#WeekendCoffeeShare: The One Where I Ask Advice…and Give Advice

 

 

Good morning, beautiful blog friends! Come in, come in! Grab some coffee (the dinosaurs have really outdone themselves with the coffee this time, but they refuse to share their secrets) and cozy up on a couch. It’s a lovely 50 degrees (and heading up to nearly 70), so you probably won’t need a blanket to keep you toasty this time.

 

For yet another week, the dinos and I have only store-bought snacks to offer you (hummus, anyone?), but this week’s lack of home baked goods is brought to you by the completion of a huge project…so we’re all giving big sighs of relief and merrily munching those store-bought snacks in a fog of happiness. 🙂

 

Okay, let’s get our chat on!

 

 

Let’s talk about that huge project that the dinos and I finished up…it was the Playbill for the Sweeney Todd production at Grace’s school. Boy howdy, who knew how much work that would be??? To get the official “Playbill” mark (yeah, it’s trademarked) on the cover of a program, you have to use a very specific program and set of parameters and whatnot…and there was definitely a learning curve. (I, personally, would find it quite reasonable to ditch the Playbill markings and just create my own thing, but the theater people seem to rather strongly disagree with that notion.) In addition to having some ripping-of-the-hair-on-my-very-own-head moments due to nearly insane formatting and glitches, I also had people continuing to send me ads well after the clearly stated deadline…and that wouldn’t have been that big of a deal (it actually helped to prevent any blank pages in the program), if some of those people hadn’t been asking for more than just an ad inclusion…noooo, they wanted me to pretty much create the dang things. Well, I’m no graphic artist, but I did the best I could. 🙂 I was really quite pleased to tell the last last-minute ad submitter that I couldn’t possibly do all of the editing and formatting of another ad because the Playbill had already been finalized and sent to printing. Shew! 🙂

 

The whole experience (though sort of fun, extremely educational, and really fulfilling when finished) made me wonder about something. When did deadlines become suggestions? In the information I provided about submitting ads, it was very clear that there was a deadline (as well as format and size specifications), and it was like not a single person even glanced at that information. I continued to get incorrectly sized and formatted ads for days after the deadline. Of course, I’m not going to be the jerk who refuses money for the theater program, so I accepted those puppies right up till the Playbill was finalized, but I sure did grumble. (That’ll teach ’em, right?) 😉

 

So, I’m trying to decide what I can do next year to make it a little more clear that these deadlines and formatting specifications aren’t just suggestions. I’ve come up with a couple of ideas, but I’d love to hear if you have any thoughts. (And I know saying, “I’m sorry that you can’t read and follow basic instructions, Bob and/or Sally, but you’ve missed your chance” would appeal to some people, but, as I said, I’m not really wanting to turn down money for the school’s theater program.) Do you have any ideas for gently encouraging people to do things correctly and on time…or do you just suck it up and take care of it for them? (I went with the suck it up method this time…which would have been less stressful if I hadn’t been running out of time to get the programs to print.)

 

And you better believe that once I get a copy of that Playbill in my little hands, I’ll be taking pictures for Three Things Thursday! 😀 (At the age of 42, I’ve gotten my name in the credits for a high school theater production for the first time ever…neat!)

 

Okay, that was quite a lot of babble for “made a program, got frustrated, learned a lot, want people to follow instructions.” Sorry about that. 😉

 

 

Speaking of instructions! I know a lot of people have said they’re having a hard time finding the Weekend Coffee Share posts now that the series is hosted here at Nerd in the Brain. Nerd in the Brain is a self-hosted blog, so “following” isn’t quite as easy as following a WordPress blog, but it can still be done, I promise. 🙂 Even if you used to follow Nerd in the Brain when it was on WordPress, you would need to re-follow using the method below now that the site is self-hosted. You can actually use the WordPress reader to follow any blog, no matter where it’s hosted. In order to help you find the Coffee Share link ups each week…and to make it easier for you to keep up with any blog you might be interested in, I thought I’d show you an easy way to make it happen. (If you already know all of this, feel free to scoot to the next section…I won’t mind a bit.) 🙂

 

Step 1: Open your WordPress Reader.

 

 

Step 2: In the Reader, look at the menu on the left. Next to “Followed Sites,” there’s a “Manage” button. Click that. It will take you here:

 

 

Step 3: At the top of that page, there’s a space for you to manually enter a site to follow. Just type in www.nerdinthebrain.com (or any blog that you’d like to follow). In the case of Nerd in the Brain, it does seem super-important to include the www. Without it, strange things happen.

 

 

Step 4: Click that follow button that pops up just below where you typed in the blog address…and you should now find Nerd in the Brain in the list of blogs you follow with your WordPress reader…and that means those posts should now show up in your reader. Neat! 😀

 

 

If you know of other ways to easily follow non-WordPress blogs, feel free to tell us about it in the comments. I’ve tried Blog Lovin’ and Feedly, but neither of those is the perfect fit for me, so I’m always looking for ways to easily and efficiently keep up with my blog friends. 🙂

 

 

Okay, again, I haven’t shared very much of substance here, but I’d like to hear what’s going on with you! What’s new (or continuing) in your world? Tell me all about it!

 

And after I hear all of your news and thoughts, I need to mozy…but not to go hiking with John. What?!? It’s actually a bit rainy today, but that’s not what keeps us from our usual routine. Nope, we have different plans. A little later, we’ll be picking up one of Grace’s best friends and then we have a big outing planned…which involves ridiculous amounts of food and heading into Charlotte to see a ballet…two of my favorite things! 😀 This all hinges on how Grace feels when she wakes up though…she’s had a horrible, terrible, no-good virus (but tested negative for the flu) that has had her at home sick (like really sick) since Monday afternoon. (Her illness put the brakes on a visit from my mother-in-law and husband’s cousin, too. 🙁 I’m hoping that gets rescheduled soon, but I’m glad we weren’t responsible for spreading the plague across multiple states or anything.) Grace was showing some improvements yesterday, so we’re hoping she’ll be up to the outing. If not, it may be a quiet day at home. What about you? Any plans that may or may not happen for today?

 

 

And now it’s time for you to show me (and the rest of the Coffee Share crew) yours!

 

 

And until we chat again, I hope you have an amazing week full of love and hugs and giggles and learning and fun! ♥

 

 

38 Comments

  • trentpmcd March 18, 2017 at 8:47 am

    It would have been easy this year, given the play… “Thank you for supporting our Theater Company! Now, before we go on, I need to clarify a few terms. The word ‘deadline’ is made up of two parts – the first is ‘line’, as in do not cross the line on threat of being, second word, ‘dead’. Understand? I hear that this production is looking for some more meat for the meat pies and those who cross the line just might find themselves… Oh, never mind.” OK, how about, “We really, really want your ad in our program! Your ad adds so much! But, if it doesn’t fit, well, it might not make it. ☹ We do want it, so be sure to follow the proper formatting. Also, the deadline is a hard deadline. That means, it is going to the printer on that day. (little white lie, but 😉 ) If you don’t hit it, you don’t get in. I’m sorry, I DO want your ad, so please make the deadline so it can be included. 😊” A little better than threats of bodily harm?

    Thanks for the instructions on getting you into my Reader! I followed you before, but in those 237,431 emails I get every day, they kind of get lost in the shuffle…

    I hope you have a good week. I hope Grace feels good and you do your ballet and stuff.

    Reply
  • Nerd in the Brain March 18, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Hehe…threats may be just the thing! 😉 Seriously, I like the idea of gentle but firm wording and, perhaps, a little white lie here and there. I may have failed to emphasize the deadline quite enough this year. (Since, you know, I was going under the assumption that a clearly stated deadline would cover it.) 😉

    I’m so glad the Reader thing helped! I don’t why it took so long to occur to provide some instructions…I’ll just say that my brain has been muddled recently and use that as my excuse for not thinking of it sooner.

    Thanks for the happy hopes for Grace and our plans! 😀

    Reply
  • carolaadamsrnbc March 18, 2017 at 10:05 am

    I just thought of something regarding deadlines. Maybe move the deadline up for those who are always going to be late. But keep in mind the real deadline is actually later than what you publicized. So say the deadline is May 2 by 11:59PM. But you publicize it as May 1 by 11:59 PM.

    I have done this for myself for assignments. If I have an assignment due March 31st. I give myself a deadline a week prior and stick to it. I usually schedule an appt with the online writing center so I definitely want to have the assignment completed before that meeting. This has helped me a lot as I am a procrastinator and writing up to the last minute. It allows needed time now for reviewing and editing.

    I hope Grace feels better and you all can enjoy the food and ballet activities.

    As for me….I have 2 short papers and a research proposal to write. The final edition of the proposal is 10 pages. We are doing a mock review via GoToMeeting on Tuesday evening to get feedback from our cohort and professor. So it doesn’t all have to be written but it definitely has to be all thought out. Ok off I go!

    Have a good weekend!

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Yes, I’m definitely going to be doing the “not quite honest deadline” deadline thing next year…that should give me a bit of a buffer. 🙂

      Have fun with those papers and proposals and reviews and things! It all sounds so fun…it’s really making me consider going back to school!

      I hope you have an amazingly productive weekend!

      Reply
      • carolaadamsrnbc March 18, 2017 at 11:50 am

        Thanks! You should most definitely consider it. You are already an awesome teacher. You are also a bit younger than me which is a bonus. Most of my cohort are in their 40s.

        My boss actually said after being around me that she is considering going back to school. If I had it to do all over again I would have went into nursing forensics. Some of my electives will be from the nursing forensics program though. I do love investigations and for some reason people share things with me. Putting the puzzle pieces together to solve something is really intriguing. Working with this population and especially those who are nonverbal is like sokving a problem with very little information. It takes really good assessment skills and observations from direct care staff. There I have officially hogged up your comment space. 😀

        Reply
  • imaginativeworks March 18, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Lots of great things to comment on in your post, but the one I am going to focus on today is the help you just gave me for following you through the wordpress reader. I had no idea that I could do that, and it is wonderful. Thank you! A coffee quote that seems fitting here, “Insert coffee to begin.” (Sorry, who said it eludes me.)
    https://writingiscommunication.wordpress.com/

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 18, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Yay! I’m so glad that was helpful! 🙂

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend (after inserting coffee). 😀

      Reply
  • bettylouise31 March 18, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for the information on the reader. I had found I could read my favorite blogs but didn’t realize I could set a list. I find your post hard to read. Thanks for hosting Coffee Share. Peace

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

      I’m glad the information was helpful!

      If you let me know what’s hard to read about my post, I’d be more than happy to see if I could do some tinkering to make it easier…or did you just mean it was hard to find my posts before? Let me know!

      I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

      Reply
      • bettylouise31 March 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

        Like so many blogs the posts are run together making it hard to find were you can comment. I have left sites if it is too difficult to find the reply. I bookmark Coffee Share and the link. I did a search for coffee share for the first blog. I needed to do that for Diane’post at time. While I know what the purpose of a pingback, I do understand enough to do it. WordPress seems to be changing that.

        Reply
  • Maggie C March 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Boy Howdy! The only other person I ever heard use that term was my father, and now his children (well, his daughters; I guess the male offspring haven’t found cause to use it). Dad grew up in Oklahoma, so maybe it’s a regional thing? It hasn’t caught on here in Oregon, but I keep trying. 😉

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Hmmm….I’m really far from Oklahoma (North Carolina), so I’m going to say I didn’t pick it up regionally. 😉 My sister also says it, but I really don’t know where we picked it up because neither of our parents used the expression. If you start in Oregon and I start in North Carolina, we should be able to spread it all the way across the country in no time! 😀

      Reply
      • Maggie C March 20, 2017 at 10:19 pm

        Boy howdy! Wouldn’t that be something!

        Reply
  • Corina March 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    I edited and formatted the schools’ newsletters for many years. I had 3 kids over an 8 year period so I had the job for about 11 years, doing 2 school newsletters at the same time for a period of those years. I learned to state the deadline for a couple of days before I needed stuff. And I would call people of I didn’t have their stuff by one day before the deadline. I ended up doing a lot of phone interviews to get the info then writing stuff myself. Not perfect but it was the best I could do because people just don’t where to deadlines.

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      I’m definitely going to start giving the deadline as earlier than the deadline actually is, but, unfortunately, I can’t do the reminder calls…because we don’t really know who will be contributing ads until they contact us. *sigh* If I had to do one of those Playbills every week, I think I’d poke sharp things in my eyes! Yikes!

      Reply
  • Colline March 18, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Well done on completing your playbill. I have noticed that it is very hard to get people to stick to deadlines. One way around this is to send many reminders – it does tend to cut down on the number of people who don’t adhere to them. As for the formatting – why not send it back to remind asking them to reformat it before they give it to you? I am sure that is what any big ad agency would do. I look forward to seeing the pictures of your work.

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      I did quite a lot of “across the board” reminders, but since our ad contributions come from all over the community (and we never know who will bite until they let us know), it’s hard to target the reminders. 🙁 Next year, I’m definitely going to take your suggestion about sending the wrong formats back…I got myself in a bind this year with the deadline thing, so I went ahead and formatted things rather than risk losing the ad due to people saying they didn’t have time. It was really, really a learning process. 😉

      Reply
  • eclecticalli March 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Yay on the playbill! That’s such a headache — I have yet to figure out how to keep deadlines from being suggestions, it’s frustrating!
    Hope the ballet is awesome! I’ve got a long to-do list for the weekend, but so far have been kind of taking things slow. Do need to get my act in gear and get some things done but… lazing about is SO nice…

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      A headache is certainly one very accurate way to describe it. 😉

      The ballet was pretty great…even if John and I were both coming down with the same plague-type illness that Grace is recovering from. Ugh.

      I hope you had a great weekend that was equally relaxing and productive. (But it seems that I saw on Facebook that the productive bits went out the window?)

      Reply
      • eclecticalli March 20, 2017 at 3:31 pm

        Yeah.. I did manage some Jamberry work but… largely it was much sleeping time.

        Reply
  • Kate Loveton March 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Good post! Happy ‘weekend coffee share’ – and thanks for your generosity in hosting.

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you for joining us!

      I hope you have an amazing week!

      Reply
      • Kate Loveton March 24, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        Thank you! I love the Weekend Coffee Share!

        Reply
  • ~M March 19, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I just added your site! Thanks for the reminder on how to do this. It’s helpful information for everyone. Also, thank you so much for hosting. It’s been a fun way for me to meet some amazing bloggers like you! Take care Emily and have a wonderful week! 😉 ~M

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      I’m so glad the reminder was helpful…and that you joined us for coffee!

      I hope your week is fantastic!

      Reply
      • ~M March 20, 2017 at 5:50 pm

        Thank you. Same to you! 😉

        Reply
  • Nancy March 19, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for the technical assistance. I’ve been lazy about blogging for a bit and when I came back I was a bit confused regarding the Coffee Share! Wish I could offer some suggestions regarding your deadline dilemma but I have the same issue with my fourth graders and their homework: “You mean if it’s due today I can’t bring it in tomorrow?!?” Ahh, no, ‘today’ means ‘TODAY.’ Go figure, right? Hope Grace is up for your outing and the week ahead is fun. Congrats on finishing the playbill!

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Apparently that 4th grade mindset follows some people straight through adulthood. 😉

      Grace was feeling up to the outing…unfortunately, John and I both started feeling really gross Saturday afternoon. We went to the ballet anyway, but it was less than ideal…my thoughts throughout the whole performance didn’t get much more complex than “pretty dancing, pretty music, pretty outfit, pretty, pretty, pretty.” 😉

      Have a great week!

      Reply
  • Tena Carr March 19, 2017 at 11:03 am

    So now the reader is telling me I can’t follow because I’m “already following” and yet it’s not on my reader list (I unfollowed, as it appears what I was following was the old one)…. Let’s see what happens if I go down and put in my email in the “subscribe” section below – though I think I tried that already.

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Oh, I hope it all worked out. I’m not sure what the “already following” bit is about. 🙁

      I hope you have a wonderful week…where you get to follow all of the blogs that you want to. 😉

      Reply
      • Tena Carr March 21, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        not sure why it’s giving me fits,but hoping you show up in my reader and email box

        Reply
  • Dale March 19, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I think Trent’s ideas of being gentle but firm is the way to go. For sure, there will be those who will try but hopefully enough to fill the blanks will be more on time and in proper format!
    Poor Grace. I so hope Grace is much better now!
    Hope the ballet was fabulous and I wish you a wonderful week!

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      I’ll totally be going the “gentle but firm” route. 🙂

      Grace is much better now…unfortunately, John and I are both taking our turns being super-sick. 🙁 We did make it to the ballet though, so that was a win. 🙂

      Have an awesome week!

      Reply
      • Dale March 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

        Ugh… having been sick for over 3 weeks and now starting to swallow knives *again*, I feel your pain!

        Reply
  • Elizabeth March 19, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    You are a saint for taking the ads after deadline! Perhaps you need to offer an earlybird discount if it’s turned in (and follows the correct dimensions) by the earlybird deadline. Then people will have an incentive to turn it in on time.

    Just a thought.

    I hope you got to take Grace and her friend to the ballet! That’s always a treat! What did you see?

    Reply
    • Nerd in the Brain March 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Oh, I really like the earlybird idea! I’m totally going to float that by the PTSO committee!

      We did make it to the ballet! (Grace was feeling better, but John and I were already getting sick at that point.) The ballet was Sleeping Beauty…not my favorite story ever, but the dancing and music and costumes were beautiful.

      Reply
  • Lisa March 20, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Like everyone else here I am grateful for the instructions. I was sure I had added you before, but I guess it was another instance where I just think about doing something, and then my brain says, “Welp, glad I got that done!”. Thanks for the coffee too 🙂

    Reply
  • kaycreate March 22, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Oh my gosh, people can be so frustrating! I definitely understand the appeal of the SORRY YOU CAN’T READ DIRECTIONS method haha, but I do see how that wouldn’t exactly be beneficial for the school. I feel like RSVPing to parties has now gotten the same treatment in terms of being optional. Let me tell you, it’s quite frustrating to plan out a party for my kiddo and not actually have a clue if any of her friends are coming! Blergh.
    I hope Grace is feeling better! Apparently viruses and the like have extremely rough this year around the country. I hope she’s tip top in no time!

    Reply

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