Sunday, September 25, 2005

Happy Sunday!

Well, it's the weekend again. I would be feeling fine if it weren't for the stupid cold I've picked up somewhere along the line. I am coughing a lot and it's uncomfortable. Other than that, I am in great spirits.

It's time for us to buy a new dryer, so I'll be researching them online. We bought a new washer in the spring. It's a Fisher Paykel, which is a great line of appliances. The only thing that can break on this machine is an easy $50 fix it yourself job, which sold my DH on buying it. It cost us over $600, though. We will most likely buy the matching dryer, which I think costs over $300, but I will check on other machines, as I don't think the two have to match. We will take them with us when we sell the house, in about 10 or so years, when we retire.

I had fun on Friday, even though I could have stayed home just as easily, but it was a chance for my DD to enjoy spending time with her friends. We went to the Frederick County Fair with our new friends. DH's new friend is Shoshona, and my new friend is Shosho's mother, Chainah. Then there was Josiah, who wishes we had a son for him to hang with. We had fun, but got a sunburn on our faces. I met a few church members at the fair, and the kids enjoyed the rides. The food and drinks were outlandishly high priced, but we did find a Minimart trailer that sold cold cans of soda and bottled water for $1. That sure made things easier, because I did not want to pay $2 for a small drink.

I suggested we stop at Sam's Club for lunch, because they sell hot dogs with sodas for $1.50. DD wanted an icee with a hot pretzel, and I ordered a polish hot dog with soda. After paying for it, the girl told me the icee machine was not working. I wanted my money back and to pay for a soda, instead, but that seemed like too much trouble for her, so I asked for a float. I didn't really want one, but I thought, oh, the heck with it. Chainah didn't eat, because she said she had to be careful. She told me she got sick from something in Burger King's bread. I don't know what could be different from McD's because that is where they wanted to go originally. I hate McD's. I go to Wendy's, Taco Bell or Burger King. Shosho and Josiah had hot dogs and sodas. The three kids occupied the time over at the computer section, playing games, while we shopped in the Sam's Club. Josiah is jonesing for a laptop computer. I asked Chainah to adopt me and buy me one. We don't ever spend that kind of money on our kid at Christmas and DH has already told me that Christmas is cancelled this year. I am looking for a part time job, but since I'm sick, I'll have to delay for about a week or so until I stop this hacking cough.

I received my paycheck from the city of Frederick for the Election Judge job - $145. That should help a little, but we weren't expecting to be buying a new dryer so soon. It will be nice to have one that doesn't wrinkle my clothing, though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Well, it's been 10 days since I've written, but I've had some posts in mind. One of them is about a situation that I am now able to laugh at, because people can be so bizarre sometimes.

Backstory: I am in charge of a calendar at church that has members signing up to feed the missionaries. The families invite them over to share a meal with them. We are just trying to help them save a little time and money, and have some home cooked meals while they are so far away from home. They are young men between the ages of 19 and 21, mostly.

Anyway, in August, I was looking at my calendar in our church's library, when a member named Susan came up to me, and asked which Sunday in September she had signed up to have the missionaries over for dinner. She freaked out when she saw that her name was written on the last Sunday in August. She insisted that someone else had signed her name, and hysterically gave me a host of reasons why she would not have chosen that particular day. I very calmly took out a bottle of white out and covered over her name on that calendar block. She had written it herself, though, and I dismissed it easily because she just started taking a new medication for depression. I knew that she could have been confused because of the meds, and I wasn't about to argue with someone who could even imagine that someone else signed her name (complete match with her handwriting). There were several people in the library who saw this.

Fast forward to this past week. I sent out an email to everyone in our Ward who I had an email address for, telling them about some of the dates that were still available for September. This past week was kind of busy because we had our Stake Conference, which meant there was no opportunity to pass around the missionary meal calendar.

I got online early Monday morning and found this email, from one of the people who had witnessed the scene from the library.

Dear Sylvia,
I noticed that someone signed us up to feed the Elders on September 21. After checking with my family I found that none of us had done it, and we will not be able to have them that evening. I will sign up again in the near future. We look forward to having these special young men in our home.
Jeanne Cross

Now, mind you, the sign up is in the same exact handwriting this woman always uses. Either she is crazy or she's a liar.

Also, she emailed me, instead of calling me, which is the important point here to consider. I did not have time to check my email all weekend, and this puts me in the position of having to find someone else to feed the missionaries. That someone will be me, but since my husband is not going to be home for dinner, I have to drop dinner off for them.

Oh, well! People are weird.

I had fun working at the Primary Election, and the Cheif Judge wants us all to work together again on November 1st for the General Election. My friend Paul did well at the polls, having the most votes of any of the Republican Alderman.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Election Judge

Yep, I'm going to be an Election Judge on Tuesday, for the first time in my life. I found myself training this morning at Winchester Hall here in Frederick at 10 AM. Well, I was 10 minutes late, but I still made it. I had to find parking, which was a new venture for me. It turns out the garage across the street from Winchester Hall only charges $1 for parking on Saturday. This would be a $10 rate if this was downtown Baltimore. Frederick is so quaint.

So I'm heading for the front door when some City worker who is headed to her office in the same building starts to question why I am here. Then she finds the door is open, and she sees the Election Judge training room full of mostly grey haired peeps who are listening to another grey haired peep tell them how to set up the Diabold voting machines. I get questioned by the woman in charge of handing out materials and stuff. She asks me if I'm a book or a unit Judge. I tell her I emailed someone at the last minute and they called me this morning to say I could be on standby status. She asks for verification from a man nearby, finds out I'm legit, and hands me my blue book and other papers. I sit and listen.

We get up to stand in front of the voting machines and get all kinds of special instruction concerning the voting machines, which are easy peasy to operate, really. The instructions are in the blue books, anyway. After at least an hour of voting machine training, I learn that they've found a spot for me, although it's not at my neighborhood polling location. I'll be at Monocacy Middle School, doing the Book Judge job. I'll be one of the ladies at the tables with the books and forms to ask your name. I find out later that Book Judges make $120, Unit Judges make $135, and Cheif Judges make $150. I could do the Unit Judge job with one hand tied behind my back, but we will be there for 14 plus hours, so I guess it's just as well to have a sit down job.

We are not allowed by law to ask for ID or even for the voting card. We do need to verify by looking up their records, though. Since this is a Primary Election, we have to make sure they are either Republican or Democrat, so we can tell the Unit Judge, who will program the voting card for the correct ballot.

One of my friends told me her father registered as a Dem, even though he was a Repub, so he could vote for the worst Dem candidates in the Primary. How awful! He's not the only Repub I have heard about doing that, and I don't think Dem's ever think along those lines. Sneaky Republicans!

Anyway, I have to take food for the entire day, and one woman told me to bring a comfortable chair if I don't want to sit on the hard metal folding chairs. I met my Chief Judge, and he is a short white haired gentleman. I hope we all work well together.

I saw a friend from church there, and she asked me if I'd ever done this before. I said, no, and she told me that she hadn't either. She has long salt and pepper hair, and looks like a hippy. She is the mother of 10 children.

We won't receive our pay for 7 weeks, but I guess that's okay. We also get paid $25 for being there today.

I applied for a job at the mall today, along with my friend Chainah. We are looking for Christmas work. The woman would not let us take the applications home, so we had to fill them out there. I thought maybe it was because the store, the Bonton, was kind of stuffy, but the less stuffy Boscov's also wanted us to fill them out there. We said we'd come back on Monday for the Boscov application. I have an application form to fill out for Burlington Coat Factory, too. It is much longer and asks for a resume and references.

I just want to find a Christmas job, so I think out of 3 stores, I should find something. If all 3 call me, then I can choose the best fit for my needs. I don't want to work weekends, or at the very least, not on Sunday. We'll see how it all pans out. Chainah thinks she'll spend all her money on clothes.

Chainah was in a fashion show at Fashion Bug today, but she told me it was at 3 PM. I took my time, and got there as they were taking down the chairs. Darn! It was at 2 PM. I looked in the store for C, but didn't see her right away. Maybe I'll sign up for the fashion show next time, because the participants get 50 percent off. I saw two things I'll like from there.

I also saw a Mudd purse at Boscov's that I really like. Man, I do so need a job.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


It hurts to see the dead bodies and devastation in the areas hit by hurricane Katrina. I felt in my bones it would be bad, and there was plenty of warning ahead of time, I think.

I don't think Bush and his cronies really get it. This is America, not your local country club where lower income people are there to serve your drinks. They aren't real to you. They don't really count, except when you are shaking hundreds of hands or taking time for a photo op by hugging them. Make sure they are black children, so no one will say you are prejudiced and, of course, the younger ones are prettier and more complacent. They are just thrilled at the attention they are receiving, not realizing they are being used as props in your campaign to win back the respect of the American people. No, you don't want to have such a sour note in your Presidency. It would be a shame if the writers of history books were unkind to you. (sarcasm)

Blah, I'm not going to get over this for a long time. I don't know any of the dead, but just thinking about them and the aftermath, with so many firefighters and other personnel having to recover the dead bodies of the victims in water not fit to touch, let alone wade in. I don't even want to imagine having to find body after body. After a while, it must make them numb.

No, I don't blame Bush for the hurricane. I just hatethe cavalier attitude he seemed to have towards getting on the stick to help these people.

Right now the outpouring of help is heartening, but I will continue to be on my knees praying for everyone's safety and well being. The people doing the clean up probably need it the most.

I think we all do what we can during times like these.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pierce's Place

Back in the 70's some of the folks I worked with sometimes mentioned Pierce's Plantation with a sense of awe. It was an expensive, very nice restaurant in an uppercrust neighborhood of Towson, MD. I have wanted to go there, but never had the kind of money or date with money to eat there.

My co-worker, a woman named Liz, and I were really excited when we saw the new restaurant that was about to open, so we made reservations. It turns out we were their first ever customers. The wait staff was very sharp looking in black pants and fancy white tuxedo shirts. It was all very formal, but very nice. Back then I smoked cigarettes and the minute I put an ash in the ashtray, one of the waiters would come over with a fresh ashtray and take away the dirty one. It was so funny, and Liz and I got a big kick out of it. We were having a ball watching these new waiters set the table for us. We had scads of silverware, and along the way, they kept changing it, because they didn't quite know what they were doing.

I wish I could say I remembered what I ate for lunch that day, but I know it was delicious. Too bad I didn't blog or keep a good journal back then. I will always remember being waited on hand and foot, though. It was a nice way to spend a lunch hour, with all those good looking, well dressed young men helping a poor working girl feel special. It was surprisingly affordable.

One lunch I do remember well is the time Jim Woodcock took me and Liz to The Black Pearl, an Italian restaurant at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Wow, what a great place, and Jim only spent $27 for our lunch there, but that was back in the mid 70's. The food was great. I had a veal dish with vegetables that was excellent, followed by a huge piece of rum cake. I couldn't have asked for a better meal. Later, when I was leaving Comical Credit to work for Control Data Institute (Seedy Eye), Jim offered to take me out again, even though we had not worked together for some time. We went for dinner this time, and found ourselves at the Black Pearl, alone in a fancy dining room with a much higher priced menu. Both of us were stunned with sticker shock at the prices, so we left to go someplace more reasonable. The Black Pearl closed soon after that. I don't think they did enough business to stay open.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Memories from a Matchbook

DH gave me a matchbook from Peter's Pub on Calvert St in downtown Baltimore. I hardly remember the place, but have some great memories of other restaurants and bars we frequented back then. When I say "we", I am referring to me and my coworkers from Comical Credit (actually Commercial Credit Company), a company which had local offices in towns all across the nation, but is now called by another name, I think, if it exists at all any more. I don't know if Peter's Pub exists anymore, either. It was one of those fern and brass bars where peeps went for lunch or to hang out after work.

I remember my farewell luncheon at the Calvert House when I left the auditing dept to take a job in investments. The Calvert House was a favorite hang out for peeps from CCC, probably because the drinks were cheap. They choose to take me there, and one of the auditors had a few ex girlfriends sitting along the sidelines. It was like a little circus. Don was a sex addict who had a hankering for anything in a skirt. He had a crush on me and everyone in auditing knew it, but some of them thought we'd had an affair. I would never have slept with a married man, because of my father cheating on my mother. Anyway, back then, I didn't know what the term "sex addict" meant.

At the time of my transfer to investments, I was recovering from the loss of my brother, who had died in October, 1975. This transfer happened sometime the following spring of 1976. I was having problems with my BF at the time, who was insecure and very jealous. He also was suspicious of every man I talked to. It was not working out for me. I was "falling out of love" with him because I was tired of putting up with his BS. He took a lot from me, but forgot he was supposed to give something back to the relationship for it to work. I was sad for a while, then just numb with indifference.

He used to fuss and fight about the stupidest things. I remember the morning of my job interview for the investment dept. The phone ran, and I answered in a very cheerful voice, "Good Morning!"

"Good Morning!" he said, "Who were you expecting to call?!"

I was so taken aback by that, I could not comment. He was just calling to wish me well on my interview, but I was dismayed by his reaction to my being cheerful. I had thought the call was from the girl I rode in with. I didn't have anything romantic going on with her, LOL! The level of his insecurity and jealousy gave me pause to think.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Time to Stop Complaining

After reading about the hardships in New Orleans and Mississippi, I am determined to count my blessings. Having free use of water, more than enough food, and adequate bathroom facilities rate up there as being a God send. I am happy to be in a free country, but right now I am not happy with the President. Oh, no, there I go complaining again. If only he didn't have the sensitivity of a kumquat. Peeps needed help and you ignored them, you stupid #!@$.

I think he will get his just desserts in the end. I predict he will go down as one of the worse U. S. Presidents ever. Also, there will be new revelations that paint him in his true colors. Okay, that's just my theory of what will happen. We'll have to see how it all plays out, but I'm sorry we have to put up with his stupid ways until his fricking term is over in 2008. Three more years! Acccckkkk!

I have a house to clean, clothes to mend and sew and dishes to finish, but here I sit blogging. It's sunny, but hot out. I can hardly wait for the cooler weather. At least it's a holiday weekend, and DH is taking off an extra day. Tuesday will give us some time to do some things together. DD will still have to wake up early for Seminary class, though, so that means I have to get up, unless I can talk DH into doing it for a change of pace for him.

Anyway, I wish I could really drive down south to help, but I really don't have the energy or resources, so I will make a contribution at church for the Hurricane victims and pray that people will be saved from all that mess down there. I don't think they should rebuild NO in the same way, but I'm not an engineer, so my opinion probably doesn't count for much.


I have been thinking about going back to work recently, but I don't want to go work for a company. I would rather do something creative. I can sew, but I don't love sewing, and think that would become monotonous very quickly, especially if I would have to do it. I have been thinking about taking a creative writing course that would help me express myself better, then maybe try to get something published, hopefully something humorous. I don't know if I can be funny all the time, though.

I just might work a retail job for the Christmas season, but that might require me to work on weekends. I really want to be home with the family, but I could be earning some money to pay for the writer's course tuition. That and maybe get discounted stuff for working at a store. DH wants me to work at Home Depot, which is right down the street, but I don't think they give good discounts to their employees. I hear it is only once a year and only 10 percent. However, you can always make out on sales because you're informed before anyone else or get some of the returned merchandise at a good price.

I changed the name of this blog back to Silvergirl's journal because It's Cheaper than Therapy doesn't really describe me at all. I have been lamenting my relationship with my mother these past few months. It has disinegrated to a very low point, and there is nothing I can do to make it better. I need to stop focusing on things I can't fix and move on.

DH said we will go over to mom's house on Monday to check on a rug we left over there. Most likely it's been destroyed by rats, but we need to see what's left of it. My bad for letting him store it over there. It was a beautiful wool rug with fringe on the ends that I had bought for my first apartment. I paid $125 for it at a store called Brager Gutman's in downtown Baltimore. I loved that rug, but because of an incorrectly installed vacuum cleaner belt by DH, it got chewed up. The vacuum brush was not supposed to be on when the vacuum was in the upright position and I was using it to suction something with the hose, but I didn't know it was eating up the carpet. Anyway, maybe he owes me a new one, but then again his money is my money.

When he told me we were going to mom's I told him jokingly that I would go into the house and tell her I hate her. That got a laugh from him, as he understands some of the problems I've had with that woman. I just don't like it that she can't be halfway decent to her own granddaughter. Well, she can treat me like dirt if she wants to, but leave my kids alone!

When my father died, we were all over to the house sitting around the dining room table. My mother tried to hand the phone to my then 12 year old DD. Now, mind you, there are 5 or 6 adults sitting around the table, but mom asks my kid to make a phone call for her. Mom is legally blind, so that's why she needed help dialing. I wasn't sitting close to the conversation, but the next thing I heard was Mom screeching, "You mean you won't help me!"

My niece Carrie said she could make the call, and she did. Later, mom ordered DD to pick something up off the floor, and DD just went into the next room. Mom made some comment like, "You're not going to do that, either." It struck me that mom was testing DD, but also that she doesn't know how to treat kids like real people. It's probably why I have some problems with trying to win approval all the time by doing too much or promising too much of myself.

DD is not one of those kids who talks on the phone a lot and the phone mom tried to hand to her was filthy with grime. The whole house is really filthy anyway, with food left on the floor and animals that need a bath. Well, you don't bath cats, but you should change their litter often. The dog stinks and always has runny eyes.

I remember being treated like a servant in my parent's home. I certainly served as their built in babysitter, without ever hearing the words, "Thank you." Since I was the oldest daughter, I was basically charged with most of the chores. My older and younger brother only needed to take out the trash once a week, while my sister and I did the household laundry, hanging it up outside, and washed the dishes, swept floors, etc.