Tonight is the series finale of one of my favorite shows of all time, Parks and Recreation. Yesterday, Wired online posted this article by Eric Thurm: Why Parks and Recreation’s Final Season Was its Best Ever
I agree with the article that the 2-years jump executed by the final season was a good decision, creatively, allowing us to skip over both Leslie’s pregnancy and early baby years, and the adjustment period for her National Parks Service job. I also agree “Leslie and Ron” was the strongest episode of the season thusfar. And then we part ways.
The article opines that the season is a winner because it proves that change is happy and inevitable.
That’s what this last season of Parks and Rec has realized—it’s a celebration of beginnings in addition to endings, of the idea that there are always possibilities, even if those end up leading you back to the same people (kind of like a wedding!). … All the show needed to end on a high note was to allow all of its characters the chance to renew their vows.
The show has always embraced change, not just in this last season, but more importantly, the article overlooks a key point: the beginnings and opportunities that have been offered to these characters this season have vaulted the show far past its celebrated idealism, straight into la-la fantasyland. The show, always generous and warm, but also always grounded in a recognizable reality, has turned into the last moments of Grease, when Sandy and Danny’s car just takes off and flies into the air.
Input personal information. Check.
Input educational history. Check.
Input employment history. Check.
Let’s look at that a little closer. (Sorry it’s blurry; I enlarged it.)
What kind of question is this? Are they trying to weed out spam applications? (Do those even exist?) Or are they just weeding out people who aren’t game? Are they looking for somebody who is brimming with positivity and creativity and willing to sound really stupid to get a job? The fact is, I’m not game. Maybe if I hadn’t already been doing applications for three hours at this point. Maybe, but probably not. At the risk of sounding like someone who needs to be punched, I care too much about literature to compose some stupid “Ode to the Records Office” or “Thoughts Upon Teaching Undergrads to Write Persuasively.” I also will not paint a picture, compose a symphony, or choreograph an interpretive dance.
Just somebody hire me to answer your phones already!
So, you might have noticed that my birthday has come and gone for the year. In honor of the event, ABC aired the Lost finale, and also my dad made burgers. So, with all that going on it’s taken me a few days to get around to updating you all on my 30 Before 30 progress. (Read here for the complete background on 30 Before 30.)
The update is not going to be as detailed as the one I did at six months. This is entirely because the one item I actually did cross off in that time,
15. Pass my MA exam and graduate from Case with a Master’s degree
basically took up all my time and energy for those few months, leaving me a bit tapped out when it came to beating any other challenges. In fact, in terms of forward-moving progress, almost every list item is just about exactly where it was when I wrote back in November.
So all I’m going to do at this juncture is list the items that I’m going to concentrate on this summer, particularly while I am still between jobs. These are the items that are on the docket for the coming months.
5. Take swim lessons or learn how to swim properly through some other means.
‘Tis the season, right?
8. Cook a real dinner (nothing microwaveable or pre-cooked, and no take-out) every night for a month.
I was discussing this with my shrink (that’s weird, I know) and she thinks the best approach to this one would be to train for it like a marathon. Cook a real dinner for a week–take a few days off. Cook a real dinner for two weeks–take a few days off. This is probably what I will do. I’m also working on rules and guidelines and waffling over whether or not I will require myself to eat a vegetable.
13. Get in the habit of going to a gym with some kind of regularity.
I’ve actually been giving Sky a lot of great long walks out in the real sunlight, so this hasn’t been as necessary, but I still want to get in the habit, even if it’s only once or twice a week. My membership is good until August so I have until then to try.
19. Complete at least one of the large-scale independent projects I am continually envisioning but never do anything about because of lack of follow through.
File this one under, “seeing as I have nothing but time right now…”
23. Discover a new author I love, and read everything they ever wrote. Bonus points if the author is contemporary (i.e. still alive).
26. Figure out CSS so I can be a little more creative with my websites.
30. Go “unplugged” for one week.
This one I thought about a lot. I’m in the process of applying for jobs, doing a little bit every day, and in this day and age that happens almost entirely online, of course. I need to be checking my e-mail regularly and have access to my resume and cover letter files. And I need to be answering my phone. So, I thought, now is not a good time. But then, I thought, what happens when I have a job and I’m on a computer or whatever every day? Isn’t that a cheat? What if, then, I just blitzed through a ton of applications etc. and then let a week pass? Do some outgoing messages along the lines of, “I will be out of contact for seven days. I will respond to you as soon as I return,” and just do it? (More on this story as it develops!)