Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FEED THE FELINE



Please feed the kitty, literally and figuratively, $1 for every time that you view this blog. If the entertainment value is more, please pitch in a bit more. Your time and consideration of this request is greatly appreciated.http://www.gofundme.com/Ima-B-Musing?utm_medium=wdgt THANK YOU!


i work but it does not pay my meager bills (I am very frugal) and the cats refuse to work. Thank you ever so much!!

Support This Writer!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, December 14, 2014

MINNESOTA VISUAL ARTS AWARDS – PROCESS

The Minnesota Visual Arts Awards, which could also be called The Minnesota Fine Art Awards or something completely different, is an idea that has been brewing in my mind for a while. I noticed that every other genre of art: dance, literary- book, music, and theatre have award shows but what about the visual or fine arts? Equity is needed.

I asked around and finally decided to get the proverbial “ball rolling.” Thus, we have a creative-storming session planned for Saturday, January 31st, 2015. It is only a discussion session with the goal of forming a planning committee. The planning committee will then work towards drafting a charter with a mission statement and establishing a Board of Directors. The Board will then need to officially file the charter to procure 501(c)3 nonprofit status. They also need to finalize categories, selection criteria, and funding with a fiscal agent to hold the money until it is needed. I do not plan to be a part of the Board; I just want to get the planning committee started on their journey.

Possible Mission Statement:
In an effort to recognize Minnesota’s top visual artists for their achievements in the field, and to expand, promote, and document Minnesota’s role as a leading fine arts destination.

Potential Categories include but are not limited to:
Digital-New Media
2-Dimension
3-Dimension
Traditional
Service to the Arts (individual and nonprofit categories)
Emerging Visual Artist (under two years selling artwork)
Lifetime Achievement (20+ years)
Visual Art Teacher (K-12, college, and community)
Collector/Patron

Prospective Criteria include but are not limited to:
Must be a resident of Minnesota; at least 51% of the time
?? to be defined

Goal: Host first awards ceremony in 2016.

If you are interested, please join our session in January. Please use Evite to RSVP (event is free) http://www.evite.com/event/03D8PM5VZDG23QP7EEPEP7M4JMNAFMwww.evite.com/event/03D8PM5VZDG23QP7EEPEP7M4JMNAFM">

We seek statewide involvement from artists and arts advocates with a diverse and inclusive planning committee nee Board of Directors. Technology will assist with connecting to people with Internet capabilities but it will require thoughtful consideration to make sure that the planning and awards are truly representational of ALL of Minnesota.
Visual Arts Awards!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MINNESOTA VISUAL ARTS AWARDS - IDEA


First creative-storming meeting of people interested in establishing a formal Minnesota Visual Arts Awards ceremony. Please use Evite to RSVP (event is free) http://www.evite.com/event/03D8PM5VZDG23QP7EEPEP7M4JMNAFM

We will discuss possible mission, categories, choose some members of the initial planning committee, and consider donors. Goal is to host first awards in 2016.

Roseville Library
Community Program Room
Saturday, January 31, 2015
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Needed: 1) Technology-minded person to help arrange for Skype session, et al; and, 2) Seed money for incidental expenses like photocopies and Dunn Bro treats? (see below). Please contact the Facebook group Art Mob Twin Cities MN administrator ASAP. Thanks!!

NOTE: No outside food or drink is permitted, must buy from Dunn Bros on site. If you would like to procure treats for the attendees, contact the Art Mob Twin Cities MN administrator to coordinate. (Art Mob Twin Cities MN aka Ima (moi) has no funds for refreshments.)

Please invite all interested persons, we seek statewide representation geographically and be inclusive of all forms of diversity. Artists and arts advocates welcome!

I don't plan to lead the group, just start the discussion.

Art On!
(c) 2014 Ima B. Musing; all rights reserved.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, NO-NO ISSUE

Pig’s Foot by Carlos Acosta
Focused on the sexual exploits of racist, sexist, and the entire field of negative –ism available with little character clarity. [Translated]

The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Anderson
Faux historical novel needed a genealogical chart since it was difficult to determine who was who, especially when titles were involved. There were no sympathetic characters.

Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt
Focused on the antics of Greeks on campus. Not enough development of the characters internal life. I lost interest after a couple chapters.

Dangerously Bound by Eden Bradley
Tie them up, tie them down, lack of character development abounds!

Hollywood in Heels by Charity Gaye Finnestad
Some great bits marred by an inconsistent memoir lacking timeframe references. Personal worth defined by sex and alcohol consumption with very little self-disclosure.

Our Picnics in the Sun by Morag Joss
Story ruined by the prologue “article.” Narrative leaps around without clarification. There is some delightful prose muddled by the mundane.

The Sixteenth of June by Maya Lang
Hints of brilliance overwhelmed by meandering storyline. Author hints that this book is emulating another author’s style, which is never recommended.

Thornlost by Melanie Rawn
Author assumed that the reader had read the previous novels and did not provide enough back-story for the first-time reader. Needed map and terminology glossary, though the list of characters helpful. Continuation of a series.

Just say no...
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 10

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld Four Worms
Haunting examination of prison inmates, their victims, and how inmates are victimized. Powerful images, bittersweet, and painful descriptions. Could have used a bit more fleshing out of a few characters, but the novel is well written.

Rescue Mode by Ben Bova & Les Johnson Three and a Half Worms
Fabulous technological explanations of the perils of space travel. Good descriptions of the political process there involved. Lacked diversity of the characters in authority positions. Could have used more back-story regarding the characters before they started their journey. Ending was rather abrupt.

Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey Three and a Half Worms
Continuation of a series. Beautifully written with the exception of the existentialism of interlude. A few logic problems but mostly solid science fiction.

Time of the Locust by Morowa Yejide Three and a Half Worms
Intimate examination of the mind, poetic imagery of a difficult story. Leaps through time and sometimes it is difficult to determine which character is being scrutinized. On the verge of a fantastic book.

Cementville by Paulette Livers Three Worms
Pearls and gems mixed in with the cement. Should of focused on two characters instead of a plethora. Final chapters were hurried.

The Anatomy Lesson by Nina Siegal Two and Half Worms
Could have been a terrific book. However, the narrative jumped around from character to character without indicating who was speaking. Time discombobulated, pun intended, it would have worked better weaving the story chronologically with a few flashbacks.

Add a book to every gift.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 9

The Bees by Laline Paull Four Worms
Join the hive in the brilliant delving into the soul of an abnormal bee. Lovely visual descriptions that included physical cues, sound, smell and taste. It would be a wonderful animated movie.

The Abduction by Jonathan Holt Three and a Half Worms
Constructed very thoughtfully with good atmospheric descriptions. Heavily biased political views and graphic violence sullied the content. Continuation of a serial tale. The author used archetypal negative stereotypes of women instead of recognizing that all people hover in-between many roles.

We Are Here by Michael Marshall Three and a Half Worms
Connections are extraordinarily vague and confusing to interpret. The writing is good but the story is muddled by ambiguity. Author should also write a tone on philosophy, there are myriad intelligent insights.

While Beauty Slept by Elizabeth Blackwell Three worms
Realistic spin on a classic fairy-tale. Well done except the storyline is nearly ruined by foreshadowing. A bit repetitive, too.

The Chronicle of Secret Riven by Ronlyn Domingue Two and a Half Worms
Labyrinth of clues regarding a dreamy character. Too convoluted to follow and repetitious. The Appendix story was actually more interesting. Book is part of a series.

PS Cash Mob Twin Cities' Facebook group has been dissolved. Please join Art Mob Twin Cities MN instead. Thanks.

Buzz on a book.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

FEED YOUR LOCAL ARTIST


Support local visual artists (independent business owners) by attending free art crawls/fairs, and open building/studio/gallery events in the Twin Cities MN area (St. Paul, Minneapolis, & surrounding communities). Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase at least one piece of artwork at each event. BUY LOCAL ART and build the community's creative capital!

Join the Facebook group: www.facebook.com/artmobtwincitiesmn

Art Mob Twin Cities MN Event Requirements:
* The Twin Cities area will be defined as Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties,
* The artist must reside within the Twin Cities area,
* The event must occur within the Twin Cities area,
* The event must be free and open to the public, and
* Artwork (at least 50% by Twin Cities living artists) must be FOR SALE at the event, focused on visual arts.
* Art Mob Twin Cities MN will post events, not host events.
* Two week or more advance notice is required for posting the event. (NOTE: Include website, location, hours, and duration of the exhibit or events.)
* Individual artists, fundraisers, and non-art related businesses will not be promoted (see below), sorry.

This group will focus on the visual arts. "Visual arts" are defined as a two or three-dimensional object which can be physically transported. Medium (glass, wood, fiber, paint, et al) can incorporate sculpture, painting, weaving, carving, arts-n-crafts, large, small, and everything in-between. Artists may combine mediums and media.

Events may include art crawls, art fairs, openings, gallery activities, and any soiree where locally created artwork is for sale. We will not post closings, sorry. If you would like to post an event, send the page a MESSAGE via the Facebook group AT LEAST TWO WEEKS before the gathering. It is acceptable for a gallery/studio to host a visiting artist, but the visiting artist must be a resident within the Twin Cities area.

Non-arts related businesses will be excluded with the exception of a special art show, we will post the opening as long as the local artist's work is for sale. Otherwise, 50% or more of the merchandise for sale must be by local artists. Unfortunately, all fund-raising events for charities, individuals, and other activities will be excluded because, though worthy, they do not match our goal.

This group was created out of frustration. I was seeking a calendar of visual arts events in the Twin Cities. Many such calendars exist for other art forms but nothing comprehensive for the two and three-dimensional forms, thus Art Mob Twin Cities MN was formed. More and more artists are listing their events and our numbers are growing! We want artists to be able to have at least a middle-class life on their artwork. Plus, it would be nice to have a Minnesota Visual Arts Awards Show, perhaps call it the Visi to recognize the achievements of artists. There are award shows for other forms of art such as books, music, performance so why not Visual Arts??? I am coordinating this group as a volunteer, my civic duty, and I am not online every single day. My telephone is dumb (it doesn’t even text). Plus, I have to work and sustain existence so the page is only updated when I have the time.

NOTE: We are not able to advertise individual artists unless they are sponsoring a special event where artwork will be for sale. If they are participating in a posted larger event (such as an art crawl or open studios at a building), they should add a note on the actual event notification.

BUY LOCAL ART!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, July 28, 2014

SUMMER JOB

Bored to tears
Its lax time that I fear
Nothing to see, say, do
I feel like a fool
At least I’m being paid
Not enough though, I’m afraid.

Yawn!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TRAIN DERAILMENT TIPS


There is a growing concern about trains and the potentially dangerous cargo that they carry. As train traffic increases, so does the risk. Not every train carries dangerous cargo, but it is better to err on the side of caution to ensure your safety. This article is a brief overview of what to do and not to do should this disaster occur (or if there is an accident with a truck carrying dangerous freight). The information is based upon what I have learned from professional emergency managers, but they are the expert and should always be consulted for specifics.

WHAT TO DO WHEN A TRAIN DERAILS
First, BE PREPARED. Prepare yourself, family, and pets for disaster. Create a disaster kit for your home, another for your auto, and a third for your office. Be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice (include the pets). Your life may depend upon it. Information at www.ready.gov or www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family

Second, sign up for your local Homeland Security or Emergency Management office to receive an email, phone-call, or text message for EMERGENCY ALERTS. Just search online for the information. They will notify you whenever an emergency occurs and provide some information of what to do. It is also wise to procure, program, and keep on 24/7 a weather alert radio. It will also sound during emergencies. One option is www.emergencyemail.org

Third, DO NOT go to photo, film, take a selfie or gawk at the derailment. You do not know what hazards may be aboard. Not all chemical leaks smell or have visual fumes. The blast zone is considered to be a minimum of six blocks but could be as far as a mile. Just stay away.

Fourth, if the train derails be on the safe side and practice the RULE OF UP. Travel UP-wind, UP-hill, UP-stream of the disaster site. Gather the pets, humans, and depart immediately. Travel at least one mile away to be safe. Follow the instructions of the first responders (law enforcement, fire fighters, ambulance). However, if it is early in the response, they may be accessing the situation. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. If anything, it is a good drill to practice evacuation.

Note: The only exception for evacuation are some types of chemical spills/leaks. The first responders may request that you stay at home and move everyone to the top floor or close windows/doors until the chemical disperses. Every situation is unique so listen to the first responders, they are specifically trained in this matter.

Finally, BE INFORMED. FEMA and Department of Homeland Security have a lot of information available. You can research and learn a lot from their sites and participate in free on-line training. Your local Emergency Management office or Red Cross may be able to come to your location and teach a class, just contact them for details. www.fema.gov or www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/prepare-my-family-disaster

Be a survivor, not a statistic.
Stay safe!
Copyright 2014 Ima B. Musing (c) All rights reserved.


Friday, July 18, 2014

BLAST ZONE ZOMBIES


Every day the oil industry sends millions of gallons of highly flammable crude oil through cities and towns across North America. Our rail system was never built for this dangerous cargo.

It’s time to take action! Sign the petition: Tell the President and Congress to stop the threat of oil train disasters today! Thank you to Oil Train Blast Zone for compiling this information. http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/

PETITION (from Oil Train Blast Zone)
To: US President Obama and Congress

It seems each month another town is facing a terrifying oil train derailment, poisoned drinking water, or a deadly explosion. Our rail system takes these trains through population centers by schools and homes. Safety standards are weak and our emergency responders are not equipped for accidents.

We are not prepared for this threat:

Oil trains are more than a mile-long with 100+ cars, concentrating the risk of an accident that could ignite the three million gallons of crude on a single train.
Oil train traffic has increased more than 4,000 percent in the last five years.
Rail routes run right through major urban areas and cross water supplies. The US rail system was not designed to transport dangerous crude oil.
Dangerous DOT-111 cars, which make up the majority of US oil tanker trains, have serious flaws that make them highly prone to puncture during a derailment.

We have the solution:

The first step: Ban unsafe oil tanker cars.
We must prepare and equip emergency responders and reroute trains around population centers and away from water supplies.
New rail safety rules must be strong and must give citizens the information they need to protect themselves and the power to say no.

We do not need the extreme oil transported by these trains. The crude oil carried by train is more explosive and more toxic than conventional crude oil; it is also more carbon intensive. At a time when our oil use is decreasing and the threat of climate disruption is growing, the risk from oil trains is unacceptable.

END OF PETITION

Please go to their website to sign.
Thanks, Ima
Copyright 2014 (c) Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

SLATHER IT ON

Booty ogling
Too tight speedos
Too small bikinis
Hot summer’s day
Fools go to the pool to display.

Mmmm, Butter o'Tan
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

TOO DANG THIN

I am so exhausted. I don’t have the time or energy to volunteer anywhere now. I have to be selfish to survive. I can’t focus externally because my internal is too tense and I am the proverbial “stretched too thin.” I have to work two jobs, care for two cats, and maintain a home. I have too much fear. Fear that if I share anything else, I will cease to function.

I felt terrible informing my volunteer position(s) supervisors that I have to take a hiatus. Thankfully, they understand. I feel rather sad, though, because I wanted to help during the summer floods and presidential visit. I am compelled to aid others but I am the one needing assistance now. I am desperate for a better paying job. I have been in this terrible situation for five long years and several months. I am so over it. I wasn’t materialistic before so I don’t know why I have had to endure this experience.

Due to my lack of time and mental fuel, I have been blogging less. I don’t know if I should persist. If you think that I should continue, please leave a comment. More importantly, urge your friends, family, and others to become regular readers. Without an audience, this blog is worthless.

Thanks for reading!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

TREAT TRAMP

Fuzzy vulture
Circles around
Big soft eyes
Minor tilt of the head
Subtle sigh
“For me?” she inquires
Alas, I succumb to her desire.

Silly kitty!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA


President Obama is currently visiting Minnesota to talk with "real people." I had originally posted this blog on January 3rd, 2013. Alas, the White House did not contact me. He has made some progress on these issues, which is good. Alas, I am still in "poverty" due to a job with low-pay.

*****ORIGINAL POST*****

January 3, 2013
Dear President Obama,
Congratulations on the beginning of your second term and impressive inauguration speech. I trust that you will lead the United States into become a more equitable place for women, same-sex couples, and all people of diversity. We are only as strong as the weakest amongst us so please do not cut education or support for those in poverty.

I fear that the Beltway Mentality will stymie your efforts. Many occupants of the Beltway consider themselves to be superior to other American citizens. This superiority complex is a form of narcissism and we all know what happened to Narcissus. I strongly urge you to fill open jobs with experts who are not connected with the Beltway of Washington, D.C. Bring in fresh realistic ideas to the Capitol and perhaps it will help to loosen the Congressional constipation.

As a person with Native American heritage, I sincerely hope that you will pay attention to Indian Country; many of my relatives continue to suffer from the American Holocaust. Best wishes with your endeavors. If you’d like to chat, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Ima B. Musing
Concerned Citizen

PS I'm extremely happy that women will be gaining equal status in the military with full combat duties. As the military goes, so goes our culture since veterans hold many positions of authority in the civilian world. Thank you!!!

*****END*****

Best wishes!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 8

Perhaps this could be the “gap-ola” issue…

Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman Three and a Half Worms
Frank study of a wounded warrior who returns home. Jumping though time needed more clarification and the story could have been fleshed out deeper.

And The Hills Opened Up by David Oppegaard Three Worms
Western horror story, be prepared for casualties. Story seemed more like a movie sketch; it really needed more character development and situational analysis. Map would have been helpful, too.

Marshlands by Mathew Olshan Three Worms
Intriguing beginning of the book muddied by missing details. Time leaps were confusing; perhaps a different order would of worked better.

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb Three Worms
Fairly well written mystery but has some gaps. Nice visual details of landscape. Needed a better-detailed map of the house and grounds.

Palmerino by Melissa Prichard Two and Half Worms
Pretentious and insufferable main character is mixed in with ghost memoir and writers process. Could have been great with more clarity and polished thoughts.

Fill the fact chasm!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Friday, June 20, 2014

SUNNY SNOW

Sunny summer snowstorm
The cottonwood seeds swirl
Spinning towards a new home
Hopes of taking root
Rising on their own
To create a future twirling squall.

Ah, summer!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Monday, June 16, 2014

UNION DAY

Pat's breath is like a torch to Chris' tinder
Hormones mingle with their sweat
As they stand side by side
Waiting for the ceremony to be over
So they can tangle for eternity
And ignite many flames.

Best wishes to my dear friends who are able to finally able to tie the proverbial knot 24 years after declaring their love for each other. Marriage equity for all!!

NOTE: This poem could apply to any combination of gender…
Painting by Alison Price alisonpricestudios.com

Heat it up.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 7

Mediocre lot...

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison Two and a Half Worms
Glossary helpful but needed a genealogy charts and map. Irritating when characters used multiple variations of their name. Bewildering plot line, though it is appropriate for the main character of the book. Plotline augmentation needed to care about their fate. Reminiscent of ancient China, Mongolia, and Nepal.

Real Happy Family by Caeli Wolfson Widger Two and a Half Worms
Females all obsessed with weight and appearance. Male characters not expanded enough. Bones of a good book but second half seem hurried and the ending too tidy.

The Poacher’s Daughter by Michael Zimmer Two and Half Worms
Astonishing mortality rate for the characters and the pace of travel would have killed the horses. Needed a map, glossary, and more character development. Good tale but could have been better.

A Star in the Face of the Sky by David Haynes Two Worms
Beleaguered with inconsistent narrative, flash-backs, and convoluted thought exploration a compelling story is lost. Serious editing is needed to eradicate unnecessary verbiage and clarify the story. Flash-forwards ruined the tale.

Even in Darkness by Lynn Hightower Two Worms
Underdeveloped story requires more fleshing out and clarification. Genesis of a good thriller but sadly lacking the details.
Seeking better stories!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

CARPARK PERSECUTION

The metal vultures circle
Stalking their prey
I feel the heat of their engines
The whir of the AC and muted thump of base
They strive to make eye contact
I shake my head no
And hurry zigzagging to my car
If they smile, I may allow them to slip
Into my perfect parking spot.

Walk, dang it!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ORIENTING THE HELP

Personal assistants can be useful, if you train them correctly. It is a lot easier to instruct them when you are young because they easily charmed. Practice looking adorable and fall asleep near them. Make certain that they are constantly repeating the phrase, “How cute” and “I love you.” Most assistants are not bright enough to understand the nuances of our language, it takes a lot of patience to teach them the most basic of commands.

Reward the patron-servant by permitting them to gaze upon your beauty. Tease them by rubbing against their leg and dashing away. If they are especially well behaved, you can consent for them to touch you briefly. It is not advised to allow them to rub your tummy too frequently because they will become emotional when you withhold affection. Mimic the “I am frightened” fledgling cry to get their attention and compensate them with a purr or chin rub when they respond appropriately. Tutor them on proper treat distribution, they are your proverbial "sugar" servant who must provide for your every need.

Ignore the helper at least once per day. Purr only when happy. Overuse of purrs can lead to the aide not fully appreciating your honored presence. Never, never use claws or bite, their skin is very delicate and breaks easily. You don’t want to have to pay for a visit to their veterinarian. It is difficult to procure good help these days. The mostly hair-less have the attention span of a gnat. Thus, you must be self-sufficient unless you are blessed with an unusually attentive attendant. Stay tidy, keep the food and water area immaculate because the stinky ones don’t like crumbs. Groom constantly since these creatures forget that they are supposed to brush you on an hourly basis. Remember, their vision, hearing, taste, and smell are limited.

Only vomit hairballs on the linoleum or cement because bipeds are fond of their carpet due to hairless feet. Use the litter box; attempts to punish the bad employee by defecating or urinating in their bed or elsewhere will only lead to petty retribution. Maintain nail health by only scratching on the posts provided by the subordinate. Destruction of property tends to upset the harmony of the house. However, it is funny to purposefully knock down items while the assistant looks on in horror.

When an underling is in a bad mood, stay away. They may lash out inappropriately. Minions occasionally make odd noises and leak water, offer them a modicum of affection. They will sometimes hug too tightly but it seems to make them feel better. Stalking and killing vermin such as mice and spiders will often lead to goodies. Remember, as a feline you are a higher being and humans are merely servants. Treat them as such.

Affectionately,
Tilly
Trainer of Ima

PS If you have properly oriented the assistant, they will cry when you are ill and cough up a large chunk of money to pay for outrageously high medical bills. Mine did and I now feel great but she is worried about paying the mortgage. Please contribute to this blog. Thanks!!

Furballs unite.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, May 31, 2014

WISDOM OF THE KITTY

Sleep a lot
Eat when hungry
Drink when thirsty
Always use the litter box
Stay clean, constantly
Play every day
Purr when happy
Shed like you don’t care
Look adorable for your human pet
Don’t worry, take a nap instead.

Ya-ah-wa-n!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 6

Autobiography, biography/memoir focus:

This is How You Say Goodbye by Victoria Loustalot Three Worms
Memoir begins strongly but slowly unravels into choppy thoughts. Odd that only one person’s full name was used in the entire book, besides the author. There are some good sections and beautiful descriptions during personal exploration. I cried when I read, [sic] “in his mind he had been dead a long time. He was just waiting for his heart to catch up.” Page 111.

The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo by Kent Nurburn Three Worms
Fairly sensitive memoir about a caucasian man’s relationship with Native Americans. Sadly, some segments were patronizing. Good explanation regarding the horrors of Indian boarding schools and the residual PTSD in Indigenous First Nation communities.

Prison Baby by Deborah Jiang Stein Two and a Half Worms
A lot of excellent writing which then fades into obscurity. Lacked continuity of the timeline and more recent details. No exploration of her father or father of her children. It would have been nice if she included some of her poetry.

Birdseye by Mark Kurlansky Two and a Half Worms
Sparse biography with too much foreshadowing. Better explanation of his inventions in lay-person terms needed with more detail of how their design affects current society. Native people climbed the mountains long before Europeans arrived on the continent. The bibliography and index shows how intensely the research was conducted.

Perhaps I ought to stay with fiction.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

MILLION BUCKS

I am blessed and fortunate for what I have. I am grateful, though I am not sure if I believe in the existence of a supposed “higher” power(s). I know that my situation could be worse, much worse. If I had a million dollars, well, $100K I would use the funds in the order stated below.

First Priorities:
Pay off Tilly’s medical bill
Pay off my medical bill
Donate to charities, food-shelf and heat-share (which I depend upon now)
Auto, tune-up and 4 new tires
Washing machine procurement
Dehumidifier purchase, due to a wet basement
Fix front walkway (which is a hazard)
Repair shower
Replace rotting garage boards and paint whole garage
Throw a thank you party for my supportive friends

Second Priorities:
Donate to more charities, Garden Hub and my faith community
Buy gifts for my friends
Start college funds for my friend’s children and grand-nieces/nephews
Rebuild my savings and emergency funds
Save for retirement
Pay extra on mortgage
Procure new stove and overhead fan
New clothes and shoes
Travel to visit friends, and grand-nieces/nephews (which I’ve never met)

Third Priorities:
Donate to more charities, any which have helped me during the past five years or focus upon single childless adults
Go to theatre and musical performances
Repair interior of house, install a french drain in basement, fix plumbing and electrical
Exterior house repairs
Procure an electric cat litter box
Build a raised garden bed
Fix my old bicycle or get a new one
Procure a treadmill with slow walking mode for home
Install permanent crowns on my front teeth
Go on a real vacation, without visiting anyone
Relax and enjoy life

Be grateful everyday.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, May 19, 2014

VIRTUAL IDIOTS

A lot of existence has moved into the “virtual” realm these days. People can do so very much via their smarty-pants device or computer but they still need food, water, clothing, and shelter at minimum. There will always be physical needs but more and more people don’t want to deal with it. A growing number of priviledged people want to remain dependent with a pejorative “serve me” attitude.

It is sad to prefer to spend their time in front of a screen instead of interacting with flesh-n-blood humans. They don’t want to own any objects or invest in relationships. They can order what they want and have it delivered. They are choosing to be a demanding child and not be self-sufficient. This social stratification permits the financially secure to become more self-absorbed and forces the service-workers, like myself, to be trapped by lack of opportunity and suppressed wages.

Stratification always lead to angry uneducated surfs that eventually revolt against the 1% or the wealthy privileged few. The United States of America and several other industrialized countries are showing signs of this divisional weakness; remember the Occupy Wall Street efforts? Since revolt has occurred before, why would the uber-wealthy want this to happen? They could stop the oligarchy from tearing apart our fragile democracy by insisting that all workers are paid a working wage, and that CEOs are not paid an outrageous amount of money. They could give up a little bit of their already enormous wealth instead of turning their heirs into permanent toddlers. “Only 9% of Americans give high ratings to the honesty and ethical standards of CEOs of major companies, according to a 2013 survey [sic] by the Public Affairs Council” (10 Things CEOs Won’t Tell You article by Quentin Fottrell, Wall Street Journal).

The Great Recession, aka 21st Century Depression, isn’t an excuse that can be used to punish employees. Wages for the workers have not increased with the cost of living so more people are more reliant upon food-shelves and other charities. Per my own example, I have struggled with unemployment and underemployment for five years. Sixty grueling months have taken their toll. I am nearly broke and worried about bankruptcy and losing my home. I have an education and experience but can’t land a job that pays enough for my meager bills. Thank goodness, I know how to be frugal or I would have been foreclosed upon long ago.

Being poor causes stress. Fear for the present and future makes it difficult to make wise choices. I suffer increased anxiety, which makes me want to eat to be calm. I don’t sleep very peacefully, my body is in pain a lot, and I am emotionally vulnerable. I am sick and tired of being poor. I don’t need a million dollars, just a job that I am good at with a boss who leaves me alone, nice co-workers, my own office with a door, benefits, and at least 35K per year. However, I do appreciate the kindness of others. I would be honored by your gift at www.gofundme.com/Ima-B-Musing Thank you for your contribution!

Kind thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, May 16, 2014

CURIOUS CONTRARIAN

“The more things change, the more they remain the same,” was a favorite quote that I learned in high school. I so much wanted to be in a clique but I never fit in:
Not groovy enough to be a flowerchild,
Not perky enough to be preppy,
Not harsh enough to be punk,
Not fashionable enough to be new wave,
Not messy enough to be grunge,
Not relaxed enough to be new age,
Not moody enough to be goth, and
Not clever enough to be geeky.

During college I did slightly strive to be trendy. My best friend would drag me to thrift stores and update hand-me-downs from my mom. We would dress up to dance at First Avenue and actually looked okay. He cared about it more than me, though. I neither had the time nor money to be hip and cool. I decided to concentrate on my studies. As a result, I have a Master degree and look rather drab. I presume that he is still fashionable but we lost touch years ago.

My only foray into trend setting was a trip to Los Angeles, California in the mid-1990s. I opted to wear plain-glass 1950s black rimmed spectacles whenever we went out in public. At that time, contacts were finally affordable to the masses so no one would wear eyeglasses. People in LA would literally stare at me and one guy gasped in horror, “Why are you wearing glasses?” and I sharply replied, “Why not?” He laughed and bought me a drink.

I was purposefully contrary and still act that way on occasion. I prefer to be a square peg, though it would be nice to be accepted as such. People should at least tolerate others for whatever fashion they choose. As long as the clothes are clean and not too revealing, it doesn’t matter. I have to admit that some trends are just plain ugly so I am quite happy not to participate. I just don’t care. I have other concerns and absolutely no money to pour into short-term items.

Sadly, trends are rarely organic these days. Corporate interests aiming for a profit artificially create most cultural inclinations these days. Originality suffers as a result. It is sad when a person has to suspect all communications for deriving from a conglomerate. However, you don’t have worry about that with this blog!!

Where’s my pet rock?
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TOO MUCH LOVE

Is obsession
It is about possession
The object you desire
Sets your heart on fire
You will not diminish your yen
Until the restraining order is in hand.

Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

MADE OF THIS

Mum visited me in a dream on March 1st. I asked her if she was okay and she said yes. She said that she was 64 again, happy and healthy. When she was alive she would always try to make the other person feel better, even at her own personal cost. If she were unhappy, she would not of told me so that I would not worry. A very troubling dream. I still hope that she is blissful in the next realm, if there is one. Happy Mum’s Day!! I miss her so terribly much.

My grandniece who is three years old was playing and talking loudly, which is not common for her. My niece walked in and asked, “Who were you talking to?” my little niece answered, “Great-grandma.” It is quite possible that my Mum visits wee Amy. Sibling #2 is Amy’s grandma and my sister has a very strong extra perception. Amy’s mom has it too, but it isn’t as strong – or at least she hasn’t told me that it is.

Mum showed up on April 5th, too. My grandmother was trying to convince me to give my television to an acquaintance, Cole, in a dream. Cole is going to graduate school in another state but plans to move back to Minnesota this summer. He and I are friendly but there has never been any hint of romance. I explained to Grandma Daisy that Cole probably already had a tv which was newer than my 20 year old model. Mom just stood there looking nervous. Grandma was adamant. I woke up wondering what they were trying to tell me. I had seen a photo of Cole earlier in the week but he and I rarely communicate. Odd, just plain odd.

I pay attention to specific dreams. I don’t know if they can be accurately interpreted but they are perplexing at times. Most nocturnal visions are quickly forgotten. Sometimes they can be rather erotic, involving the musk of a male. I am just happy to sleep. I am fortunate to procure four to six hours of slumber at night. I toss and turn relentlessly and have to make at least one jaunt to the restroom, usually around 3:30am. Being vexed by a dream only disturbs my sleep.

Sweet Reveries!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FRAGRANT CREATIVITY

Light perfume greets visitors entering from the cool spring afternoon. Florists and determined amateurs have interpreted classical and modern visual artists during the annual Art In Bloom (AIB) show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Happy chatter fills the atrium, as people are relieved to be out of the rain and persistent gray skies to pretend that spring has actually arrived in the Twin Cities.

I procured complimentary tickets to the Henri Matisse exhibit and was fortunate to attend during AIB. Many of the floral displays were stunning and either replicated the artwork with flowers or at least the movement and hue of the inspirational piece. However, some of the displays were very amateurish. It would be amenable if the MIA would hold a workshop for the amateurs to improve their display.

As for the Matisse show, which is visiting from the Baltimore Museum of Art, I was rather disappointed. Many of the pieces seem to be unfinished. Either the body, face, or hue was fabulous but the painting lacked the other two essential elements. He knows how to draw, which was very evident in his early work, but he gets sloppy as his popularity grows.

I tend to walk through each section quickly and then double back to gaze at the pieces that I find intriguing. The gallery was silent as most of the patrons dutifully listened to the audio tour which they rented at the entry point. I liked the Basket of Begonias I and his drawing with paper phase, Perriots Funeral. Matisse’s quotes are interesting. I wish that they were available in postcards.

www.artsmia.org
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, May 4, 2014

SO UNCLEAN

One letter at a time
Slow WPM is sublime
Rows of smudges on a screen
Your smartypants pad is obscene
Cesspad of bacteria, viruses
Fecal matter, yuck!
Wipe it off; it’s nasty to an extreme.

Eww, gross.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

IMA'S BOOKWORM REVIEW: WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT


Writer’s Workshop: Making the Earth Tremble with Juliet S. Kono
Monday, May 19th 7pm - 9pm
Unity Church-Unitarian, 733 Portland Avenue, St Paul, MN
Free and open to the public.
Please RSVP at www.facebook.com/unityunitarian and click on events.

How can writers make the earth tremble? By being ORIGINAL. Originality in poetry is what makes for good writing. Originality (a distinct voice), the force behind your creativity, is what distinguishes you and your work from others. Come and learn how to transform your “feelings into virtues” *. *(From "Teaching Poetry Writing," by Joseph I. Tsujimoto.)

Juliet S. Kono has written two books of poetry, "Hilo Rains" and "Tsunami Years," a collaborative work of linked poems with three other poets called "No Choice But to Follow," a collection of short stories, "Ho’olulu Park and the Pepsodent Smile", and a novel, "Anshu: Dark Sorrow," all published by Bamboo Ridge Press. I have rated Anshu with a rare 4.5 of five worms for Ima's Bookworm Review!

Over the years, she has won several awards: the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, the American Japanese National Literary Award, the Ka Palapala Po’okela Award for Excellence in Literature, and was a recipient of a US/Japan Friendship Commission Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship in 1999. In 2006, she won the Hawai’i Award for Literature. She is also a Shin Buddhist Priest and teaches composition and creative writing at Leeward Community College.

Write an earthquake!
(c) 2014 Copyright Ima B. Musing; all rights reserved.

Monday, April 28, 2014

WHEELS ON FIRE

Attended my first Minnesota Rollergirls match. My neighbor and the sister of an old 4-H buddy both skate. I had been curious for several years. I had been encouraging my neighbor since she started as a debu-taunt and worked her way onto a team. Way back in the proverbial “day”, aka 1970s, my grandfather took me to a match in southern Minnesota. He was an ardent wrestling fan and thought that it might be fun to watch. I wasn’t impressed by the violence and focused on reading my book. He became overwhelmed by the noise and we left at halftime.

This time I met my friend, sibling of the 4-H-alum skater, at a restaurant for supper and then we proceeded to the Season 10 Championships on Saturday, April 19th, 2014. We procured balcony tickets that cost only $15 but had to stand in line for general admission. We sat with some of her friends and cheered on the team. A well-balanced group from the Twin Cities Unicycle Club performed a pregame show. The music was rather loud but I do enjoy deep industrial synth music.

The game between the Dagger Dolls and Rockits began. Thankfully, a synopsis of the rules is in the program and my friend explained the rest. However, it wasn’t always apparent why people were called into time-out. The brightly clad players whizzed around the oval. They have to have great balance, stamina, and competitiveness to be involved in this sport. It was difficult to read the numbers on their vests so I identified the people by the colors of their leggings. Some of the costumes were extremely tight or rather spartan and I was surprised that no one became completely exposed at some point due to the intensity of the 20-minute match.

There were two games, one for third place, and then Atomic Bombshells against the Garda Belts for the championship. Bagpipes preceded the Garda Belts team, which was cool. Each of the other teams featured a mascot of some type and had color-coded flags and uniforms. Halftime consisted of a 30-minute concert by the Beatle’s tribute band, A Hard Day’s Night. They sounded okay but could use some vocal coaching.

After halftime, the second half of the matches occurred. The smell of sweat, popcorn, and beer filled the auditorium. I was rather perplexed by the people who chose to sit on the floor next to the oval. They would have been hurt if a skater fell on top of them. Several of the skaters hit the unforgiving cement floor badly so I’m sure that they got bruised. Flat track derby is assertive skating with a lot of aggression but not the violence of the previous era.

The games were held at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul. The auditorium is much in need of a rehab. The event was very loud and I was glad that I utilized earplugs. One family brought sound reduction headphones for their kids, including an infant. I think it would have been better to get a babysitter because the vibrations were enough to be unnerving. I felt exhausted afterwards. Interestingly, the DJ ended the night with softer tunes including the Blue Danube; perhaps to help calm the crowd and the players.

The Rockits won third place, and the Garda Belts won the championship for the first time. It is a pro-amateur sport. None of the skaters are paid, even for parking. I am surprised that major corporations don’t sponsor pro-am teams, a little bit of cash would mean a lot to “alternative” sports like lacrosse and any female team. I am completely offended when female teams are sexualized. There was a flag-football league that played in bikinis, which is repulsive. Personally, I am rather perplexed that a full-grown female would choose to be referred a girl. Once you start menstruating you are a woman. What full-grown male wants to be called a boy? However, people can self-identify as they choose. Just don’t call me girl!

www.rollergirls.com and www.northstarrollergirls.com I'd like to view a North Star match and compare the bouts.

Roll on!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, April 25, 2014

GET IT ON

Hungry, then horney
Thumping carnival of ovulation
Obsessed with procreation
Fill me with chocolate as a consolation
Before the red parade of menses begins
Again.

Beau wanted!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BLINK OF AN EYE

I am rather embarrassed by the lack of progress made on goals for the winter. I suppose that I fell into light depression due to my mother’s death. My best escape is reading. It focuses my attention and distracts me from sadness or anger. Over six months have passed but I still experience intense sadness and tears. Her birth date, my birthday, and what would have been my parent’s sixtieth wedding anniversary were all difficult days.

I also dealt with a physical illness that stole two months of energy from me. As I have written before, I coughed for about a month. I continued to occasionally hack for two weeks and was tired for another two weeks. The phlegm was milky so I don’t think that it was pneumonia or bronchitis. I have a terrible deductible for the health plan so I didn’t want to add to my already huge debt.

At least Tilly is doing well. She is back to being plump and sassy. You’d never know that she was about to die three months ago. My friend Roopa has started divorce proceedings. Her lawyer sent the papers to her soon-to-be-ex husband’s lawyer but the fool hasn’t filed them yet. This is vexing Roopa. Sadly, she refuses to see a counselor, which I think that both she and the kids could benefit from immensely.

Ted is back in Minnesota. He figured out that he did not have support system in Nevada and that aided to his return to alcoholism. He lost a lot of money during his venture. I have decided to be friendly but not seek friendship with him. He is gratingly pessimistic. Everyone goes through bumps but he is more like a sandpit, he’ll drag me down if I am not careful.

Keep hope alive.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, April 20, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 5

Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye Four Worms
First-rate utilization of period vernacular but made understandable for today’s audience, the glossary was helpful. In-depth exploration of pre-civil war slavery and its affects on free blacks wrapped around a mystery. Surprise twist and humor included. Chilling emotional analysis of Grace on pages 276-277. Needed a map and helter-skelter term became redundant.

V-S Day by Allen Steele Three and a Half Worms
Brilliant examination of an alternative scenario with visceral descriptions. Annoying inconsistent use of first, last, and nickname for the same character, which is highly confusing. Final chapters were not as meticulous as the first three-quarters of the novel.

Gemini by Carol Cassella Three Worms
Story woven though time and characters was occasionally confusing because it did not adequately indicate flashbacks. Ending was too abrupt.

Burn by Julianna Baggott Two and a Half Worms
Final book of a trilogy. Needed more back-story to supplement the continuation of the narrative. Logic errors but the ending was strong.

Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk Two and Half Worms
Discombobulated continuation of a series. Some terrific humor interspersed between drool dialogues.

Get lucky with seven!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SPROUTS UP

The flowers are sleeping
Underneath the snow
The frost locks
Them down below
Strong sunshine will sound the alarm
Thawing soil will be the charm
Stir the roots to soak up rain
The green will rise again.
Smell the chlorophyll!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

TIGGER HOP

Spring has finally sprung after a grueling winter. The birds are merrily tweeting in the tree. They flit from ground to branch building a nest for the eggs that will be deposited soon. Plump squirrels that hibernated through the Polar Vortex are scrounging for food and preparing for the birth of their wee ones.

Sadly, the landscape is still bleak. Odd stuff and trash is revealed by the melting snow. Everything looks brown bland gray and gooey. Mounds of snow persist in the shade. Deep frost is slowing the thaw of the ground. Rain is wonderful but sometimes it puddles on the frozen earth and seeps into my basement.

Stashed away my winter coat and boots only to reluctantly drag them out for the April 3rd snowstorm. Cancelled my Friday plans to spend two hours clearing off the walkways and driveway. My wee but mighty helpful Toro snow-blower vibrated off a bolt, which secures the blower spout. I tried a regular nut to hold it but that rattled off very fast. I had to loop wire around but managed to secure the spout to finish blowing out the terribly heavy snow. I will have to seek the bolts when the snow melts, which started quickly because the sun is so very strong.

I deal in black gold, compost that is. After the compost bins freeze in the fall (generally in late November or early December) I place compostables in old gallon ice cream buckets. I stuff the bucket full and it sits quietly on my porch as tundra. However, as the weather warms so do the microbes. A nasty smell begins to permeate the porch but I cannot deposit the contents until I can scrape a hole in the compost bin. I celebrate the day when I can clear out the buckets and breath freely again.

Seeds were plunged into moist soil starting in January and some have sprouted. The tiny buds of peppers and tomatoes. I plant a few more pots every other week or so with a variety of veggies. I strive to ensure that they don’t’ all ripen at the same time. I had to divide the tomato plants and will have an abundance to share with others, plants in the spring and fruits in the summer. I don’t’ like to consume raw tomatoes but they are welcomed at the food shelf and by my friends who do not have a garden plot.

Look Ma, no coat!!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, April 10, 2014

COPPER STAR-BUGS

Crouched like a spider
Motionless, hidden just beside the rise
Ready to tangle you in a web of flashing red and white
Pulsing red eyes
Screeching wails fill the night
Making people pull over in fright
As you receive the expensive venom of a speeding ticket.
Drive the speed-limit.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Monday, April 7, 2014

HAPPY DAWNING DAY

Babies do not specifically select the date and time of their birth, unless you believe in numerology. They are born when they are ripe and ready, under duress due to a medical condition or else when the parent’s choose a cesarean extraction. I was born on a winter’s day as a result of a lusty summer’s coupling.

My mom always made a big deal out of birthdays. She would have a card and a small gift at breakfast time. Provide warm bread or another treat upon the birthday girl’s arrival home from school and the requisite cake for supper. If the child had acceptable grades and good behavior, we would venture out for a special meal, which was an unusual occurrence. My favorite restaurant was the Lavender Inn in Faribault, MN. It was fancy, smelled great, wonderful food, and contained an art gallery. Granted, most of the artwork was overwrought but I loved looking at the different styles. I was an art critic at an early age.

The past few years have been difficult. Mom had trouble remembering the dates and wasn’t always sure if she had children. Four years ago she stopped being able to cook, three years ago she wasn’t able to send cards, two years ago she had to be prompted who I was to even wish me “Happy Birthday” over the telephone. When I visited near my birthday last year I don’t think that she knew who I was and slept most of the day.

It was especially difficult this year. I had to attend an event for work and keep my emotions in check throughout the day. I had to focus on the job. Every time I thought about her I cried so I shed a lot of tears after work. I volunteered that night at my faith community and was honored by so many people who were concerned and gave me hugs. Again, I heard many stories about people who had “lost” the people who made them. Lost, what an asinine euphemism! I didn’t misplace my mother; she died last fall. She will not be found again on this plane of existence.

A lot of people sent me messages via Facebook. That is nice but I still prefer a physical card. A few people called, which was also nice. The day after my birthday I was surprised at work with a balloon, cake, and flowers from my co-workers. I cried again. They were kinder than I expected. My friends were sweet and took me out for lunch a few days later. They plied me with cute cards and gifts. I began to weep out of gratitude. I am so fortunate to have a support network. I wish that we would communicate and get together more frequently. It is better to have a party than a funeral.

Please reach out to those you hold dear. Meeting them in person is best, but a call is also good. Don’t rely upon social media, texting, or sharing photos as a substitute for a relationship. Humans are social creatures; we need healthy and stable relationships to thrive. Call your Mom and Dad (if you can) today!

Call home.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, April 4, 2014

WEARY OLD ME

Every residual injury shouts with pain, each cell hurts. Aspirin isn’t enough to block the discomfort signals in the brain which also aches. Problem concentrating on… the task at hand. Difficult to conduct an intelligent conversation. My body buzzes, not with the hyper hum of adrenalin but the negative frenzy of fatigue.

After almost two weeks of non-stop work and other responsibilities I am too tired to sleep. Overly sensitive to light, noise, smell, and vibrations. Eating constantly to stay awake even though I am not hungry. Caffeine consumed to the point that I have the jitters. I just want the agony to end but I must plow forward until I can rest.

Wrinkle and dark bags hang like lazy moons under my eyes. I don’t smile much but feel emotional. Irritability complicated by “riding the moon” an odd euphemism for menses. Watch the clock in anticipation of a restless nocturnal venture. The feather dance is illusive without a cat on my lap. Obsessed with finishing each consecutive task, three, two. Cursing when responsibilities are added which delay the rest time as I feel relief when completing the final chore of the day. Must drive home safely.

Increasing dependence upon lists as the week wears on. I am obliged to write the reminder on a piece of paper or it will flit out of my mind like a leaf blowing in the wind. Handwriting becomes illegible. Verbal blunders increase. Dreaming of a lax schedule, though there is always cleaning to do, cats to cuddle, people to see, job search to conduct, blogs to write and post, and books to read. Some days I just want to be a lump on the couch.

The first day of rehabilitation is about sleeping and cleaning the essentials. Cats and the kitchen appreciate a scrub. Second day of recuperation is reconnecting with friends and tiding the home. Third day includes reading, increasing orderliness, blogging, job search, and enjoying the spring-ish weather. Not fully recovered but well enough to tackle work the next day.

Clean for spring!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

FEED THE KITTY



Please feed the kitty, literally and figuratively, $1 for every time that you view this blog. If the entertainment value is more, please pitch in a bit more. Your time and consideration of this request is greatly appreciated.http://www.gofundme.com/Ima-B-Musing?utm_medium=wdgt THANK YOU!


PS I am still paying off Tilly's operation fee. She is doing well but my pocketbook is empty...

Support This Writer!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, March 29, 2014

HITHER DITHER

Run
Rush
Crush of a heavy schedule
I ain’t got time to bleed, breathe, sleep
Guilt for what hasn’t been done
Overwhelmed by the TO DOs
A vacation is what I need
Two quiet weeks in the sun
But too many unfinished tasks
No money for margaritas
I’ll rest when I’m dead.

Shake my ashes on a beach in Hawaii
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

POOR PRIVS

Many people have participated in a physical rendering of financial elitism. The group starts out standing in a line. They take steps forward or backward, depending upon the instructions. The goal is to show the members of the group who have had the most advantages. Advantages directly translate into financial opportunity. (Examples: If you have a trust fund in your name, take three steps forward. If you went into debt to pay for college, take two steps back.) Alas, every time that I have participated in this type of display I end up in the end of the group. It’s a lonely place and the reaction is pity, concern or scorn from the other members of the group. Thus, I have created an alternative exercise.

It will show that being limited income gives you special skills that the financially secure may not develop. NOTE: The person announcing the list should always state that this demonstration is not meant to shame anyone. It is a highly emotional experience. It is okay for people to internally step forward or backward and even walk off to stand on the sidelines. No one is forced to participate.

IMA’S POOR PRIVILEGES:
If you wore hand-me-downs from relatives (not for fashion), take two steps forward.
If you have never received heat-share, take one step back.
If you have eaten food past the expiration date and risk stomach upset, take a step forward.
If you have darned or worn darned socks, take one step forward.
If you have never used public transportation, take three steps back.
If you know how to pick tiny bits of meat off every bone, take a step forward
If you have worn shoes with holes on the bottom, take two steps forward.
If you don’t take physical risks because you are afraid of the cost of the medical office or Emergency Room visit deductible or medications, take two steps forward.
If you have worn socks darned two times, take two steps forward.
If you live “green” with your home temperature below 65 degrees in the winter to save on the cost of heating bills, take two steps forward.
If you have worn clothes with patches for fashion, take two steps back.
If you have a garden for food, take two steps forward.
If you use the public library as your book and video source, take three steps forward.
If you have never been to a food-shelf as a recipient, take one step back.
If your primary source for clothing is the thrift store, take two steps forward.
If you have received government food commodities, take three steps forward.
If you don’t worry about retirement because you know that you will be working until you die, take three steps forward.
If your kids have received reduced or free meals at school, take a step forward for each child.
If you don’t wash clothes until they are dirty or smelly, take two steps forward.
If you share leftover garden produce with the local food-shelf, take three steps forward.

My score is +24 steps, what is yours? Please post in the comments section.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Sunday, March 23, 2014

OPEN YOUR EYES

Cable tv offers several Ghost Hunting shows comprised of pure folly. The host waltzes around with a camera crew and scares off any legitimate entity. It’s more of a psychological drama with an overlay of music so you can’t hear anything. A modern version of the 1800s parlor séances with faux spiritualists. I’ve discussed ghosts previously on this blog.

As I have stated before, most reported hauntings are logically explained to not paranormal. Of the .01% remaining, the vast majority are electromagnetic (EM) imprints with no intelligent spirit involved, more like a few seconds of silent film flickering. A space-time continuum event. Of the tiny remainder, .001% perhaps a legitimate ghost or spirit is involved but it is usually neutral. Positive or negative entities are extraordinarily rare. I don’t believe in angels or demons since that would involve believing in “God and Devil.” If an intelligent superior being(s) exist, it is one being not separated into ubiquitous Good verses Evil. Just as sentient beings are capable of both good and bad deeds, it would be both. I do believe in a soul but who knows where it goes after the body ceases to function.

To detect a real spirit, you have to be quiet and calm. Otherwise, you interfere with the EM imprint. Walking around and shouting isn’t going to draw out an entity. I am sensitive to EM fields and seen some interesting shadows. Besides nasty Ouija Boards, I’ve only encountered one that frightened me (poltergeist in a friend’s home located in an old barn). Perhaps positive shadows aren’t as noticeable.

A long time ago at my friend Teddy’s house, we saw flashing lights in the ceiling of the basement (no wiring was in that area) and heard a strange sound. We went upstairs and a cold breeze came through the room even though it was 75 degrees with no open windows. His family had lights go on and off, odd music, voices in the house for years. It was probably a temporary wormhole that brought the sounds of another era to the house. They haven’t seen or heard anything for twenty years. I wonder if the wormhole was two-way, could the people in the past hear the noises of the present? Perhaps they thought the house was haunted, too. A space-time conundrum with no resolution.

The creepiest episode was at Vijay’s home. He had just moved in and I was sitting on the couch. I saw the cushion sink down and felt a weight on my arm. I asked Vijay what was going on. He said that it was the ghost dog that still lived there. I was totally creeped out. The ghost dog played with his living dog for years. After he got a second living dog the ghost dog went away. When we took a tour I told him that there was an elderly women in the upstairs East bedroom, he grimly smiled. She didn’t want to leave after 60 years. She would take the new occupant’s scissors and move them into her sewing room and move medication into the bathroom. The living residents became accustomed to her antics but had to acknowledge her to the realtor when they were selling the home. Truth in selling principal. It took them a long time to find someone willing to buy a nice house with a benign ghost resident.

Thump in the night.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, March 20, 2014

FULLY FED ARTISTS


Support local visual artists (independent business owners) by attending free art crawls/fairs, and open building/studio/gallery events in the Twin Cities MN area (St. Paul, Minneapolis, & surrounding communities). Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase at least one piece of artwork at each event. BUY LOCAL ART and build the community's creative capital!

Join the Facebook group: www.facebook.com/artmobtwincitiesmn

Art Mob Twin Cities MN Event Requirements:
* The Twin Cities area will be defined as Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington Counties,
* The artist must reside within the Twin Cities area,
* The event must occur within the Twin Cities area,
* The event must be free and open to the public, and
* Artwork (at least 50% by Twin Cities living artists) must be FOR SALE at the event, focused on visual arts.
* Two week or more advance notice is required for posting the event. (NOTE: Include website, location, hours, and duration of the exhibit or events.)
* Individual artists and non-art related businesses will not be promoted (see below), sorry.

This group will focus on the visual arts. "Visual arts" are defined as a two or three-dimensional object which can be physically transported. Medium (glass, wood, fiber, paint, et al) can incorporate sculpture, painting, weaving, carving, arts-n-crafts, large, small, and everything in-between. Artists may combine mediums and media.

Events may include art crawls, art fairs, openings, gallery activities, and any soiree where locally created artwork is for sale. We will not post closings, sorry. If you would like to post an event, send the page a MESSAGE via the Facebook group AT LEAST TWO WEEKS before the gathering. It is acceptable for a gallery/studio to host a visiting artist, but the visiting artist must be a resident within the Twin Cities area.

Non-arts related businesses will be excluded with the exception of a special art show, we will post the opening as long as the local artist's work is for sale. Otherwise, 50% or more of the merchandise for sale must be by local artists. Unfortunately, all fund-raising events for charities, individuals, and other activities will be excluded because, though worthy, they do not match our goal.

This group was created out of frustration. I was seeking a calendar of visual arts events in the Twin Cities. Many such calendars exist for other art forms but nothing comprehensive for the two and three-dimensional forms, thus Art Mob Twin Cities MN was formed. More and more artists are listing their events and our numbers are growing! We want artists to be able to have at least a middle-class life on their artwork. Plus, it would be nice to have a Minnesota Visual Arts Awards Show, perhaps call it the Visi to recognize the achievements of artists. There are award shows for other forms of art such as books, music, performance so why not Visual Arts??? I am coordinating this group as a volunteer, my civic duty, and I am not online every single day. My telephone is dumb (it doesn’t even text). Plus, I have to work and sustain existence so the page is only updated when I have the time.

NOTE: We are not able to advertise individual artists unless they are sponsoring a special event where artwork will be for sale. If they are participating in a posted larger event (such as an art crawl or open studios at a building), they should add a note on the actual event notification.

BUY LOCAL ART!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, March 17, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 4

Young Adult (YA) book series by two different authors, recommended by friends.
SPOILER ALERT: Characters and plotline will be discussed.

Katherine Marsh:
Night Tourist Two and a Half Worms
Twilight Prisoner Three Worms

The first book begins with a bit of a shocker but fades into the mundane. Intertwines history, poetry, and literary alliterations in a creative manner. The main character, Jack, may have a processing disorder but receives no treatment. Second book is stronger. Ending needed extension. Jack’s romantic life is odd, though predictable. Series is good for youth, but rather dull for adults.

Veronica Roth:
Divergent Three Worms
Insurgent Two and a Half Worms
Allegiant Two and a Half Worms

First book, Divergent, begins with the main teenage character, Tris, embarking on a new lifestyle. The examination of societal influences is excellent but the internal assessment is rather shallow. It is unlikely that pregnancy would be risked at such a time. Insurgent novel follows and focuses on the technical aspects of conflict but the emotions could have been delved into more deeply. The final chapter does provide a unique twist. Needed a map of the city and the greater Chicago area.

The third book, Allegiant, is overwhelmed with conspiracy theories. The troublemaking teens would have been monitored. It also introduced the narrative of a different character, which is a dissimilar style than the first two books and rather perplexing. It would of helped to use a variant font for each character. The ending was good but the final action chapters needed more bulk. Too many logic flaws for this series to be recommended.

BOOKWORM RATINGS:
FIVE WORMS = Perfection
FOUR AND A HALF WORMS = Excellent
FOUR WORMS = Very Good
THREE AND A HALF WORMS = Good
THREE WORMS = Fair, but readable
TWO AND A HALF WORMS = So-So
TWO WORMS = Oh-Oh
ONE WORM = No-No

Youth deserve excellent books!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Friday, March 14, 2014

FLEE CLOUDS

Out the window I stare
Hoping for the sun to blare
Brilliantly
Burning away the snow
To spring, I wish to go!

Start seedlings now.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

WASTED YOUTH

When I was very young I did not appreciate the excessive amount of energy that I had despite lack of sleep. I did not value my teenaged idealism. I thought that good people doing good deeds would change the world for the better. I did not fully realize my lack of responsibility and stress during college.

Lots of people took advantage of my naïveté. They mocked, ridiculed, and humiliated me for not knowing. I had to adopt some stoicism to protect my heart. I could not blindly trust others anymore. Sad for me but required for survival. Adulthood is what I yearned for and was disappointed after attainment. It is a difficult struggle to seek optimism and hold onto a few strands of idealism in a harsh negative world.

I have met several teenagers who make life miserable for the people who love them. They should stretch their wings of independence but they don’t need to be so mean or vicious. My niece said and did a lot of hateful things. She was so desperate for attention that she convinced a guy that she was pregnant and then didn’t actually get pregnant for a couple months after the “fact.” He was obviously not very bright to have unprotected sex with her and not question an eleven-month gestation. She had another child and they married. They are still a couple but haven’t lived together for two years, largely because he is an alcoholic. She and the kids reside with my sibling #2 and hubby, which makes all the adults miserable. My sister doesn’t want to kick out my niece because the grandkids would suffer more. A bad situation caused by a young adult who wanted to prove that she could hold onto a relationship. It’s the innocent children who will continue the pain.

We humans have to wise up and stop this stupidity. To purposely harm others, especially those who are vulnerable, is reprehensible. The old adage, “What goes around, comes around” is true. When you do bad deeds, those bad deeds will come back to you or else harm the people that you care about somehow. I don’t believe in fate but I do believe that like attracts like. When you do good, good will come back and visa versa. It may not be obviously apparent but it seems to happen.

I wish that I would have jumped over my fears and taken more risk as a young adult. I should have traveled, lived on every continent, and had many lovers. I was too afraid. However, I refuse to fall into the well of sorrow or regret, that is tantamount to self-torture. No, I’m not dead yet. I have made the choice to have a home and be the personal assistant to two felines. I love to garden, read, partake in the arts, and blog but yearn for something more. It would be splendid to have the money to travel, live elsewhere, and collect lovers. Right now money is my main problem. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to attract lovers or a better job that is for other blog entries.

Carpe diem!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Saturday, March 8, 2014

SICK OF SICK

Part II of the Sickly Chronicles (Part I published on March 2nd)
Slowly drove to work on Monday due to the snow. My symptoms are less but several people in the office are now ill. I presume that they all blame me. Draining to shovel on Monday, clean out the end of the driveway after snowplows on Tuesday, and rake the roof on Wednesday. Feeling a bit better every day, though the occasional phlegm attack and congestion continue. Opted out of evening plans due to fatigue. At least my voice is becoming less scratchy.

Nasty snowstorm was forecast for Thursday so I opted to stay home and go in on Friday instead. Alas, I should have gone in then because we were deluged with ten inches of snow. It wasn’t safe to drive on Friday and I called in ill. I spent two hours removing snow with my pathetic snow-blower. Thankfully, a neighbor with a huge snow-blower removed the cement-like snow pushed in by the snowplow. Raked the roof on Saturday, which was also exhausting. I had originally planned to visit my Dad but glad that I stayed home. Ran out of books to read, no videos from the library, and nothing on regular TV. I began calling friends to fill my time.

Saturday night I attempted to sleep lying down for the first time in two weeks. I only coughed a few times, which was followed by blowing of the nose but it was great. I slept a lot better than when I was propped up by pillows. Sunday I had enough energy to clean. A friend of mine requested that I host a party but I declined because I can’t handle the stress right now.

Fourteen days of suffering is quite enough but it continued. The phlegm and congestion lessened a wee bit every day. Of course, I suffered a coughing spat during an interview. I hope that doesn’t count against me. The prolonged cold dry weather, via the Polar Vortex, probably extended my symptoms. I was feeling crabby and exhausted so I cancelled more plans and hibernated at home. At day 23 I finally felt better.

Cough into your elbow!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

IMA’S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME V, ISSUE 3

Firefly by Janette Jenkins Three and Half Worms
Fictional tale about Noel Coward. Lots of swearing and reminiscences can be a bit difficult to follow. The novel was a delightfully naughty read.

Pandemic by Scott Sigler Three and Half Worms
Continuation of a series. Reads like an action movie with scientists who save the world from a form of zombies. A sailor with an autoimmune disorder would have been discharged and not permitted to be on active duty. Alcohol is strictly forbidden on Navy ships. Besides those two issues, the book was well written.

Equilateral by Ken Kalfus Three Worms
Steampunk fantasy of epic proportion. Well written but there is nary a single person of diversity which can be esteemed, which is disappointing.

By Blood We Live by Glen Duncan Two and a Half Worms
Continuation of a vampire and werewolf series. Blood, gore and violent sex interspersed with beautiful descriptions. Choppy dialogue and logic problems needed more back-story. Why do male authors assume that females are as obsessed about sex as they are?

The Infatuations by Javier Marias Two and a Half Worms
Good insight about grief and love overshadowed by babbling, foreshadowing, and apathy. Tighter editing would of helped. [Translated]
Put a read on it!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing: all rights reserved.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

SICKY SICK

Cough, cough, cough, slight gag and out comes a bit of phlegm. Yuck! I have been suffering from a prolonged episode of the ubiquitous cold. I am diligent about washing my hands but somehow became exposed to this nasty virus. I cough out a bit of grossness and then have to blow my nose that sometimes triggers more hacking.

Thankfully, the sputum and snot are milky in hue. I don’t have an infection, which would be indicated by a yellow or green color. It is irritating to feel so tired. My stomach muscles ache from so much coughing. I can’t lay down because it leads to choking. I have had to prop myself up on pillows to sleep at night and it isn’t very comfie. I have been consuming an antihistamine to make sleeping easier. A mild headache comes and goes but one aspirin is enough to block the discomfort. An interesting side effect is experiencing no hot flashes.

I began to show symptoms on a Tuesday and by Wednesday I suspected that I had a cold. I knew on Thursday but the indicators weren’t too intense. However, I awoke with a full-blown illness on Friday. I had already scheduled to take the day off. Running a few errands were enough to exhaust me. I cancelled my weekend plans to rest. Silly cats refused to get me soup, hot tea, or fresh kleenexes.

I still felt horrid on another Polar Vortex vexed Monday so I called in ill. Shuffled to work on Tuesday and was exhausted by noon. I had an afternoon meeting to attend and my co-workers humiliated me because they insisted that I sit alone at the end of a table away from them. They would have been exposed the week before but are idiots when it comes to illness. I complied but felt rather angry.

Suffered through the week. Errands on Friday were tiring. No sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, which is depressing for various reasons. I had to work on Saturday and drive home in heavy snow, which is nerve-wracking. I cancelled my evening plans due to being worn out, still sniffling, and not wanting to drive on slippery roads. Felt a bit better on Sunday, cleaned some and had to shovel. Dreaded the forecast for snow overnight.

To be continued…

Wash your hands!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TRAFFIC VERSE

The traffic reporter is my guide;
I shall not want.
He or she makes me to slow down on bad roads;
S/he leads me out of traffic jams.
S/he restores my sanity;
S/he leads me in the paths of faster traffic for everyone's sake.
Yea, though I drive through the valley of the shadow of snow,
I will fear no exhaust ice;
For the DOT is with me;
Your traffic chart with green, amber, and red, they comfort me.
You prepare a graphic before me in the presence of my fear;
You daub my head with relief;
My coffee never runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me on every road trip;
And I will dwell in auto safely forever.

DOT = Department of Transportation provides traffic management charts and live video feed to the reporters who interpret the data. Minnesota's site is http://www.dot.state.mn.us/tmc/trafficinfo/traffic.html

PS No offense intended. Any resemblance to other source material is purely coincidental.

Thank you DOT!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Monday, February 24, 2014

WEATHER PLEA

Our meteorologist who art on TV,
hallowed be thy forecast.
Thy predictions come.
Thy computer-generated images be done
on earth as viewed by radar.
Give us this day our daily temperature,
and forgive us our swearing,
as we forgive those who have better weather,
and lead us not into Polar Vortex,
but deliver us from winter.

For thine is the NWS,
and the low, and high pressure,
for season after season.
Ah-Spring.

NWS = National Weather Service, which provides the raw data to meteorologists. It's all a matter of interpretation and translation, science and art combined. The humorous weather soothsayers are the best! Explore at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/

PS No offense intended. Any resemblance to other source material is purely coincidental.

Thank you radar!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Friday, February 21, 2014

MORE JUMPING

I just want a job! I have lost track of the depressing number of resumes/applications that I have sent and the numerous interviews...

Questionnaire from a potential employer:
1) Describe your experience with computers, including entering and locating information in databases.
I have experience with Microsoft Suite and a variety of databases including Access, FileMaker Pro, and Excel. Currently, I utilize an Access-based database for the Program. I enter data and create a variety of reports for our program.

2) Describe your experience obtaining information from a variety of people over the telephone or in person. Include a situation where you were effective in talking with an angry, demanding, and/or upset community person (customer).
Telephone skills are imperative for customer service. I worked as a Telephone Research Assistant. I would conduct a variety of telephone interviews depending upon the project. The most intensive was a 2 to 2.5 hour interview with childcare providers. Currently, I converse with clients and others contacting our Program. Occasionally, a client will call with a complaint. It is important for the person to know that they are being listened to and that their complaint will be responded to in a timely manner. We have the policy of documenting complaints and seeking a resolution within 24 hours. Usually, this is possible and the client is satisfied. If we are not able to locate a solution, I make certain that the client is informed of the progress. As a result, we have a very high satisfaction level from the people that we serve.

3) Describe your experience balancing conflicting job demands.
It is not unusual to have conflicting job demands when there are several projects that need to be completed. It is important to speak with the supervisor to determine which project is the highest priority. It is also important to let people know the status of their project. They may also be under a deadline and sometimes the projects need to shift. I have a lot of experience with disaster response and can manage the stress very well.

4) Describe how you have contributed to a positive work culture and team environment.
Relationship building is an asset to a positive work culture and team environment. It is important to get to know your co-workers, eat with them, and participate in office special activities (such as birthday celebrations). A positive environment begins with a smile and "hello" and I also like to have a dish of sweets at my desk.

5) Describe your experience with facilities providing services to vulnerable adults and/or children.
I currently work with clients, many of who are considered to be vulnerable adult. I also worked for five years with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness clients, which provided housing units for clients.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my responses.
Sincerely,
Ima B. Musing

Hire me!
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

JOB SEARCH HOOPS

It is becoming more common to have a pre-interview telephone or emailed questionnaire screening. Here is an example of one which I received. I have abbreviated some responses and changed the name of one organization where I worked.

Management Assistant Qualifications Review:
Please complete the following questions as part of the selection process for the Management Assistant position. Please limit your answers to each question to no more than 500 words.

1. Describe relevant experience, education, training and coursework that prepared you for the position of management assistant. Include any seminars or workshops attended and specify the number of credits and length of time for training courses.
I have a Master of Education degree. My education has been supplemented with coursework (sic, et al). Learning is lifelong and I continuously seek more opportunities to expand my knowledge base.

2. Describe the largest and most important work related project which you have managed. Describe the purpose of the project, your specific role, your duties or responsibilities and outcome of the project.
I coordinated the first Immigrant Women’s Conference while serving as the Assistant Director of the Council of Immigrant Women [pseudonym]. I originated the idea, worked with the staff and board to create a mission with accomplishable goals, procured funding, and assembled a committee to facilitate the conference. We focused on success in the American workplace. I organized our deadlines and made certain that committee members had the resources they needed to accomplish tasks. Over three hundred people attended the event and one third were men. The conference was given a positive review and we organized a series of smaller follow up meetings to help women work on leadership skills. Subsequently, immigrant women have organized several groups to network and support leadership development.

3. Describe your experience and proficiency with various computer software packages including word processing, database and presentation packages. Indicate your level of proficiency from 1 - 5 (i.e. 1= no proficiency; 5 = extremely proficient). Be specific. In addition, provide a specific example of a work product/project and which program(s) were used in the creation/development of the product/project.
Microsoft Suite:
Word, typing speed of 50 with level 5 proficiency
Excel level 4 proficiency
PowerPoint level 5 proficiency
Access level 4 proficiency

4. Describe how you would handle a situation in which the customer is asking for something that is not in the best interest of the organization or would violate some policy of the organization.
When a customer requests something that either does not serve the interest or violates an organizational policy it is important to educate the customer. Respectfully decline their request and explain why. Specifically site the policy or mission statement which would be violated, oftentimes the customer is unaware of the established protocol. However, if the request is a legal violation then it is best to consult with the supervisor for the next steps. Document the request for future reference.

5. In this position you will be required to take direction from various individuals and respond to requests from a variety of sources. Describe how you would prioritize requests and how you would prepare a system to help you answer questions and request information efficiently and effectively. Describe what systems you would develop to provide information quickly.
Prioritization of requests is determined by the goals of the department and in consultation with my supervisor. Clear communication is essential and it is helpful to create a calendar listing deadlines. Frequently Asked Questions informational sheet is an ideal reference source. It will ensure consistency in response to similar questions. Flexibility is key.

6. Describe your approach to providing customer service. Provide an example of a difficult customer service situation you were involved in and the specific steps you took to resolve it.
My approach to customer service focuses on communication. Listening is imperative to understand what the customer is seeking. I have worked in both retail and human service positions and encountered numerous difficult customer service situations. On one occasion a customer was upset because an item broke and they needed an immediate replacement but we did not have any at the store. The sales associate was not amenable and made the customer very agitated. As the Assistant Manager, I calmed the customer and asked if I could contact other stores to see if they had the item in stock. The customer agreed and I called eight of nine stores before I located the item. The customer was delighted and decided to travel directly to the store to procure the replacement. The next week she returned with a thank you note for me.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my responses.
Sincerely,
Ima B. Musing

NOTE: Made it past this essay examine. I showed up for the interview to learn that it had been cancelled. The person coordinating the meeting sent an email and didn’t bother to call. I never applied there again.

Still searching after all these years.
Copyright © 2014 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved