Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mardi Gras

Charles from Virginia was here for the week and returned home yesterday. We had a great time soaking up the New Mexican land and culture, all of which was new for Charles. Visited Jemez Springs, Tent Rocks, the volcanoes...places that I love and love to share.

Business-wise it was a strong week with 9 paying sessions. This week it is much more quiet with only 3. Sent out another advertisement letter to my growing mail list and hope that that will generate some business. Steadily building a client base. Each day that I have a session is a good day for me. I love this work!

Today is Susanna's (my landlord's) birthday. We are having a Mardi Gras party for her. It will include a Lucky Lotto Lenten draw where everyone contributes something to give up, a pennance and a discipline to take on. Then we will each draw from the three baskets and take whatever we draw. I'm burning a CD of New Orleans music right now to contribute to the festivities.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Friday, February 24, 2006

The New Deal

Although the Google ads are raking in the pennies (click away!, click away!), I devised a new financial strategy:
  • Get a one-time Silent Saint to contributes $25,000, or

  • Get 5 one-time Delightful Donors to contribute $5,000 each, or

  • Get 25 one-time Perfect Patrons to contribute $1,000 each, or

  • Get 50 one-time Beatific Benefactors to contribute $500 each, or (and I think that this is really the way to go)

  • Become Oprah’s Kept Boy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ode to Christine

Remember the 1983 film version of Stephen King's horror novel about an evil car? I've had my own creepy encounters this past week with these mechanical creatures.

Most recently--yesterday--a friend and I were driving on I-40 when we noticed a small puff of what looked to be exhaust rising from the cab of a truck in front of us. Slowly the amount of exhaust grew and it had the distinct smell of smoke. In fact, it was smoke coming from the hauling bed of the truck. As the tarp fluttered in the wind, the smoke became more intense and small flames of fire began licking the air above the truck.

We signalled the driver over. As he slowed, the tarp and its contents erupted into even larger flames so that it now appeared as if he were hauling a big cauldron of fire. He gave us the thumbs up and smiled, waving us on.

Fortunately, we saw no charred remains upon our return trip.

The second vehicular encounter was startling in its simplicity. You may remember that my car was broken into and that the faceplate of the stereo system was stolen. I haven't replaced it and so have been without music or news while driving my car.

Last Friday, I got into the car and decided that I really wanted to be able to play the radio. So I touched it and it turned on! There is no switch, dial or electrical connection that I can find to repeat this, even with thorough subsequent investigation by both me and my friends. I can't even turn it off or adjust the volume.

Fortunately, it is on a good station.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Advertising

Testing out some ad placement. Temporary commercialism to see if this can be another stream of revenue. Feel free to click, of course! I'm not sure what's going on with the blank spaces in the righthand column. Will fix that in these next few days.

How I Spent My Weekend


I enjoyed my first evening working at the shelter this past Saturday. Much of the time was spent doing van runs to various locations picking the guys up as our bus driver was late in arriving. Did get to play a game a chess with one guy and had a nice conversation with another. Other odd jobs that evening included scrubbing pans, serving some snacks and handing out bed rolls. I think that I will really enjoy being a part of the Albuquerque Opportunity Center.

The rest of the weekend was spent at an art reception in Santa Fe with Jimmy, time at the zoo with Juan and Sophia, hiking the volcanoes and a dinner at NYPD Pizza with Odette. During the latter, we tried to pretend it was summer by sitting outside. And it was really warm with the sun out. But as soon as the sun went down, a very strong wind whipped up and, besides being cold, we had no idea what the dust storm was dumping onto our pizza. We went inside.

I finished the weekend by watching "The Saddest Music in the World," a very quirky film. Now I'm off into a busy work week and back to juggling bills, garnering clients and general capitalistic foci.

Friday, February 17, 2006

TGIF

I completed another Mystery Shop yesterday. This one was a drug screening test. I believe that I passed.

In other matters of income: good news! As of this morning I have 10 hypnotherapy sessions scheduled for next week (9 paying, 1 complimentary). Yes! More of that, please.

To supplement this time of building business, I have also accepted a part-time job as a floor assistant at a men’s homeless shelter each Saturday evening for 4 hours. It is good to be working again with that population of people. During college, I volunteered every Thursday night as a desk clerk in a Boston shelter before rushing back to my 8 AM class, and, at a different shelter, I played pool with the guys each Sunday. In Boston, I weekly served food and taught English as a second language. Plus, I have firsthand experience using shelters as a homeless person myself. I'm looking forward to this work.

Another piece of the monetary puzzle that I’m putting together will come March 4th when I serve on a mock jury for the day.

Bit by bit, I am trying to squeak by the bills, and then flourish in my financial situation. I still eagerly await a surprise visit by Ed McMahon or some other philanthropist who believes that my contribution to life on Earth will be greater with less financial stress. In fact, I might just get a bigger mailbox to receive that mail. ☺

P.S. I'm considering adding Google ads to this site. Would that offend anyone? I have some on a hypnosis blog and, believe it or not, some pennies are actually trickling in. Of course, you readers have to click some of the ads...but don't necessarily have to buy anything.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Starry Night

If you are up around 4 or 5 AM, be sure to look east. Venus is blazingly bright and large right now and reaches it's zenith tomorrow morning.

I saw it the other morning and thought it was an incoming plane, until I realized that it wasn't moving. If the stars are about the size of a pinhead, this light in the sky is the size of a pencil eraser. The brightness is like an oncoming car's halogen headlight. Really beautiful.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Food, Glorious Food

This a huge THANKS to Odette, Jimmy, Dustin and Rebecca, who have kept me fed during the past couple of months. Not having to spend $$ on food has made an important difference. Thank you all for your incredible thoughtfulness!

I wanted you to know that I'm not wasting the energy; I am busy doing my part to increase revenue (while still imagining some miraculous Ed McMahon type of thing happening! LOL). Because the bills are more than the cash or credit on hand, I've applied for part-time work at 3 different places, am looking to apply for more and am hoping to take on oversight of my church's Web site. I am also doing the mystery shops--I got paid $10 this week for not going on a shop because the client cancelled--and doing yard work to lower the house rent.

More importantly, my client list is continuing to grow! That is what I really enjoy doing. It is why the piecing together a buck here and there is worth it. Eventually, I'll be ahead of the curve. For now, I'm off to go sell some clothes at the Buffalo Exchange.

Again, thanks so much for your support during these lean times!!

p.s. Yes, Sister and MissyMussy. That is a song in the title of this post.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Beauty Is Everywhere


Happy Valentine’s Day! I want to share with you the work of one of my friends, Kristin Mallery. She lives in Boston and has a wonderful project going called “Hearts Happen.” That’s a set of her photos above this paragraph.

Kristin is one of those persons who exudes joy for life and knows how to live in the moment. Her smile and laughter is infectious; you just want to be around her! One of my good memories of being with Kristin is a night in Boston when she joined my visiting parents to carve pumpkins over at my apartment.

“Let’s dance!” she suddenly proclaimed and promptly proceeded to whisk me around the room, uninhibited that she’d only just met parents. She’s like that: fun, spontaneous and ready to consume all that life presents to her.

Kristin’s penchant for actively choosing to see the potential beauty in everything has led to her latest project of photographing naturally occurring hearts wherever they happen. You can read two different articles on her project by clicking hereand here. Her joy is such that it’s even spilling over into the Boston Globe!

Kristin is also a clutter consultant, clearing the world of clutter one corner at a time. I’m sure she’d be happy to help you simplify your own life. Drop her a line at: kristin@heartshappen.com, or by calling: 617-359-8489.

Her website Clutter Consultant is under construction, but you can sneak a peek past the homepage to view more hearts!

Go Kristin!! Hooray!!! You make this world a better place.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Everybody Sing: "Oh, What a Night"

"Late September back in ..." That reference is for missymussy. Can you name the group? The song? The year? (Missy is a great one for pop trivia.)

Anyway, it was quite a night of dreaming. First, a big bear had singled me out from a group of friends to eat! We were at a neighbor's home from my childhood and the bear was doing damage in its attempt to grab me as I scrambled through rooms, windows and over cars. I hitched a ride to escape.

Then the landscape changed. I was with Dustin exploring some historical builings on a tiny island of sand. Unfortunately, to return to the boat, I had to swim through the ocean--and the island was encircled with huge sharks! Again, a change of scenery was appreciated.

Now I was visiting Doug here in Albuquerque whose loft apartment is in a converted high school. As we were appreciating the loft, it began to fill with water and the entire building began collapsing like pancakes being folded in half! We escaped out the back door.

The night ended fairly benignly with Wendell from CA showing up to visit just as I finished telling Odette that I would love to form a Cat Club with her, but that I don't own a cat.

Can't wait to see what this day holds!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Man O' Mystery

Never fear, my fellow shoppers!
I, the latest and greatest Mystery Shopper of them all, am looking out for you!

Today, I took time out from another visit to the children's musuem (home to our astute little observer of blood), and from papering the city with my hypnosis brochures and oh-so-attractive promotional flyers, to do a couple of mystery shops.

A mystery shop is where one poses as a legitimate customer while stealthily making mental notes about everything you see in a store. Then you rush back to your car and rat on the employees' attitudes, knowledge and behavior and send a report to the investigating company!

I'd love to tell you all about today's undercover work...
but then I'd have to kill you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Things Aren't Always As They Appear

After work today--2 clients and time spent on advertising--I stopped at the gas station. There was a man in a sweatsuit pushing a grocery cart outside the station. I was dressed in business pants, wearing a white button-down shirt with tie and had my cell phone clipped to my belt.

"Please don't ask me for money," I thought. I may look wealthy, but that doesn't reveal the truth that I'm scraping together each penny right now.

Then I thought, "Perhaps I'm making the same judgment in reverse. Maybe his appearance doesn't reveal the truth either and he is very wealthy."

He didn't ask for money. I appreciated the reminder not to judge folks by how they look.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

She Has a Point


I visited "Explora" yesterday. That's our local children's museum. While there, I watched a presentation about internal organs and body parts. One astute girl offered this observation:
    "Without your blood, you don't really function very well."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Brokeback II

When I was in college, we had dormitories named after two famous Christian martyrs: Jim Elliot and Nate Saint. Recently, a Christian-made film, End of the Spear, has been released telling the story of Saint and his tragic death in the Amazon.

Interestingly enough, though, some Christian groups are boycotting the film, much as they did Brokeback Mountain. Why? Isn't it a Christian missionary story about reaching out to others in love? Well, yes. But the lead actor who plays Saint is gay and that's reason enough for some to believe that seeing the film is an evil they can't afford.

I wonder if the same folks will begin to check the sexual orientation of workers at McDonald's, Walmart and their telephone service providers.

(Source: MSNBC.)

Friday, February 03, 2006

You Kill Me, Eddie

I went looking for part-time work last night. It was supposed to be a meeting for persons interested in hosting open houses from 1-4 on Sunday afternoons. "That fits my schedule and would be fun," I thought. However, a quick assessment of the materials they were going to hand out signaled that this was a scheme to recruit "home-business" loan sharks. I left.

Because I've caught a cold, I decided that I had to stop at grocery store on the way home. ('Feed a Cold, Starve a Flu' sort of thing.) I didn't get much in the way of dinner, but I did gain insight as to why so many of America's poor eat so poorly (...as if that statement needed any insight):

My options for dinner at the store were:
  • MSG Supreme potpie= .84 cents, or

  • Healthy Organic potpie=$6.99.
Yikes! Who can afford health these days?

I'm still housesitting for my landlords, so I got to watch some television while eating the popcorn that I opted to buy. I put in Eddie Izzard's "Dress to Kill" show. That man is hilarious!! You've got to see that DVD. It's like a History 101 lesson only with lipstick and a smile. Mr. Izzard is pictured below, one from the show and a second one of him just goofing around.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Chew Your Food Slowly

When I was a child, my folks frequently reminded me to chew my food thoroughly before swallowing. They were following an adage that one should chew each bite 30 times. "Don't wolf down your food," they'd remind me, "your toys will wait."

This morning I fed the chickens some safflower seeds. I scattered them on the ground and the chickens began a flurry of pecking. I suppose since they don't have teeth, the old adage doesn't apply.

It seemed inappropriate and, at the very least, insensitive to tell them to not "wolf down their food."

I let them peck in peace.