Chapin City Blues

Writing is writing whether done for duty, profit, or fun.

Nerdgasms & Other Misadventures of a Library Worker

February 20, 2014

Returning to my nerdom, I went comic book/manga shopping today after work. I had Shaun for an extended period of time today, so why not take him out? We stopped at Barnes & Noble before heading over to Myth Adventures (for the comic books). Shaun stayed in the car with his grandmother. Because it’s not the wisest idea to take an almost-two-year-old into a place with collectables.

Now I only intended to buy Btooom! at Barnes & Noble.  As I strolled through the dwindling manga section, I noticed Judge vol. 3 was out, too. I put both in my bag and dragged Shaun to the check out counter and paid before I got the notion that I’m made of money.

Cha-ching!

At Myth Adventures, I strolled up to the 2-week-old shelf to seek out Batman: Joker’s Daughter. The new 52 one-shot issue got by me, somehow. I learned about it in a review via Flipboard. I didn’t find it. Exasperated, I walked to the new comic book table and snagged my copy of Harley Quinn #3. Right across from it, sat Dexter Down Under issue one.

After last year’s abysmal series finale, I picked it up in hopes it might act as an act of contrition. At the counter, I asked if they had Joker’s Daughter in stock. They did. And somehow the book eluded me because the man took little to no time finding it on the 2-week-old shelf.

Nerd Booty

In non-related news: I caught wind that there is paperwork floating around that will bump me up to a full-time position. In the wake of my co-worker’s departure, they promoted me to his position. That kicked in this Monday, the day after his last.

Now, I won’t find until next fiscal year (this October) if the full-time position kicks in. This also means that I should get that pesky driver’s license that I’ve been putting off for the last fourteen years. I shouldn’t raise my hopes. They promised a full-time position two years ago when I started working there, after all.

I also joined Crushee a few months ago. It was just last week that I decided to complete my profile and start using it. I’m getting the hang of it. Now if I could only use the social skills I’ve acquired there in the real world, I might just have a chance of, you know, meeting people.

Note: I edited this post using the Hemingway App.

I must confess something. This might come to some of you as surprise, but I’ve never read a single Harry Potter book before. Ever. I’ve also never seen a single one of the films in completion—Jessica, when we were together, convinced me twice to see the first movie after it came out on DVD and …

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Nevermind the Title

February 16, 2014


Thought I’d write a quick post before I head off into the bowels of my bedroom and tidy up—I’m a borderline hoarder, though I’m sure I mentioned this in the past. Wish I could say some traumatic event caused my need to “collect” stuff, but no. Since I can remember I just kept things even when I had no use for them. Case in point: tucked away in my closet was a box of knick-knacks from my relationship with Jessica—this included a Bart Simpson candy cane that melted with the head and coated almost everything inside. I also found a high school binder—that’s correct, high school—with homework I failed to turn in (no big surprise there).

I finally manage to apply for healthcare—having given up on the website months ago—via telephone. Blue Cross Blue Shield for my medical stuff and Humana for my dental. I’ll only be paying less than a $100 for both. Now, what struck me as important for the health insurance was the coverage in mental behavioral issues. Finally conceding that my problems are more than I can handle myself, I want to seek help. And, for the first time, I am willing to throw a pill at it in hopes to correct the imbalance inside.

Hoping that I’d garner some support, the two people I mentioned this to replied in this way, “I like you just fine [the way you are],” and, “I think it’s all in your head. You’re just fine.” Leaving me wondering why people are so against me getting help for something that clearly exists.

And, lastly, inspired to write poetry again (it took a lot out of me to write one poem for the Love & Chocolate reading), I picked up two books in the craft and reading and understanding creative medium: A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver and Mary Kinzie’s A Poet’s Guide to Poetry, 2nd Edition. Along with this quasi new venture, I have to darker projects in the horizons. A 90-Day Jane-esque blogging project (either on WordPress or Tumblr as I’ve pretty much divorced myself from Blogger) and a story based on actual, recent events in my so-called love life.

 

[Addendum]: WordPress just sent me a notification that my blog is officially 4 years old now.

I Just Want to Know You

February 14, 2014

There’s always a jolt of panic before a reading. I’ve done this hundreds of times in different venues, in front of different faces. It never fails that moments before I even set foot inside the venue, I become a lyric from an Eminem song. A blast of anxiety rushes through my head the moment my name is read off the list, and I’m introduced. I approach the podium/mic stand with caution, folder in hand with a collection of writings and musings, blog print outs and random things scrawled out on anything from emergency room brochures to napkins—my greatest hits, as I sometimes jokingly call them. My body moves along with my words, something that could be mistaken for nerves and jitters. But without the dance, the story would fall flat and it’s message lost in anxiety of my voice.

Carol & her uke

Carol & her uke

Tonight wasn’t any different, outside the ceremonial upchucking. The only difference that, for the first time in all my history in poetry readings, I brought someone into the group. And in a sea of strangers—with the exception of Richard Sanchez and Julieta Corpus—I had someone in the crowd that was a familiar face.

Nearly a decade ago, I was a staple in the poets/writers community. I traveled from venue to venue reading my words. And it got easier with time. I carried the nerves with me, but I managed them better. However, something in my life happened and I just dropped out. I declined requests and invitations and friends became strangers. When I started working at [redacted], I attended one poetry reading and had a falling out with the Alpha male poet—a pompous poser who calls himself a mariachi (and that’s all I’ll talk about on the subject)—and I vanished from the scene until Amado returned to host his Nueva Onda readings. And we had a good run until he vanished on us. I can’t say I blame him, though. Sometimes life gets in the way.

Tonight, at the Love & Chocolate reading, I thought about my good friend Amado as I watched Julieta Corpus introduce a somewhat nervous Carol Noe because that was me what feels like a life time ago. I still remember the night that I entered the dimly light Nueva Onda Poets Cafe off McColl and sat down watching the musicians play while the owner, a friend of my then-creative writing professor, Rene Saldana Jr., crouched down beside me and asked if I wanted to read. And after much reluctance, I agreed to place my name on the list. He assured me that it was only if I wanted to. No pressure. And, of course, the man lied through his teeth because it wasn’t but ten minutes later that I sat on the stage peering down at the audience and reading in front of a crowd for the first time.

When the assistant director asked me if I knew the young lady who played guitar last time, I shook my head. While I knew who he was talking about, I hadn’t a clue what her name was or how to contact her and Googling “Female guitarist who wears a hat” was getting me nowhere. And while I conceded to defeat that I’d never find her, I remembered that I met a guitarist a month prior. So I shot Carol a quick text asking if she would be interested in performing and she liked the idea enough to agree.

As she began the opening cords of Taylor Swift’s “Everything Has Changed,” I couldn’t hide my smile. Her voice coming out of the PA filling the meeting room and spilling out through the open door into the rest of the building, she attracted a crowd at the onlookers standing outside the twin doors. “She’s really cute,” my director said. “She’s good.”

Carol, who moments ago said she’d keel over dead and play as a zombie, was killing it at her first appearance at one of the events. And while I’ve never seen her play before, I knew to expect nothing less than a stellar performance. And as Julieta Corpus introduced me for the first time in a long time, I took a breath and spilled the lines. I might have missed up on the poem, but I won the audience with my best-of-piece, “Note to my Twelve-Year-Old Self.”

And after the nerves have resided the only thing I can think of is, when do we get to do this again?

I Think I Love You Better Now

February 13, 2014

I’ve the itch again. The writing bug has crawled up my spine and latched on my brain, spewing ideas and thoughts at a hundred miles an hour.

I met Carol for the first time in person. She’s an amazing person and it doesn’t take a genius to see that I like her a lot. She’s going to kill it tomorrow night (as it is still yesterday today). Her being in my life has inspired so much already—from a new poem to wanting to collaborate with someone who can play the guitar (and the piano!!!).

I also met Isabel (one of my constant readers—there are two now that I know Selina is reading these) for the first time last Saturday. She’s sweet and awesome and deserves much more than who she’s stuck with. She brought along her 18-year-old neighbor (and, no, this isn’t heading into Dear Penthouse Forum territory) who just happens to also be my nephew’s childhood friend, though neither of them remembers the other because they were three and four.

What strikes me as odd was that while I’ve known both Carol and Isabel for only a couple of months, I still managed to hug the both of them. If you haven’t kept up, I’ve a slight case of a lot of things. Haphephobia happens to be one of them. It’s remarkable how far I’ve managed to come in the last two years. It’s stranger that I’m still the same person who freaked out when Angela tapped my shoulder at work to a person who, while nervously, can hug two people who haven’t been in my life for a good chunk of my life.

There are a few blog post ideas that are in the works, including the aforementioned poem, “Modern Courtship (The Dick Pic),” a post about reading Harry Potter at 30, and Shaun has some more things to say. So if you’re a reader of this blog and enjoy it, please do share it with your friends. I’m also working a darker project that I hope garners some attention. Until then, happy huntin’.

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve said that.