Friday, November 13, 2009

Reason Enough

It's the fourth weekend we are on the road for swim meets. I am more than ready for Thanksgiving break, but before that we have a home meet next week.
My first MFA application deadline is in a month and two days. That's really hitting home this week. There is much work to be done and now not that much time to get it done.

I miss having the time to blog about anything, but I don't want to self-publish the rest of my life.

That's reason enough.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Power of the Business Card

Perks of aging, that’s something you don’t hear all that often, but finally you’ve been able to think of one. When one ages, one might get a business card. You mostly fill your wallet with them and don’t use them all that much, but when you were at a Chipotle a few weeks ago you saw the fish bowl from which a Chipotle employee pulls one business card a month. The person listed on the card gets ten free burritos. So, you threw a card in, this being the first time you’ve actually used the business card. Those times you’ve “used” your card to hide them in your coworker’s office don’t count. This time does. It fell into the pile, sliding up against another card. You think there is no chance of it being picked out of the bowl. You think someone else is going to win because you just got your first business card, one thousand of them to be exact, and this is the first time you put one in the fish bowl. You feel like you just wasted one card and, even though you have 999 left, you feel bad about wasting the card.

Weeks later, when you are sitting in your office by the phone no one ever calls, it rings. Only Chipotle has this number. You pick up and you are told you won ten free burritos at Chipotle. You are ecstatic. You call your wife. You march over to your coworkers’ offices and demand they share in your happy day by taking one of the ten free burritos you’ve just won off of your hands. You write down their orders. You write down yours. There are five burritos left to order. You order five more for yourself. There is room in your fridge. And, there will be room in your stomach.

You set a date and time. Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 11:30am. You will stop by and pick up your ten free burritos. You will drop one off at your wife’s work. You will drive to campus and carry in the box of burritos, feeling like Santa Clause.

It will be a good lunch hour.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Chlorine and Books

It's November already. Wow. Time has been flying by. I find myself so busy sometimes. This is odd. Not the finding myself, but the busyness. I'm accustomed to copious amounts of free time, but I haven't had much of that lately. Swim meets. Travel time on a coach. Swim practice. Husbanding, as in being a husband, not managing economically. Some grad school research. And a lot of wondering where all the time went because I haven't been using as much of it, at least as of late, to write, read, and put out a blog a day, or even a blog every other day.

I get scared sometimes that I am going to get so busy that I'll forget to do all the things I want to do. I'll snap out of it and it will be January or February and I'll have forgotten to send anything to the schools I want to attend next year. This is a little nightmare I have. I will not allow it to happen, but as I inch closer to deadlines I am prone to imagine worst case scenarios, like losing my mind before I get to sanely pursue writing in the best way I know how.

Something about writing...As soon as I stop writing to read through what I've written so far, I lose my train of thought. Whatever flow I had is now gone and I should retire. I just did that (read through what I had so far) right before I started this paragraph and what I read I didn't like and that put me in a bad mood about writing, but, admittedly, I was in a bad mood about writing before I even sat down to write this blog so I don't exactly know why I am writing it except for the fact that I haven't spoken to many people lately and I know that this is a way that you stay current on what I'm doing with my life and I know this is a run-on sentence now, but I don't care, I'm giving my blog and its readers a bit of an update. Tonight, screw the elements of style, the ap stylebook, and modern american usage. Screw them so much I can't even capitalize the names of books and italicize them.

So, on with the update. Swim season is busy right now. I've been out of town the last two weekends due to competitions in Iowa (last week) and Ohio and Michigan (this week). We beat a conference rival on Friday. Everyone had relatively poor times, but we outraced our opponent and they didn't take us seriously and we gave them a wakeup call. Last year, they came to our place and beat us up. It was better, not just good, to return the favor. We got to our hotel at 11pm. A catered dinner was waiting for us in the lobby. Yesterday, we were in Ypsilanti and I don't care if I spelled that correctly or not. You might want to know that's in Michigan, if you didn't know that already. I was told it is the ghetto of Ann Arbor. It didn't look like a ghetto, but it did look glaringly familiar like any Midwestern town, which is to say it was ugly. We lost the meet yesterday, but that one wasn't as important.

I remember a few months ago I was going to write about every classic I read as a part of my resolution for this year. Yes, how did that go? The writing part has gone horribly wrong. I can't remember the last time I blogged about the most recent classic. I realized that it wasn't important to be writing about that and that I needed to finish a draft of my writing sample. So, I finished a draft of my writing sample, but I have kept on reading. Although not exactly on my 11th classic now, as it is the 11th month of the year. I might be on my 9th or 10th. Let me count them...

1. The Grapes of Wrath
2. Meditations
3. The Fountainhead
4. The Razor's Edge
5. A Tale of Two Cities
6. The Iliad
7. On The Road
8. A Farewell To Arms
9. The Picture of Dorian Gray (Recently started and will finish.)
10. The Brothers Karamazov (Started, but as yet unfinished and after having honestly asked myself if I thought I was going to finish it before Dec. 31, I answered "No.")

So, if all goes according to plan, I will have read at least 12 classics of varying length and difficulty by the end of the year. This list may or may not include The Brothers, but that's okay with me as I am still confident on finishing 12 by year's end and I feel I have tackled some longer works, namely The Iliad and The Fountainhead, to feel a little pride that I didn't just pick a selection of, at the very least, thinner classics such as Dorian Gray (which has been made into a movie scheduled for release in the coming annum). Thankfully, I have read more than the books listed above in 2009, but the classics have gobbled up thousands of pages that would have been read in many more books than the eight I have completed so far. I do have fairly extensive thoughts on most of the books I've read this year and even though they have not come out in blog form, I have them written down and saved on my computer.

I've completely lost motivation to write anything else, but I feel I've summarized (in very little detail) two things in my life which I haven't written about on the blog in a very long time (my job as a swim coach and what I've been reading). Goodbye.