Saturday, November 03, 2007

Back again

Hello. It's the amazing disappearing Psalmist, re-emerging from blog silence.

I thought about concocting a story about a top-secret mission to eradicate some evil or other, but then realized I wouldn't be able to say anything about it if it were so, so that's out.

I thought about being humorous, but I'm not especially funny these days.

I thought about just yanking down the blog altogether because I obviously am not spending any time with it. But I don't really want to do that, either.

The truth is, a lot of "stuff," some of it good, has been happening, and I'm simply overwhelmed.

I've added an additional ensemble with rehearsal on another weeknight. This means I have three weeknight rehearsals, with a fourth ensemble/rehearsal once per month. My official lineup is:

Early service with ensemble warm-up prior
Warm-up rehearsal between services when "extra" group(s) sing/ring
Late service with choir warm-up prior
(Give a private voice lesson right after lunch; GOOD student)
Evening service - no music responsibilities except putting out books
(Half-hour for community supper)
Pre-school choir rehearsal
School-age choir rehearsal
Lock-up/close-up facilities

Day job (more about that below)
Adult handbell rehearsal

Day job
Youth handbell rehearsal

Day job
Adult choir rehearsal
(Private voice lesson -- for a flaky student)

Day job
Monthly early service ensemble rehearsal
Semi-monthly administrative council meeting

Day job
OFF! in the evening

OFF! (Except when something's going on at church)

There is a lot going on. Sometimes it helps to see it in a list like that.

As for the day job, it's really in flux. I was out of day-job work for most of the month of October. I applied for unemployment benefits, but though my church income doesn't "count" toward qualifying for benefits, I'm still required to report it so that the state can pay me less. I am getting a little bit -- I say am getting because I haven't got it all yet. I've applied for a position at a local non-profit agency and I'm rather excited about it. One of the members of my church, whose daughter's wedding I coordinated this summer, suggested I apply. She's a VP of the agency. There is hope...

Meanwhile, I reluctantly accepted a receptionist position through an agency at the company where, the first of the year, I fully expected to temp into a dream job. That ended when my boss there was suddenly and unexpectedly fired. Anyway, the regular receptionist, who's been there over 15 years, had major surgery. I could have turned down the assignment, as it pays less than the minimum the state said I had to accept, but the receptionist was extraordinarily kind to me on a number of occasions and it's a way to both work and do something good for her. I don't like the work -- busy telephones take way too much out of me and make me super-nervous -- but it IS work. Bummer, though...the agency originally called me frantic for a same-day beginning to the assignment and said it was for just a few cents per hour lower than I made there the last time, which was fine. So I accepted and was getting dressed to go in, then I got a call and they were reducing the rate to more than $1.50 an hour less. That's where I got reluctant. Unprofessional, on both the agency's and the company's part. I let stuff like that get to me.

During my unemployment, I had several interviews. One was for a hospital system and I decided I needed to splurge on a suit, because all of my suits are many years old and/or don't fit me very well. Found one on sale and snapped it up; I've gotten a lot of compliments on it. (A classic look with some updated details. See photo image. And no, it is NOT a photo of me. It's the model in the online catalog of a store that begins with the same initials as Jesus Christ's, and ends with a homophone of the smallest denomination of American coin.)
Anyway, I've worn it exactly three times, and was going to take it to be cleaned, only to discover that the side seams of the skirt are disintegrating. That is, the fabric is fraying out into the body of the skirt from both sides of the seam. It is beyond repair. This was a well-fitting suit. In fact, it was slightly on the loose side; not tight in any way. I did nothing to cause this problem. But now I have to go back to the store to do battle and see if I can return it after three wearings...then wonder if there's ANYTHING that will not fall apart that fits me for anywhere near the same price...since I have very little money at this point to spend on something more expensive. And I do want to dress impeccably for the non-profit agency interview. I'm a class act and I want to dress that way, too.

(Warning to the women out there, considering buying garments made of the new synthetic loose-weave tweed stuff: DON'T BUY IT, at least not until you've checked the construction very carefully and tested the durability of the seam areas.)

Meanwhile, back at the interviews: I didn't get the new suit hospital position. I also didn't get one I applied for on my own, at a WordPerfect law office. I let the person who gave me their proof-reading test take it from me before I was finished and therefore I missed too much on it -- duh! It was not a good experience and showed me that the attorney, who wasn't even there that day, let someone totally inept screen his applicants in a very unprofessional way. Probably just as well, but that second "wearing of the suit" went the way of the first. (Another agency underbid mine on the hospital job, and my agency didn't even bother to call me to tell me. It took me three calls to them to find out.)

And on top of everything else, there have been trials here at my apartment complex. It's an older complex and getting less and less safe. With no warning, the management changed the first of September and it wasn't until this past Thursday that I found out the municipal housing authority had purchased the property. With being out of work, the money I'd been hoping to accumulate so I could afford to move the end of this month (when my lease was up) got spent to pay bills instead. I lost the $50-off any month's rent voucher that was part of my last renewal incentive because there was no notice of the pending sale. They were going to renege on my reserved parking place that it took me 4 1/2 years to qualify for and which is a safety issue for me. But finally, because my options were limited, I met with the new manager Thursday right after work and she discussed the issues. She decided she would keep the existing reserved spaces and was negotiating with the towing company on authorizing towing when others park in the spaces (an ongoing problem, especially since the office personnel were telling new residents they COULD park in them). But my rent went up significantly, though it's still very reasonable for the size of my unit in this market. The handwriting's on the wall, though. I need to move next year, before I'm forced to because of income restrictions they're almost certainly going to impose in 1-2 years. But I signed a new lease. There's something oddly reassuring about that. (In my first phone conversation with the manager, after I learned about the pending elimination of reserved parking, I said I'd have to re-think living someplace where a valuable "perk" of being a long-term resident was not going to be honored, she said she'd be glad to let me out of my lease with no penalty so I could move immediately. That did NOT leave me feeling like she valued long-term tenants on the property. Fortunately, she had a very different attitude when I visited in person.)

Well, that's WAY more than I planned to blog about. But it's the stuff that's been distracting and troubling me.

What I do want to be sure to include is this: Tomorrow we celebrate All Saints' Sunday. In addition to Holy Communion and remembering our departed saints, we're also celebrating the baptism of our newest child, the little sister of one of my favorite children, a four-year-old boy who makes me smile every time we meet. (He's also the boy who ran to his Nana and mom very upset last Saturday night at Trunk or Treat, because he'd seen me fall on the parking lot and hurt myself, saying "Miss [Psalmist] is hurt! Mom, is she going to be OK? I'll miss her if she can't come to choir." --How sweet is that?!) I love the reminder that all of life is a cycle of birth and death, that we're surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses as we run our race to obtain the prize.

Our God is VERY good!


Anonymous said...

I had virtually the same thing happen with a major brand name of pants (rhymes with lockers)...frayed out seams for no good reason. I took it back. They had no issue with me exchanging it. And, yes, what a pain to find a substitute, when it was hard enough to find the original!

God charts the road we take...will be praying for your "prospects" to be looking up very very soon!

St. Inuksuk said...

Gracious and my, you have had a very full plate with much turmoil going on.
Prayers are with you that things will settle down and the new thing God is doing will begin to crop up in your life.
Blessings and peace be upon and with you!