I've been drinking a lot of coffee lately. Beer and coffee (not together--ick). I have been drinking less Pepsi, and these are the super-healthy replacements I've found. Anyway, my increase in coffee consumption seems to have precipitated an increase in thoughts. Really. I am just having more thoughts. I know this because many more times a day than I am accustomed to I am stopping and saying to myself, "I should blog about that." That's how I know I have a thought--I consider blogging about it. (And does Grace think if there is nowhere to write it down? Probably not.)
Anyway, since I have all these thoughts, and I have this blog, and I still have a little bit of coffee left in my thermos...
I'm not a huge worrier in general. I don't stay up at night worrying about war, or global warming, or my increase in gray hair, or anything. But there is one thing that keeps me up at night sometimes. Books. I am horrified by the fact that there is no way for me to read all the books. I feel like I got started so late, and they just keep making more of them! Even if nobody ever wrote another book starting now, I still wouldn't make it through all the interesting ones before I died. It's my number one reason for wanting to become an immortal, actually--then I'd have a possibility of reading all the books.
Nights spend on this particular worry are generally preceded by evenings spent at in the Goodwill book section (like, oh, last evening). I never come home with fewer than 5 new paperbacks, and I never read more than 2 of them. But I have the very best intentions. Especially with novels. I have hundreds of novels to read. Some of them are on my book list, but most of them are not. They are just sitting there, taunting me while I page slowly through yet another social history and feel myself running out of time.
If I start to consider the huge wholes in my canonical reading, and how much I've forgotten of the canonical books I have read (Plato is so vague to me...there was a cave, right?), it gets even more depressing. I took a lit course in college called "Narrative and the New American," which was all focused on books written by/about first-generation Americans. The professor had a habit of recalling other works in our discussions of the books were reading, in such a way that assumed we were familiar with them. He did it so much that by the end of the semester I filled both sides of several sheets of paper making a list of all the books, stories, and plays he'd mentioned. I swore then that some day I'd be that well-read, to be able to make casual connections between whatever I was reading and hundreds or thousands of other things I'd read previously. I'm so not there.
Another thing I've been thinking about is whether or not there would be any market for a guide on how to thrift shop successfully and how such a thing would be best written. It's something I'd love to do, in a real, committed way and not just a half-assed rambling way.
I've also been thinking about what I want to do next. I'm pretty content in my present job, but it's not something I want to do forever. I've been saying I want to go back to school and get that Ph.D. in history that I decided not to get because it was too self-indulgent a few years back. Seems backwards--shouldn't I be less self-indulgent now? Then I think about going into some actual writing program, since I am the world's least disciplined writer. But they'd probably make me write fiction or something, which I don't want to do. Then again, is there really room in the world for yet another personal essayist? Especially one who doesn't have any particular niche about which to essay and isn't all that funny? Probably not.
There are lots of other things I've been thinking and wanting to blog about too, but since I didn't write them down when I thought them, they don't exist anymore. Must be time for more coffee.