Quitting Time


I couldn’t find out if this girl ever ended up working for Queen Latifah.


I quit my job. I’ve been gone for like three weeks. And it’s been great. Great because I don’t have to deal with any of the insane BS that I used to put up with. I’m still getting texts like once a week from people asking me how to do stuff, but each day the memories of the mall fade away a little more…

In place of my job, I’ve been working at my internship four days a week. It is definitely weird to be on a 9-5, 10-6 schedule. And I basically sit all day, which sucks. But I also learn things!

I’m interning for the news department of a radio station.

Things that I like:
audio editing

Things that I want to be better at:
contacting people
MOS (man on the street) interviews

Also, I still like this video. Mostly because I like the song.

Retail and Shame and Excuses and Moving on

I read this article on The Billfold the other day. It was like looking in a mirror.

Between the inconsistent hours and the lack of good sleep schedule, I didn’t always make the best decisions. I didn’t bring in a good meal from home to work because I had an hour-long commute and a 30 minute break; instead I ran around down the block or the food court to get something to gulp down. I decided to surf the internet instead of writing a decent cover letter because there wasn’t enough time between then and when the bus came. I slept in later than usual because my body let me. I spent six or eight hours on my feet, so I treated myself. These were my rationalizations when I got next to nothing done on a day I had a midday shift or when I got the bare minimum of errands done—depositing a check, doing laundry—on a day off.

I’ve been working retail for about a year and a half. Been promoted, gotten a raise. Hated it, mostly. I’ve made myself indispensable and I get a strange and powerful sense of accomplishment from showing up, solving everyone’s problems, and taking care of business.

I am also not the most responsible person when it comes to money. I don’t say “no” to  invitations and I don’t have a policy of ordering the cheapest thing on the menu.

When you work a shitty job, when you feel bad about your job (when you feel bad about yourself because you’ve always tied self worth to external evidence of success like grades/jobs/salary/title/whatever), spending is a quick pick-me-up. Working at the mall means I am surrounded by potential highs. Pop into Loft and check out the clearance section. Starbucks is practically a necessity at this point. Do I get a thirty minute break today? I’ll be in line at Panera.

I know that it is stupid and wasteful. It is a luxury that I can only afford because I still live at home and don’t pay for things like insurance.

Then The Atlantic published an article by Joseph Williams, who used to work for Politico.

I identified with his feelings of “brainwashing”:

As the learning curve flattened, however, my past life faded over the horizon and I gave up looking for an on-ramp back to journalism. Starved for approval after so much rejection, I started to take a weird, internal pride in my crappy menial job, almost against my will.

I felt a thrill when Stretch gave me a high-five for taking an online order from a customer without screwing it up. I quietly exalted when I correctly diagnosed that a customer needed stability running shoes and not the neutral ones he wanted. I congratulated myself on my work ethic when, instead of taking an unpaid sick day, I pushed through a Saturday shift despite a wicked, can’t-breathe bronchial infection.

Why do I care so much about a dumb job where I’m constantly taken advantage of? Working overtime when I’m supposed to be part-time, making wayyyy too little for how much work I put in, being scheduled my entire birthday weekend even though my boss took off for a football game (not that I’m bitter). Apparently, I’m just that much of a people-pleaser.

I’m ashamed of my job. But I’m good at my job. I shouldn’t be ashamed of my job. It is a perfectly reasonable job. A lot of people work retail. And it is a very nice feeling to walk into work and have people say, “Thank god, you’re here!” But it’s not what I set out to do. It’s not what I want to do. I’m wasting my time. It is a shame that I haven’t fought harder to get out of this. I’m ashamed of myself.

I got comfortable. Comfortable and lazy.

Shame isn’t going to fill out job applications for me. Luckily, I’m not completely lost. I’m taking a class (that isn’t that useful and may be a waste of time but will force to create pieces for my portfolio). I’m doing an unpaid internship (story of my life) in my desired field. I’m not sure what to do next…but I’m trying to figure this shit out.

Just the Tips


Katy and Katie, putting DIYs to the test, so we don’t have to!

I’m not much of a Pinterest gal, but I’ll read Lifehacker occasionally and glance through Martha Stewart Living every now and then (when I decide to blow through money while stuck in an airport). All those crafts and decorations and recipes! I always think the same thing, “I will probably never try that.” It’s saved me tearing out a lot of magazine pages.

Here come Katy and Katie to the rescue!

They best friends and they are hilarious. The Hairpin features their videos, that’s how I first found them, but they are also on tumblr, twitter, and youtube.


Also, truth:

katyandkatie eyebrow game


Under the Dome


I’m not watching this show. I mean I’ve seen like three episodes, but I’m not “watching watching” it. Sorry Uncle Hank!

Saw the last ten minutes of yesterday’s episode yesterday (“Unforgiving Circles”) and this song was playing at the end. M83 insists on being so mumbly.

This is a cool music video.

Send your dreams
Where nobody hides
Give your tears
To the tide

No time
No time

There’s no end
There is no goodbye
With the night

No time
No time
No time
No time
No time

Just for Laughs Montreal

My family went on vacation last week.  We went to Montreal because we wanted to out of the country, but not too far out, and we wanted to speak French, but not too much (any) French.

It’s a nice city. The metro is easy to use and if you get a hotel within a five block radius of the Place des Arts you will be able to easily walk to a lot of attractions. Food is expensive, but there are a lot of options.

Long story short: skip the Passport tickets unless you are willing to wait in line.

The Passports give you tickets to three of their “top” shows, plus a free ticket to another show every day of the festival.

The three shows we picked were (1) SPANK! The Fifty Shades of Grey Parody, (2) The Nasty Show, and (3) Date Night: The Relationship Show. Another choice was The Ethnic Show (darn, it had Gary Gulman, from Last Comic Standing, the tallest, hottest Jew there ever was), but it didn’t fit in our schedule. Also, I think you could pick The Alternative Show with Andy Kindler, but that didn’t start til after we left (story of my life).

  • SPANK! was a parody musical at the Centaur Theater. The audience was 99% women and the show was 100% sex jokes. Just kidding. Like 80% sex jokes.  Dildos, flashes of underwear, a lot of simulated sex. They parodied songs from Into the Woods and Thoroughly Modern Millie and “Hero” by Enrique Iglesias.
  • The Nasty Show was hosted by Bobby Slayton, with Robert Kelly, Bridget Everett, Brad Williams, Big Jay Oakerson and special guest Jimmy Carr. Hannibal Buress (Metropolis shows only). It was at Club Soda (cute name). Tickets are general admission, so we got there about a half an hour early and sat in the balcony.
  • Super freaking dirty. Was I with my family? Yes. Did I pretend that I wasn’t, as hard as possible?  Yes. If I pretended that Harry Potter was real half as hard as I pretended I wasn’t with my parents, I would be drinking butterbeer and riding a broom right now.
  • Brad Williams gives a really impressive lap dance:
  • Date Night was like the Nasty Show but less raunchy.  The current line-up is different from the one we saw.  It was hosted by Godfrey, with Debra DiGiovanni, Robert Kelly (different set, thank god), Bob Marley, and Paul Jersey.
  • Here is Godfrey from last year:

We bought our Passports really early so they mailed us tickets for the Passports.  In Montreal, when I went to book the free tickets online, which you can only do starting at 10 am, I realized I didn’t know our Passport numbers and I would have had to book each ticket separately because we had four Passports (I was worried that tickets would sell out and I would have only redeemed tickets for three of us). The website was totally clogged (maybe because of people buying Dave Chappelle). I sat on the computer for a half an hour and then gave up.

Later I called customer service and waited for like 20 minutes.  I would have walked to a box office, but I didn’t know where to go. I spoke to someone who gave me our Passport numbers, but, because it was almost 3 pm, the box office was closing. Which box office? Great question.

The shows are at different theaters, but at the Place des Arts there is a stage and food trucks and info booths and a box office.  The next day, I waited at that office, when it opened at 2 pm, and was told I needed to go somewhere else. The next day my parents went to the other office and learned that the free tickets are only for certain shows (a few magicians, some one man shows, i think some improv groups), and not for the recognizable comedians.

Blah blah blah. We bought tickets to Maria Bamford.

I love Maria Bamford.

  • She performed at the Theatre St Catherine. It was in a sketchy area (for Canada, i guess). Sex shops and burlesque shows, some homeless people. Moshe Kasher was performing right before her and the Midnight Surprise Show (you could get free tickets to that) was right after.
  • It is a small venue so get there early.
  • Jackie Kashian opened for her:
  • Jimmy Carr and Bridget Everett were there. Omg Jimmy Carr has a distinctive laugh.
  • Maria’s Homemade Christmas Special:
  • Maria’s Ask My Mom series:

The day after we left, Todd Glass, Rory Scovel, and Kyle Kinane started performing. And the next week Tig Notaro, Trevor Noah, and Marc Maron were there. They don’t announce the dates until pretty close to the festival so that is kind of inconvenient if you need to book flights/hotels.

Tickets for individual standups are only like $20 (i don’t know about the “solo shows” which were for dave chappelle, bo burnham, and others, although they probably have cheap seats for those shows too).

Besides the festival…

We went to the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Olympic Stadium and the Montreal Tower, and the Biodome.

All of these were nice, but it’s not like I was paying for them.  When I went to Italy my friend and I were much for picky about shelling out money for every attraction, but since this was a family vacay and this was what my parents wanted to see, I was totally game.  Plus, I like art museums.

Out of all of these, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the best. It is free, except for special exhibits ($20). The special exhibit while we were there was by Chihuly, who we had seen works by in Florida so we were psyched for that. They have four buildings connected underground. It is near Mount Royal if you want to walk up for the view.

Dale Chihuly. Sexy, huh?

The Contemporary Art Museum is good if you appreciate modern and abstract art. had a lot of installations, like a sink with water and fire coming out of the spout and a bathtub and a rubber hose that would poke out of a hole and then suck back in when you came toward it.  There was a weird Lost-like movie by Eve Sussman about an astronaut in a vaguely Eastern European country who could time travel? was being spied on by the government. The movie had no running time and no order because the clips had codes and algorithms triggered a different sequence every time.

There was an exhibit of music videos such as:

The Olympic Stadium. It is an empty indoor stadium.  Jeez guys, make an exhibit or show me some tv clips from the 1976 Olympics.

The Tower. Boring. But we could see our hotel.

The Biodome. Expensive and small. The insectarium and planetarium were not included in the ticket. In the Biodome (you fight to live!) there are three habitats: the rainforest, a polar environment, and a regular North American forest. The habitats are small, it takes about fifteen minutes to walk through each one. It seemed geared toward younger kids. I felt bad for the animals.

Final thoughts:

  • What a nice family vacation! No one got lost or cried or committed international crimes!
  • Bonjour! Hi! Everything is in deux languages! People look like thin Americans!
  • I wish I had eaten poutine but it didn’t happen. Now I have an excuse to return!
  • You go through customs in Canada, before you leave. And you don’t get a stamp in your passport. The airport people are nice!

Oprah, Tyler Perry, and Me

Oprah dancing

A few nights ago I had a weird dream. I was at my old high school, but it wasn’t my school (this happens a lot in my dreams).  There was an assembly and all the students were gathered in the auditorium.  One of old crushes was there.

I got up to leave, but I had this strange feeling. Crouching behind some people, I covered my head and then THE SCHOOL EXPLODED.

Again, this is a dream, so I somehow knew that I survived and actually ended up benefiting in some way. I think the explosion killed whoever was starring in the school play, so now I got the lead? My dreams reflect my cutthroat competitiveness, lol.

Later, but in the dream it was immediately after, I watched a made-for-tv movie about the explosion. Of course the scene I saw didn’t have anything to do with it except that Oprah and Tyler Perry did a choreogrphed old-school hip hop dance in a classroom.  It was Skinny Oprah and Tyler Perry was not dressed as a woman.

When you’re done trying on clothes in the dressing room…

Don’t put it back yourself. Not that halter dress. Not that skirt. No, not even that t-shirt. I guarantee that you will somehow do it wrong and I will have to fix it. We hang things in a certain way and, since I’m getting paid to put the clothing back and you aren’t, I think I have a little more invested in it being done correctly. Also, after you leave, the mean manager will find that size 2 pair of boot-leg jeans that you stuffed behind the size 6 slim ankle pants and lecture me about being conscientious. Let me do my job. Hand me the clothes, hang them on the “go-back” rack, or leave them in the dressing room. Don’t even bother refolding shit. You’re doing it wrong.