Della Mae - Empire
Della Mae - Empire
I’ve got $50 of Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket. Throw me some suggestions for worthy NOLA-area charities — I’ve got my favorites, but want to open up my options. Anyone have suggestions?
I’ve been a little sick lately, and today my head cold is the worst it’s been all week. Since I’m off work anyway (because the restaurant closed for winter break), I’ve spent the day watching sports movie things and cuddling with the cat. Bruce Springsteen’s version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” is at the end of the NFL Films doc on the Saints’ 2009 season (which is one of the sports movie things I watched today and watch pretty frequently). This version from Dublin is pretty killer.
Jim Henson and Bert, c.1971. Photo by Ted Neuhoff
©2007 The Jim Henson Company. All Rights Reserved.
Jim Henson held off the Nothing better than just about anyone ever
This year’s Thoughts on the New Year essay is very long and personal. The tl;dr is that the last couple of years have been rough financially and professionally but this year will be better. Also I got engaged this year and have a great little family with my fiancee and my cat and that pretty much makes 2013 a success.
There is a moment every morning — usually when I’m elbow deep in our fryer cleaning it out with a hose and heavy-duty degreaser, or maybe when I’m getting the three-sink system setup for that day’s service — that I start to question most every decision I’ve ever made. From high school through the present day, I can see a pattern of decision-making that has led me farther and farther away from my passions and talents, simultaneously taking me deeper and deeper in debt. I’ve gone from passionate about life and writing and music and sports, independent financially and flourishing mentally, to having to rely heavily on my and my fiancee’s families’ social and financial capital in a way that I never ever wanted to have to.
I have no idea how to get out of the hole that I’m in, but I do know that cleaning the fryer isn’t paying the bills and any prospect I have right now will take me even farther away from that professional mountain I’m trying to climb. All of this and more goes through my head every day before 11 a.m.
At the end of 2011, I wrote the first of my now-annual New Year’s essays, which I doubt anyone reads but which feel are a little more honest or accountable than if I just wrote them privately. I don’t make resolutions but I try to establish themes for the coming year, which I started before these essays: 2010 was the Year of the Alex, 2011 was the Year of Good Decisions (ha!), 2012 was the Year of Good Work, and this past year, as stressors really started wearing on me, was the Year of Getting Right.
Did I Get Right this past year? Oh hell no. but maybe it’s the coffee, maybe it’s the good music, maybe it’s knowing that no matter what I’ve got a support system that will keep me off the streets — whatever it is, for some reason I feel oddly hopeful about 2014. This is going to be a Year of Good Returns.
uggggghhhh. Yes. I feel you. I am intimately familiar with this feeling and it blows. Sorry. Have an egg nog. With Meyers in it.The worst part is that this was the year I was going to grow up and start giving thoughtful gifts to people, because I’ve always been a terrible gift-giver and that’s largely been due to immaturity. I’ve known what I was getting everyone since September, but I’ve dropped the ball again. So really I’m just terribly disappointed in myself, beyond being angry at work.
As always, it’s about money.
So my payday is on Monday, when the restaurant is closed. Since we’re closed, we pick up paychecks from our sister establishment. Two weeks ago I went at about 2:30, and that created a problem. Paychecks aren’t available until 4:30 apparently. Fine — there’s no direct deposit, and making us wait until 4:30 sucks, but okay, that’s the way it is. This was reiterated at our pre-shift meeting on Sunday night: Don’t come before 4:30, and they’re there until 6. You have 90 minutes to pick up paychecks. So yesterday I checked Facebook just to see if there was any mention of them closing early, and nope, “We’re here until 6 today!” So I got at 5:35, and whoops, they’re closed. No paycheck! This after I’ve maxed out both my credit cards (again) on Christmas gifts and haven’t even gotten anything yet for my fiancee’s family (with whom we’ve been living this fall/winter) or my sister (whose birthday is today).
I’m not even huge on the massive consumerist side of Christmas. I just want to be able to show love to people who deserve it, even if it’s small tokens of appreciation. And I can’t even afford fucking cards.