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movie review: deepwater horizon...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
... which it was a terrible mistake as it was 'way too intense for me to be viewing. I knew the story, but was surprised to see that this worst oil disaster in the history of the United States happened in 2000. Hard to  realize it has been that long since it occurred.

The story was based on a series of newspaper articles from the New York Times. So we can assume it was well researched and much too accurate with blood and explosions galore. Two leading parts, the boss of the crew as played by Kurt Russell, and a maintenance tech, played by Mark Walhberg were really well done. A boat load of special effects as the rig went up in flames. Due to greed by British Petroleum, wanting to start pumping without sufficient safety precautions. Eleven men died on the rig, while a crew of over one hundred was rescued by a nearby tanker.

I cannot imagine being someone who lives through an experience like that. As surely an occasion for PTSD as anything occurring in a battle zone. At the end of the movie, we learned that a number of the crew no longer works in the oil fields, having decided deep water drilling is no longer their choice of employment. I am sure it pays really well, going out on the rigs for three weeks at a time, then home for a week of R and R, but after surviving an experience like that you would come to realize there are things much more important than money.

quote for the day...

Sunday, December 4, 2016
..."There comes a time in every woman's life when it is a greater relief to swear than to pray."
Mary Mann Hamilton in "Trials of the Earth", copyright 1992, University Press of Mississippi

a funny billboard...

Saturday, December 3, 2016
...seen when driving to Decatur today. After working for five hours, even though I was  not supposed to be on the job today. I had asked for the day off - for something, it turns out, I did not do, but went to spend the afternoon in the city instead. When reminded about a self-defense class I had been invited to attend. It was at a Martial Arts establishment in south Decatur. It was pretty interesting - though I am not sure, if the occasion should arise, I would have the proper response in a crisis situation.

 The billboard, high above the interstate, has probably been up there since before the (disheartening, disturbing, frightening) election. It has photos of both candidates, looking very smug. Expressions of disdain, giving you a feeling like you would have after they tell you that 'yes, you did get the job' only to find that the job is cleaning out the gunk in the bottom of dumpsters. Pictures of both of them on one side of the huge billboard, and a realtors contact info. on the other. With the wording that suggests if you are serious about your threat to relocate to Canada, these real estate people will be happy to manage your rental property for the next four years. Or sell if the move is permanent.


Friday, December 2, 2016
...day of activities for today. A friend/coworker has agreed (maybe 'contracted' is the more appropriate word, as I know she is getting paid for all her organizing time/labor/efforts) to decorate a small country church for a wedding on Saturday. I offered to help on Friday morning, and have tied a number of white bows to be used as pew markers in the church. I told her I would tie more, and will try to get that done today.

Plus she wanted some sort of decor for the windows. I suggested some bundles of greenery that will hang from some cup hooks already in place in the center of the window. After two days of rain, it will be wet in the woods, but I plan to get out there today and cut some cedar, pine and do some 'judicious trimming' on a big boxwood bush that will make nice trim. I'll meet her up in the church in the morning with bows and greenery and donate a couple of hours of my time to helping her add festive touches to the sanctuary. There is a reception in the fellowship hall, but that will not be my concern.

I have volunteered to spend the afternoon at Callaway Gardens. Being a 'greeter' and offering advice or directions/maps to guests who are coming to see the light show in the gardens. There is a 'package' available for people who want to see the lights, spend the night, enjoy a man-sized breakfast buffet and maybe tour the gardens again the following morning. My job, that I did once last year, will be to smile and say 'welcome'. Ask if I can help with providing information. Sort of a 'busman's holiday' for someone who spends every single minute of being employed  wearing a smile and standing on my weary feets....

tying bows...

Thursday, December 1, 2016
...is how I spent most of my day. I'd told a co-worker I would tie some bows for her to use when decorating church pews for a wedding. And offered to make some Christmas bows for sale at the Open House at Botanical Gardens. I think I spent about four hours today making fluffy bows: some with white satin for the Saturday wedding, and the rest with colorful holiday ribbon for attaching to fresh green wreaths and swags for holiday decorating.

Pretty sneaky: I also took bows that had been languishing around my house for several years, fluffed them up and included in the ones that will be for sale to the public when folks come to celebrate the season at the Open House on Sunday. The ribbon is all the kind that is wired on the edges, so pretty easy to sort of resuscitate and make presentable looking. Just takes a little time and affection to make them look re-freshed.

I did not say a word about the recycled bows, just eased the old ones in with the new, and hope they will find good homes. Like all those dozens and dozens of dogs and cats I read about in the paper that were adopted over the Thanks. weekend from the local shelter. It's all about 'presentation', right? You just have to put your best foot forward, be optimistic expecting good results.

holiday decorating...

... here consists of getting out the wreath and hanging it on the light fixture by the front door. I have to get the ladder to be able to reach the metal arm of the fixture, then unscrew the light bulb before I turn on the light. There is a string of tiny little clear lights in the wreath, so that plugs into a socket in the base of the outdoor light. Flip the light switch to on and volia: Christmas is here! 

When daughters left home, only to come back seasonally, they expected all the frou-frou they had seen since the age of awareness dawned. But I had already been tired of dragging it out of the attic, unpacking boxes, putting things together, taking things apart, finding the right box to make it all fit, forcing back into attic. I just quit. Then they said: 'What? No tree? Where are the decoratings?' To which I responded: 'When you come and put it all out, and come back and take it all apart, there will be a tree.'

So here we are: No tree, no tinsel, no blinking lights, no ornaments, no festive greenery. Just the wreath, plugged into the light fixture to let people know the Grinch does not live here. That's it for me.

puttin' in the time...

...happened during the first five days of the current work week. So even though I am willing, I will not be working any more until Sunday. I put in so many hours between Saturday and Tuesday, I could only work for four hours on Wednesday.  Working over forty hours is a really bad thing for us lowly employees, plugging away for hourly wage. 'Corporate' apparently gets thoroughly freaked out by anyone who is hourly getting a minute over the allotted forty, and qualifying for overtime pay. There was a time recently, in the past few months, when I accidentally went into overtime, and everyone went ballistic. Blaming me for not being more aware, and actually made me sign a 'counseling statement' acknowledging fault. Even though it is clearly the responsibility of managers to monitor.

At any rate: I'm done for the week. Have several things on my calendar for the next couple of days but none involve employment. Even though Iwill attend a meeting early next week to provide reinstatement in the sub. teaching program with the local school district. I found myself declared 'ineligible' last spring when I had failed to accept jobs for the minimum number of days required to continue on their listing of available substitutes. Ironic to the extreme that there are never sufficient bodies who want to work to meet demand, and jobs are unfilled on a daily basis. But the individual who manages the program apparently wanted to get rid of 'dead wood', made a decision to eliminate anyone who failed to meet newly enforced standards. Meaning: me!

I've completed the paperwork, been 'suspended' from the program for the required semester, and will go to a meeting next week to be re-indoctrinated. And will try early in the new year to get that prescribed minimum number of work days to remain in good standing. I enjoy the work less and less, but will make an effort to meet the goal of finding work in the schools system for ten days between January and mid-May when schools are dismissed for summer.