The job I interviewed for yesterday sounded like fun: sales and customer relations for a high end doggy spa (aka-kennel). Definitely not something I would have considered a few months ago, but it sounded like fun. The salary is far below what I know I need to be able to have any savings or to do anything or go anywhere, but it will pay (some) the bills, and the environment is very low stress. And I love dogs. This is the crossroads I find myself in a lot. Fun, mellow job for no money; or not fun, stressful job for good money. I think after this last job I’m leaning towards the doggy spa. Of course I haven’t even thought about health benefits yet. Chances are I won’t be able to take the job because there are no benefits offered. That has really become the final arbiter of all job decisions.  When I was young I couldn’t care less about health benefits. My bipolar diagnosis and the accompanying meds were years in the future. I never got sick, so why pay for benefits I’d never use? Fast forward 15 years. I have meds I need to take every day; they are really expensive even though they’re all generic, so I could never afford them on my own; I need to see my shrink at least 3 times a year; and I have dental issues that I need to address at least 3 times a year. Needless to say I NEED health benefits now.

“What about Obamacare?” you say. Well, Obamacare is useless for people with certain types of mental illnesses, like bipolar. I CAN get benefits with this pre-existing condition, but there are only 2 insurance companies that offer them for us and the premium is around $700/month, which used to be my rent in 1995 for my studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn. If I had high blood pressure, I’d be set. I’m sure I’ll get there, just give me time.

Oh well, I grow tired of this rant. I’m supposed to call the doggy spa next Tuesday, when I’ll find out which of the 3 jobs they have available they want to hire me for. In the meantime, I hope I get my first unemployment check really soon!

Anyway…I’ll leave you with the image of the book I just started. I SOO do not want to make this blog only about books. The ether is rife with these. I will occasionally drop one or two on you, though. I can’t resist telling you about my latest, photo below. It’s about a stalker, so far, written from his point of you, which is always fascinating to me. I’m into the psyches of stalker and serial killers.

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Trying to keep the bipolar and financial wolves away while unemployed; and, winding up with a little levity, why I love being a curly girl…..

Happy Monday to all! Huzzah!

2nd Monday of unemployment and I feel myself starting to get depressed. Staying home with nowhere to go for at least 8 hours is no fun. I’m starting to go to bed later and get up later, as in go to bed at 4AM and get up at 1PM. Not good. For me. Of course, there are places I can go, but it’s pretty much going from sitting in one place to sitting in the other. Yes, a change of scenery is good, but you can only do so much with no paycheck coming in. I made a vow to not buy any clothing/shoes/jewelry for one year, so shopping is out. Of course, I can buy books (my favorite thing). More to come about the year of no shopping in a later blog.

Lest this sound like it’s going to be a self-pitying rant, I know that one of my  bipolar triggers is unstructured time, hence the reason for this blog, as well as my renewed interest in crocheting. It may not seem like much, but as many reasons I can give myself to get out of bed helps me stay stable. For me, and I think for every other person who is bipolar out there, it’s not all about the base, ’bout the base; it’s all about the mood. (See what i did there? Hey, I’m here all week. Try the veal.)

Alas, I feel the bipolar wolves at the door, even with the excitement over this new blog. These wolves are a lot more scary than the ones with dollar signs attached to them. These wolves bring with them emotional paralyzation, anger, sadness, low self-esteem, and physical immobility.  I spend most of my mental energy fighting all this, and what little I have left over goes to the job search, trying to be a good partner to my significant other, and worrying about money. My ability to reflect about all this fabulousness is brought to you by Big Pharma… aka.. my meds, of which there are 4. In times like this I can actually feel them keeping the dam from breaking. It’s almost auditory; the creaking and bending of the wall, the occasional small crack. I’m a big fan of my meds. Does the dam crack sometimes? OH YEAH. Does it break? NO WAY.  Before my meds, it was non-existent. But as a good friend told me, it’s those near-death experiences that makee you who you are. And anyway, life is no fun without a leee til bit of crazy.

My last occasion of unemployment lasted 9 months. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again. As someone who has searched for job in both New York City and Philadelphia and it’s ‘burbs, I can tell you there are more jobs for me in NYC. There are just more businesses, more people, more opportunity. I have a lot of reasons for not liking PA, and this is one of the biggest. I think about it most when I’m job hunting.

I was talking to my good friend Josh about this, and I realize the biggest hurdle I have to jump is lowering my expectations. I have become a dinosaur in my field, and my field has become obsolete, as well as my high five figure salary. I think the best I can realistically hope for is between $12-$20 per hour. However, one of the positive things to come out of losing my last job is the realization that I cannot function well under stress in the workplace. I just lose focus and my ability to remember things. However much I don’t like admitting this to myself, there are certain things about being bipolar that I have to take into account: a side effect of my meds is loss of short-term memory. This is affected by stress, which makes me useless on the job. I know now that I need to trade a higher paying stressful job for a lower paying unstressful job. Which sucks, but there it is. With that being said, I have an interview tomorrow for an office admin for a high end doggy hotel. I’m pretty psyched about it. Acceptance does bring peace, even if it’s hard won.

On another note, this all leaves me plenty of time to think about my hair, and how much I love it. I look forward to fiddling with it every day. I’m biracial and so is my hair, so I need to become really high maintenance when it comes to it. There was a saying of Liz Taylor’s I think: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”
My hair is my lipstick, I guess. For me, it’s the little things that count, especially when I’m out of a job.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
― Marilyn Monroe

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2 of my favorite hair products du jour-great smelling good stuff

San Junipero, Hang the DJ, and The Smiths

Panic

I want to discuss Black Mirror today. I have filed my first unemployment claim, had my Bustello a’la Aero Press, and I’m feeling contemplative.

I don’t want my blog to be about any kind of reviews, but I do want to share my love of the Netflix series, Black Mirror. My 2 favorites are pictured above: The top right image is for San Junipero, my most favorite Netflix episode; and the right image is for “Hang the DJ,” my second favorite episode.

San Junipero has the only happy ending in 3 seasons of Black Mirror, and Hang the DJ is the happiest ending of season 4, which just dropped a few weeks ago. Of course I watched the whole season the first day it was released. I’ve been waiting 2 years for it, for God’s sake!

The San Junipero so cool, op art image is by Billy the Butcher (seriously, how can you resist that?) for the album cover for the score of San Junipero by Clint Mansell. I loved it so much I bought the T shirt.

SPOILER ALERT! FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE PLANNING TO WATCH THESE EPISODES, HERE AND NO FURTHER!!!

Both of these episodes are about love in the face of really steep odds. In San Junipero, 2 girls meet in a disco in the 80’s (my favorite era). One is really shy and drab,the other is a live wire! They are attracted to each other for some strange reason. While we are chasing them oddly from era to era, they fall more and more in love. We find out that San Junipero is a heaven/haven, for  elderly people who are dying or dead. Their consciousnesses are uploaded to The Cloud, to a place called San Junipero, aka; Heaven. When they’re still alive, they can visit there 5 hours a week. They can either choose to live there forever when they die, or not, and go who knows where. Both of these girls are just visiting, but in the end they decide they both want to stay.  One of them is dead set against it, and the other can’t wait to get there. It’s sweet and beautiful and sad. I’ll never listen to “Heaven is a Place on Earth” by Belinda Carlysle again.

“Hang the DJ” is also about love against some pretty steep odds. Tinder has taken over society in this one, and everyone is part of a system that sets you up with people it has chosen for you, all with the final object of finding “The One.” How many have lived and died in pursuit of The One???

Anyhoo, you never know how long you’re going to get with the person. It could be 2 hours or 2 years. Whatever the length of time, you’re obliged to stay with that person until the term has ended, no matter how long that is. 2 people meet and really get along, but have to split after one night spent talking, fully clothed, over the sheets in bed. They don’t want to split, but they listen to the system. They both spent the next few years with other people, cogs in the wheel of society. Amazingly enough they meet for a second time, and realize they have another chance! To be together they have to take a huge chance against all they have ever known, risking their lives to leap into the unknown.  Needless to say, the ending is a good one, and in the last 15 seconds of the show you hear the chorus of “Panic” by The Smiths: hang the DJ, hang the DJ, because the music they constantly play, says nothing to me about my life, burn down the disco, hannnnggg theblessed dj, hang the dj, hang the dj…” The coolest thing about this episode is that title, because, to get it, you have to know that it’s part of a song that doesn’t have Hang the dj in the title, and the other words in the chorus are the most significant part of the song and what the whole episode is about. Layer on layer. Totally awesome. For some reason that moved me so much. I’ve been listening to that song for weeks, over and over. Besides, The Smiths are one of the best bands of the 80’s, and…ever.

Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with too many more reflections on this. Suffice it to say I love Black Mirror. Coffee and Black Mirror together is also pretty cool.

Anyway, Constant (with luck!) Reader, I hope you have a wonderful remaining Sunday.  Normally I would be trying not to think about work tomorrow, but …not this Sunday. My hope for my next job is that I look forward to going more often than not, and that I’m singing the “I Don’t Like Mondays” blue sooner rather than later.

Cheers!

Coffee Belongs in my Body and on My Body!!

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The Coffee Scrub

So this is the coffee scrub I was dying to dry. Guess what?? It looks JUST LIKE COFFEE! But the best part is, it SMELLS just like COFFEE! I don’t know what I was expecting because it says, like right on the package, that it is THE COFFEE SCRUB. So lo and behold, I open it in the shower and I didn’t know whether to brew it or use as directed. I felt like a giant pot of Cafe Bustello! The smell was amazing! It mingled with the steam and the whole bathroom smelled heavenly. So the directions are to dampen your skin and use 2 small handfuls, and rub in all over your body (especially the problem areas, where your body feels like a Dorito). Leave it on for 5-10 minutes; for me it was closer to 5 because, come on, what am I going to do in the shower standing around for 10 minutes. As I rinsed it off, my skin felt sooo smooth! Better than the salt scrub I usually use. And if you’re wondering, no, I didn’t smell like a doppio espresso when I dried off. All it is is coffee and some essential oils. I think I can make it myself. I always have coffee on hand.

So anyway, now that I have totally wasted your time with this uncompensated product placement, just remember, Constant Reader, scrub early and scrub often!

Soooo, it’s Saturday….Time to Work on my TBR Pile; and, Do I Really Want to go to Hot Yoga, and some bipolar babble.

Another Saturday…for most, a much looked forward to weekend day. For me, it’s now one more day, same as the others. Weekends lose their “weekend-ness” when you’re out of work.

But, this is not going to be a blog about self-pity, why me’s, or any other kind of boo-hooing. I used to subscribe to some Facebook groups for bipoloar people, and I couldn’t bear the self pity on those pages. No one took their meds, everyone was so caught up about the side effects of the meds they were not taking, and all were on the brink of suicide. I had to leave the groups. For the record, I take my meds every day. They are wonderful. They keep me stable, relatively clear-headed, and focused. Well, I don’t want to make it sound like my personality can be found inside the plastic pill bottles. I should say, better, that they ASSIST me in being functional.

I’m never more thankful for them than at times like this, when I have a whole bunch of unstructured time and not a lot of money to spend on distractions. This is one reason why I decided to start this blog.

I woke up this morning all set to go to the Bikram yoga class I was planning on going today at 4. However, when my eyes opened, I dreaded dragging my out of shape body all the way to Jenkintown. I know hot yoga will be great for me at this point in my life. I have a bad back and a really bad ankle. I was made for hot yoga. But…in the winter time, I turn into a mole. I don’t like to go out, put a coat on, or feel the cold air on my face. It’s also really hard to go to that “first workout” in weeks/months/years. Once I go the first time, it will be fine after that. Needless to say, I decided not to go to the class today.  The mole in me won, but I live to fight another day! Probably, tomorrow.

This is what I’m looking forward to instead: (see photo, since I haven’t figured out yet how to put the rest of my text below the photo where it belongs. Just pretend that the below text is under the photo for now. I’ll work on my formatting, I promise.)

I’m always motivated to groom myself, in any way I can. This coffee scrub have 2 of my favorite words in it: coffee and scrub. I didn’t realize I can actually use one of my favorite things to do one of my most favorite things. Thank you, Ipsy! I’ll certainly let you know how this turns out.

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I hope it smells like coffee!!