Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Star Is Born

A handsome old friend (who has recently popped up in a dream of mine) asked today if The Thought Spot has no new posts, does it mean I'm not thinking... And it got me to thinking about the tornado of thoughts I've been living with for the last several months without any real outlet and how rusty my brain hinges have probably become by now. This is unacceptable, my faithful audience of at least one confirmed reader! I will now reveal all - prickly legs and bruised shins - the whole package!

If I remember when we last left off, I was struggling through an unsatisfying job as a salon receptionist. I was engaged in a catty, prolonged battle with the so-called salon manager with horrible linguistic skills, and I am proud to declare that I ultimately won. I drove her completely mad with my physical near-perfection and sharp wit and made her quit without notice or any hope for referrals after her 6 years of slave-like servitude. Even though this satisfied my ego for about two weeks, this ended up being a disaster for me personally. I naturally became the new manager, and immediately realized that I don't ever want to manage anything, especially a hair salon owned by an old, half-senile, self-deluded Jew who thinks himself the local Vidal Sassoon. My cushy schedule of about 30 hours per week turned into an arduous 50+ hours without any overtime pay. If I was at least paid overtime, then the decrease in sex-like activity would have been just a bit more bearable. As things were going during those hellish summer months, however, I was becoming suicidal. My sister working by my side during her summer break helped a little, but not much. Let me just conclude this sad little chapter by saying that by the time I gave my two weeks notice in September, I knew exactly what had made the former salon manager so peevish and short-tempered. I can't account for her inability to pronounce or spell simple words, but I know that her anger and anxiety stemmed from the truly evil atmosphere that permeated that whole place. The stylists were like rabid dogs, the clients like deformed trolls and goblins out of a Clive Barker novel, and the delusional owner who spent his days oiling his unsightly, amateurish sculptures was pointedly oblivious to the demoralizing state of things.

Quitting the salon opened up my schedule to dedicate all my free time to school work. Even though we met for class only two nights a week, I must have spent almost every waking second in the studio suites working on my video and audio editing projects, writing and recording commercials, skits, jingles, etc. That was probably the most satisfying period of time - no stupid job to get in the way of creativity - but it was also the most financially trying. My husband's salary kept us alive and well enough fed, but I can assure you, no exciting new purses or boots were added to my collection of redundant luxuries, and this fact still pains me. At any rate, I did what I had to - made good projects, made connections, forged bonds with my classmates - and I suppose it ultimately paid off. Now the semester is over, and I am second in my class GPA-wise, but I received more awards than any of my classmates for various achievements, and I was voted "The Rising Star of The Class" by all my teachers - a unique award in its own category. Am I bragging? Yes, yes I am. It's nice when people see the plain truth without being told to see it. I may not have the most distinctive speaking voice, and I may not be a good song announcer, but I've got the most unique brain inside this new blonde head of mine, and through my big blue eyes (and my sharp, slightly inappropriate one-liners) others were able to see through my cranium to view this splendid brain in action. Of course the next step is to apply my star-like qualities towards the acquisition of a job in the field, which I am just about ready to start doing. This is the first week that I can actually spend some time at home, and I'm taking full advantage of this rare opportunity to vedge. I have to admit, though, as much as my body is enjoying the relaxation, my aforementioned brilliant brain is restless, anxious for the next exciting thing to happen.

In other news, in my attempts to become familiar with the world of showbusiness, I've gotten myself some spiffy headshots and gone on a couple of auditions, just to experience the sort of interaction that takes place at these things. The only problem is that DC is probably the last place in the world you would want to be if you're trying to act, model, or entertain in any other way - unless of course you're a stripper or a naked model, in which case you're always in need. It's really quite insulting to have to convince the hacky locals of your talents as you read their ridiculous college thesis script with the full awareness that their movie will never ever become anything worthwhile. Another great example was when I went to audition for what was advertised as a part for a car commercial, but ended up being a solicitation for a "spokesperson" for a dealership in some ungodly part of rural Maryland where the lucky candidate's job would be to attend special sales events and greet customers while acting dumb and pretty. There was a vague possibility of a commercial to be shot, but the panel of obese, horribly dressed "judges" (the owners and managers of the dealership) didn't seem to care much about that or about the acting skills of all those auditioning. The question they kept raising was "What does PERSONALITY mean to YOU?! Because we need someone with PERSONALITY!!! " In an attempt to showcase my personality I rolled my eyes a lot and told one of the dealership owners he looks and sounds like Dr. Phil, but I guess that wasn't what the rednecks had in mind. Two days after the hilarious ordeal I, along with the other rejected girls - received an email with a sad face in the subject line informing us that some other lucky girl got the much-coveted part of balloon distributor for this fine auto import retailer. Wow. A sad face in the subject line. These people are clearly seasoned professionals.

Less embarrassingly, I am in the talks with an old acquaintance who now works for a development company about a photo commission for the lobby of a big new office building. I don't want to say any more, lest it falls through and I feel stupid, but this is a guy that has always liked me work and is a true art enthusiast, so I know he'll do what he can to make it happen.

On the personal front things are quiet. My old friend Ruth disappeared during her last visit to the area. She had me pick her up from the bus station, and then just never called me again, even after my repeated attempts to get in touch with her. I can only conclude that ultimately my company wasn't as enjoyable for her as the company of her other friends who unconditionally worship her every word, regardless of its irrationality or stupidity, and I can only wish her the best. I had great hopes for her - her spunky quirkiness used to be so refreshing - but then I realized her youth and immaturity and the sheer desire to be outrageous were the driving factors behind everything she said and did. Her thought process was starting to make less and less sense to me. When asked to articulate how she arrived at a certain idea, she would get frustrated and pick a fight. It would have been no problem for me - I like controversy and enjoy stirring it up among my family and friends - but I suppose for her the blind support of an admirer was more important than the scrutiny of an honest friend. So be it. From her myriad of new MySpace and Facebook photos, she's having the drunken time of her life in Brooklyn.

An old high school friend of mine moved into the neighborhood. I look forward to having someone close-by to hang out with.

And I really miss my dear old Erin. She's busy with school too, so at least I don't have to seethe with jealousy that someone else is taking up her time instead of me. But still. It would be nice to get together for some stiff drinks and cynical commentary on the world at large.

As for my marriage, it's rolling along. I suppose we are now reaching the first real speedbumps in what has so far been a fairy-tale romance. My being so busy lately has majorly cut into our intimacy. Leaving the house at the crack of dawn and getting back near midnight almost every day was so exhausting that it never even occurred to me to have a sexual thought. It's sad, too, because when I look at Thanasi purely objectively, when he's getting dressed for work or doing the dishes or something, I feel truly moved by his beauty and feel very stirred. It just always seems to happen when we don't actually have the time to act on these impulses. We need a tropical vacation, big time! Maybe we can get away for a quick Miami frolic during winter break. That would be wonderful.

p.s. Last week I began my orthodontic treatment. I now wear a bite fixer (retainer-like thing) which makes me sound like a mildly retarded person with a lisp. I am also trying desperately to find a way to fund the making of my new nose - apparently $5,000 doesn't just fall out of the sky exactly when you need it, god dammit! I would take out a loan, but with my student loan and the monthly payments I have to make for my teeth, that doesn't seem like an option right now. So if any benefactor wants to bestow some money on me without the expectation of sexual favors, that would be super.

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