Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Why don't you call? Don't you miss me at all?"

Rachael Yamagata knows a thing or two about heartbreak, something a friend and I were talking about tonight at length. Our conversation made me think about something my mom said to me when I was 18, maybe because most conversations make me think about something my mom said to me. Or, let's be honest, the things she'll never get to say to me.

What my mom said was this: "Alison, your heart's been broken enough by your friends and boys alike. It only makes sense that you're going to have to break a heart or two."

Well, Rexanna Hamm was one smart lady, because we all know she was right. And we all know that no matter what side of the heartbreak you're on, both sides hurt for different reasons. I also know that my mom would love Rachael Yamagata just like I do, because Rachael just gets it. (Not to mention her voice. Damn.) Listen to Happenstance just once through and you'll know what I mean.

It's awful when a friend is going through heartbreak, because you know there's a pretty limited amount to what you can do. Sure, you can listen, you can give feedback, but really, you just want to go knock the person out who made her feel that way.

Or, you can burn her a Rachael Yamagata album.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oh, Bitch Magazine. Why must you hurt me so?

If you ever been to a bookstore with me, you've probably watched me scrounge around, looking for the newest copy of Bitch magazine. You've also probably watched me throw a hissy fit when Border's either A) doesn't have the newest issue, or B) insists on hiding it in the back of the Gay and Lesbian section. I mean, that's fine, Border's, put it there instead of the Women's Interest section, FINE. But quit hiding it from me!

I love this magazine. It's my thing. I daydream about seeing my byline in there, and in typical Alison fashion, just keep daydreaming and don't actually submit anything.

So you get it. I love Bitch. Now why must the Bitch bloggers hurt me so? I couldn't even believe I was reading this post today.

1. What in HELL compelled you, as "feminist blog readers," to want to follow the hype surrounding Jennifer's Body? What about this says feminist movie to you: Megan Fox strutting around, being a bad actress, eating high school boys and making comments like "I go both ways," in a preview that leaves a lot of bros with boners gleeful that she might make out with another girl.

Hmm. Boy-eating demons, new wave of feminism!

2. My journalism professor is shuddering at the fact that you called this post and video a review. That is all.

3. Stop watching Megan Fox movies. Stop writing about them. Stop making videos with poor audio about them. Just stop it. I'm depressed I just had to use Megan Fox's name on my own blog.

I think I'm going to have to watch the entire first season of "It's Always Sunny" to snap me out of this bad mood. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hooray, Blogger!

Today I discovered an exciting update to Blogger that I've implemented on my most recent posts: the "Read More" link. Hoorah! Before when I tried to add the necessary HTML code to make this happen, my entire blog exploded. Now Blogger made it easy for me. Thank you, thank you.

Now, my longer rants won't take up an entire page. I hope this makes the rainbow chronicles more enjoyable for you all, my devoted fans! (Please know that I'm cracking up to myself in front of my Macbook at the thought that I have devoted fans.)

But please, please, do me a favor. Read more. I promise you, it'll be entertaining. Well, maybe. It's worth a shot.

On Hitting the Wall, and Getting Back Up Again.

These days, it feels that I’m not just hitting a wall when it comes to finding a job. It feels like I am sprinting into the wall and body slamming it, over and over again. Each week I peel myself off the floor and get back up, ready to sprint. All this sprinting and slamming is getting pretty exhausting. (Almost as exhausting as all these metaphors.)

I keep daydreaming about when I can finally make that victorious phone call to my dad—“I got the job!”—but these days, I’m so disillusioned, I don’t even know what that job would be. I feel like I’m applying for anything and everything I find posted that has the word ‘writing’ or ‘editing’ in the description. Then, I wait. Then, I follow up with phone calls and e-mails.

If I’m lucky, I get a response.

The more time that passes, the more terrified I become that I’m going to be waiting tables until I’m 40.

Nothing hurts the very essence of my being more than that thought.

So what do I do after I body slam the job search wall yet again? I blog. I watch “Sex and the City” episodes. (Yes, “Sex and the City” episodes. I love it. Get off my back.)

Or, like yesterday afternoon, I force myself to walk away from my computer that holds all the jobs I’m not getting, and I go sit outside at Starbucks, drinking a $4 chai latte that I have no business drinking, and I read Anna Karenina. Why is it I feel like a more valuable person when people see me sitting and reading a book than I do when people see me serving food at my job? I need to get over myself. Nobody gives a shit. But the truth is, I sat there and hoped that people thought I was a grad student. Because for some reason, that makes me feel better than when I’m at the convenience store and a guy recognizes me and says, “You’re that Logan girl!” That happened Sunday.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If She Was a Blonde, I'd Tell Her Go Home...

but Mandy's a brunette.

February is too long to wait for Citizen Cope's next album. And not just because he appears to have a penchant for brunettes.

He's on his West Coast tour now...GRRR. Come to Chicago, Clarence. Now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Magical Moments Waiting Tables: The Lesbian Sprinter Edition

Oh, my job. Just when I think people can no longer astound me with their bad manners and inappropriate behavior, a new customer teaches me a lesson. This week was a particularly educational one. The bad behavior started at the beginning of the week, when a middle aged couple got blitzed off of our Oktoberfest drafts at 4 in the afternoon and then began making out and going to second base at the table. But that was nothing—mildly inappropriate at the most, compared to what would happen Friday afternoon.

Let me preface this by saying: Don’t call your waitress ‘sweetheart’ after you demand six drinks for you and your five other friends who haven’t even arrived yet. In fact, don’t call your waitress sweetheart, ever! Especially if your waitress is me. I don’t like it. It makes me angry. I’m not your sweetheart. You call me sweetheart, and I’ll probably still smile at you, but you better believe I’m thinking about smacking you with your menu.

So, after I begrudgingly put in his order for double Stoli’s on the rocks—“Easy ice, splash of Rose’s Lime, sweetheart”—his friends arrive. They’re all military guys, accompanied by one tiny blonde woman who looks rather terrified. (After her fifth Captain and diet Coke, she was decidedly less nervous.)

They are loud and rude. And they all bark at me: “Plates. Wings. Heineken. Lemonade. Lemonade’s sour. Hennessy.”

You get the idea.

Because I’m already growling under my breath before I even take their food order, I decide maybe I should adjust my attitude a little bit. Only one of the guys was actually in uniform, but judging from all of the “Citizen Soldier” t-shirts at the table, I knew it was a safe bet that they were all in the Guard. I decided to make nice.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Headline I've Been Dreading...

I am devastated. I think you already know why. Patrick Swayze died today.

The news is really too fresh for the proper post that the love of my life deserves, so for now, I'm going to watch Dirty Dancing and cry. I don't know if I'm going to make it though. Right now I can barely stand to look at my DD wall calendar. (If you think I'm exaggerating, please consult any member of my family immediately.)

There's also a North and South marathon in my near future. Please don't interrupt me. Although you might want to call me tomorrow around 4 p.m. and remind me I still have to go to work.

For now, I can only leave you with this. And this:

Only my brothers will really get the significance of this clip from North and South to me, but let's just say when I was about six years old, I ran around the house having fake duels with Bent, exclaiming, "Have a cigar!" and "At your service, sir." (Yeah, I know now that they're not actually saying, "have a cigar." Shut it.)

God, I love Patrick Swayze. May he rest in peace.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Art of the Cover Letter

As someone who loves to write, it’s depressing when I don’t actually enjoy writing something. I mean, I even enjoyed writing (most of) my papers in college. But there’s one writing task that hurts the very fiber of my soul, and that is writing a cover letter.

If I could write three paragraphs of pithy self-deprecation, I promise you I’d have gotten a job within a month of moving to Chicago. But nooo, I’m supposed to write a few concise paragraphs about why I’m great. Are you serious? Obviously I don’t feel too great—I’m writing a cover letter and essentially begging you to hire me. I am a hooker. [*Disclaimer* I am not a hooker. But this is how you make me feel, COVER LETTER! Damn you!]

The cover letter is the first of many painstaking steps to getting a potential job. Next, you check your email 65 times a day, or maybe an hour, hoping this potential employer has responded. You jump every time your phone rings, thinking that might finally be the call asking for an interview, only to discover it’s a message from Sprint telling you your payment’s overdue. Or…maybe that’s just me. But, in brief moments of blissful hope and possible employment, you land an interview! Then you get to sell yourself in person.

Oh, the interview.

What’s even better is when you have the interview that goes so well, you leave just knowing, deep in your gut, that tough times are over. In my case, that happened in November, when I interviewed for a job at Northwestern. Clearly my gut, as John Cusack would say, has shit for brains. I drove back to my apartment that day, smiling, daydreaming about buying the fam Northwestern shirts as Christmas gifts. Hmmph. Yeah, I’m not working for Northwestern. In fact, even though they assured me that, no matter what, I would hear from them about the position, let’s just say this: Not only am I not working for Northwestern, I’m still waiting on my rejection.

In this past year, I have gone on no more than five interviews. FIVE! Have you any idea how that compares to the number of cover letters I’ve written? Any idea?

Well, my math isn’t that great, but I’m pretty sure I’m doing something wrong.

So, tonight, as I was pondering how to master the art of the cover letter, once and for all, I had a breakthrough. What would Costanza do?

“I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright, oh, maybe not academically speaking, but I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party.”

I know exactly what you mean, George Costanza. And that’s why I wrote a cover letter tonight, and instead of ending with my tried and true line, “Thank you for your time, and I will follow up with you in the next week to see if I can provide you with any more information,” I wrote this:

“I'm sick of serving beers. I'm ready to use my talent. Please give me a call.”

This was the follow-up to my opening zinger, “I am a motivated, talented writer/editor, and my skills are being wasted while I serve beers and burgers at a Logan Square bar and grill.”

What do you think? Cover letter suicide? Or did I make Costanza proud?

Friday, September 11, 2009

"We're not Mexicans, we're from out of town."

I just woke up from my Kuma's-induced food coma to realize that I now have 20 groupies. Err, followers. Yes! Soon, I will be famous.

This is how I plan to celebrate:

"We don't got no beer—just tequila."

Okay, so in reality, I'm going to go see Inglourious Basterds, but in my mind I'm dancing with the three amigos.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Because I remember when I was you.

A conversation I overheard this past Saturday keeps popping up in my head. I thought about it while I was driving back to Chicago Monday afternoon. I thought about it while I was putting on my makeup the other day. I thought about it while I was waiting on a table last night. It just keeps popping in my head, uninvited, at random moments. I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because it has nothing and everything to do with me.

I was out to lunch in Indy with my brother and his girlfriend. The restaurant was crowded, and the table behind us was a group of loud, giggly young women. My guess is they were freshman or sophomores at Butler—they all had that excited, freshly realized air of independence about them. From my seat, I was facing their table. While we were waiting on our food for what seemed like forever, I was getting increasingly cranky—a combination of being so hungry I was about to start chewing on the tablecloth, and the table of loud women. If one of them giggled one more time, I was going to throw a bottle of hot sauce at them. Basically, I was hungry. (If I’m this cantankerous at 25, can you imagine what I’ll be like at 65? Yeesh.)

Anyway, once our food arrived, I pretty much forgot about them, until I overheard one girl talking to the now silent group. She was talking about someone going through chemotherapy and how it had been really tough so far. “But the good thing is, she hasn’t gotten any mouth sores yet,” she said. By this point, I had realized this girl was talking about her mother. My sandwich, which had been absolutely delicious until I heard that statement, became tasteless. In that one statement, I heard how scared she was, and how much she needed her mom to be okay. I looked up, and the girl who’d been talking was directly across from me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What, there were no women around?

As if we aren't already inundated with Tyler Perry's bullshit movies and television show where he insists on dressing in drag and not being funny, now I've received the upsetting news that he is adapting Ntozake Shange's "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf."

My faithful readers might recall my previous posts on For Colored Girls...not to mention that the choreopoem was a major inspiration for my blog title. Rainbows, ahem.

I'm unhappy. Aside from the fact that I can't think of a single project Tyler Perry's done that I've liked, umm, hello? This is a woman's piece. A woman's perspective is crucial for this piece. Crucial. You can't tell me that Tyler Perry read "for colored girls" and thought, "Exactly. I've been there before." He's not even believable in drag. Come ON.

So he's going to adapt monologues like this:

ever since I realized there waz someone callt
a colored girl an evil woman a bitch or a nag
i been tryin not to be that & leave bitterness
in somebody else's cup/come to somebody to love me
left screamin in a street fulla lunatics/whisperin
slut bitch bitch nigga/get outta here wit alla that
i didn't have any of that for you/i brought what joy
i found & i found joy
i used to joke abt when i waz messin round/but a real dead
lovin is here for you now/cuz i don't know anymore/how
to avoid my own face wet wit my tears/cuz i had convinced
myself colored girls had no right to sorrow/ & i lived
& loved that way & kept sorrow on the curb/allegedly
for you/but i know i did it for myself

This movie should be adapted by a black woman. I don't really see how we can argue otherwise. It's the heart of the piece, and I'm so disappointed that Tyler Perry's not using his influence to do this movie with a talented black female writing and adapting it. He could still produce it! That's fine. Whatever. But a woman should write it, and a woman should direct it.

No surprise that I got this bad news passed on from Jay, via TNC. You can read a couple more perspectives there.

Sigh. Tyler Effing Perry. To quote from "for colored girls":
never mind sister
don't pay him no mind
go go go go go sister
do yr thing
never mind
He better pull this off. Check out these two clips from a performance of "for colored girls." These are two of my favorite passages.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Okay, I know August was not a good blogging month for me. But now it's officially September, summer is officially over, and I took a sorely needed long weekend in Indiana which has given me the inspiration to get off my uninspired ass and blog again. 

However, you're going to have to wait just a little bit longer for a "real" post, as I am still at Poppa Hamm's house. He's making omelets. I'm in heaven. 

While at home, I schooled my cousin Ian on blog etiquette, and I'm happy to see that for once, he actually listened to me and is now following my blog. The visit home has provided me with so much blog material that I'm overwhelmed and will have to spend the drive up 65 plotting which parts to share on the blogosphere.

Do I write about Ian's coyote and black panther conversation? The number of Asians at Rib Fest? The number of white teenagers chain smoking Marlboros at Rib Fest? Scolding Butler undergrads at the Margot & the Nuclear So and So's show? The cat training school my Uncle Roy has encouraged me to start? My dad calling Debbie while in the same house? 

Simply too much material. I'm going to eat my omelet.