i was looking for a job and then i found a job

8/20/08

I’ve had a rough time lately. We’ve gone through some very tough situations personally, and this time, I’m having trouble fighting my way out of it, having it make thematic sense. Career-wise, things are going wonderfully crazy, and Lucy is – as always – a bright blue-eyed beacon of light, and Tessa and I just celebrated five years of marriage, every day better than the one before. But sometimes even a sober understanding of your blessings can’t pull you out of certain depressions.

August has always been a rough month, famously crappy for everyone except the French, who leave their homes and go gallivanting in the tropics. My deepest lows have always found a home in the dog days, most likely some pervasive recollection from childhood, or the constant feeling I was being left behind. It was in August that I developed my worst OCD habits, and my most destructive magical thinking.

I wish I could list some of the actual things that have led me down this path, but it’s just too personal, and besides, this is where I hope people come to hear fart jokes. One thing I can say is this: I miss my friends. I miss New York, I miss the crowd I spent 25 years making, I miss my family far away, I miss hoops at Mulberry Street Garden, I miss folks in Atlanta, Wichita, Carrboro and Chicago. Yet our prime career success is right here, and this is where we must be.

And I can say one other thing: it may sound silly, but I’m apoplectic with disgust and fear over the political future of our country. Quite simply, I can’t fathom an electorate where John McCain is essentially tied with Barack Obama. Perhaps that will look even goofier when I read this entry years from now, but if so many of my fellow Americans can vote for McCain after the last eight years… that’s pretty much it for me, I want no part of it. And thus, again, I’m stuck.

The big picture always combines your prevailing winds with an average of your ecstasies and miseries. Usually the Celexa keeps me from going too far down the rabbit burrow of existential darkness, but perhaps there are some things you simply must feel, and then be proud you conquered.

0 thoughts on “i was looking for a job and then i found a job

  1. Joanna

    I’m with you, Ian. Modern times are tough on sentimental souls. I envy the best friend from childhood or even the partner in a truly failed, but at moments incomparable, relationship who seem to move on without looking back. Maybe a commune? You’d be bound by relationships and livelihoods and could ALSO weed out the conservatives.
    I’m only sort of joking.

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  2. Killian

    “But sometimes even a sober understanding of your blessings can’t pull you out of certain depressions.”
    Beautifully said!
    One tiny beacon of hope: we ARE here to tell the tale after the last eight years.
    The people yes
    The people will live on.
    The learning and blundering people will live on.
    They will be tricked and sold and again sold
    And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
    The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
    You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.
    Carl Sandburg

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  3. hk

    The polls are scary, but they are only one piece of the puzzle.
    1) They don’t take in account the ground game.
    2) They don’t call cell only user (like many of our peers)
    3) This is state by state election – not a national election. We are in good shape that way.
    4) The election starts after labor day weekend.

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  4. craighill

    i feel the same way about our politcal landscape – except i’m scared to death obama might win. doesn’t help the obama/utopia ads are running nonstop down here in ‘ole NC.
    so, maybe there’s solace in the fact that there’s always a yin to your yang and someone out there feels the same way you do….just the opposite.

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  5. Jason Savage

    It’s funny, because lately I’ve been thinking that this election is fantastic, if for no other reason that we have nowhere to go but up. We have hit rock bottom, with an unbearable President, and either of these candidates are an upgrade. I have been feeling proud of our country latley, in that we have corrected from having an imbicle in office to two potential very bright, thoughtful people.

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  6. mom

    A few quick responses from the other side of the generation gap:
    You cannot be surprised if McCain (gasp) wins “after the last eight years.” Bush won “after the last four years” when it was so obvious the man was a craven liar–even before recent revelations about the genesis of the war–and an intellectual pigmy.
    The end of summer has ALWAYS done me in… the tinge of dryness that overlays the bright summer greens. It’s a reminder that the dying reminder the end of warmth and freedom from outerwear. Winter is coming, and soon we will be taking twice as long to put on all the clothes we will need, instead of the minimum plus sandals (if that). Even when I was a full time Californian, the first rustling of fall always threw me into a black depression. I think it’s something primeval and unavoidable, going back to the times when mankind knew the food supply was about to diminish and the need for shelter increase.
    McCain, in the words of one of my politically savvy friends, will almost certainly set off WWIII. And given the implications, he told me, “the only upside will be the end of the overpopulation problem.”
    I can count my blessings until I’m dizzy, and still be very, very scared of what will happen to my children and grandchildren in the coming decades, even without McCain. With McCain all the impending global disasters become just that much more probable and certain.
    Bill Maher said recently, “Americans are too stupid to be governed.” Pretty harsh, but I’m beginning to believe it.

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  7. kazoo

    mom, your accounting of summer in the west is so right on…there’s something wistful and sad about it, but i admit i felt it in the northeast, too. i love the autumn, so, when i get blue in the midst of the heat, i try to think about that, the turning of leaves and cool, crisp air. and then, i make plans for weekends away in the mountains, so i have something concrete to look forward to.
    ian, if that helps, plan something for late september or october in julian. if you haven’t been, the apple picking is the closest you get to upstate new york or western mass this side of the mississippi.
    and, otherwise, if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll make it. you’ve come this far…

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  8. Matt

    I hope Ian didn’t watch the post-match interview of Misty May and Kerry Walsh last night. Upon winning the gold medal they addressed President Bush thanking him “for all you do.” Does that make Misty any less calipygous?

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  9. Zel M.

    First off, Ian, I hope you find your equilibrium and do not travel too deeply down the rabbit hole. Despite my frequent disagreement with your world view, I think you are extraoridnarily talented and I enjoy the discourse. I have a dear friend and excellent blogger whose birthday is in mid-August and he dreads it emotionally for many of the same reasons you do. I myself find that I love September for breaking the stanglehold of summer and unleashing the beauty of fall while still teasing with its warmth (and there’s football, of course).
    Now that we have dispensed with the touchy-feely crap, Ian wrote:
    “Quite simply, I can’t fathom an electorate where John McCain is essentially tied with Barack Obama.”
    I can. I am frightened to death of pulling the lever for someone who was passing “Official State Apple Pie recipe” resolutions in the state house in Springfield just four years ago. This guy has not even completed one full term in the Senate, making John Edwards look downright worldly in comparison. Like Obama, Edwards was a back-bencher whose purpose in being elected to the Senate was to make a run at the presidency, but even then, despite a decent run in ’04, Edwards was only good enough to rate a VP slot. The only reason Obama’s even in this race is the perfect storm, a combination of Clinton fatigue and the collapse of the Clinton political machine. I think Obama is a heck of a candiate in ’12, or defnintely ’16. But now, with Russian tanks rolling through Georgia – not the time for a rookie.
    Mom wrote:
    “You cannot be surprised if McCain (gasp) wins “after the last eight years.”
    I love how, in the eyes of the left, McCain is now suddenly running for “Bush’s 3rd term”, while the right screams he isn’t conservative or Republican enough. McCain was the lovable Maverick when he was the Repub spoiler, but now that he’s the nominee, he’s Bush redux. Which is it?
    Mom also wrote:
    “McCain, in the words of one of my politically savvy friends, will almost certainly set off WWIII.”
    As I recall, Reagan was going to start WWIII by provoking the Soviets. No wait, Bush I was going to start WWIII by rolling tanks into Iraq. Oh, that’s right, Bush II was going to start WWIII by invading Iraq and pissing off the Islamic world. That’s a tired and overused line. Just remember, Chamberlain helped start WWII by doing nothing…

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  10. dean

    What the hell does Wilt the Stilt have to do with WWII? Are you referring to his battles with Bill Russell or his turn as Bombaata in Conan The Destroyer?

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  11. Caroline

    Ian, do you and Tessa ever consider leaving the country? Everything is filmed in Vancouver – you could move to Canada, eh? I’m actually not teasing you, I’m genuinely curious. I only ask because Jeff and I could always move to Asia – he could get a zillion great jobs over there. When he lived in Saigon he had a freakin’ staff. Our friends over there – whether they are in HK, Saigon, Bangkok, Tokyo, Manila – all live like freaking kings. The idea of being that far away from my friends and family makes me feel physically ill but when I think of McCain, etc. I think maybe it’s a good idea.
    I get very sad about fall, too. It’s just the death of summer. Jeff loves fall and constantly talks about how he can’t wait and I finally tolfd him he had to stop or I wasgoing to have a breakdown – it was like a punch in the gut every time he mentioned it. I think your mom had some great observations about our caveman tendencies. We got married in February parly because I hate winter. I have all those sun lamps and I want to sleep in all my free time. We figured we would always have a little something to celebrate come mid-winter, hopefully with a trip to somewhere super sunny and hot. Did you and Tessa get married in August for that reason or was it something else? It would just be funny if we had the same strategy, huh?
    For Labor Day we are going to AZ so I can go be as hot as possible. I love summer. I look forward to the Scottsdale breeze blowing on me like a hair dryer. Yay.
    -Caroline

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  12. Neva

    I have to say I do agree with Jason above. I’m not nearly as scared of McCain as I am of Bush and Co. I think no matter what happens we have no where to go but up so I’m cautiously optimistic.
    I somewhat agree with Mom above though in the frightening degree of stupidity of most people in this country. Maybe that makes me elitist but so be it. I feel the same way about the “jury of our peers” BS.
    Maybe there should be some sort of class or test that you must pass (like find the US on a map?) before you can register to vote?

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  13. Ian

    You’re all very sweet, even the conservatives. Caroline, we talk about moving to a different country all the time – for political reasons, sure, but also because it’s supremely healthy just to experience the world in another setting, another language and perspective. We’ve often talked about buying a plot of land in P.E.I. to be close, but we’ve also thought about parts of Europe.
    Tessa can correct me on this, but I believe we got married on August 9 five years ago because it was a full moon, and it was the only month Peter Kaufman had free to marry us. Needless to say, that August was awesome.

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  14. Matt

    You have your health and the love of a beautiful family. And you’re successful at a job you love. Why let politics get you down? I’m sure this is not new advice, but try to keep it all in perspective. You are a very lucky man, more fortunate than 99.999% of the planet. Focus on that and keep doing the things that let you sleep well at night. Thus ends my 2 cent worth, offered because I enjoy reading this blog.

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  15. Caroline

    Well, thanks for the reponse and good luck. I find that pedicures, palm trees and pina coladas make me feel lots better. Don’t know if you have any magic tricks like those… feel better, either way.

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  16. janet regis

    ” The raindrops patter on the basho leaf ; but these are not tears of grief ; this is only the anquish of him who is listening to them ” .
    Zen saying.

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  17. jordi's friend jill

    Jason, I have to disagree with you on your comment about two thoughtful, bright people running for president.
    “In fact he barely managed to graduate, standing 5th from the bottom of his 800 man graduating class. I and many others have speculated that the main reason he did graduate was because his father was an Admiral, and also his grandfather, both U.S. Naval Academy graduates.” This was written by one of McCain’s former classmates and the full text is available here: http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,164859_1,00.html
    I gotta say, I’m feeling much the same as Ian. I’m being bombarded with these inane emails about Obama (he’s Muslim, no he’s a scary Christian, his mother was agnostic, agghh!) and they’re coming from a person that I formerly thought was reasonable. Every time I receive one, I become almost apoplectic with rage. I don’t know what to do. I’ve asked the person to stop. I’ve sent rebuttals to the outrageous claims in the emails with factual sources attached. I’ve sent REAL newspaper articles, unlike the ones he sent to me with fake attributions and no links to back them up. I’ve attempted to educate him about not trusting everything you see in an email, and fact-checking. But still it continues. And I’m so depressed.
    I used to feel better when I would go volunteer for the Obama campaign, but unfortunately the campaign really wants neighbors to talk to neighbors, and I can’t envision myself reacting reasonably to any of the BS right now. When I canvassed during the primaries, I had a person tell me that he didn’t have time for politics. I had put off writing a paper for class to go canvassing and I was up until 3AM that night finishing it, and I had to go to work the next morning. I canvassed in the rain, I had a sunburn that didn’t fade for a month after the PA primary. To be told “I don’t have time for politics” enfuriated me. So I can’t volunteer anymore–it makes me hate people too much.
    I found myself daydreaming about Coastopia the other day, as though it could possibly be real.

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  18. tregen

    Summer wears you down and unlike other animals, we often forget to just laydown in the shade for a month or two in order to get through it all.
    Politically, I’m a middle of the roader and started off likely both O and MC but as time has moved forward i find myself liking both of them equally. The truth is that while Bush fatique is a good reason to want to vote for change it is not a good reason to overlook the obvious short comings of Obama. Mc too is a horrible canidate. I suggest to you all that the problem, is in fact, not “Americans” not running in mass to vote for Obama but rather the fact that Obama is considered an exceptional candidate by so many when in fact he is barely competent for the job, MC too. We are 8 years into Bush II, economy in a recession, two wars that have not gone well and despite the news, Russia and China rising, along with Pakistan and India. Yet, Obama cannot manage to get a message accross and trust me, the problems are not “us” it is him.
    Republicans cannot be happy with their candidate and Democrats can only be happy with their candidate because they are so desperate that they are willing to over look the huge problems with his run.
    Who ever wins will be crushed by the events already unfolding in the world…real change is to prepare to find a real candidate four years from november.

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  19. Matt

    Hey Jill, what’s your email address? [Just kidding]
    Funny, but I, too, get forwarded emails telling me how McCain isn’t a U.S. citizen and thus ineligible for the presidency, how he wants to keep the Iraq war going for 100 years, how he was actually kept in a luxury suite during his captivity in Vietnam, and how he doesn’t even know how many houses he owns. All true stuff, no doubt.
    I’m with tregen. I can’t believe that out of a country of more than 300 million we could only produce two opposing candidates of this low caliber.

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  20. LFMD

    I am catching up on my Ian musings. I am sorry that you are having a rough time. P.S.: I hate August too. Always have.
    “Usually the Celexa keeps me from going too far down the rabbit burrow of existential darkness, but perhaps there are some things you simply must feel, and then be proud you conquered.” Well said, and very apt. You have the right attitude! I am going to write this quote down somewhere and pull it out whenever I am down. . .

    Reply

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