Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blogger’s Mother Uses Disappointingly Foul Language

I decided to work with the career consultant that seems to have more IT orientation and went downtown a couple of Thursdays ago for my first meeting with my coach. (“Put me in, coach! Put me in!”) I had been thinking it would be crucial for prospective employers not to know I have a pre-existing health condition, but Dwightly (not her real name) said it’s not necessarily a big deal for an employer who offers insurance under a group policy.

After our meeting, I attended a “power networking” session led by the director of IT recruiting for a recruiting firm which is a sister company of the career consulting firm. The recruiting company actually has a recruiter who specializes in SCM, which I know doesn’t mean anything to anyone, but happens to be what I’m an expert at, so that was good news.

I used to think that I’d better not lose my job because finding another would involve dressing up and networking, both things I was positive I couldn’t do, so I’m surprised and pleased to discover that I actually can do these things now that it’s necessary.

The next day I took BART to Berkeley to drop in on a class of students with disabilities for whom Peggy Klaus was doing a workshop. She’s the author of Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It and The Hard Truth About Soft Skills. The session was open to the public, which Carol Joy had alerted me to, and she also sent me both of Peggy Klaus’s books. After the workshop, Carol Joy treated me to a burrito at Chipotle, and then we went to Stonemountain and Daughter to look at fabric, and then she gave me a ride clear back to my front door, even though she lives in Novato. See why I thought I was one of an elite few?

On Saturday, Howie led us in a half-day retreat—four hours of meditation at the Happiness Institute on Market St., which is plastered with encouraging signs and artwork. It went by in a flash. It seemed like it had been only a couple of hours when Howie said, “For our last sit … ” Afterward, three others and I had lunch at Ananda Fuara. It was an unseasonably warm, sunny day. In the afternoon, I walked up to see my hospice visitee and then home.

On Sunday a week ago I did my cooking and on Monday, another friend from Howie’s and I had lunch at Source, per her welcome last-minute invitation.

I decided that the first substantive thing I must do in my job hunt was spend several days sewing, finishing up a number of projects I haven’t been able to get to, which remained true even once I no longer had to go to work, so that’s what I did this past week. On Wednesday, I went on a pretty routine bike ride: rolled along John F. Kennedy Drive through the park to the beach, admired the sun sparkling on the Pacific, Netanyahu passed by, the usual. The Great Highway seems to be an oft-used celebrity route. This was the third time lately I’ve found it closed for this purpose.

Yesterday I went to see my hospice visitee, got a burrito at Papalote, did some reading, and went to bed early: a perfect day. My hospice visitee, A., will never know this, but he has offered a wonderful refuge these past several months. One day when I was there, I had a tickle in my throat, coughed a time or two and had to drink some water, and A. seemed excessively concerned, asking if I would be all right. I didn’t have so much as a cold—I wouldn’t go to the hospice facility if I did—so when I had a hysterectomy, I didn’t mention it. When A. asked me what was new, I said, “I don’t think anything is. It was a pretty regular week.”

I said the same after being diagnosed with cancer and losing my job. Ergo, that peaceful blue room is a surgery- and unemployment-free zone, a place where those things just don’t exist, and there is something to be appreciated in that. A. doesn’t have to worry about my problems, and I don’t, either, for a couple of hours. We discuss movies, actors, books, writers, food. Our senses of humor overlap a good deal, and we both love words and language. I’ve been visiting A. since the beginning of September, 2011, longer than any other hospice visitee to date, and he seems like a friend now.

Before we return to a G rating here, let me just ask when Grover F*cking Norquist is going to be designated an enemy combatant and sent to Guantanamo for some of that torture these people think is perfectly fine as long as it’s happening to some non-rich unnamed dark-skinned person they’ll never meet? The damage he's single-handedly done to our country is incalculable.

Also, when I spoke to my mother today, she was nonplussed or worse to hear I’ve never seen The Nun’s Story. “What’s it about?” I inquired in crafty hopes she would recount the entire plot so I wouldn’t have to watch it myself, but she stopped right at the point where Colleen Dewhurst seizes Audrey Hepburn by the neck. “What happens then?” I asked, but nothing more was forthcoming.

“I saw Bridesmaids,” I offered, to fill a silence which was becoming uncomfortable.

“Well, I’ll tell you, The Nun’s Story is a f*cking sh*tload better than Bridesmaids.”
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