I suppose that a girl could hide all of these things in a reading site like GoodReads, but I prefer to hash these things out just free form, an open letter, and maybe drifting to a variety of different topics.
It appears that I have given up the library ghost for a just a little while; I’m desperate to read the books I’ve brought here with me and that I’ve picked up along the way. This stack is the current adventure—a little baseball history in the Kearns Goodwin book (yes, I miss my beloved sport already, sad sack that I am), and a little sazerac history (among other exotic libations) in “The Curious Bartender.” The last book is more fitting for a coffee table than a shaker and spoon set, but I’m intent on working my way through it. The photographs and large type are just as enticing as the knowledge, and most of mixology is over my head, so I’m just treating it like the fine arts: wash over me, dear potable potent, and fix me for my existence in the world. The first book was a portion of wreckage that I managed to salvage from the last trip to San Francisco during Litquake. I’m not sure what didn’t fit about that trip, but the bundle of books that I brought back from the collection of the independent bookstores helped to ease the pain of ill-suited shoes and the rest of the abrasive parts.
The Kindle’s still got “The Sportswriter” open (chapter 8, so I’m moving, but luxuriating in it like a hot bath). While I have finished the Obama devotional, I have started an inspirational tome called “A Year of Writing Dangerously,” a mixture of devotional, how-to, and light-the-fire-under-the-pants-of-the-writer that one sometimes needs. I welcome a cheerleader, even the vague ones. There’s also The New Yorker, as always, on there, and some Austen novels because I was lost without her. Us girls need that level of well-articulated romance, and it wouldn’t hurt you fellas, either.
Since this is my personal blog, and even though I have some coworkers who have access to it, I suppose I should also write of writing struggles, which right now are mostly at work. When I first started at this job I was pretty much operating on a blank slate; there were certain expectations (a very small list of low ones, but, nonetheless expectations) that came with it, but everything else could be crafted by my creative self. One of the goals that I set for myself, since this was a company who seemed a bit in the dark about what a WFM does (if you need to know, I would encourage a good Google session), was to send out a weekly correspondence to everyone who had a schedule and a supervisor with a description of how WFM could help them as employees and how attention to their WFM performance could help them with getting the shifts and compensation that they wanted.
This practice went pretty well, and it was a rare oasis in the generally bleary aspect of my workweek, for it was a communication that many people were grateful for. Somewhere along the line, though, I was encouraged to stop doing it (“you have bigger fish to fry, hon”). I could pinpoint when this pivot occurred, but implicates the people trying to change the direction of the sinking ship themselves, so I left off. My heart ain’t been the same since. Turns out it wasn’t the rare refuge, it was the only refuge. I have, at least in the workplace, been told to sit down and shut up. You know, since I was at the very least good at it… “we can’t have that.” Even my emails get corrected by the hour; one minute they are too aggressive, and the next minute they are too spineless. There is no coaching of how they SHOULD read, just… “don’t write like that one or that one.” In essence, I find myself thinking that I should remove the pearls from the swine and save them for…here. When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a…well, you know the line. Bad or good writing, here it is, for anyone or no one to discover, criticize, but NEVER SHUT DOWN. And, I have a professional blog on the subject of WFM on WordPress as well, just there for the same reason. Reason. Not much of that around me these days.
It should be noted how culturally alone I am. Sometimes it’s defined as culturally lonely, sometimes it’s defined as cultural solitude. I’ve had a lot of time off in the past two weeks, and when I am anywhere and writing I can forget the alone part and feel as if I’m binding with something, somewhere. Social media gets a lot of talk on that same premise; I have heard more than one criticism on a daily basis of each social media site I use. They are, of course, from different people. I have to admit that Twitter is my favorite—it’s the closest to my heart—but that may just be because I’ve found a way to follow and talk to like-minded people. If someone I know isn’t on Twitter I’m cool with that; I also keep my other social media sites in hopes of keeping contact with a wide variety of people.
A wide variety of people is what I have found in my life. Some of them are vastly self-promoting. Some of them are full of quotes to inspire me. Some of them love music, baseball, San Francisco, food, and cocktails, too. I try to cater to as many of them as I can; not much happens in my life, but I try to take pictures, even of the mundane, so that I can keep my foot in the door. I’m learning that affects people differently. And, in the silence of the past two weeks, I learned that a) a lot of it is undesirable, and b) no one’s reading much of it anyway. So maybe more it stays in a journal or in my phone memory. The world can try to tell me to shut up, but I have a tendency to keep talking anyway. It’s my audience I’m learning now, instead.
Speaking of audience, there’s a little blog that I follow called the “concrete weblog” on the Internet. I used to hang out with its creator and writer in San Francisco, and for Christmas this self-same writer and creator wrote me a verse on the blog. It was a lovely verse; if I was a proper kind of poet or had studied the poetry requirements better in university I would be able to tell you the format, but I’m no less grateful in my ignorance. In answer to the verse, I miss my City too. I miss walking out the front door of my apartment and greeting my neighbors coming back from their tai chi at the Park and turning the corner and finding an orange bridge on the horizon. I miss walking two blocks to the bar. I miss having sixteen options of mass transit to get around. I miss Thai food, Chinese food, Indian food, tres leches cake. I miss hearing languages spoken: Korean, Spanish spoken by Chinese, Chinese spoken by Spanish, Russian, Tagalog. But mostly I miss not having to write to feel less lonely. I miss not having to write to lack solitude.
Happy 2015. My exile continues.