Write When You Find Work

Did I use this one already? No matter. It’s been well over 3 months since I started my online writing job and I still have it! Woot! Woot!

The job itself is somewhat unremarkable, other than it’s saved me, I like it and I can do it.  It’s blog writing for marketing purposes for other people. I churn it out, get paid every week and don’t get a byline. But that’s fine. All of it. Way fine. I don’t know if I’d want my name on most of it, as it’s mostly boring and verging on clickbait.

Working online is fabulous. I have actually been doing it for a few years now, but I worked for sites that charged exorbitant fees on top of shit wages. With this job, I make my rent and bills within a few days.

If I worked in an office or a physical space with these people, I wouldn’t have lasted a day. Maybe two days tops.

Our main way of communicating is through a page on Facebook. Also, most of the people who work here are 20 somethings. A bunch more of 30 somethings. These are the ones all over the Facebook page.

If they get an article rejected by the client, or even told they were less than perfect like mummy does, they rush to facebook crying about. I mean, they act as if they’d been shot. So hard done by. They are so fast to complain and then wait for all the tut-tutting and there-thering, it’s shockingly pathetic.

They love to complain and they also love to beg for applause for actually doing their job. I mean, for fuck sakes. I lost count how many times someone had to mention they took one of the harder or less interesting topics to write about. All the little twats clap and cheer. Bitch, Please. It’s. The. Job.

One of my favourites is they all rush on and ask about how to concentrate on the work. Well, stay off facebook might be a good start.

We have writers, topic makers and quality control people. The QC, as they are dubbed, can be right annoying. It’s the 20 years olds showing off because they have a diploma from agricultural college and live in a state where you can’t even buy alcohol.

They love to pick your shit apart and send it back. A few times they have been downright insulting. My natural instinct is to tell them to go fuck themselves, but I can’t lose the job. I do, however, snark back.

I’ve been heckled as a comic in some pretty seedy rooms, so having a chubby twat in middle America who was homeschooled tell me my article didn’t blow her skirt up, I’m not upset.

One woman told me to tame it down, and take the ‘flirt’ out. No thank you. It was about the sexiest shirts for me.

My less than frequent trips to the page is me shouting, ‘ Oh, Shut Up’ a lot.  I don’t comment or get involved. I did at first and was met with complete silence.

I get it, though. I do. We all have our lives to live and people shouldn’t hold theirs up to anyone else’s. There are a few people who work here like me, who live in a different country.

Unlike me, they are there spreading the good word of Jesus. My Jesus, or Hayzeus, drives a cab. Sells fruit.

Some post pictures of their scenery or view of where they are working, one put a picture of her lap and laptop from her plane seat. It’s meant to make other’s jealous.

They love the memes. I hate the fucking memes.

But, I am really relieved to have it. It seemed to swoop in at the last minute like a Prince Charming on a white horse.

I work when I want, I take time off. I sit on my crappy couch, sweating in my underpants, and it’s fabulous.

I’ve paid back everyone who helped me, (almost) and I still get giddy when I’m able to walk home with all my groceries.

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I will complain here and to my friends but refrain from commenting on facebook. I had to complain to the top guy about one of the quality control bitches who was well out of line and she’s no longer with us.

Some bitch told me the other day my writing was dry and boring. It was an article about how to save energy. I told her it was just my personality and I was surprised she didn’t call the article, ‘fat’, as well.

I also said I was under the impression the article was meant to be informative, not bring the reader to orgasm.

She didn’t send it back.

Write on!

 

 

 

 

Time and Weather

There he goes, Father Time, marching along. He goes quickly if you don’t pay attention.

I breezed through my anniversary of moving to the Dominican and my second year home-aversary for my Chancie, so I thought I better do a blog for both sites.

I started a writing job online almost three months ago now. While I like it, it’s mostly easy and actually rather boring. Which is perfect. But I have been neglecting my own writing.

June 10th marked Chancie’s second year living with us. I can’t imagine him not being here, although Jango doesn’t always agree.

Chancie, dreaming of fishes

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The 16th of June marked my fourth year since arriving here. So many miles between my old life I never expected.

Jango, enjoying a bask.

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There were wine and tuna for both occasions. I don’t partake in the tuna, they do not care for wine.

I’ve actually lost several friends, but on consideration, I don’t blame them. I understand what it’s like to be envious.

After the first few months, I tried to be very conscious of not being a brat about it all. It doesn’t seem to matter. Like, if I posted something today about the heat, which was 38 heat index by 10:30, people jump down my throat about it.

“Well, you moved there, you can’t complain”. The same people freak out at me in the winter, when they post things about how cold it is, for some reason that’s okay. If I counter with a picture of my January, which is hot, then I’m boasting or rubbing their noses in it.

I can’t say, ‘well, you decided to live there’ because then I’m an asshole. So I just shut up. I had a really rough few months here, and for some reason living in ‘paradise’ has no downside. Even when you can’t work, can’t buy food, can’t get your power turned back on and don’t know anyone.

For some reason, I stopped mattering.

I’m really happy I’m here and am okay with the culling of the herd. I guess I didn’t need them after all.

Fuck them. I have a job now that I’m really happy with it.

The cats are both well, thank you for asking.

Till next time.

I’ve included some pictures for you.

This was my walk today for cat supplies. Mango season!

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Ode To Family

On my walk to one of my grocery stores, there is a wall I pass. It’s only about four feet tall, maybe a bit more. It’s a retaining wall, as there is nothing much behind it.

Nothing but garbage, that is. Heaps and heaps and years worth of garbage flung behind the wall. The wall is made of concrete cinder blocks and has been painted with some colourful images, graffiti, some words in Spanish I assume are for advertising.

The wall has been at a tilt for as long as I’ve been walking past it and I always marvel that it is still standing. But marvel no more. Last week on my way past, it had finally given up its secrets.

Layers and layers of garbage, clothes, trees, paper, garbage. Just a wall of it. A wall behind the wall.

I have now stopped in front of it and just stared at it. It’s years worth of crap, crap that has been building and finally let go.

Which brings me to my family. So-called family. I have mostly referred to them as my dad’s family.  Have done for years.

The other day I left a snarky comment on my facebook wall. My wall. It wasn’t directed at anyone in particular and certainly didn’t name anyone.

What followed was my family’s wall of garbage. Finally collapsing down.

Immediately, a few people from my dad’s family snarked back. People who as a rule, don’t seem to even know I’m alive. One comment, from the elder of my father’s family, called me spoilt and called me a brat.

Well, fuck you.

To be honest, his response had nothing to do with my asshole comment as the comment had nothing to do with him. This was something that’s been sitting in the chamber a while now. Years would be my guess.

What it tells me was that the last piece of garbage it took for his layers to come tumbling down. This from someone who, aside from this year, couldn’t even be bothered to wish me a happy birthday.

Mostly because he’s too busy sharing posts that depict racial and xenophobic messages. Memes, I guess that he’s too fucking stupid to know are not an actual photograph.

One of the other comments suggested that ‘It was really very simple if I didn’t like something, then I should just keep moving and shut up’.  Ummm… kinda like you just fucking did? Oh, no. I guess you’re exempt, aren’t you Princess?

She still isn’t able to see the fucking hypocrisy in her comment. Check your fucking ego.

I decide to just say fuck it. Fuck them, my father’s family. If they are that cunty to me on my facebook, image what they must say about me while they are sitting around hating me.

You want an apology? Here ya go.

I’m sorry my dad left his money to me, his daughter, and not you, whoever the fuck you are. We don’t owe you anything. You are the one who inherited his business. You are the ones who drank it into the ground.

I’m sorry that after struggling for over a year to survive, I actually fucking did it, without your help. Without your compassion or even your concern.

I’m sorry you are ao boring or bored or stuck up your own stupid asshole to enjoy life. But I no longer care. It’s been mostly making nice anyhow, as we have never been close.

Yeah, sorry, not sorry, as the kids say. From the kid no one gives a fuck about.

Rant over. My dad’s daughter, out.

 

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My Birthday Blog

It’s my birthday tomorrow. I love my birthday. It’s a great time to reflect and look ahead. Having a spring birthday when I lived in Canada was nice because everything is new and starting over and coming to life. Here, it just gets more sweaty.

Last year, I drank wine, but I hadn’t drunk for about six weeks before that. I had decided that I should give it a bit of a rest, mostly because I could no longer afford it. I treated myself last year to some nice red wine and was hung over for two days.

This past year has been pretty bleak and scary. It was always a struggle and wondering and worrying how things would work out. Thankfully and very recently, they finally did.

But I am not going to talk about my shitty year, but focus on the year ahead. Last year when I put down the wine glass, the cocktail glass, the beer glass, the champagne glass, the martini glass,  … well, you see where I’m headed.

I strapped on my old running shoes and headed out in the early morning hours to go for a walk. I see a small group go by each morning and felt inspired to do the same.

I started out just walking around the few blocks of my neighbourhood, then I added a bit of a jog to it. Not a lot, just enough to get me moving and sweating.

Then, last Easter I ventured a little farther and went towards the park I like. I thought it would be good to run the stairs there, and I did! I got all the up and didn’t even puke.

I was quite surprised to see a lot of people there, walking running and biking. The whole road was closed, and I thought it must be something for the Easter weekend.

But it’s a regular thing. Every day, from about 6am to 9 am, people use the street to exercise. There are armed police and guards and all types of people there. Young, old, fit, obese, on canes, stroke victims, I absolutely love it.

I feel like I have some community here. I see a lot of the same people all the time. Some say hello, some call me a prostitute. there is lovely Santos who talks to me and the guy I see early mornings with two enormous sacks like saddle bags on his motorbike full of fresh bread and buns to deliver to the stores and restaurants.

Here’s me just over a year ago and then me today, in the shirt. It fits a bit better and I feel a lot better. I’m not trying to get movie star thin, just tired of being circus fat.

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I’m really happy I found this new job. It’s one of those situations that just has to come to some sort of conclusion. I’m very happy about this one.

I love going out early in the morning. It’s cool and quiet. I run a good long way now. Not fast, but steady. The street and park are directly up the hill from where I live and get a perfect view of the ocean.

I stop every time I’m there to take in the view. I marvel that I am so lucky that I get to live here. I marvel at the beauty and I’m making it work and all of a sudden, everything looks brighter.

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I am looking forward to my next year, to living with my new number. The job is pretty open and I have the choice to work as much as I want and make as much money as I am able.  But I think, considering the year or so I have just come through, that my motto this year will be,

“Take what you need, leave the rest”

Happy Birthday, Baby! I love you!

 

Writing Because​ I Found Work

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You know the saying?  Write when you find work. That’s what I’m doing. Writing because I found work.

I’m ridiculously happy about it. Happy, relieved and still a little surprise, to be honest.  Like the quote says, it’s a worry. it’s been over a year of worry, fret and things got rather dark for me, as well.

I wrote about that, had to. Death just rears it’s ugly or peaceful head to add its voice to the long or short lists of solutions. But that seems to be solved, for now.

I have been working online but it had been mostly a festering sack of shit that barely pays and then some asshole doesn’t want to pay at all. That happened to me on the site I work on a few weeks ago.

Then, out of the blue, well, out of the job site Indeed, there was a reply to one of the countless resumes I send. I barely noticed as I get replies all the time. The last one I got excited about made me get references, kept sending me next phases of the employment process and then the last email I received was an introduction to the head honcho.

It was a guy, all in pink and as far as I can tell, it’s a new cult for Jesus. Hard pass. I do believe they are building the bunker.

But my job is a writing job. The topics are mostly boring and they have very specific guidelines as to what they want and it’s absolutely perfect. I can’t really commit to many online jobs because my power situation is sketchy, at best.

I won’t be vulgar enough to talk dollars but I will tell you that by writing two articles a day, I make a very easy livable wage. The first week pays my rent and all my bills. That’s Santo Domingo prices on a USA wage.

The relief is overwhelming. I’ve spent the past year, or more scrapping and worrying and freaking out. It’s a weird place to be in, to realize once something runs out, like laundry soap, you may not be able to replace it.

But I can.  I am still a bit shocked that what I wanted, actually showed up. I knew it was possible and usually had a glimmer of hope somewhere and then, presto bango, there it is.

I get paid twice a week, sweet!  I was determined to make rent last month on my own and actually did it, but not quite on time. However, it was easter so I blamed that on the slow bank to my landlady.

I’m still trying to play catch-up with the household supplies, but I’m getting there. Today I went out for groceries and treated myself to a new pair of shoes, seen here, some chai tea and cockroach spray. Oh, the glamorous life I lead.

The shoes were pretty exciting.On sale for about $12 and the smell of the rubber and the canvas was intoxicating. Plus, a new box for kitties.

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On the way home, loaded down with groceries, I walked passed a group of people milling about and they were all privy to see me get beaned on the head with a mango. High hilarity, indeed, before they all headed in to the funeral home. The security guard dashed up and grabbed the mango.

But its okay. I have a job, the cats got food, I have chia tea and new blue shoes. I got to ake some people laugh on I’m guessing, a pretty shitty day. Maybe down the road, when they think about old uncle Carlos, they will have a chuckle about the old white lady getting bonked with the mango.

Good times!

 

My Dominican Diary ~ Extras ~

After nearly four years of living here, I thought I should jot a few things down, rather than just random Facebook posts. It really is a magical city, even though I do bugger all, like the shut-in I am, which makes it all the more exciting when I do get out.

This morning I was rather busy, and feel I’ve had a full day, even though I was out twice and still home by 11am.

I answered an ad on a Facebook group I belong to for a casting company looking for ‘foreign’ looking extras for a commercial. I sent them a picture and a few deets, like you do, and they said to come by where they were auditioning.

I looked up the place on the map and realized it was totes easy to get to, so good, I was going. I went for a run and then came home for a shower, then ate an entire pineapple, as you do. They are 4 for 100 pesos, so why not, is right!

I got ready and headed out. I love Sunday mornings here because it’s so quiet. I caught a public cab and all was good. A little way along, a young woman got in and gushed all over my tattoos. She spoke English and I ended up taking off my shoe and sock to show her one of my foot tattoos. She said I didn’t have to, but what the heck, right?

On her way out of the cab, she told me it was nice to meet me and said my tattoos looked good on me. I won’t lie, it was a bit of a relief. Like maybe she would have told me they made me look fat?

That last guy got out at a main street where the subway line is and is also where I get out to go to the passport office. The driver said something to me, like maybe I wanted to get out, as well, and then maybe he could go get a coffee and have a piss.

I said the name of the place I needed and then he nodded and carried on, pulling up and stopping for me when we got there. This is when I realized I had been here with my friend when we were trying to sort the banking nightmare.  I wandered around until I found a security guard, two of them in fact, sitting in lawn chairs, having a good chat.

They led me in to see two more guys on security detail, both of them staring at their phones. I showed them the company name and they did a lot of hemming and hawing, before deciding I was wrong. I went back out to the lawn chair men, they sent me to the hotel next door, who sent me back to the place I was meant to be.

The two inside finally walked me through the maze of hallways and closed businesses to the offices of the name I had showed them and yes, they were closed. One of the men kept telling me to come back tomorrow. While this was all happening, there was also a lot of walkie-talkie action back and forth.

Standing in front of the closed office door, I flipped it the bird and both men thought that was pretty funny, but on the walk back through the maze, the bigger one got a squawk on his walkie talkie and put his hand and his eyebrows up at the same time.

Yes, he nodded, there were some people here from the company, just arriving. Sure enough, when we got back a pair of youngish people, one of each, came in with backpacks and laptops and stuff, all official like.

We walked to the office, a different office space, and I said to the big security guard, ‘late!’ in Spanish like a cross school teacher and got another really good laugh and a pat on the shoulder.

Thankfully they both spoke English so things rolled along. She set up a laptop and he got out a camera and they took pictures of me against a white wall with florescent lighting. Great.

I had to hold a sign with my deets on it, like a mug shot, then a profile for both. As he was taking them, I was saying, Canadian woman arrested, found drunk and naked … if I don’t go for the laugh, my friends, I don’t go at all.

Short and sweet, I was back out. I had to walk the two blocks up to get the public cab back to my end of the city and ended up having one all to myself. After a few blocks, we were at a red light and my driver yelled over to the driver of a cab beside us, then said something to me, and when my only reaction was to stare at him, he said it louder and then louder. He finally handed me back my 25 pesos and motioned for me to get out. I got in the other cab and home we came.

It’s very exciting for me to go out on an adventure like this. I love taking the public cabs and love seeing that end of the city. It’s closer to hotels and casinos and tourist areas and I had spent a lot of time looking to find a place to live down there. Not that I don’t like where I live, it’s just a bit nicer.

I thought it was an exciting day, said the shut-in.

 

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Adventures in Passports

My passport is due for renewal. I won’t lie to you, it’s been a source of anxiety since about October. I don’t know why, but I have this unfounded fear of going somewhere where I have never been before.

If you are thinking, but you got on a plane and moved to the Dominican without ever being there before, you are correct. Yes, I had a lot of anxiety, but it was mostly for my cat.

The anxiety comes in small stages, the steps I have to take to get there, what happens when I get there, but the steps, the first steps.

I actually knew where I had to go. I looked it up and it’s just up the street from where the bus stop is, the major bus that I took to visit Santo Domingo from Sosua when I was apartment hunting.

I even tried to talk my friend into driving me, even though he just had knee surgery and can’t walk. I suggested he wait in the car, but I guess he can’t bend it far enough to drive, either. Whatever.

I took the public cab, and asked the driver if he could tell me when the street came up. He said yes and then continued to talk to the young man in the front seat. I kinda knew anyhow, just wanted that bit of insurance.

When the corner I needed came up, it was the young man from the front seat who told me it was my stop. Our driver had not once shut his hole the entire trip. Nice of the kid.  I love it when that happens.

I was going to take another public cab the other direction but the ones I saw were already about six people deep, so I opted to walk. I have been finding the weather this winter absolutely gorgeous, so didn’t mind.

I reached my destination in about half an hour, and will share with you this tidbit of trivia. Did you know the Canadian Consulate in Santo Domingo is housed in a building that also has a Hooters?  You’re welcome.

I walked up several flights of stairs, as it turns out, I didn’t need to. Had I just kept walking, I would have found the section of building I needed, Hooters-free. I stop in front of one of those ‘You are Here’ maps, it was a multi-layered mall. Loads of fast food places but nothing said ‘Your Passport here’.

Waaa… am I not in the right place? Next step of anxiety.

Then I asked a woman who worked there, and she shoved her cleaning cart behind a big sign for a store and lead me away. She took me to where I needed to go and come on, how nice is that! I love it when that happens.

The scenery went from shoe stores and French fries to security body scanners and scanners that read your face in order to get through. People were shooting through these turnstiles by their fingerprints. So Macgyver.

I signed in, got a visitors badge and then had to get through the turnstile, which was clearly locked but did not stop me from throwing myself at the locked bars like a demented toddler.

The guy who scanned me in then ran my purse through an X-ray as I was going through the body scanner. Here’s a tip. When it beeps, don’t throw your hands up and pretend you are being sprayed with bullets by jerking around, ala Bonny and Clyde.

Not only are there men there with actual guns, but the suits all coming in to work were not terribly amused. I already stand out here. Of course, I now had to get in to the elevator with them and ride the 18 floors. Luckily it went fast. Luckily they avoided eye contact.

Once I reached my floor, I was asked for my visitors badge. That’s right. I had a badge. Then I had to get my purse scanned again, like the kind at the airport, in case I found a Glock on the elevator and then through another walk through scanner, same beep, same ‘riddled with bullets’ routine, still no laughs.

Then, if that isn’t enough security, and I think it is, considering how un-secure most things are my new city, the woman helping me is behind, I will just assume, bullet-proof glass with just the smallest tray to put my documents in and then a lid slams shut, as if I might change my mind.

It was all over within about 10 minutes or so and I was free to reenact my ‘suicide by security guard’ two more times. On the way out on the ground floor, the security guard actually did laugh so my persistence in doing the bit til it works paid off. Once a comedian.

I was happy to be back on the street and was very relieved that it was all over. I walked back down the hill but in my delirium of the perfect weather and the anxious task long forgotten, I also forget that the street I need is a one way at that end. I decided I didn’t care and could have just walked back ups a block to get the public cab, but walked anyhow.

Did I mention the weather is glorious? Yes, I believe I did.