Bringing home the (tempeh) bacon

Tomorrow I start the new job, and I'm sufficiently nervous.

It's been a long time since I actually cared about my performance at a place of employment, so this speaks highly of the job itself. I have done most of the things I will be doing there, but hope that I'll be able to do them well, or at least to the best of my abilities. The last woman in the position worked it for something like 7 years. Yikes. I have nowhere near that much experience, but that's okay. I am quick and bright and pick up things fast in good, creative environments. I'm optimistic, because I know this job will be good for me and teach me the ins and outs of the educational world, in case I ever do decide to pick up teaching as a job. You never quite know with me.

Off to keep reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, aka the book that is taking me forever to read. I am so, so close to finishing and can't wait to see how it resolves. I love my Murakami, but I have so many books just waiting to be read next. Delicious, lovely books.

Come on middle America...

Stop voting for people you want to have a beer with. Stop voting for folksy. Stop voting for people who remind you of your neighbor. Stop voting for the ideologically intransigent, the staggeringly ignorant, and the blazingly incompetent.

Vote for someone smarter than you. Vote for someone who inspires you. Vote for someone who has not only traveled the world but who has also shown a deep understanding and compassion for it. The stakes are real and they’re terrifyingly high. This election matters. It matters. It really matters. Let me say that one more time. This. Really. Matters.

Huffington Post, Michael Sietzman


Sarah Palin is an idiot, and other tales

This made me want to simultaneously faceplant and pull my hair out.
I sincerely don't understand people when they say that she is a prime candidate to help facilitate the running of our country.

In better news,
I got a job! At a college nearby, in the Arts & Humanities Department. It will be challenging and not at all boring because it seems like different things pop up each day, and I am so happy for that. I've had a slew of jobs that thrive on repetition and routine and it's not my thing. I like dynamism and development and newness. So hooray for that, and I start on Monday.

Also, Rick and I went to the Puyallup Fair on the second to the last day and had an awesome time. We went last year and I didn't want to miss going this year. Went on lots of rides, took photobooth pictures (still need to scan) and of course, people-watched. It's definitely not a display of America's finest, but it is inevitably entertaining nonetheless.

We saw Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds earlier this week at Showbox SODO, and I was completely blown away. I guess he hadn't toured the states in 6 or so years, so the venue was packed and his performance was ridiculous. He has more energy than about 95% of the musicians I've seen in my life, and literally screams every syllable of his songs. His backing band was very much worthy of supporting such an act, decked out in tailored suits with massive beards and gaudy jewelry. I've appreciated their music since Rick introduced me to them, but now I really am awestruck by their performance and way more admirable of their work.

Yesterday, Rick, some HPB people, Riley and I went to the Pacific Science Center (I'd never been), Easy Street, and Roti. The Pacific Science Center was SO awesome! Science! Butterflies! Planetarium! I can't believe I hadn't visited before. It was quite the enjoyable time walking through all the exhibits and playing with the interactive ones.

Since today's my last real weekday before working, I'm trying to get a bunch of errands done that I would most likely not have time to do working 40 hours. So off to finish those. Don't forget to watch the debates tonight!


breaking it down

This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because suddenly your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
White privilege is when you can take nearly twenty-four hours to get to a hospital after beginning to leak amniotic fluid, and still be viewed as a great mom whose commitment to her children is unquestionable, and whose "next door neighbor" qualities make her ready to be VP, while if you're a black candidate for president and you let your children be interviewed for a few seconds on TV, you're irresponsibly exploiting them.
White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected.
White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.
White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.
White privilege is being able to go to a prestigious prep school, then to Yale and then Harvard Business school, and yet, still be seen as just an average guy (George W. Bush) while being black, going to a prestigious prep school, then Occidental College, then Columbia, and then to Harvard Law, makes you "uppity," and a snob who probably looks down on regular folks.
White privilege is being able to graduate near the bottom of your college class (McCain), or graduate with a C average from Yale (W.) and that's OK, and you're cut out to be president, but if you're black and you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law, you can't be trusted to make good decisions in office.
White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she's disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you're black and married for nearly twenty years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called "terrorist fist bumps."
White privilege is being able to sing a song about bombing Iran and still be viewed as a sober and rational statesman, with the maturity to be president, while being black and suggesting that the U.S. should speak with other nations, even when we have disagreements with them, makes you "dangerously naive and immature."
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism and an absent father is apparently among the "lesser adversities" faced by other politicians, as Sarah Palin explained in her convention speech.
And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.
White privilege is, in short, the problem.


Portland trip #52983298 and job bs

This past week, Rick and I went on another quick mini-vacation to Portland to see M.Ward/Calvin Johnson @ the Crystal Ballroom. It was excellent times, filled with Powell's, record stores, cool new people, parks and so much delicious vegan food. We checked out Red & Black finally, and loved it. It was much smaller than I anticipated, but it had a home-y friendly feel to it that made it incredibly inviting. It was lined with cool artwork, guitars, and posters announcing various cool events around town. And I had no idea that it was employee-owned and pretty much essentially a co-op. Portland seriously has it together. I'm jealous of these awesome Socialist organizations and entities that abound in this city.

Anyway, the food was delightful, and I'm assuming they grow the majority of their veggies. We also checked out Blossoming Lotus, which I've read a ton about in various blogs, and was not disappointed by. It reminded me of the vegan restaurant I worked at in LA, (Native Foods) except it was about 50% more hippie-dippie than Native, only cemented by the fact that it was connected to a yoga studio. The hippie-ish thing isn't necessarily a bad thing; I find it endearing, but I know most people would probably be annoyed by it a tad. I had a Mediterranean type salad thing with Kalamata olives and tofu feta and Rick had a curried vegetable bowl that was delicious. To top it off, I naturally had to get the vegan soft serve. To make matters even more perfect, the weather was amazing out and the flavor was chocolate peanut butter. Om nom noms. If I actually lived in Portland, I would go there a few times a week, just for this soft serve. Also because of it's insanely convenient proximity to the main Powell's store.

We also checked out Laurelhurst park for me to bask in the sun, and for Rick to seek shade under a tree. Also, to get some quality reading time in.

Rick, playing with new toy, under the tree, readin' about Spike Lee

M.Ward was effortlessly tight-sounding, per usual. We were closer to the stage than I've ever been at the Crystal Ballroom, and that made for some actually decent camera pictures. We'd just seem him perform a few days prior at Bumbershoot, but thankfully he switched the lineup a tad and played some more Portland-local songs that the residents (and wannabes) eat up. He also played "Undertaker," which made Rick and I very very happy. He played for about an hour and a half and then did a short encore. Calvin Johnson, on the other hand, played for about all of 20 minutes. I'd never seen him live before, but I enjoy his work on the whole and was semi-disappointed by the tiny set. But damn, I had no idea that he'd gotten so old.

M. Ward and awesome old man/whistler guitarist + bassist

On the keys. Rick described this photo later as being "AP-worthy." Shucks.

As is the case every time we get home from Portland, I am that much more in love with the city than the last time. In other more dismal/local news, I am still unemployed. I am getting interviews (good) but have yet to cinch something, (bleh). There are so many cool jobs out there and I think I have some relevant experience for them, but apparently these two factors aren't adding up quite yet. I'm waiting to hear back from two non-profits in Seattle, so crossing my fingers. I'd honestly be happy with either, although I'd obviously love to not commute. We shall see, I'm still applying to anything that sounds semi-interesting, and hopefully something will play out soon.

Switching gears (literally), we picked up my beautiful red Schwinn bicycle that Bonnie gave me for my birthday last year (and that I have yet to ride) from Rick's dad's today. I need to get new tubes, check the brakes, and hopefully it will be ready to ride. It's so lovely, I can't wait.