Saturday, May 23, 2009

Emma is hard at work + a job search update

Emma's standing next to me making a laptop out of paper. One flat page is a keyboard and another piece of paper taped to the top and curved in a way that the "screen" tilts up. She keeps moving my fingers so that she can see what keys go where on a keyboard. So I'm correcting many a typo. I said "Hey! I'm typing here!" and she said, "What?! I'm making a computer here!" Well, pardon me!

Yesterday I took a tour through River Oaks Mental Hospital. Despite popular belief, no, I'm not having Chris commited. One of my Al-anon buddies is a nurse there and she called yesterday afternoon to say that they needed counselors. Like NOW.

"All you need is a degree," she said. "We do the training."
"But my degree is in Enlgish."
"Oh so you have a history of mental illness!" she said, excitedly.

She said that the pay isn't glamorous but the benefits are good, even for part-timers. I told her that I've registered to get my teacher's certification, and that I guessed being a counselor wouldn't be a bad idea in the meantime. Especially if I get to work with kids.

She laughed. When I went to River Oaks yesterday so that I could pick up an application and take a tour, she took me through all the different units (the eating disorder unit, the chemical dependency unit, ect.) and whenever she introduced me to different staff members she'd say, "This is Genevieve. She wants to be a psychiatric counselor. And she wants to work with kids." And then they would laugh. Even the ones who worked in the unit with bordeline people and people with multiple personalities, even THEY laughed.

"I hope you've got a lot of energy," one of them said.

When we got to the children's unit I saw what she meant. The kids were pretty hyper. What was sad was that they reminded me exactly of some of the public school kids I've been substitute teaching. The kids who other teachers would warn me about. "I saw Gerald get off the bus," one of them cautioned, looking grim. "I'll bet he hasn't had his medication. Good luck."

The only River Oaks employee who didn't laugh at me was the lady who was in charge of the children's unit. She was an older, stout black woman with bags under her eyes that sagged like full purses.

"You can start today," she said. She beckoned me with her hands. "Come on."
"I haven't been interviewed yet," I told her.
Her eyes widened. "COME ON."

I'm going to turn in my application on Monday, along with a resume. I really need a full-time gig and this is the first place I've been to where I've heard the words "you can start today." It would be challenging, but I've been looking for a job that will exercise my care-taker personality in a constructive, detatched way. The challenge will be to be constructive and detatched. On the upside, I'd have tons to write about. On the other hand, there was all that laughing. When I expressed concern about this my Al-anon buddy tried to reassure me.

"It's hard, but the good thing is everyone loves this job. The woman [whose name I've forgotten] in the children's unit has been here for 35 years."

She mentioned other staff members that have been there for 20 years and over because they find their job fulfilling. I am looking for something like that.

We'll see. My friend Amanda worked there, so I thought I'd get her opinion. I wonder if she'll laugh.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Swiss Cheese Post

To make the most of time I will write this post sporatically while I get the kids ready for school, feed them, and dress myself at some point.

Ok, I really wasn't kidding about this "writing sporatically" thing. It is now 10 hours later.

So to keep up with the randomness of this post, I must share the latest thing that I am in complete shock over. I like the song "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga. If you don't know what I'm talking about you can watch it in all of its pop rauchiness here Those of oyu who know me know that this is not my typical kind of music. But there's something about this that speaks to me. As far as I can tell, it's a song about a girl who's had too much to drink and is completely disoriented. One of the lines is "Just Dance, it'll be ok." Possibly this touches on my own confusion lately. Or perhaps (if you've watched the video) it speaks to my need to go out and get really trashed, a thing I haven't done in far too long.

And now, Christopher is begging me to go play ball with him. I haven't finished this post, but I promised you guys something, so here ya go. More later. Blame Christopher!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Holy bugs, Splatman!

It's been over a month since I've written? Egad! What's been going on with me?...oh yeah. All that stuff. It's been so very long, my dears. What do I update you on? My daily goings-on? Politics (bleh!)? The way I feel about the term "my bad?" Or maybe speculations about why the words "spinal nervousa" pop into my head for no reason, and I don't think that's even a real condition? How about a literary festival that I'm going to today? YES! That's it! We have a topic sentence for the second paragraph!

Later today I'm journeying to the French Quarter to attend the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. It's a shabang that spotlights gay and lesbian literature, so naturally there's a drag show at some point tonight but I will regretably miss that performance. Because! I am going to see a play! Hooraaaaaaaaaay! It's a mystery called Hand Over Fist and there's a Q&A thing with the playwrite after the show, which I think will be bitchin'. I do so love the theater. Good theater, bad theater, men dressed as Liza Minelli theater, and the list goes on and on. I will let you know how it goes.

In other news, I'm halfway through my edits in the 3rd revision of the book. My agent, Sarah, (may I call her Sarah? Yes, thank you) wants me to give the manuscript one more tummy tuck before sending it out the door. Sometimes I'm happy with the way the edits are going and sometimes I think, "Dear Lord, I want to write SOMETHING ELSE!"

In other big news, which I will save for another post because the children want breakfast and I need to get my ass off the computer, is that I've been substitute teaching. Well, I don't know if I'd really call it "teaching." It's been more like babysitting. But I'm getting some good experience, and it's made my resume look a little more like what a teacher's resume should look like. You know, with teaching experience.

So why don't I like the term "my bad?" The first time I heard it, I think it was in 1994, and I thought, "What an ignorant thing to say." And I still think that. How can someone misuse a perfectly good adjective such as "bad?" It's adjective abuse I tell you! What's next? Adverb abuse? Is my son going to come home one day and say, "Sorry, my badly." Honestly, people, where will it stop? If adjectives are up for grabs why not superlatives, or hyperboles? Quick! Someone hide the gerunds!! It's a language free for all!

Dramatically yours and glad to be back,