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Athenisis Van-Croweri
23 July 2013 @ 12:45 am
Those here who know me, and know me very, very well...know that I am not always comfortable in the female role. A large part of me has always felt that masculine equals positive, feminine equals negative. Females end up being weaker than males: they end up the prey. Female was just not desirable...I wanted to be more like dad! Its one of the reasons I am never quite sure where my voice is going: male voices sound good to me...female voices sound weak and grating. Dancing is another thing: men and women dance differently. Women display their bodies, men display their skill. My real life first name is androgynous, but primarily masculine in sound.
When I entered the fandom, my lifelong discomfort of being around, and simply being, female led me to create a female character. Since I was working on a character, it seemed safe to study female behavior and markings, and to try to adapt them. A dress is the mental equivalent to a fursuit, especially to someone constantly wearing jeans and tshirts and unloading machines and trucks.
When I moved to North Carolina, I saw this as an opportunity to restart my life, and I made the conscious decision to try to live as my character every day.
So, for the past almost 19 months, this has been going well. Although I am much of a loner here, (I am working on a few too many things to really allow too much closeness with locals here at present) I do have more female than male friends.
I have been studying various role models to try to figure out what sort of woman I wish to be, and here is where the odd twist of things comes in.
I have always liked the character of Clairee in Steel Magnolias. Saucy, elegant, tough, soft spoken and wry. Then I heard that the local theatre group was having auditions for Steel Magnolias. I never auditioned for a play, and asked a member of the group who comes to my post office what an audition is like. She advised me not to audition for this play, as I could not possibly get one of the six roles.
So, yeah...I am playing Truvy (Dolly Parton's character) in the local production for the first two weekends in October. My character is a salon owner. Big stretch for someone who hasn't worn makeup with any regularity since hitting puberty and gets their hair cut at a barbershop. Next level of transformation? Check.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
19 December 2012 @ 10:41 pm
Ok, a couple of you know that I have started running on my lunch breaks 3 or more days a week. What only one or two of you may know, is why. Yeah, I am fat...that doesn't bother me, not nearly as much as it should. What it is about, is beating demons.
An aunt of mine just died, she was one on my mother's side. After she passed, a few cousins found me on Facebook. These are people I have seen rarely growing up, due to some feuds about property, and claims of molestation.Every last cousin I have talked to, is crazy. They are on meds. They are hurting, their spouses have spent years trying to rebuild them. They are all older than me, but all are in pain.
All of us have had abuse, in varying levels and types, from the parent that was a member of that very screwed up family.
My mom and dad nearly got busted for child abuse when I was ten. I thought fast, and kept the school from getting the state involved. I knew that if I got taken out of the home I would not have the access to my school. It wasn't long after that, that my mom started running punishments. A B on a test I should have gotten and A on started at 50 laps (up and down stairs) 50 situps, and 50 pushups. Punishments escalated from there. I was scared to ride a bike at 11, and it went from 50, 100, 300, 600, (it went up each day) run until you break. The rooms with the stairs had no AC,and I ran them in my underwear. (summer) Every so often mom would pull me off the steps and have me eat a pudding pop. I hid cups of water.
The running punishments stopped when I was 15. Mom had me undergo a bunion surgery, and had me back on the stairs. I blacked out and hit the floor after 50 laps, and quietly didn't have to do that again.
I know I am safe here....over 300 miles away from her and she cannot see what I do, or know, or care.
The only way to beat the crazy, is to deal with it head on, step by step.
I don't worry too much about what I look like. What I want, is what I came here for. To be sane, or drop trying. I want better than I am supposed to inherit. I want to be healthy, mentally and physically. I want to work out my stupid issues to be a good partner. I also want that peace, for me.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
14 December 2012 @ 03:12 am
But living here has taught me, that some form or force truly does exist in the universe. The one person who has convinced me the most, is the one person in my life that probably believes the least. Since I have been here, no matter what it is I have truly needed or really wanted, it has come into my hands. Toolbox, suitcase, porch box for storage...free. Apartment that is very cheap and has all the features I need? Sure! Not in the mood to cook? Boss brings home food and wants company.

The one thing though, that struck home that there is some sort of creative, vital force? I was up to visit Delphanaeous. I have not seen him very much in the last year, as I now live almost double the distance away from him that I used to, and no longer have two days in a row off.

I was sitting next to him, thinking that my back itched (and not the spot that itches the most) and before I could react or even lift a hand, Del shot out his own hand and scratched the spot. (This is in addition to the countless times I think "I'm thirsty" and before I can get up, he is at my side with a drink to share, or cracking up because we both want to order the same food at the same time.)

You would think, that with 300 plus miles apart, and many months' absence, that there would be a profound loss of connection.
I think, you do get blessed with that one person that is perfect for you, created to be a part of you, and you were created to be a part of them.
I know from life and experience, that I could muddle through with just about anyone....but there is only one human that will ever make me feel...as...the same feeling of peace and silence as gentle, falling snow...

I have a lot to work on to be a good partner in life, and I have been given this time, this place and these supportive people to help grow.

I know, I ramble and don't make much sense. But, there it is.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
14 December 2012 @ 02:24 am
I wake up at 1 am, and step out on my porch in my underwear. The silence is profound and absolute, and the area hasn't been ruined by overhead lights yet. The stars are out...so many stars. I was raised 12 miles from the city, and watched the stars fade into the orange lights of Interstate 68, and three prisons...even as good paying jobs dried up from Cumberland.

The old mom and pop businesses are falling here, one at a time. Chains are rising, and its 'not what it used to be'. Then again, no place is. Bit, by dramatic bit, a vital inlet closes, and other is being born in a strand of houses. https://www.facebook.com/NCDOTNC12 gives you an idea. But my God, the beauty here....not only in the land, but in the faces of even my crazy customers.

I know this isn't my forever. Either the land will slide into the sea, or Delphanaeous and I will finally start a life together, which he has made clear will have to be closer to our dear friends. I can learn to love Philadelphia, but no place will ever be as amazing as a Carolina forest, deep at night, walking distance from an ocean.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
21 November 2012 @ 11:16 am
Was going to let me go at 1pm, so I could drive to Durham to see dester'edra. She decided to let me go at 1015, so I could drive safely since I never been there. She worries about my long distance drives. She is also calling tonight while I am on the road to let me know the lottery updates, (we have an office pool for Powerball) and told me to be at the office no later than 8 am tomorrow.
"And you only work four hours or less, get your ass home, make yourself pretty, and sit down to dinner with us."

Hillary: "Dinner at my house is 4pm, please come by!"
Vickie: "I can't believe you volunteered to work, I can bring a plate to the office!"
Jen: "If you get tired and spend the night with Jess, call me and I will run expresses, you can case mail later in the morning"

People this good are rare, but still exist.

Maybe there is a God of some sort?
Athenisis Van-Croweri
19 November 2012 @ 11:34 pm
My boss is from Long Island,NY...and came to the OBX in the 80s. At the time she came here, she had been a processing plant supervisor, and was pregnant with her first child, which she nearly miscarried from the stress. When I got here, my boss saw all the signs...I couldn't make a fist with my left hand. My hands shook. I cried off and on with no control. I threw up now and again.
My boss and my new coworkers took me by the hand and made doctor's appointments, and gave a lot of hugs....they took me out to dinner or invited me over.
They really, really did not want me living in the apartment I was in when I first moved here....north of the Wright Brothers Memorial Bridge is "Currituck" and "too far away"
My boss also had a problem. The woman renting her above garage apartment started using heroin again after a stint in rehab.

My boss' kids dumped the old furniture out of the apartment...and they, along with my coworkers, moved my stuff in. So, yes, I live with my boss in a 400 sq foot apartment above her garage....there is a door that connects me to her kitchen. My rent is 200 every paycheck (every two weeks) and covers absolutely everything...I can use the pool, hottub and the washer/dryer. She babysits Orion, my 15 year old cat...and knows I am a furry. When I first got here, she had me followed a bit to see what I did after work, and found out I go to the beach, go grocery shopping, or eat out. She knew something had to be strange, so she asked....I told her about being a furry, and introduced her to Uncle Kage's Story Hour, and The Funday Pawpet Show. Her impression of furries are nice, gentle, harmless geeks. She keeps wanting to meet my friends and asks when will they visit.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
19 November 2012 @ 11:11 pm
So many monsters slain,
So many tempests tamed...
And still so many to go.

I don't fear my own hand anymore,
Acting without conscience to consequence

And that dark water is so much less dark,
When it is pounding, and threatening and real

Darker skin, and silver hair
Even, gleaming teeth
Silvered hair,and much too thick waist
A body no longer on the brink

But something is rising,
The waves of nausea.
Something needs to change
I'm not sure what or who to become
But I do know,

I'm not going to die.

I know some big change is coming for me, and that I am going to have to work to become someone. But I also know, after living with weather as bipolar as me (and watching the skies and the sea really help me to understand myself.) that I think I am going to win a battle....I will see 40. I am so grateful.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
15 November 2012 @ 09:56 pm
I'm having trouble processing this one: and I come here when I do have those moments. Today, I offered to work Thanksgiving day at my new office. I only get one day off for Thanksgiving, and thats too far to make it to Del's place and back. Besides, I am the only one in the office with no family here, so its only fair that I work. Besides, Dester'edra is going to be in NC the week of Thanksgiving, and my boss is giving me a 1 pm quit the day before Thanksgiving so we can have a supper together. (My boss also said I am welcome to have dinner with her family as well...)

My coworkers insisted that it wasn't right, as they had plans to invite me to their places. If I work Thanksgiving, they said they would bring food by, and I have to stop at some houses on my way home.
They were willing to give up some time with their families to drop by food. They want to invite me into their homes.
I've worked there less than a year.
You know how long I worked in Cumberland? Almost 15 years. Do you know who gave a damn about holidays or how I felt? Not a soul I worked with. Not a single person I spent every day with. Delphanaeous would drive the almost 200 miles each way to hang out with me, stop by work and eat what I cooked (badly) and sleep on my awful couch. He never once complained.
Today I feel like something's breaking and I can't put a hand on what it is. I'm not hungry, I don't want to buy anything....I don't know what I feel..
Athenisis Van-Croweri
21 October 2012 @ 06:15 pm

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Athenisis Van-Croweri
21 October 2012 @ 10:08 am

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Athenisis Van-Croweri
20 October 2012 @ 03:24 pm

My office is Kill Devil Hills. None of us are native to the area. All of us have a bit of the devil in them. This guy is a sub carrier. He also "sends people to hell", in his own words. He performs beach weddings. This was taken on his birthday party.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Athenisis Van-Croweri
Del has been to my newer apartment, but my boss was too distracted to say hi. Did I mention that I live with my boss? Ah, another story... So, Springstar was the first furry she has met . But, one the whole, she thinks furry folk are cute and safe, and wouldn't object to me having them visit a lot more often.

I was grateful to have a friendly face stay with me for a few days.

Its almost paradise here...the only two things missing in my world are the furry friends I have made, and Delphanaeous.

I really thought he would have come along too.....

But Del seems to be doing a hellva lot better than when I left....and I know he can't/won't leave.....but the kudzu is holding my feet here....
Athenisis Van-Croweri
13 October 2012 @ 10:36 pm
My new coworkers are a unique bunch. Today's story involves Hillary. Hillary, is 60. She is tan..she has burgundy hair with blonde streaks, a knee brace and a love of wine and organic foods. She likes to travel, but doesn't get to as much as she wishes. Her daughter, Kira is perpetually coming off of drugs or alcohol, so she raises Madison, her granddaughter.

Hillary is from NJ originally, and a free spirit. She looked me over today: "You look a lot better than when you came here, your skin is tan, you smile, you eat better and you dress better. Do you think we can get your friends to move here?"
My first day in Kill Devil Hills, I was 45 minutes late. My last postmaster was so mad that I was leaving he trumped up a bunch of attendance charges, and mailed them down hoping I would be fired on sight. (What he didn't know? My new postmaster told me to call out on sick leave so I could move since he refused to give me leave) I was shaking when I got to the door. My boss opened up my file folder and yelled in a perfectly Southern accent (joking, its deeply Long Island) "What the hell is this shit?" and dumped the paperwork into a trashcan.
She then led me out on to the workroom floor and put her hands on my shoulders and shouted to the crew: "This is BJ....she has come through hell. She has worked in an environment that none of you can imagine. They made her feel stupid, and her family has abused the hell out of her. She's broken. The first one of you who insults her, or hurts her will be bodily thrown out of this office by me."
My new coworkers gently questioned me and were on the whole kind.
The next day I was on time, and I got told to take a three hour lunch and not to reenter the building without my North Carolina driver's license. They gave me directions to the two DMVs, (one in a pharmacy for the car tags, the other for the written test was in a oversized yard barn) and pushed me out the door.
I had to show my temp permit when I got back to work. My new boss got up and said "You are ours now. You don't belong to Maryland anymore. Cumberland is the bad place, and you are not to think about it again. You are safe now. Safe."
Athenisis Van-Croweri
12 October 2012 @ 10:00 pm
Quick reading of my front page, and some updates.
Tressa is dead. She had a tummy tuck about a month after having a sharp blow to the head...some say her husband hit her. She had a blood clot after the surgery and it killed her.

Dave, who was mean to Tressa, and a lot of other people, left the USPS to start a restaurant. It failed, and he tried to come back to the USPS...and they refused to have him back.

My apartment in Currituck was cute! And the compound friendly! With eight dogs, and lots of mosquitoes! My boss didn't like me living there, and decided that furry means friendly and nerdy, and asked me to move into a much larger one room apartment attached to her house. Its $250 a month cheaper, and has a pool, internet that works, and is in a gated community. The views aren't as nice.

My former coworkers from Cumberland can't believe I left, and they are starting to hunt places as well. I get bugged for advice a lot, but I don't mind.

The only things that are wrong here...not many consecutive days off, no interstate, no furs.
Please send furs.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
12 October 2012 @ 09:01 pm
I'm not the same person who posted here last. Every day, I see the sun....its beautiful. There are colors everywhere, brilliant, bold oranges, blues, greens, that make you very glad you fought long enough to be alive.

I slipped through the rabbit hole and into an alternative universe. My new coworkers think I'm normal and my old hometown was really, really strange. They think I'm normal. I bring puppets to work. I talk about Furcons.
They respond by leaving ice cream in the freezer for me, or popping out to pick up mint M&Ms when I caught this head cold....
They didn't know me at all, but gave me a huge birthday party. They invite me to weddings, baby showers, and try to get me to Zumba classes.

I'm told I'm really pretty. That I am a good dresser. That I am calm. That I am smart. That they hope I never transfer out.

Big difference.

I actually have my current apartment because I'm a furry, but that's another story...
Athenisis Van-Croweri
05 January 2012 @ 12:21 pm
My office, my new office, and I got a nastygram from Raleigh NC, the HR head for the district. She will inform us as to when the transfer will take place and I will find out when it pleases her. Great. I am paying for an apartment I can't live in. LOL

The laughs part? Sarah is a 20 year old temp who is the daughter of a night shift worker. She will be taking over most of my functions when I am gone. She is hired as a PSE, which is a one year employee. Sarah is young, and pretty, and thin, and lives with a guy that was fired from the USPS for stealing out of people's cars on his days off.

She lives an hour from work and college, is a full time student, and works with us six days a week. She also lives with her brother, and out of the three in her house, is the only one with a job. She has to hide her food, and eats only at work.

For the last two weeks, Sarah has been complaining of exhaustion. Our female supervisor insists that she is pregnant. Sarah doesn't have sex---she had precancerous cells on her cervix and had to be taken off of hormonal birth control. She has a IUD appointment next month, and doesn't think a condom alone is safe enough.

Sarah's mom heard the rumors and made her take a pregnancy test. Sarah has a good sense of humor but this is getting on her nerves.

Lois and I are planning a baby shower for her Monday. Sarah knows, and a male coworker in his 50s is claiming to be the dad.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
25 December 2011 @ 11:37 pm
I got the job. I drove 8 hours one way, dressed up, walked into the post office and the postmaster liked my drive. As soon as the paperwork is sorted out, I will be moving to the Outer Banks. I haven't been on much, as we thought the transfer would go through faster and I would have to start Dec. 30. I haven't slept much lately, trying to hunt a spot to live. I got notice about two days ago that I would not be starting until the first pay period of February, so I can relax just slightly. I will be going to part time status again, and not earning as much leave. I will also have split days off, but I am much, much luckier than most.
The others in my office aren't so lucky. The union keeps telling them to wait until they are forced to transfer and assigned an office so they can keep full time status. However, no one knew that someone took a tape recorder to the meeting we could not attend. HR told the union the new contract that was ratified in May prevents clerks from being excessed over 50 miles from home, and we have no plants within 50 miles. There are 9 part time carrier jobs, and that is it. The other 20, sorry about your luck.
I did find a potential apartment, and have an interview for it tomorrow. http://www.obxorbust.com/annual-rentals/point-harbor-waterfront/starting-over-cute-clean-cozy-waterfront-beach-huts-singles-only
Note, only one person. They are willing to do a four month lease, and then revise it....if Del has a job down here by then, my postmaster is willing to let me rent a house of hers, but if not, I will have to sign a one year lease. I am meeting with another real estate on Tuesday. The first one did not go so well, she stated I would be upside down (I owe 44k, and best to just keep it for Maria.) I can't afford to keep both places, and have advised Maria that she needs to get a job and pay half the mortgage and part of the utilities (Would run her about 250 a month for rent, and another 100 for utilities) She has been fighting getting a job, but finally realized, she can't even rent a small apartment for that price. I told her a roommate would be fine, but $250 was all I could contribute, no more.
Sorry I have not been reachable for Furstivus or other plans...I'm running out of time and have a lot to get done.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
08 December 2011 @ 08:59 am
Well, the rounds of postal closures have been making the news, and my plant is on the chopping block. We have two Town Hall meetings coming up, one for area employees, and one for the public. Both of these meetings occur during my shift so I cannot attend either one. Yes, the meetings are timed so that the employees most affected by a closure cannot attend to defend their jobs or ask about their futures. Thirty of us are on the chopping block, and out of these, my seniority is 26.
The next plant is Johnstown, PA. According to the APWU contract I am under, employees must be excessed within 50 miles of their home plant. This means that Altoona PA workers (also having their mail abosrbed by Johnstown) get first rights to the jobs.There won't be enough jobs for all of us. I am also really low in seniority.
Here are the options I have as of Dec 10, 2011
1. Stay at my office and become a part time city carrier with no set hours or schedule, and they are only taking six.
2. Get 'lucky' and go to Johnstown, which is a 90 mile one way commute. Given that I always work overtime I would have to find some living arrangement there. It would also mean I would be too exhausted to get to Philly regularly
3. Wait for the 'list'. The list is a list of offices that have openings and will take us.
4. Begging to see if any possible thing in the 180-199 zipcodes open up.
5. Kill Devil Hills, NC. Window clerk. Daylight hours. No processing machines.
Yep, you read that last one right. A couple years ago, I went to the OBX and inquired about carrier jobs. There weren't any openings, but I was advised that there would be clerks retiring in a few years. They also sent me from office to office, timing how long it took me to find each of four stations. I put in for Kill Devil Hills in January, 2011. Friday I got the notice they are interested in me. Monday, the former supervisor who really liked me filled out my evaluation. KDH seems to be moving fast,they have requested my records from Baltimore.
The bad points are as follows: its a small office with daylight hours only and four stations within a 15 minute drive of each other. One or more of these will close too, meaning I will have to move. I would have to sell my house. It might also be part time. I will lose my seniority by 'volunteering' to go. I won't be able to get moving expense reimbursement. No furs that I know of live in the area.
The good points would include: I would be living near the sea, in an area that I have dreamed about living in since childhood. If I beg hard enough, perhaps Delphanaeous can find a job working at any of the sea life study centers and maybe we can finally live together.
I am thinking of getting a RV to live in, and if I do have to move in a few years, oh well.

To be safe, I am going to put in for other PA area offices, and beg for Philly...but, KDH has my heart.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
30 November 2011 @ 10:09 am
Do I think more like a guy than a girl? Coworkers seem to think so...
Athenisis Van-Croweri
30 November 2011 @ 10:04 am
Mom seems to find some way to celebrate Thanksgiving with a side of drama every year, and this one was no exception. Her brother died a few days before Halloween, and despite the fact that she and my daughter are on speaking terms, didn't call her.

Mom actually waited until Maria brought her Thanksgiving dinner. Maria got some bad news recently, that her bloodwork shows chronic kidney disease and hypothyroidism. She was explaining it to mom when the kindly old soul remarked: "Yep, that's what killed my last brother last month!"
Nicely played! Freak out the kid about her own health and make her panic, while letting her know she is an outsider on a holiday. All of this goodness only took one well timed sentence.
Maria was a bit upset at not having been told. I was as well, for about a day. Then I realized...mom gave me an odd gift.
If I am not told, then I am not family. I'm not family. I don't have to claim these people, or even pretend to like them. I don't have to lump myself in with the meaner side of the craziness. Dad's family is crazy, but not intentionally mean. My mom's family is flat out mean. This was an official declaration that these people really aren't a part of my life.
I feel a bit more free. Thank you, mom.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
20 November 2011 @ 03:33 am
I've have known, for sometime now, that I have been given a dubious inheritance. I have the family crazy. We have suicides, addictions, hospital stays, shock treatments...on, and on, and on. I have one heck of a time with my moods, and I understand first hand that feeling of not being in my right mind. Its one of several reasons why I do not drink, I have such a hard time avoiding depression and anxiety without mind altering substances, that the thought of losing even more control and judgment is terrifying. I did take an antidepressant in the 1990s, and the auditory hallucinations were confusing. I thought, I should be on medication, but with the family history of suicide I really should be living with someone with very sound judgment before attempting further treatments. In the meantime, I am working on myself.

I also, am a member of a group on Facebook for women over 40, who are jewelry lovers. I mostly observe these ladies, in an attempt to figure out more normal female behavior to emulate. Recently, the topic moved to antidepressants, and I was amazed. A high number of these folks, are on one or more drugs to alter their moods and make them level. They take drugs to look, act, and feel...sane. Lots of things make them anxious, upset, and question who they are in life, and well...they seem kinda miserable. So, are they sane? Or is their medication sane? Who are they? Do they know? Can they know with so many chemicals changing, and controlling the way they think, feel, react...handling what the very essence of 'self' means?
I don't take anything to actively control my mental state...and it does show. I'm 'moody, weird, emotional,' but...it is ...me. By careful observation, and the help of many wonderful friends, I can Almost spot a bad day or moment coming. If I were on medications, would it make it to where I could not know, and therefore, could not deal, at all?
Also, would I be able to feel such amazing, visceral, joy at great music, a sunset, a well prepared meal, or a lover's touch? Such higher highs....if only the world could feel the beauty that I can feel.
I think what I should work on, is not inflicting my moods on others as much, and remembering that moods are ocean waves...as they break over and take your breath away, they are already receding and rebuilding.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
20 November 2011 @ 03:11 am
Its occurred to me, that I have had my livejournal account for some three years now. I remember when I thought I would not use this account much, and have so proven that early prediction true as of late.
I am overdue to update.
Its funny, but when life goes moderately well, I don't feel the need to record it in as great of detail as when misery overwhelms everything else. Right now, life is, OK.
I am not in Philly, but I am not miserable with my job, or my home. The days off I have allow me some travel and time to see very, very dear people. My hometown as one great asset: an interstate goes through it. Had I been living at the beach, it would take well over an hour to find an interstate, and I would be shut off from the world. Now, I only have to drive a few thousand feet. I am on my old shift, but the boss who made me miserable was removed by postal inspectors. The employees who made my days intolerable with their especial cruel stupidity have either went to other shifts, left the postal service for other ventures, or grew up.
There is talk that my plant might be closing soon, but those that are left are very jaded, and no longer angry and anxious. We have food once a week again. We tease. Tressa is no longer called those names. Most of us do actually do our jobs.
I have enough money to start fixing up my home, and I have sort of stepped out of Maria's life. We share a house, but spend as little time together as we can. I have enough money, as long as the plant remains open, to begin some overdue home repairs.
I'm slowly getting to understand 'calm' and 'happy'
I could not have done it without you, furries.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
28 October 2011 @ 03:06 am
Its happened again. For the fifth time in a month, I had someone mention that I am unfeminine, and possess traits unflattering in a woman. This latest one is worthy of note. I admin a small, hidden forum for diamond lovers on Facebook. Someone began posting Ebay links, and one of the nearly a dozen admins I assigned to watch the site when I am (mostly) not there started deleting threads. The other admins complained to me. I responded by removing all admins but myself. I reminded everyone that the internet isn't real life, and to put down the laptops and go outside. One woman remarked that being unafraid to potentially insult people and to speak directly and bluntly were unattractive qualities in a woman.

Ok, those of you that know me, and know me well, realize I have a few issues with gender identity. I have an androgynous real life first name, I work a somewhat traditionally male job out on a dock and with machines, I wear jeans and ugly t-shirts six days a week and I am really, really uncomfortable around most women.

What do I feel about men? Men fascinate me! They are physically interesting creatures with a lot of variance in size, shape and strength. For the most part, they are capable of a wide range of skills and traits, they can nuture, create, mend, build. Many of them have a strength and a purpose....
So, do I want to be a man? Do I envy men? No. But I have realized that the last two generations of men have been demonized. Any trait that is masculine is immediately suspect, and men are raised to be, and act more 'feminine' Why are any personality traits masculine, or feminine to begin with?
What I admire: forthright, stable people with a clear command of themselves and the situations around them. I admire those that keep their level heads in a crisis. I admire people who can call a spade a spade. If you look me dead in the eyes and call me an asshole, and mean it, I will respect you. Hide behind my back, whisper and giggle, and I will feel you are a brainless child that needs paddled.
It just happens that the people who have the traits I admire most, and aspire to be like, are men. I have met a few women I admire, but all too often I encounter simpering, weak willed females who have not outgrown middle school. They aren't roll models for me, they offer no opportunity for me to improve myself, and I do not have time to waste on that which does not improve me.
If being direct and decisive is not feminine, that is fine by me. I'm not much for labels anyway, not on my clothes, and not on my person.
Oh, and about the clothes,hair,makeup that many women list as their chief concern? I wear feminine clothing in the way that most wear a fursuit, but there are more important things in the world than these.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
07 August 2011 @ 01:10 am
As a preface: I have been back on my old, dreadful, evening shift for almost a week. I had expected to be losing it by this point. I had expected to walk into a landmine of hate.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I dreaded going back to the machines.

So far, they have been limiting me to two hours of machines a day, and switching my jobs every two hours. My boss is keeping me as far away from the meanest machine operator we have, and placed me with the more senior, calmer people. Not a single person has insulted me or called me stupid. In fact, they are surprised I retained a lot of job knowledge, and that they really have had to instruct me only in the changes. (Its been seven months.)
Better? Well, there is another employee, Tressa, who kept getting called names I cannot repeat here because its NSFW. She is very kind, and not inclined to make them stop. I took one man aside, and insulted him deeply about his manhood...and another man simply told him that he does not wish to hear women called names during the shift. I hope the peer pressure is on to treat her well.
Today, Mike the work dragon kept going to my supervisor to complain that I should not have to do the duties of three people. I deeply appreciate it, before I left the shift, the supervisors would expect me to do on Saturday what it normally takes two to three people to do during the week.
My supervisor remarked I looked much happier...I know night shift, and the postmaster want me to work directly for them.
People that I was kind to have been ungodly nice, for them. I've been asked to a steak dinner at someone's home tomorrow, she used to get insulted too. The postmaster is working on his stress and depression issues. Bob continues to be more social, loyal and kind to people...and it is confusing them.
Be kind to someone. Start the revolution
Athenisis Van-Croweri
04 August 2011 @ 12:23 pm
There are a lot of people, who have helped to, and continue to, shape my life in a lot of ways. Sometimes, it is by their direct interaction with me, othertimes, its by the examples they provide in day to day living. I am still learning to incorporate these lessons into my own life, and sometimes fail, but I am listening.

Skippyfox, who has a drive and a fire to see people be at their very best and not to accept excuses as a substitute for effort.
Aegis, who has taught me to try to include everyone, and who has taught me that the only friends you don't have are the ones you haven't put the effort into making yet.
Giza, that personal honor is very important, and that you have to risk a bit by trusting others every now and again. Oftentimes, the risk is actually worth it.
Dest, push your comfort zone and try something new. Constantly.
Uncle Kage, that it is entirely possible to be graceful under fire. It is not always necessary or even helpful to resort to rage to get things done. Everyone deserves to be treated with a measure of dignity until they prove they cannot handle it.
Wag, the only failure is to not try. I admire you for having the balls to try standup comedy, and to keep laughing even though your job really sucks.
JackalopeJess to simply go after your dreams, and work to make them happen. No excuses, no hesitation. Now, if I only knew what my dreams are?
Delphanaeous, everybody is worth at least one shot at redemption.
I am not saying that any of these folks are perfect, or that they are the only influences in my life. I just wanted to note that the small acts, and large ones, that you do when you go about your day to day living, impact those around you. And simply, thank you.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
08 May 2011 @ 12:20 am
My old tour three coworkers got a lot nicer. Even though I am back to full weight...and my hair is greyer than ever....I hear every day from one or another of them of how much better I look, and a couple flat out called me beautiful. Mike the work dragon gave me a late birthday present, a plaque of slate from Wales (the same town his ancestors are from as we don't know where the Llewellyns of my particular family hail from) engraved with a favorite saying of both of ours.
Now to fix the rest of my life and enjoy what I am granted...be it days or years.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
08 May 2011 @ 12:14 am
I did manage to get the dayshift job, and I LOVE IT. I serve customers as fast as I can, smile as much as I can, and get to wear my funky  torcs and nose ring. The only downside is that I am supposed to spend half my day in processing. My sales lead (supervisor) knows that the processing employees drive me batty,  and she is gently goading the post master in to letting me stay upstairs all day, and they are working on a way to get around the union.
I haven't been to Philly in what seems to be ages, and not to any meets in awhile. It is going to be a while until I can start coming up again on the weekends. Right now, our plant is very short handed, and has not gotten the green light to begin transferring clerks from the closing Frederick (closest one to our area) plant. There is much overtime to be had. Typically, I go into work either at 1 am or 3 am on Saturday, get off at 1 or 130 pm Saturday, and report back in at 1 am Monday. I just can't make the drives up and back. The last time I did a turn and burn to Philly and back, I got so groggy, I somehow ended up at the Harrisburg airport.
Why do I need the overtime? Rodney is full of mold, and has a trail of blue smoke on startup. He also has a very odd rubbing sensation in the front end when on a steep incline. Monty needs motor mounts, intake cleaning, EGR valve replaced, timing belt job, suspension and I would like to get the AC and heated seats working.
The house needs a new bathroom floor and tub, kitchen floor, porch roof repairs and hardwood floors resurfaced throughout.
The kid needs some help with getting off the ground. She will be 18 in ten days, and is thinking about the Air Force, but she still could use some help with her first car.
I also had a wreck in Monty, and my ex paid for the repairs. The same week, I got a notice from the IRS that I owe $1400 because his taxes somehow did not get filed with mine in 2009. So, since he paid the repairs plus $500, he did pay for the tax, but now I have to work it out with the IRS.
I would like to give myself a year of hard work, pay fix and clean whatever I need to, and save some of my annual days. 2012, I would like to buy a small camper, and start traveling. I may be burning a week of annual however, if my dear firestorm Goddess has Her way.....
Athenisis Van-Croweri
13 March 2011 @ 02:01 pm
And I'm going to yank this from giza 
1. What is your earliest memory?

Having nightmares of my hands turning blue while I was still in my crib....also being embarrassed that I needed a diaper change...the mess was extreme, but I was just too sick to cry.

2. What is your most vivid memory?

A small, white piece of marble that separated the brown bedroom carpet from our pink and blue bathroom tile in an apartment in Roxborough where I lived with my first husband. It will still come up in flashbacks.

3. What do you remember best about the year you turned 10?

I remember Mr. Logsdon, my reading teacher, complimenting my short stories and encouraging me to keep writing.

4. What memory do you wish you could erase forever?

Thankfully, as I have gotten older, I am finally developing a trait of my dad's that I had always wanted, the ability to forget vast volumes of hurt. Its not so much one thing, as just blocks of years that sorta sucked.

5. What do your parents(or other close relatives) remember about you that you have forgotten?

 This one I am not so sure of, dad has a great ability to forget things, and I don't talk to mom.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
10 February 2011 @ 09:05 pm
I got greeted by five cop cars and an ambulance sitting outside my hotel. Had to run back inside and upstairs to get my training manual. I ran five minutes late to training. Julie's father passed in the night and she wasn't there. (Since she is my OJT and Lead, I am not sure what my weekend schedule is now...I am hoping for a tour 3 Saturday instead having to come in Monday though...) Lunch ran late. Pounding headache in training. Instructors are happy I can answer most of the questions despite having fallen asleep during much of the week.
Four PM, end. Go to Goodwill, with a feeling I'm supposed to be there, but not really wanting to be. I want to go back to the room and sleep. Spot a plush orca holding a starfish. Look up and see an employee with no hair, headscarf, bloated pale face. Cancer. I see the sunlight through the window and realize I miss too much sunlight...there is so little of it in one lifetime. See ribbons of silk neckties on the wall, become fascinated by the shards of rich pattern and dazzling colors. Find a plush sorta like White Paw. Then a kinda Scurrow like thing...Its time to shut up about a miserable day, and just enjoy.
Aisle after Aisle, pile after pile of plushes. I can mail smiles. A Squeaki, A Bucktown, a pair of Kitt3ns, a squirrel needing work, the cutest little non pudu deer  and amazing penguin. I can mail little smiles to some wonderful people who have made me smile.
This is a good day
Athenisis Van-Croweri
09 February 2011 @ 08:17 pm
I just got an email from Del's mom. They are taking Rodney to a mechanic to have his exhaust installed while I'm at work on Saturday. That is very, very kind of them.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
09 February 2011 @ 08:13 pm
So I checked my ereassign today. The mailhandler position I had in the works? It was listed as closed, dated Sept 20. The entire history of records being sent by the decent supervisor that is not in my plant has been totally erased.


Went out to dinner with Scooter Squirrel tonight, and it struck me: if I pass this test Friday, I will have most of my evenings free, and can have dinner with Scooter, go to the movies, actually watch tv and listen to the good programs on NPR again. Maybe not be 100% happy, but find a measure of happiness, and be able to spend time with a dear friend I rarely get to see otherwise.   Rejoin the world a little, perhaps?

Came back to my hotel room to find that my cheeses were thrown out and that my Scooter groundhog puppet had been stripped of his hoodie and balled up with my PJs. Only have tomorrow night here, but I asked that the staff not enter my room any further.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
08 February 2011 @ 12:19 am
One of these days, I will learn to stay away from my computer when I am not home.  I was curious and checked my ereassign tonight. As expected, from the letter I got last week, Philadelphia closed consideration for me as a city carrier. When I got the letter, it was worded in such a way that I knew there was no way any office would take me. My new to me supervisor met me in a stairwell the next day and used the exact same wording to describe my work record, and so I knew exactly who sunk me.
I've been in a state of shock and depression, I had one really bad year in 13 there, and that is what they used to judge me.
However, another carrot has been dangled in my face. On Jan 24, Philly mailed a letter stating that my office had not filled out an evaluation for me as a mail handler, and that if I did not respond by Jan 31, they would close that request. I got the letter Jan 29, well past the hours for me to call the office and fix this, and I guess my office figured I would not be able to get word to Philly in time to salvage this.
Rodents are rodents however, and before a tech moved from our office, he gave me a list of emergency phone numbers.
I also happened to be in West Chester on Monday the 31st, and I pulled a number and left a message.
A supervisor not in my plant got my evaluation on Groundhog Day, and filled it out. I got a notice today that they 'made a decision' on that position, but didn't close it.
Humm. I had held off on applying for one last office as I *thought* I had been given a death sentence. I think I can risk that office...
I'm training to be a window clerk in Frederick  this week. That is what I am focusing on now. I'll cut this post short to get back to studying, and because I never figured out how to do a cut.
Scooter, if you would like to meet up this week after work, I do have my car. If you can't, I do understand.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
31 January 2011 @ 11:24 pm
Athenisis Van-Croweri
31 January 2011 @ 11:22 pm

Athenisis Van-Croweri
Any long time readers of my LJ know that I generally do not think very highly of my shift's coworkers. As a whole, they came as a shock that any form of 'humanity' would sink so low and still consider themselves part of the race.  However, even the most unwanted of situations has merit, and lessons that can be learned about the self and the world around you.
These are the people that taught me, first hand, what herd mentality is. People do not grow out of middle school.  There is a pecking order, a rank of who humiliates who---no matter where you go. Its a sad reality, but when something negative is faced, it can be learned, and dealt with.  Individually, some of these folks have had noble moments...far away from where the crowd could call them on it. In a group, these lovely folks in their 30s, 40s, and beyond still hunt a bully to hide behind and taunt the weaker.
This note was inspired by a LJ I read today, where one of our furry friends endures the taunting at work that many of us do, and doesn't quite know how to interpret it.
Meanness is everywhere, and some people never grow up from their own broken childhoods.
As furries though, we do get charged with a sacred duty.  One the human race may not like, and one that may not be easy for you to bear.
Those of you that make the magic, create the world.
If you see someone hurting, stop and talk to them. Offer a soda, a smile, an ear. It doesn't matter if he is lower than you on the pecking order, or you 'should' bully them in order to keep others off your back. Make friends with the guy that 'smells' or 'thinks too weird'. You know others are saying the same thing about you. If someone is harassing someone else, and they aren't quick enough to think of a decent comeback--step in and shut down the loser who is opening his trap in the first place. We all know the insults and have them hurled at us...fire when fired upon.
We are odd. We look strange, sound strange, act strange.  Our minds do not always follow the patterns of the world around us. That's good. Without us, the talking unicorns don't exist, and the rainbows don't either.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
31 January 2011 @ 09:55 pm
delphanaeous finally has a job interview. On Groundhog Day. So that means no GHD for him. Also, the weather might me I get snowed in up here.....stay tuned.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
Give delphanaeous a call or a tweet if you want to go along on GHD. I think he is leaving Tue at 2000.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
30 January 2011 @ 04:39 pm
Athenisis Van-Croweri
30 January 2011 @ 02:40 am
 What is more important to you, passion or consideration? Would you give up one for the other?
Athenisis Van-Croweri
23 January 2011 @ 10:06 pm
www.groundhog.org and would anyone want to wear my Vancouver Island marmot partial? Please, please dress warm, we will be outside all night and it might be in the single digits. I do have six groundhog hat to share, but only a couple sets of handpaws, but there will be paws for sale if you want a set.  If you would like a puppet to use during the night, I'll be glad to pack you one. Jess, since its your birthday (almost) let me know if you want one to keep, or if it would be too much clutter!

Any questions? Please text, or call or email me at athenisis at gmail dot com
Athenisis Van-Croweri
23 January 2011 @ 10:01 pm
HEY! Folks going up to Punxsy...  we need to coordinate rides. Thinking...Moon  Mochi and Jess might be able to ride split/share? My cell is 240 422 0733 if you lost it...
Delphanaeous is also going... I can't leave from Cumberland, Maryland until Tuesday night at midnight, because my non-fur coworker doesn't get off until then.

A quick note about the non-fur. He is 45 and feeling really self conscious about his age, (I am the next closest at 36) and has had such a miserable experience from a very bad marriage, messed up family, and working in what Del 'lovingly' calls the PRISON that he actually believes I'm a sweet, caring and loving person. And unique in that regard.  Wait until he meets others.

HA! I keep telling him to meet some real people, not hate filled Cumberland zombies for a change.  He is making a huge personal risk to actually leave the dungeon, the soul crushing small town, and venture outside. The sunlight might be a little bright for him, and he will be blinking and uncomfortable. Hugs may just come as a shock. But, give them to him anyway. He could use a couple.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
15 January 2011 @ 04:04 am
I wasn't going to go.  But, the appeal of walking around a town entirely devoted to the rodent, on its own special holiday, is something a marmot furry should not really resist. Besides, the breakfast buffets have unlimited bacon. The craft vendors have a ton of groundhog goodies. There wasn't enough time to plan a trip to Sun Prarie Wisconsin for their GHD, or to Georgia, and Del doesn't have a passport to visit the albino (! <3 !) groundhog in Wiarton, Ontario.

So, Del, Moon Mochi, and an unsuspecting coworker named Bob (aka, Sweatervest) will be making the trek up Gobbler's Knob. Bob knows I'm a fur. I've made him watch Pawpets. He refuses to wear one of my (many) groundhog hats because he is worried he will look odd. I warned him he will stick out without one, and I'll pack a spare.

Anyone else want to meet up on Groundhog Day? A Wednesday GHD means that things will start coming to a close around noonish, but it would make for a neat GTG.

Besides, what else is there to do in Pennsylvania in the middle of winter?


Athenisis Van-Croweri
07 January 2011 @ 09:15 am
Time and again, people complain to me that they are not satisfied with their jobs. The most common complaint is that their jobs are not adequate to pay their bills, or allow them to live a certain lifestyle.
I would love to offer the following suggestions:
1. Define what is important to you. Is your leisure time more valuable, or is living at a certain standard more valuable?  Do you like to be able to travel, entertain yourself and friends, or can you forgo this in order to have more time to enjoy less costly diversions? Do you wish to live in a better place, drive a car, wear nicer clothes?
2. Once you have listed your priorities, work to the level that it takes to fund them. It does not matter that your particular employer may pay less than industry standard, or your skill level. Your employer is going to pay what they feel your work is worth to them, and you have a choice: accept it, or leave it. If you accept, and the money is not adequate, there is no one stopping you from forgoing sleep or leisure time to earn the money you desire from other sources.
3. There is no job 'beneath you'. It may be 'not of your skill set'  or 'dead end', but all jobs have opportunities for personal growth. Besides, if it helps in your mission of feeding you, clothing you, housing you, and hopefully providing for some entertainment, then it has served its mission. There is no job that is unworthy of taking if it is legal, and meets these ends. So you get stuck cleaning houses on the side? Houses must be cleaned, and you must eat. Its a fair exchange and noble work.  Fast food, convenience stores, grocery shops....all must be staffed in order to operate...what is wrong with you doing it? Can you look in the eyes of the person across the counter currently doing the job and honestly say to yourself  "I am a better human being than this person?" No? Not really? Then it must be acceptable for you to do the same job.
4. There is, somewhere, under the table work. Even if you have to generate it. Keep your ears open whereever you go. Listen to the complaints of people, and soon, you will find an opportunity for some sort of employment.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
07 January 2011 @ 05:06 am
Today was another one of those days.  A rural carrier, a nice blonde named Connie who now works the route I was on, stopped me as I was loading a machine.
"Would you believe a customer asked about you today?"
"I haven't delivered that route since 2007! Which customer?"
"I don't know...wait.. Leith? 100..."
"20, Christie Road?"
"Yeah, they miss you, and wonder, if there is any way you can come back?"
Patric, another rural carrier, stopped and asked me when I would come over as their morning hot case clerk---they needed me. The stress was too much again, and I could get them through.
Linda, my former supervisor, listened---stunned.
She and I talked quietly, she told me that even though I was at the top of the seniority list then, I still would not be regular now, as the routes have been held since then, pending downsizing efforts with the postal service.
"You did the best you could BJ, you got one of the last full time jobs the USPS may offer."
I told her how much I missed my customers, the snow, the heat, the co workers...even her.
She was surprised, we fought for 8 years.
Bob came over, saw me looking a bit perplexed, and I muttered something about taking the tax return and buying another right hand drive jeep.
"BJ, how old are you? 36? You are too old to start your life over."
I couldn't help myself...Bob is Mr. Sweater Vest that I had mentioned before 
"Just like 44, is a bit too old? All I need is a RHD jeep, and a four day notice. Kill Devil Hills would take me. Yeah, I would lose my benefits...but...I don't know how long it would take for an office in Del's area to make the same offer..."


Athenisis Van-Croweri
06 January 2011 @ 12:18 am

I found out some interesting things today:
1. There was a block on transfers that was lifted in December
2. Philadelphia is more shortstaffed than anyone realized, and they are getting cranky and want my records now
3. Its ok to be furry at work, with a caveat.
4. I'm still stuck on my shift while training for the 5 am shift.

A city carrier I used to work with handed me a Bob Marley hat, replete with dreadlocks, while saying I was the only one with the balls to wear it. "You used to be the fun one, with your ears and hats and paws....and that puppet...you gotta bring back the puppet." (I am set to start working with them soon.)

Oh boy.

The puppet in question is a groundhog named Scooter. If anything else, it was, with another puppet, a pretty big part of my relationship with my ex.  It was also a big part of my days as a carrier. The puppet would ride in my route jeeps, or if carrying city mail, in my mailbag. (Often keeping a water bottle cold.)
A customer gave it a Christmas stocking one year
The carriers used to play with it in the mornings when they were stressed out.
Once, when the postal inspectors insisted that it be removed from the floor for being a personal item, the postmaster insisted that it was protected under the ADA ("Its an emotional support animal. My carriers are fragile, and this keeps them coming to work on time.") One carrier even gave me his old work shirts so I could have patches to make Scooter a uniform.
I used to take it to every office I worked in, until I became a clerk. One Christmas Eve, when I had it dressed as Santa, the nasty clerks I was now stuck working with strapped it to a tray, got it ready to fly out, and hid it in the building.
He didn't come to work much after that.

A part of me would love to mod the heck out of the puppet and make it look more like my character. Currently, is a generic groundhog, but I have always wanted a puppet of my species of marmot.  I've tried commissioning a puppet with no success.
I don't like old memories holding me back from enjoying other, more pleasant ones.

Humm, some feedback would be good....


Athenisis Van-Croweri
05 January 2011 @ 04:54 am
Tomorrow determines my schedule for 160 hours of training. Night shift boss is eager to have me join his crew, but needs Tour 3 (the nutty boss who hates me) permission to shift me to my new job time.

If they swap me, I would start at 5 am every day but Saturday, which would be 3 am. (1 am with overtime) Saturday, I would get off at 1130 am, 130 pm at the very worst. I would be off Sunday, and Monday, and wouldn't have to report to work until 5 am on Tuesday, 3 am if given overtime. I wouldn't have to leave Del's until Monday night at 11 pm -1am Tue morning. Free Saturday night, Sunday night, and most of Monday night. I like.

Otherwise, Denise on cateye has to come to my shift until I am trained. Which could be months.

Arrgh, who wants to teach me how to bowl?
Athenisis Van-Croweri
03 January 2011 @ 01:38 am
Last Jan 1, I had blogged that nothing much had happened to my life in the past decade. I posted that my life was pretty much in a holding pattern, going nowhere and devoid of meaning.

What a difference a year makes.

I've reviewed my LJ entries for the past few years. What a bitter, hurting, angry person I was. I think a very great part of me did not expect to actually have real happiness in life, and I was looking for  a way to find a level of peace.

This year, I am planning to give up a full time job with the best days off that can be had, a house I've paid on for ten years...for what? To move into a tired trailer and a job with uncertain hours in the middle of (one of the states I like the least) Pennsylvania. I look insane on paper. In real life, I could not be happier.

From there? Who knows where we will go? There are stars that remain unexplored. Even if we do live out the rest of our days here, we are surrounded by amazing friends, and beautiful country. (And near enough to an ocean.)

Del had asked me, last Jan 1, "What am I? Chopped liver?" in response to my blase entry. Sometime in March 2011 will mark a decade since Del and I met. There is so much to say, and too many words...they turn to bird chatter on the breeze.

In 2009, I stood with him on a beach in Orcacoke, NC. I had said to him, I think I have fallen in love with you. His answer was "Maybe? We'll see." He was right to answer that way. There is no denouement, nor a Challenger Deep. I looked over at him today, while we were driving, and I realized, finally that there is no end, no answer, no one moment, no words.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
I had a better than average holiday season this year, and my best present thusfar is actually a continuation of last year.
When we were growing up, my best friend and I never actually bought many presents for each other. We didn't have the money, and the thought of having to shop for one more person made us both cranky, so we resolved to make it fun.  If she got something for her October birthday that she hated, I would love it, and get it for Christmas. If she got something for Christmas she hated, it was my March birthday present. I would holdover my rejects too, for her birthday in October.
Last year, she found a sapphire pendant that had been given to her by an exboyfriend. Since she has now been happily married for a few years, she felt that keeping it wasn't appropriate, and packed it, along with junk jewelry, into an envelope for Maria and I to share. This sapphire would make my jewelry loving friends annoyed. Its a 10k WG, average cut, and so dark as to look almost black. Its considered a cheap, and rather ugly sapphire. However, its also my favorite shade of sapphire.
I haven't been able to find this pendant since AC. I had even called the Westin, with no luck, and tore apart my place, my cars, work locker and Del's house.
I really, really wanted to wear it New Year's Eve, with a dress that I now fit into.
Tonight, while keeping an eye on my sick cat, I got hit with an inspiration. I do have one black handbag that I only carry on Very Special occasions. I even restuff it with the paper and put in into the dustbag when I don't carry it.
There, in the bottom of the bag, neatly laid out, was the necklace. I remember now, that I had taken it off and placed it into the bag, because I was wearing my diamond one, and it was tangling.
Pendant cleaned and on, waiting on jeans in the dryer, and then its drive time.
Sorry, I know I should be there already, Del.
Athenisis Van-Croweri
24 December 2010 @ 06:25 am
I believe in Christmas. I didn't say I am a Christian. I didn't say that I believe in the whole mythos of the Bible. I do, however, believe in a Spirit...a life force....that will give you a sort of nudge to remind you that much brighter days are coming, even in the darkest hours of the year.
I have had, on paper, lousy Christmases since 1989. Every year, I get granted one small miracle to remind me the universe listens.
Long time readers of my LJ know the following things:
1. Christmas is very stressful due to work
2. My work schedule is so heavy I often don't get to do much until Christmas Eve,
3. Almost every year, I've had to spent Christmas either alone, or had to put effort into people who either ignored it or scoffed.

Today it struck me: it was almost Christmas Eve, and I was getting snow tires put  on my car so I could celebrate Christmas.
With Someone who doesn't care one fig if I show up with Perfect Presents, but that I show up.
And who has a family that actually wants me to show up, and sends emails to that effect.
Oh, now, this is fun. Del doesn't care one bit if I show up with anything...which means I can't get it wrong...which means I can relax and entertain me with all of this.

Well, I ran home before work and put the glitter covered tree, crystal garland, LED strand and stuffed Hallmark reindeer herd in Monty's hatch. After work, he got a bath and dejunked, the tank topped off with $3.20 a gallon diesel,  but still needs swept out and the seats wiped down.
I found my old iPod that had my rural route Jeep Christmas mix, and turned it up full blast. (Chipmunks, South Park, Bob Rivers, Monty Python, Eartha Kitt, Burl Ives, Bing Crosby)

I made my late night run to various stores that were open, and saw Walmart looking like a bomb went off. I picked up a few items off the floor and a very weary clerk gave me a very genuine smile and a deep thank you.

After a bit  other clerks started coming up to me and chatting. One noticed I looked a little worried. I asked nicely, where the chocolate covered cherries were. "Oh, I think we are out, but let me ask my coworkers." a young clerk remarked.

Another clerk called out that they were low on chocolate covered cherries and were hiding them, but "She's been nice to us...so ask her how many boxes she wants?" An older lady (about 60) ran the better part of the width of the store (a super Walmart) with two boxes over her head like Olympic torches. I ran with my cart towards her and she yelled "Make ready for the transfer!" and slammed the cherries into my cart. The other clerks cheered. Check out had yet another clerk chatting about her holiday plans, and her four hour drive she would undertake the second she clocked off.
That sounds familiar.....

Athenisis Van-Croweri
16 December 2010 @ 02:14 pm
Eight more days of madness until the work load starts to lighten, just a bit. I promise to get back to being a better friend very soon. I have three days off at Christmas, and four at New Year's......