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.
It’s time to mention that I have gone back to work! The job is only temporary, so I’m not ready to call myself officially “employed” yet, but I do have somewhere to go now, Monday through Friday, for a full day’s shift and for the next few months. Last week was my first week back.
There is nothing like going back to work to make one appreciate a weekend! I had something like 70 Saturdays in a row during my unemployment: waking up whenever I wanted to, lingering over breakfast, taking mid-afternoon naps. I was quite ready to be done with it, mostly because our society is built on this fundamental element called money, but also because it can be really difficult to fill all those long days with chores and little projects.
Boy, is it a different story from the other side. The alarm goes off at the crack of dawn (or the crack of seven, whatever), I drive across town and sit at a computer for eight hours. When I get home, I have to walk the poor dog who’s been cooped up all day, and make myself dinner. I don’t have much evening left after that, and not much energy left to expend on doing anything in that time.
I don’t write all of this to make anyone feel sorry for me, obviously. My job is not hard, working is normal (almost everyone does it) and I’m grateful to have found anyone willing to employ me during an economic crisis. All I’m saying is that when I got up yesterday and today, my first real weekend in a week, it felt very sweet. Two days of relaxation felt like a gift. Such is human nature.
While I’m on the subject of appreciation, here’s another thing I’m thankful for: Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Went there for dinner on Friday night and OH MY GOD SO GOOD.
I’ve been having incredibly bizarre dreams recently. Luckily I have a bargain-table dream dictionary on my shelves, so when I wake up I look up the dream’s key terms. Here is this morning’s findings:
plane crash – a crash portends “a sudden and unexpected conclusion to something that may or may not end up in total devastation” – the plane itself “pertains to quality and depth of thoughts”
basement – “the subconscious mind”
packing/unpacking – “suggests a forthcoming move, …[even] an employment move or a situational one” (Note: I’m having the packing and unpacking dream ALL THE TIME.)
witches – “an individual who recognizes and uses…the Divine Essence felt in nature”
bow tie – a constrained personality
Hmmmmm. So, clearly, I’m spending too much time obsessing over my own thoughts because my life is in a state of flux (with new employment on the horizon) and I fear that this obsession is potentially damaging. I want to connect with nature but I am getting in my own way. (The witch was on the plane when it crashed, see.)
This is all very useful psychological information.
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!