Five for Friday: September 20, 2013

So, I’m going to continue with this Five Things idea for a bit to see where it takes me.

1) I got this little gem via a journo listserv I’m a member of.

“An unnamed digital media company in Chicago seeks stories at $7 a pop.”

I’ll keep the next few sentences simple since I’m sure you’re also in a state of shock due to what you just read. We want four AP style stories a day with a word count hovering around 400 per story. Great communication skills are a must. Please send your resume and 4 clips to fuckthewriter@bohica.com.

After I fashioned a bag of ice over my sore noggin (it’s sore from banging it against the wall after reading the listserv email), I tried to imagine the level of the mind that believes it’s okay to pay a writer a measly $7/post. Why the hell not? Them’s just words! Anyone can do it! You know, that makes total sense so sign me up!

I’d rather eat ground glass.

2) I wanna know the methodology that was used for this study.

Penis Map Of The World Exposes Weenie Size In Each Country

Plus, ain’t it kinda a cool that dong size has little to do with potency? See, that’s how it’s done denizens of certain South American and African countries. Not only are the Indians and Chinese kicking our asses in so many other ways, their wee schvantzes are helping to produce shitloads of humans to ensure that they’ll be kicking our asses for generations to come. In other words, size ain’t an issue … in some instances.

(via rosalie-schweiker.wikispaces.com)

(via rosalie-schweiker.wikispaces.com)

3) This is real. Not kidding.

(via Inquisitr.com)

(via Inquisitr.com)

It’s the latest Boeing 777 in Eva Air’s fleet of flying machines. Eva Air, by the way, is the Taiwanese airline. You can get in touch with your inner-confused hipster who sports ironic tats, facial hair, piercings and fedoras, by taking one of the three flights between Taipei and Los Angeles each week. Then, you can Instagram it, put pix of you acting all goofy inside the plane on one of your many Tumblrs, then get a tat of the plane on your lower back.

4) Now, this tat was on a “20 Tattoos That You Should Get Removed” page. I’m confused though–I don’t see what the problem is.

(via RedCastle83)

(via RedCastle83)

5) Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’ll just leave this here. Enjoy!

Rut City, Population: Me

I’m fried. Burned out. Toast. Beat to a pulp. Dead behind the eyes. Numb.

And I haven’t done anything physically taxing. It doesn’t make sense.

I’m suffering from knowing that I have no purpose, nothing to offer and nothing to show for my roughly four decades on this rock.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Being unemployed blows fucking donk.

It has zapped my energy, my will to create as well as my will to be out among the living. Sure, teeny, tiny freelance gigs trickle in from time to time, but that ain’t enough to put the thoughts of tri-state crime sprees out of my noggin. I listen to my friends bitch, whine and moan about their jobs, and I have to turn off all of my impulses to fucking throttle them with my she-woman strength.

There are times when I feel like this character from Game of Thrones, is hiding in the  surprisingly under-utilized section of my soul–she’s a loyal, badass who will fuck you up if you cross her.

Brienne of Tarth (courtesy of pandawhale.com)

Brienne of Tarth (courtesy of pandawhale.com)

A bit maudlin, I know, but I’m allowed. I still scroll through shitloads of job leads every day. Some I apply to, others get trashed.

Then, there are those job leads that cause me to utter aloud WHAT THE ENTIRE FUCK??

Don’t believe me? Here, check out this gem from a Houston all news-all the time-radio station.

Enjoy.

jobdescription

The actual requirements for the job–news editor/managing editor–were much shorter, see. And, they were typical news editor/ME duties like solid news judgment, assignment desk duties, AP Style knowledge, etc. When I read this list of “requirements” my first thought was, “Huh, yeaaaahhh…aren’t these requirements for being a well-adjusted adult?”

Not so fast.

So, as the news editor/ME, I wouldn’t be allowed to do my job–which entails being direct, sometimes demanding and expecting professionalism at all costs–but I’m not really allowed to express what I want for fear of hurting feelings or putting someone off.

I did send them a resume/cover letter combo platter and here’s a snippet of what I wrote, but nicer.

I’m a seasoned professional who is capable of working with others under stressful situations, and I expect that out of my colleagues as well. I’m tough, but fair because I realize that the news business is not always so. As for ‘evolving self-awareness’ — if you can explain what that is exactly, you’ll be able to hire whomever you choose.”

Of course, they called me.

Turns out, they have no clue about anything, and want tons of experience for roughly 9 bucks/hour and no (surprise!) relocation expenses paid even though this was advertised on a NATIONAL journo jobs website. A friend pointed out to me that the previous news editor/ME probably either got fired, or quit because he/she was doing their job, and not playing wet nurse to a bunch of fucking over-sensitive, pants-wetting, maladjusted dipshits.

Yeaaah … I’m gonna have to give you a big, fat NO.

The bigger picture here is this is what I am (and the millions of other US citizens who are unemployed) up against: These wish lists of skills put together by completely clueless hiring managers and HR departments who don’t know what they hell they’re talking about. I was recently asked to take geometry/algebra test for an editing job.

Yep, I shit you not.

I said no, then told the hiring manager that if I was going to be eliminated from consideration, is should be on a level playing field. I told her that testing me on something I haven’t done in almost 30 years is grossly unfair. She agreed and I didn’t have to take the test. I interviewed, and we’ll see if I get a call back.

Back to Houston, care to wager that they have an incredibly high turnover rate?

PS–I’ll be in NYC next week, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say. So, watch this space.

Natty Dreadlocks + McCrabass = Employment?

One of the amazing things about employment–mainly the people I know who have jobs–is how easy they seem to not only get jobs–but how they seem to move effortlessly from one high paying job to the next.

I guess most of these folks are deserving of these jobs and I’m happy for them (well not really), but what is glaringly obvious in this city is employers keep pulling from the same talent pool.

What creases me is these employers around these parts are not real keen on taking chances on folks who may have the drive, the will to work their asses off and the smarts to do a good job, but not the honor of having a name or an ‘in’, or comparable experience but not the exact experience.

This isn’t working for me. I find the media world in Chicago to be impenetrable, unless timing is on your side and you have a pocketful of great connections. It reminds me of the nepotism that permeates Hollywood, but with people who need to know something about all subjects, not just about making movies.

Call me crazy, but that myopic attitude doesn’t bode well for the future of media in this town.

Let’s take a gander at what has been polluting my RSS feed lately. There has been so much good stuff, but this one really caught my attention.

Man’s Hair Shaved Off And Stolen At Party, Dreadlock Thefts Rise In South Africa

Now, I understand that there are women in India who sell their beautiful, jet-black locks so that broads here in the US can have secksy long hair, but dreadlocks? I mean, aren’t hard-core dreads made out of shit, dirt (hair, natch) and other glue-like substances that cause the follicles to stick together?

Maybe it’s a ‘black thing’? I dunno. Perhaps this article from News One can explain it best, because White Girl Pearl here is at a loss.

Man’s Hair Shaved Off And Stolen At Party, Dreadlock Thefts Rise In South Africa

“Zimbabwean Mutsa Modonko experienced the epitome of a bad hair day when he was partying at a Johannesburg, South Africa, nightclub. After 10 years of growing his dreadlocks, friends at the party found him passed out with his head cleanly shaven, and according to Johannesburg’s Times Live, stealing dreadlocks is becoming a growing trend.”

Zimbabwean.. Zimbabwean.. say that word 10 times fast whilst drunk and speaking with a Cockney drawl. Then, do it again but this time in Pig Latin. It’s super fun!

“Natural hair and dreadlocks are huge business in South Africa.  The locks can be sold as hair extensions and can typically go for as much as $275, depending on the length.  As a matter of fact, the demand for the matted locks is so high that patrons often will not even question where the hair came from.”

Oh no, why would anyone want to question a product that is about to be sewn into their noggin? Hmm..this is kinda like a Brazilian waxologist who uses recycled muslin strips that are filled with a week’s worth of pubes. You’re welcome for that image, by the way.

“Hairstylist John Wushe, who owns a Johannesburg salon told Times Live, “They are becoming very popular. On a busy day we get about 10 people [wanting] to extend their hair.”

The stolen hair can be weaved on to the head of a male or female, whereas before, synthetic hair had been used for eons. The typical weaving-in process can take up to two hours and can be woven on to the head using a crochet hook or needle and thread.  A stylist can charge up to about $170 to weave in the dreadlocks.

(courtesy of BlackPlanetNext.com)

(courtesy of BlackPlanetNext.com)

Although there appears to be numerous dreadlocks thefts, according to Johannesburg police, they have thus far received only one such report that came through last year.  Johannesburg police spokesman Captain John Maluleka told Times Live his department encourages residents to file police reports over such hair thefts, but he thinks their hesitation can be attributed to just sheer embarrassment.

In most of the cases, dreadlock thieves are zeroing in on the fairer sex, and according to Randburg hairstylist Lebo Masimong, he says, it is because women appear to be easier targets, “You are an easy target if you walk around the CBD (central business district) and your hair is loose. They don’t care about your money or fancy phone. They are only after your hair.”

What this story fails to tell us is how these thieves get the dreads–do they knock victims down then start shaving? Do they drug them then start shaving away? What kind of equipment do they use? Is there a middleman? Are they incorporated? What other bennies do they get? What are the hours? Are there promotions? Exactly what IS a promotion in this particular field?

I gotta know because I need a job and this might be a whole new thing for me.

 

Target as a target

I got this the other day.

“Julia -

In the last week, over 230,000 people have signed my petition asking my employer, Target, to change its Black Friday shopping hours to let employees have Thanksgiving dinner with our families.

The response from media has been incredible, too — I was interviewed on the Today Show, and my story has been covered by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, NBC, and major newspapers across the country!

When I started my petition, I didn’t expect it to get this much attention. Shortly after my petition took off, Target employees in others stores across the country were inspired to take action as well by starting their own petitions. The response from both employees and customers alike has been unanimous — Target should set an example by stopping the trend of retailers opening earlier and earlier for Black Friday deals. 

We have real momentum, and this Monday, I’ll be delivering my petition with over 230,000 signatures to Target Headquarters – click here to join us and add your name.

After I was on TV, my manager offered me Thanksgiving day off. But I declined. This isn’t about just me — it’s about respecting one of the few days retail workers have a year to spend time with loved ones. 

I know that Target is feeling the heat, and the more signatures we have to show them on Monday, the more they’ll feel pressured to change their Thanksgiving hours. Sign my petition now.

Thanks for your help — and Happy Thanksgiving. 

Casey St. Clair
Corona, California”

Let me get this straight–in this shitty shitty piss piss fuck fuck economy, you actually have a job and while it might not be your ideal job, it’s more than a lot of us have. Also, Ms. St. Clair has worked at Target for a while, you know, BY CHOICE, see.

Target decides they want to open on Thanksgiving night because, well, they are kinda choady but hey, they’re not here to be all PC n’ shit–they’re here to make a big, ass buck or two. In order to open on Thanksgiving night to deal with the throngs of shoppers who have some sick desire to get away from their alcohol-fueled, overstuffed gobs and feuding holiday family fun time to load up on gifts to give to their ungrateful, spoiled spawn, Target needs its employees to work. I know, I know, that’s crazy talk!

Target employees got wind of this and the whining wah wah wah starts. And since online petitions are the latest “It” Girl, someone decided to start one protesting big old mean Target. Then, the media gets wind of it as does Change.org, and now we’re being bombarded with online bitch and moan sessions.

Give me a break.

Here’s an idea: If you don’t want to work holidays, don’t get a job in retail.

In other words… SHUTTIE.

Magnificent Obsessions

When I’m not focusing on my main obsession — finding a decent job — I’m out and about checking out the sights, sounds and smells of Los Angeles. I’ve wandered all over the place in the past two months, out among the living and breathing denizens of this city and have found some new and not-so-new-but-seem-new loves.

Am I obsessed with astrology and psychics? Nope. Especially not after a well-known website which houses psychics and their wares turned me down for a writing/editing job. I know, how odd of me to not be into this since California IS the place for such obsessions. The last thing I need is to have someone tell me what my future is based on a reading a synapse misfiring in their brain gave them. I have a hard enough time dealing with my own little reality to get bogged down in cosmic farces.

Rot.

The hunt for the perfect t-shirt. Actually, this obsession has been a life-long one. I’ve tried them all and my fave has to be a James Perse one I found at a deep-discount place in Chicago. It was similar to this one, but sans the writing on the sleeve.

Best. T-shirts. Ever.

My perfect-t-shirt-obsessed-sister-Liza tells me that the Gap has some decent ones that are long enough at a fraction of the cost. The good thing is, the Gaps out here are great and seem to carry different stuff than their stores in other cities. Also, since James Perse is located here, I’m sure they have some sort of  warehouse sale where those of us of limited means can venture to buy their threads on the cheap. We probably have to be escorted in under a cloak of darkness though as to not to embarrass ourselves. Chalk one up for Los Angeles.

Scarves. Always scarves. My new fave is this one from the over-priced and over-hyped Lululemon. But I love it anyway.

                          

If/when I get a gig, I’m treating myself. Odd? Perhaps. But, that makes more sense to me than getting some hookers and blow and going to town. Hey, that’s just me — I don’t mean to knock your habits.

Friends, this is a horchata con espresso AKA liquid crack.

Magnificent obsession.

I get this fab beverage at the best coffee house I’ve ever been to in my entire life: Cafe de Leche on York and Ave. 50 in Eagle Rock. Words can’t quite describe how fucking yummy and good this stuff is, so I won’t even try. I don’t want to embarrass mahself OR my favorite drink by getting all schmaltzy. Sadly, I view this obsession as a treat since it’s loaded with calories AND it’s kinda expensive. It’s getting to the point that after I guzzle one of these, I need a cigarette and a nap.

 Thank you, Darrin N. for introducing me to my new, fave crack house.

One of the advantages of not having broadcast tee vee is I listen to NPR all day long. When it gets to be too much, I resort to watching screeners or listening to my own music on my ‘puter. Or, I read — a lot. One of the nice things about radio out here is it’s a bit more progressive and interesting than what we have in Chicago. There’s more alternative music here than anywhere else. One of the NPR stations here, KCRW, plays a lot of this music. Some of it is a bit much, but the atonal crap comprises about 5% of their playlists. The rest is worth listening to again and again. My latest faves? Gotye, Heartless Bastards, Los Campesinos, Shelby Lynne, Kimbra, Jessie Baylin and more. Now, before the music snobs weigh in, I’m well aware that some of these artists have been around for a while. No shit. But, this is the first time I’ve had the chance to listen to any of them. These types of tunes aren’t played that often over the Windy City airwaves.

Anyhoo, enjoy.

Gotye.

Smells.

My ‘hood smells. The whole city smells. Some good smells and some bad smell, but mostly good. The ocean, orange blossoms, night blooming jasmine, gardenia and eucalyptus — they’re especially strong post-rain and help to smother the roasting taco meat and pee-pee stench (rarely are the two experienced at the same time) that permeate my street when the breeze is juuuuuust right.

Since for the moment I’m living in a desert and not in a swamp, my skin is suffering. Big time. I’m starting to resemble Bridget Bardot circa now and thrilled about it I’m not. Short of soaking in olive oil, nothing keeps my skin from puckering up due to the arid air here. Add super-sensitive skin to the mix and I’m in a conundrum. The stuff I get from the chain drugstores doesn’t work (and I’ve tried them all) and the good stuff costs some serious coin (thank dog for samples). Pure coconut oil is messy and a pain to prep so I’m still figuring this one out. But, I do have the sunscreen issue licked. A daily shea butter bath will be the way to go should I end up here.

Beautiful people –LA’s filled with ‘em due to the movie industry and a burgeoning fashion scene. They’re fun to look at for a minute or two, but as soon as most of them open their mouths, well… there goes my erection.