Thoughtful Thursday: My response to your response to my reponse

My response to your response to my response
is that we can’t keep having this conversation
dragging like heavy stones
over tall mountains
it’s senseless
it’s hurtful
it’s for the best
My response told you that
your response couldn’t mean anything to me
it’s the same old door that we keep
opening and slamming shut
and folding over in endless loads
of durtee lawndree
Your response made me think about crying
but instead I said, “I’ll think about it.”
and turned away
we used to say the right words once
to answer all the wrong questions
now we say the wrong ones
to answer the things we should
have asked before
So my response to yours is that
I can’t listen any longer
to what you have to say
Your response
might be to push me down
pull me closer
solve our grievances with
not words,
but dear
My response is there’s no more love
only fears left between us
these days
and the only thing left
is to let our silence speak our words.

Tuesday with Blammer: The party you just keep missing

Tuesday with Blammer is quickly becoming the party of the early part of the week in Seattle. This gathering consists of primarily Seattle rock musicians along with friends and family and is a tradition started by Blake Madden of the now defunct Hotelsand now funked Beach Dick. They’re dudes, they’re going to be a little funky.  It happens one Tuesday a month at various homes around the city. This month it was hosted by locomotive punk band NighTraiN’s bass player, Selena Whitaker Paquiet, at her lovely blue home the Mlkywayhousein the Central District neighborhood.

This event may have been the best Blammer party yet and here’s why.
The secret to a stellar Tuesday night party is making sure you have a few things in place:
  1. Great Food
If you missed last nights party then you missed Vanessa Kaywood’s Creole “vegan chicken” Quiche, Cornbread and Green Gumbo, Selena’s Red Beans and Rice, Vegan Chocolate cupcakes, an incredible vegan chocolate cake (who made it?), some Milky Way’s courtesy of Rich Allen and the nice bowl of cat food next to those. All of those things were amazing; I went back for thirds on that quiche. However, the hit of the night was Dermot McErlain’s Central District Famous Ribs. There was not a single carnivore in the room without sauce marring their once pristine faces. What should have been required were some bibs, as shirts were defenseless against the smooth, rich sauce. These ribs were deadly addictive and need a warning stating that you may never be satisfied by “others” ribs again.
 “Ribs! Ribs! Ribs!” can still be heard reverberating throughout the Central District shadows. Good one McErlain. Good one.
  1. Good Company
Who likes to be at a party with people that suck? Not many of us that’s for sure. Maybe Perez Hilton because that means he’ll get a lot of good gossip out of it. As for me I have a particular blend of people I enjoy; smart, sexy, talented, salt of the earth people and that’s what I got last night.
Tuesday with Blammer brings a solid crowd of people that even your mom would want to hang out with. They are friendly and like to dance. For anyone unfamiliar with Seattle this is a delightful combination because generally Seattle is the subdued, thoughtful, timid friend that you always drag to parties in hopes they’ll have a good time and meet someone new, but undoubtedly ends up the weeping wallflower complaining at the end of the night.
What generally happens at these parties is people from differing friend groups are invited but they’re all really cool. You meet them, they meet you, facebook friend requests are sent, you seem them at other parties and then sometimes these friendships turn into real ones.
  1. Bands with stellar names that also have of equal quality music to those names
Two bands played last night. It was kicked off by a one night only reprise of Snake Bite, a now defunct band as Sky left to pursue life over on the other coast in New York. Their music is described as “upbeat straight rock with sweet heartbreaking vocals” by NighTraiN lead vocalist Rachael Ferguson. After listening to them, I’m more than a little angry that they’re no longer a band. What teases!
The musical section was dotted by BeachDick, a band fronted by Blake “Dick Beach” Madden, with Brendan “Danny Paradise” Malec on guitar and Aaron “Ronnie Reacharound” Voros on drums. A self described surf punk crunkwave band they hail from all over but now live on the eco-friendly streets of Seattle. They had a ridiculous amount of energy and showed it off in some thrift store swim trunks, tank tops, and flip flops.
I actually felt like I was listening to waves lap the shore from a Santa Cruz beach bungalow, waiting for someone to pass the weed. It was good, really good. So much better than I expected.
Listen to them here and feel a wave coming on: BeachDick
  1. Someone that will post your every moment to facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr
After a good party, a lot of people are going to forget what happened the night before and so you need to have some documentation. The easiest way to get this is to have one or more people with some kind of phone- the smarter the better, downloaded apps, hands, and eyes. They will be responsible for taking all the important pics; every piece of food on the table, people eating that food, funny moments, drunk stumbles, knick knacks, and more.
This will all be uploaded to one of the aforementioned sites and blam! Everyone will henceforward know that you 1. have friends 2. they invited you to an awesome party 3. that you had fun on a school night.
Am I telling you that you should be at this event next time it happens? Well I’m telling some of you, but not all of you. Yes, this is by far one of the best events of the month, but there will be a tipping point where there are too many people and it becomes a loud and raucous party, which is not what we are about.
What I want for you is for you to start your own like minded tradition. Have a dinner with friends. Not just 4 or 5. You already know them! You can do that anytime! Start a dinner that includes 10 or more people; people that maybe you don’t know but a friend does and it might make you feel a little uncomfortable to meet.
I want you to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people and have a damn good time doing it. It doesn’t meet you have to meet a new bestie because I’m sure your bestie is already awesome enough. This is just a chance for you to get out and explore some of the other awesome people in your city, besides it’s no secret anymore that socializing is good for your health and increases life longevity.
I would like to give special thanks to Mr. Madden for starting this tradition, to Chef Kaywood (a real honest to goodness Vegan Chef with mouthwatering food to die for), Miss Paquiet and Mr. McErlain for hosting and cooking some delicious food, all the participating musicians, and all the people that made it out last night for making my early part of the week at the end of the shortest month of the year f’ng awesome. Till next month Blammers!
Creepy mustache dude with a beer cozy + a hot girl

Afternoon Tea with Shaun T

Afternoon tea is an English pass time and anyone that knows me, knows I’m a bit of an anglophile, so what better way than to spend my afternoons after a long day of work having afternoon tea with Shaun T? Many out there don’t know who Shaun T is, which is unfortunate, because he is a cinnamon skinned man with abs so chizzled your eyes hurt from the smack the oil sheen gives you from how hard they pop. He is a fitness trainer and choreographer best known for Insanity, a Beachbody workout system that you can find online.

As for our afternoon tea, it’s a daily thing. He comes to my house and into my bedroom where we “hang” for awhile. From what I can tell, his favorite is tea A greyt time with Earl, mine is Jonesing for Ginger, for relaxation purposes.
I suppose you’re wondering how Shaun T comes to my house everyday.
The truth is he comes as a tinier version of himself and visits me through the 13” space of my computer monitor. He’s my own incredible shrinking man. Everyday around 3:30 we have a bit of tea, also known as an Insanity workout together. He tells me to “squat it out” and “get down deeper!” There are moments when I wonder if my legs might not just fall off if I do one more pulse. I often keep going by imagining Shaun T with a tiny teacup held lightly between the tips of his spongy fingers trying to “get insane” without spilling.
I laugh, “ha! You would have sloshed that one about!” as he does a jump squat or a power jack. Sometimes laughing like this is the only way to make it through one of the workouts when I am tired and would rather be watching Scandal while laying in bed.
At the beginning, I thought that staring at his abs and sometimes his ass whenever he turns to show us “proper form” from behind would be enough to take me through the entire program. What I’ve found is there is no body beautiful enough to make me forget that I am puddling like a ditch with a clogged drain after a hard storm. As the sweat pock-marks my floor while I’m completing drills with push-ups and runs and gasping for air, I can only think, Shaun T, you would have lost your liquids everywhere by now!  
Laughter always gets me through a hard workout. When I can remind myself that not only is this hilariously hard but my body is also getting a tremendous amount out of the workouts, then I can make it through almost anything.
My literal afternoon tea is the water I get to drink during our 30 second rests and at the end of my workout. A cool glass of water is all I need to relax and remind me how alive my body feels.
I’ve got afternoon tea scheduled with Shaun T for another month. Feel free to come over some time and join us for tea; I guarantee you’ll feel nice and refreshed afterward.

Top 5 things I loved and hated about this past weekend

 I’m a fairly positive person and so I like to freely talk about the things I love. I love a lot of things, including but not limited to all baby animals. Sloth, owls, kittens, ewes, whatever, they are all cute. I also love Crime TV, elderly couples holding hands, the sound of Ira Glass’ voice, the sound of Rachel Maddow’s voice, the smell of freshly cut lawn, and more. I could go on for longer because I really do love a lot of things and I’m not super into hate, but sometimes I need to vent. There were some things I really loved about the previous weekend and some things I wanted to punch. Here we go.
5 Things I loved
This video is unimaginably precious. Last week Matty the baby sloth gave a hibiscus flower petal to a lady. I watched this 31 second clip ten times in a row, the first time I watch it. The little sloths tiny smile and the sweet way he gives her the petal then grabs her hand made a few tears trickle down the sides of my nose. If you haven’t seen this adorable viral video yet, then take a few seconds to lose yourself in his kind slothly little eyes, it might just make your day, your week or your year.
2. Learning
I suppose learning should be higher, but there a few things I loved more than learning this weekend. This weekend was one of the weekends where I was a group leader for the nutrition class I graduated from in 2011. I love going to this class because I learn even more about nutrition every time I’m there. This weekend we reviewed the Immune & Allergy and Endocrine system functions.
For anyone who knows me (s)he will know that I love nutrition and enjoy talking about the way food heals us.
            Food = Life
            Food = Health
            Food = Happiness
People often ascribe to the old adage, “you are what you eat.” I truly believe this, meaning if you’re eating processed foods, your body does in fact become an interminable waste land of preservatives and fake nutrients. These make cells less supple, create a stressed body, a stressed/depressed mind, and more.
Your body is your house. How do you feel about walking into houses that are dirty and uncared for? How does that make you feel? Do you want to live in a well cared for house the rest of your life?
I want to state that being overweight is not synonymous with unhealthiness. Eating and acting in ways that mess up and tear down your house are, not weight.
I can’t say enough good things about this co-op. This is a member-owned natural foods cooperative that I affectionately call the Mad-mart. That means that people buy into ownership there to help the store and community thrive while sometimes getting discounts on food. There are lots of locally grown-organic foods with a variety of price points. I will always shop here before Whole Foods any day because I know I’m supporting my community.
            The real reason I’m putting Central Co-op here is that this weekend on my two lunch breaks from class I went here for at least part of my lunch. I bought a sesame, ginger, garlic kale and chard salad on both days and some Synergy Raspberry Chia Kombucha. I did have more for lunch as well, but these are the things I’m most grateful for from the weekend. I literally lust after the Kombucha and when I ate the salad, my eyes teared up. If you notice, my crying reflex is a sign to me that something is really awesome.
I love this store and shop here and at Trader Joe’s almost exclusively for everything. I’m in the lower income range, so I basically get my bulk items like spices, grains, legumes from here and the rest from TJ’s. You should go here if you’re in the area, check it out, love it and become a member!
2. Dinner with friends
Six to seven months is far too long to go without a friend sighting. On Saturday night I met up with a group of wonderful ladies that I hadn’t seen in about that long. These ladies are part of my old Starbucks crew from when I worked down in Leschi. We headed to Saffron Grill in Northgate area for a bit of Indian food.
I felt a pregnant tummy for the first time in my entire life at almost 33. Who really knows what I’d been waiting for? I have this secret fear of holding babies kind of like Robin in How I Met Your Mother and I suppose that fear extends to getting too close to the makers of those babies.
It’s been decided we won’t wait another six months. Friends are important for health too.
            No, I’m not talking about any outrageous events that have recently happened. I’m talking about the show by one of my favorite drama creators, Shonda Rhimes. I didn’t actually happen upon this show until early last week. I kept hearing rave reviews about it, but wasn’t sure if it was going to be for me. I’m never sure if a show is going to be for me until I’m in bed feeling exhausted; not quite exhausted enough to sleep, but too much so to do anything productive. I queud up my Netflix and started the first episode. I was hooked after the first minute. Quinn… got a job for no reason! Ooh… I’ve gotta find out why. And so it goes.
            The first season was only 7 episodes and so I had to move onto season two, which is currently airing on I figured out a way to start on Season two and currently I’m in the middle of Olivia helping… oh wait, I don’t want to ruin it for you. I suggest if you haven’t seen this yet that you check it this weekend. It might just make your list of top fives. It’s deliciously well written and oh so Scandalous!
5 Things I hated
5. Matty the baby sloth
I realize I just said I love these. The only reason this is on here is because I realized after I had watched it for the kazillionth time that I actually wasted a lot of time loving this little dude. I also watched some other compilation of cute animal videos too. There are many other things I could do in place of watching all these wonderfully tear jerking vid’s, like finishing up a podcast or… perhaps I would have just used it watching more Scandal.
4. The Oscars on my facebook, twitter, instagram feeds
The cold hard truth here is that I don’t give a shit about The Oscars. Part of it is because I watched only two of the movies on this years list of contingents: Les Miserables and Django Unchained. I generally don’t have time or money to watch a majority of movies.
The other reason is that I just don’t ever have the urge to sit through what I would characterize as one of the most boring four hour shows ever to grace the television screen. I have seen it in the past and almost gagged on most of the inane jokes told by normally very funny hosts. I can only assume that the comedic guidelines keep them from being funny or maybe it’s just the venue.
From what I hear, missing last nights Oscars was one of the best choices I’ve ever made because of Seth MacFarlane’s miss and diss jokes. I’m sure a few people laughed, but apparently the Family Guy and American Dad creator told a lot of unseemly jokes about race, gender, and class that hit all the wrong places and elicited quite a few groans from the audience.  
I woke up today and realized that the Oscars aren’t going to go away for a few days due to the objectionable humour of MacFarlane as well as some unsavory tweets by the satirical humour website The Onion about Quvenzhane Wallis, a 9-year old black actress up for Best Actress for her starring role in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
One of The O’s staffers tweeted, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c—, right?” I’ve got plenty I could say about this, but at this point most of it has been said, why the hell would anyone in their right mind say anything about a 9 year old being a cunt? I don’t really give a shite if you’re in the game of satire, there are limitations and this is one of them.
Thank you Onion for apologizing, but in the wise words of TV show Last Man Standing,  “words are like toothpaste, once they’re out of the tube, you can’t put them back in.”
Well, I suppose now that The Oscars are over we’ll go on to caring about the Kardashian’s and The Bachelor. I would also be okay with not seeing those in my news feed either, but I suppose I should just get used to it because people are always gonna love crappy television. It’s what people watch to realize that their lives are actually on the up and up. I’m one of them.
3. Realizing my period is about to start
That’s all.
2. Getting up for class
As I said earlier, I love learning. What I didn’t love about it was waking up at 6am on both of my days off this weekend just to be in class for 10 hours. I already hate waking up at 5am for work during the week. I just have to remind myself that learning is a privilege.
I am not going to state any names because of right now I will still have to see this particular offender. What I can say is that I was astounded by this particular white male’s lack of listening skills as a clearly smart, savvy, and sophisticated woman brought to his attention that often women are not listened to and need to make sure they have even more resources and knowledge than men in order to garner their respect.
What did this guy do? He dismissed her concerns by telling her that she has a “negative view” and that this can of course only hinder her progress. He then turned away from her so that she could not even have a chance to dispute him.
I could say so many things right now to refute his stance on this position, but clearly he was not even up for a debate. What do I say to men that refuse to acknowledge that there are particular social problems that women have to deal with while they can go about their merry way?
Well to you I say sir, “go take a women’s studies class or intro to sociology!” (I need to note that I deleted at least 10 other not so savory things I would rather tell him). It gets rather old having to deal with this kind of patriarchal thinking, but today I’m not going to fight it out. I’m going to continue to love people and just remember that all we can keep doing is educating ourselves and hope that others decide to open themselves up to learn and listen with us.

Nigga Please

Not long ago my white friend jokingly said that I shouldn’t get to celebrate all of Black History Month because I’m not 100% black. I’m actually 36% West African according to my DNA results in case you’re interested. She said that I should get the back end of the month obviously referencing the back of the bus. I was so astounded by her comment that I fell silent. What does one say to a friend that pretty much just said your black side still deserves to take a backseat to your white side?

At the time I laughed it off; she is one of the more sarcastic people I know and may have been saying it in response to my repeated use of the word “nigga” and felt that she could join in on the frivolity I was having. I do have to admit I was going gangbusters with the word “nigga” that night because 1. I had never really used it before and there was something about saying it that was in fact liberating my black side. 2. I was also saying it in response to having heard it a bazillion times in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained as well as on my recent trip to St. Louis to visit the “black” side of my family.
Nigga is not a form of vernacular that I have ever chosen to partake in. My first experience with the “N” word was when I was 7 years-old and walked across the street to visit my friend Pepsi, also known as Juan by his parents. I went to his door looking for him in the dilapidated cherry colored apartments across the street and found his brother standing at an open screen door.
“What are you doing here nigger?” I froze. I had never been called a nigger and didn’t know how to respond, but I knew that it was bad. My mom had told me that it was bad, so instead of asking for Pepsi and telling him why a nigger was there, I ran as fast as I could back to my house where my mom looked at me and said, “girl, where is that boy? I’m gonna go give him a piece of my mind.”
I didn’t let her give him any piece of mind, mostly because I wanted to be able to go back across the street and visit Stephanie and Pepsi. I figured that it must come with the territory; though I wasn’t sure why Mexican’s would call black people niggers when they were minorities too.
As I grew older I heard about the people who called each other nigga’s, but I wasn’t sure who that was because it wasn’t me and it surely wasn’t my mom. She told me, “If I EVER hear you say that word…” there’d be a long pause and nothing but an “mmhmm.”
That long pause meant you don’t even want to see what happens if you do that thing I just told you not to do. So I mostly never did any of those things my mom told me not to do because there’s something about a powerful black mother saying, “Nicole that’s one…” that scared me so straight I made sure to do whatever the exact opposite of what she said not to do was just so I would stay on her good side.
That brings me back to slightly more present day, my first real run in with Nigga. It’s mid October 2011 and the sky is drained of color as are the people on the streets of Manhattan, when my girlfriend and I decide it’s time to head back to Brooklyn via the F to the G train to get us up to Lorimer stop. We’re exhausted from a long day of touristing about the city. We hit Ground Zero, the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and then we hit up some local pizza joints.
When we make it to the station, my pedometer says we’ve gone ten miles, but there are no seats in sight and so we rest against poles that look like carriers for meningitis because we can no longer hold our own body weights. The exhaustion keeps us from speaking or perhaps it’s all the fighting we’ve done, but it never seems long before the train station fills up laughter, the rustle of bags, and friendly conversation.
We watch the stairs because one day of people watching at a subway station seems so much more interesting than a full year of doing the same at any Seattle bus stop except for 3rd and Pine. Three young black men, limping from the weight of holding their pants up, make their way down the stairs. They anchor themselves to the bottom few stairs and a conversation begins.
“Nigga whatchoo thinking bout doin’ nigga?”
“I don’t know nigga, why you wanna know?”
“Nigga I don’t, I don’t fo sho, I just wanna do something sick.”
“Like what?”
“I don’t know nigga, like you know… coo nigga.”
“Yeah? Let’s go to the shop nigga.”
Their speech is fast and it’s hard to move my ear gracefully in between their sentences, but I’m keenly aware of all the nigga’s being tossed around. Nicole seems even more floored.
“How can they even say that so many times?” She asks.
I really don’t know; I’m shaking my head. How the hell could this be real, I thought this was just on TV shows? What I understand is that I really have been distant from a large part of the black experience. Mine has always been from the perspective of a semi-privileged biracial girl that’s sequestered herself in the whitest parts of the country for most of her life. It’s not that this was intentional, just that it happened and hasn’t seemed to change much since my inception.
What I don’t understand is why anyone needs to say nigga in every single sentence, sometimes 2 or 3 times? Aren’t there any other words to say what you mean? I realize though that I’m an educated nigga. I roll the word around in my mind, wondering what it means to be a nigga.
I just don’t really want to say nigga, because I don’t feel comfortable using a word that is basically just a variation on the word nigger and connotes a deeper branding of the African-American body and history.
For me nigga is like saying motherfucker, it just doesn’t feel right.  I feel unusually uncomfortable thinking about anyone fucking their mother, but saying things like shit, damn and your run of the mill fuck are totally game.
I Wikapedia’d nigga when I got home because I had some questions about its origin. First I read this article, this will make sense momentarily. Nigga began as an eye dialect (use of nonstandard spelling for speech to draw attention to pronunciation) of the word nigger. It’s a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, meaning the color “black.” It was first brought to stage by comedians such as Paul Mooney, Richard Pryor, and Nipsy Russel in the 70’s to joke about blacks. The term was quickly appropriate by other comedians, hip-hop artists, and the African-American community. Tupac Shakur “who has been credited with legitimizing the term, said his song N.I.G.G.A. stood for ‘Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished.”
With my slightly better understanding of nigga I am still unsure if it’s a word I would want to use, but I can see why some would want to use it, however I doubt most people using the term no why they are using it in the first place.
On this particular Wiki page there is a box where you can listen to an audio recording of the article; I pressed play. In the first thirty seconds I wrapped myself in a prickly and uncomfortable blanket of reaction to hearing it. I can’t believe a white man is reading this! I said to myself. The words sound disingenuous with the tight pronunciation and lack of soul. I was quick to judge the narrator until I stepped back for a minute.
I gave myself a moment to ponder a few questions. What does a black voice sound like? Why would I assume that the narrator isn’t African-American and why does it matter to me at all when it’s the verbatim reading of an article?
Well the fact is that I had to check myself. It is true that in certain parts of the country you can hear certain characteristics in a voice that are telling of where someone is from and what their cultural background is, but it is likely only because certain inflections are ingrained in the culture just as in some cultures where certain words must be spoken with specific tones in order to be understood. It is likely that when a large majority of a culture speaks one way then many will continue carrying on this tradition and the likelihood that others will believe this is how everyone speaks, will be perpetuated.
I “assumed” I knew the speaker without hesitation because it is still part of my belief system that African-American voices sound a certain way. However, without reservation I can tell you that I can’t count on fingers and toes how many times I’ve been told I “sound” white. I was angry that I would do the same to another.
Also, so what if a white man was reading this article aloud? Would I be angry if a white scholar had read something in another context? Why should one be more acceptable than another? It wasn’t just some man riding roughshod with nigga. There is a lot of controversy over who is allowed to say nigga, but in this instance my general call is that anyone could have read this and I should have been okay with it.
At the party as I said, “what’s up with you nigga?” that bazillion times, I realized as I said it that the word for me feels disconnected with my personal black experience. The word though ultimately stemming from nigger doesn’t feel like or connote the same meaning for me. Tupac said, “a nigger is black man with a slavery chain around his neck,” while “a nigga is a black man with a gold chain on his neck” Though I don’t completely agree, I hear and feel the difference between these two words. Nigger sends chills up my back and shards of glass through my heart; nigga just makes me think please.
As for the friend that told my black half to get to the end of the month. She most likely said it in jest, but the fact is that I don’t actually get to hide the black in my skin for half of the month. My DNA card might say I’m 36% black, but it doesn’t mean I’m only black 36% of the time. As we all know, what people can see is what they judge you by. I went ahead and took the whole month. Only a few short days left to celebrate.
And with that, have a good day nigga.
***  Side Notes
Spell check hated this blog
There’s a lot of other shit that can be said about nigga. I’m only one girl and I’ve only got so much time and am certainly not writing a book on the subject.
Let me know what your experience with nigga has been!

As the deadline approaches

It’s getting ever closer to my This American Life submission date and I’ve only got one thing left to finish – My Resume!
Is there really anything more daunting than staring in the face of resume yet unwritten? Writing out accomplishments and all those skillz that have been accrued throughout the years of work. The only thing I’ve found more frustrating than a resume is the cover letter to go atop it. Making a cover letter and resume standout in pools of applicants these days is a lot like finding good Mexican food in Seattle, difficult.

Yesterday morning I decided to stare my enemy in the face and go all in because the worst that could happen is I come out at the end with yet another crappy unusable resume, but at least I’ll have learned something throughout the process.

I googled at least forty different phrases that I thought might lead me to the description of the perfect resume and what I found at the end of my search is what I found at the beginning that “one size does not fit all.” The articles told me that one resume is not enough and that I should have at least five resumes tailored to a variety of positions that I would like to pursue. Many compared it to having different outfits for different job interviews. Would you wear the same outfit for all of them they asked? My answer to this question is “hell yes!”  I know that’s the wrong answer, but they are asking me, a girl that can barely pick out my own daily outfits because fashion sense isn’t one of my gifts; I barely know how to match black with other blacks. I mean come on… if I can interview in one outfit, then that’s definitely what I’m gonna do, but… I do see their point. I decide to think of it in terms of what other people would do and I suppose that means they surely would have separate interview outfits, so I guess this means that I need to start working on a variety of resumes.

Things to know about the resume I’m about to write: 
1. I have decided to “change careers
Technically I don’t know if I’m changing or actually starting. I’ve been stuck in admin positions for the past few years and it is definitely not where I want to stay it was mostly a place I landed when trying to make enough money to pay off some student loans after college. Now I’m changing to the career field of “writing, publishing, advertising, marketing, etc.” in order to utilize my writing background a little more.

2. I don’t actually have a varied background in my newly chosen career field so what do I do about the resume. Do I lie? 
Well that was a big question for me as I was writing because what does one do to spruce up a sparse resume?  It was in this instance that I realized I actually did have to rely on transferable skills. These are skills that you have already acquired via all of your other occupations, hobbies, volunteer experience, etc. I decided to create a list of all the skills that I am at least 70% sure I already have and even added a few that maybe I’m a little iffy on (because I’m 100% sure I could learn them quickly if needed). If you need a quick place to find lots of these skill sets checkout

3. I’m not sure if it should be a functional, chronological, or combination resume. 
After reading through a variety of articles for the career changer I decided to go with combination. A combination resume has the ability to show off your transferable skills as well as help you focus on all the practical things that apply to your future career. Going chronological keeps you a little more boxed in because it only showcases what you have already done, while going functional apparently scares some employers off because it looks like you’ve done nothing.

4. 1 page or 2? 
My previous chronological resume that was getting me no interviews was two pages long and I’m pretty sure that I’ve had enough career experience at this point to have two pages, but as I said the resume has gotten me nowhere. I decided to google search “best resumes of 2013” and came to this page. All of these beautifully designed resumes are only one page long and are probably getting more interviews than mine, so I decided to stick to a one pager. My favorite is the resume on fabric, I am contemplating getting at least one of those, but for this one I decided to go for design #7.

Once I picked a design I decided it was time to start going for it. I had my old resume in hand and was able to transfer at least a few things over, but for a majority of it I decided I needed to redefine some of the responsibilities I had, using better key words. There are plenty of skills checklists you can use, but here is an easy go to one provided by Rogue Community College.

After some researching and writing I came out with a resume in about four hours. The only thing I realized at the end was I didn’t actually finish a writer’s resume, I wrote one that’s more tailored to Sales & Marketing, which is fine because I do in fact need those five resumes. Sales & Marketing is a direction I’m definitely okay with going, but this leaves me with a vacant writer’s resume spot, which I will be attending to today.

This all just means that This American Life is going to have to wait another few days for my application, but my goal is to have it in by March 1st anyhow. By the way, if you know any TAL staffers, please feel free to put in a good word for me!

Anyways, here is yesterday’s finished product sans my contact info!  Sample Resume

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What this Blog is about

Durtee Lawndree: [dur-tee lawn-dree]
1. A place to air grievances, outdated catch phrases, clichés, and Freudian slips.
1. A dusty old story that needs to be aired out and given a second chance at life.
3. A place to soil yourself with words.

Origin: 2008 My backyard 

I originally created this blog back in 2008 so that I had a place to write snippets from my memoir. We can all see how well that’s gone because it’s still in progress. Don’t worry, it’s still happening and it even has a title More Peoples than you can handle. That’s slated for release sometime in 2032.

Until then, I am turning this into a place for venting, writing about what interests all of us from time to time – dramatically boring gossip, and just a general place for me to let the world know what I’m excited and pissed about – these things can in fact simultaneously exist.
On that note, let me know what you’ve got a lot of strong feelings on and I’ll write about it in the blog!

Email me at

What’s all the fuss? It’s just Vacuum Day isn’t it?

It’s February 14th, which means it’s V Day!

When people tell me it’s V day, I’m not really sure what to think. Is it Vagina Day, Vacation Day, Vacuum Day, Vagabond Day? I mean really what does this damn V stand for? I ask someone and they tell me it’s Valentines Day, a day to celebrate love and the joy that comes from having love for friends, family, and lovers. Well that certainly sounds like a holiday I can get down with because I’ve at least got some friends and family and I definitely love them but where does it come from? I decided to search online for some answers and I so I googled “The History of Valentines Day.”

Valentines Day is supposedly named after a Saint named Valentine of Terni (Valentine of Rome), who was martyred on about AD 269. There is a rich tradition of legends that surround him and this day. What is not contested is that he was killed in some way, so may he rest in peace. The question is, was St. Valentine put to death in protest of Emperor Claudius outlawing marriage for single men in order to keep a healthy and strong armed forces? Was he martyred for freeing Christians from Roman prisons? Did he actually create the modern Valentine card by sending a greeting card to a young girl while imprisoned? Or was it actually the Christian church turning the pagan tradition of Lupercalia, a day connected to fertility, into a more holy day?
The fact is that we don’t know the true story of Valentine’s day, just what we’ve pieced together and that it likely is a mutation of many of the legends. We also get the main gist and it’s that Valentines is about love.
How did we go from the death of a martyr and pagan feasts to greeting cards, boxes of chocolates, and romantic dinners for two? Well it comes down to poetry. Poets, writers, artists, etc have notoriously fucked things up for the rest of the world, turning what could just be normal sadness into those of heart wrenching and debilitating throes of madness and melancholy, battles into ill fated losing conquests, and love into the only thing worth living for on earth?
It is told that The Parliament of Fowls, a love poem, was written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382 to honor the first engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. You can go here to read it in Old English. He references St. Valentine in his poem.
“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day,
when every bird cometh there to choose his mate”
Well, thanks for nothing Chaucer. As the day itself grew, love poems such these ones became more expected.  The rise of greetings really began after this era. Take note, this is more than 1100 years after St. Valentine was martyred.
As we all know by now, Valentines day is one of the most contentious holidays of the year. It tends to be one that is either loved or despised by the masses, but what about the huddled few that honestly don’t give a shit at all? It’s just a day in my calendar and I’ve got at least five other things that need to get done today like my workout and a blog. (Oh… getting the latter done right now).
Last year alone, people spent about 20 billion dollars on things like dining out (this is the biggest spender with almost about 10 billion going towards food alone), candy, flowers, getaway’s, jewelry, and more. All this for a holiday that may never have existed if it hadn’t gotten a little traction from the arts community.
For all those people getting valentines, the majority are for lovers, with the minority given to friends and family. My opinion is that people are really just giving out these “other” valentines so that the singles don’t feel slighted.
Many singles have decided to rise up and start their own tradition of an Anti-Valentines day, which ironically enough still often includes things that they rise up against, including anti-valentine greeting cards, voodoo dolls, and candy. We all know that candy fits right into feeding both happiness and sadness so it’s a welcome addition to any package.
Why do singles feel the need to get a gift of angst? Honestly I’m still not sure. I’m currently single and sassy and I’m not just saying that. There is no void that I need to fill with gifts and sappy messages. As a single I don’t feel that I’m “missing out” because I’m not and if you’re also single you’re not either unless you’re currently moping around the house hoping for someone to come sweep you off your feet.
Lately I’ve been having a lot of talks with my “taken” friends many of which now are married with children and they have given me quite a bit of perspective. “You get to do what?” They say as I talk about going out to multiple shows a week, playing shows with my band on the regular, sleeping whenever I want to, leaving the city on a whim for another destination, writing blogs. “Where do you get all that time?”
Well… I just don’t have the same obligations. It doesn’t mean that at some point I don’t want to be pressed for time with the whole shebang of kids and husband, it just means that right now I’m enjoying single life because it only lasts for so long.
So single people, I do understand your longing, I really do. At almost 33 I feel my biological clock ticking, but it’s okay because shit… this weekend I get to film a music video with my band, go to a party and not worry about shaving my legs because no one’s going to see that ish till winter’s over. Enjoy your single time, don’t be pissed at the world because some “one” doesn’t love you, hopefully you’ve got lots of wonderful friends and family so some “dozens” love you.
So what am I gonna do this Valentines? Well it’s actually a friend’s birthday, so I’m gonna spend this day spending a few dollars on her day of birth. It may ultimately be counted as Valentine’s spending, but that’s okay because I love her too.
If you really need a Valentine gift, I’ll get you one, it just needs to be in the realm of $0 dollars because I’m currently a struggling writer.