Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Case You Were Wondering (And Maybe You Were and Maybe You Weren't)

So, I managed to make it through the second-round interview on Saturday. How did it go, you ask? I felt pretty confident once I left that I really nailed it. Strangely (for me), I was in a good conversational groove and teeing off questions and observations. I even had them laughing at one point as I told them the gripping tale of errant authors and a process I had to mediate and problem solve. And it ended happily, on time, and on budget! In short, I think I had a narrative that I reinforced and that was compelling.

I'm not sure I had good answers to specific questions, though. I wish I could go back and re-do/re-frame/re-address. I think I missed a couple of really easy lobs that would have underscored my broader skill set. It's much easier to give a litany of accomplishments that directly transfer to the job in question, rather than having to elide gaps and contextualize things in ways not immediately obvious. I think it will come down to the mix of skills and traits that they value for this--I have a sneaking suspicion that all the candidates involve trade-offs and that none of us are an exact 100 percent fit.

It's funny. I went into it fairly ambivalent. It seemed, in many ways, like a recipe for failure for the person in the job (you better show concrete results), as well as for the organization (hey! we'll save money by getting a person who will learn as they go!). But I got really excited after meeting the people and thinking about the challenges involved in such a new direction. God help me if I'm not a wee bit energized by people, sometimes. It could be a fascinating to have to be persuasive.

We'll see. The decision is out of my hands.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pssst. You're Not Supposed to Notice These Things, People

On Saturday, I have a second-round job interview (horrifyingly, I have to give a presentation on my development plans for this nonprofit; yes, they are clearly trying to ensure minimal salary requirements by getting candidates who don't have much experience in development).

And, allegedly, I will be volunteering this week for a couple of PR events. It's a quasi-internship, you see, wherein I will work, observe, see how things are done, and ascertain whether PR is something I might want to do. (Preliminary thought: I think I can do it; I have spent most of my professional career cajoling, soothing, and otherwise dealing with people, but the very thought of having my entire job be about being friendly friendly friendly makes me exhausted). There are connections to be made, and for that, I am very grateful.

Since all of this came up suddenly, I started panicking about my presentation; that is, one who spends lots of time alone and/or shuffling to various errands in workout gear tends to be in a constant state of, um, un-poshness. Of course the degree to which one has gone to seed can be rationalized: "Well, the first event is no big deal, I'll just wear my hair back. Who notices gray roots except me?"

Alas, having a random dork on your run shout out how you're Rogue will puncture any rationalizations. I should learn from the restaurant guy, who kindly offered up, unsolicited, that I was too young to be gray. Or from my classmate: "Oh, you're letting your gray grow out too?" Yeah. Clearly, I'm past the point of fooling anyone.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Too Much Reality Television

Cordelia: "You're really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren't you?"
Buffy: "As defending champion, you nervous?"
Cordelia: "I can hold my own. You know, we've never really been close, which is nice 'cause I don't really like you that much, but you have on occasion saved the world and stuff, so I'm gonna do you a favor."
Buffy: "And this great favor is?"
Cordelia: "I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it."
Buffy: "Excuse me?"
Cordelia: "Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it.'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

How Did I Miss This?

I guess I haven't been cynical and paranoid enough. Shock doctrine, indeed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Risotto: Very Tasty. That Is All.

I made this stuff. And it was delicious and, if I do say so myself, perfectly done. The tougher vegetable critics in the place even gave the asparagus a thumbs up.

Tonight, however, we have reservations at our favorite splurgy restaurant. Accordingly, we have been scouring their wine list, feverishly refreshing their online menu, and calling for the daily specials.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Where We Tenderly Worry About the Children, Until They're Born

Fetuses are sacred. But once the kidlets are sturdy and able to work, they should work, damnit. None of this mollycoddling. We look toward Missouri to lead the way in repealing those ridiculous child labor laws.

I don't know about you, but I personally know some elementary schoolers with a little too much time on their hands.

I sometimes wonder if folks are sincerely mistaken about the past, or if they are hellbent on repeating it, secure in the knowledge that they, personally, will be among the haves, as opposed to the have nots. I guess if your worldview is that what you have is directly a result of virtue (as opposed to luck and the privilege of being born where, when, and to whom you were born), it's all cool. People get what they deserve, see.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Well. This Discussion Could Be Awkward

I've read my novels for this month! I'm prepped and ready for discussion, notes, and everything else I need to document to show that I'm on top of things, synthesizing, and doing the work.

This month, however, the novel that we're reading and discussing is . . . by our teacher. AWKward. Further awkwardness: Said novel stars a Mary Sue. Yes, friends, a Mary Sue. By the end of the book, I was smacking my head against the back of the couch (in lieu of smacking the character) and thinking to myself, "Of course she won the Grammy and started a fund for children! She's just that perfect. Her only flaw is being loved too much."

I love me my female characters: I write them all the time. Mine are generally flawed specimens, but I like heroic: Buffy rocks! And it is entirely possible that my perceptions of commercial fiction are skewed. I'm a pretty omnivorous reader, but it's been a while since I've read your basic plot-driven page turner. I realize it's all about what happens and getting bogged down with the finer notes of character development on this locomotive is somewhat beside the point.

But I submit that when your central character is beloved by all--even by violent people who have reason to be pissed off by said character--and all your other characters exist to revolve around, tend to, talk about, and rescue your central character, you have a Mary Sue on your hands.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Today's Story Moment

Brought to you by Aimee Bender, "Fell This Girl" (in the Girl in the Flammable Skirt):

I remember, especially in high school, I was so good at this kind of fake-out. I rehearsed thoughtfulness, I appeared carefree--and how many guys did I trick? As I sat there, hair tucked behind my ear, supposedly lost in a book, thinking this exact monologue, rereading and rereading the same paragraph, waiting for them to see me and want me, caught in this image of myself as a reader. What about staring at ants, wanting to see close to nature and whimsical? What about staring into space, wanting to seem expansive, trying to find the thoughts that would fit my self-portrait? I fooled so many guys! I was found mysterious so many times, oh that girl, we don't know what that Susie thinks, and all I'm thinking is what do I look like, and all I'm thinking is that I own their thoughts.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh Fox News. At Least You Keep in Interesting

Crazy and wild protests in Wisconsin! Shouty demonstrators! Out-of-control teachers!

This, of course, is my favorite part of Wisconsin: The Mediterranean Coast. Warm breezes, swaying palm trees. I'm planning on retiring there.

Note: DRAMATIC REENACTMENT. Stock video for illustration purposes only.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Critical Paper Wisdom

The point is, not to resist the flow. You go up when you’re supposed to go up and down when you’re supposed to go down. when you’re supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top. when you’re supposed to go down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom. When there’s no flow, stay still. if you resist the flow, everything dries up.
— Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.