Trying not to ruminate

Earlier I posted a series of random thoughts that refused to form a solid body of connected thought.

That’s ok. It was kind of an exercise in free association. It produced ideas. Maybe too many ideas.

That’s always been my problem with writing. I’ve never had traditional writer’s block. I have the kind of blockage that a brand new ketchup bottle presents. You have to keep on banging the bottom, but the gunk inside won’t budge.

I kind of hate using this ketchup metaphor because I truly believe that ketchup is an abomination. What a way to ruin a tomato. It’s like a coffee roaster having perfect green Indonesian coffee beans from Sumatra or Celebes and the boneheaded roaster gives those beans the espresso, French or Italian roasts. They are all basically the same: the darkest roast possible. I like complexity. It’s up to the roaster to name them.

Back to my ketchup bottle: all you readers who have worked in American restaurants have endured the task of, “marrying the ketchup bottles.” This involves combining partial bottles together so that all the bottles look full. I think it’s a restaurant biz practice that hopefully got 86’d. No one ever checked dates. A busy restaurant does not allow much time for sidework ( that’s any task other than the actual waiting on tables, taking orders, delivering them, checking on the quality with guests and helping with bussing, seating, expediting or food running (taking out other servers’ orders before they die in the pick up window heat lamps).

I guess those USF memories I mentioned in my previous blog dug up some restaurant memories. Serving and bar tending are common jobs for college students because they are easy ways to maximize earnings in small amounts of times. A good server can earn rent and textbook money in under five shifts, or 20 hours per week. Hell, I used to earn whole semesters of tuition in one exceptional weekend of work.

Tuition has mushroomed, so I am pretty sure that’s no longer true.

So, see what I mean, I get a lot of subject ideas from recording random thoughts. But, sometimes that bottle just will not give up its contents. You learn tricks like sticking a knife into the horizontally positioned bottle and scraping some out. Now, you have an air bubble, still keeping the bottle horizontal, you can tap out the ketchup.

Sometimes writing is like that. You have to coax it, or trick it, to give up the goods.

I have too many goods zipping around in my mind. It’s 2:17 am and my brain is buzzing and my stomach was growling. I went downstairs and made popcorn to munch on while I read some Michael Connelly.

My former popcorn transformed into stomach contents.

I’m almost done reading this book. I’ve been reading it sporadically. The going has been slow. But, I’m going to read a little more and maybe Detective Renee Ballard will get me relaxed and stop the ruminating.

Pages 370 & 371 of, “The Late Show,” by Michael Connelly.

One thought on “Trying not to ruminate

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