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Friday, December 17, 2010

Knowing Limits: Inotherwords, So Long but not Goodbye to Bill & Em

Blog for 12/17/10

The kind of courage it takes to admit you’re overextended and that something has to go seems to be natural to some sagely humans, and a learned behavior for people like me (hardheads). You have to have gone through a few similar situations in life to know your limits – and then some (hoping to learn mine before my tipping point).

Musicians – as it’s commonly believed – are a breed apart from the norm, or whatever you consider “normal.” As if normal people are savvier at knowing their limits!

At any rate, I’m referring to the decision made by our friends and bandmates in the Small Town Concert Series Big House Band, Bill Calhoun and Emily Lisker. This week, Matthew and I got an email from them with a decision they (and we) have been dreading: they need to cut back and can’t participate in our shows in the foreseeable future. This is due, however, to a happy circumstance: Bill’s part time Science Teacher (in a private RI middle school) job changed to full time.

Now, as long as we’ve known Bill & Em, they’ve been fully committed to living their lives authentically and on their own terms. But that also meant a great deal of financial struggle. None of this seemed “fair” (as if life IS fair, right?) because, between the two of them, there are mind-boggling oodles of artistic talent.

Other than her compelling stage presence and tuneful tooting on the bari sax and accordion playing (plus a few good vocals), Emily Lisker’s paintings and drawings create a colorful mondo bizarre, taking viewers to a place somewhere between imagination and chimera. I think of her brave delvings into the unconscious that create these vivid canvases. I also think of Emily’s writing – blogging – as being expressive, heartfelt, and wonderful. And who could forget her irrepressible laugh, often and hearty when she’s feeling up and silly.

Able to play piano, organ, and banjo with proficiency and precision, Bill Calhoun’s love of pianos extends from his superb playing to his repairing, refurbishing, and piano tuning skills. He also designs graphics with Emily, notably (for us) our signature posters for Small Town Concert Series.

Let me say that again: Bill & Em designed our distinctive SMALL TOWN CONCERT SERIES posters that award-winning Peter Good considers “brilliant.” They must have designed 40+ posters, drawing more and more curious music fans to STCS shows.

Bill would also kick my butt (in a GOOD way) during STCS rehearsals, figuring out song arrangements. His sweet, patient, good-humored nature, so caring and honest, has been vital to our sanity and continued success. Bill’s laughter, too, is contagious – music to our ears.

Their songwriting has been coming along, as well; I especially love “I Live in a House,” a Calhoun blues song. Emily sometimes rewrites lyrics to polkas, as she’s a huge Brave Combo fan (like me).

Bill & Em have been stalwart Small Town Concert Series Big House band members since inception in Fall 2007, at our first Leonard Cohen tribute.

We met them at our July 2006 wedding, in fact: Brave Combo leader Carl Finch asked me if they could invite a few friends from the area to our wedding who are Combo fans and can dance up a storm. Being game for anything that sounds interesting, we agreed and two nice couples from RI and MA danced the whole time the Combo played.

Kind of hard to miss, Bill & Em look really “interesting” (and cool, I think): he has a large long white beard & mustache, twinkling blue eyes and wire rim glasses; she has a thick, long, wavy-curly head full of hair that can whip around wildly as she twirls in her full-skirted ‘50’s dress.

We arranged to meet them in August 2006 in Northampton, MA, to hear Brave Combo. We sat upstairs at a table, together, through the opening act, Young at Heart, then Emily, Bill & I took to the dance floor when Brave Combo hit the stage.

As I knew Bill & Em were regular open mic goers, I threw out the offer for them to play in our Leonard Cohen show. Happily all around, they agreed and ever since have taken up the challenge of learning new material and shining on the stage with us, brilliantly.

For every big show, Bill & Em would drive to an average of six weekly rehearsals from Woonsocket, RI. And then, they’d come to the dress rehearsal AND the shows (sometimes three nights in a row). They might have stayed with us overnight, but their dog needed them.

NOBODY was more dedicated or worked harder for Small Town Concert Series. We really loved the communal dinners we’d assemble with the musicians after rehearsals, and Bill & Em would always bring yummy home made bread & eat heartily, their laughter booming regularly like timpani thunder in a symphony.

At any rate, nothing is forever so maybe their ability to do music again too will change and they can join our shows again. Their contributions and their friendship will always remain. I look forward to seeing them again.

I need to sign off now – feeling happy for them that their fortunes have improved, but sad too ‘cause I’ve been missing them since the last (amazing) Leonard Cohen IV tribute in September. And then, they kindly designed an incredible poster of our STCS accomplishments for the INK Magazine article that just came out in December.

I know that changes are necessary, inevitable, and (due to my optimism) usually good, but the absence (? temporary) of Bill & Em will take a lot of getting used to. . .

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

REPROOF (Sisyphus Shrugged)

I am now convinced that nothing on earth would make me work in Human Resources. This morning, urged by a friend’s former colleague, I phoned the head of HR for a prestigious institution of higher learning. Now, I am not so sure that she wanted to be as cold and brusque and unhelpful as she was – but that, in her position, with everybody looking for jobs, I’m pretty sure that she really HAS to be mean and dissuade people from bugging her and the HR dept.

“—But Mr. so and so thinks that you really ought to talk to me about my credentials and how I could—“

“Well, he hasn’t been in the hiring loop for quite some time. Now everything is done electronically. It’s more efficient that way. You have to apply online—“

In almost a whisper I replied, crushed: “But I’ve applied four times in the past year online—“

“Then you don’t have the qualifications that we’re looking for.” I really don’t get what she’s saying, because I really make sure that I am fully qualified for every single job I apply for, AND I tailor my resume to the job I’m seeking each and every time. Is it that these jobs are being posted just because that’s the law – and they are all promised to an applicant in advance? Is it that the rest of us who are interested and qualified don’t stand any kind of chance? What could it be? I really want to know.

My heart sank and the tears started to burn my eyes. I muttered, “Thank you,” curtly, and hung up. I couldn’t move for a minute. I just stood at the kitchen counter and sobbed. I had very dark thoughts for a while. I picked up Mister Kitten and hugged his warm soft fur, looking into his big, unthinking eyes.

Either I be victim to the callous ways of the hiring pool, or I am going to be the victor. It’s going to take a lot of persistence, cunning, and a whole lot of luck – right place at the right time kind of thing. I’m very sad and overwhelmed at how unwanted I (and many others, my husband Matt included) am in this job market. If they only knew how much we can and do contribute! It’s almost unfathomable.

I just want to cry, privately, sometimes. I don’t want pity, I don’t want to cry on somebody’s shoulder, I just want to cry to heaven – and then create something so awesome and beautiful that the world’s heart skips a beat, just for a second.

So maybe that’s the grand scheme of things. . . inspiration to create while we roll the figurative boulder up the hill, day after day. Sisyphus isn’t just a myth, it’s a state of being for every one of us, the New Reluctant Leisure Class.

God bless us, every one, in our Sisyphean jobsearch labors – and god help those HR trolls!!

10-13-10

COOLEST PLACE ON EARTH

Having read the entertaining and interesting book, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner, I realize full well that I’m living in the wrong place! From the sound of it, I am an Icelander in my soul. Oddly enough, I have always wanted to go there (and nobody believes me!).

The reasons are too numerous to list right now, but one of the best aspects of life there (besides it being really cozy when the darkness and cold rule the wintertime) for these true descendants of the Vikings has to do with employment. Another reason is Bjork, but that’s almost besides the point, now.

I know that bliss can be found there, viz: “Iceland consistently ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world.” (Ruut Veenhoven, Happiness Research Expert) Actually, it’s a land of Happy Melancholics; contradiction is implicit in everything and everyplace, these days.

The thing about Iceland is, they celebrate failure. It’s Happiness in Failure!

To explain: “We like people who fail if they fail with the best intentions. Maybe they failed because they weren’t ruthless enough, for instance.” (Larus, p. 162, The Geography of Bliss.)

AND, the people of Iceland tend to change jobs and professions easily and often. You can try and fail, try and fail again and again. Also, Icelanders adore writers – and they are very creative and work together to create. Then again, they are all related, it being a small population with an almost undiluted gene pool. . . so the nation takes care of each other, and the unemployment rate never exceeds 5%.

So hang on, Iceland, here I come!! Wheeee!! Later for those tropical paradises – I’m going to the dark side (hee hee hee). Anything to be near my attitudinal peeps!!

So long as I don’t have to eat that national dish of rotting shark meat, harkarl. . .

10-12-10

Monday, October 4, 2010

PROOF TO WHOM?

Last week I had an amusing thought that I’ve been going around telling everybody: "It's exhausting, spending all day proving to utter strangers how awesome you are--" in reference to job applications and applying to festivals etc. as an artist.

Of late, life is being ceaselessly funny and interesting. . . but sure would like it to be a little less interesting and more peaceful (it couldn't get funnier, trust me!).

It’s like that ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.” How much nicer might it be to live in peaceful and contented times?? But then, as my friend Alicia points out to remind me: challenges build character. Nowadays, so many of the characters that I know are challenged almost to the utmost. But have they built character? Are we all better off for these trials and tribs?

These trying days, I know I need to bolster my well being frequently. I need positive feedback. I need support. Without employment, I need a lot, emotionally (not to mention monetarily). Every time I replace the kitchen garbage bag, I think, “By the time this box of bags is empty, will I or my husband be earning a living wage?” There are 50 bags left; we use about three bags a week. So, in 16 weeks (give or take), if the “bag oracle” works (I also do this with other household items just because my hope springs eternal), we’ll be back to work or otherwise in good shape? Wouldn’t that be a relief!

Last week’s fortune cookie read, in its edit-worthy wisdom: “The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be.”

Aha. Or, uh huh. A few interesting words to digest out of the factories producing little white slips of two-sided paper (LEARN CHINESE and Lucky Numbers included on other side of fortunes). Reminds me of the I Ching Hexagram for “Biting Through,” Shih Ho -- #21: “This hexagram represents an open mouth with an obstruction (in the fourth place) between the teeth. As a result the lips cannot meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and for lightning, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature. . . .” That is, the image of a thunder and lightning storm dissipating the ambient tension.

I do love a thunderstorm, and I do love the I Ching, though these days I don’t study it so much as I can remember some of the tao’s wisdom, which is pretty universal. In a nutshell (a very nutty shell), I define that as the concept of much good fortune is found in misfortune, and vice versa (“the seeds of misfortune are found in good fortune”).

Therefore, if we always keep to the middle way – which is really the core of Asian philosophy, getting neither excited nor excessively sad --emotions can’t overcome our logic or wellbeing. And then, life is good. It’s like the Greeks in the days of ancient philosophy: moderation in all things serves humanity best.

Anyway, it’s something to strive for when you tend to be a mood swerver and let everything bug you. As my favorite philosopher, Epictetus, said time and again, self control is the only thing we have control over, and that includes attitudes. Especially our attitudes; we control them, and the world is our oyster (unless you prefer clams).

So. As an unemployed, all-around or versatile/diverse individual with more and more transferable skills – AND as a talented music and word artist – I do spend many of my days on the computer, PROVING to utter strangers how awesome I am. That would, hopefully, lead to more jobs for me, perhaps a decent day job (ideally at a large institution, like my U.N. job, where they let you know exactly what’s expected and think the best of you rather than look for ways to cut you down because then they could fire you or not have to give you a raise).

I hardly dare muse on how proving my awesomeness to the right stranger(s) might lead to more exposure for my life’s work, my creative projects in writing and music. I barely dare think how life could – would – be if I really succeeded in proving my worth to the world and then having it come back to me in monetary and other rewards.

Those recent MacArthur Fellows program award recipients, or “Genius” awards, where people in diverse fields were awarded half a million dollars, no strings attached, to facilitate further creativity? I want one. Lookee, I know I have what it takes: (from website) “exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.” Now, doesn’t that sound JUST like me? And how about that Nobel prize? Gimme!

All right, I’d settle for a Pulitzer – that works for me. Or, maybe I could get another Grammy Nomination (which happened to my Contemporary Folk group some 20+ years ago, The Washington Squares) and actually win a Grammy? I wouldn’t rule that one out, uh uh, not at all.

Proving awesomeness is kind of a 24/7 job until everybody who needs to know that about you, knows. It could take a lifetime.

But ultimately, if I don’t believe how awesome I am, nobody else will. Hence the wisdom of that fortune cookie, exhorting one to carry on acting “as if,” just fakin’ it until makin’ it. Yup, that sort of works. So like the Television song, “Prove it!” I’m not good with hard cold facts, but I sure love to turn a phrase and can write circles (and songs) around almost anybody.

Lastly, is it true: “Better late than never?” The proof, inotherwords, comes from inner confidence, in the heart and in the mind. Meanwhile, I need a nap: it IS exhausting!

Oct. 4, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

FIT TO BE TIED!! SUCKY SIDE OF FREELANCE WRITING

All right. Freelance writing is a war-torn wasteland where intelligence is deceiving and the smiling bastards are lyin' to ya everywhere. At least, that's how I feel today. I wrote (and re-wrote "9 ways to Sunday" -- actually did about 10 drafts) a 1200-word piece for a local color glossy magazine -- a supplement, actually, to a major newspaper based in New Haven -- because my editor requested it. "Get to me ASAP -- on deadline!" I read her emails. And I rewrote and rewrote. And I went back to the ferrymen (for the piece is on the Chester-Hadlyme ferry in the fall), and I interviewed them. And I transcribed and typed up the interviews. Then I even went back TWICE and took video footage so that I could do a video feature for the website!! (which is done and on YouTube - will try to attach)

I can't count the hours I spent -- happily! -- working away on a quality piece for an editor who has been kind to me. I did favors for her, and for her boss, the General Editor. And on top of that, I begged a friend who's a very high end and in-demand photographer in Chester to do an emergency shoot with the ferrymen, for FREE, as a favor to me and my editor.

This week, I sent several emails to my editor, asking about when the article was coming out. I didn't hear back from her. Well, apparently, no news is bad news: I picked up the publication at the usual place (in the vestibule of the CT River Museum) AND. . . lo and behold, my piece was NOT there.

Now, because my LAST article for them wasn't even mentioned in the table of contents (which I am STILL annoyed about), I had to page through the slippery 41-page publication to be sure. Well, my rage, hurt, disappointment -- so many negative feelings -- welled up in me so fully that I nearly was afraid to get into my car and drive.

But I drove to my favorite (nearby) Canfield Meadow Woods and took a fast, angry walk, fuming, steaming, talking aloud, making a really nasty imaginary phone call to my editor. "THANKS A LOT, BITCH!" was only the start.

And look, even though I am choking-full on vitriol hours later, I STILL can muster up a feeling of compassion for the poor woman who has to work like a dog (bitch, dog -- geddit?), doing the work of many others who were laid off, letting freelancers know they are getting less and less money for their writing (as it happened in August -- my editor had to send an email to all her freelancers -- and there are NO MORE staff writers at her weekly paper). I know she can't be happy, doing that.

And I don't think she was happy, cutting my piece at the last minute. But, hey. She kept asking for rewrites and photos. Why couldn't she just say it didn't make it into the pub at the last minute? And why can't people give KILL FEES any more??

I know at least that my editor is getting a paycheck, and I am not.

Now I am out all that time and getting no money at all for it. Oh well. Live and learn. As Matthew suggests (with his level headedness), I will try to sell it, elsewhere. No reason to cry over unpublished work, and no reason I shouldn't LEARN from this piss-off experience! THANK YOU, UNIVERSE -- help me get those better assignments (for better pay in better places)!! Love, take care, Lauren

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fear of What? and Facing It Head On

On August 17, I opened a box that housed an iMac computer. . . Matthew had to practically hold my hand. I felt excited, along with some fear and shame for spending money, since I and my husband have been unemployed for well over a year. But that's besides the point. Point is, I'm making the switch to Mac from PC -- which is kind of huge. I am thinking it will help my saleability, knowing Macintosh, too. But since I have SO MANY files on PC, it's tough. . . thank goodness for the Seagate external hard drive! I've got to install that software (Windows for Mac. . . or is it MS Office for Mac? Whatever!).
At any rate, I'm glad that I finally have a machine that has the potential to do so much cool stuff. . . and hopefully, to find new ways to monetize my life!

This machine is solely for my use -- period! And now I can go to cool secret Mac User parties (a-hem!).

PS - thank you, God!

Reflections on Cleaning Up (Literally and otherwise)

A few weeks ago, I was working on the basement "retreat" (studio/office/whatever) so that I can really work in earnest, unbothered, on my very own dedicated work station (my new iMac computer). It's really impressive, knowing I can make a space useful and beautiful. . . and even smell nice (I bought a diffuser for the odors). It's almost there. . . now I have to re-organize stuff so that it's in the right place and all. Plus, of course, I'm tossing obsolete stuff. . . it's about time! Good to clean up my act, for sure!
In fact, all of my latest actions are a metaphor for change -- and stripping down things so that I can be more productive, efficient, cleaner, and happier! At least, that's the idea!
I came across an old burgundy-colored Kenmore canister vacuum that my mom gave me back in the '90's, I guess. . . oddly enough, before that vacuum, I'd never owned one. I felt I was living the bohemian life, doing music & writing, living pretty much hand to mouth. I had some misconceptions: like, earning enough money to pay taxes was bad (!!!), and that vacuum cleaners were too expensive to own. What did I do before owning one? Was it dreadfully dirty in the apartment? Hmmm. . . . wasn't that clean, I can tell you that, with all the tons of nooks and crannies the old apartment contained.
Well: I had no carpeting, so sweeping, mopping, and the occasional carpet sweeper (on the few area rugs I had) really worked well for me -- well, sorta. ON occasion, I would borrow my upstairs neighbor, Andy Aaron's, vacuum cleaner (bless you, Andy!). I have never been great at cleaning, or gung ho at it. Funny, because when I DO a good job at cleaning the house, it feels super. . . I feel powerful, in control, and happily secure in knowing I can really have an impact on my immediate environment in an easy, beautiful way.
But I have had a lifelong aversion to vacuuming. . . sort of a distaste for it more than anything else. They're loud. You get dirty, changing attachments and the dirtbag. AND, they are just so, er,bourgeois!! But now that I live in and own a house (isn't THAT bourgeois?!), and have a husband who is VERY knowledgable and quite capable when it comes to cleaning things, I don't mind 'em. IN fact, I have five vacuums -- still have the old Kenmore canister that my mom gave me 2 decades ago, with a good floor & other useful attachments (and three extra bags). Then there's the big shopvac (bought for Matt), the little shopvac (bought for $5 at an auction), the Eureka Optima (a small, green upright -- bagless -- I bought at a Target four years ago for around $90) and the big Dirt Devil (a big, black upright -- also bagless -- I bought for $25 at a tag sale). Pretty impressive for a girl who'd owned nary a one 'till she was 35!!
The bagless vacs need the filters cleaned almost as much as you use 'em (we probably have a way dirty home -- with all the foot traffic and Mister Kitten's plentiful soft long fur), and the kids might sometimes vacuum (bless 'em!), but never clean 'em out. SO, on a cleaning day, I focus on cleaning the vacs first. Oh well! I am very glad to have them, whatever their (and my) shortcomings.
OK now, back to work. After basement duty, I'm heading out to errands. . .
And I still aspire to be financially able to hire people to do my housecleaning. Ha!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

(Very) Odd Job Lauren

All right. Today I just about had the weirdest experience at a new (temp) job, ever. This is saying a lot for a person who seemingly has made a career out of job sampling like bon bons in the sweetshop of life. Not that I WANT to be jumping about so; it's probably all on account of being small and realizing that writers must have interesting lives in order to have something to write about. And now, my husband laughs when I tried to describe how my day went. "Well, it'll give you something interesting to write about!"

Well, try this one on for size (I'll try to be brief): I apply to this "Executive Admin Assistant" job via idealist.org six weeks ago. Being slightly depressed about my station in life, I've been striving not for something amazing, but for the old tried and true thing I could do for a nine to five, being an office worker drone (in addition to considerable amounts of writing and music, which I actually do believe I excel at; more people seem to need an admin than a writer or a musician, though I could be wrong!).

So, Monday night at dinnertime I get a call from a woman who has a nonprofit in New Haven. It centers around the Arts and Culture as being vital to society, and racism in healthcare, and film projects. It's all classy stuff and on a well made website. I won't mention her name or the organization -- and you'll soon see why. I say graciously, "How can I help you?" She tells me she's desperate for a good admin. . . had to let the other one go. . . AND her project coordinator is leaving the job at month's end. . . she wants to hire me to temp for a month at $20 per hour. . . then she says, "I'm going to ask you a question that's totally illegal but I have to. Are you over the age of 34?" Sadly yes, I respond. "These people 34 and under, this generation just doesn't get it!" Anyway, I pass that test.

Then she asks about my typing speed. "Last time I tested, it was around 6o wpm. Probably more now, as I type all the time." "Oh, good," she sighs, "This other person typed 35 wpm -- and she TOTALLY misrepresented herself in the resume. She looked good on paper, but she WASN'T HER RESUME!" Well duh, I could have said, but held my tongue. A resume is a billboard that highlights what the person wants you to see. People aren't resumes, and vice versa. I still don't know why people lie so much in this world. Exaggerate a little, OK, but blatant lies are ridiculous.

She tells me she's confined to a wheelchair, doesn't leave her house, and that everybody on her staff works right there, in her small NH apartment off Whalley Avenue. OK, I think, this is REALLY getting interesting. . . maybe not in a good way?

OK. I get out my Shoreline East Train schedule to see about going in to meet her. I am resolved to get into NH by train. She says that "Carny," from her office, will call the next day to make arrangements. The pseudonymous Carny calls, sure enough, and we figure out that it's best I come earlier, like 10 AM Wed. OK, that's cool -- I'll get done what I have to and get to the 9:15 train. No problem! I am glad somebody wants me. Maybe I can be helpful; we'll see.

So I get to the NH station and wait until, like, 10:15 -- and Carny has been delayed. So I wait around and she turns up by 10:30. We have to pick up carrots on way there -- which is OK too. She asks if I have lunch and I say no, so I pick up some protein bars to augment my fruit and cheese. We get to the apartment, and it smells like old food, cooking. There IS some old food, cooking. The small front room contains three desks & chairs with lots of files and piles of paper etc. Attached to that, a small dingy but functional kitchen. I notice there's no microwave so I might as well toss my leftover coffee.

I meet the woman's husband, a nice guy who seems kind of exhausted, and a young man who is in their care who doesn't talk, just grunts and honks repeatedly, like a Canada goose: "Hoh, hoh, hoh, HOH!" I realize this aimlessly shuffing about teenager is developmentally challenged, so I don't get into engaging him in drawn out conversations. I also meet a few women who function as housekeepers or cooks, and they're nice, too.

I am handed a manila folder full of papers to do data entry with. I ask, "Am I going to meet her (the boss) today?" Carny's face falls. "Oh, you don't know? She had a rough one last night -- was in the emergency room. . . " Apparently, this woman -- the boss -- has Muscular Dystrophy, diabetes, and a host of other major health issues. No meeting with her today! I am pretty disappointed, as this was the purpose of my trip.

Then I inquire if I will be paid to work. "Yes." All right, I dig in and start to do the pile of data entry after Carny explains to me. All this goes on for a few hours, smoothly, the sounds of the street outside lulling me interspersed with the young man honking away and other sounds of painful aspiration from the bedroom. . . I feel guilty that I'm turned off by the surroundings, and very conflicted about my future with this company. Everybody is certainly nice, but the lulling sounds and smells and thoughts all mingle into a not-too-agreeable feeling. On top of that, I'm kind of struggling with a major depression and then I start thinking I'm such an asshole for aiming my sights so low. . . . though $20 an hour was what I was paid in my last job (plus benefits). That job wasn't very interesting, and sometimes my coworkers simply toxic, but. . . ah, to go back. At least it smelled nice and there was a fitness center onsite!

So on the trip back to NH station on our way back (2 1/2 miles on the odometer), I asked Carny about more general job stuff, like does she always work there, in that litte apartment. No, not necessarily. Good. Then I ask if there are any breaks, like if I could step away for a walk or at lunchtime, occasionally. "No, we work straight through." I mention, trying to hide my dismay, that that's not healthy. . . she comments that maybe the boss could learn from that. Hmmm.

Before leaving the apartment, the boss woman, via phone intercom, cross examines me about my work schedule and so I tell her -- to feel relieved and off the hook, oddly -- I'll come next week, Monday through Thursday. Thursday is a major event in Albany, and she asks if I would come along for that. "It will show you what we're about. Will be very important." Plus, the pay rate for events is $200. Hmm, that's not bad, I think. Anyway, I figure I'm on the spot and I'll give it a try. . .

Once at NH station, after all this, I'm in shock and I walk around so troubled that I forget to take my coffee from Dunkin' Donuts and have to go back for it! I call a few friends and try to figure it out. One says that times are so hard, sure, stick with it! My friend Dave says we'll talk about it tomorrow. My husband just chuckles. He often has to do jobs he doesn't like at all to bring in money. I figure he thinks, why not Lauren? Who knows.

I just know that I saw a NYT subhead on my way out of the train back to OS station, and it read, "In Medicine, The Power of Learning to Say No." I do believe that was a message intended for me. . . but meanwhile, please send me your own thoughts/comments/experiences. I am struggling with whether I should return and work for a month and have them think I'm signing on and training for this position, or just come out with the truth: it's a grim environment for me to work in and I can't be a part of it because it's a really bad fit. I'm not a quitter; I just have this sinking feeling . . . though first impressions aren't always lasting.

HELP!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Time to Blog? Write On, Baby

I have often wondered who has time to blog? Writing requires time to compose, then edit, then reread, then edit again. . . and I actualy think that's fun! But the time constraint gets to me. However, if I can try to be more efficient (work smarter, not harder) and less of a perfectionist. . . I'll get there! So, if you want to be a part of the ride, thank you! Blogging is a more personal medium than jouralism. . . in the old days, you could get personal and confessional at least somewhat, but for now, it's kind of straight and while a good exercise in conciseness and moderation, kind of tedious all the time.

Anyway. I am still figuring out this thing, so. . . maybe this will be the blog for writing, and the other one, for music? We shall see!

Whatever it takes. . . people who write for a living (or make music for a living) inspire me and so, thank you and let's go. . . check out the other blog, too -- until I work all the kinks out.