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Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pink of Perfection

            So, the last two times I attempted to make popcorn, it was a disaster.  I am speaking not of the microwave popcorn I make at home; nor of the delicious Hanover Center Fair popcorn.  Yes, I fucked up popcorn at the movie theatre.  The first time I messed it up was when I didn’t notice the oil vat that the machine is hooked up to was empty.  So, the kernels just kept on spinning in the popper, a few popping, mostly just getting burned and gross.  Then, yesterday, somehow the drum that pops the corn got out of alignment, and the oil missed it completely, draining into the area that holds the popcorn, and getting all over the machine itself.  This resulted in a day-long project in which the manager had to disassemble, clean, and re-assemble the popper.  Leaving us with three bags to open with today.  Ooops?  So, today, I was determined.  Today was going to be the day that I conquered the popper and make bags upon bags without destroying the popcorn or the machine.  Challenge accepted.  And completed.

            I felt awful when I messed up the first time.  Downright shameful yesterday.  My quest for perfection extends to all facets of my life, and it can be a good thing (I rocked the popper today, motherfuckers!) or it can be bad (I try too hard to please everyone, resulting is sucking at a social life).  I cannot accept the fact that I am imperfect.  It gnaws at me daily, and as much as I try to suppress the anxiety caused by this, I can’t.  So, I wind up trying so hard, I become a spazz, and say things that I regret, and fuck up all my relationships.  Why?  Because I care too much what people think of me.

            Wouldn’t it be great if I could just turn off the “caring” switch?  If I could just stop feeling altogether, become a sociopath, even if only for a few days?  Maybe a few weeks…  Then it wouldn’t hurt so much when I fuck it all up.  I could just shrug it off, walk away, and move on.  Guess I wouldn’t learn anything that way, though…

            The past few weeks, I have been doing a lot of internalizing and looking at myself over the past few years.  Who I was, where I have gone, who I have become, and truthfully?  I’m not sure if I’m much better off than I was four years ago.  There are some areas that have grown, for sure (my confidence, for one), but I haven’t really changed that much; and some of the changes I’ve seen, I don’t care for.  So, this next year, while I work my butt off and save my money, and get ready for that next step, I am going to try and be more positive, and focus on being a happier person.  Because miserable people rarely come out on top.  And truthfully?  I like being on top.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Down in New Orleans...

So, I’ve been in a funk for the past two days.  My depression decided to sneak up on me and I am kind of pissed off at it for that.  At least give me a little warning!  Any-hoo, I think I have figured out the next step.  Last night, on my break, I was driving in my car, and “Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog came on.  This morning, I thought about it, and have decided that while I am at home, I am going to dig myself out of my little financial hole, and then I am going to save, save, save as much as I can to move to New Orleans by my due date of May 6th next year.  (And by due date, I mean the date I set for myself to be out of my parents house.  Don’t get excited.  I’m not pregnant.  Unless I’m carrying the Second Coming, in which case, the world is fucked…)

Why New Orleans, you ask?  For any of you who are reading this and don’t know me personally, I love New Orleans.  I went there last summer for a Student Affairs/ResLife Workshop/Conference (SHOUT OUT TO MY STARS PEEPS!) and fell in love with the city.  I went back over my Spring Break, and was really happy there, so duh… that is the next step.  So, I am researching moving companies, apartment costs, etc. so I know exactly how much I will need to save up in order to move there.  Any help would be greatly appreciated as far as tips for budgeting out a move. 

I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get there, but this feels right.  Like I’ve said, I don’t need to know the endgame, just the next step.  And NOLA is the next step…

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patience, Grasshopper...

            “Patience is a virtue.”  “In your patience possess ye your soul.”  “Good things come to those who wait.”  I have heard, thought, and said these things countless times in my life.   Usually in an effort to convince myself of their truth.  But, the truth is, when they were giving out patience in Heaven, I couldn’t be bothered to wait in line.
            Instant gratification.  A plague on modern humanity.  And on me.  I hate waiting.  I hate waiting for the light to change to green; I hate waiting for the extreme couponing penny pincher to finish arguing over the price of lettuce at the grocery store; I hate waiting for customers to decide if they want popcorn or candy as the concession line builds behind them.  Mostly, I hate waiting around for the hint that will point me in the right direction.
            Five years ago, I sat on my bed in my W. Lebanon apartment that I shared with my then-boyfriend.  I was crying my eyes out, begging God for a sign.  I didn’t need the whole journey; just the right direction.  A few days later, my sign came in the form of a postcard from a college I had once thought about attending, asking if I wanted an application.  It dawned on me: college. 
            I went to college, finally finished something I started, and am seemingly right back where I began, only deeper in debt and serving up food in a different venue.  I keep on plugging away, sending resume after resume out into the interwebs, hoping that someone will take a look and say “She might be a good fit!  Let’s interview her!”  But, alas, nothing.  I check my email more times than is healthy, hoping that I will get that fateful email asking me for an interview.  I know that it takes time for the individuals at the colleges I am applying at to review all of the resumes they get; I understand that there is a review period, and that I might not hear back for weeks.  But it doesn’t mean I have to be OK with it.
Five years ago, I asked and received a nudge in the right direction.  So, where is my next sign?  God made me; He knows I don’t do subtle.  He also knows I am not a patient woman.  I don’t need to know the end of the journey here; I just need the next step.  Pretty please?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Let's go to the Movies...

            The movie theatre is an interesting place.  I almost feel bad for working so hard, but hey, I’m a perfectionist.  I also hate being bored. 
            Lately, I’ve been wondering if Student Affairs truly is the next step.  So far, I’m pretty content at the movie theatre.  But I don’t want this to be all there is for me.  I don’t want my four years of college to be in vain.  I love history, but is it really what I want to continue in?  I’m too old to try and be an actress, and my voice is slowly deteriorating after years of neglect.  So what, then?  Since I’m not young, pretty or thin enough to be a trophy wife, my options are fairly limited.  Maybe I should take this year to get in shape and find me a sugar daddy?  You think I kid.  Laugh’s on you…
            I have pretty much mastered the box office, and am mostly good with concession.  In fact, one woman asked me if I was really in training like my nametag said.  Because, she said, I was “already a pro.”  Great.  A “pro” at Lebanon, NH Entertainment Cinemas.  Actually, I’m pretty proud of how quickly I’ve picked up the job and have started to get to know everyone here.
            But, the thing is… I don’t want to work in Entertainment Cinemas.  I want to work in The Majestic theatre, or something like it.
            I have prided myself on being a rational woman who understands fiction vs. reality.  But, see, my reality (or understanding of reality) was shaped from an early age by movies.  It’s why I love watching movies, studying them, writing about them.  Hell, my dad and I have been known to have entire conversations in movie lines.  So, if I were to guess, I’d say that movies are somewhere in the next step – but what is their role?  What am I supposed to do with that?

            In related shameless plug, check out my other fabulous blog, 365, in which I watch a movie a day for a whole year and write about it, all the while trying to figure out the next step…

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Only the Best!

My apologies for the last post.  Today, it is back to your usual viewing pleasure. 

There was a job I really wanted.  It was a Residence Director (RD) position at Juilliard.  I knew it was the longest of all long shots, but I still threw my name into the hat.  I didn’t get it.  There are others out there, and I have an acquaintance from church who has been randomly forwarding RD jobs as she comes across them to my dad, who has been forwarding them to me.  Frantically, I’ve been sending out resumes and cover letters to any institution in a location I could see myself living in. 

I think that is crucial to finding that great first job – don’t settle.  Rather than just blindly send out resumes and hoping I get anyone to bite, I am being highly selective in where I apply to.  At this point, I am only sending out resumes and applications to schools I actually want to work for, in locations I want to live in.  That way, when I finally get a bite and hopefully a job offer, I can say that I did not settle – I got a great job in a perfect location.  This may sound limiting, but really, there are few places I don’t want to live, so my options are pretty wide open.  My top choices of locations are Boston, New York, New Orleans, California, Florida, Pennsylvania (in no particular order).  But I would be ok with Rhode Island, Maine, Oregon, Washington DC, Washington State, Virginia, Tennessee, even New Hampshire.  There are a lot of great colleges and universities out there, and even though I can’t be too picky (my lack of a Masters does limit me a bit), I refuse to settle.  

So, there ya go, kiddoes.  Advice from someone who gets it, but just has trouble implementing it…

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Obsess Much?

This post is a little long and a little deep (that’s what she said!) so, apologies in advance…

I have this little problem.  It’s called crushing on celebrities.  Ever since I was little, I wanted what I know I can’t have.  A famous boyfriend.  Now, it’s not the fame I am after – it’s the talent, the inevitable sex-appeal that comes from being an on-screen actor… yeah, ok, the luxuries that come with all of that, too (nice house, etc.).  When I find a new actor to obsess crush on, I crush hard.  Here is a list of some of the more memorable Hollywood obsessions I have loved over the years:

Fred Savage: my first true crush.  I fell head over heels for Kevin Arnold of “The Wonder Years”, and watched anything he appeared in over the years.  Occasionally, I’ll check his stuff out, and sure enough, he still fills my heart with wonder.

Kirk Cameron: around the same time I was hopelessly devoted to Fred, I was crushing pretty hardcore on the adorably not-so-bad-boy Mike Seaver from “Growing Pains”.  I was still pretty young (closer to age with my wonderful Fred), but my heart still felt the pain when I thought about how far, far away he lived from me…

David Spade: OK, weird, I know.  But he’s funny, and in the Tommy Boy/Black Sheep days he was pretty darn cute.  This was one I was convinced I would wind up with.  Not really sure what I was thinking.  Must have been his super sexy performance of “Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show” in Lost & Found.

Live Schreiber: This one, I met once.  And… Well… Damn.  He is one of the nicest guys I’ve met, also one of the sexiest.  I only got to talk to him for about 2 minutes, but they were the best 2 minutes of my 21-year old life.

Nicholas Brendon: Best known as Xander Harris on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.  This was the role that caused my heart to pound for him.  Things subdued a little until last summer, when for some inexplicable reason, I fell hard.  I couldn’t stop thinking about him.  It was weird.  But nice.  He can stake me anytime…

Rick Moranis: Yeah.  That guy.  The nerdy guy who ruled the comedies of the ‘80s and the family films of the ‘90s, who dropped off the face of the earth (well, sort of) to raise his kids after his wife passed away.  I first noticed Rick in Little Shop of Horrors, and again in Parenthood.  I was pretty young, and he’s 25 years my senior, so I just stuck with “he’s cute!” until recently… I revisited Little Shop of Horrors, and was reminded just how sexy he really is.  I have since rented all of his movies, bought a few of them, scoured YouTube for anything with him, downloaded his album… yeah, it is safe to say, he is my current obsession. 

Now, this is not normally an issue, but in this day and age, I can’t stalk safely from afar.  There’s this little thing called Twitter.  And all of my guys are on it… I even tweeted Rick on my college graduation day, asking for a Re-Tweet.  I got one!  Made my freaking day.  Now, I am following a band he’s following (they are awesome, by the way – “Brain”.  Check them out!), and they’re following me, and all I could think was “I am thisclose to him following me!”  But I can’t tweet about it… I have already re-tweeted his tweets, tweeted at him a couple of times, and now I’m just gonna look like a psycho stalker.  I expect the restraining order any day.

The thing is, I have this big huge fangirl crush on him, but I also truly admire the man’s talent, character and random-ass twitter activity (Water Polo.  Really?)  I know that I don’t stand a chance in hell with the man, but I still fantasize about it.  And I am a grown-ass woman.  So, why the obsession with unattainable men who are waaayy out of my league (and generation)?

Real men scare the shit out of me.  I have been hurt so many times, usually due to serious cases of unrequited love.  Occasionally due to bad relationships.  The thought of approaching and getting involved with a real, live, possibly attainable man scares me to the point of paralysis.  So, having these fantasy crushes allows me to love from afar without ever actually getting hurt.  Fucked up?  Sure.  Hopefully, I can be cured soon.  Someone find me a real man!  In the meantime, I’m gonna go drool over my sexy nerdy Canadian…


Today, I decided to be sort of productive.  I have completed most of my laundry, which still needs to be organized and put away, organized some of my stuff (even though there is still a pile of junk in the middle of my floor), and applied to/touched base with various schools for RD positions.  Taking a break for now, then it’s back to getting organized. 

I hate applying for jobs.  I have never been good at “tooting my own horn”, although I think I have managed to find the balance of selling myself, but not whoring myself; being interested, but not desperate.  Even though I am.  I do not want to be living at home, wondering what happened to my life.  I do not want my college career to have been in vain. 

I have an idea of what I would ultimately like my life to look like, but I try not to dwell on the picture for too long, because it will inevitably change.  Four years ago, the plan was to get my history degree, and work for the history channel, or write books and go on the lecture circuit.  Now, I want to be an RD, and get all my masters/PhD and be a professor.  Or is that really what I want?  What about my personal life?  I’m 33 – it would be nice to meet someone and have the life-long (what’s left of it) relationship I have always wanted.  And what about kids?  Will I ever have kids?  That was part of the lifeplan from the get-go.  Now?  No clue.

So, I just keep moving and applying and sweeping up smooshed popcorn, waiting for the next bend in the road.  Waiting for the next step…

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fly Like... Oh.

It’s been just over a week since I left Keene State, and I am bored.  I am bored with my job already, I am bored with nothing to do, I am bored… just. Bored.  I have been watching Nostalgia Critic, reading erotic stories (might actually try writing one, why not, right?), playing Sims 3, and pretty much just sitting on my ass.  Which is all well and good for a few days, but my GOD. 

The other day, while I was working in the movie theatre, a bird got in.  When two of the other employees chased the bird out of the theatre it was in, it swooped through the lobby, and smacked into the glass window.  While pigtail girl went into the bathroom and cried her eyes out and the manager and the cute ginger boy took the bird out to the sidewalk to see if it would come to and fly away. (It didn’t).  I was put on popcorn duty.  I stood in front of the popcorn monster and watched it belch put popped kernel after popped kernel, and thought to myself “I hope that bird was not a sign of my future.”  The movie theatre is fine for a temporary gig, a placeholder until I can find something I really want to do, a paycheck with the awesome benefits of a summer of fantastic movies.  But I don’t want to get trapped and die there.

So… To the interwebs to figure out the next step!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

By the Numbers

So, after two days at the movie theatre, I can tell you this: it is all about numbers.  At the start of your shift, you make a list of things that need to be stocked (bottled drinks, cups, popcorn bags, candy, etc.).  Then you put the list in a laundry basket and bring it upstairs where everything is stored.  It gets filled and brought down to you.  Then you count everything – cups, bags, drinks; everything.  You write it on your inventory sheet and put it all away.  There must be four in front and back of the candies in the counter.  There must be six of each soda in a row, five of each vitamin water.  Then, after a turn, you take stock and do it all over again.  At the end of the night, you count everything so they can compare what is there to what sold – including every cup, popcorn bag, etc.  So, when a customer asks for a cup so share their drink with their friend, the answer is: “sorry, it’s inventoried”. 

I always knew movies were all about numbers, I just didn’t realize how every aspect of them are…

The people I work with are an interesting bunch.  The girl that has trained me the past two days is young enough to be my daughter.  She pays attention to detail when she wants to – she does make sure everything is counted and matches up, but doesn’t run the water through the popcorn machine enough at the end of the night.  Heaven forbid work cuts into play time.  There’s the adorable girl in pigtails, who happens to be def, but rocks the concession stand like it’s nobody’s business.  There’s the quiet girl who ushers that everyone kind of forgets about (that would have been me at her age).  The guys are… well, guys.  I’m surprised there aren’t more nerdy film dudes.  They probably work at the Nugget.  I work at the ghetto theatre.  

It has been an exhausting but fun couple of days.  I have to say, I’m pretty proud with how I just jumped right in; still reserved, but not afraid to try.  I used to be the super quiet, wait until I’m given something, trainee.  Now, I jump in, ask what needs to be done, and have already impressed my bosses.  They want to cross train me on box office and give me more hours.  Gotta say it: what a difference three years with ResLife can make.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Recent Grad

I graduated college last Saturday.  Now what?  Well, the first thing I did was pack my life away and bid farewell to the place that has been my home for the past four years, and returned to the home of my childhood.  I am 33 years old, living with my parents, and am super excited that I got a job at the local movie theatre.  Is this what it was supposed to be like? 

It’s not that I don’t have a vision for my future, I do, it’s that my vision is not becoming a reality.  I was planning on grad school, but I had a mental shut down this past year, only applied to one school, and was waitlisted.  So, I started job searching for positions in my chosen field (Student Affairs/ResLife) that don’t require a masters degree; preferably an RD position – free housing is a definite plus right now.  I still am waiting to hear back from places I have submitted my resume to, but so far it’s looking grim.

So, today I put in an application at the local movie theatre.  I’ve always wanted to work at a movie theatre.  I got hired practically on the spot, and start tomorrow.  I see this as a great opportunity – I love movies, so I get to see all the movies for free, and for some reason I feel like this place will give me so much to write about, so that’s a good thing, too.  I know it is only temporary – a paycheck and experience to tide me over until a grad school or a job comes along.  Plus, free movies.  I give myself a year to earn some money and get my shit straightened out.  I can live at home and work in a movie theatre for a year.  Right?

My future is very uncertain, and a large part of me is ok with that.  It was this uncertainty that pointed me towards going back to college and earning a degree in the first place, and I came out of that a strong, confident and well-educated person.  So, if this is the next step, then I’m game.