What I’m Reading

I’m really proud of myself for reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  I’m about a third of the way through, and I’m enjoying the journey.  I spent two years in college as an English major and I wasn’t able to read Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Joyce without getting stuck at the bottom of the first page.  All the words would just jumble up in a big pile in my head and I’d have to start over.  More often I’d just give up.  I’ve never been able to get through real literature because of that.  With a fresh mind and some new strategies, I’m re-visiting the classics – one by one and slowly.

I’m also reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.


Why I’m Writing this Blog

I started this blog to be a brainstorming place.  Somewhere I could spitball ideas, kick around the random thoughts in my head, and divert me from the regular pressures of writing, studying, and my day job.  I’m generally an anxious person, and though I try to come off as cool and level-headed, often I’m wracked with tension about writing, studying, and my day job.

I try to write as much as I can.  And by that I mean I think about writing a lot, and by 4 o’clock it’s time to pick up the kids and I haven’t done much writing at all.  There are many reasons for this, but a couple main ones that I’ll list here.

I’m self-conscious about what I write.  I’m afraid someone will read my words and think, “you know, that Chris, he really has no business writing about this.”  Even if it’s freehand into a notebook that I keep in my drawer that no one will ever read, I still think like this.

I’m a procrastinator.  I’ve spent most of life strategizing how to put off whatever work I have for as long as I possibly can without getting kicked out of school or fired from my job.  Yes, I realize this is a serious issue, and it’s one that I’ve been working to solve.  I’ve been relatively successful, but sometimes it’s still hard to win against thirty years of habit.

I’m currently studying for a promotion at my day job and the exam isn’t until August.  See above paragraph.

Work is the least of my worries, but it gets in the way of writing.  I work lots of nights, some overnights, and tend to sleep way less than my body craves.  Often I’m tired and cranky and I would rather curl up with a blanket under my desk than sit at it and write.

All that being said, here I go with my blog.  Let’s see what’s bouncing around my head.  Also, feel free to read my other blog  City Soldier.  It’s mostly fiction ideas and short stories, with a little bit of beginner poetry sprinkled around.

Sometimes I Pee in the Shower

Do you pee in the shower?  This is question the answer to which , for me, has been a very adamant no for most of my adult life.  All of my adult life, really.  Why pee in the shower when I almost unfailingly pass a toilet on my way in?  It’s never been an issue of sanitation.  It’s just simply been about the proper order of things.

Recently my opinion has taken a turn.  My profession requires me to sleep at work quite frequently (I may get into my day job during a later post).   Of course I’ll take a shower after sleeping at work in one of the two shower stalls, which are available for anyone else at my job to use.  The cleanliness of these stalls leaves so much to be desired so I try to minimize my time spent in them.

One recent morning I woke up late and, in my rush to get to my desk by a reasonably explainable time, I decided to postpone my morning pee until after my shower.  When I stepped into the shower and under the hot water, I learned something new about myself that had up to this point eluded me on my strict toilet first, shower second bathroom itinerary.  When I really have to go, the temperature change from cold bathroom to hot shower drastically increases my urge to pee.  Standing as I was in an already less than clean shower stall that I will at no point be responsible for cleaning, I decided – under extreme duress, mind you – to give myself the release.  I peed in the shower.

I must say, it was a tremendously liberating experience.  No longer was I bound by the unnatural shackles of aiming for a receptacle.  I worried not about dripping onto a rim.  I was free to expel the way my maker meant for me to expel – like a lion.  And what a glorious time it was.