Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

'Kay, blogging at the public library. I gotta make this quick because I've got 21 minutes remaining on my reserve time.

Yes, it's come to DSL, no internet, no cable tv, because there's no dollah bills, y'all. I went for a job interview today for a special events florist ( she does only weddings- no retail, no yelling Joanna, no kids screaming, nothing being thrown at my head) and while the job looks okay, I doubt if she'll hire me. I came in with the. Worst. Attitude EVER. Shoot yourself in the foot? Why, yes, thank you, I think I shall. I didn't really realize I was being overly negative til I got in the car to leave, and my utter lack of enthusiasm tipped me off. Usually I'm a good faker even if I feel tired or crappy, but upon reflection, I realized almost everything out of my mouth was negative or sounded like Eeyore. "Do you like L.A.?" "No. Can't stand it." "So, how did you get in to flowers?" "Well, I had this terrible job at a florist's where the designer was a diva. I learned alot though." "A diva? How so?" "Well, she called us all idiots. And threw things. I hope you dont do that here." "NO! Certainly not....ahem....anyway...."

Good going, Jessica. Smoooooooth. Bash the last employer and sound like a whiner in the proccess! Agh.

I suppose my exhaustion with jobs is just showing at the seams. I haev no interest in getting a new job, only to lose it. I do not feel like getting back on this horse. I had hoped, this year, for some consistency, some stability. Now what I have is a dying pet, no employment, and no hope of ever having sex again before I drop dead. Things are looking great.

Could it be worse? Hard to say. I suppose anything could be. It's all relative, right? Not in the hospital. Not living with my parents. Not covered in an unsightly prickly-heat rash ( usually a threat for me this time of year). Not in the middle of an ill-timed break-up. I just keep thinking of this Faith Hill song:

I got no papers to read
I got no cable tv...
'Cause you're mine
All I need to know
Is sun shines everywhere we go
Yeah, I'm the lucky one...
I'm the lucky one....

And now my time is up. 8 minutes remaining.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I have had the crap day. I know. I always say I have crap days. I do have lots of days where I wake up and think, "what is the FUCKING POINT of continuing to live this way??" for sure, but I manage to get my ass out of bed anyway, and get through my life. I know right now no one would say, "gee, Jessica sure seems happy/cheerful/like she's getting laid" about me, but basically, I do all right. I go to work ( or not), chat up my friends, deal with traffic, take care of errands, and don't generally feel like the world is closing in on me at every single moment. If that were the case, I'd be in the doc's office pronto.

To begin, though, lately I have been in the doc's office. I haven't really been feeling well since my whole bronchitis episode, and all the caffiene I had to consume just to be on my toes for Dee was fucking with me, too. We've been debating upping my meds, and weaning me off coffee; I'm in the process of getting of the junk right now, while I can take extra Lexapro for any PMS and get that straight shot of seratonin right in there to defray any jones I might have. I feel like shit anyway. This is all the underlying chemical activity going on. Party on in Jessica's synapses. Yeah. Good times.

Secondly, Griffin has not eaten anything proper since Monday, and yet there's been plenty of cat vomit to clean up ( I know that's gross, but what am I gong to do? Sugar coat it?). He's down to about 5lbs. I'm worried SICK, but obviously, have no money to take him in. A friend of mine pirated some lactated ringer's solution and a microdrip line for me and has sent it my way, so I'm hoping some subQ fluids will help, as they're what he'd be prescribed anyway. I'm also shoving Pepcid AC down him ( cat dosage; also common with CRF- can you tell I've been through this before??) in hopes that it will settle his belly enough to get him interested in food. I don't know. I've been waking up every day pretty much expecting the worst, and trying to hope for the best. So there's that.

THEN I log into my email, and guess who resurfaces? Leo. Oh, no, I'm not kidding. I don't know what this man wants from me at this stage of the game, as I have made it exceptionally clear that I am deeply disappointed and unhappy with the state of our friendship as it relates to his most recent visit. Inasmuch, I asked him repeatedly to let me know ( phone, email, smoke signals) when he was ready to deal with the fallout from said visit, and did he? No. On three seperate occasions I reiterated my needing to know that he had gotten my email about tableing a discussion we were having about it til he got off cigarettes/caught up at work/felt more comfortable talking about these topics. TO be fair, I even said I needed a break myself, since I was getting pretty angry and had a new job at hand and needed some space, so would he please just call me when he's feeling better? Oh, and let me know that this is an okay agreement with you, so we know where we stand. Much to my chagrin, it's been nada, zip, nothing for a month. So I figured he had just had enough of me, and bolted. I had my moment of silence, was sad, and got on with my life, and soforth.
Except today he emails me to say hi and ask about a check he had written me while he was visiting, and blah blah blah. I about fell off my chair. Actually, I left my desk for a good ten minutes and just cried. Why? Because it's HARD to keep greiving the same thing over and over- I had put this away and marked "failed" on it and was working to Move On! But after my little snap, I wrote him : yes. Your check bounced. I paid the fee. I wouldnt worry about it. I didn't notify you because I thought you had bailed, since I didn't know what the silence meant after I had asked for some sort of confirmation three times. And if I don't hear back from you this time, I'll assume you dont want to speak to me ever again.
And then I went off and cried some more. I feel like Bill Cosby's wife in his bit about how she handled her errant children: "Roll your eyes at me? I'll roll your head! I didn't carry you in my body for nine months to have you treat me like your personal slave. If you think that, then you've GOT ANOTHER THING COMING!!" I felt like I was giving same speech about having someone try and skate on me that I've known for 22 years and thinking I won't notice, because if he thinks I don't see that he's trying to artfully dodge, then..... well, you know the rest. It just wears me out. All of it. I can't take it anymore. Not on top of everything else.

But perhaps it's the small things, because then, when I'm on craigslist today, applying for any job that might seem possible or probable or even tolerable, I happen upon an ad for a part-time receptionist at a salon in Sherman Oaks, and I check the address, and shut my mouth wide open, it's for Dee. Oh, the malicious glee, the I-Told-You-So joy, the terrible schaedenfruede of it!! I was just despairing a post ago about how this new dippy girl would be the Best Assistant Ever because I had done my job so well. Well. La dee dah. She didn't even last a frickin' week. Maybe there IS divine justice, after all. I won't say that too loudly, but I sure as hell will have a damned good laugh at their expense. God knows I need something to laugh


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No, I didn't drop dead, although there have been some days in the last 20 (!) since I blogged previously that I FELT like I could. In short, I've been working like a dog. The Salon moved into Salon2, in a merger type deal, and Dee, my boss, was packing up 15 years of being in her own place and trying to cram it into half the space with Others. In the proccess of all that, I turned into SuperAssistant. Not only did I have to figure out what to do with the stuff we couldn't take ( ebay it- contracted out to Jeannie, The Master of All Things Auctionable), reorganize her filing system ( including file almost a year's worth of crap her former receptionist just didn't do), supervise our communication technology , notify every fucking customer we had for the next two coming weeks that we were moving, I had to take calls from Dee 4 and 5 times a night after work hours, reminding me of all sorts of crap that needed to be done PRONTO, and deal with her panic over this entire proccess.

When I'd finished with all that, I helped them pack. Effieciently, and organized-like. THEN I found a contractor ( my neighbor Jimmy, a gold-chain wearing goombah from way back, but a damned fine handyman) to help her get all the bolted-in stuff out and off to storage ( storage that Jeannie arranged for and showed up to help supervise with, even though technically, she doesn't even work for Dee), til it could be shipped to the buyer. I drove down to West Hollywood on my own dime ( gas-wise, which isn't nothing, I might add, since gas is $3. Thirtyfucking5 a gallon, thank you, Mr. Bush!!) to get our typeset plates from the printer for new business cards. I went to Staples 4 times in 3 days to buy appropriate adaptive things for my new desk and our new situation. And THEN I packed up my car, drove all my stuff to the new salon, spent the better part of day setting it up, hassling with the AT&T idiot, and fending off the two swishy, bitchy queens who own the new digs while I tried to make sure that the computer was talking to the printer and the cell to the Bluetooth and the cords not *touching* the floor on any of it ( one their crazy specifications).

Then I took the day off of work, since it was the first day I'd had off in about 7 of them, and even so, I took no less than 4 phone calls from Dee ( Jeannie got 5).

And when I walked in the next day after that, I was greeted by Vee, herr coloring assistant, with, " We tried to call you on your cell" (Well, it's the crack of dawn and I had to get here, I haven't checked my own PERSONAL messages yet). "Oh, well, we need your SSN# and your address." (It's on those forms in the new file cabinet under 'Employee Information'?). "Oh. Well. Um, we tried to call you" ( I GOT THAT, what is it?). A pause while she goes to get Dee. Dee comes around and says "Let's go outside". We do, and she says, "We tried to call you" ( I heard that. What's going on, Dee?). "Well, I need your address" (Uh-huh. I heard that too. What's the deal?) "I just think this job is very, STRESSFUL for you" (Dee, are you firing me?). "Yes". ( And why is that, exactly?) "I just think this job is too stressful for you. You get very angsty about things, and while I appreciate you want to keep things organized, you've been tired and a bit short lately " ( Yes, well, I've been a little stressed out as of late, with the move, but I'm sure it will be fine). "Well, no, I don't think so. You were stressing out at the old shop too" ( Yes, because you hired me and I hardly had a chance to learn my job then we were in the middle of THIS. I hardly had two weeks to settle in. But I could argue with you, and yet I know it won't do any good. Right?) "Right. I'm sorry, Jessica; I like you as a person, but this is a business decision."

As I was leaving, I looked through the window and there was already someone at my desk. I don't know where they found her, or when, but there she was, sitting at the desk that I put together, that I moved, that I organized, that I made sure was workable, so that everything would run without a HITCH the minute we got to the new place. I was dead certain that this new girl wouldn't be stressed out. At all. Because I had made damned sure that every major account, file, every fucking paperclip was where it was supposed to be. Nope. No stress for her. She's going to be the Best Assistant They've Ever Had, because she could lay back and not do a damned thing for months and they wouldn't know the difference, as that's how well I'd done my job.

And you know what?

Dee was right about my being stressed, because at that moment, I just wanted to strangle her. My GOD. The chutzpah of this woman calling me stressed, when she'd lumped the world on my shoulders and asked me to carry it, and I did, and had the unholy gall to get snappy a few times and need a day off. I CARRIED her through that move when Bitchy Coloring Assistant/Best Pal Vee had 1.) traffic court and 2.) an acting gig in the middle of it and just plain old wasn't around. I didn't have time to do my own damned dishes . I had my friends and neighbors on speed dial helping her out at the drop of a dime ( Jeannie's commentary: "you have GOT to be kidding me. No WAY. NO WAY?!?! Jessica, I don't even work there and she's drivng me insane with calls and questions and her needs, so I cannot even imagine what it's like for YOU. And she FIRED you? That is WRONG.") . If I was stressed, then it was because SHE wasn't. If I seemed a bit anxious, a bit on edge at times, it's because she pushed me there. And as someone else so astutely noticed, "What a HUUUUUGE projection she's making. Here she is, going through a major change and loss, and instead of feeling her anxiety and stress, she puts it on you, makes you 'unstable' for not being able to carry this load, and gets rid of you so she doesn't have to feel it herself." Couldn't have said it better, myself.

Jeannie says I should be glad that I'm out of her craziness, but frankly, I'm just pissed off, and really UPSET. I liked my job ( when we weren't moving), I liked Dee, even ( before this) and it was a good job for me to have as far as hours went, as well as the perks ( hair, nails, waxing, rubbing shoulders with all sorts of People In The Industry, plus Dee was big on giving her employees stuff- I got a like-new tv and stereo receiver and salon quality hairdryer and coffee maker and garden hose when we were packing up, just because she wanted to get rid of it). Not to mention, this is the THIRD job I've lost in 8 months, and I would like some fucking stability! Money coming in a regular basis! You know, things I like to call Luxuries, like being able to pay my bills and eating.

I thought about all of this for a long, long time. I thought, "what am I doing wrong, here?" And there's just NOTHING, nothing I could have done differently to make this woman happy. In my last two jobs, well.... a few smallish things, but not much. They were both just as fucked up in their own ways. The only explanation I have for it is karma. When I sabotaged my way out of a job when I first moved here, I guess I acccrued some bad karma, and now I have to pay. It sounds wacky, I know, but it kind of makes sense.... it kind of makes sense in terms of the men I've had in my life as of late, too. I messed up bad with M and I hurt him and now I can't get someone to stick around to save my life. And if I were to take that "Rule of 3" Thing literally ( in Paganism, the warning is 'whatever you do comes back to you 3x"- The Threefold Law it's called, and I always thought it meant 3x as strong, not 3 actual times! That just sounded stupid to me, but hey, with the way things are shaping up...), it all fits. If so, then hopefully this is the last job I'll have to lose. I've got one more man to go ( groan- can't we just count Keith announcing his engagement to Nicole a loss? I do! Never mind he wouldn't know me to spit on me, but why should that be of consequence?!?!?!?), but then I should be square. If I'm doing the Cosmic Math correctly. If. If. If.

Unless of course, I'm just losing my mind. Could be all the stress.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oh, okay. Bottom of page. Apparently, I'm a half-wit.

Third day of work today ( recall that I only work Thurs, Fri, Sat). We're getting ready to move the Hair Salon into a different facility and merge with a presently existing salon. In short- it's going to be a bitch. Mostly, I think, pour moi, as the Keeper of All Office Things and Filer of All Files. I'm getting one of those weird Bluetooth thingies, though and my own desk, so I'm hoping I can keep it all under control and actually see some benefits of having LESS Office Managing to do because my boss isn't the Owner anymore. Swear to god, though, if that thing rings in my ear and starts to get irritating, I'm not using it....

Once again, Spring and Beltane are here, and life rolls forward. I think about last Beltane and how agitated I was about Annie, and just fed up with M, and worried about Angel's tumor on his ear. Things have changed exponentially. Annie is long gone and out of my hair and last I checked, doing well. M is long gone and out of my hair, and I wish him well. And of course, Angel is cancer-free and growing fatter by the day in his ripe old age of 4.

In another passage , though, I am ever reminded of that which the Goddess teaches us: what is born will die, and life will renew itself when it is time, over and over. I see all this renewal, like I just mentioned, and then some. I'm grateful for all of it. Yet with that turn of the world, I am also looking down the barrell of another death, literally.

My poor, dear, old cat Griffin is now pushing 14, and has chronic renal failure. He's been SUCH a strong cat- he's been hale and hearty since the day I brought him home. I've known for a few years now that he's had this condition; his sister, my beloved 6-years gone Anais had it too, so it wasn't surprising to discover. But unlike her, he's rocked the house for a long time ( she had a congenital kidney defect that exacerbated her disease and kept her pretty low-key most of her life. She was, of course, darling and docile, and completely mine in her heart! But she's totally, totally different from her brother).
He's just not looking good. This is the first I've seen him sickly. He's lost a significant amount of weight in the last 3 weeks alone ( when Leo was here, I recall distinctly he still looked normal and fine, and he ate like a little piglet off of Leo's plate.). I know this to be a symptom of the last part of the disease from when I went through it with Nisi. When the kidneys really start to go, the stomach acids back up, and food isn't so tempting anymore. They are completely interested in how it smells, but not at all in eating much, even when the standard treatment ( 1/2 a tablet of Pepcid AC) is administered. I've started the meds, and I've seen an improvement in the recent spate of vomiting episodes, and I hope to see an even bigger improvement when I can get my hands on some IV fluids and start administering them subcutaneously ( can you tell I totally know this by heart- a sad heart, no less- ?) . But frankly....

....he's just winding down. He hasn't been able to make the jump up to the windows for awhile now, so I put chairs under them so he can still sit in the sun. He sleeps far more than Angel, and wants to curl up all the time, and just rest his bones, which I actually hear creaking a bit when he adjusts himself. He hardly touches his dry food, which I suspect is because he can't chew so great anymore ( I offer him his favorite things- Cheetos, crackers, chips- and he makes the valiant attempt, but gives up easily). My special little guy, he's getting old. I can't even imagine it. This is a cat who, when I was sick and staying at my parents', caught a full-sized blackbird in his jaws, STILL FLAPPING and cawing. My dad woke me up and said, "hey, your cat has a bird and won't give it to me! You need to come and take it." I thought Griff had jsut gotten a little sparrow or something; I'd been the recipient of "gifts" before. But NO: I come downstairs and out the back door, and there that little muscleman hunter is, prancing down the driveway with this giant bird, still alive, bringing it to me! I couldn't even get him to let go of it til I said, "Griffy, give it to Mama, boy. Come on." Then he opened his jaws in pride and much to his irritation, that bird flew off. I felt really badly about having to trick him like that- that was a good score! But let me tell you he didn't give it a thought. He just turned tail and went back after it.
And that's how he's been all along: fearless, strong, incredibly active and curious, and after Nisi died ( which was incredibly hard for me), Mom's Big Strong Protector. Even now, when I don't get up in a timely fashion, it's Griff's 30 minute Wake Up Service, untill I throw a pillow or get out of bed. He won't let a man in the house who's bad news- won't have a damned thing to do with him if he has a bad soul or might be Trouble. He still wants to sit in the sun every chance he gets , harasses Angel on a daily basis, and will chase the occasional bug if the mood strikes. Still, I have to be realistic. Every year I get with him- shit, every couple of months- is a blessing.

I don't know what I'll do when he goes. And I feel like a totally bad mom and really guilty for even trying to prepare myself for it. I just know I have to, somehow. I don't think he's ready to go on me, and I believe that's a big part of things. Nisi stayed alive for a good month longer than she probably should have, because ( I think) she knew I had to graduate school, and I needed her to wait( again, the guilt). Sometimes I think Griffin is waiting around for some Other Man, maybe a partner to take his place so he knows I'm taken care of. Is that silly? Maybe. But then maybe I'm silly anyway. He's family to me, a real soul and a real living being I am so lucky to have shared so many years with. SO for now.....

I just treasure what I have . I still tell him at every opportunity that he's The Handsomest Orange Cat Ever ( his offical title), and snuggle him close. I sing him his song ( don't ask me why, but every cat I've ever had had a theme song. Maybe it's something I subconsciously picked up from watching "Ally Mc Beal" . I don't pick them, they just come to me, just like when they get their names). Griffin is nothing if not musical; he LOVES it when people sing. He wants you to pet him and make him part of the music too. So I sing everything, but most especially, HIS song:

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you're young at heart
For it's hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you're young at heart....
....For as rich as you are, it's much better by far
To be young at heart
And if you should survive to 105
Look at all the joy you'll derive out of being alive
Then here is the best part
You have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

My special guy. I love him. All the way 'round the world and back and forever and ever. He's the coolest. And nobody who ever met him would ever argue different. I think I'm gonna go hug him right now, while I still can. Give him a big old Mama smooch.
Wheeeeeere the hell are all my old posts? I don't understand! Argh. I'm in no mood.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My mood has taken a significant downturn for the worse. I know something is wrong with my meds; I can always tell when my seratonin is on the skids. I feel kinda crappy, I can't stop ruminating over things, all I want to do is eat sugar ( a quick seratonin fix) and I cannot sleep properly.

I haven't been *quite* right since I got bronchitis, although I knew then that all the stupid cough medicine, etc would take a toll on my antidepressants. That was only the tip of the iceberg, though; I had to take antibiotics, which is like a double whammy on the psychotropics. Antibiotics do a number on my tummy and other parts I shall not mention here, so I have to take more drugs. In the middle of all this, I'm scrounging for money, looking for work and dealing with the fallout from Leo. Then it's right in the PMS Zone, and I have to start the Lexapro for all that rot; I start a new job, and I'm drinking caffiene just to stay on top of things.

Needless to say, I don't know if I'm coming or going. But I feel wretched. I wish it would just pass....I've seen quite enough of this kind of thing this year, have I not?