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February 26, 2015

It's Snowing Diamonds

This morning, the sun broke through the lingering clouds and shattered the rain of tiny snowflakes into diamond dust.

I love when that happens.

The R.C. is taking her second snow day this week today. It's not that we've gotten a lot of accumulation as much as, unusually for us, very wet snow, and the subzero temperatures mean a lot of ice on the roads.

Another storm is supposed to move in this afternoon.

These days, I'm playing with the slow cooker Santa brought me. Yesterday, I made corn chowder. Mmmm. (Although the recipe didn't call for it, I did put in a bit of chicken, for protein, and a tablespoon or so of bacon crumbles because--bacon. Mmmm.)

This is probably the most successful dish I've made so far. I've tried a couple of spaghetti sauce recipes but neither of those turned out to be anything special. They were--edible.

Not that it matters. Stepping on the scale a couple of weeks ago, I came to the painful realization that it's time and past time I started taking some of this excess weight back off. I'm down two pounds so far is all, but I'm working on it. 13 to go.

Hmmm. What else?

How about the work front?

Since I last rambled, I picked up a very annoying new agency. They handed me two tiny accounts--accounts previously mismanaged into oblivion, a fact they didn't disclose up front--and instantly started sucking up enough of my time (200+ email in 90 days!) to make it impossible for me to focus on anything else. Good grief.

At the end of January, I fired them.

They declined to depart.

Last week, they emailed that they had decided my work was sub-par and were leaving.


It's interesting how that happens--many clients refuse to be fired. Once I suggest to them (with more or less tact, depending on just how annoying they've been) that it's time for them to move on, many of them refuse to take the sledgehammer hint. And then, a short time later, just long enough to make it seem like they are acting independently, they announce their departure.

Me, mostly I don't care who gets to make the decision. If they want to feel like it's their choice, that's fine. As long as they go away, you know? But this one was sort of amusing because they sent me an email pointing out, in fake shock, that results were simply not what they were looking for.

My days are brighter when I wake up and realize that I won't be hearing from them any more. :)

I already had two other new accounts waiting in the wings but, on the down side, I launched the new initiatives last week and am now staring at them in concern--watching as nothing happens. This is a new experience for me. I build, I load, things happen. I can't quite figure out what's wrong, although I strongly suspect the clients' predictable demand for low costs. It's--a challenge.

Really, aside from work, all I do is play computer or Nintendo games, watch a bit of television, do some knitting or crocheting (a hobby I fall back on when I need to keep my hands too busy to eat with), go for daily walks, etc.

Quiet. Reasonably peaceful.

Not a bad life at all.


posted by AnneZook on 02.26.15 at 09:22 AM


I used to love looking at snow out the window when the sun was making it sparkle :) I did not, however, much like the cold that went with it.

This week (and next) is jam-packed with last minute planning for Escapade 25! Can you believe it's been going on for 25 years? You should throw some things in a suitcase and come!

posted by: Dail on 02.26.15 at 11:28 AM [permalink]

Sadly, travel isn't in my budget right now. :)

When I see the Escapade announcements, I get a twinge of nostalgia but a lot of it is for our little city by the ocean. A hotel at the LA airport is, forgive me, not as appealing.

I don't mind winter. You can always put a sweater on. (I don't like hot weather--there's a limit to how much you can take off!)

Have a great time at the con!

posted by: Anne on 02.26.15 at 08:33 PM [permalink]

I have to admit, I miss the beach and the sushi. I understand that it's easier to travel to the big city, I get that the old hotel Had Issues... *sigh* Oh well...

You have fun in your snow :)

posted by: Dail on 03.02.15 at 03:32 PM [permalink]

We've been having lots of drama: the good kind, though, on stages and all. We saw a HS Guys and Dolls, a one-man An Iliad, Sarah Ruel's Eurydice, and we almost saw a HS Antigone, but snow killed the matinee.

For spring break we're taking the not-so-little one to his first Comic con, then visiting the Lincoln sites in Illinois.

Firing clients reminds me of dropping students: I won't do it on my own (too many "but I need this course, and I'll start improving/trying/showing up" discussions), but I do try to make the issues clear to them.

I love slow cookers. We've recently gotten into steel-cut oats, which make excellent overnight porridge.

posted by: Jonathan Dresner on 03.02.15 at 06:15 PM [permalink]

Dail - I will have fun in my snow. :)

The beach, the sushi, the pretty, little town--in my mind, the con is inextricably wound up in those things.

(If the hotel had issues, I wasn't aware of it. I never noticed!)

posted by: Anne on 03.03.15 at 03:00 PM [permalink]

Jonathan -

Okay, I think you win for "eventful" and "fun" activities!

Me, I'm pretty much in winter hibernation mode at the moment, no no "events" to report. February is usually gorgeous in Denver but we have had some unusually wet (icy) snows and much less than our usual sunshine, which means the ice doesn't disappear in 24 hours. (Now that I work from home, I'm finding more and more than I'm reluctant to drive if I don't have to.)

As far as firing people goes, your situation is a lot different, of course. A student who realizes they're in danger of torpedoing their own future *can* straighten up and behave.

For me, the issues are almost always around things that can't be fixed--or that the client simply isn't willing to even consider. So I take the initiative and fire them, instead of letting the relationship drag on and stress us all out for months on end.

I found an recipe for slow cooker French onion soup--you start by caramelizing the onions in the slow cooker overnight, then add your broth & spices and cook for a few more hours. It sounds delicious--it's my next, scheduled experiment.

posted by: Anne on 03.03.15 at 03:06 PM [permalink]

Properly carmelized onions.... brilliant.

The number of students who understand that what they're doing isn't working... well, it's lower than I'd like, even when I'm doing my best on feedback (which isn't always possible given the quantities involved.). They have their own calculus of needs.

posted by: Jonathan Dresner on 03.05.15 at 10:47 PM [permalink]

Okay, is this a "these darned kids today" kind of situation? (That is, not really that different, just increasingly annoying for us older folks as time passes and we see it happening over and over.)

Can you just pass out generic notes saying, "get your shit together or you're going to fail this course" instead of trying to 'mentor' each of them individually?

Sometimes it feels to me like today's college students (kids today!) are in college because they're delaying growing up and getting on with life. They're not taking it seriously.

Although, I suppose there was always some percentage of students who were doing that.

It frustrates me to read stuff like this. :) I loved college--I loved *school* for the first time when I went to college and was allowed to learn whatever I wanted as fast as I wanted.

posted by: Anne on 03.06.15 at 09:12 AM [permalink]

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