Showing posts with label jobless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jobless. Show all posts

On My Mind

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I was walking on the beach yesterday (don't be a hater) and ran into a former co-worker. She was a temp while another person was on maternity leave and she was able to find a good job when the woman came back.

I hesitated to ask what SHE was doing at the beach at 9:30 on a Wednesday because I kinda had an idea what her answer would be. Sure enough, she was laid off three months ago.

She is younger than me, not married, no kids, no mortgage and she has more experience than I do. And she's been out of work for THREE months because in her words, "there's nothing out there."

Bush's speech last night didn't reassure me one bit. Husband just laid a financial bombshell on me. Our economy is in the toilet. I have officially moved from worried to scared shitless.
I'm not going anywhere with this, it's just what's floating around my head today.

I Seldom End Up Where I Wanted to Go, But Almost Always End Up Where I Needed to Be - Douglas Adams

Monday, July 21, 2008

I believe in God. I believe in destiny and fate. And I also believe in free will. The curveballs of life and the forks in the road are all opportunities (sometimes in disguise). Every choice we make or don't make leads us to where we are right now. And right now, I'm in a pretty happy place.

Losing my job has turned out to be a blessing. If I hadn't lost my job, I would not be spending these summer weeks with my son going to the beach, the park and pool.

If I hadn't lost my job we wouldn't be the "dinner at 6:00" family we're becoming. I probably wouldn't know my neighbors very well. And I certainly wouldn't have discovered blogging. Which means I probably never would have met this amazing group of women.

The more time I spend with them, both online and in person, the more I am sure there was a plan in place when I took that last elevator ride back in November. I feel like there was something missing in my life that I didn't know was missing until now.

It's not that I don't have friends, great family or a good marriage, because I do. I guess I've just never had so many people who inspire me in my life before. Knowing that these smart, funny, talented, creative and beautiful women have been near me ALL THIS time and I'm JUST NOW getting to know them makes me want to stalk them to make up for the lost time.

Thankfully, Cheri graciously opened up her home for BitchHer 2008 so the Bitches and our Bitchlets could get together for food, drinks, swag and good conversation (though apparently, I missed a really important one about orgasms and baked goods).

I'm so glad to know you all. Be it fate, an act of God, the decline in the housing market or The Secret, having you in my life is making me a better person. Thank you!
Linky Love goes to: Cheri @ Blog This Mom!, Aaryn @ Thematically Fickle, Jamie @ Choosing My Own, Jenn @ Juggling Life, Kate @ katydidnot, Deb @ Sandiegomomma, Sam @ Little Dragon Fruit
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Works for me Wednesday- Repurpose Your Business Card Case

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My last job was the first time I ever had business cards of my own and didn't have to handwrite my name on the blank ones. So I went to the Coach outet and bought a super cute leather case in pink (purple came out later, grrr!).

Then I lost my job and all that cuteness stayed in the bottom of my purse like an old pack of gum. So I've given it new life.

The first is not much of a stretch as it involves business cards. I started keeping all the appointment cards from the doctor, dentist, pediatrician, nail salon, hair salon etc. so I have the office name and address of all our important contacts handy. Yes, I have them in my Palm and cell. But it was invaluable when I dropped my Razr (cheap piece of crap!). It died and I had to re-enter all my contacts into the new phone.

The second re-purpose came to me on a night out. I wanted to take a small clutch but didn't like the idea of my cash, ID and credit card loose inside.
I emptied all the above business cards and it fits everything perfectly. The case is easy to find in a dimly lit bar and I don't have to worry about something falling out while I'm digging for my lip gloss.

For other ways to make your life easier head over to Shannon's.
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I Need a Support Group and My Food Journal

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Last Friday I went down into San Diego for my every-eight-weeks hair appointment (see photo, the bangs are new). Since I was allll the way down there, I decided, as usual, to go to my happy place, my nirvana, a little slice of heaven on earth:

Fashion Valley Mall. Sigh. I love that mall. It's so full of shopping promise. Granted, pretty soon I'll only be able to shop in the JC Penney wing (we're getting an H&M!!) because of all the high end stores that are coming (Jimmy Choo! Kate Spade!) but I don't care.

I can happily browse for hours surrounded by all the pretty things. Add a piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory and it really is like a drug high for me (although, never having done drugs I'm not sure I can really say that, but you know what I mean). And despite me saying to myself, "No more spending! Budget! Budget! Budget!" I didn't leave empty handed.

In my defense, Bath and Body Works is having a massive sale (the sugar scrub? 75% off!). AND I needed the hand soaps for tomorrow's Works for Me Wednesday. AND my current MAC face powder is so old it's making me break out. (Are you buying it? No? Well it's the truth, so there!)

I have zero impulse control! Zero! Why can't I not control myself when it comes to green leafy veggies? Or housecleaning? Or spontaneous s*x with Drama Dad? Any of those would be much better financially (and make DD
really happy!) than my secret shopping. Sigh.

I HAVE to get better at not spending. Which means I'll be at home. A lot. To minimize the temptation.

On another note, I realize I haven't posted my food journal in a few days. I saw a neighbor friend over the weekend. She said I look a little thinner. Yeah! I have to say, the food journal at least makes me pause a little because I know I'll have to write down whatever I'm about to eat AND post it here. So, here's what I've eaten since Monday 6/9:

Strawberry smoothie from Panera Bakery (love that place!)
Bagel with peanut butter
Lean Cuisine
Tazo Apple tea
Grande Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte
100 Calorie Oreo pack
100 Calorie Chips Ahoy pack

Rice (2 helpings, I'd rather eat all the sides than the main)
Mike's Hard Lemonade (the redder the better!)
1 piece of Godiva

Chai tea latte
Peanut butter cracker
Small cake sample at Costco
15 Goldfish pretzels
Bottled water with Lipton To Go
3 Hershey's Bliss chocolates
4 Gummy Bears
Pasta with marinara sauce

1 bowl of Cornflakes
My smoothie
Chick fil A (free fried food rocks!)

Granola bar
Jamba Juice breakfast meal
Hamburger Helper with ground turkey (won't do that again!)
Bottled water with Lipton to Go
Skinny Cow Vanilla Caramel cone

Odwalla bar
Mini cheese pizza from Trader Joe's
2 bowls of cereal (Capn' Crunch with Crunchberries and Golden Grahams)
Bottled water with Lipton To Go

Sunday (Father's Day, hubby made breakfast)
Baked potato
Corn on the cob
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie with vanilla ice cream (thanks Bakearella, it was really good!)

2 bowls of Golden Grahams
Jamba Juice breakfast meal
Chicken mini tacos from Costco (SO good!)
Refried beans with shredded cheese
3 Redvines
1 package lemon creme cookies
Chai tea latte

Is anyone else keeping a food journal? How's it working for you?

*Don't forget to enter my contest before Friday!

You Had Me at... Meme

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I've been tagged. Which I've always thought would be fun, but it's actually kind of stressful! I'm pleased as punch that Steph included me in her meme linky love. Big kisses to her.

Matter Of Fact Mommy came up with the idea for this meme and it is oh so clever! Here's the way she described it on her site:
"I want to hear which specific post got you hooked on the blogs that you read regularly. You only have to choose 5 blogs. This way, you won't feel bad for leaving anyone out. And it can be 5 RANDOM blogs. You don't have to claim these 5 blogs as your 5 FAVORITE blogs. Get what I'm getting' at? Good."
Steph tagged me last week and I've been stalling because I couldn't figure out who I should include. Even though the rules don't call for favorites I felt like I should give props to the people I visit every day, but that would include almost my whole blog roll.

I've met so many great people since I've been online. I have laughed, learned, cried, vented and confessed. I am captivated by the stories, impressed with the writing abilities, blown away by the craftiness and moved by how much we all love our families.

But, the rules state 5 and only 5 so I am opting to spread the love to a few sites I hope are new to you and here's wishing you come to enjoy them as much as I do. In no particular order:

(I may be cheating on the specific post that reeled me in but whatever. You'll get the idea.)

Mommy Snacks
I have no idea how I found this site but I'm glad I did. Being jobless has put the pressure on us financially and her site has so many great ideas on frugal living, how to get the most out of coupons, menu planning and more. I went to CVS on Tuesday, got my card and am ready to start saving! I also made this crockpot chicken recipe last week and it was fab! I think the post that got me hooked was this one about taking surveys for cash. I signed up for several of her suggestions and can already see the money will definitely add up.

Freebies 4 Mom
I love getting things in the mail that aren't bills. I have a few sites I visit regularly to score freebies but hers is one of the best. In another 6-8 weeks my mailbox should be brimming with all sorts of good stuff from WalMart! And the free phone number idea? I'm signing up this weekend. We're getting rid of our landline and this will be a perfect back up system. There are also links to printable coupons and contests (I'm also a sweepstakes junkie!)

This Week for Dinner
This lovely lady creates a weekly menu and posts it on her site along with great photos, how-to's song of the week and recipes. I want some of these cookies RIGHT. NOW. And contests. Did I mention I like entering contests? I started visiting her in April when she was still living in my fair city and have been hooked ever since. Her site is awesome, but don't go there hungry!

Hostess with the Mostess
If I won the lottery I'd have people over for fun parties every week. I love, love, love entertaining, and this site is totally drool worthy. There are theme party suggestions, menu suggestions, decorating ideas, party supplies... There's so much eye candy I can't stand it! And contests. I think I mentioned I like contests... It was either this post, this one (because I love almost all things lemon), or this one that had me add it to my reader. This site will bring out your inner Martha.

Choosing My Own
I think Jamie and I could be buddies in real life. We have the same sense of humor, she lives in my 'hood and she's just as sweet as can be. I'm not stalking her, I promise! It was this post that made me want to go back and I'm glad I did. Are her children not the CUTEST! Our kids will be playing at the park together soon, you watch and see. That is, if I can accidentally on purpose run into her at Starbucks and convince her to be one of my new BFF's...

So, those are my five. Rock on bloggy sistas'! You ALL make my day!

Finally- The Baby Post

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'm still not really ready to talk about my baby issues, but a friend brought it up today so it seems timely. We had lunch at Pizza Port in Solana Beach* (pic from the web).

We haven't seen each other in awhile so we had much catching up to do. She asked if I was able to convince DH to have another baby. So, I told her the latest update which is this:

DH is indifferent as to whether we have another child. "If we do, fine. If not fine." Huh? I'm not talking about adopting a puppy from the shelter!

We had a conversation recently about our mortgage. I said something to the effect of "we had to choose between a house and another baby and it was the right time for us to buy."

DH: "We can talk about having another baby."

Me: "No, we can't because talking about it makes me think there's a chance it will happen and I know it can't."

DH: "If you want to have another baby then let's figure out a way (so far, so good). I don't want you to be all angry and resentful 10 years from now." (Not so good)

Me: "I'm going to be angry and resentful but it's my issue. Besides, having another baby just so I'm not upset is not a good reason to add to our family."

DH: "It most definitely is a good reason."

And I kind of dropped it. Seriously, what kind of reasoning is that? So I won't be angry?

If I have another baby, there will be no going back to work until she/he is at least two. Which means DH is the breadwinner and then he gets to resent me for the extra pressure it puts on him. It's like we're at the OK Corral, fingers twitching waiting for the other to back down. And that stinks.

When we decided to try for DS, hubby surprised me when I broke out the condoms because we had talked about trying but I didn't think he was seriously ready. He looked so disappointed that I might have changed my mind and it was really touching and sweet.

That moment, when I tossed the Trojan over my shoulder and we made love in front of the fire in a cabin in Hawaii, was the most special, romantic moment of my life because of the idea that we could possibly be creating a whole new person
right now. It was mind blowing.

But I'm now on the clock. He gave me six months. If I'm not pregnant within six months then discussions are over, the deal is off the table. No romantic meeting of the minds this time.

It seems I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't. Either I "force" him into having another baby he seems not to want or I take one for the team and wonder how long it will take me to get over (if at all) deciding not to.

The real kicker is that me losing my job makes this the perfect and worst time to do it. With DS, I was commuting an hour each way starting in my 7th month. I was on bedrest for all of month nine. Not having a job would make this pregnancy a full 180 degrees different. Maybe I'd like it this time. Maybe I wouldn't be so ass draggin' fall asleep in my car on my lunch break tired.

On the other hand, the child will need clothes (unless it's a boy, I have tons of clothes). We'd need a new crib, a stroller a place to move the computer and all the junk in the closet so baby would have a real nursery. And with one income, mortgage, HOA dues, car loan, student loan, credit card payment, dental work, food, utilities and gas + baby = no can do.

There are other issues too: the fibroids and my weight.

First, the flab. I'm not fat. I know this in my head, but don't feel it in my heart. I'm 5'5" and hang on, be right back..... 147. Pretty normal I guess. But I hate my body. I don't like what I see in the mirror. I gross me out. Thus the efforts to exercise more. I told myself I can't think about getting pregnant until I lose 10-15 pounds.

Then the fibroids. I didn't know I had them until my first check up. The doctor was doing the pelvic exam and said, "hmm... what's this?" I kid you not. My overactive imagination goes into hyperdrive and I'm picturing all sorts of scary things and I wanted to cry.

He asks if anyone has mentioned that I might have fibroids and I'm floored because how is it that I can be almost 30 and had the same doctors for several years at a time and this, when I'm pregnant, is the first I'm hearing of it?

Long story short, I have two in there (maybe three). One is lemon size the other golf ball. My doctor painted a gloom and doom picture of my carrying to term (I will not have another male OBGyn) and said he wouldn't feel out of the woods until I hit 22 weeks. Then 26. Then 30.

I was stressed for much of the pregnancy and DH got his command to send him home early in case we miscarried (He was activated after 9/11, sent to Hawaii to fill posts vacated by those sent to Iraq. He was supposed to be gone for a year but came home when I was almost 6 months).

The fibroids weren't too much of a factor in the pregnancy, but I have no idea what's going on down there now. DH wants me to have them removed. I say "stay out of my uterus."

So, to recap: figure out how to afford a new baby, lose 10-15 pounds and make sure the tumors I have haven't grown or multiplied. In six months. I think I know how this story ends. And it sucks.

*I'm originally from Chicago so pizza is a serious issue for me. I haven't had a truly good piece of pizza since I moved here when I was 9. Until this place. I won't order from a chain restaurant ever again. Period. (Birthday parties for kids don't count. I refuse to see these slices go half eaten)

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Family Time

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another thing I've really enjoyed about being on holiday is the time we get to spend together doing family type things. I run around like a crazy person and do the cleaning/shopping/grunt work during the week so we can relax together.

Saturday we went downtown to the Red Bull Air Races for the qualifying races. Holy schnikes! Those pilots have cajones of steel. Or maybe platinum. What's a really strong material? Anyway, you get the point. We'd never been before and it was a packed! We had to sit on the water side of the sea wall, which was actually kind of cool, because of the crowds.

Then we took DS to Ocean Beach. OB has a reputation for being the hippy, pot smoking, laid waaaay back surf community of San Diego. And it is. DH and I lived there and LOVED it! (Not for the pot smoking, we don't do that) I moved there back in college and had several roommates until DH moved back from Italy and into my life again (hmm, that may be a topic for another day. let me marinate on it).

At times we really miss it and wish we hadn't done the responsible grown up thing by moving away when I got pregnant. So whenever we happen to be down south we try to stop by some of our old haunts. It was fun to show DS the apartment complex we lived in and the restaurants we went to. I was craving a burger from Hodads (the BEST burger in San Diego! photo from flickr) but since DS doesn't eat burgers we went to our other fave, Nati's, for Mexican.

Oh, it was fried, cheesy, beany heaven! Since I wasn't driving I indulged in a strawberry margie. DH was very diplomatic in saying, "If I remember, they do mix them pretty strong here" when I mentioned feeling a little loopy.

Good food, fast planes, a little play time in the sand. This is what living in California is all about!

Sunday I went to the Carlsbad Street Fair. I'm a sucker for almost all things handmade. DH hates to shop and hates crowds so I got to go alone. I definitely made up for only going walking once last week. I went down every side street.

I bought my Mother's Day presents, a ring and two glass pendants. I'll post photos under my new section What I Find later (still a work in progress, stay tuned). All in all it was a good weekend and a good reminder to not let the jobless thing bog me down and keep me from enjoying the here and now.
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Feelin' Sorry for Myself

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sunscreen. Check. Towel, sunglasses and hat. Check. Water, snacks, and book. Check, check. I need to take a lot of stuff with me because I'm going to be at The Pity Pool for awhile and it's good to be prepared.

Being on holiday has been really great. I've spent more time with my family, re-connected a little with DH, and am managing the house so much better than I ever have before. Most days I wake up feelin' pretty good.

Today was not one of those days.

I'm coming up on the end of my unemployment and have no real job prospects and I see panic on the horizon. I try to stay in the moment and focus on today. I really do. For instance:

Today I have a roof over my head (bonus points because we own it).

Today there is food in the fridge.

Today I have gas in my car.

Today we are happy and healthy.

I know that should be enough. In my heart I know it, and I believe it. But, every so often I can't help but think about tomorrow:

Tomorrow my car will still need to go to the shop.

Tomorrow I will still need about $8,000 worth of dental work (not a typo).

Tomorrow my CAT will still need about $900 worth of dental work (that's not either).

I have already eaten humble pie and applied to places I never saw myself working and let me tell you that was hard. At this point I need to eat a little more and consider going back to retail.

I can feel you sending me "who does she think she is?!" vibes. Untwist your knickers and let me explain. I'm almost 35 years old. I've been working since I was 15. Having to walk into a place behind Kaylee the Junior who just needs a summer job knowing I'd be the same age as somebody's mom feels pretty sh*#ty. I'm not saying I'm above retail or admin, but I have this been there, done that feeling that I can't shake.

Plus, any job in that industry will want me on weekends. I took corporate, office jobs precisely so I could have my weekends and holidays without having to request them off before anyone else.

AND, if I don't get my ideal schedule, once DS gets out of school, I'll have to pay full-day camp fees so I can work my Noon-6:00 shift. I don't know what minimum wage is these days but I highly doubt it's enough to cover camp and leave me with enough to feel like I'm actually contributing to our financial situation.

AND not having a corporate type gig puts me far behind in the retirement savings and the "extra" healthcare I'd have.

And forget about having another baby! (I know I said I'd talk about this but I'm still not ready yet, sorry).

Does all that make sense? I should be going forward in my career, not looking for another job.

I was so bummed about it I actually composed a letter to all the people who haven't hired me. What's that? You want to read it? Good thing I didn't run it through the shredder yet (Yep, it's handwritten. When I put pen to paper it's serious).

An Open Letter to Hiring Managers

Hello. My name is One La Costa Mom. I'm a 34 year-old wife and mother living in North County. I've been looking for a new job since November 2007 after I was part of a round of layoffs. I realize the current state of our economy has led to a tougher than usual job market, but quite frankly, my continued unemployment is baffling.

I've been working since I was 15. My experience in retail, sales, customer service, admin, media, restaurants and my most recent in Marketing for an award winning company makes me more than qualified to do the job posted on

I'm also fluent in JobSpeak. You are looking for a multitasker. I know that means I'd often have to pick up someone else's slack. And I'm OK with that. You want a team player. I get it. Any ideas I share with you are yours to present to upper management. Fast paced work environment you say? I thrive under unrealistic deadlines.

I am a great candidate. Sure, you can hire the recent grad and offer an even lower salary because of lack of experience, but you get what you pay for. The fact that I'm a mom is my greatest asset. Yes, I will need to leave if my child gets sick. I won't be able to stay late on T Ball days. But, you'll never have to write me up for repeatedly checking my My Space page on company time. My vacations and sick days won't just happen to coincide with every event in the Gaslamp, Spring Break or fight with my boyfriend.

By not hiring me, or any at home mom looking to re-enter the workplace, you're overlooking one of the most highly skilled, competent, talented and creative groups in labor force. Go to almost any popular Mom Blog and you'll see what I mean.

If you will treat me well and help me provide for my family, my loyalty and over-the-top work ethic are yours. Offer me flextime or telecommuting and you'll never have to fill this position again.

One La Costa Mom

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I've Been Bitten

Monday, April 28, 2008

By the shopping bug that is. I really like to shop. I mean REALLY. I could probably buy something every day. Clothes, shoes, purses, books, pretty things for our house. Even groceries. I love looking through the racks/stacks/bins. Clearance? Bring it!

Alas, since I am on holiday, I have had to curtail my spending in favor of essentials like, oh, food and gas. But, I can still look!
The Carnival has exposed me to so many great sites (you people are tres crafty!)

I thought I'd let you see some of the things I want need am obsessing over would like to have right now, both from the Carnival and in general:

  • Glass jewelry from Amy Burhoe. I may have to send this link to hubby for Mother's Day.
  • Boxed cards from Mariella Designs. Always nice to have on hand.
  • A pretty teacup and saucer by Sentou for breakfast on the patio.
  • Mommy Calling cards from Sophie and Spice. They just speak to me.
  • This T-shirt from SuperMaggie.
  • More re-usable shopping bags, but cuter than the ones I have from Target.
  • This Sigg water bottle.
  • These to die for sandals from Charles David.
  • This dress, this dress and this tank top from Old Navy.
  • A pendant from The Broken Plate.
  • Sugar scrub from Archipelago Botanicals.
  • More of these crafts for my son. It's hard to find things for boys! Everything I see in Wal Mart is knitting, sparkly and just all around girly. I bought him the airplane from the clearance section at Target.
  • A Wii Fit. I'm convinced my life will be perfect once I have one.
  • A new digital camera like this. Mine is a brick like the first cell phones.
I found some of this stuff while surfing through What a great site! I can (and did) spend a lot of time there. I added them to my Google Reader and will definitely go there to look for gifts and such. Much thanks to them! Anyone else have visions of shopping bags dancing in their heads?

I Want to Play Too! $10 GC to Toys R Us COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED

Friday, April 25, 2008

I know I'm beyond fashionably late but I wasn't sure I wanted to participate. I changed my mind for a few reasons:

1) I think it would be neat to see the Carnival reach 1,000 posts

2) I'm curious to know how many of you have hung in till the end and what type of response I'll get. I don't have much content on this site since I'm a newbie but I'd love some feedback.

3) I've had so much fun and have been so impressed with everyone's generosity I want to pay it forward.
I wish I could give more, but being on holiday and all...

So, please leave a comment with your blog name or email address so I can get in touch with you. I'd love for you to stick around and get to know me but my feelings won't be hurt if you don't (well maybe a little).
US residents only.

Winner chosen through a random number generator. I'll have comments open until midnight Pacific time tomorrow (Saturday 4/25). I know it's short but we have things happening Sunday and I don't want to over commit myself and leave you hanging and the Carnival is almost over anyway. I will email the winner who then has until Tuesday 4/28 to respond.

There's still plenty of fun to be had at the Carnival. Get thyself to entering before time is up!

Sunshine Tax be damned!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What an absolutely beautiful day! It's days and weather like this that make the high cost of living here worth it. Yesterday, after I dropped the kidling off at school I went for a walk. One of the best things about being on holiday (much better sounding than unemployed) is that I've been able to make exercise a priority. Well, at least more of a priority than it was before!

Today I went to my usual route at the beach between Canon and Tamarack. I've managed to go out three times this week. Hurray for me! Since I've been home I've lost a little weight. Not as much as I'd like or need to lose, but I'll take it. Came home, had brunch in the sun on the patio and did the job search thing. Nada.

While I was out today I had my usual thought of
who are all these people and why aren't they at work? I mean, I know why I'm at the beach at 10am on a Friday, but what's everyone else's story? Most are the obvious surfers and retirees. Then there are the other SAHM's with their strollers. But, some of the familiar faces I see I can't really pinpoint.

It got to bothering me so much that finally I just asked someone. A man and his so adorable you could eat it Chocolate Lab puppy were usually parked in the same spot and he didn't mind me cooing all over her. I introduced myself and he said that he, like me, was in the real estate industry and things were a bit slow. Aha. We exchanged sob stories and I went on my way.

I wonder how many of us there are? People from my former industry I mean. I met another mom this past Wednesday in the get your life together section of the book store. She's also been out of work since the end of last year. Maybe I can form some kind of networking support group. Or maybe not since all those other people are the same ones competing with me for a job!

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I should be at Costco

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Well. Now that I'm sitting here, I'm not sure why I thought I could do this, or even why I should. But, you know how there are times when your brain just won't stop? That's pretty much how I am all the time so I thought this would be a good place to go at 1:00am when I can't sleep, need to vent, am totally bored or any combination thereof. I took a shower hours ago with the intention of getting errands done before the rest of the family returns, but once again I got sucked into the web and now for some reason think I can write my own blog.

I have no clue what I'm doing, but that's OK,right? I mean this is just random chatter from a displaced at-home-and-love-it-but-need-to-pay-the-mortgage mom of one living in southern California. I'm not a writer, I just have a lot to say. Whether it's worth reading has yet to be determined. So, with that I think I'll head off to Costco. We have kindergarten Open House/Book Fair/Parent Teacher Meetings tonight and nothing to eat for dinner.

What I've Read - 2008 Reading List

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to read. I just don't get people who say they don't like reading. Reading is the ultimate escape. It's relaxing. It's entertaining. It's informative. I'm sorry non-readers but you baffle me. What's not to like about reading?

Anyway, I wish I could list all the books I've read this year but there's so many I can't remember them all (not braggin', just sayin'). So, I'll list the ones I've read since I've been on holiday with a rating: Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down or Switzerland (get it? neutral?) and a short note for the ones I didn't like.

I'll add to the list as I finish a book. Feel free to agree or call me a moron. I welcome spirited discussion. Earlier this month (4/08) I joined a book club through Meetup and I'll note which books were for the club.

In no particular order:

The Girls' Global Guide to Guys Theresa Alan- Thumbs Up

Goodnight Nobody: A Novel
Jennifer Weiner- Thumbs Up

The Red Hat Club
Haywood Smith- Thumbs Up

The Red Hat Club Rides Again Haywood Smith- Thumbs Up

Dreamboat Judith Gould- Thumbs Down (Cliched and predictable)

My Favorite Mistake Beth Kendrick- Switzerland (Cute, fast read but characters were formulaic)

Suburbanistas Pamela Redmond Sutran- Thumbs Up

The Pact Jennifer Sturman- Switzerland (Chick Lit mystery, predictable)

The Chinchilla Farm: A Novel Judith Freeman- Thumbs Up

Wife in the Fast Lane: A Novel Karen Quinn- Thumbs Up

Between, Georgia Joshilyn Jackson- Thumbs Up (Way, way up)

Tales from the Crib Risa Green- Thumbs Up

Julie and Romeo Get Lucky Jeanne Ray- Thumbs Up

Pug Hill Allison Pace- Thumbs Up (Despite my dislike of small, yippy dogs)

Gods in Alabama
Joshilyn Jackson- Thumbs Up! - Methinks she's going to become one of my favorite authors

The Ivy Chronicles Karen Quinn- Thumbs Up

Promise Not to Tell: A Novel Jennifer McMahon- Switzerland (I was expecting more creepy and scary)

The First Assistant Clare Naylor/Mimi Hare- Thumbs Up the The Second Assistant the first book, was also good

Just Between Us Cathy Kelly- Thumbs Up (A little too long)

Rescuing Rose Isabel Wolff- Thumbs Up (Stay away if you're tired of the Bridget Jones knockoffs)

Always and Forever Cathy Kelly- Thumbs Up (Again, a little long)

The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd- Thumbs Up

Awake Elizabeth Graver - Thumbs Up - Her writing style is a bit flowery. There were times when I got tired of it, and others where I loved her sentences

Oh My Stars Lorna Landvik - Thumbs Up - This was very good

Weekend in Paris Robyn Sisman - Thumbs Down - Couldn't finish it

Adventures of an Ice Princess Liz Maverick- Thumbs Down (Vapid)

The Almost Moon Alice Sebold- Thumbs Up

Remember Me? Sophie Kinsella- Thumbs Up Finished 4/20/08

Naked David Sedaris (for the book club) - What's between neutral and Thumbs Down? I didn't hate it. There were parts that made me laugh out loud. But it was weird. It's in essay format, but I didn't feel like I was learning about his life. Read at your own risk. Finished 5/10/08

Love the One You're With Emily Giffin- Thumbs Up

Flirting with Forty Jane Porter - Thumbs Up Finished 6/17/08

Water for Elephants Sarah Gruen - Thumbs WAY Up - This was for the book club. I didn't expect to like it because of the whole circus thing but it was great!

Love Monkey Kyle Smith - Thumbs Down This was for book club. Smith has a way with words, but I didn't connect to the character at all. (Finished 7/23/08)

The Time Traveler's Wife Audrey Niffenegger - Thumbs WAY Up For book club. SO, so good!

Certain Girls Jennifer Weiner- Thumbs Up

Savannah Breeze Mary Kay Andrews -Thumbs Up - This was the second in a (sort of) series. I also read Savannah Blues which was good too. Both are light reads.

Dream When You're Feeling Blue Elizabeth Berg - Thumbs Up

The Alphabet Sisters Monica McInerney - Thumbs Up

Family Baggage Monica McInerney - Thumbs Up

Swapping Lives Jane Green - Thumbs Up

The Center of Everything Laura Moriarty - Thumbs Up

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman Elizabeth Buchan - Thumbs Down - I rarely put a book down without finishing it, but I just couldn't get into this

Ready or Not? Chris Manby - Thumbs Up
The Ex-Wife's Survival Guide Debby Holt - Switzerland - Light and fast but not the best ex-wife gets her life together book I've read

Happiness Sold Separately Lolly Winston - Thumbs Up

The Other Side of the Story Marian Keyes - Thumbs Up

Speechless Yvonne Collins/Sandy Rideout - Thumbs Up

Love Walked In Marisa de los Santos - Thumbs Up

Luscious Lemon Heather Swain - Thumbs Up

We Are All Welcome Here Elizabeth Berg - Thumbs Up - I think I'm going to like everything she does

High Stakes: A Tale of Vegas Vampires Erin McCarthy - Switzerland - I almost put it down, but it was such a fast read I finished before I got really bored

Ladies with Options Cynthia Hartwick - Thumbs Up

Middlesex Jeffery Eugenides - Thumbs Up

Hissy Fit Mary Kay Andrews - Thumbs Up

Home to Big Stone Gap Adriana Trigiani - Thumbs Up - I've loved all the books in the Big Stone Gap series

The Family Tree Carole Cadwalladr - Thumbs Down - Could barely make it past the first chapter

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming Joshilyn Jackson - Thumbs Up

Sweet Revenge Dianne Mott Davidson - Thumbs Down I usually enjoy this series despite the plot similarities, but this was so formulaic and almost painful to read.
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