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Charles Barsotti, New Yorker Collection

Maybe I can’t keep myself from being nervous, shaky even, about driving around other people’s kids for a field trip (“Precious cargo! Precious cargo!”). But I’ve been able to contain the worry to a little bit over a couple of days rather than an agonizing amount starting the week before. That is a victory.

Maybe the house won’t be transformed into a palace of tidiness and efficiency, ever. But I can neaten one closet to make things a wee bit easier. That is still a victory.

Maybe the program I’m studying won’t lead to anything substantial, or lucrative. Maybe I’ll find I kind of stink at it. But it’s on someone else’s dime, and I won’t have regrets about not trying it, and I’m keeping my mind engaged (and probably away from ruminating). I’ve earned the right to stumble, and stink at something.

“Possible, but not probable.” This was my high school geometry teacher’s pet phrase, and it comes back to me sometimes when I am stewing and fretting over something silly. Will I drive the classmates into a lake? Will HGTV show up unexpectedly at our home as part of a new reality show called “Hideous Hovels & the Freaks Who Dwell There?” Will my instructor do some distance learning equivalent of pointing and laugh at my assignments?

Possible? Always. But probable -?

Six LinkedIn Recommendations that Never Got Approved for Publishing on Recipients’ Profiles:

1) If this is the Randy Jones I worked with in Accounting? Uh, total d-bag. He made a LOT of people in my department cry, and I caught him stealing out of other people’s lunches on more than one occasion. If this is the other Randy Jones – in Purchasing I think? – seems like a pretty nice kid.   Doesn’t talk much.

 

2) I’m writing an “addendum” because “apparently” there are no recommendation “takebacks” on LinkedIn, and I wrote my recommendation for Deedee, “BITD” (back in the day). Like, when she was still showing up regularly and stuff. It sucks, because this was the only recommendation I’ve written here and it was from when she was a whole different person. So now I look like some ass with poor judgement or maybe a big liar. That’s the thanks you get for putting yourself out there.

Anyhoosie . . . does anyone know how to get just the digest emails from the LinkedIn groups? Cuz I’m getting a ton of stupid posts about job openings I don’t care about. I tried looking at the FAQ page but IMHO there was nothing helpful there. Maybe they should call it IAQs. L-O-freakin-L!! Thx for any tipz or trix you have about this – just send to bubblz88@frinklmail.huh.

 

3) I advised Chad on multiple occasions that he has neither the stamina, patience, nor skill to be a chef. He always had an aptitude with numbers, so I encouraged him to perhaps pursue a career in Finance or Business Administration. Though Chad frequently requests my input on his career path, he rarely acts on my suggestions, at times inexplicably seeming to make a choice simply because it was in opposition to what I recommended.

So. Who was correct about Chad’s prospects, and who was not? You be the judge.

 

4) Dear Sirs. I worked with Lisa for 4 months at the Dubuque branch. I don’t remember much about her except that I know she’s very fond of Precious Moments merchandise. Oh, and she is very into her Bible study group. Actually she was always inviting me to go, but I never went, primarily because they met on Must See TV night.

 

5) This guy . . . seriously! I’ve been, like, totally trying to get someone to sue me ever since this guy passed the bar. Seems like someone’s always trying to sue you except for when ya want them to, am I right? Prolly I should first find out if he’s one of those defends-you kind of lawyers though. I’d give my life for this guy, I seriously would, not that you asked. I’m totally offering this up on my own free will. I’ll tell you something – this guy, he’s the only person I’m still on speaking terms with from our pissant home town. Including my folks.

MA IF YOU HAVEN’T FIGURED OUT WHY BY NOW, I AINT TELLING YOU.

Remind me the question?
 

6) Meh

4/23/15 update: Emily has won the book, I will be contacting her to get the details in order to get the book to her. Thanks to Emily and Oenghus for entering and their comments on this book. I finished my copy of it yesterday and it is definitely a worthwhile read.

Giveaway time cats -n- kittens!  I’ve never done a giveaway in my many years of blogging.  The Crown Publishing Group has provided me with a fresh new copy of the new hardcover book, Rejection Proof: 100 Days of Rejection, or How to Ask Anything of Anyone at Anytime by Jia Jiang.  I’m currently about halfway through a different copy of the book myself and I’m quite enjoying it.

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog and answer the following: what have you usually been the most chicken about: job interviews, taking exams, asking someone on a date, speaking in public – or something else altogether?  For me, it’s definitely job interviews.

Giveaway closes by midnight Eastern Standard time on Mon, 4/6/15.  Random numbers will be assigned and my kid will pick the winner from a hat.  A top hat, perhaps, or maybe a jaunty beret.  Hat type TBD.  I will contact the winner, who will be required to promptly do a happy jig and/or shout “Hot diggity” in some sort of odd accent.  Please don’t put an address or email address in the body of your comment.

The Crown Publishing Group provided me a copy of the book: “Urban Watercolor Sketching” by Felix Scheinberger in exchange for an honest review on my blog.  Thanks Crown Publishing!  I haven’t done this before – here goes!

My background – where am I coming from?

I love art and design and creative expression.  As a youngster I mostly expressed myself in music and dance.  I liked doing little crafty projects and have always been a mad doodler, but was unfortunately intimidated by several art teachers at school and got the idea that I can’t draw or paint and shouldn’t try, that it starts with a magical innate talent and that only those folks should be pursuing it, even at an amateur level (I know this isn’t such an unfamiliar story).  I did a girls’ night out at a paint bar a couple of years ago, we painted an African scene and I really enjoyed the process and like the way it came out.  I signed up for a beginning acrylics class in my town and although it wasn’t entirely what I expected, and I wish it could have been longer, it set me on a journey of trying to draw and paint and realizing I like a lot of what I create.  And that it can be very relaxing to use my art supplies.  And no one else needs to see it.

The things I liked best about this book was:

  • The artist’s unique style and years of experience
  • The artist’s willingness to share trade secrets, even if some of them sound a little grody (using spit to get certain textures – not sure if I’ll go there – but I do like having as many tricks at my disposal as possible)
  • Some interesting new techniques that probably only a working artist could provide

The things I liked least about this book was:

  • After reading it, I never had a very clear picture about what makes this “Urban”.  Based on the title I expected it to be techniques strictly related to painting urban landscapes.  There were many of those, but it was not focused on urban surroundings.  This was confusing to me and I started to think maybe the word “urban” means something specific in the art world that I’m not aware of?  Which leads me to…
  • I didn’t feel like it was a good fit for a beginner (it didn’t make that claim, that I remember, so just noting this as FYI).  It seemed geared more toward folks who have been drawing and painting far longer than me, folks looking to better define their personal style and get new, somewhat advanced, tips.
  • I found his style somewhat aloof – could have been more engaging – maybe he was trying too hard not to insert himself too much?

Stuff I like right now

Three of my favorite things right now:

look at you.  just sitting in a pile being all delicious.
  • Amazon Prime’s original new show Transparent. It’s been ages since a series made me ponder it between episodes as much as this one. I appreciate that it doesn’t always offer the comfort of tidiness or logic or even knowing if something is happening in physical reality or just a metaphor. It is beautiful and brilliant. O Jeffrey Tambor, I thought you were grand before, but now you are a god(dess) to me.  Gaby Hoffman is my other favorite on this show.
  • Unitasking. I barely ever seem to accomplish this, at least for a sustained period. I have a wicked case of what many in the meditation/Buddhist/yoga etc. world call “monkey mind” – the mind that flits about like a naughty little monkey wreaking havoc. But I’m trying harder to do less things at once.  When it happens, if it happens, it is luxurious and rewarding.

Help me help the world!!

There are 2 things that someone needs to create and manufacture in my area of the world. Hey, how about you? I would except I can’t – I’m an idea person only. I don’t need any credit for these, only to have the products become a reality asap and perhaps get some free samples.

1) “New Baby Head” (henceforth referred to as NBH) detergent and/or fabric softener: last week inexplicably I smelled the nbh smell for about a day in my cubicle. It really soothed me and gave me a little lift. Everyone loves to smell nbh, I think some people are just more covert than others when sniffing the top of a new baby’s head. I think the world might be a calmer happier place if our clothes smelled like nbh. So please get on this. This is the one more urgently needed than #2.

2) Manscaping Catchall (alternate product name: Gentleman’s Grooming Tray): are you in charge of manscaping your partner’s hirsute head or neck parts? (ok, yes, I’m being sexist: perhaps you “scape” a female partner – but let’s face it, it’s usually the dudes who get the out of control hairs). When said partner gets comfy on a couch near decent lighting, is your first thought: “Oh good, time to get the safety scissors b/c those insane nose/ear/eyebrow/forehead/etc. hairs have got to go?” And then you pause, wondering, “But I just vacuumed in here, and those little suckers get everywhere.” ?

Enter the Manscaping Catchall (Gentleman’s Grooming Tray)! This is a convenient, portable, dishwasher-safe, lightweight tray kind of like a large paint palette or one of those nifty puke pails they have in the hospital – but this has small straps that attach it around the scapee’s ears. So manscaper and manscapee can be hands-free while all of the trimmed hairs conveniently fall onto the tray. There could also perhaps be a version with higher rims for the sneezy types.

So stop readin and start craftin these up!

A sure sign that you’re no longer a youngin?

You inherit a family member’s leftover Halloween candy – dozens & dozens of Peppermint Patties and Twizzlers, doled out into little baggies – and your first thought is, “Score! Lots of baggies I can re-use!” And you take the candy into work.

When did I become so…that?

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