Friday, July 20, 2012

Countenancing No Sentiment Whatever Beyond Mild Approbation

Sorry to say that by later that same day, I’d thought better of what had seemed like an excellent plan (the part-time job and pursuing activities meaningful to me—what was I thinking?) and was drenched in a mild, unrefreshing anxiety. This lurching from extreme to extreme is a bit disconcerting—“I’ll do this! No, I’ll do the exact opposite!”—but the latest thought is that I’m probably too young to eschew the income that comes with a full-time job and I’m admittedly not the entrepreneurial type, though my extended family is full of entrepreneurs, meaning that I’m not likely to want to be a self-employed consultant/teacher/coach.

Stand by to hear these exact revelations again six months from now; I’ll try to make it sound like I just figured it out.

I was walking near C.’s that afternoon—Wednesday a week ago—and so dropped by and found him working on his own application for unemployment benefits and having even less fun than I did. I took over to see if I could make any headway with it and realized that one of the Employment Development Department website’s error messages is a complete misnomer, and thought, “This software was poorly designed,” and then I thought, “Huh! Maybe I’m actually on the right track with the business analyst idea.”

The Mission evening was particularly lovely—very warm and balmy. I’d planned to have a reading evening at home while C. went to his weekly poetry event at Sacred Grounds, but it started to seem like a nice evening to be out, and as if it might be lonely to be at home alone, for which I blame C. It seems to me that when Tom and I were a couple, we saw each other once a week—could that be right?—and that that was agreeable to both parties, whereas I see C. five or six evenings a week, which at first struck me as a major overdose, but now seems just about right.

So I did join C. for the bus ride to the Haight, where, alas, it had to be a good 30 degrees cooler than in our neighborhood despite being just a couple of miles away, and instead of warm sun, there was wet grey fog right down to the sidewalk, and such a strong fishy smell that it was as if the ocean were a block away instead of tens of blocks away. Uck.

It’s now dawning on me that the reason I can’t decide what kind of job to get is that I don’t really want a job at all. Phillip Moffitt’s book addresses making decisions. He recommends, among other things, clarifying what the decision to be made actually is, and thus I see that the question here isn’t what kind of job to get, but if one should be obtained at all. But maybe that’s neither here nor there. Presumably no one wants a job (does anyone want a job?), but I am going to have to have one, anyway, meaning that I’ll have to face the fear of networking.

Phillip also writes about distinguishing our interpretations of things from our actual experience, and about expectations. Is it our habit to have high expectations (“Everything is going to come out just great!”) or low (“It will probably mostly be OK”) or downright negative: “I won’t be able to do this. I’m going to fail.” I fit pretty squarely in the last category, which is not helping.

Last Friday evening, C. and I went to the Red Poppy Arthouse to hear Ray Obiedo’s group play music billed as a hybrid of Latin jazz and funk. We danced together! It was fun.

This past Monday evening we went to Glide Memorial Church for Jana Drakka’s meditation group, and then to El Majahual for a late dinner.

Tuesday evening we had dinner at We Be Sushi and went to Howie’s. (That is, to the weekly meeting of Mission Dharma, for group meditation followed by a dharma talk from teacher Howard Cohn.)

On Wednesday I rode my bike down to Dwightly’s office for strategy team, and in the evening, C. and I took the bus to Chef Jia’s for dinner and went on to City Lights bookstore to hear Jim Nisbet read.

I went lately to stock up on Ivory bar soap, and found that there was none in two or more Walgreens! I “phoned” (that’s like texting, but you have to hear the person’s voice) my mother to express that tragedy had struck. “Really?” she asked. “Something that is old, out of date and no longer used by anyone other than a few cranks is no longer on the shelf? Odd.” She added, “Honestly, you’re just like your father.”

“Put him on, please.”

“He’s busy. Hold on.” I heard her yell, “Linda says she can’t buy Ivory soap at Walgreens anymore and she thinks the world is coming to an end.” Pause. “He quite agrees,” she reported back. I guess people now prefer to squirt their soap out of a little plastic bottle. Unfortunately, Ivory soap, as far as I know, is the only kind I can use without getting a red, itchy rash, so I visited other Walgreens stores and have found the inestimable highly pure bars here and there, marked way down for clearance. I have now secreted 33 bars of Ivory soap in my apartment (not saying exactly where, for security reasons), which will last a year, give or take.

Yesterday I completed a long list of little chores and in the evening watched Play Misty for Me, which is about a deranged, violent woman who develops an obsessive “love” for a radio DJ played by Clint Eastwood back in his particularly toothsome years. Afterward, I formed a resolve to avoid obsessive love, if possible.
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