Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's been a while

Two years and some, I think. During which time a lot has happened (like everyone else). Some things are different, some are the same. My memory is a little hazy but I think I stopped posting because I figure, why bother. It kind of felt like shouting into the wind. But things change. I don't care any more. Instead of hoping for an audience, I'm looking at this as a diary. If nobody but me sees it, then okay. I love you guys who did check in here regularly. And at least one of you I see on Facebook often enough to know that I still exist. I'd love it if the rest of you (all 2 or 3 of you) managed to find me again. But if not, I know you're out there somewhere.

10:01 on New Year's Eve. I figured I'd get a jump on the whole ball-drop thing. Anyway, I have friends for whom it's been 2012 for many hours already. We're no big deal here in Eastern Standard Time. So what is my theme for my re-launch? I think it's that everything I thought was So Important really isn't. What I'm finding is that, the older I get, the more I realize I don't matter. But I mean that in the best way possible.

Last time I posted, I'm not sure Twitter even existed. Please don't let me become a Twitter feed. If I start complaining about traffic or the guy in front of me at Starbucks, or what a buffoon Michelle Bachmann is, please tell me to shut up. I'd like to think I'm older and wiser. Hah. But anyway, I'll be throwing things up here from time to time. If anyone sees them and wants to comment, cool. If not...once more, it will be a valuable reminder to me that I matter not at all.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Two blogs for the non-price of one

Yes, it's true. I have been spending more time on Facebook. Not huge amounts, but I do stop by my page on a daily basis, just to see what's happening. And I started a group. A silly group, just for fun. I call it the Fans of Chef Pierre. That's my son, who loves to cook. And I started making little entries on the group page, describing the various things he cooks. The strange this is, what has happened is that my entries on that page are starting to look more and more blog-like. So what I thought I would do is share them here. Think of it as cross-pollenization. Or, if I could come up with a culinary-related metaphor, I would use that. Anyway, here's a tasty taste of what's up at Fans of Chef Pierre. (Anybody wants to join, let me know and I'll give you the link. But as of now anyway , there's no free samples.)

9:42am on February 19th, 2009
Who says you can't mix your culinary metaphors? Chef P put that argument to rest last evening with an intriguing pairing of a delightful French onion/potato soup and some crispy Chinese chicken bits. The chicken got a little added kick with a sweet-hot dipping sauce. And I'm happy to say that Chef P's Cookietorium has expanded its offerings with a lovely new cranberry orange oatmeal cookies. Delightfully crunchy and not too sweet.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No, but in the best possible way

I got two rejections on my play this week. One, from a theater in Baltimore, was just a flat-out "thanks but no thanks." The other one was from a well-respected theater here and it was much more encouraging. They said they "found it thoughtful and warmhearted, with intriguing and well-observed characters." The reason they passed on it was that it was "a bit talky" for their tastes. But that's fine! What it means is, they thought it was good, just not what they were looking for. But it may very well be what another theater is looking for. I just have to find them. So I will keep on sending the play out to other places. Eventually it will find the right home.

This is the last day of my vacation. I ended up doing very little all week. I went to the movies and saw Duplicity. I really liked it. Way better than I had expected. I went running a few times. I got my taxes done. That was about it. But I slept late every day and by today the bags under my eyes were finally gone. It will probably take about a day or two back at work for them to reappear.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A blissful week of no work

About a month ago, a co-worker mentioned that I hadn't taken any vacation for a long time. I get three weeks a year and I only used one week of it around Christmas -- and not even all at once. And I realized, what am I saving it for? I have two weeks to use before the end of June. So even though I can't afford to go anywhere, I decided to take this coming week off. March is always extremely stressful because a lot of the federal funding agencies all decide to have their deadlines at the same time. I guess it has something to do with their budgets and calendars but it's hell for those of us who are submitting multiple proposals. And as usual at my dysfunctional workplace, I never get enough advance notice and I'm always going crazy waiting for necessary information from other people.

Anyway...I got all my proposals in on time and I now have a whole beautiful week of Doing Nothing to look forward to. Tomorrow I'm meeting a friend and we're having lunch and going to the movies. On Tuesday I'm going to get a massage. That's my big treat to myself. Wednesday I'm going to have drinks with another friend -- an amazing artist whose work I love. Every day I'm going to sleep late and have my coffee and read the paper in the morning. And I'm going to try and go running every day. I'm going to go to the library and get a new book to read. I'm going to try a couple of new recipes. And I'm not going to think about work.

Oh, except I have to. I went to get my taxes done yesterday and found out that the moron guy who does payroll totally screwed up my W2. So I have to call him and yell at him and tell him to fix it. But after that, I'm definitely not going to think about work any more. I already feel more relaxed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Empty nest? I wish!,

Back in December, my firstborn (who had been living in China for the past few years) returned. The economic mess over here was affecting things over there and had put all of his business endeavors (such as they were) on indefinite hold. So back he came with no money and no job. Being unemployed doesn't make him different from a whole lot of other people these days, but I wasn't counting on having to support him at this point. I have been having a tough enough time supporting myself of late.

I can't say he hasn't been looking for work, but as an entrepreneurial kind of guy, he has more experience inventing his own jobs than asking other people to give him one. His job search skills are somewhat spotty. I had to explain to him that on a job application, putting down that he had been "general manager for Asia" of some company he and a partner started wouldn't help a lot if he was trying to get a cashier's job at Borders. In his favor, maybe, he speaks fluent Mandarin. Against him, he never graduated from college. This was a guy who found college not challenging enough...who reads the history of the Peloponnesian wars for fun. But he doesn't have a degree. So right off the bat he's handicapped. And three months later he still has no job.

The one outstanding benefit of having him around (other than entertainment value) is that he is a fantastic cook. I have been eating wonderful meals that I didn't have to cook. I enjoy cooking too, but after a stressful day at work, it's so wonderful to come home and not have to worry about making dinner. I don't mind cleaning up afterwards.

One the downside, his idea of acceptable housekeeping and mine are not exactly in synch. It's a constant struggle to keep his crap out of the living room. And then there's the bathroom. After he shaves, there's water everywhere. The towels are always in disarray. And then there's the annoying little matter of the floor in front of the toilet. Not every guy is guilty of this; his dad was fairly tidy and so is his brother. But this's like he's a dog and he has to mark his territory. This would be okay if he would just clean it up. But this is one of the areas where his notion of acceptably clean and mine just don't match. It's really a good thing he cooks so well and makes me laugh a lot. Otherwise he'd be looking for a new place to live.

When he was in China, I wished he would move back here. I think this is one of those cases of be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Don't you just hate people that are way too happy?

A former co-worker of mine has been leaving the most nauseating updates on his facebook page. I'm assuming he has a new girlfriend, because it seems like every day is just "the best day ever!" or "the most awesome day!" or "a spectacular evening!" It also seems like he's been "missing lots of sleep" and so forth. I finally told him to can it. I'm glad he's happy but there's a limit to how much other people really want to hear about it. Especially me in my present not-so-great state of mind. I hope he doesn't take it the wrong way, but actually I don't really care. I never see him since he doesn't work at the museum any more and frankly, even when I am in a good mood, I get annoyed when people try and flaunt their extreme happiness. It feels like bad manners.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Not an auspicious start to the year

It took me years of writing...not writing...agonizing because I couldn't write...struggling to write before I finally understood my process. It came in stages. First, I had no idea there was a process. Then, after a while, I came to see that it worked but I had no idea how. Then finally, I realized how my process worked. Imagine how relieved I was. This was not some mercurial "something" that came and went without reason. Now I could identify the steps and stages. Now I could feel as if I had some control over my creative energy. I could work the process. I could jump start it if it stalled out.

And then the last few months came.

It's not just that I can't write. It's that I don't care. No, that's not right either. It's more like my brain has slipped into some kind of weird torpor and I can't wake it up. I could run the same start-up routine if my brain would respond. But it doesn't. It's like it's been sedated but without the sense of well-being. In fact, it feels bad. There's some strange new dynamic in my consciousness that's affecting my ability to create.

I'm not going to panic yet. I've been through dry patches before and every time I've come out of them. But I don't like this one. I think there's some depression in here somewhere. This is new for me and I don't like it. I could list a dozen causes for it but that doesn't help restart the engine. I guess I'm just going to have to hunker down and wait it out.