<![CDATA[Melba's Voice: Voice Over Warm & Toasty - VO Vagabond]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:13:32 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Year End Evaluation: Boy, I might just get fired this time!]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2017 15:53:12 GMThttp://melbasvoice.com/vo-vagabond/year-end-evaluation-boy-i-might-just-get-fired-this-timeThough I always tested well in school, I was terrified by work evaluations. Mostly because I never really had them. Once I graduated from college and entered Career Land, I had not a single evaluation that wasn’t actually just me getting called on the carpet for something so egregious that I was on the verge of being fired, but probably wasn’t because my boss was merciful…or didn’t want to be troubled to replace me just then.

But for the past several years, I’ve been Schedule C-ing, primarily as a voice over. And since I’m thinking I either need to fire myself or get my butt in gear, I decided I was long overdue for an evaluation – to determine what I am doing right, what I am doing wrong and what I have to do differently in order to be kept around.

Here’s how it went:

Boss Me: Well, Melba, so glad you made it. 2016 was the best of times and the worst of times, as they say. Due to travel, you were “off work” a lot, so your revenue dipped precipitously. However, the “off” time was spent travelling with hubby…a wonderful series of adventures: Yellowstone in January and Death Valley in June. But even when you weren’t on the road and able to work, your productivity…(well…how shall I put this so as not to be reported to HR?)  Erm…sucked. Too much non-work media time, perhaps?

Worker Me: Since my son graduated and I married, my available work time has shifted and I have not caught up. Getting up earlier is always a good start on establishing routine and sticking to a schedule. I also have to recognize that, although I can work around others’ work schedules, mine really shouldn’t be as fluid as I’ve let it become. Just because most of my work is from home doesn’t make it less important than others’ in the household.

Boss Me: Good, good. So, Melba, set a schedule and stick to it, giving your work from home the same priority as when you get in the car and go talk someplace else.

Okay, they say alternate criticisms with compliments so: I am really proud that this year you won an Audie Award!

Worker Me: Yep! That’s sort of like the Oscars of Audio Book Narration. I decided to use that as a stepping stone out of the royalty share trap I’d gotten into on ACX….

Boss Me: Oh yes! Amazon has overrun its banks and flooded Audible with murky sub-par literature you really shouldn’t drink. (snicker)

Worker Me: (stares blankly) Uh, yeah. So ANYWAY when I was queried by the author/publisher of a series for which I have produced 5 royalty share titles regarding my willingness for book #6, I informed her that I was willing and available, but only at my per-finished-hour rate.

Boss Me: So a series into which you had poured talent and way too much time, that had garnered very little money….went away?

Worker Me: Yes, because the self-published author finally did the math I should have done 3 years ago, and determined paying me to do the sixth book just wasn’t a good financial investment. Now I see that I must stop investing my time and talent into places and projects that don’t pay – just as if I was shelling out the dough myself.

Boss Me: Right! Because time is money and your talent is worth money, you literally are! So, Melba, let’s try this: no more royalty share, start weaning off pay to play casting sites, and no more beating yourself up for not shaving “just another $50” off that bid.

Okay, one last thing you’re about to get fired for, and then we’re done: your audio quality was not what it should have been this year…in fact it really never has been what it should be. Moving to a new home in the rurally suburbs has helped. Not quite as many sirens. Virtually no “thunk in the trunk” music. But lawn tractors…lots of them. So not being sound-proofed or as close as you can get to it has been a real time-killer this year.

Worker Me: Ack! I know! Not only has my recording opportunity been limited to when I think my neighbors will be resting with a cool beverage, but even far away whirs have required more time in post.

Boss Me: This must change if I’m to keep you on, working in my home studio. Much to my delight, hubby brought this up and has offered to help with room within room within room construction if YOU do the research!

Worker Me: So more learning curves. Hooray. But seriously, what a dream come true! But then I guess I better become more productive and more profitable….

Boss Me: Or I will have to fire you, er…me…maybe even sue us for breach of contract or something.

Worker Me: (carefree laughter) But what a great opportunity. What a blessing to own up to failures, to delight in successes, to reach for a higher level of professionalism. It’s time.

Boss Me: I’m glad to see we agree! Besides, I haven’t paid into the government unemployment insurance fund. So I can’t really afford to fire us.

So that’s how it went. I’ve still got a job! For now.

<![CDATA[Hapless, haphazard and happy]]>Fri, 16 Dec 2016 05:48:22 GMThttp://melbasvoice.com/vo-vagabond/hapless-haphazard-and-happySo much on our collective minds in my household – juggling and coordinating schedules for holiday plans, church events, shopping, cooking – interspersed with long work hours and a flurry of dental and medical appointments – getting in under the wire before deductibles reset.

So I guess that explains why we’ve done some classically silly things this week.

Earlier in the week my husband, son and I sat down for a nice Christmas movie night – The Revenant. Or as I like to call it, Dances With Bears in A Winter Wonderland. And as we’re basking in the glow of Tom Hardy’s demise (oops…SPOILER ALERT) hubby notices the brilliant moonlight streaming in the front door window. He pops his head out and “ahs” at the moon, encouraging my son and myself to step out. It was cold, so I put on shoes and coat. Son just threw a fleece blanket around his shoulders, and shoes on his feet – otherwise in sleep/loungewear. After we stepped out onto the front walk, sock-footed hubby followed…closing the easy-to-lock-yourself-out front door behind him. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed and turned back to the house. And that’s when hubby realized he’d locked us all out. Three adults, locking themselves out of the house. All at the same time. Epic.

Every door was locked. Every car was locked. Every car key was in the locked house. Oh, with all our cell phones. The garage was locked. Fortunately, hubby DID get us a way to open the garage door via keypad we could access (he's actually quite a clever man), and he had coats and shoes for himself in there along with a spare key to his fun car. He drove that to his daughter’s, who has a spare key to the house. While he was gone, boy man and myself ate all the mini-Oreos from hubby’s work van. Serves him right.

But I had an episode of mental pause myself today: So I'm looking for my cell phone today...not in my purse. Not in the car seat. Went back in the doctor's office, scanning the sidewalk and parking area on the way. Looked in the doctor's office. Poor office manager must have rung my phone 12 times...and we could hear it! Very faintly ringing...searched my purse again, my coat pockets...where is that ringing? Walked all over the office. Bumfuzzled, I put my hands on my hips...and that's when I felt it...my cellphone in my back pocket, chiming tones muffled only by my huge coat...and my huge butt. Ain’t life grand?

Tis the season to be frazzled! But what a way to go – hapless, haphazard and happy! Merry Christmas, friend!

<![CDATA[Excess and regret]]>Sat, 26 Nov 2016 20:14:01 GMThttp://melbasvoice.com/vo-vagabond/excess-and-regretThanksgiving. This uniquely American celebration of bounty – or maybe excess..definitely regret. Even my yoga pants are feeling a little tight. Oy. 

That one day a year we show gratitude for our blessings by being kind of lazy brats: eating, shopping, watching other people do physical activities. And some of us do it to the point that we’re really close to ticking the boxes on at least half of the mortal sins. 

Sounds bad. But is it? Oh, I mean, I KNOW we shouldn’t overeat, overspend and be lazy. Because, really, isn’t that the total opposite of those Pilgrims who first set stakes in the swampy backwash of Cape Cod?

Hmm.. maybe not entirely. We are brought up with the morality lessons we hear of two disparate groups making peace after a hard year and putting all their goods into a collectivist basket and sharing with each other.

But it wasn’t until the collectivist experiment was discontinued, breaking the lazy from their complacency, and the disgruntled from their irritation with the lazy, that the farm bounty prevailed. (See this fascinating post from Fee.org about Thanksgiving being about the triumph of capitalism.)  And peace probably wasn’t what the Pequots were thinking about as they were being burned alive 15 years or so later at Mystic.

So what is the truth about our American history? And how does the American experiment fit in and compare to WORLD history? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an excess of truth and knowledge for a change? The answer is YES, by the way, and here’s how you can get TONS of it:

Log on to Liberty Classroom and for a very good price right now, you can get the education you missed. It’s never too late. Also makes a great gift for anyone who is hard to buy for with a thirst for knowledge and an internet connection. Or bless a homeschooling family or a history educator with this – makes a great supplemental resource for those folks.

This is the best value for accessing hundreds of lectures from some of the top English-speaking history professors and writers alive today. Check it out, for an excess of education and enlightenment and NO regrets. 

<![CDATA[Of love and elections]]>Tue, 08 Nov 2016 23:20:52 GMThttp://melbasvoice.com/vo-vagabond/of-love-and-electionsFirst blog post. First writing session in at least a year – and that was a letter I didn’t end up sending. And it’s Nov. 8, 2016. Election Day. Clinton or Trump. (Or, hopefully…neither receiving the desired 270 electoral votes and the presidential election being thrown to the US House…not holding my breath)

Not quite time to start dinner. Laundry done. Gum stitched, so not working for another day or two since it hurts to talk too much or too animatedly.

Passing the time by listening to Taleed Brown of FEE.org on The Tom Woods Show (episode 778), playing Tetris on my phone (ooo, I just won!) and constantly hitting refresh at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_elections_electoral_college_map.html

And. I. Am. Nervous. And feeling a little despair. No matter what happens, we’re screwed. 

Or are we?

In my unending quest of trying to look on the bright side I submit to you, that we aren’t screwed:

Scenario A: Clinton wins. It’s the devil you at least know. And who knows? She could always be impeached! (See? Bright side to everything!)

Scenario B: Trump wins. It’s the devil you don’t know. But he seems easily bored. I think we could distract him with late night twitter fights (the new millennium’s bitch slap battle). We can take turns trolling him. Could be fun.

Scenario C: Neither reaches the required 270 electoral votes, throwing the contest to the US House. ‘Cause if you bring a dog home, you have to clean up after it, got it?

Scenario D: One of the “third party” candidates wins. Okay, you can stop laughing now.

But you know what? It doesn’t really matter so much in the long run. Oh, I mean, I understand about SCOTUS nominations and foreign entanglements and stupid fed policy and how that affects not just me now, but potentially my grandchildren. Got it.

But truthfully, no matter who is president and no matter what shenanigans those who crave power want to pull, I go about my business, largely unscathed by their loathsomeness. Sure, I lose money, time and peace-of-mind to taxation, regulation and threat of confiscation. But look at this way: the money is fiat, I can bitch on facebook about the lost time, thereby wasting more of it, and the vexation is soothed when I consider what and who really matters -- that which is never affected by the outcome of elections:

First of all – family! Even if we disagree, it doesn’t matter. Blood is thicker than a ballot. The oath of a man to elected office is fleeting, but the vows of marriage are before God.

Secondly – friends, associates, colleagues, clients, brothers/sisters in Christ. One of my closest friends is as different from me as can be, politically-speaking; but it doesn’t really matter, since neither Bernie nor Gary are ever ever EVER gonna be our boyfriends.

Lastly -- my country, America -- the beautiful land and its many peoples; resilient and charming – these are the folks I have met in my travels.

You see, all of these are my "neighbor". I am called by my Savior to serve my neighbor, to love my neighbor as myself. I fail spectacularly every day in every way, but my desire and striving to do so, will not cease, with God’s help. This is the Law that I must obey. This is the Law that is often at odds with “the state”. But it supersedes “the state”. Governments rise and fall. But God is above all, before all and will continue to be, when all is done. 

<![CDATA[Coming in the not too distant future....]]>Wed, 14 Sep 2016 01:57:14 GMThttp://melbasvoice.com/vo-vagabond/coming-in-the-not-too-distant-future...little morsels about love, laughter and liberty later in life!]]>