Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bobby, Bobby, where are you?

I'm in mourning for a person who isn't even real.

Yes, I'm mourning the passing of my beloved Bobby Goren.

Tonight my family betrayed me and my vow to be true to my favorite detective. I had fallen asleep on the couch for just a bit, and I woke up to a horrific sound. Could it be, or was it just a dream? No, it was real!!! Jeff Goldblum was on my screen, playing Zach Nichols! In an episode from THIS SEASON!

I tried, God help me, I tried. I tried to find something interesting in the new CI. I made myself watch for fifteen torturous minutes. It turned my stomach. Now I know the feeling I would have if I ever tried to cheat on my husband. Like I need a good, hot shower.

USA, does us all a favor and bury that show. NBC/Universal cancelled the original Law and Order just weeks ago. Fortunately for Sam Waterston, he gets to ride out on his white horse, maintaining his role as DA (and former ADA) Jack McCoy. How could anyone not love Jack? My God he was amazing. Less amazing were the string of assistants he went through. Everyone had their favorites, but geez, some were bad enough to make you want to stab your eyes out with your dinner fork and plug your ears with some sort of cotton balls (remember Serena Southerlyn and her famous line--her last line handed out as she's been fired--"Is this because I'm a lesbian?"@@ No honey, it's just because you're a terrible actress.) I have to admit I loved Jill Hennessey and Angie Harmon. Alana de la Garza has been okay, from what I've seen, but I kind of gave up on the show a couple years ago. So to the cable graveyard it goes. If only Universal had the same sense when it came to my beloved Bobby. But no! Certainly we can revive Criminal Intent by breathing life into it with a new set of detectives. Somebody OTHER than the two who built it, who saw it to its crescendo.

If Universal wants to know what went wrong, look at your writers. Look at your scripts. Look at what you replaced--the quirkiness, the fun, the integrity--with as one writer put it, a "let's beat Goren down for an hour each week" (I paraphrase). Seriously, by the end of the series could it really go anywhere else? Who else could live through child abuse, a schizophrenic mother, a dead alcoholic and gambling father, a drugged out brother, the death of mother and brother, (one murdered, the other dying a long and painful death due to cancer and the inability of her cop son to afford new treatments), finding out the alcoholic gambler is NOT the father, finding out a serial killer not only IS your father but beat and raped your mother within an inch of her life, the death of the serial killer father, and if that all isn't enough, a crazed mentor who shows up, kills two people (one being said druggie brother) and pins the murders on you to "get your mind back in the game". Well shit. Don't those people usually end up in long term therapy, if not mental institutions or committing suicide? If you write a storyline like that and we're supposed to believe any of it, you've got to take the guy's gun away at some point. And detectives don't do well without a gun.

I miss you, Bobby. I wonder what you did after Eames was forced to fire you and you wandered off in the sunset. Did you go join the FBI? Did you move to your rediscovered family in Minnesota? Did you quit and buy a bookstore? Are you selling Eames books right now? Did you ever ask her out...we all know you wanted to!

Anyway, sometimes I miss that guy. I'm sure Vincent D'Onofrio was more than happy to let him go, and I certainly can understand how after eight years you can be ready for a change. But I miss him.

Me to Bobby! Shine your flashlight this way if you get this!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Who wants to pay for me?

I'm looking for a job.

Like millions of Americans, I'm currently unemployed. When my husband and I made the decision to move back east, we knew we'd be giving up our jobs and the security that goes along with them. I was okay with that for a lot of reasons (see previous posts that I'm sure outline said reasons ad nauseum). But now it's been a month since the Great Job Search began (or what I not-so-lovingly refer to as God It Hurts). And I'm not getting the bites I had anticipated. Hell, I'm not even getting friendly little nibbles.

Maybe I have an overinflated sense of myself and my job skills. That's always possible. And in this market, goodness knows it's super competitive. But I like to think I'm fairly employable. I've got an advanced degree and lots of experience. I'm not too old. I'm fun and smart and gosh darn it, people like me! So what's the deal? Why isn't my cell phone ringing?

The reality is that I haven't exhausted all my resources; instead, I've been mentally exhausting myself. I've been knocking myself out just making mental lists of everything needing to be done and letting my fear get in the way of my future. If that sounds all cliche, it probably is. But it's true. I'm fantastically skilled at talking myself in and out of things, and putting an intense amount of mental and emotional energy into all sorts of things that don't necessarily bode well for me. It's something I need to work on.

This summer hasn't exactly gone how I had planned. Lack of finances, living with my extended family, having the kids around full time, caring for my aging parents has all been more difficult at times than I had anticipated in my rosy dreams. But every time I take my father to another doctor's appointment or one of his ongoing lab tests, or hear of more potential illnesses my mother may have, I know in my soul we made the right choice.

I have always believed that a job doesn't define a person, even though many people choose to let that happen. My job has always been an important part of who I was, or at least I thought so. Now, I'm beginning to ponder the idea that the skills I have developed are who I am, and I take them with me, wherever I go. My abilities to think critically, to analyze information, to relate to many different people with kindness and tact and honesty are who I am. My job is just an outlet that allows those traits to shine. Thinking like this allows me to feel more empowered and to remember that a job, while important, isn't all encompassing. At the end of the day, I'm still myself and everything really important comes home with me.

That being said, I'll be very happy when I find someone who's willing to pay for me....and if they're willing to pay what I think I'm worth, even better.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Moves and moving on

It's funny how you can get motivated to write a new blog entry. I actually have thought about it several times over the last few weeks, and even visited my blog site yesterday, but didn't write anything. Today, one of my friends said, "YOU HAVE A BLOG AND NEVER TOLD ME???" So now I feel the need to write something for her to READ, should she actually visit!

There's so much I could write about to catch up on our lives in the last month, but instead, I want to write about the life I've left behind. Facebook has been an amazing tool for me. It's enabled me to stay in contact with many people that I otherwise would have left behind. Our move to Virginia has had its moments, but it's so wonderful to know I can keep up with my friends and former students in Oklahoma.

As an undergraduate instructor, one of my hard and fast rules has been to have clear boundaries with my students. I don't drink with them, go out to dinner with them, have friendships with them. I always saw my role as a facilitator in their learning and not as a buddy. Most students are respectful of this (in fact, I'm quite sure many of them never had any interest in me farther than a grade! I know I never did with my instructors!). But sometimes, some students did have trouble understanding why I couldn't do these things. College campuses are places where there is a lot of free exchange of ideas between adults, which often leads to friendships, and boundaries can get crossed very easily. Over the years there have been many, many students I've met that I just absolutely loved as people. These people were smart, talented, and gifted in their fields. They were often hard workers and shared the same values and ideals as I did. Getting to be their instructor was such a gift for me. I got to share their journey, if even for only a semester, and watch as they were growing and developing into someone even more gifted, more talented.

The great thing about being a college instructor is that eventually everyone leaves your course. You're no longer bound by the rules that you felt were important to encourage student success at the time. And then you get to move out of the role of instructor and into the role of, sometimes mentor, and if you're really lucky, friend.

I've been really lucky. Some of my absolute favorite people in the world are my former students. I've seen them go through so many life changes--graduation, moves, relationships, marriages, and children--and feel so fortunate to know them. What so many of them don't realize is the effect they have had on my life. How they have encouraged me to continue to learn, to want to be a better teacher and person. How they continually inspire me to live a better life.

Leaving Oklahoma was a hard decision. The easy part was knowing I would be with family in Virginia, that we had a life waiting here for us if we wanted it. I miss my friends and I know in a few weeks I will desperately miss my role of teacher in a classroom, with a group of young adults looking at me as though I hold some sort of answers they're seeking. I always knew the truth--that I didn't know the answers but we would learn them together. And eventually they know that as well.

So as much as people complain about Facebook, I'll say this: I feel incredibly blessed to be able to keep up with the people who have energized me, challenged me, and changed my life forever. And yes, Erin, that includes you. :-)