Happy Thanksgiving to y'all and happy Chanukah (Hanukkah) where appropriate.
Update on eyeballs: I am a good candidate for both surgeries--the one that takes months to recover from and the one where you can see again later that same day. Guess which one I selected?
I'm seeing my opthamologist again on Wednesday for the final-final pre-test and then the surgery itself is scheduled for Monday morning, Dec 9. Although snow is predicted for the day I have to drive 20 miles to for the final-final, so far the forecast is promising no winter weather conditions on the actual surgery day.
The painful transfer of 80% of my savings to my checking account happened on Friday.
I need to start putting money back in as soon as possible. It makes me--uneasy, not to have some kind of emergency "pad" these days. (I mean, sure, I could always start cashing out 401k accounts, but that's really a last resort sort of move.)
Eating: I did not overeat on Thanksgiving. The idea of committing gluttony just because of a date on the calendar--I don't know. It doesn't have the same kind of appeal it did 20 years ago.
Possibly I'm getting too disconnected from the whole holiday spirit thing.
Shopping: I haven't spent money so far this weekend. The biggest shopping season of the year and I haven't found a reason to buy anything beyond a bit of (diet) food. We went to a local art supply store, a favorite destination, where I was allowed to buy nothing :( because everything that I saw and loved was something I already owned.
Decorating: I'm more in tune with the rest of the country here. I did go & get the decorations out of storage and plan to put everything in place later today.
Fun: I haven't lacked for Holiday Fun so far, thanks to the R.C., who came up with a non-caloric way of creating "gingerbread houses" for seasonal decor.
Granted, these were actually foam kits designed as projects for kids, but we spent an amusing 3 hours (each) on Thursday afternoon, smushing foam pieces into foam slots. I think the results are festive.
Other than that, I've been working each day as normal. When you're in advertising, you can't take holiday shopping weekends off.Posted by AnneZook at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)
Another, rare, update. It's not that I don't love y'all, it's just that I don't have anything new to say. The thing about working alone at home is that your life is very same-y.
#1 - Diet progressing slowly. Too many indulgences, not enough exercise. Still have a good 10 lbs to lose.
#2 - Gidget is leaving me. :( Her house, which has been listed for sale for over a year, has sold. The sale closes in mid-December and I suspect it won't be long before her husband completes his plan to drag her to the wilds of the Lone Star state. (I would never marry a man who fancied himself as a frontiersman type. Blech.)
She's my last local friend*--all the others already moved to other parts of the country in the past few years. (I know--I've bitched about this already.)
The R.C. says she wants to move to Arizona, where it's always warm, and I'm thinking of moving north where it's not miserably hot every summer, so who knows? I could be the last one in my (non-familial) social circle to leave The Perfect Place To Live.
I love Denver. I'd miss it. (Although, one of the reasons I'm considering moving north is that I like the little town my Meg-friend lives near. I can almost picture myself living there, pretending I'm in Mayberry again.) (On the other hand--it's sort of a "country" area and there are bugs. I'm not a fan.)
#3 - Webstrainer has a new program. They offered to let the Mother's Little Helpers group participate in the beta. I wasn't interested and didn't sign up. Then they kept emailing me and with one thing and another, I got guilted into signing up.
Sigh. I have too many non-paying projects going on already and, okay, this one involves me getting paid if people sign up for it, but the money isn't really worth the time it will take away from my long-term clients.
Also, it involves being available for videoconferences at the drop of a hat and I do not sit around looking camera-ready all day, every day. In fact, it takes an hour of prep for me to look anything remotely non-scary on camera.
I bought a lot of new make-up, so at least I managed to turn an annoying inconvenience into a shopping opportunity. :)
#4 - One of last year's holiday clients came back (this morning) which will be a nice income boost for the next 60 days or so. Also, less work than taking on a brand-new client since I suspect they've just left everything I did for them last year in place.
#5 - Have you heard of G^^gle Glass? Unquestionably the sexiest way to access the internet (or listen to music or whatever) I've ever seen, and that includes random SF movie depictions of implant devices.**
Not inexpensive, but invites are not handed out to just everyone (the rollout is happening slowly) so those who get invites either strut around gloating or offer them for sale online (going price for the invite alone is, IIRC, around $400 at the moment. And then you still have to pay $1,500 to actually redeem the invite.) I mention it because (yes, about to gloat), I received an invite two days ago.
And then I bought it.
I'm a bit unhappy that my order arrived in white, rather than the futuristic dark gray I wanted but whatever. I'm cooler than you. I'm cooler than almost anyone. (I may call them to exchange it for the right color, though. Until I decide, I'm leaving it in the box.)
#6 - Think of me, next Wednesday at 9am. My pre-test for the lasik surgery will be happening then. Apparently, to make it all as complicated and as slow as possible, I need to have a follow-up with my actual opthamologist afterwards, so he can repeat everything he's already told me about the surgery. After that, I can actually schedule it. IIRC, the surgeon only works at this facility two or three days a month so goodness only knows when I'll actually get it done.
I tend to be slow coming to decisions but once I've made them, I'm impatient to move forward.
Also, I can't really take advantage of Glass until I get rid of these prescription glasses. You can't wear glasses over glasses, after all.
Sheesh. Hangouts, helpouts, forum participations, new clients, new toys, elective surgery. Once I stopped to write it all down, it sounded less same-y than I thought!
* Aside from the R.C., of course.
** Beyond the fun for technophiles like myself, think of what this could mean for the world.
Surgeons with access to additional information or test results in the OR. Firefighters coordinating rescue efforts. Quadriplegics given access to the internet via voice command--making phone calls, sending emails, searching, connecting, etc.Posted by AnneZook at 11:02 AM | Comments (3)
I post so irregularly any more that you probably knew that, but I thought I'd confirm it.
The trip went--well. I guess.
Before I left, The R.C. read me my horoscope for the week and it threatened me with enormous popularity and success. As happens from time to time, this forecast was accurate. I was hugged, air-kissed, hand-shaked, consulted, listened to, photographed, videoed, and I don't know what-all.
Me, being me, I found it exhausting and not a little weird. I'm much more comfortable sitting alone in my office, belittling myself for the things I should know but don't than I am being publicly recognized, even as part of a group, for being outstanding, you know? (Anyhow, the recognition for Outstandingness was not around my actual work skills but around my willingness to donate time to a volunteer thing.)
On the other hand, I got to play with toys, I was given presents, I was fed really great food, I had the chance to buy myself even better food (a 10 oz lobster tail), and on my fourth visit to SF I finally managed to see at least a bit of the city.
So. Up side.
Also, there was booze, but that's more of a Social Obligation than a pleasure, at least for me. I didn't drink a lot but I hung out in the bar with the guys most every evening, so call it a couple of beers a day. And, speaking of the guys, I did get to spend a lot of time with some of the people I most like and respect in my field, which was, of course, the point of the entire trip.
Aside from that, a lot of it is a blur of exhaustion in my mind.
On the good news front, I did not pick up any weird germs or cooties in the airport on the way home, so Big Win there. I mean, I couldn't talk for three days after I got home, but that was just because I'd overused my voice.
But! Then the pictures started to come in and with each new one I was appalled afresh by how much weight I put on this last year when I was trying (and failing) to quit smoking. I put myself back on a diet and have lost 4-1/2 pounds so far. I have a ways to go, but it's a start. :::shudder:::
Since then? Well, I had to take a recertification exam last week and got the lowest score I've ever gotten on one of these. (It was my 5th or 6th one.) I passed, but it's still humiliating to think of the score.
For reasons that are too complicated to go into, I have to take two more exams, linked to a different email address. I'm going to go against my principles this time :) and actually review the study material. I'm good with what I know, but these are complicated programs and there are some bits I haven't really used--those are the ones that tripped me up on the last exam.
Really, that's about it. I traveled for a week, came home and have been trying to get back on schedule with all my work since then. I came up with some new ideas and plans during the trip and am still trying to organize my thoughts around if and how I can implement any of them.
So, I'm leaving town later today for a long business trip. (Well, half business, half "bonding" with colleagues.) I'll be back home next Sunday evening.
It's generous of Webstrainer to put on these conferences and pay for us to attend but at the moment, facing the dilemma of how to stuff seven days worth of stuff into a suitcase I won't be embarrassed to be seen hauling around is making my sunny Sunday less amusing than it would be otherwise.
The clothes aren't even the problem. Thanks to judicious shopping (and the R.C.'s discovery of the Magic Non-Wrinkling Trouser Brand) I can stuff a week's worth of clothes into a fairly small space. Shoes are a bigger problem but still achievable.
It's really the toiletries causing me problems. The older I get, the more lotions, potions, and magic paint it takes to get me through a day of being seen by the public. My normal workday any more consists of me sitting around in a baggy tee-shirt and a pair of shorts. Visuals are irrelevant--all that matters is whether or not my brain is functioning. For the coming week, my brain is less important than how I present myself. I hate that.
I'm testing the suitcase now--trying to decide if I need to go over to the storage unit and get the Mighty Big Suitcase out of hiding. I have two pair of shoes and my underthings in this one so far and it's over half full. Not a promising start.
I yearn for days past when I could toss in a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of polo shirts and know I'd look just fine.
Wish me luck.Posted by AnneZook at 10:50 AM | Comments (2)
As someone pointed out to me today, I need to change the most recent blog entry to reflect that, instead of burning down, Denver (and much of the Front Range) is currently washing away on a tide of 'monsoon' rains.
We have highways washed out, bridges washed away, roads undermined, town-wide evacuations up north, and a few deaths.
Other than that, I have lived much life since my last entry but don't have time today to go into details.Posted by AnneZook at 02:12 PM | Comments (3)
Okay, maybe not the whole city, but you'd never know it by the thick pall of smoke in the air.
The city has seen two or three smallish fires in the last week or so--apartments or houses or restaurants that have caught on fire for one reason or another, but the primary source of the gray haze would be the multiple forest fires burning around the state. One of them is in Black Forest, south of Denver, and today's prevailing wind is from the south, so, haze.
This morning was the monthly conference call with the Vela Client of Aggravating Me. Wouldn't you know when I'm right on the verge of kicking them to the curb, this month they were all sweetness and love and what a wonderful job we're doing. Hmph.
I've been waiting days to walk to the pharmacy to get my prescription refill but apparently it's never again going to be less than 99 degrees*, so today I drove. It feels amazingly slothful to get in the car and drive somewhere that's barely more than a mile away but I am extraordinarilly heat-intolerant and I've had heat stroke in my life (more than once) and didn't have so much fun with it that I want to repeat the experience.
While I was out, I finally took the housewarming gift for the L-i-K-S (the one that's been sitting in my bedroom floor for two months) to the post office and got it sent. I feel virtuous about that, regardless of being months and months late getting around to it.
The Uninteresting Industry client I mentioned getting a nibble from (back early in March) has returned and appears to be serious about doing business. I am reluctantly allowing myself to be persuaded to take on one more very time-intensive account. Sigh.
Don't let the fact that I'm sitting here, blogging, fool you. I've been very productive today--tore through a lot of work and have quite a few creative ideas for what to try next if today's ideas don't pan out.
I just thought I'd post an update. It's hot. I'm working. New client on the horizon. Different day, same stuff.
P.S. But! I forgot to say that on Monday evening, I finally got back over to the electronics store to get a second monitor for my new computer and now I can actually see all of the things I want to see at once. (I would not have believed a day would come when one 23" monitor was insufficient for my needs.)
* Yesterday's high broke a record set before I was born. And it's early June. Does not bode well for the rest of the summer, does it?
Yesterday, a couple of (potential) accounts I thought I'd successfully run off both came back out of the woodwork and proceeded to start adding turmoil to my life.
I thought I'd gotten rid of them. I tried again today, pointing out to one guy that my fees alone would increase his monthly financial commitment by 50%. He said okay. I hate when that happens.
I'm not good at saying, "no, I don't have time." Must practice that.
Today there's a littleman roaming around this place, regrouting showers and putting in a new air conditioner. In order to give him space to take out the old a/c and put in the new (well, clearly it's used but it also looks 20 years "newer" than the one we have) one, I had to unload a bookcase which naturally led to cleaning the woodwork and then I had to move the bookcase which naturally led to cleaning the baseboard and wall behind it and what with one thing and another, I found myself dusting most of the apartment walls, up by the ceiling, and cleaning half my bathroom.
Some days I really miss going to an office.
Correction. The littleman started these things. He did most of the grouting and there's a big wall unit air conditioner sitting on a jack-thing in the middle of the living room floor. He left for lunch over an hour and a half ago, so whether or not these two relatively simply tasks will actually get completed today is anyone's guess.
Louie Louie has come up with three new clients in the last couple of months, all noticeably larger accounts than any he's brought me before. I've been neck-deep in those, which is why the long blog-silence. All rather more complicated than anything I've worked on before, too, so I've been enjoying myself.
Vela came up with a new account but it doesn't seem to be closing. I'm fine with that--it was a national initiative that I was pretty excited about until I realized that it was being funded at about 10% of what it needed. I just don't have time for losers any more.
Half of the one account I work on for her already has been shut down. (And not before time. I was on the verge of telling them to find someone else to aggravate.)
I wish her the best, but Vela is--well, Gidget and I are not happy with her. Turns out that Vela's emailing the client on the side blaming Gidget and I for the failure of the advertising. (In direct contradiction of what I've been saying for the last year, which is that their budget is pathetic and their website inadequate.) Vela apparently told the client she was working on "reorganizing the team" and that Gidget and I would probably not be a part of it in the future. I'm pleased.
She also contacted an outside agency to get them to bid on the account. The outside agency told her they wouldn't touch it for the budget the client was willing to invest. Did Vela turn back to the client and tell them she had independent confirmation of what I'd been saying? She did not.
I don't know why not. Mostly she's just scared she's going to lose the account but lying and hiding stuff is not a good long-term strategy for success, you know? If she'd done her job properly in the beginning--set reasonable boundaries and expectations with the client and stuck to them--she wouldn't be having half these problems now.
Gidget's listed her house for sale. Her husband wants to move to the godforsaken wilds of the Lone Star state (so glad to be single). So he can kill things, I think. (He's a big hunting person. He fancies himself as some kind of frontiersman or something.) (He's a nice enough guy, but I can't warm to anyone whose idea of a good time involves bloodshed.)
All of my friends are moving to different states. This makes me sad. (And bewildered. Who leaves Colorado?)
That, in a nutshell, is my life today.
Note to the tornado alley inhabitants. Please don't blow away.
Posted by AnneZook at 01:32 PM
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I've got this big ol' bruise on my left forearm and who knows where that came from? One of the dubious joys of geezerdom is that you get these minor injuries without being aware of it. A little "bump" that you don't even notice, and that would have had no consequences when you were 20, produces big bruises when you get to be f-loudsneeze-ish or so.
Living to "old" (or near enough to make no difference) is, I suppose, a pearl. I mean, I'm too old to die young, so I've got that going for me. But living to "old" has quite a few oysters. (Ex., big ol' bruise, see above)
Also, meds. Few older people aren't taking meds of some kind any more. In my case, it's the thyroid meds I should have been taking since puberty or something. Apparently I've had a lifelong "low thyroid hormone" problem which is what caused my lifelong aversion to physical exertion. (I was not, as Some People always thought, just bone-lazy.)
So, I've got the meds now and not only do they provide me with more physical energy (pearl) but I'm smarter (pearl of dubious value). Apparently, low thyroid also makes you stupid. (Well, I knew that. I read it in a story forty years ago. I just didn't realize it applied to me.) So I've always been smarter than I seemed. (Which, let's face it, probably an oyster both ways.) Not a lot--I wasn't in double-digit IQ territory before the meds or anything, but it's a nice boost to my brain at a time when it and everything else is otherwise slowing down. I swear, there are days when only one brain cell stands between me and disaster.
But! Now my body is all energized and ready to go and on a day like today when it's nearly 70 degrees outside with golden sunshine, my body wants to be out, moving around in it.
And my brain, functioning on all cylinders today, is deep into the 250,000 lines of data I'm analyzing and it keeps insisting that I need to Keep At It while the going's good--get the thinking done while I can.
Cartesian Dualism has nothing on me. My body-brain division is complicated by the existence of "me" and what I always think of as "those other two" that also live in my brain--the one that's trying to mediate between the b & the b and the remaining one that's just sitting there, rolling its eyes and wishing we'd all just shut up.
I'm not as schizophrenic as that makes me sound. We all have these multiple trains of thought in our heads, I know that. I just feel like I'm the only one who has arguments with mine and gets outvoted on a regular basis. (I know--I've said all of this before. It's my blog--I can repeat myself if I want to.)
Yes, it's busy days on the work front now.
(Pauses to let readers adjust to the whiplash of that topic change.)
I might have lost the UglyFruitSoftware account (good riddance, since they were never willing to do what it took to succeed) and Sunny Jim and a handful of others recently, but I'm telling myself that those were dead weight. And maybe I regret the loss of that account associated with a popular and enduring superstition (PopSup) because I was really rocking and rolling success on that one, but whatever. This is America, you know. You can't force people to be successful against their will.
New clients appear.
Louie Louie's new account is still a go. That's the one I'm digging through 250k lines of data for. It needs a complete re-org. It's actually two accounts, not one, in closely related but not identical industries. (Hereinafter referred to as ToolsOfFun and SuppliesOfFun because creativity is failing me.) I've had to wipe out reports and start over four times after realizing I was mixing data from the two accounts. Still, it's interesting.
I have to move fast on this one, because Vela's big pitch, the one she's been working on for the last six months, is paying off. it's a fairly big company that we'll refer to as "Chat-Talk" as I continue to try to preserve client anonymity. The fees aren't high and I have no idea what the scope of the project is. It can't be small--this is a huge, multinational company, but there are interesting points about it. Vela has a way of pitching people without building in limits--project creep is her middle name. There's a video-conference (hereinafter referred to as a v-c because I'm sick of typing that) with the client on Monday--I should know more after that. The one thing I do know is that this one's important to Vela and Gidget, so I have to be on my good behavior.
Still, even though it means I'm busy-busy-busy, it's all a nice income boost after the attrition of the end of the year, right? And also, even more importantly if you're me, new things to work on and think about. I can live with (and enjoy) busy. I can't live with bored.
I have time to work now. No travel scheduled for the immediate future. I want to go visit Meg again this spring or early summer. I was thinking about a visit to the L-i-K-S but season matters a lot. I'm not going to Kansas July-August and no one can make me. Shudder. Summer is why I left there.
Webstrainer has already sent out the
threat, pardon me, advance notice, of the annual invitational. This one's at the very end of Sept and based on what I've seen so far is likely to wind up being one of those where there's four hours I care about, surrounded by 36 hours of people going on and on about things I can't waste brain cells on.
They have a whole 'nother new initiative going too, one I've been 'invited' to participate in. It's similar to Mother's Little Helpers but not exactly the same. I offered to participate before all of these new accounts fell on me but I guess I can still handle it. (As this blog amply proves, it's no big strain for me to sit down at a keyboard and spout nonsense for half an hour or so.)
Okay, brain. Make up my mind. Walk or work? I have a 4:00 v-c and need to do one or the other before then.
Let me know when you've decided. The rest of us will be out getting a snack while we wait.
I remembered what it was I forgot during that last blog entry.
The R.C. and I went out for lunch a couple of weeks ago. I was in the mood for a seafood blowout, so we went to Joe's Crab Shack. Although the R.C. didn't appreciate the ambiance (including the galvanized metal buckets our meals came in), I thought the whole faux Maine/Northeast US thing was very interesting. I like to have a shark hangin' from the ceiling while I dine. It reminds me of my place in the food chain.
Yes, I said buckets. She ordered a bucket of crab and I ordered a bucket of mixed crab & lobster. And it was good and we ate it almost all up and I didn't feel a bit guilty. In fact, I'd go do it again any time. It was a bit pricey (you can't get edible seafood in Denver unless you're willing to pay for it) but tasty.
Posted by AnneZook at 02:59 PM
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Did it again.
Meg visited - much fun, including a visit to a goat farm with baby goats!
California - much fun although less eating than in years past. Only one trip to the great sushi place and didn't make it to the Argentinean restaurant for empanadas at all. Nor back to that little place where I ate the fabulous raclette that one year. Sad. (Why, yes. Vacations are largely about eating for me.) Panels fun, people nice, weather lovely, a good time was had by all.
Clients - several prospects on the horizon and at least one of them would be a sizable account. Not an interesting industry but if the concept proves itself, it could be lucrative. Sadly, most clients with serious money are not in fun or interesting industries.
OTOH, Louie Louis, my agency guy, just signed a fairly large (for us) new account. The check cleared and everything. We're having a video-conference on Monday to discuss strategy. (That, in itself, tells you how important this client is. Mostly he just dumps new accounts into my management center and tells me to go ahead and do whatever.) The money will be worthwhile at $1k/month. (I still undercharge Louie Louie, but I remain ever-grateful that he never makes me talk to clients.) The industry is interesting. The client has a good website and are willing to spend what it takes--very unusual! All in all, I'm looking forward to it.
The L-i-K-S called last night. Her girl-child Rapunzel is going to Mexico for an 11-day vacation with her boyfriend & his family. The first time one of her kids has traveled out of the country. I'm sure Rapunzel will have a great time. (I'm still wigged out that both girl-childs have boyfriends. In my mind, they're forever 12 years old.)
I put on three pounds. I was trying to take three pounds off but with all of the visiting and traveling and whatnot, my exercise schedule went out the window and the pounds jumped out and glommed onto me. Annoying. Now I have six pounds to lose. (My plan to walk across the street and have tacos for lunch probably won't help.)
The forecast is for 8" - 14" of snow today. It's working hard on it out there. Went for a short morning walk around 9:00 where the winds meant there was no snow (just wet) in many places and accumulations of 1-1/2" or so in others. It's trying harder now but the roads are still mostly just running with water. That's a good thing--snow in Colorado doesn't always have a lot of water, regardless of the number of inches of accumulation. The People In Charge are threatening us--if the mountains don't get at least eight feet more snow this year, there will be mandatory water restrictions.
I went somewhere or did something or something a week, or maybe it was two weeks, ago. I was going to blog about it. I have no idea what it was, though.
Under the cut you will find bad language as I describe my attempts to read some of the books that are massively popular today but that struck me as just icky.Continue reading "And the silence extends...."
--that it's been some time since I updated this blog in any detail.
Sorry about that. There's just really nothing of importance happening, you know?
We had a stretch of really cold weather (single-digit and sub-zero temps) from a cold front that the nightly news cares about now that it's moved east. During that time, I largely curled up at home and stayed warm.
That was followed by balmy weather--today's high is forecast to be 69.
I'm taking advantage of these unseasonable temps by taking longer walks each day--healthy for me but hardly exciting blog material. I'm up to a fairly consistent two miles a day on this "main walk" which is far above where I started a year ago. (I'm perfectly capable of walking more--I'm not infirm or anything. Just lazy. And walking is boring.)
I need to do is add a second walk of a mile or so (aiming for that "healthy" 10k steps a day goal) but I begrudge the time. I mean, yes, I take a book and read as I walk--if I didn't do something, I'd never be able to drive myself out to do it--but the two-mile walk eats a 45-50 minute chunk out of my workday already.
I bought a nice jacket--for those rare occasions when someone has to see me in person for some business reason.
I have not picked up any new clients yet this month. I'm a bit disappointed about that. The client I dropped everything for in mid-November, to create & manage a holiday sales account for hasn't decided whether or not to come back & advertise for the long-term yet. Since a couple of other accounts have decided to pause their accounts for a while, I'd like to add someone to boost my income at the moment. (I'm not in danger of starving or anything.)
I'm still working my way through my Christmas games. I finished Chrono Trigger and Radiant Historia and am now exploring the newest Harvest Moon. That's pretty much how I spend my evenings--gaming. It's distracting and uses both hands, so I'm less likely to overeat. (Yep, still trying to shift five pounds.)
I'm headed for California in a month, my annual pilgrimage to see many of my fandom friends in person. Whether or not I'll spend much time at the 'official' events of the weekend is debatable. I don't spend as much time in panels these days but I still spend time yakking with people in the halls and walking on the beach and visiting the little town and generally just unwinding. (I know--how can anyone with so little stress in their life as I have need to unwind?)
Meg is coming to town the weekend before that and I'm hoping we get to spend a lot of time together. :) I'm planning to visit her in Wisconsin again this summer (she will have new baby goats!) but one can never see one's real friends too often--and twice a year is not too often.
Seriously. I'm not updating because I'm really just not doing anything. I work, eat, walk, play some games. Day over.Posted by AnneZook at 09:43 AM | Comments (3)
Okay, I missed making any kind of holiday post, sorry. Mine were great--hope yours were fantastic!
There. Amenities taken care of.Posted by AnneZook at 09:43 AM | Comments (1)
The post title came to me so I figured, hey, why not post a blog entry today?
I tend to write that way, whether it's blog entries or fiction or anything else. Title first. ("Define the map.") Any time I'm writing and I find myself changing my original title, I know I'm on the wrong track.
Nothing of major excitement to talk about. It's almost 50 degrees outside right now. Because of the sunshine, it feels a good ten degrees warmer. (Butter!) I'm about to go out and take a walk-get some exercise, do my butt some good, etc. I need to get extra fresh air today, because the snow is forecast to move in tomorrow afternoon/evening. Possibly 6 inches. Temperatures in the teens or even single digits.
Winter may, at long last, have arrived. (Bread crumbs.)
I've done most of my holiday shopping. Not sure what to do for the L-I-K people so I'll probably send gift cards, as usual. I finished my actual holiday cards and need to address envelopes and buy some stamps to get them sent.
Gidget's little company is having a holiday party! Okay--the three of us are getting together for lunch, but it counts, right? (Butter!)
Three new client nibbles--none of them large accounts but some nice variety. If they all close, it's another $1k or so of income a month, which doesn't suck. If it wasn't for some clients moving on or giving up as new clients come on board, I'd be making a lot of $$ by now, you know? But the ones I lose--I don't beat myself up about those. I can't really say that any of them were serious about succeeding.
(For those who are still in doubt, the Potentially Huge Client did call with a 'thanks, but no thanks' message.) (Bread crumbs? Butter?) Such a boring industry--I can't bring myself to be sorry.
This past week I had my first experience with reporting for a client using what's called "ecommerce" (which basically means an online store) tracking. It was nightmarishly complicated at first--a steep learning curve for someone who never bothered to pay any attention to the details of the process. (Breadcrumbs.)
As I began to understand what it was all about, I became fascinated, though. By the time I finished, I was regretting that I didn't have a dozen clients with online stores. Fascinating. I love learning something new. (Butter!)
The diet is going fairly well--another 1-1/2 lb and I'm back in my "range" for the first time in several months. (Butter!) I know I have to keep at it--it's easier to take off three pounds than 30, but it's a drag to have to diet two or three times a year. (And if I didn't grossly over-indulge in potato chips, I wouldn't have this problem so--all my own fault.)
Still! If I'm good for the next two weeks, I can allow myself some holiday chocolate, right? I have a bag of Dove dark chocolate Promises waiting in my freezer.
Aside from the Gidget party, I have no actual "holiday" events planned. I don't know whether or not that's a bad thing. Working in my "office" alone means I don't really have those plates of naughty goodies being passed around by coworkers or Friday pot-luck lunches or anything. My bestest friends live in other states, so spontaneous get-togethers with them are out of the question. Even Gidget, one of my best "local" friends (aside from being a coworker) actually lives in a different city--a good hour away. We talk, via email or phone, sometimes several times a day, but only see each other about once a month.
In the last year, I've gotten back in touch with someone who was a very dear friend long ago--when I was in my 20s--but she lives in a different state as well.
I don't feel I don't have friends. I have several very close friends. (Butter!) They're just--not from around here. (Bread crumbs.)
I'm not dissing the R.C. We spend time together, doing things, and I consider her a very close friend as well as a sister. I just--I think everyone I like well should have to live in Denver. Sigh. I mean, what's up with everyone feeling entitled to live their own lives?
I get sentimental at the holidays. I just sent one friend a soppy, "I miss you" email. I think I'd better go focus on work. :)Posted by AnneZook at 11:34 AM | Comments (2)
Heard back from the Potentially Huge Client.
Scheduled follow-up call with his "team."
Call ended a few minutes ago.
Did not go well.
My fault for expressing myself tactlessly. (My tendency to do that is why I'm not normally allowed to talk to clients.) The part I minded was having to Gidget afterwards and apologize for torpedoing what could have been a big money client. We discussed how I'd only agreed to bid it because of the $$ she would make--she said she didn't want that. Which, probably true, but she does need the money and I know it.
They promised to get back to us before Thanksgiving--I expect they'll wait just as many days as they need to, to be polite. For my ownself, I'm not sorry to give this one a pass but it's going to be a while before I stop regretting it for Gidget's sake.
Must now email the R.C. and tell her to put that yacht order on hold.
Then I need to go dink with the accounts for the two new clients I added last week--not seeing the performance there I'd like to.Posted by AnneZook at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)
I have to get me back under control.
Since Tuesday, I've spend an embarrassing amount of time reading post-election political coverage. Most embarrassingly, I've found myself trying to explain to non-US folks why Romney did not and does not face any official repercussions around flat-out lying about various statistics. I'm reminding people that the current "leadership" on the Right thinks that the truth is what they can convince people it is--that they believe truth is as malleable as warm play-doh. And I'm trying not to let my head explode, watching the conservative websites and "pundits" talk about changing their messaging to make their regressive, beliefs more palatable to the very voters these "conservatives" most want to suppress and oppress.
Last night, I finally turned the nightly news back on, thinking I'd be save from election & post-election coverage. Sadly, the first thing that appeared was an ongoing debate over how Romney "managed" to lose. No one seemed to be interested in the masses of statistics and polling data that had predicted Obama's re-election all along.
No. I'm not getting back into that. I'm just not strong enough.
Also, it's a very busy week for me, work-wise. Three big projects this week, only two of which I have any hope of completing. (Okay--one of which I have completed, a second of which I'm getting mostly. done, and the third of which I'll just have to push back until next week, to join the two big projects I already had on my plate for next week.) Not quite sure when I'll be able to squeeze my "regular" work in again. One day soon, I hope.
Didn't hear back from the Really Big Client I submitted the proposal to. Not surprise or disappointed. And, quite honestly, I don't have the time for them at the moment anyhow.
The weather has been fabulous--that's due to change tomorrow evening as snow moves in, but we've had 65-75 degree temps all this week, with lots of sunshine. I'd be more cheerful about that if I'd managed to get out and enjoy it more. <>Sigh. Still. It's supposed to be pretty nice tomorrow morning & afternoon, around 45-50. I'm trying to come up with a list of chores that will allow me to be out and enjoy it while it lasts.
I think I forgot to put these up - these are the from the second painting class the RC and I did!Posted by AnneZook at 01:30 PM | Comments (2)
#1 - Today is my birthday and I am old (although I'm not precisely certain how old, since I lost track of that bit of data a few years ago).
#2 - One new for-sure client--a short-term project for four weeks of the holiday season. Small money, but small project.
#3 - One new pretty-sure client--a short-term projects for six weeks of the holiday season. Decent money for small, short-term project.
#4 - Proposal submitted to Potentially Huge Client. Said proposal greeted with a resounding silence that, I suspect, was caused by page 5 of 5, the one that itemized what I planned to charge. Watch me care. Didn't want the account anyhow.
#5 - Trip to California in February in serious doubt for the first time in 10+ years. It don't know why--I always love that trip but at the moment I'm thinking maybe--no?
#6 - Item #1 celebrated with another painting class. When time permits, I'll post thumbnails of what I and the R.C. painted for your mockery. (Hard to believe we've done it twice and are not yet giving Renoir a run for the title, isn't it?)
#7 - Tomorrow finally ends the tsunami of political ads. I can't ever remember being this tired of a political cycle before, but this one has felt simply endless.
#8 - Those fiction stories I started with a modicum of enthusiasm in June--where are they now? Why did I not finish them? Will I ever at least get back to the one I drafted 150 painful pages of? (Probably not, no. I loathe editing.) Am I simply trying too hard to get back to a hobby that I'm no longer enthusiastic about?
#9 - Why did the company that built the tablet I'm using not build it to work really, really well with the company's websites?
#10 - Will I ever remember what this was going to be?Posted by AnneZook at 04:19 PM | Comments (2)
#1 - The group of folks I work with these days is so much more technologically savvy than any group I've worked with before. A simple IP search and this blog--and my unsavory writing history--are laid open to public view. I occasionally spare a moment to worry about this.
#2 - Cough-cough-sniff-whine Travel = germs. I hate that. People who travel while sick and don't cover their mouths when they cough just annoy me. Today, I'm coughing, have a sore throat, and am generally crabby. I knew that woman coughing in the airport security line was trouble. Typhoid Mary. Patient Zero. I thought of all those things. (I miss ReGenesis and should go find out if it's still on the air.)
#3 - You know they're going to make you take off your shoes to go through airport security. Why, then, do you wear those triple-laced, fifty-pound frankenstein boots to travel? Or those battered, unpolished, brown knee-high (really, not as attractive as you think with black leggings and a sloppy blue shirt, girl) things that you need help getting on and off?
#4 - I didn't know that the guy in the international travel security line was going to run mad. Don't think anyone expected that bit of excitement, not until the moment when he started taking his clothes off. His strip-tease stopped at the waist, although he did obediently remove his shoes, as per security requirements. I never did figure out what he was saying (in German, maybe?) as he turned in circles, waving his hands over his head.
He wound up stretched out on the baggage conveyor belt, smoking a cigarette (or a joint, not positive there, although it was unsettling to watch him extinguish it in the palm of his hand) waiting for a horde of elderly, overweight white men to trot up breathlessly, hands on their guns, determined to save us all from--whatever. The whole episode didn't seem to slow the other security lines down, aside from the gawking.
Travel is such an adventure.
#5 - A head cold means I can't focus on one thought for more than ten seconds at a time. This is problematic, considering what I do for a living.
#6 - I've spent the last three years not being very active on social media because I just don't have the time. Now that I have a tablet and can be available to chat/read stuff almost any time--I don't know who to talk to. (I refuse to go to FB--I loathe and despise the way that site stalks me w/emails & reminders for months every time I have to log in for some reason.) (Chat issue solved! Trillian has a droid app--I can access all my chat IDs from the tablet!)Posted by AnneZook at 09:46 AM | Comments (2)
Weirds me out when I post something on the politiblog and someone comments. I don't know how anyone even finds it any more. I only post about once or twice a year--surely it's not coming up in the SERPs.
Hot water! We got it back last night. You don't appreciate mod cons until you have to live without them, you know? A shower is a glorious thing. (Yes, you can get clean-ish, washing in a bucket, but it's really not the same.)
Prezzies were handed out at the recent trip, I mentioned that, right? The swag bag we got on arrival was normal stuff. Pads, pens, water bottle, a custom tee-shirt. All fun stuff. At the closing event, we all got--tablet computers! :-0 Entirely unexpected. I haven't owned one of those--could never think of what I'd do with it besides dink with it for a few days and then leave it on a shelf. Now I guess I need to learn to use it. And to figure out what it is everyone is doing with them when they drag them out at restaurants or the mall or the airport or in their cars.
Pictures of the trip exist but they're covered by non-disclosure. Thank goodness. Me in 'candid' photos is not a pretty sight. I was interviewed on camera for some project Webstrainer is doing. No idea, didn't bother to ask, hope I never stumble across the footage. These things should not be done at the end of a 16-hour day after the drinking has started. (Why a geezer like me, you ask? Apparently they needed a woman. I was not aware that the two women in my core group are, in fact, the only two women at our level in the program. My cohort declined to participate and I decided that I'm too old to be self-conscious about how old and fat and un-photogenic I am, so I donated 10 minutes of my time to the project. Whatever it was.)
Got my re-certification done before I left town. After bitching for four days because the questions I faced were on topic C when I was taking Test B, you can imagine my embarrassment to get back, check my exam history, and discover that I somehow wound up taking Test C when I meant to take Test B. Since I hadn't studied topic C, it's no surprise that I found the test a bit challenging, right? (I guess I can stop being embarrassed that my score was 15 points or more lower than I expected.)
Sadly, I do still want to take Test B, so that's a task for the coming week.
Still tired. Slept well last night but feeling sort of worn out, still.
This weekend's excitement includes buying new underwear, because I need some. That's about the most ambitious plan I've made so far.
Posted by AnneZook at 08:55 AM
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Just got back from the Webstrainer visit. Aside from the frustration of feeling imprisoned (one of the perils of visiting a business where you have to be escorted from room to room), it was fabulous. Learned things, aired my opinions liberally (of course), heard what other folks think, and got some great swag. Heh.
Tired, of course. 14-hour days for meetings/meals, then hours in the hotel bar afterwards, continuing the conversations over beer and snacks. Worn out.
Got home to find out there's no hot water, though, and hasn't been for several days. Packing up my stuff to walk over to the clubhouse so I can have a shower.Posted by AnneZook at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)
All Oysters, no Pearls this week.
Finally got my Webstrainer re-certification completed but I had serious objections to the content of the exam. I've filed complaints in three forums already.
Between this morning's exam nightmare and six video/phone meetings with Webstrainer tech people in the last week (about 8 hours total), trying to diagnose the cause of various problems with the latest version of a software program, I don't feel this has been a productive week for me.
It's only noon and I'm just exhausted. I may just give up and go do something entirely different for the rest of the afternoon.
Travel on Monday. Bleah. Booked my shuttle trip to the airport last night. Printed out my travel info. Have to pack Sunday afternoon. Between now and then, I'm going to not think about it. (I like to be somewhere different--it's just that the getting there can be a PITA these days.)
For the record, the year's first snow appeared Friday morning, October 5. We woke up to find a smattering of the stuff--it melted off the ground but there was accumulation on trees and other surfaces. Quite a shock in a week where one day I had to cut my morning walk short because of the heat!
It spit snow off and on all day Saturday, but nothing accumulated.
I thought I had things to blog about, but I can't remember what they were?
#1 - Firing a client, or at least I told him that if he doesn't pay his past-due invoices, I'm going to fire him.
#2 - Puzzling over an unanticipated drop in results for clients all through the first of this month. Can't find a reason for it.
#3 - Dithering over whether or not to "go for it" around nibble I got for a new client. It's a big one, I could charge four figures for management fees (it could triple or quadruple my current income) but do I really want to work that hard? I can't decide.* I'm kind of lazy and the whole self-employed thing wasn't really about getting rich, it was about having the time to do a good job for the clients I got.
#4 - Worrying over a friend who is in ICU after a abrupt cancer diagnosis that led to immediate surgery which led to immediate and serious complications. She seems to be doing better but is not yet strong enough for visitors.
#5 - Ignoring next week's trip to Webstrainer. Travel is a pain any more. I'm sure I'll enjoy the trip when the time comes, though. I'll be in transit on Monday, in meetings Tues & Weds, and then in transit again on Thursday. That's most of a week I'm losing--really need to get as much work done as I can before then.
#6 - Wondering if I can squeeze one more trip into this year's schedule but reluctantly deciding that I can't. I was going to Kansas, to see friends & family, but I think I'll have to push that back to next spring.
Seriously. I know I had something I wanted to talk about when I started this blog entry, but I can't at all remember what it was. I hate when that happens.
* (The R.C. says I should go for it--and then buy her a yacht. The one time she took a cruise, she was seasick and hated being cooped up on a boat with nothing to do--what does she imagine she'd do with a yacht?)