Tuesday, June 19, 2007

StaffBash Back In Session - And Other Musings

She'd taken a week or two off, the BigKahuna and then we'd been shut out of one or two, but today we were all there. It wasn't too bad, I thought, mainly because I am profoundly not vested in the process. Those big metal gates in my head can be *extremely* useful. Today's topic was "Your Agenda", in which people were to bring their own issues to the table. My view... since the "graphics people"--as we are known now--have absofuckinglutely nothing to do, what the hell agenda are we supposed to bring? "Uh I need something to do"? Though Alabama, my boss, managed to bring up things to keep BK "in the loop" and deftly got a sidewinder landed on BigBird and the Vampire. Kinda cool. BK only gingerly went after my boss, since he's gone to some HR folk. You could see she wanted to, though. She's definitely looking for an opening.

Though I have to say, she wasn't on top of her game today. She wasn't wearing lipstick and her eyes looked a little beadier than normal, nor was she wearing her pristine white... today she was in sort of a cream color which didn't do much for the complexion. When she's on her game she wears white with a bright red lipstick and sits straight up. So maybe shit's kinda backfiring on her. But who's to say... my experience with FBB being sometimes when you think you've got them pinned they come back with some unexpected shit. I'm wearing Pristine White today, though, and when facing her I'm careful to keep by body language open and look her straight in the eye. She's yet to call me out on anything.

But I just need this gig to last past July; past the trial. After that it's a whole new ballgame.

I couldn't fucking sleep again last night. What happens is... I can't bring myself to let go of the day enough to get in bed. I find shit to keep me up. Lately, I admit to a certain obsession with MySpace.

(Boy, that Tom dude is a friggin genius. I've been a MySpace snob for a while. The layout is god-awful; the blinking crap people put on it is awful, you can't read half the stuff because the type ends up being on a same colored background, but within that framework it's an amazing concept. And you can customize it a great deal if you've got some coding skills. It is the ultimate in exhibitionism, of which I have latent tendencies. I usually manage to keep those tendencies in check... mainly because BigBear certainly has them in spades and so my "daughter's reaction" was to not be like her--to do the opposite and keep myself undercover. To "Hide in Plain Sight." But the tendencies exist, though I don't put as much of myself out on MySpace as others do. People...especially women... put WAY TMI out there. The other night I was able to piece together the story of a former friend of mine, someone I'd had a huge crush on and who's been MIA a few years now. He ended up with the wrong girl, (I tried to tell him, but who listens to me?) and it was pretty interesting to see that I think--based on what I found--that she got him but good. I wonder where he is. I was able to piece together a pretty interesting tale, because the daughter had an interesting page.)

But then what happens is I start falling asleep at the desk, in about 1 hour doses. So I get up, go to bed like 3, 4, 5am... and am wide awake. I'm almost tempted to get up again, then sleep hits me over the head and the next thing I know that alarm is going off.

This morning (cuz it was about 4:30A) as I lay there listening to the freakin' birds wake up, I tried to think back to what was the last time I ever felt "normal" inside of myself and connected to the world around me, as opposed to me being in a "skin". And there's a difference. When I'm in 100% comfortable, there is no barrier between me and the world. It happens when I'm around certain people. My Sun and I exist completely within me and out into our world together, as do I with my family. And now there are friends with whom I feel this way. But this feeling can also exist within a period of time, and within an environment. If I'm not making any sense, there is a line in a Beatles song... "and life flows on within you and without you" which is about the closest I can describe what I'm talking about.

There were times when I was not complete within my own skin, but having a baby started to change that, and I think the process was completed when I did the Illustration program at Pratt. So about now, I'm very happy with my inside life, barring some residual issues. The Voices and I are friends, pretty much... even on the days when they rip me apart. On the whole, I trust them. The biggest outstanding issue is FBB. But I'll deal with that in a sec.

But *me*, within my actual life, my environment--I'm not quite there. I love my apartment but there are some serious issues. The Feng Shui is all wrong, and some of it is just the way the apartment is laid out... and there's not much I can do about that. And moving, the Sun informs me, is not an option. I am not the type of person who's life is governed by her kids, but the Sun has some valid points. The Rock is about the last affordable (and in NYC this is a KEY word) place in this Rotted Apple where kids can walk the streets alone, ride their bikes around a block, walk to the beach unaccompanied, where cars will slow down as they turn into a block. Where parents can allow their kids to play till after dark outside the house. Yes, we have had our incidents, but I've been on the Rock 12 or 13(FUCK! where does the time go) years now, and I can't recall any incidents involving young children. So this is a big reason to stay... although the heart of me longs for Harlem. Or even EL Barrio. Not that either of these places really exist anymore but there are still pockets that the beast called Gentrification hasn't been able to irradicate just yet.

So I'm stuck here for the time being. But my room is just too damn dark; it literally swallows the light. The apartment is also really big... which is great but there seems to be more room to collect shit, and no matter how I try I end up with tons of shit piling up in closets and corners. And I HATE my kitchen. It's laid out all wrong; I hate my stove with a passion and the fridge sucks, too. The landlord won't replace them... which means that at some point I need to... and because they are smaller than the average size of appliances, they cost twice as much. But, in the summer I end up cooking on the grill on my deck a great deal which makes the kitchen bearable... so the biggest problem is my room. And I'm not quite sure what to do about it, short of bash in a wall and put up a window.

The other thing I'm not too happy about is my where I am as far as a career.

I did some webcrawlin' and discovered that of the core group of kids I hung out with in High School... I got plenty o' nuthin compared to them. One kid grew up to be a respected gynecologist. One is a decently-known soprano. Another is the president or vice president of her sorority and active in her church, another is getting her real estate license and has worked in a hospital for a long time. Don't get me wrong; I love my life and I love my skills, love what my title says I am--"graphic designer, marketing"... but this job sucks. It's bearable when we don't have Staffbashes. But sitting in that conference room today I looked around and said to self, "I don't like *any* of these people. And the ones I do like are either skating on thin ice or are just waiting for summer to end so they can get the hell out."

And even if I liked them, the bottom line is I'm happiest working on my own time. Or with people I like. Or for myself--it's just I'm not all that disciplined about it. This morning, late to work, I caught the hospital shuttle to my office, and it passed right by the Sun's school. I was on the phone with LilacBlue, and as I passed the school, TheOneHalf, the Fat Lady and Lilac Blue ran out to wave at me. Which just made me smile. I *am* blessed... but it would be nice to be accomplished. Or have disposable income. I said to LilacBlue we really ought to figure out how we can support ourselves and each other, (along with Bigbear who wants "in") so that I won't have to pass them in a van as I'm taken to someplace I don't want to be. To still end up broke at the end of the day.

But I wonder... if I ended up being a designer in a place where the people were nice and there was sunlight peeking through, I might be happy. So I'll start to look again, after July. Maybe the point of this place is that I finally got confidence in my skills. Although I gotta tellya... if I was less of a person, the way me and my co-workers are treated I'd have some serious self-esteem issues; the Dark Side has literally taken away *everything* we're supposed to do. Even the newsletter. Which is why I have the time to write this long-ass post.

Back to last night, and not being able to sleep, I realized that the major thing hanging over my head, the one thing I don't have a lot of control over, is the trial in July. Overall, I *do* feel better about dealing with FBB. He stresses me (or rather the voices remind me, I stress myself over him), but every little triumph makes me stronger, and his last visit was definitely a triumph for me. I know I'm "over" him because I actually am tempted, from time to time, to reason with him, but I'm also wise enough to know it would do no good... probably even stir him up. But I want this trial over. I'm ready to move on to the next phase, even if it means dealing with him without the courts and the law guardians and the precinct, because I know for certain that should he ever rile up again on me, I have no qualms about getting the authorities involved again. And I think he knows it, too. I've no regrets or guilt about taking him to court. The stress I feel when I have to deal with him is more and more along the lines of true Post Traumatic Stress--flashbacks of how things used to be, and ingrained habits of how I used to react. But it's not "real-time" anymore.

But I want this over, because I need to get back to the process of feeling "whole" within my environment.

(And I also really need a new job--just had a minor crisis--all resolved now but this is a PITA.)

And to get back to the thought that wouldn't let me sleep... I haven't felt whole and complete "within me and without me" in a loooooong time. And I think that getting rid of the 200 lb gorilla that is FBB will go a long way to making me feel whole again, because for all of the Sun's life, I have been wrestling with him. It's not that it controls my "everyday", but it is a constant "hum" in the background, and I'm really done with it.

I also have to dump all the clutter.... and not hold onto it for a yard sale, cuz yard sales are a lot of work and I hate doing them. So I'm gonna dump everything at the Sun's school this weekend at our Rummage sale, and call it gone. Anybody need a microwave?

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