News Highlights

There’s been quite a lot in the news lately that I’ve been reading about and so I figured I’d post my opinions/responses to some of them.

1 – Miley’s VMA Performance.  I’m going to start off by saying that I have never liked Miley Cyrus even in her Hannah Montana days.  I just don’t think she can sing.  She has maybe 2 songs that I can tolerate at best.  Her voice just grates on me and never seems quite in tune.  I chose not to watch the VMAs, forgot they were on actually, because I just really never find awards shows to be that interesting.  I need not watch it anyway as Mon. morning Facebook was flooded with pictures, videos and plenty of commentary to fill me in within a matter of minutes.  Of course I subjected myself to watching a clip of what was supposed to be considered “performing” by Miley and quickly wished I hadn’t.  I get it, she wants to break her Disney mold, show the world that she’s grown up and can be “sexy” too but seriously, find a hotter, classier way to do it.  The only word that can accurately describe her antics on stage is raunchy.  I have seen plenty of performances by Britney, Beyonce, Madonna, etc. that pushed the limits of what’s acceptable on TV and was never disgusted.  If you’re hot and you can tastefully display it in creative ways then I say go for it.  Miley, however, is far from what I’d deem hot and if she has retained many fans after that little demonstration of hers I’d be surprised.

2 – Syria.  This is very much a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for both the US and President Obama.  If we go to war with Syria we risk another Middle Eastern conflict that could drag out for years, cost taxpayers even more, dig a bigger debt hole, risk military lives, and ultimately may not resolve the issue anyway.  If we don’t react and instead make Syria fend for itself we risk looking heartless as well as cowardly for not following through on the promise to do something if “the red line was crossed.”  I personally envy Canada in these situations.  They never seem to be expected to do anything other than just go about their business.  While the loss of lives in an especially gruesome manner is a tragic thing, the US has enough of its own issues to resolve.  I vote leave Syria alone.

3 – 14 year old raped and later commits suicide.  When I read this story online and later heard it on the radio I was just stunned.  What judge in their right mind thinks they can honestly say that a girl does not seem to be her “chronological age”.  He might as well have just come out and said that the teacher had the right to have sex with her.  No, it wasn’t forcible rape, but it’s clearly stated in the law that a 14 year old cannot consent to sex.  How that teacher got away with only 30 days in jail is beyond me.  The justice system really never seems to function correctly, and I can only hope that I’m never put in a situation where I have to rely on it.

 

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Elysium Review

I finally got to go see Elysium yesterday and while I got it for matinee pricing, I most certainly would have paid full price to see it.  I will admit the major draw upon seeing the trailer was Matt Damon shirtless, but the storyline seemed rather unique as well.

For those who haven’t seen the trailer, the basic concept is that the rich no longer live on earth but on their own world known as Elysium.  It’s basically a paradise in which any ailment (broken bone all the way up to cancer) can be cured through a medical pod.  Earth has become as dire as a third world country with many people doing everything they can to try to find a way to Elysium. 

The movie was non-stop action without the typical “blow something up every 5 minutes to keep people’s attention” kind of action (though I watch some of those movies too for the record).  There were only a few of what I’d call truly main characters, but they definitely played their roles well.  Jodie Foster plays the Secretary of Defense on Elysium and she’s hardcore dominating, and Sharlto Copley (had to look up his name because I didn’t know who he was) plays her henchman of sorts on Earth who is as ruthless as they come.  He succeeds in making the character come across as totally heartless.  I can’t really describe Matt Damon’s character too much without feeling as though I’ll give away movie details, but I really liked his character overall (and not just for the sexy body though I won’t complain about that).  His friend Julio, played by Diego Luna, was also a very likeable character.

While plenty of message board posts on IMDB are political, arguing the movie pushes universal healthcare and/or immigration, I tend to go to movies just to enjoy the movie.  I will say, however, that it did get me thinking that if the rich had the means to create life-like robots to do everything for them, that Earth could very well end up looking as it does in the movie.

Breaking My Vacation Tradition

This is the first summer since I was born that I have not gone on vacation to Ocean City MD.  I’ve always been a traditionalist, but I don’t think I realized how much of one I was til this week began and my parents, sister and her boyfriend headed south.  Two years ago my boyfriend Jason and I went there without my family as it was the only time we could manage a vacation together, and even though it was odd not going with them then in Aug., I still went and therefore kept with tradition. 

The reason I’m not going this year is twofold.  One, my boyfriend and I are taking our first cruise in Nov. thus that is our main vacation.  Two, even though I have vacation time that I could’ve went with my family this week, I had gotten promoted to a new position at work in the spring and am still in training and did not want to miss any of it.

I think part of my sensitivity is coming from the fact that I haven’t seen my family since mid-July and won’t be seeing them again til the end of the month.  Since moving almost 3 hours away from them in 2011, I have never gone more than probably 4 weeks at most without seeing them.  I don’t understand how people can move states away from their family and not get homesick at times.  I guess if you don’t like your family then it’s a blessing, but I’ve actually found my relationships with my family to have improved with creating some distance because it makes me more excited to see them when I’m able to.

Jason is a big fan of seeing new places and doing new things, and can’t understand why my family would want to go on vacation to the same place year after year.  Part of the reason is financial; we never had money to go to lavish places (though we did manage to go to Disney World when I was in 5th grade), and the other part is just that we love Ocean City.  I know a lot of people prefer places like the Outer Banks where you can rent a house and have a section of the beach almost entirely to yourselves.  Growing up in a fairly rural area though, the hustle and bustle of Ocean City as a town coupled with its boardwalk was always more appealing to me.  There was more to see and do that way. 

I am hoping next year that even if I don’t end up vacationing in Ocean City that I will be able to have my family along on at least one vacation.  Jason and I have discussed various places to visit already… Las Vegas, Boston, Canada, but I figure we should wait til we get this year’s vacation finished before we plan the next one. 

I am very much looking forward to the cruise; having all you can eat food and lots of entertainment is appealing plus seeing Caribbean waters when I’ve only ever seen gray waters is going to be exciting.  While my tradition of going to Ocean City may have been broken, I refuse to break the tradition to going to a beach every year.  There is just something mesmerizing about the ocean that I feel that I need to see and touch even if it’s only once a year.  In the meantime I will simply get jealous over everyone’s summer beach photos on Facebook while counting down the days til I get to enjoy the sand and sun myself!

Who You Know

I was thinking about this the other day, and the topic came up during lunch at work as well, and that is most jobs people obtain are often by knowing someone.  The importance of networking is emphasized both in college and as a career skill, but I’ve come to believe that’s because it is more of a necessity to obtaining a job than anything else. 

As a teen in high school I found it very difficult to find my first part time job at age 16.  I applied to the typical places, ice cream shops, movie store, etc. but never even got an interview.  It wasn’t until a teller at the bank my dad went to suggested I apply at the restaurant she worked at that I actually obtained a job.  It was a meager start; I only worked 4 hour breakfast shifts on Saturdays which resulted in very small tips since breakfast is the cheapest meal to buy.  It at least provided me something to list on my future job applications though. 

My senior year I got a positions as a sales associate at Kohls.  I’m sure having worked a job before helped, but I also had a friend who worked there as did his mom.  Having their names as references most likely got me the job.  I quit when I left to go away to college, but since I transferred back to a school close to home after a year, I found myself in need of a job once more.  I applied for another retail position and landed a sales associate job.  This is the only job I can honestly say I knew no one working there and actually believed that my personality, skills and prior experience counted for something.  I got promoted to an assistant manager, but in time found I needed a job that would be more flexible with my school hours and internship.  I applied to the grocery store that my sister and boyfriend at the time worked at.  I’m sure having a solid background in customer service and retail helped, but my actual interview for the customer service desk position basically consisted of the front end manager saying something to the effect of “Well Kasey and Jordan are great workers, so I’m sure you will be too.” 

After graduating college I applied to a variety of positions in my field, but even with 2 internships on my resume I did not land a single interview for nearly a year.  I had a few interviews, one of which was for my dream job of being the high school athletic director at my alma matter.  Sadly, yet again who you know mattered more than anything else as the person who obtained the position was someone everyone knew in advance would be offered it. 

When I moved to my current location I simply transferred grocery store locations within the same chain I was working for which was lucky for me.  Still, I wasn’t satisfied to stay there, so I applied for a position within a bank call center.  My boyfriend’s brother worked there so once more I had another connection that I can say most likely sealed the deal on me obtaining the job.  I have gotten promoted since being there which I’m glad to say was through my own hard work and dedication. 

Many people including some of my own family members and friends have said the same thing; they obtained their jobs through knowing someone who already worked there.  It was written about in our local Sunday paper the other week how school districts in this area rarely advertise positions, but rather rotate the school board members’ ability to pick who obtains the job.

This saddens me to know though that you have to “have an in” to get a job in most places, even if it’s just a teen summer job.  It kind of voids the idea of working and studying hard to get where you want to be in life.  I suppose it explains though why there seem to be so many incompetent people working in jobs that you wonder how they ever obtained.