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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Here are all your updates, pleasantly presented in 30s/40s -era song lyrics:

1.) I got my mojo workin'/ It just ain't workin' on you. (~ "Got My Mojo Workin' ", Foster/Cole/Waters, est. 1946)

This week has sucked ass. Let's start with Monday: I worked at St. Louis Art Museum for 6 years, the Forum for Contemprorary Art in STL for 2. I have a degree in Studio Art and another in Religion AND YET, it's been quite a trial getting even an interview in LA at a museum....SO, on Thursday, finally I muster up the chutzpah to call MOCA HR after sending my resume in for the 10,000th time to ask what qualifications they might be lookng for. Apparently only HALF of my resume had been transmitting -- the left half. ( thank you, Windows Vista). So I reformatted, resent, and used it as a reason to call back.

The woman in HR conducted an informal interview on the phone, and said she'd refer my resume to the hiring manager. Who then called me Thursday night for an interview Friday. Except I didn't recieve the message til Saturday ( thank you, AT & T wireless!). Of course I try to salvage that situation and leave messages and explain, but by Monday afternoon they'd already hired someone. Needless to say, I was desperately pissed and unhappy......

2.) Once I built a railroad/made it run/made it race against time/ once I built a railroad...../now it's done/ Brother, can you spare a dime? (~ "Brother Can You Spare A Dime", Harburg/Gorney, 1931)

I'm overdrawn. By like $335. Soon to be more. OH MY GOD, what the hell am I going to do??? Help. Help me strategize. When my check for $500 comes from my mom at the beginning of the month, I could dump it all in there to pay for everything. Then I'll have no money to keep the wolves at bay with bills. Fuck, fuck FUCK> Breathing. Breathing. I have a job. It's not a big job. IT's not a serious job. But there is money coming in. ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. All that work last year to clean up my credit and I have to live on rubber checks and look where I am now???
I'm so disappointed.

3.) Mama may have/And Papa may have/But God bless the child who's got his own....(~ "God Bless The Child", Holliday/Herzog, 1939)

Still, the thing is, I really am tired of not being able to support myself a little's humilating to take that check. I consider myself damned lucky to have it though: at $8 an hour, my new job at Big Retail Bookseller isn't making enough money. I've been in worse retail, but for that wage, it's tiring- on my feet 6 hours a day. It makes you wonder about the economy and why these jobs are so appealing to people in my age group-- and most of them are.

Overall, though, the people are nice, and I like it well enough. I'm still training, but it's not rocket science. Look up the book, get book for customer. Reshelve books. Ring customers out. Okay? Yeah, I think I got it. The perks are substantial:We get a 30% discount on books, a 50% discount on gifts/food, and are allowed to "check out" any hardcover book to read at home for free, as long as we return it in perfect shape. We get advanced copies of new books coming out and we can have those.

After 6 months, even at part time I'm eligible for insurance. And apparently, they pay all employees on certain holidays ( Christmas Eve, Easter, etc) EVEN IF you're not scheduled!!! If you're actually working, you get time and a half, but even if you're not there, you get your paid for your regular shift! Is that crazy or WHAT??? I was like, "Are you joking?" My mgr said, "Big Bookseller provides lots of incentives even though they don't pay you alot, because they want to KEEP you here and not have you go elsewhere." How can I argue about that?

I'd keep this job a few days a week forever just to have the discounts. I mean, it's a book-lovers paradise. If it paid more (even a dollar more) an hour, I'd never leave..... that's how sweet the perks are.

But it's $8 an hour and 20 hours a week, and that just aint enough. And after getting screwed out of the MOCA job, it's a slap in the face from the Universe, as far as I'm concerned. Some days, it really feels like "Yes, the strong gets more/ While the weak ones fade...", as Billie would say it.

I can't complain. I can't complain. I WON'T complain. I like this job. I need this job. It is at the very least, my honorable duty to keep it and become a sustainable person in society.

4.) And when you say you'll stay/That's when you'll go/ First you say you will/ Then you say you won't/ You're undecided now/So whattare you gonna do? (~"Undecided", Robin/Shavers, 1939)

In other news, Jack and I are on the outs- he screwed up this week and it's a long story but I'm frustrated with him right now and I think he's probably had it. Why?

Because since we're sleeping together, - oh, yeah. I guess I should throw that in, too! Yes. Ahem. See....he kissed me one evening, and things got kinda heated, and suddenly, all my apprehensions about his being short and slim went out the window. Mr. Jack has quite alot going on underneath that placid exterior; I was surprised to discover, and there was no trouble wooing me into the bedroom. And I'm glad that he did, and so is he, and we'll leave it at that. Just for the record, though, nobody is swapping keys, or pledging undying love, and we're still free to see other people, ( but NOT sleep with them) since we're still seeing where this goes. There's no titles being bandied about nor are there plans to meet the parents or even the friends yet. Still all very cool.

BUT: I DID suggest that maybe we should spend some extra time together getting to know each other better, date more actively, now, by seeing each other twice a week versus once. At the time, he was totally okay with that and agreed and that was that.

And yet....has he planned that? No. Has he been slacking? Yes. Have I had to call him on it twice now? Yes. Am I coming off as a demanding bitch even though he already agreed to this? Yes. Is he a bad guy? No. Do I hate him or am I angry? No. Do I feel like kicking him in the pants and saying "Pull it together, dipwad! I'm sick of planning everything or waiting around for you to plan it, which never happens!!!"? Yes. Is he likely to say, "I'm outta here"? We'll see.

In some ways, it's this classic Venus and Mars problem ( ugh, John Gray!!! Ugh, ugh!!!). It's always the same: Different men, same sickness: they can't plan anything in advance if their fucking life depended on it, and rely on women to initate all kinds of plans. And then they wonder why women turn into harpies, or get dish-throwing mad. (From all reports, my married friends state that The Sickness only gets worse when there has to be babysitters involved. NOT that I'm heading there any time soon.)

In other ways, it's about How Someone Fits Into Your Life, and of course, at this stage of dating, that's a hairy sitch. And somehow, everyone's defensiveness comes out in that way, because it has to do with "What Does IT MEAN?!?!?"and "How Does HE/SHE FEEL About Me, Really?!?!?" and limits and boundaries, fears and unspoken apprehensions-- you know....the super fun stuff.

*Sigh*....anyway, a big discussion about Expectations ensued, premenstrual me dissolving in tears, him welling up from time to time, some yelling, and so on:

Me: We agreed to see each other twice a week and I keep having to prompt you.
Him: I didn't know there was a quota! You totally got upset because it didn't happen!!
Me: Because I'm trying to get to know you without sex ! We both said that was a good idea!
Him: I get that! I totally agree! But could it be less rigid? Can't we see how it unfolds week by week? Can't we agree to see each other often - once, twice, three times sometimes and then maybe a week passes --still with lots of contact and conversation --and if it doesn't work out to see each other at all even- or so precisely --it not be a tragedy?
Me: You're the one with the 10-12 hour a day job! I was just trying to make it easier! But I keep ending up feeling like a nagging bitch!
Him: And I end up feeling like an asshole who's disappointed you. I don't want to make you unhappy!!!
Me: I don't want to make you unhappy either! But I have no idea what you want from me, Jack.
Him: I really really like you! You're fun and I want to spend time with you and get to know you more! I think you'd be great to do fun things with. I really like the sex, too, even if we need to scale it back! I want a romantic thing with you! I care about you. Don't you know that?
Me: I was hoping, but this is the first I've heard.
Him: What? I have alot of affection for you! I want you around. I didn't just get in this to get in your pants....I don't just...I wouldn't just get involved with any woman, let alone sleep with someone if I didnt really enjoy their companionship.
Me: But you are so threatened with each move I make to be a part of your world....
Him: That's not true!
Me: I gave you a toothbrush and your best friend said, "Red Card! Too far!"
Him: It just seems like 0-to-60 to me.
Me: I didn't ask you to pick out curtains! I gave you a toothbrush!

And so on. He's so aversive by nature ( self-ascribed; I didn't label him that, but I do see it now) and has been alone for along time. His last relationships ( in order): 1.) Some sort of fuck-buddy thing with his LESBIAN friend Ronni who was in a realtionship at the time ( I guess she got permission to go get some dick) for a year, on and off , and , 2.) Long distance with a girlfriend who moved to Canada shortly after they got involved; broke up about a year and half ago. In his reserved way, he rarely says affectionate things ( although he's intensely sweet, kind, and supportive, this was the first I'd heard of how he felt about me. Not big on declarative sentences, this one). He doesn't really plan anything well and prefers to take the "Let's see how it all shakes down as the days progress" strategy to time management/relationships.

And then there's me, who is all "We slept together, so here's how it's gonna be, *WHAM* Don't think you're getting away with anything. " I tend to be very ordered and rigid with boundaries and am very uncomfortable with looser paramters on relationships ( I'm working on it- this whole thing with him is somewhat of that, so see?) I'm someone who has a hard time with his "play it by ear" strategy in life, because I just EXPECT it to go badly, I have been SO fucked over by that before, because even if the man was "nice" and not intending to be hurtful, by being thoughtless and irresponsible you can still get jacked. And because dammit, I am BUSY, he is BUSY and I think that choices about time spent = how you feel about me, even if it might not be so ( His comment: "Sweetheart, it is so not related." I'm still thinking about THAT one....)


We ended the conversation with the "We both need to take some time and think, but neither of us wants to toss this to the winds yet". He's spending the weekend with his parents and ~Cate~ ( emphasis on ~Cate~ because she's this friend he esteems SO highly it makes me want to vomit a little, even though I've never met her).

ME? I went to work and slept alot. This week wore me the fuck out.

To wrap this up, I'll offer this:

I went through a serious T.S Eliot phase in high school, and I never forgot his line about "April is the cruellest month". I always disagreed; March is the WORST. It's far too long and blustery, any way you take it.

Once I was a sentimental thing; threw my heart away each spring.

Now a spring romance hasn't got a chance.

Promised my first dance to winter.

All I've got to show's a splinter for my little fling.

Spring this year has got me feeling like a horse that never left the post.

I lie in my room staring up at the ceiling.

Spring can really hang you up the most.

Morning's kiss wakes trees and flowers,and to them I'd like to drink a toast.

But I walk in the park just to kill the lonely hours.

Spring can really hang you up the most.

All afternoon the birds twitter-twitt. I know the tune.

This is love, this is it. Heard it before and don't I know the score.

And I've decided that spring is a bore.

Love seems sure around the new year.

Now it's April. Love is just a ghost.

Spring arrived on time,only what became of you, dear?

Spring can really hang you up the most.

Spring can really hang you up the most.

Love came my way. I thought it would last.

We had our day, now it's all in the past.

Spring came along, a season of song, full of sweet promise but something went wrong.

Doctors once prescribed a tonic.

Sulfur and molasses was the dose.

Didn't help one bit. My condition must be chronic.

Spring can really hang you up the most.

All alone, the party is over.

Old man winter was a gracious host.

But when you keep praying for snow to hide the clover, spring can really hang you up the most.

(~ "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most", Wolf/Landesman, 1937)