12 March 2009

career path

my freelance writing career is off to a slow start. this is the third time i've tried to reinvent my professional life, and somehow it always surprises me that i have to claw my way in from the bottom. of course it can't help that newspapers across the country are laying off journalists so the market must be particularly flooded at the moment.

i've been pitching ideas to several magazines and websites, both in the u.s. and europe, and trying to find connections where i can. so i'm going to just keep at this, and hopefully one day i'll be able to post a link here to something that i've written and gotten paid for.

meanwhile i continue to apply to freelance positions editing, project editing, project managing, reseraching, etc. i guess this isn't a bad place to mention that i'm currently looking for work. just keep that in mind, if you hear of something or if you yourself want to hire me. it occured to me that perhaps i should clarify that.

04 March 2009

small rant

remember my new years resolutions? one of them was to send more letters and gifts, be more spontaneously caring across the large distance that separates me from many of my friends and family. and over the past months i have really enjoyed the pleasures of doing this.

but let me just make this clear: if i send you something in the mail PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know that you received it. that way i don't have to worriedly track the package, curse the spanish mail system, get annoyed at your lack of basic human courtesy and generally ruin the entire experience for myself. a simple "got your package" email is sufficient and will make my day, i promise.

when i was a kid, i had to write a thank-you note for every gift i received. at the time it was an excruciating requirement imposed by my parents, but i now see the wisdom behind this rule. everybody likes to see polite kids and graciousness is never a bad quality in a person young or old.

but, not everybody was raised as well as i was. and one doesn't give presents to receive thanks. so i'm willing to lower the bar here. the words "thank you" are not required!

as most of you know, i am willing to make 100% of overseas phone calls and will probably travel very far to show up at your doorstep once a year. i don't think i ask too much in terms of relationship maintenance -- i am the one who picked up and left the country, so i feel like that responsibility rests more on my shoulders. so this is all i ask: please let me know when you receive something in the mail from me (this includes gifts sent by me through websites). thanks!

24 February 2009

bits and bobs

budget update: i'm 11 euros over budget and it's the 24th. in my defense, i have bought two trips this month: a may weekend in dublin with the ladies, and semana santa to barcelona and southwestern france (darling). meanwhile -- and revelations like this are why we budget to begin with -- i am 38 euros over on alcohol. and i repeat, it's the 24th. and my budget for alcohol was, um, 150 euros. well, well, well. in brighter tidings, i am 140 euros UNDER on shopping!

in television news: i love how the latest episode of flight of the conchords was all around fort greene. jogging in the park, dekalb avenue, chez oscar. it's good to see the old hood again. i'm back in love with hbo, after burning through true blood and now getting into generation kill. not only does it borrow the wire's lingo-laden conversational style and slightly difficult-to-penetrate plotline, but like any hbo show it features friends from series past. i recognized ziggy sobotka right off the bat -- after his dad frank sobotka's turn on true blood -- but it took me a while to place that other guy, who i now remember as being one of the dickish police brutality cops who did things the western district way. awesome.

finally, i saw a great band the other night. they're called columpio asesino and they're the rare spanish band i've heard that i've loved. they sound a little bit like yo la tengo, with dashes of pixies. go check it out...

23 February 2009

19 February 2009

the final push

the sun has been shining for a week, days are blindingly bright and pleasingly warm. my wool coat hangs quietly, passed over for that wonderful harbinger of spring: the denim jacket. yesterday i spent the afternoon on my terrace, soaking in these sneaky february rays.

we're not out of the wilderness yet as far as winter is concerned, but these sunny stretches hint that we're in the final push (as my dad used to say). meanwhile, the weather is doing wonders for my disposition, and i think i may even have a bit of a tan...

18 February 2009

bug-building game

a clue on today's times crossword brought a blast from my past. i haven't thought about cootie, the game where you assemble plastic insects, in years -- decades maybe.

i can't say i remember the rules to this game, but a quick look at wikipedia suggests that the rules are staggeringly simple. the six body parts -- legs, body, head, ears, eyes, tongue -- correspond to the six sides of a die; you pick up what you roll. now why would such a facile and strategy-free game be so beloved, one of its manufacturers' best-sellers?

is it because they are bugs? i mean, if you had to collect six other things -- straws maybe, or shoelace tips -- i can't see 50 years of success. but cooties, kids love them. looking at that picture, i remember being particularly fond of the tongue.

or maybe kids don't need too much zip in their games. remember candy land? or chutes and ladders? i loved when bill and nikki played go fish on big love a couple of weeks ago. why would anybody over the age of 4 play these "games" anymore? i suppose they're like primers, getting kids versed in the rituals of dice rolling, marching your piece forwards or backwards across a board, drawing and discarding, etc.

do kids even play board games anymore? i wonder if they go straight to the video game console; instead of building plastic cooties, designing insect societies in sim antfarm.

16 February 2009

guest bloggership continues

my latest installment is up at crucial minutiae. go have a look and leave a comment if you fancy!