Friday, May 30, 2008

Daily Dose of Evil

So, I'm sure many of you know that Jodie Foster is a lesbian. And that she seems to be a tough little cookie - after all, I would never mess with her, she'd put you in a panic room, or escape into the hidden passages of your airplane or act all Nell-like. I did appreciate her in Silence of the Lambs because she gave Clarice Starling such vulnerability. But for the most part, she just seems too "hard" for my liking.

Which might explain this quote, taken from her interview in the Daily Mail: ""Look, it's terrible, I know, but weakness really, really bugs me, to the point that if there is a wounded bird on the sidewalk, I look at it and I go: I think I'll just kick it."

I really hope that is taken out of context because someone who would kick a dying bird, just because it's not strong enough, well...that kind of constitutes as Evil in my books, or at least slightly sociopathic.

Oddly enough though, if you continue reading the article, all it does is lambaste Foster for leaving her partner of 12 years or whatever for a younger woman - ironically both women are named Cindy.

It even goes so far as to use the bird quote as reasoning for the "latest malicious act in her life."

So she dumped her long-term gf for someone younger? So what? This happens ALL THE TIME. Men are always up and leaving women, trading them in for a younger model. It's not right and it sucks but it happens and that's just a fact of life. How come Foster is suddenly labbeled as cruel and heartless because she did it? Is it just because of the bird quote (because yes, by that I would have to label her just that but it doesn't really apply to relationships, or does it?) or is it because they are both women and because so, it's so UNHEARD OF for a woman to act like a man occasionally?

I don't know. I'm no feminist, not in the least - but I do feel that there is a bit of a double standard here. It would be less complicated, perhaps, if Foster wasn't an injured bird beater.

Speaking of women acting like men, Sex and the City comes out today. I am vaguely intersted in seeing it. I mean, I loved the show, have most seasons on DVD. But I'm not chomping at the bit to see it - I could easily wait till DVD. The problem is, I know every single woman I know is going to see it this weekend, so I may just feel a bit out of the loop.

I'm actually really looking forward to The Happening and The Dark Knight instead (and was looking forward to Indiana Jones but I've seen it already - I liked it a lot, despite crazy George Lucas's influence at the end there). Maybe it's the tomboy in me or just the fact that strangely, though I enjoy writing romantic comedies, I actually prefer to watch action/adventure/thrillers such as Iron Man (which was freakin' fantastic). I draw the line at The Hulk though - I have no idea how that's going to turn out to be remotely good at all - Ed Norton, what were you thinking?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Job Hunting


Ack. Sorry for my lack of attention. My dear Kiwi was in town for the week, bringing along her bf from Montreal and I was delegated to be their tour guide (despite them both having lived in Vancouver for a year). Luckily I quit my job so I was able to fully enjoy my week with them - the timing was perfect. After all, had I still been working at HELL I would have been mega busy and super stressed all week. Now I was only busy doing fun, summery things and mildly stressed due to various attemps at job hunting.

You may have wondered where my last blog post disappeared to. Well, I applied for a job as a poker writer. I may not know EVERYTHING about poker but being a writer, research is the best part. And boy did I research. But ufortunately the people wanted to see my blog - I guess I mentioned it off-hand or something. At any rate, I had to go through a quick clean-up and make sure it was more "potential employer friendly."

At any rate, my efforts were useless. I was passed up for the job AFTER submitting my writing samples. That either means I can't write worth a damn, or perhaps I just wasn't suited to poker writing. I am hoping its more the latter on that one - although when the woman called to let me know that they weren't going to take me on, she added that she enjoyed my "travel and fashion articles."

I haven't written a fashion article in my whole entire life. What I sent her was all my published writing from my past job, interviewing filmmakers and so on and one travel article. Where the hell does "fashion" fit in there? It makes me angry to think that after meeting me, they probably just read the first article - travel - and then assumed all the rest were fashion ones because I'm blonde and a girl and that's what I would write about. No wonder they didn't think I could write about poker if they are just going to base everything on a stereotype.

ARG.

Anyway, the job hunting commences in full-swing this week. As long as it pays well, I'm applying. Even if I feel like I am stooping to another level, or not using any of my education or any of my talents, I know I am going to just have to take SOMETHING until my "real" job comes along. Too bad the real job takes some real patience. And luck. And I don't have either - hence why I suck at poker.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Moving Jobs?

I haven't blogged about my job yet, have I? Hmmm, I better get on that.

Perhaps you would like to know what exactly I do, and what my typical day is like. Maybe you don't. Either way, I'm going to tell you.

I am the production coordinator at an ad agency that deals with enviromental and politcal stuff.

So what is my job like...well.

On my first day of work, I walked into the office and took a good look around. It was a friggin pig sty. Pizza boxes everywhere. Various office supplies scattered haphazardly about.

"We cleaned up for you," Rob said proudly. "Tried to make it look like less of a college dorm." They didn't succeed. Rob was a likeable guy, a carpenter with no political or advertising experience, and along with Mike, and the BOSS, and I guess me, we made up the Vancouver office. Four others made up the New York office.

Rob had only been there a couple of months. Mike had only been there a year. In this 15 year-old company, he was their longest employee. Red Flag #1.

My first day was OK, considering Mike was a terrible teacher and with each minute I realized that I would have to repeatedly ask to be shown how to do things. I also realized how horribly unorganized the office and their "system" was - and how screwed I was considering how horribly unorganized I AM.

Part of the chaos comes from the fact that the office is split in two. One here in Vancouver,the other in New York. I had no idea that despite the time difference, the offices operate as one. Talk about confusing.

"So the boss is away today?" I asked Mike.

"Yeah, but he gets in tomorrow." He looked at me (looked at my chest actually - I always had a feeling that Mike hired me more for my looks rather than my resume - which he apparently really liked too), paused. "The Boss has a problem with women, I thought I would warn you. He means well, but he will get in your face and yell. He's very moody. The last one in this position, she ended up yelling back at him and well, she doesn't work here anymore." Red Flag #2.

I suddenly remember my phone interview with Mike. Me:"Is this a nice, friendly place to work, because my last job was such a tense, unsupportive environment, I couldn't go through that again."

Mike:"Well, when there are deadlines, we will all yell and scream at each other. But we can still go for a beer at the end of the day." Red Flag #3.

Second day on the job and I meet the boss again (he briefly interviewed me). He seems nice enough still, like the nice guy who hired me. And when I mentioned I could get pirated software instead of buying it (thus saving them money) he beams, then shoots a look at Mike (who handles the budget), "Oh Mike is definitely going to marry you now - saving money, you're his perfect woman." Mike turns red. So do I, as I scurry back to my part of the office - that was definitely an awkward thing to say, right out of The Office.

In my part of the office, I meet Lindsay, a timid, young graphic designer who comes in when needed.

A few hours later, I hear the Boss on the phone with a client. "Do your fucking job, you fucking moron. Stop this bullshit - BLAM - this is fucking ridiculous - BOOM - do you fucking understand me - BLAM - well do you? - BOOM! FUCK"

The BLAM is him kicking the wastebasket. The BOOM is him THROWING IT AT THE WALL. The swearing keeps coming and his voice gets louder and louder. Soon the phone is CHUCKED ACROSS THE ROOM. He slams door for the hell of it. And then he starts yelling at Mike and Rob. Calling them fucking morons for something or other. Red Flag #4.

I look at Lindsay. She's huddled over her work. She rolls her eyes, "Yeah he does this every day." Red Flag #5. "We had another graphic designer before me," she continues, "She came in on her first day. He yelled at her just like this. She cried and never came back. Normally Rob and Mike are his punching bags." I could still hear Don screaming at them for something that I will later find out had nothing to do with them.

The next week, Don is gone for the whole time. He's in DC. The atmosphere in the office is pleasant. Until I am introduced to OTHER BOSS - he's in New York. He likes to call you a lot and find fault with everything you do. Several times a day.
My first EVER conversation with OTHER BOSS went something like this: "The timesheet you sent me was corrupted."
Me: "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know, I'll fix it."
Him: "Sigh. We are off to a rather auspicious start, aren't we? (his voice is totally dry, seething with contempt) Well, I have here in the schedule that Stefan is supposed to be sending the finished logo to the client. Has he done that?"
Me: "I assume so."
Him: "See, you just started and we already have a problem. In this business you, NEVER assume."
I try and make a joke out of it, Me:"Right, cuz it makes an ass out of U and Me." Him: "Don't think we haven't heard that before. There is no joking in this business."
Obviously. Red Flag #6
Me: "I will check with Stefan to see if he's done it."
Him: "Yes that's your job. You have to make sure everyone does their job. You have to call and remind them several times a day. You have to hound them."

Later I found out that as much as I email, harass and phone one of my colleagues, they still won't get things done. And that it's my fault because I OBVIOUSLY didn't harrass them enough.

A glorified babysitter. This is my job. I am also a middleman. When my co-worker has something that needs to get done, such as a logo for a client, they come to me. I choose from the list of vendors - the list that everyone has because I update it everyweek and send it to them - and then tell the vendor what to do. I don't actually KNOW what they are to do, because I have no idea what the project is, but I pass the info on. Then the vendor does it, passes it back to me. I pass it back to the co-worker. He wants somethings fixed. He tells me. I tell the person.

Can you imagine what would happen if you eliminated my job? The co-worker would tell the vendor directly and exactly what they wanted. The vendor would pass the project directly to the co-worker to review. GASP! THE SIMPLICITY OF IT ALL! Red Flag #7

Oh, and I also coordinate the schedule. Meaning, I BUG people to tell me what they have planned for their clients in the coming week. Most of the time, I get half-assed responses (which OTHER BOSS likes to pick apart because half-assed is not good enough - mind you these are THEIR responses, not mine). Then I fill it in the schedule for everyone to see. But nobody actually bothers opening it up and looking at it. Then I look at what people are to be doing in the next week and I start harassing them about that: Have you done it yet? When is it going to be done? Will it get done? Can you tell me when it's done? Are you done yet? Are you done yet? Are you done yet?

Another part of my job is to hire new freelancers. We suddenly needed an ad reel compiled. Our regular editor was no longer available. My boss was in a huff, in my face, telling me it had to be DONE NOW! FIND A FINAL CUT-PRO EDITOR FOR TOMORROW!

Luckily, I had already put an ad on Craigslist out a few days ago, forseeing that our regular editor would be booked. I asked for help on picking the right candidate cuz I knew nothing about hiring, but everyone said to figure it out myself - all they had to know was Final Cut Pro.

So I hired a guy who had a good demo reel and lots of experience and off we went. The guy, Duane, comes in. Of course, the boss is an hour late so I have to explain what to do. Problem is, no one told me what he has to do, what the project is, etc. I don't even know how to operate the giant computer he would be working on. So the first hour is wasted.

And then my BOSS tries to explain to Duane what he wants and HOLY HELL is my Boss horrible at explaining things. And when Duane makes a mistake, the Boss gets pissed off.

I start to feel sorry for Duane. Here is this guy who has never been here before, neatly dressed in a suit, with various degrees in journalism and communications and tons of professional editing experience - being lectured by my dumb old boss.

My boss later yells at me as I walk by. "Where the hell did you find this guy? He asks too many questions. Remember, we like them dumb around here. Next time you hire someone, try to keep them dumb, OK? Just get him to finish up and get him out of here." Red Flag #8.

Notice I say yell, because he did yell it and poor Duane is sitting in the next room and can obviousyly hear everything.

The kicker comes later. It's the end of the day, the boss has somewhere to go. He storms in the room, "How are you doing Duane?"

Duane looks scared. "I'm just trying to compress the files before we can burn it."

"Is it compressing?"

"I think so."

The BOSS's voice turns cold, "I think so? I THINK SO? I THINK SO ISN'T A FUCKING ANSWER. THIS IS A YES OR NO QUESTION. IS IT WORKING?"

"I - I, think so, I haven't used this type of software before to compress."

"THAT"S NOT A FUCKING ANSWER - EITHER IT'S WORKING OR IT'S NOT. IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM IF YOU ARE FUCKING INCOMPETENT, YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS."

"Yes, then it's working."

"I FUCKING HOPE YOU'RE RIGHT." The Boss storms in the room and looks at me, "WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU FUCKING HIRE THIS GUY, WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T YOU FUCKING MAKE SURE HE COULD FUCKING USE THE SOFTWARE?"

I couldn't even speak, I was so afraid. And no, I am no exagerating on how many times he yelled the F-word at Duane.

So the boss storms out, leaving me and duane in silence and all I could think about was how embarassed I was to work for a man like that.

And that's when I decided to quit.

At first I was thinking of doing two weeks, find another job. But when another yell fest from the BOSS and another critical pick-apart from OTHER BOSS drove me to tears on Friday, I realized I'm not coming back. The long weekend is upon me and it's going to be even longer because Monday I am sending them my letter of resignation and telling them exactly why I can't work in such a tense, poisonous atmosphere, doing a ridiculous job that shouldn't even exist and in an industry I don't give two shits about. Not to mention the fact that I work 9-6 but am barely allowed to leave for lunch - they expect you to eat quickly at your desk and shut up. Did I also mention I had to FIGHT to get the holiday off? A statutory holiday that they weren't going to give. To think I would have to do that each time a stat holiday came up - not to mention that the benefits that were promised were non-existent.

So yeah. That WAS my job. I am not sure what I am going to do now since I need money, but I have my 2 weeks pay behind me and I think I'm going to join a temp firm and do that work until I find a job that I love - or atleast won't be afraid to step in the office every day.

Life's too short to spend your life in fear.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moving days

Rockstar, Me and his lovely sister


So there was a tiny hickup in my moving out plans which has now been resolved quite wonderfully.

Originally, as you may recall, I was to sell my apartment at about now, and then find a one-bedroom and den. Josh - who is still crashing on my couch at the moment - will then live in the den and pay me rent. In October, when Rockstar's lease is up at his place, Josh would move out of the den and Rockstar would move in with me and pay me rent. Huzzah, right?

Well unfortunately, I can't afford a one bedroom and den. I can only get approved for a $200,000 mortgage and even combined with the direct deposit of $50K, that's still only $250K and one-bedroom + dens go for about...I dunno, 310-350K. Yep, I live in one of the world's most desirable cities and in the most desirable section of that city (downtown, by the beach and park), so places aren't exactly cheap. But I love it here and after years of traveling around the world, I finally appreciate this place I've called home all my life.

Anyhoo, I'm $100K short of my dream apartment. Seems I am set to toil in my tiny studio until my dying day.

That was until the Rockstar and I figured something out. We want to move in together in October at any rate - not because it would save money but because it feels like the the right thing to do.

So we decided we would both buy the place together. He'll get a mortgage, we'll combine it with mine and tada - suddenly we can afford a one-bedroom and den and in the neighbourhod we want.

Now, I know if you read back years ago, I felt very strongly AGAINST cohabitation before marriage. I believed that if you lived together, the guy would NEVER propose because why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free. And while I still think that's a valid point, I also believe it differs according to relationship. In my last one, my ex was a huge believer in moving in together - I resisted because I thought that by being seperate, that would eventually convince him to take the next step. Naive, I know. He dumped me anyway, didn't matter how little I saw him. Funny thing is, the thought of living with him never made me happy. It's funny how you can be in love with someone but at the same time not really like them as a person.

The Rockstar and I (and both our parents) know that marriage is down the line for us - we've talked about it openly and have agreed on it. When that happens, who knows...I for one am no longer concerned about a timeline (OK, well, at least before I'm 30 please!) and am totally enjoying taking it one day at a time. After all, he is younger than me so he needs sometime to catch up, plus, we've only been together almost 11 months. So we both know that moving in together isn't where things end, but where they begin.

And of course, it's a big step. Not only moving in, but buying in. Luckily we are doing it for the right reasons - I would want to live with him whether he could get a mortgage or not. I just honestly love being in his company and because our relationship works so well and so easily, I know that this decision is a sound one, even though there will of course be trying times ahead.

But we both aren't stupid. A contract will be drawn up by a lawyer, stipulating what will happen to the place in the event that we split - same proceedings as in a divorce. Either the other party sells or offers to buy the other one out. No "The Break-Up Part Two" here. And thankfuly my rockstar is NOT Vince Vaughan in the slightest.


So, the new plan? My apartment will go up for sale in June, with a completion date of October 1st. I've already got a real estate agent who will both sell my place and find us a new one. Actually, she's the same lady who sold me MY place, so she knows exactly what she's selling!

Then in July, Rockstar and I will start looking for our perfect place, which will give us three months to find it. What are our demands? A large one-bedroom or one-bedroom and den (posibly even a two-bedroom if the price isn't that big of a jump). A place that allows pets (we will probably get a dog in the next few years). Has a dishwasher, possibly an in-suite laundry. Has a balcony. And will be located in the same neighbourhood I am in now - that way I can still walk to work, he can walk to his band rehearsel space and take the upcoming skytrain to his work.

Of course, until October, I am stuck in my studio. But let's look on the bright side, shall we? Yes my building sucks and I can't change that. But the location is still awesome, the ten-minute walk to work is amazing, Summer is COMING and the pool on the roof is now OPEN! Plus soon the beaches (2 min walk) will be prime for sunbathing, having picnics and wine (OMG I can't wait till I can drink again - see last post). And once Josh moves out with his friend (end of the month), I'll have my studio all to myself - plus, having to get the apartment ready for listings will mean making it very minimalist. I've already taken down a lot of art from the walls and I am amazed and how much bigger my place looks already! Not a bad place to spend the summer.

I, personally, am still extremely excited for the fall though. Yes, moving in together can be rough at first, but we aren't like your average couple. It took us 10 months to have an actual fight, and I actually enjoyed it! I'd never heard him raise his voice at me - it was a nice change, as silly as that sounds. In fact, my old job is developing a reality show about couples who are looking to take the next step, and we were going to be one of the couples. However, after they conducted interviews and seperate surveys with us, they changed their mind. They said we were way too healthy as a couple, didn't have any drama or things we wanted to change about the person or reoccuring fights. They said they wanted couples who at least had an issue or two and, according to them, we don't.

Which is a shame because I really wanted to be on this show, but I guess we still win anyway :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

28 Days

First off, let me apologize for not keeping in touch as well as I should be. With my first real week of work just kicking in, I'm finding it hard to find the time to concentrate and write in my dear blog. Rest assured, I will come around and start updating you more on my life - as terribly unexciting as it is! I will also start taking a gander at your blogs, I feel so out of touch and out of the loop with all of you!!

I would also like to thank you all for voting for my mum in the makeover contest. Sadly, she didn't win. I don't understand how since I had everyone under the sun voting but perhaps the other person had more friends - or maybe looked like she needed it more. Regardless, she still was in the top ten out of thousands (actually that is probably not a good thing) anyway she gets a $100 gift certificate to a spa so that's pretty sweet - she really deserves it.

Work is going OK for now, I know it's going to be one of those good/bad day jobs that will totally depend on the mood of my boss - but more on that in a later post.

What I wish to discuss with you today, dear readers, is what I am currently going through. Ei, HELL!

I have been plagued with stomach problems since I was 12, I have been tired for as long as I can remember - these are just part of my life. But lately I have been SO bloated that I can barely do up my pants, my stomach literally will stick out so it looks as if I am pregnant. I can only wear baggy clothes - plus I am gaining weight too!

So I started seeing a naturopath doctor after realizing that most doctors dont have time to care or listen - that's free health care for ya!

My naturopath is really nice and we spent an hour discussing my health history. There are many reasons for my tummy problems, one might have to do with frequent antibitotic use which can destroy the gut - the other may be an allergy.

So he decided to put me on a cleanse. Not the wild rose or master cleanse but a medically-supervised TWENTY EIGHT DAY cleanse.

I am on day four at the moment and boy...it's not easy.

Basically, the plan is to get me eating as "clean" as possible over the next month and start getting rid of the toxins in my body. Then we will add back foods to my diet - slowly - and see which ones make me tick.

So, what does this wonderful cleanse consist of? Well, there are too many things I have to cut out, the mains ones being NO CAFFEINE (tea, chocolate, coffee), NO BOOZE (soooo hard with so many social situations coming up!), No Wheat (and wheat is in everything), No corn, NO DAIRY, no SOY, No sugar (or honey or fake sugar). No pop. No nothing, really.

What can I have? All veggies, all fruits (except for Oranges), Rice, millet, olive oil, spices, nuts (except peanuts), rice or almond milk, beans, fish, chicken, turkey and lamb.

Sounds like the ingredients of a wholesome dog food.

Oh, and acidophuolus capsules (the good bacteria because my antibiotic use has rid my body of it and I seem to only produce the bad kind) AND a liver detoxfying vitamin/protein shake that tastes like Vanilla sludge that I will take up to three times a day.

Like I said, I am on day four - I'm still bloated but - and excuse my graphicness - for someone who isn't very "regular" I am going shithouse like 6 times a day! It's insane! I know this is vital cuz I need to get rid of the toxins but geeeeez. I'm tired too, as I am going through caffeine withdrawal, and yesterday it felt like I had the flu (a side effect of withdrawal as well).

It's super hard to go into a coffee shop and just get herbal tea, especially when I know a hit of caffeine would jolt me up - plus passing up those free samples of coffee cakes isn't fun.

But I'm doing this for my health, to finally get to the bottom of this, and I know I have to follow this through till the end.

Seriously.

Doctor's orders