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.