The devil got me

I sold my soul to the devil today, when I swore never to do it again.

I’m speaking metaphorically lah, what is wrong with you?

I mean, what is wrong with me. Sorry.

The devil has a three-letter name. Its name is J.O.B.

And I don’t mean a job like an acting job or a writing job or a modelling job or a temp job like I’ve been doing in the last few years, allowing me to live a relatively free-spirited life with no serious obligations.

I mean a J.O.B. with a regular salary and CPF.

[Get thee away!]

So, now, I’m staring at my PC monitor, wide-eyed, heart thumping, awash in a stupor of disbelief.

Okay, I actually did that for 15 minutes.

But that’s about all the time I can spare for frivolous self-indulgences. Because I have a J.O.B. to do.

Alright, I shall stop stringing you along before you get tired of being strung along and decide to leave.

So. I have agreed to be the editor of a new publication. (I think I’m not allowed to say what it is yet.)

*cue shocked gasps of breaths*

C’mon, humour me.

That was my old occupation, being an editor. I was an editor in a newspaper, a magazine and a web portal. But I quit eventually because I wanted to act and didn’t want to be tied down by a regular job and I didn’t like the stress of that job.

[Pencil-wielding horror]

I swore never to go back to the grind. Over the years, I rejected several related job offers.

So, why did I accept this offer?

Because it’s a very small publication and I got the impression that I’ll just need to spend like four days a month working on it.

Because it’s gaming related and sounds vaguely fun.

Because I need to re-oil my marbles.

Well, I figured that it won’t kill me to give up four days of my life each month.

And then I had a serious meeting with my boss-to-be and I started getting the idea that the job is much bigger than I expected and that I may have to spend a lot more than four days a month.

But, by then, I couldn’t back out anymore because I was hooked by the challenge.

And the money.

Which is not much, really, but the promise of extra monthly income is very attractive to someone who hasn’t been getting much of a regular income in years. (But which really shouldn’t even be a consideration considering that I’ve been happily living an income-less life all this while.)

You can tell I’m confused. Can I plead duress?

Anyway, just like that, I’m back on a payroll.

[I'll pay you in houses]

While the job will have fun elements, it will also bring the kind of unwanted stress which drove me away from my old career in the first place.

For example, I have exactly two weeks from now to work out my editorial direction and publish the first issue.

And I already had my year nicely planned out with exciting personal projects to keep me awfully busy.

But now I’m going to have to rework my priorities. Give up a few things. And get used to the fact that I don’t own myself 100% anymore.

Sure, it’s not a full-time job in that I have to sit in an office 22 days a month. I’ll just have to go for meetings and work mostly from home, but the stress will be full-time.

An editor’s job is 24/7, I suddenly remember my ex-ex-boss teaching me. It doesn’t matter the amount of time you’re doing the physical work of putting the publication together, you’re constantly monitoring trends and news and thinking six issues ahead while you work on the current issue.

I’m starting to wonder what I just signed up for.

The devil got me. After all these years.

[The devil got Sheylara]

Misquoted in The Star (for Nuffnang party)

This is a bit old news by now since it happened three days ago.

But that’s the beauty of being a blogger. You can publish any old rubbish that the cat dragged in and no one can complain, because you’re not obliged to publish only fresh news like a newspaper is!

And reading blogs is free, so readers don’t really have a case for complaint, in the first place.

And you don’t have editors maniacally waving their editing scissors at you, threatening to cut away all your self-indulgent digressions.

But I digress.

The Nuffnang Pajama Party was covered by a reporter from The Star, which I’m told is Malaysia’s biggest English-language newspaper.

[The Star's report on Nuffnang Pajama Party]
Link to report.

The reporter (who shall remain nameless here, but whose name is prominently bylined in the article, anyway) interviewed me at the party and included my quote into her news report. That was really sweet of her, but I wish she’d been more conscientious about compiling her quotes.

Because I totally do not talk like this:

[Sheylara's quote in The Star]

Humour me now, please. Read that quote aloud to yourself.

Does anyone even talk like that?! I don’t think I speak long, convoluted sentences and I don’t recall ever using the phrase “as well as” in speech.

I never said I was there to “share the joy of meeting fellow bloggers”.

What I said was, “I’m honoured to be invited to this party! Nuffnang has been through a lot this past year and they’ve come so far. So, I’m really happy to be here to share the joy of celebrating its first anniversary!”

And then she asked me how I felt about the party so far, and I said, “Actually, I’m very pleasantly surprised because I never expected there would be so many games and activities and prizes. It’s great!”

I saw her furiously writing in her notebook while I was talking, so I tried to talk slower. (I was a journalist before so I know the woes of not being able to tape record an interview.)

When she was done furiously writing, I saw that she had only written keywords and not whole sentences.

Then she asked me a few more questions and I guess she didn’t like my answers because she stopped writing furiously.

And, in the end, she just took my bunch of keywords and created a bimbotic, totally unnatural, statement, out of them.

How can lah!

Okay, it’s not really that big a deal, which is why I’m talking about it only three days later. Celebrities and other famous people get misquoted all the time and to worse effect. Haha.

I guess I should just be glad that my reputation hasn’t been harmed.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I should thank the reporter for choosing to use my quote despite there being 300 other people for her to interview. I just wanted to highlight the fact that I don’t talk like she made me out to.

That’s all!

For the record, I actually prefer e-mail or MSN interviews because the reporter can cut and paste and is less likely to make up rubbish sentences for me.

What do you think?