Monday, September 15, 2014

For the Love of Train Travel: Thank Goodness Some Things Remain the Same


I've read lots of articles and blog posts in recent years lamenting how awful it is to travel on a commercial airliner these days compared to the golden age of the '60s and '70s. That's because it is, indeed, pretty terrible to fly on an airplane today, and passengers are so fed up they're taking matters into their own hands. Did you hear about the airplane passenger who recently used plastic clamps on the seat in front of him so that the woman sitting in it wouldn't be able to recline back and infringe on his personal space? Yeah, it caused a huge ruckus but can you blame that guy? Forget flying the friendly skies--they just simply do not exist anymore. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Movie Review: The Girl Most Likely to... (1973)


They treated her like a dog. Now, she's a fox. And she's going to make them pay.

When Joan Rivers passed away last week, lots of people were familiar with her zingy one-liners and her fashion police commentary. Less commonly known may be the fact that she wrote a kind of crazy, but entertaining television movie called The Girl Most Likely to... starring Stockard Channing, which aired on ABC in 1973.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Checking in With the Labor Search This Labor Day Weekend


It isn't that often that I deviate from the retro-related observations to post personal stuff on Go Retro but it's been my experience that the few times I have that my readers kind of dig it. I know that I like to get the person behind some of my favorite sites.

So what's today's personal topic about? Well, some of you may know that I was laid off earlier this year from my full-time job...in February, to be exact. For those of you know don't know, I was laid off earlier this year from my full-time job...in February, to be exact (giggles.)

The good news is I've been staying really positive through this particular tussle with unemployment. This isn't my first rodeo...it's my fourth. Do you think maybe the universe is trying to send me a message about seeking employment in corporate America?

Anyways, being that it's Labor Day weekend, I thought I'd do a little self check and update everyone on what I've been up to for the past seven months.

In all this time, I've only had one in-person interview, with a staffing agency. The interview itself went very well but it was disappointing because I thought I was interviewing for a marketing manager position for a small but growing manufacturing company. The advertised job opening said the person filling the role would be managing their social media channels, helping to name new products and promote them, and write copy for their collateral. It turned out to be nothing more than a copywriter position, for a less-than-exciting company. And the position has been posted on their site pretty much since I've been laid off, and I doubt anyone's been hired for it yet.

But that's not to say that I haven't been staying productive during this time off:

*I continue to manage the social media channels for a small consumer wares company and try to make it fun for their followers (product giveaways, contests, etc.) I also write posts for the company blog and attract PR and good juju for them through Twitter. I don't want to name them because the last time I did, the managers saw it in a Google alert and while I said only good things, it was still a little embarrassing. If you want to know who they are, just send me a private email.

*I got a (non-paying) writing gig with REBEAT Magazine, which is a lot of fun.

*I managed to get a paying writing gig through Craiglist, for a company that populates content sites with those slideshows accompanied by descriptive captions. I compile the photos and write the captions. It pays a few dollars per gallery depending upon the length, and you can pick and choose the ones that interest you. Hey, I'll take it...I have already made a few extra bucks and plan on cranking them out once my unemployment runs out. 

*I was a background extra, playing a nurse in a German TV miniseries that's been filming in my state over the summer. Last year I was a background extra in the upcoming Denzel Washington film The Equalizer and that was a little more exciting and lucrative, but the German miniseries gig was closer to my home and fun, easy money for one day of work. Apparently the Germans are really big on corny romance novels by a British writer named Katie Fford whose books get turned into miniseries for the country. Who knew? 

*While I've exercised regularly since my 20s, I vowed when I got laid off that I'd lose the muffin top I had attracted during the past 7 years at my last job, finally tone my abs and would get into really good shape. I ran my first 5K in May in 32 minutes, 23 seconds (a nice symmetrical number) and have lost seven pounds since losing my job...I'm sure that not having nearly daily temptations in the office such as a vending machine, doughnuts, leftover meeting snacks and homemade cookies helped contribute to that loss!

Which brings me to my next point...

When I was younger, I thought from time to time about becoming a model. People told me on occasion that since I was tall and thin and had nice features, I should try. I actually did, signing on with a now-defunct agency in the Boston suburbs. The only job I was ever offered from them was for a hair show, which I actually couldn't participate in since it was short notice and I worked at a hotel at that time, and it would have been impossible to get the day off. I also did local fashion shows for a small bridal shop...for free. So, when too many shows went by without any compensation from the owner, I quit and forgot about the dream.

As I got older, I noticed that older models were starting to become a commodity. More magazine used to run an annual modeling contest for women over 40. I told myself that when I was 40, I would enter it. That never happened because they discontinued it. But after reading articles about women who were able to launch modeling careers after the age of 40, I got really interested in it again. Not every client is seeking 21 year-old women who are six feet tall, weight 120 pounds, and wear a D cup sized bra. There is commercial modeling work...and companies who are promoting products to 40-something and older women want age appropriate people in their ads and materials. 

Now please know that I'm being realistic about the goal. As much as I'd like to make a commercial where I'm driving my Jag through a car wash to shampoo my hair and meet and marry a British rock star, I know that I can't be the next Pattie Boyd. And I'm still job hunting and prepared to take on a part-time position to supplement whatever modeling gigs I can get...or a full-time one again if it doesn't pan out.  

I have no idea if there's any demand for someone like me in an already extremely competitive industry. But I've met women who are shorter than I am and not much younger who gave gotten lucrative modeling work, and some of the women on the site of an agency I really want to work for are a dress size higher than me, older than me, and shorter than me. So I feel like I have nothing to lose, other than the money I shelled out earlier this week for a professional photographer to take photos of me to submit to sites. I think it would be a good experience for me...a chance to meet some new people, a way to work on my confidence, and who knows, maybe some jobs will get me involved in charity events or involved in other ways to help others. 

You only get one time around on the planet (or so I believe, anyway) so I gotta at least try. Who knows, a year or two from now I may be thinking of venturing into something else. And rest assured, Go Retro isn't going anywhere! 

That's the scoop. I hope everyone, whether working or not, is enjoying the Labor Day weekend!

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