In The Words Of Mumbo-Gumbo…Ya-Ya! — Divining The Secrets Of The Sisterhood

•August 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Not really, but that title came to me while I was in the shower and I thought it was catchy.

So…Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Before I get into this gripe of mine, let me make something clear:  I absolutely loved the book AND the movie.  I first read the book ten years ago (holy crap–ten years!  I read it just before the movie came out) and found it to be amazing (of course, I read Little Alters Everywhere first–also good).  I was really impressed with how closely the movie followed the book.  Sure, some changes were made, but as far as adaptations go, this is definitely one of the better ones and I can still watch it and be moved by it all these years later.

But here’s my beef, and it’s a beef that only just occurred to me.  If you’ve never experienced the Ya-Yas…well, I can’t help you.  Read the book, see the movie, they’ve both been out for years.

 

The beef–Sidda is kidnapped by the Ya-Yas (excluding her mother, Vivi) to explain why Vivi is the way she is.  Basically, they want to explain/justify why her mother was always so horrible, both to her children and her husband.  And that was because she didn’t have the life she dreamed about.  Well, boo-fucking-hoo.  How many  have the lives they dreamt of? Almost no one.  Does that give people the right to treat their spouses and children badly?  Hell no.  But the Ya-Yas drug and kidnap Sidda to explain why Vivi is throwing a hissy-fit about an article written about Sidda and her new play.

There’s no denying that Vivi had a bitch of a time of it, but none of that is the fault of Shep, Sidda, or the other children.  And yet, they all pay for Vivi’s unhappiness.  Vivi screams at Shep, she takes pills and hallucinates and beats her kids, she runs off because she’s tired of being a mother; she basically forced Sidda to be the grown up when she only a little bitty thing; she cooked dinner, read to her siblings, kept them settled when her parents were fighting, and to comfort her mother when she was being melodramatic.

And yet, the Ya-Yas think that it’s Sidda that needs to understand her mother.  I think it’s Vivi that needs to understand her daughter/children.  The Ya-Yas defend Vivi’s actions to the death–they constantly insist that Sidda doesn’t know anything (ie–Sidda mentions Vivi beating the shit out of the kids, and the Ya-Yas are so aghast that Sidda doesn’t realize there were other factors involved).  When it comes down to it–while, it might help Sidda to know WHY it happened, as a kid (even a grown-up kid), all she has to know is that she was beaten senseless by someone she was supposed to be able to trust with her life, that her mother abandoned, that her mother never seemed to want her.  That’s all a kid ever has to know–the justifications parents/their friends want to give for that sort of behavior can’t be an excuse for the behavior.  That sort of things scars kids, and parents have to live with that knowledge.  But I think that making it seem like Sidda just doesn’t get her mother is a really crappy thing to do.  She was a kid–all she was supposed to do was be a kid.

I suppose I take this personally because I am the child of a parent who was never happy with her lot in life and wasn’t opposed to blaming it all on her children.

Maybe they should have explained to Sidda what happened, but they should have just made sure that Vivi got down on her hands and knees to beg for forgiveness.   Sidda shouldn’t have been concerned that her mother was hurting because her past transgressions were brought to light; all she should have worried about was that her mother hurt her and never apologized.

That said, I still love this story.  I think it says a lot that it can get me this riled up, actually.  Good for you, Rebecca Wells.  Good for you.

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Radio Sunnydale: It Was A Hell Of A Battle

•July 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I don’t care how lame this makes me, I don’t care how much of a Johnny-come-lately I am, but every time I watch an epic, season finale Buffy battle, I get goosebumps.  NO ONE does epic finale battles like Joss Whedon and crew.

Let me clarify by saying I’m doing a Buffy rewatch at the moment.  Earlier today, I watched Graduation Day Part 2.  Holy hell, I always forget how much I love some of those moments.

All right…I’m going to give spoiler space on the off chance that there’s anyone out there who hasn’t seen this show but wants to.  Just in case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough?  No?  *sigh*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay.  There are two finale battles that give me the chills.  At least, two that I can think of at the moment.  Graduation Day is one of them.  I wish I could explain it eloquently, but there’s just something about the moment the mayor begins the Ascension; all the parents and teachers panic and run, all the kids stand up and stay put.  They look horrified, but they don’t move.  Buffy yells, “Now!” and all the kids tear off their graduation robes to reveal mass amounts of weaponry, prepared to do battle with this giant lizard/snake demon.  It’s fucking epic.  Seriously, I can’t explain it properly, but there’s something about these teenagers, most of whom never really spoke to each other during the course of school, banding together to save the world.  Through in a really fantastic score and fuckmewow…I can’t stand it.  Watching it today, I’m not ashamed to say I got choked up.  Not ashamed in the slightest.  It’s a moving moment in television history.

The other battle that absolutely does me in is the series finale.  I know that a large part of this is due to the score for this ep (listen to it; it’ll give you chills), but the whole battle…no words.  At least, no words that do it justice.  The carnage, the no holds barred, the blood bath, the struggle, the fucking everything…just epic.  It was proof that nothing was sacred, though in all fairness, Whedon did a pretty good job of making that clear all along (Hello?  Joyce, anyone?).  The build-up to the finale was INTENSE, then the payoff…wow.  I cried the first time I saw it, and I cried the next time I saw it (if you can believe it, this is only the third time I’ve gone through the series, though I’ve seen a few other eps here and there on TV), and I’m pretty sure I’ll cry during this go-round.

But seriously; for TV good enough to give me goosebumps…well, it doesn’t happen a lot.  And seeing as how I watch a fuck-ton of TV, that’s saying something (at present, there has only been one ep of TV EVER to make me both drop my jaw and the remote simultaneously–in fact, the only time I’ve ever gone slack enough to drop my remote and pretty much my entire body, but that’s an entirely different story).  The only other Buffy ep to make me weepy?  The Body.  If you’ve seen it, you know why (at least, if you have a soul, you know), and I won’t go into it here.  But that one…damn.

But, basically…yeah.  Joss Whedon knew his shit.  It’s almost disappointing that I didn’t start watching this show until it’d been over for a year, but at least I didn’t have to wait for new eps.  I was actually very against the show (I’d enjoyed the movie so thoroughly and though the show seemed stupid), but circumstances led me to Buffy one day.  And fuck if I didn’t get sucked in.  Later on, I found out that Whedon actually developed the idea for the movie, but left the set when such drastic changes were made that his story was unrecognizable.  Who knew?

So, Joss Whedon, and the cast and crew of Buffy–I tip my hat to you.  Your show did wonderful things, and I enjoy getting the chills–every time.

Workers Of The World Untie!..Wait a minute…

•June 1, 2012 • Leave a Comment

One would think that in a place with so much to do, people wouldn’t have the time to be petty little bitches, and yet…

I was aware of a bit of pettiness a few weeks ago, but since my promotion, apparently a couple of people have been a bit cranky.  As to why the initial trash talk started, I have no idea.  The “rumor” was that everything that was going wrong was my fault, which I found to be pretty incredible considering the size of the place in which I work and my level of newness, but sure.  This seemed especially true when not one manager/supervisor came up to me to discuss all of the damage I was doing, and when I was frequently being taught new things and given new responsibilities.  But yes…everything my fault.  At any rate, I didn’t let it get to me, mainly because I knew the issue would have come up.  Anyhoo, I assumed with my actual promotion, a couple of people who have been with the company longer might be a bit peeved.  And I was right (it’s good to have someone keeping an ear out for this, someone who happened to start around the same time as myself, who has also been promoted, and has also been on the receiving end of a bit of smack talk by the same individuals).  One of these people maintains that the screwups are all my fault, and the other…I don’t even know.  It’s not like she wasn’t promoted as well.

It just makes me realize how pathetic some people are, and will be for their entire lives.  We’re in an actual place of business where there’s rarely a shortage of things to do, and these people want to do nothing but bitch about someone being given more responsibility.  I’m sorry you’re angry that I’ve been there barely a fraction of the time that you’ve been there and am already being recognized for my skills, but that’s your fault, not mine.  If you’ve had all sorts of time (years) to distinguish yourself and are still languishing in obscurity and have done nothing but maintain a level of mediocrity, you can only blame yourself.

Some people…

At any rate, I’ve been considering something about the workforce of the country/world.  A friend of mine brought this up because she had read (or was reading or was going to read or had heard about this book…something) a book about a guy who was a CEO, then quit because he was burnt out, then started working at Pizza Hut or some such place; when he told people at parties, they scoffed and sneered and generally judged his choice of career.  As a result, he decided to try as many “menial” task jobs as he could find to see how people in those positions were treated, and it made him consider the obvious flaws in our command structure.

Here it is; if all of the high-paid (over-paid) CEOs decided to play hooky on the same day, not a whole hell of a lot would happen.  Think about it; the people who get paid the most, ultimately, do the least.  This is not true across the board, of course, but most execs make a whole lot of money to, often, just show up.  Does this mean that most of them didn’t bust their asses to get where they are?  Of course not, but that doesn’t change the fact that missing CEOs for a day wouldn’t effect the world a whole lot.  On the other hand, if all the people who work the other end of the spectrum in jobs that are at a much lower pay-rate and are much more labor-intensive decided to not show up for work on the same day, the world would, essentially, grind to a halt.  Think about it; no one to pour your coffee at Starbucks or serve your Whopper at Burger King.  No one to answer the phone in the customer service department at Verizon or change your oil at the Exxon.  No one to ship your order from Amazon or to cash you out at Walmart.  None of the everyday things that everyone takes for granted would be accomplished and all hell would break loose.  It’s quite ironic that jobs that are considered to be at the lowest end of the spectrum and given such poor regard and such horrible pay are the ones that world depends upon the most, and the jobs that everyone strives for and that are the most respected and earn the most money are the ones that no one really notices when someone is absent.

There is something seriously screwed up about our priorities.  But next time you’re in line at McDonald’s or something, it wouldn’t hurt to be a little nicer to the kid behind the counter.  Granted, not everyone who works in a “menial” job is a winner–this is the same as in every category of life.  But a lot of people are just trying to earn a living, so there’s nothing wrong with that.  Don’t be so cruel to the people who are just trying to get along in the world.

Definitely Too Old For This

•May 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Holy shit, I’m actually posting!

Amazing, innit?

So the question is, where to begin?

Let me start off with…I was terribly mislead about the details of my job.  When I arrived Monday morning at 8am, I found out that I’d be going to another location on the other side of the county.  Ooooookay.  I wasn’t thrilled, mainly because my five minute commute turned into a 15-20 minute commute but whatevs.  Anyway, I get to the new location and find out that it is, in fact, pretty much brand new.  As a result, the job I was hired to do wasn’t yet available, but they had plenty of other things to do to keep me occupied.  Fine.

I’d like to say that, after that first day, I felt like I’d been beaten.  Ultimately, that day wasn’t actually terribly taxing, but after having been so stagnant for so long…it was rough.  After that, it got a bit worse.  We started working ten hour days, trying to get everything set up that needs to be set up for a new building.  Then we heard we’d be working the weekend, so my first week bled into my second week, and the second into my third.  Yes–we’re at three weeks straight, if you’re keeping score.  I did take one day off–I told my supervisor before it was ever announced that we’d be working the weekend that I needed one of those days off.  Seeing as how that was into super-duper overtime, taking a day is pretty inconsequential, and the mental break did wonders.

Did I mention that I’ve been coming in at 7am every day since my third day?  And that in the space of two weeks, I worked, essentially, three weeks?  Yeah…it’s not fun.

Also, my training and the training of the others who have come in after me has been virtually nonexistent.

Anyway, during the second week, they brought in people from one of the other local buildings to help us try to keep a handle on the volume of business, and somewhere around the third or fourth week, higher ups in the company started to visit because, apparently, we suck at life.  Basically, our place was set up poorly, and the systems to run it efficiently were actually pretty screwed up and making everything worse.  Our client was less than thrilled, so they sent in lots of people to see what was happening.  For the last couple of weeks, we’ve had people from other parts of the country who work in other branches in our building, helping to straighten out and figure out what went wrong.  As most of us have been saying from the beginning, had they brought in trainers and people who know what they’re doing from the get-go, we wouldn’t have had these issues.  Instead, we’re running around, putting out fires.

This whole thing has been a tad frustrating and exhausting.  It probably wouldn’t have been so exhausting, but we’d spend a day doing some process that a supervisor would tell us to do, then the next day find out that the previous day was incorrect, but this new way was how to do it was what to do, etc etc.  Soooo obnoxious.  However, once the higher ups came in and started showing us the ropes, things turned around dramatically.

On the upside, I caught on to pretty much everything pretty quickly.  Quickly enough that I was able to, for lack of a better word, translate what was occasionally being taught into a language that the others could understand.  I do have experience in training people, so that does make a bit of sense.  I was also frequently given new things to do, and pretty quickly, people started coming up to me for answers and direction.  This managed to catch the eye of quite a few people, and the other day, I was given a (small) raise and promotion.

Not bad for a month’s time.

Anyway, now I’m training for this new position, which, fortunately, is building on a lot of things I’ve already learned.

Also worth mentioning, my supervisor is a dumbass.  It’s obvious that, ultimately, he means well, but he has no actual idea of what he’s doing, which is a bit scary.  I also wonder how people who have no knowledge of something get positions of power.  At any rate, my new position might be able to ensure that I make sure he doesn’t screw things up again (sadly, a lot of the issues that arose were caused by this dude and his amazing ability to imitate a chicken with its head cut off).

So to sum it up, the new job isn’t horrible.  It’s certainly not hard, though at times it’s mind-numbing; at times, there’s a lot of physical labor, but with my new position, I probably won’t have to deal with much of that.  While I’m tired of working so much, I’d had to not see that money on my paycheck, so I’m in the middle of a paradox.  The benefits are pretty awesome, so at least there’s that.

And my focus for the evening is now shot.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks, things will die down a bit and I’ll have more time to bitch about life in general and life in specific.

 

Not dead yet

•May 26, 2012 • 1 Comment

I don’t know if there’s anyone out there concerned about my lack of updates, but I’m still kicking.  My new job is pretty much taking up all of my time. I keep hoping to find time to update, but when I get home after a ten hour shift, the onoy thing going through my mind is guuuuhhhh.  I’ve got a lot of non-specific shit about my new job to talk about. At any rate, typing this from my phone sucks. But hang in there all five of you.  There’s stuff to come.

Petty Polly Comes Out To Play

•April 27, 2012 • 1 Comment

I think it’s fairly well-established by this point that I’m petty and shallow.  Perhaps not all the time, but I definitely have my moments.

This is one of those moments.

All right, just a brief moment to catch you all up on my situation–toiling away in obscurity washing hair, not permitted to put out a tip jar after being at this place for over a year and a half, while anyone else who walks through the door is allowed to sell anything they want.

Anyway, last Friday, one of the uber-religious customers, Mary, mentioned that her stylist, Crazy Bible Lady, told her that she could bring in her old books to sell…at the god damn fucking salon.  This woman is allowed to bring in old books to sell to unwitting customers, and I’m not allowed to receive extra money for the services I provide.

Talk about the straw that broke this camel’s back. But this isn’t even the really petty part.

However, and this actually finally came through for me on Tuesday, I have acquired a job at an actual company and today is my last day at this place.

Hallelujah.

I was technically hired a couple of weeks ago, but getting all the paperwork sent to me, then sent back, blah blah blah…that all took some time, so I start at this new place next week.

Here’s where the petty part comes in to play.

I’m not getting any sort of goodbye…thing.  This is actually a bit irritating to me.

I mean, we’re talking about women who have completely forgotten about the birthday of one of the owners and still managed to throw together a celebration that doesn’t look completely hasty (everyone’s birthday is celebrated; planned out, a card with $5 from all the employees, lunch bought for you, a dessert of your choosing…good times).  Last May, when the nail tech left, they threw her a shindig that was the same as the birthday to-dos.  She had been here for less than a year.  I’ve been here for almost two years.  I just think it might’ve been nice to for someone to throw a card at me (with or without the money), or offer to buy my lunch, or hell–even an iced tea.

It’s entirely possible that I’m jumping the gun about not having anyone do a goodbye thing for me, but I’d be willing to bet good money on the fact that, other than the stylists telling their customers that it’s my last day, I’ll leave with no fanfare.

As I said, I know it’s petty, but I just thought I might’ve earned an official goodbye from these people by this point.  If someone who was here for less than a year gets her parting acknowledged, I would think I’d get a bit of the same.

On the upside, it’ll make leaving here just a bit easier.

Also, until I know exactly what my schedule looks like, I have no idea as to my ability to add new posts.  I know–this saddens all of you greatly.

And holy crap I start a new job next week!  Commence stomach clenching in three, two….

I Stand By My Bitchy Opinions

•April 24, 2012 • 2 Comments

It’s interesting to me that several people have been defending Instagram so vehemently.  I guess these are the people who use Instagram as their main source of picture-taking expertise.

Oh…was that bitchy?  I’m sooooo sorry.

At any rate, get over it.

You’ll notice in the original post about Instagram that I didn’t actually knock the people who use their cell phones to capture pictures.  So if you’re bitching about that, fuck off.  Almost everyone I know uses their cell phone for pictures nowadays because it’s much easier than carrying a camera around.  I get.  Hell, I do it, too, even though I usually have my small camera with me.  I’ve seen many lovely pictures taken with a cell phone.  I’ve also seen many crappy pictures taken with a cell phone.   I suppose I should also say I have no problem with Instagram as just a program for taking pictures (though seeing as how most phones are equipped with that ability, why you’d need a program to take pictures is beyond me)…it’s using the damn filters that pisses me off.

Look; you can do all sorts of phenomenal things with just a camera.  Look at some of the pictures that are submitted to contests such as the one the Smithsonian offers; they’re beautiful.  Using a filter to make a picture interesting is cheating; it shouldn’t need an effect to be a cool shot.  So now, all these pictures on FB and whatever all look the same and they all look staged.  Hell, using a Holga camera has pretty much the same effect, but at least that’s because of a defect in the camera itself.

Seriously, if you’re interested in photography but all you have is your cell phone, that’s fine.  You can practice with that.  But practice with light levels and angles and see what you can actually create instead of letting something else do the work for you.  If you want effects in your pictures, use GIMP; it’s free, so there’s no financial commitment and you can actually do all sorts of awesome shit with it, and then your pictures will look like something YOU have created instead of looking like every other damn thing on Facebook.  I can promise you that learning how to manipulate picture on your own is a lot more satisfying than having something do it for you.  If you have the opportunity, use film and a darkroom.  I only had a couple of months experience with that situation, but it was awesome and you can alter photos there, too.

Your goal doesn’t have to be award-winning pictures, but if you’re going to take pictures, at least take your OWN pictures.  Don’t use Instagram’s filters.

To all you hater haters out there who want to defend Instagram and its “virtues,” you’ll be interested to know that a lot of popular search terms that bring people that specific blog are things such as “if you use instagram doesn’t mean that you’re a photographer” and “fucking instagram” and “instagram think they’re photographers,” so…yeah.  There’s a lot of people who are annoyed by pseudo photographers using this program.  Let’s applaud the people who are actually putting forth the effort to take an interesting picture and stop lauding those who want to cut corners.

So fuck you, people who defend Instagram.  Fuck you hard.  And get over it.