Okay, so about a week ago I went to this appointment I had been waiting for. It was with this government agency that helps people on disability go back to work by helping them brush up on their job skills via education. They had helped me about 15 years ago, putting me through a brief graphics program which had enabled me to land an entry level job at a newspaper. Unfortunately I stayed at entry level, much to my frustration for EIGHT freakin’ years. I just could never get promoted. Why? Well several reasons. 1) I was going down the tubes mentally…but bygones. But also I didn’t have any real training or degrees in art. Just some puny ass little certificate from some puny-ass little baby school.
(Incidentally, I wasn’t going down the tubes mentally at first….just in the waning years when people with less experience (and in one case- NONE) kept getting the Art Director job I wanted and deserved.)
So I talked to Charlemagne before the appointment since he is currently in their program and he was telling me how to act (all scared and nervous. Wow, I’m like that anyways….SCORE!!). Also, in preparation, I had gone up to the college, the week before and I managed to spend the whole afternoon up there, talking to people in the art department and taking a placement test (doing horrifying bad in math– as expected and doing exceptionally well in English — as expected). Although I still don’t know how I got 102 on a test. Isn’t 100 the highest you can get? Like wow, I must just be Super-Awesome. Yeah, thats it!
Anyways, so I finally went to the appointment at the government place this last week and….well, it turned out pretty disappointing. Why? Well, I guess because you’re not allowed to say anything as totally foolish as “I want to pursue a career in the arts”. I guess that’s about akin to telling your mommy you want a unicorn instead of a kitty, especially since the woman just stared at me blankly and started shuffling papers around on her desk trying to find a way to tell me she could only help me find a “normal” job…as in…
(THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A CREATIVE JOB, ART GIRL)
I’ve just NEVER been good at traditional jobs (i.e., jobs in cubicles with phones ringing, and people yelling at me, etc. etc.) I’ve only been good at jobs where I’m wearing ragged tee-shirts, listening to Frank Zappa, and painting murals on sidewalks, ya see. And unfortunately, there’s not very many of those and they don’t pay very well. And yes, I know that.
But lord knows, I’ve tried the other kind of jobs. Lots of them. For many, many years. And do you know what would happen? I would standing there blandly selling a romance novel to some lady at Waldenbooks, but I’d really be thinking about how I could design the most fabulous window display in the history of Waldenbooks, complete with cowboys riding unicorns and geishas doing a jazz dance with pickaxes! And then Stephen Spielberg would walk by and want to hire me immediately to design his next movie. I mean, I just always did creative stuff in my boring jobs. I just did. I couldn’t help it. It was like a genetic deformity.
And what was frustrating about this governmental drone was that when I told her about a job interview I had at an art store last summer, where I had lost out on a framing job because of my poor math skills…that suddenly became her mantra.
“Maybe we can still GET You that Job. We’ll put you in a Remedial MATH class.”
WHAT??? I hate math. I didn’t even want that framing job. I was just there for a cashier job. But this woman kept going on and on about getting me into a Remedial math class, remedial math class, blah, blah, blah. I actually started to get a little angry. Like, you are so missing the point, lady. I hate math. Especially since I had been sitting here TELLING her everything I was good at…like writing, art, computer graphics, photoshop and by the way I have my own solo art show going on right now thankyouverymuch and yet nothing was sinking in and she was only trying to stick me in a class full of math retards. Talk about feeling discouraged!
So since then, I’ve been sitting here trying to think of possible jobs. What could I do? What could I do for a living?? And then I went to the State Fair this week. Having sold 5 paintings at my show, which came down today, I do, fortunately have a little bit of spending money in my pocket once again.
I’m not really sure why I go to the fair. I don’t really enjoy it THAT much. I hate crowds. Its loud. Everything is extremely overpriced (a small bottle of coke for $3. WTF?). But I do look at the art show. I eat the free samples in the dairy building. I check the tote board for mullet haircuts. Oh how proud I am that I live in a city that has a mullet haircut tote board! And also how serendipitous that I went on Senior Citizen’s Day. My favorite. Like how many freakin’ times did my toes almost get run over by some granny in a wheelchair named Betty. Grrrr!
Anyways, there are some things I like to do, like go to the African Village (no mullets there. Ha!). Its one of my favorite spots. Its a tiny segment of the fair dedicated to the African American arts. An artist friend of mine runs it and it includes this African drum circle. Now I’ve been going and looking at the drum ring for years. Its 95% African guys beating on these beautifully decorated djembes. And then there’s me looking at them wistfully.
Witty: “Gee, I wish I had rhythm. I wish I could play drums with the Brothers. I wish….”
Well, I finally did it this year. This is slowly becoming the year I’m doing things. I just decided that this week, as a matter of fact…so watch out! And I’m horny too!!
So I sat down with this big old drum and started drumming. At first I had trouble keeping up, but after a while I finally got it and we had this great rhythm going and a crowd gathered and I got totally lost in it. It was great. And what a great calorie burner. I was actually tired when I was done!
That’s me on the left side with the whitest legs in the universe.
I then wandered over to the local news kiosk and appeared on the 5 o’clock weather report with Wayne the Weather Guy. “L” the Hippie Chick later said she saw me on TV and was going to call me but then realized it was LIVE. We don’t have cell phones, ya see, so being on live television is just what it is. A 30 second segment in my Fifteen Minutes of Fame. Although I suppose I could have lengthened it by stealing the TV station’s beloved weather cat or possibly flashing my boobs and then being filmed being taken away in handcuffs. Oohh! Double bonus on that one! Fame and handcuffs!! 🙂
But, of course, neither happened, so I headed over to the farm animal area. I actually like animals more than men people most of the time anyways. They were just wrapping up the Cowlympics, I believe. There were three flags hanging down over the arena like in Beijing. I think I might have just missed the cows on the uneven parallel bars. But I did get to see the issuing of ribbons. Pre-pubescent boys trying to hold onto a 12,000 pound cow as a 12 year old bejeweled Dairy Princess handed them a ribbon without stepping in cow poop. It was TOTALLY FAAAAAHBULOUS!
Afterwards there was a photo shoot of the winning cow and that is where my new job idea comes in. I had never seen this before, but there was a very elaborate photo shooting “set” where about 5-6 people were involved in making a cow look, in the words of Paris Hilton, “totally hot”.
There was the woman wiping the poop out of the cow’s poop area. Ok, I wouldn’t particularly want that job, since it didn’t seem particularly rewarding or creative. But then there were the Cow Assistants, and they seemed to possibly be in some kind of ranking order. Like Cow Assistant I Ass Area. Cow Assistant II Right Front Hoof Area. Because this poor cow had like 5 people yanking on its ears, picking up its hoof and trying to make it crook properly on a tiny box, with another person spraying cow hairspray on its tail and foofing it up. And then all these people were being screamed at by the C.P., Cow Photographer…a short squatty woman who looked rather depressed.
“And to think I used to work for “Vanity Fair” …until I made Demi Moore look like a cow”
Anyways my favorite position was the guy with the rake. Well, it was a rake initially. He stood out about 7 feet in front of the cow and went ‘LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA” so that the cow would get all excited like she thought she was auditioning for “American Idol” or something. Unfortunately it didn’t work particularly well, so he finally threw the rake to the ground and went and grabbed a nearby goat and started tossing this poor goat in the air in front of the cow. Like lookie! A Flying Goat! (see illustration below)
Now see! THATS the job I want. A Goat Thrower. The person responsible for making cows happy. Its a job made in heaven. I mean where else would I be able to throw a goat up in the air without any legal ramifications!!