Wednesday, December 31, 2003

LILEKS (James) The Bleat
Gotta love Lileks logic. We're not being bombed, pogromed or dragged off for reprogramming, so everything's okay.

I haven't read him in a while, mostly because of this set of ideas he has. I used to really align myself with the guy- he's a funny, slightly conservative (in that he's not really liberal, but hated Reagan anyway), highly nostalgic writer with a little kid and a house in Minneapolis. But then we "brought it on" as the Shrubya is fond of saying, and Lileks went right with him.

And despite the fact that he has numeroud French friends (and family) he went right along with the whole Frenchbashing of '03 ("we couldn't stay at the Parisian," he wrote during his trip to Vegas, "for obvious reasons"). He was not the kind of idiot who was fooled by the whole Sadaam=9/11 thing, at least, not in the simple way 40 or so percent of Americans were fooled. But he took the general stance that war in Iraq was good because it would take out Sadaam. And damn the surrounding issues, consequences, or casualties.

This kind of logic can only come from someone so obsessed with WWII nostalgia that he's gone past the point of gentle reverence for the people of the time to the hope that he can be like them. That he can be like the patriots on the homefront supporting a just cause . . . that he can raise the flag and have the whole world rally around it just like before. That would be nice. I agree. But we are not that generation. And this is not that war.

Pearl Harbor comparisons aside, we didn't go after China when Japan bombed us, now did we? But then, Japan's royal family didn't go to the Roosevelt farm on the weekends to play touch football with the kids. China's leaders didn't threaten Teddy in a previous conflict. It's a much more complex world and as much as I'd like it to be a good vs. evil event in a vacuum, with no innocent lives connected to it, I doubt even WWII was that easy.

Okay, back to "work" . . .
until next time (next year!) . . .
un lapin

This cheered me up today.

Still more quagmire at home (or actually, at work) and abroad. Communication issues here are so bad that it seems my boss didn't even know I'd been let go. Just my boss's boss. And the HR lady.

This blows.

I have nothing to do and now nobody's here. At least I got paid.

Now I can pay rent. Maybe I'll go ahead and pay for the next two months . . . we'll see. Like I said, this blows. Hopefully I'll hear something on a couple of the job leads I've taken up lately.

Poor Kyle- my boss- feels like it's a reverse mutiny. Instead of everyone revolting, they're all leaving, or being told to leave. 400 new submissions to be worked on and one (ONE!) packager to take them all until people get back from vacation on the 5th.

There is NOTHING to do. NA-THINK!!!
Hey, my sofa shipped on Christmas Eve. They say it will get here the day my sister leaves- or shortly afterward.

Ain't that just the perfect end to a perfect month.



Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Rich Lowry: Love your country: "Actually, country is the deepest and most realistic of all popular music genres. "
Still outraged. So I thought since I have no work to do, I'd go on a bit more about the Country Music problem.

Rich Lowry writes and edits for "The National Review"- you know, the rag that would indict Trent Lott as a hopeless Commie. Here's what the other half has to say:
"Actually, country is the deepest and most realistic of all popular music genres. "

Hm. Right. Deep.
From Mel McDaniels, one of the iminent poets of this profound genre:
"Up on main street, by the taxi stand/there's a crowd of people, in a traffic jam/she don't look back, she ain't doin' nothin' wrong/lord have mercy, baby's got her bluejeans on."

That really speaks to the crisis of modernity.
And from Toby Keith:
"Her husband's always working and he's never home/When he's there with her he's still gone/And she can't stand living and loving alone/Well she's got her children to raise, that's why she can't let it show/I'm the only one who knows Victoria's secret."

I don't think even country musicians think they are the deepest and most realistic genre.

But that's not all. Lowry stated that:
"[Country's] audience is not just kids, so its themes and emotional pitch, in contrast to rock, don't have to be aimed perpetually at snotty 16-year-olds.

Country songs deal with the eternal theme of love, but also single fatherhood, alcoholism, prayer, death, fishing, loneliness, the whole gamut of adult life, including its burdens of responsibility, such as having trouble paying the bills. The last is a worry rarely expressed by rock artists whose audience isn't old enough to have thought of it."


I think the man's a wee bit confused. There are a good number of "snotty" 16-year olds who have posters of Toby Keith on the wall, and a wide audience for rock in the over-40 market. Also, if "the whole gamut" of adult life is really "single fatherhood, alcoholism, prayer, death, fishing [and] loneliness," I think I'm going to go kill myself. For real this time.

So why did Rich Lowry decide to write this little piece about the populist poetry that is modern country? Because he felt so deeply betrayed by the Dixie Chicks. As he says, they do not get to practice free speech without consequences, because "they are part of the Country Music Nation, the red-white-and-blue musical heart of America, where our enemies are evil, our cause is righteous, and comments critical of the commander in chief on foreign soil on the eve of a war are, uh, shall we say, not appreciated."

So. Country music is deep and realistic. But it also is the "red-white-and-blue" soul of our nation, where enemy=bad, cause=righteous, yadda yadda . . . somehow I think he just disproved his own thesis. How can anything be deep and realistic and yet so superficial and blindly simplistic?

Only in America.
Town Hall - Darryl Worley - Have You Forgotten - Explore the New Conservative World
This is a really really stupid song.

First off, my English Major hackles go up everytime someone tries to pass off as couplet such non-rhymes as "bin Laden" and "forgotten. Right.

Second, just who said "we shouldn't worry about bin Laden"? Although I doubt that the people whose opinions match Mr. Worleys put this much thought into the matter, but nobody said that. Not even the leftiest of lefties have ever suggested that bin Laden is not a threat.

But you see, rhetoric and logic are beyond the kinds of people that eat the slop this guy is slinging. Logic and rhetoric aren't cool anymore. It's considered elitist when someone shows a rash display of reason. We don't want inneleckshuals in charge anymore. We want a guy whose eyes are reassuringly close together, not too threatening to our Fear Factor- fed brains. Don't make us think about nuthin. That's what them Frogs over in Finland do all the time, and look what its got them to. Nationalized healthcare, that's what.

Sigh. I apologize. The holiday spirit has left me a little cold this year, due primarily to the fact that I've lost my job and my sister's cat was hit by a car the day after Christmas. We had to put him down on the 27th. Add to that the way things seem to be going in the world (more casualties in the war that we won back in March . . . funny how those durn troops just insist on dying over there anyway) and it's enough to make me want to throw myself off of a tall building. But that's letting the bastards win, right?

I'm tapering off at work, which is kinda morbidly funny since there are 400 new submissions and currently only 2 packagers working on them. And I'm working on half what I used to to try and clean out my queue before leaving. Ha.

This company, as I should have recognized, has bizarre HR practices. But I never wanted to be a technical writer, and I think this is one of those cases of a door closing and a window opening. I hope. I just don't want to move all my stuff back home. It's backbreaking work and I'm liking living with just me right now.

There's the off chance they'll get to the end of January, when my contract expires, with nobody in the hopper to be hired and 500 new submissions to be worked on, and they'll extend it a little while beyond that. Then I'd laugh, because I'll have something better lined up. Ha. You're on your own now, you crazy HR decision makers with no foresight! I'm off to write about the real world in my characteristically dry and hip voice!

Ah. And that will be sweet. Maybe then I'll put the tree back up and feel a little more like celebrating.

Monday, December 22, 2003

IBM United States

I love my computer. I hate IBM.

I am, however, fluent in IBM.
For example:

Product= thingy.

Solution= groups of thingies working together to do stuff.

Business Pain Point= the reason why the client needs these thingys. Usually represents cost-driven desire replace people with thingies.

Deployment= they turn on the thingies and hope something good happens.

Proactive= of or pertaining to someone being really really annoying, incessant and manipulative, usually with the end-goal being the persuasion of a customer to implement more thingies.

On-Demand= technically, the implementation of IBM thingies to make a business more responsive, variable, focused and resilient. Actually, it's a bizarre cult isolated within the IBM sales force which compels them to spout buzzwords and invent such terms as "on-demandness" and "on-demandivity."

Reliablility, Availability, Scalability= three characteristics of a server. However, many sales people I have worked with have mistaken this little mantra as:
-The quantified cost benefits of owning said server
-The entire catalogue of features of said server
-The technical description of a server
-The need for this server, the server itself, and the cost benefits that the customer experienced as a result
-The customer's name

Irrelevant= a favorite word among IBM sales reps that is often used to describe my emails to them, my job, my existence . . . frequently used after I ask a second time for quantified cost benefits, when they have already answered "reliability, availability and scalability."

Technical writer= a writer unencumbered by a soul.

. . . five weeks left, just five weeks . . .




Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Gore's Speech on Freedom and Security

You know, Republicans these days are confused. They want to stand behind Bush, but the way they were raised makes them feel weird about supporting him sometimes. Republicans were raised to be protectionists, isolationists, and to fear the reach of a big government.

But here's Bush, meddling in foreign affairs under the banner of "humanitarian nation building" . . . creating a department of Homeland Security out of previously disparate agencies and making a giant, arbitrary fear factory with immeasurable power over regular citizens . . . I can't imagine this sounds like the Republicans our parents grew up with. It's not left wing, so Republican's cant bring themselves to truly hate it or rally against it, but it's something else . . . something darker and more difficult to understand.

I think the word for it is Fascism.
Not so much like the overused, silly "shut up, fascist!" lowercase fascism of my whiny college years. No, this is real-world fascism. From Wikipedia:

"The word fascism has come to mean any system of government resembling Mussolini's, that exalts nation and often race above the individual, and uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition, engages in severe economic and social regimentation, and espouses nationalism and sometimes racism (ethnic nationalism). Nazism is usually considered as a kind of fascism."

Exalting nation above the individual. Check.

Using violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship. Check.

Engages in severe economic and social regimentation, and espouses nationalism and sometimes racism.

Another example of racism- the deportation and detainment of Arab-Americans in the name of National Security. Are interment camps far behind?

Yep. Fascism. In a low dose, but still there . . . and so many Americans are just willing to sit and take it . . . because he's Republican and they will forgive him and they will ignore the truth as long as the promises are there for tax breaks and moral responsibility and better education for our children. I have to imagine that these people, at some point, must have wondered why they continue to support this guy despite the absence of any materialization of his promises to them. They may have lost their jobs, their children to the war, rights they never knew they had to the Patriot Act. But still they stand behind him.
Well, you can't say American's aren't steadfast.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Get those first date jitters!
This girl has no problem with those first date jitters. She just imagines herself naked, and it's all okay.

Downside to Yahoo- their ads either make me feel very lonely or very fat. Meet your dreamdate! Lose 20 pounds in 36 hours! It's enough to make you crazy.

Bad news. Brian- one of my coworkers- is leaving for greener pastures after the 19th and I'll miss him. Good news- the vulture in me knows that this means I'll be guaranteed work after the 1st because he does the same thing I do. And we'll be down a writer . . . not good for the group, but will probably accelerate my training as a writer.
Best news- he's unhappy here and will be finding something more attuned to how witty and funny he is . . . not a lot of room for wit in the context of technical writing.

But still- it sucks. That guy cracks my shit up. It'll be a bummer to see him go.
And knowing Leopard, it will take 4 months to replace him.

I'm moving this weekend, finally, and am looking forward to some much-needed time alone. In college, it's impossible to be alone . . . everywhere you go, even to the bathroom- there are people. At home, I am always with my parents. It's nice to know there are always people around who can keep me company . . . but it's also nice to get some deep solitude therapy.

And cooking for myself- as lonely as that sounds . . . it's something I very much look forward to.
Right now I'm looking forward to just settling in, turning up the radiator, cooking some thai noodles, and watching a movie . . . all by myself.

The dinner parties will come later.

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

JohnJohn - Rudolph Reindeer
You know, the story of Rudolph is really kinda discouraging. Everyone outwardly ostracizes poor Rudolph, calling him derogatory names, excluding him from social activity, and then bossman comes along and says, hey, help me out. Then all the reindeer love him, shout out in glee, etc. What is up with that? You know they only let him join in the reindeer games after that because they think he's an in with management. Corporate lackeys. What the reindeer world experienced here, it seems, is a poor reaction to affirmative action practices.

And don't get me going on Frosty. What kind of freaky hallucinogens were those kids on? Seeing an anthropomorphic mass of snow dancing about . . .

It's these bizarro secular Christmas institutions that freak me out. Elves, dancing snowmen, reindeer with phosphorescent noses, mistletoe (a poison that is supposed to incite feelings of romance). It's these things that hearken back to Christmas' pagan beginnings. Back before it was Christmas, we were all just a bunch of depressed Druids who needed a reason to party in the middle of winter. I mean, come on, only an idiot would believe that rocking around the Christmas tree while burning a special kind of wood and welcoming a gift-giving benevolent spirit has any root in the JudeoChristian tradition. It's a pagan good time.

I like to think of the first Christians convincing the Druids and Norse to adopt Christmas. Hey, you can still have your party tree and your feast, okay? And you can still believe in an old man spirit who rewards children with gifts and treats. But just put out these little wooden people around this wooden baby, okay?

Whatever you say. Get me a mead, wench, and we'll party 'til dawn! Woo!

Christianity is a bastardized religion. I once said that over a warm cheap beer at a frat party at Coe to a guy who had no arguments against it. That's what I miss about Coe . . . the intellectual arguments over bad beer. Well, not so much the bad beer.

I've been moving into my place at the speed of a snail with bad hips. Ha ha- I bet you didn't know snails had hips. Well, they do and they go bad in the purebreds.

Where did that come from?

Anyway, I moved in my lamp, my microwave, my dishes and glasses. My blender's in the trunk of my car for phase 2. This weekend will be the full move. I realized at some point recently that I do not have pots, pans, or knives of my own. Looks like I'll be making a trip to the Crate this weekend. A trip I can't really afford, but need to make all the same.

After last day to publish, I'm getting a massage. My back is killing me and long hours at the desk can't be good. The magical holiday of Last Day to Publish- that is, the last day I have to work at breakneck speed- is just around the corner . . . Dec. 12. I'm looking forward to it like a kid looks forward to Christmas . . . I should get a little advent calendar.

Well, speaking of that working thing, I should get back to it. Until next time . . .

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

It's Log!
Of my few real responsibilities to myself, one of the biggest is that I never lose my writing skills. So, since there is a lot of work here, but I've already done so much and there's only about an hour left (hah! the American work force! We round off so many corners that the work day has become a 3-hour circle honed by email checking and coffeebreaks! . . . anyway) I have found this wonderfully nostalgic picture of LOG from the good old days of shock animation. And with my very best copywriting abilities, I will sell LOG to you, my lovely audience, in the styles of some of my favorite publications.

J. Crew:
LOG- $65
(Tall Log $75)
An American classic in moss or umber (shown). Versatile, rustic yet refined, the log is an accessory for all occasions.

Lucky Magazine:
Trust us- the log is the accessory for fall. We just love the bark detailing and the yummy just-sawn smell. Just see if you can't catch yourself a lumberjack with this sassy little number.
LOG by Moschino Cheap and Chic- $200
LOG by BCBG- $49.99
LOG by Target- $4.99 (a steal!)

Vogue Magazine:
Imagine your childhood trips to the Cape, Montauk or the Hamptons. A fire blazing on the beach as the sun melts into the sea. Recapture those smoky memories with this beautifully rendered log by Herm├Ęs. Log . . . $5,000

Victoria's Secret
Very Sexy Log- $39
Fun in the forest. A low-cut log with revealing bark, accented by a whisper of moss. Available in cup sizes 32-38 A-C.


Okay, I'm done. A little something nutty for Tuesday- the worst day of the week.

Monday, November 24, 2003

IRAQ NOW ...... A Soldier Looks Right Back at the Media.
Now this is interesting . . .
It doesn't change my opinions, really, but it's always interesting to get the view from the inside. There is a common misconception, bred from the Viet Nam era that "peaceniks" (note the soviet-sounding prefix) don't care about soldiers or their problems because they're the juggernauts mowing down fields of "enemy" babies and mothers.
Not true, of course. Not true about the soldiers being juggernauts, not true about the dissenters being ambivalent, apathetic idiots who prefer to sing of the despair of the enemy than the efforts of the deployed.
I don't see the soldiers as people who wish evil to the Iraqis- I believe many of them joined either to save some money on tuition or honestly felt the president was doing the right thing. This does not make them bloodthirsty or hellbent. They are just kids and young adults who aren't as fortunate as I was to get some scholarships or who believe in America's ability to save the world.
So when I read their stories, I do feel for them. I do know that I'll never know what it is like, that there's no way to understand the horror they must face. I understand that I have the luxury of trying to work out the whys and wherefores of the situation- why we're there, why we haven't pulled out, why Bush Senior didn't take this all the way a decade ago- from a cube in middle America, while they have to try and work through their questions amidst mortar fire and palpable terror.
I do support our troops. Which is why I want them to come home. I want this kid- this poor kid named Jason (a generational name, my generation . . . not too many Jasons in the same age group as the congressmen who sent him over there) to come back so he can blog away from someplace safe. He's a smart kid, he's got good ideas, he could be dead tomorrow. Or today . . . his last post is from this morning. How can people honestly say they support kids like him (with plastic signs and bumper stickers from their friendly local Wal-Mart) . . . and at the same time advocate his deployment?

He has a degree in Literature. Like me. I hope he keeps writing.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Aljazeera.Net
Al Jazeera is looking for newsroom journalists to operate out of their Doha, Qatar offices.

What an experience that would be.

Qatar is in the UAE, as I understand it. Doha is a cosmopolitan city on the horseshoe-shaped pennisula of Qatar, extending into the bay. It is warm (very warm) and humid (95%). Crime is low. 95 percent of people are Muslim.

They are also proponents of many strong domestic policies meant to eliminate terrorism. Pragmatic things like anti-money-laundering initiatives.

There was one murder in Qatar in 2000.

So much for the idea of the chaotic bloodhungry Arab. Qatar is a low-crime, peaceful, and relatively prosperous country (due to the nearly 850 thousand barrels of oil they produce every day). They are moving away from an oligarchical rule (the Emir) and toward more democratic modes of government. They are doing this without bombs, without jihad.

I suppose what you are wondering is well, what's the point?

My point: primarily Islamic countries with oligarchical rulers are not the root of all evil. They are not even the root of all terrorism. Despite what we see on TV, there are countless Arabs who live comfortably, even democratically, who are working to find further outlets and possibilities of democracy. Without. Our. Help.

Sadaam is (was? who knows . . .) a rare beast. Palestine/Israel is a rare situation, with roots in Western intervention. It is important to keep in mind that there are exceptions to every stereotype . . . and that more often than not, the stereotypes are the exceptions to the rule. Not all Arabs are trained to kill Jews. Not all Arabs prefer extremist Islamic rule to democratic practices. Not all Arabs are poor and illiterate, or, on the other end, extravagantly wealthy on oil money and don't care about their poor illiterate brethren unless they start looting their gaudy villas. These are the stereotypes upon which this war was begun. That the out-of-control religious fanatics were going to push the button . . . perhaps for no other reason that a flash of righteous will. That an unstable nation with such an "out-there and WRONG" (to quote Kent Brockman) take on faith would present an "iminent threat" to us.

Those of us who blindly follow Bush's plan like to say that those of us who were against the war sided with Sadaam. Besides this being a clearly false sylligism, it is an oversimplification. We may have sided with the people of Iraq . . . but that doesn't mean everyone. Oh, you say, you side with the people of Iraq despite their oppression? You want peace over the deposition of an evil leader?

A million times, no. There had to be a better way. Qatar is an example of a country that needed no violent means to move toward democracy. Granted, they did not have Ba'athists in charge, no Sadaam to speak of . . . but I can't help but wonder why we couldn't have helped Iraq where they needed help (and when they needed help-- in all honesty, 10 years ago would have been nice) and then left the nation-building up to them?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Okay, I'll get off my high horse now.
Where did that expression ever come from? I've been violently thrown off a horse before, but I don't think he had been using narcotics. And if you get on a horse who's been doobin I think you deserve what you get.

This is going to be a loooooooong day. I have been taking on more work, but everytime I start something, Kyle comes up and tells me I don't need to work on it, that it's an exception and I need to send it to salesman x for development . . . So my numbers look good, but I don't have any work. Blogtime!

This is probably going to be one of those that will float around all day, sitting in a window behind my Lotus workspace (yay Lotus!), so bear with the randomness . . .

Made the apartment deposit on Tuesday. Will sign the lease on Saturday. Saturday morning. Then I can start moving . . . but I will probably wait until after Thanksgiving. Stuff I don't need now- Kitchen stuff, stuff that's in the garage, waiting for a real home . . . I know I'm a homebody at heart when I'm excited about unpacking my dishes.

We are going BEYOND Bed&Bath this weekend to get some essentials- shower curtain, bath mat, etc. Things that only people like me get excited about. Well, me and the Fab Five . . . whose new episode premiered Tuesday. I liked how they were helping a straight guy with a family . . . and the family totally accepted and enjoyed them. I don't understand how some gay groups can speak out against that. They are not being Uncle Tommed or anything- they are the ambassadors to the straight world. They are the guys you let your teenage daughter go to the mall with. They are the guys who will teach you how to live better, not necessarily at a higher cost. We could all learn a lot from the Fab Five.

Anyway, I should get back to . . . that stuff I do that I get paid to do . . .

Until next time.


There are unfortunate consequences to good economic strategy . . .

But I do not wish to place myself in the same camp as white kids with dreadlocks and "F**k the WTO!" t-Shirts. Ick. In their camp, you'd probably be at high risk for skin parasites and oversimplification.

Simple truth: There are lots of good ideas out there. But they rarely get carried out by good people, or in good ways. For instance, Free Trade is a good idea. It, theoretically, should put everyone on the same level and increase productivity while lowering prices for everyone. But it seems that these initiatives are not backed by the type of Marxist Utopians you might think. Instead, they are backed by those sleazy, let's breed a fish with a strawberry and see what we get types at Novartis, Monsanto and ADM. And they know full well that they can get more out of high-polluting factories in Mexico, China and India than they'll ever get out of US factories, with their damned EPA regulations. The philosophy behind Free Trade at this point is not "More for Everyone." It is now "More for Us."

Additionally, for small family farmers with sustainable agricultural practices, the learning curve to compete with such megacorps (if there is a light at the end of that tunnel, I doubt most of the backers of these initiatives will help them find it) is so steep that it could bankrupt entire rural populations . . . not only in developing countries, but within the States as well. The North-South economic gap is just a small example of what could happen if Free Trade of the Americas were to get through. While those of us lucky enough to not live in the rural south, we get all the goods they, and the agricorps can produce.

Unfortunately, as those farmers down South have to produce less volume for the same selling price, even using the same pesticides, herbicides, and in all likelihood, GM seeds, they can't compete with the sheer volume produced by the huge corporations. And if they go under, all the better for Monsanto who can purchase their land and add further to their profits . . .

Good economics, in the long run. But at what cost to our cultures, our world right now?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Onion | Mom Finds Out About Blog
Too funny. My parents already know about this (he he) so there will be no "drinking, drug use, casual sex, and other behavior likely to alarm [my] mother."
Although it would really take a lot to alarm my mother. Like I'd have to embrace Jesus in a really freaky way and start hanging around with Buchananites and advocating concealed weapons laws.
Or maybe, in a similar but more enthusiastic twist, I'd have to start worshipping the man-goat and hanging around with Marilyn Manson . . . no, wait, she'd want to meet him.
I learned at an early age that rebellion was futile. My parents had so done that with their parents, and they knew every trick in the book. This is not a bad thing. They also told me about every trick in the book- which is why I never tried anything. They were a step ahead of me. I guess when I have kids, I'll have no way to pull that trick- so I'll have Grandma and Grampa call their bluffs.
So I'm looking at this duplex a block behind where my parents live (yeah, weird for some people, but ideal for me) because I can look at a little more square footage now that I'm sticking to plan A. It's two bedrooms, which might be a little big, with hardwood floors, fully remodeled kitchen, big yard (downside . . . yardwork) and it was built in 1949. I am worried that it may be too much house for me, but the price is right and I loooove hardwood floors.
There were no pictures of the bathroom on the web though. I will need to have a look around. If there are puppy tiles in the bathroom or pink formica, (well, mauvy 80s formica, not cool boomerang 50s formica) that's probably a dealbreaker.
Damn. It's rented.
So says the lady on the phone. Maybe I sounded like someone who would hang out with Marilyn Manson.

So, back to square one. Not too sure what to do now . . . the tiny little basement victorian is still a player, but I'm not sure I want to be that cramped.

We'll see. In the meantime, I have work to do. Gotta pay the rent . . . one of these days . . .

Monday, November 10, 2003

Well.
I received a note today from my former editor . . . she is saying that the position at the paper has been filled. I'm almost convinced that it actually has been . . . but it could just as easily be that I was too audacious in asking for more money, or that there were two different hyphenation methods in my cover letter and my resume . . . but at any rate, I truly believe that all things happen for a reason and I'll just have to pick up where I left off, so to speak.
As Coldplay says, everything's not lost. My manager assures me I'll be writing by the end of the year, I have ordered business cards, and it is looking like this is a "contract, temporary" position in name only.
What this means? Well, further soul searching for one. Higher-end apartment hunting for another. The pushing-ahead of more difficult issues as my salary scales up but the salaries of magazine and newspaper editors remain woefully behind.
But technically, I am still entry-level. There's still a lot to learn, and when opportunities come up, I still have the flexibility to take my life in another direction. Things happen for a reason. And although those reasons are rarely clear, it is often the case that one can look back and pick them out of the nebulous mass of choices, mistakes, and other experiences that make up a life.
And also, Leopard will give me 3 weeks vacation in my first year. Not too bad . . .
Until next time.

Friday, October 31, 2003

weblog!

I am having some personal conflicts right now, and so I decided to look over the old blogs and see what it was really like for me at the Times-Call. As I suspected, there was a honeymoon period, and a tapering-off-of -fanatical-love-for-old-media period, but it never seemed to get as cynical as I feel now.

As this is a reasonably anonymous channel, I feel like I can speak freely.

I am having trouble sorting out my feelings for my job. On the one hand, I feel that I am really getting along well with the people I work with, that we are all quirky and weird but hardworking individuals. I am well paid to hang out with interesting people. My boss is seeming to take a liking to me that echoes of "protege". Did I mention I was well-paid?

On the other hand, technical writing is not neccessarily what I want to do forever. The work is mostly confined to sitting in a little gray cube, cracking wise with my cube neighbors, surfing the web and dealing with angry, unintelligible clients who cannot convey why they are angry, much less the specs on their solutions.

I am young enough that I feel like I am free to make big, seemingly foolish career choices in the name of following the dream. Twenty years from now, perhaps someone seeing me taking a third pay cut to write articles about fireplaces would think I'd seriously gone off my java bean.

There are days like today when I like my job. But even on days like today the question lingers in my mind- what am I doing here? Why should I stay here when I want to move to New York and work at the Times or Lucky or InStyle?

I guess I really have nothing to lose but money if I go back to the paper. It's just money. It's tough to live without, but not so tough to live with less. I think I can do it . . . It is, after all, a risk everyone should take. Such decisions are tests of character. I am in the middle of two very powerful forces: the dream, and the money. In the end, it's probably easier to live without the money than without the dream.

After all, you only live once. And life is too short to follow the wrong path. Once you head down that path, life will quickly show you just how much it costs you to sell out.

I will send my application to Kristi, with the clause that I do not want to start until after my contract is finished with the agency. I am driven by a need to put words on paper, not to put paper in my pocket. And as romantic and, perhaps, foolish as this sounds, it is a chance I have to take. I once said that the reason I loved old media, despite the spin and filtering and sometimes candy-coating, is that it is an entire industry based on the principle of distributing the truth. Facts, events, or even opinions- it is a means of sending information to people who need it. Advertising is not about truth.

Advertising is all about money, which is why they can afford to pay me, a mere graduate basically doing a job a lobotomized ten-year-old could do, over 30k per year. It is about making money, about pleasing customers, and about saying things that are not necessarily true in order to accomplish the first two objectives.

I have to sing the praises of Lotus. Lotus is a software that is not only not user friendly, but borders on user-hostile. Lotus Notes, as my coworker once said, blows goats. Yet our messaging must say "Lotus Notes is being used by the customer for collaboration, a significant improvement over their last mailing solution . . ."

It is not pleasant to write such things. In fact, it makes me feel rather dirty. Especially when I get my paycheck.

So yes, I am going to pursue the job at the paper. And if I don't get it, I can remain at Leopard with the pleasant people and the interesting atmosphere and my boss's doting . . . all the while hoping that a year or so in technical marketing won't ruin my chances of getting into retail, fashion or catalog writing down the road.

What is it Homer said about working at the Nuclear power plant?
Mother:Do you still work for Nasa?
Homer: No, I work at the nuclear power plant.
Mother: Oh, Homer.
Homer: Well, you'll be happy to know I don't work very hard. Actually, I'm bringing the plant down from the inside!

I don't plan on bringing Leopard down if I have to stay there. But to turn a phrase, I'm not going to let it get me down, either.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


"I'm not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful"
--Marilyn Monroe

I have come to the realization that this is true for me, too.
Money is nice. But it's not worth misery.
There really is this vicious cycle at work here. One gets money, one spends money. One makes commitments (mortgages, loans, etc) based on money. Before one knows it, one is a slave to it, requiring a constant money flow to fill the needy mouths named rent, bills, etc.

I'm trying really hard not to get into this cycle. I'm saving what I can, and my future? I don't want to climb any ladders. I don't want to be anybody's boss. I just want to write. Is that too much to ask?

At this point, I'd be happy writing for 11$ per hour as long as it had some kind of bearing on something that mattered. My work right now doesn't matter. I don't believe servers can save the world. When a reference from a nonprofit crosses my path, hooray. But what I really want to do is write something that changes things. Something that shows the world something true. Something honest. Advertising is neither true nor honest. It is thin, but opaque, disguising the truth and packaging it without its vital parts.

I am a journalist at heart, I think. I crave facts, things that are inarguably extant. Things without spin or evasive maneuvers.

So that's why I'm looking at Idealist.org. And why I feel that it is important to go as far as I can to be true not only to myself, but to the world. Honesty is, after all, the best policy. And if I am to be honest with myself, I can't stay in advertising.
My friend's wedding was lovely, but now I have Bon Jovi in my head. The groom was from Jersey. Stupid Bon Jovi. Stupid Jersey. Stupid Livin' on a Prayer.

But things here at work are moving along pretty well. Morale is still low but among some of us hopes are high, and I really think that I could be writing sometime before my time here is done . . . unless of course I pack up and head for the flats. Maybe Omaha. Hey, it might not be Paris, but it's a city, and one with used record stores and live music and interesting shopping.

And a million people. certainly a step up. And I can get an apartment for around 700 a month with about 700 square feet (a buck a foot. Not too shabby). You can't argue with that.

But in the meantime, I have no reason to be upset.
That's a good way to feel.


Monday, October 20, 2003

Sergio Leone movies are cool. But I have noticed that all Westerns require that the entire cast be doused in dark brown oils of some kind. Everyone is very brown and very, very shiny. This is pretty funny because in the West, you can't really sweat that much. The humidity holds steady at about .005% and as soon as your pores can squeeze it out, your sweat is as gone as Christina Aguilera's shame.

I was amused to learn that The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was filmed in Spain. And Leone's concept of American history is kind of funny- Where is the desert supposed to be where they are fighting the Civil War? As I recall from sixth grade, most of the actual fighting took place in the south or parts of the Mid-Atlantic states like Maryland and Pennsylvania . . . not the Mojave. But apparently there was a rather decisive battle in Santa Fe . . . maybe that's what Leone was going for. I think his understanding of the west was more allegorical . . . the senselessness of the bridge battle, the brutal POW camps, the anti-heroes . . . all of these are European reflections framed with a Western American context.

Phew. I almost got all Foucaultian there for a second . . .

When I first saw the movie, it was the European release, dubbed in French and when that screwy sixties font scrawled the title across the screen, it said "il brutto" "il bueno" and "il cattivo." It was more than a little confusing.

Well, I need to up productivity this week (woo. hoo.) so blogging will be light.
Until next time . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

I still kind of can't get used to it. Shoes-on-demand. No mental calculations of whether or not I'll still have enough to feed myself, no scrimping and saving just to go in when they go to 50% off and they don't have a 10 (hey, thirteen-year-olds these days wear tens . . . and they get pretty hefty allowances these days . . . tax free . . .). No waiting till the knockoffs appear at Target or Payless. If I want shoes, I can get shoes. Life is good.

Like yesterday. I actually (yes, actually) needed shoes for this wedding on Saturday, something sort of close-toed and autumny to go with the sweater-Rita-Hayworth ensemble I put together. My shoe-buying has mostly been confined to summer months for the past four years, as that's the only time I ever had any expendable income, so there are naught but strappy strappy stilettos and pointy mules in the shoe drawer in my closet. We went to the mall to pick up a ring my mom was having repaired, stopped by Dillard's to check out the options, and picked up a pair of Enzos on sale that look like something Lana Turner might have worn to her court date. Slight platform, peep toed (but not open toed), vintage, leather, perfect. On sale. For $49.99. Down from $79.99.

A year ago, this scenario would have ended in a sigh, a sheepish "not today" to the saleslady, and a trip to Target to find the Next Best Thing. But now, I just sidle up to the counter, slide the ol' debit card, and hey, shoes.

Someday this won't thrill me. But for now, it's nice.

But I do need to find a new hobby. Shopping is fun, but it gets old. And it seems that the weekends are really all I have anymore. It's hard to get used to- the pace of school is free time mucked up by the occasional class and homework assignment . . . now it seems it's work occasionally mucked up by free time where I am too exhausted to do anything.

I think one of the main things is that I'd like very much to have my own place. But this brings on the commitment issue. Flow chart:

Job Security= commitment
Job security= apartment
Commitment= apartment

Easy enough. But how about this:

Job Security= commitment to career path in marketing
Commitment to career path in marketing= specialization in a field I don't care about
Specialization = broken dreams, boredom, loss of will to live, etc.

By proxy:
Commitment=loss of will to live.

And on the other front:

Commitment= indefinite stay in the greater Longmont, CO area
Longmont, CO = very far from publication opportunities in NY, Chicago, LA, etc

to complicate matters further,

Longmont= family, friends, home, mountains, pets, favorite restaurants
but also, Longmont= career stagnation.

The dilemma comes down to the eternal question . . . Should I stay, or should I go, now?

At least I have some time to decide. And one more Christmas at home before life gets to be too serious.

In the meantime, the shoes-on-demand thing is pretty nice.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Yay! My sister's home? (Did I not mention?) Well, she is, and it's much nicer to have a partner in crime again. It'll be tough saying goodbye again.
This will be a random short blog to make up for the maudlin nostalgia of yesterday . . .
One of my colleagues just came in and have you ever noticed that short men look even shorter bundled up? All snuggled in their wooly jackets with scarves and mittens? I think that when their J-Crew bundled girth begins to compete with their height, they start to look like little boys. Kind of endearing and unsettling at the same time.
Bel Canto is a boring book. It's one of those where it borders on verisimillitude for time- it's taken me two weeks to get to the middle, and the hostages have been hostages for two weeks. But an author that can take a hostage situation and show it for what it really is- tedious, boring and uneventful, underpinned with tension (but not nearly enough to get you interested) has to be given her dues. She's pulled off the situation perfectly in every detail. It just so happens that hostage situations are, well, . . . dull.
It's one I'll see through to the end, but it's not one that I read well into the night. It's a rare book that I'll read when my eyes are trying to seal shut and my arm muscles are actually shaken by tiny, sleep-deprived tremors.
Crimson Petal came close, until I realized that there was no way the author could finish it in a way I wanted to see it end and there were only 12 pages to go. Bastard.
I think I need to find a new job. Well, I inevitably need to find a new job, probably after the first of the month because I don't really trust management here and when Ed went I knew we were all kind of dancing on a string here. I pull my weight, but that doesn't seem to matter sometimes. I have no idea where to take my career from here, but who knows. Maybe I'll go to CSU and get a degree in apparel marketing or something. The world's a big buffet and I just picked up my nice warm plate. But I'm thinking I need to move away from tech advertising. I know a lot about it but I'm not sure it's what I want. I guess, as Iggy Pop says, it's okay to be young and not know what you want. You just have to see where the tides take you at this point, because you're too young to steer.
Until next time . . .

Monday, October 13, 2003

Sometimes it's hard to believe, especially when one visits Cherry Creek, that malls do (and often will) die. They seem so solid and monumental, yet so changing, that they seem like the kind of thing that should last forever.
But last night, I had a dream (as those who were raised on mall weekends often do) about a mall that I hadn't given a thought to in a very long time- Crossroads mall, here in Boulder.
It used to be the destination mall- our family would pack up, head out, and shop for hours in that place, eat Shish Kabob at the food court, buy candy at Scoops, and I remember I saved my allowance to buy a bottle of Vamp at the Chanel counter in Foley's.
I remember being there, too, when we lived here the first time, the feeling of the cold metal rail of the mall stroller under my chin, watching the parquet flooring go by and blur into abstract woody patterns.
I worked at that mall as it was in the death throes- as vendors pulled out one by one, as the crowds dwindled to the occasional elderly or pre-teenage shopper. Why didn't this mall survive, like Cherry Creek, built in the fifties, or Burnsville in Minnesota, from at least the 1960s? Who can tell. But I do know that I disliked Boulder a lot more when that mall started to die.
There was, and this is going to sound exceedingly cheesy, something magical about shopping there. It was probably a combination of the age of the place, as it was built in 1960 or so, and the sheer size (almost a million square feet) and the experience of going there, during the Christmas season, with my parents and sister, double-bagging our presents so that nobody could see what we had gotten on our excursions (I'd go with dad to get stuff for Liz and mom, then vice versa).
It was almost like it wasn't a part of Boulder. It was sheer commercialism, unfettered by the guilt or panhandlers or restraint or dreadlocked white kids on bongos that are part and parcel of the downtown Boulder experience. Perhaps that's why it died- Boulder never really accepted it after about the late 1980s, and when they all got rich off of Internet companies, they were willing to shell out the cash for the "premium" downtown shops. Big Box and Chain became vulgarities, and so they slowly dropped away- the Gap, Contempo, Wards, Mervyn's, Penney's . . . all slowly pulled out and went away, leaving gaping black-windowed boxes where there used to be lights and potential and fluttering price tags.
I can still remember the layout of the whole place. I know it literally inside and out- the service elevators behind the stores where I worked, the blocked-off area where an abandoned "redevelopment" plan was begun (there used to be a cookie shop, a hair salon, a pet store, a clothing store, and a western-wear shop there, anchored by the Wards and Sears.) but never finished.
It used to smell like burnt pizza down at the Abos, like strong fragrances by the Garden Botanika store, like fresh coffee upstairs at the kiosk by the Gap, and like new shoes where I worked, right outside the Foleys (I remember it as May D&F). I trick-or-treated there, I worked there, I had great times there. And soon, it will be leveled. Vendor occupancy is less than 10% and the place is going to be mostly razed for an "outdoor, mixed-use retail, dining and entertainment plaza" as Westcor calls it.
Personally, it sounds like another Pearl Street to me, but maybe with an Ikea. In a town where "development" is a dirty word (in the same class as "grown-up," "progress" or "responsibility,") I imagine that's the most we can hope for.
It's been several years since I did any Christmas shopping at Crossroads. And it's very likely I'll never do it again. But whatever hippified, glorified ped mall they install there, I will never forget what it was like growing up going to the Crossroads mall. For whatever that's worth.
Until next time . . .

Friday, October 10, 2003

10/10/2003
When I head out to work on 287, between the last light that turns it from Main Street into an Interstate and the turnoff to get to the business park, I get to hear three songs from the best radio station in Denver. Or maybe it's in Pakistan. Because the damn thing only comes in for exactly that period of time, and then it vanishes into the static remnants of the Christian station before it and the Adult Contemporary crap after it.

How long has it been since I heard Beck on the radio? Probably a year or so. And b-Sides from the White Stripes? Forget it. Denver is mostly monopolized by Clear Channel of Crap, which spews forth indistinguishable rap-metal and ever-multiplying pop sensations with such volume that no amount of internet voting or request calls will ever cease the flow of unlistenable, ungroovable, soulless sludge.

I have issues with the RIAA. They run these ads that make it seem like file downloading is hurting artists, when really, the artists make about a penny a song. So even the folks who are running Kazaa SuperNodes to the tune of 1000- plus songs are only shorting the artists about 10 bucks. Ooh. Ouch. I bet Moby could have really used that ten bucks for, uh, TofuPups. And Li'l Kim really needed that new pastie adhesive.

The RIAA cannot win me over with any sob stories about struggling artists when their money-grubbing only leads to creating more pop princesses with the shelf life of unpasteurized brie who pollute the airwaves for about three months, crank out a platinum album, make millions for the record company, then dissolve into obscurity like the sugary lumps of nothing that they are. All they want is a profit. That's why they don't pick up the great, risky, wonderful artists that have to disseminate their music via (gasp) filesharing. That's why filesharing continues. As long as the RIAA chooses to make a few bucks off of some chick with flat abs rather than take a chance on anything with a voice and a brain to match, as long as they choose cash over talent, the good music will only be available for filesharing.

And the "struggling" artists who put their music on the web? Are we stealing from them? Are they hurting because we are not paying out the ass for their overpriced disks? No! Because their music gets out there, they develop a fan base. When they develop a fan base, people go and see them. When people go and see them, they pay ticket prices. And that's where the real money is.

So that's why the RIAA hates filesharing. It dupes them out of a. the money artists pay to record, b. the money people pay for the plastic versions of the songs they download or go hear live, and c. it defers attention from their sure-fire moneymaking bootyshaking flashes in the pan and creates an underground of people seeking out real music. Although they would have you believe that clearly, with the long-term dedication and attention they lavish (right) on their young and highly talented (uh huh) "artists" their concern lies 100 percent (NOT) with the rights and royalties rightfully owed to the people who create this fine musical art.

When Columbia signs the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for a 3-album contract, I'll stop downloading music. And if they charge 8.99 a disc. 12.99 if I get it with the Faint Danse Macabre. I've been meaning to buy that one . . .

Back to work. I've got a lot to get through before I take off (at around 3) so until next time . . .



Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Well, I'm feeling particularly good about myself today because I rode four miles and didn't have to walk the bike. It took me about an hour, but I'm feeling a bit like WonderWoman right now.

But it's getting darker earlier and I'm working later, so unless I get a headlight and reflective clothing, my hourlong bike rides in the evening hours are probably numbered.

I finished The Crimson Petal and the White last night- not terribly good at the end, I'm afraid it kind of just peters out. Which is particularly disappointing with an 800+ page book. You want something more . . . something to make it worth it.

Ah well, at least I'll get to ride down to the Library later to drop it off. And find something new!!

Only a single woman with no social life gets that excited about taking her bike to the library. I am a 19th century spinster daughter. I ride my bike and read a lot. Where's Alice B. Toklas' phone number- I have it here somewhere! (Obscure joke. Ask an English major.)

Speaking of, Queer Eye was a little odd last night. It seemed more stagey and scripted than before, and the guy they worked on was a little more reluctant than the last few. I mean, he was living like a coke addict (his mattress was on a DOOR for Chrissakes) and he was a total klutz. He had 59 cent shampoo . . . It all makes me really wonder who is bringing these guys up. Why do they live like this? Why do they deprive themselves? I guess my experience with guys, straight or not, has always been that they have at least a modicum of taste, style, hygenic standards . . . Where do guys come from who think it's okay to leave food under furniture and wear clothes they found in a dumpster?

I read an NY Times article that the show is a success because the five gay men are like father figures to the straight guy. We live in an age of absent dads, and the days of the father teaching the son the finer points of shaving, personal style, and how to treat a lady are gone-- not only because of the lack of interactive dads, but also because these skills are from a bygone age. Sixties and seventies parents rejected the concepts of stringent dress codes, and the entire idea of the lady/gentleman dichotomy. How gay men came to be the reliquaries of such knowledge is beyond me, but I'll takes what I gets.

Bad news. They fired my boss. Things are getting very scary around here and It's all I can do to keep my numbers up and cover my ass . . . a job's a job but this one is built on shakier ground than Sinkhole Heights Subdivision. Perhaps its time to reassess . . .

Monday, September 22, 2003

This stupid blog is formatted differently every time I look at it. How irritating is this four-inch wide all yellow format? The template is like, Turkish html, and I can't figure out how to fix it.

Anyway.

I went to a bridal shower and bachelorette party (my first). I personally prefer the brit term "hen party" for these types of affairs, it has less of a bizarre cartoon quality to it. Let me explain. Smurfette. Chippettes. Bachelorettes? Seems lame and derivative to me. I think I'd rather have a hen party. Or better yet, what about a vixen party? Guys get stag parties, perhaps we should have doe parties? Nah, that sounds like we'd all be sitting in a meadow placidly sipping at margaritas while the occasional rustling sound causes us all to stampede.

Or something.

It was pretty low-key for me, we got a spa treatment and then went to the actual shower, which included much underwear and kitchen products (think of how future anthropologists will discuss the sexual/domestic connotations of such affairs as these!) and then off to the smarm-oozing Boulder bar scene. I'm not a big fan but I thought I'd be a good sport. And once the ribald yet oddly fertility-ritual phallic-themed party favors came out, I decided to bow out gracefully and call it a night.

Margaritas have never been my favorites- I am much more of a clean-and-neat, martini or mojito kind of girl, especially because of the college-sorority-chick (sorry Lizzie) connotations of margaritas. They fall with Long Island Iced Teas and anything frozen and blended, under the get-me-drunk-now-so-these-guys-will-think-I'm-cute heading . . .

For me, drinks are like accessories. Unless I look good holding it and enjoy the process of ordering it, unless it is muted, understated and classic, It's not going to occupy my little cocktail napkin. Margaritas are like a big ugly LL Bean tote bag. They do the job but not with any style. The drinks I like are like Fendi baguettes. They cost too much but the charge you get is incomparable to anything so utilitarian as a Margarita.

When (and if) I get married, I'm thinking an extended hen party- a road trip, actually. To Vegas or Palm Springs. Get all the girls in the Cutlass and head west . . . I think the anonymity of being far from the people you know is a much more interesting concept than hitting the local grogshops. Take a week and sit by a hotel pool, have fun all night and hit shopping or spas in the daytime.

Now that's my kind of party.

Well, work calls. Until next time . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Yay! I have line breaks!

As an afterthought, rummaging through an ever-diminishing drawer of clean clothes, I chose an I "heart" NY shirt. It was clean, I work in a casual office, I didn't give it a second thought until I remembered what day it was.

I'm still wearing it, in case you wondered.

For all the idiocy that has been unfairly predicated upon the disaster, I am no less affected by it than any knee-jerk flag-waving Bushite. It's just the way we think about it that's different. I see an event in no way provoked by the victims, but rather the culmination of generations of misinformation and hate among young Muslim fundamentalists, an event that shook the country to its foundations, but in ways the perpetrators never imagined.

But in watching a show last night on the Discovery Channel (yeah. I'm a geek.) on the roots of Muslim rage, I realized that the very idea of a "war on terrorism" can only fuel the same ideas and attitudes that caused those young Arab men to indiscriminately destroy the greatest symbols of American capitalism, democracy and power. We see it as a war on terrorism. They see it as a continuation, and escalation, of an American war on Islam.

148 thousand troops are in Iraq. That's about twice the population of my hometown. Three quarters the population of Cedar Rapids, the second largest city in Iowa where I went to college. Just a thought.

So although I think I see the events for what they are, a random and hideously violent outpouring of propaganda-fueled hatred, I deeply regret the actions our nation has taken as a result of this tragedy. When the world was willing to reach out to us, with sympathy and even, especially in Middle Eastern nations, empathy, we stubbornly acted alone, on a solitary crusade in which intent is a fluid and multi-faceted concept. To many Americans, the intent was justice, the freedom of the Iraqi and Afghan people. But to them, and I think it's important to remember this, it appears to be bloody retribution and an ideological affront to all they believe in. I mourn the loss of many things today, the innocents in New York and Washington, the soldiers, newly out of high school receiving marching orders to Baghdad, the Iraqis and Afghan civilians mercilessly killed in the crossfire, the firefighters, policemen, etc.

But I also mourn the loss of an opportunity. An opportunity to have taken the high road, to have taken chances to find the real perpetrators of this crime, the loss of an opportunity to win in the greater sense and gain (or keep) powerful allies. I mourn the loss of a nation's credibility after the world poured its heart out to us. America will go on, it will recover, and hopefully it will more deeply consider the long-term ramifications of refusing such opportunities in the future. America has not seen the last of tragedy. As we continue to destroy and the propagandists continue to construe the war against terror as a war against a faith (we are hardly making it more difficult for them to construe such things) the attacks they see as divine retaliation will continue. I dearly hope that future generations can somehow put an end to this cycle.

Terror begets terror. And until both sides can take a true look at their faiths and see that Christ and Mohammed were not crusaders, but compassionate, not warriors but truth-seekers, not hatemongers but advocates of love and understanding, we will see many more heinous crimes committed in their names.

And although I've never been there, I still "heart" NY.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

I will no longer be responding to anything but "Cassie san." It has a very nice ring to it.

I got an email today from a Japanese rep who greeted me in this way and I liked it.

I have coined a new term that I dearly hope the Dems will use in this next election campaign. President Bush has instigated ADD Foreign Policy. He can't focus, he can't finish anything, he acts compulsively and he seems to be oblivious to common-sense advice. In short, we need to find Foreign Policy Ritalin so we can somehow finish all these projects, focus, move on.

Anyway, tons of work today. Got to go plug away at references long since forgotten by sales reps who make lots more than I do . . . lots more than they should . . .

Until next time.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Holy canoli. It's been almost a month.
Well, here's the story. I've been had. I can easily ignore this, and put "junior copywriter" on my resume, and keep on going hoping I'll get promoted to a real position where I'll be writing snappy collateral for IBM printer brochures. But the truth is, I'm basically doing data entry for grumpy German salesmen who spell my name with no "e" at the end, and I haven't put pixels to paper for money since last summer.

So I've been had. They said copywriter, they meant first, last, and only line of defense between the real writers and the disgruntled, overpaid salesforce. And as for upward mobility, that was a luxury of better times, Clintonian times, if you will. Now they can hire someone from without, with more experience than anyone here, for less than it would cost to promote from within. I saw Office Space last night, and it nearly made me cry. "People aren't supposed to live in little cubes!" . . . sigh.

I suppose this is what they mean by "paying your dues," working one's way up, etc etc. But for now it feels like a well-paid dead end with no real experiences that will help me in the long run. There's also no sign of publishing jobs in the Denver area for now, and I think that's what I really want to do. Maybe I'll sock away my money and move someplace where publishing has an actual presence- LA, Seattle, Chicago . . . I'll miss the mountains but they offer only the slightest consolation as it is right now. I feel like I'm pissing away my early 20s in a dim little cube, arguing virtually with distracted foreigners. I've been here for three weeks. There was no honeymoon.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Grrr. The frustration. Again.
It seems that post-collegiate life is simply a series of minor setbacks, separated by extended periods of recovery and self-assurance that next time will be different. This time- looks like the temporary nature of my temporary job is leading me to the conclusion that I will be staying at home for the short-term future. I like home, really I do. But I feel like it's time for my own home, and it seems that everytime there's the promise of making my very own nest for myself, there's always something keeping me from getting there.
Very frustrating.
Ah well. The money will offer some consolation.

Monday, August 11, 2003

I know. At this point, I should really just give it up and call it "VestalVespa Occasionally, more profuse during bouts of self-pity, more sparse during periods of anxiety." This is true. I've been seriously lagging on the blog front, so for my pitiably small audience (all four of you! And Dad, too!), I apologize.
But. I have the best birthday present ever. A real, grown-up job offer! Yep, the junior copywriting position looks like it might just work out, and I'm waiting for the call today (maybe if you are lucky, I'll update after I hear from them). This ushers in a whole new period for me- one I've been simultaneously looking forward to and freaking out about for the past three months. This sounds like a great starter company to work for, though- an entirely female management staff, small (about 70 employees), but with connections to the great big lumbering tech behemoths that we all know and love.
I am really looking forward to having a real routine again, too. I mean, the whole get-up-at-nine, watch-the-view, poke-around-on-the-internet thing is fun for a while, but after three months I understand why so many people give up and go for a McJob just to get out of the house. I am definitely looking forward to meeting new people (college educated people, too, they're always fun . . .) and I am looking forward to learning more about copywriting. I never took any advertising classes or anything, so anything I can learn is good, and will help in the long run.
So. Twenty-two years old. First job in a position I really want, near home and in a location I can really live with. A livable salary and the ability to stay at home for a while until I get my money saved for a place of my own. I'd say that despite everything, I'm still doing pretty well.

Friday, August 01, 2003

Interesting fact:
Google "bush is an idiot," and you'll get 2,960 results. Google "bush is evil" and you'll get 1,450.
Do the same for "bush is a good president," and you get 298. Of the last search, one is a class of second graders, one is titled "George W. Bush is a good president . . . FOR ME TO POOP ON!," and many precede the queried statement with "I don't believe . . ."
The polls may say otherwise, but I believe the web has spoken.
And really, that's probably more accurate. I mean, the polls are dominated by people who have an axe to grind and feel like talking to pollsters during the dinner hour. Disgruntled lonely people, in other words.
I just can't understand why anyone could still stand by a man who actually called one of the top Al Qaeda terrorists (after several failed attempts to pronounciation) "Ramzi Alshibh, or whatever the guy's name was." Or even better, proving his disregard (or at this point, utter contempt) for the needs of the American people, when asked how he could justify spending 170 million on his campaign, he replied "Just watch me."
Nice. At least he doesn't pretend to care about us. He lays it out on the line.
And then he goes on vacation.
In other news, things are pretty quiet around here. I'm hoping to hear back from the folks at the marketing communications firm next week, though like I said, I'm not holding my breath for anything. But there have been NO leads in the classifieds or in the Post lately and I'm getting a little nervous. Jobs have been steadily drying up here in Colorado for the past few weeks, worse than usual. I'm glad I got a little vacation in Yellowstone, but I feel like now there's nothing to do. I was happy to have a break when I felt like I had no obligations. But now, I feel like I should have stuff to do, but there's nothing . . . boring and aggravating at the same time.
Kinda like this blog.
So to spare you, I'm signing off for the weekend. Until next time . . .
Sigh. I mean, a real, honest sigh. If not for typing, I would throw up my hands.
Cspan yesterday featured our Fearless Leader touting the sanctity of marriage and blaming the bad economy on his own war, ahem, I mean *our* war. I am deeply uninspired by our dem candidates, but I'm hoping many people are as kneejerk as I am and figure, hey, ANYTHING is better than THIS.
The interview went well, but I'm not holding my breath just yet. I have certainly learned my lesson as to withholding respiration pending employment. Or dates. I'm no good at either and getting my hopes up has never served a purpose for me.
I'm slowly beginning to understand that in a month, I will NOT be going back to school. This is a difficult concept for me, sometimes . . . you study for fifteen years and suddenly, no more school. No more new boxes of crayons, no new plasticy smelling binders, no new reams of notebook paper, half of which inevitably goes unused but yet, the next year necessitates yet another ream . . . No new clothes, no pristine new erasers. It's kind of sad, really. There is a very visceral connection I have with those smells and textures . . .
Well, one day perhaps I will go school shopping with kids of my own. So the cycle continues.
I am looking at houses to rent, now. This is really the best way to go in Longmont, as the market for apartments is ridiculously inflated and the flux of people out of the state has left many unsold homes up for rent. Cute little victorians for 800 a month . . . sounds good to me, as soon as I find work.
They asked me in the interview if they thought I was a lucky person. And I said yes. I have always thought so . . . I have always been around people much less fortunate than I, and I know that but for the grace of WHATEVER go I into a free clinic, into a Wal Mart, into a bad marriage, into a dead end job. I look at Iraq, I look at Liberia, and I think, thank GOD I'm not there. But I often think that such an attitude helps nobody. I wish there was more I could do for those people. I wish there was more I could do to get rid of the cause of the problem for all the people who have suffered under this administration. I know who he is. And for what its worth, no matter how uninspiring the Dem candidates are, I am going to cast my vote to get rid of this lying, thieving, violent, anachronistic man. I urge every true compassionate person to do the same.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Right now, right this very second, I am doing this for free. Just tappity tapping away at my laptop at no charge at all for you. But this all may change very soon . . . very soon I may be getting paid for *writing*.
I have an interview next Tues for a job with a PR firm out in Gunbarrel, the folks who (kismet!) do PR for my dad's company. I am trying for the position of junior copywriter. It sounds rather funny, like Lizzie said, if you go on a hike with a real forest ranger, when you get back to the lodge, you get a little badge that says "Junior Ranger." "Junior copywriter" has the same sort of ring to it, a slightly apprenticed and inexperienced ring. I have less experience than the ad asked for, but they called anyway. Let's see where this goes.
So. Uday and Qusay. I can't get excited about this for some reason. I mean, I'm sure they were evil, spoiled little twits, but I can't help but agree with Lileks when he conjectures: "hmmm. How Conveeeeeeeeeeenient." Questions arise about our getting into Iraq and so we need a little reminder of just what kind of person was threatening our world of democracy and Christian Charity (uh, yeah). I thought it odd when our local news mentioned that one of them was known for "raping Iraqi girls." I have a real problem with this- I mean, okay, sure, he probably did, and that's despicable. But as a woman, I'm real sick of Bush playing the women's issues card when it's convenient. He has no respect for a woman's right to chose whether or not to carry a child to term, but when he wants to attack a Muslim nation, all he can talk about is rape rooms and burkhas.
He doesn't *really* care about women (http://womensissues.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fstory.news.yahoo.com%2Fnews%3Ftmpl%3Dstory%26u%3D%2Fap%2F20030717%2Fap_on_go_co%2Fwelfare_and_marriage_2 ), or really, anyone else, that much, except when they serve his agendas. I tend to wonder sometimes where they get the intelligence that says either Uday or Qusay really did the things they say they did- I mean, it's becoming a real point of debate anymore if we can trust any kind of "intelligence" they give us dressed as truth.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Okay-- warning. What follows is the disgruntled ravings of a newcomer to the real world upon learning its true nature.
Those averse to whining or who experience head pain or dizziness upon hearing the phrase "It's not fair" my want to view other blogs, perhaps the many available dedicated to pets, quilting, or makeup tips.

IT'S NOT FAIR!
It's not fair that I am a talented new grad with an internship under my belt (no wonder none of my skirts fit) but I can't find a job because I'm not well-connected enough to network my way into a job. It's not fair that it's not what you know or how well you can do it, but who you know and who you can pay . . .
This is not a new realization to me. Case study in true American democracy #1: the college admissions process. Many people go to Ivy League schools just because they can afford to (ahem, President Bush) and many people who can't afford it but would probably get much more out of it (people like myself, my friend Alvon, etc) do not. In the college admissions process, it's not who you are but who your parents are. And whether or not they're loaded enough to have a building named after them on the campus you are looking at.
And now, the job market, which bites anyway, is much like that process. There are literally hundreds of applicants for dozens of job openings, and I'm told (again) that my difficulty is not so much that I am not qualified for jobs, but because other applicants are better at networking (read: bullshitting other people to achieve a monetary end. Associated topics: brownnosing, pimping, lying) than I am. Again, people get high-level jobs because of who they know (ahem, President Bush) rather than what they know and what they do with what they know. It's not fair.
Anyway. Life isn't fair, I know. I have to play the game, I know. But it still sucks and I'm seriously getting sick of playing a game whose rules bend for people because of their "connections" (just how do college students get these connections, anyway? I know I didn't have access to high-ranking publishing executives out in Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
Worst. Job Market. Ever.
At least I am going on vacation this weekend.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

When you are driving a 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with a Rocket 350 engine to the local coffeeshop, you might not intend on cruising down either of the two blocks it takes to get there. But the car has a certain need to do so. And all you can do is sit back and pay for the gas.

I needed to get out on my own for a little while, a full day with the parents can be a lot of fun (hey, those of you who know my family knows that they're fun parents!) but I needed some contemplative behind the wheel time. I love driving. It gives you time to think while you go someplace.

My sister, the ever-cognizant pacifist but fan of a good argument has me believing that Bush is on a Christian Crusade against the (very tired phrase warning) Axis of Evil, a Crusade to make the world safe for Christians everywhere.
And I think this because:
A. None of the three countries on the Axis are predominantly Christian (We have secular, Communist, and Muslim . . . I think those are all on an even plane with the Shrubman). Further, these nations have a history of persecuting the small populations of Christians they have.
B. It is highly possible that Mr. Jesus Day saw 9/11 as a sign from God that some serious terrible swift sword action was required on the part of the Christian Neo-Conservatives regarding the problem of a certian group of unbelievers-- and with the flood of Christian missionaries (mostly headed by people within Bush's circle and people from his evangelical denomination) into Afghanistan and Iraq, those looking for a mission in the aftermath didn't have to follow far behind this military action.
C. The President seems to be unusually fond of characterizing entire cultures as "Evil" rather than the more politically legitimate terms "troubling," "belligerent," or perhaps "threatening" (actually, in hindsight, he tends to be just as Manichean in his terms concerning the American People as well- although never vocalizing it, his administration has done a good job of polarizing us into the flag-waving, SUV driving, Republican-voting, troop-supporting "Patriots" and war-protesting, civil-rights clinging, environmentally-concerned, economically-preoccupied "Others").
And finally,
D. The next on the list: Liberia. Another poor nation of non-Christians, ripe for the usual missionary temptations such as children's healthcare, livestock medicines, newly constructed shelters . . . all available if the missionaries can just get those people into their church. Onward, Christian soldiers.

This is not a settling idea. It seems that our President (well, The President at any rate) lied to us to get us to fight Iraq, one of these Infidel nations, and many of our young men and women died in this conflict. And although I am not so simplistic or naive to think that this was completely religiously motivated, I do believe that Bush's faith was a factor in this situation. Sending people to die for religious reasons? I thought that was what we were trying to fight against.

And finally, I'm not alone in this. Fifty-two percent of Americans agree that the level of casualties in Iraq was "unacceptable," and only 57 percent believe the war was worth fighting. Bush's approval ratings are his lowest since September 11. Commondreams, the AU, and other groups are calling Bush's freudian slip (he did call this a crusade against terrorism, remember that?) and spreading the word that this man, a friend of Billy "Islam is evil" Graham , a vocally born-again Christian, founder of Jesus Day, and now, Crusader for Christ, might not hold Islamic or other differently-believing cultures in the high regard one should expect from the leader of the free (to worship freely) world.

Now don't get me wrong. Jesus seemed like a nice guy in that one book I read. I seem to remember him saying something like "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."
And while the Koran's diplomacy is a little different, I did find this little bit of information:
"Allah loves those who act equitably."
It seems to me that if religious zealots actually zealously followed their sacred words, the world would be a far better place.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Tra la la.  It's a lovely day, my new site is up and running Lileks was back to his old self again and I'm baking bread.

Life is good.

Concerning the Lileks bleat today- I'd like to offer my little warped childhood context to the whole Iran deal.

I was raised knowing that my dad and his mom had spent a year living in Tehran and exploring the middle east.  To me, that segment of the world is like what many of my peers think of places their parents visited as youngsters- Wisconsin, Western Europe maybe, Mexico . . . exotic in some ways, but familiar in others.  My home has been always touched by the odd melding of my mom's Country Living style (Waverly fabrics, Shabby-Chic furniture, stained antiques and lots of pillows) and my dad's travels: Bazaar-bought Kilims, copper pots engraved in Arabic, camel backpacks housing yesterday's newspaper.  Persian palace meets Laura Ashley.  And then there are the oddities we inherited when my grandmother passed away . . . I remember playing dress-up with a rusty-colored burkha.

Iran has always been something closer to me than to other American kids my age.  I knew it somehow, from photos, the scratchy texture of our camel-hair rug, from stories my dad told us.  But the Iran he knew was long gone by the time I was born.

The mullahs long ago killed the cosmopolitan Tehran, the American school my dad attended and where he worked on Western plays like West Side Story and Barefoot in the Park.  My dad has friends now who knew what the death of Tehran felt like, firsthand-- expat engineers who suddenly explode in conversation when he mentions his year in Tehran.  His year before . . . His year, one of the few precious years before the revolution.

My friend Fatma moved here as a two-year-old with her mother, to escape the Iran of 1985.  They arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Allah works in mysterious ways.  She is still a practicing muslim, a sweet girl and very funny, an adoptive mother to many of the freshman of last year.  There is more to her story than I'll ever know.

This perspective is something I am deeply thankful for.  In this world, it is good to have an understanding of a culture so many people simply dismiss as violent, unpredictable, erratic.  I know Iran.  And to know something as beautiful and complex and troubled as Iran is to know that it is a crime, a shame, and a terrible error to simply label it "an axis of evil."

Until next time . . .

Monday, July 07, 2003

Hello hello hello . . .
It's the halting beginnings of the dog days of summer. Heating up to around ninety by noon, cooling to a chilly eighty at around ten.
I have got to vent about something. And as someone involved in marketing, I feel this is a disgrace. Marketing cigarettes to kids runs afoul of the moral fiber of our nation, same with marketing booze or pornography to the under 11 crowd. So why, why why do we allow the marketing of such wretched creations as "From Justin to Kelly," the latest soulless celluloid offal generated by the American Idol phenomenon?
I mean, really. Why is it that the best we have to offer our children this summer is a pathetic revamping of a tired, threadbare Romeo and Juliet story veneered with the ugly image-based, advertising-centered vapidity of American Idol? Because so many parents have gotten to be lazy. When I was in retail, parents would come up to me in the mall and ask where a good restaurant would be "to take the kids." Why can't they take their kids to a regular restaurant and force them to expand their horizons? Why can't a kid go to a thai restaurant? Don't these parents even remember that, as kids, they were people, too? They wanted to have revelations and learn and be challenged and try new things. That's what being a kid is all about. Not catering to the lowest mean, the least common denominator, sitting in front of commercialized, vacant pap for two hours.
There were bad movies when I was a kid. I just didn't see them. My parents took me to see the Disney masterpieces, and I'd watch classics on AMC or TNT like The Searchers, Funny Face . . . with real actors, not creations of AOL Time-Warner. Parents don't go places *with* their kids anymore. They *take*their kids places. It's not a learning experience or a cooperative experience. It's a delivery system. No longer are the studios making things that parents and kids can enjoy together (except Pixar, of course). Just a way to placate the little bastards for another two hours before they're wanting McDonalds again. Not cool, man. Not cool at all.
My parents didn't stop being themselves to be parents. They just became themselves, with kids. We went to Vietnamese restaurants . . . Chinese, Russian, Italian, everything. We went to museums and plays, and I could probably count on my fingers the number of nights I had a babysitter. I went to weddings. Funerals. And yes, occasionally to McDonalds. And the result? As an adult, I always want to explore the next new thing. And I stay away from Meg Ryan vehicles and boring theme restaurants like TGI Fridays. Because that's where you find idiots who were raised on stupid movies and mediocre family restaurants. And who needs that?

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Well, it's moving into week four of NO JOB . . . and it's getting really frustrating, but not necessarily stressful. My mom and I discussed this today. I'm not a stressed-out person in general because my philosophy has always been one of staunch Minnesotan stoicism. Whatever crap happens, you deal with it. You scrimp, you trim, you redirect your efforts, you reassess your priorities, and you deal. We go on, as my old uncle Ted once said, arguably the staunchest Minnesotan stoic ever.
I've been having a spot of medical issues (nothing too serious, but of a very personal nature) that have forced me to look long and hard at my life and what I think is important . . . and finding a job is one of those things that has remained a high priority, but I have been given this transition time and I best make the most of it.
So. Deep revelations aside, life is good. I'm missing my sister lately, but I'm branching out a little more, and doing home projects . . . I'm going to my friend Fernando's house tomorrow for movies and human interaction, which is always good.
For those readers of age, I recommend the Cuban drink Mojito. Mint leaves, lime, rum and soda . . . for those not of age, the virgin version is still damn good. Our cute little neighborhood pub always has these exotic summer drinks, and that was at the top of the list. Cocktails are a great benefit to being grown-up. Kids wouldn't understand.
Anyway, I'll leave the political rants for a time when I feel a little less insulated. I'll finish with this: pray for peace, because it seems the war keeps going on. Declaring a victory, it seems, is not enough even for the victors any more.
Until next time . . .

Saturday, June 14, 2003

you know, some people's ways of dealing with the world, of rationalizing it and making it somehow more palatable can be truly destructive.
in vogue today, i read a woman's column in which she characterized iraq as a victory because it didn't destroy the world. it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
what bugs me about this is that it says iraq was not a victory against terrorism. nor was it a liberation of the iraqi people. instead, she would have it, iraq is a victory against our own worst fears. which i hardly see as a victory. it seems to me it's rather like someone bashing their hand with a hammer, and when it simply goes black and blue without going gangrene, it's considered a good move.
i think this war will shake out the best and worst in people now that its over. i just feel bad for the people who died so some people (myself not included) could feel nominally better about our world.
i saw on the news a palestinian man who explained that sadaam never had a defensive strategy for his own country. instead he had a postwar agenda. if only we could think so far ahead . . . or perhaps learn so much from what we've done in the past.
enough. it's late. i'm tired. and i have a job to find.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Okay, I'm better now.
Even though I watched the last Dawson's Creek tonight. It's indeed the end of an era.
I started watching with my sister when she was a junior in high school- I would IM her (new tech at the time) when I was in Boulder, it was our bonding time. I kind of miss those days sometimes.
In fact, I'm beginning to think of my college experience and the many things I'll miss. Parties in rooms so crowded you need a crowbar to get in and a bucket brigade to get a beer. Parties so small that it's just me and five guys talking politics until four AM. Opening my door and being able to see most of my close friends within minutes. The security of certainty. Inside jokes, singing in the shower with other girls (in other stalls, of course), long talks over dinner . . . I'll miss these things so much more than I can even understand now. I'm ready to enter the next phase of my life, but I'm also sure that I will deeply miss some aspects of my past.
I think the thing I fear most is loneliness. Moving to a new area and having to make new friends, keep in touch with old friends, etc. It's tough. I should talk to my dad about it, I'm sure he has some advice.
I think the weirdest thing is just how I won't be a student anymore. Learning is all I know. I've been an intern, a student and a volunteer, but at the same time, I've always been the student in the student-teacher relationship. I am apprehensive about entering the world without the security of that framework. I'm sure I'll do fine, but it's just odd going into something completely different from the way your life used to work.
Anyway, enough rambling. I should really be in bed. Until next time . . .

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Okay. I had here a long rant about my advisor, who I have added to my rapidly growing KMA list. The M is for "My", the K is for "kiss." Deduce away. But I am censoring myself because the internet has a reach far beyond my own. And I am on Google, which connects all people. But all the same, concerning the Coe Review, if you don't grind the wheat, raise the dough and bake the bread, you better not complain to the little Red Hen about the end result. Those of you who know me know what that means. Those of you who don't, don't have to. Ha.
But props to longstanding KMA list members all the same, the theatre department, most of my middle and high school teachers, Bill Owens and John Ashcroft. Although Ashcroft is probably reading this. Bastard.
Anyway, enough anger. I got a nice letter from my friend Michelle yesterday and I am really looking forward to going home. I need the break.
Tomorrow is a test for my Popular Lit class, in which we study Monsters in Film. The exam will be on The Shining and Alien (two of my favorites). I'm going through a Kubrick phase right now, but I think I need to psyche myself up for Clockwork Orange. I've read the book, but it's differend to see things with your eyes than with your mind. I love movies that leave more questions than answers.
But it's late and I need to sleep so I will at least pay some attention in French tomorrow. Until next time . . .

Monday, May 12, 2003

Hey, this blog dates itself. I don't need to write my little 5/12 at the top. Good deal.
I got my first graduation gift today from my great aunt. I guess I'm really graduating now.
The Coe Review budget is due tomorrow and then I just have to finish the reception. Apparently I have to draw a diagram so the physical plant people know how to arrange the tables and all. Which is sorta dumb, I mean, why can't they just do that themselves? I really don't care how they do it. I'm so fed up with the whole thing that it really doesn't matter at all to me.
I gave a presentation in my unpracticed French today. I dearly hope I made sense.
I'm glad the war is over so I can start liking James Lileks (www.lileks.com) again. He got to be super weird during the war. I'm glad the killing is over, I'm glad the troops are coming home. As for Halliburton winning the contract to "rebuild" Iraq, I'm not so pleased. But at least those kids are home and at least Iraqi five-year olds aren't being armed and sent into the front lines to combat the world's military power.
I'm happy for that. And I'm happy to look forward, even though the way is cloudy.
Until next time . . .

Sunday, May 11, 2003

5/11/03
Hallelujah. I am done with the Coe College aptly named Department of Drama. I am done with people who disdain me for having a life outside of the theatre . . . I'll drink to that . . .
Now all that's left is finals and the reception for Coe Review, and some minor preparations for graduation. But as the Moby song goes, I'm not worried.
People keep asking me what I want for graduation, and I can't tell if I am just really not in need of anything or I haven't had time to think about wanting anything. I really haven't been able to come up with an answer when people ask me . . . since I had my own place back in Sophomore year, I don't need any house stuff (except a couch. But we'll wait on that) and I have way too many clothes. I could think of a couple of computer things I would like, maybe, but I really don't know. I told Kathleen, all I want are encouraging words, maybe a couple of bucks. I don't really want anything else I'll have to move anytime soon.
It's been a good chill weekend, won't be long and things will begin to get crazygonuts. So if blogging is spotty, that's why.
Until . . . whenever . . .

Saturday, May 10, 2003

5/10
I have to strike a set for the theatre department in one hour and forty-two minutes. I am not happy about this. I am very tired of the theatre department and its regiment of divas and drama queens.
But that's probably just the senioritis talking. The thing is, I have had virtually nothing to do for weekends on end and now all my friends are having parties tonight . . . the night I'm going to be trapped in Dows Fine Arts building washing greasepaint off of costumes.
We got the Review done, and I'm about 89 percent pleased with it. The cover is lower resolution than I wanted and some of the pictures inside look rather flat. I'm not too pleased with that. But I'm glad to have it done.
Next is graduation . . .
I sent my portfolio to Outside Magazine in Santa Fe, and now I'm just playing the waiting game. We'll see, as I always say. In the meantime, I'm just trying to enjoy the neon green Iowa springtime and the last few days I'll have as a college student.
until next time . . .

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Hi, folks, this is the new blogspot. It's not as cute as the last one but Coe has finally decided I don't need my ftp account any longer (I guess it's time to cut the jade ftp site umbilicus) so I've packed my opinion shoebox and here I am.
Here's what I think is really silly. We went to war to depose Saddam and disarm Iraq. And our objectives, as G-dub said, were clear, and we would most certainly meet them. So here we are, several weeks later, and well, we're calling the war over.
-But, Saddam still alive, and we've still not found any . . .
It's OOOOver, I tell you!
-But, the WMD's, they still haven't found any . . .
OOOOOver!! La la la, I can't hear you!! So glad that war is over, now I can pay attention to Michael Jackson again.
-But we just found a tape of Saddam's voice, and only hints of the construction of weap-
-La la laaa!!
Anyway. I guess if Big Brother says the war is over, it's over. And I'll just sit back and let him install telephone surveillance and monitor my library records. Now that we're in peacetime and all . . .

Well, not much more to report. Still looking for jobs, probably will try to send out some portfolios to Colorado newspapers with little circulations, and hopefully get some nibbles in their features departments, though I am beginning to consider an internship in Santa Fe that would only pay minimum wage . . . but what I really need is experience, and if I want to work in magazines, that's probably what I should be doing. So I'll see what I can send their way and hopefully if I live in Santa Fe on 6.53 an hour, my wonderful parents will help me get by. Again.
Wish me luck, and until next time . . .