Kate Mulgrew has signed on to perform the audiobook of Armistead Maupin’s The Days of Anna Madrigal.
The average person weaned on bookstore theology will assume that dispensationalism and “Left Behind” theology represent historical Christian thought.
unless you didnt have any money and you got to watch all your friends buy stuff and you had to just sit over at a table coloring your freaking cat picture
pukerella knows the pain I felt
Instead of giving you Hemingway, Dickens and Bronte. I will give you Hurston, Hughes, Lorde and Morrison.
I get the sentiment, but it really doesn’t have to be either-or. My mom made sure I had access to all of it.
Hurston and Austen. For my daughter and son. Gracias.
345.0: I like this song.
I don’t suppose you’ve had or will have any time to catch any part of Outside Lands. If you did, I figured it would be to catch the after-parties. Maybe you’ll hang out with The National. I heard they played today. They’re supposed to be really amazing live.
If I could, this whole weekend I would have taken shelter in The Ballpark, watching the entire series against the Orioles — or, as a cheaper, and quieter, alternative, I would have chosen to stay home. But as it happens, it is the busiest weekend I have, especially in terms of church-related commitments. It’s a very churchy weekend. It’s the Outside Lands of church.
It’s after midnight — yes, I still stay up past midnight on Fridays! I came home not too long ago from an ice cream social and game night that we had at church. We have a really comfortable rec room that is pretty much like a living room. We even watched the Super Bowl there last season. Yes, it’s an actual living room with all the trappings — a sofa, coffee table, the TV, even decent drapes. Okay, the drapes could use some work. (There’s my gay stereotype leaking out.)
We broke out the wine. Someone invariably brought Settlers of Catan. Clara let me bring Mind Trap and Spontuneous, two board games that we have in the house and that we play from time to time. The neighborhood had a power outage a few nights ago. We broke out the flashlights, reported the outage to PG&E, and waited out the blackout playing Mind Trap. The game is basically a bunch of word problems and you have to find the holes in logic. It took some getting used to and to be honest with you I felt really dumb at first. But then I started to get the hang of it. I was really proud of one word problem that I solved because I caught that there is, in fact, no such language as “Belgian.”
The church game night was the first commitment of this weekend-long church fest of churchy love. I started to get faded about two hours into it, not from wine — maybe the crash from too much ice cream — but mostly from the powering down that eventually happens for introverts when they have been in a group for too long. We were all playing a game called Lying Dice, the first I’d ever heard of it. But I had a good streak of beginner’s luck going for a while. Toward the end of the second hour, I sort of just sat back and laughed quietly, possibly half-heartedly, with everyone else without really saying much else. Sometimes I would pick at my bowl of ice cream, which by that point was a bowl of soup. I thought about how the role of a husband in this case would be to let me take a semi-nap on his side and how he’d be the one to carry the both of us socially for the rest of the night.
The second commitment of the weekend is a goodbye party that one of the other elders is having tomorrow. It’s going to last all afternoon, practically all day. Just the thought of it is exhausting. But when I texted my worries to Gemini, she just said back, “I hear ya, fellow introvert. ;p Usually it feels overwhelming until you’re actually in the group. And then it doesn’t feel so overwhelming anymore.”
She’s right, you know — until she’s not, because I start to feel withdrawn again even when I’m with everyone else. My mind drifts. You think that taking refuge in Our Ballpark is bad? Sometimes I wonder if I am at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s later on in life, Linc, the way I so easily allow my mind to wander.
The other elder is from Maryland, too. Did I ever tell you that? He’s saying goodbye because he’s moving back there for grad school. We went to rival high schools. His sister was friends with one of my previous roommates, who was also from Maryland. He knows what Old Bay seasoning is. Small world, sometimes.
I’m going to this goodbye party because I’m honestly going to miss him. But it’s a lot for me. Even before all this life stuff started getting to me, I had always been someone who thought too deeply about things, felt too strongly about them.
I had the most interesting conversation with Spencer the other day. Between her and I, she’s always been the most literate. After she finished her English degree, she got a Masters in Library Science. Now she works for the San Francisco Public Library, which I consider a dream job. We were deciding on what to grab for a bite to eat and I was joking with her about how I could probably only afford a regular burrito, not even a super burrito with all the extra fixings like sour cream and guacamole. But that joke was tinged with a sobering undercurrent that I think even she suspected. She ended up ordering a dinner plate, which is too big for such a petite Asian girl, but that was just enough for us to split equally.
"There’ve always been two types of writers," she said to me. "The ones who were born into money, and the ones who always struggled for it."
As I picked my fork at the side dish of refried beans that came with our carne asada burrito plate, immediately I thought of Anton Chekhov and poor ol’ Herman Melville. For a moment, it depressed me that on this spectrum, I was much closer to Melville. But suddenly I realized something wonderful, a subjective gleaning of encouragement that I happily kept to myself.
Linc, she was calling me a writer.
On his day to pitch, Lincecum used to joke with reporters and just chill out in the dugout while his teammates took batting practice. He was the whiz kid who could ace the test without studying for it. Now you barely see him when it’s his turn to take the mound.
350.0: God, I feel like hell tonight.
My classes for the Fall semester sound boring: how to write research papers, and a marketing class. These are prerequisites for the business program that I want to finish. I’m really going to miss my summer classes: career mapping, which was fun because we got to do a lot of what the pastor at my church calls Big Dreaming; and a surprising concoction called “Business In Literature” in which I read The House of Mirth for the first time, and wept over its tragic beauty. I am not sure why I hadn’t read any Edith Wharton sooner. She seems right up my ally considering how much I love Jane Austen.
I’m writing this never-to-be-sent instead of writing a paper that is due today. Ah, college.
From time to time, a song that I have not listened to in a long time will materialize in my head. It usually happens in dreams and the song lingers shortly after I’ve woken up. If I feel like it, I’ll seek out the song, play it, and perhaps prolong the memory of the dream for so long that it materializes as reality. I woke up this morning suddenly remembering “Strong Enough” by Sheryl Crow. As dreams do, the dream I had made no sense.
I was sitting in the classroom of my eleventh grade IB Biology Class. (IB is, in a nutshell, like AP.) Except that I wasn’t an eleventh grader. I was an adult and I wasn’t there for school. I was at work and my boss was the pastor of my church. She was sitting at the front of the classroom, in front of the chalkboard and next to a screen projector, on a stool where my biology teacher used to sit. The job involved fact-checking the Bible. It was my first day of work. This was orientation.
"Excuse me," the pastor said irritably, interrupting her own lecture. "Are you paying attention?"
I knew that I was caught — but caught doing what? In dreams, sometimes you are aware of what is happening without really understanding why it is happening. It took me a few moments, in the dream, to understand that I had not been paying attention to the lecture/orientation. But I had a good reason for getting caught: I was already working, well ahead of the orientation.
There was a checkbook next to my Bible. There was an amount written in both the little rectangular box where you write the numerical amount as well as the line where you write out the words that spell out the amount. But the line for “Pay to the order of” was blank. Also, I was on the phone; there was a phone on my desk, which was set up like how I would imagine a call center desk to be set up, except that this was all taking place in my high school biology classroom.
Even though I could see the pastor staring hard at me, I really didn’t care about the orientation anymore. I spoke so loudly that I had commandeered the class.
"You don’t understand, sir," I exclaimed into the receiver. “We can’t take this check unless you fill it out completely.”
(By the way, Linc: it was my checkbook. I was holding up my own checkbook. I can clearly remember that it was the same checkbook that I have in real life. But in this dream, it wasn’t my checkbook.)
"Hello?" the pastor now yelled into the class. "Excuse me, you over there. What’s your name?"
I rolled my eyes and raised the checkbook into the air like I was raising my hand. Then I put the checkbook down and pointed to the receiver, from which a tinny voice was spouting an indistinguishable dialogue.
The pastor and I locked eyes. She was waiting for an explanation. I was waiting for her to understand that this was an important phone call. Finally, I relented.
"Joseph Ramelo," I announced to her, to the class. "My name is Joseph Ramelo."
I’m sure that there are countless interpretations. I’m pretty sure that the explanation that sums it up in a nutshell is that this dream, like all dreams, is a sleepy manifestation of very tangible concerns and events from the awake world.
Last week, I interviewed for a great internship in Palo Alto. The interview was more of an audition, because they sat you in front of a laptop and you had to do the work that was typical of a workday. I had nerdish fun, because the work kind of reminded me of what I used to do when I had that internal auditing job, except that this was an internship in a start-up that was helping out the education sector. I want to contribute to the world, Linc. I started adulthood wanting to write novels, and then I got over that and I started wanting to make money — and then I got over that and I have started wanting to help the world, somehow, and I still do. Maybe one of these days a job will come my way that combines all of that stuff. Maybe one of these days I will marry you. Hey, a gal/guy can dream.
Palo Alto is another world. The weather is different, sunnier, warmer, better. I got there early and walked around University Avenue for a while, and then when I left the interview, feeling great, I walked around University Avenue some more. I even ducked into the Dugout shop, the one that sometimes hosts big-time player signings. The peninsula is known for being home to the hugest cluster of Giants fans.
All of that Big Dreaming ended over the weekend when I got the decisive e-mail. I was crushed, just like this article says. I mean, I understand: if you’re not a good fit, you’re not a good fit. It doesn’t have so much to do with you as it does with the organization. (This is why I like studying human resources.) But it still hurts. Even if you have, in fact, been reading these never-to-be-sents all this time, I kind of think it’s better that you’ve said nothing.
The new job that I was recruited into last month continues to not be working out. It felt so good to be recruited, to be identified as a talent, an asset. I think I got sucked into that feeling. Maybe I am talented, but not there. It’s not what I want to do. I am now there purely for a paycheck. This was not what I had planned.