This week’s Menu

Thoughts on the verge of a schedule change

It’s been an introspective weekend. I have two more weeks of my early morning start time at work before my schedule becomes vaguely more reasonable for me. I will no longer be starting and ending work before/after dark. Though I suppose that would have changed regardless of my schedule change due to the steadily lengthening days, it was a strange quarter. I let go of a lot of things. Re-evaluated a lot of things. Stepped away from scheduling and cluttering to clarify direction and begin to draw a map.

Now I have a map in hand. It’s fairly well-detailed. I have the direction defined and the vehicle. I also have the fuel. I just need…I’m just waiting on the green light. Busying myself with the things I CAN do while I wait wait wait for the word on all I WANT to do.

So…I wait. And scheme.

Regarding the clarification of direction, I started a couple of projects last year that didn’t go exactly as I had planned. The Zine and the Zine Library both seem to be floundering. Wanting my attention. For different reasons.

The zine…that is The Chicago Issue of Oyster Lexicon (Issue 2) that is about a year overdue (I laughed as I typed that, because, srsly, it wouldn’t be a zine if the intro didn’t start with “Sorry this issue is so late.”) – I’m good with that. This is an important issue. The process of inventing a process is all part of the process. I have several components and they will all come together when they are ready to come together. It could very well be that the D issue moves much more quickly. Truth be told, I’m thinking about the full 26-letter alphabet and I’m not sure if I’ll get to “Z” if I don’t start getting some issues out faster. But that kind of pressure isn’t why I’m doing the zine. And I’m not really doing it for anyone but me. And if I need to take a year to write about Chicago this time. As opposed to the other times I’ve written about Chicago. If I want to briefly summarize those years in cut-up form, or in fragments. Unrelated and disrupted shards of broken time. Then so be it. I’m sure this isn’t the last time I will try to piece those years together, and frankly I don’t think I have the insight to do them justice…though it’s funny I once thought I did have the insight to do so – must have been 20-25 years or so ago. Four years out from the events that unfolded, and I felt I had sufficiently processed them to write about them. Who knows? Maybe I was. Maybe I’m de-evolving emotionally.

Today I sat down to write with the Zine and Chicago in mind and I brainstormed a soundtrack. I had thought about the mix for the Chicago issue several times before…should I just do Chicago music? Should I do music I listened to when I lived in Chicago? Some of the bands I listened to then aren’t really even available to listen to now. What I did was thought of all of the songs I most likely would have put on a mix tape during that era of my life. My mix tapes were always pretty mish-mashy, disrespectful of genre or continuity choosing to showcase my favorite tunes rather than carefully integrating or forming themes. Mostly there was a lot of randomness involved, but I did have my favorites. The playlist reflects those favorites. I’m trying to resist continuing to add to it as more spring to mind. Most of those came to me in a rush.

So, that’s the state of the zine.

The Zine Library, on the other hand, keeps receding from my consciousness. Mostly because I lack the space now, with the giant dog crate in the way. And so many other things going on. I’m still interested in getting it going, but it requires more energy than I have right now. It’s there. It’s on my list. I’ll get to it. And I recently saw something somewhere about someone creating an online zine database, I think…so maybe I’m waiting for someone to invent that so I can just use it.

Morbidly, there’s a part of me that is waiting for Buddha the Grouch to move out so I can use his room as the zine library, but I think the garage might also do nicely. But all of that is still contingent on that aforementioned green light that I’m impatiently waiting for. So, I guess the zine library is in that same holding pattern.

Things that ARE moving forward are garden growth – I have cauliflower and broccoli and spinach and collards and lots of lettuces. I’m still waiting and hoping for brussels sprouts – I have several plants, but no sprouts as yet…I have heard the leaves are yummy and I might start nibbling on those. And I’m trying to restrain myself from getting berry bushes to plant against a fence that I’m hoping to redo, but…I’m going to hold off until after the fence is redone. But I might very well plant a pomegranate. And more Artichokes. All of the artichokes are healthy. I have dialed back my plans to have several new beds in the spring, but I do think I might try to grow some starts from seed under grow lights in the garage…if I get the green light. If not, I might get some plastic sheeting for the shelves I have and see if I can make a modified cold frame.

In the midst of all of this, I bought the last textbook for Buddha The Grouch…the last rounds of tuition for homeschool co-op, science team…improv. Lots of “lasts” this year with him. It’s sad. I will miss that guy as an every day person in my life. I’m excited to see what he does. How he grows. Who he becomes. And I still have some work to do on the other one.

So that’s me these days. Counting time and trying not to count time. Trying not to spend money I don’t have even though it’s money I might need to spend when I have it. Planning without becoming too attached to the plan in case another contingency plan is needed. Watching plants and children grow. Like usual.

Hopefully this time next week I will have more news and more action in the direction of enaction…