Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Estoy Aburrido

If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I am so bored.
And now that severance has given way to unemployment I cannot afford to mess around and do fun things with all my free time.  No more staycations filled with Broadway shows and 5 hour bike rides.  No more trekking to foreign beaches and meeting new people on roads paved in molasses.  That's not fiscally possible if I want to afford COBRA, rent, a metro card (when necessary), gym membership, food, social life and bridesmaid dresses.
Don't be jealous because I'm not stuck in a fluorescent lit office all day.  I'm full time job hunter.  I'm chained to my charged phone and laptop - which is frightfully showing signs of old age.  Tasks include constantly scanning websites that post openings and take them down soon after due to an overwhelming response to their ad.  You need to get your resume in there before they decide they have seen enough.  And - if an employer responds via e-mail you have about an hour to get back to them before they decide to bring someone else in. Don't even get me started on the Mandy.com resume uploader...
Sensing my weariness yet?
Imagine going to work everyday and not getting acknowledged for anything you do.  I research, draft, revise and send letters nonstop (between coffee break walks) just waiting to hear back from somebody. It's a thankless job and I'm just hoping to get noticed.  I'm about to send a dead worm in a white envelope to a production company along with my business card.  Worked for Maggie Gyllenhal.
But it's not just getting feedback that I yearn for.  I miss being involved in social office activities like discussing professional sports.  I used to know who was injured or traded to my favorite teams and I could share that information with other people - who hated my teams and wished them physical harm.  Still, it's much easier to care about something when you have people to share it with.  Last year I had two Superbowl boxes and a March Madness bracket.  This year I have Danno texts (keep em comin) and watch Sportscenter alone on the treadmill.
On craigslist, I noticed a fresh faced and already frustrated college grad that is offering a $400 finders fee to someone who gets her an interview that leads to a job.  I think that is a GREAT idea. I'm currently trying to save my cash, but if anybody reading this has a job lead that turns into a paycheck for me, I'll compensate you with a drawing of a spider.

One side project I've been busying myself with is the Astoria Film Group (AFG). It's a random group of locals that want to have fun and stay creative. We make the mini projects in our minds come to life while networking and learning new camera, editing and lighting skills. I've been named Casting Director of the group. So if you want to get some high quality footage for your reel for free, lemme know.
So despite not hearing back about anything and only talking to people via IM/Google messenger I'm keeping busy.  But it gets frustrating, old and boring quickly.  If you ask me what I did all day I'll probably say 'same old' rather than throwing my hands up in defeat.  Because even if I wrote 29 cover letters and created a new design for my professional website without any acknowledgement,  I would still like to think I made some noise.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I wanna dance.

I exist because my parents loved to dance. They saw each other groovin to the music from across the room and the rest is history.

Their love and natural talent for dancing has been passed down to me. And baby, I dance more than you know.

Rocking out on furniture has been my guilty pleasure since forever. As a child I twirled on every surface but the floor. As a teenager I was grinding on every platform Delaware Ave had to offer. In college, I bounced to the beat on my bed. A few years ago, my hips didn't lie on bar tops. Now? Barely ever. But I need to start shakin it again like its money cause rent's due next week.

Dancing has always been like a natural Prozac for me. Pair the perfect song about what affects me with some rhythmic motions and watch the sadness fade. I commonly prescribe myself two Whitney tracks with a pants free bailar-athon to feel better in the morning. Right now I'm trying to chase the blues away that come from living off the government rather than myself – but it's hard finding a song to self medicate with.

By watching my shadow shapeshift in Rorschach-like patterns across a wall to match my body expressing itself I can analyze how I really feel. And in a very Peter Pan turn of events I feel I've lost my shadow and need the perfect melody help me catch it and sew it back on.

There are a million ballads about mending a broken heart that have a great beat. But with all due respect to Tom Petty, (I won't back down), songs about being downtrodden are usually too slow to unleash my inner Bo Jangles. I need lyrics and a tempo that I can let loose to.

On a related note, I successfully rose to the challenge of casting couples and using a Z-1 Hi Def camera to film their Realtors for the BBC. High off of that achievment, I went on another job interview in NYC for a position I was so sure of landing that I missed celebrating my brothers 30th birthday party in Philadelphia for. I was told I would know by the end of that day (Friday) if I was starting Monday or not. It's Sunday. I want to dance.

I was born to move. So not dancing is like going against Nature. And with the ailing environment, Mamma needs all the help she can get. So who wants to help save the Earth? Let's show the world we can dance.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Recession Diet

Yes, I have lost weight. I have yo-yo'd my entire life and I don't ever see that changing. Currently I'm at a happy weight though, which is ironic because it was caused by an unhappy circumstance.

The recession took my frugalness and magnified it by ten. In the 48 hours after being laid off I found it hard to eat anything. When my appetite came back, I decided not to pamper it with a 14 dollar omelet. Instead, I tortured it with an approximately $2 one I cooked up after shopping at Keyfoods. For lunch I got an epicly delicious sandwich from Sal Kris and Charlies for five bucks. Instead of attempting to stuff myself with the entire hoagie, I stopped eating when I was full and had the rest for dinner. Add some colorful produce to the mix and voilĂ , a days worth of healthy eating for under $10. Kind of a big deal for a girl who used to on average blow $12 on lunch.

I know guys can't stand a girl who talks about what they ate all day. So I'll spare you an in depth look at my daily menu (almonds and salmon and Fage oh my!). But for the first time in my life I am obsessing about nutrients and cost instead of fat and calories. I want more bang for my nutritional buck. COBRA is expensive. Gotta stay healthy.

The gym also gives me something to do with my plentiful unemployed time. I make it my job to take a few classes or hit the treadmill. Getting a workout over with in the morning is my best bet if I actually want to do it that day. Plus, I feel like I've accomplished something before digging in to whatever it is I just burned in a pan.

This thrifty lifestyle isn't something I'll be able to keep up forever though. When I work, as I have been temporarily for the last week, I have little time for the gym and crave chocolate cookies at my desk all day. More fat in than fat out ='s I won't be at my happy weight for long. But I need to decide – do I want a nice job or nice legs?

If I get up early enough in the morning to work out and avoid random free office donuts I can have the best of both worlds. But when you are tired and hung over from ditching the gym to hit up a happy hour... the vicious cycle continues. I gave up a social life to run 10 miles a day in high school and I'm still regretting it. There has to be a happy balance between fun and fiesta nachos.

For now I'm going to enjoy numbers on a scale I haven't seen since high school. I'm going to stay healthy because I respect my body. I'm going to avoid buying $2 red velvet cupcakes because they are costly empty calories. I used to talk about food and my weight all the time. Now I constantly talk about how I'm spending/saving my money. Thanks for (pretending to be) listening. Now, time to reap my Duane Reade dollar rewards and pillage another Cheerio sale...