Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve 08

We've had two invitations to go over to someone's house and play Rock Band this NYE.  You can't get away from Rock Band lately!  I played Rock Band at Christmas with my family.  I was the singer.  I was thrown by the "Nature is a whore" line in Nirvana's In Bloom.  It just didn't seem like a very Christmassy thing to be singing.  I mumbled it and exchanged a look with my sister, the mother of the two small children present.  

We're still not sure what we're going to be doing tonight, but most likely, it will involve Wii.  

Happy New Year everyone!  May all your rock star dreams come true!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Etsy Items

Posted two funky shirts on Bad White Trash Memories today, along with a cigarette lighter case. The pictures don't do any of them justice, but they were the best of the gazillion that I shot.

I also posted a dining room table up for sale on Craigslist.
My favorite part of that photo is how you can see the Pledge in the background from where I just dusted the table. Either that, or the heels of my shoes poking into the picture on the lower left. This is my living room, in case you were wondering, and not where a dining room table would normally live. It's just sitting there, ready for it's new home!

Monday, December 29, 2008

NEW resuME

I actually turned down a freelance job this morning! It was a little more of a commitment than I'm looking for since I'm amping up my search for fulltime work.

I spent the morning retooling my resume and writing a new cover letter. The job market is different than the last time I was looking and although last time, my old resume and cover letter got me multiple offers, but I decided I needed an upgrade in this market, so I took a couple of hours and really focused on it, starting over from scratch. I would hire me. I would at least interview me.

After I was done, I sent it over to this really cool job for an environmenal organization that I'm interested in. I'm so superstitious. I can't decide if I should mention jobs that I'm applying for in this blog or not. In some ways, I want to claim the job, have everything think positive thoughts for me, etc, but in other ways, due to past failures, writing about potential jobs seems like a curse. Why, I don't know.

Today is my BFF's birthday. Happy Birthday, JenniferPants. Haha. That name cracks me up.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas

My Christmas was very merry! The gifts were abundant, both incoming and outgoing, despite this year's financial limitations. Among the most exciting gifts were Season 4 of Lost and Season 1 of Six Feet Under. I've never seen Six Feet Under, but always been told that I would love it, so I'm excited for it. Lost, undoubtedly will be fantastic. I've gone to great lengths to remain ignorant of this season because we enjoy watching tv on dvd so much more than we do during it's run.

I also got a substantial gift card to Target and I'm trying to decide between spending it responsibly on household goods or blowing it on junk that I want but wouldn't otherwise buy.

I have a busy day tomorrow- I need to mail off the Etsy purse I sold, do laundry bigtime, apply for a job that I'm really hopeful about and possibly hit up Target to see how that whole gift card thing shakes out.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Lauren and Heidi totally made me cry last night.

I still have three gifts left to buy and then I'm done Christmas shopping. I've actually sold two items on etsy this week, financing my Christmas spending. Two items in a week is a record for me and I need to get some new inventory up. I have couple of items sitting around waiting to be photographed, but the end of yard sale season is hitting me hard in terms of product. I'll have to check out some goodwill stores next week.

I got my Pay Pal debit card in the mail today, so no more slow transfers to access that money. Sweet. That will come especially in handy for shipping expenses. The Etsy store has actually ended up being profitable, which is awesome. I'm going to work on expanding it and I may look into some of the marketing opportunities that Etsy offers. Good times!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Extra Care

I did my first CVS Extra Care deal today and I started small. I bought two tubes of Crest toothpaste for $3 each, so $6 total and I got $4 in extra care bucks which I will spend on shampoo later this week when I run out. So, basically, I'm looking at $6 for two tubes of toothpaste and some shampoo. Not too shabby. I made sure to only buy something that I know that we will use like toothpaste and I will make sure to only spend the ECBs on something that I would buy anyway. I almost did this $15 worth of Coke products for $5 in ECBs deal too. The coke was on a super sale, so for $16, I could have gotten three 12 packs and four 2 liters. Hmmm.... I probably should have done that. I always buy soda when I grocery shop and that's a good deal and it would keep forever and then I could have gotten some free conditioner too... But, it's best to start small and $16 seems like a lot of spend on soda. So, for now, it's toothpaste and shampoo. I feel pretty good about it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mines of Treasure

I had so much fun making my Christmas wishlist a couple of days ago, that I've decided to make an entirely new blog of things that I love. It's called Mines of Treasure. It's simple. Just pictures of beautiful items and links to where to find them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Wishlist

Since my husband and I are making the romantic gesture of getting each other a dishwasher for Christmas, after Christmas, when we can afford it, and my friends and I have long ago ceased giving each other gifts, this isn't directed at anyone in particular, but more of a "stuff I'd like to have" list, that may, perhaps, provide gift-giving inspiration for others who are buying for someone like me.  

For carrying around my imaginary laptop.  Available here at Janine King Designs.

For Doug.  Wouldn't he be handsome?  At 8PawsCollars

And of course, for Duke.  From The Mod Dog.  There are only about a thousand dog collars I want from there.  

Two of these, please.  

I keep meaning to watch this.  I love that period in the English monarchy.  At Amazon, of course.  

So I can properly thank everyone.  Here.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I am now using two pay pal accounts to appease the new eBay rule, which is bothersome, but not the end of the world. I also got my CVS card in the mail and my friend Leah made a wonderful suggestion about coupons. She said that she buys her paper from the guys selling it on the street on Sundays for a $1. I feel confident that I'd get a dollar's worth of coupons, so I'm planning on doing this, but didn't do it yesterday since it was my birthday and I didn't do much of anything.

My 32nd year will doubtlessly be one of huge change. It's inevitable since I am currently at the "something's gotta give" point on a lot of personal issues. Tomorrow, I am heading out of town to Savannah with my mom. I always say that I'm from Savannah, but that's not exactly true. I moved around a lot in my early childhood, attending 5 different elementary schools, but Savannah was always a sort of home because my oldest sister settled there and started a family. I only lived there until I was 4, but we always returned there for visits since my sister was there and my mom had many friends. Eventually, my mom moved back there and stayed until just this year where she moved to Atlanta to be near the rest of her children. I guess I'm lucky enough to have two home towns, since I also consider myself to be from Fayetteville, where I went to middle school and high school. Although I didn't think so at the time, Fayetteville was a good place to grow up. I thought it too homogeneous and boring at the time, but I made life-long friends there and somehow we all turned out to be open-minded diverse people, despite our suburban origins.

I still have much Christmas shopping to do and now, thanks to my birthday dough, I actually have some money to spend on gifts.

Today, I'm going to pick up the cable modem and self-install kit from the cable company and I need to mail out something that I sold on eBay. As much as a pain in the ass as eBay has been, it's been my most successful source of income since the beginning of my unfortunate unemployment.

31. Didn't that used to be old?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Virtual Identity Crisis

I have been stuck in eBay/Pay Pal hell for the past two hours.

So, suddenly, tonight, when I go to list an item, I get an error message saying that I can't list it because my email address that I use for eBay and the email address I use for Pay Pal are different. So, I go to my eBay account information and try to change my email address so that they would match, but then, I get an error message telling me that I can't use that email address because my user name for that address is the same as my eBay user name. Alrighty. I think of changing my email address with Pay Pal, but don't really want to because my clients use that information to pay me for freelance work. So, I decide to check out the live chat help for eBay to see if they have a solution. So, I wait in a queue for a rep and when she gets online, I start telling her my situation and of course, she keeps jumping the gun... first suggesting that I change my email address on my eBay profile, then suggesting that I change the address on my Pay Pal profile.... She won't let me get my whole story out. Okay, so then I finally tell her that I've tried all that and the errors that I'm getting and then she tells me that you can have more than one email address on your Pay Pal account. Yay! An advancement! So, I dash over to Pay Pal and try to add the email address that is on my eBay account and it tells me that there is already a Pay Pal account with the email address. Hum. I don't remember making one, but it's possible, so I log out of Pay Pal and then try to log back in with the other email address trying all my passwords. I finally get into the account, $0 balance, hasn't been used since 2005, so I think that I'll just close it, thereby freeing up that email address to be added to my real Pay Pal account that's verified and whatnot. So, I try to close it but in order to close it, I have to enter in the credit card number of the credit card associated with that account. Unfortunately, I no longer have that credit card and have no idea what the credit card number is. So, I try Pay Pal's help page and it just keeps directing me to the directions to close an account, so I decide to give them a call. They have the worst automated help system of all time. It also wants my credit card number that I don't have and in the middle of all this frustration, it randomly asks me if I want to add the number that I called from to my account. WTF. So, anyway, it keeps on asking me irrelevant questions and giving me irrelevant options to choose until finally it says that it's going to direct me to a customer service representative. Yay! BUT, then I get a voicemail saying that they are observing holiday hours (Is it Hanukkah? What holiday is this? Should I be celebrating?) and that I should try their website. Seriously. Then, it hangs up on me.

So, despite my best efforts, I'm in a Catch 22 and no closer to a resolution. Sigh. So frustrating. At least my birthday is Sunday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Project Mayhem

Wow. It's not easy being a creative genius.

It seems a lot of people are thinking that I'm "crazy" right now. I didn't know that so many people had so little faith in me or in my ability to succeed. I always thought it strange when people would say that no one believed in them or people told them they wouldn't make it, but wow, do I understand that now!

Personally, I feel as though I have never had so much potential or excitement about my future. I feel free from the rat race and like my options are endless. Sure, I'm taking some chances, but while playing it safe all these years got me some dollars in the bank, it did not get me happiness.

I want to make money- don't get me wrong. I have an obligation to make money. Responsibilities. Etc. I'm not running off to join the circus here, but I found myself in this situation and instead of being devastated, I am using this time to regroup and not continue further on the path to a sad meaningless life.

I am still in the process of deciding what I'm going to do next, but let me assure you that whatever I decide, I will be successful at it. This isn't the first time in my life that no one has believed in me, but yet, still, somehow I managed to put myself through college, have a successful career in television, have another successful career in public relations, buy a house at 25 and achieve many other goals that I set for myself. I can take care of myself and in the wise words of The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kim, I'm going to let my haters be my motivators.

I am not Jack's khaki pants.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jen Cougar Mellencamp

Reinventing one's self is hard.  Sunday is my 31st birthday.  I'm not sure what this MEANS.

I'm weighing out the pros and cons of getting a subscription to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  I read it almost every day, of course, since I'm a local news junkie, but I previously read the copy that came to my jobs and since then, I've been reading online, which is sufficient, but I'm thinking of just getting a Sunday subscription for the coupons.  I've never much used coupons unless they basically just fell into my lap, but since part of my job as a stay at home is saving money, I'm trying to decide if this would be a good investment.  It's $12 for two months worth of Sundays.  Would I save that much money?  

My sister says that every time she goes to the super market, they have to bring the manager out because she has more that $100 worth of coupons.  I don't even buy $100 worth of groceries at the super market.  My husband eats mostly fresh foods from the farmer's market and we get things like detergent from Sam's, so would I get my money's worth in coupons?  I guess it's not that big of an investment if it turns out not to be worth it.  As long as I don't buy stuff I don't need just because I have a coupon-  those sly coupon makers-  trying to make me buy swiffers and air fresheners!  

Also, thanks to a tip from my friend Kelly, I was able to keep my mindspring email address. She told me that she had recently downgraded to an email only account for $3, when I had been paying for 10 hours of dial up that I never use.  So, I called them up, and despite the fact that the guy could seriously barely speak English, I managed to change my plan.  

I'm also looking at cutting off the home phone and instead of getting our DSL through the phone company, switching to cable Internet access.  It's looking like I could have about $50 a month doing that.  We don't really use our home phone anyway.  

And finally, I think I'm going to switch to Metro PCS.  It's not like I'm doing a lot of traveling these days.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Heart CVS

After reading my friend Anny's blog, who is a guru of frugality, I was referred to this site.  Apparently, CVS is the place to be for saving money.  I immediately went to the CVS website and signed up for their Extracare card and I'm about to embark on the process of getting my toiletries for freeish.  Apparently, the way it works is you buy stuff at CVS that are on sale or that you can get a coupon for or that are rebateable that also give you these extracare dollars that you can spend at CVS.   So, you try to get stuff for free or really really cheap, that gives you these dollars that you can use to buy other stuff that you actually need.  It's like a game.

I'm also looking at cutting costs.  My husband and I have already cut most of our costs before I quit my job.  We're not big spenders to begin with, but there's always room to cut.  The first and most obvious cut I need to make it my old email.  It's an email address that I don't use anymore, but still pay $10 a month to keep.  The reason that I haven't already let it go is because it's a mindspring email address and mindspring doesn't exist anymore.  I've had this email address since 1996.  For some reason, I associate a certain prestige with have this anachronistic email address, but that's just silly.  I need to go in there and save all the stuff I'm archiving there and then cancel the account.  I will do that this week.   

Friday, December 5, 2008


I'm thinking of giving this blog a theme, like "Adventures in Poverty" or "How to Make Money Without Working or Breaking the Law." Maybe "Poor Like Me." You know, so I can share my experiences trying to make ends meet during this time of my unfortunate unemployment.
Turns out merchants want cash in exchange for goods.  Housewivery would be a lot more fun if it paid better.  

I signed up today to be in a database for market research.  You know, when you go somewhere to be part of a focus group and they ask you questions and whatnot and then pay you.  My SAHM sister does this.  I'm also up to 23 cents on my eHow articles, so I should be able to live off that pretty soon.  

On the flip side, I love being at home all day.  I love the peace and quiet.  I love having a clean and tidy house.  I love being surrounded by my animal friends.  

I am getting some work, but not nearly enough to compensate for my fulltime salary.  I mean, I wasn't expecting to make an equal amount right out the gate, and well, I'm not.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I applied for several interesting freelance gigs today including one as a guide at, which is like the best possible freelance writing job. I've been watching their site, waiting for a topic that I was an expert in to come up and finally, today, one did. I applied to be the guide to camcorders. I figure with my professional videographer experience and my degree in film and video production, along with my writing experience, I have a shot, although I am sure that they are overwhelmed with applicants. This would be guaranteed monthly income in a substantial amount, which is a rarity in the freelance writing world. But, again, it's a long shot. The form letter they sent me said not to expect to hear anything for 8 weeks...

Speaking of long shots, I've decided not to try out for Design Star. I figured I'd wait a year and work on building up a decent portfolio and resolve some other personal issues and then try out. It's not like I was holding my breath. I think it would be better for me to focus on more realistic goals right now.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

I made that jive ass turkey. No problem.

Thanksgiving was a success and I've spent much of the past two days doing nothing, but it's back to the grind tomorrow because I have two articles due on Monday for an ocularist's newsletter. If you don't know, an ocularist makes ocular prosthetics.

This week, I've got to follow up with the substitute situation and get to work on the two grants I'm writing right now- one paid and one as a volunteer for AARF, the rescue that owns Douglas (see widget at right).

My craigslist selling has really picked up- I've sold everything that I've listed except for this horrible old couch and a dog crate, but I'm going to relist them both tomorrow. I thought I was going to sell the couch today. After asking me a thousand questions about the couch, the guy said that he'd be by to pick it up between 4 and 5, but he never showed. Annoying. I'm asking $30 for the couch. I'm asking for that amount because that's about how much it's worth. About the only good thing I have to say about that couch is that you can sit on it, but what do you expect for $30? This guy wanted to know if it had any tears. If I could take additional pictures for him. If we smoked. If we had pets. He just kept asking questions, which I can understand if you'd paying say over $50, but what do you expect for $30?

Likewise, the dog crate has someone who is interested in it and I've basically told her that I can meet her anywhere at any time with it, just tell me where and when and she keeps giving me the most vague answers- Like "southeast atlanta after 2pm." Sure. I'll be there!

I'm giving up on both of those fools and starting fresh tomorrow. We're also selling some stuff on ebay that has been sitting in the basement for a while. We sold three items and have 4 more listed. I'm hoping to make about $400 from those sales, but most of it goes to my husband since it's his stuff. I get a cut since I'm doing the work to get it sold like one of those "We Will Sell Your Stuff on Ebay" stores. I'd love to open one of those stores, but unfortunately, I just saw one located near me survive for several months and then die a slow painful death until is finally went under. No thanks. I'll stick to writing for now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've been really busy getting ready for Thanksgiving, but naturally, I'm still not ready. I'm making the turkey for the first time this year and the whole "defrosting" thing almost got me, but I'm pretty sure we're going to be thawed in time. Who knew it took three days to thaw a turkey? Probably everyone with a uterus but me.

Other than that, it doesn't seem too complicated. I'm making an herb rub/sauce, cooking it in a bag. Of course, it took me hours of internet research to make those decisions. I'm also making rolls (read Pilsbury crescent rolls) and deviled eggs, which I'm about to make in a minute. Looking forward to eating embarrassing amounts of mac and cheese!

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


How to Solve Any Sudoku Puzzle
Freelance writing is picking up and I have several jobs on the burner right now. So, that's good.

I also sold something on etsy- also good.

I'm working on redecorating the living room, but it's going very slowly. I've decided that instead of painting today, I'm going to go through room by room and clean each room of the house and then start worrying about design and decorating. Sure, it's less fun, but it needs to be done.

My junk that I'm selling on craigslist is not going good, which is a major reason that I've kind of run out of steam in the living room. I've also run out of funds. I have the paint and painting supplies, but since I can't do stuff like buy curtains, it's hard to get inspired to paint. I really wish some of that stuff would sell. I have sold some stuff- a rug, a desk and a coffee table, which funded the purchase of a new sofa, new rug and painting supplies. I'd previously bought new side tables and a new coffee table at yard sales. I still need to buy at least two lamps (there is no overhead light in the room), four curtains panels, window shears, some throw pillows and some things to hang on the walls. I have a vision for all this, but I only have $15 from the sell of the desk left to spend and that's not enough to buy even one of the things that I need. Sell, junk! Sell!

So, today I'm going to get caught up on laundry. Tomorrow, I am going to clean the upstairs of my house. Tuesday, I am going to my in-laws house to help them with a project and on Wednesday, I am going to clean the downstairs of my house and then if I still have the time and energy, I'm going to paint the living room. Hopefully, some more things will sell by then and I can get the room looking halfway decent by Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Your Next Design Star!

As anyone who knows me knows, my passion is interior design. I've always dreamed of combining my television experience with my passion and having my own interior design television show. I mean, I've dreamed of this like say, one might dream of having a winter home in Aruba and a summer home in Paris. Like, it's a wild and crazy completely impossible dream. Especially because I'm not even an interior designer. But, interior design is not neurosurgery and much of it is instintucal and I've studied it enough to be able to consider myself more knowledgeable about it than the general public- possibly even an expert in some areas. So.... I'm going to try out for the next season of Design Star on HGTV. I'm almost embarassed to say that because it's so far-fetched and seems almost egotistical to say, but I'm not doing it because I have a shot, but because it's a dream and right now.... well, I don't have anything else to do besides pursue my dreams.

The deadline is December 15. And the requirements are many. Like I have to send in a "portfolio" of rooms that I have designed. Uh..... I guesss I'd better get busy on the living room! Is it even possible for me to develop a portfolio in that amount of time? On like NO budget. I guess we're going to see!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Exciting eHow Article of the Day

How to Clean Copper Cabinet Hardware
Chances are, if you're reading this, it's because you don't know about my real blog, where I let it all hang out and talk endlessly about all my problems and personal drama. This is my "professional" blog, which almost seems like a contradition in terms to someone who's life has been exposed on the internet since 1998. But, because of the nature of my job, I have to keep that identity secret. I'm like superman, except my alter ego isn't a super hero. It's a whiney angst filled repetitive loser who is barely keeping things together. But not here. Here, I'm a hard-working creative writer using the power of positive thinking to get through a tough time.

Having a professional blog is proving to be quite a challenge for me. I almost deleted that last post about 20 times. Either that, or move it over to the personal blog, but then we'd have the problem of revealing my professional identity over there. Sigh. Can't win.

I keep flip-flopping about what to write here. I mean, if people are going to read it, which is the whole point, then it needs to be interesting, and to me, interesting means honest, but who's honest when looking for a job?

I'm still trying to find where this new blog and the BWTM empire fits into my life, so if you're reading, bear with me. I'm leaning towards being more casual and open over here, although you still probably won't hear me discussing my sex tape or stalking conviction. Haha.

News Hangover

This morning, I've been reading Live Apartment Fire, former coworker Doug Richard's blog about local news. Unlike Doug, I hope to work again in the future, so BWTM isn't going to be following in his footsteps of critiquing local newscasts- I'll leave that to the experts, but I would like to address the emotional toll that working in news takes on a person.

I started in news early and I was probably around 23 when I realized that the part of me that had once had compassion for the victims of crime or circumstance was no longer there. I was logging an incoming feed from a helicopter that was flying over the scene of a body that had been found in a parking lot and I remember chuckling to myself as I saw the dead mutilated body laying in a pool of blood in..... and this is the funny part..... the handicapped space! Funny, right? No, it's not funny at all. Unless you have done what all people who are faced with death and tragedy day in and day out do, and that's turn off your empathy.

After my chuckle, I dutifully noted in the log-

Dead body- Do not air.

Because they don't show dead bodies on the local evening news.

Well, that's not entirely true. Sometimes, they do. A dead body is more appropriate in the late evening news than in the early evening news. A body under a tarp is fine, as long as the tarp is not bloody. Blood splatter or spray is okay, particularly in the case of a car or sidewalk bombing. Body parts are fine to show, as long as they are mixed in with other debris and not easily recognizable. You shouldn't show a shot with body parts in it for more than about five seconds. That's tacky. And chances are, that if you can't tell if it's a body part of a pile of bloody rags, then it's okay to show briefly, you know, to convey the seriousness of the situation.

But never ever under any circumstances should you show the moment of death. Sure, the photographer had to sit at the scene of a police stand-off for 9 hours with his camera rolling on the suspect in case something happened, but the moment that something actually does happen, say the police open fire on him when he pulls a gun, the video is unusable. You have to freeze the video on the frame where the guy has pulled out his gun and is beginning to take aim, but you can let the audio play.... Bang bang bang scream bang bang. So that it's not quite real- there's just the implication of what it's actually like when a man commits suicide by cop. Or, say if some terrorists kidnap a journalist, one of our own, and decide to video tape his head being cut off in slow sawing motions and then send it out on the wire. You don't show that on the news. But you do watch it. And those images emblazon themselves on your brain- along with the images of innocent beach goers being swept up in a tsunami or people jumping from the 30th floor or a collapsing tower, or a man flying from the window of his speeding ford explorer and bouncing across 285. All these things become a part of who you are and then no one understands why you're laughing in horror movies and rolling your eyes at terrorism.

Since I've left news, I think my ability to empathize is returning somewhat. I almost cried over the death of Dottie the Elephant and the story about the little girl kept in the closet took my breath away and I didn't feel quite right the rest of the day. But I still can't flip back on the switch that I flipped off that made me feel true compassion for these strangers, and honestly, I don't want to. It would hurt too much. And I have a job to do.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I once again got out of bed early this morning and headed to work as usual, but just to clean out my office. Even after just one day, I felt much less attached to my work there and I was able to throw out some things that I'd decided to keep earlier in the week. I just realized that there was no way I would need them in my new life. I let it go and it felt good.

I went to a Weight Watchers meeting today. It feels so cultish sometimes, but it's the only thing that's ever worked for me (or anyone else I know for that matter) in terms of weight loss, so I'm back to counting points. Starting Saturday. I'm not starting today or tomorrow because I need to go to the grocery store and we don't get paid until tomorrow, plus, I'm going out to lunch tomorrow with a former co-worker at the zoo.

After Weight Watchers, I signed up to be a writer on eHow and submitted two articles:

How to Professionally Frost a Cake

How to Publicize a Charity Event

I'm going to try to write and submit one of these per day, although I'm not sure how many things I actually know how to do. I have a lot in mind for right now, though.

These are cool because although you don't get paid to write them, you get residual income from them. So, from now on, every time someone reads that article, I'll get paid. Cents. Maybe less than a cent. A tiny tiny amount.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to look into Associated Content. It's the same sort of deal, I think, only it's not "how to." It's just content. Which I have TONS of. Blah blah blah.

I didn't apply for any full time jobs today- couldn't find anything- but I did spend a good deal of time looking.

I also did more laundry and sold the coffee table in the den. That, combined with money I transferred out of my paypal account covers the sofa that I bought yesterday. Hopefully, I can sell some more stuff over the weekend so that I can finish decorating the living room. I'm so ready for one room in our house to look nice.

Tomorrow, I have several things that I need to do-

-Lunch with Sherry to discuss freelance opportunities at her job
-Send Duane an email about writing for The Tribune (he left me a voicemail today)
-Set up a meeting with Shena from the Damian Wilkins Foundation about writing a grant for her
-Set up a meeting with Liz about writing for a local parenting magazine
-Send Whitney at Newcomer the writing clips she asked for
-Talk to Susan and Carole about AARF grant
-Pitch story to pet magazine
-Take pictures of items for Etsy Store
- Children's Books
- Ashtray
- Tea pot
- Kitten
- Cup and saucer
- Two blouses
-Take picures of items for craigslist and post for sale
- rug
- white shelf

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Day

Wow. Today was a really good day.

One of my worries is that I would slide into a depression during this transitional period and not maximize the opportunities that this period is affording me. You know, I was worried that I'd sleep all day and watch tv and putz around on the internet.

Well, I'm proud to say that I did not do that today. I was up bright and early and took the dogs for a nice long walk. Then I checked email and had a response to an inquiry I'd sent about a sofa on craigslist. I ended up deciding to purchase it (funded by craigslist sales of my old junk), so I made the arrangements, went to Home Depot and rented a truck for $20, went to Decatur and me and the women selling it loaded it onto the truck, I drove it home, unloaded it off the truck by myself (I almost had to bust out a physics book to look up "leverage" and "balance"), then returned the truck, all before noon.

This afternoon was spent making a daily plan to keep me on track and listing some more stuff for sale on craigslist. I also washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen and took out the trash.

A pretty good first day.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last Day

I am very emotional today and feeling a bit unsure of myself, but trying to ignore those feelings. I applied for several full-time jobs today, including one that I actually think that I would really enjoy, so we'll see if anything comes of that. I've also applied for lots of freelance work.

Tomorrow is my first day without a job, however, I am going to go into the old job to clean out my office. I had to leave today before I could get to it. I am leaving more loose ends than I intended to leave, but if will have to suffice. I did all I could and they should be pretty much on auto pilot for the next several weeks and I've done some work to help prepare them for the more distant future. I also closed a sponsorship today, so I'm leaving on a good note.

Tomorrow will mostly be a day of planning.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I am not liking how blogger automatically logs you in based on your gmail address, because I have a "professional" address that I am logged into most of the day and then I have one that I use for comments, blogging, etc, so I always have to change gmail accounts. Annoying.

Tomorrow is my last day with a real job. So strange. I sent out a farewell email to my contacts today and got several offers of freelance work, so that's encouraging.

I'm starting to think about how my days will go. I know that I need to establish some sort of housekeeping routine so I can kind of put the house on auto-pilot and not get caught up in tedious housecleaning projects. I've used flylady in the past and I'm probably going to go back to that. It worked pretty well for me, but I always thought that it would be better if I wasn't trapped at work all day. Also, of course, I'm going to have to make time to 1)look for work and 2)do work. I'm thinking of doing a quick morning routine for housekeeping and then focusing on work until lunch and then spending the afternoon doing miscellaneous and assorted meetings and projects that I need to do, like write a novel and learn to sew.

And there's also health stuff. I'm definitely going to go back to Weight Watchers and COUNT MY POINTS and I have to work exercise into my routine as well. Plus, I want to get back into yoga and I want to start cooking dinner regularly. Healthy dinners. For me and my husband.

Tomorrow will be slammed at work trying to get everything caught up and ready to transfer over to the poor girl who will be taking over my responsibilities in the interim. Plus, I really want to get through all my emails and wrap up some stuff that's still hanging.

I'm going to go in early, because I'm not sure what time they'll cut off my access tomorrow. I'm thinking 5 since that's my official quitting time.

My work friends are taking me out to lunch tomorrow, which is nice and appreciated. I wish that I'd gotten to know them better, but I'm planning on serving on the planning board for Tour de Cure, so I'll still be in touch with them.

All is well and I'm very excited about the future. I can't wait until Wednesday!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Secret

Ooops. Missed a few days...

Tuesday is my last official day with a job. It's nerve-wracking, but also exciting. I feel like I'm on the verge of some really great life discoveries.

I wrote several chapters in one of my novels on Wednesday night. It's not the memiors one that I planned to focus on, but inspiration stuck and I'm hoping to be more discliplined about completing it. It would be my first completed novel, so I'm trying not to be hopeful of getting it published, etc, but then again, I kind of want to "secret" it. If you don't know, this is the "secret." Actually, I'm not all that sure how "the secret" works, so I guess I should rent the dvd or something. Basically, my understanding is that by the power of positive thinking, you create your own reality, or something, but like I said, I haven't read the book or seen the movie.

So, plans for this weekend, my last weekend, because I envision all the days just running together after Tuesday-

Tonight- wash the dogs, do laundry
Tomorrow- go yard saling with Sarah, rent The Secret
Sunday- come into work to organize all my files, get everything in order, etc, make plans for the person taking over my responsibilites to help her out cause I like her and don't want to leave her in a bad place.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History is happening. This is the kind of thing that our grandkids will ask us about- either a black president or a woman vice president. Either one is a good thing, but if this term doesn't go well, and it won't, no matter who wins, either cause will probably be set back by this election. If Obama wins and things go south, people will blame his misfortune of inheriting a disaster on his being black and it will be a long long time until we see another black president. And God knows, that Sarah Palin is going to make all women look bad no matter what she says or does because of how she presents herself and a bad term for McCain will result in Palin's gender taking a hit. It's too bad, but bound to happen. Just my thoughts. I hope that I'm wrong.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Local Pubs

Picked up three intesting local publications today- a pet magazine, a women's magazine and a local neighborhood magazine. Going to contact all three of them in coming days to see if they accept unsolicited submissions, etc. A magazine editor that I know and have worked with in the past also sent me an email expressing interest in having me write some pieces for her publication, which is a magazine that is for people who are new to Atlanta.

I also got fitAtlanta to agree to publish me, but they don't pay. I've been writing a regular column for them for a while on behalf of my job, but now I'm going to start doing that independently. At least that will give me some clips. They only publish quarterly, so it's not a huge commitment. I know I just talked about undervaluing yourself, but since I have an existing relationship with them, I'm making an exception in this case.

I cannot wait until my two weeks notice is up. November 12 I am a free woman.

Oh, I'm also going to contact the television station that I used to work for and see if they want me on a freelance basis... Writing this time, not doing the horrible soul-crushing stuff I was doing before...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Home from Greenville! I'm going to write a weekend getaway article and try to sell it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Posting today from the lovely Greenville, South Carolina!

I'm no stranger to working from the road. In fact, I've already logged into my work account and responded to some emails, etc, but since I'm trying to establish habits and whatnot, I'm here updating the blog as well.

I checked all the freelance writer listings this morning- most boards don't update on the weekends, but I did learn something. I found a job I wanted to apply for on craigslist, but couldn't because, of course, I need to submit writing samples and my resume, neither of which I have on this laptop. Bummer. I guess that's an argument for setting up a website/online portfolio sooner rather than later.

I'm a little bit nervous about doing that though. This business seems rife with plagiarism and fraud and since so much online writing is non-credited, what's to stop someone as claiming any old website as something that they wrote?

It's also interesting how often I see in freelance writing communities people that can't really speak English applying for jobs.

I'm also noticing the controversy surrounding price setting. Many people offer payments like $5 for 500 words for simple articles. At first, I was snatching these up, thinking that it was better than nothing, but now I'm beginning to understand why you shouldn't do that. Basically, you're undervaluing yourself and the writing community, in general. I mean, how many $5 articles would I have to write to support myself? I don't know. Can't do math. I'm a writer. But a lot. Doing this kind of work did give me some experience and some writing samples, but I think I'm done with this type work. If all writers stop accepting these type payments, especially good writers, then the increased demand will drive the cost up, right? You've got to manipulate the market a little bit. Plus, my time is worth more.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


My Linkedin freelance writer's group had an interesting question today- Do you write habitually?

As of right now, I would say no to that. I write a lot- for work, in my blogs, for fun, to vent, etc, but not "habitually." To me, writing habitually would mean sitting down every day and writing, no matter what.

I personally believe that the secret to success is routine. It's the only thing that's ever worked for me when I was trying to achieve any goal. I learned this from Flylady. It seems so obvious, and to people who are naturally successful, it is obvious. They were raised with routines like brushing their teeth before going to sleep or making their bed in the morning. These things were not part of my upbringing. I fell asleep on the couch watching TV most nights as a child. Concepts like "bed time" weren't known to me and because of this, as an adult, I shortly realized that I lacked discipline, for which I've had to learn to compensate. I've done this through creating routines, but I'm planning on incorporating more items into my routines in the upcoming weeks, such as exercise and more housekeeping and yes, writing. That's part of the reason that this blog exists- for me to write to get in the habit of writing and finding words, building paragraphs, editing my own work- keeping the juices flowing.


So, I'm 30 years old and I've already had two successful careers and I'm looking at starting my third, as a writer. During all this time, my husband has had the same job, which makes me incredibly thankful for his consistency and dependability. I'm a risk-taker, but so far, it's paid off. Somehow, I managed to get a job in the #8 television news market right out of college. It was a miracle, really. I toiled away there for 6 long years where I endured repeated and critical viewing of such tragedies as the September 11 attacks, the tsunami disaster, Hurricane Katrina, Daniel Pearl's beheading, the Saddam torture videos and more. I remember once studying a pile of blood and debris, trying to figure out if there were any body parts in it after an Israeli car bombing. Can't show body parts on the local news. That's a little too real. No one wants the truth.

So, I left news and went to work in media relations at the zoo. Ah. The zoo. All my animal friends. It just so happens that while I'm at the zoo, a certain baby panda was born and with her birth, there was also opportunity. We launched a national media campaign that paid off in a big way. Won awards. Got many accolades. Established myself in the media relations field. Baptism by fire.

But, my boss left the zoo and things there started changing and I seized the notoriety of the zoo that I had helped create and moved on to work for a health care non-profit. Which I have been less than happy with. It's not the organization. It's a great organization with a good mission, but my job is not what I expected. I'm the only marketing person here and well, I'm not so into marketing. I'm a media person- a "news" person. I'm not so into direct mailings and phone calling, if you know what I'm saying.

So, I'm back on the market, trying to figure out the next step. I've applied for lots of jobs, but I've learned the hard way that you shouldn't just take whichever offer pays the most and that you should have a clear understanding of what your job will be before you sign on. This time, I'm playing smart.

And in the meantime, I'm going to take this opportunity to do some things that I've been putting off for YEARS- like losing weight and writing that novel, all while making ends meet through freelance writing, baking cakes and selling on etsy. Hopefully.

This morning, I applied for a gig writing a press release for a pet product company. They actually seem like a cool company. I kind of want to buy some of their stuff. I could spend hundreds of dollars buying stuff for my pets. I have two cats- Chi Chi and Chloe and one dog, Duke.

Right now, we are fostering another dog, Douglas for Atlanta Animal Rescue Friends. He's up for adoption. He's a good boy. He's pretty ridiculous. All "Doh-dee-doh, I'm Douglas." Guaranteed to make you laugh! And how funny of a name is Douglas for a dog? Haha. It kills me everything I say it. It totally suits him though. Like if he were a person, he'd have a stain on his shirt and be wearing Reeboks. But, he's not a person. He's a beagle. And he needs a home.

And I need some work!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leap of Faith

Okay, I've done it. I quit my job. Seriously. Me, the workaholic. I quit it without another job in place. I quit it all willy nilly, without a real plan. Naturally, I'm looking for another job now, so if you know something, please send it my way...

But in the meantime, while I'm looking for a job that I can stand, I'm also going to be on the lookout for myself. I've been so focused on my career for so long, that I don't really know who I am without it. But, I'm sick of getting my self-worth from other people. I am more than my job. At least, I hope that I am.

Loosely, my plan is this until I find something else- I'm going to persue freelance writing, for sure. That's something that I know I can make at least SOME money at. I'm also going to continue trying to further develop my vintage store, Overhead is the problem with that though. That stuff costs money to buy and very shortly, I'm not going to have any money. Hopefully, it can be self-sustaining from this point on. I can take the proceeds of the sales of the things that are listed now, and buy new things. I just have to start selling.

And finally, I'm going to work on my novel. My memiors actually. Stories about my crazy childhood, my crazy family and about how I ended up here, risking everything to find out who I am and what I really want from my life.

Is this a mid-life crisis? If so, I want to control the last half of my life, not have life run me. I want to make choices based on what I want and not what other people think I should do, or what is safe. Playing by the rules has gotten me nowhere and even though I don't have a real clear concept of who I am, I'm placing all my chips on myself.

Jennifer 2.0 is done downloading and it's time to begin the install.