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Random Thoughts of a Failed Southern Belle

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Summer of Unemployment


Amazingly, people still check into my long dormant blog. While I continually think, "Hey, I should go update that thing" my motivation is often lacking. But it has been an eventful summer so here's a recap:

When we last left Kim in May, she knew she was getting laid off at the end of June. Surprisingly, she was let go at the end of May instead.

She was asked to come back to her job three weeks later.

After shrewd negotiating (i.e. demanding a three day work week at her full pay), she declined to go back. Too much uncertainty and emotional trauma.

She went to work for a shady non-profit, which may have been a cover for the Russian mafia.

She quit that job two days later.

She rather enjoyed collecting unemployment benefits, and spent a lot of time buying and selling on e-Bay.

She made many plans to begin writing and activist projects, all of which failed due to previously mentioned lack of motivation.

In order to give her weeks some structure, she revived her interest in pottery and ceramics, and began taking classes two days a week.

She sent out resumes, but once July arrived, the entire non-profit world collectively went on vacation.

So Kim continued to plan her own vacation with buddy, Marshall, to Iceland and Amsterdam.

She also spent lots of time loitering in parks with her boyfriend, the Adventurous Wayfarer.

Kim discovers Bookmooch and decides it is one of the best things ever.

Her bathroom is renovated one fixture at a time. But not intentionally, and not well. At the apex, one entire wall is torn down and all the remnants are put in her newly refinished tub. It takes two weeks to get every thing put back together. But it does look marginally better than when they started.

Her best friend from high school died. And it still seems surreal.

But she rediscovered a couple of other good friends from those days, and feels guilty for not staying in touch better.

She sent out a bunch of resumes before leaving on vacation on August 18. She ended up having an interview as she was on her way to the airport, wearing sneakers and a black hoodie.

She went on vacation and had a wonderful time. Iceland is weird. But beautiful. She saw whales, geysers, and a penis museum. Amsterdam is awesome, and she will eventually go back, even though she was emotionally scarred by a nearly naked man swinging over her dinner table on a rope. See her pictures here.

A few weeks later, she took the Adventurous Wayfarer to TN, and he really liked it! They looked at guns at Walmart, ate at Cracker Barrel, and got caught in a tremendous rainstorm on the top of Roan Mountain. Turns out rainstorms on the top of mountains are pretty romantic.

While in TN she gets calls from two other organizations for interviews.

September goes by in a blur of interviews, and spending time with the AW and his family.

The first week of October she has four interviews. (all second and third, all from the resumes she sent out in mid August. Yes, the non-profit hiring process is slower than molasses on a cold January morning). During which time the AW's mother becomes increasingly ill.

Sadly, the AW's mother dies after years of struggling with a chronic illness.

Kim gets two job offers the day before the funeral.

She accepts a job at Doctors Without Borders, and starts on October 23rd. This was the place where she interviewed in sneakers and a hoodie.



It's funny how easy it is to slip in to the routine of not working. I can barely believe that five months have passed, and I've accomplished relatively little. What I've learned is that I am the type of person who needs the structure of a daily routine. I am mildly nervous about starting my new job, but feel like I made the right choice. The last few weeks have been mentally exhausting, so I am hoping to recover over the next couple of days.

Thanks to everyone who has continued to show interest in my life, even though I think you are bizarre, and perhaps misguided.

End of Post

 

Monday, May 01, 2006

What HAVE I been doing with myself?

Well, despite my last little missive, I am still employed, although the sands are ticking through the hourglass. My current position ends June 30. Nine people of our 13 person department were laid off in February, but I was given a bit of a reprieve. There may be a new position for me at my current employer, but that whole angle is very underdeveloped at the moment, so I am sending out resumes.

However, I am very very picky about where I want to work and what I want to be doing. While sticking to the non-profit world, I want to move away from finance and development, and more towards program management and research. And I want to work for a liberal and/or progressive organization. And I would prefer that not be predominately woman staffed organization. I need a little testosterone in my environment. It keeps level of crazy bitchiness down.

Given my parameters, I've only sent out 15 resumes in 2 months. Not very aggressive. And probably foolhardy, since I've only gotten two calls from recruiters, and no interviews. But I would rather to deal with a couple of months of unemployment over taking a job that will make me miserable.

In the meantime, I am planning a trip to Amsterdam, and doing a great deal of size acceptance work. Stay tuned for exciting details!

End of Post

 

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Seven Days of Lay-offs

On the first day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
An aspirin for my aching head

On the second day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
Tylenol PM to sleep
And an aspirin for my aching head

On the third day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
Sake to relax me
Tylenol PM to sleep
And an aspirin for my aching head

On the fourth day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
Aleve for my throbbing jaw
Sake to relax me
Tylenol PM to sleep
And an aspirin for my aching head

On the fifth day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
Five pink Xanax!
Aleve for my throbbing jaw
Sake to relax me
Tylenol PM to sleep
And an aspirin for my aching head.

On the sixth day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
Vicodin for my root canal
Five pink Xanax!
Aleve for my throbbing jaw
Sake to relax me
Tylenol PM to sleep
And an aspirin for my aching head

On the seventh day of lay offs my true love gave to me:
A professional resume writer
Vicodin for my root canal
Five pink Xanax!
Aleve for my throbbing jaw
Sake to relax me
Tylenol PM to sleep
And an aspirin for my aching head

End of Post

 

Friday, December 02, 2005

Fuck you very much, MTA.


Every single day that I venture out into the world (at least when I am in NYC), I end up having to ride on the Escalator of Insanity (see photo). The EOS is the conveyance that takes me down to my subway platform, and its approximately equal to about five flights of stairs. Actually, it's three separate escalators. In theory, one should be going down and two up (or vice versa) depending on rush hour. But given the status of the NYC transit system, we are lucky if two of them are working. And the usual status is that just one EOS is running in the up direction. And sometimes, we are just shit out of luck.

When hundreds of people get off a train and then jockey for position on the single functioning up EOS (because only the really weird uber motivated exercise freaks actually walk up the Stairs of Insanity which are adjacent to the EOS), it creates quite a log jam. It is a long two minute ride when someone stranger's butt is less that a foot from your face.

So when they recently tore up the EOS for a week or so, we hoped it would be a sign of more reliable service of all three escalators. Not so.

No, no... the MTA's priorities are not aligned with those of the common people. In fact, they are much more mysterious in how they choose to spend our hard earned tax dollars.

When the work was done, rather than having three working EOS's... we had two but with the added bonus feature of speakers. Speakers that blare unintelligible messages on a continual basis. It's sort of like being in Charlie Brown world. " Mwaahh mwah mmwahh mmmwah escalator". "Mwwwwwah escalator mwah mwa mwa mmmwahhh." "Have a nice day."

Yeah, for some reason you can hear the "Have a nice day" message, but the dire warnings about how to properly ride the EOS without getting killed are completely muffled. Because, you know, so many people were getting killed and maimed on the EOS before the speakers were installed. Thanks, MTA, for wasting money on stupid ass "safety measures". Do me a favor and just burn that money on the tracks next time.

End of Post

 

Monday, November 28, 2005

Flipping the bird


Preen
Originally uploaded by vonvonvon.
So there are a million things that have happened over the last few months... a trip to Memphis, another appearance on Entertainment Tonight, a Jerry Lewis celebrity sighting. And I've been feeling guilty for forsaking the blog. But rather than try to reconstruct the summer and fall, I'm just diving in with this story from yesterday.

I went to staff the Pagan Pride table at the New Moon NY Pagan Spirituality Expo. No, I promise, that's not even the funny part. So after we set up the table, I went out in search of candy to lure people our way so that we could tell them about our fundraiser. As I am racing about Chelsea, I here a loud squawk and look across the street.

There is a woman with two very large parrots sitting on her shoulders (on leashes). The are the blue and yellow variety, but I can't tell you more that that. I am not a big fan of birds as pets. But I just chuckled and went along my way. Seeing weird crap like that on the street is a daily occurrence. It's amazing how you can get used to it.

However, as I should have known, I happened to be at the center of a weirdo vortex that day (i.e. Pagan Expo at The Center). So soon after I returned with my mini Reese's cups and Cherry Cordial Kisses, the parrot lady suddenly appeared because she was attending the event.

I am not a good networker at these events. I just sit at my table, and bide my time. I observed the parrot lady making the rounds, and a number of people posing with the parrots on their shoulders. Gah.

Eventually, the parrot lady made it over to our table, but sans birds (thank the gods). And she began some ramble about ancient Egypt, which I tuned out completely, suddenly becoming engrossed by the program.

Finally we were nearing the end of the three hour event. When suddenly the parrot lady reappeared with the birds this time. She showed us some tricks, like having the parrot play dead, then making it do a head stand, and then swinging it around by the beak. No, seriously. And the bird didn't seem to mind. And then, before I could protest, she put one of the damn things on my shoulder. My friend Nikki got the other one. Rather that causing a scene, I just smiled for the camera.

But then… the parrot went for my eye! In the famous worlds of Sister... "MY EYE!! my eye…" The beak didn't actually make contact with my delicate eyeball, but it was close enough. I yelped a bit and quickly facilitated transference of the parrot back to the owner. "Oh, don't worry," crazy parrot lady said, "She just likes to collect eyelashes". What the fuck! Like the bird has a damn scrapbook or something. No. That thing was going after my sweet sweet eyeball nectar.

Moral of the story… ummmm. There is no moral. Other than the fact that occasionally, I realize my life has taken on freakshow-esque qualities. But I guess that's just my own damn fault.

End of Post

 

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Question of the Day

If I can eat a bowl of beefaroni while watching JAWS, does that mean I am jaded to violence?

End of Post

 

Sunday, October 02, 2005

This is What a Satanist Looks Like


Isn't is just a wee bit absurd when the ONLY person protesting Pagan Pride Day is a Satanist?

Yesterday was the Fifth Annual Pagan Pride Day. Thus, I am feeling slightly comatose today. But the event went swimmingly. And we just let our little protester do her thing, cause we pagans are all about free speech. And since she radiates teh crazy, we weren't too concerned about her being taken seriously. Her beef? That by distinguishing ourselves from Satanists, we are disparaging Satanism. Whatev.

Her sign reads "TO PAGANS: Defend your religion without maligning another religious minority." I enjoy the juxtaposition of her standing adjacent to the blood drive sign, which was sponsored by Pagan Pride.

End of Post