May Flies and No Replies: What I’ve Been Up To

The fifth month of 2015 is almost over, and the oppressive heat has begun to make me feel lethargic. I’m afraid this is only the beginning of a long central-air-less summer. This has been a month of transformation and lack thereof, as the spring breeze gives way to summer humidity.

It began with my graduation from college. It seems like a dream, and I know I’ll feel the lack of school come September. I also cut my hair into a pixie cut for the occasion. I didn’t tell anyone I did it. I liked being almost unrecognizable. One professor didn’t recognize me (later apologized), and Ryan, who has known me for 9 years, walked past me at the bar.

Since graduating, I’ve been trying to find a job to little success; I had hoped to luck my way into a position quickly. I had two interviews with the first job I applied to; this was a false start. They chose not to continue the interview process with me, meanwhile all other employers have given me no response either way. It’s a game of statistics, as my old boss from Estee Lauder would tell me when I gripe at having to recruit customers across the department store. Back then, I would approach women cold and offer them a make over, free sample, or anything else they wanted. You can imagine the looks I was given. But, sometimes women came back and not only took my free thing but ended up purchasing something. Not unlike the humiliation of being an unwilling pushy sales clerk, I have to suffer the fate of those who have knowledge but no experience.

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wedding place setting
I’ve also had little success trying to have articles published in other online news sources. I’ve sent three articles to Huffington Post, one to XoVain, and one to a comic book site. None have given me a response, despite an assuring “we will respond no matter the outcome, please don’t send follow up emails” banner across each submit page. I really should have known not to listen to the comforting words of large publications. I sent one short story to Cactus Heart magazine, and another to Sigma Tau Delta’s journal, but I won’t hear from either for months. I’m sometimes discouraged by this. But, rejection doesn’t mean my work has failed, nor would acceptance mean its success in the subjective world of literary criticism.

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Wedding photobooth
I went to Philadelphia twice this month. The first time was to the King of Prussia mall so I could get a
bathing suit and Alexander accidentally bought a Hugo Boss suit. It was a short trip. The second time was to see Alexander’s cousin’s wedding. This was the first time I’ve been to a wedding; I’m not sure what I was expecting (maybe Spike’s wedding plan?), but it was joyful and celebratory. I had fabulous food (spinach dip — my favorite), cocktails, and though I didn’t know anyone there, I enjoyed watching the pageantry of the event. Any would-be awkward moment was quickly dissolved by loud music or Willy Wonka amount of dessert. We sat at what was probably deemed the young person table that included Alexanders’s two other cousins and their children. It was much more my speed than “adult” conversation, because the loud music crushed any fantasy I had about quiet, thoughtful discussion.

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Fitzsimmons encore
I enjoy the communal experience of live music, though sometimes expensive, and I went to see William Fitzsimmons at a farmers market in York, PA. The event was ridiculously intimate, as he walked out into the crowd during an encore performance asking us to sit as close as we were comfortable with. In his new album, Pittsburgh, Fitzsimmons takes his brand of pillow soft rock and applies it to his experience going home for a funeral. He has a masters degree in counseling and worked as a psychotherapist for many years. His background in psychology is evident in many of his songs, especially in his earlier albums. One of my favorite songs, Beautiful Girl, is a reflection of his time working as a suicide hotline operator. Everything has Changed is another wonderful song.

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sister and mom
The group that hosted the concert is called Kablehouse. They are a volunteer-driven organization whose purpose is to raise community awareness of the York Central Market while providing a great venue for national acts to visit the city in a small setting. Two local vendors from the market were there selling locally brewed wine and beer and farm-to-table cheese steaks. The wine was alright, and the food was phenomenal with that hometown-y, artery clogging goodness. The idea was a great one, since the market wasn’t operational most evenings, anyway. I thought about the prospects of doing something like this in the Harrisburg market, but I doubt there would be much room or interest, given that most bars in the area have live music already.

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henna tattoo
Alexander and I went to the Arts Fest along Riverfront Park last week. The art was the same as it is every year, I recognized many of the vendors from the last year. I still go, and will continue to do so. The park was enchanting, though the throngs of slow moving walrus people were less so. I hate that many people go to the fest only to have funnel cake, ice cream, and Velveeta slathered sandwiches, and I hope at least some of the artists sold enough art to make the weekend worthwhile. Since there were so many repeats, I have to assume it’s not a losing venture.

I got what I could afford: two bobby pins and a nail file adorned with dichroic glass. IMG_3082Every year there are at least three booths selling the stuff, it’s pretty, easy to make, and conservative. I’m playing with ways to style my new hair cut, and these look like they could be tiny star fragments or dragon’s eggs. Then, Alexander got me a henna tattoo, something I’ve always wanted but never had the time or circumstance to have one. It comes off with rubbing alcohol, so if I do get a job interview, I won’t go in looking like I fell off of the back of a gypsy caravan.

As for what is to come, I still have quite a few things on my year’s goals to accomplish. I want to start a Harrisburg-centric literary journalism magazine online, whether it will be successful is another story. I’m going to Otakon with Alexander and our friend Andy, and I’ve put myself on a salad-only diet so I can cosplay without feeling pudgy. I’ll be making my own costume; I haven’t started yet, but I have two months to figure out what to do and how to execute it. Stay tuned to see if I finish it or am maimed by sewing implements in the process.

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