Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Some ad on TV shows sweaty athletes doing their thing, ending with a message: Love or Money? I guess they'll sell shoes that way, but I wasn't thinking about sports at all as I watched this.

Impossible decisions are quite vexing. I've faced them before--the same one twice, actually--and I'm staring one down again. The twin conundrums of 2003 and again in 2004 involved choosing my happiness and safety over the needs of people as important to me as oxygen. Do I remain in CO to be near my children, or do I leave CO to escape the dangerous stalker shadowing my every move and threatening my sanity and my life? Before that it was: Do I remain on the East Coast with one child who needs me, or move back to CO to the other children who need me? Like I said, impossible decisions that will haunt me to my dying day.

This latest one is more on the TV commercial's level. This job I have now is great, has the potential to make me a lot of money, and is something at which I'm damn sensational, thank you very much. But...what's this? A New York publishing outfit wants to hire me as a Writer/Editor? Hmm, that sounds a whole lot like my LIFE'S DREAM!!! But...there's not much money there. Just mammoth potential for my writing career.

Love or Money? What are my priorities? Great Caesar's Ghost, people.

I shall commence mulling. Feel free to share your thoughts!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born to Run

For all my ranting, raving, and terrorizing people with the dumb luck of being stuck in traffic near me, I am a nice person. My exes might say otherwise, but I firmly believe I'm a true friend and loving daughter/sister/mommy/girlfriend. I would not hesitate to drop anything to go to my friends' and family's aid. Sure, I constantly forget birthdays and such, but would I jump in front of a charging tiger to save Superfly boyfriend, or one of my kids, or one of my sisters? Without hesitation. In fact, a Sumatran tiger did leap across a manmade tiger habitat and crash into plexiglass just inches from my three-year old one time, and I did an unnecessary flying tackle (in 3" heels, no less), without thinking about it.

A lot of my friends are tramps like me, moving around and trying out different lives. We seem to pick right up where we left off, whenever we find each other. I've run into them at Renaissance Faires, Amusement Parks, the beach, the seat next to me on an airplane, and other unlikely reunion spots. A yelp of recognition, catching up on each other and comparing notes on spots in Europe, or on other nomads we'd run into, over drinks, and then off again. If one of them was to actually call and make plans, or call to chat, I would be extremely perplexed. This even applies to my sisters, we're just like that; if I'm there, and you're there, I'll guess I'll see ya! If I were to psychoanalyze our shared itinerant lifestyles, I'd probably learn something I didn't want to know. But, what are ya gonna do?

I have other friends who are more "high maintenance"--and I mean this in the best possible way, I promise. These are friends who call to chat about stuff on TV, make plans that they fully expect me to cooperate with, and who never forget a birthday, conversation, insult, or compliment. Knowing each of these women and men has made me a better person. It started with Rich, back in Colorado, who was so patient and kind and forgiving. He trained me to be considerate of non-tramps. Then I made faboo online friends who became so close, if they were any closer they'd be me. Slowly, I began to understand that intimacy had value outside boyfriends or husbands, and that learning to be open, giving, understanding, and forgiving can transform everything you are. In short, friends rock!

Interestingly, the friends I've made from JDate are totally high maintenance pains in the ass. And if they ever change I'll kick their sorry asses. I love every quirk and quality they possess and value their friendship like you cannot believe. You know who you are, crazy wenches and goofball dudes. I love ya! Flee JDate before you're sucked in forever in an unending converstation between NYCGal and AZGuy! Love!

My greatest friend is another JDate escapee: Superfly. Just know he's so perfect for me, it's terrifying. Also, I love him massively. He's low and high mainentance, depending. Lots of those silent understanding moments, and a ridiculous amounts of saying/thinking the same thing, simultaneously. I hope he'll always be my friend, too.

A toast of an overly-ripe Barolo to friends, low and high maintenance!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bryant Park Celebrity Sighting, Part Deux

As previously mentioned, I walk past Bryant Park twice a day. Even when it isn't Fashion Week, there's always a parade of fashionistas and fashiondon'tas. I'm usually in the latter category, I just can't do chic at work, for some reason.

Anyway. Today I was staggering my sick ass towards the subway station and ogling the Totally Queer Eye stick figures prancing down the street in front of me. Rail thin with artfully disheveled hair and charmingly distressed clothing, they walked together and kissy-faced in unison, dissing some guy from some party who clearly wasn't as cool and popular as he thought he was. Suddenly, the hens cooed as one and stopped on a dime. "Dan!" They squealed, and hugged the poor guy to bits.

I looked at Dan. Hey! It's sex columnist Dan Savage! He's quite tall and handsome, I bet he has a ton of fag hags. What's cool about seeing, and smiling at, Dan Savage is that he wrote the foreward to an anthology in which one of my stories is published. Some connection with the editors of said anthology, who were both keen on having cool contacts and so on.

Breeder came about from a now-defunct website called HipMama, which was born of authoress Ariel Gore and her friend Bee Lavender. They are Portland, Oregon and San Francisco hipsters, by the by, and single moms. From the sizzling-hot forums on that highly-politicized website, Ariel and Bee culled stories of motherhood that were Generation-X in nature. I was involved in the online writing group that sprung from HipMama and that provided most of the stories in the anthology. I submitted a true story of panic and danger and fear. They loved it, and it became a part of literary history. Woohoo!

Once published, a book tour was planned. I attended the launch at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon. I'd never read my story out loud before. Never having experienced an iota of stage fright before in my life, I was shocked when I stopped halfway through, sobbing, crying, unable to speak. It was like reliving that horrific day all over again. Applause, hugs, and even requests for autographs followed this bit of unintentional high drama.

Then, the book reviews. Publisher's Weekly singled me out for not writing with more mature crafting. Ye Gods. I purposely wrote it with urgency and realness, because it's a true story and that's how I felt at the time. If I wrote it with mature crafting, it would sound wonky, you stupid whore! Heh. Bitter, Table for One?

Anyway, here's the link to the book on Not suggesting you buy one, but you can read Dan Savage's foreword and read my damn stupid retarded review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Stuff

Started the new job. :preen: The people I work with are really great and the work is so easy for me, I almost feel bad taking money for it. ALMOST! The only time people care about recruiters is when they're looking for work, but hey! Those are the only people I talk to. Which reminds me; let me know if you know any techie-types looking for work!

Being that I am Trouble, I expect friction wherever I go. So far, pretty non-existant in this job because they're all busy doing their own jobs. Hours are long, but, oddly enough, I don't notice until see the clock proclaim it three hours later than I thought it was. Of course, I did overhear the boss making fun of one of the sales guys for being "tone-deaf", so I tease him mercilessly to sing something for me.

Naturally, I catch one Hell of a cold my second day on the job. Boss (a handsome and freshly married guy who adores management lingo and cheerfully terrorizes the staff with Dale Carnegie jingoism) tells me I look, "shot". Lost my voice completely, feverish, sleeping all day and sweating off at least 5 lbs (here's hoping). I wash my hands obsessively (I'm down with OCD, yeah, you know me) and use Purell after the subway and so on. This is ridiculous! Must I wear a mask and gloves, a la Michael Jackson?

Oh, and just so youse know: Superfly boyfriend is the best nurse the world has ever known. ;) He rarely posts at his own damn blog, so I'm going to do it for him: he got a beyond-fabulous new job, too! Can you just feel how proud I am of my Super-duper-fantastico-Fly boyfriend? WOOT! WOOT!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Fashion Week

I have the distinct pleasure of walking past Bryant Park on my way from the subway to work and back, and this week featured a wholly different landscape than usual, thanks to Fashion Week. Preening model-types and fashionistas; harried editorial staff and fashion house underlings; schlubby media types trying vainly to blend in, all cramming the sidewalks and sqwuaking into their cellphones. I feel all unfashionable 5'2" chubby inches of myself in my Coldwater Creek outfit and flipflops, scuttling along to my uncool destination.

Don't get me wrong, I love fashion. I read the magazines and pay attention to the Fashion Week reports, and I do my best to replicate what happens to be fashionable at the moment with my discount store threads and shoes. Why, I even have a couple of real, honest-to-goodness luxe/couture items, however homely and simple. It's just that I can't get into the obsessiveness of it all. It's like a high school popularity contest, only the popular group has some serious ringers.

So, anyway, I walked by today and gave it a big "Feh!" And then, marching down the street with a small entourage, was Robert Verdi. He of makeover shows, E!, and Red Carpet fashion reports. I stared at his awesome shirt. He stared! No, not like that, I'm certain he plays on the other team. I couldn't figure out why Robert Verdi would even look askance at me and then I remembered: the extreme humidity outside and the sweltering D-train had rendered my hair into a gigantic, red, frizzy, curly, fro. Indeed, he was looking at my hair in disbelief. I'm sure glad I could shake Robert Verdi out of his Fashion Week doldrums.

Laughing, I turned the corner onto 5th Ave, almost knocking over two girls giving out Boots comestics swag. Then I tripped while trying to simultaneously walk, hold in my stomach, and pull my shoulders back, and almost pancaked right at the entrace of Bryant Park. I recovered in time to see three models in red shorts and t-shirts walking three goats on dog leashes. I had to look twice to make sure that's really what I saw.

Only in New York during Fashion Week, kids, only in New York.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Yay me! Woot! Woot!

I think I mentioned that I interviewed with a new firm and decided I really wanted to work with them. I pulled out all the stops in my two interviews and hoped I didn't look too desperate. During one interview, the owner expressed frustration at finding a candidate with a specific--and rather rare--tech knowledge. I set about researching the technology and reading resumes on my own time. After the second interview, I sent a thank you note (via email) with an attached resume of someone in the city with the right expertise, to show I wasn't all talk.

I just got the call that they want me to start Monday. Oh, and that resume I sent? That was the person they JUST placed at their client's company. "You're right on target," he says.

Wyle E. Trouble, Super Genius.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jobs and More HR Ranting

I quit my temp-to-perm job this week. I tried and tried to find a way to work in an environment I found repellent, and finally gave up. They said they loved my ideas and appreciated my knowledge and experience, then put me under the micromanaging supervision of a complete asswipe, who delighted in playing painfully obvious mindgames and in being generally obnoxious, i.e. rifling through my desk every time I got up to go to the bathroom, or whatever. What passed for leadership just stared at me and tried to spin it to being my fault. Ugh. Who needs this "Office Space" shit? Not I, friends. Life is too short and too cruel anyway.

Luckily, I am the recipient of daily recruiter emails; I interviewed with a great firm and I'll hear tomorrow if I got it. It would be doing the same thing I've been doing for a couple of years, something I enjoy doing and have no difficulty with.

It's strange: I remember the long-ago days of people staying in the same job for 10, 20, 50 years. Layoffs, Recession, and the Internet Age have changed the work climate so much. People know, reflexively, the Company doesn't care about them, and they're unfortunately right. It's every man/woman for themselves, in every industry and at every level. In NYC, you see this everywhere you go, on every weary face on the subway and in the urban uniformed hordes stampeding down the streets.

I've lived in a small town, a mega-suburb, and the Greatest City on Earth. Hell, I've even lived on an island. Outside Gotham, people are polite and smiling, they volunteer and they go to church. But when it comes to work and their jobs, Americans seem universally despondent.

A revolution is needed. Enough with the Wal-Mart-ization of America, enough with the mind-boggling corruption at the highest levels of corporations. A huge portion of America is motivated by what they call the Puritan Work Ethic. This idea is credited with making America great. Outsourcing jobs to foreign countries seems rather counter-productive. CEOs need to re-read (if they've ever read) their Mission Statements. Prioritize happy employees over Executive benefits and bonuses. Think long-term investment over short-term, high-yield risk.

Oh, and HR needs a huge demotion. They are NOT management. They are a service to management. HR people should never have any decision-making power, it is a clear conflict of interest. I should know, I studied the ins-and-outs of HR Management in Business School and I am an HR professional. People should be hired the old-fashioned way: recruiting, interviewing, selection process, hiring. Whoever came up with the idea of invading applicant's privacy BEFORE they are even hired, should be tarred and feathered. And then killed. Beyond checking references and performing a criminal background check, no other information is needed from an applicant. Ted Bundy would've passed a standard HR background check with flying colors. Wouldn't he be a great addition to the Marketing Department?

Did you know that every inquiry on your credit report lowers your overall score? So if you're on an interview blitz and signing away your consent, those jobs you don't get are negatively affecting your credit. Ask management why a credit report is necessary for applicants to the company. Unless you work for the government, or a banking or financial institution, they won't have a reasonable answer.

What happened is a proliferation of background checking companies. HR types, delighted at the prospect of handing over a big part of their job to someone else, convince management to buy. Management smiles and nods at HR's blah-blah-blah filled with buzzwords and lingo and thinks about their promotion prospects from this deal. HR suddenly gains a falsely inflated sense of their own importance and starts generating forms and reports and pie charts. Business schools recognize prime opportunity when they see it and start creating HR Management classes and seminars that are chock-a-block with bullshit, but get those HR types a certificate they can preen about with.

Meanwhile, you're a hardworking applicant who was laid off, or had a medical emergency, or some other disaster, that garnered you rough credit and financial difficulty. If you are a fashion designer or legal secretary or a database manager, why the fuck would it matter? It does because HR deemed it. Do you really want any manager in your company to see your credit report, good or bad? It's private, and unless they're thinking of giving you a fat loan, it ain't none of their damn business.

:end rant:

Monday, September 12, 2005

It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't got that Mood Swing

If you're close to me, you know that I suffer from bipolar disorder. Yeah, me and Kurt Cobain! Jane Pauley! Jim Carrey! Anyway, I'm not secretive about it, I refuse to accept ignorant attitudes about mental illness. I happen to be a lucky bipolar person: I don't have substance abuse issues and I take my treatment very seriously. I remember in excruciating detail what life was like without medicine and therapy, and there's no dragging me back there, pal. I literally lost everything that mattered to me, thanks to some fucking genetic mental illness.

I think what saved me from the fate so many of my fellow sufferers endure (suicide, institutionalized, pariahs)is my fierce personality. Go ahead, laugh it up. But when the chips are down and things aren't looking good for Miss Trouble, my fight-or-flight mechanism is transformed into a kick ass and take names mechanism. My therapist loves to tell me what a survivor I am and how I should give myself credit for that. Nuts to that. You either survive or die, those aren't good odds. The more I'm crushed the more I want pillage, plunder, and overthrow.

I fire Psychiatrists. I mock therapists. The only person I revere is the pharmacist. Only medicine tames my wild mood swings. I take my medicine religiously and when I goof and forget, I feel it immediately. I think it ironic that I eschewed mind-altering substances in my youth (I like to play "Hide the Weed" with my pothead friends) only to live slavishly, according to mind-altering drugs.

I get absent-minded. I get diarrhea and acne and other horrible side effects. I cry for no reason and laugh inappropriately, sometimes. I endure impertinent questions and outright discrimination. I know my doctors better than anyone else in my life. I've twice had to check into the hospital for treatment, once because I was near-comatose, and once because I was suicidal, and gained so much wisdom from the experience.

I see my life as pre-breakdown and post-breakdown. My medicine could have "possible growth of a second head" as a side effect, and I would still take it. Because I remember in excruciating detail how I lost everything that mattered in 2002-2003 and though I was positive I wouldn't, I survived, and I don't wish to tempt fate by going back to an unmedicated state.

What seems like ages ago, when I could barely get out of bed, my doctor recommended I file for Disability from Social Security. At the time, I thought I had no future, no hope of anything good ever happening to me. I filed, and I accepted help from the government with medical insurance and day-to-day expenses.

Coming in October, I have a Hearing to decide if I will receive permanent disability status. I'm very nervous, this is huge for me. I have no interest whatsoever in defrauding the government, so forget that. What this means is that I will be able to focus on treating my illness and getting the therapy I need to be normal.

It's hard for me to accept that I'm not normal. A perplexing idea, for sure. But I have this illness, I'll always have it, and it affects me all day, every day. I do pretty well for myself--I get work and I have been, for lack of a better word, blessed by Superfly boyfriend being in my life and being such great support and so wonderful. I'm happy! You couldn't convince me that would happen, a year ago.

So, coming up on this important Hearing, of course I'm on a downslide. I know that occasional episodes still happen on my medication, but I am Cleopatra, the Queen of Denial. I know what's going on, and I'm helpless to stop it.

I wrote out a Plan for Superfly boyfriend, signals to look for and actions to take, regarding my cycling moods. He's promised to take care of me. Believe me, friends, nothing means more to me than that.

Bipolar Disorder is incredibly common. You probably know someone who has it. Do that person a favor and learn more about the illness. You never know if you'll be the one to take care of them.

While I'm washing down some bizarrely inappropriate tears with Champagne, take a look at this list of famous bipolar whackos.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The real reason I love Fall/Autumn

Jimmy Choo-choo-choose me! Posted by Picasa

Just pulled the 6 pairs of boots I own out of the closet and dusted them off. Next, I will reverently take them to be re-soled and rubbed with oil. Oh, mama. This year's "in" boot is a cowboy one, but living in Colorado for a large portion of my life has cured me of any fondness for things Western. I'll stick to the stilleto boots, the chunky-heel boot, the short boots, and the out-of-style with everyone but me, pink stiletto faux-Manolo Steve Madden boots.

Listen, it has nothing to do with my height. Only a passing relevance with regard to sexiness, also. I'm just an all-or-nothing girl when it comes to heel height. Flip-flops May-September, High-heel boots the rest of the year. The mid-heel thing is agony, thanks to an unnaturally high arch in the old flippers.

Boots are a money-saver, also. I've had my super-expensive pair of stilleto black boots for 5 years now, and they still look great. Not to mention the diminished necessity of a pedi to go with your mani, eh girls? Really, the only drawback is foot odor, and that's easily remedied.

Nothing beats sliding on a pair of black boots and hitting the town. Instant confidence, a polished look to your outfit, and admiring stares from men who just might be envisioning naughty things involving the boots. Secret weapon, I say.

How soon until the weather's cool enough to break 'em out? I can't wait! Now!

Ok, so I have an unwholesome love for certain footwear items. What's it to ya?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why I love Autumn

mmm...Apple Cider Posted by Picasa

The crisp, exhilirating air of Fall complements changing leaves and cooler temperatures, prompting people to don jackets, boots, and scarves. Although summer's goodbye is tragic, the tan, burgundy, forest green and rich gold of Autumn sparks memories of lovely walks, scenic drives, and killer shopping.

My favorite Fall memory thus far is driving through the beautiful foliage of the Northeast,listening to great tunes and looking forward to hanging out with great friends. I remember the sights, scents, and feelings so clearly.

What's your favorite Fall memory?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Friends in Need

If you're lucky, you have friends like my friend Rob.

I met Rob in the cafeteria of my high school. He was a year ahead of me, and friends with all the people I knew, the dirty punk/goth/skinhead kids. At the time, he was into Nazi memorabilia, but we all do stupid things as youth. The thing is, Rob's a very gregarious guy, people like him and include him in their activities. It doesn't hurt that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and that his parents had a hot tub.

Every concert, every party, every get-together of any kind, Rob was there and I was there. We never dated, although he claims now to have had a thing for me back then. He is a handsome guy for sure, but I had a boyfriend back then, from 8th grade until I was 27. I digress.

I run into Rob every few years, and it's as if no time has passed. We're delighted to see each other, we have drinks and catch up on life's drama unfolding up our asses. Then we don't see each other for awhile and the cycle repeats.

I know that if I were to call him right now and ask for his help, he'd do it. He'd be perplexed and probably wonder how the hell I got his number, but he'd gladly help. And that is completely mutual.

For a short time, we wrote for competing magazines. Obviously reaching for something to write about in his nightlife column, Rob wrote about me. Wanna read it?

Here it is. A toast, to friends in need, who are friends indeed!