Money, Friends, AirBnB

Yesterday spent like a hundred and fifty bucks on groceries. GF is getting ready for her final project at school. We hung out with the AirBnB guest. I was making margaritas and I was like here have one! And he was like nah and I thought that it was because he didn’t want to drink but he just didn’t feel right taking out liquor or whatever. Then we opened some wine and I was like here have some and it was the same thing but in the end he did take some after we convinced him that we were earnest in our generosity. I mean it doesn’t seem implausibly generous to me, but this is his first AirBnB stay. It was fun. It reminded me of what Kurt Vonnegut says in an essay about modern society and extended families.

But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but it’s a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but it’s a man.

When a couple has an argument nowadays, they may think it’s about money or power or sex or how to raise the kids or whatever. What they’re really saying to each other, though without realizing it, is this: ‘You are not enough people!’

A husband, a wife and some kids is not a family. It’s a terribly vulnerable survival unit.

It was crazy because we had spent the whole day together and were having a good time, but when he showed up and sat down we had a million new things to talk about, even though we’ve talked about those kinds of things a thousand times with each other, it was all new material while he was there.

I just got my new shoes in the mail. I’m still waiting for some god damn protein powder. Don’t know how I’m supposed to make it through these ten hour shifts with no food. But the shoes are mad expensive. They are Danskos. GF has them and likes them so I thought I would try them out. And I finally have enough money to buy something expensive.

Advertisements

Hold On

I’m out already. Back in the comfort of the office. All is dark now and the light is on and it smells good and now I really am drinking whiskey and ginger ale, but the heat is still off. No sign of the AirBnB guest, except that the back door was unlocked and the extra set of keys were on the table. So far as I can tell he is fast asleep in his quarters.

Just before I left for work I watched the Alabama Shakes on YouTube. I’d never actually seen a video of theirs even though I listen to their album all the time. This video is a little different than the album version and it almost made me cry. And it got me through the day. That’s what art is all about!

GF is out with her friends, celebrating killing her first lobster at school. I am supposed to pick her up in a Zipcar when she’s done. I offered because one in five woman in the United States will be a victim of a crime and I want to keep her out of that. Don’t like her traveling home alone at night. She does it sometimes and it’s fine, but I’d rather her not if I can help it.

Supposed to be a busy day tomorrow. I’m working a double. But I’ll be home again at a decent hour. So strange, three days in a row. I kept thinking all day that today was Thursday. I was so sure of it. But anyway, strange, because I usually close tonight, tomorrow, the next night and the next, but I’m not even working Saturday, going home for Easter. Coworker left me two dollars from yesterday’s cash take. Weak.

At the wine tasting, no one gave the salesperson who was showing us the wine any respect. It was so weird. One guy was yawning and saying the wine was bad and another was interrupting her all the time saying she didn’t think that was right. It was so weird. One coworker said that they were probably acting this way because the wines were inexpensive, and last week were tasting Burgundy Grand Crus, so they were probably like yeah whatever. Well, shit, that’s pretty fucked up to disrespect someone just because of that. I mean shit our manager is the one who told her which wines to show.

But fuck it. Everyone is mean sometimes, sometimes you just got to Hold On.

Feeling Sorry for Myself

I’m in a weird place now. I didn’t want to start writing a post because I knew that when I did, time would start passing faster, and it’s almost time for me to leave for work. The new AirBnB guest is supposed to be here about the same time I have to leave for work, too. So I’m not really looking forward to either one of those activities, as usual, even though I don’t know what I’m doing that’s any better than that.

Last night I thought sure I was going to wake up and write something. I got everything in order and sat down to the computer at 10:30. By the time it was 11:30 I had opened up my word processor and I was ready to go. By 12:30 I had written two terrible paragraphs about nothing. So I got up and ate.

I’ve said before that the only times I feel good at home sometimes is when I’m eating something. More instant gratification. I did study for the LSAT for 30 minutes and that felt fine. Didn’t want to do it at first but it became fun by the end. Then I read some of Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now! It’s interesting and I had to stop reading it because I knew time was really going to fly if I got too into it.

And it’s cold as a bitch in this whole house again. I figured I hadn’t turned on the heat up to whatever point it was, so no reason to do it now, with only so much time to go. So now I’m sitting at the desk with my jacket and my shoes and my hat on all ready to walk right out the door. I’ve been like this since more than an hour before I actually have to leave. I don’t know why. I guess I’m scared that I’ll get caught up in something and then won’t have time to get ready to leave or something. I’ll really be screwed if that dude shows up early.

Maybe I’m trying to force myself to write too much and I’m not really having much fun with it. So many things I have to do, or think I have to do, I don’t give myself any time to just not do anything, I guess. I don’t know. Same shit all the time. Maybe I’ll try to memorize some poetry while I’m at work or something. I don’t know. Count to ten in French a bunch. That should be helpful.

There where it is we don’t need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

This morning it was bright outside. I had to take my jacket off as we walked to the train in the sun. The birds were chirping as I sat down to my computer in my house made gray by the curtains and the upholstery. And now I’ve moved to the office, with windows all around, and it’s gray outside now, too. And my feet are cold inside my shoes, still soaked with last night’s sweat.

I guess I’ll never talk to my best friend who went off to the Army again. We aren’t the kind of people who can be friends into true adulthood. My great Aunt died and my dad texted me: “Don’t know if you heard but Aunt Annie passed away. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!” Weird. Last night I had a dream that I was drunk at my parents house and I wrote some kind of journal thing and saved it on a 3.5 inch floppy disk and my mom found it the next morning and was really upset as I helped her unload the groceries from her car. And I had stolen her bag of Domino sugar and cocaine had something to do with that.

Tomorrow I am working a double so that my coworker will cover my shift on Saturday so I can take a bus to Long Island and meet my mother there, and then she’ll drive us back to Delaware. I’ll be there until Tuesday.

I’ve been wanting to get drunk all day, or at least just have one whiskey and ginger, but I keep putting it off for good reasons, just like the heat. We are having wine class before work today, so maybe I can get enough, but no I already know how that story goes. And yesterday I drank a lot of coffee but it was either too much or not enough because it was not making me feel good. I wish I had a flask but I know I’ll never do that. I’m sure they would notice I was drunk by how happy I would be.

We are set to make 500 dollars from AirBnB for the month of May. So far no one has noticed anything and we’ve had four or five sets of guests come. We have a pretty full April, too. I guess we’ve made about 350 dollars including this guy coming today for March. So that’s good. We are going to need a lot of money for our Eurotrip. GF keeps thinking we should stay for longer. I don’t know, shit, people do it but they are rich or have no debts I don’t know. Damn sure can’t throw it all on the 3,000 dollar credit card I have with an interest rate of 22 percent and already 2,000 dollars used up on that bitch!

I guess I’m about the laziest person I know, in a way. I don’t know how to live without instant gratification all the time. I don’t know how to live with a bad feeling in my heart. I don’t know how to struggle through a day gracefully. I don’t know how everyone shows up to work and acts like they do.

For a while there, it seemed like I had some perspective. I was reading the news and history and seeing myself as part of a bigger picture, instead of just self-analyzing and obsessing with myself and all that. How can I get that back? Guess I should read the news and history again.

Ah well. There goes a half an hour. Better spent than the three hours before it anyway.

Snow Blogs

I should have just named this blog “Meditations on Snow” or some shit for all the snowing it’s doing outside and all the trouble it’s causing. Not really causing a lot of trouble, after all, but that shit is getting realllllll annoying.

It snowed again last night and now everything is covered and unlike last time it’s still cold today, really cold, so the snow has frozen to hard white on the sidewalks, grittier and less slippery than ice, but still hazardous. And who knows when it’s going to heat up again, so this shit will be with us a while, not like last time. Which was only a few days ago, after all.

My friend from DC came and went over the weekend. We got drunk on margaritas and car bombs and let the ice melt in glasses half full of Jameson. We talked and walked and did not write.

The bike has been giving me a lot of trouble, with it finally blowing up in my face, literally, on Friday. So the bus has been giving me even more problems.

I’m washing towels now, and we have some more people staying here from Airbnb.

I’m listening to a lot of podcasts and reading The Economist. I bought a little notebook in Brooklyn and I’ve been writing in it more factually. I haven’t written ecstatically or fluidly in a long time. Or at least a week and a half. The weeks seem long lately. And short, too. It’s almost payday again. I’m going home for Easter. So that will mean even less writing with all those people to talk to.

No sign of the scrapers today. Maybe they are dead.

Messy Desk (Rambling and Writing Practice)

I wanted to get started on something, but I just took too long. Now GF is coming home and I guess she’ll be here in 30 minutes or so. She’s a little sick and didn’t get much sleep last night so I’ll be taking care of her. AKA sitting on the couch and watching movies with her while she eats soup.

Got this big ass thing of coffee all made up, too. Don’t know if I’ll be able to sit still.

Till she gets here I might as well spout off something.

My desk is cluttered looks like the snowstorm came through here. No damn it that’s something my mother would say. What’s the best way to describe a cluttered desk? What’s the most interesting way I could possibly do it? I was reading in The Genius in All of Us by David Shenk about how focused practice is the only practice that makes us better. People do their jobs every day but they don’t necessarily improve every day. Only by trying to go beyond what you currently do can you become better. So he said the best way to become a better writer is to do writing drills, not just write like you always do. The best way to become stronger is of course to push yourself past your limits. George Patton says the same thing in Patton’s Principals. I used to keep a card of this quote in my wallet, and now I can’t think of it exactly. Except he said something like: You have command your body to work harder than it can, that way your body will say, ‘I’d better step it up if I’m going to keep up with this crazy mind.’ Well, it was way different than that, but still pretty colloquial like that. So the best way to get better at writing is to write something you don’t want to. Or something like that. I always want to improve my writing, that way I can just write anything and it will be interesting. That’s what Jack Kerouac ended up doing. He practiced all the time until he could just write about something and it would be poetry.

Ok, then. Cluttered desk. Cluttered desk. Desk is a mess. Desk is a mess. Shit is messy. Got a mess on this desk got to put it to rest. Can’t pass a test with a cluttered desk. I must confess my desk is a mess. Can’t pass a test with a messy desk. Messy desk yes it’s blessed.

Messy desk

Can’t be blessed

Must confess

Can’t pass no test

No not unless

Messy desk

Takes a rest

Checkbooks, textbooks, a clock that isn’t plugged in. Staring past the mess out to the street, out to the windows, out to the snowy clean ness of the rest of the world, everyone’s desk is clean but mine is a mess. There are pens and scissors and ripped up letters and things written on scrap paper things that aren’t scrap paper being written on, things that I have written and then written something else on them four years later. And this desk was not a mess just a little while ago. I cleaned it up for our first AirBnB guest so it was just as clean as it could be. Now it’s got my iPod charger cord and my ripped up copy of the New Yorker that I usually keep in my bookbag. It’s got tickets to The Breakers and my little black books from last year and papers papers papers, an application for a CVS card. And this is just shit I can see from this low slung vantage point, slouching backwards in my chair with no visibility. Old mess gets plowed under and ends up on top of new mess, like water in the ocean, or dirt in a field. What’s that process by which water from the bottom of the ocean comes to the top or something like that…reduction or some shit.

I’ve got to learn some more shit.

I wanted to write a little essay about Trader Joe’s. And about biking, too. I’m thinking that I should definitely start that new blog, but I’m thinking I should plan it out better. Like the whole thing should be an actual project, instead of kind of like a therapy which is what this blog really is or should be (thanks to psmprincess for pointing that out). So basically the new blog should be wholly contrived. Which is a word with a lot of negative connotations. But what is the actual definition? Well it simply means to create or bring about by skill or artifice. That’s not so bad. The essays will come from the heart, but then go through a skillful filter of sorts. But yeah so questions come up about should there be pages, shouldn’t it be simple to follow, and how to create a larger and larger audience for that shit so one day I can sit at home watch the snow and write essays instead of being a bartender. I love being a bartender right now, but I love writing even more, and when I’m 79 I don’t want to have to go to work every day. Man I’d love to live to be 79. I always feel like I’m going to die before that, because it’s so easy to do. Anything could kill you. But that’s a different topic altogether and I’m trying to practice some writing before GF calls, which could be any second now.

The snow is no joke out there now. That shit is truly covering everything and this is one of the first times in my life that I have been able to actually see it accumulate. I don’t normally sit in front of windows for this long. It’s sticking to the trees in shrouds now, and the cars are getting fucked up, you can see their whole windows are crystallizing and shit. The snow’s coming so fast and hard that it’s like a mist out there, everything loses color, it’s all whited out the further away things are. The yellows are less yellow. It’s funny too because once the sun comes out, the complete opposite will be true. The sun will reflect off the white and make everything seem like a movie by Pixar. More true than life. Those are some story telling mother fuckers, too. God damn they know how to grip the emotions.

My hands are so dry when I use a rough cloth to polish dishes at work, I feel like I’m the one scratching the cloth instead of the other way around. I feel like I could sand down sandpaper.

Well GF just called and she’s going to want picking up soon. So I’ll have to get to figuring that shit out. I’ll try to write more later today, but I might just read so she doesn’t have to listen to the tippity tapping of these keys.

 

Caffeine and Bartending

The last three days at work I’ve had a redeye and been really talkative for the first part of the evening. Being talkative is important at a bar. Normally I don’t like to talk at all. But you have to engage people at the bar or they feel like you’re snubbing them. And if you’re not snubbing them, they’ll think you’re just a bad bartender. And if you don’t like to talk you probably are.

So the caffeine was working out when I was working doubles, because I would get off at 8 or 9 and be good, starting to come down. Though I would still be up and frenetic for a little while afterwards. Last night I couldn’t hardly get to sleep because I was too excited thinking about what I was going to blog about today.

I’m supposed to take a shower before work. I didn’t take one last night, got home too late and said fuck it.

And last night I had a redeye but then I had to stay until 12 or so cleaning. That was one of the reasons I got it, figured it would be good energy for that. But in the beginning I felt like I was working against the caffeine, like in the beginning of the shifts I was wiping the shelves down and the mirrors behind the bottles and all of that shit, and it felt like it was becoming more and more difficult to work the more I was drinking the coffee. Which is pretty counterintuitive. But there it was.

Plus, I have to spend four dollars on that shit. Tonight I’m going to try it out just drinking the regular restaurant coffee again. It’s shit, and I’ve had some bad experiences with it. It’s strange to think that different kinds of coffee can give you different kinds of buzzes, but I find it’s true. I also find that mixing stuff in changes the effect of caffeine. I don’t know if this is placebo or what.

But yeah the four dollars is some real bullshit. Last night I made a lot of money in cash though. Shit tons of cash. Everyone was tipping cash and on guy tipped 80 dollars cash on like a fifty dollar tab. But none of this has anything to do with the caffeine.

I was talkative like a motherfucker and it was working out, but at some point in the night my eyes started watering and shit and I was like what the fuck is going on. Well, it wasn’t something I wasn’t used to because that kind of shit often happens to me. But I would prefer that it didn’t. Just stay clear headed to the end.

And the damndest thing about my job is I’m the slowest cleaner around, I guess, and I can’t seem to close the bar down fast, which is a desirable trait for a bartender. I mean I don’t give a good shit as long as I’m out of there before 1:20 so I can catch my bus and all, but the managers like to be out of there. Plus the owner doesn’t want to be paying overtime because I can’t clean faster. So last night I was going to work on that and I think I did a pretty good job, but I don’t think the redeye helped anything.

So I think I’m going to retire that redeye shit. Fuck it.

How else can I improve at bartending? I don’t know, it’s a weird thing, I was trying to figure out how to improve and reading and shit and memorizing cocktails and such, but none of that is really helping in the face to face interactions and the real nuts and bolts of bartending. I’m still pretty bad at it. I can make good drinks and I’m a hard worker, but I dont’ have the real finesse. If only I could get drunk at work. Or at least just steady drink the whole time. Fuck it, I’ll just pretend I’m drunk. I pretty much did that last night and it seemed to work out.

Shit. What the fuck is going on with today? What have I done. And it’s 1:21 PM now so it’s almost time to get on that bus and start figuring that shit out. Have I improved from yesterday? I don’t know.

Tomorrow my girlfriend and I are going to prep the room for the first AirBnB guest. And she has some reading to do so hopefully I will get more chances to write. Ah but what the fuck is the point of writing all this shit? I don’t know I really don’t. Ah Christ these motherfuckers are still trying to bring the whole house down, those bastards downstairs.