9.07.2009

Suits

Yesterday was action-packed. I got a surprise "help us move" e-mail from my homie J, so I swooped in and lent my rippling physique to the task of carting furniture and boxes up a set of stairs. I fed my homie E's cat and finished a draft of the last chapter of the diss. I got supplies, then attacked my bathroom with white vinegar and baking soda (notes on that below.) I made burritos for dinner and watched some Netflix'd Mad Men with B. I was a special kind of robot designed for maximum productivity.

But I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. After helping J + J move, one of their friends stopped by and mentioned a big UC networking / job-hunt conference in about a week in Oakland that fellowship recipients are, apparently, eligible for. He also mentioned that it was a formal, suit-wearing kind of thing. Now, I have suits. But these suits look like this:


In other words, they're the kind of suits designed for martinis and Sammy Davis Jr., not academic networking.

I found something about the fact that I don't own a proper suit profoundly depressing; for some reason it's this iconic reminder for me of how intimidating I find the job hunt and the prospect of passing myself off as a real scholar. The suit is a symbol of that, of not being able to hide behind the "work in progress" status of a graduate student and of having to be ready to scrap to defend my arguments against real-deal interlocutors. I'm not looking forward to it.

Regarding baking soda and vinegar: in our ongoing attempt to use fewer toxic chemicals around the apartment, B and I have been using green cleaning products for a while. The ones we've tried don't do a very good job in bathroom cleanup, so I gave baking soda and vinegar (which is antiseptic) a go. The baking soda kicked the dirty tub's ass - a paste of 3 parts soda to 1 part water left for five minutes scrubs off to reveal extreme cleanliness in its wake. The vinegar I'm not quite as sure about, although I might just have been using it improperly. One note on the latter: one must not use vinegar without being ready to wipe it up, lest one's apartment stink of the stuff for days to come. Now I know that.

5 comments:

first thing said...

a thought: Do you think the awesome suit you are wearing in this picture might actually work in your favor, destroying stereotypes of European Intellectual Historians as forever stuffy elitists? I say wear the silk suit, bring a saxophone, and when you are asked questions during the interview, respond by saying, "whatever."

kungfuramone said...

Well, I like this plan, except that instead of brushing people off, I'd offer them whiskey sours.

Austin Rich said...

"You better get a new suit. You won't get anywhere in a suit like that."

-Jack Lint to Sam Lowery, Brazil (1985)

Leah said...

A suit, really? Maybe just a jacket with khakis would work? Suits are for business majors, not historians and it is the west coast after all! Bob didn't own a suit until he was a best man last year.

hardcori said...

I have faith in the white vinegar, I use it a lot. the baking soda too. there is a great book, "Organic Housekeeping", aka "Green Housekeeping", by Ellen Sandbeck. I think it's in paperback now. check it, yo.