January 26, 2010

After spending three hours on the 8 page application to be a substitute teacher, and spending $10 on a transcript to send to the school district, I called to ask to whom I should address the application and they said not to bother--they're not hiring any more subs.

Then I got a text, Alex spoke to her manager and can't hire me.

Back at square 1. No wait, back even further from that, because neither of these two jobs are jobs that are sustainable anyway. I can't even wait tables in this town. I'm supposed to go to Chicago tomorrow and I have no idea what's going to happen when I get back. It's going to have to be a remarkably inexpensive weekend away.

I hate my life.

Miss Chris, Revisited?

Today I started the (entirely too long) process of applying to be a substitute teacher. So if you or anyone you know wants to write me a reference, I need a WHOLE HOST of them. Yikes.

I'm starting to reach record levels of desperation, getting frustrated at not hearing back from jobs I didn't even want in the first place. It's depressing. I'm still waiting to hear back from Alex regarding the job at Friday's, hoping she finds a way to con the head manager into hiring me.

In other news, the UK Wildcats are #1 in the country, the only Division 1 undefeated left. Very exciting.

P.S. My kindergarten teacher used to call me Miss Chris. Love. (Especially since she was way before her time; I didn't start going by Chris until I was 14.)

January 20, 2010

Step by Step

Today, I walked myself into a restaurant and applied to wait tables. I'm trying not to feel lost about it, so I'm learning to focus more on the fact that I think there's a good chance I'll get this job, and that I'll be generating income soon.

The other thing is that one of the managers is a former step-sister. (I won't go into details about my parents's divorce rates, but I do have ex-step-siblings, so. You know.) I haven't seen this woman since she and I were roughly 4 and 7, respectively (nearly 20 years ago, yikes), and I had sort of forgotten she existed. Every once in a while, a photo or a random, worthless artifact (blue and white pom poms, mix tapes, entangled purple wigs) from those days would turn up and I would think of them, briefly, but my memory of it is very limited, what with my having been four.

And then mom found them on Facebook. And as often happens with Facebook, our lives converged again. Mom found out Alex managed a restaurant in the area. And tonight, for the first time in nearly 20 years, I saw Alex in person. It was sort of surreal, it's sort of how I feel adoptive children must feel when they meet their birth siblings, on a very micro scale. Like I feel as though I should know her, but there's no real basis for my feeling that way. I wonder what she's been doing since she became entirely a stranger. I wonder if we would get along, if we could be friends. I wonder what it will be like to think of her no longer just in passing.

And now, the four things I remember about my three step-siblings:

1. Plays and puppet shows. In particular, a play in which Kate and Alex were fairies and kept forgetting to bring their wands out onstage. At one point, Alex shouted, "OOOH! WANDS!" And totally in character, ran behind the stage to grab both wands. In retrospect, it's funny, but I think at the time I was upset about not being a fairy myself. There were only two sets of wings.

2. Chandra's mixtapes. To this day I cannot hear "(Everything I Do) I Do it For You" without thinking of her. YEAH, I WOULD FIGHT FOR YOU!!!!!! I'D LIE FOR YOU!!!! WALK THE WIRE FOR YOU!!!! YEAH, I'D DIE FOR YOUUUUUU. Sigh, love.

3. Adam giving me a stuffed animal, a mouse with big floppy white ears. He was friends with Mr. Bear for a long time. I named him Mr. Mouse. What can I say, I was really good at naming things.

4. Visiting them after our parents divorced. It apparently happened several times, but I only remember one time in particular, touring their barn and Adam finding a snake and throwing it what seemed like miles and miles away to my five year old depth perception. Their mom yelled at them to clean their rooms.

...That's really all I remember. It's strange, how little it is, and how much they must have been around, but I couldn't have been older than 5. And now I'm nearly 23 and here we are again. Strange.

January 19, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog.

So, it's been an interesting few days. I put everything I owned into a Penske truck and my cat and I are now in Kentucky once again. More on that later, though.

Bailey and I went to Mount Vernon, Washington's home, on Thursday. It is absolutely a must-see. If you get to DC and have a car with you, GO. It's 12 square miles of his life--he was proudest, it is said, of being a farmer, and Mount Vernon is a testament to that. He had a very precise 7-year crop rotation in order to care for the soil. He thought of new and crafty ways to do farm chores, in order to minimize the amount of time he (and yes, his slaves) spent outside in the cold months. You can tell he also loved the house, doing constant renovations and spending as much time as he had there. Which, admittedly, was not that much. But going to Mount Vernon you get a great sense of Washington the man.

Then Kerrie came, pregnant though she is, to help me move out. She said she had wanted to visit before I moved, and it was her last chance to do that. So, pregnant though she is, she agreed to lug my boxes and boxes full of crap into a Penske truck in exchange for fun times in DC.

I took her to the Air & Space Museum, "the world's most popular museum," mostly because she's in the Air Force and they have USAF planes and memorabilia in there, which I thought she would be interested in. Plus, it's the most visited museum in the world so I felt like if she's only going to go to a few, that one was worth seeing.

Boy, is that museum overwhelming. It's worth going to, yes, but it's wordswordswords everywhere. I mean, I know museums are for learning and putting images with facts and learning the facts based on what is in front of your face, and I think that's great, but one can only read so much. Plus, this place is huge, absurdly big, and every time you turn around you realize you missed an entire wing, and how is that possible? So it's hard to deal with all that.

So we went to what may be its polar opposite, the American History Museum, or "America's Attic." This is the place where Dorothy's ruby red slippers are housed next to Rocky's boxing gloves and Apollo Ohno's skates and Kermit the Frog. It's fun and requires little to no reading, and even less learning. I feel like I sound like a giant moron, but you should see that place, it's just. Words. And if you're spending over an hour looking at planes and spaceships and trying to take in information that is almost entirely new--well, I didn't prepare for it. I prepared more for like, "This is John Glenn's spaceship, the Friendship 7." And "Orville and Wibur Wright are from Ohio. Here is the plane they made." So I went to a museum much more like that: "Jim Henson made this puppet and named him Kermit. Isn't he cute?" Completely what I was looking for in a weekend that was already overwhelming.

We also went to the National Portrait Gallery, which I won't bore you with again, as I am virtually certain you all know how I feel about it. Kerrie and I also loved the courtyard. I wonder how much money they would charge for a wedding reception? It seems like the perfect place for that sort of thing but then again, it's the Smithsonian and they run entirely on donation, and it's a great space, and also, why am I thinking about this?

Kerrie also wanted to see some of the monuments, so we did that. I'll post photos here or on the Book as soon as I get my main computer set up. We did the main strip, seeing Washington, Lincoln, and WWII. Lincoln is just. It's really incredible. It was also MLK weekend, so the spot of his famous speech was marked with a wreath and placard.

Then I made one last trip to Ben's Chili Bowl, which gained fame in 08 when Obama made a stop there during his campaign. It's an incredible meal. If Bill Cosby says it's good, well. Also Wale and Lady Gaga did a music video outside there, which is funny to me, because it's, like, a giant hole in the wall. Whatever, it's incredible.

So then on Sunday Kerrie and I loaded up the Penske with everything (and everyone) I own, and drove the 10 hours to Northern Kentucky. And here I am. It's hard to explain how I feel about it, because I enormously relieved, and ready to not be stressed out about a number of things, mostly involving money. (We did find a subletter, and I like her quite a bit. I feel like I would be friends with her if I were staying, which is a good feeling when you're leaving your best friend with someone who is basically a stranger.) I am also ready to not live in a town where people often put themselves first in everything from the Metro escalator to the grocery line to work to traffic circles. It's sometimes absurd. JFK called it a city of "Southern efficiency and Northern Charm." Southern efficiency doesn't bother me. But I can't live there. It was a great place to be for six months, and I'm very glad that I did it, but I'm also very glad that I'm no longer doing it.

As for living in my mother's basement. Well, it could be worse, I guess, but it's just not where I wanted to be at this stage in my life. It's disappointing and frustrating and yes, a little humiliating. But I guess it happens to a lot of people. Right? Ugh, I need a job.

Just before I left, I was depressed and needed something to look forward to, so I (somewhat idiotically) booked a flight to LA to visit Dominic in early April.
http://www.bored.com/makecountdowns/show.php?id=194171 (I blame him for this, because he asked me how long until I land, and, ever one for accuracy, I linked him. Regardless, it's making me happy. Mission accomplished.)

I don't know what I'm going to do if I get a job before then, because, like, it's an 8 day trip. But I'll figure that out if/when it happens.

January 07, 2010

LeVar Burton

So, post Dr. Drew-induced frenzy, I sent the following Tweets:

It's just like back in the day when I had a crush on @levarburton & used to watch Star Trek with my sis and not pay attn except to Geordi

I remember the 1st time I saw him and was like, "omg @levarburton" and "why is he wearing that thing?" and Kate goes "HES BLIND YOU IDIOT."

I guess as far as first crushes go, they don't get much better than @levarburton

Which I think were all relatively normal, appropriate things to say on Twitter, right?

I don't even remember what I was watching, or what made me thing of all those missed scenes of Star Trek. Or that one time in English class when I first admitted to God and everybody that LeVar had been my first crush.

...That was my sophomore year.

...Of college.

Anyway, I got the following direct message:

Perhaps it was the high tech glasses that did it for you! I know how you like men in glasses...

This obviously means two things:
1. LeVar Burton and I were meant to be. Never question first-grade logic.

I'm pretty much a Twitter Star. I have, like, nearly 100 followers. Which makes me Tweet royalty, right?

January 05, 2010

National Portrait Gallery

Today I went to the National Portrait Gallery, continuing my Add Imagetourist's trek across the city.

The Portrait Gallery is one of my favorite museums in the city, mostly because there are all these incredible people, and you just have to look at them and realize that they're constituted exactly the same way as you are, no better or worse, just the same. It's really something. I spent an hour and a half in there, all of which I spent in the presidents section. I can't help it. The first thing you see when you walk in is Gilbert's Washington, which in person is this huge, larger than life, incredible thing. And I just stared at it, standing in the middle of the museum, looking up at him, this man, constituted the same way I am, that stood there and stood there in order to get this huge, larger than life, incredible thing painted. And you think about it, about the history, about who he was, and it's just. It's breathtaking, really. I link you to that image, so you know what I'm talking about, but part of me wants to not do that, since it's nothing really, next to the portrait in person. But what art is, I guess.

And there's that picture of Lincoln. You know the one, where the negative cracked, and there's a line across the top of this head? It's haunting. And unlike Gilbert's Washington, which is an interpretation, a likeness (and one that was not regarded as his 'best' likeness, if 'best' means most accurate), this IS Lincoln. It's photography. And you look at him, and you just have to think about what he did, what he became.

And there's W. I love his portrait, I really do, because look at him. He's...he's just a guy. He could be your dad. All the other presidents chose to do very formal looks (Reagan comes to mind), but here he is, slouched over on a couch, unassuming, not even in a tie. It's just... I don't know, I really like it. It's really very "George" and not very "President Bush." And I like George. I think he seems funny and goofy and like someone I'd have a burger and beer with.

There's also a reel of some of the speeches from recent presidents, including President Bush, and that really ruins the spirit of his portrait. And also makes me really grateful, once again, for November 4, 2008.