Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Adventures (II)

My quote--job interview--unquote seems to have turned into something straight out of The Apprentice. There was a task, a deadline and a boardroom review. At the end of the day, I felt on one hand generally miserable with myself and my job prospects, and on the other hand actually kinda wishing I could work for the man.

I blame my earlier post about good luck...Never count your chickens, ladies.

And on the third hand, I feel like I'm chasing after an existence that resembles young ladder-climbers who spend their "wild, unattached twenties" at work, and I remember how important things like holidays and adventures (real ones- you know, of the gallivanting sort) are to me.

Holidays like Thanksgiving, of course! (We're leaving for Y-town tonight)

But on the other foot, I am regularly reminded that it seems like holidays and adventures sometimes cost money. Money is apparently something you receive when you are employed....Yeah. Whoa. Deep.

Anyways, the wonderful thing about Thanksgiving (well, besides pie and family and the glow of a warm kitchen) is that it may be one of the only holidays that doesn't seem to cost money. It is just about the last major holiday for the commercial sector to hold sacred and leave untouched. I mean, this is a holiday that glorifies saving scraps and eating leftovers (of course, that could be an evil grocery store scheme, but no! don't snow on my parade).

So, enjoy the free-ness of giving thanks, wherever you are and with whatever "family" you can gather together. "When we stop to think about it, there is so much to be thankful for we really need more than one day to do it," wrote some columnist. May you dress warmly, laugh long, and be full.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Format

Yea! Last night's One Tree Hill episode included a song from The Format, one of my fav bands.

"Let's tune out by turning on the radio," go lyrics for this poppish band. And maybe it's true that "after awhile they (pop songs) all sound the same--I guess its better than silence and better than shame," but there's something about The Format's upbeat, emo-ish pop that might "sound the same," only better.

And by upbeat and emo, I mean lyrics like "so let's cause a scene--clap our hands and stomp our feet" that have tidy claps in the background, followed with the over-angst of a line like, "I've just gotta get myself over me." Cheesiness aside, their music is applicable everyday, like popcorn or pb&j sandwiches or orange sherbet.

Last night's WB show featured "The First Single," the band's (almost too appropriately titled) first single. While the overly obvious titles are part of the band's kitsch, they might benefit from something more specific. Just try searching the Internet for generic phrases like "the format" and "first single." Ugh.

Anyways, they've got fun music, and they started out in Arizona (guess how I heard about them). Recently they've been touring with Switchfoot (you prob'ly heard that band first on the Walk to Remember soundtrack--admit it, you know you own that cd)....

If you haven't heard The Format yet, you need to (for your very own listening pleasure)...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Adventures of the great white job hunter

SACRATOMATO--Luck may have turned today for Brenda Lynn, 23, Sacratomato, after months of unemployment and a strangely irregular job hunt. The young woman had an interview today with the editor of the Auburn Journal, a newspaper located a short drive outside of the city.

"I guess it went pretty well," said Lynn. "The editor asked me to write a sample story for him in a few days, so we'll see how that goes."

Like many other unemployed people her age, Lynn said that her job hunt was complicated by a variety of circumstances, not the least of which was a general inertia of laziness.

"It got to the point where I was scheduling my life around the few so-called 'good' daytime television shows," she said.

She explained that family members didn't at first put too much pressure on her to find a good job, because they thought that she deserved a break. Lynn agreed, and had hoped to find some greater direction in her life and apply to graduate school programs during the available time. Instead, the recent college graduate found that the vast amount of free time in a city where she knew no one only lead to a hermit-type lifestyle, promoting a repeating cycle of loneliness, lowered self-cofidence, and depression.

"We talked this weekend about the possibility of staying here for the holidays, instead of visiting our families, so that Brenda could get a retail job," said her fiance, Zac.

Whether or not it was missing family and friends for the holidays, Lynn said she really started to face her unemployement more head on.

"There was pressure from Zac's family that I was past due to find a job, and I knew that I needed to carefully consider working the holidays. Ultimately, I decided that I wasn't giving up my holidays for temporary minimum wage, but I did escape the pull of the 'idiot box' and ran into some luck," said Lynn. However, she explained, the luck wasn't all good.

Click on Comments for rest of story

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Spoiling Thanksgiving

There is fall outside our window today. The trees that once provided sheltered privacy--but were recently butchered--have finally started changing colors the last few days.

Yesterday Zac and I were rehashing our families' Thanksgiving traditions (mmm, zucchini bread). Then we saw a grocery add for a cheap turkey deal, and tonight we are spoiling our thanksgiving dinners. We're gonna try to keep it very simple, so that when the real deal comes around, we're still pleased--just roast turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes--all made as cheaply and simply as possible. Who couldn't resist a turkey for less than $4? The turkey is now in the oven, and I am already salivating...

Friday, November 12, 2004

sing w/me: I'm alive, I'm ali-i-ive

My very favorite movie--one that I actually believe has shaped perhaps far too much of my worldview--is The Last Unicorn, an animated movie from the 80's, with a soundtrack by America, and closely related to an animated version of The Hobbit and The Flight of Dragons. It's one of those things that I wouldn't have admitted to a few years ago (and I still prob'ly shouldn't), but I really do love this movie. It has this very stylized type of animation that falls somewhere between fin-de-siecle art nouveau, tapestries of the middle ages, and anime.
isn't it pretty?

I just found out that there is supposed to be a remake of The Last Unicorn, due out in 2006. Perhaps in light of the Lord of the Rings movies and the rise of Geekdom, the remake sounds like it will be live-action. It is supposed to have some of the same cast that originally voiced the animated version, including Christopher Lee (King Haggard), Angela Lansbury (Mommy Fortuna), and Mia Farrow (though she would now play the aging Molly Grue, as opposed to the unicorn). A live-action remake should be...interesting.

Strange thing, I always felt like I could only ever get a temporary pass into Geekdom, no matter how hard I tried to be an authentic member. Today, after wandering the Internet on last unicorn threads, I think I may have found my ticket in...and that's a little frightening.

I'll try to keep the lovefest for this movie short, b/c this isn't a fansite. But if you haven't seen it, consider yourself cordially invited to visit me and view it. ;)And if you feel like indulging your inner-geek, you can always find out which character from The Last Unicorn are you?

And why still pink? Because it's still pink week, of course! Zac tells me he likes the pink better than the orange, and it's growing on me too, but I'm still changing back to the fresh, warm, strange orange in a day or two...

Also still celebrating Veterans Day; apparently didn't do much of that yesterday. Because I've got some free time, I think I'm going to try writing some letters to soldiers stationed in the great wide elsewhere. Here's a nifty site that looks mostly legit for how to send mail to Any Soldier.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Happy Eleventh!

Today is the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and that calls for a little celebration. So for today, the blogthing is pinkish (if you had seen the first choice of pink palettes, you would've been even more frightened) in honor of Pink Week, another somewhat imaginary holiday being celebrated this week.

Today is, of course, Leonardo DiCaprio's birthday--dear friend, Titanic star, and honorary member of the Eleven Club. Though his membership seemed like a particularly brilliant choice at the time, I wonder if we should've chosen another star (here are quite a lot to choose from) to join the honorary position of the eleven club...

A few years ago I would've chosen Calista Flockhart, because I fancied myself a younger, fatter Ally McBeal. Demi Moore might not have been a bad choice because she was all about girl power for a while there (yes, massah chief! wait is that power, or...nevermind). A little more militant (and in honor of that other holiday celebrated today, Veteran's Day) was "old blood and guts" himself, General George S. Patton. To be a little more up-to-date politically speaking, perhaps we could choose Barbara Boxer, CA's recently re-elected senator. For our Russian fanclub out there, we could choose author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but I'm not sure he would quite stand for the silliness that Eleven encompasses...The Brothers Karamazov, anyone? And, though my little search did not yield any new honorary member hearthrobs, I think it's safe to say that my favorite nominee to replace old Leo, one who I think would really grasp the ritual stories of the jellyball and talking cars would be Kurt Vonnegut Jr., writer of strange tales himself.

So...wear junk jewelry, smile randomly, tell outrageous stories, sing, dance, and create a new eleventh tradition. Today.
Count all your fingers and then add one!

(PS- And remember Veteran's Day...ya know, however you do that. Somebody should hire me to be "holiday cultivator coordinator,"--I'm sure a lot more people would actively celebrate Veterans if they had some tradition to follow...think Day of the Dead in red, white and blue...)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A picture is worth a thousand words...

But I don't have a picture ;)

Yesterday I baked an apple pie from scratch all by myself in my little crappy kitchen. But before I could start, I had to make some space on a counter. There is only really one counter in our kitchen that is big enough for rolling out pie crust (about a 12-inch diameter). So I removed all of the small appliances, produce, paper towels and dirty dishes that normally occupy that counter, and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. By the time I was ready to go, the kitchen was cleaner than I had ever seen it.

Then I covered everything with flour--my hands, the sink, the counter, and the large beer bottle posing as a rolling pin--though the dough inevitably stuck to everything anyways. After the rolling, the pinching, the cajoling, the peeling, the coring, the slicing, the mixing, the pouring, the whining, the forming, it was time for the preheating (whoops- who ever remembers to really PREheat?). Once it started baking, the pie smelled wonderful, like butter and apples and cinnamon.

And in the midst of such happy smells, I turned back to the kitchen and realized that everything--not just my hands, the sink, the counter, and the beer bottle, but also the floor, the drain, other counters, the refrigerator, my clothes, and a fresh pile of dishes and utensils--were covered in flour and little bits of dough. It's moments like those that make me so glad that kitchens are self-cleaning (oh, yours isn't?).

Anyways, its all back to normal now, except that we have a pie (well, about half a pie today). But next time I'm taking a picture of the glorious mess I created. Because I think that might've been the most impressive part of this whole experience.

But here are pics of the finished product:

*Proud pie mom shows off pictures* Should we call it George or Caesar? Actually, I think it was looking a little "just happy to be here," like all those stars at awards shows who are destined to remain only nominated. Oh well, tastes good.

Next time I promise pictures of the process and/or the mess.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

the blue jay scuffling in the bushes follows some hidden purpose

I spoke with my future mother-in-law today for a few moments (Ok, maybe not really "spoke" it was more like me absently spouting niceties; I might still be a bit scared of V.). She asked what was new, and I spouted for a moment about nothing. "Well, I guess you really deserved a break," said V, repeating what she's said to me for the last few months, though this time sounding nothing but half-hearted.

I instantly felt guilty.

But now that I think about it, I've been feeling guilty about all this "free" time since it began. I think I've been trying to escape the guilt by flaunting my acceptance of all this "free"dom. You know--I can sleep in as long as I want, I can watch stupid TV, I can think up new and silly projects--but I think that just keeps bringing me back to the same old thing.

Today was an idea day. All day long I was hatching frail little ideas that were completely useless, each for its own reason. But though none of them were viable, the mental fluster of them made me feel a little more alive.

Tonight, that fluster has given way to simple restlessness, and as I tried to go to sleep, up came little phrases from this Thom Gunn poem. Good ol' Matts beat the poem into my head, and now I am all too often haunted by it.

For several years I have been clamoring for a break in my life. A break from the bustle to figure it all out. And now that I have that break, it seems that I can't accept it, I can't make good use of it, and I can't escape it.

"It is a part solution, after all....One lacks direct instinct, because one wakes/Afloat on movement that divides and breaks....At worst, one is in motion; and at best,/Reaching no absolute in which to rest,/One is always nearer by not keeping still."

Damned part solution.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Shell shock

BD- I can't believe Kerry conceded! Way to fight for all the people who believe in you... Just wanted to say hi. Eric and I are driving to Chico this weekend to look for a place for me for next semester. A few promising options which is optomistic compared to the hell hole that Klamath Falls is. Looking for apartments here makes you cry or loose your sanity: a 1950's midget apartment with 5.5' celings, one next door to the mission house where you can't get the 4 locks undone before smelly hung-over men are gathered round making lewd suggestions, a 400 square foot house that was too small to fit a bed in the bedroom and still get into the bathroom without leaping the bed or just walking over it (imagine having guests, "Where's your restroom?" "Just go in the bedroom, jump the bed, and make sure you shut the bedroom door because the bathroom doesn't have a door- just hinges.") It was an awesome experience, and one I hope to never repeat! Anyway, talk to you soon. Hi to everyone! Love, Tess

licking my wounds

I think I dreamed last night that I had a cat--a warm, smooth, purring ball. That was a nice dream. I want a kitty.
If I really did dream last night, that was probably the most extensive and complicated of my visions. Kitty, mmm. Comfort, mmm. Purr.

That was after working for 16 hours at a polling place in Sacramento County. We had a record turnout, which for us meant allowing people to mark their ballot against walls, counters, any available table space, and while they were standing in line to possibly use one of our 6 official booths. Which I guess is better than the dozen or so polling places in Sac county that actually ran out of ballots.

And still--voter turnout...blah, blah, blah. I guess I could rant about how low "record turnout" really is, or about the insanity of poll workers (rules? what rules?) but I really am just licking my wounds today--literally and politically. Paper cuts, blisters, weary eyes seem so much worse after a 16-hour workday. And the day after elections that have reached a fever pitch always seems like such a letdown, no matter who wins. But especially if the incumbent wins because, for the most part, it quiets those questions of what the next 4 years will be like.

And especially if the winner was not "your guy."
Goodness, the steps up to my soapbox look so steep today...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Vote, already!

And for my sake, smile at your poll worker!

And if the day's polls are getting you down, here are some things to remember...

Monday, November 01, 2004

My favorite reason to vote

Once upon a time--okay, last March--in a land far, far away--enh, Y-town--there was a hotly contested city council election. Seven people from the small town were running for two council seats, including two incumbents (we'll call them Eric & Jim) and a former council member (Grace) who had taken a break. A young reporter from the local paper was assigned the task of interviewing each of the seven candidates and following the race. She discovered that each candidate had a story to tell, loved the little city and its people, and sincerely and ardently wanted to help. The police force, fire department, local schools, city parks, casino plans, local businesses--all were issues on the table, and each voter could see how he was personally affected by the issues.

After ballots were cast and counted, there was only one clear winner (Grace) in the two-seat election. The incumbents Eric and Jim were left battling for the second seat, with the initial count showing only a few votes difference between them. Of the remaining candidates, many were short only 1 or 2 percentage points. After several days, the final count revealed that only TWO votes made Eric the winner over Jim.

Yes, this year's presidential election is very important and very heated. But please remember to vote for those more local issues, as well. Sometimes the city councilwoman, the local congressman or the state proposition can be more important to your life than even the president. And every vote really does count!!

PS- Need some comic relief? Check out today's Overcompensating comic, a recent Get Fuzzy, and watch SNL's Presidential Bash tonight.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?