28 February 2010

more job drama, and another tale from the theatre

My career counselor wrote to me, "30,000". It was in response to the e-mail I wrote her saying that I had spoken to the boss of the job she had foisted upon me. I told her that when I asked him how much he would be willing to pay me that he said he did not know and would have to consult someone about it. And then proceeded to ask me what an entry level person would receive, his justification being that I had just come out of college and so would know. I said that I would imagine it depends on what the position is, the requirements of that position, and the qualifications of the applicant. This, however, was not specific enough for him and he asked me to tell him what exactly an entry level person would receive a year. 40,000 dollars, he asked. I told him, quite frankly, that I hadn't a clue but that 40,000 did seem a little high. Perhaps 25,000 to start? And I reiterated that it depends on the position and qualifications of the applicant. It was not as though he was trying to figure out how much I wanted to be paid, but how much he should pay me! I am constantly surprised by people.

But, anyway, yes, my career counselor wrote me back nothing more than the figure 30,000. No: thanks for telling Bob that it was not at all my fault for Helen's inability to fill the position -- as I had tried to stress to Bob and told her so in my explanatory e-mail; no: so should we get together to help you with finding another position? Nothing. Just the figure 30,000, as if to say: there, you bitch, that is how much you would have been paid. Don't you feel sorry now?

But I don't at all. East Pittsburgh. There's no way in hell I am working in East Pittsburgh. I may have less than 150 dollars in my bank account, but I'm still too proud to take 6 buses a day, over 3 hours, to get paid what will not even amount to 30,000 dollars after paying transportation fees and taxes.

I just realized that in my last blog I said that I would only take the position if I were paid 30,000 dollars -- and then wrote: who would pay me 30,000 dollars? ........... Well, I still have made the right decision. Not just because it is so far away, but because the job -- research and writing -- sounds very boring.

Oh, am I messing with Fate or what? Well, She deserves a bit of a shake-up given the things she has (and hasn't) brought to my life.

But in better news, I worked at the theatre yesterday. There is a couple who work on my team. They are in their early 80's. They met roller skating and married when he was 21 and she 18. I talked to the woman yesterday as we filled programs with cast changes. She told me she has been married to John for 61 years. 61 years! I told her they should receive some sort of medal for that. After the show they were going dancing. They do it every Saturday night. She is very energetic and funny. The life of the party, you would say. But not at all annoying as some people who are full of a lot of verve can be. Just a right laugh to have around, and acts and moves a lot younger than she is. Her husband is tall and, I must admit, a pretty good looking chap. Also looks younger than he is, and is rather charismatic, but a lot more quiet, down to earth, and withdrawn than his wife. He tells jokes and talks to their friends but in a much more understated, lethargic manner. She works downstairs and he on the balcony. She says -- people always ask us why we do not work together, but I tell them: we live together, eat together, sleep together and have done for 61 years. We need some time a part.

25 February 2010




So I visit my career counselor last week -- after not having seen her for about a month because she couldn't fit me in. This is after our last meeting when we had looked at a job and I was to send her a completed resume for it and she would send it out and talk to a contact at this place that she knew. I did so the following day. Didn't receive word back from her until weeks later.

I go into the office ready to forgive. She has a job for me, a place very far away from where I live, -- but no mind she tells me, it is a good position. I'm not very enthusiastic. She calls up the guy to talk to him about me. She's very pushy. He calls back while I'm still there. He starts talking like I've already got the job.

Well, long and short is that I can't get to this place and back without spending 90 bucks a month on transportation, taking three buses to get there, and it taking 3 hours a day to and from on buses, and now I have to call back this guy and tell him this. Unless he's willing to pay me 30,000 a year (which, really, who would pay me 30,000 a year) it ain't going to be happening.

I don't want someone to be disappointed in me. Again.

Well, I think I'm done with career counselor. I would never have gone if my brother hadn't been insistent about it. I didn't want to. Don't believe in that.

I've been better about sending out resumes to places, and may get a call back at one of the local libraries, alas only for a weekend position, but it's something -- and it's not working at McDonalds.

Although if I worked at McDonalds I could probably get free double cheese-burgers.

No, that's not enough of an incentive.


24 February 2010


Life wastes fast in such vigils as Caroline had of late but too often kept -- vigils during which the mind, having no pleasant food to nourish it, no manna of hope, no hived-honey of joyous memories, tries to live on the meagre diet of wishes, and failing to derive thence either delight or support, and feeling itself ready to perish with craving want, turns to philosophy, to resolution, to resignation; calls on all these gods for aid, calls vainly -- is unheard, unhelped, and languishes.

The always cheery Charlotte Bronte. From her novel Shirley

19 February 2010

an unexpected chat

I love impromptu conversations. I was sitting in the cafe at the William Penn, a biography of Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin resting open face down on my chest as I rested slouched back into a white-covered plumpy chair when a man came over with tea and asked if he could sit near me, there being five other chairs similar to mine empty within my vicinity. I of course said yes, with a smile. I was in a good mood, having just had lunch with a good friend, and just that afternoon started a new book at my favourite cafe. And, I must say, hopped up on a grande size tea very aptly named "Awake."

He started talking to me. I feigned reading my book for a few seconds, disinclined to talk with him, fearful he would be boring or weird and I'd be stuck in a 45 minute conversation thinking of an excuse to exit the building. But I was interested the minute he said he was from Rochester, New York and staying at the William Penn for a wedding (not, as I presumed and later discovered, his own).

So we talked for an hour and a half. He's an economist. Owns his own business, the money from which he makes he gives to various charities he supports. He got into economics as a young wanna-be activist.

I could write more about our conversation but I don't want to, and it was not especially note-worthy. It was the sort of conversation you would have just meeting someone. What movies and books do you like, politics, where you've traveled... Except what made it very nice was that, unlike most first time conversations with someone, we weren't being set up on a blind date, or have met online in some I'mdesperatesoImgoingtofindadateonline sort of thing. But an unexpected chat with someone who I was interested in, no small feat truth be told.

I like the unexpected. Any day of the week I will take that over the boring yet safe existence of a repetitious life.

By the way, he's like 45 and lives in another state, so there will be nothing romantic going on. Although he did give me his e-mail address and phone number.

18 February 2010


william godwin: Imagination is the ground-plot upon which the edifice of a sound morality must be erected. Without imagination we may have a certain cold and arid circle of principles, but we cannot have sentiments: we may learn by rote a catalogue of rules...but we can neither ourselves love, nor be fitted to excite the love of others.

15 February 2010

the BNP strike again, literally

I never thought I would actually get my nose bloodied trying to cover a press conference for a British political party — but that is the true face of Nick Griffin and his BNP.

I have been following the developing story of the BNP, the British National Party who is steadily gaining support in Britain for their neo-nazi sentiments. I cannot believe this! For a press conference about the BNP's forced acceptance of whites and other nationality groups in their party as a result of the equality legislation which is soon to pass through Parliament, a reporter from The Times was bullied and forcibly removed from the conference merely because he had previously published some true yet negative remarks about one particular member of the party.

Here is the link if you want to read the complete story of what happened, written by the journalist himself. BNP attack journalist

Previous posts by me about the BNP:
an overview of the BNP and their offenses

British Fascism: a snippet of an article written in The Spectator about how strong the BNP have become and how ignoring them will only make them stronger.

14 February 2010

to love another

'Be sure I feel it,' he declared to a friend. 'Be sure I am not the fool to look for that happiness in any future vicissitude of life, that I was beginning to enjoy, when I was thus dreadfully deprived of it. My understanding was enlarged, my heart was improved, as well as the most invaluable sensations of admiration & delight produced in me by her society.'
William Godwin on recent death of wife Mary Wollstonecraft as a result of giving birth to their child, the future Mary Shelley


Godwin did eventually re-marry, not that long after Wollstonecraft's death, a lady pretty insipid and who it seems evident he may have married only to have someone to help him with Mary Godwin (later Shelley, upon her marriage to the noted poet Percy Bysshe Shelley) and Wollstonecraft's child Fanny from a previous liaison.

When Godwin died many years later (in 1836) at the age of 80 he requested he be buried with Mary Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley would be buried between them.

Love, like life, is fleeting.

"sooner or later in life the things you love you lose." -- Florence and the Machine, "You've got the Love"

07 February 2010

a spot of tea...(EDIT)

Instead of watching the Superbowl, I watched an adaptation of Jane Austen's EMMA on PBS. What a surprise there. If the Steelers had been playing, I would of course have watched the game, but only because I'd already seen EMMA when it broadcast in Britain.

The adaptation is brill, as BBC costume dramas go, but man am I really disappointed with how much was cut out of it in America due to time constraints. PBS has sent out official word saying that they have to delete scenes because they do not have enough time to present long-running shows in their entirety, but this, I know, is a fallacy. They would have enough time if they did not advertise their other shows so heavily before and after their programs. I thought they were a non-profit organization? It is just not right, and I do not understand why the BBC would let them get away with it.

Oh, yeah, money.

But hey, I've seen the original, and while watching the degrading cut version tonight I enjoyed a cup of tea. And that is good enough for me.

EDIT: I just found out that the REGION 1 version of EMMA will include all the scenes snipped out of the Masterpiece presentation....for which I am heartily grateful! Long live the Americans right to see BBC productions in their entirety.