One Day I Will Have My Act Together

14 10 2009

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I have been out of work since January, although between freelancing and blogging, I have never been so busy. Thankfully, I know myself well enough to know that this working-at-home thing is just not for me, especially when I have an eager 4 year old constantly clamboring for attention and it usually has something to do with ballet, artwork, or Barbie.

I'm distracting? Nahhhhh!

I'm distracting? Nahhhhh!

Don’t get me wrong. I love my daughter, but it’s also hard to work when you are constantly under siege and basically not allowed to finish a thought, let alone an article. Yeah, I know, it’s called being a mommy.

Frustrated, though I may be, I get the occasional moment of reflection and I think I may well be both ADD and OCD at the same time. Really, it’s the only explanation I can muster for the piles of projects that are mounting around me. One day, I will be a grown-up and actually finish what I start. Promise!

Speaking of Unfinished Business…

Last week, I visited the Dublin Village Tavern with my Tastecasting peeps. All in all, it was a fantastic night, despite my being uncomfortably full afterward (damn their hospitality!). Read the official review here. Tonight, we’re visiting the Top Steakhouse and I swear I will actually write a review in this space. It could even happen tonight – I’m kinda madcap like that.

Bangers and Mash at the DVT

Bangers and Mash at the DVT

Just to clarify – Tastecasters are not food critics. Our job is to build awareness, announce grand openings, introduce new menu items, distribute special offers, and encourage people to visit various establishments. We are treated to a free meal in exchange for this effort.

Wild About Harry

I have had a virtual love affair with Harry Connick Jr. since I saw “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time. I fell in love with my college boyfriend to that soundtrack and have followed Harry ever since. I have always loved his dreamy vocal style, loved him as an actor – especially for his role on “Will and Grace” – and loved him even more for his efforts to restore his beloved New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Now, my man has released “Your Songs,” which is a collection of modern classics with Harry’s special twist. Truly, this album is sheer magic.

Harry

Want to Get Your Hands on a Copy? Here’s How.

Tell me your love story. I want to know how you and your honey first met and knew it was for real. Post your story in the comments and I’ll randomly select the lucky recipient of Harry’s latest album Friday night. Winner will be informed via email.

Good luck!

(Note: Thanks to One2One Network for providing me with two copies of the disc – one to review and one to give away)

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United We Blog…Divided We Blog Anyway

24 03 2009

bald_blogger

I’ve been invited to participate in a project that will either prove or disprove the power of social media – the Columbus Social Media Cafe is experimenting with the idea of having multiple bloggers write about a single topic on a given day, and I plan to be one of those bloggers. But the question now is a topic – what shall we all write about? Also, if you’re an interested social media-type in Columbus who is available next Monday night for a meeting, shoot me an email and I’ll give you all of the details if you’d like to participate.

Meanwhile, I’m pondering human nature – why do some people feel that it is perfectly acceptable to be rude to total strangers? The reason I’m asking is because I made a pit stop at a gas station today and The Baby threw a fit because I wouldn’t let her grab a package of pop-tarts off of the display. Some woman made a rude comment under her breath about how I should have just let her have it. Of course, I now have the perfect comeback, but that didn’t come to me until after I second-guessed my choices as a parent and then felt the need to defend my actions to a total stranger. So, which was more offensive – her rudeness? Or my need to explain myself?

flying-bitchslap

And, in case you’re keeping score at home, I am still looking for work, but I think it’s time to entertain my options as a freelance writer. I’ve been on a bunch of interviews and many have  managed to be both awkward and overly competitive at the same time. Rather than allow myself to get to a position where I am desperate for work, I’m ready to start being selective in terms of the projects I take on. So, if you know of anyone who is looking for a writer, please refer them to In So Many Words…, my marketing/advertising blog.





There’s a Lot to be Said For Total Honesty

20 03 2009

nametag1

I have now been unemployed for nearly three full months, and while it seems like years, I’m grateful that I’ve been allowed to gain both perspective and clarity of thought. Translation: I’m done “settling” and want a great job, despite the fact that staying at home with The Baby is starting to wear on me. As any job-hunter knows, the process entails being able to communicate one’s thoughts both clearly and professionally. However, wouldn’t it be great if we could tell employers what we really thought during the interview process? I’ve given this a great deal of thought, particularly since I hate writing cover letters. They’re painful to write and really, all I really want to do is beg them to just hire me already.  So, in a perfect world, this would be my cover letter:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing to apply for the XXX position advertised on XXX.com.

While my resume shows that my background is perfectly suited to your job requirements, as are my career goals, I would like to talk about something more important – me. First and foremost, I am a good person. I don’t lie, cheat, or steal. I’m not the office d-bag that talks behind people’s backs, plus I put thought into what I pack for lunch so I don’t stink up the joint. Co-workers and clients like me – they think I’m a great girl who does amazing work.

I’m not a job-hopper, as I need stability in my life. I have an amazing little girl who tells me I’m her hero and I take that responsibility much more seriously than any job. I want to be someone she can respect and be proud to call her mommy.

Money is not an issue. Maybe that’s not entirely true, but I am willing to lower my asking price if you’ll just give me a chance. All I ask is that you pay me a salary that will help support my unfortunate gum habit. Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I am a chronic gum-chewer, but I have learned to chaw unobtrusively, plus it helps relieve the tension I feel under deadlines.

Can I do the job? Yes. Do I want the job? Absolutely. For the love of God, call me. I’ve been out of work for three months and my daughter is driving me insane with her incessant demands for Care Bears videos and trips to the playground.


Respectfully,

Me





Lights Out, Uh Huh…

18 09 2008

You may or may not be aware of the massive blackouts that have occurred from Texas all the way up to New York (hence, my J. Geils Band reference), but we felt Hurricane Ike’s wrath all the way up here in Hooterville. In fact, the entire town was basically shut down four an entire week. I know I really shouldn’t complain about not having electricity for four-ish days when there were people in Texas who lost their homes, but I really do find disruptions to my routine distressing. All of the forced downtime gave me some time to think as I got caught up on my housework and I have had several mini-revelations I’d like to share with you:

1. There are stages you go through during a long-time blackout, much like the stages of dying and/or grief:

  • Shock. “Oh my God, the lights are out! I wonder how long this will go on? Where are the candles?”
  • Elation. “Really? I don’t have to go to work today? I can get some one-on-one time with my kid AND get caught up on my housework? And I can’t do the laundry I’ve been putting off? Score!”
  • Boredom. “Sure, we can sing the clean-up song from Barney while wearing tiaras and blowing bubbles in the backyard! We’ve got all day, my little friend! I’ve already cleaned the house, alphabetized the toys in your room, AND made a scrapbook of your third cousin Itchy’s wedding!” (Meanwhile, you’re secretly plotting a looting spree with your girlfriends because there really is nothing else to do)
  • Denial. “The lights won’t be on til two weeks from Tuesday? Nuh-uh. They’ll be on tomorrow. I just know it! The crews are working really hard.”
  • Anger. “What?! (struggling to maintain composure) You told me this morning that the power would be back tonight. Now you’re telling me that it won’t be back for another week? Hold on a sec… (tone becomes increasingly shrill) If I told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, don’t bother Mommy while she’s on the phone. Yes, I know you need to go to the potty! (pause) Figure it out! Just leave Mommy alone! She’s talking to the nice man from the %$#!@ electric company! (tone brightens a little) Now, what were you saying?”
  • Bargaining. “Maybe if I get my house clean and ready for the power to reappear, the lights will magically come on all by themselves. It could happen! Kind of like ‘Field of Dreams’…if I clean it, they will come.”
  • Acceptance. “Screw it. The power is never coming back and I’m going to die a horrible death at the hands of looters who will step over my lifeless body as they search for my iPod, which they’ll probably sell for crack, anyway. Bastards. Where’s the wine?”

2. During a lengthy blackout, your spouse and children can do nothing right. Just accept it and relocate to an undisclosed location and be done with it.

3. Too much time on your hands is a bad thing. Trust me on this.

4. In the shower, no one can hear you scream, especially if you stuff a washcloth in your mouth first.

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I have never dropped the f-bomb as many times in my life as I did over the past few days. Seriously, it was ugly and I’m just now starting to come down from all of the excitement.





Hmmm…

11 09 2008

It’s been an interesting last couple of days. Where do I start?

Let’s see, work has been really good lately. The week started slowly and, with that, my sense of paranoia was in overdrive, but all is well now. Also, a couple of bursts of intuition where new business is concerned look like they may be paying off, so I’ve been mentally doing a happy dance for the past few hours.

Meanwhile, after trying to discuss a work-related idea with Hubs and being repeatedly shut down, I sadly came to the realization that Hubs will never really respect what I do for a living and I have to learn to live with that. He thinks that aspects of what my company does are evil, but he’s learning to keep his mouth shut, especially since it’s keeping a roof over our heads. Really, all I wanted, after having been starved for interaction with live humans today (my boss and my buddy were both busy with other things, so I was completely alone for hours) and then dealing with the Baby, who was quite manic (more on that in a sec), I desperately wanted to have an actual conversation with my husband that didn’t revolve around kids, politics, what’s wrong with the world today, or TV. More than anything, my feelings were hurt that he didn’t want to hear about something that’s important to me and that I find exciting.

The Baby has been a handful lately. Yes, I know she’s 3, but I’ve had a hard time with her. She’s been getting really snarky, especially toward me, and I’m not sure how to deal with it. I ask her to do something and she tells me no. I give her dinner and she throws it. Anyone have any parenting advice? I’m not a spanker and time-out’s aren’t working. What do I do now? I’m seriously getting tired of peeling spaghetti off the dining room wall!

The Big Kid’s birthday party is Saturday, so we’re frantically trying to clean the house before the in-law’s arrive. What I wouldn’t do to have a maid for the next couple of days! Looks like the menu will consist of make-your-own pizzas, snacks, crudites (veggies and dip, for those not in the loop), and cake. Very simple menu, but the kids will love it. Now, if only I can figure out what to get her as a present! She’s going to be 10, which is a strange age, as far as gift-giving is concerned. She’s too old for a lot of the toys that are out there, but not quite old enough for the electronics she wants.

Meanwhile, the diet is coming along swimmingly. I have lost 8 pounds (yay, me!) by pretty much going against all of the advice the diet gurus publish – I skip meals, I don’t work out, and I probably drink too much water. While I may have a headache occasionally from missing a meal or two, I’m starting to fit into the pants I was about to toss into the box to take to Goodwill. Again, yay me! I was bulimic at one point, so I seriously have no idea how to lose weight without involving disordered eating of some sort, so bear with me and my funky eating habits! Seriously, for the most part, I am doing pretty well – I am eating a lot more fruits and veggies than I usually do and I’m getting pretty good about eyeballing what a portion size is supposed to look like (1 ounce of cheese is about the size of a domino, a serving of meat is equal to the size of a deck of cards, use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, and fill your plate 1/2 full of veggies and then divide the remaining half between protein and carbs), so don’t fear. I AM eating and I’ve come to the realization that I will never be a size 2 supermodel and I’m okay with it. I do want to be healthy and energetic. Basically, the goal is to be smarter, daintier, with a better wardrobe, and just plain fabulous by the time I’m 40. Dang it, I wanna be a MILF!

The garden is doing great! My herbs are flourishing, so I may have some to harvest soon. The tomatoes are going crazy, so I will soon be making roasted tomato bisque. The zucchini, broccoli, snap beans, and lettuce are growing quite nicely and are loving the cooler temperatures and rain we’ve been having, so it could be a great harvest this fall!

Finally, I have to give props to the crew at ALDI. I zoomed in there 5 minutes before closing time and did a commando-like sweep of the store in my 15 minute shopping trip. While I’m sure the crew wasn’t too thrilled to have me there right at closing time, they were still kind and gracious. So if they were thinking, “Gawd, lady! Would you leave already,” you’d never know it and I appreciate it.





I’m Officially a Relic, I Think

1 09 2008

I’m in one of my moods today and that only means one thing – lots and lots of baking. I started off with a pecan pie to surprise Hubs. Now, I have two loaves of whole wheat bread rising. I was getting ready to post my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook recipe and thought that I might save time by finding it online and copying and pasting. However, my recipe wasn’t on the BH&G website. So I then turned to All Recipes to see if I could find a similar recipe, but to no avail. All of the bread recipes were for bread makers. Doesn’t anyone else make bread by hand anymore? I, myself, really enjoy the process of kneading and rising and, eventually, baking. Man, I feel old!

This raises an interesting paradox. I prefer to bake bread by hand and occasionally use an old-fashioned typewriter (gasp!). I pay my bills either online or over the phone and have no clue how much a postage stamp costs, yet I’m a firm believer in the power of a hand-written letter. I’d rather die than receive a business call in my off hours, yet I feel completely powerless without my cell phone. No ground-breaking conclusions here, only questions: why, why, why? Why are we so tied to electronics and technology, yet retain some of the more charming elements of the world in which our parents were raised? When did this revolution officially happen? I don’t recall ever having been invited!





Phew!

9 08 2008

This has already been quite the weekend and it’s only half over. For starters, I took the Baby to swim class and it went really well. She had a ball and was blowing bubbles like a fool. When class was over, all of the kids got in the big pool, including the Baby, who usually approaches it with great trepidation. She was having fun and decided it was time to get out, so she tried to climb out of the side of the pool, rather than using the ramp or a ladder. Her tiny foot went out from under her and she fell backwards into the pool. I saw this happen and immediately ran to the pool, but her teacher beat me to her and fished her out of the pool. The Baby is fine. She scraped her foot and it bled, but she did not hit her head (thank God) and started blowing bubbles as soon as she was under water. She was scared and her foot was bloody, but she seems to want to go back for tomorrow’s class and her instructor told her how proud she was of her for remembering to blow bubbles.

Earlier in the day, the Baby and I finally got the fall crops planted. All of them – broccoli, beans, lettuce, and zucchini, plus dill and basil. The spinach has yet to go in, but that doesn’t get planted until September 1st, so we’ve got a few weeks to get the soil ready. Lots of hard work and the Baby got bored waiting for me to dig the trenches for the seeds because she was all about putting those suckers in the ground, but we got it done, so we should have quite the harvest from September through late October/early November.

The weekend started on a not-so-great note. Hubs was let go from the Worst Job in the World, which, while shocking, is a relief because it was just plain awful. He does have a follow-up interview Tuesday for the job he really wants, so, really good things are in store for us, it’s just a matter of timing its arrival just-so.

On the agenda for tomorrow – writing a presentation or two, cleaning, and possibly baking muffins for breakfast. I was going to make apple scones, but since I don’t have actual butter, I’m thinking that margarine is not the way to go here, so I’m sticking with what I know – muffins – diet, be damned. Hubs wants to go to the pool, but I think I’ll sit this trip out so I can get stuff done.

And, really, now that I think about it, when did I get this adept at multitasking? I would love to be as single-minded as Hubs and the kids and just live in the moment for once instead of worrying about what has to be done and constantly looking ahead so I’m not unpleasantly surprised. Anyone else come to this realization?

Here’s a random thought – if you’re part of a couple, have you ever noticed that there seems to be a system of equilibrium involved whenever one partner loses weight? It’s like the universe has designated a certain amount of weight between Hubs and me, so that if I lose weight, he gains, and vice versa. Seriously, why is that?!

So tonight, I’m working on a presentation and watching the Olympics (that is when I’m not annoyed by the incessant ringing of Hubs’s cell phone. It’s his friend who is home alone, drunk and bored and quite possibly irritated because he can’t figure out why a married father of two isn’t rushing to take his call at almost 11pm). I just watched Michael Phelps win his first gold medal. Loved the opening ceremonies last night. I was so touched by the little guy that marched into the stadium next to Yao Ming (look up the story if you haven’t heard it already. It will be well worth your time!) – what a little hero! And the way they lit the torch was beyond amazing!