Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So Much Has Happened

I am writing this from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

I had been working that job at Michael’s. I like Michael’s. I liked my coworkers. But I’ve got to be honest: retail is a physical job. I had been told 15 to 20 hours a week and I was working more like 30 and my back was killing me. There is a spot on my right shoulder that just burns. I expected sore feet, but sore back was surprising.

I spent Thanksgiving with the family. I put my foot in it, of co urse. My cousin K came on his own. He said the kids would be joining him shortly, which they did. When he was leaving, I told him to say hi to D, his wife, for me. “Oh, I guess you haven’t heard,” he said, “We’re not together any more.” Boy did I feel like an idiot. My cousin J also did not show up with his partner, so now I wonder if they’re still together any more.

Still it was a good day. I got to see my daughter, and we had a real good heart to heart about why we have so much stress over the holidays. I feel like we both understand each other better, even if we don’t agree.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, at 10:45 at night, my work phone went off. Usually it’s just a notification that some news service has a new story so I don’t look, but this time I did. It was an email, telling me I had an online message from the government. I pulled it up. It was a deployment request. Well halleloo! I had just said that I was good with the Michael’s job but I would prefer something else, and there it was! From my mouth to God’s ear, as they say.

So of course I accepted the deployment, even though South Dakota in the window is no cakewalk. I don’t even own a real winter coat since I’ve been in Dallas for 25 years now. Right now I’m good in layers but soon I’ll have to invest in something more solid.

I had to call Michael’s and tell them I quit. I felt bad. They were good to me. The store manager said she was just glad I called and told her. I hate that. It means they have a high turnover of people who just don’t show up, which is bad business manners. But it also felt like I let them down. I didn’t like that feeling. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I knew I was going to be deployed. I figured I wouldn’t be deployed until at least spring, and that a seasonal job would be done by then.

And yet, true to form, the government called me late at night on a Sunday and told me to report to work in another state on Tuesday. That meant I had Monday to pack and Tuesday to travel. I thought about working Monday, but I just couldn’t figure out how to make that work. I had to quit with no notice to have time to pack. At least I had already done laundry, at a friend’s house, where I was house sitting. And at least she was coming home the next day so her house wouldn’t be empty more than 30 hours.

Monday night I got a call from daughter. She asked how I was getting to the airport. I said, my roommates were taking me. Daughter said she was already on the way to the airport, so why didn’t she take me and then she could borrow my car? No exaggeration, my car Phyllis is more than 20 years old. I drive a 1998 Chevy Lumina. She has just about 150K miles on her, so she’s low mileage for the years. But she is starting to be a little grumpy. She has a coolant leak and she needs a tune up, and there are probably some other things too. I don’t feel good loaning her to anybody. Plus, if she broke down, daughter doesn’t have the money to get her towed. I would repay daughter, but she’d need the money up front to get the initial tow done. Car would end up left on the side of the road and impounded, which I can’t afford.

Or what if she got into an accident? The car’s only worth $400 or so. All it would take is a good rear end collision, and even though it would be the other guy’s fault, Phyllis would be totaled. I can’t afford to replace her.

So with all that, I had to tell my daughter no and the call ended badly. She’s over it now, but I felt horrid for a couple of days, thinking the last thing she said before getting off the phone was “that’s fucked up”. I try to end the call by saying I love her so if anything happens, that’s the last thing I said to her; but she was having none of it that day. I am not hypocrite. I can say no and still love you. But it didn’t feel like that to her.

I have so much more to tell, but I am getting sleepy and I have some errands to run tomorrow so I think I’ll go to bed. Good night.


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More Work

I am doing my best at work but I feel my shortcomings very sharply.

I tried to fill candy today, and was told to just run the register. Then I was waiting for a customer and I was told the coke refrigerator needed to be filled. Well I’ve never done that, I don’t even know where we keep the extra cokes. Of course then a customer appeared, so it was a moot point.

I just found out today that I’m supposed to be checking my hours online somewhere. First I heard of it. I have to find out more.

Also, I am not used to standing for so long. I didn’t notice my feet hurting because we are so busy, but my back sure gets sore.

Still, I am out there trying. I managed to pick up the phone a few times today so that was good.

I am trying to crochet some slippers. I did fingerless gloves that don’t exactly match, so I expect the slippers won’t exactly match either. I’m using long color change yarn so they won’t even be the same colors! But my feet are cold so I am giving it a shot. After the slippers, I’m back to hats. I ordered some yarn that should be here in a couple of days. I’m also going to work on a present for L. I can’t afford Christmas this year but I can probably make something. F won’t mind too much as long as I do something for L.

I might turn on the space heater in my room tonight. It’s that cold. I’m also thinking of acquiring an electric blanket, but with Charli peeing on my stuff, I’m not sure that’s wise.

I’m thinking of going to bed in a few minutes to see if I can get up early and do some art in the morning. My roommates keep the living room pretty dark — in fact, F would make it darker if L would let him — so I prefer to make art in the mornings when the light comes in the windows. It’s brighter then. I can see the colors clearly. Dim light gives everything a yellow-ish cast and I can think things blend that don’t actually match.

Looks like my daughter might be joining us for Turkey Day. National Gluttony Day, I guess it is. I enjoy getting together with family, but considering the history, I’m not sure how I feel about Thanksgiving as a holiday. Like Columbus Day. Some things are just gonna fall by the wayside.

I want some desert. I really want the coconut custard and sweet rice from Thai Thai. Or maybe some tiramisu. Or hot pecan pie with vanilla ice cream, talk about a sugar overload! Pecan pie is just about my favorite and I used to get it only at the holidays. Now my cousin’s kid has a tree nut allergy so we can’t have pecan pie. I guess it’s pretty serious, because frankly he’s old enough to simply not eat the pie, but some people can’t be around it at all.

Time for chocolate, then to bed.