January 20, 2009

Apropos of nothing

Just a few un-connected, rambling blurbs...

The state of the economy is beginning to hit home. It first affected me indirectly when my brother was laid off almost a year ago. But we don't see or speak with each other more than a handful of times a year, so it's something I've been aware of almost abstractly. I feel for him, certainly, but his situation is unfortunately not in my sphere of immediate awareness despite the fact that he's family. Impending lay-offs where I work are, though. We laid off three people last fall, but they were definitely un-productive employees whose positions weren't necessary to begin with. It was a sad thing for those people on a personal level, but it was difficult to refute the sense it made for the business. Last night, the boss confided to me about new lay-offs coming up, as they will have a direct impact on my own work load. We're closed today for the Inauguration, and the plan is apparently for upper management to meet with the unfortunately chosen on Wednesday and announce it to the rest of the store family in a meeting Thursday morning. I can't help but find irony in the timing of this. The day after our new President is sworn in, the President who has promised hope and change (albeit with struggle and sacrifice), four people I work with on a daily basis will face a demoralizing change in their lives.

Pertinent to my own recent career considerations, I recently found out that Shaharazade's was finally sold. The new owner is apparently a student at the local college who's working on a degree in physical therapy and who already has his own marketing business. His intention is to maintain the tea shop as it is, and he's kept on the previous owner's daughter as manager. He sounds quite the young entrepreneur and I hope the shop thrives under his direction. I felt a stab or two of remorse on learning this news, but the current situation (see link above and the economy in general) reassures me in my decision.

And, a fellow blogger who's writing I much admire seems to have turned off the comments feature at her site. So I'm going to sing the praises of some of human being's latest pieces here and hope that she sees this--

- Soliloquy

- Another Philoctetes...

- Blog

These each touch me deeply, as I've wondered before why the heck I maintain this blog. What is it that compels the spewing of my self-indulgent, self-obsessed babblings? It's apparently one part therapy, one part reaching out for connection and communication, and one part attempt at a marginally creative outlet. But, as human being makes so beautifully clear, I'm not alone in that wondering. It's apparently part and parcel of that state of being a blogger, whether being one makes you officially a 'writer' or just someone wishing/pretending to be one. The "disease" is a compulsion, an urge, to "[ooze] dubious words" and "inessential images" out into the "colossal cosmos". That's one of the double-edged beauties of the intarwebs-- a blog allows one to reach out and release, but to whom? Is there really any connection, if the connection remains anonymous and distant? Does it open us up to wider worlds, or fool us into believing such while shackling us more firmly into our "cozy corner"?
Jodi, another fellow blogger, recently wrote along similar lines in regards to Facebook and I was reassured by her view. Of course all of this speculation will vary from person to person, depending on one's natural introverted or extroverted tendencies, but the intarwebs are what you make of them. I'm grateful for what they've led me into. If anything, the various social networks and message boards I frequent, and my own little cozy corner here, have helped me to understand the value of connection "irl". So I'll continue to babble, hopefully you'll continue to read, and together we'll weave a few more strands into that great big web that spreads so wide over the world.

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