Thursday, November 14, 2013

So go somewhere else! (Please?)

Tonight's internet surfing led me to this article = InstaOutrage

Really, you are going to ask other people to pay for you to move to NYC? And what are you going to do once you get here? Oh, that's right, realize it's not going to work and leave

(Or move in with your boyfriend)

 After college I wanted to come to NYC, all my friends moved her instantly. They got jobs or went to (more) school and they lived here. They constantly asked me: "Why don't you live here?"
Simple truth: I couldn't afford it, so I didn't do it. I waited.

When I was looking for jobs (and getting close) my lease in White Plains ran out. I had two options, move to NYC then and there, rough it out with a low salary and a dreadful commute and no money in bank account or wait until I actually got the job.

I got my midtown marketing job weeks after the lease signed. I could have broken it. I probably could have found other people to take over my lease but I had a great friend who let me stay frequently and then met my boyfriend and spent an unreasonable amount of time at his place (insert angry roommates here.)

Then, I had had my NYC job for a year. And it was time. I found a great apartment. I pay a lot of money every month, and it sucks, but I don't have to worry about whether or not I'm going to be able to afford the next rent check. Do I get to write? Create? Be? Sure. Sometimes. Not exactly full time. But I get vacation days. If I want to be productive and "vision" with that time then, I can do that. I might go drinking with friends instead...

But that's just it. It's easy to have a dream. Living a dream, isn't easy.

I like my life. I finally have everything I want (Okay, not those awesome Stuart Weitzman riding boots I saw on HauteLook the other day) But I worked for it. Really hard. I slaved at a miserable job for two years (at one point I made $10 an hour). I worked a second job: opening a gym at 4:30am. Okay, so I was also going through a breakup and working 4:30am - 5pm seemed like a good idea at the time.

Look, don't get me wrong. In a lot of ways, I'm a spoiled brat. I don't have college debt. My only credit card is that one time when I was 18 and got my first card at Victoria Secret and didn't realize that I had to actually pay it (I thought it would magically deduct from my bank account) but on my own salary I can afford NYC.

I have to be careful. My rent is high but my place is great- for the first time i my non-living-with-parents life, I don't share a bathroom (I have my own half bath) and there's laundry in my building. It's awesome! But I do try and be good about how much money I spend on things (Seamless anyone?)

Life here in NYC can suck. It's lonely, crowded, dirty. aggressive, heartbreaking, and maybe a little soulless. You have to fight for every inch. Is it an amazing battle? Absolutely. Is it worth it?
I don't know. How do you feel about closet space?

My point is, if you can't afford to live in one of the five boroughs. Go somewhere else. Please. I hear NJ is cheap.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The blog post that almost was.

I am a marketer. I can't help it. It's how my brain operates, it operated before I even understand that it was marketing. I dated guys who were in marketing. I called my company's marketing department almost weekly to see if they had specific materials for some new group I was trying to sell into. Now of course I understand that my ideas were actually terrible, but that's because I finally learned that marketing is more than stringing words together around a group organized by some socioeconomic determination. Okay, its also that but it's also what words, and what group

TLDR: I love marketing

 The reason I was going on about this is because after ignoring this blog for far too long, I saw there were a whole bunch of hits. Not a ton, but a couple hundred, and for something I haven't really put too much effort into, that felt pretty good. I also realized that my two most popular articles were about boys and dating. I realized that I was going to do a book review, but honestly, though I love reading, I don't really like writing about books that I've read. Most of the time I hate them or really don't think I have anything original to say. Also who am I to be criticizing? At least they wrote a damn book. Grrr...

TLDR: This blog will not be about books. I think I wrote a blog post about that once. Or I did and deleted it. Or I just dreamed doing it? I TLDR'd my TLDR...

Moral: I will write more about boys and clothes. Things I like anyway.

Oh wait, I'm in a relationship and I just moved to a super expensive apartment in BK and can't afford to blow a few hundred every month on clothing anymore. Sad. Maybe I will just write about books...

PS I'm now 28. Ouch.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review VII: Grave Minder

Grave Minder
by Melissa Marr

Another one of my random downloads. This book takes on the "timely" (and/or cliche, overdone, is this still a thing?) theme of zombies and gives it a unique twist.

Here's the thing. It takes a long time for the story to get started and there's all this mystery at the beginning, but this mystery is totally spoiled by the fact that every description of the book has already told you the full extent of the problem: unless dead people in this town are tended by the "Grave Minder" they come back as zombies.
To be honest, I read this, enjoyed it, was sad when it was over, but then totally forgot about it. Even while I was reading it, I knew there was something I was enjoying, but it was like sucking on sugar cubes. Sure, it's sweet, but it's rather flavorless.
The writing was a bit flat. The characters were a bit cliche and there were just too many words. I know I was finished complaining that Gaimon used to few, but this was too many. There has to be balance here people!

I am guessing that this book will be a part of a series as there were a lot of open-ended questions. And obviously the adventures of the Graveminder and her sexy Undertaker boyfriend could go on. I don't know if I'll read it though...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Review VI: Ocean at the End of the Lane

I realize that it's pretty rare that I actually pick up a best-seller these days. Instead, I read whatever I can find under the "free" and "nearly free" section of Nook. Recently however, I was complaining to a colleague about the general lack of quality that I have been experiencing.

"Well, maybe you should try actually paying for a book. You get what you pay for you know. Those books might be free for a reason."

Oh. Well. Okay. Maybe. Fine.

So, with that in mind, I set out to find a "real" book- and Gaimon's was on sale.

I don't remember how much I paid but it was more than $.99, so I was instantly disappointed when I opened it and found that it only had 159 pages and BIG font.

I would say that it left me feeling a bit empty. Gaimon's story invents a wonderful world where kittens come out the ground, a lake is really an ocean, and shephard's pie sounds way better than the kind they were always eating in Harry Potter.

But then, BAM, 159 pages and it's over. Gaimon barely spends any time in this world that he created, instead he seems almost uncomfortable with his fantasy elements, spending more time describing, "how he can't describe" or a face that is only a face so long as one is looking at it, details forgotten as soon as one looks away, etc. I'm sure there were more examples but I've forgotten them.

The details and character development are sparse, although they seem rich at the beginning. Honestly, if it wasn't published I'd believe it really was only a rough draft. The story starts out with great detailing, the color of the car and the grotesque details of the dead man inside. Then the character enters a fantasy world that slowly leaks into their real life as actual details of the story leak away. A throw-away one-liner explains the character's relationship with his father, despite earlier scenes where an entirely different father/son relationship is displayed.

Overall, super disappointing. Even a bit lazy or worse cliche. And this guy is famous. And I paid!

Okay, next time I reading something free.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review V: Nicky Charles- I kept reading

I know that I didn't give this gal the best review.

"Beyond that though, the book was rather flat and elementary. I tried to imagine it without the gratuitous sex scenes and realized that the book would be about ten pages long. It had some interesting elements but honestly, not enough to carry the story. "

Okay, ouch. But then, I read her next two. I guess it's a bit like eating movie theater popcorn. It's not amazing. It's really bad for you (or at least not good) but it's kind of crunchy and the next thing you know you've eaten your entire $10 popcorn. #noregrets

Alright the site disobeys all sorts of web writer rules but these books are free! Which I honestly have trouble understanding. Cheapo-me thinks it's awesome of course but writer/marketing me is screaming, "Oh come on! At least charge $.99 or a $1.99 for the next in the series!"

If she charges for the next one, I would probably buy it because these books have given me at least a few hours of enjoyment as I would say her writing skills have definitely improved as she wrote on and she really took a much deeper dive into the world of werewolves and I really enjoyed that she gave different perspectives on what it was like to be a werewolf.

There was the outsider (Melody) who encounters werewolves and notices them doing things like growling, using strange words like "mate" and "pup", and sniffing. The first book was completely devoid of humans so it was only a werewolf society but the second really made it obvious that these were not just people who were sort of dog-like.
The third book played with the idea of a werewolf who didn't want to be one. Constantly fighting this wolf inside her who "spoke" to her, apparently all of them see their wolves in their minds eye and have conversations with them. And created the power struggle between the two when one was at odds with the other. The wild vs the human.

 Anyway, here is a trailer for the first book (which I'm also impressed that she had made):

Anyway, moral is. I kind of admire this writer. For, if nothing else, for being prolific. And also because has created this world of wolves that coexists within our own, in a believable way. Like I said, they're totally fun reading and a good immersion in a different word. Even if not exactly a mental exercise. Oh, also she stopped having as many gratuitous sex scenes which I appreciated.

Monday, May 6, 2013

And furthermore Susan, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised...

"And furthermore Susan, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that all four of them habitually smoke marijuana cigarettes... reefers." - Smoke Two Joints, Sublime

After reading a New Yorker article about Obama's stance (or lack there of) on weed I started thinking about the criminal consequences of smoking. They are severe. Getting caught with weed could be absolutely life altering, the same way that a DUI might be.


I have been to traffic court and seen DUI sentencing. White women, driving minivans, getting slaps on the wrists for first time offenses. I imagine that the punishment for weed would be similar, again, given your race and class. It got me thinking about one particular incident.

I was looking for rolling papers. Let's say it was for tobacco. Unable to find any, a friend and I went to Duane Reade. He told me there was no way they sold rolling papers (he was right) but further more, he wouldn't go in with me. He was afraid to go in because it would be deemed suspicious. Someone might alert the police to search him. He would have come up clean but he would have been humiliated.

I don't think it was psychotropic-induced paranoia. I believe he was right to be afraid. He is black. He has dreadlocks. He has been stopped and searched on the street before.

Me? The last time I got searched was when they were doing random bag checks (probably a terrorism thing) and I was only person walking through the subway at the moment. They were probably bored. The officers complimented my bag as they half-heatedly peered in, and then they gave me a free trip on the subway to apologize for the inconvenience.

I think it is just one more unfair cog in our system. Why would our law makers bother to make changes when it won't be there sons and daughters who pay the price? There are high priced lawyers and favors to be called in for this sort of minor infraction.

That is why I don't think it is a priority. Because it just doesn't have to be. They can do it behind closed doors. 

It is only their dealers who have to be afraid. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thoughts on writing

I am obsessed w/ Reddit. It's kind of redic. I discovered it recently and have since kind of fallen in love with it. During the Boston bombings I obsessively refreshed the homepage knowing that news would be there long before Google found it. I love their AMA's and memes. Seriously, if you haven't gone on. Do it.

Reddit also has it's downside. "Redditors" are known for being a rather aggressive species, quick to bring up their dislikes and voice complaints. Given that it's an anonymous online forum, this should be a surprise. And sometimes I read things that really annoy me.

For instance the other day someone posted a comment along the lines of: "I work 9-5 and have an hour long commute. Should I quit my job so I have more time to write?"

I expected to see comments blasting the guy.

"No, just write!"
"We all work like that, and still find time to write. You just have to make time!"

One guy suggested he had sleep apnea and maybe that was why he was "tired all the time." This was legitimately the most upvoted comment.


Oh come on. There is no excuse. Writing is hard. And life is hard. And exhausting. But there is no excuse for not writing. You are either creating things from you're brain. Or you're not.

Okay, sure, you *might* have some legitimate medical concern. Maybe. Or maybe, you're just lazy. Some writer recently said (and I'm paraphrasing): "I wish I could steal all the great ideas that I hear from aspiring writers, that I know will never make it on to paper."

Because yeah. Writing is the hardest part of writing.