Monday, June 13, 2011

New Blog, Update Your Situations

I started a new blog here:  http://ofmirthandmusings.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waste Not Want Not

As a poor, I have to make my food last.  Especially when that food comes from the farmer's market.  (I have been known to accuse nearly every farmer's market vendor of ripping me off - not to their face, of course.)  This week, we treated ourselves to a $2.00 bunch of beets.  It wasn't a total rip, but only because I know how to make it last.

I am not even going to mention how I loathe beet-haters, which would surely turn into a blog-long rant.  Haters are simply wrong.

For beets, we use everything but the squeal.  The greens are turned into pesto, and the beets are roasted.  Recipes follow.

Beet Greens Pesto

Ingredients:
Greens, including stems, from one bunch of beets
8 cloves garlic
One handful (approx. 3/4-1 cup) almonds, or any other kind of nut besides peanuts
Olive oil, probably 1/3 cup or so
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
This makes about 1.5 cups of pesto.
Put everything but the olive oil and salt in a food processor.
Drizzle about 2 tbsp olive oil on top.
Process until pesto-like.
Scrap down the sides, and add more olive oil if necessary, and process again.
You are looking for a pesto-like consistency - some like it more liquidy than others, so the amount of olive oil used is up to you.
Taste it.  If it isn't salty enough, add some salt.  Beet greens are naturally salty, so you might find you don't need any more salt.
This pesto makes a great cracker topping, and is delicious added to mashed potatoes.
It doesn't taste like beets, so if you cry at the thought of eating beets, be quiet and eat this.


Beet Greens Aioli

Ingredients:
Beet greens pesto
Mayo
Method:
Combine equal parts beet greens pesto and mayo.
Spread on anything you'd put mayo on.
Makes a good dip too.


Cinchy Roasted Beets

Ingredients:
One bunch of beets, washed with stems and roots chopped off
A drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp)
Salt
Pepper

Method:
Preheat toaster oven to 400.  
Cut beets into squares/wedges, about 1 inch square or so.
Put in baking dish.
Drizzle with olive oil, and add a bit of salt and pepper.  Be careful not to add too much salt.  I'd start with four shakes, and then add more once I tasted them if necessary.
Cook for 40 minutes, until soft but not super soft.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bike Theft Thwarted

The manager at our apartment complex, Dorris, has been on a crusade to get all the bikes that no one ever uses out of here.   There are bikes locked up along the stairs all over.  Tons of bikes.  Some people move and never take their bikes, so some are just abandoned.  Some bikes get so rusty with the salty sea air that they are unusable.  All people with a bike they actually use had to put a yellow tag on it, so Dorris would know not to get rid of it.

I tagged my bike a few weeks ago.

Yesterday, I happened upon Dorris while I was doing laundry.  She mentioned that they were getting rid of all the abandoned bikes.  I looked at my bike.  Rather, I looked at the spot where my bike used to be.

I say, "my bike is gone."  Dorris knew I had tagged it, so she starts frantically trying to find the people (scum lords) who were in charge of getting rid of (selling, hawking, trading for illegal things) the abandoned bikes.

I followed Dorris to the other side of the complex, and luckily we found the truck with the bikes on it.  Dorris said, "that's her bike!"  The guy on the truck said, "which one?"  Dorris said, "the one with the yellow tag on it!"  Morons.

So, they got my bike off the truck and Dorris got pissed at the woman (scum) who was in charge of the bike round up.  The woman (scum) insisted she TRIPLE checked to make sure she wasn't taking any bikes that belonged to people.  Somehow, my bike, with the yellow tag, got taken anyway.  Strange.  My bike was three minutes away from being taken to who knows where, never to be seen again.  I had already decided I was going to demand $450 if it was gone.

Then, I told the woman (scum) that I wanted my cable back because it was a $45 cable.  She told me she would give me a new one that was worth "way, way more" than that.  Dorris said I'd have to approve whatever cable she gave me, or else she'd have to buy me a new one.  Dorris told her I am an attorney.  The woman (scum) said she was sorry, and I said it was okay.  Anyone else, my old man included, would have made her regret the day she even thought about loading my bike on that truck.  She's lucky it was me.

Later that day, when I went to get my dry clothes, I saw my cable slung over a couple of beach cruisers that the woman (scum) had claimed as her own, as they had been abandoned by others.  It wasn't locked up.  So, I took back my cable.  I wonder if she was going to give me my own cable and then say that it was worth "way, way more" than it was?

She was supposed to give me my new cable and lock last night, but never did.  Surprise, surprise.  This is what happens when you send a scum bag to do an idiot's job.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Enumerating

I started my stupid Census Enumerator job.  Training was awful and boring, obviously.

The only good things about this job are: (a) I'm getting paid way more than I'm worth; (b) I'm on my own the whole day so I don't have some idiot youth telling me what to do all the time and I don't have to fake smile throughout my entire shift; and, (c) my area is the street I live on, so I can come home and eat whenever I'm hungry.

However.  Everyone who answers the door instantly hates me.  They have no reason to, I am purely nice, I am crazy fast at asking them the questions I have to ask, and it is their own fault I'm there since they didn't mail back their Census form.

People try to tell me they don't have time to answer the questions (which seriously takes less than five minutes).  I then tell them I will have to keep coming back until I get my form filled out, and I live across the street so I can seriously come back at ANY time.  Then, they refuse to tell me a time to come back and just say to come back "later."  Annoyings.

If they don't say they have no time, they act like the fact I am asking them these questions is the most horrible thing one person could ever even think of doing to another person.  They are in pure torture.  It's not like it's fun for me either.  Jerks.

All I need to find out is how many people lived at these places on April 1.  Then, I need the names, sexes, ages, and races of each person.  That's it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Test

There has been a request for me to tell the story of the census job test.

All one has to do to be a census enumerator is call a number, then take a test.  And pass the test, I assume.  My test was at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center.
I walked in to the room and saw the dregs of society.  I prejudged them, and decided they were all scum bags.  Then, I felt bad, and decided that maybe they were all just in a tough time like me, and they just needed any kind of job to get by until something real comes along.  So, I gave them a chance. 

The man in charge gave us a form to fill out, with our name, address, availability, and a spot for us to write in any crimes we have been convicted of.  It took us two hours to fill out this form.  He went down the list of things to fill out, one by one, making sure everyone understood what they were supposed to write.  It would have taken me maybe two minutes to fill this form out unsupervised.

As soon as we got to the part about confessing to our crimes, everyone starts asking the man in charge if their specific convictions count as something they need to put down.  Everyone but me, of course.  He said, yes, every conviction needs to be written down or else they'll find it on the background check and think you were hiding it.  Everyone still wanted to explain their situation and see if it had to be confessed.  It was excruciating.

This was the point where I gave up on this lot, and decided my original prejudging was correct.

Test time!  We had 30 minutes to answer about 25 questions.  These questions require the reading, math, and analytical skills of maybe a third grader.  An American third grader.  I finished in about 15 minutes, but we weren't allowed to leave when we were done so I just had to sit there.

Only one other person finished the test. 

When the 30 minutes was up, the man in charge collected our tests and said that he needed to talk to some of us because we didn't fill out our forms (the ones with our names, addresses, and convictions) correctly.  "Some of us" turned out to be everyone but two people.  Every single person (there were about 20 of us) couldn't fill out this cinchy form correctly, except for me and one other older woman. 

We were finally excused.  I was so depressed.  Where had I gone wrong?  What decision was the one that led me to this point - to be in this room with these people?  How can so many people be so stupid?  They can't finish a test that a third grader would breeze through, how can I live in a society where it is acceptable for people to be walking around that dumb?  Why are people content to be dumb, it doesn't take that much effort to understand simple concepts?


You can look at a practice test, which is almost the exact same as the real test, on the census website.  Just Google it if you're interested to see if I am exaggerating.  I assure you, I'm not.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Census

No word on the Saipan opportunity yet.  It's probably safe to assume I didn't get it.  For the record, we would have gone.  It was nice to think I actually had a chance at something.  For once.  "Hi ho."

I got hired to be a census enumerator.  That is a fancy way of saying a currently unemployed dirt bag who is willing to do anything (anything) for $16.50/hour.  The story of when I took the test to decide whether I was qualified to be an enumerator is far to long for this forum.  The short story is:  almost all people applying for this job are (supposedly) former criminals, and other people who are otherwise unemployable.  And me.

Training starts April 19.  Four days of training, nine hours a day.  Assuming we get an hour break, to make it eight hours a day, that makes $528 of your tax dollars going straight into my pocket .  And all I have to do is sit in a room and be treated like a kindergartner who can't understand how to knock on people's doors and ask them their race and age.  The Man has decided it will take 32 hours to get me to an acceptable skill level to do this job.  God bless America.

 I really don't want to do this job.  Really really.  Any job that pays $16.50/hour and requires no actual skills or education has got to be a job so horrible  the only way they can get anyone to do it is to offer  that kind of money.  It is going to be death.

But, I've got April's rent paid, and my bank account is now at zero.  Still no credit card debt, but I'm not in a good spot.  So, I truly have no choice.  Either SOMEONE calls me back and accepts my application for an attorney position, or starting April 19, I am an enumerator.  God bless America.

In other news, I got my California Bar card in the mail today.  So, everything is official.  Can't wait to show the other losers in my training group.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Problem of Saipan

A long time ago, like in January or December, I applied for a judicial clerkship in Saipan.  Saipan is the largest island in the Northern Mariana Islands - a United States-owned commonwealth just east of the Philippines, north of Australia.  The island is 12 miles long and 6 miles wide.  I applied for this job for two main reasons: (1) I was desperate and frustrated that I couldn't find work in the U.S. and decided, fine, if no one here wants me, I'll just leave; (2) a judicial clerkship is pretty much the best experience a new attorney can have, it almost guarantees any job that is applied for after.

The start date was April.  Since it is now the end-ish of March, and I hadn't heard peep, I assumed I didn't get the job.  Then, today my old man gets a call from the judge while I was at the gym.  But, he didn't realize a judge was calling (he has an accent) so when I got home he told me someone from the census job I applied for called.

I called this person back, thinking I was talking to some census lackey, only to find out I was in the midst of a job interview with a judge!  

He told me I am in his top five, and the start date is still April.  So, if I'm offered this position, I will be leaving the country crazily soon.  For two years.
Of course, I should have nothing to worry about until I find out if I even get this job, but I am having major anxiety over the thought of having to decide to accept the position or not.  I want to throw up.

The good:  I'll get about $52,000/year, including the housing stipend (this may not sound like much for a lawyer, but that is basically the equivalent of a million dollars to me); I  get about 42 paid days off each year so I'll be able to travel to Japan, Bali, Phillipines,  Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, etc. - something I will likely never have another chance to do; I'll get good work experience and by the time I come back to the U.S. there will probably be jobs that want me; I'll be able to afford to live in an actual house with multiple rooms instead of a teensy apartment; I'll still live at the beach; it's a federal government job, so I'd be in with the government which gives the best benefits for future jobs.

The bad:  I will be away from the mainland for two years, which is a crazily long time.  To think I was only in Denver for four months, and I was so so lonely - the thought of two years is too much to bear.  So, the only way I'd do it is if my old man came with me.  The only problem with that is he has a year left of school, so he'd have to put that on hold for two years for my sake.  Thus, I would have to live with the guilt of making him give something up because of me.  And, I either won't get to see my family for two years, or will only get to see them if they come visit me (which I would force them to do).  But, because it is such a small island, it takes 2-3 days to get there depending on the various layovers.  And, I'll have to buy all new stuff because I can't take my stuff with me that far.  And, what will I do with the stuff I have now?  Just get rid of it, or store it?  And, do they have weird deadly tropical diseases there?  And, this decision will have to be made in less than 2 weeks.  Less than 2 weeks to decide the rest of my life!

So, now I don't know what to do and I'm kind of hoping I will find out I didn't get the job just so I don't have to decide.  What should I do?