Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Okay, so it's skim milk and a limited supply of honey, but still!
So, the wacky week continues. I just doubled my income.
Well, one of the guys' Dads has his own biz. He wants a new marketing person.
And so it goes, another gig!
I am still (cleverly, ha!) on Unemployment.
And this means that if I get a third one of these gigs, I will have to hold my hand out more, as I'm at the limit of what Unemployment will let me make before they start to take out from the weekly check.
But -- still!
I need to write up a contract (I now, ha, have a standard one) and all.
I have passwords. I will blog, I will tweet. I will work on the guy's website (he does home energy audits in Central Mass -- need to see if you need a new furnace? I got a guy for ya).
Eek, I actually am getting, I dunno, what's it called? Oh yeah. Business.
I need to get better organized. I have a bunch of stuff organized, but it's not as good as it could be and that always troubles me. Plus, that tends to take up my time, finding stuff and seeing piles. Piles unnerve me. I want neat files.
That's a minor quibble but it's still important to me.
Oh yeah, TED.
I have blogged twice about it for work. I don't want to repeat everything -- the blog entries are huge, it's like the online versions of Anna Karenina and War and Peace. Our event is mentioned here: neuronrobotics.com/2010/07/re
view-of-our-tedxboston-pre-adventure/ and the TED Main Event is reviewed here: neuronrobotics.com/2010/08/a-
That's not a not so clever means of directing you to the company site. Rather, it's just me being incredibly tired, still. But I'll sum it up quickly in case you don't want to click and read the novels.
Our event was great. I was harried. Let's face it, I was loaded with work, and I was (along with the Prez and VP) shouldering the lion's share of the socializing. Everyone else was okay with demos but they terrified me as I still don't know enough. I can answer very, very basic questions. Then I freeze. And for good reason. I'm just not informed enough, and I truly wish I was.
So I busied myself with greeting people, handing out business cards and brochures, and whisking away empty pizza boxes. I wiped off counter tops and opened boxes of soda. I tweeted when I could. I smiled at everyone and thanked them for coming. And after it was all done, I took on my alter-ego, the mantle of the superhero I like to call "Politeness Girl".
Politeness Girl sends out thank you notes. She follows up. She puts people on the mailing list, which trebled in size in the last few days. She directs them to the Facebook page and the Twitter stream. She is cleverly disguised as Emily Post half the time.
She also came out after the TED Main Event. The Main Event was enormous and it's a good thing I took notes as it was one idea flying in upon the heels of the last 47. Plus everyone talking in my ear about this and that and the other thing. Names were dropped. One of those names was Michelle.
As in, oh, the First Lady.
Yeah, heh, who knows if any of that will ever happen but it was mentioned -- science education, Michelle's very interested.
The. First. Freakin'. Lady.
I can pour tea nicely, or at least Politeness Girl can.
But be that as it may, I/we also learned (ha!) there are robotics fans.
As in, teenaged girls.
Now, keep in mind that I work with guys who are between the ages of 22 and 27. They are all single. They all have serious, major geek cred. And three out of four have serious girlfriends. But no matter.
The tween crowd LOVE 'em.
We handed out the last of the swag. There was much rejoicing on the part of our tween friends. Not Beatlemania-type swooning and squealing, but still!
I have never worked for a company before that had fans.
Today's blog song, by the way, is actually a reminder to myself: although I weigh less (for the most part), I am less toned than I was 10 lbs. ago. I am creeping up a size, to a 12 and perhaps back to a 14. Not awful, but it could be better, certainly.
I need to balance things better. I need to get in cardio (I have been getting in strength training faithfully, but the large amounts of cardio have suffered -- it takes 4 - 5 days to hit a new cardio milestone; it used to take only 3) more. I need -- desperately -- to get enough sleep.
I dunno how I'm going to do it, between my 2 gigs, looking for work (still required by the Department of Employment & Training, of course) and my life as Politeness Girl.
By the way, Politeness Girl drives a sensible superhero vehicle and always signals her turns.
I am ...
Monday, July 26, 2010
I remember this week's song well, but apparently it's pretty obscure. Hmm, I had thought that Stevie Wonder and obscure couldn't possibly be thought of in the same sentence.
So. Tomorrow is our big, honkin' TEDxBoston event. I am excited and a little nervous. I am perfectly fine talking to large crowds but that confidence stems from knowing my material and I wish I knew the material better. We are going to work on the whole thing tonight, and during today I am going to read the manual (RTFM) again. And I will blog. And write the company newsletter. And set up catering. And a billion other things, too.
Everyone has gotten into the act, which is truly fun to see. I was at the Worcester Lab on Wednesday and one of the guys' girlfriends was putting together robotic arms. Well, actually, she was filing down rough edges. So another girlfriend, and I, started to help her. These were plastic edges that were a bit uneven because the laser cutter (yes, we use one of those) was a tad dirty. It's the three of us, sitting there, filing away, when one girlfriend asks the other: do you have a heavier file? Sure, she says, and pulls out a thin file. From the back of her hairdo.
It was sort of like some wacky steampunk idea of cottage industry. I half expected someone to hand me a loom and tell me to start weaving. The guys, on the other hand, were talking about the production run, talking about the brochures we're going to hand out, etc. I flitted between the two groups.
My husband has even helped out -- he is an AutoCADD Designer and we needed a blueprint, so he spent four hours this weekend (he did not mind -- he is one truly awesome fellow) drawing a basic house plan.
But it's been a lot of driving (round-trip, Worcester is 3 hours) and so, naturally, this is all dominating my life. I am okay with it being that dominant -- it should be! But I am not the Spring chicken I keep telling myself I am. Copious naps and cups of coffee, interspersed, have helped tremendously.
I also had a phone screen last week, for the company that's courting me. I passed and now it's on to ... another phone screen. In a way, that's good, as I just don't have the time to deal right now. This week is taken over, with the before, the during and the after.
Oh and I am flirting (although I gained about a half a pound this week -- blame TOM, there's another thing for me to be dealing with right now) with 173.
Why is the mark of 173 lbs. so important?
Because that's half of what I originally weighed.
Yep, really. I don't know if it will happen this week -- I will try to keep the eating good but it just might not happen. I will forgive myself if it is imperfect. C'est la vie. But it is definitely within reach, which is rather exciting. My current minigoal is 170 but that's not the ultimate goal, which remains 146. But hitting 173, perhaps in mid-August, would be awfully sweet. Thank you -- ALL of you -- for everything you've done to get me to where I am today. I truly appreciate it.
One last thing -- if you want to see me in action tomorrow, we are actually webcasting. We're all wearing company shirts (and the gals are all wearing black skirts), but I am unmistakable as I'm the only blonde.
I am ready for my close up now. neuronrobotics.com/2010/07/beyond-ro
Monday, July 19, 2010
Before I go any further in this blog entry, I've just gotta say, check out the video. Paul Weller is one hot ticket. My oh my.
Now that I've gotten THAT out of the way, here comes the actual blog entry:
I had a somewhat up and down week and that is going to be pretty much the way things are for the remainder of the month so please bear with me. On Tuesday, my company heard that we have been selected to present a pre-adventure for TEDxBoston ( neuronrobotics.com/2010/07/tedxbosto
n/ ). This is an ENORMOUS deal -- it is the kind of thing that careers are made on.
So, we are busy. Because I am the only non-technical employee, I get to do all the grunt work: invitations, Tweets, blog entries, order catering, figure out other things we need (magic markers, name tags, etc.), promote, send out thank yous, etc.
We are in good shape but it is generally because I worked like a dog for the last four days of last week. Invitations are done, Tweets are done and scheduled and almost all of the blog entries have been written. Most of the stuff has been bought. Today I've got to call catering. Catering is tricky as I don't have a head count yet, and I know that people will come in at the last minute. There's limited space in the pre-adventures so I can see more interest being generated if the -- ahem -- helicopter ride over Boston or the BSO, um, thing get filled up. At least I think there's a BSO activity. It's all been blurring together for quite a while now.
As for the talk, that is not my department but we will do a rehearsal on Wednesday evening so somehow this will be all worked out, I'm sure. I don't mind speaking in front of crowds but I need something to say. I suspect I will work the front table and maybe introduce the guys, then get out of everyone's way.
Which is fine.
In the meantime, over the weekend, my husband and I ran a 5K.
Oh. My. God.
Hotter than Hades. Slow. Grinding. Dirty.
My second-worst time. Ever.
Did not faint, did not feel like it, but I know my face was red and hot, which is the sign right before feeling faint. Yes, I had a ton of water with me. Didn't matter.
We drank and drank afterwards. There were pretzels there -- I totally did not even count them. Just grabbed, had to have the salt.
I am okay today but I have inner thigh (groin?) pain on both sides. I get this after running and hate it. I will need to get my act in gear in terms of some strength training for that area at some point. I understand that races give me pain the following day, and I accept that, but it's been a few days and it should be done now, so that is telling me I need to strength train more.
Plus -- and I'm not sure how I did this, although it may have been that I whacked my hand on a water bottle -- my left thumb has a lovely bump and pain. Some sort of jamming, I suppose.
This week, no race, just the rehearsal but before that I have a marketing thing and, in between, as the meat in the sandwich, I've got the phone screen with the place that is courting me.
Life is whizzing by and getting more and more confused. Good things are, for the most part, happening. I just wish I was more conscious of them.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I write almost every day these days. And if I don't, I read, about the Internet, about Social Media, about whatever I think will help me with work.
It sounds like homework.
It sounds like school.
It sounds like ... work.
But it's not, it's fun. It hasn't been a slog, at least not, so far. Instead, it's been more like, isn't that interesting, or, I knew that, but it's good to see it confirmed. Or, wow, cutting edge!
So, I am having fun. I've stepped back from all of the appearances in order to make it easier to accomplish all of this reading and writing. Plus, I really went over on hours last month. That cannot continue, so it's best for me to hold back.
And -- don't tell anyone -- but we're working on a big promotional event kinda, er, thingie.
So I'm working on that.
Read, write, work. Yep.
That's what I do.
Oh and work out and stuff. I am here on Spark for a reason, dontcha know.
But the lion's share of my time is devoted to the big three of reading, writing and working (that third one includes things like web design). But --
If you must return it, you can send it here.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Man, oh man, it's hot in here.
And my boss is coming over tomorrow to work, after his, er, day job. We'll probably stay in this room, the computer room, as it has an air conditioner in the window. No other windows have a/c in them, at least not right now.
It is a hot and dusty business to put the a/c unit in so I don't blame Mr. J for not doing more than one. That's fine. So far, we've been able to sleep at night. So, no worries. I do, though, wonder how the three of us will have dinner tomorrow night if we end up staying in here. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. It's not like da boss's apartment is going to be significantly cooler.
Oof. I am usually cold, so if even I am hot, it means it's pretty bad. It's 91 according to Weather Bug.
So -- there is more to tell. I am being courted by a company which does Community Management as their main focus.
What? You ask. Don't you already have a job, jes?
Why yes, yes I do. And I am happy with it.
But it is a startup.
Hence if I want to make any $$ -- at least for a while -- I need to cultivate my own day job. My pals do want to hire me (yay!) but the timing is off. It'll get there. It's just not there quite yet.
Hence I need to continue looking.
Plus I need to continue looking in order to satisfying the Commonwealth, which is still graciously paying me Unemployment.
I need to call them tomorrow and assure them that, yes, I am actually still unemployed (or rather underemployed). I am nervous about this, don't want to upset the delicate balance.
Oof, not fun, and the heat is making me feel bad which is making everything else loom larger. I recognize that it is going to be okay but, eh, I do not enjoy dealing with bureaucracy.
This is also why I want to stay with my pals. There is no bureaucracy. Or, rather, I suppose, we are it. So we can make it anything we want, as small or as large as necessary. Small, very small. That'll work for me.
In the meantime, workouts are still somewhat sparse but they are happening. Every morning is weight training and resistance bands, the question is whether anything else happens. Sometimes things don't happen because I have events and whatnot and it's too much of a rigamarole to shower and get all dolled up again afterwards. This is one major goal for July, to go to fewer events and focus them far better. Right now, aside from meeting the gal with the Community Management company, I am looking at 8 events plus a hair appointment and a 5K this month. I may sign up for one or two more events but that'll do me, I think.
Long as there's air conditioning.
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