I have written two, seventy-page dissertation chapters, and I’ve definitively decided to go on the job market this year. 

I am already exhausted, and my stress dreams have taken on new, terrifying dimensions, but I’m also excited at the prospect of taking the next step in my career.  It is a very real possibility that I will not get a job in my first cycle on the market — as Helena says, the job market is a “probably a two year process” — but preparing application materials and, in a few weeks, going through the MLA job list is exciting as well as scary.  Who knows where I’ll be in a year or two? 

Please God don’t say Ames, Iowa.  I’m praying for a position in the DC area, maybe somewhere in North Carolina, or someplace new and interesting like Portland or Boston or Atlanta.  But Danny and I are attempting to be very open-minded.  We are working hard to avoid judging places we have never heard of solely because we have never heard of them, or because we associate them with rednecks, extreme cold weather, a high incidence of breast implants per capita, or adverse political conditions.  Because really.  What do I know about Ames Iowa?  It is in this tolerant spirit that I Googled Ames before using it as my worst-case-scenario example.  The first two items on the website of the City of Ames: “Urban Deer Hunting Information” and “Participate in the Labor Day Dog Swim!”  Even if there is a listing for Iowa State, Ames is OUT.  I’m a city girl.

Anyway.  It is because I have written two chapters and decided to go on the market that I am not currently capable of rational thought.  Instead, I’ve been thinking about many useless things.  Like, why are so many contemporary novels entitled “So-and-So’s Daughter” or “So-and-So’s Wife” or “The Such-and-Such Club”?  And why does this bother me so much?  Or, what cutting-edge cuisine can I develop from the contents of my refrigerator when my power goes out once Gustav makes landfall?  Or, what strange and generic items are safe to buy from the dollar store?  Ketchup?  Pretty sure that’s okay.  Sandwich cookies?  Probably safe.  Produce?  Hmmmmmm.  Notsomuch.

I have also been going through my music files on iTunes and deleting songs that, when played, elicit a physical repulsion.  In the process I have started a new List: The List of Songs I Would Want a Musician Boyfriend to Write About Me.  So far I’ve got “Ramona” by Guster, “Singular Girl” by Rhett Miller, and “Groovy Kind of Love” by Phil Collins.

Don’t judge.  You know you love Phil.  And if you don’t, your heart is three sizes too small.


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