Friday, June 30, 2006

It's over now

Unless I get a phone call within the next 15 minutes, I am now unemployed.

I thought I’d gotten used to the constant waiting of Army life, but this is a new feeling. My job contract was set to expire today, but I’d been told from the day I was hired that it would be extended; that it would be no problem. But late last week told a different story. My department was scrambling to get a last minute approval because of a new rule requiring stateside approval for any hiring action because of budget cuts. Right now there is neither approval nor disapproval. Approval after today still means I’m fired – I can just be rehired later, which is something my bosses have already agreed to. If it comes back disapproved? Well, that’s a different story, meaning pretty much that I’m out of luck. And with the hiring freeze now in place, I’ll be hard pressed to find anything else. So now, I sit here 10 minutes away from being a housewife again. My feelings are conflicted. I’m upset – I’d hoped to be working at least until December. But at the same time, I could use a short break. Short meaning a month, not two years.

So I’ll go on vacation, the excitement of which has been partially squelched by this wait-and-see scenario, and hope that when I get back I’ll have a job.

Because no matter how much I complain – or what I complain about – I love to work. And when I’m not working, I feel a little less than what I am. I'd finished the outstanding memos that were to be written and created an out of office reply: "I will be out of the office for an indefinite period of time."

7 minutes until close of business the phone rings. At this point my hopes of hearing something today are almost shattered, but still my heart skips a beat.

"What do you mean you're out of the office indefinitely?!?" It's the community sergeant major. I tell him the situation and he demands why I didn't tell him sooner. It's all being worked out, I tell him. I thank him for calling. I send an e-mail to the staff saying essentially the same thing, but the tone in that e-mail, it's clear that I may not be back.

2 minutes before the end of what has turned out to be my last day of work I get an e-mail. With my system, a portion of the e-mail flashes on the screen. "Congratulations!" It reads.

I open it.

I am one of this month's volunteers of the month. Ain't that a b@#$h. I start to laugh. Too hard. I make myself stop when I feel it becoming one of those hysterical laughs that get louder and louder until it becomes crying.

4:00. My boss comes in and asks if I've heard anything. He got my e-mail. "You'll be back next week," he tells me.

I hope so. I pack up a few belongings - I'll pick up the rest next week - and turn off the light. I have to close the blinds to make sure it's off because they're activated by the light produced outside and for the past 2 days, I've accidentally left them on.

And I won't be there Monday to turn them off.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Still here

I am a source of power
I am excited journey
I am a rock of patience
I am a whisper singing

I am unbridled freedom
I am the thoughtful thinking
I am a love unshattered
I am the great orgasm

And if you don't recognize my presence, I am here
And if you don't recognize my presence, I am here

- Jill Scott, Beautifully Human

I've been getting my ass whooped. First by Woodstock and now, Da Riddler has joined in. And not one of those Go-get-my-belt whuppins. One of those -go-pick-a-switch-off-da-tree-and-don't-bring-the-smallest-or-two-get-twisted-together type of whuppins. First Woodstock started it, urging me to get on my game, scolding me when I didn't.

But my line sister REALLY tore into me in an IM convo. I'm green, she's pink.

nolimit :what's up?
Riddler:not much and u
nolimit: exhausted ... but writing class is at 6 so just waiting for that.
Riddler: cool, writing class
Riddler:oh i can't wait for the finished product
nolimit: and I'm such a slacker ... still where I was two days ago ... the class will be disappointed
Riddler: what's wrong with you
Riddler:what's the prob?
nolimit : I know ... I don't know - unmotivated but that's what the class is for, motivation. When I get home, so tired, and then too much other BS going on. Might quit the church thing ...
nolimit:i mean as church secretary
Riddler:blah blah blah
Riddler: excuses is all i'm hearing
nolimit : i know, not giving excuses, I realize my slacker tendencies ...
Riddler : anything worth having is worth working for
Riddler: stop talkin about it and be about, u've gotten soft since u left the states

Damn Riddler, it's like that? But she's right, and so is Woodstock. During my bachelorette party onne of my bridesmaids read a survey she had put together where Wood answered questions and we decided whether or not they were true. What really struck me, forever solidying my love for him was the answer to the question "What does she hate most." The answer? "When people say they're going to do things and don't do them."

And I've become what I hate most. So I'm making a change here and now. Today. And I'm gonna do the damn thang. As for the name change, sansamor was my past name, the name that shackled me to a past that I'm no longer living in. And as Wood put it, it's just sad.

So No Limit is back. Reading the IM over, even I had to admit that I've gotten soft. A punk.

No Limit gets what she wants.

No Limit wins a journalism scholarship without a portfolio - in fact with only poems written on torn out steno pad paper.

No Limit talks the Dean of the School into letting her keep her scholarship even after Effing up for two semesters.

No Limit holds down 3 jobs while in undergrad so she doesn' have to ask moms for money.

No Limit goes to grad school and gets a full-time job out of it and a university teaching position.

And if you're not about my progress, stay the hell out of my way, cause I'm coming through.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Doctor! Doctor!

Aaaah … the joys of military life just don’t stop! Every day in the newspapers I read about people complaining about how the military and the Department of Defense as a whole is cutting back – on jobs, on services, on everything. But what these people fail to mention is the FREE lessons they give us every day. Yes, you read correctly, FREE. I got such a lesson myself today. I ran out of birth control pills 2 or 3 weeks ago, which signaled to me that it was time for my yearly. So I call to schedule an exam. Only there’s a waiting list. Waiting list? For an exam? So I wait two weeks before someone calls me to set my appointment. Anyway, today the appointment rolls around and I have made plans to “skip” lunch so I don’t have to take my appointment time out of my sick leave. Ok, now I know that may sound kinda shady, but I might need that sick leave – you know, for my (cough, cough) trip to Italy next month. So I get there a little early like they suggest – 1:15 for a 1:30 appointment. They have me fill out all these forms, which I don’t really understand, because haven’t I filled these out before? Then they give me a survey to say what I like and dislike about the clinic. Now, I must say that was a smart move, giving out the surveys BEFORE people see the doctor. That way they have nothing bad to report yet. So I’m chilling, reading the only damn magazine in the place “Family Fun” like I care about how to make a little house out of sponges and make grass grow on it (Who would WANT that?!?). I glance at my watch, 1:45, and I’m getting a little antsy. I admit it, I hate to wait. But I’ve come to expect to wait a LITTLE bit. They take my vitals and my blood pressure is high. I think that was a sign – a sort of preemptive sign of my impending anger. After they take the vitals, you know it’s only a matter of time before you get to the doctor (or in my case nurse practitioner) right? Wrong. I sit, tapping my feet, glancing at the plasma TV that’s playing some cartoon movie, the same movie that was on when I got there that they have had time to start over and how in the hell can they afford a plasma TV but they can’t hire another doctor up in this piece? At 2 I go to the reception desk and ask if maybe I had the wrong appointment time. I don’t. So I’m getting heated. I mean HEATED. I haven’t been that mad in a long time, since ole’ girl almost made me go off on her that time. 2:15. 2:30.2:45. I go back up to the desk, as where the restroom is just as my name is being called into the exam room. “I’m sorry ma’m, something unexpected came up during her last exam,” Soldier somebody says. DO I LOOK LIKE I GIVE A FLYING F$%^?!?!? You should have told me that an hour ago! But I just look at him with that smile I used when I’m pissed the hell off. I think he got the point. So when I get in there I already have an attitude, and you know how hard it is to break out of pissed off mode once you’re deep off into it. Nurse tells me to take off my clothes, put on the robe, yada yada yada. Now I know it’s her job to say that, but inside I’m screaming, “I’m 26!!! I know that I need to put on the damn robe facing the front!!!” And what’s the point of going behind a curtain to take your clothes off, and even putting on the robe for that matter? You end up butt booty nekkid anyway! So when the nurse finally comes in to talk to me she’s asking me all these dumba$$ questions, like when was your last exam. How in the eff should I know? You got my chart in your hand. It’s right there, I see it. I heard you on your computer before. What were you doing if not looking up my patient history so you wouldn’t have to come in here and ask me all these dumba$$ questions? Then they rush through my exam, shoving the speculum in so damn hard I can still feel it and tell me not to start smoking before I leave. OMG!!! So what free lesson did the Army teach me today? Patience. Or at least they tried to.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Confessions - Part I

People ask me all the time, “Sansamor, what makes you tick? Tell us more about you” And I’ve decided to do just that on the blog. Actually, no one says that, and actually I’m bored and too lazy to come up with something interesting, so I’ll just tell you some random stuff. But didn’t the other reason make me seem way cooler?

1. When I was younger I wanted to be an actress or a rapper. In middle school I actually wrote a rap for a “Say No to Drugs” contest at the school and me and my group (me, Apple Jacks – don’t worry, not her rap name, and Lewis who lived down the street from Ms. Josephine ‘nem) won a pizza party.

2. Some people think I’m a snob before even getting to know me. And that hurts my feelings; which leads into #3,

3. Despite my “tough” exterior, my feelings are easily hurt.

4. I drank so much at my graduation party (from undergrad) that all I remember is bits and pieces: accidentally calling my mom while cursing people out and having to pretend she made it up; praying to the porcelain god after drinking shots that most people consider full cups; passing out in the car but waking up periodically to give my brother directions to the club – needless to say we didn’t make it. Ahhh …. Good times!

5. I’m afraid that if I write a book, everyone will hate it.

6. I got fired from a job because they said I caused $300 to be missing from the drawer, but they didn’t fire the white person who actually took the money from the customer. So I sentenced the store to “pay me” reparations with $300 worth of merchandise.

7. I almost got my license suspended because I had an outstanding speeding ticket in the States before I moved to Germany.

8. People who brag get on my nerves.

9. People who brag about their husband’s rank or what kind of car they drive REALLY get on my nerves.

10. It annoys me when people assume I’m a secretary. Maybe I should put my degrees on my wall at work.

11. My mom found two “books” I wrote when I was in like elementary school. I cried when she read me a story from one of them.

12. I hate for people to see me cry.

13. I listen to Avril Lavigne.

14. I really, really hate school, but want to go back to get either a J.D. or a Ph.D. A Ph.D. in what, I don’t know.

Anyway, that’s enough of letting you all in MY bidness for now. What are some of YOUR confessions?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Gin & Juice - AKA Don't fry chicken when you're drunk

After an exhausting day, I am FINALLY at home, after lugging groceries from the underground garage to our apartment. When I get inside, I see the hubby on the computer, draining the last of a MGD. I’ve had a long day and he’s already set the standard so I decide to make myself a little after-work drink as well. Only I always forget that my drinks get you to’ up. And this one was no exception. Mixed up a little concoction of OJ, citrus vodka and triple sec, with a splash of grenadine. Thought I’d be OK because I used the Smirnoff and not the Grey Goose, but dammit if my juice to alcohol ratio is out of whack and by the time the chicken finished, marinating I was feeling pretty dang good.

So, the oil’s in the pan heating and I start to season and batter the chicken. By the time I put the first piece of chicken in the oil, I’m actually tipsy. But I’m still trying to maintain. So I got the chicken sizzling, mashing the potatoes and have peas boiling on the stove. But I’m also totally violating the cardinal rule of the kitchen – pot handles should never face out! So of course I almost knock over the chicken in it’s hot a$$ grease AND the peas. I regain my composure in enough time to prevent any catastrophes, but it’s a struggle. I guess the bratwurst I ate for lunch wasn’t good enough to let me sip on a lil’ something without overdoing it.

It’s going OK, despite my failed attempt to get on the computer and fry chicken at the same time – I kept envisioning myself typing away as a grease fire blazed in kitchen. And in Germany, there is no law that each apartment has to be equipped with a fire extinguisher. I was told that we had one for the tenants to share – and it’s in the basement. It got kind of perilous when I tried to make gravy, though. I had lots of grease in the pan and I didn’t want to pour it out because I wanted it to fry a second batch of chicken the next day. So I figure I’ll take the grease off the heat, get a smaller pan, put some drippings in it and make the gravy. Only when I started to do it, the grease was sloshing everywhere – much like my mind at this point. I’m able to set it down without starting a fire and proceed to make my gravy. So I’m putting in flour, stirring it around as usual, with my cup of water next to me. And I put in more and more flour until it had thickened up a bit. But right before putting in the water, a clear voice came through in my muddled mind – “Doesn’t it thicken up AFTER I put the water in?” It does. So I have this thick mess of flour and grease, and I hear the hubby turning off the water in the shower. So, what do I do? The only thing I could do – throw it away.

“I was going to make gravy but I changed my mind,” I told him.

The meal was damn good though – but don’t try this at home - you might end up burning the house down.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mad World


In two weeks, I may not have a job.

And I found this out from the newspaper.

According to the article
the firings are being announced “as early as possible to allow our affected employees and their families to prepare.”

WTF? Since when did two weeks allow you enough time to do anything, let alone find a new job? And it’s not like in the states where you can pick up the classifieds and start making phone calls. Most jobs over here for Americans (the ones who don’t speak German anyway) are government jobs – the same ones being cut. So what do I do?

On the one hand, I am telling myself not to worry about it – that God will make a way for , that this may be a blessing in disguise, or that I won’t even be affected by this. But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder – and worry – at least a little bit.

The positive me (yes, there IS one) says that if I lose my job, what’s the worst that can happen? We don’t pay rent or utilities so we don’t NEED my paycheck to survive. And we are trying to move into a new place, a move that will be at government expense, that is big enough for a home office. A place where I can go and write and actually have the time to devote to it. Positive me says maybe this is the break I needed, the thing to get me off my butt and push myself to write until I finish something – not having to worry about squeezing in time between work and church and sorority and FRG and just plain Army stuff.

But the negative me, the one I’m trying to push down, says what are you going to do without a job? Although we don’t need my check, it was nice. I could finally buy what I wanted, not having to worry about the balance in my account and whether I should write a check for those groceries because I get paid tomorrow and it won’t hit my account until Friday. Negative me remembers my first few months living in Germany – months spent without a job, months spent depressed. Negative me says, what if I spend all day in my “home office” and come out with nothing. Or I get called on to do even more than I’m doing now, because in the world’s eyes I’m not working, no matter how dedicated I try to remain – they will say Sansamor can do it, she doesn’t have a job OR kids.

For now, I’ll try to hold negative me off, I’ll try not to worry about it, I’ll try to stay calm. After all, my boss could come back in an hour and say, don’t worry about it. You’re permanent now, not temporary – they can’t fire you.

But for now, I’ll wait, and I’ll pray – because really – there’s nothing else I can do.