Productivity Plus (read: EMPLOYMENT!!)

Have you ever tightly grasped heavy tools with each hand a-a-a-a-l-l-l-l-l-l day, climbing up and down a two- or three-foot ladder with them, moving them just so up and down walls, trying to wield them in such a way as to make mudding plaster do exactly what you want it to?

I hadn’t either, before today, the third day of my summer employment as assistant to a professional custom drywaller/painter. Today, we trowelled all day long, and tonight, my hands are sore and blistered. There were several times this afternoon when I was pretty sure my hands were going to seize up and I was a tiny bit afraid I’d never be able to unclench them again! Who knew that mudding stuff weighed so much or that I could have any ability whatsoever in applying it to walls? The part that shocks me most is that my boss is trusting me to touch these walls and, in fact, isn’t correcting everything I do!

Tomorrow we’re sanding… I wonder if I have any skill with that, and if the dust is going to make the cold I developed after the first day on the job site any worse.

Yes, I got a job. On Monday. And it’s been the most productive week I’ve had in a l-o-o-o-o-n-g time. You really haven’t heard the half of it. Well, okay, about 60%.

The rest is this: on the weekend, I finally moved upstairs to the room I painted back in March, and I even have new curtains up now! But wait! That’s not all! I actually got two jobs on Monday! You should be proud of me now, I’m telling you.

My second job is as a waitress/server at a new English pub coming to the very tourist-attracting town of Bayfield, 20 minutes south of my town. The pub will be called the Brew’n Arms, will have 12 brews on tap, and a very English menu, as well as decor as authentic as possible. It will open around the end of this month, and I’m very excited!! I’m also very grateful that I’m not starting both jobs at the same time, what with the current pain with every step I take and everything I try to grasp with my hands. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be used to the physical demands of my manual labour job so that I can have a bit more energy by the time an evening full of serving comes around!

One more thing for the productivity roster: I went for a run tonight, after peeling off my white and crusty clothes (and putting on other ones), and before taking a long soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts… ahh.

(insert smile here)

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The Crazy is Me!

If you’ve found yourself wondering if your life would ever turn itself around into something you actually enjoy, you might be able to identify with me right now. This is one of those times in which I really do think I have issues that need professional help.

I feel trapped in a place I don’t really want to live, without the resources or the timeline to look for something else (but, deep down, thankful to not have to pay rent).

This is the first phase in my life in which I’ve really needed to win my own bread, but the things that I love doing (writing, singing, crafting) aren’t making me any money and I’m not sure how to turn that around, especially without formal training or experience or anyone jumping on my bandwagon to help me. And I’ve never had to put much effort into finding a job–they’ve always come to me. I don’t want to believe that getting a decent job requires working my butt off, but I’m getting the feeling that I’m delusional in other areas, so perhaps I am in this one, too.

I’ve been discouraged by the attempts I’ve made to make and sell crafty stuff, even with the addition of a “shop” at Etsy.com. I think my cards are cool, but they’ve landed with a resounding thud on the bottom of the Internet’s creative pile, apparently.

I was at first really excited about my potential for making some money with articles at Helium. com, but in three months, several articles haven’t even made me a dollar. A writing contest offering from $5 to a few hundred dollars to the author with the best ratings seemed like a great idea, one that I could enjoy putting effort into. Little did I know that there are people out there with NOTHING BETTER TO DO BUT SIT ON THE INTERNET AND MAKE UP STUFF FOR EACH AND EVERY CATEGORY, thus guaranteeing them a spot in the running. Being someone who likes to write about stuff I actually am familiar with, and feeling the moral or perhaps only anal retentive urge to write a quality piece, spinning off a few words (and making them sound like I know what I’m talking about) under every category is just not gonna work for me.

Maybe it’s blind arrogance that makes me think I may have skills worthy of the public, but I still think I do. I regularly see CD jackets, publications, articles, etc. that people are getting paid for but which even my untrained eye can plainly see are subpar and I, yes, I, Sarah Koopmans, could improve upon them, but are they hiring me, the one with the skill sitting around, waiting to be asked? OF COURSE NOT!

Perhaps I shouldn’t be posting momentary delusions on this site–I could be destroying my (however false) reputation for levelheadedness and maturity–but, if I’m going to be transparent, I need to be able to write blogs that aren’t balanced and sane, so I’ll take my chances. After all, these posts are juicy, and everyone knows that juicy-ness (and sex) is what keeps people interested. Tune in next time for my take on why women avoid sex, and what to do about it. There you have it: juicy-ness, sex, gunmen, cat lovers, ranting, and God–there aren’t many places you can go to get a combination of all of that!

After all this ranting, I should add that I took a proactive step this afternoon that should make me more hire-able: I rented the Smart Serve training kit (Ontario’s way of training people to serve alcohol responsibly). I’m now out $30, so it had better pay off!!

I think I’d better end this rant before I have to cite my own blog as the cause of my depression.

Sunday Brunch

Will spring ever come to Huron County? I’m seeing pictures and hearing tales that spring has arrived to other places around North America but why the heck isn’t it showing its very welcome face around here? Unless, having been away for so many springs in a row, I forget what the coming of spring looks like. I’m expecting at least a little warmth… are you with me?

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Last night I decided I wouldn’t do something I had wanted to do and something that could turn into a dream for me and something that others were encouraging me to do, something that I kinda feel chicken for not being brave enough to do. However, it’s a good decision. Not a decision I love, perhaps, but a wise one, my current circumstances considered. I’m hoping and praying for another chance, someday.

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I’m a mean cynic sometimes. Sorry.

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I’ve had creator’s block lately (other than the envelopes and the desk thing from last post), if there is such a thing. If there isn’t, I’m establishing such a thing right now. Making 20 cards has taken me more than two weeks… I swear it’s not that I’ve been slacking, although, of course, I’m also known as Queen Procrastinator.

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I like complaining about Pepsi. I used to not care, but after living in Mexico, Coke-drinking capital of the world, where Coke is made with cane sugar instead of refined sugar, you learn to recognize it for its reigning greatness (that’s the product, not the company as a whole). Pepsi costs half as much in Mexico, and with good reason… its inferiority is blatantly obvious there! The difference between the world’s two top-selling colas is forever imprinted on my tastebuds, and a Pepsi fan I will never be.

If you serve me pizza or anything else that’s hot and greasy and you have neither Coke nor any suitable replacement, but you do have Pepsi, I’ll drink it–after complaining. Because I like people to know, you especially, that Coke is superior in taste. And I’m a cynic like that.

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I need money. For the first time in my life, I’m feeling the crunch of needing to make my own money in order to pay necessary bills. And that’s without having any major ones! Seriously, jobs have pretty much just fallen into my lap in the past. Having to hand out resumes is intimidating!! I am learning to suck it up, however, much to Jimi’s relief

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My salvation might be in question. That’s right. I was in a bar on Friday night. Listening to my amazingly talented friend Nathan play secular songs! And I even sat down and stayed. For a few hours!

It gets worse: I had a beer. Yes, you saw correctly, I bought and drank one of those beverages fondly known as “cold ones”, the ones associated with bush parties, dancing, and devil worship.

God have mercy on my soul.

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Have I mentioned that I’m a cynic? I’m told the Internet likes cynics. I think I’ll stick around for a while.

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

Yesterday I got a cell phone bill for $165. When I called the company, they also informed me that $71.54 of that was a payment that was 30 days overdue. Conveniently, I couldn’t recall receiving anything that informed me of this payment being due in the first place! Of course, my plan is only worth $30 a month but I have $17.15 in other fees, plus the few times I’ve messaged or called Jimi. STUPID IDEA! I’ll never do it again!!

I could hardly wait to get off the phone with the brash guy with the foreign accent so I could call my boyfriend and sob PMS-fed tears. He helped me get the phone, after all–maybe he’d have the right answer. Of course all he could do was console me with, “You’ll learn from this.”

Last month I got a letter in the mail from the government reminding me that my taxes from 2005 have not been submitted and woe to me if I don’t get on that. And, of course, there’s the 2006 taxes to do. Joy.

Another bright sunshiny spot in my grown-up life is Brokedom. Credit card maxed out (thank God I only have a $1000 limit!), bank account drained, and I am paycheque-less for another week or so. This is when I’m thankful to not have a car and to be living at my mom’s!

Which brings me to needing another job. I hate looking for jobs. I’ve actually never really had to look much–jobs have always sort of happened to me. I also find the idea of having to juggle two jobs and the rest of my life (the occasional Mom need, visiting my boyfriend, family and friends, church responsibilities, etc.) distasteful.

I’d like to find Neverland ’cause growing up can suck!