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This, that and the other (irrelevant personal bits)

So, for all my good intentions, I’ve yet to review even one book this year (or, indeed, for the past however many months).

Which definitely doesn’t mean that I’m not reading. I am, quite a bit–even if a rather large percentage of my reading is rereading, it still counts, right? And there is always the hope that I’ll get around to write reviews for some of these books.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons for the lack of reviews is that I’m working at a food franchise. In a reversal of what I understand is most common, I had never worked retail. Most of my coworkers are teens or young twenty-somethings working their way through college. Almost unanimously, they intend eventually to pursue a career in their field of choice, far away from the food industry or any retail/service job, it at all possible.

My case is…slightly different.

For causes beyond my control (though a direct result of my choices) I was out of the work force for almost a decade. When I was finally able to come back (late 2009) the economy was in the crapper and the gap in my work experience effectively shut me out of any of the jobs for which I had actual experience.

Add lack of transportation (read: I had to apply for jobs within realistic bike-riding distance) and my choices were severely limited (read: retail/hourly part time menial jobs).

So I got a job–about fifteen hours a week to start. Within two months I was consistently working between 35 and 40 hours a week. By the six-month mark, my boss had wrangled a small raise for me (25 cents per hour) and I was working overtime almost every week. On my feet.

Thirteen months later, I’ve been approved for another 25 cents per hour raise and am being trained as a shift supervisor. Which, when approved, will mean another 50 cents per hour raise. It will also mean a lot more responsibility, and working between 45 and 50 hours a week. Still mostly on my feet.

Throughout this time, I’ve been–and am–very grateful for the opportunities given me.

And now I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and am accomplishing with my life.

My curriculum vitae, while varied and colorful, is not precisely impressive. And though I have started college three times already (first, Veterinarian Medicine; second, something called Secretarial Sciences; third and last, Foreign Languages [German and French]) I don’t have a degree. Being chosen to be groomed for management at this point in my life is just…well, it feels amazing.

Thank you, W and PB, for this opportunity.


In other news, I have completed training for something else and am waiting (anxiously, I confess) to hear back. Getting this particular job–even in a freelance capacity–would be an incredible personal triumph. All good luck wishes greatly appreciated!


Remember Pounce?

He’s now almost nine months old and so gorgeous! I’m in love with this cat, no matter how often I can be heard muttering pinche gato! under my breath on any given day.

Being a responsible pet owner, I had already planned to neuter him as soon as I could scrounge together enough cash. Both my other cats, Shadow and Candy, have been spayed for quite a while, but still, right? My time table was moved forward quite a bit, though, when I agreed to take care of a coworker’s kitten for a bit.

Well, at least it was theoretically for a bit.

And it was theoretically a kitten too.

Cleopatra (formerly Isis–the name didn’t fit) came to us on January 2nd or 3rd. Instead of the kitten I expected, I got a gorgeous, long–almost Angora-like–haired, tortoiseshell cat (the colors of a calico but with tabby markings and a white belly). A female, not spayed, ten month old cat.

And Pounce…well, he pounced.

After spending some minutes in shock, I separated them (as in, got closed doors between them) and scheduled a vet appointment. Pounce  got snipped on January 10th.

Cleo is due to deliver sometime between March 10th and 15th.



The Supreme Court has finally ruled that hate sorry, hurtful speech, à la Westboro Baptist Church (aka, Fred Phelps family cult), is protected free speech.

I believe that coming to such a decision was not easy for any of the Supreme Court judges–just as I believe that most of them struggled with Roe v Wade back in the day.

So while I am saddened by the fact that these assholes will feel emboldened to blight the lives of many more bereaved families, I am proud to live in a country where the law endeavors to protect all minorities, up to and including hateful ones.


  • Congratulations on your good news. I know I don’t comment often, but I always read your blog. Judging by the keen observations you’ve often made, I am deeply surprised you haven’t been tapped for management earlier.

    Ref: pinche gato
    OMG! Does that sound familiar. LOL! Only around here it’s pinche perro.

    –Sorry about the unexpected litter. Bad Pounce!


  • Kim in Hawaii
    March 3
    8:29 pm

    Aloha, AztecLady! I just booked my flight to RWA in NYC – will you be there?

    Thank you for sharing your personal bits. I’ve been out of the work force for over ten years. I’ve thought about going back to work when we move back to the mainland. I suspect that my skills will be out of date but I’m sure I’ll land on my feet somewhere.

    It comes as no surprise that the Supreme Court upheld free speech. As you wrote, it was an emotional issue. The irony is the soldier gave his life for free speech that the Westboro Church exploits. The double irony is he died while serving under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” era when the military was not openly tolerant of gays. Yet the Westboro Church rejoices in his death because the US tolerates gays. It would seem that they are barking up the wrong tree.

    Yet this gives us the opportunity to learn from this tragedy:

    – Free speech isn’t free. The price is high … are we all willing to sacrifice for it?

    – Free speech has another price, social justice. The Westboro Church uses its free speech to deny the free thoughts of others. In exercising their free speech, do they have the right to deny others the same freedom?

    – Free speech has consequences. The Westboro Church has hurt this soldier’s family – something that does not represent Christian charity. So are they Christians first or Americans first?

    Perhaps we can all consider what comes out of our mouths (or in our writing) – in the exercise of free speech, are we promoting tolerance and understanding? Or are we promoting hypocrisy and hate like the Westboro Church?

    Following the teaching of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless other peace activities, my thoughts are with both the soldier’s family and the Westboro Church, hoping that each find peace and love.


  • SamG
    March 3
    11:01 pm

    Kim in Hawaii is a way better person than I. I am glad free speech was upheld. I think that is the right decision on the court’s part.

    I also hope that grieving families find peace and a way to hold together until they heal. The westboro sphincters…not so much.



  • Thank you so much, Maria! It’s gonna be a lot of work but…well, that’s life, right?

    Kim, not a chance I can make it to NYC–completely out of my budget and unlikely that I could get the time off even if I could afford to.

    On the free speech issue…you are, as SamG says, a better person. I feel for the children of the Phelps family, who are growing up believing all the hatred they spew (have you seen the images of children holding signs that read, “Thank God for dead soldiers”?). I don’t feel for any of the adults there.


  • eggs
    March 4
    11:46 pm

    My country, Australia, does not have a guarantee of free speech either in our constitution or via any legislation, and there’s not a lot of agitation to institute one.

    On the main, I think Australians look to America and see what kind of crap we’d have to put up with if we instituted free speech laws. Having lived in both the US and Australia, I would say that in practice the freedom of speech in both countries is about the same – and we do have specific legislation banning hate speech in public. (Being a hateful arsehole in private is fine by us!)

    When Phelps & his daughter applied for visas to come to Australia in 2008 (to protest World Youth Day) they were denied. Frankly, if Westboro started up a branch here, it would probably be firebombed within a week.


  • What a great catch up post, AZ! Major congrats on the promotion and raise(s). And ::fingers cross for sooper-sekret-in-training-summin::


  • Michelle
    March 5
    4:44 pm

    Glad all of your hard work is being recognized. Please post pictures of the kittens, I bet they will be beautiful.


  • Ann Bruce
    March 5
    9:09 pm

    Congrats on the promo. Don’t abuse the power, tempting as it might be.

    And is the super secret job–even in a freelance capacity–what I think it is?


  • Thank you, Vanessa!

    Michelle, I will–in fact, I’ll try to post picture of the proud parents before the delivery (Cleo is so cute, all round and stuff).

    Ann, thank you, I shall endeavor on not letting it go to my head 😉 Also, yes, though it’s not so much secret as…not confirmed.


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