You can’t miss if you don’t swing (and that’s a good thing)

December 14th, 2017, 6:01 AM by Goddess

I have a friend I quote here from time to time. Because she’s brilliant.

Her latest is stuck in my head:

“Life will throw you curveballs. But you don’t always have to swing at them.”

We’ve always been told the opposite. Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” And that man sure scored a lot of points for my beloved Penguins. Other than every Wayne I’ve ever known being a compete douche (and one more follow-up douche moment for the books), wouldn’t you want to be like this particular Wayne?

I don’t have anything profound to say after another night of listening to the neighbors gallop across my ceiling and then the cat yanking me out of bed to feed her hungry belly.

But yeah. Lots of curveballs here.

I’ve felt pretty helpless, swinging at them till my arms hurt. Today I’m going to stand still and let a few whiz by. Let someone else swing. Let someone else endure the injury today. I’m too old for this shit. And so is the screwball lobbing all these blunt objects at my head.

When I grow up

November 27th, 2017, 6:41 AM by Goddess

Now that the unemployment line is staring me in the face, everyone either responds with:

A) OMG what are you going to do?!!?!?!?! #panic

B) Great. You were too smart for that place / it was killing you anyway. Now you can do what you really want to do. Dream big!

I’m not sure which reaction bugs me more. Probably the first one, as it forces ME into a role of trying to comfort THEM and assure them no, I’m not going to drive Stewie into the Intracoastal and meet a watery end. Don’t make me reassure you when I’m the one who’s spinning out. Give ME some hope that the job market really isn’t abysmal, eh?

A friend who used to work with me a lonnnngggg time ago reached out on one of the social media thingies and said she always wondered why I stayed. Too smart for all that, she said. I laughed. I said I stayed because we had amazing people like you hidden in the ranks. It was easy to be a leader when you had people who actually cared about your, and the company’s, success.

I can’t find a job like mine anywhere on the planet. The company that’s supposed to be hiring all of us, well, isn’t. And that was my best bet.

I don’t want to be unemployed. But I don’t want to lose my title or pay, either. That’s why I stayed. Seniority, yo. You get really good at your craft in a niche industry. What happens when you have such specialized skills that they just don’t translate directly anywhere else?

Basically I achieved my dream. So when folks tell me to dream big, well. I set that bar and I met it already.

Look, I’ve been worried about losing this job for six years. I figured it would be my longest-running boss to toss me. He never seemed to “take” to me. And I wasn’t planning to stay anyway. Just wanted to leave for the right thing.

God knows I’ve had offers. Just didn’t hear the right one over the years. Now I’m left to wonder do I go crawling back … or do I dream something up that is completely different — and could completely suck in its own special way?

How do you dream when that’s your mindset? (A little help here, please …)

What the everloving fuck?

November 9th, 2017, 7:40 PM by Goddess

I worked 80-plus hours a week for five years.

Trump still has a job and I don’t.

Whose pussy do I have to grab to get a fair shake in this stupid world?

The hits just keep on coming

October 22nd, 2017, 12:17 PM by Goddess

Sia’s name came up this week.

Well not by name, per se. But I heard the name of the editor who boarded the flight out of Vancouver just moments before she collapsed. The guy who assumed she made the flight … who got a call from their publisher in the connecting city to ask where she was … who assured him that she HAD to have made the flight because she was RIGHT BEHIND HIM. Who inadvertently provided temporary relief that didn’t last long at all.

His name coming up rattled me to the core. I said editing him probably contributed to the sudden cardiac event that took her from us. And another person in the room confirmed that his raw copy was truly a sight to behold, as it somehow went live in his new gig and it was … let’s just say breathtaking.

An opportunity to work with this guy is on the table. I had to ask who his editor will be. Since, you know, I would like to survive this all somehow.

Anyway, I got to thinking about Sia. Whether we’d still even be friends. She had an opportunity to move back to Baltimore. An opportunity that they mercilessly botched and, from what I’m told, resulted in her having a lesser title and pay after they’d raised both.

If you know my industry, you don’t have any surprise left in you. A world of hurt for the good people affected, yes. But it’s been a long time since my jaw dropped about anything.

But after “Lisa VanderPump” left, I would have called her. Call her like I hadn’t been calling her because she worked for LVP’s BFF.

I didn’t want LVP to catch wind how very much I’d had it and wanted an escape route. So I didn’t tell *MY* BFF, who maybe could have helped me or at least talked me off the damn ledge when I needed it.

Just like she hid the bullshit demotion from me and I had to hear about it at her memorial.

How’s that for how fucked-up things were?

Now I can run for any hills I want. Of course, without her up in B’more, I really don’t have any incentive to make our collective dream come true of working together again. There’s no dream left to fulfill.

I’d say “funny how things turn out.” But I’m not laughing.

You’d think I’d be accustomed to missing my friend by now. Since I’ve been doing it for probably two years before she died anyway.

Pam (also, fuck cancer)

September 26th, 2017, 9:27 PM by Goddess

A girl I knew in school died yesterday.

She only started talking about the cancer a few months ago.

Went into chemo a couple months ago.

A few weeks ago, she wrote that she had finished her course of treatment and her doctor was very optimistic.

Two weeks ago, she posted requests for prayers.

A week ago, more prayer requests. This time, from the hospital.

Finally her page went quiet except from posts from friends, calling for prayers.

Then yesterday, the condolences started.

More prayers. So many prayers. For her soul. For her brand-new baby. For her three slightly, but only slightly, older children.

I do pray. Usually to say thanks. I’ve spent years asking for “things” that rarely came to pass. So, I just say thank you.

Today, I will say thank-you for my very brief but very vivid memory of Pam at age 16.

I somehow did not get put into an A.P. History class my sophomore year. No idea how or why. I got stuck in Nick Kapottas’ last-period class. It was filled with the high-school equivalent of “deplorables.”

I could tick off some of their names. And what they did to me. It was horrible. I sat in the first seat in the first row. On a good day, they talked loudly about how fat I was. On most other days, I got gum thrown in my hair.

That was the last time I took a non-A.P. class.

“K.P.” was the wrestling coach. History was not his thing. Hell, teaching was not his thing. He pretty much just tried to sell us hoagies to support the team, and left us to have study halls most days.

The nice thing was, K.P. took a shine to my mom on Parent-Teacher Day. I think they went to dinner a few times.

The nicer thing was, I never had to go to class after that. Not sure what grade I got. Or on what merit any of us could possibly have been judged.

I showed up on occasion. Not sure if K.P. ever gave us tests. I think he had to. And that’s me, all right — happy to show up for the damn test. Probably because I read the textbook in the library instead of going to class.

In any event, Pam was always nice. Never tortured me. Maybe said hello a few times. But she was watching me.

One day she came to me with a bunch of thoughts written down on paper. Said she knew I was a writer. Wondered if maybe I could write a poem for her to give someone.

I did it. She seemed pleased.

I don’t remember much about it. But one line, something about “the pavement shines like silver in the rain,” has always stuck with me. Those were her words. I remember wanting to preserve them as they were.

It was our secret, that we had worked together on that poem. I never knew who she gave it to. Or whether he liked it. Or what made her break away from those stupid people in that class to approach me.

We never really talked after that. But that was OK. I liked it that way. Having a secret ally mixed into that overflowing basket of deplorables was more comforting than I could ever convey.

I was shocked when Pam sent me a friend request on Facebook several years ago. Didn’t know that she remembered me. My heart was happy about that, in a way I can’t explain.

What I loved about her was every post was positive. She went through some shit in her life. But you’d never know it. Lots of pretty selfies with her newest ‘dos. Even when the treatments took her pretty hair, she had the cutest wigs and bandannas. A collection I covet, to be honest.

You could tell she was a loving mom, the “aunt” who helped to raise all the young people in her life, the girl with the mad hair-cutting skills who looked so pretty all the time and donated a whole lot of hair-styling genius to anyone who needed it — at no cost.

I don’t know why God takes the good ones. Pondered that all day, as I do every time someone truly kind is taken from us. Why did she have to suffer so much?

How will that baby boy know that she was my only friend in that stupid history class? Will he be kind like that to someone someday who needs it?

You sure fought hard, Pam. A warrior if I ever saw one. I didn’t know you, but I will always remember you.

Rest in peace, pretty lady. And also, fuck cancer. Seriously.