It never rains but it pours

By my estimation, I have sent out roughly 40 applications since I started looking for employ in earnest. This process began in late February and didn't really abate until a couple of weeks ago. Sure, I had a few dead spots, like the end of classes and a brief, shimmering moment after I landed my part-time job at the Lord's Junior College. However, incessant fretting over health insurance (mostly by my mother) and a desire to have a bit more money, threw me back into the fray.

Before three weeks ago, I had had exactly 4 interviews. One rejected me, one was offended, one offered me a job and the last regretted that I couldn't start immediately as full-time. Then, at the beginning of the month, I had an interview for a position which seemed a touch out of my league. A bit to my surprise, I was offered the job. I start on Friday.

However, since accepting the position, I have had five other interview offers. Where were these people when I wanted a job? How do people survive such a long hiatus from work if they're not skinflints while students with the option to live at home like me? (I can only assume credit cards are involved) Most pressingly, is the job I took really the right one for me? What if something better came along? I mean, what if I was supposed to move to Ogden or Durango, CO or Maine?

I'll probably never know. I'll just have to trust that the same force which lead me to BYU, to stick with linguistics, to library school, and to Edmonton really does have my best interests in mind. Though, based on the track record, that seems unlikely. On the plus side, I get to politely rebuff these interviews. A much improved situation from the "you sucks" that were pouring in before.

That is so gay!

Some people use the term "gay" to mean that something is lame, unfortunate, or generally bad. I don't use the term thus, for what I hope are obvious reasons, as well as strongly believing that only things with sexual orientations in the first place can be called gay. However, I do strongly think there are a set of things you can do to be considered gay. Naturally, having relations with the same sex is a good one.

However, there are some things that transcend even that level and, if you take part in them, you are gay, regardless of your sexual preference. For instance, belonging to the "Organized Bodies of American Racing Pigeon Fanciers". Sadly, this organization is defunct. But back in WWI, they gave a medal to a very heroic pigeon.

In other, animal-related news, Louisiana banned cockfighting. I'm glad that they've entered the 21st Century. Or they will next year, when the ban comes into effect. Apparently, the businessmen who ply the cockfight trade got lawmakers to agree that it's an undue hardship for the ban to be immediate, what with all the cocks and equipment they've got.

Rest assured, though: in 17 states there's nothing illegal about "possession of cocks for fighting". Also, New Mexico, who banned the sport last year, is currently trying to decide if their law runs afoul of the Treaty of Guadelupe-Hidalgo. Good for the cockfighting advocates to assert that this treaty ensured the same life that existed in 1846 Mexico would be protected in perpetuity. Though, technically, speaking, only western New Mexico would be cockfighting country according to this logic. And, sadly, no mention of cockfighting was made in the treaty. I bet Nicholas Trist, had he not died in 1874, would be pleased to know that his struggle to remove the phrase "and cockfighting for all" from the treaty has ensured that most New Mexicans don't look like complete hayseeds.

Yay!, or Uh-oh

I've been offered a job. And it terrifies me. Not just the prospect of work, which, granted, stresses me out. I mean, full-time employ? That's something I've done a good job of avoiding thus far in my life. Unfortunately, I suppose this is what my education was building up to.

What really freaks me out about this position is that it's a solo librarian position. As in, I'll be the only librarian in the establishment. I mean, for a fresh-out-of-school MLIS, that's kind of a scary thought. No support system. No networking. No people I can blame for being old and out of touch.

It gets worse, though. The library doesn't even exist yet. The first step in this position? Build a collection. The next step? Catalogue it. Of course, before doing that, I'll need to establish all policies for the library (remember, no interaction here with fellow librarians).

Oh, and it's for a for-profit education organization. I don't know how I feel about that.

To be fair, it's part of a network of schools and I would have support from remote overlords.

To make things even more sticky, it pays a touch less than I'd hope.

It's going to be a rough night. Hopefully I can figure it all out by tomorrow.


I had the whitest lunch ever today. And by white, I mean the color. It consisted of: a croissant with a tasty chicken salad filling that contained blanched, slivered almonds, a mozzarella cheese stick, an apple, some tortilla chips, and a bag of peanuts. Even my napkins were white. All I lacked was Aryan Oreos and I would have officially felt like a white supremacist. I guess my peanuts had a sprinkling of paprika and there were flecks of green in the chicken salad, but still. I had to go buy a candy bar so I wouldn't feel like a total racist. Well, that's what I told myself, anyways, to justify spending nearly 75 cents on a Skor.

Completely unrelatedly, this makes me laugh. Do you think they'd help me if I wanted to sue God for injuring me?

Touching, but false

My brother checked out Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint from the library. The book description on the inside flap includes this gem:

Neither wife nor nun, neither queen nor noblewoman, neither philosopher nor stateswoman, Joan of Arc demonstrates that anyone who follows their heart has the power to change history.

Would you really say the lesson learned from the Maid of Lorraine is that following your heart changes the world? I would have thought it was something more along the lines of "visions from God end in death", "the French were once much less sissy in matters military than today...despite being led by a young woman" or what I find to have the most impact on my life, "if sentenced to death for crossdressing, claim that you only do so in order to preserve your chastity".

I also like how it's not the story of Joan that demonstrates the proposition, but Joan herself. You see, despite being illiterate and dead for over 550 years, she's still plugging away, reaffirming modern tautologies wherever she can.

Stingy with my ninety and nines

I face a rather frequent conundrum in church. Well, I face several, but this post focuses on just one: the Amen. You see, I really think we should only say “amen” when we actually agree with what has been said. So, when a person’s testimony centers on the fact that everyone else in the world is lost because they’re not LDS or the closing prayer implores God to kill a law allowing same-sex unions, I would feel dirty offering up my “so be it”. This position is quite the minority one in Mormonism. In fact, disagreement at all seems to be anathema to the Saints. How many times have you seen a dissenting vote for sustaining? Or had a Gospel Doctrine class where differing opinions were raised, let alone considered? So, most folks just mumble their amens every time someone offers one. Not saying one generally implies that you weren’t paying attention, not that you’re actively abstaining.

But here’s the crux of the problem: what if someone has borne a testimony that is great except for one or two minor problems? Saying amen implies, at least to me, that you accept the full package, irritating false doctrine and all. Or if the lesson you’ve been taught was offensive but the witness shared at the end is bang on? Is it enough to say amen and know for yourself that it applies only to the last bit? I tend to keep my amens robust and for those things which I honestly agree with. Obviously, I shouldn’t bother worrying so much, since no one notices one way or the other what I do. Or if they do, it's only to remind themselves of why they think I'm bound for hell.

Maybe the solution needs to be a complete cultural overhaul. Instead of amen as the only possible response to an amen, we can expand into things like kimat amen (almost amen), amen im bayot (amen, with problems), or ani mesarev (I refuse), etc. Now, when I’m President of the Church…

(bonus points if you catch the title's meaning)

Well, you could always be a Unitarian

I'm looking up info today on "hot jobs" for an instructor at the college here. I stumble across the article from US News & World Report that lists the best jobs to have in 2006. Most are sort of obvious: pharmicist, professor, occupational therapist. And then, there's clergy. Not a specific type mind, just men of the cloth. Since that's such a coherent group, right? I mean, isn't there a big gap between being a celibate Catholic priest who has to tell his parishoners that birth control is evil and a Pentecostal preacher who needs to pull down miracles on a weekly basis? Oh, and what if you don't believe in God? Well, according to USN&WR, that's no big deal.

Want the satisfaction of doing good? You'll routinely play a significant role in major life events such as birth, marriage, crisis, and death. Plus this career offers status, normally modest work hours, and often good salaries. You needn't necessarily have unquestioned faith in God. I've spoken with a number of clergy who have deep questions about the nature and even existence of a Supreme Being.
Ah, yes, modest work hours. Just a sermon or two on Sunday and then any other time your congregants need you, which won't be too often because not believing in God will make you much less helpful than your average palm reader.

To be fair, the author also grossly misunderstands what librarians do, urges becoming a veterinarian because there's less legal oversight, and tells you not to worry that firefighters are ranked number 14th most likely to die on the job. Great advice overall.

The best of all possible worlds

I've always thought that authors had missed a niche. Where are all the books about homophobic/racist parents dealing with their gay son's lover-cum-werewolf?

I guess I just wasn't looking hard enough. Enter Without Reservations. I think I'll let the summary speak for itself:

Sometimes love just catches you by the tail. Chayton Winston is a veterinarian. He is also a werewolf. Much to his Native American parent's chagrin, he has always dreamed of a fair-haired, Caucasian mate. However, he never imagined his mate would be male. As a heterosexual man, he's not quite sure what to do with a male mate, but more than willing to find out. Keaton Reynolds wakes up, in wolf form, and finds himself with a mate. He's instantly attracted, but not so thrilled to find out the man is straight. Having been in a relationship once before where his partner professed to be "Not gay" left a bad taste in his mouth. Keaton wants to make a break for it and pretend he never set eyes on Chay-but Chay is not ready to let him go. Together the two work to solidify their shaky relationship and battle the prejudices against homosexuals. Chay must deal with not only his mother's prejudices against gay men but also her hatred of white people. When a power struggle in Keaton's pack threatens Keaton's life, the two men learn to depend on one another and their relationship to get them through it. Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, violence and hot man-love.
I especially like the last item in that warning.

Things learned yesterday

Rodeos can be surprisingly homoerotic. At least, they can if you’re willing to slightly twist the description of bareback riding. The cowboy is not allowed “to touch his equipment”. Oh, and “half the score is based on his spurring technique and ‘exposure’ to the strength” of the horse. And come on, “bareback riding”? They’re asking for it. There was also a sign at the concessions stand for the brand of Bratwurst they sell with the slogan “that’s an impressive sausage”.

The trick rider is the sissy of the rodeo.

Scientologists won’t really tell you what they believe, but they’ll show you a book that will give you really vague answers. The Church has a yacht known as the Flag Ship. Buying their merchandise is like a donation. They believe in not paying taxes. L. (Lafayette) Ron Hubbard may or may not have had a research method. He is also apparently self-sufficient enough to answer any and all questions one may have about life. The same government (the US) who tried to squelch Dianetics when it came out (because it threatened their mind control program) has subsequently determined not only that Scientology is a religion in the courts by in the tax system as well. You can do nothing about Scientology after having watched the orientation movie. You can also jump off a bridge.

Ice plus lots of salt can give you a mean burn. I am a wuss. Specifically, here this refers to my inability to stand submerging my hand in ice water for longer than 45 seconds.

Holidays, words, cults

Today is July 1st, which means a couple of things. First of all, it’s Canada Day, which I wish were actually just called CanaDay. To all Canadians, everywhere, hopefully you’re doing something to celebrate your “country” and whatever it is you love about it. I’m sure there’s something good about Canada that you can find to tout. For the rest of us, I guess we should give them one day where we pretend they’re a valuable player in the world.

Another thing this date means is that, had I managed to trick anybody into hiring me for one of the forty-odd jobs I’ve applied for, I would be starting tomorrow or thereabouts. Now, that’s not happened. I’m feeling kind of bummed about it, but I’m not entirely hopeless. In fact, I just dashed off a few applications this week to places as enticing as Evansville, IN, Fayetteville, AK and St. Louis, MO.

On the even more positive side, had I already moved from Zion, I wouldn’t have had the chance to attend the Quakers today or play testimony bingo with Petra and Melyngoch. Despite no references to a Slav, we did get the joy of experiencing the newest category “inexplicable hand gesture”. And having won a game of anagrams earlier in the day softened the blow of eking out just over half the score of Petra in Boggle. It was a great Sunday. And more fun planned for tomorrow: Scientologists! Middle Eastern food! Rodeo!