Sunday, June 21, 2009

I treated myself to a little retail courage, my version of liquid courage today at Neiman Marcus, before I start my new job on Tuesday. I'm nervous, but it's a good nervous. However, I wanted to have something new to "start" this new chapter. I have a credit card at Neiman Marcus, and it has a very low balance on it. So, today's goal was shoes and a shirt. I knew they were having a huge sale that started today and scored big time on a pair of Prada sandal flats that will go with everything I own. Yeah, I know, sounds like a splurge but I got them for a third of their price and I'd been eyeing them since I toured the store a few weeks earlier as a motivational push. In a way, this was my way of sealing the deal. A little reward for sticking with that motivation. Plus, I'm in desperate need for new shoes. I've been riding out the ones I have for quite a while during my lean time and it shows.

I am queen of the bargain when it comes to retail. My aunt, who has several houses and let's just say, no shortage of funds, once said something I'll never forget. "Never pay retail." And she's someone who can afford to do so. I always hear her voice when shopping and heed it. And, because of my short stint in the fashion industry, became even more steadfast against it.

I stopped by at Teuscher chocolates to get my blended mocha and turned around to see Jason from the coffee shop coming my way. We laughed at the absolute randomness of us running into each other in Beverly Hills. He was there because his girlfriend was getting her "hair did," as I phrased it, and was killing time during her appointment.

After my jaunt through Neiman's, can I just say this to you ladies who think that zero body fat is attractive? Know this. It ages you a good ten years. At least. Especially if you're over 25. There were so many walking around, sallow skin pleating at their elbows and knees, sunken cheeks and wrinkles that fillers didn't disguise. And, hair that was as devoid of life as the expressions on their faces. There were a few of them there today, walking scarecrows who looked exactly what they were trying to avoid, tired and old. With an extra helping of hard bitterness. I'll tell you this, I stayed the hell out of their way.

Oliver's new development is that he's discovered my lap. Before, I had to put him there and he'd tolerate it. Now, he's figured out that the lap means petting and cuddling. He's constantly tapping me on the back with his big paw, wanting attention. And yes, I give it to him. Now, he's finally gotten the lap concept. However, Maine Coons are not especially jumping cats, like Atticus whom I swear has invisible wings and spring-loaded paws. So, the first times he attempted the lap ambush, which is sneaking up behind me while I'm at the computer and jumping aboard with no warning, he had a few mishaps. Those mishaps became my excruciating pain. Imagine a cat who weighs at least 15 pounds trying to keep himself from slipping off your lap because he didn't put enough height into it. It's the equivalent of a 15 pound dumbbell attached to fish hooks that pierce your belly and thigh. And if that wasn't bad enough, the dumbbell being suddenly dropped while still attached to said body parts.

Yeah.

Upon grabbing Oliver's claws and removing from skin: Ow! Oh fuck! Damn! Fuck!

(Upon looking at wounds) Nice. Thanks Oliver. FAIL.

However, he's gotten better and concentrates before lap ambushing, as well as doing his best to keep his claws retracted. It heartens me that he's making these steps, and trusting me enough that he's finding new ways to enjoy life. After the involuntary belly button piercing attempts, I made sure to lift him onto my lap and let him know that yes, he is welcome there.

Today, my employee packet came via Fed Ex. And of course, I was naked when he knocked on the door. I yelled at him to hang on, then dressed quickly and took it from the smiling man. I think he knew I was naked when he knocked. Probably a regular occurrence for them, and they've honed their ears to identify the exact level of stress and surprise in someone's voice when they've surprised them in the buff.

It was exciting to look through the packet and anticipate. I was impressed by how they organized it. Once again, extremely smart and thought out. At that, I continue to prepare. Doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, buying groceries and whatever so I can be free of mind clutter.

Oh, and of course...buying a new pair of designer shoes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Enjoying a large mocha at Starbucks, because I've needed a change of place from my regular digs. For those of you who don't know, and I didn't...you can buy a $5.00 Starbucks card, which enables you to use their free Internet for 30 days or so. All those times I had Starbucks cards, I never knew and could have benefited. So, if you have one and aren't a T-Mobile subscriber, there you go. My usual place has free internet, but they cut off their outlets due to some a-holes who abused the privilege. One such a-hole would sit for HOURS, get one regular coffee and do the refills all day. I'm not sure how much refills were, but they weren't much. Maybe twenty-five cents. And, wouldn't tip. Not only that, he came in with enough computer equipment for E.T. to phone home and chat up all the other people there who were the wanderers. His "presence" was very large there and took up a lot of space. Not only that, but these people prevented a lot of others who came there for coffee and conversation from sitting at tables. Too bad that a few bad apples...you know the rest. They did it under the guise of electrical problems but the workers told me differently. Unfortunately, for people like me who went there for a short time, if I wanted to use the Internet, it greatly reduced the time I'd sit there as I have an older laptop that doesn't have an internal wireless receiver. I plug in an external one that really eats the battery.

There have been some wonderful developments and though they aren't final, I think it's safe to discuss them now. For two months, I've been going through an interview process for a great job. The more people I interviewed with, the more I realized that they were a place that nurtured and brought the best out of people like me. I could just feel it, that they "got" how creative people work as they were all creatives themselves. It was odd, because one day I sent my resume in cold to the company when I saw an ad for a marketing copywriter on their site. Two days later I had a response from them, wanting to speak to me. For some reason, I've gotten lucky in doing that. All of my favorite jobs and the trek they put in motion for making lifelong friends and contacts have been from sending in that resume cold, with no connections. So, it does happen people. Well, in interviewing, I found out that this job was even cooler than I expected. Way cooler, and hip. So, after interviewing with some incredibly talented, accomplished and interesting people, I learned this week that I landed it. To say I'm excited is an understatement. I haven't started yet and will probably do so sometime next week. Interestingly enough, and I know you all are going to wanna kill me, but it's full-time with benefits and a mostly work from wherever you want position. Meaning, at home, Starbucks, a sweat lodge, Ferris wheel, the Roman Catacombs (as long as you can email from there)...wherever. There will be times that I'll go into the office, which will be good as well. I look forward to seeing how it works. This is a stable, major company which has been the standard in the entertainment industry forever. It's not going anywhere but up. They have offices all over the world and people that will be doing what I do in major cities like New York, London, Paris you name it. The person whom I'll be working for devised an incredibly smart way to market and not only that, is funny and very laid back. All said, everyone I spoke to is very dedicated to what they do and loves it. This is why I've been relatively quiet on my blog for a while, as there was a lot going on. Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

Thanks for sticking with me through the quiet people. I promise things will pick up again.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

For those of you following the extremely sad story of Air France flight 447, I point you to Dave's site, who has some insight and intelligent comments from his readers. Dave is a commercial airline pilot who mostly flies the same kind of aircraft that disappeared mid-flight over the Atlantic. He offers a couple of possible scenarios from a pilot's perspective, one which had me looking up what a "super bolt" of lightning was on Google.

His has been a favorite blog of mine for some time because of his fantastic writing and descriptions of his travels, and when air disasters happen it's always helpful and interesting to get his point of view. As a somewhat nervous flier, even though I've gotten better over the years, I always think of Dave at the helm when taking off, the time I'm most afraid and it's done wonders for my nerves.

Even so, the Air France accident is a sad and tragic event which plagued my mind last night. I not only was thinking of the terror that the passengers must have endured, but of course their family and friends who lost loved ones. My sister is a flight attendant for a major airline, and while I know airline travel is extremely safe it's still jarring when things like this happen. I could only offer prayer for the victims and families. I know I was one of many whose prayers were drifting up into the ether, joining hands with the prayers of others. I prayed for strength for the ones left behind.

UPDATE: Just read in the comments that Dave's post about this accident made the BBC News website.