Saturday, January 12, 2013

2013: The Year of Fixing Things & Solving Eons Long Conflicts

This is the theme of our year. At least, my husband declared this proclamation. Maybe you should as well. We did survive that whole "end of the world" thing in December, after all.

My husband was talking about resolving issues that have been there at least since we moved here over 5 years ago or that's just been an irritant we haven't dealt with yet. After 12 days in this new year, we're not doing half bad. Here goes:

1. Our gym location finally opened & my husband has worked out at the gym a few times. I still haven't been yet but I plan to when it's a nice day and I don't have other things to do in the same day. I have to look into classes but definitely not Zumba (apparently, skinny people shouldn't take it since it will cause you to lose weight & that's the last thing I need to do). My husband in particular was looking forward to having this gym around since he is trying to lose more weight & they have locations in our area. He figured that if we go to Long Island and his family gets on our nerves, we could just hit the gym if we felt so inclined. The monthly rate was also right. Retro Fitness, in case you were wondering. I hear this location is new & clean so why wouldn't we have signed up when we did? Most places in my area tend to be a huge disappointment.

2. I finally got alterations on some of my business suits & fixed my blue sparkly evening gown. Spent some money but found Apthorp Cleaners to be miracle workers. Their tailor was able to make my dark green suit actually fit me & something I could wear. I had never actually worn the thing since it was too big when I got it as a birthday gift years ago & after moving here, it became too damn big. We saw it on sale & it was a 6 Petite but my husband offered to pay for the cost of alterations; I finally got to collect on that one.

I also bought a new business suit with a cheetah print jacket that looks more in keeping with who I am as an anti-lawyer. I got it in a 2 but it still felt like I was trying on clothes from Mommy's closet instead of being able to own the jacket so I decided a little alteration to accent my figure was in order.

The tailor actually complimented my dark green suit so that made me feel better about the purchase years ago. Now, instead of just 1 suit that makes me feel bad ass, I have 3 that I can say this about.

Alterations do NOT come cheap. It was $55 just to do my light alterations on the size 2 jacket. Truthfully, I do feel like business suit makers are punishing skinny people for being skinny (especially me since anything in a color & style I like never tends to be in my size). One reason I really don't like business suits is that when I wear one, I feel like I'm playing dress up as a grown up instead of actually being able to own it as a part of me.

That "nothing I like is in my size" problem is worse in stores near me, where the management doesn't seem to believe that women my size & smaller actually wear clothes. They must think we just walk around naked, spend thousands on our wardrobes or have our own tailors.

I always figured that if I were going to work in a job where I had to wear a business suit often, I'd have to have my own tailor since nothing off the rack ever fits me. Maybe Uniqlo could come out with more business suits in various colors and styles? Just an idea, guys. I'd at least consider it. My ~$100 suit that came from there looked kick ass on me without my having to get it fixed so I didn't look like a shapeless, frumpy blob pretending to be middle aged. Royal blue would be nice. Something in a brown would also look great with my hair.

Oh, and my blue evening gown looks awesome! It had a ton of holes & rips in it but they fixed it right up and I could barely tell when I got it back. You couldn't really tell there were holes unless you were looking at the bottom of my legs but I have a standard with my clothing. I couldn't fit it so I figured it was best to leave it to professionals & pay for quality (hence spending the high price). I did get quality there, after all.

3. We found some local karaoke places that don't have food/drink minimums or other asinine policies like charging for songs. If you live in NYC & seek places, look at Queens or Brooklyn. We managed to find one place that has karaoke every week a mere 15 minutes from home.

Last night was insane there. The week before, we arrived 30 minutes after it started & it was dead. They also have the oddest venue for karaoke that I've ever seen. It's more like a stage performance & seating is at a premium...but the people doing the karaoke have an awesome song book. We saw songs in there that we have literally not seen elsewhere.

Since they also do karaoke at another place our neighbors told us about, my husband found out about this weekly place. Much easier for us to get to than another one we know of that's right off a bus line & where if you want to leave, you'll be waiting over an hour for the next bus in the wee hours (so much for making a night of it).

We come in this week and discover that first off, there are more people. The week before, I sang my first song & afterward I noticed more people in the room. I kind of wondered if I had drawn people in there (entirely possible & believable if you've heard me sing).

There were about 3 guys who sang Prince or other high range songs. Unlike the disastrous rendition of "Purple Rain" I was subjected to in NC, these guys actually sounded good and hit the notes. They weren't Prince sound-a-likes but I was pleasantly surprised. I'll be more impressed if they can sing Fine Young Cannibals and hit the notes, though; then I can see if my friend's theory about men who can sing those songs & hit the proper notes is accurate. But that third guy? Whoo, boy!

Before he sang, this man (who will be known as "Crazy Drunk Guy") was dancing to every single song people sang. Whether it was slow, fast, grunge, depressing as hell, whatever he was getting down with his bad self! At one point, another guy joins him in dancing & attempts break dancing moves during a song.

I commented to my fellow goers (my husband & one of our neighbors) that if this guy was your co-worker or your boss, it would have been your opportunity to videotape him & save the footage for blackmail purposes. When it's Crazy Drunk Guy's turn to sing, he sings "Let's Go Crazy" & really gets into it. He's running around all over the room, leaving the stage & going up to people while singing. He's gyrating and dancing like mad. Yeah, if he was your boss and you'd captured the moment you'd be able to call in some serious favors if you worked in finance, law or some other industry known for conservative behavior among the higher ups.

It wouldn't work in the creative industry since we're all crazy & nothing should shock a higher up in a creative company save for public nudity. Even then, it might not be a great shocker if the stripper was an actor or you worked in adult film. It just might not behoove an adult actor financially to strip publicly without being paid for the public appearance.

My neighbor did record some of this performance. It should have been on You Tube it was that great.

Later on, the crowd was drunk & dancing for everyone's songs. My husband sang "Just a Friend" and people sang along. I sang an En Vogue song that wasn't off the Funky Divas album (which has their most known hits) & did get people dancing to it! Crazy Drunk Guy later came up to me & complimented my song selection.

What else was weird? A guy & a girl (with the guy singing) decide to perform "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. People even danced to that. Yes, I'm totally partial to Ariel since she's a redhead like I am! So is my sister.

When I can do a great Halloween costume or some other costume for a party, I'm going to see about doing that one & as realistically as I can with considerations to weather and being able to move.

Remember: if your boss does something unprofessional or insane, make sure to record it someplace for posterity & to call in favors. If it's bad enough, it could get millions of hits on You Tube (especially if we're talking the CEO or an executive of a major company). I have no sympathy for this situation since I don't get drunk or do stuff like that in public. I may ream you out but I'm not going to show you my boobies or do a strip show. Me playing the role of prostitute as part of a City Bar show (where I'm also singing in that act) does not qualify as something you can blackmail me with.

Plus, I don't care since I feel like they've opened a door for me artistically in letting me do that. I mean, what could you possibly object to me doing if I've been allowed to play a prostitute on the City Bar stage, complete with hot pants?

4. I don't need any more clothes. Now, I've been getting them for a while but I've literally run out of space for them. When I look for clothes now, instead of asking myself if what I'm looking at will go with something I already own it's time I asked myself "Do I have the room for this?" and "Do I really need to have this?" Very few things actually fit this category at present.

Yes, I've become even more difficult to buy and shop for. Does this happen as you get more money to buy stuff or if you're a pack rat who doesn't throw things out unless they are literally unwearable? God, I'm seriously heading to miser land & it's beginning to look like I could be able to actually have steady income before 2014. I've got to figure out a useful way to do that & investment is something on the list to be tackled.

Consumerism also feels empty to me. It was never a huge thing for me, having come from a home where we couldn't afford most things, but it's really empty feeling when you can afford things & find you really don't need them. Maybe I'll eventually become a humanitarian if I can find a way to do it without having my cynicism reinforced with corruption & the lack of money getting to where it's supposed to.

5. My total lack of patience & tolerance for BS in the job hunting process is all fine and good. I also find I have to help my spouse job hunt. Call it a mixture of getting what you wished for & finding out you didn't want it + the total crapiness of the union structure.

The writing has been on the wall for ages but now that writing seems to be ablaze after the pen was doused in the most flammable gasoline on Earth before it was written on the wall. I'm now convinced my eldest nephew should be running that HR department (he's 9 years old) or maybe my 2 year old nephew & my mini-me niece (who is not quite 6 months old) should run it. Even not being that verbal, the 2 year old would be better at picking staff than those people seem to be.

Sad commentary on our world, don't you think? I also have been fighting against fake job postings & other BS. I think "phantom job postings" should be outlawed, especially in civil services and government jobs. They just make people bitter, especially fake interviews. If I had a fake interview & you told me later it was fake, you've burned any bridge you could have had with me.

Actually you probably doused it in gasoline & lit a match after you spread the blood and dead bodies of 100 adorable children I give a damn about or who did absolutely nothing to me to warrant their slaughter. I personally have always asked about them for myself or anyone I helped since I refuse to waste my time & feel that if someone's being slammed with resumes, they don't need mine or one sent by me for someone else if they have no true need & they won't even take it seriously. I wouldn't let my company post a fake ad just to get a bunch of resumes they were never going to consider.

Changing needs from when you posted an ad or interviewed someone is a different story but never having a shot in the first place? That's total crap!

I've also learned that what I'm doing is pretty damn good. I just hope it will lead to good things sooner rather than later. I've been at this game for over 5 years now & some days you wonder when your ship is coming in. At least I feel more positive about it than I have at times. I also feel some reassurance that I will die happier than a lot of people since I am doing what I want to do & have some great supporters of me/my vision/my general personality/my company out there.

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