He later tells me that Common is his favorite MC & Common told him to keep in touch. Yeah right!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
My name is Christine & I am the most interesting unemployed person you’ll ever meet. Within the past 6 months, I’ve had some great adventures. Like ending up at the BET Awards as “talent” with all-access to closed rehearsals Friday & Sunday and hanging out backstage watching the show from stage left. The stories I could tell about that weekend! Maybe I’ll get those out another time. (Until this day, a certain “hanger-on” still wants to know how the hell Tatum & I got in. All these months & he’s still losing sleep! I’ll never tell…) I think I attended Foxx’s “Blame It” tour maybe 3 or 4 times…excellent seats, backstage, the works. I have some very wonderful friends who take GREAT care of me so I’m very grateful for that. In July, I met up with 30 “friends” from all over the country in Vegas (we’re all part of a group on Facebook.) We spent 5 days together in a 10,000 sf compound. That was a Vegas trip like no other that NONE of us will ever forget! I may wish to run for mayor someday, so the details of that trip [the ones that I can remember] will be omitted from this and all future blogs! ;)
In October I had the honor of seeing His Holiness The Dalai Lama in Long Beach. It was an absolutely amazing, enlightening experience. HH has a great sense of humor & actually cracked a few jokes. And after touching countless people’s hands, he produces from out of nowhere a small bottle of Target hand sanitizer! Later that night I attended a charity event “Common & Friends” at the Palladium in Hollywood. That concert will go down in history as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to in my life! (Up there with Sade and MJ.) Common, Nas, The Roots, Talib Kweli, Latifah, Mos Def & then Kanye popped up out of nowhere. Talk about a crowd losing their minds! I’m surprised I had a voice the next day! (Thanks Dani!) Last month I attended my first professional fight with a great friend of mine. The fight aired on Showtime. We sat ringside, giving me a new appreciation for boxing! Although I haven’t done the traveling that I always dream of, I’ve still been able to share some great meals, great wine, and lots of laughter with friends (old & new) and I feel truly blessed. I met some dynamic people in 2009! An amazing chain of events from 2009 lead me to this past weekend…Hope For Haiti Now, The Producers Guild Awards, and now I’m Oscar bound! (to be continued…)
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I hate doing laundry. Not so much the act of doing laundry itself…I mean, it’s not like I have to go down to the river & beat my clothes against a rock. But I hate the prep that’s involved in actually getting my clothes cleaned. See, our dryer is broken. We have a washer that operates fine, which is great for most of my wardrobe. I’d say I hang dry maybe half of my clothing anyway. T-shirts, sweaty yoga pants, unmentionables…they all get washed in cold & hung to dry. Its better for the fabric in the long run and on a warm day these things will be dry within a few hours. But there are some things that I can’t get away with hang drying. Towels, bedding, rugs, etc. need to go into a dryer. So, ultimately I end up putting off washing these things for as long as possible until I end up with a mountain of towels & sheets because I hate going to a public coin operated laundromat. To avoid going weekly, I have several sets of sheets and more towels than a family of 4 has.
So yesterday I got myself mentally prepared to head to the laundromat. I haven’t been since before Christmas. This required pre-sorting everything on the living room floor and making sure I had lots of quarters (because you can’t depend on the change machines to dispense all of your quarters and sometimes they eat your cash all together with. Plus you should always have extra quarters in case you put 4 of them into a dryer only to find out that for the past hour your towels have been tossed around with cold air blowing on them.) I had to go out to move my car so that I could load it with my huge, heavy basket of laundry and then schlepped detergent & fabric softener out to the car as well. I can get the entire laundry process done from start to finish in 2 hrs.
I arrived at the laundromat at 3:00 p.m. As I suspected, 3:00 p.m. on a Monday = ghost town. I’d be in and out of here quickly, which made me happy. No fighting over washers or dryers for me today. Yay! I loaded 4 washers with my stuff. As I was pouring detergent into the top of the front loading washers, in the mirror's reflection above the machines I noticed a young, thin Hispanic man with curly hair standing maybe 30 feet away from me. What caught my eye was that he was digging his nose. He wasn’t even trying to play it off like he was wiping his nose or he had an itchy nostril. He was digging away like he was at home alone! I was so shocked that he was just digging and digging and digging like this in public. I kept staring at him in the mirror hoping he would see me watching him and he’d be embarrassed and stop. But he never looked over. He just continued to dig. Then he finally stopped, but it was only to switch nostrils. He dug some more, and then did the unthinkable. He rolled his little treasures up into a ball between his thumb and index finger, then took his index finger and reached out for one of the laundry carts and wiped his booger on the chrome bar. He then continued to dig and roll and wiped more on the bar. I was beyond disgusted! This is a cart provided by the laundromat for patrons to put their clean clothes in and he’s painting it with boogers! I walked over to the paper towel dispenser and got some towels and walked up to him. “Here you go.” I said. “Thank you!” He said. “This is for you to wipe those boogers off the cart.” I said. He just looked at me. I turned and walked away. **sigh** I’ve got to get a dryer.
Friday, January 8, 2010
This week I was doing employment consulting for a client. Her nephew needed career path assistance and since my schedule right now is uber flexible (I have time for morning yoga, lunch in The Valley on a whim, and 20 mile bike rides on a Tuesday afternoon!) I told her I was available. So, for the past few days I’ve been meeting with her 19 year old nephew helping him map out his career goals, applying for jobs, registering with agencies, etc.
This kid is very personable. And very lost. He wasn’t really sure what he wanted to do with his life. He did mention that he wanted to be "an entrepreneur". I asked “entrepreneur of what? and you could hear a pin drop. As soon as I started going into him identifying his target audience I could tell I'd lost him. My client kind of got him & his brother thrown into her lap a few years ago and they’ve been nothing but thorns in her paw ever since she got them. Just 2 days after his 18th birthday, her nephew *Steve was arrested and now has a felony robbery charge on his record. (Over some dumb shit involving a skateboard and $5.00!) So, this week I’ve been on the phone with several contacts of mine getting advice, trying to find “felony-friendly” employers, researching information about expunsion of his felony & getting the charge reduced in the interim (because he has 5 years of probation he wouldn’t be eligible for expunsion until after that, if at all) ALL while trying to convince the poor child to go to school and learn a damn trade. We found an ROP internship in Travel & Tourism that starts next Tuesday. He seemed interested in it & I figured that with an internship his felony shouldn’t come into play and since the coursework would take place onsite (vs. in a classroom) he could potentially get into a hotel, prove himself, and possibly get hired on after the course was over in June.
I felt like I was making progress with the kid. I kept reiterating to him that his main goal at this point should be to show any potential employers that he has made strides to turn his life around since he was arrested. His aunt was even kind enough to allow him to use her business name as his current employer on his resume in an effort to show that he has had steady employment for a year. Outside of that, he’s had 3 jobs. He was fired from one, gave two week notice at another and stopped showing up a few days into that final two weeks, and the third he also stopped showing to (because he had to turn himself in after his arrest. Instead of discussing this with the employer he just disappeared.) So, his work history is very sketchy to say the least. When I mentioned him going back to school he said it would “take too long”. I’m like ‘dude, learn a trade that will make you money for the rest of your life!” Plus, this would be impressive to employers. It would show his drive and initiative. He said it made sense & I felt like it was starting to sink in & we were making strides.
We met this morning at Panera and since it was a beautiful Southern California day we sat outside. I had my Mac & took great pleasure in pimping their free WiFi while Steve texted his friends and got distracted by the birds and shiny objects. I set him up for a few appointments early next week, applied for a few jobs & registered him with a few companies that conduct focus groups before taking him back to his aunt’s office to give her a recap of our progress before breaking for lunch. It was noon and he was getting a little antsy so I told him we could just meet up again on Tuesday before his appointments. I would meet him at his aunts office early so that we could have a quick run through before his first agency interview. I told him to make sure he was dressed for success. “I don’t have no nice clothes” he said. His aunt said she would help him get some black pants over the weekend. He told me “Don’t worry about it. I’ll get some pants someway.” Jokingly, I said “Don’t you end up in jail before I see you Tuesday!” I gave him a ride home & he gave me a hug, thanked me for everything & said he'd see me next week.
I just got a text from his aunt that read “Hey girl…no need to continue job searching for Steve. He was caught stealing at Ralph’s…he is on his way to jail…” WTF! I’m literally shaking my head. I gave her a call. She was at a bar having a strong drink. As it turns out, he was caught stealing condoms from a local grocery store. So now he has the original robbery charge with a new larceny charge which will probably be be brutal. My boy just told me "He would’ve been better off knocking the officer out and getting an assault charge over the theft." Larceny after being convicted for robbery? This is bad. Real bad. *sigh*