Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pump it up until you can feel it

The seasons have changed, the tides have turned, and the choir has sung halleluiah in the celebration of my graduation. I even have the paper to prove it.

And now, with this achievement strapped firmly under my belt, I find myself desperately seeking employment. Oh, how na├»ve I was! – Who knows if I can go to my graduation ceremony? I may have a job by then and be living halfway across the country in a fabulous 2 bedroom and working at a national magazine! Damn the current financial collapse and the fact that journalism is circling the drain! None of this applies to ME!

Needless to say, I am still unemployed three months later. I’ve gone on interviews, and have been contacted by a handful of companies for jobs that maybe I shouldn’t have applied for. I am ready to have a job, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to move my life, and my stuff, in order to copy edit standardized tests for about the same pay I got when I was 16 and working in retail.

I have descended into a daily routine that consists of compulsively searching for jobs about 100 times a day, and filling in the cracks with daytime television. Most of the week passes by in a zombie-like haze filled with computer headaches set to a soundtrack of audio brochures coercing me to change my life by attending college in my pajamas.

By the time Friday rolls around, I open my eyes for what seems like the first time all week, run a hand through my oil-slicked hair, and vow to rebuild.

In an effort to make it through this limbo without losing my mind to insanity or decomposition, I’ve taken up reading. I’ve always been a reader, but now I’m reading with a vengeance.

I just started my 8th book since graduation. The one’s I’ve read are:

  • Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki Murakami
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
  • Anthem by Ayn Rand
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I just started Grendel by John Gardner the other day. For some reason I’ve always felt a kinship with his character. Sure, he hates people and eats human flesh – but he always seemed misunderstood, frail, and tormented – bullied by Beowulf and his meat-headed, frat-boy enthusiasm.

Aside from escaping to other worlds through reading the written word, I have joined a gym. For both my mental and physical health I’ve decided to get up off it and start running every day. My goal is to be able to run a half-marathon by my 26th birthday, which is in 3 months. Right now I’m able to run 5 miles straight before I fall over dry-heaving…so I’ve got a ways to go.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Inside All of Us is ... Adventure

Q: How excited am I for this?

A: So excited I may have to re-visit the Sendak Gallery at the Rosenbach.

Check out the brand new trailer here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"When you're a writer, not everything you write has to be experienced by you. Just remember to choose your friends really poorly."

Tuesday night I attended a preview screening of Chuck Palahniuk's newest novel-turned-movie, "Choke", starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston.

Unfortunately, "Choke" falls short for "Fight Club" fans, and Chuck fans alike. The problem wasn't in the execution (the film was pretty dead-on with the book with only a few small changes), or in the acting (Rockwell was perfect as a sex-addicted possible-messiah loser with mommy issues) but the biggest complaint seemed to be - why this book? Surely out of all of Chuck's brilliant novels, a better story could have been chosen to grace the big screen. Survivor. Invisible Monsters. Diary. Take your pick.

But the night was not lost. Not even close.

After the credits rolled, the lights came up and for 45 glorious minutes, Chuck Palahniuk himself graced our presence. An Inquirer reporter facilitated the session, and then opened the floor up to the public. While I didn't ask a question, it was amazing to be in the same room with a man who's work I've respected for so many years.

Chuck talked about his career - starting as a poor journalism graduate who took odd jobs to pay off student loans, and working on an assembly line until his big writing break came 10 years ago. He talked about his infamous stories, like the horrifying "Guts", and even shared some entertaining real life stories that inspired his writing.

He also talked about how each one of his books has been optioned for films. Let's just hope that the next one is better.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Theater is Dead

While scouring the internet for possible future travel destinations (a ritual I do far too often for my currently-barren income) I stumbled upon this little gem being performed in Toronto. That’s right … Evil Dead: The Musical. It’s like a dream come true. The campy (be sure to check out the video on their site's main page) musical adaptation of Sam Raimi’s cult movie has even made it’s way to California, with the disclaimer: “Evil Dead is NOT suitable for children. Contains 'inappropriate' language, fountains of blood, and nothing remotely educational.” And to accompany those hemorrhaging geysers is a special seating area named “The Splatter Zone” where the carnage covers the customer — a la Gallagher, except with brains instead of watermelons.

Oh, please, Philadelphia, grant me this one wish! Make Evil Dead: The Musical have a home in Philly. I’ll be your best friend?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hotlanta House Hunting

I joined my parents in Atlanta this past weekend to help house hunt. Here's a short video I shot using my new Flip Ultra. (I'm still learning my videographer skills, and trying to find a way to compress files without degrading the quality so much...)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One Man's Trash ...

I had walked by the front gates of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens on 10th and South St. dozens of times but never ventured inside — until this weekend — where for a mere $3 donation I was transported inside a work of art. The gardens consist of a main building with two levels and an outdoor labyrinth of mosaicked tiles, shards of glass, empty bottles, bicycle wheels, fragments of poetry, and four armed statues.
Walking around the gardens is as if walking in a dream. Even though most of the materials for the garden were found while dumpster diving, they somehow have gained a sense of magic. Empty wine bottles glow emerald, and miniature rainbows leap from the mirrored shards and onto the pavement. Tin angels reside next to devil masks, encased in cement archways. Bits of poetry punctuate the structure and give this mixed-media jungle a voice.
The gardens are an ongoing project started in 1994 by Isaiah Zagar, who's life's mission has been to gentrify, beautify, and re-dream the city of Philadelphia. Zagar's art is ever present throughout the city, with a main focus that weaves in and around the South Street corridor. There are currently over 100 murals on public city walls, and new murals popping up consistently. Most welcome the glass and pottery creations that reflect the neighborhood (and the history of a local art revolution). Others call it garbage. In 2005 the gardens were saved from a guerrilla demolition attack thanks to a non-profit law firm specializing in protecting the arts, as well as support from locals in the form of donations.
Despite the controversy, Zagar continues to hold two day weekend workshops once a month where he teaches the art of mosaicking to eager students. The workshops cost $250 each and include materials and a chance to immortalize yourself while beautifying the city — all while building a mural with a local legend.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I have finally compiled a quick tour of my new Philly apartment. Check it out here.