Sunday, February 19, 2006

A little more drama this week, but all ends well

The hubster had to go to Kentucky early last week because his grandfather passed away. It was very sad, but not unexpected as he'd been in failing health for some time. At least hubby got a chance to see his relatives for a while. The really sucky part of the whole thing was trying to get a flight to Kentucky - if you think the airlines give a great discount for compassion fares, think again. We saved maybe $100 on the ticket. If we'd had two weeks notice to buy the ticket, it would have been $257 roundtrip. Last minute compassion fare - $779! Thanks, Continental - I really appreciate your somewhat dubious compassion.

Driving to the airport has to be one of my least favorite things to do, but there was no getting out of it. So one trip to the airport on Monday, another on Wednesday. Then it was time for hubby's weekend off. He called to talk to his boss on Friday, and he was unavailable - because the boss was busy getting fired, and the gossip is that it was for sexual harassment of several female employees! Sexual harassment, in a funeral home - that just seems so icky to me. Still don't know what this means to hubby's job, except he'll probably be getting a lot of overtime now. He's got less than a month til he gets his funeral director/embalmer licenses. He might get transferred to another funeral home once he gets the license, still out in the country, but closer to where we want to be, which would be cool. Anyway, we are in wait-and-see mode. If we can't find a place to rent out there, he'll probably try to transfer to one of the company's funeral homes here in Houston.

I had a lot of drama today. I was just chillin' on the computer, and my German Shepherd started going berserk in the backyard right outside my window. I looked out, and I could see another dog scratching at our gate. I went out to chase the dog off, and it was a huge pit bull with a chain and padlock around its neck. It wasn't just scratching at the gate - it was *chewing* the gate. So I hauled my ass back into the house before I attracted the dog's attention. A bunch of neighborhood kids were playing at my house, and they said they knew where the dog lived, and one of the kids ran down the street to tell the owners that their dog was loose, but they weren't home. Kid comes back to my house, and next thing I know, this devil-dog was at my front door, this time driving my little dog into a frenzy. I couldn't even open the front door to chase it off. Called animal control, only to find out that they only work regular business hours. Well, I wasn't gonna be trapped in my house by a damn dog, so I called the cops. It took them hours to get here, and by then the dog was gone. The deputy sorta treated my like I was a nervous ninny. I told him that one of the kids would show him where the dog lived, so they walked down the block and the dog was there - and it charged the cop. Next thing I know he's pulled his gun out, sent the kids running back to my house and called for backup. Two more police cars showed up in seconds, and one of the cops was pulling out a rifle or shotgun or whatever it is they keep in the trunk, and that's when the dog's owner showed up. The dog took off running, wouldn't respond to the owner's commands, and the cops all jumped back in their cars to chase it. I don't know if they caught it or not, but if I see that fucker in my yard again, I'm more than half-tempted to shoot it myself. I guess I've made an enemy of one of my neighbors now, but that's just too damn bad. We have leash laws for a reason. I know a lot of people think pits are just like any other dog, that they're perfectly safe if you train 'em, but I call bullshit on that - this dog is rowdy and vicious and obviously untrained. I think I'm gonna call the sheriff tomorrow and find out just what the ramifications would be if I did shoot the dog. I could shoot a burglar threatening my life or property, why should it be any different if the perp is a dangerous animal?

Monday, February 13, 2006

So much for having lots of free time

After 10 years of continuous employment, I'm finding that looking for a job takes a huge amount of time. And while I'm conducting my own job search, I'm constantly calling funeral homes to find out where we can send hubby's resume. With only one income, we just can't afford to have two separate households. And moving to where hubby works now is probably not an option. A new funeral home is opening up in the town where he works, and it's expected that his place will lose maybe half their business to the new home, since the guys that are running it are locals, and hubby's place is owned by a major funeral service company. The folks in the small town where he's working really haven't warmed up to the new manager there, so they are sure to lose some business, which doesn't bode well for the hubster, since he's the new guy. If they wind up having to cut back, I know he'll be the first to go. Not to mention the fact that he's still not really an employee - they are paying as a contract laborer, which means that he's essentially self-employed, so no benes or anything. This contract thing was supposed to last for two weeks - it's now been four months, and all the excuses he keeps getting for the delay just don't make any sense. I think they're dragging out the contract thing to save money, and it is really screwing up my tax returns, since he'll have to file as self-employed. Self-employed means no benes, no sick pay, no bereavement pay, all sorts of hassles. But he still has to act like an employee - it's the worst of both worlds.

And the drama just keeps continuing. Hubby's grandfather just passed away this weekend, so he had to take off work and fly out of town to go to the funeral. Let me tell you - Continental Airlines "compassion" fare is a joke. The full price ticket purchased the day before travel would have been $914. With the compassion fare, the price was $780 - not very compassionate in my book. If it had been cheaper, I would have gone with him, but alas, I had to stay home. I'm sure all of his relatives, most of whom I've not met, must surely have a bad opinion of me for not showing up for their patriarch's funeral.

I can feel myself getting more and more depressed, but I don't want to start with the SSRIs again - everytime I've tried them, I've just gotten crazier and crazier. I'm not taking any meds at all right now except my Synthroid and Xanax. I dropped the meds they were giving me for the stomach troubles because I read that there is a strong potential for irreversible side effects, something called Tardive Dyskinesia. I think I was starting to show symptoms - a lot of compulsive lip chewing, and choking on liquids very often. I'd rather be nauseated than have a permanent neurological condition. Gastropariesis has it's benefits - I can't each much at a time, so I'm not gaining any more weight, and am actually losing a bit, albeit very slowly. Most days I just stick to a semi-liquid diet, stuff like that Ensure crap and a lot of ramen soup.

The job search isn't going well - my resume is pretty crappy, and except for my last two jobs, every other place I've ever worked is out of business, so I don't have any references. I got fired from the last job and quit the one before that under really bad circumstances, so I don't expect to get very good refs. I think I'll send the resume out to a professional resume writer - they did a really good job with hubby's . If anybody in Houston is reading this and knows of a software support job (preferably support manager), let me know. I'd probably work for half my previous salary just to get some insurance for me and the family - my COBRA insurance is over $800 a month. I wasn't even going to bother buying it, but all it would take would be one bad accident to ruin us then. I don't really have to worry about money right now, since I got a good severance package and cashed out my 401K, but the lack of insurance really worries me. I can probably live close to a year on what we've got stashed now, but I'd rather get a damn job and use that money to pay off most of our huge debts.

Oh well, enough whining for now. Back to my Jim Beam Black Label, just the thing to wash down the night-time Xanax ;-)