Saturday, August 21, 2010

Switch-Not So Bad After All

Today my two friends took me out to dinner and forced (for lack of a better term) me to go and see the new Jennifer Aniston movie, Switch. I was really hesitant about seeing the movie because I really had heard nothing about it other than the fact that her character was trying to have a baby on her own. I was hesitant about the movie because I had this idea in my mind that at some point in the movie that she was going to meet a man who would change her mind about having a baby, sweep her off her feet and save the day by getting her prego.

For the first ten minutes I was anticipating just how much I would be able to take before walking out and sitting in the car for it to end. I didn't much care for the silly jokes in the beginning of the movie, but after a bit I settled in and figured that it wasn't so bad after all.

What I enjoyed about it was that she did choose a sperm donor although her male best friend and other people urged her against doing it. It really was a delight seeing a movie where a woman chose to be a single mother. And although the movie ends with the typical happily ever after type of plot that is typical of these movies, I also really enjoyed that the supposedly dorky guy with the quirky and neurotic behavior came in first place.

Although this isn't necessarily the type of movie that I am really drawn to, I'm glad that I made it past the first ten minutes and finished watching it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Writing Opportunity

Hi all-

I've been off this blog for a bit since I've been working on other web projects elsewhere. There's a particular project that I have been brainstorming with my partner for quite a bit of time, and now we are ready to get started on this one starting next week!

I've mentioned in the past that I was financing a project and that we might need writers for it. So the time has come! Being the kind of "everything is done so much better as a team" kind of gal, I've decided to open the idea up to others that I know on twitter and in the blogosphere who might be interested in getting in on the action. Here is my idea:

We are creating a website about a certain topic (and if you are interested in participating, I will give you more information). I'm financing the site, the design and the marketing piece, and I will also be creating certain products on the site as well as writing and editing. My partner will be writing, editing and coordinating all aspects of the collaborative writing team.

As we are getting started, we wanted to invite interested writers to join us for our launch! My instincts and research are telling me that with the right people on board, that we can create a successful website. So, we are going to pick a handful of people to first start as writers with us because we will be able to generate more content, and the site will receive more exposure if multiple people are also tweeting about it, etc. Since we are just starting out, our primary source of revenue will be google adsense ads and other forms of advertising (which we've been pretty successful on with a couple of other sites that we have been working on).

In a nutshell, we will provide topics to write about (and we will first start with a huge series of biographies) and we will also accept suggestions from writers. We will code all ads that are included on your page with your name and you will receive 70% of all revenue generated from the ads on the pages that you write. The more people that we have involved, the more opportunities for promotion--the more people who visit the site will click around on the various pages and click different ads.

If you are interested, please leave a comment here with your email (I won't publish it), send me a message on twitter if you follow me, or email me at badassfemmes@yahoo.com.

You don't have to be a great writer initially because my partner will help edit some of the work. You don't need experience. You just need to be dedicated and have patience because you will not become a millionaire over night. Oh, who am I kidding, you will never be a millionaire-it's writing. The more that there are of us, the more opportunity for growth and revenue there will be and we will also be able to work together and network with one another in order to improve our writing. My partner and I eventually plan on also creating a private writer's forum for some of us to work together and help one another.

A couple of final things: We will retain the copyright to the material that is written and the content can't be published elsewhere on the web because it will penalize the site in search engines. You can write with no name attached, or you can create a bio with a link back to your site if you would like. You probably won't make more than $500 for a while, but when you do if you plan on making more then you will need to fill out a W2 form to receive further payment which will be paid through paypal or elance.com.  In addition to the revenue generated from the writing, we also have many opportunities planned for additional opportunities to generate revenue and receive bonuses, although these opportunities will take backseat to getting the site up and running.

We're looking for people who want to belong to a community, where we are all working together to promote the pages that we are all writing because this is a collaborative effort! We've experienced success in the past with promoting sites on certain social networks like digg and reddit, so we are also looking to work with our writers to effectively use these sites to promote one another. If you are interested, please contact me soon because we will be starting the project formally next week!! Thanks!! I hope some of you are interested!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Can't Get This Crazy Out of My Soul

Last night something really dysfunctional happened to me and I came home and wrote a blog post about it. However, I was so disgusted by what had happened that I erased it. But right now on twitter I saw a tweet about a video that just literally gave me chills on my arms, and I suppose that I feel compelled to write about it.

I have a seriously dysfunctional part of my self that I have tried to erase over the years and have managed to keep buried. That part of myself pops up every once in a while when its triggered by a certain event or type of person.

This part of my personality is probably related to the way that I was raised, in a house full of mental, physical and emotional abuse by a mentally ill mother. It probably also has to do with being raised in a neighborhood marked by severe gang violence, where our disputes were settled with fists or weapons. Over the years it has taken tremendous self discipline and self introspection to not want to settle a disagreement with a punch in the face.

But something that I have never been able to get rid of, nor do I want to, is my attraction to all things dark, painful and macabre. I've always been drawn to suffering and pain in all of its representations-art, music, literature, poetry, movies, and other forms. Perhaps it's a result of my catholic upbringing where the "suffering is beautiful" mentality grew in my mind. It's not that I want pain in my life, or pain in my relationships, but for some eerie reason I just feel that there is something beautiful and liberating about seeing other people in pain. I'm attracted to representations of the tormented soul.

When I was in high school and slightly beyond, I was in an extremely dysfunctional relationship. Jesse was a brilliant artist, musician, song writer, poet, writer, and performer. I was drawn to his creativity and intelligence, and since then I have never met another human soul who posses his intelligence and artistic creativity. Over the years, he became addicted to alcohol, drugs, sex and other risky forms of behavior that only seemed to fuel his artistic brilliance.

Needless to say, our relationship spiraled out of control and I just couldn't break lose. The more dysfunctional it got, the more creative I felt and the more fodder I had to write and paint about. There was nothing so intoxicating to me as expressing the inner most depths of the agony that existed in my (or his) soul. During those years, I created more poetry, writing and paintings than I ever have in my entire life.

Our dysfunction finally reached a point where one night I walked away with a broken hand from punching him and a bruised neck from being choked. Well, I didn't actually walk away, rather escorted away by the police. Hours later the telephone rang with his voice on the other end calling from jail and it was then that I finally decided to change my life. I walked away and never looked back.

Over the years I have had my share of dysfunction, but I have managed to try to erase that secret part of myself that comes out when provoked by people of a certain nature. I did my share of crazy stuff as a young adult to my current boyfriend but it never managed to escalate due to his gift at being able to deescalate conflict.

Flash forward to 2010, when my old high school boyfriend shows up on my door to apologize due to one of the steps in his 12 step program for sobriety. He has managed to completely overhaul his life and although I should have been wary about his ability to quit drugs but not alcohol, I was still compelled to meet with him for dinner to catch up on his art and writing.

It's been a decent six months, where we have remained friends and I have been once again drawn to his brilliance and creativity. My boyfriend has told me that I am an idiot, that it is only a matter of time before I morph into a wacko and knock him over the head with a bottle or something, but I became convinced that twenty years have passed and that we are both different people.

And then last night happened-a lovely night of sushi with my friend and the ex. Somewhere along the line my intuition told me that something bad was going to happen and I should have listened to my gut that we should not have started drinking sake. Hours later, my intuition was affirmed when a minor argument about me being too dominant erupted into a scuffle. Luckily the "red alert" button in my brain told me to get my purse and go immediately because one of us would sooner of later end up bleeding or in jail.

I'm disgusted with myself is all I have to say. I think that I knew deep in my heart all along that it would end up like this, but I didn't listen to my gut because I was so attracted to the allure of his creativity. However, this man brings out the crazy in me that wants to break his nose and see blood running down his face and onto his shirt. I want to seriously hurt him when something that he does or says triggers violence in me.

This is not the person that I want to be. And I know that I should never speak to him again if I want to really erase this part of my personality that I hate so much. I've often wondered if this part of me exists because I was a victim for so many years until one day a counselor told me to hit my mother back and defend myself when she was hurting me. So, I started hitting her back and hitting him back when they hurt me.  Yet now I see that I have become them and I want it to go away.

So this leads me to the video that I saw on twitter today-a video that literally gave me chills and raised the hair on my arms. The video is repulsive to me because I have lived a similar life with my ex where I wasn't so much of a victim, but where we were BOTH victims of one another. I'm repulsed because I know exactly what "I like the way it hurts" means. The video makes me sad that there are young women who are watching this who might be taught that this type of relationship is normal.  But the video also relieves me that I am no longer willing to put myself in this type of situation, no matter how much I am attracted to the brilliant and alluring flames of certain people.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Should I Attend Employees' Special Events and Functions?

I need a little advice!! Where do I even begin?

Many might say (including myself) that I am not the "typical woman". Whatever that means-but it has been told to me over and over throughout my life and so now I am convinced that I don't fit into the stereotypical female box.

I feel that as a result, this has caused me many problems sometimes in my work place. I work primarily with women in an office setting, and many of the other employees that I oversee throughout the institution tend to be women. And for years I have heard over and over again that people are intimidated by me because I often don't relate to them much.

I go to work to WORK. Not to ask about my employees' children, dating practices, personal life, or anything else for that matter. I don't go to work to stand and chat about shoes, makeup, clothes, haircuts and all of that non-work stuff. And frankly I don't like people butting their nose into my personal business, asking me personal questions that should be reserved for people who are my close friends.

My boss is a male who is married but does not have children, while I am not married and I do not have children. I have asked him if women inquire about him not having children and he said that they don't. I asked him if they inquire about his personal life and he said that they don't except when they ask him about where he travels on his vacations.

However, people tend to want to know everything about me. My office staff want to know when I will ever get married. When will I have a baby? Why don't I want to have a baby? What kind of eyeshadow is that, because it looks pretty? Those are cute shoes-where did you get them? Tell me more about your boyfriend?  Did you lose a couple of pounds? Are you tired? Why don't you wear that blue shirt again? In fact, I wrote about it a couple of months ago here.

My secretary and my clerk are the two who circle around me the most wanting to know everything about me. My clerk is a hairdresser, and she constantly wants to cut my hair, straighten my hair for important events, and so on. I come into my office sometimes and I find foofoo things in there like pretty pictures, little ceramic things, pictures, and cute plants because apparently they want to make the office really pretty. Whenever there is a special function, they want all of us to wear the same color and have even wanted to go shopping with me to help me pick out an outfit. Uh!

It's taken me a couple of years to realize that they are just mama bears trying to show me that they care about me, so I have allowed them to put their cute little flowers and all over my office. It's harder for me to tolerate when they want to shove down my throat that they want me to know personal questions about me, like when I ever want to have children.

I am the type of manager where I am not your friend and I don't want to get too close to my employees. I have had to train myself to actually learn about if they have kids and such because apparently that is important to them. But I definitely don't want to go to their kids' birthday parties, a candle party and other events. I was burned a long time ago and I realized that if I get too close to the people that I work with, that it is harder to hold them accountable in the event that I need to, because they think that I am their friend.

My work life is my work life and my private life is my private life. I try not to mix the two as much as possible. Last year it was really hard for me to write up an employee that I was really close to, and as a result all hell broke lose. So I have made a commitment to not get to close to anyone.

But lately, I have been invited increasingly to people's important events. To me that does signify that some of the staff members and teachers are feeling less intimidated by me. But on the other hand, I hate such crap. I hate birthday parties, kid parties (hell no!), weddings, ESPECIALLY baby showers, etc. I hate them! I'm trying to figure out if people just invite me to be polite, or if it's really important for me to be there. Because according to my secretary, it's really important that I be there because it will make people want to follow me more. Uh. Is this true???

A couple of weeks ago one of the teachers in the district invited me to her wedding. I didn't want to go. I HATE HATE HATE weddings. I was going to wiggle out of it, but when I texted her she exhibited anxiety that I might not attend and begged me to please come to the reception. So I went-which I hated, but I pretended to have a good time.

Yesterday I got a baby shower announcement for another teacher in the district. I'm really conflicted because I HATE baby showers, and actually try to avoid them at all costs. My boyfriend is suggesting that I go to the shower, since this teacher has done some work for me in the past when I have needed extra help. I'm of the persuasion that she got paid to do it, so get the hell over it. Not to mention that he would never have to go to a baby shower so what the hell does he know?

In this case I am conflicted. Is it true that if people are going to look up to me as a good leader that I have to go to these important types of events for them? Or, would it be okay to just send a card and possibly a gift? Honestly, I work my ass off like crazy and it doesn't really appeal to me to go and waste a couple of hours of my life with people from work doing something that I really don't want to do.

I don't really want to do any of this, but if it is something that motivates people to follow my vision more then maybe I have to? I don't know. I was reading a book the other day about leadership and it said to care about your employees if you want them to be loyal to you, but does that include having to go to their personal events? And at what point does me going to their personal event cross the border between being a mentor or boss and moving into friend territory?