Wednesday, December 29, 2010

spheric collision, or my telemarketing interview

I drifted in and the universe shifted. Theirs and mine, both comfortably unaccustomed to each other. Though, to be fair, They probably didn't notice. The lobby was unassuming enough: stylish asian girl at the reception desk, shiny floors, shiny windows, shiny counters, walls adorned in “modern art” probably purchased from ikea. All the same, it reeked of sin. Sin is a strong word. It reeked of a foreign world, as strongly as an unwelcome barrel of kimchi brought by your korean roomie into the dorm.

I filled out the clipboard-mounted application and waited, observing but refusing to take in my surroundings. The phone rang, and a suit-wearing young man leaned over the counter to answer: “Yo.” A smile crept its way onto my lips. It felt sneaky, being here. I had crossed over into enemy territory. But my skirt matched my shoes today, and no one was the wiser.

After a few minutes of strategic loitering, a tall man who resembled a pencil strutted around the corner, moving as if constrained to a grid. He took a moment to look each of the three of us in the eye. He was good. “Hello,” he said. A statement. We responded simultaneously in a cacophony of salutation. I refused to break eye contact. What a fun game this was turning out to be.

We introduced ourselves. “David.” “Erin.” “Jennifer—I had an interview at 5:15?”

It was 5:24.

“Did you just get here?” Jordan demanded, leaning forward in an effort to indimidate. A successful effort, I daresay.

“Yes.” Her honesty, at least, was admirable.

“Why were you late?”

“The MAX....” Poor Jennifer.

That apparently wasn't worth responding to. Jordan briskly turned and walked away. I laughed audibly.

He returned momentarily and ordered us to follow him. He was smiling, but it felt more like a sneer.

There were three rolling chairs situated in the conference room. Ah ha ha, we've been waiting for you....I sat down a bit too eagerly and rolled a few feet. David, on the other hand, had this down. He sat confidently, calmly, his back quite perpendicular to the floor.

Jordan preferred to stand. He towered over us, a statue of perfectly coordinating suit/tie/vest topped by a handsome face of stone and meticulously arranged chestnut hair. I wondered if he dyed it. He seemed the type.

“So do you know what we do here?” he asked, a challenge. But I had done my research.

I repeated precisely the description I had read online. “....or so I understand. Is that right?”

“That's exactly right, Erin.” He then proceeded to deliver his sales pitch to us. Oh, Jordan. You think I read your website but neglected to read the myriad of pages complaining about the fraudulent nature of your so-called-business? Not so.

I listened to his spiel, smiling politely when he chose to direct his comments toward me. He was now describing the job. Describing the ideal employee. Throwing out all those bohemian profanities: “driven.” “motivated.” “tenacious.” tenacious. Jordan, I can't even be bothered to capitalize my letters.

He explained how selective the business was, illustrating how much they had grown in their short time of operation. He paused every so often, at which point Jennifer and David (good little students!) were to comment: “Nice!” “Wow, that's impressive.” I was growing tired of the charade and my polite smile had shifted into a bit of an apathetic smirk. Jordan had begun to delineate the training period. We would spend a trial week “working our tails off,” after which the company would decide whether or not we were a valuable asset. He was telling us now because “the company” didn't like to “string people along.”

“I'm not going to lie; about 1 in 4 people makes the cut.” He happened to glance at me and I quickly shifted my facial expression to one of mock determination. After a bit more rambling about the job (“this isn't a job; this is a career.”), he asked us, with all the authority of a hockey coach in an inspirational film, “Can you do it?” This seemed to leave two options: you can do it, and you are a success; or you can't do it, and you are a failure.

Jennifer stumbled over her answer. “Sales isn't my favorite thing....but I can do it.” Way to try, Jennifer. Jennifer was 3 in 4.

David sat taller and gave the best speech i've heard in a long time. At least, the most ambitious and tenacious one i've heard. David had what it takes to be 1 in 4.

And then Jordan shifted his piercing gaze to me. I smiled wider and cocked my head to the side. “I'm really good at talking to people. And I'm really good at getting people to talk to me. But I can only commit to a few months, and I don't want to 'string the company along,' so to speak.” I used air quotes, with a smug satisfaction I have rarely known. “So thank you for the opportunity, but I don't think this company is right for me.” I stood and reached out to shake his hand. There was a moment of stunned silence as Jordan gathered himself and his fallen sales pitch. Then, with a respect generally reserved for those of his own kind, he nodded and shook my hand. I spoke to the three of them: "Thank you for your time, and good luck to you both.” I didn't look back until I was in my car. The building didn't look foreboding, as it had when I'd pulled up. It looked small and dim and hopeless. I hated this world, and I was never going back.

Monday, December 27, 2010


life soundtrack. click for music.

i think of most comedies as tragedies.

i cry over everyone's life but almost never my own.

i want to believe.

i want to be as nonchalant as i pretend to be.

more than anything, i want you to be happy.

i wish i knew how to make that happen.

i want to feel like it's okay to feel something without a reason for feeling that way.

i want to feel like it's okay to feel.

i'm afraid i will someday feel nothing at all.

we are walking contradictions.

i fear very few tangible things.

i am a hypocrite of optimism.

i worry about people dying. i worry about people losing hope.

i never lose hope in people.

i don't think life is a joke, but i think it has to be a satire of itself if we want to survive it.

i apologize when i don't know how to make something funny (i'm sorry).

i have secrets.

{i desperately miss the person i have yet to know.}

...everything is okay.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

dear santa.....

let me fly this plane by myself, and let me crash it. oh, let me crash it hard and fatally. let me spiral dive plummet explode into the mysterious dark that is the ground. let me shake the earth with my impact. let me shrink until i am invisible. let me expand until i am unimaginable. give me mountains. give me lightning storms so vivid that the sky is the white-blue electricity and dark lines run across it in chaotic patterns. give me a volcano that will blast me beyond the farthest reaches of science, into a void that will fill me like nothing else can. give me deepest sorrow, for without it, there is no ultimate joy. break my heart suddenly and slowly. don't stop. let me walk until my feet shatter themselves out of rebellion. that place, the place where i am forced to stop, will become my new home. crush my bones. take my hands and my feet and stretch me until my anguished figure covers oceans. hold me until i forget what alone felt like. abandon me. drop me. lift me up, up, until the air is too thin and my vision goes black. bury me in an avalanche. let my stomping make footfalls louder than a sonic boom. let me catch acid rain on my tongue. give me breathtaking tragedies and bittersweet miracles. let my heartbeat never slow, never rest, but thrum on, unsteadily, in a wild and unpredictable mountain range of vivacity. let me sing notes of dissonance until lurid redness streams from my ears and my throat. vacuum the air from my lungs and the blood from my veins. let the waters pound over me in salty undulating throbs. no need for narcissistic questioning and coddling--surround me in action and impossibly powerful people. give me life. give me inspiration. give me the strength to inspire. I know what i am saying. i know what i am asking for. and this letter is to no one but myself.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

hey guys! it's christmas time!

i can't very well quote a sufjan song title and not include it in the post. so HERE!

and now partake in the christmas spirit of lake oswego. this town is literally my dream come true. when people ask, "if you could live anywhere, where would you live?" ....i say "here."

golly, i sure do love you people. i am the luckiest human.

maybe my most favorite squirrel friend.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the erin crabtree model of indicated apathy

i could care less about this. i could care so much less.
by which i mean, of course, that i care quite a bit.

you see, i love math. i don't think you understand. i LOVE math. i also LOVE grammar. the fusion of these two passions, and my desire to defend their honour, has forged a marriage of sorts. a beautiful marriage which you are about to see.

people like to blaspheme in the face of the english language. as many of you are well aware, i could rant about this for . . . a very large amount of time. but for today, i am going to address only one of the symptoms that plagues our sickly generation. one i think most of us are aware of at this point, but which still rages feverishly on in the vocabulary of americans.

i think you know what i am talking about:

"i could care less."

but fear not, fellow americans. i have created the ultimate weapon to combat the misuse of english: mathematical representations of english.

so, without further ado (which, by the way, i always want to spell as adieu), i present to you
the erin crabtree model of indicated apathy:
(x being the amount one cares)
I could care less: 0 < x ≤ ∞
(all we can reasonably surmise from this statement is that x, or the amount one cares, is greater than the minimum (zero). one does indeed care to some degree, a degree which could in fact be infinite.)

I couldn't care less: x = 0
(this statement is much clearer in that it effectively equates the amount of caring to the minimum, or zero.)
another way to say this: I do not care: x = 0

My apathy is infinite: ~x = ∞
(this shall be read as "not x equals infinity." this carries nearly the same meaning as the two previous claims, but with perhaps more gusto. it was included because i desperately wanted to put negative infinity in here somewhere, but it didn't apply, as one can't logically care a negative amount. to care a negative amount would be caring, simply in the reverse direction. this does raise questions about if it is possible for the lack of something to be infinite. can apathy be infinite? for the purposes of this model, i hold that it can.)

I could care more: 0 ≤ x < ∞
(all right, so no one but me really says this, but i like it. it's not much clearer than the original offender, but it does allow for the possibility of x being zero and specifies that one does not care the maximum possible amount. not perfect, but a bit closer to the intended meaning, i daresay.)

and while we're on that topic: many, when confronted with the error of their ways, claim they meant what they said. "yeah, i could care less. i do care some, just not very much."

well, don't worry. i've come up with a foolproof way that you can say what you mean:

I could care less, but only marginally. I could care exponentially more: 0 < x « ∞

as you can see, my friends, there is a multitude of options. when in doubt, please consider what you are trying to say, scan the list, and choose wisely. (and be sure to double-check your work!)

photo credits to stevie shale: my first rudimentary explanation of this theory

Saturday, December 18, 2010

to love.

" Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." -Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 16, 2010

miracle of miracles!

seriously. miracles all over the freaking place. if i had like, a crazy cheesy picture of myself jumping, i would totes post it right now. but i don't.

(you know what's disappointing? i didn't invent the word totes. i totes thought i did. it's lost a lot of its lustre for me.)

so.....i'm healthy again! i can't express how miraculous this feels. i can stand up for more than ten seconds. i can walk instead of crawl! i can exist void of piles of blankets and a space heater and a bag of frozen stir fry on my head. i can type with both hands! i can spell words correctly! my life doesn't look like a 3D movie anymore! (not as fun as it sounds, friends). i can smile! boy howdy, i am just filled with joy right now. still a little dizzy, but that's to be expected after three days of zero food intake. oh, and i can eat!

something that was extremely frustrating is that i was going to devote this week to applying for a second job (because this stupidity of ten hours a week is not cutting it--another reason being sick was inconvenient). and then ever since monday morning i was severely incapacitated. tuesday, during a brief period of lucidity, i went down my list of possible places of employment and called them all. most places were either not hiring or "always accepting applications" (i know your wily ways), but there was one. yes, one miraculous encounter at the residence inn. the nice lady named erin said she wanted to hire another front desk person, but she'd have to check with the general manager, and we agreed that i could come in thursday afternoon for an interview of sorts.

this is ridiculous already. who gets an interview without getting off the couch?

my health steadily deteriorated from monday to tuesday night, when my fever must have spiked because i was shaking and delirious and not okay. wednesday was only slightly better. my brain seemed to be functioning with a bit more cognizance, but every other symptom was still present. so this morning, when i woke up all clear-headed and normal, i was astounded and filled with unexpected glee.

on a sidenote, my keys went missing earlier this week, and not having used them for DAYS, it has proven an impossible task to find them. so my wonderful friend sam graciously took me to my interview during his lunch hour. we met a lovely LDS lady at the front desk, and were having an overall splendid conversation with the employees. erin informed me that her GM had vetoed hiring on another front desk human, but that in a week or two, there would definitely be openings in other areas, whether housekeeping, banquet serving, or whathaveyou. and.....

she basically offered me a job. i'm not sure when i start, but her exact words were "we'll get you in here for a real interview, and then we'll get you started." miracle of holy miracles. who gets a JOB basically without getting of their couch?!

so this day is definitely the best day of the week. by FAR.

and i seriously am so grateful to everyone who's been so very friendly while i've been so very sick.

maddie and damon, thank you for providing me with plenty of witty commentary on day 1.

cecily and katie o and robbie, thank you for your concerns.

amos and evan, thank you SO MUCH for your many conversations on days 2 and 3. amos, i'm sorry i got you sick through internests, and i think you need to be better now. evan, thank you for screwing with my mind constantly. i was so confused so much of the time. and that friggin british animal video. i watched that like ten times. you were both there for the worst of it and i really needed that.

suzie/psiouxee, thank you for taking my phone call and helping me finish my sentences when my brain melted a little. i miss you always.

katie sue, thank you for finally talking to me. ha. you're such a treasure, even if you play hard-to-get hardcore.

and thank you sam, for trying so hard to find a blessing partner on day 2. it all turned out okay. and thank you for coming over on day 3 and filling my need for human interaction and warm fires. it was maybe my most favorite fire ever. and thank you for helping me out with my job stuff today. you are my hero a little.

oh, and thank you both amos and sam for your suggestion to take a hot bath. that was miserable and woozy but i think instrumental in curing me.

i seriously just am filled with love and adoration for these people. and the rest of you as well, but i am overwhelmingly grateful for all the love i've felt these past few days, even from afar. i wish you all could be here.

man, i'm so happy right now!

coming up soon on bloggityblogness:

*Santa Claus Story! (it's very dear and hard to put into words, but i shall try)

*the erin crabtree model of indicated apathy (my theory on "i could care less")

and hey, listen, i see you. i know there's like, hundreds of you, reading, sneakretly. you don't have to, but i would love your comments. if i can't have you, i can at least have your words. let me know what you want me to write about as well, if you have ideas!

have a miraculous day and meyyee kissmisstime!

remember how utah has the most majestic mountains of all?

Monday, December 13, 2010

peppermint tea and toast.

*sigh.* well, today did not go as planned.

i haven't left the house all day. i've hardly moved. and it was going to be such a crucial day in my....not-decision-making.

i guess this is what i get for tempting the universe with my demands for something interesting to happen. dear universe: not interesting.

and there's still the rest of the week to "get things done," hopefully.

deer...i prolly shouldn't have put anything on that toast. even that vegan fake butter.

hope your day has been better. :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

two roads diverged

(i love robert frost, but that's all i'm going to say about that poem)

okay, listen to THIS now (in another tab). then continue. this. is. my favorite song. in the universe. i force myself to wait between listenings.

i have been praying for and pleading for an epiphany, a new awakening. it's been too long. and i think i've found it, a little.

i can't tell you what it is.

maybe that's because i don't quite know what it is....yet.

i love being cryptic. don't you? no, i know, it's awful. so annoying. i know.

i'll know by the end of the month, though, and so will you. though i'm sure it won't be as monumental to you as it will to me.

i see two roads before me (immediate roads; we're ignoring the billions of eventual possibilities, for now). and, more than ever before, i love both of the roads. so much. i am entirely too excited at the possibility of either.

and maybe the best part of it all is this: i don't have to choose. HALLELUJAH! my year has been FAR too full of choices. such hard choices. and it is oh-so-liberating to think that it's not entirely up to me this time. i am going to do everything within my power to even the scale, and then it's up to Him to decide my future. and i trust His judgment a million times over my own.

this is good news.

and it's christmas.

and i love so many people. thank you for contributing to my glorious world. i want to tell very treasured your existence is. someday, somehow.

and i want to hear your tales of cheer. or sorrow. or hope, or longing, or passion, or humor. i want to hear your soul's song across this expanse.

life is so many things. having plans is overrated. at least for me.

this adventure is incredible. PAZOW!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010


so maybe this is turning into a music blog. maybe i am turning into a music blog.

the truth is that i am swirling in the in-between. there are moments of our lives....moments that sometimes span weeks or years, that very clearly represent something meaningful. something big and powerful. a cymbal's crash. a mountain peak. these are the moments we live for. these are the moments in which we live.

and then there is the rest of the time.

the in-between. limbo.

we spend our time writing stories of adventure and yearning for the day in which such adventure will exist yet again (and to a greater degree, for life's adventures are on a steep incline).

and we write these stories in first-person plural, because to objectify, to universalize, lessens the fear of this limbo lasting forever. when we call it a part of life, a part of everyone's life, it feels somehow less consuming in its blanket existence.

i've just come off a year of intense mountain climbing, and now here i am, floating in the void. and it's frustrating. all intense emotions are absent and i'm left with a sense of reluctant peace to carry me over for the time being, until the next burst of screaming-light-thrill.

every day is an adventure. i know that. and i create that with my actions.

but the great vat of passion inside of me is temporarily without destination. temporarily. i know that. and sooner than later, i will be swirling again in the great eddy of complication and love, of laughter and pain and growth, and perhaps a part of me will miss this void. but something tells me i won't.

oh, wild world, take me away.

what i do have, what i can give my fire and zeal to, is art. is music. things that inspire. things that will climb mountains with me when there is no one around strong enough, full enough, to climb alongside me.

what are your mountains, world?

(try as i might, i miss you. and i'm not ashamed of that. to be without longing would be true emptiness.)

is your great adventure in full swing, or are you in limbo? what colour is the rain that paints your white landscape? where does it come from? who does it drench? what does it smell of? and when it runs away, in rivulets across the page, where does it flow?

something to savour for today and tomorrow: local natives. ♥

(lovely video; it makes me nostalgic for last summer)

(inCREdible song. drums that echo running leaps without safe ground to land upon, and a chorus that....dare i say it?.....makes me dance.)

"i'll endure the night/ for the promise of light"......from the first song i ever heard of theirs...."and even if the morning never comes/ my hands are blessed to have touched the sun."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

been on repeat for three days.

"Oh, I can see the day when we'll die
But I don't care to think of silence
For now, I hear you laughing
The greatest joy is like the sunrise

No gifts to give, they're all right here
Inside our hearts the glorious cheer
And in the house we see a light
That comes from what we know inside

I'll come to you, I'll sing to you
Like it's Christmas in the room
I'll dance with you, I'll laugh with you
Till it's Christmas in the room..."

i have music video images flitting through my head. i would love to create it someday. this song is pure bliss clothed in sweetest sorrow.

this is the christmas i dream of.

can you hear me from where you are?

psssst! magical picture obtained here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a story for december

He yanked his father's galoshes on and scampered out the front door into the bitter black. Icy wind slapped his face and pulled tears from the corners of his eyes. Nothing was visible but the hard, glittering snow that covered the ground and the looming silhouette of his house against the clouded sky.

Thump, thump. The noise echoed from the roof and he shivered in his pajamas, staring anxiously. He could see nothing.

“Who's there?” His voice cracked in the empty night, betraying his panic.

The thudding came again, and he picked up a small jagged rock from the driveway.

“Hello?!” he screamed, louder and harsher.

He launched the rock, with all of the adrenaline he could muster, at the roof.

A soft sound of impact, then the rock tumbled back down. He hurried across the lawn to retrieve his fallen weapon. He picked up the rock, now wet and warm and red with blood. His eyes widened as he looked up.

And then a great weight was upon him and he struggled to breathe. He frantically wriggled his way out, staring at the mass. Some sort of animal. A deer. Its face was buried in the snow, where a warm glow flickered in and out.

His mind vaguely recalled books, about the forbidden holiday and the Anti-Christ and the dogs of the sky. Books that had been hidden, disposed of years ago.

It couldn't be.

That was all a lie. He had been told countless times that it was all a lie, and yet...he rolled over the great horned beast and saw the very thing he had dreaded. The shining red nose flickered a final time, then went out like a lightbulb.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

a drab orbit biases

ah, yesterday i experienced for the first time the portland i had envisioned. it's all coming together, and soon life will feel the way it is meant to feel. glory glorious ablaze.....

(sam, cecily, brett, and shannon)

i met up with some ward people and their tagalongs at pioneer courthouse square, and then we gallivanted around the town. first to pastini pastaria, which graciously created a vegan dish for me.


unfortunately they forgot and still put the cheese on, so i separated that portion and gave it to a lucky winner.

we then took the MAX to the oh-so-splendid saturday market, in which i hope to someday take part.

this band was adequate, but the real magic was that they were covering a Beirut song.

puzzles!!! i was so enraptured as this man showed us his craft. there may have been a point where i giggled and shouted, "SHAPES!"

shortly thereafter, we departed, but meghan, tegan and i met up later to go to the canoe house show and celebrate meghan's upcoming birthday.

cameron and matt of canoe tune their instruments before the show. they played as a duo, which was wonderful, but i look forward to seeing the band in its entirety next month.

meghan and tegan and the magical wall of sun-tree in the background. this house was lovely. it reminded me of home. not a home i've ever had, just that floating, partially unattainable state of being we spend our lives searching for.

what i'm saying is that they had a dinosaur terrarium. and a three-legged dog named zelda.

this gentle and lovely man is A.W. Feldt. He is from Pocatello and he is magnificent. cameron of canoe described his music best when he said it "massages my soul."

this man of music would be jonathan sarenana, who lived in this house and hosted this event. thank you, sir. his music was also quite good.

after the concert, we attempted voodoo doughnut but were deterred by the lack of parking, the freezingness of the exterior world, and the enormous line. another time. i WILL eat me a doughnut.

so it was applebee's instead. they are NOT vegan friendly. be warned. at least they had my favourite food....

meghan, the birthday girl.

and if you made it this far.....congratulations!

also, videos of last night's show are on MY YOUTUBE PAGE!!!

i leave for utah tomorrow afternoon. can't wait to see you all. my life is truly wonderful. i am nothing short of ecstatic.