Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Astrology today

Here is my horoscope.
Hmmm, words to live by...

Don't just shamble down to the pizzeria and gobble a slab of greasy cheese, tomato sauce, and dough. Instead, arrange for an interesting person who likes you to home-deliver a pizza lovingly prepared by a gourmet chef. For that matter, Scorpio, don't tolerate mediocrity or the lowest common denominator in any area of your life. The Season of the Peak Experience is here -- a time when you have a sacred duty to give your best, commune with the highest, and ask for excellence.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life and work are both at a stand still right now, with me feeling mostly like I'm being played.

But by what?  By whom?

Maybe this is the calm before the storm and soon all hell is going to break loose.  That is the scenario that has unfolded most frequently in my short but rather intensely lived life.  However, I am no longer the drama magnet that I used to be, so maybe....

Maybe I should just think of this a period of rejuvenation.  Not a prelude to anything just a period of soaking it all in and being...

I'll just enjoy living right now. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Clear Conversatin'...

I have been learning some valuable lessons about business communication.  I always thought I handled myself well, in a no-nonsense-cut-to-the-chase kind of way with a little friendly, warmth tossed into the mix for good measure.  Now, I'm starting to think not. 

After a morning of phone calls and contact over the weekend with a somewhat arrogant and abrasive group of people who I thought were out of my business horizon (and life) forever, I am beginning to reevaluate myself.

In trying to become a better communicator I have let the pendulum swing back a little too far. Where once I gave inadequate information, I now tend to over-explain and I don't know how I got here or how to find a balance or if I'm just a little sensitive today.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

That Thing...

Why do I always feel that there is so much to do?  Is there really?  I mean, really?

In this case yes.  

I have given myself another year before heading to France for good; I think I said that.

I know that the coming days will be filled with thinking, planning, excitement, self-doubt, and of course,  WORK.

There is so much work to do that I may even forget those aspects of life that seem to have gone perpetually undone all of these years.  I may forget the yearning for that certain something that I've come to believe will evade me for the rest of my days.  I won't name "that thing"  it's better that way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Feed Your Mind...Part 2

I'm trying to read again.  So that I can finally honor my intentions that led me to forgo buying/hustling a television set.  I got some reading done, earlier this year.  Made a list, you know.  Then, of course, it fell by the wayside.  I let life (and trife) get in the way...So I'm back at it. 

It pains me to say that I've only completed one of the books on the list to follow and the others I'm juggle simultaneously...

Perfume - Patrick Suskind 

Reading Simultaneously:
Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky
A Lover's Discourse - Roland Barthes
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Last Report On The Miracles at Little No Horse - Louise Erdrich (love. her.)*

Planning to Start:
Ralph Ellison - Arnold Rampersand

(and of course all of the rest of the books on the list from February I still haven't gotten to...)

Perfume.  What can I say other than I was a bit disappointed.  In the end it just kind of spun out of control and lost me.  Left me wondering, much as I always do after intense exposure to 'German-ness' what's really going on up in that piece?  Anyway, this book started out brilliantly.  What an amazing story and story teller in Patrick Suskind.  However, the cave episode almost lost me and the bizarre and rather 6th-grade-language-arts-class-special-Halloween 'scary'-story-assignment ending was too much and not enough all at once.  Sigh. That's literally what I did upon finishing.  I was waiting to be scared out of my pants.  It could have happened too, but...

Wait!  I just remembered in my guilt that I've been reading quite a bit.  As a favor to a friend, I agreed to become a reader for a local literary journal.  I have read at least 50 short stories in the past three months.  I have also read quite a few essays written by food writers in preparation for the class I am teaching.  Remembering that allows me to feel much better about my reading life. I had to say that out loud to make myself feel better!

Anyway, my plan is to finish all of these books listed above by summer's end.  Except maybe A Lover's Discourse.  That is truly one to consult periodically as circumstances dictate.  I may also hold off on Ralph Ellison until the fall, I don't know that I'm in the right frame of mind for a 625+ page account of the life of a brilliant yet self-hating negro.  It's summertime for goodness sakes!  We'll see about that one.

I'm going to have to make a plan.

*Ahhh...the prolific and fabulous Louise Erdrich.  Along with Toni Morrison, a writer idol of mine, though I am now four books behind.  I still have The Master Butcher's Singing Club, Four Souls, The Painted Drum, and the latest:   The Plague of Doves to savor.  


Here in the Chi, it's hot as all get out...

We're in the midst of another week long stretch of ninety degree temperatures and some very serious humidity.  Actually, I have to say again, it's really not that hot (low nineties, which I can handle) but with the humidity, it can get to be too much to bear.  

So, I am trying to do what I can to stay sane and trying not to turn on the air conditioner.  I have two fans running.  Sometimes I wonder, if 2 fans = 1 air conditioner on medium/low.  Who knows.  

I have finally gotten the copy written for my business website and I'm hoping that gets up and running soon.

Now, I'm about to start polishing the copy that I've written for my writer's site.  A good friend of mine, who I've known for ages, is going to design it for me.  I know it's going to be great.  I'm really excited.

These days, I don't have the most exciting news, but that feels good.  No real drama and the kind that's in my life now, is good, or will be in the end.

All is well...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Making my way...

This week two shitty things happened.  Two clients flaked on me, which is really par for the course in my business, if you'll excuse the trite expression.  That means almost $1000 that may never see my bank account, but truthfully, I think it may have been for the best.  I say this because another family situation has arisen and it has made me realize how far I've come personally (emotionally) and professionally in the last few years.

As much as I need the money and the exposure and pieces for my burgeoning portfolio, I know that the two people who bailed out, one callously and selfishly, the other weakly and sneakily, taught me a valuable lesson.  One is the relative of a dear friend and the other I made contact with and we were on the road to being friends, but she needed work for her business and it seemed the perfect fit.  I was wrong.  Anyway, I've learned two things (and maybe I'll add to this list as time passes and I reflect more on the situation):

1.  Don't do business with friends or relatives.  Now I can't make that a hard and fast rule, because I'm doing business with a friend but we are working more as partners.  Perhaps I should say here, don't provide goods or services to a friend or relative in the context of a business transaction.

2.  If people are bad clients, that is to say, pushy, rude, selfish, lacking boundaries, weak, or passive-agressive, you don't want them in your life anyway, in any capacity.  I'm going to also go out on a limb and say that they probably exhibit these same characteristics in their personal relationships to a greater or lesser degree.

A few years ago, I might have lamented this whole situation.  I would have analyzed it to death and thought of it as a personal reflection on me.  I certainly wouldn't have reacted the way I did, which was to immediately get angry in a flash that passed as quickly as it came upon me.  I then gave the deadbeats a few choice words and moved on to the next.  

So far in this business I've had people from all walks of life flake out on me:  a wanna-be celebrity chef in L.A., a couple of well-meaning but slightly provincial "ghetto executives," the editor of a fairly well-known magazine, and now these two.  It's always tough too take and I imagine there will be many more and I will spend more time licking my wounds than I did this time around.  Overall, however, I'm proud that I've gotten to a place in my life where I see no other option but to put myself out there.  Now, I feel like I don't know how to live any other way.

I like that.