Maybe I am just tired, but I feel like it’s been non-stop work for many weeks. First it’s the magazine article I slaved over, only to learn recently that I didn’t get it right, so have to almost start over. Or it’s my taxes, which took up most of yesterday and today. I was still unfinished as I walked into the preparer’s office this afternoon with my laptop open to an Excel spreadsheet. I had not realized I had to group all of my business trips in three categories: food, hotel and mileage. Those are the categories that make sense on a Schedule C. I had all the expenses for each trip clumped together so had to re-do that at the last minute. (The good news is that I get a nice refund, thanks to being a grad student and buying a Mac last June, both of which were write-offs.)
Or maybe it’s the non-stop needs of my daughter. Won’t go into details here but being a single parent is hard. I bought her a nice (and pink) guitar but she will NOT practice. I have shown her the music from “Let it Go,” one of the hits from the movie “Frozen” which she listens to continually on her iPad. Now, I tell her, when you learn to place chords, you can sing like THAT. We leave tomorrow for a few days out of town where I hope to do some hiking. Problem is, the weather is cold this week and it’s not going to warm up until Saturday. Or maybe it’s the constant job applications I’m sending out, each of which needs individual TLC. I got interviewed by one faculty committee this week, which is a nice sign that my resume is getting noticed in places.
This week I experimented with a social media app called Foursquare, where you “check in” to various places of business. It’s really kind of cool and I tootled around Jackson “checking in” to Starbucks, Home Depot, Ulta, Kroger and so on. If you’re a reporter looking for sources in a particular place, I can see where this would really come in handy. It doesn’t really fit in my focus topic (singles adoption) unless I was sitting in a hotel lobby in Beijing looking for other adoptive parents. Same thing with serpent handlers, most of whom can’t afford to hang out in Starbucks. You go to church to find those folks!
Speaking of Excel, I drove to Memphis twice last week to listen in on an undergrad class whose instructor was helpfully teaching basic Excel. I got lost pretty quickly. Am not sure what it is with most computer programs, but I’m not a natural at this stuff. And there are different Excel programs out there. I’m taking a class in InDesign this term and let’s just say most of the undergrads there are a lot better at it than I am. I always thought I was pretty good with graphics. Well, maybe not. Just listening to videos at lynda.com isn’t always the answer. I need hands-on, instructor-in-the-room type of learning.
I also joined Yelp, a site that lets you do online site reviews of places, ie restaurants and hotels. I reviewed three Japanese ones in town, figuring that they could use the PR, as lots of folks here seem to only eat Southern-style. And…catfish. Jackson, Tenn. is not exactly full of ethnic restaurants even though we’re right on I-40. We have one small Thai one, precious few coffee places and no Indian eateries. One minor problem, though; you can get sued for what you post on Yelp. Read the link. Guess that’s a discussion for my media law class.
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