Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Turning over the autumn leaf, remembering Ecuador, and other ramblings...

OK, I desperately want to do some wildly creative things, as well as land a job that doesn't drive me insane, pays me a salary above the poverty line, and is at least someway related to an archives or a library's special collection. But more on the job hunt later. So with the long neglected creative side of my persona yearning to be unleashed, I decided I am going to write in this here blog a lot more frequently, and I am going to make a second attempt at working through my sci-fi, near-future dystopian novel. I might also try and get back into meditation and poetry. Meditation, I think I need to bring more peace and discipline into my life. And poetry just would help me express myself new ways, bringing me more joy; something I used to do more -- before I became obsessed with a quest to save the world, or at least the empire from itself. That struggle, I am convinced, slowly took over my life and enslaved me to my own hubris.

So, let me state quite clearly here: I will become more creative, less dogmatic. More accepting of myself and worrying a lot less about fighting battles, which cannot be won. I am going to have more fun with life. I am going to start taking reading, writing and improving my knowledge of the archival world more seriously. I am going to continue with my job search, but I am going to do so with more patience and less fear.

About that novel that I started writing, my friend Bill (one of the gamers) told me November is some sort of write a novel month. I already have a 3,500 word head-start. Should be fun and exciting. I am not going to give away my plot here, but I will give a few updates as the work progresses during the month.

A lot of folks have asked about the trip my friend Debbie and I took to Ecuador. It was fabulous! I think I enjoyed it more than Debbie, as she broke her shoulder a week before and felt sick for part of the trip. We were in Cuenca, the nation's third largest city -- located in the Andes -- and somewhat of a center for expats from the U.S. The temperatures are springlike, the people are friendly and kind, there's cool public art, interesting mercados [markets], charming architecture, and the prices on most things are like one-fifth the price of things here. I think I still want to retire there... And I could do so and live quite comfortably. I will continue practicing mi espanol and will return to Ecuador at least a couple more times before that enormous move.

Someone on Facebook, who has given me a few useful pointers during the job hunt, asked me about civil resistance/civil disobedience when I said that many of these actions, some of which ended in convictions, I now regret. This regret is due to the pervasive background checks to get a job in the Washington metro area. I think many of these actions were not well organized, lacked a greater strategic plan, and were not even covered well (or at all) by the media. I hate to say it folks, but I am rather desperate to get a job and reconnect with my career as an archivist, or some sort of librarian. I went to graduate school for Library and Information Science for a reason, and I passed the Certified Archivist exam for a reason. I feel like I did my part in the world of progressive activism, but that segment of my life has now drawn to a close.

I think civil resistance/civil disobedience can bring about a more just and peaceful world, but it has to draw enormous numbers, have systems of support in place (intentional, loving communities of resistance), and be part of larger strategic campaigns. Too often activists, and I put myself in this category at least for a couple years, feel that they are the superstars making a huge difference in the world, and that more folks should just be more like them. Sorry to say it but in some ways these folks are borderline delusional and are failing to connect with others who either sympathize with them but cannot afford to put themselves at risk, or those they claim to speak for but they don't even know. Far too often these actions completely lack any larger strategic vision, or any tangible goals. They are often pursued by an extremely small group of self-righteous individuals, although on some level they "mean well." That's not how civil resistance/civil disobedience will help bring about positive change in our lifetime.

I guess those above two paragraphs might truly annoy and/or upset people I still consider rather close to me and dear to my heart. I speak from my own experience and feel that I am being truthful with my perspective. I feel that the hour to truly disassemble the empire and completely reform our society has most likely already passed. And this is why I look forward to the day when I have maybe done 10 years of what I want in an archives or the special collections of a library, and I can move out of the empire. I want to fulfill some of my own personal goals, and then cease being a part of this place.

Now for something a little different -- a couple recipes:

My Morning Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
2 crushed ice cubes
2 tablespoons whey protein powder
1/2 cup organic apple juice
3/4 cup organic almond milk
1 banana
3 average-sized strawberries
- Puree in blender for 30 to 40 seconds

Granny's Buttermilk Cornbread
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.

Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.


Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpickinserted in the center comes out clean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love you Pete