combined because I've already made three posts today

I sewed two buttons back onto my clothes yesterday, one on my all-purpose cardigan and one on the black silk shirt, and I think that's the last sewing until I get my new, improved eyes.

I finished editing a machine learning paper this afternoon, and sent it to the client, with an invoice. She has already paid it; the time stamp on the Paypal notification was *three minutes* after I sent her the email. I think that's the fastest a client has paid me, and will be a hard record to beat.

Having spent a couple of evenings unable to find anything on my kindle that I wanted to read, when the King County Library told me yesterday that the ebook of *Artificial Condition* (the second Murderbot story) was ready, I grabbed a half dozen other things, semi-randomly, to allow for a variety of moods. I have no idea if this will work, but couldn't think of a reason not to try it. So far, I am happily reading Murderbot, and just picked up two hardcover books I'd had on reserve at the Somerville library.

The neurologist's office called to say the insurance company has approved the Ocrevus. Next, the specialty pharmacy will call me, I will say that yes I want this medication, and they'll send it to the neurologist and we can schedule the infusion. (I think my OK is necessary because I do have a small copay for the drug.) a small fee for the drug.) I want the first half-dose is February 5 (which gives a few days slack between the second half-dose and the cataract surgery), and based on what they said today, I'll have more than enough time.
I have talked to the Senior Technical Editor at the client I mentioned a few days ago, then looked at the various documents she sent me, and emailed to say that I'm interested and this looks like work I can do. The next step is that they have sent me, as a test, a previously published book chapter to proofread. I will be paid for this, though at a lower hourly rate than for live proofreading work. If I do well enough on this test, they will give me actual proofreading work, and possibly copyediting (which pays significantly better). My impression is that they are, if anything, in more need of copyeditors than of proofreaders.

The test is twelve pages and they want it back by the 18th of this month, which should be plenty of time (I have one other small proofreading job in hand right now).
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Nov. 29th, 2017 06:20 pm)
I had email this morning from the client in my previous post, saying to use dropbox, and that they had noticed they don't have my bank information on file, which they need in order to pay me.

So I uploaded the file, told them I had done so, and gave them the information for my business checking account. This may be the third time I've used it, since opening it in early 2016, shortly before moving. I set it up at the advice of someone at my credit union, when I went in to give them a change of address and find out how to handle deposits when I no longer live anywhere near a BECU branch.

This is one reason I'm glad I'm using a credit union: it made sense to set up this account because it has no minimum balance and no fees. (I'm not doing a huge amount of freelance work, and my other recent clients have paid by either check or Paypal.)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Nov. 28th, 2017 08:24 pm)
I just finished a copyedit for a new freelance client: they wanted someone who was comfortable with math, but didn't want me editing the math (good), beyond looking at end-of-line punctuation for display equations. So, at about 2:30 this afternoon I sent them the edited book, my invoice, and a cover letter.

The message bounced. First Panix said that was too large an outgoing message for their mail system. Then I tried gmail, which got me a bounce message from the client's mail system. So I sent another email, saying that the project is done but their mail system bounced it, and how do they handle receiving large files (likely dropbox, but I'm waiting to hear back). The odd thing is that their system will send messages that big.

This was a flat-rate job, for which the client offered $400. I looked at the manuscript and said I'd do it for $475, which they accepted. I didn't track hours on this one, but I think my price quote was reasonable from that angle. What I didn't take into account was that editing on PDFs (by writing comments) is physically harder for me than in Word. That doesn't mean I should charge more, so much as think more carefully about whether to take on such projects at all.

Meanwhile, my contact at ACM sent me the first few smaller files from that bimonthly batch about an hour before I finished working on this book. PDFs again, so I may not even look at them until Thursday.
We filed our taxes on time, and turned out to owe Massachusetts enough that they assessed a penalty for not having made estimated tax payments. So, a first quarter estimated payment for 2017 also went out on the 18th. (Just Massachusetts; we're fine on the federal income tax.)

I'm working on a small proofreading job right now, and also just filled out some forms for a previous client, whose employer wants a W-9 and evidence that I am a freelancer rather than an employee. That evidence is me saying that I set my own hours, don't work on campus, and such, plus a list of other clients. (I'm not going to try to list all my past clients, back to whenever, so the attached sheet of paper says "Current and recent clients include" and has some names.) I was annoyed when the request came in, in part because I'd thought I was done with that project; my client sent the payment almost immediately after I finished copyediting his book.)

Spring is moving pretty quickly, with lots of violets and rhododendron right now; I saw an amusing cluster of daffodils near Mount Auburn Street today (and may post a photo separately). One of the lettuces I planted last week was pulled out and left on the ground; I don't know whether to blame rabbits, squirrels, or unspecified other mammals. I hope some of the lettuce seeds I started will be ready to plant moderately soon.

On the activism front, I was pleased to see that the state prosecutors (Attorney General Healey and the county DAs*) are setting aside almost all of the convictions tainted by fraudulent lab results. This is something I was making phone calls about in February and March, as well as something the ACLU sued over. A lot of those people are already out of prison, but having a felony conviction on record is still hurting them. Having done very little political/activist in the last few weeks, I am now trying to decide which of two protests to go to in Boston on Saturday this weekend. The March for Science sounds like more fun, but the emergency anti-deportation rally outside ICE headquarters likely needs me more. ETA: The anti-ICE protest has been moved to Sunday at 3 p.m., which means I could do both, energy allowing.

[personal profile] 42itous's daughter wants to come back and play with our cats again; I told her I like the idea, but we need to figure out when will work.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2016 02:12 pm)
I turned in the copyediting job, and am now back to proofreading a math book. Here at the bottom of page 16, I find "By the axiom of choice, there exists a set B which consists of one element from each Aα."
I have figured out how to keep the apartment habitable on hot days, and the cats are not happy: the trick is to keep the porch door closed, and only wear clothes if I'm going outside. (The porch is an effective greenhouse, especially in the morning, since we don't want to open the windows too far lest the cats destroy the screens.) I was okay sitting at my desk and doing things in the kitchen and living room until about 2:00, and then had to start taking cooling breaks to sit in the air conditioned bedroom, but the last time it got this hot (a high of 97F/36C) I barely left the bedroom.

I'm making steady progress on the freelance copyediting project; being able to get a couple of chapters done yesterday was a pleasant surprise. I did two more today, before heading off to Davis Square to see my doctor and then have ice cream.

The medical appointment was pretty routine: two dermatological issues, both of which may be resolved by the same precription (an antifungal pill). One of them started right after I wore a new bra; the nurse practitioner asked, and no, I hadn't washed it before wearing it.

The ice cream was specifically part of the plan, because [personal profile] adrian_turtle told me on Tuesday that J.P. Licks has cucumber ice cream this month. I remembered it favorably from three years ago, and wanted to try it again. It's still good, but a hot fudge sundae may not be its ideal setting. I tried that because I remembered dipping cucumber into chocolate fondue, and am considering going back and just getting the ice cream with chocolate or hot fudge sauce, without the whipped cream.

I harvested two more cucumbers this morning; they are nice and fat, and we will find out in a couple of hours whether they are properly ripe. I also picked the first cherry tomato, which we shared.
This morning I finished my latest copyediting project, which I have emailed to the client. This afternoon I went to the library to use their printer, and will be mailing a hardcopy of the contract to the client tomorrow. (We haven't unwrapped and set up the printer/scanner, and a quick trip to the library seemed simpler.)

I also succeeded in using my credit union's money management [sic] app to deposit a check, after re-taking the photo of the front a few times. Flush with success, I tried a second check. The app kept claiming that the amount I had entered didn't match what was shown on the check. After triple-checking and re-entering the numbers, I got [ profile] cattitude to confirm that I was reading it right. So I tried again, and the app hung (in the same state as on previous days, with the camera flash stuck on and the camera not responding). Still, I now know that it's at least possible with this phone.
This was an odd-shaped trip: I flew east on four days' notice, with the goals of (a) looking at one specific apartment and deciding whether we wanted it; (b) getting ice cream at Tosci's; and (c) spending some time with [personal profile] adrian_turtle [1]. [ profile] cattitude said he would be happy for me to make a decision about the apartment for both of us, and I was willing to do that, so he stayed home with the cats.

Adrian had not only found and told us about the apartment listing, she offered to take a look at the place on our behalf. When she found it good, I made an appointment with the landlady to look at the apartment myself, and then hurriedly booked plane tickets. (The eastbound trip was a long travel day, getting up very early, connecting through Houston, and arriving close to bedtime; for the trip back, I was able to trade air miles for a nonstop ticket.)

The afternoon after I got to Boston, I looked at the apartment, and asked the owners (who have lived there for several years, and are moving because they now have three children and want more space) questions about things like the thermostats [2]. I called Cattitude a couple of times, describing things and asking his opinions about some of them, and then I told the owners that we would like the apartment. She asked for the contact information for my current and previous landlords; I had the current building office number in my cell phone, and for the place we lived in New York I gave her the street address and "it's Samson Management, Rego Park, N.Y." and she said she'd be in touch after she talked to them.

Then on Friday Cattitude talked to our building office, which wouldn't send our rent/payment history to the potential landlady, but was willing to walk him through how to get it off their website, and I emailed Samson, because they wouldn't release the information without our okay [3]. By then it was almost 4:00 Friday, and the Samson office isn't open on weekends, so I got to wait and worry. (An email Sunday evening saying that they were doing "due diligence" on "the strongest candidates" had felt like a lead-in to letting me down gently, but Adrian said it also sounded like someone who had had a difficult time getting three small children to sleep.) A little after nine on Monday morning, my cell phone rang; it was someone from Samson, who was having trouble finding the record; with Cattitude's name, and the address and apartment number, they found it, and about twenty minutes later I was making an appointment to sign a lease and a couple of checks.

The apartment isn't perfect, but we think it will do for a year and a half. Not only is it a walk-up (which is a risk, but my knees are a lot better than they were a few years ago), but there's less closet space, and less wall space where we can put bookshelves. We do get a large attic, which means we'll need to decide which books we need easy access to and which can spend a couple of years in boxes, and will probably also need boxes for different-season clothing. Advantages include a small sun room, and use of the back yard (meaning we can garden), and that we will be near Mass Ave, the Minuteman Bikeway, and Spy Pond, and a short bus ride from Adrian's apartment.

Adrian was teaching Friday, so I decided that would be a good time for me to go to Central Square for that hot fudge sundae. I usually have sweet cream ice cream in sundaes, but it's always worth looking at the current list of flavors, and last week one of the choices was orange clove. I got a taste, and then ordered it, and it goes very nicely with hot fudge and whipped cream.

Since I made this trip on such short notice, instead of telling my freelance clients I would be unavailable, I took my laptop with me in case they sent me work. I'd meant to bring the mouse (I don't like trackpads), forgot it, and discovered Thursday that the trackpad had broken since I last used the machine. Fortunately, wireless mice are cheap and readily available, so that was only a nuisance. I wound up doing the editing in shorter bits than usual, with longer breaks—I missed my big monitor, and Adrian's desk is optimized for her hardware, height, etc., not mine.

[1] I deliberately kept that list short, and something that I was sure I could accomplish. Look at this one apartment, and get ice cream. (Adrian presented me with a small container of Tosci's sweet cream when I got to her place on Wednesday, because she is thoughtful and loves me, but I still wanted, and got, the sundae.)

[2] an example of a question most people wouldn't think to ask, but the place we live now has weird thermostats which not only aren't programmable, they have no temperature numbers on the controls.

[3] I realize this isn't exactly high security, but anything that had been would have taken longer and/or been less convenient.
Yesterday we met [ profile] cattitude's brother, sister-in-law, and nephew for lunch; they were spending Christmas week in Seattle, doing various kinds of tourist stuff. (Cattitude spent a large chunk of Friday with them, but I had work to do.)

We met at Ivar's Acres of Clams, which is on the downtown Seattle waterfront; I was pleased with all my food, but Cattitude's paella was sadly lacking in rice. The conversation was good; brother-in-law was sympathetic to my complaints about some of what I've been needing to do for work. (He comes at it from the other end, as a peer reviewer whose job doesn't include this sort of editing or proofreading but who sometimes has to say that the writing is too unclear to publish.)

We left the restaurant a bit after 2:00, and they invited us to come back to their hotel and hang out some more; I declined because I had work to finish off. (Given that heading straight home I didn't get here until almost 4:00, that was definitely the right decision.)

However, I have sent the manuscript back, and today has been much less energetic: I prepared and sent the invoice for the last two editing assignments; went to the library; and exercised some.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 9th, 2015 12:36 pm)
This one mostly went well, I think: shoulder strengthening stuff; ultrasound and stretches and some balance/proprioception work, and ice massage (ouch) for the ankle; and they checked range of motion and pain on the hand. That last was all fine at the session, but the hand hurt (as it has been) when I picked up Scrabble tiles carelessly.

What I need to remember is that PT is draining even when I don't think so at the time. But I have work to do after lunch (heat wave permitting).

Also, King County Metro transit has quietly removed the best bus stop for me to use to get to the physical therapist's, without saying so on their website. (Bus stops moves/closures in Seattle get mentioned, which led me to think for a while that they'd do the same for changes on this side of Lake Washington.) That meant walking further—the now-closest stop is the one before the one I'd been using, but not having been warned meant I used the stop after. On the other hand, it is now blackberry season, so I picked and ate a few berries along the way.

I think this is a good problems to have: having put off a copyediting test (for a hoped-for new client) yesterday because of the heat, I now have to juggle prioritizing it against paid work for an existing client, the people I was doing math editing for back in February-April.
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( May. 1st, 2015 03:09 pm)
[ profile] cattitude is done working for Microsoft. He gave notice in the middle of April, and his last day was the 30th. No, we don't know what comes next, except that it won't be right away: the first order of business is some time off and not setting the alarm clock.

Meanwhile, I've had a bit less freelance work than I was expecting this past week. That was good early in the week, while Adrian was here, but at this point I want to wrap up the chapter I'm editing on so I can send it in, send them an invoice, and maybe start another. (We're waiting for answers to specific questions from the client; I suspect there's maybe an hours' work after that, and I've been waiting for several days.)

I have heard from another company that wants freelance math copyediting and proofreading; the next step is going to be a short copyediting test. Then (assuming I do well on it) I get to find out how much work they are looking to send out, and how regularly. I would like something that's likely to go long-term (my part of the math project I've been posting about will probably end sometime in August), but I need to keep an eye on workload, rather than have two clients each expecting 30 hours of my time in the same week.

I did PT yesterday, so only a relatively brief workout this morning, because there's significant overlap between the strengthening part of the current PT regimen and my workouts:

Thursday PT and exercise, and Friday exercise, in case anyone cares )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Mar. 30th, 2015 05:10 pm)
The cats are settling in nicely, for values of that which include getting between me and the keyboard at inconvenient moments. In this case, inconvenient because I was babysitting an FTP job (using the command line, after drag and drop seemed to have worked but didn't). We have taken some photos, but not yet gotten them off the camera.

My physical therapy went well. The intern I'd been working with is now at another internship, so I worked with the physical therapist whose practice it is. He took some time to check range of motion and strength, and concluded that I am doing quite well, so did mostly strengthening exercises today. The stretches have now all been moved to homework. (In addition to having me do strengthening exercises, he did traction and ultrasound, and I got ice massage. Both that and the ultrasound were applied to a slightly different area of the right shoulder than in previous sessions.)

Once I have an acknowledgement on the ftp, I can invoice for editing this chapter, Update at about 10:15 p.m.: I just got an acknowledgement that the ftp went through, and have sent my invoice. Now, hoping for another chapter soon.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2015 07:54 pm)
I started a freelance math editing project on Friday (and then didn't do much on the weekend, because I had slept badly).

I cheerfully told my physical therapist today that the shoulder is getting a lot better, which it seemed to be. Then I came home and did another two hours of freelance editing, making about five today, with chunks of repetitive keyboard and mouse stuff. At the moment, it seems likely that rest, rather than icing, stretches, and ultrasound, is what's been making it feel better.

I expect to be working close to full-time hours this week, and maybe have to go into the weekend, for this project. I'm glad to have the work, but am going to have to be careful about other keyboarding and mousing. (This is project-based and going to be episodic; I don't know how many chapters they're thinking of giving me, except that I suspect nobody gets a second chapter till they've seen our work on the first one.)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Mar. 12th, 2015 06:30 pm)
The PT for my shoulder* is going well, for values of "well" that mean I'm now doing more of the work. When it was mostly stretching, traction (i.e. the therapist stretching my arm and shoulder for me), and ultrasound, it felt easy. Now, there are more strengthening exercises, meaning I'm doing more work. I have no new homework after today's session, though. (Generally, we try something new at most PT sessions. If a new thing goes well, I say so at the next session, and it may be added to my set of things to do at home.)

I also have a new paid freelance project, math editing again. I first heard from the client a couple of weeks ago, and then nothing for just long enough that I'd started wondering whether anything would come of it. I now have my first assigned chunk of work (they're calling them chapters while saying that isn't quite accurate because this is an online first/only project). There's a training session tomorrow morning, which is being recorded; I will listen to it later, rather than getting up in time to be awake and focused at 7 a.m. PDT. The documents they sent along include a style guide, which will be useful: this is for the Australian market, so it includes the desired punctuation of "anticlockwise" and not to use "counterclockwise."

Also, I am roasting a duck for my and [ profile] cattitude's dinner.

*I somehow aggravated the old rotator cuff injury, and after going to my GP to confirm that diagnosis, have been seeing a physical therapist for a bit over a month.
I had planned to visit [personal profile] adrian_turtle this weekend.

Shortly after I got my train tickets, the weather forecasters started talking about this storm. By yesterday it was looking iffy, because the MBTA had announced that they were shutting down the T at 3:30, and I was due to arrive in Boston at 1:45. However, a friend of Adrian's was supposed to be on the same train (starting in Philly), had left his car at the Alewife T station, and offered to drive me the couple of miles from there to her home. So I packed my bag and put the decision off until this morning, depending on the weather.

This morning, it turned out that I wouldn't have a ride for the last bit of the trip, because Adrian's friend had, sensibly, taken an earlier train. I decided that a sensible hobbit wouldn't chance being stranded at South Station. Or, worse, at Harvard Square. (Or even Providence, R.I., but that seemed unlikely, given the forecast.)

Sitting here, warm and dry, with little snow on the ground in Boston yet, it's easy to second-guess myself. But the storm forecast for the Boston area is not encouraging, and while "snowed in with Adrian" wouldn't be horrible, it's also not a goal. I can see her next weekend.

The personal lesson from what I did right before Hurricane Sandy isn't "in case of bad weather, you should be in Boston." It's "don't get on the train at the beginning of a major storm whose impact will be much worse at the destination."

I do have useful things to do here, notably training (reading and watching videos) for a freelance editing project that's supposed to start next week. I have also been summoned to an unemployment insurance meeting Monday morning, which I am going to attend (weather allowing) largely so they don't yank my benefits for this week: the project in question may give me significant work for longer than I'm going to be living in New York. If so, I will be eligible for little or no more unemployment insurance. Not getting benefits because I have work is entirely reasonable. Not getting them once we move to Washington is part of federalism, I guess (two different people I've talked to this week, one of them American, were surprised when I told them).
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Aug. 29th, 2012 07:31 pm)
I called the temp agency that had originally sent me to Triumph yesterday afternoon, and asked if they had anything for me. The woman said she didn't, but asked for a current resume to send to a possible client, so I sent along another copy. About 7:00 last night, my cell phone rang. They wanted to know if I was available tomorrow.

I said yes, got the details, and at 10 this morning was at an ad agency on 23rd Street, ready to proofread. Despite having said they wanted me at 10, they didn't have anything until 10:45, because the people who would hand me the work weren't in yet.

In the course of the day, I proofread some web "landing pages" (and, since I had the time, poked a bit at things like whether it required people to actually check the "I have read and accept the terms and conditions" box); some Powerpoint slides; and a color flyer. And spend a bunch of time waiting to see what might come along next. Around a quarter to five I asked if they needed me to stay (since I had originally been told "10 until 4 or 5") and was told yes; an hour later my contact came back and said that no, I was done for the day.

So, a full day's pay and, I hope, the temp agency will now be thinking of me as available and willing to do things on short notice. (If they want to send me back to that ad agency, that's fine, though I might hope for a busier day.)
In the last few days, I have filled out two different "Parliamentary consultancy" questionnaires on same-sex marriage, both of which included questions about the role of religious celebrants. I'm not a citizen or resident of either Australia nor the United Kingdom, but neither form asked for an address or about citizenship, and they both wanted input from all "interested parties."

We saw a mourning cloak butterfly in the park yesterday. They tend to be one of the earliest kinds of butterfly, if not the earliest, but this seems early even for mourning cloaks. (I got close enough to get some pictures, while it was sunning itself on a dead branch.)

I finally installed the necessary software on our (moderately) new printer/scanner/fax machine, and configured it for wireless use, and [ profile] cattitude has printed to it from his computer. (The device ships knowing how to make black-and-white photocopies.) Once I check them over, we can file our taxes. And then I made myself some hot chocolate, because dealing with printer software is like that.

I continue to be annoyed by people who have been warned not to say "like" instead of "as" so often that they now write "as" where they should write "like." And I probably couldn't code in Lisp to save my life, but I will be counting parentheses as long as I live. I get paid to fix both of these, but only one of them irritates me if I see it in print.

Having left my all-purpose cardigan at the gym on Friday, and lost an earring from one of my favorite pairs yesterday, I will probably be a bit cautious about carrying valuable things (valuable either in dollars or for sentimental or practical reasons) for a few days. I have earrings I like but am not strongly attached to, and they will do for the moment.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jan. 11th, 2012 01:55 pm)
I've just been laid off—along with, according to the email, 10% of the staff. My boss's boss, who was in the room with the HR person, assured me that it's not a reflection on the quality of my work. I have a probably incomplete list of things I need to do, some more urgent than others. I am doing okay for the moment, and not worried about finances in the short term (we have been living well within our means).

I'm looking for editorial work, including editing, copyediting, or proofreading. I'd prefer full-time/in-house work in New York City or by telecommuting, but am also interested in freelance assignments.
I'm trying to figure out what needs to be in one of the high school review/test prep books we're doing. Mostly it's going okay--sometimes frustrating, but I know what they want and can therefore figure out how to cover it. This is an exception.

The Illinois high school science standard says "Understand the reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, and frame of reference properties of waves." All clear except for the last phrase.

My best guess is that they want students to know that the speed of light doesn't change depending on your frame of reference. Can anyone confirm that or show me that I'm on the wrong track here.

Googling isn't much help, it mostly gets me either odd question/discussion forums or sites connected to Illinois school, just quoting the wording of the standard.

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