Monday, October 29, 2007

C'est Moi

I am about to enter the insanity for my 3rd year of relentless typing and frenzied plotting. I will not plot until Wednesday, I think. But I do intend to make a fun image this year that promotes my WIP (work-in-progress).

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's Just Really Expensive Carbon

The insanity continues. FYI, I will never, ever wear this junk I put in the catalogs. Guys? Are you listening? A $450,000 ring will not make me happy. Just get flowers. Or buy me a subscription to Writer's Digest or something. Much cheaper, more useful, and a lot more my style. (Now, if you can AFFORD a $450,000 ring, that is impressive. But please, avoid the urge to splurge.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday, At Last

Well, it was a crazy week. Melinda_J asked me how much longer the catalog season is supposed to last, and I figured it at right around eight more weeks.

Eight weeks of continuous insanity. Eight weeks of frantic activity. Eight weeks of "Wait! Is that custom vendor page approved in that catalog? Don't send it to press yet!" Eight weeks of answering endless accusatory questions from marketing directors in various NYC offices who have chips on their shoulders the size of Manhattan and the personalities of runway models on steroids who have taken lessons in charm from Al Gore (side note: do not ever attend a lecture on any topic if Al Gore is the speaker if you don't need a long nap. I learned this lesson the hard way back in college when I attended his special lecture on Freedom of the Press, only to hear a rambling tale of why it was just a rumor that he and Tipper were buying out Denny's).

So, now it is 4:49pm Central Time, and I am counting down the minutes until I am free. Of course, that freedom is short-lived. I have to be in again tomorrow.

Overtime. Overtime. Overtime.
The mantra by which I survive my seemingly never-ending 6-day work weeks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Too Bad

Random Thoughts on My Life:

-It stinks that that had to happen, but it will make me stronger.
-I will be the office superwoman if I pull it off.
-Somebody give me a "Most Patient Woman Alive" award for this.
-I'm gonna kick it into gear this weekend. January will bring more than just another new year.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Day Late for the Environment

Yesterday was Blog Action Day. I was supposed to have participated, in a worldwide blog event supporting the environment.

And I forgot.

Actually, I didn't forget; I was too busy. It sprang to mind during my commute both ways from work (in which I didn't carpool), and then I just didn't have time either before or after business hours to blog away. I was just preoccupied with printing out pages to proof at work, using electricity to keep me going, eating food that was pre-packaged, and throwing out my trash.

When I was on the way home, I went to Wal-Mart and bought snack food that I carried out of the store in plastic bags.

In short: I didn't reuse, reduce, or recycle a single thing.

It's funny how easy it is to be a wasteful, planet-harming consumer. It's all about MY convenience, MY needs, and MY desires. How selfish of ME! I don't stop to think about how the chemicals I pour down the drain (paint, nail polish remover, bleach, any cleaner) affect my fellow community members. I don't think about how much I rely on plastic to get through my day, or how that plastic is made. I don't even concern myself that much with the exhaust coming out of my car. And yet I wonder why so many people (my mother included) get cancer, or have severe allergies, or come down with a headache. Shame on me. Shame on us all.

Sometimes Christians shudder at the thought of PETA or the Sierra Club and how they place animals and vegetables above Humans.

But, let me ask you this: what was man's first job? Taking care of God's creation! (Genesis 1, if I need to remind you). It's not just a silly, liberal conspiracy started by Al Gore; it's reality. We have trashed our world.

It's time to wake up, accept responsibility, and start tending the garden!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

May I Move in Now?

Ohhhh ....

Dad finished painting my room today and installed my curtain rod. After I received the "all clear" from him, I sat down in the middle of the floor and just absorbed how nice it was to have walls that weren't apartment beige.

I chose a mid-tone gray with a hint of blue in it. Against the white trim and doors it looks very elegant. My parents had been skeptical, but even they acknowledged it looked good, much to their surprise. I can't wait until this coming weekend, when I'll bring in my furniture and hang the sheers.

It is so weird to be moving BACK into the house I had shared with my brother. This time, however, there won't be any motorcycle helmets hanging out on the kitchen counter, or dirty work boots chilling by the coffee table, or random college friends wandering in and out for Halo parties until the wee hours of the morning. LOL.

I'm also excited about my appliances. Oh, how I have missed those appliances! The stove has the flat surface burners (or "eyes" as they're called in Tennessee), the microwave is mounted above the stove, and the refrigerator is nice and big and has the freezer on the bottom, so you don't have to stoop to take the milk off the bottom shelf. My new roommate and I both love to cook, but we hate to cook for just ourselves ... so I anticipate many yummy meals in the near future, now that there will be two of us eating there. I'll break out my stellar mac n' cheese, or a hearty lentil soup, and she'll wow me with artichokes and chicken and pasta. I'm already looking forward to entertaining in our place. We will host dinner parties, if anyone is interested in coming and enjoying the fruits of our labor ... and I always have that St. Patty's day event ... and after church lunches could be arranged, with enough begging ... :)

And we have a dining room table. A real dining room, with a real table and chairs.

If God would just work it out for me to work in Murfreesboro, instead of Nashville, my dream of living and thriving in a community will come true. This is because my roommate and I have all but shaken hands on a pact: no moving until we are either married or my parents decide to sell the house. We are both sick and tired of moving. And do you blame us? I mean, I myself have only moved ... let's see ... well this move will make it SEVEN times since 2004. It's getting old.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Job Security :)

So, I got a big thumbs up from the owner of yesterday's retail store that we were trying to get the catalog to press for. It didn't happen, but it turns out the deadline was backed-up by him so that everything would be ready by next week.

He told me on the phone that I had been wonderful, and then (here's the BEST part) he called and told my boss, as well, who later came by and said that the retailer had "sung my praises."

I guess I did good.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mountain Moving

Today I worked on a target catalog.

By this I mean that it is supposed to be printed and ready to go in an insertion order by next Wednesday. This makes it my number one priority, because in order to get there by then it should have printed ... yesterday.

From 11am until 6pm, I was typing and clicking and answering the phone as fast as I could. The owner of the retail store was calling me, giving me updates on his own efforts. His son was in on the deal, too. I called the president of our company in an a couple issues. Our entire team was focused on getting that catalog, and that catalog alone, ready to go to press and 100% signed off on. As soon as changes came in from the vendors featured in their pages, I would forward it to our art director or retoucher, and then trot down the aisle to follow up and either explain or oversee the changes. Once made, I would make a pdf and whip it right back to the marketing person on the other side, all the while answering e-mails, making phone calls, and occasionally checking my own personal e-mail to see how the ongoing "conversation" between myself and some friends planning a Murder Mystery Dinner night was going.

I still don't have approval on a few pages from different vendors whose merchandise is featured in the retailer's catalog, so I a have to send urgent e-mails, and make last minute phone calls, and sic my boss on the non-responsive ones!

I had 5 companies I was working on getting copy and approvals from today. I got copy from 4, and approvals from 3, and I should see the final fruit of my labor in the morning, when the Advertising & Marketing director of a Big Company has promised to have an approval of the layout and copy waiting for me from their Merchandising department.

So, tomorrow at noon we send the files to the printer. They will burn the plates, load the presses, and get that baby off to the mailing house ASAP, and I will desperately wish for some down time to relax, but will instead IMMEDIATELY begin working just as hard on the next one. Back to moving mountains. I have to admit, my adrenaline starts pumping hard a few hours before deadline. My mind clears, and my actions are all focused on that one task ahead of me: get the catalog approved. But once that file is off to the printer and out of our hands? I wilt. The adrenaline is gone. The fatigue sets in. Suddenly, I long for my bed and a good book.

Incidentally, the Murder Mystery Dinner night is going to be fantastic. Now that we've all rehashed the stories the last time we did one, I'm psyched to find out who my character is and plan my costume and have a blast.

I might even post pictures!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Red Wrists

I showed a coworker my red ink-bespeckled arms from where I have rested on my To-Do list and the pages I'm correcting. Hazard of the job, I guess. I've had spots there for 2-3 days now, and simply cannot get them out. They look suspicious—at first glance, it could be taken as blood spots on my wrists.

She just laughed. "No! Don't do it!" she said in mock horror. "It isn't worth it! It's just a catalog!"

Yeah, but there's 98 more ... and less than 60 days ...


Monday, October 01, 2007

How I Spent My Sunday Afternoon

Cake decorating can be frustrating, but ultimately very rewarding ...

The Escape

This is what I drove while my car was getting fixed.

I'm not a huge Ford fan, or that much of an SUV fan, for that matter ... but, let me tell you, this baby was fun to drive! I actually miss it!