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Why Huma Abedin Offends Me

Once again, Anthony Weiner's weiner is the star of it's own show, I Love My Willy.

I think it's pretty clear by now that the man is an exhibitionist. Aside from his unfortunate surname, if this is all it was, the royal baby would still be dominating headlines. However, no one's really interested in the Adventures of Weiner Jr (and we're not talking about his 20 month old kid). No, what everyone wants to know is why on earth his wife, Huma Abedin, has stood by her man a second time. Why would a woman as beautiful, talented and well connected as Abedin waste her time on a man whose sexual escapades are fairly pathetic?

Various opinion pieces have run the gamut of opinions from the fact that she's a beautiful woman and we should all admire her, to she's a 'good wife', to she's mentally ill and all the way up to she's a power hungry hanger on who's absorbed the lessons of her mentor, Hillary Clinton, a bit too well. Meanwhile, Abedin herself has pleaded that the state of her marriage is private and that this issue is between her and her husband.

Fair enough, Ms. Abedin. At the end of the day, I really don't care about the state of her marriage or why she stayed in it, or why she continues to support a man who, as far as I can tell, is just not savvy enough to get away with being a corrupt politician. Here's what does offend me. Her complicity in his campaign.

Anthony Weiner built his campaign on the back of Huma Abadin's popularity and embarrassment. The fact that many of his flasher tweets were sent to women who did not solicit them was glossed over as 'in the past.' Ms. Abedin took the time to help her husband give interviews about how they'd worked through their marital issues. Therapy had been attended, he had done his time and was ready to try to serve the public again. It was time to focus on the issues facing New York City, and the past was done. Until, of course, the latest scandal broke and the public realized that the entire narrative that had been constructed was just that - a construction. And worse - both of them supposedly talked as a family to decide that it was time for him to re-enter politics, knowing that more flasher incidents could come back up.

I don't care about the sexts - they're just plain sad if you read through them. What I care about is that the two of them, as a team, chose to re-enter public life and they both lied, saying his behavior was something that wouldn't come up again. And when new sexts were exposed, Ms. Abedin had the balls to get up in front of a crowd and play the 'my marriage is private' card.

Not anymore, Ms. Abedin. Your husband's behavior became a matter of public concern when he chose to run for mayor of New York City. He has shown continuous bad judgment in how he conducts himself - both in public by lying to his potential constituents when he said that this wouldn't happen again and in private by having the appalling idea that he could continue old behavior patterns over the internet and not believe he'd get caught, just because he used the pseudonym 'Carlos Danger.'

Nor does it make me a puritan to say that bad judgment, poor impulse control and compulsive lying make a bad combination for a public servant. We are judged by the company we keep and Huma Abedin, by defending her husband, by doubling down on his political campaign, has made a statement about herself.

But the Democrats of New York should be looking at Weiner and thinking to themselves, 'If this is how he treats his wife, how will he treat us?' The people of New York should be wondering whether his political platform is as cardboard as his image as a loving husband, created by his wife who continues to advocate and fundraise for him, and to plead for privacy when an old scandal is made new again. Is this the statement about New York that it's Democratic voters want to make this primary season?
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Happy 2013!

So...I haven't been posting here much. I figured I'd better justify my account.

So, C graduated last year with his doctorate and we moved to Japan for his new job. After a couple of weeks back in the States to visit my cat (and family/friends, but mostly the cat!) I put C on a plane to Germany this morning! I'll be following on Monday - we'll be spending January and February in Berlin! We'll also be doing a bit of traveling around Europe this winter. This is less exciting than it sounds, because it's WINTER. Still - I have a warm coat, warm boots and I'm going to be picking up warm gloves and a scarf before I go.

 I should probably say something about New Year's Resolutions too...I haven't completely given up on the idea of starting something new in the new year, but whatever it is, it will NOT be a baby. Despite getting baby advice every which way from "You WILL have children when it's convenient for the grandparents to travel," to "oh dear god, children are evil." To be fair, most people are falling in the category of "When you're ready, you're ready and tune everyone else out," but it's still annoying just knowing that the expectation is THERE.

Anyway. It seems that I will be starting 2013 out with a lot of travel. I'm hoping to add a job as well this year, but if not, I'll stick with the travel resolution.
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Countdown

So! I finally did it. After two years, I put in my two weeks notice. 

So, not this Saturday, but next Saturday June 2nd, will be my final day. We'll take a financial hit, but once my boss started threatening people's jobs and being nasty as fuck again, I just about snapped. I refuse to spend any more time miserable.
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Just One Question...

Senator Romney, exactly what qualifications does your wife, Ann Romney, have that qualify her to be an economic adviser for your campaign and your presidency, should you be elected? What academic or practical experience does she have in public and economic policy? How is she qualified to advise you about women and economic issues? What quantitative data has she gathered, what analysis can she actually articulate about how women in this economy are being affected by current policy, that isn't anecdotal?
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Dr. Siegel

So, my husband successfully defended his thesis today! He is now Doctor Siegel.

Now, if only he could write me a doctor's note to get out of work.
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And now, for something more positive.

Lush.

I love this company. I love the products. I love the fact that they're all natural. I love the fact that their natural products have actual science behind them. I love the fact that they can stink up my entire apartment with lovely fragrances. I love the fact that most of them don't have packaging and the ones that do can be recycled. I love that everything is made fresh and by hand.

I love what it's doing for my skin and my hair and the fact that it makes bathtime all sorts of soft, fragrant fun. I love the R&B hair moisturizer, which my curls think is the greatest invention since sliced bread. I love the Gorgeous moisturizer, which just sinks into my skin and makes it look like I freaking GLOW. I love the Turkish Delight, which is MADE OF ROSES. And the Alkmaar soap, which smells like honeysuckle and jasmine and vetivert and holy crap that smells good! I love the solid massage bars that you melt straight onto your partner and if you want to be really naughty, I recommend Mange Too. You can LICK IT OFF YOUR PARTNER. It has my my husband much more tolerant of my weekly trips to this place. (Also, he thinks it's cute how I run around in there and smell everything).

And today I just picked up a foot mask, foot lotion and a lemongrass foot scrub. (By the way, have I mentioned that I fucking LOVE the smell of lemongrass? And that one of their signature fragrance lines has it as a major note?)

I have replaced just about everything in my bathroom. And they have an online store. Seriously - they're fucking awesome. And they smell good.

SQUEE!

PS: For any Bronies that might actually be on here, get the Twilight Bath Bomb. It has sparkles in it. It is literally a Twilight Sparkle. Also, they have a Rainbow Dash.
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Dear Direct Supervisor

I like to think I'm the kind of person who sees the good in everyone and can work with everyone. Thank you, sir, for teaching me how to sell. Because you did - you took a girl who hated sales and was bad at them and managed to tap a competitive vein and combine it with a need to educated those around her and it has turned me into one of the top salespeople in the branch. I learned a lot about myself because of this - I no longer think, "I can't do sales." This has also led to me stopping myself when I start to say, "I can't do x," with, "I've never really learned how to do x, but let's give it a shot."

This has been invaluable and I truly do thank you for all of your help this last year. With that said? Fuck you, sir.

Fuck you and your petty punishment and reward system. Fuck you for thinking that you can take away the chairs, have your teller line standing on their feet for hours at a stretch and not even think to give fifteen minute rest breaks as is state law in Pennsylvania. Also, fuck you for blaming bad shops on the teller line. We did this song and dance last month. We had a bad month in service and you took away the chairs...and guess what! It didn't help. The shops continued to roll in bad and your teller line was exhausted and revolting. People started looking around at other job opportunities. Then we hit March and the NEW teller got a good shop because she has the most insanely bubbly personality I've ever seen.

Then reality hit and two very experienced tellers got "bad" shops. Keep in mind that one of them was the new lead teller, who's always gotten perfects before and is one of the kindest, most polite people ever, who never fails to give good customer service, even when she's telling the customer "no." She got average scores across the board. The other is a teller who's been with the bank for seven years, is one of the top salespeople in the area. She got fives except for one three in "Wanting Your Business."

Sir, when the key drivers don't match with the numbers, you'd better believe that there's a fucking problem here. I posit to you that perhaps the problem has become your leadership. I went balls up and talked to you at the end of last month about the feelings of the line. One teller quit. More are getting ready to follow her example. I'm moving to Japan at the end of the summer, so you KNOW I'm leaving, but if this keeps up, I'm going to prepare to leave a hell of a lot sooner than that.

Most of all, fuck you for being a broken record and always having your eyes set on being in the number one spot. Fuck your guilt trips about  how it's our fault that we're not number one. Fuck you for implementing policies that make our jobs harder and then backing down and making "exceptions" trying to get sales (it doesn't work, by the way. It just makes you look like an asshole and the customer takes their check somewhere else).

I like to be number one. But it's not the highlight of my day. Number one happens when you're good at your job, enjoying the time you spend at work instead of counting the hours until you can leave.

So, in short? Fuck you for making my workday so miserable that even writing about it doesn't help expunge my feelings and cheer me up. Also, fuck you for it being so close to when I'm going to leave anyway that I keep telling myself that I can tough it out for just a few more months and then I'm out of there.
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The Grammys

Just a little something I've been pondering. We've created a culture where the idea behind most crimes that don't involve murder is to try to rehabilitate and release back into society. For example, domestic violence is a crime that almost no one gets thrown in jail for. You get community service. You get counseling. You even get restraining orders. But jail time? If we threw every domestic abuser in jail, they'd outnumber all the street pharmacists, and they're already contributing to overcrowding our prison system as it is. The goal is rehabilitate and release. Let them serve a debt to society, try to teach them why what they did was wrong so that it doesn't happen again. Whether or not you believe that can actually happen, that's the model in today's justice system.

So why the fuck are people screaming about Chris Brown performing at the Grammys?

Is it okay what he did? No. Will I ever buy his music or watch him perform? No. Would I watch an awards show if I knew he was performing and I didn't want to support him, even if there were going to be other performers there that I did want to see? No. We live in an age with YouTube. If you want to see the others performances, you can look them up the night after and ONLY their performances, without having to support Chris Brown.

BUT. It is also not okay to say that the man has no right to be on the Grammys. Whatever else he is, Chris Brown is an acknowledged influence in the R&B genre, and the awards show has every right to honor him for that. Brown also has every right to continue making his living as a performer. If you don't want to support him, then don't. But there are people out there who will continue to see his shows, listen to his music, just plain think he's hot and have sexual fantasies about him...and that's their business.

Just as another example - Michael Vicks. You want to talk about violence, the man has it in spades! And in a field where violence and aggression are encouraged! What he did was horrific. I certainly won't support the Eagles while he's on the team (and I LIVE in Philadelphia), but that doesn't mean that the man doesn't deserve to earn his living. It might make you feel better if he were living on the street and begging for spare change, but that's not justice, that's vengeance. The man served his sentence, he's forbidden to ever own a dog or go near one again. There has to be life after the sentence.

Where does this leave you, my fellow human beings? You have a choice about what you consume and what you support. So, look through your iPod and your sporting events. Did you watch the Grammys? A bunch of you did, because there were record viewing figures for 2012. If you chose to watch and help with those viewing figures, then you have contributed to Chris Brown appearing on the Grammys for a long time to come. Your lips may say one thing, but your actions told the producers that Chris Brown is a commercial draw for their show.

So, rather than complaining about how Chris Brown essentially has no right to make his living in his field, perhaps those of us who continue to be disturbed, should focus on educating each other and our children about why Chris Brown's actions are horrific enough that, despite his undeniable talent in his field, we will not support him.

Or, you can trust that the justice system worked, and maybe, JUST maybe, Brown has been rehabilitated enough that this kind of abuse will never happen again. From what I know of abuse cycles, I doubt it, but that's the hope of the current system as it stands.

But, either way, Brown has the right to earn his living. And screaming at people who disagree with you about why they're horrible people who deserve to be raped and abused is, just perhaps, abusive also?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/14/living/chris-brown-response-tweets/index.html?hpt=hp_c2
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A Collection Of Rants

1.) Dear Wells Fargo,

 Fuck you very much. It was so thoughtful of you to reduce what kind of sales opportunities we get while at the same time pushing up our goals. Clearly I had too much time that was spent with my thumb up my ass at work and need you to make my job more challenging! You have shown me the light and I will spend all of my work hours scheming about how I can take an already limited customer base and squeeze every last drop of profit out of them for your greater glory. Not mine, of course. Because, of course, the goals that you give me we're paid beans for and then told to scramble after "our money," half of whic will go down the drain in taxes. Damn human rights and Christianity took away gladiator sports, but you still get the same thrill out of watching ants scramble for a few extra hundred dollars. If they're lucky, then the incentive will be more than their paycheck!

2.) Dear My Direct Supervisor,

 Coming to work sick as a dog does not show dedication. Coming to work when you're infectious shows a distinct lack of respect toward both your peers and your customers, who are now at risk of infection. This results in a weakened workforce for you to manage and lost productivity when we inevitably start calling out because we feel like our eyes are about to explode.

 Next time, please don't ask the person who came in sick if she'd like to go home and then praise her when she doesn't. I know the employee. She didn't come in because she's dedicated. She came because you helped stick us with some fucking insane goals that she now HAS to meet and she knew that missing an entire day's worth of production would hurt her when she did come back. Also? She's not paid nearly enough and her daughter had to drop her off, so she didn't have a ride home until about 2pm, when she finally did the smart thing and went home. In the future, the response that puts your team and your customers (as well as your sales numbers) as your number one priority ought to be, "Go home this instant and let us know when you feel better."

3.) Dear Customers Who Think They're Riding Occupy,

 While I do work at a big bank, my sympathies do actually lie with the Occupy movement. Still, it's a job, and I think most people understand the need to have a job, even if it's not the most ideal thing in the world. If you have an account at a credit union, I encourage you to use it!

However! If you are coming into my workplace to cash your check because "it's drawn on this bank," and then AGREE to pay a fee to cash it, you are fucking stupid. You have lost all the credibility that you thought you bought when you started bragging about your credit union. Why is that, you ask? It's just $5, or $7.50 or sometimes even $10! It's cheaper than a check cashing place and my credit union will take days to clear it!

Do you know why? Because the majority of deposit accounts opened by a bank LOSE MONEY. Your little checking account is actually COSTING THE BANK MONEY TO MAINTAIN. So, bundle your checking and savings accounts together, or get your direct deposit. Now you're not paying fees. The bank is losing money. But let's say you're a decently middle class citizen who is keeping money in the bank and the bank likes you enough that you've never had to worry about a fee. Do you know how much profit the bank makes off of that customer? Roughly between $30-50 a year.

But you, my lovely little check cashers, who think you're sticking it to the bank when you refuse to open an account and roll your eyes when you pay your "small" fee to ACCESS YOUR OWN MONEY. Do you know how much you're paying a year? Let's do a little math. The fee is, on average, $7.50. If you get paid bi-weekly, that's 26 checks a year.

7.50 x 26 = 195.

Congratulations! I'm so glad you didn't give your business to the big, consumer banks! They ONLY made nearly $200 in profit off of you this year. This is compared to if you opened an account, which, if you kept money in it would net them maybe $50 in profit a year. If you used it as a storage place until you withdrew the money from your account, you would be COSTING the bank money.  I'm so glad that the savings you get from the credit union from their "free checking," (by the way, credit unions aren't free. Their fees are structured differently. Lose a debit card or visit an out of network ATM and soon you'll see some very familiar fees popping up), and the interest rates on their savings accounts and CD's are being spent so wisely!

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo is laughing all the way to the bank.
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New Year's Resolutions

So...2011, in retrospect, sucked. I've been stuck at a crappy, dead end job in BANKING of all things. I've pushed music aside and decided to focus on photography, which is both exciting, because I do love photography, but also really sad because I've thought I wanted to be an opera singer since I was nine years old. So, here are my goals for 2012.

1.) Keep in better contact with my family. This Christmas sucked, but it made me realize that there are some major issues with my mother that she's been trying to pass on to me about my family. The time has come to stop letting her tint my vision and try to see my family with both all of it's flaws and all of it's virtues. Which means that my aunt is still a manipulative, thoughtless, bitch. But she's also good in a crisis and is one of my grandfather's caretakers. My uncle is a crazy bastard with a temper, but he also does genuinely care and he's taking care of the day to day care of my grandfather. Whereas my mother lives in New Jersey, but wants to paint herself as the only child who cares altruistically about Grandpa, despite the fact that she's borrowed just as much money and time from my grandparents over her lifetime as her siblings. She's also determined to throw away her marriage and her family now that she's lost 100 pounds, claiming that she's finally becoming the person she truly is.

It was incredibly sad to realize this, but if my mother is a judgmental, manipulative, competitive bitch, then while I can love her and respect her to a certain degree, I can no longer admire her. And I don't intend to let her color my judgment anymore. She is no longer someone to go to for advice or support. I learned that lesson the hard way, after I went to her for support a few days ago and she turned my love and care and attention for my grandfather into a competition with her own attention to him. And that crossed a line. So, 2012 is the year where I intend to separate myself and my mother, while trying to keep in better contact with my stepfather and brothers. Even if my mother decides to kill her marriage, I will do my best to hold the rest of my family together. We have our own bonds of love and shared history that don't rely on her.

2.) Stop eating out! It's bad for me financially and bad for my health. I refuse to make a resolution like "lose weight" or "go to the gym," but I'm going to work on preparing more of my meals at home and just being physically more active. This doesn't mean that I will never eat out (I enjoy it and there are plenty of restaurants around that are worth experiencing in the area) but
the majority of my meals need to be made at home.

3.) I'm diverting my paycheck into our joint savings account. We need to budget better because GUESS WHAT?! We're going to have to buy a car! And I'm not interested in buying a $2,000 broken down lemon that will die after two years anyway. We'll buy used, but I want something that we'll be able to have for awhile.

4.) Keep paying down student debt.

5.) Take the GRE's and apply to grad schools. I'd like to be in a Master's program for Visual Arts (and maybe Music too) by January 2013.

6.) Quit my job by July 20th. Maybe sooner, if I can swing the finances. If there's one thing 2011 taught me, it's that I hate working in banking.