Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When Laws Become Asinine

Yes, laws/regulations/rules CAN be asinine. If you think they are not or that it never happens, then you're an idiot who needs a good punch of common sense. Thankfully, I don't have to deal with such mental midgets in real life; I just have to read their rantings & realize they do exist.

Consider this situation. I say "Go Anonymous." There are crybabies who seem to think it's perfectly okay to demand people to have permits to feed the homeless, using the rationale of poisoning or community aesthetics as an excuse. I also hear the one about lawsuits as it relates to poisoning.

Okay, morons! Go back to the entry I wrote about how retailers waste things such as clothing and food.

When I hear such arguments, my brain hears "I'm an idiot who has no clue how the legal system works nor has ever been anywhere near hard times."

Let me clue you in on a basic reality: poor people don't have the resources to file lawsuits. If you think poor people (who do have roofs over their heads) have a hard time commencing legal action, how likely do you think it would be that a homeless person will be able to do it & win??? Filing a lawsuit costs MONEY! Getting a lawyer costs MONEY; most of us won't work for free & probably don't want smelly homeless folk in our offices. Legal aid might help you but they have waiting lists a mile long & budget cuts have consistently made need for legal services far greater than the resources they can provide. It's a very old & well documented problem. You may as well start banning convenience stores from selling lottery tickets to the homeless for fear they will get a paper cut & sue.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: the lawsuit argument is stupid!!! I've not once heard a credible attorney make that argument b/c we all know that homeless people don't have the resources to sue anyone, much less some mega-corporation or even a non-profit that has some form of legal representation.

Normal, thinking people aren't stupid. We know political games when we see them. Apparently, so does Anonymous.

The scum trying to defend the status quo or saying "use the legal system" would be better served & respected by admitting they are naive or elitists who are part of the problem. I don't see these people trying to help anyone or do a damn thing that isn't self-serving in some way. Granted, there is the theory that there's no such thing as an altruistic deed. That may very well be true but the ones whining the appearance of homeless people or shooing them to the country aren't exactly helping as much as living in a state of denial.

Maybe you should rethink your support for foreign aid spending & the politicians you vote for when there's blight in your own backyard. Ever consider that? Or are you just so stupid we have to pray evolution will take care of you in due time?

I think arresting people for doing a good deed is disgusting & if you're defending it, I have to wonder if you're a school administrator since doing so sounds an awful lot like that type of logic (especially high school administrators). The ridiculous acts of school administrators are so well cataloged and known that further comment on my part isn't necessary. This blog & mainstream media have covered these acts quite nicely.

Another thing: corporations lie. Consider this.

Me personally, I'd have demanded these bitches be fired publicly and loudly but maybe that's because I worked in retail for so many years and experienced public airing of private events myself. It might also be the fact that I would NEVER tolerate it in my own business & think these wastes of life are far too immature to be in authority over anyone. I certainly hope they don't have full time custody over any children or animals because I can't imagine what that home environment must be like. Nor do I have compassion for scum or trust anything from a corporation's PR team. The PR team is SUPPOSED to issue bright shiny statements when unflattering incidents arise.

I've heard people talk to me about everything under the sun & seen things fall apart in an instant. Plus, I know a thing or two about how a business operates. Call me cynical but action is the only thing I care about; talk is cheap & doesn't impress me as far as big companies are concerned.

I'd definitely never set foot in that location & believe Starbucks deserves everything it has coming to it, especially for being hypocrites. Some people are smart enough to recall things & hold life-long grudges (like yours truly).

Kind of makes me glad there is no Starbucks in my neighborhood. Heck, I might protest even harder against it & use this story as an example of why you should not support them. Inaction means you're condoning the behavior.

I also know enough people who hated Starbucks for other reasons & this is just icing on the cake.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Thanks, NY for Joining the 21st Century & the Pitfalls of New Grads Going Solo

In case you haven't heard, NY just legalized gay marriage. That's all I have to say.

It's the 21st CENTURY!!!!! This is America. I'm just glad NY finally got with the program. Now if we could only get rid of Bloomberg & my husband could find a job with an employer who truly appreciated him + gave him viable holiday vacation time, life would be so much better.

I've talked about this before but it's just pathetic and tacky for the government to use religion to deny people basic rights. Let me also add it's a religion many people don't follow or support. And a quote I read from the Catholic Bishops of New York is a laugh: treated gay people "with respect, dignity and love", did you? I wonder what gay people who grew up in the Catholic church would have to say about that. I can tell you that there are LOTS of people in the Baptist church who would be lying if they said that.

Gay people getting to marry has nothing to do with your sex-starved marriage so shove your prejudices up your butt. Unless YOUR church is being commanded to marry gay people, you have nothing to say about it.

Maybe I should lobby the government to invalidate marriages that haven't been consummated in a certain number of years or to force you to adopt 5 children every time you publicly tell women not to get abortions. How do you like them apples? Not so cool telling adults what to do when YOUR life & choices will be affected, now is it? Unless you'd like that to happen, maybe you ought to keep your trap shut.

Also read this story recently about new law graduates opening virtual offices and becoming solo practitioners. While I appreciate ingenuity and am as in tune with technology as the next person (who isn't your typical attorney), there are some serious pitfalls to doing this. As someone who's freelanced as an attorney & gotten legal clients, let me share a few facts:

1. Malpractice insurance: It's costly, particularly if you want to do entertainment law. If you're unemployed, you can't afford it. If your state doesn't require it, at least you can just opt out & tell prospective clients about that fact.

2. The ability to hustle: If you can't hustle, there's no way you'll do this successfully. I'm not so sure all new law can do it. I had the advantage of being a founding member of a sorority chapter. Plus, I've had no choice but to hustle for survival. I believe a typical new law grad who's not had to hustle or be in a position of leadership is going to have a hard time.

3. Access to people who know more than you & knowing when to use it: Just like high schoolers, I'm sure there's a group of new law grads who think they know it all & then get in over their heads with no older, wiser folk to ask for help from. Not only do you need that access (which can be hard to get from self-important jerk types who try dragging you down) but you need to know when to use it.

4. Lack of community in the legal field: Yes, I still believe there's a horrid lack of "community" in the legal field. I found it laughable when I read an ABA article saying to make friends w/other attorneys.

Okay, if you've read legal blogs on lawyer relations, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't let me give you a short version: lawyers are assholes and total sociopaths who are nothing but sticks in the mud.

Not every single attorney I know fits this & I've managed to find some who have a shred of humanity. But...the chance of that is slim in my book. I'm also not big on the term "friend"; I call people my contacts since "friend" implies a deeper level of intimacy than I'm comfortable with. Also really doesn't help that my oldest friend in the world 180ed into a different person. These days, I hear the word "friend" and that whole thing weighs on my mind.

I also recognize that I'm an unusual person. To really be my friend is tough; I'm a private person, despite being blunt. I've had many people let me down in life & hurt me. You could say I put up barriers around myself & you'd be right. Generally, I find it hard to trust people or believe they're going to be reliable.

Plus, I'm in a field where you kind of have to put up barriers or you'd get eaten alive.

Even staying in my sorority chapter after a while was emotionally difficult; I just felt like I had to stick it out as an endurance test, to prove I could do it. I'm glad I did but I feel like I know who I am and have learned to accept it.

5. Trial and error factors: I had to do some of this. You learn there are lots of scumbags in the world & people who don't appreciate a damn thing. Believe me, your altruism fades really quick after you represent people on your own, go through a bunch of time & effort and end up with people not paying you or appreciating you. I don't take kindly to stuff like that & after bad experiences, I'm much pickier about who I deal with. It's on my terms or it's not going to happen.

Perhaps that's part of legal training: draining out nearly ounce of altruism and empathy you'd feel for a client.

I feel it's the fault of the legal profession, schools, the ABA, whoever else caused the field to be as it is that new grads are having to do this. They're doing what they have to in order to survive and pay off the ridiculous loan rates. Unlike some people, I don't punish others for doing what they need to in order to survive. As they say, some rules are meant to be broken. You just need the maturity and forethought to know which ones are good & serve a purpose vs. which ones are asinine & beg to be broken b/c they are that stupid.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are These People Stupid or Asking to Get Sued?

That's what I often ask myself when I see utterly ridiculous Craig's List ads. Consider this one, for instance:

admin/personal assistant (Financial District)

Date: 2011-06-02, 1:14PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

CEO of a multi-faceted production company is seeking a full time Administrative Assistant , 30-50 hours per week.
Seeking a driven individual with interest in events, live performing arts, entertainment, design, fashion and art direction.

Responsibilities will include :
-Use of creative writing skills for updating the blog and website.
Photoshop/Illustrator skills for help designing and preparing press packets, proposals.
-Following up with clients.
-Light bookkeeping.
-Maintaining all social networking sites (twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc).
-Research and development of public relations and marketing strategies.

There are some personal assistant aspects of this job including running errands, shopping, organizing and planning travel arrangements etc.

Applicants must have :
- Excellent organizational skills required.
- Strong administrative and follow-through skills.
- Must be able to multi-task and remain focused under pressure.
- Must be able to work independently and as part of a team. (There is some supervisory work so you must be comfortable with that aspect of the position.)
- Creative writing skills.
- Be self motivated
- Able to travel , at times Internationally at short notice.
- Must be punctual, articulate, polite, personable and have good people skills and a clean appearance. This is a casual work atmosphere and not a corporate office, however you must be prepared to attend high profile events at times.
- Know the ins and outs and up to date of social networking sites.
- Great communication skills, oral and written.
- Proficiency in Mac OSX, CS5, Microsoft Office , MS Word, Excel and Outlook Express, Photoshop.
- An ardent appreciation of art and design is a plus!

SOTU Productions has been described as the haute couture live entertainment company, providing tailor made, high-end performance art for clients including Marc Jacobs, Richard Branson, Piaget, W Hotels Worldwide.

Salary starting at $12 /hour plus bonuses for working at events.

Should be available 4-5 days a week minimum. Our office location is in the Financial District, lower Manhattan and Showroom/Design studio is located in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

Email cover letter and resume with the Subject : SOTU Assistant.

it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Compensation: $12 per hour plus bonuses

Okay, I made $12 an hour at my first post-college job & they didn't ask ME to work outside of business hours, travel internationally or demand Photoshop skills. There's a little thing called passport fees & they aren't cheap, especially if you don't have paying employment at the present time. Why don't you just charge people a fee to see their applications?

If you think this one was bad, the next one will make you wonder how much crack the poster was smoking beforehand:

Executive/Personal Assistant (Manhattan )

Date: 2011-06-10, 5:52PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

We need a FABULOUS Executive Assistant to work with the CEO of the company.
You must have 10 or more years of experience working in this same capacity
You will work a normal 40 hr work week but must be on-call 24/7 and able to travel domestically and internationally.
You must work well with the present team members
As a team player -you must be trustworthy, flexible, reliable and give 150% to team!!
Must be extremely efficient, multi-task, delegate when needed and think and act "outside the box" to get the job done seamlessly.
You must be highly proficient with computer programs such as MS Word, Excel, Power Point and smart phones.
You must be legal to work in the United States and have STELLAR references.
We prefer someone young, resourceful and dedicated!

Location: Manhattan
Compensation: $55K plus benefits and overtime
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2433078000

Considering my husband would like to find another job & would have even considered something like this for a fair rate, I had to respond. Here's what I said.

So you want a "fabulous" assistant with "10+ years experience," "24/7 availability," "able to travel domestically and internationally," "give 150%" to a business the person won't even have ownership interest in AND "STELLAR references" and think "$55K plus benefits and overtime" is appropriate compensation?!?

THEN you say you want someone "young"?!  With 10+ years of experience in this job title, the person would have to be at LEAST 32/33 years old and that's assuming he/she got this exact job title and responsibilities straight from college.  If you work in most industries, that's NOT young.

Are you on drugs or just completely stupid?  People who work on-call and do all that stuff make a HELL of a LOT more than $55K a year.  That is an insult and a pittance to people who actually have those skills.  A person doing what you are demanding is worth at least $75K a year if not six figures.

Stop insulting professionals & pay a proper i.e. market rate!  You are the reason people don't give 50% to their employers and hate their jobs.  Why don't you just require the person to be able to read minds and fly while you're at it?

You get what you pay for and if you want filet mignon, you're going to have PAY for it.  Enough said.

Yes, employers if you want filet mignon you'd better be prepared to pay for it. No one in this life owes you anything & this just shows me that you treat your employees like crap. Effort & motivation come from having respect for people. That includes paying what they are worth or at a minimum, acknowledging that you would do it if you could. I also think many of these people should spring for some legal counsel since a lot of them tend to post illegal ads & make everyone in the business look like cheap scumbags who molest young women and offer promotions based upon ego stroking instead of hard work or competency.

Oh, but I just saw a new low on the bottom of the barrel legal job known as document review. Feast your eyes on this:

CONTRACT ATTORNEY NEEDED ASAP (Please review requirements) (Rye Brook, New York)

Date: 2011-06-21, 12:28PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


Requirements (Note that if you send your resume and it does not show that you posses all of the requirements you will not be considered for the position):

Previous legal experience
Experience with reviewing documents on CaseMap
Available immediately
Posses computer they can bring to work and Car

Compensation - $20 per hour.
Location: Rye Brook, New York
Compensation: Compensation - $20 per hour.
This is a contract job.
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 2453649989

Now, not only are you being paid a very low rate (it used to be an average of $35 per hour before the economic crash) but you have to have a car AND provide your own computer. Why not just let people do this at home, in their space & away from the crazies and resigned husks that used to be human beings?

Oh, I forgot. Document review operates under the premise that all the attorneys doing it are as capable as 6 years old. They have NO ability to work independently or even dress themselves in the morning. Any attorney with a sense of propriety and who cared about himself/herself would say "Hell, no!!" to this. This is just as bad as internships where interns are demanded to provide laptops and smart phones. You're allowing the document review company to use YOUR resources for THEIR benefit without providing any reimbursement for it.

See why one assignment was enough for me? Prostitution would be preferable. And from what I've read about the goings on in some of these places, it's about one & the same.

Oh, and another rant that I really should get off my chest. Stop trying to turn idiots or those choosing to drink/do drugs/engage in stupid or dangerous behavior into saints when they die from those choices!!! I'm not an Ebert fan, per se but I do have to agree w/him on that one. I save my sympathy for people who were the victims of these assholes vs. the jerks who caused the problems to start with.

If you choose to take drugs, drive while intoxicated, do other dangerous stuff & you get hurt or die, then you brought that on yourself. I say this as the daughter of an alcoholic. If my father drove drunk & then died from it, I wouldn't expect people to hold him up like he was some poor victim. Even my own mother wouldn't do that considering after Michael Jackson died, she said "You live by the propofol, you die by the propofol." In fact, I think I'd be more offended by people trying to turn my father into the reincarnation of Jesus instead of acknowledging that he made some bad choices and his own free will led to his demise.

Ultimately, you can't help someone who doesn't want it. I couldn't help my former friend, my mother couldn't make my father get treatment for alcoholism and if someone doesn't want your help, they DON'T WANT IT! I think it's a good idea to give yourself emotional distance if people don't want to be helped. You still have your own life to live.

At the end of the day, though, I'm not going to mourn someone who chose to be self-destructive. I'm going to be glad they didn't take innocent people with them.

Call it cold or callous all you want. Talk to me when you've watched people you care about self-destruct and realized you couldn't do shit to change it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

General Musings Part 23

You may not see many blog updates from me in the near future since I'm sorting through internship applications for my film company. If you want to apply, go see the ad on

Otherwise, got a ton of links & some insights/remarks on them. Here we go:

Edie Falco just rocks! That's all. I have the EXACT same viewpoint on reality TV "celebrities." Plus, she's a great actress; I have every season of "The Sopranos" and think "Nurse Jackie" is great. This just makes me respect her more than I might have.

I can agree on rejection sometimes being a good thing. I got rejected on the very first round of cuts during sorority recruitment my freshman year; if I hadn't, I might not have become an AST member & gotten the valuable leadership experience I have.

I probably wouldn't have the career I have if some law firm had hired me instead of all of them rejecting me for jobs. Probably wouldn't have passed the NY & CT bars on the first try if I'd gotten into CUNY School of Law (I found out after I started law school that they had a 50% bar passage rate vs. my school's rate being about 80%). Finally, if I hadn't gotten dumped by guys all the time while in Atlanta & CT and completely shunned by them while growing up in NC, I probably wouldn't live in NYC now and would just be miserable wondering about what might have been. Nor would I have nearly as great a spouse as I've got.

The establishment has also done next to nothing for me. I've reconciled myself to the fact that it will continue to do nothing for me. That means non-traditional resources and learning how to hustle. I think I've more or less accepted that I am anti-establishment and in a way, I rebel from it. I figure I'll keep doing things or my terms or I'll die with some dignity because I didn't sell out.

The problem is if you're in a position of do or die. Then you end up poor. Here's a Cracked article telling you about that.

All of this is true, btw. I saw flashbacks of my childhood as I read it & I even described life as a child as living in an endless game of Tetris on Level 9-5 (for those unfamiliar w/Tetris, this is a level where the pieces are almost at the very top & you have to stress out big time to either get them in properly to reduce your pile or die; in fact, I believe it's the hardest level in the game).

Speaking of being poor, there have been yet more articles on the high costs of college (forget grad school since no one seems to give a damn about that unless THEY went themselves). One study says the cost of a college degree in light of this economy isn't worth it.

You'll see constant resources telling people to learn a trade or even just be uneducated. That might work for some people but it's not a one size fits all solution by any means. I agree that the value of degrees is becoming deluded & that pisses me off but I'm not sure a mass movement to toss out "book learning" is the answer. Some people aren't smart enough or insightful enough to go educate themselves. Some of us also aren't the self-study types. Teaching yourself can be EXTREMELY difficult, especially if you don't have someone who knows about the thing you're trying to learn around as a resource or to make sure you're understanding the concepts.

Another problem is that college (at least as I understand it) is also supposed to be about broadening horizons & getting new experiences away from your parents, your little town and your local community. I went to school out of state by myself and think that the experience is important for transitioning to the real world. There are experiences and skills I use from that time now that I'd have never had if I'd just been in my hometown or around everyone I knew from high school while attending college. "High school, Part 2" doesn't help anyone. Who even really, truly enjoyed high school?

So I think before advocating the live at home approach, people should consider these facts. What if a kid is like me & wants to go someplace where no one the family knows is living? What if the kid is really smart? Do you punish them by saying "Son, we know you're an academic scholar & were in National Honor Society but sorry, you're going to community college." Perhaps taking away that stigma of community & junior colleges would help but in most places, they are regarded as not the place for academically gifted students. If you want this to be a viable path, those schools are also going to have to hire top notch faculty who know what they're doing, give a crap about the students learning the material & teach them practical skills.

I just think living at home when you're an adult robs you of the experiences you get when you're on your own and have to deal with paying bills, buying your own groceries, doing laundry, feeding yourself, managing your time and even participating in social events. My parents certainly wouldn't have let me bring guys home or stay out until 5 a.m. at a party while I got to do this stuff when I lived on campus in a single dorm room.

There's also the networking opportunities, Greek life & so forth that you're just not going to get in some of these proposed ideas. You don't have to dorm with strangers or interact with those different from you if you're living with family or going to community college. Living in a dorm prepares you for getting a roommate in an apartment and dealing with people at a job who aren't the same as you.

I think there should be some kind of arrangement where kids who want to go to school far away & can't afford it can do this. Happiness trumps & if you're going to spend the money, you'd better make sure your kid is happy or they'll just flunk out anyway.

I've said this before but I still firmly believe in it. I racked up loans to do this but I wouldn't trade my experiences to be debt free & miserable. That's precisely what would happen if I'd not followed my ambitions in life.

As a former retail worker, this just pisses me off. Standing for long hours is part of the fucking job! It's not a job that requires grad school & if you're doing this as a career, it's motivation to go to school so you can get a job easier on your health. Any job that has a low barrier to entry requires some manual component. I don't see servers suing over this & they have a much harder job than the average sales associate. Being a sales associate is a cakewalk by comparison.

This fact is one reason I would not go back to retail. Some jobs are for younger people. If you are not up to the inherent demands of the job, stop whining and filing lawsuits! Use that money to go get an education or to fund lobbying efforts/protests to government officials so better paying jobs are out there. Don't take it out on store owners.

Second, if you leave seats out on the sales floor customers will inevitably sit in them no matter what you do. When I worked in retail, we had chairs & customers sat in them. Are you going to walk up to customers & make them move so you can sit? That will leave a very good impression on customers. How would you feel about seeing your sales associate kicking back in a chair during working hours? Especially if the worker kicked a customer out of it? That could get really ugly in a lingerie section if it's a man who's stuck there because his wife/girlfriend forced him to go bra shopping with her. Not to mention making kids move! These people would sit in our chairs all the time. We'd look lazy if we did it.

Does anyone find this ironic in light of the attempt to create censorship in this country with the COICA act? Apparently, the senator who originated it does not keep up with what's going on in his own house. Once again, these morons are trying to turn the USA into China. See this for details and do the right thing. If you want censorship, find a theocracy to live in. You've got many to choose from. Don't inflict it here, capice?

Whew, can't believe this is the 250th post.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Corporate Management 101: Don't Air Your Dirty Laundry in Public!!!

Apparently Starbucks needs to remind managers of that, at least this one in Centereach, Long Island (my husband's old stomping grounds & an area I've been to a few times). Check thisout. Read it carefully.

First off, I happen to be straight. As in, I have NO lesbian tendencies whatsoever. Just not how I think about women. In my mind, someone's a friend, competition or neutral. If I see a woman in an outfit that flatters her, I think about if I'd look good in it or what would need to change so I could look good in it. The sex thoughts are for men. I may be married but I'm not dead; it's not like I'd cheat on my spouse.

Now, just because I happen to be straight does not mean you can do all the gay bashing you want in front of me and not get a reaction. Let's consider the fact that I work in the entertainment industry, first off. We're known for being an accepting, tolerant crowd. Not to mention it helps to have some good gay actors around since they won't be immature about playing gay characters in a realistic way (unlike some straight actors).

Second, I don't feel anyone's got a right to tell a grown up how to live their own life (least of all, me). If it's not my husband, it's not my business. Now if you were pimping out an underage relative or hurting one of my family members, that's a different story. But your consensual relationship with the same sex partner of your choice is no skin off my nose. I had a store manager at a job who I later found out was gay (not because he said anything but because a supervisor told me). I didn't care: all I was concerned about was that he hired me, thought I was doing a good job & considered me for a promotion (all work related stuff). It didn't even occur to me to ponder that one since it wasn't my business. I wouldn't even care if a family member was gay; that choice doesn't personally affect me. Freedom of choice: you either support it or you don't.

Third, I had a manager yell at me on a sales floor once (this was at my high school job). You know what happened afterward? My supervisor told me to ignore him. I basically got yelled at because he refused to staff enough people in my section & expected me to be Superwoman when I opted not to ambush customers the second they placed a toe into my section. Instead, I chose to clean up the very messy clearance area near the register so I would be visible, could ring up customers quickly and so the section would be tidy. Me wandering around the clothing stacks as the only person working in the section at a busy time of day would have been foolish.

This asshole did make me feel like crying and if my supervisor hadn't talked to me afterward, I'd have probably quit on the spot.

Could you imagine what it must feel like to go to work everyday and be subjected to abuse? I know people who went through it and that was enough to keep me from tolerating it from any employer.

Finally, I don't like seeing others get mistreated. People have done it to me and I'm sure you've experienced it. Rational people tend to have some empathy toward others.

Basic management 101: if you have a problem with an employee, you discuss it in private. I even marveled about my store manager not bothering to speak to me in the office but getting in my face in the middle of the sales floor in front of customers. That was in high school.

Surely this bitch manager would have the common sense not to air dirty laundry in public. After all, doing that just means you're going to have witnesses who may side against you. Now this story has picked up media attention and if Starbucks has any sense, they'll fire this bitch along with her horde of beasts (these people don't deserve the dignity of being called human beings; they are examples of human garbage that do not deserve "mercy" or "second chances"). Here are 2 updates; read that blog for more.

I never went to this Starbucks (or any other really since I'm not a coffee drinker) but if this bitch doesn't get fired and this Jeffrey fellow rehired, I can conclude that whoever is running Starbucks is a total moron who is grossly underestimating public outrage on this.

I know for a fact that any entertainment business that has a brain would NEVER in a million years allow this kind of behavior among its staff. I certainly would not. You'd be out the door before you could blink.

As for the issue of discussing personal matters at work, I have a few things to say about that:

First off, employers are doing it to themselves by making employees work lots of hours (well over 40 per week). They're spending more time at work than with family and friends! Who else are they going to talk to?

Second, having some personal information about your colleagues builds trust. Psychological studies have proven that people disclose personal information in an effort for the other person to reciprocate & so on and so forth. Eventually, you develop rapport and feel the other person is more trustworthy. Part of working in a business means the team has to be able to work together and feel comfortable doing so. Without that, you'll never collaborate on projects or reach out to anyone for fear your ideas get stolen or you're betrayed in some way. Notice that the non-sociable, quiet people are almost never approached for things. If that happens in your workplace & the person isn't exceptional in some way (super smart, an industry vet, etc.), let me know.

Third, if you're going to tell gay people not to discuss their dating lives, then the same goes for straight people. Double for parents (especially women) discussing their children. Some of you like to try converting childfree people into parenthood, especially childfree women. Maybe you don't realize you're doing it but it's irritating and you need to give it a rest. Some of us have chosen NOT to have kids and don't run around bashing you for being parents (I'll give you a pass if you're hassling someone who bashes or calls you nasty names b/c of simply being a parent vs. a mere breeder who NEVER watches their kids). We also don't want to hear about your child's poop. Thankfully, I work in a field where that issue is far less common.

Finally, I don't think it's possible to eliminate all talk of personal lives. If you want that, you'll have to employ robots. Attorneys even know that getting humans to never speak of their personal lives is never going to realistically happen.

Regardless of what this guy may have done, he didn't deserve public castigation in front of customers. I can also tell the people who said "Oh, don't intervene" or who sided with the bitches are either bigots themselves or sheeple who'd have been the perfect little Nazis in Nazi Germany since they'd have NEVER done the right thing. That's what blind obedience to authority gets you.

That or perhaps they're friends with one or more of these bitches. Me personally, they'd have become ex-friends real quick since I'd have told them off. If I'm not going to hang around racists, what makes homophobes any different? You can shove the religious argument up your butt considering religion has been used to justify everything from slavery to modest dress to political corruption. This is no different.

I'll tell you if any of these people dared to work in my industry, I'd alert everyone I know about it and hope they'd get the old Anita Bryant freeze out. It especially hits home if one of our friends (who posted the link I posted here) worked for this bitch & especially if that friend was treated the same way as this gentleman. I just hope Jeffery will get a positive outcome and learn that standing up to BS is a good thing, even if it's not easy or convenient.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Marge Simpson Ruins Everything

Seeing the latest South Park episode and watching The Simpsons this evening, my husband reminded me of an issue that's been bugging me forever. By the way, watch the newest South Park; it's a great episode and it ends on a sad note. I wonder where they'll go next. I'm not going to tell you about it. You've got to find out about it on your own. It does involve lots of shit, though.

Now, for that rant: my husband says that The Simpsons should be renamed to Marge Ruins Everything. After getting to watch The Simpsons later in life and watching it now that I'm an adult living in my own home, I have to agree with him. I've probably seen the majority of the episodes though I'd never call myself an expert or be able to recall every single one perfectly like the more hard core types.

Honestly, it has its moments but it's not a show that I find as great as many others. For one, I really hate the character of Marge Simpson. Now you can at least sympathize a bit with Homer since he's an idiot but at the end of the day, his heart's in the right place. On reflection, I feel like you can't sympathize with most (if any) of the female residents of Springfield.

Marge, however, is just a super bitch if you ask me. Watch the episodes. See how she acts & you tell me she doesn't act like a bitch. She's judgmental, doesn't support her children, refused to let Maggie be self-sufficient in the one b/c of her selfish whims, etc. My husband, who wasn't barred from this show as a child like I was, pointed out that anytime The Simpsons got to do something good Marge was usually the one who ruined it for the family.

Lisa isn't much better. She's a tad hypocritical and maybe my husband's dislike of vegans colors some of his views on the character but again, watch the episodes and see how she acts.

Sorry but I don't like fictional characters who consistently behave in a manner that I'd NEVER tolerate among my friends and acquaintances or even those I'm forced to deal with in some way. If you act like a judgmental bitch to me, I'm going to tell you about it. Ask my former friend who behaved like a selfish bitch when trying to bring personal conflicts into my sister's wedding. When I had the time to speak my piece, I went into detail about how selfish she was and the kind of example she was presenting to her daughter. Maybe I should have said she was as bad as Marge Simpson but I think even Marge Simpson would have behaved in a classier fashion than she did.

Plus, I doubt she'd have gotten the reference since I don't think her little rebellion covered watching new TV programs. If only people simply rebelled from their strict upbringings by watching "controversial" TV programs, dressing differently and doing things that wouldn't damage friendships.

Honestly, I think The Simpsons will be on the air until the creator dies. My husband in particular wishes it would evolve & change a little considering it's been on since we were in elementary school. Again, who doesn't think Marge ruins everything? Try convincing me otherwise. Show your work & submit facts that can be verified. If you've got insider access to deleted scenes, you'll have to show them to me or loan me the DVD. I'm not spending money to verify if you're right or not.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

General Musings Part 22

Now that the whole wedding experience has been purged from my system, I feel like things are more back to normal. Crazy, busy and nuts: certainly. But it's MY crazy existence and I can say that there are few dull moments.

So, the time has come for yet another general musings post. Here goes:

* First, let's talk about the ridiculous amount of student loan debt graduates end up with. This story claims that there are young people who feel "empowered" by having debt.

Well, how the hell else should they feel? Do you want them to feel suicidal? Hate ALL the baby boomers for never retiring and getting out of the way so younger people can get the jobs paying fair wages? Maybe they ought to start murdering people who refuse to retire so they can get jobs that pay better than fast food worker. Would you rather they do that?

If they killed themselves en mass, who'd pay for the Social Security benefits most older people get? Maybe we could start offing Wall Street executives & government officials who should get out of the way. Any young person's feeling empowered by being in debt is all their fault anyway so I'd think these people would consider that their personal safety benefits more by that mindset than if young people felt cheated, betrayed, angry and lacking in any incentive to care about the rule of law or going to jail for murder. That just leads to lashing out and people getting hurt.

Consider that there is currently a class action lawsuit against a Tier 4 law school by recent graduates who are suing on the basis of misrepresentation of their job prospects after graduating & obtaining non-dischargeable student loan debt to the tune of six figures.

If you go around thinking that the economic background you're born into is where you're stuck at, no matter what you do, then unless you're rich you'd either kill yourself or become a criminal. I'd certainly do it. There's zero incentive to do any better & if you hate where you came from, you're fucked pure & simple. Not a smart way to organize society since you'll lose a lot of intelligence, diverse viewpoints and innovation. How many advances came from people who didn't start out as millionaires?

I rest my case.

* Thank you, Alec Balwin for summing up much of my opinion on the whole Anthony Weiner "scandal." How many people have done far worse things and STILL got to hold on to their congressional seats? What about Rangel or Bill Clinton or plenty of other politicans who did all sorts of egregious things like stealing from taxpayers, voting against the will of the people, etc.?

At least he didn't beat a woman up, use the taxpayers' money to visit his mistress or deny the whole thing. He manned up, admitted to things and didn't make some grand apology about how the devil had control of his mind like some other people I could think of.

I don't think the man should resign since to require politicians to behave "honorably" or thinking such a code exists is laughable at best. He's at least being one of those honest politicians that I mentioned would get my respect. Is it embarrassing for him? Sure, but I think it's time we joined the 21st century and got off our collective "holier than thou" high horse. Those calling for his resignation: what skeletons would we find in YOUR closet? How many misdeeds have you committed while a public official? I'm sure you've been in lobbyist pockets' for ages and done enough to warrant a charge of treason.

Unless you can prove otherwise (which I strongly doubt you can), perhaps you should shut the hell up, all right?

* This man is a piece of shit. I'm being dead serious about that.

If you have not heard, this scumbag decides to get even with his ex by putting up a billboard about how he lost his unborn child because his ex decided to abort it. If that's not cheap, judgmental and tacky, I'm not sure what is.

He's trying to claim it's a free speech issue, much like the military protests at funerals by Westboro Baptist Church. Yeah, let's think about that:

1. If you allow this kind of speech, you stigmatize abortion. Abortion is still legal, nut jobs.

2. If abortion is stigmatized, that means more unwanted children and kids in the foster care system. Not every pregnancy results in "pretty little white children" to quote Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks. If a child doesn't fit that category and family is not willing to step up, the future is very grim for those kids. Not every parent is June and Ward Cleaver (from a 1950s show called Leave it to Beaver, for those who may not know the reference; it was known for presenting the perfect, happy family)! Get your head out of your ass and join us in real life.

3. People have glossed over the privacy implications but I bet it's because they are men. If you are a woman and don't see how a ruling for this man will affect you and your rights, then you need to get your head examined & stop listening to people like Sarah Palin.

4. What about doctor/patient confidentiality? That will be a total waste in the case of abortion, especially if you were required to tell the sperm donor about the abortion prior to getting one. I shudder to think what kind of father this man would be. What would he do if his kid turned out to be gay or took drugs? What if he wanted his child to play football but that kid didn't want to?

5. What about the implications for victims of domestic violence? Are you going to make some woman bring a child into that situation for fear that the abuser will do this in retaliation and get away with it under the auspices of "free speech?"

This shithead, Greg Fultz, is nothing but an abuser, plain and simple. What else can you possibly infer about someone who does this to get revenge on a woman? I certainly wouldn't nominate him for sainthood, though maybe the lunatic fringe of the pro-lifer crowd may try to have him canonized.

This woman did society a favor by not bringing into the world a child who'd probably be just as stupid or ugly as this man, not just physically but mentally.

I'd also bet you a million dollars that if she got pregnant and kept a pregnancy to term, he would not step up if it was inconvenient for him. How many men claim they would stand by their pregnant mate only to ditch them later on when the reality of parenthood hits, oftentimes before the child is born? It's not all cuddles & ice cream, you know.

Men absolutely deserve equal rights and should NOT be forced to support children they don't want but until society stops acting like all children are loved and wanted, there won't be equality on this issue. I'm all for fairness to men but until we can sue them for violating legal contracts on conception and child care and adult women who do not want kids can get voluntary sterilization without doctors bullying them out of it, abortion is just a sane and necessary option.

Certain US politicians are just trying to turn women into slaves and objects once again (maybe some abroad are as well but I don't know). That doesn't help and I hope those affected by these people will personally send a message to these misogynistic pieces of human garbage. If they lived in my district, I'd sure as hell give them a tongue lashing they'd not soon forget.

Should you happen to read this, Mr. Fultz, my speech is OPINION, which is not actionable as defamation. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! If you manage to find a woman willing to have sex with you after this, I will be shocked.

* Finally, I read this today and something occurred to me that might not have occurred to you when you read it.

I remember getting out of school early in the late 80s/early 90s because of lack of air conditioning at school. Why in the hell are schools STILL without AC? It's only gotten hotter in 20-30 years during the summer. Surely some school districts could have prioritized getting air conditioning in the schools over crap like whether one's loved ones make too much noise at their high school graduation or some girl wants to go to school with red hair (I still can't get over that one & would love to see how these Texas school officials acted toward me with my bright, naturally red hair). Certainly most places should have planned for it, especially in the South. Now, if you're in the Midwest, maybe it's not sweltering, sticky hot that much. If you're in the South, it's inexcusable.

Where's the parental outrage over this? I hope there is some. I would certainly have some if I had a kid attending school in one of these districts.

Now I should see if it's still raining outside.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Wedding Saga Part 6

This is the last installment of "The Wedding Saga" since we're now on Saturday morning, the day of the wedding. After reading this, you will likely see why I had to consider my estranged friend an ex-friend. I'll also share an epilogue of this whole thing.

Hopefully, it will effectively purge all this from my system since it's been creeping into my head this week and that's not cool. I also tend to handle things better after I write about them and boy, will this be a doozie.

Saturday morning, we have a hair appointment at a local hair place to get our hair done. Somehow, my sister talked my mother into going and getting an updo for her hair. One fact about my mother: she HATES being fussed with. Going to get her hair trimmed is an ordeal for her.

I'm the exact opposite. I've got no objection to having my hair done. As long as the person doing it is licensed, competent and doing what I want done, I'm all set. My sister is similar as she was the first to get her hair done. After all, she was the bride so she had to go first.

While she was getting her hair done, the co-matron of honor arrives with her daughter. I spend most of my time watching my sister get her hair done or talking to my mom. At some point before my sister is done, my mother changes her mind about getting her hair done and says she'll do it at home on her own. My sister and I tried to talk her into staying but she couldn't be moved. I told her she should live a little and one of these days, I vow to have my mom get a nice hairstyle only a pro could do.

The co-matron of honor had no clue how she wanted her hair done while I brought pictures of 3 styles, 2 being a back up in case the one I really wanted could not be done. My mom had reservations about the abilities of the hairstylist. I said if they told me they couldn't do what I wanted, I'd ask why they're licensed to do hair since I certainly can't do it myself.

Luckily, that wasn't an issue. Since I was ready to go and perhaps because I also looked more like the bride and was specifically told not to wear my hair down since her hair was partly down and a similar length to mine, I was next for styling.

While I was waiting to get my hair done, my sister confronts the co-matron of honor about using condiments. She confesses to using the church's hot sauce, as mentioned previously. My sister points out the disrespect to the church. What is this woman's reaction?

She ignores my sister and puts a magazine over her face. My sister pointed out that there was no point in talking to her because of her moving the magazine over her face.

Now I may not be a follower of organized religion but even the biggest heathens I know wouldn't steal someone else's condiments from their fridge. They have a little thing called "respect for other people's property." They'd also not teach their kids that it's okay to steal from others if it's convenient for you, which I felt she was telling her daughter with her behavior to my sister.

That's the first thing this co-matron of honor did that day. There was more.

When I was finished, my hair looked like this:

Considering I have long hair and most people are used to my hair coming down past my neck, this is a radical departure. A lot of work was put in to make sure the hair would not sag on me; it stayed up nicely and I would definitely see about getting it again for future formal events.

My family had nice things to say about it. My only request in picking my updo was that nobody copy it. I'm a big individualist freak anyway but since we were not told to look identical, I didn't want people copying me. I hate looking like everyone else and deliberately avoid wearing things that look exactly the same on 10 other people.

The co-matron of honor joked around when I said this like she'd try copying me just to piss me off. She picks out a style from a book and asks me and my sister whether it looks too much like mine. I thought it did and spoke up, as is my nature. Then a different hairstyle was suggested that my sister had wanted her to get to start with. My sister even told her as much.

The co-matron of honor, in case you don't recognize it, pulled a typical bitch girl move, which I consider a Southern hallmark. If you've seen how Sandy interacts with the Fashion Club on Daria, you know what I'm talking about. Pretending to be sensitive to your feelings while trying to pick something she knows will render objection from you.

Problem is, you can't do this with someone who doesn't care about group harmony and not making waves. It doesn't work with assertive people since assertive types will speak up and protect their interests. When I saw her do this, I thought "Bitch." Intention or not, that's how I saw it & soon, you won't feel too much sympathy for her.

After my hair was done, it was 11 and we had to leave. I could not stay since I had to wash my face to put on makeup, my makeup & outfit was at home and I did want to see my husband. It made sense for me to leave with my sister, who was my ride & had to leave herself. The co-matron of honor, despite being told on Tuesday about having to be alone if only 1 person was doing our hair, gets all upset about this. My sister does not give in to this and we leave.

Getting that updo made me a VERY happy woman. Dressing up always does but that updo really made my day. Good thing because I hadn't faced the ultimate test of emotional fortitude yet.

My husband and I went to Chick-Fil-A so I could redeem a free grilled chicken salad coupon. We also picked up the nugget trays for the wedding, which we had no problem doing.

After arriving at the church, the ladies changing area wasn't open yet so I decided to do something constructive: take out ingredients from my salad I wouldn't eat. I don't know what it is with cheese on salad in the South but it's not something I like on mine so I took it out. Thankfully, the ingredients were separated on each side of the salad so I could remove what I don't eat pretty easily. After doing this, adding dressing and croutons and blending it all together, the changing area was opened.

We got a very nice parlor to change in that was bigger than some Manhattan studio apartments. It had a kitchen, bathroom, couch, table, windows and 2 doors to get in and out from. I moved my clothes and joined my sister and the bridesmaid who should have been matron of honor instead (who happened to arrive with my sister).

The next thing I know, I'm alone in the parlor with the co-matron of honor who has asked to go into the bathroom while I'm putting the final touches on my makeup. Despite my behavior through out the week, she gives me a hug and says she hopes she can visit with me and Tom alone the next time I visit.

Not wanting to buy into this lie but not wanting to bring personal matters into my sister's wedding, I say "I have things to say about that but today is not the day to discuss it."

Simple enough, right? Polite, to the point and honest. One has the right in life to disagree with things and remain silent when the occasion to discuss something is not right. I also felt such a conversation was not appropriate to have in front of her 4 year old daughter.

I go back to eat my lunch. She, unlike most rational people, doesn't leave it alone.

Instead, she walks up and says "You've hurt me all this week with your behavior. I've been here making an effort and you don't seem to care. I made one mistake and you're holding it against me." She proceeds to go off on me and try goading me into a fight, thinking that I'm upset because of her personality 180 when we're long past that.

While she says this, I concentrate on eating my salad so I don't collapse before the wedding at 2 p.m. I also remember what I told my sister about being civil to this woman until after the wedding so it would not be ruined by not having a flower girl or other chaos. My thought was "I will not ruin my sister's wedding by talking about this." I know that if I say a word, I would be accused of trying to ruin my sister's wedding. I'm far classier than that.

She gets hysterical to the point that she starts tearing up and her daughter says "Mommy, what's wrong?" I wonder how she's going to respond to her. She says that life is the problem.

After this, I finish my salad and decide that instead of being a pig by leaving food garbage in the parlor, I'll go to the kitchen and throw my trash out there. I also went to my car to call my husband, who was in a different area of the church, to tell him what happened. I didn't want to tell my sister about it since she had enough to deal with but planned to do so later, like the next day. Since my mother wasn't around, I chose to talk to my husband since he tends to be a calming force for me and I knew he'd not go blabbing about it to others.

While I was doing this, the other matron of honor tells the bridesmaid who should have been doing it instead about how she's upset by her conflict with me and her trying to pick a fight with me. She tells the other matron of honor that it is my sister's day NOT hers and to pull herself together. I didn't learn about this until after I personally thanked her for stepping up in the face of laziness by the co-matron of honor. I wish I had since I'd have thanked her for that as well.

For the rest of the time, I focus on wedding prep and going through the motions. I even helped the other matron of honor zip her dress up and you could not tell she had just done this. She at least kept her mouth shut through this part.

When we got to the service, she proceeds to make a big show of moving my sister's train. Groomsmen were apparently rolling their eyes. I spent most of my time looking over at my husband and the happy couple. The kids did what they were supposed to and the service itself went well. My infant nephew got fussy because a 1 year old doesn't want to wear a suit or sit in a church. The baby holder had to take him out of there during the service.

When we start walking out, I think it looks like the other matron of honor was wanted while I was just there out of obligation. I don't feel particularly special or important as a matron of honor with being given nothing to do in the service while the other one got to do everything while doing next to nothing + trying to ruin the wedding.

At the reception, she horns in on our table because her daughter wants to sit next to me. My husband said that was fine. After all, it's not that little girl's fault that her mother is selfish and has no respect for my family. So I have to sit and go through the motions a little more.

Then, the time to give a toast comes up. My sister wanted both matrons of honor to give a toast but my husband, father and general social pressure lead to me doing it instead of the other one. She also agrees to it, maybe because I actually am good with the public speaking aspect as a performer.

So I got up and spoke from my heart about the bride & groom from my perspective. I made it a point to talk about my brother in law's standing up to be a role model and father to my older nephew since many men wouldn't embrace a kid from an earlier marriage as much as he has. He also didn't have the responsibilities of fatherhood before dating my sister so it's admirable and worth public praise to acknowledge him for that. I meant everything I said and spoke with sincerity.

Afterwards, people complimented me on it. Even the best man said he couldn't do as good a toast as me when he started his! My sister said she was scared since she apparently thought I'd just embarrass her but it was a wedding toast, not her roast at the Friar's Club or elsewhere. If anyone gives her one, you'd better believe I'd want to speak about her.

Once the wedding was over, we had agreed to help clean up. After changing out of my dress (right when we got into the reception area, I changed out of my high heels) and gathering my things into one area in the parlor, I went to see what I could do as well as be near my husband. My husband did a lot in the cleanup effort. I did smaller things like move items that were spread out into closer locations and the like.

Once my husband had done a lot of things, including helping set up the chairs for the choir in the sanctuary, he said he was done and we tried to see if the bride or groom wanted us to do more.

I happened to go outside to see the groom and one of the groomsmen. I mentioned that the other matron of honor and I weren't on the best terms.

Now, you'd think that if someone had confronted the bride's sister on personal matters and had been told by a different bridal attendant to shut the hell up on the bride's wedding day that person would keep their damn mouth shut throughout the day. This co-matron of honor did not have that kind of class.

She instead decides to tell both the bride and the groom about her little confrontation with me. While we are still at the church. While we still have updos in our hair. Maybe even while still wearing dressy attire. I don't even think they had left the church at that time. The groom tells her he wants no part of it. Isn't that an awesome brother in law? If only more family members behaved that way.

He wasn't even around us all that much and he apparently knew something was up before I said a word about not being on good terms with this co-matron of honor.

As my husband and I were leaving, the other matron of honor slipped outside while we were talking to the groom. We simply said our good-byes to the groom and went on our way. After we left, she apparently commented on how I would not acknowledge her.

Let's see:

1. You steal from my aunt's church after my aunt has stuck her neck out & gone through great effort to get the space for the wedding.

2. You force yourself into every possible space and event you can that I must attend as a matron of honor. Then, you mistake that for "making an effort."

3. You stand up in the church and perform nearly every single matron of honor duty while making me look like an obligatory pick for matron of honor that isn't all that well liked. Wouldn't you agree if you were observing this and saw one girl doing everything while the other one was just standing there?

4. You realize that the bride's sister doesn't want to talk to you but try to delude yourself into thinking things are peachy keen with her and get upset when she doesn't follow the rules of your fantasy world.

5. You put yourself before everyone else and try your best to ruin the wedding.

6. You go to my family members and the bride's friends like I'm some bully on the playground that you're tattling on. Guess what? I didn't like that shit when my ex-boyfriend did it & I certainly don't like you doing it either.

That's not even going into what kind of example her daughter is being shown. Besides her trying to ruin the wedding by dragging personal events into it, she chooses to confront me in front of her child. Even I have more respect for kids than to instigate fights with grown ups in front of them.

I wonder how many events she's not gotten to stay for because of that scumbag being more important. I noticed through this trip that she mentioned her dad all the time but never said a word about her mom. I hope her dad gets fairness in family court & that he learns about his ex-wife's actions at this wedding. This, to me, proves that she is far too selfish and egoistic to be taking care of a young child at this point in life. You have to be able to put a child first and doing this stuff shows a course of conduct that doesn't say "My child comes first."

When I get home that evening, I tell my mother about this and how this means I really can't call her a friend anymore. She says it's up to me but that we did need a break from one another anyway. Before that, she'd been talking about not throwing away a friendship I'd had for so long. My husband said that was probably the closest my mom would ever come to saying "drop that friendship like a bad habit." The irony is my mom doesn't even like her all that much. She can tolerate her but she's never been best buddies with her or anything. Her actions at this wedding with the simple confrontation are enough for me to say the friendship is dead.

Her other actions clench that decision, which I had a lot of time to think about on that long ride back to NYC.

Epilogue: After reaching the comfort and peace of NYC (yes, I find NYC comforting and peaceful since it's my home), I decide that since the wedding is over and she's issued some heavy charges against me, it's time to respond. I chose a Facebook message to state my piece and share why I have no incentive to be her friend. Closer to my sister, trying to upstage me, sticking yourself into sister drama & not bothering to have the class to step down or divide up duties more equitably since you didn't do your part, forcing me to deal with you when I don't want to and tattling to my relatives when you don't get what you want.

Would YOU want to deal with someone like this? I did not. I said that until she stopped being a selfish bitch, she shouldn't bother trying to communicate with me. I also said that if she talked to my family members about our personal conflicts, she could consider herself dead to me. For good measure, I deleted numbers and blocked since I had no interest in getting a response.

Thus far, no one has said a word to me about the whole thing.

My sister even said she was limiting her contact with my ex-friend and wasn't planning to invite her to anything in the near future. I told her she could handle her own relationship w/this person as she wanted but I'd chosen to cut ties.

Of all the people in the world I'd expect things like this from, she was the very last one. She was originally picked for this wedding because she was the sort who'd have told others not to ruin the bride's day; she wasn't the sort to ruin weddings & start problems.

Getting rid of this friendship felt like a ton of bricks was lifted off me. I don't care how long you've known someone: when a friendship feels exhausting and like you're carrying a 16 ton safe on your back, it's time to move on. Being in my life is a privilege; it's not a God given right (or a Satan given right for that matter). If my presence in your life is not a privilege, then you have no right to call me a friend.

Since my oldest friend in the world of over 20 years basically 180ed into a selfish bitch, I really can't expect anyone else to be a true friend to me. My expectations about people in general have shifted once again and I know I'll never have a close friendship again. No bother: I think that BFF bond was missing for a very long time.

I'll never have my own Sex & the City gang of female friends. I think it's a combination of not meeting females I can connect with on that level and me not being a person who wants to beg for acceptance like a puppy dog nipping at your ankles. I'm just not the type to force myself into someone's events or life. That's why I plan my own and show up alone.

At least I have my husband. Still not sure how or why we connected so easily since we're both wary of others & have viewed human interaction as exhausting at times. For some mysterious reason, neither of us has never been an intrusion to each other. Even in my worst "I hate everyone; I want to be alone" mood, his presence is a comfort to me just like my cat's.

These days, I just lack any type of expectation of people. So many have let me down or disappointed me in some way that I'm just not affected anymore when the inevitable rejection happens. This is why I can have contacts but I don't feel like I have true friends who'd really make that effort to help me if something bad happened. Having a career that keeps you busy also helps. If you're always busy, you have very little time to be lonely or mourn what you haven't got. When you get down to it, we're all alone anyway.

Am I emotionally damaged? Probably. I'm just not sure you can expect a person who lost their only childhood friend to believe that she could have future friendships as close or as deep. I don't believe I will so I'll just keep my more shallow interactions and avoid getting too attached. Heck, it's probably a miracle I'm not more screwed up and manage to function pretty well considering.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Wedding Saga Part 5

On Wednesday, I got my very first Mystic Tan. A sorority sister of mine who worked at a tanning salon once told me that she could get even me tan w/a Mystic Tan. I'd heard about it and my sister has had a few but I had not. Originally, we were going to get airbrushed tans and could not get wet for 24 hours but the choice was made to opt for a Mystic tan at a familiar location where appointments were not necessary.

Plus, my sister said she was self conscious about some pretty young woman getting to spray her with her not being "little & skinny." That was certainly not an issue for me; I figured I'd just be going along with the game plan anyway. Plus I have had to try on bras in large dressing areas where there was no private space and you had to disrobe in front of women you didn't know.

If you have an acting background, your personal boundaries are also different from the average person's since you have to be more up & close and personal with people as part of acting exercises and the like. It changes the bounds of your comfort zone. Because of this, I know for a fact I have no lesbian tendencies since those would have shown up a long time ago like when I was in high school theater or dance, where we had no formal changing areas and had 2 spaces on either side of the school's stage to change into things you couldn't get into discreetly like sports bras.

To get a Mystic Tan, you have to go into a booth by yourself after putting on barrier cream and, in our case, some hydrating lotion to make the tan spread evenly. One tip: they mean it when they say to use the barrier cream generously. My thumb looked dirty after my tan started showing.

I didn't realize how cold it would be. I had to work hard not to flinch when the spray was hitting me. I was holding my breath & felt shivery. At least next time I get it done, I'll know what to expect.

After this, we went to an event at my nephew's school. They were having their book bash, where the kids had made their own books to show the parents. My nephew had me, my husband, his parents and my parents in attendance. We even had our own little corner since there were so many of us. I think he had more people there to support him than any other kid in the class.

The only thing I didn't appreciate is my sister playing fashion police. My mother likes to do that to and I think it stems from being upset that I got more in the bust department than they did. For years, I've had to deal with both of them trying to play fashion police & telling me to dress like an old grandmother, never playing up my looks. I've thought of dressing like an old lady sometime just to bug them. The irony is that my sister was far more rebellious when it came to our conservative Christian upbringing; now she seems to have embraced it on some level while I rebelled more quietly.

Sounds simple to say "don't get wet for 6 hours", right? Not if you want a bottle of water and there's condensation to deal with. That was a pain for me at this event.

The upside is that while the tan didn't make me super brown I did go from looking like a ghost with red hair to a more normal person with red hair. I seriously have a Polaroid pic of myself from 10th grade where I look like a ghost with red hair and red painted fingernails.

The rest of that day and into Thursday, I got a break from the wedding stuff and got to spend quality time with my family members, especially my older nephew. My husband was teaching him bad habits but we did end up watching cartoons with him and exposing him to some classics he might not normally get to see. It also makes me feel good that he likes cartoons on Boomerang since I'd feel I failed if he became a teen and didn't know who Bugs Bunny was.

On Thursday, I got to visit my uncle. He's actually the only one who acknowledged my wedding and has a lot in common with my husband. They've wanted to meet one another for ages & finally got that opportunity. My cousin was working but everyone hoped they'd show up for the wedding. They did not.

This is largely because my uncle is somewhat reclusive and not the most social person. My mother is also like this to a lesser degree. I really should go find my cousin online and pester him for not taking the opportunity to get to see my husband in a tux since it will likely never happen again.

However, to this day none of my other relatives even said so much as "Congratulations" to me when I got married while going above and beyond for my sister. I've been married for nearly 5 years now, you know? I'm sure many of them even gave her wedding gifts. I've also felt like many of my family members seem to begrudge me living my own life and getting out of the South when I would have continued to be miserable if I'd stayed there & surely remained single for life.

Whether they actually do or not, I don't know but I've not felt the same kind of love or regard toward me that my sister has gotten.

So now we move to Friday, the night of the dress rehearsal. After some more spouse & me time, we have to go to the church in the evening. This is a real fun thing considering my husband isn't the least bit religious and apparently, neither are some of the groom's friends.

The best man showed up intoxicated. The other matron of honor decided to text through most of it and my aunt tried lumping me in as a bridesmaid while the ineffective matron of honor was hogging all the credit & getting to do EVERY LITTLE THING. The church was having a youth lockup that night.

For those thinking that a "youth lockup" is some kind of simulated prison experience, let me explain. A "youth lockup" is basically a slumber party where you stay in one room, hang out with others and sleep on the floor. I went to one at the same church when I was in the Girl Scouts and had fun. Maybe it's different when the specter of religion is introduced but it's not supposed to be practice jail.

My husband was also taken aback when told he'd be assisting on escorting people into the church, including the groom's mother whom everyone described as a piece of work. She vanished after one full rehearsal and others started to trickle out when food plans were still not finalized. My husband was starting to get hungry and the prospect of dealing with this pushy matron of honor didn't please me at all. Finally, my sister decides to go with her to go get food from a restaurant the matron of honor works at. By the time this happened, my husband had a headache from lack of food so we had to leave (I rode with him).

While we were having dinner at Steak & Shake, more fun starts happening:

1. Instead of asking where the men's room was, the best man decides to relieve himself outside in some of the church's bushes. Not sure if he was in view of the youths attending the youth lockup but people were pissed about that.

2. The other matron of honor decides to use the church's hot sauce after one of our bridesmaids told her she could. Never mind that this bridesmaid had nothing to do with the church. See tomorrow's entry for her reaction when confronted on this. It gets good.

3. After this, she says she's going off to meet with the aforementioned scumbag and will be back soon. She doesn't come back.

4. The bridesmaid from above used the church's ketchup but was contrite and apologetic after realizing she'd stolen from the church.

Now, all this happens after an earlier fight with this bridesmaid (who STILL did a better job at being the local matron of honor than the other one did) and with the groom's mother causing conflict, essentially by being as cheap as possible.

My mother and my sister also had to deal with printing programs after all this and ended up having to burn the midnight oil to get that taken care of. They got very little sleep the night before this wedding.

I'm still pissed we didn't go to "The Breakfast Club" and my husband jokingly tried to talk me into going to a strip club near where we'd had dinner. I suppose to bring my spirits up over having to deal with this whole wedding; with my luck, though, I'd have probably seen someone I know working there.

That evening, I thought "I will be away from this other matron of honor at the reception because I will sit with my family." (to my chagrin, that didn't end up happening). We didn't get to go because he didn't feel well and it was raining most of the day. I was even drenched in a downpour that happened after my husband got his hair cut that afternoon.

I proudly wore my shirt that says "Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go to New York" but had my hoodie over it because of the rain. No way was I dressing up and getting clothes ruined or pretending to be the good little Christian I wasn't. My mom claimed my shirt wasn't appropriate but I refused to change and said "It doesn't have profanity on it!" I could understand not wearing a shirt with the work "fuck" on it in a church but not the one I wore, right? If you can't have a sense of humor, you should fuck off & die. That is all.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Wedding Saga Part 4

So, now we're into Tuesday. By this time, I'm also starting to get irritated that I'm not getting to see much of my hubby, who had to beg, borrow & cheat to get the time off to travel to NC with me for this thing. I don't think he was even part of the wedding when he initially asked about it (he had to talk to someone w/more seniority but luckily, she's one of those cool people who still travels & has a youthful mindset); I'd wanted him to go in case Psycho Boy was invited and showed up--he's related to my brother in law but thankfully, his family rarely interacts with them. Starts to get clearer why I got the hell out of that town, eh? My family's STILL sympathetic to that guy, though they know better than to be his buddy. I'd disown them if they did.

Seriously, even though I'm quite happy being female, all this wedding stuff & agita from it was making me wish I was a guy. While my sister & I were fighting after the bridal shower, he got to hang out and play video games with the groom + my nephews. He also got to go to a comic book store he wanted to go to & we'd made plans to go to Charlotte that day after all the Tuesday work was done.

See why I'm more laid back? I also had to deal with the other matron of honor, who ended up once again eating lunch with us along with her daughter. I felt like I was seeing her more on this trip than my own husband & I'd told her beforehand I was not going to hang out with her without my spouse present. I'd thought we were just meeting her for the beautification stuff; I started to feel like we were adopting her or something. No problems w/her daughter: again, that kid's going to have a LOT to deal with.

We went to a pizza place that proclaimed to serve "authentic NY style pizza." Now in my experience as well as that of my spouse's, when anyone claims to have "authentic" anything & they aren't located in an area known for the item, you're generally going to be disappointed. I also can't put much stock into what a Southerner says about NY style pizza. Nor would I trust a New Yorker to know squat about hush puppies. However, thinking of the possible review I could write, I decide to go.

I'm not the pizza expert & the true test would be if my husband ate it but I did find the cannoli I got to be consistent with what I'd see in NYC or Long Island. Also found out that the flower girl just eats the cheese off her pizza and not the crust. I said she'd need to find someone like my husband to eat pizza with (who takes off the cheese & only eats the crust). That person would get the crust and she'd get the cheese.

Next is a trip to the bridal shop to pick up the other matron of honor's dress after the alternations lady mangled it the first time. She goes in to try on the dress with my sister watching while her daughter & I leaf through their dress catalog.

Warning: you don't want me looking through catalogs of evening gowns or even to go bridal gown shopping with me. I will end up wanting everything in sight. That catalog was no exception. I saw some gorgeous dresses and if I had the money and occasion for them, you bet I'd get some stuff and look fabulous in it.

They weren't 100% satisfied with the dress but she chose to pay for the full amount anyway. I would have put up a lot more resistance since, even if you are polite to me, I still have a "business is business" mentality and care very deeply about not wasting my hard earned money. More of that Southern tendency to complain about things but never to the person who needs to hear it; I take great pains to avoid that.

So then we head out for nail & foot work. This was the very first time I'd ever gotten a pedicure so I was a total novice on that. I also ended up getting gel nails with a design on my ring fingers and my big toes on top of the color I selected. Since my sister was not a Nazi about matching everything to the dress, I picked a color I liked that would go with my clothing as the colors she picked for the dress wouldn't have matched my wardrobe. I'm still shocked that dress came out looking okay on me, even without a Mystic Tan.

I got the basic pedicure while my sister & co-matron of honor got the second package. One thing to note: when they say "hot towel", they are not kidding around. I had to get used to the shock of my feet being worked on and the hot stones used later.

While we're sitting, an employee asks about eyebrow waxing. Another thing I'd never done and honestly lived in abject fear of. I've tried home waxing & I ended up bleeding. My sister said she was worried she'd scream and cry if she got one so she was nervous about but. However, she said if I would, then she would. Being someone who does try to branch out and have new experiences, I went ahead with it.

Shockingly, the waxing itself didn't hurt so much. It was the after effects that were a bigger problem (including the stinging). This is what the area looked like the next day:

If you looked me in the face:

My right eyebrow:

The left eyebrow:

You might notice some redness, especially at the middle. It was there. I still felt a little sensitivity from that after coming back. If you want me to wax anything, you'd better have about a week for recovery time for my horribly sensitive skin. Boy, do I hate having it. I was worried this wouldn't clear up before the wedding but luckily, it did.

Took a fair amount of time there but I also got my first gel nails. This was due to my rather weak, though longer nails. I got mine painted in light purple. My mother also pointed out that no one was going to see our nails anyway so why not pick exactly what we wanted. They still look good over a week later, which is a great thing.

Since it was after 5 or so when we got done, I knew my time was ticking to hang out w/hubby. The minute I got to my parents, I went to get him and get going.

Oh, and I should mention that this matron of honor also asked us to keep both her dress and her daughters because of smoking in the place she stays at. This was also the day she decided to muscle into our Saturday morning hair appointment, despite having a relative who does hair and likely closer options than the location we were at. My sister looked at the bright side, though: at least this matron of honor would be accounted for and not screwing around. She also plainly told her about the need to be out of there by 11 a.m. regardless of what else happened.

Finally being free from all this wedding planning, we go to Charlotte.

One thing I'm still really upset about is not getting to go to "The Breakfast Club." My husband is very picky about music and I know he'll go to an '80s club. I also like getting to dress up and prefer not going someplace where cover is obscene, at it tends to be in NYC (I remember a now closed '80s club charging $50 per person). One gentleman I knew from a karaoke place in Atlanta once told me that with my looks, I should never have to pay cover anywhere. He had eyes for somebody else (told us this before) so I knew it wasn't a cheap come-on but a fact.

Generally, I don't pay cover (and I'm speaking of your basic club vs. special events like live performances) but it's partly because I think it's a waste of money. There should be some kind of guarantee that you have fun or the cover is refundable. I'd get behind that policy in a second.

Going to Charlotte ended up being a wash. We couldn't find an open Jack in the Box, the outlet mall was closing up as we got there and the comic book shop that was so hyped up turned into a waste of time. Did go to Chick-Fil-A, though & then found a Jack in the Box AND the Steak and Shake. Annoying! Finally got to try the Banana Pudding milkshake and the yogurt parfait they have, though. Both were pretty good, especially the shake. I had the shake on Monday & the parfait on Wednesday.

Oh, don't worry. The saga ends pretty soon. It just gets better and better, though I discovered that if you take out the history and family dynamics I associate with North Carolina, I could tolerate some parts of it more. I'm fine with other areas of the state, though the main cultural differences still drive me nuts and would be intolerable for me to live in.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Wedding Saga Part 3

Now, we're on Monday in this trip. Monday was an eventful day since we had to pick up my dress and determine if it would fit.

There was some very bad things going on with the alterations person. When the other ladies had gone to get their dresses, they'd needed some alterations. However, the other tall, skinny woman who was in this wedding (the groom's stepsister) did not need them at all; her dress fit everywhere perfectly. My sister presumed that since I'm of a similar height and weight, mine would also be fine.

Furthermore, this alterations person had royally screwed up on fixing things & in the case of the other matron of honor the dress had to be re-done because she'd used coral colored thread on something that should have been done in yellow. These dresses already took a very long time to arrive so this simply added to the dress.

We got my dress. I had to try it on much later because other things were going on. My sister had to meet up with her future mother in law to discuss food at the reception. This being my first time in a Sam's Club, I decide to wander around and compare the selection to warehouse clubs I've been to. It's very similar to the stock at BJ's & I did manage to get a few things while there since her MIL was kind enough to use her card for such purposes.

My sister also really did not want to subject another person to this alterations lady. Hell, she probably didn't want to expose this woman to me because if you screw up a nice outfit of mine, I'll unleash a huge tirade & probably threaten legal action against you if not outright bodily harm. I may even commit it for all we know. I'd have refused to pay for someone else's fuck up but in the South, you have to deal with people who grouse later but faux happily pay for someone else's screw up. I'm way too assertive & value my money too much for that.

Check out the shoes I wore:

Believe it or not, these were 4 inch heels. My mom & everyone else seemed shocked I could walk well in these.

You'd think these would be high enough for my dress & my biggest problem would be these making it too short. Nope!

The dress was very long. In fact, my mom said the hem should be taken up about 1/2 an inch or maybe an inch. My sister starts on the quest for shoes with a higher heel and a lighter silver shade. She claimed those were too dark. I was simply the model here, thanks.

Speaking of which, when I tried on the dress, my sister claimed that I had the perfect figure for it and ought to be modeling for the company that made it.

You hear that? I would be thrilled to get a job where I got to model evening dresses. Hell, if you give me some money & free clothing I'll be a very happy camper; I'd even take free clothing if you paid for my travel costs. It would be more of that positive reinforcement of "you're pretty" that I didn't get much of as a kid. More sticking it to those jerk guys who wouldn't date me or declared me ugly back in the day; I'm also big on symbolism.

Ultimately, the shoe hunt (which went into Tuesday) was a wash so I ended up with these shoes. It was believed that since I could walk in them down the aisle & didn't trip on the dress, I'd be fine. These people apparently forgot that I used to dress up most days in high school complete with heeled shoes since I worked at JcPenney at the time and got good discounts on stuff I could wear to work.

Guess who we run into at this Sam's Club...the other matron of honor with her young daughter. She proceeds to hang out with us more that day, including eating lunch with us.

Now I don't know why but her daughter formed a bond with me and wanted to hang out with me. I had no problem obliging. While I have no desire to have children of my own, I'm not a child hater. I love my nephews and I really feel for this kid and all the crap she's had to go through with her mother in the past year. Her home life was completely shattered because of her mother's behavior. She told me about seeing her dad & talked about him most of the time I talked to her; you can tell she loves him.

This also provides me with a good excuse to not to deal with the matron of honor. My 1 year old nephew was also there so I spent my time interacting with the kids. I also felt it was important to try building a bond with my nephew since it's not like he'd get to see me again for a while.

Another upside of the day was getting some strapless bras in my impossible to find size. My cousin happened to work at the place where I got them and recommended a great product that hasn't slipped on me once. I even got some free socks because the bras were enough to earn me a free package. Nice, huh? Believe me, this was extremely valuable to me.

Continuing this shoe hunt into Tuesday, more events are planned. We're slated to go for nail work and pedicures with this matron of honor as well as her daughter, the flower girl. Her daughter's a girly girl who's really looking forward to the event. However, I'm not really looking forward to dealing w/her mother since I like to decide who I deal with. For my sister's sake and in agreement with her, I'm maintaining civility until the wedding is over.

In part 4, I'll discuss what happens when you give an eyebrow wax to someone who's skin apparently hates her, getting your first pedicure and more interesting tales I need to purge from my system.