The Time I Nearly Burnt Down the Apartment

This is the something more exciting I promised to write.

While my life doesn’t have a lot more adventure than it did before, Mark’s life has become more chaotic living with me.

It’s like a story from Anne of Green Gables, the story of how I nearly burnt down the apartment.

On my way home from work I decided that I was going to get the fixings for and make fried pickles. Mark enjoys fried pickles and I also like them.  I wanted to make them for him.

I almost dropped the groceries several times.  In fact, I lost some seasoning and a couple eggs from a spill.  When I finally got home I filled a pan full of vegetable oil and set the burner on high.

There I was, slicing pickles and preparing the breading.  I was stressing about work because, seriously, Dosha (the salon I worked at the time) sucked.  All of the sudden I heard a WOOSH.  I looked over and the vegetable oil had burst into flame.  I teeter-tottered from one foot to the other trying to figure out what to do.  We had no baking soda, no flour, no fire extinguisher and I didn’t know what to do.  I realized that if I took it out into the middle of the street there would be nothing to catch on fire and someone would either be able to help me put it out or it would burn out itself.  I ran out the door with a two foot column of flame towering from the pot that I carried.

As I carried this column of flame out the door, Mark was getting home from work.  He said he saw the flame from a distance and thought it was a Tiki torch.  I see him and look down and see the outdoor faucet.

Clearly I have heard that one should never use water on a grease fire.  I’ve heard this so many times.  I never really believed it apparently.  Really I was just not thinking.  I set the column of fire on the ground and turned on the faucet.

Of course the two foot column of fire turned into a three or four foot column.  I was freaking out and panicking.  Yes, the redundancy of that sentence is warranted.  Mark told me to go inside and find a blanket.  I was coughing like crazy from the smoke.  I could not find a blanket due to not having one or not being clear minded enough to find one.  Mark told me to go back inside.

I went back inside and realized that the apartment was filled with smoke.  I started looking for Comet; scared that he was suffocating from the smoke.  I could not find him.  I ran back outside as Mark threw his jacket on the robust fire.  The fire went out.  Comet was fine under the bed.

“Welcome to living with me,” I told Mark.

So Mark, welcome to the adventure or nightmare of living with me.  You can choose its label.

…and a picture of Comet because that should make everyone happy.

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I’ve not been terribly good about this blog thing….

Damn is my blog out of date.  I guess I’ve not been writing it because nothing has gone the way I wanted.  I did not go on my road trip.  In fact, I’ve ended up falling in love and getting an apartment with my boyfriend.  Craziness.  So much for my solitude save my dog.

I do still do some freelance writing but I got a part time job working the front desk of a salon/spa, found another front desk position at another salon/spa and start will be working there somewhat full time.

What should I write about?  Nobody wants to hear about me working in a salon or me trying to learn how to live with a significant other.  I don’t want to hear about that.

Mark (the new boy toy) and I have been talking about going to teach English in Korea soon.  However, that seems like another fantasy of mine that will never happen.  It’s like how I was going to take summer school in France in college and how I was going to do my archaeology field school in Ireland.  None of that happened.  The road trip is just another forgotten dream and so will be any travel or moving to Korea ideas.

Please don’t misunderstand.  Being in love is cool.  Entertaining, fun, exciting even.  I can’t wait to see where my relationship brings me.  However, it isn’t the random and exciting life I wanted.  The only “living by the seat of my pants” I’m doing is the struggle to pay my bills every month.

This has been more whining by Leslie Jones.  I’ll write something more entertaining shortly.

Much Disappointment

I’ve not written in a long time.  Months and months it seems.  There are a couple reasons why I’ve not written.

My adventure has seemed to hit a hard, seemingly unmovable rock.  I just wasn’t getting enough writing work.  Things were going well and then there was nothing.  Sure, I got to play tons of video games but I wasn’t getting anywhere.  My Epic Journey that was supposed to start in June got moved and moved until it seemed pointless to update on it.

Also, I could not think of much to write.  Nobody wants to hear about how I made it to level 1 billion or whatever in Skyrim.

So, an update on my situation?

You would think with all the free time I would write something awesome.  That didn’t happen.  It’s depressing.  So, I’ve basically gotten nowhere.

I starting dating a guy.  It’s an odd odd thing to be dating someone after so long.  An even stranger thing to not be dating a complete ass hat.  Even more bizarre is that he’s really probably my first actual boyfriend.  It’s on Facebook and everything.  (So many depressing stories to explain all that.) This makes Portland not so bad right now.  It also makes me feel a little guilty that I’m trying to leave.

I had to get a part time job.  I got a job at a salon/spa in an upscale part of Portland.  I’m a “retail advisor.”  Basically I am a front desk person who has to sell makeup and Aveda products and check people in/out for appointments.  I have to always wear makeup at work and dress all in black.  I have to look trendy and upscale.  Here all I want to do is hobo it across the US on a bus.  How weird is that?

Literally on the first day of my job I got some writing work.  It’s kind of ridiculous.  I’ve also been made the only writer for a company that does product descriptions and other web content.  Not really sure how I’m going to manage all of this work.

So, here I am.  A job, a boyfriend (not that having a boyfriend is bad, it’s tons of fun but it does have a settled down ring to it I think) and still stuck in my parent’s house.  Plus I can’t be with Comet all the time.  The little booger has such bad separation anxiety.  He barks like crazy or poops all over the house.  He also chewed up his little portable water dish when he was in his crate.  Not good.  I don’t know what to do.

I actually was about to get over the Greyhound idea.  I really feel like at this point all of my adventures are over no matter how un-epic were those adventures.  I’m pushing 30 and I live with my parents.  I’m pretty sure there isn’t really anything good going for me.

However, someone (a young lady of 15 who sounds awesome and who appreciated my broken hearted ramblings about Shadow) posted something super encouraging in my “Qualifications” section.

Also, one of my friends had an interesting idea about crowd sharing.  Maybe I will look into that.  Not 100% sure exactly what crowd sharing is but it could be cool.

Maybe it will take longer but I’ll get there… … … maybe?  My plan is to build the college paper freelancing thing (I know, I know I’m a horrible person…suck it) to where I have freelancers and I just pay them to do all the work.  Then I could focus on my writing.  Even though I’m old as dirt and only getting older, things could work out.  It seems like after 30 there is no point to having adventures.

I might go back to my original idea and drive rather than take Greyhound though.  Especially since finding a hostel that will let me have Comet is hard.  With a car I could do more than just work in hostels and I could always sleep in my car if desperate.

Anyway, hopefully this won’t be put off till forgotten.  I was starting to send my epic adventure to the pile of other lost dreams.

Also, here are some Comet and Gracie pics because those will make anyone feel better.

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Taking So Much Longer

I’d planned it out and I was determined.  I was going to leave around the first of June to go on my Epic Adventure.  I was going to jump on a Greyhound bus and travel with the wind.

As always things didn’t work out.  The amount of writing gigs I was getting slowed for the summer and without work there is no money.  I could just go on foot I suppose but I’m not that crazy and I need to buy some dog food energy bar things for my dog.  I can go without food for a while, Comet cannot.

These dog food bars are actually a really cool solution to traveling with a dog.  http://www.turbopup.com/ . They make them in La Pine, Oregon.  There is another brand but the bars were vegetarian.  Screw that stuff.  Obviously I would only use those bars while traveling on the bus.  They are expensive.

I think I may have a position starting in September in a hostel in San Diego.  This is the hostel: http://www.hostelon3rd.com/#!home/mainPage .  It looks like ever so much fun.  I have a friend from college who just moved to San Diego so I will get to see her again.  I’ve always wanted to see a non-Oregon beach.  Although I differ from most people as I love the way Oregon beaches are almost always stormy.

The woman who called me and left a voicemail about the position sounded excited about Comet.  She said they were thinking about getting a mascot dog.  I emailed her back saying that Comet loves attention and would adore being a test mascot.

Ultimately waiting until September might work out well.  I applied for Partial disability due to my bipolar and I’m supposed to hear back in August or something.  The older I get the more it disrupts my work.  Even writing.  I get low swings and I can’t focus or I feel like I’m wading through clear jello.  I want to still write part time but I don’t want to be SOL if I have a lot of bad days one month.  I can live fairly well on next to nothing better than most people.  I doubt I’ll get disability though.

Additionally, I want to go to Texas to see my grandma in July or August.  Her health is declining and I want to see her before it is too late.  A bus trip to Texas still costs money so I hope I get more work soon.  Yes, I am hoping to get money so I can pay to visit Texas during the most miserable time of year there.  I am certifiably crazy after all.

Anyway, that is my update on my adventure.  Right now I am bumming at my parent’s house like a loser.  I never pictured myself as someone who would be almost 30 and still living with her parents.  I didn’t even like living at my parent’s house when I was a kid.  I just wanted to be independent.  Yes, I am having a pity party.  No, I don’t have cookies or chips and dip.  However, I can play some depressing music if you like.

 

A Post to Prove I’m still Alive…Or Something

            I’ve not written much in my blog for ages.  At least a two or more weeks.  I’m working on gathering enough money and getting things I need to get done here finished to go on my hostel/whatever Greyhound bus US hopping trip.  Even though I plan to work while I go I still need to get everything together before I go.  It’s beginning to seem like it might be a little less epic and a little more stressful.  It’s also taking way longer to put together than I thought.  I’ll get there.  I’ve just little patience.

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Recently I was thinking about something we talked about in one of my writing classes with my favorite professor.  We were talking about how sometimes one is writing and thinking “damn I’m good”, other times one is writing and thinking “so not my best work” and then there are other times when one is thinking “well I just suck now.”  These are thoughts that I hope every writer has felt.

            If a writer doesn’t feel at times that their writing is just miserable than he or she will never improve his or her writing.  Usually the writings that come out as garbage are creative works but not always.  Every writer can improve no matter what genre they write.  A friend who was in my good creative writing class in college – I had another creative writing class after that, one which was a waste of time and credits – posted recently about how sometimes he writes something that is absolute garbage but he is still emotionally attached to it.  Those are the works that one never shows anyone but keeps it away to love and cherish.

            Then there are those stories, blogs, articles or whatever that one writes and knows it will just pass.  It’s not like those writings are bad they just aren’t good.  For me, most of those are blogs, articles and yes, college essays written for students who pay me money to let them plagiarize off of me.  (No, I will not feel bad for benefitting off of other’s laziness.  Sorry angry middle aged lady who tried to shame me.  Although I have an obsessive left over pastor’s daughter syndrome of trying to please everyone and getting upset when I can’t.  So I guess good job angry middle aged lady, you made me upset.)  Those tend to be things that are subjects that I have no interest in whatsoever.  For instance, I was writing web-content for a client who had a site that had to real estate and I was so uninterested.  Those articles had no passion in them but he liked the so I suppose they were readable.

            Finally, there are those times when I’m writing – and I’d imagine all other writers and creative people – and I don’t know if what I’m writing is good or not but I feel on fire.  Sometimes those stories, articles, blogs or whatever come out as true garbage.  Rarely are people very kind when they point that out.  However, sometimes those words resound with readers and that is wonderful.  It’s those times that actually keeps people writing.  At least they are the times that keep me writing.  The last thing any writer wants to be is that person who keeps writing but it’s all horrible.

            I suppose I’ve probably over thought this.  However, it was fun for me to write.  Excuse me while I go off to overthink my next thought.

A note about being a dyslexic writer:

Such a thing rarely happens.  Dyslexic people do not become writers.  Dyslexic people work at Wal-Mart barely being able to read.  Dyslexic people get really bad grades on history tests involving maps.  Dyslexics do not finish even high school and are lucky if they are literate.

I don’t know any other dyslexic writers.  Writers are not dyslexic; they are perfect grammarians.  Writers always know where every coma goes.  Writers rarely make money with their writing and are proud of it.

I am a dyslexic writer.  I don’t know how becoming a writer happened.  It’s a wonder I learned to read.  However, for some reason I was stubborn enough to become hooked on writing and get into a good college.  I’ve been writing purposely since I was 12 years old.  Somehow I graduated with a B-ish average (thank you math and overly difficult freshman geology class) while working 2-3 jobs and carrying on a reasonable social life.  Somehow I managed to get a few writing gigs.  Nevertheless, if it was not for spell checker I never would have even finished high school.

Often I make grotesque grammar mistakes and catch a lot of flak for it.  I’m sure most of my blog posts resemble a lot of high school student’s Facebook statuses.  (Ok, so nothing can be that bad.)  I am not shy about being dyslexic but I try not to make it an excuse.  I’ve seen my brother who has Asperger’s play the mental/learning disorder card too many times.  Mostly the criticism comes from other writers.  The more stressed out and the faster I write the more mistakes fly from my finger tips.  Mix being dyslexic with often being impulsive and careless and one often ends up with dramatically awkward occurrences.  Additionally I am a bipolar and anxiety disorder ridden individual so stress and impulsive actions happen frequently.

So, I apologize for my life.  I apologize for the fact that I have a learning disability.  I apologize for my myriad of mental and emotional disorders.  I apologize that I am not a real writer, a perfect writer or even really a good writer.  I apologize that I suck at commas, spelling, directions and more.  Most of all, I apologize that I plague other’s with my poorly written and distasteful posts.

Trying to Find a Hostel to Exchange Work for in June

I’ve set a date for my departure to my Epic trip.  I’m leaving as close to June first as possible, give or take a day or two.  Money or no, ready or not I’m going.  If I have to walk barefoot and naked with nothing but my dog and some dog food to get out of here I will.  Of course, I’ll have money, shoes and clothes.  However, my worry is where I will go.

Finding a hostel that will let me do work exchange and have a dog will be tricky tricky.  Most hostels don’t allow guests with dogs at all.  While Comet is a service dog and I could just show up with him without mentioning him at all when applying for a work exchange position, that would be terrible form.  Besides, the hostel could make up another reason to kick me out even if they cannot legally reject a service dog.

I want to start in the mountain region of the US.  Although, I don’t want to go to Colorado.  Nothing against Colorado but I have family there.  They might insist I visit and two of those family members are people to which I am not speaking.  Besides, I want to start closer to the west coast and make my way over.  I’m thinking Montana or Utah.  This one hostel in Montana has propane lamps.  I want to light propane lamps.  I also really want to be out in the country or a small town.  I’m so tired of the city.  I never thought I would say that but I loved Birch Bay.  I miss Birch Bay.  *sniff*

Anyway, if I need to camp I will camp.  That could be fun too.  They make these tiny tents for one person and some gear.  Comet counts as gear.  Just will have to find a camping site with wifi I guess.  I can’t wait to take off.  Wanderlust is a powerful thing.

Oh and look!  Zombie Comet

Zombie Comet

As I was Saying… …Yeah I’m Proud of Myself

There I was, panicking about a lack of work and as usual I was freaking out too soon.  Granted, I didn’t get a million dollar book deal or anything (I think one has to write a book first).  Nevertheless, I did get a blog published and hopefully some more jobs with them in the future.

I got paid a decent amount of money.  Nothing to sneeze at for one blog.  However, I am not excited about the money.  I’m excited because I was both paid for writing the blog and the blog was published under my name.  Thus far all of my work has been ghostwriting.  Ghostwriting jobs are fine with me.  I’m not as worried about getting my name out there as I am about making money.  I’m a poor writer, I have student loans and let’s face it I goof off instead of writing and making money a lot.  Despite my attitude, there is something really satisfying about having my name on something that I got money to write.

So, In honor of my self satisfaction, I am going to share my blog on all of my internet social sharing mediums.  Besides, some people actually might find it useful.

http://learntoblog.com/10-steps-leverage-marketing-power-twitter/

Hey look!  It mentions Baylor and NAIWE 🙂

This is Ridiculous

Here I sit waiting to find some more freelance jobs.  I’ll even take data entry at this point.  The worst thing is that I’m pretty sure I will sit for a couple more days with no work and then all the sudden I will get more jobs than I can handle at the worst possible time.  Seems reasonable.

Additionally, the Unemployment Self Employment Assistance program I used ran out and while I qualified for emergency unemployment extension, unless congress does approve it that is now gone.

As I am suffering through trying to find writing gigs, I thought I’d share tips on dealing with slumps that have worked for me in the past.

1. Don’t Give Up

Eventually, unless you are a complete moron, you will find a gig somewhere.  We all go through slumps.  Also, for some reason everything seems to need done at once.

2. Take Advantage of the Free Time

Even though looking for work is as much of a job as working, use the time to do projects of your own.  Write short stories, clean the garage, work on that sewing project, catch up on your reading or even get your love of video games fulfilled.  Applying for writing gigs doesn’t demand a deadline like many projects.

3. Don’t Become Desperate 

I know you are desperate.  For goodness sake, I am desperate.  If I don’t find something soon I will not have money for my 3 day trip to visit my friend in Seattle, I will never be able to leave on my epic road trip and eventually my remaining $40 will run out.  However, desperation leads to desperate acts and soon you will find yourself pounding out blogs for $1.50/500 words.  Even if you are a super fast writer, it isn’t worth it.  Sure data entry sucks but if it pays well, it’s better than working your bum off to not even make enough to buy a bus pass.

4. Don’t Completely Stop Writing    

Getting out of the habit of writing is easy.  Write even if you are blogging (thus this blog post), writing in a journal, posting articles on sites such as Squido, building your portfolio to show potential clients or writing that fictional piece that has been haunting you.  In fact, even if you write some poorly written (or well written) fan fiction, keep writing.

5. Start Some Good Habits

While you are stressing out about not having work, and let’s face it you are probably stressing out, release some of that tension by starting a new daily routine.  Have you been meaning to take up jogging?  Do it.  Once you get into the habit of jogging every day, you can work it around work when you get more gigs.  The good habit doesn’t need to be jogging.  Maybe you want to take a new craft or maybe you want to learn how to cook healthier.  Regardless, try taking your stress out in a healthy way instead of on yourself or loved ones.

Anyway, keep me in mind while I panic, look for gigs and check every 2 hours to see if congress will extend emergency unemployment after all.  As impossible as it may seem, I’m sure I will be overwhelmed with work in a few days.  *sigh*

Stagnant

This should be a short post as I’ve not much to report.  Unless everyone wants to read about my outing last night in which I took on the role of DD for the first time in my life.

Here I am back in Portland, Oregon.  I love my family/friends and I like Portland.  I missed my friends and everyone.  I also feel an intense let down being here again.  I’m scared that I will never leave.  The last 5 years seems to have been a series of bright ideas falling into the great pit that is my own fear.  I apparently enjoy self sabotage.

Comet seems to miss the hostel but I think I’m probably projecting my feelings onto my innocent and currently sleeping dog.   Why my dog sleeps on his back like this I do not know.  However it is funny and cute.

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Maybe I post a little too much about my puppy.  However, ask me if I care.

 

Now I just have to save up to take off on my epic journey.  I’m possibly thinking Tucson first.  I’m excited.  Meanwhile I need to get my butt in gear and actually concentrate on my freelance writing or I will never make the money to get me on my way.

Comet and I are going off on a bus test run on the bolt bus to Seattle.  A friend from college and her husband recently moved to Seattle and we are going to crash at their place for a couple days.  I want to see the Space Needle.  I’ve lived three hours from Seattle most of my life and I’ve never been there.

Most lame blog post ever!