Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Phone Interview

I prep by reading Get Hired Fast. The questions are going to be fast and furious. I may not know the answers, but all I need to be is prepared and honest. O-- calls. This is the first phone interview of my post-master's degree job search.

He calls unexpectedly early. Is he trying to throw me off my game?

No! He is totally nice! At one point he asks if I will mind working for someone who sometimes stumbles over his words. I will not! I said that he just made me feel comfortable, but what I really wanted to say is: "I stumble over my words too! That's why I was so nervous about this phone interview!" It didn't work out, because I don't have all the experience he is looking for, (he might be able to use me on another project.) But my first (I have two more) phone interview of the day went well.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

It's (un) Official!

+ JANUARY 3, 2006 AWARDED MASTER'S DEGREE +
YAY!! It's been posted to my unofficial transcript which means that no nightmarish little glitch got in the way of me and my degree. (Unlike the bachelor degree fiasco which time has not yet made funny.) I have a graduate degree. Wahoo! =D

The advance decorating crew

Moving can be lonely. (The alternate title to this post.) It reminds me that I am still a wandering troubadour, not the co-house living, bed with my lover sharing, pregnant bellied woman, just got home from the farmer's market woman I have pictured in my head. So, my small sadness this month has been loneliness. I have so many people, but have not felt that anyone else was sharing my life. I called my mom and she said she is sharing my life. She reminded me of the people at church who complimented me when she was here, and in my uber lonely state the other night I said that they were just being polite.

I guess for me having people share my life and care about me means that they help me, and the meaning of the help (that they really do care and that I can count on them) is more important than the help itself. Sometimes I am so needy and it's embarrassing. I wanted to call my friend this morning and ask him if I could visit just so he could hug me, but I didn't know what he would say. I told him later, and he said he wanted to be there for me to support me. Tomorrow he is coming over to help me pack. Other people have offered to help me move all of my stuff on Saturday, and tonight I had the advance decorating crew.

Two girlfriends who I feel really comfortable with came over, ate my very home spun meal with kind words, and helped me move my decorations to my new place. These included scarves, pictures, and assorted knickknacks. We moved the furniture, moved it again, hung pictures, considered fung shui. I needed an advance decorating crew to make this move feel positive. I just had this image of moving into a new place and sitting in a bare room for a month as I slowly settled in. It seemed so depressing after making my current room so cute. Friend S was going to bring sage to clear out the energy of past residents. Friend A was going to bring her baggua book. They both forgot, but they couldn't have done any ceremony or positioned things more fung shuily to better accomplish what I needed than what they did. To have people really consider, with earnestness, where you should hang your Buddhist prayer flags, and find just the right place for your poseable Aragorn action figure is like a magical dispeller of loneliness.

I wrote this a couple days ago, and the idea of "community" has come up several times since then. This post is about how neccesary for community it feels to have people know and care about the details of my life.

A Random Non-Scientific Sampling Agrees!

Grey's Anatomy and The Gilmore Girls were voted in the top five shows! I love the Gilmore Girls. It works as well as chocolate and is the non-food comfort food in my life. I can live without Grey's Anatomy, but it is the only other show I make an effort to watch.

Cool, good taste, random sampling of people. What are your "must watch" tv shows?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pandora Speaks

I sent a fan email to Pandora and got a reply, both of which I'm sharing with you. (Right now I'm listening to The Rain by the Subdudes. "You're beautiful and ordinary. Life is very good with you indeed." Now Trouble by Elliot Smith. mmm! This is a good station.)
Hi Pandora people,

I used to loove listening to music. I would listen to the college radio station in our town, and listened to friends' music all through college, and then onto KRCL, an awesome local station in Utah. Then I figured I just got old and stodgy and stopped being as interested in discovering new music, but the truth is I just moved to a place with lots of corporate radio and friends with less time to lay around and listen to music. So, thank you thank you thank you thank you thank YOU for a place to discover music again. Yay! :)

...

PPS: I'm having the most luck with my station "Love will come to you" by the Indigo Girls.
Tim Westergren to me Jan 24 (18 hours ago)
Thanks so much for your kind words, - I'm really glad you're enjoying the service so much.

Nothing quite like getting reconnected with music...! No one should be without it.

Great to have you as a pandora listener.

Cheers,

Tim

Tim Westergren
Founder
Pandora Media

NOTE: Pandora Tour
Beginning in Mid-March, we're planning a road trip across the Southern states to meet listeners and look for new music. We're starting in Austin, Texas at the SXSW conference, then heading East. We'll wind our way all the way to Washington DC. Still plotting our course, which we'll eventually start posting on our blog (http://blog.pandora.com/pandora/). Keep in touch - we may come through your town and would love to meet you (feel free to suggest destinations too.. we'll be in no particular hurry to cross the continent!).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"I am not like these people; I am not suited to this world."

I'm just passing on links today, but, oh my gosh! How right on is this paragraph. I haven't even gotten to the end of this and I had to stop and pass it along to you, from someone who has just started to feel in the last few years like she is suited to this world after all.
What a recipe for alienation. By the time they reach an age to think about what they'd like to do, most kids have been thoroughly misled about the idea of loving one's work. School has trained them to regard work as an unpleasant duty. Having a job is said to be even more onerous than schoolwork. And yet all the adults claim to like what they do. You can't blame kids for thinking 'I am not like these people; I am not suited to this world.
Read more about How to Do What You Love.

Basement.org: Taking RSS Beyond Headlines

Oh yeah, I find such good things on the delicious popular posts. Check out all the things you can do with RSS at Basement.org. Don't be afraid if you don't understand RSS, it's just a way to get information from other places online. The cool thing is, you can put it on your blog to share, or put it on a portal, like Netvibes.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Learn to pretend there's more than love that matters

I've been listening to Pandora and one of my favorite songs came on. Particularly appropriate for today. Love Will Come To You by The Indigo Girls.
guess i wasn't the best one to ask... me myself with my face pressed up against love's glass... to see the shiny toy I've been hoping for the one I never can afford... the wide world spins and spits turmoil and the nations toil for peace... but the paws of fear upon your chest, only love can soothe that beast... and my words are paper tigers no match for the predator of pain inside her... i say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they're true as if i've offered up a crystal ball to look through where there's now one there will be two... i was born under the sign of cancer... like brushing cloth i smooth the wrinkles for an answer... i close my eyes and wish you fine (i'm always closing my eyes wishing i'm fine) even though i know you're not this time (even though i'm not this time)... i say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they're true as if i've offered up a crystal ball to look through where there's now one there will be two... dodging your memories a field of knives always on the outside looking in on other's lives... i say love will come to you hoping just because i spoke the words that they're true as if i've offered up a crystal ball to look through where there's now one there will be two... and i wish her insight to battle love's blindness strength from the milk of human kindness a safe place for all the pieces that scattered learn to pretend there's more than love that matters

Micro-updates

Inspired by Andrea, I'm going to list my own Micro-updates.

* Did I ever mention that I graduated? I think that means that in formal situations, you now have to call me "Master." ;) I got all A's my last semester. I worked hard and am glaaaadddd it paid off.

* I'm moving to a new part of town. It is a house for international students with all expenses included in the rent. I can stay as long as I like and leave when I want to, so it will be a good place during this liminal time.

* I'm looking for a job. I am dreaming of discretionary income. I'm going to save a substantial amount each month, and then... My list of first things to buy is growing longer. The first thing I will do with insurance is get fillings. Right now the top of my discretionary income list are new bras... Ahhh... the luxury. :)

* Today I am indulging my organizing yen and purging and packing semi-meticulously. I know I will feel a lot better when all of my stuff is packed and labeled.

* Last night I was so sad and wondered if I will ever be loved in the "you jump, I jump" sort of way. I sure hope I will, but if I'm not, I will fill up my life with all the other fabulous parts of life.

Can you imagine having a mom like this when you were growing up?

Every week when I make the shopping list, Sophie insists that I make her a 'Sophia is Great' list.
Check out French Toast Girl to see the cat.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Private Register

Bad google results yield more valuable fruit. I just found this article about the difference between secret, private, and public registers.
This is why, incidentally, why people hate blogs so much. My God, people say, how can Livejournallers be so self-obsessed? Oh, Christ, is Xeni talking about LA art again? Why won't they all shut up?

The answer why they won't shut up is - they're not talking to you. They're talking in the private register of blogs, that confidential style between secret-and-public. And you found them via Google.
This helps explain the trouble I've been having with how anonymous or non-anonymous my blog should be, but gives no answers about what to do. Still it's an intriguing enough question that I read the whole long article over at Danny O'Brien's Oblomovka.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Welcome to the Freevolution

Thank goodness a lot of smart people are into selflessly serving their communities. Check out Freevolution
The Freevolution is happening now as free and open source software methodology is being brought to the design of the physical world.
Hmmm... sounds exciting. And thanks to my aimless surfing, now you too can hear personal recommendations from PANDORA! VERY cool. I know I've posted about Pandora before, but they now have a free version which is supported with ads. I'm listening to "Half a Person" by the Smiths. YAY! This recommendation they gave me is based on one of my favorite songs, "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town" by .... it's escaping me right now. Red? Help?

Universal Salvation and the question of evil

At Pop Occulture there is a discussion about how Satan fits in to the idea of Universal Salvation. As an agnostic, discussions like this and other religious questions are like discussions about how Superman could turn back time. (Semi-interesting, but not applicable to reality.) However, this was a particularly intriguing view of Satan, so I'm passing it along.
We often hear that Jesus is seated at the “right hand” of God. Interestingly, in the American courtroom, the defense typically sits on the right hand side of the judge (from the judge’s perspective, that is). Anyway, the role of Satan as prosecuting attorney would be to point out every one of your faults and hold you as strictly to the letter of the law as possible. The role of Jesus as the Advocate, on the other hand, is to plead for mercy and compassion.
Check out the rest of the article here.

Tell the Truth about Torture, Mr. President

It's been awhile since I posted a call to action. Ending torture seems like something we should all be able to agree on. Sign the petition, send an email! This site makes it easy.
Numerous allegations of torture committed by agents of the United States government have been reported since President Bush declared the 'war on terror' in 2001. It's time for the torture to end. Sign our petition and ask the President to tell the truth about our country’s acts of torture at home and abroad when he gives his address this month.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My head got so big my hair almost started falling out

When parents come to visit...
You look so beautiful!

You look really nice today.

I bet everyone has been telling you how wonderful your daughter is.

I just love your daughter. We're good friends.

I don't want to go to lunch without you today.

Your daughter is a great leader, she's a natural. I don't know what our young adult group would do without her.

Oh, she is wonderful. She is so talented we have got to get her back into doing plays with us again... And she's funny!
Naturally, I introduced them to all my favorite supporters! Then, I was so full with appreciation and love, my face was shiny and my voice was bouncy in a way it hasn't been in a long time. The public noticed, the park ranger even got in on the act.
You are so charming! I deal with the public all day and I just love it when people like you come along.
It continued into the evening...
I can't believe you recognized me from behind! It's so good to see you! Thank you for saying hello!

All the men were buzzing around you like bees around a flower.

You have a lovely face. And such a gentle nature.
"Aren't you proud," I said to my mom after my abundant day, "that everyone likes me so well?"
I knew you were wonderful, it's just nice to know everyone else does too.
Just can't seem to get enough, can I ;)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Happy Surprise

I have two blogs I link to in my blog roll that I never read. You can tell which ones they are because they are written in Chinese. Tonight I went to Pei-shan's blog expecting to just look at her photos, and found a surprise post in English! If you get a chance, check it out:
This MA program was so long, two and half years. Not to mention some people spent five years to get through it. Everyone seemed eager to step out of the program and started a new life.
Pei-shan and Xi are two people who really make me yearn for a universal translator. I think we are kindred spirits and my affection for them is equal to any kindred spirit, but I missed the full humor and intelligence that I would have been able to share with native speakers. I feel privileged that they are my friends and shared their worlds with me as much as I could understand.

Looking for "Beauty and Morality"

Wow, surfing the web can take you to some facinating places. Here are some of the interesting, slightly related links I found while looking for the links to put in my recent post about diet being like a religion (which I didn't find):

Friday, January 06, 2006

I am 18.14596% geek

I think you should get automatic points for even taking the test, it's long! As a person who is 18.14596% geek, I am a "total" geek. I think the fact that I briefly thought of using the geek test as a list of things to learn proves that the label is accurate.

The Religion of Diet

Have you noticed how diets are like the new religion? I guess it's not surprising considering how diets are equated with morality in our modern world. Being thin is equated with being beautiful and both are equated with being good. When you are talking about your worth and morality, you've got quite a touchy subject on your hands. I think when it comes to diet, like when it comes to religion, I'm a Unitarian Universalist, not a fundamentalist.

Back in December, I had an online conversation which made me feel like I was unexpectedly at a revival when I thought I was at a block party. In an online radiant recovery group, a woman who was having trouble with cravings asked for advice and I replied:
I have the same trouble and have jumped in and skipped steps several times in this program. One HUGE support for me has been supplements. I highly recommend reading The Mood Cure, taking the mood quiz and getting the applicable supplements. That has helped me a LOT. Good luck!
I was then chastened by the moderator, and realized I had stumbled into a revival:
...Just wanted to let you know that on this list we don't discuss supplements and other programs. Our... list is used for social support and interaction, planning get-togethers, and issues of doing this program as it relates to our geographical area...
Kathleen DeMaisons, the author of Potatoes not Prozac, chimed in with her thoughts about the Mood Cure:
and for the record, I would like to say, I respectfully disagree with Julia Ross' approach to healing. I think that recommending a gadzillion supplements reinforcing addictive thinking about *taking* things to get well. I know that eating breakfast is not sexy and takes longer, but that is where we are at with this program.

warmly,
kathleen
I don't mind that Kathleen doesn't agree with me, but I don't want to be in a group where I can only say what we've all agreed we can say. What is the point in talking if we can't share our real experiences?! I wrote an ultra (I hope) diplomatic letter in response today:
Hi Kathleen and Peggy,

I really like PnP, it has helped me a lot, and I was looking forward to being on this list, because I am definitely sugar sensitive. Other things have helped too, including The Mood Cure. Kathleen, I think it is interesting that you don't like Julia's approach, since you also recommend supplements. She recommends very reasonable amounts of supplements, and her book is very helpful in finding out which supplements work for which ailments, and understanding how food choices affect mood.

I understand that people have differences of opinions. I like variety, and I need to be in a group where I can bring all of me to the table. Peggy, telling me I can't mention supplements makes me feel a little like I'm in a fundamentalist church, and I can't be honest about my experience. Also, if I can't share honestly, I worry that other people aren't able to share honestly either. I'm considering leaving the group.

I wish you all the best and am still very open to meeting with people who are following the PnP program. I would love to get together in person or talk by email and support each other along our perhaps slightly different but still intertwined journeys...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Blog of the Day: New Media Musings

Check out New Media Musings, "charting the rise of open, democratic, grassroots media." I found the site because of the article about the top ten tech transformations of 2005. The interesting article and several good links put J.D Lasica over the top to make his blog a blog of the day. Some of the cool links found on his blog:
  • The 10 greatest gadget ideas of the year.
  • Free vlog: a video blog about making video blogs, for free.
  • Node 101: Ok, I am still not clear on this, but I will be. It's something about a network of video bloggers and how we the people are taking back the world by talking around a virtual campfire and thus freeing ourselves and the world from tyranny. (This link doesn't properly belong here, because I surfed here from Free vlog, not New Media Musings, but hey.)

Rainy Day


It's a rainy day and we're all in our pajamas doing absolutely nothing. I'm wondering about my blogging endeavor and whether or not it is worth continuing, or if I should use the energy I spend blogging on other things. Any thoughts? I have so many ideas I want to realize. Today I thought of making an album of my songs done as covers by famous singers by me. This was started because I watched Walk the Line twice and can do a pretty good Johnny Cash. I think any song would sound good if Johnny Cash sang it. What if he sang my songs? Are there any other singers you would like me to include in my album?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve to wear my orange scarf more.


Euphrates, the baby who just wants to be loved,


P.J., the reluctant fashionista,


and Taj, naturally glamorous.