Monday, November 18, 2013

Novel Writing Month

I am participation in National Novel Writing Month and have been spending most of my time either applying for work, working a temp job, or writing thousands and thousands of words towards my NaNoWriMo novel. The goal is to write 50,000 words by November 30th, which breaks down to 1,667 words a day if you are diligent and consistent. I am at 23,000 words in and quite happy with what I've come up with so far. It's a project I've wanted to do four years and haven't given it a serious attempt until now.
Two weeks ago I also started teaching English to inner city 4th graders on Saturdays. It's pretty fun but I never realized how absolutely draining it is to be a teacher. For my class I'm pretty much talking and moving around for three hours straight.
The weather is absolutely amazing today and has encouraged me to go to a coffee shop. Leaving the apartment will be a nice.
I will update the status on my NaNoWriMo novel as I get closer to completion.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


It's that time of year when we don't have to turn the heat on in the evening but don't have to leave the air conditioners on (although we still haven't gotten around to taking them all out). That time of year when you can wear those sweaters that have been sitting at the bottom of your drawer all year but can roll up the sleeves. That time of year when it feels out of place to be listening to all those summer jams but too early to be dusting off your copy of Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
I am currently unemployed and spend the majority of my time reading and applying for work in coffee shops. Although it doesn't sound all that bad, I assure you it is neither a life nor a living. 
In a previous blog post I mentioned that I like to make the 45 minute commute to Cambridge to hit up the public library and work in their beautiful Starbucks. My trek to the public library includes a nice walk through the Harvard University campus, something I hadn't actually visited until recently. The campus itself meets any expectations when you walk through it. It's the same school you saw in Fincher's 2010 film The Social Network. It is what you would imagine Harvard to be. Green grass, brick buildings, well dressed young co-eds, Macbooks and textbooks. What I've realized, though, walking through Harvard is that for me it's campus almost represents all campuses. It reminds of Princeton in the late 1940's depicted in A Beautiful Mind. It reminds me of Monsters University and Dead Poet's Society.

I think it's probably because on some level Harvard is the school that encompasses what school brochures and films want to portray; a rich history, a proud and intelligent student body, beautifully tended yards and money. There's also always a huge batch of Asian tourists visiting the campus pretty much all the time.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Books and Public Transit

This afternoon I went to the Cambridge to visit the library and get some work done at the Starbucks in Harvard Square. The Cambridge Public Library is by far my favorite library of all time right behind UMass Amherst's W.E.B. Du Bois library (tall, quiet, and oddly labyrinthian) and the Boston Public Library (beautiful and old in the way that a lot of stuffy European buildings are beautiful and old). What really makes the CPL my favorite is the graphic novel section. Tucked away in the basement beyond romantic fiction and right across from science fiction, their graphic novel section is so large and so comprehensive and so very incredible. Since you can take out up to 150 books at a time, I am merely limited by the size of my messenger bag.

Today I decided to also try something different and take out a few 'word' books. These are books consisting of hundreds of pages of text and often only one large graphic (on the cover).
1. Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
2. I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman

The Starbucks in Harvard Square is a very pleasant and cozy place to work. So many electrical outlets. So many leather seats. And just across the street is the Harvard campus.

Around one o'clock, when I first got to the T station, the main lobby was entirely empty except for one woman and myself. Before I put my ticket into the machine to get through the woman asked if she could double-up on my ticket since she couldn't afford her own. "Yeah, sure" (with an implied "Whatever") was my response since you'd have to be pretty self righteous not to I suppose (or assume). By holding up my end of the deal I had to do literally nothing, which is just as much as I would have done if she hadn't asked me. The whole thing sat with me in a funny way.

When I did get on the orange line I ended up sitting in a cart full of southern tourists. They were talking loudly and being tourists. Five woman and one man. Middle aged. One of the women told the other one that her biggest mistake in life was getting married at eighteen. She didn't say it like it was something that made her sad. It was more of an offhand remark. Her friend replied by saying "Yeah, but that's not something you should say to people". And I suppose it isn't.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Past

The other day I found out that one of my good friends from college is pregnant. She is expecting. It is a boy. I found this out through Facebook and not only did it make me realize how completely out of touch I am with a lot of friends I made in college but also how I am suddenly at an age where it is now socially acceptable to have a child. Be a parent. Raise a human being. (something I may or may not get around to)

I have heard some people say that it will be weird in the year 2030 when children of this new generation are able to look back on their mother's Facebook status update regarding their conception and then trace their progression from that first ultrasound to their birth to their first steps. It seems strange now but maybe no less strange than the introduction of video cameras and home movies of the 20th century and their ability to capture moments. Well, not entirely. Maybe the strangeness lies more in those personal artifacts floating around in the open ocean of social media that is such a different concept for people to get used to. Perhaps.
This blog itself is an artifact of my own and I have decided to add to it instead of starting a new blog. I am out of college now, living outside Boston with my girlfriend and trying to find work. I started this blog with the presumption that I was on the cusp of life and something greater. I still feel that way.

In other news I got the chance to stay at the Juniper Hill Inn up in Vermont a few weeks ago. It was featured on the short lived reality show Hotel Hell. Jordan and I got to stay in the same room Gordon Ramsay stayed in when he was filming the show. This boar was hanging around outside the entryway. He was pretty cool.

Speak easy,

P.S. It took me twenty minutes to figure out my login and password for this account. I had apparently used a my high school email address as my backup for some reason and had to access that before I could reset me password.

P.P.S. The extent of my refence to it being "socially acceptable" to have a child at twenty-seven is an entirely subjective opinion (as opinions often seem to be) and I'm sure the statement tells someone more about me, my socioeconomic background, my upbringing, and my own feelings about children than about parenting itself.