Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stray Thoughts

Christmas is over, and the new year is nearly upon us. I spent this Christmas enjoying the hospitality of friends, as I am thousands of miles from my family. I had a much better time than I expected to have at both celebrations I attended, but what stuck with me was a conversation I didn't have with a very nice man, and why.

Is it just me or does everyone wonder why some people seem to refuse to curb their errant hair? If there is one thing I cannot stand to see its long flowing nose hair. The other things are ear hair that seems to be doubling as a wind sock, or eyebrow hairs several inches long... Really people, get a grip! Are you really that lazy, or just oblivious? Renegade hairs have always been a favorite pet peeve of mine. As far as your body hair goes, do what you like if I don't have to see it. Your head however is in the public eye.

The guy I was busy not listening to in the kitchen was blathering on about something or other, while I couldn't seem to pull my focus from his nose which had long straggly hairs on the bridge. He was so close to it with his razor only hours ago, yet there it was. As he spoke, I wondered if he felt it was a positive feature, or if he was afraid having a nose free of hair would make people regard him as effeminate, or possibly he'd be swamped by people asking if he was a swimmer. The other thought burrowing through my brain like an ambition drunk tequila worm was, How is that hair not in his field of vision? I know when I have even just a little flake of dead skin on my nose I can see it. This clump of unruliness must have had the effect of making everyone look as if they are sitting in a tuft of hair.

I began to wonder if its just me and my progressively pronounced OCD, or if it's a mystery to others as well. Then I remembered working with a guy almost twenty years ago, who had facial hair that grew clear up to his eyes, but he stopped shaving at the usual beard area, and let the hair above that flourish, as if someone had made him a template to follow years ago, and told him never to go outside those lines. That reminded me, I've always been this way. To the all the people who feel they should not disturb god's work, and let their hair grow wild and free, chances are good, I'm not listening to a word you say! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Blood Boilith Over...

The Green Card: How to get one. I thought the obvious solution was marriage. I was unhappy about the prospect of leaving California, but willing to make the sacrifice to be with the woman I love. I did some research and found this!

"Although gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire starting Jan 1st of 2010, you are not allowed to sponsor a spouse for a green card unless they are of the opposite sex. "

Really? Is "WTF?" the proper response to that? I don't know how to react, I find I'm filled with rage! Is it just me?

I have to wonder why my girlfriend and I could live happily ever after quite easily if only one of us had a penis. Other than one of us having a penis attached, the options are; She could get a temporary work visa if her job skills are in demand here. Well, since no one's job skills are in demand here, and I've been out of work for about a year now, I don't see that happening.

The other way is political asylum. She would not have to prove the government was guilty of mistreatment, only that they aren't protecting her from abuse, based on her orientation. Seems difficult.

There is one other way they don't mention, but you have to have money. It seems a green card like everything else is easily obtained by the rich. If she bought a large enough share in an American company they would automatically award her with a shiny green card! However if we had that much money, we'd be shopping for a villa in Tuscany, so...who cares!

I believe the percentage of taxes I pay should be in direct proportion to the percentage of rights I have in this country. Why the fuck should my taxes be subsidizing a marriage tax break for people enjoying the rights I can't have?

This whole thing just seems ridiculous to me! *Storms off in a huff! *

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Letter To Ellen...(First Draft)

Dear Ellen,
You don't me, but I know you. I have fallen on hard times, but that's not new or unusual these days. I write because I have a dream, and I need your help making it a reality.

Some Background: About five years ago, I resigned from my corporate career to start my own business. I am an artist, and I'd finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, or at least narrowed it down. I started my home remodeling business, but designing and building custom furniture, both free standing and built-ins was my passion. I moved from California to New England, where I'm from originally, because I had a big job there to start off with. I bought a house and built a workshop. Things started off pretty well. I got lots of referral business and repeat business, and it looked like I was going to make it. I don't have to tell you what happened next. I had taken on too much debt, and business ground to a halt. I lived alone with my dogs, neither of them had a job! The good that came out of it was I got to move back to California! The not so good, my house went into foreclosure, I had to sell my flawless Indian Chief motorcycle, and I went into a deep depression. My life's savings including my 401K depleted.

The Present: I have been back in Sacramento looking for work since mid February, and aside from a little home-handyman stuff here and there, I've found nothing. That's not why I'm writing you.

The Dream: I'm writing you because after 48 years of life, I have finally found the love of my life in Caroline Welsh. I have always believed in true love, and thought it must be out there somewhere, and now I know I was right. Here's where it gets sticky. Caroline lives in Cambridge, England. We are trying to figure out a way for her to come here and live with me. I would marry her, but it seems the people of California are not done with bigotry as the state pastime. For her part, she has quit smoking and uses the money she would have spent on cigarettes, on airfare to come visit me. We want to make a life and grow old together, is that asking too much?

The Shameless Begging: I know as influential as you are, there is still probably nothing you can do in an afternoon to make marriage legal for everyone, but maybe you could find a job for Caroline, so she can get her green card. She is currently a security guard for Huntsman International. She's good at guarding things, so maybe you need your studio, or parking space, or bike rack, guarded by a top notch guard. She's practically a ninja! A job for me as well, would be a bonus!

The Reality: Ellen, I know you'd help if you could, so please don't feel bad if you can't. I think you like helping others as much as I hate asking for help. If it were just me, I'd just take my lumps, but I'll do anything for the woman I love.

The Kissing Up: I'm a huge fan and have been ever since I first saw you do stand on HBO in 1989. You are so uplifting, and I watch you everyday while I get my exercise rowing on an erg. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely, Red Mojo
PS. Find a video I made for Caroline attached, with our heads photo-shopped onto your and Portia's bodies.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

Yes, yes it does!

No doubt some of you recall the post a couple months ago about hearts and women and opportunites thrown away or lost. At my lowest low I wrote a very funny, but very wise friend about my dilemma, and this was her reply:
"Just say no to anti-depressants. If you're torn between two women, neither one is the right one. Leave them both and drop the pills. This Dr Phil moment has been brought to you by Paxil."

I did not like hearing that at the time, but knew deep down that she probably was right. Since that time, I have gone off the anti-depressants and met the woman I intend to marry. This may be news to her, so baby, if you're reading this...wait! Come back!

Yes, I do believe that things happen for a reason. I do believe that my belief all these years in true love, was not in vane. I am happy! What I mean to say is... I AM HAPPY!!! I have found what I was beginning to think I never would. I am in love and it feels wonderful. I have no doubts, and no fear. Now all I need is a job.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Job Search...Ridiculous Add!

Here is the add as posted:

Painter needed for small 2 story home in north highlands. Home must be pressure washed, all loose paint scraped off with a wire brush and repainted. Exterior only. This is work for a licensed contractor. Flat price of $500 cash for the job. I will supply the body paint, trim paint, and $30 for tape, plastic, etc. All fascia, window and door trim to be trim paint. Must show proof of license and insurance.

  • Location: North Highlands
  • Compensation: $500 cash labor only flat rate
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

I am looking for work, and I do paint houses inside and out. Last summer for instance, I painted a 2 story historical home in Connecticut. I power washed, and scraped, and sanded, and primed, and painted, and had to hire a helper to schlep the scaffolding around with me, and feed the paint hose, etc. The customer bought the paint, I supplied the tape and plastic. And I charged him $10,000.00. That was a good price. This is joke!

I responded to the add in this manner:

Hi, I saw your add in Craigslist for a licensed insured contractor to supply all the labor to wash, scrape and paint your two story home. I think you might have forgotten a zero on the compensation, and may want to correct the add.

If you have not forgotten a zero, I would be glad to do the work for you, but as well as supplying the paint and $30 for plastic and tape, you'll also need to supply the labor. If this is acceptable to you, please contact me regarding payment arrangements.

Monday, July 27, 2009

No Country For Old Men : A Review

(The fourth row: right right up right left up down down. )

This is not a timely review, just a review...mainly because, I feel like I have to say something!

Okay, if you haven't seen this movie yet, and you still think you want to, I am going to spoil the plot, but not the movie...that has been done for you already. I watched this film, mostly because of all the Oscar nominations, and found it...Unworthy!

Here is a partial write up by By Ilari Valbonesi on January 17th, 2008:

The story begins when Llewelyn Moss (BROLIN) finds a pickup truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back.
When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law – in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell (JONES) – can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers – in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives (BARDEM) – the film simultaneously strips down the American crime drama and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible, and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines."

Well, maybe Ilari and I didn't watch the same movie. The money wasn't still in the back, it was really kinda far away from the whole mess of dead men, dogs and pick-ups.
The mysterious "mastermind" is a smart but awkward bad guy, often lugging around a giant cylinder of compressed air, who remains eerily calm during the whole thing, talking, killing, performing surgeory on emotion, no acting really, unless you count acting bored out of your skull like you're standing in line at the DMV, acting.

I must've blinked when the biblical themes came up, unless it related to how you're not supposed to kill...what's that one...?

The worst part was about three quarters of the way through the movie, the hero, gets killed. Maybe I like my movies too formulaic, but for me, when the hero dies, the story's over. But the movie went on. The sheriff discussed growing old, and the wife of the hero was killed, because the "mastermind" told the dead guy he'd do it, and didn't want to break his promise, I guess. Then the killer was in a car crash with someone who ran a red light, but paid a kid for his shirt, which he used to support his arm, and limped away before the police got there.
At the end the sheriff is telling his (I'm guessing here) wife, that he dreamt about his dad last night, he talked about the dreams...the end.

We are left not knowing what happened to the money. Wondering why the movie didn't end when it ended, only to go on to this disconnected stopping point. It almost felt like, they didn't really know how to end it, and someone working on a different movie walked by the room, and dropped some notes on the floor. Someone courteously retrieved them, but the rushing figure was already around the corner, out of sight, so they used what was there as the ending.

Maybe it was supposed to be more like real life then your typical movie, but I live in real life, and that's not why I watch movies.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Small Print

This is an add for a dating site. This picture, under the heading: "Is She Out There?"


Is She?

Good Add!

Makes me want to join!

Then you get to the part where it inevitably says something like, 'Not typical of the singles in your area' or ' Your results may vary' or 'hahahaha, gotcha!'

Oh well, good add though.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A little help please...

Came to blow the dust off my blog. I have neglected it terribly. It's not that I don't want to write, or share, I've just been a little hung up.

Without going into too much detail, let's just say that when you're "on the fence" between two women, if you take too long to jump to one side or the other, you might just slip and fall, impaling yourself there, and feeling the life slip from your body as you watch them both disappear from view. I hope that wasn't too metaphorical!

I find myself wading through the psychological minefield, of being unemployed for months, unable to pay my bills or support myself. Feeling like a burden, having a broken heart, in two places, and hating my own guts. Now might not be the best time to stop taking the anti-depressants.

I'm finding that I've grown sick of feeling sorry for myself, and sick of the impostor that seems to have inhabited my shell. I don't know who she is, and I don't like her! I want my life back!

I need the me that is in perpetual motion. The one that can't sit still. The one that moves mountains everyday, as a matter of course. The fearless one, who bets it all on herself. Where is she? The search has begun. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Job Hunting vs. Starvation

I don't mind working at all, but looking for a job is the worst torture known to mankind. First, there's updating the resume. If you're fortunate, you have a copy of the last resume you used, and you can just add the newest information to it. If you're like me, and you're on your third laptop since the last job hunt, you have nothing, and have to start at the beginning.

How much job history do they need? They probably don't need to know I was a lifeguard when I was 18, but my job, before I started my own company, lasted ten years. So that's two jobs in the last fourteen years. But two jobs on your resume looks a little...empty. Should I stretch that information with lots of detail, or go further back into stuff that really doesn't apply? What does apply?

I've jumped from the middle of one ladder to the bottom of the next over and over again. I'm a fidgety employee. I've worn many hats. I pick things up quickly, and when I'm really good at them, I get bored and want to try something else. I've gone from waiting tables and tending bar, to soldiering, then electronics and computers. Then back to the restaurants as a cook, then Sous Chef, then back to electronics, and alarm systems. From installing alarms, to the Technical Manager of the Northwest Region for Honeywell. I quit that and started my own Home Remodeling business. It's as if my right and left brain have been fighting for total domination and it's a tie. So...what am I looking for?

It's hard to work for someone else, once you've been your own boss. It's hard to go from owner of the company, to grunt, so hard, I can't do it.
If I'm going to be at the bottom, it's got to be at something new, graphic design, real estate, or something else I'm interested in, but haven't done yet.

A dream job would be a location scout for the movies, or test driving Harley Davidsons right off the assembly line. A photo-journalist, or the quirky but likeable host of a DIY show, that becomes a household name and then makes tons of money endorsing Porter Cable or Delta tools. A very successful writer, who writes under a pseudonym and therefore, never does interviews or book signings...or what I was trying to do before the economy killed my dream, designing and building custom furniture. I had hoped to come up with a trademark signature. Something I could incorporate into all my pieces that told everyone that that was an original "RED MOJO" and one of a kind. Everyone who's anyone would want one, and I'd have a waiting list of clientele that read like the who's who of the Hollywood "in" crowd.

But, reality continues to ruin my life. I went onto some internet job sites to look for a job. I set up the parameters: Not willing to relocate, 0% travel, and typed in the keyword "remodel" I got a list of 100% matches that included, "Film extra" (stand in the background of films for $250 a day) and "Truck Driver" for some local trucking company. Now I might not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but wouldn't driving a truck include some sort of travel? Unless they want me to do donuts in the parking lot for eight hours a day...

Needless to say, it has been a frustrating process, but I'll keep plugging away, and just like trying to keep your big toe from pushing it's way through that hole in your sock...even if you walk funny, eventually it's going to happen.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A New Me (Just like the old me, but older)

With all that's gone on in my life recently, I have managed to pack on a few pounds. Depression is not helped by eating every comfort food in sight...but it feels like it will while you do it.
I love things like mac and cheese, fried egg sandwiches, potato chips, ice cream, and have you ever tried Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins? Oh my!
After you eat these kinds of foods, you are full, but still feel empty, and the weight gain only makes you even more depressed...please pass the pizza.

I have been trying to fight the good fight, but it's hard. I let myself down constantly, making fitness promises, that I never keep. Tomorrow always seems like a great place to start!

Well the good news is, I started yesterday. Today is day two of my new life. Yes, I have managed to string two days together before, but this's different. I am lucky enough to have this amazing friend in my life who has made fitness a science, and he is an amazing success story. I happened to email him and ask for the link to his website, which I had misplaced, explaining that I wanted to list it among the links of my online work-out group. He responded quickly, and asked me to call him as well. I did, and the conversation went something like this

Jimmy: How are you? What's going on?

Me: Oh, I'm just trying to get healthy. I'm kick starting my online work-out group, and want to put your link in there. I've been having a hard time making myself exercise even though I know I always feel better when I do.

Jimmy: What's stopping you?

Me: Maybe I just want my mood to match my situation, not sure.

Jimmy: Hmmm...that's possible. If you were gonna exercise, what would you do?

Me: Well, I prefer to do it outside. I love to hike up steep trails, and eventually run up them, but there are no mountains around here. I have to drive a ways to get to one. I also like to run, or bike, but I'm too out of shape, so it's power walking for now. If I stay inside, I use the rowing machine. I like that too.

Jimmy: What's the weather like today?

Me: Oh, its a beautiful day. I couldn't ask for better weather!

Jimmy: When you walk how far do you go?

Me: Two miles, is what I've been doing lately.

Jimmy: Two miles! Wow! That must feel great! Good for you!

Me: yeah...

Jimmy: Well doesn't it feel great when you do it?

Me: Yes, it does.

Jimmy: How much weight do you want to lose?

Me: A lot...

Jimmy: C'mon tell me, how much?

*I tell him.

Jimmy: Okay that's 2 pounds a weeks for X weeks! X weeks? That's nothing! That's X house payments, you know how fast those come! You can reach your goal in X weeks!!! Tomorrow, walk two miles, then get on the rowing machine for 15 minutes, and you'll feel terrific! I'll call you and see how it went okay?

Me: Okay Jimmy, thanks. I'll do it.

Jimmy: Oh, this is so exciting! Aren't you excited?!

Me: (sheepishly) Yes.

Jimmy: Okay! I'll talk to you tomorrow...

The thing that doesn't come across well here, is the excitement in his voice. He's so cute! Like Richard Simmons, only hot! I did do it, and he did call. He praised me, and encouraged me, and will call again today. He also has great nutritional advice on his site, which I am going to follow as closely as I can. I went shopping yesterday, and bought 'clean' food. I am keeping a food log, and he wants to go over it with me next week, and tweek it for me.

I had given up on ever looking like I used to look, and thought with age comes some extra weight, it's a given. But he's my age, and look at him! I am going for it! I want to be comfortable in the skin I'm in. I feel better already! Isn't it exciting?!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Things I Hope I Haven't Told You Before

Yes...that's the spot!

Hey gang! If anyone still comes here...I've been away, probably should have been put away, but that's neither here nor there! It took me 47 years to discover that I do have a breaking point, but I'm slowly building my way back up to where I feel almost viable as a human again. I am living in California now. I have temporarily moved back into the house my ex-girlfriend and I shared for several years. She has been kind enough to give me a starting off point for my new happier life back in sunny California!

The seasonal affect thing was killing me, and that joined forces with a full-blown bout of "your-gonna-be-depressed-even-in-perfect-weather...with-dancing-girls!" That knocked me flat on my mental ass, as it were. It was the problem and the answer all rolled into one! I had to move why not back to the place I was not miserable, cold and depressed? Not what you'd call an epiphany, more of a needed morsel of common sense.

I'm here now, and fully expect to have a life again sometime soon. My sweet dog Winston has a torn ACL and needs surgery. It's expensive and I don't have any work yet. I'm not sure whether to pursue a J-O-B, or try to find some work (the kind I do), so I'm going to look for both and see what the universe throws at me, if anything! I know it's tough out there right now, but I don't have to worry about getting discouraged, because realistically, I'm starting from there.

I had all kinds of horrible and funny problems getting moved, and I have an entertaining story about breaking down on the side of the road in Arkansas while driving across the country to share with you once I get rolling again. Until then, I have been tagged with a list of 25 random or interesting things about me, and I like to roll them out now:

1. My stripper name, using that pet and street name formula is Cookie Collins.

2. I had a childhood crush on Doris Day.

3. Wilford Brimley gives me the Heebie-Jeebies.

4. I believe I may make my fortune winning the lottery, or writing erotica.

5. I learned how to fly a plane before I learned how to drive a car.

6. Every report card I got all through elementary school always had the same teacher comment: "Lacks self-control". This convinced me that the teachers only had 5 comments from which to choose, and the other 4 must've been:

Hoards crayons
Wets pants
Makes the line look like a snake
Eats paste

However, I couldn't convince my parents of that, and my father would FRICKEN LOSE IT when he saw that on there.

7. I love without limits, but some restrictions do apply.

8. I have always wanted a tattoo, and I think this is the year I'm going to get one.

9. I tear through a good book but read the last few pages really slowly because I don't want it to end.

10. Those cuffs they put around your arm and pump up to take your blood pressure, make me want to cry.

11. I once took a ladder and climbed up to the slant on the chimney, then jumped to my Mother's open bedroom window, grabbing it and swinging my leg inside, onto her dresser, which caused a huge bruise on my leg, and pulled myself inside, all so I could eat a banana. I'd locked myself out and was starving.

12. My cousin Katy and I used to think it was incredibly funny to read everything from the TV
Guide to the list of ingredients on a cereal box as if we were newscasters.

13. Growing up, whenever I got a new pair of sneakers, I used to pose them just so, and put them where I could see them as I fell asleep. I may still do that, I do love footwear!

14. A Swan chased me once while I was feeding bread to the ducks, I started running backwards, threw the whole loaf at it, but it just kept coming, then I screamed, and then tripped and fell. My step-dad scared it away before it actually started feasting on me.

15. I love corn on the cob, but need to floss immediately after eating it, I mean leave the table and go floss. I can't wait until after desert.

16. I had a pet squirrel named Harold when I was twelve. He lived in the house with us, free to roam around and go outside when he wanted to.

17. I rode a camel while in Morocco. He didn't have the best attitude, but never spat on me.

18. I have a very emotional response to really beautiful music. I get a lump in my throat, and sometimes cry.

19. I played the snare drum in the marching band at my high school. (band geek)

20. I am technology-dependent and wouldn't last a week without my ipod, or my computer.

21. I hear dead people.

22. I don't really hear dead people, but I can't resist injecting humor, even at the most inappropriate times. I can't help it, it's a "love me or leave me" kind of thing. Please don't ask me to write your eulogy.

23. Everyone can tell when I'm lying, my voice gets higher, and my upper lip sweats. I'm not good at poker either.

24. I've often wondered why there is no bean and cheese burrito flavored ice cream.

25. I love to cook delicious meals for people so I can hear them say, "Mmmmm, Oh Tracy, this is sooo good." Is that wrong?