Christmas

It was a nice way to pass the time. Quiet and removed from the outside world that is currently in the final throes of Christmas frenzy. It’s like the real world is in some kind of stasis until the insanity passes. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. December becomes a lost month. There is nowhere to hide from the bombardment of commericals, songs, entreaties to BUY MY STUFF. The traffic is terrible. Supermarkets are mobbed. People get pretty shitty with one another because of the pressure to BUY THAT STUFF and do all the things that the Christmas script demands or …. else? I just want the world to get back on track. Only 2 more days of madness.

 

Winter Solstice 2013

Ave! Solstice!

As if signaling that the Sun is indeed on his return run, the weather for Solstice was warm and sunny in a region where at this time of year there should be cold and snow. I BATHED in the sunshine. I frequently wonder why I live in this region at all because I love warmth. Probably from all those happy years living in southern Nevada.

A view of my Solstice:

Bayberry Candles from Mole Hollow Candles in Sturbridge, MA. Hand dipped. Not overly fragrant. They burn beautifully, evenly, and do not drip all over the place.

Bayberry Candles for Solstice

The silver candlesticks have been in my husband’s family for some time. They have seen much service for all sorts of holiday and family gatherings. Now they serve our household.

Silver candlesticks for Solstice

The Solstice altar. My personal tastes run to restraint. Decorative stags handmade by the woodworking husband, holly of various varieties, fir and twigs. I also add some rosemary and a golden pear.

Winter Solstice altar

Winter Solstice altar

I always love decorating the tree. So many symbols that we love.

Winter Solstice ornament

Winter Solstice ornamentWinter Solstice ornamentWinter Solstice ornamentWinter Solstice ornament

A lovely night. Vale!

Winter Solstice

 

 

Gene Lyons: Picking fights on religion

“We have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th-century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places.

Even here in the United States, it often seems that picking fights over religion increases during the Christmas season. If anything, claiming to be persecuted while expressing contempt for others’ beliefs appears on the rise.

And, no, I’m not talking only about the annual invocation of paranoid triumphalism Fox News calls the “War on Christmas.” Nor even about noted theologian Rush Limbaugh assailing Pope Francis as a “Marxist” for criticizing the tyranny of markets and the worship of money. Because Jesus was all about capital formation and tax cuts for the wealthy.

Everywhere you look, somebody’s insulting somebody else’s religion.

 

And for all those who really, truly believe that the Founding Fathers set up a Christian nation as an organized dogmatic presence, here is an excerpt from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams in 1823:

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

 

Witch at Yule

I have so many thoughts on this and I just want to try and write them down.

First. I am not a Christian. There is no one in my household who is a Christian. I am a pagan. A witch, thanks very much. This is no secret in my workplace. It’s not like I walked in and said, “HEY I’M A PAGAN”. But one day in conversation that fact was made plain. (Which should not have been a surprise considering I have worn jewelry with pagan symbols for 6 years. Just sayin’.) Although I do believe it is easier for folks who are uncomfortable with that fact to ignore the obvious until it is plainly stated.

More background. I work in an environment that is  ….. difficult. There are issues with race, gender, educational level, and socio-economic class in an unnaturally forced blue collar-white collar environment. Add in the very potent brew of religious difference, overlay it with the seemingly outsized importance of the Christmas holiday and it is a formula for great unease. To be fair, on both parts. Mine and theirs. The situation is not helped by the holiday parties, holiday cards, and holiday wishes from the institution where we all labor. I do understand that large institutions must appear to be ecumenical whether there is a genuine interest or not. It’s just good business. It costs nothing and avoids problems. And I do believe at my place of employment on the macro level that the sentiment is genuine. On the micro level it is just a mess.

Here are my thoughts on this. I really do not want to be lumped in as an afterthought on the ‘holidays’. I actually find it offensive. On this I share common ground with the Christmas crowd. Conflating Yule/Solstice, Hanukkah, or any other Winter holiday with Christmas is not cool. Our traditions and beliefs are not some diminutive form of Christmas that must be grudgingly included in the seasonal festivities. They are rich and special in their own right. And they pre-date the Christmas holiday by millenium. There is a grand irony that the last folk to join in the Winter festivities are the ones viewing all those who came before as the usurpers. BTW, I’ll just mention that I have no hard feelings that you are using pagan traditions and symbols when you celebrate. Okay?

hannukah menorah

To the war on Christmas office contingent wishing anyone “Happy Holidays” is offensive. Every year I hear about the war on Christmas, the faux meaning of other religious and cultural experiences, and how it’s Christmas, dammit. Without fail at some point when the holiday ‘spirit’ is in high dudgeon I am asked if I am ready for Christmas. And each year I answer, no, I’m not ready for Christmas because I don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m not sure how to interpret that. At best I could say that it is well meaning but indecipherably ignorant. At worst it is intentional baiting.

I actually find it sad for the war on Christmas crowd at my workplace. To be nursing such a grievance and feeling so under seige when you are in the majority doesn’t make any sense to me especially when you celebrate a season that has as one of its basic tenets ‘good will towards men’.

photo credit for Hannukah menorah: dirtydog2003 via photopin cc