emma b. says

Friday, September 12, 2008

Divergent Sandwiches: An anthropological lesson in lunches

It's officially a year since I have had a job. I have temped, hither and thither.

There was the several month stint on Pill Hill. Eating in Hot Doc Cafe or the Patient Buffet. Doctors and students and patients and families, Mt. Hood and good tacos.

There was that weird place in Sellwood where the electricians dined out of the vending machine and the coffee was brownish water. I'd run home at lunch.

The interviews, lunches downtown, some fine-ish if I was feeling optimistic, some a little frightening if I was feeling trod upon.

Then the suburbs (shudders) a comparative study in cobb salads, at TGI Fridays (yuck), California Pizza Kitchen (mmm, also apparently high end ((shut it, your snob is showing)) something called a Red Robin (black olives, really? comes with two vats of dressing)

And now the cafeteria at Reed, where the lunch meats are artisinal. Slap dash and surprisingly expensive. But eavesdropping on the students is well worth the price of admission. Oh the downmarket posturing, you oughtta see my eye rolls. (I told my brother that the music they listen to is so obscure that only the nine hipsters in Macau plus the lone Reedie knows it exists - and then - vindication! the TA in the department asked me if I had ever heard of the Cocteau Twins, I schooled her and felt totally rad, that is until I felt old) I told her I thought the Cocteau Twins were to the mid-eighties what Tori Amos was to the mid-nineties, and I swear I heard crickets.

I have dined alone and I have watched people, all the nutso iterations of humanity and the crazy shit they not so daintily shovel into their snouts, mind you, I am just as culpable. Of shoveling, that is. And I might be nutso too. We are strange creatures, and boy are we divided. The class lines they are demarcated by arugula (fuck you media) and american cheese (fuck you kraft).

I'll not get started on that because I am striving not to become the sputtering apoplectic that the elite media --- I'll end by saying that this political season has all the trappings of race and gender, but really those are only incidentals. We'd do well to remember the French Revolution, it's the perception of class, and moreover it's the perception of place.

I'll say this once (god, I hope so, before she gets relegated to the annals of historical obscurity) that Palin beast inspires in me a palpable physical violence, as in I would really, really like to punch that hypocritical bitch in her wolf hunting face. Who is writing the republican agenda these days, did they raise Benny Hill from the dead? Are people really buying this two penny farce? And they are, and they do. Class and party affiliation, that and lunch, welcome to America, I'd like a roast beef on rye, with arugula and extra pickles.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Smattering of Jonquils

I thought it was an aberration, some kind of warty Fall augur. Bone white stalks shooting up in the shady corner of the garden, harbinger of ill will, of cold and of rain, just at the nostalgic incandesence of the last sighs of Summer. The air has gone heavy and the trees fulsome, I feel the undercurrents of seasons waxing and waning in the disparate strata, the dewy cool beneath the heat of a honeyed afternoon sun, it's unspeakably glorious. And so rise this smattering of late season jonquils, verging strumpet virgin pink, they arch in the shade, they make me happy.

It's funny, but I think I may have found salvation in a television commercial. Or maybe it's just modern american life, spoon fed a mind-numbingly simple idea (and somehow in my state, no less than redemptive) in less than sixty seconds and I'd like a credit card and a dress that I have no occaision to wear to go with that please. I may or may not have more to say on that later, but I need to cogitate some more. I've been cogitating already for a week, I am on stand-by for the epiphany I am almost certain will not come, at least not by way of my shrill summons. Epiphany, much like miracles are subtle things, they come at you sideways and are best left to wingnuts and theologians.