Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Welcome To The Working Week. I Know It Don't Thrill You, I Hope It Don't Kill You...

Coming at you live from the Internet Cafe in the Ditmars Train Station in downtown Astoria, Nueva York, if you wanna know the truth of it all. My home internet connection is in limbo for now, so I blog among what passes for the people.
Whence last we had the time/motivation to write, I had been bemoaning the lack of jobs coming up, dreading a dry spell. Now I am again bemoaning the same thing, only a week later, and after a spurt of activity. To wit...

On Wednesday last, I got a call from the agency informing me that S. Communications, the fashion catalog people, needed me that very day, could I make it, etc. Hells yeah, so I showed up at the prescribed time to their office on Varick Street, went over a few high end jewelry ads & catalogs, a real piece of cake. I met with someone who claimed to be the copy chief, and i had no reason to doubt her, and she said she was glad "they" finally got a proofreader. from talking to her it seemed like she'd be inclined to use me in the future. I've been back there 3 or 4 times so far.

Friday I went back to C.B. to peruse & proof the same desk and wall calendar that I've grown so familiar with, it's the same questions & I've been there like 5 or 6 times. but i have no problem with that. They want me back again late next week to go over the wall calendar one more time as that is very very close to publication. I felt out C. re future work there after this project, very subtly because the agency would likely frown on anything more ... I don't know, pushy. anyway, she said she's very happy with my work and would consider it. I can't remember the precise tone or direction of the conversation right now. so i worked at the old college board from 9:30 in the morning till about 6:15. Then I had a catering gig that same night, so I hoofed it from 61st & Broadway, thru Central Park at 79th Street, then uptown along Fifth to 98th street, where the party for 900 was under way at the school. all the rest of the suckers, er staff, were there from 10:00 that fucking morning! To top it all off, it was a Roman themed party, so when I got there at around 7:00, I had to put on my toga or tunic or whatever the fuck it was supposed to be and proceed to mix in and see what needed to be done.

In short order I was sent to the 7th floor to bus drinks. the 7th floor was the gymnasium turned into a game room for what seemed like hundreds of screaming preppy kids running around and hitting each other with plastic swords. I really just stood there for long periods of time chilling. at one point I thought I saw someone who looked like Cynthia McFadden, the newscaster who is now hosting Nightline. I always really liked her from when she was on Court TV, very pretty with a great sexy voice. So around the third time she passed by I was sure it was her, and I found myself strolling over to her in my white roman thing-ey saying, you guessed it, Is your name Cynthia? Cynthia McFadden? She admitted it and I told her I was not only a big fan, but that I was also in the news business. her husband or whoever was there and I think they both asked where, and I lamely said Wall Street Transcript, then started blubbering about being a freelance proofreader. Turns out her kid goes to the school, so if I see her again I will slip her my resume. That is known as networking, my friends. I made a point of watching my colleague last night on Nightline. I think she's got a future in this little game we call the news business.

I earned my money that night breaking down the party, to use another catering term. Of course, if my boss reads this he may not think I earned it at all. Life is funny like that.

Saturday a wonderful and unexpected thing happened. In that day's mail I noticed what looked like a check peaking out from the window of an envelope with my name on it. And what's more it looked suspiciously like an IRS communique. Of course, I was not expecting anything this year. Au contraire! I am still paying off one of the branches of the IRS from last year or the year before, state or federal, I can't remember. Also, I didn't have taxes taken out of unemployment, something like 7 or 8,ooo fazooms over the 26 weeks. My brother, who did my taxes, told me I owed again. Anyway, to make a long story slightly less tedious, lo & behold I open up the friggin' envelope and it's a refund check for 508 dollars! Oh reader, can you imagine the blessed state of mind this surprise instilled in me. Methinks you can't, but suffice to say it was a big kick in the ass, if that could somehow be considered a good thing.

Monday it was back at the C.B. to finish proofing the desk calendar. Making sure all the questions and answers match, that the answer to yesterday's question is indeed D, or C, whatever the case may be. C. wanted me to spend time researching all the holidays, to determine when Yom Kippur begins and ends, the first day of spring, summer, etc., National Teacher Day. We needed to know whether it's April Fool's Day or April Fools' Day. Stuff like that. Tedious to some, but it's the kind of thing we proofreaders sink our teeth into. Otherwise you're in the wrong biz. KnowhatImean?

Tuesday, another catering gig. this one started at 2:30, lasted till 8:30. It was kind of like a buffet, but with kids and adults, there were around 2oo people, maybe more, at one time or another. Among my many duties was to make sure we were well stocked in Orangina, and we went thru about 10 cases of that foul-tasting yellow liquid with the distinctive ball-shaped bottle. Mainly I bussed glasses and plates and bottles after the folks were done, with the added obstacle of dozens of kids running around throwing stuff while we wait staff weaved in and out of the cute little darlings trying not to spill or drop trays full of stuff. Mission accomplished.

Right now I know I go back to C.B. next week, but with very little else concrete on the horizon. That's not a good feeling. Hopefully that will change in short order. Forthwith, as the kids used to say in medieval days. I guess I can always call my good friend Cynthia. Cynthia McFadden? How soon we forget.

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