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Georgia makes you work for it

Far be it from me to complain about the south when, in fact, there is little I detest more than snow and coldness. I mean, yes, occasionally I need to whine a little bit about the bugs. Perhaps it is true that I have compared our little patch of land to a spot on the surface of the sun, mid-summer, when it truly feels like we will never be un-sweaty again. And ideologically speaking, it maybe wasn’t the very brightest move for this pair of pro-education northerners to find ourselves in a region where our congressman believes evolution to be “lies from the pit of hell,” true, but… hang on. I’m thinking.

Okay, yes. I complain about the south quite a bit. But it’s not my fault that we have cockroaches bigger than my dog or that politics here make my head hurt.

The thing is, working from home means that it doesn’t matter all that much where I live, because my job is largely unaffected by those in my immediate vicinity. Sure, I need to venture out for other stuff, but we’ve managed to find our niches. It’s all fine. I’m just so glad my work is unaffected by the… oh. (more…)

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Color my world office

Otto is a visual person, and I am a make-with-the-many-words person. Somehow we manage to communicate pretty well, though occasionally I’m sure Otto wishes I would just stop talking and every so often I do feel compelled to ask how a visual guy ends up deciding that THAT shirt looks okay with THOSE pants. These are minor blips. On the whole we have managed to forge our own language, an awesome perk of having known each other for nearly two decades dozen years (whoops, hey, we’ve known each other over half our lives).

Today Otto surprised me by suggesting we go out to lunch, which was a rare treat. When we eat as a family the conversation tends to center around the kids and their activities and how really, I MEAN IT, when I said I don’t want to hear any more jokes involving barf WHILE I AM EATING, I was SERIOUS. We have not had enough time as just a couple, lately, and when we do get that time, we tend to be discussing heavy Necessary Stuff, and not just kind of enjoying each other.

Naturally I tried VERY HARD to ruin our lovely lunch with some discussion of Unpleasant Yet Necessary Things, but eventually we did come back to a less depressing topic: My office. Specifically: As we come up on the 6 year mark of living in this house, am I finally ready to paint it? (more…)

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Black Friday at Casa Mir

Today’s the day that I get up early and spend my entire day as a slave to Want Not, and the children are informed ahead of time that I will be essentially unavailable for the day and they should fend for themselves.

So I’ve been working for the last, oh, seven and a half hours already (ZOMG), and the kids are giving me pretty wide berth, but they just swarmed the kitchen—which is right off of my office—to forage for leftovers for lunch.

And that’s why one of the first things I said that didn’t involve shopping, bargains, or Amazon today was, “PLEASE DO NOT RUB LEFTOVER ROLLS ON YOUR FACE.”

True story.

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Elsewhere, as here is barely working

My site issues continue apace, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Apparently there are people who just sit around attacking web servers for… fun? And my hosting provider says I’ve now been under attack for about a week, and they’re doing their best, and mostly I want to call up the people responsible and ask them if maybe they’ve ever tried Qwirkle or Scrabble or occasionally having sex? Because I think they might find it more entertaining and less likely to make people want to kill them.

Anyway. While I wasn’t here (or, more accurately, HERE wasn’t here…), I was other places. Like, for the next few weeks I’ll be over at CafeMom writing about dinnertime. Luscious recipes! Family togetherness! Well, no. Not really. Mostly just fart jokes. Sorry. Come on over and check it out, though. (I mean, how could you not, with that intro?)

And of course, today’s Tuesday, so I’m over at Off Our Chests, discussing stuff. No, really, actual stuff, and the saving of it (or not).

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Be excellent to one another

I’m reading recaps of Mom 2.0 all over the place, this week. It sort of makes me wish I could do one of those deep and profound sorts of rundowns, the kind where I tell you all about how I was inspired and enchanted and finally met this or that person and they were astonishingly lovely and whatever. I mean, that sort of thing does happen, for me, but somehow I come home and put my hands on the keyboard and tell you a story about how I fell down, instead.

Le sigh.

The truth is that I the anxiety I normally feel about heading into a conference situation is topped only by the concern that once I get home, I will be perceived as name-dropping or otherwise insufferable if I talk about it in any way other than to mock myself over something I did there. I am good at mocking. I am not so good at “Yay, I like you and you like me! Hooray for us!” Or maybe I feel like saying it out loud would jinx it.

Hi, yes, I’m 12. Please don’t beat me up in the locker room after gym. (more…)

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Inside, outside, deep down

One of the things that my daughter’s impending teenagerhood has brought into sharp focus for me is my frustration with finding the balance between society’s messages about what it means to be female, my own experiences growing up, and the ever-looming fear that somehow there’s a “right” way to foster good self-esteem that I might be missing. We have entered the days of “I need to look a certain way” and “Those are the Pretty People” and “It doesn’t matter to me except that it does.”

Tricky waters, this. Does anyone get out unscathed? I feel ill-equipped to aid in navigation, particularly as I’m not entirely convinced I’m not still lost, myself. All I know for sure is that I want her—both of my children, of course—to be happy. And I don’t think that happens without a healthy measure of self-awareness and then, self-acceptance.

So when I was approached about a new site dedicated to women speaking their truths to gain clarity, to clear away shame and “shoulds” to make way for happier girls everywhere, I said right on. I’m going to be contributing to Off Our Chests probably once a week, but I’m kicking it off with a story I’ve only told little bits of, here, before. Part one is now live and the second part will go up tomorrow.

Come on over. Join the conversation. I think we’re going to have a lot to talk about.

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I am a bobble-headed alien

Yesterday I did a Skype interview with Stephanie O’Dea as part of her “Real Moms Making Real Money (at home, in their pajamas) And How You Can, Too!” series. (I was not wearing my pajamas. I showered for the interview; I hope that didn’t totally tarnish my cred. Hopefully my crazy hair makes up for it.)

Stephanie and I have been friends for years, now, and we went wandering off on a zillion tangents, and had a wonderful time, but I don’t know how much truly useful information ends up being imparted as I wave my head around and babble endlessly. (The audio and the video didn’t synch up quite right, which is what ends up making me look like an alien, I think.)

Just one bit that got cut, that I felt bears sharing: I talk on the video about how “ZOMG I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M MEETING YOU!” is never a good way to approach someone you admire, and later (cut out) I clarified that it’s not that I don’t enjoy meeting fans or that I think people shouldn’t approach folks they want to meet, just that you should remember to, you know, act like a reasonable human. And then I suggested that if you’re dying to talk with someone at a conference and they just seem too busy, ask for a card and say, “I know you’ve got a ton going on right now. Would it be okay if I emailed you some questions, after the conference?” It’s the rare person who’ll say no to that request, and if they do, well, now you know that’s probably not someone you want to talk to more, anyway.

In conclusion: I look weird in the video. And a lot of stuff got edited out. But Steph got up at something like 4:00 in the morning her time to to make this happen, so maybe go watch it anyway.

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Sublimating worry for fun and profit

You are all nice. So nice! Ponies for everyone. Except now we have to go back to pretending everything is fine, because I can only think about the Not Fine stuff in short bursts, lest my brain melt.

Today, for example, I am busy making Black Friday my bitch, and to celebrate that, I am also giving away an iPod Touch over on Want Not. So feel free to come over and enter that. And possibly do some shopping.

P.S. We had a lovely Thanksgiving, with much for which to be thankful. I hope it was the same for you. With extra gravy.

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Love is grateful, day 5

Today I’m grateful for writing, even on days like today, when I don’t want to, I’m not “feeling” it, and I would rather be in bed with the covers over my head. And I’m grateful for all of the people who encouraged me along the way.

This is the (very worn) back cover of my 6th grade yearbook. (Thank you, Mrs. Simons—it took me a while to get around to it, but you can rest easy knowing you were right after all.) And thank you to every single one of you who stops by my little corner of the ‘net, too.

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My hair had a great time in Chicago

I totally meant to write something deep and meaningful for you yesterday, to make up for my absence, but it turned out that—it being my first day back home, and all—I was far too busy:

1) sleeping
2) playing with the dog
3) slurping vitamin C to ward off the cold I tried to bring home
4) wading through fifty gazillion emails
5) trying to catch up on work
6) whining about how much work I had to catch up on
7) inviting people to a party I haven’t started planning yet (oops!)
8) trying to advise my daughter on the politics of cookie dough
9) trying to tune out my son watching every Annoying Orange video in existence
10) eating frozen coconut milk ice cream analog.

Never let it be said that I don’t lead a varied and full life, right? Right.

Also, I appeared on the news while I was gone, and everyone who saw the clip basically responded with some variation of “YOUR HAIR LOOKS AWESOME!” Points for my stylist, but I’m not sure that bodes well for the whole “positioning myself as an expert” thing, unless I want to be an expert at shiny hair. Which, actually, I kind of do. (more…)

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