Mr. Wolf and the Ballad Of Whatever

“You know, if something don’t happen, you ain’t doing nothing.”

Mr. Wolf

So, things haven’t been the best. However, they have been far from the worst in the Adventures of Nikki Weed. Strikes and Gutters, ya know. I feel like the blog has gone to the wayside as I pioneer into my new endeavors. I’m creating masterpieces, I’m destroying dreams, I’m writing freaking quizzes for a, what I can only assume is left-leaning, organizations. You know what, it’s paying the bills. I’m in a comfortable place, and I’m brim-full with a sense of pride in my work. It’s a feeling that I haven’t had since the days of the original shark adventure six years ago.

Six years, geeze. To know I’ve been in contact with a lot of you for that long gives me some fuzzy nonsense, but I digress. Updates are in order and a brief explanation. Side note: do any of you remember what typing was like without spell-check? I remember the latest and greatest technology known to man back in the early nineties was my Mom’s typewriter that would squawk at you if you misspelled. At that juncture, the deed was done, and you’d have to include either the correcting tape or a glob of Paper-Mate brand White-Out.

Am I dating myself? (I know if I was a male I would because I’m a fox) Har, har, comic relief.

This rambling passage is brought to you by worry, angst, and a very ruined pair of pants. Insert donation plug here.

About two months ago, I was plunked into a very unfamiliar situation, working the paint desk. Anyone who knows me, or has looked at my selfies has seen my handy work in the background. The blue dog watercolor that has become popular in some recent selfies is from a few years back. Those that have followed the adventures for longer may have gazed upon the “tunnel.” Super old school folks might remember “Space Chicken.” I digress, however, the point I was trying to make was that I haven’t the keenest eye for paint. I fumble my way through things and make it happen, but it’s not precision, nor is it formal.

The position in paint was a blessing in disguise. There’s something about trying to wedge yourself into an unfamiliar space that makes you learn about yourself. Case in point, I’m mixing paint. I’m making minimum wage at a job that I didn’t want but needed and trying to find a light at the end of the tunnel to keep me from tipping a bottle or dancing with a train. The sweetest couple came in, and they were intrigued by the vast range of “beige.” To this day, I am in the same boat and don’t understand precisely how color becomes a “sample.” Whatever, I’ll suppress the digressions.

I tried to explain the peculiarities of how much “high-hide blue” and “Pfalo Blue” goes in to make a new color. I got a shrug, which I was doing internally as well. As a matter of fact, I’ve been doing a heck of a lot of internal sighing lately. I try to explain to people that taupe isn’t just one color anymore and that off white means absolutely freaking nothing, do they care? No. I’ll tell you why.

In my 35 years of participating in the freelance study of human nature, I’ve realized something. Unless something is going to make sense right away, the casual onlooker isn’t going to expend much energy listening to what you have to say. This is a double-edged sword. When people ask a question, they are typically expecting a vivid, yet predictable answer. When they are delivered something else, all emotional and mental hell breaks loose. “What do you mean it’s not what you say I think it is!?!” You know how it goes, and it happens everywhere, not just in business settings.

Circling back around, I was faced with a predicament where a question was asked of me and answered in a concise way. It might have been because I’m sick of trying to explain taupe. Long story short, I was accused and verbally reprimanded for being non-approachable and lacked engagement. Anyone that knows me is aware that I’m the most approachable and engaging person you’ll ever meet. It was a prime antithesis of the theory Mr. Wolf had, I didn’t do anything, and the result was STILL something. Things are always happening, and it’s a matter of reaction. When a contractor dropped a gallon of paint from six feet in the air and it exploded all over my shoes and clothes, I respond to what was happening. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I responded at all. No shrieking, no terrified gasp, and not even a “shoot.” I went on with what I was doing and blocked the ugliness that a gallon of exploded paint creates.

My reactions are probably the most passive aggressive ever, but it works. Whatever, right? I’m a product of most of the ’90s, and am more than capable of snapping my gum and rolling my eyes. Somewhere in a book I once read the lines, “well, I’ve got other ways of makin’ bread, ya know,” and I’ve held that motto close to my heart for ever. So when things happen, I keep my chin up and maintain my pose as a classy lady and roll my eyes in my mind (instead of on my face). If it means I get paint on me and get reprimanded, so be it.

Aside from fear and loathing at the paint desk, I also have my other gig. My writing gig that keeps me delightfully overworked but sane. Every week I get to make things happen, do things so to speak. Mr. Wolf would be proud, I do things, sometimes exceptionally well and sometimes so far off in left field I’m playing an entirely different sport. As I hunker down at my home office that doubles as everything a kitchen table I smile. I’m doing what I love as an alternative way of making that bread. It’s a meager morsel of dough, but you know what, it fills my belly!

It’s incredibly disturbing to me that there are so many people out there working hard to live so little. I’ve been working at least 75 hour work weeks lately and have almost nothing to show for it but my bills paid and a big freaking smile on my face. My secret? I do what I love. Writing for How Stuff Works quizzes has been a mental blessing. Being able to allow myself to dream about sports cars, hybrids and auto-crossing magically projects me out of my desk chair and into some straight-shifting monster. I know the job isn’t going to last forever, but I’m grateful for every day I do it. It makes me hold my head a little higher and create a little more pride in my heart.

Check out my lastest quiz, and please, share it with your friends. I’m sure they look at the click rates. Worst case scenario, you have fun doing it!

Can You ID These Great Cars For Autocrossing?

or this one

Can You Tell Gas From Hybrid?

Also, if you’d like to contribute to the procurement of a new set of shoes to make up for the ones ruined while pimping the paint desk, click here. Everything is greatly and truly appreciated!

Shakey Jake In Action

We haven’t done a “Where’s Nikki” in a while, so here’s one. We’ll call it, “Where’s Shakey”. Typical format, three questions. First to answer gets fame and glory!

  1. Located just six miles from this exact location, an entire town was built on the boom of retirees settling in the area. It was created and named after close geographic figure, although, it didn’t actual have any view of it. The idea was a bust, and what was at one time projected to be one of the biggest retirement communities in the state turned into a docile little fishing town.
  2. The town center is a full 3,000′ higher than where this picture was taken, but only 4 miles away. The road that transports you from this oasis up to the town center on a high desert plateau is a steep climb and truck fires from overheating are common.
  3. Explorer Jedediah Smith plodded through this town almost 150 years before it was turned into a town. He was the first to take account of the area in his travel logs, but didn’t stay long. This location wasn’t the best place for him to find the beaver he was looking for.

Comment below and let me hear your guesses!

Still have some time? Check out Jedediah West, an upcoming musician of the high desert! I know him fairly well…

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