Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Y2 Day 91: A Really Bad C-Word

(At Barnes and Noble last week, Husband showed me something called The Dirty Minds Game; here was a sample question: "A four-letter word for a woman: _ U  N  T." I figured out "aunt" within a few seconds but I'm a charades veteran; when someone charades "Sounds like ear," I immediately start rattling off, "Beer, cheer, clear, deer, fear, gear . . ." I can only imagine the highjinks that ensue with non-charades players.)

Today I got the phone call you never want to get: I do in fact have cancer. Granted, it is the teeniest tiniest most curable cancer you can pretty much have, but still — it is just never a word you want applied to you, anywhere, ever. My next step is something called Mohs surgery, and the little divot in my nose will likely become a little crater. But you know what? I'm a scarred veteran of master-class acne; there are little divots and craters and bumps and red spots and areas of mottled flesh all over my face, and whenever I casually mention them to my adult friends, they appear mystified. No one looks at your own face as closely as you do. This I know for sure.

In other words, if I still have two nostrils that are surrounded by something that passes for skin, I think I'll be okay.

I finished my editing job at 5:23 p.m., and since we still don't have a garbage disposal (which means that we can't use the dishwasher), exhausted Husband and cancer-plagued I decided to take everyone out to dinner at our local Mexican joint. I had a small comforting bowl of tortilla soup and several small comforting glasses of medicinal Chardonnay (which are giving me a headache; I am still doing the Paso Doble with last week's migraines, but I wanted them anyway) and we played cards and were very silly with each other, and it was a nice family evening.

And now, despite headache, I may well have a Bourbon Bog since all the ingredients are handy, and either read my new library book or watch Murder on the Orient Express, which I grabbed at the library today; a nice cozy murder just fits my mood. And then a glorious night of brainless TV: Survivor (which is amazingly awesome this season; the cast comprises all these older smart people who actually know how to employ strategy, and it's been a blast to watch) and Modern Family and Nashville, oh, it is heaven on a plate.

Here's a side note for my new friend Kate, who asked me about My Brilliant Career:
  • I discovered that I loved copy-editing while working at a totally different kind of job. I got started as an editor by editing people's masters and doctoral theses; you can't charge very much, but it's a great way to get your feet wet.
  • I took a couple of editing classes, which was great, because it gave me the opportunity to compare my skills to a professional copy editor's. Confidence boost!!
  • The company I worked for had an in-house editor, and I literally circled her office like a hungry wolf until she left for another job — and I pounced.
  • I did that for 15 years, and it was a great job. (Yes, 15 years — I am old enough to be your mother. Which is why I can give you all this sage life advice. Learn from me, kitten!)
  • But . . . after 15 years, I was ready for a change [I am legally required to say this next part:] even though it meant abandoning Mrs. Cynicletary, my beloved friend, and no, she would never do this to me because she is a far better person and her moral compass could kick sand in the face of mine. But it wouldn't — because it is just that moral. [Addendum that Mrs. C prefers I not share: She had an opportunity to take a blood oath to stay together forever and she turned it down. I'm just saying.]
  • I became a freelance copy editor, working at home in my jammies, and my former company is the source of 90 percent of my work (overflow from the lovely woman I hired to replace me). Every so often a job comes in from someone who heard about me from someone else. I do very little marketing of myself, because I am lazy and I hate that part of it. (See: why my cherished first novel has only been sent to a dozen agents so far.) 
  • There are all sorts of ways for freelance copy editors to peddle their services . . . but they're all worky. The way I'm choosing to get work is through magic.
  • I am only semi successful in this endeavor. 
  • Which is why I'm also a Math Practice Guide. Love that regular paycheck!
I hope this explained everything.

OK! My headache actually abated while writing all this, so I think the universe is begging me to make a cocktail. I am so good at reading signs from the universe! Seriously, it's a gift.

Happy Hump Day, y'all! (No, I am not playing the Dirty Minds Game. Pervs.)

xx Lady C, survivor

(cue Gloria Gaynor!!!)


  1. Thanks, Lady C, for the career advice! It was very enlightening. I'm sorry to hear about your cancer. It runs in my family. My dad and grandpa have both had multiple Mohs surgeries and are skin-cancer-free and doing fine! (My dad is being treated for colon cancer, but that's a different can of worms althogether.)

  2. Oh honey, my mother got her first Mohs job from Dr. Mohs himself. She had more than 40 (when it gets to 45, sell) and died of pneumonia at 92. See what you have to look forward to?