Archive | July 2013

Not eating bonbons

I know those of you working from home (or outside the home) are all going to laugh at me.  We told you so, girl!  I just got a whole bunch of transcribing work from a client.  Basically, a 2 hour consumer research video takes about 3-4 hours to transcribe (I type everything people say – not 100% like a court stenographer, but as well as I can without the ahem, umms, and change your mind in the middle of a thought speech).  I’ve done about 13 of them so far.  This means it has taken me about 39 hours over the course of 10 days. Nights and weekends. I have a kid to shock and awe during the day, a dog to walk, auditions, try to arrange a play reading, attend Buddhist meetings, etc.  I have even brought my child over to a friend’s for a play date (30 min. drive away) and worked upstairs for 90 minutes until she had to leave.  I took one night off. And this week, I am working 3 nights doing more live notetaking, so unless I have some daylight hours, I won’t be able to finish the project before we go to the in-laws this weekend.  And oh, yeah, I’ve got another client. 

Good part about all of this is I rather like being terribly busy and I’m making a ton of money in a short period of time. 

Now my question is this – how the heck do you working women get anything done WITHOUT BEING CONSTANTLY INTERRUPTED!?! And in particular those who work from home?!  I consider myself lucky if I get to have private bathroom time.   Hey, I’m not saying I didn’t take breaks of my own to eat or play ….spider solitaire or Candy Crush saga…or even a well deserved 30 minute break to watch part of an episode about a former scientologist on Brainwashed  – riveting!!!! … cause if I was working in an office, I’d get lunch or pee breaks, right? I’m pretty tired from a full day of mothering, driving to and fro and yes, making dinner, so I’m just about fried with working after the kidlet goes down and I can only get one  video done then or I’m up til 3am and that’s not going to happen. Hubby walks through the kitchen and starts talking to me despite me being plugged in and concentrating, the kid wants something, and can only be distracted with 18 minutes episodes of Spiderman and even the dog gets in the act by coming over and staring at me in that way that only a dog can do.

Bad part is – who the heck has time for laundry, vacuuming, grocery shopping, errand running, and calling people?  Apparently, I still do. 

This is a bit of an introduction for me in the fall when I attempt to bring in more work for myself.  It’s solitary, dull work but I make incredible money doing it and I’ll be able to afford a regular babysitter instead of relying on my friends’ generosity.  It seems though that unless you are physically absent and unreachable, people and dogs don’t respect the fact that you’re BUSY. 

Yes, I did interview a 13 year old babysitter but she’s doing summer school til August!  That doesn’t really help me out at the moment, but it gives me hope we’ll get back those date nights people keep telling us we need.  And yes, I’m calling someone else today who is older and can actually drive herself home. 

I suppose it’s not much different for those women working f/t and then come home to do more work .And no, I’m not complaining hubby doesn’t do anything around the house, he certainly does, but I also notice that he also has a point in which he STOPS doing stuff. He falls asleep in bed  or on the couch and I still get up after finishing work and make sure the door is locked, tidy the plates that are still left around and let the dog out for a night pee. 

Oh, and guess what, I got another gig!  Low budget deal but it’s all good to me – and let’s face it – it’s a DAY OFF!

I’d also like to take this space to officially apologize to my mother who worked all day, came home, made dinner, did laundry, ironing  and had the audacity to wake me up by vacuuming early in the morning.  I was useless to you mum and I’m soooooo sorry. 

Procrastinating

Remember when summer meant just relaxing and doing fun things?  Yep, that was when you were a kid and your parents had to work to pay for everything.  I could say I was bored and ride my bike with my friends out to some far off convenience store to enjoy an grape Lola.  In a valiant effort to cherish my vacation memories instead of thinking about all the things I have to get done in the next little while, I’ve been trying to stay as relaxed as I was when I lay on a lounger after my massage and watched hubby and kid in the ocean and just exhaled.  Okay, that’s not working.

I presently have 12 hours of transcribing to do, with more to follow, out of town friends to see, arrange a play reading though I haven’t had time to get to the downtown library to get the play and can’t even get it in this neighbourhood, the person who was hosting has cancelled, did I mention I haven’t READ the play, cast it, and then I have a Buddhist meeting tonight (can’t skip this one, I have to lead a song!) and no I haven’t seen my mum yet, I have a callback this morning, play date in the afternoon (did I mention I don’t really KNOW the song that well), I inadvertently offended a fellow Buddhist and tried to call her so I can speak to her but she hasn’t called me back, and I have another friend who thinks I’ve been trying to avoid her for 2 yrs even though she ONLY  contacts me via Facebook which is a horrible way to get a hold of me much less make arrangements to visit  (pick up the damn phone!). This is just life, really, not problems, but seriously, I REFUSE to have a meaningful conversation via email, Facebook or text unless you are OUT OF TOWN or DIFFERENT TIME ZONE.  I love making connections, walking, having coffee with people but when you are a stay at home mum, and your friends have demanding full time jobs and I have my child during the day, you don’t get to talk very often and at night, I rarely talk with anyone (cause I’m too tired or I’m working) and last time I looked I was in charge of cleaning, laundry, childcare, walking the dog, grocery shopping and cooking most meals.  I’d like to add getting your preschooler to eat anything other than snacks as one of the biggest time sucks in history.  Maybe I should hold a party and then you can’t really talk to any one person for long because you are busy entertaining. So if anyone has any suggestions on how I might handle this better, please let me know. And no, hubby does not want to hang out with her spouse.

I actually like being busy, but I hate the thought of letting people down, dropping one of the juggling balls in the air.  Nam myo ho renge kyo, breathing in the capacity to sail through this when all I want to do is go back to the beach.

Vacation talk

CIMG1216We’ve never stayed at an all inclusive but it’s perfect for families with young kids.   But Mexico is not place you go wandering about looking for adventure.  Playa del Carmen seems pretty tame, but I can’t honestly say I saw much of it.  So I had to find ways to amuse myself.  One of those ways for me is bargaining.  Or trying to get a perk you haven’t actually paid for. Did I ever tell you I’m one of those people who send away for freebies? Oh yes in the wee hours of the night I’m dreaming of free razors and skin creams in the mail.

Hubby mentioned to the manager at check-in that our friends had stayed there twice and that’s why we came. We didn’t actually pay to upgrade our stay because with a small child it’s not like we would have really used any of the extra amenities (i.e. special cabanas to relax in on the beach, air conditioned bars with premium liquor).   I would prefer to splurge on a massage instead of perks I won’t use.  Yet our junior suite was  suddenly transferred to the “adult only”  gold section even though we only had lowly blue wristbands.  Usually I’d be impressed with the marble floor and glass doors in the bathroom but I have an active 3 yr old who loves to jump and run and you know where my mind went.  Hazard city! He had a minor spill as he ran out of the bathroom with wet feet and that was enough to teach him that mummy is not so crazy for telling him to dry his feet.

I have to say that when hubby travels, he has a way of connecting with people, particularly men.  But if I had mentioned it was my birthday, the manager he was chumming up would have thrown in a perk or two. I could barely get in a word they were chatting so much.  Man talk, you know. He has a lot to learn.  And if you haven’t noticed, in certain countries, the locals always defer to the men first.  I have money in my wallet and can buy whatever I want, but they always look at the guy when discussing money.

It’s something we always use to our advantage.  It comes in handy when you enter a marketplace where bargaining is common.  I like bargaining for things, it’s kind of fun and we really developed a system when we visited Bali many years ago.  I go in with the soft, sweet approach, never actually touching anything lest I be cornered into starting to bargain for it.  Never browse without the intention to buy something.  It’s such a hassle to say no to people who are depending on tourists for their livelihood.  I start with something I don’t like.  For example, I don’t care for knicknacks, but I do like silver jewellery.  And I also know how much I’m willing to lose if something is fake or a turns my wrist green.  Unless you’re buying from a reputable dealer, the 925 symbol on silver doesn’t guarantee quality. We stopped at a cart.  I pick up something I don’t really want or like that much.  For someone else.  Just browsing, really.  And then see how the bargaining goes.  And then I chat about the weather or what lovely things they carry.  Then while holding up said undesired piece I ask about something closer to what I really want, ever so casually. The one that’s definitely more expensive.  (I have no idea if I’m actually fooling anyone.)  They’ll throw in a significant discount if you buy more than one item.  Also, they think that if you get away you will buy the same or similar item further into the marketplace if you visit another shop or stall.   If it’s not satisfactory, I say I’ll come back later, which then is hubby’s cue to move away and since the vendor assumes he has the buying power decision, they go after him and then we finally get to the bottom price.  But don’t insult people with absurdly low counter offers, in fact, I rarely mention a price unless it’s the limit of what I’ll pay.  Insulting people just pisses them off and you walk away with nothing.  Everyone has their own pride to consider.

I only did this for a silver bracelet as it was the only thing I really liked and wanted for my birthday.  I got it for $50 which is what I spend at Starbucks in 5 weeks, though he started at $150 and no, it hasn’t turned my wrist green yet. I bought souvenirs later for friends in a one stop shop just for speed’s sake while hubs was at the beach with the kid, but frankly, there was nothing there you can’t get here for the same or cheaper price in Canadian (except tequila).

I also spoke Spanish (really badly of course) but people always seem to appreciate the effort.  And Boo was pretty good at saying Ola and Gracias. He was disappointed to not see Dora the Explorer.   Or Diego for that matter. I told him they were visiting another town.

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Hola!

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Well, I’m back from my lovely holiday.  It was just wonderful and it did us all a world of good.  It was sooooo nice to not have to think about what to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner, never mind not having to make it or decide what to have. (That chocolate cake by the way, was the worst thing I have ever tasted, but it’s the thought, right? The strawberry tequila shooter made it much better) It was our first time staying at an all inclusive – and I have to say that with a 3 1/2 yr old – it was the right choice.  We put Boo in kids club and we then had a luxurious  couple of hours to sit and talk and drink.  We would have had more time if we had bothered to get up early and go for breakfast, but we never did.  The best part about being on holiday is sleeping in and taking your time.   There were activities in the evening that we all could enjoy (as loas he had a nap) and though we didn’t stay up late, we were quite tired at the end of a hot, humid day by the pool. I enjoyed 2 fabulous massages and a pedicure at the spa.  Hell, you’re only 50 once!  Amazing!  I can’t remember when my back didn’t hurt for that long.

And lo and behold, we actually used a sitter.  This is a rare occurrence with us. At home, it seems a little ridiculous to pay someone $50 and then go out for dinner and a movie – it ends up being a very expensive 4 hours out.  Hubby talked to another fellow at the pool who was just as paranoid as he is about babysitters and the guy reassured him. He was so relieved that I thought he would cry.   We hired a girl from the kids club and she came by so we could go out and celebrate my birthday in town.  Well, actually, the day of my birthday they were all busy, so we stayed at the resort, but the next night, we went into the town of Playa del Carmen for a great Mexican meal.  Don’t ask me what it was, but it was kind of like fajitas, but not.  We had steak cooked in a hot stone bowl with fresh cheese, and prickly pear, and other things and it was AMAZING! The sauce was amazing!  So good.  And a nice big fat Margarita with no SLUSH in it.    Nothing like the faux crap Mexican food you get here.  I never even eat Mexican food in a restaurant anymore because I am so sick of the cheese, ground beef and bean filled concoctions that are everywhere.  So this was a nice change.  We also had a long over due conversation.  Heated, intense, but long overdue.  Ultimately, we cleared the air and decided to choose to work on our marriage. To be grateful for all we have instead of what we don’t.  It feels good to look in his eyes and see that look, the softness around his eyes. For me.  Not just for our kid but for me.  The vulnerability instead of the anger and impatience.  He melted when I gave him his father’s day card.  I was taken aback honestly.  It had been so long that I had seen that side of him.  I almost believed it was unreachable.  CIMG1214CIMG1254