Can’t believe tomorrow is June 1…Halfway through this year and 9 days until I bid my teen years farewell (and good riddance!).
Well, some good stuff happened today. I met with the editor-in-chief of WNC Woman Magazine and worked out the details of my summer internship. I will be reviewing the spreads before they go to the final inspection before publication, mostly proofreading and looking for any weird errors that may have occurred. This is the magazine that published one of my poems in their April issue. It’s just a small magazine, but it’s a magazine nonetheless. Like most internships, this one is paid with experience and brownie points instead of money, which is OK with me. It’s going to be good experience and relevant experience. I am excited. The woman who is the editor-in-chief is a very cool lady and she seemed excited to work with me. She is a Chapel Hill grad. She asked what I want to do with my degree and when I said “I want to be a writer” she responded with understanding and enthusiasm. It’s so nice to talk to people who get that, people who don’t think it’s such a ridiculous idea to try to make a living by writing. I told her about my Screenwriting minor and she said she has a god-son who moved out to LA and became a screenwriter for low-budget indie films and is doing quite well. This gives me hope. I think it’s going to be a really good thing.
It seems that the little cold spell that was hanging around the mountains has gone for good, and summer is in full swing now. We’ve been setting jars of sun tea out—one of my favorite things about summer—and we even went to the pool a couple days ago. The fans are going in the house because the heat has set in. We’ve fired up the grill a number of times since I’ve been home. I’ve even got a couple faint tan lines proving that I have soaked up a bit of sun. So far my lack of employment and lull in mental stimulation has not dampened my mood too much, or made it hard for me to enjoy the summer.
I do have two babysitting dates set up for a friend of my mom’s, so that’ll be a bit of quick easy money. And I still have more than half of my last library check. That should tide me over for a while.
“You can plan all you want to. You can lie in your morning bed and fill whole notebooks with schemes and intentions. But within a single afternoon, within hours or minutes, everything you plan and everything you have fought to make yourself can be undone as a slug is undone when salt is poured on him. And right up to the moment when you find yourself dissolving into foam you can still believe you are doing fine.”—"Crossing to Safety" by Wallace Stegner
“Crept? Rushed. Coming from meagerness and low expectations, we felt their friendship as freezing travelers feel a dry room and a fire. Crowded in, rubbing our hands with satisfaction, and were never the same thereafter. Thought better of ourselves, thought better of the world.”—"Crossing to Safety" Wallace Stegner
When was it decided that the world is ending tomorrow? Who said that? I’m not really getting any Impending-End-of-the-World vibes, and I hope I’m right because I’ve got plans for tomorrow! My last paycheck from the library came through today and I want to do some summer clothes shopping. I was planning on going by myself, but I think I’ll invite Mom and the boys along (just in case—I don’t want to be alone in Kohls or some place like that while the world’s ending). On the list are sundresses, sandals (looks like JC Penney is having a kickass sale, woohoo!), and a good hat. Then maybe if the sun EVER decides to come back out, we’ll go to a baseball game in the evening. And the season finale of SNL is on tomorrow night and Justin Timberlake is on it and I must watch it. So you see, tomorrow really just isn’t the best time for the world to end. And the next 70 years aren’t looking so good either.
Also some potential employment opportunities have popped up. I got a response from one of the babysitting jobs I applied for. I talked to the woman today but she was driving and distracted, so she’s supposed to call me back for a phone interview and then hopefully set up a time to meet me in person and then hopefully say “You’re hired!” But one step at a time. Right now I’m still in the “Wait and See” phase, the most obnoxious and nerve-wracking of all phases. Every time the phone rings I jump up and check the Caller ID only to find out its some crazy unknown number. Anyway, I also went down to the public library yesterday and filled out a volunteer application. I wouldn’t get paid but it would at least be something to do. So there’s another phone call to wait for. Have I mentioned how much I hate the telephone?
To summarize: Shopping, good things coming up, potential employment, I want to be Nicki Minaj when I grow up, don’t cut me off just yet.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman
Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, 'Cause I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
If I hear one more person talking about how much better their life is now that they’ve deleted their Facebook account I’m going to do something drastic. Like throw up. If you’re sick of reading obnoxious statuses, being friends with people who aren’t really your friends, looking at tacky pictures, then by all means, delete it. It’s not like I would have a problem with someone being like “Oh yeah, I deleted my Facebook—I just got bored with it.” Totally valid! But that’s NOT what my newly Facebook-sober friends/acquaintances have said. They want to tell you all about the Big Brother conspiracy from which they’ve somehow managed to break free. They have to explain it to you in great detail because you, a user, obviously couldn’t understand. And they want a big shiny medal for this herculean feat.
"I’m so glad I got off of Facebook, now I have so much more time to do the stuff I REALLY want to do!" "I’m so much more productive now that I’ve deleted my Facebook." "Now I can enjoy the simple, joyful things in life." "Ugh, I just got so sick of knowing what EVERYONE was doing EVERY SINGLE MINUTE of the day! Now I have time to actually make phone calls, write letters, send telegrams, invest in a homing pigeon, and gather kindling for a fire to send smoke signals to the people I REALLY care about!" Look, if you were spending THAT much time on Facebook then it probably is a good thing that you delete it so you can perform everyday functions, but you might also invest in some time management classes.
Maybe someone should create a website where those who have broken away from the all-consuming spell of Facebook could form a group and mingle and post pretentious shit about how they weaseled their way out of their Orwellian fate. They could post statuses about how they’re enjoying the simple, joyful things and create photo albums as evidence. They could quote Emerson and Thoreau and have discussions about how they are no longer assembly-line products of society as they check all the websites they’ve joined since leaving Facebook.
Give me a break, people. If it bothers you that much, then delete it. But don’t try and characterize everyone else as a herd of technology-crazed cattle chewing on cuds of social media.
Grand Opening of Lemonade Stand Postponed Due to Crappy Weather
It seems that spring in the mountains has gone on vacation. For the past three days it has been in the 50s and rainy. Gross. So unfortunately I will have to put off the opening of my lemonade stand.
Still no luck on my quest for employment, but I have a new idea: babysitting. Ok, so it’s not really a new idea, but one that I’m newly taking seriously. And actually, I think it could potentially be a really good thing. I’ve been babysitting my brothers since I was eleven years old, and they’re generally good citizens. Plus I’ve watched the kids of my mom’s friends and my baby cousin, and they like me just fine. Moms need childcare, I need a job. BAM. Let’s help each other out. I can cook, I can clean, I can quote awesome childhood movies verbatim, I tell good stories, and I’m really good at playing Barbies. I’ll even take your kid to places like the pool, the library, and the Nature Center. (I don’t guess there are any potential employers on tumblr, huh?)
I joined a free site called Sittercity.com (so if some horrible creeper-related incident occurs, you know what to tell the police), which is essentially like Match.com for babysitters and parents looking for childcare. I feel kind of cheesy filling out my bio and what not, even though it’s all true. But, you know, if it snags me a solid summer job, bring on the cheese!
I’m pretty sure that my hometown is some kind of black hole. Time stops completely and I don’t get any cell phone reception. I shouldn’t complain, I know. After all, the weather is nice and I’m not stuck in a crevice in the earth with my hand smushed between a big-ass boulder and a rock wall…But I’ve gotten used to being busy every day with class and work and socializing, and to come home to a place where none of that happens is like cutting off the circulation to my psyche.
Not that I thought this place would have changed since last summer (which was the worst summer I’ve EVER had), but I at least thought I would have enough stuff lined up to keep me occupied. I am supposed to be volunteering as a second-level proofreader for WNC Woman Magazine, but I haven’t heard back from the lady in at least a week, and since she works mostly from home any work that I do will take place via email. I’m happy to do it, and it’ll be something that will look good on a resume, but it still doesn’t get me out of the house.
Today I took my application downtown to the Biltmore Staffing Center (yes, they have so much money they had to create a whole separate office just for applications). The lady asked me a few questions about my experience and availability and told me I should expect to hear back within 1-2 weeks. Around 5:00 this evening I got an email from Human Resources saying “We appreciate you wasting your time, but no thanks.” So everyone wants you to have “relevant experience” but you can’t get “relevant experience” because no one will hire you. Loving that double-edged sword!
I do have skills that will be relevant and desirable some day. Unfortunately, and somewhat ironically, none of those skills will get me a part-time job. “Yeah, it’s great that you’re a good writer, but can you run a cash register?” “Ok, so you can use a computer…but can you give people forks?” I know I’ve only been home a week, and really this is all a result of my being an extremely impatient person. But returning to such a slow, small place from the awesome high-energy environment at school is enough to make me want to cut my arm off. C’mon, summer—step your game up!
Well here it is, not even a full week since I’ve been home and already I’m beginning to get a little bit squirmy. While it is absolutely divine sleeping until noon and laying around reading and watching movies, I know that if I don’t have something else to do I’ll be sick of it by next week. I have lost count of how many job applications I’ve filled out, and I haven’t heard from any of the places. Tomorrow I’m going to apply at the Biltmore Estate, and I’m really hoping that it’ll work out since it has so many openings (and it pays pretty well!). The website says that most of the positions are “available immediately” and they “do their best to respond as soon as possible,” so…like, that same day please?
I have a whole list of books to read this summer, so hopefully that will be abundant brain food. I’m looking forward to scavenging through thrift stores for things for the house I’ll be moving into in August. And I do still have one more paycheck from the library coming next week, so I have a little bit of a financial cushion. I’m planning on doing a bit of shopping, I need a good summer hat. And hopefully I’ll be taking a beach trip with my family for my birthday next month.
Must go cotinue my very alluring Give-Me-a-Job Dance to the Employment Gods. Keep your fingers crossed!
Like probably everyone else in the world today, I have been bombarded by Facebook statuses, blog posts, and news headlines announcing the death of Osama bin Laden. I first heard about this last night while flipping channels waiting for Chelsea Lately to come on. I paused on ABC and ended up missing Chelsea to watch Obama’s address and listen to the calls to and from parents of people lost in 9/11. I remembered the morning of September 11, 2001 when I went to the library with my 5th grade class to watch the Twin Towers burn and fall. I thought about how that was almost ten years ago. During Obama’s speech I felt a brief surge of patriotism; who doesn’t like the idea of justice being served and an entire country being united under that premise? But like I said, that surge was brief.
I understand that to say Osama bin Laden wasn’t the nicest of guys is similar to saying “Yeah, that guy Hitler was kind of an asshole.” I understand that his death brings a sense of accomplishment to the troops and the country as a whole, and that it is largely a symbolic effort at providing some kind of compensation for those who lost loved ones in the attacks. I understand that when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center that day people in America were hurt and angry, and didn’t know how else to react than to demand bloodshed. What I don’t understand is how the assassination of one man can rectify all that pain.
The people who suffered or were killed because of this man are not brought back with his death. No matter how much we cheer and chant and wave our American flags in the streets outside the White House, the reality is we have only bred more violence and hate. I’m not suggesting that bin Laden’s death wasn’t justified/deserved/necessary, I’m questioning if our celebration is all of those things. I cannot be merry at the thought of an individual being violently killed, warranted or not. Seeing pictures of a bloody, lifeless body does not ignite in me any sort of pride or patriotism, only disgust and sadness that such action was deemed necessary.
It seems to me that what we should be feeling now is a sense of relief rather than pride. Osama bin Laden was one terrible person among many; are we supposed to kill them all? Compile a list, hunt them down one by one, and then tweet pictures of their bludgeoned bodies? We should focus on moving past this moment—and this era—rather than basking in the “glory” of it.
One of the better ones written during my high school years
Your name is a delicacy to my awkward tongue. Perhaps I simply do not say it oft’ enough. I suppose when I met you I was a barren world. You planted a single seed and from it, a flowered forest grew. You spread your roots through me far and wide. You dug a well, too— as deep as you could get. Now an effervescent elixir flows, gushes, and bursts out of it. But when your mouth is dry you find a drink elsewhere. Why do you drown me so? I could fill that well with all the ink I’ve spent on you. But you are not wet at all.