Saturday, May 29, 2010


I've had some credit card issues. Last week, I called my credit card company because I had received a suspicious phone call regarding the status of my card. Long story short, I had to close the card and get another one. Sounds like it should be easy, right? Only if you have the patience of Job.

When I called the company last week, I had only one question: Did you just call me to say that my card has been compromised? Because if you did not, someone else has all my CC info, and I'll need to cancel the card. A simple, 'no we did not call you,' and 'ok, we will give you a new number' would have sufficed. Instead, the story had to be repeated several times, to several different people. Most of whom did not speak English. What also didn't help was the immense amount of static over the line that made me feel like I was calling Turkey, though I dismissed this and remained calm, figuring because I was calling at night and using my cell phone. Yesterday I got the card in the mail, and had to go through the rigmarole of 'card activation' in which the company tries to coerce the customer into 'card benefits' that only cost 'twenty dollars monthly.' This monologue is all rattled off by again, someone who doesn't really speak English, with static on the line, though I was calling from a landline phone. NO. I just want to be able to use my credit card. Stop offering me things.

What this comes down to, though, is the problem of outsourcing. My credit card company is an American company. Don't get me wrong: I like my CC company; they've been good to me over the years. And I don't really mind people who don't speak English; I'm not ignorant enough to think that not speaking English is a retardation like many Americans (who, mind you, don't speak even a word of a different language). My point here is that Americans, like me, bellyache over having to talk out banking issues with an accented language barrier that makes everything twice as difficult as it should be. Which begs the question: why are Americans too proud to work as operators for banks? We complain, and yet would not, even as a last option, consider working as a telephone operator. So companies outsource. And then, we complain more because there are no jobs.

A vicious cycle, or American greed, or both? You decide.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tune in Tuesday!

This is the "Let it Be: Naked" version of "The Long and Winding Road," said by Paul McCartney to be a truer version of the song than the one that was released with the original "Let it Be" album. Paul's voice is raw and clear, crooning about this symbolic road, "You left me waiting here a long, long time ago" is sentimental enough to move the listener to tears. The song is about the journeys we all take as people, and that sometimes, inevitably, we leave others we love behind. It's about losing touch, about needing someone in your life even after they are long gone. It's about deep, unrequited, inevitable love: "Why leave me standing here? let me know the way."

When my dad graduated from college in 1977, this is the lone song he played for himself in his room, because he had done it: he had plowed through the forest of his undergraduate career, ready to take on the world, as it were. It's appropriate for graduation, I think, because all of us feel sentimental about leaving a place, and about wanting to take that winding road back there, and the homesickness we know we will feel for a time place that will cease to exist in the same form for us ever again. Sure, we can return to campus, see old professors, perhaps friends that were younger, but it won't be the same.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I AM ALIVE, yet lamenting

Just in case you were wondering.

Also, I'm a little discouraged. CMG showed me an article from the Wall Street Journal, and it has me shaking in my little waitressing sneakers. "A Lament for the Class of 2010" is honest and forthright, but downright scary. It puts forth the truth that even Ivy-Leaguers among us, even the kids with the best resumes on the market, are "entering a workforce that neither wants them nor needs them...They will enter a world where they will compete tooth and nail for jobs as waitresses, pizza delivery men, file clerks, bouncers, trainee busboys, assistant baristas, interns at bodegas." In essence: holy shit. What are the rest of us supposed to do?

We, "Gen-Y" in this article, will bear the brunt of the mistakes of the generations before us, look on while the Baby Boomers greedily consume what is left of social security, facing the prospect of working well into our seventies. We will have to solve the problems of the environment, national debt, health care and other various crises. The author of this article claims that even the children of the Plimoth pilgrims of the seventeenth century had brighter prospects than we do as a generation.

I think the hardest part of this prospect is the fact that, as children, we were told that we could be anything we wanted. Until a few years ago, this seemed pretty true within reason and with enough hard work. A cousin who graduated a mere four years ago was looking at starting salaries between 50 and 80 grand a year. We're happy to settle for 30, not even enough to pay for a year at many of the colleges we graduated from. Our parents worked incredibly hard and brought home fruits that we will probably never be able to bring home, even if we work just as hard.

Perhaps we are simply too selfish. There are more college grads on the market now than ever before. By sheer math, we can't all be making six figures within the next ten to fifteen years; there simply isn't enough money or space. In fact, there's no room for us, seemingly anywhere: perhaps the most innovative if given and chance, perhaps the brightest if given a chance, perhaps the most motivated if given the chance. Problem is, everyone is too innovative, creative, bright and motivated. But let's face facts: the baby boomers and the following generations will get tired, and old, and will retire. But does that mean we will have to wait a decade for a promotion? More and more of my friends are interning: they must work for no money to prove themselves worthy to be hired for salary. Here is a Times article for more interesting reading on the internship phenomenon.

I guess for now we'll all just have to pound the pavement, keep knocking until someone hears us, wait tables until we have varicose veins (which might be by the age of 27).
Oh, crap.

Friday, May 14, 2010

With all due respect, Mr. Costello, school is out

Here it is. The end. Ahead of me: my whole life. Weird. 16 years of's unreal what I know I still have left to learn. From here we celebrate: 14 whole days of celebration. Tomorrow my friends and I will head to my homestead in Foxy town for a mom-made dinner, and from there head down the Cape. Fingers crossed for sunny weather and cheap drinks! Then the liver punishing senior week. Then the end.

What's up after the end? The VINEYARD. Until OCTOBER. OMG, I'm the luckiest girl alive.
I'm going to read. For pleasure. Weird.
I'm going to r e s t.
I'm going to ride my bike.
I'm going to write.
I'm going to wait tables.
In October, I will move to New York.

But until then, visions of sugarplums:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chick Lit

Ok everyone. I'll admit it. Hell, I feel so strongly about this I could shout it from rooftops. I hate, loathe, chick lit. The whole genre is a black hole of suck. I recently went to Borders and was reminded of my amazement at the complete shit that can get published. What really kills me though is the fact that these books are actually best sellers. It's like women don't have brains. It's like all women ever want to read about are cutesy girls that are smart and have really cool jobs (always as attorneys, in PR or advertising) and they meet men who also have cool jobs (in finance, or are high powered attorneys, etc). I'm not saying these are bad professions, but they appear so much in these novels that they are reduced to cliche.

Last summer, because I was trying to go easy on my brain (mistake), I read Emily Giffin's New York Times bestseller Something Borrowed. Ick. Ick, ick, ick. And yet, I could not put the damn thing down, though mostly because it was so ridiculous. I'm sure most people have either read or heard of this book, but I'll refresh your memory. Rachel is a self-proclaimed plain jane who, on her thirtieth birthday, wantonly sleeps with her so-called best friend Darcy's fiance. She spends the duration of the book justifying her actions: telling the reader how horrible and self centered Darcy is, how Dex (the fiance du jour) actually wanted Rachel all along, how nothing in Darcy's life ever went wrong, how pathetic her own life is, how awful her job is. Blah, blah, blah. I get the idea that Rachel just sucks as a person. She is thirty years old! She is obviously smart, and obviously pretty. The only thing keeping Rachel in the shadow of Darcy is Rachel. And why would Rachel be friends with Darcy if she was so horrible? Yet women love this novel. Why? Because we all have horrible self esteem, and always compare ourselves to our friends.

Anyway, this is not the only horrible chick-lit on the market. All these books are the same. Girl meets guy. Something happens that she can't really be with the guy. Time passes. Girl gets guy anyway. And on and on with the dumb fantasies. There are always other factors: the impossible, jackass boss. The snarky, stuck-up friend. Can't someone write something different? Jodi Picoult tried. She ended up writing twenty-some-odd novels that all follow a particular Picoult formula involving a crime, a cop, a lawyer, and a catharsis (in some kind of order). Other chick lit involves coming of age, being in college, first love, blah blah blah. Everything is sunny in the end. Love always exists.

In short, chick-lit is like bad TV translated into a codex with a foofy cover, all written in plain language with bursts of sentences you know the author thought was genius but actually don't make sense. Here are a few gems ripped from Something Borrowed (only because I refuse to re-read any other awful chick-lit I've ever read...sadly I own this travesty of American Literature):

"It is both good and bad at the same time, like drinking too much Starbucks coffee" (85).
-- um, hello, namedrop much? and why is drinking too much coffee good and bad? What a terrible, terrible line. How did her editor let her get away with this?--

"We cross the beach parking lot and climb over the dune, hesitating for a second to take our first collective glimpse of the ocean...The view is thrilling. It almost makes me forget that I slept with Dex" (77)
--Oh please. This is classic telling instead of showing. The view is thrilling. That's nice, how about a little description? But please no, because Giffin's idea of description is talking about Dex's chiseled shoulders. So unoriginal. Also, why does she tag on "it almost makes me forget that I slept with Dex"? Thanks. Like we forgot. Like it's not every other sentence out of this exhausting character's mouth.--

Time to stop. We have brains. We shouldn't be reading this crap. Can't someone, some WOMAN, write an intelligent book, please? OK, time for me to breathe for a minute. Oh yeah, and study.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tune in Tuesday!

1. rolling stones - memory motel

2. neil young -my my, hey hey

3. gordon lightfoot - if you could read my mind

4. crosby, stills, and nash - southern cross

5. cat stevens - the wind

Why I love Paula Deen

Watching Paula Deen on the food network is a serious guilty pleasure of mine. Just seeing the food she makes is instant don't even have to make it to know how delectable all of her buttery, creamy recipes taste. Everything down to her 'little-ol-me' accent is soothing: "just you wait, y'all, this is going to be so delicous" she drawls. Plus her sons, oh! So, so handsome.
My neighbor grew up in the South and makes some of the most delicious, warm, comforting foods around. Something to be said for just some great, down home cooking!

Over Easter my sister and I made Paula's red velvet cupcakes, and they were simply divine, plus pretty darn easy to make! There was LOTS of frosting left over, so much that my sister made another entire cake and was able to frost it!
(picture courtesy Food Network)

Monday, May 10, 2010

SJT's hey! it's ok!

My cousin got married this weekend. A truly beautiful, emotional ceremony, followed by a gorgeous reception at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence. I've spent a relaxing weekend at the family homestead, complete with naps in my twin sized bed and having to walk the dog who only wants to poop when there's a car coming. I wanted to do a little recap of what I've been up to, and I thought that it would be appropriate to mimic Glamour magazine's "Hey, it's ok!" articles.

so: hey, it's ok to:
-not shower for three or four days
-wear your brother's clothing because it's comfortable
-wear your running spandex when you have no intention of going running
-watch 'say yes to the dress' obsessively, then watch 'house hunters', all while researching wedding venues and your area's real estate listings, even if you are not remotely in a relationship
-be a little freaked out when the family from California on 'house hunters international' wants to move to Egypt
-not shave your legs
-quit going to the gym during finals week(s), even if you're not really studying
-take a little break from blogging
-really, shamelessly love some mommy blogs, even if you're years away from being a mother
-surf the craigslist personals for laughs
-get super discouraged over trying to bake cookies only to have them come out flat and hard as rocks (and subsequently worry over whether or not you'll be the domestic goddess your mother is and sister, though four years younger, surely will be)
-want to see 'prince of persia' only for jake gyllenhaal's rocking bod
-wonder how on God's green earth the SATC girls can still be at it...aren't they like 50?
-get mad at your dog when he eats that hundreth pair of your underwear (gross)

Monday, May 3, 2010


Things Tinuh and I need:
real men.


snacks (preferrably a wendy's that delivers)

money for: wardrobes (as ours are exhausted)

a place to live.

A.C. (we're melting in this mid-may warming...)


basically anything to snugs with.

time to: blog, exercise, etc.


We're super cute and pretty smart too. You won't be sorry if you make our dreams come true!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

on being poor

Well that was quite the hiatus. I apologize. Academia, for perhaps the last time in my life, has been making my life nearly unlivable. But, on the same token, it is all so bittersweet. The "real world" will be more difficult than college--right? Alas, this weekend marked the last spring weekend at school ever. Tear. Today my whole body hurts. I magically came down with a cold overnight...though it is quite possible it is simply allergies. I'm going to hope for the allergies, because if I'm actually sick that will be so not fun.

What's on my mind today? Being poor. I am broke. Broke as a joke. Over Easter I looked at my checking account and actually burst out laughing because I had $43. Yup. I thought I was ok and requested a check from my savings until the other day I realized that check also dwindled and I don't have much left in my savings. On Wednesday there was a reception held in the ballroom for graduating seniors and alums. Appetizers, open bar. My friends and I were so there! Upon trying to get ready I realized that I did not a. have appropriate dress pants, or b. have shoes besides my sperrys and my junky Caro St. heels I bought at Payless specifically to wear to off-campus parties (No, Caro St. is not a brand. It's the colloquial name for the off-campus neighborhood surrounding HC). Also, most of the jewelry I own is from Target because I tend to lose nice parents learned early on. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS.

Walking up to the networking event, I cringed with every step I took because the metal posts of my high heels are poking out of the bottom, making a lovely squeaky, metal-on-pavement sound. I reflected upon my wardrobe and realized the full extent of my poverty. My jeans have holes in the crotch (which I have patched, I'm not trying to look homeless), the treads of all of my footwear (sperrys, sandals, you name it) are worn smooth, all of my unmentionables are actually falling apart, and I save all of my laundry to do at home because I don't want to spend the money to wash it at school.

And yet, I have no trouble going to the liquor store. Time to reevaluate.