I have work! Oh, it’s…

I have work! Oh, it's only a temp job, but it pays enough that I don't have to worry anymore about making student loan payments (though actually, I also decided yesterday that it didn't make any sense making those payments when I have higher interest credit card payments to make, so I'm going to call up and defer the student loan things for a few months, and I don't know why I didn't figure that out sooner) and rent. I start tomorrow, with a long-ish commute into south San Francisco. Lots of reading time on public transit. :-)

I need to be outside waiting for my bus by 7:15. Okay. Gotta remember to set an alarm. Lord, it's been a while since I had a regular office job. Going to be strange. It's indefinite, so I may be doing this for a few months. We'll see. What's good is that it'll get me back to getting up by 6 at least. Kevin's a bad influence.

There are still a lot of other job-related stuff to do, of course. I have a lead on a proofreading job that pays the same as the temp work, but is from home, so I need to look that up. And I think I may try to take some classes at UC Berkeley Extension in tech writing, maybe computers. Bolster that resume a bit. We'll see. But I am *so* relieved.

Other news -- well, Clean Sheets is up, with some good strong stuff. I'm excited about that -- we're getting back on track. Next week promises to be good too. Now if I can just get in touch with Kirstin and find out if I need to train a new art editor...Sherman, you still volunteering?

I've updated the fiction and article archives, and if I get motivated today, I'm going to get reviews up too. We'll see. Might even start poetry. I'm also considering finding a place on the site to put up the master list of what we've published, month by month. Maybe in the archives? Do y'all think that would be useful? It would list both archived and non-archived pieces.

I'm also slowly but surely working through the backlog of mail. Getting there...my goal is to have no more than five pieces waiting in each of my three accounts. We'll see if I make it. One of them is down to four.

Plans for this afternoon -- I have to get to the grocery store and post office at some point -- probably some point soon. I have to wash my hair (this may seem like an odd thing to schedule, but if I wash it in the morning before I go to work, it'll be cold and wet all day...it's long! And if I wash it at night, it's uncomfortably wet while I sleep. Pretty much the only real nuisance of having long hair...mostly I hardly think about it). I'd like to get the reviews archives up. Adding things is easy once the basic templates are set up -- it's that first step that's annoying. I have gobs of phone calls to make (Kirstin, proofing job, scheduling readings for _Hot Off the Net_, letting other temp agency know I'm booked, calling Kevin back).

And somewhere tonight I want to do some more reading. I finished another Austen, _Persuasion_, which is Roshani's favorite but which I didn't like nearly so well as _Sense and Sensibility_. It felt rather loosely plotted -- things which I thought were going to be important threads sort of fizzled out at the end, as if Austen got tired. It was her last book, I believe. There also wasn't very much suspense -- it was clear that long-term love would triumph, which I suppose is why Roshani likes it, since she spent *years* mooning over someone once... She probably won't appreciate me saying that, but she'll forgive me for it, since she's now very happily engaged to sombody else.

But now that I'm off my Austen kick, I've started another fantasy novel, James Stoddard's _The High House_. I was a little dubious about it, since they gave it away free at World Fantasy -- and then I remembered that I really liked two of the other free books (McKinley and Hamilton, if you recall), so I should give this one a chance. Then I noticed the blurb by Sean Stewart on the back, so I got excited. I'm about a chapter into it now, and it's quite promising so far. I'll let you know how it goes.

Okay, tired of typing, so I probably ought to take a break. Thanks to all the people who wrote me wishing me luck with the job hunt. It ain't really over, but I feel better nonetheless.

8:45 p.m. I did nothing I said I would do earlier. No groceries, no post office, no washing of hair, no more archiving. I did do some phone calling, but basically, I puttered. Bits here and there. Made a few changes to the poetry section. Watched Friends. Talked to Heather for a while. Umm..oh, right. I remember -- I signed up for two classes.

Actually, I signed up for one, and then I talked to Kevin. He talked me into taking the other class I was waffling on (the first was Advanced Technical Writing, the second, Introduction to C++ Programming). I was definitely interested in both, but intimidated by a) feeling out of my depth and b) the workload of two classes plus a full-time job with three hours of commute time daily. I doubt I'll be able to do much work for these on the bus.

Heather thinks I overcommitted, as usual, and that Kevin should know better than to encourage me in such. Maybe. I think Kevin assumes everyone is as smart and hard-working as he is. And maybe he's right that I can handle these two classes, that even if I don't quite have the prerequisite knowledge/experience, I can manage long enough to get by -- but I'm not sure I'll have the time...or, more accurately, I'm not sure I won't get lazy/burned out.

Everything's been so overwhelming recently...some of you are probably wondering why in the world I'd take on even more. But it makes so much sense to do the classes concurrently and finish them so that when I start applying for tech writing work again, I'm solidly qualified and no longer feeling like I'm flailing about and trying to fool people into hiring me. I've had friends tell me that's what everyone does, but I'm just not comfortable doing that. Bit of dialogue from last night, after the SFX writing group meeting:

Ojvind: You just have to learn how to present yourself.
Me: When they ask me if I know how to do something, I say I have a little experience with it -- which is true.
Ojvind: You need to leave out the 'little'. Just say you've done that. And look confident.

Okay, that's heavily paraphrased, but you get the idea. I *hate* doing that. Kevin didn't really understand why, and I'm not sure how to explain it. I just like knowing I know how to do the job, and that I'll do a good and competent job. I just barely managed to do a competent job on the tech writing last fall, in my opinion, and only by doing everything over three times. Even then, it wasn't so much better than mediocre.

Argh. I don't know why I'm flailing about this, guys. Puritan work ethic? I was raised in New England, after all. Remains of Catholic guilt? I really don't think God's going to strike me down if I do a rotten job. I probably still hear my parents in the back of my head:

"An A-? So why not an A+?"

And the funny thing is, I'm not really sorry they did that. Oh, it would have been nice if they had been a little more easygoing about it -- but I've probably accomplished as much as I have at least somewhat because of the little voices at the back of my head. I'll probably do the same things to my kids, if I ever have any. Expect the world from them. Just have to try to remember to love them regardless. Or maybe one doesn't have to try to remember that...maybe it's just the kids who do it to themselves.

Rambling like mad, I'm afraid. Those of you who've made it this far deserve a medal. Here's a poem instead.

LOOK MA, I

got a haircut
    (lost that weight, went to the gym,
    learned how to dress, fixed my teeth,
    washed behind my ears, stood up straight...)

got a job
    (as a lawyer, a doctor, a computer whiz,
    made piles of money, bought a house,
    and insurance, 401K, don't forget the stocks...)

wrote a book
    (a respectable book, a nice book, about flowers
    and clean houses, and it won some awards,
    the Pulitzer, the Nobel -- it's in the papers...)

met a man
    (of my own race, and social class,
    you know his parents, such nice people;
    he has a great job; we're getting married in July...)

Look ma,
    (am I good enough yet?)

*****

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