Category Archives: Random

More than Enough is Plenty Enough

As is typical of the way I do things, I’m once again buried in empty notebooks.

I’ve been making good progress getting through them, but they still abound whilst more get delivered to my door. It’s fair to say I’ve reached the state of STABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy).

Because of this, I’ve decided not to renew my Field Notes subscription after I receive my last installment. I’ve enjoyed being a subscriber and getting the occasional surprise bonuses that subscribers get, but I’ve reached the point where a subscription is not worth the money and the lack of storage. (I suspect, that now that I’m not renewing my subscription, Field Notes will now produce its greatest editions ever and give the best freebies ever.)

I used to give away the craft versions that accompanied the first installment of every subscription, but lately I’ve been giving away the “Colors” or limited editions because I know I’ll never use them all.

Anything I like I can usually buy here in Japan. (In fact, I’ve got a monopoly on America the Beautiful editions thanks to my favorite source.) Or, if I’m in a hurry, I can order them directly from Field Notes while supplies last.

Letting the subscription die also frees up a bit of cash to try out a copy or two of other brands.

Granted, that defeats the purpose of winnowing the stash, but I find it harder to acquire new notebooks if I have to pay as I go, rather than paying all at once. Also, because I live in Japan, there’s always a cool notebook with better paper that has to be tried.

This time next year I’ll probably still have too many notebooks, but at least I’ll have pretended to try to do something about them.

Another Year Mercifully Gone By

Well, that was another one I’m glad is now days gone by.

I’ve mentioned before, although I can’t find the post to like to it, that the one year of my life I wouldn’t want to repeat was when I was twenty. I was in a bad mood that alternated between cranky and dazed and then all of a sudden one day I was 21 and the spell seemed to break.

Now I have to add age fifty to the years I don’t want to repeat.

Lots of stuff happened this year that caused lots of extra stress. There were deaths and illnesses and lots of extra crap from work.

There were also pressures from extended family, mostly as a result of illness and injury and that has muddled things up on this side of the island as such things stress out She Who Must Be Obeyed.

As for writing, except for this bit of blather, I’ve been in a bad mood that alternates between dazed and lazy. I’ve asked friends to read things, sent them manuscripts, and then gotten no response at all (I’m zero for three now). That has me feeling down and has Kimberly laughing and saying she told me so. Unfinished projects seem to abound and I’m stuck about what to work on first.

There are a lot of decisions that keep getting put off.

That said, I got through October better off than normal. I haven’t been productive, but I’m finally getting ink inventory out of the house which has picked up my mood some.

Now we’ll see what fifty-one is like.

 

Back in Business More and Less

Ready or not, and I’m talking to myself mostly, today marks the end of my five-ish week hiatus from this bit of blather.

For the most part I did miss writing it, although, oddly not at first.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time off for the first couple weeks. The hiatus also bled into other projects that I suddenly felt compelled to postpone. As Julian Barnes writes in his novel Flaubert’s Parrot: “It’s easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren’t writers, and very little harm comes to them.”

October thus became, in an odd way, the opposite of National Novel Writing Month. It became Not Writing Nothing No Way Month (NoWriNoNoWay).

After a couple weeks, though, I found myself assembling topics (there was a typhoon and flood, for example, that might have made for an interesting topic) but I stuck with the hiatus.

Also, I decided that since I’m paying for the site, I might as well keep using it in some form or another.

The plan from here until the next hiatus is to move to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. with Monday featuring pen and stationery related posts and Friday featuring more personal posts.

Wednesday is officially designated as “Sure, Fine, Yeah, Whatever, That Works as Well as Anything Else” posts.

Tuesday and Thursday will be used for other projects, possibly even my long-neglected other site (which may get a complete scrub and reboot rather than an upgrade) or other long neglected projects. I also will be writing posts for other sites, if they’ll have me.

Weekends will be for rest and/or other projects. (i.e. booze, games, and time wasting to name just a few).

Welcome back those of you who’ve come back. I hope it’s worth your time and attention.

Preparing For the Next Culling

Spent part of the day cleaning pens and making a new list of things that I want to get rid of.

The goal is not just to try to sell stuff, but also to toss out a couple pens that have been more trouble than they’re worth. (They were cheap, which means they weren’t worth that much to being with.)

I’m still stuck with a bunch of ink, but hopefully I can start whittling that down now that some of it is not longer available except through me.

There are also a couple projects I have to decide what to do with, but more on that in a future post.

There’s a lot of crap that needs cleaning, and now’s a good time to clean it.

Only Tuesday Already

We just came off a three day weekend and today everyone was already going “Is it really only Tuesday?”

This is partly because the typhoon messed up schedules and created a dreary weekend that should have otherwise been fun. We’ve also got marking to do and new lessons to plan and, in my case, a handful of students to chase down so I can force them to write speeches at odd hours. (Granted, I usually do this for sport, but I’ve been feeling out of sorts for a couple weeks to it feels less like fun and more like work.)

I’ve also been giving the future of this little bit of blather a lot of thought, but I’ll get to that in a another post.

Luckily, my schedule actually gets easier as I go along this week. But this doesn’t mean I’ll be more productive.

One Dreary Day in Autumn

Between typhoons, missiles and rain, it’s been a pretty dreary weekend.

The missiles don’t bother me as much as they probably should, mostly because they don’t trigger migraines. (Yeah, I know, death, destruction, and mayhem, but when you have a migraine that’s pretty much what you wish on the world anyway.)

The typhoon, though, triggered a migraine yesterday and offered rainy, gray, dreary weather today.

This, as you might imagine, inspired me to do very little.

I got some writing done, but mostly I researched a bunch of nonsense based on one or two random notions that got stuck in my head. I also finished watching season five of Angel.

Now the big worry is She Who Must Be Obeyed and our youngest getting back from Niigata safely. They plan to travel back tomorrow and I’d tell them to wait, but I’m not He Who Must Be Obeyed and any suggestion that they should wait might actually trigger the opposite reaction.

Instead I may tell them to rush home. Either way, I’ll probably spend the day worrying.

Always Forgetting What You Forgot Before

Neither I nor She Who Must Be Obeyed seem to be able to remember that I’m supposed to take lunch on Tuesdays.

For SWMBO it’s a power thing. She always tells me the night before that she forgot to get anything for lunch. She’ll got out at near midnight to get something for our oldest’s lunch so that she can complain about having had to do so (long story) but I get an early announcement that I’m on my own.

This doesn’t bother me that much as I always pledge to grab something on the way to work. (To do otherwise risks the wrath of SWMBO in the form of heavy sighs and “I was saving that for X’s”.)

This also would not be a problem except that every time I’ve been on my own I’ve gone directly to school without stopping to pick something up. It’s only after I’ve arrived at school and begun prepping that I remember I was supposed to remember to get something.

This leaves me a short time to rush across the street to find food, carefully pick a line that’s not full of little old ladies who will spend hours trying to make exact change, and then get back to the office in time to eat and prep for class.

I always vow that next week will be different. Thus far it hasn’t been.

Daze of Rest

Taking today off, except for a place/habit keeper.

The only interesting thing was that I forgot to finish using the notebook I was planning on reviewing. I’ve been using it as part of a morning routine (more on that in a future post) but because it’s the weekend, I completely forgot to use up the last page.

Yeah, I could have done the review anyway, but I’m weird that way. (More on that in a future post, too.)

 

Night of the Last

It’s a the last day of summer vacation before actual work starts.

Although I’ve dropped in twice at the school where I work in the last couple days, I haven’t actually met any students. All that changes tomorrow and things could get badly rather quickly.

All my classes tomorrow are junior high school classes which means they will be working on their speech contest speeches which, in theory, were supposed to be completed as summer homework.

In reality, probably less than a third will have completed their speeches; another third will have their names on their papers and maybe one or two actual lines; and the final third will have lost the papers or claim they left them at home.

My job is to guide them through a couple days of writing and checking and then, if necessary, drag them at lunch and after school to complete their speeches. (My students know this is not a bluff.)

For two weeks there will be a lot of stress and annoyance, for both me and the students. Then we’ll try to get back to regular classes. That has its own problems. (But more on that in a future post.)

A Matter of Time

I wanted what he wanted. He wanted what I wanted. Our timing was just off.

In the Michael Douglas movie Falling Down, the main character shoots up a fast food restaurant after they fail to serve him breakfast despite his being only a minute or two past official breakfast time. In my case, I arrived at a fast food restaurant while breakfast was still being served and opted for breakfast.

Granted, I was actually getting brunch (long story) and thought the changeover time was later. I could have asked, but I didn’t care enough to be bothered.

Then, a minute after I ordered, as I was waiting for my food, the staff flipped the signs to the real menu. I was annoyed, but not as annoyed as the man who couldn’t get breakfast. (I’d have swapped with him, but I think he wanted pancakes.)

After that, the only thing that bothered me was the quality of the food. I got the dregs of breakfast and what I got didn’t match the picture but I’m pretty much used to that now.