Monday, June 1, 2009

Down A Notch

I noticed today that my pagerank, which was once a shiny little 2, has been lowered to a 1/10. I felt the lump form in my throat. I realize I've been very lazy about writing non-sponsored posts these days, but I didn't realize I would lose some of my minuscule clout on the web. I've actually seen page hits from more than the googlebots indexing my page as they so often do. Of course, I realize I don't do much in the way of SEO, which would more than likely boost my pagerank at least a level or two. I also realize cross-posting my entries onto my BlogSpot blog may actually be hurting my rank. Perhaps it's time to rethink the cross-posting. But is it really about pagerank? Really, when I search for my handle/ alias, my website returns first -- and my full-on website sits a big, fat zero right now in Google's pagerank system. Maybe I'm overreacting a bit.

Monday, May 11, 2009


My husband and I live a lifestyle of role reversal -- I go to work full-time while he stays at home with the kids. Most people balk at this. "But HE should be going to work and letting YOU stay home!" Each time I craftily change the subject, avoiding confrontation for the benefit of both parties. Yet I find myself lately resenting how other people seem to perceive our arrangement. Who are you to tell me how to live my life?! I find myself thinking. This is between my husband and me, and you're not a part of the arrangment!

We have chosen this lifestyle for many reasons, although specifically because I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree. Who do you think is going to earn more money going out to work? Should he get a job so I can put the kids in daycare and/ or after-school care to let a perfect stranger watch my children? Should I let him get a lower paying job than I have so I can stay home and figure out what expenses to cut from our budget? So many more questions present themselves. I have spent far too much time accumulating job experience to increase my net worth to back out on it now. I am forging a career in the field of writing. This is what I choose to do. My husband is waiting out the poor economy until people are willing to pay for his graphical and designing talents. In the mean time, my children have something very critical at home -- their father. He keeps the house together while I bring home the money. What's so horrible about the man doing "woman's work" while the woman does "the man's job?" Honestly? This is the year 2009. This is not 1959. I refuse to become June Cleaver.

Now, if you want me to stay home so desperately, you're going to have to offer me a good chunk of change in exchange for my writing talents. I strive to obtain that lovely lifestyle where I can walk to my laptop and call that my "morning commute." For the moment though, I am not quite far along enough in my career to establish such a wonderful lifestyle. If you don't like how I live my life, I have a great recommendation for you -- don't choose to follow my path.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Disgustingly Hot

Each year, I dread the beginning of the Floridian summer. The days of ninety degree weather seem to sneak up on you, slapping you to the ground as if to push you into an oven. For months, you bake daily. The air conditioner never seems to stop running, and the electric company eyes the meter greedily. My energy costs go up by about 50% each time, and each time I cringe upon viewing the damage. I much prefer the sort of weather that allows you to freely open your windows and enjoy the fresh air in your lungs. In Florida, I don't think I get enough of that.

So settle in with your lemonade, watermelon, ice cream, and bathing suits -- it's summer in Gainesville.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Revisiting the Past

A little over three years ago, I came to the gut-wrenching conclusion that I would not be making it on to vet school. I began my final year working towards a Bachelors degree in English and left behind a fifteen-year-old dream. I knew the day would come when I would have to think about the future that could've been -- the prospective vet school graduation date. On May 23rd, I could have become Dr. Meredith. I could have been in the same job hunting boat as one of my friends (who I have chosen to live vicariously through). I could have been on my way to living and realizing the dream that started within a seven-year-old girl's cheerful mind.

I found myself wondering, "what would I have to do in order to go back and try again?" Foolishly, I caved to that whim today. 22 classes. 60-61 credit hours. The probability that UF no longer offers second degrees to postbaccalaureates. I scour the list, trying to determine when and how I could manage to complete this. I quickly remember why I tucked my tail, reviewed my strengths and weaknesses, and took shelter within Internet Literature. But this small part of me still wishes I hadn't given up on the dream. It was grueling. It was like running into a brick wall head-on repeatedly. But I couldn't let go of the past. I had something to prove. I wanted to save all the sick and injured animals. Even after three years of giving that up, it's still a painful scar lingering.

Of course, one cannot look to the past for the future. If something isn't working, you don't go back and beat yourself to death running into the same brick wall again.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Winding Down Another Week

After finding a couple of opportunities worth a nice amount (see the below two posts), I figure I should add a substantial post since I've been a little lax in my writing lately. I don't intend to add to my recent blog series this afternoon -- I'm feeling a bit low on energy and short on time. Instead, I think I'll opt for the tamer posts I usually write. Get ready for more weather!

Earlier this week, we had some pleasant "open window" weather, which essentially means it was comfortable enough to open the windows and let in fresh air. We generally follow the 68-78°F guidelines, so "comfort" to us denotes temperatures outside allowing our internal home temperature to fall within that range. Yesterday, we started to break 80°F, meaning it's getting hotter. Currently, we're sporting 88°F -- where did all my lovely "open window" weather go? Sadly, this is only going to continue as it's the end of April in North Central Florida. We're lucky we still got those temperate days as late into the month as we are. Now, we'll have 90+°F weather to look forward to, along with daily thundershowers and hurricane season. In fact, we have a little over a month to begin compiling our hurricane kit. I wonder when the canned food sales will start this year.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lost in Translation

Yesterday was free scoop day at Ben & Jerry's. My daughter had a doctor's appointment (read: a shot), so we planned on getting ice cream regardless of her reaction -- she either needed a reward or a consolation prize. It turned out to be a reward, so off we went for her reward. I had decided beforehand that I wanted to get a cone of Phish Food ice cream. Phish Food is reminiscent of rocky road -- chocolate ice cream, swirls of marshmallow and caramel, and fish-shaped pieces of chocolate. I really have no idea what the band Phish sounds like, and I really don't think I'll really ever take the time to try. However, I really love that flavor of ice cream.

My daughter and I got to the shop just in time -- we had virtually no wait. I ordered my Phish Food cone and her strawberry cheesecake scoop in a cup. As the woman handed me my cone, I immediately noticed she got the order wrong. For starters, the ice cream was definitely not chocolate. Not wanting to seem ungrateful on FREE scoop day, I accepted the mix-up, feeling relieved that they at least got my daughter's ice cream correct. I tasted my ice cream and realized a very cruel trick had been played on me -- it was oatmeal crisp. Excuse me? I have a box of oatmeal crisp. It's a cereal in my cabinet. I eat it for breakfast. When I eat ice cream, under no circumstances do I identify the frozen treat as a "healthy" item. We sat down, and I reluctantly began the odious task of eating said ice cream. I helped my daughter spoon mouthfuls of her luxurious strawberry cheesecake ice cream in between horror sessions with my free cone. Thankfully, it included chocolate chips to make up for the non-chocolate-y flavor I had been cursed with.

When we left, the line stretched out the door. My daughter was content with her free scoop, and I discovered that ice cream can come in awful flavors.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Nobody Puts Baby in A Corner

I'll let you in on a little smidgen of information about myself. I'm 25 years old. By the standards set forth in the United States of America, I'm old enough to fight and die for my country. I'm old enough to buy cigarettes if I so choose. I'm old enough to buy alcohol. I'm old enough to rent a car. I'm old enough to get a cheaper rent on my car insurance because I'm no longer in the 16-24 age bracket. I'm old enough to choose to have my tubes tied or my reproductive tract totally removed. Do you know what I'm not permitted to do? I'm not permitted to choose the location, provider, and method in which to give birth. It's quite interesting, actually. In this country, a woman has the right to "choose." I have the right to choose birth control. I have the right to choose an abortion. I have the right to choose adoption. I have the right to choose Plan B. Yet I do not have the right to choose how my baby enters this world. What's wrong with this picture? We are commended for being "brave" to undergo risky procedures in hostile environments. Yet we are berated for expecting to receive mother-baby-friendly, evidence-based care?

I will be embarking on a series of entries detailing my plight with the current medical-model-of-care. I will discuss how my age has affected my care. I will discuss how my income level has affected my care. I will discuss how my desire for true informed consent has affected my care. I will share my frustrations. I will share links to stories that prove it can be done. I will do everything in my power to bring awareness to the currentcesarean epidemic plaguing our country. I will delve into issues of ethics involving the legal field entering into the practice of medicine. I will try to show you just how disgusting this system has gotten. I may isolate myself from some readers, but I don't care. This isn't pretty. This isn't sexy. This is the truth. The truth hurts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unimpressed and Unamused

My endeavours to make a profit worthy of Ferenginar have proven to be minimal at best. While I knew YouData was going to be pocket change from the start, I'm a bit disappointed to see that most of my available opportunities with PayPerPost seem to revolve around plumbing websites. I've found a couple of opportunities that require I not mention that the post is sponsored -- well, that's not going to work for me, thank you. I'd prefer to be honest because, really, my content isn't all about reviewing websites and the items they're selling. Apparently, part of the problem lies with my low page ranking and Alexa score. I suppose in all honesty I should be launching marketing efforts to increase my internet presence -- but that also requires the creative energy and inspiration to redesign this entire website.

Friday, April 10, 2009

WhoData? YouData!

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine shared a link to Basically, YouData offers to pay you pocket change for viewing ads and sponsored links. You sign up, fill out information about yourself, and you start viewing ads. Each Friday, they send out payment via paypal, and they dock a 2% fee (not to exceed a dollar) for the mass paypal transaction. I was a bit skeptical -- I pride myself on sniffing out a scam that tries to pose as a legit deal -- so I waited for her to confirmed that she received money in her paypal account. Last Friday, she did just that, so I signed up on Saturday. Over the course of a week, I collected $6.31 from viewing ads for about 15-30 minutes during the entire week. I didn't have ads everyday, but it's still money. After the transaction fee, I was due to collect $6.19. I received an email this afternoon confirming that my money had been sent, and voila!

My $6.19 richer paypal account!

I also get up to a dollar for each person I refer -- and you can, too. Please check it out: Times are tough, and we could all use some extra change here and there.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Difference

I find myself comparing my achievements to those of my peers and feeling rather unaccomplished in life -- for example, a peer working in an office in the next building over has a crisp website layout, a fresh and concise résumé, and several clips under her belt already. I have this stale, old site, a relatively bland résumé, and no listing of my clips. I feel like my web-presence should be presented in a better manner, not to mention my occupational status. I'm still non-benefited (sadly, even the free food one can snag around here doesn't quite count as an actual benefit). I slink back in my chair feeling less than worthy of recognition.

Then I realize there are glaring differences between me and my peers -- I just so happen to have a family of my own to raise and care for. While my peers have plenty of time to climb the clichéd ladder, I spend much of my free time teaching my young children how the world works. It may not be even remotely as glamourous as my schoolmate from high school's interactions with Hollywood's biggest names, but I certainly do derive a high level of satisfaction from watching my children grow and change as individuals. Who says you really have to keep up with your peers in order to succeed?