Sunday Lowdown #136

THIS WEEK’S STAND-OUT MOMENTS

Welp. Lots of folks across the globe had something to say about me working at the bakery, and I appreciate that everyone cares about me so much. I mean, truly. I ended up writing an email to my manager later last Sunday afternoon resigning effective immediately. Which . . . wasn’t ideal because the bakery is closed Sunday and wouldn’t be open Monday for Labor Day, so she got it Tuesday. And I was scheduled to work Wednesday. What is both a nightmare and a relief is that Indiana is a will-to-work state, meaning I can be fired for no reason (excepting race, gender, age, religion, etc.), without warning, immediately. But I can also quit, for no reason, without warning, immediately. The manager was kind, and I do plan to go back and get some a caramel apple muffin (the muffin of the month!), but Biscuit says maybe wait a wee bit. But I’mma get me a September muffin of the month.

Now, I’m just trying to get into the rhythm of part-time student life. I study signs every day, including ones I think I should know (75 so far) and ones we pick up in class (43 of those). The hard thing about ASL is that there isn’t a dictionary the same way we have English dictionaries. It’s all community based, so if someone does a sign I don’t know, I can’t go look it up; I have to find someone, try to recreate the sign, and hope they know. If I know the English word for a sign, then I can look up what the ASL. I literally just emailed a classmate and described a sign I don’t know, elaborating with, “If her hand got any closer, that would be the sign for the face-hugger from Alien.” Fingers crossed he knows it.

THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

How can you dink up a slasher novel with so many huge issues? Gina Wohlsdorf managed it in Security with a poor choice of narrator, a Final Girl who didn’t quite make sense at her job, and a biker bad boy from the past who pulls up on just the right day. Anyhoo, I’m going to check out some (better, I hope) horror novels from Undertow Publications. They were complaining on Twitter the other day how folks should buy e-books instead of paperback due to cost of printing, shipping, etc. I’d never head of them, but their titles sound cool and they’re only $4.00 if you buy them on their site.

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell is the epitome of Midwestern short stories. In some cases, the farmer wife role traverses down the generations, and other times mothers and daughters are miles apart, misunderstanding the motives of the other. While I liked this collection, I recommend Campbell’s novel, linked in my review this week, emphatically.

NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS

I’d never heard of Jessi Klein before I watched the adult cartoon Big Mouth on Netflix, but she has a history of writing for other comedians, like Amy Schumer, and does some of her own stand-up specials. You’ll Grow Out of It is not a memoir, but a collection of essays that capture some of the funniest and most important moments in the comic’s life. Review Tuesday.

There’s some overlap in Kiss Me, Nate! by Judy Bagshaw: the plight of the high school English teacher, the plight of the amateur community theater, the plight of the single woman who isn’t in her twenties, is tall, and also fat. All these plights might make you think Bagshaw’s novella is depressing, but it’s a fun, fast read. Review Thursday.

BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE

Owned Books on TBR at Beginning of Year: 242
Owned Books on TBR Today: 210

21 comments

  1. Oh, we have those same Images of America books here but not called that (Kings Heath in Pictures etc I think they’re called), the exact same design, though. I love your description of that sign but that’s certainly a challenging situation. I’m enjoying learning more about your learning. I have a friend who teaches Makaton but that has a simplified image system, too, not sure if that makes it easier or harder to learn and teach.

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    • Those Images of America books are all over the place, from bigger cities like Detroit to tiny hometown city histories. I wonder if the press does so well because they are instantly recognizable and so many people want to see their own histories gathered in print. I wonder who the authors all are. Surely people who have spent ages in the local history collections of their public libraries.

      I still haven’t figured out what the almost-face hugger sign is! I’ll learn today when I get to class.

      I looked at Makaton, and it looks like it has a special use for those who are having trouble communicating due to injury or disability. I’m so glad such a system exists!

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  2. I’m glad you found a conclusion to your work problem that makes sense for you. I have always felt awkward and guilty when quitting jobs – I once quit while my boss was on vacation (though I didn’t know she was away until I came to work that day planning to quit!). Hope you get that muffin and can have a civil relationship with the place!

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      • It was pretty indicative of the issues I had with the job, namely that there was zero communication and my actual role was not made clear to me. I’d also gotten another job with better hours so I could move on without worrying about a reference but it felt super awkward at the time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure any muffin could get me to come back to place I quit, only because my paranoia would be about poison muffins no matter how nice they were about me quitting. But, that’s why you’re braver than me lol. (To be fair, I have paranoia about all types of food things. Mostly you’ll never catch me being slightly rude to restaurant employees, they are most definitely going to spit in it otherwise.) I am thrilled that you quit though. It did not sound like fun and focusing on school will take some pressure off of you. 🙂

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    • It sounds to me like you’ve seen Waiting a few times, lol. My grandpa was so paranoid about food even at family events that he would get there an hour plus early so he could always be first in line. I think he was a big ol’ germaphobe, but wouldn’t admit it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never thought about what happens if you don’t recognize something that is signed. Huh…that is a challenge. I’m glad you made a decision about the bakery and acted on it so quickly. And those September muffins do sound very yummy. 😋

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    • Students can either ask the teacher to fingerspell the sign we don’t know, or you keep paying attention for context, which is typically what I do. Because I didn’t take ASL 1 and 2 at the college like almost all my classmates did, I don’t know what they’ve already learned vs. what they’re guessing at, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you’ve decided on a course of action about your job – I hope you get into a new rhythm soon! Those September muffins sound delicious – this past weekend I made an apple cake, because it’s getting to that autumnal time of year.

    I’m with Karissa, I always feel guilty when quitting a job no matter how good my reason. At my last job, the only reason I left was because they made me redundant from a job I loved to force me into one I didn’t want – and even then I felt guilty about handing in my notice! It was worth it in the long run though.

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    • Yeesh, I know some places will make a person redundant in an effort to get them to quit on their own instead of having to fire them. You’ve been in the nursing/teaching job for a while now, yes? I hope you’re still enjoying it, even though COVID has made you shift in your teaching. I remember you wrote in a review that when a teacher begins to lose patience with students, it’s time to step back. That’s the point I reached when I was teaching.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess I’m another from around the world who put in his two bob’s worth. I hope we all gave you the right advice. I hate applying for jobs far more than I dislike giving notice. Luckily most truckie jobs involve walking into firms where you’d like to work rather than responding to ads and filling out forms.
    I’m glad you’re getting stuck into being a student, that’s the big thing, to take advantage of the opportunity to give it all your attention (well, except for the attention you give us).

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    • Millie was certainly rather convincing, so I thank her. Applying for jobs has been odd. You find an add that may or may not be out of date or the position is already filled, you have to go on a website and create an account just to fill out an application, and at some point they’re going to have you upload a resume, which contains the exact same information they just had you filling in on the website. Inevitably, there will be a bug on the website, so you’ll lose all your work and have to start over. Now that there’s a huge worker’s movement in the U.S., I’m hoping a lot of that nonsense goes out the door.

      I do specifically set aside time on my calendar to look at blog comments and posts. That way, I don’t feel like I’m neglecting things while also checking the site constantly at random times.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good on you for resigning from that job. It was a good experiment but you have to know when an experiment has failed and stop it. I’m not sure whether I like that will-to-work policy but I’m glad it worked in your favour.

    I can see how a reverse dictionary for signs would be difficult. You can’t organise signs alphabetically, for a start, and they are, really, 3D and usually moving not static, so … I so hope your classmate can help you.

    That Mothers and daughters sounds interesting. I like that you called it the “epitome of Midwestern short stories” while the front cover calls it “a master of rural America’s postindustrial landscape”. They conjure up quite different things for me, both of them intriguing.

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    • A number of Midwestern cities are post-industrial, especially places like Detroit. However, Campbell lives in Kalamazoo, MI, which is not industrial (it’s a liberal college town with lots of locally-grown, hand-made, etc. aesthetics). In fact, all of her stories feel rather absent of anything industrial. Mentions of an old truck or tractor, but nothing like I would picture “industrial.” Perhaps the quote was about one of her previous short story collections.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well I completely understand your decision to resign from the bakery. It sounded like a nice idea at first, but starting a life as a student again, learning a completely new language is all very overwhelming, so good to take it slow 🙂

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