Tuesday, October 20, 2009

back in the saddle

What the? Who the? Where the....??

The What: my back was messed up for weeks and weeks
The Who: all the kids in the zoo
The Where: the zoo

That is the nutshell version but doesn't make for a very satisfying self-indulgent writing session, nor does it make for too much of an exciting read. I am going to tell you more! Since I have decided to abandon my late-afternoon food-making-mess that needs cleaning up for the nonce.

Yeah, so.....fell into another nice hole there for awhile, I hurt my back making a living, doing yardwork over the summer. With a couple of relapses. I couldn't sit in a chair for very long if at all for weeks and weeks, or ride my bike (WOE!) but I could stand and walk, and lie down and sleep, and I did a fair amount of all of that, and not much art or else. My patience was sorely tried, and I felt grateful for the very real and eventual probability that my body would heal and my life would be back to normal. People with chronic illnesses or strictures....I salute you. Adaptability is a surefire way towards evolution, and I am hard-pressed to evolve when I sink into that depression which accompanies illness or injury.

I'm feeling SoooOOooo much better the last couple of weeks and have been helping Jacque paint the outside of her house. She labored over which colors to paint for a long time, and even longer for the money and time to fund the project. So far two sides of the house (the ones facing the public) are a warm, rich gold trimmed out with 'sommelier' (deep burgundy....the word is french for 'wine waiter' or someone who provides expert opinion on wines) and 'eminent bronze' which is a very noble title don't you think? It renders a nice patois of olive-leaf green. The color combinations are quite stunning, and it's the brightest house on the block (and most visually interesting).

Why do folks paint their houses gunmetal grey or slate blue....in Oregon.....where it rains so much? Besides that, the colors anywhere evoke a sort of prison or military atmosphere. Gah.

It's been great to hang out with Jacque and beautify her home. Not much in the painting season left though, as the skies will slowly turn gunmetal grey and douse us with rain. Okay that's dreary! The skies will turn dove grey and weep. Oh how poetic.

I've been faking myself out thinking I am a generally unproductive leech on society who is happy just humming along being entertained and not giving much back in the way of all that is good and holy. Then I disabuse myself of this notion by sitting down and reading tons of my blogposts (how narcissistic!) and browsing through a library-sized (for me) body of work in the way of art. And I think about all the food I've planted. And the time spent with friends, being in relationship, which for me (for all of us) demands energy, and courage (and is of course rewarding, frustrating, painful, delightful). I go to it willingly, most of the time :)

Waxing poetic again!

I applied for a position at Ye Olde Library, contriving a stand-up typing situation for the day-long ordeal of filling out the application and supplemental questionnaire online (sitting at a computer wasn't a viable option at that point, what with my ruined backside)...and wasn't even granted an interview. Y'all know I worked there for six freaking years, right?! When I learned that the interviews were scheduled and I hadn't received a call, I was puzzled. I held it together, I didn't even blow up. I marched myself to the Human Resource office and talked with Kate Rowles, who has ever been gracious and helpful to me. As our conversation lengthened, I started feeling really wretched and pitiful. I expressed that I felt hard-pressed to not take it personal. After all, there are failsafes against this: The city of Eugene is an Equal Opportunity Employer. They score the applications and the questionnaires. It's not a personality contest - even in the interviews.

This presents advantages and egregious disadvantages. If personality doesn't count for anything, you are apt to hire really shitty people to do Great Customer Service. But if you have credentials, can answer the questions correctly, then you have a good Librarian Mind and are well-suited to said work. Faugh!!

So inside of five minutes with Kate I traversed self-pity, outrage (giving them all the big fat middle finger when I exited the HR building), other-pity (Your guys' loss! I am a kick-ass worker and an awesome person!), and finally......relief.

What the -? Well, because: the Library is a nest of vipers. Mostly from management. Sad really. The political climate isn't very democratic, though they give you lip service aplenty. I could go on and ON about it, I should know, I was part of the dysfunctional family for a long time. And by part of, I don't mean 'complicit'. Working as a shelver in the Circulation department is soul-death. But I would do it, as a means to an end: working upstairs again, this time as an Adult Services Library Assistant.

Enough of that. I haven't boycotted the Libary; I'm quite happy being a mere patron, thank you! In fact, today I stopped in to pick up one of my favorite author's latest books (goody goody), a few DVDS, and a children's book. The children's book is by an artist I was just introduced to by way of a friend (who still works at the libary)(and who told me a wretched story about management just today). I've always wanted to write and illustrate a children's book. So, some research and art appreciation. Among the DVDs is a documentary about twin brothers, one of whom underwent transgender surgery. I don't anticipate an insipid, offhand, histrionic film....and I recently read an article about how most people fall along a spectrum of sort-of blended genders. Genders aren't really black and white, folks (oh!.....duh).

On my way out after checking my materials I said to the folks behind the desk (we have shared many working hours together), "Keep living the dream!" I wasn't being nasty.

Outside at my trusty steed, as I hoisted my pannier from ground-level on to the bike rack, the loop on one of my shoelaces slipped and was caught and trapped inside one of the pannier buckles - which isn't a closed buckle, but open a teeny weeny bit on an end. My upward momentum was brought up short and ended abruptly. What are the chances? I mean, I couldn't do that again if I tried....I was laughing, I guess you had to be there, but I thought, It's like one of those carnival games: You either need great skill to actually throw the hoop over the narrow-necked bottle and make it stick since all the bottles are packed like sardines and the plastic hoops are repelled by them as like disparate magnet ends....or you just need blind dumb luck to win the game.

Sooo still chuckling to myself I rode back to The Copy Shop to pick up prints of some watercolors I've done recently, hand the lady my credit card (for a measly $1.50 charge) and she's sorry but there is a two-dollar minimum and would I like to buy a notebook? I sputter - this is my third failed attempt to print out the darn things at this shop for reasons I won't blather on about - and leave without the prints, my good humor evaporated in a flash of self-important frustration.

Dumb. I'm like a snail, poking my mealy head out waving my tentacles tasting the good air and earth and finding it lovely and then at the slightest impediment, withdraw into my shell. But not after striking out like a surly cat or something. I mean I didn't rip her a new one, but geeez.....I so often fail to think of options when I'm feeling thwarted. Dumb!

So I'll make more watercolors, make more jpeg files, and take my thumbdrive back for more prints to total above two dollars.

Which I'll go do soon, after I adjourn to clean up the kitchen half of the studio.


Caio Fernandes said...

how can you make this get do exiting ... ?
this is a fantastic post .
don't ask me why !!

V.K. said...

hey Juuss :)

I'm glad you stopped by for your morning shot of caffeine!

the grin is splitting my face open, I'm coming over to visit you now!

V.K. said...

hey Juuss :)

I'm glad you stopped by for your morning shot of caffeine!

the grin is splitting my face open, I'm coming over to visit you now!

V.K. said...

whoah that's weird I wonder why there are two identical posts!

must be the caffeine....even green tea revs me up!

Caio Fernandes said...

i walwaysclick zilions of times and isn't rare to have 2 or 3 , 4 identical comments posted .
my excuse is that my internet is so slow that i never have a clue of what is happening .