What I Learned: October 10

This week, I return to my comic book roots, get optimistic about text messages and try to not lose my head.

Last week was pretty busy and I’ve noticed that I’ve completely lost control

Previously:

After driving round in the rain yesterday and finding two action figures and buying two bluray movies at Target while hoping that Waffle would reconsider saying yes to me and a rainy joyride, I wind up at my brother’s house to deliver passes for NYCC. The college trip to Howard is cancelled thanks to the looming disaster that is Hurricane Joaquin and I’m allowed to sleep in a little bit, which, given how badly I’ve been sleeping is basically like being given a golden ticket.

Saturday:

I’m up early for no good reason other than I’m now waking up before my alarm clock. Either because I’m not sleeping right or because I know the sounds of shitty top 40 radio enrages me more than the braying sound the alarm makes so to avoid being cranky, I just wake up.

I’m feeling more and more tired as of late and it’s due to large part that my brain is screaming at me about the sleep thing and the fact that I’m just working nearly every day. The funny thing is that I’m also PAINFULLY aware of how close New York Comic Con is and all I want to do is spend time with Waffle in the confines of the smelly aisles of the Javitz Center because in my head I’ve made it my mission to win that heart back and I think that Stockholm Syndrome is a legitimate means of making someone fall back in love with you.

it worked for these two right?

I head to work and get in early enough to walk and watch something on Netflix before settling into an awkward work flow where we all want to be somewhere else and debate the merits of covering the Chik-Fil-A opening.

Mostly for science because supposedly it’s the greatest chicken ever but I feel a little weird wanting to try chicken as supplied by hyper religious bigots who would sooner throw said chicken at me for being bisexual.

I have fast hands and would catch it and eat it with joy but also that’s too much work.

Either way, we finish and walk over to see what the fuss is about and let me tell you, it’s a mile long line, no exaggeration.

I wind up getting Wendys.

BECAUSE THAT IS FUCKING DELICIOUS.

Sunday:

Sunday is much nicer weather wise than Saturday or Friday.

It might also be because I got an early morning text message from Waffle.

It’s sickening how my mood, my entire brain chemistry changes once I get a message from her; it’s almost as if I could take on the entire world with an arm strapped to my back, win and be home in time for Once Upon A Time with Waffle and chill. This kind of thing can kill me. In any case I enthusiastically answer the text with the kind of eagerness that basically is embarrassing.

Tramp Stamp

So we agree sorta to meet after work which mercifully goes by quickly.

Netflix and chill is not to be.

Waffle basically slept the entire day away.

I’m not crushed so much as I saw it coming because I’m pretty good at predicting that kind of thing. Either way, the little tingle still lingers.

I wind up doing laundry, eating a sandwich and watching last week’s Grey’s Anatomy On Demand. I wind up making gagging noises while Callie flexes on Arizona and her ‘new girlfriend’.

legit my OTP fight me

It’s like, c’mon man, fucking support the love and just…fix it.

FUCKKKKK.

They let all the other trash OTPs get atleast fifteen sporting shots before one of them dies or something Shondalandy happens. Callie goes through a fucking windshield, delivers her premie baby, survives heart failure and physical therapy, MARRIES Arizona who then loses her leg in a plane crash THEN cheats on Callie THEN buy a house together then…

the fuck man?!

Love works somehow in all of this and then they’re like, nah they’re good let them date other people.

My skin crawls.

it’s like no one knows what goes into being that open or vulnerable with humans. They’re awful. They’ll maim you. I believe that love works like a stronger friendship. I call you bro. My best friend. Not because I don’t respect you or don’t love you. You’re the best friend I have. Everyone else is trash.

Anyways. I continue with laundry and prepare myself to throw socks at the TV during Once Upon a Time.

Once Upon a Time and let me tell you…

If they’re not angling Regina and Emma together, they need to tell the production staff because for fuck’s sake, you don’t romcom zoom and light two people who are supposed to be plutonic bros. I mean if you casually cruise the Tumblr tags, it’s basically going to make you a believer.

also I just happen to think that chemistry is something you can’t fight.

PLUS.

They’re totally bros. They watch out for each other in ways that other people don’t.  It’s fuckin’ beautiful.

In anycase, I wind up watching that, getting caught in the feels and watching Fear the Walking Dead.

Then I get another text.

We wind up talking throughout the episode and I gotta say (I also have to admit that I know you’re probably reading this and if you are, well, hi.) it’s still a really nice feeling. I’m still optimistic as hell as evidenced by the most vivid dream I’ve had in a long time that only makes me feel like the universe is listening and for that, I’m thankful.

Monday:

The world is a blur and I’m told I have an insane task to pull off. Plan a massive field trip, plan an NBA interview, chase after Jack Hanna and his people for paperwork and keep my wits about me while balancing multiple shoots on one day.

It all falls into place somehow.

Tuesday:

I honestly don’t remember what happened but there was candy and everyone was happy about that.

Wednesday:

I’m in Brooklyn working on this project and I’m wandering the halls of the a government building and I can’t help but wonder if in another life, could I have actually gone into politics.

Nah.

I live in my head.

We have a great conversation about art and gentrification and I hope that I can find the brain power to really put together something dynamic.

In the meantime, two other shoots go off and I have to pat myself on the back for not completely melting down while exchanging confusing text messages about the status of comic con passes that have suddenly come up as available.

I’m good at multitasking I really am, I may be short circuiting a little because I can’t even come up with a good enough logical answer so I tuck my phone in my pocket and work work work.

I leave at 9.

I get home and watch TV and color. Yes. An adult coloring book works wonders. I have a decent talk with Waffle and for some reason, all the ghosts of the past drift into my mind and I’m immediately reminded that despite the petty arguments and sniping, we’re two people overworked, decently paid and sexless. I wonder if trying to diffuse the tension would help or only throw gasoline onto an already raging nuclear aftermath that is our lives. At this point, given my ranting on Sunday about OUAT all I want to do is find a goddamned happy ending.

Thursday:

Emergency packing and lunching for what will be the best weekend ever.

BUT FIRST.

Jack Hanna planning.

Friday:

Special edition.

What I Learned This Week: June 26

This week, we discover that marathon weeks are for people who are actually in marathons, I can multitask and people are just strange strange mammals.

Saturday: I’m at work, attempting to not lose my mind as the elevators don’t work properly. Sure, simple solution, let’s just see if we can get a break and a low key weekend. “We’re fixing them, they’re fixed, there’s also the freight elevators, don’t worry, everything is awesome” We knock out the job and I spend the evening talking to a guy who’s a freelancer and looks like Schmidt from “New Girl” It’s not a thing. He’s also baffled by my age. Which is bafflng. Why am I using the word baffling?! I don’t really get a chance to talk to Waffle either. BUT I do manage to knock out the side project well. So. Guess things are good.

Digital woes

Sunday:

I’m amazed I’m even standing upright as I have to book a project for Thursday that entails my calling everyone I’ve worked with and asking, ‘aye, you wanna work with me.’ It’s also a weird day because I don’t know what I’m doing again. I’m also covering for the LA team which meant that I was basically running home to upload work for the left coast and make it as seamless as possible.

Monday:

Is the day that followed Sunday. I have no recollection of what I did. I’m assuming it was amazing as I have a job and I’m liked. Mom’s surgery approaches. It’s kinda shitty.

Tuesday:

Waffle texts me so it might as well have been a message from God about where we stand. I can’t stop grinning. I handle a few things, fumble a bit, am a totally messed up pile of goo about it but shovel a Rice Krispy treat down my face hole because that’s just the kind of fatass I am. I have a donut when Waffle shows up. We get Shake Shack, we eat across from Trill after she gets a tattoo.  It’s disgusting how enamored I am.

Oh and I did this thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze8uWjOs2Eo

Wednesday:

No rest for the wicked. Plan out and execute for things with the second shoot. Mom is also going in for surgery. Haven’t been sleeping well and am extremely tired, baggy faced and flabby. This is the grossest I’ve felt in the longest. I shovel pizza in my face, knock out things and run back home. Mom is okay. She’s tired but y’know that’s life innit? We’re all tired.

Thursday:

The shoot is basically an amalgamation of all my worlds at once. The smart fast capable PA who knows more than the Production Manager (me) on a block where I used to work for three years with a guy who hired me who’s basically co-signed my work. I’m the convergence. All of me has collided into one me like a creep Voltron or something. I’m proud of myself. I made it work. I’m working and while I’m tired, it’s better than the downward spiral I was heading down. I guess that’s pretty cool. I also bought sneakers because wearing shoes or hard bottoms is just not normal. They’re cozy and I’ve let the world dominate my closet.

Friday:

The Supreme Justice says gay marriage is legal across all 50 states.

You gays.

I mean guys.

THIS IS HUGER THAN ANYTHING I’VE WRITTEN.

I Wanna Get Better

So.

full disclosure.

I’ve been struggling with unemployment for the past few months.

At first, it started out as a massive kick to the face. Dear God, here I am, 29 (at the time) earning my way through the complex digital world, meeting people, networking, not truly understanding the power I wield but I’m paying my bills on time and contributing the the toxic sludge that is the internet.

so paid

so paid

After a few days, it turned into a mini vacation. I was still meeting people for chats, consulting on best practices, sleeping in a bit, hanging out with people. It was like seeing the world for the first time in awhile. Obligations were gone for a moment.

but forever

After about a month, it became a debilitating, soul crushing experience. Waking up early to stare off at the job listings screen, wondering why anyone wasn’t returning my calls or emails then forcing myself to eat breakfast then go to the gym to clear my head.

srsly

After two months, my birthday.

I’m now 30 years old.

I can’t celebrate anything really. I have a party of sorts. I get a little drunk but it’s that kind of drunk where you want your feelings to drown so you can float to the surface, embracing clarity and say you’ll never do that again knowing damn well you’re going to do it.

It all feels like a surreal nightmare where I’ve been dropped into a Fincher movie; all muted hyper colors and textures and there’s an alternate version of me walking around, successfully. Okay so I may have described the plot to Fight Club but it’s the same idea really. There is another version of me, improving, living, thriving.

I am Jack’s complete disillusionment

 

I figure, while I’m booking random gigs, for which I am grateful, I would just try to live a little bit. I try going out early in the day, New York in the summer is my favorite type but I find myself getting up early to go to the gym, be upset, get rejection letters, going home, showering and sitting in my bedroom, AC barely on watching Netflix.

You do a lot of soul searching and personal assessing when something like this happens. As it happens, I’ve been coping with a separation, so it was basically a mega shitshow hurricando mega force suckfest. You start picking things apart, putting the pieces into boxes to really get a big picture and see what happened. I didn’t lose my job due to performance, just the economics of the business. Like a survivor on Lost or Gilligan’s Island, I pick through the debris and see what I can salvage. Turns out I’m more a Gilligan than a Professor. Mercifully, the relationship is still sort of salvageable, but that’s a whole other entry. OR several. Stiff upper lip, I work through it.

I go to a lot of bar events.

I don’t tan.

I’ve dyed my hair at least four times already.

By August I book a gig working the U. S. Open (I dye my hair an acceptable color) The job feels like summer camp really.

When I close out this job, I make the note to spend more time in a gym because there is nothing on Serena Williams’ body that jiggles. THE BOOTY REAL.

actually watched this match. it was intense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I make money, meet people, pass around my business card and discuss business opportunities but the entire time, I find that I’m struggling with just what is that I am offering? What is that I do?

I continue checking my email, sending my resume out, collecting rejection letters, random messages for gigs and the occasional offer to enlarge my penis. As if my problems aren’t enough, my phantom dick is small. fuck my life.

I go to New York Comic Con.

IMG_0372

where I sat in the same room as Edward Norton and Michael Keaton

I work a Thanksgiving Day commercial for one day, setting up office in a home gym in a house with a price tag that makes me weep.

I work a lot of odd jobs.

I work.

What am I doing?!

I’ve become a drone, mindlessly filling out job application after application, hoping to at least land a gig that caters to my skill set. I apply for retail jobs, knowing full well they are the very textbook definition of temporary and I fear repeating the vicious cycle that the last six years have been. (As me about it some time, I’ll tell you all about it. Preferably over drinks.)  I wind up doing more writing and land a few pieces on Vh-1 which fuels me to find my niche and again I’m dumbfounded.

I’ve never done a career assessment. Ever.

In college, I was always in the career office looking at job postings, figuring I can do that, that sounds easy enough. I never sat with anyone to discuss my skills and interests. I never figured out what it was thatI could do and then was completely baffled as to why I had been passed for the position. I still never went to see anyone about it, figuring it was because I hadn’t had a proper resume to begin with. How many times as a college student were you passed on a job because you didn’t have a job before? (I’ve been working since the age of fourteen)

After that, I just dove head first into everything that I could, figuring something would stick in my wheelhouse. I worked in A&R, I worked as a camera operator, post production assistant, I was a copywriter, I was a delivery girl (woman!), I ran social media for various entities. I did it all, I did too much, I wanted to do more. I’d bitched about everything going on, as is the right of all working people in a capitalist society doing what they can to survive.

I have a resume with various skills but none of that experience tallied into a single marketable skill; there is no singular thing that I can define as my ability. (Swearing doesn’t count, sadly) I have a fairly succinct resume, divided between all my media work and then my production work into two fairly respectable entities, never mind the jobs in between all of that. Looking at them side by side, I feel like I’ve been a million different people from one day to the next and none of us can agree on just who we are professionally; we just want to collect the credit, the experience, file it and see where it takes us. (forget the hot mess that I am on a personal level.)

Just what the fuck is it that I do?

Like I said. I’ve never done a career assessment. I’ve had professional friends work with me on molding and shaping who I am, or at least guiding me in the direction to which is best suited to my abilities. We all agreed that I am a Swiss Army Knife. Adaptable to situations, capable, smart, stylish. Pocket sized.

I should pick a better selfie

I tried to do it myself.

What I’ve figured out so far is that I write a lot, (ramble coherently mostly), enjoy comic books, movies, I have pretty gay tendencies, I like animals, movies, off-color humor, drinking and swearing.

Basically I’m a Puerto Rican Judd Apatow character.

(if he was y’know a little more diverse in his writing)

I struggle with anxiety and I learned that when I speak to people, I have to memorize a script so that I can avoid mumbling something incoherent. (Fun fact! I was a theater kid for most of my life but my decision to get tattoos and dye my hair often tanked it.) I started getting more in depth with researching things, reading deeper into some articles. I wrote down ideas and tried testing them out on this blog. I tried dressing better too; apparently t-shirt and jeans is not standard grown lady apparel. I did not receive that notice. Studies indicate that doing little things to improve one’s appearance can increase their confidence and outwardly influence people they meet and thusly line your pockets with money. (vicious cycle)

Now armed with this newfound knowledge, I send out my resume, cover letter and articles to various publications in the hope that one of these strange traits will land me something somewhat resembling an opportunity but I still feel fake. I work and tweak the details, polish myself up, sell sell sell. I curb my social media habits, especially if I’m using them to market myself. I can’t have my moody music posts deterring people from considering me. (we’ve all posted Coldplay songs, shut up) Even with all of this, I feel off.

There’s a nagging feeling at the back of my head. Something I keep missing and I know it.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

I didn’t list that as something I’m fully capable of doing.

me editing this mess

When I was employed full time, all I did was write on the side, the phantom ideas taking up my headspace while working on sheets, deadlines and deliveries. When I lost my job, I broke out all my notebooks, pouring over them, pulling them apart for deeper ideas and I started working on them. It felt much like looking through a yearbook when you’ve completely failed at everything. You want to find the place it went wrong and pick up from there, with fresh arms and legs to carry it.  I broke out a fresh notebook, Post It’s tucked into margins with plot points I had to remember and things I need to remember with world building. I started working on them all the time, hoping that maybe all the experience I’d collected would just pour out in the next great American novel because so far, my luck has been terrible. What’s the worst that could happen, really?

The one thing that’s kept me sane has been writing. My reading has declined substantially despite my growing book hoarding habits (thanks Strand!)  and article perusing while job hunting but my writing, my writing has continued. My last article for Vh-1, the controversial Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You May Be Christmas’ Greatest Song. Ever, landed me my first blockbuster article share (including a RT from Mariah’s team) and first brush with “U R A RETARD GO FUK URSELF MARIAH SUX” hate mail in the comments section. I’ve placed six with them and am trying to work on a full time reccurring segment of sorts but haven’t found the right hook as of yet. Truthfully, I haven’t been able to match that just yet; it’s the Thriller article of my young writing career. I’m working on Bad but fear that all anyone will ever want is Thriller. The fact is, I’m writing, so, that’s a good thing.

So.

Let’s recap.

I lost my job.

I worked a lot of other jobs.

I’m still looking for a job.

I will talk about work with you. Over drinks. Or not. Whatever.

Here’s what I do:

  1. I write
  2. I direct
  3. I produce
  4. I create
  5. I take pictures of random animals that I find in the street and fight the urge to bring them home with me because I’m unemployed and can’t afford that kind of lifestyle right now.
  6. I offer tech support in emerging technologies
  7. I tell dick joks
  8. I can manage YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine accounts. With some bilingual flair.
  9. I am a strange brand indeed but you won’t be bored.
  10. I’m the invisiblecircus

Let’s see where it goes because I want to be a better me.

What I Learned in 2014

It’s already 2:30 in the morning on January 1, 2015.

I had days to put this together but chose when I am buzzed and oddly nostalgic to put this together.

in 2015 I will be 31 years old.

That’s odd to type, but that’s what it is.

I learned, back in 2014, that that’s what happens, you get old. you realize that things are happening and you’re aging and you can either get Botox or get with it. I got with it.

I accept it.

I learned that when you take a job with a company, you should do something about making sure you know your rights.

I learned that when you learn your rights, you should commit them to memory because that way, you won’t, no matter what, repeat the same naive thing. Sure, I had that job when I was 28 and didn’t know any better, I still should’ve exorcised some kind of adult type of discipline and looked into what I was walking into. So there’s your first tip: look into things, make sure you understand what’s happening because if you’re like me and you’ve spend your life working for barest minimum doing whatever you can to make sure you’re somewhat comfortable, you’re doing things wrong. You’re not reading fine prints, you’re not checking the labels and that’s where things get weird.

I learned that just because people are nice to you doesn’t mean they’re going to always be that way. Most of them are looking for things and reasons to build their own empires. They will build them on your back. Don’t curve your spine to make someone else’s empire stand tall.

I learned that I am not a cat.

I am a dark slippy thing and I shall slip around in the darkness.

I learned that I am actually a wolf.

A dragon.

A beast.

A hydra with the golden fleece on my shoulders.

I am a many headed, many limbed thing that breathes fire, born of blood and in the darkness that many fear to tread.

I am that thing that people post Facebook as a status.

That is my life.

I am a creature that breathes fire, drinks blood, lives in the darkness and basks in the promise of the light.

I am a conundrum.

A nightmare dressed like a daydream.

I learned that I like men and women.

I like them strong.

I like them brave.

I like one woman in particular who is still just out of my reach but still manages to consistently take my breath away and I will stand here completely still, immobile until she realizes that this is who I am and we are just what we are made to be; perfectly imperfect, disaster wearing matching t-shirts with fun choices in tattoos and a penchant for leaving hilarious dick jokes on people’s personal property. She knows who she is. She has my heart and she always will. Hell or high water.

I learned that I love a woman more than my very own life and that’s why I’m still here, trying to impress her.

I learned that I like to be surprised. Even if it’s in the stupidest ways.

I learned that I am still working on things that no one understand and that I am just fine with that.

I learned that whiskey makes me strong, vodka makes me laugh, tequila is strange and rum sneaks up on me.

All of them together make me a human muppet.

I learned that despite everything, the failures, the job loss, the confusion and lack of understanding with what it is I can do in this world, I am still a wolf. I was raised to be a wolf and if I was thrown to them, I came back leading a pack because that’s what resourceful people do.

I learned I am not resourceful.

I’m actually thrifty, crafty and a survivor.

I learned that my strange family is much more normal that I’ve given them credit for and someday, I’ll tell you all about it.

I’ve learned that every five year dalliance with suicide was prevented because of curiosity. I’m still here somehow and if you’re struggling with depression, it gets better. It’s manageable. It’s not perfect and every day is a strange new experience but imagine how much stranger it would be if you didn’t have them.

I learned that Taylor Swift isn’t as bad as she seems if you just listen to the lyrics and realize this girl did more with her afternoon than you have done with your entire summer and that’s why you’re mad at her. Take that aggression and make your own album that people will listen to.

Like Lana DelRey but with more personality.

Listen to people.

I learned that people will talk to a wallflower far faster than they will the social supernova.

I’m a wallflower.

I learned that in 2014.

I learned that I don’t want kids because I don’t want to give them a world that is terrible, cruel and cold. I don’t want them to have a mother who isn’t as cool as mine is.

I learned that I like TV. I like writing and I would like to be paid for it.

I write fan fiction.

Don’t look for it.

you won’t find it.

I ship people who despite everything are still people who shouldn’t be together because somehow I wish that’d TV luck would sprinkle on me.

I learned that even though I miss you, I don’t need you and you’re actually terrible and you’re a fuckface and honestly, you should probably get that checked out.

Sorry.

Was that a subtweet?

Do subtweets count in a long winded blog?

I learned that I look like a girl on TV that people fantasize but when I’m in front of them, they pretend they didn’t see me.

I learned that I collect tattoos because they are pieces of armor to keep me from being hurt, even though they rarely work.

I got a passport.

I got my drivers license.

I learned that I can go anywhere and that I want to just disappear.

I learned I’m too old for any program that will allow that to happen.

I learned that loyalty is only as good as the thing you’re working on.

I met some amazing people, we’ve gotten shitfaced, eaten at great diners and laughed at stupid things. We get along and I swear the high school me admires how brave I am for going outside after dark to drink with good people.

I learned that I like greasy breakfast food.

I learned that I’m a good cook and no one listens to me when I tell them how to make rice because they want me to make it to their exact specifications and giggle because I do it.

I learned that my talents aren’t wasted, they’re just being used for all the wrong things.

I learned that someone will want me for those talents.

Bonus points.

I learned that I could be a rapper but I don’t want whatever the fuck is happening to Iggy Azalea’s career also I’m terrible at rapping.

I learned that telling someone you love them is the most dangerous thing you can do. Telling them repeatedly is basically asking God to strike you dead. Defying God is basically yelling YOLO to the heavens. I do it regularly.

I realized that I spent too much time in 2013 worrying about everything that I was a mess in 2014 and I’m in 2015 wondering if I can make it better.

I realized that there are far more things in the world wrong that there are with me and that’s okay.

I learned that Kanye West put out the best albums of his career without anyone realizing and I hope that he understands that people like me understand people like him because he was smart enough to use his skills.

I learned that I am no a cat.

I am a wolf.

 

How Job Hunting Brought Me Here

If you’ve looked at my bio on Twitter (which I hope you have) I have listed myself as a content strategist, digital media guru, YouTube specialist and cat lady. These are all key things to
keep in mind when you consider that I have been job hunting since April of this year. I know what you’re thinking, you played on the internet, how hard could it be to get back in the game? The answer is really effing hard.

I am self taught in the digital domain game and my mentor, an extraordinary woman in her own right, both walked into the digital realm with bright eyes and can do attitudes that meant we were ready to take on the world. We did. The world wasn’t ready for us just yet.

This is not a sob story, this is a reboot, a reimagined version of what is to come.

At around the time of my job loss, my mom had been struggling to find one of her own. She’s a 20 year veteran of the garment industry, my mom has consistently worked, paid my tuition for school and kept food on the table and clothes on my back. As of December 31, 2013, my mom has been out of work. She’s taken a few freelance jobs that lasted a few months working for the same people responsible for her job loss and continues to scour the industry pages and job listings hoping for something. Here’s the thing that breaks my heart. My mom shouldn’t have to go through this at her age. She shouldn’t have to be fighting the same kids I fight (20 something’s with stars in their eyes) to get a job in an industry focused on outsourced and overpriced goods made in countries that are getting wiser to the game. Here she is, fighting and losing. My mom has never had much love for the fashion industry. She loves fashion and really did her best to get me to quit the tired tee and jeans look that’s my trademark but she never felt passionate about making sure the clothes the toddlers wore were actually flame retardant and wouldn’t choke your kid out; it was a job that kept her idiot child out of trouble and fed. She demanded and instilled that I keep reaching for the top shelf (because that’s where there good liquor is) and beyond for whatever bizarre dream I was clinging to. My mom wanted to be a doctor but she never said why she never continued it and that’s always bothered me, how she could dream but only a little bit and want the world for me. Today, she began paperwork for early retirement.

Meanwhile, I’ve been hustling like the good New Yorker I am, networking and freelancing to keep up with the pile of bills misery and paperwork to get back into an industry that doesn’t really care how you describe yourself in a Twitter profile but how you work on a set for 18 hours delirious from lack of sleep and anxious for that email saying you’ve booked your next gig. I had something that I enjoyed after shoveling crap for so long. Yes I love creating content. I love making people laugh and think and I did it for other companies for a long time but when do you stop making things happen for other people and make things happen for yourself? And how do you do it?

The new age in technology has allowed everyone to make an impact in was we didn’t know possible. We can see opportunities wherever we are not looking because there’s so many lanes open. We are capable of designing our own paths and we can find people we didn’t know we’re looking for us. I never had a chance to really think about what makes me an individual; I never gave a quality answer during interviews about why I was a qualified candidate and I tended to make terrible jokes about cartoons, Im an idiot basically. I never thought about my value as a person to any I the organizations I had been a part of (I’ve held a few odd jobs) so the first days and weeks of being jobless hurt more than anything. I had identified with this company so much so that I forgot why they liked me in the first place. It happens. You get comfortable. Feel safe. You are one.

I weighed my job options. My old retail job was looking for people but I couldn’t go back to that, not after launch parties at 40/40 Club (yes ESPN on the screen) or crashing celebrity birthday bashes and drinking free top shelf liquor. It was like being Mase and going back to being Diddy’s gardener; I couldn’t walk away from the cool kid life. I filed for city jobs, corporate jobs, temp work everything and waited for a call from someone.

As I sat filing for unemployment I was writing. A lot. I’ve always been a writer, it’s just one of those things I was able to do without thinking but it was never asked of me to do regularly, so it was in the back burner. I wrote fanfiction (it got that grim but I have to say, some of it is really good) I wrote bad poetry, 140 character reviews, I even took the time to write Amazon reviews! I was writing articles for this blog, submitting to different digital properties I’d had professional relationships with and hoping they’d be interested in the ramblings of a now 30 year old uber child; turns out they already had a staff of 20 year old über children and they were armed to the teeth with gifs. Things were pouring out of me and I didn’t know where they could all go.

I had a bit of a rebellious summer. Cut and dyed my hair colors I couldn’t have with my 9-5, joined some fandoms, marathoned tv shows and kept up with what was going on with the digital landscape. I revamped my resume, I worked the US Open and made some connections but the confidence had been beaten out of me. The bravery to really go out and get that ESPN/CBS/TNN job just…I was rattled. Here I was, working an event meeting people right in the thick of things and I was reduced to a mess of goo because I didn’t know what I could bring to these people that they didn’t already have. You see, losing your job is a strike to the heart because you never saw it coming and what it does is rattle you body and soul. It renders you immobile because you want to know what you did wrong and no one will tell you. Everyone you hoped would help aren’t there and you’re out in the world alone and confused because it was all good just a week ago. So I sat. I waited. I submitted to more jobs and I waited. I wanted to quit but I couldn’t. What would I be quitting?

The government keeps saying that unemployment is on the decline but they always fail to mention that the resources are diminishing and that means people who were claiming it can’t anymore so of course it looks like everyone is okay. They just stopped claiming. They’re onto the next thing to make ends meet. They’re filing for social security, disability, something to keep themselves afloat in a city that doesn’t value the working class.
So I kept writing.

A friend pitched me to someone way back when and an email appeared while I was out with Waffle that changed a few things.

I was tasked with writing for and EDM property.

Now if you’re a fan of the blog (all five of you are and I thank you) you see I’ve been doing first reaction listens of albums. I figured no sweat. Someone cares right? I dove in. I dug up old stories, dusted them off and submitted them for approval. I landed a byline. A.DIGITAL.BYLINE. On a music news site that I frequented and my brain melted.

I had given digital rebirth to myself like some cybernetic Phoenix. My mom immediately took to Facebook (never doubt the power of a mothers love when it comes to her small social media presence) and demanded that everyone on her timeline read my scribblings. She had tears in her eyes. The last time she’d been this proud of me was when I’d graduated high school. I kid. It was when I landed the job that changed everything and brought me into the digital world but still.

I learned things about myself that I didn’t know. You’d think I’d have a good idea of who I am but there’s always something. I learned that I am a thinker; overthinking to the point of crippling indecision. I learned that I pick up on social cues and things people say and do, learn how to read the signs and plan accordingly. I learned that everyone will help if you help yourself and that while no job is perfect or permanent, the people who make it feel like it is are the ones you want to keep in contact with. I learned that my mom is super into puzzle games and really wants me to accept her Facebook invite to Gardens of Time (still pending) and that she still really believes that even when things are shitty, they can either be worse or get better. I learned that I just have to try, even if I don’t know what to expect. I don’t care how old you get, you always want to make yo momma proud. Bottom line.

I am a digital strategist, media mogul, YouTube specialist and cat lady. I’m also the daughter of a woman who made it possible for be to believe that for every weird thought you’ve had about making a difference in the world, you’re right. That you’re tougher than you thought, that you are not labels you write in your Twitter bio, you aren’t disposable or replaceable. You can fight your way back in and make everyone remember your name.

Job hunting made me find and create my dream job and as corny as it sounds, it really does happen.

Now if it paid better, I’d be set.

Find me on Twitter @invisiblecircus

I Listened to “Trigga” Because You Didn’t Tell Me It Was Out

While Usher was sitting in a spin chair on The Voice, he left the lane wide open for other sexy men to infiltrate the musical bedrooms of young ladies. In that time we had Jason Derulo try to get us to “Talk Dirty” (curses, that sax hook is stuck in my head now) and never to be outdone Mr. Steal Your Girl, Trey Songz made us want to work out more with “Nana.” While Usher spends time reminding you why he is really that good, Trigga was released this week so he can bask in the juicy that is dirty sex and booze.

You didn’t tell me.

Now I’m going to listen to it.

Italics are lyrics.

Track 1 Cake

There are not enough songs about booty in the world.

Trap trap trap beats.

:30 I’m taken but I want you

: 48 You can’t have cake and eat it too

but aint that what you supposed to do? 

Cake’s on the menu. 

This song is about Cake. NOTHING ELSE. Trey obviously loves pastries.

Track 2 Foreign

We’re going on a sex adventure with Trey.

Colombia, France, Australia…

This is already better than Talk Dirty only because while naming it manages to convince you that other girls from other countries are hot, there is no sax loop to drive you insane and subsequently have your  parents dance. Passports are important.

You know I had to cop that foreign.

Track 3 Na Na

This song was designed to blow out speakers and probably backs.

I think I already did and I’m alone at home.

ayyeee.

Three tracks in and I think the goal is to have already gotten clothes off.

Track 4 Touchin, Lovin feat Nicki Minaj

Reunited with Nicki and the pre-chorus is a nod to R.Kelly/ Biggie’s Fuckin You Tonight.

The dirty old bitch that I am finds that endearing.

This is the ‘we’re in our underwear’ portion of the album.

IT IS ONLY TRACK 4.

2:40 Nicki bringing the fire, call 911. Lyrically, she’s just been impeccable since dropping that lame persona she picked up from Gaga.

Track 5 Disrespectful ft Mila J

Alright, we’re on a storytelling tip right now. Picture both of you cheating and neither of you caring about your significant other because HE’S WEARING YOUR MAN’S SLIPPERS BUT TRIGGA DON’T CARE.

ugh.

This song is terrible with how real it is because there are people who really don’t give two shits about the side piece wearing the main piece’s things.

Also real catchy.

Track 6 Dead Wrong feat Ty Dolla $ign

All of these songs about hoes and clubs being disrespectful. Who hurt you Trey?

But the hoes gonna do what they want

Trey’s done a fantastic job of know where his strengths are and the production so far has really been complimentary to that ‘pre club, pre game’ crowd. Features have been solid so far.

Also, this is the hickey portion of the sexing theoretically happening to this album.

Track 7 All We Do

Welcome to the creep part of the album. Elastic snaps, slow delivery high snap snares. This is basically a slow mo video.

1:20 All we do is fuck drink and sleep.

I’m clearly in the wrong line of work.

Actually shocked that the bestie Drake isn’t on this track, this literally all he talks about.

All we do is let the hook repeat too often tho.

Track 8 Foreign Remix feat Justin Bieber

I want to skip this so badly…

:30 Dominican Puerto Rican yea they do it for me. *justin beieber

I WANT TO LIGHT MYSELF ON FIRE.

couldn’t do it. Gotta skip and the features were really good right until this happened. JESUS BE ANTI BACTERIAL GEL.

Track 9 Late Night feat Juicy J

Mike Will Made It production.

We’re telling time with more trap music and late night booty calls, which are the only ones anyone is interested in. If you’re calling for brunch sex, please ask elsewhere. Like the girlfriend you’re cheating on with the late night jump off.

At this point you’ve probably chilled a bit and are getting snacks but run back because Juicy J is on.

2:30 SHE RATCHET DIRTY DIANA. 

Juicy J has been incredible with the pop culture references. People have actually had to explain the Jeffery Dahmer line in Dark Horse.

Track 10 SmartPhones

Starts with the buzz from a phone on a flat surface that makes you look for your own phone to make sure it’s not the bae…because you’re out cheating remember?

This is the track that makes you remember that cheating and drinking is bad so you want to say sorry and you find the right words using a Trey Songz song vs a say…Robin Thicke. You also will leave the lyrics to this on a FB status.

1:45 So if she heard it all. I’m all out of love tonight. I could say it was a joke but who am I kidding she ain’t slow.

He’s giving me Usher circa “Confessions” feelings right now.

Now I’m gonna say whatever it takes.

time is not on our side cause she’s waving goodbye goodbye

Smartphones dumb shit

Track 11 Yes, No Maybe

We’ve hit the part of the album where all that Mr Steal Your Girl’ing has gotten you caught in the feels and she’s going out and doing all that Ms. Steal Your Man thing that hoes do.

This is the song that’s about the fact that fidelity is difficult and people let each other be hoes while they hope they can get it out of their system just so they can get married but we all know the old saying, can’t make a ho a housewife but good luck with that

Dragged on too long.

Track 12 Y.A.S

Slow piano over trap snare.

:49 Guess I got used to hearing whatever I wanted to hear

Guess I got used to feeling like you were supposed to give it here

She ain’t got nothing good to say so she ain’t saying nothin.

Lot of dudes not listening to their ladies.

Y.A.S is an acronym for You Aint Shit.

THIS IS GENIUS.

This is the dress down track because she’s found the dude that’s actually not Trey (it’s actually Usher) and he’s much better. The butthurt sincerity is real and the track has taken a hilarious dramatic piano jab and it’s bordering into R.Kelly storytelling theatrics.

Track 13 Change Your Mind

The cute pop track that gets buried at the bottom of these albums because you don’t want to be THAT soft dude but the lady has to know you cuddle and wear matching Snuggies while watching Netflix. It’s 90s pop snap that someone young would’ve done to break into the scene.

Change my mind Trey, g’head

 

Track 14 What’s Best For You

The break up song.

Always buried at the end of the album after all the hoe-ing is done. There’s a sincerity in his delivery that really makes him stand out vocally. Again, another vintage sounding track with well produced layering and approach that kinda makes up for all the drinking we just did.

In case you’re keeping score, this is the part where the making out has stopped and you’re kinda in that cuddle mode.

Track 15 Love Around The World

We’re back to finding all the girls we met in the “Foreign” track because the passport is missing and can’t get back to the bae without it so we have to treat this like the Hangover and retrace our steps with makin love with all the ladies in the cities we’ve been and dig around the couch cushions for that passport.

I’ve made LOoooooove all around the world.

Pitbull better watch his back…Mr. Steal Your Girl might be Mr. Worldwide.

Track 16 I Know (Can’t Get It Back)

Violins and synths…this should be good.

:20 I never had time for you

This is why you went on your international plow festival?!

1:00 I’ve been living my life in these clubs

but but…you made me change my mind!!

These hoes ain’t loyal.

The violin loop is just the most right now.

Track 17 Mr. Steal Your Girl

We’ve reached the sensual part of the album where now we’ve learned that he’s not going to get back with the other girl so here we are about to do some nekkid stuffs because let’s face it, all that’s why  pressed play on this album. KAY?

I’m glad we got to that point.

1:50 Let your man know that Mr. Steal Your Girl is back

I didn’t doubt it.

Overall, Trigga is one of those albums that you know Songz goes into the studio intending to deliver the goods…musically, boning is optional. It’s the album you listen to when you’re feeling a type of way (horny) and it may not hold up for overall listening a year from now simply because the material is almost a retread of his older work. Vocally he’s in his element and production wise he definitely succeeds in challenging the new school or urban r&b hierarchy since the seat seems to be vacated. A few tracks drag but they’re more for the DJs who will definitely use these tracks in the club…

I Listened to “Paula” Because You Didn’t Want To

A lot of things have been said about Robin Thicke lately.

They’re hilarious.

In the same way Macklemore makes people cringe, Robin Thicke seems to not quite fit into the world that they so obviously love. In Thicke’s case, he’s been boxed into a strange category that makes him too old for the Justin Timberlake crowd and too creepy for the neo-soul group. Both have managed to make everyone severely uncomfortable with how comfortable they are with totally repackaging and redistributing African American culture in safe white packaging. Perhaps it’s because “Blurred Lines” was the most overplayed, most over interpreted song of summer 2013, people have basically decided that they’ve given up on Robin and it seems like his estranged wife Paula Patton has done the same thing which brings us to the point of this; Robin Thicke’s latest Paula.

The apology tour started in May of 2014 where, clad in jeans and a t-shirt, the Bizarro Justin Timberlake took to the stage and sang his Remy Martin drunk heart out with the lead single “Get Her Back” Drunken tears in his eyes, he set out to well, get her back. It was a spectacle. Twitter erupted in a frenzy as we all asked the same thing: “What the hell is going on?!” It was almost too easy to make fun of him and because the internet is like that, they did and it was also hilarious. It seemed like he was a one hit wonder who was milking his fifteen minutes with a random sob story about his wife leaving him at the ‘height of his career’. Please don’t forget that he had two other hits from previous albums, so essentially he’s one of those guys who gets a great lead single but struggles to follow up so he’s pretty much like a boyfriend you have in your 20s who promises you some things but as they deliver they forget the other stuff.

It’s been tough being Robin Thicke.

Mostly because of the name but…

Let’s listen to Paula.

Italics are lyrics.

Track 1: You’re My Fantasy

This automatically gives ‘I listened to a Sade song with spanish guitars, lets go with that’ Touch me your my fantasy…He’s talking about reincarnation we were lovers in a previous life.

The hook Please x8 Touch me you’re my fantasy BRUH. WHERE IS YOUR CHILL. There’s way too much thirst on this track already and I kinda feel uncomfortable because he’s spent all this time whispered most of the hook into the mic really close and I can spell the Henny, er Remy Martin on his breath. Now he’s talking about hearing her giggle down the hall. Get a priest.

2:44 this song is already too many lyrics too long.

4:10 Can’t get too much of you I’ll never make it without you We’re connecting the early creep part with begging and audio from what sounds like a dinner party where I’m guessing he’s being weird and staring at Paula, uh, the woman who’s his fantasy while she’s busy doing other things…like avoiding him.

5:20 we’re repeating the hook, pre hook and extended musical break.

Track 2: Get Her Back

The bouncier track so far. He’s got Motown harmony on this and a loose guitar riff but again, he’s leaning too heavy into that mic again and the Remy is really distracting. He’s listing all the things he has to remind herself of, like when you go shopping and keep reminding yourself of the eggs milk and bread you need. I shouldn’t never raised my voice ?! Bruh.

It’s a stripped down list of things that he wants to do. Play you that song you and your girlfriends wanna sing sooooo someone else’s track right?

Track 3: Still Madly Crazy

He’s channeled John Legend for this song, raspy voiced and piano backing. It gives Lost Without You vibes…which oddly enough became a wedding anthem back in 2004. Im sorry you had to suffer my lack of control you’d think by now I would’ve grown. It sounds more like Paula errrr his fantasy put up with a lot of shit. I’m trying to find the pity.

Track 4: Lock The Door

We’ve got creepy choir going…we’re going to sex church apparently.

sha nah nah nah nah

He’s continuing raspy piano delivery and I think the knocking is actually John Legend asking dude to get the fuck off his piano.

I kept trying to tell you you kept pushing me too far

i kept trying to warning you you were slowly breaking my heart

Kept giving you all of me but you kept taking too much

I dunno what this is but this ain’t love.

The lady choir is playing Paula…ehhhhh….fantasy woman so the hook is basically an argument and he keeps knocking for her to let him in because…she’s locked the door.

3:12 Reenforced locked door.

3:30 still dragging on about her and the locked door, no porch lights..sure she even still lives there?

4:00 Open the doggie door throw a dog a juicy bone. 

Track 5 Whatever I Want

Group start of Awwwwwwwww into a bouncy guitar bass line that sounds kinda like what you’d expect at a creepy swinger party.

The Little Shop girls are back.

I can do whatever I want

(finally)

I can do whatever I want

(freedom)

Wait, you wanted back in the house the track before. What’s going on here?

2:20 the chant clap portion of our already still too long song

You usually list the things you are going to do since you can do whatever you want…like…find a producer who’ll craft songs for you a little neater than this stream of consciousness musical arrangement you’ve dedicated to your wife.

Track 6 Living In New York City

Trying too hard to be funky with a 70s soul bassline

:10 he just yelled black daddy.

:15 I said black daddy.

yeap. he did.

Me you NY why not?

Very Prince if Prince decided to be the front man for Morris Day and the Time and give them his weakest material because BLOUSES.

1:30 I said black daddy

This is the song you have in the background when you’re listening to Spotify while waiting for the DJ to show up so you shazaam it and you kinda double take because it wasn’t bad but you’re now embarrassed because of WHO it is.

2:44 I gotta testify. GOOD GAWD. 

Track 7: Love Can Grow Back

Brassy bluesy 4 am smokey Jazz club…alright we’re getting somewhere.

:22 You’re way too young to dance like that in front of man like me baby. 

and it’s awkward.

1:19 Show me our love can grow back with your new nails on my back. 

Robin built a time machine and is lusting mightily for Jessica Rabbit…I’m not mad I’m just saying that this was about Paula..but that’s none of my business…

Track 8 Black Tar Cloud

Probably the beatier meatier track on this already bloated album but the beat reminds of a far better produced Kanye beat.

:40 you tryna hit me with my favorite golf club

:55 You took 20 pills 

this is either the Tiger Woods story or the plot to some crazy Lifetime movie with Valerie Bertinelli.

This track actually manages to sonically be about a few different things at the same time which is what you need if you want album to hold up six minutes after it’s been released.

Track 9 Too Little Too Late

It’s 1997 in Robin’s head.

Way elastic beat that feels like it’s a demo for a boy band. The Ladies are back.

1:15 and I already want this song over.

2:00 listing the things he should’ve done again. feeding and pleasing being the top things.

Track 10 Tippy Toes

Another big bass track.

Dancing on her toes 

Dancing on her tippy tippy toes. 

I’m creeped out.

This is has to be a rejected track from Hairspray.

1:50 She can twerk but she’d rather dip bounce and bust.

2:00 This song is way too long

Track 11 Something Bad

I can smell the Remy…

:00 Theres something bad in me

THIS SONG HAS CORNY SYTHS RIFFS IN IT.

He’s going for the True Blood theme but it sounds like the music you play in a techno futuristic strip club where you pay them to put their clothes back on because the music is so terrible and you feel terrible.

1:40 little birdy flew in the window took a picture and flew out with a dirty tweet 

the buh buh buh baddd stutter…

THIS DIDN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN, THESE GIRLS DESERVE BETTER

Track 12 The Opposite of Me

We’re at a mid-tempo top 40 Lite FM song where we learn what she actually wants and it turns out, surprise, it’s not actually him.

All that she needs is a good man All she needs is another try All that she needs is something that I can’t give her.

All that she wants is the honesty

All that she wants is the opposite of me. 

All that she wants is someone that doesn’t hurt

All that she wants is the action not the words. 

2:00 I just rewarded her with my drunken rants.

Still too long.

This song is just like Blur’s She Fucking Hates Me. Go listen to that instead.

Track 13 Time of Your Life

Bryan Setzer called, he said please don’t try to bring big band swing back.

Michael Buble probably would’ve knocked this song out of the park because it’s Michael Buble and he’s adorable as hell.

1:22 This album is a fucking struggle to listen to.

Track 14 Forever Love

The second single from the album pretty much is trying to snatch the schmalz crown from the King John Legend. Again. raspy voice and piano.

:49 I’ll be there biggin you up. 

This has to be taken from the diary of a 15 year old.

This may be the most vulnerable track on the album. Considering how many confessional lines that were left in different parts of this incoherent album that may not be a good thing.

THANK GOD IT’S THE END.

This should’ve been a concept record where the label said YOU CANNOT BE A CREEP AND NAME IT AFTER YOUR WIFE or an EP where he just let it out there and saw what happened while privately working on fixing the whole thing, like a normal person. Make a mixtape, send it to the not bae and work on fixing yourself. It’s easy to blast him for releasing this album immediately after his latest because it’s not like the streets were clamoring for the follow up but it’s also a little heartbreaking to know that this is the best way to get attention for something that so obviously bothers him. This doesn’t seem like the first time the two of them have had a blow out, the previously mentioned “Lost Without You” was dedicated to her when they broke up the last time. The thing that’s interesting about this album is that it doesn’t seem to have an real producer attached to it to give it shape and mold it into an actual album worth listening to; it feels very much cobbled together from discarded tracks that didn’t make previous albums and iron was hot, so strike it.

I’m currently in the making friends again after being estranged part of my relationship and it is NOT EASY but we both had to walk away and evaluate things. Yes, there is bad poetry and poor choices (hair cuts and dye jobs) but those things are done privately where when you wake up you can say, “Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, I am NOT the right completion for blonde” and have not bae tell you they already knew that…and then you start talking.

There have been far more superior break up albums released this year, two from across the pond by Coldplay (Ghost Stories) and Sam Smith (In The Lonely Hour) that dive deep into the deep sea that is break up misery and probably dozens more that effectively convey that sense of loss this album is trying to capture. Paula seems like he just looked through some of his notebooks for some of the most cliche things to sing about while chugging all of the finest top shelf booze he had access too.

Everyone can do better.