I haven’t posted a Patron Saint in a while, but yesterday’s Oscar nominations prompted this very special one for me.
While not technically unemployed (she was a student at Mercy College), this 26-year old had never acted professionally. That is, until Director Lee Daniels came along auditioning for “Precious” Jones, the lead character in his film “Precious”, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. As an aside, I’ve had this book on my radar for years, but have yet to read it. It’s now on my bedside table.
Gabourey Sidibe has since become the darling of Hollywood. She’s been nominated for Best Actress in every awards program imaginable (Academy Awards, Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA, Independent Spirit, etc.). While it seems she’s been consistently bested by Oscar shoo-in Sandra Bullock, I believe she leads the pack with her performance in this heart-wrenching film. I left the theater grasping at my heart and feeling jubilant for this girl who, on screen, goes from an abused, pregnant sixteen-year old with a four-year old child by her own father to a woman with all-out gumption and a plan. Throughout, Gabourey makes Precious real and palpable. You just want to give her a big hug. On the red carpets, Gabourey presents herself as a young, fun, confident woman. I just want to hang out with her!
Anyhoo–that is why I’m naming Gabourey Sidibe a Patron Saint of the Jobless. She went from an unknown student to a world-class actress overnight, teaching all of us that anything is possible.
After this week’s continuing Balloon Boy drama, I was thinking: If you are jobless and of sound body and mind, would you really take part in a reality show and humiliate yourself to make a few bucks? Think about it.
Looking at TV’s field of reality programming – quality shows like “I’m A Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here”, “The Bachelor”, “The Hills”, “The Real Housewives of <insert your town here>” and my <cough> favorite: <cough>”Keeping Up With the Kardashians” – I realized that at least one person on each of these programs comes out as a vapid idiot. Would you be willing to be that person in exchange for work and $$$?
There’s no way I could sob and cry over some dude I’ve known for a week, stage fake weddings, puke on camera or catfight and pull someone’s wig off in front of a fancy hotel. Maybe it’s just me, but I do want to maintain some sense of pride.
Talk to me: If you were broke or out of a job, would you shame yourself on a reality show for money?
Photos: Telegraph UK; NBC
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged balloon boy, broke, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, jobless, keeping up with the kardashians, out of a job, reality shows, the bachelor, The Hills, the real housewives, work
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?
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Give the gift of flowers – I’m not talking bouquets 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)
- 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!
Yeah, I’m looking at you, Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga and now, maybe, Grant Show. If you haven’t already heard, these well-known 1990s apartment dwellers will be gracing the small screen together again in CW’s remake of the Aaron Spelling classic drama. I call it a dramedy, but whatever.
Left out in the cold? The gang’s former watering hole, Shooters.
Before you say anything–I know these folks have been working off and on for years in TV movies, commercials, a few primetime shows, etc., but when was the last time you actually saw their names and photos in large print…on a regular basis?
Here’s to you, cast of Melrose Place. Thanks for reminding us that we all have second – and sometimes third – acts! We’ll be watching and rooting for you!
Melrose Place premieres Tuesday, September 8 at 9 p.m. ET on CW.
Posted in News, Patron Saint of the Jobless
Tagged CW, Daphne Zuniga, Grant Show, jobless, Josie Bissett, Laura Leighton, Melrose Place, new melrose place, Thomas Calabro, TV, work
The newly coined “Beer Summit” has been going on for days, months, years! Since when did it become a point of “shock and awe” that a good confab over a frosty adult beverage can soothe what ails us?
If our President is being heralded as a hero for organizing the so-called “Beer Summit”, then I’m a bonafide legend. Most of you are, too! How many unemployment happy hours or Pink Slip Parties have you been invited to since the recession turned “layoff” into a lifestyle? During my time out of work, I attended and/or organized several such gatherings. Why? Because in times of crisis, people turn to the bottle. I say that in the hopes that you don’t label me an “alcoholic” or send me AA pamphlets. It just is what it is. When you have a drink and are among friends, your nerves ease, your sadness subsides and emotional walls come tumbling down. So it’s no wonder the President employed the old “happy hour” scenario to try to create some meaningful conversation among the alleged racial profiling cop, Prof. Gates and himself.
When I got laid off (and dumped the night before), my girls and I bonded on a sunny porch over a bottle (or three) of vino. It was certainly wine-soaked wisdom that turned my bad mood around that night. We also came up with quite a few ideas and solutions for my jobless state. Let’s face it: A pop of a cork can cause keen understanding along with wise insight to gush forth like Niagara Falls.
So, American media, quit acting like this “Beer Summit” is such a new thing. Granted, I know we’re talking about larger, more important issues of race relations, but it’s embarrassing that y’all think it’s so cool that beer is being served on the White House lawn. In backyards and bars all across America, people have been gathering for centuries to drink a pint and toss around answers to our nation’s problems; why don’t you cover that?
Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
Wow–NKOTB made my “Saint” list last week, and now the Backstreet Boys are back with a new single and European tour dates? If Nick Lachey tries to revive 98 Degrees, I will know we’re in hell…or would that be heaven? Gosh.
Sometime over the summer (hopefully this weekend over July 4th!), I hope you’ll get some invites to a friend’s beach house or a family member’s lake cabin. You may be unemployed, but you still need a vacation. In fact, you probably need a getaway more than anyone! But you can’t go empty-handed. Good manners still apply to the jobless, and I have five inexpensive host/hostess gift ideas that will be memorable and easy on the pocketbook:
- Embroidered tea towel – always fun and decorative. Found at most gift and home stores, many sell for around $20. Find out your host’s favorite color or room hue to make it more personal
- Personalized cocktail napkins or coasters – Useful and thoughtful. Can be demurely designed, monogrammed or sporting witticisms. Depends on how well you know your guest! Gift stores like Swoozies have great selections
- Exquisite truffles or other treats – You can purchase a small, but luxurious box of truffles that will make any host swoon. Yes, Godiva, Vosges and other high-end chocolatiers have selections for about $20. Whole Foods also has great sweet treats
- Monogrammed soaps, carving boards or party cups – No advance preparation required! Go for a single monogram — many gift stores have entire alphabets available. Very simple, but tasteful.
- An armful of simple blooms like tulips or a bottle of wine – Many experts advise against both: Blooms require your host to find a vase; your gift of wine may make the host think they have to serve it. However, both options are easily accessible, affordable and will look SO much better than empty hands
Simple rule to remember: You’ve got a free place to stay and are often mooching free food and drink, so you can spend a few bucks to thank the person who’s providing you an oasis.
Another simple rule to live by: Buy the best you can afford. Even if it’s small and costs 10-20 bucks, if it’s exquisite, your host will be blown away by your refined taste, attention to detail and thoughtfulness.
Posted in Cheap Thrills, Shopping: The New Deal
Tagged beach trips, gift, host, hostess gifts, jobless, lake cabins, lake house, travel, unemployed, vacations
It’s been a while since I’ve saluted a Miss Pink Slip “Patron Saint of the Jobless”.
For the uninitiated, I periodically honor one of our unemployed friends in entertainment who has managed to buck the system and, in some cases, make a legit comeback. Past honorees include Mickey Rourke, M.C. Hammer and Tori Spelling.
The New Kids on the Block absolutely fall into this category. Now, many will tell you these boys have worked on and off since their days rockin’ gelled versions of the fade in BOP and Tiger Beat. But it wasn’t until last year that they reappeared on the musical stage for a reunion tour (which is still traveling the country and ends July 18 in Houston) and began gathering steam in the press. They were everywhere – even “Today” – and women in their 30s have been flocking to their shows screaming just like they did when they were 12 and in denim jackets encrusted with tiny buttons featuring their “boyfriend” Little Joe. I think my friend Rachel even wore a side-ponytail to the Atlanta show.
The bottom line is that these guys are raking in the bucks and have made girls the world over giddy again with the falsetto strains of “Please Don’t Go Girl”, “Hangin’ Tough” and “The Right Stuff”. We may stiffle giggles, but they’re guffawing all the way to the bank.
Here’s to you, NKOTB.
You may remember that last week I asked your advice for a friend who’s currently unemployed but eager to date. She has done Match.com and eHarmony, but just doesn’t have the money for monthly fees right now. I asked what you thought about spending money for online dating sites when you don’t have a job. Just wanted to share some feedback I’ve gleaned from some of you terrific readers out there!
- “JDate has a way to have a profile without paying, so I’d assume other sites are the same. Then you just make your username the same as your instant message name and hope they find you!”
- Check out PlentyofFish.com. It’s free. Also, greatboyfriends.com may be free at some point in the near future
- Online dating can give you something to look forward to while you’re job hunting
I had more responses, but those were the best nuggets.
Check out these Advice Vixens
On a related note, I have to tell y’all to check out www.askejean.com (yes, from Elle Magazine’s grande dame of advice, E. Jean Carroll) for access to her Advice Vixens. You just type in your question, and you get tips, suggestions and insight straight from the mouths of women like you! Those ladies are on it, too! I got responses five minutes after submitting my questions.
Sure beats $100 an hour for a shrink!
Related Post: https://misspinkslip.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/dear-mps-should-i-spend-money-online-dating-while-im-unemployed/
Posted in Cheap Thrills, Dear MPS, Sanity Without Salary
Tagged advice, advice vixens, ask e jean, E. Jean Carroll, eHarmony, greatboyfriends.com, JDate, jobless, Match.com, Nerve.com, online dating, online dating sites, plentyoffish.com, unemployed, unemployment
What up, Dawg? PS–I couldn’t help myself — I hate Randy Jackson’s overuse of the word. It kind of embarrasses me for him.
American Idol is in Atlanta this week, and I’m wondering just how many aspiring songsters who just so happen to be jobless are in line. Hell, if I was still looking for work and, ahem, a little bit younger, I’d be waiting for Paula and the gang. And I don’t even LIKE the show! What would be my audition song? Hmmm…maybe a lil’ Heart? Perhaps a few bars of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton? That would take some thought.
Fox Atlanta reports a registration cut-off at 8 a.m. tomorrow. The auditions begin Thursday (tomorrow), June 18.
Audition Information (also courtesy Fox 5)
“Atlanta registration for Season 9 auditions will take place on Tuesday, June 16 and Wednesday, June 17, and auditions will take place on Thursday, June 18. Both registration and auditions will take place at the Georgia Dome.
1 Georgia Dome Dr. NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
Front Of Line: Gate D Entry
Parking: Area parking at varying rates
American Idol is not responsible for any parking rates or rules”
What would be YOUR American Idol audition song?