avoiding adulting

My husband found an old PS2 game at a thrift store the other day and picked it up, knowing he could re sell it on eBay for 3 times what he paid for it.

So naturally he dug out the PS2 to make sure the game worked. It worked fine. I was more excited that the PS2 itself still works.

Which means I’ve been replaying a game that I haven’t played in over two years and I’m surprised how much I remember.

I have always loved (most of) the Final Fantasy series of games. From the old days of the pixel games, FF6 is probably my favorite. And from the more recent, FF12 hands down, I can play over and over. FF12 is pretty much considered PS’s swan song. I loved it immediately because it didn’t have a sappy whiny lead character nor did it have a sappy love story. It’s very dark and political.

So yeah, total reverting to a teenager on my days off replaying this game. Time suckage at it’s best.

the college thing

I was trolling Craigslist the other day and saw a post from someone who wanted to interview people who had dropped out of college, why they had dropped out and a few other related things.

The kid (ok she’s 26, but really, I’m 51. She’s a kid) is working on her masters in Poly Sci at Notre Dame. I replied to her post and had a very interesting talk with her today.

I graduated from high school in the mid 80s. It was understood that I would go to college. I went to a small state school that was far enough for me to get out of the house but still close enough to go home on weekends. I choose that school because the state huge ass university that everyone went to was well, huge. I would have been a number.

I went to private schools growing up and this small state school seemed to be a better fit for me. I lived on campus, I joined a sorority (because that’s what you did), I basically had the quintessential college experience.

Except that I never graduated.

Math and I have had a mutual hate hate relationship since I was little. It’s the one subject that I struggled with. I got out of high school by the skin of my teeth. (Did you know that it’s possible to score in the single digits on any one part of the ACT? Yep)

Thanks to my ACT scores, I had to take a placement test for math and took two semesters of remedial math. (We called it James Bond math, Math 002 and 003 is what I took) Every semester after, I would get to mid term and have about a 30 average. DROP that shit.

I tried extra help, tutoring, going to the math majors in my sorority, nada. The planes still went so above my head, they left contails in the sky.

What ended up being my last semester, I took classes to fulfill my minor because they were easy A and B grades for me. When it came time to register for the following semester, I just couldn’t. I never went back.

In hindsight, I don’t know what I could have done different. Maybe going to a community college? I used to regret dropping out, but any and all regrets in my life went out the door when I hit my 40s. (Life is too fucking short to regret. I’ve got better things to do than spend mental energy on what could have been. I made my bed, I gotta lie in it.)

Overall I had a good college experience. I still keep in touch with my theatre friends and see a few of them on my yearly trips back to my hometown.

I don’t know if having that degree would have changed any of my career choices. Granted in today’s world, having a masters is the new BA. And unless I get a free ride, I have no desire to finish.

We are debt free, so unless someone hands me a wad o cash, there is no way I’m taking on a student loan at this stage of my life.

stories of the evil employee discount

I started working in retail in 2000. My first retail job was at a women’s clothing store and what probably impressed me the most was the employee discount. I was told it was ‘generous’, but of course, it’s really just a discount at cost. It’s pretty much like that everywhere. You pay what it costs the company to buy a product, usually at 30 or 40% below what the retail price is.

But at the time, I thought I had hit the jackpot. There were all these amazing clothes that I loved and I had a hard time not spending an entire paycheck at any one time.

My closet was over flowing with clothes. It was kinda gross. The kicker, and tipping point was about three years into this job, I was rooting around said closet for something to wear and found a stack of tee shirts in various colors…..all with the price tags still on them.

Whoops.

Ok, I thought, I get it. I don’t need EVERYTHING.

Next job was at a major department store. The one good thing was that to take advantage of the discount, employees had to have a store credit card. At the time, my credit rating (due to my own stupidity and from defaulting on student loans)was drowning in the deep end of Lake Michigan. But the store gave me a card anyway, with a very small credit limit.

Ha. Since we were paid weekly, I’d max the damn thing out and pay it off the next paycheck. Again, overflowing closet full of stuff. Not as bad as from the last job, but enough that my husband finally made a comment about it when I came home with a designer handbag….in my defense, the discount nabbed me a great deal, but it purse still cost me what I paid in rent. Needless to say the husband hit the roof. I canceled the card so that I wouldn’t be tempted to use it. Which of course ment no more evil employee discount.

Next job was the gift shop at one of the museums in town. My down fall there was books and jewelry (earrings). The discount wasn’t as great, but the museum is a non profit, so it’s not like they are in it for the money.

By then I had learned a few things.

I paced myself on my spending. One book OR one pair of earrings a month. Also, from my previous jobs, I started weeding out clothing yearly. If there was something that I had not worn in a year, out it went. Either in the rag bin under the sink if it wasn’t in good enough condition for the thrift store, or to one of the thrift stores in our neighborhood.

The books were amazing, I got some really nice art books. And the jewelry wasn’t the run of the mill crap you see in department stores. A lot of the earrings I own are one of a kind.

I briefly worked at a kitchen supply/cooking store. Given that I love to cook, that could have been REALLY *DANGER DANGER*, my saving grace is that we have a small galley kitchen and not a whole lot of counter space. My purchases there were limited to small gadgety type of things, but I did treat myself to a couple of nice sauce pans.

Currently I’m working at a bookstore.

Y’all.

I swore that I would limit myself to one book a month. Ha. I’ve been there since mid October. I’ve been averaging one book a week.

Have I ever mentioned that our living room is already three walls of books?

#metoo

There was a thread on Twitter this morning that made me angry.

Because I can relate.

Because it’s happened to me.

Because it’s happened to most (ok well, really, all) of my female friends.

Because it has to stop.

Now.

The person writing the thread told a story of how she recently was walking her dog and by the time she got home, was thinking of how she was going to change her dog walking route just to avoid the creep who harassed her.

Since I choose to not drive, I rely on public transportation to get around. Every. Fucking. Time. I get on the bus or train I am instantly aware of my surroundings, of where I’m going to sit (providing said bus or train isn’t crowded), of where other people are sitting, if there’s a seat by an exit should I have to make a quick escape, and of every. fucking. person who gets on said bus or train after me.

So that when I sit down, I’ve got my resting bitch face on. I try to give off the air of ‘leave me the fuck alone’. And that is often not enough.

It angers me because I shouldn’t have to just go about my day, doing regular things without the constant thought that every penis sporting male that gets on the bus or train is going to think that I want to chat.

All this and I still will get harassed on at least a weekly basis. Or I will see another female rider who is.

Guys, come on. Just because you have a dick and we don’t, doesn’t give you the right in anyway, shape or form to be an ass. Get a clue stick. Learn to read body language. Leave us the fuck alone.

And you wonder why we come across as rude?

 

my lot in life

It’s all I can think about.

What is my fate? What am I supposed to DO?

No, really. What in fuck’s name am I going to DO.

I’ve pretty much accepted that I won’t find a full time job again. And I’ve pretty much come to terms that I’m destined to work menial jobs. And that I’ll be working well past when I should be able to retire.

I really tried to escape from retail. Now here I am, at it again and the irony? I actually really like this job and I hope the company keeps me on a permanent basis. The location means I don’t have to deal with the shits in a mall environment nor do I have to deal with the shits downtown.

And since I’m a reader and it’s a bookstore, well, duh, most of the customers are there because they are readers as well.

But it’s still retail.

I tried so fucking hard. I did everything that I was supposed to do. I thought outside of the box. I searched outside of the box.

I guess it wasn’t enough.

he had me at Pilars

I’m currently reading Ken Follett’s “A Column of Fire”. It’s the third book in what’s now apparently known as the Kingsbridge series. Which isn’t really a series so much as three books are set in the same fictional town of England.

Ages ago, a college room mate had to read “Pilars of the Earth” for an advanced history class. She raved about it. I was already familiar with his work, as my dad was a WWII vet and had read (at the time) the books he was probably known best for – “The Key to Rebecca” and “Eye of the Needle”. I’d read those, but really WWII mysteries really weren’t my thing so I was all ‘huh’ when said room  mate told me I had to read this book.

Reading it, you get a really good history lesson in 12th century England. He has always had an interest in the Gothic churches that were built back then and basically wrote a story around that and all the political stuff that was going on at the time.

I was hooked. Pilars has become a book that I tend to re read every couple of years and I still get something out of it. A few years ago, he finally wrote a sequel, “World Without End” that takes place about 200 years later. What’s interesting is the main characters from this book are the direct descendants from Pilars. It was good, and has been worth reading again.

When I started working at the book store back in October, I noticed a new book of his, the aforementioned Column of Fire. Reading the inner sleeve, I realized this was another story, set in the mid 16th century, again in the fictional town of Kingsbridge.

It’s good so far, and again, I’m getting a good history lesson about everything that was going on in England and France at that time. So far, though, it seems none of the main characters are related to characters from the previous books (not a big deal, just thought that was kinda neat).

On another note, ‘Pilars’ was made into a mini series a few years ago.

If you love the book as much as I do, save your time. Really. I couldn’t even finish watching.