Monday, October 27, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

So I've decided that I am not going to law school. After all the work I put in on the LSAT and all the time I spent looking at schools, I finally decided that I really just don't think it's what I want. I know that I would be a great lawyer, and the law and the practice of law fascinates me, but it's not something that I am ready to fully commit my life to. Which is what I would be doing.

As I have been looking at law schools, I've really been thinking hard about why I want to go to law school. What got me started on the idea and where did I see myself going? On almost every application, they ask you to write an essay about what you love about the law (or why you want to study the law, or what you will bring to the school in terms of studying the get the picture). The more I thought about it, the fewer reasons I could think of. I'm not someone who wants to change the world. I'm not someone who is motivated to put the bag guys in their place. I don't want to help corporations or small businesses become successful. I don't want to see justice served. The most prominent reason I could think of was that I wanted to do something that would be a career and something that I would be successful in. The thought of whether or not it was something I really had a passion for hadn't even crossed my mind.

Neither of my parents went to college. My dad's chosen profession is something that he is really good at, but something he never had any success in. My mom is basically a housewife who had part time positions just to help pay the bills. My dad is no longer really doing what he chose to do, but is rather doing what will pay the bills. My mom does nothing. I don't want that life.

So what do I want? Happiness. Security. A job that I don't dread going to each and every day. Making some money in the process would be nice too. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get all of this...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our generation's Civil Rights Movement

I, like most of the people I know, am following the election. I am pretty sure of who and what I am voting for, but today, I read something that made me think. Sarah Palin has said that she thinks gay marriage is wrong and that she believes there should be a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. While this doesn't surprise me at all, i have yet to find someone who can describe to me a rational and logical reason to ban gay marriage. There are people everywhere who are for banning it based on religious beliefs, as well as moral beliefs, but no one has really brought me a good reason as to why it should not be allowed. Then began to wonder if this is what it was like for the Civil Rights Movement?

In 1958, a black woman and a white man in Virginia married outside of the state and, after returning, they were indicted on being in violation of Virginia's laws prohibiting marriage between people of different races. They were sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended on the condition they do no return to Virginia together for 5 years. They took their case to the Supreme Court, eventually getting the decision overturned in 1967, ending racial based marriage bans. The reason I bring this one up is because I feel the reasoning in this case is extremely similar to the reasoning I hear against gay marriage.

In the case, the judge cited the Bible by saying (and I'm paraphrasing here so don't sue me) that God put all of us on separate continents for a reason, and that God does not want them to intermix. Now, people are saying that marriage should only be between a man and a woman because that's what the Bible says. It's what their religion teaches them, and while I am not faulting them for believing in the Bible, I am faulting for them for making decisions that will affect millions of people in this country based on their religious beliefs.

I am not a religious person nor am I a gay person, so i feel that maybe I don't have the best perspective on the subject. I believe that marriage should be between two people who love each other, regardless of their sex, race, religion, disabilities, height, weight, etc. If two people want to be married, I think they should be allowed to and it is really hard for me to grasp why that is so difficult for people to accept. I cannot understand how people can be so angered by racism, yet not see this as just another form of discrimination. It makes me very sad that people think that being allowed to marry someone you love and have that marriage be acknowledged legally should only be a right straight people have.

I am, of course, open to rational, non-discriminatory, non-religious points of view, but so far, the only ones I have gotten stem from religion. My dad is the only one who says he doesn't think it's a good idea for California because then everyone will come here and our population will increase even more than it already has, causing greater problems within our state's economy. But, overall, as a country, I haven't heard a good reason not to allow gay people to get married. Until I do, I think this issue is going to continue to frustrate me...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A social life! (or something like it)

It's amazing. When I actually put forth the effort and was insistent on getting people together, and had no expectations on the level of fun we would have, it was a blast!

Alec and I decided to got
to $1 Taco on Monday night, which I haven't been to in a very long time. It was actually more me constantly badgering him into it and him finally giving in because he knew I would never leave him alone about it, but hey, going out is going out. I invited Chad and Coach because they are really cool people I work with and want to get to know them more outside of Hell otherwise known at Starbucks. Chad joined us and Coach flaked because she had to work early in the morning, which all of us can understand.

The three of us get to Barragan's and I, of course, am dying for a margarita and the boys split a pitcher of beer. I was the only one eating but that never stops me and I got my $1 tacos, that are shitty if they cost any more than a buck, but I can deal with crap food for cheap. And the margaritas are AWESOME, so I deal. After 2 margaritas and the pitcher, we decide to go to Timmy Nolan's and continue the fun.

We all split a pitcher and have the best waiter EVER! His name was Steve and he was from Indiana. He was one of those waiters who had a rough night and sat down with us every chance he got. He gave me a link to something on YouTube that I promptly lost, but it was still cool. He ended up picking up our last pitcher, which always makes me happy.

Chad, Alec and I, for some weird reason, get along really great. We are all so different, yet when we started talking, we found that there were a lot of things we could talk about and learn from each other. Alec is from Virginia and a conservative (at least by my standards) background, but he is well-read and a lot of fun. Chad is from Burbank and has never left, but is not a stuck in it as I would have originally thought. Growing older, I find that it's harder to connect with new people and really get to know them, but it's amazing what a couple of pitchers of Hef will do! :)

We ended up calling another guy we work with, Michael, who is even more different than all of us, but he is so great and fun! He is a gay guy from Orange County who has so much energy and is so full of life, it's contagious!

The four of us then headed over to the local 24 hour diner, Coral. I find that Coral is only good in the hours between 12 and 4 am, especially so when you're buzzed. We stayed there until almost 3 am, just sitting in the booth talking.

Overall, the night was not one that is going in the record books as a crazy night or one that was extraordinary, but it was just fun to be out chilling with new people. Even if we weren't drinking, I think it would have been a ton of fun. At the same time, I don't want to put too much pressure or think too much of my new friendships. I feel like every time I get excited to be hanging out with people, it ends up being nothing more than just one night of fun. But, if that's all this was and the four of us don't ever hang out again, at least I had one good night of living!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend woes...

You would think that after everything, I would learn not to get too excited about things like friends coming out from across the country. But no, I never fuckin learn...

It really wasn't as bad as somethings, and she could have not come at all, which would have made my weekend just boring instead of crappy. It's a toss up as to which is worse.

I'm not going to put her real name here because I don't want to air all her shit, so I'm gonna call her Gigi after a character from He's Just not that Into You. (Sidenote: a really fun read for anyone, even those in a relationship)

She comes in on Thursday at like 10ish, after which she is supposed to call me so I can come over to say hi. I text her at like 11 because I have visions of her plane crashing in the desert never to be found and if I don't raise the alarm, no one will ever find the passengers who have starting eating the dead in order to survive. (Does it make sense now why I am so paranoid about flying?) She says she's fine and she'll call me tomorrow. Ok, I think, she's tired from flying and we will hang tomorrow when I get off work.

I don't hear from G all day on Friday, until about 5:30pm when she comes into work to grab drinks for her and her siblings. I take my break so I can talk to her for a few and find out what's going on that night. She tells me, totally nonchalantly, she and her boyfriend of many years have broken up. They are still living together and are really good friends, but they are no longer together. She then tells me that she "hung out" with a guy who took her to our prom that we found out later was not actually 18 as he had told us, but was 16. He had some other shady qualities, but I don't really need to get into them. Anyway, she went to hang out with him and didn't get home till 7am that morning! Me, being the supportive friend that I am, was totally encouraging her, and I didn't even say the things I wanted to, like how she's too good for him even if he is just post-breakup rebound sex. She tells me we are going bowling with The Fam at 8ish so to call her when I'm off.

I meet her and The Fam (her stepmom, two brothers, sister, a cousin and some of their friends, basically my second family) at Pickwick. We have a really great time because we are all bowling and making fools of ourselves. Her brother, who is like 18, always like to talk shit so he and I of course get into it. Her baby brother (I say baby because he was when I first met him, even though he's 10 now. They grow up so fast!) is the cutest thing ever, trying to bowl like the big kids and refusing to let up get the bumpers, despite my tries to convince him they are for me, not him. About halfway through the first game, after I have already canceled my plans for the night with another friend of mine, she informs me that she needs to hurry the second along because she is going to meet the loser. Once again, I'm being supportive, so I encourage her. Unfortunately, in all my supportiveness, I don't see that she is actually getting emotionally attached to this guy...

We go back to her house, and in an attempt to salvage my night, I start texting to find someone to hang out with. The friend that I bailed on tells me that "he's hanging out with a GOOD friend" (ouch) and Alec is in Anaheim trying to get laid, so that's out. I try Chad, who tells me I can come hang out with him and his buddies, so even though I'm feeling disappointed and a little abandoned, I am at least going to go and have a beer with a co-worker. G, however, insists that I stay until this guy comes over because she is nervous. I do, of course, and then head over to Chad's. He tells me to just find parking on his street and to just call him and he'll come outside. I call him twice with no answer, so I get mad and leave, going home to sleep attempt to sleep off the sadness I feel that I let a friend down and that G let me down...

Saturday promises to be better. G texts me at about 11 am, letting me know how much fun she had ;) and that she wants to go salsa dancing that night. Even though I am a horrible salsa dancer ( I can't follow a lead, like in every other aspect of my life). I pick her up and we head out. We get there at 10ish, but it's dead and she's hungry, so we grab a bite before going in. The whole time we are eating, she cannot stop talking about this guy and why he hasn't called her all day and how awkward it is and how she was really starting to like him and all that other shit girls say when a guy is ignoring them but they are desperate for their night together to mean more than it actually did. I don't say anything, mainly because I don't want to upset her further, and also because I really just want to dance. She is checking her phone every 30 seconds, even when we get to club, and the only time she doesn't is while she is dancing. As soon as she checks her phone, however, she sees that she has missed a call from him so we must immediately go out to the smoking patio so she can call him and argue with him about his level of disrespect and how hurt she is that he is being such a jerk, after which we must leave because she is about to cry.

At this point, I am so angry that I can no longer be supportive, so I just drive her home and tell her I'll be there to pick her up in the morning to go to the airport, to which she tells me not to because she's such a bad friend and will find her own way. I promptly call Alec and we go grab a drink because I have to talk to someone about it, and he is probably my only friend in town now...

While G and I worked stuff out this morning and she knows exactly what she did and why it sucked, it has definitely left its essence on me. I feel like what happened this weekend is what has been happening with all of my friendships. I feel like I am taken for granted by a lot of people, mainly because I really want to be there for all the people I love and care about, but then when it comes time for me to need someone, I really have trouble finding anyone. I used to be the person who had plans with different people every night and would never be caught dead at home on a night off, but now I can't even get my friend who is in town for the weekend to want to hang out with me. I am eternally grateful to Alec because I literally called him and said I needed someone to meet me and he showed up and listened. But at the same time, I don't want him to feel like I am always complaining about everything with him, even if he says "that's what friends are for"

I am a firm believer that socialization is a very important aspect of human life, and that every person is different, so for some that means going out with big groups and for others that means sitting at home with their significant other. For me, it has always meant doing whatever will get me out of the house or out of my room. I find that it's so easy for me to fall into the loneliness trap because it's easy. Socializing takes an effort that I am sometimes unwilling to make, and I don't really know how to break it. I don't call people back or facebook them because it's easier than having to actually communicate with them. Yet, when any of my friends ask me for relationship advice, I always say that communication is key and you get nowhere by staying quiet.

The past few months, I've been quiet. (Shocking, I know.) I have not be willing to make the effort to hang out with people. I make every excuse in the book, but in the end, I'm the only one holding me back. If I don't put any effort out, then no one will make the effort, whereas if I actually work to go out and hang with my friends and keep in touch, then other people will make the effort as well. If they don't, then I'll know that it was no because of me, but because of them.

I guess, after a very long winded (long typed just didn't sound as good) rant, what I am trying to say is that I am going to put more effort into living my life, instead of just existing while the clock of my life ticks on...

Stayed tuned!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The end of Valley of the Dolls...

In an effort to write something on a consistent basis, I'm writing about the latest book I finished, Valley of the Dolls. (Yes, my life is so boring that I am resulting to writing about the lives of fictional characters...) If you haven't read it, then stop now...

The book is all about the 3 "friends" and their relationships, both with people, themselves and their "dolls" (aka the drugs that make them function).

Jennifer begins using because she has trouble sleeping due to the overwhelming demands of supporting her mother, as well as never being able to realize her life's dream of being a mother herself. In the end, she kills herself because she believes no one loves her for more than her body, and finding out she has breast cancer, she will lose her perfect figure.

Neely is a young energetic girl with a lot of talent and uses her friendship with Anne to get a role on Broadway that eventually leads her to big success in Hollywood. She uses the "dolls" to lose weight and to sleep, becoming so dependent on them that she is never able to kick her habits.

Anne is a girl who moves from a small town in Massachusetts to Manhattan in hopes of changing her life. She becomes a successful model but goes through her most of her life pining for her old boss/ex-lover, Lyon. She never uses the "dolls" to get her through life, until she finally marries Lyon and has a child, but has to resort to the drugs in order to escape the reality that Lyon is having affairs.

To start off with, I really liked this book until the end. It has a very negative, yet realistic, outlook on life. Jennifer kills herself to avoid dealing with the loss of the only thing she thinks she has going for her; Neely becomes a monster because its easier than admitting her unhappiness; Anne stays in a bad relationship because it is what she always wanted, even if it isn't exactly what she thought it would be. No one ends up happy and, while everyone achieved success, none of them ended up happy. Jennifer is the closest, but when she finds out she has breast cancer, she gives up because she doesn't think she has anything going for her. Neely becomes extremely famous, but she doesn't know how to handle the fame, so she loses everyone and gains nothing. Anne has the best chance out of the three, but she decides to stay with Lyon because their relationship is what she wanted for so many years.

All three of these women's lives are examples of what happens to women in the real world all the time. While it may no be as obvious or with as many pills, it is something that we can see in everyday life, which is sad to me. I hate the idea that some women settle for men who cheat on them, but they stay because its easy or because they don't think they deserve better. I hate that there are women out there who will end their lives because they believe the only thing they have going for them is their looks and if they don't have that, they are worth nothing. I hate that there are women out there who get power out of genuine ability and talent, but then throw away everything in order to hang onto that little bit of power. The worst part about hating this is that there is really no way to change it. If this book, published in 1966, can chronicle the lives of these women, and that it is still relevant to women today, then how do we change it? How do we make it better?

The one thing I will say is that the book doesn't make any attempts to overtly blame society. It's written in such a way to show that each of these women made individual choices that shaped their lives. Even though it's easy to say that Jennifer's boyfriend's comments about his love for her breasts cause her to believe that he only loves her for her looks, it is also evident that Jennifer did not believe she was strong enough to fight the disease and find herself in a completely new way. Neely's choices are based a lot on the pressure of her profession but she never also overdoes everything and makes bad decisions. She attempts to take the easy way out and ends up making everything harder. Anne moves to a new place to get out of a trap that she has seen her mother and grandmother and everyone else from her little town fall into, only to fall into it herself. While a lot of the problems these women face can be placed on society, I really think that the individual responsibility is written underneath the surface.

The last thing I will say I enjoyed about this book is how all the women are taking the easy road out rather than putting in the work that will make them happier in the end. Anne stays with Lyon, knowing that she will love him less and less as time goes on, but she believes she cannot live without him and she doesn't want to live without him. It would be harder for her to leave him but, in the long run, she would be happier. Or at the very least, she would not be left in a bad marriage. Jennifer can't stand the idea of living without her beauty, so she ends her life. If she had lived, she would have had to find out who she was beneath her beauty and she would have to show that to the world, instead of her breasts. Neely falls into the same cycle continuously because she does not want to put in the actual work it would take to make her career work solely on her talent. She relies on the pills and, even when given the chance, she is unable to give them up.

In the end, I really do like the book. It's easy to read and it's got a good plot, so it keeps you going. I don't think it's the best book I've ever read, but it is definitely worth a read, if for no other reason than to be able to understand all of the random references to it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A new pink DVD player that represents the lameness that is my life...

About 6 months ago, my four year old DVD player that cost about 30 bucks finally took a crap on me. The audio worked, but the video didn't, which kind of defeats the point of having a DVD player. I mean, if I don't want to see the action, then I'll just listen to the radio. (And I don't care what people think, sometimes I really enjoy listening to talk radio. I stress the "sometimes.")

Anyway, I finally bought a new one today at Target. I wasn't going to but it was only $38 and come on, pink? The only way it could have been more me would be if it was purple and came with a free Wizard of Oz DVD. I was very excited to find that it actually works. If it lasts for 4 years like my other one then it will have been totally worth it!!!

The sad part about it is that this new pink DVD player is the most exciting thing that's happened in a long time. I am sitting here, writing about how excited I am about buying a new pink DVD player. I really doubt that it gets more pathetic than this.

I keep thinking back to when I moved up to Berkeley and how lonely I was my first semester. I really hated that I was away from my family and friends and I realized for the first time how hard it was to make friends. I really didn't start going out and having fun until my second semester, when I had friends established and I could focus on learning rather than my loneliness. I think my third semester was the first one where I was happy and really didn't notice it, and then my last semester was the happiest. Even though I knew I was leaving, I made the most of it. I did well and I made some great friends.

Then I moved back home. Don't get me wrong, the first month or two was good. I missed Hoyt like crazy and I missed my girls, but I was glad to be home and to be able to turn off my brain and just work without having to worry about papers or finals or rent. I also reconnected with some of my old friends and made a few new ones. It was going well.

Then, right before my LSAT, i began to realize just how unhappy I really was. I saw that the friends I had had for almost my whole life were either exactly the same and going nowhere, or they were making huge life changes, like getting married or surviving cancer. With the friends whose lives were changing, I felt left out. I had nothing to contribute and no real place. With the friends who were the same, I realized that it did nothing for me to hang out with them. I felt worse when I was with them because I wasn't being myself. As bitchy as it is to say, I was dumbing myself down to fit in, and I am not ok with doing that.

So now, I'm back where I was my first semester in Berkeley. My friends are not here and I feel like I have no one to hang out with. The only friend I feel like I have here is someone I worked at Starbucks with who now works for AAA and has an opposite schedule as me so we never get to hang out.

So, for now, I just have to be happy that I have a new best friend to spend time with: a pretty pink DVD player!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Channeling Left Eye...

Me (in my best customer service voice): Hi, how's it going?

Girl (who's hair is all over the place and is wearing clothes that look like she has been wearing them for a few days): Not good. I just got outta jail.

Me: Wow...(awkward pause) I'm sorry about that.

Chad(who has no tact): What'd you do?


Girl: I found him fucking some other bitch so I slapped the shit outta him, and the mother fucker called the goddamn cops!!!

Me: Wow....(laughs uncontrollably, having to hold on to the counter to keep from collapsing in a fit of giggles)

Girl: And you know the worst part about it? My mugshot was fuckin cute!

Me: Well at least you have a new MySpace pic!

Girl: Thanks, that the first laugh I've had in two days!

Now that's living!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Attempting to change...

The other night, my co-worker Chad told me that my "customer service voice" (basically an uber-fake, bubbly, high pitched version of my normal speaking voice that makes customers think I really love my job and would do anything to please them when in my head I'm really thinking about how dumb they are) has become "diminished." I thought about this and I realized that he was totally right. I no longer am able to fake the fact that I hate my job.

So yesterday, I thought about what I was going to do. I came to a decision that the only thing for me to do is change my attitude because all the other bullshit I deal with everyday at work is out of my control. And to my surprise, it actually worked.

I had to open, which is usually the #1 reason I hate my job. I am not a very happy person at 4:15 am so me trying to be a responsible shift supervisor and be a people pleaser is a lot to ask of me, but today, with my newfound positivity, was really not too bad. Sure, there are things that I had issues with, but rather than being angry and spending the day bitching about it, I just went with it and let it be. My shift went by really fast and it went smoother than any other shift I've run. The only thing I changed was the way I was looking at it and the way I was treating customers. I made a real effort to use my "customer service voice" and it really went the way I wanted it to.

The thing is, it's a lot easier to be angry and annoyed and negative then it is to just be positive and upbeat. If I am surly and show everyone how much I don't want to be there, I no one wants to be there with me. Or, since I complain in such a comical manner, everyone laughs at the harsh reality of what I'm saying and they become negative. It takes no effort. There is no thought or work that goes into it. But a part of living is challenging yourself to become better at whatever you choose to do, so my new challenge is to become more positive and instead of complaining about the things I can't change, I'm going to make the most of the things I can.