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.