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

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Long time gone, Accumulate Man!

Happy Holidays, everyone! Eat enough turkey? Set up your Christmas tree yet? Been smooched under the mistletoe? Accumulate man is on it, even though that mistletoe action might have to wait. And some might say "well and good" to that last part. Maybe a break from that kind of drama, for the moment, anyway, is, as Martha might say, a good thing.
Otherwise it's been over five months since I've graced the halls of a certain organization and only in some ways do I miss it. I miss the paycheck, sure, but I miss my old patrons even more. But what's funny is that most folks, when I see them around town, wonder where I've been and tell me that they miss me, too. I've gotten cards and emails from people in ways that say to me that I touched on folks lives and that no matter what or where I go I will not be forgotten. Good feeling, that.

I miss, too, the supposedly easy comraderie of the desk, the supposed connections I had with work "friends", but the farther away I get from that old life the more I realize that most of those folks who were friendly with me at work were not friends at all. That more than anything was the biggest lesson I have learned yet.

But what is funny, too, is that folks are coming around and seeking me out with social networking tools, finding and "befriending" me in ways that says to me that I am not the pariah that I was made out to be, either in my head or in my heart. It was all "just business", and while that business cost me hard cash it was also the greatest and best wake up call I've ever gotten in my life. Whatever it was that hit me, bus, train, carload of loons, it was the finest lesson a man could ever ask for. I am happier now than I have been in years. My heart is a little more ragged, sure, a bit more jumpy and achey from all the wear and tear of uncertainty that's been thrown at it, but I am, at least for now, okay. I am in daily communication with The Estranged One and all is courdial on that front. As for all the other grand players, friends and bad actors and actresses in my life who have contributed to the greatest drama of my life I have been keeping them or winnowing them out as I see fit. Some have been fitting in cameo appearances, and then, once they have graced the stage, like Snake Lady and Stick of Wood, have exited stage left, never to be seen or heard from again. Strange and wonderful all at the same time. Showed me what they were made of.

SO, all of that leads me up to now. I still won't grace the halls of my former employer and I'm sure that they are happy about that, too. I am still gracely unemployed and playing my part but sending out three applications or more a week. I have sent them out all over the place, and have made a complete reversal on that "I'll never do library work again" theme I was on up until recently. I have applications on deck for the Grand Canyon (a federal job), an assistant director/children's librarian position (Prineville, OR), a circulation lead in Pueblo, Colorado, a volunteer/children's position in Veneta, OR (home of the Oregon Country Fair) and assorted other places. I have been focusing on positions with various state employment departments and agencies thinking that it was close to the kind of work I did before, but those jobs have been hard in coming. So, instead I'll fall back on what I know and apply to the kinda jobs that are near and dear to my heart, the ones that truly say to me "Public Service".

In the meantime I've been working my tuckus off at Helpline. We have been hyper-busy from the holidays. Hunger never sleeps. No matter how much we get in the form of donations it all goes back out the door as fast as it comes in. Some days I've had to wonder who'd been messing with the clock. Even on my busiest days at the branch time never moved so fast as it does when I'm busy filling baskets for the least fortunate of the community.

Okay, so now you're caught up. I'll be heading to Boise, if it doesn't snow, for the holidays. The cat is doing fine. My oldest turned eighteen, the next in line is making his own stop motion piece at Arts West, a toney art school in Boise. The middle ones are doing well with lacrosse and dance, and the youngest is grooving on being the baby of the family. Thanksgiving went well for a change and I am thankful for many things...good friends who stuck by me during my travails, health, a tight roof. some spending cash and a reliable car. I have been happy even without the Plaster Saint in my life. I am happy even with all the uncertainty that being unemployed has brought into my life.

In fact, for over five months now, as crazy as it sounds, I have been the happiest I have ever been. I stood my ground, maintained my integrety, lived and loved outside the box, cared for folks that mattered, and did what I had to do, and so far, so good...I am alive and well and doing the best I can with what I have.

Thanks for checking in. And who knows, maybe I'll even see you under the mistletoe.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yay! amigo, glad to see that inimitable spirit back. Let's hear it for hope and a massive injection of sunshiny happy south sea isles in whatever shape or form they take.

hasta luego.