Monday, May 25, 2009


Wow, I was just looking at my blog and realized I hadn't updated it in nearly two months. I didn't realize it had been that long.

Well, where to start...

I'm still working at the Board of Elections. When I went back in March, they brought back me and 4 other temps with the plan of eventually hiring us to fill 5 open permanent positions they had. The 5 positions ended up being cut to 2, and then brought back up to 4. 4 positions and 5 temps interested in them = 1 person not being hired. Several weeks ago the positions were opened for any current temps to apply. They interviewed 9 people (all temps from different departments), including me. Last Thursday they announced who was hired, and well, I was the one person from my department who wasn't.

What's so frustrating is that the lady who's head of the department told me how happy she's been with my work, how the quality of my work is excellent, etc., etc., but they didn't choose me because I can't work a lot of overtime during election seasons (because of my kids and if my husband goes back to work on nights). Of the other 4 temps they did hire permanently, three are young, single, and childless, and the fourth has a teenage daughter in her last year of high school, so none of them have child care issues to worry about. Stupid me assumed my not being able to work a lot of overtime wasn't too much of a problem, since they brought me back as a temp this time, even though they had dozens of other temps to choose from, who could work a lot of overtime.

I'm still employed at least, probably through the end of the fall, maybe through the end of the year, but having that permanent position would have meant more money. Health insurance (which I desperately need since my husband's and kids' insurance runs out June 30th, and I haven't had medical insurance in over a year). Sick time. Vacation time. Holiday pay. When I wasn't the only temp in my area, it wasn't so bad. We (the temps) liked to commisserate about the lousy job market and our need for permanent employment. Now, being the only temp, I feel like the unpopular kid who didn't get invited to the big party of the year. It was really, really hard dragging myself into work on Friday knowing my best chance at permanent employment had been dashed.

I hate having to start all over from scratch now - fruitlessly searching for jobs, applying and hoping for interviews, going through interviews, hoping to be hired, and being disappointed all over again when I'm not. I'm truly burned out on it. If my husband weren't still out of work, I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed, but his being out of work just compounds my stress.

About the only good news we've gotten lately is that our landlord, who has amassed quite a collection of rental properties, and who is looking to add more, asked my husband today (knowing our situation and given my husband's maintenance skills) if he would be interested in coming to work for him as a property manager, handling repairs on his properties, working with city inspectors and the Section 8 program (for his tenants that get assistance), etc. It wouldn't pay as much as my husband was making at his last job, but it would relieve a lot of stress financially, while my husband's waiting to when/if he'll get called back to work at his old job.

Last Friday, my 11 year old niece, Rosie, slept over on Friday and Saturday night. On Friday night, we ate at Cici's Pizza (if you've never been to one, it's a good, cheap alternative to fast-food restaurants). Saturday turned out to be rainy and chilly most of the day, but the kids talked my husband and I into taking them to the playground. There's a fantastic playground here next to a Jewish community center, all set up to look like a miniature town, with a pretend bank, fire station, school, houses, etc. It was built by volunteers and with donations, as a public playground for both disabled and non-disabled kids. The kids had a lot of fun, despite the rain. Here's some pictures:

After the playground, we went to the library and rented some DVD's. The girls and I watched "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl", about a 10 year old girl growing up during the Depression. I wasn't expecting much, but it turned out to be a pretty good movie. Christina, I think Piper would really like that movie.

In fiber-related news, after two and a half years of drooling over knitting patterns, admiring gorgeous projects on crafty blogs (ahem, Bezzie and Christina!), I decided to sit down, break out my knitting needles and some books, and learn how to knit. After struggling mightly with casting on (long-tail cast on), knit stitches, purl stitches, and binding off, I finally got the hang of it, and have now been knitting for 3 weeks! Yep, it's true! I even have a finished knitting project to show!

Ta da! It's a knitted kerchief with a crocheted edging, for Rosie, who asked me last weekend if I could knit or crochet her something (and she's such a sweet kid, how could I say no?).
I got the pattern from a library book, "Find Your Style and Knit it Too". I had several pairs of knitting needles I had collected over the past 2 years, during previous unsucessful attempts to learn how to knit, but my Dominic, having decided that knitting needles make good pretend pirate swords, lost or broke nearly all of them, except for a size 8, 16 inch bamboo circular needle, and a couple of aluminum straight needles (which I despise - I have the hardest time keeping the stitches on them). I wanted to knit something besides swatches, and having little extra money for new needles or yarn, I decided on this kerchief, which was perfect to make on the circular needles.

This is actually the second one I've made. The first was in some stash Cotton-Ease, and I ripped it out and restarted it literally at least 15 times. I kept messing up the yarn overs, purling when I was supposed to knit, and knitting when I was supposed to purl. I finally finished it after several days, but it had a lot of mistakes, and I just wasn't happy about giving something with a bunch of mistakes away. Yesterday afternoon, I started on this one, in some stash Sugar N' Cream (Pinky Stripes), and finished it this morning. I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

I have a stack of knitting books from the library sitting on my kitchen table now, tempting me with all their patterns. I've come to the conclusion that knitting is considerably slower than crocheting, that it's much more complicated, and it's way harder to fix mistakes, but so far, I really like it! For my next project, I'm hoping to knit this baby blanket (a big impetus for me finally learning how to knit!) for my husband's best friend and his wife, who are expecting their first child (a boy) in August).
In non-knitting related news, I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day. My husband and kids and I went to my oldest brother's house for a cookout. My brother's wife is Arabic (Palestinian) and a wonderful cook. Her aunt brought over a whole lamb for the cookout, and we had chicken kabobs, lamb kabobs, the most delicious hamburgers (from the Arabic meat shop - they had garlic, onions, and spices ground right in), and tons of side dishes and desserts. The kids had fun playing with all of their cousins, and of course, I was happy to see my little 16 month old niece, Jenna. Isn't she just the cutest little thing?!Of course, now that I know how to knit, Jenna is going to be totally spoiled with all kinds of cute, girly, hand-knitted gifts!

Well, off to bed. Holiday Mondays always go by too quick!