A Day for Giving Thanks…

A Day to Give Thanks...

A Day to Give Thanks…

Whether you live in the United States or not, Thanksgiving Day is a good day to take a moment to give thanks for all the good people and things in your life, and for me that’s good health, great family and friends, a safe and happy home, and of course…. books!

In addition to some current fun I’m having in an alternate-reality, steam-punky, Victorianesque, Vampiric London (God Save the Queen), I am reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine, written in 1776.

How, how was I not forced to read this book in High School History or Civics, not to mention University American History???  Apparently the work was a huge driving force behind the creation of the Declaration of Independence.  It’s not even some super-long tome — it’s a long pamphlet!  If you are a U.S. citizen, and have not read this, go ahead and do so — it’s very enlightening, and will definitely give you more Revolutionary history street cred.

NOT TO MENTION, THOMAS PAINE LOVES SOME ALL CAPS!  It’s pretty amusing actually — I’ve read my fair share of books from the 1700 and 1800’s and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use all caps.  He may have influenced e-mail and chat room shouters everywhere. Yay?

So give thanks, DONT SHOUT (unless you are fighting tyranny), and have a lovely Thanksgiving Thursday!

(Not) Time for a Coffee (it’s 11PM after all),

Maddy

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Health and Beauty Bytes: Job Hunting Depression

Holy CRAP, these jobs suck!!

“Holy CRAP, these jobs suck!!”

Dear Awesome Subscribers and Lovely Random Readers,

I am a week behind!  Had a bit of writers block actually, but as they say, the only way to get through it is to go ahead and pick up the pen (or keyboard really) – and just get to it, so here we go.  File this one under Mental Health Bytes!

 

Angst = Part-time Job Hunting
So one of the other reasons I did not post last week was that a large chunk of my time was devoted to looking for good part-time jobs online.  This happens to me periodically when my freelance graphic design business has a lull and I think how nice it would be to have a regular paycheck again(and am avoiding doing more marketing, etc.).  However, in the immortal words of Anastasia Steele, “oh my!” – through my extensive research (one extensive week, on East Bay Craigslist), I have re-confirmed that part-time jobs are just terrible!  I mean awful.  And many times absurd.

Here were the two main offenses:

Number One: They pay next to nothing. 
I am in my late 30’s and am trying to confine my working hours to when my child is in elementary school. Granted, my “next to nothing” may not be your “next to nothing.” However since I graduated college with honors a few years ago (a few + 10) and was making over $22/hr. at my last full-time gig (Office/Project Manager/Designer, pre-bambino), the thought of trudging through an enormous laundry list of office tasks for a sweet $12 an hour ($4 less than my first job right out of college!) –  just sounds demoralizing at best.   These companies who are not required to provide benefits to their part-time employees should really compensate with a few more dollars an hour, just out of common decency.  Of course I am speaking to how things are here in the Bay Area where gas is over $3.50/gallon and a small bag of organic apples is $6.
A wage of $12 an hour, minus tax and the commute cost, would not even buy me 2 bags of friggin’ apples for an hour’s work – that just sucks.

Smeagol knows what's up: "BOOKS! My precioussssss..."

Smeagol knows what’s up:
“BOOKS! My precioussssss…”

Number two: Unreasonable Demands
I see a lot of office jobs that claim to require heavy lifting.  I cannot lift 40lbs. on a regular basis unless most of that 40 is comprised of my child, and even then only barely. So right there – there goes like 40% of the part-time jobs.  Why did the Library Clerk’s job I applied to last winter list that in their criteria?  Obviously I lied, and said I could lift it, because I would love (LOVE!!!) to work at the library(cue Smeagol voice: “Books!  My preciousss!”).  However, after a 2 hour long online application process, I was eventually denied due to “insufficient library experience” – and this was an entry level position. So apparently having managed corporate offices, reading 40+ books a year, and visiting the library every week does not mean you are equal to the task of shelving books and scanning patron’s items in/out.  Not that I’m bitter.

I will also file under “Unreasonable Demands” the plethora of jobs that request only “entry level applicants” or people of a certain age apply – such as the office staff job I saw last week that said the “ideal candidate” would be under 23 years old.  What?  Really?? I just went back to Craigslist to find that job posting so I could link to it here and it appears to have been removed.  I wonder why?  Blatant ageism, perhaps?  I’m not even OLD and I’m offended! Bah humbug!

In summary, the only thing worse than looking at the current (pitiful) available jobs in the East Bay would be to get called for an interview for one of them and be asked “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”* and other equally absurd questions they throw at you these days.  So if you too are keeping an eye out for a good new job, God bless you, and good luck – it’s rough out there!

Quick Book Update
Oh I am liking Last Sacrifice SO much more than the previous Vampire Academy book! I’m at 62%. I will admit I still do a little description skimming, which is a bit naughty, but the dialogue, action, and plot-line are much better — looks like it will be a great end to the VA series.

For those that are missing my nail posts — I will debut my signature Holiday look next week — it involves a polish that  looks *exactly* like vintage glitter to me — one of my all time favs — you shall see!

And now, time for a coffee,

Maddy

* My husband was actually asked that question during an interview. Tragic.

Book Bytes: The Value of Persuasion

"Cassandra, honestly, as a sister, if you're going to draw me disproportionately, could you at least give me some longer lashes or something?"

“Cassandra, honestly, as a sister, if you’re going to draw me disproportionately, could you at least give me some longer lashes or something?”

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that mentions a famous book you have never read? Did it ever persuade you to read the book?  I read the Gothic classic The Mysteries of Udolpho because it was mentioned in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  Similarly I read the sci-fi classic A Wizard of Earthsea because it was mentioned in The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler.

Now did anyone watch The Lake House? There are two awesome things in that movie. One: (I’m sorry in advance…) But somehow, Keanu Reeves rocks, and I mean — rocks, a blazer and turtleneck.  It’s almost magical (Ladies?  Am I right??). I generally loathe turtlenecks, but darn it! Don’t get me started.  Fwew. OK!

And Two: Sandra Bullock’s favorite book in the movie is Persuasion by Jane Austen – which is also my favorite Jane Austen book. In fact, I heard the whole movie is a loose interpretation of the book, which seems to be very loose indeed to me.  I suppose they are both about a happy ending coming after a long wait, but I don’t see the whole crux of the major dilemma in the movie being a life altering decision that the heroine was persuaded to make in her youth, as it is in the book. Thoughts, anyone?

Furthermore, despite a turtlenecked Keanu in the movie saying the premise of Persuasion sounded “terrible” (I think, could not find quote online), the book is actually wonderful. Besides the biting social satire and clever commentary, it contains possibly the quintessential love letter of classic literature, coming after a very long and very emotionally painful separation of lovers. It reads thusly:

 “I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.”
― Jane AustenPersuasion

Persuasion,  by Jane Austen

Persuasion,
by Jane Austen

Who could resist that? Can you imagine getting a note like that from someone whom you were in unrequited love with for years? Wouldn’t you just turn to goo? Like, pleasant, happy goo (not like ectoplasm or anything).

So if you are in need of some biting social satire, awesome dialogue, and just some general “aaaaaaaaaaw!” in your life, I highly recommend Persuasion. It’s free on Kindle and at your local library. Enjoy!

And now… Time for a Coffee…

Maddy