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Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
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Thursday
Jun082006

What Do You Do? Oh, I'm "Between Jobs"...

Dear Mr. or Ms.

I am emailing you regarding the writer/producer (job #5345) employment opportunity as advertised on the internet. I have worked as a writer/producer in the news industry for the past nine years. I began my career in journalism at the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City as a Chyron operator. I worked my way up the news station food chain.. from Chyron to Assignment Desk to Associate Producer and finally, Producer.

I moved from ABC to FOX in Salt Lake City and spent five years producing FOX 13 News at Nine at KSTU. In 2005 I moved to New York City where I've spent the past year freelance writing and producing at WXXX in Manhattan.

Most recently I have been smoking vast quantities of "Mary Jane" and watching daytime television..well, and prime time and late night television too. WXXX said it wasn't personal but on the day I was "let go" I noticed my weed stash was no longer in the secret spot in my desk and my bottle of Jagermeister was also missing. This strange turn of events at work was particularly fishy considering my Gay Ambassador Marco, who I would normally immediately suspect of the theft, was on vacation at the time. Similarly, all the porn sites from my "favorites" list had been deleted. For these reasons and more, I suspect my employment termination was, in fact, personal.

SPECIAL SKILLS:
I excel at breaking news, specifically; searching the wires (lie! I am blogging on your dime) for the very latest and writing up-to-date (made-up) news stories. I keep abreast (I said breast!) of current events, including pics of Brangelina's baby, Britney's crumbling marriage to K-Fed and whomever Nick Lachey is dating. That's not all! My special skills also include secret blow jobs in the copy room (20 cents!) my ability to surf the net for hours without stopping, gossiping about co-workers, stealing office supplies (including tampons!) consuming a considerable amount of Jagermeister at office functions and not throwing up until I get home! Impressive, I know. It takes practice. Well, there was that one time time in the gutter in front of that strange bar in New Jersey and okay, yeah, the Christmas Party 2004 "incident" where I filled the cupholders in my car with sick. Either way it makes for one helluva office dynamic!

I look forward to your timely response

Sincerely,


Monica Bielanko

EDUCATION: Majored in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Utah (read: Never Graduated!)

REFERENCES:
The Surge
News Manager
(212) 555-4321

SickSadWorld
News Director
(212) 555-9876
Thursday
Jun082006

More Of The Same

So. I am trying to force myself through the weirdness I'm feeling and keep typing in this here bloggy blog. When life begins to claw at me like a rabid dog I tend to do a little thing The Surge and I have dubbed The TurnAway. Trying. Not. To. TurnAWay. It's... Hard... Work. Turning away is in my DNA...Mom and brother fighting? Why, just TurnAway, read a book. Brother beating me up? TurnAway time! Fight with The Surge? Excellent TurnAway opportunity.

This blog is a weird little animal. It connects me to every single person in my personal life, as well as quite a few acquaintances, ex-boyfriends and many, many strangers. If I choose to share something personal (my sex life, rollercoaster marriage, unemployment, depression, strange vagina lips) my mom, my closest friends and even both mothers-in-law know about it within a few hours. Think about that for a minute. That can be cool. That can be strange.

When I'm depressed I tend to go inside myself, hide from folks a la TurnAway. Who wants to be the drag of the group? Or who wants to pretend they're feeling perky? So I feel paralyzed when it comes to blogging lately. Because I feel like shit. And I'll write about that. So when my friends read this blog they will know I'm depressed. Which means, if we all meet up later and I try to act perky, they'll know I'm faking. How can I hide my sorry state? Well, I can write kicky blog entries, fake my good mood online.. that way nobody will be the wiser when we meet for drinks tonight to tell Evil Peter goodbye. See the dilemma of having a blog? I know, I know.. I ain't the first person in the world to be depressed. I also know how boring it is to read about. Just waitin' for it to go away, y'know?

On a side note that you may or may not find boring.. I was asked to be in a new book that will soon be available on Amazon... Click here for more info on The Very Best Weblog Writing Ever.
Tuesday
Jun062006

In All Honesty...

I am in a very strange place... Every now and again, like fault lines, the cracks in reality widen a little and what lies beneath scares the shit outta me. When you don't have all the too busy in life to fill your days... you know, like a job or a husband that's around.. you tend to think about shit way too much..

My computer is broken.. Repairs will be hundreds of dollars so I haven't been online much lately. Which is nice.. don't have anything to say. Or maybe I have so much to say it will explode all over the monitor like a can of soda pop when shaken too much.

The Surge is home again. Then he leaves in a few days. It's tough to get used to someone, then they go.. Right when you adjust to them being home again, they're leaving. Fucking rollercoaster of this married life I lead. In all honesty I don't know what the fuck I'm typing.. Just relaying random thoughts as they flap through my brain. How is everyone? Somebody tell me a story.
Friday
Jun022006

A Hard Day Of Nothin' Much At All

She wakes up slowly. Gliding upward toward consciousness like a scuba diver rising to the surface. She breaks through the slumber barrier, acknowledges the bright sunlight crawling noisily through the blinds, scrubs the sleep from her eyes and sits up.

Instantly it snaps into her brain like a sharp slap to the face. She physically winces as if actually struck and falls back onto the bed, deadweight. She doesn't want to be awake. Craves the safe cocoon of snug bed covers, the dog's gentle snores that puff his gray lips with air and leave them flapping ever so slightly.. pffft pffft pffft pffft. And there are her dreams of a better reality.

But this is reality. This is life now.

It's not so bad, she tells herself. She's got her dog and her health. Allegedly. That's what folks always say when they're trying to make you feel better, she thinks. They serve you a steaming helping of cliche. "At least you have your health."

She suppposes those tired words of wisdom may gain meaning as she stumbles further into the future. Really she knows the cliche won't mean anything until she doesn't have her health anymore. And then, when it's too late to be thankful for her health, when her fingers have curled into arthritic claws and her brittle bones creak with the slightest maneuver, it will finally mean something.

Maybe she'll turn into one of the very people who have offered her words of encouragement these past few months. Benevolently pressing unsolicited advice onto her, like a Christmas gift. "There, there dearest, at least you have your health." Off you go.

He was killed six months ago. It feels like six days ago. Might as well have been six hours ago. She remains broken with grief. As often happens nowdays, her thoughts dance through a kaleidescope of memories, struggling to trap the events behind shiny glass, like pictures and then hang them in her mind's eye for safekeeping.

That's the thing about memories though, she thinks. You can't store them anywhere safe. You remember moments, wrinkles in time, good-bye kisses, rabid love-making, passionate fights.. but eventually you begin to wonder if you remember the actual events or you're just remembering the memory.

Memory isn't a tangible thing like a photograph. You'd like to think it is, but it's not. It's like when somebody tells the same story for years and years.. little by little the words change, exaggerations give birth to new details until finally, the story hardly resembles what actually happened.

That's why it's hard to trust her own memories now. Is that what really happened, she asks herself. Or am I romanticizing it because he's dead, because that's what I wish would've happened, what could've happened had I paid more attention when life was good. At least with a photograph I can look at it, can trace the lines of his face and know that it's authentic. That is what his sandy colored hair looked like that day. That's just how his green eyes always sparkled.

She absently strokes the dog's rump and rubs her feet together underneath the comforters. She stares at the ceiling. She turns on her side and stares at the wall. After a couple hours tick by she shifts onto her back and stares at the ceiling again. Soon darkness will fall. The sun will rise after that. And still, she stares at the ceiling.
Wednesday
May312006

Serendipity

ser·en·dip·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (srn-dp-t) n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2.The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.
3. An instance of making such a discovery.


When I was 22 I met you. And it was magic. We simmered in the gloriously spicy stew of the first hello, first conversation, first kiss... I liked you. You liked me. So much so you immediately said goodbye to the generic blonde you were dating.

But I was tangled up in a debilitating relationship with Older Married Guy. His sea weed fingers tightly wrapped around my legs, pulling me below the suface.. Each time I managed to kick free, the weed multiplied, snaked around my body once again, slithered through my fingers, whispered sweet nothings into my hair... then yanked me beneath.. And so I let you go.

Nine months later I thought that, like Houdini, I had unlocked myself from the chains, slashed my way out of the bag and frantically wiggled toward light, toward the surface.. We saw each other again but you had returned to the generic blonde.

That didn't matter to me.. After pulling out all the stops, you were mine. But the fickle 23 year old inside let you go again. If you liked me so easily you obviously weren't that valuable, right? I longed for a challenge. And so I tossed you back. I was young, confused, needed to sample what life offered me in the way of male companionship. You were just so crazy about me. And so nice. Nice. A death sentence for a young man hoping to land the girl of his dreams. I thought it just couldn't be that easy.. I required passion, drama. To know someone cared about me, I needed them to yell at me, not stare at me with puppy dog eyes.

So once again, like a beautiful fish, I threw you back into the sea, choosing instead to get involved in a violent relationship that involved emergency phone calls and embarrassing public altercations. But you know this. Sometimes I would call you, crying about this latest fight, that latest humiliation...and you would patiently listen and offer advice. Because you are that kind of man.

Then, after years of heartache, wondering what was wrong with me.. like a shot to the heart I realized. I understood that I was repeating my dysfunctional familial relationships with my boyfriends. The shouting, the degrading... That's what I was used to. It felt normal. And unless I changed something, I would repeat the pattern with my children. Creating an environment where yelling replaces talking, silence replaces laughter, fear replaces contentment.

I left him then. I came looking for you. You, who loved my perfect imperfections. But of course it was too late. You were with Her. And my heart was broken. I couldn't bare it that I had so horribly misunderstood the meaning of love and companionship.

I saw you with Her that hot, summer day and although it was painful, I stayed and anesthetized the hurt with liquor.. I watched Her. I even spoke with Her briefly. I needed to know what She was like. What it was that drew you to Her? But I knew within moments of speaking to Her that She wasn't for you. I cried. I deliberated. Should I tell him I love him? That She isn't right for him? I wrote you letters but never sent them. Left you voicemails and erased them. I knew I had lost my chance.

And we moved on.. You continued your life with Her.. I dated others. We ran into each other once on a ski slope. You were polite, distant. I was crushed. I cried. But it was meant to be.

Eventually I found the man of my dreams and let my past dissolve like fog when a brilliant sun shines through.. Unbeknownst to either of us we each married someone else only hours apart. What are the odds? You in one Utah canyon, me, a few miles away, in another.

We embarked on our married lives, each of us unaware of what the other was up to.. And then this past Sunday I was struck with thoughts of you. I wonder what he's up to? I wonder if he's married? Maybe he has kids now... So I employed that old stalker stand-by and Googled you.

All the time, there you were...living right inside my monitor. Your phone number, your work address. So I called you.
"I can't believe you just called me." You said.
"Why?"
"I just found out my wife has been cheating on me. She's with him right now."


We talked. Marveled at the serendipitous nature our lives have taken. Separating and joining us when fate sees fit. You explained your behavior on the ski slope...It rocked you to see me, only days before you planned to ask Her to marry you. You couldn't talk to me, were afraid of being drawn back toward me. You couldn't believe after years of not seeing me you ran into me just days before becoming engaged.

Serendipity. Out of the blue sky, I am struck by thoughts of you and call you on the very day your marriage crumbles.. when you most need a friend. Serendipity. It is my turn. Now I can pay you back for being such a solid friend all those years ago by being a strong support now. You will be okay. I know this.