Sunday Giggles.

Leaving this here without comment.

If you can relate to this video, having cared for little furry creatures of your own, pass this along to someone else to brighten their day.

 

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Don’t Come a Knockin’ When…the Apartment’s A-Rockin?

Apparently there is some kind of winter vortex making it’s way through the central and eastern parts of the country this winter.

I swear, every time I log in to social media, I see nothing but posts of pictures of mountains of blackening snow, people complaining about the frigid temperatures freezing off their faces, and that one psychotic friend that’s basking in the weather and praying for more flurries.

No one likes that guy.

This winter has been harsh for most, but not so in sunny Southern California. Granted, we had three days of some pretty heavy rain which translates into a blizzard for us so close to the border. Lots of car accidents, people fretting about the precipitation, and even more dressed inappropriately. Basically them same thing as a blizzard, you guys.

We also have a little somthin’ somethin’ that many other states aren’t privileged to experience: EARTHQUAKES.

I’m not a huge fan of natural disasters. You won’t find me chasing tornadoes or going surfing during a Hurricane. The difference between those events and an earthquake is that you can sometimes receive a warning with the former, and you can prepare or evacuate with the latter.

Earthquakes, however, are the original honey badger of mother nature’s children. They just don’t give a shit.

No warning, no heads up, no nothing.

I’ve been in several Earthquakes since moving to LA almost two years ago (wow, time flies) but I’ve actually not been completely conscious for most of them. The previous three I’ve been in have all happened during the night. Twice, I thought I was dreaming. Another time I remember drowsily wondering why the boat I was on was rocking so much. Then I woke up and realized I wasn’t on a boat. Those earthquakes were mild and over relatively quickly.

Different story with St. Patrick’s Day 2014.

I was up at the crack of dawn getting ready to depart for work. I was showered and dressed and sitting on the edge of the bed debating if stopping for doughnuts at Krispy Kreme 4 days in a row was socially acceptable.

All of a sudden, my bed starts to move and a deep rumbling sounds.

“My! That’s a loud and heavy garbage truck,” I mused to myself.

“Oh. Wait. It’s not trash day.”

Then I realize that it’s not just my bed but my entire apartment that’s rocking. Then the banging sounds begin. My stomach jumps up into my throat as I spring out of bed. I stand stock still for a moment before remembering that my elementary school teacher mentioned that West Coast kids have to stand in doorways when an Earthquake happens. I run to the nearest doorway and clutch the sides until my fingers pale with the force of my grip.

I fervently pray that the shaking ends soon. It’s situations like this that my Catholic heritage subconsciously reappears and the Hail Mary’s burst forth through my mouth like water through a broken dam.

In reality, it’s less than a minute in total, but when you’re wondering if the ceiling will drop on your head, it feels like an eternity. When it finally stops, my body is tingling with the adrenaline rushing through it. I begin pacing my apartment, expecting aftershocks, and eventually decide to grab my things and go.

I check social media and all of my usually late-sleeping Angeleno friends were rocked out of their beds, as well. That’s human kind’s new response to things. Check in on Facebook to make sure you’re not insane.

I haven’t felt fear like that many times in my life and being on the 4th floor doesn’t give me much security when the thought of the building collapsing is on the forefront of my mind.

The quake was originally designated a 4.7 but was downgraded to a 4.4 which I think is the worst possible outcome. Demoting an Earthquake is just going to provoke it into coming back harder and stronger next time.

Good job, U.S. Geological Survey.

What Would Ellen DeGeneres Do?

I recently discovered an app on my phone (thanks to an awesome gal pal) that allows you to download audiobooks and ebooks to your mobile device. What makes this app (Overdrive) special is that you’re downloading it from your local public library FOR FREE.

Free is absolutely the best price.

You borrow the title, much like you would a physical book, download it, and then return it by clicking a button when your 21 days (usually) are over.

So simple, so easy, so worth it.

I commute to work and so this app has been life changing for the few days that it’s been living on my iPhone. The first title I downloaded was “Seriously…I’m Kidding” by none other than the amazingly wonderful Ellen DeGeneres. 

I’d previously tried reading this book, but couldn’t get into it which is crazy because I love this woman and her show. 

Many of the chapters, some just a paragraph long, are a bit nonsensical and stream of consciousness–it’s hard to get into it simply by reading from page to page. Downloading the audiobook and listening to it in her own words (she’s narrating) makes it fresh, hilarious, and easy to get lost in. It’s kind of like being at a personal one-on-one stand-up show and it’s hard to stop listening once my drive is over. In fact, there have been a few nights recently where I sit in my car cracking up, hoping the neighbors walking by don’t contact a psych ward.

Ellen’s her usual upbeat self in this book–though she does use some language I’ve never heard her use before (she drops the “B” word in one goofy rant). But as always, she encourages people to be helpful, considerate, and kind to one another. She also talks about the many benefits of keeping a positive outlook and attitude. I definitely heard this section of the book at the right time because I had an encounter today that put me in a bit of a funk:

Yesterday, the USPS incorrectly mailed a letter that I had sent to the wrong address. Instead of sending it to the person that I had intended, they sent it back to me. Never mind that the stamp was on the correct side of the envelope and that everything was written legibly. Because I put my own return address in tiny writing on the back flap instead of the front left corner, they sent it to me instead. I was especially upset because the piece of mail was a thank you card, time sensitive to my own standards, and contained a gift card for the person that gave me my informational interview.

I walked back to that same post office and stood in line waiting for the clerk to finish up with a man who seemed pretty ticked off. Both the customer and the clerk clearly learned English as a second language and were batting some pretty heated words back and forth. To top it all, the customer had a third party on the phone arguing with the clerk about whether or not he could mass ship whatever it was he was trying to ship.

The man was rude and aggressive and refused to leave even after she told him that she was unable to help him. Instead of being a shrinking violet, the female clerk gave it right back.

Good for her, I thought. That is…until it was my turn.

I walked up to the counter.

“Hi, I came in a few days ago and mailed this letter–it was mistakenly sent to me–”

Before I could finish my sentence, she had snatched the letter from my hand, scribbled out my return address that I had painstakingly written and scribbled along the barcode on the envelope. By the time she was through with penning these black masses all over my envelope, I figured the pen must certainly be out of ink.

“You write it wrong! You write it here!” she barked as she pointed to the top left corner of the front of the envelope before throwing it back at me.

“Umm…can I use your pen please?”

She drops it on the counter.

I quickly scribe my address, noting that the presentation of the gift was completely screwed, and booked it out of there.

I felt angry and upset as I walked back to my job. I understood that she was dealing with a tense situation, but I’m a new customer–a new situation–and I don’t deserve to have such negative energy thrust upon me because someone else acted like a complete douche-canoe.

I took a minute to note that I was indeed fuming and that maybe I should calm the heck down. WWED? What Would Ellen Do? [Yes, there is a chapter in her book entitled “What Would Jesus Do?”]

She’d breathe deeply, maybe do some dancing, and let it roll off her back.

Which is what I did…after making a voodoo doll of the rude customer and sticking it with my sharpest pins and needles. Change takes a long time, y’all.

ellen2

Women Helping Women

She slowly approaches the mic. 

*Tap*Tap*Tap*

Is this thing on?

It’s been a while, blogosphere. My laziness got the better of me.

But International Women’s Day (yesterday) inspired me to start clacking at my keyboard to share an experience I had this past week that I thought was well worth a post.

Apparently, it wasn’t enough inspiration to actually write it the day of, but points for doing it at all!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it on the blog before but connections are key. Doesn’t matter what industry you’re pursuing in Los Angeles, without connections, you start at the bottom of the barrel of sludge. If you’re lucky enough to claw your way up out of the muck, you’ll find yourself standing, covered in slop, at the bottom of a mountain so high that the clouds envelop the summit.

NOW. If you stumble upon someone willing to give you a leg up–someone willing to at least share advice and knowledge–you ofttimes get to circumvent all of that muck.

In my experience, a lot of women that have gained a modicum of success are “gatekeepers”–women wanting to keep the young, ambitious, and curious out. From what I can tell, they do this for two reasons:

  1. They’re threatened;
  2. They’re so wrapped up in their own accomplishments that they feel they need to “school” anyone that comes to them looking for help.

They’re ready to shoot down the starry eyed, hopeful youngin’ that reach out to them with the intention of “removing some of that naiveté”.

These women suck.

But then there are others, happy in their success, ready to help the next generation by telling them how to easily jump hurdles that previously tripped them up during their own race to the top.

Through a series of lucky circumstances and random events, I met not one of this type of woman, but two.

I made the acquaintance of a high powered, high profile, executive assistant and her predecessor. In fact, their official title is “Chief of Staff” and the organization they work for is a huge conglomerate with its hands on film, television, radio, print, philanthropic charities, etc.

It’s all mind-blowingly awesome that I got to sit down and have a chat with these ladies, and even more surprising that both gave freely of her advice and expertise. Not only that, they were willing to help me begin a job search within their company (until I let them know that I wasn’t currently on the market).

Because I’d eventually like to be just like these ladies, I’m going to share some of their tidbits of advice and some nuggets of wisdom with you.

  1. REACH OUT: if there is someone that you’ve become personally acquainted with, someone that you admire and feel that you can learn from: contact them. Ask them if you can buy them a cup of coffee in exchange for being able to pick their brain. Reach out to as many people as you can–expand your network. Don’t be afraid. The worst thing they can do is say they don’t have time.
  2. LAY THE GROUNDWORK: if you have the luxury, set up these meetings before you’re on the job hunt. People can tell when you’re coming at them wanting something, and if you come in free of that suspicion, they’ll give information more freely. This also gives your connections opportunities to get to know you and gives you a boost for when they’re eventually recommending you for a position.
  3. PREPARE: before your informational interview, gather a series of intelligent questions in case conversation stagnates. I chose to consult my many professional friends on social media and received some great queries to proffer.The most important question is “how did you get where you are?”. People love sharing their story and there is so much to be gained by listening to the details of the path that got them there. Don’t ask obvious questions, dig deep!
  4. READ “LEAN IN” by SHERYL SANDBERG: this book has been a hot topic within the working world–not everyone agrees with everything said by the author, but every woman (and man, really) should consider what she has to say. [Side note, I actually met the co-author, Nell Scovell, at a writer’s event in Los Angeles–she’s a really confident lady!] 
  5. ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE: come into the meeting with an idea of where you’d eventually like to end up–i.e. Your Dream Job. The person you’re speaking with may have advice on how to eventually get you there.
  6. FOLLOW UP: at the end of the day, stay in contact with the people you’re meeting with! If they ask you to send along a resume so they can sneak a peek, DO IT. If you’re reading an article about something that reminds you of a topic of conversation during your informational interview, send it along in an email. They may be interested in reading it, too.

I left that meeting having absolutely no idea where I will be career wise at the end of 2014.

And that is incredibly exciting.