Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunday Top Ten: How to Clerk in SubUrbia While Biting Reality in the Mall

"Somewhere around 25, bizarre becomes immature."
-Janet, Singles

Generation X-ers who preferred The Couch, the poorly-tuned guitar and marijuana to "jobs" and "stable relationships" spawned a sub-genre known as the "slacker movie." These films, best enjoyed when you're in high school and it all seems so far-far away, characterized the unemployed/underachieving twentysomething as a beer-guzzling, television-watching, psychic-hotline-calling, mall-crawling, pot-smoking, shampoo-foregoing, ironic-vintage-t-shirt-wearing quasi-hipster who spends 95% of their time tucking their hair behind their ears and pontificating: "There's no point to any of this. It's all just a ... a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details ..." [Troy, Reality Bites], or "I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now. I can't go to the bar because I've already looked back on it in my memory ... and I didn't have a good time" [Otis, Kicking and Screaming] or "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for Sega." [Brodie, Mallrats] [Unfortunately, I repeated that one many times, usually re: Tony Hawk.]

Basically, if you, as I did, watched Mallrats, Clerks, Reality Bites, Kicking and Screaming, Suburbia, Singles and Empire Records, in one year, your life goal became something like this: Don't be Brodie. Just like: do anything but that. Don't be Winona Ryder on the phone with Miss Cleo. Don't work retail. Don't buy 95% of your groceries at the 7-11.

Most of my peers have chosen traditional escape from the risk of Slackerdom: employment. However, I've long suspected my productivity would, in fact, INCREASE without employment. Due to this succession of events ...

1. The Great Article-Kill of '07 (P.S. I read the mag today, quickly determined: the kill is this woman's fault.)
2. My Girlfriend Getting Mugged and Beaten, thus landing her in the hospital--and obvs I had to visit daily, bear gifts, etc.
3. The fact that I'm moving this weekend ...

... I can't really start a job right this moment. This does not, however, mean I'm becoming Brodie. I don't even know how to play video games, except Mario Kart. I used to like Jeopardy for Nintendo till I learned all the "questions." I didn't have a Nintendo (obviously they were forbidden in the No-Yellow-05-Zone), my friends did.

I've been working at least part-time since I was 14, which's when I made Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad, mopped floors and stole cookies for $4.75/hour ... so, despite what I see as remarkable productivity, I'm applying for jobs AS WE SPEAK. In the meantime, this is how the hours have gone by:

1. Revising my Resume:
Charlane: Why don't you get a job at the Burger-rama? They'll hire you.
Lelania: Because I was the Valedictorian of my University!
Tom: Well, you don't have to put that on your application.
(Reality Bites)

It's always good to revise one's resume. You can look at it and think, Where've I been? And then, Where am I going? Personally, I'm going to CRAIGSLIST! I'm convinced "items wanted" is the best place to make money, not "part time" or "writing gigs." Like, I'm certain someone's hunting for promo-copies of The L Word Season Four. JK; Mica from Showtime, I'd never do that. [P.S. Rumor has it, no Papi next season. Also, the show in general will be very bad. That part's not in the press release, I'm just guessing.]

2. Reading, Mega-Ancient and Contemporary Catch-Up
STAY LITERATE: "If Plato is a fine red wine, then Aristotle is a dry martini."
(Chet, Kicking and Screaming)

Including: Girlbomb (by Janice Erlbaum, reminded me of Blake Nelson's Girl, reads super-fast and smooth and breaks easy into brilliance when you least expect it to), Revelation (BEHOLD!), Collected Works of Rilke, "Thunder Perfect Mind" [I am the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, I am the Best and Worst Girlfriend Ever], dream whip issue no.14, Gospel of John, Exodus, Plato's Allegory of the Cave in Republic, Socrates' speeches in his own defense [Apology, Phaedrus, Crito], Thomas Szasz's "The Myth of Mental Illness," The Dharmabuddha, and begun A.M. Homes' The Mistress' Daughter, The Paris Review Interviews Vol. 1, Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle and the Torah. And of course, more than one magazine and newspaper, and many podcasts (This American Life, The Planet Cast At Last!, NPR Shuffle, Fresh Air, The Rabbi-Cast, Grammar Girl, etc.).

3. A Confession:
THE ODDEST SENTIMENTS ENDURE: "Let's save our Hallmark Moment."
(Deb, Empire Records)

I'm watching Jennifer Hudson and Patti LaBelle do some serious justice to Nobody Knows at the GLAAD media awards on logo right now while I eat my sushi and um ... cry.

4. Meeting the Parents:
STAY PRESENTABLE, BE A GROWN-UP: "On prom night at the hotel when you told me to sleep under the bed in case your mother burst in, I did it. And even during my grandmother's funeral when you told my relatives that you could see her nipples through her burial dress, I let that slide."
(Rene, Mallrats)

TB: "No massive black rims of eyeliner, no PDA (sidekicks or side-grabs), no swearing ... and uh ... don't say 'like' ..."

I got Town & Country-ed up to visit Westchester on a Spring Sunday, to sit on the water with big sea creatures on our plates, discuss topics intelligent enough for the 'rents to like me. Like how we color-coded our towels at The Macaroni Grill, and stuck filthy salad tongs in the salad bowls of our most annoying "Family" members at The Olive Garden [cause as TB's brother pointed out: when you're there, you're family]. Sophisticated. It went well. They liked me. Parents usually do like me. Also they usually want to feed me.

5. Manic Depression, Deep in my Soul:
DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE WORLD: "At least I admit that I don't know. I know that things are fucked up, beyond belief, and I have nothing original to say about it ..." (Jeff, SubUrbia)

As you read; I became wholly obsessed and horrified by that whole gun-killing-people-violence-thing. And could do nothing but yell about it, read MSNBC.com, rosie.com, watch The View, and read about gun control.


What's really funny is that as I've tried to write this blog post, I've started watching television for the first time this week [except for like, one tiny nibble of America's Next Top Model at Tara/Lainy's place. But that doesn't count 'cause we were having educated conversations at the same time. You know, like in Reality Bites.]

7. P.S. This kid's the future:
Leliana: I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.
Troy: Honey, all you have to be by the time you're 23, is yourself.
Lelaina: I don't know who that is anymore.
Troy: I do. And we all love her. I love her. She breaks my heart again and again. But I love her.
(Reality Bites)

Total chess genius. I used to know how to play chess. Now I stare at the board like it's Scrabble and wonder where did my mind go? And then I start to think about the answer to that question: I think it's related, somehow, to that game "Girl Talk." On 112th and Broadway, where Ahmad sells books, he, TB and others play chess, TB gets lesbionic with her acoustic guitar, strumming Hendrix and Zeppelin, while I read Dorothy Parker and Truman Capote interviews and we drink from hidden juice bottles on the sidewalk.

8. Another Day for You and Me in Paradise
GIVE BACK, Y'ALL: "I don't, I don't need money, man. I don't, I don't even need, I don't even need a future. I, I could knock out all of my teeth with a hammer. So what? You know, I could poke my eyes out. I'd still be alive, you know? At least I'd know that I was doing something real for two or three seconds, you know? It's all about fear and I'm not afraid anymore, man. Fuck it! Fuck fear!"
(Jeff, SubUrbia)

My girlfriend's favorite hobby is taking long walks while giving money to homeless people. On Thursday night, we walked from 106th to Times Square, clutching spiked juice bottles, dashing under scaffolding to play tag, which's practically a metaphor for our relationship anyhow: You're it, you're it, no, now you're it ... knock knock ...

We met so many superheroes, veterans, strivers ... one of whom asked TB: Are you a chick? Or a dude? I thought you were a dude at first ... but are you a chick?

She laughed, gestured: totes breasts! Paused. But yeah, I was born a chick ... not into gender/labels, etc., though, y'know?

An Anna Wintour-ish looking woman coldly passed by, large tote-bag slamming into our backs, TB yelled, "It's okay, you got really important things to do in your Prada, yeah? You gotta go check your MySpace, yeah?"

Where Am I Going, Where Have I Been? [a book by Joyce Carole Oates: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? TB bought it at a street-stand for me (We gotta get something from the street-booksellers, support them, yeah? Pick something out? I always liked JCO, envied her productivity, suspected she was slightly un-human.]

For Your/My Reference, Previous hobbies of significant others include:
-"The Yankees!"
-Watching The Big Lebowski in bed, eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos (which probably causes hypertension or cholera).
-Dating other girls.
-Beer Pong.
-Writing Gothic horror films with Joycean overtones, which we'd then shoot in the guest house on his ranch in Oklahoma, and I'd almost pee in my pants watching him select his little farm-boy outfits or when he made his Mom act like a possessed lunatic in Prairie-garb. Obvs, another one of his hobbies was dating boys.
-Dating other girls who happen to work summers as Ariel from The Little Mermaid in Disneyworld.
-Dating other girls who are still in high school.
-Watching whatever movie was showing at the United Artists theater [cause he had free passes, post-management-position] even when that movie was Mission to Mars. Once he made me pick between Pearl Harbor and The Animal. I picked the latter 'cause it was shorter.
-Going to Newfound Glory and Blink 182 concerts, where my BF would recklessly crowd-surf while I ate my fingernails and wished we were playing beer pong so I could pass out on an empty couch somewhere.

Obvs: I've grown/changed/matured as a person. A lot.

Also, while we're on the topic of me indirectly "giving back" ... we tried to go to this Darfur lecture at Columbia, because then we could save Darfur? But we couldn't find it, though we found someone TB lived with in John Jay in a Russian classroom.


In conclusion, I have only this to say:
Why would I need 5-10 years of fact-checking experience to check facts for Forbes.com? How hard is it to check facts? This world is bogus, and mediabistro jobs in particular.


Mercury said...

This post is hilarious. Tara sounds pretty awesome, like someone I'd want to meet.

I like it better, when you talk more about your life and less about the world/nation/media. Dunno why. Your writing is *always* beautiful.

my word ver is 'rjwasxo', which makes me thing of someone named RJ, like Rachel Jones or something, there are so many rachels in the world, I need a fucking less popular name, ANYWAY, she was previously but is no longer 'xo.' Which probably means, like, in love or whatever. Because when you're signing letters and you love the person you write like 'xxxooooxoxoxo' or at least some people do to me, I've never done that. Anyway, an x is a kiss and an o is a hug, right? So she's lonely now.

until next time...

Bourbon said...

This post makes me feel bad about myself, I totally used to give homeless people money but I just don't know what changed...wow I've turned into a total asshole. I also spend $400+ on shades but I used to be broke-di-broke and homeless so it feels like "accumulated" spending, that's not really plausible though, is it? In my defense, just the other night I did buy like 5 homeless people food from mcdonalds coz it was cold. In retrospect, I don't know if giving mcdonalds can actually ever be a good thing, seeing that it is like demon spawn food.

Your post has totally brought to light the fact that I need to help the needy more and I'll be sure to forward all (if any) of the gratitude I receive to Auto Win.

Anonymous said...

my question is at 26 how is working in an office with an ok sounding title and scanning negatives all... day... long ... any better than never getting out of bed?

Tara said...

As you know I've not seen any of these movies except Singles. So ... whoevs this "Chet" person is ["If Plato is a fine red wine, then Aristotle is a dry martini."]--I'm trying my best to out-douche you, Sir. Ergo, If Plato's a fine bordeaux, then Aristotle's really shitty grape juice. Can't stand Ari. Btw, you were totes "Gawkered." Let's go celebrate at Ulysses', in like, 40 mins.

Ruth said...

This post is missing Funny Ha Ha. But that was made recently by someone who is terrifyingly close to our age and not doing any sort of mediabistro job. . .

riese said...

rachel: you sound pretty awesome, like someone i'd like to meet...and *thank you* when i sign something to someone i wanna do, i write "xxxo"

razia: if you think you feel bad, imagine how bad I felt cuz I used to give way more than I do. I remember people would be like "why you give money to homeless people? they're just gonna spend it on crack or alcohol or something" and i was like "well, now they are one dollar closer to getting crack AND food, instead of just crack." then i don't know what happened : my ipod? anyhow, totes redeemed.

smartastic: hmm...it isn't. though exercise is good for the heart.

nyradical: saw you there. xo.

ruth: hmmm...haven't heard of it....overachiever filmmaker of an underachiever film..hot!

Laia Balcells said...

is the woman in the first picture Haviland?

Jessica Ferri said...

i love this post!!!!!! i added you to my links on my blog, i hope you don't mind.

you're fabulous.