Friday, May 8, 2009

Blood, Sweat and Cement

For as long as i can remember, there is only one thing I've ever really wanted to do as a "grown-up". Some may call it "low ambition" but I wouldn't call it that at all. I see it for what it is and not what it looks like on paper when compared to the money making careers around today. I'm talking about the the city workers who perform street maintenance and also the Caltrans workers who repair and lay cement on the freeways.

Their work is really taken for granted. When we race down Interstate 5, do we ever think to ourselves "wow, at 90mph and for 6-7 hours, we've got a perfectly layed concrete road all the way there. No matter where we want to go, the road is paved, lined and waiting for us. There is a reason for my deep appreciation for the road.

I've always wanted to be a street worker.... not a street walker... i wanted to work on the street maintenance crew. To fill pot holes, to wear the orange shirt or orange vest, to push that big push broom, drink water out of the Igloo water jug. I've always wanted to be one the guys standing there in a cloud of dust as someone tears through the ground with a jack hammer, wave the cars along slowly with a little "slowly" sign, to paint the lines, lay down the little reflectors. It's an honorable job and one that doesn't get the appreciation it deserves.

Today, the "cool" jobs are in the medical field or finance. The "powerful" people, and money makers are sitting inside tapping away on computer keyboards and making phone calls. They have appointments, they bullshit people and make deals. These jobs do make money but they aren't what I call "work". They're careers for sure, they make a living and may very well be what that person has always wanted to do. To me though, unless it's a physical, strenuous, dirty job... it isn't work.

To me, what an honorable day's work consists of, is changing into a uniform, clocking in, getting an assignment, riding out to a work site and sweating through the day, going home achy and tired and being able to pass by the work site the next day and see all the cars taking advantage the all your day's work.

A few days ago, i had the pleasure of attending a tour of South San Francisco's Corporation Yard. A building which houses the city departments in charge of sewer repairs, street lights, street cleaning, street signs and street maintenance. This visit reminded me of my old ambition. A desire I don't think I'll ever get to satisfy.

Where did i get this idea that an honest living requires blood and sweat. I guess i can attribute these values to the TV i watched growing up. I remember Fred Flintstone working the quarry, and whether the episode showed him at work or not, we knew he was working at the quarry that day because it was in the intro to the cartoon. I never related much with Mr. Slate, it was Fred and Barney I respected for their hard work. Maybe you remember in the movie Annie, when Annie asked "How will EARN MY KEEP?". To this day, I still feel that a night after a physically hard day's work is so much more enjoyable when you know you've earned that rest with your sweat and strain. When your muscles ache and skin is sunburned.

There are some smells that don't seem to wash off. At my job, you often get transmission oil in your hair. Grease washes out, engine oil... that washes out too. Tranny fluid.... almost impossible to remove, I cannot tell you why. So when you go home and shower, and you feel fresh, there are some smells that will always remind you of the day's work. On the street, those fellas have a certain smell. It's these smells that separate the working men, the "Paul Bunyans" from the hedge fund guy or the computer analyst. I maintain, when you work so hard that you can still smell your job after a hot shower... you're a laborer.

Yes some people are good with their brains. They use their intellect to bargain and bullshit. They can use their mind to work statistics, formulas and numbers. Then there are the boys who use their brawn, their muscles and stamina. That to me is honorable and respectable and i envy the job they get to do everyday. I am lucky enough to work with my hands and i too have a physically challenging job but street maintenance is something I've always wanted to do. Unfortunately, as a woman, it isn't likely I'll ever get to enjoy a evening rest after a long day out with the cones, the back hoe, the bob cat, the gravel, the shovels and the ORANGE SHIRT.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a loner in the crowd

I don't know what happened to me. I'm not sure when it happened or if it's always been this way. I've always considered myself to be a little different. But it has become totally apparent to me that I am all alone in my interests. All alone in my thoughts and opinions.

I attended a dinner with some girlfriends last weekend. It was nice, though we've been in contact since we were in junior high ( 18 years ago ), this was our first holiday get together. We had finger foods, a little to drink, some karaoke ( i didn't dare ) and a quick little gift exchange. It was nice.

It was during this dinner that I noticed my lack of kindred ship with these girls. Though I love them, though I'd hurt someone for them and though I'd feel empty without them in my life.... I know now that I do not fit in with them.

Here's me in a generic nutshell just to put it into perspective. I am an avid music buff BUT of a very diverse set of genres. I watch A LOT of television, I watch sports, I wear a lot of makeup, I shop a lot, I love animals and have reasonably green tendencies. I 'm extremely empathetic and have a knack for psychoanalyzing people and their actions.

Here's where life gets lonely. I love music, I'm sure everyone else loves music too but I F*ing LOVE music. At the Presidential Inauguration when I heard Diane Feinstein announce ItzakPearlman and Yo Yo Ma were going to play John Williams, I screamed and grabbed a tissue because I knew I was about to lose it. When I hear songs like "he ain't heavy" by the Hollies or "the miracle" by Queen. I can feel the dopamine travelling through my body. Which is all and good BUT I don't have any friends who feel the same about those songs.

More loneliness? Ok! So after dinner while we gather up our things and pack up some to go boxes ( or was that just me? ) we were discussing books. AGAIN I find no common interests there either. They are talking about books they've read and have suggested others also read... hook line and sinker another one is hooked and will also read that book or books by that author. I can't even get a book club together via craigslist to read my books with me. Locally that is, I do belong to a few fan clubs for my favorite authors.

Even my own husband is standing outside my bubble. He reads completely different books, he listens to entirely different music, he has such a different taste than I it's pathetic .

I remember one morning in Las Vegas, in the car with 2 girlfriends we were on our way to drop us off at the airport after a nice Vegas weekend. I was surprised to hear the 2 girls talking about their favorite NBA basketball players and teams. Then discussing rosters or certain seasons..... WTF? This was a total surprise, I never knew that they kept track of players from year to year. Nice but again sad to see that my friends are capable of the same activities as me, I am a big baseball fan and do keep track of ball players ( fantasy baseball leagues ) but as usual, we are watching different sports.

My sister is a big Twilight freak oops Twilight Fan. Understandably, it's cute and the main character in the movie is quiet fetching. What pisses me off is that my cousins have been hooked on it too. I've been sending my cousin Stephanie books for 2 years now and have yet to get even the slightest bit of feedback. Low and behold I see a Facebook Wall comment from Steph to my sis saying " just finished it and I love it! I'm gonna read it again! " Me being an empathetic person is now so sad for myself! The twist in the knife? My other cousin Marion, who hates school, dropped out of HS, hasn't read a thing since elementary school even read it. I thought to myself.... surely she 's talking about the movie...... NO She actually sat her ass down and read Twilight.

Now my husband wonders why I want to go on Craigslist and put out an ad for a new friend. Well of course he wonders, he's got a shit load of friends who are all interested in the same stuff. He's got a bus full of friends who share similar opinions, styles and hobbies.

What's a better solution, forget my own desires and go with the flow? Stick with the main stream of music and read whatever the NY Times tells us to read?

As I look through pictures of my life, it looks happy. There is laughter, food and friends. On the other hand, once that night out at the club or dinner has passed, there is scarcely a reason to communicate otherwise. I doubt anyone would want to go to the symphony with me, or to see a rock concert with me. And I don't mean go with me just to go with me, I mean want to go. And that's what this blog is about..... want what I want, like what I like. That's something we all need. In any shape or form, a little camaraderie is what we all desire.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

oh my gosh... GET AWAY!


This post contains rude, racist and stereotype material.  This post is intended for callus, opinionated and like-minded bigots.  

Have you ever entered a public restroom and seen a hand written sign that reads " please no flush paper in toilet"?  Well isn't it always a CERTAIN type of restaurant?  I'm gonna tip toe around what i'm trying to say here.... but you know what I mean..... mm hmmm yeah.

Well have you ever walked past a family in a store and wondered why in the hell are they yelling at each other, then realized that's just how loud there are?  Isn't it usually a certain nationality of people?  The same nationality of the restaurant aforementioned?  mmm hmmm

Now, do you find that those people usually smell like fart?  I do.  

I mean geez... how nasty is it to use the potty and see a garbage can full of other people's toilet paper?  Are you f*ing serious?  

Let me stop here before I say too much.... 

mm hmmm.  You know what I'm talkin about.  

Friday, January 2, 2009

This is the year i've been waiting for....

I remember sometime in my early teens literally praying to the Lord for an ass.  Yes no need to read that again... i laid in bed at night saying my Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be... then thank him for this and that.. then ask for this or that.... One of those thats was .......... ahem....  a nice ass. I was one of those this girls who didn't need a bra, could wear running shorts as basketball shorts... I had no body!  No tits, no hips, no calves ( still don't have calves )... I was feeling pretty whack, i didn't have the digs, I didn't have the nice Latina ass all the girls at our predominantly latino junior high had. 

Boy was the lord good to me.... and then some.... I'm now making it my goal this year to undo his graciousness.  Maybe he has a different idea than I of a nice ass but this is a bit much Lord. Please don't get me wrong, I am thankful.  I do see your power and I am in awe of your capabilities,  but I'm a walking garbage disposal in MAC makeup.  I am an animal loving meat eater.  I am a peace lover with anger issues.  I am a germaphobe who doesn't mind eating certain types of dirt.  I know what I like, I certainly know what I don't like but I am sure of this..... I want a smaller ass now.  I'll probably work it into my talks with the man upstairs again.  If he isn't fed up with me.... I did keep my last promise to him.... No Smoking for moi!  

Let's get to the point don't we?

RESOLUTIONS for 2009 ( my best year ever)

1.  Lose 30 pounds
2   Save 20 Grand

That's it.  Fuck baby steps, i'm 30 fucking years old.  My mom had 4 babies by now.... i'm not a spring chicken... I want money and to feel good.  2009, you better be with me of get fuck out of my way because whether I have 30 more years to live or 5.... i'm gonna have what I want.  

This may sound presumptuous and crass but I have everything else... my dog, my hubby, my friends, my Itunes and my truck.  I just can't fit into my clothes.  Is it so wrong to make this the year I get what I deserve.  Well unless I stop eating in the middle of the night and watching TV till the early morning i don't REALLY deserve a great bod but I'll add that to list in an addendum but to keep it easy i'll concentrate on those 2 main objectives.  

Don't spend and don't eat.