that’s a blowpop! say from charms

Nothing much to report here, I’m gearing up for Writer Friday which I’m kinda exciting about it. If all works out well, you’ll see some art by a friend of mine with a piece of my writing.
I’m heading off to PA this weekend to shoot some paper targets, spend some time with the family, and then try to make it to an engagement party.

Don’t worry, I’ll not forget about you.

This is a repost from a former blog of mine. Here ya go, something to tide you over until Writer Friday:

But wait, there’s more!

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fear, panties, and wolfberry pop-tarts

DT as 10th Doctor

 

The other night I was up late, due to sleeping issues, and an idea came to me. Ok, not an idea so much as a revision of an idea and I couldn’t get it out of my head for the life of me. Every time I dozed off, the images and dialogue popped up in my head like an old drive-in movie and I couldn’t shake it away.  Usually this is a great thing. I crave these moments like dragon-chaser craves that ultimate vivid high. To me it means my muse has once again deigned to grace me with her presence (oh muse, you fickle fickle thing).

It also means that sleep will continue to elude me until I write this stuff down.

So, being the good little insomniac that I am, I arose from my bed with nary a clatter and stumbled half-sleeping into my living room, grabbing my white board and a marker before plopping down on the couch. Turning on the television, I turn the channel to the Food Network/Cooking Channel (which is another subject for another time) and write by the light of the Iron Chef.

I erased everything that was on my white board which had Story Idea A on it and started on Story Idea B, which in my opinion was better and more suited to my style and taste. The problem with SI A was that I was never sure if I needed to make it First Person or Third Person. I tend to write in the Third Person focusing on two characters at a time (meaning two POV switches only) and First Person when I am writing a short story or vignette.  The fact that I was vacillating between the two gave me pause and stopped me from writing more than three pages. I wasn’t sure where the hell it should go and how it should be voiced.

That’s an indicator that something is wrong.

Also, the story felt too contrived and it was hard for me to get to the points I wanted to get to. I don’t really have a logical plan when I start writing. I have bios and characteristics and I have a synopsis and points that I want to hit; it’s more like a blue print rather than an itemized list.

Anyway, back to the story.

So, erasing everything and writing down the SI B, I feel really good about this story and I can’t wait to write it. I mean I’ve already visualized the important parts and dialogue; all I really need to do is just write it down.

That’s when it happens.

Fear.

At first it feels a little like how you feel before going to a party by yourself and you don’t really know anyone. And they aren’t serving alcohol.

Then you take a few breaths and mentally mutter “I can do this” but it doesn’t sound as convincing as you thought it was going to sound so you pause and wonder how are you going to do this.

The nerves turn into anxiety.

What if I can’t do this? What if it is all going to turn to crap and then I’m going to end up never writing anything and it will end like crap and I’ll keep repeating myself until my fragile ego needs to be coddled and soothed like a mewling infant?

This is when the awesome numbness slips over you and you can’t do anything but stare at a group of people trying to make wolfberry poptarts FTW!

I suck.

That’s the only thought that I had at that moment. That I really and truly just suck.

I took to Facebook with my feelings of inadequacy and a few people responded that I should pretty much put on my big girl panties and push on.

On anything else I would completely and wholeheartedly agree.

But when it comes to something that is such a part of me and is such an expression of vulnerability, I can’t help but listen to the” I can’t do this, this will be awful no matter what”, portion of my brain (that treacherous bastard).

I think I need a new pair of big-girl panties.

 

unemployment mondays. pajamas and whining

NYC Unemployment Rate as of July 2012: 10.2

Days Spent in my pajamas since July 2012:  23+

There is very little that is glamorous about being unemployed. Unless you’re rich. Then you’re having an extremely different experience than the one that I’m having and to that I say, “good for you, you lucky son of a bitch”.

For me, who is decidedly not rich, unemployment is something that I never thought that I would have to suffer through. As a kid, back in the day when the economy wasn’t so weird, I always thought that I would have a corner office by the time I was in my early thirties while living in an awesome large Manhattan apartment. I thought that I would be able to hop around if I didn’t like my chosen career.  Clearly I was watching too much television.

I’m a writer; I’m probably a couple of years away from being a failed writer. Writing doesn’t pay the bills though.

I’m nearly 30. I neither have a corner office nor do I live in Manhattan. Which is ok. I discovered that the kind of office environment that I thrive in is not the one I envisioned when I was 12 and desperate to be an adult. In fact those jobs are extremely hard to come by, because no one wants to leave a fun and creative environment.

I also don’t have a book deal.

I would say that I feel bad for the graduates that just got out of school but I’m not that altruistic because at the end of the day it’s between me and them. I have about 7 years of office experience doing everything from answering phones to coordinating events.

That and a dollar can get me a small cup of street coffee.

The experience, the know-how and the awesome personality? I have all those. What I don’t have is a job because guess what, I’m competing with hundreds if not thousands of people for one job.  I mean, I’m good, but I’m not that good.

So, I wake up at a very late time, sit in my pajamas while I wait for my stomach meds to kick in and my coffee to brew and I scour the same internet sites for several hours hoping and praying that today I’ll go up against less people. Or, maybe, just maybe, they’ll be an awesome job out there that I am qualified for.

If nothing else, at least a job that I’m qualified for.

I check my email like a crazy person for emails from companies; I check my SPAM (why am I getting things in Russian?) and I check my phone manically. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nil. Nada. Goose Egg. The operative word here is “crazy” because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  The results are the same. Nothing. Zip. Zero.

This concludes Monday’s unemployment rant.

Pardon me while I check my gmail.

sunday is the day before monday – last chance for fun

Sundays around these parts are going to be sort of slow and weird. I’m warning you now. I wake up late and I have little energy to do anything but dread Monday.

The above picture is from Retronaut, a website dedicated to the past and it’s awesomeness, and some of it’s weirdness. So I give you this: Retronaut’s WTF part 1 

Enjoy

saturday night’s all right for drinking

 

Saturday and you’re ready to party! Whoo hoo!
But you’re broke and can’t go outside and play with the pretty people 😦 Boo!

This is a martini that I tried out about two weekends ago with some ingredients that I already had in the house + one that I needed to go to the store for, so overall it was cheap and it was worth it. I didn’t measure any of this as I’ve been making martini’s for a while, so I pretty much went by eye. I’ll do my best to tell you the measurements but it’s probably best if, after you try it this way, you experiment so that you get the juice/vodka ratio you prefer.

 

Watermelon Martini

1 1/2 jigger of vodka

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Splash of Triple Sec

Ice

Martini Shaker

 

Start by putting your ice in your shaker (I use a Boston shaker), then throw in the vodka (the higher quality you use, the smoother this will be), pour your agua fresca into the shaker until you hit about a centimeter below the rim, throw in a splash of triple sec.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Pour into a chilled martini glass and enjoy.
Simple, easy, and refreshing.  You can also rim this with crushed watermelon jolly ranchers as I did on my second go round. Note: those candies are a pain in the ass to clean off!

 

What are some of your favorite Saturday night specials?

writer friday. look ma, no hands!

I’ve been having some serious writer’s block lately. I think it’s because I haven’t been stimulated my brain but that’s hard to do when you’re in the house all day and you’re only means of intelligent conversation is a goldfish and two finches.

To combat insanity, every once in awhile I post a plea on Facebook for a word or phrase or emotion to start writing. A writing prompt if you will.

This is a repeat of one that I did a few weeks ago. It was sent in by my MIL and the emotion was Despair. Enjoy.

 

 

She stood stock still in the middle of the sidewalk, her shoulders rigid and her left hand still clutching the active cell phone. The sounds of traffic faded away until all she could hear was the roar of her blood in her ears. Her heart, the thing that she had tried to protect at all costs, was broken.

The news wasn’t unexpected but it still hurt.

A bump to her shoulder sent her cellphone to the sidewalk and reality crashed back into her. With adrenaline and fear guiding her body, she grabbed her phone and put it to her ear as she started walking. “Is there anything I can do?”

“Where the hell did you just go?” the voice on the other end, at once familiar and strange, barked. “This is what I’m talking about. This is why this is happening. Just…”

She was sure he continued his tirade but she couldn’t listen. Her life was shattering into tiny pieces and her mind was desperately grasping at anything she could gather and rebuild. “Why?”

A deep sigh echoed through the phone and she couldn’t help but picture his face. He would be rubbing his eyes and looking down as his exasperation took over.

“Tell me what I can do to fix this. Please?” she heard her voice break and belatedly winced at the pathetic note in her voice. She shook her head as she heard him shifting on the other end. “Please?” she whispered, the adrenaline winding down and her eyes burning. “Tell me, I’ll do anything. Anything. Please.”

There was a pause, a moment of delay that gave her hope, a big beautiful bright ray of hope until she heard him clear his throat. She knew that sound, knew what he was gearing up for. The burning in her eyes escalating until she couldn’t breathe.

“Joe, please. Please! Don’t do this.”

“I have to. I just…we aren’t the same people we were ten years ago. I…love her.”

Someone sobbed, a high deep sound. ‘Me,’ she thought as she staggered to a stop in front of a building. “How? Why?” It was meant to be an inside thought. She had been taught to never ask a question she didn’t know the answer to.

“I’m sorry.”

She laughed, a maniacal sound even to her. “You didn’t break a dish Joe, you’re leaving me. Sorry doesn’t even cut it.”

He cleared his throat again. “I thought I at least owed you enough to tell you in person. The papers should be at your office in an hour.”

Oh that’s right. Lunch. She had been grabbing a bite to eat when her phone rang. Numbness settled into her bones as she leaned against the warm brick of the building. “Owed me?”

“Yes,” irritation crept through the line and she found that she couldn’t care. Couldn’t dredge up a single iota of empathy.

“Your sense of noble gallantry has been filled Joe. Thanks for the call.”

“I -“

A sliver of fire ran through her as her stomach roiled. “Fuck you.”

Disconnecting the call, she sniffed and rolled her head back. Ten years of marriage and all it took was ten minutes to end it. There was no bargaining, no begging, no strategy that she could employ that could save the life that she knew; that was comfortable and safe in. No, ten years of marriage and she was leaning on a building with absolutely no idea what the hell to do.

Blinking, she let the numbness slide over her. “Fuck you Joe. Fuck you.”

but I don’t want to be preemptively struck out

Image

The interwebz can be absolutely amazing. It’s the only place that you can get stuck in a Wikipedia or IMDB wormhole, which is great for trivia night at your local pub but not so great for your work productivity. It’s also the easiest place to meet strangers. Weird as that sounds, it’s true. More people are willing to talk to some stranger on the internet than their neighbor or that one guy you always see on the way to work. Why? You feel that there is an element of anonymity.

This is kind of hilarious because it’s not 1997 and it’s pretty easy to figure out who you’re talking to. Or who you’re about to hire.

According to CareerBuilder, in 2009 45% of jobs were checking out their potential hires on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

35% of employers didn’t hire candidates based on their online profile. So, you know maybe taking that picture of snorting heroine off a hooker’s ass wasn’t the best profile pic.  Perhaps your iNterneT Speek showed others why the education system was failing. If it wasn’t any of the above, it could be that when you said that you were a rocket scientist but all of your pictures, interests, and friends comments prove otherwise, then you’re a liar. Companies don’t like that.

Any intelligent person can understand that potential employers want to check out what they’re getting into.

But is it legal?

I don’t have the answers to that, there are too many conflicting ideas and thoughts on the web and all my employment law litigator contacts are buried somewhere in a desk that I no longer sit at. I imagine that if it were, you would need to sign off on something like you do when potential jobs check your background.

My take? As long as it’s not illegal, inflammatory or harmful, who cares? Granted, everyone should take into consideration that the internet has a wide and broad audience and if you don’t want something to be blown up out of proportion, you shouldn’t post it but if you did, you shouldn’t be punished by a potential job.

If you can get into work on time, work solidly and be an integral part of your team what you do in your off hours are your business.  If your dumbass friend took that picture of you passed out while your other friend drew a large penis on your forehead, it shows that you might have considerable lack of judgment when it comes to friends but it doesn’t mean you can’t boot up a computer and write a killer proposal.

There should still be a thing as something as off limits when it comes to jobs. They have you for about 8 hours a day for about 48 weeks of the year. If you want to blow off steam in a manner fitting your personality then it’s none of their business.

I have personally seen candidates not get hired based on their Facebook profiles. I tried to persuade him to call the person in but he merely shook his head and claimed that a person who is posting those kinds of party pictures would not be reliable.

I didn’t agree and my respect for that person went down considerably.

The other night I was at my local watering hole when I brought this subject up and randomly a guy next to me jumped into the conversation and said ‘yeah, I’ve not hired candidates based on their Facebook pages’.  I found that interesting and we started talking. I understood where he was coming from and we talked about ways to protect your identity and make certain things private but my argument was I shouldn’t even have to do that because what I do on my own time is my business.

The danger of checking someone’s social media pages can be vast. I’ve always wondered if ‘stupid party pictures’ was just a code for not agreeing with their age, race, political affiliation or their looks. It’s a kind of discrimination I think.  One that you can’t even sue for because you haven’t even been hired.

I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s not fair to be vetted by some unseen human resources assistant based on something that is supposed to be fun and not on your merit.

I hope this doesn’t cost me a job.

there is measure in everything

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DON PEDRO

Will you have me, lady?

BEATRICE

No, my lord, unless I might have another for
working-days: your grace is too costly to wear
every day. But, I beseech your grace, pardon me: I
was born to speak all mirth and no matter.

DON PEDRO Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best
becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in
a merry hour.

Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare is my favorite play. I feel a strong affinity with Beatrice, the feisty and witty heroine of this play. She is at turns vulnerable and strong, full of mirth or deeply aggrieved and she does it all with a grace and an elegance that is both natural and memorable.

But enough about that, this blog isn’t about Beatrice or Shakespeare although they both might creep in from time to time. No, this is a blog about writing, about our society, and about whatever happens to pop into my head. If you want an academic blog there are others out there and if you are looking for the news, may I point you toward Gawker. If you want to laugh or commiserate about writer’s block or even grouse about the latest gaffes in politics or science fiction (I’m an equal opportunity writer) then stick around.

LEONATO

You will never run mad, niece.

BEATRICE No, not till a hot January.