As I mentioned, I've been back to work the past couple weeks, and I'm kinda taking a beating physically because of it. So, not blogging as much lately. Which doesn't mean that things have stopped happening. Here are the things I can remember at the moment:
Our spring blizzard was all over the news a few days ago. It wasn't actually news, nor was it new. It happens every year around Easter weekend-- except this year Easter inconveniently moved and left no forwarding address, but the blizzard came anyway. The previous week had been blissfully warm and totally spring. Then (as always), BAM! We get a couple feet of snow. Two days later, all the snow is gone and it's 70 degrees again. Two days after that, it's gone cold again. No telling what tomorrow will bring. Except possibly haircuts. Definitely haircuts, if I have my say. People keep telling us what a beautiful daughter we have. Punkin Baby has taken to punching people and yelling "Bam! Bam!"
Pirate Boy started writing stories this past week, and even came up with a poem last night. OK, sure, a poem that goes "A&W Root Beer" and "SQL Server Magazine" but I challenge you to find a 4-year-old in your neighborhood who can write those from memory. Bit of a smarty, that kid. He casually commented the other day that "a trapezoid is a quadrilateral." I looked at my husband and we counted under our breaths. It took 5 seconds before #1 Son said, "What's a trapezoid?" Pirate Boy explained it. I find myself getting nervous about this. Fortunately, #1 Son is a bit oblivious and has a terrible memory (OK, it's only fortunate in this context), so he might not realize for a good long time that his younger brothers are passing him intellectually.I just wonder what will happen when he does. But maybe not everyone's as arrogant as I was at that age.
We had parent-teacher conference this week, and it looks like #1 Son is back up to his usual B+ average. In the area of "shows self-discipline," he managed to work his way up from deplorable to merely awful. This is good. Lesser teachers have torn their hair out and sent him back to kindergarten for this problem. Daily. Fortunately, his current teacher is really understanding and can see through his inability to sit still to his constant curiosity about everything and the fact that he's still way smarter than the other kids in the class. I'm still fed up with the school, but I'm glad he has an ADHD person for his teacher and that she lets him bounce around the back of the classroom when necessary. College is going to be a challenge, but at least at this rate, he'll get there.
Which brings me to this topic: this week, I made it to my 6-year anniversary at the company I work for. On the one hand, I'm luckier than a vast majority of the people I worked with when I started: I still have the job. On the other hand, it was not supposed to take longer than 5 years for my husband to finish college. When he left the military, he was *this* close to an associate's degree, so they told him. Great, we figured, two years of full-time, or 4 years of half-time; we can do this! But of course, military schools aren't the same as civilian ones, and almost none of the courses transferred. Neither did many of the courses from his previous college career 10-12 years ago, so basically he was starting as a second-semester freshman. This was discouraging, but not as discouraging as looking up one day, realizing it's been 6 years already and he's still got 2 years to go! And since we can't leave the freaking state, he'll have to get a degree he doesn't really want now, anyway. Frick, frick, frick....
However, I'm not to the point of chewing my own arm off yet, so I guess that's good. It probably has something to do with not having a lot of employment options-- yet. I can tell the tide's turning, though, even in our impossible industry, by the number of highly skilled people who've quit lately for better-paying jobs. In this area. It's happening, as we knew it would: The rats are leaving the sinking ship. (Technically, the rats are running the ship, but it's a metaphor. You know.) And instead of offering better pay, those in charge are offering lower pay-- for those jobs they're bothering to backfill. 'Cause obviously the few of us that are left can keep on sucking up the extra work indefinitely, right? With no pay raises and no thoughts of bailing out, either, of course. It's started and it's not going to stop. It'll be interesting to see whether they'll notice the hemorrhage and try to stanch the bleeding, or whether they'll say they can't afford the bandages...
Another thing about my anniversary date that made me thoughtful was the realization that I've now been an editor longer than I was a writer-- professionally. I always considered this kind of a stopgap measure, and here I am, 8 years down the road... But at least I'm giving writing another try. Maybe someday I'll be a professional writer again.
And when I sell that killer novel and get a million dollars for the movie rights, I am SO moving out of this neighborhood. Always something exciting and scary going on. F'r instance, yesterday I'm sitting here reading, with the windows wide open because it's so beautiful out, and I hear these scraps of conversation from the backyard behind ours (it's like 20 feet away and not fenced, so it's practically in our house). Some guy's saying, "What happens is...(mutter, mutter)...they get a warrant for your arrest...(something indistinct, and by this time, I was listening)...If I turn myself in...(fades into muttering again)." Eyes wide, I peek out the window, and this dude's got big ol' sunglasses on, cap pulled down low, nondescript denim jacket and jeans... I'm thinking, "Oh great, another one." Then I remembered this story from CNN and wondered whether it was related. I'm hoping that he's not the one that got away.