April 16, 2009

You’re in Your Car, Not Invisible

Dear Nose-Pickers, Mascara-Appliers, Zit-Poppers and Givers of the Ever-Popular Evil Eye,

I can see you.



P.S. Your car is neither indestructible cloak of armor, nor spaceship, nor Pope mobile.

February 15, 2009

Live Gym Entertainment

My fellow gym-goers persist at being an odd bunch. There’s the Indian man who exercises in a dress shirt, slacks with a leather belt and running shoes. I assume he’s really letting loose by leaving the tie at home. There’s the absurdly fit middle-aged woman who gives herself pep talks when her trainer isn’t around (“You can do it! One more set!”). And also there are college-aged gym couples who run together, lift together, get water together and generally make me uncomfortable in their togetherness. 

Yesterday I had just started my climb on the stair-stepper when I noticed a couple who looked like they were in their 80s walking on adjacent treadmills at probably the slowest speed possible. He was dressed in proper slacks and a shirt, she a blouse and slacks with her long white hair held back with a delicate headband. When they were done, the man inched over to his wife’s treadmill and spotted her while she ever so carefully stepped onto the ground. Then he tightly grasped her hand and led her over to her walker and towards the exercise bikes. They held on to each other so tightly, so lovingly that I nearly started sobbing on the stair-stepper. Such a sweet couple of any age is a rare find.

Happy Belated Valentine’s <3!

February 6, 2009

Begging To Occupy the Coveted Spot at the Bottom of the Totem Pole

The interviews continue, two more to be exact, both of which are at establishments that currently are in a hiring freeze. So basically I’m ironing my shirt and skirt, putting makeup on and wiggling into nylons which I then triple check for runs for no reason. That’s a lot of foreplay with little chance of payoff, and those are not odds I enjoy playing with. 

“You’ll really be the lowest of the low,” my interviewer told me before he mimed kicking me in the shin to demonstrate his point. Then he laughed, as did I, though I really did not see the humor in this gesture. Now it’s time for me to email each of these interviewers and explain how I’d jump at the chance to get paid next to nothing to be treated like dirt in exchange for some good networking and resume building. Isn’t job hunting fun? 

Today’s interview was the first I’ve actually been early for. Without traffic the drive should be about 27 minutes – I left an hour and a half early, which I’m aware makes me sound like an over-eager potential employee who you might be tempted to flick in the dead center of their forehead. But the  first interview I went on proved that normal time estimations just plain do not apply in LA. Yesterday it took me 45 minutes to drive 2 miles downtown because, OH MY GOD, IT WAS RAINING. How are Californians supposed to drive when there are puddles and tiny droplets of water falling menacingly from the sky and onto their vehicles?!?

Most of them deal with it by either:  a) Pulling over to the side of the road, a technique popular with grannies and pop-pops the world over, b) Staying in all together. Why leave? It’s wet outside, or c) Smashing into each other in a panic, further backing up traffic and increasing the hysteria among LA drivers.

I’d like to invite every driver in LA to come to my hometown in the middle of a blizzard where they’ll see the bad ass New Englanders *gasp!* driving through the SNOW AND SLEET atop sheets of ice. They’re just that reckless.

So hopefully one of these fine establishments will eventually choose me to be their next coffee-fetching, ever-smiling, filing, faxing, meeting-scheduling gopher extraordinaire. Until then, I’m looking for a cocktail waitressing gig, because  I’m so damned good at that.

February 3, 2009

Come on over, I’m in cardboard box #32256.

A month before I moved across the country, my loving grandfather penned me the following email:

Hi Tootsie:
Welcome home. I hope you had a pleasant and fruitful trip to California. The job market is not as expansive as it was six months ago. I hope you have some good leads in California before you decide to go west.

You know that Horace Greeley said”Go west young man”, he did not mention women.


I can’t say I wasn’t warned. In his sexist way, Papa was telling it like it is. The economy is in shambles, getting worse, nearing irreparable, or “dat pitz,” as my little sister might put it. From minimum wage workers to 6-figure earners, people are in trouble.  

Still, I was naive enough to think I could just waltz my small self over to this coast, work hard at networking and sailing resumes from office to office and miraculously a job would materialize and life would be good. Now I’ve been here almost a month and after much networking, resume sailing and online searching I don’t currently even have a real lead.

I got a voicemail from a recruiter and subsequently made the mistake of considering this a promising phone call. When I called him back he let me know the company has issued a hiring freeze and he could meet with me if I really really wanted to, but it would be “weeks and weeks and weeks” before any job opened up. 

It looks like I’ve signed up for a few months of ramen noodles, gym obsession, daytime television (Hello, soaps!) and morning margaritas. 

January 28, 2009

Catalina Pictures

Voila pictures from my introduction to the west coast: The Boyfriend’s and my trip to Catalina.

The view from our shower window - as an added bonus I think we flashed a few locals.

The view from our shower window - as an added bonus I think we flashed a few locals.

Palm trees on our walk

Palm trees on our walk

The city of Avalon

The city of Avalon

The casino (which curiously houses no gambling?) overlooking the harbor.

We rode our bikes up miles of hills to see this view from the botanical gardens.

We rode our bikes up miles of hills to see this view from the botanical gardens.

Cactus prickly pokers, lovingly photographed by The Boyfriend

Cactus prickly pokers, lovingly photographed by The Boyfriend

Cactus flower closeup

Cactus flower closeup

More cactus pricklies

More cactus pricklies

The view from the ferry leaving the island

The view from the ferry leaving the island

January 28, 2009

Unpaid Vacation

Surprisingly enough, that interview I was so gracefully late for did not result in an offer of full time employment. And even weirder, considering I know next to no one in LA and have pretty much exhausted what few connections I have, I have no other interviews lined up. Worse than all that, this 9-5 gig I’ve been holding down, better known as unemployment, is really losing its charm.

 On a typical morning, The Boyfriend’s alarm sounds at about 7:30AM. He groans, I groan, he silences it. He gets up, takes a shower and proceeds to law school to enjoy his somewhat normal day. I go back to sleep until I have somewhere to be which is usually never. So I sleep until I damn please then get dressed, meaning I throw on a towel with straps and a velcro clasp I’ve deemed my “house dress.” I give Internet job searching, applying and networking a good go and then I proceed to screw around on the Internet for however long I feel. I work out, I shower for no one in particular and try to think of interesting things to cook for dinner.

For someone as lazy as myself, this was all good for the first week or so. But now I’m increasingly bored and need someplace to be, something to do, a job thing. 

January 17, 2009


It should be in my mouth. Why is it not?

January 14, 2009

How To Show Up Late and Panting Like A Lunatic To Your First Interview

When everyone bitches and moans about the LA “motherfucking  smog infested bumper-to-bumper makes-you-want-to-slam-your-head-on-the-steering-wheel” traffic, they’re not kidding. 

I had an interview today at 11am about 29 minutes away from The Boyfriend’s apartment and planned to leave at 10am to allow plenty of time to get there. My morning went as follows:

9am: Take a shower using extra conditioner to make hair super shiny and professional-like. Hang interview outfit in bathroom to de-wrinkle via the magic of shower steamy goodness. 

9:15am: Eat the most important meal of the day, Special K with red berries, while brewing a cup of delicious coffee. 

9:20am: Sip coffee while applying makeup. Sidestep near disaster my noticing I’m about to apply my whore liquid eyeliner and replace it with my subtle charcoal powder eyeliner. Pat myself on the back for being so damn observant. Proceed to dry and straighten hair in smooth professional manner.

9:40am: Put on pre-selected, de-wrinkled interview outfit. Notice a small run in the foot of the only pair of nylons I can find. Twist nylons so that the run is under my foot and only barely poking out of my shoe. Decide no one looks at the backs of my ankles anyways, right? 

9:50am: Retrieve address and directions from email, grab resumes, purse, GPS and head out the door.

10:05am: Enter address into GPS system. Watch in horror as GPS flashes the dead battery symbol and abruptly dies in my hands. Run inside and scramble to look up and print out Google Maps directions. Curse the wretched GPS and sing the praises of the almighty Google.

10:12am: Hit the road. Review the directions while driving and decide I will still, due to some miraculous good luck, be at least 5 minutes early.

10:25am: See the parking lot that is the highway I need to go 20 miles on. Assume that this has to clear up in a mile or so, and that I’ll still arrive 5 minutes early. At least.

10:35am: Miles to go and no sign of traffic clearing.

10:45am: Decide I can still get there exactly on time – that’s still not late.

10:55am: I’m through the traffic but at least ten minutes away. I am definitely late. 

11:05am: I park. I run!

11:06am: Walk the same block ten times looking for the building described in the email. Fail to see it. 

11:09am: Fail to see it some more. Enter the wrong office (without knocking). Embarrass myself in front of strangers. Look insane and scamper out.

11:12am: Reach final destination, panting, sweating and crazy-eyed but pumped with adrenaline and attempting to turn this into energy, enthusiasm and zeal.

Now we’ll see if I get a call back. 

January 14, 2009

Just finished reading

Chasing Harry Winston

It was  classic beach read: the writing was repetitive, the women were loose and in the end everything wrapped up in a neat little bow. And I’m not embarrassed to say, I enjoyed it. 

January 13, 2009

And not because someone is chasing me

Either because I’m shedding my lazy East Coast habits of sleeping all day and spending my spare time parked on my couch with a cheesesteak and dvr’d crap tv or because I’m unemployed and left to my own devices all day I have taken up exercising. And by “taken up” I mean I’ve done it once and now I want to speed to the mall and buy cute workout clothes and an overpriced unbreakable water bottle. 

I signed off an email chain with some good friends by saying I was going running, to which one responded (quite rightly), “SHE HAS ONLY BEEN IN LA A WEEK AND SHE’S STARTED RUNNING! AND NOT BECAUSE SOMEONE IS CHASING HER! We must stage an intervention.” And I must admit i do feel like a bit of a poser working out as if it were a part of my daily routine next to muscle men and active senior citizens getting their heart rate up. 

The gym is a weird place. People of all ages and shapes come in and sweat together and pretend they’re not checking themselves out in the mirrors that occupy 50% of the walls. And somehow the treadmills are always placed front and center under the TVs so that when I’m running I always feel eyes glued to my ass in between glances at CNN. And then there’s the racing. I can feel my neighbors glancing at my speed, increasing theirs, checking out my miles, my time, my calories and before I know it I feel like we’re neck-and-neck running the Boston Marathon. 

So we’ll see if this new habit of mine persists. I’ll call it my January 13th Resolution.