In search of a career while everyone around me is retiring (and I am just so happy for them)

I’ve been told that writing a paragraph once a year does not constitute official blogging. I never read the bloggarian rule book. (It’s probably written in some blog.) As a kid, I hated writing in my bdiary, even a paragraph every other year. So I’d say I’ve made some progress.

Now what to write about? Seems like writing a blog about my hatred of writing blogs just won’t cut it. How about this? I’m 812 years old and I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up. Oh, I’ve dabbled. Depending on the reader’s perspective, I’m either extremely diverse or very, very confused. So how about if I make it my New Year’s resolution to select a career? Nah, too much stress. However, I will fill you in on my path so far.

I “studied” theater arts, fine arts and media communications in college. My goals weren’t too lofty. Either I’d be a world renowned stage and screen star or the next Van Gogh (with ears in tact. Although I always tend to lose just one earring, so…). I was open to either. To placate my parents, I earned a master’s degree in education of the gifted/talented. (I liked possessing that diploma. People automatically assumed I was gifted/talented. Ha!.) The only problem was that I only liked nice, easy, “Stepford” kids. I asked for a class made up of just that, but the school districts were not all that accommodating. So, I worked for printer Bob. At least I worked for printer Bob until he was arrested for making counterfeit 20s. No, I didn’t know he was doing that. I obliviously sat there creating logos for bagel shops. By the way, did you know that you need to apply to attend specific prisons? I didn’t know that either. Do you have to write essays, too? Ugh! (For the record, if the situation arises, choose the prison in Danbury. Supposedly very posh.) Printer Bob was my 2nd employer that took time off for a prison sentence. Red Roost Guy was a tax evasion enthusiast. I wonder if it’s me? But I digress…

Temporarily unemployed, although, and after the fact, Bob did explain how to make the 20s, I explored a bunch of other options. Because this was the stone age, I needed to learn to type a bazillion words per minute. Not happening. (It took me 3 hrs just to get to this point in my blog.) I was the world’s worst waitress. Hungry people are really irritable. I dabbled in cocktail waitressing (I liked the uniform), but thirsty people are really irritable – well, until they drink a lot. Then they don’t object when I make up my own incongruously unique concoctions- always topped with a cherry. I like cherries. They’re a very happy fruit.

After a stint as the world’s worst travel agent (I see a trend here.), I landed an art job at a now major party goods company. (Luckily, I began working there before the guy that I accidentally sent to Dallas returned to NY. Dallas…Dulles. Seriously, they sound way too similar.) That was right up my alley. “Creative people” get away with so much. People just shake their heads and do that eye roll thing, but they leave you alone.

I left the very day they brought in the computers. Figures. My graphic design experience ended with a slide rule and lettraset. In hindsight, it seemed like a good idea to leave when I did. It was probably better to deliver my first child in a hospital.

Now regarding childbirth, Rich and I were so damn prepared. We took a ridiculous “earth mother/tree hugger” class which insisted that the fathers help the mothers get used to pain. Sounds a little s & m to me. The guys were supposed to practically puncture the soon-to-be mom’s Achilles tendon until the pain was “accepted.” They were out of their friggen minds. Rich asked if he could run me over a few times instead. It would save time. He’s so practical.(Sorry about that. After all these years, I still had to vent.) Now back to careerish endeavors…

Is this too long for a blog? Never mind, I’m getting into it. You can stop reading anytime. (But I WILL hunt you down.)

We’ll zoom ahead to 3 sons later. (Yeah, I read the book on how to have a girl. But I love Kevin anyway.) I would have continued to have kids if it meant that I didn’t have to still tackle the great career debacle. But my body did strange things after kid 2, and my mind did weird things after kid 3. The only thing left was my soul, and I wasn’t messing with that.

Eventually, I succumbed to the need to pay bills and offered myself over as a substitute teacher. AAAAUUURGH!!!! In case you missed that, AAAUUURGH! In order to sedate the masses, I had to employ more bribes than any corrupt politician in all the third world countries combined. I even learned magic tricks. Lots and lots of magic tricks. I fed, entertained, gave out trophies and assorted gifts (thank you, Oriental Trading), analyzed handwriting, sketched cartoons, attempted hypnosis…you name it. I did this for 9 long years. Financially, I may have broken even – I’m not sure. I then landed a job as a G/T teacher. It would have been fine had my principal not been certifiably insane. (My son’s a lawyer so I know not to name names. See. His education paid off.) I was the happiest happy person when the district decided to shut down the department. Yahhhhhooooooeee! I was free! Now what? At least I was able to stop with the therapy and sedatives.

These days, I’m working part time for my school district in a nice stress free, extremely low paying position, trying to write and illustrate picture books (Come on…Doesn’t somebody know somebody???), studying oil painting, cursing during my attempts at water color painting, sketching and laughing with like minded pencil artists, auditioning for roles in NYC, cursing when I can’t remember any of my lines during auditions for roles in NYC, and “blending in” as an extra in TV shows and movies. So, my life hasn’t changed all that much! I remain either diverse or confused.

Now these acting gigs aren’t nearly as glamorous as they sound. Yeah, it’s cool to see how they make pretend rain, but… Through the process, I’ve learned a few things:

  1. Don’t drink the props. The crew had to make up a whole new batch of “blood.”
  2. Still don’t drink the props. (“You actually drank that??? People stared at me for quite a while. I think they were afraid I’d grow a new limb or something.)
  3. When it’s your turn to eat, RUN! It’s each man for himself. Extras eat the leftover scrapings after the actors, producers, directors, crew, microphone guy, lady with the safety pins, the neighborhood crossing guard, and the cashier at Duane Reed have had their fill.
  4. Don’t cut ahead of the line before the crew has finished. They have knives up there.

Hmmmm…everything on that list pertains to food or drink. This may explain my shrinking pants. Nah…It’s the hot water coupled with the faulty dryer, humidity, Chinese sizing and an insidious ISIS plot.

As a side job, I’ve been tasting and smelling things for money. I’m a “lady of the lab ,” as it were.

Did I write enough yet?

Okay, so this is my blog. Ta da.

I think my blog topic (is that a thing? A blopic?) will be “In search of a career while everyone around me is retiring (those bastards).” I’ll keep anyone who’s interested up to date on my “extra” assignments and the colorful people with which I spend the 12 hour at minimum wage, unless I get hit with water and then I get an extra 14 bucks, day. Plus, I’ll update you as to how new products smell and the side effects of ingesting them, as well as new ways to survive substitute teaching. As a special bonus, you lucky reader, I’ll fill you in on my soon to be medicated because she’s a lunatic, yet I love her anyway, dog. I bet you’re frothing at the mouth, as is my soon to be medicated dog, with anticipation.

What do I do now? Just stop writing? Seems abrupt but