Don’t even think about talking to me…

I have always been kind of a small town girl. I grew up in the little town of Andover, Vermont, and was very sheltered my whole life, only venturing to Rutland and Burlington for shopping trips and later when I had my own transportation, to check out the immense thrift stores in Concord, New Hampshire.

But a few years ago I started going to school in Rutland, and not wanting to pay for the gas I started to bus it. My friends were all horrified by this new aspect of my life. Riding the bus into and around Vermont did nothing other than putting a bad taste in their mouth. But for me, it was a newfound freedom. It is basically pointless to have a car in Rutland.

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How to Handle Negative Feedback

I profess to being an absolute feedback junkie. Positive feedback tells me that what I’m already doing, I should keep doing. Negative tells me I need to take a step back, and evaluate whether alterations need to be made. The more constructive it is, the better. So, if this is what I believe, if this is what I know will help me improve, then why is negative feedback so hard to take?

All of this came to rise earlier this week when a friend of mine read this blog. He was the second person I told to check it out, off-handedly. Little did I expect him to check right away, then proceed with a list of all the reasons why nobody cares. It could have been an enormous bulleted list. It was a full frontal assault, and no sugar coating it at all. If you’d seen me in a bathing suit, then you’d realize I like my sugar about 5 pounds too much. It took me a moment to step back and take the advice and decide what I would use and what I would discard. Continue reading

Stylish Alternative – A Canvas Backpack

There are a lot of backpacks out there to choose from these days, from the very basic to rather expensive models with a lot of extra bells and whistles. Canvas backpacks have been around for decades now and not the most modern of options many of them still offer great storage and function as well as a classic look that never really goes out of style. The fact that they are very affordable should not be overlooked either.

A canvas backpack for school, if it is well made, is every bit as tough as some of its pricier counterparts. The fact that the canvas has a little bit of extra “give” can be helpful as well, especially if you have a lot of oddly shaped items to carry. Here are some great examples of a canvas backpack that are practical, stylish and whose price tag will not break the bank.

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First Steps Without A Fallback

It’s been more than four weeks now since I began my life without a fallback plan, and it’s been a pretty intense learning experience. Being on your own and working for yourself can be a lot more complicated than one might expect.  I thought in the beginning – “this will be great! I’m doing what I love and I get to make my own schedule and do whatever I want!”

Ha. How naive I was.

Well, I said that I would use this blog to hold myself accountable to document both my successes and my struggles, so here they are. Remember the list of goals that I made in that first post that outlined what I would strive to do every day? Remember that I said I wanted to earn my GED and follow the free online GED classes at BestGEDClasses? Well, here’s my self-progress report for the first four weeks:

1. Follow the Map – C
Although I begin every day with a list of things to get finished for the day, there have only been one or two days where I follow and actually complete that list. I do a much better job of distracting myself following my path. Because of this, I’ve gotten a little behind, especially with my attempts to score a GED.

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Why I curse public transportation

Well, it’s really not all that bad. I discovered yesterday afternoon that one of my friends at work coincidentally happened to have her car in for service this week, too, so we were able to T it together which took the sting out of it a bit, though it was COLD…

We also then conspired to both get off at the same stop and hit Ann Taylor. Again, all in the name of reducing the sting of taking the T.

I managed to pick up a pink cashmere sweater that had originally been $158 for $39.99 – go me. As my friend said, you just can’t afford not to take advantage of a deal like that.

She got 2 sweaters and some excellent shoes. Then we ventured home, agreeing that we really needed to get our cars back, since we could not afford to take the subway together every day. Bad influences.

This morning was not quite as fun. It is absolutely freezing here. I wore the heaviest cable knit sweater I own and I was still so cold. The sidewalks aren’t exactly shoveled on my way to my office so navigating the slippery street was an exercise in anxiety. Continue reading

Tips to improve writing techniques

No matter your profession, your level of education, or your income bracket, almost everyone has a story about a dreaded writing assignment or a fanatical teacher who bled red ink.

Our teachers were all well-intentioned and gave us some necessary tools for success, but in the process, many of us learned that there’s a right way and a wrong way to write, and that more often than not, we were doing it wrong.

In the new era of Internet marketing and social media buzz, writing well isn’t just a necessary evil to pass a class, it’s often the only way to reach short-attention-span consumers who have too many choices and too little time.

Just take a closer look at the tips listed in this post, and more great information is also available here:

Practice tests for the GED test:
Free help How To Write:
Free Grammer Help:

So, here are five lessons that the real world teaches us about how to write to engage our target market:

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‘Everything is so 5 minutes ago’

Suddenly, the heat’s on to stay cool

A couple of years ago, mesh trucker caps, the kind with the peaked foam facade screaming “John Deere” and other never-in-New York logos, perched on the pates of intrepid hipsters in such edgy haunts as Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Now, guys who grace the cover of YM magazine, wear them. In other words, now they’re not exactly cool.

“As soon as Ashton Kutcher adopts a trend, that’s when you know it’s over,” says Robert Lanham, Williamsburg denizen and author of the recently published Hipster Handbook. Ditto Kutcher’s female counterpoint, Avril Lavigne, she of the erstwhile-edgy studded leather cuffs.

Out in a mall store in Massapequa, N.Y., a mere 30 miles from his neighborhood, Lanham spies a succinct illustration of his point: a red-and-white trucker hat with “Dork” slapped across the front in fuzzy black letters. When it makes it out to Massapequa — Jerry Seinfeld says it’s Indian for “near the mall” — the irony of appropriating something so antifashion as a scratchy nylon hat gets lost along the Long Island Expressway.

And guess who becomes the real dork.

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How to Stifle Your Creativity And Underwhelm the Masses

There are endless lists on how to create that you just skim over and forget about. But you should really consider the opposite. How do you stifle your creativity? Not grow it? Or inspire an audience? Trust me. It’ll make a greater impact and slap you across the face. In the best way possible… Cheers!

1) Completely overwhelm yourself by what everyone else is doing in the blogosphere and keep at least 25 tabs open on your computer to see how you can compete. Consequently, decide you can’t and lock down into an epic state of paralysis. Might as well close up shop. At the prompt, “Are you sure you want to delete your blog?” Hit yes.

2) Procrastinate as an act of fierce rebellion. If the world really wanted you to create, it wouldn’t be so damn hard. So do nothing instead until the procrastination turns into a form of debilitating depression.

3) Exhaust yourself with office drama, gossip, and meaningless initiatives until you are emotionally drained by 6:30 pm and can do nothing but eat in front of the TV in comfort. Squash and mutilate the voice that wanted you to do work on a drawing tonight. Inform that voice it is dead to you.

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Adult Education Sucks!

Wow, today has been hectic and I’ve not even been at work. Last night I went to bed fairly early because I had some sorting out to do with the bank. Why? Because I’m an idiot.

I managed to pay my monthly credit card bill twice for some reason and normally I wouldn’t care, because hey, that balance needs to be cleared. But it’s August people. I don’t have the money to be paying for things twice right now – places to go, people to see.

So being the idiot that I am, I groveled to the bank, and they told me to ring back first thing today to get the second payment recalled. And this is why I went to bed early last night so that I could be up at 9 am to beg the bank for my money back.

After 2 minutes on the phone, the cash was back in my account. OK, well that was easy. Now do my homework, I need to get that GED! Fortunately, I take these prep classes, thank God! But I still need to learn of course and it’s a lot, check it yourself.

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Versatile Award For Bloggers

The super-adorable Janie of Monster Girl Writes gave the Versatile Blogger Award to me! You definitely need to check out her blog ’cause it’s fantastic and so well-written. Go. Do. Now.

I think this is my first blog award ever and now I feel all special and like I just won an OSCAR or something. Omigosh, I cannot believe it! I would like to thank…

4 Rules go along with this award:

Rule 1:

Thank the person who gave you this award.

Thanks, Janie!
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