I’ve been feeling a little a) sick with the stomach flu and b) uninspired, unmotiviated, and unlike myself. So, it’s time to pump my little brain full of positive thoughts and what better way to do that than with a flashback of photos from a Disney trip and some of my favorite quotes from Disney films to accompany them?
AKA: I DATED DURNSVILLE’S WORST WEDDING DJ
AKA: WHY I’M VOTING FOR BERNIE SANDERS
This is something I wrote super late one night in August 2015. I hadn’t really thought about this particular thing in a while but now that I’m not the only one who can laugh at these jokes I think it’s okay to share. Also, when I wrote it, I knew that it would be something that he could point to and say, “look how crazy she is” so, I kept it to myself.
“Doors will be opened to those who are bold enough to knock.”
For me, the theme of 2015, was “jump and the net will appear.” So that’s what I did at every opportunity. I jumped and took a motion design class. I jumped and I changed where I was living. I jumped and quit my fulltime job so I could become a fulltime freelancer. This year I worked harder and smarter and more creatively than I ever have before. I learned all kinds of art things and tech things and business things. I traveled a lot. Maybe sometimes more than I should’ve given how unpredictable my income was-but travel has always been an investment in every part of my life. So, it inevitably pays for itself.
Naturally, I wanted to squeeze one more trip into 2015. Los Angeles is pretty centrally located to a lot of really extraordinary things to explore. Death Valley had been on my list all summer because of the weird-o sailing stones. However, you can’t access the sailing stones without a vehicle with super-high clearance. And my Lancer, Sebastian, love him dearly, is a sedan of pretty average clearance. But I wanted to go to Death Valley all the same because it is the lowest point in North America and bless my heart if I don’t love symbolism.
Tomorrow I go back to working a normal office job for the first time in over two and a half years. I’ve worked ‘normal’ jobs, it’s just been a long time since I’ve had to be somewhere at a set time in real pants for five days in a row. The last several months I’ve been freelancing on my own and before that I was working my job from home.
Going back to real work has me thinking a lot about my very first real job. In the fall of 2006, I was sixteen and worked as a pickle girl at the Kansas City Renaissance Faire. Sometimes I worked at the sausage on a stick booth, but eventually they gave me my own pickle cart to manage. All things considered it was an incredible first job experience. I got to wear a costume, speak in an accent, and hang out with people who liked dragons all day. The fucking geek girl dream, right?
It never doesn’t amaze me how wonderfully the things I learned at that job have translated to every job I’ve had since. I mean some things pretty much only had the one purpose like knowing which cast members would tip you if you put extra meatballs on their sandwiches, but other things had a lasting impact on the person I am in the workplace.
Dress for the job you have.
Don’t “dress for the job you want,” dress for the job you’re doing. When I worked at the Ren Faire I had a collection of peasant tops I would shuffle between, a burnt-orange, velvety skirt, and a corset I stole from my high school’s prop room. I loved being in costume (also, if you didn’t dress up you had to work doing food prep instead of taking orders and hells yeah I would’ve rather been in a corset for ten hours selling pickles than warming meatballs any day). So, don’t wear a three piece suit if you can wear jeans and a comic book shirt. Don’t wear yoga pants to a board meeting unless you work at Lululemon. All you do by overdressing/underdressing for your job is make everyone around you uncomfortable and allow them to assume you’re an asshole.
It’s probably someone else’s fault but you should fix anyway.
Even if you were dressed up sometimes you’d still have to work in the kitchen to help make food. However, I can count change correctly and talk in a terrible Old-English accent while doing it so I never had to hang in the kitchens for long until I went back to taking orders. 100% of the time when I was taking over for whoever was working the front before me I would find the that we’d be out of all the good sodas and whoever had been working in the front before hadn’t asked the stockers to bring more. We were making minimum wage-I had no ill-will to those less enthusiastic people but it did mean that I would have to sort out their problems so that business could get back to flowing smoothly again. I was always polite to the neighboring booths who would lend me their Pepsi’s and Aquafina’s until I could get a runner to restock my drinks. There’s no time for blame or needlessly getting too upset over someone else’s work ethic. You can’t change people only politely be better at your job then them. Same goes for fixing the errors in someone elses’s CSS code. Sure, it’s not your fault that the nested div tags are acting ridiculous, but if you don’t fix the code it’s only going to make your life miserable as you try to update the site.
Work smarter not harder.
Not to be confused with “cut corners as often as possible.” If you can’t carry three cases of lasagna up a hill in your arms by yourself put those three cases of lasagna on a tarp and drag the tarp up the hill. If you have to create 45 unique pieces of art iTunes for 5 different shows-use show one to make a template with good grid lines so the following 180 graphics are easier to make.
Be kind to everyone-you never know who has access to the booze and ice cream.
First, there’s never a reason to be rude. Even if someone is being rude to you-kill that asshole with kindness. You never know who has keys to the freezer with the ice cream you like or the fridge with the weird hard cider 16-year-old you was really into or, in the outside world, you never know who knows which floor always has free food or is in charge of the sharpies or gets cool promotional shit from outside companies.
Men in the workplace are the worst.
Sometimes the patriarchy acts in an lot of weird ways like asking you to tie bows on gift baskets because you’re good at that sort of thing or like when it talks about how it’s sure that the attractive rep from a visiting company probably didn’t even need to have a resume to get her job, or like when you’re selling pickles to men who are cool with talking in old English accents about their cod pieces to a very naive and shy 16 year old girl. Thousands of years of unchecked privlidge make working with some men unbearable and even the most capital-F-feminist male ally can be difficult to endure at times and not even working for myself made it something I could escape from.
Work like you need the money.
“Work like you don’t need the money” is the single dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. If I didn’t need the money I would split my time between reading, watching Netflix, getting a million more degrees in things like mechanical engineering and 17th century embroidery, and traveling this world relentlessly. Work like you need the fucking money because you do. When I was 16, I worked so I could save for college and afford gas to drive anywhere I wanted. When I was 21, I worked so I could buy books and pencils and my Audi 90 and party on the weekends. Now, I work so I can travel anywhere on this big blue planet I want to go (and pay rent and my phone bill and electric bill and internet and buy lenses). There’s a lot of different types of currencies in the world but only the one can fill a tank with gas and keep the lights on.
Share your gum.
This sounds like bribery-but it’s more about making yourself invaluable. Figure out how to make people be unable to function without you and then reinforce it at every opportunity. At the Ren Fest I always shared my gum. It was a Pavlovian response basically. People saw me and wanted gum and people like gum so they liked me. I was a pretty quiet teenager and had a terrible time with connecting with new people. Gum helped me. At K-State I kept every type of candy imaginable at my desk. People wanted candy so they came to see me. People like candy and I liked hearing about all the different things going on in different parts of campus. I live in LA, which is the largest altar to the church of ‘networking’ in the world. Have cool business cards, clever things to say, a special talent, and don’t be too annoying and people will want more of you in their life. They’ll want to hire you for jobs and invite you to their parties and find ways to collaborate with you. If people like working with you-they’ll want to keep working with you. Put good vibes/gum/starbursts out into the universe-get good back.
A fun piece of the Ashley Flowers origin story is the part where my biological father forfeited his parental rights when I was an infant leaving me to grow up without a reliable dad and a basically absent mother. Now, I did fine without parents because I read a lot and all great narratives are about orphans with no parents so I fit right in and didn’t really know I was missing anything until my late teens. I was a pretty bitter for a long time but I managed to have picked up some great surrogate dads along the way.
The thing about not having a dad around regularly is that it’s left some major gaps in the wisdom I’ve received in my life. In my head, dad’s are basically supposed to be Gandalfs, just spewing wisdom and bad puns like a broken fire hydrant. Being an avid consumer of tv/literature has led me to an endless supply of father figures. So, here is a fun list of the dad’s I’d like to have and the advice I think they’d give me regarding some of the questions/problems currently happening in my life.
In addition to spending Saturday and Sunday at Geeky Faire, I also shot Surprise! Comedy on Saturday night.
A drug overdose took my younger brother on July 26. He was 21 years old. It had been coming for him for a while, it’s claws inching into him slowly over the years and then faster towards the end. Op was feeling the weight of his addiction and was set to enter rehab August 4, nine days after his passing. His last Facebook post was, “Man.. ready for rehab.. I just want sobriety b4 i lose what matters most.. Keep me n your prayers yall.”