Posted by: Christine Lehman | June 21, 2012

Back from Cubicle Hell!

Well, it’s hard to believe it’s been two years since my last post.

However, given my history (at least a dozen abandoned blogs and websites scattered all over the Internet), perhaps it’s not all that unbelievable.

Anyway, here’s what’s happened: I really enjoyed being unemployed – because I wasn’t really unemployed. I started my own business (selling used books on Amazon) and was very happy driving around to used bookstores, thrift shops and other venues throughout Southern California.

My husband was fine with it, and every day was a new possibility.

Then the unthinkable happened: I was walking on the beach one day, minding my own business, when WHAM!!! I got hit with a full-time job.

Now some people might think that’s a wonderful thing to be hit with. At the time, I did too. It was a company I’d left my resume at two years ago, and then totally forgotten about.

AND they were offering me the same salary I’d had at my previous job, which seemed pretty sweet to me.

Just one problem – which I kept to myself (no one is reading this, right?) :


I was so enjoying my freedom! Yet I knew that money was tight in our household and I knew that my full-time salary would help us get over some rough spots.

So I went back to work, full-time, in a cubicle with an uncomfortable chair, in downtown Los Angeles.

But the week before I went back to work, I snuck out of the house every morning, drove to a secluded location, parked the car – and bawled my head off for about an hour at a time.

I really, really did NOT want to do this!

Yet with the economy the way it was, I felt I could not, in good conscience, say “no”.

It was a JOB – in a world of “no jobs” – and how could I be so ungrateful as to say “no” to a JOB??

So I went back. And at first it was kind of fun, being back in the bustling urban environment that is downtown L.A. these days.

And since I essentially took the same route to my new job as I had to my old, I kept running into familiar people every day, which was cool.

But as the days, weeks, and months wore on … day after day after day of sitting in a cubicle, staring at a computer screen … I grew depressed, and began to wonder if I would ever have my FREEDOM again.

I put photos on my desktop of places I’d been just a few short months ago – the beach at Playa del Rey; a used bookstore in Ojai; etc. Places I had visited at least once a month if not more; places I wondered now if I’d ever see again.

And it didn’t help that winter in downtown L.A. is incredibly depressing.

Then I started regaining some of the weight I’d lost over the past couple of years – because people who work in offices are SUGAR PUSHERS – cookies, cakes, candies, every day, “are you sure you don’t want just a LITTLE BIT? I baked it myself!”

And that led to health issues – my sciatica came back with a vengeance, followed by a major problem with my left knee, followed by just general pain and stiffness every time I sat down or stood up after sitting for more than a few minutes.

I tried to negotiate with my company to let me work either part-time, or do a 4-day workweek (you know, 10 hours a day for 4 weeks) so I could cut back on the grueling commute that was aggravating some of the arthritis issues.

Their answer? “No. Sorry. You accepted a full-time position and this is what it is.”

So last month, after discussing it with my husband I made a decision.


Yes, there will be less money for a while. But I feel so much stronger just since I made this decision.

For one thing, I have a ready-made home business just waiting for me to pick up the reins and ride it again

For another thing, I secretly really love housekeeping – and while my husband never likes to say it for fear of being accused of male chauvinism, he secretly really loves it when I am home in time to have dinner ready for him – and frankly, so do I!

And finally – I just really, really HATE being chained to a desk all day, every day. It fills up my whole life and makes me feel so very, very sad – which I have to believe ALSO contributes to at least SOME of my health issues.

So – one more month here, and then I get my freedom back.

And I’m going to try coming back here more often, to tell you what’s going on and how this all works out.

And I’m not at all worried that the “wrong people” will read this.

Because no one ever really reads this, do they? 🙂Image

Posted by: Christine Lehman | April 30, 2010

No one EVER reads this … right?



Posted by: Christine Lehman | April 29, 2010

what chelsea really asked

From Yahoo News:

Chelsea’s pre-wedding request to Dad

Bill Clinton reveals there’s one thing his daughter wants from him before he walks her down the aisle:

“Daddy – PLEASE stay away from my bridesmaids!”

Posted by: Christine Lehman | April 22, 2010

comedy central caves

I just sent the following email to the powers-that-be at Comedy Central:

I would like to know why you have no problem insulting Christians by showing Jesus Christ looking at porn on the Internet, or Buddhists by showing Buddha snorting crack cocaine, but apparently are so terrified of insulting Muslims that you won’t even allow South Park to MENTION the name Muhammed.  Seriously, I’d really like a legitimate answer that makes sense.

I’m sure they’ll answer right away.

Yeah.   Right.

Meanwhile … Muhammed Muhammed Muhammed!!!

Mohammed, Muhammed, Mahomet

Posted by: Christine Lehman | April 18, 2010

party down

The next door neighbors had huge parties last night.

BOTH neighbors – the ones to the left AND the ones to the right.

Us? Well, we just stayed away from home as late as possible, then came home, popped in the Howard Leight Earplugs, and fell into a more or less untroubled sleep.

Not that we’re not party people. We’re just pooped.

Posted by: Christine Lehman | April 17, 2010


I wonder sometimes why I bother to keep my various blogs alive.

I have several others besides this one, you know.

One of them, Chrissy’s Postcard Page, is only updated every … well, let’s see … at least once every couple of years. (Or five.)

Yet I still get emails about it. People want to sell me postcards, or know where they can find one that they’ve been hunting for. I’m always astonished by its staying power.

Then there’s this … the Blog Before This Blog. I actually kept that one going pretty regularly.

But what killed it for me was that I knew my husband was the only one who read it regularly. And I got all self-conscious, not wanting to say anything that I didn’t think he would enjoy reading, or that would upset him.

I told him that, of course, and he assured me that I shouldn’t worry about it.

But I did, nonetheless. Which is why I started this blog. And so far, hubby hasn’t read it. (Even though I told him, a couple of weeks ago, that he could.)

Yet even this one hasn’t been updated regularly. Wonder why?

Author? Author?

Posted by: Christine Lehman | March 24, 2010

internet monk

I don’t write much about religion.

I used to. But the problem is, I either get preachy or snarky, depending on how strong my faith is – if I have any at all – at the time.

About a year ago, I discovered a writer named Michael Spencer, better known as The Internet Monk. He writes about religion the way everyone should – honestly, humorously, openly. He says things that other people are afraid to even think.

Or rather, he wrote. He said. Past tense.

You see, he hasn’t been writing on his blog for a while. Because he’s got cancer. And he’s dying.

Which makes this essay of his from a few years ago all the more poignant, and harrowing, to read. Because now he’s facing what he so feared.

I can only hope he’s going out as painlessly as possible. I know Christianity teaches that suffering can be good for us. And I can see that, in the abstract.

But even Jesus asked to have the cup pass from His lips.  And if that was OK for Jesus, then it should be OK for the rest of us.

So God, please don’t let Michael Spencer – who brought a lot of people who never met him in person closer to You – suffer any more than absolutely necessary, through this his final illness.

Give him peace. Give him rest. And an eternity full of light, laughter, and love.

(And by the way:  thanks for sending him to us, for a while.)

May the Lord protect us all the day long
Till the shades lengthen and evening comes
And the busy world is hushed
And the evening of life is over
And the day is done.
Then in his goodness may God give us safe lodging
And a holy rest, and peace at the last.

— John Henry Newman

Posted by: Christine Lehman | March 22, 2010

still here

I think I’m better.

It’s been a long bout this time.  Longer than I’ve ever been sick.  Not a fun time.

And yet, in some ways, not so bad.

For one thing, I’ve had a lot of time to read.  (Enforced bed rest does that to people.)  And I LOVE to read.  When I was working, I was always sneaking off to the ladies’ room with a book secreted under my armpit.  (A little more difficult if it was Stephen King.)

So I’m grateful for all the free time, to read whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to.

And I got reacquainted with an old friend called TELEVISION.  Hey, isn’t that Dr. Cox just hilarious?  And wow, who knew “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” were still on?

But now … finally! … spring is here, and my bronchitis is gone (well, mostly – still some residual coughing fits from time to time, but nowhere NEAR as bad as it’s been); and today, for the first time in weeks, I’m going to the gym for a workout.  Yay!

And oh, by the way, another byproduct of this long illness:  when it started, I was a closeted atheist.  But today, after a month of resting quietly and listening to birds chattering outside my windowsill, my faith in God is back.

Go figure.

Posted by: Christine Lehman | March 10, 2010

chronic bronchitis

Well, it seems I have chronic bronchitis, since I get this two or three times a year.  So I’m looking for ways to live with this and ease the symptoms as much as possible.

One thing I’m doing is drinking more water.  I really hate doing that, too, because it means I’ll be spending a lot more quality time in L.A.’s finest bathrooms.  But you know, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Maybe I should start a web page reviewing public restrooms!  (Hey, I’d bookmark that, wouldn’t you?)

Another thing I need to do is stop feeling guilty when I don’t exercise.  Being fat all my life, I tend to treat exercise as medicine, rather than fun.  It’s something I “have to do” in order to keep my weight at a manageable level.

And actually, most of the time I enjoy it.  In fact, last year, before I was downsized, I bought myself a 24 Hour Fitness membership – the two-year cheapie Costco kind.  It was a great investment, because I enjoy going there, but I know from past experience that two years is about my limit with any particular exercise program.  By the time 2012 rolls around, I’ll be ready to try something else.

(And if we don’t make it through 2012, that works too!)

But the problem is when my bronchitis is really acting up, I don’t know what I should do.  Should I continue going to the gym 3 times a week, to stay in the habit?  Or should I stay home and rest on the couch?  Not that I don’t enjoy doing the Peggy Bundy thing, but because I spent $$ on the gym membership, I  feel like I’m wasting money every day I  don’t go.

On the other hand, if I don’t rest, and I push myself too hard, I could get sicker.

What to do?  I know, I can walk outdoors.  But right now it’s just too cold, and cold weather is really bad for my lungs as well.

I think my best hope is to pray for an early and long summer!  Hot weather, where are you?

Posted by: Christine Lehman | March 4, 2010


I’m still trying to recuperate from my acute bronchitis.  I’ve had it for almost a month now and it’s getting rather annoying.  I want to be out and about and DOING things, dagnabit!

One thing that’s helped relieve my cabin fever somewhat is the Beginning Algebra class I just started online.  I thought it would be terribly hard but it’s actually kind of fun.  I haven’t had an algebra class since the 6th grade, and was surprised to find out how much of it I remembered.

Wonder what else is percolating on the back burner of my brain, waiting for the opportunity to show itself?

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