Saturday, November 30, 2013

HELLO, I'M AN INCREDIBLE CHEAPSKATE

The poverty that comes with being in graduate school, living on loans and whatever random income I can find sporadically, has turned me into probably the biggest cheapskate on earth.  Seriously, your grandpa reuses paper towels because he doesn't want to buy more?  I'm almost there. 

Remember when Victoria's Secret would send you a card in the mail that said "free panty!" every two weeks?  Well, I'm pretty much the reason that was stopped.  Every other week I'd walk in, pick out whatever style was free and walk up to the counter with my magical card and new underwear.  I'll be honest, I have a fuckton of free underwear.  At any given time, 60% of my underwear drawer was likely free.  To be fair, you can never have enough underwear, in case of some sort of emergency - those free panties will get me way further than most people when the zombie apocalypse hits.  When I'd hand the cashier the card and the undies, she'd always ask "Would you like to get the matching bra with that?  You'll save $10."  The first few times I politely said "No thanks."  One day, when I literally had about 73 cents in my pocket and a free panty card to my name, I got the same question.  "No thanks, I'm only in the market for free stuff today."  That was that.

Back in the day, before I paid for my own shit, I wore $150 designer jeans.  Now I walk into Forever 21 and balk at anything that's over $15.  It takes me a good 20 minutes and some deep introspection to decide whether or not I want that $12 shirt.  I mean, $12!  That's TWO BURRITOS.  I see a sale sign in the H&M next door.  My idea of a sale is all things are $5.  ALL THINGS.  I walk up to a cute sweater on the sale rack and see that it's been marked down to $25.  $25?!?  ON SALE?  Come ON people, I'm not fucking Bill Gates here.  I can't be spending $25 all willy nilly, that's big money!

Hong Kong further ruined my range of acceptable pricing.  As I walked around the stores in the little cheapie malls (the ones with the good Engrish shirts), I'd use my magical conversion app on my phone to convert HK$ to US$.  The most expensive thing was like $11.  That was WAAAY too much.  I stayed in a store for 15 minutes holding three $4 tank tops (an item of clothing that I would get a ton of use out of) trying to figure out if it was worth it.  I ended up buying only two and left feeling like I'd just blown my life savings.

So you'd think that someone as cheap as I am would LOVE a good Black Friday deal, right?  NOPE.  If there is an afterlife, and I'm judged to be a terrible human being (likely), I will be sent to a crowded mall where I can't find a place to sit or hide or ever leave the crushing weight of the mass of people sent to destroy me.  I mean, there are other reasons I don't do Black Friday...

I don't have any money.  Sure a $60 5-foot-wide flat screen tv is a great deal, but I neither have $60 nor do I need a TV the size of a refrigerator on my wall to watch from the couch no one has moved (or cleaned) since 1980.  I have a lovely, appropriately-sized flat screen TV, and I will have it until (its) death do us part.

No, really, I don't have any money.  $10 on everything at H&M?  Still can't afford that.  I mean, good on H&M for understanding that "sale" should never mean anything over $15 exists in the store, but with age has come the wisdom that I can't eat a sweater, even if I'm really fucking hungry.

I don't need to be arrested.  Seriously, the likelihood of this happening were I to enter a large store on Black Friday where there are limited numbers of items is quite high.  I'm not a thief, but if you try to grab something out of my hands I'LL CUT YOU, BITCH.  The amount of anger that lives within this small body is astonishing, really.  Just ask the guy that stole my phone.

I live in a world of student discounts, walking 10 blocks instead of paying for parking, and smuggling bottles of mini liquor into a bar, mixing it into my plain (free) Coke in the bathroom while hiding in the stall like Rob Ford and his grocery bag of crack cocaine.  Survival instincts at their finest.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

SHIT THAT'S PISSING ME OFF RIGHT NOW

Sometimes you just need to rant about shit that's pissing you off.  Well, today is one of those days.  I hope you're not one of these people because I want to throw large non-lethal objects at their heads right now.
 
1)  I have a 7ish minute drive to school from my house.  Everything's fucking peachy until I try to merge onto the 110 from the 101S.  I'm honestly not sure how this literally happens EVERY SINGLE DAY and NO ONE has figured this out yet, but all these goddamned morons think "OH SHIT if I don't get all the way over into the left 3 lanes in the next 100 feet I'll be stuck downtown forever!"  NOPE.  There's a little secret.  It's adequately signed and pretty fucking obvious but apparently, based on driver behavior, it's still a fucking little known porthole that goes EXACTLY WHERE THEY WANT TO GO.  Here's the secret - IF YOU DON'T MAKE IT TO THE LEFT 3 LANES YOU WILL STILL GET ON THE 110S.  The magical lane RIGHT NEXT TO IT, the one you're slowing to a COMPLETE STOP in to get over ONE MORE LANE and wasting my precious time because you don't care to read signs, GOES TO THE EXACT SAME PLACE.  We go up a magical little hill, then come down and get RIGHT BACK ON THE 110!  I know, it's CRAZY.

First of all, I can assume that the vast majority of the people at any given time are residents of Los Angeles, and also that they have in fact driven on this particular stretch of road before.  Second, I'd say a good HALF of them probably do this drive EVERY GODDAMNED DAY to get to work.  How stupid are you to drive the same route for days, months, or even YEARS and not figure out that there's a nifty little way to get around all the backup in merging traffic?  THERE'S A SIGN.  IT HAS AN ARROW.  IT POINTS TO THAT LANE AND SAYS 110S.  Do you not trust the sign?  You trust the sign next to it, why not THIS SIGN?  This sign has no reason to lie to you.  I'm going to make a new sign.  It's going to be bright fucking orange and I'll put it at the start of the shoulder that half of you idiots drive across at the last minute because the other lane will take you STRAIGHT TO HELL apparently.  My sign will say "HEY ASSHOLES, THIS LANE ---> WILL ALSO TAKE YOU TO THE 110S.  I PROMISE."  The arrow is necessary because they are literally that stupid.  Actually I should just draw a picture of the whole thing because I'm assuming someone this dumb can read.

2) Undergrads.  I can't handle you.  Seriously.  SHUT UP.  Everything you say is of no importance whatsoever.  Stop talking like Kim Kardashian.  I want to punch you in the neck.  I hate being on campus in the middle of the day.  I've nearly been killed by a bike at least 7 times because these idiots are actually texting while biking.  And you're so LOUD.  STOP.  There is no possible way I could've been that annoying as an undergrad.  Having a boyfriend the whole time helped because I wasn't gossiping about frat guys or randomly yelling for no reason.  I'm not saying that the majority of stuff I talk about is important/relevant/or even worth listening to, but I do it at a reasonable volume and without the stupid bitch voice or a "NO WAAAAAAY" thrown in every 3 seconds.

There was a dumb fake blonde hair-extension little bitch in the computer lab today when I was trying to print my paper for class and run halfway across campus because nowhere else has any goddamn printing.  There are rows of computers, as you may have guessed seeing that is the typical setup for a computer lab.  I was assigned to a computer at the very end of a row.  There was one girl sitting at a computer doing what looked like legit work, and then her dumb fake friend was sitting IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AISLE.  There was NO ONE ELSE AROUND.  All you have to do is MOVE YOUR CHAIR NEXT TO HER.  NOPE.  She was going to sit in that aisle and take it for all it was worth.  I begin walking down the aisle to my computer and, after standing next to her for a second, assuming she'd get out of my way, had to say EXCUSE ME in order for her to acknowledge my existence and moved VERY SLIGHTLY out of the way for me to pass while rolling her eyes.  Then she went right back to her spot blocking any and all traffic.  I had to go back and forth to the computer twice to get my paper from the printer and sign off, and BOTH TIMES she still had yet to figure out that OH HEY PEOPLE WALK HERE and that maybe because I left my stuff by the computer when I got up that I was likely to walk back.  EACH TIME required me to stand there and say excuse me when she CLEARLY saw me coming.  HEY.  YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT, COOL, OR EVEN SOMEONE THAT ANY NORMAL PERSON WOULD WANT TO TALK TO.  STOP.  JUST STOP EXISTING.  I CAN'T FUCKING TAKE IT ANYMORE.

I've been doing important shit since before you even existed.  What was I doing in 1994?  Lots of awesome important 12-year-old things, like listening to Janet Jackson on a cassette tape or making friendship bracelets.  What were you doing?  OH RIGHT, BEING BORN.  Sorry, that doesn't hold a candle to my middle school theater skills that have obviously served me well in this world.  And I was KILLING IT on Super Nintendo.  I can still kill it on Super Nintendo.

3) In my MBA class, which has people I generally don't hate in it since they at least know what a VHS tape is, I generally sit in the middle of a row with a couple of empty seats on each side of me between whoever's on the ends.  It works out great.  I like this setup.  Don't fuck with this setup.  Especially don't fuck with this setup if you're the two guys in class that have RAGING B.O.  "Oh hey, we're late to class!  Why don't we squeeze in and sit on either side of this girl instead of taking one of the 20 other available seats in the room?"  DEAR GOD STOP.  I have my nice buffer zone where I can spread out my shit, have my breakfast bar and water and generally be comfortable.  GET OUT OF THE BUFFER ZONE.  I DO NOT HAVE FORCES TO COMBAT YOUR STENCH, pleeeeeeeeeeease spare me from an hour and a half of the equivalent of sticking my face in a dumpster.  I was not spared.  I left with very little oxygen because I had been taking shallow breaths to avoid the smell, I COULD HAVE DIED PEOPLE.


I may or may not have some anger issues.  Just be glad I take it out via blog and not through violent means.  I mostly don't care to go to prison, since if my friends won't even visit me in Silverlake there's NO WAY they'd drive all the way to prison.

Monday, November 18, 2013

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER

Some people might call me weird.  I like to say "well-rounded" or "eclectic", but we all have our idiosyncrasies.  While I don't technically have multiple personality disorder, I do feel like I have multiple people that come out on specific occasions.  After a little introspection, I've come to the conclusion that my personality is made up of the following:

1) The 65-year-old black man - He loves his Motown.  This guy is likely seen driving around town grooving to the oldies in his car.  He probably wears a hat most of the time, an old guy hat - like a plaid newsboy cap or whatever the fuck old dudes wear.  He may very well embarrass his children with his wardrobe and attempts to get them to dance to the Temptations with him when they visit home.  He doesn't give a fuck, he's just having a good time.  He enjoys a good, long sit on the porch on a sunny day and probably whistles his groovin' tunes while he does it.  And he never takes off the goddamn hat.

2) The crotchety old woman - This old bitch lives alone and hates everyone.  She's probably yelled at you to get off her lawn more than once and is frequently cursing under her breath about the "damn kids" in the neighborhood.  She doesn't want to talk to you and gets pissed off when strangers try to start a conversation.  She gets immense pleasure calling the police on the "damn kids" when they barely screw up because she hates them so goddamned much.  When there aren't any kids to curse at, she can often be found on her couch with her cats, watching Law and Order marathons and actually calling the number on the ad for the Rascal scooter but decides every time that it's too expensive.  The only thing she eats is grilled cheese.

3) The flamboyant interior designer/antiquer - This guy gets WAY too impressed when you have a piece of designer furniture or something rare and vintage.  If you invite him over to your home for dinner and you happen to share his design style, he'll be so overwhelmed by your d├ęcor that he likely can't hold a conversation without telling you the history of the architect or furniture designer.  You can really impress him by having original mid-century pieces, like an Eames chair or case study bed.  He watches Mad Men especially for the furniture and fashion.  If you don't know or care about architecture and design, you want to fucking kill this guy every minute of your life.

4) The frat boy - This guy does things specifically because they're stupid.  If he can make someone laugh with his dumb antics, he has succeeded in life.  He knows all the lines to Family Guy and hates it when people talk about actual important topics like politics or current events.  No time for that!  Time to party!  Time to have fun!  Why so serious?  He wants to be the fun guy, the one everyone wants to hang out with, the one people say "Wicked awesome party, bra" to.  When he enters the real world and gets a job, he feels completely out of place in a professional environment and has to put on a fake persona to get by.  The second he's out of work, the tie comes off and the Tupac comes on, rapping his way back to his tiny studio in a really awesome part of town that keeps him close to the "action".  He has an irrepressible urge to say "your mom does x" after someone makes almost any statement.

5) The Mean Girl - Yes, as in "the Plastics".  This girl is attractive and knows it.  She is also a walking pile of judgments - every person she sees gets sized up, whether it be a 3-year-old or someone her own age.  Common thoughts that pass through her mind are "Eww, buy some jeans that fit, muffin top", "You REALLY need some makeup, like NOW", and "Your face makes me want to gouge out my own eyeballs."  Her favorite pastime is group judging with her friends when they go to public places or watch TV together.  She has no qualms about the fact that her looks get her things, and secretly enjoys the attention she gets when she wears "going out" clothes.  She also only has attractive friends - hot chicks in a group can get ANYTHING.

6) The guy who lives with his mom - He's in his 30s, and he lives in his parents' basement.  He doesn't leave the house often and finds "eating lunch" or "going to the mailbox" as things that likely warrant a nap.  People freak him out.  Every time he goes somewhere he has to interact with someone, so it's just easier to stay in bed watching Netflix in his comfy PJs than try to function around other people.  His laundry piles up until he has to do three loads at once.  He's so lazy that instead of going out and getting food he'll make a meal out of random things like a sweet potato, half a quesadilla and some unidentified leftovers in the back of the fridge.  He is likely over 300lbs and a virgin.


So there's the breakdown.  I'm sure there's more in there, but they don't show themselves that often.  What 31-year-old white chick sings Marvin Gaye in her car while wearing a dinosaur tshirt and cursing everyone in her path?  Probably the same one that, after being robbed and bleeding out of multiple wounds, stops crying for a good ten seconds upon entering the home of the good Samaritan helping out and gasps "You have an EAMES CHAIR?" only to resume crying momentarily.  Yep.  That sounds about right.

Monday, November 11, 2013

WHEN I GROW UP

When you're a little kid, everyone always asks you what you want to be when you grow up.  Super young kids say things like princesses or Batman, but getting into elementary school they begin to get semi-realistic.  Semi.

When I was asked what I wanted to be, my first response was "Robin Williams."  I think that took some people off guard, since apparently it isn't normal for a blonde 8-year-old girl to aspire to be a small, hairy funny guy with a coke habit.  I eventually changed my tune, and decided on archaeology.  When I learned that all the mummies had already been found and were in museums waiting to be seen, I changed again.  Perhaps the one I kept for the longest was architect - and that still remains one of my passions that I sadly don't have the math skills or requisite degrees to pursue.

It's normal to change your mind a lot as a kid.  I think at one time I wanted to be an airline pilot.  That would scare the living fuck out of me now.  But there comes a time in your "adult" life (adult as referring to the age limits set by the government, which obviously do not coincide with maturity levels) when you don't get to change your mind anymore.  Some people find a job right out of college and stay in that industry, others go to grad school with a clear path in mind that generally they stick to.  And then there's me.

At that same point when people start getting jobs and sticking to them, it really sort of becomes unacceptable to change your mind.  Once you pass grad school age, you're kinda SOL if you haven't found your niche.  You're no longer "aspiring" or "experimenting", you're lazy and a fuck up.

 Law school, ironically enough, is called a "terminal degree" - one where you can't get any higher in the field than that.  I was hoping it would be my terminal degree, but things don't always turn out the way you want them to.  If you asked me the day I graduated law school what I'd be doing at age 31, it sure as hell wouldn't be "single, unemployed graduate student living with my brother and two cats."  I'd have said I'd be married, hopefully living in California (ONE goal achieved, check) and likely be prosecuting big time criminals as a US Attorney.  Let's all get a good laugh out of that one for a second.

If you'd asked me last year what I'd be doing when I graduated USC in May, I'd likely have said something very specific about doing PR for this or that agency or company.  You ask me now?  I don't have a fucking clue.  Every minute of the past semester I've been terrified of graduating, not because I'm not ready to enter the workforce, but because I'm afraid the workforce won't want me.

I was at an interview last week for a job that meshed both my law degree and PR degree into an internship.  I was really interested because it involved interesting law and a lot of writing.  Obviously, as I sit here at 1am on a Sunday night (Monday morning?) blogging, it's pretty clear that I enjoy writing to some degree.  The interviewer asked me standard questions, why I wanted the job etc., which I think I answered with enough vigor to show I'd be a good employee.  Then she asked me what I see myself doing in five years.

With the way my life has gone, and not all of it bad in any way, I could be living on a houseboat in Hawaii making odd crafts I sell on Etsy in 5 years.  I could be a lawyer again.  I could be a professor.  Where do I think I'll be in five years?  The only honest answer is "alive" and very likely still on the west coast.  Where do I WANT to be in five years?  Happy.  Doing what, I don't care.  I don't know where my money will come from or what I'll be doing, but I hope to god I'm happy.

While the interview went well I think, I left feeling depressed.  Angry, depressed and irritated.  I'm tired of people asking me what I want to be when I grow up.  I know I'm fucking 31 and should have some idea of what I want to do with my life, but I don't.  Honestly, if I could choose ANYTHING, I'd be a writer.  I'd write for Chelsea Lately or Saturday Night Live, or some other comedy.  I'd write books, snarky memoirs and tales of my dating woes. 

I'm not lazy, irresponsible or a fuck up.  I have an honest confusion as to where I want my career to take me, or where to even start.  I'm past the point of what I "want" to do, now it's "that wouldn't be so bad."  Now I just need to find a job so I can support myself and so people won't look at me like I'm some sort of child who needs tending because I can't make up my mind.  I hate having to explain myself to people I meet when they ask me "what do you do?"  I'm tired of talking about it.  It happens every day.  Every damn day someone reminds me that I'm very much an adult and very much not at the right point in my life. 

Stop making me explain myself.  If I could do that, I'd likely have the answer to my own questions.  I don't.  I'll find something I don't mind doing that will support me and pay my bills, but I don't know what that is right now.  Stop making me explain why I left law.  Stop making me feel like I made a mistake because of a horrific experience and that I'd likely still be employed if not for what that did to me.  Maybe I did make a mistake, but I would have never found that out without going through school last year and having stress lead to my PTSD diagnosis.

All I want is some stability.  I want to know I have a job when I graduate.  I want to know that soon people will look at me as a real adult and not some wandering hippie child out to find meaning in life.  I'm still looking.  Who knows when I'll find that meaning, but at least I can have people see me as a normal person while doing it once I graduate.

The only people in my life that I know understand me are my parents.  Both changed careers in their mid-forties.  I'm lucky to have supportive parents because this is a tricky situation, especially financially.  I'm glad they're not the prodding annoying parents who are angry that I haven't (and don't plan on) given them grandchildren.  I'm harder on myself than they are on me.  I always have been.  I just want everyone else to see that I'm trying.  Eventually I can be included in dinners to nice restaurants or other things I currently can't afford.  Eventually I won't be "the poor friend."  I guess I'm just a late bloomer.