Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving - it's not just a day

Last week was kind of a blur.

RB has been sick - pneumonia - and we went to NYC thinking he just had a bad cold. We walked 7-8 miles - it was beautiful - warmer than anyone would have thought for November. We took a cab to Chinatown and hit the 'tourist' Chinatown first - that was interesting - people with pictures of Gucci bags in their palms trying to get us to buy. It was funny at first, but you get inundated. RB and I kept walking - looking for the 'real' Chinatown. We did find it - and went into a 'mall' and walked around - (me hoping to find a restroom). We stuck out like sore thumbs! So much so that this lady came up behind us and asked if she could help - she said she was worried about us! It was funny - but I did tell her that this 'mall' reminded me of Taipei and she said we were brave - and with my blond hair we could be spotted a mile away. She was helpful and suggested we get out of the 'real' Chinatown just for safety sake - and neither of us could argue. Some of the smells were starting to get to us both. We passed by store after store with fresh fish outside and other things that I couldn't even begin to name and I even saw bean paste buns - but didn't want 6 of them! We found our way out and hailed a cab to take us to Ground Zero. We were going to go in, but to buy the tickets you had to walk another 4 blocks and go back and then we ran into the OWS people. Lovely. I had no interest in being lumped in with them. I believe in personal responsibility - not letting the government take care of me. So we continued to walk into Little Italy - We did find the "Irish American Pub" and had some beer (of course) and met Lanetta, who was of course, from Ireland. We had wonderful Irish Nachos and we were able to unwind a bit. Then we continued walking toward uptown and finally took a cab up to Bryant Park. We walked around more of that area - and then Times Square but it was freakin crowded - we did go into a couple of stores, but didn't find anything to our liking. We did try to get into the Pig Whistle Pub but it was so crowded we couldn't get in there - so we went across the way to Langan's
It wasn't as 'friendly' as the Irish American Pub - Lanetta is a jewel - but we were able to sit at the bar and enjoy a couple of beers and be off our feet. Much better than walking through the insane crowds in TS!

So - we got home at midnight Saturday night - RB slept almost the whole way home - poor honey. I couldn't sleep. On Sunday I felt like crap - really tired and achey - not realizing that I was coming down with whatever RB had.

By Tuesday I was miserable. LOL - and I mean it! I had to go to Working Solutions and learn of all the stuff I had to do to find a job - like I haven't been doing it already - and then I went to Urgent Care. Didn't do much on Wednesday and then RB and I had our own little Thanksgiving feast at my house. All these plans to go here, there and everywhere didn't pan out.

This weekend was pretty tame, Sunday I got a little stir crazy and walked to Joann's Fabrics to get Christmas presents (well the makings for them) - 5 miles later I was home. LOL Yesterday I sewed...and delivered a pillow I had done for a friend, made a knotted fleece blanket for a wonderful little boy and decorated for Christmas.

Now - back to the subject of this post.
I'm THANKFUL for all of the people who have rallied around me and called me and given me support in these trying times. I'm THANKFUL for the sewing machine that RB gave me for my birthday as it has been such a blessing - keeps my head and hands busy. I'm THANKFUL to Christine Elkins and Catherine Paterson for always reminding me to get my 'pieces of paper' aka diplomas because no one could ever take them away. I'm THANKFUL for RB - he's just an incredible person. I'm THANKFUL to BP - she knows what I'm going through and has given me one hell of a project to work on! I'm THANKFUL to have my home and so many dear people in my life. God is good!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

random thoughts

Every morning when I get up - I have to go look at the calendar or my phone to see what day it is and what the date is. I've only been out of work for 2.5 weeks and yet I'm losing my days - it doesn't help that I don't have a regular schedule, but I'm trying.

I've learned that writing lists means that I get a lot more accomplished during the day. And friends help a lot with their encouraging phone calls and emails. Very nice to have such great people in my life.

Excited about Saturday - going to NYC with a bus load of people - RB and I are going to explore China Town, Little Italy, SoHo and the World Trade Center. We walked 9.5 miles last year - so thinking we should hit that this year. :)

I've started walking a lot - it helps make me physically tired so that I can go to sleep at a regular time and get up fairly early. I don't want to get lazy - my thought process is that when (not if damn it) but when I get a job I don't want to have to relearn the early to bed, early to rise that I've been doing for years.

Got my first rejection - I don't know Visual Studio. I'm a Jill of all Trades - I know a little about a lot of things - and actually I know a lot about a lot of things - but it isn't matching anyone right now. We'll see how it goes. Meeting with an old friend tomorrow and someone else in his company and who knows...but it will be a very nice change from filling out applications and sending my resume to a million people and not getting anything but canned responses. Or job offers to be a salesperson for some insurance I've never heard of - or sell a pyramid scheme - those are so much fun to vet through.

Have to do some cleaning up....and more thinking!

Friday, November 11, 2011


So - being unemployed sucks. I've been working since I was 15, not afraid of work in any way. And I have to admit - that while I'm not getting to paid to work right now I've been busy getting things done in and around my house. RB and I have a garden all tilled out back and I've been working on my compost pile. I've had so many conversations with clients from old company - everyone has been very supportive and I really appreciate their thoughts, time and kind words.

These are some ideas going through my head - I need feedback though - tell me what you think. When I worked at Capraro Technologies, I created a monthly newsletter - sent it out to about 400 clients and friends...I was thinking that I should continue that. It was about tips and tricks in Office - but also about software and hardware coming out - comparisons of such - and stuff about malware, viruses, etc. I also added 'heartwarming' stories - just to keep it real. I was for the most part a compiler - I would find info online in lots of places but bring it together. And because so many of our clients weren't techies - I tried to keep it simplified and understandable. So - I'm thinking to start the same thing again - and add other ideas - thoughts, whatever. Remember - I'm a Jill of All Trades and a master of none...

I've also thought about starting a Facebook page - Michelle Looking for a Job! That could be interesting....

Anyway - with that being said - if you have any ideas, thoughts - whatever - let me know - please!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lakeland Winery

We (RB, B, D and I) went to Lakeland Winery - none of really knew what the deal was - but it was $10 for four of us to taste wine - half price. B was informed by the owner - Andy - to bring cheese and crackers or whatever for an appetizer. So between B and myself we had lots of cheese and crackers.

We showed up a few minutes before 7 and honestly I didn't think much of the store front - it's on State Fair Blvd in Syracuse, right next to a car wash and not a lot of parking. It was a small building - in the front - but very comfortable.  Two tables, couches, chairs and bar and lots and lots of wine.

Andy started out with a light hand on the wine - not a bad thing because there were a lot of wines to try. Of course the more we tried the more we got to try! LOL - and at the end there was the option to make a wine that we had tried. B&D are brewing a pomegranate wine and RB is brewing a Gamay Nouveau - a dry red. We get to go back in December to bottle it. Lots of fun awaits.

Yes - you can buy these wine kits and make the wine in your own home, BUT - there are a lot of extra tools and supplies that you need as well and why not make a night of it and go there and meet new people and taste wonderful wines. And...there is a Quaker Steak and Lube just down the road. We went there and had wonderful burgers and RB & D shared the 100 ounce beer - called a Lube Tube - LOL - good thing I was driving - the boys were useless after that!

I have another place to write about - I'll do it in a couple of days....a place in Rochester that RB brought me to last weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Well - not working has an upside - all those things that need to get done around the house can finally get done - with some elbow grease and good direction (thanks RB). I removed 90% of the rust on the rocker panels of my car. I asked the guy who fixed my car if he would do it - the answer was an emphatic NO! LOL - he had the paint out and everything - but I guess rust wasn't his thing. Anyway - I used naval jelly, a scraper, a hard plastic scrubby pad and sandpaper to get all that stuff off. Then mineral spirits to clean the area to be painted and finally I did a primer coat. Needless to say - cheap primer - Rustoleum - doesn't stop rust from coming through. RB came by the next day and worked the rusty area a bit more and put 'real' primer on. It's looking tons better. I'm hoping to sand the areas again and paint and clear coat it soon. Can't use my car for a couple of days once I do that.

The other thing that I'm in the process of working on right now is my front steps - my beautiful red steps take a beating in the wet and snow and were in sorry shape. Part of the problem was that they were wet because of the ice mats I keep on them - so those are now gone. I used a heat gun to dry out the wood and help me loosen up all the spots I could of paint. Used a metal brush and wiped them down good - and put a new coat of primer down. It's kinds of chilly out - but hopefully they will dry okay and I'll be able to put the red coat on tomorrow. It's only going to work for a year or so - I really need new stairs - and a gutter above them to stop the rain from falling on them so hard.

So...God has reasons for everything. I'm working my tail off and not causing any problems, I just really want to go back to work soon.

Thanks to all of my wonderful friends for their help, love and support.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More Roller Coaster

For the first time in my life - I've been laid off - and I mean first time ever let go from any job in my life. It's brutal. It feels like a slap in the face. I've been with this company for 12 years - I have always jumped in to help with various people have had to leave because of family problems or health reasons. When we moved from one office to another - I was there for an entire Saturday helping with the move -using my car to move all servers and machines from old to new office. My co-workers showed up later and left earlier than me. My office was set to go come Monday AND I helped everyone find their things and get set up. I'd been there the longest of everyone but the owner and another guy but that didn't mean a lot.

I've had lots of calls from clients and they helped me feel better - many wanted me to take them on as clients - didn't go there - many reasons - but the biggest is that it wouldn't be right. I love the fact that my prior clients feel so strongly that I helped them - and it helped me get through last week - it was rough. I've finished my resume - sent it to three prospective clients. I'm stronger than being laid off - I will not be on unemployment any longer than necessary. It's necessary to my self worth to work as soon as possible. I will not be someone who sees unemployment as a vacation. It's not in my blood.

Thank you to all of my very supportive friends for all of their wonderful words and love. I want to give some employer my best - I have a lot of knowledge to share and will gladly share with anyone.