Fri. Jan. 29, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 254 — Work at a Steady Pace

image by Karl Eggers via pixabay.com

Friday, January 29, 2021

Last Day of Full Moon

Bitterly Cold

Yesterday’s Zoom meditation group was great yesterday. The leader always introduces us to wonderful techniques and possibilities.

Got an ad done for a client.

Worked on the article, finished it, checked quotes with one source, sent it off. The editor has a few suggestions, so I will turn those around today. I’m glad for them – there were a few problem spots I wasn’t sure how to tackle, and her guidance is a big help.

She also suggested another article, so I’m going to look for some sources and put together a pitch to send her next week.

The first part of the article, “In the Company of (Historical) Women Part I” is up. I want to put together the PDF for the contributors and send them the link, and then I will be promoting the heck out of it!

The landlord and the contractor roamed around the outside of the house in the snow, which seemed counter-intuitive to me, but whatever. The cats did not like it; usually they take a look out the window and then go back to sleep, but they didn’t like this guy.

Got out a bunch of LOIs. Finished reading WICKED AUTUMN, the first of G.M. Malliet’s Max Tudor series and really liked it. I’ve ordered the rest of the series.

Still trying to get my mom her vaccine appointments. One site is still down; the other claims all the appointments are booked. Governor Baker shrugs it off, saying the lack of doses aren’t his fault. Interesting, when the Sociopath from his own party was destroying everything, Baker at least put up the façade of fighting for us. Now that the other party is in charge, he’s happy to pass the buck. Unacceptable.

The short story about the ghost pirate ship was rejected, which made me sad. The letter was very nice – they got over 1400 submissions, and could only take 20. Still, I really love that story. I’ll take a look to see what needs tweaking and improving, and then look for another paying market.

Knowledge Unicorns was good; steady work on assignments. There’s a lot of pressure for the kids to go back to in-person learning, in the places where it’s being done. The parents and I are all united that’s not going to happen until they’re all vaccinated. Some of the kids will remain home-schooled, even when it’s safe to go back. They are doing better in this environment: fewer distractions, less bullying. They’re smart and love to learn, and they CAN do well remotely. The education system was failing them even before the pandemic, because it didn’t have room for their individuality and their intelligence. What I also love is how they have made friends with each other, and are in touch outside of the homework sessions, even though we’re all scattered around the country. And their parents now have each other as a support system, too.

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get a piece ready for that February 1 submission deadline. I don’t think I’ll have enough time to polish. We’ll see how I feel later today.

It’s bitterly, bitterly cold. I was going to do a library run for curbside pickup; now I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow? I’ll see how I feel in a few hours. That pushes a lot onto tomorrow, as far as the dump run and the grocery run. Plus, I need to get more ice melt. I’ll clean ash out of the fireplace later, so we can have the fire going all weekend. Maybe I’ll do some baking, too.

I’m going to do a couple of hours’ worth of work on a client’s website, and turn around the edits on the article. Then, I’ll work on the next article pitch, so I can send it to my editor early next week.

I HAVE to catch up on all the box purging that didn’t get done this week. Most of the weekend will focus on that, along with housework and errands, the book for review, contest entries, and maybe some work on a play.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Stay cozy!

Wed. Jan. 27, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 252 — Finally, Snow!

image courtesy of Alain Audet via pixabay.com

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

First Day of Full Moon

Snowy and cold

I’ve got a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice about tidying up one’s materials, with an eye to where one wants to move, career-wise.

Yesterday was one of those days when, even though I put in a long day at the computer, it felt like not a lot got done.

I got out a bunch of LOIs, worked on (but did not finish) my article, wrote two blog posts, did some client work, worked on contest entries.

Didn’t get any boxes purged from the basement, which made me feel like a failure. Means I have to catch up on that this afternoon and tomorrow, WHILE handling client work and finishing my article.

Because that’s the way it goes, when you don’t get something done. You have to dig deeper and get it done anyway.

One of the contest entries was outstanding, though, and is in the pile I’m making for possible winners and finalists.

Knowledge Unicorns was fun. We are back to dealing with their schoolwork, although we’re talking about the trial in the Senate, too. It’s important they understand its impact and importance to their future. It affects them directly.

An editor sent off a contract that will cover all the pieces she wants me to write for the year (and make sure I get paid on time). So that was nice. I signed it and sent it back this morning.

It started snowing late yesterday afternoon. I’d had the pre-storm headache since late morning, so it was a relief when it finally started. We didn’t get that much – maybe about 3”. But I will wrap up in about twenty minutes or so, if it’s light enough, and shovel the driveway and the front walk.

I have to spend some overlapping time at a client’s today, and I don’t want to wait to shovel until five minutes before I leave, and then be grumpy the whole time I have to be there. I’m grumpy enough that there’s any overlap.

I’m frustrated at the lack of information about scheduling my mother’s vaccine. Seniors 75+ are supposed to be able to get the first dose “starting Feb. 1” only there’s no way to start scheduling until Feb. 1. I’m going to call her doctor’s office this morning, and then maybe Whole Health, where she got her pneumonia and shingles shots when CVS kept giving us the runaround. I do NOT want her to go through CVS. It will be a nightmare. According to the Governor’s site, those with “comorbidities” will be contacted by their doctor to get the vaccine. Only I don’t know if the three surgeries and two cancers still count, since the last surgery had such a good prognosis. So I will get in touch with my doctor, too. I don’t plan on waiting around. I want those “Fauchi ouchies” for both of us, as soon as we can have them, and it’s more important to get my mom’s, because she is 96.

I hope today won’t be too stressful. I want to get home, decontaminate, finish my article, and purge boxes.

But now . . .it’s time to shovel snow.

Have a good one, friends.

Published in: on January 27, 2021 at 6:27 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 27, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 252 — Finally, Snow!  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 247 — Governor Just Wants Us to Keep Dying

image by Karolina Grabowska via pixabay.com

Friday, January 22, 2021

Waxing Moon

Still dark out

Yesterday was a frustrating mish-mash.

Governor Baker is rolling back COVID restrictions, in spite of the fact that there were over 4000 new cases in the last 24 hours. Our numbers are higher than when we were on Stay-at-Home last spring, but, hey, keep people dying, why not? The curfew will be lifted Monday night. It’s not like it’s been enforced around here anyway; people started ignoring it as of New Year’s Eve.

Meditation was great, as always.

The landlord and a contractor were walking around the outside of the house, discussing the work that needs to be done – I’m hoping they wait until we’ve moved out, but I somehow doubt it, especially since I heard him say “whoever buys it” – which means he plans to sell it, as I suspected. That makes the move suddenly much more real. And ratchets up my anxiety as to where we will land.

I put together a portfolio package of B2B and B2C examples. I will polish it today, and then it’s ready to use.

Got out some LOIs.

Worked on the article. I need to stop leaving space for the last two quotes for which I’d hoped and just finish it without them. I have plenty of material.

Finished a mystery by a Swedish author that I enjoyed. SNOWDRIFT, by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy. It’s so interesting how differently non-English/American books are structured. Which details and backstory and tangents they use. I enjoyed the book for itself, and I learned something, as a writer.

Read another novel, by a different author, that angered me because it tried to justify sexual exploitation. Not just in the themes, but in the actual words on the page. It was okay for the protagonist to exploit this character because she was an awful person. Um, no.

But it also illuminated a piece of mine that I put aside because I couldn’t figure out a way to explore particular sex and power dynamics without being exploitative. Perhaps the answer is that those dynamics ARE exploitative, and ethical characters struggle and falter, but, ultimately, it is up to them to make the right choices in the end, or grow into them, or they aren’t worthy protagonists. Apologia for exploitation only cheapens any genuine love relationships, and why should the reader trust any of it? “It’s okay in this context because it’s a fantasy world” isn’t cutting it, so tear it apart and really explore the dynamics and the struggles.

In spite of being frustrated and angry with the book I read, at least it taught me something about how to rewrite a book I’ve struggled with. I’m grateful for that.

McConnell & Company are already being assholes. The Democrats need to crush them. Compromise now, and lose everything.

We really need to bring back the medieval cobradors to stand and serve as conscience to these asshats. Yeah, I know, they don’t actually have consciences or hearts or ethics or souls, but maybe it would at least make them uncomfortable.

And if you’re a Congress person carrying a weapon into the building, you should be thrown on the floor, cuffed, and thrown into a cell. Period.

Stop letting them get away with everything.

Knowledge Unicorns session was mostly about the inauguration last night, and the kids getting excited about poetry and song again. They’re going off to read more poetry; some of them want to try writing some poetry, some of them want to try writing songs.

My ear infection is still bothering me (especially dizziness/balance issues). My mother wasn’t feeling well last night, which, at her age, is always a worry.

I have to put my head down and push through a lot of work today, the article, client work, etc., and do a curbside pickup at the library.

The weekend has to be built around purging the basement. Have a good one.

Published in: on January 22, 2021 at 7:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 247 — Governor Just Wants Us to Keep Dying  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Wed. Jan. 20, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 245 — Inauguration Day

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Waxing Moon

No Retrogrades

Partly cloudy and cold

Inauguration Day

This is one of the most important historical days in my lifetime. The Sociopath will be gone (we hope, unless there’s another coup attempt, this one successful), and we will have intelligent, compassionate people in charge.

Who will be blocked by the seditionists who are still in Congress and their troops. They must all be removed. This cancer must be cut out and destroyed. Or it will come back worse.

I’m feeling like crap today, so I’m not going into the office. I can work remotely today, which I will, taking a break to watch the swearings-in around noon.

I worked on the article yesterday; it should be ready to go out by tomorrow. I did a nice, big chunk of client work. I got out some LOIs. I got a response from an LOI, but that’s not working out, because they lowballed me by $20K. That’s right – by 20 THOUSAND dollars. If we’re starting our discussions $20K apart — especially since the original brief for the project had it up at the rate that made it worth it for me to pitch or I wouldn’t have bothered– it would not bode well for us.

It’s disappointing, but it’s better to find out before we’ve started than at the first invoice.

Got out another pitch first thing this morning, for something interesting that landed on my desk late last night. I have a feeling they might want someone more academic for this project, but I liked it and I have samples along the lines of what they say they’re looking for, so I sent them off, and we’ll see. If I didn’t at least pitch, there’s NO chance at all.

We discussed the inauguration last night during the Knowledge Unicorns session. We’re spending a good deal of our time together lately on what’s happening in the world, rather than homework. The kids and their parents all intend to watch. As difficult as the past months and years have been, it drives home that history is not something that happens to someone else. WE are history, and we can shape it. In fact, it is our responsibility so to do.

It will be difficult to focus on anything until the swearings-in, but I will try. I’m sure the Sociopath will try something on his way out the door. Supposedly, he’s leaving at 8 AM, but I’ll believe it when it happens. It’s not surprising that he acts like trash since November – he’s always been trash. May he and his enablers finally face consequences for the damage and death they’ve caused.

There’s so much work to do, but I’m sure I’m not the only one entirely exhausted by the past five years. It’ll need to be like a relay race, working for justice and rebuilding, so each of us can take some time to recover and come back stronger.

Fingers crossed that today goes well, there’s only a minimum of violence, and none of our incoming chosen leaders are hurt or worse.

Published in: on January 20, 2021 at 7:29 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 20, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 245 — Inauguration Day  
Tags:

Fri. Jan. 15, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 240 — Blocks of Creative Time

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Friday, January 15, 2021

Waxing Moon

Cloudy and cold

Although it’s milder than normal for this time of year, it’s still cold and raw.

The Mid-Month check-in is up on the GDR site, and looking at how short the list is, I feel like crap.

Which is a shame, because I felt pretty good after yesterday’s work on the book proposal. It has to go out by Sunday, although I’m hoping to get it out today or tomorrow.

This particular organization’s guidelines are structured very differently than a traditional book proposal, so I’ve had to change my process to fit it. It’s a challenge, but in the right way. I feel good about the work I did. I don’t know if it’s what they want, but I have something solid that I can use, be it for them or somewhere else, and that feels good.

It was a good mix of finding the right resources to source for research to support the themes I the novel, and to talk about schedule and process. I need to move some material around today, and polish it. As I did my first couple of editing passes yesterday, I was alarmed by the overuse of passive voice and the overuse of adverbs. Thank goodness for edits. I’m also tightening, focusing, and clarifying.

A grant application hit my desk yesterday; it’s not a complicated process, and I might as well try. If I don’t apply, there’s no chance of getting it. But that will happen AFTER this proposal is out.

Once the book proposal is out, I have to turn my attention to the article for SCRIPTMAG. I have almost all of the material. Two sources did not get back to me with the requested quotes,  so I will move forward without them. That is due on Tuesday, so I’ll finish it over the weekend.

I finished the book for review, and will submit the review today. I have one more book assigned for review; I will do that this weekend. The first box of contest entries is supposed to arrive today, and once I process them, I will have to get started on them next week.

It felt really good, though, to spend the bulk of my energy on a single creative project yesterday. That’s the way I like to work. Large swaths of uninterrupted work time.

During our Knowledge Unicorns session yesterday, we discussed the impeachment process, and what needs to happen for the Senate to convict — and what can happen if they chose to remain loyal to a traitor.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Let’s hope we’re in for better things after what will be a chaotic week next week.

Published in: on January 15, 2021 at 7:16 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 15, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 240 — Blocks of Creative Time  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Wed. Jan. 13, 2021: Die for Your Employer Day 238 — Working on Multiple Levels

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Still dark outside, but I think it’s pretty cold.

I’ve got a post over on Ink-Dipped Advice, breaking down the cost when a company demands you make an “introductory video” as part of its toxic, one-way interview process. I knew the unpaid labor racked up lost income/billable hours, but I was shocked at how much more it was than I estimated.

Worked on the article; worked on the book proposal. I figured where I was getting in my own way and bogging down with the book proposal. It’s flowing better now. Got some client work done.

My friend Paula’s been urging me to adapt my short story “Help, No Questions Asked” into a series pilot. That would be so much fun. That’s been percolating at the back of my brain while I work on other things.

Got out nine LOIs to potential new clients. One, who claimed to want to hire more women, was immediately knocked off the list when they sent me a set of unpaid assessments in response to my LOI. It means they never read it, because my LOI clearly states I don’t do unpaid labor (be it tests or project-specific samples). I have a rate and a contract for that. However, I did have a nice exchange with a prospective client to whom I’d sent some materials late last week. Enjoyed it very much, so we’ll see how it goes.

Didn’t get much reading done; will have to spend more time on the book for review later today.

The Knowledge Unicorns session yesterday wasn’t about homework. It was the kids, the parents (and even my 96-year-old mom) talking about the domestic terrorism last week. We watched footage (nothing like having multiple devices running), including clips from Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and the BBC.

We talked about the Constitution, what it means to take an oath of office, what it means to put country over party – and the reverse. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, or that my opinions are the only ones, but we shared resources, talked about how Fox News and other disinformation channels were handling it, and consequences of actions.

It ran well beyond the scheduled time frame, but it was important. One of the kids admitted to not feeling safe anywhere, and not believing she ever would, and I think it’s heartbreaking. But that’s where we are.

In my lifetime, this has been the road we’ve been headed down since Reagan. I’m sure parts were put into play much earlier. This could have been stopped so many times, but we haven’t had a radical left to balance the radical right since the early 1970’s, and what’s now considered “far” left is a little bit right of center. Basic human decency is considered a “radical left” concept. People allowed themselves to be boiled like frogs for at least the past 50 years, probably longer.

You can’t “reconcile” or “unite” with people who are actively determined to kill you. You have to remove them from the equation. If you give them an inch, they’ll use it to reach over and slit your throat.

On that happy note, I’m gearing up for a stressful day in the office. I may have to miss Remote Chat, which will make me sad, but if I get enough done at the office today, I can focus on the book proposal (due on Sunday) and the article (due on Tuesday) for the next four days.

Stay safe, friends, and keep letting your elected officials know what you need them to do to fix this.

Published in: on January 13, 2021 at 6:40 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 13, 2021: Die for Your Employer Day 238 — Working on Multiple Levels  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wed. Jan. 6, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 231 — Twelfth Night

image courtesy of Gerhard G. via pixabay.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

12th Night/Epiphany/Start of Carnivale

Clearing up and cold

Today’s Ink-Dipped Advice post talks about starting with a clean slate and building your new work plan on that. Check it out.

Dreamed about herbs and spices last night, so I guess December will be delicious!

No idea what I’ll do for the 12 drummers drumming story, but I hope that will evolve as I work on the earlier pieces. There’s one possibility percolating, but it might be a little too wacky to fit the tone of the other pieces, although so far, they all have a kind of odd humor to them.  I’m also thinking of doing a 13th story that kind of wraps everything up.

Yesterday was a good day, although I didn’t get done as much as I’d hoped. Which seems to be my refrain, because I always want to do far more than makes sense to do.

I got some writing done in the morning (not a very good session). I started sending out interview requests for the article that was greenlit on Monday.

When senior shopping hours were over, I got into the car and did a grocery run to Trader Joe’s. Bought more than I planned (as usual), but it’s always good to stay stocked up. Popped in next door to Christmas Tree Shops. There were only two of us in the enormous store, so we could stay far, far apart. I grabbed some stuff that was 60% off for next year.

Decontaminated everything, decontaminated myself. Got out more interview requests, and did background research. Was frustrated at people not having contact information on their websites. There were a couple of artists I would have liked to interview, but when trying to find contact information takes longer than the actual interview would, I have to stop and move on. I’m on a deadline.

Got out some LOIs. Refused a couple of people who believe that free labor is part of the interview process and moved on from them.

Worked on an ad for a client. Worked on a proposal that needs to go out next week. Did a bunch of admin.

Unsubscribing from a slew of lists last week was a good choice, although there’s still an amazing amount of admin that has to be handled every day. Last year, I set aside chunks of hours every few days, but it’s really better to handle it every day.

A book I ordered nearly a month ago finally arrived (not from Amazon – they’re not even trying to hunt for the books they lost).

The Knowledge Unicorns are taking an extra week offline. Everyone’s school needs are still being sorted out for the coming months.

Anxious about the Georgia Senate races. The news seems to be good, so far, but I’m not counting on anything until it’s finalized.

I have to go to a client’s office today, and expect that to be more stressful than it needs to be.  Then home, decontamination process, Remote Chat, and then, it’s time to start taking down the holiday decorations. It will take a few days, but everything needs to be well packed up this year, in anticipation of the move.

We had so much joy in this year’s decorations. We had the chance to really appreciate them this year, since we weren’t running around to this, that, and the other holiday event.

I should make a King Cake for tonight, but don’t know if I will.

Just focusing on getting things done today. Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Published in: on January 6, 2021 at 6:27 am  Comments Off on Wed. Jan. 6, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 231 — Twelfth Night  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wed. Dec. 23, 2020: Die for Your Employer Day 217 — Nearly at The Holiday Break

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Waxing Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Up early yesterday, and out the door a little after 7 AM to go to Plymouth to my trusted mechanic to get the car inspected.  I realized that it was my first time over the bridge since last December – when I got my car inspected.

In a normal year, I’d be horrified that I was turning into one of “those” people who refuse to foray beyond the bridge. But this year, hey, pandemic. We were supposed to Stay the F home, and I did so as much as I could.

The mechanic used his small business loan to transform one of his bays into a socially-distanced waiting room. Well set up – MORE than six feet between each seating area. One of the other customers brought his five-month-old, white, standard poodle puppy, who was so excited to play with all his new friends! Totally made my day. They all followed protocols there ALL the time – unlike the idiots here on Cape where I had the oil change, who not only refused to follow the mask mandate, but gave me a hard time for so doing.

The car passed inspection – I was thrilled! The mechanic and his crew were really touched that I took the time to individually wrap the cookies so that they were safe.

Driving back over the bridge took some time – lots of traffic. Once again, people are ignoring the edict not to travel during a pandemic, and we will have a grim January and February.

I stopped at the grocery store in Sandwich that was on my way home and got the last few things I needed for the holidays. I got some beautiful cod for tomorrow night’s paella. I even found a duck for New Year’s Day! That thrills me.

Home, decontaminated the groceries and put them away, then masked back up, loaded up the car with the cookie tins and made deliveries. Most were no or distanced contact. People were thrilled.

By the time I got back, it was nearly lunch time. Decontaminated myself, had lunch, and then spent the afternoon on client work and on reading the book for review. I’m nearly finished with it – I’ll finish it today and send off the review. Only a day late.

I also wrapped the presents to do under the tree. With “help” from Tessa and Willa, which was hilarious. They are getting along, most of the time now.

Crystal Bar has continued a negative pattern of behavior/lack of customer service with me, and, much as I love their product, I’m done. Too much hypocrisy. She has the right to run her business however she wishes. I have the right not to place my money there.

It’s a disappointment, but hardly life-changing. Hell, I made my own bath products for years. I can always start doing so again. I can also source similar products from other small business artisans, try them, and see with whom I am the best fit. That’s a stronger choice than every order/interaction being a stressful battle.

Done. Solved. Moving on.

Besides, I have a duck for New Year’s.

Last night was our Knowledge Unicorns online holiday party. Some of the kids started winter break at the end of last week. Others had a few days scattered in this week. But you know what they did? All on their own? I’d mentioned how lovely the original Dickens “Christmas Carol” novella is, and, ON THEIR OWN, they got copies of it, split up the parts, rehearsed, and did a dramatic reading of it. It was SOOO cool. What fun! I’m so proud of these kids.

It makes me sad to hear about so many kids/parents struggling and worrying how much their kids are losing doing remote learning, while I have a bunch of kids who are thriving.

This morning will be stressful at the client’s. But then I’m free to enjoy the holidays for the rest of the week, and I intend to do just that. Christmas has no religious or spiritual significance for me anymore, but I do enjoy a series of home-and-hearth traditions, and I can use the rest.

I also plan to do some writing.

I wish you peace, joy, good health, and happiness AT HOME this Christmas. I’ll catch up with you on the other side of the weekend.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 7:09 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 23, 2020: Die for Your Employer Day 217 — Nearly at The Holiday Break  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Dec. 18, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 212 — More Snow

image courtesy of Larisa Koshkina via pixabay.com

Friday, December 18, 2020

Waxing Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Snowy and cold

There’s a post over on Comfort and Contradiction about the upcoming holiday meals.

Yesterday, I joined the Zoom meditation, which was lovely. After breakfast, I had to shovel the driveway and the front walkway. The snow was slushy and heavy, but we only had about six inches, so it wasn’t too bad.

And then, I was exhausted and brain fogged. I spent most of the rest of the day on the fold out couch, trying to read, or resting. I am simply worn out. I managed to handle the Knowledge Unicorns, but I was tired. They were very sweet, though, and worried about me. We have one more session, next Tuesday, before the holiday break, and everyone is ready for it.

I’m glad I moved the car inspection appointment – I could not have driven over the bridge today.

I found out that two of my friends are moving away in the coming months – change is upon us all.

I have a bit more shoveling to do today – it’s snowing again, but pretty light. I might do a run to the library, to drop off and do a curbside pickup. A stack of books has accumulated.

I want to get the changes into the two plays and send them off, and start the book for review.  If I can, I will finish the edits on “Mistletoe” and sign off on them. I hope I can. That needs to go out. I have a little bit of client work, but I’ve caught up on almost everything.

Tomorrow, the entire day is set aside to make stollen, which takes a full eight hours. I’ll cycle some laundry through as well.

Sunday, I’m baking the Chocolate Grand Marnier cake for Monday’s solstice celebration.

But I am also trying to rest as much as possible. Because I’m exhausted. On multiple levels.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on December 18, 2020 at 7:53 am  Comments Off on Fri. Dec. 18, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 212 — More Snow  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wed. Nov. 25, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 189 — Incoming

image courtesy of Conger Design via pixabay.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and milder

Well, yesterday turned out to be “interesting times.”

The brand-new furnace stopped working. It’s barely six weeks old.

On one of the coldest mornings we’ve had lately.

I was so angry. Six damn weeks. But I kept my cool. I checked the breaker box. It was fine. I checked the vents outside. They were clear. I tried to push it by turning up the thermostat. Nothing.

I knew it would be difficult once I put in the call, so I masked up and did my errands as planned first. Quick run to Target, when only about six people were in the store, to whip through and pick up outdoor lights, molasses (it’s $2/bottle cheaper than the grocery store and I got the last three bottles), one final gift for my mom, stocking stuffers. There was ONE package of giant Bounty paper towels left, the only package in the store. I grabbed it.

Spent more than I meant to, but now we’re good on paper towels and toilet paper until the end of the year.

Headed to the post office. Mailed the overseas cards and the overseas package. Got some more stamps, so I can finish the domestic cards.

To the library for curbside drop off/pickup, to the liquor store, to the chocolatier, to buy the boxes of chocolate we’re sending to various friends.

Now I’m done. I have to make one more trip to the chocolatier for a couple of little things, but I’m done with the gifts and the rest.

I wanted to get it all done BEFORE the hordes descended on the Cape for the holiday.

Home. Decontaminated. Left all the bags of everything in the quarantine area of the garage. I’ll bring them in Thursday or Friday.

THEN I contacted the landlord about the furnace. He told me to contact the furnace company directly. Considering they refused to deal with me directly during the installation because I wasn’t the client, I thought that was interesting. But I called, a technician came out. The inductor motor and the furnace’s internal motherboard needed to be replaced.

On a brand-new furnace.

The tech asked if we’d had a lightening strike in yesterday’s storm. We didn’t even get a power flicker.

He had to go off and source the parts and come back. Willa, who had insisted on being in the basement to supervise, was corralled, and I stashed her upstairs with my mom to keep them away from people. Tessa stayed in my room, uninterested. Charlotte curled up in the rocking chair and napped.

So I didn’t need to herd cats, which was a relief.

I managed to get an ad live for a client, and some admin work done, but it wasn’t a very productive day. Fortunately, this year, no one expects much productivity this week.

He finished up by midafternoon, and it’s nice to have heat again. He was very nice, and masked, as required, and so was I, so it was all good.

But now I’m going to be paranoid every time the furnace kicks on or off, wondering if it will fail again.

We had the final Knowledge Unicorns session before Thanksgiving break. We won’t meet on Thursday. The kids are ready for a break, but we had fun. ALL of their grades have gone up.

When they have an assignment in a subject they don’t like, I ask them, “If you were a character in your favorite book and were faced with a problem/challenge like this, how would you  and the characters in that book overcome it? Without violence?”

That’s given them interesting paths to solve the assignments. They’ve also started sharing their favorite books with each other. And the ones who weren’t big readers for pleasure are starting to do more of that now.

After the homework session, I made a meal out of sketchy leftovers in the fridge (I’m cleaning out fridge and freezer, tossing some things that are just not worth taking a chance on to make room for new leftovers).

The turkey is thawing nicely, so all will be well on Thanksgiving morning.

I attended an NYU alumni Zoom event with John Leguizamo and the producers of the new film he starred in and directed called CRITICAL THINKING, about an urban chess team in Florida. It sounds great, and the conversation was wonderful. I didn’t realize he was an alum. I’ve known and loved his work since Spic-O-Rama in 1992. I’m eager to see the film.

After that, Jeremy Rock Smith of Kriplau did a live exchange on Instagram, answering questions for the holiday cooking. He’s quite emphatic about NOT cooking the stuffing in the turkey – says the turkey will get to dry, if you cook it enough to keep it safe. But, when I cook it at 350 instead of 325 AND use so much liquid in the bottom of the pan (so it’s more poached tan roasted), it works. Plus, when I use the thermometer, I usually get a higher temperature than the 165 needed for safe poultry. But I didn’t say anything. He’s right to advise caution. And he had some great answers for all kinds of vegetable prep. He’s just the best.

A bit of a tiring day, starting with challenges, but ending on a high, creative note. I’d gotten a little bit of writing done early in the morning, but nowhere near enough.

This weekend, around the food and the decorating, I’ll have to make up for it.

I’ve got a holiday greeting scheduled for tomorrow, but I won’t actually post until Friday again, and I’ll post over on the food blog about what to do with leftovers.

The roads and bridges were already clogged last night with traffic, people coming to the Cape for the holiday weekend, in spite of advisories not to come. You know these people didn’t take a test, nor will they follow protocols, nor will they quarantine. They’re just going to spread virus as much as possible because they’re too selfish to show a little consideration for anyone except themselves.

People were breaking curfew up the ying yang this morning. I woke up once just before midnight, and once a little after 4 (which meant I was up for the day), and there was traffic like there wasn’t any curfew.

Just people being Covidiots. I’m so sick of it.

Today will be stressful at the client’s – it’s the day we overlap. I’m hoping we can all stay safe for that couple of hours. Then, I’m in for the weekend, unless I get the domestic packages ready in time to take to the post office first thing Saturday morning.

I will be glad to be home, decontaminate, and attend Remote Chat.

Have a lovely, safe, quiet Thanksgiving my friends, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Published in: on November 25, 2020 at 6:36 am  Comments Off on Wed. Nov. 25, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 189 — Incoming  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fri. Nov. 20, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 184 — Hunkering Down and Trying to Hold the Road

image courtesy of domitian via pixabay.com

Friday, November 20, 2020

Waxing Moon

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Windy and cold

Later today, I will have a post up on Comfort and Contradiction with some Thanksgiving recipes.

Yesterday, I baked bread again, using molasses instead of honey. Denser. That took a good chunk of morning. Bread can’t be rushed.

In between, I had the online meditation, which was lovely. I got out some LOIs, created one of the two ads for a client that I need. One will go live today; the other next Tuesday. I’ve got the other one designed in my head. I just need to wrangle it into graphics and words.

Freelance chat was fun, although sometimes I feel like a couple of people try to turn every interaction into a sales pitch. We’re colleagues, not clients.

My back was giving me a hard time. Even the acupressure mat only offered temporary relief.

Had to hunt down some yarn in the storage area. Didn’t find it, but found some other stuff. Worked on some proof reading, but was tired and in pain, so I’m going to have to do it all again today.

Knowledge Unicorns went well, lots of assignments that needed support. But the kids and their parents are exhausted and scared.

Our virus numbers keep rising, and nobody who’s paid and sworn to work on our behalf is. Not to mention the Democrats are doing NOTHING and letting the Republicans get away with EVERYTHING.

Stop saying they “can’t” do anything because “they don’t have the votes.” It simply isn’t true. The voting is the final step in the process. They need to do the work before the vote – the meetings, the persuasion. Find the weak spot in your enemy and dig. Be relentless. Be ruthless. Make sure enough people on the other side don’t show up to vote if you can’t convince them to vote your way. There is ALWAYS a way to block something or pass something. The Republicans slam or block everything they want no matter if they are a minority or a majority. The Democrats needs to grow some balls and do the same.

If we don’t flip those two Georgia Senate seats, it won’t be because the Republicans cheated or tried to, although I’m sure they will. It’s because enough voters are sickened that the Democrats are letting Republicans get away with everything between now and January, and won’t bother to vote. All this whining is a misconstrued belief that by letting the Republicans keep getting away with their atrocities, it raises more money for Democrats. But people are sick of the Democrats allowing this to happen and doing nothing more than posting a few faux outraged tweets.

Democrats need to step up. Schumer needs to step up. He’s the Minority Leader. He needs to stop the daily tweet about the President not having a plan and implement his own plan. Work with Governors on their plans. There’s plenty that can be done to work around Republicans, but all the Democrats do is sit there, with their thumbs up their collective ass, whine they “don’t have the votes” and use it to fundraise.

If you’re not smart enough to work around the Republicans, why WOULD anyone donate to you or vote for you? Step up.

There is ALWAYS a way to ram through what you want or block what you want. Republicans have been doing it, whether they’re majority or minority, my entire lifetime. But Dems just sit there and whine that they “don’t have the votes.” There are other ways to get things done and stop things. There are ways to change other people’s votes. So stop whining and start fighting.

There are plenty of Dems I hope are primaried by more forceful Dems in the coming years.

We haven’t had a radical left in this country since about 1969. We desperately need one to balance the radical right.

I’m so sick of it.

Meanwhile, I’m just trying to stay alive. Literally.

I have to pick up a prescription for my mom at CVS and do a curbside drop off/pickup at the library.

The rest of the day will be client work, writing, and editing.

This weekend is about writing overseas cards, so I can mail them on Monday. If we’re on a roll, we might start the domestic cards, and then mail them a little after Thanksgiving.

I still don’t know if my surgery is going forward in December, or if it will be postponed due to the rising virus numbers. I’m behaving as though it’s going forward and trying to get everything possible done early.

Have a great weekend, friends. See you on the other side of it. I hope.

Published in: on November 20, 2020 at 6:18 am  Comments Off on Fri. Nov. 20, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 184 — Hunkering Down and Trying to Hold the Road  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Fri. Nov. 13, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 177 — Yes, We Really Are Dying & Being Ignored

image courtesy of minorthreadsco via pixabay.com

Friday, November 13, 2020

New Moon

Neptune & Uranus Retrograde

Mars DIRECT

Cloudy and cooler

Today is Friday the 13th, which is a day that usually makes me very happy, but this is 2020, so I’m not counting on anything.

Meditation yesterday was lovely. I’m so grateful to have found this group. We may be online, but it truly feels like community. We connect to the teacher and each other, not just to the teacher, the way the meditation group I used to participate in in-person did. The contrast is interesting. The meditation leader also teaches us Qi Gong, which I like. I’d never really paid much attention to it before, but I’m glad I found it now.

I finally got out a couple of pitches to a new-to-me publication. I may have sent them in too late to be of use, but we’ll see.

I found contact information for a company with which I’m interested in working, and I’m putting together an LOI for them. It’s a big deal, international thing, and it would be exciting to work for them.

Heard back from a couple of other LOIs that they’re going with people who are more traditionally-marketing-niched (and, I bet, younger). Which is fine. I’d rather hear back, even in the negative, then never hear back. Some of these companies I will keep in touch with as part of my quarterly postcard mailing; others I will let go and move on.

A good portion of the day – probably too much of it, if I’m honest – was spent putting together visuals for two different projects. It was a lot of using the snip tool, converting to jpg, marking each visual, putting it in the right folder, and also putting together a PowerPoint and then modifying it to PDF and saving in multiple locations so I can access it. I didn’t PowerPoint the second set of visuals yet.

I also played with paint visualization tools, looking for a place where I could upload a photo of a house and try different exterior colors. Most of them were very frustrating, and I couldn’t find one (for free, anyway) that allowed me to do the detailing of shutters and trim differently than the exteriors. Of all the tools I played with, I liked the Home Stratosphere Paint Visualizer the best.

For dinner, I made the Eggplant-Mushroom Marsala, although I substituted white wine for the marsala, and it was just fine. It’s a Moosewood recipe. I’m being encouraged to revive the food blog. I might, since people like reading/seeing about what I cook, and respond well to the photos on Instagram.

Knowledge Unicorns went well. We didn’t meet on Tuesday, because everyone’s so burned out. But we met yesterday, and got back to our rhythm. We’re studying the turkey this month. Here’s an article from Live Science that we used.

The Sociopath continues to Sociopath and murder American citizens at an alarming rate by simply ignoring the pandemic and hoping it kills as many of us as possible. My main goal between now and January 20th is sheer survival. I have to add in other goals, like earning a living in there, but survival, in spite of the Sociopath and all the Covidiot dickheads around me, is key.

One day at a time, one project at a time, one moment at a time. Hopefully, my internal resources have strengthened the past few months to help me through.

The weekend is supposed to get cooler, and be rainy off and on. Doubt I’ll do much yard work. Plan to do some baking, and I have to do a run to the dump to get rid of garbage and recycling. If we’re going to have another shutdown, I want to get as much recycling out before it happens as possible.

See you on the other side of the weekend, and hope it’s good.

Fri. Nov. 6, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 170 — The Need for a Healing Weekend

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Friday, November 6, 2020

Waning Moon

Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and pleasant

When I woke up this morning, the count was still on. I’m fine with it taking as long as it takes. Every vote matters.

I am not fine with the right-wing terrorists that are being allowed to do whatever they want.

Meditation group yesterday was lovely, and much-needed. I signed up for another online session this evening, directly with the studio.

I got out a few LOIS, did some client work. My Llewellyn editor sent me the proof for the piece I have in the 2022 Almanac. I’d forgotten we might have a 2022. I turned that around for her. My Script Mag article will go live on November 18, which is a relief.

Finished reading ASSAULT AND PEPPER by Leslie Budewitz, which I really enjoyed, and started THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS by Barbara O’Neal, which I’m also enjoying.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. The kids are upset and stressed. A couple of them turn 18 next year, and are determined to register to vote as soon as possible.

The page magnifier I ordered arrived and is already making life easier.

Watched SUMMER STOCK last night, starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. Wow, what a hot mess. There are moments of humor, and the one piece that’s survived for Garland is “Get Happy.” But the plot and story just don’t hold together, the musical within a musical is meaningless (what they rehearse and what they perform are totally unrelated), and there’s no ending.

I have to go to the library later on – or maybe tomorrow – to drop off/pick up.

This morning, when I turned on my computer, nothing in Microsoft Office worked. It kept telling me it was updating and then failed. I was lucky to get a good technician on the online chat who could fix it. So now, things seem to be working. But still — this computer is only a few months old, as are the programs. I shouldn’t be having issues.

More LOIs and client work today, writing, and stuff around the house. I already baked biscuits this morning, and I will start some bread soon. I’m going to have to suck it up and go to the grocery stores this weekend. If I’m feeling up to it, I might hit both tomorrow, or maybe one tomorrow and one on Sunday.

I forgot to mention that, during remote chat on Wednesday, we started joking about a virtual pub to hang out in called Cork and Cap – with the band name being Stress Diversification. So now we have to figure out how to create it.

I’m afraid to hope things will break our way, and we’ll actually have someone sane in the White House soon. What I’m doing is making Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, so that I have options, no matter what happens.

The plan is for this to be a healing weekend, no matter what happens.

We had over 1200 new virus cases in MA  yesterday, from the previous 24 hours. And people are still flaunting the mask mandate without repercussion. It’s disgusting.

My 96 year old mother is now not only a Keith Olbermann fan, but also a John Oliver fan.

Peace, friends. Have a lovely weekend. See you on the other side.