Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm an expo

for real now... or as real as it can be I guess. They moved my name from the host list to the expo list for the schedule. I have 4 expo days this week and only one hosting day. This is good news because I get "tipped out" on my expo days. I don't make much in tips. I think on my best day I made $25 and on my worst day I made about $9 but it's still better than nothing. I would say that it's at least gas money but these days I'm probably lucky if $9 in gas gets me out of the parking lot.
I am however still looking for a job. A "real" job as I like to call it. I know it's out there somewhere... and I'll find it when the timing is right!
(Just an FYI in case you don't know "expo" is short for "expeditor." An expeditor is someone who pulls the prepared dishes from the kitchen, checks them for accuracy, assembles the entire order for a table, and delivers it to the table... we are basically servers who just don't take the order. Oh, and I make shakes, sundaes and banana splits too)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sad but true

My son must be unbearably bored because I looked over just now to see him delicately arranging my daughter's blond dress up wig onto his... "best friend" the blue balloon... See for yourself...
What might be more disturbing is how proud he seems of the accomplishment... we need a playdate!

According to Abby

The birthday party I threw the older two girls yesterday (a full two and three months after their actual birthdays) was "the best party ever."
To try and make it seem slightly less ridiculous that it took so long to have a party for them I should mention that I tried to do it earlier but the place they wanted to go was booked for two months ahead... I knew the party was going to come after their birthdays to begin with but this scheduling issue made it downright silly.
When Ella was turning 5 I was so excited because I had decided that for each of my three girls fifth birthday's I was going to take them to tea. For Ella we did that - in formal dresses and tiara's and everything. It was so much fun and so girly. When I started planning this tradition Ella was about to turn four and Abby was not yet two. At that point the fullness of Abby's personality had not yet surfaced. When Abby was about to turn four I started talking to her about how "next year" she was going to get to have her 5 year old tea party. (not five year old tea... but a party for a five year old... you got that, right?!) Well she immediately scrunches up her face and says "I don't want a tea party! I'm gonna have a gymnastics party." Her only experience with gymnastics was a party we had been to about a year earlier. Well, that and the fact that she tumbles, literally, through her entire day - every day. A patch of grass is an invitation to tumble... well, then again, so is a patch of carpet... or any other soft enough surface.
I gave up my dream of a tea party tradition, clinging to the hope that Sophia will let me throw her a tea party when she turns five, and started planning for a gymnastics party.
Ella basically had to go along for the ride... she had fun too even if her natural tendency is tea parties and not gymnastics.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Life Lessons?

Gotta love when one of the kids asks "hey mom, when was the last time 'we' did laundry? 'Cuz I don't have any socks!" Well... yeah it's time I know... I need to get some laundry done. Which makes me wonder if it isn't time to start teaching the kids to do laundry soon. What age is the right age to teach a kid to do laundry? I think I started doing at least some of my own laundry by about the fifth grade. I did most of it in junior high and by high school my mom wasn't touching my laundry except to make fun of the "hair scrunchies" that I called underwear. School is out for summer - maybe it's time for some life lessons?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Isaiah and the Lakers

I let the kids stay up late tonight to watch the Laker game...or the Celtics game as it turns out. Anyway - poor Isaiah was so distressed about how far behind we were getting that he made me turn off the game. We finally turned it back on about half time. It wasn't good. He sat at the table writing down the score every time it changed and lamenting our misfortune. When the game ended and we lost... big... he was pacing the living room and getting emotional because it was "so sad for the Lakers" to have lost.
Funny to watch a 9 year old who loves basketball get to watch a game and be that intense about it. He hadn't gotten to watch any of the other games in the finals because he was either with his dad or I was working so this is the only one he got to see... and we lost. I guess it was a good lesson though. I actually found myself saying the words "sometimes it's ok to not win, you just have to always do your best."

I don't get a lot of traffic here...

and that's ok with me. Something funny happened on Friday the 13th though! I usually get somewhere between 15 and 30 readers a day... not too shabby for someone who just writes for the sake of it and not to be read by the world. Friday, however, I had 152 readers. So of course I'm thinking "what the heck?!" Then I remembered I had posted the "family night" blog on the 12th. I also posted a comment on WhittakerWoman's blog with the link back to my post because those were her instructions... Well, she has a gagillion readers and I guess I got a few to visit my way.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I just turned in...

The last work samples of the school year for my two older kids homeschooling. YEAH! It's officially summer in the Gonzo's house! I have been so ready for the school year to end. I can't even tell you how glad I am that I don't have to teach another school subject for a few months... the life lessons I get to teach are enough for a bit.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

If you found out...

That your dad had terminal cancer would you call and talk to him? Perhaps even go visit if he lived say a half hour away? Yeah, that's kinda what I thought... just checking. It's amazing how I get these random (and often terribly sad) reminders of how disturbingly detached my former was/is. Wow.
I talked to my former father in law yesterday for the first time since the day my ex and I split. The last time I heard his voice he was threatening to kill me if his son hurt himself because I "left" him. Needless to say I was a little nervous to make the call. I'm glad I did. We had a short sweet conversation right before the doctors came to take him to CT.
Today my parents stopped by the hospital where he is currently going stir crazy in Hollywood. They had a great visit with him. He talked about his church - which he has apparently started going to again in the last year. He also told them how sad he was that he hadn't heard from his son.
I called him again tonight. He said he's still waiting to find out the plan of attack... actually he said he's waiting for the doctors to finish "jibber-jabbering" and tell him what's next. He is sick and tired of being cooped up in a hospital room with nothing to do.
I told him I'd come see him as soon as he was home since I can't take the kids in to the hospital anyway - not to mention that driving to Hollywood with four kids sounds like a nightmare of it's own.
If you think of it I know he and the family would appreciate your prayers!

"Family Night"

Well since I love to read WhittakerWoman's blog and she asked... I'll answer... even if my answer SUCKS, because it does! Royally!
So tonight was "family night" in my house. The start of my problem is most likely the fact that it occurred by default because I happen not to be working tonight so it's just me and the kids. Then there's the fact that "family night" consisted of a trip to Target so the kids could buy a father's day gift for their dad, my ex. Followed by the lovely bonding experience that is the Taco Bell drive thru... and finally Mary Poppins on dvd.
Yep, I'm a rockstar... you can tell me, because I already know.

I got to test for two positions today...

The first one was a series of data entry, math and reading comprehension. The second was a basic typing test that I've taken there before - but it was more than 6 months ago so that score didn't count. I was feeling pretty harried because my morning didn't go smoothly but I got there and took the test. After I finished the first test I go to the proctor and she says, basically, "Thanks, if you passed you'll be on the eligibility list. If you didn't, you won't." Wow, ok thanks... Maybe I'm entirely too results oriented but I really wanted to know if I succeeded or failed! Then it was on to the next test. I felt pretty confident about a typing test until I realized how distracted I was by the lack of information on the previous test. By the time I finished the typing test I was fairly convinced that I had failed it. I needed 40 wpm to pass. I know I have typed as well as about 55 wpm on previous tests... today... 47 wpm. Not too bad I guess. At least I know I'm on the eligibility list for that job.

Murphy's Law...

I have a test for a job in 45 minutes. I wanted to get online to type so that I would be prepared for the typing portion... sleeping hands don't type fast. Of course that means that my internet connection wouldn't work. I restarted the modem... did all the stuff I normally do when it fritzes... but none of that helped. You know when my connection started working? When my ex rang the doorbell to pick up the kids. Like EXACTLY when the doorbell rang. So anyway, next time I know that when my internet connection is bad I don't need to restart my modem. I'll just run out front and ring my doorbell.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Between 2 p.m. yesterday and 5 p.m. today

I spent 15 hours at work... What are the consequence of working that many hours in the Diner? Well, how 'bout this... I have the words of The Shoop Shoop Song looping in my brain and it's driving me insane!

"Does he love me I wanna know
How can I tell if he loves me so
Is it in his eyes?
Oh no you'll be deceived
Is it in his eyes?
Oh no he'll make believe
If you wanna know if he loves you so
It's in his kiss
That's where it is"

Is there a cure for this? Or maybe I just infected you too? ha ha!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So it seems...

People graduating is good for the restaurant business... I got called in early today, and they added me for tomorrow. Good for a little extra money!
Also my former father in law is very sick. He is not eligible for a transplant. The doctors are starting chemo today. I should know more in the next couple of days... but it's not looking good.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Electric Vehicle?

For over a year now I've had my heart set on getting a Saturn Outlook. I know that wouldn't be a dream car for... well... ANY of the rest of the world but I have four kids. That basically means if they ever want to have a friend over (and of course they ALL want to have friends over at the same time) I need a vehicle with plenty of seats. The Outlook seats 8 - and comfortably too. Even a six foot tall 260 lb man can sit in the third row seat and be comfortable and it's not like some kind of contortionist trick to get back there. (don't ask me how I know this or I'll have to tell you) Then there is the fact that the Outlook gets something like 27 miles per gallon (hwy). I had picked out the car and planned that when I went back to work when the house was built I'd buy it. Well the house has taken a lot longer to get started than I thought it would at the time... and you know a few other things came up that turned life upside down too. In any event I'm now starting to contemplate what kind of car to buy when I am finally ready. My plan is to get a real job (soon I hope), pay off all of my debts (which once I'm making a little money won't take long at all), save a little for furniture at the new house and then buy a car.

All that sounds great right... except that now, with gas creeping ever closer to $5 a gallon and my guess that it will probably go a LOT higher, I'm thinking 27 miles a gallon isn't nearly enough. So I start doing what I do best. I start digging around online. I find this company that manufactures fully electric vehicles in the US that isn't just some prototype for politicians. I mean they actually make them and sell them right now. The even crazier thing is that they aren't expensive. They sell a minivan style vehicle that looks a little like the boxy Volkswagen van and it's retail price is under $20,000! Are you kidding? My car payment would be less than the cost of a month worth of gas!
There are drawbacks - like the fact that this particular vehicle can go only around 70 miles on a charge... but honestly I VERY rarely go farther than that anyway. I can always recharge at my destination because it uses a standard plug. If I need to I can keep the car I currently have for those random long trips anyway. Here's what I think may be the coolest part. We are going to have solar electricity at my new house. Which means that there would be exactly ZERO cost for fuel. I think that sounds great! Today I requested more information about the cars from the company that makes them.
Now if I could just get a job so that looking at cars to begin with doesn't seem so... cart before the horse!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

To those who may have been confused...

When I said that my BFF was engaged... I did actually mean that my best friend Lauren had gotten engaged. Some of you know that I call a certain someone my "BFF" in jest... so I guess I may have confused a reader or two.... Sorry Mark & Adrianne (and anyone else who knows my code)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My BFF

Got engaged today... let the planning begin! Just one question: Could I get some more action in my day? I don't think I've had enough big news - from opposite ends of the spectrum at that! Geez!

I just found out...

That my former father in law has inoperable liver cancer. The doctors say he has 6 months to 3 years to live if the medications work. They are still checking to see if it has spread to his bones so that could change the timeline too I guess. It sure is strange, and sad. Really, really sad.

Should I start a tally?

Of how many jobs I apply to? I've applied to so many that I've lost count and lost track. When someone calls (or emails) to set up an interview I'm going to wonder what job it's for!

And now for some other randomness...

Last night the owner came in to my work. I asked him about the specific measure of ice cream that is supposed to go in our shakes. I asked him because the recipe calls for 12 oz but I recently discovered that, using the system we have been given to fill shake containers with ice cream, we are only putting 9 or 10 oz's in. I brought this to the attention of two managers. One was afraid to make a change because if a "big boss" measured a shake cup it would weigh too much and he didn't want to get in trouble. The other one said "the shakes look full enough to me and Carlos doesn't want to change it." I inferred that the reasoning was the same. So I figured when I had one of those "big bosses" attention I'd ask them - if they don't want to fix the problem then fine but at least I'd have tried right?! So when the owner asked how things were going or if there were any problems I wanted to talk about I mentioned it. He said "We do the right thing, all the time. If the recipe calls for 12 oz that what we do. We aren't going to steal from our customers!" Can I tell you how great it was to hear that from the OWNER?! Anyway so he set Carlos straight... except that as it turns out the one manager had never even talked to Carlos about it... she just pulled his name out of her backside... because that's how she rolls. Carlos comes to me and tells me never to tell the owner something that I haven't come to him directly with first. The Owner walks up in the midst of this and tells the manager that it is unacceptable for him to scold me for that. He says I should feel free to talk to him about anything at all and at any time without fear of reprisals. Ahh, the joys. At some point the owner tells me he should make me manager because he really appreciates that kind of attention to detail. I tell him I don't want to be a restaurant manger - I don't want the stress - but now I'm thinking maybe I should ask if they have any openings at the corporate office because that would be more my style. Maybe next time I see him I'll ask. After all I'm applying for every other possible job opening I can find!

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm competing for title of most jobs applied for online...

without ever getting a job! Ok, so I added that last part because I thought it made it sound funnier, but really I've applied for so many jobs online in the last few days! I am starting to feel an urgency about getting real work. I really want to be able to make enough money to have a little breathing room every month. I have also realized that retail and restaurant work will never be for me. I hate not knowing until Friday or Saturday what my schedule will be for the next week. I hate not being able to plan my life at least a week or two ahead! Most of all I HATE making $8 an hour when the job I left six years ago paid me somewhere around $14... and my starting pay at my last three jobs before that was in the vicinity of $11 an hour... ten or more years ago! I can do way better than this.
On a more positive note - I do think that this was a good starting point. I got to practice leaving my kids 15 to 20 hours a week before I jumped in and started working 40 or so. In any event I'm now applying for every job I can find that I'm even remotely qualified to do.
I also called the Riv. Co. Sheriffs Dept. again today and they said (again) that I'm still in it but there's some "bad news." The next two dispatch academies are full so I should not expect to hear anything until probably August. All the more reason to find a job in the meantime I guess!
Oh, and I hiked again yesterday... it's probably been about a month since the last time I hiked. I'm sore today.