The Brighthouse Networks Cable Technician showed up EARLY. And he finished before the scheduled appointment time.
Another urgent email containing a list of companies desperate for me to apply, as per the Subject line. You want me? You want me that bad? Fine. Let’s see what you got…
Oh. Director of Blah Blah Blah for a sports agency. Need to be a “winner” and able to engage athletes, their managers and entourage. Next!
Creative Content Manager for a medical group. Should be able to conduct research (yes) write technical papers (ooh) critique drafts for academic journal submission (ooh yes) analyze policies regarding the pharmaceutical industry (ohh baby) manage blog and email content (ooh right there) and work alone or with minimal supervision. Yeah Daddy! Don’t stop!!
Requirements: PhD. Waa waa waaaaa
Now here’s a winner: Contract Writer for a market research group. Satellite position; that means, I can work naked during the summer months! Research trends, behaviors, motivators for a given sub-population. Shit. I’m a fiction writer; I do that all the time! Work with editorial staff, manage other writers? Pffssshhhttpppptttthhhttttttt I got this.
“Upload resume.” Really??
When I double clicked on the closest thing to a current resume in my Old Life Directory, my system prompted me with, “What application do you want to open this file with?” It’s THAT old!
Check this snapshot out…
Slow down, Superstar! Did I *actually* use this resume content? Did the last gig *actually* hire me using this douchebaggery?? Oh my living gawd, am I an egotistical asshole. Well, was. Well, maybe. I dunno.
Not an egotistical asshole. Just an asshole.
I love my reinvention as a creative writer. I love that, if I’m forced to assign a title, it is “Published Author.” I also love that I have three years’ documented experience as a creative artist so I can pursue “Editor” and “Writer” and “Content Manager” contracts without hyperventilating.
But yes, I need a little left brain love every once in a while. I do this, troll for research/analysis gigs, pretty often, and if you need someone who’s into that, baby, holla at me, because I love turning raw data into salient strategies. Statistics, market trends, matrix builds, primary data collection…? Ooh…I just felt a chill run up my spine! It’s a special kind of Strange I am totally into.
The rest of the dusty resume was an enjoyable laugh. Some highlights:
I wore construction boots. I remember the division manager had to special order my steel toe boots because of all the field personnel, I was the only specialist of the female persuasion, so they didn’t have my size in stock. I wore them whenever I was called off site to wherever the computer-mounted trucks were stationed, proudly rocking pink camouflage boot laces to compliment my fluorescent vest.
I froze my ass off in the name of science. On the way to the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania to conduct qualitative data collection, I got caught on the summit of one of the many mountains of the Appalachian Range. A commercial truck had jackknifed at the foot of the mountain, and, of course, the road I was on was the only passage from one side of the mountain to the next. It was the longest, most prayerful two hours of my life.
I was a shorter, fatter Remy Danton. As the DOC representative at the State Building, I essentially spent all day lobbying House members to support our mandatory campaign in their respective districts. Power walking in heels was a norm, as well as delivering the solid, two pump, “Wanna wrassle?” handshake. To this day, people are taken aback when my wee hand comes out and delivers them a lightening bolt!
“So you got a girlfriend?”
“Why have a girlfriend?”
“So you don’t live alone.”
“I live alone.”
Ambitious. But then again, they all are.
“Ech,” I shrug, ” People will talk. This town? They all up in everyone’s business.”
The corner of his mouth lifts, “I don’t live here.”
We high five.
Moments later, he returns to my cafe table holding a piece of paper, which is ceremoniously placed beside my wine glass before he struts off. I lift it and observe a phone number, written in his own hand, circled, with his actual name under it. I’ve been calling him something else for over a year! I laugh into my glass while thinking, I was 17 when he was born.
Ardent. Overconfident. Of the Generation of the Oversharers.
Not only was Colin Jost’s jab at Batman’s age so hilarious, it was very on point. 75 years with this “superhero” and the only thing that made him “super” was his belt.
My writing partner and I rant frequently about the nonsense that is the Justice League. First, how is it that Batman can quit, come back, quit again, and no one says, “You know what? Go do your own thing Batty!” He’s obnoxiously emo.
Then there’s the utility belt = superpower thesis? I mean, we’ve got Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman (why but okay still), Hawkman, I mean, beings of supernatural ability and deity status as founders of the Justice League, and Batman qualifies as an equal on that Pantheon? Beyond me.
So it’s been quite enjoyable to sidebar on the ridiculousness of Batman as we design a skeletal structure of a modern day Wonder Woman saga. While I never really invested much in Bruce Wayne, I will at least acknowledge his longevity and his influence on comic lovers. Yes, Batman. Everyone wants to be you.
En homage to the Dark Knight, here’s an excerpt from my recent writing session involving Batman and Wonder Woman:
Diana exhaled a weighted sigh into her tensed fist. Just then, the quick swish signaling the door to the room opening carried towards her, followed by an outline of the familiar cowl and cloak of the dark knight. Hmph, Diana thought, Bruce Wayne decides to make an appearance in just this moment. So as not to look vulnerable, Diana straightened her shoulders and erected her spine, releasing her lips from her fist and rolling them inwards to regain moisture. As she finished the replenishment, it dawned on her the human might have taken the gesture the wrong way.
“Yes?” she snapped.
Batman continued his silent stroll towards her. “Brooding in the dark is my thing, Wonder Woman.”
“Oh I’m sorry. Am I stealing your thunder again?” She smiled, proud of her comeback, then glanced up at the shadowy form situating into the chair beside her.
“I deserve that.”
Diana arched an eyebrow in surprise.
In what seemed to be a rehearsed motion, both superheroes collapsed their backs against the large chairs, leaned back, and crossed their hands over their laps. They sat in tandem silence for quite some time. Batman and Wonder Woman were most familiar in this place, the special stratosphere of melancholy. Where some faltered in navigating, the two seemed to master this particular space, their physical challenges no match to the crippling strength of their respective inner turmoil. The only difference between the two was one wore his pain like a shiny bright badge of righteousness, while the other tucked hers away, in an inconspicuous chamber of her Amazonian heart.
Diana maintained composure despite her worry, as it was the mortal’s nature to misconstrue this state as fragility; Batman, Bruce, using the tired technique of throwing his passion to her feet like a symbolic gauntlet of deliverance, expecting her to fall to collect him, lean on him, maybe even collapse in his arms, letting him rescue her from her agonizing dismay. Then he’d undress her, slowly, methodically, owning every centimeter of her body, converging his phallus with her god-made genitalia, trying desperately to inherit through coitus what was never and will never be intended for humans: the gift of immortality. Sex, then, was Bruce Wayne’s only way to feel most like Zeus, and in his arrogance and superiority, command Wonder Woman to be his Hera, with every thrust, inserting his will in the hope she’d accept him as his equal, or even better, by the sounding of her ecstasy, accept him as her master.
No, Diana decided, as she crossed one resolute thigh over the other. We’ve done that dance too many times.
A casual traipse through my LinkedIn feed brought me to this article: How To Leave Your Ego At the Door Although this is framed for the corporate/private sector types, the points are applicable to the artists/wannabes as well! Here, my reactions to the points…
1. Keep introductions short
You know who are the WORST at this? Poets! They spend thirteen minutes to introduce a three-second poem! Their meanderings about their mother’s nicknames for vaginas and the need to always wear a hat because of medications (as recently-experienced examples) take away from the poetry listening experience. Standardize an intro; read it if you have to, commit it to memory, OR, since you’re a featured poet, just read the damn poem!
2. Don’t let recognition or achievement get to your head
Wow. Completely inapplicable to artists. The whole point of artistry IS recognition and achievement! The fun part is listening to these lists of awards they provide, feeling they’re completely fabricated or worse, distributed amongst a handful of club members. I notice in the blogosphere a bevy of circle-jerking awards (not gonna point any violators out; I’m limiting myself to general snark today). Recently I sat in on a book reading and was impressed by the award this woman had achieved for her memoir, but the excerpt she shared was so…what’s the best way to put it…? Entitled White American Woman Problem I couldn’t conceive how she earned it!
3. Surround yourself with humility
The artist who’s the WORST at humility? One Man Show Performers. Oy vey! I like the author’s statement here: “If you hang out with egomaniacs, you’ll likely become one.” Damn straight.
4. Present yourself through logic
The moment this happens in the arty world, time will stop, space will implode, and all we know to be true will be GONE.
Coming from a technical background, thinking scientifically by nature, and having dealt with people of all mental disorders, it is very painful for me to try to plan even the SIMPLEST events using who, what, when, where, and why with my fellows. Let me correct myself; it’s always ONLY “why”! The decision makers are the main violators of #3.
5. Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk
I’ve sat in writing groups where they take it much further: don’t call yourself a writer if you’re not published, don’t call yourself published if you’re not under a major press, don’t even fuckin’ THINK about sitting at this table unless you have an MFA from a liberal arts college! So of course, I attend because I love watching people go ballistic once finding out I fulfill only one of all their demands. Hehe.
Nothing like spring cleaning while streaming Netflix in the background. I had the P!nk Truth About Love Tour going first and then Madonna’s MDNA Tour. Two great shows, two performers I’d love to see in concert. Then I thought, QUICK! Top five concerts…GO!
“Can you pull together eighty bucks?” My girl is breathing hard into the phone as she asks me this. Of course, hood tendencies make me think she’s in a pinch. So before I ask who’s holding the gun to her head, she explains, “I just got two tickets to Janet Jackson!!”
So she’s not dying and I’m about to see one of my idols. I respond with “Whew!” and “Yes!”
Now. Lemme SPLAIN something here. Janet Jackson and I are best friends. Ever since Control, I’ve been on her dance crew. As soon as I graduated from high school, I was going to join Janet’s European tour, be Tina Landon’s choreography assistant, and never look back.
Flash forward to 2001, and, well…I’m a software engineer instead of a dancer. :(
Not only are we seeing Janet, but our tickets are for THE FLOOR. Yes! Room to demonstrate the years of training to my master. Oh Janet, look this way! Please do “Rhythm Nation”, please do “Rhythm Nation”, that’s my tightest routine. And the demigod delivers. I break that shit down LIKE A NINJA.
My siblings and I have an interesting habit of not being into the same kind of music, ever, so it was history in the making when the three of us made this concert our first together. We’re already adults, mind you, my siblings each parents and me a full-time tia. The best part of the whole venture was watching my sister tease her hair out to stratosphere level. You know we’re going to a ’90s rock concert, not a ’80s rock concert, right? Didn’t stop her.
The concert was meh as is figured for rap-rock-white trash fusion. You know who opened for them? Godsmack. Yeah! That Godsmack. They were ridiculously good and much more memorable than Monkey Mask, Britney’s Ex, and the Bizkettes. But the three of us, hanging out, as kin, now that was fantastic.
That skinny dude can SANG. And what luck to experience that voice in such an intimate venue. I was with two of the most annoying Puerto Ricans on Earth, but blessed be, the moment their brethren hit the stage, they both shut the fuck up for the duration of the show. Now that’s power! This was pre-J. Lo Marc Anthony, top of his game. That night, we drove home in what seemed to be a Category 18 hurricane. At some point on 635 I was certain we were gonna crash and die, and I still remember thinking, ‘but at least I caught a helluva concert’.
My first boy band concert. With adult supervision. It was polite, enjoyable from the distance we were at.
NO ADULT SUPERVISION. This was the year Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch were opening for NKOTB and my crew was not gonna miss out on that! We’re standing about 14 rows back from the stage, and the decent member of the crew laments we’re too far away. So I look at my girl, she looks at me, we both heard our friend complain about the distance, so we commence to crowd control. While I snatch girls by the collar and hair and toss them to one side, my girl is throwin’ ‘bows to clear the other side, and we get from row 14 to row 4. The final distance not so much physical work than bellowing, “MOVE DA FUCK OUTTA DA WAY!!” to visibly terrified German girls. Yeah, hooligans at a New Kids on The Block concert, I know, I know.
But timing was perfect. Marky Mark just hit the stage, just stood mere feet from us, and just dropped his pants. HOOAH! Mission: Accomplished!
QUICK! What are YOUR Top Five Memorable Concerts? GO!
Sometimes a Brit can remind you how safe and sane we are as Americans. Or at least, delude ourselves to be.
A standing routine of mine is Documentary Day. Usually a Sunday, if not dedicated to doing something away from the screen or requiring the brain (one in the same, right?) With March Madness ABSOLUTELY earning its name this year, I needed something to help me restore faith in my fellow countrymen, to see Americans as my compatriots again, and to do it in the most non-polarizing way possible.
My friends, Stephen Fry in America. Watch it. It’s on Netflix or elsewhere on the Interwebs and it’s magic. Yes, I did try to embed it and failed so I’d rather you just type-y type-y in the search engine…saves us both effort.
While it’s all from the perspective of a sensible, self-described neurotic, it’s a valid take on what people of other nationalities think of us; we, the insular, proud, and megalomaniac U S of A.
I had me a good round of laughs in a reclined state, and by the end of Season 1 I actually felt better about my national assignment and my chosen station in life. Spirits not quite restored, but yeah, feeling a bit more Mericuh! after it.
I found Season 1, Episode 4 hit some familiar notes in that a few of my novels are based on or about the places he happened to visit. So there’s synchronicity folded in too. Huh.
Funny story from the recent past: met a guy who fancied me, and have a girl friend who he fancied as well. The girl friend was/is bi-curious, and decided, hey, let’s get into a threesome. She told me her intentions, I said, whatever. She wanted me to ask him if he was down. I go to him, tell him my friend’s idea, and he’s more than into it. Set up the day, the location, everything. Moment of glory comes and they both back out.
It got too real for them.
The next few weeks, they individually held me accountable for “forcing” them into the situation. I didn’t force anyone or anything then. I have a forceful voice and a forceful hand, and I know the kind of damage that can come from either.
So, last week, in the moment I became extremely invested in the want to deliver physical pain to a person who provoked me, I found clarity and decided instead to turn myself in, lest I destroy way more than this person’s physique. My hand was not forced. My voice was shaky, but the words I delivered were with resolve: I’d like to be admitted for observation. The usual questions prior to strip down: Are you suicidal? Yes. Are you homicidal? Yes. You understand with admission you have to stay in observation for a minimum of 72 hours? Yes. Sign here, here, here, here….
I spent five days in “the unit.” Today (Tuesday) is my first full day out. I did the responsible thing; I accounted for my intentions. I sought psychiatric help but I didn’t get help. Since I’m not in this state’s system, I was not offered any treatment. The best the state could do was put me in the hole and administer sedating anti-psychotics. This is the health system, a three-way tease. There’s the existing laws for disability treatment, there’s the bureaucracy that drives the operating procedures, and there’s me, not receiving anything but admonishment for putting the health system in a predicament.
Who’s your doctor? Don’t have one.
Why don’t you have a doctor? My plan doesn’t kick in until July.
Why aren’t you on medication? *sigh*
In the 100 hours I was in the unit, I spent less than a minute with the psychiatrist on the two occasions I was brought before him, just enough time for the doctor to admit me to the high profile unit, and enough time to discharge me, not even looking up from my chart as he asked, “do you have somewhere to live?”
I still wonder, what if I had said no?
As the blog title suggests, I’m not the pity-me type, maybe that’s part of the problem, maybe I’d be a better writer if I was. The thing is, I have a condition that deserves to be addressed, I had it under control until things just spun out of control. I am in the position to discuss my issues, but no one’s in the position to listen. Had I not discovered writing as a creative outlet for my constant rage, I don’t think I’d be breathing right now.
I’m not alone. The PTSD Family is growing rapidly, worldwide. We are the only ones who truly understand our symptoms. We break hearts, upset our employers, sadden our family and friends. Turning to each other for comfort only pokes the animal. I hope I can find a treatment plan that addresses my unique yet ubiquitous condition, but until then, I stick to the three tools my last mental health practitioner gave me:
1) don’t drown yourself in addictive substances
2) stay clear of your triggers
3) if you’re at the point of no return, turn yourself in to the authorities
That’s the best for now.
The Brighthouse Networks Cable Technician showed up EARLY. And he finished before the scheduled appointment time.