Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And back to Earth... Also known as the Seventh Circle of Hell

I’m back home. After a day of slowly disintegrating under hours of work lost by clients not showing for their appointments, the hostile but familiar abuse from my boss, the hollow feeling of loss when I think of the parts of me I left behind in New York, and the yawning expanse of time stretched between my empty life in Arkansas and a return to what will soon be my home far far away, I feel less than fresh.

We’ll get back to that in a moment, but first let me tell you more about my trip! For those of you following me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I had some trouble on Friday getting home. My problems with United Airlines started on the first day of my trip when my connecting flight to Chicago was cancelled. Sticking me with another airline, United was then able to offer me a direct flight to New York! Which would’ve been awesome if someone had been at the airport to retrieve my lost country ass!

Amazingly, this wasn’t nearly the rape/murder/kidnapping disaster it could've been and I arrived in one piece on my friend’s doorstep. I then proceeded to have a great week. I went to a bookstore so large I could only make wee squeaking noises. Had a few successful resale shopping trips. Side note: NYC resale shopping is hugely more impressive than Arkansas resale shopping. Obviously. /Paris.

Revolver was a relief. A joy. A surprise. General consensus between the short list of people I know in the city agreed that Revolver was my best option. Encouraged, I sallied forth with my lovely escort, Lily, and then had a few minor panic attacks. She was an angel, dealing with my spastic cries and pathetic whimpers with stoic confusion. Allan then showed up at our lunch to finish my food, pick my head up from the table, and kick my ass the entire way just as predicted. One deep breath of “salon” air and I was at home.  The extremely cute manager, Joseph, instantly put me at ease. He said everything I wanted to hear. That the Steinway Revolver was drama free, had a fair commission plan, and was generally lovely.  Basically the polar opposite of Studio E.

Being comforted from the beginning, the rest of the trip was as relaxing as schlepping through New York can be. My zen outer coating protects me from most stress like a Teflon shield. Everyone I met was polite and pleasant minus one overly excited dog I wanted to chuck out of a window. Call it my being naive, but I have yet to meet a New Yorker half as rude as a single checker at the local Walmart. Ozark’s check-out girls turn unfriendly into an art form.

As with all things, if I feel like something wonderful is happening and I have a moment of contentment or, dare I say it, confidence, something rises up like a leviathan and starts shoving sharp pointy things into my ear with its big flipper of doom. Hello, Chicago O’Hare Airport! Due to weather and heinous fuckery, I suffered what amounted to a 24 hour delay. There was nothing to be done about it and the staff of United certainly can’t be held responsible for God bitch-slapping me for thinking, “Wow, what a wonderful trip. I feel really good about this move! I shouldn’t have any problem at all finding a job.” Kablooie. Tornado.

Saturday afternoon I finally came home to my deep green Arkansas. Despite being exhausted and very happy to see my parents, all I could think was how badly I wished I weren’t back in beautiful Arkansas. I wanted my friends. I wanted cold sidewalks and winter-bound trees. I wanted the racket of the subway and the confusion of downtown Manhattan.

Instead I came back to my lovely empty home and one of the most nerve-wracking days working in Ozark that I’ve had since "Bad Attitude Gate 2011". As the day progressed, my zen went away. Years of subtle abuse slipped back into place. The quiet digs. The snide remarks. By the end of the day, I was a wreck. I was ashamed that my boss had made my confidence shatter. Then I felt ashamed about letting that harpy make me feel ashamed!

All I can hope for now is that I get the opportunity to work tomorrow. If there is one thing that no amount of cruelty can take from me, it’s that I know I am a very good stylist. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to work as much as I wanted today, but that’s only because I love my job. I’m moving not only to live more freely in a new city, but to learn. I want to become the best in my craft that I can possibly be. That isn’t something I can accomplish here. I need more. But for now, I’m going to have to deal with being alone. Deal with hateful words and looks. Deal with fear and self doubt. Of second guessing and biting my tongue until it bleeds.

I can try. I will try. I’ll rebuild my armor and take each day as it comes. I may wallow in self pity a bit, but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum and away from anyone it can hurt. I don’t want to be a drag. Someone fetch me a crown, I need to try that “queen” thing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Siiiiigh and YAAAAAY!

Hey bloggies!  I've been instructed to let all of you know that I'm alive.  I'm alive!  And having a great time.  Today was slubby chill out day which I needed.  We've spent an inordinate amount of time trolling resale shops and getting wicked deals which I am most excited about.  I'd wear my new jeans, but I'm afraid of lingering bugs and venereal diseases.  That's one souvenir I can do without.

So, Revolver was amazing!  The manager was incredibly nice and so helpful.  I am now armed with email addresses and more optimism than I'm accustomed to having at any point ever ever.  I'm not sure what to do with myself.  Do I dance exuberantly to the incessant Korean pop music to which I'm being exposed/subjected?  Do I toast my good fortune with copious cups of wine?  What do people do when they're happy?  Plant a tree?  Change their oil?  None of those things sound appropriate.  How about I bask a bit, read some more, go do a bit of book shopping tomorrow and generally enjoy myself and my friends?  That sounds awesome.

I've also managed to squeeze in some hair cutting which makes me happy.  Damn all this happy!  What the hell?!  I am a flailing squid of joy!

To temper all of this unbearable exuberance with wistful sighs about my departure.  I imagine limb severing would be slightly more dramatic, but not by much!  Okay, by a lot, but it's still pretty freaking sad!

More details coming soon and more obnoxious grinning and giggling balanced by the usual whining that I can't control.  Must be that bad attitude of mine.     

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The usual mess: In which Xanax and sister murder are involved

So, like, prom was totally awesome! I may have let Jimmy Johnson get to second base in the back of his dad’s Mustang, but I totes didn’t let him get any further! I’m not a slut! And the damn zipper of my dress wouldn’t go all the way down. God, you’d think they teen-pregnancy-proofed the freaking things. Lame.

Ahem. Sorry. Got a little young adult caught in my throat. Let me get that out with some scotch and bourbon and wine and beer and did you know it was tax season?! Rapture.

So, like, prom was totally awesome and my girls were so sweet. Unlike the heathen whore from hell the stylist next to me had to wrestle. Girls, if you plan on going to prom in your new $700 dress (if we didn’t hear this once, we heard it fifty times), please take a double dose of Xanax before leaving the house. Also, if it makes you feel better, kill your parents and siblings before coming to the salon because obviously any problem you seem to be having can be laid entirely at their dreadful feet. Limo isn’t long enough? Stab them with an ice-pick. Didn’t buy enough hair extensions? Rip out their eyeballs with a rusty spoon. Your twin sister exists and is in the same building as you? Burn down the building with her tied to a chair. Unless that building is the salon in which I am working. Then let me leave first.

Crazy bitches aside, prom was totally awesome. Here’s photographic evidence of a few lovely ladies who didn’t deserve to be drowned at birth!

Cheyenne's floral arrangement

Vincey's messy bun thingy

I had a few other girls whose pictures I put up on Facebook if you’d like to take a gander.

The second girl, Vincey (Vinci? Vency? Vyncyie?), was one of the most adorable girls I’ve ever met. She was attached to one of the most blissfully oblivious mothers I had seen in a while who nicely asked if I had time to do a manicure, pedicure, a haircut, and a perm also. In my spare time. On prom day. After arriving 20 minutes late. Aw. Cute. I could hear her daughter mentally facedesking as I gently told her there was no chance in hell of that happening on any planet in any solar system in any dimension ever ever ever.


Freaking. Out. For several reasons besides the fact that it seems like I’m always freaking out which I swear I’m not, it’s just this blog. I sit down, I start thinking about things, and I freak out. What was I saying?


That’s right. So I’ve tried to contact a few salons to let them know I’m coming and to send them my super awesome website linked herehere, and here. Ok, not the last one. Gotcha!

By “try to contact” I mean “these salons have no effing email and their Facebook pages suck and calling is, trust me on this one, pointless and what the actual hell.”  Soooooo apparently my tactic has gone from a cute introduction email to walking into the salon and annoying the front desk person and meekly placing a business card in their reception area and slinking away in defeat. Realistically. Hopefully I’ll have the balls to march up and slap my hand on the desk and say, “Kiss the hands of a master, bitches! It’s only $20 a smooch!” as my friend Nicole suggested. Isn’t she sweet? She’s sweet.

I suppose I’ll print a portfolio (haha) consisting of my crappy iPhone shots and hope I can beg someone to pay me some attention. Sigh. It sucks to be so southern you’re crippled by politeness sometimes. “Yes, sir, I’m sorry, I don’t want to waste your time but could ya’ll um lookie here at these here pictures I’ve printed off and I don’t want to be a bother oh gawd nevermind I’m sorry ya’ll I’ll let myself out ya’ll have a nice day.” My friend will have to kick my ass all the way to the front door of the shop, I can feel it.

My heart is still set on Revolver. Well, initially it was set on working for Eric Alt, but reality booted me in the head and I realized that wasn’t going to happen so NOW I’m set on Revolver. I’ll see how much I can annoy them in a one week span of time and bend them to my will.

Breaking good news: I may be in a new more Jessica-friendly salon here in Ozark in four weeks. Cross those fingers and pray those prayers.

Finally, I’d like to give a big thank you to all of the nice comments last week. My arthritis is doing a bit better which is great. I’m still not running any marathons, but at least I’m not swinging from a bell-pull a la hunchback. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t have even accomplished that. It would’ve been a halfhearted push then a long drop and a sudden stop.

And coming soon: A thesis on Why Johnny Weir Needs to Start a Vlog on Youtube. It’s coming ya’ll, it’s coming.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I (make others) feel pretty!

It’s that time of year. That’s right, it’s ~~*PROM!*~~  Ah, prom. A wonderful time of year for hairdressers. A really bad time of year for parents' wallets. I remember my first and only prom. I spent most of the day doing other girls' makeup then getting a really bad updo at my aunt’s salon (read previous post concerning my views on family as stylists even if said family happens to be a licensed cosmetologist) then slipping into a $300 dress I’d never wear again to go to the school cafeteria and sit for about an hour judging people and shooting nasty looks at the girl across from me who was dating the boy I liked then begging my date (who wasn’t really much of a date, just a friend to whom I felt no physical attraction at all ick yuck no) to take me home. Oh, to be a teenager again!

Actually, now that I’m nearing my 30’s (jumping Jesus on a stick I’m getting old!) I really enjoy prom! Not like that. I don't go.  I mean, I have no problem dating younger men and there was this one guy who came into the shop this week straight from History class that was woooooow AHEM! Not like that! I’m just in it for the hair. It’s one of the few times of the year that I can do marvelous updos and fancypants makeup and throw glitter at people and not get yelled at or sued.

This year I’m going to try to take some decent pictures for once. No more iPhone blur shots. So hopefully I’ll have a lot of new content coming in soon at my lovely fantabulous website that doesn’t look like it was photographed from a speeding vehicle.

In other news, my resume is still one sentence. It’s even hard for me to write more sentences about my lack of sentences.

Also my nerves have reached critical mass with my body starting to take the brunt of the abuse. Because of my stupid-ass disease (honestly, I’ll talk about it eventually, but it’s so gross let’s keep putting it off) any time I get freaked out either my ulcers flare up or my arthritis kicks in. Fate has delivered… drum roll please… ARTHRITIS! And with only one week until my trip to New York (aaaaaaahhhhhhhh excite!) I will be creeping along the streets like a 70-year-old ex-football player. But not to fret, readers! There is hope upon the horizon. Maybe. Possibly? I mean, at least now I feel like I have some options thanks to some good friends with connections, where as before I felt like a rat with one leg in a trap and some dude coming at me with a knife. A move may be in my future. Let’s just hope it’s sooner than later or I’m going to run out of knee braces, wrist wraps, Bengay, and heating pads. Oh yeah. Sexy.

Everyone remember to go visit my friend Binky and her cutesy-boot Johnny Approved blog and don’t forget to leave your comments below. In parting, I present to you a video from the Vlog Brothers. My disease is very similar to Hank’s and I actually used to take the medication he is ranting about. My prescription also went up an unexpected 30% this month. And like him I am self-employed and with my pre-existing condition I am uninsurable. Imma go build my new bookshelf, stock it, dump everything out, and start again. Let’s see if that works to soothe the savage beast.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Résumés and Animal Sacrifice

I’m going back to local work salon thingy tomorrow and the only thing I can think is ABORT ABORT FUBAR RUN AWAY RUN AWAY which probably isn’t a good sign.

I have a lot (A LOT) of clients booked for the next month or so and I can’t exactly just quit working because my boss is insane and my building owner is a sadist. On the path to FUBAR situation escape, I’ve redoubled my online job hunting which is a bit difficult. It’s hard for several reasons, one of which is that I’ve never seen so many options in my life. I feel like the spoiled child sitting on a pile of candy crying because she doesn’t know where to start. The other is that with salons, until you walk into one, you never know what you’re going to get. Where have I heard that before?

After all of my looking and Yelping I have noticed that my friend’s suggestion of the uber cool salon Revolver is still my favorite. It’s always nice when your friends know and understand you. Sometimes better than you know yourself.

Realizing that time is starting to slip away, I have started writing an intro letter that I can email to various salons. I need to introduce myself and let possible employers know that I am entering the area, scissors ablaze. And I must do this while not letting them know how horribly desperate I am for a job. I’ll sweep everyone’s hair. Be the shampoo girl. Clean drains. I’ll scrub the toilets. I’ll assist for the third assistant’s assistant. I’ll allow myself to be fondled, but only by gays because otherwise it’d be really weird.

I have to tell you, my letter is leaning on the desperate side. I’m not the most duplicitous person and I can’t pretend to be cool even in writing. If anything, my nerdiness flourishes beautifully when watered by words I can spell, but can’t quite pronounce. Thus the beauty of writing and also the trap that is inherent in the mechanism. God, someone stop me.

Also, I need to print a professional looking portfolio. The problem arises that the pictures I have are ones that I have taken with my phone and they kinda suck. I mean, because I have an amazing website with a great photo section, I can email my awesome website to various salons, but it’s good to come with pictures on hand. I assume. I have no idea! I’ve never done this before! Why can’t someone just psychically know that I’m coming to the Astoria region and call me (also psychically knowing my phone number because… they’re psychic) and say, “Jessica Lane Jones, we have felt upon the wind your arrival! The hair falling to the floor spells your name then ignites like a phoenix! The spilled innards of our sacrifices cry out to us and beg, nay demand, that we summon you to our salon for employment! Will you grant us the honor?” And I’ll be all like, “Listen, I am not sure about the spilled innards thing, but if you have a place for me, I’ll seriously consider your offer.” Because you can’t look to desperate.

Did that sound desperate? Should I just email my blog?

Also, also, also I noticed that my wee blog has been read over 400 times! Which resulted in me making small high pitched noises that made the puppies pee a bit. You know, between them trying to eat my face off with their needle teeth. I want to say thank you so much to all of you for reading. If you have any comments, please leave them in the dobbly-doo below and if you live in the New York area and have an amazing salon you think I should work at, let me know! Chicken gutters need not apply.