I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 44 - Tying Knots

Time to tie up some loose literal and figurative threads from previous posts.

Day 30 - Keep Cheap (The One With the Links to Frugal Doings in the Neighborhood)

A friend added a recommendation in a comment to visit the Eloise Butler Wildlife Garden and Bird Sanctuary in Golden Valley. It's a beautiful place and well worth a visit.

In the same post, I mentioned the Garage Sale store in Hopkins as a potentially good thrift shop based on some scuttlebutt. I visited and it is not worth anyone's time unless you really, really enjoy the thrill of the hunt of digging through piles of sheer junk to find one good item. You feel like rubbing hand sanitizer over your whole body after you leave.

I forgot to mention a fantastic resource for giving away and receiving items that have a second (or third or fourth) life in them: Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/). There are local groups in most areas of the country.

Day 38 - Komic Sans Bans? (The One Where We Explore the Odious Plot to Banish a Whimsical Typeface)
A friend sent this link to new Windows 7 fonts: http://www.microsoft.com/typography/fonts/windows7.htm

I recognized the English of course and then the Japanese, but the rest had me perplexed. I'm pretty sure that Dr. Daniel Jackson of Stargate will be needed to interpret them. Aparajita? Time for that Sanskrit for Dummies book!

Day 41 - Weed n' Feed? Indeed! (The One Where We Murder Garlic Mustard)
Have weeds been pulled, poisoned or pureed? No, they have not. The gardening gene does not become active until the temperature is at least 65 degrees. There were snow flurries during baseball practice this morning. Once it warms up, you are dead and salad-ized, you little green demons. (I feel obligated to eat one now, sort of like being a five-year-old dared to lick a metal railing in the winter. Curse you, Boon Street School!)

Day 34 - Kub Scout-In-A-Day (The One Where We Complete a Year's Wolf Scout Requirements in a Day)
The birds will have to get an apartment or perhaps move in with the raccoons. We built this.

Cub Scout ceremonies take much of their text from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement, asked Kipling for permission to use the references from the Jungle Books stories as he was developing the original Scouting program and it has stuck to this day. The local Scouting leaders are caring and dedicated individuals, but must have missed a training where they are briefed on the story and characters of the Jungle Book. None of them can pronounce any of the character's names. Throughout the wolf ceremony, the leader referred to the dread tiger Shere Kahn, as "Sherry Can" -- in a tone that suggested that this was a girl with whom he'd gone to high school. I want to give them a copy of the Disney movie so at least they can get the names right. And they can listen to Phil Harris as Baloo, the jazz-singing sloth bear. I met Phil Harris in the San Francisco airport when I was a little girl, cementing a fragile recognition for a performer that I probably never would have heard of otherwise. [Note: This is Phil Harris, the jazz singer and Jack Benny-era comedian, not Phil Harris, the ill-fated captain on the reality show The Deadliest Catch.]

Here is the badge:

Day 21 - Raccoon Love (The One Where We Waited for Raccoon Babies to be Born So That We Could Evict Them)

We never heard raccoon babies, though once in a while I hear something in the attic that sounds like it is playing ping-pong. I don't know whether to call Mr. Wildlife Specialist back or wait until I don't hear any noise one day, cover over the hole and hope for the best.

Day 8 - Kleaning Up (The One Where We Wanted to Rescue an Abandoned, Ill-Tempered Cat from the Animal Shelter)
I took my family back to visit the cat. He wouldn't let my husband pick him up, snapped at my daughter and took a gouge out of my hand. I hid the blood dripping down my arm from the attendant so that the cat would have no more strikes against him. He was already in tough shape since he was older, had been at the shelter for a while, needed some extra medical care, didn't like other cats, and didn't seem to like most people. I'm not sure whether the attraction was that I thought he deserved another chance after the trauma to which he'd been exposed or that I secretly feared that he was me in cat form. Either way, my family charitably suggested that we come back in another day or so when he wasn't being made nervous by all the visitors. When I checked a couple of days later, he was gone. So maybe he was adopted by someone he liked. Or maybe he ran out of chances. Not every situation is a metaphor but wisdom to be learned from the mistakes of others is that you can't make someone like you and you can't reliably save anyone but yourself. Person or cat.

Day 36 - Korpulent (The One Where the Doctor Told Me to Lose Weight or Have a Heart Attack)
Not surprising, Days 15 (Where We Eat the Juicy Lucy Cheese-Stuffed Hamburger) and 35 (Where I Market Test Frosted Cinnamon Rolls) may be implicated. My blood test results revealed a cholesterol level that would be a darn good bowling score. When I die, I wish my body to be wrapped in bacon and affixed to the coffin with a giant toothpick. Until then, I'm eating a lot of oatmeal, soy milk and lentils.

Day 42 - Mother's Day Approaches (The One with the Lanyard)
Despite the drawer full of lanyards that my son has made during two summers with the YMCA, we made gift baskets that were completely lanyard-free.
Enjoy your Mother's Day and do something nice for someone you love!

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