Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Saga of Papers.

I am a terrible blogger!

But then: who's surprised?

I think I started this blog assuming my day-to-day life would conveniently lump itself into mini-essays, all coherent, all compelling, all, hopefully, comedic. I know I ended up keeping a journal not only to sharpen my memory, as I have a bizarre terror of forgetting, but to make my days meaningful. As if there's some report that needs to be turned in every night to God or your conscience or Obama or whoever, and then it gets approved: "Yes, today was a good day. You have not wasted your time." Then it's stamped and put in an Interdepartmental Envelope and filed off somewhere in the Almighty File Cabinet in the Sky.

And here's what I've learned: That's a really unhelpful way to exist.

Which is probably a roundabout way of saying I think my life has shrunk to very, very small sagas. Like, miniature sagas. Microscopic. Which might not make for very interesting posts.

But here's the other thing I've learned: Happiness is not a war. It's not the C ensus, this monumental decennial undertaking that I'm pretty sure has single-handedly deforested all of Argentina. It's not concentrated meditation and struggle and willpower.

It's not making every day Tolstoy. It's making every day Post-Its. That's all you need. Post-Its.

(I'll be honest, even I don't really know what I'm talking about but I think it's right).


So what have I been doing, inquiring minds want to know! I've been working at the C ensus, where I shuffle and paperclip and holepunch papers. So. Many. Papers. I don't mind, however, because the work is a kindly mix of mind-numbing and challenging because it involves numbers, which, as I think I've indicated before, I am real, real bad at. So while I'm matching AA Listing 4388 with BINDER LABEL 4388 with MAP POUCH 4388 with BLOCK LISTING 4388, arranging them in a nice stack, and holepunching that fucker like it's my job (see what I did there--it is my job), I'm listening to my yearlong backlog of This American Life. Which is great. Except I've run out of them, and I've only been working a week. The hours are long, the walls are taupe, and the muscles in my neck and shoulders feel like a towel wrung dry by the end of the day, but the people are incredible.

You cannot make these people up, they are so genuinely bizarre and wacky and wonderful. Like the lady who shares my desk is a terrible fiddler and lived on a llama farm. And the guy down the hall who is enormous and has the loudest, nasalliest voice ever heard which sends me into hysterics whenever he comes by to shout "HOW WE DOING DOWN HERE GUYS?!" And the 70+ year old man who moves as if he's about 40 and wears snappy paisley shirts and I think has a young son but definitely has skin that is neon pink in all weather. And the undergraduate who calls me "Girl" all the time and wears pointy witch shoes that she always kicks off under her table. And! The best! The old dude who sits in the back and reads books and when I asked him what he was reading--because I am a weird flirt when I'm in my work clothes--he showed me the cover, something all spectral and stylized called "The Path of the Way of the Righteous World and Universe In the Light of Good Days" or something that I assumed was Christian literature.

"Oh," I said. "What's it about?"

And do you know what he said?!


And then he proceeded to show me his copy of The Idiot's Guide to Understanding Einstein.

Do you understand that this man is real!? I didn't make him up! He exists! His name is Richard!

So I kind of adore that side of things, the insane cast of miscreants and oddballs who are working, albeit temporarily, for the government.

Pinto and I went on a hike and got lost in a forest, which was grand. Then we went to a reading and he charmed everyone--or annoyed the hell out of them, I don't know and don't care, ha!--and I read, which went over real well. I've lost about 30 pounds. I'm slated to assume an Editor position for the litmag here, which is exciting. I made a big old thing of stir fry and will never understand why I prefer leftover cold stir fry to good, just-cooked stir fry.

But that's really the most of it. I've got a busy summer that'll be packed with paychecks, partyin', and my papasan chair that I totally scored while driving through the neighborhood (it was on the curb and yes I scrubbed it down before deeming it my throne). My folks are both coming to visit, and hopefully Matthew will be back for a return trip, and OH YEAH I FORGOT I AM GOING TO FLORIDA WITH RIGGS AND THE RIGGS TO RIDE ROLLER COASTERS. No, really, I did forget that. That's what's happening nowadays--I'm more excited to take Pinto on his morning walk (a sweaty, invigorating affair where I wear a pair of bright yellow shorts and look totally awesome) than I am about an actual vacation.

And that, friends, is not such a bad way to be.

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