Monday, January 25, 2010

Come On, Get Higher...

I'd rather be...

Wrapped up in the semi-secureness of my harness, pressing toe tops into gum-sized foot holds,

or digging hands and feet into the bark of an amenable tree, fearlessly mounting branch after branch, with a higher destination in mind.
I'd rather be palming sheer surfaces and finding the subtle balance with a foot fly that keeps your hips on the wall and your general motion in an upward direction. (This is me, in Sport Park up the canyon.)
I'd even rather be at Movement, juggling the Harper's Bazaar-reading city-bred girl with the chalky-palmed altitude junky.
But mostly I'd rather be somewhere high high up, taking pictures at the top of the world,
communing with the sunshine and the clouds and the tops of earthly things and contemplating the littleness of all that lies beneath us.
I'd rather be climbing.

photos: Google Images climb, PiotrZgodzinski tree climber, LCTGloriosityCO2009, TopModel Image, climber image (russian origin), LCTGloriosityPA2009

Friday, January 22, 2010

World, Please Tell Your Friends About Me

or: Job Searching is Self-Inflicted Insanity.

Hello World,
It's me again. Jobless girl, reaching out to you from the ridiculous aperture of "I have an awesome life but I was bred to be constructively productive and I am unemployed, so my existence is a little lopsided right now."
I want to briefly discuss the job market.
Here's the thing.
Me and 15 million other Americans are unemployed and looking for work.
Me and x-million other unemployed Americans have a degree (or two) from a prestigious University and want to work in an intellectually challenging arena affecting growth and change.
It's this curse of optimism with which I was privileged enough to be born. I don't want to be a bean counter (no offense to the vocational bean counters of the world). I want a job where I can be witty and savvy and clever and creative and it makes a difference.
Now really. Is that so much to ask?

Job searching today is like brain-torture. Beyond the "I've scrolled through hotjobs, the Boulder Daily Camera, and Andrew Hudson's Job List so many times, I'm beginning to read secret messages embedded in the mush of sans-serif font" eye-blurring side effects,
there is the terrifying Mind Game. The "Am I Good Enough For This Job" internal analysis. Do they really need someone with a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering to fulfill the position of HR assistant for Denny's? Or more realistically: If you're looking for a project manager, why do I need to have an intimate knowledge of Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver? Here's the thing: I would love to know how to navigate Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver, but no one's ever taught me, and I don't have an extra $1000 lying around to buy software and learn it on my own. Could I learn it in your office? You betcha. Quickly? You probably couldn't keep me off the damn programs once I had access to them.
But I've been the one with the pile of resumes, looking for the perfect candidate. I know what it's like.
You're looking for someone who inspires you to make an investment, and you're looking for excellent ROI. Am I right?
So we'll make this easy. Here, World, is why I am a good investment:

1) I love life. Really. No one wants to work with someone who considers it a chore to keep breathing. It's the optimist thing. Give me a few hours, and I'll find the silver lining, the open window, the stars in the shadow. And if I can't fix it, I'm really good at finding a way around it.
2) I'm clever. It evinces itself in the form of wit, circular conversation, double entendre, subtle sarcasm, and the occasional mind-reading.
3) I love to write. About anything. And I once won a Scrabble game with a triple-word-score on "Enlightened" that used all my letters.
I like words. I live in metaphor. And my grammar isn't too shabby, either. I've spent the past year editing articles for a lifestyle magazine written by college-educated journalists, none of whom would have passed Mrs. Papp's freshman year English/Lit class at my high school. (Parallel structure is your friend, world. Utilize it.)

4) I can multi-task. At age 24, I was promoted to the position of Marketing Manager for a small private airline. I had no assistants, and (no joke) 7 "bosses." Org-charts notwithstanding, have you ever worked for an airline? Nothing happens the way you expect it to happen, everything has to be done yesterday, multiple organizations with governmental clout are examining your every move, and planning is utterly futile.
One must arrive on one's toes, and stay there. Indefinitely.
If that's not proof enough, I give you this: Lately, I spend half of my days scouring the internet for career avenues, and the other half embracing the ruddy marrow of life. If that's not multi-tasking, I don't know what is.

5) I work well with others. Take all your sports analogies and chuck them. I never played organized sports growing up. I'll do you one better. I performed on stage.
Once you're on the boards, you have to know when to steal the spotlight, and when to support the harmony. You've got to have your dialogue memorized, and also be clever enough to create your own when someone drops a line. You have to recognize that a stellar actress in a crappy show is just that, but when all the elements come together, you can create a theatrical sensation.
And now I sing for weddings and funerals. Same principles: be absolutely fantastic, but don't distract from the overarching purpose of the day.

6) To that end: No, I cannot score the winning run for the company softball team. But I've got office karaoke sing-off covered.
7) Contrary to appearances, I'm actually extremely humble. Which, at this point, you may or may not believe. But I grew up in Atlanta and went to school in Philly. Then I drove across the nation to find my fortunes in Boulder, Colorado. Let me spell it out for you: I'm learning to be an outdoorsy person. Learning to ski/hike on ice/snowshoe for two hours to camp in a cabin engenders humility. Trust me.
8) Humility is a valuable quality when you're enmeshed in one of my favorite activities: Learning.
Teach me, teach me, teach me.
Have qualms that I haven't yet mastered LightRoom or InDesign? I taught myself Omniture analytics and an entire e-mail/survey platform. I'm a child of the technological era, so have a little faith. Give me a week and I'll be good to go. I can learn your industry lingo, your corporate cycle highs and lows, and your office social infrastructure. Give me two weeks, and I'll be finishing your sentences, handing you files before you ask for them, and know if you're craving a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato or a McDonalds Sausage Biscuit before I even arrive at work. (I do have a reference for this. She started as my boss and ended up as one of my great friends.)

9) Enthusiasm isn't something you can create. You've either got it, or you don't. And right now, I am aching to be productive. Bumming around Boulder reading the top 300 Novels of All Time as compiled from Time Magazine, The New York Times, and the BBC is a great vocabulary booster.
Taking pictures of the glories of nature is emotionally edifying.
Making new friends is dandy. But I like to eat. And thanks to my mother, I have a fantastic metabolism. Unfortunately, my cupboard is ever more rapidly resembling that of Old Mother Hubbard. So, world, throw me and my poor dog a bone.
I'm not asking for a Caviar and Dom salary, but perhaps something above the tuna fish and crackers range?

10) is for you to fill in the blank. Because one of the most important attributes of a new employee is that she fit in. So tell me, publishers, marketers, editors of the greater Boulder area, what are you looking for? Because I'm sure I could chameleonize myself to be a perfect fit.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Chesley Turner

Photos: paperairplane girl - whatannaloves.tumblr, b/w girl photo - imfreelykeely from flickr, Roosevelt Memorial image - LCTGloriosity, St. Thomas of Villanova Chapel at Villanova University, FDR -, computer screen text - ShazMadani, brain sketch - Sucha Lefty Brain by yasmeanie on deviantArt, paper pile - Hobbs "perfectionist", Starry night -, Fireworks - LCTGloriosity, scrabble letters - Katie Weller, Michael Parkes illustration, ballerina - reblogged from izzapizza, Mary-Louise Parker image from New Yorker ad, Moulin Rouge movie still, microphone - kexplive at flickr, road map Journey - reblogged from, student image from Wikimedia, forest girl ready - Jenniferzwick, Old Mother Hubbard by Frederick Richardson, chameleon image by Josh Boysen

Thursday, January 21, 2010

McCartney's Conundrum.

I talked with Paul McCartney last night.
Granted, I was dreaming, but sometimes our best conversations are with people who aren't technically, physically present. Am I wrong?
In the dream I was unemployed (obviously, it has permeated my psyche), and had ended up volunteering at a zoo - get this - giving the snakes a bath.
I was taking snakes of all shapes and sizes out of unlabeled lockers, completely unaware of what type of Ophidian lay behind each door, and rinsing them down with a hose, taking special care to make sure the water was neither too hot (didn't want to jump-start the cold-blooded reptiles) nor too cold (because no one likes a cold shower). My biggest revelation was that once you have a snake by the ears, it takes equal parts courage and blind faith to let it go.
Paul McCartney was there, and I sat down at a table with him and said,
"So Mr. McCartney, when do you stop dreaming about all the things you want to do, and start wishing you had done the things you didn't do?"

And the man couldn't give me an answer.

He thought about it, but couldn't tell me
the moment in life when dreams begin to die.

And then, unexpectedly (in a transition that is coherent only in dreams), I was sitting by the bedside of an old woman, all wrapped up in a pink crocheted blanket.
She tells me, "all you need is Love."
Apropos, no? The rock star who sang a million epic lines that have defined a million generations and their concept of love and living couldn't distill for me the crucial moment of life. But this old woman looked at me and said, "Dreams and accomplishments will come and will go, but what really matters in life is the Love."
And somehow I knew she wasn't just talking about rose-petals-falling-from-the-sky kind of love,
but also love of self, and selfless love, and love of life.

So here in the waking world, searching for employment is something like working in my dream zoo.
Behind each door lies something anonymous and tricky, some docile, some fidgety, and there seems to be an endless succession of doors to be opened and serpents to be attended to.

Yet what lingers in the back of my mind is not the three $$$'s, (day job, gainful employment, career path), but when and whether the dreams will die.
But tucked away behind even that background noise is a quieter, gentler certainty, resonating not with the glitter of fame and platinum records,
but with the soft comfort of a blanket at bedtime.
Just open your heart, and Love.

Photos: PaulMcCartney, Yawning Princess - Rodney Smith, Snakes - Guido Mocafico, Snakes on Woman - Meirav Stardinner, Paul McCartney -, Red Love Wall - Julie Aucon, Old Woman - Photobucket, Lovers - Vienna, by Kent Miles, dreamer - visualizeus, lockers - google images, Hold the Light - Lightsongs, Beatles Fans - Getty Images, sleeping girl - prettythiefwearswhat.blogspot, "I'm a dreamer" -, legal pad - tumblr, love tattoo -

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This is Ladies' Night

What a long weekend! Celebrating my cousin Liz's bachelorette with her nearest and dearest was full of frenzy and fun! Never one to sit and let life pass her by, Liz's dream bachelorette weekend consisted of dancing, partying, and plenty of the great outdoors. But most of all, it was full of
After a night on the town in Vail (where we used our feminine wiles to end up on stage at what seemed like a multi-generational frat party, but what the girls assured me was a normal weekend in a ski town) we rallied on Saturday to conquer the snows. Some hit the slopes, some hit the tracks, and some hit the trails. Including Dixie.
(general note: the aspens in Vail were more upright than the men.
At least this weekend.)
Hiking segued into frantic preparation. Aspen awaited us!
Arriving in Aspen, we found, to our delight, that the "Sequins Weekend" memo had preceded us. Fireworks greeted us.
As a precursor to the evening, the most fantastic fireworks display (as seen from directly outside a magnificent log-cabin-slash-mansion) set the tone.
The sun was down, the sequins were on, and the girls went out. We took the party to The Regal and danced, danced, danced.
Needless to say, the morning after required several stops for sustenance and caffeine...
I found Simba and Mufasa patiently waiting until I can afford to post them outside my apartment.
And Dior put my next purchase in the window. The plan is to somehow acquire this snowsuit, pick my mark on the Aspen mountains, "accidently" careen into a rugged-and-yet-dashing older gentleman (of which Aspen seems to have an ample supply) and commence my life as the kind of girl who can shop in Aspen, instead of the kind of girl who thinks she's tumbled Alice-in-Wonderland-like into the pages of Harper's Bazaar.
The weekend in picture form. Lots of sparkle, and lots of love.
After Aspen, the dregs of the group headed for Avalanche Ranch outside Carbondale. The light on the peaks was lovely.
And breakfast the next morning was naturally delicious.
And rather lovely.
The Ranch supplied countless photo ops, from the rustic interiors,
to the rustic exteriors, and of course, the friendly Golden pup.

Thank you for breakfast, and for my wake-up call.
Farewell, weekend getaway. Farewell, delightful ladies. See you all in July for what is sure to be a glorious, glorious wedding.

Photos: All photos LCTGloriosity