I've undertaken a huge job in my house - alphabetizing all of my books. I have a degree in English, and a specialization in secondary education, so both those carry with them a bunch of books. Plus, there are my occasional obsessions with The Book Thing. Thus, this is a monumental job. I'd become frustrated that I can never find anything, and even more frustrated that I find a second and third copies of novels. Part of it is because I teach them, but the other part of it is that I'm a horrible packrat.
Then, cleaning up the books sort of became a catalyst in my mind for the rest of my house - as in, if the books are all weeded out and straightened up, then the rest will follow. It's almost become a metaphor for my life. If the books become uncluttered, so will I.
So the job has meant taking all the books off the shelves, dusting the horribly dusty bookcases, and then sorting them out by author. I've had stacks and stacks of books around my floor for a few days now, getting only to work on the project for a few hours a day in the hours I'm not working (I'm now on Day 31 without a day off).
I'm happy to say I've made some progress. I'm on the letter "S." "S" is a daunting letter, to be sure, with all the books I have by Steinbeck, Sarton, Shakespeare, Smiley, and the other "S"'s. But I'll get through it. Last night, I went from "F" through "R" and did most of my non-fiction and teaching books. I've got a couple of laundry baskets full of books to bring to the Book Thing, another small stack on the roommate's stairs for her to peruse (including an extra copy I had of Myla Goldberg's Bee Season, probably my favorite book I've read as an adult), and still a gigantic mess in the house. But I'm making progress. Really, I am. With thirty people coming over on Friday night, I'd better be.
Can't work on it tonight, though. This is my hour break between the two jobs, and I just need to rest my legs. The gym trip this morning was particularly rough after the long weekend of waiting tables.
In other news, my colleague and friend came into the restaurant on Saturday night with her friend from North Carolina, though originally from Michigan. Not only Michigan, but southwest Michigan. She had spent her summers in my hometown during her youth. I enjoyed talking with her and comparing Michigan stories. My friend Zack, the bartender that night, told me that I'd better get her number, and I'm like, Dude, she lives in North Carolina and is returning tomorrow. So I didn't. But I did tell my colleague today that I thought she was hot. And the colleague told me that this girl had wanted my e-mail address if I had asked about her. I did, passing the test, and I now have her e-mail. This sort of thing never happens to me with women who live in Baltimore. I'm not really an e-mail person, and definitely not an e-mail small-talk person, and don't really know what to say to her via e-mail. But we'll see. She's a teacher in Durham, where I got offered a job before I moved to Baltimore but ended up here.
Either way, that news brightened up what was a thoroughly shitty Monday otherwise. It started with not being able to find my keys for fifteen minutes this morning, meaning I didn't get to the gym in time for a good workout (the 35 minutes of cardio were it). I was out of sorts all day in class, not having enough copies twice during the day. That rushed walk of shame back to the copy machine in the middle of class should never happen twice in the same day. Later, of course, I found the copies on my desk.
The impending dread of working tonight - and as barista, meaning I'll make shit money whether we're dead or busy - probably had to do with my foul mood as well. It seems like once or twice a year, nobody is working at the restaurant. I mean, there are literally four servers right now. Three full timers and I. It sucks. No flexibility, shitty shifts, added pressure not to request days off. I'm dead broke right now, though, and still awaiting the first paycheck of the year, so I'm optionless.
No Writer Is An Island - Tarn Wilson found an unexpected benefit from being in an MFA program: When I started my program, I hoped only that the structure would help me make writing...
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