Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm just ridiculously bad at this now.
I had an idea to make this be my main blog and redirect things here and I was all wound up about it but ... really ... the reasons I haven't done it yet are boring and long winded.
And not being able to do it frustrated me.
And that combined with a short but nasty illness and a manic bout of reorganizing and cleaning.
And I just shut down.
Sigh. Again.
I have been doing massive purging in my apartment. I think they're opening a new branch of the Goodwill with all the stuff I've dumped. I rearranged the furniture in the living room, which involved much stacking of books. The new arrangement doesn't totally work but I kind of like it. The next big push will be the kitchen. I'll need to move the butcher block and shelf to clean the floor. Lots of washing and dusting and tossing out of food stuff that may not need to be tossed but has been around too long to want to use. Like year old olive oil. Yech.
I'm saying that this is all in preparation for Mom's two month visit but I want to do it.
And the weeks just go by.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm feeling so many emotions right now. I can't quite parse them. Or articulate them
My little open secret writing project has been discovered. Which is quite all right with me. And Jackie left a very nice comment on the old blog. (If you're reading Jackie, thank you! And. Excellent timing!) A nice antidote to the snarky comment I mentioned the other day.
Really wonderful people have been leaving me encouraging comments all along but I couldn't take them in. I don't even know why.
I'm not impressed with how much I've been able to write here the last two months but it's more writing than I've done in the last two years.
I am not at all surprised to discover how much of my blogging was tied to relationships. I am moved in some deep and overwhelming way when I read the words: I miss your writing.
I'm just feeling ...
I'm just feeling.
There was a cartoon in a New Yorker in which a beatnik looking dude is telling someone that all you need to do to be a writer is gather your internal angst and write a diet cookbook. I'm paraphrasing but that was the drift.
I carry breakfast and lunch to work. I get home too late for dinner. Sometimes I eat toast. Breakfast is some kind of fruit and some muffin, bagel, scone type thing. Summer fruit is still around (praise the lord) and I am in peach, nectarine, plum, cherry, berry heaven. Can NOT get enough. Debbie's been bringing me crazy amounts of stuff from the farmers market. She seems to have a crush on the tomato vendor because they keep piling up in my refrigerator. So this week I made concasse out of them and mixed it up with penne and parm.
Well. It wasn't really concasse. Really concasse is peeled and seeded. I didn't peel and seed for two reasons.
1. It's a pain in the butt.
2. I don't mind peels and seeds.
It is true that peeling and seeding makes things smoother in both texture and flavor. Peels and seeds have an acidic quality. But, again, I'm OK with that. I wouldn't be if I were going to serve someone else. If I'd been making lunch for anyone else I would have roasted the tomatoes, peeled and seeded and chopped. I'd have used olive oil and garlic and fresh basil instead of just piling them in a pan and cooking them down. I've been eating them all week and I am OVER THEM.
This is not to say that I'm not careful when I cook for myself. I am. But these days it's all I can do to assemble precooked things. Last week I ate sausage sandwiches because I defrosted the refrigerator and didn't want to refreeze them. I get so bored when I eat the same thing everyday.
Debbie also brings me piles of lemon cucumbers, which I've been eating in salads with red bell peepers, or beets.
And I'm on a tapioca kick.
And almonds. I eat almonds every day.
I guess I could write a non diet non cook book.
I'm just so Po Mo.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

When A and I were having dinner she ran into a friend. When she introduced me she said I was a writer. It's dopey to argue about stuff like that but I blanched internally. I don't think you're a writer unless you write. And I'm having trouble writing email.
Shortly after that I was talking to K about some ideas for moving the site and he mentioned blogger. And. So. Then. I decided to write here on the blog no one reads to see if I could build up some writing muscle. I'm not impressed with how I'm doing.
And. Then. I got an email notification from YACCS. Someone had left a comment on an old post. They were letting me know that I had used every day when I meant everyday. Or maybe it was the other way around.
Ah yes. I remember this about blogging. Random person stops by and feels the need to take a jab. I'm very glad to know when to use every day and when to use everyday. It has confused me. It's the flat tone in the comment that makes it feel like a jab. Comments like that rarely come from another blogger. Sometimes they do. I remember a fellow blogger commenting on my miss use of it's. I do know when to use it's and its but I space out. I am flawed. Deeply flawed. The tone was different. Just a friendly reminder. Not a jab.
Most of my experience with blogging has been good. The part that's bad right now is ... that I don't seem to have something essential. Inspiration? Stamina? Time?
And. Yet. I want to keep trying.
I keep editing this .
I keep finding small mistakes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I had a very pomo moment yesterday. I was playing a game at work.
That is my job.
The thing is I wasn't playing the game I'm supposed to be playing. We're a little slow right now and I was bored. I had an hour left in the day and I knew the time would sail by if I could play a game. But I was worried that someone would see. In truth, I don't think any one would care. We're all about games here. But I felt funny and if I heard someone coming I'd bury one game under the other. Which was really just silly.
Such a very odd job.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

On Friday when I got off the train there were no buses or cabs. That happens on Fridays. There are too many people in the city and things get messed up. I stood on a corner that allows me to see two different bus stops and watched for who would come first. A bus that doesn't usually stop at one of those stops was letting people off. I didn't think he'd let anyone on but he did. As we rode up Third I saw my second bus ahead of us. He was at a stop and had a red light so I took the chance, jumped off my bus and ran toward him waving my pass. I thought he was about leave but he opened the door. Catching these two buses got me home fifteen minutes earlier than I usually get home.
Last night a similar scenario occurred. This time there were no buses because a baseball game was messing with traffic. One came and again my second bus was in front of us. We got to the same place where the red light had stopped the bus on Friday but the light changed and he sped off.
It's hard not to think that I did something right on Friday and something wrong yesterday. Part of me knows better. We make a zillion little choices every day most of which we make without much deliberation. All of which move us in one direction and not another. And all of the people around us are making choices too.
Lately I feel like I'm tossed through a tumble. No sense of agency. Too much frustration with everyone else. And bad meaning making.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I sat near the couple with the matching barrettes the other day. The fact that I had written something about them made me nervous.
Of what?
Can't say.
There are people I see every day. We travel in parallel tracts and don't acknowledge one another. Recording an observation made me feel more intimate with them somehow. Silly, because it's all happening in me. The observation. Even the recording. It is out of me since it is written but it hasn't changed the relationship. And yet it feels like it has. Something feels different. It's like when I made a public acknowledgement that I was aware of them I took on a responsibility. I'm not sure what I mean.
There are moments when the ignoring is breached. One morning it was raining and a man said, "Oh! You're getting all wet." He moved to my side and covered me with his umbrella. It was an act of kindness that cheered everyone who heard the story. He and I have chatted since then. He takes an earlier train to the same shuttle I take. He works at a building next to mine. We take the same bus, a different train, the same shuttle. That kind of thing always makes me wonder. It just seems like something to notice. There isn't really anything to make of it all. But noticing matters.
And again.
I'm not sure what I mean.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There is a young man on my bus most mornings. I noticed him because he reads a lot and I'm always curious to see what people are reading. A month or so ago he started traveling with a young woman. They usually get off the bus and walk ahead of me to the corner and the street light.
I wonder if they met on the commute. The relationship seems new. At first he was always curled towards her. Just so attentive. After awhile they were just walking side by side, obviously together. One morning I saw her reach out and grab his hand. He moved closer and leaned in for a kiss.
Some days their bodies seem to be magnetized. They can't move too far apart. Other mornings they are just with each other, passively. Today she stepped in front of him as they arrived at the corner and stopped to wait for the light. She reached behind and pulled him closer. It was just shudderingly sexy.
There's another couple I see at night. They seem to have been together for awhile. They both have long hair and wear matching hair clips. They are somewhat dour in expression.
Once I was standing behind her and she was behind him. We were waiting for the train to make its last slow rocking slump into the station. She reached up and refastened his hair clip. There wasn't any obvious reason for the action. It just seemed to be an act of tenderness and affection. He looked at her with the same dour expression. Hers didn't change. But so much sweetness seemed to pass between them.
So now a few days go by and I can't get it together to write and I begin to feel like a failure and then more days go by.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sometimes I spend what feels like hours waiting for the game to load. I try to organize things so that I have something to do while I wait but it's not always possible. The whole time I kept thinking I could be writing a post. But every time I'd decide to go for it the phone would ring, or an email would come,or new data would be announced. Truth be told, I didn't have a thing to say.
Tonight I had an extraordinarily lucky commute and got home ten minutes earlier than my earliest time. I washed the containers in which I carry breakfast and lunch to work. Got into my pjs. All the while determined I would sit down and write. But the sandman has had his way with me already I am drifting, longing for the feel of the pillow under my head.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This has been interesting. I find myself checking for comments. The reason for starting off here is to write without concern for who reads, or doesn't read. But writing in a public space is writing that actively seeks a reader. And old habits die hard.
I'm not sure it would matter if I wrote on my blog. I see I've been taken off a few blog rolls, which isn't surprising. I'm not sure anyone checks in anymore. I don't know how so much time went by. And I still don't know if I can do it again. Every day. Or even often.
The little bit of time I have in the morning at work gets used up by transit traumas and the exigencies of the job. I come home tired and without focus. There's never any time. My topics are mostly found in transit, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Just not always inspiring.
I've been doing my usual hand wringing about why bother. Does it matter? Is it any good? And then I was sitting on the train and over heard a cell phone conversation about a blog, the topic of which seemed rather scandalous. I just smiled. Blogging is still a garden gone wild. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
It's Sunday night. The kitchen floor finally got mopped but, in truth, could used another swipe. Or two. However, the bathroom looks great.
I've been getting food ready for the week. I am always greedy about summer fruit. Peaches, berries, watermelon. I cannot get enough. I went up the street to get stuff for breakfasts.
The surfaces are mostly clean again.
The weekend slips by driven by chores and naps and a movie or two.
I'm just going to keep trying.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday the bus never showed up. A drag but not a huge problem. At the train station the conductor opened the doors early so I got in my favorite seat and curled up for my nap. Then he announced that we had to get off the train and get on another. Once we were moving they made an announcement that we would be running slow and may be late because of some track issues. We arrived ten minutes late. The shuttle didn't come so I took a cab. Going home was worse.
Fran Lebowitz said that to be in public was to be annoyed. I've wondered if she meant public transportation specifically.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

For the first time in over two years of taking the train I slept through my stop this morning. It wasn't a big deal because I got off at the next stop and made my way back. I'm pathologically early so I had plenty of time. It was just weird.
And then the train at night almost didn't stop at the station. There must have a been some kind of space out zone in San Carlos today.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

On the other hand. My commute is an endless source of tales to tell. Most of which would reveal me to me a cranky ol' somebody. But there are those moments.
I caught the bus I like the best tonight. I always take two buses but one route is two short rides and the one I caught tonight is one long ride and one short one. I can settle in and read. Tonight I was immersed in a short story but it was a restless immersion. The driver was a cowboy and we lurched and rocked. I looked up when a woman exited with three helium balloons in primary colors. At just that moment, on the street, a young man walked by playing a ukulele. It was a blink of a circus.
The light changed and as we passed the young man I noticed he had switched to a cell phone.
Back the mundane.
A writer I knew once told me that she started by 'writing off the dross'. She just started writing about anything without editing or concern for the quality of the writing. At some point she'd settle in and begin working more seriously. Sometimes she'd keep the first writing and sometimes she'd dump it.
I want to think that's what I'm doing now. If I think about it too much I begin to tense up. There's no certainty that I'll ever gear up. All day yesterday I thought about posting but I was too busy. When I finally got home I was too tired.
And this has been the story of the last year plus of silence. Bits of ideas for writing drift through me but never find their way to the page. I barely write email. I barely talk out loud.
One more bite of peach and I must begin to work.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I love my apartment on Monday mornings. All the surfaces are clear. By Friday they're filled with dishes drying, mail unprocessed and the general detritus of day to day life. Three days felt like quite a lot but still not enough.
This is the first time I have written at work. I'm always here early. I drink my tea and eat my fruit and muffin. Get the new data. Read the news. I ought to be able to write a post.
This morning I learned that a bunch of tedious and time consuming work that I did last week got clobbered and needs to be redone. I'm not upset. I like having work to do. And this task will fill up the day.
I used to hate when people I read went silent. I look at my blog every day and feel wrong. But I don't want to keep writing about why I'm not writing. Blogging can be very meta if you don't have a specific intention. I've spent hours thinking about why I do (did) it and if it matters. I always come back to wanting it.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Laundry folded and put away. Mostly. Got over the irritation caused by a pair of socks that somehow escaped the process. Glass of tea filled and emptied. Might need more. Cookie eaten. Half before the laundry and half after. The pile for the backpack is beginning to build. Book, mail, bag of almonds, wallet. Some stuff packed for breakfast and lunch. I'll be eating salads this week so I'll want to make them fresh in the morning.
This is how I started. Just a stream of consciousness, observational, journaling. I was listening to Katha Pollitt earlier. She likes blogs but isn't fond of first thought best thought writing. I could argue for and against. Depends on who is doing the thinking, I suppose.
It would be disingenuous to imply that I don't want this to be read. It's foolish to write on line if you don't want to be read. But I'm too embarrassed, or something, about the time that has gone by. I twisted myself into too many shapes trying to be a BLOGGER. Right now I just need to get it on the page. And then do it again.
Pollitt also mentioned that she thought daily column writing might be good until she started a blog. That made me laugh. Of course, she is a professional. I'm just trying to write some stuff down.
I might take a shower so my body is as clean as my pajamas and my sheets.
Dishes clean. Errant piece of lettuce picked up from the floor.
It's time to wind down.
I am eating a salad. Bright red tomatoes that Debbie brought me from the farmer's market. Yellow bells and mixed romaine. Pieces of cold chicken. Crusty Italian bread with butter. It's very good. Joni is on. Laundry is done but not folded and put away. The kitchen floor will have to wait till next week.
I was talking to a neighbor about my site and lack of will to write and my need to simplify the process by which I publish. He mentioned Blogger and I remembered this blog. This long sleeping blog. This blog that I set up so I could blog when I was away. This blog on which I wrote a loopy rant because a man I -- I'm resisting the urge to say loved -- a man I discovered in the blog world and had strong feelings for, which I thought might be love, wrote something.
I remembered Blogger with big banner ads unless you paid. But there is no banner ad.
I am thinking that maybe I can write here and regain some momentum. I don't think anyone checks in here. I'm not sure how many people check in on my other blog. I know I feel a mix of gratitude and guilt when I look at the comments from the lovely people who wrote to let me know they were still checking. If I could prove to myself that I could write daily, or even often again I could just use this blog as my blog. Point to it. Commit.
Did I mention honey mustard dressing?
I was reading Aaron's book. He writes about his habit of internally narrating his experience as he lives it. I had that habit for years and years. Sometimes still do. It was that narration that I used as fodder for posting. But. I lost some intention. Some will. Something.
Salad is gone. Glass of tea is empty. I want more. Maybe I'll eat the chocolate, cherry, almond cookie that Debbie made.
And I need to fold the laundry.