The Unequivocal, Completely Logical, Perfect Sense Making Truth Of Day Light Savings Time (I Think)

I have always been a fan of Daylight Savings time.  Seriously.   I like the variety.  The change in the routine.  Every so often it gives me something new to shake things up and that’s a good thing.  I never really understood why people complained about the change and acted like it was a big deal.

I was young and naïve.

This weekend, things were a little busy for me.  My honey do list was long (and by honey do I mean, “honey, do.”)  (And by “honey” I mean me. I’m single and live alone. Who else would I mean?)   So I was a good little boy and I got up early to get started.   I stopped by Unsvelt Girl Who Run’s Drive-way Sale  (this is like a yard sale, only it was held in the drive-way instead)  (just in case that needed further explanation)  (which I’m sure it didn’t)  (but wouldn’t want to take any chances.)   Then I met with Green M&M for Lunch and then did about six hours worth of shopping.   E-gads did I shop, and I didn’t get it all in.  Groceries had to wait till Sunday.

I went home, put everything away, cooked and ate dinner watched a little TV and went to bed early (and by early I mean, it was still Saturday and not into Sunday yet.)  (No really, I went to bed early.  In fact it was even before 11:00 when I went to bed.)  I went to bed early because I knew it was the start of Daylight Savings Time and I knew the time was going to spring forward (Can we really still say that when it’s no longer spring? I mean congress went and screwed with Daylight Savings Time and now it’s still officially winter according to the calendar and we’re moving the clock forward?   So what, now it’s “winter forward, fall back”?)

I woke up on Sunday morning when my alarm went off at 8:30… Of course that was really 9:30 because I hadn’t changed the time on the clock yet. (Sidebar: I have three atomic clocks in my house and the only one that is not currently an hour slow is the one on my night stand and that’s because I manually changed it before I went to bed last night.)  After showering and dressing I headed out to the grocery store where I was pleasantly surprised to see that I got all my shopping done in less than an hour and I got great produce (I guess there’s something to be said for grocery shopping at 11:00 on Sunday Morning and not 8:00 on Saturday night.  Yes that’s right, folks!  I have a booming social life!)  I was home by 12:30 and putting away groceries.  My refrigerator is slightly larger than a thigh high hooker boot box so this was a significant undertaking.  I ended up rearranging the majority of the fridge in the process.  I finished the groceries, whipped up a batch of banana bread (if you can call hand mixing a stick of butter and a cup of sugar “whipping up” a recipe), made a nice spinach and steamed shrimp salad, and cleaned the house.

Since the DVR was clear of my weakly must-sees (shocking, I know!) I read for a little while before cooking dinner and then watched Iron Chef America while I ate. Now, this post is not really about my activities in the last 52 hours (much to your relief I’m sure), the real point is that by the time Desperate Housewives was half over last night, I was fighting to keep my eye’s open.  No fewer than three times I had to hit the rewind button on the remote because I had missed something that happened or what someone said.  So the minute Desperate Housewives went off, I threw in the towel, knowing I’d never make it through Brother’s & Sisters.

I went into the restroom to take care of the usual before bed business including brushing my teeth and reinserting my invisalign.. aligners, and headed for the bedroom.  And as luck would have it, I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, wide awake, and thinking to myself, “Tomorrow morning is going to suck!”  And that’s when it occurred to me, Daylight Savings Time is a cruel trick of nature or Congress or Benjamin Franklin or the Easter Bunny or whoever!  Why, in the name of all that is holy does the time change for Daylight Savings Time occur at 2:00 AM on Sunday morning? This is just cruel, particularly in March when the clock winters forward and we lose an hour.

Think about it.  It’s Sunday morning and your alarm clock is going off at 9:00, only your body thinks its 8:00 and doesn’t want to get up yet.  You force yourself to get up but your body is displeased and rebels for the first hour or so until finally it kicks into gear and goes with the flow.  You go through your day and all is well until evening when your body is ready to call it quits from not getting enough sleep but it’s only 9:00 and you don’t want to go to bed too early because you know if you go to bed too early you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and then you won’t be able to get back to sleep until its almost time to get up and then you won’t want to get up.

You do get up, because you have to be a responsible adult but your Monday is ruined because you didn’t get enough sleep and so you kill an hour or so at your office writing a semi-nonsensical blog post about the time change being bad and the whole thing could’ve been avoided if the time change just hadn’t happened.

Here’s what I propose.  Daylight Savings time should begin and end at 2:00 AM on Saturday morning giving us the entire week-end to adjust, and not just one day. Then Monday will be just fine and everyone’s blog posts will make sense and all will be right with the world.

Conveniently though, today is National Take a Nap Day and I think I’ll do just that!  The end!

Mama Told Me Not To…

It almost seems like a cliche to me when people talk about that special teacher that changed their lives.  Maybe it’s because I was never on a bad path.  Hell, I was never on much of a path at all, to be honest.  I never knew what I wanted to do with my life because every time I suggested something it was shot down by Scornful Mother.  She always said I couldn’t do whatever that idea was and remain a solid, faithful Christian.  I don’t know if she was trying to get me to follow a particular path (ministry, maybe?) or if she just didn’t like the one, she felt I was on, but nothing ever measured up to her expectations, which is funny because she was an undereducated secretary my whole life.  Dead Beat Dad on the other hand was– Well, the moniker pretty well speaks for itself.

It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that he really made a showing of a home based business, and that was in the business of tree removal.  Let’s see, sun, bad weather, grass, leaves, saw dust, falling trees, debris to be picked up, not to mention power tools like chain saws, stump grinders and wood chippers.  Not a thing about that is appealing to this mid-western, mama’s boy, homo, who suffers from allergies year round and is so pale when you off the lights you can still see where I am for about 8 minutes.  I didn’t exactly have much in the way of an example to follow or a legacy to inherit.  No, I had to figure out what I was going to do with my life on my own.  (Sadly, I’m still trying to figure it out.)

So, I wasn’t on any path.  I wasn’t on course for a life of crime.  I wasn’t trying to make myself fit into an accounting mold, when I can’t balance my own checkbook.  On the other hand, I didn’t show any natural ability or throw myself whole heartedly into any particular program or task.  I was about to say that no intervention was ever needed for me, but the truth is, I really could have stood to have an intervention of a completely different variety.  I could really stood for someone to take a special interest in me and help me find my way in life.  Help to find the resources I needed to figure out what I wanted to do and to follow that path.

No I never felt like I had a particular teacher that made that sort of an impact in my life and so while there was always one teacher in particular who stood out for me as my favorite, I never thought of her as that teacher and in fact, I haven’t thought of her at all in quite some time.  So, it was quite surprising to me when I awoke the other morning and remembered my dream from the night before… Well, maybe not remembered the dream, I rarely do, but I remembered the subject.  I dreamed about this special teacher.

In 1987, Scornful Mother decided that she wished to attend Rhema Bible Training Center, in The Town Named for Damaged Naive American Weaponry, a smallish town just outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I call TTNFDNAW “smallish”, because it had all the hallmarks of a small town (no highways, more stop signs than traffic signals, no malls, no public transportation, no noticeable government to speak of), and yet I graduated in a class of 868 people and it was the smallest class we’d had in five years.  We had been living in Edmond, a smallish town outside Oklahoma City for three years when she decided this.  While CPA Sis and I went to spend the summer with Dead Beat Dad in Ohio, Scornful Mother applied to and was accepted at Rhema Bible Training Center, or Rhema, for short, but had no idea how she was going to pay for it, or for the move.  She was trusting God that this was what she was supposed to do but she had no plan.

At the end of the summer, Dead Beat Dad brought CPA Sis and me back to Oklahoma so that we could start school.  The school year started in Edmond a week earlier than it did in The Town Named for Damaged Native American Weaponry and Scornful Mother allowed us to not attend that one week of school in Edmond.  I remember feeling so special because I didn’t have to go off to school when my best friend across the street did.  We made the move and got enrolled in schools three days after the year started in TTNFDNAW, but not with enough time to get class schedules or tours of the schools.  I was in the seventh grade and had never been “the new kid in school” before in my life.

It didn’t happen the way it does in the movies and on TV.  I showed up at the school twenty minutes before classes started.  I went into the school office and got my schedule, but there was no cool kid, no trouble maker, no first period office aid to be selected by the principle to show me around and keep me from feeling like a complete outsider.  They handed me my class schedule pointed in the general direction of the first room and sent me on my way.  No one even told me where the library or cafeteria were.

Somehow I made it through the first half of my first day OK, but I was late to almost every class.  Then, lunchtime came and I was lost.  I sort of followed the general crowd but wasn’t sure where I was going and at some point the crowd split and I didn’t know what to do.  It must have shown on my face because suddenly I heard a soft voice.

“Are you lost?  Do you need some help?”  It was an “older” woman, not much taller than my 12 year old self and quite rotund.  She had on large, square framed glasses and had wild curly hair and she had the most comforting, welcoming smile.

“Yes, please.  This is my first day and I don’t know where the cafeteria is,” I said, rather shyly.

She smiled, placed a reassuring hand on my back and pointed toward a single door just across and slightly down the hall from me.  “Well, there’re two choices.  We have what they call the slow food cafeteria which is right here.  That’s the side door for it.  There’s also the fast food cafeteria down there.”  With that she pointed down the hall.  I thanked her and walked into the door she’d pointed at.  I was on the “free lunch” (there really is such a thing as a free lunch) program and didn’t know if it applied to the fast food cafeteria.

I finished eating my lunch and put my tray away and pulled out my class schedule to find my next class, music.  I walked out the same door I had walked in and looked up at the first door I saw, just across and down the hall from where I was standing.  Lo and behold, it happened to be the same room I was looking for.  I walked into the room to find the teacher and show her my schedule so she could tell me where to sit and wouldn’t you know, it was the same kindly “older” lady who had helped me find my way to lunch.  Her name was Betty Griffith and she felt like my lifesaver.  She was so kind and inviting and made me feel like I was welcome and normal and had nothing to worry about.

Mrs. Griffith was, in a lot of ways, my best friend that year.  She helped me find my way around the school, quelled any fears and embarrassment I was feeling for being lost and feeling like a spectacle.  She welcomed me into the choir and made me feel like an important part of the group.

We had our ups and downs for sure.  Shortly after school started I asked if I could come to her classroom after school each day and help her clean up or whatever she needed.  (I don’t think I ever told her it was because Ex Con Older Brother was abusive and I didn’t want to go home and be around him)  After that I spent nearly every day after school for 45 minutes or so, straightening chairs, collecting music, cleaning the chalkboard, straightening papers and talking to Mrs. Griffith.  When it came time for the school play, she directed because the drama teacher was out on maternity leave.  androcles_logoI auditioned for the play, Androcles and the Lion, (deliberately showing up at the very end so no one else would be around to hear me) and then told her I’d rather be behind the scenes.  The first of many mistakes on my part regarding my interest in the theater.  I was the curtain puller and an unofficial part of the chorus, so I was always there for rehearsal.  She asked her husband who was an amateur thespian to come and help us.  He was always very serious and direct, coming across as mean and grumpy, I thought,  and I found it uncomfortable.  Somewhere in my adolescent 12 year old mind I thought it was a good idea to tell her this.  Not only did I tell her this but I told her at a  highly stressful time for her.

I was at my post, ready and waiting to pull the curtain (hand over hand so it’s not jerky) and she came bursting through looking for someone who was supposed to be on stage but wasn’t, when I stopped her and said, just as pleasantly as could be, “Mrs. Griffith, no offense, but, I really hate it when your husband is here.”  I think I was even smiling.  I’d heard “no offense” many times and knew it took all the sting out.

She, on the other hand was not smiling, “Well, you know,” she said rather tersely, “I really do take offense to that.”  And with that she stomped off in search of the missing cast member.

I felt like a shit and couldn’t believe that “no offense” hadn’t worked.  She taught me a valuable lesson that day.  You can’t just say whatever you want to a person and expect there to be no consequences.  The next day before class, I apologized to her and all was forgiven.

Once she needed help posting something to a district owned marquee at a very busy intersection.  I of course volunteered to assist and to repay my efforts she took me to the local 7-11 and bought me a 1/2 pound bag of M&M’s.  The bag was still open and partially full, in my coat pocket the next day when I arrived at class and at some point I had gone to the front of the room and then dropped something on the floor.  I bent over to pick it up and M&M’s went flying all over the floor.  I knew I wasn’t supposed to have them in class and she was angry at me for making the mess and having them there.  I was all the more embarrassed because she had bought them for me.

When the year was drawing to a close and we had to select the classes we wanted to take the following year I had decided to take Drama.  The only problem was, you had to audition for the class.  I signed up to audition but I wimped out and did not go. When Mrs. Griffith found out about this she told me I had to audition and she would talk to the Drama teacher about giving me another shot.  For one reason or another, the boy who was playing Androcles in the play also had missed the audition and so he and I went before school one day to audition for the teacher.  We did a scene from the play where he played Androcles and I played his wife, Hermione.  (Go figure!)  I made the class and he did not.

In the 8th grade, I opted to be her student aide, instead of taking choir.  I wanted to have the best of both worlds.  I wanted to be in choir but I wanted to be special and she tried to accommodate me.  I was her first period student aide and I was late almost every day.  (Not unlike now!)  One day, I noticed that in her attendance book she had me marked as being tardy every day.  After eight tardies I was supposed to get detention.  When I mentioned to her how much I appreciated that she hadn’t given me detention, she said that she had to, and she would, she just hadn’t gotten around to it.  She never did and I don’t know if she just honestly didn’t get around to it, or if she only said that to “scare me straight” but after that I tried much harder to get to school on time.

When I moved on to the 9th grade and a new school, I tried to come back and visit her periodically but it was difficult to do and then she moved to another school.

I exchanged a few letters with her after I got engaged, and moved to live with Dead Beat Dad temporarily.  I told her of my engagement and of the young child I would to step-father.  She told me in a return letter that married men were adults and as an adult I was entitled to call her by her first name.  I don’t know if I ever did.  After six years of calling her Mrs. Griffith, I just couldn’t wrap my tongue around “Betty”.   Not long after that, we lost touch.  I think I was embarrassed to tell her that, what I suspected she thought all along, was true, that I was too young and immature to get married and it was obvious by the fact that my fiance had cheated on and dumped me.

I miss Mrs. Griff–  Betty.  She is a wonderful, sweet woman.  She may not have shaped me into the man I am today.  She may not have affected the path I would follow in my life, but she helped me, and she made me feel special and important and for that, I will always be grateful…

And I’m so excited because in the course of writing this post, and trying to find out if she’s even still a teacher, I found an e-mail address for her and tomorrow I’m going to send her my first correspondence in 15 years.  I hope she remembers me.

Results Not Typical

I was checking my Hotmail earlier today and I looked at the top of the screen at the ad that was there.  This is what I saw:

results“Results not typical” it says.

Well, isn’t it convenient that Marie’s results just happened to come out the way they hoped they would.  Because I’m certain that they put her through the same paces that Betty Lou Boyd in Boise goes through as she attempts to do this program all on her own.  I’m certain that Marie Osmond didn’t have any special guidance or assistance of any kind while she was on the program.  And I’m sure the photo used for this ad wasn’t doctored in any way shape or form.

Obviously, certain people are born to be stars, and if you can’t identify them any other way, just get ’em fat and then put ’em on a commercial weight loss program and see how they do.  If their results are “not typical” then sure enough they were born to be a star.

I know I’m cynical, but come on!  Marie didn’t lose 40 p0unds all by her lonesome, simply by following the NutriSystem program without any guidance or extra hand holding.  She probably had (or has) a personal trainer to put her through the paces on the exercise side of things.  And by it’s very nature, she didn’t learn anything from NutriSystem while in the process.  Sure she got her food preordained, possibly even blessed by Joseph Smith himself.  And yes, she probably took note of the fact that the portion sizes were smaller than what she was accustomed too.  She might even have noticed that exercises (if she didn’t get it already) helped speed things along.  But did anyone actually teach her how to keep the momentum going after she got off the preordained, prepackaged, presumably preservative laden meals?  Was there any emphasis on why these items were better and how she could stick to it after she was finished?

The reason why the vast majority of weight loss programs ultimately fail (Kirsty Alley) is because people deprive themselves of their favorite items, their comfort foods, having been told “Starch bad – protein good.”  But nobody taught them what that means or how they can incorporate both into their lives and live a healthy life style.  So they follow the “simple” plan that the weight loss guru du jour laid out for them and one of two things happen.  Either they burn out early and give up before reaching their goal (that’s me) or they reach their goal maintain it for a little while and then slowly start creeping back up to their original weight (anyone seen Oprah lately, God love her?)

Just once, I’d like to see an ad like the one above where the person is still puffy, but not as big as the used to be and the ad says, “I’ve lost 20 pounds of the 60 I’m shooting for and it’s only taken me 4 months to do it!  This program is slow as hell and it drives me crazy but I’m learning and it’s getting easier….  Results completely typical”

Is that really so much to ask?

If It Were Up To Me

What you’re about to read is my attempt at humorous commentary.  It failed miserably and is by far the worst thing I’ve ever written filled with useless drivel and nonsensical non sequiturs.  I think it sucks and I’m sure you will to….  Enjoy!  🙂

Not long ago I posted some commentary on the direction this nation is heading, and the ideas behind Separation of Church and State and I commented on the possibility of the Queen taking us back.  Well, I think I might have actually been on to something with that…

This country has proven over the last decade or so not to do so well with Democracy.  We’ve’ elected a frat boy moron to run the Executive Branch of our Government.  We’ve allowed offensive and ludicrous measure to be passed in our “Democratic Elections” even though they removed fundamental rights of individuals to live their lives in true freedom.  As a collective we have become increasingly self-centered and inconsiderate.  We’ve just become bad people, and I’m sick of it.

So I have reluctantly decided to accept the position of King.  I know it’s a major change.  We’re not accustomed to living in a Monarchy.  And it will be a Monarchy.  None of this Parliament, House of Commons bullshit like they’ve got on the other side of the pond.  No, this will be a real Monarchy, dare I say it, a dictatorship.  But a good dictatorship.  Castro never treated his citizens with the kindness and benevolence I will show my people. Yes, I know it’ll take a little time for everyone to adjust to life in a Kingdom, but I promise to be a just and honorable ruler and to treat everyone with respect and decency.

I imagine the most difficult adjustment for the people to make will be the Kevin Lane.  What is this Kevin Lane you ask?  It’s just exactly what it sounds like.  As King, I’ll be very busy and need to get between my appearances as quickly as possible.  I’ll need to have a clear path to drive my Ferrari, Lamborghini, or DeLorian, which ever I choose for that day.  And since I’ll be blowing right by the speed limits without fear of prosecution, I’ll need the entire lane to myself.  I know that this will reduce the number of lanes for the rest of you to drive in and I know that traffic is just getting worse and worse with no sign of relief and I know that it will be hard to make the sacrifice, but hey, being King has to have some perks, right?

As King, I’ll ensure that my people are treated with the utmost fairness, as long as it doesn’t impede what I want of course, and that no one is treated poorly because of their personal preferences and inclinations.  Marriage will be open to everyone while reproductive rights will be limited to only those who can successfully raise a happier and healthier child then they themselves were.  Because of the limitation in reproductive rights, Welfare will be abolished. No poor people will be allowed to reproduce, therefor they will not need assistance to feed their children.

As for taxes, everyone will be taxed fairly.  Ten percent tax across the board.  I mean, really, who will suffer from a ten percent tax?  Oh sure, all those millionaires and billionaires will cry and wine because they’re paying such a huge amount in taxes.  They’ll focus all the attention on the dollar amount they’re paying because they think that paying $200,000 is unreasonable, But when you’re making $2,000,000 a year what’s a couple hundred grand?  Lest they forget, they’re still walking away with $1.8 million after my cut– er, after taxes.  There will be no tax breaks.  No deductions for having children.  Children should not be a burden on Society.  And besides, since only those who are capable of raising happier healthier children then they themselves were will be allowed to procreate anyway, everything will be fine.  After all, everyone knows that part of being able to raise happy healthy children is being able to afford them.  You won’t need the tax deductions any longer.

And have you noticed how our society has become an “every man for himself” society?  Well, that’ll have to stop.  First, because, every man will be for the King.  The King will be everyone’s first priority.  When the King is happy everyone is happy.  It’s simple logic.  No more will you have to pretend your on a battle field when you’re at Trader Joe’s, having to walk with purpose and never stop moving lest you be run down by the person behind you.  No more will you stand at Target debating between a couple items, only to have a red-shirted Target employee, barge right in front of you to place an item on a shelf.  Never again will you have someone pull out in front of you on the road even though there is no one anywhere in sight behind you.  It makes the King happy when people treat each other decently.  And when the King is happy every one is happy, right?

Television will be better!  First and foremost, because living in a Monarchy will do away with the need for those pesky political commercials.  No politics means no political ads.  Everybody wins!  The shows will be longer and the commercials will be shorter, because really who needs to hear bout six different kinds of breakfast cereal in a single two minute segment?  You already know what kind of cereal you like anyway and since there isn’t really anything new out there you don’t need to have a loud mouthed announcer try to convince you that there is and that you should try it.  You already know what you like anyway, right?  We all know what you like.  You like Post Raisin Bran and Honey Nut Cheerios only.  You like only these two cereals because those are the ones the King eats and you want to be like the King.  It makes the King happy and when the King is happy, everyone is happy, right?

And speaking of politics, since the objective is to make your King happy, there will be no more office politics either.  Granted as King I would no longer have to be a part of it anyway, but there will be no more office politics.  No longer will you climb over each others’ backs to get ahead.  No longer will you smile to a person’s face while stabbing them in the back at the same time.  People will get ahead by doing the very best they can do at their own personal job without interfering with others.  Things will be like this because it make the King happy.  And when the King is happy, everyone is happy, right?

As your King I will make every effort to rectify all the things that are wrong with this country.  I will suss out all the laws and regulations and rules that do nothing to benefit us and everything to complicate our lives and do away with them.  What with this being a true monarchy and all, I’ll do away with the Congress.  There will be no more Senators.  Hell, we don’t even need state and local governments anymore.  And the Constitution?  Well, actually, I rather like that.  And therefor as King I’ll defend it with my ultimate, unassailable power.  I’ll amend it to make my reign legal, but I’ll defend it to the death.  You will like it too, because it makes the king happy and…  Well, I don’t really need to remind you that when the king is happy everyone is happy?  Right?

Oh and one more thing.  I always thought it was the royals’ downfall to try and spread their kingdom too thin and we’re not going to do that.  So as part of my coronation I will officially give Alaska back to Russia.  L’il Ms. Palin likes to keep an eye on them anyway.  Well, she can just go back and join them.  And Hawaii…  Well, I do need a vacation get away so I guess I’ll keep them.

So as I’m sure you can see, it’s just the right thing to do to make me your uncontested, ultimate ruler with irrevocable authority over all things in these United States.  The United States of Kevin!

The Entry it Took Two Weeks to Write

I have fallen into almost every job I’ve ever had.  The first job I had was working in the gift shop of the hotel where my mother worked as the hotel managers secretary.  Sure, in high school, I worked at a Hardee’s fast food restaurant for about a year, and then worked as a cashier in a local grocery store, but first of all those are not particularly ambitious jobs, and secondly, they hire any warm body that will apply for those positions.

When I was 19 years old I was engaged to a woman.  We were to marry two weeks before my 20th birthday.  Problem was I did not own a vehicle and was relegated to jobs I could walk to.  The jobs I could walk to couldn’t pay for a car, let alone a life with a wife and child (She had a two year old son.)  We agreed that I’d go to live with my father in Cincinnati, Ohio for six months.  He had a car I could drive (It was my father’s Oldsmobile, despite what the commercials always said.)  With my father’s Oldsmobile, I could drive anywhere and get a job anywhere.  So I went to the mall.  It seemed like a logical next step after the grocery store.

I went into a Men’s Clothing store in the mall that I’d never heard of called Webster Menswear and applied for a job.  I apparently made a good impression on the manager and he wanted to hire me to be his Assistant Manager right then and there, but I was honest with him and told him I was only planning to be in town for six months and that I would be quitting to move back to Oklahoma when the six months were up.  He hired me as a sales clerk and then two weeks later he promoted me to Assistant Manager.

My engagement ended shortly thereafter and I end up staying in Cincinnati for nine months instead of six.  I moved back to Tulsa, Oklahoma on Father’s day, 1995.  Before I left I made contact with the Regional Manager of a different clothing store – owned by the same parent company – called J. Riggings, advised him that I was moving to town and would like to see about interviewing with him if he had any open positions.  As luck would have it, there was a Second Assistant Manager position open at the store in Tulsa and he hired me for it.  I worked for another roughly nine months in Tulsa at Woodland Hills Mall before being promoted to Store Manager at a store at Quail Springs Mall in Oklahoma City.  Three months after that I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas where I spent the longest nine months of my life managing the store at the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

I hated it there and I felt trapped in that job, like there was no where else for me to go.  So I decided that it was time to go back to school.  I was 22 years old and had no idea what I was going to do with my life but I had to take action.  I quit my job, moved back to Tulsa and into Vengeful Mother’s house.  I applied for a job at one of our favorite restaurants as a waiter.  I figured that would be easy enough money and good flexible hours for a college student.  WRONG!!!  I was the worst waiter you’ll ever encounter in your life!  I forgot things constantly, I was slow getting the orders in and the food out, and I was perpetually sweaty!  Who wants their food served to them by a fat, sweaty guy?  I averaged $2.00 tips on every table and lasted about three months.  Somehow during this time, school never seemed to come to pass.

It was during this time that I decided I wanted to reconnect with my best friend from High School, “Batman”…  Batman was a huge fan of the superhero, stating that he liked him so much because he was just a man and all his “abilities” came from his gadgets and not because of some superhuman trait.  Batman was an artist and he sketched bat signals on his book covers and notebooks on a regular basis.  When his parents bought him a Ford Ranger Splash pick-up truck, he had a Batman symbol custom painted on the tailgate.  I could probably write a whole post about Batman and not scratch the surface, but the bottom line is, I was very attached to him.  I realize now that I was probably in love, but I was in no position to acknowledge or profess that at the time.  Batman was a year younger than I, and when I graduated from high school we lost touch.

So it was when I returned to Tulsa after my stint in Arkansas that I decided to try and locate him.  Turned out to be pretty easy.  I opened up the phone book and there it was.  His distinctive, three-worded, German last name right in the beginning of the Vs.  I wasn’t positive that it was him so I sent him a letter.  A few days later the phone rang and it was his voice on the line.  We made plans to meet for lunch by his work a few days later.

Batman worked for what was then LDDS WorldCom.  We talked about his job and he told me that I could easily get in with the next training class and that he’d put in a good word for me.  A few weeks later I was training in the telecommunications industry to work in the customer service call center.  Much to my dismay, Batman informed me that he and his wife were moving to California a few weeks later.  His wife grew up in Turlock and they were going to move there to be closer to family since his family had moved away from Tulsa already.

Batman had already lined up a job with what was locally known as MFS WorldCom.  He’d pretty well settled in by the time I was nearing the end of my training.  With Batman’s recommendation and assistance, I too got in to MFS WorldCom and moved to California in March, 1998.

When I left MCI WorldCom in March of 2000, I expected to have no problem finding a new job in the telecommunications industry.  How could I?  The whole world runs on phone lines and data connections.  In October of 2000 I started a new job with a small hole in the wall Telecom company in San Carlos, California.  That job lasted 10 months.  The owner was a psycho and he didn’t like me because I didn’t cower before him and jump at his every whim.

On September 15, 2001 I moved in with Green M&M and started looking for a job.  When my unemployment benefits had run out and I still hadn’t found a job I signed up with a local staffing agency.  A week or so after I signed up with them I got a rather excited call from the rep telling me they had a great job for me, working in the Facility Management office of a high rise office building in Downtown Oakland, with a great company and a great manager.  It was a temp job, but I was desperate for full time work and the job was easy so I applied to be the new Administrative Assistant.  Nearly six and a half years later, I still work for The Company that Created the HMO, and still report to Douche Bag.  I’ve been promoted three times now, and I’m not an Administrative Assistant anymore, but the last promotion came when I was ordered to take on an entirely new set of responsibilities, despite the fact that I’d been very vocal about the fact that I did not want to do that work.  I wasn’t asked, or offered.  I was ordered and if I wasn’t happy about it I could quit.  I had every intention of it…  If I could just find something new.  It’s been three years.  I hate my job and I really want out.  But I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know how to proactively get myself a job and I don’t know what I would want to do if I did.

What, you might ask, is the point of all this?  Well, more than once it has been the topic of my therapy sessions: “I hate my job.”  “I want a new job.”  “I don’t know what I want to do with my life.”  “I don’t know the right steps to take to find a new job that I’ll be happy with.”  This is all very true, but the biggest issue has always been finding something that I’d be happy to make a career out of.  I have fears and insecurities about all the things I’ve ever considered and most of it requires educational experiences I do not have.

Lately I’ve really been thinking more about creative things.  You see, when I was young I wanted to be an actor.  If you’ve read this blog before you know this already.  The problem is, I have no confidence in my abilities anymore.  I took some drama classes in high school and I really enjoyed it, but I stopped and I’ve regretted it ever since.

Eight or nine years ago, I took an acting class from a man named Ed Hooks.  Ed was an actor in his earlier days, but hadn’t worked in years.  I now know that he didn’t have a terribly illustrious career (although I did see him on an episode of Quantum Leap on DVD the other day.)  Anyway, Ed was moving to Chicago and I knew going into it that my time in his class was short term.  During those few months I attended this man’s acting classes, I lost all of my remaining confidence in my ability to act.  I know I had a lot of growing to do and I wanted to do it but it’s hard, and Ed’s criticism always made me feel like I didn’t have the ability.  I’d like to think that my time in therapy has helped but I’m not sure that I’m any more able to be comfortable making a fool of myself than I was then…

Most of my formative years I was a singer.  I was in choir most of my school years and at church.  I love to sing.  And before my balls dropped– er puberty hit, my voice was pretty good.  I had solos regularly.  But something happened as the bottom started dropping out of my vocal chords and my voice became weaker, and my range far more limited.  I still sing all the time (in the shower, in the car, in places where no one can hear me, usually.)  Yeah, I have an OK enough voice that most people aren’t bothered by my singing, but I’m not any kind of performer.

I don’t have any dancing experience, and though I do have rhythm I’m not particularly confident on that front either.

All that is to say that I have been thinking a lot lately that I’d really like to get involved in musical theater or television and movies, but I don’t have the skills or the confidence to go for it.  I’m aware that there are classes I can take, but they cost money and I don’t have it.  Plus I spent my entire childhood living in poverty, and in the last few months things have been really, really tight.  I just can’t imagine how I could possibly take any cut in pay, financially, or emotionally.

So that’s my dilemma.  The only thing my entire life I’ve ever imagined I could be happy doing, is the one thing that I’m afraid to go for.  So I stay in my lousy job, with my decent, but not great, salary, and horrible working conditions, because I don’t know how I could possibly go for the one thing I want, and I don’t know what job to fall into next!