My kingdom for a good pair of shoes

Recently, I finally had to bid a fond farewell to my work shoes. They were your basic running shoes, light and comfortable and perfect for 12-hour shifts at the factory and they served me well for months. But the factory floor proved to be a lousy host, riddled as it is with loose, sharp pieces of wood that broke off from pallets, partially dislodged nails and small bits of metal, oil and grime, etc. My shoes nobly took considerable damage but after a while it was too much.

So I buy some new shoes. I test them out and everything seems fine. They’re a bit heavier than my previous pair but they were on sale for twenty dollars so I’m satisfied. Unfortunately, the problems begin right away. That extra weight, insignificant as it seemed when I first tried them on, starts to become very noticeable by hour ten at work. Worse still, they now seem tighter as well, and throughout the next couple of days the soreness kicks in. Then the blisters come. And yesterday, I wake up extra sore, take a look at my feet, and find bubbly blisters on both my pinky toes. Lovely. Work was no fun, to say the least.

I’m not sure I could handle this much longer if I worked every day, but luckily my job has an odd schedule: it’s basically two days on/two days off, three days on/two days off, two days on/three days off, and repeat. This means that I have the whole weekend to nurse my feet and get some new shoes. Which is my new problem: I have to spend a sizable chunk of my limited funds on work shoes, again.

One of the worst things about being poor is having to buy a needed item – clothes, appliances, phones – and then having said item break down (Though in this case the shoes didn’t break down, they just do not fit properly. My fault for not testing them more thoroughly, I suppose) before you’ve saved enough for a replacement. Then the questions come in: How am I going to afford to replace this? What am I going to have to cut from the budget? It’s almost amusing, in a tired-of-this-shit kind of way, how something as simple as buying a pair of shows can become a significant source of stress.

I’m still going over the budget and trying to make it work, but the bottom line is that I need new work shoes. My last workday was very painful and I can’t keep working like this. Sometime this weekend I’ll be off to look for specials and sales and see if I can find anything decent. This time, I’ll be sure to spend more time testing them out to make sure they fit properly.


Links of Awesomeness

Some cool stuff from around the web.

Deadspin: Greg Howard tackles the questionable hire of Mike Wise for ESPN’s “black Grantland” site. A black Grantland sounds interesting and needed, but with Jason Whitlock at the helm, I’m not raising my hopes too much.

The Advocate: The moving obituary of Leslie Feinberg, trans writer, activist and all-around badass. As a straight guy who has a lot of learning to do when it comes to LBGTQ+ issues, I plan on readingĀ Stone Butch Blues ASAP.

BlackGirlDangerous: This link is from October, but I want to share it because I feel it’s an important topic: How does one balance social anxiety with the desire to get involved and make a difference?


And a reminder: that short story I promised is still on track to be posted Sunday.

Enjoy your Friday with some Chavela

Though any day is a good day to listen to the indescribable and iconic ranchera singer Chavela Vargas. She passed away in 2012 but left a lifetime’s worth of great music for us to remember her by.

Also, a reminder: I’ll be a posting a short story next Sunday. I’m announcing it now because I hope that having a firm deadline will make me actually start and finish something. Right now, I’m not sure what the story will be about. Fortunately, I’m not short on ideas, so it’s just a matter of picking one and getting started. No more excuses!

The next two years are going to be…interesting

The Republican party now has a majority in the Senate and an increased majority in the House. This was expected, but it is still disappointing. The demographic info tells a clear story: young indifference was no match for old, white resentment. That certainly was the case here in North Carolina, where milquetoast Dem Kay Hagan lost her reelection bid largely thanks to whites favoring her opponent Thom Tillis by a 62-33 margin.

So what now? The president will be able to veto some of the more noxious crap they try to pass, leading to continued gridlock in Washington. At this point that’s probably for the best. Better a do-nothing congress than one that is hard at work demolishing what remains of our pathetic safety net. Hopefully the GOP doesn’t manage to find too many Democratic stooges willing to go along with them and their backwards agenda.

2016 looks more promising, at least.



The purpose of this blog

With my first post out of the way, now might be a good time to explain the purpose of this blog: to help me become a much better writer.

Writing has been a passion of mine for a long time, yet I have not given that passion the attention and nourishment it deserves. Something is always coming up that prevents me from writing one of the many stories that are swirling around in my head. I make excuse after excuse in order to avoid studying the nuts and bolts of writing and improve my craft. I hope that starting this blog might finally give me the motivation to take my writing more seriously.

And what kind of writing, you might ask? A little bit of everything, really. I plan on posting my short stories and poems, most of which will include speculative (read: fantasy) and political elements. I will also write about a bunch of other things: politics (I am a lefty, so don’t say I didn’t warn you), pop culture, and whatever happens to pique my interest. That’s the plan, anyway.