Thursday, July 10, 2008

Getting To Know Me...

Jen, from Dogs and Jen: Home Edition has thoughtfully tagged me. So, here goes.

What was I doing ten years ago?
Oh my, ten years ago... 1998, well, I was two years out of high school, working at J.C. Penney, taking classes at Bradley Academy for interior design, and doing a lot of driving. My daily routine went like this: from home, stop to check on grandma Millie, go to classes for about 6 hours, drive to Penney's, work for another 4 hours, drive home, collapse, sleep, get up and do it all over again the next day. Gee, did you see time in there for homework? Me neither. It is little wonder I didn't finish my degree. And I got myself seriously run down after a year and a half of that hectic schedule.

Five snacks I enjoy:
I'm a potato chip fiend, so chips definitely top this list. My two favs are Utz classic, plain, and Wavy Lays. Chocolate, nearly any kind. I'm all about the Savory Cheddar flavor Pretzel Crisps from Pepperidge Farm right now. And cheese. Oh, yeah, cheese. Right now I'm in love with double and triple creme bries. Cheese should probably go to the top of the list. If I had to choose between life without chocolate, or life without cheese, the chocolate would loose. I often get a craving for cakes or cookies, not particular flavors, but more the texture. Weird, huh?

Oh, Oliver would like to chime in here, too. His favourite treats are Happy Hips, they are a dried chicken breast, kind of like jerky, but for dogs. And Liver Treats from Bil-Jac. Also, Charlie Bears, which look something like an oyster cracker (but don't taste like it, trust me), only in the liver flavor, not the cheese. We haven't tried the new liver and cranberry flavor yet, but we will. That sounds like something he would like. Basically, he'll eat whatever is given to him, but those three will get the tail going in circles.

Five things on my to do list:
I have way more than five things on my list, but here are a few biggies:

1) I want to complete the fence so Oliver can run free in the yard like the wild golden beastie that he is. 2) Recently, we've been considering installing a mini-split system to provide air-conditioning in the summer, and supplemental heating on the milder days in the winter. 3) I need to repair all 23 original wood windows, and replace 2 lousy, "replacement" vinyl windows. I have the tools, just not the time. 4) I'd also love to change the siding. I mean, it's totally livable, but I've had my eye on the James Hardie composite siding. 5) The main reason for doing this, though, would be so that we can insulate. I think I've mentioned this before, but we don't want to tear up the inside of the house, so our solution is to insulate from the outside in.

As you can see, 2, 3, 4, and 5 all kind of tie in together. Major, major projects.

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Please see to-do list, above.

Actually, I thought a lot about this over the weekend. Obviously, I'd start by paying off debts; mine, mom's, Lewis'... I'd do a bit of shopping. I'd pay professionals to do everything I've ever dreamed of doing to my house. I'd travel. I'd get Oliver a puppy, he did ask for a black lab for Christmas. Set up contributions to charitable organizations. Visit a lawyer and a financial advisor to set up some sort of "allowance" for myself. Hmm, maybe that last one should come first.

Ooh, yeah, and I'd have a cleaning lady! Or, guy, whatever. Um, I think that's more than five.

Five jobs I’ve had:
I got my first job when I was 14, I think. My uncle was one of seven owners of the local "country club". (Quotes on purpose). It was kind of a dive, as far as country clubs go, and really should be called a golf club, but I digress... Anyway, there was a pool, with a snack bar. I was the snack bar attendant. Gee, this could be a whole post of its own. Let's save the snack bar stories for some other day...

I was still only 17 when I graduated from high school, so I kept the snack bar job until the end of summer, when I turned 18. One day in August mom dropped me off at the mall to do a bit of shopping, and on a whim, I asked at Penney's if they were hiring. Well, they must have been desperate. I thought I'd just get an application, sit at the food court, fill it in, then turn the application back in. No, sirree. They weren't letting me out of their grasp. Remember, this is retail, people. End of summer, kids going back to college... So, they interviewed me on the spot, and asked me when I could start. Two hours after mom dropped me off to shop, I'm calling from a pay phone (remember the days before cell phones?) to tell her I've got a new job.

I worked for Penney's full time for a while, and part-time while taking classes, for almost seven years. It was really good experience for me, but after seven years, it was time to move on. A guy my mom worked with knew of a library job that would be opening, with the state, that they thought I would like. So, I took the civil service exam, waited 11 months (this is state government, people) and was finally called for an interview. I did well and was offered the job. I'm so happy here. If all goes well, I'll retire from here.

Somewhere in there, before I started with the library, and while I was still working at Penney's, I had a brief stint at the PA DUI Association, where I was to be something of an intern/secretary. It only lasted two weeks, the most uncomfortable two weeks of my life. (Dramatic, much?) There were only three other people in the office, and it was deathly quiet. I could hear muffled phone conversations and drawers opening in the office on the next floor up, that's how quiet it was. And I got about five minutes of training. Then they really didn't make themselves available for me to ask questions. It was an awful time. I try not to think about it. It was so bad that I had blocked it from my memory, and forgot to include it on my resume when I applied at the library. Oops.

That's it. Just four, if you count the DUI Association.

Five of my bad habits:
1) Not giving myself enough time for tasks, particularly in the morning. This often makes me late.
2) Retail Therapy. The more stressed I am, the more I shop. I try to keep it to useful things, but still, any extra spending is bad for the 'ole pocketbook.
3) Procrastination. I don't really mean to, most of the time, but I generally put off tasks until the last minute, and unlike some people, I don't really work well under pressure.
4) Perfectionist-ism. When my obsessive-compulsive tendencies kick in, sometimes I freeze up because if I don't have time to a job right, I just can't do it at all. I have a really hard time doing temporary fixes.
5) Bad cubicle mate. I have to share a cubicle with another lady named Mary, and I have a lot of projects going on. I tend to spread out, and that doesn't exactly leave her with half the workspace. Fortunately, we are rarely there at the same time.

Five places I’ve lived:
Well, I've always lived in my small hometown. When I was small we lived in the apartment above my grandparent's business, the same apartment my grandma Gloria grew up in. When I was 5 my parents divorced, and my mom moved us all the way across town (4 blocks away) and rented one half of a duplex, #18. We lived there for a few years, and my mom started the planning to build her new house on a piece of property that her dad bought for her years before. Then one weekend, the business that owned the duplex decided they needed our half of the house for storage. They gave us two options: move out, or move to the other half of the duplex, which was vacant. So my mom, knowing it would only be temporary, decided to move next door. This was all decided and done while I was at my grandma's house for the weekend. When I left for school Friday morning I lived at #18, when I came home from grandma's on Sunday, I came home to #16. Wild.

Eventually, the house mom built was finished, and we moved in right before school started in 1990. I can remember pawing through a box of socks on the first day of school. I lived there for 15 years, until I bought Oliver's bungalow. My mom still lives there, and probably always will.

Five people I want to get to know better:
Greg from Petch House
Michael and Cherrie from M and C Build a House
Jenni from ThirteenEleven
Jennifer from Tiny Old House
Amalie from Oh, Bungalow

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Yours and those 5 blogs are some of my favorites! Please give Oliver a little scratch for me!