Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When in Chicago...

  • Editorial Assistant, Medical
  • Associate Development Editor, Architecture
  • Entry Level Copywriter, Web Writing
  • Research Associate
  • Technical Writer
  • Online Teaching, Composition
  • Composition Instructor

The following positions have been applied for. Now I wait. At the Logan Square Public Library until I receive an email. I wait. And I wait. The job hunt continues, and because I'm never sure when the WiFi signal here will diminish I cling to the web pages I have open and scour the job postings. In these 80% humidity days I also cling to the A/C.

I've been in Chicago a little over a week now; our super had to kick in our door after his elaborate assembly of picks and screwdrivers failed on move-in day. We still haven't heard back about our mailbox key. So, I sit and hope I'm not missing any important documents other than the mail that trickles through into the "junk mail" bin in my apartment's foyer. I read last night in the Newcomer's Guide to Chicago that the postal service here is notoriously poor. Apparently, decades ago a federal investigation of Chicago-area postal workers took place, finding "stacks and stacks" of undelivered mail littering the apartments and vehicles of those workers. So, if I miss that electricity bill I blame the postal service.

I've made a commitment to explore downtown since I'm less than a mile from the outskirts of skyscrapers, seen in all its glory from Wicker Park, two L stops away. When T & I were waiting on the L platform for our non-rush hour train to amble in I watched the Sears Tower light up as the smoggy dusk grew; damn those two little "antennae" sticking on the top... My commitment to downtown is spirited in intention but feeble in practice. I haven't yet seen Lake Michigan since I moved.

Mostly I stay around the apartment bemoaning the heat and writing a few tercets. I'm writing in smaller lines and stanzas now, mostly couplets and tercets. I have no idea what this means.

I'm reading Jorie Graham's The End of Beauty. While I don't particularly care for the initial poems' focus on Adam, Eve, Shadow, Truth and Beauty, a man's neck hair rising as he sits in the back of a cab that opens a later poem is killer. These poems are written in very long lines, lines that often lope on to a second line. She also uses numerals extensively, fracturing and enumerating experiences in her "Self Portrait" series, two things I've tried to use to some success (long lines-yes, numerals-no). I'm also reading Exiles, Ron Hansen's market paperback-feeling novel of Gerard Manley Hopkins' writing of "Wreck of the Deutschland". I think this perhaps-unfair labeling of tone/market fits the first chapter of the novel well but when he turns to novelize the lives of each of the five nuns who did die in the wreck, his exploration of 19th century religion and politics in and around Germany is fascinating and engaging. So is Hansen's portrayal of Hopkins' turn away from the Church of England to Roman Catholicism for many of the reasons (persecution, etc.) I would attribute to the reason for the opposite switch to the Church of England.

This brings me back to the devotion I now give job hunting. I've been fortunate enough to find a small group of former and current MFAers (from the Art Institute) that T knows. Four of them are currently unemployed. This makes for more group bemoaning, ending in the lament: "Well since the Trib laid off some journalists, our job marker is saturated..."

3 comments:

Trina said...

If it makes you feel any better, I lost a chance at a job I really wanted because of Prague.

Also, Seattle's mail sucks, too. We directed the P.O. to hold our mail while we were gone. They held our neighbors' mail, too. Then they didn't deliver it when we got back. Then they couldn't find it when we went to pick it up. Then they handed us a bin with not only our mail, but our neighbors' mail and a bunch of mail for random people throughout Seattle, which I'm pretty sure is against the law or some federal regulation. So now I have a pile of other peoples' porn and bills sitting in my apartment. Who knows how much of our stuff fell through the cracks...

But pay no attention to all this. Let it not feed your anxiety.

Glad to hear that you made it safely, that you're reading, that you're writing, that you're finding multiple jobs for which you want to apply. These are all good things.

am said...

i have an interview as a part-time swim coach tomorrow. let's cross our fingers. i have seven dollars now.

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