All Hail All Hollow’s Eve!

It’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!! It’s heeeeeeeeerrrreee!

My most favorite holiday of the year!

A savory sonnet for the sweets who visit:

***************************

Of green ghouls, red goblins and monsters beware

in shadows and in light, they lurk everywhere.

You shall not know them by the sight of your eyes

rather sharp chills tingle-tingling up your spine

So go on, peer under the bed — if you do dare.

Knock knock, open the closet — is someone there?

Of one last ghastly beast be warned, must I say

The coma of 10 too many Milky Ways.

*************

May Bewitching Mojo Be With You.

Happy Halloween from me and Berr Symon.

Berr Symon shares a Halloween cupcake

Berr Symon shares a Halloween cupcake

When a Zombie Apocalypse and Aging Collide

You know you’re no longer 22 when you won’t stand in line for an hour upwards on a cold autumn night.

Not even for zombies.

Never been to the One80° venue hosting live bands, drama and video. For weeks, it’s been advertising its Halloween event, “The Dead Regenerates. A Zombie Apocalypse.”

In absence of a description, best I could ascertain from this side of closed doors is it’s a live event with zombies and dramatics.

I do hear blasts of gunfire — blanks, it’s safe to presume — bursting through the building walls.

I do witness a dozen or so folks at the front of the long line being admitted before the doors are shut again. Don’t see ’em leave. Safe to presume the exit’s on some side of the building. Let’s hope so.

Some 70 folks corralled between two moveable fences seem unfazed by the wait, 45 minutes now and growing. They have one another — friends with friends, families. I’ve only my cell phone. Even that gets boring after a while.

Heat from a pair of propane patio torches is welcomed, their blue and orange glows appropriate to the season and this eve of Halloween.

Folks, two, three at a time, earlier entered through a side door into a kitchen, by distant glimpse. Players in the Zombie Apocalypse? Perhaps.

“Doors open at 8 p.m.” read the ads.

Uh-uh. I arrived at 8. It’s 8:45 and and I’ve seen them open late just twice.

Maybe 50 people are ahead of me. At this pace of intake, I could easily stand here for another hour.

No announcements are made. Nothing. No one knows what’s going on and no one really seems to care. They want encounters with the zombies behind those doors. They want their brains to be eaten — not really — their flesh to be feasted upon — not really — and in final deliverance to morph into zombies themselves — not really.

Me, I just wanna go. With intact brain ‘n’ all.

Not wholly because it’s a cool autumn night turning chillier by the hour.

Not wholly because of boredom with my cell phone.

It’s because I’m really not 22 anymore.

And unless the cause or reason is extraordinary, i.e., a concert of a beloved musician, an “endless” wait in an “endless” line with “endless” uncertainty about what’s happening inside and when I might be admitted grows stale. Fast.

Been there done that. It’s a matter for youth. Not old ladies (I’m 58) like me who, truth told, would rather be sitting in a Starbucks sipping hot chocolate (i.e., now) or home in bed watching zombies terrorizing and feasting upon helpless mortals on Netflix (i.e., imminently).

Is that what aging is?

Choosing creature — no pun intended — comforts in our encounters with the creeping undead?

Sinking our backs into soft pillows while crazed ones sink their teeth into the necks of hapless mortals?

Turning One80° and leaving venue One80° and its queue of folks who, like you, are hungry for the fear factor yet yours is an unwillingness to wait “endlessly” to be shaken, stirred and spit out by (pretend) zombies?

Mmmmm-mmmm mmmmmaybe.

There are worse things in life. Just ask the dead regenerate sneaking up behind you. Boo!

zombie

Halloween monsters: Not where you think they are!

It shrieks. It shouts. It emits high-pitched screams that’ll curdle your blood and make your ears bleed.

You’re not at a haunted mansion on Halloween. But at the cafe down the street!

Every day is Halloween in the United States of America! Inconsiderate self-absorbed parents and mannerless kids are allowed to roam the streets and fill public spaces without license.

They’re free to wreck havoc on furniture, introduce mayhem to once-serene places and run amok under the adoring eyes of parents, grandparents and their friends.

‘Tis a world gone mad! An asylum run by the inmates! A generation of babies and youths pampered and spoiled and given everything they could possibly need and want — to excess. With never having learned to lift a finger or, sadder still, the value of working for anything.

Work is its own reward. And a dying — speaking of Halloween — art.

In these social horrors that surround us all in America, I’ve one body to thank. Without Pandora, I would not remain the sane person I am!

You see, many is the occasion when, like tonight, a child’s boundless shrieks have ricocheted off walls of a cafe, pierced my ears and caused aural hemorrhage.

Too, many is the occasion when I’ve looked point-blank at the parents in the eye. And they do nothing but continue bathing their out-of-control noisy creatures in adoring light.

Last but not least, many is the occasion when I’ve hastened through a meal or coffee, packed up the laptop early and bolted, with one last glare shot their way. But they very rarely notice. If they happen to, they don’t care.

Then sometimes, bridled by desire to finish up some project on the laptop, I plug in the lil’ earbuds that pair with my iPhone, load up Pandora, crank the volume to full and partially — only partially — drown out the monster and permissive “parents.”

A Band-Aid solution to what ails our society? Sure it is.

Yet as Halloween reminds of the monsters and the angels treading upon and encircling our Earth, too a visit to a public eatery.

The monsters be the little brats, bigger those who spawned them. And Pandora be the angel. Holy goons and ghouls, Batman! We live in a decrepit decaying society!

There’s one silver lining in the cloud. Always is. Blessed be that we not be vampires condemned to an eternal earthly existence.

Now THAT’d be a Halloweenish terrifying nightmare surpassing all indeed!

To Be or Not to Be (cold, wet and sick)

I deserve what I’s gots.

And what I’s gots is a rocker hangover.

Time to time it’s good to get your drink on. A planned drink-on sloughs off detritus and dross and clears the pipes.

Last night was not one of those planned ventures.

It was my day at work I guess. If you can call one hour a day.

When It Rains (in Arizona), It Pours!

A sudden downpour greeted my scheduled hour of doing carts. Gathering them from all about the parking lot and pushing them into the Fry’s supermarket lobby.

The mind harked back to a mama monsoon some two weeks prior. The Big Dog (store manager) ordered me to grab a poncho and umbrella and escort customers holed up in the lobby to their cars.

I sloshed through puddles the size of little lakes and through gusts. The customers surely appreciated the help. Which is good.

When I resumed my duties indoors, I was chilled to the bone, shivering, dancing in place to generate heat in sopping wet shoes and pants. Before the next day, I fell sick. Not so sick as to stay home but certainly unwell.

I learned a valuable lesson that in my youth I would’ve shoved away as if it were a plate of cottage cheese — the grossest “food” ever! Cottage cheese’ll NEVER cross these lips, I promise!

That valuable lesson? To respect my health — pockmarked by sundry ailments, weaknesses and vulnerabilities — and say no to that which genuinely jeopardizes it.

So if I’m sent out into the pouring rain at the job, I’ll need to respectfully decline and allow a 22-year-old coworker — which is every coworker in my category! — of robust health to go in my stead.

Reasonable? Not so fast.

TRIED to Do the Right Thing Anyways

I handed off my carts shift to Zach, who accepted eagerly, and took over his indoor tasks.

Couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes when I was called into the office by not one but two supervisors/managers! (One I like, one I don’t respect at all but that’s neither here nor there.)

After an extraordinarily long discussion and debate, the gist was this:

  • I’m expected to do my duties regardless of weather. (Every shift includes at least an hour of retrieving carts.)
  • Trading with coworkers, even if they’re willing, is not allowed.
  • If I cannot — or will not, in my case, due to jeopardizing health — do every task, I will be sent home.

Wow, this is Fry’s shooting itself in the foot. Fry’s needs every worker it can get its hands on. Fry’s is a revolving door. They can’t keep people because they treat ’em like tools and means to their own gains and pay quite poorly — minimum wage for the trench workers. The gap left by sending ANY worker home stresses a house constantly on the verge of imminent collapse.

Hey, I don’t make the rules!

  • If I cannot or will not perform every duty expected, it will be perceived as insubordination by Fry’s and employment will be terminated.

So after a little work and a dialogue with one manager that went on too long, I was sent home. I didn’t refuse. Or cry. Or even wince. Face it. The loss of three hours at minimum wage isn’t a bullet to the life raft.

BUT!

I left with something I gotta think about. Winter’s quick approaching. It’s gonna be a bad one, my farmer’s almanac bones know. A wet one. A lotta cold rains, snow, ice. Something about El Nino. I don’t pay attention or care what so-called authorities and experts say.

The question is:

  • Am I willing to endanger my health, pushing carts in winds and wetness and frigid conditions for the next several months, in the afternoons and late nights (as I often work closings lately)?
  • And am I willing to do so for minimum wage?
  • Am I willing to do so even if I suit up with waterproof boots — purchased at Walmart yesterday in preparation, (footwear I wouldn’t otherwise buy or wear)?

Line in the (Wet) Sand

Concerning health and risk, the line in the sand is pretty clear to me. It’s become so gradually through years  of hard experience precisely because I endured far more than I should’ve.  That inner Endure-All-Things Survivor who emerged in infancy has, yes, kept me alive.

But at costs.

So that’s where it’s at. I do as Fry’s says. Or I lose my job. A Lame Crap Job, granted, that took a year to get in this gawd-awful Obama-socialist economy. A Job is a Job. My father’s mantra beaten into me that I’m far from free of, it’s true.

I’m looking for other work. Of course. Always looking. It’s become a lifestyle!

INDOOR work!

Go With the Gut & Heart

Listen to your gut and heart, they say. I’m good with the gut, the heart, less so when it comes to jobs. That darn Survivor gets in the way e-ver-y time!

The Gut

The gut says: Winterize — suit up — to the max during your assigned shifts outdoors. You CAN do it. You endure whatever life throws at you. And btw, a lotta times it’s handfuls of crap! Calling them cow pies merely romanticizes them! Yet it won’t be enough. Frigid air coursing through your respiratory system and lungs will NOT serve. That’s your greatest weakness and you know it! Though you’ll deny it by your Survivor’s Will to Endure. Think about it.

Roger that.

The Heart

The heart says: {name name name}, what are you doing?! Why in the world are you retreading ground, ground that you deeply dislike, ground that’s been trodden to death?! While your need to serve is very admirable, and your need to work extraordinarily admirable, your heart is not in this job. You’ve been trying to dump it for … how many months now? {two of the three there}

You can let this job go and find another that you will enjoy, that will pay more and not detrimentally affect your health (physical and mental, even leave you with illness through winter and do you REALLY need that given your icebox of your home?!)

Good point.

The Secret.

Not the famous one. “Secret” is, let the job go with gratitude. Thank Fry’s — and all its craziness and crazy-making, all chronic and endemic, all irreparable, it’s the nature of that beast — for supportive employment. For this short duration.

It’s NOT your career and you know it. It’s NOT where you want to be, you know that too. It’s far beneath your abilities and skills sets, duh! It’s a stop-gap measure.

Thank Fry’s for EVERYTHING, including yesterday’s extensive discussion, the time supervisor B. gave you and her offer to buy your boots (an offer that will be nixed by the store manager). Her kind gesture is indeed rare in any corporate world!

Be grateful for it all and let it go. And find yourself a job where you can be warm in winter. You will need it in your icebox mobile home.

Go with the Flow. Flow your way outta Fry’s.

With gratitude and the promise of better. On every level. You so need that now.

Last but by no means least, try to create space for the inner Artist to emerge alongside that inner Survivor who just never gives up in endurance of all {traumas and much more}.  That inner Artist is your ticket out.

Well, that’s quite a piece! Amazing what writing can do!

Finally, deserving what I’s gots. A hangover. Last night, I overdrank just by a little; the typical dearth of food only worsened it. It wasn’t a purging drink-on but emotions drummed up by the Fry’s thang.

Oh well. It happens.

Signing off and good on anyone who read this far! It’s a mouthful and evidence of a mind at work — even when saddled by a hangover! Bye for now.

Beware the Zombies Terrain at Fry’s!

You ever get up and not wanna go to work, pure ‘n’ simple?

Not referencing blue Mondays or those intermittent days when you’re tempted to call in sick. Unless you LOOOOOVE your job, it’s perfectly normal to not wanna be there some days.

Every day I wake up … check what day it is — usually mentally but sometimes admittedly I gotta check the calendar! … and proceed accordingly. I go to Fry’s supermarket. Or the radio station. Or wherever I need or wanna go because it’s a day off. One thing’s certain — no ruts in my crazy schedule!

As I was saying …

On the days I hafta go to Fry’s, I do not want to go. Pure. And. Simple.

I do not want to go because:

I am bored. Bored before I even get there.

I’m bored driving there. Bored walking through automatic doors. Bored at the job. Bored. Bored bored bored bored bored and bored.

There are reasons for that. Good solid inarguably valid reasons. It’s a job that requires zero brain power.  Now, I’ve never announced here what the job is. And I won’t. Well, after I leave, maaaaaybe. It’s a tossup between the celebration of leaving and self-induced amnesia that this job requires of me. Every single day!

I have a trait that doesn’t sit well with Fry’s. Intelligence. And smarts. Try as I have many times in many job environments, I cannot dumb myself down. I just can’t.

So, because I’m so hungry for — nee needing — to engage my brain, I will find ways to do that with even the most mundane and menial task.

Through reasoning, analysis, logic, discernment, intelligence and impeccable work ethics, I’ll find the way to perfect the task (again, no matter how menial). To do it to maximum perfection — an equation defined by efficiency and effectiveness and energy output.

Biiiiig mistake. Big fucking mistake at Fry’s! There is no place for such traits!

I achieved the maximum on the learning curve there within the first month, easily. Only reason it took that long is because I work part-time. More hours (that I don’t want) would’ve expedited it.

First comes the Learning Curve.

Then the Burnout.

Burnout is repeating the same tasks .. over and over and over again … with no promise of learning or achieving better. Mind you, these tasks are verrrrrrrrrry menial. No true need or requirement for application of intelligence, reasoning, etc. I’m not at a computer engaged with spreadsheets — not that I’d want to or could! — or words — and those ARE up my alley!

I’m paid minimum wage to perform a service that a 16-year-old could provide. Actually that’s not true for today’s youth but that’s another post.

The POINT is:

I am bored when I have to go to Fry’s. I do not want to go to work. Because I’m bored. Frighteningly bored. Terribly bored. Bored beyond words. Bored bored bored bored bored and bored.

Oh to have work that engages my brain.

My interests.

My abilities.

A job that CHALLENGES me rather than puts me to sleep.

That ENGAGES my interests and passions and huge variety of skills and abilities.

I don’t want to be at Fry’s anymore. (I stopped “wanting” to be there once I’d successfully completed the learning curve.)

Yet I can’t just quit. Jobs (even the lame crap jobs) are soooo hard to come by. Took a year just to get this one! Better. There’s got to be better somewhere here. There’s gotta be.

Nearing Halloween and working at Fry’s “fits right in.” The zombies are eating my brain! Somehow it’s cuter in a movie than real life — haha!

 

 

 

GO! GO! GO! shifts toward slow slow slooow

Go go go go go go go!

Gee. Go! One more for good measure. 🙂

Go! best describes life since July 1, when I received notice to vacate. Since then, it’s as the gate at the track were lifted and the horses off!

Gallup! Gallup! Gallup! Go! Go! Go! Gooooooo!

An arduous search for new digs. A residence departure extraordinarily demanding of my time and energy. A new place begging for repairs and beautification including full-on interior painting.

Two jobs. One I like with a fairly consistent schedule. One I loathe with an unpredictable schedule plus all physical in nature.  There’s no sign stating “Please Leave Your Brain at the Door” at Fry’s. But there should be.

Gee. Go! Go! Go! I’ve not stopped moving — REALLY MOVING — since early July.

My fuel to maintain the pace? Adrenalin. Sheer adrenalin.

Will. Things need to get done, I do them. I do too what others should be doing and don’t due to laziness and lack of work ethic. Doing my job and that of 2-3 others is standard operating procedure.

Gees. I wish people would do their part! Maybe I could rest some. Maybe.

Despite early appearances, this post isn’t all doom ‘n’ gloom. On the contrary.

The move is done.

The new place painted.

Still have two (PT) jobs — the one with as unpredictable a schedule as ever.

The Go! Go! Go! Load is lightening by virtue of completed projects and tasks. I’m beginning … just beginning … to slow down some. To rest as the cold reason requests of us.

But I’ll tell you the real reason for this shift toward slowing down. A not insignificant one.

It was a decision, mulled for some time, that took courage. A bold move (for me, not for most) and hopefully, ultimately a game-changer.

I quit the Saturday shift at Fry’s. (the job I’m chomping at the bit to dump, speaking of horses!)

Do not misunderstand. I’m grateful for employment in this gawd-awful Obama-designed economy of 94 million Americans who are not working/cannot find jobs.

It is menial work for minimum wage. I can do better. Should be doing better. Am capable of doing SO. MUCH. BETTER. HAVE DONE so much better, especially before Obama and his socialist regime took over in 2008.

The point? The point is I quit the Saturday shift at Fry’s. In doing so, released myself from the Double-Duty of shifts at two jobs that collectively made for around 12-hour Saturdays.

GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

No rest for the weary!

Very very very very rarely do I do positive for myself when it concerns work and jobs. I have so many slave / slave-river issues rooted in childhood and my father and past lives, it ain’t fucking funny!

The point?

Learning to choose good for myself, generally but most of all in work/jobs/labor, is an epic journey. So even the smallest step — like dropping the Saturdays at Fry’s because it was draining the life outta me and keeping me on that Go! Go! Go! hamster treadmill — is significant.

The mojo and magic of Halloween, my favorite holiday, is what most inspired me. What better day for casting off what chains?

I gotta admit, I LIKE this feeling. {sssssssssh, hope my dad’s not listening; he’d turn over in his grave if for a moment he perceived me not working myself to the bone}

What feeling do I like? Liberation.  Shackle by shackle.

Things are far from perfect. But they’re better. They’re improving, starting with an unplanned move to Arizona in 2013.

Know I shouldn’t want this* but I want to be free.

(*neither of my parents would desire, support or allow this for me)

One less day at Fry’s … one less shift … one less simple 4-hour shift on Saturday … is making all the difference. In my efforts toward stepping off the Go! Go! Go! train … toward recovering health … toward restoring my energy rather than depleting it.

By casting off one simple Saturday shift, I created just a little more room to breathe. To rest. To contemplate and create. To just be.

And maaaaaybe maaaaaaybe down the road begin having fun again! {shhhhhhh, don’t let my dad hear, it’d mean the whip!}

G is for Go! Go! Go!  And for Goodness that I surreptitiously seek behind the backs of forces who would seek to refuse, reject and destroy it.

I live in interesting changing times. Not because of but certainly assisted by one small choice, one seemingly innocuous choice: Dropping the Saturday shifts at Fry’s.

I invite better and better into my life so that I may be free. Free to be. Me.

BeyondWords.Life: Flash and Foolishness

Beyondwords.life. If nuthin’ else, they live up to their name.

The Beginning:

Beyondwords.life recently ran an ad for freelance writers.

Hopped over to the site, liked what I saw. However, there was no indication of pay rates in the ad or on the site.

So I zipped off a quick query:

“Hello,

“Love your site! One question however. Found no mention about pay rates. Are published submissions paid or unpaid? Thanks, (name)”

Time passed. Then a response:

“Dear (name):

“Thank you for contacting Beyond Words. We are currently reviewing all submissions and will be in touch with you shortly. Regards, Editorial Team”

Huh??

I responded:

“Hello, I submitted nothing. Except a quick query. Answered with an irrelevant canned response. Tsk.”

I’m ever amazed (not in a positive sense) when companies in the communications business fail to do just that. Connect. Communicate.

Beyond Words replied:

“Hello, (name), Thanks for the reply. I will remove you from the email list.”

Double huh?! {incredulously} What’s that achieve? How’s that relate to the question about rates?

It doesn’t. It’s foolish. Irrelevant. It’s stupid.

I replied:

“Huh? Why? That’s silly. Better is replying to the quick query.”

Won’t be hearing from them is my prediction.

The irrelevancy of the responses from Beyond Words, their misdirection, failure to respond to a simple and fair question, and the topper, deleting my name from an email list {what in their minds is that achieving?!}  … it’s beyond words that they operate an online business. Pretty f-ed up.

Beyond Words: Being true to their name. Beyond Words: Writing them off. Into the Companies That Suck Category they go.

The End.