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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Life (82)

Tuesday
Nov082011

Mrs. Fussy Britches

I’m fussy and I freakin’ know it.

There are so many thing to bitch about today, I just don’t know where to start. Let’s get the jealousy bullshit out of the way first, OK? It seems like a good place to start.

Computer/On-Line/Blog Shit

I am both jealous and enraged at the blogging world today. I am definitely not a part of the Kool Kid Klub. I get it. I am constantly the last to know about every little damn thing happening in BlogLand on a regular damn basis. I miss all sorts of conversations on Twitter, mostly because the folks I know/follow are all West coast based and while they are taking their afternoon Twitter breaks, I’m swilling Two Buck Chuck and trying to figure out yet another way to disguise ground turkey into something palatable. I don’t post enough on Facebook. I totally don’t understand StumbleUpon or Google+. There are blogging events, seminars and webinars that I’m sure would help me, but I never hear about them until someone shows up in my Google Reader (which, by the way, is so clogged and backlogged, I don’t even know what to do with myself), blogging about how fun-freaking-tastic this event or that event was. And the reality? I can’t afford to go to any of these events anyway since most are held not in Charlotte, NC.

And I swear, if I hear about one more blogger who got some stupid freaking book deal because they write about the same bullshit fluff I do? Like, OMG. I might off myself.

And let’s talk about book deals for a second. That crazy bitch Teresa from the Housewives of New Jersey? SHE got a book deal for a an Italian cookbook where she stole (allegedly) recipes from her mother-in-law and called them her own. In one episode she referred to “ingredients” as “ingrediences.” Yeah, that bitch got a book deal. Clearly, getting paid to “write” is all a big pile of doo. And as a society, why are we constantly rewarding the stupid?

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I got an email today with a link to the “Top 15 Way to Build Your Social Media Traffic.” Um, yeah. The advice was not to talk about yourself in your Tweets and blog and whatnot. I should Offer Solutions, Offer Ideas and Show Pretty Pictures. Yeah, OK. I have blog PROOF that isn’t always the case. I’ve even written about this before: this blog LOSES traffic the more I write about JUST wedding crap.

And then I read a post about Pinterest Etiquette. Are you fucking kidding me? How far does all of this social media crap really need to go? I’m starting to think that no one really knows much about anything, most of all me.

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And my desktop computer (yes, I have one) has contracted so many effing viruses (which I seem to catch when searching for info on sewing – how random is that?) that I just know I’m going to have to go back to the original factory settings which I know is a process that will make my head explode. I’ve been putting it off for weeks and using my laptop (which was free and totally appreciated) for everything. That would be OK for the most part except that it’s freaking VISTA which isn’t compatible with some of the other programs on my desktop which creates yet another annoyance and time sucker. My knee-jerk is to break down and call the Geek Squad to come to my house and fix everything. Um, no. Have y’all ever checked out their website? For the cost to have someone come to your house and fix your shit costs as much as buying a new damn desktop. AND PEOPLE PAY FOR THAT CRAP.

Local News

So I’ve had some experiences out and about in local Charlotte as of late. So. Not. Fun. I have a couple of projects I’m involved in and they make me want to scratch my eyes out. Why? Stupid People and Mean People and the occasional combination of the two, that’s why.

I’m helping out on a particular thing that in theory and model and historical successes is spot on. I believe in it. I think it’s a good thing. However, I’m working on this project because the person before me fucked it all up and is no longer a part of this theoretically awesome thing. That person was a Mean Person hiding out as a Nice Person. It is also starting to look like the Mean Person was also a Stealing Person and I’m playing damage control. In this role of janitor, I’ve had to hear some not-so-happy people complain about the project.

I get that. If I heard that someone was potentially/allegedly stealing from me, I’d be pissed too. I AM NOT THE PERSON WHO MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE STOLEN FROM YOU. In fact, I’m the person who is trying to help you. Oh, and you? Yes, you. Peripheral Person who isn’t supportive of the project , isn’t involved in the project but knows lots of Stupid People who are gossiping about the project? Take your high school antics elsewhere. Take your husband’s Bank of America/Wachovia/Insert Bank of Choice stolen-from-the-people bonus money and bitch elsewhere. We’re all full up here.

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There’s this weird sort of attitude amongst folks in this town that there’s a pecking order, starting at the “top” with the Old Money of Charlotte. This is followed closely and fervently by the New Money of Charlotte. Third in line, clawing their way by veneered tooth and French manicured nail is the New Money of South Charlotte. And I thought L.A. was bad!  The West coast ain’t got nuttin' on these vicious Southern women. Do not be fooled. It’s total gangsta mentality behind all the “bless her heart” bullshit. 

Me? Pecking order schmecking order. I can’t believe people actually play into it. I went to an event recently where the owner of a big, cool company was in town. A friend of mine has worked for this big, cool company in their headquarter location for the last 16 years and she told me to go say hi and introduce myself and mention the mutual connection. I did. I ended up in a conversation regarding the domestic versus import business with the guy when the band started playing. He asked me to dance. “Shake Your Body Down” by The Jacksons was playing, no one was dancing and that is a really good song. So we busted a move, me and the BMOC. This event was hosted by a local children’s hospital and there were a shit-ton of fancy pants contributors there. When the song ended I walked off the dance floor, breathless and laughing with this guy and for the rest of the night, all people did was STARE AT ME. I smiled, drank the free booze and left feeling a lot like Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza when she went to the fancy country club with her fancy boyfriend who ended up being a total tool. Yes, the nobody who is new to Charlotte busted into your little playground and made friends with the BMOC. Don’t worry, I didn’t stay long or pee in your sandbox. Sheesh.

The Job Hunt

When the poo hit the fan at my last job, I applied for a position here in Charlotte that was very specific in nature. It’s one of those jobs that I could pretty much do with my eyes closed. I’ve mentioned this before, it’s one of those positions that I wouldn’t have lowered myself to a few years ago. So I applied and got ignored. I’ve subsequently applied more times than I can count for various positions within the same company, to be ignored on a regular, ongoing basis. I apply now, almost as a joke – just too see how long I might be ignored. So far, we’re looking at 15 months. Anyway, the specific position I applied for is now open. Again. So I applied, again. I was dying to include the following as my cover letter:

Dear Folks Who Like to Ignore Me:

I am applying for the position of Job I Can Do Blindfolded that you are advertising for again in the span of 15 months, recently located on HelpingDumbAssesFindAJob.com. You might recall the last time I applied. You might also recall the other 800 billion times I’ve sent in various versions of my resume in the vain effort to grab your attention with alternate fonts and formats.

In regards to my qualifications for the position of Job I Can Do Blindfolded, you’ll note that I’m over-qualified. You’ll note this if you actually read my resume. You might consider hiring someone who is qualified to do the job this time around. Because I do my homework (or am just a sneaky SOB), I noted that the last person you hired for this position was fresh out of FIT with the requested “X” years experience in what you say is required for success in Job I Can Do Blindfolded . Get eaten up by the Big Boys, did she?  As a regular window shopper in your store, it looks like she over assorted with too many similar colors/styles/materials. It looks like she bought too many of the same designer labels that everyone else has and gave them higher price points, which probably affected your margins, inventory turns and ended in a loss of revenue and profit. Your private label branded goods? *YAWN* Mark-down city, eh? Sorry to hear it. Retail is a bitch.  Perhaps you should consider hiring one to get the job done?

Just a suggestion.

I look forward to hearing from you to discuss the career highlights noted in my resume. Oh wait, you probably haven’t actually read it, nor this cover letter. I guess we’ll just go back to you ignoring me.

Warmest Regards,

T30SB

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I’ve read a lot about what you should and should not put on your resume. There are about a jillion rules out there. As a part of my exit package from my last job, I was a part of this placement program that helps you with all sorts of things from interviewing skills to resume writing and all that. It’s a great program, good people. We are not referred to “fired” or “let go” or “downsized.” No, no. We’re “displaced.” Like refugees. It makes everyone feel a little less sucky about themselves.

But I digress, back to the resume stuff. I just wanted to clarify that I consider myself educated in resume writing at this point.  I have read that you should not put your blog on your resume if it talks about personal stuff. I get that. Makes sense. In theory.  Me? I have my blog on my resume listed under “Relevant Experience.” Meaning, the folks that I’ve applied to AGAIN might be reading this blog RIGHT NOW (Hi! How are you? Just totally disregard all the swear words and bitching [oops, there I go again!] and stuff and call me for an interview. I swear, I am totally professional and will kick ASS [totally not a swear word] if you hire me!). You might think me a fool, but hear me out. This blog exists. All you gotta do is Google my name and there I am all over the freakin’ place: Twitter, LinkedIn, Etsy. There is no hiding at this point. Any HR manager worth their salt will Google someone before they hire them. The reality is I don’t lie, other than telling telemarketers that they have the wrong number. I hate lying. I SUCK at lying and particularly lying by omission. I talk too much about random stuff to try to keep secrets. Trying to hide the existence of this blog is just not something I have the time or mental capacity to do. And while I might be reckless regarding my own privacy, the fervor in which I maintain my company’s code of conduct is unparalleled. You don’t want me to blog? I won’t. But until then, I won’t hide the fact that it exists.

Besides, I’ve learned a lot here. I know some wicked html and CSS code. As much as I don’t have time to do it, I know all about Social Media Marketing, automated Social Media Marketing, editing (when the mood strikes) and CPV, Google ad words and all that crap that goes along with running your own bliggity blog. That’s marketable stuff, man. You betcha I’m putting it on my resume.

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OK, I think I’ve bitched myself into exhaustion. I think I’ve gotten it all out. For now. For today. It’s best to vent here versus when The Candyman gets home. He’s got court today and will be tired when he gets home. Besides, this post took me for freakin’ ever to write and now I have to go research 1001 ways to prepare ground turkey.

Monday
Nov072011

A Style Council? Please?

I went shopping a few weeks ago for a suit jacket. I had a thing that required it. I thought perhaps I just needed a new top that I could wear with an existing ensemble that had been hanging in my closet since the last time I wore it, which was September of 2004.

What?

So I took said ensemble shopping with me. We walked the mall together. We looked at a myriad of tops and accessories together in attempt to make the old new again. We bought a bright red top and considered some animal print shoes. We went home and showed The Candyman.

Let’s just say that from there, everything went downhill…and fast.

My old outfit fit, therefore I thought it was suitable. Workable. Doable. I thought a spicy new top and some new shoes and hip accessories might bring it back to life.1 I had spent ALL DAY  at the mall with this theory and  Tim Gunn’s “make it work” pulsing over and over in my head. I spent more time than I wanted to trying on crap, checking the sale racks and trying on more crap. In hindsight, the red top was a cry for help. It was an act of desperation.

When I modeled for The Candyman and told him my idea about adding the shoes and the jewelry, he stared. “It’s not you. You just don’t look like you.”

This started a HUGE fight that lasted the rest of the night. The fight broke off into different semi-related segments that all pretty much lead back to the fact that I was super-stressed and taking it out on him.

I went out the next day and returned the red top, went to yet ANOTHER mall and stomped around in a general state of hate and discontent, attempting to find me.

It took me almost 6 hours, but I found a top and jacket I could wear with a totally different skirt. The top was more than I would have ever paid for a plain, black knit top, but it fit (SHOCKER!) and I suppose it balanced out the low cost of the jacket I got. I didn’t show The Candyman. I didn’t want a repeat performance of the last bedroom-cum-runway show so kept my fashion choices to myself.

I did ended up looking like myself and when I came home in the new outfit, he complimented me and said how nice I looked. When I asked, he agreed that I looked like me.

Thank God.

But it’s been nagging at me ever since. What is it that makes me look like me? Since I’ve been semi-self-unemployed-working-from-home for the last year, my necessity for clothes and my budget for them has pathetically waned. I’ve purchased a few things, but always on sale and mostly because of a drastic need for them.

I was looking through my closet this weekend and realized that desperation purchases do not a selection make. Lots of pieces I bought in my mid-thirties. I am no longer in my mid-thirties and the continuation of my old fun and funky, sometimes hippie-chick style seems…..unnatural.  Then again, I’m not even close to ready to shopping at Chico’s where Boxy-R-Us is the costume de rigueur. I don’t want to cut my hair into some coiffed shoulder-length, overly-processed and highlighted bob. I don’t want to look like a MILF or a Cougar, nor do I want to let myself go the frumpy hippy or soccer mom route either.

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Skirts too short. Hair too blonde. Boobs to over-processed. Even if you took all that nonsense away – simply too trendy.

And please, for the love of God, someone shoot me if I ever go the way of “The Glam Gals” who promote (and I use that word lightly) fashion for women over 40.

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Not that they look bad or inappropriate or anything like that. They just look like they are about to sell me some Mary Kay product and that scares me. These are women I want to run from, even though they might actually be really nice ladies.

I think I still feel the need to channel that Sarah Jessica Parker/Carrie Bradshaw vibe that I’ve identified with before Sex and the City even existed. I still feel that need to be fun and funky, but without baring too much skin, being disgustingly trendy and shall I say it….yes, I will: age appropriate.

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The question that nags at me constantly is: how do I accomplish that on a shoe-string budget and a waning sense of self-confidence?

Anyone with answers? Yeah, those would be much appreciated.

1 The fact that I just referred to a top as "spicy" might be the bigger issue here.

Thursday
Oct272011

Last Will & Testament

OK, so I came home late last night after a rousing night with the ladies from Crave Charlotte. All I had eaten most of the day was a coconut macaroon, so I was digging through the refrigerator looking for an evening snack when The Candyman goes, “Oh! I have something for you!” and he runs off into the other room. I’m thinking to myself, “Oooooooooh! Presents!”

Not so fast, lady.

The Candyman comes back into the kitchen and hands me a thick envelope. I turn it over and there, staring me in the face are the words:

Last Will and Testament

of

The Candyman

I’m all, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS????”

And he looks at me all innocent and doe-eyed and is all, “What? It’s my will.” Like it’s no big damn deal at all.

Honestly, I was crushed. CRUSHED, I tell you. I felt a little betrayed and a lot left out of a process I thought we’d be doing together. We’ve recently been dragging our heels on getting our last will and testaments as well as our living wills done. Oh yeah, and life insurance. So we’d talked about it recently. I just thought it was something we’d do together. I thought it was something we HAD to do together since our lives and assets are all mingled and shit. 

I was semi-hysterical for a bit while The Candyman was busy being totally complacent and calm so I said to him, “I’m TOTALLY going to write a blog post about this you know!” Idle threats did nothing to change his demeanor and I was too tired to argue any more, so I let it go (I’m learning to pick my battles).

So this morning, I did a little research on wills and such. Turns out that for a last will and testament, you don’t do the joint thing. You do what’s called reciprocal wills: he leaves me everything and I leave him everything and then we both name other folks too, just in case the powers that be decide to off us simultaneously.

So The Candyman comes downstairs as I’m researching this and I ask him a few questions (which totally annoys him because it’s early and he doesn’t do early). I bring up the living will, which you basically need so that if you trip across some tragedy that turns you into a vegetable, your loved one knows what you want him/her to do. So I ask him, “If you go all vegetable on me, do you want me to pull the plug?”

“Fuck yes, I do. Pull that shit.”

“Me too.”

And there you have it. He did make me feel slightly better by telling me to come down to the office so that I can get my will written up as well. Pffft. Like that’s going to make me feel any better. The big jerk, going off and writing up wills without me.

In all honesty though, it’s good he got the ball rolling. We really do need to have all that stuff spelled out. And so do you. Newlywed status be damned, it’s time to talk about death! Yeehaw!

No, but seriously. Do y’all have that stuff ironed out yet?

Thursday
Oct202011

You’re Hired.

 

You know, there’s a fine line between trying to quit a bad behavior (smoking, biting your nails) and blaming your failures on the habit of a bad behavior (poor follow through, ineffective management skills).

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I recently wrote to someone that their enthusiasm was infectious. And it’s true. You can totally ride the wave of someone’s high energy for a while. It’s a good thing, a thing I’d like to make a new habit. I do wish I could spread good karma like a disease. I wish I had a more positive outlook on everything.

So, this bad habit of mine? This seeing the doom and gloom versus the bright and shiny? It’s made me think about this young, enthusiastic woman with the incurable disease of positivity. There is an interesting mirror in our lives, me and The Infected One. We were both in jobs that we have a passion for. We were both “displaced” from those jobs, left looking around going, “What just happened?” I’m gonna bet she was good at her job too, just like I was.

She’s starting her own thing too.

“But she’s so young!” I thought to myself. I thought about how she must be so scared. As someone older and supposedly wiser, I want to hold her back from the unknown and to steer her towards a safer path. I want her to be in a job where she can have mentors, to work in a large corporation where she can get business experience in the safe environment of a bi-weekly paycheck and a 401K.

But then I thought to myself, “Well Lula (what The Candyman calls me), what the hell kinda good has that done you? Huh, missy?” And I am right. What have I got now, after a decade more than her in the working world? Well, I’ve got some experience under my belt, that’s true. But in terms of where we are now in our careers? Exactly the same. We’re both starting out and making our own ways in something we’re passionate about. And you know what? I think that’s a good thing. Should I continue to worry for this woman’s future? No, because I think that going through this scary process at a young age will only make her a stronger, even more capable woman.  Maybe I should say the same for myself, eh?

So you know what I did? I hired her. I hired her to do what she loves in the business she’s starting. Because when people give me an opportunity to shine, I know I do my very best. I know she will too.

It’s such an exciting time!

Sheesh. See what I said about that damn enthusiasm? Be careful, she’s contagious.

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Erin, my new publicist for TruLu Couture at the Premier Bride photo shoot this week.

Friday
Oct072011

#iSad

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Having grown up in a time where Steve Jobs was building his empire, I can look at him, his death and with absolute certainty say, “Gone too soon.”

I remember when I was in the 7th grade, heading over to my friend Kecia’s house on the weekends. We’d walk down the street to Pat’s house where he and I and Kecia and another boy, Brooks, would swim for hours upon hours in Pat’s pool. Sometimes when it got late, Pat’s mom would call us into the house and shove food under our noses. Pat’s house was like none I’d ever been in before. In hindsight, I think his parents were perhaps artist hippie throw-backs from the 60’s. There were tons of cuckoo clocks and neon signs and just strange stuff everywhere in the house. Tucked in a built-in desk between the kitchen and the dining room, there amongst all the crazy knick-knacks and artwork, was an Apple computer. We played some mean games of Space Invaders on that thing, using only the arrow keys to move and the space bar to fire; switching seats to let others play, while his dad read the newspaper and his mom tinkered about in the kitchen. Old school, yo.

We had a computer too, a Commodore 64. My mom was actually a computer programmer in the mid-1960’s, where the equivalent of a desktop computer used to take up an entire room! She’s sit for hours in front of that Commodore, writing and writing and writing what looked like total gibberish. One day, I heard her laughing and clapping in front of the computer. I walked in to see if she’d gone completely kookoo for Coco Puffs and she called me over to the screen and said, “Watch this!” She hit “enter” and a little stick figure man jerkily walked to the center of the screen, did about 3 jumping jacks and then walked off the other side of the screen. I was dumbfounded. “Did YOU do that?” I asked her? “I did!” she replied, with an enormous grin on her face. She showed me how. I made a stick figure of my own, but then just decided that I could draw a stick figure faster than I could program one. Oh, so naive.

So last night, I’m watching Brian Williams (*swoon*) talk about the death of Steve Jobs and it took me back to those nights at Pat’s house, playing on what was probably one of the very first Apple products ever created. As I listened to Brian talk about Jobs, I realized how larger than life this man was. He (with Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak) changed our society, changed our entire world and culture with his inventions. The simple task of snatching an icon with your mouse and dragging it to the trash can – all from this man. He revolutionized typography and turned the music industry on it’s ear with the invention of the iPod.

Aside from obvious intelligence, he was also a scholar of life. His cancer diagnosis forced him into a life perspective that we can all try to take a hold of. Last night NBC showed a clip of Jobs at Stanford’s 2005 graduation, touting his speech as the Gettysburg Address of commencement speeches. You can read the whole thing here, but I wanted to share what I found most moving. It was his reaction to being fired from Apple:

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

After a day of doing what felt like a constant spinning of wheels, I took this to heart. I’m am trying to do what I love. I’m trying not to settle.

I had argued with The Candyman when he came home last night, in a foul mood because I felt overwhelmed and rejected and scared and angry. I heard this clip and wanted to kick myself in my own pants. I calmed  down and apologized to The Candyman.

I realize that the road to where I’m going is definitely not a straight one and it certainly has its share of potholes.  I have no map, but neither did Jobs. He blazed his way into unknown territory and did what others said was impossible. My ambitions aren’t necessarily as lofty as an iPad or even a dancing stick figure, but I have them. I suppose the only thing to do is to follow them, fail some and hopefully, become successful from those lessons learned.

We will all remember Jobs for the products he gave us, but he was more than just “products.” I think Steve Jobs embodied the spirit of following your heart and dreams. We could all learn from that, aye?

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