A Somber Anniversary

This week marks a frustrating and sad anniversary for me: Two years ago–January 21, 2011–was my last day at my editing gig at a trade/B2B publication here in Chicago.

First, allow me to back it up a titch and regale you about how the fun began two weeks earlier.

I arrived at work on that crappy cold-as-fuck morning, had just enough time to put my stuff down on my desk, take off my coat, and say hello to my co-workers before the Editor-in-Chief asked me to take a walk with him. I found this a bit odd since he never paid me much attention, unless it was to gripe about something, or if he needed me to order some sort of pen.

So, when we rounded the corner that separated the newsroom from sales, and into a small conference room where the resident HR drone was waiting, my stomach flip-flopped. My mouth went dry and my chest felt like it was going to resemble Kane’s in “Alien”–but with my heart bursting out & smacking both the EIC and HR right in their mugs instead of a parasite that would eventually kill the entire fucking masthead. A wry smile crossed my lips for a brief second at that thought, but it quickly vanished when I heard the following:

“Um, yeah. Julia. We’re going to lay you off–it’s nothing personal of course–we’re just eliminating your position so we can add more to the sales team.”

What happened next few minutes was a blur. I do, however, remember giving the EIC a look that would kill a planet, tightening my jaw until it ached and feeling the tears starting to build up. Sadly, the death glare didn’t land because he wouldn’t look me in the face, but he did manage to set the land speed record for waddling out of the conference room so he could alert my colleagues of my fate.

You know, to save face and look like a fucking hero.

“Gosh, we really like Julia, but tight budgets are preventing us from keeping her on. So, I know she’s looking for work, so please help her out if you can.”

My immediate boss was absent that day so when she got my tearful phonecall an hour later, needless to say, she was furious. The next couple of weeks were a blur of phonecalls to friends slash possible employers, resume prep, buckets of tears, lashing out at everyone, allowing my shocked soon-to-be-former co-workers take me out for lunches and post-work drinks, and trying my damndest to not kick both the EIC and ME in the balls. It took alll of my god-given strength to NOT throw my ass in the shitastic Chicago River when I learned that an intern would be doing my job.

Not personal, eh? Go fuck yourself.

The last couple of years hurled all sorts of puke/jiz-filled crappy crap at me. I don’t know which moments were the most fucked-in-the-head: Was it the the snow storm that hit the area about a week after I was canned? Or was it the pubic-hair freezing cold that pounded Chicago in the ass afterwards? Or, was it going out to LA to look for work and have many jobs dangled in front of me only to have them taken away just as I was making arrangements to move my life west? Maybe it was three interviews I had with a certain Chicago media outlet that always hired someone too young and inexperienced over me, only to have that person leave a few months later because the work was “too hard.” This happened three times.

It coulda been the publisher in Florida who flat-out asked me my age during a phone interview, and when I gently reminded him that what he was asking me was, gosh, ILLEGAL, he proclaimed he didn’t care. I ended the interview soon after.

Perhaps it was the approximately 500 carefully crafted resumes with the appropriate key words and phrases I sent out that were probably mocked, laughed at and tossed in digital circular files–I have no idea which one of these events have helped push me down Crap Mountain the fastest, but I do know this much–

THE LAST TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN A MAJOR PIG FUCK.

Somedays, I can’t move. I don’t leave the apartment. I read my New York Times, the New Yorker, maybe watch my stories on the tee vee, watch porn on the computer–anything to distract me from the fact that I am a miserable failure. While I am well aware that there are many in my situation–and in worse situations–I can’t worry about them. Does that make me cold & heartless? Naah, it makes me realistic because I highly doubt they give a red rat’s ass about me.

Other days, I work on my book that no one will ever read, do Bikram yoga and consider cooking meth in my kitchen. I help other friends find work, read reports and a thesis or two for a pittance. I cheer when my friends find work, and am sad for them when they lose their jobs. My happiness for their successes is genuine, but so is my anger and resentment. It’s difficult to be around friends who are successful and have jobs, so I don’t go out much. Plus, this city is expensive.

I’m thankful for my health (knock on wood), and the facts that I’m well-educated, and don’t have a mortgage or kids to worry about. I don’t want to think about where I’d be if either of those were a factor.

I felt some cold-comfort upon learning that both the EIC and ME were canned under new management. Since it’s not my style to revel in someone else’s misfortunes, my happiness immediately turned to concern because they both have families and mortgages. But then again, they’ll probably find work before I do, so fuck ’em.

So, what am I to do? Keep getting out of bed every day. Keep on with the writing because my book is turning out to be a gem.

And most of all, not listen to those folks who tell me I can’t succeed. One of ‘those folks’ happens to be me, but that voice is getting fainter and fainter with each passing moment.

I think Madonna said it best below.

Sliding down Crap Mountain

I worry about the future of this country.

Wait, scratch that. I worry about the future of the human race.

Why?

Read.

Courtesy of WetPaint.com

“Honey Boo Boo Child” Toddlers & Tiaras Star Gets Her Own Spin-Off

What the entire crap? I have no idea who this is because I’ve never watched this show. See, I have issues with embracing mediocrity so I don’t watch reality tee vee. Most of the folks featured on such shows are complete half-wits, and it disgusts me that they have jobs & make shitloads of shekels for being dicks on national tee vee. Meanwhile, I did all things right and am staring down 17 months of unemployment. Land of opportunity? Yeah, sure, if you’re a choad with big tits.

But, I digress.

“If a dollar makes her holler we can only imagine what Toddlers & Tiaras star Alana Thompson thinks of her new spin-off.

The breakout star of the controversial TLC show, who won her way into our hearts with her “honey boo boo child” refrain, has inked a new spin-off deal with TLC. Us Weekly reports that the show will be appropriately titledHere Comes Honey Boo Boo and will premiere with 6 half-hour episodes in August.

The show will reportedly take a look at the little girl behind the go-go juice, following around Alana and her family as they live their lives in rural Georgia. Alana’s family is no stranger to reality television, her mother was featured on Extreme Couponing before appearing on Toddlers & Tiaras.

If you are unfamiliar with Alana and her magical one-liners, please do yourself a favor and check out the video below. You will not regret it!”

Video: Must Watch: Toddlers & Tiaras’ Alana Steals Some Dollars to Make Her Holler

Alana’s new spin-off won’t be the first Toddlers & Tiaras spin-off. Tiny pageant queen Eden Wood landed her own spin-off, Eden’s World, on Logo, but the show has garnered mixed reviews and lackluster ratings. Alan’s spin-off will be the first TLC spin-off from their popular series.

All we want to know is why did it take so long for Alana to land her spin-off?”

Let me get this straight. Some dirt farmers in Georgia (of course), breed and give birth to a brat with blonde locks. So, they dress her up and pimp her out at those baby beauty pageants where she gets to strut her stuff (so wrong I wanna crap myself) and say sassy things to those around her, and watch her mom grow more chins.

Sometimes I wish I was born dumb.

This is a poor example of life imitating art. From Inquisitr.com

Vanderbilt Football Coach James Franklin: My Assistant Coaches Must Have Hot Wives

America has had enough of shitty behavior by those in charge of college football programs. While what Coach Franklin said wasn’t nearly as deplorable as what happened at Penn State, it just shows the level of the mind that is in a position of enormous influence over young men. It also shows that stupid begets stupid.

“James Franklin, the head coach of Vanderbilt University’s football team, apparently has an interesting screening process for potential assistant coach applicants. Forget a strong resume and a solid interview:  He wants to meet the wives to make sure they are attractive enough to qualify as  “Division 1″ recruits.

As reported by multiple media sources, Franklin went on a local Nashville radio station and said the following:

I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant until I see his wife.  If she looks the part and she’s a D1 recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal.  There’s a very strong correlation between having the confidence, going up and talking to a women, and being quick on your feet and having some personality and confidence and being articulate and confident, than it is walking into a high school and recruiting a kid and selling him.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Franklin got his inspiration from the film MoneyBall where a baseball scout opines that “Ugly girlfriend means no confidence.”

There are so many things wrong with this sentiment. First, you’re not allowed to ask anyone in any type of job interview their marital status. It’s illegal.

When they made James Franklin stupid, they made him real stupid. He should lose his job over this “oops” but he won’t because college football rules all, sadly.

Second, the Moneyball reference. If the ‘hot girlfriends’ line was all he got from the film, then he missed the message and doesn’t deserve such a position of power. Oh, and if memory serves, Vanderbilt’s record ain’t that great so it’s probably not wise to rely on Hollywood to help you turn a 6-7 team into a winning one. If Franklin had stopped yanking his pud over his perceived awesomeness of the hot wives mantra, he might have learned that Billy Beane bypassed that recruiting philosophy because it’s horsehit. 

Finally, men like Franklin are dangerous to women. I know this type of man too well I’m afraid. Women, according to Franklin and his ilk, are only as valuable as their dress size. The smaller the size, the more they’re worth. They prove that sexism isn’t being bred out with each new generation.

Call me crazy, but the side of a highway is not a place I’d want to play with my kitty. I know, I know–SHOCKING.

But some women don’t have a problem with pearl diving as 18-wheelers go whizzing by. Especially this gal. Aaand, once again, Florida has the most people occupying Darwin’s Waiting Room (thanks Dennis Miller).

Woman Accused Of Masturbating On Florida Highway

Do you need my commentary on this one? No? Good because I’m too damn tired. Please read here for more info.

I need a drink and perhaps a sedative.

QUESTION

When do we get to pee on Dana Loesch?

Seriously. Ms. Loesch may be attractive but she’s a dolt. A little unsolicited advice from McCrabass here — urinating on corpses is not what America is about. We’re not sore winners. Your horrible attitude will set this country back about 50 years — we don’t need that right now.

Show a little compassion — even for those you know so little about.