17 July 2009

She Works Hard for the Money, So Hard for It, Honey

Well, today is the last weekday in which I am an unemployed woman. It kind of makes me tingly and nauseous at the same time. I'm not quite sure what to expect for this first week of eligibility counselor-dom, but I'm looking forward to it. Getting up early, not so much, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the sake of buying dog food for Zola. Oh, and for getting out of debt. That's going to be nice.

I've put myself on a budget plan, which, for me, is a brand new scary delving into organization. I'm not good with money, and this is something I've known since, well, I got my first job at Sam Goody/Suncoast (RIP Bellevue Mall) and blew all of my money on DVDs. It's up in the air as to whether or not I can learn this apparently vital skill, as I'm worried that it may be a personality flaw. But the debt I've accrued has motivated me to at least give it the old college try. Because, damn, having creditors call you ... not fun in the slightest.

Here's the new me: annoyingly frugal. Reusing plastic bags, drinking box wine, planting gardens for my own produce, yard-saling ... yep, I'm turning into my grandmother. Well, except for the wine part, as she has never had a drop of alcohol in her 80-year lifetime. And the fact that, while I'm living through an economically stagnant time, I did not live through THE Depression.

Like I've said in previous posts, it's time I grew up and accepted this thing called adulthood. Even though I've worked before, I never had a career, even though I didn't really want one. I was the quintessential writer/artiste, but as time trudged along, I realized that I wasn't giving up on my dream to be a published and hopefully famous writer if I got a career. I could write all I wanted, but it's a lot easier to do when you don't live in under a bridge and have to beg for tampons.

So now I have two jobs: one that is paying and one that is not. In one, I'll be helping others, meeting people and welcoming responsibility into my life, and in the other, I will further my artistic endeavors, market myself and continue to follow my dream. It's just starting to get interesting. :)

(PS I will so be listening to Donna Summer on the way to work on Monday.)

12 July 2009

I've Never Met You in Person, but I HATE YOU!!!

Do you want to know why people think that people who play video games are losers? Because sometimes, they are. Big, whiny baby losers who seem to forget that there is life outside of the virtual. I mean, whether or not a tree makes a sound when it falls in a forest devoid of humans is a more important issue than successfully completing a self-imposed mission or perfectly executing a triple jump with a midair twist while throwing a grenade and shooting another player right between the eyes at the same time (although that would be pretty cool).

Now, I'm going to make a confession here. I was sucked into Vampire Wars (pun only slightly intended) by my dad, who has, since joining Facebook (which was strange enough), joined about 5 games. I am now a level 18 modern vampire, working on the third tier of missions (adept level) and buying as many minions as I can. I spend way too much time on it, but it's that kind of game that you sort of have to. My deadline is July 20th because, well, I'll have a job and they'll probably frown upon my insistence that I must battle the other online vampires for superiority (and blood). That, and I ran into Velkyn, the type of gamer that makes the rest of us look really bad.

I honestly didn't even remember who the hell he was until I looked back through my history. Apparently, I attacked his vampire avatar and ended up killing him, so he sent me this message: (sic) "oh, you attacked me without cause that's not very nice is there an explanation or shall I just allow hell to descend upon you for this vile transgression?" That question mark at the end of the sentence is mine because he has no idea how to use them. Maybe proper punctuation is like garlic or crosses for this useless human being. Either way, he keeps bothering me because I won't respond, telling me that I'm not playing the game properly. I guess I didn't realize that threatening to send hell in my direction warranted my giving him a reason as to why I fought him once on the combat board. I've been clobbered more than once by the same person and I just laughed it off, but this guy I'm assuming has waged little online wars since he could type "you're a poophead" onto a message board.

Still, I suppose I could be overreacting to his childish ways. It could be wrong of me to expect people to behave like adults, but then again, people have a hard time proving this to me in the real world, so I'm kind of screwed in this department.

I think this is why I love the legend that is Leeeeeeroy Jenkins.

I giggle and occasionally guffaw each time I see this video because it just reinforces my above-stated belief that some gamers are just crybabies that take things like World of Warcraft way too seriously. Yes, video games are fun. I lalalove them and have wasted many a day on upping my stats and trying to get the little achievement bleep bloops. Right now, I'm actually trying to work on leveling up my characters to 100 on my replay of Final Fantasy XII, but I seem to be able to differentiate between the game and oh, I don't know, finding a job, having relationships with face-to-face people ... the list goes on.

But, like I said, I'll be deleting Vampire Wars because of all of this silliness. I may keep Farmville and Farm Town, though. Need to get that damned silo!!!

11 July 2009

Back to Life, Back to Reality

It's been a strange 7 months. To be completely honest, I feel like they've flown by, even when I did feel like I was slowly losing my grip. I've been stir-crazy, enough to jump at any chance even to make a trip to the grocery store, and now, I have an honest to God job and it's a little frightening.

Take away the fact that I have to drive almost an hour to get to the office. I once managed to sit through 4 hours of standstill traffic (because a semi driver forgot that houses don't exactly fit underneath bridges) and not snap, but that was because I made the best of it. I talked to the other stranded motorists and even helped a guy whose car had died in the middle of the fun-filled, 95-degree day. Dare I say it, I even had a little bit of fun. Granted, I was riding on the high of an excellent interview (from which I got the aforementioned job), so I'm not sure how much credit to give myself. So I know I can handle the commute, at least in terms of actually driving it.

Now, the waking up at the ass crack of dawn may be a little more daunting. I'm not really too much of a morning person, but once I'm up, I'm up. I may be quietly, secretly-planning-my-revenge-on-the-bastard-that-made-me-get-up-this-early awake, but I'm functioning. What really chaps my ass, though, is that I can't stay up until 2 a.m. Well, I suppose I could, but that would mean all sorts of craziness. I tend to get loopy when I don't have enough sleep. Oh, and everything is funny to me at that point, and I don't think that laughing in someone's face at my desk in very professional, considering he or she is probably there to request some type of monetary benefits.

Forget that I have to live in Cookeville, TN, for 2 - 3 months for training. It's like summer camp, only the state will pay for my room charges. And I'm not required to go to big bonfires, although that does sound like a big heap of fun right now.

If you can overlook all of that, you'd think my trepidation of reentering the workforce is unwarranted. But let me remind you: I've essentially been a hermit since December. (Even if you have the time to socialize and attend events, you're kind of limited when you don't have steady income, especially when you require some type of fuel to get from point a to point b. Plus, you start to feel like a mooch when people offer to pay for you. Yes, I appreciate the thought, but it's kind of embarrassing.) I don't believe I've lost my interpersonal skills, as shown by my ability to talk to people I met about 15 years ago at my paternal family reunion last weekend. And I am excited. Cheerleader excited, actually. I did a little dance in the elevator when I found out that I had gotten the job, and I even got a little old man to join in on the fun. But I'm also a little nervous about how everything is going to go.

As my first day gets closer and closer, the knot kind of tightens. I mean, it's not there all the time, ready to pounce like an over-eager panic attack, but when I think about actually getting out "there" again, it makes its presence known in a big way.

It's all about "the fear." There's a sort of repugnance about losing the lack of responsibility of youth, and a certain reluctance to become an adult always rears its ugly head. We equate adult with boring. People sometimes marvel at those who manage to never grow up; I know I do. Then again, they annoy me most of the time because they usually give no consideration to the consequences of their actions, on themselves or on others. But there is a fascination that I won't deny. The 58 year old man who just quits his job and moves Africa; the 49 year old woman who still lives in her parents' house, complete with her old high school room and its dated decorations; the 83 year old man with a twinkle in his eye and a slap on the ass for his young nurse; the 25 year old mother of two who still parties like she did in college. Do they just not give a damn? Afraid to get old, perhaps?

I have spent the last few years basically bouncing around. I'm a notorious anti-planner, with flights of fancy (ex. buying a motorcycle on a whim - seriously??) and a lack of organization.* My mom calls me a free spirit, and while it does describe me fairly well, I'm thinking she's just being nice, since she is the queen of FILE IT NOW! I kept on going back to school because that was where I was comfortable, where I had some sense of control. And I finally realized that a few weeks ago. So here I am, poised atop this ledge, and all I can think is, "When can I grow up?" Not in the sense of losing my playfulness and love of life and new experiences. But to be totally self-sufficient. To be strong and capable.

And that's what I think I am nervous about. This job is a first step, and they say that is the hardest one, whoever "they" are. It would be easier to rely on my parents, sure, but it's not really that fulfilling. And they're not going to be here forever, so I'd have to pick up the mantle eventually. But now, it's my decision to move on.

And with that, I leave you with the remix:

* And this is where it's weird. At work, I'm an anal retentive bitch. I use stickie notes like nobody's business, and I immediately file things. When I'm writing my stories, I have little folders for each character, location, etc., full of pictures and ideas. And yet, everywhere else, I'm an organizational screw up.

01 July 2009


I've found that most artists are pretentious. Ranging from Johnny Depp's refusal to see his own movies (because then it becomes about money *cough* "Pirates of the Caribbean" *cough*) to my Drawing I teacher kicking a girl out of his class permanently because she used "purple" instead of "violet." And then there's the ubiquitous Kanye West (now a fashion designer of really ugly shoes with tassels) who constantly uses capital letters because what he says is so important that he has to use the internet equivalent of SCREAMING (although I have this weird admiration for someone who thinks he is the Jesus Christ of the pop music/rap/fashion/political/artistic/everything else world).

I'm not exactly sure from where this sense of entitlement comes. It's like they have access to some unreachable plane of existence that normal humans just can't comprehend, so they come off looking and sounding like Lady Gaga, sometimes just for the sake of being weird. "It's all about the art." Sure. Whatever.

As an artist, I actually feel rather shunned by the artistic community. My paintings are mediocre, at best, and my photography is akin to a child getting a hold of his mother's camera and taking pictures haphazardly because he's not quite sure what this contraption actually does. When I go to a painting exhibit, it's usually, "Ooooh, I like the color scheme" rather than, "Oh, I can totally see the pain he was going through in this blade of grass because of the harshness of the brush strokes. How deep." I listen to pop music and do not spend my days searching for obscure bands just so I can say I found them first and that they are bad now that they are mainstream. And I don't watch various plays and dances that I consider weird and carry on for hours about the brilliance of the performers. For example, I still don't understand modern dance. I understand it takes skill, but when you're just throwing yourself about in what looks like an epileptic seizure, I'm not going to inundate you with praise. I'm not saying it's not art, because it is. However, I'm not just going to gush about it and ask for an encore because it's supposedly my responsibility as a fellow artist.

Take John Cage's 4'33". He says it was his most important work. Well, it's just silence. The sheet music just instructs the musicians not to play anything for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Sure, I understand that the ambient noise is supposed to be the music, but come on. That's 4:33 that I will never get back, and the money I might have spent on that concert could have been used for a picnic in the park, where I could listen to silence for free.

But I love my art. I am passionate about my sketches, character designs and, in some cases, my attempts at using acrylic and oil paints. I spend countless hours researching for my stories and articles, and I treat them like they are more valuable than children (because they are). I keep scraps of paper with story ideas or quotes in case I can use them again, which means that I have umpteens of notebooks and boxes of loose leaf notebook paper with random scribblings, most of which are not related in any way possible. I'm sure there is some manner in which I could organize them, but I just haven't the time or the energy.

Still, I find that I'm usually sort of offput by artists. I don't find myself better than they are, but I feel like they expect me to be a certain way. I have more in common with tattoo and graffiti artists than I do with most writers, painters or what have you.

Gah, they just don't understand me.

* I'm actually not sure if Kanye does approve of this, but just so he can't come after me with his terrifying 5'7" self, I'm posting this disclaimer: Kanye West does not have anything to do with this blog, and in no way are his opinions expressed in this entry. By the way, Kanye, if you are reading this, I heart you and think we could be great friends.