Sunday, August 27, 2006


I feel terrible. I got into an arguement with Mom. I'm trying to find a job, but it's not going well. I know Mom's right. I know I should be more aggressive, but...I'm scared. I've never been good at aggressive, and I know that's what everyone wants. I've tried going to people and asking for jobs before, but I've been turned down. I've sent out resumes, but I really need to talk to these people. I was hoping to avoid the "talking" part until I got interviews. I'll just stammer and stutter and look stupid, like always.

First and foremost, I DO NOT WANT TO WORK AT THE CASINOS! I don't care how big they are or how "corporate" they are. I hate them. I don't like what they do. I'd love to be a production assistant, but not in Sleazoid City. I wouldn't want a rat to be a production assistant in Sleazoid City.

Do any of the local radio stations need a production assistant? What about theater groups? Or libraries? Or the Philly TV stations? There has to be a local library who needs a clerk, or a publisher who needs a proofreader.

Why does everyone want "experience?" I have experience! I was the secretary for Stockton's student television network for three years, and I did the school newspaper the whole 4 1/2 years I was at Stockton. I was a receptionist at Stockton's Media Center! And if I don't have the experience, I'm willing to learn!

It's not "brain chemicals," it's just feeling like a loser. I should have gotten somewhere years ago, but I haven't and it's really getting me down. I'm never going to get out of the Acme. I'm going to be trapped as a cashier in a job I loathe for the rest of my life. I don't want to be trapped as a cashier for the rest of my life, but every time I try to build confidence, I just lose it again.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Where There's Smoke...

There was a huge fire down the street from my apartment in Oaklyn this afternoon. I was at work when it started. When my friend (and fellow volunteer) Erica came to pick me up around quarter of 6 PM, there was a giant, thick plume of heavy black smoke coming from Oaklyn's direction. Erica ended up having to drop me off as close to my place as she could get, because West Clinton Avenue was almost entirely blocked off.

The electricity was off when I finally got home. I read for about a half-hour or so before finally deciding to go out to dinner and hope everything would be on when I came back. I changed into regular clothes and headed down the street to find an open, electrified restaraunt.

People were crowded around the many fire trucks on West Clinton. They sat in front of their houses, looking a little shell-shocked. It was like a cross between a barbecue and a natural disaster. Kids rode bikes, played catch, and pestered their parents with questions they couldn't (or wouldn't) answer. I couldn't tell what was burning on West Clinton at first, thanks to all the smoke and fire trucks, at first, until I made out the lines of ladder trucks leaning against the buildings next to the Vending Machine building that houses three local businesses.

Oh God, I thought, it's the Vending Machine building.

The Vending Machine building has to be at least 30s vintage, like a lot of West Clinton Avenue. It's also next to houses and across from Oaklyn High School. I was thankful it was Sunday. Any businesses in the building would be closed, and school is still out for the summer. I was more worried about the houses. This area is fairly densely populated, and a lot of people WOULD be at home on a Sunday in August.

I continued down Manor Avenue, looking for friends and making sure everything else was ok. Never found my friends, but the rest of the street was fine, if also lacking in electricity. I ended up having dinner at the Newton Diner on the White Horse Pike. I got more details from a college-student-age waitress there and a middle-aged couple from Oaklyn who, like me, were eating out because they couldn't cook. According to the waitress, the fire began around 4:30 and explosions were heard shortly after, which is when the fire went out of control. The couple added that they'd heard the explosions were caused by cars in the auto body shop in the Vending Machine building going up in flames.

After stuffing myself with a Monte Cristo (turkey, ham, melted swiss, and pineapple rings on French toast - my favorite open-face sandwich), I headed home. The smoke, which had still been spilling out onto the White Horse Pike around 7, wasn't nearly as bad an hour later. I stopped at the new WaWa across from Newton's and had a Cherry-Berries n' Cream Coke (Cherry Coke and Vanilla Coke with raspberry syrup - every convience store should have awesome make-your-own-soda-flavor syurps), and when I came out, the smoke was even less and there were lights on in many buildings, though most people still seemed to be gathered outside.

Yes, the electricity was on when I came home, and there was no damage done, though the block of West Clinton two blocks from me as of 8:30 was still taped off (I had to make my way around it; my eyes are still watering a little) and the smoke was still fairly thick but not nearly as black. I heard someone mention one of the reasons the firemen had a hard time controlling the blaze was the doors were locked so tight due to the businesses being closed on Sundays, they couldn't get in!

Here's more detailed (and likely accurate) information from the Courier-Post, as of 7:30PM...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Haven't Got Time For the Pain

I just want everything to be right again.

I did go see Lauren. We had a wonderful time. We're so compatable. We tied twice the four times we played miniature golf. She won one time and I won the other. We'd walk around all the lovely little cities and towns in the Berkshire area, shopping and exploring, in the morning and early afternoon. By late afternoon, we'd be back at Lauren's parents' house, watching movies or her current obsessions, Knight Rider and Monk. We went to Six Flags Great Escape in upstate New York and did get on some rides. It was so hot, we rode the river rapids ride three times (twice in a row). Lauren hadn't been to an amusement park in years and it's been at least ten years since I've been to any amusement park but the Morey's Piers in Wildwood, so that was a special treat for us. We went to see a Single-A minor league baseball game with Lauren's parents, who were very sweet.

It hasn't been nearly as much fun since I got back. The knee and wrist still hurts. It didn't go away after a week or two. They aren't nearly as bad as they were when I first hurt them, but I still can't bend either all the way. I can't help it. I can't take any more time off of work. I'm sick of my lousy hours at the Acme and customers who can't keep their city attitudes in the city. I'm sick of feeling helpless and worthless and empty. I just can't drum up interest in anything. I start writing and I don't finish, and I need to sell SOMETHING.

(And don't say "go to the doctor." They're not broken and I don't think there's anything anyone can do at this late date but tell me to stay off my feet, which I can't do all the time, and take aspirin or something similar.)

I want my knee and wrist to just go away. I want to be able to ride my bike again. I'm scared to death that if I get back on while it's still sore, I'll damage it permanently and be helpless for the rest of my life. What will happen if I fall off again while it still feels like this? I want to be independant. I'm proud of my independance. Not many people who go through the things I've gone through are as independant as I am.

I want to meet someone who can tell me where to find a job...because it isn't the paper. I pick up the paper and I see some administrative assistant or secretarial jobs. That's about it for me. I don't drive. I'm not an engineer, a teacher, or a saleswoman. I don't have the patience or the aggressiveness or the technical know-how. I don't know anything about finance or medicine, and I'm not interested in finance or medicine. Doesn't anyone in the Camden County area need a proofreader, creative writer, editor, 20th century historian, or just someone to organize their files or even just their junk?

I'm scared and I'm at the end of my rope. I know Mom, Lauren, Uncle Ken, Erica, and Rose all say they support me. Why do I recieve this support but still feel alone? Why can't I enjoy going to work, instead of wishing I were anywhere else? Are you supposed to enjoy work, or do you just do something that pays the bills until you die?

I liked volunteering at the thrift shop where Erica works today. I'd love to volunteer at the local libraries, but the last time I asked, none of them needed volunteers. How could they NOT need volunteers? Don't places ALWAYS need volunteers?

Everyone else has SOMETHING. Rose has Kelsey. Mom has her crafts and health and family. Anny has Skylar. Skylar has his mommy and nana and pop pop. Bill and Bruce have their children and jobs and friends. Uncle Ken has his family and friends and his home and hobbies. Erica has the thrift shop and her friends. Lauren has her job and parents and the many TV shows and movies she's interested in.

What about me? I'm not interested in ANYTHING that strongly. I'm almost afraid to be. I spent half my childhood being jeered at because I was obsessed with some weird movie or TV show. Now I'm afraid to be obsessed with anything, lest I be made fun of for it. I guess I just haven't found anything yet. I don't know how to meet people. Where do people who don't feel strongly for things go? Where do people who are like me go when they're offline? Where are the people like me?

I just want everything to go away.