Killer Ambitions

Not to run with the pun from the book of the same name by Marcia Clark (the famed OJ Simpson prosecutor), rather I want to use it as a truism. 

Having ‘too much’ ambition can kill your career. 

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I’m a journalist. I have been for many years. Anyone that majored in the same subject in college will feel my pain in this. It’s a labor of passion. It’s certainly not a gig you get into pie-eyed, expecting to become the next Oprah. No. It’s a line of work that chooses you. It’s something you feel compelled to do. You write, you talk, you share information with people. It’s as natural to you as a fish swimming in water. It’s just what we do. It’s who we are. 

If this makes sense to you so far, then you’re probably like me…a mid-level, experienced journalist. You feel my pain of freelancing for ever and ever, piecing and pasting teeny checks together to scrape by. You’ve landed a consistent gig here and there in the span of your career, so you too, have been granted the title of ‘staff writer’ emblazoned next to your name. 

Feels nice, doesn’t it? That’s why these journalists never leave unless they’re forced out of their positions either due to the monetary suckiness of the job that makes leaving a necessity or the publication had to drop the ax. Either way, staff gigs are rare. You might have a better shot of landing a dart in Big Foot’s ass than landing a staff gig at any reputable publication. 

Well, that said – you’d think as a mid-level, experienced journalist that you’d be able to get a staff gig at a small, teeny, tiny (relative to the size of Los Angeles) daily paper, right? Perhaps. But aside from qualifications, assuming resumes are close where you’re basically splitting hairs, it’s possible that what it boils down to is ambition. 

As I’ve discovered, that ‘A word’ seems to be a four lettered one for your interview. Yes, ambition can completely kill your interview that was seemingly flowing smoothly! 

Not long ago at such a job interview, I was asked that damned cliche “where do you see yourself five years from now?” I honestly (and emphatically) answered: 

“I would still be doing journalism. I’d like to get into the publisher side by then. I’d like to publish a free to press, perfect bind, ad revenue-driven, lifestyle and culture magazine. By then, I’d hope that I’d have some notoriety from local TV news.” 

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I answered with a great, big, toothy grin. Beaming with honesty. But almost as instantaneously as those words ran themselves out of my mouth, I felt my foot going in it. All I could think was “shut up, shut up.” Had I stopped mid sentence, I’d have either appeared insane, dumb or a liar. All three things not so hot for an editor to think of you during an interview. So it was too late. I went all in. Screw it. 

Can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, right? 

Anyway, my answer was met with a pasted grin and raised eyebrow. Not knowing how to respond to that precise language, he wrapped up the interview and ushered in the Q & A time. I was allowed to ask any questions I may have had about the position. A good interview usually allows for this portion, as I am told, so I left thinking that maybe I didn’t commit such a faux pas after all. WRONG. 

After further disseminating my actions with one of my girlfriends, who recently picked up a full time job herself, although not in the same field, she told me that I basically hanged myself with my lofty ambitions. Really? Was she right? Could she be right? 

Don’t employers want a new recruit that has big dreams, goals and the potential to drive their business to the next level? Apparently not. 

Unless you’re going to work for Sir Richard Branson at one of his media outlets (which I have actually, personally done) innovation and big dreams are generally not welcomed at most outfits. Even in the field of journalism. Fall in line. Be part of the cog. Don’t rock the boat. Especially you – silly girl! Girls, even girl-reporters, just be there, do your job, throw the softball and produce some words on paper. Done. 

So, best I can glean from this experience is that when at a job interview, be modest but boastful, be helpful and hopeful but not ambitious. Definitely not ambitious. 

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McMansions Are So 2002

Remember when we were all counting down (worried) about Y2K? 
 
Ha! Laughable, looking back now, right? 
 
Now that I have you reminiscing about the early-2000s, do you also recall the big “McMansion” boom – where tracts on the outskirts of every suburb had these GIANT houses, boasting with 3,000+ sq ft of living space on 3,00 and 1 sq ft of land? They had GIANT walk-in closets for everyone, including your dog. They offered grand kitchens that had more granite than the entire state of Vermont could mine. Tons and tons of un-renewable  materials went into making these homes, many of them: fast and cheap. Hold the jokes, folks🙂  We were also into GIANT gas-guzzling SUV’s and oversized couches. Super-sizing our sodas and fries, more more more! Bigger, bigger, BIGGEST! Everything was much bigger than it needed to be. 
Big House, Tiny Lot. Jeff and Suzy have the same one in Eggshell. Ours is vanilla creme.

Big House, Tiny Lot. Jeff and Suzy have the same one in Eggshell. Ours is vanilla creme. 


Fast forward to a little more than 10-years later and what do you have? 

 A housing crisis, global-economic meltdown, the biggest money crooks in history emerged, lots of people out of work…sounds terrible. It is terrible. But you know what? It can never rain forever. The Sun will always manage to peek through and a little blade of grass will break through. This is where we’re at now in January of 2013. 
We are the little blade of grass, pushing through that thick mud and muck. We are the little blade of grass that could. And this analogy is the perfect segway to what I wanted to share with you: 
 
Out of the apocalypse of McMansions filled with non-renewable, un-Earth friendly materials (and lots of it), the demise of the Chevy Suburbans and Ford Expeditions came the Prius, the Fiat, the Mini Cooper, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, recycling bins everywhere, weird looking lightbulbs and the color du jour is green…not for its actual color, rather it has become a style all its own. 
 
Green is in. Green is the new black. People are suddenly conscious of their carbon footprint and want to reduce the impact they make on the earth. This is now a trend we are seeing in housing. The trend I am noticing most is the (quickly gaining) popularity of the micro-house. 
 eco-friendly-homes-offer-us-a-glimpse-into-the-future
These are mini-free standing, single family residences (or SFR’s in Realtor speak) popping up all over North America. It really is a sign of the times. It is both a rejection of the “more, bigger” consumerist mentality and an embrace of the global recognition of the world’s dwindling resources…the first of them being LAND! Is it possible to build a house that you’ve got all the space YOU need, sans the excess anything?
Have a look and read of the link below. Check the videos. What are your thoughts? 
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Get Out of My Uterus

I like politics. I like our political system, flawed as it may be. I even like politicians themselves. I don’t like them because I necessarily agree with any one particular person.  Rather, I like the whole of politics for its intrinsic entertainment value. Sometimes, I love to hate it.

As a disclaimer, I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I’m not a Constitution-hugging Libertarian, nor am I a Green Party-goer. In fact, I like bits and pieces of ALL parties. That makes me something of  party-girl, I suppose. (Except Tea Parties – that’s reserved for wacky people wearing big hats, found living in Wonderland) I’m the newly en vogue Independent. I’m no bandwagon Independent, though. I’ve been a registered Independent since 1998. I’m also a woman and an “ethnic minority” – this makes me any political candidate’s object of desire. Yep – hot stuff. If I lived in Ohio, I’d be Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s dream vote.

This particular election cycle has been nuttier than past elections, as I recall.

With the uprising of the the Tea Party, birthed from a plummeting economy and the installation of the first Black president, Americans have fear. The hard Right exploited those fears the same way terrorist groups form in the Middle East or gangs in Los Angeles. This is a whole ‘nother blog in and of itself, so I’ll leave my opinion at that concerning the Tea Party.

Back to these psychopaths running for political office. Now, I use the term “psychopath” in the most endearing way possible…most of the time. If you measure the personality traits of people who venture into certain professions (e.g. Surgeons, CEOs,  Journalists, Politicians), for better or worse – they all qualify as psychopaths. Psychopaths can be awesome, a la Steve Jobs. Psychos on the other hand, suck.

Sucky psycho #1 on my list right now is Indiana Republican Tea Party senatorial candidate, Richard Mourdock, narrowly beating out Missouri Congressman Todd Akin for my highly contested list of old White dudes who should shut up about vaginas.

If you pay any attention to politics at all, you’d agree that the home stretch to election day has been nothing short of awesomely wild. Richard Mourdock’s statements about rape – completely, utterly ASTOUNDING. To suggest that the physical abuse and mental anguish a woman suffers in a rape is “God’s will” is profoundly disgusting. God’s will? Really? This was all to support his Pro-Life platform.

He also went on to say (in detail – so please don’t try to back pedal your way out of this one) that if a child were conceived in this manner that “it too, was God’s will” and insists the rape victim should be forced to carry the rapist’s seed to term. Seriously, dude?  This was no Freudian slip or misconstrued words. No. These were Mourdock’s true, salient thoughts and beliefs about the matter.

OK – here’s where my soapbox ride begins…

Just the thought of these statements infuriate me to no end! I can no longer stand to watch another replay of his press conference where he espoused such demeaning sentiment towards rape victims. This is completely reprehensible for so many reasons:
Republicans are generally Pro-Lifers. If this is true, then why are they so into capital punishment?  Their argument that “all life is precious” is clearly false. Obviously, they do not believe that ALL life is precious because if they did, we wouldn’t have executed 1,310 our own citizens since 1976 (perfect way to celebrate our bicentennial) or have  3,170 people on death row now – this is not Dr Dre approved. An eye for an eye will only make the world blind. If you claim to respect life, then respect all life.

Further to respecting life…what about respecting MY life?  Mourdock and his fellow Tea Party pals do NOT make exception for ANY abortion. Not for rape. Not for incest. Not for endangering the life of the mother…nothing. Literally, nothing. Speaking as ‘just a woman’ (as I am not a mother nor have I ever been victim to such violent crimes) not only do you want to have control over MY body, but now you want to force motherhood onto me and the child of the man who assaulted me, no less. Because you know – it must not have been a “legitimate rape” if I were able to get pregnant in the first place. As Congressman Akin will tell you, in the case of rape, my body has a way of “shutting the whole thing down.” Right, because it’s like fortress with a drawbridge. When my brain tells my vagina that I’m being raped, my va-jay turns off the lights and whips out a switchblade. (My vagina is pretty gangsta)

So since I wasn’t “really” raped, it may have just been more of a coy misunderstanding,  forcing me to keep this pregnancy means I want to relive that moment in my life everyday for the next nine months. I’m a masochist. Besides, I could always give the baby up for adoption since those orphanages need more unwanted children.

Right to life is right…I have the right to live my life as I see fit.

Now, they want to over turn our Constitutional rights. If Romney is elected, Roe v. Wade will almost surely be overturned by a newly appointed, Right-winged, SCOTUS judge. (This, too, is a whole different blog entry)

Anyway, I thought Republicans were all about “smaller government” and privatizing everything. Well, get the government out of my private lady parts! Can we privatize women’s vaginas? Let’s figure that one out.

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Here’s Why Katy Perry Is Brilliant And You’re a Nobody

Wise beyond her years, Katy Perry 26, has managed to crack the subversive code of the government’s Big Brother scheme. She sings about it in her latest single “Last Friday Night.”

The verse that sent chills down this reporter’s spine?:

“Pictures of last night
Ended up online
I’m screwed”

Yes, that’s right. You are royally screwed, indeed!  In today’s era of drunk people + cell phone cameras + YouTube = Privacy.

Katy either unwittingly brought to light our modern-day 1984 nightmare or…she is a government triple-spy!

It’s bad enough that that the streets of Londontown, where her hubby, what’s his face-annoying British comedian guy that remade Arthur. That guy…his hometown is covered with government cameras on every corner.

But now it has made its way to the colonies! Errrr, I mean the states! However, our ever-clever government goons have managed to let us, the public, think we’re doing something rooted in good ol-American free will and choice. WE CHOOSE TO POST UP VIDEOS OF OUR CELEBRITY BLOW JOBS AND BEST FRIENDS BARFING. Why? Because we can, damnit!

What if…just what IF, this was all a government ploy all along? Imagine that! What if YouTube is part of a greater government scheme so that  we, as a civilian whole, unknowingly video-police ourselves? Yes, yes, Rupert Murdoch. He owns YouTube and pretty much everything else media. And yes, he’s being indicted or whatever they call it in England for illegal cell-phone hacking. If his company did it there, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the same corporate ideology existed here in the US as well? Why, then, is he not being investigated here? Perhaps a chance that he’s part of this government scheme?  (cue the sound effects: dun-dun-duuunnnn)

Naturally, with us novices recording our most mundane daily activities like adorable, fat, British babies named Charlie biting siblings or teenagers kissing the pavement from a nasty kick-flip gone wrong, all the way to sneezing Pandas. The brilliance of YouTube (if it were indeed a government ploy to be able to literally see into our homes because WE’RE the ones taping it) would save them tons of money on manpower! We film everything. We pay for our own internet service. We post. We categorize. We tag. We watch. We literally file our lives away FOR them. They watch. Monitor.

Creepy thought, right? Uh-huh…have you ever thought about that one? That one may have just done a round-house kick to your medulla oblongata. My apologies for blowing your mind.

The jury is out on whether the number of incidents involving drunken and high idiots are up as a sign of the times  or if it’s just because they’re more easily exposed with technology but either way – we can kiss our privacy good bye forever.

Today, potential employers will Google applicants, search you on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Digg for you any place you may pop up. I’m sure this isn’t news to you, right? Because if you’re one of my readers, you’re already way ahead of the rest of the schmucks who aren’t so life-savvy and don’t already know this. (High five and slap on the ass for that one)

They’ll find you on Yelp, in that abandoned Murdoch-site MySpace, anywhere you may have left an IP-scent. Those dogs will find ya! Consider yourself done for if you haven’t already been censoring yourself online ALL ALONG. Just because YOU deleted something from the web, doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t already broadcasted your dirt elsewhere.

Ask Katy Perry.
Whilst
on the heels of their honeymoon, Russel Brand posted this image of his lovely, blushing bride:

  I’m sure she beat him over the head upon finding this image out there.
Katy had Mr Perry promptly remove this from his Tweets but nope…
Too little, too late. Not realizing that her husband had any Twitter
followers, some enterprising person snagged this off his timeline
and successfully floated this through the interwebs for all of eternity!

So much for the big doe-eyed image we have of Katy. Oh but she’s so
cute. We forgive her morning blahs. That just makes her human, right?

Or does this weave right back into my theory that Katy is indeed… a
government triple spy?!?!

So let’s get something straight before I wrap this up. I’m really not some conspiracy theorist or anything. I just wonder weird things and need to get them off my chest. And Katy Perry is apparently brilliant and does a good job hiding that mystical third and all-seeing eye. Rock on Katy!

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