As one of my duties as dance instructor for my company, we must watch/judge thousands, upon thousands of dance solos each spring at competition. After 20 years of dance [this is when I fell the oldest, when I have to say I started dancing 20 years ago] myself, and the equal level for my co-workers, we can usually determine someones level within the first eight count, therefore determining their overall score for their performance within the first eight count. This leads us to all adopt a range of categories for performers.
The most entertaining of the categories is the “rando” dancer, shortened from “random” by my friend DeHo [Dehoyas] by just dropping the one letter, as to why I’ll never know. The rando dancers are completely unpredictable, scattered, and generally bad.
This update is totally rando.
I’m going to begin with some rather sad news. As we all know, I ordered Dave Egger‘s new book Zeitoun some time ago and have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. It came on Friday, and what was a normal, depressing, day for the unemployed, single girl living back at her parent’s house turned into a wonderfully, exciting day of adventure. I decided I would finish everything I “needed” to then sit down and give the book my full attention. I had not read any reviews–as it just came out–and even now before I started writing this, I looked for them and could not find them. I really wanted some back up before I said what I am about to say…it is not good. I’m 200 pgs in and I’m still holding out that the Egger’s prose I know and love will appear…
After 50 pgs, I started flipping through the book, wondering if maybe this was just an intro section. Then I though, maybe it was a Young Adult book. I was searching through iTunes Audiobooks on Friday [very exciting night as you can tell] and listened to Lauren Conrad’s new book for about a minute, as it was all I could handle. Let me say this now, while I have the chance: WTF? I could write that in one sitting…probably hungover and in great pain, and the worst part is she didn’t even really have to do that much Harper Collins gave her all the help she needed to put those words on paper!!! But back to Eggers…maybe I had just set my hopes too high…or maybe it is just that bad.
The story follows a family in New Orleans during Katrina and the levees breaking, Egger’s put the book together based on the real-life true experiences of that family just like What is the What. When I envision great, creative non-fiction, I believe that there is room for reality to be imagined and negotiated. This is not so in this retelling, in fact, it is too nice. The story was told to Eggers by the family and so it is tribute to them, and a tribute cannot bring offense. But it is truthful to show the darkside of people, not bad, no one is perfect and in only telling this story as if they are a perfect family unit is a lie–a lie that is offensive to reality, offensive to literature.
We had wanted to review the book for vandal and then send him the review, hoping to begin a relationship with Eggers…but now, I don’t think I can do it. Maybe I just need to sit with it for a while. Maybe it is like dark beer, when you first taste it, it is so different from your normal beer that you’re not sure if you should like it. But once you see that there are many different types of beer, and that you can like several at once, you can enjoy the taste.
This past week I had a really hardcore interview to become a Labor Organizer in California. Originally they were looking for in-state candidates, but my experience had made be a good fit for the job and they scheduled a phone interview. The first part of the interview was a “game” of sorts, I was given a prompt then left with 30 minutes to develop a 2 month detailed action plan for the union, along with publicity items and a lobbying speech for the city supervisors. The next night, to a panel of seven, I was lead through an interview. The asked nothing of my experience and instead tested me over tasks I may have to do as an organizer.
While I think that these questions were important, your past experiences are key to the future. Even if I answered their questions correctly–it is just words, there is no action [that they know of outside my resume] that backs up how those words would turn to action, then success. I was very frustrated. Many times in interviewing for Exec positions with EIC, I would ask how they would acomplish a certain task given these limits. Everyone’s answer was the same, as it is easy to say the best solution, but doing it is entirely different.
I have another interview tomorrow for a job in Denver. I prefer to do interviews in person, I can connect to the interviewer better, I can sense when to be funny and when to be serious. Plus: there’s the Grosgebarbie syndrome…Not that anything was alluded to, but I somehow had the sense that they knew what I looked like, and my soft voice over the phone only aided their opinion in thinking that I’m some white girl who doesn’t know shit. At least if they had seen me in person, my posture, manner, etc. could have made up for the Grosgebarbie, I would have covered up, worn little make-up, my hair as pulled back as possible. Yes, I’m a white girl…but I know shit [and am eloquent as hell, obviously].
I went and saw “Away We Go” again last Friday night. I’m not like most people who get the most stressed on the days they are running around for 18hrs. straight. I thrive on those. On the days I have nothing to do, I go crazy. I have too much time to think and worry, after all there is only so much time in a single day that I can read, watch television, and work-out. There are several free hours for worrying, and I find them. I had to get out of the house, or I would upset my mother. Like everyone, when upset I need to just talk it all out right at then in that moment. Relieved, I feel better. Whoever was victim to my psyche-vomit, well they then take the worries onto themselves. I will not let my mom be sad. And so, I left to go to the movie.
The movie is calming, for me at least, as the characters are also worried and searching for what is next. I am at ease knowing I’m not the only one who is picking up a new life and reinventing myself time and time again. As they go to each city, it flashes across the screen AWAY TO HERE, AWAY TO THERE naming the cities they are visiting. Finally, it flashes HOME and I closed my eyes and trapped the words.
HOME now caught on the inside of my eyelids.
HOME meaning peace, comfort, safety, where your identity is formed. Home is an investment you make, it is a place worth sacrificing for. A sanctuary and safebox.
Since then, when I begin to worry to feel anxious, to waste the present on the what if, I squeeze my eyelids shut to see it–HOME–and then I take a deep yoga breath–HOME. I need that sanctuary on the go, with me all the time, as I feel more transient than ever as I search for what is next.
As you’ve all been reading, Sarah is away in Pakistan. Through-out my blog I tag posts based on what I’ve talked about in a manner of archiving them for use later. sarah.helm is one of the tags, as seen in the tag cloud to the right. Her goal was for her tag to be larger than the sarah.palin tag…well Sarah, the other Sarah has gone even more batshit crazy recently and we’ll try and keep your numbers up. This is my shout-out…and you betcha, I still will never think of “shout-outs” the same way again after the VP Debate of the 2008 election.
I would also like to note here that my mother’s lexicon now includes the phrase: “Get off my balls.” Its pretty awesome. What should she pick up next?
and why do I love this commercial?
In the shortened commercial his only line before the ask is “Yeah, protesting’s awesome!”