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Friday, January 23, 2009

Taking the path of opportunity

A fellow co-worker and I are both going to lose -- or rather I should say -- our jobs are going to end next week.

Panic is setting in a bit, but we've also been discussing the options - the possibilities - of being able to decide where to go next.

If the traditional job is not open, I'll probably go work whereever, save some money and then finally take the hubby up on the plan to buy or rent an RV and head out across the country. See things we haven't seen before.

I've never seen the Grand Canyon. My husband has never seen the Colorado Rockies. We both want to go to Boston. I've never been to L.A. (the airport doesn't count.) I want to show him where I lived in Montana years before we met.

We've also toyed with the idea of getting some work visas and living in Europe for a while. I'd like to see the place he lived before we met. I'd like to see the Eifel Tower and eat Italian food in Italy, kiss the Blarney stone. The list goes on.

Maybe it takes us back to the bucket list, but there's a lot of things we haven't seen. A lot of things we haven't experienced.

I'll likely start with Mardi Gras next month. I've never been and I've always wanted to go. So I'm going.

In Florida, I've been lucky to have worked a job for the past 18 months that allowed me to travel all over the state. But there's still a lot of things on the list.

So, not getting a full-time job might just be a blessing in disguise. I'll keep you posted on our next adventure.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I've thought long and hard today amid the festivities of the inauguration about change and history.

It's hard to put into words. I think, I, as a person of color, never realized just how much the election of President Obama meant to the Black community until I attended the Florida Classic in November. It was there, I realized the enormity of the outcome of the election.

I'm Hispanic and I was thrilled that someone other than a gray haired white man was going to be leading the nation -- I'll admit that. Though, I generally base my vote on whom I think will actually make a good difference.

I was a late bloomer as it were to the Obama camp. I think it wasn't actually until he had sewn up the nomination and I heard him speak in Tampa that he actually convinced me that he was the man for the job. By that point, really, it was a matter of McCain convincing me that the maverick I once knew no longer existed.

But I digress. I realized how much Obama meant when I started thinking of the history of black America. I share part of that history because Jim Crow laws often affected me and my parents too. To be told that you are not good enough to stay at the same hotel, eat at the same cafe, go to the same school and overcome that to become President of the United States of America -- that's monumental.

So today, I shed a few tears alongside those in the Capitol Mall. I shed a few tears of joy.

It's been a long time coming. That does not mean Barack gets a pass. I expect him to keep campaign promises. In fact, maybe I expect a bit more. Because the pride, the expectations, the honor of many Americans are riding on his shoulders.

Don't let us down.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Be all that you can be...

I'm sitting in my car, behind a long line of other cars waiting my turn to pay the toll and whoosh...speedy fellow flies by under the SunPass sign. Wow, I've always wanted to be one of those people who have a Sun Pass (insert any other toll pass name here). But I don't use the toll roads enough to warrant the hassle.

Maybe it doesn't matter. Don't you ever just want to do things, well just because you always wanted to try it.

Things ilke being the people dressed in glitz and black for a swanky night out who show up and use the valet at a restaurant or event?

I've always wanted to be person who leaves the comfort of home behind and lives in a Europe just for the experience.

How about being the adventurous type and taking up scuba diving or skydiving?

Sometimes all it takes is a little courage.

Not too long ago, I convinced my hubby to get dressed up in his suit and I donned a beautiful dress that I had snatched off the clearance rack at a very expensive store. We looked fabulous. We went to one of the most expensive restaurants around, fell in line in our dusty PT Cruiser behind the Mercedes and BMWs and handed the valet our keys -- "never mind that book bag, just move it aside. Sorry about the sticky stuff on the gear shift -- it's just gummy bears."

We sipped our water and read the menu -- then we ordered appetizers and a glass of wine each. It was fun and delicious. We sat on the patio and watched the moon rising over the gulf, listening to the conversations around us. We laughed and had a great time.

I often hear people say, "oh, I've heard that's a great restaurant, but it's way to expensive." Don't let it be. You don't break the bank and feel guilty afterward. Have an appetizer; or coffee and desert if you don't want to carelessly blow a huge amount of money on one dinner.

Use, the good china. Dance under the stars in your back yard. Take risks. That's my motto this week.

I've been letting stress paralyze me for a couple of weeks, but the past few days I began to remember that you can only let it paralyze you -- it doesn't happen on its own.

So, now, we're seriously plotting a possible jaunt for three months to "live and work" in Europe later this year -- hey, what better time than when you don't have jobs to tie you down?!

And, I'm buying that Sun Pass today.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Calgon take me away

Did you ever have one of those days? Well, the first week of 2009 has been one of those days.

I'm stressed to the max because my job is ending on Jan. 31 -- I did get a reprieve it was scheduled to end the last week in December. Hubby's job with the campaign ended the end of November. We've both been job hunting nonstop. Nothing. Nada.

Scary stuff folks. Here we are two people, each with two college degrees and we will have no job. Can we survive? Sure. But we'll have to cut back -- way back. That also means we might have to move to a cheaper house.

This wasn't supposed to happen to us.

And, I know that things will look up. We'll probably both find jobs soon and I'll be worried that the sky is falling unnecessarily. But for now, those fears seem very real.

Coupled with that some other family stress stuff that I can't talk about, only to say it's those we love the most who often break our hearts.

This too shall pass.

Thanks for listening guys. Thanks.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

How many days til Spring Training?

Feb. 12. Yep. That soon. Kiss the Christmas tree and cookies goodbye and start thinking spring training.

This will be the first year St. Petersburg won't have a team here for Spring Training, but fortunately, Sarasota, Vero Beach, Charlotte etc aren't too far. I'm thankful that Florida has managed to keep a few teams despite the mass exodus of baseball clubs to Arizona.

I've been to Arizona in February -- not fun. They get dust storms and temps range from cold to hot -- so I don't understand it.

But money talks I guess. As it is now, the Orioles are still shopping and negotiating with cities to come up with bucks for renovations and such at ball parks. In this tight economic environment, municipalities are digging deep to compete and keep some of the revenue generated by crazy people like me who count day the days til Spring Training.

Should be a fun year in Tampa Bay since we managed to have a team in the Series this year!

Come on down Yankees -- opening day -- should be fun.