Work

If it weren’t for the obscene amount of money that can be made, I’d quit right now. I swear to God, I would.

I had originally just planned on quitting, but DH talked me into waiting and discussing things with my boss. I talked to him lastnight, and he was frustrated (because my school schedule is weird), but wanted to work with me.

They actually told me that if I wasn’t such a good employee, they would have kicked me to the curb by now, but they wanted me to stay, and because of that, they would work around my wonky schedule. I told them how much I hate the ten hour shifts, and how I miss having my weekends, and they reminded me that if I want to make the big bucks, that’s when I have to work. (Let’s not mention that we pool our tips, and that they only count them twice a week, so when I bust my ass on a Saturday night, I make the same amount as Joe Schmoe who works on a Tuesday afternoon and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING–it’s very frustrating)

So I am to put together a schedule and bring it to my boss on Tuesday. He said he will look at it, and do his best to give me the hours that I request. Saweet. Where else do you get to make up your own schedule??? They must REALLY like me!

I, on the other hand, still have the same objections that I did before about the general work environment. A casino is NOT an uplifting place to work. The people who come in fit into several categories, but most of them are pretty desperate. Sure, there are the ones who come in for a night of fun with the girls, and they drink and carry on and leave with no money, but they are cool with that.

It’s the ones who come in and spend their paycheck, expecting to win something, that bother me. They come out of the casino all frowny and grumpy, and treat you like you just burned their last dollar. They don’t tip. They smoke, and drive crappy cars because they spend all their money on pay-per-view, junk food, and gambling. I know this because they tell me, and because they are generally overweight.

Granted, this is only a portion of the guests, but it is a sad scene.

Plus, the guy with the pee car still comes in. Eeewwww!!! Go away, Pee Daddy!!

Anyways, I am staying, for the time being. They gave me a hard time about changing my mind, but I explained to them that this Calculus course I’m taking is a LOT more labor-intensive than I thought it was going to be. Not only do we get regular homework, we get group assignments that we have to work on outside of class in our specific groups (have you ever tried to get a bunch of young college guys to make an actual SCHEDULE???), PLUS, we have labs every Thursday to complete, and if you don’t get it done in class, guess what: you have to do it outside of class.

I didn’t do very well on my first test. Mostly because I didn’t have time to finish it all. I was sitting there on page 3 of 4 when the prof let us know that there was a class coming into the room in about ten minutes. Ack!

OMG teh wrok maeks teh big bucks fer teh LNZ!!!!111one!!

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You Don’t Need Shoes in Heaven

Ellen Ripley

I’m watching Alien.

God I love the Alien movies.

IS there ANY greater heroine than Ellen Ripley???

I’ll answer that for you. NO.

I admire her strength. I like to think that if I were in the same situation–you know, where aliens were bursting from my coworkers’ chests–that I would have the strength and knowhow to get myself and at least one cat out of it alive.

I wonder if Ellen Ripley was good at Calculus? I took my first test on Friday and it was the absolute most difficult test I have ever taken. IN MY LIFE. I didn’t even have enough time to finish it all.

Admittedly, I am not at my best right now, with the death of my Grandfather still weighing heavily on my mind. I plan on doing a LOT more studying in the weeks/months to come. I plan on getting at least a B in this class. Preferably an A. We’ll see.

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The Gun, Not the Band

Tonight’s Women’s Handgun Safety Course at the local gun/rifle club was a success!

I have been wanting for a long time to be able to enroll in some sort of handgun safety course, and tonight, with five other women, we went through it. It took about 4 hours, and I learned a lot about proper procedure, et cetera.

I even surprised the instructor by hitting the target 28 out of 30 times!

We shot several kinds of guns–I chose two different sized Glock pistols, since I have already had experience with DH’s Sig, and I also chose two revolvers. My new favorite is the .38 Special! It was easy to use, and fit my hands very nicely.

Random Complaining

I don’t like the girl I sit next to in my English class. She’s nice and all, but she has no respect for my “personal space.” We sit at long tables in high-backed chairs with wheels. Every week, several times during the course of the class period, she ends up leaning on me or leaning against me or her arm happens to lay next to mine so that our arms are touching and I want to say “Hey, do you realize that you’re touching me?” I don’t like it when people I don’t know invade my space like that.

It’s not that I’m averse to human contact, but I like to be in charge of when and where it happens.

Another girl in my English class (it’s a 200-level English class) pronounced “subtlety” wrong tonight. I wanted to turn around and throw something at her. “Sub-telly” she says. How old are we here, little missy? It’s not a big word. Good lord.

The mosquitoes here are still swarming in quantities not seen since the ten plagues hit Egypt. I am uber-self conscious now about bugs, and where they are, and what kind they are, and if they will bite me or not…it’s very annoying… I bought mums to plant near the front porch, but I can’t plant them because whenever I go outside, I am swarmed by those bloodsucking pieces of crap, and I end up getting so fed up that I storm back inside and cuss a lot. I bought ten bags of black mulch the other day. Have I put any of it out? NO, THERE’S TOO MANY DAMN MOSQUITOES OUT THERE. THE MINUTE YOU START TO WORK, THEY COVER YOU LIKE A FREAKIN’ WINGED AFGHAN FROM HELL.

The TOTALLY AWESOME thing is that fall is starting soon. I LOVE FALL!

Hope you’re all having mosquito-free existences right now. I for one will be glad to see the first frost come.

This Weekend

Well, we are home from the funeral.

It was a sad, sad, sad, sad, sad funeral. I wish I had been able to go to the wake, but DH didn’t get back from drill until noonish on Sunday, and it takes about 5 hours to get to my Grandparents’ house, so we got to Dubuque about the time the viewing was over. Mom said that the funeral director said it was the most people he had ever seen at a wake. The line stretched throughout the building, out the door, and down the street. Mom said she was shaking hands all day.

For those of you who aren’t Catholic, from what I can tell, they’ve got a ceremony for everything. I’m not Catholic, but I know that when someone dies, they are taken to the funeral home and embalmed, and there is a date set for the Wake/Viewing. The immediate family goes to the funeral home and stands near the casket. Well-wishers stop by the funeral home and walk through, along the line of family members, hugging and crying, if needed, and then stop to pay their respects to the deceased. They bring food and flowers to the funeral home. My relatives said that there was more food than could fit into the kitchen and dining area of the building.

I was ok until the next morning, after we got ready. My Grandma stood up and then turned around and hugged me, and cried. She just stood there and cried. I couldn’t help it. I started crying again, and we were all a bit edgy until we got to the funeral home.

The day of the actual funeral, the family goes to the funeral home, and there is a small ceremony, with a prayer, et cetera, and the family is asked to come to the side of the deceased and pay their final respects. DH and I were going to ride with my mom and her DH, and my Grandmother in my mom’s car, but they decided to have someone else ride with them, so we were told that we had to drive our own car. I asked the funeral director for a flag for our car, and he looked at his list and said “You’re not in the funeral procession.”

I have realized that it is not a good thing to provoke a grieving person. Even me, with my gentle, mellow disposition, entertained thoughts of stabbing the funeral director in the eye with his own pen and telling him where he could stick his effing funeral procession list.

Fortunately for the poor clueless funeral director, DH saw the wild look in my eyes and waved one of the women who works at the funeral home over. She stepped up to us and handed my DH a flag for our car before some harm befell the director. She said she recognized us from earlier, and that we would just have to make sure we were in line behind one of the other flagged cars.

The funeral procession left the building and travelled the four blocks through town to the church where the funeral mass was to be held. I don’t think most people realize what is supposed to happen when you are in a funeral motorcade.

If you’ve got that flag on your car that says “Funeral” on it, DON’T STOP FOR RED LIGHTS OR STOP SIGNS, FOR THE LOVE OF FREAKIN’ GOD GOOD LORD PEOPLE HOW HARD IS THAT TO UNDERSTAND???

The hearse would stop for a red light, and then when it would turn green, the vehicles travelled through it–OBVIOUSLY this is a funeral procession! Then we watched several cars hesitate as the light turned yellow–I’m not sure if it was out of habit or if they were really too loopy to remember what the director had said about continuing the procession. Cars stopped for us, there was really nothing to look out for, and these people are stopping at red lights.

Gah.

So we went to the church, and they asked me to help remove the pall. Uh…at least I think that was what it was. I was ok for a while. I said “What the hell are you asking me to do?” They said oh it’s a ceremony where a girl from each family helps to put the white pall (sp?) over the casket when it arrives at the church.

So when we get there, they tell me to go up to the front and help put the pall onto the casket. As I walk into the church building, among all of my family members, all of Grandpa’s friends, among all of the people who came to pay their respects, I lost it. I was sobbing as we all walked up to the casket. One of my cousins was sobbing right along with me. I was not ashamed.

What hit me then and there was not my grief for the passing of a loved one, but appreciation, gratitude, marvelling in amazement at the outpouring of love and support from the people of Dubuque, from people who never even knew Grandpa. There were people there who had never met my Grandfather. They were there because they know his children and grandchildren, and because they respect him for the excellent influence that his life had on ours.

They were there as a testament to what good people my aunts and uncles are, what a good person my mother is. They were there as a testament to the man who shaped us all. I was in awe of the respect that was held there in that church.

I sat through the funeral between my DH and someone I didn’t know.

After the funeral, we were all escorted out. I cried again.

The cemetery across town was our next destination. It is where my cousin is buried, who drowned while fishing in the Mississippi River when he was 15. My Grandpa’s mother–my Great-Grandma–is buried there. And my Grandmother will be buried there when she passes away.

We all cried again as we left the casket in the chapel at the cemetery. Leaving had a kind of finality that wrapped everything up for me. Afterwards there was a lunch at the local Moose lodge. It took my Grandma an hour to leave the chapel. She just couldn’t leave him there…they were married for 57 years.

The lunch was nice. We told funny stories and reminisced about Grandpa. We ate too much and tried to make dinner plans. Well…I tried to make dinner plans. One of my aunts had already told everyone that they were coming to her house to get rid of some of the food that she had accumulated throughout the past few weeks.

This aunt never asks if anyone wants to come over. She just plans something and expects everyone to be there, and if they don’t show up, she gets offended and won’t talk to someone for months. it’s ridiculous. My Grandma decided she wanted to go, and DH and I were “volunteered” to take her there. I didn’t want to go (it’s a whole other blog post) but we went anyways. We stayed for 45 minutes and left after my cousin told me that she would bring Gram back to the house.

DH and I ordered Chinese food at my Gram’s house and watched “Blades of Glory.” What a dumb movie! It took my mind off crummy feelings for a while, though.

I am home again, and ready to get back to work. School type work, that is…

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