July 21, 2012

One Week: Two Years Later

Random collection of characters in extraordinary costumes.

The last week has been thoroughly out of the ordinary, much like last time.

Last Saturday I went to Comic Con for the first time. I'd been around downtown San Diego during Comic Con before but had never been inside. I'm not a big enough geek (or that into pop culture) to justify buying an expensive ticket or spending an entire day waiting around for something, which was my impression of Comic Con before, but the boyfriend, leading the charmed existence he does, won a pair of day tickets on the radio with his Star Wars knowledge. So I got to go! 

I have to admit, a good part of Comic Con was exactly what I'd imagined: a lot of people walking around in costumes and lots of waiting around. But a bigger part of Comic Con was something I'd never have discovered without going. The costumes, for example, were amazing! So much time, thought and detail went into creating them, and anyone who was dressed up was constantly stopped and asked for a photo. Plus, the range of characters, from TV shows, movies and comics, was astounding. So many genres were represented. It was pretty awesome. 

The all around eye candy in the convention center was also pretty amazing. So many enormous TV screens playing video games, trailers, clips from shows, interviews and promotional material, not to mention the rows upon rows of booths giving away comics, flyers and cards, had my eyes wide open. They give everyone a bag to carry around the swag in, which was half my height, and saying no to free material was actually pretty hard. I enjoyed going, but if we'd wanted to see the panels we'd have had to spend our entire day waiting in line, and that just doesn't seem like a good way to spend a Saturday... but that's why people buy multiple day passes. And The Oatmeal wasn't there, which was the one booth I was looking forward to.

Then Monday I went into work and about half of the company, myself included, was laid off. No warning, no notice, not even severance. I didn't even get paid for going into work, despite being there for almost two hours before finally leaving with my check from last week. Total shit. I'd wanted out of that company pretty much since starting more than a year ago, but I wanted to do it on my terms and be able to walk out of there having said what I felt, and that was taken away. The upside is the rest of the week has been a much happier one, where I woke up and felt ready to take on the day, went to bed at night with an accomplished feeling and have been far more satisfied with my life simply not having that job. I can't be in a job I hate, not for long anyway, and having done so was really taking its toll. In fact, I'd taken the Friday before off mostly to job hunt because I wanted out so badly. Of course, not having an income sucks and prevents me from truly enjoying this time off as much as I'd like to, but that's what unemployment insurance is for, right?

I spent the rest of Monday drinking, first with one also-laid-off coworker and then with friends, and had a lovely Monday for the first time in months. I have to say, summer is a great time to be unemployed. 

Tuesday I was very productive: got in a great morning work out then spent the rest of the afternoon applying to jobs. I found one that's actually in my own neighborhood (walk to work?!) and seems completely perfect for me. I took a lot of time crafting an application and personal email and they responded asking for a phone interview! The interview process at this particular company is long and involved because they're looking more for the right fit, but that makes me feel like I have an advantage. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, because the people in my life are awesome, I went to opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack with one of my best friends. I'd been to the races before but never on opening day, and so much eye candy! Fabulous dresses and even better hats were everywhere. It was so much fun getting dressed up and walking around with all of the other people. We took the free shuttle from the Solana Beach train station and our fellow passengers were so drunk (at 1pm) that we could smell the alcohol on them. Once we actually got in it was obvious the vast majority of opening day patrons had been drinking for some time. We met up with my friend's coworker, who was having a bad day, but it seemed like everyone else was having a bad day too. Around 4pm there were a lot of ladies who were yelling at their men or just sitting down tired, drunk and angry. It didn't affect us though - we enjoyed seeing the horses and all the dolled up ladies all day, even if we were the only ones in a halfway decent mood. But I'd have never had the chance to go to opening day and prance around in a hat and dress if I was employed!

Thursday night, again taking advantage of my newfound unemployment, the boyfriend and I and his friend saw The Dark Knight Rises at midnight. I won't say anything about it except that it was great and totally worth seeing at midnight. However, I don't think I'll be seeing any more midnight showings, job or no job, because apparently I'm old and it's become too hard to stay awake. 

Friday the boyfriend and I ran some errands, getting a cage for his very fruitful tomato plant, and met up with his friends in my neighborhood for happy hour. One of his old friends from college was in town for Pride and their whole group got together. It was a fun night, especially because everyone seemed to be in such a great mood.

It's an awful cell phone picture, but those are dancing super heroes.

And finally, today is Gay Pride. We went to the parade, walked to Balboa Park (where apparently the festival is $20 per person), and then walked back. The people watching during Pride is one of my favorite things to do, and I always try to go at some point of the day. We saw a girl walking around in just shorts and star-shaped pasties on her nipples, right past a cop. He told her to put a shirt on. She complained and the poor cop just shook his head as in, look, you can't go walking around naked, just put a shirt on. It was a little ridiculous. But then so was the foam-mobile. 

Tonight might consist of sushi and drink specials and maybe walking around Hillcrest for Pride. This year, though, is going to be decidedly different from last. This year will not involve me making out with a gay man, or annoying anyone's boyfriend, or walking through Hillcrest barefoot because my heels hurt too much (I still shudder that I actually did that). This year will more likely consist of me saving the boyfriend from the clutches of very outgoing hopefuls around town. Seeing everyone happy and free and out makes me feel happy, which is why I love Pride.

It's certainly been an interesting week! I'm going to make an effort to better enjoy this time of no-work because I know that soon enough I'll be back at it 5 days a week. 

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