If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, May 04, 2007

How to know when Mother's Day is coming...

I don't know whether to laugh or scream when I see these stories. I remember first seeing them five or six years ago, and they seem to pop up every May. It's great that people acknowledge the hard work moms do, and I'm sure it makes some moms happy to see it quantified. It made me happy when, living in Texas with a round budget (no more corners to cut), my estimated income could have been more than a hundred grand, and that wasn't figuring my teaching salary. I remember joking with Eric that I wish someone would actually give me some of that money--even 5% would have been a huge help then. 10% would have been a windfall.

That's the part that makes me want to scream--that it's all hypothetical. The media thinks it's giving us warm fuzzies by saying, "Oh, you moms work so hard, if you were paid, here's what you'd be making." It's cold comfort when it's been raining for three days, it's three more days until pay day, and while you really wish you could take your kids to Chuckie Cheese for lunch so they can run off some excess energy, you don't dare spend the $22.57 in your bank account for frivolities. It also doesn't help much to see that working moms could have made $85,000 in addition to their full-time pay; they've probably spent more than half that in child care. When I worked full time, one full paycheck a month--50% of my pay--went to day care and after school care, and that's with only two kids. Women with four kids would be working for free in that situation. Oh, and by the way, it's been a decade since I worked full time. I have no idea what child care fees are like now, and frankly I don't want to know.

Here's my plea to the media moguls. (Yeah, like they're reading my blog everyday?) If you're more than hot air, pony up some cash. We all know you have more connections and sources than the CIA. Hit up Bill Gates and his cronies and start a grant program for us over-worked, unpaid moms. If we're now worth $138,000 a year (or an additional $85,000 depending on employment status), put a chunk of change into an investment vehicle and start dispersing earnings. I don't know many women who would turn it down. Shoot, man, if nothing else it's gas money and an occasional massage, and what mom wouldn't want that?

Oh, and by the way, why don't they do this for dads in June? Admittedly, some men would be in the hole, but some dads work hard away from work, too. What about them, media moguls? Are you going to figure in coach/cook/taxi driver/lawn care/handy man/babysitter fees for dads next month?


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

That pretty much sums it up

You Are 24% Girly

You are a pretty hardcore tomboy, and a very free spirit.
Gender roles be dammed, you like to do things your way.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Calling it quits

Evidently Walter doesn't want to work on Sword and Scabbard. I'm one minute ahead of my time goal so I'm wrapping up the month. Here's how it breaks down:

Time: 37 hours, 1 minute
Words: 29,544 (the goal was 12,600)

The time goal for May will stay the same; I really struggled with it and I don't want to push it any higher just yet. I'm steadfastly ignoring the little voice in my head that's telling me that I should be doing 37 hours a week, not a month. I'll get there eventually. The word goal will jump to 35,000.

I'm going to trundle off for a little television and a brownie sundae. Goodbye, April!


Dream vacation

I almost don't dare to say so, but Eric might have a few days of vacation that we can earmark for a family trip this year. It may not sound like much, but 95% of our family vacations have been to visit other family members. Early on, it was out of necessity. Frankly, we were poor and needed free lodging. In sixteen years, our non-visiting vacations have included a half-dozen camping trips (three of which we actually traveled more than 20 miles for), and the tourist stuff we did in Italy. Even some of the Italy traveling could be considered 'with family' but they came to us those times.

We really haven't talked about specifics. Our conversation has gone far enough to acknowledge the possible presence of vacation time, a tentative willingness to go 'someplace', and a preference for a mix of 'stuff to do' and 'time to chill.' Our interests are very eclectic. I'd go for the historical venues, preferably with shopping nearby. Eric is all for the shopping, and so are the kids to a lesser extent, but they have a lower tolerance for battle fields and dead presidents' houses. I don't think we're really theme park people, but we did have a good time at Gardaland in Italy, so maybe a small dose of that might be all right. I'm not sure about the kids at this point; they might opt to stay home with their friends, but that's too bad! We all need some forced family fun sometimes.

Decisions, decisions. If you had a week or so and some disposable income, where would you go?

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Waking Walter

I bought some e-books from Hollylisle.com, one of which is her new plot clinic. I'm not through the whole thing yet, but so far her ideas and suggestions have gotten Walter's (my Muse) attention. I've added some to Sword and Scabbard, but I've also expanded another story idea and had yet another! I went to a chamber music concert this afternoon, and he was whispering in my ear.

In addition, The NYT Best Selling Author who golfs with Scott's brother had a long conversation with Scott last week which yielded some really good stuff. He sent Scott one of his old outlines, wich of course Scott sent to me. Oh my. 27 pages worth of outline. I read half of the outline and went out and bought the book. I'm going to print the outline and keep it handy while I'm reading the book so I can see how the book's content expanded and/or twisted.

I feel like I've rounded part of the learning curve.