From the Basement

June 29, 2010

Gilmore Girls & Coffee

Filed under: Uncategorized — jeannablue @ 3:23 am
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In my family, people tend to pair off and have certain shows or movies that are special to a particular relationship. My dad and I had The West Wing, and then we had 24. My sister and I bonded over Charmed. And after I left for college, my mom and sister fell in love with Gilmore Girls. Consequently, we own every season. I’ve never really watched the show, partly because it feels like theirs, but I was bored today so I watched the pilot. I forget how enjoyable the show is – the dialogue sparkles and goes at the speed of light. But by the end of the episode, I realized there was another reason to watch the show – a far more important reason.

For those of you who don’t know me personally, well, let’s just say that I am a coffee lover. I drink it anytime. All the time. I have a half a pot in the morning and a half a pot before bed, and if I’m feeling really inspired, I have one in the middle of the afternoon, even in the summer. All this to say, Lorelei Gilmore is an inspiration.

Note that Lorelei has raised her daughter on coffee. Like Rory, I never stood a chance. If your mother was giving you coffee-flavored ice cream when you were 2 and buying you lattes and mochas when you were 10… well, you’d be writing this blog.

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May 1, 2010

Hold the Scotch: On Job Hunting & Hope

After spending too much time on the online job hunt last night, I put in Charlie Wilson’s War for a pick-me-up. Now, you know it’s bad when a movie about the Cold War is a uplifting. Mostly, I spent the time fantasizing about Philip Seymour Hoffman strolling into my room and offering me a bugged bottle of scotch. I don’t drink scotch, but let me tell you, this job market could drive me to it.

I was plowing through sites like mediabistro.com and others that are heavy on editorial and freelance work. Monster, of course, is a must for jobs in my area. College nannies, college tutors, learning centers, legal aids, online copywriters, the CIA, the State Department, Hallmark, the local university – it’s downright depressing. There are jobs out there, often ones requiring experience, and I’m still trying to vault over that limitation. Several people have told me to ignore the “years experience needed,” especially if they only require 1-2 years.

The hardest thing to overcome in this market is, I think, my own level of expectation. The job I want. The job I’m excited for. It just so happens that the summer job that I a) want and b) am excited for is one that I interviewed for this week … and I won’t hear back from them for 2-3 weeks. That’s a long time to hold out when the job market, which is already thin, is about to become thinner with a flood of recent graduates.

So I’m trying to straddle this: my own desires with pragmatism, the part of me that says “This time is good! This time is for writing! And you’re writing! And you’ve interviewed for that awesome TA job, you’re waiting to hear back, you’ve got a great shot at it” – and then the other part says, ” … and what if that doesn’t work out?”

I’ve started work on some freelance articles that would pay either nothing or very little, but they’d be bylines. Also, I’m so excited about them! So excited. Applying for a position as a marketing assistant in the Twin Cities does not fill my tank nearly as much.

So where is that line? Where is that line when we sacrifice what we love for a job that’ll help us survive? At what point do you just have to say “screw it” to worldly wisdom and hold out and wait? Can you find a survival job that will not suck your passion for what you love, i.e. will you not be completely exhausted and worn out when you get home? How how the heck do you find a career doing what you want?*

Right now, I’m just waiting and praying. And drinking copious amounts of coffee. And the occasional dark beer. No scotch yet.

*On that note, this month has gone a long way in reminding me of why I want to go to graduate school. Not necessarily the state of the job market (tho’ that doesn’t hurt), but that there is nothing that excites me more than digging into literature and researching. I’m gearing up to reviseĀ a paper and possibly attend a conference (!), a possibility that has me so freaking excited that I think I’ll be reapplying in the fall. Also, I’m trying to keep one of the freelance articles from getting too heavy on the literary theory (Mulvey and feminist film crit). Yet another sign that I’m either a) brainwashed by my profs or b) still in love with the English discipline. Ah, who are we kidding? I’m still in love. Spurned, but still in love.

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