Tuesday, December 25, 2007

in a staring at the snow sort of mood

Coming back to Alaska ceased to be "coming home" a while ago, but it still holds the comfort and nostalgia of any long-awaited return. My parents' house naturally hasn't changed much (nor have they - a few more grey hairs, a bit closer to retirement) and swallowed me up as it always had. I spent a night in a house on a mountain, walked along the Knik Arm alone and around the greenbelt with my dad, played cribbage, read. The mellow mood - interspersed with grandparental invasions - has been pleasant, and I'm surprising myself with how sad I am to leave. (The Alaska ACLU is looking for an executive director. Obviously, I'm massively underqualified, but the idea of making my home into a more humane place does carry some martyric appeal. Not so much food for thought as a snack to scrutinize.)

I'm such a daddy's girl, and I'm not sure my dad totally catches that. That's okay. We did a little birdwatching on our walk and from our kitchen. The suet attracts any number of fiesty little songbirds, the names of which I've evidently always known.

Saw a snowshoe hare in the woods behind the University - the first I've ever seen in the city. Also, a grazing moose, which, to most Alaskans, is hardly worth mentioning, but it was the first I'd seen since 2004, I think. That's a long time, really.

Natalie loaned me a book, The Delicacy and Strength of Lace, that has renewed my reverence for writing. It is the collected correspondence between Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright - two phenomenal American writers who wrote each other with such affection and profundity that I had trouble breathing at times. New Year's Resolution: write letters again. Lots of them. Even if no one replies.

One thing James Wright said that resonated deeply: "For man must realize that his capacity for love gives him no right to demand that anyone love him in return. Not anyone. Not even God. I have found that a hard thing to face, but there is something in it that goes beyond pain." I've been turning this over in my mind since I read it. The most difficult thing to do is to simply love, I think, free of obligation or fear or guilt or expectation. Hope of love in return is one thing, but the assumption that it will be reciprocated is an abuse of this amazing capacity (and that's truly the best word, rich with imagery) to/for/of love that we have and share.

Happy New Year. Please write in the coming year knowing that I am doing my damnedest to write back.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Not getting a few weeks of vacation at the end of every quarter is going to hurt. I'm already depressed about this. (Some post-trip let-down and illness doesn't really make that any better, but still.)

Alaska in 2 days.

Monday, December 17, 2007

welcome to Seattle, where the sun don't shine

My camera has officially bitten it. Five years is a long stretch for a digital camera, so while I'm sad to see it go, I'm not exactly shocked. So long Dinosaur Battleship! (Named for its age and durability by Trish, myself and most likely a beer or two.) It couldn't have picked a worse weekend to croak. Ample dog and girl photo ops in a pretty, pretty city. Seattle intimidates me less every time I go there. It's still massive and the lay of the land is still kind of a mystery (where the hell is Ravenna and why can't I seem to find it again?) Hitting up the Sound sucker-punched me - I know I always miss the ocean, but I didn't know I missed it so constantly and with such a bottom-of-my-stomach urgency. For all of Portland's charms, the lack of ocean and mountains (no, MOUNTAINS) really does set me into a lull.

So yes. I had a marvelous weekend. Cedar did too - causing a ruckus is one of her favorite activities.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pup pics

By and large, she's a good dog. Excitable, energetic and eager to please. I need to be more of a hard-ass to get her to take me seriously. That's not easy for me, particularly when I feel guilty about leaving her alone for stretches of time. Still, though, she's mostly housebroken and extremely loving. Her name is Cedar.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

There are projects, side projects, ongoing projects and new projects. The evolution from complete boredom to complete bemusement ("where did the last two weeks go?") is nigh upon me, and I wonder how long my new rut will suit me.

Thoughts of leaving the country again arise. Thoughts of law school persist. On top of all of it is the knowledge that I will likely live out most of my days on the West Coast, but I'll surely disappoint myself if "most" turns out to mean "all."

That having been said, I'm starting the long, slow process of entrenching myself somewhere new. With the projects. With the responsibilities and obligations. This is not the life I imagined ten years ago, or even ten months ago. But ten days ago, today would have been believable, perhaps an improvement.

Adulthood may crash in my lap sooner than I thought. Ick.

In less purple prose: I'm volunteering, making my house a home, embarking on new kitchen and garden projects, wrangling furniture for our half-furnished house, learning to knit, and collecting the supplies and wits and funds necessary to get the dog I've been raving about for months. My baby brother visits for Thanksgiving. I go back to Alaska for Christmas for the first time in three years. In the back of my throat and the well of my stomach, something shifts every time I think about it all.

Realistically, pictures of the house will come when pictures of the dog do.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The house front is moving more slowly than I'd like -- it's looking like we won't move in until next weekend at the earliest. Frustrating. I'm sick of making excuses as to why I'm not moved in already and I'm growing weary of the long-term houseguest situation.

In less whiny news, I get to see the New Pornographers tonight! I've had my ticket for about three months now -- can we say mailing list? The full line-up will evidently be playing -- Neko and Dan inclusive. Needless to say, I'll be at the front of the crush, dancing and screaming.

Fixed up my bike a little today. New stem and seat post -- the thing actually fits me now. The operation took a lot longer than I'd have liked. To the tune of an hour and a half longer, but I'm not terribly patient. Or adept with a wrench apparently. At any rate, it's taller and road-ready, if a bit in need of some tweaking.

Cafes in SE Portland have been conspiring to play music that will maximize my moodiness. The sudden cloudy turn has made it even more clear that not only does everything in this town (and the world?) revolve around me, but the whole operation is trying to make me grumpy. Not possible when a sweet, long-awaited concert is on the horizon, I'm afraid.

Last tidbit: a photo of mine has been published. See!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The mistranslations in some of these documents I review at work can be pretty thought-provoking. Usually, the intent is preserved, but the wording is at a strange nexus of clarity and cumbersome-ness. For example, a mechanical device won't be quieter or reduce noise, it will endeavor to "improve silence." The idea of silence as a sliding scale, something that can be optimized, appeals to me in a weird way.

In more exciting, less navel-gazerly news, my roomies and I found a house and we'll hopefully move in this weekend. It's in southeast, right around the corner (literally -- less than a block) from where I'm staying now. My commute to work remains 10-15 minutes. The bars I like (and the E-room) are still comfortably close. Ahhh. Damn, it feels good to be a resident.

It occurred to me today that this is the first September 11th that has fallen on a Tuesday since the towers fell. This is not insignificant, at least not to me. That Tuesday, I worked at the Anchorage Daily News after school and saw a frenzied newsroom that I can't forget. That Tuesday was one of many tuesdays of my junior year of high school -- Tuesday was my favorite day of my favorite year of an otherwise middling-to-shitty episode of life.

This Tuesday is one of what will be one of many like others. I'm working my way toward a schedule again, and Tuesdays herald staff meetings instead of the best block schedule of the week (periods 1,2,4 and 5 -- human anatomy, pottery, drawing and AP European history -- sad that the only reason I remember this is because of the attacks.) At any rate, watching the protesters in Pioneer Courthouse Square while munching my leftovers got me thinking about watching that terrifying footage over and over in school, until I asked my history teacher to let me leave.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The catering gig (50 people, most of them trashed by 9:00) went off well. I've never poached so many goddamn pears in my life.

My job is difficult to get the hang of, since there are so many nit-picky details involved in filing patent applications. Who knew? Coworkers are super-cool, though, and I love my daily bike commute. I made a friend on the path on friday; we talked about shoes.

I missed Musicfest NW largely out of my own flakiness. Rilo Kiley is coming back soon, though, and Mirah plays on Wednesday (I think) so I'm happy to save my dough. Also: NEW PORNOGRAPHERS! SEPTEMBER 16! Somebody had better join me on this one.

Today is a lovely sunny day.

Posting will continue to be light until the weather turns. It's not that nothing is going on, rather, my interest in this blogamadoo wanes for the moment. work email can be given on request. It gets checked every other moment from 8:30-4:30 Mon-Fri. Sadly. Mrrh.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

erica, road warrior princess

Well, I logged 2,000 miles in five days. My ass has long since ceased its complaints and has settled into acceptance that it may never be the same following altogether too many hours in a Chevy Cobalt (perhaps the most uncomfortable economy car on the market.) Physical complaints aside, the trip was fantastic. Baby bro and I created a new game: whenever one of us does or says something that reminds the other of one of our parents, the other sibling doles out a point in either the "Dad" or the "Mom" column. Being overly polite or diplomatic in a situation that hardly calls for any kind of decorum? Point in the mom column. Cheapskatery of any kind? Dad column. That one goofy look? Mom. That other goofy look? Dad. There are no winners and losers, only the constant reminder of kin.

It seems that the bitchy older sister versus bratty younger brother dynamic gracefully retired in favor of a steady stream of dry banter, NPR and REI fandom and tentative airing of anxieties. The bro and I have plenty in common and enjoy each other's company -- in typing that, I'm struck simultaneously by "how did THAT happen?" and "fucking FINALLY." We even wear the same pants. Different colors, but 32x32, man. The size of sibling bonding.

Montana gave me tons of hiking opportunities, although I didn't have my camera for the prettiest two forays. A couple nice snaps to tide y'all over.

Near Butte

Skeptical Brotherface, west of Helena

Friday, August 17, 2007

HA! I win Portland!

Halfway, anyway. I now work as an office assistant in a patent and trademark law firm. Now all I need is a home, and the rest will fall into line. Plus, you guys don't have to endure my unemployed whining! The employed whining will be much more...financially solvent.

Leaving on monday to road trip the bro to Montana State. Pictures upon return.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Like most of the spiritually bereft, I take my occasional off-putting, mystic dreams rather seriously. This perhaps misguided approach to the intangible is neither consistent nor rewarding, but it is how I roll. Last night, my grandfather took my on a guided tour of my life at present. He was beatific, shrouded in a white glow that extended to everything he touched. This got a little bit irritating, but I was awfully intrigued by his demeanor – that him-but-not-quite-him thing that dream people do – so I didn’t mention it. He was not encouraging, not judgmental, not bossy; in fact, Papa eschewed the entire gamut of support and advice I’ve so far received from Baby Boomers and Greatest Generationals. That I’m very, very lost only heartened him. He got angry, though, which I’ve rarely (if ever) seen; when I turned inward to self-pity, he called me out. Not for the reasons I tend to scorn self-pity, either, but because in doing so I essentially disregarded the love and care that had brought me to the present moment. To feel sorry for Poor Me was to ignore all of the people I am so very, very lucky to have near me.

My family is more or less intact, functional and okay with the homo factor. Adam and I talk as much as our personalities and timetables will allow. Unforgettable people in every region of this country and in several far-flung lands drop lines to say hey. Sometimes it frustrates me when folks don’t call me back or when the blog appears for want of readers. That’s immaterial, though. Short term. I am incredibly lucky. One, even one as spiritually bereft as I, could say blessed. Thank y'all. It's a terribly impersonal forum, but I feel like writing is the most accurate and articulte way to get these thoughts out and the blog is, well, very convenient. Had I the will to subject you to it, I'd give an alphabetical run-down of why everyone in my life is awesome. (A is for Areli, whose love for Narbles and NPR is forever and inspiration... and so on.) I'll put it all in my will. Read it at the wake in an Erica Voice.

My mother sent me a book in the mail, saying it reminded her of me. For all the awkard nuances of our relationship, my mother and I can be on the same wavelength from time to time. My jury’s still out as to whether or not getting this book – Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – in the mail with a maternal note constitutes a moment of communion or of awkwardness. So far, I could take or leave the book, but in places the tone of the thing sounds an awful lot like my Perfect World columns. It’s a syntax thing; it must be. The upshot: my mother may or may not think I’m having a spiritual crisis – not that I’m affirming or denying that, but still – and may or may not think that I should write a book about it and market it to the Oprah’s Book Club set. Does anybody else’s mother do this? Does anybody else over-analyze their parents and themselves like this? I need to get out more.

The Bicycle Thief is not the greatest movie to watch while unemployed, although I don’t have kids or any Italian whatsoever, so there’s still a remove. (Shit, I think my bike's unlocked, actually.) Reading Cormac McCarthy while pining for the dramatic landscapes of my own Heimat is likewise a bit of a downer, but in that artsy sort of way. Would that I could write like that, or even half as well.

Spent a good chunk of today with power tools and gardening materials. Making myself useful to my hostess today involved making breakfast (pancakes), using power tools (skill saw), breaking up garden brush (rosemary and an old Xmas tree), and sweeping. Windows are next.

Tomorrow: LSAT studying, waiting by the phone for news of houses and jobs, calling family in Helena so as not to totally gate-crash. Email both sets of grandparents, cousin. Take Multnomah country food handler’s test. Buy a day planner. This shit’s getting ridiculous.
Tuesday: Tri-met job fair and Q center volunteer meeting. Call parents? More LSAT. Buy a day planner for reals. Windows?

Friday, August 10, 2007

blogging is self-indulgent and that's why i do it.


Job searching sucks. House hunting sucks. I'm sick of being blown off.

On the plus side, the biking lifestyle is already making some changes to the shape of my calves.

Mother keeps hinting that I could go back to Anchorage. That feels like quitting, and be damned if I'm going to quit one more Big Thing because the going got tough.

Adam arrives on the 17th, and we leave for Montana early on the 20th. I'm looking forward to getting out of my pocket of SE for a little bit and spending some time with Boy.

Bad news from a good friend. Bought smokes, couldn't bring myself to finish a one.

House-sit ends today. I'm losing the beautiful garden and house I'd had all to myself.

Schmoozed with two Mercury writers and a couple of bloggers last night. Not especially fun, although I think I faked it well. Free drinks and food from L helped. Just seeing L helped.

And I am incredibly depressed. The days are long and full of nothing, and I'm too impatient to enjoy them. Wondering vaguely why I ever leave comfortable places.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Job searching and house hunting are tedious enough -- I'll spare you.

Fun things I've done lately have included making tons of salsa, entertaining various folks at the house-sit, readingreadingreading, hanging with my aunt (in town for a few), biking my calves into submission, frisbee, First Thursday (holy free champagne, Batman! Plus, floral camo manpris. I didn't know what to think), and the glory that is netflix.

M and I had an IKEA adventure today. My IKEA experience is limited, but I clearly recall a visit to the Phoenix location last Christmas wherein I lost my aunt and mother somewhere in the linens and felt very much like crying to an employee. Place is intimidating. For all that, it was fairly tame -- crowded, but tame. M introduced me to Bilar, which is an amazing marshmallow candy bit that tastes like condensed childhood. Not in a creepy way.

Off to transcribe interviews and wash windows. I want a real job.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I hope my present unemployment (no word from the temp agency, which is irritating beyond measure) doesn't start to reflect poorly on these applications for houses I'm trying to fill out. New Seasons is hiring. Hell, I could telemarket. Another damn tyranny of options situation over here.

The move was more or less smooth, the last nights in Eugene festive. I'm excited to settle into independence up here, but getting there is not exactly going to be a breeze. Unemployment and homelessness are still uncomfortable and unresolved.

Although I suppose I could be a little easier on myself considering I've been here for all of two days now.

Also: read the latest Harry Potter. My only comment until anti-spoiler fury dies down: favorite passage is on page 644. You'll know which one I mean. I giggled for about ten minutes picturing Maggie Smith in there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

To the left, to the left

Slowly moving my life into boxes, which is either a joyous or depressing project. There's so much to miss in Eugene. That felt strange to write, but I'm glad to get out of town before I've worked it dry of all possible affection. Eugene's not used up, and I know I'll be back.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

spam, mole, ice cream...

Possibly the best spam sender/subject combination in a while.

From: "Mai Colon"
Subj: The former paints a more vivid picture of the tank top than the latterporn

Backing up to the weekend, the mole endeavor was a success. Jenaya and I concocted some bitchin' bread pudding as well, and Ryan taught me how to make tortillas. I haven't made too many dishes that complex and had them enjoyed by so much good company. Makes me ever more sad to leave Eugene.

As did the whiskey and ice cream evening. We made about half of the sundae menu sound dirty (Kathy's Pink Surprise and the Gold Nugget were favorites. The Pearl Street joint actually has something called a Fudge-ana, which I'm not sure can be pronounced with maturity.) Meg has a few pictures, including one of our birthday "twins," John and Trish. (They're not related and it wasn't anyone's birthday. I can't go in that place without a drink or three in me, though. Too much creepy wholesomeness. I expect evil ringmasters to start pushing over-sized lollipops at me.)

Getting my OLCC on tomorrow. Woo.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Compiling a list of things to do in Eugene before I leave has become daunting. I will miss days like today with amiable cooking, jokes over crummy pizza, biking in the cooler hours, Sweet Life goodies. Moving makes me sentimental -- moreso than usual, even. (Screw you, Firefox spellcheck. Moreso is too a word.)

If I'm less than tenacious in keeping in touch down the road, it's not for lack of love.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I've learned and re-learned a few things while getting back into biking with traffic these past few days.

If I...

-make flirty eyes at older dykes, they always let me in.
-give hippie-types a big grin and a thumbs up, they always let me in.
-take middle-aged men as seriously as they take their vehicles, they always let me in.
-am anything but the pinnacle of bike safety and road rules, hardcore bikers will glower and cut me off.
-bike with wet hair, hilarious 'dos result.
-adjust my saddle properly, I can avoid unpleasant bruising.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'd forgotten a few things

Topping the list of late: why I stopped buying Tom's of Maine deodorant in the summer, what warm weather does to me (mania for the outdoors and consequent sunburn, desires for charred meat, that sort of thing) and the realization that I do, in fact, have muscles. Many of them are sore. I've had the new bike less than a week and I've logged something like 30 miles. Considering the (sad) shape I'm in, not bad.

Testing the waters on this one: Law school. Down the road a piece, natch. Civil rights and labor law specifically. Thoughts?

If I didn't mention it before, my days in Eugene are officially numbered. Moving Day: July 20. Sometimes that feels too soon, other times too late. Which probably means it's as good as any date.

Reading! So much reading. Chewed on some major Faulkner for a while, but I've since moved on to Ragtime. I think this is my fifth or sixth attempt on that one. Determination!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

meet the new lady in my life!

I call her Amelia because DAMN! does she fly. The affair has only just begun. Prepare yourselves for imminent bike nerdiness. Cheap, too. Found the poor girl on Craigslist and biked out to the boondocks to save her. She's been approved by the Maarty himself.

Also: I leave for Portland July 20th. There will be some kind of (very cheap) departure festivities, possibly protracted over several days. Until then, I'm wilfully unemployed and living off of cheap starch and apples.

The job search continues, although the Tenuous Internship grows more solid. They're looking for an office manager as well, and ideally, I'd be filling both positions. I met the staff while in Portland. They seem like a generally cool bunch; definitely a computery crowd.

Met some queers and some politicos while in the PDX. I can't wait to move there. Not so much for the folks I met, but the atmosphere that engenders meeting people so easily.

And I went clothing shopping, finally. Thanks to the lovely love that is Katharine, I'm okay in the trousers department, and now tops are finally replenished. Thrift!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

now what?

As of June 16, I'm an unemployed college graduate. Flitting off to a wedding that I don't especially want to go to this weekend, although it's in Portland which is some consolation -- the apartment and job searches begin in earnest now. (Actually, the wedding itself is in Hillsboro, which kills me. So far! No car! Drat, I say.)

I've got all this time now, and it's confusing me. What the hell do I do with myself now? The potential internship looks less promising day by day, and I can only hang in Eugene living off of savings for so long.

On the other hand, I can have hobbies again. Woo!

This was going to be more interesting, but the thought of Now What? is pretty tedious and all-consuming these days.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My last finals week begins today. Asses will be kicked, papers written, beers drunk. Until then, GOD DAMN IT.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007



do y'all say kyew-linary or cull-inary? I've been teased for the former. It was said to be "provincial." (which I am totally NOT!)

Monday, June 04, 2007


This final set of finals is seriously cutting into my leisure time. I'm trying to finish Absalom, Absalom! over here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Tofu Challenge

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Soybean

These days, I'm tofu's bitch. I drain, I press, I cook separately, I use extra firm (we're talking curry and stir-fry material here,) but no dice. It's gloppy at worse, squidgy at best. All I want is to be able say with confidence, "Why yes! I can cook tofu!"

Not that I'm cutting meat -- never that. Tofu is simply another ingredient to add to my repertoire. Plus, many omnivores such as myself don't know how to treat the stuff. It's a point of culinary pride.

Plus, a huge percent of the dating pool I'm swimming in leans veggie. There. I said it.

Anyway, I'm having a fuck of a time with this curdmass problem of mine. Any tips from y'all?

Also: frozen edamame has sustained me for a week now. Soybeans, fun fact to know and share, are acceptably spelled both "soy bean" and "soybean."

This post brought to you by the National Beef Council.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

only mildly badass, but still.

hand tattoos be hand tattoos.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

hamsters is nice, but tattoo artists is nicer

Saturday. 3 pm. Mild badassery gonna go down.

Despite not actually having all that much spare time, thesis completion has certainly engendered a "whatever" sort of attitude toward other classwork. By all accounts, I should be flipping the hell out because of the backlog of tedious reading and projects to be done. Instead, I'ma post pictures of Alaska.

Edit: problems loading. Go here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I passed! With honors! Thesis is over! Beer!

that was today.

one step closer to graduating and getting that dog.

tattoos are in the works. consultation tomorrow. I've been keeping this somewhat under my hat. but yes. tattoos.

I'm still upset about the bears -- refer to prior entry.

Monday, May 21, 2007

inappropriate use of second person

You know those days where you wake up two hours later than you intended? Then you avoid the real work you have to do (perhaps because you're debilitatingly anxious about a certain thesis defense the next day) by making ANGRY MIX 2007 and making breakfast out of tortillas and stolen peanut butter. Or maybe you try to take a shower with your socks still on. Myspace will probably tell you things you didn't want to know anyway, while insisting that beefcake-y match.com ads are your thing. (Seriously? market research? anyone?)

And do you remember that time you totally danced a kink into your back at Queer Prom? It was worth it, but now you feel about 30 years older than you actually are.

Check it: you've only been awake for 48 minutes. And they're going to dye the bears. BEARS ARE NOT HARD TO IDENTIFY. THEY ARE BEARS.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

my first and last frontier

in Alaska. As ever, it's strange to be here, to be home. I'm always struck by how ugly this city is and how attached I am to it (despite common sense and unpleasant memories.) Phase one of cleaning out my room was a success -- a few old t-shirts and hats will come home with me. Phase two, the books, will take longer.

Spending time with my brother this trip has been so fucking cool. He's funny and awkward and pretty damn bright. I like him.

Pictures to come.

(notes to self: junk email, snoop dog, bikesbikesbikes, and the mountains.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

it's done.

The thesis, that is. I defend May 22, at 11:30am. If you're a Eugener and available, ask me where and attend! I'll be dressed nicely for a change and geeking out in front of a live audience.


Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Bad vomit."

...and that's how I spent my saturday. Trying not to dwell on the hike in the sunshine and DoublePlusGood action that I missed.

Also, I'm the second or third to last person on the planet to join myspace, but I did it after much cajoling. so there's that. puke and murdoch.

Friday, May 04, 2007

the week 5 shuffle

My brain is, in fact, melting. Burn-out manifests itself so forcefully these days, I occasionally smell smoke. Midterms have not treated me kindly, and I'm really, really ready to be made tired by something that's not an essay or some crap in German. Graduation is so close...

Thanks to M, I went to the Decemberists show gratis (hooray for elephant guest passes!) and saw quite the audience participation spectacle. Maybe it was the substances, but I didn't find the show terribly engaging even though Colin Meloy was inciting dance rebellion and working the crowd with something like desperation. Also: giant whale. Maybe it was the profusion of prog rock/jam band moments -- I'm into the D-rists and I'm into Emerson, Lake and Palmer,* but I didn't expect to see the two meet sonically at the Macdonald last night. It wasn't good or bad, just something I hadn't anticipated; I couldn't quite lose myself in the thing for some reason, and I'm trying to figure out why. Not having heard any of the new album (except the omnipresent Valencia song) couldn't have helped.

Breaking from thesis right now. For those of you in Eugene free at 11:30 on tuesdays, come to my defense. May 22.

And women are nothing but trouble.

*What? I don't believe in musical skeletons in playlist closets. Cribbing from M, the phrase "guilty pleasures" implies guilt. So there, music snobbery.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

outta here again

Portland-bound. Maybe not the brightest idea, but it's got to happen. All things being equal, I'd like to look at the other Potential Home City.

got a few comments back from the thesis advisor, in other news. "This is MA level work." !!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

MS 224 didn't hire me. Welcome back, doubts. Make yourselves at home.

Apparently, my lesson "showed [my] potential," but class management was lacking. I could have told them that. I'll likely have to teach demo lessons in all of my interviews -- if possible, I'm even more intimidated now than I was before. Damn it. I've never cried about a fucking JOB before.

EDIT: Not that the doubts haven't been a long time coming. They're starting to mount, not as a matter of self-doubt (although that's certainly an element,) but doubting whether or not I want to do this altogether. I'm hard-pressed to come up with a reason why Teach for America is a compelling option. Making a list of pros and cons has, over the course of a few hours, resulting in a staggering mountain of cons. What am I doing with myself? Why? THE FUTURE IS LAME.

FURTHER EDIT: considering I spent the first three years of university (to say nothing of the many cogent years prior) saying that I'd never be an educator, the sudden decision to teach perhaps ought to give me pause. It's hard to illustrate how beyond second thoughts I am, how doubts have rapidly galvanized into regrets, how I've made NYC into some kind of Saving the Children Fantasy Camp where I'll be totally happy no matter what. I didn't think about this much before. "hey! health insurance! awesome!" is kind of how it went down initially. Damn me for not knowing myself. And damn the Cubs and their losing streak.

but hooray for student loan checks! and sunshine! and new CDs/retail therapy!

also: a bird shat in my hair. C said it's good luck.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kid E's first conference

This whole weekend has been a lesson in staying my own awkwardness. Never terribly adept at conversation when meeting new people (see also: my father), I've run the gamut of venues at which to "network" -- conference rooms, bars, hoity toity restaurants, beaches, fire pits. While my "network" has only minimally grown -- just as well -- I've made somewhat minor strides in chatting with strangers who intimidate me. Like Jonathan Lethem. Who sat at our table and was largely engaged with the musical obscurefest going on round that neck of the woods. I got some good shots in when conversation turned to Batman, but get a bunch of geeky and PUBLISHED academics together and set them loose... fangirls like me have trouble keeping up with the sheer force and quantity of the "when I met Tina Weymouth" variety. See M for a more comprehensive account of the nerve-wracking drive(mart) and other more eloquent bits.

That said, I'm having a blast. A mass geek-out? Hells yes. I'll even submit a paper once I get up the nerve. I mean hell, there was free beer at one point.

Likewise, hanging out with old friends and friends of old friends has lead to some escapades such as hanging out on a beach listening to a didgeridoo jam session on 4/20 and wandering about Discovery Park, trying to avoid childrens.

Moral of the story: the Experience Music Project is the ugliest building I've ever seen. The Science Fiction Museum's space croissant is bitchin', though.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

now with less whining!

Despite the fact that I'm looking at spending three unplanned hours at Newark Liberty Airport and the night in Sea-Tac, I'm shockingly un-grumpy. This New York/New Jersey weekend has been something else. Early mornings and commutes (up by ugh:00, into the city and hour and change later, emerging from the fog on the subway, arriving at my South Bronx interview by 8:15, my Brooklyn test by 7:30) gave way to plodding around a city that I could get used to. Hit four of the five boroughs. Missed Queens, and Staten Island might not fully count since I only drove through it, but still not so bad. Overview: City - yes, Jersey, hell no.

The interview went reasonably well. Checking my email the night before, I found out that all of my frantic lesson planning for an elaborate classroom debate was for nought. They assigned me a lesson, and a math lesson at that. Parallel and perpendicular lines, to be precise, for a class of special ed 7th graders. They were pretty sweet -- shy and reluctant to answer at first, but they warmed up. As I was leaving, one kid asked me if I was going already. A good sign, I think. It wasn't a perfect lesson by any means; I made the rookie mistake of spending too much time conferring with each kid and some of them got restless. But no riots. I hope I get the job -- the school is small and well-run. It's a middle school of SCIENCE! apparently. MS 224. For the moment, I'm excited.

The exams petrified me, but they weren't as bad as I expected either. A lot of general knowedge sorts of questions.

Going back further, I haven't written anything about the awesomeness of late, such as Jenaya's phenomenal pig roast, my father's visit to Eugene or any of the miscellaneous tomfoolery I've been up to when not frantically studying. To round up: massive pig + good folks + my awkward father + SO MUCH PIE = best birthday party in a long, long time. That tenderloin chunk haunts my dreams, as does the chocolate bourbon pecan pie. It was dreamy. The parental visit was pleasant and laid back, much like my dad. We hit all the Eugene highlights: Bier Stein, Sweet Life, Hendricks park, aforementioned pig roast. I think it was strange for my dad to see me on my turf, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. Since then, I've been getting a lot of "you and your father are the same person" sorts of comments. In other news, L came down for a mermaid omlette and a photo op and 10 cent beers. John and I played a lot of N64. Lincoln House. you know.

Although I think New York will be pretty awesome, it's becoming eminently clear that I love Oregon. Portland owns my heart, but Eugene has endeared itself to me as well. This year has been fantastic, owing to the population of my world -- new and old members both -- and those incredible Oregon springs and those incredible Oregon beers. There's an unshakable atmosphere. I dig it. The biggest misgivings I have about TFA are related to leaving my friends and my new home. Big cities are fun, but I get intimidated and restless when the only trees around are requisite sickly roadside saplings. This is really just a roundabout way of saying to myself, "I'll come back."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NYC tomorrow - sunday. Seattle next weekend. Montana after that. Final thesis draft by April 30. My little bro's graduation in Anchorage May 15. Defense on May 21. Graduation in June. Moving to NYC eight days after. Eighteen academic credits.

"you seem tense."

yep. I just learned THIS MORNING that I need to concoct a 30-45 minute lesson for my interview on Friday (by the way, I apparently have an interview -- think of TFA as a placement service rather than an employer.) In South Bronx. Commuting from fucking jersey. between this and the certification exam, I'm pretty well freaked out.

okay, rant over. needed that.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007



(Courtesy of the Amazing Kelly)



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I take altogether too much pleasure in perusing the OED.

The Term That Wouldn't Die is almost dead. Just in time to watch the Oregon game on Friday, I might add.

Also, I found a small jar of raspberry-chocolate goo in the back of the fridge that is just as delicious now as it was last summer. Sugar and alcohol definitely battle it out for the title of Favorite Preservative.

Monday, March 12, 2007

no verbosity till brooklyn.

given how this year is shaking out, that my become quite literal. sadly.

Oregon is number 3 seed in their bracket. I need to write 3 pages per day in order to have a draft by spring break. If I finish on time, the Ducks will probably take the NCAA championship. That's logical, right?

trying not to flip my top over this draft. trying really hard.

UPDATE: Holy new distraction, Batman. This is one of those "why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner" cum "I'm glad I found this now, since it's already cutting madly into worktime" type situations.

Both the abbreviation madness and the leggings need to stop, ps.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

grumble grumble thesis grumble

I might not see the light of day for a while, on account of these well-lit days I've been enjoying lately. Got yelled at by campus po-lice for climbing a tree. anyway. time to be boring.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


It's been a rather big week. The biggest news is still pretty big news. Having resigned myself to TfA rejection, I was starting to get excited about a move to PDX, being a working stiff in my favorite US city. Still. Opportunity and all. Essentially, I'm disappointed that I must make this decision myself and that circumstances will not make it for me. (Sidenote: My procrastinatory activities of choice have been things like google-mapsing Bedford-Stuyvesant and looking at online sped pedagogy resources. My mind is made up, it seems.)

In totally unrelated news, I got a call from Insurance Dude about my settlement. I think they're lowballing me. Well, they're an insurance company. Of COURSE they're lowballing me. It will take some courage on my part to lob the offer (medical costs + lost wages + $1500, which seems awfully low for a month and a half where I described my condition as "made of pain" -- plus it's a major insurance company who can definitely afford to throw me a bone.) At least the ball is rolling on this, after all this damned waiting.

My baby brother got accepted to Montana State with a bitchin' scholarship! AND he's still seeing his girlfriend! I'm ever so proud of that kid. Although the fact that he's a looming, red-headed giant is still hard to get over. Over the past four years, he's grown 6 inches each winter and summer.

interesting conversation with my folks the other night. Neither of them (teachers both) are too wild about the TfA thing. My mother especially. I get the impression that she fell into teaching and never shook herself out once she realized that she wanted to do other things. It's a mom-ish "realize your potential" cum "don't take the first job that comes along because it's the first job that comes along" cum "don't get shot in the inner city" sort of schtick. Since I know her well enough to parse these things, I didn't really take it the wrong way. But naturally, the follow-up email I get that tells me she's unbelievably proud of me made me cry in the library.

Dad's just jazzed.

Just finished Tricked by Alex Robinson. Check it out. L, I mean you especially. The plot's a bit predictable, but the characterization and formal bits are used very judiciously, I think.

And because it's time for my yearly meme/daily procrastination (von Jenaya:

Five question interview, with personally tailored questions! I know y'all aren't meme-ers, but if you leave your name and number, I'll shoot you five questions of your own, etc. Thus, the circle of life continues.

1. Why did you choose to study at UO?
At the time, I was drawn to the journalism program. In high school, I co-edited the teen section of the Anchorage Daily News for just under two years, and really got the news bug bad. That all changed after I realized that I couldn't stomach corporate journalism and didn't have the faith in myself to stick with the indie press ideal. Incidentally, UO was the only university I applied to openly. Secretly, I sent off photo and creative writing portfolios to several art schools (didn't even tell my girlfriend, my best friend -- I've never kept a secret so well) and was soundly rejected across the board. Plus, UO's cheap(ish) and not in Alaska.
2. What's the most fun you've ever had?
That would be a toss-up between this beautiful autumn day I spent at the Vienna zoo last October or all the time I spent with Adam in Arizona last Christmas. Moving out and aging was the best thing ever for our siblinghood. If I think about it, I'll probably come up with a dozen other things, but those two really stand out. Perhaps because they're so wholesome.
3. Who are you more like - your father, or your mother? How so?
Though I've been finding myself using my mother's turns of phrase lately (which is startling), I'm definitely a lot more like my father. We physically resemble each other, for starters. We're both fairly spacey and goofy, we have a tendency to get very anal about planning-intensive ventures like travel, we're both adept with foreign languages, we've got the same sense of humor, we're "fairly chill sorts" as John puts it, we like the same music, we don't like to rush life, we're both extremely protective of my mother and Adam... the list goes on. Also: both NPR podcast fiends. And hiking ADDICTS.
4. What's your favorite thing to cook, and why?
Probably my blue burgers because they're a fantastic excuse to pull out all the stops, health-wise. They're so massive that sides are an impossibility. Although anything that involves a lot of chopping with a good knife works for me. and the old iPod, of course.
5. If you had to choose one alcoholic beverage to drink for the rest of your life, what would it be? Seeing as I probably can't get away with just saying "beer," I'll have to go with a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic. I love beer, and life without it is not really a thought I relish, but I can enjoy a B-Saph G&T in any season. The flavors are complex enough to keep me interested, but it's not too froofy. Beer selection is a mood thing.

lastly, I'm sick too. I blame Eugene. According to my old boss, the Owyhee (I think) called the mid-valley "the Valley of Sickness." They don't exactly advertise THAT on the UO website.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I think I just won FutureQuest

I'm in. TFA will send me to New York City to teach special ed, if I so desire.

My hands won't stop shaking.

The question now truly is altruism or selfishness? Go to NYC and devote two years to saving the children or go to PDX and devote two years to my culinary/managerial education.

But SHIT! I got IN!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

hot piece of spam

from Elwood 4:43 pm (1 hour ago)
to Coy Powell
date Feb 21, 2007 4:43 PM
subject How is life
Images are not displayed. Display images below

-- deliberately trouble Eh? flower How do? muscle How do?

[this is already a great follow-up to "how is life," but then it gets all Ulysses on me!]

Ben Dollard's vague bass anshiver -- soak Irish? ornament I saw don't know, faith. Is she, Simon?-- A beautiful kill slung shelter station air, said Bloom lost Leopold. I kno suppose Blazes Boylan's smart milk cloudy chain tan shoes creaked on the bar Tap. Ventriloquise. discover My lips light closed. Think knot close in my stom. W pled -- death You're pin looking rubicund, throw George Lidwell said.

[well, mangled Ulysses anyhow. Why am I "Coy Powell" in this spamdress book? That's my new detective/cowgirl name, I think. Some sort of alter ego, anyway.]

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

stunning conversationalist, you say? why THANK you!

Over the past few days, I've gotten to pull off these gems and have them totally rock their context.

"But napalm aside, I've got to run."

"String theory? You can't puke on string theory, therefore it's bad science. A flux capacitor is totally puke-on-able. Good science." (John and I had a long, hopelessly nerdy conversation on whether or not time travel in a De Lorean would be conducive to motion sickness -- in my case, sadly yes -- and what would happen to the attendant vomit. Physics is fun!)

"So Tajuan Porter is, in fact, the Toto to Brooks' Dorothy and Oguchi's Scarecrow? Does that make Ma-arty the cowardly Lion? ... Hairston's heart totally isn't in it. Totally Tinman." (pause) "The only candidate I'm coming up with for the wicked witch is Lady Kent, and that's not very nice."

"Well, Antarctica probably has bitchin' stargazing. Both constellations and pouring endlessly over the same Entertainment Weekly for days at a stretch."

This week is a laugh-in, I tell you what. Which works for me. I'm exhausted from bouldering and bowlderizing and altogether too much Deutsch. Happy Mardi Gras! Time for some SIN!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I say it all the time, and it never happens, but: this whole binge drinking thing needs to taper off.

Antarctica is looking attractive, oddly. Or BUNAC.

Too much thesis. Too many comic books.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Flubbed my sample lesson. Poor time management -- they had to cut me off, and I definitely wasn't close to finished. I'm on break - my personal interview is in a couple of hours, so I'm doing some homework and trying to calm down. I've never been so nervous.

Damn it, I could be a kick-ass teacher.

Right. Not counting chickens.


(Five or six hours later.)

The rest of the interview went well. I'll chalk my initial crummy performance (and it seriously was sub-par by my standards -- I'm not being modest) up to nerves and hope for the best. On the other hand, it's not the end of the world if I don't get this gig. There's always Antarctica! Although working for Raytheon might be a little TOO morally reprehensible. Still. I'm built for the cold. Or Portland. In any case, this chapter of FutureQuest can thankfully exit stage left.

On to the next ten pages of thesis-ing, for which I've had to turn down beer and movies. Grump.

PS. File under "Internets Needs Proofing." The banner on google.com says "Googe," although it's hard to tell with that ridiculous chocolate-covered strawberry standing in for the second g. (Any Achewood readers? Back me up on this...)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The worst of it is, I've barely been cooking lately. Midterms, this impending interview, parties of all stripes, concerts, the looming T-word, and the last few shifts at the dining hall -- little wonder I've not found the time to cook or exercise.

Must go write a lesson on semicolon use -- yep, I'm rocking the punctuation. for the children! The Dreaded Interview begins in less than 36 hours. My recent slow-burning, long-lasting nervousness strikes me as far inferior to the traditional flashes of anxiety. Have I mentioned that TfA may well be the first real challenge of this nature I have ever set myself. Getting into UO was a breeze, applying for the overseas nonsense was just a matter of showing up and fronting some cash, and the only other selection processes that spring to mind are auditions in junior high and choosing up sides for soccer games. This is by far the most rigorous and ambitious application-type deal I've ever endured, and I'm scared witless. Not that getting rejected (and subsequently packing up for Portland) would be a travesty. In fact, sometimes I hope I won't be accepted so I can slide into a low-key gig of some lucrative kind or another. For some neurotic reason, I consider myself a Quitter. Maybe getting rejected forestalls the possibility of giving up. God, that's depressing. In any case, I can't think about the interview without starting to sweat a little.

I think it's time to crank the jams.

Friday, February 09, 2007

über my dead body

German homework? What? Who? no. basketball.

I realized that over the past three months or so, the readership of this thing has altered somewhat. So this post will be less of the typical in-the-moment whining and more longterm whining. Isn't that kind of interesting? Bloggers/LJers/whatever-ers assume that their readers will catch on in medias res. Hence the brief recap after today's events. Today was bitchin', by the way.

-solved my interview clothing problems without resorting to a hellish bus ride to a hellisher mall. GodDAMN do I hate VRC and love the boutique-y shops in my 'hood. Ever increasingly, there's less I love about my 'hood. The constant drunken babble, the ever-present litter -- symptomatic of a the entitled attitude that drives me up the fucking wall, the redneck-y harassment (here? really? c'mon kids, I left alaska for a reason...), the slummy apartment, the NOISE. however, the bier stein, some decent mexican, some crummy and addictive coffee and said clothing shops are 'round about here. overall, no complaints. 'spose.
-had a very overwhelmingly positive ex encounter. having social skills makes me want to dance.
-had a falafel, which makes any day AWESOME.
-spilled the following upon myself in this order: runny egg, coffee, falafel juice. these poor pants.
-patched my favorite jeans. cleaned. made further progress on errand-y things.
-watched the ducks beat ASU. I considered calling Aaron to gloat, but figured he wouldn't be too into it. After all, he did finish his MA a while ago and isn't too much for the hoops. I've loved re-embracing my basketball fan self. More than a few pals have said it doesn't really jive with my personality, whatever the hell that means. This season is my coming-out season: My name is Erica, and I love college hoops. DEAL WITH IT.

In general:
-Western Culinary institute still wants me/my money. I'm not sure if I want to do this. Aren't culinary schools a little over the top for what I want to do? That is to say, I can whip up some better than decent bar food, which is all I need, really. Friend C and I have decided to try to open a bar when we have a little start-up dough. She's good with numbers and booze, I'm good with people and food and booze, and we're both dedicated enough to the idea to backburner it until it's do-able. hell with cook school.
-making stock tomorrow. haven't done it in a while. must buy whole cloves.
-TFA interview. AGRHGHHHHH. My lesson will be on semicolons. am I the lamest grammarian ever? survey saaaaays yes.
-really, REALLY enjoying my alone time these days. reading the new paul auster. dancing around my apartment in various states of undress.
-quit the dining hall job. my last day's V-day. love pirate party to ensue. not especially creative, but it should be appropriately boozy and light-hearted. all eugenian readers ARRR welcome. costumes required.
-I miss my Anchortown buddies especially much this time of year. that thought makes me think about how brief my remaining eugene time may well be. ripping up these newly shot roots doesn't appeal. but.
-to my ridiculous variety pack of really super friends in all locations: endless and sincere love.

Monday, February 05, 2007

insomnia now

Rather than a newsy post about a boozy weekend or bitching about my incessant iTunes problems (THIS PROGRAM IS ASININE AND MUST LEARN RESPECT), I'll tell y'all about a moment ago. I was - and still am - in some warmed-up flannel jammies, perusing bookslut and salon alternately, sipping some kryptonite ibarra hot cocoa, when I discovered that I was not at all anxious/perplexed/angry about The Future or My Stupid Problems With Women or the Classes About Which I Whine Too Much. Come July, I could be anywhere. It's neither freeing nor frightening, perhaps because I'm cozy and satiated and in a bit of a daze, but I'll take it. I think, shock of shocks, that the sudden spike in non-compulsory reading has something to do with this. Three cheers for appropriated leisure time!

I found a bright orange telephone today, complete with cords. Art forthcoming.

Cheese has been disappearing at an alarming rate around here. John and I do the separate food thing, so I have no one to blame but myself (and those DAMN DIRTY APES) - cheese can be a more expensive habit than either beer or smoking. It's a good thing I don't smoke. I'd be broke.

My little bro has a girlfriend. I'm over the moon about it because it's great ammo for my Sibling Teasing Cannons, but it does mean he's never around to answer the damn phone. so I can't let the volleys fly.

Making mixes and burning requests. Anyone want anything else while I'm at it?

on top of all that, I'm re-establishing my tenuous photoshop skills. don't expect results. found a bunch of difficult ones that I can't seem to delete.

did anyone see The Black Dahlia? M? L?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Skipping class, particularly a class in which I'm totally golden, to get other things done isn't a crime. So why do I feel guilty and anxious? Maybe because I'm also skipping class to go shopping. For interview clothes! I have none! That's still considered productive, right? Hmm.

Somewhere in the my-apartment vicinity is a wireless network called Swann's Wireless Way. A Prouster nearby gives me glee, but naming a wireless network after Dead Frenchie's Greatest Hit... well, I guess John and I aren't ones to talk. Ours is called Team Awesome.

Finished ten pages of my thesis rough draft a couple of days hence. Upon turning said pages into my advisors, I promptly rewarded myself with a falafel.

I'm in a very "no patience for Belle and Sebastian, the Cure, the Police or the Wallflowers, so I'd appreciate it if you'd cut that shit out, iPod" sort of mood. Frustrated, one might say. Been listening to this gent, who is also, I'm proud to say, an aquaintance of mine. GAH -- forgot to get BLOW/Of Montreal tickets AGAIN. Verdammt!

No more sauce! February 14 is my (rather appropriate) last day at the dining hall. I'm applying for a techie desk job at the law school -- here's hoping.

Lately, I've felt like I have the emotional spectrum of a fish. Or like I'm on lithium. Restraining emotions doesn't come easily to me, so why have I not been reacting at all to what should, by all accounts, be a very emotional time? I'm just tired. No wonder most posts have been so disjointed.

My grandpa sent me fudge and a candy thermometer.

Friday, January 26, 2007

"There is somethere else here."

Either my fingers are now conduits for typewritten profundities, or I'm totally losing it.

(edited for detail-adding) There are 112,000 white flags and 3,000 red flags planted in the memorial quad, spilling over into the adjacent greens. (pictures -- the slideshow is worth it.) Spending three hours of my sunday planting these flags, each white one standing for 6-7 Iraqi civilians and soldiers killed and each red one standing for an American soldier, was sobering enough. But the thing about activism is this: once you start, it's hard to say no. I ended up moderating a panel discussion of veterans -- all students, all served in Iraq -- which went very, very well. The typical anti-war "screw the military" crowd was silent; it was a very respectful event. Everyone said what they set out to get across, and if I do say so myself, I was a very even-keel moderator.

The thesis plods onward. I've actually been getting things done (y'know, on the order of writing the damn thing.) but still. nagging doubts. is this even remotely academic? will this help me AT ALL in the future? does any of that matter? bleh. I'm tired of doubt. I think I wrote that last week.

Coming to terms with singledom took less time than I thought. I'm reeeeally into it, actually.

The fine folks at Teach for America get to size me up two weeks from tuesday, close-up and in the flesh. I have no idea what my five-minute lesson will be all about. Or where I'll rustle up some professional clothings. Hrm. This is not far away.

Also: I am sick and Eugene is small.

Apparently, my grandparents sent me a care package. My family manages to overcome insanity with moments of astonishing sweetness. That's sweet in the "kind, cute, loving" sense, not the "check this out, bro, it's totally _" sense.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Finished Ruth Reichl's newest memoir, Garlic and Sapphires and it's made me think twice about culinary school. I've already started to wonder how whimsical that idea is/was; not that I love food or cooking any less, it just seems like there are so, so many other things I want to do too. Why do all of these options telescope into a messy pile labelled AFTER COLLEGE? It's too damn hard to take a long-term view when the shorter terms are so uncertain. I know I'm taking this too seriously. Back to the book. Reichl illustrates the New York culinary scene vividly, but the hijinks and disguises and descriptions of meals with price tags higher than the contents of my bedroom aren't what got me. At one point, Reichl gives her high-end leftovers (duckling with hoity-toity sides and sauces I can't recall) to a homeless guy on the subway. Eating is fundamental, she seems to say, and inequity is an inescapable fact.

Thing is, despite my Education Rant* and all of the trappings of good liberaldom, all I really want is a cozy life. Good food and friends and all of those simple bourgie pleasures that come from a modest paycheck and white collar.

In the meantime, I have a thesis on superheroines stagnating over my back burners, some peacenik activities that appeared out of nowhere, a suddenly perplexing personal and social life and a job that leaves me smelling of pork. And not in a good way at all.

Despite all the vitamins and positive mental attituding, I'm sick too. January was allegedly for hibernating. The only hibernation in my life has been grabbing the sparse moments between coming and going to listen to a little something on the old iPod.

The fridge talks to us now. Complains, mostly. It's an obnoxious reminder that yes, we do in fact still live in a crummy West University apartment and settled for way less.

Hilariously, though, I realized that should I find myself teaching, I'd be joining the family business. No sheriffing, trolley driving or cartography for this kid. No military service or dermatology either. I think it's kind of quaint.

*I'll save this one for later.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Further Adventures of

I know the weather is a time-honored tedious subject, but DAMN. My perma-frozen toes just might win out over my cheapness in the "we don't need to turn on the heat" department. This problem has also found a solution in virtually living with some buds who have over zealous and oddly gratis heat.

Still losing the Futurequest. My application to TFA is out, my phone interview tomorrow. I'm surprised at how nervous I'm not. If I want it, I'll get it. Not that I'm terribly sure of what I want, but meh.

Topless pizza night = amazing fun.

The thesis drags on. Once a timetable is set, this will be a different story entirely. Free-form, self-directed projects don't seem to agree with me these days.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

organizing my thoughts

"Why do you seek to join Teach For America? What would make you an effective corps member?"

Hell if I know. I'm a bit preoccupied with other things, like having broken up with Rose, my grandfather's further deterioration, money and my lack thereof, the impending term and the subsequent reality of actually writing this thesis, etc. My reaction to all of these things of late, together or individually, has been "donwannatalkboutit." As such, all I can think about is a mental slurry of Recent Events.

Something tells me the Teach for America folks aren't terribly interested in an answer along the lines of "to alleviate my white guilt." That would be far too tongue-in-cheek, and likely too honest for comfort. In the honesty department, "I don't want to hide in grad school, but getting a real job is scary and hard" might not cut it either.

I do think that I would be good at teaching and I have the confidence to say so. That's step one.

Phew. Thank god that's taken care of.

The requisite "education is the key to success" rant -- I could approach it from the "raised by educators" angle rather than the "I'd better believe this because I'm a humanities major" angle. I think what intimidates me most about all of this is the professionality of the thing. A letter of intent? An essay? This is national corporation meets grad school app type stuff. At least I'm a decent writer. Four to five hundred words should not be this difficult. That, and I shouldn't have put this off until the eleventh hour.

Culinary school has seemed more like a whim lately, like something I should relegate to daydreams.

Damn it, I wish I knew something.