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.

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.

Bad Mixture

It’s crazy but I haven’t felt like writing. I’m on a bad mixture and I’m not getting wasted. Homemade margaritas, apple pie, ice cream and milk. Ah shit my stomach hurts. What a world what a world what a world. Just got to keep moving. Supposed to go to Europe next year for three months. Don’t know how I’m going to pay for that and law school, too, and it’s kind of a shame in a way since if I do manage to save up 15 grand by then it’ll all be depleted in one shot and I’ll be right back to where I started. But even Adam Smith said savings are useless. What’s money for if you don’t spend it. It’s just a number. We’re all built to consume. Or anyway it’s just a number. I have a strong attachment to money. I don’t like budgeting and I don’t even really like spending. In a weird way I do like looking at what I owe and what bills I can pay. I mean I hate it, but I must like it in a way because I spend a lot of time doing that or thinking about it.

Anyway my stomach hurts too much to write. Thought I felt like writing.

Brief Recap

Holy Christ it’s snowing again. I’ve never seen so much snow. I mean compared to Canada and Minnesota it’s nothing but I think it’s come down and then cleared away and then come down again like four times. I’m used to one big snow a year if that. This shit is crazy. Walking through the snow is a real work out too. I went all the way from GF’s bus stop to the Faneuil Square Library to get a pass for GF so I think I should get some kind of medal.

And now I’m going to work where no one will be because of all the god damned snow. I swear come spring time I better be making some real money! Of course I can’t really complain about the money I make, there’s a lot of it, there are just more debts than money.

It’s funny how just a couple years ago I would have been delighted at the thought of making what I do now on slow days, but now I’m like WTF.

I just finished reading Proust and the Squid and the beginning was way better than the middle and the end. It got really technical and stuff and I guess I was just looking for something more philosophical. Now I’m going to start reading Anxious Decades, a book I stole from the University of Delaware and then had to pay like 80 dollars for. It’s about United States history in the 1900s or 1920s or something.

I’ve been watching this movie on Netflix called Caravaggio about Caravaggio. I don’t really understand it but it seems crazy. I just watch it like twenty minutes at a time.

My family has my Netflix account password and they watch so much TV that by the time I go to look on the Recently Watched page for Caravaggio, even though I just watched it the day before, I already can’t find that shit.

Anyway I don’t understand how in the movie there is a typewriter and what looks like a calculator. I’m obviously missing something, how long has that shit been around? Certainly there were no small calculators until the 1970s or something. And I think the movie takes place in like 1650. Whatever, probably some symbolism I’m supposed to understand or figure out.

Off to work now, back in the button up.

The Thrill Is Still Gone

Blog stats have flat lined.

Damn it.

And the worse they get, the more fiendishly I check them.

How did it come to this?

In my other blog attempts, I would have been happy with two followers as long as one of them was someone I didn’t know. Now I have thirty followers but if I don’t get a new like every hour I’m a sad panda.

In the beginning, I was writing more than I ever had. Just pushing out posts. Then, as I realized how much interesting content was already out there, I followed more and more blogs. Still, I don’t follow as many as most bloggers. But I spend a lot of time reading now, way more than at the beginning, which, let’s keep it in perspective, was only about a month ago. And even more time than that…well ok not really more time but certainly an unhealthy amount of time is spent checking my stats. Seeing what people searched for to get here.

With all that I haven’t been writing near as much.

On the positive side I have been getting out more. Doing more stuff.

And I am trying to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

And the more I think about that, the more I think, what am I trying to build?

The harsh and shameful truth about my mentality is that in the back of my mind, no matter how therapeutic and lovely this blogging experience has been, I’ve been thinking, how can I make enough money doing this so I don’t ever have to leave the house again?

It’s hard for me to be honest about this, because I’d like to think I do things just for the pleasure of doing them. That I blog for the beauty of the connections I’ve made with other minds.

I forget if I mentioned it in another post, or if I wrote it by hand in my super luxurious leather bound diary, but I feel more and more like I am many people. Each of me inhabiting me at different times. I don’t think I have multiple personality disorder, which would be more interesting, but rather, it’s just a way of conceptualizing or grasping the different ways I feel from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.

So one part of me, or one person of me, one person I am…shit, what’s a good way to say it? I don’t know. I’ll name them. Fred. Damn it. That’s another thing, I don’t really like the name Gordon Flanders and I don’t really like the name Fred. But they both just came to me. I should pick a bad ass name like Black Elk. Or Crazy Horse. But Crazy Horse is too awesome for anyone but Crazy Horse so I can’t use that one.

Insecure Money Bastard. That’s what I’ll name that one me. The me that gets worried I’ll never have enough money to pay off my debts and the same one that wants to just stay home all the time and never go to work. I’ll name that me Jerry.

Nah this will get too confusing.

Anyway there’s always that part of me in the background saying, “How can you turn this into a ‘tribe’? How can you turn this into money?” A bunch of buzzword bullshit.

The worst part is no matter how many lessons I learn or insightful things people tell me, I can’t shake this bastard. And so I think, shit if I had 10,000 followers I could just write a book of me just saying whatever came into my mind and sell it for a dollar and I’d have $10,000.

And that’s why I check the stats every day.

Or maybe just one of the reasons. Another reason is it feels really good to have someone ‘like’ your post.

Yeah I think that feeling has more to do with it.

I am chemically dependent on ‘like’ endorphins.

At the same time I still would like to just do this instead of having a job.

A friend once told me that I was still young enough to think I could get rich without working really hard for it. I think I am slowly getting too old to think that.

The problem is I do work really hard when I’m at work, at manual labor type shit. But it’s very easy to be mentally lazy. To zone out and just do your job and get through.

I remember thinking last week that even while I folded napkins I should make it so that I was like a napkin folding artist. Then yesterday I remember thinking, I’m going to be a getting through the workday artist. Fuck folding napkins like an artist, I’m just going to get through the day on autopilot and that’s how I’m going to earn my money.

Well, a few days ago I decided I would never make money from writing. I decided to give up on making money at writing and just do it for the sheer pleasure of writing. Then I thought I should get a part time job during the day to make money, and then invest that money to make more money. I’ve known all along that writing stories is a bad way to make money, and anyway I haven’t written any stories and that’s an even worse way to make money. So I got pretty excited about finally giving up on it. I love giving up on things, it brings such a peace. At first anyway, or maybe it’s just a peace in disguise. Maybe it’s a little death. When you finally give up on everything, you can transcend this world and exist as an indistinguishable part of the all-soul in complete tranquility, or what humans call not having a pulse any more. Hm sometimes it’s pretty tempting.

Yes and then the very next day, I saw that the restaurant put me on a lunch shift where I usually work a night shift. So I thought, well that’s going to be hard to reconcile with the new part time job, if I’m not on a set schedule every week. And then I thought, because I was thinking at first about what Seth Godin said about the days of the journeyman writer being over, or in other words that only the greatest of writers will get paid, the ones that persist through insurmountable odds and such, and the rest of us will just do it for free because it’s so available now that no one really has to pay for words…okay I’ll restart that sentence. So as I thought about the days of the journeymen writers being over, I thought, well what about David Gaughran and Dean Weasley Smith. They make at least a little money from selling their books. I could eventually make enough money to at least account for what I would be making at a part time job.

So then I was back on the “I can make money writing” train.

And I’m still on it. Because it works perfectly with my new “Rome wasn’t built in a day” kick. Who cares if I don’t make any money at it this year or the next or the next? In ten years I’m bound to make a few hundred a month at it. You just can’t do it that long and fuck it up.

This is the kind of writing I love to do. Just writing down whatever comes in my head and having people actually read it is a dream come true.

To an extent, writing a story or a well researched essay is a craft. If you work hard at it, you can make a product that someone will pay a little money for. And even though I’d rather just sit here and write random bullshit all day, I guess I’d rather work at writing that kind of stuff than work at another coffee shop.

Then again, I was reading this book today about women and guns and it was talking about how this one lawyer works for free to defend women who have been charged with using a gun against an attacker unlawfully. And I thought, shit I’d like to do that. I never once thought about becoming a lawyer, but GF is in grad school, fuck it, maybe I will too.

Yeah I pretty much got it all figured.