Friday, April 29, 2016

Back to Regularly-Scheduled Programming

Enough of this whiny bullshit that I've been spewing here! This is just a forewarning that posts from here on out will be about real issues, and they will not necessarily be about my issues. Also, if you don't like curse words or free speech, and you can't handle those things in a rational manner, please just save yourself the effort, and don't read it. It's pretty pathetic that I have to say that this blog is NOT a safe space. This is a space for ideas. This is a place for new thoughts. Don't get your pissy panties in a twist if you read something you don't like. But you know what you can do? You can go fuck yourself if you don't like it.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Empty Tanks and Work

I didn't think that life would be like this.

Go to work.
Come home from work.
Talk about things that happened at work.
Go to bed early so I can get up for work.
Go home early so I can go to bed for work.
Wake up, think about work.

I hate it. I didn't realize my whole life would one day revolve around working. I figured I would be able to get by with a part-time job so that I could focus on my passions, and even make money with them. But the more I work, and the more I move up in life, the less time I can dedicate to anything I enjoy. Not only do I not enjoy things (most things) anymore, but I don't even have time to think about them anymore. All I do is wait around to go to work.

Fucking really? That's it? That's life?

I grew up trying to find a passion. I sought out cameras, and computers, and music, and lyrics, and books and words, and nothing makes me that happy. Nothing holds my attention long enough for me to make a life out of it. I don't understand how someone can become an expert in a field. I just don't care enough.

My life is a big empty tank with a hole in the bottom. I'm always filling it temporarily with things, but eventually, it all drains out and I'm left with mornings like this one, where I know I'm a big waste of resources, and yet, I continue.

What the fuck do I do, imaginary followers?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Great Escape

Well, I don't want to make every update an event, but I do them so far and few between that it always feels like starting a new post is a new obstacle overcome! So, whatever. Welcome back, imaginary followers!

I am hanging out before work, listening to music and wondering why there aren't more jewel-toned blue things on Pinterest. Color of the year is rose quartz, but I predict that this color will be pretty popular by the end of the year. That and southwestern style. It's time for all that junk to come back in.

But anyway, I'm sipping on some cheap, drip-brewed coffee out of a matte Volvo mug and trying not to think about how every second brings me closer to going to work, wondering if this is going to be my life now. Wondering if I'll ever break out of this creative dry spell I've been wallowing in for the past few years. Wondering if I like things enough anymore.

I'm not in a depressive state. At least, I don't think so. I'm just drained. I've focused every bit of energy into this job of mine, pushing myself to get promoted and challenged, and taking on extra things still doesn't help. I'm a leader in my job, but not in my own life. How pathetic, yes?

I've been out exploring more. I thought it might help. But it might've just made me more cranky about how many people there are out there, just bumping into each other, not really doing anything except for absorbing things and soaking up content.

Then, it really made me think about how afraid I am of the fact that I'm just nobody special. Not destined for greatness, or capable of achieving anything I want, or able to become something more than just a happy follower. If everyone started running in one direction, would I just start running? I don't know that I would want that. Whatever's coming, I'd like to know.

Well, this is just mindless rambling, really. I've really got to figure out how to focus this energy on something besides desire to drink and watch Always Sunny and Roseanne reruns. Reruns? Really? Why do I need to spend every night doing that? Ugh.

I think I've been unintentionally doing everything people want me to, without really being conscious of what I want. I don't even know what I want anymore. I envy the biking backpackers that drift through town, and I envy the people who make lots of money on social media just by taking pictures of stuff. How do people just pick one passion and roll with that forever and ever? How do you keep the motivation to just do one thing? I obviously cannot do it.

But, like, I mean the previous statement about just doing what people want me to do. When I first started working with the company I'm at, I was a seasonal employee. Just needed a job. And then, management liked what they saw. They almost began grooming me to get promoted. When I tried to quit, they did promote me and gave me the biggest pay raise I'd ever seen. I was in my very early 20s and I was already making more than my parents. College dropout with a specialist job. Wow for me?
Unrelated picture

And then, the upper-most manager I worked with entered me into a unique management-training opportunity, where I trained to learn how to manage people and keep books and stuff like that. Wow, again? People see things in me! I'm doing so well. So I thought about management.  I thought about more money. I thought about how great it would be to get out of my sales position, since I hate sales. So I started applying for positions and forcing myself to do interviews over and over, even though people kept telling me that I couldn't be in management since I had no experience.

I subjected myself to that until I got the job. And now I have the job. I have more responsibility. I'm making it work. I hate retail, and I hate people, but somehow, I'm making it work. And my upper-most manager of the new place I work has come to me now, giving me a very similar speech about moving up. And I recoil at the thought of taking on more responsibility. But I don't recoil at a salary position. I don't recoil at the fact that the company will help pay for moving expenses if you take a position in a new state.

Money really does talk. But here's my dilemma. Do I continue to move up in this retail big box company, or do I dial it back and focus on my own interests? How long do I have before I won't be able to disentangle myself from this work thing? When do I say, enough is enough, or do I keep letting money rule my life? I need money. I really do. To live comfortably, I definitely need money.

But how much do I need?

I just want to run away from all the responsibilities and have a fun, well-traveled, artsy life. SOS

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Incomplete Something

Ever feel like you're wasting time? Ever feel like doing stuff or going out is getting into your "time-wasting" time? Yeah, unfortunately, this is where I am in life. I don't know how I got here, but all I know is that I get excited when my sim gets to travel or quit her job, and I'm just sitting on the couch listening to YouTube videos and drinking.

What a life.

I moved out here 2400 miles away to start something really awesome. I was so damn excited to move and get a new start, and here I am, doing the exact things I've been doing for the past three years. Maybe my whole life has been a waste of time. Creatively speaking, I've never finished anything.

I start a new project, get excited, tell people, and then I slack off and end up so ashamed that I haven't been working on something that I abandon it completely and push it away in some dark corner so I don't have to face facts that I really haven't created anything.

Things have to change. Starting now. I'm not letting this laziness and lack of ideas and terrible willpower defeat me. I am going to do something with my life. But what?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Tell the Neighbors I'm Coming For Them

Holy shit, you imaginary followers, you! It has been a while. And what a while it has been. I got a fucking raise and promotion, I moved to Oregon, and I felt like I almost died. It's been a ride, and things are so much better. When I was living in Indiana, I forgot that I could be happy. I spent so much time just trying to drink my life away that I fell into this dark, angry depression, sending Brandon into one equally because he couldn't make me feel better. You know that feeling where you're waiting to do things with your life, but you live in conditions that make it impossible to do so?

Eugene, Oregon, is a really weird place. Filled with whiny yuppies and people who apparently don't understand that cars can kill them, Eugene is an art haven and hippie hell. There are a million things to do all over the city all the time, but most of them are vegetarian Hare Krishna chant meetings or Save the Earth-style conventions about how tiny houses are much more sustainable and everything you do as a homeowner is wrong. Don't mistake, I like this place! But hippies aren't my favorite people. Surprise!

It's gorgeous here!
Stupid neighbors outside think they can wake everyone around them with their sawing and hammering. Brandon bought this loud ass fan from a thrift store primarily so that we could put it outside and drown out the neighbors without really affecting us. You can barely hear it when you're inside! I just don't understand why you have to be so loud when you live in an apartment complex!

Side note: one of the neighbors thinks it's great to open up the windows and play a xylophone that is right next to the window. It's not cute. It's annoying. Especially if you don't play a fucking melody, like every musical experience you have is a coke-fueled cacophony in some ongoing art project where you purposely annoy the neighbors and then get indignant when we ask you to close the window.

This cat is the only neighbor I like so far (well, his owner is all right, too). The cat comes over and hangs out with us sometimes, although he prefers ignoring us while he sits in a box or a plastic bag, or whatever we have on our kitchen floor.

When I was growing up, I thought you were supposed to get to know your neighbors. I thought you were supposed to exchange housewarming gifts and ask each other to watch your pets or water your houseplants, but I don't think that's the case anymore. At least, not where I've lived for the most part. Maybe it's because I'm antisocial. Maybe everyone is. I don't know. But can you tell them to be a little quieter, for me?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Umm, Umm, Feminism

Welp, here it is. That inevitable post from a girl on her bliggity-blog about feminism. We made it this far, but it just couldn't be helped. Really, I'm sorry, but it's gone far enough.

So, yes, hi, my name is Alexis. I'm a girl who works in contractor sales in a major hardware/big-box store. I have been playing guitar for eight years now. I enjoy cooking, organizing, and the very occasional scrap-booking stint. I drink beer. I wear exclusively Victoria's Secret underwear. I enjoy playing Minecraft (like a lot). I like puppies and kitties and don't hesitate to pet them. I really enjoy stand-up comedy. And I'm a feminist.

Now, here's where I feel I have to justify to you people. I shouldn't have to, but if I'm going to write this, I'm going to hash this shit out fully so I don't need to come back to it next August.

To me, feminism isn't a cult. It isn't a group of women who use rape culture to instill fear into women and to shame men into simply agreeing to ease the tension. Feminism may have brought out that kind of thinking for some women (okay, a lot of women), but inherently, feminism is a movement brought about by oppression. It isn't the women or the men who support the idea. As Christianity is inherently about the salvation of the people through the death of some dude named Jesus, feminism is "the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men."

Christianity has a bad reputation. Because of some of the particularly loud voices of ignorant folks and the teachings muddled by time and creative story-telling, the message has been skewed. I'm not a Christian by any means, but that doesn't mean I think that Christianity shouldn't exist and that people out there don't need it to get on with their day-to-day lives. To me, an ideology is not about me. It's not about the people, but the message it carries, and the way people treat that message says a lot about the character of a person.

When you see a message like that of feminism's fundamental idea, where the whole idea is that women have, in the past and present, been treated as lesser than that of their male counterparts, and you immediately turn to a woman who believes in the idea, and you say, "I don't need that, and nobody else does either. That is a stupid idea," you are grabbing that idea out of the hands of people who need it, and saying to them, "No. You don't need feminism because I don't need it. You are not as important as me. Also, feminism shouldn't even exist in Western society because it's worse somewhere else, and anyone that has it better than someone else should just be grateful they aren't like those who are worse off."

So, say a child grew up with his parents in a a two-bedroom house in a very poor neighborhood in the city that they rent from the father's boss. The child shares a bedroom with his older sister and sometimes, his mother sleeps with them in their bed. The father is a serious drug addict and alcoholic, and he often gets wasted and beats the child's mother in a fit of rage. He works as a painter and constantly brings home junk from the work-sites that he deems valuable, and leaves it piled to the ceiling in what used to be the dining room. The child has two family dogs, both of whom live in fear of a master that beats them irregularly.

When his parents fight, his sister takes him outside and keeps him busy until things quiet down. Now, his sister is only six, and he is only four, so they don't have any control over the situation. The boy might not even remember any of this. But he is alive, and the school they go to gives them two full meals a day, which is a lot more than they get at home.

This child grows up, not remembering anything that happens to him, filled with hate and rage that he can't understand. He threatens his mother and punches holes in the walls.

But, wait. This child doesn't work in a sweat shop. He isn't part of a child army. So he should be grateful he had two awful parents that, at the end of the day, didn't really care about his well-being enough to figure out a solution to the fights or the poverty. He shouldn't complain, because he had a roof over his head and a warm bed to sleep in, and wet when he slept because of the things he witnessed when he was awake.

Doesn't it make sense that more than one thing can be wrong? Just because one situation is worse than another doesn't make it any less relevant. Do we not want to improve in all aspects of our lives? Or should I just accept my fate as a woman who is spoken to as if I were an object? Am I just supposed to lay there and take it, just because someone else has it worse? No. We can fight for something better.

You can be a feminist and not be someone who cries rape when someone hands her a menu at a cafe. You can be a Christian and not be someone who crucifies a person who heals someone's wounds in a way deemed miraculous. You can be someone who believes in something, and not believe everything that someone else believes who takes claim to a cause.

Feminism is not leveling the playing field between men and women.
Feminism is not crying rape to every side-glance at a baseball game.
Feminism is not making all men take responsibility for all the bad things done to all women in the past.

Feminism is making sure that men and women are both considered as humans.
Feminism is letting women know that they can do what they want and feel okay with it.
Feminism is giving everyone equal ground. It;s giving everyone the same pile of dirt to stand on, and giving everyone the same rules for being allowed to stand on that pile of dirt and say their piece. Now, feminism gives you the right to say something. It doesn't make you right. You make you right. Feminism allows you the ability to say what you want to say and what you want to do. It's up to you to make your voice right.

Feminism doesn't make you right. It just allows you to say so.

And that's all.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jerbs and Jorbs

Work is hard. Working in retail is really hard. It's so hard you can't even button your pants unless you use your belt to keep it from escaping like a leather jail cell. Now you have a big roll of quarters coming out of your pocket and your shirt's not long enough to cover it up. Retail is realizing you hate people more than anything else, yet forcing yourself to come back to it because you get a little more money each time you quell your anger for another day.

Now, I might be okay with being in retail if I had any desire for attention from the opposite sex. Every day, you get some dude (multiple times every day) who thinks his penis is going to be the answer to all your problems. "Hey, sexy, cheer up!" "Smile, you look cuter that way!" "What's wrong, darling? I'm here now."

I'm not saying that it's the lady's fault for doing what I'm about to discuss, so before you get your pissy feminist panties in a bunch, just hear me out.

What happens when dudes hit on you while you're working? You laugh. You let out a nervous giggle and that smile gives that guy validation. Now he thinks you liked it. Even if you were only laughing because you didn't know what else to do, because you are literally trapped at that register and he isn't being violent, and you are afraid to ask him to stop for fear that he will become angry.

When someone says, "Hey, sexy," he is breaking the unspoken professional atmosphere of the workplace because he doesn't think he needs to be professional with you. That is something that, if you do not want it, you should feel comfortable in saying, "Sir, I would really appreciate it if you didn't call me sexy." And he will get mad. I've been there, and I have made that guy angry. I also made his more polite friend embarrassed, and he gave me an apology on his friend's behalf for his behavior after I asked him not to call me 'sexy.'

Note, that when I ask someone not to call me a derogative name, I am not immediately upset with the person. Now, if they act like I am a bitch after I politely ask them to stop, I get angry. I have a right, just the same as anyone else, to expect a certain level of professionalism at my job. My rule of thumb goes like this: if you wouldn't say it to a male salesman (cashier, manager, whomever), don't say it to a female. I am not less of a person, and I will not tolerate being treated like a subhuman.

Being a woman anywhere near a cash register is dangerous territory. Even if you have never operated a register before, you are automatically a cashier to people. I am a twenty-something year old lady, and that is the traditional cashier person. So I get it, I guess. I get paid to design decks and order products that other folks in the store do not know how to get access to, but when I am near a register, people slap their shit down on that counter with such self-loving smug smiles that I want to run away and never work again. But I try to help out when I can, so I run register occasionally.

But when I am taking my vest off, and I am not even at the register with the gun in my hand, and the light isn't even on, you shouldn't just assume I'm going to throw my vest back on and serve you. Especially if I am not a cashier. I am not a "little asshole" for not catering to you, Mr. Man, when I am not even a cashier, and I am trying to go home after receiving an especially frustrating barrage of sexual comments all day long. I'm tired of people, and I am not going to serve you, sir. Just get in the cashier's line and go home, please. Do us all a favor.

I can't go a day without someone trying to hit on me when I am running register. I just don't get that when I am not behind the counter. People treat me differently when I am on the sales floor. I want respect, and if that means asking you to stop calling me baby or sexy, then I will continue to make people angry, I suppose. I am the bitch for wanting the same treatment that men get.

I guess I have to be the bitch if things are ever going to change.