Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The girl who is quitting fired the boss today....

Yup, you read right but perhaps I should elaborate???

Woke up this morning feeling great, bounced out of bed, grabbed my laundry basket on my way out the door and actually got to work early! Damn....the boss was already there--sitting in the lobby having a meeting--so I walk by, basket in hand. He gives me a look, asks "are you doing laundry today?" as I walk by and I politely responded "oh, I'll talk to you later about it" and walked back to my office...where I start filling the basket with all my doodads (rocks, pictures, more rocks, silk floral arrangements, rocks, stuffed frog someone gave me, rocks, my "office goddess" award--you know, the usual crap that accumulates in your office!) Piled everything into this now heaping basket and pushed it out into the hallway off to one side where no one would trip over it and then got to work.

Sure enough, meeting ends and the boss cautiously sticks his head around the door and asks "are you moving somewhere???" TOTALLY polite I reminded him that he had told me based on my decision that today would be my last day and I was just packing my stuff. He gives me this completely blank look, says "Did I SAY that?" and then he sits on the floor of my office and says "okay, I think we need to have a meeting".

He asked about what I thought was said, of which I quoted him pretty much word for word on some of the insults and threats and EXACTLY what I thought of his "immediate firing regardless of integrity" policy. I went into detail how upsetting I found his comments about his son and my fellow co-workers while he sat back looking like I had just slapped him in the face--then he started asking questions. What would I do if I was office manager? What role did I see him playing in it as he knew he was really losing his marbles (my phrase not his) and he knew he couldn't continue running things. I told him my opinions on how I would have run things--again this was all very polite and calm--and he shakes his head and muttered, "I knew I was right about you--I should have offered you the job months ago. Your uncle is really lucky but I've done this to myself". THEN HE APPOLOGISED!!!!! Oh. My. Goodness. Appologies? To me? O-kay......then he pulled out a piece of paper and started writing some of my suggestions down. You could have knocked me over with a feather--seriously!

I asked if he wanted today to be my last day and he said "No!" to which I said, "let me rephrase that...this is my two weeks you want this to be my last day?" I kid you not he appologised again and asked if I would stay the two weeks!!!! He also tried offering me the office manager job (no ideas yet on pay and why don't we try it on a 6-month trial basis) but I firmly said no thank you (I can't trust anything he offers and was detirmined I was gonna stand my ground here). He agreed to start immediately some of my ideas (and yes kids they went into effect today!) and asked me to, in the next two weeks, write down all of the things I would have implemented or things I think he needs to address (I am soooooooooooooo not making any of this up!)

The only downer is that, by staying I was saying goodbye to my severance pay...but I mentioned that to Gloria today who is very upset that I am leaving, but so happy I have made the boss kinda come to his senses--even for a short while--that she announced that for being SO NICE and SWEET and giving notice and being willing to cheerfully help find my replacement (placed the ad today myself!) and train the poor sap that not only is she writing me the most glowing of glowing recommendation letters...she will also pay me two weeks severance at the end of my two weeks! And to top it off the boss said that if it doesn't work out with my uncle he will gladly hire me back (not that I plan to take him up on it but its nice to know its been offered).

Oh, and the firing of the boss? Well the old boy admitted that he needed to let go and has offered the office manager position to his son (who did NOT look interested or thrilled to have it) and said that my comments--which everyone else apparently has been too scared to tell him--helped him to realize it was time to pull up stakes and let someone else run the show. Sure he'll be puttering around in the background looking up new investment ideas, but states he plans to get out of the office scene pretty much altogether...

Wow! Was this ever a good day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

and the prize goes to......

Actually I have made up my mind but sit here scared to death because of it. Monday's meeting didn't happen and was moved to today....if you can call it a meeting. I sat there, listening to him ramble on and on about some "big plans" he had planned for me down the line (this was the first I was hearing of it) none of which was really clear...more just outlines that he was considering but not necessarily planning to offer. That went on for forty five minutes with him neither listening to anything I said or offering anything other than vague promises and a lot of threats that it was only because of Gloria that I hadn't been handed my walking papers the moment I mentioned leaving.

He questioned my honesty by stating he didn't trust people who'd given notice because he'd heard "those kinds" were going to rip you blind during those last two weeks! He was demeaning about his employees (brutal about the one son who hasn't abandoned the company but desperately wants to--tho dad doesn't know it)when the comments were not appropriate to the issue at hand. I left wondering just why would I want to work for someone who had no trust in others, no people skills whatsoever and you're told "that's just his way" know what--to hell with that! Who cares if the guy has money and people have bowed to him all his are still responsible to treat others as human beings. He wonders why he can't find loyal employees but he treats people like disposable tissues so its no wonder they eventually get tired of being demeaned and belittled and unappreciated and leave.

I had started this blog being really scared but right after starting I called Yancy (thanks bro for answering tho I know its late there and you had to be up early) and used him as a sounding board. He knew as well as I did that I already had my answer. I got off the phone with him, called my uncle and asked if he was still interested in offering me the job. I can start as soon as I want to...seeing as how I will be without a job after tomorrow I am thinking Thursday or Friday would be great (proly Friday since in the middle of this morning my closet flooded--my room is now a bunch of boxes hastily piled and the living room is a sea of books and patterns laid out to dry...boy do I have a mess to clean up!) But what a blessing to know that I have something else I can turn to. Sure I will lose my medical benefits but then I am fairly healthy and can always look into a private policy--my roommate is willing to help there since she just went through that herself. I will have to get a new phone number (yeah! a new phone!) since work will own my old one. Small concerns. My real only conundrum was working for family--Dan pointed out I really will be working with the office manager more than him anyway and that he saw no problems with it at all.

Now all that remains is to tender my resignation in the morning...I have no intentions of listening to what he plans to offer me since I don't want to be tempted...besides, I already accepted from Dan.

A whole new ballgame awaits....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

inspirations from a church pew--a letter to me...from me

Sat in stake conference today and just started a list of things I am grateful for today...won't weigh you down with the list--its just something I do every now and again when my heart is full--but then I started rambling on and on into this sort of letter to myself. It will probably interest no one but myself (and probably won't make that much sense) but then no one really reads this anyway....I'll start with item #12 on the list:

12. I am grateful for all those who have loved me--Michael (the ex) loved me in his own way and I need to remember that and let go of the rest. Both my grandmothers have brought so much love to my life. Grandpababy who loved to tug my ear and made me feel special. My sisters who made me feel as if I was needed, wanted and loved. Jason who paved the way for me to come down here to this new home and life which I have come to love so much. Dad, who tried when I was growing up to show his love--he bought you a horse, traded wood to get you a refractor to look at the stars--try to remember the good instead of focusing on the pain. Mom, who talked to the principal when Mr. Leaf was cruel in algebra. Yancy, who never doubts in you, even when you're seriously screwing it up. Simon--I can't wait to meet him but I've felt him there. Silly to say but all the animals I have had in my life who loved me--especially Elise and Basil--animals I still feel with me even though they are gone.

Friends--Cynthia and clan have brought me into their fold and accept me at the oddest hours with open arms; 'Netta has DEFINATELY made me one of the family--nice to know I have "brothers" out there now willing to beat the crap out anyone who hurts me--Mikey, who has gone out of his way to try and teach me patience (good luck honey--and bless you for trying!) and has taught me to feel better about myself as a person and less self-conscious about how I look.

Guys who showed some interest--Tyler liked hanging with you, Tim wanted to date you (silly girl for panicking!) and Chad really did like you and tried to stop you from going into a bad marriage (even if you were too clueless to notice at the time). The Lord for loving me no matter how dumb of choices I make--He still blesses me and watches over me even when I really don't deserve it. Thank you for showing me a glimpse of Eternity and allowing me to feel a grandfather I'd never met's love.

I am so grateful for the people He's given me in my life--with so many around me who love and support me, why do I doubt myself or my worth? Lord help me to keep that in mind when I want to get down on myself. Help me to keep in mind how truly loved I am and how many people I have rooting for me. I can accomplish the goals I set for myself--I need to remember that. If I want to write--then write--for myself if for no one else. If I want to draw and design then I need to do it. If I want to find someone then I'd better start attending singles functions, going out at night and put myself in places where I can be seen rather than go home, hide in my room and cry cause no one has found me yet. I have the intelligence to do whatever job I set my mind to--whether I stay at my current job or somewhere else. DO NOT feel unworthy of what blessings come your way and have the courage to ask for those you want. If the answer is no, do not dwell on it but find a new dream to pursue.

If you want to be healthy, then DO something about it--dance, move, walk, whatever. Do not turn to eating as its a poor comfort when you can do more.Don't worry about being a clutz-take whatever steps you can handle as you go. If you feel graceful inside, try to let it show on the outside--be confident--even if no one else notices YOU WILL! You can get a degree--it may not be through some great university but so long as it helps you to do what you love who cares? Don't forget the lessons learned along the way--just because no one has given you a frade or credits do not discount your experiences and interests...they help define who and what you are and even if it isn't something that will gain you wealth or recognition girl you are always willing to learn and do so so eagerly and with a willing and uncomplaining heart. Do not be afraid to go back to school--believe you can do it--its graphic design--you'll love that--you're artistic so get your butt in gear and GO TO SCHOOL! Accomplish one thing you've started and you'll be amazed at how wonderful it will feel--it will be worth the long hours. Search for a program for your drawing tablet and get that CS book back from Mike so you can begin to work on that dream. Begin your own craft businesss--believe in your dreams--even if it never comes to fruition you still need to do it for yourself. Believe believe believe girl--you are worth so much and have so much to offer. Again, even if no one else sees it you will. Don't be afraid to be happy, even if you are not dating for you are not alone--you have too many people caring for you to ever be truly alone. Don't be afraid to believe in the beauty of your dreams. Do not be afraid to laugh, dream,

You do not have to feel guilty for your dreams--do not feel you have to take things on that you do not feel comfortable with just because someone tries to guilt you into it. Do NOT be afraid to let go--do not cling so tightly that you strangle that which you so desperately want to hold on to. Do not be afraid of change--it can bring you so much good. Do not be afraid to dare the world. DO reach for the brass ring, enjoy life to the fullest without compromising your morals and beliefs. Do not belittle or demean yourself for ANY reason--you believe in it too easily.

Don't confuse strength for being something you are not. Inner strength does not equal crude mannerism and a loud voice. You can be quiet, humble and strong without crossing that line. Don't be afraid to be attractive--dress like a girl--go to dances and other functions where you would normally feel unworthy. Dare to approach others at activities and be their friend--others are scared too girl--don't be. The worst thing that can happen is they don't want to be with you--so what? You wouldn't have talked with them anyway if you'd just stayed in a corner being a mouse. Be proud of the moose you are--be the best moose you can be. Do not be afraid to put yourself in others' circles, join in the activities even if you aren't good at it--give it your all. Put aside your comfort zone and get yourself out there...even if you don't meet people you can still have fun, be active and do yourself good. You are there because you deserve to be there--not so you can sit around like a kicked puppy waiting for someone to like you.

Do NOT listen to others when they belittle you--they do not know your heart, your desires, your struggles. If they are unhappy with their lives do not let them throw that on you. Do not expect others to validate you--validate yourself. Learn from your mistakes and then move on--stop dragging them around like millstones, allowing them to punish you and punish you and punish you when the Lord has already offered you love, mercy and forgiveness. Stop beating yourself because of your past choices. Keep seeing the beauty around and within you (and there is beauty within you girl). Some days you may struggle to find it but look anyway until you see something to love in yourself if only for that one day--find it and carry it with you--hold it tightly when you're tempted to feel bad about yourself--but do not be afraid to share it with someone else for love is meant to be given away, not hoarded but most of all, remember you are loved, even if you don't always see it.

reversing one of the biggest mistakes of my life...

Well, if anything the title certainly grabs you! Well kids, keep your fingers crossed for me because Thursday I have a surgical consultation to reverse my stomach stapling. It was 20 years ago this month that I let my parents talk me into having this done and its pretty much been barf barf barf ever since. I gained back what little weight I lost (plus actually) and see no reason to keep myself miserable any more. Mikey has listened to me complain about how I'd like to have it reversed someday and asked me the other day why didn't I have it done now. Hmmmm..serious pause. I just always assumed no insurance would cover it but I spoke with a dietician who agreed it would help with a lot of issues I have been having, and then I spoke to my general practitioner who agreed that this would be a very good idea and would gladly give me the referral. Did some online research and found its not very hard to undo...but there may be some internal scarring from having thrown up for so many years that may take a little effort to get rid of, but otherwise its a couple of little cuts in the abdomen and out they come. Of course its not that easy but I can't believe how excited I am over this. I did vocalize my one real concern to my dietician...if I can hold more stuff down won't I gain weight? She pointed out to me the fact that I have just started a healthier diet, am now excercising and that my weight hasn't fluctuated in over ten years now. Hmmmmm....more food for thought. If insurance agrees I plan to have it done as soon as possible! For starters, I still don't know if I will continue working for the employer who pays for my insurance so I'd want it done before I leave there, but mostly I want this over and done with so I can try to regain my health...and who knows, when it was stapled originally it took a couple of years before I even felt hunger pains...maybe we can shock it again!

Friday, June 22, 2007

and the girl goes to the highest bidder....

That's how I feel anyway. Okay, my uncle has offered me a job working full time at $12-13 an hour to start, a dollar raise in six months with commissions and bonuses and a lot less stress...the only downer is that I wouldn't have benefits but then I could proly afford to get my own policy. The offer was made on Thursday and I told him I would have to think about it. And I did for a few minutes and then decided to take the job and get away from this one. I haven't told him of that yet but I DID tell my employer today that I was considering his offer. I believe the actual words were "I am considering it but really I do plan to take it..." Well the office manager panicked, spoke to the boss and had me come in to speak to the bosses' son who told me if it was the money then they would gladly pay me that. SHIT! So now I sit here with this semi-offer of a raise and will be having a meeting with the boss on Monday to air my opinions on what I'd like to change, especially since the office manager and son both agreed with a lot of what I had to say. I feel like I am in a freaking bidding war! Sadly though if work agreed to even a few of the changes I would like to see done I would stay, if only because I don't want to abandon the park managers (the office itself I am not really worried about). This sucks because, even though things would improve, I really did want out. Its also about the fact that I feel like I am some sort of employee terrorist holding a gun up to the company and demanding more, More, MORE!!! Keep you all posted with where I end up....sad thing is that even if I stay, Mikey will still be leaving. The little chicken shit just sat there while I was being asked "but you love working with Mike, how can you leave him?" and he didn't volunteer a thing! I soooooooo wanted to say, "I'm NOT abandoning him, he's abandoning me" but had to end up stating that we would be friends whether I worked for the company or not (which he agreed to later but he still got a good laugh over my predicament!) sigh. So now I get to spend the weekend thinking of ways the company could get to keep me, and reasons why I feel I should leave... why did I even open my mouth????? Looks like prayer and fasting are on the menu for me this weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2007

the one thing is life you can always count on...

well kids, that would be that things constantly change on you...there's no consistency to life...bummer! Mikey has definately decided he's leaving and will be moving to SLC BEFORE my birthday (SNIFF!) He'll be closer to Ronetta and Tyson and will proly be spending a lot of his spare time up there, especially seeing as how he and Tyson are now quasi-dating. There is a fourth wheel down here definately feeling left behind!

Last night I got so down about everything that I started bawling like a baby (its my stress reliever...I trudge along keeping it all inside and then I just break). I cried and cried..called my baby sister at midnight and talked with her for an hour and cried again (bless you Lucie for answering your phone and just listening to the ramble without giving me lots of generic advice!)

Woke up this morning with a nasty headache, tired eyeballs (why not I must have cried out a couple of oceans) only to find that I want to start weeping again. Still do, in fact. sigh. I hate change. I know that sometimes its for the better but I don't even like re-arranging furniture...I feel comfortable with things staying just the way they are. And before anyone reads too much into this no I was not simply crying because the guy that I now consider my best friend is leaving...yes that is a part of it but mostly its just because I am lonely and feel no one ever stays in my life. Silly me finally worked up the courage to ask Mike today if he saw us still being friends after he moves...happily I can say he said yes and then gave me a look that seemed to wonder just why I thought things were going to be any different.

I suppose I am just being overly dramatic but it still hurts to think that just when you think things are going wonderfully and that you finally have the rules of the game down that life throws you a curve and you have to learn how to play all over again. Does anyone else feel that way?

I have to admit that, while I may come to like whoever we hire to replace Mike, I know I won't have nearly as much fun in the office once he's gone. He's really what makes this job worth coming to. Funny though, my uncle offered me a job today...I am driving up to West Jordan tomorrow to talk with him about it but I just can't see him able to pay me enough to make it worth leaving this matter how frustrating this place can be. Plus, Dan says he can't offer insurance...which this job pays in full. Then there's the "paying-back-the-boss-who-was-nice-enough-to-fix-my-car" issue and if Mike's leaving I'd feel like shit leaving them at the same time. No, I think I'd be better off going back to school, get a degree and leaving then. If I start this fall I could be done in 18 months...that's not eternity.

I do worry that my employer will have me do both my job and Mike's for awhile...which I was enthusiastic to try until today. Mike had me do his mid-month "State of the Parks" reports for all 10 parks...oh man...after trying to get that mess to balance I don't think I wanna be an accountant anymore. You know, that graphic design degree is sounding better and better by the minute!

flirting and the married man

You'd think my luck was about to I am, looking pretty good at work today and in comes this nice repair tech to fix our fax machine (no, I had nothing to do with its current problem!) Anyway, he was okay with Mike but not really friendly, comes into our room here at the office and gets suddenly gets chatty and rather friendly with me. One would think there was definate flirtations there (Mikey later confirmed he thinks the guy was really flirting).'s the single girl thinking "wow...maybe some guys really do find me attractive" when I glance down...SHIT! He's wearing a FREAKING WEDDING BAND! The nerve of some guys.... was nice to have him at least flirt with me. Gives a girl some hope and maybe enough courage to try the singles activities again....maybe....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

If no one will ever see it is it still considered pornographic?

Shocker blog kids so screw your eyes shut if you are easily offended....well, or just easily grossed out. Last night I borrowed my friend's digital camera and took DIRTY PICTURES OF MYSELF! Okay...dirty might be a bit harsh since nothing is really showing but my shirt is off and you can just see where my breasts start to swell but nothing else. Basically its just pics of my face and shoulders on a white fake fur rug and pink rose petals tossed around. Why? Because I am tired of thinking of myself as unattractive and wanted some pictures where I felt beautiful. Most of them weren't (several looked like they should be posted on a fridge as an incentive to diet!) but I did get quite a few that I am really pleased with which are now stored on a file within a file within a file within a file (get that?) on my computer. (Hackers please note that the computer I blog with is NOT the one with the pics...that little baby doesn't have internet access--SORRY!)Am I sorry I descended to such low levels to boost up my failing self esteem? Nah....and besides, its not as if I plan to post them online or even ever get them printed....and NO this has NOTHING to do with my pin-up girl blog! Seriously, even though I think I look great no guy is gonna want to see that even if I felt like sharing...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

All in a day's work...

Ever have one of those days that even though it drug on forever you still feel good about it? Welcome to today....nothing major really happened--the boss didn't even show but sent in about a billion emails (okay...five or six). Most of the managers didn't call in and the ones that did had fairly easy issues. No one really even complained today. Of course tomorrow plans to be different--received word from one of the managers that a tenant is coming in tomorrow to give us a piece of his mind (why he thinks we will want it is beside me!) Won't even bother explaining why he's coming in, but it'll be interesting to hear what this guy has to say when he gets here. Of course I am completely hoping he waits until later in the day when more than just Mike and I will be here to deal with him but, if not, we'll just have to deal with him, smile, and tell him to come back later when someone who can answer his questions can help him. Hey, I am just a glorified pencil pusher around here, this girl is not getting hazard pay last time I checked! All in all it really was good...I feel like I accomplished a lot and that's really all that matters when you go home at night, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Me? A jailhouse pin-up? ......maybe....

Well, son #1 never panned my friend tried interesting me in her even younger son. No interest there (on my part--no idea what he thinks). NOW she's asked that I write the even more younger son who is in jail and needs a pen pal! So I did...what the hell, its letters for crying out loud and I really do miss having someone to write to rather than email email email. I mentioned this to another "adult" friend of mine who panicked when she found out I intended to send this poor kid a picture of me so he'd know just what it was he was writing to. "You can't do that!" she kept telling me. "You'll end up on some jail wall somewhere"....uh, okay. First of all, its a picture and I really don't care what he does to it--its not like I am asking for it back once he gets out of the slammer, and second of all, lets take a long hard look at what it is he'd be looking at. As flattered as I am that she was concerned over this I really don't think some poor kid is going to be that desperate to try (oh lets just say it) masturbating to my picture. So the letter went out in this morning's mail...all five freaking pages of it (lets face it I tend to ramble kids!) Its probably a good thing I am writing it to someone who definately has the time to spend reading through it, though I am not sure that reading it isn't cruel and unusual punishment in and of itself!

And I go public....

As public as I can get with the connections I have on myspace anyway....I just wrote a blog there giving out my address here....eeps! Well, there isn't much of an edit button on my brain so I guess I will plod along, business as usual and see where this takes me.

Back in good graces?

Well...that might be pushing it a little, but I AM back on the sunnier side of life today. Still lacking sleep so not exactly sure why but I have read my book--Tanya Huff's "Smoke and Ashes" (YEAH TONY! WAY TO KICK DEMON ASS!) and am now 2/3 of the way through Neil Gaiman's "Anansi Boys" which is slowly winning me over. I need to take a long weekend, forget the world for awhile and just immerse myself in reading again. That and I need to figure out how to open that program I downloaded for my drawing pad so I can learn how to use the silly thing!

I've decided (for the moment at least) NOT to get a tattoo but to instead draw myself a totem of all that, for whatever reason, appeals to me. So far the Japanese symbol for imagination (cause it looks so pretty and imaginative!), a crow, a dragonfly and swirls will definately be the main focus. If I can get my drawing pad kick started I would love to play with this in Photoshop...but one step at a time.

Oh...spoiler if you haven't watched LOST this season...DAMN IT CHARLIE FREAKING DIES?!?!?!? WAH!!!!!! Just watched the episodes "Through the Looking Glass 1 & 2" last night and am still sad.....of course the island needs to bring him back (or he'll at least be back for flashbacks, etc) but still...darn those writers. At least Desmond is still running around in one piece!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

customer service take two

Boy customer service REALLY does bite...I have been trying to get a copy of this book for two weeks now only to call today and be told that three freaking copies are currently sitting on the shelves! I calmly asked if my copy was being held and this guy panics, asks my name and says he has one held now. Geez....asked him to look up my special order and he replies "actually your copy is still on back order"....UGH!

whatever happened to customer service???

Mikey and I bailed out of work early today to see a matinée showing of Spiderman 3 (yeah yeah I know a lot of people say it sucks). Anyway, we get there and this bored-out-of-her-skull-and-I-couldn't-care-less-for-you attitude teenager behind the glass tells me "sorry the thingy is broken...the next show is 6:45". THINGY? Is that some new technical term I am supposed to be impressed with? Well, we both really wanna see the movie so I go to order a ticket for the next showtime only to be told (in a tone that suggested I was an idiot for asking) that the theater would not be giving me that ticket at matinée price because it was an after hours showing. WHAT?!?!?!? Like its my fault your "thingy" broke and that I now haveta hang around the mall for two plus hours AND eat the time I took off from work for, customer service is gone for good kids. Does anyone even remember what it looked like? And rather than hang around the mall we drove back to work (this little trip took nearly an hour all said and done)and Mike calmly went back to work while I fumed a little, wrote a fairly nasty comment on the theater's "rate us" site and then wrote one for Mike too since he's too busy being productive rather than destructive like moi at the moment. Sadly, though it felt good at the time to get that out....I feel like a real witch right now....anyone seen my broom?

Sunday, June 3, 2007

nothing new today.....

well, other than my new nail polish color that is (OPI's "Linkin Park After Dark" its a deep purple/almost black color). Thought I'd stick my head in and say hi anyway since I have nothing better to do at the moment. Yes it is Sunday and yes, I am working...but only because I missed a lot of time this week (errands, etc). Technically I still have to make up three hours but decided to just eat that time and let it go. Frankly, I don't want to be here. I wanna be home...Home.....HOME! I haven't seen much of it lately with living at Mike's for awhile and then he, Ronetta and I had a slumber party at his place this weekend. It was fun, but I wanna have some peace and quiet and time to just VEG OUT in front of the tv or to read a book with no one you would expect however I invited Mike over for tacos tonight so I'd better get home and start frying up the hamburger. Why do I do these things to myself you ask? Cause I am an idiot who likes having people over even when she's really craving solitude! Besides, the book I ordered at Barnes and Noble ("Smoke and Ashes" by Tanya Huff) is still on back-order. sigh.