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10 November 2009

Tuesday three-point status update: [More:]
1. Feeling ill (shivering, sneezing) and hoping it eases off, as I've lots of work to do and places to go

2. Think I lost one of my longest-standing freelance clients today. I told them I was raising my rates (quite a hike, admittedly) and they weren't having it. They said they can get comparable work from other suppliers for the price I currently charge. That's perfectly fair, and I agreed to keep my rate for them the same but said I probably wouldn't be available so much in the future (the unspoken assumption being that I'd be busy for better-paying clients, which in fact I am). The job they offered yesterday has now been withdrawn from me. They're only a small portion of my turnover, otherwise I wouldn't have risked the rate hike, but I'm annoyed/hurt that they seem to have dropped me completely just for attempting to raise my rates.

3. Not expecting anyone to read 2. but feeling (mentally) better for venting. This is one of the worst things for me about freelancing, and also the thing that makes me think I started freelancing too young (when I was 25) - no-one to complain to or to admit that I feel small and crap. All the online venues for people in my business are full of complaining and self-aggrandizing and I feel there's no place for someone who wants an honest discussion of issues like the above.
NOOOOO!!! can someone please give me some More Inside goodness?
posted by altolinguistic 10 November | 09:24
I can't help with the [more inside] but I'm gonna do an update.
1. Apparently tropical storm Ida will bring some much needed rain to the area over the next few days, which is great, since our local water reservoir stands at 58% of its normal capacity.
2. Ecstatic that I went grocery shopping yesterday, because now that means I don't have to leave the house with the impending deluge.
3. I freelance as well, and the project I have to do today is booooooooooooooooooooooooring. Yech, it takes all of my willpower just to stay awake to complete the damn thing.
posted by msali 10 November | 09:49
You probably know this already, altolinguistic, but try not to take the loss of a client as a personal slight, particularly if it's just over a rate change. Sure, it sucks to lose a long-standing client, but they're not saying you're bad -- and you know you're not because you have other people willing to pay your going rate for your work, so it's obviously good quality. As long as you do have that other work lined up, it's more like you're progressing your client base to people who are more appreciative of your work, and away from people who are more focused on the cost, which is a good thing in the long run.

My three points:

1. Managing to make some actual progress catching up on the backlog of 'stuff I should have done' which constantly weighs on my head, which is nice.
2. Day job still getting me down, though, and still too timid to do anything about it.
3. ♪ Money's too tight to mention ♫
posted by chrismear 10 November | 10:02
1. Got my first full paycheck as a contractor being paid per article indexed rather than per hour. Now it's all on me to make as much money as my brain will let me.

2. WTF unseasonably warm weather?

3. Having spoiled selfish moment about friend who is delaying his wedding next year (in AUSTRIA) because they just found out that his fiancee is pregnant. Stupid priorities. I wanted my trip to Austria, dammit!!
posted by gaspode 10 November | 10:05
(p.s. yay for having clients lined up, alto! You must do good work if you have people happy to pay your increased rates :) )
posted by gaspode 10 November | 10:06
[Aww, thanks msali, chrismear and gaspode, that helps a lot - and thanks to my More Inside fairy godparent].

msali, I think we might be in the same trade - aren't you a translator too? I generally love it but working alone gets me down from time to time.

Also, hurrah for paracetamol/acetaminophen. My temp is coming down and I can work for a while.
posted by altolinguistic 10 November | 10:27
1. I went to the doctor yesterday, got diagnosed with a herniated disk, and have been sent home to do absolutely no work and lift nothing heavier than a piece of paper for one week. Plus, 3 different drugs. I have a follow up appointment on Monday and hopefully it will have fixed itself by then. If not...ugh.

2. I rolled in to work this morning to drop off my medical leave note and do a bit of prep work for the tour that is happening today. I asked my boss if he wanted me to stay and smile/shake hands with the big wigs, but he told me to take my ass home because he said that the office needs me healthy more than it needs me to smile for his boss. (I laid out some plans for the building project and wrote a cheat sheet for the person who has drawn the short stick of giving the tour.)

3. I'm currently cheating by leaning back in my desk chair, but I better get myself into bed or on the floor, because my doctor told me those are the only two places I am permitted to be for the rest of the week. (I'm also not supposed to drive much, but I have to go to Hagerstown on Thursday for computer tests for school.) I'm excited to catch up on my magazine reading. (My father drops off a batch every 2 weeks: National Defense, Mechanical Engineering, Forbes, Newsweek, Scientific American, Popular Science, and Invention&Technology. I bet my mother is going to bring those horrific gosspiy woman magazines later, ugh.)

Hooray for clients!
posted by sperose 10 November | 10:43
1. Taking a train ride to Johnstown, PA on Saturday to visit history museums and such. Yea, we're big dorky history geeks.

2. Not ready for winter, at all. At least our house has heat now but I don't want to deal with the slush/sleet/ice/freezing rain/etc.

3. Got myself a shiny new Droid phone, very neat device.
posted by octothorpe 10 November | 10:54
1. I have four, count 'em, FOUR cold sores on my lip/face area. And a swollen gland on one side of my neck. Don't touch me.

2. Combined with that and the cough, I want to sleep for a week.

3. When I fly home the Sunday after Thanksgiving, maybe I'll get myself bumped and hopefully recoup some of the high cost of the ticket. Unless everyone else has already thought of that before me.

Octothorpe, what history museums are in Johnstown, PA?
posted by Melismata 10 November | 11:14
1. I made this and can't enjoy it since we got the worst most godawful soymilk ever. We got Pacific brand since it was cheaper than Silk. The vanilla flavoring they use tastes so chemical and awful I dumped the whole thing. What a waste. Would have been cheaper to pay the extra $1 for the good kind.

2. Just started The Sound and the Fury in my Modern American Novel class. I can't help but mentally envision Faulkner as a sort of Southern dandy, which isn't really the case. But in my mind it's linen suit and straw hat with a glass of bourbon at the ready.

3. I wrote twelve pages over the weekend. Six on Gullivers Travels (ugh), and six on Grapes of Wrath.
posted by kellydamnit 10 November | 11:17
1. Shingles update: Feeling better, but still contagious* and therefore essentially housebound. Checked on sick leave and am covered for 108.5 hours. I shouldn't run out of leave before I get better, thank GOD.

2. Bored. Though I feel decently well, I have not left the house since last Thursday except once to pick up a prescription. Yesterday I did some yard work, but today it's raining. I'm finding it hard to motivate to do anything but online stuff.

3. Purchased tickets for my vacation over the holidays. Very fun!

*Only to those who haven't had the chicken pox or a vaccination, but still dangerous enough to have it be doctor's orders. I feel the need to clarify this every time I say it!
posted by Stewriffic 10 November | 11:22
I'm in a wonderful mood today.

Looking forward to a fun meet-up with friends Friday-Sunday.

Big day Thursday - the BIG GAME
posted by By the Grace of God 10 November | 11:27
1. Watched The Pervert's Guide to Cinema last night, it was funny and made me think about some stuff.
2. Considering getting the Droid- octothorpe, please tell me more!
3. Not a ton to do at work today, just administrative stuff I keep putting off. I think I need to play Bejeweled 2 for an hour first.
posted by rmless2 10 November | 11:31
1. BitterOldPunk left this morning pre-dawn, after a fun weekend of hanging out, and also of taking my partner to the Falcons game, where they both had a blast. Great, great times.

2. Combination of a friend leaving for home, the time of year, and the gray rainy day, has me feeling melancholy- not sad, and not really even a negative feeling. Just kind of quiet and mellow. I wish I could be at home today, reading and listening to music, instead of having to deal with people and deadlines.

3. Forgot my lunch, and since it's raining I won't leave the building for lunch. Gotta rely on the food court downstairs, which is always underwhelming.
posted by BoringPostcards 10 November | 11:40
what history museums are in Johnstown, PA?

The Flood Museum and the Heritage Discovery Center.
posted by octothorpe 10 November | 11:49
Just started The Sound and the Fury in my Modern American Novel class. I can't help but mentally envision Faulkner as a sort of Southern dandy, which isn't really the case.

Kelly, that's funny -- Faulkner actually cultivated the (ludicrously incongruous) image of a humble dirt farmer!

"No, sir. Don't know nothin' 'bout no literature . . ."

That's one of my favorite novels. I know it can be tough going for the first-time reader because of the stream-of-consciousness structure. It certainly was for me. So if you have any questions about it, feel free to e-mail me.
posted by jason's_planet 10 November | 11:50
Altolinguistic, we are in the same profession, I love my job as well, and luckily I am not alone, my husband is also a translator, and we work about ten feet away from one another.
Seriously, don't take the loss of a client personally. We've lost plenty over standing firm on our rates, and that can be scary, but it has also opened the door for more high paying clients. Are you a member of the ATA or regional translation association? What languages do you do?
posted by msali 10 November | 11:57
1. Borrowed a scanner, and am slowly digitizing my slide collection. Slowly the operative word. It's sort of a grunt, but I have a lot of great slides that never get looked at, from travels.

2. Psyched about skiing. Went zero times last year, but planning on making it up this winter.

3. Adjusting to the fact that I am probably basically healthy. After the past several months, when this was in doubt, it's a change in mindset. If I am honest, I have to admit to some tiny bit of letdown, amidst the relief.
posted by danf 10 November | 12:12
1. I think I have got over the worst of the post-surgery depression. I look around and see so much that needs doing and I want to get it done. This times out well with my emptying my Netflix 'Watch Instantly' queue.

2. My application to eliminate my Student Loans due to disability was declined once again, however now FSA has a website that details what information they want. To the best of my knowledge, no such site existed while Bush was president.

3. Like my first bypass, I am able to only walk about 20 yards at a normal pace and 100 yards at a slow pace before needing a nitro boost. Luckily the weather in Fresno has cooled to a tolerable temperature. Inquiries regarding a local cardio rehab program have had dismal results. I'm on my own again. That means I can shoot for 3 to 5 reps at max weight instead of 15 reps at 65% max weight. heheh.

All things considered, I would give my life right now a 7/10.
posted by Ardiril 10 November | 12:22
Thank you, Octothorpe! I can never visit too many history museums.
posted by Melismata 10 November | 12:56
1. Until this moment, I was a 3 point update virgin.

2. I think I'll go to Shopsins for lunch today because

3. it's my birthday. The one in which one traditionally asks "Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?"
posted by Obscure Reference 10 November | 13:08
Happy Birthday!!
posted by Stewriffic 10 November | 13:09
1. Got home to find the gas contractors had moved my meter outside into a box without having to cut the hole in the interior of my kitchen cabinet any bigger to remove it. I was worried about them making a big hole that would affect the structural integrity of the cabinet but I left them a note explaining this so they couldn't say that I'd given them carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. I had no choice about them moving the meter, but wanted to limit any damage.

2. Spent the afternoon doing a diversity training course, which appeared to be a repeat of the course I did on diversity a year ago. I have so much work to do that I can ill afford to be out of the office for a half-day. Tomorrow I am on a full day course on something else (forgotten what, I'm so invested in it). The only upside is that we get lunch provided and it's always a nice lunch.

3. Was 'invited' (i.e. can't refuse) to attend another course today - a course I've already done twice before on a subject that is so stultifyingly dull that eating live bees would be preferable. I asked my manager why I needed to do it a third time and he said I'd said yes to the invitation. I found my response to him where I'd said "Oh, I'd LOVE to do this course again, because it was SO INTERESTING the first two times I had to do it. I enjoyed it almost as much as you enjoyed your QA training." (which he had hated).

*note to self; do not use sarcasm when responding to course invitations*
posted by essexjan 10 November | 13:12
The sarcasm-in-emails thing has bitten me before, too. These days, whenever I use sarcasm in an email, I link to this YouTube video, just to get the hint across.
posted by chrismear 10 November | 13:24
1. Overcast, but warmish day here, so I raked leaves (again), mopped floors, did laundry. Still to do: dust, vacuum, fold, remake bed.

2. Dinner in the crockpot. McCormicks makes a packet called "Italian Herb Chicken" for slow cookers. Just follow the directions on the back, make rice to go with it, and voila! chicken cacciotorie (sorry for spelling!). Delicious. I have made tons of recommendations of this to friends and customers and every one of them loved it.

3. My 12 year old cat is getting very strange in his old age. He has now ruined three window screens plus two of those adjustable window screens I tried to use to make it harder for him to get out. I don't know why he's decided that he must be an outside cat. Especially with the weather getting colder. Now he waits for you to open a door to walk the dog or toss the trash bag, and darts out. Pain in the butt, plus I worry about him.
posted by redvixen 10 November | 13:54
Seriously, don't take the loss of a client personally. We've lost plenty over standing firm on our rates, and that can be scary, but it has also opened the door for more high paying clients. Are you a member of the ATA or regional translation association? What languages do you do?

Thanks for the kind words, msali - I've been repeating the mantra "it's not personal, it's business", and I'll be fine, but this was one of my first clients, the only one I've visited in person, and they used to send me about 1/3 of my work (thankfully that's no longer the case, as I cast my net widely).

I do French to English, and I'm an ITI member here in the UK. I try to get to as many in-person events as I can :)
posted by altolinguistic 10 November | 14:03
1. On the road again, but get to go home tonight
2. It's raining everywhere I go lately. Have I turned into a rain god?
3. Worried about MeCha dissapearing :-(
posted by dg 10 November | 15:01
1. On the final scene of a quite overdue play. It is in a style I don't normally write in, so it was challenging for me in the boring, stuck way. So I am glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

2. I am nervous that I lost the momentum on some projects I had been pitching. Alas, I can't really afford the time to work on it, so I am doubly agitated.

3. Trying to eat better and cook more. Quinoa stew thingy tonight for supper.
posted by typewriter 10 November | 15:44
1. Soup delivery day! Tuesdays are my new favorite day of the week since soup and salad now come to my house via bicycle.
2. Really really relieved after the stress that was what seemed like the entire summer.
3. Have a few projects I'm excited about. Yay.
posted by birdie 10 November | 15:50
1. I work for a translation agency, but it's been like two months now since my last translation project. The translation agencies are taking a real beating in this economy - since there's less demand for consumer goods, there's also less demand for translations of user manuals etc. Thankfully, I don't depend on this for a living anymore, otherwise I would be screwed. I was getting pretty burned out on this crap anyway, so it's all okay, really.
2. I'm starting to feel excited about doing research and writing papers again. Yay. Now if only I could get off my lazy ass and actually write something, instead of just thinking about things...
3. Salmiakki Koskenkorva is the drink of the gods. Should you want to make it yourself, then here's a HOWTO.
posted by Daniel Charms 10 November | 16:10
1. I think my additional happy pills have finally kicked in (added Seroquel to Effexor).

2. Still having way too much fun playing FarmVille.

3. Breakfast tacos for dinner!
posted by deborah 10 November | 16:39
2. I think I'll go to Shopsins for lunch today

When J and I went to Shopsins Kenny yelled at a group of people who wanted to move two tables together. He scared the hell out of me, but my burrito was good. I was too scared of him ever to go back there by myself. I walked round Essex Market and nearly sat down but knew I would not have the courage to approach the counter and place an order.
posted by essexjan 10 November | 18:00
1. Went to the Biltmore Estate and walked around the gardens in the pouring rain.
2. Had dinner with family friend and his new wife the other night. Ran into MGL. FF had been married to my mother's friend who died a few years ago, but she left him for an asshole shrink. New wife is also a therapist.
3.Need to take a bath.
posted by brujita 11 November | 00:45
It's late wednesday here, but I'm answering anyway.

1. I'm stressing about work. I love my job, but I have difficulties with my colleagues, and am trying to find a way to stay out of the politics, especially given that I have little in common with my peers, and feel like my relationship with them is one step forward, two steps backwards.
2. I'm progressing with NaNoWriMo after a slow start. It helps that I'm competing against someone who I find smug and arrogant - and his word count is bigger than mine. I can't let him win and not win myself! Must. Keep. Writing.
3. I found a secret room at work today. It's not even on the building plan. I'm thrilled with the discovery - and it's pretty apt since that's basically what my novel (such as it is) is about. Kind of. Surely it's a sign of some kind?
posted by jonathanstrange 11 November | 05:35
*hugs* jonathanstrange. With 'one step forward, two steps back' things, I find the trick sometimes is to try walking in the opposite direction for a bit. ;)
posted by chrismear 12 November | 08:08
Smiles: real or fake? || Salutations, Ladies and Germs!