Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Of two hearts

The weather outside today reminds me of why I need to keep my eye on the prize. So much left to do and very little time left to do it with.

After a week of absolutely grand weather I woke up and faced a cool, grey morning outside my window. Not too bad of a start, I suppose, and yes, it could go away, but as Hot Dog King likes to say it's the cool weather that drives his sales so maybe for his sake I'll wish for this cool grey day to stick around through, say, two o'clock. My feeling about is that it can go away and come back later on in the month. That's when big things are happening in my life.

The end of October has been my focus for, well, seems like forever. All my work and energies have been sited on the 31st, and is where all my fretting, planning, prayers, frustrations, fall back plans are all headed. Right now I am still focused on selling my house, but that's strickly an afterthought of summer. I worked like an animal earlier in process to get it ready and I haven't had anyone come through in weeks. But maybe because I have shifted my energies a bit. I am back in the house again, living in it as if I still live here. The tacit agreement between me and the realtor was that the house was supposed to be vacant. After awhile that ruse didn't wash. I needed a place to sleep that wasn't filled up with boxes and spiders and where better to do that than in my own bed?

Where I lay my head down to sleep is what the end of the month is all about. I am on the road and am fast approaching an offramp of sorts. As much as I would like to get off and take in a rest stop before I get there I may not have that option anymore as things are happening now and I think by the end of the month my time in the Pacific Northwest, my fate, may be sealed. Nice to know that something will be clear. I could use a bit of clarity right about now.

What's happening are two interviews in Idaho, and possibly another one here in Port Orchard. What's interesting about them is that none of them are librarian positions. The two out of state jobs have customer service components built into them but that's about as close as they come to my chosen profession. The one here in town has a customer service angle, too, but again, is way out there from what I've been doing for the last twenty five years. The only thing that all of them have in common is the rate of pay, which is about 14 dollars an hour.


But it's what they represent that thrills me more than anything. "And what is that, Mr Accumulate Man?" you might ask. Well, what these interviews are saying to me is that my skill set, which I was worrying an awful lot about, is a bit broader than I thought or even hoped for. I have been meaning to do up a new resume based on skills and achievements rather than a chronological list of all my librarian assignments and duties. I'm even taking a class later on the month to help me focus on what my skills and strengths are. When you've been doing the same thing for so long it's easy to overlook what it is that you are actually doing. In my head I may think "I'm just a librarian", but really, that title is like a stew. A great stew isn't composed of one thing but is a nice mix of a wide variety of ingredients, all put to the test, as it were, under high heat. How it turns out is up to the cook and the larder and life. I think if I were to rate myself as a stew I would say that I am a pretty tasty dish.

I think somewhere along the line that I forgot that. That my somewhat tasty work life hasn't been as mononfocused as I sometimes like to think it was.

So, what are those upcoming interviews for? What am I getting all excited about? Well, one of the jobs is based in Twin Falls. Workforce Consultant. I would be working for the Department of Labor, helping wonderful folks like me find work. Nice. I can relate to that. The other state job would be, for the moment, a trainee position. If I am chosen I would be working in Boise for the Department of Transportation as a Port of Entry Inspector. Picture this man finally working in a hairy chested male environment again. I would handling surly truck drivers instead of impatient moms at the desk, asking for bills of lading instead of library cards, checking out loads under tarps instead of doing fingerplays and baking cakes for book club gals. What a world of difference, what a change. As for that position here in town, well, that job would be a bit ironic, considering how hard I've been trying to leave: Moving Coordinator. Picture the man behind the desk who has been trying to sell his house helping other people move out of state. Touching and just a bit tragic.

But see, there's the rub. I like where I live and if I could have my way I would never leave. I have friends here, have some interesting things happening here as well. I'm a once a week Chili Czar for the Hot Dog King, I have my projectionist gig going on, I will be working with Helpline once a week starting next week and have a bagging thing lined up with Rosa Coffee on Bay Street later on in the month. I still throw small dinner parties, folks have me over for supper. I know the merchants and they know me. And frankly, I do like the weather, grey days or not. I know, all small stuff, but still, it's where I live.
I love my house, my view, my community, it's history. I may not have a lot of cash coming in but there are bigger things afoot. My little house has a renter possibly lined up for later in the fall and if that doesn't work out the gal across the street who runs the B and B may have an idea or two for helping me make a bit of side cash. The only thing that keeps me focused on that out of state line is Punkin and the boys. They are the reasons why I am still dogged about this move. Nothing else could get me to go. And if I don't go now, well, then, come the spring I'll start the process all over again.

But for the moment my work, my career, cashflow, all hang in the lurch. I have two, possibly three or even four opportunities coming up, all heading in different directions. I may be clearing out my house later on this month, or not. All depends how my resume and phone voice or my visage impresses the audience.

As always, I'll be sure to let you know.

Highways cross and split and sometimes carry you to places you never knew existed before. Will I ever be a librarian again? I have to admit, if I never have to do another summer's worth of summer reading programming I would be a very happy man. "What did he just say?" Heresy, yeah, I know, but there it is.


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