Tuesday, September 25, 2012



I've mastered the art of BITCHWORK.  I got my first job in the summer of '94 working at a hot dog stand right next to the Black Pearl in Newport, Rhode Izland - it was (and still is) located in the center of Bannisters Wharf AKA TouristVille.  I got fired on my 3rd day after some MassHole tourist complained to my 17 year old pimply boss about a moldy hotdog bun I'd given him on accident.  I walked home that day in my purple uniform covered in ketchup, mustard, snot and tears with my head down the whole way.  It was a sad day.

Little did I know then that that was only the first of a slew of thankless jobs I'd have.  Thanks to countless temp opportunities I've had the pleasure of working reception, being a Front Office Coordinator (my chosen euphemism for reception), an Administrative Assistant and an Executive Assistant.  I've worked as a tenant coordinator where I had to radio engineers with my walky talky and alert them of broken urinals.  I've been overlooked and ignored and had my name butchered on countless occasions.  I've worked with around 6 employment agencies.  I never thought I'd say this but I'm actually thankful to have had all of these experiences because they led me to today and today I was hired to be a recruiter at an AWESOME headhunting firm I've been working with.  

I haven't been this excited about a job in ... well, ever.  I am confident I can nail this job and make some coin because the main components include:

- Interviewing candidates: Hello, I am the queen of making small talk and screening people thanks to my handy dandy small talk manual.

- Scouring CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn for candidates and then basically hounding and stalking them until they get back to me. what FUN!  I am an expert at hounding and stalking boys people.

it's what's for dinner.

- Making friends with randoms - this is my favorite pastime.  All of the employees at the Chevron in Oxford, Mississippi are a testament to this.

- Beefing up resumes - I'm a creative writer; embellishment is my will forte.

- Cold calling.  I am a profesh prank caller and have been since I was like twelve.  I can disguise my voice, feign excitement, happiness and basically be really fake. I have this in the bag.

- Knowing my way around the social networking playground - uh, I have almost 3,000 friends who I do not know on facebook, a blog, a blog fb page and a twitter account. Check.  I realize what a complete loser the above statement makes me sound like so no need to tell me.  In fact, let's not bring it up again.  OK? ok. cawl me.

- Sales.  I convinced a guy at my temp job last week that I got a scholarship in high school for playing the triangles.  I am pretty sure I can convince a client or candidate to work with me.

<I should've prefaced this post by announcing that it will be devoid of my usual self deprecation.  I'm not letting my insecurities deter me from staying pumped about this job.  Gotta think (and write) positively!>

Of course, I've got a lot to do before my job starts in a week.  I need to:

1. Get my hairs did.  I am 99% sure I am going back to my natural color after like 15 years of streaky highlights.  Now my mane will finally match my eyebrows!  I know everyone has been waiting for this. (sarcasm font.) Alleluia!

2.  Buy some suits.  And a brief case.  The contents of my brief case have yet TBD but will definitely include Haribo's.  I may even offer a candidate one during an interview.  No?  Okay.  I won't.

3. Take my blue nail polish off and replace it with something sophisticated.  I wonder if they have a color called HeadHunter Hot Pink.  (You better believe I just googled "colors that start with H."  It was either hot pink or heather grey.)

4. SHART networking and STOP using the word shart... no better time than the present:  If you or anyone you know is looking for a job in SF contact me.  Also, if you have any recruiting experience and can spare some advice I would love to hear it. Thank you!

Happy hump day!

xo, Nige

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ANXIETY with a side of YOGA: It's what's for dinner

"You had better move back east if you don't find a boyfriend in San Fran by the time you're 30."  my mom warned me during our daily lunchtime phone chat.  I dropped my 5 Dolla Foot Long meatball sandwich veggie 6 inch and growled into the phone: "Thanks mom!  I am well aware, my friend.  Now I am sorry to cut this encouraging conversation short but I've gotta head back to my TEMP job.  It's very important that I be there to answer phones, fetch coffee, seal envelopes and answer to 'Alexandria.'  Oh and mom - don't call it San Fran.  Locals don't like it. Kthanksloveyoubye."

As I ambled down Sansome street amid the hustle and bustle of the Financial District I began to feel tense.  I could feel my heartbeat picking up speed.  And so began a vicious, all consuming downward spiral of bleak, dooming thoughts:  I'm almost 30... I'm a temp... I am single... I am going to have to freeze my eggs... I just ate a 5 dolla foot long... I'll never be a paid writer or find a boyfriend who doesn't wear deep V-necks and put LA Looks gel in his hair... I don't want to move back east - I really like the egg rolls here.

And the above is an example of how my bitch-ass friend named Anxiety works her tragic magic.

I've got it.  I loathe it.  It is the bane of my existence.  I've had it ever since before I was born.  (That makes no sense - I am glad you caught that.)  When I was about 8 I was riding my temperamental, fat pony called Bo Peep when suddenly she shook. Hard. Perhaps she was attempting to rid herself of the flies that had set up shop in her nappy mane or maybe she was just trying to sweep her lengthy blonde bangs out of her face.  Whatever it was, it terrified me.  My mom was holding onto Bo Peep with a leash - I mean a lunge line, or whatever the F you call it in horse language.  I burst into tears and screamed at her to take me off.

"PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!"  My mom instructed me. "You're fine!"  I wasn't fine though - I was scared shitless.  This ginormous animal who apparently suffered from Turrets had almost flung me off of his back in a matter of seconds.  I remember this instance vividly - also, my mom tells the story all the time.  She prefaces it by announcing in her high pitched, endearingly airy voice "You've always been a frightened girrrl.  Remember the time with Bo Peep when youuu..."  Then she'll proceed to talk about the times I went ape shit every time we'd drive through the car wash.  Apparently I thought our car was being attacked by Snuffalufugas.  

I have an overactive imagination which can be a good and bad thing.  On the one hand, I wouldn't be able to write as extensively as I do about random, outlandish shit without my imagination.  On the other, my imagination feeds my anxiety and has a tendency to make it worse - which sucks.  The thing about anxiety is that it causes one (me) to have unrealistic perceptions of problems, people and life in general.  As I get older, I am recognizing more and more what triggers this beast of a feeling.  I've developed a few coping mechanisms as well - some of which work and some of which fail miserably.  I thought I'd share them with you so here goes.


1.  Partying.
Excessive drinking on a Saturday night, for example, may seem like an easy way to squash anxiety but it comes back to bite me in the ass the next day and if you don't believe me - let's spend a Sunday afternoon (after a big weekend) together.


2. Chasing boys.

Trying to have a normal conversation with a hot guy is anxiety inducing for me.  The conversation almost always ends up being about seahorses, egg rolls or my brother winning Fear Factor.  It's simple: put me in front of a guy I am attracted to and my anxiety level sky rockets.  Even my nervous system gets nervous.  Sometimes they find it endearing but most of the time it's just plain awkward.

3. Getting older.

Every time I think about turning 30 I twitch like Bo Peep did.  Where's my dream job?  Hot husband with a penchant for making egg rolls?  Tree house in New Zealand?  Most of the things I thought I'd have by now I don't.  Enter ANXIETY.  I hate you.  You're a worm.

4. Facebook & Instagram.

Sure, it's entertaining to check out what your "friends" are up to on Facebook but sometimes looking at pictures of girls vacationing with their hot boyfriends in the Hampton's or whatever makes me feel kind of inadequate and jealous.  Holdin MaGroin got a promotion, a wife, a new house in Greenwich AND a yellow lab puppy?  Oh that's great for him - I think to myself as I try and dab the Ramen dribble out of my dry clean only shirt that I can't really afford to dry clean.
perusing facebook: Suzette's on her way to Barre Method class?  Great - I am on my way to pick up my order from Panda Express.  fml.
Ok - enough of that.  Now onto something I have recently discovered and embraced that has really helped me kick my anxiety in the crotch.  ENTER: YOGA. I have clocked in at 21 classes this month which is quite an accomplishment for me considering I haven't felt an endorphin since like, '01.  Was that a HumbleBrag?  I'm sorry.  It certainly hasn't been easy and there are times in class where I feel like a vulnerable, wobbly fawn learning to walk for the first time.  I've channelled all of the energy I put toward partying and worrying about superficial things into taking care of myself.  Sure, it's been to the detriment of my social life but I must say, I can't really remember a time I've felt so calm, healthy and happy.  Now that I've successfully treated Toe Pick like an online diary I will get to the funny stuff.  Without further ado I bring you TPSF's yoga blurb where I will share some tips on how to get through a yoga class successfully.

1.  DEVELOP AN EXIT STRATEGY Set up your yoga mat in the back of the room, directly next to the door.  It's important to have the option to high tail it out of the room should your Chatarunga go haywire.  The more advanced Yogis tend to sit at the front of the room and showcase their "practice." They're like the peacocks of yoga. They are super bendy and flexible; thus, your likelihood of coming face to ass with one of them as they execute downward facing dawg is extremely high.  Lemme tell you - it ain't comfortable to look up during cobra pose only to find your eye balls about 6 centimeters from someone's blow hole.  Peee Yewww.  Awk.

my PRIME YOGA REAL ESTATE - I always snag this spot.

2. Turn your alarm on your cell phone off (and your vibrator too) before class sharts. 
I forgot to do this and my alarm went off in the middle of Shavasana which occurs at the end of class.  For those of you aren't familiar with the term Shavasana - it is the "relaxing" pose where you lie on your back and breathe in and out rhythmically (it could also be the name of your hoochie cousin), all the while trying not to catch wind of your neighbor's halitosis.  My phone was in my cubby in the lobby but my alarm could still be heard.  If there's one thing I've learned in my extensive 3 weeks of yoga it's this: disrupting a Yogi during Shavasana is like poking a sleeping bear or whatever.  Once people realized it was my alarm that was going off I immediately felt like Saddam Hussien in a sea of Dali Lamas.  Turn that shit off before class so you can avoid feeling like I did - ok?  Ok.

3. STAY PRESENT  It's important to stay in the moment during a yoga class.  Do not people watch - and don't worry about whether or not people are watching you. This has been pretty challenging for me (in class and in life).  It was especially hard for me last Friday when a rather dapper, suited up Long Duck Dong clone partook in one of the classes I attended.  He was limber, flexible and wearing a bow tie.  And by God did his Vinyasa flow.  I was daring and ambitious enough to snap a few photos of this fascinating creature.  Have a look:

bend over and Dong will show ya!

4.  Don't take pictures of your fellow Yogi's during class.

5. Don't be overtly eager to master the poses - this applies mainly to novices   I thought I was strong and stable enough to nail crow pose and I ended up faceplanting onto the hard wooden floor, nearly chipping my toof in the process.  Be patient with yourself.  Baby steps, nigels, baby steps.
Crow pose: it's not what's for dinner.
6. If you have a high pitched, loud, distinct voice be sure to simply whisper "Namaste" with everyone else at the end of class unless you want people to turn around and look at you like you're a deaf asshole.

So those are my yoga tips.  I will share some more with you as I continue my practice.  Man I feel like a tool writing that.  In all seriousness, though - I know how hard, debilitating, scary and isolating anxiety can be and I hope some of you all can relate to me!  And I strongly suggest taking up yoga if you haven't already - as cliche as it sounds - it can be life changing.

Hope everyone's week is off to a great shart.  (Sorry - had to end with this line, things were getting entirely too serious around here. :))

xo, Nige

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Hey y'all!

I am so sorry I have been MIA - I've been temping, babysitting, writing, eating, sleeping, worrying, headbanging and yoga-ing non-stop.  It's all been super time consuming :(.

I'll be covering a bunch of topics over the course of the next couple weeks on Toe Pick - here are a few:
  • ANXIETY: I explore this dreadful feeling and share my own struggles with it as well as some awkward, funny ways I've learned to cope with it.

Feeling anxious?  Getting a pedicure is a wonderful way for me to relax and stay present.  I'm always so put off and perplexed by my toes which look as though they belong to Gizmo the gremlin that I don't room in my brain to worry about the fact that I acted like a monkey at that late night last weekend.  Take that, ANXIETY!


  • WHAT THE FORK IS THAT DOING THERE!? I will revisit a new Toe Pick segment featuring random, lone objects that seem to be amiss such as this gentleman's button on his fly (I know it seems awkward for me to have taken a picture of a random man's crotch but it was right in my face on the Muni - how could I have resisted?)...


AND this random chocolate chip on my bowl...


AND a piece of rock shrimp at Umami who was somehow was led astray.  It bore an uncanny resemblance to a hedgehog fetus.  

  • TOE PICK CELEBRITY LOOK ALIKES: I have managed to snap FIVE pics of random San Franciscans who look like celebs.  I look forward to sharing them with you.  Check out this guy I spotted at lunch yesterday - Jim... Jim Halpert?  Is that you?

  • YOGA: I bought a yoga package at a studio near my new place and have been doing yoga everyday for the past 3 weeks straight.  I shart you not!  I love it - mainly because it has provided me with some invaluable toe pick material.
downward facing dawg anyone?
  • THE RETURN OF FUGLY MUNI SHOES!  I haven't featured FMS's in quite some time and it's been making me feel tense.  I'm bringin' 'em back baby!

  • COOKING: I will be writing a segment on ways to make your meals more creative looking - just look what I made with these leftover burnt sweet potato fries and a dash of parsley.  Isn't she a beaut?
IT'S A WORK OF SHART!  (I am also 12.  did i mention that?  CAWL ME.)

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - I want to wish you all a Happy National Gibberish Day!  Gibberish is my second language and if you don't believe me listen to this video of me speaking it.  It's one of the only things I can really nail.  (That's what he said.)  Happy weekend and I promise I will be back next week.

oh - and ONE more thing:  Happy 5 month Anniversary to my DEBIT CARD!  This has been the longest relationship with a debit card I've ever had!  

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY B of A debit card!  

Have an awkward weekend and I look forward to hopping back on the Toe Pick wagon next week.

xo, Nige