Back To The Grind

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I embark on a whole new career tomorrow.   Well, not entirely new, but certainly different.

I start working again.   After 17 very long months of  arduous unemployment;  after submitting application and resume after application and resume, I finally landed a job that was literally handed to me.   It’s not an ideal job by any means.  It’s a part-time job that pays part time wages even though it’ll force me to work 40 hours a week.   No benefits and it’s about a 50-mile round trip five days a week.

I’ll be doing PR and writing for an institute of higher learning here in the Houston area.   But in spite of its unsavory aspects, I’m grateful to have this job.  I really am.

I am grateful for a lot of things actually.   I’m grateful for my presence of mind.  

You see, I’ve just survived a very bleak period in my life.   As I’ve said here on this very blog, I’ve described it as the best worst year I’ve ever had.  It was rife with negatives but strewn with life lessons.   To begin with. abject joblessness wore thin.  Very, very thin.  I lost my job on the afternoon of Halloween of 2008 and in that time, I fell on fiscal hard times.   I’m broke and I turned 50.  I had my heart shattered by one man this summer and before Christmas, I managed to finally exorcise myself from the death grip another had on me for 38 years.  

Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear, and fear is the most divine emotion. It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.”

Zora Neale Hurston (1903 – 1960)

Did I suffer?   Perhaps not, but it weren’t no picnic.  Consequently, I gained by losing.  I now live with a piece of me missing, but it’s OK.  I don’t look at the void and sigh with a fondness for  temps perdu.   When finally removed,  one rarely ever misses a huge, protruding tumor.   Even if benign,  it’s still emotionally cancerous just by its mere presence.  

Removal is key

And that’s what we humans do.   We live by shedding.  Cells of our dermis first and foremost.  Hairs from our head.   Then it’s ideals and mindsets; then jobs..maybe we let go of a few people along the way.   Even friendships have endings.  We have to let go of the past to make way for present–be it good or bad.

By some accounts, I could be construed as having had a privileged upbringing.  Physically, I never lacked for anything.  But having tangible stuff doesn’t a whole life make.  I’ve worked (by choice) since I was 16.  I’ve supported myself since 19 and spent 72K of my money (thank you, capitalism) to major in journalism, only to graduate and go forth in a world that would allow me to work in broadcasting sporadically.

Had I known that broadcasting would become so unstable because of deregulation, I would’ve majored in anything else.  Art History.  Gum wrapper making.  Tiddly-wiking.   I gave up on TV years ago.  Radio was harder to relinquish (I loved it because it was easier abnd I didn’t have to wear hose or make-up), but now, I have no choice.   It’s a dying medium and doing so right before my very ears.   Radio is one of a few topics that can instaneously bring a tear to my eye.  It saddens me greatly.

I saw the movie, “Up In The Air” recently.   George Clooney plays a professional employment terminator who flies from corporation to corporation to fire employees.   In one scene he told a man losing his desk job of 27 years to change his perspective.  He worked to live;  he didn’t live to work.   This pencil pushing gig was a paycheck, not his passion.  Clooney then asked him what his dream job was.  The man thought for a second and replied, “I’ve always wanted to cook.  Ever since I was a little boy I dreamed of being a chef!” 

Well, that’s fine and all, but what do you do if you were living and working your dream?  I was.  As a kid in single digits, I used to “play” broadcasting with anything that looked phalllic enough to be a microphone.   I’d watch local news and saw myself as that reporter in the field and as the anchor in that chair.  

I remember anchoring a 10pm newscast one night.  I remember how the heat of the lights felt against my face, how the studio smelled.  I remember looking into the lens of that huge, looming camera.   I felt very fulfilled; very satisfied.  It was everything I imagined it to be.  I felt right.  The envrionment felt natural.   I was at home.

But that was 20 years ago.  Everything has changed and it’s worse than you can even imagine.   You might think, when driving in a remote stretch or through a tunnel, that the static you hear indicates a signal reception issue.   No, the signal is fine.  That’s just radio’s death rattle.   Call a priest.  Last rites.   Put pennies on its eyelids.   Throw it on a pyre. 

Burn baby burn.   

You can’t spell the word “remember” without embers.   There’s something cerebral and heady in that, I just don’t know what it is.  

Never mind..

What I’m trying to say is if that’s the case why keep fighting?  Why try to force the issue by beating a dead horse and other platitudes.   Sadly, radio is part of my past.   It’s now packaged neatly next to  dusty memories of a career in TV and my even dustier size 6 jeans. 

Unless something amazing happens and the Earth’s axis tilts so that Jews and Arabs can lovingly share an ice cream cone and Big Corporate Radio sells AM and FM tandems back to Mom, and Pop so they can re-establish those nice, homey thousand-watters, I’ve shut off my mike and hung up my headphones forever.

And if the money should ever flow freely through the clogged arteries of my life once again, I will quit all aspects of the dreary 9 to 5 existence and I will write a book.   Perhaps two books. 

And you will buy my books because as I see it, you owe me.   I’ve tried very hard to entertain you through this blog.  I charged nothing–I only asked for your time and patience to muddle through the literary by-products of my lunacy.  .  I fully intended to make you laugh mostly and for sorbet, I tried  to make you think with my self-serving drivel on occasions and at times, perhaps I’ve angered you.   In fact, I know I did.

I wrote a post about my disregard for “thinness in society”.   That drew ire. 

I’ve made fun of Democrats relentlessly and I was often attacked as a result.   Those who don’t share my negative zeal for Liberals can be very emotional when angered.   The problem with that is, so can I.  

intentionally insulted young mothers who do nothing as their children kick, scream and wail in public. 

I composed a graphic piece  on the utter grossness of spider bites which all by itself, amassed something like 20-thousand hits in just over a week.

I expect this blog to reach one million hits by mid-June.   That will be a few months after  it turns three.  I couldn’t be happier.  It’s been a good run.

I convey all this to you because I don’t know what my days will be like in this new job venture.   I can’t say whether I’ll be posting  more often or less often–we’ll just have to see.

But whatever the scenario, please know that it’s been a pleasure serving you.   This blog has kept me sane in moments of sheer insanity and you’ve put up with my strange sense of humor.  You’ve coped with my non-sensical approach to verbiage where simpler words would’ve worked just as well and you’ve also strained your ocular muscles umpteen times as you rolled your eyes repeatedly why struggling through my self-indulgent identity crisesessesess.

You know…as in more than one crisis.

I will tell you that I’m seriously considering closing shop at the one million mark.  That in and of itself is quite a feat for a single blogger if I say so myself, but when and if I ever stop blogging, you’ll know that will only mean the beginning of my book writing career.

Would you buy and read a book penned by me, Laurie Kendrick????  

Just curious.

Aside from that query gentle readers, I do so appreciate your time.   You rarely get told that for coming here as you do, especially when there are millions of other blogs out there.  You make my blog appointment reading and the numbers don’t lie.   You come here of your own accord, so the least I can do is make it worth your while, so thank you from the bottom of my enlarged heart.  

And also, thank you for putting up with me and with my bullshit.  Thanks for dealing with my mundane life that my literary shading makes so much livelier and of course, my very warped and strange sense of humor.  

The reality is I have no boundaries.  My life, with few exceptions, is an open book and you, lucky reader, you receive the benefit of reading about my sad, trauma-filled, maudlin existence.  I mean, let’s face it–I’m horribly, terribly unlucky in love; I’m middle-aged, a bit bitter and barely employable.  I’m depressed and pathological in so many different ways and all in all, one pretty fucked up bitch, but somehow through the muck and mire of it all, you like me. 

You really like me.

And to be perfectly honest, I like you too.

Even my fellow assholes.

Here’s to the written word, ya’ll.

,

7 comments

  1. Well, hell I feel like I came late to the party. I just found your blog a few weeks ago and now you are talking about chucking it all to toil in some overworked, under payed job.

    You’ll be back. A week or two in that 9 to 5, square peg in a round hole existence and you will either be blogging or paying for therapy. From one misfit to another there are so few places we belong, the internet is just another word for asylum.

    Well at least let us know when the book is due. Yeah, I would buy it (and by that I mean I would pester the local library to buy it so I could be the first to check it out).

    Best of luck in all things,

    jacked UP

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    Hey Jack,

    Welcome to my blog and its nuanced definition of self-loathing.

    Just found your blog as well. I enjoy the music and your take on it.

    Now, let me get something straight—I didn’t say I was going to quit because I’m going back to toil for the man for five days a week. I merely said that I didn’t know how going back to work would effect the frequency of my blogging (if at all).

    But I feel with some certainty that once my blog reaches a million hits perhaps later this year, I’ll probably put an end to that aspect of writing. If I do, I’ll hand it in for the book(s) with which I’ve been threatening mankind for the past several years.

    As for blogging for misfits, a label to which I often feel I fall under, you couldn’t be more correct. I’ve always regarded writing to be cathartic and theraputic and vital my being. It used to be stuff I’d hanmmer ouit for my eyes only, but once I got into the biz and became something of a public person, I realized I dug writing for the masses. Is that the result of my ego needing to be asuaged? Is it insecurity? Or do I really have something to say and thanks to wordpress, a forum in which to say it?

    You know Jacked up…it’s rat’s ass, baby. It doesn’t matter. Writing is good for the soul. I write because people like you and me HAVE to write. That I’ve been fortunate enough to create a blog that now has a significant readership is icing on a cake that tastes a hell of a lot of like sweet, sweet validation.

    All the best and don’t be a stranger,
    LK

  2. Thanks for the kind welcome Laurie. And thanks for visiting my blog (God knows I could use the hits). Only 999,950 more hits and I shall reach a million hits as well.

    But I feel as if I must explain. My blog is about more than just posting videos. If this is your first visit you’ve come along during a fairly strange period wherein I am refusing to use words but still try and manage to get my point across.

    Here is my last actual post. I think it is a slightly more representative sample of the posting style I am trying to develop (except for the fact that the copyright police yanked the video).

    http://jackedupjazz.blogspot.com/2010/01/why-racism-is-good.html

    Just sos you know.

    Cheers,

    jackedUP

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    Jackie Baby,

    Fear not. I got exactly what your blogposts intended. Some times we say plenty when we say nothing at all.

    I will admit that I do eagerly await the time when words once again spew forth on your blog like the excess saliva from Wynton’s spit valve.

    LK

  3. “excess saliva from Wynton’s spit valve”?

    That is just rich. Although I would have used “excess sputum” just because there are so few opportunities to do so.

    Listen, if the job thing doesn’t work out I am sure you could make a fine living creating snarky content for edgy websites. Hell, if I had any money I would hire you. No wonder radio is going down the tubes, they cannot recognize real talent.

    .

    You are kind and that last lovely witticism almost brought a tear to my dried up old menopausal eye. Had I working ova, I would bear your children…be ye male or female, it would matter not.

    You write like a guy. But then again, so do I and until recently, I was decidedly female. Oh, I still am but well…let’s not force an issue. It’s just that right now, I’m simply not feeling all that…you know….‘fresh’.

    Whatever your gender Jacked Up, you write very, very well.

    El Kay

  4. This exchange between you and Jacked Up, LK is the reason why you have the following you have. You have a way with words that I’ve rarely seen in writers and yes, you write like a man. That’s not to say your readers can’t feel the heart of a woman in pain when you write a sad post. We can empathize with the little girl within when your inner child takes over. I would buy any book you’d write. Jot your address and phone number in a matchbook cover. I bet it would make a best seller list–youre just that damned good.

    .

    Marry me.

    LK

  5. I have been known to turn a phrase or two but what I do does not even compare to what you do. The difference between a good writer and a great writer is that a great writer must write. As you can see from my blog the only thing I must do is post other people’s videos. If they start paying money for that I’m a lead pipe cinch.

    You know, one of the things that I really appreciate about the internet is the anonymity of it all. You can’t tell my gender or racial orientation at first blush so you must accept my words at face value before you can color them with your own personal bias. So I try to remain in the miscellaneous category as much as possible. Let’s just say that I am a lesbian transvestite with daddy issues.

    As for making babies, it is my understanding that we have technology that renders the working ovum irrelevant. So keep hope alive. Plus, I hear there’s damn good money in the child support racket should you find a taker on that baby thing.

    As usual, I think I’m in over my head, so….

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    Sweetheart..

    Really when you think about it, we’re ALL lesbian transvestites with big daddy issues at one time or another.

    Writing well knows no gender. It’s a gift that some of us are given whether we possess an inverted pronoun or a dangling participle. Be happy–you have this gift. Start writing again.

    I’ve learned from experience–it ain’t like riding a bike.

    So, have a splendid week Sir or Madame.

    I must go toil in the fields to please The Man and to fight the socialist strata while promoting a capitalistic state.

    Reagan would love me. Marx??? Not so much.

    Completely forget any and all aspects of the ovum viability thing. I’m 50, Babe—at this juncture, they’re powdered eggs if anything.

    LK

  6. Well if you must know my participle usually dangles slightly to the left.

    The English language is such a tempting, supple and flexible thing that I usually make it my business to try to stretch, bend and fold it beyond the boundaries of decency.

    The English language usually never takes my calls the next day.
    .

    ‘Tis true. English can be such an uncaring bitch. A heartless mistress to those trying to learn and/or disseminate her nuances.

    As for the tiptoeing around we’ve been doing with English, I have a hint that at any time, you and I could unleash an unholy diatribe of her more unsavory adjectives and nouns on each other and niether would wince. I’ve spent 27 years in a business that utilizes the proper King’s English when the “On-Air” light goes on.

    Off mike, we are residents of Colorful Metaphor City. Lucky for me, i’ve been a citizen all my life. I learned the native tongue early on.

    Now, wish me luck as I embark on Day One of my newfound title of “worker”. I will toil in the whitish collared fields where relations are public and writing it’s mere by-product.

    Ta ta my new androgynous friend,
    LK

  7. Oh the bitch cares alright, mostly she cares about herself. And I am having difficulty supplying all the other things she cares about. Why does the English language think it is entitled to a pension plan once you have had the opportunity to, shall we say, know her on a first name basis.

    I took your advice and started trying to write everyday. This is too much like work. It’s like I am now a fireman now with actual life and death responsibility to man the fire hose. Its much more fun the other way when you go around squirting people with the garden hose whether they are on fire or not.

    Talk about posting when got nuffin. I think this is how recluses get started. This will make you absolutely bonkers (or more bonkers).

    jackedtup

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