What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

getting your ducats in a row

Something for everybody, I suppose. I read an AP article earlier today saying that even the Optimists' Club was having a hard time being optimistic on July 4, 2008. The idea of Happy Birthday, America! wasn't ringing real true with a lot of people. The article quoted a 16-year-old talking about the good old days. Wow.

So what comes across my desk? A book telling the very wealthy how they should be getting rid of their money charitably. I guess this is a good thing. There's some term out there I'm sure that comes close to "cognitive dissonance" that would explain how I sit here and process this stuff.

But it's a good balance, I suppose. So many of the books I read are really rather depressing -- the ones that deal with social justice work, which try to get folks off their duffs to do something about this world -- and here comes a book that takes a stab at telling the really rich to dispose of all their money before they die so it can do some damn good and not make spoiled brats out of their descendants. Yes, that's what the book said. More power to the author.

I get to read the book again as I need to index it as well, although (budding editorial freelancers, take note) when indexing I don't read every word of a book as I would for proofreading, where I read every single character on every page. Here's a hint for you indexing wannabes out there: if the sentence ends in a question mark, it's unlikely there's gonna be something indexable there. So you know I love paragraphs that are just strings of rhetorical questions.

Well, back to the first century AD. Gonna try to finish that off tonight.

Have there been a lot of fireworks around your houses, dear readers? All of the last three nights have sounded like July 4 in this neighborhood. When my son got back from walking the dogs, I told him it sounded like Afghanistan out there.

Thirty years ago, when I was 18 years old (oops, should I have said that?), I was working as a cabana boy at a beach club in NYC. Did you ever see Karate Kid? They filmed that at the club I worked at the fall after I worked there, and I guess Ralph Macchio sorta had the same job I did. I don't know, because I never saw the movie. You'd think I probably should. Come to think of it, I probably pulled some 14- and 16-hour days at that job too. Among the differences: it was the only time in my life I ever had a tan; I don't tan real well. I just sorta burn and it washes off in the shower. I was working six days a week instead of seven like now. I also had plenty of tax-free cash in my pocket from tips at the end of the week. And, oh yeah, I also didn't have a care in the freaking world -- well, except maybe for thinking that no female on this planet would ever want to say a word to me, or more precisely, that I would never develop the personality to ever even say "hello" to a girl. (Hell, this beats therapy.)

Now I've got an eighteen-year-old of my own. Where's he? Europe. Geez. Then again, he's pretty damn near fluent in French. (At eighteen I was pretty good at finding my way around the NYC subways and pawing through the great used bookstores that used to be in downtown Manhattan.) So I guess he sorta deserves it, even if it is his fifth or fourth time over there.

I know a guy whose mother, addressing the fact that her son was about to enter graduate school and was not yet working a regular gig, said, "When I was 17, I was working for a Jew in a gift shop."

Damn, how did I get here? Is anybody still reading this mess?

1 comment:

Aunty Belle said...

yeah, darlin' they's at least one soul out here readin' yore wry stuff.
(Doan git too excited--I'se usin' this time to procrastinate on a real deadline--how in !#$%^&* can one 750 word column leer at ya' out of the computer so early in the day???)

Me and Uncle done said we we's reincarnated we wanna come back as our kids.