Mollyisms and whatever else is bouncing around the room...
Friday, September 25, 2009
Today is my 28th Birthday and I am in Pacific Beach, San Diego getting ready for work.
I am happy to be working on my Birthday, because, well, it's not like its going to be a bad day! Besides, after receiving a "birthday box" from my parents containing all my old mail that has accumulated since May, a card and a check, I need the money!
"All my old mail" really means 5 months of Conde Nast Traveler mags, some credit card offers and a past-due bill from Comcast that has been turned over to collections. Oh yeah, and a notice from Unemployment in Delaware, informing me that I OWE them $101.85 for "overpayment."
Seriously? Why give me the money if I'm not supposed to spend it?
I will be paying Comcast their money ASAP because I need a clear credit report to be able to do what I want, when I want.
Unemployment shouldn't hold their breath waiting for my cash.
Nevertheless, I am happy it is my birthday! And I am happy to be working! Kind of a change from my year of periodic joblessness and vagrancy at 27.
Kickin' this one off right.
Its time to make some money!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I talked to my sister and found out she wants to take out a life insurance policy for me.
I guess this way, she can make sure she won't have any out-of-pocket expenses for my burial.
Don't make the mistake of telling this lady you are feeling sick or lethargic.
If you tell her this about your dog, she'll advise putting him to sleep.
I hope I don't feel sick or lethargic anytime soon, or it'll be lights out for me!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
1. Dine like a diplomat
2. Business Etiquette
3. Cultural Notes
4. Wedding Etiquette
Sounds great, doesn't it?
The sponsoring business is WalkTall ELEVATOR SHOES!
I tried to sign up for the class before I did my research but fortunately, or unfortunately for my manners, it seemed like the equivalent of a "beard." Guys obsessed with appearances and manners would clearly be up for some elevator shoes, it seems.
I've never had a need for elevator shoes, thankfully. I haven't stuffed my bra either. What can I say? I'm blessed.
Etiquette Police, I think it is terrible manners to lead me to a site that doesn't teach me any of the above, highlighted etiquette. Maybe I'm mistaken, maybe I can get that course if I follow up on a long list of nonsense, but you are a long way from Emily Post.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
2 listings under "Employment" available.
For all of San Diego?
No wonder everything is like a cattle call.
Art / Media / Design • Auditions • General • Accounting/Finance • Career Training/Schools • more…
Clerical • Computer/Technical • Domestic • Driver/Delivery • Education • Entertainment • Focus Group • Health Care • Internships • Job Wanted • Management • Office • Part-time • Restaurant/Hotel/Club • Retail • Sales & Marketing • Salon • Trades/Labor • TV/Film/Video • Web Design • Writing/Editing
Art / Media / Design (0)
Career Training/Schools (0)
Focus Group (0)
Health Care (0)
Job Wanted (0)
Sales & Marketing (1)
Web Design (0)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Get this, I sold, of all things, SAUSAGES at the Chargers preseason game!
If you know anything about this land of wangs, are thinking the same thing I was when I heard which booth I would be working at.
"Sausage, here? In Man Diego?"
I hustled Italian Sausages, imported from Boston, from 2:30 in the afternoon 'til 11 at night.
"Hot Dogs, CHEESESTEAKS, chicken, beef tips, SAUSAGE!"
I bellowed from my station, directly in front of the serving windows and even into the pedestrian walkway to make a sale.
This way I could hustle some $10 sausage sandwiches before people even knew what hit 'em.
What can I say, it was fun.
One lady got pissed when she found out a sandwich was $10 and a 20 oz bottle of soda was $5.25. I was definitely happy I didn't have to pay those prices, but what do you expect at a football game??
Sourpuss looked up at me and scowled "$10 for a sandwich? Oh, that's outrageous."
I took one look back at her scowling sourpuss and couldn't help it, this woman was a shrew.
"Well 'maam, I wouldn't breathe too deep if I were you. You should see our prices for hot air."
Friday, August 14, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
'We’re almost there,' my guide told me, but I didn’t know where there was. The fireweed only told me there was 5 weeks left in the summer.
It all just looked like tundra as far as I was concerned. Spongy, absorbant, Summertime tundra that makes for a soft landing. I couldn’t wait to get to the cabin at 8 mile lake after what must have been miles of hiking.
Stampede Road only continued so far before it became Stampede Trail, just east of Denali National Park.
Stampede Trail seemed to continue forever until I saw the cabin. We took a 4-wheeler part of the way out, then hiked.
I brought my flask and had nearly finished it before I knew the Irish Whiskey was having it’s way with me. That was when I toppled over like a domino on my right side. I don't think I tripped on anything but my own inebriation.
We eventually entered the cabin, and as a native of the busy Mid-Atlantic region, this experience was new to me. After lighting the fire and warming up, we headed to upstairs to the loft. Once we took a look around, I was confused by the doorways on either side of the second floor. On the side of the cabin, the side facing 8 Mile Lake, there was a balcony, and sometimes Denali would come out on a clear days, rising over the lake with a distant, but distinct alpen glow.
On the other side of the cabin, facing the trail, the doorway had no balcony attached. I wondered if they were going to add another balcony but money or weather had thus far prevented the addition.
I asked my traveling companion what the deal was and he replied "Oh, that’s for tundra jumping.”
He was standing on the side of the loft facing 8 Mile Lake and took off his cumbersome backpack and before taking his mark.
"What the hell is that?" I asked.
As the words were coming out of my mouth, he took off and ran across the loft and through the open door, launching himself into a pike and landing, ass-first into the squishy melted permafrost.
"That," he said, with a hearty laugh and a swig from his flask, "is Tundra Jumping."
Thursday, March 5, 2009
So I picked up my unemployment check today. It's kind of a pain dealing with unemployment, but I guess it probably should be. It's not like any of us have a job we need to schedule around, right?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I'm writing this so I will remember the next time I want to buy some nice potted plants I will save the receipt and deduct them because obviously they will be for my home office.
*Plants for home office
*Paint, repairs, maintenence, theft in home office
*Interest from student loans
*Interest from almost anything
*Cell phone bills
*Donations to charity
I'll keep my eye out.
In 2007, I had seven, yes SEVEN (7) jobs! Two of those jobs were in Alaska. I also graduated college and there was a lot of stuff to report with that. I didn't get my return until August because I messed up writing on of the taxpayer IDs and I just barely got the taxes in on time to begin with, so it was a while before I could finally think about them again but the money took a big bite out of my credit card debt so that was cool.
Not surprisingly, this year was still my highest-earning year since the year before my car accident, but I still didn't make shit. I think I made slightly under $26000 on the books and everything else has been freelance work or bullshit you don't have to report.
The more I think about it, the more I am becoming increasingly agitated about my poverty. My baby sister has out-earned me pretty much every year since my accident, but she's still not raking it in either. (but I guess in comparison she sort of is...)
I also downloaded some business program so I can organize my freelancing thing. Basically I am an independent contractor now, but fortunately I didn't even make enough to report it last year. I'm glad I'm taking the time to organize myself now before I have piles of hell to sort through at tax time next year.
So anyway, back to the poverty level thing. This is bullshit. Absolute bullshit.
I can live modestly, that's for sure, but I am really sick of HAVING to do it. I went to college in good faith, believing this endeavor would provide me a comfortable living.
It got me health insurance and with a degree in journalism and a job at a newspaper, that was about it. I guess people also begin to know your name, some people learn your office number too, and your email address.
Ugh, the best part about freelancing is NOT having to publish my contact information with my stories.
So, back to this poor house situation. I'm busting out. I have the freedom to really hustle and now that it is nearly springtime, I'm getting ready to make some moves.
In my quest to do some serious traveling and hard work and money-making this year, I will need to remember how important discipline will be. I'd be really pissed if I got wasted and broke myself in Alaska and it de-railed my aspirations.
So, I might just observe some limits for a change.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
inspire: To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence....
Watching my president speak tonight brought me back to the whole idea of inspiration and what it really means. If the above definitions hold true, then in both circumstances (inspiration and motivation) the words are definately talking about "doing" something. The difference is just how you get there.
Motivation describes something that comes from inside yourself.
Inspiration comes from something else, something higher and more advanced, divine.
I think maybe I should have been asking for motivation in that journal entry years ago. Motivation keeps it in my own hands, my own control. Inspiration comes from the divine. Ever heard the phrase 'God works in mysterious ways?"
Today I will ask for motivation.
*monotony is the word I would have used for it then. Today, I look back on a time of a new rich boyfriend with unlimited money to spend and remember it wasn't all that mononous. After all, it took 3 weeks to wake up after I finally passed out. None of it was monotonous, just unfulfilling.
I think I'm too old for prom.
Friday, February 20, 2009
So, aside from being educated about global warming and the damage of littering (the crying Indian was burned into my mind while I was still in preschool), I still didn't really get behind green lifestyles until I went to Alaska in 2007.
This was still light years ahead of Sussex County it seemed, when I proposed the idea of a Going Green section in my paper and my editor looked at me like I was a silly hippie as she drove off in her Jeep XXL Durango Wrangler Denali Beast Commander with a pink hawaiian lei hanging from the rear view.
Anyway, I did manage to slip in some articles about how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I managed to slip some stuff into the real estate section over the spring about making your spring cleaning green. A new all-natural cleaning business opened in town, so I could slip that into the business cover. I wrote 8 covers for about 6 different sections each week, so with a little creativity, I finagled some stuff in.
I also wrote a piece about cleaning green for a web site I regularly contributed to after leaving Alaska, Life More Natural, but I so rarely clean that I had very little opportunity to try too many of these natural remedies.
I have, however, been pleased to find the market is filling with natural cleaners produced by large companies so there is a wider variety without the need to mix it up at home. Lazy as it sounds, I just don't have the ambition to not only acquire all the common household items (ie: baking soda, vinegar, lemons, squirt bottle) but mix up the solutions these natural remedies call for. If I have those items, it is for a purpose already. Like, if I use all the baking soda from my fridge, how will I keep it from getting stinky sometimes?
Before you chastise me for my laziness, you should be happy to hear I am changing my ways. With these new mass-produced items, I can clean green without making a kitchen laboratory. I just tried it tonight with some Clorox Green Works, which kicked the Lysol Kitchen's ass at cleaning my stove. Even though the green works was meant for bathroom usage (not like I stuck it directly in the crapper before I cleaned my stove. I just figured a cleaner is a cleaner, right?) it still delivered a shining, almost spotless stove (I've done some damage to the flat-top with my inadeqacies as a chef- take out is always a little safer with me.)
The all-natural stuff worked wonders! I mean, I had been slathering that lysol chemical configuration of (probably) carcingoens over my surfaces to sorta-clean them (but leave all the residue and reminants) but the stuff made with coconut extracts and lemons gave me the sparking stove you see here.
On the other end of the spectrum is the traditional Lysol kitchen cleaner. I'm working with only my phone for my art on this thing (and the stuff I snag online), so this picture is pretty fuzzy, but the warning labels on traditional products make you really unsure why we ever believed this was the best way to live.
Though you probably can't read this, the Lysol said "do not keep in close proximity to humans or domesic animals"
And this is a "household" cleaner.
Obviously, if you keep on using this stuff, you might want to relocate to the garage, like my dad or your husband.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I talked to one of the guy who runs the kitchen today and got really psyched. It is just so different there. Magical. The place I worked is the only bar in Denali with live music regularly and independent ownership. I love it there. They have rules that make sense and they are all very strict, but not without reason.
They have a rule that employees can't have alcohol 8 hours prior to their shift. 10 or 12 if they are driving. I love that.
How wonderful. Alcohol is my biggest vice, though I have six other "close seconds."
I like working at this place (and the money is good enough), I don't even mind living in a shack all summer with no heat, electric, water, plumbing inside. Just a couple mattresses on a thin carpet and a sleeping bag.
What am I talking about? I can't wait to get there! I might switch shantys this summer, I scouted them out when I was there before. I might not. It doesn't matter when you are living in Neverland.
In other news, the plan to drive is out. It would be a wonderful stunt, yes, but in all, it was an expensive and time consuming endeavor. Too much to be classified as a stunt.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
What a weekend. Good, bad, ugly, sad.
I lost a friend. I used to babysit this guy. RIP Andrew Geyer. Tragic.
I dressed for prom, but didn't go. That was on Valentine's Day night. A bar was hosting an 80s prom party so I went to the Salvation Army, bought a dress and teased my hair. I also drank most of bottle of wine. I lost my nerve and woke up on Sunday to a beam of sunlight that found its way through the crack in my blinds and into my retina.
Really, I'm not too bummed about missing prom. A girl I used to work with is hosting an 80s prom party of her own this weekend. Round two, ding ding.
This girl who is hosting the prom party is also largely responsible for another episode of my weekend. I got FIRED on Thursday. Fucking Fired. I've never been fired, but I don't really care. Now I will have more time to write and will just have to cut costs so I can live within my means: unemployment.
In brighter news, I decided now that I have no job in addition to unemployment, but I am still being paid to do nothing, I will dedicate myself to writing with renewed vigor.
I attended my first freewrite with the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild. If was awesome. They have 5 of them each week and now, they will be my workshops.
I think I have an idea for a book. They were really receptive to my Alaska stories at the freewrite. I want to write a novella of short stories based mostly on my own stories and experiences, mixed in with a little dramatic irony.
The book will be titled Dark Side of the Moon and the door to my shanty in Alaska will be on the cover.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Consequently, I have really gotten back into daytime tv.
Right now, I really can't wait for The View. That's my favorite. Whoopi keeps it real, Barbara gives it all some cred., Sherry is thoughtful and Joy is funny.
Bitch is crazy!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
“Well, it is a very old house, but it is one of the most important houses in the country” Mrs. Obama said, nodding her head up and down and smiling at the children. “So we feel a very great responsibility.”
“Not to break anything,” my president said, grinning.
He was also just talking about getting a dog-- he said his family will probably wait until it is closer to spring.
"I think we decided the girls will probably be more inclined to walk the dog when it is warmer out," he said.
I am charmed.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Michael Phelps looks like he's no virgin to the sticky-icky and it seems like he's been pretty successful, but lately everybody is making a big deal about this pic. He's released a respectable statement that ought to pacify some critics.
"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
Some, of his critics have hushed, but not all. Little Elisabeth Hasselbeck had some smack to talk this morning, throwing out the role model card on The View.
In my humble opinion, this should pass, but I feel bad for the guy because I'm sure some people just won't let it drop. In the grand scheme of it all, its none of their business but because he is an athlete, things get dicey. As a long-time user of pot, in addition to other controlled substances, I will admit my bias in that direction, but I just don't see the problem with him smoking pot.
When was the last time pot helped anybody run faster? Would we have this problem if we saw him take a drag of a cigarette? If it's the legality thing that bothers some critics, 13 states have now passed law to legally 'tolerate' marijuana. I'm n0t sure if South Carolina (where the photo was taken, I believe) is one of them, but does it really matter? Some municipalities STILL have laws on the books about dancing. People do a lot of crazy shit that is illegal. People do a lot of crazy shit that is legal. The CDC reported that in 2006, 13470 people died in alcohol-related car accidents. Alcohol seems to be causing a lot of tangible losses, but clearly marijana is a problem in society. Is this what I'm supposed to believe.
How 'bout prescription drugs? Is it because big-name liquor, beer and pharmaceutical companies can lobby politicians with bigger and better perks than pot farmers, that much of the population is hooked on tranquilizers? Or anti-depressants? Or steroids? Or the sauce? And this is okay?
If we live in a society where people can LEGALLY take 'happy pills' (antidepressants?) I don't understand why marijuana has been the source of so much controversy. Marijuana is often my antidepressant, but I make no claims toward my own moral superiority. I'm flawed. So are the rest of you.
Some people argue this move was irresponsible because Phelps is a 'role model'. While I'm sure it is very flattering to be thought of as a role model (I don't think anyone has or will ever put that label on me) it must really suck to have people attack you for not living up to their standards of 'role model' behavior. The dude just wants to swim! He's good at it! Really good at it. He won a lot of medals because of his talent and drive to swim hard and fast. I don't think when he dives in, he's thinking about his responsibilty to the youth. That is such a 'mom' thing to expect.
The dude wants to swim, and people create role models because they are uncomfortable being themselves. These followers create a leader who didn't even run for the office. They expect their made-up role models to live up to the expectations the follwers have for themselves, forgetting that these are probably the expectations have made said follower into the person they don't want to be in the first place.
It's a vicious circle.
I'm over it.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
For the first leg, Delaware to Oregon, I'm looking at:
Total Estimated Time: 44 hours 29 minutes
Total Estimated Distance: 2914.15 miles
Total Estimated Fuel Cost: $187.09
And this is before I factor in side trips/pit stops.
Haulin' it, we can make it in 4 days, averaging 11 hours a day. We will be traveling through/in close proximity to Baltimore, Maryland/DC; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Toledo, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; South Bend, Indiana; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; PORTLAND, OREGON!!!
This is the first direct route Mapquest pulled up for me. I would love to go to a million different places, but I don't know if time will allow for those shenanigans. Probably not.
Depending on how we are doing, we might want to make it 5 days. We just have to figure out where to sleep. I'm not against sleeping in the car, but this is going to be a long 5 days and we will have to find some showers somewhere. We could treat ourselves to a hotel somewhere, but that will be a chunk of change I'd rather spend on something cooler.
In Portland, I have some friends who recently relocated and rave about it. I've been told it is a really cool place and somewhere I would fit well. Sounds cool. I was thinking of just completely going there after the summer in Alaska. I still might, but this time it will just be a stop to see my navigator's cousin and my friends, then we will be picking up with my friend from Fairbanks. He tells me he will be on his way back from a winter in Baja around the time I will be heading back to AK, so if at all possible, we will be doing a caravan for the second leg of the trip.
Portland to Denali National Park/Refuge
Total Estimated Time: 47 hours 6 minutes
Total Estimated Distance: 2610.83 miles
Total Estimated Fuel Cost: $181.19*
* In Canada, gas is AT LEAST twice the cost. Shit!
This is another 4 to 5 day haul, including crossing national borders, Twice! I will be heading toward Seattle, Washington; the crossing the border into Vancouver, British Columbia; then heading north through B.C., hitting up the Alaska Highway and heading through the Yukon Territory. From there, we cross back into the US in Alaska. Then there's only another 500 or so miles (abt 8 hours) to get to Denali.
Once again, I think the routes will be modified, but a sample itinerary may be:
Leave (April 26) to Ohio/Indiana (600 miles?)
Day 2: Who knows... More to come.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The restaurant I'm returning to opens on May 9. That's roughly 3 1/2 months away.
I have some business to attend to.
*I've got my IPod.
This sucker is 120 gb! I don't even know that many songs, but since I'm really thinking of driving again, I will need to pack as many songs on there as possible. So far, I've filled up a little more than 27 gb. I have put 6152 songs on and I am out of CDs. I borrowed my friend's hard drive full of music and stuck that on too. That's where the bulk of the music came from, really. It was 2o gbs. I don't know how I'll fill almost 100 gb of space still left on the ipod. I don't care. It's there.
*I got my new computer.
It cost me roughly $1,000, but that's OK because it is a fine machine. Every time I look at the new computer-- a Sony Vaio I bought with a brand-new Circuit City credit card... Ha!-- it makes me happy. I'm sure the bills will come eventually, but I'll dispute the service pack since they are closed now. I'm also going to claim my new laptop on my taxes. After all, I am a freelance journalist, even if I lack the motivation to make a sizeable income from it.
I named her Sasha Fierce (yes, like Beyonce's new album, except fiercer!)
I still need to:
*Put more of my favorite clips into PDF format.
*Contact the Fairbanks Daily News Miner re: freelancing in Denali.
*Go through inspection with my car? This way, in case I just keep roaming for a while after my summer in Alaska, I won't have to get my car tagged for another two years. This is reasonable, right?
*Get a new set of tires? I think mine are fine, but I'm not sure I shouldn't just go ahead and get another set. Alaska is pretty far away.
*Get rid of my furniture, but this is further down the line. I still need a bed to sleep in until April, right?*Pull my pictures off my old, demolished computer before I find a place to make that thing get out of my life.
I'm sure there is more, but I'm tired and this is enough for me, for now.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I'm thrilled to see the ideals of my childhood start to be fulfilled. I, like the rest of America, had almost given up on the ideas of living in a melting pot, of racial equality, of responsive government, of intelligent leaders.... of America.
This exerpt of a final interview with George W. Bush in Rolling Stone sort of makes it evident why America has been ailing. Journalist Matt Taibbi conducted the interview.
Let's talk about August 6th, 2001. That's the day you got a memo warning about plans for possible attacks by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. What were you doing that day?
I'll be honest with you. I was at the ranch, on vacation. I was watching the Hall of Fame game on TV. First NFL preseason game of the year, hate to miss it, you know?
I'm the same way. It doesn't matter what teams are playing, I watch it.Exactly. It's a long off-season, and you start to miss the game. So I'm watching it — I remember it was Miami and St. Louis. First time I ever saw Marc Bulger. He was just a backup to Warner then. I think he threw a touchdown in the fourth quarter. I thought to myself, "This guy looks pretty solid in the pocket. He might have a future in this league."
That's good foresight right there.Anyway, it was right around then that they brought me my PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing], and it said something about bin Laden. I mean, we get these warnings about foreign terrorists all the time. How was I supposed to know he was going to attack in the United States?
Well, the memo was titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in U.S.
Well, nobody told me that.
But they wrote it to you.But nobody told me that they wrote it to me.
I don't know. Whoever is in the room. Vice President Cheney. Don Rumsfeld. Rove. Sometimes there's some other guys. It kind of rotates.
Do you decide who "they" is?
No, they usually decide who they is. Or at least one of they does. Usually Cheney.
Interesting. What did they tell you they wrote to you about why America needed to invade Iraq?Sometime in the fall of 2001, pretty soon after 9/11, Rumsfeld and Cheney handed me a piece of paper. I asked them what was in it. Rumsfeld says, "Mr. President, we've just written you a memo explaining that we need to invade Iraq." And I said, "OK. Why?" And Dick says to me, "Because of 9/11, Mr. President." [Silence]
Is that the whole story?
All I can say is WOW. No wonder we are in such shambles! Our former president is a moron! He seems like the kind of guy who will scratch his balls and walk over to your plate of food, say 'Emm, your lunch looks good,' and pick up something right off your plate.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Not even one week after my boyfriend and I broke things off, I'm actually missing him. After spending the past few days revisiting all the reasons he sucks, it's 9:15 and really cold outside and I miss him.
I'm not going to fool myself with delusions of undying love for this guy. I always knew I didn't really want to spend forever with him, but there were times when I started to contemplate the idea and it didn't seem so crazy. He would love me and protect me, and that's reassuring. The idea of having someone who will look out for you brings up the warm-and-fuzzy feelings that are, in turn, making my eyes tear up a little bit right now.
I will have to remind myself of all the reasons the ex-boyfriend is crazy later. Right now I think even though the relationship barely lasted 4 months, I can still mourn. It sucks to sleep alone.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
There is going to be a serious baby boom, beginning in May, I can feel it. My sister is due sometime during that month. I will be in Alaska already, so I consider it a good omen for little Gianna (who I will call GIGI). My first neice was born while I was in Alaska and I got to meet her when I came home the next month. It was a surprise visit and my little nugget of a neice was pretty cool. She still is. Gigi is going to be a great kid and I will be able to commisserate with her about what a giant pain in the ass big sisters can be (her mom is my big).
Other than that, not one, but three friends just came out of the closet about harboring a parasite (those with some tact and taste would say being pregnant). As a non-mother who has never been pregnant, I recognize it's perfectly natural to be pregnant. It is possibly the most natural thing ever, but if I have to support some little being off the nutrients I put into my body (and have to lay off the sauce) this thing is a parasite. It can stop being a parasite -- even during the pregancy-- once I have something human to associate with it, like a gender.
I am happy for my friends and family. Thrilled for most, in fact, but this is all tempered by ay n inward sigh of relief I breathe when I receive confirmation from my body that I am not pregnant.
I am 27 years old. I think I used to want to have babies by now, but now that I'm here, I have no desire. I broke up with the mercurial boyfriend on Monday and got my period on Tuesday. I was probably a little more thrilled than I usually am.
I would still love to have children one day. It's something I've always wanted to do, but I have now become comfortable with the idea of taking my 20s for myself, pursuing a career and developing interests (bolstered by my string of failed relationships and flings). So comfortable, in fact, that pregancy seems like it would be the worst thing in the world to happen to me.
It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I have yet to meet a man who I would want to father my children. I think that's clutch. Maybe not for some people, but I just don't think I'm strong enough genetically, mentally of physically to make up for a real piece of shit baby daddy. I mess things up enough for myself, I can't go create another person to mess things up for.
Basically, the concept of being responsible for the creation of another human being for the rest of my life is a little too much for me right now.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I met my EXboyfriend at a Keller Williams concert in September. He walked up to me and my friend, Lisa, who he already knew and asked us if was abrasive.
Well, being someone who has (wrongly) been accused of being abrasive herself, I took the bait and replied.
"Well, I just met you, but no," I said. "Of course you are not being abrasive, you were probably just being honest."
After he bought me my third tanqueray and tonic, I led him back to my house where I took advantage of him, and he the same of me.
Well, my one-night-stand held on for slightly more than 4 months, but it looks like I might just be free. I mean, I suppose I should be upset. I was for about 3 minutes and then I checked the lock on my door and removed the spare key from underneath our welcome mat.
I am free!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Often, we would profile people who did or do something extraordinary, but many times, this section became the place where my editor stuck pushy people who wanted to bully their way into the paper. As a result, I would be forced to meet with that person and figure out what was interesting about the jerk so readers would feel like there was a reason they were reading my story.
When I wasn't being bullied into providing free press for someone's bullshit hobby, the section was my favorite to write. Sometimes, I would write about people with 'dirty jobs,' like the septic guy who drove a truck that read 'We're #1 for your number 2.'
Other times, I would pick people for the section just because the art (photos) for the story would be colorful and timely, like in the spring and early summer when I profiled a blueberry farmer one week and later I wrote about the owner of a pick-your-own peach farm just as the trees were heavy and bowed with fresh peaches. I thought it gave me some fodder for introducing a little imagery into the profile.
Well, last year Easter came early and snuck right up on me. I didn't really have anyone lined up for 'Our Neighbors' as I was preparing for the issue of Easter week. I was actually pretty clueless about who would be my neighbor. I hadn't really gotten all that adjusted to the paper and wasn't really thinking in terms of great photos and introducing imagery verbally. I just wanted to figure out how I was going to fill 12 to 15 inches of space with info about someone. Anyone really. I had to write 8 to 10 articles that same length every week. There wasn't time to dilly-dally.
Taking a look at it numerically:
12 to 15 inches of newsprint
8 to 10 times weekly
3 sources/contacts per story
30 words per inch
On a busy/productive week, I was talking to 30 sources.
Producing 150 inches of newshole, or 450 words,
Arranging and assigning 10 photos to one photographer.
Producing 10 newspaper articles that I would feel comfortable not only signing my name next to, but also my email address and work number, including extension.
And trying to tell a readable, interesting Feature story in every single one.
No wonder I quit to sling hash and make money again.
Well, with Easter sneaking up on me (there was always extra work to do leading up to a holiday) I asked my editor if she had any ideas for one of the two papers I wrote 'neighbors' for.
She jumped right in and said, "How 'bout a someone who makes their own candy? One of these candy shops on the boardwalk still has to make something themselves. Candy Corn? Fudge? It's for the Easter paper, so it will be timely."
"Good thinkin'," I said and walked to my desk, wondering how I was going to track these candy makers down in March when nothing gets up and running at the beach until at least the middle of April.
Well, they have phone numbers, I thought, figuring I would get started as soon as I left the office. I only got through on one number and I left a message because it was always safer to give a warm-up call and leave a message because some people still really freak out with journalists, despite all the fame-whores this country seems to be producing. I really had to step it up a few notches when I first got the job and almost had an anxiety attack after I realized how much time I would have to spend on the godforsaken, always-ringing phone.
Anyway, I left a message at a long-standing candy store whose owner had left contact information for prospective employees.
"Looking for summer work? Why not be a kid in a candy store and join the 'insert candy-store here' team for summer 2008? Call XXX-YYYY to apply"
So, I called XXX-YYYY and left a message to see if there was anyone who made the treats, in-house and promptly received a call back, even before I got to the next candy store to play investigator.
"Hi, is this the reporter trying to reach someone from Candyland?"
"Yes, this is Molly speaking. I was wondering, do you have a resident, um, candy-maker?"
"Well, no there isn't anyone, in-house, who makes candy. There actually isn't anyone in town who makes their own candy anymore, I just bought Candyland and nobody does it these days."
"What? No fudgemakers? Or Taffy-pullers? You mean not one of these shops makes their own candy? I mean, this is the beach, what about carmel corn" I said before realizing that even if there were still resident candy makers in town, they certainly weren't pulling taffy in 20 degree weather for the hoards of tourists outside.
After I realized I wasn't going to have anything to go with now that the Oompa-Loompas were taking the winter off, I realized I could still run with a story and instead of focusing on an actual candy maker, I would just write about the owner of the Candyland. He seemed to have a lot of stuff he was planning to do to expand the 70-year old Candyland he bought the previous summer.
"Well, I'm sorry to find no one in town makes their own candy. Wha? Ok, you get your fudge from New Jersey? Interesting," I said, without really caring. "Alright, well we can still work with this. You are open on some weekends, ok, I see. Well, how's Tuesday fit into your schedule?" I said and made arrangements to meet with the new owner of Candyland at the beginning of the following week.
When I met with the new owner on the following Tuesday, he was clearly excited to be getting some free press. As I made my way around the store, he pointed out he was voted Best Downstate Candy Store in a poll created by a statewide magazine. He made me a 'chocolate soda,' a concoction that adds even more fructose to sodas and gave me the phone numbers of some regular customers and business associates as further sources.
He showed me more than 40 varieties of fudge and chocolate candies. The gummi-bar, featuring a menagerie of gummi-animals, beyond the usual assortment of bears and worms. The store had a black-and-white checkered floor and some vintage-looking tables to sit down and have a pop at. After all, the store dated back to the days when teens would meet up for a pop at the end of a school day.
While we were chatting, the owner said he was a transplant, moving within the past 5 years after working in publishing. He said he had previously worked as a travel writer, which sparked my interest, and said he had even published a magazine in the area. I was interested until it became apparent that his magazine was geared more toward an alternative lifestyle. Basically, he was publishing a gay magazine.
While this might have raised alarm signals for many, the beach where Candyland is located is known for it's large population of homosexual and lesbian residents. Think Provincetown, Cape Cod, but less garrish and campy.
If I ever got my hands on one of the magazines, I think it was definitely something I wasn't very interested in, but not a red flag. I certainly didn't want to label myself a bigot and I only had so many inches of space to delve into the history of the shop, the new shop he was opening of the same name, the genesis of the candy that satisfies our cravings and rots our teeth.
I wrote the story and gave it a real willy wonka spin. I mean, really, a gummi bar? How could I not? When the story came out, the headline read "The Candyman Can' and I went on about my business for the next two weeks.
After eating mushrooms and having a particularly bad trip one Sunday, two weeks after the story came out, I awoke at 7:30 on Monday morning to the sound of my cell phone buzzing with a text message.
I read the text and almost swallowed my tongue when a family friend told me that a local radio personality said my name on air and was talking about one of my articles.
"Oh shit." was my immediate reaction. I went down to the only radio I had that worked, the one in my car, and I heard the host talking about the owner of Candyland. The radio host had bad blood with the man over business dealings in the past, but this did not change the issue at had: The owner of Candyland was a convicted pedophile from Missiouri and he bought the local candy store, his pedophilia charges from Missouti notwithstanding.
"Holy shit? What?" I thought, and then I could feel my insides tightening up.
Nevermind the host was an old muckraker and I was not up for holding a press conference at 8 a.m. on the morning talk radio circuit, I just wanted out of my life, like,immediately. All I wanted to do with the story was write a fun profile for Easter! Now, I felt like I wanted to burn it, except I was glad someone was talking about what was really up with this dude.
I started shaking a little when I thought about going to the newsroom. I hoped no one was listening and I believed I was the worst reporter in the world. Clearly, I believed, I was. How could I have been so naive. The publisher of a gay magazine owns a candy store in town? What do you do?
As it turns out, the Candyman was a kiddie-toucher who served time in Missouri and high-tailed it to the East Coast for a chance at a new life.
I wonder if it is known in the ranks of kiddie-touchers that they don't have to re-register as such when they move to Delaware (although I'm unsure of exactly how it really works).
I got hate mail. Real, live, no-return address, postmarked in New Jersey HATE MAIL.
On one hand, I felt I made it. On the other, I was miserable. How could I have been so negligent?
It wasn't until I followed up on one of the hate-emails I received that I could make some peace with it.
A woman emailed me, asking how I could have written such a kind story about such a villian. I wanted to shoot a response back to her telling her exactly where she could go and how she could get there, but then I saw she CC'ed the radio host, and virtually everyone else at that station.
No thank you, I've learned my lesson. I no longer eat mushrooms on Sundays. I realize what I put on paper lingers, even after my mood disappates.
I called her and asked her if she would have wondered who owned her local candy store if it weren't for my story? I asked her if it was really my job, as a reporter, to make sure this man could not be in contact with children, or maybe if it was her job, as a citizen, to mobilize and make changes in her community if she would like to see them.
That shut her up. Hopefully she's mobilizing right now, maybe to this tune:
Who can take a felony record?
Move a time or two?
Seperate the sorrow, and create a petting zoo?
The candyman can,
cause he mixes it with chocolate sodas, webkins, gummis and love,
and an adolescent for you too.
Friday, January 9, 2009
I don't know how successful I've been so far, but I've made some changes. Modifications, really.
I paid off my credit card at the end of December, just in time for me to open another one and charge more than $1200 for a computer. I had such great intentions with my $350 pseudo-budget. The good news is, my computer is awesome. I got a Sony Vaio and it was only 800, but then I had to get the people who know what they are doing to get it up and running. I also paid a lot of money so I could call a help number for the next 3 years or so-- and talk to someone whose first language is English. But did I mention my new computer rocks? And it's RED! It is Fierce! Rarely do I have such joy at my purchases.
So, out with the old debt and in with the new? I guess, but I also realized I haven't been paid anything for the cover stories I've been writing as a freelancer, so that's almost $400 bucks backed up. I hope to get out of this debt by the time I leave for Alaska. That would be great, but a stretch. Especially since I will also have to raise the funds to fly or drive up there. Now flying is actually seeming like the more cost-efficient option, but I'm still unsure.
As far as the Oregon Trail I like to imagine myself on, it's going to take some more bends before I make it out there for real. I got the idea of NYC back in my head and now I'm thinking I may just take my summer savings and come back to the East Coast.
New York City has always seemed to me like the biggest and greatest city we've got here in the US. I mean, if anything defines my idea of real and this is it. I've always been kind of intimidated and awed and scared and drawn to New Amsterdam.
I think taking up in NYC for a year or two following a new adventure in Alaska could be good. It could be very good.
I still want to make my way West, but if I don't do New York now, I'm afraid I never will.