06 April 2009

I've Got No Right to Sing the Blues


My God you just don't want to sit around doing nothing. You've got to feel like you're being useful. Better still you've actually got to be useful. That's what kills the chronically or newly unemployed. The uselessness. I haven't done a damn thing worth mentioning for three days and I'm feeling it. I'm feeling the fact that I'll likely not do much in the coming three days either. Part of this isn't my fault, I've got "an invasive procedure" scheduled later in the week. That'll effectively kill off that day and the next. I'll spare you the details other than it'll be routine and a no news is good news deal.

Yesterday I did go to the gym as I do pretty much every other day. Out of nowhere my hamstring tugged at me. I was just past the half way point in a 35 minute run on the treadmill and feeling pretty good. I've been spending the past two months trying to get back into the shape I was in before the Paris trip. I missed a couple of weeks working out because of the trip then got a cold, then was busy then a really bad cold. If you miss two weeks it takes you three or four to get back to where you were. I missed more than that. The hammie feels better today but by God if this slows me down any I'll be tempted to kick the cat (don't worry, I won't).

Today I blogged about The Grapes of Wrath. Then I went to Moe's bookstore and picked up a copy of Norman Davies' No Simple victory. It's another World War II book but has a different take emphasizing the role of the USSR in winning the damn thing and...well, if you're really interested I suppose you can look it up. From the bookstore I went across the street to Peets and had a coffee while working on the crossword puzzle. Then I walked home and watched Strangers on a Train. I did a little house cleaning, read, took a nap checked out the NCAA men's basketball title game then sat around feeling worthless. (Doesn't sound like that bad a day now that I've written about it.)

It's Spring Break so I've got no sub jobs. This is the first spring break in 20 years that I haven't been a full time classroom teacher. I'm happy being a student and a sub and not having the mind crushing worries, but I'm still adjusting too. It's a process.

So for whatever reason these past few days have been a good opportunity to feel sorry for myself which is silly because I get a week off from being a lousy substitute teacher. What the hell can be better than that?

We all run up against times like this. A malaise. It's so damn easy to focus on what's wrong, what hurts, what we've failed at, what possible trials await us. Sometimes things come together in a good way and you feel great. Sometimes its the opposite. Thank God I can sit at this computer and peck away about my "feelings". Having a creative outlet is a damn life saver. Plus it helps knowing that I'm going to publish this so its got to make sense for other people. I think there's a point at which a blogger has to take him or herself seriously and realize there are folks out there who read your ravings so you might as well try to make a useful point or two. I mean, sure, ultimately you write for yourself but with an awareness of readers both real and imagined. That's one reason I focus on films, it keeps me from being too damn self indulgent (You mean, like you're being now? Exactly!). Plus I love movies to death.

You know what, people respond to? Honesty. They may not always, always like it, but they respect it. That's all we can ask from each other: the truth from our perspective. And its a damn hard thing to do. It makes us vulnerable. It's easier to fit in and say what we know people like to hear. Look at how many false fronts we put up in the course of our lives. Sure, sometimes for good reason, sometimes to protect other people's feelings. You can't walk around saying "your hair looks like crap that way." Or "my god that's a hideous dress." But a lot of time we're playing roles. It's really a matter of degrees, I suppose. Too often we lean towards not ruffling feathers or trying to make ourselves appear to be something we are not.

So anyway I guess I feel better for having written. Plus I've got Sinatra playing and that always helps. I find it nigh on (is that right, "nigh on"? I could look it up I suppose, but not right now, I'll just go with nigh on) impossible to feel gloomy when you've got a collection of Sinatra CDs at your disposable. Or Marx Brothers DVDs. I've got a bunch of them. I've got all of Preston Sturges' best films. A solid collection of Hitchcock. A lot of classic comedies and gangster films from the 1930s plus the newest version of the Godfather collection. Oh sure I've got a wonderful family too and friends and my health and an scheduled "invasive procedure" that will hopefully confirm my robust health.
I also get to do this. Write.

May I take a moment for a few shout outs (it's your friggin blog, do what you want). Hello Kathryn, Megan, Miranda, Kevin, Phil, Paul, Robert, Sirpa, both nieces and both nephews, and my newest cyberfriend Kate of Silents & Talkies who, like an older cyber chum, R.D., has posted so many kind comments, she's aces.

So folks, I ask you, ain't life grand?

(By the way that's Ann Dvorak pictured above. If I had been around in the 1930's I'd have married that dame. The fact that we can watch movies with her in them today is another reason to be really, really happy.)

1 comment:

R. D. Finch said...

Riku, I really liked this post (and not just because you mentioned me). I never write about anything but movies myself, so I admire your ability to write about your own life and make it seem like you're chatting to friends. You make it sound so easy to write something like this, yet there is an unmistakable depth and intelligence to your musings as well as friendliness. It was good to hear from you, and keep listening to Sinatra and watching those classic comedies. Just thinking about them lifts my spirits.