Sandy Eggo and Me

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downtown adventures February 4, 2010

Filed under: etc,odd jobs,places — thenchonto @ 5:50 pm
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I took a census employment test recently. I think everyone has by this point, so that’s not much of a revelation. It was my first time visiting the central library, though, and since this blog is partly about my new-ish home city, I thought I’d offer up a flowery description of the place/my day downtown.

I make it a point to center downtown adventures around Horton Plaza whenever possible in order to abuse their three-hour free mall parking. All you have to do is validate your ticket inside the mall. I highly recommend this. The entrance is off of fourth ave. just before F street, under the big, flashy, red “PARKING” sign.

The central library is just four blocks away from the mall, down E St.  This location serves as a hub for all the other branches throughout the city, so it’s rather large. I walked past the maze of circulation desk options, sinking into the smell of library books, and waited until the information desk guy looked up to ask where I was supposed to go. The central library is absolutely overflowing with helpful and informative signs, which would be nice, if you know,  more of them had arrows and pertained to events currently in progress or at least something relevant to anything I might want to do. I had forgotten how much the smell of libraries and used bookstores calms me. It is my hope that one day I’ll find the quintessential perfect bookstore and reach a level of meditative nirvana most devoted monks only dream of, but I digress.

The help desk dude pointed me toward a set of sketchy side stairs. A “staff only” sign hung on the wall beside them, but pretty much everyone seemed to be taking the forbidden stairs. So, did that sign pertain to some hidden room/doorway/item? Or do none of the signs in the library ever get read? If so, I pity whoever plasters the walls with them, as their life must be a perpetual testament to futility.

On the second floor I found myself facing “children’s media”, with some sort of fine arts room on the opposite side of a glass wall beside me. Off to the right lay the hallway described by the information man – one long corridor with bathrooms at the end. Upon knocking on the meeting room door I was told to wait while the proctor set up the room. Slowly, a ridiculously diverse line formed behind me (all totally probably fifteen or so people showed up, fitting every possible description). The homeless downtowners seem to rely heavily on the library’s public facilities. A near steady stream of haggard people with backpacks and duffel bags filed past while we waited, going to and from the restrooms. Within the hallway the scent of the library faded away beneath the swirling, competing mixture of alcohol and hand soap.

The tables in the meeting room were the trapezoidal kind that fit together to form either rows or hexagons. These were arranged in rows, bringing me back to junior high scholastic bowl. I sat calmly poised, hands folded on the table, envisioning the big, older style buzzers, the confidence of being captain of my hyper-intelligent group of friends, plunked right in the middle, staring down the high school age moderator, feeling nothing but a burning, desperate need to kick Mt. Vernon’s ass. What was that one guy’s name? Todd? Tom? Archie Nemesis? I wanted to get started. I wanted to win. Instead, we filled out forms for a half hour, spent another half hour on the test, and then waited awkwardly for the proctor to grade the scantrons so we could leave knowing whether or not we needed to schedule a retest. I passed, but I don’t find out whether or not I’m one of the chosen until at least the end of the month.

Back at Horton Plaza I took the wrong stairs and found myself gazing longingly at my vehicle, perched on the other side of the mid-garage chasm, unable to actually reach it for an embarrassing ten minutes or so. Fun fact – until college, I had never driven a vehicle into a parking garage. I had been the passenger in a garage setting many times, sure, but by the time I was old enough to drive, I usually Metro Linked into St. Louis, and, well, there weren’t any parking garages anywhere closer to me. So I’m still learning.

And… then I drove home, blasting indie techno-pop music all the way up fifth avenue. Because that’s how I roll.


I get the news I need from the weather report…

Filed under: etc — thenchonto @ 5:30 pm
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The weather has returned to approximately beautiful again after the recent rains. Watching the local temperatures scroll along the bottom of the newscast is fun. Real life example:

Downtown 65 degrees Hillcrest 65 degrees Northpark 65 degrees Balboa Park 65 degrees… hmmm… I’m sensing a trend here. What’s that you say? Chula Vista 65 degrees Kensington 65 degrees Poway 65 degrees… What’s the point of this again? I mean I feel like this could be much more concise... La Mesa 65 degrees Lemon Grove 65 degrees… Really channel 10? Really? Alpine 63 degrees… Woah. Woah woah woah. Back up. What’s the problem, Alpine? Can’t get with the program? Don’t give me that elevation crap. Everyone agreed on 65 degrees today. Not only are you screwing with the system and forcing the guy controlling the ticker tape to actually put in two seconds of effort, but you’re invalidating my whole point about... Del Mar 65 degrees Tierrasanta 65 degrees… Whatever Alpine, I’ll deal with you later. Hey newsperson, isn’t there anything else going on that you could be tacitly reporting in this little strip? MAN FOUND DEAD ON BENCH IN BALBOA PARK DETAILS AHEAD San Carlos 65 degrees… Did you just – wait – back up – I – Montreux 65 degrees… I don’t even know where that is! What about the dead person?? Glorious Santee 64 degrees… Is that actually part of the name?? What about the guy in the – San Miguel 65 degrees… Fine. Nevermind. You win. It’s not like I came here for news or anything anyway… Downtown 65 degrees Hillcrest 65 degrees… Damn you ticker tape.


intro thing January 13, 2010

Filed under: etc — thenchonto @ 12:40 am
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Hello there! So… this is a little blog about me – a small town Midwestern girl, born and raised, living pretty much as far from my childhood home as possible (while staying within the constraints of the continental United States). I followed my best friend out here last summer, armed only with stubbornness and a creative writing degree. I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life, other than watching my early twenties drift by amidst piles of eucalyptus bark while I write and apply for jobs from the comforts of my tiny apartment. Yes, I suppose I am another bored recession victim, but I grew up in a town that found itself sucker-punched by recession way before it became cool, so poverty, panic, and a totally uncertain future don’t grip me in the way they would most people. Truth be told, struggling feels more normal than whatever the alternative is – thriving maybe? It is what it is, and hopefully tomorrow it’ll be something better. Until then, oranges are cheap and poolside reading is free.