The Cover Letter I Cannot Send as It Is Not Appropriate

To Whom It May Concern:

Is it whom? I’m fairly certain it is. You see, I graduated with an English Major in Literature and Cultural Studies (the specificity sounds good in conversations such as these, like I have focus and direction in my life. Like I know how to research. Like I’m proficient in cultural theory as well as bullshitting. Bullshitting is a highly marketable talent. As I’m sure you know. Which isn’t to say you aren’t qualified! Oh goodness. This got away from me. Please leave the parenthetical now. Right now. C’mon.). Anyway. Prior to that degree, I spent two and half years pursuing an acting degree. Crazy, right?! I was young! I’m not from here! It was all bright lights and the Queen City, you see. But even during the old acting degree, professors have told me so often that my voice is strong enough so as to not need to learn “too much of that technical stuff”. Leaving me at a seeming deficit when it comes to the old Who vs. Whom debate. Rather than a deficit, I chose to see it as a chance to learn and grow—learning and growth that demonstrate to you my adaptability and self-motivation. Skills crucial to your job description, might I add. Oh, yeah, I read it. And about that who vs. whom. I could Google it. But I’m writing to you about employment right now and don’t need the distractions (see there? That focus we discussed being put to good use).

The employment! Yes! About that! To you, dear Whom (Unless you prefer Who. As a queer person, I’m very well-versed in proper interpersonal respect. I also fulfill your desire to cultivate a diverse working community. I also see we’re in the parenthetical again. Dammit.), I’m writing you to say hire me. Please.

I’m excellent at smiling. All my life men have told me so (this is my subtle way of telling you I’m a woman. I can provide top notch emotional labor for your department in addition to costing you much less than my male peers. I’m a win-win and we aren’t even to the good stuff!). I’m also a morning person, so I can provide you with that smile from the top of the day until the end. I’m human, so I do hit a mid-afternoon slump but you’ll probably never hear about it because I’m good at keeping to myself as well. Middle child, you know.

I’m a “creative-type”. Anything you need proofread, brainstormed, troubleshot, or looked at, I’m your girl. As a Millennial, I’m super great with social media and being relevant. My jokes are highly culturally informed, but I’m also well-read and Southern. I mention this because the well-read means I’ll probably get most of your dated references. The Southern means that, while a Millennial and a creative, I was raised to believe in the Bootstrap Narrative. This I no longer adhere to ideologically as I learned about intersectional feminism and social hierarchies, but it does mean I work really really hard.

My long term career goals include being a writer and an actor, so you know I’m yours for life because those are pipe dreams, amirite?! For God’s sake, I’m in Cincinnati, Ohio! Goodness me! This is to your benefit: my self-esteem is terribly low considering all the rejection and minimal opportunities I receive! I might go and get a Master’s, but that will be far in the future and I’ll probably have kids before then so let’s you and I bet that I’ll be tied here and get it remotely and keep plodding away at your institution.

All of this is to say, hire me. I’d really like this job. I’m tired of not having matching bras and panties. I’m tired of wondering if I can feed myself AND pay my cellphone bill. I’d like to work for you because I’d like to get out of debt AND move in with my boyfriend. I’d like to buy my friends a round and not break out in cold sweats the next morning when looking at my bank account. Hire me. I’m effusive, enthusiastic, effervescent, and excellent with alliterations.

My mom gives me a strong recommendation, as does the coffee shop I worked at in Brooklyn when I couchsurfed there for three months (ask me about it! It makes me sound terribly interesting!).

Anyway, that’s it. I’ll be good for you. You don’t even really have to be good for me. We can talk salary at my interview, and I’ll settle for less because my generation is financially illiterate.

Also, I did enjoy your website format. I really mean that. You do seem hip and cool so I won’t have to be too embarrassed at selling out the next time my friends and I grab drinks. And I’ll be salaried, so my dad can finally be proud.

Contact me over email, phone, twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat, or groupme. They’re all on the same device anyway.

So. Lemme know. I have other plates spinning but they’re, like, picking my nose and stressing out about bills in my underwear. Pretty easy to reschedule.

Thanks so much!

Mia Vera, really funny Millennial*

*if you’d like writing samples, might I recommend my blog or my Twitter. I mean. They’re good.

Y’all wanna read some poetry?

Here’s a piece I’m working on. It’s a doodle right now. Feel free to freely feel however you might feel about it.

I’d put a picture of a squirrel here to punctuate how I feel, if I had one. Or the motivation to Google one.


I told myself to stop writing about the human body
it’s everywhere
it’s easy
it’s six thousand innumerable components and not one person
seems to remember what they learned in anatomy class

I have an English degree because
the naming of things
makes them real
makes them containable
eventually exposes the limits of language to feeling

there aren’t words enough for devastation
there aren’t words enough for leveling a city to the ground
or a body on fire
or a heart exploding out of time

I told myself to stop writing about trauma
you haven’t got it right yet
just wait until you know how to say

I’m fine
I’m bleeding
sometimes the wound stops
cauterized by living, 

the fast furious passage of time occasionally stopping up the leak
the wound
and you forget what your body will not let you. 

I’m fine
and everything hurts
and I’ve never been happier. 

I want to write a stream of floating “and”s, not a single “but”, 
because the world is a continuous course
no stopping
sometimes a lazy river
sometimes a riptide

I have an English degree because
I’m scared of forgetting
so I got really good at writing down
I mix metaphors the way I mix memories
they’re all true, just not necessarily mine or in the right
order

I like poems about water, bodies, love
the kind that are generic in their conjuring of cigarette smoke and 
soft soft soft morning light
but I love them
I love them

I blanket my perfectly unacceptable body in language and hope
someone with an ability to edit can sift through
this armor like panning for gold
it isn’t someone else’s job to love me
but a gift I barely know how to receive

I keep my hands open

I try not to think of the names for all the bones and barriers and blood vessels 
housed in my palms. 

I told myself to stop writing about the human body
it’s everywhere
it’s easy
it’s all I am. Worshipfully made to fit, to fuss, to fracture and fuse back together. 

Took an L.

But tonight I bounce back.*

*(an edit: I wrote this last night, and then fell asleep face down, spread eagle, while editing it. so. it’s late. which is funny because it’s a post about that very thing. hehe.)

Here’s your Sunday Update, my sweet. I got too silly last night to get much of anything done today. I spent today dropping the proverbial ball.

There would be days, they say.

So I’d like to tell you about choking in an audition. I’d like to tell you about my after school programs final performance. I’d like to tell you about having breakfast with four of the most incredible women I know, the women from the sexual assault survivors group that saved my life.

And I will, damnit! But not tonight. Tonight, I’m beat. Bushed. Pooped. Done.

All my own fault! I take full responsibility! No one mans this blog but little old sleepy imp-faced me!

I want to tell you well. Accurately. Clearly. With the right amount of yucks and honesty.

So I don’t want to half ass it, y’all. No half assing because of an arbitrary deadline I set on myself

Imma work on it. I’m going to tell you all the good, even the good arising from the embarrassing or potentially not so good.

For now, a quick update.

This week in History, from my corner of the world:

Monday: I worked my second shift at my new job. Cute shop girl can be added to the list of survival jobs I’ve now had.

Tuesday: I worked at said cute shop, and went to late lunch with two girls from my old job. They caught me up on all the good gossip (and y’all, let me be the first to say it was indeed salacious). And they talked their lives–mormal, beautiful, ostensibly tedious day to day stuff. The signs of life, so to speak.

Wednesday: I caught up with friends and took time for myself. To fret over auditions. I fretted more than I ought to have. That time would’ve been better spent working. Don’t toil, ya idiot.

Thursday: I worked and then bartended at the Know. I also took a shower, I’m noting now in my planner. Why did I write that down?

Friday: I had that aforementioned breakfast. And my kids successfully performed their end of the semester play. I also walked to Skyline in a monsoon with the cutest guy I know. I would say smartest, but a smarter man would’ve told me not to go out in the rain.

Saturday: I attended three auditions. I ran. I bought a Mexican blanket and a new face mask mix. I got stupid at the bar later. Nothing untoward.

Sunday: now we’re here.

If you read this far, you’re probably wondering how I had to energy to write all that but not the actual update. Me too, man. Me too. (Walt Whitman here: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”)

I love you. I miss you. I hope to see you soon.

 

Hey! This is a poem!

A few weeks ago, a dear friend from high school posted a poetry prompt to Twitter. They’re currently super active in the poetry scene.  Even going to competitions and performing in teams, from what I can deduce from social media because I’m a creeper. I’m super proud of them, proud of who they were as a sophomore a LDHS, and proud of who they are now. (Side note: I’d love to plug their work, but I don’t know if they have a website, so I’m going to post this to FB and tag them to see. I don’t know why I’m telling you that.)

Anyway, the point of this being, I’m sharing more content with you in an effort to 1. write more, 2. see what this blog can be/feels good as, 3. show my work to grow my work. So, on Wednesdays we wear pink. And post poetry.

Here’s the poem from the prompt. It’s its X number of edits. I’m learning to edit in general. So here it is. In an ideal world, I’ll perform it and continue to hone it. In an ideal world, which is this one, because it’s not gonna change overnight so we might as well have fun with it the way it is.

Enjoy, my little clem.


She asked me what my heart was like
and I said it was like

what it was like

Texas, I said

a Texas summer, and it never stops sweating

(back home, the A/C in buildings arctic cold

your body never adjusts to the blast of artificial cold exploding from automated sliding grocery doors, I suppose this is a part of a heart too. The heat and the over adjustments to the heat. We swing too far and pump too much blood. Lightheaded.)

Texas might be my heart mapped out, split into halves, ventricles exposing veins and capillaries 

vessels and musculature

a template twin of the land I was born on

too big too arrogant

delineations of latitude, longitude (how far I can love how wide how many miles to ache or break or sick or full) kin to degrees on the old Coca-Cola thermometer we kept on the front porch

Hearts, I’ll bet, are hotter than you’d like 

a heat you can’t escape.

so my heart instead is a crape myrtle  

saccharine barbie pink sharp against the endless cloudless sky
a wild blossom over and over, taller than most of the neighborhood kids

just sit under it

a crape myrtle the tree spits sap down on you
like a silly girl spitting at a boy she likes as he rides by on his older brother’s bike

my heart is a silly young girl spitting

crape myrtle branches against
vast landscape bordered by oceans that never cool
a handful of sands that are not beautiful but coarse and dark dangerous
someone’s roadmap ticking off towns with quick names

                   Hell Waco Austin Abilene Raymondville Corpus Christi El Paso

she asked me what my heart was like
and I said home. 

the muscle best healed by use,
the only thing I carry everyday,
filled with blood and heat, blooms and salt water, the sweat and the dust of me. 

my heart is like. 

WHAT. EVER.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

I’ve never tried to “be a writer”. “To Be a Writer”, as used in this here blog, I would define  as actions such as “being published”, “making money”, “having a literary agent”, and so forth. Sure I had a Tumblr (ha!) for years that mostly my friends read. Then I “launched” this, which reaches more than just my friends. No one, thus far, has said, “hey you’re an absolute failure at stringing thoughts together in an interesting fashion maybe just quit or actually just never Internet again”, but there’s still time. I don’t have a large enough audience yet, I’ll bet.

I never seriously tried to “be an actor” before this Season of My Life (this Season being a crash landing back to Ohio after moving through space for 5 months post-grad).

No one’s ever told me what “to be”. Not even Shakespeare posing the question shook me. No one–to my admittedly faulty and selective recollection–has ever said, “you should be X thing!”. People, family, friends, what have you, have always been encouraging and supportive. “Have you considered…” or “have you ever tried…” are often the beginning of good suggestions/opportunities/advice. My parents never pushed us to be anything other than good citizens of the world, and happy (and ideally not engaging in premarital sex or drug use, but I never miss a state or federal election so is anyone really worried?).

My friends never said, “maybe don’t”. Often they actually just say, “maybe do”, because I’m terrible at follow-through and try to couch it in being an “Ideas Person” which is really just a bullshit excuse for someone else to actualize your bomb ass script ideas (Corpus Crispi and The Poultry Geist , I’m looking at you).

I think about Flashdance a lot. I think about Jennifer Beals being a stripper and a welder and trying to get into dance school while also dating the worst Love Interest casting in a major motion picture for the entirety of 80’s cinema. No disrespect to Michael Nouri, I’m just saying. The matching was a miss, if you will. I think of her hustle, her living in that incredible warehouse, dancing to ballet broadcast on TV (do they even do that now?! Even on, say, Bravo??) with her beautiful pupper. And I want to be that.

But that’s fiction, dammit. Jennifer Beals–who is incredible and an inspiration hi please write me I love you–looks well-rested and poverty-chic because it is just a story. There are women, men, out here hustling just as hard. Maybe their hair isn’t as perfectly coiffed, maybe their warehouse space isn’t as lavishly yet subtly decorated. But they’re real. They’re real. They’re inspiring. Sometimes they’re on Huffington Post and other times they’re friends on my FB feed. I think, I’m fairly certain, I am also one of them. At least my stress-related breakouts, dwindling bank account, and suspiciously frequent emailing would indicate such.

So why am I telling you this? Namely, because it’s my blog, which translates into a enormous note to self. That note to self could be boiled quickly into: HEY GIRL DON’T FUCK UP.

Make yourself.

Be a good citizen.

Don’t fret the premarital sex.

But I’m telling you this also because I trust you. I love you. I value your opinion. I like knowing you’re out there, listening, judging, maybe even rooting for me. I’m rooting for you.

I’m telling you this also because that is what I’m going to be. What I am. A writer. An actor. I took a leap, like I said I would. A parachute and a good pair of boots, remember? All of it, or as much as possible. I took a leap on settling down (weird thought, but real). I took a leap on a relationship. I took a leap on honest, uncomfortable accountability with friends. I took a leap on a new job. I’m basically a frog at this point. I’m going from lily-pad to lily-pad (let the metaphor live, dude), and maybe not perfectly sticking the landing. But! (I imagine me holding up one finger here to punctuate the point) I have yet to sink to the bottom of the pond. I’m above water. I’m growing fat on flies. The view’s nice.

This week has been a lot of anxiety-induced comparison. I look at her and wonder, “is this because she doesn’t have piercings?”. I look at him and fret, “if only I’d gotten that degree.”.  I look at them and think, “how do they afford it that??”. “I want to go there!” “How did they land that gig?” “Well of course that worked out for them, they’re lucky.”  “They’re pretty.” “They’re taller.” “They have the right parents.”

WHATEVER.

SERIOUSLY.

WHAT. EVER.

Those thoughts are high on the list of least productive thoughts I could entertain. They fall underneath Being a Professional Athlete and Ending My Relationship Because I’m Scared of Vulnerability, but well above Learning to Crochet and Never Getting Out of Bed.

I’ve tried this new job for a week. I’ve been acting “more seriously” (I never took the time to define that, kind of squirrelly on my part. We live. We learn. We listen to Alanis Morrisesette.) for a month. I’ve never even tried to submit my writing, so a big WTF to myself for holding my breath there. Choices have to live. They have to expand and take on a life of their own. You adjust accordingly, I think. From what I’ve seen.

This is the work. My god, there is only the work. So the work isn’t what I envisioned it would be when I leapt again and landed on a thinner lily-pad than planned. So the work isn’t immediately glamorous. Forget that. Teddy Roosevelt said, “I have to urinate,” at least once in his life. He also said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

I’m choosing the second quote to adhere to.

I have no idea what I’m doing. That’s all I’ve ever done–the Grand Not Knowing. I’ve gotten better. I’ve learned some things along the way. I’ve had a Montana sized amount of help.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not going to stop doing it.

I will have all of it, or as much as possible.

I love you. So much.

I miss you. I see you and am proud. You move me.

I hope to see you soon.

Happy Easter, you sweet bunny.

If this is my blog (it is) and on Sunday I update you (I do), then I’ll write whatever the heck I want.

Ugh, I don’t want to be drippy and sentimental.

“Oh, I’m Mia! Here’s some feelings, and then some thoughts on life ugh I’ve lived so much I love you I wanna cuddle you I like socks and organic toothpaste ugh…!”

I don’t want to be heavy.  I’ve already gained 12 pounds in the past four months (thanks a lot, happy and healthy relationship).

So here’s an update, or as I like to call it,
me rambling about things that happened with or without my knowledge or say“. Or as others might call it, The Passing of Time.

Monday: You know when you have nothing to do the next day? And you feel really good about what you just accomplished? And someone tries to tell you you’ve had enough to drink so you take it as a challenge to drink more? And you forget you’ve already tequila before having more whiskey?

Well. That was me Sunday night.

Me Monday was mostly just crying and then accidentally breaking a lamp while deep cleaning baseboards. Monday was not Mia’s Finest Day. Monday did, however, illuminate  the Boundaries of Jake’s Patience. Those boundaries are far reaching, y’all. Probably against his better judgement (please don’t change).

Tuesday: Applied for more jobs. Picked up a trade for print shoot with the Art Academy. Started off on the wrong foot. Learned I desperately needed new headshots. Learned that watching America’s Next Top Model reruns during the summers in high school set me up to fake knowing how to model. Ended with a hugely productive two hours followed by a beer with my boy Hagan. Took the bus back home. Went to Arlin’s and told a friend I’m sorry for being a shitty friend. Results may vary.

The path to honesty is long and unyielding and I think it never ends. I started off on the wrong foot. Results may vary.

But, whatever.

I said my piece and drank my beer. What else can we hope to accomplish?

Wednesday: I spent the day with a friend. He bought me brunch. We walked around discussing economics, relationships, and whatever else because those two topics happen to cover just about everything in between. Jake joined up with us.  The three of us rearranged his friend’s apartment (the two of us were very forceful in our suggestions that we do so until we did so).

I continued to have late night spasms of fear that I’ll be unemployed forever.

Thursday: I read up on laws regarding art and creative content. I compiled all my VO and on-camera work into one folder, ready to be put into a reel. I researched VO work, compiled information on actor websites, looked into union laws, and pay scales. Sent Jake some memes.

Called my mother and had our first of several “Presidential Talks”. Way back when, we went to the Ohio Bookstore on my birthday. There’s a section on presidents. The heavy hitters, your Lincolns or Roosevelts, have entire bookcases devoted to them and the various biographies they’ve inspired. Lesser presidents merely had a shelf, or worse, found themselves sandwiched between dramatic Watergate tomes or scandalous first wives’ exposés. My mother and I decided to pick at random a Lesser President biography and gift it to the other. She picked for me “Hayes of the 23rd: The Civil War Volunteer Officer”. I picked for her, “Woodrow Wilson: World Citizen”. Now we call each other on Thursday mornings and discuss the chapter we’ve read the previous week. Hence, “Presidential Talks”. I think by the end of this, I’ll stan Rutherford B. Hayes harder than anyone has in 100 years. My mother regrets to inform you that her book is written at a 6th grade level (“well, 1960’s 6th grade, so 9th grade now, Mia”) and will probably not enjoy it as much.

Put out more applications. Had lunch with Caroline to discuss Pearl. Lined up a job interview at a clothing boutique for this Tuesday. Got a sunburn on my shoulders. So long, pasty vampiric Mia!

Friday: Shuttled things to and from our respective apartments. Got my hair trimmed. Got a phone call from Jake to inform me he’d won a departmental award for being the best of all graduating seniors over the past year. Best in the same department I graduated from. I mean, I’m bringing an awful lot to this relationship (see: my butt, my wit, my charm and humility, incredible celebrity hair). But he’s literally been named the Best. Nominated by five different professors. Didn’t even know he was up for the thing. Also graduated Summa Cum Laude. So. We’re well matched.

Saturday: A family occasion; not my own. It would be untoward to discuss another’s grief. I think it’s alright for me to say Jake has a wonderful, loving family. I got to sit down over a bottle of wine and some charcuterie with his step mother. I went on a long walk with his kid sister–who reminds me an awful lot of how much I miss my own sister. I sat around the fire with his family and didn’t feel that far from home.

Sunday: Today. We went back for more family time. Easter dinner. Lots of bacon fat and jelly beans. Perhaps not obviously at the same time. We got home and I called my own family. Sister, brother, brother, mother; in that order. I’m exhausted now. I’m sitting in a t-shirt and undies and trying to wrap this up so I can resume my book (Michael Ruhlman’s The Soul of a Chef, for those curious).

We did it! It didn’t get heavy! I’m tired and so full of candy and good food. I’d like to think you are too.

I love you. I miss you, man, I really freaking do. Let me call you some time. Let’s catch up.   I hope to see you soon.