Thursday, March 17, 2011

fresh-cut grass!

It's about 61 degrees out now (1:44 PM), but it feels warmer in the sun.  I just took a nice stroll around the neighborhood, walked around for about an hour.  On Gravesend Neck Road, right around East 1st Street, there was a strong scent of fresh-cut grass, certainly the first time I've smelled that this season.  I've seen a crocus or two, but this really smelled like spring.

I'm home today on "Independent Job Search" -- which requires a midday walk in the spring sun.  I had an interview yesterday and I feel 98% sure I'll be hired -- possibly because she kept saying, "I am going to hire you."  She said it about three times.  I think what happened is that I asked for a little more money than she was planning to pay, and had to talk to her accountant about it.  But I think I did convince her that I was worth my $35K asking price:  even though I had limited experience in the jewelry field, I had a lot of administrative experience, and it was clear that I'd learn her business very quickly.  Stay tuned.

I have no idea exactly what happens on the public assistance front if and when I get a job.  Do I still have to go to the daily grind until I start work?  what happens to our benefits?  (I do know that Medicaid will be good for the next six months no matter what.)  I'm going to try to see my job counselor tomorrow morning, because I may well have an offer very soon.

I'm seeing Lily tomorrow, which is a big event because she is insanely busy with school and internships and work these days.  We're going to have lunch, since we get released from Back-to-Work around 12:30 on Fridays.

Also -- someone else who did me a good deed:  my former boss Ken (the good boss who hired me at Penguin, not the bad one who got rid of me).  He sent me a St. Patrick's Day card with a $25 Starbucks gift card in it.  I very, very rarely hear from him, although he's one of my job references.  He's a quiet person; I don't think he'd disagree if I said he's shy.  But he's tremendously goodhearted, and one of the very best bosses I've ever had.

Ken really believed in me and was always willing to give me a chance to tackle something.  I came to his department as a temp, and temped there for three or four months before I finally managed to get hired (there had been some terrible hires in that department over the past couple of years, and Ken and I had to really work at it).  One day when I was still a temp, Ken was overwhelmed by calls he had to make, or maybe there were a bunch he didn't want to do.  I think it was following up with some media that had received galleys (this was in book publicity, by the way).  I volunteered to do it, telling him, "I'm really good on the phone."  So he said, "Go ahead," and stood by to listen as I made the call.  A minute or so later, he gave me a thumbs up and walked away.

Once I was on permanently and had my own book assignments -- well, let me go back for a minute.  I actually had my own book right before my permanent hire.  There was a certain author that Ken couldn't stand dealing with, and I volunteered to make a call to this author.  I figured out how to deal with the guy pretty quickly, and told Ken that I would handle any contact with this author if he wanted.  So he was actually my author before I was hired.  I guess because it was my first assignment, and at first, my only one, and maybe also because I realized how different and interesting the book was, I worked my ass off on it.  In all fairness, the author did get a few major publicity hits set up before I got started (a piece in Rolling Stone, an appearance on The Colbert Report).  It was a big home run, both in hardcover and in paper, and it really made me at that job.

But once I was hired, Ken would pretty much assign me to any book I got very excited about.  He figured out pretty quickly that I pushed really hard for a book I really believed in, even if it was a "big" book that wouldn't normally go to the most junior publicist.  (This was very untrue of his successor, who kept every single big book for herself.)  That's how I got to do the David Lynch book -- the second I heard about it, I ran into Ken's office and said Please Please Please.  (The new boss was there when the Lynch book came out in paperbook, and made a screwface about my being the publicist.  I was already in with the Lynch crew and she really couldn't do anything about it.  Very early on, she and I went to a Lynch event together, and when David came up and kissed me on the cheek, I think she knew she couldn't take the book from me.  As Emily Litella would say, "Bitch.")

One more story about Ken's generosity:  he represented an author I liked a lot, and loved the book, and I believe we had already arranged that I would do the paperback, or maybe it was that I took over a bunch of work on it a bit after publication.  Anyway, I was involved somehow, and Ken and I were both invited to a launch party that a friend of the author's threw (in an amazing little townhouse in Harlem).  Ken was both editor and publicist for the book, but when we were heading up to the party, he told me to tell people that I was the publicist.  It certainly made me feel more comfortable in a group of writers and book people who were strangers to me.  Ken actually looked fairly uncomfortable at the party, but as I said, he's shy.

I'm still on the mailing lists of both the difficult author and the author I liked, but not with the Lynch camp any more.  I had been closely in touch with his right-hand guy (I wasn't close enough to contact David directly), but he sent me a very snappish e-mail one time, and I never replied.  If it had just been a bad mood, he never made amends; I never heard from him again.

I've been thinking about setting up a little shop on Cafe Press to sell tee shirts and what-have-you with old advertising images on them, mostly, I think, beverage labels.  Like so:

Do we like these?  I also have some smashing foreign ones, and beer as well as soda.  I was playing around with some of the images this morning...they tend to get a little blurry when I enlarge them.  Maybe I need to scan some at a higher resolution -- these are actually images I downloaded, although I do own these labels and many others.

I would wear tee shirts with these images on them.  (Cafe Press, by the way, is set up so that you can sell with no set-up costs; last I checked, the seller uploads the images and chooses what kind of goods to use -- tee shirts, coffee mugs, etc.  There is a price for making each item, and the seller chooses how much over that to charge; the items are made to order.)

1 comment:

  1. This comment has nothing to do with 'fresh cut grass'; for me the concept does not evoke feelings of warmth and spring, rather times when it was I doing the cutting !!

    Anywho, it is the first blog I have ever read. The idea of bearing my soul to the world invoked a sense of conceit alien to my nature along with the thought, who cares?

    Thank you Jennifer for permitting me a peek into the humanity of a caring and loving individual who feels life on a very sharp edge. There were poignant and bitter moments, instances of great irony and deep insight, views into the contradictions, paradoxes, realities, stupidities, and yes, the truly touching moments of our existencies. And I also had a few laughs !!!

    I am truly grateful.