Tag Archives: Career

Tip #118: Don’t think for a second that I will EVER wear destitute pirate pants

WP_20150123_18_17_42_ProLet’s try something different. Rather than respond to a diary entry, I’m going to analyze pictures that I drew in third grade. Now that I have my own house, my parents are making me clean out their basement, where we’ve stored all of my beloved childhood memories. Most have gone into the donate or toss piles, but some items are keepers. One box I discovered was full of my old school work; thousands of hours wasted and now transformed into musty recycled scraps. But one item that I found amusing was an assignment where I had to imagine myself in 20 years. I was 9 when I drew these, meaning that I am supposed to be 29 in these little pieces of art. Since I have one month left in my 29th year, I figured I should weigh in as to whether these are correct (spoiler alert: NO! Just no).


Future Me

Future Me

What I really look like

What I really look like

General Appearance. First, what’s up with my PANTS??!?! Am I supposed to be some sort of destitute pirate? And that top with an ugly daisy and blue fur cuffs? Thank GOD this isn’t a style. Not yet at least. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this outfit. But more disturbing is that my hair is Little-Mermaid-red (I guess I could dye it, but not that color!) and that I have a hideous perm. And what’s up with that mole? Did I grow one? Or did I draw it on? Oh, I know; probably a zit.


Future occupation

Future occupation

Me at my real occupation

Me at my real occupation

Occupation. I don’t want this to come off as an insult to waitresses, but I have never been, nor will I ever be, a waitress. I don’t know why this was my dream job; aside from this (apparently), I’ve never considered waitressing for my occupation. It seems like such hard work! Being on your feet all day, remembering orders, fulfilling the requests of rude patrons, resisting the urge to spit in people’s food. Yeah, no. I’m not cut out for that. I’m an environmental consultant. I work in a cubicle. I write government documents. Guess that’s not as fun to draw.


Future Family

Future Family

Family. And there are the destitute pirate pants again! I sure hope those are the same pants and that I don’t own two different pairs. At least I have cute purple shoes with red laces. I also seem to own a cute dog and a cute baby. Looks like this dog is a some long-haired terrier or shih-tzu. Looks like the baby is a girl who either inherited her father’s red curly hair, or accompanied me to my hair salon for a dye and perm. Sadly, this illustration of domestic bliss would never happen. First (and again, don’t mean to offend anyone), I hate dogs. Especially little yappy, pure-bred ones like the asshole depicted here. I hope to have a child someday, but it hasn’t

Real Family

Real Family

happened yet. And unless I find myself a new husband, my child won’t have curly red hair (or, at least, according to 23andMe). And let’s be honest: if I had a red-head child, I wouldn’t dress her in pink; the colors clash terribly. Instead, I’m a cat person. My rescue tabby cat is WAY better than a snooty shih-tzu; plus, Pocahontas actually looks good in pink dresses. And the only child I have is my husband. Who, by the way, seems to be missing from my future family portrait. I had a crush on a few boys in third grade, so it’s not like they weren’t on my radar. Was I some sort of feminist, raising a dog and baby on my own? Or did I predict that my difficult personality would scare away the opposite sex?


Future House

Future House

House. This looks more like a slaughterhouse or a school than a single-family residence. Or maybe a jail with the bars on the windows. It’s three stories, which is just WAY too much house; I would estimate this house at about 5,000 square feet. I’d spend my life just cleaning it. I don’t like how it has no facade articulation or landscaping beside that weird palm-pine tree hybrid. And can we talk about the chimney for a second? As an environmental consultant, I would never, ever have a fire going in my house. To be honest, I’m a pretty lame environmentalist; I barely even compost. But I try to limit my

Real House

Real House

point-source pollutants, such as air pollution from wood-burning fireplaces and exhaust from cars. Maybe I didn’t think I’d live in California, where it would be nice to have a toasty fire no more than three days of the year. That, and since we are in the middle of a major drought, practically everyday is a Spare the Air Day (meaning that it’s literally illegal to burn wood). I’m ashamed that my 9-year-old self didn’t think of that; my parents raised me better.



Future Car/Real Car

Future Car/Real Car

Car. Close Enough.

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Tip #128: A Word About High School Reunions

July 10, 2003

I graduated from high school—yay for me! Whoop-di-do! After the ceremony I went to our “Safe and Sober Grad Night”… Surprisingly, I was sad that I would never see the majority of my classmates again, considering I don’t give a shit about any of them (except for my friends). Actually, I pray that I will never see any of them ever again. Well, except at our high school reunion so that I can laugh at all of the pathetic drugged-out losers! I guess I was just sad because I had been going to school with some of them since Kindergarten and by seeing them everyday, they became a familiar part of my life.


Dear Me,

bb67b3ed4fa1677084cf1882242258ffToday is the one-year anniversary of your ten-year high school reunion (I’ll let you do the math). This was a night that I had always considered one of those rights-of-passage milestones in my life. My high school reunion was basically penciled into my 2013 calendar since I watched Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion in seventh grade. Of course, I wouldn’t be like them, making up lies to impress people. I would be the inventor of Post-It Notes or special glue or something similar; something better. Naturally I would wear an amazing dress and heels, like Romy and Michele, but something appropriate for 2013; even back then, I knew that shiny material and feather trim wouldn’t be a lasting style.

I was never bullied or depressed in high school, but I had the typical teenage woes and problems with my classmates. And every time something would happen, I would tell myself, “I’ll show them at our ten-year high school reunion. They’ll be sorry.” Sophomore year, I was convinced that I would show them by arriving with Ewan McGregor, who was going to stop the music toward the end of the night, serenade me (this was during my Moulin Rouge! phase), and propose with a 20-carat diamond ring. By senior year, I was going to bring my husband, Jimmy Fallon (my SNL/Weekend Update phase), who was going to make everyone laugh the entire night. Considering Ewan McGregor as an actor seems to have been banished to Tatooine, and Jimmy Fallon is Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year, I think the latter would have been a better investment these days.

A visual simulation of what could have been. You can tell it didn't actually happen because I wouldn't be caught dead in a top hat.

A visual simulation of what could have been. You can tell it didn’t actually happen because I wouldn’t be caught dead in a top hat.

The fact that I’m not engaged or married to a bunch of hot celebrities didn’t stop me from going to my ten-year reunion. Did I show them? Were they sorry? Hells no. But I had a fabulous time. I’m pleased to report that I didn’t see any “pathetic drugged-out losers” and everyone seemed to be relatively successful and happy with life. We had doctors, lawyers, teachers, employees of Silicon Valley tech firms (even some in very impressive positions), and everything in between. I’m not one of those people who wallows in the pain of others, so to see everyone—from the meanest high school bitch, to the dorkiest nerd (besides me)—thriving after the recession made me feel all warm and tingly. Almost as if Ewan McGregor were singing Come What May to me instead of to stupid Nicole Kidman.

And the high school clicks were forgotten at the reunion; all of our petty reasons for hating each other were pushed aside because we were now adults. We were finally mature. I had known many of these people since I was in kindergarten (some even longer than that!), during a time when we would all play with each other. And then middle school screwed up our content ignorance and the hatred for everyone and everything bubbled up, finally exploding into a miserable passion. Seeing these people at the high school reunion sent us back in time to elementary school when we all got along and loved each other. Because who cares if Kathleen Carson copied you in seventh grade by purchasing the same bubble jacket from the Gap AND the same silver ball-chain chocker from the Delia’s catalog?Who cares if Amy Waring stole your favorite purple sparkly Jelly Roll pen in eighth grade? Who cares if you made your best friend sit on some seagull crap during lunch in sixth grade as an honest joke? (okay, that one was a little sucky; I’m sorry!)

1341-EW-FallonThe concept of high school reunions was always mystifying to me. This was a landmark event in my life that I had used as a specific day in my distant future when I’d have everything all figured out. I had to! What would my high school classmates think if I was some sort of loser? (hint: they wouldn’t give a shit) I had to shape up or… or… I don’t even know. Not going wasn’t an option. So as my high school reunion approached, I started to wonder what you, my past self, would have thought about my future self. Would you have been satisfied? Or would you have forbade me from attending the reunion in complete and utter mortification? Sure, I’m not married to Jimmy Fallon (a major F- on that one), but I am happily married to my college sweetheart. Sure, I don’t live in a mansion in Tiburon overlooking the Bay, but I own nice house in the East Bay Hills. And sure, I’m not a supermodel international spy daylighting as an employee for the Department of Homeland Security, but I have a steady and thriving career as an environmental consultant. I can tell that you’re a little disappointed with my domestic life, but ultimately I know that you’re happy since your husband is 6-foot-4.

Since, you, my 18-year-old self can’t time travel to the future and tell me your feelings (probably with lots of whining and bitching), I figured out different ways release my weird obsession with high school reunions and talking to my past self. This blog, for one, is a way to have a monologue with teenaged Kirsten, even though I know you aren’t listening (typical!). I’ve also written a young adult manuscript about a 17-year-old who falls asleep under the aurora borealis and finds herself thrust into her own future. And surprise! She happens to have landed on the day of her ten-year high school reunion. As she pieces together her life—which involves supermodels, secret government agencies, and a sexy finance who’s 6-foot-4 (sound familiar?)—she realizes that she’s scared of the person she’s become. So although I might not quite be living our dreams (let’s be honest: thank god!), I’ve found a creative outlet to live it in my head.

Almost as good as the real thing (says the mental patient at the local loony-bin).

Love,

You

HS Reunion 4-001

Real photo from my high school reunion. I’m in the back and look like I’m photo-shopped in. But I promise, this is an unaltered photo.

Tip #31: Be optimistic of your future career—aim high because it might just come true

January 15, 1999

So, this is what I want to be when I grow up. Okay, don’t laugh. I want to be a spy. I mean, like this is kind of my like fun fantasy job that would never happen. Just like me becoming an actress or something. Plus, I wouldn’t really want to be a spy for a career or something, it is just fun to imagine being a spy. You know, one of those good spies who travels all around the world. That’s the only way I’d be able to see the world.


Dear Me,

I have really bad news for you. Are you sitting down? Please don’t hate me, but… you don’t become a spy when you grow up. I know, even you admit in this entry that it’s your “fun fantasy job,” but no one’s buying it. We all know this is what you truly wanted to be when you grew up.

This diary entry was written in eighth grade. By senior year, you had refined this dream career into a slightly more realistic job with the Department of Homeland Security. They don’t exactly do international spying, but they spy here at home. Still fun! Yeah… okay… that dream didn’t work out either. Sorry.

My spy manual (don't be fooled by the calculator, I just put it there to look smart; that's a spy trick)

My spy manual (don’t be fooled by the calculator, I just put it there to look smart; that’s a spy trick)

But hey, don’t be sad! I’m an environmental consultant. It’s kinda like being a spy. Instead of spying on bad-guys to protect citizens of the United States of America, we spy on land developers in order to protect the environment, which is a citizen of the world. Instead of using weapons to kill the opponents, we use the written word to save endangered species. Instead of globetrotting, we travel around the Bay Area. In fact, just next week you’re going on an all-expenses-paid day trip to the City of Santa Clara, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers (yes, I know… I don’t like the move out of SF either). You get to travel in luxury for two hours each way in grid-lock traffic in your 2007 Toyota Yaris. AND your mileage gets covered. Plus, you kinda work for the government since your projects are generally contracted with them. That is, a local government usually consisting of a medium-sized city.

See? You’ve made it! Being an environmental consultant is pretty much the same, exact thing as being a spy. Identical jobs. Screw it. It’s even better! So I take back what I said; congratulations, your fun fantasy job has come true.

Love,

You