A lot of pain

I'm sorry that I haven't posted anything in awhile. Unfortunately, due to some tooth issues, I ended up having a last minute root canal performed yesterday. As a result, I am in a lot of pain. It feels like my teeth are going to explode out of my mouth at any minute. Please forgive me for burying my head in the sand until this all blows over. On the plus side, when I am finally well enough to put words together, I have a bunch of new subscription boxes to review. Bulu Box and Nerd Crate are the two latest ones, plus this month's Loot Crate showed up yesterday.

C'mon, mouth, let me get back to work!

What day is it?

I am having a very difficult time remembering what day it is this week. For some reason, I keep thinking it is Tuesday when it is, in fact, Wednesday. Yesterday, I kept thinking it was Wednesday. Maybe tomorrow I'll realize that it is Thursday and I'll stop screwing up my schedule. Since it is Wednesday, tonight is the first of my daughter's band and chorus concerts. This is when the two 6th grade bands, the jazz band, and the 6th grade chorus play. Next Wednesday is actually the 7th and 8th grade concert but since the jazz band is also playing that night, she will need to attend that concert as well.

I really hope June will be better for my schedule. Every day seems to be booked from now until the end of the month. Craziness!

Bubble Blabber

I have an announcement to make. In addition to writing various reviews here on The Geek, I will also be reviewing some television shows on Bubble Blabber. (Here are my reviews.) Don't worry. It won't affect the reviews here. I am currently reviewing certain cartoons on the Disney Channels. (Disney, Disney XD, etc.) Shows that I most likely wouldn't discuss here anyway. I currently have a review of the latest Mickey Mouse short and a review for last night's Gravity Falls short should be posting soon. There will be a new Gravity Falls short every night through Thursday so make sure you check back at BB to read my new reviews of them.

I am super excited for the opportunity. I hope that you will stop by BB once in awhile to check out my reviews and maybe leave a comment telling me what you think. Let's make Bubble Blabber awesome.

Time for braces

My daughter got braces put on her teeth yesterday. I had braces back when I was in 7th grade but that was a millennium ago. I have vague recollections of wires being tightened and my teeth hurting but what I mostly remember is that my orthodontist had a Dig Dug cabinet in the office that we could play for free. Dig Dug was awesome. I think there was also a Ms. Pac-Man table but I didn't play that nearly as much as Dig Dug. Needless to say, I went into this whole braces thing with a little bit of knowledge but not a ton.

The whole thing started back in the beginning of February. Braces, nowadays, are fitted by computer. They take computer scans of your teeth. From these scans, custom brackets are made just for you. It takes approximately seven weeks for the orthodontist to get these custom brackets back from the manufacturer. Once the brackets arrive, those computer scans tell the orthodontist where on your teeth to place them. Depending on what all you are getting, that can take anywhere from one to two hours. My daughter's appointment took just under two hours.

And that is that. You get instructions on how to brush your teeth properly and about a hundred different devices to make sure both your brackets and teeth are clean. My daughter got a new toothbrush and a mini toothbrush-like tool to use at school. There were two different types of floss and a little mint-flavored stick-thing that helps in between teeth. Lots of little do-dads to help keep your teeth awesome.

Then there is a list of types of food you shouldn't eat. Chewy things, like caramel or sour patch kids, aren't good because they can dislodge brackets and they are difficult to clean out of crevices in teeth. (Honestly, they aren't good for non-braced teeth either.) Biting into fruits like apples is a no-go because you can rip the brackets off your front teeth. These foods need to be sliced up. To this day, I still slice all of my fruit. Popcorn is another snack that isn't great for braced or regular teeth due to the kernel shells that get stuck in between teeth and gums. There are probably a ton more than I can't remember off the top of my head.

Yeah, it will suck having braces for awhile. (My daughter is supposed to have them for about 22 months.) But it will be better in the long run when your teeth function properly.

Finding Your Worth

I am a writer. I have been a writer for a very long time. When I was a child, I would frequently write my own little fanfic stories, though the term "fanfic" wasn't as widespread since the internet didn't really exist yet. In high school, I majored in English. I took every English/Literature class that I could. In addition to the general academic papers we had to write, I was also writing speeches and drama scenes and poetry and, occasionally, a creative story. When I got to college, the major changed to Theater Arts and Communications. I wrote a fairy tale play for children.

I am a writer.

In recent years, I have been writing reviews. Some of them I have been paid for, many I have not. While searching for paid writing jobs, I have found that many people don't want to pay writers very well. I frequently see job listing advertising to pay a penny per word. That would mean a 500-word piece would pay a whopping $5.00. I know that sounds like an easy five bucks to the average person but it's not. That 500-word piece will likely require some form of research - be it actual fact-finding or having to try out a product to review or even just fact-checking your sources. Let's say you have no other disturbances (no cell phones ringing, no checking emails, no grabbing a snack) and you are able to churn this out in an hour. (Depending on the topic, it can easily take me at least an hour to work on a piece. If it is an entire album I am reviewing, it will take longer since I will need to listen to each song more than once.) The only other job I know of that get paid less than minimum wage is restaurant waitstaff and that is because they get tips. Almost no one is tipping their writer.

People need to find their worth. The reason these penny-per-word ads keep popping up is because someone is actually taking them. Someone somewhere is spending their precious time working for literal cents. Why? Refuse to work for so little. Your time and your writing is worth more than that. I know mine is. I absolutely refuse to work for pennies. Figure out what you are worth and stick to it. If clients really want someone to write well-written articles for them, they will pay for it. But not until we stop accepting chump change.

It's hockey time!

Tonight, I will be attending the Phantoms hockey game with my family. It has been a very long time since I've been to a hockey game. My daughter has never been to a hockey game. We're supposed to be in a suite, which I have never been in period. So it will be an interesting time. Luckily, the weather has been super nice today. I think the highs are supposed to be somewhere in the 50s! Unfortunately, it isn't going to last very long. Supposedly there is another snow storm coming around Wednesday. I hope it's not a big storm because my daughter's birthday party is next Saturday. The weather this winter just sucks. I really can't wait for spring to come around. Maybe if I sing some sweet Spring songs, it'll come sooner. Hey, I can dream, can't I?!

Life Plans

For the past few days, I've been trying to figure out how to word this post. I don't know that I came up with a solution but I hope you'll understand my point anyway. This was never my life plan. Don't get my wrong - I am very happy with my current life and there isn't much I would change. But this was not how it was "supposed" to be.

Back in my high school and college days, performing was my life. In high school, I was an active member of the elite concert choir, all of the school plays, and I was in one of the first classes when the school rebooted drama class. When I went on to college, I majored in Theater Arts and was very active in the Theater department. (My mother insisted I major in something "responsible" so I ended up with a double major in Communications.) My goal was to get a job in theater, preferably backstage, even though I knew I wouldn't be swimming in gold or anything.

Things changed in my second year of college. While I still adored my time in the theater, there were things outside of school that drew my attention away from my studies and I ended up dropping out. Unfortunately, that pretty much signed the death certificate for my theater career. I did do some dinner theater before meeting my now-husband.

I fully admit that my life now is much more stable than it would have been if I had stayed in theater. However, it would be awesome if I could quit my crappy bookkeeping job and find a way to get back to the stage. Until then, I will remind myself how lucky I am, even if I can't do what I love.

The language of family

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you donโ€™t currently speak, which would it be? Why? Whatโ€™s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills? Since the question specifies "language you don't currently speak," I am taking both Spanish and Japanese off the table. I am not, by any means, fluent in either language but I do speak enough that I could get around each country with few problems.

I would like to be fluent in German. My paternal grandfather's family was from Germany and, while I never knew my great-grandfather, it would be nice to know the language he spoke. Sadly, I don't know a lick of German. As for the first thing I would do? I'm not really sure. As far as I know, my immediate family is the end of the family tree. Maybe I could find some distant family in Germany and visit them, but I find that unlikely. I think I would like to learn the language just to have a connection to my ancestors, even if I never use it.

For a similar reason, I'd also like to learn Hawaiian. That is where my maternal grandfather is from. There aren't a lot of non-English speaking members of my family. These two are the closest I get to foreign languages. A great-grandfather I never met and a grandfather who ignored us for most of my life. That is why I don't actually sit down and learn the languages. I'd much rather spend my time working on my Japanese. At least that might be useful to me one day.

More on the way

Electricity is slowly returning to the region. My workplace got power back around 7:30PM last night. Sadly, that meant I had to drive into the office today. I was hoping to make it an entire week without having to drive in! And there is another, smaller, snowstorm on its way. Winter is fun. My daughter has her first regional competition for her middle school's TSA (Technology Student Association) club. She has two categories she is competing in. Her group category is Water Infrastructure and her second category is a Problem Solving team event with one other person. Meanwhile, both my husband and I will be judges for some of the high school categories. He is judging Video Game Development and I have Career Preparation. Since this is our first year, I'm not quite sure what to expect. I just hope the weather holds out long enough to get home safely after it is over.

Good Mythical Morning

Yes, the weather here still sucks. An ice storm rolled Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, which made everything much more awesome. A lot of places, including my workplace, has no power. Luckily, our house has not lost power. But it means that I haven't really left my house all week. The only time I left my house was when I had to take my daughter to dance class Tuesday night. (Before the ice came, of course.) It's a little good and a little bad.

On one hand, I haven't had to put up with my normal morning hour-long commute. But it's also pretty frustrating that I can't actually get any work done. I like working from home but this may be a little too much. Since my work phone is forwarded to my home phone, I'm still tied to my desk so there isn't much I can accomplish at home either. It's like the worst of both worlds.

At least I still have YouTube to keep me company. Here is Good Mythical Morning, one of my favorite YouTube shows.