Thursday, March 30, 2006 

Here Ya Go, Universe!

I'm on a mission to find some new work.  Yes, I know you say I've been whining about trying to find new work for over a year now, but this time is different.  I actually know what it is that I want to do!!
 
For the longest time (most of my life actually), whenever I've been in the market for new employment, I've just looked for anything.  I have a very diverse skill set and really think I could do almost anything.
 
[Did I ever tell you about when I went to a "job interview" for a Personal Assistant job, and ended up inserting a catheter?!  Yeah, I have a diverse skill set AND I have a hard time saying "no."]
 
It's not that I don't have specific skills or that I'm not employable (in fact, at one point I was able to find THREE jobs in a section of the country with a staggering unemployment rate).  It just seems that usually I've been in a bind to find something IMMEDIATELY or I've been in a rural area and there just isn't much available in "my field."  Now I haven't done the McDonald's type of jobs, thankfully, but I have worked in a Bingo Hall and I have picked asparagus, although I worked both of these jobs before I was finished with High School. 
 
So anyway, cutting to the chase, I'm looking for some new work, and I want it to be in the writing field.  I have been able to pick up some proofreading/re-writing work here and there and that's fine, but I want something where I get paid to write creatively. 
 
There.  I put it out there.
 
Oh, did I mention that I want it soon?
 
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Monday, March 27, 2006 

Hope For The Future

Today was a beautiful day. It was probably around 50 degrees and sunny. The baby and I went for a hike with our friend A. and her son. I was actually hot while hiking (although I did have a baby on my back). It was amazing to see that although the ground looks dead, the crocuses are coming up and I can see hints of spring. There are buds on the trees and little pieces of grass sprouting.

This put me in the mood to surf the Internet looking at flowers. You see, I can’t really afford to purchase flowers every week, but I like to brighten the day by looking at beautiful bouquets online. Anyway, today I found these beautiful Easter flowers online and I began to feel totally inspired. Easter has always made me think of newness and life. I think of Easter lilies and beginnings.

And I think the point of all this is that I’m seeing all of these starts, and they are really helping me gain some hope for the future. I love Spring.

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Friday, March 24, 2006 

Carl Edwards ESPN Cover













Sheesh, I guess Nascar isn't so lame after all!!

 

Blog Envy

Lately I've been consumed by the green monster.  No, not the Hulk.  We're talking jealousy; envy; one of the seven deadly sins (right?).  Yes, I'm afflicted with Blog Envy. 
 
I think the problem stems from the fact that I've just felt so mentally blocked lately.  I feel like everything I write is crap, and I really have nothing interesting or witty to say.   
 
So I read these other blogs, and it seems the authors are on fire.  There appears to be wit pouring from every page, along with little sarcastic digs and some nice trackbacks.  All of their formatting is perfect, and their template stands out like nothing I've ever seen.  They seem to understand the "metatag concept" and have traffic flowing like the Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico.  They are Midas.  Everything they touch turns to gold.
 
And though I'm filled with envy, I keep plugging away, hoping one day to become witty again.  I don't need gold.  Just something interesting to say.
 
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Thursday, March 23, 2006 

The Ultimate Non-Couple

I've been challenged by Gayla to write about non-couples and any experiences I have with them.  At first I had no idea what she was talking about, but then I read her post where she mentioned Rachel and Ross from Friends, and I got it.  In fact, I immediately thought of Jim and Pam from The Office and started pining away about their romance-that-never-was-OR-could-it-maybe-possibly-still-happen?
 
But I started digging deeper.  You see, most of my romantic relationships started out as "non-couple" relationships.  I was that girl in high school who is friends with every guy.  In fact, I didn't like most girls because of their associations with cliques and perfect hair and smooth skin.  Now I wasn't the "I hate girls so I'm going to go whore off with the guys" type of girl, but I just felt more comfortable with the relatively non-judgemental attitudes of the guys.  Trouble was that I was totally naive.  I didn't get that most of them were friends with me because they wanted more.  As Harry says, "Men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way," and though I don't exclusively subscribe to this idea, I do think that it might have been largely true in high school.
 
And so somehow in high school and into college, I unwittingly became the other half of the non-couple.  People would ask me questions in a subtle manner: "Are you guys dating?"  And I would proclaim, "NO!  We're JUST FRIENDS!"  Meanwhile, the guy would blush and start humming Something To Talk About, while I just stood there, completely unaware.
 
My final non-couple situation was destined to become an ironic one.  I met my husband while I was still in college, and my first thought was, "Wow, finally a guy who doesn't want to get in my pants!"  He seemed so sensitive and sweet; so easy to talk to; so honest and kind.  We emailed back and forth, I, spilling my deep thoughts about current boyfriends into the emails and, he, apparently pounding his head against the keyboard.  We remained a non-couple for several years until, one day, everything changed with a few fateful words on the telephone.  And with those words, the suspense was dropped and the non-couple became a couple.
 
Turned out that he really did want to get in my pants.
 
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006 

Rough Day

I'm having a hard day.  It has to do with actually facing some of my very real financial fears.  I won't get into all the details here, but I'm feeling tired, sad and afraid.  I feel like I'm working so hard to get something to work out, but it's all just sitting there, immobilized.  I've sent so many emails; so many resumes, and I'm just feeling so worthless today. 
 
 
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Monday, March 20, 2006 

What Should I Be When I Grow Up?

I took a test on Tickle.com in order to figure out what I should do as a career.

When I was just a little girl...

I've done so many different jobs that I was curious to see if it would give me the results I was looking for. Namely, that I should be a writer.

...I asked my mother "what will I be?"

So I answered the five pages of questions with honesty. After all, I wasn't going to be graded!

"Will I be pretty? Will I be smart?" Here's what she said to me:

And at the end of it all, this is what it said: "the right jobs for you would allow you to be Creative and Analytical." Hmmm...what does that mean, exactly?

"Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours, you see! Que sera, sera!"

So those were not exactly conclusive results, as far as I'm concerned. But at least I wasn't told that I should be a Mathematics teacher or that I should pursue a Hotel Restaurant Management degree.

 

Changing My Patterns

Well I've put off writing today because it seems like the only things I have to say are the ones I've already said.  I started thinking about the whole thing and realized that I probably just say the same things over and over, but on a cycle.  So I start out saying "everything is stressful, but it'll be okay," then I say "everything is stressful; I'm working hard; it should be okay," and I end the cycle by saying, "everything is stressful; I'm working hard; nothing is going to pan out; we're all going to DIE!" 
 
So in thinking about this cycle, I was reminded of this incredible movie that I saw this week.  It's called What The Bleep Do We Know!?, and when I saw it, I knew my life had been changed.  It basically restated everything that I know to be true and helped put into words all of my ideas.  And that evening, after watching the movie, I lay in bed thinking about it, wanting to savor every second of its profundity.  My life had been changed; I was going to awake the next morning, exclaiming my intent for the day -- and the pieces would fall into place like Tetris squares.  I would break through all of my patterns and change the future of my children's children. 
 
And for about an hour the next day, I did feel very aligned and centered and enlightened.  I floated about, focusing on my intent.  But then things started to happen.  I realized another bill was due.  The baby needed lunch.  I noticed a cold sore developing on my lip and a random molar felt loose.  The downward spiral had begun. 
 
Interestingly enough, I also lost grasp of the movie.  Later, when I tried to remember parts of it, I couldn't.  It all felt so abstract, and the only thing I could remember was the various "Professors of Quantum Physics" sitting on their chic leather couches.  (I wonder how much those cost??!) 
 
And then the usual cycle took root again.  It's not even that I got lazy (although maybe I did), it's just that my usual sense of reality felt pretty darn real and I couldn't even begin to think about another reality that could be out there.  It became about survival.  Just get through this to get to the next thing, which will just need to be gotten through as well.  And so on.
 
So today I am at the "end" of the cycle.  I am thinking "everything is stressful; I'm working hard; nothing is going to pan out; we're all going to DIE!"  But really, I think I've made some progress.  At least I get that it's a cycle.  And even though I don't know what to do about it, and it feels uncomfortable and hot and itchy, at least I'm aware. 
 
And I guess that's the point.  All it takes is awareness and the rest will figure itself out.  But it's waiting for "the rest" to figure itself out that's killing me right now - this limbo; this uncertainty. 
 
But this too shall pass, I suppose.  And we'll be back at the beginning again.
 
 
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Saturday, March 18, 2006 

Random Thought

If I were one of those people who just like, totally, like, loved their truck, I would, like, soup it all up, you know? And I would totally get cool things like bug shields and those crazy fuzzy dice to hang on the rearview mirror. I'd probably get some great fog lights, a vanity license plate and some other INSANE truck accessories just to completely pimp out the vehicle. And then I'd get all "Fast and Furious" on everyone's ass. Yeah. I'd do it. Seriously.

Problem is that I hate fuzzy dice. And I don't have a truck.

Oh well. There goes that idea.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006 

Thorn In Our Sides

My in-laws are trying to sell their timeshare, and they have enlisted my help as the resident "Internet expert," to help them.  Problem is that I really don't know where to go with this.  The background is as follows.
 
We were on a cruise in the Caribbean and one of the stops was in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.  Immediately after purchasing a rather expensive piece of jewelry, they were accosted by a salesperson guaranteeing them various free bottles of alcohol if they came to a "no-pressure" presentation.  We all know the rest of the story:  the presentation was about purchasing a timeshare.  Being in a "vacation" sort of mind-set, they decided "what the heck!  throw caution to the wind!"  And they forked over $20K for a floating, one-week-long timeshare (*gasp*)!  Oh, and I forgot to mention the $1K in maintenance fees that were also included in this Great Deal.  But it was a guaranteed vacation!  They would force themselves to get away every year!!  It was paradise!  And oh, the free alcohol they would receive! 
 
And receive it they did.  Along with a deed, a mortgage payment and maintenance fees.  That night as they told us the news, we were shocked.  My in-laws are basically the most reasonable people I have ever known.  They don't do anything unless it is practical and logical.  The purchase was totally and completely beyond anything they had ever done.  And that night they started to realize it - at least my father-in-law did.  As my mother-in-law showed off her diamond with a flushed face(remember the expensive piece of jewelry purchased immediately before the timeshare buy?), my father-in-law looked sick.  He needed the "free" alcohol just to get through the rest of the vacation.
 
So now they are stuck with the thing.  This fateful cruise happened over three years ago and they've only been back once.  But obviously they are still paying maintenance fees.  The problem is that not only does one have to pay for food and transportation and entertainment while away, there is also the matter of plane fare to the Virgin Islands.  Unfortunately, a nice cottage on Tybee Island or an Orlando vacation home rental would have been far more affordable as far as airfare.  Flying from the continental United States to the Virgin Islands can run a person upwards of $500 per person.  Adding up the maintenance fees, the transportation once at the resort, the entertainment/food costs, and the plane fare is enough to give a person heart palpitations. 
 
Yeah.  They were had.  As my husband says, "everyone is allowed at least one big mistake."  (Unfortunately, I've had many, but that's another story.)
 
But going back to the beginning.  They want me to help them get rid of the thing.  I'm tending to lean towards put it up for bid on Ebay.  The only problem is that comparable timeshares are being sold for, at the most, $1K.  They would basically only recoup one year's maintenance fee.  I've perused such depressing articles as this one at Tug2.  I'm just not sure what to do.  The reality is that I simply won't be able to sell it for anywhere close to what they paid.  They were scammed.  And I think they know this, but now I've been put in the position to have to say it out loud.  That's a hard thing to do.  Especially with in-laws.
 
So I'm stuck.  Any suggestions?
 
 
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006 

Bringing More Traffic To Your Blog

I posted about Blog Explosion awhile back on my other blog, but I wanted to announce that I have been introduced to a new method of promotion. The company is called BlogMad and it's similar to Blog Explosion. Basically you manually surf through other members' blogs in order to get credits towards hits to your own blog(s). The company is still in the beta phase so there are bugs being worked out, but I really like it so far!

Feel free to email me via the link in the sidebar for more information!

 

Objects In Rearview Mirror...

I'm still reeling from all of the chaos surrounding this. So I'm feeling a bit numb and unsure of how to continue with any sort of clarity. It's not that I can't embrace change, because I can. Trust me. I'll be the first to embrace change ( just ask my husband). I guess everything just feels so unsettled; like we've moved, but there are still boxes everywhere and we're sleeping a neon green room because we haven't gotten around to painting yet. Do you know what I mean? I guess everything is not as it seems.

Monday, March 13, 2006 

Rainbow At Elam Bend



This picture was sent to me via email. I'm not sure who it was taken by, but it was taken in Mcfall, Missouri on February 2, 2006. It was taken with a Nikon D70 (my dream camera) and I think it's incredible.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 

Becoming Educated

As I mentioned here, I've found this great new way to make more money through blogging. The problem is that sometimes they offer some odd items to write about, and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to write about the item in a creative way. On the upside, it does force me to do some research and become more knowledgeable about a wide array of subjects. (Check out this post - it totally took me out of my element, but was interesting to write.)

Recently, one of my open offers included the option to write about office room reception chairs. While I could go on and on about ergonomics and the pros of having a great desk chair, I am not exactly sure what an "office room reception chair" is. So I went to the link and became educated. Apparently an "office room reception chair" is a chair that sits in the reception room of an office. Makes sense, right? But there are apparently many types of reception chairs; more than I ever knew.

The only problem is now that I've searched the Best Furniture Online link, I'm dying to buy a new desk chair! Someone hold me back!

Friday, March 10, 2006 

How To Send A Fax In 25 Easy Steps

  1. Put it off until the last second; hem and haw.
  2. Get motivated and get dressed.
  3. Realize you put the same jeans on as you wore yesterday and decide to avoid having to go out to fax.
  4. Decide to figure out how to fax from your home laptop.
  5. Perform a search for "FAX" under your computer programs; don't find it. Find instead, extensive methods of creating a "computer network."
  6. Feel frustrated and take a break to eat insane amounts of carbs via banana bread.
  7. Get focused again and perform this Blingo search.
  8. Follow the steps to the tee.
  9. Get dialog box that pops up asking you to "insert Microsoft XP Professional Set-Up disc."
  10. Massive search ensues to find elusive disc; find a Sting cd that has been lost for five years; no MS XP disc found.
  11. Eat more banana bread.
  12. Search for cheap wedding favors for friend's wedding.
  13. Decide to search more extensively for MS XP disc.
  14. Finally find it; A Christmas Miracle, indeed.
  15. Insert disc.
  16. Dialog box pops up saying "please select disc drive."
  17. Select disc drive; nothing happens.
  18. Resist urge to crush disc using only your bare hands, using your inhuman, hulk-like strength.
  19. Try again; nothing happens.
  20. Freak out; eat banana bread while simultaneously eyeing Margarita mix in refrigerator; check watch; it's only 11:30am.
  21. Call your mother; rant and rave; realize she just spent the last hour working with Hospice clients; she doesn't care about the fax situation.
  22. Take a deep breath.
  23. Steel your resolve; pack up baby; check and re-check to be sure that you have documents.
  24. Drive to Postnet.
  25. Pay $5 to send fax.

Thursday, March 09, 2006 

Displaced

It's been a bit of a crazy day. One of my favorite message boards has closed a forum that I usually frequent. No one really knows why and the whole thing puts us all a bit out of touch. As one member said, we're like survivors of a tornado - all just wandering around in cyber-space cold and tattered and hungry.

There have been so many issues recently with the SEC and Autosurfs in general that I can understand owners of message boards feeling a bit nervous about the continued banter. But the whole situation happened so quickly and with little explanation. I do, however, trust the admin of the board and feel that she really means well. I can only imagine what she's going through right now.

In the meantime, we've created a new forum for Autosurf discussion. The link can be found here. Please join us and spread the word. Let's get the family back together.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006 

Loss of a Legend

Found out today that Kirby Puckett died yesterday. I'm not a big sports fan, but I was saddened by the news. I grew up, for a time, in Minnesota, and I remember huddling around a small black and white television as Kirby Puckett brought the Minnesota Twins to Championship victory. I remember cheering with my mom and brother when it happened, and I remember feeling a connection with others around the state. I hadn't really felt that before and it felt good. It felt normal.

Read this article from the New York Times.

Monday, March 06, 2006 

Where Gnomes Dwell



I took this picture at one of our Metro Parks here in Akron, Ohio. I am, by no means a professional photographer, but I do love taking pictures and, once in awhile, I manage to capture something in my photos.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006 

Mind Blowing...er, Mind Controlling

This completely blows my mind. Read it. We're seriously only years away from time travel.

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Maintaining Contact

I'm not good at "staying in touch."  This is something I will admit freely.  In nine out of ten cases, I will know people from a particular stage in my life and, when that stage ends, I will swear up and down that we will "stay in touch."  And usually we do, for a bit.  But then time keeps marching on and I stop returning phone calls; I fade from view. 
 
It's not that I don't want to "stay in touch" or that I don't have the best intentions, because, really, I do.  In fact, in the vast majority of cases, I really care about the person and treasure the time I have spent with them.  So what is my problem?  Well, I have thought about this a bit and have come up with a couple of theories to offer. 
 
One theory involves my perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive nature.  See, when I get an email or letter or phone call from a friend, I immediately go into what I call "clever mode."  "Clever mode" is my usual witty, sarcastic, fun, caring self.  "Clever mode" is great and most people like it, but it also requires a lot of energy from me.  I put expectations upon myself to always be witty, sarcastic, fun and caring.  If I am feeling depressed or stressed or any combination of the two, my abilities to be witty, sarcastic, fun and caring become severely handicapped.  I have a hard time actually communicating with anyone else on an interesting level because I just want to go inward until the other emotions pass.  I know that my true friends want to see every side of me and that I am "safe" sharing myself at any point, but I just have such a hard time pushing past my personal expectations.
 
My other theory involves blaming my childhood and the fact that we moved a lot.  Explaining it, in its entirety, would involve many long paragraphs about religion and God and society, and I just don't think I'm up for it right now.  Suffice to say that we moved a lot, and I had to leave a lot of people behind in the various chapters of my life.  It was easier to just let them go and grasp hold of the present than constantly long for what was.  I basically divided my life into separate lives and it simply didn't work to bring people from past lives into my current life.
 
Of course there have always been exceptions to the rules.  I have kept in touch with one or two people from high school and family, of course.  But for the most part, for any number of reasons, I've had a difficult time "staying in touch." 
 
I guess at least I'm aware of this possible character flaw and know I need to think about this.  And to those of you with whom I've "lost touch," I'm working on it. 
 
 
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Friday, March 03, 2006 

Margaritaville

We've decided to have a Margarita (WITH salt, on the ROCKS) and Burrito night tonight.  We've had company all week and have a sick baby now.  We've earned it.
 
More from me after I scrape myself off the ground.
 
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Thursday, March 02, 2006 

Making More Money With Blogging

Well apparently I'm going through a bit of a boring phase as far as posting goes. We have family here right now, and I've just been focusing on maintaining an even flow.

Just wanted to take a minute, however, to tell my fellow bloggers about a great new way to make money blogging. The company is called Blogitive...you apply online at Blogitive and within minutes (at least for me), they will get back to you with an answer of whether your blog was approved or not. Once it is approved, you go into your account and you will see "Open Offers." Go to that tab and you will see several links for different companies. You have to use those links to write a post in your blog - when you do that, you will get credited into your Blogitive account with the payout that was indicated. It sounds complicated but I've used links already and have been credited! You get paid weekly into your Paypal account! Give it a try.

Hopefully I'll be back to my usual witty self soon!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

Short Dissertation on the Annoyances of Online Money Processors

It used to be that I only used Paypal. It is the tried and true giant in the online money processing industry (which, admittedly, has pros and cons), and hadn't given me any real problems.

Then I signed up with Stormpay so that I could take part in some Autosurfs and HYIPs. Shortly after that, the Stormpay fiasco struck and we were all left out in the cold - naked and confused.

After that, several others moved into the spotlight. Two of those were EMO and Alertpay, both of which I signed up with. Both of which have a long, drawn-out system of "verification," including sending personal information such as copies of credit cards and driver's licenses and pictures of you in a zebra costume with your third grade teacher. I understand the need to "verify" each person, but it's also an uncomfortable feeling knowing that anything that can identify you is being held by a random Internet company, and, in theory, could be used at will against you.

Also popular is Egold, a money processor based on the value of gold. This processor is popular because there is no means by which to do "chargebacks." The general feeling is that chargebacks can lead to the death of a program because accounts can be frozen and therefore, payments can't be made. My opinion, however, is that Egold is completely complex - I personally don't understand how to fund your account. Apparently you have to buy gold bars or something to that effect and you work with values of metal, etc. Very complicated.

So now we're back to the old standard - Paypal. After all the drama, we're all clamoring for programs that accept and are verified by Paypal. Seems like we've come full circle.

I guess only time will tell how we'll evolve from here. Personally, I think we should go back to the bartering system. I'll give you three chickens for two wool blankets!

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About me

  • I'm Sara
  • From United States
  • I consider myself to be a storyteller and often draw upon my everyday experiences in order to create stories. I grew up in a commune.
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