Archive | October, 2012

Must resist eating candy

31 Oct

In my nearly 20 years of living in this area I’ve only had trick or treaters come by twice!  But you never know right?  This could be the big year they decide to come out.  The biggest Halloween party in the city is up the street from us on Santa Monica Boulevard and lots of people park in the neighborhood to avoid having to pay for parking near the carnival.  I can’t be the only one that has candy ready to go!

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I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, I’ve dressed up on occasion and have enjoyed some scary movies when the mood strikes.  Those of you that are very into Halloween I appreciate your efforts, well done all of you!  I have no such strong allegiance with any holiday, perhaps I should really like live it up on Arbor Day or something next year.  Tree and leaf shaped cookies for all!!  Now I’m thinking I shouldn’t have cleaned up my doorway just in case little costumed beings stop by, the spider webs that collect there would have added to the “atmosphere”.

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Did we let them down?

28 Oct

Waking up to another quiet morning here in The Manor.  I live alone, I have for most of my adulthood apart from a brief period when I was married even then it was a bit weird to have someone else in my apartment.  Now in my late thirties I look back and wonder if my parents are a bit let down by the choices I’ve made in life.  Like a lot of my friends I don’t have children, fortunately for me my siblings have supplied an adequate number of offspring to satisfy my parents and I’ve never felt pressured from them but I do feel that they must worry about me at times.  I used to get told a lot that it was ok if I was a lesbian that they’d still love me, I’m not, I’ve had my fair share of boyfriends but rarely introduced them to the family or let them know that I was dating at all.  I can see why they made the assumption that I had to have been gay if I didn’t bring any men around to meet them but don’t see why they didn’t ask why I didn’t bring any women around?  There wasn’t a big stigma in the family, well not since a lot of the older generation had moved on to the next existence but even then there was a HUGE tolerance for whatever you wanted to be.

I’m not the only one that has made the choice to keep my apartment in order and not have all of my awesome vintage toys and collectables destroyed by the hands of children.  A lot of my friends have opted to have pets that they dote on as they were actual children.  Posting pictures to Facebook, dressing them up for holidays, including them in holiday cards as you would any child – thankfully none of them have gone over the edge and purchased one of those baby carriage type dog strollers I see people pushing at The Grove.  I like spending time with these little bundles of fur when I come across them but won’t actually commit to one myself.  I think if I got a dog or a cat it would really be the final signal to my parents that absolutely no grandchildren are coming from this one.  I don’t think I will get a pet – I had a cat at one time, never had my own dog.  They’re a lot of work and I’m very selfish on some ways, I can’t imagine wanting to get up at six in the morning to go take something outside to crap in the rain then having to scoop it up with a plastic bag.  Plus I like being able to take off when I want to and not have to worry about what am I going to do with this thing that lives in my house.

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There’s a birthday party at my sister’s house today for my niece Maggie, today is her actual birthday – she had the option of being delivered on Halloween but my sister squashed that idea.  I think having Halloween as your birthday would have been pretty cool but it is a lot of pressure to have a party every year and I don’t think we would have been able to stop her from being a goth once she hit those awkward teen years, nothing wrong with being a bit of a goth but its just a hard look to pull off when you’ve got olive skin and live in sunny California.  It was at one of these parties that I began to wonder if all of us that opted to wait to get married and have kids later in life are a let down to our parents.  It seems like most of them were married and popping out kids before turning 30 and here lots of us are well into our 30’s some of us are in our 40’s and no signs of settling down.  If you’re an only child do your calls to your parents always have that twinge of hopefulness when they ask how you are, hoping you’ll say that you met someone amazing or you and that person you’ve been shacking up with for years are finally making it legal and they can expect to be Pop-Pop or Nana in just a few more years.  Or have they accepted that we are different and they only grandchildren they may see are short, furry and will probably take a dump on their carpet at some point.

Finding my place

16 Oct

At the end of June I was laid off from a job that while I didn’t absolutely hate it there were definitely some moments that I really wish I didn’t have to be there. There have only been two times in my life that I have been unemployed and I accepted my previous position out of panic really. I had been without work for nearly three months and after some initial excitement with interviews and meeting with placement agencies my phone had stopped ringing. So when I was offered a position during a second interview I jumped at the chance to start working again without really taking time to consider what I was getting into. It also meant that I had to turn down the other jobs I was interviewing for.

Working at this company wasn’t particularly hard it was more of a challenge. A lot of the people I worked with were fresh out of college and this was their first job. I remember being that age and having the same set of ideals but luckily for me I had a solid corporate structure that helped whip me into a really great employee. This being a start up it didn’t have any of that structure. Sure there were some HR people there, some management and an attempt to set up an Executive team but nothing was right. It was like going to work in a middle school cafeteria. There were cliques, yelling, horseplay and not very much work getting done. Sure when it had to happen there would be a scramble to make it happen much like the last five minutes of the lunch period and you realize you haven’t finished your math homework. After finding out how imbalanced the staff pay was I began to realize why this environment took shape. But I’m not sure a bigger paycheck would have helped considering that people were working off of plastic folding tables.

Nothing quite like asking for a handout using a $150 pen

The morning I was told I was being laid off I was initially relieved. My position there required me to do some things I was highly uncomfortable with, no one should have to know how to forge their bosses signatures or take their continuing legal education classes for them. When I was asked to do these things I was riddled with guilt and a sense of shame and knowing I had to keep doing these things until I could find another place. I had started applying to new jobs and had a few interviews but nothing had been offered yet. I was part of a large group of staff laid off that day and was the only one asked to finish out the week which made it very awkward to be there. I didn’t tell anyone it was my last week but somehow people found out and it was difficult to have everyone come up to your desk and just kind of stare at you not knowing what to say or avoid making eye contact with you in the halls. I didn’t have an answer for them when they asked what was I going to do, I didn’t know really. I knew I wanted to find something else right away but I had a trip to the UK I had booked for months before and I knew I still wanted to go.

So off to the UK I went and had a great time but all the while knowing when I came back it was time to get serious and really find a job as soon as possible. I’ve been back for two months now and have had a few interviews and an offer from a place that really just wasn’t the right fit. I know it’s just a matter of time until I find a place where I’ll be happy, I just hope its soon. The sound of my neighborhood during the day is driving me absolutely mad. The gardening crews that seem to show up every few hours, the school up the street, the aforementioned squabbles and today’s surprise of a jackhammer. I try to leave the house and go to the park or for a ride on my Vespa when it gets really bad but what I really want is to have a place to go every day and not have to worry about when the jackhammering is going to stop. But for now I’ll fill out this unemployment claim every two weeks using a sterling silver Tiffany pen because why not?

Last of the famous…

11 Oct

I used to be a giant Morrissey fan, I’m still a fan now just not as die hard “the man can do no wrong”.  The Smiths and Morrissey were just always there, taking over everything in my teen years.  As I grew older and started attending more concerts then the obsession grew.  I wasn’t one of those girly girls that went to prom or even wore make up so Dad bought me my first few seats to sold out shows from ticket brokers because he was far too accommodating of a father and would do whatever we asked and hey he was saving all that money on eyeliner and Sharpie for my eyebrows. 

My first trip to New York was to see a bunch of Morrissey shows, four concerts at small venues across the city and in Philadelphia during the Thanksgiving week.  I had a cheap ticket from signing up for an American Express card on campus and set off with two friends to see what we could make happen.  Without tickets or even a place to stay we set off and had an amazing week, we made it in to all of the shows – front and center for every single one thanks to general admission and a stroke of luck at the Philadelphia box office.  We spent Thanksgiving day eating Sbarro then waiting at Morrissey’s hotel to try to meet him.  He finally appeared after hours of us waiting in the cold after being kicked out of the lobby which was understandable as it was small and we were obviously not guests.  He was with Linder and he met with us briefly before he went upstairs, she came back out of the hotel and took all of the things we wanted signed with some notes as to what belonged to who.  She came back with a stack of autographed items all with personal little touches, its where my England “Hoist it high” flag was signed.  We would go on to have many other adventures following Morrissey and other bands around the world but nothing will match the excitement of those first few trips.  I met some of my favorite people ever around these concerts, I’ve lost touch with most of them but when we do run into each other it’s our shared history that brings us right back.  

I still sing along and sometimes dance if I’m in my apartment when a song comes up in the shuffle, admittedly I haven’t bought an album since You Are The Quarry but I”m still aware of what the man is doing.  The blind faith devotion is definitely gone now, I loved the Coachella hissy fit / dry heaving that happened in 2009 and it made me realize that I had really put it all behind me and now it was just a bit of nostalgia to go to one of his shows like going to see The Monkees in Vegas (yes I know Davy is dead and you can’t do this anymore).  Morrissey is starting a new tour soon, I have a ticket for the show in Los Angeles – how could I not go Iggy Pop is opening and it’s over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  I’m sure I’ll run into some old friends, maybe make some new generation fan sulk when they try to “outfan” me.  I suppose this tour is why he went on The Colbert Report.  I’m glad he agreed to do this because this is hands down the greatest Morrissey interview I’ve ever seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iprVhXuEyg

Two bottles of shampoo, how dare you

10 Oct

Having been at home the past few months looking for a new job I’ve been able to learn a lot of things about this neighborhood. I’ve been here about a year and a half and while I’ve lived in this area before I’ve never really had a “front row seat” to the show before. My street isn’t particularly fancy but there’s always something going on! My little one bedroom here is at the front of my building and my second story perch allows me to watch all of the happenings.

Today while washing up at noon, as you do (the unemployed have a very relaxed schedule) I heard a rather vicious fight breaking out. I”m surprised I was able to hear it as Wednesday is a popular day for my brown brethren to swoop down and spend far too much time maintaining these 10 x 15 patches of scrubby grass that pass as our lawns here. The two men were arguing quite loudly in the middle of the street over two bottles of shampoo that were left in the shower. Naturally I turned off my sink to get in all of the fight. Because if you’re going to fight in the street it’s got to be a good show right? Accusations were flying back and forth, lots of tears, some screaming and just a general feeling of someone being used hung heavy in the air. Who knew that after spending a whole day cleaning, cooking and running errands for someone you could just absolutely LOSE IT over seeing a couple of bottles of shampoo left on a shelf in the shower. The fight ended with one of the men tearing off in a hideous blue Mustang and the residents of this little street went back to whatever we were doing, well after you heard a loud “guuurrrrl, he don’t deserve you” coming from the window of one supportive neighbor. Still wondering why the bald guy had two bottles of shampoo??!!