July 2013


So, I’m up to my elbows in job applications right now (Because, if you’ve read one of my prior posts, you’ll know I was let go from the job where I got harassed and screamed at one a weekly basis…), but I took a few minute break to check Facebook (because that’s what my demographic likes to do). 

Two of my journalism friends from undergrad posted a link to THIS AMAZING ARTICLE by Mark Bors on cnn.com titled “The generation we love to dump on.” The piece is a cartoon/social commentary about the Millennial Generation (of which I fall into, as I was born in 1983). I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry… so instead, I’m writing.

The first cartoon alone was enough for me cringe… I am attached to my phone, I did live at home with my parents for two years after grad school, and I do have a plastic bin full of trophies (that is stored in the cupboard under the stairs at my parents’ house). 

There is this tendency for people to assume that since a number of my demographic and I aren’t married, having babies and taking the world by storm is because we’re lazy.

I would argue that most of us aren’t lazy. It’s that we’ve been set up to fail. (Though, please note that there are people in my age bracket who are doing these things… do you know how many baby pictures I see on a daily basis on my Facebook feed? A lot.)

What really got me seething in this article was the graphic with the red and green arrows with regard to the job market. CEOs and those who are already established in whatever power position they already have are doing just fine. However, it’s those of us who are trying to start a career on today’s wages who are on a downward trajectory. At this point, I still don’t even want to take a retail job because that won’t be enough for me to live on AND it’ll take time/energy away from my job hunt. (I have enough money saved up where I could theoretically not work for 3-4 months and still not be completely broke/homeless… but I also can’t spend money frivolously either. BUDGET TIME, YO.)

I already had my student loan payments reduced once, but I dare not reduce them again, at least for now (even in my jobless state) because I don’t want to pay even more interest than I’m already amassing. 

I’m not lazy. I work super hard and have been working super hard since I was in kindergarten. Part of me wishes I could go back in time and tell little Kate she doesn’t have to get 4.0s all the time because it’s not going to amount to anything 20 years from now. She should have quit school at an early age and gotten a job because she already knew how to read and do math (thanks, parents!), but she was going to need every penny she could get because when she’s two years out of graduate school she’s going to get let go from a job where she is constantly verbally harassed and those perfect grades in grade school, countless of academic and athletic accolades, two college degrees and years of office management, customer service and journalism experience isn’t going to amount to jack shit.

Wow – that got real bitter, real fast. Apologies.

I should probably get back to the job applications because I’m actually doing something tonight! (In an attempt to save money, I haven’t left my neighborhood in about 9 days… but tonight, my theater buddy friend and I are going to the first preview of the new Broadway musical comedy, First Date. I actually felt really guilty when I bought the ticket this morning, to the point where I was almost crying on the phone when I was talking to my mom. But, my mom said she was really glad I was going because I was driving myself crazy with all the worrying and lack of sleep that’s been going on. [I’ve maybe slept 10 hours in the past 4 nights  :/ ])

Anyone else having similar issues with the job hunt or stressing out about feeling so behind in life?

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As promised, here’s a post about Darren Criss’s concert at Roseland Ballroom on 6/27.

This was his fourth to last stop on his (sold out!) Listen Up tour. This was his first tour and he was debuting some new songs that could potentially be on his upcoming studio album. I had successfully managed not to listen to any of the songs before the night of the concert (though I did know the titles of time, as well as some select lyrics from gif sets on Tumblr…). I had also been keeping an eye on what he had been wearing for the tour, as he had a similar, yet different outfit on each stop of the tour. It seemed he wore some sort of jacket, a plain top and whatever pants/shoes at each concert. (Not gonna lie – he looked gooood in everything. I was very pleased with the maroon bomber jacket, white t-shirt and black/gark gray pants he had on for the NYC show. Because, damn.)

I was fortunate to see Darren perform in 2011 at Market Days in Chicago. So, I knew going into the Roseland show that it was going to be high-energy and a solid block of performances. My already high expectations were met and then some. For those of you who have yet to figure out that Darren Criss is a legitimate rock/pop star, go on youtube and watch some stuff. (I’ll likely link out to stuff below… you’re welcome in advance.)

Since this was the only concert on the tour that I was going to, I sprung for a regular VIP ticket. This entailed a (super brief) meet and greet with Darren, priority entrance to the venue, a free lanyard and a free poster.

So, while thousands of other people spent all day waiting in line, I spent probably an hour in line total before we were allowed in to “meet” Darren.

The meet and greet for Deluxe VIPs was about ten minutes… I think us regular VIP people had maybe 20 seconds with him. To be honest, I was actually okay with this. I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” him twice before and it’s to the point where I’ve seen him enough times in person (I’ve seen him in person 9 or 10 times prior to this concert and have actually spoken with him twice for a total of about 5 minutes) that I really don’t want him to know who I am. I’m a fan, but I’m not a stan. He’s one of my favorite performers and is basically the only reason why I still watch Glee, but I never want to be *that person* who is the annoying fangirl. Plus, and I kid you not, he is so handsome in person that looking him in the eye is the equivalent of looking into the sun and as much as you want to be eloquent, he’s just too damn nice and handsome for me to try to make any sort of head-scratching conversation with him. (For example, the first time I met him I told him that I listened to his music while I wrote my thesis and then we spent the rest of our time together with him asking *me* questions about my thesis and what I had majored in in school. He’s polite and genuinely friendly. It’s almost off-putting.)

So, this time around, an assistant with the company behind the meet and greet asked us our name, then told it to Darren. Then we got a couple of seconds to talk and then someone took our picture. And then it was the next person’s turn.

Darren would do any pose with you that you wanted. I thought about doing a silly pose, but by time it was my turn, things got a little jumbled so we just did a “normal” pose. (See below)

Myself and Darren Criss

Myself and Darren Criss

When it was my turn, the woman didn’t ask me my name until I was already walking up to Darren. It got awkward because right as he was about to hug me, she was like, “What’s you’re name?” And I tried to answer her, but still walk toward his open arms, so I was like, “Katie” and nobody heard me because she asked me again as I was responding. So, Darren and I were hugging and he asked me, “What’s your name?” So, I told him, “Katie,” but there was a lot of noise from the line. So, after our hug, we kept an arm around each other and he leaned in and asked my name again. I repeated my name and he said, “Hi Katie, I’m Darren.” And I wanted to say “No shit, Sherlock,” but I didn’t. We then got our picture taken and he thanked me for coming and I told him to have a good show. And then he was like “Aw, thank you” and then that was it. I was given my purse back from the person who was holding it (I thanked him too) and then got my poster.

Then my friends and I stood in front of the stand for an hour and half or so until the concert started. I was in the third row, center, but by the end of the show, I was in the fourth row and hand some pushy girl’s hair in my mouth because she had squirmed her way in front of me. *shrug*

The concert started off great because I was already a fan of both opening acts – Charlene Kaye and Theo Katzman. (I’ve seen both of these performers two or three times prior to the show and I have a CD from each of them.) It was neat that during Charlene’s set, she brought Darren out and they sang two songs together. I was super excited to get to hear/see them sing “Dress & Tie” live in person because that is one of my favorite songs of all time 🙂

Theo’s set was great too. I keep telling my friends that he reminds me of Buddy Holly (because of the glasses and he’s just such a little rock star in the body of someone who looks like he works in an office). Theo also served as drummer for Darren’s set. The kid is crazy talented.

So then it was time for Darren’s set. He comes out singing “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King and then segues into a rocking version of “I Still Think.” “I Still Think” is one of my favorite songs Darren has written and his rocked out version is infinitely more awesome than his already awesome acoustic version. (Link to Circle of Life/I Still Think)

I won’t hash out the whole set list for you, but some highlights included his duet with his brother, Chuck (they sang Bob Dylan’s “New Morning“) and rocked out version of “To Have a Home” from A Very Potter Sequel.

However, my most favorite song of the night was when he did “Teenage Dream” during his encore. This was the only Glee song he sang the whole night (since it’s the song that basically launched him into the public eye… it certainly was the song that made me ask “Who is this guy?!” while I was watching his first episode of Glee). I had heard rumor that his version of Teenage Dream on tour was really great… what I wasn’t expecting was it to be the most amazing power ballad that will forever trump any version of Teenage Dream you will ever hear. Like, I already can’t listen to the Katy Perry version anymore… but now I have completely given up both Glee versions in favor of THIS epic masterpiece. I was blown away – it was just so great.

Darren put on a great show. If you missed him on tour, there are hundreds of youtube videos and you can probably see every song from every stop from the comfort of your own home. He’s a gifted performer with so much talent it’ll make you sick (he only played keyboard, various guitars and the drums on the tour, but can play other instruments ). His vocals have gotten stronger over the past few years and though his “new” music was kinda cookie-cutter in how it’s all very radio ready, he deserves all the praise he gets. He’s a great musician and also happens to be a great actor (I’ve seen him on tv and on Broadway… and on July 19th, his movie with Kristen Wiig – Girl Most Likely – hits an independent theater nearish to you). It’s so fun to be a fan while his career is blowing up like it has been. (Did you see last night he performed on PBS as part of the A Capitol Fourth special? He sang “Shout” – it was manic and random.)

So, yeah… I had a lot of fun at the concert. It was nice to see him perform in person again and I had a good time hanging out with my friends. We had a great view of the stage, the music was awesome and it was all just really, really entertaining.

Hello,

I realize I’ve been MIA on here for a bit. A LOT of stuff has been going down these past couple weeks and most of my “free” time (which is a lot these days, as I’ll explain in a bit) has been used writing cover letters and working on a writing project.

So… to start things off, I guess I should inform you that I was let go from my job a couple weeks ago.

I never specified what my job was or where I worked because who knows what people stumble upon on Google these days, but I did post how I was treated disrespectfully by some of my colleagues and other people who I worked around.

I was supposedly let go because the company I worked for wasn’t able to maintain a proper budget. I don’t know how entirely accurate that information was, but at the very least at least I was “let go” as opposed to “fired.”

Fired sounds like *I* did something wrong. I didn’t though. I made sure to ask on my way out…

My way out was one of the lowest points in my professional life. My manager and another person who was higher on the food chain than I walked into my office about a half hour before the end of my shift on a Friday. My manager said, “Whelp, I have some bad news.” Of course, then my office phone rang, so I excused myself and answered it like I was supposed to since I was at work. After hanging up, my manager said, in what seemed like an almost jovial tone, “We’re letting you go. Today is your last day.”

BAM.

No preface, no notice. I actually kind of saw it coming, but the way he said it really upset me because his tone was just so… light.

Truth be told, I’m sure it was a blessing in disguise that I was let go. I was not happy there because of the sexual harassment, the near physical assault, and the constant verbal harassment by one of the other women who worked on my floor. (I told you this, right? She screamed at me on a weekly basis – at one point slapping her hand against my window and yelling that I don’t know how to do my job.) It was not a company I saw a future with because there was no room for growth.

I have been applying for new jobs like a mad fiend over the past couple weeks. That in itself is a lot of work, and I would like to never write another cover letter in my entire life if I could help it. But, I still don’t have a job, so I will continue to write.

I had an interview a couple weeks ago at one of my favorite companies known to mankind. I knew I was likely not going to get the job, but it was still a real honor to even be asked to interview. The man who interviewed me was literally the nicest person on the face of the planet and I walked out of the interview feeling great (even though I knew it was more than a long shot that I would get the job… I got my rejection email the other day).

If we’re being honest here, I’m feeling a little lost. (Well, a lot lost.) I’m almost ay my one year anniversary of living in NYC and I’m jobless with no prospects. I have enough money saved up that I can float a few months… I really want to earn a job that could turn into a career. I have two college degrees, YEARS of office and other experience, and feel that I deserve to work somewhere where I won’t get harassed or screamed at on a weekly basis.

My spirits were super low the week following the loss of my job, so I called my parents to see if I could go visit them for a few days. I did just see them last month for a week while I was in Florida/the Bahamas for my sister’s wedding, but I hadn’t been back to Minnesota to see my dog since Thanksgiving. You know how snuggling your pet makes you feel better? I needed that so bad… so I went to MN for four days and snuggled the heck out of my dog. (My parents even brought her to the airport when they picked me up and my dog gave me a bunch of kisses and then curled up on my feet. I needed that so bad.)

Those four days were heaven. I snuggled my dog, I played ping pong and yahtzee with my mom, and I watched movies with my dad. It was really relaxing. Even though none of my life problems got solved, I could at least have a hug when I wanted one. (Man, I wish I could have one right now… at least I have a half-full tissue box!)

I actually didn’t want to come back to New York. I mean, I did because I love it here, but for a fraction of a second, it just felt easier to call it quits and crawl into a hole somewhere. As much as my parents lecture me that I’m not a failure, it’s increasingly harder not to think of myself that way. Hopefully this feeling is only temporary and I’ll make my way back up from this low point that I’ve seemed to hit.

Selfishly, the worst part about not having a job right now is that I can’t even go see any Broadway shows to make myself feel better! (First world problems, I know.) Luckily, I had already bought tickets to the NKOTB concert, Darren Criss’s NYC concert and the upcoming production of The Cradle Will Rock. I’ve been to two of those events… the Darren concert will get its own post, but let me tell you about NKOTB… oh my goodness.

So, I went by myself to The Package Tour. Tickets were $5 on StubHub and I was not about to miss the epicness of Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees and New Kids on the Block.

Seeing Boyz II Men live and in person was one of the greatest concert experiences ever. They are soooo gooooooood. Like, I’ve had a crush on Shawn Stockman for awhile now (bless you, The Sing Off), but getting to hear him from a few hundred feet away, harmonizing with the rest of the group was just… amazing.

98 Degrees was less amazing. I was never a huge fan of theirs, but I knew their old stuff. (Not impressed with their new stuff… seriously, I’m getting sick of hearing boy bands in their 40s singing about sexy ladies… it’s patronizing.) But, it was still fun seeing them in person because I never had before. I admit to smiling and singing along… “You’re my sunshine after the rain… you’re the cure against my fear and my pain… ‘cuz i’m losing my mind, when you’re not around, it’s all… it’s all because of you”

And then there were the New Kids on the Block.

OH MY GOODNESS

So, I saw the NKOTBSB concert a couple years ago with my sister and it was one of – if not the – greatest concerts I’ve ever been to in my entire life.

New Kids on the Block does not disappoint. They did, like, a two hour set of their old stuff and newer stuff and it was all just so great. I’ve been a fan of these guys for the last 25 years and it’s just a really hoot that they are still around and doing what they do – and doing it well. They are great performers and talented vocalists and five part harmony will always make me a little weak in the knees.

Seeing NKOTB was just really, really fun. And it was great seeing them by myself. I had never been to the Barclay’s Center, but it was really empowering going to Brooklyn on my own and sitting up in the nosebleed section by myself and just enjoying the show. I didn’t have to worry about anyone else – I didn’t have to reign in my feels for boy bands. It was just me and the music. And I loved every minute of it.

The Darren Criss concert at Roseland Ballroom was also one of the greatest concert-going experiences I’ve had, but that boy deserves his own post. And so I’ll get that up soon. (Maybe even with some pictures…)

Have a good one

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