Posts tagged ‘work’

September 1, 2011

I could never get the hang of Thursdays. No, that’s a lie.

On my way towards the elevator I ran into the dentist who works down the hall from me. We talked about the weather and the fact that tomorrow is Friday, and what that meant to each of us. He liked Fridays; I found them to be more stressful as they were full of preparing for the workload of the coming week. He murmured in understanding. We got out on the third floor and went our ways.

Each day of the week means something to someone. It’s felt very natural, working where I do, to slip into a weekly rhythm that assigns each day its own identity and to see each week as a separate animal from the one that preceded it. Mondays are slow and easy, a warm up; given to easing back into the swing of things and maybe plotting out, cup of coffee in hand, the plans and goals for the week ahead. Tuesdays are the build and the push, the most aggressive of days: energy is still high and you’ve built on the strength of a nice beginning, hopefully. Wednesdays you just hold course; being the crest of the week doesn’t mean you’re going downhill. And then there are Thursdays.

I guess the title of this blog is itself a lie – Thursdays are tricky. You start to feel the wear from getting up at 6am every day, the same way you start to feel the burn from a run when you enter the last leg of it. It’s the no-man’s land between here and there, before you tumble into the coda of Friday. I wonder where Arthur Dent would stand on all this.

I find it useful to break up my week in this manner, but I know that’s just my approach. Others have their weekends on Monday, or see Saturdays as something to be feared. But I wonder, however different schedules break up their lives, how other people construct their own narratives about the progression of days, if they do at all. If there is a point to it. For me it  helps to know that you’ve got another one coming up; that if this one didn’t go as well as you hoped, that you’ll have another chance to do better next time.

February 20, 2011

aaaand we’re back

cup of coffee, blueberry/blackberry scone, jazz samba. it’s a fine day for starting again.
the hardest thing these days is turning off the urge to multitask. my brain running three or four processes at once has long been my m.o.; now i just want to practice being where i am.
i had given up and moved on. this blog was a rock in my mind that i was content to walk away from in favor of other projects, other mediums; sitting down at a computer and free-associating got old quick. i could never stop the urge to write entries based on preconceived titles, to fake some cheap and tired wisdom. that was what i expected of myself and the habit i’d built over time.
the tradeoff is scary: giving up what you know you can do for things you know you might be able to do, but not without a good deal of embarrassment and clumsiness and generally poor execution; the early steps of anything new. between that and the sheer ease with which i get distracted, the prospect of ‘making it’ as i’ve come to hold in my mind has looked grim. in my daily writing i’ve learned the value of pushing through hard spots and seen the satisfaction that comes from working through a cold start in spite of not wanting to. but multitasking, itself a minion of the Lord Trying Always To Be Elsewhere and Do More Than I Can In A Day, remains. my recent preoccupation – or sideways flight – into a game approach has yielded one definitive truth thus far: life does not resemble a game so much as an office job, where most of the time is unremarkable and repetitive. setting out first thing in the morning with goals like have an epic day are fun in theory but largely impossible to execute, and are rather exhausting to attempt anyway. working within smaller, mundane confines is our lot.
today was like any other day.
and then i checked achewood.
for the last several years chris onstad’s work on achewood has served as an example of what is possible in comics, both in terms of quality of writing and the endless possibilities of what can be said and done. over the course of nine years he produced an incredible variety of stories, in a manner that could perpetuate itself forever. the world of achewood was not limited by sequence or consistency or continuity, or any other marks of a small perspective. it simply went anywhere and everywhere, one small and absurd and wonderful step at a time.
last year, achewood began to slow and slow until it came to a full stop early this year. it seemed that onstad had broken down under the mental pressure of his legacy, that he had lost faith in his powers. in the dry month of january checking for new strips became more and more a futile act of self-deception. it was over. what hurt was not that it had ended, but that it had ended with its author in defeat. storylines lay open and unfinished, and there was not even a farewell-and-thank-you to signify that the end had come. just silence. it shouldn’t have ended like this, not after all this time.
i felt despondent; if the price of making something like achewood was the mental collapse of a man, what hope was there for the rest of us?
i was on the verge of composing a eulogy for the strip as one might do for a friend who died too soon; the energy of all the life they had still to live screaming out like a siren of all things wrong in the world. forever a bitter taste.
and then, today.
achewood has returned.
only time will tell if it regains its former speed and strength, but this much is certain: i could have asked for no better sign this morning that today, always today, is a fine day to start fresh, and make what was so wrong right again.


November 20, 2010

idiot, slow down

being sick lends itself to despair. like any downward spiral worth its salt, physical deterioration acts as icing on the cake to all the other shit that isn’t going so well. it certainly doesn’t incline me to write. let me be many things, but let me not be one who whines in a blog.
a week ago craig thompson and company came into my restaurant. they’d been in earlier in the evening, but like many others had been deterred at the hour wait i quoted them. i get star struck around a few people and he is one of them. they returned on the heels of a hectic night and despite usual trends things were picking up in the post-10pm late night dining area. my internal clock was slowing; when i saw craig and his party return through the front door i was determined to keep them there, whatever it took. the evening had worn me down and in that moment of seeing him come back, disparate elements – mostly fatigue and the sense of having more to do than one can do – converged in my brain and i lost myself. i remember proclaiming that the wait was over and that i could seat them immediately, and feeling locked in a mild panic/urge to get them taken care of. many times i’ve been busy and i move fast when i have to – nothing new. but after the dust had settled it was pointed out to me that unless the restaurant was on fire, i shouldn’t run through the restaurant like i had just done.
i had no recollection of having full-out run, but there it was. all those little elements came together and i lost my shit, if just for five minutes.
now the sickness has mostly burned through me and i’ve returned to work. while i was functional i felt myself still subdued; my mind was quiet in the way that a blocked pipe is quiet and i moved no faster than was absolutely necessary. when it got busy i mostly just let it happen. i didn’t have the energy to run; i’m not sure it would have made much difference in the end even if i had.