The Weekend Before Finals Week
The part I hate most about job searching is its large dependance upon shallow, arbitrary, intrinsically worthless social cues and nuances. It's like dating in that regard, except that if I refuse to participate I'll starve to death. Fortunately it's over now as I got very lucky/blessed. Somehow, immediately following an interview that I felt went only moderately well, I was asked to come in for a six hour training the next day, and I did that, and now I start on Monday, so yay for that. The most awkward part of the interview was when she asked, "What makes you the best candidate for this job?" For a moment I just stared at her, as I realized that I was being asked to explain why I'm better than other people, and that I could only get this job at their expense, and they they also have bills to pay and maybe children who need clothes. I also knew that in all honesty I'm not the best candidate for this or any other conceivable thing ever. But part of this horrible game is shameless boasting and self-aggrandizement. The answer I gave was "Because of my Stats class" but in hindsight I should have said "Because I have a ton of experience with rejection and verbal abuse."
The training ended an hour early, but I missed two socializing opportunities because of it, which was disappointing until I realized a month ago that wouldn't have been an issue. I also made sure to get onto the day shift so that my evenings would be open for socializing, and if I had said that a month ago it would have been pure sarcasm. I can't really take any credit for the change, though, because I just happened to find this perfect posse and if I hadn't I still wouldn't be doing any of that stuff. Last week I went on a hike with their Elders' quorum, demonstrating that while infatuation may have brought me into this ward, and food may have enticed me to continue coming, ultimately it's friendship that will keep me there. I've discovered what's really important - having lots of people who like me enough to cooperate as I exploit them to further my aspirations.
The hike was preceded by a breakfast, during which their bishop said a few words about dating. He wasn't like the second counselor, who constantly badgers everyone about dating and marriage, which I actually think is all right. If the entire bishopric and the entire culture were like that, it would be a problem, but I think it's all well and good for one person to fill that role because it creates a "good cop/bad cop" kind of dichotomy. Anyway, the bishop doesn't go on about it that much but he just wanted to talk about it on this occasion, and that was great for me as an outsider because I could glean his remarks for good counsel without any obligation to actually listen to it. "A few of you - maybe more than a few of you - are just scared of women," he said, "and you just need to get over that." Well, yes, I thought, I do tend to be scared of things that hurt me. I'm funny that way.
I also played basketball with them. I'm not familiar with all of the rules, and I can't shoot very well, but I'm not so bad at it that my team is guaranteed to lose by a large margin, so that was fun. I just tried to stay out of the way and do whatever my teammates told me to. "Chris, guard Dallin!" somebody said. Sure thing, I thought, as soon as I figure out which one he is. I tried to pick up on some of their slang as well. They were fond of saying "Good D!", and they even said it to me a few times. I assume the "D" stands for "defense", though I'm not sure because they never said "Good O!" as an corollary and I don't see why "defense" is a long enough word to require an abbreviation anyway. If it were "disestablishmentarianism", that would be different. I learned in high school that trying to be normal by copying what all the other guys said and did was a bad idea, so I never said it myself. I would have gotten the context completely wrong and they would have scoffed at me like, "Are you blind? That was the worst D I've ever seen in the history of D. My grandmother could D better than that, and she's D-E-D dead."
I need to wrap this up pretty quick now because I have a lot of Latin studying to do and maybe more people will read it if it's shorter than usual anyway. I shan't get around to talking about Mackenzie's obsession with T. Swizzle, how she dances to it while driving despite claiming to not know how to dance, how I realized last night that I argue with her just for fun even when she's right and maybe that's why she thought I didn't like her, etcetera. That's all the pertinent information anyway. I'm not good at putting those things in story form when they really work better as bullet points.
The Mormon Section
The other day Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees, released a solo song and video called "Trash" that angrily slams the Church, which he turns out to have left months ago over its now infamous policy change. After listening to a few seconds of it and being unable to bear any more, I have to say that I think the title is pretty descriptive of how it sounds. As for the actual content, though, I can't help but think "Wow, this is cool." Don't get me wrong. I know Tyler Glenn is coming from a place of deep and legitimate pain, and I don't think that's cool. I don't think it's cool that he's trashing my religion either, although I feel not one iota of anger or resentment for it and I don't think anyone else should either. No, the cool part is having this kind of publicity and repercussions in the first place, for good or bad. When ex-Mormons rant on their reddit forums or article comments sections, does anyone else care? No. (Insert your own quip about the same applying to my blog. I won't argue.) But this is in Rolling Stone. Wow.
But the absolute coolest part is that he spits on an altered painting of Joseph Smith, that he is not just slamming the Church in general, or President Monson, but going way back to the founder, Joseph Smith, who had nothing to do with this policy, but did say he was told by an angel "that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people." This prophecy was given to a total nobody in an era when news could take a month to travel across the continent. Even by his death, when he had become moderately famous in the United States, there was no reason to assume anyone would remember or care about him a hundred or two years later. So I think that's cool. I know I should focus more on Tyler Glenn and the actual issues at hand here, but that's my perspective and I'm sticking to it. And of course I hope he gets over his pain.
Nightwish - The Escapist
Weeks ago I got through a rough time by listening to this over and over and over, but I didn't get around to putting it on my blog because stuff came up. That happens.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.