Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

radiumgirl: (hope and caffeine)
I caved early and applied for part-time gigs at Old Navy and Best Buy. My next paycheck from the bank should be pretty baller because it'll have training, plus three hours of overtime (and my overtime pay is a little bit obnoxious) and a week of regular work. However, health insurance starts getting deducted on my next paycheck, and my hours drop, and I got a little overzealous with my Christmas shopping, so, adulthood: suck it.

And then, oh, and then, because I apparently can't be happy with anything, I looked at my friends and their lives and got really jealous of the ones who are plugging away at modest careers in fields that they at the very least enjoy, and I decided I wanted another degree, specifically, the one I should have gotten from the get-go rather than the miserable joke that I have found an MA in Adult Education to be.

So, I looked into the PhD in English program at Pitt and the MFA in Writing at Seton Hill and I was pretty gung-ho about the one at Seton Hill because they're still taking applications for the June cohort up until April, and I have most of what the application requires ready to send out, with the exception of letters of recommendation and a statement of intent. So, I started playing the phone game where I call all of my friends, tell them my fabulous good-idea-of-the-moment, and expect them to back me up wholeheartedly.

The response was...like a bungee chord jerking me back to reality, with the exception of Gabe, who said "Go for it!" Gabe, however, is a trust fund baby who lives in a fantasy world where you really can just do whatever you want at the drop of a hat, and at this point in my fruitless quest for blessings and high-fives, I was teetering on the edge of "I'm-going-home-and-drinking-all-the-rum", and, like an asshole, called Gabe out on his hereditary disconnect from reality.

Gabe's trust fund is a touchy subject because Gabe likes to pretend that it doesn't exist. Once, a few years ago, a bunch of the Adventureland slaves were getting some after-work beers at Dino's and I called Gabe "Cake Eater" and you would have thought I just kicked his puppy. So, I've been careful about what I say, even just in jest, but yesterday I was mad, and bitter, and PMSing, and caught up in the whole this is not what my life is supposed to be bullshit, and Arlo just got accepted to an MA in English criticism program (after fucking around in undergrad for six years because first he wanted to be Billy Joe Armstrong, then he wanted to Taylor Mali, and now he wants to be Chuck Klosterman) so I was feeling like a giant failure because he was always my second fiddle when I ruled the English department and now he's "following his dreams (this week)", and, so, I took it out on Gabe. Gabe, the only person I called who didn't immediately say "You just started a job and you want to go back to school?"

"You have no concept of how things work, do you?"

"I don't understand why you won't just apply for the program if that's what you want to do. You'll be amazing."

"Let's see: car payment, car insurance, heat, electricity, groceries--"

"Those things will work themselves out. Just do it!"

"This isn't a Nike commercial, dude."

"I just hate seeing you waste your potential."

"Well, that's the risk you take when you go slumming, now isn't it, Gabe? Sometimes you see things you don't want to see."

I can't believe I said that. I mean, this kid spends his weekends in soup kitchens. He spent a year working with Habitat for Humanity in the most poverty stricken areas of St. Louis. When I was in St. Louis for a conference last March, he showed me his district, introduced me to some of the people he serves. "Slumming it" is not how I would honestly describe Gabe at all. His capacity to care is overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder how people like Gabe are made. I mean, I can look at myself and point to specific reasons why I am the way I am. I can do that with alot of people. I can't do that with Gabe. It's like God pulled him aside and said, "You're going to be special."

I told him, back in March, "You should run for office or something."

"Ha. I'm working on it."

"I'll vote for you."

"I was hoping you'd write my speeches."

"You're such a suck-up."

Gabe is eligible to run for president in 2024. Mark your calendars, folks.

And we're fine, by the way. I called and apologized later and Gabe's capacity for forgiveness is right up there with caring. I'm not looking at anymore MFA/PhD programs though. I still think Gabe is a little bit delusional.
radiumgirl: (Tim Drake)
I finalized the titles and the order of the essays in Radium Girl. I have drafts going for seven of the chapters, two of which are in their final drafts.
  1. The Bathtub and the Bottle
  2. Garden State
  3. Toybox
  4. Love is Spelled P-F-A
  5. The Cloud Room
  6. Adventureland
  7. Monster Mash
  8. Down and Out in the Den of Sin
  9. Ripchord
  10. Francie Nolan and Me
  11. Epilogue: The Parable of the Minnows
I feel focused and accomplished. I feel like it's just a matter of gluing the pieces together at this point. 

June 2011

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