Friday Link Roundup

August 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

Okay so I might have a problem. I am completely and utterly addicted to blogs. And NPR. And pretty much any and all venues of interesting tidbits possible in our modern world.  But I mean, it’s all so interesting!  The running jokes of my life are the phrases “I heard on NPR the other day…” and “according to [blogger I have never met but consider a close personal friend]…”

So in the interest of putting my energies to a good cause, A) actually blogging regularly (what!) and B) maybe giving my facebook newsfeed a break (who are we kidding), I’m starting a new weekly link roundup, of all the stuff that was just super awesome that I found in my travels. And by travels I mean smartphone.

So here we go!

The NPR Planet Money Team strikes again with a fantastic and informative graphic about how the poor (me), the middle class (me + a couple years), and the rich (me + the lottery) spend their money.

One of my personal heroes*, Meg Keene, talks on A Practical Wedding about balancing making art with making a living.  Meg on Art and Commerce

As a (somewhat neurotic) person who has a tendency to not reach out to people who are hurting because I’m afraid of hurting them more with my words, this post on Any Other Woman was a bit of a wake up call.  Simple Acts of Kindness

Fashionista discusses the new scoring system that rates fashion companies on their sustainability. Slowly but surely, the fashion world is starting to evolve.

My darling dear friend, Z, on the fact that, hellz yeah, we are the masters of our own fate. THIS IS A REAL FRIEND PEOPLE I HAVE REAL FRIENDS

*sorry Meg, you’re not my only hero, but you are one of them. Let’s just say you show up fairly often on my Facebook page, and leave it at that**

**my God I am such a creep

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Back Again

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Oh hey, remember me? No? Ok, yeah, I get that.

So hi.  On Sunday afternoon, around 7pm, I stepped off the roller coaster that has been my life since April, and took a moment to look around. Colors were brighter, sounds were clearer, the air felt still.  I had not only survived the summer of insanity, but I had done well. I felt like I had gotten away with something.

On May 2, the date of my last entry, I had no idea that I was about to get a call that would set in motion the frenetic, creative, explosive pace of the summer.  On May 3 I went on a day trip to New York with the sewing design studio, on May 4 my temp job was very abruptly ended, and on May 5 I went to my best friend’s birthday party for a couple hours before I drove through the night to get to the Jersey Shore, where I spent the next month working 12-17 hour days shooting a feature, then on the way home an extra couple of days in Philly shooting a pilot. And then I was home,  back at the studio, and barreling straight into designing three more projects: wigs for an opera, and costumes for two Fringe shows. And then the opera ended just in time for me to design and crew wigs and makeup for a second opera, finish the Fringe shows, sleep very very little, and… then… it was Sunday, 7/22, at 7pm, and I was done.  Not a one of these projects did I get more than a couple weeks (some a couple days) before go time, and not a one of them do I regret.  This summer I was stretched artistically, emotionally, and physically, and I feel like I’m finally getting in running shape.

Next month will be my one year anniversary of quitting my job and attempting for the second time to be a full time artist.  As of today I have not had to seek out or take a non-industry job in three months.  Knock-on-keyboard, I’m hoping I won’t have to take any in the near future.

This year my birthday was spent in New Jersey with strangers who were soon to become friends, throwing me a (rockin’ if I do say so myself) party after a 17 hour workday.  According to my director, working on your birthday is good luck because it means you’ll get work all year, and so far he wasn’t wrong.  I am 26 years old, I am engaged to my best friend*, I am working full time** as an artist, and I can pay my bills.  For being the year that I hit rock bottom financially and decided to get all my ish together, one thing at a time, I feel like 2012 has been pretty good to me so far.

Now if I could just get ahold of some health insurance, I would be A-Okay.

*who, as it happens, is just as crazy busy as me so who will actually plan this wedding is anyone’s guess

**plus overtime, if artists got things like overtime

Oh Also PS

April 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

The five jobs I currently hold are:

– Reservation line lady for the B&B

– Assistant and social media awesomeness for the Sewing & Design Studio

– Assistant on one, and Lead Stylist for another, opera at my alma mater

– House Manager at the theater

– Temp worker extraordinaire

You may notice a certain heinous job missing. It is, and I’m not sad about it. That’s all there really is to say about that. I mean other than that abusive companies run by heinous and/or shady people seem to be flourishing in this recession, and I hope they all get their come-uppance when the economy gets better. I’m talking mass exodus, peace out cub scout.  People deserve to work to live, not live to work. (Oh hey whoops here’s an awesome article about just that.)

I think my temp job may be ending soon, which is scary, since it’s my main source of income.  But thanks to my amazing and wonderful dear friend/financial advisor (with big ups to the future hubs), I won’t die by the side of the road when this happens.  This is MAJOR NEWS. Because I am REALLY BAD WITH MONEY, Y’ALL.

So I mean, yay for small victories.

Hi, No, I’m Not Back

April 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

Newsflash: Having five jobs sucks.

Ummm but to be clear: not as much as not having any jobs. And not as much as having one job that makes you come home at lunch and cry. Both of which were true for me within the past eight months. So there’s that.

I’m taking a swift break from being productive (?*) to not promise you anything, because when it comes to blogging I can be like the deadbeat dad I never had, all broken promises and no cards on your birthday.  In the mean time, here is a pictoral representation of some awesome things that are NOT job related…

celebrating Holi

Annapolis

New York

cherry blossoms

Aaand here are some that are.

the studio

a burgeoning arts district

my makeup station

Work pants are still the worst, though.

*I’m currently forcing myself, kicking and screaming, to actually sit down and apply for scholarships. Asking for free money should not be this hard, y’all. It just should not. But hey man, needing five jobs sucks.

Week 2 of Too Many Jobs: Update

February 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Hello my lovelies. We have officially begun week two of too many jobs, and thus far this is what I can surmise:

LIKES

  • working within my skillset and feeling awesome about it
  • remembering how much I like to mess around with graphics and code (what’s that, blog? you need a design? WELL GET IN LINE)
  • having a reason to get up early
  • gettin’ paid
DISLIKES
  • work pants
  • being set up to fail by a boss (only one though) who thinks he or she hired me for something completely different than what I said yes to
  • getting up early
  • not gettin’ paid

So yes. I am having some trouble with one of my jobs.  Enough trouble to actually leave said job and pursue another? Perhaps. I’ll let you know on pay day. It is currently of my opinion that the way employees are treated in this particular establishment is clashing against my high self esteem and sense of self worth in regards to the quality of work I do.  I have absolutely no desire to be upwardly mobile within this specific sect of work society, but that doesn’t stop me from being frustrated when I am not allowed to do well because I have a lack of materials, training, and previous knowledge and made no claims to have as such. Anyway that’s all the bitching I’ll do tonight. It is nice to only have two days of a crappy job, rather than five, and to not have all my eggs in said crappy job’s basket. It’s quite freeing, actually. Especially when my other twenty jobs are pretty much the bomb diggity.

Also, is there an excess of two-day-a-week tech writery/graphic designery jobs on the market or have I just been lucky? Ooor am I just lucky that I’m the only person in the world who actually prefers two-day-a-week desk jobs?

Also: OMG I HATE WORK PANTS. I had forgotten. But now I remember. Oh, how I remember.

Conflict of Interests

January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m not generally the kind of person who regrets.

This is not to say I don’t do and say regrettable things, but as a general rule my regrets tend to do with people I have interacted with, rather than life decisions I have made for myself. When it comes to my personal road more-or-less traveled, I always seem to find just as many irreplaceable experiences, lessons, and relationships that occurred because of what I chose as what I might have chosen. That said, I seem to have drawn myself to a fork in the ole life-road. I mentioned that I’ve been accepted at my dream-with-an-asterisk-cause-y’all-know-how-I-roll school, which also happens to reside across the country and be SUPER expensive. I’ve mentioned that I’m perpetually broke no matter what, and that I hate it. I may not have mentioned but you can probably surmise that I still kind of want to keep my education options open, because as much as I love Southern California and salivate at the idea of being back in a classroom, 12-23 months is a long time to leave my life, career, and loved ones.

The hardest part about this decision is, oddly, that I am confident that I will be happy no matter what. Like I said, I don’t generally spend a lot of time regretting*. If I go to L.A., I’ll be warm year-round, get to hang out with my brother and friends from middle school, meet awesome new people, and learn amazing things about my craft from a school that makes a habit of throwing you directly into the business. If I go to New York, I’ll be able to cross “lived in New York” off my life list, get to hang out with friends from high school, college, and the film I just finished, be only a 4 hour bus ride from Mr. B, make awesome new friends, and learn amazing things about my craft**. If I stay in DC, I’ll get to continue to live with Mr. B, hang out with my best friends in the world so who needs new friends, be close to my parents, and establish myself as a designer and a business. Not to mention the fact that DC is the only place of the three that has an actual owner of a design company who wants to hand her business over to me. The question there is whether going to school will help or hurt this endeavor.

So yeah there’s that. And so I’ve decided, in true B style, that I’m just going to work my ass off and let the cards fall where they may. I have landed three weekly part time jobs since I started this blog post over a week ago***, and I’m doing pretty well (IF-I-do-say-so-myself) at scheduling them properly so I don’t get all crazy and lose track of everything and never get anything actually done like last time (and this time, as long as we’re being honest here.) Doing this film, blowing all my money in California****, and getting into school really changed my perspective. I’m ready to move to the next step, and no matter what that step is, the first step is getting my finances in order.

I’m tired of being broke, y’all. RENT is a lie… you can’t be an awesome artist with no money (and imagine the medication bills!). That’s what I’ve learned in the three years of recession since graduating. You can’t be an awesome artist with no money… but you also can’t be an awesome artist with no time. I have no regrets about quitting my terrible tech writing job, because I never would have gotten the film, and I never would have pursued school so doggedly, and I never would have had the awesome revelation I’m laying out to you now.

I need money, and I want to go to school, so at this moment in time I’m putting my head down and slamming through this business we call freelancing. I officially have an unofficial financial advisor, who, as a freelancer herself and also one of my best friends, I find exactly qualified to explain to my poor little artist brain what a CD is and why I should have one. (Also, what savings are, because let’s get something straight right now. I am awesome in many ways, but I do not do math, and I do not deal well with money.) I have exactly the right amount of regular freelancing work, and good amount of promise for sporatic-but-well-paying work, to really think I can do this without 1) running myself into the ground or 2) killing Mr. B’s soul.

I’ll actually stick to my 2011 statement of not taking work that can’t pay for itself (ie. no $200 paychecks for two months’ worth of work… if you don’t work in theater, I’m sorry to shock you. If you do work in theater, represent! We deserve to be paid what we’re worth*****.) No big vacations until after everything is all said and done and I know what will be happening this fall, and exponentially fewer slips of the cash here and there for dinner, drinks, and the like. You know, all the really clear, obvious stuff that you probably already knew and maybe even told me about but I just figured out.

Most important though, I need to figure out how to do symbols other than asterisks, because five in a row-plus-sneaking-some-parenthetical-statements-in is just too many.

*Unless you count being embarrassed that I said or did something ridiculous or uncalled for in front of other humans. In that case I spend a lot of time regretting.
**Also, fabric stores out the hoo-ha!
***I know, I know, and I’m sorry. But it’s just something that is going to happen a lot.
****Did I tell you that’s where I went? I went to California immediately after Christmas, which was immediately after the film wrapped, to be the MOH in a wedding, hang out with some awesome old friends, and then hang out with my awesome brother and interview at The School In Question before coming back broke, jobless, and without a plan.
*****I know most companies have to sacrifice and scrape by in the beginning, but I just can’t afford to spend money to work anymore. Also I have yet to ever be rehired by the same company for more money; all my best paying jobs have been my best paying jobs from the start, so now try to tell my I just have to pay my dues.

New Year New B. Or, Old B New Promises.

January 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well hello! Fancy meeting you here! I missed you; did you miss me?

The show is wrapped and I’m back from a whirlwind vacation on the west coast in which I got to visit old friends in my old town, participate in a wedding, hang out with my brother, and interview/get accepted to my dream* school. Since the insanity started before Halloween I don’t properly remember how my regular life went.

This amnesia is probably for the best though, because looking at my bank account I think I’ve probably been doing something wrong. I’m so over being broke, y’all. The school thing has really been an eye opener because if I don’t get scholarships I won’t be going, which wouldn’t be the end of the world but it wouldn’t be my favorite either.

So looking forward, I want to/have to get ahold of my money situation and fast. I want to/have to live healthier, which means my brain, body, soul, AND wallet need to have their act together. They need to exude calm confidence. They need to not be a hot mess. So there’s a new year’s goal if I ever saw one.

Looking backward, I want to do an overview of the year that flew by so fast I barely remember it. Take some time to actually examine my choices and see how I have arrived at the doorstep of 2012 broker, fatter, and more afraid of the future, but still somehow happier than this same time last year. So that’s something to look forward to.

Also, I officially hate blogging from my phone. This post took way too effing long because my phone thinks I wanted a period when I typed a space ALWAYS.

So here’s to a new year and learning new things: may they be only cool facts and never nuggets about technology that put hate in our hearts.

And may we blog more in the future and not peace out on our reader(s). Auld lang syne, etc.

*you must know by now that I have enough dreams and life plans to fill at least one moderately sized bathroom

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