Thursday, March 24, 2011

Odd things I miss about my day job

Make no mistake about this: I don't want the day job back, at least not in the form I was chasing it. And although I teach dance every day and spend much of my free time thinking about and planning for it, I don't consider that my day job. It's too much fun to even call it work, although that is indeed how I make a living.

So aside from the steady paycheck and benefits, what on earth would I miss about a 9-to-6 Monday-to-Friday cubicle gig? Funny you should ask.

1. Free toilet paper. You're at the office 8 or 10 hours each day, five days each week. You're gonna need to use the restroom a whole bunch of times. You figure it out.

2. Free coffee. Not the best, not as good as I could make it at home, but hey, it was free and a good way to eat up some break time.

3. Free parking. Everywhere you go in this city, you have to pay to park. Everywhere. But when I worked in Burbank, I parked in the garage for free and at lunch, I'd walk to most places I needed to be (doctors, stores, lunch, parks...).

4. Structured writing time. Ironically, I think I was more structured then simply because my time was not my own. I happen to be a very disciplined person which is why I have gotten many more books and drafts of books completed since leaving the day job, but I kinda miss my lunchtime writing time. It really felt like my own slice of life.

And...that's about it. Sure, the money was very good and I worked with some wonderful people (many of whom are no longer there anyway) but in the end, that's not enough to woo me back. Not that anyone is trying! LOL...

I can buy cheap toilet paper, make my own coffee at home, park ten blocks away instead of at a meter, and be more consistent with my writing schedule. And I can email the friends or watch their kids grow up on Facebook. I'll take the uncertainty of my teaching paycheck over the steadiness of the day job.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Journalist or race car driver?

Oh well, says Damian Pyka to himself, No time to check! Must cut and paste!

I got an email from Edwin Black the other day with the following letter attached that he received from Mr. Pyka, apparently his favorite delusional fan from Holland:

Dear Edwin
I am one of your most faithful fans here in Holland and I decided to write
to you to express my great acclaim to your work. I think you are a great
driver and I love watching when you start in the race. It would be the best
gift ever
Align Left
if you could please send me two your picture or autograph. As I probably
not be able to meet you face to face, owning a gadget signed by you would
be an awesome pleasure for me.

Here is my address:


Thank you for reading my letter and thanks in advance for fulfilling my
Yours sincerely,


It didn't take very long for me to do a quick search for to learn that Mr. Black is an investigative journalist and author of many best-selling books. I wrote him back, laughing as I imagined he must have when he got it, and wondering exactly what sort of "gadget" Damian would have liked to receive from him.

The craziest thing is that Edwin Black actually is a New York Times best-selling author and his autograph is probably truly worth something! If only Damian had gotten it right, he might have snared an autographed "gadget" from Edwin or his publicist.

Thanks for sharing this one, Edwin. And authors/singers/dancers/race car drivers, be on the lookout for the newest addition to the autograph request group.