Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Failure to Read

There are times when I am absolutely useless as a reader. This year seems to be worse than most in that regard. I have six months' worth of Smithsonian issues stacked up, plus a few literary magazines that came in awhile back. Since arriving in Louisiana, I haven't finished a book start to finish, though I was able to wrap up my reading on two or three volumes.

Maybe this is okay; I'm not sure. After all, we need to take a break from certain things now and then. But it kind of hurts me that I'm not as active in my reading life as I have been at times in the past. For example, when I was in grad school, I read more than I ever have in my life, and not only because many books were assigned to me--I was able to make my way through many other volumes on my own, as well. But now that I (theoretically) have more time on my hands? I'm a mess!

Of course, none of this has stopped me from going to the bookstore any time I get a chance. So I am making sure that I do my part to support writers in a financial sense. And maybe that's the best we can hope for in times of stress: making the contribution we are able, even if it isn't the one for which we hoped.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Not Much, Just Chillin'

There are times when I simply don't have much to say. There may be a million things bouncing around in my brain, but that doesn't mean a single coherent thought will make an appearance and metamorphose into a beautiful blog post.

This is one of those times. But the fact is, I have to keep doing this. It's not my first love, blogging. It's not even my second or my third. Rather, I find it to be an interesting and necessary exercise in sticking to a schedule. Hence these two paragraphs.

That's all.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Louisiana List

As I often do when I have a thing to ponder, I ran this Louisiana move past my friend Maureen prior to making a decision. And, per usual, it was an excellent, multi-day conversation. Below, you'll see the pros and cons list I sent to her across the course of 48 hours or so.


Pro: Beignets.
Con: Bobby Jindal.

Pro: I’ve never been to Louisiana!
Con: I’ve never even been to Louisiana.

Pro: I could work on my French.

Pro: I know people there.
Con: It’s stuck between Mississippi and Texas.

Pro: New experiences.
Con: No more quick, easy access to my Canadian escape route in the event of a Trump presidency. [Side note: as I mentioned previously, I'm now closer to Mexico than Canada, but it's still a good 9 hours away, which makes fleeing the country that much more difficult.]

Pro: Moving to Louisiana would inadvertently help me achieve my goal of visiting half the states by the time I’m 30, because I would have to drive through some new ones on the way.
Con: It’s over 1,000 miles from here to there.

Pro: I wouldn’t have to work retail for awhile.
Con: I would lose my sweet employee discount.

Pro: It would give me an opportunity to quit my job by saying, “Hey, remember that time I have to move to Louisiana next week?”
Con: I would have to make some tough book-packing decisions.


In the end, of course, I came to Louisiana. And it was good.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

Let's be clear at the start: the "mo' money" referenced in the post title is not my own money, but the amount of money I'm required to deal with each day, because this is a post about retail life.

Working retail took so much out of me. When you're employed in an open area like a store, you always--always--have to be "on." There's no hiding behind a closed office door. Even going to the food court on your lunch break can be strenuous, because you never know when a customer is going to walk by and ask you about their purchase. (This situation is ameliorated slightly by the fact that many eateries give mall employees a 10 percent discount on their orders.)

It's one thing not to be free to sigh or frown or even sneeze too loudly, but for me, what hurt the most was the knowledge that I could be spending that time either reading or writing, or at the very least doing something other than running a register. No disrespect to any of my former co-workers; I got along with all of them, and I remain grateful for that. It's just that retail isn't what I'm supposed to do with my life, and I have always known that. (Maybe not always. But at least since middle school.)

Some people thrive in a retail environment, or at least don't get bummed out by their position. I'm not that girl. And I'm so grateful for the stroke of good luck that allowed me to escape the mall, at least for a few months.