Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's That Time Of Year...

Where I can't BREATHE!

Seriously, I think if you go back through the archives, September is the month where I can't breathe. And I comment on it.

I learned yesterday night that #1 - air conditioning is a beautiful thing (it's like 80 degrees at night) and #2 - I can only breathe if I'm flat on my back. The second I turn to the side, I get all clogged up again.

I wonder how work tomorrow will go.

So I will put up another post when I have the use of both my nostrils. That's right, I'm not settling for ONE nostril, I demand both of them BACK!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Amy the Gutsticker

Not that anyone ever would, but do not doubt for a second that I rock an executive assistant's desk like nobody else you know.

I have only been on the desk here in Business Affairs for a little over a week, and my two bosses wanted me to apply for the position full time. Never mind the fact that they were 99 percent settled on who they were planning on hiring before I showed up. I showed up, and suddenly all bets were off, and I became a last minute contender for this position.

So what's the problem?

The problem is I don't want this job.

Didn't you just leave your last job because they wouldn't hire you full time?


Haven't you been trying to get hired full time for over a year now?

Yup yup.

Are you high right now?


It's all going back to putting myself first. Most of the time, I put everyone else first, taking the Christian position to the extreme. Everyone goes first, I"ll bring up the rear.

This leads to me wasting way too much in jobs and/or relationships that I should've cut within six months. But I have an unfortunate habit of putting other people first, regardless of what happens to me.

If I took this job, I would make my two Type A bosses happy (I TOLD you people I was a Type A Pisces!) but my creative soul would shrivel up and die from lack of nourishment. There's nothing creative about this job. There aren't any scripts to read, cuts to watch, nothing that could help me with my own career, nothing that could show me this is how others have done it. This is the bar to which you have to beat. I might as well be working at a law firm, or a bank, or any other kind of job that has nothing to do with the industry.

The one good thing about this job is that it's based on a studio lot where they have sauteed shrimp on the salad bar.

If only that was enough.

Two things I've learned over time:

1. Never make decisions in the heat of emotion. (I'm still learning the art of telling people about decisions without the heat of emotion behind them.)
2. Never make decisions based out of fear.

I can't take this job that I know would make me unhappy just because I'm scared my dream job isn't out there after over a year of looking. Not when I just left a job because they wouldn't hire me. Even though 2010 has turned out to be such a shit year, I haven't been kicked around enough to roll over and give up. Ask me again next year, maybe then the answer will be different. I'm sure this job would still be available. These bosses have a tendency to run people out of the position.

My gut is telling me I just got free of something and the last thing thing in the world I should do is lock myself up, especially if it isn't 100 percent perfect. Or even 70 percent perfect.

I have to try. I have to risk it. I have to stick with my gut. I have to put my faith in God.

In the under two weeks that I've been here (that's right people, under two weeks and they still wanted to hire me) I've wondered if this situation is a test. Is God testing me? And if I passed it, I get a reward? A shower of blessings? Like when they told Solomon he could have wisdom or riches, and he chose wisdom so he was rewarded with both?

Seriously? Why would you think that? Why would God need to test you in this completely superficial way?

Because He wants to show me something about myself? That I shouldn't settle? That there is a better, or at the very least more interesting world out there? That I have to take a risk? Does God want that? Does God want his people to risk something?

Their lives for JAY-SUS!

My gut is telling me I have to be true to me. And even when the new hire comes in (and nobody seems to know when that will be) and off I go into the great unknown again, and if nothing comes up, it means I at least have more time to write. Or take a long long nap.

I'm also not discounting the fact that I'm a closet masochist, and hoping for more bad news so I can revel in it like my own mudpile.

Sure, go ahead and leave this job. Nothing's on the horizon for ya! Absolutely nothing! Bwah ha ha ha ha!

I told my bosses this morning that I didn't feel like it would be the right thing to do to apply for this job full time. I was a little nervous, because they're really intimidating people. And they stared at me with blank eyes, and said in an expressionless tone "That's really crushing because we thought you were the best candidate for the job."

I am the best candidate. For a different job. And I don't know what that job is, yet.

I'm trusting you, God. Every step of the way here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Staircase, Part 2

People, don’t worry. I know last week was pretty mopey, absolutely, I get it. I have to be honest on this blog, and that’s what I was feeling then. But God provides in so many different ways, and while he doesn’t light up a huge THIS IS WHERE WE’RE GOING sign like I want Him to, the little things He’s sent me this week assured me that yes, maybe He’s still sitting on the couch, watching my life on TV and munching popcorn, but He hasn’t changed the channel yet.

I had exactly one day off. Obviously, I was prepared for a much longer unemployed stint. And there’s a significant part of me that sighs at being thrust into such similar circumstances as last year – here’s a gig working for mercurial people that have gone through a string of temps before you showed up and calmed them down with your mellow nature that actually disguises an I Don’t Care What You Think About Me mentality – that I’m having a hard time remembering what year it is. 2009? 2010? How can I tell them apart?

But on my one day off, I went to a Boot Camp class at my gym that I never get to go to because I’m usually at work when the class starts. I recognized the instructor as someone who had subbed at one of my 7am classes before, and he’s a pretty warm guy. My other Boot Camp instructors are usually military Yell At You Because It’s Boot Camp, or Icy Cool I Throw Down This Challenge, Can You Defy My Expectations Of You.

But this instructor is a Cool Cool Cat, and the class was smaller than normal, so he was going around encouraging people one by one. By the time he got to me, I was on the triceps station.

I hate triceps dips, because they hurt like a bitch. I can do biceps stuff all day long, my deltoids aren’t too shabby, and I kick out the jams when it comes to abs, but triceps are my evil arch enemy, like they are for any girl.

But in classic fashion, The Thing You Hate The Most Is The Thing You Need To Do The Most, and Mr. Cool Cool Cat comes over to supervise me just as I’ve decided that I’m gonna do the Triceps dips all hard core, with my legs straight out in front of me, as opposed to a table top bend in the legs.

The initial plan was to go Hard Core style for 45 seconds, and then wimp out and do Table Top style for the remaining 45 seconds. But now that Mr. Cool Cool Cat has come over to cheer me on, I can’t exactly quit halfway through.

So I struggle through a minute and a half of Hard Core Triceps Dips. For context, after 30 seconds, it feels like someone has squirted lighter fluid on the back of my arms and flicked a match. My arms are rapidly approaching noodle consistency, and there’s a good chance I won’t be able to raise them again for the rest of the day, which will make shampooing my hair pretty difficult after class.

I’m deep breathing like a champ, in the hopes the oxygen influx will take some of the burn away, and Mr. Cool Cool Cat is cheering me on, “You got this, you got this, keep going, keep going.”

“It HURTS!” I bite out through gritted teeth, desperate for someone to know that this is such a struggle, these past couple of weeks have HURT SO MUCH, and it’s all filtering down to a remaining 45 seconds, and if I puss out now, it wins.

What wins?

LIFE wins. Life - which has served me such a steaming pile of shit in the form of multiple people taking me for granted and abusing my I Treat Everyone How I Want To be Treated nature since the beginning of 2010 - is going to squash me like a bug and laugh at me as I curl up on the aerobic room floor with my broken arms, and cry, and wait for the rest of this terrible year to be over already.

“I know it hurts, but you got this, just stay with me, I’m counting you down, 15 more seconds, come on now, you got this,” Mr. Cool Cat says, and counts me down 15, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and we’re done. It’s over.

My legs rocket back under me as my arms let go of the triceps station and I lean forward in a crouching position. I’m breathing hard, it hurts it hurts, I can barely focus in front of me. I made it through a minute and a half of Hard Core style triceps dips, and what does it matter, I still hurt, maybe more than before, hey, how am I gonna get home if I have to use my arms to drive? I hurt, I hurt, I can’t really see anything but what’s directly in front of me.

And what’s in front of me is an outstretched pair of hands.

“Good job, you did great.”

Mr. Cool Cool Cat is standing in front of me, offering his hands. His outstretched hands.

I don’t know how I did it, but my noodle arms grab his hands, seemingly operating independently of my brain. Well, if you’re not gonna click in and think here, we’ll handle this.

Mr. Cool Cool Cat pulls me up, and gives me a quick hug.

“Good job. Great job.”

Mr. Cool Cool Cat is now officially my favorite person of the year.

I made it through the rest of the class, I made it through the rest of the week, and I had unexpected drinks with Tricia, one of my favorite people of all time. We had started drinks at a local bar, then went back to her place, because our conversation was so extensive, and covered so many different topics, that a single hour just wasn’t enough.

But this means I get to see one of my favorite dogs ever, SIMON! SIMON THE DOG, people! He's made appearances on this blog here, here, and here. What an unexpected bonus! I couldn’t have planned on it, and yet here he is, and here I am, and here he is sitting on the couch next to me!

I also got a DOUBLE unexpected bonus in the form of The Staircase. Faithful Readers O The Blog will remember The Staircase entry , where little Iain didn’t wanna go to bed on New Year’s Eve, and I turned the memory of him trudging up the stairs into a patented religious metaphor O GOLD.

Here we are, over two years later, and there I am with Simon, World’s Greatest Dog, watching Iain, two years older, but no less obstinate, go up the stairs again.

What year is this? 2008? 2009? 2010?

Two years ago Iain said, “But Momma, I’m not tired.” Tonight, after a fun filled night of dinosaurs at the Staples Center and McDonald’s for dinner, he says, “I won’t do it!”

“I won’t do it!”

The hilarious part is that he’s still climbing the stairs as he’s saying it, “I won’t do it!” (climbing two more stairs) “I won’t do it, Momma!” (he keeps going.)

“We’re gonna have issues, then,” is Tricia’s reply, but she doesn’t get out of her chair. She doesn’t have to, because Iain can bitch all he wants to, but he’s still trudging up those stairs, hating life every second, but still obeying in his own obstinate way.

That is my journey.

I am tired. I’m tired, and I have noodle arms, and I am so very disappointed that despite all my actions, I cannot change or otherwise get off this dismal hamster wheel of life.

But I grabbed the outstretched hands. And I will continue to bitch all the way up these never ending stairs. But I keep going. Because I have no other choice. Because I know God won’t let me stop. Because my quads are awesome. ☺

David Bowie and his two toned eyes have nothing on Simon, World’s Greatest Dog, and Simon's Book Club Pick O The Month. We’ll see what happens.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Perhaps You Should Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap

Perhaps leaving my job might have been a bigger deal than I thought.

How else to explain why I was sitting in church yesterday, tears streaming down my face, Merriweather falling asleep beside me, while there was at least ten people standing at the front of the auditorium, waiting for people to come down so they could pray for them.

And all I could think of was, well, two things:

#1 – I should’ve brought Kleenex.
#2 – Fuck them. I’m not going down there to pray.

Which obviously means I’m not getting blessed, right? Oh SURE. Come on, now. Amy Was So Stubborn That She Couldn’t Put Aside Her Pride To Go Down The Aisle And Get Prayer And That Is Why Her Life Is So Irretrievably Fucked Right Now.

If ONLY She Had Gone Down The Aisle So Everyone Could See The Blubbering Mess She Is, ONLY THEN Will She Have Officially Hit Rock Bottom, And Everyone Can See And Only THEN Can God Work His Woo Woo Magic And Fix Everything. Because Apparently There Needs To Be An Element Of Public Humiliation To Restoration.

This is why I have never liked an All Call To Prayer. I’ve seen it done in so many churches. I hate it whenever I see it for this very reason: in order to get “Blessed” the way they’re talking about, you have to publicly admit it. If you can’t walk down the aisle in front of everyone, then you’re not really admitting you have a problem and you don’t get prayer, not really, not the way they’re talking about. They’re always right, you’re always wrong.

Because the church will say:

Um, Amy, you didn’t have to go down the aisle. If that was too public for you, you could’ve grabbed someone off to the side. They even opened two new prayer rooms by the elevator in the lobby

To which I say...We have an elevator in the lobby? Since when!?

No really, to which I say – you could have shuffled everyone off to the sides, and have had nobody standing in front. I bet then you wouldn’t have had six to eight people standing in front of the auditorium with nothing to do. Looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t wanna publicly admit they need prayer. You have six to eight people wanting to pray staring at a good thirty to forty people in the audience who don’t wanna get up, and don’t wanna leave, what do you think needed to be changed?

It's SO not hard, church. Shuffle everyone off to the sides. Honestly.

You know, before I even got to church yesterday morning, I was in prayer.

But it was more me slumped against the side of my bed, my head resting on my arms resting on the mattress, trying desperately to feel a sense of comfort of some sort, as if I was crying in God’s lap, and as if He was stroking my hair. Kinda like this:

Except God wasn’t there, and neither was a Fairy Godmother. And while A Dream May Be A Wish Your Heart Makes, there’s zero truth to No Matter How Your Heart Keeps Dreaming, If You Keep On Believing, The Dream That You Wish Will Come True.

Because there’s work involved. On both sides. Yours and God’s.

Do you remember what Cinderella’s dialogue is just before the Fairy Godmother shows up and decides the mice and horse and dog are collateral damage in granting Cinderella’s wish to get to the ball?

Cinderella’s sobbing, and she says this:

“It’s just no use...there’s nothing left to believe in. Nothing.”

I’m pretty sure the reason why I’m currently hopeless is because I don’t have a plan.

I don’t do well without plans. I’m a Type A Pisces. I’m dreamy AND organized to a T. There’s not a lot of Type A Pisces out there, which is why you need to treasure us when you find us. We’re extremely rare, we are.

And there is nothing worse than a Type A Pisces Without A Plan. Because we will tell you EXACTLY why our plans have failed in the past, and why it’s kinda silly to make a plan for the future. And then we cry and stare at the sunset for awhile.

I left my job. On my terms. My boss couldn’t make a decision (most men can’t), so I made it for him. Yay for my professional integrity! Boo for the future!

I turned in a new draft of Striped Tiger to my producer! Another producer took Purple Monkey in to a network! None of it matters! Because nothing will come of it! Because nothing has! Been working on both these projects for over five years now! Nothing has changed in the past! Nothing will change in the future!

It’s exactly a year later – I’m working on the same exact projects, I have bounced out of a job I thought I might be hired in, and I’m back to temping. I am in the exact same hamster wheel! Stella and I coined the term last month: Failure To Progress.

I have Failed To Progress. Yaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!

And the church will say:

Um, Amy. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Because God couldn’t work with you until you hit rock bottom. Welcome to rock bottom. Now God can do something with you now. And by the way, get your ass down that aisle and fucking pray with the fucking elders at the front of the auditorium. Your fucking pride is meaningless.

Oh really? Really, God, really? Last year wasn’t rock bottom? Because we’ve Failed To Progress, see. How could this year be worse than last year? Why didn’t You act last year? Why would You wait to act this year?

Because I STILL didn’t go down the aisle. I left.

And the second I left the auditorium and hit the sunshine on Hollywood Blvd, I felt worlds better. Maybe I don’t have a plan. But I got away from that strange cesspool of pressure and guilt and stares and that automatically made my day better.

Dear Church: Pressured Prayer Is Meaningless. Please Go Back To The Drawing Board. Feel Free To Ask Me For Suggestions. I’ve Got Nothing But Time.


Amy The Writer