Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Olan Mills and Church Directories

The church where Nathan is employed is in the process of making a new church directory, complete with photos of those who belong to or attend the church. Olan Mills is taking all the photographs and has been calling us for weeks in an attempt to get us to schedule an appointment for a photo session.

Last night I sent the following email to the generic church email address:

Dear staff members at [church name],

I am writing to express my concern at the way contact information of church attendees has been shared with Olan Mills. Tonight marked the sixth phone call to our home phone during dinner hours.

I find it problematic for the church to give out our personal contact information to any company soliciting our time and business.

Thank you for your understanding,
[my full name]

(This was considerably toned down from my first draft, incidentally, which included words like "outrageous" and "unacceptable" and phrases like "I have told them on several occasions and in no uncertain terms that, had I wished to schedule an appointment, I would have done so.")

There's no way I'm the only person who finds this approach irritating, right? Right? But I got a reply from the church which essentially said, not, "We're so sorry we gave out your contact information to a solicitor and you've experienced this irritating situation," but instead (and I paraphrase), "We're sorry you have a problem with it, but we have no idea why, since church directories are THE BEST THINGS EVER and EVERYONE SHOULD WANT TO BE IN THEM."

Part of the email read,

"Olan Mills is only making calls to either confirm appointments or to schedule appointments so that our entire church family can participate in the new directory."

Right. I KNOW. That's what my email was about, their numerous calls to try to make me schedule an appointment. Why are you reiterating the problem as though it's a solution or explanation?

The announcements in the church bulletin every week for the past two months, and the announcements made from the pulpit in Sunday mornings have all made it clear to me that a directory is being made. Six phone calls crosses the line from nice "church family on Sunday morning" stuff to harassment. I get enough sales calls in the evenings without having to worry about having a church give out my personal contact information.

Seriously, am I the only person who finds this outrageous?

Friday, November 20, 2009


I put my foot up on the ledge in the shower, grabbed my can of shaving cream, and shook it vigorously so it would be foamy and not drippy. In shaking it, I slammed it into my raised knee.

An inauspicious start to the day, don't you think?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hello? Anyone Still Reading Here?

I have been, apparently, much too busy to blog lately.

This is probably a good thing, having so much going on in my life, but I'm still hoping to find balance - the kind of balance that allows for practicing violin, teaching students well, playing gigs, keeping up with friends, doing necessary housework, cooking delicious meals, reading good books, and spending time with my FavoriteBoy. [FavoriteMan? I started calling him FavoriteBoy when we were first dating and he was not yet 20 years old; now, in our mid-twenties, I'm thinking I need a new moniker. Suggestions?]

Will I ever find this kind of balance in my life? Right now it seems like wishful thinking, indeed.

To summarize the past few months, I read that the Army Strings had a vacancy for a violinist and submitted my resume. To my complete shock, they offered me an audition. (G_____ College? Whoever heard of it? I had figured my resume would go straight into the recycling bin.) I practiced as many hours as I could squeeze in daily to prepare for the audition (despite the fact that it was way out of my league and most people auditioning seemed to have master's degrees) and then decided to channel my motivation in a different direction, after all. Cancelled audition time; took lessons with various Boston grad school teachers. I do think a military career would be right up my alley... maybe someday.

Still figuring out how I feel about all these events and what exactly I plan to do next, but have stated publicly that 2009/2010 is going to be The Year In Which I Start Kicking Serious Butt In Life.

Meanwhile, since the aforementioned balance in life seems impossible to achieve, Nathan is enjoying eating bagel bites and pizza rolls (purchased with coupons, of course) instead of home-cooked meals half the time, and the living room is covered in laundry waiting to be put away.

I am still loving my vegetarian ways and consuming copious amounts of autumnal roasted veggies, baked spicy sweet potato wedges dipped in ketchup [my fav], and warm bean soups of various varieties. [By the way, it's National Vegan Month. I'm thinking of trying to be a legitimate vegan for the duration of Novemeber. Hmm. Eating vegan at home is easy, it's eating out or with friends that gets difficult...]

That's what's going on in my life. As to what's going on in yours, my dear internet friends, I wish I knew. My Google Reader has 1,000+ unread items.

Balance... right.