Ghost Stories: Part 1

I used to be a fan of the show Ghost Hunters. Then it turned into America’s Got Talent: The Dead Do Tricks. Every episode you’d see footage of spirits dancing and moving things on cue, as though they knew they were being recorded. It was all a bit too strings on a skeleton for me.

Also, I personally happen to know that it doesn’t work like that. You don’t just say “show yourself!” and then they launch a glass at you or knock a bookshelf over. No. They do things when you don’t think they will or before you even know ghosts are a thing.

As a kid, my favorite thing to do was have sleepovers at my cousin’s house. She lived next door with my aunt, uncle, 2 brothers and our grandmother and no matter how much time I spent over there, it was never enough. Birthdays and Christmastime were particular favorites as we would combine our new toys and stay up until all hours playing with them.

The first time we realized our grandma’s house was haunted, we were in bed playing the obnoxious board game Don’t Wake Daddy. At some point during the night, we thought we’d failed the game and real life when we heard footsteps walking down the hallway. Like any little kid, we laid down as quick as we could and pretended to be asleep. The footsteps made it all the way to our grandma’s room (right across from us) and stopped.

Naturally, we assumed it was our grandma so as soon as we no longer heard the footsteps, we put the game up and decided to go to bed. When you’re Mexican, waking grandma is WAY scarier than waking dad.

The next morning, we joined my aunt and grandma for breakfast and because little kids can’t keep their mouth shut, we told them both about the footsteps we heard.

My grandma laughed. “That wasn’t me, that was your great, great grandmother.”

She then went on to tell us that her grandmother had passed away in the home but never really left. Apparently, when my cousin was younger (like infantile), she used to sit in the corner of her room, looking up and just talk for hours. My cousin’s room was the room our great, great grandma had passed away in.

Then my aunt chimed in. A couple of years prior to our encounter, my aunt had had her own. She’d been in the bathroom (the house only had one and it was in the hallway) getting ready for work when, in the mirror, she could see someone walk from my cousin’s room into her room (which was right next to my cousins).

It happened very quick and based on the frame of the person she assumed it was our grandma just looking for something. She finished getting dressed and left as she was running late, but when she got home she checked-in with our grandma to see if she needed anything.

Of course, our grandma didn’t know what she was talking about.

My aunt: “yes, I saw you walk into my room so I thought you needed something.”

Grandma: “was the person you saw wearing a blue sweater?”

Yeah, it was great, great grandma.

Our grandma said it was nothing to be scared of.

You know what doesn’t help little kids quit being scared? Telling them there’s nothing to be scared of.

We’d seen enough horror movies to know how ghosts works. It would be a while before we’d have another encounter except the next time, we were grown ups living in a house that we, unfortunately, didn’t know who was haunting it.

Ghost Stories: Part 2 coming next week.

Photo: falconrest.com

Internet Airball #1: “I’m Your Content Calendar for Your Online Coaching Business, and I’m Going on Strike”

There are some jobs that I just have a hard time taking serious. That’s not to say I’m right, you understand. For a long time I refused to accept Social Media Manager as a vocation, and now it’s how I pay the bills. 

But then there are times that I am right, like when people who sell make-up online (and try to get you to sell make-up online) call themselves “business owners”. They are not. That is not a real job. That is a pyramid scheme. You can call it an MLM, but MLM stands for pyramid scheme. Sorry. I don’t make the rules of how things work.

In addition to being blissfully incorrect about their employment status, they are also still living in 2019. Pyramid schemes are so yesteryear. In 2020, the new thing is being a Life Coach. In a time where we’ve all discovered that nothing is manageable, a select few have decided that your life is and they’re the ones to manage it for you. You know what they say: those who can’t do, teach. Heehee.

The worst part is this “job” is starting to get recognized as an acutal thing. For real. Here’s my proof.

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You see! Life Coach. And they’re all over the place. Everyone is an expert on life management now. For $499 a month your life can suck a little less, as claimed by someone whose life you only know from Instagram. It’s maddening because, essentially, you’re just paying for validation for your actions, and you don’t need that – you’re an adult. We became adults so we can eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we want and no one but our low self-esteem can make us feel bad about it.  

Obviously, I am not a fan of this term or “job”. And I don’t think I’m alone, which got me thinking: “maybe the content calendars that these people use hate them, too.” Which led me to write this piece from the brain of the content calendar. It’s also my first rejected piece! Enjoy!


I’m Your “Online Coaching Business” Content Calendar, and I’m Going on Strike

Hi, it’s me! The trendy $9.99/month content calendar you had to have to make your “online coaching business” a “success”.

Not today.

Today, I’m making like an Excel Spreadsheet and shutting shit down – I’m going on strike. 

I can’t take it anymore. The inspirational quotes that you steal from memes; the lists of happy things and not-happy things; the stories about how you used to be a loser like your followers but now you’re better and for $300 a month they can be too, accompanied by a joker-esque photo of you grinning maniacally. 

Every week I’m roped into helping you make people think you can turn them into “rockstars”. How does someone deciding to eat ice cream on a Tuesday make them a “rockstar”? I’m sorry but I don’t recall Bohemian Rhapsody being about Freddy Mercury’s fearless consumption of Ben and Jerry’s.  

And the questions. My god, the questions. “Do you have trouble with time management?” “Do you find making decisions to be hard?” “Are you tired of wannabe influencers telling you what you ‘should’ do?”

Yes, I am. So today, you’re “life coaching” on your own.

Life coach. Back in the day, you had to have some sort of education and/or training to be able to tell someone how to run their life. Now all you need is a Brené Brown book, a trust fund, and a content calendar and BAM!, you’re a life coach.

Except for today. Today – UH OH! – your digital memory is experiencing technical difficulties. Best of luck “deciding” what to post because you can’t remember what you told me. Hope you can remember those time management skills you keep bragging about because today, YOU’LL be posting at different times for all 13 of your platforms.

Maybe I’ll work tomorrow. I haven’t decided yet. Or, maybe you should upgrade to the $19.99/month plan that comes with more storage so you never push me to the limit and risk me “crashing” again. I mean, according to Thursday’s post, we could all use a little more bandwidth.

“I’m Right On Top of That, Rose!”

“Sometimes in life, you gotta eat a lotta shit.” No wait, this one’s better: “Life is just one all-you-can-eat shit show.” I’m on a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel kick and I couldn’t have started watching this show at a better time.

Being an adult right now is terrible. Nothing at all like what I imagined, which was me rich and famous living in a mansion but still 12-years-old for some reason. Instead, I’m about to be 37, diving face-first into my plate of shit like it’s a pie-eating contest.

I’ve quit working for myself; I couldn’t do it anymore. I’m not a bad boss but I am bad at doing stuff I don’t want to do (like any good employee) so every day at “work” was like the eternal struggle between good and evil at my own desk. It’s a real bummer because working from home/for myself has been a dream of mine since I was 17. It all started when I worked at the movie theater and had to work on Easter, which meant I couldn’t hang out with my one friend. That was bullshit. I vowed to one day not work a real job.

Back then it was because I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. Now, well, it’s still because I want to do whatever I want to do but the thing I want to do most is to write things I want to write as well as write for all 13 of you. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happened. I got too busy writing content for three clients, each in different fields. One I know a ton about but the other two I know dick-all.

One is a pest control guy. The few things I know about insects are 1) NO ONE will EVER be able to get rid of all the mosquitos, 2) I discovered I wasn’t allergic to wasps when I got stung by one last summer, and, 3) thanks to my parents, I’m terrified of spiders because they made me watch Arachnophobia when I was 9 and to this day I can’t eat popcorn in handfuls because I’m convinced there’s one hiding in my bowl, just waiting for me to let my guard down.

The other client is a water treatment company. I know we need water to survive but I also know there’s a crap ton of places to get it, which isn’t a good PR campaign when you’re trying to push home reverse osmosis systems.

I’m sure I could make this work but it would be at the expense of my writing, and I’ve already wasted enough time writing about things that are about as funny as the office job I’ve since taken:

I’m doing marketing and admin work for a company that helps elderly people file for Medicaid. So far my favorite conversation with a potential client has been “I’m calling about the Medicaid eligibility form you filled out” and their response was “I did?” My plan was to find an office job (temporarily until I can get paid bill money to entertain you full time) that I could transform into the job I had a few years ago where I really only did actual work 2 days a week and read and wrote the rest of the time. As I write this, my boss is in a training so it’s working out so far.

But this is where I’m at. Back to square one. Doing what I have until I can do what I want to. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

First, I’ve completely forgotten how to be an employee (for a real business) and work in an office. You know they want me to help clean? Like I have to throw my own trash out. Does anyone else have to do this? Additionally, my “boss” tried to change my start time to 8:30AM. Originally we agreed on 9AM and then on my first day he tried pulling the ol’ switcharoo. I told him no, explaining I would not cut into my CrossFit time. He gave me a shaky “ok”. Who does he think he is?

It gets worse.

The diva attitude I developed while “running my own business” appears to be permanent. When he showed me to my desk I took one look at the computer and said “that’s not a Mac.” He set me up with an HP. I didn’t even know those still existed. He doubled-down on the subpar electronics by throwing in a laptop. Not a MacBook. A laptop. It’s an ASUS VivoBook, whatever the fuck that is. And by now you should know that my brain doesn’t see ASUS, it sees another word – one that adequately depicts the picture that I’ve painted for myself.

The other thing I’ve learned is nothing is supposed to be like anything. Failure is totally an option; there’s even a book about it. It’s called Failure Is An Option by H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Archer and Bob from Bob’s Burgers. Everyone should read it, mainly because it’s hilarious. Anyway, failure is fine. I thought leaving my job where I had an abundance of time to read and write for a content writing position would be the answer for me, but it wasn’t.

I thought taking that experience and turning it into freelance marketing/content writing gigs would be the answer, but it wasn’t. For me, I need a job where I only have to think about one thing so that my brain is free to come up with anus jokes and figure out ways to write about the things I want to (like books and movies and things that make people forget about the shit for a minute). Does working a real job suck? Yeah, kind of. I have to get dressed every day. I can’t wear flip flops. I have to drive somewhere. I only get an hour for lunch like I’m in prison. But I’m writing this from the office so it’s not a total let down.

The point is, it doesn’t matter how you reach your goal. What matters is, if you want it bad enough, you keep figuring it out. Sometimes things come easier for some than they do for others. Since I was a kid I’ve learned things the hard way. Fortunately, that makes for better stories.

Next week I’ll go into detail about how I royally fucked everything up. For now, I need to finish writing about the time I stalked the white Power Ranger so I can post that story on Friday, AKA National Power Rangers Day. I’m supposed to be working on my boss’s website but that can wait. He’s only been in business a year, I was in business for a year and a half. I think I know what I’m doing.

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