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#TBT to a post I wrote years ago, but holds up well. This is a story all about how … YOU GET A FREAKIN’ JOB!

Observe and report

Captain’s Log: Embarking into hostile environment. Kowalski! We’ll need to win the hearts and the minds of the natives. Rico! We’ll need special tactical equipment. We’re gonna face extreme peril. Private probably won’t survive.

Dear unemployed graduate of the university for which I work:

Congratulations on your achievement one month/one year/three years/10 years (choose one) ago! It is impressive that you were able to get through two years/four years/five years/eight years (choose one) of a degree program designed to help you earn a career, make money, and permanently move out of your old bedroom in your parents’ house.

(If you had a job and were laid off, you can stop reading. This post isn’t for you. It is for the never-employed graduate. Unless, of course, you need a tough-love pep talk. In that case, read on.)

By now, you might be blaming the university for the fact that you don’t…

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This post popped into my mind today because Gideon is a bit like me. So I thought I’d reblog. Don’t worry: I don’t often recycle content. I’m working on a new post about sleep deprivation.

Enjoy!
Beth

Observe and report

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Dear WebMD:

Thank you for making me feel better last night — eventually. First you scared the crap out of me.

Some background: On the plane ride to New York, I had read an article about a woman with ALS who is working through her bucket list as she prepares for the eventuality of the disease. The article described the symptoms, of course.

Fast forward to last night. Suddenly my left arm started to hurt. And then I felt numbness and tingling in my fingers. Thinking about the article, I started to panic.

Note: My husband sometimes paints me as a hypochondriac. I’m not. I don’t always think there is something wrong with me. On the rare occasions when there IS something wrong with me, I just assume the worst (i.e., a headache is an aneurysm). Anything but that is better, right? So I’m always relieved.

You helped me…

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EPISODE 2*: All’s quiet on the aquatic front
Rated G for pooly goodness

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

For a Sunday afternoon, the pool area is virtually uninhabited. There are about four adults scattered around.

ENTER FATHER and TWO KIDS. MOTHER shows up 10 minutes later after getting yet more school supplies.

MOTHER
Did you put sunscreen on the kids?

FATHER
Um … Dominic, yes. Gideon just jumped in.

MOTHER
Harumph. No Father-of-the-Year award for you.
(To her wet youngest) Gideon, come here!

GIDEON
Why?

MOTHER
Because I said so.
(Note that MOTHER never thought she would ever let that sentence pass her lips. She is smarter now. She knows it can’t be helped.)

After MOTHER lathers GIDEON in 50 SPF (waterproof), MOTHER and FATHER hang out poolside, drink adult beverages, and make sure their kids don’t harass others. THE KIDS simply harass each other.

FATHER and MOTHER discuss last night, which was not so peaceful.

FLASHBACK

It’s a pool party for Miles. The only people in the pool are the billion 11-13 year olds invited to the party. A handful of parents cluster around a cooler. (Any time there are that many teens and pre-teens, there needs to be a cooler.)

Suddenly, RAMBO appears. (OK, not Rambo for real, but the new complex security guard who clearly takes himself WAY TOO seriously. He was wearing camouflage. And a gear belt with a taser. And those police boots. Oh yes, he was all kitted out.)

MOTHER was smart enough to bring beverages in cans. The others drew RAMBO’s ire:

RAMBO
No glass on the deck.

ALL ANSWER
OK.

RAMBO patrols the pool/gym area. ASSEMBLED ADULTS remain quiet, watching him incredulously.

RAMBO exits. ADULTS drag him mercilessly.

END FLASHBACK

MOTHER
I’ve got to go.

FATHER
You’ve only been here 15 minutes.

MOTHER
Yeah, but I’m burning. Look (points to shoulder).

FATHER
Of course you are.

END SCENE

*The summer has flown by. I haven’t gone to the pool much. #sad

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Dear Readers,

Many of you have written to me to report confusion at my “Dispatches from the Pool” posts. The common question: “Why are you living in an apartment?”

I’ve been remiss.

To recap the last six months:
• I quit a job at a place where I had worked for 19 years.
• Eddie quit a job at a place where he had worked for 28 years.
• We moved to a big city (Atlanta, pop: 5.7 million) from a smallish city (Savannah, pop: 384,000).
• The kids entered a new middle school together (6th and 7th grades).
• We are waiting for our house to sell and are living in an apartment in the meantime.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the biggest changes:

So I’m happy. I’ll keep you posted!
Beth

This is us, minus the dog.

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Dear B. Lev. and M. Lev.,

I’m so sorry that my upgrade meant only one of you could get upgraded. B. Lev., you should have let M. Lev. have the upgrade. It’s not because she is a woman and your wife (I assume); it’s because she became insufferable (and likely will punish you later).

I’m sure you are lovely people under normal circumstances, but I witnessed some problematic behavior on the plane.

M. Lev., it’s ridiculous that you felt it necessary to come up to first class FIVE TIMES before we left the gate. Let’s recap. You:

  1. Asked if he had managed to find a place for his stuff. (As it wasn’t still in the aisle, I think you could have figured that one out for yourself.)
  2. Reminded B. Lev. to call his mother. Then took a swig of his drink.
  3. Stood silently listening to him talk loudly on his phone.
  4. Asked if he had, in fact, called his mother. Took another swig.
  5. Asked for his copy of The New York Times and complained about needing to eat your sandwich before it “deteriorates even further.”

 
During the flight, you even came up to harangue him outside of the lavatory. Good grief!

B. Lev., maybe I’m bitter because I wanted your window seat, but I really found  the whole scenario completely beyond the pale. 

M. Lev., I’m sorry you appear to have married a selfish old goat but, to quote a popular song, “Let It Go.” Enough with the not-so-subtle reminders that he did the wrong thing by taking the upgrade himself.

If I’ve misinterpreted the situation, I apologize. What do I know? I just observe and report.

Sincerely,
1D

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Dear Buffalo, New York:

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the past 24 hours. One of the many perks of my job is that I get to travel to different cities. I am an enthusiastic explorer, always willing to try new things and go new places.

I visited you once before. I was seeing a boyfriend in Cleveland and we decided to take a road trip to Niagara Falls. I don’t really remember anything about that trip though.

Of course I headed to Niagara Falls while seeing you again. Wash away old memories and make new.
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I also took a native up on her suggestion to eat at Duff’s.
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It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is magical.
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I ate at Anchor Bar also. Delightful!

I do need to talk to you about teeny tiny thing though. Teensy, really. This:
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What is going on here? Does the meat raffle come after winners of the gun raffle take their prizes out for practice? How can this be safe? Why is this held after wrestling? Are these two connected?

Also, I want to know why you don’t know how to use apostrophes. What? You don’t know what I’m talking about? Look in the background. Here — let me help:
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Oh Buffalo. I’m so disappointed.

Maybe we should just focus on the wings. And that amazing natural wonder. Yes. Let’s do that.

Those wings really are fantastic.

Hope to see you soon!
Beth

* a grammatically correct sentence

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20140509-213025.jpgDear Universal Studios:

My family and I visited one of your parks today: Islands of Adventure. You have many rules. I hope I can remember some key ones:

1. It’s OK to buy beer at 8 a.m. at the Hog’s Head in the Harry Potter area. It is NOT OK for one person to carry two beers, even if the other adult is carrying a tray filled with $80 worth of food for the rest of the family.

2. It’s OK to take off your shoes to ride the dragon ride. It’s NOT OK to give those shoes to a non-rider. You must put those shoes behind your back on the ride so that they perforate a kidney.

3. It’s OK to buy your oldest child’s weight in Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. It’s NOT OK to try to ship those beans back to your resort with the other items you bought because those jelly beans are “unsealed.”

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4. It’s OK for you to take your sandals off on the Bilge Rat Barges and put this water-resistant footwear in the center console to stay dry. It is NOT OK to put sneakers and socks in there, ever. (You keep your shoes on, sir!)

5. It’s OK to be an adult on the kiddie merry-go-round in Seuss Landing. It’s NOT OK for you to be an adult and NOT WEAR THE SAFETY BELT — MY GOD, MAN, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!? No one cares if your feet can touch the ground.

6. It’s OK to exceed a weight limit for bikinis and mankinis in the pool at your home resort. It’s NOT OK to throw a football. (What were you thinking?) You can throw your 50-pound child 10 feet in the air, but you cannot throw a Nerf product. Ever. No, sir.

I think those are the major rules, yes? I just want to get it right. Please don’t have your high school SWAT team yell at me any more.

Sincerely,
Beth (a season pass holder)

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