Monday, April 19, 2010

Rant - Fox News and the Unemployed

Its been very hard for me since I was downsized and to hear these so called experts on Fox News business block declaring "Why would people want to find a job when the government keeps extending unemployment" in some states up to 99 weeks. I'll tell you something, most people that watch Fox are hard working people and you forgot that. Those people, myself included, want to work. We spend hours and hours looking for work to the point that some of us are now starting our own business and others going back to school. I am streaming angry at that comment on Fox as if all the unemployed are lazy and looking to get something free from the government.

Personally, I am highly skilled, but in this environment I am see jobs that only required a BA or BS now requiring a MS. Companies know that there are a lot of people looking. So they only want the best (understandably) but they are now requiring skills that they never before had and when things do get better these people that are in these jobs with these great skills and education will jump ship for better pay when things get better. These companies are looking for the best buy paying for mediocre. I've heard some jobs getting 700 applications. A collegue just posted on craigslist and he got 150 resumes the first day (Friday). This job was for an industrial drafter / designer. He got architects sending in resumes. He had 200 resumes by Monday. I talked with him and he said the reason he didn't call me about the job was he didn't want to insult me working at a job I did 10+ years ago. I said I need to work for my dignity and my sanity. Fox News doesn't get that. They think everyone is out to take it easy and get whatever they can for free.

When I posted on Facebook I was a little more colorful in my verbiage, maybe not elegant, but you know their comment showed a lack of intelligence and a lack of understanding. I still have a lot of fight in me, and when someone tries to say I am a leach on society that fight becomes pin point focused to defend my dignity. Some say "Why waste it on Fox?" Its not a waste, this is a way for me to feel like I am still contributing just not in the same way I was.

Way to go Fox News Business block - insult the unemployed that watch your show. Fair and balanced - not in that segment.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ms. Dixie Carter

The world has lost an amazing women.

Ms. Carter had what we know as, style and poise and yet was sassy and very intelligent. She was the personification of elegance. Elegance is hard to define and hard to develop, but when we see it we know what "it" is.

Thankfully, I did get to meet Ms. Carter at a book signing. She was so generous with her time. There was a group of us girls that 'hung out' after our books were signed. She would joke with us and talk with us and when she was about to get ready to go she said "I have to give you girls a name ... The Loyal Girls" Since we stayed for almost the whole book signing.

It was such a memorable day. I forgot my camera, my loving husband went and purchase a disposable camera just for the event. Disposals at the time were rather expensive, it cost us what I made in one hour of work. But he thought it was important and money didn't matter. When I got up to talk to her I showed her my sapphire ring my husband got for me because he knew how much I liked the one she wore, it looked like the one she wore on Designing Women. She looked to my husband and said "What a great man". Then she told me her ring had been stolen. I love wearing that ring for the memories of when and why my husband got it for me and for that moment with Ms. Carter.

When I started to write my book and start this blog, Ms. Carter was foremost in my mind. I keep her book and the pictures taken at the book signing in my desk drawer. I was hoping to have gotten my book completed and dedicated and sent to her to thank her. As a young lady I knew that I wanted to grow into a women like Ms. Carter.

Her portrayal of Julia Sugerbaker was my 'hero' growing up. Sad to say I haven't seen anything she has done in the last 5 years. Thanks to on demand and DVD's I can rectify that problem.

As Julia Sugarbarker, I learned I could be successful, beautiful, loving and strong. You didn't have to choice one over the other. You could be it all. You could be kind to people but then when some one tried to take advantage of you you could take care of yourself being strong. I just loved it when she got to her limit she would let loose the best verbal lashing. I remember the one that dealt with AIDS and the "holier then thou" people. She brought that character back to reality pointing out that that womens behavior was no way Christ like and there is no room to make judgements on others, since we all sin.

The other tongue lashing Ms. Sugarbaker gave that still fits today and should replayed daily was when her design studio was to be featured in a magazine and they were taking pictures of all the women, but they wanted to "sex" them up. When Julia was told to straddle a chair and suck on pearls, the words of war came out. Being a professional women she didn't need to suck the pearls or sit in a chair in a way it was never designed for. Ms. Carter was the only person that could have pulled off Ms. Sugarbaker.

Looking around the women on TV now, it is a long hard look to find someone with even a gleam of what Ms. Carter had. The women we see now lack dignity and self possession. They do whatever they have to to get attention even if it makes them look like a fool or a street walker. Other women we see think its just perfect for them to treat those around them as nothing more then a commodity. They have no idea how to be kind. They have a whole wrong idea of what a Princess is. Ms. Carter knew what being a real royal was.

We have lost a great women. But her spirit will live in our memories and in our modern age we have the internet with all the pages of her.

We will miss you, greatly.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exiting a Car

Its great fun to read Perez Hilton. Lately, there have been a few post of celebrities getting out of cars giving the pappo's a "great" shot. This is a really problem for a lot of celebrities. Let us learn from their mistakes.

Getting out of a car wearing a skirt / dress is different then when in jeans. I've seen posts telling women how to get out of a car. I am pretty sure no women needs to be told to duck when she is exiting and there is no "lead leg".

The whole issue is really your feet. Your feet should touch the ground at the same time. One item to note, its much easier to exit a car with leather seats then fabric.

The whole point after the door is opened for you or you open the door, turn you body in the seat toward you direction of travel. Keeping you knees together swing both legs out of the car and place both feet on the ground. Then everyone gets to check out your shoes! With both feet firmly on the ground and not in a puddle, take the hand, if one has been offered, if not push forward (this depends on you leg and butt strength) with the arms into a standing position.

Entering a car is about the same. Your butt is the first thing in the car onto the seat, knees together and draw the feet in to place on the floor board.

This is such a graceful way of entering and exiting a car and its a very beautiful dance. Your shoes and legs are then are on display and not your underwear.

Yes, this same 'dance' can be performed in and out of a limo. Just because you have more room to exit doesn't mean you need to use it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rant - Target (rather long post - very annoyed)

I used to love Target, but now not so much. I believe they are taking advantage of this recession.

When I first started shopping at Target in my small town it was a great alternative to Walmart (dont get me started on Walmart and how they are single handedly killing elegance for cheap and yes I mean cheap products and averageness). Target was modern, updated and may I say cool stuff for a decent price. They even were noted, years ago, to have a Polo shirt that lasted as well as ones costing 4x's as much.

But now they have lost that edge. Yes, they have new designers for clothing and house wares to keep that "coolness' factor. But walking thru the clothing section, the items look cheap! Badly made and wrinkled. Which shows they dont care they just want the money.

This might be just the Target's in my area but they are a mess. Shoes in the aisle's, shirts unfolded and thrown into a pile on the display table. That is just the beginning. Why does Target have that horrible throw back to K-mart 20 years ago with that "food court" at the entrance. Retailers know scents in the air have a very strong effect on sales. The only effect walking into Target gives me is with that odor is to "yack".

One of the prime ideas of elegance has nothing to do with money. Its has to deal with quality. The better the quality the less you need and the longer you can have an item. You buy a great coat made well cut in classic pattern you'll have it a long time. Target's fashion approach is cheap. That you'll buy accent pieces to update your wardrobe know full well that the items they are selling will not last more then one season. That is not eco-friendly for sure. What good is it to buy that cute dress that you can only wear one season, that costs you the same as a dress at the mall? Plus the cut of their designers is only for one body type.

Next all of the Target brand products. I will never buy Target brand products. They are so badly made to use them takes twice as much product then a national brand.

On top of that, the selection has fallen off to 3 competing brands. If you want something "out of the ordinary" forget it. I went looking for canning items - they dont exist at Target. Need rock salt for the ice maker you purchased at Target, you're out of luck. Then when looking for an item they do carry good luck, because I've been in B level targets that had empty shelves most of the time!

Dont bother complaining to Target corporate or even the store manager. They will defend their bad behavior. What else are we to expect? HUM - look into it. But then again why - people are in need of products that cost less. So they have them coming in why give quality?

Seems Target see's the recession as a way to cut quality, cut inventory and cut selection. As a consumer all I can do is cut Target out of my list of acceptable shopping stores.

I havn't sent foot in a Walmart for YEARS. Doing the same to Target isn't going to be a problem since I have local stores that have the same type of product at the same price in a cleaner environment.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Turn

O. K. this blog isn't going in the direction I really wanted it to go.

I wanted it to shine a light on what is elegant and what is not, how to add a bit of beauty into your everyday life with a touch of humor. I haven't achieved this. When I reread my blogs I really am missing the humor. Brooks adds humor, but not me. So I am very annoyed with my communication skills right now. Plus, I am thinking I should share more about my daily life. I will still comment on the crazy things I see and save some of the other points for the book I'm writing.

Actually, the book I was writing. I stopped writing it when I went back to proofread and I realized I was bored reading it and it sounds more like a nagging, stuffy auntie. The book is still sitting in the computer folder (aka. shelf). The blog is more of my testing grounds.

Writing a book has been a dream of mine but when I started the proofreading it was horrible. Who knew books were that hard to write - every author in the world I'm sure.

I don't make a living writing (don't quit your day job) but being laid off I now have all kinds of time. But the emotional dealings of being laid off has made me feel very inelegant. So writing the book has been put on hold.

When I was laid off I never realized how much of a toll it would take on my psyche. I really don't "feel" the book like I did. I now am much more focused on going to school for my MBA and starting a new business, plus looking for a full time job. Now more then ever I believe I need beauty and elegance in my life but even more then that is humor.

Well that is where I am. That is where this blog is. I am going to address more of my "fight" with these negative emotions that are stealing my elegance and humor.

Living Freely

Just heard a saying from a German:
"Once your reputation is ruined you can live quiet freely."

To bad you feel you have to ruin the reputation to live freely. Isn't living freely what most people are striving for?

Live freely, but remember everyone else also has the right to live freely.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Has Hollywood been playing a joke on us?

Its April fools day, I think Hollywood has been playing a joke on us for more then a year with the programming they have been handing out.

I remember reading years ago a quote from Coco Chanel saying something like "bad style is better then no style". I think Hollywood has taken this to the extreme.

The style network needs to remember "Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity."

Three paragraphs into this blog your probably saying "Astor, what's the point!"

The point is - this obsession people are having with Jersey. Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious to be specific.

It's like passing a car wreck on the interstate and the traffic slows down to take a look. These show are car wrecks. The people that are on these shows are car wrecks. I've never seen
an episode Jersey Shore, but you cant avoid "seeing" what the show is about from other "news" programs - but I remember going to the Jersey shore as a young girl and I remember those people and I really wondered what planet these fouls were from. Well now Hollywood has answered that. I have seen Jerseylicious, and yes I knew women like this when I lived (no not in Jersey) but on the East Coast.

Why is the lowest common denominator what people want to see? I bet its so they can say "My life isn't that bad" " I wouldn't ever act like that" " What is wrong with these people" (that is my common comment). But you have to wonder why these people are on these shows. Are they that desperate to be on TV and be a D-lister that they will be the court jester?

A few more quotes from Chanel for these girls to think about:

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

Fashion is made to become unfashionable.

True generosity means accepting ingratitude.

Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.