Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Night

I found myself reaching for my blanket . . . Uh oh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Damn it all. Will work for food.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The First Day of the Rest of My Life?

So today while on a walk with my pup, I realized that I have a fear of commitment. Rather, I should say that I realized how deep my fear of commitment actually ran. It's so deep that I haven't really finished anything in life. I mean, like I haven't committed to anything from start to finish. Writing blogs, reading books, writing screenplays, my relationship (and relationships in general), jobs, projects, diets, the list goes on and on and on. This idea crept up on me in the middle of the park while attempting to read a book. And to tell you the truth, I'm a little shocked by it.

So, I'm fighting my first urge which is to experience guilt and feelings of failure which is my body's natural defense against coming up with real solutions. Instead I've decided to dig into this a little; do a little soul searching. Why don't I finish anything? Why do I suddenly just drop things never to return and complete them? It didn't take long for me to come up with this simple answer: I drop things in life when I no longer want to do them anymore, when they become unpleasant or I'm distracted by something shinier and especially when they become too much work - which, to be honest, depends on the day and what kind of mood I'm in. (There are some exceptions like employment and school, but best believe I've left plenty of jobs as soon as another opportunity arose.)

But upon looking back at the different situations, I ask myself Could I have stayed longer? And the answer, sadly, is no. Followed by Why should I? Why stay in a situation that is unpleasant in order to prove a point? But I guess that's where I've been wrong all of this time. Because that doesn't make up for all of the unfinished books, blogs, journals, screenplays, relationships, projects, diets, and whatever else I decide to pick up and then leave by the wayside. Finishing those things wouldn't prove a point. They would be accomplishing a goal. So I've decided that my year starts now . . . in the month of September. And my goal is to finish EVERY SINGLE THING that I have started in life.

These things include . . .

10 books
2 blogs
15 Paintings
3 screenplays
Finish whatever it is I've been trying to knit
840 hours of service
A solid work-out regimen
Lose 15 lbs.
Get married or get off the pot, so-to-speak
Hem the curtain in my living room
Purge my house and throw out all unnecessary items
And visit my friends in Texas and California

There! Think I can do it?

No matter how difficult it gets to do these things, the one thing that I will constantly remind myself (and oddly, it actually consoles me a little) is that life is full of things that we don't want to do. And everyday, the "go-getters" get themselves up and do these things. They go to the gym and work out or jog down the street before the rest of us even get out of bed and they finish their screenplays and manuscripts. They paint masterpieces and sew sweaters, do housework and grow gardens. And at the end of that long day, they read a book before turning off the lights and sleeping only to do it all again. And I will only be successful if I learn to stay in that mode. Fortunately, I can say I've done it before. It's just sticking with it that I have to learn to do . . . as with everything else.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife . . . Irene is Coming!

Hurricane Irene is supposed to be one of the biggest storms to hit the East Coast in over 50 years and today is the big day she'll greet us with her presence. So after a busy day of preparation - washing clothes, freezing water, grocery shopping - we wait. The stores have been packed with people stocking up on water, batteries and flashlights. All kinds of events have shut down - including some oldie's party at my mom's apartment complex tonight and a church convention my Aunt was going to this weekend. People have been comparing the impending storm to Hurricane Katrina, which (knock-on-wood) is a strong exaggeration. But it's supposed to be big. The national news has been reporting on this storm and warning people not to leave their homes. And most people are taking heed to this advice because nobody wants to take the chance of being caught in the rain, being hit by a tree or getting blown away by the wind. Nobody . . . except for my dad.

You see, his retirement party is today. And as far as my dad is concerned, nobody is going to take that away from him . . . not even God himself. He has worked too hard and done too much for people not to come to his shindig. The storm's going to be outside and the party's inside, so . . . no big deal, right? Either way, there is no convincing him to re-plan this thing and I'm really shocked the Fire hall didn't forbid his usage of the facility in the first place. I just hope that he won't be too disappointed when people start to cancel. And I really hope that nobody gets hurt trying to drive to his thing. As for me . . . I live an hour and a half away from where this event is going to be. The drive would be treacherous. In the case that this HUGE hurricane turns out to be a glorified drizzle, I'll go. But for some odd reason, I doubt it.


Blog Update - The retirement party has since been cancelled. Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monkeys and Monkey Business

Saw Planet of the Apes and I'm back in "Ebert" mode. It was awesome! The monkeys climbing everywhere, looking like angry little humans. I was the only douche-bag saying "awwww!" at all the wrong times.
The gorilla escapes from the cage for the first time . . . awwww!!!
Caesar bashes some guy's head in . . . awwww!!!
The orangutan . . . well, I don't know. Just awwww!!!
The concept was good, and I could really sympathize with those simians. Probably because of my current situation. For some reason, seeing the oppression and hopelessness of the apes just trying to get through the day (maybe I'm internalizing this, LOL) reminded me of being unemployed.

I've really been in "fight the man" mode which is probably not good for getting a job. Thank goodness my "power to the people" moments have mainly been in the privacy of my own home and not on the internets (except here) or the streets. In my job hunting life, I try to keep it as professional as humanly possible. But that's kind of the problem. It seems to me that the new thing is to go beyond professionalism, go beyond just applying for a job and try to actually pal around with the recruiters. Facebook them, Tweet them, Linked-in them, Google plus them. Impress them, wow them. RAZZLE DAZZLE them. If you think I'm being a smart-@ss, you're right. I am. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid. I've been following the advice, seeking out recruiters and networking my booty off but really I find the process demeaning and ridiculous. I miss the days where you could apply to a job and know that your resume is just as likely to get an interview if you didn't kiss the recruiter's butt. Getting a leg up on the competition meant having a good resume and mailing it off early, maybe walking into the office and handing it to someone as opposed to nowadays where you have to practically go to the secretary's home and sleep at the foot of their bed.

And I honestly think that it's getting to the recruiters' heads. For example, I was reading an article "Tips for Cover Letters" or "What Not to Put on a Cover Letter" (something like that) and the recruiter was talking about how irritated they were that someone put To Whom It May Concern as an opening. It was as if they were offended that the person didn't directly address them by name. "Just do a little research - call the company and ask for a name or just go on the website." Personally, I've done both of those things and 90% of the time, that information is not going to be open to the public. Companies generally don't put recruiter information on websites - I've checked. And I've called companies and received the, "We're not taking any phone calls, please just put 'To Whom It May Concern' on the cover letter" response on more than one occasion.

To be fair, though, I know that these are mechanisms used in order to weed people out. I know that the job market is inundated with job seekers and Human Resources does not have the time (or energy) to look at every single applicant. So in order to cancel people out immediately, they nit-pick and find offense with things that don't really matter. And it's my job, as the applicant, to figure out what those things are regardless of my qualifications and skill. And I also have to be willing to overlook the unprofessionalism that is involved with the folks that do the hiring at these companies. In other words, I have to know how to be an "employee" before I get hired.

Here's a horror story for ya, last year the manfriend applied to a job with a major corporation. After several weeks of vetting and two phone interviews, he drove for 4 hours to the company and interviewed with 5 or 6 people. Immediately after, he did a follow up interview and completed an evaluation of the interview process as well as an essay detailing his experience. He jumped through all of these hoops which were required by the company and received no feedback whatsoever. He called occasionally, maybe once every 2 weeks to find out his status and after maybe 6 months of no responses, he found out that they'd already hired someone else for the job. And this is after the man had sent in so much paperwork, you would have thought he was already an employee.

So I think this is what we have to look forward to in this economy. The last time I had to do this kind of indirect vetting and 'insider information' espionage-like, popularity contest interviewing without any kind of feedback, was when I was pledging my sorority. And to be honest, I think anybody looking for a job nowadays would probably agree. It's just like pledging. But you do what you gotta do. So I'm off to do some more networking. Just needed to get some things off my chest.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Saw The Help

So I just saw the movie The Help and being that the manfriend doesn't want to hear me go on and on about it, I figured I'd just give my thoughts on here. First things first, I think it was a good movie. Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer did a wonderful job portraying the hard working women that paved the way for Black people today with dignity and grace. As for Emma Stone, she can do no wrong in my book and everybody else did a marvelous job of making me hate them, so I guess that means the acting and storyline was pretty good. The best thing about this movie, in my opinion, is the reaction it gets. Anytime the film industry takes it upon themselves to remember that Black folk even exist and decide to make a movie about us, we start to get a little sensitive. If I could turn my theater seat around and watch the audience, I would. But to tell you the truth, everybody in the audience today absolutely loved it so there was not much to see.

Just yesterday, I was hanging out with my best friend and she was telling me that the movie was forced upon her. She said she didn't want to see it and as far as the book was concerned, she couldn't get past the first chapter. She said the Black people sounded like slaves and the White people were way too racist for her to spend her leisure time getting angry about. I'd read the book and enjoyed it. I thought it was well done and brought up a subject that was worthy of discussion. If anything, I was disappointed that a Black person didn't think to write this book and tell the real story of the women that lived during that time. But it's probably just one of those things that we've just always taken for granted. "My momma cleaned other people's houses just to put food on our table," so on and so forth. I don't know how many times I've heard that and to tell you the truth, my mom has actually raised white children (and some black, lol) as well as cleaned houses and did whatever she had to do to put food on our table so I can definitely relate but never thought to write a story like that.

Anywhoosers, I don't wonder what it would be like to live in that day. To be honest, the only thing I really wonder about is how good the food was (considering that everything was fresher). Shallow, I know . . . but everything else doesn't really, I don't know, get me angry in the way that maybe I'm supposed to be. I mean I get that it was bad. I understand that innocent Black people were hung, shot and murdered all kinds of ways. I know that. Hell, I have an uncle who was lynched back in the 50's. And while I get angry looking at how things were, there's a certain part of me that really shuts off. Maybe it's a coping mechanism but it's kind of hard for my mind not to go numb when I watch the retardedness that went on in those days. There was a point, I think the first time someone used the "N" word in the movie, the Black lady next to me gasped. I turned and rolled my eyes at her like, Really? You're shocked? Or the scene where the White guy commands the maid to make him a sandwich. And again, the lady next to me goes "Wow!" Her reaction kind of made me laugh a little. Sometimes I think that maybe I'm not mentally removed at all. Maybe it's the people who are still shocked that these kinds of atrocities have happened that are removed. I don't think that it was right that the past was so horrible, but I'm far from shocked. Especially with the ignorance that we see going on today.

Like, I feel like I'm always gasping and "wowing" about things that are happening now. Constantly looking around like, "So what are we going to do about this?" And most times people look at me like I was looking at the lady in the movie theater today. Really? You're shocked? Of course I'm shocked. I guess my mind equates ignorance and inequality with the past. It's when I see people being abused and discriminated against nowadays that I really get upset. Will there ever be a time in America's history when one group is NOT being disenfranchised? Or better yet, will there ever be a time when we don't have to actually fight against our own government for what should be "self evident" rights? (Health care, education, the right to work, a clean planet, decent food standards, etc.)

All right, I guess I need to take down my "fight the power" flags and get my butt to bed.

So I'll just end it on this note . . . I greatly appreciate the acknowledgment to the maids who were a significant part of American society in those days and absolutely love the dignified treatment with which their stories were told. Go and see The Help. T'was good!

Blerb From My Life

Me: Let's go to the movies.

Him: Sure! Wanna see The Help?

Me: Yeah, I'd love to see that movie about your Mama.

Him: Well, you know what movie about your mama, I'd like to see? . . . Fright Night.

Me: Or we could see that movie about your Daddy . . . Rise of Planet of the Apes.

Him: Or we could see that move about your Daddy. (pause for dramatic effect) . . . Missing.

Lol, he got me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm a Statistic

Life has been truly crazy lately and in a moment of insanity I was going to delete this blog. Fortunately, a good friend told me that I should keep it. And thankfully, I listened.

Here's the deal . . . I'm unemployed. UNEMPLOYED!!! And it sucks monkey balls. I cannot describe to you the agony of applying to jobs. Never in my life have I felt so inadequate. Everyday I wake up, check my email and receive tons of messages from Career Builder, Jobfox, Monster, Linked in, TV jobs, Media Match, etc. but absolutely nothing from recruiters for jobs that I've actually applied for. I have sent out over 10 applications a day, every single day for over two months and haven't even gotten so much as an email or phone call back, much less an interview. It's exhausting, confusing and makes you want to jump off of a bridge.

Networking feels kind of awkward, but I do it anyway. I've even spent over $800 to go to a networking event, introduced myself and handed my card out to practically everyone I could find, followed up with emails and have yet to hear back. I took my resume to a professional resume writing service to see if there was anything I could do to increase my chances of getting a job and still nothing.

The confusing thing is that I'm qualified for the jobs I have applied for. I have all of the skills, requirements, references and years of experience. But I can't get a call back to save my life and the frustration is literally driving me crazy. I check my email every three seconds, think about outrageous ways to get my resume seen and am even starting to wonder if I've been blacklisted by "the man." I've been told that it's a reflection of the U.S. economy and I shouldn't take it personal. And while this may be true, it's hard not to take it personal when you read articles that tell you that finding a job is as simple as spelling everything correct on your resume and directly addressing a person from human resources in your cover letter.

I guess the worst part is feeling like the only person in this situation. I was telling my boyfriend that I need to join an unemployed person's therapy group. I'm just hoping that this country can get it together so I don't have to move back to Japan to find a decent job. So that's my little venting session.

Until then, I will continue to fight the good fight. Hopefully, someone will hire me.