Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Time is the Enemy

I've always thought of time as an anathema. It's a cage that we have created for ourselves. A cage constructed of minutes and hours, and locked with months and years, as the microseconds tick away. Time is relative to the task at hand. Sometimes a day at work can feel like a week, but a week in the Caribbean can feel like five minutes. We have to be at work on time, and some of us sad sacks have to actually punch a clock...metaphorically I guess, although many of us feel differently. There is never enough time for the pleasures in life...or is there?

If we created time, then we can flex time and shift it around. That"s my theory. The true talent would be learning how to slow time down during those most enjoyable and memorable moments. One's outlook on life has a great bearing on the movement of time. I can guarantee that. Years can go by in a dark blurry haze, until the light of day is glimpsed once again. Life is not easy, but it is what we make it, at least in our perception of it.

Ah work. Ah, the Tuesday 2 to 10:30pm shift. One of the only benefits of this shift is not having to actually work until 10:30. Once those store doors are locked, it's pretty easy to get out of there in ten minutes. If I was the kind of person to hang out in the pub and drink my way to closing...well, that would be a different Mark wouldn't it? That Mark might even spell his name with a C, as in Marc. That Marc goes to Mardi Gras every year with a different skank, and only has a few billion neurons left to extinguish with foamy alcoholic beverages. That Marc does not have tax problems, or two ex-wives. But that's a different Marc, as I said. The C probably stands for cocky.

It's too damn nice of a day to be going to work, but I'm not that other Marc, so to work I must go.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

As the Galaxy Turns

Here we go. Another Tuesday morning. I will be heading into work in a couple of hours for my 2 to 10 pm shift. In the meantime, I have some time to write. Yesterday I felt quite low, but today I feel a little higher. Granted, some of that feeling might be from the fact that I just came in from the deck. I'm also enjoying this spot of grey weather. It's nearly August, which also means that it's nearly October. Autumn is the only season that I yearn to be back in New England, walking through the woods at the most idyllic time of the year.

Lately I have started to crave some solitude in addition to the usual need for quietude. Every evening I sit on my deck and contemplate the universe. I've realized that I need more than an hour or so to do that. It also helps to be out of the hearing range of such annoyances as sirens, neighbor's dogs. bus stops, drunks stumbling home, and so forth. So, I guess I'm trying to convince myself that a two-night sojourn to the mountains is what's required. Hence my tentative plans to take a camping trip at the end of September. The crowds will have dispersed by then, because most of the lemmings stop camping after Labor Day.

It would also be good for me to be out of wi-fi range for a bit. I'm not a smart phone addict by any means. In fact, I try and keep the dumbest phone currently on the market, but it would be refreshing to be off the FB feeds for a bit, and all the other internet distractions. I'm always craving reading time, so two days in the woods without the internet will help accomplish that. So, I wrote the two vacation days on the calendar, which makes in official in some kind of unofficial manner.

Anybody who knows me knows of my love of music. I love all kinds of music except the crappy kind, and I get to decide what is crap and what is not. (Kind of like the difference between shit and Shinola.) For instance, if you're a hater of Prince, Adele, Rita Ora or any hip-hop, you can go ahead and get off the boat. And not everyone can aurally handle Ornette Coleman or Frank Zappa and sometimes those guys are just the right sustenance for my soul (which -- I realize -- is non-existent.) During the anxiety of stress of the adoption waiting game -- before Justin arrived -- Zappa and Ornette Coleman were about all I listened to. For some reason their discordant and unorthodox sound fit the rhythms of my agitate state and smoothed the mood. Music really does hath charms to sooth the savage breast...even mine.

Rita Ora is not the only music that has been penetrating my eardrums lately. Here a few tunes by Broken Bells, who I just started to listen to on a regular basis.

Here is one last music video by the Bee Gees, er...I mean Broken Bells.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Melancholia

I'm really not that melancholy, but it seemed to fit the title. I took a sick day on Friday, and after having three truly relaxing days off, it's just a little bit of a letdown to be heading back into work this morning. I'll most likely have plenty of books to shelve this morning. Payday is Friday, so there is that goal to shoot for. Other than that, my son is back on Thursday evening, so the usual stuff with Justin will be happening this weekend.

As I said, I had a nice relaxing weekend. I got about midway into The Sheltering Sky and I'm really enjoying it. I spent plenty of time on my deck, listening to music and stargazing (of course.) The weather turned this weekend. After a couple of sweltering weeks, the weather returned to grey chilly rain. It immediately put me in the mood to be in the woods. I'm not a fan of summer camping. Too many bugs and people, and when you think about it, they are basically the same thing: pests.

I'm starting to entertain the idea of taking a solo camping trip at the end of September. I haven't done that in years, and it would be a nice quiet break. Still lots of thinking to put into it, but a couple of days in the woods sounds very relaxing.

Time to prep for work.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Okay. I'm aging. I have been since I was a zygote, but I am now feeling the process more more succinctly. When we are young we tend to think we're immortal, even if it's only on a subconscious level. What I have noticed as I enter my mid-fifties, is my tendency to bring up old moldy memories and burnish them to a rosy glow. My imagination fills in the blanks, but my surface consciousness believes what it sees (or I imagine.) Memories like joining the air force at seventeen, and being on a jet for the very first time, as I began my adulthood with a flight to San Antonio, Texas. I've learned since then that Texas is a good place to avoid (my apologies to my friends in Texas.)

I have many memories associated with my first marriage. I, like so many other divorced people, used the old we-married-too-young excuse. It's true, but one sometimes takes risks, makes mistakes and stumbles on this bumpy journey called human life. Most of our so-called life is in our heads anyway. All of our memories are recreated every time we require the presence of past life event files from our musty old file-room of a mind. I look back on my air force days, and my first marriage and see an almost separate individual from the one having the memories. In reality, I am only connected to those past events by those tenuous memories.

I have started to openly talk about my cannabis use, more than just allude to it as I did in past posts. One reason is that the herb is now legal to use recreationally is this great green state of Washington. The other reason is as I stated above: I am getting old, and as I get older, I find that I just want to be accepted for who I am. Let me rephrase that: As I get older and closer to my last breath, I find that I feel the need to be myself; who I truly feel I am at my best moments. Part of that just includes includes living more honestly. It would be great if friends and family could accept me without judgment, but their inability to do that will not prevent me from trying to keep on the road to reality as I continue towards the fading light of day.

Anybody who has used cannabis probably knows of its ability to spur the oddest memories. I have thought of things from my past that I hadn't thought of in decades. I have always found that weed is good for the creative imagination. I love to draw, or write while high. It's also a good state of mind to just sit and contemplate the universe. Who doesn't remember the classic scene from the film Animal House, where the professor -- played by Donald Sutherland -- explains to his student, after sharing a joint the theory that an entire universe could be contained within a cell on his fingernail. Even Carl Sagan used weed to enhance his thinking, or rather allow his thinking to take paths it normally wouldn't.

So, that's my pro-pot piece for Friday evening. I took a sick day today. I guess you could call it a mental health day. I have friends that could have probably used this chill-out day more than I could, but if I had time to give, I would wrap it up and send it out with some free Seattle bud to go with it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You're Back!

Tuesday is Back! Like an asthma attack! There is not much meaning attached to Tuesday, except it's the one workday that I get to sleep in, because I don't go into the bookstore until 2pm (1pm for the summer I guess.) The only other fact attached to Tuesday is that it's not quite the middle of the week. Tuesday is just a tease!

I am quite sure that none of my co-workers ever check out this blog. They don't hold much interest for the thoughts that bubble up in my mind. The big thought this week is that I plan on taking a sick day on Friday. I don't think I actually have 8 hours of sick hours or vacation time, but that is not going to stop me from taking a mental health. The plan is to sleep in, and then see a matinee at a nearby theater. Plus, I'll be enjoying the sunshine, the herb and the freedom of not working retail on a Friday. Small pleasures bring big smiles.

I've been soaking my pipe in alcohol all night. Now I just have to rinse it out. You don't know what I'm talking about? Well, I live in Seattle. Here we are all about the bud. And bud breeds smoking buddies. Sharing is part of cannabis culture, or as they say in Bunny Buddhism, "A carrot is even tastier when shared with another bunny.

I'll leave you with some Rita Ora. I just can't get enough of her lately, so why shouldn't you have some too?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dangerous Clowns

Don't ask me what the title of this blog post means. I have no idea. I was looking for a phrase to describe my Monday state of mind, and that's what came out. It is Monday, and it's still hot. Hot as in, I need a fan (granted, not my biggest fan, but a fan nonetheless) blowing directly on my head before I can get any semblance of sleep. I guess I really am a hothead.

One of my 80-year-old customers with a serious book addiction, told me the other day that I had "definitely" lost weight. I would suspect walking to and from work every day, and sometimes in 90 degree weather, has something to do with that. I think of walking as being more important for my mental well-being than my physical state, but I am more concerned with my mental health anyway.

It was a busy past week, with my son with us for his first full week of the summer. He's leaving today for Florida. I'll have him in my thoughts every day. First I never thought I would be a dad (I used to see parents with children and mutter "breeders,") but never say never. I wouldn't change a thing. Justin is such a vital part of me now.

I am at work, but I'm bored and anxious to get out of the store for a bit, and grab some lunch. It will most likely be the old stand-by, bagels, but I have no complaints. Then I usually sit outside for the remaining half hour of my hour lunch. There's a nice private spot behind a nearby church, but at this time of day, the sun is blazing full-bore onto my usual sitting rock. Sweating and relaxing don't seem to mesh, unless one is in a sauna.