tumbleweed

ramble

I think the uniformly beautiful sameness of the weather here is sapping my creativity. I'm completely on cruise control. Someone has pushed my pause button. Since May I have barely unpacked. I haven't bought any furniture (except for the CIA torture chair from Wal*Mart and the futon I sleep on) or done anything to decorate my apartment. I go to work and stay there for hours beyond duty. I eat before I come home and by the time I am home it's necessary I sleep if I want to be at all functional for the next day.

"What about the weekends?" you ask? "There's a million things to do out there, surely?" Yeah. Well. There are. I do just sit in the apartment on my off days. I make excuses. I don't want to go "here". I don't want to go "there". If you go "here" or "there" alone people look at you funny. They take hold of their kids' hands and wait to see what you're going to do. "A guy by himself. What's wrong with him? Probably some pervert or predator." Totally an excuse and a load of bullshit. Enough.

Yesterday evening it was cloudy and overcast in Sacramento. As I drove south on the freeway (passing the slower traffic that was in the left lanes, as always) gravel and sand grated against my windshield. I was invigorated. I hoped for lightning, rain, and alien war machines exploding out of the ground. But then I got back to the Bay Area and it was just another clear chilly night. Today the sun is shining yet again and there is one solitary cloud in the sky. And I'm thinking to myself, "Oh god, Northern California, can't you just have some ugly weather once in a while?" I really should be careful what I wish for.

These are the last two weeks of my job contract. I have not locked in anything new despite dancing around with a few recruiters. Mostly that's because my boss on the contract clearly indicated that she wanted to bring me in-house. She referred the in-house recruiters to me, and told me she was going to speak to her boss to try and expedite, and as far as I know it's a done deal other than the red tape. But now the waiting is just emphasizing this sense of transition. This life-call on hold.

Distinctions based on race are dramatically evident in the Sacramento hospital at which I work. Blacks and Mexicans and some Indians in the support positions, cleaning up the joint. I'm given to understand that 70% of the nurses in the hospital are Filipino. That may be true. I know I had a lot of little brown faces looking at me in my classrooms. The doctors I see are all white, or Chinese, or Japanese. In other hospitals in the Kaiser network the race division is different. I think one just sees this in the Sacramento hospitals. But it's still weird.

Rattling, machine gun words of Filipino or tagalog, and sometimes taglish, fire across the ICU floors on which I work. I get nervous because my paranoia and narcissism make me wonder if they're talking about me.

Back in the early 80's, when I was on active duty, there were a lot of Filipinos in the US Navy. The officer's mess on my ship had one whose name was Nosa. One day, in a fairly rough sea, dinner was being prepared. The ship took a hard roll to starboard and there was a horrendously loud and ongoing crashing from the galley. Nosa's squeaky nasal voice rang out, "De plates! De plates!!" Everyone froze, mouths agape, and then collapsed in uproarious laughter. Nosa had sounded so much like Hervé Villechaize (who was of Filipino ancestry himself) in Fantasy Island (which was still showing new episodes on television at that time) that it was beyond ridiculous.

Alright, I'm rambling. I can't fix on anything. Time to do something else.
  • Current Mood: ramble
Oh man, you sound exactly like me in some ways. I moved into this gigantic house almost six months ago now and haven't bought a stick of furniture since. Most of the rooms are empty. I have less furniture than I used to have when I lived in a one-bedroom apartment. Partly it's been money, but mostly it's apathy and a sense that I'm not really living here--just staying here.

I wish I could send you some of the fall weather we've got here--cold and windy, and we had a storm blow through last night. My sister-in-law says this is still summer, but it feels like fall to me.

Anyway, I never go anywhere either. I'm a few minutes from Pittsburgh and I've only been there a few times since I moved here. What happened to my plans of going to museums and operas and stuff?

We both need to pull ourselves together and get over this funk. Well, I do--I can't speak for you. I hope you have a huge cold snap soon or a stray typhoon to bring you a change in weather. It's amazing the effect weather has on people and we don't even notice it most of the time.
I was thinking of you when I read that Michel Faber has a new book out, The Apple, which apparently follows some characters from The Crimson Petal and the White. There are others of his now out that I've yet to read so I think this will be a Fall Faber Fest. Wanna join me?

I said in my journal a short while ago that consequences do not judge. I was feeling much like you, kind of frozen and repetitive. A very basic example: I'd think of how great X room would look if I did what I want to do with it. And then I would promptly do nothing and feel crappy about that. Total avoidence behaviour netted my feeling shitty and there was only one way around that and it wasn't magical faeries who would slip me the will, as much I wanted that as well. Boiled down from my memory of logic class:
A is necessary for B
If not A, then not B
If B, then A
where A= some action on my part and B= some happiness or self-satisfaction.

It's so simple and so fucking hard some days.

Please know I am thinking nice thoughts for you.

J.
Oh yes. I've just ordered The Apple and The Courage Consort from Amazon. Also, I read that a film, starring Kursten Dunst, is being made of The Crimson Petal and the White.

Thanks for the nice thoughts. You're absolutely right, I need to break out of my torpor by myself.
Excellent. I'll pick up a copy of The Courage Consort as well. I took a look at Kirsten Dunst's filmography and I think this role will certainly challenge her. For me, Gwyneth Paltrow fits the description of Sugar perfectly; I can even see her peeling her bits of skin from her lips. Helena Bonham Carter also springs to mind as someone straong enough for the role. Having read the book so many times, I'm apt to be nit-picky myself on how its done, though I know there are aspects of it that will have to be slimmed down and/or tossed to fit even a 3 hour film.