Category Archives: Sanity Without Salary

I Think I’m a Horoscope Whore: What’s In It For Me In 2010?

Every December, my magazine addiction kicks into an even fiercer gear when January issues begin hitting my mailbox. I frantically tear through each glossy mag, searching for that “astrology” or “horoscope” page usually listed under “In Every Issue” in the Table of Contents. 

Why? I’m always dying to know what happens next. Yes, I’m the one who reads the end of a book first. I’ll read recaps of TV shows that I haven’t seen yet just because I have to know what transpired. I love surprises, but it’s like tickling me until I pee in my pants. I just can’t take the suspense and anxiety!

All my favorite magazines have horoscope features: Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Town & Country, Elle… you name it. My favorite, however, is Cosmopolitan‘s “Bedside Astrologer”. I think it’s because every year, that risqué rag promises me a hot, passionate love affair to top all others with the kindest, manliest soul ever found on God’s green Earth. Yeah… I’ve been waiting for that to happen since the 1996 edition, Cosmo Friend. A girl can dare to dream, though.

Much like self-help reading, I think all these horoscopes have become too much for one’s brain to handle. Like information overload. Why can’t I settle for, “It’s a brand New Year;  let’s just see what happens”?  That’s a pretty novel concept, don’t you think?

Many of us have experienced monumental challenges this year – from job losses to a crashing economy to overseas wars, environmental disasters, etc. We all want answers to life’s biggest questions. It’s no surprise: All you have to do is look around you to know we could use a giant slice of faith and optimism. 

So here’s hoping you bring some ease to your life in 2010. You certainly don’t need a horoscope to tell you that.

Are you like me? Can you help taking a peek into the future?

–For the record, I believe one’s fate lies primarily with God. So no fun-killing, catty “horoscopes are the Devil” kind of comments.–

Picture: Cosmopolitan.com

5 Easy Things You Can Do For Your Unemployed BFF

When I was in the thick of unemployment, I couldn’t afford to go out to eat or have beers with my friends. I was also stressed most of the time and pre-occupied with where my next buck was coming from. I kept hearing people ask, “I know she can’t afford to go out, but we miss seeing her” or “She won’t even let us buy her a glass of wine”. In addition to all that, I often didn’t shower or change out of my pajamas.

When at the mercy of the unemployment office, the jobless can get sensitive about taking money from others, no matter how well-intended. It’s called pride. Pride can also cause them to slowly feel disengaged from their circle of friends. So what can you, a gainfully employed person, do to show that out-of-work pal that she’s not out of luck or out of love?

  1. Invite him/her over for dinner – An invitation for a home-cooked meal is a low-key way to make your friend get dressed and leave the house without spending money. Also, my UPiC (Unemployed Partner-In-Crime) and I used to make dinner for each other. We got to eat well by sharing the expense, and we had something fun to socialize over
  2. Drop by with an inexpensive bottle of wine – They may not let you buy drinks while out at the local watering hole, but home is a different matter. And go cheap so they don’t feel like they owe you
  3. Grab her for a walk or jog – A good gab session coupled with exercise is a great way to socialize, boost endorphins, get out of the house and loosen stress 
  4. Give the gift of flowers – I’m not talking bouquetboflbs from 1-800 Flowers. I’m talking deli/grocery store blossoms. And before you think you’re too good for them, I once saw George Stephanopoulus darting across 14th Street in NYC carrying deli daisies (presumably for his fabulous wife Alexandra Wentworth). Brightly colored bouquets can help cheer up any job hunter or the job hunter’s cave (read: home)
  5. Just listen – No advice. No contacts. No “what I would do if I were you…” (even though I assume you will have gone through that exercise already). Just bend your ear for a while, offer a calming smile instead of tips and end your visit with a big hug or word of encouragement

How do I know these things work? Because my friends are awesome, and they helped make unemployment bearable for me!

“Drop Dead Diva” Is Teaching Me How to Make the Most of What I’ve Got

I’Drop-Dead-Diva-Does-It-Again-afve said before how much I’m loving Lifetime’s new dramedy “Drop Dead Diva”. Every Sunday as the show comes to a close, I find a goofy smile on my face, and it’s definitely due to the charm of Brooke Elliott, her portrayal of Jane Bingum and the show’s warm writing.

For the uninitiated, “Drop Dead Diva” is “the story of a beautiful-but-vapid model wannabe, Deb, who has a fatal car accident and suddenly finds herself in front of Heaven’s gatekeeper, Fred, who declares her a self-centered ‘zero.’ Outraged, Deb attempts to persuade Fred to return her to her shallow existence but is accidentally relegated to the body of the recently deceased Jane Bingum (Brooke Elliott). A brilliant, thoughtful and plus-size attorney with a loyal assistant (Margaret Cho), Jane has always lived in the shadow of her more comely colleagues, whereas Deb has always relied on her external beauty. Now, by a twist of fate and a bolt of divine intervention, Deb must come to terms with inhabiting Jane’s plus-size frame and learn to reconcile her beauty queen ways with her brilliant new mind” (from mylifetime.com).

As the season has progressed, I’ve become so wrapped up in Jane’s/Deb’s attempt to deal with that hand she’s been given. The situation sucks, to be sure, but being privy to the intimate details of Jane’s/Deb’s evolution (and the evolution of those around her, including her spacey BFF Stacy), is fun and inspiring.

If you’re bummed out about your layoff situation, job status, money woes or any other byproduct of this recession, tune into “Drop Dead Diva”. It might just provide the mirth – and motivation – you need right now. For me, it’s a perfect example of how you make the best with what you’ve got.

“Drop Dead Diva” airs at 9 p.m. ET every Sunday on Lifetime.

I Need Help for Self-Help

self-help

Being let go from your job stirs up all sorts of emotions and makes you feel like the Road Runner is circling your gut. You begin re-evaluating yourself and setting the stage for a massive self-improvement overhaul. Personally, I constantly wondered “What’s going to make someone else hire me?”, “Will they see through me?”, “Do I have what it takes?”, “Can I handle this stress?”, etc. etc. etc. It kept me up at night and created huge distractions.

I don’t know about you, but all those feelings led me to embrace a lot of self-help tools. My magazines became my guide. O The Magazine was always a source of inspiration or deep introspection. Cosmo gave me quizzes. Redbook taught me how to be happy. I also turned to the Bible, The Secretand Joel Osteen’s weekly broadcasts at midnight (I know, I know).

I obsessively checked my horoscope on every Web site I could find. I not only read the daily updates, I read the money ‘scope, the love ‘scope and the monthly and yearly horoscopes. I read them sometimes twice a day. The Web became my virtual therapist’s office, ready at anytime to provide me with endless tips and information on how I can be a better “me”.

Even though I have a job now, I still wake up feeling antsy and somewhat nauseated, and I bring that to work. So when I’m churning like a whirling dervish, I’ve been turning to what I know.

This week, I had an epiphany. After reading one too many articles about  soul searching, happiness and the “law of attraction”, I realized that I’m addicted to this crap! I also began realizing that all this “self-help” is making me a more nervous, skeptical person. Am I doing anything right? Will anything ever go right for me? Of course I am, and of course it will, but first I’ve got to return to my senses, trust my gut more than Dr. Phil and go with it! Therefore, I’ve vowed to take a step back from all this betterment and see if it creates the serenity I need. I’m trying. Really, I am.

Do you ever feel like you’ve had enough self-help and self-improvement?

What’s Your Pleasure?

abcsAs I was finishing off my bowl of ABCs and 123s chased with chips and salsa, I saw that “Little House on the Prairie” was on. And, not only that, but it was the episode where Ma thinks Pa is gettin’ it on with the young, attractive widow for whom he’s moonlighting in order to afford some fancy new dishes for the Ingalls’ dinner table. Sadly, I had a big ol’ smile on my face at the end of the show, then got to turn it to Lifetime for my double-dose of “How I Met Your Mother” re-runs. Ahhhh…guilty pleasures. Does it get any better?

When you’re down and out, unemployed, victimized by recession, dumped and/or stuck with roots that you can’t afford to have colored, guilty pleasures can be the only thing to get you through the muck. But just because they’re called “guilty”, don’t be coy about them bringing you joy. Embrace them. Honor them. Love them.

Herewith are Miss Pink Slip’s 10 favorite guilty pleasures. These are the things that bring me glee and cause me no shame. Well, maybe they do a little. Enjoy:

  1. My many, many magazine subscriptions. Vogue, Elle, O The Oprah Magazine, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Time, Business Week, Atlanta Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, etc. The entire staffs of Hearst and Conde Nast should thank me for their jobs
  2. Horoscopes in the backs of those many, many magazines. Elle, barbieyou suck for getting rid of the Numerology page!
  3. Chef Boyardee. Ravioli. ‘Nuff said.
  4. “Touched by an Angel”. Shut up. I hear you judging me!
  5. Chili dogs
  6. El Azteca– only you Atlantans can appreciate the nastiness
  7. Romance novels of the 50s and 60s
  8. 64 box of Crayons and coloring books featuring Barbie 
  9. Seeing cheesy teen movies in the theater. I swear I was the only female in the audience of “Never Been Kissed” who’d actually had my period
  10. Show tunes(from “Annie”, “Sound of Music”, “Rent”) that pop up on my iPod while in the shuffle songs function

What are your guilty pleasures?

Unemployed and Need a Step Up? Surround Yourself with a “Dream Team”

Ever since Michael Jackson died – and oodles of times before that, people have ruminated over the fact that he surrounded himself with shady people who were only out for themselves and Michael’s money (well, maybe Bubbles the Chimp or the odd llama) and could have cared less about the King of Pop’s well-being.

I was thinking about that this morning in the context of unemployment. I’ve said before that one thing we can learn from celebrities is how to assemble a team around you that is there for genuine support and assistance:

“Just like celebs have publicists, agents, managers, stylists, life coaches, etc., you should take their lead and put together your own support team. Call on friends who are great at networking, self-promotion, organization, brainstorming and image. Most importantly, enlist spiritual friends and others you can lean on psychologically and emotionally.”

Take a look around. Who’s there for you? Do you trust them? Do they have your best interests at heart? Are they authentic friends? If you’ve been looking for work or are dealing with other life challenges, you need the smartest, most positive, caring people surrounding you. The others are just wastes of time.

If I could assemble my all-pro “dream team”, who would it be?

  • God – Duh.
  • Dolly Parton – this star of stage and screen came from nuttin’ and has always remembered her roots. Ironically, she’s the picture of “authenticity” for me, and I can’t imagine anyone more encouraging and supportive. She keeps it real
  • Jack and Suzy Welch – say what you will about how they got together, but they’re wildly successful for a reason and seem to be nice people. Plus, can you imagine the business plan they’d put together for you?
  • Joel Osteen – OK. You probably just cringed. In fact, I felt it. But, this guy makes me feel good. Yes, I have watched many of his sermons on television, and just as I’m about to turn the channel to avoid the glare of his gleaming white teeth, he says something that comforts me and calms my pulse
  • E. Jean Carroll – Again, she’s my hero. No-nonsense, yet classy and sisterly. She gives a sh*t about her fellow woman and always looks fabulous while dishing out the most valued advice found in the pages of a magazine

Who would be on your dream team?

From the MPS archives:
https://misspinkslip.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/look-to-the-stars-if-youre-in-need-of-reinvention/

Miss Pink Slip is Blue: My 10-Step Program for Recovery

MPS is experiencing a little bit o’ heartbreak today, so I’m digging into my archives to find some advice that could apply to what I’m feeling. Because getting laid off is a heartbreak of its own, isn’t it?

After perusing my posts, I found the following two. I think they’re perfect for the sadness I’m experiencing. None of them includes a tissue or lavender eye-mask…I think. I hope they help you, too. No matter what ails you!

7 Things to Do When You’re Angry
https://misspinkslip.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/something-tells-me-you-could-use-this/

Revisit Your Inner Kid
https://misspinkslip.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/revisit-your-inner-kid/

So, based on the advice, here’s my game plan for the week:

  1. Run that pissed-off feeling out of my body (well, maybe tomorrow)
  2. Hug my dog-daughter and play ball with her (Miss SJB, I’m on my way home!)
  3. Drink some (cheap) wine with my UPiC
  4. Watch a really cheesy movie or Sunday night’s episode of “Drop Dead Diva“. If you haven’t seen this new show and its star Brooke Elliott, both are precious and uplifting
  5. Read another chapter of the new “smart girl’s beach book” I bought at the Strand in NYC, Commencement
  6. Re-read portions of Gigi Levangie Grazer’s awesome new novel, Queen Takes King. Basically, it’s about a woman who kicks ass. Love it. BTW–Gigi is my idol
  7. Maybe go see “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”for the umpteenth time, but this time at the Fox Theater…with a pre-show wine tasting. Some may consider Holly Golightly a cliche heroine, but her trip to the Five-and-Dime with George Peppard’s “Fred” is enough to lift anyone’s spirits
  8. Check in with the ladies over at E. Jean Carroll’s Advice Vixens. Those gals will whip me into shape fast. E. Jean: Honey, if ever there was a time I needed you!
  9. Lie out by the pool this Saturday and recapture that glow I’m missing
  10. Dive into the pile of magazines I got in the mail over the weekend. Allure, O, Elle, Self, Cosmo—girls, I hope you’ve got something good for me!

Am I missing a step? What do you do to heal a bruised heart?