1.ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?
I have an ugly one on the back of my ankle from when a module divider fell on me at work.
2. WHAT IS ON THE WALLS IN YOUR ROOM?
Bedroom, nothing. Living room, a print I bought at an arts festival, two photos I printed from the internet and messed with a little (with permission), three paintings my uncle did, and my college degree.
3. WHAT DOES YOUR CELL PHONE LOOK LIKE?
A cheapie thing I got for free with my rate plan. I like it, though.
4. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO?
Classical, lately, though I like world music and some indie/alternative stuff.
5. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN?
6. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW?
A job I love.
7. WHAT DO YOU MISS?
Seasons, summer days where the temperature is less than 95, Pittsburgh in general.
8. WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
An Bible/catechism/hymnal that belonged to my maternal great grandmother (it’s in German, though, so I have no idea what it says beyond a word here and there).
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SMELL?
Mint and Chocolate together
10. DO YOU GET CLAUSTROPHOBIC?
No, but I’m enough of an introvert to be a little…uncomfortable around lots of people..
11. DO YOU GET SCARED OF THE DARK?
Absolutely. Can’t sleep if it’s completely dark.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLOGNE / PERFUME?
Don’t really have one.
14. WHAT KIND OF HAIR DO YOU LIKE ON THE OPPOSITE SEX?
Generally short and neat, but some guys with long hair make my heart go pitter pat a little bit.
15. WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF BEING PROPOSED TO AT?
Um…no idea. Maybe a coffeehouse?
16. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS?
Neither. Tea or Pepsi.
17. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?
Extra cheese, mushrooms, and sausage
18. IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Taco Bell Nachos BellGrande.
19. WHO IS THE LAST PERSON YOU MADE MAD?
Probably Boss Lady.
20. DO YOU SPEAK A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE?
Used to be pretty fluent in Spanish. I can read it now, but can’t speak it, write it, or understand it spoken.
21. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT SOMEONE EVER GAVE YOU (OF THE OPPOSITE SEX):
A compliment. David in 8th grade. It sounds corny, but if you knew the relationship he and I had, you would understand.
22. DO YOU LIKE ANYBODY?
I finished high school in 1989.
23. ARE YOU DOUBLE JOINTED?
I used to be pretty flexible. Then I got old and injured myself in all kinds of interesting ways.
24. FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND?
None in particular.
25. WHAT`S YOUR DREAM CAR?
Anything brand new
27. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR DREAMS?
My favorite was probably the one with the drag queen and all the bathtubs.
29. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU?
Just do it.
30. SAY A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED:
31. BLONDES OR BRUNETTES?
32. WHAT IS THE ONE NUMBER YOU CALL MOST OFTEN?
My friend J.
33. WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?
People in Baton Rouge who cannot drive.
34. HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF THE US?
No, despite living just over two hours from Niagara Falls when I was in college
35. YOUR WEAKNESSES?
Sleeping late, chai lattes from CC’s, Raising Cane’s chicken fingers, Swedish Fish, office products.
36. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?
Geographically? Anywhere with seasons. Barring that, I guess my 450 square fit box suits me just fine (even if my rent is going up to $570 a month!).
37. FIRST JOB?
38. EVER DONE A PRANK CALL?
No. I never had the guts.
39. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU FILLED OUT THIS SURVEY?
Working on TG’s prompt and eating Cane’s sauce right from the tub.
40. IF YOU COULD GET PLASTIC SURGERY WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I wouldn’t. We have established that I hate the medical establishment. Why would I voluntarily subject myself to their tender, loving care?
41. WHY DID YOU FILL OUT THIS SURVEY?
42. WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ABOUT MOST?
Physically, my eyes, especially when I wear makeup (which is rare). In other terms, my writing..
43. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF ALCOHOL BECAME ILLEGAL?
Go on with my life (I’ve had about…six glasses of wine over the last year – and that’s if you count communion on Sunday!).
44. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?
$50K. Barring that and world peace…chia seeds for my chia pet.
45. HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT?
If I have kids great, if I don’t, that’s OK, too.
46. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?A tugboat (seriously).
47. DO YOU WISH ON STARS?When I am feeling nostalgic.
48. WHICH FINGER[S] IS YOUR FAVORITE?My itty bitty pinkies.
49. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY?The day after I lost my job.
50. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?I have issues with my handwriting because of the hell the nun’s put me through because it wasn’t perfect. Besides, I pretty much type everything now.
51. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?Turkey
52. ANY BAD HABITS?I am perfection itself. Of course not
53. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF?St. Al’s CCC stole all my CDs, so I can’t answer this.
54. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?Yes.
55. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL?Umm…pretty sure I haven’t
56. DO LOOKS MATTER?To me personally, not really. If a person is relatively clean, that’s fine by me. In the real world, absolutely
57. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?I hold it in until I do something embarrassing.
58. WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME?My car…which may become my first home after this month.
59. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY?Usually. I’ve been burned a lot by doing that, though, so I’m becoming more cautious.
60. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?A horrible stuffed, patchwork bear my aunt bought for a quarter at a flea market. After my mom cleaned him up, patched him, and restuffed him, he and I were inseparable.
61. WHAT ARE THE FIRST THREE NUMBERS IN YOUR CELL PHONE?288
63. DO YOU USE SARCASM?See number…52.
64. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT?I’m still alive, so the answer is no.
65. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY?Intelligence, sense of humor, quirkiness.
66. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?I don’t really have one. Anyone want to give me one?.
68. DO YOU UN-TIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?No. I usually don’t tie or untie them unless I am going for a walk around the lake. Then I tie them really tight for the support.
69. WHO IS YOUR CRUSH?Rob Morrow, since he was on Northern Exposure.
70. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?Vanilla. Yes, I know it’s boring.
71. WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU WENT ON A DATE?Umm…Umm…Umm…
72. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS?Any shade of green, cerulean
73. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE?None.
74. WHO/WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW?My college days
.75. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?I don’t really care one way or the other
76. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?David Letterman.
77. LAST THING YOU ATE?Cane’s sauce right out of the tub.
78. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?The temp agency
79. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX?It depends.
80. FAVORITE THOUGHT PROVOKING SONG?The Facts of Life theme song.
81. FAVORITE THING TO HATE:Stupid, horrible, annoying commercials – especially the ones for prescription drugs.
82. FAVORITE DRINK?Sweet Tea
83. FAVORITE ZODIAC SIGN:Never gave it much though. I’m a Taurus, though
84. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT?Baseball
85. HAIR COLOR?Brown, with blonde, red, and grey highlights. (I’m 35. If I want to call them highlights instead of gray hairs, I have that right).
86. EYE COLOR?Brown
87. DO YOU WEAR GLASSES?Since I was 8. Started wearing them full time when I was 10. Saw a picture of myself without glasses for the first time in 25 years when the driver’s license photo lady made me take them off for my picture
89. FAVORITE MONTH?March in Baton Rouge, May in Pittsburgh
90. YOU LIKE SUSHI?I’ve only ever had tuna, but I liked it.
91. LAST THING YOU WATCHED?I’m watching David Letterman. The last fiction show was Numb3rs. Rob Morrow crush, don’t forget. The mathematician guy is pretty OK, too. So are Peter MacNichol and Judd Hirsch for old guys.
92. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR?October 19th. Why yes, I did pull that out of thin air.
93. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT?Probably.
94. SUMMER OR WINTER?Spring (I just had to be contrary).
95. KISSES OR HUGS?Hugs, I guess. I’m not a really physical person.
96. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS?Relationships, I guess.
97. WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?Someone who is bored.
98. WHO IS THE LEAST LIKELY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?Someone who is not bored
.99. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING?Lots, if you count the books I started and didn’t finish.
100. IS ANYONE IN LOVE WITH YOU?Well, I’d like to think that Professor ND is truly, madly, deeply in love with me and he is just biding his time…that’s why he hasn’t written to me in a month.
Friday, June 30, 2006
1.ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?
So this past week I applied for unemployment. I figured that I didn't have anything to lose, because the worst that could happen is that I would be turned down. Turns out I wasn't.
See, the law in Louisiana says you can be terminated for cause, and if you didn't cause your employer any material harm, you can still receive benefits. There is no way I cause my employer any harm at all. I divulged no trade secrets, no financial information, and no acquisition information that wasn't already public. I didn't even file for reimbursement for my mileage. If anything, I increased good will with a vendor.
Plus, I was given no warning, and my performance reveiw two weeks prior was satisfactory. I made a judgment call because my manager wasn't available to be consulted, and it turns out my judgment was wrong. And I have proof that I did try to contact my manager on many occassions and she did not return my calls or e-mails. Documentation is a fine thing.
So this gives me a little bit of flexibility to wait to see if the computer company hires me. I have an interview with a medical clinic on Monday, but it isn't really a position I want. If offered, though, I would have taken it. Now I can turn it down if I need to.
The benefit isn't much, but it is enough to pay my rent, electric bill, phone bill and car insurance, and still have enough for food and my most important prescription (if I can eat 3 meals a day on $20 a week...I can if I have to, even though I don't like peanut butter). The only problem is that I don't have enough for my student loans, and I just reached a new payment agreement on them. Sigh.
In other news, I finished another scarf. I also wrote a little more on TG's scene. I have to say sorry in advance, because it is turning out to not be a comedy in my head. Though it does have humorous scenes, it really ends up being kind of sad. I wanted the main character to be a real jerk, but he ends up being kind of sympathetic. I'm playing with the point of view a little bit on this one. The narrator is really more of a reporter; we are seeing the external expressions and actions, but the thoughts are completely hidden. I've never written anything like this, so we'll see how it goes.
Oh, and I wrote more of the Great American Novel in my head. I found a new character I wasn't expecting, too. He may turn out to be a love interest. He may not. We shall see...
I got my hair cut at the beauty school today. It was getting shaggy, and I'm in good impression mode, so I can't have that. It isn't quite what I wanted, but $12 bucks and free samples of expensive hair products isn't a bad deal.
If any of y'all plan to visit south Louisiana any time, don't come from May through September. It's like living in the ninth circle of hell, only with more humidity. We've had over 40 straight days of 90+ degree temperatures, with near 100% humidity. How we can have that much humidity and still be in the midst of a drought because we've had no rain is beyond me.
The best time to visit has to be March or April. The weather is fine, the humidity is low, and all the flowers are in bloom (actually, the spring flowers bloom here in late January/February - the summer flowers are coming out in March and April). Everything is green, and alive, and beautiful.
I guess that's all for now. I may have more to say at a later time...or not.
Posted by Sheryl at 3:48 PM
Thursday, June 29, 2006
So I figured out why I had a prescription waiting at the pharmacy even though I didn't drop one off and my doctor didn't call one in. Apparently, my pharmacy has an automatic refill service. The only problem is that they refilled the old thyroid prescription. I know it has changed every 6 weeks, but still.
I finished two scarves today. Actually, one started out as an afghan, but I realized that I was never going to finish it, so it turned into a scarf. That makes three total done, and a fourth started. Some folks somewhere in the north are going to be warmer this winter. That's my way to make the world a little bit better.
You are probably saying, though, "Why scarves?" Easy answer. They are easy to make, and you can see the progress, whereas afghans take forever. And hats...well, they involve actual counting. We've established many times that I can't do that well.
Oh, and I need to share the dream I had the other last night (actually, it was just before I woke up this morning). I dreamed that my family was having a family reunion at the Kirk House, the house where I lived in college. Everybody was there, including people I've never even seen before, let alone met, and dead folks. And they all brought their pets with them. The bulletin board in the dining room served as a message board for the week.
I, in short, was miserable. Between the animals, all of which I was allergic to, and all the people - all the annoying, grudge-holding, Sheryl-criticizing people - I just wanted to pull my hair out. I tried to avoid interacting with the family by sitting in the "lurking chair" in the corner of the dining room and pretending I was talking to one of the house directors on the phone (Amy, that would be your final co-worker). The only problem was that all of a sudden he was standing right next to me, and I was found out. So I wrote him a note and stuck it on the bulletin board in a see-through envelope above my mailbox. Just then, and huge Great Dane went running through the dining room and into the women's wing, and that's when the phone ringing woke me up.
Yes, my unconscious does like to torment me every now and then. Why do you ask?
Oh, and I just read a recipie for gazpatcho that actually sounds good. Too bad I don't have a blender. I don't think my little food chopper would be up for the task.
TG, I started working on the scene you set. I'm trying really, really hard for comedy, but my comedy usually turns rather dark. But I am trying.
Posted by Sheryl at 12:00 AM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
If you ever want to feel better about the state of your life, watch courtroom TV shows. You realize just how normal you are, and just how normal your life is. I recommend Divorce Court and Judge Mathis in particular, but any of them will do, really.
I plan to update my sidebar later, so be on the lookout. In the mean time, I need to go figure out just how the pharmacy knew that I needed to get one of my prescriptions refilled today without me or my doctor calling anything in.
I may post pictures of my neighborhood and the scarves I have made so far sometime later this week.
Posted by Sheryl at 1:36 PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
OK. I can't leave y'all hanging without giving you the recipie (did I spell that right?) for the best chicken salad in the world. I got it from the cookbook my company published, but I've modified it a little. I've put my version here, but I put what the original says next to it.
1. Chicken (duh). The recipie calls for 3 cups of cooked chicken. Generally, unless I am making it for a potluck or something, I just use whatever leftovers I might have if I buy a chicken or cook one. Once rotisserie chicken from the supermarket makes about 3 cups if you pick it totally clean.
2. Celery. I like celery, so I use a lot of it. The recipie calls for 1.5 cups.
3. Almonds. The recipie calls for 0.5 cups chopped. I leave these out because I think nuts are evil.
4. Onion. The recipie says 2 tsp grated. I usually just buy the smallest onion I can find in the supermarket and throw it in the food chopper.
5. Lemon juice. I leave this out because I have no idea what it is supposed to do. The recipie calls for 2 Tbsp.
Mix all that stuff up.
6. Mayonaisse. I use only Hellman's Light Mayo, because that's the kind I like. It isn't as heavy, and I suppose it isn't as bad for you. The recipie says a cup, but I usually just eyball it and put enough in that when it's mixed in, all the stuff is well-coated, but it isn't just dripping Mayonaisse, either.
7. Salt and Accent seasoning. Now here is the major difference, and maybe why this is the best chicken salad ever. I don't use either of these things. I use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. For those of you who are Yankees, you may not be able to find this. If you can't find it in your local supermarket, ask the manager to carry it. You don't need to use much of it; I certainly don't use as much as most of the folks around here do. But it really brings out the flavor of food, both vegetables and meat. If you use too much, though, it gets really, really, spicy hot. I use it in stew, in stir-fry, in vegetables, rice...pretty much everything you can imagine. But because I need so little of it, the can I currently have (which cost about 3 bucks) has lasted me six months now, and it is only about half gone. If you can't find it where you live, let me know and I'll tell you where to find it on-line.
Mix everything together.
8. Potato chips and cheese. This is to put on top. I don't ever use the cheese because I don't like cheese and chicken together. The potato chips are OK, but if you have day-old bread, or leftover biscuits or cornbread, throw that in the food processor and grind it up. It's even better.
Stick the casserole dish in the over at 450 for 10-15 minutes. Yes, the oven. This may be the other reason this is so good. I guess the heat does something to the mayonaisse or something. I don't know, but I know it is really good.
I've made this for a couple of church potlucks, and it is always really popular. It's a great dip if you chop the chicken really, really fine (again, the food processor/chopper is good for this), or good for lunch if you leave it chunks.
And yes, I rarely follow recipies as written, and yes, my cooking technique really does resemble the above directions. I also don't use knives to cut things with because I am a danger to myselves an others.
Oh, and I'm still looking for challenges as seen in my previous post.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:25 PM
If you just want to read the challenge part, scroll to the bottom of the post. If you are interested in my extremely boring life, read on.
First, the good news - both biopsies came back negative. Yay!
The semi-bad news is that I'm apparently growing more staph. I blame the heat.
I am bored. Really, really, bored. In the past two and a half days, I have rolled balls of yarn (more than I care to mention), finished two scarves that are part of my plan to save the world through crochet, wrote another couple pages of the ol' novel before I hit a block, made chicken salad, watched the same episode of Antiques Roadshow about six times, played countless games of solitaire, and went for a walk around the lake.
Oh, and I also discovered that Amazon now has a grocery section. I put together a wish list of staple items, just in case I run into trouble mid-July, and some random kind solul wants to take pity on me. I'm definitely more or less OK until then, though.
See, I'm between a rock and a hard place. I'm afraid to apply and or interview for jobs, because I really, really want the one at the computer company, but the recruiter said that the earliest I would hear would be July 10th. I can sell plasma for a couple weeks if I have to (again, I never thought I would see that in writing), and fortunately, I like ramen noodles. I just never thought I would have to return to that phase of my life.
Anyway, back to the title of this post. In an effort to alleviate my boredom and keep my skill sharp, I invite anyone who happens across this blog to give me a writing challenge. Give me a main character with at least one trait, a setting, a theme and/or a genre. Over the course of the next couple days, I will respond with a scene. I don't write sex, because it makes me blush, and I don't write gory, gratuitous violence or horror.
Leave your challenge in the comments, and check back in a few days.
Posted by Sheryl at 7:18 PM
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Just went onto the website of the company from Tuesday - the one that said I'm overqualified for the trainer position but that they wanted to consider me for other positions. They are hiring a technical writer (actually they are hiring several). Do you have any idea how perfect that would be and how happy that would make me?
The only problem is that they said I won't know until July 10 at the earliest. I really need to be working before then. Maybe my temp agency will come through with a temp gig. Or I could always sell my plasma. You can make $80 a week for doing that here. Not enough to live on, but enough to get by for a couple weeks while waiting to start a dream job.
Posted by Sheryl at 4:02 AM
Friday, June 23, 2006
I had an awesome and incredible job interview today, and if the position is offered to me, I can't accept it.
The interview was at this school, and it seems like it would be the perfect place for me. It's very casual, the kids don't keep locks on their lockers, the headmaster's cat wanders the campus freely, and creative expression is encouraged. They actually encourage their students to think independently - what a concept! And, they keep the tuition affordable for a private school in this area.
The only problem is that tht leads to low salaries and no benefits. A full-time teacher makes about $10,000 a year. I may not need many amenities, but I can't make it on that. If I knew for sure that I could get a part-time evening and/or weekend job, or if I knew I could pick up more tutoring gigs, or if I knew I could get some more freelancing, I'd take it in a heartbeat. But I just can't bring myself to do it. Sigh.
No more prospects right now. The place I interviewed with Tuesday night told me I was overqualified for the trainer position, but they tested me for other positions in the company. The only problem is that they don't anticipate getting back to me until the week of the 10th. I really would like to be working by then, or else I'm in pretty big trouble.
Oh, and my insurance expires next week. Yippee. Haven't heard from the dermatologist with the biopsy results yet. Hopefully I'll hear Monday. Worst case scenario, I incur the medical bills and declare bankruptcy, I guess. I hate the idea of doing that, but the way the system is right now, I don't have a choice.
My First Mammogram (tm) was just fine. Uncomfortable, but not painful. I still have cramps from the other part of the woman's healthcare adventure, though. I always did get cramps after, but these are worse than usual. Sigh.
This was the first time I had a male doctor for that particular exam. He was nice, but a little too...sweet. He's from New Orleans, though, and that is just their manner. I guess I can live with that once a year.
I wrote another scene in the Great American Novel. It's when Ella is first shown Uncle Betty's house. I like it. Now if only I could get the beginning written in a way I can live with...
Oh well. Guess I'll go back to writing and e-mailing cover letters and resumes for jobs I don't really want. If one more person tells me I'm overqualified, though, I may scream.
Posted by Sheryl at 8:12 PM
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
So I interviewed for a software trainer position last night. It went well, I think. I'm waiting to hear what the next step is on that one.
Also got an interview for a teaching position at a private school here on Friday morning. The guy who founded the school is a bit of an independent spirit - a former hippie type. I could actually enjoy teaching there, I think.
I feel like I should be more stressed about all this stuff. I lost my job, can't collect unemployment, and may be losing my health insurance at the end of the month (depending on how much COBRA costs) with potential serious issues looming on the horizon. But I'm actually feeling rather confident and calm, which is unusual for me. Guess either the therapy or the medicine, or both have helped.
No word on the biopsies, but I'm not expecting anything until Friday. I do wish the incision sites would heal, though.
Guess that's all for now. Will write more later, I guess.
Posted by Sheryl at 12:37 PM
Monday, June 19, 2006
In my reply to TG's comment two posts down, I detailed the various medical stuff I have endured this year to reassure her I wasn't scared of having a mammogram, just annoyed by yet another test. Well, you can add one more procedure to the list.
Went to the dermatologist today because of the repeated staph infections. She agreed that there is apparently a colony somewhere in my body, and that a month of low-dose antibiotics should knock it out, though she said that until my thyroid is under control (because it apparently messes with your immune system, too), I have to use this special medicinal soap that smells like medicine. Joy.
Anyway, she said that as long as I was there, she might as well check out my moles, since I am fair skinned and living in a climate that was not made for fair skinned people (add to that the fact that I was once young and stupid and didn't wear sunscreen when I should have). Well, she found two that were suspicious. One, I was actually a little concerned about, but the other I didn't think was a problem. Plus she found two more she said have to be closely watched.
So yeah. Add skin biopsy to the list. She said I should have the results by Friday.
Let's see if we can add anything else on Friday. Transvaginal ultrasound, anyone?
Posted by Sheryl at 4:21 PM
Sunday, June 18, 2006
So our pastor took the day off today, and we had the local supply pastor substitute. I don't know if I've written about her before or not, but she is the wife of the pastor of the Disciples of Christ church down the street from mine, and she is the volunteer coordinator and chaplain for one of the local hospice agencies.
Growing up Catholic, I didn't get the chance to hear women preach homilies/sermons (obviously). The first time I actually heard a woman preach was when I took my mom to her church's 150th anniversary service during my last year of college. Her pastor was a woman. She also presided at my mom's funeral, and I was impressed. I was even more impressed with the fact that she remembered me when I ran into her over a year later.
Anyhow, as I was listening to this pastor preach this morning, I was also observing the difference between this pastor and our usual pastor, and I was also comparing the women I've heard preach to the men I've heard, trying to decide if there was a difference based solely on gender.
Well, my conclusion is that there is. But the difference is in style, not substance. The women I've heard preach seem more...animated when they preach. And it isn't really a physical animation; my mom's pastor was physically disabled and couldn't be physcially animated, and I've seen plenty of priests who walked around or were otherwise mobile.
But there is something more...interactive about the way that women preach. There is almost a conversational quality to their sermons that just doesn't seem to be present when men preach. And it's not that they engage the congregation in literal conversation. There is just the sense that they are talking with you instead of to you.
Now granted, my observations are based on a somewhat literal sample, but nonetheless it made me wonder what accounted for the difference. And of course, I have a theory.
I think it all has to do with the difference in the qualities we respect in men and women as a culture. We tend to expect men to be authoritarian and dictatorial ("Wait till your father gets home," is not just a cliche from 1950's sitcoms). In the business world, we call that man a strong leader, or a tough negotiator. We respect that.
Women, on the other hand, are expected to be diplomatic and compromisers (again, "Jimmy, you can kick the ball now, and Freddy will hold it. Then you can hold the ball while Freddy kicks it," - not just a sitcom standard). They are supposed to listen and find a way to make things work that makes everybody happy. Such a woman in the business world is said to be fair, or concerned for her employees.
But when a woman displays those tough, authoritarian qualities, she is not a strong leader or a tough negotiator. She is a witch with a capital "B". Likewise, if a man in business displays characteristics of concern and compromise, he is soft, effiminate, or worse.
So what does this have to do with preaching? A lot. Those qualities we as women (or men) are raised to respect in our own gender and anticipate in the opposite sex carry over into all phases of our lives. And the way we are taught to communicate by observing our parents and other adults in our lives carries over as well. My parents were from that traditional mold, as were most of my teachers (oddly, even the nuns), and I tend to communicate in conversational, non-confrontational ways. I'm sure that's the case with the preachers I've had the opportunity to observe.
Of course, there are exceptions. Boss Lady's parents are very traditional (military dad, stay at home mom), but Boss Lady is anything but non-confrontational. Of course, she hated her parents, so she rebelled, undoubtedly. Boss Lady's Boss, though, is very non-confrontational. She has a much more passive-agressive way of getting results.
Oh, and I don't mean to say that male clergy aren't compassionate - many, if not most, are. They just exhibit in different ways.
I hope this makes sense. I just kind of started emptying my brain into my keyboard, so you are getting the raw theory, not the refined stuff I may come up with later.
I was also contemplating if my life would be different if I had grown up in a religious tradition that ordained women. I think it very well may have been.
I think I wrote about the incident in 4th grade once before. In the parish in which I grew up, 4th grade is the traditional age when kids can become altar servers. Of course, when I was in fourth grade, that would be altar boys. In 1980, the thought of a girl serving at the altar in the diocese of Pittsburgh was ludacrius (I know I spelled that wrong - I just don't care enough to look it up.). That really annoyed me. And not because I wanted some priveledge the boys had; I genuinely wanted to serve at the altar. I had heard priests and my uncles (my dad was a choir boy, so he couldn't be an altar boy as well) talk about how they really learned the mass my doing that, and how they really came to appreciate the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I wanted that.
So when Fr. David Kriss came into our classroom that fateful day, recruiting boys to be altar boys, I raised my hand to ask a question. I asked him why girls couldn't serve. Now, being that bold was out of character for me, but I genuinely wanted to know why they could serve in my mom's church and not in mine, especially if it was such a spiritual experience. He told me that it was because all of Jesus's apostles were men, and because serving at the altar was the first step for preparing boys for priesthood. In my emboldened mood, I replied that my uncles were altar boys, and they didn't become priests, so that didn't make any sense. He finally said that that was just the way it was, and if I didn't accept it, it was a mortal sin. He also said that he would be taking to my father after mass on Sunday. I kept my mouth shut then, because while I may have been unusally confrontational at that point in time, I wasn't stupid. He did talk to my dad, by the way, but my dad ignored him because Dad really, really, didn't like him.
So given that I love Scripture, theology, and liturgy, I wonder if things would have been different if I had grown up in a tradition where women had an active role beyond social outreach and teaching. If I were able to serve at the altar as a girl, see women active in ordained ministry, would I have chosen a different path?
I don't know, but it is something to ponder. And I know it's not toon late to consider that road technically, I think it is too late practically. Besides, I hate philosophy, and I bet I'd have to take a lot more of it.
And on that note, Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow (who said that, anyway?)
Posted by Sheryl at 9:52 PM
Saturday, June 17, 2006
So I was planning to blog yesterday, and I had all kinds of neat things to say. Unfortunately, I fell asleep instead, and all that goodness went flowing out of my head. So instead, I shall write random things until I decide I need to actually get off the couch and do stuff today.
I do have a reason to be so tired, though. It's that time of the every-other-month. Took me by surprise this time. Didn't have any of the usual symptoms. I'm glad, though, that my cycles are slowly getting more normal. It must have been my thyroid that had me so messed up.
I've decided that I am going to pattern my life after what I read in various places. Bear with me as I explain.
I mentioned the the little prayer TG left in my comments earlier this week. Well, later on that same day, I read the same prayer on Amy's blog. I realized then that the Big Guy was trying to tell me something, and I knew I would be OK.
Well, on Thursday I was running an errand. I drove by a new electronic billboard when it had an ad for an OB/GYN group announcing three new associates. Well, I'm sorta kinda five years overdue for my annual exam (yes, yes, I know. I've been yelled at by everyone I know already). So knowing I may not have insurance in July, I decided to take a chance and call them to see if they had any appointments in June. They did. Next week in fact. Now all of you ladies out there know how rare it is to get an appointment that quickly with that kind of doctor unless you suspect you are pregnant. Of course, since I turned 35 this year, it also means it's time for My First Mammogram (tm). Yee Haw.
On that same drive on Thursday, I drove by my church and saw that they had changed the sign message (they put a little message on the signboard outside the church every other week or so. Sometimes it's really profound, other's it's really cliche). This time it said, "Change is inevitable - growth is an option." I rolled my eyes and said aloud, "OK, Big Guy. I get it already."
So I am now basing my life around things I read on signs. Though I'm not really sure about what the sign board for the Caterie Bar is trying to tell me when it says, "$3 Daquairies Sat Annisette." That's a little too cryptic for me.
Posted by Sheryl at 1:18 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
So, I'm going to take a minute to whine because I can.
I've had a bit of a craptastic year. It's June, and I haven't had a single month without a doctor's appointment. My thyroid still isn't regulated, and I'm about to lose my insurance. I know that if it isn't normal next time I see my doctor, she is going to insist on an endocrinologist.
I'm seeing a dermatologist Monday to figure out why I keep getting skin infections. That's probably going to mean several months of medication that I may not be able to afford unless I get a new job right away. I also have a couple moles that she is probably going to say are suspect.
I went to the dentist because I lost a filling and I find out that unless I get a $300 mouth guard, I'm going to grind my teeth right down to the root. Now, unless I get a job with dental insurance, I can't afford to get all the fillings replaced that I need to have replaced.
If I don't have insurance come next month, I need to stop taking the medicne I'm taking for anxiety. Not good timing on that one.
My car needs new shocks and probably new brakes.
I got behind financially in March for a coworker's wedding, and I haven't been able to catch up since. And the beauty of it is that I wasn't even in the wedding. The further beauty of it is that after I was summarily dismissed on Monday, Boss Lady asked her if she had anything she wanted to say, and she announced that I had just been too negative lately and it was a good thing I was leaving.
First, there was no reason for her to be in the room for that. Second, I had just been let go. She did not have to rub salt in the wound. Third, no one in the office was as negative as she is. But, she is being promoted with Boss Lady leaving, and she is feeling a bit of that power going to her head, I think. But I'm sure she'll be complaining about the amount of work she now has to do any time now.
I'm really hating 2006 right now.
Still, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude. The interview I have on Tuesday has a lot of promise, and sounds really interesting. This may end up being the best thing that could have happened to me.
Of course, I could be living under a bridge come August.
Tomorrow, I may share some of the plot of the Great American Novel. Then again, maybe I won't. Someone from Hollywood could happen upon it and steal it. Lord knows they could use an original idea.
I'm officially done whining for the evening. Thank you for your attention.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:07 PM
I suppose it's rather telling that I have slept better the past two nights than I have in the past several weeks. I'm not nearly as stressed as I probably should be. It's amazing what not having to wonder what is going on "behind the scenes" can do for you.
I have an interview on Tuesday. It's for a software company that provides home health software. It's a training position, which I know is one of my strengths, so I think I should do fairly well with it.
My only fear is that Boss Lady will end up working there as well. She has been very secretive about what she plans to do, but I did learn from a coworker that she has been offered several positions, apparently one with a software company. It would figure that that would mess this up for me.
Sigh. If I could afford it, I'd go see my therapist for a "tune-up" visit. I'm finding myself falling into the faulty thinking that failure is my destiny. At least I know it is faulty thinking.
Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, I hate, hate, hate the new Gas-X commercial. No one would ever describe sales as "flatulent," nor would they ever say that their company wouldn't "pass the gas" with Wall Street. Whoever wrote that script should be taken out back and shot. I'm just saying.
Anyway, there is a small, local paper near here that is hiring an entry level reporter. I'm half tempted to send my resume. I'm a little old to be a cub reporter, though. What do you think? Should I do it? It might be fun to write the police blotter for a small town. Who knows? I may even end up on Jay Leno.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:46 AM
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
So I had a good cry last night on the phone with a former co-worker. Got that out of my system. Sent out some resumes that I discovered half an hour ago had an error on them, and error that I didn't catch and that spell check should have caught but didn't (unless porject is a word). Came to terms with the fact that that vendor isn't going to offer me the job he told me was all but mine. Still can't figure out what went wrong.
Spent all day in my pajamas and laying on the couch today. Granted, I woke up with a pounding headache, but still. Started cleaning my apartment.
Thanks to those of you who have left comments. The prayer at the end of TG's comment was one that a professor of our's prayed before every class, and at the beginning of pretty much every meeting he had. It made me cry, because it was exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks, TG, for that.
I guess I'll blog this experience. That way, the blogosphere can be miserable along with me.
Posted by Sheryl at 4:51 PM
Monday, June 12, 2006
Strangely, I'm not upset. Well, I'm not upset beyond being very insecure financially.
Working at that company was becoming a detriment to my health, if I am to be completely honest. I wasn't happy. My skills weren't being fully utilized. And truthfully, I was feeling rather negative about the company lately.
The actual reasons given aren't important (supposed insubordination - no unemployment that way). I could see this coming a mile away, even as I was being told my job was secure. When Boss Lady resigned, the writing was on the wall. It is hard to be a project manager when the person you were managing projects for no longer works for the company.
And thanks to Boss Lady, who I thought was a friend, I may not have the other job with the vendor I wrote about. Even though I broke my back to make his application work because I believe in it.
You know what? I'm not upset. I am angry that I bought into the company line that if you work in corporate, you can't have a life outside of that company. I'm angry at me.
Though I do want to know why she didn't bring up any of this stuff when I had my review two weeks ago. Everything was peachy keen then.
If you happen upon this page and you think about it, say a little prayer for me, please.
Posted by Sheryl at 5:20 PM
Sunday, June 11, 2006
What Color Are You?
WHITES are motivated by PEACE, seek independence and require kindness. They resist confrontation at all costs. (Feeling good is more important than being good.) They are typically quiet by nature, they process things very deeply and objectively, and they are by far the best listeners of all the colors. They respect people who are kind, but recoil from perceived hostility or verbal battle.WHITES need their quiet independence and refuse to be controlled by others. WHITES want to do things their own way, in their own time. They ask little of others, and resent others demanding much of them. WHITES are much stronger than people think because they dont reveal their feelings. WHITES are kind, non-discriminate, patient and can be indecisive, timid, and silently stubborn. When you deal with a WHITE, be kind, accept (and support) their individuality, and look for nonverbal clues to their feelings.
Take this quiz!
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Just thought I'd share...
Posted by Sheryl at 6:03 PM
Saturday, June 10, 2006
So I've had a little more time to process Boss Lady's resignation. And I still don't know what to make of it.
I mean, it's her life, and I'm sure that she is making the right decision for her and her family. But this whole thing feels...weird. I guess part if it is because no one ever thought that BL would resign from this company. She has been amazingly faithful. The company hasn't been faithful to her, however. Less qualified people have been promoted over her, but she has been given more and more projects and responsibility. I can understand the factors that went into her decisions, and I respect her for it.
However, I can't understand why she won't speak to me anymore. Oh, she'll yell at me for things I can't control, or because I misunderstood something she told me to do, but she won't simply be...cordial with me like she still does with everyone else. I don't know what I might have done to piss her off so mightily.
And then, something else must have happened in the last two weeks. When she did my review two weeks ago, we were talking about improving my training in a particular application we use, teaching me to document for audit, and a bunch of other things. She even said that she'd be interested in the same graduate program I'm looking at, and suggested that we start together.
I just don't understand this, and I'm bothered by things I don't understand.
On the other hand, the vendor that I mentioned in my last post all but offered me a job if things don't go well next week. Of course, it would most likely mean moving to Chicago. He asked me how I felt about Chicago when I was talking with him and my response was, "Well, they have a nice bus station." Then I told him I didn't know if I could afford to live in Chicago and he said that there are a lot of affordable neighborhoods.
It would be nice to be able to live somewhere where I can use public transportation again. And it would be nice to have more seasons than warm, hot, really hot, and hell (which we are currently entering - it may hit 100 today).
Of course, it would also mean snow. And cold. And ice.
But I'd get to do training and computer support, which I do like.
Sigh. It's a lot to think about. And I may be reacting for nothing. I just don't know.
Posted by Sheryl at 4:36 PM
Thursday, June 08, 2006
I’m still not sure how to react to this whole Boss Lady leaving thing. I don’t want to think about it, but I have thought of nothing else since yesterday. I’m not worried for her – she’s a grown-up, and making this decision for whatever reason. I am worried for me. I know it’s selfish, but I can’t help it.
See, from what I understand, she has had some concerns about the direction the company is taking. I have to. But she is perched a whole lot higher than me, and can see the things with a different perspective. If she is worried enough to leave, I wonder what she is seeing.
And I really don’t feel particularly secure in my job right now. Who knows? I may not have a job after next week.
You know what I need? I need a man who will let me be a kept woman and finish my novel. Then of course, he will die a mysterious death, I will inherit his millions, and I’ll be a weird, reclusive writer like JD Salinger, and years after my death, people will speculate about my secretive lifestyle. Then some enterprising graduate student will find, among the millions of fish hats I knitted over the years, some unknown, unpublished manuscript that will become the toast of the literary world. A hundred and fifty years from now, instead of saying, “Herman Melville sucks!” millions of high school students, forced to read my work in American literature, will be saying, “Sheryl [insert last name here] sucks!”
I will be immortal.
A girl can dream, right? Right?
Posted by Sheryl at 3:00 PM
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Boss Lady announced her resignation today. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
On the one hand...well, I don't have any hands to count on yet. I'm still in shock.
I suppose I saw something like this coming. She has had a ton of stuff fall upon her shoulders over the course of time, so much so that I don't know what the company is going to do without her. She has been stressed, and she has seemed less than happy over the past month or so. But at the same time, I didn't think she would ever leave this company. She was there in the dark times, and saw the company built up to where it is now. She was always the most passionate person I knew in the company.
Selfishly, I wonder what is going to happen to me now. I know that my major project is being moved to regional people, but I have no idea what is coming next. I really don't have the energy for a job hunt right now, but if I get stuck in the wonderful world of admin work again, I may need to change my perspective on that. I'm pretty sure that one of the vendors I work with closely would offer me a job in a heartbeat if worse came to worse.
Of course, I won't know anything until the big boss talks with us individually next week. I may be worrying for nothing, or I may be out of a job. Yeah, prolonging the agonly for someone with an anxiety disorder is always a good thing.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:40 PM
Sunday, June 04, 2006
So. Lots to say, maybe.
First, TG wrote a very empathetic comment to my last post. And you know, this whole career thing just gets to something deeper. I'm going to be all controversial now. Just wanted to warn you.
You know, various sources keep talking about how important it is that everyone go to college. Well, you know what? Not everyone needs a four year degree. There I said it. By insisting that everyone have a Bachelor's degree, we've made jobs that used to require a high school diploma require a BA or BS. Then of course, jobs that required a BA or BS now require a Master's.
Part of the problem is that vocational education has virtually disappeared. It used to be that you could come out of high school with the beginnings of a trade. You could take office skills classes, or plumbing, or, in some districts (Pittsburgh included), cosmetology, or whatever. But, thanks to cuts in funding, vocational education has all but gone the way of the dodo.
Now, instead, every organization on earth is telling average students that they have to go to college. As a result, college classes have been watered down, and a bachelor's degree isn't what it used to be.
That's all I'm going to say about that. You can tell me what a horrible person I am in the comments.
I'm not going to say as much as I though I was going to say, but I will say this. The Big Guy has a way of making sure you hear what you need to hear when you need to hear it. The sermon at church this morning, in a nutshell, was all about trusting God to be God and letting the Holy Spirit work though you. I need to hear that. I've been trying to manipulate the Big Guy, and make Him over in my image instead of the other way around. But, "letting go and letting God," as the cliche says, is a lot easier said than done.
Oh, and I guess I gave up on the professor a little too soon. Got an e-mail from him today.
Posted by Sheryl at 6:27 PM
Friday, June 02, 2006
…for the depressing posts lately. I’m just going through a desert period, I guess. I feel useless at work, uncreative at home, and just generally like a useless lump of flesh.
I really wish that people would recognize what I am capable of doing. I seem to be getting shoved back into an administrative role because we don’t have anyone else to fill that role. I’m not complaining…much. I don’t mind taking on my fair share of those responsibilities.
But honestly? They bore me. I lose interest, my attention wanders, and I’m not an effective employee. It’s just like being in elementary school again, except I can’t read ahead in my reader or sneak a book inside my desk.
I just wish that they (the powers that be, I mean) would give me an assignment some time that would actually utilize skill I have, instead of giving that to other people. I have experience in designing and writing training materials. I’ve done more work with PowerPoint than I care to admit. You need research done, I’m your person. I actually enjoy it.
But I don’t get that kind of stuff. I get to pull staff spreadsheets, and mess around with numbers (which I hate) and all that stuff. Then, when I make a mistake with some numbers (a mistake I made in September, by the way, that nobody caught until two days ago), I get chewed out. I can’t help it I don’t know case mix values off by heart. I don’t work with them. They people who do saw the chart repeatedly since September, but nobody seems to have seen that.
I have this overwhelming fear that I am going to be fired for that even though I have no way of knowing if it was my fault or not (the programming problem, not the error). Is it rational? Probably not.
Well, guess I’ll get back to the wonderful world of…whatever it is that I’m doing.
Posted by Sheryl at 11:11 AM
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I really hope I'm as down as I am because I'm hormonal. Otherwise, I might be worried about myself.
With any luck, I'll...have something happen this weekend, and I'll be back to my old, charming, snarky self by Monday.
Well, make that Tuesday. Monday I have to go to the dentist.
I really, really, hope so, anyway.
And if I get ambitious tomorrow, maybe I'll tell you the story of the giant's thumbs.
Posted by Sheryl at 4:41 PM