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SO, I get asked to update this again. For some reason, I have pretty much been sucked into the vortex of Facebook. Although, here I can expand on things- so again- I will try to keep updating this, and maybe if I disappear, I can get a friendly "Come Back" from friends on here.

1) I am working still at Kohl's. Yes, I am not exactly happy about that, but at least it is a job. In fact, I am the employee of the month. I can't wait to actually drive Rusty to the spot in front. Do they really want a 1989 Toyota Rustbucket in the spot reserved for top employees?? Laura has joked that I hope Rusty pees something on the spot. Actually, the last month has not been totally horrible there. The last store manager is gone and we have a 20 something store manager. Yes, she is by far one of the youngest in the whole company, but she is doing just fine, in my opinion. They actually fired the one person who I hated there. The one thing that bothers me is the pointless drama. For example, my wife did complain that the dressing rooms were in need of some attention. She went to a manager and then complained about a coworker of mine reading at the register. I was not working and was shopping at the time with her and saw the girl reading and she can't deny it. However, about 2 weeks later I got asked why I let my wife call corporate complaining about our store. Seriously! The rumors that get started around here are just nuts. I am more in this for what little money they give me and then to go home. To further prove that I am just there to get my crap done... we are all asked as Cashiers (aka POS- Point of Sale) to get people to apply for the Kohl's Charge. Our store's year starts in February. For February 1st until now, I have gotten 51 people to do applications. This is tops for our store. Second place is 21. I don't think my fellow coworkers are too happy with the fact that I am way above the,. Even the regional manager complimented me last week when he was here for a visit. (I guess he has only been in the store 3 times in the last 4 years) He talked to me for 15 minutes about what our my keys to getting credit and what can he learn from me to help other people. It was a neat talk and made me feel good.

2) I do still search for a full time job, but really am not getting very far. I get a lead every now and then, but still nothing. People may say the economy is coming around, but I am VERY skeptical. This talk seems to have people get pissed at me- couple that with I am not totally convinced Obama-Care is going to work and God forbid I am not just jumping for joy over his policies. I do not despise our president, but I have a right to not like everything he does. Just like those of you who hated everything about the Bush(es) administration(s). Did I agree with everything they did- No! I am not super political but I do have a right to express agreement or disagreement and it seems like lately I get in trouble for voicing an opinion for anything that is not Pro-Obama. I think that is about all the rant I will do about that. I'd hate for people to unfriend me on here for saying stuff like that, but this is a JOURNAL! I guess Facebook isn't so I guess I understand those people... (maybe)

3) So one other thing that I get from people all the time is where are the "Professional" wedding pictures. We don't have them and have not seen them. We have not finished paying for them. I think most people know that we are struggling to pay bills and I know they know, but they won't let us look at them until we pay. So, since being a paid Facebook user is a luxury I haven't posted more here (Plus, I don't come here enough) Again, if you really want a peek- head to Facebook- otherwise be patient.
Laura and I are doing well. We still live with mother-in-law. However, she pretty much stays with a friend for half a week. She is at least trying to keep herself busy. Laura's school is NOT renewing her contract and she too is looking for a new job. She is having as much luck as I am, so we'll see what happens when the year ends. She hates this school as much as Luther South, so if something does come up, she won't hesitate to just leave.

Hopefully I can get more things out soon. When you aren't around, you seem to have a bunch of stuff you can say on here.

Tags:

What would you do?

As I think I have mentioned, I am currently working as a Seasonal Employee at Kohl's. Laura hates everything about it. I had been trying for a year to get any kind of job in this economy. She does not like I do not have set hours and that my schedule changes every week. She wants me in some type of 9-5 job- or at least something where the hours would never change from week to week. That pretty much eliminates everything that might be available to me. I am still looking for a normal job, but I don't know when that will happen. It could be tomorrow, it might be a year from now. She has now made the ultimatum that I will not be doing this again next year. So here's the deal. Do I upset Laura by continuing to work at Kohl's with no set schedule, but at least giving us the ability to help pay off some bills, or do I quit Kohl's and just keep looking for a normal job that has better hours? Right now we only have one car, so I know that has a lot to do with this. It is hard to make sure I can be picked up or dropped off at the right time every day- knowing it changes. However, I know we have bills that need paying and I don't know when I can find a "real" job. Kohl's is NOT my end-all job and I want to just tell them I can only work evenings, but that isn't good enough. Laura only works part-time teaching and then has some private lessons at a high school, but I don't think we can make a living on just that income, but are all the headaches worth the extra income?? I am so beyond frustrated. I really want us to be able to make our ends meet, especially since my unemployment ended.I just can't go another year of waiting for anything. I was so happy just to be working and now I am made to feel like a second class citizen because I am working at Kohl's. I do get treated like crap there, but it is the nature of retail. Laura is pissed that I am closing Christmas Eve, but I should be done by 7pm. I really understand her being upset, but I get Christmas and the day after off as well. I am just sick of every time the schedule comes out we fight over it. However, when we argue about the bills, I am thankful that I can help take care of some of them. ANy thoughts on this? I see valid points on both sides of things. Thanks!

Work Update

So, Black Friday wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It is a little weird having worked 3 and a half hours and still having it pitch black outside.... then Saturday I opened at 5:45 am. However, there was not a single person in the store until after 7. I didn't know what to do and was afraid to just twiddle my thumbs. No one came and gave me any advice or help on what to do, so I just kind of wandered around straightening things up. When customers finally started coming, then they gave me some assignments. Seriously, I remember what I didn't like about retail...

I really got the hang of things and for the most it isn't bad. There will always be some coworkers you don't like, but they don't work in the same department as I do. There is one who works in HomeWare and I was the only person on a register in my area and I needed a break (over an hour late) I was told to page her. She came, but I had a little line (3 people) she helped ring them up and left. I called her back over and she said, "What do you want?" (really obnoxiously) I said I needed to go on break and she responded, "So do I" After explaining that management asked me to get her she just rolled her eyes. Yup, every work has one. I got my moment the very next morning. I had to open and at the opening meeting, I was awarded a Holiday Hero- for getting complimented on the Black Friday Survey for being so nice and friendly. She just glared at me. Hmmm, if you act like that, perhaps it might be the reason you DIDN't get the Holiday Hero.

On the real job front, there is an opening in Joliet that looks kind of promising. I know they are interested in me and when one position internally filled my resume was passed to another supervisor as a candidate to take the other position. The pay is good and I would have steady hours. Closing one night and opening the next morning is just example of retail hell.

There's the quick update. Wrapping some presents this morning and afternoon- we did the tree up. So, it starting to look like Christmas.

1 year ago

I married my wife for the second time. I will get some pictures put up, but you have to be a paid member to put them on Photobucket or another web site for LJ to be happy. I just haven't gotten around to it. I don't even know if I remember my photobucket user name and password.

Laura and I are going to go to see a movie and have dinner tonight with my utterly modest Kohl's earnings. Speaking of jobs, a friend or mine from college, sent me an email a week ago asked for my address and I gave her an update. She then sent me a note that a firm is looking for a Sales Assistant at her company and she wanted my resume. Seriously, if this goes through, I'll just laugh. I wait a year for some luck to come my way and now I am getting people letting me know of jobs. Sorry Kohl's, I have no qualms leaving you if this goes through. I'm getting the EARLY BIRD shift on Black Friday- got to be there at 3:30. I am actually scared to death of this. I have hardly spent any time on a register on my own and this is the next time I work. Seriously, you couldn't find me any hours from now until Friday. (They say that seasonal help officially starts on Black Friday) but do they really want us unexperienced people there to start their holiday season? Oh well... I'll do my best.

OK, time to finish getting ready. This is only the second official "Date Night" I've had with Laura since we've been married.

Nothing much

So, Laura has not mentioned anything about about being pregnant nor anything to me. I actually then showed her the recent searches and asked her if there was anything I might need to know. She just said she was feeling strange and a nurse friend asked her if she was pregnant. So, I don't think anything will become of it.

So Laura is once again in a similar situation to the school she worked at a few years ago... at least she gets paid on time. She came home yesterday in a bad mood. Some older lady from the church she teaches at passed away. The basement of the school is the lunch area and also houses the kindergarden. Those kids, had to move for the morning to make room for the funeral lunch. (For those that don't know, a lot of Lutherans just have lunch in the basement and is often made by the ladies group of a church) So, now she has some kindergardeners in her classroom. Also, the principal, who is a total hippie(crit) complete with the flowy dresses, nose rings (against school rules, but OK for her) comes in a very classy dress. She called all the teachers EXCEPT Laura, to tell them that they are required to go pay their respects. Laura was wearing a sweater and dress slacks and was very underdressed compared to everyone else. So, she lost even more teaching time to go do this for someone she didn't even know. Maybe it is me, but I find that VERY weird.

As I go back in time, I don't think I ever posted any wedding pictures on here. I know I did on Facebook, so I'll see if I can get some on here for some of you to look at. After all, Saturday is the 1 year anniversary of "Getting Married The Production".

Food Network Funny

While I was working last night, I DVR'ed Dinner Impossible with RObert Irvine. Now, I am not a huge fan of the show, but it was a WWE themed-episode. He made 15 dishes based off of the wrestler's moves and he had some of the more "colorful" superstars helping him in the kitchen. Seriously, I had some good laughs over this. Of course, broadcaster Jim Ross made BBQ (he actually commercially markets BBQ and that pleasantly surprised Chef Robert) but when he asked Santino Marella to crack eggs and he gave them wrestling elbows in a bowl I couldn't stop laughing. These guys are actors more than athletes and they had to portray their "characters" It truly was funny because I don't really like Chef Robert and then you have these grown men act like complete idiots... it was an enjoyable show.

an early morning/late evening update

So, I had a headache this afternoon and took a nap, now it is 1:30 and I am wide awake.
Laura has a second interview for a job next Tuesday. This has its pros and cons, but at this point, a job is a pro!! We are going to go work some more on the lake house next week. I actually don't think I mentioned here, alas having about a 4 month hiatus.... since we have nothing better to do with ourselves, Laura and I have been going to my parents lake house and trying to fix it up. They hardly ever go there and it was overgrown with weeds and stuff and we are just trying to make it look presentable in hopes that they put it on the market at some point. Really, it is kind of nice heading up there. (ramble ramble- maybe I am more tired than I thought)

So, keep Laura and this interview in your thoughts and prayers. We hope that something good comes out of this.

Not holding my breath... BUT

Our church is looking for a youth director as a full-time paid position. I have been a youth group leader at my dad's church during college. I was on ministry teams in college and Lord knows I have taken many religion classes at CURF. I do not have certification, but if they want it- I'd go back in a flash to finish up. So, I'm tossing my name into the hat. We'll see. I found it strange that Laura and I were talking about how I wanted to work with kids and this happened. If God is opening up a door, I will be soooo overjoyed! However, if not, I am sure he has something better in store for me. Really, this just helped perk my mood yesterday. I've been really down lately about the lack of any type of call back, interviews, or even a "NO! We found someone else"

Now, I am just chilling and watching the NASA channel watching them do the final preps for the Launch Today. Really, I find it oddly fascinating.

The 100 book list

I said I would do it once I finished my 100th book. So here are the 100 and some descriptions. Maybe you'll find something you want to read.

Don Bruns
1) Barbados Heat
2) Jamaica Blue
These are light mysteries about a musician solving crime in tropical locations.GRADE C+
Michael Chang
3) Holding Serve: Persevering On and Off the Court
My favorite tennis player growing up and his life and the role God played GRADE B+
Agatha Christie
4) Curtain (Hercule Poirot's Last Case
5) Sleeping Murder (MNiss Marple's Last Case)
Somehow in high school I never read these. I love Agatha GRADE A
Jeffrey Cohen
6) For Whom the Minivan Rolls
7) Farewell to Legs
VERY quirky mysteries featuring a New Jersey setting and a kid with Asperger's. He's as punny as I am GRADE B+
Michael Connely
8) Black Rain
9) The Black Ice
10) The Concrete Blonde
11) The Last Coyote
The Harry Bosch series. Good police thriller series in a Los Angeles setting. GRADE A-
Anderson Cooper
12) Dispatches From the Edge
CNN anchor and "Mole" host's memories. Not what I thought it would be- travels the world for news, but very cynical GRADE C-
Diane Mott Davidson
13) Catering to Nobody
14) Dying for Chocolate
15) The Cereal Murders
16) The Last Suppers
17) Killer Pancake
18) The Main Corpse
19) The Grilling Season
20) Prime Cut
21) Tough Cookie
22) Sticks & Scones
23) Chopping Spree
24) Double Shot
25) Dark Tort
26) Sweet Revenge
27) Fatally Flaky
These are all the books in the Goldy Schultz catering mystery series. I LOVE these books. Easy reads and has recipes throughout the books. Easy reads and characters you will grow to love. A+
BARRY EISLER
28) Rain Fall
29) Hard Rain
Series featuring John Rain, a Japanese American assasin. They take place in Japan and if you can get past a bunch of Japanese- they aren't too bad. Book 3- which I just checked out has him fleeing to Brazil for a much needed change of scenery. GRADE B
ERIC GARCIA
30) Annonomous Rex
31) Casual Rex
What happens when dinosaurs still live on earth and go around in human costumes? Try these books. Casual Rex was a HUGE disappointment after the first one GRADE C
DOROTHY GILMAN
32) The Unexpected Mrs. Polifax
33) The Amazing Mrs. Polifax
34) Mrs Polifax, Innocent Tourist
This sweet little old lady wanted some adventure in her life- so she went to the CIA for a job. The first book cleverly explains how this series started and each book is well written, describing "Far away places" Grade B+
NOREEN GILPATRICK
35) The Piano Man
Interesting "Stranded on an Island" mystery featuring a young man who gives up a concert pianist career to fix pianos on the island. Grade B-
SUE GRAFTON
36) A is for Alibi through
53) R is for Richochet
Yes, I've fallen for Kinsey Milhone. They are good reads about the PI from Santa Theresa, CA. I have S and T and then I will be caught up with Alphabet Series. Grade B
KATE GRENVILLE
54) The Secret River
When sentenced to leave England. A family is boated to their prison in Australia. They serve their time and once free they deal with Aboriginals. Really good historical fiction!
MARK HADDON
55) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
56) A Spot of Bother
The Curious Incident is now on the BBC's 100 books you should read. It is very interesting written from the perspective of a 14 year old autistic kid. Spot of Bother- about people kind of going crazy. Hard to describe, but it amused me! GRADE B
PETE HAUTMANN
57) No Limit- a poker mystery it was OK
58) Mrs. Million- a lady wins the lotto and offers a million dollar reward to get her deadbeat husband back.- wackiness ensues. Grade C for no limit B+ for Mrs. Million
JA KONRATH
59) Whiskey Sour
60) Bloody Mary
61) Rusty Nail
62) Dirty Martini
63) Fuzzy Navel
HOLY CRAP!! I love Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels. These books have you laughing one page and freaking out the next. These are my FAVORITE books that I started reading. It's the series besides Goldy that I am counting down until the next book comes out. GRADE A++++
MARY LOGUE
64) Blood Country
65) Bone Harvest
66) Dark Coulee
67) Glare Ice
68) Poison Heart
69) Maiden Rock
Rural Wisconsin at it's finest. Depuity Sheriff Clarire Watkins and her adventures. This reminds me of where my parents live. They are good reads. GRADE B
CORMAC McCARTHY
70) The Road
Another book on the BBC's list. I am not in love with this as much as some of my other friends were. It won awards, but I was a little bored with it. GRADE C (however most say A)
PAT McGERR
71) Pick Your Victim
72) The Seven Deadly Sisters
These were written in the 1940's and were pioneering in their time. Both involve knowing part of the story (someone was murdered or who the murderer was) then someone who knew the participants explains who the victims may be and at the end they receive a cable putting all the pieces together. Knowing the time they were written- these are Agatha Christie worthy! GRADE A
KYLE MILLS
73) Rising Phoenix
74) Storming Heaven
75) Free Fall
More thrillers. This time featuring Mark Beamon. Tom Clancy really speaks highly of him and so do I. These are some great books! GRADE A
JACQUELINE MITCHARD
76) The Deep End of the Ocean
Oprah can be wrong (her first book club book) . The movie was OK (I read the book first) Someone slap that mama! Grade C-
SISTER CAROL ANNE O'MARIE
77) The Corporal Works of Murder
78) The Missing Madonna
79) A Novena for Murder
80) Advent of Dying
81) Murder in Ordinary Time
82) Murder Makes a Pilgrimage
83) Death Goes on Retreat
84) Death of an Angel
85) Death Takes Up a Collection
Keep me away from these nuns who happen to keep stumbling upon murder. My wife loves the detective and her family who also develop in these cosy mysteries. GRADE A
NANCY PICKARD
86) The Virgin of Small Plains
Finalist for Mystery of the Year. I picked it up on a whim and enjoyed. Can't really remember all the details. (What does that say) Grade B
BEN REHDER
87) Buck Fever
88) Guilt Trip
another quirky series I started about a Game Warden in Texas. The players in these books are ones that stick in your mind. GRADE B
ELLIOT ROOSEVELT
89) Murder in the Lincoln Bedroom
90) Murder at the President's Door
The son of Elinore and FDR. He writes about murders taking place and Elinore solves them. Written at the time of FDR's presidency. They are (for me) a harder read, but still good. GRADE C+
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING
91) In the Bleak Midwinter
92) A Fountain Filled With Blood
93) Out of the Deep I Cry
94) To Darkness and to Death
95) All Mortal Flesh
Reverand Clare Fergusson and Police Chief Russ Van Alstine in Millers Kill, NY... JA Konrath and her Julia toured the country together promoting their books and if she hung around with JA I gave her a try. This series is amazing. GRADE A+
RUDY STEGEMOELER
96) Dead Money
Another poker murder mystery. Grade C-
ANDREW VACHSS
97) Flood
98) Strega
99) Blue Belle
100) Hard Candy
Burke. The guy who fights New York Cities sexual predators. Honestly, these are creepy. There are no gruesome sex details, but you know that these guys prey on prostitutes and boys. However, Burke's clan of people fighting back are great and you cheer for them! I'm just starting the series and according to his website he just finished the last book. I'll enjoy them to the end. GRADE B+

If you made it to this point. You see what I like... any suggestions???

It's me!

So yeah, I'm REALLY struggling with finding the time to update. When you have no life and no job leads, there isn't much to say on here. I don't know what else to do. I feel I am putting in applications left and right and nothing is happening. Laura and I no longer feel happy for friends who lost jobs after us and got jobs already. I mean, they are good jobs. I go to fricking fast food and get nothing. Laura and I no longer have any form of insurance (hey you have to cut costs somewhere and there was no way we could continue on at $700 a month) We've cut back on lots of expenses- it just plain sucks. Have I mentioned we haven't even finished paying the wedding? The photographer understood that we couldn't pay it all right away, but with no jobs- we can't pay him any time soon. I feel at some point he will just delete the pictures and we will never see the professional pictures of our wedding.

Laura actually has a somewhat promising job lead. Teaching in the very inner-city of Chicago. But it does not have insurance. They reimburse up to $1000 a year off of a spouse's insurance. So while she would have an income, we still would have no insurance. Maybe with her income we could find something.

Yesterday was my birthday, Laura felt guilty that all she could get me was a book. Seriously, I was overjoyed with the book. It was VERY thoughtful and I know our budget is tight. Her mom got me a nice shirt- and felt guilty that it was from Walmart. I am not picky! The fact that they went and got me something to celebrate my birthday meant a lot to me. It doesn't have to be a $50 designer shirt. With Laura's birthday coming up in just over a month she told me not to get her anything. How can I do that? UGH! I am just so completely and utterly frustrated with everything.

However, it isn't all bad things with me. As I reported in this journal back in 2007- I made it a mission of mine to read 52 books that year. I have tried to keep this going and I just finished book #100!! I have the list on MY laptop, I am using Laura's- she has the thing for Wireless Internet. Once I get the list written, I'll post it on here with some thoughts on some authors I have really grown to love. They are mostly mysteries, but I have branched out a little here and there and maybe with your help, I might add a few more suggestions.

I am also now in the world of Facebook. Yeah, I guess I do like it. I love some of the games on there. I now that NAVYGREEN likes Pathwords and if she can get 1800 per round and I do 1800 in 3 rounds- I haven't worked up the nerve to challenge her yet. I do find it funny that more people on Facebook wished me Happy Birthday than my own immediate family. That's right, my mom and dad called me and my youngest sister (the one who stood up in the wedding) The next youngest called me from a bar at 12:15am today and another called me a 6:30am today on her way to work. The other did not, or at least not yet, call me. I go out of my way to call them and their kids, but they can't return the favor. I would be mud if I forgot them. Oh well!!

I also have started the garden. It's amazing when you have no life the things you can do. We've managed to kill the peas in all the rain we've had around here. However, the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and onions seem to be hanging in there. I've got some pictures on Facebook and I might post some on here too.

Well, that's about all I can think of for now. Keep us in your prayers. We really do need all the support we can get.