Left-overs from Chicago’s Pride Parade
I don’t remember what I expected my adult life would be like when I was young except that I expected to live in Boston and to have a “normal” 9-5 job. In college I thought I’d be a librarian or an academic or a researcher; jobs that built on what I did everyday. I didn’t know, really, what else to do. That’s what I was good at and I assumed that was what one did, get a job doing what you were good at. When you’re a kid, there’s a limited number of occupations you know about, let alone dream of. Why do you think there are so many future astronauts and ballerinas? We didn’t know any better that there were other jobs and that’s what we would do with our lives. It’s not like we sit young children down and say “This is Excel, you will spend most of your adult life swearing at it.” Weirdly enough, despite the importance of the ‘cel, all I learned in all of my education was how to type into the cells, no formulas, no formatting. Instead, I have a really cool job. And in it, I never use my ability to build on previous literature, or even that much drawn-out analysis. I don’t read and synthesize, I just react and interact. I would have never predicted that, even though looking back my favorite projects involved the same skills. I just didn’t know you could talk to people about their stuff for a living.
Is it just me, or is this really really creepy? I think it’s her eyes maybe.
(Photo James Estrin/NYT)
I have always regretted that I was born too late for the joys of the automat. This exhibit at the NY public library would almost make up for it except that NY is not on my travel plans anytime soon (hint, hint work, send me there). I love that you can actually use the vending bit to get recipies.
Luckily I don’t have to be in NY to have fun playing with these pictures of old NY. The best part was being able to check out the Google maps image of how things look now.
That feeling, when you’re finally, finally getting to the end of a pile of work; the type of pile of work that you kept seeing the end of, until! until! something would happen and it would pile some more, your date of freedom pushed even further back. That feeling is brilliant! Knowing that you are nearly done, that no more surprise bits and pieces can sneak themselves is so freeing.
I have been chewing on my own, metaphorical stack, although I have had jobs where the stack was physical, this one, luckily, is under enough of my control that it’s not. I got double-booked and then some favors added on and I’ve been running to catch up. This weekend though, this beautiful weekend, was nearly all of it even though I took a break for a caber toss or two.
Can we talk about how amazing the caber toss is? A sport consisting of throwing something amazingly heavy and unwealdly judged not by amount of weight or farthest thrown but rather how daintily and accurately thrown. Plus one where you can pay only $12 to see the world champion compete and lose happily to a novice while also getting some dogs to pet and excellent shortbread for your time.
The pile, yes the pile. It’s nearly done, a map to draw, handful of pages of editing left, and then I’ll be uneumbered with nothing on the horizon as if I was a fifth grader sitting through those last hot days before summer vacation. If I were a real adult about it, I should be worried about where the next paycheck is coming from, if there’s anyway to get my clients to space themselves out a little bit; instead I’m imagining a big cup of lemonade, the shady bit of grass under a tree in the evening when it’s not so hot, and a good trashy novel with vampires or werewolves or witches in it.
There are some things that once you do them you wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. Clean mopped floors, freshly changed sheets, newly cut hair, posting a new blog entry. I always change my sheets, but the floors, haircut, and blog, well not so much.
That is to say, I haven’t been writing. Well I have been writing, on the backs of fielding forms, little post-its, empty spaces in the newspaper, but not posting. Not finishing, not polishing, not sharing. Not feeling confident about the value of what I had to share, even though it’s my story and just as valid as any other story. Even though my job is to hear stories, everyone’s stories, anyone’s stories, about the most mundane things – face wash, planting, soup – and to show the value and nuance in them.