January 2007

In the weeks leading up to quitting my job I had a few meetings with my boss/es.

In said meetings I was made to feel as though my writing is sub-par.

I was told my writing was “C-level,” “Ho Hum” and “Frankly, not great.”

This was in addition to being told I was hired despite the fact that my clips were really bad.

They said they hired me because they could see I had potential “but I just haven’t got there yet.”

I don’t know if the idea was to make me feel as though I needed the newspaper in order to make it as a writer.

But it had the opposite effect.

It made me feel completely unappreciated at work, as though my work wasn’t even fit to be printed.

It wasn’t until after I turned in my notice that my boss reviewed some of my more recent clips with me and told me “actually your stuff really isn’t bad.”

Gee, thanks.

Anyway, the point of telling you all this is that I’ve been feeling like maybe I should pursue a different path. I’ve been thinking I won’t be able to find any work as a freelance writer, especially if my clips aren’t very good.

I’ve been taking a weekend TEFL (ESL teacher) course. And I’ve applied at a couple school districts to substitute teach.

It made me think of my something my dad used to say when I told him I wanted to be a teacher.

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

Basically, I’ve felt like I’m a complete failure at one of the things I most wanted to do with  my life.

But today I learned that all is not lost.

I secured my first TWO freelance writing jobs!

Neener neener neener. (I realize this is juvenile but I feel so much better knowing I may have a fighting chance.)

Now all I have to do is follow through …with a deadline of Feb. 7 it could be difficult.


If you’re one of those people who constantly complains there isn’t anything to do in Sacramento, then I have plans for you this weekend.

I’m about to show my ignorance about GLBT issues, but I’m writing this anyway.

See, I’ve heard of drag queens.

And I love to watch them. I spend the whole time saying “No, that has to be a woman! There’s no way that’s a man!”

I find it fascinating that men can be so pretty.

And, more recently I learned that there can be drag kings too.

Yes, those are women.

They’re part of a group called Kings of Drag and the Slickk Bois.

And they’re from right here in Sacramento!

Seriously though, the show was tons of fun and even interactive.

The “bois” pick members of the audience to sing to for some of the numbers.

And there was even a great boy band rendition:

And they’re performing again this Saturday at 17th and L streets!

Oh, and there’s a full bar.

They’re going to be raising money for Breaking Barriers with this event.

And I’ll be taking pictures (all the more reason to go right?).

SO, if you have time before going out I recommend catching the show.

It’s something different and fun to do and it raises money for a good cause.

PS Yes, Beth, I will still be at your birthday. I plan to walk there as soon as the show finishes.

PPS No I’m not being paid to write this advertisement. I just had a lot of fun when I went and thought you’d all like the chance to see Drag Kings. I think its pretty much one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

PPPS Buy tickets here.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and it was a bit scarier than normal.

Now today I’ve got to go to the doctor.

You can read my thoughts on it here.

And for those of you who missed my last TNB blog, or were confused about whether I was serious: I really am quitting my job. I received a few emails asking me whether I was joking about it, and I’m not.

I’m a bit freaked out at the moment about my future prospects. I’m planning on doing freelance and substitute teaching, but as I send in query letters I’m finding it’s a bit more difficult to start a freelance writing career than I’d thought. I will be starting my own resume-type Web site later this month. It’s not up yet though so there’s no link. On there I hope to have a weekly blog interviewing freelance writers along with editors in the Sacramento area. I’m hoping it will be a place for freelancers in the area to come for advice and tips.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how things go and tell you when the site is functioning. Also, my additional free time will mean more blogs (don’t pretend you’re not excited) and more time for running. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am about it.

When I was a kid I LOVED going to the dentist.

(this is not me)

I loved everything about it — having my teeth cleaned, the scraping sound of the tools on my teeth. Even fillings were fun because I got to have a numb tongue and lips.

I’ve maintained a healthy feeling toward dentists over the years, always wondering what everyone’s hang up is about the dentist.

It’s a well known fact that a vast majority of people are afraid of the dentist.

There are even support groups for it.

Some dentists have distractions like TV or music to keep the stress level down during a visit.

Others just use laughing gas.

Like I said, I’ve never really had a problem with it. So I’ve never had laughing gas.

I even once had a cavity filled without even being numbed first.

It just didn’t bother me.

Until now.

Today I made a visit to the dentist.

Everything bothered me.

The scraping sound on my teeth, the drilling, even the shot to numb my mouth was stressful.

As the novacane was being injected in my gums I felt my heartrate increase.

I felt jittery like a reporter hopped up on too much caffeine.

I began to worry that something was going wrong.

“Maybe I’m having an allergic reaction?” I thought.

I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life, but maybe after not having novacane for a few years I’d built up some kind of horrible reaction to it.

Maybe I was going to die.

Then the dental assistant told me they were just going to use water to clean out behind one of my gums. That sounds all well and good until you see the apparatus he was using. It looked a little like one of these:

When he was finished and they started in on the cavities I opted to wear my iPod.

And the entire time all I could do was wish I was back at home in bed.

I wonder if society has made me fearful of the dentist.

Or if my knowledge of what is actually going on is what bothers me now.

Or maybe it’s just that I don’t have a sugar-free lollipop and a “Wow! You were such a good patient!” to look forward to at the end.

I have real actual news.

It’s about my drinking problem, er I mean sleeping problem.

But you have to read about it here.

Also, after all my resolution to fix my car myself I’m just going to give in.

There were no pictures to help me with this whole taking the door apart thing.

They do it on purpose you know.

The car companies design these cars so only a mechanic can fix them.

What happened to the days of simplicity?

What happened to people knowing how to jimmy rig anything?

I miss those days.

And I don’t think I ever really lived in those days.

How sad is that?

I’ve heard the mantra a million times by now.


But did I listen?


I hate my car with a passion.

Today my second motorized window broke.

But this one broke in the down position.

Woohoo! Commuting to work in winter with an open window is going to be so much FUN!

And it appears to be a common problem.

The Auto Beef website (linked above) even has the mileage at which this commonly happens: 82,000.

My car is at 89,000.


I think not.

I’m not paying some mechanic to fix it though.

I’m going to take that door apart myself and fix this.

I’m done paying mechanics all of my hard earned money.

I’m DONE! Do you hear me?!?!


You don’t have to tell me.

I alread know:

Never buy a Ford.

Thanks for the advice when it’s too late.

I can’t help but notice that google ads have suddenly shown up on my blog.

For the record, I did not put them there.

MySpace, which apparently isn’t making enough money from their regular bombardment of ads, is now using google ads on blogs.

I realize MySpace is a free service, but seriously? You have to use AdSense in addition to the flashing, twirling, seizure-inducing ads already all over this site?

I’m a bit irked by this, especially because it tends to look like I’m the one with my hand out hoping you all will click on the links on this page.

And I don’t even get a cut.

Another MySpace mystery, and a bit of an ego-deflation for me, was found yesterday when I did a Google search.

I’ve been known to do a bit of Ego Surfing here and there.

Every once in awhile I’ll type in my name just to see if the real me pops up.

Usually the real me doesn’t pop up until about the third page of search results.

And even then it’s the college opinion articles I wrote, not my current news articles.

But yesterday I searched for an author event here in Sacramento.

I typed in “Sophie Kinsella Sacramento” and my MySpace page was the third search result!?!

So, I may not be famous, but the fact that I enjoy reading books by fairly well-known authors has given my MySpace more glory than all the sweat and tears (not really) I put into actual work.


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