Writer’s Block

I don’t think I have writer’s block in the traditional sense. I know what I want to say, it comes out as I type and I’d like to think what I write isn’t pure crap. It’s the getting started that’s hard. And continuing. I’ll plan to write and come up with a million things I’d rather read instead, so I just waste hours reading when I could be writing something.

I forget which interview with the artist Linder Sterling this was (it wasn’t the one with Morrissey featured in Interview Magazine which was wonderful to read), but she said somewhere that being creative can’t be scheduled. Unfortunately working a day job, I have to schedule my “creativity” around that which I think is part of the problem. If only I could be one of those people living in their parents’ basements! F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote This Side of Paradise in his mother’s attic. Just kidding, having developed some life skills from living on my own will benefit me whether or not I ever do become an author.

Anyway- I actually have begun a novel I intend to complete. I just need to find something within me to give me that final push to actually do that.

Going “no ‘poo.”

Not shampooing one’s hair sounds like it would be really disgusting. And for the average person it probably would be, at least temporarily. Shampoo contains chemicals which strip the scalp’s natural oils, so the scalp overcompensates by producing more oils, the hair becomes greasy if it’s unwashed, and it becomes an endless cycle that results in being stuck purchasing tons of hair products. Which is precisely why I decided to ditch the ‘poo (and conditioner and everything else).

As an aside, many cosmetics/hair product companies test on animals and I’m trying to reduce my consumption of those products to zero. As I mention in my vegan/vegetarian purchasing guide, there are a decent amount of companies out there who don’t test on animals, but I figured if there’s a completely natural alternative, why not try it?

I don’t mean that I literally don’t wash my hair. Instead of nasty chemicals I use baking soda with a rinse of vinegar. The baking soda absorbs oils and such and the vinegar acts as a conditioner making my hair smooth and shiny.

A reprise of my pink hair photo on the main page.

Hair normally undergoes a transition period of about two or so weeks where it’s super greasy from being unwashed, but the situation normally corrects itself. Frequent washings with baking soda can aid the transition period before gradually tapering off to one or two baking soda washes per week. Thankfully my hair only took about a week to adjust and I normally wear it in a pony tail anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal.

An even closer look.

A closer look.

I’m now about a month and a half into this experiment. Ultimately I feel like my hair has become healthier. Less hair falls out when I rinse and comb it out (which I do every night). It feels clean and has the same amount of volume as it always did (I think my length has started to weigh it down). I recently did a henna rinse which made it feel even nicer and look more vibrant. As you can see, I’m growing my hair as long as possible and I don’t want a head full of super long, damaged hair.

Overall I’m satisfied and my total cost for hair care has been reduced to an average of around $5/mo taking the cost of the henna into account.

 

 

Here are some resources for those who are interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_poo

http://no-poo.livejournal.com/

http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/

Google comes up with a bunch more.

Most of these resources discuss measuring amounts of baking soda and vinegar and coming up with the correct ratio of water/baking soda or water/vinegar for your hair. I’m far too lazy for all that, so I just eyeball a half cup of baking soda and mix it with water. The vinegar I just put straight on and rinse out. That probably won’t work for everyone though. I should also note that I apparently also have the ideal hair type for this kind of thing (thick and wavy). It can be harder to find the right balance with other hair types, but as humans managed without detergent-like shampoo for thousands of years, it should be do-able for everyone.

I’ve been having a terrible time focusing.

I have no idea what the hell my problem is…it’s like I’ve all the sudden I’ve grown ADD. I’ve always had a small issue with procrastination but never THIS BAD…like so far I’ve been able to still get things done but it’s SUPER last minute. I’ve also been letting tons of things slide that aren’t critical but still should be done.

Maybe I just have too much going on and that’s made my brain go haywire.

I also feel like I know an inordinate amount of crazy people.

I had a friend a long time ago who whenever I’d ask, “Why do all these crazy things happen to me?” would answer, “Because you’re crazy, dear.”

I feel like I’m on the verge of going Charlie Sheen. I want to run around the city with my pants off. Just kidding- I am always appropriate in my pantlessness.

But seriously….I feel like I need to get a grip or get medicated.

Whoa, crazy shit has happened since Jan.

First off…I am 21…woo woo…not a real adult yet though since I don’t think I can rent a car from most places, or have to pay some sort of extra fee, I don’t know. I doubt that’s a situation I’m going to find myself in in the near future though, so not a big deal.

Sooooo….I had the most RIDICULOUS experience at my internship, which sucks, and today I got vaguely angry about it, but I feel like it did change my perspective about things. So it was definitely a learning experience in its own special way.

Long story short, Dude was BATSHIT and I was allowed to quit with no negative repercussions to my grade. It was seriously the most absurd and insane situation I have ever been in. I will never again think I have a bad boss because he was the WORST. BOSS. EVER. I should add that it was the WORST. RUN. BUSINESS. EVER. as well. A lot of people say their boss sucks, is crappy, is the worst boss ever…but I have never before in my life had a boss who I thought had genuinely lost his sanity. Not to mention was rude, disrespectful, didn’t listen to me, etc. I don’t mean standard rudeness…I mean…like, he would push me out of the way, tell me to shut up, tell me I did something wrong then tell me to do the EXACT SAME THING. And he told me that everyone at my real job is an asshole who doesn’t give a fuck. All great stuff to say to people, especially someone who’s doing you a huge favor by working for free, and putting in way more hours than is required by school.

So what I’m annoyed about is, Dude didn’t teach me one single thing. Well I guess he did, he told me how to make fabric toughened up. And how to not run a business, and that one should pay down their college credit card debt- those I observed on my own though. Anyway, this was supposed to be a design internship to prep me for working in a design department and to be real world experience for what I’m learning in product development. But it became more of a PR internship spearheaded by his girlfriend. Good stuff to know, I’m not denying that, and it will look good on my resume ( Dude didn’t care that I quit, while I would never use him as a reference, I feel like it’s ok to put it on my resume and for references I would use people at my regular job). And I did get better at Illustrator and Photoshop, as well as stuff like networking/reaching out to clients, uploading stuff to the website, newsletters, etc. But it wasn’t the design stuff I wanted to learn. Plus, the new stuff I was doing kind of stopped after a month or so and it seriously devolved to me uploading shit on Facebook, updating his Excel spreadsheets for sales, etc….then several hours of pretending to work because I was either stuck watching the store or he didn’t want me to go home. I also honed my sunglasses polishing and Windexing skills.

So I can’t help but feel a little gypped. It’s just so irritating because the company I really wanted to intern with offered me TWO positions, but it was after I’d already committed to this. And those were real design internships. So I can’t help but wonder if this fucked up my career in some way? But maybe stuff will work out and another path will work out for me. I honestly don’t really want to work in design anymore…the design related stuff he had me do SUCKED. All I did was wander from vendor to vendor as a gofer and he was incredibly vague as to what he wanted, would yell at me, and the vendors would all be like, “Um, we need him to come up, not you,” since it’s not like he bothered to tell me what he wanted to do with the garments. He didn’t even have a price list or tell me how much things cost, he had no store policies, no inventory…fucking ridiculous!

I’m glad about the extra spare time I have now that I am done, but I still do wish that I had had a normal intern experience. This whole thing makes me more grateful and appreciative of my real job though. They have taken the effort to develop me and teach me new things, and most importantly I don’t get yelled at, told to shut up…they actually CARE about the stuff I do there and I feel like there would be some sort of a problem if I left, it wouldn’t just be like, “Ok, bye!”

This guy didn’t care one bit about the work I did. He would give me projects then never mention them ever again…or a few weeks later be like, “Oh, good job.” So was this all just busy work? Seems like it.

I’m tired of typing and in class. Will post again soon.

In which I pretend to be an art critic.

One of the best things about summer in the city is the vast amount of spare time I have to go to various museums that I am too busy to go to during the school year, and was too distracted by other things to go to last summer. Unfortunately, unlike in DC, they are not free, but whatever…that’s what working out a budget is for.

So there are two exhibits I went to…one at the New Museum and one at the Met that were very similar in their concepts, except the one at the Met was TERRIBLE and the New Museum one was worth my $8.

The New Museum had an exhibit (now gone) called The Generational: Younger than Jesus which featured young artists under the age of 33 from all around the world, and their art which dealt with social issues facing people born since 1976.  It was very high concept I suppose, as someone described it, but even though it was modern art utilizing different mediums (one installation was a lady in a bed) and on the surface some of the pieces could have come across as someone just throwing together a bunch of crap and calling it “Modern Art” (as is the stereotype) at least there was adequate explanation of the artists’ background and statement so that the viewer could at least understand that the artist had a legitimate point…and the art generally did look like the artist had made some sort of effort.

On the other hand….the Met had an exhibit called The Pictures Generation and it was completely ridiculous.  A lot of the art was just advertisements that the artist had altered in some small way, magazine cut outs…it wasn’t even as if these were collages…it was like someone saw an ad they liked…took words from another ad and glued them together. The worst example were baby shoes an artist had bought with the intention of using them in a piece, but ended up selling them instead. And this was not a famous artist either. How is buying shoes art? Seriously…I am entertained by most exhibitions but I just don’t understand art where the artists has made essentially zero effort and has created something with no purpose in mind and something that somebody without any talent could do. I should add that the museum did not include much explanation on what the intent of these artists were (unless I somehow managed to miss it), aside from “being affected by modern things” or whatever. Wow. So am I.

Sorry people. Dadaist art already happened, please don’t try to recreate it.

Anyway, the Model as Muse exhibition, also at the Met, was 348732894723894 times better and everyone should go see that. They were really creative with their mannequins and have a lot of information on influential designers, photographers and models.

I just got an email about a possible job I would love to have.

And that got me thinking about something a little bit unrelated, but close enough, that I’ve been thinking about while I’ve been taking summer classes.

I just really hate the tedium and structure of school, to the point that I sometimes wish that it were back in the day when it wouldn’t have been necessary for me have the responsibility of educating myself, and supporting myself, etc. I know that I would not actually enjoy that…I understand that the women’s rights movement happened for a reason, that it’s good to be educated and be self reliant.

I guess what I really want is the freedom to only do what I’m interested…I don’t think I’m stupid…I enjoy reading things, writing and learning about certain subjects…I just hate say, having to do fifteen Spanish excercises a day, or reading my microeconomics lecture.

And how work pertains to this…I feel like a lot of petty stuff goes on at jobs that’s not much of an improvement over high school, and I always felt that maybe in an office job it would be better, but whenever I say that to people they say it’s the same bullshit, just at a higher level. And of course my other concern is, what if I lose my job and can’t find another one? And I have no significant other to help support me, I’d be completely screwed.

This post is really just a stream of consciousness with a beginning that could be construed as offensive to women. I wasn’t trying to say that I wish the women’s rights movement hadn’t happened and that I wish I were cooped up in a house all day and forced into an arranged marriage…I just wish life was a bit more like Jane Austen…where I’d have a steady stream of suitors to pick from, I’d be able to live a life of relative leisure and pursue my own interests. I guess the equivalent now would be being a society lady. I don’t know how I’ll find a society man though.

I guess this ties into the email about the job I want because I worry about things not working out, and I wish I had some sort of safety net to fall back on.

Carry on, now.

I’m happy, but so nervous about only having a year left of school.

I think my worst fear is not being able to find a job. I do already have a job that pays the bills, but I really don’t know if I could make ends meet when I have the added burden of paying off my student loans, etc. What I need is a full time, preferably salaried position. Thankfully my school makes us do an internship before we graduate, and I’m really hoping that could lead to a job. There are also companies with excellent training programs, such as Macy’s. I’m thinking positively, thinking that yes I can get these jobs, I just have that nagging feeling in the back of my mind…like, what if the economy is still terrible and I’m up against 500 applicants that are just as qualified or more qualified than I am?

I have so many examples of people that I don’t want to turn out like, and it scares me. I know that’s mean to look at someone, and think “There’s an example of something I don’t want to be,” but it’s completely true. All I can think of is, if it happened to them, it could happen to me.

I just hope that maybe I have some drive to succeed that they’re lacking, or I did better in school, or even have better interpersonal skills. Me getting my Banana job that I declined at least gave me more confidence in my interviewing skills. Before that three jobs had just not called me back, and it left me wondering what I had been doing wrong.

But yeah…the future scares me, and I’m happy that I’m facing this a year early, I essentially have an extra year of my life…I’m just worried about being prepared, and money mostly.

I hate making choices.

Sometimes I wish it were one hundred years ago and my only choice was to get married. No, that’s a lie…obviously I’d just be frustrated by my lack of choices, not to mention the high risks of dropping dead from minor illnesses and major events like childbirth.

Anyhoooooooooo….I FINALLY got another job. Long story short, I kept interviewing for different things and no one was calling back…this happened at Express, Benetton, and TopShop, and it got to the point where I was seriously wondering if my old managers were saying something nasty about me. There’s no reason at all for them to have done that (and they probably didn’t actually, I think I just had bad luck), the worst thing I did there was say I would come back for the summer and then not….which plenty of people do.

Anyway, this time I actually was not actively pursuing any job leads. Banana Republic must have had my resume on file from when I was first applying for jobs back in ’08…or I get emails from Gap, Inc. sometimes and apply to all of  the relevant openings….so Banana called me to set up an interview. That interview led to a followup, they said they’d call me in a day or two, they called me two hours later, and voila, I’d gotten the job.

Sound great, but I feel as if there aren’t enough pros of this this job to justify leaving my old one. On the one hand, Banana offers an internship and apprenticeship program for people who want to work in corporate, and they’ll also be paying me more and they have an incentive program, so after I sell a certain amount I can start earning commission and getting rewards. That all sounds great and dandy, buuuuuuuut….I can’t participate in their apprenticeship program until I’ve worked there for a year…which will be after I’ve received my Bachelors degree. And also, they have some pretty high sales goals. It’s not that I’m unable to reach sales goals, it just makes everyday so much more stressful, and then I have to sell one credit card a day, which again, I can do, but it sucks,  and I think a lot of it has to do with luck.

So I’m thinking it makes more sense to stay in my old job and just wait until the Spring when I’ll be doing an internship for school which I have to do to graduate…because maybe that internship will lead to a job…or I could do one of Macy’s’ training programs…because at least then I’d be able to do something right after getting my degree, instead of having to be a retail bum for another month or two. And I don’t hate it there, it’s just annoying in the way retail is…plus it’s a lot more laid back than Banana would be. I think my main issue is, I’d like to be in a corporate type environment, not a store one, and if I had to stay in a store one, I’d like to have some position of responsibility. I’m not trying to say people who work in retail are lame, it’s only lame if being at the associate level is your career. Yeah that’s judgmental, but I think people should have SOME ambition in life.

So anyway…I’ve been mulling this over, harassing this poor guy at work, getting input from friends…and what I’m going to do is go to my store manager, tell her what’s up, and that I’d really like to stay, but I am paid pretty much nothing…which is true. So hopefully she’ll give me a small raise, and if she tells me to go eat a pair of shorts, then I have something to fall back on. And I would laugh if she really said that. I have until Friday to decide!

I had my first ever surgery.

It began with a lump in my butt…underneath the skin…I can assure you there is nothing unsightly on me. I assumed it was merely rogue cellulite, but when my friends felt it (yes, this is what we do in our spare time-diagnose skin disorders) they were horrified and persuaded me to go to Health Services. So I went…the doctor there was similarly disturbed and sent me off to a real surgeon to inspect it.

It was not a lipoma…the medical term for fat gone awry…don’t look it up on Wikipedia, there’s a gross image…but a giant cyst which would apparently keep growing larger and he said it would likely explode during the course of my lifetime, due to the size and the fact that I do things such as sit on my ass…therefore it had to be removed…or else my butt would probably swell up to the size of Kim Kardashian’s or something. I’m sorry, that was a mean thing to say (but I said it anyway, yes, I know…but it’s to make a point, you’ll see), that poor woman must be so frustrated…I have a big butt too and I don’t even know what to think anymore when people make a big deal about it…it’s ok if someone genuinely likes curves and wants to compliment me in a non-vulgar manner, but what is the point of simply stating that I have a large ass? Do you expect me to go out and get a new body? Meanwhile…

I had it done last Tuesday…the worst part was the wait actually…I didn’t have breakfast in my rush to get there and I was supposed to go in at one but they called me in at two at which point I was ready to cry…so they gave me crackers and apple juice. Then the procedure was done…it was more awkward than painful…it wasn’t embarrassing either despite the fact that they were  male doctors (Sanjay was cute) and I was essentially exposed…some things just register so high on the embarassment scale that you just have to lose all shame. The nurses kept using phrases like, “hoo-ha” and “na-na” though in regards to making sure I didn’t get dirty in that, um, area. I do hope their medical texts weren’t labeled as such. Then of course when I got off the operating table, pantless, I had to turn around the wrong way and I may have flashed poor Sanjay. My only consolation is, that as a doctor he’s probably seen those things (and for his sake, in his daily life, unless he was gay).

Afterwards, Glen, the man in charge of the recovery room who just LOVED my dress when I got changed back into my street clothes, brought me a basket with graham crackers and more apple juice. Yum. I didn’t get any post-op instructions though which kind of sucks…I left messages with my surgeon Wednesday and Thursday and they called me to come in on Friday but I had a hair appointment (I’m going in this Thursday instead). It’s all right to make poor decisions if you are aware they are poor. Well not always, but in this case it was ok, I don’t think I’m going to die of ass complications. But yeah, my bandages are itchy…I’m not in any pain though except intially when I sit down and sometimes when I bend over/lift my leg up.

I had great Thai food though for lunch on Tuesday after my procedure…I had beef satay at Regional Thai on 7th and 21st (I think….21st or 22nd, around there)…that’s the place where the waiter once went across the street to get ice cream for me when I wanted it…he got a big tip.