Jazz and A Mood

Jazz plays on my phone as I sit here and type on a quiet Tuesday night. Today is my parent’s 41st anniversary, though nothing of note happened today. Laundry spins around in the dryer, the rest neatly folded, albeit, not put away. Tomorrow marks the fifty percent opening the restaurant is going into after almost 3 months of closure, though we have managed with take out services.

Life is in a melancholy phase. Work has been…. challenging. Why is it jazz fits every mood? If you are feeling melancholic, jazz is somber. If you are feeling upbeat, it seems like all the high notes are champagne bubbles popping on your tongue. Romantic? The slippery slide of a trumpet’s not gliding down your back like a lover’s finger.

Jazz, currently Miles Davis’ “‘Round Midnight” slinks out of my speaker is hitting the somber notes. The gray mood I am in. The early work week blues.

I’ve been as uninspired as any writer with writer’s block. My dad asks if writers really get writers block. Oh darling, yes, every writer hits a block. Maybe the ideas are there, but they just don’t come out. I have ideas. So many ideas. I scribbled down several poetry prompts weeks ago. So many things to write about. Redacted words in a post…. you know all those black lines? Like a form of blackout poetry, only about the actual aspect of blocking out the bits I don’t want to talk about.

There’s something about an untidy relationship, untidy thoughts… I’m not sure what that was in reference to, other than I …. Oh, now I remember, something about my grandmother and the fact that my mother and her had an untidy relationship.

A cup with three houses and snow falling on it.

Dishes being stacked and the sun ticking its way quickly westward.

And then so many thoughts about work. Lines I’ve scribbled down here and there. Work. I’m in that phase of where I could just shove my workplace off a cliff. Actually more the people I work with besides Miss Holly and Golden Oldie. Everyone else could take a swan dive off a short pier and I would be completely, one hundred percent happy. Give me a perfectly good dessert menu that I came up with. Me, so it’s all on me if it makes a go. I should be ecstatic. Yeah, well, I’m not. Tomorrow begins the work week and I am just not ready. I should have taken a few days off this last month when it was more quiet. Now that opportunity has passed me by.

I think I’m more annoyed that I’m blocked again with what to write. I can’t seem to even force myself to sit down and write in my journal. Piffle.

Side note of nothing related to any of this, but my family has taken to watching Miss Scarlet and the Duke, All Creatures Great and Small, Grantchester, Home Fires, and for my mom, sister and I, Downton Abbey (which I’ve gone through most seasons but the last. Total introduction of that drama for them) We are in a British, all things Masterpiece frame. It’s rather delightful. I’m in love that Sidney Chambers of Grantchester loves jazz.

So I end on that not. Jazz, what’s not to love about it? Play to me, Count Basie, play…

Kate

Timing Is Everything

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

I love the song from Country Strong, “Timing is Everything.” I believe wholeheartedly in the statement, living my life always amazed by the timing, the tick-tocking cadence of the world spinning. How things line up a certain way and lead to the next thing in life. Hostess Extrodinaire has “everything happens for a reason” tattooed onto her arm. And I fully believe in that as well. But, that doesn’t make me  not still question it at times.

Coffeeman’s last day was an unexpected slip away moment that for all included, lead to a very personal moment of tears, from all parties. It was not planned, it was jarring, and it was heartbreaking. When I got home later, I couldn’t stop crying. For him, for my sadness for him, the suddenness of all of it; the unexpected. The weird irony of it all was that months ago I had had a dream where actions and emotions were exactly what had happened. Not the situation, but this overwhelming heart stopping pain and crying. This feeling of helplessness. At the time of the dream, I was mentally off all day and when my mother asked me what was wrong, I couldn’t stop crying. I knew it was a portent of things to come. I can’t explain why I knew this, but I’ll apply it all back to my belief in God and how certain things in my life have been inferred by Him, either in dreams or a gut feeling, if you will. I believe that is Him talking to me directly. So at the time, I just tucked the dream into the back of my mind for a later date. Then there I was again two nights ago, sobbing for my friend, feeling like I was right back in the dream. Too weird is a statement I’ll say, but maybe it was a warning months ago.

Why did this have to happen this way, right at this moment? Why this specific experience for all of us? I will say that it gives me insight into certain people’s actions immediately following the slip out the door and gone moment. I now have an opinion of certain people that might not have been there had an event like this not happened. Some good opinions, some negative.

Coffeman has affected all of us in ways we never would have imagined. I’m in his life for a reason, he’s in mine, and somewhere it will all make sense. Brother, friend, boss, colleague, he’s impacted us in ways no one else has. Nor do I think we are ever going to find someone who has the same connection with us that he does. Jersey Boy has insanely big, impossible shoes to fill, and I don’t think he will be able to. Friends are impossible to replace. While someone new might move in and you may like them, they will still never be the person that left.

The timing of all of this is still on the fringe of my mind. I don’t get it. I don’t know why it all had to happen this way. Just about all of us is still reeling from Coffeeman being gone anyhow, but for some of us close to the man, I think it’s going to take a long while to move on. I hate that statement, moving on.  And I really don’t have any plans to move on, so to speak. I have great plans to stay in contact on a regular basis with Coffeeman. I respect the man. He knows several things, because he’s seen several things. (we are farmers…… sing the jingle)

Somewhere down the line I hope all of this makes sense. I mean, it’s not like I don’t understand Coffeeman not being here, the changes, bla bla bla (my new favorite statement) the fact that in this business, change is bound to happen. For whatever reason, this one moment, him being here, might be for something to happen down the road. Mrs. B said to me today, (Monday), that maybe Coffeeman was in your life just to remove Lucifer from the picture. She might be right. But I think it’s more than that.

So, as the old chapter closes, and a  newer one opens, all I can do is wait. I can honestly say I 100% do not like the new changes, but be that as it may, sometimes one thing you struggle with becomes the thing you need to overcome to get to the next part. Currently Jose Gonzalez’s “Stay Alive” is playing and I think it applies to everything as well. Especially the tick tocking rhythm.

There’s a rhythm in rush these days
Where the lights don’t move and the colors don’t fade
Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams
In a world gone shallow
In a world gone lean

But there is a truth and it’s on our side
Dawn is coming open your eyes
Look into the sun as a new days rise

Songwriters: RYAN ADAMS, TEDDY SHAPIRO
© BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, FOX MUSIC, INC., A SIDE MUSIC LLC D/B/A MODERN WORKS MUSIC PUBLISHING
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

I’m going to finish this semi rambling post with an online round of applause, as I was never able to get our group of people at work together for said applause for Chef Coffeeman as he slowly backed out of the doorway, shaking his head at our antics, and our craziness that led to his weird eyeball crazy look. I’m sure missing him like mad won’t happen for a week or so, but I’m sure it will soon. I’m dreading the day. Sigh

Kate

When Control Does Not Abound

This, this right here above is the only controlled part of my life. And that was taken yesterday. Today, it’s not. Chaos, overwhelming everything, threatening storms are in the air. August is always an unstable month. The hot weather threatens to overload us, yet the nights are cool, and the winds begin. Storms may float in, wildfires start. Unsettled moments. It’s all very nerve wracking.

I feel out of sorts these days. The transition of a new boss is taking it’s toll on my mental and physical being. I’m tired already to begin with, but learning a new person’s flow, it can be exhausting. Especially, if at times, you don’t agree.

“Keep your head up, stay strong, keep working hard.” — Coffeeman

I’m losing Coffeeman. I might sound quite cavalier at times about it. I’m not. Far from it. I can’t go one moment talking or thinking about it that it doesn’t make me want to cry. I never, never thought that I would be this affected by it. I’m trying to suck down as much time with him I can get my hands on. Which currently is about 10 minutes when I get into work before he’s leaving. I actually got a whole half hour last week on one day. I don’t want him to go. I really don’t want him to go.  And this not wanting him to go has started making me rethink things and changes, and changes I might or could make in my life. It’s nothing even definite, but it’s realizing that when things change, sometimes you have to as well.

“When it comes to things you can’t control, keep your head down.” —Coffeeman

I’m not ready for the summer to end. That’s not even fair to ask, but I feel like it just started. I’m not ready for fall. I am enjoying this interim period of late summer, not fall, when the berries are ripening, or are loaded ripe, and everything is just slowly creeping it’s way to fall.  It’s rather lovely. They sky and light, clouds, moon, stars. It’s all so rather pretty.

There are a lot of changes that are going to happen this fall. I know it. Some good, like next week I take my driver’s written test. I have never driven, had a license… But life changes, and I have to move with the times. It’s been a 20 year journey in the making, this driving thing. I’m slightly apprehensive about the test. I’m excited about the driving.

I’m gonna repeat it because this is kind of where the post all started in my head. I’m gonna miss Coffeeman so much. I wish I could pause time. Pause this moment right now where I have one of the best coworkers of my life. Sure, I liked him as my boss, but meeting up with him each work day and going over the mise en place is the highlight of my day. It is the very best part of my work day. And I can’t control a single other thing right now.

“If it’s not affecting you, don’t get involved.” — Coffeeman

So, uncontrolled me, overwhelmed, transitioning, and trying to not get involved with anything that doesn’t affect me. Yeah, this is gonna be a hard fall.

Kate

It’s A Little Bit Greek To Me

A sudden rainstorm over a two day period came and blew out the heat and summer dust. In a few days the summer smell went to autumn, or early autumn, in a flash.  Step outside to gorgeousness and sweet air.  It’s been a minor perfection.

Work has kept me at a constant spiral of in, out, split shifts, late nights, huge workloads, and a constant ever present desire to write when I can. Even a few words. An older gentleman who has heard my work asked me the other day if I was still writing. He’s so sweet. Yes, I am still writing. A lot more than I thought I could while being this busy, but also a lot less than I would like. Time is much more precious. Reading too. I read this amazing retelling of the Hades and Persephone story. Very adult. Very good. I love Greek myths, always have, and retellings are fun. I found Lore Olympus on Webtoon, which I had seen some of the art on Pinterest, and it has been another delightful retelling. Modernized. I would love to read more retellings.

Lore Olympus. Persephone and Hades…. yum!

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

Lore Olympus  

I’m on the hunt for more fun retellings of other Greek or Mythology  stories.

Wilson Tennu has gotten a few more words out recently, which as been nice. I like how I’m able to step into another frame and write about him. I had to get over some road blocks with him.

Just like I recently picked up a novel about the Sierra Nevadas I started a couple years ago. I finally knuckled down and came to a point where I have been trying to get to, and now have some basis, and plot points. It is a huge event for me because I write by the seat of my pants. Though at least with this novel, I’m taking a novel I already love and have read multiple times and rewriting it to be like what I want as I always found some fault. I’ve changed the setting and the theme some. Instead of a harmless mistake of scheduling, this is an actual setup of two people by the sister of the girl and her husband who met the guy and is a friends. Guy and Gal hate each other from a work standpoint, but well, things change. Surprisingly, Instagram is what helped take this novel off because I could find pictures of the place I was writing about, since I live 8 hours away these days. I grew up there, but haven’t been back in a 20 years. So I needed a bit of help.

I’m going to include a few lines of a Wilson Tennu poem I’m working on. It’s nearly finished, but not quite. I was inspired by Greek Muses, muses in my life, and tarot or oracle cards. It’s from Wilson’s POV

I watch her shuffle the large deck of cards
cutting, rotating, shuffling again.
She has four decks, one classic,
the other three are one’s she lovingly stroked
then tapped rhythmically with her pearl varnished nails.
It’s a height of summertime kind of day, and she,
she’s an oracle, Delphi would admit her in an instant.
A grass heated breeze blows in through wire screens,
wild florals and sweet wild oat turning tan and gold
as July slowly bakes on, lazily spinning the ceiling fan,
around and around, and she sits in the middle of my bed,
her legs crossed under her white skirt spread out ,
her blonde hair snapping out impatient like;
Electricity flows through her veins and lightning
flashes in her ever changing sea and sky blue eyes.
“Y know I’m no good at this,” she sing-songs her words,
shaking her head bemused, flipping a card over with a small frown,
two little indents forming between her brows.
She and I had joked about a reading, answering existential questions
as we sang our way through the breakdown and mopping
when she’s as put together as any chef should be.
As unlike she is now, all Greek muse like,
humming her approval of one card I pick
consulting her books at another,
and our glasses sit, sweating pools of water rings
on the wooden table, forgotten in the moment.

By Katie Lyn Branson copywrite 2019

Isn’t that fun? Summer ish?

Kate

It’s A Sign Of Behind The Times

I’m actually having trouble naming blog posts these days. I was thinking in the terms of song lyrics. “It’s a sign of the times….”, it’s a Harry Styles song… bear with me.

Today I finished Paradise Lost by Milton…. Caveat being that I didn’t read chapters 1-11; only chapter 12. I was a little late to the game with the local ‘Salon’ one of the ladies from the writing group hosts. It was rather lovely to be in a literary setting which has been far from my realm for months. My writing group has gone to the wayside because my Friday nights are so late that I can’t force myself to get up at 9am to write. Bleh.

Or Nathan Englander. Look at that hair. He has to be tall, right?

But I am still writing. Not as frequently as I would like, because while inspiration is there, and pops into my head all the time, it’s rather hard to write while pulling pizzas from a 700 degree oven in the middle of a rush. Whew!

Farley Granger. Good, American stock.

I wrote two poems back in 2017 that were from the standpoint of this heteronym Wilson Philips Tennu, a writer living in New Orleans. Tall, thin, similar to Farley Granger (or Nathan Englander), but more floppy hair, he’s in this physical relationship with a Mrs. Robinson-esque woman, although I don’t see her as quite as old, nor is she married. Just she has this way about her. He’s fed up with her, so off to France he goes, which is in poem number two.  Well, these two poems lead to a three month writing spree of various points where he’s trying to find himself, he’s left France, gone to the west coast, lives in a small, rural area, in this mountain cabin that’s very, um, rustic.  For those not knowing what a heteronym is : via Wikipedia 

The literary concept of the heteronym refers to one or more imaginary character(s) created by a writer to write in different styles. Heteronyms differ from pen names (or pseudonyms, from the Greek words for “false” and “name”) in that the latter are just false names, while the former are characters that have their own supposed physiques, biographies, and writing styles.

Wilson writes very long poems with no breaks. Semi rambling on…. Okay, I’m a little like that, but not quite as bad…. making conditions, because like, yeah, I am the one actually writing it… gads that’s confusing.

Anyways, here he is, in the west, and I am working on his journal and poetry. The poor man is rather lost, confused, disgusted with himself. He needs a change. He’s decided to get a job in a restaurant as a dishwasher….. irony……. working the night shift, and he smokes cigarettes like a fiend, courtesy of the Mrs. R. He drives a 1973 sky blue Capri, has two typewriters, one is a travel one, an Olivetti Lettera 22, light blue….  “but I still took my typewriter with me,
the travel one, sky blue, sleek, like a convertible
with its top down, zippy, light on its keys”   (I always say this in my head like Linguini from Ratatouille when he’s explaining about Anton Ego, the critic, coming to dinner)

Olivettie Lettera 22

I’d actually rather like to meet this guy. He’s so not my type, but well, any guy that likes his typewriters and is a bit edgy, sounds interesting at least. Writing from his standpoint is interesting. Sometimes I get lost as to whom is writing, and then I start getting really depressed and wanting a cigarette…. I don’t smoke. Sometimes Wilson can be a bit of a bad influence on me. He stays up late, having dark circles under his eyes. He probably drinks a bit too much, obviously smokes too much. Sometimes I want to shake him for being so dramatic at times. Everything is always so over the top with him. A real drama queen….

So bits of my life make for a perfect inspiration for his life. I kind of feel sorry he’s a dishwasher, but since he’s a writer that sends off work as his bread and butter, I’m okay with him having a lower tier job.  The dishwashing is his jam, though he would much rather have the writing be bread, butter, and JAM.  Fickle man.  Someone should give him a good ‘Snap out of it!’ slap, a la Moonstruck.

Just the other day, the swoop and curls are even better as I work on them, this was only day two of testing.

I realized I hadn’t blogged in quite a while, but then a new spring menu dropped at the restaurant, I was sick again, and just this week finished a 6 day work week with a couple of extra overtime days. Days where I didn’t clock off till well after midnight.  I am seriously tired and two days off isn’t enough. I need one extra at least, but such is life. I am excited about the new menu and one of my ideas made it to dessert menu. Pots de creme. I had done spiced ones a month ago that were not super popular, but these new ones are plain, rich chocolate.  I am excited about a few new dessert ideas I have playing around in my head. I have been killing it on being lead pizza chef. I mean, I am rocking it, even with a Rosie the Riveter look. I have the headband and have been swooping my hair a la 1940s.

That doesn’t mean work has been easy. I love my job but there are aspects that make me want to slam my head into a wall… Or more like coworkers heads, but that’s way too psychopathic, which I am not…. insert evil grin, like the Grinch….. I jest. Really, I do. I joke that I always have my knives with me, but if I actually stab someone it will be because I forgot to walk with the point down and I went around a corner. Yes, I can hear Chef in my head…. ‘Point down!’

Yes, Chef.

I’m not sure how to end this post, other than to say, I need to now read Paradise Lost, especially chapters/books 7 and 9 per Mads suggestion. I am actually going to read the whole thing as I rather like blank verse. Enjoy this Harry Styles song, because I rather like it, and need to listen to it again.

Kate