Welcome to the Annex

In the summertime, when we were kids, our mom would kick us out of the trailer and lock the door. She’d leave a big red Igloo water cooler of Kool Aid and a sleeve of saltines on the porch and would tell us to basically entertain ourselves all day – “you kids go play.”

I’ve now experienced the adult version now during this quarantine-work-from-home situation. But first, let me provide some background….

When my loving life partner XFE was told by his employer to work from home in mid-March, it became very clear right away that he would set up camp in the home office (formerly, “my office”).

Former headquarters of Poe Communications

There are a couple of very good reasons for this. First off, he has a very important, high-stress job which requires a non-stop day of conference calls and Zoom meetings with high-powered, demanding clients and his various teams and bosses.

This is quite different from how I run Poe Communications in which I have almost zero vocalic or auditory contact with anyone all day long, and the most stressful situation on any given day is that the cats are fighting right outside the office door while I’m trying to write.

The bosses

Here’s how business goes at Poe Communications:

Email comes in: Hey, can you write/copy edit this 400/800/1200-word article/blog post/white paper? We need it by Friday. The creative brief may/or may not be attached. Let me know if you have any questions. – Signed, Beloved Client

Response via email from me: Sure thing. Sounds great. I’ll get started right away. Thanks. – Signed, Thankful Freelancer

OR

Email goes out: Hi there, I’m a freelance writer and I’m checking in to see if you need any content help. Here’s my experience/a couple of recent links/my short pitch.

Response from potential/current/past client: Sounds great. We’ll be in touch. – Client (Maybe)????

This is apparently NOT how business is conducted in the corporate world. So, XFE definitely needs a dedicated office space with a desk and a door.

Also, he is the undisputed head of our household who is single-handedly keeping us fed and hydrated during quarantine, has steady employment (ie: not the jerky career rollercoaster of freelancing) and makes a hell of a lot more money than me. It was really a no-brainer.

So, I’ve been working downstairs at the dining room table/on the couch, which is honestly fine because it is closer to my beloved Bravo and the kitchen where the snacks and wine reside. But sometimes I really do miss my pretty, little home office. It made me feel so professional and proud. And I loved my chandelier.

This week, we came up with another work from home option for Poe Communications and, thankfully, it does not involve a red water cooler Igloo. Far from it.

Behold: The Poe Communications Annex.

Seen from upstairs window (hence, the screen)

Isn’t it pretty?

We’ve lived in this house for eight years and are just finally buying proper patio furniture. We ordered the set from Overstock last week and it was here by Tuesday. The umbrella stand showed up on Wednesday and we were in business.

We figure we’re going to be spending a lot of time out here in the coming months (we already had to cancel a July trip to Antigua that we had put a deposit down on), so we might as well make it a bit more comfortable.

Plus, I can send and receive all my super-important writing and editing assignments without being interrupted by cat fights. Now if we can just get a TV out here so I can watch Bravo…..

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Checking in with an Ang Moh

I had a big jump in my blog stats yesterday, which was quite surprising considering how much I’ve been slacking on the blogging. Turns out, starting your own business is really time consuming! I’ve been pretty dang busy lining up new clients, keeping existing ones happy, invoicing, paying taxes, etc., etc. I also have a major project/contract that is due in a couple of weeks, so it’s definitely been crunch time here at Poe Communications and Landscape Design Consultants (we don’t actually do any landscape or design consulting, fyi. But I do take care of our tiny little garden every day, thus, I am a gardening expert. And, I’m pretty opinionated, so if you really wanted a consultant, I could probably be down for that).

Also, I have something very weird and annoying going on with WordPress where my text box is short and squatty and it’s really annoying. It used to be a normal full size text box and now it’s all abbreviated unless I make it a full screen which I LITERALLY just figured out that I could do by hitting the square with the little x-arrow in it. 

I did recently redesign the blog. Now that I’m a proper freelancer/small business owner, I thought it was time to transition the site to a business website, with the blog as an added feature instead of the primary one. You can still reach thePoeLog, but we’re also Poe Communications (www.poecommunications.com). Like, properly. Meeting all your writing/editing/content marketing/brand journalism/social media management needs since late 2014.

So I thought that maybe the uptick in page views had something to do with that. But it turns out, folks were coming directly in to this post I did on Singapore. Turns out, someone posted it on a forum called Singapore Hardware Zone, which seems odd, but o.k. The title of the forum post was “THIS ANG MOH BU makes INTELLIGENT sentences about SINGAPORE!!!!??I AGREE WITH HER!!!!!MUST SEEEEE.” 

Sorry about the bold and all caps and exclamation points. But I do appreciate the sentiment. It actually perked me up and had me convinced that vVovoVersace was a genius. Clearly.

Of course, I had to look up what a Ang Moh Bu was. Thanks to Wikipedia, I now know:

Ang mo is a racial epithet describing white people, mainly in Malaysia, Riau Islands and Singapore, and sometimes in Taiwan and Thailand. It literally means “red-haired” and originates from Hokkien (Min Nan).

Hilarious. And true. I am “red-haired.” Never figured out the Bu part, (probably means “girl,” or maybe like, “my boo?”) but Wikipedia did add another word to my vocabulary:

In Singapore and Malaysia, the term ang mo sai  (literally: “red-haired shit”) is a derogatory term used within the Chinese community for mocking other Chinese who are not able to read Chinese.

Don’t you just love languages?

Friday Links: Dolly Parton, Sloths, and Love Edition

dolly-parton-quotes-7

Dolly Parton is my spiritual guru. I love her. In difficult situations here at Poe Communications and Industrial Services (for all your writing/editing/industrial needs, just Gmail me at thepoelog), I often ask myself: “What would Dolly do?”

Then I give myself a little Dolly pep talk along the lines of pulling myself up by my bootstraps and going harder, and/or putting on some lipstick and rhinestones to make myself feel better. Those are the two WWDD answers I usually come up with.

So, of course, I’m digging this Mentalfloss list of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dolly Parton. My favorite? She entered a Dolly Parton Look-a-Like Contest. And lost. You can’t make that stuff up. Priceless.

Here’s some other stuff I’m digging this week: