Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Social Problems, The Middle, and Popeye’s Chicken

While you’re in school, certain classes, certain lessons, stick with you.  You remember a particular person in history, or a particular formula or math equation, a certain poem you can still recite.  I don’t know why one thing sticks while so many others are forgotten – something about it sparks a flame inside your mind, and it stays lit for years.

One such lesson for me came in a community college course I took called “Social Problems.”  In that class, we studied sociological, economic, political, and environmental issues that we face, some of us daily.  I had a great professor, and I think that’s key in lessons sticking with you.  He was intelligent, personable – he was very much “one of us.”  He was young, and cute, come to think of it…maybe that’s why I remember him.  😉

Anyway, the one thing that stuck with me in this class was a film we watched.  In it, this couple, very poor, could not afford to feed their three kids and themselves.  They would periodically give up one or two kids to the foster system, so that they would be taken better care of, so that they could eat.  I thought that was very noble of them…until I found out that both parents were two-pack-a-day smokers.

You know what?  IF YOU QUIT SMOKING YOU COULD AFFORD TO FEED YOUR KIDS!

People struggle.  I can bitch and moan all day that I’m struggling, being unemployed, but I know that others struggle much, much more than I do.  I know that I don’t know what poor is.  I don’t know what struggle is.  I think most people who “struggle” also have no real concept of the word.

The Middle

 

ABC’s The Middle is about a middle class family in the Midwest.  It’s a cute little show, with the working parents, the academically challenged child, the socially awkward child, and the bright but quirky child.  They are the typical middle-class family, struggling to raise good kids, keep their marriage together, pay bills, work their jobs, and get dinner on the table.

In this week’s episode, the mother accidentally buys a $200 jar of eye cream, thinking it cost $20, which she already thought of as exorbitant.  She knows her husband will be upset, and he is, but, we find out, not because she made the mistake she made.  He’s upset because a $200 mistake means they both have to take a second job.  He’s upset because he doesn’t want to be in a position where that small of an amount, $200, makes that big of a difference to their finances.  He thinks they should be old enough, have learned enough and saved enough and be making enough, that $200 isn’t a big deal.

It was a great episode, and I think a lot of people, especially these days, are in the same boat, where a $200 mistake is a big deal.

But here’s where I tie all this together:  Being the “typical middle class family,” their dinner regularly consists of fast food.  The mother very rarely cooks, because, like the typical middle class mother, she doesn’t have the time or energy after a long day of work.  And I just flash back to that video of the smoking parents, and I think, Maybe if you didn’t buy fast food all the time, a $200 mistake wouldn’t be as big of a deal.

Of course, the fact that they were eating Popeye’s Chicken at the end of this episode, making me incredibly jealous because I can’t get Popeye’s Chicken where I live, has nothing to do with my angst.  🙂

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Baby Eggplant

You know when you’re in the grocery store, or at the Farmer’s Market, and you see a vegetable that you have no idea what to do with or how it tastes?

One of my (new) goals for 2011 is to pick that vegetable up and figure out what to do with it after the fact.

226.365 - Baby Eggplant

Image by Slightlynorth via Flickr

I was at the farmer’s market on Saturday and saw baby eggplant.  I thought, well, why not?  I grabbed four.  When I got home, I looked it up, to see what I should do with it.  Turns out, it’s pretty much exactly like eggplant, just…smaller.  So similar, in fact, that I couldn’t really find much information on them!  So my first foray into new vegetables turns out to be not so new.

Dear Chantal O. (Executive Assistant, Seatte WA)

You do not speak on behalf of every woman in America.

Granted, I did not watch Brad Womack’s original season, but I have never had anything but respect for his decision.  Is it better to propose to a woman and then not go through with it, or be honest and say, up front, that you’re not ready?

I prefer honesty, TYVM.

10 questions for 2010

I came across this little “Mad Lib” on CNN and thought it sounded fun.

As the year ends, it’s a time to look back and remember everything that you’ve seen and accomplished. CNN iReport is taking a look back at 2010, and we want you to help us.

We were doing some Mad Libs in the newsroom and got inspired to try an assignment in that vein, so we came up with a list of fill-in-the-blank prompts requesting information from you — to answer on camera.

Now, obviously I’m not going to do a video, but I thought it sounded fun.  So here we go:

1. 2010: How do you pronounce it? Two thousand ten

2. Make a facial expression that shows how you feel about the year. (eyes rolled back into head, tongue stuck out with open mouth)

3. The best thing I bought was my Acer mini.

4. For me, 2010 was tough to handle[Answer with three words]

5. I totally cringed this year when LSU quarterback Jefferson missed the snap with 2 seconds left in the game.

6. The best thing on the Internet by far was my blog. 😉

7. I’m pretty sure I overshared on Facebook this year when I said I was “freaking the hell out” on January 8th, the day I realized my “boyfriend” of a year and a half had changed his phone number.  I thought he was dead.  Then I wished he was.

8. The best day of the year was December 31.  This year is OVER!

9. The best place I visited was (sadly) Myrtle Beach, which is 175 miles from where I live.

10. Next year, I’m planning to make it a better year.

What about you?

Can’t Find a Better Man

Waitin’, watchin’ the clock, it’s four o’clock, it’s got to stop
Tell him, take no more, she practices her speech
As he opens the door, she rolls over
Pretends to sleep as he looks her over
She lies and says she’s in love with him
Can’t find a better man
She dreams in color, she dreams in red
Can’t find a better man

I love this song. It’s one of the songs I sing along to without even thinking about it. I have for years.

I’ve also applied the song to many a boyfriend. P2. Colorado Boyfriend. A couple of great guys that I just didn’t love, despite wanting to.

I’ve always assumed the song was about an abusive relationship, although it never actually says that. Looking on the internet, I found that Vedder wrote this about his mother’s husband, his stepfather, who was evidently abusive towards his mother.

However, I think it can apply to many non-abusive relationships. Relationships in which a person isn’t happy, and yet they stay. They’re not happy with the state of the relationship, or they don’t really love the person anymore, or they’re simply worried that there’s no one else out there for them.

I want to note, none of my boyfriends were abusive, but I can relate to the other meanings.

I’ve said it before – I don’t believe in settling, not if you’re truly looking for love. I don’t think it’s fair to you, or to the person you’re settling for. If all you want is kids and a family, and that’s what the other person wants, too, and you get along well enough and you both agree that it’s more a business arrangement than a love story, then it’s not really settling at that point. Go for it. But if you want love, and romance, and you’re with someone just because you don’t think you can find anyone else…well, that just seems like a miserable existence to me.

I’ve been there in the short term. I’ve been waiting for a boyfriend to show up, thinking, “I need to end this, this isn’t what I want.” And the guy comes in and I take a breath to start “The Talk,” and I just…can’t. Because what if there is no one better out there for me? Because I don’t want to start the process all over again. Because I’m tired and I just want to be In A Relationship, so I don’t have to keep trying. Because what if I never find someone?

But in the end, I’d rather be happy with myself, the person I am. I’d rather like myself, knowing I didn’t fake it. Regardless of how unhappy I sometimes get being single, I’d rather be happy and alone then with someone and miserable.

(The picture above is an original piece by Carrie Graber.  Please check out her artwork here – she’s phenomenal.  I’ve previously posted about her here.)

Coffee? Tea?

PBair female flight attendant at work on board...

Image via Wikipedia

Years ago, while I was living in Dallas, I briefly considered becoming a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines.  A brief look into it revealed very low hourly pay – about $8/an hour. 

Fast forward ten years, and I’m unemployed.  Several friends, separately, have suggested I look into becoming a flight attendant – evidently, they think I would love it and/or be perfect for it.  I admit, I think I would enjoy the lifestyle, but I still had that $8/hr figure in my head, and I also know that a Flight Attendant’s “hours” include only door close to door open of the airplane – in other words, they don’t actually get paid for the time people are boarding and deboarding, only for the time spent separated from the terminal.

Both Delta and US Airways have announced openings for flight staff in the past couple of months.  And the position pays about $20/hr.  I admit, I seriously thought about it.  But then I got onto some of the message boards and found out more information.  Like, the fact that most FA’s have second jobs, just so they can support themselves.  Many FA’s only log 80 hours a month – 80 hrs x $20/hr = $1600/mo.  Pre-tax.

And then there are those pesky passengers, you know the ones.  The ones who don’t quite grasp the concept of their chairs and traytables being in their full upright position.  The ones that can’t seem to understand that when the pilot turns on the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign, it’s probably a good idea to Sit Your Ass Down.  The ones who think that they are the only person on the airplane, and because they want to do XYZ, they should have the right to, since they “paid for the damn seat.”  This is one case that I would probably better to be able to handle the privileged set in First Class, because at least they have less to complain about.

So, yeah, no, I’m good.  Until I have no need for more than $1000/mo net, I’m going to pass.  But maybe one day…

“I don’t get why people get depressed during the holidays”

I was surfing the wordpress tags and I came across a post in the “life” tag.  It was all about how this person didn’t understand ads about being depressed during the holidays.  “It’s the most joyous time of the year!” she said.*  “Maybe the problem is YOU,” she said.  “Maybe you’re stressing too much, maybe you should buy one less present,” she said.  “Go listen to Frosty the Snowman, it’ll cheer you right up!” she said.  “I don’t understand how ANYONE could be depressed during the holidays,” she said.

I’m sitting here, trying to see her point of view, and I can’t.  Because it’s not about stress, or present buying, or card mailing, at least not for me, and not for most people who get “the holiday blues.”  It’s about what you envision the season should be about, and that vision not coming close to reality.  It’s about nostalgia, and loneliness, and that feeling that you absolutely must be happy because it’s the holidays, and the fact that you’re not makes you even more sad.

And I thought to myself, what is this chick, like 12?

I looked at her “About” section.  She’s 14.

So, yeah honey, give me a call in 20 years and let me know if you still don’t understand “the holiday blues.”

(*All quotes from her above are paraphrased.)

On a lighter note- TSA Humor

Stay Sweet TSA

Image by Blacknell via Flickr

Press Release:

WASHINGTON, DC-  Recent data has shown that women often neglect to do a monthly self breast exam, as recommended by their doctors.  In an effort to facilitate breast health, the TSA has begun training security personnel to check for lumps during their pre-flight pat down inspections of female passengers.  This will ensure more women are checked on a regular basis, as early detection is key.  Because breast cancer can strike males as well, men who are concerned about their breast health can also request the breast exam, as well as a testicular cancer screening, for a nominal fee.  Simply tell the TSA Agent during your pat down that you want to “opt in.”

It’s a joke, people.

For more press release fun: 

WASHINGTON, DC—Seeking to address “the number-one threat to airline security,” the Federal Aviation Administration announced Monday that it will consider banning passengers on all domestic and international commercial flights…  (Grr – linking not working right at the moment – here’s the article:  http://www.theonion.com/articles/faa-considering-passenger-ban,44/

Job Search Funnies

We're now hiring!

Image by Zach Klein via Flickr

  • Company:  www.meetup.com
  • Position:  “Product Manager, Secret Projects to Imperialize the Internet with Earnest Intent to Spawn Mass Local Community Organizing”
  • The funny:  ….isn’t it obvious?

 

  • Company:  SGL Carbon
  • Position:  Legal Assistant
  • The funny:  The job description indicates that “The employee is regularly required to…use hands to finger, handle, or feel.” What, exactly, would a legal assistant be required to “finger, handle, or feel?”

 

  • From Craigslist:  “Recently I decided to purchase a small electrolysis machine for home use. The down side is that I can’t reach/see places like underarms. So…I’m wondering if there is anyone out there who would be interested in swapping electrolysis sessions with me.”
  • Makes me wonder where else she can’t reach/see…and wants someone else to help with…

 

  • Another from Craigslist:  “Seeking a female to read books out loud and provide massages.  (No not at the same time.)”

 

  • And, from Craigslist:  Position:  Travel Agent.  “I will be conducting interviews on Friday at the Denny’s in Concord.”