February 16, 2011

Rock On, Natalie Munroe

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 2:05 pm by silversnowdragon

So, here’s the thing… a teacher near Philadelphia, Natalie Munroe, used her personal blog to unload her frustration about the state of students today. She called them: “… rude, disengaged, lazy whiners. They curse, discuss drugs, talk back, argue for grades, complain about everything, fancy themselves entitled to whatever they desire, and are just generally annoying.”

Ms. Munroe has been suspended and I say shame on the school system.

Now, granted, she also had some snarky comments and some profanity. But it is HER BLOG and HER OPINION. From everything I have read, Natalie did not use her full name, identify individual students by name, or identify the school. Everything she said also seems general enough that it could be applied nearly anywhere to any school system.

Of course no parent wants their child decribed that way, but in general it seems that the younger generation does suffer from a lack of motivation and a sense of entitlement. They don’t seem to want to work for anything.

Oh, wait, I offered my opinion – does this mean I will be kicked out of my school program? Or fired from my job? Or will the parents of all the children in my town sue me for defamation of character because one of their little darlings may or may not be one of the lazy whiners that we’re talking about?

This PA school system and the people in it need to get a grip. Natalie Munroe expressed her opinion and – in my mind – went out of her way to not single out any one or two individuals. Shouldn’t we be teaching the next generation that it is OK to express yourself? That this is what freedom of speech is all about?

I say, rock on, Natalie Munroe. Say your peace and stick to your guns.

There is nothing wrong with expressing yourself.

If you want to read more about Natalie’s situation, check out this article.

February 4, 2011

End of My Rope

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:39 am by silversnowdragon

I’m done with this winter.

Done.

I may style myself the Snow Dragon, but that is mostly around the idea of snow. I think snow and snowflakes are beautiful, but I’m not a fan of the cold that goes with them… and I am not a fan of all the snow I’ve had to shovel this year. Or the snow on my roof that has turned into ice dams. Ice dams that are causing water to leak into different parts of my house at a ridiculous rate.

I’m not alone. Most of Massachusetts is screaming for roofers to come and shovel snow off of roofs and break up ice dams. Several buildings have collapsed.I just don’t wan to see the stains on my ceiling get any bigger. Or the water that is seeping into my upstair floorboards do any more damage.

But that means I need to get the damn snow off my roof. I think my husband might try to get up on the ladder today and that scares me. Hopefully one of the companies I called can help me out, but even if someone calls back. I’m going to be in the waiting line.

Either way, I’m kinda screwed.

September 27, 2010

Raging at the Universe

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 9:46 pm by silversnowdragon

I know I am not the only one out there looking for a job, and I’m not the only one utterly frustrated with the process. I just wanted to get that out there at the start.

But I am particularly disappointed tonight.

I interviewed for a position with a pharma company outside of Boston. Great position, great company. I thought the interview went really well and I was really excited about the chance to take on this new role.

But no such luck. I got an email late this evening from the recruiter letting me know that they’d already settled on two final candidates, and I was not one of them.

The problem with getting excited about a role is that it raises the chance you will be really disappointed if it doesn’t work out. That’s where I am right now. This rejection hurt. First I just felt sad and then the frustration bubbled until I was ready to rage at the universe and shout “Why not? What’s wrong with me?”

Yea, yea, that’s negative thinking. I know it isn’t “me” per se – it is whether I am a match for the job. But I know me, and I know what a good job I can do. I just need a company to give me a chance.

They won’t regret it.

August 16, 2010

Too much to ask?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 10:28 pm by silversnowdragon

I’ve been looking for a job since my previous company – who shall remain nameless for now – kicked me to the curb after almost 14 years. Part of me is glad I’m not there any more; I needed a switch and this is forcing me to do it. But, on the other hand, I’ll admit to having my moments where I’ve wallowed in anger and resentment and screamed epithets akin to “corporate bastards.”

You gotta allow yourself a little anger now and then.

The job hunt has been miserable, and I’m sure many, many of you out there can relate to that. I’ve had lots of interviews, so I’m lucky in that regard, but haven’t been able to land anything yet. But there is one thing about the job hunt that is really starting to get to me.

Lack of communication from HR recruiters. I know they’re busy, overwhelmed even. But is it really so hard to send someone an email to say “thanks but no thanks?”

I’ve had two examples lately where I have had good, solid first interviews where the recruiter has said, “I’ll be in touch about next steps within the next two weeks.” In both cases, three, four, five, and even six weeks have gone by without a peep. I’ve followed up. I really have. I’ve waited long enough so that I don’t seem desparate or like a stalker. I’ve used email and phone. And the recruiters never call back.

For one job, the last time I spoke to the recruiter and he said to “stick with him” for another week because the hiring manager is on vacation. This was about three weeks ago. Today I got an email from the company with a suggested second job and within that note was a mention of “oh, by the way, we filled the other job.”

Seriously? When you knew I wasn’t going to get a second round interview, could you not have sent me a note yourself? Even one line? I’m a big girl, I’m not going to weep abjectly on the phone. I’m going to move on with my life and my job search. It is just common courtesy as far as I’m concerned – If you tell someone you’re going to follow up with them, you follow up with them.

The other job I interviewed for back in, oh, March, and was told by the recruiter specifcially that I’d get an update on second round interviews within a week. No word and I found out through the grapevine that they’d hired a freelancer to cover the role. Then the position came up again in my job feed but no matter how much I have followed up with the recruiter, he has never once called me back. Clearly I’m not their cup of tea.

Like I said, I understand that in this job market recruiters are overwhelmed with resumes and people to speak to each and every day. But if you’ve taken the time to actually interview someone why are they suddenly not worth your attention if they aren’t the candidate of choice?

No one likes bad news, but it sure is better than being ignored.

Missing George W.

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:17 pm by silversnowdragon

I read an interesting editorial today – written by a Democrat who was pining for George W. Bush.

The thing that caught my eye was the fact that the author, Michael Cohen, points out that George advocated for religious tolerance, even in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks. And this voice of sensibility is clearly lacking in the current leadership of the Republican party.

In fact, that’s one of the main reasons the Republican Party disturbs me: the strident voices  that all seem to be advocating intolerance and hate rather than anything else. Now, I know that not every single Republican is intolerant or hates religions other than Christianity. And by the same token, I don’t think every Muslim is a terrorist or that every urban black youth is a gang member. Every part of society has reasonable members and unreasonable ones.

We need to remember that as we move forward. We have more in common than we think… and we cannot let the voices of hate from any area start to dictate the way we think and the way we act.

I was never a big fan of George’s – from a political perspective, I did’t agree with him on much. But I respect the fact that in the wake of 9/11, he called upon our better nature, our higher selves when he said:  “Our nation must be mindful that there are thousands of Arab-Americans who live in New York City, who love their flag just as much as [we] do. And we must be mindful that as we seek to win the war, that we treat Arab-Americans and Muslims with the respect they deserve … the attitude of this government [is] we should not hold one who is a Muslim responsible for an act of terror. We will hold those who are responsible for the terrorist acts accountable and those who harbor them.”

I would welcome a similar voice in today’s Republican Party… and in the Democratic one.

Hate and fear will only hurt us in the long run, and diminish us as a collective nation.

If  you’re interested in Michael Cohen’s editorial, you can find it here:  

http://www.aolnews.com/opinion/article/opinion-why-i-miss-george-bush/19594365

August 13, 2010

Political Business

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:23 pm by silversnowdragon

Business and politics… unfortunately they seem to go together in all of the most unpleasant ways.

I was just reading a little article about the kerfuffle kicked up by Target donating to a political candidate who is opposed to gay marriage. Now the liberal-leaning folks are ticked off.

Personally, I’m a political moderate but I do have a tendency to lean a bit to the left. I’m more interested in politicians (if you can find them) who are into collaboration and working together for the greater good as opposed to being chained to the dogma and doctrine of a particular party. But I digress.

I don’t think companies, Target or others, should be allowed to donate only to one party or candidate. I think they should be required – if they are donating to a political candidate or cause – also donate to the opposing point of view. The main reason I think this way is because I see a company as a representation of the individuals who work for it, and if you look at that collective workforce you’re going to see a range of political beliefs: very conservative to very liberal and every shade in between.

On the other hand, if an individual (say a CEO or COO) wants to donate to one party or cause, that is his or her buisness because that is their personal choice.

But the company itself? I’d prefer if companies (and churches) stayed out of politics.

Imagine how much good might be accomplished if politicians were able to focus on the people and not on “politics.”

July 22, 2010

Since When is 10 a “Plus Size”?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:08 pm by silversnowdragon

Seriously.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I need to trim a few inches from my waistline. And for the most part, I stay out of the whole I’m-too-fat-look-at-how-thin-SHE-is thing. There is such a thing as a healthy weight for everyone. My healthy weight at 5′ 8″ is going to be different than someone who is only 5′ 0″.

But I just saw a quick headline about Crystal Renn, a so-called “plus size” model who is upset because her photos for a magazine were retouched to apparently make her size 10 figure look like a size 2.

Okay, I support her for calling out a magazine for doing retouches at that level. I know models get air-brushed. I don’t really care. As a matter of fact, I don’t read fashion magazines. I believe they are solely designed to make women feel inadequate and badly about themselves so that companies can sell them creams and make-up and clothes and things to try to make up for it. Ladies, you are just fine the way you are. People don’t like it, they can piss off. Be proud of who you really are.

But what shocked me in this article was the fact that Crystal is considered a “plus sized” model at size 10. What the hell? Since when is a 10 a plus size? We so need a reality check on this.

Remember ladies, the right size for you depends on your height, your body type, your age and other factors. Yes, for some people a 10 might be heavy… but for your average American woman?

I don’t think we need to start qualifying a 10 as “plus size.” Do you?

February 27, 2009

The Art of Relaxation

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:03 am by silversnowdragon

I spent a little time watching my cat tonight. As I sat here at the computer, he curled up on the floor between me and the small quartz space heater we have to make this area a little warmer. Now he is on his back, hind feet slightly pointed right, front feet slightly pointed left, eyes shut and sound asleep.

There is just something about watching a warm, sleeping cat.

He doesn’t have a care in the world. All that matters is being toasty and sleepy.

It would be nice, wouldn’t it?

He’s got a good life. So does his sister. I spoil them rotten and baby them to a ridiculous degree. I’m okay with that. I’m glad they’re happy. I can’t imagine the house without them.

February 3, 2009

Super-Duper

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 12:25 am by silversnowdragon

Yep, I admit it, I’m a football girl. Love the game.

Last night’s SuperBowl was more impressive than I thought it would be. I was rooting for the Cardinals, mostly because I like the underdog story. The Steelers have been there; I thought it was time to give the others a shot.

During the first half, I was singularly unimpressed with the Cardinals, and the Steelers did a great job shutting down Larry Fitzgerald (who I like because he is living proof you can be a talented football player and not be a punk).

In any event, the second half was much, much more exciting… and if I can’t see my favorite team in the Big Game (the Patriots), then I at least want to watch something exciting. And at least I got that…

January 10, 2009

And the world turns

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:34 am by silversnowdragon

Sometimes, I’m not so good with things changing. If you ask my husband, he’d probably said I’m not good with them at all (he’s had to deal with my fretting before, so he knows what he’s talking about).

But sometimes, I’m better with it.

I ride horses. I’ve ridden horses since I was about 7 years old. Suffice to say, I’ve been riding for a long time.

Over the past several years, since about 2003, I’ve been riding a horse named Hawk. He’s owned by other people but I chip in on his upkeep and get to ride him several days a week. He is a sweet horse, one of the equine loves of my life, but he’s got his issues. He was not treated well in his younger years. He was a rancher’s horse and he came to us with a lot of issues – couldn’t touch his ears, afraid of being in a stall, serious mounting block issues. But there’s something about this horse that I just love, even with all the problems.

And he’s come a long way. Just this summer we competed in a jumper show. Just the two-foot-three fences. Nothing big, but for a horse who was two steps away from hysterical when we first asked him to go over ground poles, it was a big deal. I was really proud of him.

Unfortunately, this summer he hurt his stifle (knee joint on the hind leg)… that was a long layup and I couldn’t ride. Since December, he’s been slowly going back to work and his lameness has been intermittent. But his owner had been progressing and I was hoping to be back on him soon.

But something kept nagging at me. Something told me that he just wasn’t going to stay consistently sound.

I just found out that the stifle went out again. Now he’s back to the drawing board. And it is entirely possible that Hawk will just need to be retired. They’re looking at other options, so it isn’t set in stone…

But now I need to look for another horse to lease. I’m sad that it doesn’t look like I’ll be riding Hawk any more, but this particular change in my equine life isn’t freaking me out like some other changes do. Maybe it was the intuition. Maybe in some subtle horse language, Hawk was telling me it is time for a change. I don’t know.

I do know that the photo of me with Hawk that I have in my hall will never come down. He is one of those very special horses that you always have a soft spot in your heart for…

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