Tag Archives: freelance

Junk, Junk, Junk

The other day at a studio job, the tech guy mentioned that my backpack looked heavy. I handed it to him so he could heft it and said, “It is a little heavy. Remember that I’m freelance. I don’t have an office, so I have to bring whatever I think I might need.” So I decided to conduct a scientific excavation of the backpack and discovered the following:

phone, camera, ti8ssues, appointment book, wallet, toothbrush, toothpaste, assorted pens (refills for red), nail clipper, scarf, granny glasses, water bottle, bankbook, comb name stamp, mints, keys, train pass, company ID, hand towel, eye drops, chapstick, data stick, ponytail holder, business cards and throat lozenges.
phone, camera, tissues, wallet, toothbrush, toothpaste, assorted pens (refills for red), nail clipper, scarf, granny glasses, water bottle, notebook, bankbook, appointment book, comb, name stamp, mints, keys, train pass, company ID, hand towel, eye drops, chapstick, data stick, ponytail holder, business cards and throat lozenges BUT no cigarettes, no lighters and no ashtrays

And that’s just the everyday collection. It doesn’t include my laptop or whatever specific junk may be required for that day’s job(s) and perhaps some gym wear tossed in for fun.

I think someone needs to feng shui my backpack. It probably wouldn’t hurt to take a swipe at my brain as well.

The Veg in All of Us

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s a temporary fruit and veggie stand across the street from the dojo. One never knows when or if it is going to appear, nor what they’re going to be selling. Some of it is domestic, but I’ve also seen grapes from California and dates from the Middle East, among other things.

The fellow who usually runs it is the friendly sort.

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAI once got some scrumptious strawberries and blackberries from him for one of my infamous tarts. And he often has blueberries. A few days ago, I got some teeny tomatoes, both red and yellow. Last week, he had some rather tasty looking mushrooms. I picked up a bag and said I thought I’d saute them in butter.

His head snapped up and a huge grin spread across his face. “That sounds really yummy!”

“Doesn’t it? Maybe some garlic and white wine, too.”

PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERAAs I started to walk away, he said, “Hey, Oneisan (big sister), add some of this at the end. That will taste good.” And he handed me a package of Italian parsley. And it was good. And I was charmed that he called me Oneisan. At my age, I’m more likely to get Obasan (auntie). Yuck.

It’s very cold today, and when I dropped by to see what he had, I asked if it isn’t difficult to be outside like that every day. He said that yes, it is, but he gets to talk to a lot of people and he likes that part. (Another huge grin.)

I can relate. As much as I love being freelance, it’s always feast or famine. Nothing happens for the longest time–if I’m home alone, I’m likely to spend the day in my sweats, never leaving the house, never speaking to anyone–then things get busy and it’s too much too fast and my groggy brain has trouble processing all of it.

The odd thing, though, is that it tends to work out. I had gobs of outside jobs in January, sometimes two or three a day. This week, my schedule is completely clear, next week I’ve got one meeting scheduled. But work I can do here at the computer, in my sweats, keeps coming in. Motivation to get it done is the biggest roadblock, and it was severely lacking today. A friend suggested that I go do something very Japanese that I have forgotten is exotic to people who don’t live here. So I got dressed, even went so far as to put on a bra, and went, alone, to the soba/udon shop where I ate curry udon, both things I had never done before. And it was good. And I came home and managed to finish the work I had to finish today.

So if I can focus, and remember to eat, and stay away from Candy Crush (and this cursed blog!), all will be well. (Huge grin.)

A Tough Week Tale

Gosh, what a week. Three days in a row I had to get up early, face the crowded trains, and go to work, where I am expected to be both pleasant and efficient. This is hard for me. I suppose if you have to do it every day, you get used to it. But my schedule is totally unpredictable. Every week is different.

I know what you’re thinking. “Awwww. Poor little freelancer. Some people do that every single day, you lazy Lima bean.”

Yeah, well, some people actually like morning. I’m not one of them, and never have been. Family lore holds it that mornings in my house went like this:

Mom goes into my brother’s room. Gentle kiss on the forehead. Angelic smile. “Good morning, mommy.”

Then she goes into my sister’s room. Another gentle kiss on the forehead. Another angelic smile. “Good morning, mommy.”

Then she stands in the doorway to my room, throws a shoe at me and yells, “Mouse! Get up!”

Apparently, it was dangerous to get any closer to my bed than that. I’m told I was a thrasher. I have no recollection of this, but even now, people who live with me know that it is unwise to speak to me before I’ve had my morning coffee.

It’s not like I’m a night person, either. I used to be, but these days I go to bed pretty early. Maybe I just don’t like being awake.

I do like being freelance, though, despite the uncertainty. I can’t imagine going to the same job day after day and doing the same thing over and over. I feel like I’ve created the career I’m pursuing, and I like the variety. I’ll never cure cancer or invent a better mousetrap, but I do good work, smile a lot, and always make my deadlines.

If anybody has any complaints about that, you’re welcome to lodge them, just not before 10:00 a.m. I can’t vouch for what may happen if you do. It is possible that the universe will implode, and I don’t want to be responsible for that kind of thing.