Jan. 31st, 2011

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I expect I started seriously reading in middle school.  I read more in high school, but my middle school had a decent library and I remember spending a lot of time there. I don't remember what I was reading other then it being paperback.  Probably 90% of the books I've ever written have been small mass-market paperbacks.  Being lighter and cheaper was probably why I had access to them.

Once high school came around I was reading several hundred pages a day.  I remember burning through a series of books in a week.  I’d wait with baited breath for my favorite authors next book, then devour it overnight.  Oddly enough I don't remember much of what my homework in high school was.  I remember a little more work in college, but I was still a reading machine.  Even when I had a full time job I would burn through maybe a book every week or two.  I can read a 300 page paperback in a few hours.  I remember doing it all the time. 

Then I lost my job.  I’ve read a few books since then, mostly ones my favorite authors released, or something I got from the library.  Overall the reading has dried up.  I haven’t been buying books because they have no resale value and even if I get a book from the library I sometimes just stare at it then return it.  I had a few weeks where I was purging belongings in case I might need to move and I donated 8 moving boxes full of books.  I still have hundreds left. 

Reading has become a waste of time.  I’ve read a few graphic design program manuals, and such but few pleasure fiction books. Reading fiction books makes me feel guilty and sometimes nauseous.  As if I could do something else at 11pm at night that might get me a job, or a paycheck.  I’ve been sort of reading fan fic instead, but I’m fooling myself.  That is just as much of a time waste as books, it might even be worse with all the digging and checking I sometimes have to do to see if there is anything new.  

This weekend I had to take a short train ride in-town and I brought a book.  I’m now 80 pages into the book and really want to finish.  It’s sitting on my bedside table hoping I’ll just sit down and open it.  I don’t know if I can.

I need to find a job, and then maybe some of the guilt will dissipate.     
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As anyone in the eastern portion of Massachusetts is aware, there is a bit of snow hanging around, roughly hip deep on all the sidewalks.  About once a week we've been getting a new forecast of 8-12 or 12-16 inches of snow.  There is a pile of snow over 6 1/2 feet tall at the end of my driveway.  We now need a flagger to get out of it, as we have zero visibility.  Every snow storm the driveway shrinks down to just enough space for the cars to roll out.  The fence in the backyard isn't going to hold the dogs much longer as we have a foot of hard packed snow in the yard now.

Tomorrow and Wednesday we're getting more snow.  I guess it's almost a relief that so far I have had no need to go out in this weather.  With no job I don't HAVE to be anywhere at any specific time.  However that doesn’t get me out of the hour or two I get to spend shoveling every time, or clearing off my car in case the snow decides to freeze.  I haven't had to chip my car out yet, and the snow has been fluffy and light for the most part.  I am however finally getting a little tired of the snow.

I will say that any adult who doesn't own snow pants should really go out and buy a pair.  Get a good winter coat, waterproof gloves and some nice boots while you're at it.  I admit that having these things makes the snow a little easier to bear.  I go snowshoeing and spend a while each time thinking back to being 7 and not being able to give up playing in the snow until well after dark.  I recall the forts and the sledding.  I know that if I were 7 now I would have been outside digging and pretending every day for the last month.

I dare all the adults bemoaning the snow to get some nice warm gear and go outside for a while.  Embrace the free day from work and play with your kids in the snow.  At least stop obsessively buying milk and bread every time it might snow. 

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