I love NPR

Oct. 29th, 2011 11:10 am
gwendolyngrace: (GrumpyDean)
The first installment of "All Things Considered"'s kids' book club was yesterday:

The Graveyard Book.

Although as usual, either no one asked or they didn't ask Gaiman to answer the important questions. Like "WHAT IS SILAS? WHERE DOES HE GO?"

But that's okay. And then I found this:

Mouse Circus

Which I'm sure anyone who reads his blog regularly (yes, [livejournal.com profile] etakyma, I'm looking at you) knows already. So I'm behind the curve. Sue me. Wicked cool.


Okay. Updates. Oy. So much has happened in the last month. Mockingbird is over. Bell, Book, and Candle will be over tonight. Of course it's supposed to snow and we're supposed to strike.... We'll see how that goes. My neck got all twingey again last night and it hurts to turn my head to the left again. ARGH.

In the next week, I have a class on Tuesday morning, I'm leaving early on Wednesday for an appointment, I have an orientation session all day Thursday, and then on Friday I'm heading to Rochester for the weekend because after that, rehearsals for Big start in earnest and I won't have time until January. Somewhere in there I have to get my passenger-side front tire looked at because I had to fill it with air about a week ago. No road trip with a bum tire, thank you!

The reason I'm going to Rochester is not a particularly happy one. It's time to kick Mom's move to assisted living into high gear. )

So, it's been a bit...hectic. Fraught. Tense. Those things. But it's okay.

I'm not going to audition for any more theatre through the winter - at least not until we have a better sense of timing - so that I am free to travel back and forth to Rochester on weekends and ferry stuff away one car-load at a time. The good news is that there should be no reason Mom can't go to the house over the winter as well, to move some of her items that she wants, or if I came in on a Friday we could go on Saturday and spend the day going through several boxes, then bring what we're keeping back to her new place. The bad thing is that it'll be more expensive than we'd hoped because it's more on the order of assisted living than just living someplace on one level. But insurance will pick up some, the sale of the house will bring in some funds (not a lot), and my earning shot up with the new job *just* in time to be able to help.

And as I put it to her, it's happening while she's still able to be fully in control (or at least mostly in control) of what's happening. She can make the decisions, she can still enjoy high activity and in fact may be more healthy as a result. It's just hard to face the reality of leaving her house after 37 years.

Then again, the maple tree's gone. So really? Not all that much point to staying anymore. :)
gwendolyngrace: (Love Is... Impala)
It's been a busy dang weekend.

Yesterday morning, [livejournal.com profile] etakyma and I went to the Museum of Science to take advantage of a Groupon offering the chance to tour Cambridge - by Segway. Segways are totally, totally cool.

And wicked easy to use. Amy had a little trouble just after we left the training paddock, but within a few minutes we were both zooming around like pros. We had a fabulous time with our tour guide (Evan), who was Our Kind of Geek. And there were bits and pieces of Cambridge that I had never really known much about. The tour took in the park that was installed as part of the Big Dig, went down along one of the canals built in Cambridge (which I'd actually been to before, but it was at night and I was actually trying to find a restaurant and had taken a wrong turn), and then down to MIT. It was cool to tootle down to MIT again, though I have to say that my perception of MIT's campus and buildings is forever coloured by participating in Civilite.

We freely admit, though, that the real reason for taking the tour was simply to gain the experience of riding a Segway! Which was SO COOL! And I can now state for the record that Quidditch on Segways would be completely awesome and totally safe.

We also saw a Planetarium show (which was marred only by the rather fractious child next to us, but her mother finally took her out), and then wandered a mere half-mile away to the site of my boss's wife's art show, which was good.

A took a nap and then went home, leaving me to fend for myself for supper. More adventur ensued when I decided to have A Beer with my pizza. I chose (unwisely) to use the bottle opener on my all-purpose kitchen shears and when I had finally pried the cap loose, the beer exploded all over my PJs. I swiftly set the beer down in my kitchen sink (thank goodness I had just washed the dishes) and ran to the bathroom to strip off my now beer-soaked PJs and leave them in the tub to dry before adding them to the laundry. Except that when I go to toss the PJs in the tub? THERE'S A SPIDER IN THERE!!

A big one, too.

Yeah. Well, he was down by the drain, so I dumped the discarded clothes at the other end and proceeded to put on fresh PJs - and shoes. Because gods know, I can't be expected to KILL A SPIDER barefoot (let alone naked)! I grabbed my trusty spider-swatter and thus armed, proceeded to Battlefield: Bathroom. He tried to run into the pile of clothes, but I got him before he was able to hide in their beery folds. Terror! But I prevailed. Then I ate - and drank what was left of the beer. Half a beer is better than none?

That was a pretty full day by itself. But then I added today to yesterday.

NEW GLASSES! Ouch. $500 of new glasses (though that's both regular and a pair of prescription sunglasses). No, they were NOT very expensive frames. In both cases, the lenses were way more expensive than the frames, in fact. And guess what? LensCrafters does not accept EITHER my health insurance OR the vision care insurance I took out expressly because I knew I would be replacing my glasses! Well, I understand that I can submit claims directly to both and see what I get reimbursed. But... PITA. All-around PITA.

And of course, had to spend two hours malling while waiting for the glasses (because sunglasses take two hours, not one). Which is okay - I had a birthday present to shop for and I needed new 'intimates' - but zoicks. Those little errands (plus a couple others) set me back another couple hundred (literally). I was in the mall for 6 hours, altogether! And then I still had to hit Target for a couple other items.

Man, I'm tired.

And broke.

But I do like my new glasses. I especially like being able to see properly.
gwendolyngrace: (RedDeath)
I had to go to Macy's to continue the perfume saga (small progress forward, but still no resolution: I got the number of a regional Dior rep....), and I figured I'd pay my Penney's bill while at the mall. I also needed some girl-things, and figured I'd take advantage of both stores' sales.

Cutting because this is about underwear (not the historical kind!) so boys can avoid or not. You've been warned! )

Then today I sat in for Heidi on an interview, which I can't talk about in detail, and re-aired / finished drying the tent, the canopy and the groundcloth, and then got them put away in the basement along with the tent poles.

I need to invest in a tucker tote. The old tent bag she is DED. I don't know why things can't last! That bag was only about 45 years old. Seriously. But I can do that whenever. Oh, and I will need to run some seam sealer over the tent next spring. It's on the to-do list.

I still have laundry to do, and dishes. But right now I'm going to sweat for a little bit.

Oh! And I roasted corn with my broiler last night! I'm SMRT. It was yummy.
gwendolyngrace: (???)
I can't quite believe I'm considering this, but....

Does anyone think it's ridiculous to actually consider working as an Aflac insurance agent? It's commission, but it's not like I'd have to sell 1,000,000 widgets and it's certainly not like I'd be standing in a Home Depot trying to get individual marks to remodel their kitchens.

Pros:

- Money potential is great (commission structure allows residuals on all signed contracts)
- Not like healthcare, academia, or construction in that one doesn't need any special degree / knowledge to advance
- flexible schedule / hours, so I could totally arrange my schedule for auditions / rehearsals
- Variable days, not stuck at a desk, lots of field work
- plays to many strengths: presentations, talking to people, site visits, running open enrollments, etc.
- growth potential
- don't have to do it forever
- non-profit-like service (i.e., it's a socially responsible product)
- Offices are in Waltham, easy commute


Cons:

- I'm not very mainstream, dunno if I'll connect well to potential clients?
- commission structure
- will I get "addicted" to taking the calls, getting the clients?
- Will I go nuts at the scripts / sales mentality?
- Can I get emotionally invested in this enough to do it well?
- Some travel (mostly in region) and hassle of getting into town? Going to companies?


(though as the guy I interviewed with today said: You'll know if you don't like it. But don't quit before you get started.) I've also got their sample associate contract, which I'm trying to read carefully but my eyes are crossing....

I dunno.

On the other hand - if I'm going to be stuck in a job that I don't really care about passionately, it might as well be something I can make a lot of money doing, right?

How much?!

Apr. 15th, 2010 11:21 pm
gwendolyngrace: (bela)
So I went downtown today to fill out paperwork and test and interview with yet another staffing agency - one can never be enrolled with too many. But I didn't want to take the T because dude, my back is still not up to walking or standing as long as it would take to go via public transit.

However, I should have done it anyway.

I drove around and around and around hoping to find a lucky parking spot. All the garages had their "full day" rate signs up and I balked: $23 or $26??? For like, an hour? How much is just an HOUR?

But finally, it was after the time I was supposed to be there, I'd gone around the block(s) about 4 times in different directions, got stuck on one-ways taking me *away* from the target, u-turned to get back without running into more one-ways, and called to let them know I was just looking for parking.... and as I came around the corner, the garage in the same building as the place was taking down the all-day parking sign and putting up its hourly sign: $6 for the first half-hour. Great!

I pulled in and gave the car to the valets (yeah, but the rate was still $12 for the hour), and made it to the appointment.

Where they ran me through MS Office testing, typing test, and then I had to wait a good 10 minutes for a room to open up. (During this time, btw, I realized that this agency's "gimmick" for team-building is that when someone successfully places an employee, the agent rings a bell - and the other hiring agents applaud. All I could think was "How...Pavlovian.")

Anyway, so I'm already over the hour-mark and then we get into the interview. And I probably talked too much, but she wanted me to "take her through" my positions, which is understandable, because my work history is a little wonky. And then she asked if I could meet with a couple other agents in the various arms of their organization (e.g. "creative" vs. "administrative") - and I looked at my phone (which doubles as my watch). EEK. I was 3 minutes shy of two hours on the car.

So I said, "Actually, if you don't mind, if I go right now, I'll make it within two hours" and she was very understanding and I rushed to the garage... Where I realized that between one and two hours, the price JUMPED from $12... to $28.

Thirty bucks to park!!! $15 an HOUR. I almost should have stayed, because the *next* hour was only $34 - at which point, who cares?

But YIKES. Okay, the T would have taken 2 hours of travel, and I certainly would have had to be really careful walking, but YIKES. In retrospect, I should have just gone in at the day rate!!!

I hope it pays off.

Meanwhile, I'm doing the exercise that the chiropractor prescribed. My father had also recommended a particular brand of adhesive "hot" patch, which happens to be relatively inexpensive (especially compared to the thermacare patches), so I tried that during the brush-up tonight.

OMG. No. First off, I'm glad a. they're cheap and b. I got two, because the first one folded onto itself and got all stuck to itself and had to be sacrificed. The second one still got stuck to itself, but in a more wrinkled than folded way, and I was still able to stick it on, albeit kind of at a weird angle. Second, the "heat" it generates is from capzaisin, so it's more of a "spicy" heat than an actual warmth...and it burned more like a chemical burn than a radiating heat. I wound up ripping it off on the way home, because when I was sitting in the car, and couldn't get away from it, it felt like it was flaying my back.

So, yeah. Not doing that again, but at least it was only a couple bucks' worth of experimentation, and certainly not another $30 mistake!

Argh.

So. Get the back back in shape. Then the next order of business is to get ME back in shape - walking and more. Zoicks, I'm gaining weight like whoa.

And lastly, unfortunately, a quick check of my odometer from last year confirms that I will not qualify for the "low mileage" discount with my insurance company. Which is a pain, because apparently I have to suffer another year of surcharge due to the accident in '07, because while the anniversary date of the accident is coming up in a couple weeks, the surcharge wasn't actually applied until January '08. Sigh. So my rates don't drop for another 8 months.

I can haz new life now?

Okay, a few good things so I'm not all about the bitchy.

Alternity continues to rock hard.

I should be able to sweet-talk my family photographer into new headshots when I go to Rochester, which I'll be doing on the way to Crown (along with a haircut at my old hairdresser's). This means I'll have really good professional headshots again, that aren't 20 years out of date, in time for the big StageSource auditions (in early June). Now I need to choose a monologue and song, always an agonizing process, but something that I just have to DO and then not worry about. Whatever - as long as it's memorable, and I do it well, that's the point.

Only two more performances and then I can really focus on the summer shows.

I finished the first draft of my sci-fi story, though I haven't read it over to begin editing it. I fear it is more lame and simplified than I intended when I was outlining, but it's also short, so I have a little room to expand if necessary.

BAF3 is gonna be awesome - it's set to launch at Balticon, where I probably won't be, but that's okay. The book will launch and maybe a few of 1 and 2 will sell, too.

Oh - I almost forgot! There's a new episode of SpellCast out! Actually, it's not new, because I recorded it in December, but it's finally out!
gwendolyngrace: (Sad!Sammy)
....Because there's a new production of Cyrano de Bergerac:

Ben Brantley's review


It's one of my fave plays, and one of my fave roles (Cyrano, that is, not Roxanne). And it sounds like a great production. Kevin Kline, Jennifer Garner, and Chris Sarandon as the Comte deGuiche?

Slay me.

But here's a mini whine: WHY do they always use the Burgess translation? I hate it. I vastly prefer the Brian Hooker setting. Grr.

Anyway...

Fic or Treat was a great success! I'll post my Fics (and my Treats!) later, perhaps.

Got up early this morning to drag my ass into work for our 8:00...to learn that boss D is late and we have no meeting. Argh. But on the bright side, I get to leave before 4.

And I'm downloading Episode 5 at home, I hope (if changing the settings on my computer worked), so I'll have it to watch when I get home. Yay.

More naval-gazing. I spent almost $9 on lunch yesterday! That may not seem like a lot, but understand that I normally spend less than $3 on both breakfast *and* lunch - because I brown bag both. But my milk *and* my lettuce had gone bad in the fridge at work, so I had to throw them out. With no milk, no cereal; and by lunchtime I was starving. So I got a wrap sandwich and treated myself to a latte. Between the two items it was $9! Three times my normal expense. And today I got a couple donuts for breakfast (I brought yogurt for lunch) because I didn't want to buy milk that would then sit all weekend. Somehow when I have cash I just run through it more quickly.

However, pink donuts are seriously a good thing. Okay... back to work.
gwendolyngrace: (Llywela13's Thoughtful Dean)
First off, a little GRRRR: I forgot my flash drive today, hence cannot get half the things done I was going to do. However, it's almost time to go home already, so meh. I did manage to start the next scene in my fic (just skipping ahead), so I still got a little progress.

Meanwhile....

The book my story is in, Bad-Ass Faeries? Danielle is promoting it at FaerieCon, and I'm wibbling about whether I should go.

Wibbling behind the cut )

And now a little bit about money )

In honour of these two rather troubling decisions I must make, I present to you:

My First LJ Poll! )

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