Sunday, February 27, 2011

Truth in Advertising / Post Pawty Owie

Alternate Title: Work Hurts / My Dog is a Dork!

Since Miss Mabel has been throwing me under the parental bus, I thought I should show up and defend myself.

I got a job...not a real one... a gig. In commercials. I desperately need the money. Doing my taxes, I realized I've been living below poverty level....something I suspected but it's hard seeing it in black and white (or red). I've needed a job for so long.

I had a decent paying part time position fall in my lap the first of the year. I was assisting a successful business owner. But he needed me at very specific times and it did more to screw up my work day for my unsuccessful business than it did for my bottom line. But it was money and I was determined to stick it out. And then allergy season hit. I showed up for work with a stuffy nose and a cough (and lots of cough drops, tissues, NO fever and NOTHING green and mucus-like coming from my body). You would have thought I attempted a coup! I was asked not to return to the office in that condition ever.

As luck would have it, my producer from Carol Duvall called. She had a three day gig for me on an infomercial. I made almost as much moolah in three days as I did in a whole month with the other job. But, I had to spend the night on location away from the girl.

And then just as quickly, a dear old friend from my special effects days called. His assistant was booked and he had a job with a new (to him) company. He was very kind...would I feel it was beneath me to assist him (even though I've held his job and our boss' job before)? I'm living in poverty... there is no beneath! The job was lots of computer work and organizing a kajillion details - stuff I can do in my sleep but I couldn't do it from home. And it was in Santa Monica, off the 405 freeway. I often call that freeway the "4 Fing 05" for a reason. It doesn't move. My commute ended up being around 2 hours to get in to work and usually an hour matter what time I got off! Without traffic (a dream!), it would take 25 minutes max! But there is always traffic.

I started out with the fantasy of walking Mabel at the creek for a quickie and being on the road by 6:40... instead of just getting up and getting into the office. But leaving anywhere after 6:10 adds a minimum one hour to the journey. Before 6:10 - I can make it in an hour. By the end of that gig, I had given up any semblance of a real life and was just getting through it. Driving hopefully no more than an hour into the office, working til 7 or 8, another hour home, walk the girl, cuddle a bit and sleep. No housework, no business, no beadmaking.

It was eleven days of work and now the company is booking another job with the same clients and I'm looking at nine more. And in twenty days time, I will have earned 1/3 of all the money I made last year.

It's sad to me that I'm so good at this kind of work. I don't really have the personality to thrive in the business of advertising - to move up to a level where I could have a life or the power to bring my dog to work with me. (I tell people the truth and I don't kiss a$$. I treat everyone the same.) I always seemed to either have a bounty of work and no life or plenty of time for a life and no money to do anything. It was the constant dilemma of the first twenty years of my work life.

When I moved here to our mountain community, my one fear was that I would find myself working in Santa Monica. The BFF said, "But you won't. You will never work there again."

It's been over ten years. I guess I have to let her off the hook for that one. In the past ten years every freaking commercial house that I worked for in Hollywood up and moved west to Santa Monica. There is tremendous pressure to appear hip and cool...just like everyone else.

And so I find myself being a bad dog mommy. It kills me to leave her. My other dogs all came along when I was working and they both quickly adapted to my erratic schedule. They also were leash dogs that never knew the joys of roaming. With Mabel, (and for the last year of Maggie's life) I got to be a work at home dog mommy. I prayed for that for years! And it's been heavenly until the money dried up. But because Mabel is so used to me being home with her and her daily treks to the creek, I don't feel she's adapting well. I worry and fret constantly.

I do feed her and leave her treats and I walk her at night. One of her auntie's stops by for playtime and dinner. She has a big yard and a big house to guard. But she seems so sad.

And now...she has an owie. I told you she was a dork and a drama queen! She got really sore after her birthday pawty romp. I knew she was over doing it... but she was having so much fun! Yesterday the soreness hit the old gal. Every time she goes to curl up on a bed, it hurts...something (arms? chest?)! And she blames the BED! Seriously! She thinks the beds are trying to kill her!  ROFL!!! So she follows me around and has to be THISCLOSE to me. Mabel will back her heiny up to whatever chair I'm in and try to sit in it with me! (You try working on your taxes like that!) She prefers the carpet to the beds... because they are trying to kill her you know! I think she feels the bed shift under her weight and thinks that's the causing the pain.

I was hoping to drive up in the mountains and let her play in the snow. I can see it out the window! But I don't think a romp would be good. And the cold wouldn't help.  The good news is... I convinced her to use her steps getting out of bed this morning. I know she does this when I'm not looking. I can tell they move. But this morning, I told her to use them and ducked out of the bedroom and turned around and went right back in. I could tell she was pissed I caught her using them. She stepped so gingerly down broke my heart!

So today I baby her a bit before I have to leave her in the morning.

She did get a trip out for breakfast yesterday. These pictures are of that. She got pancakes, lots of scrambled eggs, bacon and a little toast. Quite a post birthday feast!

Please know that I'm still visiting blogs during stolen moments at work but I can't always comment. I miss all my blog friends and my real ones. But most of all, I miss my dog!


Snowbrush said...

I really appreciated hearing more about what your life is like. I had the impression that it was easier, what with the frequent and leisurely long walks. Now, I see that it's not so easy after all.

the booker man said...

it's hard...trying to make sure you make enough to get by and give your animal companions the love they need and deserve. i think most people go through this dilemma to varying degrees. i know you're doing the best you can for mabel. i'm crossing my fingers that you can find some work that suits you and mabel's life style better! oh, and i hope that mabel is feeling less sore soon. bless her heart!

the booker man and asa's mama

Snowbrush said...

Boy, ain't that the truth, Booker. Vet care especially isn't yet AS expensive as people doctor care, but it's sure heading in that direction.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Snow, never underestimate how difficult life is for anyone. I know wealthy folks with enough heart ache to kill someone with problems money won't fix. And my one hour jaunts to the creek are more for my sanity than for the dog.

Snowbrush said...

"And my one hour jaunts to the creek are more for my sanity than for the dog"

Ah, this gives me another frame in the movie of what your life is like! Mabel hates walking, and she loathes creek-walking in specific, but you drag her kicking and screaming in your own sweet and endearing mercilessly power-mad way. Then, to take all those photos in which she looks happy, you force 151 proof rum down her throat with a syringe so she's at least not snapping and snarling in bottomless rage at you, her on dear mommy.

Mango said...

Good for you to take the hard work even though it is messing with your house life. It will be over soon. Poor Miss Mabel. Yup, Mango was sore yesterday too from overdoing his walkie. Seems like they don't feel a thing when they are out partying, but then it catches up with the more mature dogs.

Mango Momma

Priscilla said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've a little time with Mabel lately because of your work but so glad that you're making more green papers too. It's tough to juggle work and life sometimes and I'm sure we somehow have to go through this stage and finally find the right paths that we will use in the future. I hope you can find a job which suits your lifestyle better soon so you get your regular pay checks and Mabel has you with her most of the time too.

New End Studio said...

What kind of a jerk fires someone over "allergies?" Hope you find work closer to home. You miss Mabel and she misses you, but if it's not going to be a long term job, then, hold on to that thought, it's not going to be forever. I had a really long commute each way and then road construction was added in for five long years which made driving a nightmare. I hardly had a minute for anything and then it started all over again the next day. My dog was lonely, but it didn't last forever- I held on to that and it kept me going.

There are supplements for joints and treats/food/etc. you can get without a prescription. They may help Mabel, I gave them to my dog and he did improve, even the vet gave us a prescription one and then the over the counter ones were the same quality. Different names: Green Lipped Mussel, Glucomsamine, etc. that type of thing. Hope Mabel and you have lots of hugs and contented moments every chance you have while your job is demanding your time.

Snowbrush said...

Yes, but when the supplements don't work, there's Metacam.

K9friend said...

We all have to do what we have to do. That's the nature of life. Mabel will be fine, and enjoy you all the more when things settle down.
A belated happy birthday to Miss Mabel Lou!