I need to get back to Tempe

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, August 31, 2010 7:52 PM

Disjointed thoughts from a tired brain:

*Notice has been given at work and families have been notified. The parents I was most worried about both took the news of my leaving really well. Still, though, if I really stop and think about actually having to leave Fish-Man and Drama, I can feel myself starting to second-guess the whole decision.

*Successfully moved out of the apartment last weekend. The majority of my stuff (, books, furniture, etc.) went home with Mom and Dad, and the rest moved up to Amazon's house for the next month or so. It was all kinds of bizarre to see the apartment completely empty when I finally finished cleaning on Sunday. I won't lie, I almost took a picture to post on here. What a loser.

*Flying to PDX with Mom this weekend to apartment-hunt.

*I saw this video posted on at least three blogs in my RSS feed today. I'm a sucker for dance movies; I willingly admit to owning "Center Stage" and to watching the sequel, "Center Stage 2" on more than one occasion. I'm not coordinated enough to be called a good dancer; let's just leave it at that.

I do it for you, Jane

Posted by Cory , Wednesday, August 25, 2010 8:52 AM

I'm under no illusion that I'm not an enormous pack-rat; it's been my reality for as long as I can remember. Throwing things away kills me. As I've been packing up the apartment in preparation for moving in with Amazon and, ultimately, my relocation to PDX, I've been forcing myself to really examine the crap that has wound up shoved into every nook and cranny of my life and deciding if it's really vital to the salvation of my soul to keep it, and I've found that, for the most part, it's not been as difficult as I anticipated. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and thus more mature (ha!), or maybe I just want to get it all in boxes and not have to stress about it anymore. Whatever.

But what do I do with my CD collection? Now, prior to last summer when, in a fit of nostalgia, I bought an old Jimmy Eat World album at Hastings, I can't remember the last time I physically bought and actual CD. Approximately 97% of my music is already stored on my computer. I have a sweet FM transmitter built into my sweet Bluetooth device so I can listen to whatever I might be in the mood for with a few taps of my finger. I got rid of any CD players that I had long, long ago. So why do I continue to hold onto my collection of albums?

As near as I can figure, to get rid of my album collection would be acknowledging the end of an era (so to speak). The advent of iTunes has coincided with my coming-of-age in such a way that I sometimes find myself becoming wistful about the days when I just had to stop in at Sam Goody whenever we made the trip to the mall. When I made up my Christmas list, it was always consisted of a couple of different CDs, and I always had to make a note for my mom as to what section of the music store she'd be able to find them, since I've never been one to commit to a genre. Now, iTunes gift cards are pretty much par for the course for any gift-giving occasion and Mom no longer has to stress about trying to find an album by an obscure band for my stocking.

I've gotten rid of old CDs before, of course, when I've outgrown or gotten bored with them (much to my chagrin, now, because I would love to have that Foo Fighters album back), but I'm not sure if I can clean house of the entire collection. I just don't know if I'm ready to close that chapter.

You'd break your neck to keep your chin up

Posted by Cory , Monday, August 23, 2010 6:15 PM

A few weeks ago, one of my favorite writers, Donald Miller, excerpted a passage from "Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way" by Shauna Niequist on his blog. The passage he quoted dealt with reconciling the role of femininity in today's world. I recommend clicking over and reading the blog post, because it caught my eye enough that I promptly downloaded "Bittersweet" (I'm a little infatuated with iBooks).

Perhaps it's my emo kid sensibility or perhaps it's that I'm on the precipice of a major life change, but reading just the description of the book had me slack-jawed. I don't know that I'd describe myself as a bittersweet person, but I certainly have my moments of cynicism and I do tend toward a somewhat sardonic and rigid outlook on life and life changes in particular (I like to call those my autistic moments). I'm only a few chapters into the book, but I wanted to share a passage from the prologue that struck me by how beautifully written and moving it was. Also, I'm a sucker for symbolism.

Christians, generally, aren’t great at lament and mourning. Jews are really better at lament, maybe because they’ve had more practice. My favorite part of a Jewish wedding is the breaking of the glass. Like most Jewish traditions, there are a whole bunch of interpretations: some say that all the shards of broken glass suggest loads of future children and future happiness. Some say that the breaking of the glass references the irreversible nature of marriage: in the same way that the glass can never be put back together after it’s been broken, two people can never be separated once they’ve been connected by marriage. But my favorite interpretation is the one where the wine in the glass is a symbol for all of life, and when the bride and groom drink it, they accept both the bitter and the sweet aspects of life. They accept that sometimes they’ll celebrate and sometimes they’ll mourn, in the same way that sometimes they’ll drink wine and sometimes glasses will shatter.

This smoking gun of a mouth of mine

Posted by Cory , Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:33 PM

The contents of my freezer after Handsy moved out and I threw away anything really, really old:


I like to call this photo: "Having my priorities in order."

(Taken with the Hipstamatic app, with which I am utterly obsessed. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my kick-ass iPhone?)

I called you 46 times, and you answered on the 47th

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:37 PM

I don't know of many things more frustrating than being in the "hurry up and wait" phase. Don't get me wrong, I'm wicked excited to move to PDX and start fresh, but the uncertainty surrounding it all is what kills me.

Here's what I do know: I interviewed for a job, wowed a potential employer, and am looking forward to hearing from her near the end of September about a full-time position.

Here's what I do not know: where I'll live, who (if anyone) I'll be living with, if I can afford to live on my own, if any other potential employers will call me for an interview, how I will find coverage for my clients so I can attend said potential interviews without tipping off coworkers/supervisors as to what I'm doing, how I'm going to tell my families that I'm leaving, how Ms. Antoinette is going to take the news of my resignation, who will take over working with my kiddos once I leave, and so on and so forth.

If I think about it too much, my head starts to spin. And then I eat a cupcake.

FOODIE ALERT!: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted by Cory , Sunday, August 15, 2010 4:02 PM

I don't often get the urge to bake. I love to do it, but I also know that I'm powerless to resist baked goods. Unless whatever I'm putting together has a place to go that is not my kitchen, I generally stay away from baking anything. There was something about today, though, that triggered a craving for carrot cake. Also, it gave me an excuse to wear the wicked cute apron that Handsy gave me for my birthday, so there you go.

I checked out a few recipes for carrot cake and decided that none of them were worth the calories (one was nearly 600 per slice; I DON'T EVEN THINK SO), so I figured I'd head on over to Food Network and see if anything healthier could be found. Lo and behold, my old friend Ellie Krieger has a recipe for carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that was much more reasonable in the nutrition department. I debated just making the cupcakes and ditching the frosting, but what the hell? Go big or go home, right?

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
4 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (recommended: Neufchatel)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. The cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.

*NOTE: These are so. Good. I could eat two or three more right now, but I think there's enough frosting on my trackpad for one afternoon. I might leave out the lemon zest in the frosting next time, and I ditched the walnuts sprinkled on top at the end (ditched, forgot about before horking one down, whatevs), but otherwise, as Shmoopy might say, they are faboosh.



I only hear what I want to

Posted by Cory 12:00 AM

Welcome to Adventures in Packing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Appreciate My Compulsive Hoarding of Tissue Paper.

Portland is becoming real to me and I almost feel myself buzzing with anticipation; the nerves are definitely still there, but the excitement is starting to nose ahead in the race. I posted a note on Facebook today (carefully hidden from all but two current and two former coworkers) asking if any friends knew people in the PDX area who might be looking for a roommate, and within 30 minutes, a girl I went to high school with commented that she knew a Catholic youth minister down there who might be able to ask around for me. Ball, you may continue to roll.

In my cleaning/throwing away of things/pre-packing whirlwind, I discovered a large storage tote under my bed that I had forgotten I bought. This excited me way, way more than it should have any normal person. Welcome to my brain, where organizational tools get me all hot and bothered.

Saturday Music Special: New Found Glory

Posted by Cory , Saturday, August 14, 2010 12:00 AM

I can vividly remember hearing my first New Found Glory songs. Long before iTunes was the standard, I was one of the multitudes downloading music from Kazaa and other such services. I was introduced to the concept of emo (before it was equated with depressed kids and Myspace pictures with hair swept across the face) by a classmate who reviewed a Jimmy Eat World album for our school paper. I was immediately intrigued by the seemingly nonsensical combination of punk beats and lyrics charged with raw emotion. After a little bit of research, I stumbled upon "Ballad for the Lost Romantics" and was instantly hooked; this was unlike anything I had listened to before.

I remember exactly where I was when I bought my first NFG album. On our annual family trip to Montana to visit my dad's family, my mom and I were out shopping one day when I spotted a Hastings store as we drove through Great Falls. I'm a sucker for any store that combines books, movies and music, so I asked mom to pull over so I could wander through and see if anything caught my eye. I wound up walking out with NFG's self-titled album. I popped it into my discman (Lord, remember those days?) as soon as we got back to Grandma's house and couldn't stop listening for days.

"Sticks and Stones" was released not long after that to much fanfare on the TRL scene. At that point in my life, I was a faithful MTV viewer and was incredibly entertained by the video for "My Friends Over You." It was my first time seeing the band perform (oh, YouTube; how did we survive without it?) and I loved that they showcased their playful spirit while maintaining the witty, sometimes biting lyrics that I had come to love listening to.

Fast-forward to a week ago. In the mood to find some new music to listen to, I opened up the list I keep of bands whose albums I'm interested in downloading. Halfway down the list, I spotted New Found Glory; they had released an album called "Coming Home" in 2006 that I had always meant to buy but had somehow gotten pushed further and further down the list by other bands that I was discovering at the time. Why not now?, I thought. I clicked on the button to buy the album and waited patiently (okay, not so patiently; I was at my parents' house for the weekend and their wireless "connection" is atrocious).

Y'all, I don't even know what took me so long. "Coming Home" is an amazing album, simultaneously entirely familiar to me and unlike any of New Found Glory's previous work. It almost seems like fate that I didn't hear it until now; the lyrics on this album speak to everything that I've been feeling lately, from thoughts on love to reflections on growing up. I truly can't remember the last time I could not stop listening to an album, but it's all I've wanted to listen to the past week.

It takes trying to rip your skin to really know how thick it is

Posted by Cory , Thursday, August 12, 2010 8:37 PM

The Great Job Hunt 2010 culminated in the Great Job Interview yesterday. I flew to Portland Tuesday night for an interview with an agency similar to the one where I'm currently employed. It went really well and there should be a full-time position available for me at the beginning of October. I have mixed feelings about it, and there are several factors to consider before I accept, but hey! I have the Fear! And the sense of being Completely Overwhelmed! And did I mention the Fear!

Pray for me; I may lose my mind.

Saturday Music Special: Rilo Kiley

Posted by Cory , Saturday, August 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Rilo Kiley was never really on my radar much; I knew who they were, but they weren't my thing. While in college, I became friends with Stampinator, a girl who lived down the hall from me who turned out to have an eclectic and fascinating taste in music (as well as being perhaps the single most level-headed person I've ever met). When she ended up rooming with Schmoopy during my senior year, we were thrown together even more and before long, we were trading music and introducing each other to new and obscure artists.

We departed from campus for Christmas break, and a few days later I found an e-mail from Stampinator in my inbox with the subject line "Merry Musical Christmas". The e-mail contained four Rilo Kiley tracks, including "The Frug" (delightful to work out to, by the way) and "More Adventurous", which is the song that, nearly three years later, inspired this post. I added the tracks to my iTunes library and gave them a listen, but didn't give Rilo Kiley much thought beyond that. Occasionally, a song would come up on shuffle and I would fleetingly remember that I had wanted to look into buying an album, but nothing ever came of it.

Two months ago, a relationship that was very important to me came to an end, as they do from time to time. The day after I said goodbye to Buckeye for the last time, I got in my car, set my iPhone to shuffle and started the drive home from work. Of the nearly 3,000 songs loaded on my phone, Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous" was the first one to play, and for the first time, I really listened to Jenny Lewis' gorgeous voice proclaim the words, "I read with every broken heart we should become/more adventurous". I downloaded the entire album the moment I got home. Over the last two months, it's helped me both grieve and heal. Please to enjoy.

How to be alone

Posted by Cory , Tuesday, August 3, 2010 6:16 PM

Browsing my Twitter feed today, I came across a tweet from To Write Love On Her Arms that intrigued me. The link led to the following YouTube video:

Being comfortable with quiet moments was one of the issues that came up when Buckeye and I broke up a few weeks back. I've long known that I'm essentially a solitary person; I'm perfectly comfortable with silence, and that became a problem for him after a while. Without trying to disparage him, he's a person that needs to be constantly entertained and stimulated, and evidently I couldn't offer that to him. Water under the bridge at this point, but I hope he has the opportunity to see this video. Perhaps it will help him understand where I was coming from.

And I might drive myself insane

Posted by Cory , Monday, August 2, 2010 7:14 PM

As I so often find to be the case in my life, I'm currently reminded of an episode of "Friends". In season 3, Rachel finds herself fed up with working at Central Perk, due in large part to the fact that she's a terrible waitress.

RACHEL: I'm training to be better at a job that I hate, my life officially sucks.

JOEY: Look Rach, wasn't this supposed to a temporary thing? I thought you wanted to do fashion stuff?

RACHEL: Well, yeah! I'm still pursuing that.

CHANDLER: How... exactly are you pursuing that? Y'know other than sending out resumes like what, two years ago?

RACHEL: Well, I'm also sending out.... good thoughts.

JOEY: If you ask me, as long as you got this job, you've got nothing pushing you to get another one. You need the fear.

RACHEL: The fear?

CHANDLER: He's right, if you quit this job, you then have motivation to go after a job you really want.

RACHEL: Well then how come you're still at a job that you hate, I mean why don't you quit and get 'the fear'?

CHANDLER: Because, I'm too afraid.

Now, I'm not one to put myself on a pedestal, but I'm good at what I do, so that part of this scenario doesn't necessarily apply to me. The fed-up-with-your-job part? Absolutely. I've long known that IBI is a job, but it's certainly not a career. Therapist turnover and burn-out are part and parcel of the field. The kids that I work with are tough, and while I love them and ultimately love what I do, I'm tired. I need a break. I am, as we say in the biz, all done.

I've known for some time now that I wanted this summer to be my last with the Agency. In deciding what to do next, I considered moving to Portland, the DC area, northern California, and have since circled back around to land on Portland again. As I see it, it's ideal: close enough to home, city life, seemingly infinite possibilities. Once the move to California was no longer happening (not a chance in effing hell, really) and I had time to adjust to the situation as a whole, I began the job search process for the first time since I graduated from college. I've spent entire evenings scouring Craigslist and the Portland classifieds. I've e-mailed my resume to agencies similar to the one I currently work for and filled out more applications than I can count. Now, I get to play the waiting game.

August is here, and the summer is going to start winding down before we know it. Ms. Antoinette should, in theory, be starting to tool around with the fall schedules now. The longer I stick around, be it of my own doing or because I'm still looking for a job, the more people it's going to affect in the long run once I extricate myself from the pool of therapists. Ms. A will be none too pleased with me once I give my notice, and I don't even want to think about telling some of the parents that I work with that I'm leaving. So the question remains: do I have the Fear?

I was firm in the fact that I wasn't going to move without a job. It's easier to find a job when you have one, as they say, and I'm not one to take risks of that magnitude when it comes to things like, oh, paying my rent on time and being able to afford food. Mentioned this plan to Handsy; she was on board and things were good to go. I was content to -- no, that's not the right word; I'll rephrase. I had accepted that I would be in Godforsaken for perhaps a little while longer than I had originally planned. I made my peace with that, and I moved on with a spirit of optimism. Then, early last week, Handsy dropped a bomb: she needed to move out of our house by mid-August. I certainly can't afford to live here on my own, and what would I need 3 bedrooms for, anyway? A generous friend and coworker offered me a room in her new house for as long as I need a place to stay, and so my new plan became: continue job search, tentatively plan to move to Portland once I find a job (all the while maintaining confidence that I'd be qualified and dazzling for one of the many jobs I've applied for in the last few weeks), stay with coworker if need be.

But maybe I just need to resign, move, and find The Fear?

Pray for me; it's clear that I need them right about now.