Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Here I go!

What the heck have I gotten myself into??

 Student: "Why teacher have hair like rooster?"

Next week I launch into the virtual teaching world.  Did my training this past Tuesday and today I will teach a "mock" class with my trainer.

All online.
English to Japanese students.
Do I speak Japanese?
Why no I do not.
I am told it is not necessary, my students will know a good bit of English.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Let's Talk a Little Bit About My Son, The Writer...

First off, I could say just about anything I want about him on here because he rarely reads TBL, if you can believe that!  He was the one that got me up and running with this blog and also gave me the idea for the name!  But he's a busy guy, and most of what I post on here he hears eventually. 

Anyway, I'm not miffed that he isn't riveted to every word that comes out of my mouth in recent years.  I did all the groundwork years ago when he was younger and he is his own person now.

Taken this weekend in The Writer and Sammy's backyard.  
The Writer at rest.

And what a great person he is.  I tend to talk a lot about, of course, The Bostons, the felines, The Maven, even Mr. T because they are a little more intricately woven into my everyday life.
 This guy, The Writer, is a married, self-sufficient young professional who is very busy with a very promising career with this company:

I've occasionally posted videos he has produced/written/narrated for  I try not to be braggy-braggy, but this week he has had an excellent documentary series come out on that illustrates well the issues he is interested in, in my opinion.  He really wants to make our country, our world, function to it's greatest potential.

The focus of his latest series is the city of Detroit, which has experienced crippling financial, civic and community problems.  This could happen just about anywhere.  What would we do, as citizens, if it were to happen in our city?

The Writer did an interesting radio interview this morning that touches on the major points of the problems in Detroit and some of the surprising reactions of it's citizens.

Click here to hear the interview!

Directions to watching the series of interviews are at the end of the interview, but you can also click here:

The Mower Gang: #Anarchy in Detroit, Part 1

Thanks for letting me brag a bit.
Zach, if you are reading this, you know how proud we are of you.
Keep up your good work.

(And leave me a comment for heaven's sake - give me a thrill!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Epic Picture Fail? Or Not?

I was on my way to my first doggie client's home last night when I saw the Harvest Moon rising over the hills in front of me.

Of course I was driving, had no camera and couldn't even use my phone camera (because I was driving - see how safety conscious I am - that's a no brainer!)

Couldn't see it from the canine's place and by the time I drove back the moon had risen.  I got home and the moon was hovering over the parking area behind our condo so I snapped a quick shot and posted it to Facebook.

I downloaded it to the computer just now and realized that what I thought last night was a pretty poor  picture of the moon is actually kind of great.

Spooky great...

Camera comes with me when I head over to walk Rover.  I hope it will be as spectacular as it was last night. (the moon, not Rover's walk, that was kind of well, routine).

If I get a good picture I will post it. 
 If not, I say it now:  Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 16, 2013

For The Birds....

Mr. Tennis and I have made a pact to have one adventure (at least) per weekend in order to get to know our new area.  This weekend was actually full of more than one, but I can't count going to a new Flea Market as an adventure (well I do, HE doesn't).

I can't lose him in that yellow - a gift from The Maven to him...

It's also an attempt to get out, get moving, get exercise and rid our bodies of the bulk that mysteriously appeared on us during the last year of stressful living. Mr. T wears his bulk much better than I do - but hey, I'm dealing with major hormonal changes too, just for the fun of it.

We got our bikes out of the garage and loaded them up on the back of Mr. T's truck and headed for Upper New Port Bay Bike Loop.

It was about a 20 minute car ride to the loop's parking lot, so not a faraway adventure at all.  But an adventure it was.

This bike loop is located around an estuary that attracts about 30,000 birds during the winter months and is 10 and 1/2 miles in length.

There were hills and thrills, but mainly beautiful things to see.

The requisite rich people homes on cliffs with their boats below in the marina, both pretty sights to see along with all the natural beauty.

We made it safely around and since this was my first official bike ride since breaking my finger I think I did pretty well.  There was one killer hill that I had to walk my bike up (oh the shame), but I got a nice "atta girl" from a passing avid cyclist which made me feel a tad less ashamed.  

Right before "the hill"!

This community was at the top of "the hill" and what a wonderful view they have!

Next time I'll take that hill!! Still nursing a bum knee so didn't want to overdo it. 

View from those "homes" at the top! Beautiful!

The Maven stopped by the new place here today and brought my grandkitties for a short visit.  They stalked played with Bumby while The Maven treated me to a movie, Austenland, with some free movie passes she receives through her job. 

 Miss Darcy

 She is doing very well, thank you to all who have asked.  She had been plagued by headaches, but the docs determined they are not related to her surgery directly, which is good, and she has found a prescription med that seems to work to keep them at bay.


  Her smile is almost all the way back as her facial nerve starts to recover from it's paralysis. There are miracles all around us, aren't there?  I went to a movie today with a walking/talking/laughing miracle.

 The Maven-Miracle is a huge Jane Austen fan, hence the movie choice.  I thought it was good, but she loved it! 

 She can always spot her Mr. Darcy!

I have two consults for pet sitting this week! 
 And it seems I am "in" with the Japanese/English job.
  More about both of those next time.

Everyone have a wonderful week!

P.S. Miss Bumby is fine.  She held her own with her niece and nephew - sheesh! She deals with the to BTs everyday.  Those whippersnappers are nothing!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Deep Breath In. Hold. Now Exhale Slowly.... can't you just feel the stress leave your body, just a little bit?
That's how I felt when we drove by the Huntington Beach Pier last night around sunset.

A great start to the weekend!
And have a very nice weekend.

Go see this little jewel of a movie when it comes to your area.
You will be charmed.

Written, directed and starring Lake Bell, a very talented young lady in all respects.
Great, funny, talented supporting cast as well.
Try it!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

For Hire: Slightly Worn, Middle-Aged Blogger With Lots of Life Skills

I've been absent from the blogging world this past week because I have been attached to the computer for an entirely different reason.  Looking for jobs.

While I tell you a little bit about this very interesting/"It's so different than it used to be" experience, I thought I'd share some photos from Mr. T's and my jaunt to San Clemente today, Sunday.  It's hard to believe it's just a half an hour away (the speedy way) or a lovely 45 minute drive on the PCH, which in itself is a beautiful thing to see.

Drive to SC

Besides, you wouldn't want to see pictures of me huddled over the keyboard, red-eyed with fatigue, my brow furrowed in puzzlement, and the odd smile at the ridiculous.

Through the charming seaside "town" that is San Clemente.
More pictures of homes and area when I return with my camera.

So here we go to San Clemente and my interesting job search.
(Please forgive my iPhone pictures, I keep forgetting my camera!)

Lots of Spanish influence in the homes and businesses here.  This is a very small one compared to the ones on the beach and in the hills - wonder which one Richard Nixon retired to?

My first job out of college in 1981 was working at The Orlando Sentinel in their classified advertising department.  I left there two weeks before my son was born in December 1984.  Until this month I have not worked at traditional jobs since then.

You can imagine how creative I've been with my resume...

San Clemente pier

I wasn't laying about eating bon bons all those years (as some people seemed to think us stay at home moms did), I was busy, busy, busy.  Especially when my kids entered school.

See the train tracks?

Mr. T has had a home office a good amount of our married life and I've worked in there doing many different things to help him out or to do some telecommuting work.

Next time we are going to take the train here!

I was looking at how to put together my resume and "they" said not to discount work that was done, but was not a paying job.  I thought back to all the school fundraising projects I had been part of, the years (6!) I worked in the bookkeeper's office during my kids' middle school years and the years (8!) I worked in the records office of the high school.  These volunteer jobs gave me true skills that I can use out in the "real" world. Not to mention in-classroom volunteering, running a school store, and trying to get along with the very political parents of the PTA Board. 

I put together my resume included all that I have mentioned and also added "medical care advocate" for the years I spent managing my aging parents affairs, hospitalizations, and day to day care.

And blogging.
I didn't include it in my resume, per se, but blogging has honed my writing skills, knowledge of the computer in general and various editing programs and techniques.
My kids have helped me hone my social media skills, such as Facebook and Twitter and let's not forget about texting! Oh my gosh, can I text! (Not while driving)

View from pier

And what kind of jobs have I applied for you ask?
Lots of different kinds.
  I'm looking for things that are going to get me out in the world where I can meet new people and help them too.  In fact I already landed my first job!

Lots of surfers were out waiting for that one wave!

Yes, I have!
  It was actually through Facebook.
  I logged onto the local community page and saw an advertisement for a new pet sitting business in town and I emailed the owner/operator.  She had just gotten her website up and rolling the week before and yes she was looking for people to come on board.  I met with her last week and we hit it off.  If I pass the background check (what do you think, can I?) we can move forward.  Since this is a new business it will be a gradual progression towards having a roster of clients, but we have our first consultation in a little over a week with a person who will be getting a new puppy and needs a walker M-F to take the pup out.  If we impress, it will be our first client! My new boss already has a full time job, so I will be the "boots on the ground" walker.  I hope the Bostons won't be jealous!

Pigeons perched on restroom building despite all the wire contraptions to discourage them.

I realize this is not going to bring in an enormous amount of money so I have thrown my hat into a lot of rings in the past week.  It used to be, one scanned the classified ads and circled appropriate listings, then called or went to the place of business.  Now it seems it is all done online.

Mr Tennis takes better iPhone pics than me. Another skill I can perfect!

Let's see, I've applied to two jobs as a "field merchandise rep" in this area with two different well known greeting card companies.  You've seen the people stocking the greeting card sections in stores....that could be me!  What a great way to learn the area and meet a lot of different people too.

Lovely, reasonably priced cafe on the pier. Mr. T's shot -arrrrgh!

I've also applied to a couple of marketing firms that need "field reps" to monitor their customers inventory in various retail outlets.  I'm sure most of you have seen those people with the scanners attached to their hips by a telephone cord sort of attachment scanning merchandise on the shelves.  That could be me!! Another chance at a job that is flexible, active and the scenery changes often.

View from our seats at cafe.

I have an interesting interview set up Tuesday evening with a gentleman from Japan.
Via Skype.
To teach Conversational English to Japanese students through virtual classes.  This one could easily fit into my schedule without travel time.  I will be interested to see if this is a bona fide teaching job, but if I'm not open to different opportunities, I could miss out.

I have applied for some more traditional type jobs, Administrative Assistant, Teaching Assistant and I even considered applying to be a parking meter reader (but they are very hated in these parts and I want people to like me, not depise me).

 I still hope to rent a space at one of the lovely antique malls found in Old Towne Orange, about 10 minutes from our condo.  My garage is full of "treasures" to stock a booth. By having a couple of smaller "gigs" I could fulfill this dream easily.

I guess we will see what this next week brings.
Next time you hear from me I could be walking a Great Dane and conversing in Japanese.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on about this new adventure.  If you have absolutely nothing to do for 55 seconds, please take a look at the little, pathetic video below shot on my iPhone of the train that runs along the Pacific Coast.

(Again shot on my iPhone.  When will I learn to shoot videos and pictures in the "portrait" framing. Click on it to see it better in full screen....sigh)

 Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This is Your Chance to be Brutally Honest!

I don't ask you to tell me what you think of this:

I demand it!

In case you don't realize what it is, it is a light fixture that hangs above the dining room table at our new rental. 

I would like to make the effort to replace it with my old IKEA chandy that I brought with me to California. (Well, I should rephrase that:  I would like Mr. Tennis to make the effort to replace it while I supervise and encourage.)

Do you like this fixture? Or, are you like Bumby and me?

Totally mystified and baffled by it's design and presence....

Now someone will tell me it's a well known classic design and I should be grateful to have it, right?