I’ve been going to a United Methodist church lately.  And overall, it has been a really good experience.  They’re liturgical and socially liberal.  And the pastor (probably both) are feminists.  Er, the reverend?  I’m not good at their lingo, yet.

Life is speeding along, largely without me it seems.  I am not sure how just yesterday it was August 1st, and now the month is almost over.  Additionally, I would like to petition that we get more rain.  Just sayin’.  [Should I put that apostrophe inside or outside the punctuation?  Generally I put them outside, but what with the placement, I felt it more appropriate to be in.  Anyone know?]

As you know, I am mostly quite pleased with my living situation (being alone, that is).  However, every so often, I go through periods of loneliness.  I suppose this is normal.  And I think it is also connected to being less satisfied with my current situation (work, apartment, that sort of thing).  Sometimes I just plain envy those who have someone else around, be it a roommate or a significant other.  (Do not get me wrong: I do not want a roommate for anything.)  That is mostly when I have to, yet again, wash dishes or cook or some other chore that I would otherwise split with another person.  Or when I think it would be nice to have someone around with whom to talk something over.  I don’t know.  Maybe I just need a better network of friends.

Food-wise, I’ve been making some new and tasty dishes: spicy lentil sloppy joes, chickpea Mediterranean stew, farmer’s lunch sandwich, to name a few.  Tomorrow I am going to finally try black bean and sweet potato burritos.  I am hoping it is everything I have imagined (and more).

I guess that’s it for now.

I really have nothing new to say, hence the dearth of posts.

I’ve been fighting fleas for around two months.  Yes, my indoor cats got fleas.  So a lot of my free time has been filled with combing the cats, vacuuming, rubbing diatomaceous earth into the carpet, and doing extra laundry.  But the last two times I combed the cats, I didn’t find any fleas on them; so I am hopeful that with a bit more dedication, I will be flea-free.

Job-wise, I am actively looking still, of course.  Sometimes I despair that I will only ever be an administrative assistant. Perhaps someday I could hope for Office Manager, if I got some bookkeeping skills.  Anyway, job hunting is horrible. 

That’s it for now.

I spent this morning being productive: making tzatziki and chapati dough. I think I was a little too heavy handed with the water in the chapati, but it should be fine. I’m not convinced you’re supposed to let it sit in the fridge all day before you cook it, but I have such a hard time actually making things after work.  This way it will be ready to cook up on the stove top. (In this heat, I am avoiding the oven like the plague.)

In other notes, not about food, I am feuding with our mailman at work.  Okay, my office is with me in the feud, but I am the one doing the work.  I used to feel friendly toward unions, but now I’m starting to hate them.  Because the USPS union is the reason he’s still on our route.  I have written so many letters, made so many phone calls.  I have sent copies of my correspondence to the Office of the Inspector General, the Consumers Affair Office for our post office, and the General Postmaster (twice for him).  Every time the postman gets talked to, he ups his game.  But not as in does a better job: no, thinks of new ways to mess with us and our mail.  I am going crazy. 

A quote from Thomas Merton:
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not actually mean that I am doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.”

I have long loved that quote. And I think it explains how I reconcile some of my social views with my theological ones.

Anyway, today I tried out a new church. A United Methodist church, actually. I was sort of wary, probably because many years ago I would have never gone to a UM church. But I went, and it was the perfect blend of liturgy and relaxed presentation. Their associate reverend is a woman. And they’re okay with people’s sexual orientation and gender identity being non-mainstream. [Side note: I am oddly leery of churches who agree with my social inclinations. I think I worry that they will then disregard their bibles dreadfully. But this does not seem to be the case. Yet.] The music was enjoyable, the people were welcoming. It was a positive experience, which is becoming rare for me at church.

I am going to go back next week. And probably the week after that, and after that. I may have found my place. Until I move, that is.

I am hoping to move back north, closer to my family and friends (the ones in this state, anyway). Of course, it may take me some time (forever) to find a job, so… We’ll see.

So I’ve been doing some thinking about church.

I’ve decided that I have to put forth a real effort to find one, and to actively engage with my faith.  The first part will mean that I try a new church every weekend (unless honest-to-goodness circumstances prevail).  The second part will mean that I get back into a habit of reading my bible and praying.  Even when I don’t feel like it.  (Which is always, lately.)

I just don’t believe that faith is something you do when you feel like it or when the notion strikes.  It’s a real, every day thing.  And I believe it wholeheartedly.  So why am I so unwilling?

I would still maintain that I have good reasons to sort of check-out.  But even if the reasons are good, they’re not good enough.  Right?  This doesn’t mean that I throw myself into a church with blinders on (heavens, no), but I have to try to get back to a healthy place, at least.

It sounds like so much work.  I remember when these things weren’t work, but delight.  I want them to be delight again.

While I know that I solely am responsible for my actions, I still hate that it has been my fellow (so-called) Christians that have brought me to this place.

Here’s to hoping.

The other day I bought some gummy bears.  I rarely do this because although I l.o.v.e. gummy bears, I do not love artificial food coloring.  But I found a pack that was colored using vegetable and fruit derivatives.  Then I drove to the library for our all-staff meeting and left them in my car.  On a hot day.  By the time I got back to my car, they had melted in their package.  (I put them in the refrigerator, and now I have a gummy sheet.)

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was.

But they still taste great.

I just finished reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan.  I highly recommend it.  It’s a perfect book for bibliophiles who are kind of geeky and enjoy a bit of a mystery/quest.

My birthday is coming up: 32.  I really don’t feel like I’m in my 30’s, and yet I certainly don’t feel like I’m only in my 20’s.  But I was talking with a friend recently and we decided that we’re not sure why people are so adverse to hitting 30: it’s a great age.  You finally feel confident with who you are, you’re more stable, etc.  And if you had any doubts as to the awesomeness of your 30’s, just watch “13 Going on 30;” it will convince you.  ;)

Nothing more to report.

“The ideal candidate would be an outgoing, cheerful, caring, and extremely detail-oriented individual who is motivated to provide great internal customer service in a fast paced work environment.”

It’s interesting to me that most people don’t seem to understand this is a pie-in-the-sky type of request.  To get someone who is both detail-oriented and outgoing?  It happens, but it’s not often.

That said, I am still job hunting.

Okay, actually, I took the week off.  But that was because I got my first cold in three years (and in June!), and have been miserably reliving every step of the common cold as if it was the first time.  It seems I completely forgot what they’re like.  At least I think I’m on the tail end of this one.  Sigh.

So I’m finally actually job hunting.  I even asked a few co-workers (and my supervisor) if they’d be references for me.  But it’s not going to be easy going.  I think this is mostly due to a few things: 1. I am already working full-time, so finding the time/energy for job applications isn’t easy.  2. I like where I work, so I am not eager to leave.  3. I don’t think I deserve a better job (for some reason), so I find it hard to “dream big” and extend myself past the obvious.

In other news, my salary is going up on July 1st, so even if it takes awhile to find a new job, I will be able to afford a rent increase (if one comes my way).  Thank goodness.  They decided that since my position is now responsible for two branches instead of one (from when we merged last August), it should get an upgrade.  My supervisor actually told me to ask for a raise months ago, but I never did, so I am sure this is his doing.  And trust me, I am grateful.

Oh, my annual review is today, also.  I know my supervisor likes me, but I am painfully aware of my own weaknesses/mistakes, so I am not looking forward to that part.  However, I, like everyone else, am a work in progress.  So I will do my best to not take any potential criticism to heart, but to merely continue to work to improve myself.  Right?  Sigh.

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but this is the longest I’ve been at one place.  Unless you count the assisted living complex I worked at from August 2001-December 2002.  Only I took off the summer (June-August) to work at the ranch.  But I was only working two evenings a week while I was in school, so it’s quite different.  I like the consistency of being at one place.  I like knowing that it’s okay to make mistakes and that you can still learn and grow.  (More reasons I’d like to stay where I am, just in a different position.  I am so tired of answering the phones.  And being “on” all the time.  I need a job that doesn’t make me “happily” interact with people all day long.)

Well, I’ll let you know when I find my new golden opportunity.  (And likely the frustrating journey that will get me there.)

Did I tell you I’m (once again) giving up on church?  Seriously.  There isn’t any out there for me to attend.  Not in the area.  Not that aren’t bat-shit-crazy or just plain awful.  I suppose I should feel guilty about it, but I really don’t.  Who cares, right?

I’m also (once again) giving up on online dating.  I just can’t do it.  Nothing in me wants to go on first dates.  And I hate the contrived attempts at getting to know someone.  Plus, let’s be honest, most of the men online are just idiots.  (No, really. Try online dating sometime, and I think you’ll end up agreeing.  Note that I said “most,” not “all.”)

I am somewhat feuding with my upstairs neighbor (and her rotten kid), plus with a co-worker.  I suppose I am just an angry person.  But what I don’t understand is why anyone feels the need to question the status quo?  Now, the upstairs neighbor is not trying to make me like her (no, far from it), but the co-worker wants to know why I just can’t be nice to her.

Okay, that is partially a fair request.  I should at least contrive to be nice to her insofar as we must interact.  She’s just so stupid most of the time.  And she drives a Hummer.  Because she hates the earth, apparently.  And she called me a crazy cat lady once–we’re not friends, she doesn’t get to mock me.  I don’t call her a crazy kid lady, and she has four of them, whereas I only have two cats.  So unfair.

But, she’s right.  I should withhold my complete contempt–at least from her notice.  But my goodness, I have no intention of ever being her friend.

Why can’t I just be left alone?

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