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On When You're Unemployed

Seriously, what are these nirvanas you're applying to who send rejections? I consider applying for jobs akin to buying a lottery ticket, it's just about as likely to lead to anything good and no one will tell me if I've lost. The best I get is an autoreply email telling me I wasn't hired for a job I'd forgotten I'd applied to anyway.

I had some unemployment way back pre-Netflix, hence my vast L&O and Friends knowledge. Then long time underemployment, never quite getting back on the horse and teaching it it can't buck me off like that, damn it. I have too much experience to look green enough to be taken advantage of cheaply, but not enough to be worth something. So I work my low paid, part-time job, and pretend hard to anyone who asks that I'm learning Useful Skills, and plan to go back to grad school if I can relearn math enough to get decent GRE scores.

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm 1

On You Are, Was, and Always Will Be Pussy Control

I helped start a group that fought against our local school board's dress code. This was the 80s, in the south, so we didn't even know to get into gender issues or sexualization problems or any of the much smarter arguments girls are now making. We were just mad they changed the acceptable skirt length from mid-thigh to knee weeks before school started, when we'd done most of our back to school shopping. And that none of us, boys or girls, were allowed to wear shorts in high school. In southern Louisiana. We lost. We made USA Today because girls were allowed to wear culottes so a boy wore his mom's to school and got sent home as fast as you'd imagine, and the story got picked up. They didn't cover all the times girls like me had to sit and wait in the office for a parent to bring us "acceptable" clothes when our skirt was half an inch too short, when the same skirt had been fine at the other school we'd attended that year. That was sophomore year, they finally allowed shorts when we were seniors, but still, to the knee. The fact I refuse to wear skirts that hit my knee to this day makes me err on the side of letting kids figure out what is appropriate attire by screwing it up a few times. They're going to have to conform to corporate dress codes soon enough, give them time to figure out who they are and what their personal style is first. And learning how to pick things up off the floor in a possibly too short skirt without flashing anyone is an important skill to acquire, good to get it down before you have to do it in front of coworkers. (Bend down at the knees, not over at the waist).

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm 1

On BLAH: A Lifestyle Magazine for the Depressed Woman

We need a fashion piece on "Pajamas, the clothes you never take off." And how to get your family to STFU about it.

Posted on April 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm 0

On Brain Trouble

I've had migraines since I was 18. Every few years they mutate and I get new symptoms. Speech slurring, muscle weakness, lack of coordination, inability to think, vertigo that can vary from being a little light headed to the level of when you're so drunk you can barely stand up and the world won't stay still. And I go blind to the left, which is the main reason I take off work when I have one as driving like that is dangerous. A neurologist several years ago diagnosed me as having basilar artery migraines, which was nice because I finally had a name for the stroke-like hell I went through but bad because it mean all triptans were off limits for me because they can cause an infarction. So, when I get one, there's nothing I can take to stop it. I went through all the preventives Jennifer mentions, some helped for a time, some had side effects bad enough to make any reduction in migraines not worth it. One made me lose the ability to parallel park, one made me forget my own name, one made me shake like a junkie, one made my skull go numb. The only thing that works is an Alzheimer's drug called Namenda, which I have to get from Canada because my insurance company refuses to believe two neurologists saying they really have tried everything else on me. I still get migraines, I've had one now for a couple weeks and wonder how my friends with chronic daily migraines lasting years have refrained from killing everyone. For me, it's not the pain, I can work feeling like my brain is trying to explode from my skull. What stops me is everything else, how I can't think straight and lose coordination so typing is near impossible, how I run into walls because I can't quite aim for the doorway, how my tongue feels thick and slow and speaking is complicated. My migraines are stress triggered and hit when a situation is over so I can usually look forward to being miserable when I should be feeling relieved. Migraines are the reason my parents have had to help cover my insurance and medical costs, and the reason I hit the out of pocket maximum every single year. Without treatment I'd be unable to function.

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm 1

On Frustrating Breakups, Jobs, and Hairstyles

@absofreakinglutely And hopefully you're all still be reading over the weekend. I am really happy this thread exists, because A Lady's advice was less than helpful. I have been temping for a few years now, and looking for full time work. I sent out I don't even remember how many resumes and got nothing. I mean, I have all the admin experience and did not get interviews for more temp companies last year, the job market is that bad. Any listing is getting swamped with resumes, and even if you do get an interview, it often feels like you're one of the "filler" people they see to meet a quota when they already have someone in mind and have to go through the motions anyway. I was with three temp companies, checked in all the time, and got a couple weeks work this year. I have a friend who was up to seven companies before he was getting regular work. He has an MA.

I started volunteering with an organization I believe in, and found I really liked it. I signed up for lots of things, spent days handing out info and answering questions, and even scanning piles of documents to help with a project. I let the volunteer co-ordinator know I was interested in working for them if something came up, and had frequent private freak outs that I wasn't doing enough to make things happen. Welp, when something came up, they did ask me. It's only part-time, temp, and low pay, but it's work I believe in and after years of awful management I had to contain myself from getting down and kissing the ground in my supervisor's office when she discussed how they like people to understand why things are done a certain way.

So, that's my advice/experience. If there's something you're interested in, search around for ways to volunteer in it. If nothing else, you should meet people with similar interests. It's a good way to figure out if you'd like to work in that area, and see how they run the business/management side. I volunteered somewhere else earlier this year, and um, yeah, worst experience ever. Bad management is everywhere, but when you're just a volunteer it's easier to get out and find something/somewhere else. And if you find a good fit, you can get on their radar when paying work opens up, and they'll already know how much ass you kick.

Posted on November 19, 2011 at 6:43 am 1

On Happy Diwali

Anyone else misread that as "Festival of Tights" and get all excited for a minute? Just me? Because I'd totally celebrate those which allow me to wear ridiculously short skirts and look semi-respectable.

Posted on October 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm 0

On Beauty Q&A: Hair Inspiration, Dancewear, and Big Boots

@so what? I am loving the new Nuance range that Salma Hayek created. All at CVS, the whole line is great, from makeup to body care to hair care, and all non-animal tested. I use the honey shampoo and conditioner for color treated hair. Smells divine, leaves my hair detangled and shiny but not dead and flat so the barely there waves are still happy to be coaxed out. I was thisclose to buying her deep conditioner, as I haven't found anything to replace the awesomeness that was Soap & Glory's Hair Supply for leaving my hair all soft and wavy. If they bring that back now they carry it at Sephora, buy it. It is magic.

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 12:30 am 0

On The Magic of Long Hair

@shelleycerata I got the same thing from it. I'd like some luck, too. I have a friend from college who was engaged to someone before the ink on her divorce was dry. That engagement was broken off, she was complaining about Match.com on FB within two weeks of changing her status to "single," back to "in a relationship," in a few months, and is engaged again and looking for a wedding dress. All in just over a year. I can't tell if she's incredibly lucky, or just unable to be alone and willing to settle.

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm 1

On The Magic of Long Hair

@WaityKatie I swear, kids come in a set of two. All my HS and college friends I've found on FB have the pair of kids. Freaks me out. I realized I had little in common with most of those people when my best friend from HS called me "the wild one," because I had moved away for college and stayed mostly away. Yeah, no. In HS I'd been the one hauling her drunk ass out of the backs of cars while saying, "Honey, that's not your boyfriend, and his girlfriend is walking this way, move it."

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm 1

On The Magic of Long Hair

@shenannies I had an actual freaking epiphany, at a Chris Isaak concert of all places, that it was better to be alone than dating a guy I wasn't really into. In my memory, there's even a beam of heavenly light shining down on me as I realized this. I may just have been mesmerized by the stage lights. I broke up with the guy the next day, on the phone because I didn't want to deal with him crying.

Sometimes I'm totally fine being a sad old spinster, and sometimes I am horribly lonely and wonder why no man wants me and if I'll ever have kids. Then I hug one of my cats and remember that they ensure I'll never poop alone or go down the drain when I take a shower, so things are OK on balance. If only they could take out the garbage.

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm 1