Should I Add Professional Part Time Dog-Sitter to My Resume?

Oh, hey! I’m still alive, just completely neglecting things that I find important. I suppose it’s natural to go through these phases, especially in the summertime. I guess we never veer far from our lazy, out-of-school childhood selves once June hits. And still being out of a job, that laziness creeps up on me like nobody’s business if I don’t keep it at bay.

I lose that battle more than I’d like to admit.

BUT! I’ve recently deposited some money into the bank thanks to a job that still has allowed me to maintain my level of summertime sloth, in the form of dog-sitting. And not even for my parent’s dog this time!

... Or maybe dog-lazing

This is Churro. A three-year old blond, long-haired dachshund. I’ve known him since he was a puppy and I love him lots.

He belongs to the family I nannied for for eight years of my life. We tightly bonded during our year in Hong Kong together, and since moving back nearly two years ago and not being needed by a teenage boy as often, I barely get to see this cute little mug. Now, most of last week and again for a week starting tomorrow, I have him all to myself.

As a puppy he was, of course, super hyper-active as well as an excited/nervous pee-er. The boy I watched quite enjoyed getting Churro riled up while on my lap… resulting in many instances of damp jeans. But, as an intense animal lover, it barely bothered me. He also suffered through some abandonment issues, probably stemming from the family’s very busy, very active lifestyle. The issue was exacerbated even further with our move to Hong Kong six months after being brought home for the first time. He traveled separately from us via a pet-handling service, making an over night stop in an Amsterdam pet hotel where he picked up fleas which freaked him out even more. He was a neurotic mess most of his puppy life.

Our first day in Hong Kong

My heart went out to this little tortured soul so I hoped to create a more stable living environment. It also helped me have an easier time dealing with missing the hell out of my cat, who was with my parents on the other side of the world. So maybe my taking on of this new task wasn’t completely selfless. But, being the hired help that I was (though was rarely made to feel that way), I took on Churro as my second charge being responsible for a good deal of his daily care-giving, as well as occasional nighttime snuggle partner.

My favorite thing to do was take him out for long walks most days for exercise. But it was also in hopes of tiring him out so he wouldn’t bark all day when we left the house.

Scratching his belly on the pavement

The walks never worked in terms of the barking, but it did manage to keep my beer belly to a minimum. Those crazy Hong Kong people can party, another year there might have killed me!

Now that the boy is too old for a nanny (you don’t know how many times I tried to figure out how to keep him a kid forever so I wouldn’t have to go look for another, less awesome job), I don’t get to see little Churro much so I was excited to receive an email requesting my fantastic sitting services. (It also meant I would be staying in an apartment with a working air conditioner!) We’ve resumed our long walks, this time enjoying the sights of Central Park rather than the views of the part of the city Hong Kong calls Central.

Looking over the reservoir to the westside in Central Park. NY.

The view of Central over to Kowloon I got to see every time we went for a walk. Hong Kong.

Not too shabby as far as eye entertainment, if you ask me. I’ll take either one any day of the week.

I’m going to miss Churro after this week because I have no idea when I’ll get to spend this much time with him again. But at least when I get back to my cat he’ll have all new smells to inspect when I walk in the door.

-xo

I’d Like to Dedicate This Song To…

I took a little drive south for the weekend, again, to visit my best friend. She’s moving out west soon so she threw a little gathering which included beer drinking and dance partying. It was, as always, a great time. On my drive home I was listening to my iPod and singing along as I normally do.

On long drives I end up becoming one of those people passing drivers stare at, because I quickly go from mouthing the words to belting the song out within seconds. Before I realize it, I’m putting on a concert for my dashboard and I’m total crazy-person-entertainment for all of I-95. It’s my only way to live out my rock star dreams.

Suddenly, Debbie Gibson’s ‘Foolish Beat‘ came on and I was ready for my big performance. I’m not ashamed at all, I’d sing it again right in front of all of you if the mood struck. When the feeling comes over me, I can’t be stopped. I sang along with Debbie as if I was some heartbroken teenager scribbling on a school book in my room. Someone really must have broken her fragile, little, seventeen-year-old heart. When it was over I grabbed my iPod and played it again… just because I could.

While I was lost in Ms. Gibson’s heartache, my mind started to wander back to the early to mid 90s when a Philadelphia radio station, Star 104.5, played a late night show called Between the Sheets. It played from probably 8pm to 12am, spinning love songs and taking requests from heartbroken souls and the lonely half of two lovers. They’d call in, tell a little story about why a particular song reminded them of the dedicatee, then the smooth-voiced DJ would speak out to all those hoping to hear ‘their’ song.

For some reason, my sister (who was probably around 16 at the time) loved listening to this love fest on our drives back to our mom’s house, from our dad’s house, after having dinner. Maybe she thought her boyfriend was going to call in and dedicate some cheesy Celine Dion or Bryan Adams song. I guess that’s romantic. I first thought the whole idea was lame, but I soon came to find myself understanding the need to reach out to someone while driving down a dark road counting headlights. It instantly became nostalgic, and it never hurt that I almost always heard ‘Eternal Flame‘ by The Bangles. It’s a classic.

Now I tend to recreate this in my car, alone, more often than not (sans all the mushy dedicating). Especially since I’ve been going on so many long drives this summer. I promise, though, there is no Celine Dion and the only Bryan Adams song on my iPod is ‘Run to You’. But you bet your bippy that little Debbie Gibson is going to be thrown into the mix a lot more, since she seems to have been hiding among my playlist in plain sight. That was definitely my main jam yesterday.

I would like you to know that I’m actually not at all a sap. I don’t very rarely cry, I don’t dwell on lost relationships, most of the ‘love’ songs that remind me of past boys are not your typical ballads. (In fact, many are synth-pop 80s songs). Yes, I’ve been called a robot on more than one occasion but I’m really nice, I swear. I prefer upbeat, dancy music that makes me happy. I want stuff with a good groove that I can bop around (as well as sing) to, even in my seat, and that’s what I was doing on the ride that brought my car odometer to 100,000 miles.

Go Speed Racer!

It was late morning on the Jersey Turnpike, hence the location of the arrow on the speedometer. I did slow down a little so I could get a good picture, don’t worry.

I dedicate this picture to my dad, because he got me the car oh so many years ago. We’ve been through a lot (the car and I), mainly this summer (as previous posted here). It was starting to become iffy as to whether we’d actually make it to this momentous milestone, but we’re still going strong. I’d be lost without that crazy thing, I have so many more mobile concerts to put on for myself.

-xo

Thanks, But No Thanks

It’s been hot as balls on the East Coast lately, my little New York apartment has been a virtual broiler. Yes, I do have an air conditioner but it was probably made during the industrial revolution. It’s old, crusty, super dusty and it costs a fortune to run. I need a new one, but there’s that little problem called money… or I could beg my slumlord for one but that won’t happen anytime this summer. So I came up with a solution. Give my poor little fans, and my quickly growing electric bill, a break and head to my parent’s house for free air conditioning!

After I got home, sprawled out in some luxurious cool air, played with my nephew and got dinner with my mom (free food!), I sat down and got on my computer.

I got my first job application rejection email, three weeks after I applied.

“Thank you for your interest in (Company) – we always love to hear from our members! While you have some great experience, we have decided to move forward with other candidates.

Thanks again and we wish you the best!”

It actually came as a relief more than a disappointment because at least I heard something. After nearly three months of constantly applying to every kind of job that made sense, I finally heard a peep back. Who cares that it was a canned message, a negative response or a shot to the heart! They had the courtesy to not leave me hanging. I have since labeled this particular company as ‘classy’ and will continue to apply if other opportunities arise. At least I’ll be told they don’t want me.

I understand that jobs are few and far between and that companies are being bombarded with hundreds of applications daily (or weekly, I don’t know), but is it too much to ask for a simple copy-and-pasted email to bring us weary applicants some closure? Searching for a job is a very demoralizing process. Sending out a resume only to hear nothing back is equivalent to being left hanging when asking for a high-five. (Or that times a thousand, maybe). We appease you by writing some cheesy, self-loving, happy, ass-kissing cover letter (and sometimes answering tons of lame questions about how ‘awesome’ your company is) so why is it so hard to reciprocate just a little?

Who else is dealing with career woes? Share your pain here, it’s a safe place!

-xo

Take This Job (Application) and (Don’t) Shove It

Well, it’s becoming clear to me that I’m not going to be getting a job in the writing field any time soon. So the next question for me is, where do I go from here? Where do I belong? I’ve done a little of everything and am not particularly interested in revisiting any of those areas. I enjoyed my jobs at the time, but I’m ready for something new.

I spent all day looking for jobs… well, dying my hair and looking for jobs. I had big plans to go to the park and read all day, but I guilted myself into doing something that would make my dad proud. And, of course, I had to balance out that terrible tediousness by changing up my hair color. My random act of defiance as I throw resumes at a thousand jobs I’ll never hear from.

This is becoming the never-ending process. I’ve never had this much difficulty accomplishing anything in my whole life and I’m starting to think that there is something wrong with me. Maybe it’s life telling me I should be spending my time looking for a sugar daddy.

Yes, I’ve been out of college quite a few years. Yes, I’m older than most of those looking for entry-level jobs. Yes, my experience is kind of all over the place. But I know I possess the knowledge and ability to do just about anything that’s asked of me. I actually like to learn and try new things. I’ve also lived a pretty good life, traveled, and worked plenty of different jobs that has given me a unique perspective. But most employers won’t ever know since they probably aren’t even opening my resume due to the job market being such a disaster. It seems millions of people are applying to the same ten jobs.

But that’s OK. Their loss.

… That is, until I’m down to my last dollar and I’m begging Rite Aid to hire me.

(OK. Between the bleach, hair dye and seven hours of job searching my brain is absolutely fried. Time to play The Sims 3 and live vicariously through some silly video game.)

-xo

My Final Thoughts on Casey Anthony

Well, I just wasted a month and a half of my life. I found myself sucked into the media spectacle that is the Casey Anthony trial only to be slapped in the face with a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

I didn’t think she would get death, but I was quite convinced she would be found guilty of one of the charges (other than lying to the cops). Was that too much to ask?

I’ve slept on all of this just so I didn’t run on pure shock and emotion and I have a couple thoughts:

  • The defense team proved themselves to be the jerks they are by celebrating their ‘win’ with champagne, hugs and high-fives at a restaurant right next-door to the courthouse where hundreds of spectators and media could watch. During the defense team’s press conference soon after the win, it took a number of minutes to even mention Caylee’s name. One of the lawyers even had the balls to treat this time to speak as if he had just won the super bowl by calling out the naysayers, then he flipped cameras the bird while at the champagne celebration. That’s not a very classy or respectful way to honor the victim, who they seemed to not be focused on throughout the trial.
  • It’s true, the prosecution asked for too much. Death wasn’t going to happen. But had child neglect been on the table would the result have been different? The thirty-one days Casey was lying to everyone while Caylee was in the trunk, in the woods or otherwise dead are sure to be a ginormous red flag in the eyes of any rational person. Yet, that went by the wayside because the jurors were stuck on buzz words like ‘premeditation’ and ‘death penalty’ and ‘murder one’.
  • How did the jury come to the conclusion that she was guilty of lying to police yet not connect the dots that she was lying for a reason? She wasn’t making up the stories for fun, she was lying to keep the police from doing their jobs. They were running around looking for a fictitious nanny while a child was dead just down the road.
  • There’s been the suggestion that the jury just wanted to get the trial over with. Some people who sat in the courtroom noticed that the jury looked bored and uninterested. Had they already made up their minds or were they pissed that they were working through the fourth of July holiday? Maybe they were just sick of being sequestered and saw this as a way to get home, knowing if they found her guilty of one of the murder charges they would be forced to stay through the penalty phase. I think it’s very hard in these times of instant access to technology to assume anyone would be OK thrown into (what appears to be similar to) solitary confinement for two months. Our culture is obsessed with instant gratification which has turned us into very selfish and intensely impatient people. Those are not very good qualities in a juror. And I don’t care if some of the jurors claimed they don’t own a computer or watch TV, these people are aware of the way our media dictates how we function. The trial was not wrapped up in a neat little bow, there were no dramatic surprise climaxes, and we are still left with handfuls of unanswered questions unlike the way every cop drama on TV has been portrayed, ad nauseam, in recent history. Collecting evidence, interrogating witnesses and trying cases aren’t truly not as glamorous as we would like, and that can be disappointing to some. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not blaming the jury for the decisions they made. I’m simply beginning to think that our jury system may be headed toward becoming an outdated idea as it stands today.

Finally, I’m one of those crazies who is crying their eyes out over the verdict because justice hasn’t been served for Caylee. I don’t want her burned at the stake or to run into her on the street to tell her what I horrible person I think she is. The worst part about the whole situation is that she got away with what ever crimes she committed but I don’t care that much about her. I just got obsessively involved with the trial by accident and it became a study in sociology for me. I feel terrible that there is a young girl who is dead and no one is being held responsible. But I also don’t want to lessen the importance of all those other missing and murdered children. Why the media chose to focus on this particular case? I don’t know. Probably because it involved an attractive woman from an upper middle class home and a cute missing child. Though I also think the facts surrounding the case were particularly engaging, like the fact that there was a bunch of lying, the partying that went on while her child was missing, the made up people she told her parents about in order to support her lies, and how cops seemed to ignore the meter reader’s calls about a skull in the woods for a matter of months. That’s the stuff that good TV, movies and books are made of, so it’s no surprise people became intrigued and wanted to know what really happened. It’s just a shame that we will probably never know.

*Huge exhale*

OK! I got all that out and I can move on. Back to my regularly scheduled programming on TV, life, as well as here.

-xo

(F)LA Law

Oh man, I’ve totally been neglecting my blogging responsibilities. But hey, it’s summer. I’ve been frolicking in the grass, tip-toeing through the tulips, soaking in the sun, gazing at the stars…

That’s totally a lie. I’ve been glued to the TV watching the end of the Casey Anthony trial. This shit is juicier than any soap opera could ever be (and I say that as a huge General Hospital fan).

Earlier in the summer, when I was visiting home, my mom mentioned she was watching the trial. I sort of rolled my eyes at the idea of spending the whole day listening to legal jibber jabber, but played along anyway. After one day I was hooked, if only because of how much fun it was to watch the defense team squirm.

Oh man, I'm screwed!

If you’re not familiar, Casey Anthony is on trial for her life for the murder of her almost three-year-old daughter. I’ve pretty much had my mind made up since hearing about this three years ago, she’s guilty in some way. Whether it was premeditated or accidental, I’m not sure. But she deserves to go away for life.

So, back to the trial. It’s been a ratings wet dream for truTV and HLN. They haven’t seen viewership like this in probably ever and that’s because you can’t write this stuff.

The defense team has been led by a man named Jose Baez, a lawyer who has never tried a homicide case such as this. And it shows. He’s been a cocky jerk for no reason because in reality he’s a bumbling fool, so much so that there is a Facebook page dedicated to his ineptitude (Bumbling Boob Baez). He’s relied heavily on confusion and finger-pointing, anything to keep our attention away from Casey. The three big bombshells he’s relied on to prove Casey’s innocence were never really addressed during the trial (Caylee accidentally drown, George [her father] was involved, she learned to lie after years of sexual abuse from her father and brother)! He, instead, focused on these tertiary witnesses who could only attest to the character of one of her family members or the lack of proper protocol on behalf of the law enforcement/forensic professionals. It’s been beyond entertaining to watch him get shot down at almost every turn. A majority of his defense witnesses have ended up becoming prosecution fabulous-ness.

The prosecution slam dunked just about everything. It was like watching a well oiled machine. They were concise, methodical, easy to follow, and fun to watch. There’s really nothing else to say about them, they had their shit together. Jeff Ashton had his game face on throughout the whole trial, except when he shot looks of disgust and disbelief in response to Baez’s outlandish arguments.

As a fun little side-show, Thursday a spectator was caught on camera flipping the bird to prosecutor Jeff Ashton.

Judge Perry brought him to the podium, put the fear of Jebus into him, then gave him six days in jail and a $623 fine. Amazing television! It was the perfect opportunity to see how tough the judge can be. Casey, I’d be shaking in my boots if I were you. You did worse than suggest someone sit-and-spin.

Yesterday the defense rested and the prosecution finished up their rebuttal. Luckily today there is no court, because I have my nephew’s second birthday party to go to. It’s like the court knew I needed a break! Tomorrow we have closing arguments which should be explosive. My hangover and I will be watching every second. Will you?

Have you been following? What are your thoughts?

-xo