What I’m Up To and Down With

by | August 11, 2009
filed under Can-Con

So just over a month into unemployment here’s what I’ve been doing:

What I’m Up To:

– Applying for jobs. At least 19 applied to so far and 2 interviews but zero luck.

– Dog-sitting on the weekend for a friend. Meet my new best doggie pal:




– Being mad at the Liberals. Done right, this could be a full-time occupation on its own, but I try to confine it to the half-hour after reading the news every day.

– Writing, writing, writing. Ironically starting a blog about my useless career planning class could actually be good for my career.

What Jarrah’s Down With:

The Burnaby Public Library, which provides awesome job-search and career and academic planning resources as well as a pretty decent DVD selection and whose Metrotown Branch is a mere 3 blocks from my house.

Neatorama.com A blog of everything neat, the title pretty much sums it up. I have to check it a few times every day to keep up with all the cool science articles, weird news, trivia, and crazy art projects that get posted.

-TNT’s The Closer. The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, is my crime drama of the month. With The Closer, the creators took a winning crime drama formula and finally put a woman really in charge for the first time since maybe Miss Marple.

Moreover, I have a new love and his name is Special Agent Fritz Howard.

Fritz, Brenda, and Kitty

Fritz, Brenda, and Kitty

Howard, played by Jon Tenney, is Brenda’s romantic interest on the show. Even though I’m not sure why they named him Fritz, here’s why the character has won me over:

1. He’s supportive of her demanding career even though she’s on-call 24/7.

2. He has an awesome job title. Special Agent Howard sure has a nicer ring to it than Scalp Therapy Consultant Howard. Not that there’s anything wrong with scalp therapy.

3. He looks after her cat.

4. He knows better than to end a sentence with a preposition. In one episode he answers the phone and asks: “To whom am I speaking?” Be still my heart. (On the down-side, that means Fritz would’ve titled this post: “Up to What I Am and Those Things Down With Which I Am”).

But just in case you think a female protagonist and a handsome fictional FBI Agent have made me go soft, here’s what I’m not down with about The Closer.

Jarrah’s Snap Anti-Racist Feminist Analysis of The Closer:

Brenda’s Season 3 early onset menopause panic contributes to the overmedicalization of menopause and to it being seen as a disease rather than a natural process. Also implies she is less feminine if she can’t have kids, with her character even undergoing surgery to “reverse” the menopause. Definitely a less-than-feminist moment.

– Many of the supporting visible-minority characters seem like they’re pretty much used as token representatives to make the show seem diverse. Detective Sanchez’s only defining feature seems to be that he’s a bit of a chauvinistic rage-o-holic, which could be seen as a racial sterotype. Chinese-American Detective Tao could also be seen as a tokenized stereotypical character as he’s definitely the “nerd” of the squad, an expert in electronics and technology.

-Through Seasons 2 and 3 we learn that Brenda has “daddy issues.” This adds some different gender power dynamics since it’s clear she really wants his love and approval, but she’s also consistently defied him in regards to her career path, of which he never approved.

– On the plus side, I love how Brenda is a compulsive snacker in a day and age when we rarely see women eat on TV (although she’s also skinny as a rail) and her character’s fashion sense is somewhat lacking. I find it refreshing to have a strong woman TV protagonist with realistic personality traits.

With that, I’m going to call it quits for today. Check back to read about Whom I’m Around, What I’m Over, and Where I’m Heading Towards.

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