Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reality TV Syndrome

I've been feeling pretty down about my job lately. There are lots of things about it that absolutely suck. Lots of things.

But whenever I start to really hate it, I turn on channel 70, and inevitably they'll be an episode of Sunset Tan. This is one of those rare instances in my life where watching people that miserable at work makes me feel much better.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Tomorrow is my 30th birthday.

The birthdays I celebrated when I was younger were anxiously greeted with bated breath. The build-up to the day when I was showered with cake and presents and friends passed like an old lady crossing a busy intersection. I always got something that I wanted, usually the most inexpensive item on my list. My family was poor until I got into high school, but the things a little girl could ask for back in the 80s didn't include cell phones or iPods. We wanted a Rainbow Brite doll or a Care Bear or a Cabbage Patch doll.

This birthday was a little different. I feel like I've been dragged kicking and screaming like I'm about to serve a 10-year sentence for felonious aging. We should be allowed to choose how old we are. People say it only gets better after 30. I don't believe them.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Likening Myself to a Fish

This morning I went over to the home office to take a seminar on some new-fangled financial software my company has invested in to help us manage our budgets. Afterwards, I met with my human resources director to talk about some feedback she had received about me and my leadership skills. The feedback was pretty standard, overall pretty brutal, and of course, anonymous (goddammit). Having no one to hash out the "truthiness" of the feedback, I went to a friend of mine to get some insight and to help stop me from feeling sorry for myself.

She and I have spent a lot of time commiserating lately, mainly because we are both employed at an institution where the young leaders are provided with no mentorship or preparatory training, and are forced to flounder around like two baby wildebeests forging the reptile-infested waters of the Mara river alone. I started feeling better after she took my side, which she's very good at, but we both started realizing the huge flaws in our system that keep us from realizing how great we could be at our jobs.

At one point I turned on the victim mentality and started thinking about how the system was actually built to work against us. This is how pathetic I can get. Sardonically, I said to her, "I feel like I'm swimming upstream. I feel like a salmon spawning. I work and work and work to meet my goal, and when I get there I'm lucky if I even get to have sex before I shrivel up and die!"

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Elvis and Me

I'm not one to spend my week planning out my TV schedule. As a matter of fact, I can safely say, I never PLAN on watching anything. What I watch on TV is really just what's already on when I push the power button. Which is why tonight, I found myself watching Part 2 of which Part 1 happened to be on last night when I grabbed the remote.

The movie, called "Elvis and Me," was made, oh, probably twenty years ago. I assume this because I remember sitting six inches away from the screen on our old analog dial TV in Wahoo, Nebraska, craning my neck from where I was indian-seated on the floor. I had taped this movie, being as it was made for TV, and my parents didn't see that it was fit for a viewer my age. And because it was the only thing I had on videotape, I watched on an endless cycle whenever Angela Bartek, my babysitter, ignored me to talk to her boyfriend on the phone or raid our freezer for Flav-o-rite popsicles, which was, generally speaking, all day.

Watching this movie today brought back so many memories. Especially the parts where Elvis and Priscilla have sex on their wedding day, and the part where she tells him she's pregnant, the rape scene, and the ending after Elvis' death. For some silly reason, this movie really affected me today. Maybe because I remember being so naive about live when I first saw it and wished to have that naivete again, for just a moment or two. I guess I'm getting old, because it made me nostalgic. And Elvis died before I was even born. Exactly a week before I was born. Exactly 30 years ago in 10 days.

Elvis has no significance in my life. I don't really care for his music. I haven't ever seen any of his movies, except, well, "Blue Hawaii" which I don't even really remember. But "Elvis and Me" is one of those movies that caught me at a point in my life where my long term memory was especially active, and so it's permanently implanted. Similar to "Ghostbusters," "Splash," or "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Funny the things we remember.