Friday, May 28, 2010

Oh, that Eli.

Eli thinks everything I say is wrong and must be tested. So yesterday I was on the floor, ironing out the fabric I'm using for Paul's baptism pants. I explicitly told Eli not to touch the iron, that it was hot and would burn him. Remember that he is five years old in one month and completely able to understand everything I told him. I got up and left the room, leaving the iron sitting up next to the fabric, and when I came back the iron was down (luckily it has a safety shutoff). I picked it up, waited for it to re-heat, and began moving the fabric.

Eli walked in, looking very sad and upset, and immediately began harassing me about why I owned an iron. "You shouldn't have bought that thing! What do you need it for? Why do they even exist? Why don't you get rid of it!" I noticed he was cradling his left hand, put that all together with the iron being moved, and asked "Did you touch the iron? Did it burn you?"

With tears in his eyes, he denied it all. A little later I was making him a snack and noticed again how sad he looked and how he was cradling his left hand. I said "Show me your hand," but of course he wouldn't. I finally got him to open it, and of course there's a small burn near the top of his palm. I got him an ice pack and then began interrogating him. Eli has a huge problem with confessing his wrongdoings, so I usually try pretty hard to get it out of him.

"How did you hurt your hand?"

"I was playing outside and I fell and hurt it."

"No you didn't. That's a burn, not a scrape."

"I was playing outside and the sun got so hot it burned my hand."

"No, it didn't. The sun would have burned your whole body, too. Did you touch my iron and get burned?"

"Noooooooooooooo! I don't remember!"

At this point he melted down, crawled into my lap and sobbed. We went and laid down on my bed together until he calmed down.

D was finally able to elicit a very petulant confession much later in the evening. I am going to milk this incident for all I can in terms of reminding him that many times I am correct in what I tell him and that he can potentially get hurt if he disobeys my instructions. This is why he is never taken to the Grand Canyon - can you imagine? "Eli, don't go near that cliff."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I'm tired. Composing anything more than a few sentences exhausts me. yet here I go...

D started the new job. It's fairly fascist in its employee management practices. He's 50/50 on it as of now.

I have 1/3 of the shade trellis built and planted. Since we have no A/C I need to block where the most heat builds up in the house, and in summer the sun just beats through one set of windows. So I'm building fairly cheap trellises and growing runner beans and other climbing crops up in front of them.

We did take advantage of the one-week gap in employment and took a small trip. We went to San Diego, stayed in a HOTEL (not a common vacation practice for us), and went to the Wild Animal Park, the Zoo, Coronado Island and the science museum. There was soooo much more we could have done, but just not enough time. We might do this again, it was so much fun.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Makin' It Work

Unless another job offer pops up by the end of today, D is going to accept the offer. He said it was the weirdest interview process he's ever been through. They wouldn't even tell him what he's going to be doing or who he'll be working with, which makes us think there's ether a BIG SECRET or they just don't have the new hires sorted out yet. Obviously we are hoping for super-interesting top secret amazing fancy-pants new product development, but the more likely scenario is that it will be a little more boring than that. D has talking been on the phone like a teenage girl all weekend - "What did they say to you? Did they say anything about so-and-so? Did they make you an offer? Are you going to take it? What about so-and so, did you talk to him?"

The biggest problem is that the job is twelve miles away. Laughable, I know, but we are spoiled. For the past 8 years, D has always come home for lunch. For five years, we lived TWO miles away from his work - he walked to work when the temperatures were nice. Twelve miles means no more lunches at home. If the job turns out to be something he wants to stay at, we'll consider moving to Santa Ana, where the job is. There's a K-5 school with an immersion program three miles from the new job, and if we could find a decent place to rent in one of Santa Ana's good neighborhoods (I won't lie to you, it has some bad ones) we would have ourselves a new adventure of sorts. But all of that is yet another giant "maybe."

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Incestuous World of Storage

For the last three years D has been working in what's called "storage," meaning data storage and accessibility. It's a small, small world and due to the constant shifting tides of employment pretty much everybody knows and has worked with somebody else at pretty much any other company in the biz. I mentioned that D's soon to be ex-boss has been shopping the team around and she has already lined up a mass interview today at noon. There were 26 people in the email she sent out, so the interviews are going to take all day.

BUT, this is not a company D wants to work for. The scuttlebutt he has heard is that they are a sweatshop, with long overtime hours (unpaid, because he'll be salaried) and frequent weekend sessions (also unpaid). He has also heard that they are cheap in regards to the tools and equipment they will buy (which is probably part of why they work overtime - inefficient tools and not enough to go around). BUT he has no desire to burn bridges and he is open-minded, so he dutifully filled out paperwork last night and went on the prowl for a 24-hour Kinko's so he could fax them in (our scanner is on the blink), and will go to the epic interviews today. We may be saved by the fact that D is a bit expensive, so this company might not want him anyway. OR the scuttle may be all wrong, they may be great and end up a perfect fit. All I know is that I want D to ENJOY what he does again, and I don't want to get too much poorer.

There is another possibility. D immediately contacted his former boss, of whom we are so very very fond, and began networking any paths found there. Then D contacted a sales rep for a company whose products he really enjoyed working with, told him he wanted to work with their stuff again, and did they know anybody using their stuff who was hiring? They were very enthusiastic about passing on D's resume to a local company they had nothing but good to say about, with the promise that they would really talk him up (Like I said, D really liked collaborating with these folks). So something may come of that. Or, he could go work for Intel in Folsom, which would at least be a new place and a bit of an adventure (plus I have family there!). They have a position open that is pretty much a perfect match for him.

Update: The first company made him an offer, good until Monday. No pressure, right? Ha!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Loveliest Love Song

I think I'm in love with Mike & Ruthy. Go to their website and listen to song number two, "All the Time," on the little player at the bottom of the home page:

I want to learn to play it, along with song seven "Beg and Borrow."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's Over. And It's Begun.

D's last day is May 19th. Until then he exists in a weird sort of limbo - no work to do, but he still has to show up. Severance is two months' pay, and COBRA is paid for two months. Right now, for me at least, it just feels like freedom. I'm not scared yet, in fact D has made me feel very safe and confident. Apparently Hitachi hired a billboard truck to cruise up and down the street between his office and Western Digital's local facility, advertising that they are hiring.

D's going to start sending out resumes this week and has even requested a cell phone (he hasn't had once since Paul was born) for the job-searching process. What's nice is that he doesn't have to feel frantic and accept the first job that comes along. If he finds a job he likes, he'll ask to start in two weeks, then we'll pull Paul out of school and have a mini-adventure somewhere. Too bad Mexico just isn't safe; that would be fun.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Back to Business

D's business, that is.

Today the buyer was announced - it is a competitor who will almost certainly have no need for D's team. We are in good spirits. The sale should be completed in roughly 30 days and then the stock money is ours, plus there is talk that the severance packages may be three months' pay instead of just two. We'll see. There are oodles of local jobs for D, and his current managers are actually collecting the team's resumes, because they have been quietly shopping the entire team around to new employers. Apparently there is quite a bit of interest from the companies they have begun pitching to. So we are just going to ride it out and see what happens.

Our realtor checked out the Modjeska probate house for us and based on her report we aren't going to bother looking at it unless the price continues free-falling. Among its other problems, there is a hostile tenant who will not give up occupancy of the garage. There's a really, really nice house that just came up in Silverado but it's $390k, well above our self-imposed $350k cap AND it's a short sale so they are probably not interested in low offers. As always, anything under the cap is un-financeable, and anything over the cap is simply too much money.

I have my last day of class tomorrow, and my final next week. I really hope he gives us our point totals tomorrow, it would be nice to know if I have a solid A or am in the neighborhood of a B. Oh, the horror.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Well, They Were Funny to Me

Unintentional license plate humor time!

E goes to preschool with the child of a lovely woman who I don't know as well as I should, but I am inclined to like. She runs a kind of recreational day camp for kids. Her car has advertisements on it for her business. Her license plate says:


It is so openly blunt about the fact that she runs a business for money. I adore it and it makes me chuckle every single time I see it. I would never have a license plate that blunt. I am in awe.

I was behind a truck at a red light. It was a window-washing company truck, covered in graphics and advertising the business' phone # and website. The license plate said:


Which, to me, does NOT translate to "I do windows." I was glad it was a long red light because the laughing took a while to subside.

Friday, May 07, 2010

More planting, More Time-Wasting.

Moving more seedlings out, planting more seeds. I am a Jenny-come-lately this year. I finally planted the flour corn, some lima beans, chia, and red quinoa. I made a lettuce planter to keep on the back patio, in partial shade, and yesterday I scattered purple carrot and French breakfast radish seeds in the empty spaces.

We're going to look at another house on Monday. It's in Modjeska. It's a probate sale with a reverse mortgage on it, AND it's a fixer so it won't qualify for traditional financing. But it's 1900 sf on an 8k lot, so it's worth at least looking at. The pictures are atrocious. They keep slashing the price and it's down to $299k now, plus they say, "Make us an offer!" right in the listing. However, if they get much lower then the reverse mortgage will render it a short sale. Could it be any more complicated? Soooooo, I am actually not tremendously hopeful about it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Almost There...

Phew! The worst and busiest part of the spring is over (I hope).

Anniversary Party: Have I already vowed not to throw any more big parties? Because now I solemnly vow. I can't handle it. No more than 20 invites from here on out.

Grand Canyon: several kinds of awesome. We (Me, D, Paul and Carl W) hiked the South Kaibab trail down to Bright Angel campground and slept there the first night. The weather going in was ca-razy, snow and light hail and cooooold wind, but we knew it would warm up as we lost elevation and we had DRIVEN THERE DAGNABBIT so we went in. The light hail kept up on and off, with a few sneaky patches of warm, warm sun that lasted just long enough that we finally removed our jackets, only to have the weather say "Psych!" and switch back to cold and hail again. It rained a bit at Bright Angel but then turned into a very pleasant night. We had awful, awful cocoa at Phantom Ranch and Paul filled out the special Phantom Ranch Junior Ranger booklet, got sworn in as a Junior Ranger and got a super snazzy rattlesnake patch that you can only get down at the bottom of the canyon:
The next day we hiked up to Indian Garden and slept there that night. Paul got a little whiny because it was uphill, but we tried various mind games and were finally able to trick him into beating us all to camp. After setting up camp we hiked out to Plateau Point, which is out on the edge of the Tonto Plateau and offers a mind-blowing view of the inner canyon and the Colorado River. We cooked dinner out there and enjoyed the sunset, which was a little too cloudy to be perfect but still ranked very high on the awesomeness scale.

The hike out was awful but climbing 3000 feet in 4.5 miles usually is! The weather was mostly perfect though, nothing like last year when it rained, hailed and snowed on us for pretty much the whole day. Our Jedi mind tricks worked like a charm on Paul and he was the first to the top, as usual.

I'm so glad Carl was able to come with us. I know the hike was hard, but it was so much fun spending time with him again and I think (hope) he had a great time overall.