December 17th, 2005

ice cream

What I Brought Home

Well, once again I laid out all the "loot" I brought home and took a picture :)

This time almost all of it was presents, as in Christmas presents for family. The only things I got myself: 10 pairs of fashion tights (see pic under cut), a nice skirt, treat for the guinea pigs, and carton of "cat milk" for Luckie. My family is getting loads of cool stuff! Another neat thing is that almost none of it was expensive, which is good since was have a general "under $10" rule. The only people I splurged on are Mom & Dad, which is usual. Dad's blanket was $35 but he is worth that, surely, and always cold!

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There are a few family members I didn't manage presents for, but I've nearly taken care of that. My niece Ashley is getting burned CDs (3 Dead Can Dance albums, 1 Qntal), nephew Will is getting a music mix CD, Bruce is getting Javaology coffee. My nephew Ian is the only one I have to shop for still. My sister Carolyn and her husband have requested "no presents."

P.S. I have to bring all these presents up to Massachusetts next week. Christmas tradition is that I pack my red suitcase with presents, unwrapped, and take another bag for my actual clothes. I then get wrappping paper and stuff at CVS and wrap them at home. I usually also wrap my Mom's presents and presents for various male relatives (brother-in-laws, Dad) who can't be bothered.
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Happy Saturday, Pet Notes

A lot of good stuff happened today!

Got up at 8! OK, not exactly a triumph for most people, but for me, a notable incident.

Had a yummy breakfast -- toasted bagel, prunes, a tangerine and tea. Mmmm!

Caught the 10:30 (a.m.!) showing of Chronicles of Narnia, over at the awesome new theater at Atlantic Station. Caleb wanted to take advantage of the early show time (he hates that movies are at night) so we went. And what an AWESOME movie it was! I could never get into the books as a kid and I normally have an aversion to talking animals, but I really got into it. Meanwhile, Caleb is infatuated with the White Witch, which should come as a surprise to no one.

After the movie, I followed Caleb back to his place, where he heated up the frozen "brotchen" (bread rolls) he bought in Germany. Daniel came over and we all had cheese, tomato and Nutella sandwiches, along with big mugs of tea. I also got to see the new ATB DVD Caleb got. The "tour" section is a hilarious home movie of ATB on tour in the U.S., in unlikely places like Dallas and Atlantic City.

Back at home, I took care of various financial housekeeping tasks, then decided to make a nice dinner. Got one out of the Moosewood low fat cookbook that was DELICIOUS!!! -- "Persian Split Pea and Barley Stew." I actualy used lentils, but it turned out fantastic anyway. It's basically a stew with a barley & garlic base, mixed with a vegie mix of potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions and parsley, plus a whole range of Middle Eastern / Indian spices & herbs, including cardamon, cinnamon, cayenne, etc. You serve it with roast pine nuts on top (and if you have it, which I didn't, yogurt.) If anybody wants the recipe, let me know! I had two heaping helping and am looking forward to lunch tomorrow :)

While I was cooking I managed to take care of a "to do" item on my list for around a year: writing an evaluation of a manuscript Immanion Press couldn't accept but really wants to offer feedback on. I promised it ages ago but finally I've commented up two large chunks and written a general critique, so I think the author will be fairly happy. Who knows, I might be the first person to ever offer real advice!

Right now I think I may go watch that documentary on East German Commiee musicals, East Side Story. Netflix sent it to me like three weeks ago but I've been traveling the whole time it seems, no time to watch it! It's by the same director as The Nomi Song, so I'm pretty hopeful!


Meanwhile the pets have been amusing me today. Luckie has demo'd some new tricks and odd behaviors, like attacking and ripping apart the broom (WTF?) and jumping up inside my skirt. She spent a lot of the day hopping in and out of the piggies' cage. I'm a bit worried she's going to mistake their new litter for *her* litter and poop in it, but so far, so good.

As far as the piggies go, they still don't care about her being in the cage. Abbie walks right up to her and sniffs her on the way to her hay. YinYang will keep on eating even if Luckie is sitting there two inches away staring. The cat doesn't DO anything, but is just sort of an honorary pig!

Today I gave Abbie some "floortime" with Luckie. Now normally you give pigs floortime with their (piggy) cagemates, but YinYang never can just hang out and have fun -- she runs back to the cage. Luckie, on the other hand, is a good playmate. Abbie actually follows the cat around! OMG, it's the cutest thing. Abbie will run over to the cat as if to say hi, sniff her, look all curious, and Luckie reacts like she's kind of scared to be so close to her! I wonder sometimes if Abbie somehow secretly bit the cat on the nose at some point, to make her so cautious. I've seen Abbie snap at Luckie, but never bite. It's funny to think she can actually look after herself, given that she looks like a fluffy Muppet, but I think she can.

One last thing: I recently got a stuffed guinea pig and it's fun seeing the animals' reactions to it. I keep thinking it's REAL, the pigs think it's a real pig, and the cat agrees with us both! Alas, I've discovered I really can't let Luckie play with the fake critter, because tonight I saw her rolling around with it on the floor, wrestling, biting its neck, etc. She has NEVER done this with the REAL pigs, but I don't want her to get confused between real/fake, so I am keeping the toy out of reach and/or out of sight from now on.
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I think today I have received like 500 spam emails and 5 real ones. Is anybody REAL out there? Perhaps everybody is out Christmas shopping. I am done with that, thankfully.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored
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Money-making schemes

With recent self-employment cash flow issues, I've been thinking about getting some kind of part-time job, to keep my income more stable in the long term. Even something that would just cover my condo fees plus insurance every month would be awesome. Plus it would get me out of the house, on my feet, and depending on the job, get my brain stimulated and doing new things!

Anyway, various ideas have cropped up -- some scandalously conventional, some less so. I thought I'd share some of them and see if anybody had thoughts?

Instructor @ Berlitz
I saw a job posted on Craigslist looking for a part-time English instructor at the location here in Atlanta, which led me to Berlitz's web site. Looks like I am well-qualified for an instructor position, plus from past experience I know I'm good at doing ESL work. My thought on this was that it would probably pay something fairly decent, would be interesting, and could lead me to be able to have a Berlitz position in Europe. I read about it and once you are "in," you can get jobs other places. I sure would love to have an employer ready and waiting for me in Europe, to go over for 6 months or a year or something. On the minus side, any teaching job requires off-hours prep work. Also, Berlitz is kind of cheezy. But hey.

I could possibly just sign up with the big ManPower agency down the street and get temp jobs. I temped in college, for ManPower actually, and it wasn't bad. Plus, I know they actually have a lot of tech/IT/web jobs. I would even be happy working a FT job even for 2-3 months just to stash away some cash.

I knoooooooow this is cliche and very probably not worth the time/money ratio, but I've thought of simply applying at some of the nearest Starbucks and Barnes & Nobles. There are SEVEN Starbucks within just 2 miles of year, like 5 of them right around this neighborhood. Meanwhile there are two very nice, super-convenient B&N's around here. One is at a shopping plaza where I already do a lot of my retail shopping, since it as a Kroger, Office Depot, Target and Petco. I think that job would at least get me out of the damn house and even PT, would cover a couple expense items. I also hear that both companies offer health insurance for PT employees, although I doubt I would drop my current plan -- now that I am finally a "veteran."

Meanwhile I have also come up with a list of ways to boost Metro Girl's / non-"job"earnings, including:

  • Going back to old/inactive clients and seeing what work they need done NOW. An oldie, but a goodie. I'm sure to get 2-3 jobs out of it.
  • Pursuing jobs posted to Craigslist -- I keep finding them and then taking too long to respond.
  • Try for some of the editing/writing gigs listed on Craislist -- again, have found plenty, not pursued.
  • Magazine/ezine writing. I mean, I was *trained* to do this, yes?
  • Copywriting for businesses -- can find clients locally and via my existing clients.
  • Thesis/paper editing for GSU students. (This is reallllly low on the list.)

I could also do dog-walking, but really that is generally way too much time versus not enough money, although I loooove dogs. May as well just keep doing it as a volunteer with the humane society.