Thursday, July 29, 2004

Official Rejection

Today's only real low point was the arrival of a letter containing my rejection for the job I interviewed at, twice, and well. Since it's been weeks of silence on their end, the rejection was presumed; I guess it was nice to know I wasn't just forgotten.

So my current plan in life is to continue looking for gainful employment here--maybe temp work, which I know absolutely nothing about--and plan to move to the Bay Area in December or January if I find nothing suitable in Seattle. I will continue looking both places until then.

Anyway, since the job hunt is my least favorite topic of conversation lately, I'll move on.

I've been watching several speeches from the Democratic National Convention, like many bloggers. And of course I was impressed by Barack Obama's speech and, when that man runs for president in 15 years, I'll gleefully vote for him. Teresa Heinz-Kerry was also nice; I know she gets a lot of flack for... whatever the non-Stepford political wives get flack for, like speaking French or whatever, but I liked her. She seems thoughtful and intelligent, as well as possessing a unique perspective, which strikes me as a good thing to influence a president.

But despite all of this, I still find it hard to honestly *like* John Kerry. I mean, I'll vote for him, and on paper, he's got enough going for him that I don't hate myself for saying so, but I watch him and I just don't especially like him. Can't explain it. He just doesn't inspire a lot of enthusiasm. I just hope that won't be his downfall.

Yeeep. So, politics on my mind, as usual. Go Dems. It's like sports, but not as boring.

Today was a good day, which I needed. This week has been depressing and confusing, but I can't really go into it except for the fucking job hunt blah. So suffice it to say some shit went down that wasn't about me, but affects me.

Last night was fun, too. Kevin and I had dinner with his sister and her fiance, who are just about to move to Portland. They're good people. And today my mom came up and I cooked a bunch of food that was good. I made some roasted red pepper sauce and baked it with some penne and zucchini; I made some tofu salad that is good on sandwiches. I was going to make some superchocolatevegancookies, but I didn't want to abuse the oven on such a hot day. After we ate, mom and I went to the mall so mom could get some hot-weather clothes at Lane Bryant to wear while she's in Nebraska, visiting friends, then we got Ben & Jerry's Half Baked frozen yogurt and a DVD from the fourth season of "Sex and the City" to trash out on the futon in the nice, cool basement. Then we went and got Chinese food, which was yummy and filling.

I have so much already-made food now, I can eat happily for days. Leftover pasta, tofu salad, garlic spinach, rice, and mu shu with pressed tofu... *dies*

Also! We have met Steph's fiance, Steve. Whose unit also happens to be transferring to Fort Lewis (near Olympia) next year. They'll possibly have, like, a normal relationship for the first time ever.

Still listening to Kerry's speech. It's on PBS on the TV behind me. He's babbling about some stuff. You'd think I don't care, the way I talk. I swear I've heard this all before, it's such a blur. He's disappointing as an orator, but better than Bush.

Anyone seriously in the running is better than Bush.

And that anyone is Kerry.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

This is completely insane. Since the government approved this drug once, and they can never be wrong, the companies that produce the drug are officially beyond reproach. Just, I, what the fuck? (Hit up for a login if you don't already have one.)

Yeah, I'm posting just for that. I spent the day up at Lauren's grandparents' house on Camano Island, which was wonderful in all ways. Good folks, good food, good fun. I "attempted" waterskiing, which was a majestic failure, but hey, at least I tried. And at least I didn't get partway up, only to fall badly and swallow a mouthful of saltwater, ick. Other than that, the day was a smashing success.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Silence Speaks

When it's quiet, I imagine all the things that the silence is trying to tell me.

I imagine that my phone is ringing, only I can't hear it.

I imagine that the next e-mail I receive won't be from a mailing list.

I imagine that the distant slam of a mailbox will bring something other than a credit card offer.

I imagine that the sound of car tires on gravel is someone I want to see.

I drown out the silence with news radio and mp3s, running water and the clatter of dishes against a soapy sponge. I awake at the same time and go to bed at the same time, filling the interim space with all this listening to no avail.

As the sun comes up each day, I imagine my hopeful chances evaporating with the heat. I see my yard go to waste and housemates come and go. Plastic fan blades continue to spin, providing minimal relief.

I make lists of things I should be doing, but none of them seems important enough to actually do.

I gotta get out of this.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

If Experience Is Required, It's Not Entry Level

Many classified ad writers seem to fall into this trap. They mean to say they are looking for a relatively inexperienced worker--probably so they can justify paying them dirt--but they call it "entry level." And, within mere sentences, contradict themselves by requesting that applicants have under their belt at least a year of related experience in addition to that oh-so-useful college degree.

If you need experience IN ADDITION TO college... IT'S NOT ENTRY LEVEL.

In other pointless rants, the LA Times crossword last week had the clue, "Apple portable computer," five letters. No, not an iBook! Through cheating, I learned they meant the Emate, which, according to my friend Rob, is something related to the Newton that had a little fold-out keyboard and was similar to a PDA for educational purposes, or something. At any rate--that was a bad clue! I was very mad about this clue! I wanted to yell at the people who wrote the puzzle! Because I am just that bored and frustrated!

So I still haven't heard from the people I interviewed with over a week ago, and people are telling me I should call and have a little speech like, "Uhhmmm, yeah, so what's up with the job? I still totally want it. Oh, right, here's where I kiss ass, awkward-professional-style, and say if you have any additional questions that can help you make the decision, let 'em rip! I can take it."

The thought of making this call--not to mention the question of which interviewer to direct my call to--makes me want to puke. I already sent a damn thank-you card reiterating that I really want the damn job. It was pretty. I used a nice pen.

What I really want, though, is to stop looking at job ads. Because they are depressing.

The other day, it occurred to me that I might want to go to school to become a dietician--I have no idea what kind of schooling this entails--because it might be fun. I've been unemployed a month and already I've sunk this low.

Dietician. What in the holy fuck?

That sounds almost as bad as the Kids in the Hall Hecubis sketch where Dave Foley doses Kevin McDonald with sodium pentathol to put him in a "trance" and discovers that he fantasizes about being a dentist. "'Cause they've got it all figured out, man!"

I've gone too far, and for too little.

On the sort-of-amusing side of life, Kevin got some nice clothes to wear to his sister's wedding, and actually contemplated wearing a tie. You have no idea how much that would amuse and please me.

Something has to.

Emate. What the fuck.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Nothing New

I didn't want to write until I had something to say, and I don't have anything to say, but I feel like I need to write. Except every time I get to this point, the words don't come. They're all in my head at random times and don't come out right. I've always had this problem. It's always bothered me.

Everything is in flux, and I mean everything. And it's not like I'm a caterpillar trying to become a butterfly. There's no proscribed course of change, I can't go make a cocoon and become something else, something with a specific purpose. I can't go through college and come out employed. I have to stalk my future. Purpose doesn't fall into my lap.

My second interview went very well, by the way, but I won't hear until at least tomorrow, I guess. The more time goes by between the interview and the notification, the less confident I am.

So I'm biding my time, rifling through job boards across the Internet, looking for something else even remotely worthy of notice and finding not a whole hell of a lot. I mean, I know I've only been at this a short while and really, I might be in for the long haul when it comes to finding gainful employment, but I'm really bad at that. I got fucking depressed about being unemployed from day one. And the more I look, the gloomier I feel. I guess that's normal. That it's normal is no comfort, though.

I'm reading and watching documentaries and getting really fucking angry. If I can't find a job and I can't spend all my time doing the dishes, well, I might as well get hyped up about politics. What good it's going to do me, I don't know, but it's something to focus the mind. Last night I watched The Weather Underground, which was pretty fascinating. It really brought out the cognitive dissonance I feel about radical leftist movements--I totally sympathize with their goals and philosophies, in a lot of ways, but the methods can be extreme (the Weathermen, for example, bombed a bunch of buildings during the Vietnam War) and even the philosophy can be too extreme for me. It's just hard to know where to get a foothold on the issues. But they talked about wanting to be a part of the revolution, of giving up comfort for the sake of the cause, and--yeah. I get that. I haven't done it... haven't felt it's necessary yet. What would make it necessary, anyway? Where's that line? And at the same time, it makes me question my long-standing plan to move to Canada if things get any worse--what good is running away? Do I have any resolve, about anything?

Anyway. Rachel was up last weekend, which was lovely. Her new place is damn near walking distance from here, even, and I'm hoping we'll be able to get in some good hanging out time. We have pretty similar music and movie tastes, so if nothing else, I am hoping we can get out and do that sort of thing on a regular basis. I helped her shop for decor and met the new boy, who was pretty cool. She also tells me that our third best friend from 8th grade, Sasha, will be coming to check out the UW Law School next month, so we'll all get to see each other for the first time in, I think, seven or eight years. How serendipitous if we all ended up in Seattle as adults after being quite suddenly separated after 8th grade?

Well, I must enjoy one last DVD before they all go back and I try to get Dead Like Me, which was out on $2 Tuesday, drat! (The woman working that day revealed that it embarrassed her that some people called it Tightwad Tuesday, a nickname that honestly never occurred to me.) And here is a comic (of sorts) sent to me by Chris that you should all enjoy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Well, That Wasn't So Hard

I had my first post-college, real-job interview. It was relatively painless, and I scored a second interview on Monday. So, here's hoping. It sounds like a good fit for my skills and goals, and the company has good benefits and a decently casual atmosphere. Oh, and it's in Seattle.

I want it. Not more than anything; it's not a dream job or anything, just a good match. And if it's not, it's not. A job isn't marriage, you don't say 'til death do us part.

Tonight we're celebrating Lauren's birthday at Araya's, everyone's favorite vegan Thai restaurant of joy and love. Tomorrow I have at least one social engagement, and my mom's bringing a set of plastic yard furniture up in the morning. Yay for outdoor dining!

That's about all from me today. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Like Clockwork

Few things change, really. I mean, they change progressively, they move on, but they don't vary wildly from one instance to the next. Like all the bullshit associated with my menstrual cycle, for instance.

The day or two before things start, I get emotional, depressed, and have some big speech for Kevin about things that annoy me in the relationship. The next day, I realize I'm fucking bleeding. By early afternoon, I'm doubled over with severe lower abdominal discomfort. Is this too much for your eyes? Too fucking bad. It's too much for my afternoon, and I'm living it. You can always stop reading. I feel like puking--though I won't--and no position or amount of ibuprofen helps.

Fortunately, this is only for the first day. The other days are just annoying for the whole bleeding thing, but not feeling nauseous.

Also, Kevin did not like the Muppet Show episode I showed him last night. This is unconscionable.

And I need to set up filters on my e-mail inboxes. I have gotten way too many piece of shit virus spam in the past few months. Not that these matter on a linux server when I'm reading mail in pine, but they're irritating.

And I still need a job. Pooh.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Yay America!

Do I do this every year? Friends, I will never comprehend the celebration of our nation with the explosion of copious items that make one feel as in a war zone.


I know. I lack patriotism. So sue me. (Never know if the FBI will come knocking on your door, either.)

I mean, yes. America means a lot to me. It's where I'm from and all, and I've grown to have a fondness for the people I know, the places I've seen, and the ideals I've espoused that come from my exploration of a country I've seldom left since I was born. When you consider I'm 22 years and 6 months old and I've been outside of the U.S. for maybe two months, total, it adds up to a lot of American Experience.

There's a lot to like, admire, respect, and even love about America. But that doesn't mean I can't be irritated when people choose to express that by acting like complete idiots.

I just spent a few weeks touring the interstates and state highways of several western states. We've built roadways that allow you to see some amazing scenery while you're zooming happily from place to place. (We'll forget for a moment that we have to drop a pantsload of dollars on gasoline to fuel the cars that take the roads, and what a disaster that is for the environment and what a mess it makes of our foreign policy.)

I saw huge chunks of nature set aside and reserved for future generations as state and national parks. The sights are incredible. I love the city, but being somewhere like Yosemite or the Arches give me pause.

I saw a film by a man who, using his Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression, railed against the current administration with damning evidence mixed with humor and sadness for two hours. And I experienced a theater full of people watching and applauding as these men were torn apart. I saw that dissent is alive and well.

I bought fruits and vegetables from local growers who brought their wares to Ballard to sell on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Independent, organic agriculture is thriving in my state, at least in a small way. I still have options besides the bin of tomatoes from who-knows-where at Safeway.

I saw many people all over the place, many of whom are no doubt immigrants. I don't know what they were all looking for when they came here, but I hope they're finding it. I have nothing but respect for people who choose a country. It has to give a person a deeper valuation of what it means to be part of a nation like that, something I wouldn't know unless I emigrated somewhere.

I saw my housemate's smiling face as she told me her fiance, stationed for the last year and a half in Iraq, was on his way home. That she might see him again in a month.

And I thought, maybe there is still some hope left.

But why do the kids gotta blow up firecrackers until 1 a.m.? That shit ain't right.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

How I Spent My Summer Vaction

Usually, people write these essays at the end of the summer, rather than the beginning. And they're 9 years old, not 22. The former is a fatal flaw: Unless the most stunning part of your break from school occurred at the end of August, you've probably forgotten all the best details.

It's weird to be home again, and using a proper computer with a mouse and real keyboard. I just ripped out all my lettuce and spinach, which were overgrown and infested with some kind of disgusting insect. So sad. At least I know they'll grow next time I try.

Anyway, leaving off from the previous entry, which saw our heroes rocketing their way south to Santa Cruz via the scenic Silicon Valley suburbs of Milpitas and Fremont, the mall was a success in that it wasted sufficient time, and we found our way to Fremont, a Cost Plus where mom drooled over cobalt blue dishes, the BART station, and a Trader Joe's with little difficulty.

The house in Santa Cruz was advertised as "funky and eclectic," and it was, I suppose. Mom said this disdainfully upon seeing the place, though I'm not entirely sure why. It was a fine base, located near Paradise Point, which is very popular with surfers. The stereotype of surfers as hot, shirtless white boys in the California sun is a myth, however--every surfer I saw, boys and girls, were dressed in full-body wetsuits, negating the influence of hotness on my opinion of them.

Santa Cruz's downtown is one of my favorite among smaller-town shopping districts. Lots of neat little spots to eat and spend money on things you actually want. Terrible, really. I went to Streetlight and limited myself to only three CDs, including some older Lambchop and Mountain Goats releases and the new Wilco. I didn't even browse the vinyl, knowing it might melt in the van before it got home. I went to Bookshop Santa Cruz (bypassing the giant Borders entirely--support local businesses!) and picked up five goddamn magazines. My mom got David Sedaris's new book on audio CD so we could hear him read six hours of fabulous text on our long drive up the coast. And I got a new pair of shoes.

One can't wear scratched and falling apart 8-hole Doc Martens to job interviews she has yet to even secure, can she?

Among other highlights, we went down to the other end of the Monterey Bay and enjoyed Point Lobos State Reserve, which is one of my favorite places anywhere. This time we saw harbor seals sunning themselves on the near rocks, while the sea lions were farther out. My sister and I also witnessed two gulls have a fight to the death, which was pretty interesting. I didn't know gulls fought over anything but sand-covered hot dogs.

After a few days, we took the scenic route up the coast and into San Francisco to help my sister move from a shitty apartment to a great one, but the traffic and the parking made mom anxious about staying, so we didn't.

And because she insisted on taking Highway 1 up the coast, it took about four hours to arrive just slightly north of San Francisco, in a tiny town called Gualala. The next day, we drove until we reached Crescent City. The next, Seaside, to check progress on the beach house, then Portland to stay with the Cambodians. By this time I was quite done with beautiful beach scenery and welcomed the smiling faces of my little nieces before passing out on the family room floor.

In Portland, my mom and I went to Lloyd Center to shop for her very particular model of sneakers at Nordstrom and see Fahrenheit 9/11. We would've seen it earlier, but it was totally sold out in Santa Cruz. I would spout some opinion, but I don't have one--it's worth seeing, if only so you can participate more intelligently in the dialogue surrounding the film and the issues it brings up.

And, joy and rapture, Burgerville for lunch. Mom just ordered whatever I ordered, so I hope it didn't kill her stomach. Usually dairy is not a happy thing, and the berry smoothies (not so much a Jamba Juice-esque deal as a milkshake made with fat-free frozen yogurt and fresh berries) have a lot of that.

I hung around Olympia for a few hours, in part to avoid rush hour and in part to make sure I saw Becky. We met for dinner at Apollo's, which is a good, happy medium for us.

And then I went home, so now I am there. With little to nothing to do besides get groceries, put crap away, and find a fucking job.

The listings today are depressing as hell, but I'll get some delicious food to make some healthy meals and be cheery anyway.