of a tennis player, hiker, writer
A bird in the bath. well, just before.
On court 1. Lookin' to own.
In Jax, enjoyin' some solid juniors tennis.
I love my new phone cam.
* Clears throat * “Um, Robin here, your friendly neighborhood MC(Mistress of Ceremonies). Welcome to my blog. In it you’ll find my rants, ramblings and random updates on everything ME...
…and since I’m the typo queen and master of misspelling, these will be present in most, if not all my posts.”
A few of my better entries - all quick reads:
|Week Five: Finally, I survived a day without uttering the words, “I hate this job.” The turnaround, a gradual realization --over a period of seven or eight days.
First, I ran a tournament for adults. A few pushy overconfident, must be the bosses on their jobs men were in my face. Intimidation popped up first. Then, backbone showed up as the draws narrowed. Now that I think about it, I can pinpoint backbone’s appearance to one particular phone call. A disgruntled player wanting information I couldn’t provide. Exasperated he yelled, “Who’s in charge of this tournament. Let me speak to him!”
Dramatic pause, deep breath...“I’m in charge,” I fired back. “You’re speaking to her.”
Those words hit home. On the job ladder, I report straight to the director of tennis who reports to the assistant department head. Can’t get much higher than that.
So where was I? oh yeah, then, bright and early the Monday morning following the tournament, I had the fence people, 3 electricians, the guy from Coke(to service the machine) and FOUR teams wanting to pay court fees and get their court assignments --all looking to me for direction.
Own the in-charge attitude, I told myself. Having said that, there are still issues plaguing my happiness factor; keeping up w/ my documents –a drawback to having two offices, never having real face time with my part-timers, the not one red cent in pay raise coupled with the quadruple amount of responsibilities accompanying this position mark the top of my list. Then there’s the no time for tennis and I don’t even feel like writing adding to my inability to deal with stress.
However, week five scored high in handling confrontation with ease, getting caught up with invoicing, mapping out a few policy changes I’m wanting to implement, cleaning and organizing.
Break out the hard apple cider cuz I’m off to the Tennessee Mountains tomorrow for a three-day weekend of hiking and relaxing. Heck yeah, I can’t wait.
My Front Yard
While most of the country curses the white stuff, this georgia peach is sportin' a smile. I can't remember the last time it snowed in Macon, Georgia.
Snow fell just after ten this morning, turned to rain, then back to snow again. How fun.
Now, if it would accumulate enough to cancel work tomorrow.
|1.YOUR REAL NAME:
Robin Marie Bateman
2.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME:(mother and fathers middle names)
3.NASCAR NAME:(first name of your mother's dad, father's dad
4.STAR WARS NAME:(the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name)
5.DETECTIVE NAME:(favorite color, favorite animal)
6.SOAP OPERA NAME:(middle name, town where you were born)
7.SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning)
The Green Cosmopolitan
8.FLY NAME:(first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name)
9.STREET NAME:(fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie)
Chocolate Peanut Butter
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on)
11.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (first 3 letters of last name plus izzle)
13.YOUR IRAQI NAME: (2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, first two letters of your middle name, last two letters of your first name then last three letters of your last name):
14.YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)
15. STRIPPER NAME: (name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy)
|If I don’t get Cisco first thing after walking through the door, he screams. It’s loud, ear-shattering, almost heart-stopping. Labeling it annoying rings of diplomacy. It’s flat out horrible, veering in the “Oh my gosh I’m gonna KILL that bird” direction.
Responses like, “Be quiet, I’ll be in there in a minute.” Or, “Shut-up” don’t work. Even worse, responding in anyway, nice quiet tones...loud tones, serves to encourage his I’m sure the neighbors can hear him greeting.
Usually, I wait for a moment of silence. A one-second reprieve will do…then I bounce into the den and chirp, “Hey everybody!” If Cisco persists on screaming, I make my rounds to all the other birds, ignoring him altogether –and this means eye contact. No looking. When he gives me a small window of silence, i dart right over, at his cage cooing my hellos.
After I open the latch to his door, he plays this game. He wants to come right out, but he won’t, instead he climbs down to the bottom of the door, lashing his huge black beak in my direction when I offer my hand for him to step up on. Big, bad bird with a beak.
“Step up!” I say, gathering the most authoritative tone I can muster. I’m tired from a long day at work. I almost hate the game. But all birds do it, at least our birds do it.
Last night I put Cisco on the perch in the kitchen while I rummaged around in search of food. He loves eating/tasting my dinner. Chicken(Yeah, I know), broccoli, spinach, peach, and then dessert –double chocolate soy ice cream. (His favorite).
When I first offered him the spoon, he side-stepped away and gave me his “eye”. The Um, I don’t know what you’re doing, but I’m not falling for this eye. “Hmph,” I said and began sampling my spoonfull of chocolate soy, making a dramatic display of my enjoyment.
That did it, he inched back over, lowered his head and gave me a different “eye”. The one that says, “Hey, whatcha got there? Can I have some?" eye. This time, when I offered the spoon, he wiggled his little black tongue(Yes, blue and gold macaws have black tongues), and licked a tiny taste off the spoon. FYI: We don’t share spoons. I draw the line at eating after my parrots.
Now, he loves the stuff. He’ll lick the spoon clean when offered. Last night, I pulled out Cherry Vanilla from the fridge but he wasn’t having it. Nope, double chocolate is all this blue and gold macaw is licking.
"You're going to get knocked down. It's whether you stay down or whether you get back up and fight that counts."
|Wow! I'm still stunned. Today, I opened up my email to find an awardican and a merit badge with the following review and an AWARD!:
Nonfiction bulletins and articles are typically the bread and butter for most professional writers, and there is a huge market for meticulously researched, informative and well-written nonfiction. One of our very own WDC authors, NanoWriMo2018 Into the Earth does this exceptionally well in her articles that delve into the subject of outdoor activities, such as tennis. Her writing is well-researched and clearly laid out, and I loved the personal “hook” in the beginning paragraphs, where she pulled in a relatable instance involving a friend who is battling breast cancer.
for the following item:
I'm speechless. Thank you so much for such a great honor. For more information on this wonderful contest, visit:
|The following arrived in my INBOX on December 24th.
Dear Robin Bateman,
Congratulations on your appointment to a USTA National Schools Committee for 2009-10. Your letter of appointment from incoming USTA President Lucy Garvin should arrive soon via postal mail with information about your committee and what is happening in 2009.
Note the word NATIONAL
I'm still doing the happy dance.
|Written December 18, 2008:
I hand over my prescriptions to the girl at the pharmacy. She glances down, scrunches up her brow and says, “I’m sorry…but, we’re out of Zmax.”
“What?” I ask. I heard her the first time but I’m in a congested fog, equipped with stuffy nose, pounding headache, scratchy raw throat. WTH is Zmax? I gave her three scripts. Please don’t tell me she's out of the antibiotics.
“It’s the antibiotic.”
Oh great. My face registers disappointment I don’t even bother to hide. Why couldn’t it have been the decongestant? Then, I flash her a pleading look. “Do you know when you will get it in?”
“If I order it now, “ she checks her watch, “should come in by in the morning.” Her lips are pursed in a I'm pretty sure about this little pout.
Fantastic. Only that puts me back almost a day and I have things to do, a 65-page manual to copy edit,(paying job), and a WDC newsletter to write; a few Christmas presents to buy, and many more to wrap. Twenty-four hours is a lot of time when gift giving is at stake. My to-do list rolls off my desk and out my office door, down the hallway, through the kitchen and stops at, what? the liquor cabinet?
Anyway, where was I? oh yeah,
“Is there another alternative?” my eyes still holding on to desperation. I’ve been sick for over two weeks, This is my second round of meds. I’m so ready to be well.
She makes a few phone calls and locates another Kroger pharmacy carrying ZMAX. I breathe a quick thank-you prayer to no one in particular. “Bless you,” I say, already three steps from the counter.
Who cares if this Kroger is farther away than the others? My throat is on fire.
I’m at work now—here till nine. Six hours ago, I drank my thick ¼ cup of chalky this will make you feel better potion. The bottle promised a cherry-banana flavor. Hah! I hate to disappoint the potion maker, but neither cherry nor banana made the cut.
It sucks I’ve been sick for two weeks. It sucks I’ve been to the doctor twice and am on my second round of antibiotics. It sucks that cherry and banana failed to show up in my medicine bottle. However, Christmas is around the corner and while I’m at work with this crud, I am at work, which means I have a job.
And in today’s economy, at work on payroll supersedes suck.
|Okay, so. I’m gonna go ahead and admit it. * wrings hands with worry * I have this addiction. * loud exhale * I’m so obsessed with [dramatic pause] spider solitaire. Eeek! I know. so anyway…
The list of Better Uses of Robin’s Time is long and spider solitaire is NOT on it. Nonetheless, before I realize it, my right hand has snatched the mouse and I’m clicking on START>>SPIDER SOLITAIRE.
Once I’ve started, I can’t quit. I don’t know, do Mac users have worry about spider solitaire temptation?
I’m giving myself the remainder of the month to rid myself of this fun, but time-consuming addiction. In it’s place, I’ll insert more blogging, and [i]revising my ’08 NaNo.
Yes, I did finish. And this year’s novel possesses a glint of promise. I have plans to download the trial –free for 45 days version of Liquid Story Binder. I’ll keep you guys posted on my thoughts of the software.
Oh hey…if anyone has any good mystery items in their ports, or knows of any, pass them along. I’m up for a good read.
|Suddenly I’m really motivated to work on two or three stories I’ve been avoiding. With NaNo around the corner, a filled plate turned my eyes in other directions. But, then…I remembered one of Chris Baty’s tricks. While you can’t write ahead of time, you can put other pieces of written work in your novel if you are struggling to meet your word count. All’s fair in novel writing and word quotas.
Not that I’m intentionally writing now, to insert into a rushed novel, but the thought takes a load of my back.
I’ve been skimming through my No Plot No Problem book, and the kit…There’s a game you can play if you’re stuck. He throws it out to you during week three when thoughts of abandonment run rampant and motivation disappeared with muse almost out of the gate.
So, back to the game…you set yourself down in a crowded place, a public place, one where you won’t be interrupted and you can watch others hang out or walk by. You’re supposed to close your eyes and count to 15. As soon as you open your eyes, the person you see is your character. Quickly jot down all details you can before he/she walks away.
Then, open up the (unread) newspaper, close your eyes and run your fingers over the page. Count to 15 and open them up. The photograph, advertisement, or article your finger is on is supposed to provide pertinent information about your new character.
Somehow, I don’t remember reading this game the first time around and I’m excited. I think, I’ll use it to help develop my characters in the upcoming weeks. I’ve got my index cards, a notebook with folders and stuff. I’m giving myself permission to throw all when being swept up by the NaNo madness. The preparation helps gear up my anticipation for the kick off in November.
Speaking of kick off. We’re debating about having a kick-off –slash-write-in since October 31st falls on a Friday. How cool would it be to socialize and start typing at midnight1
Well, I’m off for a bit of character development or fiction writing.
|Thirty days left till NaNo, till the craziness, till the creativity, and I can’t wait. Deep down inside I secretly knew I’d sign for this year during last December(after finishing and WINNING my first year's attempt). Finishing would be super, but why NOT begin every November with the words, Once upon a time… Well, not really but…(insert goofy grin) Why not mix write-ins and word wars with turkey and cranberry dressing, and this year the running of a tournament? What’s a writer have to lose?
You’ll never finish if you don’t start. And, if at the end of my writing journey, I have thirty rough draft novels under my pen, with zero revisions, well…good for me.
Although, it would be nice to move forward with all these yet to be written rough drafts. Somehow, during all my industrious efforts, creativity would emerge along with inspiration, drive, in the form of a not half-bad story.
If truth be told, book deals, don’t sing loud in my list of wants right now. Maybe later, maybe even after this November, but for now, I’m content with my by-lines in magazines, my name on a Masthead or two, and my works posted in various online blogs.
| I can’t remember the last time I played a real match. It feels like eons ago. Tonight, I played with a lefty as my partner, a first for me. nice. I liked it. She’s new to competitive tennis, never played usta leagues and she had a blast. She usually plays rec tennis with friends – singles. So the net was a foreign concept. She has quick feet and I have no doubt she will learn doubles fast. So, even though we lost, I had great fun.
My game was rusty. Although, during the first set, I had some really awesome serves. One ace! A spin sucker hitting the forehand back corner. Pure luck, but effective nonetheless.
Since my team one the other four levels, we won as a team. Alls well that ends well.
|I officially signed up to participate in Walk Georgia. It’s an 8-week program created to increase a person’s physical activity. Yeah, I know, I’m a tennis player, how much more activity do I need? However, this past summer, I’ve barely hit the courts, and all my trips to Tennessee have been more business than pleasure so hiking has been limited.
What’s worse, my motivation level is down. I can’t seem to make myself get my butt in gear. Signing up for this program will help me. this week, I’ve hit the courts four times and today, I had two 20-minute aerobic sessions.
When you register, you key in all your activities and the minutes you performed them. The computer translates it into “miles” walked. So far, I have 22.5. not bad for five days worth of exercise. Next week, I’m lengthening my sessions by at least 25 percent. Even if I have to split it up.
|I’m in celebration mode –a bottle of champagne; second place in the “service” category of the ninth annual United States Tennis Writers Association award!
here's the link to the article that gave me the second place win:
"You're going to get knocked down. It's whether you stay down or whether you get back up and fight that counts."
| “Hate’s a pretty strong word. You don’t mean it. Don’t say that.”
How can I explain, in the few minutes I have on the phone. Yes I do hate her, but not hate her, hate her. It’s that bottom sliver of hate the sometimes mingles with strong dislike…or I can’t stand.
That’s it. I can’t stand her. Hate really should be reserved for those who have impacted your life in huge negative ways. She’s only thrown heaps of liquid negative-ism on me. Saturated my clothes - that dry and sometimes stain. I swear she laughs when my back is turned.
I am the one who is debilitated by her nasty splashes of destructiveness when she, with the swoop of both arms, slings her heavy bucket in my direction.
But today, only moments ago, I sat, slumped over at the bottom. Not THE BOTTOM, but the bottom of this. It sucked and fear was involved.
But the beauty of the bottom is that it’s, well, the bottom. You either stay there, or you climb up from the bottom.
I took my first step, fingers dug into slippery mud, braced myself for the long haul.
I’m so outta here.
|I’m not complaining, really I’m not. But why the heck am I having writer’s block issues when I have FOUR articles to write THIS month. I mean, c’mon, Robin. Get it in gear.
For two of them, I’ve done most if not all of the interviewing. I have my notes and one has a nice opening ‘graph (I think). So WTF is this coming from? I’ve just cleared my dry erase board and plan on drawing a map of what I want. Too bad I only have the one blue marker. You know me and colors.
Well, I know this is a lame blog, but I’m so out of practice –with tennis too if that says anything.
Now that I think about it, I’m sure it’s all the work-related stress…with one of our part-time people quitting. She just up and walked out during a HUGE tournament (1,200) players). And I had to step in…as did others. Now, we are in the midst of a hiring freeze and very short-staffed. I only get the maintenance man once a week cuz they rotate him around to other facilities. Top all that off with a family of tennis players who are being very difficult to deal with and literally making me hate my job at this moment in time and you have one girl who just has no creative gumption.
I know I need to get over it.
You know what?
Just not sure when.