And the hits keep comin’…

Wow, time really gets away from me I guess. I’ve been so busy. Working, taking care things, changing jobs, taking care of things, then getting fired.

Yeah, getting fired. They wouldn’t get specific about what I did, which makes me think there was something shady going on.

So I am currently out of work, trying to live in a cold house without a heater, trying to figure out where to get money to pay the bills and buy the groceries. I have two kids in the house, one of which we know for sure had COVID, pretty sure the other did too but didn’t get him tested until after he was past it. I have been vaccinated so I was the only one in the house not to get sick. Lucky me.

Unfortunately, which job searching, no one is going to let me come to work, or even in for an interview, while I live in a house with two COVID sufferers. I have filed for unemployment but I am currently working on getting my past W-2s for proof of income so I can be approved or denied, but still filling out applications.

I have taken a chance and signed up with a work from home deal that seems to be legit. It is Rev.com, so send me some good, legitimate vibes so maybe I can bring some money in.

Over the past year or so, with all this COVID crap, I got on tiktok, it’s been fun. Because of it, I have revived my paypal account and started a Cashapp as well, it has come in handy. But I never thought I would ‘need’ it for something like this. It sucks.

According to the local health department, John’s quarantine is over tomorrow, Friday. Connor’s test came back negative. So they will both be back in school on Monday and John will be back to work on Tuesday. He will be relieved, he hates being broke, just like me.

I have been able to get a lot of things done with this unwanted break. So I guess that’s a good thing. I have thrown out so much stuff. I still have a lot to go.

I guess I haven’t posted since I ‘acquired’ another child. Yeah, Connor, my 15 year old, came home and asked me one day if his friend from school could come spend the night one weekend. I agreed and when the weekend came, the boys played the Xbox and enjoyed their night. When it was time to take John home, we found out his mom was in jail. Apparently, she thought drugs and thugs were more important than her three children. The other two children were with their respective fathers at the time. John’s father was killed when he was 2, so he didn’t have one. I turned around and brought him back to the house and told him he was my son now. We set him up and got him some clothes and furniture. He’s been here since February. He went and got a folder of his mom’s paperwork from the empty house and let me go through it. I got what I needed and had John’s social security card updated, got him a state ID and we started working on getting him back on track. He never missed any school through this. He’s a pretty good kid. Despite his mom’s fuck ups, he seems to have a fairly good head on his shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got some hood in him, too, but I have been trying very hard to correct his ideas of right and wrong and getting him back on the right track to be a good citizen when he turns 18. He turned 17 not long after moving in here, so it won’t be long. I don’t expect him to move out the day he turns 18, but I don’t imagine he will want to live with what the person he calls his ‘step-mom’ forever.

It makes me happy when he does that. I am not his mom, I am not replacing her, I would never want to be her. But him telling folks that I’m his step-mom makes me happy, makes me proud.

So, enough of that.

I’ve made some really good decisions in this last year or so….and I have made some really stupid ones too. All I can say is….Josh. I will leave it there because I am not going into that very painful explanation that makes me look like a total idiot.

So, I am working on getting a job, getting two kids their sense of smell and taste back after COVID, trying to clean out my house so it’s not so cluttered, trying to get my own mental health straightened out, trying to lose weight, trying to keep bills low and trying to fight every bug in the south. So yeah, I guess you could say I’m working, just not for money. 🙂

Maybe I won’t wait so long to write on this blasted thing next time.

See y’all on the flip side.

Christmas/Birthday

So, my son’s birthday is coming fast, with Christmas just ten days behind it. Unfortunately, things are so tight financially this year we just aren’t going to be able to do either. My son knows that Christmas is not about gifts, it’s about family. He says he understands. COVID-19 has ensured we don’t get to spend time with family so this holiday will be very quiet. It’s his birthday that is grating on my nerves this year. He says he understands that, too. That doesn’t mean he isn’t disappointed. I’m disappointed, too. Maybe I’ll be able to fix that next year.

Thanksgiving was quiet this year. We didn’t go visit anyone, no one came and visited us. We didn’t do a special meal, we just had a relatively uneventful day. It wasn’t bad.

The company I work for has been bought out by another. No, I don’t know if my job is going to continue to exist.

The company I work for did not get their contract renewed. No, I don’t know if my job is going to continue to exist.

So far, I haven’t been able to find anything even remotely close to what I make right now.

I lost an uncle to this damned virus this month. I’ve been told by people who’ve had it that they weren’t impressed and that it was a joke. I politely told them that just because they survived it doesn’t mean everyone will, I know this personally. It sucked.

So with all that bad stuff, it would seem like things are pretty bad, but really, it hasn’t been. Neither of us have been exposed to this virus. Neither of us have had it. This is a good thing. My son and I have had more time to spend together. Despite the fact that he is at an age where spending time with Mom is the last thing he wants to do, we have still had some great laughs together and spent a little time here and there talking. It isn’t much, but it’s more than it has been in the past. I’m sneaking in lessons on cooking, laundry, money management and whatever else I can sneak in…..he only has a few more years before he is going to want to get out on his own. There is a lot he needs to know.

With all the isolation, I am doing my dead level best to be better about calling family and talking. I call my dad almost daily, but I have tried to back off from bugging him everyday and make other contacts. It’s been nice to talk to other folks.

I’m still working on downsizing. My house has no storage. For real, NO storage. I can’t get a shed right now so I am shuffling stuff out to the garbage as I can.

I need to get into the attic and see if I can put some plywood down and make some storage space at least for the two sets of china.

This year I am supposed to go deer hunting. First time. Haven’t been out yet because my hunting partner has either had to work or her son was on quarantine. I plan to go this weekend to hunt for the first time. With a little luck, I’ll put a good amount of meat away in the freezer from that hunt.

I am trying to gather the (used) materials needed to close in my carport to make a little storage space. I get most of the wood from what they throw out at work. That should be lots of fun with my (lack of) knowledge on how to do that. 🙂

I finally got the bushes removed from the front of the house and I am slowly removing the giant freakin’ root balls from them. Once that is complete, I plan to put a covered deck on the front of the house. Initial research says that is going to cost almost as much as my car did. Wow.

Now that this completely mundane, boring post is done, I supposed I might as well find something to do at work. So happy I still have a job for now.

Yeah, things could be better, but they could also be a LOT worse.

Be happy where you are and with what you have. Things really could be a LOT worse.

2020

For the few of you that follow me or that come by on occasion to read my words, here we go.

We lost rock music legend Eddie Van Halen, singer/songwriter Johnny Nash, former Menudo singer Anthony Galindo Ibarra, New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford, actress Margaret Nolan, 2 1/2 Men actress Canchata Ferrell, actress Doreen Montalvo, film-maker James Redford, former Miss America Leanza Cornett, singer Nikki McKibbin, actor Eddie Hassell, Kobe Bryant, Regis Philbin and the legendary and amazingly handsome Sean Connery just days ago, just to name a few. We have endured (or are still enduring) the “flying snakes”, the gov’t “admitting” to the existence of UFOs and all the crap that goes with that, the idiotic toilet paper shortage, the pandemic of COVID-19, the most emotionally charged election I have ever seen in my short 47 years, the anxieties of isolation, home-schooling done by parents that have NO business teaching anything but “how NOT to” skits, the cancellation of just about every event we looked forward to, the requirement of face masks, the skyrocketing of Amazon and the addition of fake items to their website that they won’t refund our money for and a million other things it seems….

Needless to say, 2020 just plain sucks.

But there are other things, too. While many parents are having a hard time dealing with kids all day long, many are also learning just how much they were NOT involved in their lives, just how much they were missing…and while it was tough in the beginning, many families are closer now than they have ever been.

Domestic abuse is on the rise, so is divorce. Seems like the hits just keep coming huh.

I have had to stop looking at 2020 as 2020. For me, I have had to zoom in on my little corner of the world, my street, my home, my family. Backing up and looking at the big picture wasn’t doing me any favors. I’ve spent more time with Connor, and while he is a teen-ager and really wants to spend as little time as possible with Mom, we have had some good times during all this hell. I’m even teaching him how to drive.

I will be hunting this year to fill the freezer with hog and deer. In the spring I will put down another garden for veggies, I have fruit trees in the backyard, I used to have berry bushes in the front yard but I lost them last winter, nonetheless, my dream of a home surrounded by food is SLOWLY coming to life. Yes, I have a ways to go, but I am making progress, that’s what matters in my little world.

I have lost friends and loved ones to COVID, deployment, age, cancer, accidents and a handful of other things, and it hurts, but I have to be so grateful those people were part of my life, part of making me who I am. Even if I had known I would lose them so soon, I wouldn’t change them being a part of my life for anything.

There are days when I have to FORCE myself to walk outside, to get out of the house for something other than work. I tend to be a bit of an introvert and it is way too easy for me to get comfy in my little world and just not do anything but go to work and go home.

I have my own ups and downs, as does my son, but we will get through it. I can’t worry about the rest of the world right now. I have to worry about my family. Self-care, taking care of my son, talking to my dad and his girlfriend, making sure we can all laugh at SOMETHING a couple of times a week. That has become so much more important now. My dad is wonderful, he talks to me every time I call, I know he gets tired of talking to me, but he puts up with it. We laugh, cry, swap videos, recommend books and movies to each other and a hundred other things via phone. I miss him and can’t wait for he and his super cool girlfriend to move out here.

Take this time to call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Doesn’t matter how long. They WANT to hear from you, they WANT to hear your voice, they WANT to listen and be listened to. Don’t let anyone close to you lose their connection to humanity. A five minute phone-call could make more difference than you will ever know. When you are out and about, take in what’s around you. Speak to people. It’s ok. We all need some communication and connection. Humans are social animals, whether we want to be or not.

I can’t fix the world, but I can put a little more tape and glue and twine on my own little piece of it. If everyone does a little fixing of their own little world every week, we CAN get through this.

Wow, what happened?

Ok…..I have been remiss in my postings and I know it but WOW, what happened?  It seems like the world has gone to hell in a hand basket for sure.  COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic!  Yes, we have had similar things in the past but they are way back there.  Not something most of us remember anything but stories told by older relatives.  Since moving I have not been able to pay for anymore classes for my Voice acting and therefore have gone no further.  I can do the reads and such but I don’t have a grip on editing the files once I do the recording.  My job is considered essential so while many others have been laid off work or have gotten some paid time off, I am still going to work.  I am both thankful I still have a job and terrified I still have a job.  A little torn to be sure.  I have heard people say that this is all blown out of proportion and that COVID-19 is nothing to worry about and I’ve heard others say that it is MUCH worse than we are being told.  I have heard the shelter in place orders and curfews are to help flatten the curve of the virus and I’ve heard the government is trying to take away all of our constitutional rights to usher in a socialist regime.  I don’t know what to believe to be honest but we are taking precautions.  I can’t afford for anything to happen to me or my son.  I may be a bit over cautious, but that’s better than not cautious enough in my book.  I am homeschooling my son for the first time, and of course it is in the evening instead of during the day because I am at work during the day.  Things are crazy right now.  This is just me letting you know we are well and we hope you are too.  Be careful, stay safe, stay healthy.  More soon.

A roller coaster

Ok, so in late-July I quit my job in Texas and made the trek all the way back to my roots in Florida/Alabama.  I have family that was kind enough to put my son and I up until I found a job and a place to stay.  A huge thank you to them for that.  In late August, I started a new job (not voice acting) and within a week I was on the road to getting the house I want.  It even has a white picket fence!  🙂

Hurricane Michael hit in the midst of all this so I’ve missed some work but we were all very lucky to only have had to pick up a LOT of fallen branches.

Now it’s down to the wire, I close on the new house this week.  My job is a half hour commute into another state from where I am now and the new place will be a 20 minute commute (in the same state), so I’ll save a little time and gas with that.  Now I get to move my son into a new school, get utilities turned on, get internet and set up a new house in the couple of hours a night I’m going to have until I hit the weekend.

Once everything is set up, I can get the studio set back up and get back to my coaching sessions with Uncle Roy and get back on the road to quitting my regular job and moving to voice full time.

It’s been a pretty serious roller coaster since I moved but we’re making the best of it.  I am so far beyond ready to be back in my own place with my own stuff.  My son is as well.  I’ve done all the paperwork and now it’s just waiting for the closing.  Then I can move everything in this weekend!

 

Flabbergasted!

So, here I am in beautiful DeFuniak Springs, Florida for a week.  I’m hunting down job leads and the like so I can get moved and settled, hopefully before next school year starts.  I was driving around ‘downtown’ this morning, it’s amazing.  It seems like every building is a historical landmark…I went to a small printing shop and came out to see a genuine ‘general store’, the old kind, where you could go in and get candy cigarettes or an RC Cola and a Moon pie-yes, that’s a real thing-I thought about vising but decided against it. This is a pretty small town and things move MUCH slower here than I’m accustomed so I didn’t expect much more than this to be honest.  Low and behold, I kid you not folks, I got in the car and turned the corner and I saw six parking spots with devices standing near what would be the rear passenger side of a vehicle parked there.  I slowed down to take a look and they said “Tesla” on them.  This place has ELECTRIC vehicle charging spaces!  I am all for solar power, wind power, water power, electric cars and all that, I was in complete and total shock!  Planning to go around the block and see them again, I saw something else!  A genuine Victorian style home with the full wrap around porch and all that…….THERE WERE SOLAR PANELS ON THE ROOF!  By this time I was almost in tears of joy!  I called my Dad and told him and he said, “Yeah, those charging stations have been there for 15 years!  They’ve always been like that down there!”  Still y’all, I’m flabbergasted!  That is WONDERFUL!  Maybe when I move I can afford to get solar panels or get a house that already has them!  Ok, so it’s not that big a deal maybe, but for me, THAT’S AWESOME!

Just had to share.

It’s been hectic

GREEEEETIIIIIIIIINNNGGGSS YAAAAA’LLLLL!.

Ok, so not so much.  I’ve been quiet recently but I won’t apologize.  It’s been for a good reason.  Between dealing with my son’s school antics, cleaning house, trying to find a job, getting ready for a week long trip to Florida and dealing with the new software at the day job, it’s been a bit hectic. 🙂

At work, we have that whole new software system thing and all the growing pains that go with it.  At one point, I thought I was going to be doing the education videos for the software but that, apparently, has since gone out the window.  Ah well, so much for that great possibility.

I’ve also been bugging my instructor half to death about getting started working.  About pushing ahead faster so I don’t have to get a regular job just so I can quit after 6 months to a year.  Pushing ahead faster so I can move to Florida already doing my VO thing…..that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen either.  So much for that idea.

In the meantime, I’m practicing and practicing and practicing but I can’t seem to move any faster myself.  Never ending laundry, endless dish washing, constant cleaning and I just can’t keep up.

I’m going to Florida for a week to see about getting a job, meeting some people, making some good impressions and getting closer to this move.  It needs to happen NOW, but I can’t very well move without a job.  I mean, I could, but it would be stupid.  I don’t want to mooch off of anyone while I try to settle my kiddo in a new school, find a new job and then find a new place to live.

Another note, TOTALLY off topic, because I just thought of it, I bought a nice mint plant yesterday at the grocery store.  I bruised some leaves and dropped them into my tea as I as making it.  Now my gallon of tea has a hint of mint in it!  Not enough to over power anything, just enough to be barely there, it’s good!

I bought myself a FitBit Charge 2.  I’ve been walking my butt off, unfortunately, it’s still there.  I’ve lost about 5 lbs, and as with any weight loss, it fluctuates a bit.  My Dad got one the next day, so it’s been kinda fun having a little friendly competition.

My son has me so incredibly frustrated I can’t see straight.  He’s being 12, doing the same things I did….and THAT’S what makes it so frustrating!

I treated myself and got a gel manicure a few weeks ago…now I remember why I quit doing it….other than it being expensive as hell.  I need a fill in the worst way but I’m not willing to pay that kind of money again.  Trying to save my money for the move and a down payment on a house.  I don’t want to ruin my nails, so I’m filing them down to a manageable length every week and trying to let them grow off.  Since the color is royal purple, they look odd against my pale hands.

I can’t even begin to count the applications I’ve filled out, resumes I’ve sent out or phone calls I’ve made, I just hope something comes of it soon, it’s time to go.

And there you have it.  All the boring, non-descript details of absolutely nothing.  🙂

Another day puts me another day closer to moving!

While it has been incredibly stressful, it has also been a learning experience.  I’ve learned things about myself I never wanted to know. 🙂  Isn’t that always the case though?  We lie to ourselves about those things for a reason, right?  When you have nothing left but to be honest about those things, and then DO something about them, it is a form of empowerment.  I SHALL PERSEVERE!

🙂

I hate migraines

I’ve been a little quiet lately, things have been…hectic.  I’m also on the third day of a migraine and sitting at my local VA clinic to be seen.  Just my luck, one of the gentlemen at the front desk to check people in talks incredibly loud, as if he hearing problems, and even the earplugs I’m wearing are only mildly dulling the booming sound of his voice, it’s painful.  I can’t hear anyone else talking so I know it’s just him being that loud.

As for VO, coaching, coaching, coaching.  My coach has been good to me.  He tells me when the read sucks and when it doesn’t.  That’s more than my last coach did.

I’m still looking for a job in northern Florida so I can move, but that’s a slow process.  I’m planning to go there to do some job hunting early this summer but nothing is set in stone.

So there’s the update.

I am biased…

Yes, you saw that right, I am biased.  I am biased against things that are monthly/annual fee.  I hear so many Voice Artists talk about this service or that and I start counting up what it sounds like folks are paying for.   $20/month for a CRM, $30/month for a DAW, $10/month for this or $15/month for that.  Ads, email campaigns, post boosters, the list goes on.  Then there are the fees for the groups, a few HUNDRED a year, I’ve seen some that are based on what you make and some that are in the THOUSANDS. It sounds like there are many VOs out there that are putting out hundreds of dollars a month on subscriptions!  If you add all that up, it really looks like you’re cheating yourself.  Now I’m not saying that some of those services aren’t worth it, I’m sure some of them are invaluable, like CRMs.  Seeing as how I’m still new to all this, I just can’t believe there are THAT many required things every month or even every year!  I spoke to one Voice Artist that said they figured it up and they pay almost 20K a year in fees alone!  Yeah, when you make six figures maybe that’s not a big deal, but even if I made EIGHT figures, why would I give up 20K if I didn’t have to?  I’m working on finding things I can use that don’t cost me to use monthly.  Why this move to gouge the user by taking money every month instead of an outright purchase?  I seems excessive to me.  Does is make me a cheapskate? Maybe.  But I’m ok with that.  For now, still opting for items I can purchase outright, not ‘rent’ for a fee every month.

Ok, done with my rant.  🙂

 

A potentially AMAZING development…

Here’s an interesting development.

I have been writing step by step instructions for the software we use for a few years now for them, just because nothing like that existed. They love them and I do them super fast and they’re super easy to follow. So there’s the background. They also know I have started doing VO work. They are aware I am VERY new to it, as in still taking classes. We are migrating to new software and the ‘step by step’ instructions from the creators of the software are absolutely horrible for a myriad of reasons. They have suggested that I might make tutorial videos with voice showing each of the processes our personnel need to know how to perform.

I’ve never done this before, but I’ve been a teacher, I’ve been doing these written tutorials with and without screen shots for years so this doesn’t seem like a big leap to me. I found an app called Movavi that does screen recording and I’m thinking that would be just what I need. Are there others? Is there a better way to do it? They would like me to put some samples together this weekend so they can see if they like it.

 

The fact that my VO resume is currently a blank page makes this potentially AMAZING!  I could put this on my brand-spanking new VO resume, once I figure out what that’s supposed to look like, and it be super AWESOME!  That app I came across will be one I need to purchase, but it’s still something I can use in the future.  So that’s a small amount of money I think would be worth it.  I got the trial version of the app installed and did a little one minute and twenty second video and sent the link to my colleague that originally requested it.  Of course, there was no audio because the work computers don’t have mics.  If all goes well with that little piece, then I’ll take my interface, mic and stand to work after hours and get to it!  The app seems very easy to use.

I’m really excited about the possibilities!!!!!