I’ve been working with The Prowl off and on for a while now, and I’m currently wrapping up a gig which involves me sharing something about their website. I can never think of a graceful way to sidle into sponsorship territory, but at least it feels completely honest and non-squicky to tell you that there’s a particular aspect of The Prowl that I really, really enjoy. It’s not the board creation part, although the site makes doing so super easy (in that respect it’s much like Pinterest) — it’s the “Ask & Answer” section of the website. There you can post things like “What dress would go with these shoes?” or “Help me find awesome novelty wine charms” or “I’m looking for an oversized print of a pug to hang on my wall but artistic rather than cartoony and it has to be a BRINDLE pug NOT A FAWN PUG!!!” — I mean, questions are all over the board from fairly generic to mind-bogglingly specific, and I find it great fun to try and answer them. Not that I have my own personal finger on, like, the pulse of today’s hottest shopping trends or anything, but I love the challenge of looking for that perfect dress/charm/pug/what-have-you. Every time I come up with what I think is a decent suggestion, I feel immensely satisfied. Useful, even.

I also really like surfing the answers to Prowl questions I didn’t know I would be so interested in, like this request for unique wedding rings or this roundup of splashy bedroom decor. Anyway, check it out, maybe you’ll enjoy it too, thus concludes today’s sponsored content.

Different but related subject: I was basking in that feeling of usefulness a few days ago, having turned in a difficult writing project that ended up exceeding my client’s expectations. God, the full-bodied sense of relief/reward after seeing something through the intimidating blank-document stage (where I invariably find myself staring, with a sort of creeping panic, at an open TextEdit window, unable to think of a single word), and the cherry-on-top of having someone actually praise my finished work. Freelancing has taught me a lot about self-motivation and deriving value where I can, and I often think back to the final years at my last job and how in retrospect I wish I’d worked harder to strike out on my own rather than letting myself become so unhappy and apathetic. From where I am now, I feel better suited to untangle some of the messy feelings I was left with, and I know I am as much to blame as they were for letting the situation get as crappy as it did. I should have left earlier, before I felt so disenfranchised. Before I had the revolving-door of bosses who kept quitting because they saw the writing on the wall, before I gave up, before I got resentful and angry and full of self-doubt. I should have, but I didn’t, and that’s on me.

But maybe everything really does happen for a reason, career-change timing included? I’m never quite sure if I believe that or not. At any rate, I’m grateful for the imperfect, unpredictable, often-weird gig that is self-employment, and for the moments of bursting pride that come as the result of going it solo. And for all the places where I can connect with people — blogsTwitterFacebookInstagramProwlwherever — when things start to feel too lonely.

A million billion thank yous to those of you who suggested seeing Absinthe while we were in Vegas. We went to the show on Wednesday night, and the only way I could have possibly enjoyed it more is if the wooden folding chairs for the audience hadn’t been quite so unforgiving. It was absolutely worth my bruised spine, though, because holy shit what a show. I’m not even sure how to describe it — a bunch of Cirque-style acrobatics performances combined with hysterical comedy routines? Bawdy, politically incorrect as all hell, and jaw-droppingly impressive. We loved it so much we totally bought the goofy overpriced commemorative photo.

not awkwardly posed at all

Definitely go see that if you have a Vegas trip planned, and I also recommend dinner at SUSHISAMBA at the Venetian. It’s Japanese/Brazilian/Peruvian food, and while fusion places sometimes make me feel like that David Sedaris essay about Manhattan restaurants (“It’s hard to be a good sport when each dish seems to include no fewer than a dozen ingredients, one of which I’m bound to dislike. I’d order the skirt steak with a medley of suffocated peaches, but I’m put off by the aspirin sauce”), our meal was pretty much spectacular in every way.

Our room at the Venetian was ridiculously opulent, with a bathtub I’ll be dreaming about for years. God, it was such a treat being on our own for a few days, the luxurious surroundings and plethora of food options were just the cherry on top. I want to say that I missed the kids so much I couldn’t wait to come home … but. Well. That’s not quite. Oh, YOU know.

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