Up in the Air, Down in the Gutter

My life is consumed with applying to jobs and not getting callbacks.  Which is, needless to say, depressing.  I realize that this might not be the best thing to advertise on my blog since it implies that I’m not worth hiring (NOT TRUE by the way), but hey, it’s been dumping ice cold rain for the past week and a half and I think the near-freezing temperatures have subverted the blog quality-control part of my brain.

Speaking of, my heater is broken — and possible leaking gas — and I am coping with a stiff drink of coffee liqueur and unpasteurized milk from the farmer’s market on watered-down whiskey ice that I made while I was stoned.  It’s disgusting and probably why I’m feeling just a teensy bit self-deprecating right now.  Let’s not talk about it.

I’m frequently breaking from writing cover letters to go to the movies.  My current financial state should have told me that it wouldn’t be in my best interest to see Up in the Air, but the Fresh Air episode with writer/director Jason Reitman made it too tempting to pass up.  Terry Gross can charm me into seeing anything, apparently, because even though there was a tiny voice in my head screaming, “No!  Juno was awful!  Don’t waste 12 dollars you don’t even have on something you already know you won’t like!” I was out the door with a roll of laundry quarters and a leftover burrito stuffed in my purse before I even knew what was happening.

Unfortunately, my nagging voice was right.  This film was not good.  A little better than Juno, but that’s because the audience wasn’t force fed Diablo Cody’s quasi-feminist ideologies through obnoxious characters that hardly any person in the real world can identify with.  That being said, the characters in Up in the Air were pretty much all unintentionally unlikeable, save the J.K. Simmons three-minute cameo that made me really emotional in a good way.

In spite of this overall tremendous shit show, I must admit, this film made me a little teary-eyed.  Perhaps it was because watching real people deal on film with being unemployed — one standout aspect of this film was that actors were not used in the interview scenes —  hit a raw nerve.  You guys, I feel you!

But the part that really hit me was that J.K. Simmons scene.  George Clooney fires J.K. from this corporate job that J.K. admits to always hating but kept at it for the money.  George Clooney tells J.K. that now J.K. can finally pursue his passion for culinary arts (which is for some reason listed on his corporate resume), which prompts J.K. to wonder aloud what ever convinced him to give up his dream of cooking in the first place.  Then J.K. cries, or I cry, or we both cry.  I’m not sure at this point; I was really caught up in the moment.

This made me reflect on my pre-college list of career goals versus my current job hunt realities.  I had a pretty long list of lofty goals going into college, and I still have that list, but instead of crossing things off of it I am applying to waitressing jobs at strip clubs in the Tenderloin where the performers have track marks running down the backs of their knees…and I’m getting rejected.  Am I really not good enough for this shit?  I don’t understand.

So thanks for bringing up all these insecurities, George Clooney.  I will take your unsolicited advice to keep at it and follow my heart, but I will not thank your smug face for it.  Also, I refuse to feel sorry for you when you show up at Vera Farmiga’s front door to profess your love only to find out that she’s married with children because really, you had it coming.  Oh, P.S. Spoiler alert.

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