Monday, September 19, 2011

No news is good news

No news is good news, they say.

When you are waiting to hear about a job, no news is depressing, exasperating, and in your growing cynicism, bad news. I have applied to jobs to never hear back at all, I've applied to jobs and waited a month to get a first interview, and I've had interviews and waited three months to get a rejection letter in the mail with an address label in Comic Sans. When you've applied to as many jobs as I have, rejections start to lose their gravity. Everything in life kind of sucks when you are unemployed and poor and then you get used to having things go wrong. You keep reminding yourself that people without any problems don't have interesting memoirs (thought people who are sitting on the couch watching Netflix and eating peanut butter off a spoon don't make for interesting memoirs either). So you wait for a phone call or an e-mail until you give up. You drag yourself out of bed at noon and you pick out new jobs and start writing new cover letters, even though you've been doing it for months and you are out of inspiration. It isn't devastating to give up anymore, it's just part of the process.

But then your phone rings and it's a local number, not a bill collector after your late student loan payments, and you answer it. You thought it might be the bank telling you that you have an overdrawn account, but it's the guy who interviewed you asking if you can come in for a second interview. I gave up on trying to hide my excitement when people are offering me work or interviews or a free drink. My small animal like exuberance has become part of my charm, I think. I say yes and I accept an interview for hardly more than 24 hours from the time of the call and I start planning out how my life will improve.

I bring my small animal exuberance to the interview and nervously rotate slightly back and forth in the chair while I answer questions and hope that I'm answering them correctly. Once I realize that I am exhibiting nervous behaviors like chair rotating, filler words, and possibly eye twitching, I try to get zen. People often comment that I'm a very zen person. I make it through the interview and, again, all there is to do is wait.

---

Not pretending to be you, or that you are me, after I finished the interview, I drove out Thane and found a place to park along the rocky beach and, still in my interview clothes, I delicately (and slowly) stepped down the boat ramp to the beach and sat on a rock, staring at the channel.

C and I went out to dinner at one of the fancy restaurants in town, in part because we hadn't gone out for my birthday, but also as an optimistic celebration of a potential job. The next day I stayed in bed too late as usual, took too long to figure out how to waste a day, and luckily got asked to help out at a friend's shop. In the mid afternoon, I got a phone call from a local number (not a bill collector) and answered it. Small animal exuberance returned as I repeatedly expressed my excitement and accepted a job offer. No news was good news.

Except now all news is good news because I'll be in the business of news. And the best news is that I will get to use my creativity and my connections, and that I'll be in a business in which pointing out grammatical errors is welcomed.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Constructive Criticism

I've always felt that, as awkward as it can be to point out a mistake or have a mistake pointed out, it is better to have it pointed out than to have it go unnoticed for some indefinite amount of time. I was taught, through life experience and possibly my mother, that it's what friends do, or in my mom's case, she'd lick her thumb and rub the spot right off my face. Recently I pointed out a crumb in a friend's beard and he laughingly joked that it's what beards are for, after all, saving some for later. He wiped the crumb away and I, his friend who cares about him, crumb or not, was the only one to know. I only recently encountered a differing opinion, that if someone has his fly down and finds out for himself, he might believe that he is the only one to have noticed and feel lucky (this is only the example provided to me). I guess this is just another time when I find that I can't really understand certain different perspectives - perhaps this friend is an optimist (if he didn't notice, nobody else probably noticed) where I am a pessimist (who knows how many people noticed before I noticed!) but, dang, I'm glad that my criticism did not meet a more negative reaction. I don't ever want someone to feel bad because I am an eagle eye when it comes to grammatical errors, beard crumbs, and lazy flies.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Love is in the air

I just went to my fourth of four weddings for this summer. Whew. Luckily for me, three out of four were located in Juneau, while the fourth took place in LA, a city which is really growing on me.

#1 S&M (the initials are for their first names, not any sort of deviance as far as I know) married in the winter, but had their party in the summer at the Yacht Club. That may sound stuffy, but there is little about Juneau that qualifies as stuffy. It was a fun and lighthearted event with great friends, delicious food, drinks and dancing. These two make me happy by how happy they are. Cuuuuute.

#2 E&J have been together for as long as I've known them and I've known them since I moved here, pretty much. They've been a cute little family for a while now, but hearing those sincere and tender vows almost brought a tear to my eye. It was a small wedding and reception, but it brought together a lot of the friends I made during my first six months in Juneau.

#3 M&S (Confused? It's a different couple with similar names) are two artist friends who have been dating for some years, much of it long distance, but they are pretty great together. It was another typical Juneau wedding with all familiar, smiling faces. These kinds of weddings are community events, everyone celebrating that two of us found love.

#4 M&J have a cute story, in which they met at the wedding of a mutual friend and bonded, then eventually fell in love while M was living in China and J was in LA. Three years later, they married in a spectacular event at a gorgeous location with a lot of great people and, this is super exciting to me, it was a pretty traditional Jewish wedding. I liked the Hora so much that another guest and I somehow managed to initiate a second go of it during a Katy Perry song.

I also attended three pre-wedding bashes (bachelor/ette parties), which were all fun for very different reasons. Whether it was a reunion of girlfriends, silly games, or shooting guns on a boat trip - there was a lot of fun to be had!

I think I was occasionally accused of being a "bitter single friend" but I don't think I was ever bitter, despite being single most of the time. I like being single, though I've discovered that I also enjoy being in a relationship as well. I guess the best thing about relationships in general, be they romantic or platonic, is the support system you create, the caring and love that is shared, and the laughs. Those are priceless.

I also think it is notable that I went to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. I was set up to expect something strange and inexplicable and that's what I got. Special thanks to friend, J, for meeting up with me for that little adventure and for letting me crash on his couch again. It was nice to be only a 7-10 minute drive from the rental car drop off.

Also notable is that I learned a lot about driving in LA, trial by fire, which luckily did not involve gunshot wounds. I suppose the one positive thing, should I have been shot when I found myself lost in that bad neighborhood, was that it was relatively near a hospital that sees a lot of gunshot wounds.

And I guess further notable things, including reminding ourselves how much fun E, J & I have hanging out, is that we are pretty sure we saw Sam Rockwell while having breakfast on Sunday. I did not act like a starstruck jerk. Thank goodness.

I should update more often so that I am not writing pages worth every month or so.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Pirate's Life for Me

Bachelorette parties. You've seen them. They usually involve drinking from penis shaped straws, teetering on heels while wearing mini skirts and tiny dresses, fake veils, and visiting questionable bars.

For my friend Mr. M's bachelor party, we all pitched in some money to go on a day and a half long boat trip with booze, food, and fun on the menu. We departed Harris Harbor between 10am and noon on Saturday and returned around 2pm Sunday afternoon. It was just excessive enough to be a great send off, but not excessive enough to involve illegal substances or death. Perfect.

I could try to weave a narrative here and describe the trip at length, but it probably won't translate as well to prose as to actually experiencing something like this. We ate, drank, and made merry. We shot guns, navigated boats, and played games. There was a viking funeral pyre and a sky lantern. More clay pigeons lost their lives to drowning than to gunshot wounds but we were happy as could be.

I told the Capt. Marc that, if I get married, I'm having a bachelor party and I want him to be the captain. Everything about this trip was so right. Everything about this place is so right. Everything about these crazy, beautiful people is so right.

If you're feeling a little envious from this peek into my life, you are justified.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Because life isn't all about work:

Sometimes I get so focused on certain things that I forget to share the super awesome things that happen in my life. I forget to share about the things I love, the adventures I have, the things I create, and just how great my friends are.

Here are some things I should have shared:

1. I went to Los Angeles and had a super great time, couch surfing for the first time (instead of just hosting) and I really want to go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology when I'm back in September for my friend Miss M's wedding.

2. I went to Fairbanks TWICE in May. Once for my political junkie business and another time I also went to Denali (National Park) as a chaperone for a field trip. I was one of two adults accompanying 6 14 year olds. They were really good. It was beautiful and wonderful. Fairbanks could grow on me, but I'm not ready for that kind of winter.

3. I went to Haines Brew Fest for the second year in a row and it was at least as awesome as the first time, if not boasting some things that were a little more awesome. I'm even okay with it being sort of rainy. I didn't get to spend an extra quiet day in Haines, which is probably for the best, since last year I started thinking about moving there.

4. I've already been to two weddings this summer and it is lovely because they are really in love and great for each other. I am THIS CLOSE to becoming a wedding crier because they are just so damn tender.

5. I went to Oregon for a weekend because one of my younger sisters graduated high school. She's super awesome. I am not surprised, I guess, but I am proud.

6. I visited Gustavus, Alaska and Glacier Bay National Park earlier this week. I did some hiking and wore a hole in my xtra-tufs after a couple years of wear. I'd be upset if I weren't also a little proud of having worn those boots often and hard enough to get a hole in them. Extra points for hiking a muddy, wet trail with traces of bear scat when it happened.

7. I give really good relationship advice and most of the time I can make people laugh in the process. I kind of hope I am good at relationships, but it's always harder to do everything right.

8. Juneau Roller Girls had their (our?) first bout this last weekend and it was amaaaaazing. I'm so proud of those women who got out there on their skates and played hard and left with bruises but a lot of pride and glowing with excitement. I made a sign for my derby wife. She's amazing.

9. I am getting a typewriter because a friend and I want to make zines. Sometimes I start projects and don't finish them, but in general I'm a creative person and have to get it out somehow. Maybe working with other creative people will provide the motivation I need.

10. Juneau has had some fun live music and I continue to do a lot of awesome dancing. Sometimes, like when I'm supposed to be dancing all sexy or something at a club, I can be a little awkward, but in reality, I'm a pretty good dancer. I most enjoy dancing to more country/bluegrass/mountain/blues/swingy music, where you have a dance partner and you twirl and twist and you interact in a way that doesn't potentially involve a boner rubbing against your butt. Awkward. My friend Mr. J is one of my favorite dance partners. A lot of my male friends aren't that into dancing and it's a real shame. One night I was asked to dance by a guy in Juneau for an internship, he didn't know what he was doing at all, so I was trying to teach him by leading from the ladies' position. Apparently I made him look like he knew what he was doing, which means that I totally kick ass.

11. I've hosted a lot of couch surfers, including during Folk Fest and other fun times. I really love participating in couch surfing and feel like I've had a ton of really great experiences. The Gustavus trip actually involved my roommate and our couch surfer taking the ferry over and camping.

12. Community is awesome. I love how much people care about other people around here.

13. A friend of mine is a boat captain, currently with a tourist company, and he hooked me up with a comp whale watching tour today. I didn't see bubble net feeding, but I did see a lot of whale action out in the channel/Lynn Canal and it was awesome.

14. Despite the fact that I don't currently have my awesome job, I feel like I've had really good luck lately. I have great friends and things are mostly going really well. It is almost surreal how easy it is to just be happy and having fun.

15. I'm kind of neurotic about numbers and had to include a number after 14, it doesn't greatly affect my life, but sometimes it has a surprising affect on certain decisions because I feel like I need to adjust my behavior or actions to make sure that numbers are square or round or multiples of three or whatever weird nonsense. I think people still like me despite these quirks. I was talking to my friend today about little quirks and idiosyncrasies and how, in relationships, if they are tolerable it doesn't matter if they are noticeable. That's probably a really good thing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This is a ridiculous trend:

I think there are two reasons for not blogging, if one is a blogger. Either there is too much going on or too little. I can assure you that, for me, the answer is never "too little."

I'm going to rant for just a moment about how republicans essentially ruin my life:

Stop cutting funding for important things like EDUCATION. Stop trying to legislate what people do with their own bodies and in their own homes (except murder and violence and stuff, that's still fair game). Stop pretending like cutting taxes is the answer to our budgetary woes and give the friggin' government some of your money. What good is it doing you sitting in that stupid bank account. Are you really going to miss a few extra thousand? Switch to cheaper toilet paper, you assholes. You know what? If you didn't cut out so much, maybe I wouldn't be potentially collecting unemployment insurance in the coming month.

End rant.

Due to funding cuts, my current, awesome position is no more. I have some irons in the fire, though. Cross those fingers.

It's not the end of the world because I have an awesome support system.

I think that, in about two weeks, I'll have nothing but good news to share. But you know what? I'll still think republicans are jerks.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Life Decisions

1st: Watch Iron Jawed Angels.

I'm not one to get emotional over a film, but I definitely shed a tear, felt my gut clench, and noticed my heart speeding up as I followed the ups and downs of this film. The fight for women's suffrage was one in which many women made great sacrifices and it makes me feel even more strongly about my involvement in politics and women's issues. We can't stop fighting or we'll start to see our rights taken from us.

After watching that, seeing the sacrifices and difficult decisions these women made so selflessly, it sounds pretty whiny of me to talk about the decisions I deem tough in my everyday life. Right now, I have to make certain decisions about my commitments and my priorities and it is hard. I love my new job and I love the promise it brings. It has made me happy like almost nothing else has in the past couple years. It is part of my promise to myself that I will develop my career and be independent and self sufficient, so how can I still wonder what the right decision might be when it comes to making sacrifices. Something has to be given up. What they say about not being able to have your cake and eat it, too (eat your cake and have it, too) is coming into play in my life.

What do I give up and who is hurt by it? I've eased away from disclosing much that is really personal in this blog, some feigned attempt at privacy while still allowing myself a platform from which to wave my not-quite-dirty-but-worn-laundry. I'm afraid that the decision I must make right now involves hurting someone's feelings or making compromises in my career. Is there a middle ground?

Tune in next time, kids, for word on the decisions I make and the damages dealt.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

An Open Letter to (a) Driver(s)

Re: Your interactions with Pedestrians

Dear Driver(s),

Today, I, a pedestrian (most pedestrian), can only apologize for not giving a curtsy when I paused to allow you to continue driving while I waited graciously on the sidewalk. I have acknowledged your blatant superiority, as evidenced by your car ownership, likely with heated seats toasting your buttocks pleasantly as you listen to the radio station of your choosing or, perhaps, a compact disc from your favorite musician, and stopped to watch in awe as you, high wage earner with important things to do and important places to be, drove through the harsh winter conditions which undoubtedly burden you with unnecessary stress over lengthened stopping distance and lessened control. I hope you didn't assume, and I am sure you did not, that I was pausing and looking both ways to assess the safety of the well marked crossing I had approached, I was merely glancing in other directions to see if any other pedestrians were sharing this moment with me, gazing upon your steel encased glory from the outside, glad that the brisk winter air keeps us alert that we might never miss an opportunity to appreciate your very presence in the world. In fact, it was almost selfish of me to stop, knowing that I might take some sliver of credit for the world altering innovation you would surely be developing in the fifteen to thirty seconds I shaved from your undoubtedly oppressively long commute. Thankfully, the chill wind that whistles through the streets and beats through the fibers of my winter coat humbles me as it reminds me that nature, like you, like your massive motor vehicle, is powerful. As you certainly deduced, using your refined reasoning skills and your ability to make inferences using logic, time equaling money and I apparently lacking the money to own a motor vehicle of my own, my time is worth far less than your time and we both made the only logical decision in prioritizing you and your time over that of a lowly pedestrian. And, so I don't take up more of your time with this overly verbose message, meant to, in all sincerity, thank you, I will close with a most clear and concise message: Thank you, driver(s), for being (a) monumental and unmatched in all the world douchebag(s).

Monday, March 7, 2011

A more current update

The last time I wrote, Juneau had provided a little something: a job, temporary in nature but with potential. Whether it was timing or lack of funding or some other issue, the potential was not realized and I was again in a panic over whether I could pull things together. I had applied for some other jobs, but I had grown pretty despondent, with every job boasting ridiculous competition. I applied for jobs for which I was a shoe in, but it wasn't until I applied at an actual shoe store (my favorite) that I had any luck at all. Politics was a miss, an organization I had worked for before was a no go, things were looking woefully bad. But then I got hired to be a sales gal at the shoe store and things were looking up. At the same time I had an interview and later a second interview at an organization that provides educational resources. I knew who my competition was in this case and I was pretty convinced that the competition was too steep. But somehow I got the job (maybe that dabbling in graphic design was worth something after all). So I am now gainfully employed doing things I enjoy. I have joined the ranks of some of the other bloggers I read and am now working in the marketing/pr/communications field!

I think I had felt like I was going to be stuck in admin forever, babysitting print jobs, sending mailings, taking notes at meetings, running errands and filing. Thank goodness for this, it is a major boost of confidence and it is perfect for me. I will get to WRITE and I will get to create and sure I may also have to keep an eye on some print jobs and do some other things that are less than thrilling but I also get to do things, real things, and have a little ownership. The woman I work with directly is fantastic, a sassy New Yorker originally and she is very straight forward in a good way. The rest of the organization is full of really nice people. Also, the organization is essentially run by women; the executive director, CFO, program officers, almost everyone in an upper level position is a woman. Not that I am a weirdo man-hater, but it is refreshing. It's also notable that the organization is successful - it is expanding and growing and improving! I've seen other non-profit organizations struggle, while this one excels. It is also notable that people stay in the organization, they are happy there and there is room for growth and for people to take on projects and do great things.

If you can't tell, I'm really excited.

I'm also excited that I get a discount on shoes since I have already spent more money than I will admit publicly on shoes from this shop.

I'm also excited to be going on vacation shortly. I'll be seeing some old friends from some different times in my life, all in Los Angeles.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thanks, Juneau

I haven't written in a while and I also haven't moved or made any major changes except getting a job. Yep, whenever I make an ultimatum with Juneau, it gives a little.

Between work and doing a project for the Wearable Arts show, I haven't had much time to whine about crap on my blog, I guess. Also, I don't think I've had much exciting to say to the greater public.

Maybe I'll think of something good soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The three and a half year itch

In high school physical education, we had a swimming segment, in which one of the tests was how long each student could tread water. I have no idea how long I was able to tread water in that pool, but I know that I've been treading water, metaphorically, in Juneau for about three and a half years. And I'm exhausted.

For almost the first whole year I worked a job I didn't much care for that in no way fit into my greater life goals. For the two and a half years since, I have been working various temporary positions, I've tended bar, I've worked campaigns, I've done administrative work and I've done retail. I've boozed and schmoozed and I know EVERYONE. It's frightening how many people I know and how well I know them.

For all that, for all the "dues paid" and all the entry level work I've done. For all the friends I've made and all the volunteering I've done. NOTHING. I've triply paid those dues, but I'm still lucky to get interviews for entry level positions. I've been turned down for interviews for positions that ask only for a high school diploma and 6 months experience. Really?

I have great friends here and it is beautiful, but my foot has been in the door for years and all Juneau does is slam the door on it. Repeatedly.

It's time. If I'm going to be temping and eating rice and beans for every meal, why not do it in a new place where I don't feel like it's a personal insult?

So, where should I go? I'm taking suggestions.