When did this become a great job?


While thumbing through the latest edition of Good Housekeeping I came upon an article entitled “Is it time to switch careers?”  Since I ask myself that question daily and the usual reply is “YES IT IS!!” I decided to read the article.  Mostly it focused on business career women who had found themselves jobless in the recession. A guide to find out what you really want to do and what your dream job is.  Then I flipped the page.  I should’ve known better.  In a sidebar to the article it listed “Recession Proof Jobs.”  There it was #2 on the list – EMERGENCY DISPATCHER.  Since I was reading the magazine at work I announced it to the others in the room that the second best job in the nation to have right now is ours and I was bombarded by boo’s hisses and the general response of “Are you kidding?”

This gem of a job was listed by Laurence Shatkin, PhD who is a career-information expert and author of 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs.  Emergency Dispatcher ranked #2 in the Recession Proof jobs based on its ease of obtaining the job and ease of keeping the job.  Obviously Mr. Shatkin did very little research in an actual Emergency Dispatch Center.  Currently most departments are on a hiring freeze based on the economy so it is not easy to obtain a dispatch job.  Although there are some areas who will basically hire anyone with a pulse to answer 911, the truly “good” dispatch centers or locations you would want to work aren’t hiring.  And yes, technically it is an easy job to keep – if you truly want to keep it. 

Yes this could be a dream job if you like working odd hours, holidays and weekends.  It could also be a dream job if you enjoy trying to sort through conversations that include “my husbands sisters cousins next door neighbors brother ….”  See the problem with this job is the EMERGENCY part of the title.  It implies that you will only be handling emergencies like car accidents and people having heart attacks.  Statistics show that basically 1 in every 300 calls handled in a dispatch center are an actual emergency – technically a “life threatening” emergency.  It’s the 299 calls in between emergencies that try your patience. 

My true concern is that there are un-employed financial analysts and real estate agents out there who are reading the article and think it would be exciting to be an Emergency Dispatcher.  Trust me, wait for the market to rebound before jumping into emergency services because it is truly not all it’s cracked up to be.  It takes a truly unique personality and not everyone is suited for it.  Although the sidebar was a problem for me, the actually article provided some interesting information.  I actually went to the website they suggested, humanmetrics.com, and took the Jung Typology Test and Jung Career Indicator.  I found out I am an “INTJ” which means I’m a “rational” or “mastermind.”  Scary isn’t it?  My most suitable careers are Natural Science, Engineering, Management, Law and Entrepreneurship.  I can see myself in those types of jobs, with the exception of Engineering – I could not build squat with lincoln logs and tinker tots when I was little (although I was handy with Lego’s).  Oh yeah – other famous “INTJ’s” are Dwight D Eisenhower, Gen. Ulysses S Grant, Sir Isaac Newton and Hillary Clinton. 

There is hope.  The #1 job on the list was Dental Assistant.  I could go to dental assistant school.  They work dentist’s hours which is usually only 4 days a week.  And they get to wear cute and comfy scrubs and crocs.  Yeah, I can’t see me flossing someone’s teeth…..YECHHH!


Bulldogs & Tigers


Earlier this spring there was a poll on Facebook where you were supposed to list your favorite sports teams.  I thought it would be easy…. not so much.  Beyond being a devoted Colts fan and always cheering for Notre Dame since I never got to go to school there I had no other teams.  I ended up with the New York Giants because I like Eli Manning and the Red Sox because Dave likes them (and i think their logo is cool).  These were truly not my favorite teams.  But then I felt odd for not having 5 favorite teams.  Should people have five teams?  I guess football, baseball, basketball, hockey and your college team.

So I started a quest to find my five favorite teams.  I know absolutely nothing about the Detriot Tigers but that was the team Dawson was picked for in regular season.  I loved their shirts….the fancy old english style “D” with a tiger coming out of it.  This made me a Detroit Tigers fan.  I still know very little about the Detroit Tigers – the Toledo Mudhens are their AAA team and Ty Cobb used to play for them.  But I love the Tiger logo so they are now my MLB baseball team.  When we were on vacation in Alabama I became obsessed with Auburn University all because of another silly Tiger logo.  I was even planning Teagan’s college education and trying to convince her to go to college at Auburn.

Then I realized the amount of bulldog apparel we have.  Not only Butler Bulldogs but also University of Georgia Bulldog stuff too.  The UGA stuff came from my trip to Savannah – where Bulldog stuff is everywhere.  That’s how I’ve decided that I now will throw my support into any team with a Bulldog or Tiger mascot.  There are abundant opportunities too because bulldogs and tigers are very popular mascots.  Although currently there are no pro sports teams that have a bulldog mascot there was at one time the Boston Bulldogs soccer team and Boston Bulldogs football team in the 1920’s.  There are 36 colleges and universities including my top 2 Butler and UGA and surprisingly Yale who’s bulldog mascot is nicknamed handsome Dan.  Can I really be a Yale fan?  And lets not forget…… the bulldog is the unofficial mascot of the United States Marine Corps (shout out to Brad).  We still have some “Devil Dog” stuff too, although the kids have mostly outgrown it.

So there are a lot of Bulldogs…… what about Tigers?  Other than the Detroit Tigers there’s the Cincinnati Bengals.  Not that I’m opposed to the Cincinnati Bengals but I don’t see me buying an “Ochocinco” jersey any time soon.  I mean Chad Johnson or Ochocinco (whatever) is a great player and all, but seriously he changed his last name to his jersey number…. in spanish…. Does he even speak spanish?  I mean if David Ortiz wanted to be David Tresquatro I get it….kind of… OK not really.  I mean what if Dawson wanted to be Dawson Cincosiete (his soccer jersey is 57)?  Anyway bypassing the Bengals and Chad Ochocinco there are several “Tiger” colleges.  Including Auburn, LSU and more close to home DePauw.   Of course there’s always the Mexican League baseball team “Tigres de Quintana Roo” – basically the Cancun Tigers.  I’m thinking if Dawson really wants to play baseball Cancun is the spot to be.  Then he could change to Dawson Cincosiete.

Anyway……. from now on count me in if there is a Bulldog or Tiger mascot.  It may not be the best thing to bet on so this is in no way advice for gambling or picking your NCAA tournament teams.  It does however give Dawson and Teagan plenty of choices of colleges that their mom will approve of.

We got cows

chocolate milk

I always like to write about the little things in life.  The things that happen to people everyday and really aren’t life shattering or life altering in any way.  And I especially like to write about little day trips and even crazy vacations.  Today was a little day trip.  Today we went to a dairy farm.  And we had actually made it through the entire day without anyone mentioning the famous line from Twister “I gotta go, we got cows!” – until for some reason on the way home it seemed like a funny joke.  That is Teagan’s all time favorite line from Twister so I’m shocked it didn’t pop out while being surrounded by 30,000 of them.  That or “Cow…….. Another Cow.”  I was a little disheartened that we didn’t use those lines today.

So the dairy farm we visited is Fair Oaks Farm in Winemac, IN.  It is one of the largest family owned dairies in the nation – and it is HUGE!  We started out in the restaurant where they sell sandwiches and cheese and ice cream.  During the weekdays you can watch cheese being made there to.  We then moved on to the Dairy Adventure and Barn Tour.  Oh yeah I almost forgot, Teagan’s favorite part of the day was jumping on the giant bouncy pillow in “Mooville.”  It’s good to be seven – giant dairy farm, 30,000 cows, 80 calves born per day, calf nursery, award winning cheese – and her favorite part was the giant bouncy pillow.  There is a 3D/4D movie that tells you about the barn tour you’re going to take and about caring for the cows.  Teagan was not a fan of the 4D part of the movie that blows air and mist at you.  Actually on the way home she stated emphatically “I did NOT like that movie!”

We visited the Maternity barn next.  Teagan was very excited…. she finally got to see how the babies get out of mommies belly’s.  That has been a question she has asked since she was five and I’ve always told her it was something she could learn when she was older.  Today she said “YES! I’m finally old enough to learn how the babies get out!”  80 calves born there per day…. and I missed every one.  They actually have a stop light outside the maternity barn that lets you know the status of the births inside, red means nothing going on yet, yellow means with in 30 minutes and green means baby’s hooves are poking out.  The last one I missed because a) Teagan was bored b) Teagan was grossed out c) Teagan suddenly had to pee d) all of the above.  By the time we got back from the bathroom, the calf was out.  But Dave took pictures……

On the dairy barn tour I sat with Dawson.  Dawson was genuinely interested in everything we did today.  He had paid attention during the movie and knew when we passed the big white plastic covered piles that they were the corn mash that the cows eat.  He watched and listened very intently while we were touring the dairy barns.  He took pictures of the baby calves we passed.  I laughed when he asked if the occasional brown cow was how they got the chocolate milk.  I don’t know if he was serious or not, but I like to pretend at 11 he’s still that naive.  Then we got the milking barn where you watch in amazement as the cows go one by one in order onto this milking merry-go-round, a herdsman hooks up the milking machine, they ride in a circle, un hook and get off the milking merry-go-round and head back to their barn without anyone directing them or prodding them.  I need a pet cow…. 3,500 lbs of cow minds better than 70 lbs of bulldog.  I can’t even get the bulldog to go to his crate without “cookies” and love and a lot of shoving.  I think I would like a pet dairy cow.  Or maybe I just need to get a job at a dairy and learn how to train cows and bring that knowledge home to train the bulldog.  Or maybe I should just face the reality….. bulldogs are not trainable.

Then we got to feel the pipe that leads the milk from the milking merry-go-round at 104 F (the temp it leaves the cow) though the 5 min process to the pipe that stores the milk at 34 F.  The difference in the pipes was Dawson’s favorite thing.  He was still talking about it at dinner.

Overall it was a pretty good trip.  Relatively un-eventful for our family… there is usually some epic weather event or other near catastrophe that invades our little family outings.  It’s almost scary this one went so well.  Have to give 2 thumbs up to the “sweet swiss cheese” and the ice cream is TO DIE FOR!  If you are traveling to/from Chicago you have to stop and get ice cream if the farm is open.  It is by far, the best ice cream I’ve ever had (I feel like I’m cheating on Mrs. Curl).  I told Dave that our trips to Chicago are getting longer and longer as we have to stop for hot dogs in Merriville and now have to stop of ice cream in Winemac.  He asked why our stops all revolve around food.

Enjoy some chocolate milk from a brown cow if you can!

A little bit a chicken fried


On Saturday night we made fried chicken at my house.  Or its technical term according to the Teagan unabridged Dictionary…. “Chicken on the bone.”  Both Dawson and Teagan enjoy cooking so when I got the chicken out of the refrigerator they both decided to help cook the chicken.  I truly wish I would have had a video of this experience, but I will do my best to describe how we made fried chicken.  This will actually be the dialog (to the best of my recollection) between Teagan and Dawson while we were getting the chicken ready to fry.  It’s completely random as only an 11 and 7-year-old can be, but it had me at one point laughing so hard I had to leave the room.

Teagan:  “I feel sorry for the chickens – they had to lose their legs so we can eat dinner.”

Dawson:  “You want me to help you take the chicken out of the bowl and put it on paper towels?  OK…. O gross this is gross… they feel all slimy!  O gross Teagan feel this I can feel where they cut it!”

Teagan:  “EWWW no!”

Teagan:  “Let’s sing….. I’m just sitting here wastin’ time, smokin’ drinkin’ tryin’ to free my mind (yes I know she’s singing Kid Rock…. no I don’t know why or where she learned the lyrics…. I’m afraid of the answer)…. AHEM… Dawson??? guitar???”

At this point Dawson drops the last of the chicken and bursts into some air guitar.  After his brief air guitar solo..

Dawson:  “Ok that was sick I have to wash my hands”

As Dawson is washing his hands they both break into Kid Rock, again with the “Smokin’, Drinkin’ tryin’ to free my mind…..”  This from Dawson who is totally impressed that he is graduating from DARE at school this week.

Teagan:  “Seriously…. I feel bad for the chickens.”

Me:  “I wish I had a video camera right now.”  This was a bad idea to plant in her head.

Teagan:  “DAD!!  DAD!!  Go get the video camera so we can make a movie of our song.”

Me:  “Before we get the chicken ready lets peel the potatoes”

Dawson:  “I’ll wash them you peel them, remember last time I cut my hand?’

Me:  “Seriously? How did you cut yourself with a peeler?”

Dawson:  “I don’t know….. I just did, it’s not like it’s hard….It’s sharp you know.”

Teagan breaks out into another round of Kid Rock…. still the same lyrics of Smokin’ drinkin’ and tryin’ to free her little mind.

Me:  “Teagan, do you know another song?”

Teagan:  “No…….. (singing) I’m just sittin’ here wastin’ time….”


Teagan:  “Guitar solo!!!!!”  She then bursts into an air guitar routine worthy of KISS.

By this time, the potatoes are peeled and the chicken is ready to dredge in flour and fry.  As I go to pour oil in the frying pan I find some vegetable oil, there is only about 1 cup.  Rotating the lazy Susan I find another nearly empty bottle of vegetable oil and pour the remnants of that into the pan.  Spinning the lazy Susan one more time I find a 3rd bottle of oil, again about a cup left.  Dave has meandered into the kitchen at this time and is laughing at me attempting to piece together enough oil to fry chicken.

Dawson:  “Wouldn’t it be easier if it was all in one bottle.”  Yes, Mr. Obvious it would be.

At this point Dave has decided it is better for him to fry the chicken.  My last (and only) attempt at frying chicken ended up with me burning myself and throwing a spatula across the kitchen.

Dave:  “It’s better this way, if you get too much oil it splatters too much and you might get burned.”  He doesn’t even try to hide the smirk.

Eventually we did manage to get the “chicken fried”….. and by that time I was in need of “a cold beer on a Friday night.”

One woman’s trash……..


I have been on a fall cleaning spree.  I actually hate it when I go on these cleaning spree’s but once I get started I can’t stop myself.  It started with my garage sale.  I had diligently cleaned out the kids closets and dressers and found myself with 2 rubbermaid tubs full of clothes.  Two days before the garage sale, we started cleaning out the garage.  My idea was just to back the car out, sweep and set up my tables.  My husband had other plans.  His plans included completely taking everything out of the garage and neatly reorganizing it – it did yield at least 15 more garage sale items but it took an entire day.

Then came garage sale day.  I have garage sales at least once a year but I am always amazed at the things people buy.  My first sale… $1.35.  His purchase…. a pair of old oil stained and rusty jumper cables, a box of votive candles and an old 2000 racing game for PlayStation.  This is the point where my mind races to the game one of my police officers taught me.  It’s 2am, you’re at WalMart and can only purchase three items.  What three items will make the cashier raise her eyebrows at or question your intentions.  So here I sit, the first sale of the day and I’ve already started to play the “what 3 things game.”  It didn’t last very long though, as I watched car after car drive by and no one stopped.  Then my mom came to watch the sale for me for an hour while I ran an errand.  I came back to find she had sold the baby stroller, nearly half of Dawson’s clothes, snow boots, a dress, B’s Playstation and the rest of the old games and a mini crock pot.  The minute I got back the shoppers fled the area.  The only other thing I sold that day was a bicycle helmet to my neighbor.  The next day was the day that amazed me though.  I had a lady come and purchase some clothes, then she went back to her car and got more money.  She had to have the Moon Shoes and a $2 fan.  Of all the things I put out the one thing that I figured would end up in the Goodwill pile after the sale was the Moon Shoes.   Then I had the lady and the cooler, an  old Igloo cooler for $1.  She asked 20 questions about the cooler before she bought it.  It’s a cooler for $1 at a garage sale.  If it doesn’t work out for you you’ve only lost $1.  What I can’t figure out is why no one looked at the Radio Flyer Red wagon I had for sale.  No one even gave it a passing glance, but the pop up dog crate (which doesn’t hold a bulldog – even as a puppy) and the brick dust covered baseball cleats flew off the table.  I will never understand garage sales.

My cleaning didn’t stop after the garage sale though.  Last weekend I cleaned out my truck.  If anyone reading this has ever ridden in my truck you would understand that this is a major undertaking.  The backseat could have probably been declared a HazMat disaster site.  After donning my protective gear I took on the back seat.  A lot of candy wrappers and half empty Gatorade Bottles and one half eaten pudding cup (chocolate of course) later, I could actually see the back seat.  There was a Diet Coke can wedged under the passenger seat that took the Jaws of Life to remove.  How do you wedge a Diet Coke can that far under a seat?  Other items I located:  a set of postcards from the Ride the Ducks attraction at Wisconsin Dells, a beach parking permit for Gulf Shores public beach, the Hurricane Evacuation Route for the state of Alabama, a recipe for Blondies, 3 stray Midol capsules, 2 Chuckie Cheese tokens, a dog bone and thirty six cents.  The one thing I didn’t find… my cell phone which was the one thing I was looking for.

I have also cleaned out my daughters room, the dining room and most recently the refrigerator.  The scariest of these was Teagan’s room – with the exception of the one unidentified leftover which went into the trash tupperware and all and the few remnants of the great maraschino cherry spill of 2008.  In Teagan’s 7 years she has accumulated 21 years worth of junk.  Her room alone took over four hours.  There was a massive pile of Barbies with Polly Pockets and Little Pet shop mixed in.  You can actually see her floor now.

But now I’m scared.  The one thing I have left to face is the basement.  The basement is the equivalent of the garage, backseat of the Blazer and Teagan’s room combined.  Someone made a bomb filled with matchbox cars, fruit snack wrappers, Polly Pockets, crayons and stray socks and it has exploded in my basement.  I will conquer the basement – eventually.  Just maybe not tomorrow, or the next day or even next week.  But someday I will clean out the basement.  Or I could just wait for the President to declare it a national disaster area.