Monday, March 03, 2008

When the scum begins to circle the drain.

I have to say, the road from happy to have nothing going on to despair that I'll never work again is a short one.

Timeline of the last week plus (spoiler alert, there is no happy ending):

Had a phone interview the Friday before last for a job that sounded very matchy-matchy with my skills and goals. Was told I'd hear late the following week at the earliest if I got a face-to-face interview. Made plans to fly up to Portland and visit my mom, et al., courtesy mom's Southwest Airlines reward points.

Spent the weekend enjoying a storm down at Point Lobos, south of Carmel. Packed and tried to contact some friends to make plans to visit them up north.

Monday morning, I received a call asking me to come in for an interview the next day, and that they wanted to hire someone by the end of the week. Had to cancel my plans to catch a plane that was taking off in a few hours.

Tuesday I got all dressed up nice to meet some people at an office. I thought I did a halfway decent job chatting with them, but one can never tell. Of course I'm prone to obsessing over what I said wrong, what I should have said differently, how many times I had an awkward pause or a poor explanation, etc. Things were left open, as they are with the interview business.

Wednesday I had lunch with some of my friends from my old job, and also sat around and waited. Thursday I had lunch with Steve and his food editor at a Cuban place in Japantown, followed by more sitting around and waiting. Friday I was annoyed because Kevin told me he didn't feel like going to the Mountain Goats show that night, but Jenn called me in the afternoon (interrupting my busy schedule of sitting around) and was upset that Kevin didn't want to go, so asked me for his phone number and proceeded to call and convince him herself. Very impressive.

Friday night we all met up at Mudai and ate delicious Ethiopian food, then drove to North Beach and saw one band with insanely bad lyrics, one with awesome lyrics/music/comics (Jeffrey Lewis and the Jitters!), and the one band we actually came to see. They have a new album out, Heretic Pride, and luckily Steve burned me a copy a few weeks ago so I knew all the awesome new songs. (Don't worry, I bought a legit copy at the show.) It was tons of fun and the band was at least as good as it always is, if not better.

Saturday I was somewhat productive in terms of doing dishes and cleaning out the fridge. I also had to harass Kevin into giving me a ride to Mudai, where my car was parked all night since we carpooled to the city. We grabbed a late lunch at Happy Bamboo, which we hadn't been to in way too long. She's changed the menu a bit, so we both opted to try some new dishes--him the veggie chicken enchiladas (looked and smelled lovely); me the gourmet seaweed salad (similar to the Au-Lac veggie chicken salad mixed with Japanese-style seaweed salad and bean sprouts and served with two big puffy rice crackers--SUPER good). Afterwards Kevin dropped me off at Steve and Jenn's house so Steve and I could head up for Round 2 of the Great Goatsing Weekend.

Parking in the Independent's neighborhood is a bitch, but we found a spot, grabbed a bite at Herbivore (many veg places attempt bad falafel; not enough do a nice seitan schwarma like these guys do), and headed into the club to snatch up a spot up front and directly under John Darnielle's mic. The show was packed and by the time our band went on, I had at most two inches of personal space left between the obsessive fan who knew every lyric, the Noisepop chick rudely butting in with a video camera to capture the drums and get snooty about JD being unhappy about having a camera in his face, and the girlfriend of another devoted fan. We sat through three openers who were varying degrees of mediocre, then enjoyed another rock and fucking roll set.

One of the new songs has a lyric about spending all day in bed, and I swear to god that JD pointed down at me and made a crazy face right as he sang it. It freaked me out a little bit, like, "OMG, HOW DID YOU KNOW?!"

Yes, my brain is silly. I'm sure I'll remember it fondly, probably even more fondly than the time I got hit in the face by Ben Gibbard's guitar cable at a Death Cab for Cutie show.

The show ran very late and we didn't get home until well after 2. That didn't stop my body from thinking it still had to get up at 7:30, of course, so I showered and went to the farmers' market for the usual assortment of bunny and people food. Having offered to drive to the Round 3 show, a matinee with doors at noon, I gassed up the car and picked up Steve around noon. We went directly into the show, realized there were no in-and-out privileges, and got some quesadillas for lunch. We managed to nab a pair of barstools with a direct stage view and parked our asses there for the entire show. Well, except for the Mountain Goats' set, during which Steve parked his on the ledge above the stool. He claimed the view was worth the discomfort.

The three openers that day were all pretty decent and received little of our scorn. The Goats were in great form once again, even being coaxed into doing a third encore of a John-only "The Sign" cover--with stories!--AND "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton," which is a fan favorite they'd previously burned out on but decided we deserved it. The whole thing was fantastic, and afterwards we bought T-shirts and shook Peter Hughes' hand and told him we'd met going to a Mountain Goats show and now always see them together, so thanks for helping us find friends.

All the show tickets were a gift to me from Steve and they were one of the best gifts ever. After a frustrating week crashing down to the reality of the job hunt, I needed this injection of joy.

And today, late in the afternoon, I got an email telling me I didn't get that job, after all. I guess I knew it all along, but I let myself get my hopes up, and it was crushing.

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