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 334 - Orchids Make Me Blush

Daily Kup (What I Did on my Reality Vacation)
The day started cold, crisp, and full of luck. For all our cost-consciousness ["Cheap, cheap," said the little chicken] and frugality, one luxury has been retained. OK, one luxury in addition to having an adequately warm place to sleep, enough food and water, the good fortune to have healthy minds and bodies, the love and support of family and friends, and the sensibility to be grateful for all the above. Once you say that, a really good haircut sounds like a pretty stupid extravagance.

Before I dipped my unpedicured toe in the pool of expensive grooming and was carried out to a cosmetic-filled sea, I patronized salons that issue coupons and let you pick a sucker out of a yellow plastic bucket if you've been "good." One family-friendly chain featured brightly-colored canvas sails hung between the stations. For years, I bellowed "Avast, me hearties" and never once did a stylist reply "Aye-aye."

My fancy salon has tea and espresso and pitchers of ice water with floating cucumber slices. Every product is Fair Trade, woven in the Amazon basin, or comes from bees who have a collective bargaining agreement.

The sparse walls are adorned with huge unframed canvases of hand-colored orchid photographs. This seemed chic and trendy and relatively unobtrusive until I noticed that the formation and orientation of all these flowers calls to mind an unholy alliance between Georgia O'Keeffe and Bob Guccione. There is no place where I can look without hearing the words, "This might be a little cold." As I sit and drink my cucumber water surrounded by giant posters that look disturbingly like genitalia, I think, "This is where Freud would come for a trim."

While I was pointedly looking at not-the-walls, I got a great haircut and thought about what I want to be when I grow up. This was not accidental musing since I was preparing to be interviewed this afternoon by a reporter from Patch.com. Being purposefully and pointedly eclectic, I wrestled with how to explain to a new acquaintance who I am and what I do. To a new acquaintance? Heck, to myself.

I left the salon with shiny, 'piecy' hair, a bottle of shampoo expensive enough to hide to keep it from being used for kids' bubble bath, and a heightened awareness of speculum art worthy of Rita Mae Brown.

When the afternoon rolled around, I enjoyed the interview immensely and appreciated the chance to speak with a talented freelance writer.

On some level, it must bug people with degrees in journalism and literature to have untrained amateurs pop out of the bushes and self-publish in this new media landscape. There's a story about a writer who grew weary and resentful of the implication that anyone could write a book if only he or she had the free time. When a doctor said to him, "I've always wanted to write a book. I'm going to do that when I retire," he responded, "And I'm going to be a doctor when I retire."

The Patch reporter was extremely engaging and patient with me and my aspirations. On Monday, we will meet for photographs of me blogging ("Is this blogging or merely an incredible simulation?") and of Attila the Son and Princess Potatohead being themselves as unruly offspring of an addled blogger mom.

Six weeks ago I made an appointment to get a great haircut today. I said the day was full of luck.

What Not To Say or Do When Asked, "Tell Me A Little Bit About Yourself"
● Don't start from conception -- yours or anyone else's.
● "Grand High Wizard is more of an honorary title ..."
● Drawings are probably not necessary.
● "I was so sad when I had to leave my parents back on Krypton."
● Do not let your ventriloquist dummy field this for you.
● "Does this look infected to you?"
Do use the job hunting elevator speech that you have practiced. Unless it's "Third floor, please."
● Creative flair is fine as long as you are scrupulously truthful. If you express your creativity through interpretive dance or origami, hold off answering in those forms until at least the fourth question.

Can I Have Some Hummus With My Lefse?
We experienced a cordial and uplifting event last night by attending our local school's Multicultural Dinner. This new tradition, now in its second year, features a potluck of foods representing the cultural range of the school population. Literally breaking bread together engages the power of community!

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