Category Archives: Post-Cancer Life

Jobs, Craigslist, Jumping out of moving vehicles

Whoa. All of the sudden I’ve been in Minneapolis for three weeks, and I have updated this blog…um…once. I can just hear that cranky agent being like, HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO BUILD UP YOUR PLATFORM AT A RATE LIKE THIS? To which I would roll over, show her my tummy, and beg for mercy.

But seriously. You try writing when you are simultaneously trying to refresh three Craigslist pages (jobs, apartments, furniture/electronics) at the same time while half-listening to NPR and eating a pint of blueberries. That shit is hard.

So I have news! Actually, lots of news. I have been a busy bee the past few weeks. The latest news is that I got a summer job. It took three weeks to the day of my arriving here, which I guess is pretty damn good. Luckily, I was really relaxed about the whole thing and was sure something would show up eventually:

Yesterday morning

I’m going to be a proofreader/editor for a company that does, like, legal and financial transactions. Or something. So it’s even kind of in my field. Which is great, because the only other job I got an interview for was at a dentist’s office, and I’m not sure I would have done very well in that environment at all.

***

So last Tuesday, I needed to come back to Madison for a pesky little CT scan. (Don’t worry! It looked great.) My initial grand idea was to take the Megabus down, now that I’ve sold my car. But then I looked at the schedule and the only bus left at 10pm and got in at 3am, and everyone knows that when I keep those kind of hours it’s just asking for a temper tantrum.

Anyway, I thought about taking the Greyhound, but ever since that guy got decapitated…and my friend got bit on the thigh…I’ve been a little wary of it. Like, my standards are pretty low, but I still don’t think the Greyhound makes the cut.

Hoping to save a buck or two, I turned to the Craigslist “Rideshare” section, or at least my bohemian, utopian ideal of it:

I guess I didn’t really think about it being weird, or sketchy. After all, I had used a similar message board at Barnard to share cabs to LaGuardia. This was basically the same, wasn’t it? It was only when I started informing other people of my plans that I became aware that it was an, um, unconventional choice.

So a guy name Steve e-mails back, says he needs to go to Milwaukee for work and his satellite radio subscription expired and therefore could use the company. And my line of defense for riding with this guy becomes, “SEE?! ANYONE WHO SUBSCRIBES TO SATELLITE RADIO CAN’T BE THAT BAD!” I e-mail his info to my mom and Wahida, and promise Mom to take a picture of the license plate before I get into the car…just in case any funny business occurs. I’m covering my bases. I’m feeling good.

The trouble starts when he’s late. Fifteen, thirty, forty-five minutes late. I know that beggars (literally, in this case) can’t be choosers, but timeliness is as important to me as personal hygiene. Sometimes even more so. So when the gray Audi station wagon pulls up in front of the building and an aging Rico Suave pops out, I am less than pleased.

And as we drive away from the building, the following conversation occurs:

Well. Needless to say, I had to put the kibash on that train of thought. Mentioned something about a boyfriend, and the mafia, and some incredibly big muscles. He seemed to take the hint and calmed down into the tired late-middle aged man he actually was, but napping was out of the question.

But here’s the thing! It wasn’t all a wash. He bought me a piece of strawberry pie at Norske Nook on the way and wouldn’t let me pay for gas. So not only did I not have to PAY for a ride to Madison, I was actually PAID. In pie. My favorite currency.

It just goes to show that a little objectification can go a long way. Plus, I’ve seen enough of the Bourne movies to know that jumping out of a moving vehicle is totally okay in a pinch.

Hello, Minneapolis.

Here we are. Three days, 270 miles, three separate Target stores, and about eleven crying jags later, I have settled into Uptown and am more or less intact. More intact because of my new hot pink bath towel, coffee maker, and lovely MFA compatriots. Less intact because of the looming, unending abyss of unemployment. But more on that later. Because before we go any further, you have to see this:

Meet Molly! Or to be more accurate, meet Molly Patricia Montgomery Pierce. Some people have been saying some things…weird things, like “you can’t give dogs a middle name” or “you can’t give dogs TWO middle names.” But I don’t care about them. Molly Patricia, or 2MP, as I just realized I can call her, is half black lab, half American bulldog. A true American bullador, in other words. Ben is picking her up from her mother’s family today, and boy oh boy are we excited.

I mean, I might as well throw in the towel now, because the writing is on the wall. This blog isn’t going to be about reading anymore. Or writing. Or remission. i should just change the name right now to “Reading, Writing, Remission, PUPPIES! PUPPIES PUPPIES PUPPIES!” Because all I’m going to write about is puppies and post updated photos of Molly chewing her first toy, Molly taking her first walk, Molly destroying her first piece of furniture, etc. And the memoir I’m writing is probably just going to be something like, “oh, boo, I had cancer….but THEN I GOT A PUPPY!!!!” That oughta get me a prize or two.

***

But back to the more serious matters at hand. I have no job. This is a problem. And I am getting desperate. For example, I went to this place and considered attending their open interview/casting call. Eventually the lady in her bra and underwear superimposed onto the site’s background was enough to deter me, but I seriously thought about it.

And then yesterday, I walked up Lyndale and stopped into every place that was open to ask if they were hiring. Well, almost every place. I skipped Subway and the gyro shop, but that might have been a mistake. Because here’s what my tour of Lyndale Avenue looked like. Well, at least, felt like:

One of these days I’m gonna get me some real marketable skills. Like, I’m gonna learn bookkeeping or become an insurance agent, and I’m gonna use words like “add value” and “synergy.” And then I’ll probably have to stop wearing the same pair of shorts three days in a row and stay up obscenely date watching back episodes of “The Bachelorette.” Yeah, I’m gonna grow up real good. You’ll see. You’ll see.