M is for…

So long MTV.

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We are made from choice

Decisions are made at the very start of your day to the very last blink of your eyes.  Whether it’s what to wear to work, what to eat, or whether or not to exercise.  Decisions are rooted in every act of every day, and the choices we make determine our experience.  Hasty decisions birth hasty results, but sometimes well-thought out decisions can have unexpected outcomes.  The key is to know who you are at every moment of every day so that the choices you make reflect you, the real you.

Otherwise, you end up giving off impressions like this…

I decided to sleep until the last possible moment, which meant I could only body shower.  This choice means that the hair goes up and without enough thought on something like clothing, I ended up wearing substandard – even by the loose moral dress code of MTV – summer clothes.  Without going into one of my short-story-made-long type-a-thons, I’ll just tell give you a brief inkling of the morning…dead car, ripped off by another auto mechanic, $$$, family conflict, and the first day back to work from a holiday weekend.

Needless to say, my think-tank bandwidth was little to none.  By lunch I had to take a walk, so I head into my organic paradise and see an old acquaintance.  I could have ignored her like I wanted, but for some reason I didn’t.  I couldn’t focus one iota on what she was saying, but then again I had decided prior to the interaction that I obviously didn’t care.  The conversation, which was hard to follow, went a little something like this:

Me:  Hey

Her: Oh Hi, how are you?

Me: Eh.

Her:  You okay?

Me: Very well, thank you.

Her:  I heard you got married.

Me:  Yep.

Her:  #$%#$##$%$%$**&^&^& (said in a Charlie Brown teacher voice)

Me:  (Shook head)

Her:  (Blankly staring)

Me:  Huh?

Her:  $#%#&@@()@(@(@*@

Me:  (thinking I need to bail)

Her:  (uncomfortably staring)

Me:  (hurry think of an excuse) Oh, huh?  I’m sorry, I’m not feeling well.

Her:  It’s going around.

Me:  Stupidity?

Her:  huh?

Me: %&%&%&%%&**))*#)*)#*()@

Her: (Blank stare that immediately faded into a WTF face)

Me:  (excuse) Sorry, I’m sick.  I have to….

I walk out.  She makes up mind that I am a crack head, probably.  It was then I decided the organic paradise was merely an organic mirage.

Jacktress of all trades.

My mom has only had two jobs her entire life and she’s retiring in April at the young age of 40 (we accidentally forgot to keep counting after 40).  Seriously though, I’m 32 and I’ve had 31 jobs.  At one point I was actually juggling four jobs while attending college full-time.  That is one less job than my actual age, but let’s face it there is the likelihood that I had the exact number of jobs as my age as I’m sure I’ve displaced one somewhere along the insanity.  Here is a list of the ones I remember:

1. Babysitter (Antlers, OK)

2. Joe’s Handy Stop (video clerk, cashier, stocking/cleaning slave @ $4.25 an hour – age 14 in Antlers, OK)

3. Mike’s Grocery (cashier and an extraordinary bagger in Antlers, OK)

4. United States Army Reservist (aka ‘Weekend Warrior’ with the advanced individual training of 75Charlie – Personnel Management Specialist – bootcamp at Ft. Jackson, SC)

5. Pizza Hut dishwasher (Stillwater, OK)

6. Pizza Hut delivery girl (I got promoted in Stillwater, OK)

7. Concert Promoter (Dropped out of college and headed to Buffalo, NY during the winter – I WAS REAL DUMB)

8. Camelot Music (Plano, TX)

9. CD Warehouse (Plano, TX)

10. USA Storage Unit (Plano, TX – most boring job in the world but at least I rode a golf cart around and peeked into storage units)

11. CD Corner (cool indie record store girl in Stillwater, OK – yes, went back to college)

12. KSPI Radio (alter ego DJ Jane Does – the gateway into management)

13. Artist Management (Jenny Labow)

14. Payne County Health Dept. (Thanks for getting me this job mom)

15. Artist Management (The All-American Rejects)

16. Bartender (Willie’s Saloon)

17. Tour Manager (The All-American Rejects)

18. Front desk of Truckee Hotel (Truckee, CA – good times)

19. Substitute teacher (Moyers and Antlers, OK after the first time in my life I ever got fired but in my defense AAR fired me for Green Day’s manager)

20. Continuity girl (NYC – The Breakup Artist – low-budget and I worked for peanuts…no really I volunteered but quit after ).

21. Telephone Operator for Doctor’s call service (Midtown East)

22. Temp (various record labels)

23. Sales Assistant (Elektra – finally got a break)

24. Director of A&R for Hautlab Records (finally, a pick me up)

25. Artist Management (The Effects)

26. Sales Coordinator at SOME Records (freelance sucks)

27. AOL Music (introduction into Corporate + Digital)

28. Artist Management (The Ropes)

29. MTV Networks (I had arrived – but now I realize arriving is only half the battle that you won’t win)

30. Artist Management (BETTY)

31. Writer (where I should have been instead of 30 other things).

I do suppose had I not had the 30+ jobs above I wouldn’t have much to write about now would I?  Besides, the 31st time is a charm.

How many and what fascinating types of jobs have you had?

A familiar face…

If you look at the 12 second mark you’ll see me 🙂

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Oklahoma, I still believe in ya!

Some people believe you choose your family prior to birth, and if that’s true then I chose the most loving, open hearted, and understanding, family one could have picked. Unfortunately, they settled in Oklahoma, by way of California. Yeah, I don’t get it either but so it goes that my grandmother, the eldest of the Montano clan, made the pilgrimage to Oklahoma for a man and her little sister followed suit. Had they met after the second wave of the Women’s Lib., I’m sure the story would be that the men made the pilgrimage to California for the gold!

Oklahoma might be landlocked and not feature ocean-front property, nor does it have a tranquil desert spread through its land but the Native American history is still very well and alive in small towns named after the legacy; Checotah, Geronimo, Hoot Owl, Indiahoma, Kiowa, Muskogee, Oolagah, Pawhuska, Quapaw, Sapulpa, Tahlequah, Talihina (where I was born), Tishomingo, Wapanucka, Yukon, and so on. If you’ve never been to Oklahoma then you couldn’t possibly know the beauty of the Kiamichi Mountains in Fall especially since my brother’s spirit is perched at the very top of those mountains.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of red dirt that doesn’t come off your shoes easily, or at all if you have an old pair. Hell, the red dirt even has it’s own genre of music, and it’s not just “Texas Red Dirt.” Fact, red dirt only got from Oklahoma to Texas because Texas sucks. See, I’m a loyal Okie that pokes fun at Texans (even though in reality Oklahoma is more culturally devoid than Texas), lets everyone know which celebrities were from Oklahoma, and roots on Oklahoma’s college teams since we have no professional ones.

I’m not blindly loyal though, to anyone, ever. If my brother murdered someone, I would urge him to confess or I would have to do it for him (cough, cough, unlike some sisters in Oklahoma I know). When Oklahoma voted McCain over Obama due to racism (I took a survey of which I won’t go into but yeah the “N” word is commonplace), I’m the first to stand up and let people know that the majority does not speak for the minority. Thankfully, the rest of the world picked up the slack on that one and Obama is in office. When the bigot Oklahoma State Representative, Sally Kern, made headlines for her hateful anti-gay remarks and continues to do such, I call her office non-stop to try and educate her on Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual, and Transgendered people. Even now her ignorance shows:

Sally Kern is an Oklahoma state representative with her own, unique take on the economic crisis: gays are to blame.

So let’s apply some simple Math for Ms. Kern (not sure they had that when she was in school). If a low population of people can be the reason for a state’s entire economic crisis then that must mean that the revenue these people make are insanely higher than the majority. Now, let’s get fancy and put in some statistics..that would mean that the minority factor here, LGBT’s (same-sex couples accounted for less than 1% of overall Oklahoma population in the 2000 census–I’m assuming that is because most were afraid of being openly gay in Oklahoma and by afraid I mean fearful for their life, as well as the fact the census under served the gay community in 2000 and single LGBT’ers) make so much more money than 99% of Oklahoma’s population that we alone can make or break a state. Wow, no wonder Pepsi, MTV, and other big corporations have embraced us. That also must mean, granted you assume the more money you make equals to more intelligence and academic merit you have, that LGBT folks are pretty damn smart! In the next census (2010) the LGBT community will be better served by collecting data on same-sex couples (still yet under serving the community by not including gender identification and single LGBT’ers but it’s a start), and I’m going to go out on a limb and just tell you that us gay couples contribute a buttload of money into the economy so imagine if our taxes were taken away from the entire country. Wow! If we can single handedly break an entire state, I’d hate to see what we can do to a country.

Oh Ms. Kern, you’re an idiot.

Oklahoma, listen up, ok? hehehe. This is just plain archaic what I’m reading about abortion. I know my small hometown would easily be able to spot that girl that ‘moved closer to her orthodontist’ or got half a dozen abortions to save her overly strict parents from embarrassment. We suspected in high school, but now stuff like that would be confirmed. C’mon, isn’t discrimination tiresome?

Get on the phones, call the leaders in your state and let them know how you feel about this stuff or write a letter. I can speak from experience that your words and you matter in change, but you need to be heard. Let Ms. Kern know if only 1% of the population is accounting for your state being broke then for heaven’s sake why wouldn’t you want the minority to be fully integrated into the population..imagine what the poor state would get back from the active minorities?! Women, get on the phone and let your state government know that YOU have the say over your body and deserve the privacy of your choices.

I don’t live in Oklahoma, and I’m happy to work for a company (MTV) that holds equality in the highest regard so that I can achieve greatness within it. I also live in a state that includes me fully into the population (lucky them that they get 45% of my paycheck for simply giving me something that should be free, freedom). I still remain loyal to Oklahoma, which is why I posted this blog because there is 1% of the Oklahoma population that are bullied by Ms. Kern and company and their spirit is heavy.

Oklahoma is beautiful, and even though I’m disappointed in the politics of the poor state over and over again, I still have hope that those amazing spirits that reside there (like my family and friends that are truly great people) will join together to make Oklahoma great like it’s people. Then you can send Ms. Kern to Texas!

Coincidence; believe it or not?

I read something, actually, my coworker sent me an IM with the TMZ.com link about Michael Jackson’s coincidental #7:
— Michael Jackson signed his will on 7/7/02.
— Michael Jackson’s memorial was on 7/7/09 … exactly 7 years after the will was signed.
— Michael Jackson’s two biggest hits — “Black & White” and “Billie Jean” — were each #1 for 7 weeks.
— Michael Jackson’s three biggest albums — “Thriller,” “Bad” and “Dangerous” — each produced 7 top 40 hits.
— Michael Jackson was the 7th of 9 children.
— Michael Jackson was born in 1958 … 19 + 58 = 77
— Michael Jackson died on the 25th … 2 + 5 = 7
— Michael Jackson has 7 letters in his first and last name.

I, personally, don’t believe in coincidence and I’ll spare you my new age philosophy on reincarnation and signs in life so enjoy this site I found listing even more of these so-called coincidences.

10 More Amazing Coincidences

 

bill-5

When 31 isn’t cool…

Being a big sister has been rewarding in many ways, but mostly I was different than all the other sisters in the world; I was cool.   In college my brother proclaimed, “I’m going to live wherever you live when I get older, sissy.”  His loyalty ballooned my heart and helped me catch my breath in various stages of my life.  There was always this little guy that thought I was the coolest person in the world.  When my bruised ego pushed my shoulders to the ground, there he was–I was cool.  When I felt I couldn’t love anymore, there he was–someone I truly loved. 

While I did the college thing at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK, my little brother tagged along a couple weekends as I visited the local hangouts.  When I lived in Dallas, Texas during my Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out phase, he was sent to stay with me and get me out of the Tie Dye.  After fame and fortune left me like a one-night stand, he came out to New York City to let me know that I was a star in his world.  There hasn’t been a place I’ve lived that my brother Blake hasn’t visited. 

This visit was different and as my place in life had solidified over the past few years,  his was changing in every way every single day–adolescence.  In fact, for the first time in his life I wasn’t cool.  I suppose I thought I would always be the cool big sister and never that old fart that referred to his uber bass levels as too loud or the uncool old hag that couldn’t point out cool truck rims from regular ones.  Even working at MTV wasn’t cutting it in his world since ‘MTV hadn’t been cool in over a decade’  and Maplewood, NJ was a suburbia he didn’t think he could live.  For the first time in my life I had moved from an era of cool into 31 is not cool.

As he walked out the door this morning from my New Jersey Colonial  to head back to Oklahoma after a visit to my first laying of roots, I knew our dynamic had shifted.  No longer would life send my little brother to check on me and lift me up, but rather I would be sent into his to return the favor. 

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Trumped!

My little brother Mark called me to tell me about his Snow Cone Stand that he was thinking of opening this summer.  I was impressed that my eleven year-old brother had done his research.  He told me if he used his dad’s camping canopy and put a table under it that he would have the stand for free.  His thriftiness caught my attention, but while I was marveling at his comprehension of overhead he pulled out the big guns and told me that he had already secured the location (in front of mom’s office) closer to the four-way stop in town and across from the busy grocery store.  The bullets just kept coming with snow cone machine price comparisons, sponsorship ideas (yes, he asked if MTV would sponsor him), and the best flavor package by price. 

What did he need me for?  I silently reminisced of being eleven but back then I didn’t even know what a sponsorship was so far be it for to interject any nostalgic ‘when I was your age’ speak.  He was hell bent on MTV sponsoring his snow cone stand.

“Sissy, you think MTV will give me any money?”

How do I delicately let him down while at the same time encouraging him?

“Hmm, I don’t think so bubby.”  I replied on beat.  “We’re pretty tapped out with the economy and all.”

“Well can you get  MTV to give me any cool music to play at Jamrok Sno Cones?” His tenacity amused me.

“I’ll get you some music,” I thought about the promo bins on our floor.

“Too bad MTV can’t give us any money, but we’ll get other sponsors.”

I couldn’t deny his ambition, “I’ll get MTV to give you some money.  How about I send you $50 to get you started.”

Essentially a check from me is from the (WO)MAN—referring to Judy McGrath, CEO MTV Networks–so in theory it was from MTV before it made it’s way to my hard-working hands.

“The check will be from me, but it comes from MTV,” I explained.

Bear in mind, he’s not your typical eleven year-old kid.  Nope, my brother is a true life genius—we’re talking MENSA.

“Sissy, I know it’s from you,” I could tell by his little voice that his eyes were rolling.  “Just send me $20.”

“$20!”  I shouted.  “That’s not how to do business.”

“I’ll send you $25,” I negotiated.

“Okay, thanks Sissy.”

One day I do know he will realize that his sister took advantage of his age, but by then I’m sure he’ll surpass me in income anyway.

marky-brad

Daughter’s Day

After searching online for ideas for Mother’s Day for my mother in-law and my own mother (who has a birthday three days prior), it occurred to me–why isn’t there a Daughter’s Day?  Certainly, Mothers deserve their day and I’m by no way taking away or complaining of it.  However, when they are too old to take care of themselves let’s face it us daughters will be wiping their shriveled up asses.

There will be a day when my mom’s beautifully aged-body will bare its soul in front of me, weak and fraile, as I bathe her like she did me when I was a baby.  Of course this all pending upon whether or not some freak-of-nature accident or disease should prematurely take my own life in its wrath of fury before my mother’s graceful old age (hey, after my brother’s untimely death my naivety about death leaves).  I morbidly digress.

A Daughter’s Day for taking care of your younger siblings (if you have any) or driving them to school every day when you turned sixteen.  A Daughter’s Day for having to tolerate your mother’s men (unless of course you have a Father-Of-The-Bride type of father and in that case this does not apply you lucky bitch).  A Daughter’s Day for being the organizer of the Mother’s Day gifts and knowing it could not be left up to the men (can you imagine?).  Let’s face it we only get a day with the Son’s and we do most of the work in the family and don’t even get the top-billing for that holiday!

A Daughter’s Day for all the Mother’s who have Mother’s so they get two days of appreciation.  Hey, if there is an administrative assistant’s day (last week) for getting paid to type up a memo then a Daughter deserves a day.  Unless of course you’re Casey Anthony and then you just deserve life in prison without parole and certainly no Mother or Daughter Days.

Any Mother’s Day Ideas for me?

me-and-mom

Going Up Norde, eh?

We drove to Montreal, Quebec (Canada), for the UFC 97 fight card.  We were excited about seeing UFC superstar Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell during his pivotal fight (win = come back, loss = retirement) and the wife’s favorite, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.  We soon found out, after crossing into Canada, that our high school French was beyond rusty.  It didn’t take long for us to figure out basic French like that ‘Norde‘ meant ‘North’ after driving back toward the U.S. border.

Shortly after getting back on track, we started passing cars left and right following the speed limit (Max. 100, Min. 60) before the light bulb went off.

“Ah, yes,” I realized.  “The metric system.”

I rarely speak in full sentences anymore since I am mostly only required to do such in 140 characters or less. The idea of a maximum and minimum speed limit was great, but I’d much rather it be mph rather than km due to time constraints.

Once we finally arrived at the hotel where parking was not included, our New Jersey tagged Honda pulled into a makeshift parking lot with only a French-speaking attendant.  After finally finding someone to translate, we paid $32 CAD in USD—overpayed.  We immediately found a currency exchange station.

We went to the Centre Bell for the UFC 97 Q&A with George St. Pierre and without a doubt I became a huge fan of GSP right then and there.  By the way ladies, he wears a size 11.5 shoe (just saying).

The Weigh-ins gave us a closer look (since we were in the 4th row) at the fighters and a sense of their personalities.  Not to mention, it was fascinating to see my wife–the most unaffected by celebrity person out there and the one person that just ‘doesn’t get’ celebrity gossip–starstruck by Dana White.  In some self-satisfying way, I wanted his autograph for myself to hang above my Life & Style collection in the bathroom (the same collection she rolls her eyes at my purchasing).

By the time we made it back to our glorified hotel room (pretty convinced it was really a hostel in disguise), we thought our experience couldn’t be topped until we watched The Simpson’s in French and could actually watch Music Videos 24/7 on Much Music.

Last but certainly not least (part II posted manana), in a true Twilight Zone moment we watched Ashton Kutcher and P Diddy on Larry King Live talking about Twitter. Ashton should win an Emmy for his acting as someone who has nothing to gain from the success of Twitter (I’m convinced he sat in too many Twitter board meetings and will see an investment on his return–his use of ‘content collaboration’ sounded all too familiar like I was in one of my MTV meetings).  I only have followers to gain–so follow me @alisaben05.

Merci Beaucoup, Canada!

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