234. big week
This has been a pretty monumental week for me. I finally got my car on Monday (see here) – a Scion Xb which I absolutely LOVE. It’s tiny on the outside but freaking HUGE on the inside. I know lots of people hate the boxy look, but I like it. It’s practical and efficient and quirky. So far, only two things I don’t like about it. One, it has no power and two, it only has one interior light which means if I have to look at my map at night (something that happens a lot since I’ve only been here for about three weeks), I have to reach up behind me and turn on the light in the middle of the ceiling.
To remedy this second bit, I’m going to keep my eye out for some kind of clip-on, suction cup light that I can attach to my windshield.
Another (unexpected) benefit about having a car is that I have access to NPR. I’ve written before that I love not having a TV, but it’s hard to keep up on the news without it. I mean I suppose I could subscribe to the local paper, but it’s so much easier to get caught up on the main events of the day by tuning in to those thirty minute updates on CNN or FOX News. NPR is a nice replacement. I always feel smarter after tuning in.
I have a job (well, technically I have to pass their background check first, but I can’t think of any red flags that would cause any problems). I’m going to be working for a warehouse that houses records. As I understand it, my basic job will be to either place boxes full of files on their designated shelf or to find a specific box on some other designated shelf and retrieve it. Now I’m sure there’s more to the job than that, but those are the basic duties that were outlined to me during the interview.
Now to some, that job probably sounds like grunt work, but to me it sounds like the perfect breeding ground for unleashing latent creativity. Here’s why.
Most of you know I used to do temp work (before I got hired by the temp company), and on one of these temp jobs, I was working for a law firm. On my first day on the job they gave me a sheet full of tiny stickers. On each of these stickers was a number like, “000001” and “000002” and “000003” and so on. They gave me a whole stack of these sheets and each of them had more sequential numbers on them. Next, they showed me a room full of banker boxes – those cardboard ones with a lid and two holes on the front and back that act as handles. Inside each of these boxes were a bunch of huge three-ring binders and within each of these binders was reams and reams of legal paperwork.
Can you guess what my job entailed?
My job was to open up these boxes, take out a folder and affix one numerical sticker on each of the sheets I found inside. One by one, folder by folder, box by box.
I can’t remember exactly how many labels I ended up using, but I know I was well into the tens of thousands before I was done.
For that job, I basically went in to work, shut down most of my brain and started sticking stickers. Once lunch time came around, I powered up my brain again and went to eat. And that’s where the magic happened. I got some of my most creative writing done during those lunch breaks because after all that repetitive work, my noodle was just itching to stretch itself out – to break free from the numbing, numbering repetition.
I know my new job won’t be as brain dead as the sticker job at the law office, but I know it won’t be as high-stress as my last job. I remember coming home from working at the temp company and my brain would feel like tofu. The last thing it wanted to do was work some more even if it was something fun and creative like a new story or a blog.
My hope is that once I get over the initial learning curve, the job will be somewhat repetitive such that my brain will be fresh enough to do more heavy lifting after work (like the NaNoWriMo).
Oh, and I also bought a desk, a chair, and a lamp (all from IKEA). I haven’t picked up a bed yet, but that’s probably the next big purchase. For me, a table was far more important than a bed because while the floor has been serving me just fine for sleeping, it was no good for writing. And I hope to be doing a lot of it (1,700 words per day to stay on track for the NaNo) in the next few weeks.
Prior to this, I had been doing a lot of my writing on our dining room table which worked well enough but for me, writing is a solitary affair. My roommates left me alone when writing but still, it felt strange to be pecking away on my laptop with other people in the same room.
See, I write in fits and starts. I laugh out loud when the juices are flowing and words are falling from the sky. I look at the ceiling, the wall, out the window. I wave my fingers over the keyboard. I spin circles with my hands in midair. I furrow my brow and put my hand in front of my mouth. I’ve developed a whole range of unconscious, animated behaviors to coax and conjure the muse. These devices are best practiced away from watchful eyes if only to assure people I’m not suffering from schizophrenia.
And now I have a desk, and this is the first blog written on it.
Last miscellaneous bits.
I’m attending a Christian arts conference this weekend. I found out about it through Mars Hill church, where I’ve been going for the last few Sundays.
I’ll be seeing Shawn Colvin in concert on Monday.
Miles, the guitar player for my band will be arriving in Seattle on Saturday morning. Let the Harrison global musical domination project commence!
Last night I had the spiciest rahmen EVER. My roommates brought it home from this Korean grocery store called H-Mart (I guess because the name, K-Mart, was already taken). They said the store gave them a whole box-full of the stuff because their total bill passed a certain price point. I suspect they’re giving the stuff away because it’s burrowing holes through peoples’ stomaches. After finishing my bowl, I had to eat two slices of bread to put the fire out in my mouth. (In case you didn’t know, water doesn’t work to cool a spiced out mouth because the chemical that makes spicy food hot, capsaicin, doesn’t blend with water. Bread works as does beer and milk, but I wouldn’t drink them together. See what you can learn by spending inordinate amounts of time on the internet?)