2008 August : Oh Fair New Mexico

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by Karen Fayeth

Bits of paper

Talked my boss into letting me work from home today so I could avail myself to the Social Security office.

See, being an ol’ fashioned kind of gal, I’m taking my new husband’s name. No, not hyphenated. Just taking his name in place of my given surname.

And that means I gotta talk to the government folks and get their nod.

The place to start is Social Security. Once they make the change, then I can get a new driver’s license. With a new driver’s license, I can make the changes to banking, credit cards, etc.

So let’s go back. It all begins with Social Security. How’d I get a social security number in the first place?

Why, with my birth certificate.

With that, everything else falls into line.

Today, I also took my marriage license to show my new name is valid.

The sum of my identity, who I am to the world, or at least what my name is, how I prove I’m me, comes down to a couple pieces of paper.

One tattered almost forty year old certified birth certificate and one shiny new marriage license.

Paper. Wood pulp. All that I am. Without them, I don’t exist in the eyes of my country. Or the world, for that matter.

Can’t bank. Can’t travel. Can’t get into school. Can’t work. Can’t rent a home. Certainly can’t buy a home. Can’t buy groceries cuz I can’t make money.

Nuttin’

It kind of creeps me out, actually.

Thankfully the SSA lady couldn’t have been nicer. The change was made quickly. In about two business days I can get a new driver’s license. With my license I can change my name at the bank.

I still get to prove I’m me.

Imagine if you couldn’t?

A little mind bending.

Well. Onward, and getting used to signing my new last name. THAT will take some getting used to.

Happy Labor Day weekend to all!

Community. Feh!

I know many people bemoan the lack of community in today’s modern world. The “howdy neighbor”, backyard bar-b-que kind of world we had some forty years ago.

I, for one, say feh!

I have something of a “community” where I work. A lot of folks here have worked together a long time. I wouldn’t necessarily call all my coworkers friends, but heck, we’ve been through the fire together. We have more than a basic passing human concern for each other.

And so today, at lunch, I had some errands to run. Fortunately there is one of those all too popular big box discount stores less than a mile from the office.

Off I went to get what I needed, and to shop for things I didn’t need (*coff*wastetime*coff*).

I was having a nice time. Until I ran into not one, not two, but three of my coworkers. Not just people I work with at the company, people from my same organization, including the Nosy Nellie who sits directly across from me in our cubicle farm.

When you shop at a discount store like that, you want to have the freedom to buy all the embarrassing products you require without half your department knowing about it!

Yeah, I’m not talking about toilet paper or feminine products. I have more embarrassing things than that for breakfast.

I mean more like…salves and unguents.

I say “hell no!” to community when it means that your nosy coworker can peer into your shopping basket and see remedies for conditions best suffered in private.

“Hey, Bob, looks like you are struggling with the festering right buttock pustules! Boy oh boy, I remember when the wife had that. We found the generic brand worked just fine applied twice a day!”

“Oh thanks, Bill! Good to know. I was worried it might not be the same formulation. If I can cure my pustules AND save a buck, well…why not!”

: hearty laugh all around :

Um. No.

And the thing is, Nosy Nellie coworker isn’t just nosy for her OWN knowledge. She’ll run back to the office and tell anyone who will listen how ol’ Karen has the festering right buttock pustules.

Then there will be a line of “concerned” people at my office to give me the sympathetic eyes and their own sad stories. “Yes, I remember going to the health food store and making up a poultice of herbs and spices for *my* pustule. It smelled like Kentucky Fried Chicken, but boy did it clear things RIGHT up!”

This I don’t need.

If I could just suffer my indignities in private, that’d be great.

And for the record, I didn’t comment on the contents of THEIR shopping carts!

Ugh!

Today is the kind of day…

August 27, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: life, Opinions, pondering, truth is stranger than..., work 

…that leaves me questioning my choice of career.

You know the days like this…where you think “I’ve spent fifteen frappin’ years doin’ this gig…and FOR WHAT!?!?!”

Where you shake your head and huff and puff and maybe stamp your feet a little.

And inevitably you think: I shoulda been a _________.

I leave it blank because everyone’s got their own idea what to fill in.

For me, I always end up thinking up something, then thinking, “nah, that would suck too.”

I used to fill in the blank with “Starbucks Barrista” until my friend Natalie was kind enough to let us in on a peek at that life. Shoes that smell like rottey milk don’t sound like fun.

I mean, my job sucks today, but my shoes aren’t stinky (beyond my usual “like roses” natural aroma).

Sometimes I fill in “massage therapist” but then I *have* to think there are days where you just DON’T want to massage that sweaty hairy dude with the touchy-feely complex. Hmm.

Sometimes I fill in “beer truck driver” because then at least people would always be happy to see you. But then you’d have to sit in stupid traffic, only to arrive at your destination and break your back hauling cases of beer into the establishment. And if you broke a bottle or can, you’re back to your shoes stinking again.

I think I’d like to avoid stinky shoe jobs.

Or jobs where you have to work swing shifts.

Or graveyard.

Or deal too much with the public.

So normally, after pondering for a while, I just end up telling myself to “suck it up, buttercup” and get back to work.

Because I believe that every job has its better days and its “it didn’t pay to get out of bed” days.

By the by, I Googled “best job in the world” and got a few interesting hits.

Bikini Reflector Holder. Ostensibly for photo shoots? Hmm. Maybe.

Police officer? Methinks that’s the marketing department in full swing.

Staff Nurse? I can’t think of a more difficult job.

Public Accountant? Yawn.

And finally…one yabo listed “Parenting” as the best job in the world.

But back to Bikini Reflector Holder…..

No! Why I never…

August 26, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Opinions, truth is stranger than... 

Study: ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ Inspires Women to Leave Churches

I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with the subjugation of women and a highly oppressive patriarchal infrastructure?

Nah. It’s Buffy.

/snark

The terrorists stole my plot line!

August 26, 2008 by · Comments Off on The terrorists stole my plot line!
Filed under: blogging, books, criminals, drama, latent childhood, life, obviously, Opinions, pondering, truth is stranger than..., work, writing 

Was sitting at my desk at work, drumming my fingers on the faux wood surface wondering, “What on earth can I post about in my blog today”…and not finding many answers.

That’s when nature (and two cups of hot tea) called and I was forced to rise from my desk and use the facilities. I walked along thinking, “I need a topic, I need a topic, I need a topic”.

I went over to the other half of the building since the loo near me was being serviced by the faboo janitorial team.

When I went into the “other side” I noticed that the door to what I thought was a janitorial closet (and is always tightly closed) was slightly open. It’s NEVER open. Being the nosy Nellie that I am, I peeked in there.

Little did I know that there’s a shower and a small set of lockers in this building! I looked over the lockers and noticed that all you gotta do is slap a lock on the locker of your choice.

Nice.

So *immediately* my fiction writer brain thought “god…what a great place to stash something…”

Remember when airports and bus stations used to have lockers where, for the fee of one quarter, you could stash your suitcase or whatever for a bit while you did something else?

Whatever happened to those? They made for GREAT plot points in MANY a mystery story.

How the bad guy would stash the murder weapon there and thought he got away with it but no, he couldn’t resist going BACK to the locker and by now the police were tailing him and he gets flat *busted* there in the Greyhound station, red handed, red faced, red wristed when the cuffs get slapped on.

It was fun. It was convenient! It was a great hiding place.

Why don’t we have them anymore? 9-freaking-eleven, that’s why.

Ok, so no more in bus station and airports, but now THIS find. I bet they don’t check these lockers here at work all that often. I could put damning evidence like receipts from surreptitious wire transfers and plots to take over the world with my fleet of robot drones!

Ah hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Oh, @#$%…..I guess I can’t do it now. I just published my idea on the interwebs.

*sigh*

Back to work.

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