January 2009

If you are a municipality or municipal authority or other government entity that is required to act by formal resolution, then, please, read the resolution that states what you just resolved to do so that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot. 

For example, if a portion of the resolution describes who is authorized to execute certain contracts, and you identify two officers of your organization as being so authorized, then Puh-Leeeze, have those two officers sign the actual agreements.  Otherwise, your resolution, so neatly attached to the agreement, is worthless because the people who actually signed the agreement have no apparent authority to bind your organization.

And, as a result, I will bounce your pathetically and apparently unauthorized agreement back to you and we will start the signature execution process all over again, thereby delaying the effective date of the contract, and more importantly, I assume to you, the nice fat check you are expecting. 

Thank you.


1) My bookgroup: for being a great bunch of women, a spot of sanity and fun once a month.  We may not take ourselves very seriously, but we’ve become a great circle of friends over the last four years (woot!)  Interesting side note: we tend to talk more about books that we disliked, then books that we like.


2) My husband’s steak sauce.  Yum.  One of my friends thinks mr. jolt should start marketing it and make tons o’ money.  I say, let him finish his PhD first, please.  One extra project at a time.  But it truly is divine.  Guests have been known to do all but pick up the plate and lick it.  When we have no guests, I show no such inhibitions, and if no bread is available to mop up the last drops, I use my finger, because it’s THAT GOOD.


3) Science experiment books!  BB participated in his school science fair for the first time and because of mr. jolt being away so much we were a little slow to get moving.  But, the library came to the rescue with Last Minute Science Fair Projects, the perfect book for disorganized families everywhere.  We did the pollution catcher experiment, but did it inside the house.  The room with the most particulate in the air was the laundry room – lots of lint.  It beat out the garage and the closet where we keep the kitty litter box.  Let me tell you that book saved our butts.  I have been informed by BB, however, that we used the wrong kind of board to display our experiment methods and results, which I could see when I did a quick walk through of the displays yesterday when I picked up the boys.  Our boards were too flimsy and did not have the apparently ‘standard’ three panel look (we had two panels).  Oh well, now we know for next year.

Just an FYI that mr. jolt’s mom is doing much better, for which we are very thankful.  I’m posting this separately from the Thankful Thursdays because having posted the bad news I wanted to let y’all know the good news (thanks for the kind thoughts).

Also, I want to separate this issue from the TT posts because it could easily dominate those posts completely. As a result, I will probably not post on her health going forward because I’m finding that I really need this space to be separate from that issue and the stress that goes along with it.  I may email some of you separately.

This week I am thankful for:

1) That mr. jolt got an opportunity to say goodbye to his mom.  The end may or may not be imminent, depending on how she responds to a procedure on Friday, but when he got back to the hospital in Boston yesterday she was semi-responsive and while not totally with it was able to engage in some communication with him, including getting to see some things the boys had made for her.  They hadn’t seen each other (at least not while she was conscious) since Thanksgiving.  So, I’m thankful, as is mr. jolt.

      p.s. In case you didn’t already know, cancer sucks (as in sucks ass like a gigantic blackhole of suckage).

      p.p.s. mr. jolt & I have talked about whether to have the boys go up to say goodbye, but he is dubious about the benefits of them seeing her when she is pretty out of it and frankly, has a gabillion wires & whatnot, which are pretty scary looking.  If anyone has any experience on this issue, I’d appreciate your two cents.   Even if she makes it past the weekend, we are probably looking at a fairly short time horizon.  On the other hand, the boys have really good Thanksgiving memories of her and have talked to her on the phone a lot, just not in the last couple of weeks.


And more frivolously,


2) Soup.  It hasn’t been above freezing for more than an hour or two in the last few weeks.

3) Lip balm.  See #2 above.

Things I’m thankful for today:*


1) Good friends.  I know that sounds hokey, but this week mr. jolt was up in Boston, alone, to be with his mom, who lives there and is very, very, very ill. (These are the times when being an only child SUCKS).   I stayed home because the kids need the normality of school, etc. and we weren’t sure what the situation was.  But on Monday, mr. jolt sounded so lonely on the phone.  So I put out a call via email to some friends to call, text or email him and show him some love, and they did (along with thoughts & prayers for his mom).  Not only that, but our friend C, (who claims to have had a client visit in the area, but I suspect that’s a cover story) drove over from where he lives and had dinner with mr. jolt on Tuesday, giving him an opportunity for face to face conversation with someone other than a doctor.  When I spoke to mr. jolt on Tuesday night, he sounded better than he had in days. 


2) DVRs.  I always have a harder time falling asleep when mr. jolt is away, so I end up staying up way late, watching tv until my head is nodding to ensure that I drop off quickly once I turn out the lights.  The DVR has been a boon and I’ve been watching all sorts of junk the last few nights (as well as last week when mr. jolt was in CA for a conference).


3) Fingerless gloves: I got some last week to use while I type at work.  They rock.



*I try to make these lists a mixture of the serious and the frivolous.  I do not intend to equate the items in these lists.

Warning: long, inner-angst post below.

So, next month will be the two year anniversary of this blog (holy frijoles! (does it count if you take a multi-month break in the middle?))  and I’m torn.  I greatly enjoy the people I’ve gotten to know and enjoy a place to talk, vent, whatever about stuff, but I feel as though the original goal of the blog hasn’t been achieved.

My goal has never been, nor will be, to be a large blog or whatever.  My goal was to get more comfortable putting ME out there.  You’ll notice I write under a psuedonym, so clearly that goal was somewhat limited from the outset.  But, I do know that if I were writing under my name, and thus directly googlable, as opposed to requiring some minimum form of advanced querying to i.d. me, I’d probably completely silence myself.

I started here after a disastrous attempt to write a novel.  I outlined that novel (a mystery) and read over a dozen books on plot and character, etc.  I even have a couple books on poisons and guns (which will probably convict me if anyone I know dies under mysterious circumstances).  Can I tell you, it was the most gawd-awful thing on the planet, particularly once I started with the actual first draft.  So I stepped back and decided that the problem was that I had decided I should write a mystery simply because I enjoy them so much, when none of the ideas for stories running through my head had ever been a mystery.  From there, I figured that I also hated my main character because despite her tragic circumstances (all the books tell you that the character must have challenges beyond the immediate plot so she was under extremely trying cirucmstances) she was flat and uninteresting.  And that, I decided, was due to the fact that I couldn’t figure out what she really cared about because if I could set that out it might reveal to much about what I cared about.  Characters are not necessarily or even usually portraits of oneself, but for my first protaganist, I was sticking close to home.

So, having discovered blogs, I thought, why not?  This will force me to get ME out there and all my twisted thoughts.  Once I’m comfortable sharing my darkest fears, I’ll be able to write a character’s darkest fears. Except, I haven’t really put myself out there. 

I think some of this, if I can over-psycho-analyze for a moment, is due to moving a LOT when I was young (I went to seven schools between K and 5th grade).  If I’d been a military brat, it would’ve been easier, surrounded by a lot of other kids in a similar state.  But I wasn’t.  I was the kid of a single mom who was trying to figure out what she wanted to do which led to: going to grad school; doing an internship; looking for better jobs and leaving jobs because of  asshole bosses.   

Anyway, my way of coping was to always try to fit in by looking for the thing I had in common with the group and running with it, even if it wasn’t my favorite thing.  As a result, I’ve ended up being a bit like what people used to accuse Bill Clinton of in the 90s, of being driven by wanting people to like me and not exclude me.  

This tendency has an impact on my writing (among other things) in that I write with fear that I might alienate someone  or piss someone off.  So I don’t write about the inner me — I write surface and fluff.   On the other hand, surface and fluff is often, at one level, what helps explain the day to day that connects me with the people out in the blogosphere. Blagh.  I go around in circles.

My office is COLD.  It is always cold.  We have complained numerous times to the HVAC folks, to no avail.  Other floors in our building are comfortable, but we regularly have people in our office keeping their outdoor jackets on.  I keep both a cardigan and a fleece (in black, of course, for optimum coordination with suits or business casual attire).  This week has been particularly bad.  I am typing this wearing a fleece jacket and a gray fleece hat.  Yes, that’s right folks; I’ve been wearing my fuzzy grey fleece hat in the office.  Does wonders for my professional look.  But it does keep my head warm & helps the rest of me feel a bit warmer.  Now if only I could keep my fingers from turning numb while I type.


Space heaters are not permitted because of fire risk.  And they are a little touchy about fire risk in my organization because about ten years ago they actually had a fire and had to demolish the whole building and start over because the old building had asbestos that got loose during the fire and contaminated the whole building.


So, here we are in a supposedly modern building (built in 2000 or so), where we can’t open windows in the summertime (when it is also freezing), wearing so many layers that we all look like blobs as we sit and peck out letters on our remaining working fingers.


I need some of those gloves that have no fingertips.  I saw some at Target last weekend and almost got them, but they were in orange camo and it didn’t seem professional to be wearing orange camo in the office.


The weather next week is supposed to be colder.  Sigh.  At least in the summertime I can go outside at lunch and warm up for a while.  I sit like an iguana in the sun getting overheated so that I’ll stay warm through the afternoon.  Can’t do that in January.

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