Ramen Chemistry has been seriously absent. I haven't posted a thing in months. I've wanted to, and I probably could have, but it's a matter of willpower. Willpower is at a low ebb. I'm looking for it, believe me, but I'm down in the trenches, expending as little energy as possible, just breathing. It's murky here in the trenches, the air is heavy. Momentum tends to dissipate. Productivity is low, the quality of the work substandard. I hate low productivity. But I should stop moping around and get it together. There are things I could be doing.
Prolonged, low-grade burnout, that's where we are. It's not surprising. I spend too much time at the computer. I need more exercise. More vacations. I need to hire a babysitter. A gardener. A cleaning service. There's just so much dog hair. Tumbleweeds rolling under the credenza. These shibas have been shedding continuously for months, but more hair just keeps coming. It doesn't seem like a great evolutionary strategy--it takes a lot of energy to grow all that hair, after all. But then again, the shiba inu didn't exactly evolve in a temperate Oakland house, with down comforters and nice amenities. Maybe this is how their cold mountain biology responds to the Bay Area climate.
I digress. Daily life seems to be an endless series of digressions. I'm wondering if I have adult ADHD. Actually, I've been wondering that intermittently since the beginning of the George W. Bush Administration, so this isn't exactly news. You know what, I once represented the manufacturer of Adderall in patent litigation. The key issue in the case was the meaning of the term "mixed amphetamine salts"--the stuff of Adderall. We won on that, I'm pleased to say. I was well-suited to that case.
I'm digressing again. Anyway, in life, I go through long periods of intense focus interspersed by periods of malaise. My capacity to focus has gone from months or years down to minutes. I've never felt this distracted in my life. Every time I'm thinking about one thing--poof--I'm thinking about something else. Something like...
Trump. Contractors. Labor costs. Sales. Trump. Preschool. Trump. Sales. Trump. Yeah, that seems about right. That's the right rhythm.
Or maybe I'm thinking about pendant lamps. No, that's what I was thinking about, now I'm thinking about Trump again. Labor costs. Construction Bills. Trump. And then I say to myself, holy shit. Fuck. Trump?
But just as I'm thinking about Trump, I think what the fuck is going on out there. Of course, I'm still just thinking about Trump. Now, though, it's back to reality. I'm thinking about the billable hour. Court. Foreclosure. Motions to dismiss. Plaintiff's claim fails for at least a dozen independent reasons, I win, they lose, thank you, your honor. Negligent misrepresentation. Unfair competition. The Lanham Act. Justifiable reliance. Standing. Damages. Now that you mention it, Neil Gorsuch. Will they filibuster him? And then I think, at least Trump didn't nominate Jeff Sessions to the Supreme Court.
But then I say to myself, oh fucking shit, Jeff Sessions is the Attorney General! At least that isn't life tenure, and at least he recused himself from the Russia investigation! But then I remember he's Jeff Sessions, and this is Trump, so what does "recusal" mean anyway? Thinking about Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions makes me think of Steve Bannon. Scary, but he looks like he could have a heart attack any day, and maybe he will. Probably he won't. Fuck.
Now it's bedtime. Not my bedtime, my kid's. Mine is later. It's time for your shower, let's brush your teeth, please don't jump on the stool, especially with that toothbrush in your mouth! Sure, we can play a game. Clue Junior again? Oh you need a smoothie first? If you want to keep playing the game, you need to sit still and stop jumping on the dog. Colonel Mustard ate the cake, with the chocolate milk, at 2:00. Last night it was Miss Scarlet with the lemonade. No, I don't know what you can have for dessert tomorrow night, it's still tonight and it's time to sleep.
I'm back at my computer, and just like that I'm thinking about Kellyanne Conway. I'll give it to her, she goes to bat for her client, but come on Kellyanne, alternative facts? That's just too damn much. So is that crowd size bullshit, Sean Spicer. Oh, Reince Priebus. What's a Priebus? Jason Miller. Our enemies in the press. Michael Flynn. Russia. Treason? Seems like things just took a sharp turn toward treason, doesn't it? It's not even April, and this Administration is already jumping the shark. It's fascinating. I can't get enough of it. But this trainwreck has has been going on for a year and a half, and it's taking a toll. I bet it is for you too.
It should be time to do something for Shiba Ramen. Can't I at least Instafacetweet some pictures of ramen, but holy fuck, it's a whirlwind of digression! Ivanka! Melania! Melania? Jared Kushner. Ben Carson. Betsy DeVos. Rex Tillerson. The Media. The Republican Party. Please stop shitting on our country, you hypocritical fucking asshats. I'm looking at you Mitch McConnell. I regret looking at Mitch McConnell. It made me throw up in my mouth. Border wall. Immigration ban. Conflicts of interest. Putin. Russia. Treason. Omarosa.
Hold up. How the fuck is Omarosa mixed up in this shit? Makes me think of the Apprentice. Loved that show back around 2003. It was right up there for me with Temptation Island, Joe Millionaire, and Paradise Hotel. Reality television gold happened that year, you know what I mean? I think it's safe to say the reality dating show genre peaked right around the time George W. Bush was declaring Mission Accomplished. Now it's all cooking shows. The only cooking show I ever liked was the original Japanese Iron Chef.
Oh did you hear George W. Bush is now a portrait painter? You feel nostalgia for him. You do, don't you. His pictures are pretty nice, I don't disagree with you. It's definitely not socially acceptable to be nostalgic for Dick Cheney, at least not yet, but say what what you will about that one, it's hard to imagine him paying Russian hookers to piss on a hotel mattress. And that's not nothing.
But just before I get swept away reminiscing about how they pulled the plug on Temptation Island 3 after six episodes, when the couples failed to deliver on the promise of televised infidelity, perhaps not coincidentally, I think about Trump again. When I do, I enter an ecstasy of horror and fascination. I revel in it. The sheer absurdity counterbalances the loathing and the terror, and gives me hope that, when we finally hear someone tell us "my fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," the nightmare won't have gone on too long. Let's just hope the person delivering that message isn't Mike Pence!
I shouldn't lose sight of the big picture. We opened another restaurant last month. It's a gorgeous space and we're thrilled with how it came together. Customers are showing up, I get to pick the music, and the beer situation is working to my advantage. The rainy season is almost over.
So Ramen Chemistry has a lot of catching up to do. Distractions aside, things are happening. Next week, we're starting construction on our taproom and sake bar, The Periodic Table. Shiba Ramen Oakland is up and running. It's time to get it together.
A blog post. That wasn't too hard after all.