Hold the Glimmer

Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles

I’ve been on this health-ish kick lately (to further specify, I’m just trying not to inhale every single thing thrown in front of my freaking face.  I’m human.  I don’t know how to eat 7 million vegetables a day or say ‘no’ to a manhattan, but I am trying to be a better me), and have been falling in love with the gym.

I use to take a boot camp class that was incredible and changed my entire body and mind, but with being in the newsroom a zillion hours a week and holding down four jobs and a NEW INTERNSHIP (!!!!!! Just let me finish a few sentences without parentheses’ and we can discuss) my available hours to gym it up are weird.  But I love it! I’m lifting weights, sweating all over disgusting gym machines, and talking to trainers about supplements and stacks and UGHH it feels so good.  I see regulars and we do the “whatsup” nod to each other and I’m sure soon enough that we will all be best friends, drinking protein shakes at the park and laughing about our former fat selves … or maybe not. Whatever. A girl can dream, right?

While I’m loving the gym and their insane playlists (really, out of this world.  I’ve almost asked who makes them and if I can jump in to the rotation), I am 100% not in to the gym bathrooms.  Let me rephrase- I am 100% not in to the full on bush every single time I walk in to the locker rooms.  It’s bush central.  Lot’s of bush. Bush walking around, bush towel drying, bush SITTING ON THE ACTUAL BENCHES WHILE IT FINDS ITS CHONIES.  How. Why. STOP.

I’m so pro woman.  The pro-est of woman and god we are beautiful creatures, but can I just not see your bush?  Can you hide that thing?  I don’t care what you do with it, but can I just not have it in my face every time I walk in to the room?  I’d say I see a minimum of eight new bushes a week.  I’m averaging four gym trips a week and each one of those trips includes a stop in the locker room to lock up my oh-so-valuable purse (no value, quite honestly.  Less value than an empty wallet. It’s. sad.) and with every turn of the corner in that freaking room is a goddamn bush.

Maybe I’m the prude?  Maybe it’s just weird for me to walk around naked in a room full of women.  I’m actually starting to like my body and it still freaks me out that women of ALL SIZES AND SHAPES are so ok with theirs.

And, I’m insanely jealous.  To be able to feel so comfortable in your own skin … a girl can really dream.  I envy each and every one of those women, of all ages, that rips off their gym clothes and full frontal walks to the sinks to wash their hands. Naked. Totally accepting of their body.  One day, Tracy, one day …

On a brighter note- internship! I got one! It’s paid! It pays shit! But it pays!

Starting this summer, I will be working for an actual publication! I think this means I am actually fulfilling my dreams of writing and I am scared as shit but it’s beyond exciting. My boyfriend can attest that I’m almost always exhausted and I usually fall asleep within seventeen seconds of seeing him (he’s the greatest I SWEAR), but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been working my ass off to catch this dream. It’s all happening you guys; it’s all happening.

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May 30, 2012

 

It’s been over a month since my dreaded…day…of…(it’s still really difficult to talk about. There is no closure. I still don’t understand it. I still can’t wrap my head around the events. I’m constantly questioning every single day of employment, what I could have potentially done wrong, how I got here…all that wonderfully depressing shit((yes, it’s worse than a breakup)) and I’m having a REALLY DIFFICULT TIME figuring out what to do now that I have all this free time to not meticulously plan someone’s day to day life. I’ve spent the last nine years building a career, saying a big “fuck you” to higher education, and building one of the best resumes I’ve seen thus far from a 27 year old, so having actual time to do whatever the fuck I want is….weird. Did I mention horribly depressing? I did. Let’s just set that tone real quickly; this post will be a lot easier to understand once you realize I’m a prime candidate to take over the Zoloft rock’s job. 

____________________________________________________________

 Well.

… that was depressing.

Friends! Hi! How’s it going! Anyone out there still holding the glimmer? I sure as hell am!  The excerpt above was the absolute last thing I wrote dedicated to this blog before my tailspin of depression which turned in to the absolute best six (err…nine…) months of my life.  You see, life has been intense.  I know you’ve all held your breath waiting for me to update you on everything Tracy, but for a while there, I didn’t think I would make it out alive.  Maybe that was just my liver talking.  Maybe my liver still doesn’t know what I’m doing.  Maybe I hate my liver and my liver hates me.  Maybe… We move along.

I never realized how difficult it was not having a job.  (Before you read the following few paragraphs, please feel free to let out an audible groan.  I realize how little sorrow you feel for me over the next few words you read, but I promise they have a point.  Or maybe the don’t.  I don’t give a fuck.)  While I complained on a daily basis about sitting behind a desk,  I didn’t understand how difficult it was to have a conversation about not sitting behind a desk.  That desk became my identity.  You see, so many interactions are formed around that job.  It’s shocking how much self worth and value is established around a job- any kind of job- but just a job.  I didn’t know how to not talk about a job or, not having one.  Try going on a first date three weeks after losing your job.  Let me know how awesome it feels when you’re trying to build yourself up as this incredibly worthy, date-able specimen (trust me- it ends in a paid cab ride because you had four too many Manhattans.  Trust. Me.) Try having an interest in going to dinner or lunch with your friends and talking about their lives and their jobs and how much they are succeeding in life as you dive deeper in to an abyss of self doubt.  It was daunting and depressing and instead of not talking about not having a job, I did everything that a person without a job did.  (Get ready for the groans, kids…) 

After a few REALLY LONG WEEKS of being more miserable than I can even begin to explain, I physically forced myself to snap out of it, and realized I was granted an early summer vacation. Time was of the essence and I was going to use that wisely (kinda wisely…) I made plans with practically every person I knew and every person I didn’t know.  I inadvertently started a mission to thoroughly enjoy my life and whatever came of it.  This included, but was not limited to: concerts, days on the beach, drinks, concerts, Disneyland, lunches, concerts, really awkward/amazing online dates, more drinks, dinners, fuck I spent a lot of money on concerts. While my parents weren’t too fond of the idea, I planned a solo road trip to Salt Lake City to see some of my best friends and my favorite band, Passion Pit.  Apparently, the lead singer was going through some SEVERE inner turmoil as well and canceled the show (which may or may have not affected my already wavering depression issues), but I still packed up Winnie Cooper (that’s my ride, for any of the three readers who don’t know me…), and hit the open road.  My trip was beyond enlightening.  The Utah kids were Coachella friends that became family and I had a long week of whiskey and even more soul searching.  I’m not exactly sure when it hit; between three caramel macchiatos, an entire jumbo pack of fire breathing beef jerky and an exhausting 13 hour drive home, I was determined to completely change my life. And, I did.

I came back to LA knowing fully well that summer was on its tail end and I would be diving off the deep end into my first semester of school in over nine years.  I was an absolute nervous wreck at the idea of even walking in to a class room (Where would I sit?  Would I be the oldest in the classroom? What if I saw people I knew? What if my clumsy ass fell while walking in to the classroom and everyone laughed at me and I would forever be known as that old girl who fell in slow motion on the first day of classes? What would I wear?), let alone the fact that I had to crash every single class…. (BIG shout out to Los Angeles Community College District registration dept.  Really appreciate that registration date where all classes were filled four weeks prior to my registration date. That was super tight of you. Even more props for the financial aid I couldn’t get because of my 2011 income. GREAT, supportive start to my new scholastic me, really.)

Oddly enough, all of the fear and anxiety was completely unwarranted.  My first day of school was…absolutely incredible. I felt completely in my element and inspired to put every effort in to achieving the one regret I’ve held on to thus far in life- not getting my degree.  

Super fast forward to today, because Lord knows I’ve been doing a phenomenal job with staying accountable with my blog dreams: I managed a 3.0 in my first semester of school, stayed out of as much trouble as possible over winter break (not really, but that’s a whole different blog post..), lost about 30lbs, and found myself a suuuuper sweet boyfriend.  

WHAAAATTTTT?!?!

And that’s where I’m ending this post. A few doubts, a few questions, and a whole lotta suspense.

Love you guys xoxo 

 

It’s been a rough one, glimmies.  I’m sure all three of you were well aware of our absence (please just let me believe you were at least.. I need SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN right now….), but SHIT has gone DOWN in the last month and I haven’t had enough time to formulate words in to a post.  Let me rephrase that- I’ve had MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME to write a post because I am officially unemployed.

 
yep.
 
Dream company? see yuh.
 
How did this all happen?  Well, I’m still in a haze of “unclear”, followed by shock, and the inevitable depression.  I wish I could write a series of events leading up to my “departure”, but I genuinely have no idea how it happened.  I was never warned, I was never counseled, hell I was being praised on a daily basis.  I guess not being “the right fit” in a group of 40+ year old scorned women, means I’m not ready to dedicate my life to being…a 40yr old..scorned woman?  Maybe my boss didn’t like exclamation points after my “Thanks” for the 20 Lakers tickets, handful of Clippers games, soccer games, concerts, or other notable events.  Maybe the board meeting I single-handedly prepared for 4 people (that turned into 12…the day of the meeting…at the penthouse of the Ritz…) wasn’t up to par, but the grateful emails from all attendee’s seemed to validate a good job?  Maybe he wasn’t happy that I was on vacation in the desert, sitting in my car, on the phone with the travel agency for over 30 minutes, scheduling same day flights and hotel accommodations to Texas and then a quick day stop in New York? Maybe I just wasn’t good at creating an entirely new filing system on my second week, purging an entire 4 foot cabinet of unnecessary files, and filing 6 years worth of stuff his last assistant “forgot” to do. Maybe learning their expense reporting program on my own and presenting him with an expense report for a months worths of receipts ( ON MY EIGHTH DAY) that i took it upon myself to track down from various hotels and restaurants across the country because his last assistant “forgot to do one and couldn’t find the receipts”….wasn’t good enough for him?
 
Who. knows. 
 
All I can remember is an HR rep walking in to his office at 4:15, his door opening at 4:30, and a calm “Hey Tracy, can you step inside my office for a minute” from ex-bossman, followed by “you were an incredible employee and we hope you can find another position within the company, but….” Then some blah, blah, blah, and ex-bossman interrupting HR rep with “I’m really sorry, but I’m late for a meeting.”  He stood up and walked out.  I didn’t get a hand shake.  I didn’t get a thank you.  I didn’t get an “I’m sorry.”  Just like that, it was done.  The HR rep asked for my badge, my parking pass, and told me I wasn’t allowed to touch my computer “for security reasons” and to grab whatever I could off of my desk.  She handed me a parking validation to get out of my lot.  And then, I left.  Just like that.  No tears, until I turned the corner on my last walk to my parking structure, where I started bawling uncontrollably and sprinting to my car.  To make matters even more comically worse, the validation I was given was expired.  I COULDNT EVEN EXIT THE GODDAMN PARKING LOT.  I drove around feverishly, trying to find a parking attendant, who then told me I would need my original parking pass to exit.  I tried to stay calm, but instead yelled “I JUST FUCKING LOST MY JOB AND I WANT TO GET OUT OF THIS FUCKING PARKING LOT.  THIS IS ALL THEY GAVE ME.  OPEN THE GATE BEFORE I DRIVE THROUGH IT.” And she did.  And I drove home, crying uncontrollably, calling my mom, calling my friends, yelling at drivers at the top of my lungs with the windows down, being THAT GIRL on the afternoon commute home.
 
(ps writing this is totally NOT THERAPEUTIC, DUKE.)
 
I’m so embarrassed.  I’m also pretty sure that’s the reason I’ve failed to inform MANY of my friends and family.  I just……ugh…I felt so important. I felt like the coolest kid in class being able to call friends on a whim to join me at the game that night, or for a concert, or whatever AWESOME thing was given to me for that night or weekend.  I know that friendships are more than some REALLY AWESOME GAMES, but to be able to give that to somebody?  Fuck man…it was just so damn cool.  I felt like a rock star.  Every. Night. Of. The. Week.
 
and then it all just… disappears.  Do you realize how difficult that is?  
 
Fortunately for me, I have the absolute most incredible support system in the world.  My meltdown lasted all of 22 hours, followed by the best soul-searching dinner of my life with Duke (granted, we were knee-deep in Tennessee honey (ie: whiskey…keep up kids..))  Duke, being one of the wisest in my arsenal of friends, reminded me that not only do I now have the opportunity to do whatever the fuck I want, but I can also go back to school and finally get my degree.
 
So, that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to pursue my dream of writing (without three hundred run-on sentences. ((HA or triple parenthesis! (((LIES.))) Who knows, this whole blog may take a new form of Community-esque amazement? I can’t even begin to imagine my new daily character encounters! Maybe it wont? All I know is that I’m holding the glimmer, as strongly as I can.

Step in to My Office…

(ps- this is Tracy.)

Ya, I made these for a friend’s birthday party AND St. Patty’s Day.  Absolutely gorgeous, I know!  I’m not that single, I just really enjoy baking (and compliments…) and making my friends happy! Barf, right? It’s true, it’s true.  As disheartened as I may come off on this blog, my black heart really bleeds red and I guess I put a tiny bit of effort into keeping and making friendships, because that’s what it’s all about.  Besides, the more value I put on you, the more likely I’m paying my friendship dues super hardcore, which means I’m REALLY GOING TO NEED YOU WHEN I CRUMBLE, WHICH IS AT ANY GIVEN TIME BECAUSE MY LIFE IS FREAKING INCREDIBLE RIGHT NOW AND THIS SHEER JOY HAS TO END AT SOME POINT AND THAT POINT COULD VERY WELL BE ANY SECOND, SO PLEASE REMEMBER THAT TIME WHEN I TALKED TO YOU FOR HOURS, COACHING YOU ON WHAT EVER LIFE LESSON IT WAS FOR THE DAY, KEEPING YOU OFF THAT LEDGE, SENDING YOU E-TISSUES OR E-CARDS, OR CALLING YOUR OFFICE TO TELL THE RECEPTIONIST TO RUN IN TO THE BREAKROOM AND STOP YOU FROM TAKING THAT BITE OF A BEAR CLAW.  Really, I might need you one day.

Oh, glimmerheads, you make my world spin round.  I want to thank whomever is doing our PR all over the eastern hemisphere.  We had unique views from Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, Latvia (um?), Russian Federation and United Arab Emirates just to name a few! Granted, the 4 clicks from U.A.E. were blocked due to content (hahahahahah WHAT A SENTENCE! BLOCKED IN OTHER COUNTRIES?!?! Holding the glimmer worldwide!!!) and the 4 hits this morning from Mexico were all related to Google searches that may or may not include the words: gagging, Sarah Palin eats corn dog (it was Bachmann, you idiot), choking, and bald sweat, we really do value our insanely anonymous PR rep that’s not associated with the United States.

I’ve been coming around to this whole daylight savings thing.  Kinda. Don’t get it twisted, 4 out of 5 days of the week, I’m still watching the sun come up and go down behind glass windows, in a 10 hour span, with a mere kiss of actual sun during my lunch break, but that 5th day makes it all worthwhile. The beach is far too close for me to neglect, so I’ve been trying to make a habit of appreciating those sunsets from the sand.  It’s oddly rewarding.  That’s all I can divulge without losing my street cred.  Moving on.

Now that I’m face to face with the sun during my 2hour+ daily commute (I wasn’t lying. I’m legitly facing the sun in both directions and now have to apply sun block before driving (worst hangover cure ever…)), I’ve become even more fascinated with LA drivers.  First and foremost- you’re all assholes.  I know we covered this in previous posts, but I’ve compiled a list of the people I hate the most- Los Angeles Drivers.

The Rule Maker

Oh, we’re going YOUR speed today?  Oh, you don’t mind that your speed is 20 mph below the speed limit?  Oh, your violent “slow down” hand gestures totally negates the fact that you just made an illegal u-turn into MY LANE? Oh, you want to pump your brake lights a few times in an effort to warn me that you’re now approximately 100 yards away from the car in front of you? Ohhhh ok ok- YOU make the rules and we just abide by them.  Ps- you really suck.

The Show-off

OhhhhhEMmmmGeeeee WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE SUPER AWESOME RIMS THAT DO THAT TWISTY THING?!?  What IS that song that you’re playing so loudly that I heard it from the underpass of the onramp a mile away?! It’s 55 degrees and all of your windows are down, how DO you DO it?  That’s right.  You’re that guy, driving around aimlessly, proving nothing other than the fact that you know how to drive and are probably severely less endowed than your average male counterparts.  You pull up to my window at every chance you get, forgetting traffic patterns or the fact that you are negatively affecting them and making your own, hoping I’ll turn to the left to check you out as you nonchalantly pretend to sing the lyrics to your favorite song. 

The Makeup Artist

This one’s a little difficult for me to write.  You see, I’ve genuinely perfected the art of car make-up.  Seriously.  Ask any single person I know (except Duke.  Duke’s a boy. Boy’s don’t understand.) and they will tell you that one of my finest gifts is transforming my face in front of a rearview mirror.  I get that it’s illegal, and really dangerous, but I’ve perfected the craft and cannot stand those who haven’t.  If your mascara application is affecting the flow of traffic- I hate you.  If I’m stopped behind your brake lights, seeing your fingers feverishly circling concealer in to those under eye circles, with 50 yards of open freeway in front of you, I will honk. And motion. And do my best to make you feel horrible about the lack of attention you are paying to that pavement.  You probably think I’m a big ole hypocrite, but the fact of the matter is that this is not me.  This is you.  I already explained that I have perfected the craft and have yet to negatively affect traffic due to my fake face.  You have not.  Fix that. (and your face. Zing!)

Mr. Sticker

I’ve been known to be a fan of flair, (mainly glitter) but my flair doesn’t fly far.  I keep the fun on my desk (Whatsup awesome rhinestone calculator! Holler sparkly coffee cup holder!), or in my room, but rarely does it reach the outer limits of my car (except 2008 with my favorite Obama bumper sticker.  All the cool kids were doing it.) I think it’s awesome that you want to “coexist” and that you’re a big fan of NOFX, but once you’ve passed the two sticker mark- I’m legally allowed to consider you freaking weird.  And how the hell am I supposed to read whatever it is you’re promoting from the back of your window while I’m trying to avoid being stuck behind you in traffic.  You are a distraction! Also, when did society deem it acceptable to not only place sticker figurines of family members in order from largest to smallest on the back of your window, but to also NAME everyone?!  I’m positively freaked out when they call my name at Starbucks, let alone blasting my family on a car.  Has anyone checked the national sex offender registry lately?  Have you looked in to your local pedophiles (I do. Every. Single. Day.  I also have a sick and twisted obsession with America’s Most Wanted, but you bet your ass I’ll be the one to find your killer.  I’m still fuming I wasn’t the one to catch Whitey Bulger in Santa Monica..) Site is BOOMING and it’s because those freaks now know each of your kids’ names and their affiliation with their favorite sports.  And friends, this is really important to me.  If I ever happen to die, I swear to all that is holy that I will haunt your asses til the day you die if I see my name, date of birth, and date of death on the back of your car in sticker form.  I’d rather be memorialized via billboard including cause of death (they never include that in obituaries and I’m always curious.  Sure, they’re to honor and remember the lives of those lost, but I’m really just curious how. If I can’t be a trend setter now, I’ll be one after I die.) Thank you.

Oh, hi.  Come here often?

Shall we just get all of the apologies and excuses out of the way?  I can’t possibly write another exquisite piece knowing all 2 (yes, we lost 2 of you) of our readers would rather stab themselves with dull, diseased envelope openers than see me have the gall to actually blog/write/rant/complain again.  In fact, after discussing blog topics with a few trusty friends, I have a pretty strong feeling you’ll all hate me in less than 8 minutes and 2000 words, so who really cares? We move along.

I’ve missed you HTG! To say that I’ve been going through A LOT in the last few months is a major understatement and disservice to my life, but apparently some higher up form decided I paid enough dues in real-estate hell to earn a position at my DREAM COMPANY.  I’m sure you all remember Duke’s fabulous announcement a few posts back, congratulating my meager crawl across a now noted plateau in my career history, but this is different. This is major.   In fear of divulging too much and the very real possibilities of actually losing said job because of said blog, I will try and remain as anonymous about it as possible- but you should know I’m pretty important now (not like you thought differently before…), and I welcome any and all forms of flattery and bribery. 

In addition to my new title of “severely important”, I’m also officially a commuter!!  I’ve been in some form of working world since I was 16 and never had to drive more than 20 miles to any job.  For a few years there, my commute was 13 miles round trip.  I know. I was lucky…and incredibly ungrateful.  On a good day (and leaving before 7am…gross…), I’m faced with 40 minutes of concrete, commentary (thank you always, Howard Stern), and cars.  On a bad day, it’s 2 hours of planning how quickly I can get out of my car on a moving freeway to gently tap on someone’s window and ask how they became such a shitty driver in a city that doesn’t walk.  As horrible as it seems, I truly do find a sense of peace thinking there’s a “we’re all in this together” hidden attitude in each and every car on that freeway.   I’ll stop being positive now; my friends say it’s ruining our relationships.

With all this new found time to….be by myself….I’ve started having some profound conversations…with myself.  Please note- I’m really not interested in your idea or definition of profound.  This is my blog after all.

  •  If we commuters could all collectively agree to drive a minimum of 40 mph on the freeway between the hours of 7am-9am and 5pm-7pm, we’d all be far less disgruntled and I’d imagine additionally having a generally happier demeanor.  What’s most disturbing is that I would assume 75% of drivers on the freeway at those given times are every day users (I mean, only an idiot or tourist would get on an LA freeway before 9am for fun…which is describing pretty much all of LA. Fuck.), which means they have an already decided on ramp and off ramp.  Can we all just start pinky swearing to stay in our lanes til appx 2 miles from our exit?  Also- sorry trucks, but you’re out of this equation entirely.  You are awesome and ohsonecessary for too many reasons to list, but you’re officially not allowed on that freeway between those times either.  I can’t tell you how many trucks I’ve been stuck behind IN THE FAST LANE at 8am.  No. mas. Profound- right.
  • I’m going to start the campaign to turn the 101 into a toll road.  I’m positive this will come off as elitist, but this is what happens when you’re stuck in a car for 15 hours a week.  Not only will the city benefit from the major influx of funds from said toll, our “thriving” public transportation will pick up and actually become of use to this city.  Mass transportation seems to work in every other city besides our own, so why not try to make ours, at the very least, half as good as San Francisco’s (pipe dreams….).  Additionally- fewer cars on the freeway, fewer accidents, fewer carbon emissions, less of a need to punch people in the face every time they ask where you commute from…
  • Stereotypes are true.  Take that statement as you will.
  • The lack of windows on a car/truck/van is directly related to the amount of whistles I receive.  Apparently, I give off the “PLEASE do me in your creepy vehicle immediately” vibe.  Still working on that one… (ps- I really just need to know if that has ever worked.  Please, someone just chime in and let me know if you have ever whistled at a girl and she walked over to your car and banged you.  I just, I need closure and to know this actually works for me to understand the whistling phenomenon.)
  • Speaking of banging, can we just get over Chris Brown being the worst human being alive already? I GET IT. He beat our favorite princess up. He’s already the spokesperson for those needing anger management courses, must we hate him forever (for ev ev ever, for ev ev ever…had to, sorry..)???  Sean Penn laid a few fingers on Madonna and his box office sales didn’t fall- hell he’s friends with Venezuela now (ok maybe this isn’t good).  What about Bobby and Whitney (bad example again, Tracy)???  He beat the crap out of Whitney, but New Edition still tours, so I’d assume we got over it.  Or the infamous Ike and Tina?  Ike died revered as one of the best producers of all time and he beat the absolute SHIT out of Tina FOR YEARS!  And lest we forget Mrs. Hilary Clinton.  Yep, good ol Hil use to beat up Bill.  We never really questioned who wore the pants in that relationship, but clearly- we got over it.  Can we all just agree that Chris is kind of a douchebag that makes records I really want to dance to?

Told ya you’d hate me..

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”
-Mark Twain
 
 
Saturday October 15th, 2011 – I witnessed, along with Tracy and a couple of like-minded friends, twenty thousand people marching through the streets of downtown Los Angeles in protest against the harm we have caused one another.  I say we caused this harm because regardless of rich or poor, all of us have cosigned to these atrocities through continued inaction.  Inaction that may have finally come to an end.  How we got here is a long historical indoctrination, but the short version is that we lost sight of what is important.  At a certain point, we as a society began oversimplifying life and the challenges that come along with it.  We took for granted that the machine would continue to grind along for our benefit – never considering the resultant destruction of livelihoods, homes, and families.  We forgot that this city on a hill was built on the blood and sweat of prior generations, and dismissed their sacrifices as obsolete and inapplicable to us.  Now that we have seen the consequences of our own unbridled pillaging, there is finally a realization that the world cannot go on in this vain.  Every day more people are waking up to find themselves trapped in a mechanism that has married politics with economics, family values, and God – in a process so seamless that many have been duped into believing they have always been four parts of the same whole.  Whether directly or indirectly, it is our own selfishness and short sightedness that has millions of people across the globe gathering in solidarity.  Not just to point fingers, but also to challenge a system that has allowed for unconscionable grievances to human kind – to spark the fuse of change by raising pertinent questions.  On this day we joined thousands of people marching along, chanting in unison, “We’re fired up! We can’t take it no more!” while occupying the streets from sidewalk to sidewalk.  Demonstrators held signs supporting unions, student loan forgiveness, public works projects, nuclear disarmament, and most prominently – taxation of the top 1%.  Not to be outdone, my own sign read “Rebuild now? Or wait for the system to COLLAPSE?” with a couple of phallic caricatures thrown in for good measure.  My always clever partner, Tracy, held one that read “NEEDS ANSWERS” with multiple arrows pointing down at the crowd – but don’t tell anyone her mother assisted in making this show of radical leftism. 
 
The police, on hand to protect its citizenry, smiled as they looked on, and even joined the chants from time to time.  At one point, a megaphoned organizer proclaimed, “these officers are THIS close to taking off their uniforms and joining us!” as the crowd replied with a mighty roar.  Sadly, similar protests around the globe did not enjoy the same peaceful outcomes.  The ruling bodies in many cities and countries used the police as agents of obedience to quell the possibility of progress.  This is a tactic that has played out in favor of advancement in places like Egypt and Tunisia – but the 1%, in their ever assuming superiority, ignored reality.  The brave masses, more afraid of supporting the status quo than they were of physical harm, have exposed the illegitimacy of any establishment that uses violence to oppose new ideas and resolutions to long-standing problems.  Governments and corporations are scared of the power people have discovered, dismissing the first rallies when they came together in New York – directing the media to ignore the scenes caused on Wall Street.  Later, as foreign news sources broke the story, they had no choice but to lift their blackout.  As this movement grows and develops – they will attempt to absorb us and turn us into a new demographic to be cultivated and exploited – because in the end, all we represent to them is a dollar sign.  But money can’t be gained from people who have denounced the free market as too rich for our blood.  This is only the beginning of a realignment in perception that is spreading over the Earth.
 
In front of City Hall a community of tents is growing constantly as students, families, elderly and unemployed gather together to discuss potential paths to rebuilding a society that may function free of greed, hatred, and indifference.  Classes on economics are being taught on the lawns with the an eye toward creating a new system outside of the old box of capitalism/socialism/communism – an economy free of politics, and a government free from monetary influence.  One sign in particular, I felt, captured the true issue at hand, “Elevate your Consciousness,” because this movement is shifting the way we think about ourselves and each other.  I used to tell people that life is simple.  As I’ve grown older and more mature, I have trouble remembering why I ever laid such a claim.  Life is incredibly complicated.  Love is confusing, work is a struggle, and people do baffling things for seemingly no reason.  We neglect each other and create hardships, put up obstacles unnecessarily because our priorities are out of order – our eyes are distracted by life’s red herrings while the real opportunities slip through our fingers before we even realize they were sitting right there in our hands.  Brutally flawed, we make decisions incongruent with our own self interests – desire and ego consistently miscalculate our positions.  We foster regrets, try as we might to convince ourselves to the contrary, because regardless of how our brains shape reality – the heart will always want what it knows to be happiness.  Unfortunately, we lost sight of happiness and love – life became a game and money became the score.  In our incessant fight to gain ground on the rich, we forgot the people we hurt along the way.  The 1% used this against us to create a nation, a world, of divided bickering fools who aspired to become soulless and wealthy – just like their masters.  Now is our time to come together and use the power in our numbers to take back everything we handed over on a silver platter. 
 
We are the 99 percent.


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