Monday, July 28, 2008

On a personal note -- sorry, fashionistas, I needed this ...

I've figured out that I need to raise somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000 by December for my friend's wedding, which will be impossible if I don't get a full-time job soon.

Stressed? Yes, although I have to say, that's a pretty ugly word. And it's really over-used these days. Still. I'm not really upset about the situation -- it will be a wonderful time and they have decided on this crazy-luxurious resort in Jamaica -- a seven-room villa with its own personal butler, chef and housekeeper, not to mention a private pool and two golf carts! Like I need a golf cart, but still ... I read somewhere that Queen Elizabeth once stayed in this resort.

My friend is paying for my room, but I still have to pay airfare and for this meal plan that will last for the three days I am there. Oh, did I mention that the resort also has a few miles of private beach?

All that money does not include paying for the bridal shower and bachelorette party, so I figure it will end up around $2,000. But I'm sure I will get that new editor job to replace the old one in no time ... it is strange to have another reason to have to get one, other than my own well-being. I guess I didn't have these kinds of responsibilities before. My boyfriend (who works from home) has been getting rather annoyed with me being around so much lately ... as I mentioned, I was sick for about a month for reasons I won't go into ... and he was great with taking care of me. But not being able to leave the house got kind of old.

And now I have this part-time job for his company that I am learning how to do still. My training is in journalism -- in magazine and newspaper editing. I am a crackerjack copy editor -- my last boss used to tell me that I had very talented eyeballs, which I found ironic because of my Duane's syndrome, but I guess I compensate nicely -- and now I am editing fiction, which is another animal altogether. I did well with the first book and got to meet the author the other night at his reading in New York. He was pleased with my edits and he said "we did a nice job together" which gave me such a nice feeling. But this week, I heard complaints that I had basically corrected too much in the last two books I edited -- that I had added too many commas and appropriate punctuation marks, used AP style to change spelled-out numbers to numerals where needed and to abbreviate dates and state names, etc. One author was particularly angry, and that is something I've never experienced before. In fact, I've gotten used to reporters or higher editors being very happy with my edits and either learning from me or feeling that they could rely on me to get it right.

Thank goodness my boyfriend vouched for my abilities (he is the book designer), but going forward, I am going to have to use a very light touch with these books. Only misspellings from now on, maybe. Or if it is drastically wrong, I will definitely change it.

This has been an odd summer, to say the least. I feel like lots of things are happening in a way that I have no control over ... and it is up to me to react to them appropriately. My step-dad has this favorite saying about how you can tell a person's character from how they act when things are not going well ... but I think you can tell even more from how they react when things are going well one week, not so well the next, well the next week ... and up and down like a roller coaster.

Because that is how things seem lately. That is a much stronger test of faith and I am trying not to be a brat or "stressed" about things ... but it is not easy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A time for every season and fashion

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I have a meeting today with a magazine editor whose work I have respected for some time ... and I am very nervous. Since I was sick for most of the past two weeks and I've been indoors quite a bit since getting laid off (which kind of sucks for summertime!), I'm concerned that I'll come across as less social than I normally am. I wonder about the timing of this ... I could have e-mailed this editor two years ago when I discovered that she contributed to my boyfriend's lit. journal, but I was too intimidated ... it was one of those deals where the thing you want the most is also the thing that scares you the most. I just plain was not ready.

Now, it turns out that I am copy-editing her short story collection next year and I mentioned to my editors that I would love the chance to talk with her, especially about how to go about recovering from my layoff and moving on to the next step for me in magazines. Working for a print magazine is super-scary right now. I only had my first job at one for five months, but I loved it and I know for sure that it is what I want to do.

Anyway, this could be a fantastic opportunity and I hope I do not ruin it for myself just because I am nervous. I just have to remember that I don't have to prove anything to this person ... I just have to be myself. Right?

Still debating on whether I should bring in a binder full of my published clips ... she said she would like to help me get a meeting with a talent recruiter at Hearst, which makes it all the more fitting that my boyfriend and I rented "Citizen Kane" on Friday night. Not that "Citizen Kane" is encouraging for journalists ...

If I do get the opportunity to meet with this talent recruiter -- as I'm guessing I will, unless I seriously blow it tomorrow or spill scalding, hot coffee on this editor's lap -- it might also be helpful that my favorite journalism professor used to work for him. I was rather surprised to discover that ... as much as people might complain about online journalism replacing print journalism, I mean, c'mon, this medium can provide excellent research tools. As long as you are smart enough to know what to believe and what not to ... which is the danger of it, of course. Maybe we need Kane telling all of us what to believe. Oh wait, we have tabloids for that ... and our government.

Scary times ... but also rather synchronistic times. At least for me at this very moment. The past month I said a couple times that I hoped God had some kind of project he was working on for me because things were pretty damn sucky and surprisingly so. Yes, I added a "y" to create an adjective.

I apologize for the attempt at insight and the over-usage of ellipses ... this is how I write when thinking things out. I promise I'll be back to fashion and grammar nonsense soon ...

Here is something to tide you over, however:

Seems that Urban Outfitters and those born between 1985 and 1995 still have a memory lapse when it comes to terrible 1980s fashion. Yes, this pair of gorgeous, Dwight-Shrute-esque glasses are really, truly available on the Urban Outfitters Web site right now. I know I'm a bit out of touch on hipster fashion since leaving New York, but if I see someone wearing these at any point this weekend when I go into the city ... well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I'm only going to feel truly old when mid-1990s fashion comes back in style ... yeah, I know grunge has made a slight reemergence, but it's not really in full-effect anywhere yet. I did see a suit-warehouse commercial in York, PA, a month ago, though, which featured four models dressed in a variety of crayola-colored suits reminiscent of Color Me Badd, circa 1994. Hence the band name? Maybe they were colored extra bad, so it required that extra "D"? Imagine trying to explain that musical phenomenon to a 14-year-old, as my boyfriend's nephew saw the commercial with us and had no clue what we were talking about. "You've never heard of 90210?"

Thank goodness VH1 broadcasts shows like "I love the '70s". I don't think I remember much of anything earlier than 1982, and if I do, it is in this weird bottom cabinet in the back of my brain. My boyfriend couldn't believe that I had never heard of some weird antiquated video game called "Merlin" that they mention on "I love 1978" (he was born in 1974 -- go figure). Anyway, it made me feel young, which was fantastic.

Yes, I am still watching too much television lately.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MOHs and Ann Taylor

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My best friend is currently planning her wedding for December and I get to be the Maid of Honor, so I thought I'd make a habit of posting fashion details on here, just for the sake of gathering a consensus. Now I can't post her dress, of course, because her fiance might stumble across this blog. But for the time-being, let's just say that so far this is my favorite choice (if it were me getting married). Yes, I am a bit of a princess.

As for the bridesmaid dresses:

It's rather convenient that the models pictured here have both lighter- and darker-colored skin as it will be me and two Chinese girls wearing these dresses in some tropical locale. I hope my skin doesn't get as red as the dress just before wearing it (I tend to burn before I tan). Overall, though, I think these were a nice choice.

My friend said she wants to wear flip-flops with her dress, because she will be on a beach and people won't be able to see her feet anyway. But then she thinks the other girls should wear silver, strappy heels. I said, "Why should we wear shoes if you don't have to?" I was kidding, of course. But still -- I imagine it might be difficult to navigate across sandy dunes in heels.

In any case, I'm thrilled to be an MOH -- that's what the cool bridal sites call "Maid of Honor." I use the term "cool" loosely. I think I do very well with having tasks delegated to me, though, if that makes any sense. It also helps that I'm currently unemployed and aching for something to do other than my part-time copy editing. Hence the revival of this blog!

My next task is to search for a pretty makeup tutorial for Asian women (the bride is also Chinese). Any one know of one online?

As for recent grammar and fashion gripes ... I recently read an interview in "In Style" magazine that used the word "shockaroonie," which caused me to do a double-take. Mostly because it's just not a word. Later in that same article, Anne Hathaway said she tried to become more "muscle-y" when she could just as easily have said "muscular." Oh, Anne. And I thought you seemed so bright and proper. Then again, she must be going through hell right now with her ex's exploits and she was really good in "Get Smart," so I should probably cut her some slack.

Two pages after that interview, I discovered a pretty horrid neologism in an ad, but I can't remember what it was this second ... I'll have to check it out when I get the issue back from my mother.

Which brings me to my craving of the moment -- aviator sunglasses. Just saw "Wanted" with my boyfriend (it was his second time watching it since he loooooves Angelina Jolie) and I was seriously inspired by Angelina's awesome aviators. I discovered this pair in Ann Taylor the next day:

My mother, on the other hand, has been wearing a pair of Baby Phat sunglasses all summer without her knowledge, which is terribly chic and funny at the same time.

When I pick up those sunglasses, I might have to also pick up this sundress, as I've been searching for one all summer and I'm going to a garden party this weekend:

This item is also from Ann Taylor, which is apparently the place to be this summer. For me, anyway.