Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jane Donuts is thankful

For my health, which has improved greatly this year, both physically and mentally.

For my friends, who are tremendously supportive and cool and funny, and were thoughtful enough to hire a housecleaner for me at one point. Those are good friends.

For my family, who are always there for me no matter what. And always entertaining.

For the things that I've lost that weren't good for me.

And for the things I've gained that are.


Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mind Control

I like working. I like being industrious and getting things done, and I like the feeling of accomplishment I get after a long day's work or completion of a project. A lazy day to me generally still consists of things like running around, going for a hike, going out to eat, reading a book, watching a movie, surfing the Internet, and hanging out with friends. Not terribly productive things, usually, but also not sedentary. I like to be active in some way. 

But over the last few years, I started to notice a feeling of resentment about the diversion of my thoughts during the workday that made it very difficult to get anything done. I really began to despise using my mental energy to think about things that I thought were meaningless. Things like figuring out how to promote products I didn't think were useful, which, sadly, was something I routinely had to do. Things like engaging in really, really inane email exchanges with clients that were too disorganized or short on time to effectively manage their projects. And it got to be so overwhelming that I started to kind of grind to a halt. My pattern would be that I would get into work, read emails, open up a few documents I should have been working on or reviewing, but then spend the first couple of hours messing around online, fielding emails as soon as they came in, and not diving into the work I should have been doing. (I'm realizing as I write this that this sounds like that scene from Office Space. Damn that movie is brilliant.) And then I'd basically play a frantic game of catch-up in the late afternoon hours.

I know the general reaction to such an admission is that I need to face it, work is work, and that I just need to learn to cope with this unfortunate fact. BUT I CAN'T.  If I've learned anything from this period of searching and exploration, it's that I cannot force myself to do things I don't care about. It just doesn't work for me the way that others seem to make it work. It ends in me breaking down. But I like to think I'm pretty realistic about the ramifications of this fact. I'll probably be broke, at least for the next few years. And I don't expect that I'll ever have a job that will feel like a picnic. In fact, I feel like whatever great job that I do end up with - and I will end up with one - will feel torturous a lot of the time. But in the best way, where I know that when I've finished my efforts will actually be worth something. At least to me.

So I know that whatever I end up doing, it won't be something that drains my thoughts without some kind of payoff. This means I could well end up doing something mindless that would let me focus on what I really want to do, which is write. The hard part now is to decide in what capacity I want to write. Whether it's for work, or whether I keep it in my own time, I don't know. All I know is that I have to do it.

Also, just came across this quote on my Google homepage. Nevermind that I have no idea what "phlogiston" mean - I'll look it up.

"The real writer is one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved." - Marge Piercy



Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Twitter, and why I love it

I'm a full on Twitter addict. I love it. And I love it in ways I've never loved a social network. Not Facebook, not MySpace, not even the thrill of newness that was Friendster.

But it's not a love that came easily. In fact, I signed up for a Twitter account in the spring of 2007 after reading about how it caught on among festivalgoers at South by Southwest, but got confused and abandoned it for a year and a half. It was only in late 2008, when the site really started gaining momentum and getting love from the media, that I got back on the horse and started tweeting.

And I'm not even sure why I did, because it seemed like my words were just going out into the great chasm of the Internet. Hell, they were. I had maybe five followers at that point, none of which were actively logging into the site. But I just kept tweeting on, and tweeting about stuff that I liked, stuff that pleased me. Anything from music I was listening to, to curious sights I came across in day to day life, to rants, to notes from my travels, and a lot of other stuff in between. And along the way, I started following people who were doing things that interested me. Writers, mostly. Reporters I followed for my career in public relations, music bloggers, novelists, cultural observers, and Twitter celebrities.

Very few of these people followed me back, but I didn't care. I just kept logging on because I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed reading their daily observations and making my own in relative anonymity. (Very few of my connections on Twitter are people I actually know, and I kind of prefer it that way. Facebook is tiresome because no one really says anything that interesting - they're all afraid of offending their 'friends.' But I digress.)

I also enjoyed following and unfollowing people with impunity. Unlike Facebook, if someone I am following starts tweeting annoying/obnoxious/irrelevant/uninteresting shit (ahem, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, many other celebrity twitterers), I unfollow them with a quickness, and no hurt feelings or harm done. And basically, after a year of cultivation, I am following and interacting with some really interesting people who are bringing really interesting, relevant information into my life. It brings me so much knowledge and wisdom, it's like a personal Internet butler service.

And then the other amazing thing is that along the way, other people started to follow me. I have 189 followers right now, and granted, a lot of them are spammers or companies who are probably gathering info on me for marketing purposes, but still, there are a lot of people out there who actually might be reading my tweets! Thrilling. Even more thrilling is that some of them are published authors/writers I admire. Susan Orlean! Laura Zigman! Virginia Heffernan! Following little old me. Little old Jane Donuts. Who'd have thunk it.

Posted via web from Jane Donuts is Starting Over

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh and then also

Download now or listen on posterous
08 We May Be The Ones.m4a (4049 KB)

I can't stop listening to this song.

We May Be the Ones

Paul Westerberg is a singer I always come back to even after months or years of not listening to him. Sometimes it surprises me. He's got the jaded-but-still-romantic combination that I find irresistable (see Jeff Tweedy also,) and a catalogue I've still not exhausted.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yesterday by the Numbers

Approximate time of waking up: 7:45

Approximate time of exiting bed: 9:10

Number of iced coffees drank while watching the scene at Intelligentsia: 1.5

Number of careers contemplated: 5

Number of random mailbox/copy places visited in frantic effort to send fax: 3

Number of old copies of Domino magazine found and subsequently lifted from aforementioned copy places: 2

Number of libraries visited: 2

Number of times around the Silver Lake reservoir: 1

Number of hours spent lying on the couch absentmindedly surfing the internet while wearing a bathrobe: 6.5

Approximate time of falling asleep: 11:30

Certainly not the most productive day, but, sadly, not atypical either. Right now I have the luxury of a totally open schedule and plenty of time with which to contemplate my next career move, and it's wonderful but also, dare I say it, a little tough. In the past I would have hanged myself with so much rope, but these days I'm mostly ok with it. I try to be fairly constructive with my time, and I am making some progress - have pretty much ruled out being a librarian and teaching as career options - but I definitely feel like I'm not making the most of a very rare and precious opportunity to do whatever I want ALL THE TIME. Don't get me wrong, for the most part I have it pretty nice - sleeping a lot, naps, sunny mornings with big mugs of coffee, running, yoga, meditation, fiction reading, all the web surfing one could possibly want or need - but I'm not really accomplishing anything. At least nothing I can really point to, with this blog, if I actually keep at it, as the only possible exception. I'm full of ideas, but not always so good on the follow through.

Current career ideas I'm working through:

  • In house blogger at some large company
  • Writer/editor for online news or cultural commentary
  • Reseller of antiques and vintage furnishings and home decor

Those are the "career" paths I'm looking at, but I'm also considering waiting tables, working retail, selling Christmas trees, applying to be a census worker, etc. etc. So, at this point, a lot remains up in the air.

Monday, November 9, 2009

So I did a weird thing

And have been blogging, half-assedly as usual, at another site, Posterous. I read that the platform was great, convenient for posting, innovative, and generally all that, and so I decided to take Jane Donuts to another venue for a topical blog on my current career search.

But then I discovered that I could just use Posterous to update this site, which means I'll resume writing (or not writing) here. Sometimes about the career change, sometimes just about stuff. Sometimes vulgarities, sometimes high brow cultural criticism and ranting. And, also as usual, I'll vow to be more prolific.

One of these days I'll succeed.