Thanks For Everything…And Nothing

Today’s Daily Post prompt asks that we take a second to give thanks to or for something. In the spirit of not being a complete asshat, I’ll say my nice stuff first:

Thanks Mum, for being sweet and slightly weird. You’ve helped me carve out a niche for myself as a similarly sweet, and somewhat-less-than-kooky person. You also taught me to love animals, and that’s something a kid can never hear too early or often. I feel sorry for people whose parents think animals are just “things.” That must suck.

Also, thank you Daddy for being excited about learning. Sure, you tell lots of tall tales, but when it comes down to it, your grasp of logic and reality is superb. You balance Mum out very well, and got me into all the things that matter – questioning life, reading everything I could get my hands on, knowing when a yard sale is going to be good, feeling most at home in nature, and generally trusting no one.

From all of that, one might glean that I’m off to join a militia somewhere, but really I am pretty even-keeled. It’s The Man who’s well-prepared and sometimes talks of stockpiling supplies, just in case. Which reminds me:

Thank you, Man, for listening when I struggle to find ways to express myself. Thank you for knowing what I’m thinking before I say it, and knowing where I’m going with a sentence even if I’m having trouble finding all of the most important words to string it together. Sometimes I’ll be trying to tell you something and the words that come out barely make sense to me, but you just know me. That’s huge. I’m sorry I’m so stuck in my own head sometimes, and too proud other times. I’m sorry that I take the easy way out and don’t talk to you enough sometimes. I’m trying to do better – thanks for seeing that, and working with me even when it’s hard for you to be patient, too.

So now that I’ve gotten all of the good stuff out of the way, here’s what I’m actually here to say…

To all of the people who keep writing to me and asking me to feature their product/story/deal/etc. on my blog without offering me any kind of compensation – NO DEAL. It’s a pretty big insult, no matter who you are or to whom you’re speaking, to ask for free space to advertise your wares, no-strings-attached.

Maybe, just maybe, if I had some kind of relationship with you, I’d be nice enough to post a review of your new book, or mention the sweet t-shirt you made me for my birthday, or send people over to see the awesome blog post you just wrote about your cat, etc. But the fact is that I don’t know you, and still you have the nerve to email me and ask that I whore my personal space (a.k.a. this blog) out to you like that’s OK?

As if that were not enough, most of you also want me to work for you for free (with, I might add, no attempt to even pretend there’s a possible ROI.) Just in case you’re not sure why this is a bad thing, there’s this thing called a writer, and when writers write for other people they normally get this thing called a paycheck. Look it up – I promise I’m not shitting you.

By the way, C&Q is hosted on WordPress.com, and we have some rules we have to stick to over here. Thanks for making it really easy with your unattractive offers.

See, I can be thankful 🙂

The New Orleans ADDY Awards

My beautiful team of coworkers and I won two awards last weekend at the New Orleans ADDYs! We won gold for a leasing brochure produced for Time Warner Center, and silver for an integrated marketing campaign created for a local nonprofit called NO/AIDS Task Force. I had just started working at Cathedral Creative Studios when the leasing brochure was created, so technically our award doesn’t have anything to do with me. However, I was very deeply involved with NO/AIDS’ Art Against AIDS campaign, and actually created the entire online strategy for marketing the event. I’m so psyched that less than a year after graduating with my Master’s in Internet Marketing, I’m already an award-winning strategist! Even better is the knowledge that it only gets better from here.

I had a talk with my boss the other day, and it turns out that my responsibilities at Cathedral will be growing substantially in the near future. It’s fantastic to know that I not only get to work with such fun, fantastic and fearless guys, but I’m also given so much support and love on a daily basis. I can’t begin to stress how wonderful it is to have finally found a workplace to call “home” after so many years of searching. I’m a little scared that I’m not prepared to take the big steps that I’m going to have to be taking pretty soon, but I have a plan for getting prepared and learning the skills I need to thrive in this career of mine.

Here’s a couple of silly snapshots I took of myself the night of the event. It was a 1940’s-themed event, and I scored the best outfit pretty much last minute. Bought my very first (and definitely not my last) dress from Trashy Diva (called “Honey Child” – how appropriate!), and paired it with a fun feathered hair clip and bold red lips for a vintage look. It was a hit, too – just wish someone had taken a better photo.

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