Thursday, December 23, 2010

Don't put me in another box

"I'm a Christian." I said. "Don't put me in another box." - Johnny Cash

Last Christmas day, I stood in front of Michelangelo's beautiful Pieta, with Mary holding Jesus' broken body, and on the other side of St. Peter's Basilica, there was a majestic wooden nativity scene showing Mary holding Jesus as a baby, and in between, there was this vast gap with no span of time at all, because in between the physical representations of His life and death, there was nothing but beauty. There lingered a sacred sense of holiness and awe that you didn't want to mess up by breathing too loudly or walking too hard. St. Peter's is the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen. The dome goes up into heaven, and around that paramount sanctuary, there is this feeling that is so sacred, you can just feel the Spirit moving around like a whisper in a monastery. I'm always so hesitant to talk like that, because the last person I ever want to be mistaken for is some nut job false profit who is casting demons out of people on TV and telling you that you'll somehow acquire a yacht if you give all of your money to the TV church...But honest to God, I had this eery, life changing, sacred experience then, and I really felt like I had an encounter with God. Now, I believe that God is always there, and you don't have to look far to find Him; but I feel like there are only a few times in life that you can have a very sacred, intimate, almost physical encounter with God where reality sort of folds and bends and you're in a spiritual dimension.

I gave up that day.

I remember telling God that He could do whatever He wanted, because doing it all on my own didn't work, and I was so tired. I was so, so tired. I haven't rested since then. I haven't rested in almost three years; but I know that God isn't gone. I know that He is working. Even though my life is completely stagnant right now, and I have no plans, and all of the sandcastles that I've built have collapsed back into sand, I really do believe that God is doing something in my life, even though I can't see it and don't feel it and have nothing to look forward to. He's up to something, and I know it's good.

One difficult thing for me has been to wonder how God can use me when I'm so hot headed and stubborn and mad all the time, and when I have the mouth of a sailor and drink PBR right out of the can from time to time just because I'm rebellious, and I hate people telling me what to do. And then I realized that Peter, my favorite guy ever, who was a hot headed fisherman who walked around wanting to punch everyone in the face, was the one whom Jesus told, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18), and Peter was crucified upside down and buried right there at St. Peter's. The guy who was the one who betrayed Jesus, who totally turned his back on him and lied about being his disciple to save his own butt; the guy who chopped off somebody's ear because he was so pissed off- this guy was the one whose body is buried under St. Peter's, the holiest, most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life.

All of this makes me think about my own life, and my struggles with anxiety, and depression, and body dysmorphia, and anger, and guilt, and pride, and selfishness, and disobedience, and telling God that I'm going to do it my way and He can just take a hike- this whole life that I've battled back and forth with since I was born sometimes makes me feel like I'm not really good enough, or holy enough, or whatever enough for God to use me. But my favorite guy, the one who really needed anger management, who really needed to do some weight training and cardio to burn off all of that pissed off energy, is someone that God used for thousands of years after his death for people like me to realize that God can even use a hot headed potty mouth like me and turn all of my crap into something beautiful if I'll just let Him do it.

This Christmas I will not be in Rome. I won't even be in L.A. I'll be right here, in Memphis, driving down 140 to the airport, going to work in a building that is full of broken multi-line office phones and ceramic plates that are chipped and a space heater that doesn't really let off any heat. And I'll be reading "Man in White," by Johnny Cash, my fellow hot head. My fellow Christian who wants to punch most people in the face and would rather sing songs in prison with the degenerates and slum dogs than deal with the hypocrites and "religious" people in the Southern community who are pious and Pharisaical and disgusting in their self righteous hypocrisy. There aren't many of us out there, especially in the buckle of the Bible belt where being good is better than being honest, who are stupid enough or desperate enough or broken enough to say we're really messed up and we aren't going to fake that we're holier than everyone else because we're the biggest sinners of them all but we're going to try really hard to do what's right, and to help people who are hurting, and to still call ourselves Christians, and to trust God in the middle of our stupid behavior for Him to pull us through and get us back on track.

I feel like God is teaching me that I don't have to be in Rome for Him to make an appearance at Christmas. I don't have to live in L.A. to feel like my life has promise. I don't have to be in graduate school to be successful. I don't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I don't have to beat myself up every time I want to punch someone's face. I just have to believe that God is who He says He is, and the rest will work itself out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I am still living with your ghost
Lonely and dreaming of the west coast
I don't want to be your downtime
I don't want to be your stupid game

With my big black boots and an old suitcase
I do believe I'll find myself a new place
I don't want to be the bad guy
I don't want do your sleepwalk dance anymore
I just want to see some palm trees
I will try and shake away this disease

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

I am still dreaming of you face
Hungry and hollow for all the things you took away
I don't want to be your good time
I don't want to be your fall back crutch anymore

I'll walk right out into a brand new day
Insane and rising in my own weird way
I don't want to be the bad guy
I don't want to do your sleepwalk dance anymore
I just want to feel some sunshine
I just want to find some place to be alone

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die

Yeah watch the world die

Sunday, December 19, 2010

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

I found out today that my "professional" email address was not linked to my "casual" email address, so I've missed meetings from last September, missed important business memos, and assumed that people were irresponsible for not emailing me back. Well, they did email me back. They emailed me back and I was the irresponsible one, and that made me feel really terrible, and my stomach sort of sat in the bottom of my feet like a rock when I made this discovery.

I started my new job on Thursday, and apparently, I'm a bookkeeper, and it's pretty much a 100000% Excel job, and of course, I made an F on my Excel project in Computer Applications class in college, so I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. It will get easier, I know, but for now, I feel like crying. Crying and a can of PBR.

Last night I went to an event, and so that people won't know whose event it was, I won't say what kind of event I attended. I made the discovery that people in this town are just as rude as people in L.A., but I used to just think that people here were stupid. Well, it isn't that they are stupid. It's that they are really rude. They say things to try to be "cute" or "coy," and their rudeness is sometimes disguised in Southern gentleness, but when you're a see-through-the-crap kind of person like me, you throw the charm out the window and recognize that people are just plain old fashioned RUDE.

Bad things come in 3's, right?

Well 3 rude things happened.

#1- there was this guy in high school that I knew who was sort of drop-dead gorgeous, but he was a huge jerk, so his gorgeousness didn't disguise his crapiness. I always sort of hoped that a "Cops" situation would present itself so I'd have the chance to pin him on the ground and beat the crap out of him, but the chance never presented itself, so to this day, I've still never gotten in a fist fight, and hopefully, I won't, even though I sometimes think about how fulfilling that punch to his face would be. Anyway, back in his hunky days, he went to Ole Miss for college and became your typical frat-tastic party guy, who should've had a name like "Chaz," complete with boat shoes and that dumb sunglasses strap thing that people should only wear on ski dos, but of course, all of the Ole Miss guys wear them, or at least they did when I was in college.

God proved that He is just when He made "Chaz" lose his hair, get fat, and drop out of college due to his compulsive, irresponsible partying.

So, Chaz was the first person I saw last night, and he said,

"So, what have you been up to?"

to which I replied,

"I'm trying to get back into school."

to which he replied,

"Oh. You're trying to finish your bachelor's degree?"

And all of the crap that I remember about gender stereotyping in this town, like it's 1920, made me livid, and my face felt hot when I said,

"No, I've applied for my doctorate. I finished my bachelor's in 2006."

Stupid punk.

He said,

"So you've already got a bachelor's AND a master's? And now you're trying to get a Ph.D.? Boy, was I wrong about you."

And I wanted to say, "Well, I was dead-on about you, because all of you hunky high school bullies always wind up being the dead beat drop out football watching male chauvinists with your beer guts and receding hairlines."

But, much like God closed the lions' mouths when Daniel was hanging out in the lions' den, he closed my mouth, and I just smiled politely.

#2- of course, someone I knew who also knew my bf wanted to talk to me about his exes. This is so rude. Please, people of Memphis, stop being obsessed with the past. Show a little bit of courtesy. You're rude and ignorant, and you aren't cute when you compare me to all of the girls who came before me.

I dated a raging hoe bag in L.A., and of course, at the time, I didn't know he probably had some sort of sexual addiction, but despite that he'd probably had carnal relations with everyone on the West Side and most of Hollywood, nobody ever talked about it. And you want to know WHY? Because NOBODY CARED.

In conjunction with this,

a. the ex-obsessed person also wanted to talk negatively about one of my sisters, which REALLY hacked me off. If I want to talk crap about them or they want to talk crap about me, that's just fine, because we own those rights. You, rude person, might make me curb stomp you, "American History X" style, if you talk crap about my family.

#3 A person came up to me, with wide open arms, with a saccharine face full of excitement, and approached me for a bear hug, and called me my sister's name.


So that's that.

I know everyone is sick about me talking about Memphis and L.A. and all of that, so I'll get spiritual for half a second.

I read this yesterday:

"God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very quickly if He so chooses."

I sort of felt like that was written just for me. It's funny how I felt like everything in L.A. fell apart and I had to move home with my tail tucked between my legs, just to find out that once I got home, life got way worse than it was in L.A. I also feel guilty a lot because I don't want to be known for my bad attitude or critical heart or acid mouth, and that's all I seem to be these days.

But you know who makes me feel better?

Johnny Cash.

Here's a blip about Cash from Wikipedia (the most credible source of all time, right?)

"Cash, a devout but troubled Christian,has been characterized as a "lens through which to view American contradictions and challenges."A Biblical scholar, he penned a Christian novel entitled Man in White, and he made a spoken word recording of the entire New King James Version of the New Testament. Even so, Cash declared that he was "the biggest sinner of them all", and viewed himself overall as a complicated and contradictory man."

Boy, do I know how you feel, Johnny.

It's funny how I can consider myself a Christian, and someone who truly wants to be a genuine person, but as soon as I go to a Memphis event with a bunch of ignorant people, I want to walk inside, Bushwacker-style, and start punting them into a corn field. Pretty sure Jesus never felt like that.

BTW, I ordered "Man in White" on for a dollar. I can't wait for it to come in the mail.

I have recently heard a few people tell me that they hate my blog, for various reasons. I have some advice for to you, gentle readers (as Anne Landers called you):

Don't read it.

If you hate it, stop reading it.

I was reading a book last week that got me so upset that I just tore my bookmark right out of its spine and threw it in the garbage can. I really did.

Please know that I don't write anything to change the world, or change your mind, or to upset you, or brainwash you. I don't even write for you anymore. I write for me. I started this thing to write for you, but now I write because it brings me the slightest bit of clarity. So if you don't like it, don't read it, and if you do like it, read it and understand my heart.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Estrogen Inundation

I got my hur did this morning. The whole white lady hair thing is sort of a funny idea, to me. We'll sit in a chair for three or four hours doing nothing and will pay 300 or 400 bucks to get a new 'do, and then go home and wash all of the crap out of it so we can do it ourselves. Anyway. I worked at a hair salon for a while in college, and the interplay between all of the stylists was fascinating. Everyone talked about each other behind everyone else's back. Everyone kissed the owner's butt. Everyone was having an affair with one of their clients, and you always knew who was having carnal relations with some gorgeous, Cary Grant, silver fox age man, because the guy always got a free haircut. It was unreal.

There was this one lady with whom I worked that I really liked, because she was colorful and expressive and had paid a small fortune in plastic surgery fees, and I liked her because it was clear that she was total white trash, and she embraced her white trashiness and never tried to be anything that she wasn't. I like people who embrace who they are and aren't fake. People like that are few and far between. Anyway, I liked her so much until I found out that I had been buffaloed by her, and she was a big fake. Then I sort of started to not like her, but never told anybody else, because I didn't want to group myself with the rest of the hen fest. Anyway, this white trash lady was really involved in church, and had to leave every Wednesday early so she could sing in the choir, and come to find out, the whole time, she was going buck wild with some married man, and then I'd hear stories from the other stylists about how the white trashy hyper religious one lost her panties at the Christmas party last year and all of that. It was sort of a disappointment when I found out that she was a legitimate home wrecker. It's one thing to know that someone is a little rough around the edges and they are completely honest about it. It's another thing to act religious or pious or moral and then be losing your panties in the community eggnog bowl at the holiday party. I really dislike hypocracy. But I guess everyone dislikes it.

So, today, I got my hur did, which I've only started doing since I moved back "home," because my dad said my hair looked too stripper-esque and I needed to have it done professionally. I hate sitting there for hours upon end while my color is processing, much like I hate watching TV, or other mind-numbing activities that don't involve any creativity or critical thinking, so today I brought a bunch of thank you notes and a book to read, and that helped the time pass.

When I first got to the salon, I was sitting in the waiting area because my stylist had not arrived yet. This was a mistake.

I wound up sitting next to the most OBNOXIOUS, STUPID, LOUD talking mom of all time. She probably weighed 100 lbs and had a pixie hair cut and was talking to another mom friend at the TOP OF HER VOICE on her phone about NOTHING. NOTHING, I tell you, except her dumb kids, and their dumb activities. I understand that people love talking about their kids. I get that. So do grandparents. They just love talking about other people. I can handle that, though. I think it's a sign of love when someone is bragging about their kids or grandkids, as obnoxious as it might be. But when you're so rude that you're loud talking ABOVE the sounds of horse powered hair driers and you have nothing but really stupid things to say, you might make me do something like this: (I would have uploaded the video, but for some reason, it isn't working).

Next, I had to get shampooed by this girl who was pretty, and she was really skinny and had big boobs and long dark hair, and she looked like she was about 27, but then I found out she was 23. She had this tattoo on the place on her hip where a love handle would be, if she had one, but she didn't, that said, "Heartless" in script. Then she started going on and on about how some guy in New York was in love with her and sent her flowers all the time and they met in Hollywood five years ago and he makes $30 an hour and wants to move to Memphis and marry her. I started to think that maybe being beautiful and having long dark hair and being skinny and having big boobs wasn't enough, when, at the end of the day, you brag about how "Heartless" you are and you're dumber than a box of monkey crap.

I started observing the interplay between all of the customers and stylists and I sort of wanted to run out the door and across town to Bass Pro, where men are simple and grunting and primitive, and they don't give a crap if your kid goes to the best school in town or if you got a new Louis Vouitton just for kicks or if your non-boyfriend who lives in NYC makes $30 an hour.

Women were pouring in the doors with foils all over their heads, with their hands loaded with shopping bags, and they'd gossip about how they hated their mothers or how so-and-so just got engaged or how they carpool all week. It was bizarre.

I felt like an alien.

I looked at my book and my thank you cards. My hair dresser said, "Don't pretend like you know how to read and write. You're too pretty to know how to do that." And it made me laugh that he sort of caught the irony of it all, how we, as women, might spend an entire half day and half our paycheck to be beautiful, stripping our hair of its color, or spending thousands of dollars to have our bodies mutilated under the knife or purging our brains out to lose just five more pounds. We do all of these things and I have no idea why, and if, in fact, you're a smart girl instead of a pretty girl, it really doesn't help you at all, and if you're pretty but not smart, you're only ahead until you're about 32, and then you're withered and "old," or if you're pretty and smart, people will assume you're stupid because you're pretty and probably won't hang in there long enough to know you're smart, and if you're not pretty and not smart, you're screwed.

So in all of this weird estrogen inundation, I hoped that maybe I could change the way I thought about my body and my hair and my skin, and maybe I could start appreciating that I'm healthy instead of thinking I have nappy hair and I'm too pale and have acne scars and my butt is too big and my boobs are too small. Maybe I could start thinking of myself as really blessed for being healthy and created in God's image and without any major problems. Maybe I could just be grateful.

Monday, December 13, 2010

This, so far, is my greatest accomplishment of the day:

It feels so good to have achieved a goal that I set out to accomplish. When I first moved home, I felt so exhausted and miserable and unsafe, somehow, that I lost sight of my long term goals. I forgot about last Christmas, in Rome, thinking to myself that it was time for me to move past L.A. and that stage of my life that had started to consume and mold me into someone I never thought I'd become. My personality started tarnishing, and you could see smudges of materialism and bitterness and underlying sadness if you looked hard enough. When I first moved home, I forgot about the big picture. I could only see what was right in front of me. Moving boxes and stacks of pictures that had never made it to albums and seashells from reflective days on the beach. So many little fractured pieces of things that never amounted to anything solid. I'm only just now getting to a point where I'm remembering who I used to be and all of the dreams I used to have.

I'd been home for a few weeks in August and had realized just how restles I was, how bored and sad and lonely I was, and my dad and I sat down and had a long talk while I was having one of my many meltdowns. He said, "Whatever happened to wanting to get a Ph.D.? Did you decide not to do it, or did you forget about it? Heck, you're a smart person. If you still want to do that, now is the time to go after it." It took that little prod of rememberance for me to get my life back on track and to suck up the self loathing and move forward.

I sold the remaining furniture that I owned and took a GRE prep class with the money. I took the GRE again and came up about 180 points, which wasn't quite enough, but was the best I could do. I had lunch with former employers and professors and colleagues and tried to reconnect the best I could.

Then the letters started to come.

Most of my letters of reference were sent directly to the schools to which I applied, so I didn't know what they said. But two of my former professors sent me copies of what they had written, and I started to remember who I was.

It's funny how you can live somewhere for a few years, or be in a relationship for a few years, or hang out with a clique for a few years, and totally forget who you are. Sometimes life really changes you. Sometimes you go through something that seems like it occurred by happenstance, but it became so much bigger than a chance meeting, and when you look in the mirror, you have no idea who you are anymore. That's a pretty scary thing.

Despite my disappointment about moving "home" and all of the crap that I always talk about, I've started to recognize some things, slowly, that I've been hanging onto desperately as they have whisped by in quiet moments. There's something so comforting and safe about a grassroots community. I had lunch with a lady last week who told me stories about when I was little, and it blew my mind that she not only remembered the details but also that she'd kept up with me my whole life. There's something beautiful about that. You don't find grassroots connections in Los Angeles like you find in a dive like Memphis. For the most part, I've resented running into painful memories since I've moved home, but recently, I've been able to shove a lot of that stuff aside or face it head on, and as the negativity has started to fade, I've started recognizing my cheerleaders. I've started to see people who want me to succeed and believe in my ability. That's been a very humbling process.

I just wrote a paragraph that was sort of passive aggressive, because I knew that the person who would read it would eventually talk to me about it, and it'd be easier to bring it up through public Blogging than in a private conversation between the two of us. But then I realized how cowardly it was and deleted it.

I keep ending my blogs abruptly. I think I used to be better about being a writer for entertainment's sake, but now I write to help me sort my mind out. I'm hoping that soon I'll get back to that wit, that little hint if hilarity that harps on details and idiosyncracies.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I got a Book

Today sucked.


I'm being dramatic.

The past week has been pretty cool. I house sat for a friend and had a lot of time to myself, which I liked, because I am a hermit, and my friend has this wonderfully accepting little weener dog named Jackson, and he made me feel appreciated.

It's a nice feeling when you open a door and little wagging hiney is sitting there to greet you. I never really had that feeling before. I got a cat from about 30 boyfriends ago who is mean as hell and bites me when she sees me. I love that mean old cat. But of course, she's real mean, so I never feel loved by her. But little Jackson made me feel loved.

This realization that I sucked up all of the love that a five pound weener dog gave me made me feel sort of lame. It's funny to me how cautiously I wager whether or not to accept human love, but how when an animal offers it, I suck it up like a sponge.

I felt like Jack Nicholson in "As Good as it Gets" when he played Verdell songs on the piano and fed him bacon. And he cried when his owner came back from the hospital and he had to give Verdell back to his owner. I'm not crying over Jackson, but I miss him and his little smiling dog face.


Today everything caught up with me.

I've been coping well. I've reframed from feeling regretful and stupid and sad about leaving L.A. I've been thinking, "You made the best decision you could at the time. You had a 50/50% shot, and you blew it. So what? It isn't like this ruined your life. It just changed its course. You'll get out of this place. You'll make it."

I've been reframing for a couple of weeks.

Then today, I took a dump on reframing.

All of a sudden (but maybe not all of a sudden at all), I felt like I was suffocating. I got so burned out on watching stupid, mind-rotting reality shows on TV. I got sick of Christmas commercialization and consumerism. I got sick of former relationships always glaring me in the face, refusing to be ignored. I got sick of feeling fat. I got sick of seasonal traffic. I got sick of being stagnant and empty and biding my time until my life starts. I just got sick of it all.

I had a pseudo meltdown at 9:00 p.m. and felt like I had to just GET OUT OF THERE, whatever it meant, and I started driving home, but didn't really want to drive back to my parents' house. I wanted to drive somewhere to stop and feel at peace. And I couldn't think of one single place. So I drove home.

I listened to some Neil Diamond on the drive home and cried my face off.

I felt a little better.


I got a book.

I got a book in the mail that my friend from L.A. made for my birthday. It was full of pictures of our adventures and vacations and road trips to Vegas and crazy men we met at bars and clubs and Hollywood high heels and memories and she wrote a story talking about everything that we did over that insane, dreamy two-year period that almost feels like it never happened.

I laughed and laughed so many times remembering really stupid or really funny things that we did. One Halloween, we were both single, so we put a posting on an online dating site trying to find dates for ourselves, and our reply address was, or something like that. I remember we got so many emails from fat, middle age, Persian, hairy men wearing gold chains trying to convince us of how sexy and delicious they were, and we'd stay up reading their responses laughing our faces off trying to figure out why more people didn't online date like we did.

There were pictures of us at house parties in Rome and clubs in Vegas and dives on Venice Beach and karaoke bars in Hollywood, and everything about my reframing evaporated into the air and flew away like turtle doves (Home Alone II, WHAT?!).

I went from feeling like I couldn't take ONE MORE SECOND of being bored off my face and lonely and stale to remembering every single thing that charged my life into insane, hilarious adventure. I remembered it and felt really happy to know that someone else remembered it, too.

This was the most thoughtful gift I've ever received, I think. I can't imagine the hours put into getting the pictures and story together.

It made me happy and appreciative and so sad all at the same time.

It's weird how you can be so unhappy at a place and your life, and unsure of yourself, and know that God is closing a door, and you step out in blind faith, trying to find something to stand on to change your circumstances...and then you find out you stepped in the wrong direction, crapped on your own dream, and realize that you made the wrong decision.

You know what, though?

Making the wrong choice has made me know that the wrong choice isn't unfixable. It isn't so bad that it's skewed everything else. In fact, it will probably even be OK.

This makes me feel better. Or maybe it wasn't the wrong decision at all. Maybe something incredible is about to happen, and it took me locked in purgatory for a while until the incredible thing could occur. I'm not really sure.

What's weird is that I don't think I could move back to L.A., because it's such a weird, surreal place. There's no reality ANYWHERE. That's part of what makes it beautiful and alluring and seductive. Eventually, though, you get sucked in, and you start believing the illusion, and it changes you. It sure as heck changed me.

So now, I'm sort of this dried up, former adventurist living in a place that looks upon anything against homogeneity in complete disgust and utter horror because this town is scared of integrating ANYTHING with what they cling to so tightly that feels safe.

I think I was sort of delusional before I moved home, and had this grandiose and unrealistic idea that I would either find my niche here or that SURELY (Don't call me Shirley) Memphis had changed into a better place, and if by chance it hadn't, I could change it myself. Joke's on me. Things are just as they have always been, but so much worse, because I have changed. I think I'm more different now than I ever have been. I called my best friend last night because I've felt so weird recently, and we talked about things like getting married and having kids and growing up and all of that, and one of the things I realized was that I think I get scared to make assumptions in life about big choices because I've drastically changed over the past two years, and before that, I drastically changed in college. I keep going through these crazy, milestone changes, and I wonder if I'll ever level out.

I kind of hope that I don't level out. It's nice to surprise myself, and I hate predictability.

On the flip side, I hope that I don't change so much and become so weird and eccentric like Howard Hughes that I scare off all of my best friends or romantic partners and family and wind up dying alone in first class on an over seas flight by my DAMN SELF, and someone discovers that I'm dead while we're over the Pacific Ocean, so the flight attendant just puts a navy blue blanket over my head and then starts using me as a coat rack so none of the other passengers freak out.

I have to do some work now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Job Monday

I finally got a full time job. I start in two weeks.

I had two of the worst interviews of my life last week, but somehow I got a job offer out of one of them.

Interview scenario numero uno: It was my birthday and I woke up at the butt crack of dawn to drive to the hood to go to this interview. The last thing that I really wanted to do, of course, was wear my cheap crap suit on my birthday. I hate wearing a suit because it feels too stiff, and my suit is really cheap and it's starting to fray at the seams. I got it when I was 19 to wear to funerals, and now it's all beat up around all of the important parts (shoulders, hems, crotch), so it sort of looks like it could belong in Mick Jagger's closet, or the wardrobe rack of "Law and Order," or on a power suit (not lipstick) lesbian.

So I drive down to one of the worst neighborhoods in Memphis, right by the ever-so-classy "PONY" strip club, where there are these two huge, hot pink, concrete ponies on the roof, standing on their hind legs for full frontal exposure. I park my car outside of this nonprofit mental health facility and check in.

The place is way more beat up than any V.A. hospital I've ever seen, with scuffs and holes in the walls and carpet that smells like Cheetos and is all buckled at the seams. Everyone looked disheveled and confused, like they weren't supposed to go to work that day, or they showed up at the wrong site.

I waited for over half an hour to meet with the lady who was interviewing me. I hate waiting.

I went to her office and had to dodge piles of crap to sit in a chair. There's nothing I hate more than a fire hazardous office. There were huge stacks of manila folders everywhere with client names in full view. Everybody in the helping professions knows to hide your client's files. Confidentiality 101.

During the course of this interview from hell, the director kept running out of her office to break up some sort of fight that was going on in the parking lot, where this lady kept having psychotic episodes and assaulting a kid.

My interview ended with the director making an emergency call to the po-lice.

Happy birthday, RSH!

I decided not to further pursue working in this house of mayhem.

Thanksgiving happened. It was stressful. All of that family time gives me inordinate stomach ulcers. I think that having a bunch of siblings in their mid to late 20's all hanging out and sort of playing out their childhood dynamics is somewhat bizarre, and it's uncomfortable that none of us really act our biological ages when we're together. There's a definite pecking order that makes us all tense and angry. We have fun, too. It's not like we all sit around plotting to kill each other. But it's exhausting. I think we're at a point where we all need to redefine what it means to be an adult family. I didn't recognize the magnitude of this until I moved back from L.A. I didn't know I'd have to brace myself for it, so it hit me like a lead boot to the face, and now I'm sort of picking up all of the shattered pieces and trying to glue them together, figuring out who my family is and where I fit.

Now. Interview numero dos.

The second interview I had was on Monday, and I had to wear the old frayed crap suit again, and for some reason, I was a total wreck. I think the post-Thanksgiving stress and exhaustion sort of stole my brain and personality away. I acted SO WEIRD during this interview. There's no way I would have hired me if I had been the interviewer.

I basically sat there with a blank stare for an hour, and when the boss would glance over my resume and say something complimentary, like, "I can tell you're very smart, based on your education and experience," I would say something TOTALLY AWKWARD, like, "Go oooooon...." Which I did. No lie. I really told him to "Go on."

Then he asked me about what I knew about his company. This is what I said.

"I really have no idea what you do. Maybe you should just tell me."

It's like I was socially retarded the entire time. I acted weird and spacey and was having trouble focusing. And then he offered me the job.

I can't wait to be able to GO SOMEWHERE every day. I don't know how people have these "stay at home" types of jobs...stay-at-home mom or dad or employee. I hate not going anywhere. I hate sitting around and not doing anything.

I'm finally getting used to having a slower life. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. It's been hard to hang in there since I moved home. I went from driving around the bends of Mulholland Drive at nighttime and looking over the whole city of Los Angeles and feeling like each little light below symbolized an exciting opportunity to moving back to Memphis and feeling like my life got incredibly small overnight.

I went to a baby shower a few weeks ago where I was promptly bombarded by a room full of women (I hate single sex functions. That's why I always lived in a coed dorm, could never sell out to the whole sorority thing, and always went on a date during "Girl's Night." Too much of one gender gets far too unbalanced.) who asked me about this guy that I broke up with SIX YEARS AGO. I felt like my life shrunk. I felt like I went from sighting the Kardashians in Venice to people hanging on to lame ass crap like who I dated six years ago and asking "Whatever happened to you two? You seemed so happy!" How depressing.

I've been better about reframing, though. I had a birthday get together last weekend, and I couldn't get over how many people came. So many people showed up. New friends and friends from middle school and friends from out of town. I saw how many people loved me and have left a dent in my life, and I realized how much support I DO have, outside of the people who have tiny lives or no lives who live to plan the next wedding shower.

I'm house sitting and it's nice to be in a different environment.

That's all I've got. I haven't been writing much because nothing interesting has happened in a long time. I'm hoping that my life is going to pick up a little bit with this new job.