Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've been tagged!

Thanks to one of my readers/readees I've been tagged to list eight random things about myself. 1.) I hate corn. It’s my kryptonite. I can eat the bottom out of a bag off buttery popcorn. I tolerate added corn to other dishes such as breads or casseroles. I hate corn itself. BLAH. As a child my grandfather had a garden that we were forced, whipped, slaved into had to help him harvest. From cutting it down, shucking it, and silting it, we did this summer after summer after endless summer. I hate corn.

2.) I use to bar tend. Not many people in my current life are privy to my past. While serving in the Marine Corps I moonlighted as a bartender…. in a strip club. I had to wear a full tuxedo minus the coat tails and still made more at the bar than the naked chics grinding on the pole! Not to mention I had quite a bit of information about my superiors from that place so it made my last two years in much easier. One of many lives I’ve lived.

3.) I have a sunglasses fetish. Every store I pass that has sunglasses on display is sure to get my business. At any given time I will have 4-5 pair in my Jeep. What…I need backup!
4.) I watch Sponge Bob and Back To The Barnyard on Nickelodeon. Even when my kids aren’t home!

5.) I make my kids say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am. It’s a dying discipline in this world, but I firmly believe that when my kids are older they will appreciate it. Any kid that says yes ma’am and no ma’am are aces in my book. It shows respect and manners. Whether they mean or not, they at least know its value.

6.) I love chocolate. Chocolate is my antidote for corn (See #1).

7.) Little People scare me. I’m not prejudiced, just phobic. I have a fear of clowns too so add a clown suit to a little person and I’ll dig my own grave.

8.) I’m a masochist. I work at a job I hate and work harder than everyone around me just to keep it. I know, it’s a sad disease I am trying to find a new job cure for. Chocolate can’t help on this one.

Now...who to send this to?

Ok, so the tag rules are as follows: Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged and to read your blog.

New Store

Signature Iron Designs has moved its showroom and the online store is up and running! I may be biased since this is my big brother's handiwork, but he does a fantastic job! All the designs he has can be customized to suit your needs. My sister-in-law oversees the rest of the business and will make sure you get what you want. I'm ordering a dekravent designed with my flare for the south and culture of Louisiana as the theme. I'll post a picture once it's installed. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday: Back to Work

Today is a perfect day for writing the elevator shaft scene...oh wait, I don't have an elevator here! I hate Mondays.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daytime Drama

Have you ever watched the daytime soaps and realized how easy it is for the characters to be written off the show? Well, I am now applying this method to my day job. I've decided to write people off of this daytime drama, hence the Angel of Death mode I go into when they get on my bad side.

I don't work in a two-story building to push them off of or have an elevator shaft I can throw them down, but I have some other plot twist that will lead them to their own demise. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I lost an appendage

I lost an appendage today. The cool weather has caused some chaos in my home as the boys (Doug and Nix) like to run wild outside while I have my morning coffee. I took my last sip, called the boys inside and snuggled with Bam, my youngest son, to wake him. My oldest gathered his things and we headed out the door to drop him off at school. I got back to the house, opened the garage door, and low and behold the boys are sitting IN the garage. How the hell did they open the door to get in there?

I shooed them back inside and proceeded to get dressed for work. Out of habit I leave my bedroom slider door open so the boys can do their morning business while I'm getting ready. Only this morning they decided to take off out of the back yard. There's a whole big enough on one side of the fence that they apparently squeezed through to escape. I had Bam inside and couldn't just take off on a chase so I yelled for them. Nothing. I yelled again threatening to leave the TV on day time soaps. Still nothing.

Damn dogs. I finished getting dressed, loaded the Jeep with Bam and all his goodies, and took a drive around the neighborhood to see if I could find them. Nothing. Cursing them under my breath and praying they were okay, I went by the house to see if they came back. Opening the garage I saw them sitting there, tongues hanging out, tails wagging--well, Nixon's tail at least. How the hell did they get back in?! Whatever, they were home and I had half a mind to lock them both in the pokey. That's the cage we had for Doug as a pup when he would try to eat his way out of the house. Now they use it as a safe haven from me when they do things like this morning.

Securing the two heathens inside-no, I didn't lock them up-I headed back out to get my day started. I dropped Bam off at his grandma's, stopped for gas, and reached for my cell phone to check messages. No phone. My hand searched every nook and cranny of my purse, Jeep, and pockets. No phone. I was already 7 minutes late and didn't have a valid excuse to run back home to get it. As soon as I reached my office, I called to check my messages, logged on to VZ to see if I had any texts, and called my husband to let him know I was without my convenient connection to life today. It's sad how easily I have become attached to such a small piece of technology. My hand is twitching and I keep looking in my purse thinking it's there, but other than that I'm coping.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catching The Phrase

Today's catch phrase: "Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show", and restated on one of my favorite movies, "The Shining" when Jack sticks his head through the bathroom door he had just chopped open).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Interview Schminterview

I'm not feeling all that great about the interview yesterday. As soon as I walked out I started over analyzing the entire 35 minutes. My conclusion? I'll tell you at the end. First let me go over some of the pitfalls of the diabolical mess I walked into yesterday.

The interview was AT the county jail. Not in an office close by, or even at the Viera courthouse where I thought pretrials took place. See, the job I applied for is a CJ Officer position that handles pretrial release. An overview of the job: within 24 hours of arrest a person must be seen by a judge. On an average day 75-100 people are brought in to the jail which could cause for some long days/nights for the one or two judges that work the court at the jail. Oh yeah, there's a whole corridor of offices that surround a court room just for this purpose which makes it convenient for the justice process to happen in a timely manner. Or at least the beginning of it. In order to keep the working hours to a norm, there are 6-8 officers that pre screen the arrested to see if they need to be seen by a judge (felony/2nd misdemeanor/etc.) or if they can just be processed and released.

There I was, seated in the little office with no windows, cinder block walls, and one ominous metal door that had to be unlocked to enter, and locked once entered. I'm not a claustrophobic person, but finding an escape route became my immediate priority. I met with two people, (A) the person that would hopefully be my boss, and (B) the person that seemed most likely to hire me as we had much more in common.

Person (A) did all the question asking. The questions were pretty general...if you were used to the environment they worked in! Here's some of the Q & A's that I've been over analyzing the past 24 hours.

The very first question asked:
Q: What is a felony?
A: A crime that constitutes more than a year in prison; shooting someone is a felony.
Analysis: You idiot! They know this, they wanted to hear the definition, not a description!

Q: If someone came in that had perpetrated against you or someone you know, how would you handle them?
A: I would likely be biased in my judgement and report the situation to my direct supervisor so they could assign someone else to the case.
Analysis: Damn good answer! I was honest and showed fairness in my judgement--I was also eyeing the door at this point wondering if anyone on the other side had a key.

Q: In the event of an arrested or inmate becoming rowdy or even in the event of a hostage situation, how do you think you would react?
A: I've never been in a hostage situation so I couldn't be sure of my reaction. I've been able to handle other crisis' and keep a level head.
Analysis: I should have brought up scenarios that I was trained for in the Corps! The only difference, I was carrying a rifle or 9mm then so I had a little more say in the outcome! In my mind I was kicking and screaming at the door by this point.

Q: How do you handle stress?
A: I go home at the end of the day, have a cigarette and maybe a glass of wine, and let it go.
Analysis: Why do they need to know that I smoke? I don't smoke during the day, usually only when I'm having a few drinks with friends as I've worked very hard on disciplining my bad habit, yet I put it out there as a crutch/cure for stress??? What the hell is wrong with me?! Now I was thinking of having a cigarette.

Q: How do you handle depression?
A: I go home at the end of the day, have a cigarette and maybe a glass of wine, and let it go.
Analysis: Dumb ass.

Q: What type of people do you have a hard time working with?
A: I work well with most people as I'm a very non-confrontational person. If there is a problem with an individual I like to compromise and find a solution.
Analysis: Bullshit. I'm known as the angel of death at my current job (Shut up Rayna). If there's someone I don't like I make it known and take every opportunity to show their weakness. My hubster said people should coat their office doors with lambs blood when I'm around! I really don't hunt people down to point them out, it takes a true moron or jackass that is down right rude to get my dark side showing. So in my defense, I really am non-confrontational (I was ready to start digging a tunnel through the linoleum after this question).

The rest of the Q & A's were pretty standard as far as "standard" goes. I was a little nervous going in as the person before me wore a suit and carried a brief case. I was more nervous coming out as the person after me also wore a suit and carried a briefcase. I wore dark grey slacks, a royal blue lace camisole with a taupe wrap long sleeve over it, my matching suede half-boots, and carried my yellow KVZ purse and planner. Don't get me wrong, I looked and felt good, but with 24 hours to analyze EVERY aspect of the interview...I'd like to erase yesterday and try again.

Oh well, if I don't get the call I know why; if I do get the call I'll over analyze their reasoning for hiring me. Either way I've thought about it too much!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kicking it up a notch

It's hump day, and in my book that means finishing off the week a day early so I can prepare for my interview on Friday. I'm actually a little nervous. I jumped out of my chair and over my desk (clumsily over my desk!) when I received the phone call for the interview. I'm still ecstatic and almost anxious to get there and see what the job entails--besides the basic description they give you. I'm positive of my qualifications, and have the documentation to back it up, but am I really ready to take that step? Am I ready to leave a job I've known for four years to move into a field I've only studied? It's time to kick it up a notch and get my degree's worth. I know this. I know I have what it takes, and I know it's time to move on to more challenging adventures, but damn if I'm not scared.

What is your dream job?

How would you prepare for the interview?

What is a must DO for an interview?

What is a huge DON'T for an interview?

I'll post a post-interview blog on Friday. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

Today we celebrate our Veterans, and remember those that died fighting for our country. I have the great honor of knowing some of the most wonderful people who are veterans.

My grandfather was an Airborne Ranger in WWII. He was MIA in enemy territory for months until he was taken in by a family in France that was eventually able to get him to the American Embassy. He died at the tender age of 91 with little said about his time over seas, but left me a box full of memories I continue to piece together to reveal the harsh reality he faced.

My biological father served as a Marine during the Vietnam conflict. He too speaks little of what happened during his time there, and has since moved on with life.

My step-father served in the NAVY. No war occurred during his service time, which gave him ample opportunity to get into trouble. A spider monkey in a utility closet during inspection rings a bell. Oh the stories he has are going to make into one of my books some day!

My uncle, my step-dad's partner in crime, served in the Army at the same time...getting into the same kind of trouble. These two are what the comedy black and whites were modeled after!

My father-in-law served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He was one of the few that served at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir--otherwise known as the Frozen Chosen. Some may remember Chesty's quote as they sat surrounded by the Chinese and Korean troops: "We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." My father-in-law says very little about his time overseas.

My husband and I met while serving in the Marine Corps. Ours was a forbidden love that I will also write about some day. He served many oversea operations and got out in 2000. I served through 2001 and was recalled after 9/11 to served through 2002. We were finally married in June of that year after I came home. Our oldest son was just turning 4 then and was in our wedding; the following year he thought we were going to have another party like our wedding to celebrate our anniversary! That should be the way we celebrate, but who can afford it annually?!

Many of our friends still serve in the military, all branches, and we are very proud of them. My thanks and prayers are with all those who have served, are serving, and the families that sacrifice to support them. Our government is not perfect, but our military is the reason we have the freedom and rights to screw it up. Remember that when you sit down for supper, kneel down for prayer, and lay down to sleep tonight.

Have you hugged your veteran today? Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to...USMC

Today marks the 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. To learn about the traditions and life of our Marines go HERE. Happy Birthday to my fellow Marines, past and present. I'm proud to be part of the few.

Semper Fi

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Writer's Block

In an effort to keep my momentum going for the NaNoWriMo I am looking for ways to overcome the infamous "writer's block". Post your ideas on how to defeat the beast and I'll post as I go on what works the best. Think of me as the mythbuster for writers! I love that show. Good luck to everyone entering a contest this month, and to "those" people who finish their manuscripts and are ready to submit them. When I say "those" I mean you people that suck because I'm back to chapter three on a complete rewrite!

Ideas anyone?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Boss Is A Staple Whore

You read it right, my boss is a staple whore. I'm a writer at heart, but my paying job title is OPTIC Manager. That stands for a whole mess of things ranging from Purchasing, Shipping, Inventory, Customer Service, Complaint Department, Resident Biotch, etc.

Part of my job requires her approval on a crap load of paperwork that I PAPER CLIP together. The reason for this is because I have to fax and scan these to our customers/vendors. It makes my life easier to be able to do this via the top shelf of the copier/fax which doesn't like staples. Inevitably, my staple whore boss staples them after approval leaving me to remove the staples (without ripping the pages) in order to keep my routine and organization in tact. It's subject to my sanity so stay with me.

Not only does she staple everything that passes over her desk, but she also rants and raves when her stapler runs out of staples. I'm talking major war path. Staples in her stapler is like crack in the pipe to an addict. She's aware of her problem and has agreed to join staplers anonymous.

What's your "day job" and are there any staple whores or paper Nazis??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Latest WIP

Here's a snippet of one of my Work In Progress: Walk On The Dark Side (not the official title)

The night sky glittered with spirits as they rose from the depths of their resting places. The plane between life and death was open at different moments in time for all spirits to pass through freely. Dead walked among the living. In turn, the living could walk among the dead, though few ever did. Sage was living. She was an empath. She was also a walker. Easily termed such, walkers were able to walk between planes, walk through time—though only present and past, never future—and sometimes walk through hell. Many with this gift did not accept it as a reality, only a dream, which made it harder for Sage to live a normal life in everyone else’s reality.
In her reality witches and warlocks were her neighbors, fairies and gnomes were more than garden accessories, and the boogie man did not live under her bed or in her closet. He lived in the blue house with grey trim just down the street. In her reality she saw things others refused to see.

So what are you working on today/this week?