January 29, 2012 § 1 Comment
January 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
As you well know by now, I am an artist. But I am not the kind of artist who only hangs out with other artists; in fact most of my closest friends are artists by hobby only, if they are artists at all. One such friend is a cop, which I love and respect about him, but can be a source of conflict when politics are the topic of discussion. While we both belong to groups of largely college educated people performing physical, blue-collar type work, his job-that-spills-into-his-real-life is to serve and protect laws and society as they stand, and my job-that-spills-into-my-real-life is to observe and often question the same. Both are extremely important, but can clearly clash. Discussion of the Occupy movement has been such a source of conflict. As a person who struggles to make ends meet with neither a steady source of income (because the government does not fund the arts) nor affordable health insurance (not at least after I turn 26… thank you Obama healthcare bill), I empathize with the frustration of overeducated, underworked (or overworked, underpaid) people across a country that seems to care more for its corporations than for its citizens. As a police officer, my friend empathizes with policemen across the country who are harassed (sometimes violently) every day by protestors with agendas that are not always pure or aligning with the group with which they are protesting*.
I have always vehemently stood by Occupy, especially whenever my friend would scoff at their antics. But then a couple weeks ago Occupy marched on the Supreme Court. This is the first really big event Occupy has held in DC as far as I was aware, so I paid close attention. And honestly, what I saw was not something I felt I could stand by. I had heard the rumors of people crowd surfing the day before, and when I sat down to watch the videos I was so embarrassed. The woman creating this video, and several people around her, were so clearly searching for conflict, and so clearly misinformed or confused as to their rights to expression on federal property, that instead of pride in my people, all I felt was a great big facepalm.
Example: Woman with a webcam who is way too high up on her horse to realize she’s acting like a total dick:
The frustrations stemming Occupy are real, and important to address. The abuses of corporations on the middle and lower classes are real, and extremely important to bring into a national conversation. But while we’re being real, let’s be real, people. This is not Montgomery, Alabama in 1960. This is not even Tahrir Square in 2010. We have a stable government and our police are, as a group, trustworthy. Protest is a great way to show the people with power who are hiding inside buildings with blinders on that people are upset and demand change. But no one will take you seriously if you’re acting like a spoiled child, if you are acting like you’re at a giant party, or if you’re clearly searching for any reason to become a martyr. Control yourself; it’s embarrassing.
Example: destroying property bought by our tax dollars to protest/party on the grounds of a federal building, which is (rightly**) against the law:
*Also run-of-the-mill jackasses, but that’s a different story
**Because, um, I’m not tryna deal with tea partiers swarming my federal buildings, so it’s only fair to hold my side of the political spectrum to the same standard
January 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’m not generally the kind of person who regrets.
This is not to say I don’t do and say regrettable things, but as a general rule my regrets tend to do with people I have interacted with, rather than life decisions I have made for myself. When it comes to my personal road more-or-less traveled, I always seem to find just as many irreplaceable experiences, lessons, and relationships that occurred because of what I chose as what I might have chosen. That said, I seem to have drawn myself to a fork in the ole life-road. I mentioned that I’ve been accepted at my dream-with-an-asterisk-cause-y’all-know-how-I-roll school, which also happens to reside across the country and be SUPER expensive. I’ve mentioned that I’m perpetually broke no matter what, and that I hate it. I may not have mentioned but you can probably surmise that I still kind of want to keep my education options open, because as much as I love Southern California and salivate at the idea of being back in a classroom, 12-23 months is a long time to leave my life, career, and loved ones.
The hardest part about this decision is, oddly, that I am confident that I will be happy no matter what. Like I said, I don’t generally spend a lot of time regretting*. If I go to L.A., I’ll be warm year-round, get to hang out with my brother and friends from middle school, meet awesome new people, and learn amazing things about my craft from a school that makes a habit of throwing you directly into the business. If I go to New York, I’ll be able to cross “lived in New York” off my life list, get to hang out with friends from high school, college, and the film I just finished, be only a 4 hour bus ride from Mr. B, make awesome new friends, and learn amazing things about my craft**. If I stay in DC, I’ll get to continue to live with Mr. B, hang out with my best friends in the world so who needs new friends, be close to my parents, and establish myself as a designer and a business. Not to mention the fact that DC is the only place of the three that has an actual owner of a design company who wants to hand her business over to me. The question there is whether going to school will help or hurt this endeavor.
So yeah there’s that. And so I’ve decided, in true B style, that I’m just going to work my ass off and let the cards fall where they may. I have landed three weekly part time jobs since I started this blog post over a week ago***, and I’m doing pretty well (IF-I-do-say-so-myself) at scheduling them properly so I don’t get all crazy and lose track of everything and never get anything actually done like last time (and this time, as long as we’re being honest here.) Doing this film, blowing all my money in California****, and getting into school really changed my perspective. I’m ready to move to the next step, and no matter what that step is, the first step is getting my finances in order.
I’m tired of being broke, y’all. RENT is a lie… you can’t be an awesome artist with no money (and imagine the medication bills!). That’s what I’ve learned in the three years of recession since graduating. You can’t be an awesome artist with no money… but you also can’t be an awesome artist with no time. I have no regrets about quitting my terrible tech writing job, because I never would have gotten the film, and I never would have pursued school so doggedly, and I never would have had the awesome revelation I’m laying out to you now.
I need money, and I want to go to school, so at this moment in time I’m putting my head down and slamming through this business we call freelancing. I officially have an unofficial financial advisor, who, as a freelancer herself and also one of my best friends, I find exactly qualified to explain to my poor little artist brain what a CD is and why I should have one. (Also, what savings are, because let’s get something straight right now. I am awesome in many ways, but I do not do math, and I do not deal well with money.) I have exactly the right amount of regular freelancing work, and good amount of promise for sporatic-but-well-paying work, to really think I can do this without 1) running myself into the ground or 2) killing Mr. B’s soul.
I’ll actually stick to my 2011 statement of not taking work that can’t pay for itself (ie. no $200 paychecks for two months’ worth of work… if you don’t work in theater, I’m sorry to shock you. If you do work in theater, represent! We deserve to be paid what we’re worth*****.) No big vacations until after everything is all said and done and I know what will be happening this fall, and exponentially fewer slips of the cash here and there for dinner, drinks, and the like. You know, all the really clear, obvious stuff that you probably already knew and maybe even told me about but I just figured out.
Most important though, I need to figure out how to do symbols other than asterisks, because five in a row-plus-sneaking-some-parenthetical-statements-in is just too many.
*Unless you count being embarrassed that I said or did something ridiculous or uncalled for in front of other humans. In that case I spend a lot of time regretting.
**Also, fabric stores out the hoo-ha!
***I know, I know, and I’m sorry. But it’s just something that is going to happen a lot.
****Did I tell you that’s where I went? I went to California immediately after Christmas, which was immediately after the film wrapped, to be the MOH in a wedding, hang out with some awesome old friends, and then hang out with my awesome brother and interview at The School In Question before coming back broke, jobless, and without a plan.
*****I know most companies have to sacrifice and scrape by in the beginning, but I just can’t afford to spend money to work anymore. Also I have yet to ever be rehired by the same company for more money; all my best paying jobs have been my best paying jobs from the start, so now try to tell my I just have to pay my dues.
January 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
This was is not posed, it’s just how I opened the spice cabinet this afternoon. Priorities, obviously.
*for those of y’all not in the know, this refers to infamously arrogant UMD basketball player, Nik Caner-Medley.
January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Oh WordPress, what did I do to deserve this? I gave you my heart, and you have me a pen. I had a beautiful, heart wrenching post halfway written and you ate it. Just gobbled it right up like so many chipotle burrito bowls.
I can’t. It hurts too much to talk about it.
January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
Seriously this is huge.
Mr. B and I had a very serious talk the other night about the fact that I am jobless and not doing much about it, and it struck me that the only thing I can actually remember finishing of my own accord that no one forced me to finish* was a frame I painted last year in my lofty and, clearly unfinished, goal of finishing all my unfinished projects. So yeah, that was a bad feeling.
So I’ve been riding that wave of guilt and energy and white-knuckled desperation stemming from the moths in my wallet for the past two days, and damn if I don’t have something to show for it. I’ve applied to jobs, applied for scholarships, and upcycled a whole dress! Take THAT future etsy shop that doesn’t exist yet!
Now I just… have an entire closet** more to go.
*ie teacher for a class, best friend who will only be pregnant for so long so I damn well better finish that maternity dress, etc. etc…
**I just spent a lot of time trying to make my phone camera picture pretty enough to show you, but it just made me sad about my stolen camera. Next time, when I’m feeling stronger…