Shallow Thoughts by Jill Shadey

Have you ever had a thought or a feeling that you know is completely shallow, but you still feel that way anyway?

You feel like Trump. You feel like a narcissistic POS that is quick to point out other people’s flaws when meanwhile you have shitty hair and are a shit person.

Then you think, but I’m not a shitty person. I do all these other thoughtful things and do my best to be good to people. Then you remember, “Trump thinks he’s a great person too! He thinks he can make America great again! Be honest, so do you! You’re like Trump!”

Worse of all, you know you can’t keep it to yourself either. Like Trump, you’ve got to spew your vile at something or someone. You can’t just keep it to yourself like a responsible person with self control. Oh no, you’ve got to think about writing a blog, a Facebook post, or a novella to a “lucky” winner of your choice.

You judge girls for taking lots of selfies, but you know damn well that you take selfies too. Your medium just happens to be writing instead of pictures.

Then it all makes sense why the very thing you were feeling shallow about is a more fruitful option than you.

Of course he’d rather be with the girl you think isn’t as attractive as you are. Of course. She probably has an award winning personality that doesn’t include shallow narcissism.

You know damn well looks aren’t everything, but you thought you had at all. At least for them anyway.

You don’t even know why you care. You’ve moved on. You want someone else even. Someone who also isn’t ready for you, but took you in anyway, for a little bit of time.

Your friends tease you about getting hit on. You laugh at it. You kind of enjoy it, but only because the ones you do want only want you temporarily.

You feel frustrated with yourself. You wonder if you’re severely flawed. You know you’re self involved. You write a narcissistic blog and you end it with,

You.

 

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My Cinematic Valentine

Valentine’s Day. Whoohoo, right?

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. This year I’m single, but even when I’m not single I’m not a fan of this day. I feel it is a holiday glorified by corporate America to get us to consume, buy, marry and reproduce.

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I refuse to submit!

Some people might think it’s odd I have a disdain for this day, because I’m a romantic. Albeit a bitter one, but a romantic nevertheless. I guess I find it to be a day of false affection and that’s offensive to my romantic sensibilities.

Despite my bitterness about this holiday, I’m not too bitter this year because this year is Pris from Blade Runner’s incept date!

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No man will ever surpass my love of Blade Runner. I love this movie and have been in love with it my whole life.

One of my earliest memories as a child was when my father bought surround sound speakers. We watched two movies that night. Top Gun and Blade Runner. I remember sitting on the living room floor and feeling the floor shake and my body jolt because the opening shot of Blade Runner is a BOOM followed by credits. This wonderful feeling of excitement and anticipation increased when the screen shifts to an opening shot of an alternate Los Angeles and again Bum Bah Bah! The music soars, these pipes are blasting out fire, and then I see a closeup of Harrison Ford’s eye. It was love at first sight for me.

After that initial viewing, I asked my mom so many questions about it. What’s with those pipe things? Why are there so many fake animals? Why did you close my eyes during that one part? What happened during that? Why did they hurt that eye guy? He seemed nice. Can you play the Blade Runner soundtrack again Mom?

Then there’s the somewhat narcissistic question. Did you name me after Rachael Mom?

The answer was yes. I’ll admit that this is part of the reason I love the movie. When I watch it, I can’t help but get this image of my mother sitting on our couch pregnant as my father puts in a VHS copy of Blade Runner. I see them sitting next to each other, holding hands. When Rachael is introduced, I see my mother turning to my father and saying. “Rachael, that’s a pretty name, maybe we should name our baby Rachel if it’s a girl.”

My Dad smiles and says, “Yes that is a pretty name. I think we should.”

And so they did. They spelled it differently, but they still named me Rachel.

When my mother first visited me in LA the first thing I wanted to do was see The Bradbury. I still haven’t topped my level of getting geeked out as I did that day. My mother was calmly admiring the place and I was like. “Oh my god Mom! Oh my god! This is amazing! Look at the ceiling! Oh my god, that elevator! Can we go up to the top? Can we use the elevator? We can’t! Man! I want to go up to the top! Do these people know how lucky they are to work here?! I’m so jealous of them! I gotta get rich and famous so I can buy a loft at the top. It’s gotta happen Mom.”

I watched Blade Runner in a theater recently. No matter how often I’ve seen this film I still have the same feelings I had as a child when I see it. I can feel my heart soar and burst with love. I know it’s odd. I just love this movie.

I mean I almost cried during the opening shots this time around too. I had to cover my face similar to my profile picture on here because I was surrounded by strangers and didn’t want to freak anyone out with my level of geekdom and passion.

So here’s to you Blade Runner! When I’m down, out, and lonely I’ll always have you. You are the love of my life and I’m ok with it.

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The Hamilton Beach Blender of Vile that is my Life

When I started this blog, I told myself I’d shy away from personal posts as much as possible. Well, I’m not going to be shy today, because sometimes people need to be called out when they are full of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m full of it myself sometimes. I get all depressed about my life even though I have a roof over my head, my parents are supportive of my artistic endeavors, and I’m a spoiled white girl, so if worse came to worse, I could always move back to Indiana, buy a house with my spoiled Roth IRA money, seduce some poor sap, and swing by on his hard earned money and my eventual inheritance.

I want more out of life though. I want to be an artist and I want love. I want to love a guy who loves me back. Those are the things I want most in life.

I want other things too, but those top my list. I suppose I’m an artist, but I’m a starving artist who doesn’t know how to find a job where I can still pursue acting and make enough money to live in Los Angeles without the aid of rich white parents.

Mom if you read this, I’m not trying to embarrass you. It’s half truth and half my attempts to be funny.

I try to not think about those things. I try to remind myself how lucky I am, but it doesn’t set well with me. I’m entitled just enough to keep doing it, but I don’t feel good about it. I’m in a constant state of guilt because I don’t want to live in squalor but I also don’t want to give up acting.

So that’s my giant pile of steaming dung.

One thing I got going for me is that I try very hard to be honorable and treat people with respect. My patience in that area is wearing very thin though. Particularly with men.

Another issue of mine that I need to get over has to do with men. When it comes to men, I’m similar to those pathetic old ladies who spend all their hours flinging tokens into slot machines that only give them cherries once in awhile.

I keep thinking eventually I’m going to get some hearts, not even diamonds, just hearts. That’s all I can handle at this point, but dishing out some hearts seems to be too scary for the men I’m attracted to.

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me. I always find the emotionally unavailable men. Always. In my defense it’s not like they’re advertising it. Their packaging doesn’t say, “Hey I’m emotionally unavailable, you should date me!”

I suppose I should feel somewhat proud that I seem to last longer than other girls these men date. My most recent emotionally disabled man and I lasted 6 months. My guy before that was a year. With both guys, they hadn’t had a real relationship in a very long time. The most recent one’s longest relationship that I heard about lasted only four months.

I’m not even sure if my most recent guy and I are broken up or if we can even call it a break-up since we weren’t ever an official thing. He didn’t ghost me, we just had a fight via text and now he needs space.

It’s been a week now and I’m disappointed, a little bit depressed, and annoyed.

I know I’m not perfect and I don’t think anyone is, but I feel like I’m a good catch. When I first met this recent guy, he was shocked that it had been so long since I dated someone. I remember him looking at me and saying, “I don’t get it. You’re smart, you’re attractive, you’ve got a nice body. I mean you’re unemployed, but I think you can work around that.”

I was unemployed when we first met and admittedly I liked that he teased me about it. I liked it when he teased me in general. He made me laugh and that’s what made me want to go out with him.

The thing was and I told him at the time. It wasn’t that men weren’t interested, I just wasn’t interested back. I was also still deeply hurt and harboring feelings for my previous relationship. I still had some lingering feelings when I first met my recent possibly ex guy.

On my first date with the recent guy, he told me I had beautiful eyes and I had a sort of PTS flashback of my previous boyfriend when he said it. I  could feel myself retreating into my wall as soon as it came out of his mouth, because I started thinking about my previous relationship and how he was always complimenting my eyes. We were so gross about it too. We had a long distance relationship, which meant we skyped once a week. When we first started dating, we’d be talking and the all of the sudden just stop and stare at each other. When we would see each other in person this would happen too. It was really gross to others, but for me it was like being a teenager in love. The first innocent love.

Then a year goes by and I’m told that “I can’t love you, I can’t love anyone. I’m just incapable of it.”

This recent guy gave me a similar excuse. He doesn’t have the ‘will’. He’s not just referring to love. He doesn’t have the will to make an effort to date me even.

I put up with it because I liked him and I didn’t like anyone else. I also saw potential. There were times where I felt he liked me a lot and then he’d pull away. So I kept putting more tokens in, foolishly hoping he’d notice how valuable I was.

It’s partly my fault, because I allowed it to happen. I tried to stick up for what I wanted at times. I wasn’t a complete doormat. I should have told him that I wanted a boyfriend, but I didn’t want to scare him. Instead I told him, I didn’t want to be used and I didn’t want to be someone’s special sleeping buddy.

He would say he didn’t want those things either, but then he didn’t put much effort into treating me like something more. It was hard for me to walk away from that, because I knew he wasn’t involved with anyone else and I took him for his word when he said he didn’t want me to feel used. So, how am I not supposed to have hope things will change eventually?

As much as I’m mad at myself, I’m also mad at him for keeping it going. There was a brief time where we decided to just be friends and next thing I know we are back to where we started. Those actions are what make me feel used and lead on. I tried to tell him that, but I don’t think he truly understood and I do believe he thought he was being honest and clear.

I don’t know if he’ll read this. I might be making a big mistake bearing my soul like this. I’m tired of caring. I’m tired of wondering why I’m not being valued when I should be.

If he does read this, you still have a chance, but you’ve got to make some effort. If you do, you’ll gain an attractive, wonderful, loving, loyal girl who will do all kinds of sweet things for you.

Right now, though, she’s angry with you and thinks you’re an idiot for pushing her away.

*The title of my post comes from a conversation I eavesdropped between two men with heavy New York accents. That was the best line of their conversation.

 

 

 

 

The Blind Needs to Stop Leading the Blind

I’m aware that I’m not some prolific writer, but I felt a pull to write about the recent attacks in Paris.

I can be a true product of my generation, apathetic and unaffected. It’s not because I have no heart, it’s because there is too much to feel for in this world. I am so overwhelmed by all the cruelty, hate, and blind judgement. My heart can’t feel for it all.

When I do feel affected by an event, though, it stands out. For me, the attacks in Paris are more frightening than 9/11. Don’t get me wrong, both events were terrible and horrific. I just can’t shake the manner of how the attacks were executed in France. Both were sudden, alarming, sneaky attacks on innocent civilians. In 9/11 we’ve got planes flying into buildings, mass confusion abound, but for the most part the targets were government buildings and/or statuses of capitalism.

In Paris, a rock concert was attacked and a cafe. These are places of joy for regular people. People who are complex and have good and bad sides just like everyone else in this world. Most of them have no control over their government’s armies and political warfare. We vote for politicians, yes, but I still feel we have no control over what politicians do. I feel every government in this world is corrupt and we the people have no real power. This is why I’m apathetic.

It’s also why I love George Orwell’s 1984 and the quote “If there is any hope, it lies in the proles.”

If you are unfamiliar with 1984, it’s about a dystopian future where the government is constantly watching you and there’s a designated hate week for any enemies of the “party”. Pure, utter blind hatred for a group the government tells its people to hate.The protagonist Winston sees the flaws of his government but feels powerless to do anything about it. He constantly looks around him and thinks, if anything were to change the common people, the proles, would have to band together and rise up.

Unfortunately, like Winston I see the potential to change our governments, but I also have no energy to do anything about it. I’m not rallying the proles up to fight against the cruelty of this world. I’m not protesting. All I’ve got is this mediocre blog and a decent laptop.

All I can say, whether I have any wisdom in my recently turned 31 year old body is that we can’t let these attacks scare us. We have to keep on living and enjoying life. We have to remember there is good and bad in every region, country, religion, society, group, workforce, etc, etc, etc. This is not a problem of a “religion”. It’s a problem with blind ideology. Blaming a religion for these attacks would be like blaming all Christians for the hate mongering of The Westboro Baptist Church.

We cannot be afraid to travel, to meet people, to exchange our thoughts, feelings, and values. If we reach out to others, there’s the possibility of changing the hateful actions of those who blindly follow destruction.

When you look at groups that engage in hateful behavior what is the common thread? They all try to keep ‘others’ out. They congregate around those who are familiar and have identical ideologies and beliefs. Once the grumbling crowd gets big enough it becomes a roar that turns into constant hate weeks.

This is the true danger. We cannot shut ourselves out from those who are different. Find your ‘tribe’, your people, yes, but don’t attack others.

Hold onto your beliefs as long as you see fit and as long as it’s not harming others. Seek to understand, to be understood and maybe, just maybe we can all get along.

A Time to Fantasize about Violence

I can’t think of a good segue into this, so let’s just jump in. I have a pet peeve and that pet peeve is know-it-alls that take time to tell you something rude and unnecessary just because they like feeling the wind flap against their gaping pie holes that are probably as wide as the hole they sit on.

Last night, I had just finished partaking in a yoga class that left me feeling limber, strong, and equanimous. I was unable to truly remain equanimous, however, because some lady felt the need to stop me as I was about to enter Trader Joe’s to let me know I had just pulled a ‘wild’ stunt. I was beyond confused. I searched my recent memory bank of what in the hell she could be referring to. This is what I remembered happening.

I was driving along happily. I saw Trader Joe’s. I stopped in the left lane, put on my left turn signal, and waited til traffic was clear to turn. As I was waiting, I creeped out a hair, to make my left turn lane motives known, but did not speed up in a wild stunt like way. Just creeped up a bit. All the sudden I heard a honk and noticed a white SUV speed in the right lane pass me. I thought to myself, “Were they honking at me? I don’t think I did anything wrong? That’s strange.”

I shrugged it off, because it’s LA and people honk at unnecessary situations all the time.

Finally there was room for me to turn, so I did. I made sure to do it fast because there was a car coming. There was more than enough time though. I park. I get out of my car. I’m just about to step into the store when I hear. “Excuse me!”

“Yes?”

“That was a really wild stunt you pulled there!”

My memory banks start turning, I go through what I just wrote. I wondered if she was upset about me speeding up into the parking lot. So I asked her, “What do you mean?”

“You pulled out in front of a car that was in the left turn lane when you weren’t in the left turn lane!”

“I thought I was in the left turn lane.”

“No! You weren’t! You were in the left most lane, but not the turn lane!”

As she is saying this, I’m getting more confused because there is no left turn lane. At least not a lane that has a designated left turn arrow. There is one when you are coming from the other direction, but not the direction I was going. There is a middle yellow lane though. You know the median double yellow lined lane. I generally only use the middle lane when absolutely necessary. The necessary being when traffic is extremely bad. Traffic wasn’t that bad, so I didn’t think it was necessary.

Instead of arguing with the lady, I just said, “Sorry, I thought I was in the left turn lane.”

“Well you weren’t!”

“Ok! Well, you don’t have to be all mean about it.”

“It was just really scary!”

I decide at this point to get the hell away from the lady because there is nothing that brings out the She-Hulk in me then when I try to keep the peace and be nice and the other person is still being rude and an uppity know-it-all.

What I fantasized about doing, which might scare some people, but just know I’m a highly imaginative creative person and this is how I try to deal with things in a healthy manner. I imagined slapping that smug lady’s face and saying.”Oh my god! Get over yourself! This is LA and that was the least scary traffic situation I’ve ever encountered! Mind you own god damn business you ugly, old, bitter hag!”

I know I should just let it go, but I’m the youngest in my family. Everyone always thinks they know better than me. It’s irritating. Also, was it really necessary to tell me that in such a haughty way? I mean if I felt the need to say something like that to someone, I would have been like, “Excuse me?”

“Yes?”

“I wanted to let you know that someone almost hit you because you were in the left most lane and not the median lane. It scared me. I thought there was going to be a big accident. I know it’s not always necessary to turn in those lanes, but it gets crazy here.”

I guess I’m just too mid-western though. I guess being nice and diplomatic about things makes you dumb and weak. God forbid you don’t assert your dominance in every situation, right?

I’ve had three incidents like this in my lifetime and only once did the other person calmly and politely tell me they were bothered or upset by something I did.

Not all of those incidents were completely my fault, but they were all minor and not worth verbal harassment.

The incident were things went smoothly happened when I parked on the street by a driveway. I was sticking out a little, but I was only going to be gone for a short period of time. I knew it wasn’t the most polite thing, but I justified it by knowing I wasn’t going to be there long.

Sure enough, when I came back to my car, a woman was standing by my vehicle with a disgruntled look on her face. I immediately apologized, “I’m so sorry!”

She turned to me and said, “I get so tired of people blocking my driveway!”

“I know, I don’t blame you and I do feel bad. I completely understand why you are upset and I was being rude.”

She looked at me, nodded and said. “Yeah just be aware, you know?”

That was that. There was no need for either one of us to get nasty about it.

I understand getting upset about people doing dumb things. I often curse people in my car to myself for driving like dummies. I never ever take time out of my life to berate anyone, though. It’s such a foreign thing to me and I do not understand it. I will, however, stick up for myself. If someone berates me or flips me off. You can bet I’m going to flip them off back and stand my ground.

A girl once stopped me because she was upset that I didn’t wait for her to exit a parking garage when I was driving on a main road. She told me I was rude. I told her I thought she was rude for holding up traffic to tell me something so stupid. She then kept yelling at me about it. I was in a bad mood and hungry, so I told her to eff off and leave me alone. She called me a slut and then threw a tub of handi wipes at me. She missed me by a long shot and I thanked her for the cleaning supplies as she sped off.

To this day, I ponder why she called me a slut and why did she bestow handi wipes to me? Did she feel that I needed to cleanse my soul of the whoredom of my life?

I suppose I will never know.

One thing I know I will never know, is why people feel the need to be so self-righteous  and rude about minor things, even after you apologize. I’m not perfect, but I try to always be polite. I’ve been in car accidents where people have hit me, it’s clearly their fault, and yet I don’t yell at them. What’s the point? Most people don’t want to get in car accidents, so why make it worse?

Anyone out there have an insight to what the deal is with these people? Are they just upset because they were born with large orifices on their bodies? Do they struggle with a healthy self image? What is it? I do not understand.

*This is an update. Today, I ventured to Trader Joe’s and decided it truly is easier to turn in that median lane. Despite that, I still think that lady was being a real C U Next Tuesday about it. She wasn’t wrong, she’s just a you know what.

My Never Ending Philosophical Question

I want to get back to writing about my recipes, but I’m working again and haven’t had the chance to cook lately. Working is good, because as you might have read in my last post, I need to keep busy. Unfortunately, my current temp work is, for the most part, just answering the phones. This means I get bored often, which always leads to rumination.

This office is so relaxed, though, and that’s a relief. They don’t really care what I do as long as I’m around to answer the phones. The former receptionist told me she would watch Netflix sometimes when she was bored. I almost feel like I could whip out my PSP provided I stashed it away whenever a client comes in. As much as I love games, though, I still worry that would shed some major light on how truly immature and un-professional I am.

I’m also a bit shy about writing on here when I’m working, not because I think it’s an unacceptable thing to do, but because my computer is fairly visible to people walking by. I don’t mind strangers reading this blog. Writing in anonymity, especially when you’re not a great writer is all fine by me. Having people I know in real life read my crap, is too scary and vulnerable.

It doesn’t matter how old I get, there is still a part of me that gets worried about being made fun of. That’s why I regret letting people in my real life know about this blog. I’ve told some friends, I don’t think most of them read it, so that’s ok. I wouldn’t want anyone here to read it though. I think it’s kind of silly, because in the end you’ve got to be yourself, right? Then again, what if being yourself isn’t a good thing? Then what? You change naturally. What if you’re not the one with the problem and it’s actually everyone else though? How do you determine which is which? These are some of the philosophical discussions I have with myself that I’ve yet to master.

I don’t recommend doing it to yourself either. It leads to feelings of self-doubt and a never ending rabbit hole of wondering if you need to change or continue to be yourself. People want to knock delusion, but delusional people do seem to be the most confident and happy. Ignorance truly is bliss.

An Ode to Rumination

Practically every time I talk to my mother, she likes to mention some class or activity she thinks I should do. Riding horses was on a primetime run for about a year. The other day she mentioned some kind of renaissance group she thought I should join and writing is one that she still harps on me about.

You can thank her for this terrible blog. It’s kind of her fault.

My favorite one and I’m only being a quarter facetious, was taking a philosophy class. I remember when she said it to me, because I was like, “What do you expect me to do with a philosophy class Mom? That’s just going to take up time and money. No one is going to be impressed that I took a philosophy class for fun when I’ve already graduated college.”

I realized that she was throwing all these activities at me, because she worries about me. At the time she mentioned the philosophy class, I was super unemployed and depressed. I felt stuck in all areas of my life. My boyfriend had dumped me, my attempts at getting non-serving jobs were failing, and I still wasn’t booking the kind of acting jobs I wanted.

She knows I’m the type of person who needs to keep busy, because if I’m not, I ruminate all day long. This might be a fun activity for some people, but I’ll ruminate about the things I’m not happy about. I’ll ruminate about why my boyfriend dumped me, how ridiculous it is to get a job in this city, and why is rent so god damn high.

Her reasoning for me taking a philosophy class was that I naturally love to ruminate, so I might as well join a group where I could ruminate with other people who love to ruminate. It made me laugh because it sounded like an AA group for neurotic people who think too much.

My mother knows this because her side of the family is full of people who think too much. My mother quotes one of our relatives as saying “I’ve been cursed with the affliction of an overactive mind.”

I believe it was my great-grandfather that said this, but I don’t want to mis-quote. My mother throws out a lot of metaphors and anecdotes, so I get them mixed up sometimes. You can also thank her for my bad puns and such.

Anyway, I’ve been hearing I think too much all my life and it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting to hear and experience.

I read an article recently that people like me generally tend to be creative geniuses. Well I definitely do not feel like that is true for me. As a child I thought I could become one though. My mother offered to take me to piano lessons as a child. I was always tinkering with my grandmother’s piano. I refused my mother’s helping hand, because I wanted to know how the first person who ever played a piano did it. No joke. I thought that was the path to genius.

Clearly it wasn’t.

I suppose if my overactive mind had led to genius, I’d be ok with it. Instead I often find myself trying to figure out what the hell is up with people. It’s like I’m in a constant game of chess and I can think ahead to my moves, their moves, the counter moves for both of us, but I can’t decide on what step to actually take. My mind thinks like this, “Well what if they were just trying to be nice and if I say this, we’ll they think I’m being pushy? How do I convey what I really think and want without coming across the wrong way? What if this happens and that?”

Over and over and over. I’m tired of calculating everything. It may lead to an implosion and/or an explosion, but I gotta get all these thoughts out.

I’m tired of philosophizing. I just want to be.