Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dying of Boredom Seems to Be A Real Possibility

(I used to have a friend who would say, "It's a real possible" when you asked him if he was interested in doing something, like go out for drinks after class or whatever. Is this something that people say on a regular basis? He grew up in Wyoming.)

Anyway. I've been unemployed since late March. And I'm not gonna lie -- despite the underlying cold sweat of panic, it was awesome. Although I (mostly) liked my job and loved my coworkers to death, I hated the people I was working for -- a couple of the most morally bankrupt people disguising themselves as Christians who give a crap about everyone but really don't that I have ever had the misfortune to meet. So it was hard to be there. And I don't think the bad economy had really affected us till that point, so I foolishly thought I would find a job quickly. So I went on many, many interviews and was hopeful and confident, and met friends for lunch and even had one day where I just went to the local scrapbook store and scrapbooked all day long, all by myself. It was awesome. And don't get me wrong -- I am still hopeful and confident, but after 8 weeks, have finally managed to wrap my head around the fact that it's going to take longer this time to find a job than the last time I had to do it (that time, it took two weeks). So I continue to interview up a storm -- 4 this past week, 2 this coming week -- and apply for everything that looks like a good fit and many things that don't look like a good fit.

And it's difficult and it's depressing and sometimes I am discouraged to the point that I just lie on the couch and cry for a few minutes. Oh, and try getting results from the unemployment office -- what a cluster fuck that is! I loved seeing those people on Oprah's show this week who actually managed to collect unemployment, because I was starting to think unemployment was a myth, like unicorns and Zeus. But I am nothing if not a plucky heroine in the novel of my life, so this is not going to get me permanently down.

It's just that I'm super bored.

This is how I spend my days: drop The Pook off at school, come home and get ready for interview if I have one, and if not, seat myself at the computer for several hours of applying for jobs, making phone calls about jobs I've already applied for or to follow up on interviews, and occasionally working on my novel. In between, I tweet incessantly and screw around on Facebook, hoping for a brief contact with another human being -- something I always had at work, that human contact. I'll take it, even if it's just online.

At first, my Facebook friends thought it was funny. But now I suspect even they are becoming super bored by my constant status updates and lame quiz results. And frankly, I'm bored by it too. And there are only so many blogs I can stand to read, and only so many fan sites I can lurk around on, and only so many questions I can research the answers to. Sometimes I watch Ellen and Oprah, but honestly, most of the time it's not worth the horrible daytime television advertising one has to endure. Ugly attorneys fighting for your rights following a car accident! Study at home for a degree from a really crappy university! ProActiv... because you're probably covered in hideous zits if you're sitting home in the middle of the day!

So I've read about 15 books in the last 8 weeks, which is great but honestly? I'm kind of bored with reading now. Something I never thought I'd say. Plus if I finish all the books in my existing unread pile, I'll eventually have to hit the library for more, and I hate library books -- they've got other people's germs on them. It's a good way to pick up flesh eating bacteria (thanks, Oprah!).

I've gotten as caught up on scrapbooking as I can without having to buy more supplies, so scrapbooking is out for now, except for a couple of album completions I need to do.

The house is very clean and way more organized than ever.

The Pook and Rob have enjoyed many delicious home cooked meals.

I have this list in my head of all the things I could have accomplished with these 8 weeks:

1). Could have worked out every day and lost several pounds.
2). Could have made serious progress on my novel.
3). Could have done volunteer work and made the world a better place.

I don't know, the list seems longer in my head. But you get the point.

Instead of doing these things, I get trapped in the cycle of thinking I can't start something in case I get called for an interview, or in case I get a job offer, or in case some temp work comes up. So I confine myself mostly to the house to be available when the phone rings. Which it does, often enough. I just wish it would ring with an actual job offer.

Before I do actually die of boredom.

It could happen.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Taking the Stage

So Rob and I have a new obsession (if by "obsession" you mean we watched it every week and dissected each episode at length and if by "at length" you mean 10 minutes or so) -- this show on MTV called Taking the Stage. It's this reality show about kids at a performing arts high school in Cinncinnati. Mostly it focuses on Tyler, a dancer, Jasmine, another dancer, Malik, also a dancer, and Mia, a singer/songwriter. Tyler and Jasmine were a couple until the second-to-last episode, when Tyler finally realized that their lack of decent conversations and eye contact were killing him slowly and he broke up with her. I'm sure Jasmine is a nice person, but she seems to be really shy and any niceness, if it exists, doesn't come across on camera. Sadly this will undermine her dance career, and hinder her in auditions and interviews. Jasmine is besties with Malik, who is gay and a really good dancer but a bit too Broadway -- he seems to want to be a hip hop dancer, but he doesn't quite get the style.

And then there's Mia. Mia is the real reason we watch the show. She's a singer and she plays guitar and piano, and writes all these beautiful songs about deep subjects, like how shallow she finds Tyler's relationship with Jasmine... because oh by the way, she has feelings for Tyler and he has feelings for her too but felt loyal to Jasmine, plus he's black and Mia's white, which was an unspoken undertone to the whole thing. In the season finale, Mia went to audition for this dickwad at Jive Records who ultimately decided she wasn't "ready" for a recording contract. Which might be true, but what annoying teenage/young adult recording "sensation" is ready? Is this moron telling me that Ashlee Simpson gets to have a career over someone with actual talent like my girl Mia? Yes, that's exactly what he's telling us. And it's sort of depressing, except I know that Mia is going places and she'll have that recording contract eventually, and Rob and I can buy all her albums. Also, she has red hair, and Rob would have been in love with her in high school, and she would have been nice to him but accidentally stomped all over his young heart because she wouldn't have felt the same way. Maybe.

The most amusing part of the show is where Jasmine goes around talking smack about Mia all the time because Mia and Tyler kissed at a party at some point after Jasmine and Tyler got together but Mia didn't know they were together, and the smack-talking just makes Jasmine look like an asshole when she seems to have been cast as the "nice girl." Like they'll cut to her in the audience of one of the many, many performances on this show, and she'll have this nasty-ass look on her face and be whispering what she thinks are snarky comments to her pal Malik. And so most proper-thinking people would have to assume she's kind of a bitch. Kind of. I think she just doesn't have anything else going on besides dancing; she doesn't seem to be very smart, and I think she liked the idea of having a boyfriend more than she liked the actual boyfriend. So now she's the bitch of the show, and she's so dumb she probably thinks that Mia is the bitch of the show because Mia speaks her mind and goes after what she wants and is a complete person, but totally not a bitch.

Oh, and Malik's drama is pretty good too. One audition, and he's all, "It's sooooo discouraging. They just didn't like me." And he's all set to quit and never dance again and his mom has to all build him back up again. When what the people at the audition really said was that he wasn't quite ready to be signed; he has a little more work to do. Isn't anyone teaching these kids to listen to what they're actually being told at these auditions? Apparently not. And then he also has some drama with this boyfriend he's had, but they're "taking a break" right now. I love, by the way, Malik's mom, who just totally seems to accept him as he is and loves him to death and is so supportive and everything. She's kind of awesome.

We can't wait for season two. This show is so much better than The Hills or Laguna Beach ever were. It's like someone finally realized that if we would all sit around and watch rich kids with nothing going for them other than their parents' money deliver half-sentences and shifty glances, we would be even more likely to watch kids with actual talents and lives who can speak in complete sentences! I'm so glad this was green-lit by someone.