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[25 Oct 2005|12:31pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

I've taken to re-reading some of my books while on vacation. Some of them are actual books, written by authors that know how to string together a sentence and then move onto paragraphs and chapters, even. Others are strictly girl fluff. I'll admit it readily. I have ovaries and I'm not ashamed to read some claptrap for fun. Some people have ice cream and snickers as a guilty pleasure, I have junk novels. They're not of the supermarket variety, and every now and again a good author comes from some of these novels. But not many.

Case in point: The Devil Wears Prada. Dissecting it at first, it seems okay. Funny title, based on a real story and looks like pure unadulterated fluff. Great. Then, I start reading it. First read I went through was okay. I finished it very quickly and had a thought in the back of my head that end was a tad preachy, but I didn't think much of it. Second reading I was just using it as filler between books and barely paid attention. Third reading, the conclusion is absolute crap. The first chapter isn't even believable. And here's why.

I can only assume that this was not written for people in the actual work force. It must be for high school/college kids or people that aren't in their chosen field right out of school. At least, I sincerely hope so. How she gets the job is a tad out there. She shows up wearing horrid clothes (and I know for a fact, if it's a fashion magazine the interview would've ended with a brisk handshake. I don't care how tall and skinny you are.) Second of all, she doesn't know the person she's going to be assisting. Second strike, and obviously where reality and fiction start to separate. I can't tell you how many job interviews I went on, how sharp I looked and how much I knew about the company. Failing to do any of those things is just idiotic. Find a library and introduce yourself to google, fuckhead. C'mon. Everyone she interviews with gushes about how great the opportunity is and how well-respected this editor is, um, if they have to keep telling you, then they don't believe it themselves. Simple as that. Here's the other catch, after one year as assistant she can choose whatever she wants to do from there and this lady will make it happen. That's what we can too good to be true here in reality. It never takes one year to get where you want to go in the work world. Shortcuts like that are just hooks to get your ass in the door.

Okay, moving on. She gets the job and her boss is a nightmare. All of us how the power to quit, really. It may not be feasible, but it is there. There's also labor laws and various other safety catches out there in the real world. Yeah, I know. Job of a lifetime. Whatever. That's such bullshit. No job is worth your confidence and self-worth. Yes, again... I know it's fiction. But still. There are more magazines in the world than this girl is working at, honestly.

Either way, the story progresses and the job takes up the majority of her life. Her whiny crybaby boyfriend gets mad that she keeps falling asleep early when they go out and that she doesn't have enough time for him. Give the kid a hanky. Welcome to the real world. You don't always get what you want, and any boyfriend that keeps telling you to pick him over your job/career get a boot in the ass. Job/paycheck come first, boyfriends are icing on the cake. You don't need a boyfriend to eat, pay rent and bills. That's what your job is for. Okay, so whiny boyfriend leaves her because her work is interfering with their relationship. (Read as; needy bastard.) So now, her best friend has a drinking problem. Just like all new graduates. She's moved in with the girl and takes a while to notice that all the vodka in the house is gone and her friend brings home strange men a lot. This, boys and girls, is called being 21 in New York. It's not alcoholism... it just means your friend is a immature dumbass.

Here was the clincher for me. The girl in the story has to go to Paris for a fashion show with her boss. Whilst there, her best friend gets in a car wreck because she's drunk. Whiny crybaby ex-boyfriend tells her to come home and gets mad when she can't and tells her that he thought better of her. Yeah, because international flights out of Paris to NY are sooooo easy to come by. Especially when you're WORKING. Operative word here, working. As in, can't leave, this is still part of the paycheck. Yes, it's sad her friend is stupid and possibly seriously injured herself. But is that the girl's fault? Um, no. And Dr. Phil can't tell me otherwise, ya got it? So basically, this girl gets guilted into coming home. (It should be noted here that her parents knew, but didn't tell her right away or force her to come home BECAUSE SHE WAS WORKING.) And la-ti-da, her friend wakes up and makes a full recovery from being an idiot. Yay her. Maybe I'm a callous friend or just truly cold-hearted. If I'm working and I'm not on the same continent as the problem, wait till I get home! That thing with a paycheck, it kind of requires work in order to get it. And I like being able to pay bills and rent. And I dunno about you, but if my best friend/roommate is in a coma because of a drunk driving and I leave my job... doesn't that leave BOTH of us without a way to pay the rent?

Maybe this is all common sense to me, or maybe this is just supposed to be fun reading. But for me, fiction has to hold some element of truth for it to hold me and make me read. The adage is to write about what you know and you'll do fine. Chick lit or not, this girl didn't know squat and it shows.

Comments: 1 cent -your two cents.

Grief is a four-letter word. [07 Aug 2005|08:49pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

This year will make 28 years I've been alive and a whole new set of milestones are fast approaching. He will be absent from so much. He won't be there to give me away, he won't be there at the news of my first child, or at the birth. He'll never know what's happened in my life and how much he's taught me and reached me. He'll never know that I forgive him for my childhood. All these things that I wish he would be there to see and experience are gone forever and it's disheartening. No one ever explains how to cope with these things. All of the focus is on getting through the first couple of years, but no one goes on to tell you how to cope with the rest of your life. The times when it's so painfully obvious that someone should be there. Or catching yourself picking up the phone to ask advice and halfway through dialing the number you remember they won't be at the other end of the line. The pain that seemed to have numbed itself over the years becomes to raw and new again. Time heals all wounds... what bullshit. Time numbs it, but it never truly heals anything. Memories, old and new are bittersweet. They're always tinged with that loss no matter how happy the occasion. I know that my father will never be able to spoil his grandchildren, or see me dressed in white waiting for my new family to begin. Eight years has done nothing to numb that cold feeling that sits in my stomach when I remember he's gone. Eight years hasn't healed that wound, it's only just become bearable when I'm not caught off guard. All it takes is a movie, or a letter or just catching sight of something so simple as a father and daughter having a day out together to set that wound back to fresh. And what makes it so frustrating is how little you remember of the person after all that time. Time makes these things fade into the background so that the memory just becomes blurred and haphazard. This is supposed to be healing? All it makes me wish is that I hadn't forgotten and begin to blame myself for moving on. Time doesn't heal a damn thing, it just makes easier to sweep it under the surface under the pretense of being too long ago to feel bad about anymore. But it doesn't stop the guilt. It catches up to you in the middle of the night and you wish by screwing up your eyes real tight, hoping that something will come back to you and then blame yourself for doing them the dishonor of living your life. No one tells you these things when it happens. No one understands that it won't ever go away and be forgotten about. Some may be able to do that, but when there was so much left unfinished between two people that's not a viable option. I can only hope that he knows how much I miss him and how much I valued him, even if I didn't get the chance to say so. He'll always be alive as a part of me, but I wish with everything I had I could trade it for the real thing.

Comments: 1 cent -your two cents.

[11 Jul 2005|01:33pm]
Ah, the electronic sounding board. Funny how we can't admit some of the deepest darkest secrets of the soul to those we hold close, yet announcing them anonymously over the internet can seem like such a natural choice to make. Read no further if you're expecting something deep and dark to be revealed. This isn't my forum, not as most see it. It's just someplacce to park my thoughts until I can gather them all together to make a finished idea.

J said I always sound so bleak when I post on here. I guess he's right. Writing thoughts down helps, but it's no longer the release it used to be. I've grown stale as a writer and I rely too often on cliches and phrases of the now. It makes for trite reading and a constant whine in my head when I read it back to myself. I know I need to write more in order to break through this unimaginative phase, but every time I sit down to type or write out my thoughts, that blank page looks larger and scarier than it was before I started. I know it's writer's block, or some form of it. I'm too chicken to write what I want to, so I go back to the safety of sarcastic bullshit. I can write better. I can write well, but I'm so scared to that I've forgotten how. Better writers than me have fallen prey to this evil being and have suffered forever. So, who am I to think I'd be any better at breaking through than they did?

Something does need to change, but I don't know what. Or rather I do know what, but I'd rather just ignore it for the moment. That in itself is a dangerous idea, given my present habit of selective memory. Bad habit or not, it's still falling into a pattern I'm all too familiar with. It usually works which of course, is the exact opposite thing I really want it to do. Maybe they should rename Murphy's Law after me.
Comments: 1 cent -your two cents.

[10 Jul 2005|01:16am]
[ mood | ambiguous ]

I feel as if something is missing. Watching a movie tonight made me remember being passionate about so many things. I was angry, I believed in something... anything. And I fought for it, right or wrong. I had concrete ideas and a belief structure, I had so many things that raged inside me. All of them are dead now. I believe in nothing. I fight for nothing. I'm not angry anymore. I'm not even slightly miffed. I've become so complacent in life. Looking back, I rolled over and gave in. Something I never dreamed I'd even be capable of. I used to write, I'd find books and read them just solely on the basis that they made me think, I'd spend nights staying up and talking bullshit over Waffle House coffee. I don't necessarily miss the people I spent bullshitting with, but I miss the passion that used to be in my life. I miss the fact that I could stay up late, just talking about anything. Now, I don't have anything much to say. Nothing worth hours staying up and discussing. I did give up. I gave up and got quiet.

The medication has stopped working. The highs are great, but short and the lows are way down there. And the anger. Not the good kind, not the kind that made me get up and do something about my surroundings like it used to. This is the anger that blacks out in my brain and turns everything ugly. I've gone stupid again. I can't remember names of things, or I call them by the wrong name. I forget how to talk sometimes. It all gets jumbled in my brain. I can see it in front of me, but I can't make my lips form the words or idea. I'm tired all the time. I'm starting to get listless at work. If I'm bored too long I'll just give up and not want to do any work. As long as I stay busy, I'm okay, I can just get lost in it. I hate this. I know this isn't me and I feel trapped in my own stupid head. Complex thought patterns are completely out of my realm. I've started to lose track of what I'm talking about before I've even finished a sentence. I'm distracted and catch myself zoning out when I'm driving. I'll look around and wonder how I got this far. I've almost missed my exits because I forget where I am. I have an appointment with my doctor, but that means going back to the old medication. I'm not sure I want to, but it doesn't seem like I get much of a choice in the matter. Maybe I should promise myself that when things even out, I'll go off of it for good. Deep down I know this is an empty promise. I'll be chained to it for the rest of my life or I'll turn out like my mother. I can't make a life for myself with someone or have a family if I'm just like her. I'll wreck everything and be the crazy cat lady before I'll know what has happened. The medication seems like a small sacrifice compared to that fate.

I can't help but think that certain events need to happen because I need my life to change. This is a dangerous thought pattern. I know that this isn't the answer, but it's still living there in the back of my head. The dreams are happening with alarming frequency. I don't give a damn what any fucking dream analysis says, I know what they're about. Symbolism was never my strong suit. My subconscious likes to hit me over the head repeatedly with the obvious. I keep waiting for the moment to change. I'm treading water and I'll have to be content with that for now. Too many other things in life are up in the air for there to be something else. Routine breeds stability. If I know what's coming, I won't have to worry. (Self-induced delusions are the best, aren't they?) I think that was sufficiently obtuse enough for certain parties not to read too much into it. If it's what you think it is, you're wrong. I just don't feel like making an outright statement. That may mean that I have to do something about it. I'm hoping the less I acknowledge it, the less it will live in my brain.

Again with the self-delusion. I'm nothing if consistent. Even that's wrong. I'm not consistent, anything but, to be honest. Stubborn. That's closer to the truth. Or rather, it's as close as I'm going to get tonight.

Comments: 2 cents -your two cents.

Things are a'changin'. [24 Apr 2005|09:12pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

Things have finally started to even out in my life. I've secured a decent job, gotten the money situation under hand, convinced J to go for the dream job that was offered to him... we've managed to recreate what passes for a normal life for ourselves out of the wreckage of the past one.

That being said, I've made a tough decision to go back onto the medication. The idea of having a medicated shackle around my ankle is still none to appealing. But discovering that without it, I am my mother's image is more of a deterrent. I refuse to force that on anyone in my life, now or future. I just find it strange that it took stabilization to goad me to the medication again. Chaos is not my element. Having it banished from my brain has proved useful. It feels as if the filing cabinet in my head is finally organized. Labels have been afixed and everything returned to its rightful place.

Other things are changing, too. Smiling is beginning to come naturally, not that forced rictus that used to inhabit my face. My vocabulary is back, too. (Obviously.) The word "fuck' is no longer my main adjective. I've heard of depression patients becoming smarter after the medication began, but I had a hard time beleiving I was one of those unlucky souls. To have an imbalance so great that it muddles everything. I thought that surely wasn't me, but now I have to reconsider. I can remember things. Not just silly stuff, but honest to god things. Thoughts, ideas... history, events... all sorts of things. I remember the interests I used to have and how I enjoyed them. It's been only a week on the pills and yet, everything has changed.

I sound like I'm ranting. "Look at me, medication is so great." Sign me up for the propaganda film. Yes, you too can feel THIS great. Uck. I hate stuff like that. It's so belittling. But, I can't help but think that I truly am getting better. Not fixed, just better.

Comments: 1 cent -your two cents.

[24 Apr 2005|06:15pm]
Medication is good.
Comments: your two cents.

For Slob. [01 Jul 2004|10:23pm]
Don't beleive everything you read, dear.


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Comments: 5 cents -your two cents.

Employers, take note. [27 Apr 2004|03:46pm]
If you are one of those sloppy HR professionals or worse, a high-level management drone, they pay attention. The following message is for you.

Return phone calls are appreciated. Prompt responses are even more appreciated. Good manners go a long way. However, letting job seekers dangle for weeks or even longer is unacceptable. Emails that tell us the job just doesn't fit us AFTER we have interviewed with you is a cowardly and repugnant way to tell someone. Emails are the most impersonal form of communication there is on this planet, yet you choose it to be your bad news messenger. Are you afraid of human reaction? Are you too much of a pussy to tell someone, "hey, it's just not the right fit, but keep your chin up"? What are you people? HR stands for HUMAN Resources, yet you use everything possible to keep more than an arm's length from the people you must interact with on a daily basis. You use impersonal forms of communication such as email and memos. Phone calls are few and far between and messages are left unreturned. Upper-level management drones are no better. Quick, short emails with as much as two sentences are all you use to inform us that we are now useless to you. How dare you belittle me!? How dare you not even give me an ample explanation!? Christ, even college admissions will tell you why you're being rejected! You, HR and Management Drones, are the people I despise. Climbing the corporate ladder doesn't include social skills anymore, does it? Or you would know that people's lives hang in the balance when they are waiting for the results of an interview. You never consider that, do you, you fuckers? You care about your bottom line and keeping your paycheck fat. Oh, how you make me sick. You'd never hire a professional with experience, for then, you might have to actually PAY them!? What a novel idea, that is. Paying people what they are worth. If that were the case, you'd be begging me for a job, wouldn't you. How that would make my eyes dance with merriment.

So, let it be known, ye of the management and (in)human resources ilk, you have been warned. Someday, the tables will be turned and I'll get my last laugh.
Comments: 3 cents -your two cents.

[05 Mar 2004|11:07am]
Maybe it's the weather. It's cold and rainy outside. Typical March weather, I shouldn't be surprised by it. It's funny how something so huge and complex can affect mood. You'd think you'd be too insignificant a force for it to have an effect.

For the longest time, I've been on a job quest. I've been attempting to find the position that I can settle in for, make a life out of for myself. I was laid off April of last year from a design job that I thought I did an excellent job at, but apparently I was wrong. I was, in fact, very easily replaced. I'd found myself out of a job, and at the time J was battling the same enemy. He'd been to his job for the last time three weeks prior to me. Both of us home, only one income of unemployment coming into the household. I vowed not to be out of a job longer than a week. I had assumed I'd find another design job. I didn't. I found a job in a completely different field that was $6,000 a year less than what I'd been making. But it was a job and it would pay the bills, for now. So, I took it and found myself trapped. Once again, I'd chosen the wrong thing to do. It's a thankless, meaningless job that will never have a promotion in sight. I can't go anywhere else since the overall business has slammed to a halt, and I haven't enough experience to be paid any more than what I'm receiving now. I'm stuck, for now.

I had always thought of myself as a competent graphic designer, with sometime strokes of genius. But that's gone away as the market has been saturated with art directions of creative directors applying for senior graphics positions as larger companies liquidate their staff. I look at these resumes, the portfolios and suddenly feel like the smallest fish in the pond. How can I compete with these people? How can I even get a chance to shine when I'm up against the people that have designed some of the most famous advertising campaigns and logo designs on the market. I can't. So that leaves me as a designer with 10 years of experience playing a paralegal at a one lawyer law firm.

I used to feel creative. I used to have ideas. I wrote short stories and children's tales. I designed my little heart out and came up with not one or two designs, but three of four for a client to choose. I updated my style and colors with the market trends. I knew every piece of software on the market and then some. (And I still do.) But that won't get me very far. My only hope is a production job at a half rate agency. I'll be proofing other people's work with no outlet for my own creativity. I feel as inexperienced as I did when I left college. I had no idea where I was going or where I would end up, I just snatched the first job that was full-time and in my field. (Another mistake made.)

I don't know which way to go. As a designer I feel stagnant and behind the technological times. As a paralegal I'm nothing. No degree, not enough experience. I'm stuck in this horrible limbo of no career prospects. The economy is suffering and the first thing to go was all the design jobs. No more marketing for big business. Not with Bush about to be unseated. No more big business tax breaks. Time to hunker down and save money lest our pocketbooks become lighter.

So, I'm at a crisis. Do I attempt to do design and hope that I can catch up to the level that these art directors have attained, and try to play ball in their field? Can I make a living at design in the post dot-com bust? Or do I stay where I am and be miserable, but get more experience in being a paralegal so I can leave and go somewhere else? Law firms usually frown upon creativity and uniqueness. Would I fit in there? Would I get paid as much as a girl that looks more the part? Would I be treated in the same manner that I've being treated in now, as a secretary/maid?

I suppose I should've thought of all this when I started job searching after being laid off. My panic was too consuming. The horror of being evicted fueled my hunt. Come to think of it, that's always been my fuel. No job = no money = no roof over head. I've never had the leisure of sitting back and pondering over offers to choose the best one. It's been to find work or starve.

I feel as though I've accomplished nothing. No job I've held as a designer has ever given me any satisfaction in my life. I'm still a second-rate hack in my mind. I haven't made a career of design, I've made a laughingstock of myself. How am I supposed to settle down and make a life for myself if my career can't even stack up? How am I supposed to be part of a team, and maybe raise a family if my job never quite rises above the rank of expendable?

I'm sure this isn't the first time someone sat down and asked themselves where they're going. I'm sure it won't the last time, but it's always most important when you're asking yourself.
Comments: your two cents.

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