March 2, 2012 - 12:00 PM
Last Sunday I attended a bicycle job fair at Collins, a local bike store on west 11th in downtown Eugene in order to find some post-grad opportunities. I spent a few hours re-writing my resume to tailor it to potential work in the bicycle industry.
I have no actual work experience in a cycling environment, but I do have some other things going for me. I have been a bike commuter for 6 years, 4 of those in Eugene, making me capable of working delivery jobs since I know my way around so well. I also have had my own complete set of shop tools and a bike work stand for two years, something that has allowed me to do my own bike maintenance and construction for myself and my friends. I believe that having this much experience working on bikes will be enormously helpful for finding a job selling or building them.
One thing that I have found works well is riding my fancy road bike up to potential jobs. Bike stores generally allow you to just roll your bike right in, and Sophomore year when I was trying to apply at a local position I brought out the bling and really impressed the manager. Unfortunately I did not get the job but the impression I made must have helped my shots a little. In the meantime I'm going to keep looking!
February 24, 2012 - 1:00 PM
We have had an unusually mild winter thus far. Right now it must be in the mid-50's, and some of my bushes outside are already blooming massive pink flowers. My girlfriend has begun to start some seeds are her house to be transplanted outside. They seem to be growing inches a day, since the sun pouring in through her window is making them to grow rapidly.
So far she has started sugar peas, rainbow chard, garlic, and so much more that it is hard to remember. My own gardening experiment failed in the fall when we tried to ambitiously convert my yard into a massive permaculture project, but we were quickly and decidedly shut down by the owner of the house and the rental agency.
Next term I am planning on taking urban farm, in order to have a constructive outlet for my gardening energies. I have really wanted to have a massive yard of my own to start with, but it has been impossible in light of our recent shut down. Fortunately, opportunities abound in Eugene in the beautiful spring to make veggies grow!
February 24, 2012 - 12:00 PM
One of the problems of renting a house is the lack of control that you have over it. The rental agency and the owner of the property have the ultimate say in any aesthetic modifications of the property. This is nothing that I reflect on much in my two years as a house renter in Eugene until recently, when the rental agency contacted me to let me know that they would be doing some yard work at my house.
Yard work quickly turned into the construction of a new sidewalk, which turned into the construction of a new retaining wall, which turned into the construction of a picket fence. Most of this was supposed to take place while I was away in Portland over winter break, but much to my surprise it continued a full month after I returned. This was with little word or notice from the rental agency, so I was not pleased.
The only reason that I am not still fuming is that the owner of the house was kind enough to provide us with a lovely gift basket in exchange for our troubles. At least $40 of gourmet cheese, plus two boxes of candy, caramel popcorn, and other high quality junk food was delivered to us personally by the owner. I'm a sucker for a good apology, and how could I refuse with such a formidable bribe?
February 19, 2012 - 4:00 PM
With senioritis a terrible, day-to-day reality, I have had to creatively cram for exams. I am currently 200 pages and many hours in to, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," a fantastic exploration of New York City in the grips of WWII. I have about 425 pages left of the book, assuming I am aiming for total completion by tomorrow at 4:00. This is possible, but not probable.
Being an English major, although grounded sometimes in fantasy, requires a realistic attitude. It is difficult to read the entirety of each book in my 'to-do' pile, and many novels sit half-read, bookmarks nuzzled in their centers, milestones of unfinished possibility. I keep these books in my shelf that the my same self who abandoned these books now will someday pick them up, start from the beginning, and give them the true attention that they deserve.
In the meantime, I attack the books like a coder. A coder thinks of the fewest lines that he can write to create the most program. I skim the fewest lines of text for the broadest comprehension of theme and content. It sometimes amazes me how much I am able to succeed with grades on a cursory glance alone. When I truly explore a book, I am able to more deeply ruminate on its thematic content and do not care for how well I can explain it to others, only how well I explain it to myself.
February 19, 2012 - 12:00 PM
My Valentine's Day consisted of a full day's work, ending at 9 pm, until I could see my girlfriend. I can't say that I had the mopey Valentine's day watching other couples embrace publicly (the only time people are this open with their emotions the entire year), rather I simply waited patiently. A constant love does not need the attention of a holiday.
The entire campus was temporarily locked in a convulsion of terror as the hallowed day passed. The pool-hall sold "Crush" soda wrapped in cellophane for $2.15. Replacing the hallowed Frisco food cart (absent due to the owner's yearly vacation to their native Thailand) was a flower stand, with a money-burdened grinning cashier selling bundles of plastic looking roses far from their Summer flowering in February. "M&M's" temporarily donned the colors of red, pink, and white, a color palette that for one day of the year belonged to neither gender.
The next day my late Valentine and I had a dinner at Belly, Eugene's greatest restaurant. We started with duck liver pâté, essentially meat butter with thick balls of pepper, spread over a floury bread. We followed this with Pulled Pork Sliders, garnished with an apple relish. Following these stomach-openers, we ate an enormous boudin blanc sausage atop a few winding scoops of perfectly pureed mashed potatoes. The coup de grâce to this work was duck confit, our favorite dish, laid atop a pile of stock-braised cabbage and kumquats. No flowers or sodas exchanged- just the consumption of a deeply delicious meal.