“Geek,” according to the 2007 Dictionary of American Slang, means “1. a sideshow freak, especially one who does revolting things…2. a snake charnmer, 3. a pervert or degenerate, especially one who will do disgusting things to slake deviant appetities, 4. a devotee, fan, freak, nerd.” I knew there was a reason I didn’t use that word. More variations on the term include words meaning “socially inept,” “eccentric and repulsive,” “weird, creepy.” Wikipedia says “there is no longer a definitive meaning” and lists an assortment of meanings, ranging from “peculiar” to “adept with computers.” They make no mention of slaking deviant appetites, at least.

For the record, the only definitions I could relate to were “adept with computers” and “relates academic subjects to the real world.” My reaction to that — namely, consternation at the idea that there were people who didn’t do that — does suggest a certain geekiness, I admit.

That’s an update from yesterday.

Yesterday didn’t turn out as I had planned. First, Janalisa came and swept me off to yard sales. This was good because I was dithering again, and also seriously needed a lamp and cloth napkins. I found both at tiny prices, and also bought a few books, because there were books being sold two for a quarter.

I also spent 50 cents on a T-shirt for my boys to fight over. It said “ICONOCLAST: picking on society.” #2 son looked at it and said, “I’m not an iconoclast,” but I think his brother might like it.

Janalisa also spoke to me bracingly. Her topics included not being such a wimp about the few measly business skills I need to master, committing to my plan and outlining the steps needed for success, and probably also quitting whining so much in my blog.

I did whine further, however, since I had her trapped in a moving vehicle. I suggested that I could perhaps go to Client #2 and offer to share all my other clients in return for not having to do any business things, as opposed to work things.

“Oh, why don’t you come and work for me?” said Janalisa. “You can clean my house, and I’ll pay you what and when I feel like paying you.”

She had, at that point, descended to sarcasm. She is successfully self-employed, a fact which gives her a differerent perspective on my persistent whining about wanting a salary.

Actually, she was nice and encouraging, and also right. Going to yard sales was also fun. We saw pachinko games and elegant little dessert dishes and also met up with lots of people we knew as we randomly wheeled around the town visiting yard sales. It’s a small town.

Next I had a call from Client #6, discussing how we could prove to the board that I wasn’t a waste of money. I offered increased rank for likely search terms. This was not impressive to him. He brought up some ranking tool on his computer as we spoke, and read off to me how the site had gone up and down between February and April for particular search terms.

Okay, well how about the number of links requested? “That’s just activity,” he pointed out, “not results.”

I tried to express the possibility that masters of Halloween websites (it’s a long story) might not be dashing off in droves to update their links within a few days of my requests, even if my requests were really good. It is challenging not to make that sound like an excuse. But it is my experience that it takes a couple of weeks to see responses.

I am not usually up against a board that meets for the express purpose of contemplating whether I am a waste of money.

However, he finished up the call by conceding that he thought we would be okay for the next week. May I just say that salaried jobs do not include weekly decisions on whether or not to keep you on? Some salaried jobs give you a couple of weeks just to figure out where everything is.

I went to lunch with Blessing next, and she spoke to me bracingly about tax deductions. I told her that Client #2 had said “I need to get you squared away,” and she assured me that this was a term for paying people among those in the know, not a threat to take out a hit on me.

Then I visited Client #3, who wrote me a check. We did a bit of business, and I got back to my computer and started coming up with a report for Client #6 and his board, whereupon one of his minions sent me an email asking me to sign and fax something to her straightaway so she could pay me. I printed it out, signed it, ran back to Client#3’s place of business and begged the use of her fax machine, and then got back to the report.

It was rather late when I finished it, but thanks to a favorable time difference, it was not actually late reaching the client, so I am good.

You may have noticed — I certainly did — that quite a few of my interactions yesterday involved the prospect of being paid. I’m having a good time with the work, and haven’t even begun yet to do any marketing, so if I can actually get the hang of arranging to get paid, I will feel pretty confident. This is cheering.

I have a domestic day planned. I intend to try really hard not to think about Hallowe’en, or therapy, or sustainability, or bookstores, or construction, or The Dark Art at all. Not about driving, either. House and garden, that’s the order of the day.

I also need to read more, because I am having trouble keeping up with the Summer Reading Challenge, even though it is only two books a week. I’m currently reading Knit Fast, Die Young, an extremely lightweight mystery about which I really have nothing to say, and The Case for Faith, which is sort of the opposite of irreligion. I never actually finished discussing the arguments for God, though I was asked to do so. I may get around to it yet.