I. I Love Who I Am
To kick off my 60th post, which I am quite proud about, I have to share my feelings of being invincible. I know this number, 60, is a small number in the blog world (let’s say), but I have to pat myself on the back for sticking with this life blogging thing. There are a lot of things I can/could/should be writing–I am–but this takes away from the redundancy and frustration that goes along with writer’s block and coming up with redundant/cliche ideas.
However, I am on Cloud Nine, simply because I have come to terms with having a conscience and acknowledging that I am a decent human being. This week, I illustrated my optimism and kindness to others, as always, but I received massive compliments for simply holding the door open. Sure, proving chivalry is not dead on dates, my over exerting myself proved to be confidence boosters; these instances had nothing to do with the individual referred to in between those commas. One gentleman, riding around in a motor scooter, was having a hard time getting into the Art Mart, which is located in the Syracuse City Hall Commons. I ran over–yes, I actually two-stepped it–over to the door, aiding him in entering the bazaar. The gentleman was shocked that I came over to help him out. A second instance occurred this week, a woman was struggling with posters and other materials in her hands, so I stopped to offer help. Last night, I held the door for another older gentleman, toting a cane. He told me I was a “true gentleman.”
My parents didn’t raise no fool. However, it’s in my nature to be compelled to overexert myself, benefiting others. It’s a rush. It’s a high. Feeling good about something helps me push myself to be a better individual. My parents, my being their child, do deserve credit.
So, I am not big on procrastinating when it comes to Christmas shopping, but getting the gumption to go out and tackle this life necessity has been most difficult. I cannot find anything anyone would enjoy, and I don’t have many people to buy for this year. I tried the mainstream stores, the corporate ones, and they have absolutely nothing. The local stores, however, have a fantastic selection of unique and interesting items. Unfortunately, the individuals I am buying for don’t need or may clash with these wares. The ideas I did have cannot be met, which puts a damper on the concept of shopping. At least I am headed in the right direction, comforting myself that these big-name stores do not have anything that interests me. Their shit is not interesting enough for me to buy.
Something tells me I will be spending more on myself than others.
We’re doing Secret Santa at work, calculating a $10 spending limit. You cannot get much for $10, especially if you want to get creative. I have an idea on what to get my coworker, but I’m probably going to be spending double. It doesn’t bother me, because my coworkers are great and practically family at this point. However, I want to get our intern something, because he’s a great kid; the gifts chosen are inside jokes, so he’ll probably appreciate the effort. In and out of the office, the kid was a trooper and our humor was on the same playing field; anything goes was what we strive for.
Unfortunately, as time goes on, when you cannot find anything that suits your gift receiver, you have to take desperate measures into finding something good, even if it isn’t locally bought. My goal is to buy the majority of my gifts local. There are some instances, i.e. home improvement, where a gift card to Home Depot is inevitable; local hardware stores don’t always have the necessities you need. However, for my electronics, if I have to buy some, I am going to probably shop at Ra-Lin rather than Best Buy or Radio Shack amongst many others.
III. The Joy of Feeling Overwhelmed
Every instance I go into a book store, this mystical cloak falls over my person, choking me up. This overwhelming sensation is excitement. I am not afraid to admit that I am a nerd by any means. I just feel a sense of encouragement, drive, and enthusiasm when I walk around and in between bookshelves.
Scoping authors I have read and who I have yet to read, is always promising and uplifting. I shuffle through the poetry and theater/play section, because I love to indulge in art that I dapple in, however, am not great at. I check for Saunders, Fitzgerald, Sartre, Poe, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Christie, Twain, Salinger, and the–one and only–Kerouac. I look for biographies and autobiographies due to the simple desire to improve my blog and short memoir pieces. These are the people who have greatly inspired me. These books are the compilations of thoughts and words from the minds of great people.
I highly embrace the fact that I am never going to write as eloquently or be respected as these individuals. A writer has the ability to become more popular after they are dead. I am nowhere near the success of these individuals as it is, nor am I anywhere near my death.
The fact of the matter is: keep doing.
It’s a great feeling to understand the state of realizing you are on the verge of knowing that you’ll probably tear up. That’s how mystical of an experience, walking through the aisles of a library or bookstore, this is. This parallels the excitement a child has upon entering Disney World for the first time. It’s too good to be true, and this is personally felt on a regular basis.
Like a music or movie retailer, I have the same routine: while coming across entertaining items, my hand can usually hold five items until my mind decides this is the time to feel guilty. Aimlessly walking around the store, decisions are made as my eyes analyze the items shuffling around in my hands. Two of the items are eliminated. The ability to coax myself out of another is usually successful. With two items left, my brain is put at ease; yet, the question of really needing these comes into reality. Two items are subtracted by one, and I head to the checkout counter. If the line is long enough, my brain can convince itself to just put the item back. This happened the other night.
As I was walking to put the book back, one of the staff stated she could help me over at another register.
Needless to say, I have not treated myself to a book since July, and there is no guilt surrounding the purchase. There is hardly any time to read as it is, so buying a book (or books) I want to read in the future is typical, but not practical in the grand scheme of things. They just collect dust from time to time; however, it sure is fun to dust them off, fanning the pages to disperse the dust particles.
In case you are wondering, I picked up Stephen Dunn’s Different Hours (2000). My second choice, which was placed back upon the shelf, was Charles Bukowski’s Love is a Dog from Hell (1977). The third choice: Jack’s Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac by Barry Gefford and Lawrence Lee. What I was searching for was Caleb Barber’s Beasts and Violins; however, I may have to order that one online.
Thank you always, Zach Parrish: future United States Poet Laureate.
IV. Breaking Balls
I was trying to find inexpensive, eclectic shit to give the intern at the office. Throughout the campaign season, we spent a lot of time driving around and shooting the shit, making up jokes and conversation that can only be considered inside. I felt Marshall’s/Home Goods would be a safe bet to collect some random nonsense to go along with our jokes.
However, I found myself proven wrong, which is pretty typical. I did come across a series of nutcrackers, which were aesthetically interesting. One that was of interest was a leprechaun; however, it was $30. The product was not local, so spending that much on such a nutcracker was not appealing. If it was local, I would have definitely bought the damn thing. I would have kicked myself in the afterthought; however, it would have been worth it.
There were several other nutcrackers, but they were bedazzled. There was one which was absolutely fashion forward, but I couldn’t bring myself consider to think or even dismiss the idea of buying the ugly thing.
At this point in the evening, I am exhausted. After a long day of work, I was riding around trying to get shopping accomplished, and it wasn’t working. I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to buy for anyone else’s enjoyment. Spending an unfathomable amount of time with the nutcrackers only proved one thing: I was showing my delusion. It was like the army of bedazzled, wooden soldiers spoke to me. They beckoned me with their painted, hollowed eyes. The ugly, fashion forward one mentioned in the previous paragraph, its mouth opened and the word FAILURE fell from its mouth’s abyss.
So, I did what any normal person would do: I head-butted the damned thing.
What? You want me to take the easy way out and yell, “DEMON!” as I throw it across to the bedroom accessory section? Risk the chance it may land on a pillow? Um, no.
A body shattering head butt. That’s what.
No bitch slap, no bible, no rosary will fix that mess.
V. Just Kidding
I didn’t head butt the nutcracker, because I am not that insane. However, the nutcrackers, overpopulating the shelf, had a Village of the Damned meets Children of the Corn appeal mixed with the personality of a resurrected Gage from Pet Semetary.
The creatures (nutcrackers) don’t really have to do much to freak you out. They stand there abnormally still (because they are not alive, duh!). They flash their big teeth at you, waiting for you to get close enough to sink their teeth into your person, going for the jugular or whatever they can gnash on. Kids, keep your fingers away; because they are like nutcracker carrot sticks. All I can think of now are those Puppet Master movies.
It’s the same way with clowns (most of which are alive). You don’t know who is hiding behind all that makeup, or what’s actually in those balloons.
“They all float, Georgie…and when you’re down here with me, you float too!”
VII. On That Note…
Happy Holiday shopping! Buy local!