Cliché


I was thinking about doing Twitter, because I frequently have random thoughts that would be perfectly suited to Twitter’s über-haiku format. But then I think “what if I only have 2 followers?” and I think I would get depressed about that.

And then I thought about doing Facebook, because even some of my (ahem) uncles have been harassing me about not having a page. But I don’t need something else to suck my time away, and I don’t want to be in touch with anyone from high school except the one I’m in touch with, and I’m not going to be “friending” my boss, so WTF? I can’t even stay in touch with friends in the real world, so now I should be “friends” in the cyberworld?!

I guess I could use it to post pix and what – only – a- parent – thinks – is -perfectly – adorable- ramblings about my dog  (the Poopy Diaper Chronicles?) and do some mini-twitters (something about a wall in FB? Mine would always say ‘Marie/y is walking her dog’), but I hear FB is addictive, and if there’s one thing that someone who quit smoking 6 years, 5 months, and 29 days ago does not need is something to become addicted to.

And then I review my life over the last couple of months, and it’s “all puppy all the time” (“and did I tell you she can stay ‘down’ for more than 10 seconds now? and she has the attention span of a butterfly?”)

yawwwwnnnnn – the Poopy Diaper Chronicles

Or possibly worse, with the exception of a no-holds-barred job hunt to move down South, I am living virtually the same life I was last year at this time: bitching about grass growing in the garden and not in the yard, working too much (although this year I have the punishment of making less money—yeah yeah, I know…at least I have a job–whatever–tell it to my 401k), walking the dog (albeit a new dog) all the time, talking about my grandmother’s Eureka Princess vacuum cleaner (it died btw), wondering where all the flies come from.

Sure there are a few variables, but essentially I am living Groundhog Day. Basically my life has been so rote that I don’t even have the twisted point of view to make fun of it here (or anywhere).

That was also an alarming realization – if nothing else I’ve always had my twisted perspective to see me through…

Add that to the fact that (for reasons out of my control) I haven’t had a vacation this year, nor met several goals I had for myself a year ago, and suffice it to say I had a mini-wakeup call.

So I decided that I’m going to re-frame this time in my life as a time to prepare for what lies ahead. Not that I know what that is mind you, but what I have now isn’t what I had planned…I’m not used to that – I usually meet my goals.

So for now I’m looking for cheap thrills (on every level) and am mixing it up a little: Going into work later, taking 1/2 day off, making more effort to see my friends, getting rid of toxic friends, seeing my cousin’s baby (who I keep calling my niece, but since I don’t see mine I’m adopting this one as my 3rd niece), going a different way to work, etc.

Even taking the dog somewhere different to walk, since I have walked every single street within the surrounding mile and am sick of it all. I now actually frequently drive my dog for a walk. That just seems wrong, but I don’t care. I’ll go stark, raving madder if I have to keep walking the same walk.

But yeah, I’m doing crazy stuff like that. Next thing you know I’ll be trolling for men in bars or something. Anything is possible. I just have to see the possibility through the b.s. I’m swimming in.

note to self: possible book title “Swimming in (Through?) Sh!t” – need subject

But, don’t abandon me dear reader (even those of you who’ve reduced me to your “check once a week” list). Short of an original thought, I have 50+ drafts I can always post, and stay tuned for my new dog treat name and tagline idea.

More to come but in the meantime I’ll be living a the dream.

I’m desperately trying to re-frame this time in my life as a time to prepare for what lies ahead.
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(I wanted to post this on his real birthday, but in a later post I’ll explain why I couldn’t…)

The other day would’ve been The King’s 74th birthday. I knew this only because the radio dude reminded me but my sister would remember because she looooooved him.

It was an unrequited love, of course, but as far back as I remember she watched all of his movies every time they were on, knew all of of his songs, and was thus the inevitable target of much mockery.

Mocking Elvis came early and easily. It was the ’70s and this was the height of his cliché period: the Vegas shows, the over-sweating, the bejeweled white bell-bottomed jumpsuits, the whole bit…

yah baybayyyy…

cstm

cstms2

I’m sorry but he couldn’t act.

The ability to mock him was reinforced by knowing my sister loved him and later by visits to the late-lamented “Elvis is Alive Museum,” located nearby and where they took his aliveness very seriously.

The museum tried to explain how they had proof he was alive but I never quite got it – something about undercover work for the FBI? – but I had to really try not to laugh because they were so serious about it.

This was part of their proof:

nixelv

Huh?? Yes, of course that proves he’s alive…

The real charm of the Museum was in the individual rooms, each of which was surrounded by the various framed proofs of his aliveness:

  • the funeral room: where the Elvis mannequin rested in a real coffin, complete with sad funeral music playing and bad fake bouquets. The “corpse” didn’t even look like him and not just because his head was a little off-center. His head was off-center because it got damaged in shipping and the head fell off. Not surprisingly the museum didn’t have a professional conservator to repair it so the head was delicately balanced adjacent to the body.
  • the wedding “chapel”: Really just a plastic archway with tacky plastic flowers around it. You could rent it for marriage ceremonies. And remember there was framed “evidence” of his aliveness around this room, so it really added to the celebratory ambiance.
  • the research room: full of primary sources like the National Enquirer, Star, and other documentation proving his existence. You could sit and page through the “evidence.”
  • the movie room: I remember laughing a lot but do not remember one thing about the video proof that he is alive.
  • the gift shop: The real reason any of us goes to a US museum is for the tschochkes (sp?). I don’t remember any of those either, but I DO remember they had things with Graceland price tags on them. Not surprisingly the Museum was being sued by Graceland, but for some reason the woman in the store thought that subpoenaing Priscilla and Lisa Marie would help them. No, of course it made no sense.

That’s probably why it eventually went under.

The guy who ran it was a real estate agent – minister – restaurant owner who apparently thought he was Elvis’s twin brother: he wore a white jumpsuit, drove an old ’70s convertible Caddy, had dyed black hair (and was too old to carry it) and “the glasses.”

The museum visits simply reinforced everything I thought about him: tacky, dated, can’t act, dead.

Fast forward many years…I heard an Old Navy commercial and loved the song so much that I went to their website to look it up. Turns out it was a Paul Oakenfold remix of Rubberneckin’ and once I went through denial, anger and acceptance, I got a copy of the song.

It snowballed from there. I heard Suspicious Minds somewhere (another commercial?) and then rediscovered and listened to A Little Less Conversation, which is a little dated because he uses the word “groovy” but is still catchy. I’ve added all 3 to my “boppin’ in the garden” playlist.

Now, I have a good friend who works at a major travel company and she got 4 of us plane tickets and we all met up in Memphis a few months ago. I’d always wanted to go to Graceland but we all thought it such a cliché and tacky but I knew I’d regret not going. I needed the full picture, not just the Elvis is Alive Museum picture…

We ended up going and oh my god…it was everything I imagined and…everything I imagined.

The rooms with all the awards and costumes were amazing…

Look at all these awards. This is one room, about 1/2 way down the corridor. Photo is crappy but you get the sense of how many awards / gold records the dude got.  And this is only half of one hallway!!

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More crappy pictures showing another award room in the former racquetball court:

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And how about the infamous TV room…what’s up with that monkey?!

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Here’s the adjacent fabric ceilinged and walled billiard room. The ceiling was actually done really nicely, with some serious pleats ‘n’ stuff:

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But really, nothing was more impressive than one of his planes, the Lisa Marie. For example, check out one of the bathrooms on the plane:

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See that cushion on the right? That’s really the toilet seat (leather of course). The sink? Gold-plated.

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All the seatbelts have gold-plated seat clasps. I’m hoping to god that the plastic was not present when they were using the plane. That would be tacky.

Of course, nothing could surpass the sofa bed. I’m betting it was used more as a bed since I think he got this plane during his pill period…How many women went on that plane hoping to join the Mile High Club with Elvis, only to find out that the King needed a nap?!

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And again, let’s hope the plastic wasn’t on the bed when it was in use.

So on this, the King’s non-74th birthday, I have to apologize to my sister all those years of Elvi-torture. More importantly, I hereby publicly acknowledge that I do like some of his songs. The dude couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag but still, he was (in many ways) the King.

…off.

Today.

Obviously, I would’ve preferred what you were thinking but unfortunately no.

My last day was supposed to be a week from tomorrow and honestly, I dreaded going back to “the ‘we’re combining’ to make the Everywhere Place into the Holy Crap It’s a Huge Mega Company.” Been there, done that, and it sucks.

So I guess it’s “better this way” despite not knowing a lot yet and I’m sure “it’ll all be for the best in the end” and blah blah blah. But as I’ve said before – many times – “it’s the middle part that sucks.”

So stay with me kids. When I get under-employed is when I get the funniest because I have to look for something to make me smile see things in a skewed way am already twisted it just comes out am delusional guess we’ll find out…

I won’t become a “victim of the economy anything”  but if I call you crying just bear with me. If I run out of food, feed me a meal.

If I tie my animals’ paws together and put them on the curb because they’re driving me nuts because I’ve been home with them all day untape them and tell them to run away. If I call and ask how to make cat food taste better, give me some spice ideas. If I call to see if you have extra furniture, give it to me so I can burn it for heat.

Most of all, if you want my resume to pass along to someone who works at a cool company I’d like to work at (preferably near a beach) then call me. <Sprout:  copy is coming.>

Other than that I promise I’ll try to keep the Elizabeth Kübler-Ross stages of grief off these pages.

Welcome along for the journey…

moowahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…

“I am not what I think I look like.”

-Bill Cosby

I’m almost embarrassed (“almost” being the operative word here) to admit this but do you know what I just said to my dog (as I was carrying her away, and not caring about her comfort, from something she would not leave)?

I said, “Yeah, well, you should’ve thought of that before you did it.”

Seriously. I just can’t believe that came out of my mouth. To a dog

Remarks like that just must be deeply deeply ingrained (engrained?) in a person so they can be blurted out before even realizing it’s a concept to think. I just have to hold onto the hope of it being deeply en/ingrained because otherwise it means I’m crazy.

,

,

Be quiet — I heard you think that.

<related post>

Dear Diary,

I’ve been losing myself in my weed patch garden and in magazines or books (but the poor Buddha still waits <background post here>, renewed for 2 more weeks from the county library (maxed out now), though I’ve also had the other copy from the city library for 3 weeks now. I have 2 Buddha books just reeking of good things they could impart if I could just read one of them…) because I’m “processing.”

I just feel like my postings and non-postings are kind of crabby (and some would add “and boring” to that). Sorry, dear reader. Believe it or not, I strive to be light (yet deep!), humorous (yet profound!), and engaging. No really, I do…

I’ve been processing a couple of things. The main one is should I proactively decide that my days at the Everywhere Place are numbered and I need to go now, under my own power, or can I handle the consequences of taking chance that they’re maybe not numbered and go through some inevitable pain etc. to stay a little longer because I like the place?

You’d know exactly who I was talking about if I mentioned the name of the Everywhere Place, but suffice it to say that there’s a pretty big M&A (that’s “mergers & acquisitions” for my fellow art historians) battle on between the Everywhere Place and another place known for increasing its (profit) margins by cutting cutting cutting.

When a major multi-national corporation starts cutting costs it’s not just downright goofy. it’s not bad enough that you have to start begging for pencil lead for your mechanical pencil (seriously — been there, done that), but people get fired (aka getting “RIF’d,” “attritted,” laid off, reduced, etc.) <another post about this>.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s business, corporate america, the way the real world works, nothing personal, blah blah blah. But really, if you have any heart, loyalty or work ethic it IS personal.

I’m not saying it should be this way, but I wonder if the qualities that make one take it personally may also be the ones that make one a good employee. I’m not talking about me of course (me take it personally?!), just musing…

Some people at work have been through this a lot (some 3 times and more!). They seem immune to it all, and it really seems like it’s no big deal to them. But like it or not, I’m easily attachable, and what I thought would be easy (leaving) may not be so much.

The reality of cutbacks, layoffs, cost-cutting measures, whatever you want to call it, is harsh. It’s brutal. At my last job at the Mother Ship, one time we knew when the firings were coming and another time it was a surprise attack, but both were harsh. Even though I “made it” through both of the cuts, I learned (on a real level) that corporate america is harsh and impersonal.

In corporate america now, you should (IMHO) do your best, but when something better comes along you should jump on it. Because when the tables are turned they will do the same to you in a heartbeat. Harsh, sad, possibly amoral of them, but true.

Usually when you ( I ) leave a job, I am ready. I’m looking forward to the new place and the — clichéd word alert — challenge of a new job, but I’m leaving the old place for a reason: I’ve learned all I can from the position or the place, I need a change, the management changes (i.e. – sucks), whatever. It’s time. Even though there are people you’ll miss and you have some good memories, you’re ready to go & you know it’s for the best.

But when you think you still have good work to do, you’re not finished learning the lessons you’re meant to learn there (job-wise or lifewise), and mostly, you just really like the people you work with and what you’re doing, it is hard hard hard to think about leaving, not to mention pre-emptively doing it on your own initiative. Hard hard hard.

As a legalized ‘ho,’ employed by a legalized pimp, which is a company that pimps you out contracts you to a john a company you report to work at every day and then takes a cut of your billable hours, you have a certain comfort knowing you’re not trapped when things like this happen. There’s degree of freedom in knowing this.

But when it actually comes to pass and you’re not ready for it to happen yet, intellectually understanding it and living it, doing it, are all more difficult.

Tonight while I was yardening it finally hit me:I am going through the 5 (?) stages of grieving that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined and wrote about.

Adding insult to injury is that I need a new pimp ’cause this one’s been ‘jackin’ me). So my work is doubled before I’ve even started! While I know it will all work out in the end, it’s the getting there (going thru the process: both the “get a new job” process and the “accept that I have to get a new job even though I don’t wanna” process) that can be sucky. well, not necessarily sucky, but not something I’m particularly looking forward to.

I just think it might be worse to stay and watch all these “lifers” (some there for 20+ years!) go through this for the first time. My tendency is to be like a paper towel: I absorb a lot, even the icky stuff, and I’ve absorbed enough moisture I don’t have control over (let alone what I do have control over) and think I just might be saturated.

So the long story is that that’s why I haven’t been feeling it lately.

‘Cause when a person is practicing “Would you like fries with that?”, beginning the poverty program (tonight: turkey dogs ‘n’ buns, and dammit I just remembered I forgot to heat and eat the beans), and they’re just not really feeling it, do you really want to read this person’s posts?

I know — me neither.


Today I spent a lot of time in the weedpatch garden.

(Side note: I am so happy I have the physical strength and ability to garden again so now I — major cliché alert — make hay while the sun shines and get while the getting’s good.

Both of those clichés have gotten me into trouble <hello, last relationship> but for the most part they’ve served me well <hello, last relationship>. It’s complicated.)

Anyway, for some reason I couldn’t get my mp3 player external speakers to work (probably the dead batteries) so I wore the player on the beltclip holder like the geek I am.

(Another side note: I’m proud to say that I didn’t get the earbud cord caught in anything today. Thank you. Do you how hard that is to accomplish?)

Anyway again, I sang away the day, rocking out, using the spade as my mike. It was a perfect day.

Well, mostly perfect. Almost all day long, the new dog in the ‘hood barked, but since I had earbuds in I could ignore it.

Someone stopped by and I (of course) turned off the music while they were here. Interestingly, when I stopped singing the dog stopped barking. It didn’t start barking again until I started singing again.

Coincidence? Obviously, this is what I choose to think, so please don’t tell me if you think otherwise.

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