This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Work,

and work-related stuff: that's what I've been doing lately. Things will shift a little when I get used to my new job. For now, though, I'm reading a soon-to-be-released book about alternative approaches to cancer prevention, and you wouldn't believe how many fruits and vegetables I've been eating as a result. That, and I'm drinking an awful lot of green tea. And walking approximately four miles a day.

Other than working and doing all that stuff I have to do in order to keep myself alive, I've spent a little time with Matty, who dragged me to the beach last weekend. Thank God! I hadn't been to the beach in about a year and had nearly forgotten what a beach was supposed to look like. I know I shouldn't be this way, but I have a tough time making myself go out and do things if I know I'm going to be doing them alone.

Tomorrow, with any luck, UPS will finally deliver the roller skates I ordered. Even when I'm alone, I think I'll enjoy skating through Golden Gate Park, though I'm sure I'll do some of this with Matty.

Which, I've been having a tough time figuring out the things I can do solo, if I need to be solo. I DO NOT like going to restaurants and bars by myself. There's something so disconcerting about taking sips and bites in public. I guess it's because the public aspect of eating out is supposed to distract me from the private tragedy of ingestion (I find eating, unless if it's done at a party/feast, generally sad and utilitarian), but when I'm alone what's really distracting is the idea that there isn't much distraction from the act of eating: all the chewing, the swallowing, the furtive little fits of choking. In other words, I get distracted by the idea that nobody's providing a distraction, and I see myself all the more glaringly, as if projected on a large screen at the front of the bar or restaurant, as I commit the sad act of inserting morsels of food between my lips. Don't most of us feel slightly self-conscious about eating or drinking in public? So much so, that we're most comfortable when there's this small element of us-as-spectacle while we're eating out? Meaning, we kind of feel better in front of a benign audience, usually meaning a friend or acquiantance or relative? But the thing is, when I'm alone and eating/drinking in public, I'm largely ignored by the public in a way that feels worse than simply being alone in a room with the curtains shut and the door bolted.



When you're all alone, what kinds of things motivate you to get out of your living space? What have you done all by yourself that has resulted in joy? You tell me yours, and I'll tell you mine.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Winters said...

Hello Ing.

I identify with you on the solitary restaurant eating. It all seems very biological, and ends up being over very quickly. Then it's time to pay. Although people-watching can be fun, or reading a good book, I wonder sometimes if it worth the cost.

Creative home-cooking, just for the fun of it. This may be the answer. Artistic nouvelle cuisine for one.

6:05 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

As you know, I don't mind eating alone -- especially if sugar is involved. When I was thin --- I loved nothing more than to sit up on one of those cement things in the Castro eating my cookie and large Diet Coke watching all the boys go by. Movies are my fave thing to do when alone! when alone, I can be totally drenched in the film without bother. Tho, I do enjoy going to movies with other. Actually, it is usually preferable to be with others -- but it isn't always possible.

I'm not the self-conscious sort. So, being alone in public is no prob for me -- unless at a play or a ballet. No, I don't like being alone in those spaces.

However, I love sitting on the beach for hours alone when I can just lay there, think, nap, watch, write and listen to my music. Or watch people at the embacadaro.

There are loads of things to do!

I do so hope your skates come in! I suck! You have to teach me this Sunday -- and the weather is to be nice!

Prom night tomorrow!!!!

6:37 AM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

I don't mind eating at pubs alone, I can sit at the bar have a couple of beers, eat a salad or something greesy and be on my way. Some pubs, not crowded and sometimes I'll have something to read, not the pub paper, god knows where that has been...On another note my long time buddy Roscoe had a collection of his stories pubished and they can be purchased on My Mule real proffesional like. I wrote the about the author part, and it reads like one of my book reviews. I did find some pretty big names to comment on his work, quite impressive...Fiddling on my boat alone works, it also saves me the humiliation of someone witnessing my inability to be very handy.

10:46 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Well, you know Bea Bea. And technically when a person walks a dog they're not alone, so scratch that.

I swim, of course, and swimming is fairly solomente except there's oodles of people around. Half the town dives into the open swim half of the pool every night I'm at the Y. And there's talk of some kind, inevidble, so yes, scratch that one too.

I guess I am looking forward to being alone around art. On campus there's a new art facility and it's pretty grand. Nice and peaceful the various rooms showing some neat stuff. Cutie pies walk around, too. Alone not for long one would hope. I suggest art, in going to a place alone. Take a lined notebook along. And a pen. Hmm.

Then there's always what we do solo after we've eaten. But that requires drawn curtains and as I hear you, you kind of want to raise them. So, scratch that one too.

xo-ginab+bb

8:21 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Heya, Winters.

I find that when I eat in public, the reading becomes a crutch, even if I'm reading something I want to read. I do enjy the funny salads and stir-fries and soups I've invented, but for some reason it's not as much fun when there's no one around to give me feedback, I guess. Still, though, if I had a normal-sized kitchen, I'm sure I'd go to town.

Cooking for one -- it's so much easier when you have a freezer!

______________

Matty:

Hmmm, you look thin TO ME, TODAY. But I guess you are the one who has to decide what exact slice of thinness you want for yourself.

ANYWAY, yes, I enjoy movies when I'm alone. And I may indulge in movies more often, once I calm down about my new job. I agree that it's fun to discuss the movie with someone else, after the fact. But you're just about the only person who likes to discuss movies with me, so I'd say I don't mind seeing movies alone, but I'd rather see them with Matty by my side. And I'm always interested in B's perspective, no doubt.

Why don't you like being at a play/ballet alone? I've seen many plays alone, and that doesn't bother me a bit. Though maybe this was because I was supposed to be reviewing the play, so I felt as though I had a purpose.

As for the beach -- I guess I get bored there, when I'm alone. I can't usually find a comfortable sitting position, and especially if it's windy, it's hard for me to read there. I do enjoy beaches where the water is warm enough to swim in. San Francisco Bay doesn't qualify on that count. I also like those beaches where there are plenty of warm rivlets and estuaries, where I can build sand castles and check out the starfish and anemones. I grew up near these kinds of beaches. Pretty.

My skates are waiting! I skated around on the left skate at work for a minute, then I had to get back to business.

-------------

Josh:

I used to work in a pub, and I agree, they're the best! I just love beer. But I'm not a big greasy-food-eater. I like all those funny, meaty pies, though.

I will check out Roscoe's big debut. Very nice!

_____________

Ginab:

Which is exactly why I think about getting a dog. I need a companion. Too bad I'm gone for twelve hours a day! Someday, though, I'll get a dog, and I'll have a companion. I don't trust that I'll find a human companion, so. . .

Yes, swimming is a solo thing. I keep thinking about taking up running again. Some people do it with a partner, but I've always preferred doing it alone. I guess I'd do it after work, on days I'm not doing the yoga thing. There's no way I'm getting up before 6am to go running -- no way!

And the art gallery. That's indeed something I don't mind doing alone, and for sure the pieces make me want to take notes. The SFMOMA is wonderful for that. Next time I find myself alone and with a whole day to kill. . . which will be soon! I'm going to do it! Thanks!

As for curtains, yes, I'm wanting to raise them and open the windows. I'll get back to the other thing when it starts to get dark early, I guess.

9:26 PM

 
Blogger AhvaRahn said...

I’m not alone now, but was for quite some time. I yearned to be not-alone. Now I sometime yearn for a little more my space (although not that ‘thanks for the add’ stuff myspace). The eating out alone thing, like you, I always had a problem with; but not in doing it, but how self-conscious I felt because of the reactions (maybe perceived reactions) of other punters. I cannot tell you how many menus I read from cover to cover endlessly. The menu was my McGuffin. I needed one to prop me, to stop me just ogling the cutlery. It sounds quite sad but was never quite like that. Still, I enjoyed the sitting at the bar for lunch, where there was a monitor to keep me company.

I took language classes too. Portuguese. People who spoke Portuguese often asked what good that was going to do. I dunno. It just felt good. I surprise myself at how much I understand now, and can even lip read Brazilian soccer player swearing on T.V. I definitely hate cooking for one, and always invited people over. Then, I lived in a postage stamp sized apartment and there was often evenings when the place was wall to wall with guests. Of course, that meant maybe three others and me. For some reason, I always thought about the idea of taking up the flute, or Japanese classes. Had I not met my wife at a Russian evening I was almost not going to attend for I felt that I would be totally out of place, who knows, some poor bastards might have been coming over this weekend for a flute recital and some sushi.

Hope you are having fun with you skates - have a great weekend,
beijos amiga,
Paul

5:14 AM

 
Blogger Ren said...

Usually, taking off my shirt to jump into the shower in the morning reminds me to get a run in that day, alone or not. Shame is a powerful motivator, you know?

5:17 AM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

I like to watch really BAD tv, alone. That makes me happy, to do alone. I don't want to answer "you like this?" or "are you really interested in this show?" I like my bad tv, I like to switch channels, and NOT watch any commercials. I am grateful to be alone for that. Reading is great solitary activity. OK, that didn't help, those are two obvious "solitary" activities....

BTW, my husband met me, while he was out "ALONE" at a bar......I couldn't do that, but he did..he never seems to NEED anyone. He likes the company, but doesn't NEED it. I NEED company, but I don't always like it!

As for swimming and dog walking....I think those are two perfect examples of independant activities..or activities you can do alone!

9:05 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

Oh, I wish I could have seen you riding your skates at work!

I don't know -- I'm always uncomfortable during theatrical productions. I worry for the actors and feel much better when with someone.

I'm always up for a movie!!!

And, tonight I shall be meeting you to see the tripple feature of PRETTY IN PINK/CARRIE/PROM NIGHT -- classy stuff!!!

I can just stay at the beach. I don't mind the wind. Give me some sand to lay on, my iPod and my journal and i'm happy for hours

11:10 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

"Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy? I hate Carrie White!"

1:55 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

I can see your dirty pillows.

6:10 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

They're breasts, momma. And, everybody has them...

8:57 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

You are NOT going out with that boy!

9:08 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

ingy-bingy

take the panic out of the work and the job becomes easier. you're fine. chill.

-ginab

6:21 AM

 

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