Friday, January 27, 2012

An Opportunity

It's time to get serious. A dear friend of mine sent me a link to a potential writing/reading gig. Cool -- a way for me to buckle down and get focused! Well, this is not just going to require focus, typing away on my laptop. NAY -- this is a full-blown audition and attempting to make the cut, and then rehearsing, and then doing a full-on reading/entertainment piece in front of an audience! YIKES! But also, AWESOME! Here is the website: http://www.listentoyourmothershow.com/dc/. I'm signed up and have a spot for an audition! For the first few moments of savoring this upcoming experience, I fantasized not about the piece I am going to present, but about the outfit that I need to buy for the audition. Then, reality began its soft and steady knock on fantasy's door: the written piece that I will present is still just a random collection of words swirling in the ethers. It's time to get serious.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beauty in books

There are some books that are so poetic, they give me equal parts joy and despair. I love these words!/I will never be able to write such things! That jealousy thing is always right under the surface. I just finished "Let The Great World Spin" by Colum McCann. There's one line that I haven't been able to get out of my head for over a week:

"For a moment, it wasn't like I was entering water at all; it was more like I was ferrying buckets of blood away from my own body, and I could feel them slap and spill as I moved."



What's your favorite line from a book you've read recently?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State of the standing ovation

Okay, this is not about politics. But really, the line "equal pay for equal work" doesn't get a standing ovation from BOTH sides of Congress? I find it ridiculous that we're still having to talk about this.


Okay, now I'm ready for some Modern Family.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Feeling guilty about my verbal assault on the magazine subscription company representative

Okay, here's the back story: About two years ago, a very nicely dressed man rang my doorbell and charmed me into buying a magazine subscription. It never showed up. A few months later, another salesman rang the bell and I dispatched him quickly, saying it's too bad someone else didn't do their job right. Then six months ago, another salesman rang the bell, this time getting Shane to buy a subscription to Men's Journal. (These were very nice men, telling us they had big goals in life and what advice would we give to someone trying to turn their life around, etc.). This time I was ready. I saved the receipt and waited three months to be sure there was no magazine. I called the number, complained, and the lady assured me she would process the order. Three months go by and still no magazine.

So yesterday, I start doing a little research on the company and discover they have an F from the BBB and the owners of the company have a history of hiring ex-cons who have literally KILLED people while going door to door:

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/04/magazine_sales_crimes.php

Now I'm irate. Being the very reasonable person I am, I look up the owner's address on the white pages so I can call them at home. The address is the same as the one on the sales receipt I have, so I'm not feeling totally stalker-like. A woman answers the phone with the name of the company, "New Beginnings Enterprises..." I (very calmly) say that I'm calling to get a refund of my $40. She launches into an explanation that she works in HR and can't help me, that I called the wrong 800 number, that she wasn't even in Ohio but Michigan, etc. I tell her, no, I did not call the 800 number but a private home number in Ohio and I very much believed she had the ability to help me. A not-so-calm exchange ensues with her telling me that she just started working there anyway, how dare I call her, and then I said you shouldn't work at this company because it's no good, and then she hung up on me.

I reconsider my approach. While I could calling that home phone number daily (tempting) I decide to submit a claim with the Better Business Bureau and then report the company fraudulent to my bank, which then reimburses my $40 into the account while they research the check and the company. Satisfied, I go about my day. Heh heh heh.

This morning, I go to the mailbox to retrieve yesterday's mail, only to find a brand new copy of this month's Men's Journal. oops.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Guilt vs. vineyard

Grandma is coming to pick up the girls so that they can eat junk food, stay up way too late, watch tv nonstop, *spend the night*, and revel in grandchildness....meanwhile, Marvin and I are going to a winery and are going to a fancy restaurant! I don't know what I am going to wear. I have mom clothes and professional clothes, but no hot date clothes. I need to rectify this situation! When I think about not having kids around for a 24-hour period, I get a little butterfly action in my tummy. But then, like right now, I'm watching them play and I think that they're my best inventions, and I feel like a turd for looking forward to being alone. Dear brain, why the double-edged sword?????

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wiiiiiiiinnneeee. It is my truth serum. I love tv. More specifically, I love the real housewives of bev hills, and I love The Office, and I love Up All Night. The latter is Christina Applegate acting the part of MMMEEEEE. I didn't know that NBC had been following me on my nonexistent blog, or on nonexistent cameras in my house. Big, nay, HUGE opportunities for growth at work...but I still want my Mondays with my daughters? Yup.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Now you're just somebody that I used to know

Sometimes when I'm humming songs out loud, Avery will ask me if it's "stuck on my brain." Yes. Here's the one today: Gotye -- Somebody That I Used to Know

I heard it in the car yesterday and looked it up on youtube today. Ugh, I can't stop listening to it. It's so intense, yet I have no personal experience to attach it to. I think it's because I never dated some emotional artist type who didn't want to be with me but was irritable when I disappeared. I almost texted the name of the song to my dearest friend from college who I never get to talk to anymore, but then I thought she might think I'm disowning her and calling her "somebody I used to know." Certainly not the case.

One time, when we were playing Loaded Questions with my parents, the question came up, "What is the WORST thing that someone could say to you?" (This is my favorite game. Who comes up with these questions!?) I don't remember what anyone else's responses were, but I think they were along the lines of  "You were never there for me." or "You have no talent."

My mom, the ever bright and cheery lady who can still throw down some darkness, answered, "You're dead to me." -- The table responded with silence. Disbelief. Then laughing. --  To this day, it cracks me up. Because, WHO SAYS THAT? Certainly NOT my mom! It's just so ridiculous. If someone said that to me, I don't even think I could muster being offended, because clearly they've lost their mind. Either we're not close enough for them to threaten "deadness" OR we're tight, and we'll find a way to work it out.

What about you?? What's the worst thing someone can say to you? I think "You're just somebody that I used to know" is high on my list, and now that I'm thinking about it, it's sounding very much like "You're dead to me." Just without the dead part.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What do YOU do?

I think a lot of people have romantic notions about being a writer. I know I do, especially when it comes to people who write things that are different than what I write. Novels, children's books, Time magazine columns, self-help books. Their professional lives MUST be quite fascinating and awesome. Mine, not so much. I thought I'd share a few of my activities this week to highlight how unglamorous my life is. And no, there will be no tales of dog poo or body fluids. Those are a given.

* I had to email an editor to see if the two stories I submitted over a month ago will in fact be published. Upon viewing the magazine's January issue online and not seeing my byline, I sent an email to the publisher to confirm that she was going to use the articles. If not, I'd be happy to take them and try to sell them elsewhere. I was thinking the local newspaper. She quickly responded saying that she DID want the articles, WOULD use them, MISPLACED one of them in her system but had found the original version in her emails, and yada yada. This pleased me to no end, because really, who likes to work for no reason whatsoever. I did spend a morning in a pretty foul mood before she responded however. I'm thinking I'll finish the next article that she ordered up, now that the publication is off my shitlist.

* I applied to two freelance jobs. One is for a part time content editor for a web site clearly produced in another country. The job ad was riddled with poor grammar. Um. It pays. Let's just say that. The other, was for a temporary reporter position, which would require me to work 40+hours/week in an office for 18 weeks. I'm into that, sort of. Finding childcare under those circumstances gives me the hives, but the prospect of working like that TEMPORARILY is appealing. It would definitely make me appreciate life as a mostly mom.

* I contacted an editor I did some work for this year to see how life was, and more so, to see if he wanted to give me MORE work. He assured me there would be some crappy paying gigs to come in the future. I like working for him because he swears a lot in his emails and because he's brutally honest. Anyone I can call suckahead is good people in my book.

* A writer friend of mine asked if I was going to any conferences this year. I found out the ASJA 2012 conference will be in April. I would LOOOOOVE to go to NYC for that conference again this year, but I gotta justify it to my hubby. (Mr. LooksAfterTheChildrenWhileIUseHisMiles) I had a great time last year at this conference. It was so incredibly stimulating to be learning about the industry while simultaneously existing in NYC.

* I've resolved to wake up at 5:30am to dedicate some time to writing whatever I want to write. Monday and Tuesday were banner days because of this little arrangement. I'm floating on a writer-high and caffeine just as the kids are getting up for school. Everyone benefits.

So that's it. I know it seems like not much, but it's something compared to nothing. I just hope there's even more something in 2012.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I hope people like this are around when I wreck my car in an icy river

Another amazing rescue story in the paper this morning about some passersby who leapt to action to save children from a crash that left their car submerged in an icy river. They literally flipped the car over to get them out! I'm not sure if this is usual news elsewhere in the country, but it happens here quite a bit. These are just some stories from this past year that I can remember:

Passers-by rescue children from car submerged in Utah river
Man arrested for attacking woman in Target parking lot -- this guy was caught shortly after he attacked a woman, she screamed and fought back and others came to her aid.
Bystanders lift SUV off man in wheelchair hit at Salt Lake crosswalk
Heros save man from fiery crash -- this amazing video got national attention
Among the rescuers -- members of a nearby construction crew and college students
So what's the deal? Are people in SLC crazy boy scouts or does the news over-report these stories? Whatever the case, it's really inspiring. People always ask me what it's like to live in Utah, and this is one of those things that you just can't help bragging about.