March 2012


This’ll be super quick…

First off – If Phillip Phillips doesn’t win American Idol this year, I’m going to be a sad Idol-watcher. That kid is amazing. He needs music like the rest of us need air. I can’t stop staring at him when he sings – he’s so engaging, even though he never really looks at the camera. I didn’t even know the song he was singing tonight (“Still Rainin“), and I just sat there and watched, thinking to myself, “Holy Shit. This kid feels this music so much, that vein on his forehead is about to explode.” Watch his eyes when he sings – the way he interprets his songs is RIDICULOUS (in the best way possible). I cannot say enough good things about him… he’s truly a unique performer. I’m glad he hasn’t caved and conformed to the Idol model of contestants past. I sincerely hope this kid makes it… I would love to see him perform in a coffee shop-esque setting. The way he contorts himself when he sings and just pours everything into his phrasing and lyrics. Day-yum. Kid’s got talent.

Second off – (SPOILER ALERT FOR “BIG BROTHER” EPISODE OF GLEE AIRING 4/10/12)

Glee released this BTS of the next episode, “Big Brother.” I’m super excited for this episode for 3 reasons: 1.) This hiatus has sucked 2.) the episode centers around Blaine and 3.) Blaine’s brother, Cooper, is played by Matthew Bomer… who I ❤ *almost* as much as I ❤ Darren Criss.

I am very, very, very much looking forward to Blaine and Cooper's duets (yes, DUETS!!), as well as some back story about Blaine. We don't know much about his family, so it's going to be an important episode in that regard. HOWEVER, I seriously, seriously, seriously hope that Cooper does not end up being the father of Sue's baby (see THIS promo for how I came to that conclusion). I think Cooper being the baby daddy would cheapen and make a joke of the character of Blaine. Uncle Blaine? I think not. Blaine’s already been through enough shit (daddy issues, got the shit kicked out of him at a dance, had to have eye surgery from getting slushied by his former friends/schoolmates, etc…), he doesn’t need to have his brother’s sperm impregnating one Sue Sylvester.

But, I seriously need this episode and its music NOW. Matt Bomer + Darren Criss = my heart will likely explode while this episode happens.

(END SPOILERS)

Well… I finished Mockingjay today. I won’t spoil that for you, but I will say OMG. I wasn’t entirely pleased with how that last book played out, but I will accept it for what it is and am glad that my favorite character (who shall remain a mystery to you) ultimately overcame obstacles and succeeded in the end.

Off to read The Town

Have a good one

So, I just got off the phone with one of the HR people at the place where I work.

Even though I DID get shorted a whole day’s pay from last week, it was merited. (Well, not really, but in the end, when you look at the numbers over the last few weeks, it makes sense.)

See… the system messed up my schedule the week before and I had to fill out some paperwork to get my clock ins/clock outs corrected. While my paperwork was promptly fixed and reflected on my clock ins/clock outs schedule, it somehow didn’t make it to the payroll people in time. SO, I got overpaid on my paycheck two weeks ago because payroll didn’t get my corrected schedule until this past paycheck. So, they shorted me on this paycheck because they had messed up my prior paycheck.

It’s frustrating that my clock ins/outs were corrected in time but my paycheck wasn’t. I check my schedule more often than I do my paycheck (you always just assume Direct Deposit is doing it’s thing, you know?), so I just assumed that since my schedule was correct, then my paycheck would be correct too… especially since my schedule indicated that the extra time I was supposedly clocked in for (but I wasn’t) was removed. So, I didn’t even think to question my paycheck since (1) my schedule was fixed and (2) I earned a bunch of commission that week anyway, so the slightly inflated check didn’t surprise me.

Lesson learned here – you can NEVER trust the system. Even if it appears to be under control, it’s not. I need to check and re-check my schedule and paycheck every week, else something like this could happen again.

Even though the numbers ultimately now make sense, though their effects were felt over two weeks instead of one, I am still a lot pissed off about my paycheck being shorted. It just sucks knowing you’ve been working your ass off, only to have them take away a day’s worth of your pay because of a mistake someone else made.

So, most of my rant from last night is now seemingly invalid, but all things dealing with money still frustrate me. I really wish I was living to work instead of working to live, you know?

Today is definitely not that day, but hopefully someday this will be the case.

I know more people than me feel this way. And we can’t give up. As much as this really, really sucks right now, I hope we can pull ourselves up and work through these tough/rough times. The economy and job market sucks, but hopefully this won’t be the case forever.

So, I’m going to go hug my mom and dogs, eat some lunch (being upset and hungry is not a good combination), and get on with my day. Search for jobs. Start trying to figure out how to look for apartments (I’ve never done that before… when I lived with my sister, she took are of finding the places we would live.). Play some ping pong. Watch some Idol. Read the rest of Mockingjay.

Have a good one

jfc

Money is always a problem, right?

Like, gas prices shot up again today… really? $3.79 for a gallon of gas? I’m sure some oil executive schmuck is rolling around in his piles of money like Scrooge McDuck while the rest of us are trying to figure out how we’re going to afford the gas it takes to drive to our barely minimum wage paying jobs.

Breathe, Kate.

But how am I supposed to breathe when I’m about to break down into tears?

I just looked at my paycheck that I’ll be getting this Friday and it’s SHORT almost an entire day’s pay!

WHAT?!?!??!?!?!

I have to call in tomorrow and see what the epic HELL is up with that. There is no way I am not getting paid for the hours I put in last week. You don’t work 21+ hours and then only get paid for 16. NOPE. Not on my watch. I even double checked my schedule… I clocked in and out on the days I was scheduled to work. Even my schedule says I worked over 21 hours. So, it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that my paycheck says I worked 16 hours. NO SENSE.

I am livid right now, like you would not believe. Good thing my place of business is closed right now so I can’t call them up and demand answers. Instead, I must sleep on it (well, roll around restlessly for the entire night… I won’t be able to sleep because this will keep me up) and then call in right away tomorrow morning.

It just doesn’t make any sense. I can’t even begin to rationalize out how they are going to try to pay me for 16 hours when I clearly am supposed to be paid for 21+. NO SENSE.

I am so worried about money. But, aren’t we all? (Well, rich people aren’t. BLAH)

I’m visiting my sister soon. I’ve been picking up extra shifts here and there to pay for the expensive gas it’ll take to drive the 14+ hours round trip to see her. I plan on moving within the next few months and it’s going to take $ for a moving truck and for an apartment.

It’s just super frustrating to watch gas prices soar and my paycheck gets fucked with (and people still owe me money from the NYC trip we took over New Year’s) and know that my wages are pretty much stuck in the same spot. The cost of living has gone up so much (gas, insurance, etc…), but people’s wages haven’t. And I’m not just talking about mine, here. So many people in this country are barely scraping by and the prices of food, gas, rent, other goods and services just keep escalating.

I am beyond blessed that I haven’t had to pay rent for the last 20 months. Like, BEYOND blessed. (I have the best parents on the planet. For reals.) But, I need to move out and get a better job and start a better life for myself. (That’s not to say I haven’t had a good life thus far… I’ve had a GREAT one… but it’s under the roof of parents. I need some independence. And a better paying job that hopefully has something to do with either/both of my degrees.)

Jobs.

Another super frustrating subject right now.

I have been job hunting like a mad woman for well over a year. I should add that I’ve been job hunting for out of state jobs for well over a year. Stupid me didn’t really look for anything better around where I live now b/c I thought I would be hired and out of here by then.

HOWEVER, no one seems to want to employee me because I live in MN and *not* where I am applying to jobs.

Equal opportunity employer, my foot.

I have gotten a few nibbles from prospective employers, but it’s ultimately been NO from everyone so far because I live in MN and *not* in the state where their job is.

So, I am still going to be applying for jobs, but I think apartment hunting will have to become my number one priority. I really need to get out of MN. There’s nothing for me here except for my family. And while I super love my family, I cannot keep going at the pace I’m at now. It’s not rewarding, I’m not earning enough for my future, and my skills are being underutilized. I need to branch out and attempt employment in my field in another city/state. I know I am hirable. I’m a damn hard worker, I am a damn good worker, and I am awesome at following directions and working on a team as well as working on my own.

*sigh*

I am just too wired right now. I can’t do anything about my paycheck until tomorrow morning, so I just need to wind down and try and sleep it off tonight. Looks like I’ll be reading… I’m halfway done with Mockingjay!!

Have a good one

How did it come to this?

I mean, I am always more than willing to help colleagues out at work because it’s a very team-oriented environment (I mean, we all have our own jobs and our own sales goals to focus on, but there is no way to work where I work without helping or getting help from others at various points throughout the day), but today got a bit ridiculous.

I would estimate that I probably spent half my day helping out a colleague who was working by herself in her work area because otherwise she might not have been able to get everything done. I felt so bad that she was stuck working by herself on one of the busiest days I’ve seen in a long time. The kicker was, she wasn’t supposed to be by herself – she was supposed to be with someone else, but that someone else somehow managed to not be at work today. But, the woman who was there (and by herself) kicked so much ass today. Sadly, she will likely not get recognized for her herculean efforts today :/

I was actually not supposed to be at work today, but I picked up an extra shift because I’ll be in need of some extra gas money in the next couple weeks since I hope to go visit my sister and gas is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. Funny… gas goes up, goods and services prices go up, my health insurance went up… but my pay remains the same. Blah.

I do have 3 days off ahead of me, though. And I plan on spending them job hunting and reading Catching Fire and MOckingjay. I’m halfway done with Catching Fire. It would appear that (spoiler alert) Peeta is one of the most moral and seemingly selfless characters in literature. At least he seems so up to where I am in the book. Damn. That kids is just a good guy.

Well… I’m off to read some more before I go to sleep 🙂

Have a good one

I had off from work today and I spent most of it watching movies and reading a book that was adapted into a movie. (Job hunt will continue tomorrow, I swear… I just needed to clear my mind, watch some movies and deal with a massive headache)

I went to a 10:30 screening of The Hunger Games this morning. I’ve read The Hunger Games, but have yet to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I have those books in my possession, but I’m not allowing myself to read them until I’ve finished reading The Help (which is due back at the library soon… I have 250+ more pages to go – yikes!)

So, I really enjoyed The Hunger Games. While some plot points of the book were changed or glossed over (which is to be expected in any adaptation… I took a film adaptation class in grad school and have attempted writing some adaptation scripts, so I know firsthand how some stuff has to be altered in order to best fit the cinematic version… but I digress), I thought this was a fairly faithful and ultimately a successful transfer from page to screen.

I had my fingers crossed that Gary Ross and his epic ensemble would keep the spirit of the book in tact and I think they did. I was wondering how they would portray the violence and brutality of the Hunger Games while keeping a PG-13 rating, but I thought between the handheld camera work and quick edits, anything super violent was partially obscured and the point was gotten across without sacrificing story or visuals.

Toward the end, the script got a little fan-ficish, but then I remember that’s kinda how the book ended too, so I wasn’t too disappointed. I am such a huge fan of Jennifer Lawrence and think that she made a great Katniss. She has that character down pat and I honestly can’t think of anyone else who could have played that part. She’s just so talented and was very much able to balance Katniss’s moments of harshness/independence and those of vulnerability and caring for others. The Hunger Games are a mindfuck and you could see Lawrence, as Katniss, working it all out in her mind on screen.

I think Katniss is a really great female protagonist. She’s strong, she’s strong-willed, she’s loyal, she’s caring, she’s an independent thinker, and she stands up for what she believes in. I almost threw up in my mouth a little before the film because they showed a teaser trailer for the second Breaking Dawn movie of the Twilight series and I was again reminded how Bella Swan is one of the worst female protagonists of all time. *shudder*

But back to The Hunger Games. Katniss is awesome. And I know people are doing the whole “Team Peeta” or “Team Gale” (much like the horrible “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” in Twilight… ugh), but I refuse to pick a side in that debate. Right now, I am Team Katniss 100%. In this film, we don’t get much of Katniss and Gale’s relationship, and though Peeta is likable, I’m still on the fence if what happened in the film between him and Katniss was just for the audience, or if it was real (I really need to read the other two books). So far, neither Gale nor Peeta have treated Katniss like an object (*cough* like Edward and Jacob treat Bella in Twilight *cough*), so they both are upstanding young men in my eyes.

For me, The Hunger Games series is more about Katniss and her responsibility to her family, as well as how her involvement in The Hunger Games could potentially lead to something bigger (i.e. an uprising that I am fairly sure, even without reading the last two books, is coming).

So, yeah…

I was really moved by this movie. It deals with legitimately heavy subject matter and the formation and destruction of alliances and relationships are really emotional and powerful. I didn’t cry (which isn’t a surprise, if you know me), but I found myself really caring about what was happening and thinking about how horrible it would be to go through something like that because your government made you do it. Yikes.

In addition to The Hunger Games, I rewatched the newer version of Footloose… twice. I watched it once with commentary (b/c I’m a dork and I like listening to director’s talk about their work), and then once without commentary b/c there was nothing on TV tonight and my dad hadn’t seen it before.

I posted awhile ago about this film when I saw it in theaters a few months ago. I still really love this movie. Watching Kenny Wormald dance is literally like having a religious experience – the way he dances is just so manly and nrqeuhwfurbncq;kwlj. I just really appreciate how he is able to master such a variety of dance styles. I’m not big on line dancing, but DAMN. And while I was not a huge fan of the original Footloose (sorry, Kevin Bacon… I love you and all, but….), I LOVE the last dance sequence. Like, if I had time, I would totally teach that to myself. (You think I’m joking, but I used to teach myself the choreography to music videos and musicals… so, yeah.)

I just love dancing, okay? I’m not awesome at it, but I love it.

Well… I’m gonna read some more. I NEED to finish The Help. Like, soon.

Have a good one

So…

Last night I watched the pilot episode of the 1980s TV series 21 Jump Street because I had never seen it before and I wanted to have some knowledge of that world before seeing the feature film today.

Even though the TV show of 21 Jump Street is a drama, I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile. I’m sure for the time, it was a solid show. However, 25+ years later, the acting can be considered over-acting, the camera shots and editing choices were ridiculous and the ADR was horrendous.

That being said, I still totally enjoyed the show. It’s got a good premise – young looking cop gets reassigned to Jump Street, a unit where cops go undercover as high school kids to stop crimes taking place among youth. A super young Johnny Depp (playing Tom Hanson) gets such an assignment and he helps take down some bad guys. It’s not the best show of all time, but it was entertaining.

Today I saw the new movie version of 21 Jump Street with my mom. It’s got the same basic premise – young cops going undercover in high school, but the movie has a more buddy-comedy aspect to it than the show.

The movie stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. At first, this seemed like a highly unlikely pairing, but that’s actually what made it work so well. Tatum’s character was supposed to go back to high school and take fluff classes (i.e. drama) while Hill was supposed to take AP-Chem and infiltrate the smart kids. A mix-up in the principal’s office leads Hill to auditioning for Peter Pan and Tatum in AP-Chem (or, as he calls it, app-chem) talking about KNO3 and covalent bonds. While the movie still very much focused on stopping a crime at the high school (catching the dealers and supplier of a drug), one of its larger plots revolved around the friendship and working relationship of Tatum and Hill’s characters. There was a lot of heart to this film… sort of reminded me of some Apatow movies like Pineapple Express or Superbad where there are two male leads who are best friends, but they must overcome some conflict in order to get their relationship back on track so that they can ultimately come out on top.

The heart and friendship aspect of the story was surrounded by a lot (and I mean a LOT) of schtick, witty dialogue, physical comedy, and beyond excellent chemistry among the cast. While I haven’t been the biggest fan of Tatum in year’s past, I will admit that I have grown to like him and can appreciate him for his comedic chops, excellent timing, and commitment to a role. I’m really looking forward to seeing Magic Mike and not (just) because he plays a stripper… but because he is very capable of delivering a well thought out character arc. I have noticed an improvement in his craft over the past few years and think that he is a lot better actor than I and others have given him credit for earlier in his career. This kind of growth in a performer is inspiring to watch and I am willing to give him more of a chance in his films to come and approach his work with a more open mind.

I had high expectations for Hill and did not walk away disappointed. He’s one of my favorite comedic performers in my age bracket and I am always eager to see what he brings to the table. Even though they showed the Nick Offerman/Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum office scene regarding the aftermath of a botched arrest in commercials and trailers, I still laughed out loud upon Hill’s deliver of the line “You *do* have the right to be an attorney, if you want to” after Tatum misquotes the Miranda Rights. (btw – this whole scene was SOLID. It was the PERFECT way to establish this film within the industry’s canon of remakes and re-vamps. Four for you, script. FOUR FOR YOU.)

Hill has proven, though, that he is capable of delivering heartfelt dramatic performances/moments when he needs to (see also Moneyball and Superbad). It’s his ability to bring you to the highest of highs and then right back down to a more somber reality that just shows what a smart and talented performer he is. I am a big, big fan of his work. Have been since I ❤ Huckabees 🙂

I'm so glad I watched some of the show before I saw the movie b/c I would have missed out on the importance of some of the characters/cameos/story lines/references. If you haven't seen the show but want to see the movie, I would suggest watching at least one episode to get your feet wet before diving into the film.

The film was HILARIOUS. Even my mom was doubled over with laughter at the movie theater… so you know it's super funny because she won't laugh at just anything. In fact, she'll usually roll her eyes if my dad and/or I are laughing at something. So yeah… if you want to laugh your ass off, go see 21 Jump Street

Have a good one

I took a few days off (woot for unavailable days and paid days off) to stay with a friend and keep her company during part of her spring break. We had quite an enjoyable time… it’s always nice to just spend time with friends to talk about stuff, have fun, and just relax for a little bit.

We had so much fun! I got a walking tour of her college campus. We went to an antique shop and looked at a bunch of really cool old stuff. We went to this movie theater where tickets were, like, $2, and you can get alcoholic drinks and order food and they bring it to you during the movie… SO FUN! We watched some movies at her apartment, had some hearty laughs at my expense (I am still laughing), and on Saturday we went to a Show Choir competition.

So, if you’ve never been to a show choir competition… it’s not like how it is on Glee. The show choirs in real life have a lot more people than the groups on Glee, and they sing in a more choral style than the pop-style feature on Glee. Also, there are costume changes and way more suggestive choreography in real life than on Glee…

Now, I’m not a prude, but even I was like “hold the phone” when these kids were doing body rolls and whatnot on the stage. Yikes.

Some of the groups we saw were really, really good. Like, REALLY good. It made me wish I could go back in time and be in show choir.

I had to drive back home today since I have work tomorrow, but I am thankful I got to spend a few days with my friend!!!!!!!!!!

Also, tonight my alma mater made it to the Sweet Sixteen in March Madness. I couldn’t care less about college basketball (or any basketball for that matter), but it’s kinda cool that my school (Ohio University) is advancing so far in the tournament when they weren’t ever a sure thing. They beat some really good schools… so it’ll be interesting to see how much further they’ll make it this month.

Anyway… I should read. I need to finish The Help so I can read the last two books of the Hunger Games series!!

Have a good one

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