All posts by MicheleKS1

Ten-cent bio: 41, single, no human kids but three fur kids (a dog and two cats). Work as a telephone customer service jockey to pay the bills but am working towards being a writer-multi-media artist full-time someday. I live in San Antonio, Texas and am also a sci-fi geek.

Essay – To Gig or Not to Gig

This is an essay I wrote and submitted to Bustle but since I got no reply from them I’m publishing it here.

To Gig or Not to Gig

Over the last year, I have lived on what is called the gig economy. A ‘gig’ job refers to a job that classifies its’ workers as independent contractors and not actual employees. An independent contractor is paid directly but does not have taxes taken out nor any other benefits such as health insurance or paid time-off. As I’ve worked both gig and non-gig jobs I can tell you that like anything else, there are pros and cons when it comes to taking on this kind of work.

One of the pros of gig-work for me is no set schedule. Previously, I worked mostly in call-centers and in my personal opinion those are toxic work environments. The toxicity comes from the fact that in a call-center you’re essentially chained to a desk for eight to ten hours a day with two fifteen-minute breaks and a thirty-minute lunch. And you’re not really encouraged to get up from your desk even to stand up and stretch. So for me not having to go eight-straight as I refer to it is a huge plus when it comes to a gig job. On a gig job, I can stand up, stretch, and take a break pretty much whenever I want to.

The con to this is that if you’re a person who needs constant direction gig-work might not be for you. Also, if you’re someone who can be lazy and unproductive this lack of structure could be a problem for you, too. Because with a gig-job you’ve got to keep working in order to earn, and you can’t afford to be lazy or not self-motivated.

For me, another pro to a gig-job is a lack of supervision. With the gig jobs I do (delivery and ride-share), I don’t have a direct supervisor standing over me watching and listening to everything I do. If I need assistance I go through an app or figure it out for myself. And in my gig jobs, those problem situations have been few and far between as I’m very good at thinking on my feet and solving my own problems.

Another big plus for me with a lack of direct supervision is that I don’t have someone critiquing every bit of my job performance. That micro-managing nit-picking was very pervasive in call-center world and it’s something I don’t miss. With a gig job I like feeling that I’m being treated as if I have a brain and can use it. Also, I don’t get mad or frustrated when a problem comes up. I can de-escalate a situation if I have to, or just be polite and courteous while working to find a solution. So I don’t need to be told that I have be on my best behavior customer service-wise every five minutes like I was in my former call-center world jobs.

Now granted I’m pretty much comparing my gig jobs to my previous jobs in call-center world but that world isn’t all that different from other office-type jobs. Because in call-center world you still have office politics out the kazoo with micro-managing and desk-chaining so to me, it’s the same stink any way you put it. But with gig work, I feel like there is less than can go wrong, and that what can wrong can be dealt with fairly quickly. I like being independent and problem-solving on my own so I think that’s why gig-work has fit me as well as it has.

The cons to gig work are primarily the wages and lack of benefits. There is money to be made in the gig economy and I’ve had some good numbers though I average about what I made in my non-gig jobs. The lack of taxes being taken out means a hefty tax bill and you have to track your expenses for deductions to try and offset that big tax bite. But there are apps for tracking expenses that are easy to use, and if you learn how to manage your money you can manage the tax issue. In addition to the lack of taxes being taken out, there’s no pension or 401(k) plan with these gigs. But you can always set up your own retirement savings accounts and stuff so a little independence goes a long away here.

With gig-jobs, the lack of health insurance and paid time-off hasn’t been that big of an issue for me. Because even when I had health insurance through my employer I still had a deductible to meet, and taking time-off was as complicated as getting a bill through Congress. So for me, employer-sponsored health insurance wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and paid time-off was nice to have but I hated having to try and schedule it in advance. And since I didn’t have sick leave with any non-gig job, if I got sick I had to use my paid-time off to cover myself money-wise. Now with the gig jobs I’ve had I haven’t had any paid time-off, but if I take time off at least no one is giving me flack for doing that. And because of the Affordable Care Act I am able to purchase health insurance with a sky-high deductible but with a premium I can handle.

So my advice then to anyone thinking about switching to a gig job is this:

– Know what you’re getting into, don’t believe any hype, and know that you’ll have to hustle to make any real money. It’s not easy money that will fall into your pockets just because you show up. You’ve still got to do the job and if you slack off enough you will be replaced.

– Be able to work without supervision and solve problems on your own without freaking out and getting mad at people. This is where you have to be a grown-up adult and take care of things without losing your mind. People remember bad behavior as much, if not more, than good behavior. Make a good impression and form good relationships, and people will help you out when you need it. Treat people wrong or burn bridges, and when the crap comes down you could be up a creek without a paddle. As my father always used to say, it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to someone.

– Keep your act together when the money may not be coming in like you want it to. Gig work is up-and-down at times and you need to be able to roll with it and change it up frequently. Don’t be afraid to change things up and know that if you do no one is going to come down on you for it.

For me, I honestly don’t want to go back to my former life in call-center world. Yeah, it would be nice to have a set wage and all that but I was not paid near enough to put up with the kind of crap that went along with those set wages. Besides, I like not being stressed-out because I’m worried about being managed out the door if management decides they don’t like me anymore (which happens more often than anyone realizes). And not that I’m anti-social, but sometimes people really bother me and not having to work with brown-noser’s who would sell me out is something I don’t ever want to deal with again.

Finally, I don’t ever want to go back working for inefficient at best, toxic at worst, management. Being a nit-picking lord or lady of the manor and making people feel like they’re never good enough is piss-poor management in my opinion. For every good manager I had who wasn’t like that, I had at least three that I wouldn’t give you a wheel barrel full of horse manure for. When it comes to bosses, I like myself the best.

For years, I was told I would never get out of call-center world. I love the fact that I’ve proven those people wrong. Has it been easy? No, but then nothing ever has been for me so any problems I encounter are ones I just deal with without any drama or second-guessing.

So I would say if you’re independent and don’t need to be told what to do every five minutes, and if you don’t want to be chained to a desk in a dumb office drama, then you should be able to do gig work and survive. If you do decide to pursue gig work, then gig like a rock star facing a crowd of screaming fans.

A Poem – Keep the Faith

This is the first poem I’ve written in a very long time and it was in my mind when I was driving around this morning waiting for a fare and watching the sky turn from night into day.

Keep the Faith

Keep the Faith

Not just because it’s all you have

But because it’s what you want to do

 

Faith can give you hope

Hope can lead you to the light

And in the light you can shine

 

Keep the Faith

Because even if you don’t believe in it

It will always be there when you’re ready for it

 

Step up to faith

Look up from the dirt to the world around you

Find your place in the world

 

Keep the Faith

Because sooner or later it will come through

On sunny days and rainy days

 

Find faith in the quiet

Find faith in your fear and doubt

Comfort fear with faith

 

Keep the Faith

Lift your head up and smile

Be kind to others

 

Don’t sink into despair

Find your oar and the stars above

Use faith to guide you to shore

 

Keep the Faith

Not because you have to

But because you want to

Simple Things to Keep the Faith- #upbeatauthors

I tell myself at least once a day (or more) to keep the faith. And by that I mean when things aren’t going as well as I’d like them to (like when I’m out on the road waiting for a pickup), I tell myself keep the faith. I tell myself that so I don’t give up and quit. But when I tell myself to keep the faith, I find I begin to focus on simple things that make me feel better.

Some of those things that come up every day for me are:

The sunrise: Since I work the early shift I get to see one of those every morning and I’m always thankful to see such a glorious sight. I’m thankful that something so pretty can give me hope for a new day.

Coffee: I savor that first cup in the dark with my Kindle before I go out in the mornings so I can have a slow start to my day. I hate rushing around so I savor that single cup before I hit the road.

Friendly people: Not all my passengers are chatty but they’re all nice. I do like having interesting conversations with people and sometimes the occasional laugh at the directions-lady on my app because sometimes she’s kind of clueless as to where to go.

Being nice: Right now, I’m juggling things a bit and I’ve gone into every request for help with a smile and a kind word. And it’s paid off as everyone I’ve talked with has been very helpful. Now of course I would never be mean to anyone, but when you go in with a smile and a kind word, nine times out of ten it will pay off.

So I would like to say savor the simple things in life as not only will they bring a smile to your face, sometimes they’ll be the shelter from the storms in your life, too. Also, they’ll help you keep the faith that things will turn around.

Coming Soon

I feel like I have so much energy when I’m up and doing things around my apartment but then I sit down in front of my laptop here and I almost feel like a balloon with a slow leak. As a writer I’ve always known that facing the blank page is one of the scariest parts of writing itself. Maybe that blank page is a metaphor for my life in general.

Without going into too much detail, I’m behind the eight-ball financially though slowly climbing out around it. Everyone’s been awesome about working with me and all I can tell you that if you’re nice to people they’ll be nice to you. Right now the only paying gig I have is Uber and it’s a good gig though you’ve got to keep the faith when you’re on the road waiting for a pickup. But it all works out and everyone’s been really cool on the road, too (though not the lady who ran up my backside yesterday on I-10 and didn’t realize I was boxed in and had nowhere else to go).

But there’s something else that I’ve been thinking about the last couple of weeks: for about a decade or so I’ve toyed with the idea of starting up a personal-assistant type of business. It would be services like writing and editing content, basic desktop publishing, notary-public services, etc. And what’s held me back from that has been one thing that I’m still working on: confidence. I’ve never been a personal or administrative assistant in a professional office-type setting though I’ve done tasks like that from time to time in my former corporate life. What I have done is that kind of stuff on my own (except the notary services and I’d just need a few bucks there to get licensed by the state and get some basic training materials).

Over the last two weeks though, off and on of course, I’ve been working out the idea of what I want to do with this personal assistant gig and using one guiding philosophy: I can make my own experiences. I can show what I can do by example and put it out there for people to see then offer to help with their own individual jobs.

Because one of the most frustrating things I’ve been dealing with for the last month or so since I lost my last W-2 gig is this: applying for jobs, getting the occasional interview, then nothing after that. And right now, I’m not even getting phone calls or emails back about anything I’ve got out there. Over the last few years I’ve been told I’ve either got too much experience, or no experience at all and the no-experience thing ticks me off because how in the f**king hell are you supposed to get experience if no one will give you a chance? I mean, they advertise jobs as entry-level but what that really means is they’ll pay you peanuts but want someone else to have trained you. It’s like they almost think they’re doing you a great favor by even granting you an audience, and I’m just sick and tired of that damn attitude. People rag on things like Uber but right now they’re the only people putting me to work without that kind of bulls**t. What I want to do is have more than that. I want something of my own that no one can take from me.

Right now I’ve set a deadline to launch this new venture in four weeks because I need to raise a few bucks to get the basics of it up and running. It’s a good thing I know how to work with next to nothing and live on next to nothing. And all I’m looking to do is work for myself because I’m the best boss I’ve ever had, and make enough to live on and hopefully more to not only survive, but climb out of the freaking financial hole I’ve been in for so damn long.

And here’s an interesting thing: I’ve told a few people about this business idea of mine and they’ve been awesome about it. And they didn’t have to be like that because they could have said I was full of s**t or just given me a verbal pat on the butt, or blown me off completely. Though I will say that I spoke about the idea with confidence and I think confidence makes it real. Keeping that confidence is the tough part and what I seem to be battling hard right now.

I mean, it’s a battle for me to post this right now. I’m so used to keep things to myself that it’s hard for me to share. Yet I feel a need to share what’s going on with the world and I know that I’ll need to do that in order to get this business idea of mine off the ground. But I will freely admit this is not easy for me as I’ve been terribly shy and insecure all my life. Because for all my moments of confidence and clarity, I have moments of just the opposite.

So in the end, I know that I need to listen to my own advice and keep the faith. As my grandmother used to say with faith you either had it or you didn’t, no in between. She was right though I will admit to having a sometimes slippery hold on faith in general and especially in myself. That’s because I’ve been so hard on myself all my life but as an adult even more so. And though I’m not near as hard on myself now as I used to be, I think I’m still being tough on myself by pouring on the sadness and challenging my faith in myself instead.

I think as long as I see this up-and-down crap for what it is I can get through it. I will also say lifting weights and brief meditation seems to help, too. And doing one more read-through on this before posting. 😊

Memories and Voices

It was six years ago today that my father died. And I still hear his voice inside his head or think about him and my mother every single day. It’s something that I am eternally grateful for even if the memories aren’t the best sometimes. Those memories and the voices that accompany them are the way to keep them alive forever.

My dad had a lot of sayings, and if he didn’t have a saying of his own he had a quote from a movie or a tv show (something which drove my mother nuts sometimes). He wasn’t always the best at following his own advice sometimes but then neither am so yes, it’s the thought that does count. But I always felt like he had the words when they were needed and it was his greatest gift that he shared freely and generously.

People tell me I’m a good storyteller but to be honest, I have nothing on my father. That man could tell a story like no one else I’ve ever known. One day he asked me if was tuning him out when I was listening to one of his stories from long ago but I told him I wasn’t. I was recording them in my mind and they’re still there. Someday I hope I can figure out a way to write them down and share them. And yes, I’d give anything to hear those stories yet again.

In many cultures the world over, stories and songs and such are memories of people that have gone before us. I think that when we leave this Earth in physical form we leave behind an echo of who we were, and if we listen close enough we can hear those echoes through eternity. Or to honor my father here and insert a movie quote I’m fond of, “What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” (from the movie ‘Gladiator’).

So for those of you who have lost loved ones, cherish those memories. My father and I used to talk about memories a lot, about how the bad ones would come without invitation and get through every barrier we tried to erect against them. But then one day my father said to me: “I choose to remember the good times.” It was his way of saying that even though those good memories can sometimes feel painful, we should remember then anyway.

This morning as I was out driving, I was heading east just as the sun was coming up. And I heard my father’s voice in my head with one of his sayings that I heard a lot when he was alive. It was something his father had told him and he passed it on to me. And it was this: “No matter how bad a day you had, no matter how awful you’re night was, over there is East. And the sun is going to come up no matter what happens and you’re going to get another day to work with. Try to make the most of it.”

I know that sounds like it’s easier said than done but it’s the truth. I know I can let voices in my head tell me I’m a worthless sack of crap or that why bother. But I know those voices lie, and the voices of my father and mother and those that went before me don’t. I listen to their voices and remember them and not the assholes who pissed all over my parade.

So here’s to you, Dad. The Dad with a quote for every situation, a story for every time, and a memory that will always live on for me.

Girls, Passes, and Glasses

I think Ms. Parker was definitely talking about me because I’m the girl that guys never make a pass at, either in person or online. And I’m fine with not getting the unwanted-jerk advances but I know that all guys aren’t jerks. But the thing is, I don’t even get any proposals good or bad. It’s like I’m invisible and despite what I just said, I’m not totally okay with that. I know someone out there will tell me to put myself out there like on a dating website or just try to socialize. The thing is, I don’t do socialization very well. I’m the odd duck out and have been all my life.

But I’m not that freaking odd. I can actually converse in complete sentences, laugh at jokes, get into things that I’m not knowledgeable about, and I’m not a hideous ugly monster. Yes, I wear glasses, carry extra weight, and have a crooked back. But I’m not the freaking Hunchback of Notre Dame and honestly I don’t deserve to be looked as such (and neither did he deserve the crap he got- I always rooted for him in the story).

I don’t know what it is about me that doesn’t attract male attention. And before you say I should just go up to somebody… what if they’re not even remotely interested in me? What I am pretty much ignored and blown off? Been there, done that, and that’s definitely not an experience I care to repeat. Maybe this means I’ll die a lonely old lady with just animals for company. But that’s not a life-goal of mine so hence the bitching here.

I’m not anti-social but I will freely admit I don’t like jerky people. I don’t like people who think they can put me down then try to write that off by telling me I should just take their shit because I didn’t laugh at the joke that was at my expense. Maybe that’s made me more than a little leery of being around people but for some crazy reason that I have yet to figure out, this has happened to me a lot over the years.

I hate to sound like I’m whining here, or that I shouldn’t complain about being ignored altogether. Personally, I have the right like anyone else to whine and bitch so kiss my ass there, and I don’t feel like I should be ignored. Now I’m not talking going all Glenn Close-Fatal Attraction here with the being ignored thing, but I’m not going to stop being who I am. And if I’m still figuring out who I am and what I want to do with my life, that’s alright. I sure as hell don’t want to tell anyone else what to do with their life or run it so maybe I’m an idiot for wanting the same in return.

I’m not an idiot nor will I let someone treat me as such. And maybe the reason I get ignored is that I’m giving off that vibe. But how freaking hard is it to treat someone with basic respect and decency? How hard is it to just try and be nice to everyone you meet? And how hard is it for someone like me to take a risk knowing what’s happened before, and what can happen again? It is hard, and I know it’s something I need to work on.

But just because I’m a girl wears glasses, and isn’t a fashion-plate, and may be more than a bit guarded doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a chance. I just need to figure out how to create those chance-opportunities for myself.

No, I Don’t Have to Know Better All the Time

Yesterday morning I was in a fender-bender while out driving. No injuries and minor damage to my car (just a slightly dinged-up back fender). I backed out of a parking space and I won’t say I should have known better because shit like this happens (I won’t say any more about the accident other than it was a very tight parking area and neither of us had any room to maneuver).

I’m sure I sound like I’m getting my back up here over this but the reason I am (and the reason I’m posting this today though I’ve been pecking at this since yesterday afternoon) is that I don’t want to hear ‘should have known better’. No human being can be ON every second of every moment of every day and I will NOT kick the living crap out of myself because I was OFF for a split second.

What yesterday taught me yet again is that I’m human, and that I’m far from perfect. But I’m not a bad person. No one was hurt and the damage is repairable. Life went on like before and the sun set and rose again this morning.

But the phrase ‘should have known better’ is a bitter and ugly pill I refuse to swallow. To me, that phrase only applies when someone knowingly and willingly causes harm in the world out of pure meanness, cruelty, or a lack of compassion and empathy through an evil worship of greed and hatred of others.

So if you’re not doing that, and the vast majority of people on planet Earth aren’t, then you’re okay. Because as I like to say, I’m just as full of shit as anyone else but that I’m not a bad person either.

Another reason I get my back up at ‘should have known better’ is that two years ago I was listening to a call with my supervisor and I bungled it a little at the beginning (I read off something incorrectly). I recovered and corrected everything and ended the call on a positive note. Yet my supervisor said I should have known better to begin with and that it was a mistake I shouldn’t have made.

Now my usual reaction to that would have been to kick the crap out of myself and grovel along the floor like a pathetic ball of drool. Instead, I said nothing even though all I could think was this: why wasn’t I allowed to make a mistake? Because the mistake I did make was totally correctable and proved that I am human. And from that day forward, my whole attitude towards myself and my place in the world changed forever. And it’s a change I’m so happy to have happened to me. It hasn’t been easy to work through at times, but it’s been more than worth it in the end.

So if you want my two-cents worth of advice: unless someone is being an evil shit-head (i.e., the Republican Senators in Congress who crafted the health-care bill that will cause people to suffer and die), don’t say to anyone that they should have known better. No one is without flaws and no one can be perfect every second of every day. So DON’T set that expectation for anyone, even yourself.

We all get dented up from time to time. So all we can do is just keep driving and fix whatever we can.

Give and Take Without Instructions

Last night was ‘Deadliest Catch’ night (the show about the crab fishermen in Alaska) and last night on the Saga, Captain Jake Anderson got into it with one of his crew members. It was bad enough to where he had the crew member confined to quarters. The problem was, this crew member was the most experienced so the rest of the crew couldn’t really function too well without him around it seemed. So Jake let him stew for a while then he had a talk with him and hopefully this guy will work out. But Jake said something that I really like about him: he said that if he’s still talking to someone he hasn’t given up on them yet.

So I guess the question I’m asking here this morning is how do you know when to give up or take another chance on something? To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve said that giving up isn’t always an option but in reality, it is. That option to walk away is always on the table no matter what anyone might think. It’s something that I’ve dealt with in the last year with my life and every now and then it comes to my mind. But then I toss the cold water of reality on my head and realize that walking away isn’t as easy as it looks either.

But I believe the concept of give-and-take is also about trying to find hope in a tough situation. You have to give in sometimes in ways you might not want to, but you can also take what you can get your hands on, too. Right now I’m staring down bills of course and income that isn’t perfectly steady (not a set wage). But then I tell myself at least I have that ability to earn income and the freedom to set my own hours. So if I need more hours they’re there. But also, I’m learning that I can make the most of what I’ve got.

As I look back over the past year I tell myself it wasn’t wasted time. I’ve been far from perfect but life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. I think you have to write your own and listen to your gut. And I think that if you keep talking then you’ll make it. My father said something like that to me once years ago and he was right. It’s when things go silent that you worry. In fact, as comfortable as I am with silence sometimes, I also fear it, too. I fear it because it means I’m not thinking like I should, or keeping at something even when it’s like beating my head against a stone wall.

So the give-and-take here is that you have to give off yourself and take what you can get in return. It won’t be perfect but as long as you keep doing it, you can keep going no matter what the Universe decides to throw at you. Because there is no magic answer, and life, like kids and pets, doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You just make it up as you go along.

Unicorns and Donkeys

I really wanted to title this ‘My Unicorn Doesn’t Poop Rainbows’ but I didn’t want to use the word ‘poop’ in the title. Not because it makes me sound like a twelve year-old, but because most people don’t want to talk about poop. But this morning, that’s kind of what I feel like. I got dropped last night with another sinus-allergy attack and I’m still trying to shake it off this morning. Because of that I’m moody as hell and alternating between wanting to kick the crap of something or crying. I’m not going to do either one but instead, try to calm myself down and find something that makes me smile.

Days like today make me wish I could be all hearts-and-rainbows with my writing and myself but that’s not how I’m feeling. And that is still a struggle for me to express and the urge to delete this whole thing is considerable. But I’ve told myself I won’t delete a blog entry that has become one in a series of me thinking out loud. It seems like a lot of people think blogs should be about a particular topic or group of related topics. Yeah, it seems I didn’t get that memo or if I did I threw it in the trash. Story of my life- either I’m a day late and ten dollars short, or I threw something out I shouldn’t have.

I guess I’m feeling behind the eight-ball here again and I’m just trying to work through it. I know a lot of my problems stem from the fact that I live inside my head most of the time and because of that, I think too much. It’s hard sometimes to find the calm inside the riot of thoughts and feelings because I do have feelings, strong ones that surge pretty hard sometimes. I try to blame the hardest surges on hormonal bullshit but I don’t think that’s always the case. I think that a lot of those surges are just me being human, and feeling pissed off sometimes. And I think that’s what I need to remind myself: I’m human, and that I’m not a unicorn always pooping rainbows.

Writers aren’t known for self-confidence (even the arrogant ego-centric pricks were deeply insecure) so it’s a constant battle. So what keeps that battle raging? For me, it’s wondering how I’m going to make it sometimes and also waiting for the Universe to take a dump on me. I have to give myself faith every day and find that faith in the world around me every day, too. And I think that can be exhausting sometimes and I think I get upset when I have to wage that battle. But then I tell myself I’m not the only one doing this, and that it doesn’t make me any better or any worse than anyone else. I’m just nuts enough to admit here and write about it. Yes, writing is a form of therapy for me and not a bad one. A lot of times once I burn it out on the page here I start to feel better.

For writers, the written word is our voice. And that voice is always in a constant state of flux, change, evolution, and going through storms. It’s the price you pay for living inside your head and thinking too much. I guess I’m just trying to not to be too much of a jerk about it. I don’t want anyone to think I have the answers because I still haven’t gotten to all the questions yet sometimes.

So I think my unicorn is more like a plodding donkey. And I don’t say that to garner sympathy or anything remotely like that. I say that because that’s who I am, someone who just plods along more often than not just trying to get through things. But I will also tell you not to be so hard on yourself when you are plodding along like a donkey. Donkeys get things done sooner or later and also, don’t let anyone get to you who gives you shit about being like that. I wasted way too much time on that but now I barely think about it.

That’s why this hasn’t been deleted, but posted.

Twenty Bucks and Being Nice

I got a $20 cash tip this morning just for taking a guy to the airport. He was really nice and we just chatted the whole way but I didn’t see how much money he’d given me till I got back in my car and he’d gone inside. Man, it does pay to be nice to people.

But I’m nice to people even without a cash tip in return. Because as my father used to say, it doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to someone. Now that doesn’t always work out but crabby people have been few and far between. Some of my passengers are chatty and some aren’t and I don’t mind either way. As I like to say, everyone has a story, and those stories are what make us all human.

My $20 passenger also said I should probably have a blog with my food recommendations and such. 😊 I told him I had my domain purchased under my real name and he was a bit surprised by that. But I told him my name isn’t that common so it was available. And he has a good idea with the food recommendations so in the coming days and weeks I’m going to give some places a personal whirl and tell you what I think about them. And I’m going to try some food I’ve never tried before, like sushi and curry.

In other news, not much else going on. Allergies kicked my butt over the weekend with massive headaches that I could not shake. I hate that kind of pain because it makes my eyes hurt and it shoots my concentration all to hell. But the worst part is the exhaustion because my body was so worn out trying to fight this off. Allergies are like an autoimmune response and I wish to God mine would learn that they don’t need to go bat-shit crazy when the mold count is up. And I also wish they’d let me have a drink but I’m not going to push for that too hard.