Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Today I am Baking a Cake

Because I can. Because it's cheap and fun and I can do that somewhat quietly. And because I never had time to do stuff like that before.

From scratch too people.

I also have to work on some more marketing stuff for an upcoming show I'm in...if we could only agree on a title! It's hard to get started without a TITLE! I really like Leave It, It's Beaver. But we'll see.

Worrying about money after paying all of my bills this morning and watching the account trickle down. Still have a few months before it gets scary...but not use to that!

Wish me luck with the cake. I usually can't get them even and the top layer ends up sliding off and smushing into the cake dome.

Oh - for any better the cable man came yesterday at 1:04 and stayed until 3:45. It was extremely annoying! Then the contractors showed up. It sucks to have people in your house when you don't feel good. Today just contractors and not until later this afternoon.

I must bake now.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Week 2 Day 2

I am a hypocrite.

No doubt about it. I quit my corporate job because I wanted more for myself. So why don't I have an OUNCE of sympathy (or interest) in why T.R. Knight quit Gray's Anatomy (a show I haven't watched since Season 1, mainly due to the ridiculous amount of pouting faces). He left a three-year $14 million contract because he thought his character was not given much of a plot line.

There are times to take your show on the road my friends, and times to take the money and run - back to your trailer. To do a sick amount of online shopping.

Now I keep reminding myself that I left a very well paid position to pursue a life more fulfilling...but, seriously, is it the same? Oh no! It is a little. So I feel like now I'm one of those whiny people. Add "practice pout face" to my list of things to do today.

Okay, next subject. As I sift through "work at home" and "part time writing" opportunities, I continually come across these weird jobs where apparently you're suppose to deposit these huge checks into your bank account and then send them to other people. Okay, so how many alarms go off? First, you of course have to give them your banking info to "deposit" money - which I doubt if any transactions actually proceed in that direction, and then, even if they did, you're laundering money, correct? Perhaps I didn't understand fully grasp all of the concepts on the Sopranos, but I'm pretty much certain that that's not an up and up way of doing business. Has anyone else seen these? I wonder how many desperate people have fallen for this? It's despicable!

Need to rest so I can make to rehearsal tonight - plus the cable man is coming! (Conveniently between 1 and 4 - any betters out there?).


Monday, July 27, 2009

Week 2. Guilt in Taking a Sick Day During a Sabbatical

Hello friends! Hope you are well, I have been nursing some sort of flu for about a week now and finally will be able to get to the doctor tonight (5:45 was his earliest appointment - I must not be the only one!)

This whole thing is a huge adjustment. It's hard to go from being a full time over-extended tiger lady to being on "sabbatical". I'm having a hard time adjusting to the free time and I unfortunately was filling it up too much - just like before and the reason I'm worn out. As usual, my body takes over and makes me sick so I HAVE to take a break, and that is just what happened.

I feel incredibly guilty sitting in my favorite chair inside and with a blanket on seems like only workers should be able to get "sick days". This is a sentiment also expressed (passive aggressively of course) by others in my household. Because I had so much initial support, I didn't realize that this would be difficult, but it is proving to be a bit challenging. There have been several responsibilities that have shifted on the domestic front and everyone is having to adjust.

I apologize that I haven't been writing. I started full steam ahead and I wore myself out! I took a few days to rest but did continue some of the goals I had last week.

On Thursday, since I didn't feel great and couldn't sleep, I was up at 6:45, cleaned the house and took the train downtown to the farmers market and purchased ingredients to make gazpacho. (Which didn't turn out so great). I was able to get so much for just $11.00! Two peppers, globe zucchini, two tomatoes, a box of raspberries and a bouquet of snapdragons.

I also spent a few hours at the gorgeous Harold Washington Library researching grant writing and coping books for children. (The librarians there are very helpful!)

I checked out a few books for kids to help them cope with dying and now think that the voice of my book is both original and appropriate. Kids are a lot smarter than you think.

Friday I wasn't feeling too hot and all I did was run a couple of errands and did some chores.

Saturday and Sunday were lazy days on the beach - trying to rest. Friends from Des Moines came in for a Cubs game. We had a great time and that sort of sent me over the edge - and so looking forward to going to the doctor later.

Hope everything is well with everyone else! Sorry this one is a little boring.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 3 - Laundry and Writing

Unload dishwasher. Check.
Sort laundry. Check.
Do three loads of laundry. (In process).
Brew coffee and eat very last homemade cinnamon roll from freezer. time!

So as you all know, I've left my corporate job to pursue writing, acting, etc. You probably also know that I am hoping to keep my hand in by doing some part time or short term web consulting. This means my resume is posted and that occasionally throughout the day I am contacted by various recruiters for positions that they think I would be a good fit for. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these recruiters think my goal in life should be to sell insurance. (One year at an Agency overseeing a web redesign and launch and apparently, I am an expert insurance salesperson.) Many of these calls are from the same company - just different "team leaders" duking it out for my short term disability selling prowess. They often lead with the fact that they have a particularly popular (annoying?) poultry mascot, and wouldn't I like to be a part of that?

Not really, although I know people who are very happy working for this poultry mascot. They often report on it on their Facebook status. I also know that person is extremely successful, I just wonder what our resumes have in common? Ten years of web design, information architecture, online marketing and content management = your neighborhood broker?

However, I would gladly do a commercial for Allstate. I waited in line for the bathroom at the Ivy with Dennis Haysbert and wow, was he suave! He's about 6'5 and extremely well-groomed. He was very gentlemanly and his booming voice is even more stimulating in person.

Occasionally I run into some really awesome recruiters who understand what my goals are and understand the kind of value I actually have to offer a company. These people are awesome and work very hard to make both their clients and candidates happy. I'd tell you who they are...but I don't want to share them!

Does anyone else get completely bizarre calls for jobs that are in no way on their radar or even in line with their resume?

So along the same lines as yesterday - in a life when your days don't have much really have to implement a structure in order to be productive.

I have loosely broken out each week days activities and focus:

Monday: Chores (obviously this Monday that sort of fell to the wayside)
Tuesday: Completely devoted to pH. We have our Grand Opening Gala coming up and of course my duties as Grant Writer also mean working on various items for the group. Plus rehearsal and the additional Leadership meeting and my day is pretty much booked up. (
Wednesday: Completely devoted to GayCo, another ensemble I am involved. Today's agenda are that pesky marketing calendar I have been procrastinating about and writing a couple of sketches.
Thursday: Chores again, mostly of the "special project" variety. Things like cleaning out the silverware drawer and organizing the utensils. Also - more of a relaxing day.
Friday: Often a show day - so I tend to lay low, but read a ton of newspapers and web articles to be on top of current events.
Saturday & Sunday: For shows, additional rehearsals and fun only.

FYI: Insurance sales recruiters need not call. Unless it's Dennis Haysbert.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 2!

Hello friends! It is Day 2 and so far my day has been fairly interesting in both domestic and career fronts.

First, my dog decided to not complete a "business" transaction which meant tossing the morning schedule for a butt bath and de-pooping session. Ha! You think it's gross to read about? I had to actually deal with it!

Second, an old boss (quite high up) asked for a little assistance in connecting with someone. Ah, social media - you are such a powerful creature. I was very happy to pass on his name and glad that I could help. It's just funny how one day you're a lowly contractor, the next you can help someone out in (very) high places.

Today's agenda (thrown off a little):

GayCo Fall Show Marketing Calendar and Brainstorm graphics ideas for show.
Target (yikes - without disposable income - terrifying!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Sketch Writing (at the beach)
Grant Writing Meeting(?)
pH Rehearsal (Ride bike there so I get some much needed exercise)

Update on yeserday's events:

I had an audition but when I got there and saw the show dates I had 2 conflicts so I didn't end up going in. However, I did run in to one of my old castmates from Rx Rated and he is also focusing on his acting career now. We agreed to set up a time during the day - natch! - to write/talk improv, comedy, etc.

A little advice to anyone else on sabbatical:

1) Structure your day.
2) Do NOT and I mean do NOT turn on the TV for any reason. I just wasted 30 minutes watching some family clear their house of antiques and sell them at auction so that they could buy a big screen TV. They would have been better off keeping the antiques and riding their bikes around town looking for more crap.
3) Procrastination still exists even in la la land. (Crap.) Bite the bullet and do the things you least enjoy first. (Like writing a marketing plan - yuck!)

Even without the absolute dread of going to a job I don't like, it is still hard for me to get up in the morning. I usually stay up until about 1 or so and often can't sleep through the night. But I can't justify sleeping in when I'm not really taking a break from anything.

Also, I find myself fighting some sort of cold/flu thing and I wonder - how does someone with no 9-5 job take a "sick day" without coming off as a sloth?

Now I know why Stephen King still makes himself write 8 hours a day. Well done creepy and imaginative rich guy, well done.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 1 - July 20, 2009

Today is the first day of my self-imposed sabbatical. It may seem crazy to be "taking time off" when so many are being forced out of work, but the rat race was making ME crazy and so here I am...six months of Scraping By money saved to sustain me and a lifetime of unfulfilled dreams and projects to finally work on. It's actually kind of a good time, with so many friends out of work, I have a whole network of "day time" friends to collaborate with on some of my projects! Plus, it's rather gauche to overspend on anything these I'm kind of able to say I'm living "green" or "lean" or simplified...or just poor.

I'm sharing my days on sabbatical with the world - or the one or two friends or family members who feign interest - because I think taking some time off to really think about what is important to you is well, important.

Too often people settle for what their life is...I just refuse to do that. I was bored, I was very unhappy and I was resentful that I wasn't doing what I wanted to be doing. I realize I'm not alone - and that many, many, many people simply cannot just fly by the seat of their pants and quit their day jobs...however this blog isn't about running away from work, it's about running to the work you actually want to do. I don't believe in sitting around eating bonbons...I believe in dedicating the appropriate amount of time and energy to my own personal business endeavors, instead of some horrible conglomerate's business endeavors.

Here's a list of things I'll be working on while on my sabbatical...which I hope to rename something less temporary than "sabbatical" once I find a way to make any money doing some of the following:

1) Edit children's book I wrote nearly 10 years ago and work with neighbor on illustration.

2) Write my one woman show and try to produce it...

3) Write sketches for GayCo show that I will be in this fall.

4) Get an agent.

5) Get in shape.

6) Learn to live with less.

7) Learn to become a gourmet cook with a limited budget.

8) Focus on improv troupe (pH Productions) and make them a lot of money writing kick-ass grants.

9) Sustain my brand as a web strategist by leveraging social media and creating stellar marketing campaigns for the Fall GayCo show and my own show.

10) Take better care of myself and my family.

Day One Snapshot:

Awoke: 7:30
Met husband at the train with dog.
Walked dog, fed dog.
Made coffee.
Started this blog.
Made list of other items to do today:
1. Edit Louisa and the Circle of Hugs(C). [Update: Done! 11:15]
2. Work out (bike ride) [Update: Decided to do Windsor Pilates instead...As Seen on TV! and not out of the DVD box in probably 2 years!]
3. Grocery Store [Update: List, done!]
4. Prep for audition at Second City (update/print resume, find headshots).
5. Audition at Second City.

Hope you might join me on this adventure (which will surely have its ups and downs).