Friday, January 25, 2008

Things I Don't Need to See (But Sure Made Me Laugh)

I was foiled again by my lack of a Blackberry last night...

I had just arrived at Trendy Houlihan's in Brentwood. As I as gathering my things to head inside for my going away happy hour, I noticed the guy getting out of the car next to me. He dropped his scarf and leaned over to get it.

I did a double take.

No, not because he had an exceptional ass. Because I thought I saw something odd. I needed a second look.

And, yes, he did in fact have a tramp stamp tattoo. You know the one, the tribal design on the small of the back. The one made popular by uncreative girls everywhere. Girls...not men.

I gasped with glee and grabbed for my phone. But alas, my handbag is like a black hole for cell phones and once I found it, flipping it open and finding the camera button took too long. Mr. Tramp-Stamp was gone. I couldn't share my Don't spotting with the world...

I was left with many questions: 1. Did he know about this tattoo or was it a drunken prank? 2. Was I on a hidden camera show? 3. Did he in fact identify as female and perhaps even a "tramp"? 4. Is this the latest thing in men's tattooing (did I spot a trend and not a don't?)? I suppose I'll never know.

And, I apologize for lack of photo....really, it would have been great.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I watched a new show yesterday was Cashmere Mafia on ABC. I watched all three episodes available on the website and hated every minute of it. It's supposed to be network television's answer to Sex and the City or perhaps a nonsuburban, less lame Desperate Housewives. The premise? Four friends who met in business school are all high-power New York business women. They are powerful; they are winners. Except when it comes to relationships, with their husbands/boyfriends, with their children. In the pilot episode. One gets dumped because she's married to her job. One's fiance calls off the engagement because she beats him out of a new promotion. One has a husband who cheats because she's "as far removed from the idea of a wife he grew up with as one can be and still wear his ring and use his last name." The other one barely has time to deal with her passive husband, rowdy children, and delinquent nannies. The moral of the story? Women can't have it all.

That particular moral made me angry. You'd never see a show about four male friends who couldn't juggle their families and careers. Why is it only women who can't have it all? Aren't we past this yet? Yes, I get's difficult to have a successful career, successful relationships, and successful family lives. But why are women the only ones who are expected to choose?

The part I hated most was how the show operated around tired stereotypes. The successful women were ice queens who ran their homes like boardrooms and the rich stay at home moms were out to ensnare their husbands. The men were even worse. If I were a man watching television, I would be angry that all the depictions of men are so uniformly negative. In this particular show, the men were wimps across the board, passive, intimidated, and insecure.

I once posited that we watch shows where we recognize parts of ourselves in the characters. For instance, I once thought of myself as a Carrie and my dysfunctional relationship as being like the one she had with Big. What a load of shit. But somehow, the level of dissatisfaction and dysfunction on this show reached a new low. I wondered who recognized themselves in these characters and who was secretly wishing her life would turn out like one of theirs. I just kept thinking, who are these people? I don't know anyone like them. And, I don't want to. If art is imitating life in shows like these where dysfunctional relationships are the norm, that's just depressing.

My True Nature

Someone asked me this morning what I would miss most about my job when I leave next week. I dutifully said I would miss my wonderful coworkers.

What I really meant was that I will miss having daily access to a Starbucks.

Seriously...there's not one anywhere near my new office building. I'm a little apprehensive about that. Where does one go when she wants to get the hell out of her office for a few minutes? On the upside, I will save myself untold amounts of money.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Inner invalidation

If someone had tried to tell me when I was an undergraduate (or in grad school for that matter) that my career would go in the direction it has, I would never have believed it. I would never have believed I'd get sick of teaching (...although I think a lot of other people could probably see daily interaction with students grating on my nerves in the long run). I thought I'd found a home in publishing. But, after less than two years at my current place of employment, I'm on to something new.

In a little under two weeks, I'll be starting a new position as an Instructional Designer for an up and coming local company. It's a move into a position that will do more than provide the basic necessities of life. Hopefully, it'll help me thrive professionally, financially, and creatively. All of my work experience has led me to this point...where I'll end up from here is anybody's guess. But, it feels good that as I near 30, I've finally made something of myself...or made myself proud, I guess I should say.

However, is it possible to have good self-confidence and still be insecure? That's how I'm feeling right now. Just a little bit intimidated. That's unusual for me. I like to be the one doing the intimidating. I usually feel as professional and corporate as anyone walking around Westport. Then, yesterday, I went to pick up my new-hire packet at my new place of business. Wow! It makes my current office building look like a pile of bricks. The people I saw walking around were far more dressed up than I get for work now. The first thing I thought was, oh my god, I've got to go shopping (a prospect, I'll admit, that doesn't sound half bad). It's like the first day at a new school, and I just hope I fit in, that I'm carrying the right briefcase, that someone will eat lunch with me.

I'm also generally pretty secure in my abilities (Let's be honest, what English major do you know that doesn't secretly think he/she is god's gift to the written word??). I put a ton of work into the writing test project and writing samples I had to provide for this position. I felt like they were top-notch, and apparently the managers hiring thought so too. But, there's so much of the position that's going to be a stretch for my talents. Which is what I wanted. Challenge was what was missing at my current job. However, I found myself lying awake last night wondering if I'll be able to cut it. This isn't the kind of place where they will tolerate less than outstanding results. That's what they are paying me for. It's been a long time since I've felt any sort of real pressure to succeed. I want this job to be everything I hope it will be. I want to love this job in a way I've never loved any other. I know that in reality, there will be amazing things about the job and things I hate, people I enjoy working with and those I hate, pluses, minuses.

But I don't want to think about that yet. Until reality sets in, I'm just excited and super nervous.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Not Just Another Resolution List

On NYE, I spent the evening hanging out (sober--I was driving later) with my favorite girls and various significant others. Rollergirl suggested we go around and tell our new year's resolutions, and I didn't have any to share. I, Ms. Constant-Self-Improvement-Plan, don't believe in resolutions. Who'd have thought. Like I told Hott Mama once, "The funny thing about turning over a new leaf is that both sides look remarkably the same."

Not that I'm perfect (damn close, but...). Not that I love everything about myself. But, resolutions seem to me a subconscious form of self-hatred or, at the very least, self-doubt. On my day off yesterday, I read no less than a dozen articles on how to whip up a new and better me in 2008, from my waist-line to my love-life. What I really heard was 101 reasons I should be monumentally unhappy with some tiny aspect of my bigger picture. No one wrote about happiness with my current circumstances. Not one person supposed that what I've already got was the stuff of contentment. Nope, unless I could whittle off my muffin-top, discover new levels of intimacy with my guy, and snag that uber-promotion, 2008 would be a bust.

I refuse to buy that anymore. If the mantra of 2006-2007 was "Let. It. Go." (sometimes a good mantra takes awhile to soak in), mantra 2008 would be "Love Whatcha Got" (revised from "Fuck What Everyone Else Thinks"). If my estimation is correct, all other things will fall in line behind that idea. If I love my body (as is), I'll surely try to take care of it and keep it healthy, whether or not Kate Moss and I can ever share pants. If I love my job (hmm, have to work on that one), the love should theoretically shine through and get me the credit I so richly deserve. If I love B, I'll put in the time and thought it takes to make our relationship fabulous. And so on and so on and so on.

If you don't love what you already have, you'll never appreciate what you could have. Ya think?

So, belated new year's wishes for 2008. May you be confident in your choices and abilities. May you learn to love life. May I blog regularly.