Me: [Sleeping] Zzz… Zzz… Zzz...
Dog: [Resting his head on the bed mere inches from my slumbering face] Siiiiigggghhhhh.
Me: Zzz… Zzz…
Cat: [Jumps up on the bed, then on top of me and walks the entire length of my body, from toe to head and begins to nibble on my nose].
Me: Zzz… Zzz… ZzOUCH! [Opening my eyes, all I can see is orange and brown fur and feel something cold and wet inside my mouth. It's the dog's nose]. DAAAAMMMMMMMM IITTTTTTTTTT!
[Dog and Cat high-five each other and bolt out of my bedroom]
Me: [mumbling] …wake me up… nose in my mouth… stupid cat face… dog ass all up in my business… trying get some sleep… stupid jerk animals…
I gruffly throw the covers aside and sit up. Rubbing my eyes, I turn my head over my right shoulder to check the clock.
Wincing in pain and unable to return my head to forward-facing position, I hear the muffled giggles of Dog and Cat from the hallway outside my bedroom. It’s 8:32 AM.
I throw on a smokey t-shirt from last night. I pee. I make coffee. I open the back door and step out of the way of the stampeding dog and cat who cautiously, excitedly dart past me like children afraid of being spanked and with you-can’t-catch-me giggles. Jerks.
I drink my coffee from my favorite Buffalo Sabres mug and stare out the back window as I try to massage my neck with my free hand. I watch my pets chew on sticks, pee on bushes and rambunctiously chase each other around the yard trying to bite the other’s tail.
I think about last night and how grateful I am to live in a city where our online community backs up the internet chitchat and holds informative and fun social networking events. The Richmond chapter of Social Media Club had another great turnout. The topic of using social media in your local business’s marketing strategy was something that, I think, a lot of attendees found very informative. Of course, the real fun took place afterwards at Mekong Restaurant, where we enjoyed delicious (and complimentary – thanks, An) Belgian beers and Vietnamese food. I was talking with a fellow freelancer and newcomer to the SMCRVA-scene about how our online community has grown into an actual professional and social network that can generate real business for people like us. Writers talk to marketers. Marketers talk to business owners. Business owners talk to the web developers. It’s not only a great vehicle for shameless self-promotion, but also the perfect place to find collaborative partners with similar interests.
The professional side of networking eventually gave way to the hash brown side of networking when some of us rolled up to the Waffle House. Of course, HashBrownNetworking always gives way to EmbassySuitesNetworking, which is the perfect and most ridiculously awesome way to cap off the night. The gossip flies and the wine flows like wine. Or like beer. No, the beer flows like wine. Whatever. I think we need to have a week-long convention. Vegas, anyone?
But where was I? Ah, yes. Stupid Dog and Cat are now pawing at the door.
Me: No, sorry. I don’t want whatever you’re selling.
Dog: Let us in!
Me: What? No, sorry. I’m not interested.
Cat: Not funny!
Me: No, thank you. I don’t want any.
Cat: I’m hungry!
Me: Sorry. Can’t hear you. Please get off my property.
[Now we're just staring at each other through the window]
Me: Okay. Bye.
I walk away and pour myself more coffee. I’m thinking about the articles I need to start writing. I’m thinking about how much I enjoy my life right now. Still broke, still *technically* unemployed, but really feel as if I’m on the right track, career-wise.
This is Day 142, folks. Muffled barks and meows coming from the back door.