Friday, 3 December 2010
Now, looking for a job is never something one thinks much about when growing up. We just think we're gonna go to astronaut school, or to a ballet academy and leave to go be badass. Actually, fuck the school. We just think we're gonna grow up and become whatever the hell we want.
Sadly, I'm not an astronaut. Yet. Or a ballet dancer. Yet. (Yes, someday, I'm gonna become a astronaut ballerina, and I'm gonna be awesome, and I'm gonna be on the cover of Time, so fuck you and your law degree). I work at McDonald's. People say McJobs are terribly underpaid and require you to have no dignity whatsoever, and they're right. It sucks. Managers treat you like shit, the job is pretty damn awful and i can't even begin to describe the shame that comes whenever you have to tell people what you do for a living. I'd rather tell people i turn tricks on the street than tell them i work at Maccas. I mean, shit, at least I'd have interesting stories to tell. The best stories i have so far are how we ran out of fries one day and than we had to sell combos with just drinks and burgers or when someone did a bad close on the night before so the sauce guns were still dirty.
But now I am moving out of home, so I need a job close to the flat I'm moving to. Now I could say that I hate working with fast food, so I just didn't apply to any other McDonald's stores, but that would be a lie. I applied to other stores and guess what? They turned me down. After considering ending my misery and just jumping off a bridge already, I realized that I can't think of any bridges in Wellington, so i might as well look for something else.
No luck so far, though. I got turned down for about 4 jobs, and just didn't hear anything from about other 27. Now I'm down to my last option. The only thing worse than fast food. The career dead end destined to those who are destined to a life of shame and minimal wages. A supermarket.
I'm applying there next week. A friend of a friend works/worked there so I may be able to get it pretty quick. Lucky me. Or not.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
- One way to Wellington, please. - she told the lady, before giving her some coins and getting a stamped paper ticket back. She always prefer ed when the person in the train was a lady. They seemed nicer, for some reason. With a sigh, she rested her head on the window and watched the trees and cars go by. It was gonna be a tough day.
After the train had slowed down and opened its doors, Janet jumped out and made her way into the station. After a brief stop at the toilet to fix her hair and put a hat on, the girl left the station, lighting another cigarette to make up for the one she had to throw away before. At that rate she'd have to buy a new pack before lunch, and God knew how expensive cigarettes had been getting. Oh well, the more money spent on cigarettes, the less money spent on food. She didn't get to her current 50 kgs by eating. With an angry gesture she tried to fix her fringe, already destroyed by the wind. "Stupid winter." she thought, before stopping to wait for a green light. Wellington was a nice town, but the weather was very, very irritating. After a few minutes walking Janet found herself in front of the café she had been looking for. She could see Brad inside, a mug in front of him, and a book in his hands. Brad liked to read about philosophy to pretend he was more intelligent than he actually was. That always annoyed Janet. Taking the hundredth deep breath that day, she threw the cigarette butt in the gutter and went in.
- Hey. - she said, sitting in front of Brad.
- Oh, hey! How are you?
- I'm alright. Sorry I'm late, the fucking train was late again. What are you reading?
- The Metamorphosis. It's Kafka. Really good.
Janet looked at the cover. A huge insect was lying in a bed. It was pretty gross.
- Do you actually like it, or are you reading it so people think you're smart?
- ... What?
- Just asking.
Brad looked at her weirdly and took a sip of coffee. He stared at the street outside for a while before asking her:
- So, why did you wanna meet?
- I'm starting this new project and I wanted to try it out with you. If you don't mind. Well, not that it matters if you mind or not, but I thought it'd be polite to ask.
- ... Ok, you're scaring me. What is it?
- It's pretty simple really. I just say whatever I think whenever I think it. For example, normally I wouldn't comment on how I think you should never wear skinny jeans, 'cause your legs are too fat for it to look good. But now I'll say it. Got it?
- You're kidding right? - Brad's hand instinctively touched his leg. Half of it was muscle!
- Not really. I'm gonna do it for two weeks and see what happens. My theory is that people are never ready to handle the truth and they run away from it. How long can you take it?
- Don't be stupid, Jan. - He put his book in his bag, avoiding Janet's eyes. What was wrong with her?
- Well, not all of it is bad. For example, your hair looks really good today. There's probably enough product in it to supply ten pageant kids for five years, but you can hardly tell.
- You know what, you're being a bitch. God knows why, but you're being a fucking bitch. I'm not staying here. - Brad grabbed his bag and his jacket and left. What the hell was wrong with her?
Janet looked at her cellphone. Three minutes. That was even quicker than she had thought. She took Brad's mug, finished his coffee and grabbed her stuff. If she hurried, she could probably meet some three people before the day ended.
- Stop being a bitch, Janet. - Claire stated simply.
- I'm not being a bitch, I'm just saying what I think. - Janet was getting tired. After Brad there was Sam, who lasted 5 minutes, and Louise, who lasted impressive 10 minutes, before running away crying. People were turning up to be way more boring then she thought.
- Well, how come everything you think is negative?
- I don't know. Maybe I'm a negative person.
- Well, maybe you like being a bitch.
- Yeah, maybe. So what if I do?
- Well, I think that if you do you shouldn't hide it behind some 'psychosocial experiment' or whatever the fuck you're calling it. We all know you're a bitch. Own up to it.
Janet looked at the sea. Maybe Claire was right. Maybe the experiment was an excuse for her to be a bitch guilt-free.
- Brad, Sam and Lou didn't know how much of a bitch I am. They left.
- Yeah, that's cause they're pussies. - Claire took a puff out of her cigarette and blew out the grey smoke with a deep sigh.
- Can I have a smoke? - asked Janet - I'm all out.
- No. - said Claire, before taking another puff.
- What do you mean no? I always give you smokes when I have them.
- So? I don't feel like giving you one. Besides, the only reason you give me smokes is so you can collect the favour later on. It's very annoying.
- Yeah, it's true. You know what else is annoying? How you keep talking about your weight, what you ate today, the diet you're on this week... Get over yourself, honey. You're not gonna get any skinnier.
- You know what? You're being a cunt. I'm outta here. - Janet's cheeks were red with anger. How dare she talk about her weight, the fat cow? She got up and walked away.
Claire looked at her phone. With a smile in the corner of her mouth, she shouted to Janet's back.
- Six minutes, bitch! That's all you can last!
Janet gave her the middle finger without looking back. Claire laughed. The poor thing had so much to learn about being a bitch. And with a laugh-turned-snort she took another puff from her cigarette.
Thursday, 8 July 2010
I still remember my first day of school. My mum had made breakfast (we never had breakfast), put me into a boring looking uniform and fixed my hair. She held my hand as we walked to the subway station, and sat by me when we got in the train. I remember being very sleepy and very confused. And then I saw you. You were sitting across from me, your eyes closed and your head resting in your mother's shoulder. I remember the pink hair bow you were wearing, and the pink watch that, as I would later learn, was your most valuable possession. I stared at you for a few seconds, not knowing why, when you opened your eyes and looked at me. We stayed like that for a while, until you put your finger in your nose and stick your tongue out. I remember laughing at that, the way I could only laugh when I was a child, like nothing else I had ever seen, or would ever see, could be funnier than that silly face.
With a screech the train stopped, my mum took my hand and led me out to the station, as your mum did the same. I remember making one final ugly face to you before climbing the escalators. After leaving the subway station, we walked for a while until we saw a massive church. I think that if I went back there today it wouldn't be so gigantic, but at the age of three, it was the biggest thing I had ever seen. I held my mother's hand a little harder and went inside with her. She went to talk to the woman in the reception, and I sat on the ground and started looking at everyone around me. At least five kids were crying, a few were asleep and one or two were playing in the corner. And there you were. Sitting nervously by your mother, checking your watch constantly and looking like you were holding back your tears. I was staring at you again when a young lady appeared and said she would be our kindergarten teacher. I stood up, quickly kissed my mother's cheek and went with the woman.
The years that followed were probably some of the happiest of my life. We got close as time went by, and grew up to be best friends. We would fingerpaint together, play on the swings pretending we were spacemen (although you always said you were a spacewoman), sat by each other for lunch and slept on the same blue gym mattress at nap time. I also remember the last time we saw each other. It was graduation day, and our teachers had been working the whole year to put together a show for the parents. Our class was going to do a ballroom routine, and we were partners. I remember my tiny tuxedo, and your frilly pink and sparkly dress. We probably looked quite silly, but we didn't care. We practiced really hard, like it would be the most important moment of our lives, and when the time came, we went to the stage holding hands, with determined looks in our little faces.
And five minutes into the dance I stepped in our foot. I remember feeling all the blood leave my face, as I looked at you ready to yell how sorry I was for ruining our special moment. But you just looked at me and laughed. That cute, innocent laugh. You held my hands again, told me how silly I was, and coached me through the rest of the dance. I remember feeling like I was walking through clouds, like nothing else existed except for you and me.
After the show, our mums were talking, so we went to the playground. We rushed to the swings, happy that there wasn't anyone around to go on them before us. As we swinged, we talked about what the next year would be like. You were staying at the school in the monastery, while I was moving to other school across the city. Suddenly you stopped swinging. I stopped too. You said you would miss me. I said I would miss you too. And then we hugged. Not for long, just for a few seconds, but a lot was said with that hug. Before we could say anything else, however, our mothers called to us so we could go home. I never saw you again.
As I write this I wonder many things. Where are you now? Are you married? Do you have kids? What's your job? I am married, to the best woman in the world, and we have two little boys who are everything to me. Today was my oldest one's first day of school. As we sat in traffic waiting for the light to turn green, I looked over and saw my little boy making funny faces to a blond girl in the car next to ours. And it all came back.
I don't know if I loved you. We were too young for that. But I do know that you were special to me. And I sincerely hope that, wherever you are, whatever your life is like right now, you think of me every now and then. When life seems hard, I hope you remember how innocent and joyful we were. I know I sure do.
It hasn't got anything to do with me, btw. It's just a random story from a random dream I had. Thoughts?
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Being in my late teens, I don't wanna dress in jeans and hoodies anymore. I'm past that, I want something more polished, more serious. However, I work at McDonald's and go out with my friends for drinks on the weekends, so wearing a suit wouldn't be exactly appropriate in any situation. And that's where my problems lie. Nowadays, menswear retail caters to young children, slightly older children, teenagers and adults. Nothing else. What am I, a young adult with a fair amount of maturity and personality, supposed to wear? I don't feel comfortable wearing a three-piece suit, but I also don't feel comfortable wearing bright yellow jeans and a pink hoodie. Where's the middle? And where can I buy it for an affordable price?
Yes, an affordable price. As said before, I work at McDonald's, which means I'm not exatcly rolling in cash. And, as Murphy's Law would have it, the only shops I know in Wellington that sell nice, perfectly fitting, fashionable-yet-not-trendy clothes happen to be the most expensive shops in the city. Maybe I have expensive taste, but that's not doing me any good.
And what about the places I can afford? Well, that's where I shop. Unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, I've found some pretty cool stuff at places like Cotton On and Jay Jays, but mostly what they offer is supposedly trendy (not good trendy, that kind of trendy that will make you embarressed to think you used to wear that in six months time), disposable clothing. Sure, I've got about three pairs of nice skinny jeans. But that's what they are. Nice. Not perfect, not fabulous, not amazing. Just nice. Same goes for most of my t-shirts, and maybe a couple of sweaters and a jacket. The rest is all stuff I'd never wear outside if I had an option, but somedays are just way too cold for me to, well, have an option.
But hey, I can't be that unlucky, right? I'm not the only 18 year old with a limited amount of cash in the world. Most guys seem to be doing just fine, right? Yes, right. But in my opinion, if a guy in my situation actually likes his clothes he either:
a. Doesn't care about fashion.
b. Lives in a fashion friendly city, like New York, where you can find pretty much anything in great prices.
c. Is more creative and/or smarter than me.
d. Some other reason I don't know. But wish I did.
So, for now I'm getting by. Wearing my pre-made combos (I have three: skinny jeans + t-shirt + oversized woolen sweater; skinny jeans + t-shirt + jacket; skinny jeans + t-shirt + cardigan. Oh, the variety) and struggling to find something new to buy. Maybe I should just lose my fear and start wearing stuff like harem pants, long wife-beaters and printed tuxedo jackets. At least I'd have the excuse of trying to be a hipster.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
But while it doesn't come, I'll resort to a good ol' cliché. Music :)
I'm listening to:
Born in the US, raised in Hong Kong and based in Paris, Uffie is one of those people I totally wish I were. Her songs are an awesome mix of electronic beats and rap vocals, with lyrics generally talking about partying, getting drunk and how hot she is. I don't know about you, but I can totally relate.
Ready to Uff
Kings of Convenience
Wikipedia says Kings of Convenience "are an indie folk-pop duo from Bergen, Norway." Sounds boring? Well it's not. Soothing melodies and heartfelt lyrics in some songs and upbeat cuteness in others makes this "folk-pop duo" one of the best bands I've found out in a while.
I'd Rather Dance With You
The Whitest Boy Alive
A side project from one of the Norwegian guys from Kings of Convenience, The Whitest Boy Alive stands on its own as an amazing band. While similar to the previously mentioned group, Whitest Boy Alive has a way 'happier' feel to its songs, featuring more instrumental tracks and just plain optmistic songs. One of my all time favourite bands.
Don't Give Up
Three guys from Germany taking well known pop songs and re-recording them in a rockabilly, Elvis-like style. Pure awesomeness.
An underground brazilian electro-rock band that ended up becoming pretty huge in Europe, CSS has me singing along to their songs since I was 12. I honestly can't choose a favourite track. I like them all. From the pop-ish beat of Let's Make Love And Listen Death From Above to the harsher feel of How I Became A Paranoid, pretty much every song they record gives me chills of excitment.
Let's Make Love And Listen Death From Above
Do I really need to say anything?
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. Those were the good days.
Take SJP's issue. She had an amazing spread with Chris Noth called “Rebel Romance”, shot by Annie Leibovitz. Gorgeous clothes, exquisite New York sceneries... As one would expect from Vogue, it's an impeccable fashion spread.
I feel sorry for Chris Nolan. Those bags look heavy.
However, a few pages later, there's another spread. “Falling Off the Map”, shot by Patrick Demarchelier in Patagonia, featuring Caroline Trentini. It's just... breathtaking. The picture where she stands in the front of the boat, with the huge iceberg behind her is almost poetic. And the last picture, with Trentini in the middle of the horses wearing the purple Banana Republic dress just blew me away. It's fashion, it's selling the clothes, but there's something else. It's not the photographer, since Leibovitz is just as good as Demarchelier. It's not the set, 'cause even though Patagonia and New York are quite opposite places, both were shown in a way that takes the best of each one, and adds it beautifully with the rest of the shot. So, what is it? I like to think it's the model.
Or maybe I just love Caroline Trentini. That could be it too.
Text originally written in 24/06/08