Friday, September 28, 2007

Help Wanted - there is a prize

I have lost my keys in my apartment. They have been missing for a few days now, since Tuesday morning maybe? I am currently using the spares, and relying on my roommate to check the mail. But this is annoying. I got into my apartment, with the mail, so they are in there somewhere.

Leave me any and all suggestions in the comments. I have looked "everywhere" but obviously not, because the keys are still missing. There is a prize equal to 100g of sock yarn from my stash when I find my keys. The basis of who wins will be, the suggestion that leads to finding the keys wins. If you don't knit, or don't like sock yarn, I promise that we will work something out.


P.S. tell your friends, and feel free to suggest more than one spot.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sheep Race!

Sheep in Spandex
Originally uploaded by jodiwilldare
Thanks to Adrian of Hello Yarn on the Ravelry Forums for leading me to this hilarious picture of newly shorn sheep. While they are really just wearing these little outfits to stay warm, I prefer to think that the MN State Fair has added a sheep running race to the Great Minnesota Get Together.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"...never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her..."

So, today I was in my LYS, sitting at the table, knitting on my sock. A woman who I've seen around there and had conversations with previously came in to buy a crochet hook. After announcing what she needs, she turns to me, and says, "Oh! I didn't know that you were pregnant. I always thought you were so young, 16 or so. But on Saturday, you were behind the counter, and you had that belly."

There was nothing that I could really say to that to express my confusion at the situation. I said to her, "its physically impossible for me to be pregnant right now."

My blank stare of confusion must have communicated something to her, because she said, "I'm socially awkward."

To which I responded, "So am I. That's why I knit socks."

I was baffled, though after she left, I did comment that apparently, its time for me to actually sign up for Weight Watchers.

Many thoughts have come to mind since this conversation.
  1. How does being 16 prevent pregnancy?
  2. Who says this sort of thing out of the blue?
  3. Do I really look 16? I'm quite certain that I look more grown-up than 16.
  4. Um, yeah, who says that sort of thing? And anyone got any tips on Weight Watchers or something else that worked for them?
and now, your PSA for the day. Think before you speak.

*Quote from Dave Barry

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Need an Assistant?

Second in an occasional series

Last week, I posted about my qualifications for being a nanny. Tonight, I am writing up my qualifications to be an assistant. Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant, Secretary, Office Clerk... I'm not sure what all the shades of distinction are there, but there are many titles for the same general job; helping someone who is more in charge get their work done, by making it your work, and not screwing it up so that their life is even more harried and difficult.

Here goes, my qualifications to be an assistant:
  • I find it to be humorous that job posters feel it necessary to put "greet guests and visitors courteously" and "answer phones politely" in the job descriptions. Last time I checked, in a business/work environment, it is generally important to always be polite and courteous to whoever one encounters. Golden rule and all. I'd hate to meet the assistants who caused those descriptors to be added to the listing.
  • I type well. Its a side effect of using instant messenger-type programs since I was 14 or 15. I believe that I type around 50-60 wpm, and I don't suck at 10-key data entry either, provided that I don't have to switch between a keypad and a phone frequently. Does anyone know why calculators and computer keyboards are reversed from touch-tone phones in the order of the numbers? I misdial frequently when working on a job bid because I'm switching back and forth a lot.
  • I have good math skills. I haven't studied past Calc 1 in 1999, but if I can break a problem down to an algebra, geometry or trig equation, then I'm golden. Apparently, I learned something in school.
  • I take good phone messages, as my parents trained me well at an early age.
  • If you, the boss, would like me to, I will keep track of your calendar. I attempted to do that for a previous boss, and it turned out that he didn't keep a calendar at all, and didn't want to start. I just kept an eye on him, and he told me when I needed to remind him about things.
  • I read people well. I can tell who is slimy and who is for real.
  • My PDF making skills are pretty darn good for someone without any formal training. Your tear sheets will never have catalog prices going to the client.
  • I am skilled with Excel and Word.
  • My proofreading skills are good. You won't send out any notices about "costumer service" unless the dressers and stitchers are going to be receiving massages.
  • I travel a lot, and know my way around travel arrangements. I can get you fancy digs, refundable, first-class tickets and a car service to pick you up, or I'll get the cheapest plane ticket, a bed at the Red Roof Inn and a compact rental car. Tell me what you need, and I'll find it, book it, and give you a neatly typed up list of all the details you'll need to have smooth sailing through the trip.
  • I know how to use ACT! I do not do it willingly because in my experience it is cumbersome and slows down the whole computer, but I know what it does and how to get around in it.
  • I am good on the phone with screening calls, and promise to actually find out what the caller wants before passing them on to you.
  • I have experience with ordering food for large groups of people, having taken that on in high school during shows with matinĂ©es. You won't have to eat the same old sandwich tray everyday if you don't want to, and I'll make sure to find out (and write down for future reference!) what the clients' likes, dislikes and restrictions are.
  • Having seen the wide variety of holiday gifts and cards sent out to clients and vendors, I can help you avoid the duds and get the most bang for your buck.
And now, of course, the down-sides of me as your assistant:
  • I have successfully avoided Power Point almost entirely for a decade because I've never seen it used well except as a server of images for a theatrical production. However, its just another MS Office product, and I'm pretty sure that if you know what you want in your presentation, I can make it work and not be so boring it puts the clients to sleep.
  • My experience with QuickBooks is solely in the Sign*A*Rama custom install, but I've read the manual and it sure doesn't seem like rocket science or brain surgery.
  • I hate slimy sales people with a passion, but enjoy developing relationships with vendors who are genuine. Please don't make me order mini-blinds, but I'll get you a great price and service on flooring!
  • If there isn't a certain amount of math and hands-on production of stuff (even well-made presentation packets work for me) I will become bored and irritable. Especially if you are working to bring about the downfall of society.
  • I need to eat every 4 hours or I will edge towards a melt-down. Conveniently, I tend to come with snacks just-in-case.
This time around, the list is a bit more balanced between pros and cons, but I think that is because I have less knowledge of what assistants do, besides anticipate the boss' needs and try to work independently.

More to come in the future.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Need a Nanny?

I am looking for a job, and am coming to realize that I'm not terribly inclined to return immediately to the commercial scenery business. I would do it for some money, but I'm not begging anyone to give me a job doing what I did before. As I consider what I am qualified to do, I have decided to start writing a series of blog posts describing my qualifications for various sorts of jobs, looking for feedback, leads, and just putting it out there to remind myself that I'm not totally useless (even if I am unemployed and rapidly draining my savings).

First in an occasional series

Here are my qualifications to tend to your children on an on-going basis:
  • 15 years babysitting experience (Red Cross Certified Babysitter at age 10/grade 5)
  • I love babies
  • I enjoy elementary age children
  • I am amused by toddlers and pre-schoolers
  • I understand pre-teens, even if I totally understand why we put them all in a place called middle school to wait out early puberty
  • I will confidently mentor your teens through the rocky years of high school
  • I can help with homework at any school level
  • I will encourage reading and discourage television dependency
  • I am fluent in my native language, English
  • Legal to work in the United States (so you can run for political office someday!)
  • Your parenting philosophies will be my parenting philosophies, and if you are new to it (first baby) and still unsure, we will work together to raise a happy, healthy, resilient child
  • I am a trained Red Cross lifeguard, having completed the full training and testing twice (high school and college), so you can feel confident sending me to the pool, lake or seaside with your children
  • I like animals and can deal with pets
  • I have experience caring for children with special needs including diabetes, asthma, Down's Syndrome, mental and physical retardation, high-functioning autism, and other special situations.
  • I also excel at caring for happy, well-adjusted, pleasant children!
  • I understand that I am bigger and in-charge. It is unlikely that your children will wear me down to give in to their demands to eat sprinkles for dinner, color on the walls with the new crayons or let them watch cartoons when its supposed to be bedtime. In fact, none of those things have ever happened when I've been left with children in my care.
  • I am a good driver, having had my license continuously for 9 years
  • I have a valid passport and would be happy to accompany you on family vacations
  • I can do laundry, dishes and generally keep the house tidy
  • I'm not a big fan of juice for children (as it is essentially liquid sugar), but I will feed them whatever diet you would like.
As everyone has some faults, negatives or downsides, here are some qualifications to the above:
  • I cannot handle more than 4 children at a time on my own. I have learned that a family with four children is my upper limit.
  • I cook well enough to feed kids and myself, but am not exactly a gourmet. However, I learn quickly if mentored in this department. I'll try to fix whatever your children want to eat.
  • I have very little experience driving boats.
  • I suck at sports. I will try, but you've been warned.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Lacis Order anyone?

I am going to be ordering two weaving needles from Lacis in the next week or so. They have free shipping, but a flat $4.50 handling fee, which is still a fair bit of cost for two needles (even if they are 14" long).

While their website is horrid, Lacis is the source for all sorts notions, both knitting and other needlework (have you ever wanted to try bobbin lace?), and I am more than willing to handle the administrative logistics of a group order if other people want to order with me. I do ask that you be willing to split that handling fee evenly by however many people are ordering, pay me back with cash, check or balance-funded Paypal, and arrange to hand off the goodies at either a Guild meeting (Knitting or Spinning), some other mutually agreeable location, or pay the postage for me to mail you your stuff.

Leave a reply here, feel free to tell your friends. I'll be cross-posting this to a few places.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

in 25 days....

It will soon be my blogoversary for this here page, back in 2004 when I was getting geared up for The Duchess of Malfi, my last school show, and making sure that I had all of the requirements figured out so that I would finish school in December with a degree. Which, thankfully (and quite possibly due to Mr. TANBI's academic wrangling) worked out ok in the end, because I have the giant C-sheet diploma, and the smaller wallet-sized version, that announces to anyone hanging out behind my bookcase (where I keep the darn thing in its big folder inside the big mailer) that I got by BFA in Drama.

So, I want to have a contest of some sort. The trouble is, should it be an entertainment industry sort of contest, a knitting sort of contest, a get-Katy-a-new-job contest? I liked doing the photo scavenger hunt from Erin's blog, but I also think it would be fun to have a contest where the winner was whoever made me laugh or just a random number generator, so I could get lots of comments.

Then, there are prizes. Not everyone (or even most folks) who have stopped by over here are knitters, so I'm not certain that yarn is a good prize. But maybe yarn for knitters and knitted potholders for non-knitters?

I know that I don't post much, but that's the beauty of the aggregator feeds, you can still leave me on the list, no muss, no fuss. So, for the first round here at the Mixer, for the first 4 days, until the counter says that it is 20 days until the blogoversary (so, midnight Saturday, in whatever time zone I decide I'm living in) I am taking suggestions for a blogoversary contest. The prizes (up to 3) will be based on discussion with the winners. Winners will be determined either by their idea being chosen (in whole or in part) or random number generator. If you get other people to stop on by with an idea and say that you sent them, you get an extra chance towards winning. Points for zaniness, unfeasible schemes, creativity and ease of administration. Also, if any suggestion has the distinct flavor of a J. Milo Train-generated idea, that person will probably win.

Thanks and take care!