Sunday, March 21, 2010

I've Been Here Before

6am - the pain throbbing at my temples, radiating down the back of my neck. Oh, it's late this morning, normally it happens around 3 or 4 am. The headache has returned. I drag myself out of bed and stumble in a pain filled haze to the bathroom and grab my pills. Swallow a couple and jump up and down hoping that they clear my esophagus before I lay down again.

Once, I woke up in Seattle with a blistering headache and took two Aleve and laid right back down. They apparently didn't make it all the way down to my stomach and I woke up an hour later with what felt like a hole burning through my chest. It turns out that is what was really happening. A trip to the emergency room and lesson learned, you must let any pill or food clear into your stomach, it's not instantaneous and gravity plays a role. Aleve is nasty stuff, I try to avoid it now. Tylenol with Codeine is much better.

8am - Frustration - just get up and do something, there is so much to do.

10am - Oh goodie, I can take another pill. The headache continues to throb and I'm driven back to bed. Dena gives my neck a little massage and tells me to stay put. I lay in bed for about 3 minutes my mind whirling with things I have to do and want to do. Paint my table, clean the garage, plant tomatoes, buy Vitamin B for root growth and on and on the list goes. I'm practically vibrating in the bed my mind is whirling so fast. I've almost leaped out of bed 3 times before it hits me.....I've been here before, many times. I'm not sure I could ever relax even in pain. It's a tension headache says the doctor and my chiropractor, yoga, relaxing would all help. I just can't help it and out of bed I go....

Friday, March 19, 2010

US Citizenship Update #2

Well, I believe the last time I spoke about this I had decided to go ahead with the whole US Citizenship thing. I've filed my request with the FOIA people (Freedom of Information Act) which is really just the USCIS (Immigration), so it makes no sense, but, hey, it's government. At first my request was 10,000 out of 12,763 on Track 2, which basically means, it will never happen. Since then two letters have arrived, the first requesting an affidavit of my signature and that the request was really mine, which I had provided via email and a notarized signature, but alas, it wasn't real paper.... The second letter was to inform me of the receipt of the notarized affidavit and they moved my Track to track 2. This is much speedier and as of yesterday I am 1157 out of 2211. There appears to be hope.

I think they just put you in track 1 until you provide all the paperwork they want. Once I get this all squared away I can move on to step one in the US Citizenship naturalization process. I've looked online and it appears that the wait period (aka back log) in Los Angeles right now is five months. Maybe this long term goal will be accomplished by Christmas 2010?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Feel So Sorry for This Book

I admit it, I'm a book lover. I'm sure that it was my Mom that instilled this love of books, not sure how, maybe because she bought almost every Little Golden children's book out there or maybe because she read to me all the time. It could have been because I was an only child for 10 years so an escape into make believe was a good way to keep the loneliness at bay. One of my favorite things to do is wander around Barnes & Noble or Borders books and browse, imagine, touch and ultimately buy something new.

When I first started working at my new job I realized I was right across from the LA Central Public Library. I was very excited. An entire building full of books, the ultimate collection. The 2nd day I went over and signed up for a library card. I'd never had one in Los Angeles before. Hope sprang eternal of all the possibilities. These were soon dashed as I made several forays into the depths looking for this specific book or that. Being a geek, one has needs, very specific and timely needs for research and constant learning. I prefer getting that from an actual book rather than an e-book or PDF.

Each time I went to the library they were out of the book I wanted and the books they did have were very out of date. At one point I even donated some of my older technical books to augment their collection. Today I tried again and was thrilled they had the specific book I was looking for. I practically ran down 2 flights of stairs afraid someone would beat me to it. There it was, sitting on the shelf, the dirty old book in the picture. Dare I touch it? It was filthy and looked as if it was left in the rain for a week the pages were so curled. I did check it out but only after I made the librarian make a note of its condition. After reaching my office I clorox wiped the hard cover, twice and washed my hands several times. Black, each time. It's sad that a book be treated so unfairly but I suppose its nice that it has a home rather than being burned in some Fahrenheit 401 reincarnation.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Republican View of the Unemployed

Here is an excerpt from a CNN news article regarding unemployment and why or why shouldn't this new jobless benefit bill be signed into law, taken from Matt Smith, CNN reporter's article listed below:

And former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, another Republican, said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that keeping benefits coming "keeps people from going and finding jobs."
"There's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out," said DeLay, who resigned from Congress in 2006 and is awaiting trial on a money-laundering charge in his home state of Texas.

That just pisses me off. For those of you that don't remember, Tom Delay is the Indicted ex-House Majority Leader (R), indicted for campaign finance fraud he was also accused of ethics violations in 2005. He solved that problem pretty quickly by making it the first order of business for the 109th Congress to gut the House Ethics Committee.

Again, I am amazed that politicians and Washington are so out of state with the actual public. yes, those of us who are middle class and losing ground on a constant basis. Are they not aware that unemployment is at an all time high in many states and frankly, under reported. When they say unemployment is at 12% that just means those that are still collecting. That doesn't mean the 1000's that have gone back to school, thus losing their benefits, or the 10's of 1,000's that can no longer collect because they were laid off at the beginning of this free fall. Some say it could and probably is double 12%. When companies pull an ad off the web after only 24 hours because they got 1000 resumes what does that tell you? When a company interviews candidates, even has second interviews, then decides that they are not going to fill that job after all, what does that tell you?

Do they really actually think that the unemployed are sitting around happy as clams for collecting a maximum of $475 a week? I got news for you, $475 a week in Los Angeles gets you NO WHERE. When car insurance is usually $2000 a year, plus food, mortgage or rent and you must have internet now or you can't shop for a job, that leaves you with nothing except to reach for your 401k provider phone # and cash in. I urge you to write your elected official, send them an email and set them on the right path. Tell them your story and tell them to get their heads out of their private jets, first class seats, limos and tuxedos and get down in the mud like the rest of us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life Just Gets So Busy

Sometimes I just get so focused on all my tasks that I don't even think beyond the daily and nightly list. This means there is no free thinking which means nothing to blog about. With Dena being out of work and the financial and emotional pressures that unemployment brings I've developed a new mantra. I say it every morning, "just keep moving". I know that if I just keep moving that eventually it will get better, right? Keep doing the list, keep brainstorming ideas, keep learning, keep moving forward, no matter how slowly and something will pop.

This reminds me of when I had finally had enough of the uncertainty at Mitel that I started my tree mantra. You start slowly by shaking trees, keep shaking and eventually the fruit will fall out in abundance. This bore out quite true with my landing at my current job. Shaking trees to me means touching base with all your contacts, researching and searching ideas, jobs and companies on the internet, developing new business ideas and basically just shaking trees.

So, for the past few months I've been living the "just keep moving" life.
Let's just keep moving and hope we move along to something better!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Left Brain vs Right Brain

I'm definitely a left brain and Dena is a right brain.

I thought you'd get a kick out a few interesting traits about left brained people:
Left brains are seen as "smarter" and tend to be:
- analytical,
- logical,
- sequential
They do things in the "proper" order and feel there is a proper order.
They tend to do well in reading, writing, speech and math. These subject areas have "sequential rules" and they respond to this. Lefts also naturally evaluate what's wrong and why it won't work. They are sensitive to flaws of self and others almost to the point of not being able to accept a person because of their flaws. They tend to not see the whole person but the flaw(s). The world is linear to them. The left-brained person doesn't see the end result and needs to go through the steps, one-by-one and sees the big picture when all the little steps are completed.

Right Brain Traits
Right brains are honored in eastern cultures more than western. They are seen as less smart because of the manner in which they process information. Rights don't go from Point A to Point B. Right brains don't like to listen to directions and don't like to read them. They scan quickly and figure out what to do without reading details. Reading directions carefully is a detailed activity for the left-brain.

How Rights Learn
Rights think and learn in visual, kinesthetic and audio images. They don't memorize well and need to visualize a picture so they can recall the facts. Abstract math is often not brain compatible. Their thoughts are frequently in code and they may have bizarre images in night dreams leaving them confused as to what they mean. When right brains talk to you, they look at you while listening and look away to the left when answering a question. This is a brain shift from one side to another. This is not a sign of fabrication. They are listening with one side and now switch over for the response. They are not creating an answer in an attempt to deceive.

Word Association
On a spelling test, a right brain hears the word "dog." Their mind wanders to the thought of the neighbor's dog which barked most of the night, that reminds them of the fact that the neighbors are in the Bahamas, which takes them to an island with palm trees and sandy beaches, which reminds them that they need a bathing suit for this weekend, which reminds them that they will need to take spending money... Teacher says, "Word #7 is house." Student raises hand and asks what word #6 was. They've checked out for a while.

Which brain are you?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

To My Sister

We have something special
that belongs to you and me--
A deeper understanding
that we share instinctively,
A trusting kind of friendship
other people rarely share,
A way of always knowing
when the other needs us there...

We have something special,
and no matter what we do,
whether talking, lunching, shopping,
something wonderful shines through--
It's a special kind of love
on which the two of us depend,
It's the love between two sisters
who've become the best of friends.

Happy Birthday Sis

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Senate

Yesterday I was off my nut. I was listening to the 11 second sound bite about how Senator Jim Bunning from Kentucky was able to successfully hold off the 30 day extension of the Stimulus bill that extends unemployment benefits to Americans out of work as well as a few other programs. I had never emailed a Senator before but I did yesterday. Matter of fact, I emailed a bunch of them, every one I could think of. It was actually quite simple, you type into Google the Senators name and email, for example, Jim Bunning email address and pretty much the top hit is the .gov contact page for that person. You then fill in the email form and Bam, the email is done.

I told them to get off their collective asses and do something. I also told them that they are completely out of touch with the American people. Senator Bunning is a hall of fame MLB player and then was elected to the Senate. So, let me get this straight, he collects a pension and medical from the MLB Players Association, has his investments from his MLB career days, gets lifetime medical and a government pension forever as a senator, it seems to me that health care, retirement, and a steady income are not things that Senator Bunning has ever been concerned with. This is certainly true of all our elected Washington officials. Do you wonder why they are out of touch with our needs?

Did you know that a letter written to your govenor or other elected official represents 10,000 people aka opinions aka votes. An email represents 5,000. Be heard! And be heard loudly. How will they know what you want and how you feel about what they are doing if you don't tell them? You are a vote and let's face it, that's the most important thing to them. Just remember, there is a large percentage of Senators up for re-election in 2011 and they care about all those perks, limo to work, free lodging, food, money, power......all those things we don't have.

Here are some valuable links:
Contacting Congress, what is there name and what's their address? -->
Senators and an interesting look at Classes -->
How to Email your Governor -->
How much does your senator make not including perks?
Members of the U.S. Senate in 2009 receive a salary of $174,000 per year. Those who are leaders in the Senate (majority and minority leaders, and the president pro tempore) earn more; in 2009 they earn $193,400. For an official document on senators' salaries since the beginning of Congress, follow this link:

What other perks do they get after they leave? Here is an interesting article about a former Republican Speaker of the House.