Saturday, August 15, 2009


I know I'm all inspiration and everything with my hope for the future, but you should know I'm having a very hard time right now - crying by accident in public, on conference calls, etc. In short, I'm becoming the person you've known and loved for some time, but that corporate American has only heard tell of.

The first couple days post-canning were basically awesome. Yeah, I was getting the can, but everyone loved me! Yeah, I was sad, but I was surrounded by people speaking superlatively of me! I felt really hopeful and excited! A few days in though, everyone had said all they could say and I was forced to reckon with the painful reality.

Oh, the painful reality. It smarts so!

I think all the kind words from my colleagues sort of covered up the part where I'm wounded right now. My pride is hurt. I was working really hard and facts are facts: What's happened feels really bad.

Also, I get a lot of self-esteem from my work. Even though, in my heart of hearts, I know my colleagues value my work, there's a pretty big part of me that doesn't feel very valued. Man, this is fucking hard!

Whenever there's a decision to be made, my mother always says, "Go with your peace." I.e., Do whatever thing feels peaceful, not fearful or anxious. When I think of all my options, there's only one that I have any peace about. I think the Universe is pointing the way.

More to come when I know for sure.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Canning season

I got canned from my day job on Monday. I got a 60-day notice, which is hella generous, so I'm still working. I'm hoping that my current status of networking like a maniac will land me a job before my notice is up. I'm a little frazzled, but confident that everything will be fine for a number of reasons, which I might list, but they would make me sound like I was full of myself, which I am a little bit, but I'd prefer not to appear that way necessarily. At least not this minute.

I'm so vain.

Seriously, I've never had more people coming up to me to tell me what a pleasure it is to work with me. Several of them seemed to be nearly rending garments and ready to take to the sack cloth and ashes!

If it takes getting canned to be surrounded by so much love, I'll get canned every day!

Okay, not really. I'd prefer to feel the love without being shown the door. Still, you understand.

If you know anyone looking for a fine writer who is hardworking but a whole hell of a lot of fun to work with, give them my name. And then tell me about it so I can follow up with them and set myself up a lunch or beverage or something. Because that's what I do now.

There are few things that make me feel more like an animal than networking on purpose. I'm a natural networker. I'm constantly hooking people up with other people. It's what I do. But when I have to do it, it can feel a little more like work and a little less like fun. But I'm choosing to have fun with this. I'm meeting people I wouldn't have otherwise met. A lady cannot have too many friends.

I am taking some quiet time on Saturday to really think about what I want to do next, to visualize it happening, to plan my next steps, etc. I may even convene a meeting of trusted friends to weigh in. A crossroads has been presented to me. I am taking it as the gift that it is and I am going to make the most of it.

I will appreciate your positive thoughts during these times. Thank you.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

My identical-twin grandmother - plus a few other things

Grandmother Myszkowski, my identical-twin grandmother, will shortly be having a birthday. I'm making her a proper cake next week. I can't wait! I asked her what kind of cake she likes. She said, "Any kind of cake is fine." And then said, "Surprise me!" And then added, all casual-like. "Carrot cake is nice."

She's visiting the north country for the summer, but no one told me she's been up for a month, so I only just saw her last weekend for the first time. Oh, I've missed too much! Last year I saw her a total of once due to moving mayhem and this year I need to catch up. I get such a kick out of that lady. She's a sassy broad who is happy to tell you just what she thinks. Calling her candid would be a bit of an understatement. It's pretty hilarious.

If we're Facebook friends, you've seen her. She's in my current profile photo. That's how fucking cool she is.

Speaking of my grandmother and Facebook, I have a few updates.

Grandmother complained that I'm not updating my blog as much as I used to. (See? I told you she is cool.) She's right. There are a number of things going on here.
  1. One of them is that when something funny or exciting happens, I make it a status update on Facebook. Then I forget about it and I don't write a blog about it. It's Facebook's fault. For example, the Prairie Home Companion live at Tanglewood? That would make a great post! Too bad I wrote all about it already on Facebook. (Summary: I shook Garrison Keillor's hand.) See what I mean?
  2. Scott has rearranged his work schedule to be off on Saturdays, so we could be together more on the weekends when I'm not working. This has been going on for a couple weeks now. Generally, I spend the most amount of personal time online on Saturdays, and if I had something to say would say it then. So there's that.
The other thing is that a fellow friended me on Facebook because he subscribes to my blog! But I didn't accept his friendship because I didn't know him. Then he friended me again, so I gave him the third degree, and then, since it turned out he came in peace, I accepted. I guess my point here is that if you should friend me on Facebook, mention this blog so that I don't treat you like a stranger. Also, I wish I could find out who was subscribed to this blog. Is that something I can find out? Who knows about this stuff?

We will shortly begin a giant house project, which will likely suck my will to live, but will ultimately improve my quality of life so much that I won't even be recognizable. If you happen to notice radio silence around here, drop me a line and remind me to blog about it. It's going to be madness!

Today we bought a new mattress. It's being delivered on Monday. We were just walking on Main Street in Greenfield this afternoon and suddenly found ourselves in Mattress Outlet. We've gone mattress shopping a few times without really falling in love with a mattress and we had no plans to buy a mattress today. Then we placed our bodies upon the most comfortable bed I've ever, ever been on and we had to have it. Plus, since it's from Vera Wang, you know it's stylish. I cannot wait for it to arrive. I'm going to have to rearrange my schedule a bit on Monday to be here when the nice men arrive, and that's fine by me. I can't think of a better reason to rearrange a work schedule, honestly.

The final update is that today I was recognized at my favorite farm stand, Golonka Farm Stand, in Whately. They have such glorious produce and the sweetest corn you will ever taste. Oh, it's so good! We're having some for dinner tonight. In any case, while I was checking out, one of the ladies said to me, "Are you Jennifer?" Indeed, I was Jennifer, and so I told her so. She told me she got a kick out of my radio program. I said, "I get a kick out of doing it, so it all works out." Then I told them that theirs was my favorite farm stand, because it's true, and the lady who never smiles smiled. How about that?

The world, it's our oyster, isn't it?

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I was just rereading this post about when the Indigo Girls came to Northampton because someone added a new comment yesterday.

I'm a little bit offended that the person who commented (scroll down to the comments) felt like she had to tell me that not all lesbians wear khaki, like I might be some kind of lesbian-hating, Indigo-girls-concert-attending nutjob. Which is fine, I guess, but even after I wrote her that mostly friendly reply to her comment, it's sticking in my craw.

Oh, I have a craw all right. And it feels weird to me that I feel like I need to defend myself. Like I have to prove that I'm not a total bigot-asshole or something. WTF is wrong with me?

Me and some of my ladies were talking about how we don't think anyone is all the way gay or all the way straight, blahblahblah, Kinsey Scale blahblahblah. I said something along the lines of how when push comes to shove, I really am only interested in men, but I've had crushes on a few ladies. J. Bo said something along the lines of, "The real test is if you've ever acted a fool over a lady." We all took a moment for introspection and I had to admit, I've acted a fool a fool over one lady, and I acted borderline a fool over another.

I was performing at a women's comedy festival some time back and I was made an honorary lesbian the other ladies in the show. Does that count?

(Aside: I was made an honorary Jew once too, but that was separate.)

Also, I host and produce all-ladies comedy shows. I mean, come on!

And not to put too fine a point on it: I own a pair of khaki pants. Granted, the zipper busted out of them about four years ago. But I've kept them! Indeed, I intend to repair them (or pay a lady to do so).

Meanwhile, in rereading that post, I realized I made an error. I have actually seen the Indigo Girls three times. Once at the Mullins Center in Amherst like 10 years ago with a Jesus-lovin' lady I grew up with who didn't believe me when I told her the Indigo Girls were lesbians ("They can't be," she said. "They're Christian!"), once at the Newport Folk Festival (I can't remember exactly when, but I was with Sunni Zuniga at the time, if that's any indication), and once at the Pines Theater at Look Park with I-have-no-idea-who (sorry if it was you). The Pines was the last one, the one where I gave up on ever hearing them play Galileo live. I really like them, just not enough to go to a crowded show. I don't have that in me anymore.

I hope this gives me the street cred I need to not have to feel like I have to defend myself to that lady anymore. I mean, she's a stranger and you are my friends! Why am I even doing this?

Thank you. That is all.


The sincerest form of flattery.

My elderly aunt, No-legs' sister, is really sick right now, but nowhere near as sick as No-legs was. Still, she's in a bad way, so my mother and sister picked me up after work on Thursday and we took a car trip to see her in a hospital in Connecticut.

I never see my mother or my sister without other people around anymore. It kind of sucks because I really like them one on one. It's when it's everyone all together that I start moving myself slowly (and then more quickly) towards the door. I'm a delicate flower. Also, I think my whole family, when together, brings out the worst in each other.

But just the three of us together was really nice. And even though our mission was pretty depressing (visiting a sick old lady), we ended up having a glorious time. Oh, the laughter! Oh, the tears from laughter!

One of the things that drives me the craziest about my mother is that it seems like she thinks everyone around her is a moron ; she's constantly explaining things to people - or maybe it's just to her kids - that they know already. I don't know how to explain this well, but it's maddening and it's been going on since I was very young. I've had actual fights with her that have included me shouting, "Why do you assume I'm a moron!? I am NOT a moron!"

And it's funny how my mother explaining something to me like that will turn me almost instantly into a raging lunatic. Everything will be fine and then I'll be ready to resort to fisticuffs, like, thatfast.

We were in my mother's new car. Tesia was driving, I was the passenger due to my tendency towards carsickness and my mother was riding in the back seat. Tesia asked me if I knew that bastard is a really bad swearword. "It's as bad as asshole," she said. I said, "No way. Maybe it's the same as ass, but it's nowhere near as bad as asshole." She said, "I had no idea it was a bad word until, like, five years ago." I said, "I still don't think it's that bad."

My mother chimed in, "It just means a child born to an unmarried mother."

My sister and I instantly were all, "Yeah. We know what it really means, Ma. Gimme a break!" and etc.

In our family hierarchy, I'm the sister who makes fun of people, so when my sister turned to me and said, all casual-like, "You know, Jennifer, your asshole is just a hole. It's in your ass." I came unglued. We were all laughing and laughing. Tesia and I were crying. My mother was laughing and also seemed miffed at the same time. Tesia was laugh-shouting, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" And I said, in a mocking way, "Yes, I'm so sorry that I'm laughing at my mother that I can't stop laughing at my mother!" Oh and that just kept it going.

When my mother doesn't like something going on, she'll start talking in a higher-than-her-own-voice sort of voice, and she always starts with, "Well..."

For example, "Well...I didn't know you felt that way and I guess I'll just ..." whatever.

I do a dramatic interpretation of it that I think is dead on. It makes Tesia laugh really hard. Scott says it sounds like Cartman.

I came home and relayed the whole story to Scott. We laughed and laughed.

For this next part of the story, you should know a few things. One is that I talk in my sleep. A lot. I complain about Scott snoring and everything, but I snore too. My snoring doesn't keep him awake (or me, incidentally), though there have been times when I've woken him up and asked him to roll over because his snoring has woken me up and he has and I've fallen back to sleep and started snoring like a chainsaw before he's fallen back to sleep. Why does this guy live with me? In any case, now I sleep with earplugs. Also, I drool like a faucet. But the talking is the thing that wakes Scott up.

Last night, he woke up because I was talking in my sleep, but I wasn't talking in my real voice. I was talking in the voice I use to imitate my mother. On and on I went, imitating my mother in my sleep. So Scott had to wake me up to get me to stop.

(Aside: Earlier in our relationship Scott tried to engage my sleeping self in conversation, but I never went for it. I woke up and became embarrassed by my sleep-talking, not realizing he was trying to egg me on.)

I called my mother to tell her about it. She said, "Oh, well, you must have been dreaming about me." I said, "Not about you, about imitating you!"

Well, you know what they say about imitation.

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