Friday, October 12, 2007

I Don't Even Know Myself

I did get the Halloween decorations up this morning, after beginning my day with Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (Pillsbury Lemon Poppyseed Quick Bread mix with the last three strawberries added, in the low-cal, low cholesterol recipe) and peach tea. Most of it looks great; I really like the orange-and-black tinsel garland draped across the big windows in the bedroom instead of in the living room like it was last year. (I decided to put the more elegant leaf garland in the living room this year.) There's one big ghost cardboard cut-out with plastic eyes filled with glitter that just won't stay up; I'm either going to tack him up or ditch him (he does look a little tacky).

I did get my paycheck this afternoon and did a little grocery shopping. I needed plain old-fashioned oatmeal (badly), cereal (Shredded Wheat N' Bran), granola bars (Honey Bunches Of Oats Cranberry Almond), yogurt (Dannon's Light Strawberry Kiwi rocks), and Utz Pretzels' new Multi-Grain Pretzels. They're pretty thick (three satisfied me) and have a great, woodsy flavor.

Since I wanted to get my pretty-good-sized paycheck to the bank, I decided to go for a long walk. It was a gorgeous fall day, sunny, windy, and 62 degrees. After I did the bank, I walked down to Audubon, enjoying a day that actually felt and looked and even smelled like fall. Someone had a wood-burning stove or fireplace going, and the air had that wonderful tang of burning wood and falling leaves it gets in October and November. I'm so glad I had today off.

I finally got to visit Bob at the Audubon CD store Abbie Road, whom I mentioned in August, and picked up copies of Who's Next (I agree with Bob - great album) and the Julie Andrews studio version of The King And I. Poor guy took a second job at the Acme in Runnemede just to make ends meet. We had a long chat about our jobs and my wanting to find another one. He doesn't think I should leave the Acme yet, but he did have a good suggestion about talking to the director of the Haddon Township and Collingswood Libraries to get suggestions and find out what the job market's like.

I want out of the Acme so badly, if for no other reason than to prove to myself that it is possible, after six years, for me to find another job I can do that isn't a grocery store. I don't WANT to work at a grocery store. I'm sick of stupid grocery stores.

Problem is, I make $11.40 an hour at the Acme, and I don't think any retailer in the known universe will hire me for that much. I can't go back to minimum wage. I can't. I need at least $10 or more to live, but no legitimate business will hire anyone for that much. They want people who have been places, seen things, and met people. I don't know anyone, I haven't been anywhere, and I haven't seen anything important.

No wonder the bookstores wouldn't hire me. They want a cute little college student in a mini-skirt who will work a hundred hours a week for six dollars an hour. They certainly don't want a plain adult who actually needs to make money.

After I chatted with Bob, I walked to the collectibles store down the street between Haddon Heights and Audubon, Act Two...but discovered that this time, it was the one who was closed. After that, I made a quick stop at Doria's Deli and bought eggs, lemon juice, and ham, and went home. I made a hearty Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Soup that came out quite nicely. I have only a few vegetables in the house, so I used a bag of "stew vegetables" that had been sitting in my freezer for six months (fishing out the huge potatoes, since I was also having a baked sweet potato), a bag of baby carrots, and green peppers for some nice, bright green color. Throw in some brown rice, cornstarch, white cooking wine, chicken broth, and leftover chicken breasts, and voila! A tasty, hearty soup that really warmed me up after my long walk.

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