Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My Dearest Charles:

I've been wanting to say this for months....

I got a job! I got a job! I GOT A JOB!!!

*does a little dance*

Aw, HELL with that!

*does a BIG dance!*

I'm so excited! The network that runs the place where I've been temping wants very much to keep me within their system -- thanks to all the wonderful things my fellow employees have said about me! -- so they've been trying to get me on full-time somewhere. A couple of positions were open, and today I went to interview for three, though I really only wanted a specific one.

I got it! Hired on the spot, and I start Tuesday!

*does another dance*

Technically, I should be off for two weeks, since they usually do two weeks' paid training and the current lady doesn't vacate the position until September 30, but since they've already cleared it with where I'm working now and since I'm so willing and eager to learn and get started, they're just bringing me in that much earlier! Woo-hoo!!

I won't even miss a paycheck! I'll go right from this job Friday to that job Tuesday, since Monday's Labor Day.

*stops to catch breath*

Man! I'm just SO relieved! The temporary position was a gift from God, don't doubt, but to have an honest-to-goodness JOB with full-time pay and with BENEFITS....

*jumps up and down*

Yay, yay, YAY!

Now, I'm gonna tone down the exclamation points and get outta here before my joy splooges all over everyone else's important stuff. Heh. I gotta go see what else is happening, ne?

*dances away, still whooping like an idiot*

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sidebar:

Seems like all the writers I know are thinking, in some form or fashion, about why we write fiction.

Apparently, some people don't read fiction, feeling it's a waste of time to read about people who never existed doing things no one will ever do in places no one's ever been. This boggles me, as those are the people, actions, and places I love to read about most. Heh.

Others, however, do read fiction, and I guess "what fiction means" is a really important question, whether you read or write it.

Hm.

Needless to say, now I'm thinking about it. Heh.

So, what is fiction to me, besides an evening's blissful entertainment? Well, I have to be honest. To me, fiction is a way to make the impossible seem possible...even plausible.

Probably why I lean toward science fiction and horror, ne? The more off-beat, the more challenge to make it seem real.

And there's the rub. Plausibility.

Now, I can accept a lot. I can suspend a helluva lot of disbelief. I can watch even the most incredible movies and enjoy them, even if they don't make entire sense. In fact, the only movie I've ever really just not been about to get my mind around was Battlefield Earth -- probably because it tried to condense about 72 hours' worth of story into less than 2 hours' worth of screen time and the resulting skips and jolts simply couldn't be smoothed over.

But...a story still has to have something plausible. It doesn't have to be possible. And no, I'm not contradicting myself there.

Possible means something could happen. Plausible means you, as an average person, could see something happening. You can get your mind around it, even if you've never actually seen it, I mean.

Now, some people treat those words with the exactly opposite connotation. To them, being able to get their mind around something unusual happening is harder than accepting that something unusual is possible. I, however, want to believe more things can happen than are possible.

Whew. I'm not sure that makes sense.

At any rate -- to belatedly get back to the point -- fiction, for me, must be plausible. I have to be able to submerse myself in the universe the author has created. It may be present day Missouri, my own stomping grounds. Or, it may be thousands of years in the future on a planet we don't yet know exists with alien creatures the likes of which I've never before imagined. Or, it may have been thousands of years ago in a tribe of monkeys just getting ready to shout to the stars that they know, they understand, they think, therefore they are.

Are those things possible? Maybe. Are they plausible?

*grins* Well, that depends on the author. I have to buy it before I'll buy it. Heh.

Um...did anyone notice if I actually answered my own question? I kinda got lost back there. I took a left turn at the aliens and missed the bus to the past and...well...*looks around with growing unease*...I haven't the foggiest idea where the hell I am!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dear Charlie:

I wish I could do in an entire book what Secondhand Lions does in the first ten minutes. Those two old geezers hadn't been on the screen for a full scene before I couldn't bear not to finish their story. I knew -- after those few moments as two cantankerous old farts walked right by supposed family without even a glance -- that I wouldn't be able to even pause this movie.

If I ran out of Coke or chips, so be it.

I fell in love with the story of this movie even as it spooled out. I waited with breath as bated as Walter's for each new segment of Hub's story. And wasn't Garth just the best storyteller ever? So gleefully hyperbolic as he yarned?

See, ol' Garth knew what I couldn't help but blurt as the credits rolled: The best stories are only half-true.

You know, I wanted to see this flick in the theater because of Michael Caine, who I adore, and Robert Duvall, who I admire. But I passed it up. I don't even remember why.

I guess it doesn't matter because I enjoyed it so thoroughly at home that I can't imagine having enjoyed it more in a theater. Heh. I watched it one day and bought it for myself the next.

In a weird way, it reminds me of Big Fish -- another movie I love, though for different reasons. Both movies are lovely dissertations on why the oral story-telling tradition is so important to preserve. Both have larger-than-life characters with larger-than-life pasts.

However, while Big Fish is visually stunning and just about heart-rending in its almost childish quest to find truth in legend, Secondhand Lions is about trying to find wonder in the NOW. It's about two men who have lived astonishingly full lives...and now don't know what to do with themselves that can possibly measure up to what they've done.

And it's about how one new thing can bring all that meaning back and can make each new day just as fulfilling -- if not precisely as exciting -- as each and every one before it.

The fact that it has two of my favorite actors ever using traveling salesmen as clay pigeons doesn't hurt. Heh. They're just so...so...so delightfully crotchety! God, I wanna have even HALF their spirit and half their stories if I reach that accursed age!

This movie makes me want to live a fantastic life, if for no other reason than to have something to talk about when I'm denied my wish to die young. Heh. I have to admit that the only reason I can imagine to WANT to get old is so I can regale my grandkids and great-nieces and -nephews with half-truths that'll have their eyes as big as saucers.

Who doesn't want a life like that?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Hey, the first string looked far better this week. And the defense wasn't abysmal -- at least on the first string.

My poor Chiefs.

But again, I'm much more impressed with our first defense this week. I was a tad bit worried after last week, but I feel better this week.

Of course...it coulda been that Kurt Warner was at the helm for the poor, benighted Cardinals. Heh. Never thought much of the poor guy as a quarterback, though I hear he's a great guy off the field.

Anyway, at least we got to see my boys make some good points and look like the champions I know they are...or will be, anyway. Woo-hoo!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Work is cool, and though they'd love to keep me part time forever, they understand that to keep me around, they need to find me a full time job with benefits. So, they're putting me in for a few jobs in the network, and I'm at the top of the list for one that opens in September! Yay!

*does a little dance*

Heh, they like me. I've done about four months worth of work in less than three weeks...and only four hours a day. *grins* So, yeah, they want to keep me around.

I'm writing like crazy on a secret project and playing the shit out of some mahjong. *facepalms* It's funny how those two things go together so well. Bizarro, ne? But it seems to work.

Plus, I've done a lot of cooking and baking lately. Made my first loaf bread -- MONSTER recipe that made four loaves. Good grief. Kneading that much bread dough was quite a task.

Heh.

Damn good bread, though.

I have the urge to watch some Alien movies. Aliens and Resurrection, namely. Dunno why. I'll probably pop 'em in later.

It's been a weird couple of weeks. Can't explain better than that. Good weeks, but weird ones.

Heh.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Okay, so it wasn't a perfect start to the season.

27-16, Minnesota.

*sigh*

At least our boys got a touchdown. I mean...at least our laaaaaast string scored a touchdown against their laaaaaast string.

Hey. First preseason game. Means nothing. In the long run, it's actually a bizarro good luck charm for our Chiefs to lose a couple of preseason games. Bizarro, but true.

*crosses fingers*

This is the year, guys! I can FEEL it!

...

Of course, I say that EVERY year. Heh.

...

FOOTBALL! Yay!!

*does a little dance*

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dear Charlie:

Killer week!

The temporary job quickly turned into something more. By the second day, they were hinting they wanted to keep me permanently. By the third day, they were insisting. Heh.

By Friday? Well, by Friday, they took me back to the HR office to "interview" me. We talked about the fact that the permanent position would be part time. I told them that I'd love to continue working for them, but I had to be honest in that if a full time job came up, I'd be crazy not to take it -- not only for the paycheck, but for the benefits.

They understood, but they were hoping for a part time person indefinitely, not just until another job came up, so they asked if I'd be averse to working just anywhere in the business's system. I said sure and asked what they had.

One full time job was a SATOP secretary. Meh. If it's all I can get, I'd take it, but despite my proficiency at filling in for a secretary, I'd really rather not do it indefinitely.

The other was a medical records auditor. Now THAT I can do! Unfortunately, it doesn't actually come available until mid-September.

*sighs*

So, I just said I'd keep working as a part timer until then or until they found someone else to do the part time job they wanted. They were disappointed...until they remembered that they'd interviewed someone for the part time job before I showed up. She'd given an okay interview, and the only reason they hadn't already hired her is because she couldn't start for several weeks.

Enter me, who needs a job for a few more weeks.

Heh. So, it may all work out for the best. I'll keep applying/interviewing at other places, of course, because the medical records job isn't set in stone -- though they'll pimp me for it enough that, apparently, the place would be CRAZY to pass me up, heh -- but things are finally looking up.

And I'll at least have part time income coming in until then! Yay!

*does a little dance*

And...everyone is really nice to me there. It's like they're amazed at how quickly I caught on without even really being trained for most of the stuff and at how much work I can do in a short amount of time and...and....

Heh.

I even got compliments from people at other affiliated facilities, saying how polite and professional I'd been, even just being a temp, and how personable I am.

Damn, that makes me feel good. Again, I kinda forget that I'm good at stuff. Heh. 'S good to know I can still do a damn good job, even for just a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dear Charlie:

The employment gods have finally smiled upon me!

*does a little dance*

Okay...temporarily. Penmac came through with a temporary reeptionist/secretary position. I'll have full time work this week, at least, and part time work for an undisclosed period after that if I want. If I haven't heard back from the public library by Friday, I'll take them up on the part time work while I keep looking for full time.

Heh, they made me promise I'd come back. *grins* Apparently, I did better than they ever expected for a temp. Hell, I already know 3/4 of them by name.

*does another little dance*

So, I am no longer an unemployed loser! Yay!

Sure, it's just temporary, but hopefully that just makes me "in demand" if I can get some of my permanent and full-time applications to call, ne?

*crosses fingers*

Of course, I was writing up a storm these last weeks, but that's only good if you can already pay the bills. Heh.

*arms sweat from forehead*

Heh.