Monday, August 31, 2009

a new, old leaf

After eight months of riding the freelance rollercoaster without health insurance, I officially start a new job tomorrow--and it's completely out of the field to which that I've devoted the last decade of my life.

It's sad for me to leave my career, but I'm still hoping to keep a toe in the pond of my withering industry by doing projects here and there because the new job is supposed to be part-time once I've been trained. We'll have to see how that goes. But if this ends up being a real goodbye, I won't be heartbroken. A long time ago I had visited the dungeon's illustrious tower on a school field trip and turned to a friend and said, "I'm going to work here someday." And I did. Sure, I sort of referred to it as a torture chamber (out of love, of course), however it really was quite an experience and I learned so much. So I'll have no regrets.

Today I went to an eight-hour new-employee orientation and got so indoctrinated about stuff like biohazard safety precautions and the perils of breaching confidentiality that I'm terrified to divulge details beyond that I'm working as a liaison between the paperwork people and the clinical professionals in a hospital. At least that's what I think I'm going to do; the department is in transition and no one is sure what this position is going to morph into.

While this is a new step, I'm falling back into some old patterns: a) I'm going to spend most of the time at my parents' house in suburbia while H stays in the city so we'll be back to long distance, though 40 miles is much better than 2,000. b) I'm slated to be working nights 2:30 to 11 p.m., which to some of you will sound awfully familiar. Perhaps I have always been destined to work nights.

But there's a definite plus: Even though I don't have any official medical training, I get to wear scrubs, so that adds another 20 minutes of sleep in the morning that I'd normally waste trying to figure out what to wear. Score!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

fruits of the garden

I realize that I haven't posted any pictures of how the garden is doing:

July 2:

My mom's friend got her some solar-powered lights that have these nylon flowerpetals that spin with the wind. They give the place a nice splash of color. However, I may have put them together wrong because the lights do not turn on.

July 24:

Please excuse the weeds.

We also had red and yellow peppers, but they were planted in a small on-the-ground patch nearer to the house and THE BUNNIES got them. See why the maximum security was necessary?

The zucchini is always monstrous, as you can see by the foliage. We've been giving them away all over the place.

I always forget to take pictures of the stuff we pick before it's all cooked up and eaten. I prefer the green beans to the yellow.

August 6:

The burpless cucumbers have been delicious.

The tomatoes have yet to redden on the vine. I'm sure we'll have them lined up on the windowsill to ripen any day now.

Okra. Which I can only get H to eat in a gumbo, but that's it. Hey, you take what you can get.

Cut up, they look like little stars.

Why do they always say "two peas in a pod" I have yet to see pods with only two peas in them. Do I have the saying wrong?

We're not sure what that rounded-bottom gourd/squash thing is on the right, but it tasted good!

Friday, August 14, 2009

the legend continues

Today I turn 31. In about an hour, give or take ten minutes.

My brother called me last night, around midnight, and a little tipsy. He was trying to come up with a new name to call me, and decided on Ethel. He ended the conversation with a suggestion that I address everyone today with "Howdy." And he gave detailed instructions on voice inflection and delivery. You should see the stuff he comes up with when he's on surgical pain medication.

We are about to hop on a train to suburbia to see my parents and tonight we'll be enjoying the stylings of Yo-Yo Ma under the stars at Ravinia. But I just had to post a picture of what I got from H:

Since he downloaded the original Legend of Zelda for the Wii, I've been playing quite a bit of it (you know, in between attempts to find a job and whatnot). I nearly beat the game when I was 12, but it's taken awhile to get caught up. So H made a puzzle of the map for the game with the help of his good friend Eric all the way from New York, who has access to a super-rad laser. It burned the image of the map into the wood and then cut out all the pieces to H's puzzle specifications. It's a crutch to help me beat the game, but of course I have to work for it. More pictures to come.

Thank you all for your birthday messages and wishes!


Sunday, August 09, 2009

at the very least, i'd been training for it since i learned to change the channel

I'm sure no one is keeping track, but it's been more than a month since my last post. What can I say? My dvr, Netflix queue and TCM/AMC are in need of constant attention. I used to feel guilty about all the tv I watch until a friend argued that I'm just soaking up all of that information and I will surely do something with it...someday.

Well maybe that day has come and gone. Last week, one of those marketing focus-group research companies called me in to sit on a panel on REALITY TELEVISION. I got to discuss tv, and at the end of the night somebody handed me an envelope full of cash.

It was as though I'd found my calling! How I would love to make a salary (with benefits!) yeah-ing or nay-ing tv proposals. I explained why a show about community theater would work best when focused on the lovable scamps from Nebraska instead of the trying-too-hard 15-minuters from Connecticut. With examples, of course: I managed to reference not one but SEVEN other reality-television gimmicks in the course of the fifteen minutes I spoke. And there was even a 12 Angry Men moment during which I convinced half the table that a particular idea would be a flop because it had even less sincerity than Rock of Love. I'm pretty sure I was born to do this.

Sad as that sounds, I've had a renewed sense of purpose all week and have been scrambling to harness it into something tangible. And I'm going to start just as soon as I get caught up on The Colbert Report.