Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday, I Don't Care About You

Morning, kids. The sunlight is highlighting all of the places on the floor where I've spilled soy sauce or tracked the Outside World onto the carpet and we're being assaulted by midsummer-style temperatures, with a humidity level rarely seen outside unventilated laundromats. So what am I doing? Sitting on the sofa, listening to the somewhat dated but no less enjoyable new wave-y funk of Ian Dury and debating whether finishing the stack of magazines that has accumulated on the ottoman counts as an accomplishment.

This week has been a wash as far as Getting Things Done. While it feels like I spent an inordinate amount of time scratching at my to-do list, I don't have a lot to show for it. T.S. Eliot measured his life out in coffeespoons; mine seems to be ticking by with an ever-growing folder of unanswered emails, endless smears of under-eye concealer, and a stack of uneaten Andes mints from a week's worth of Lunchables.

I'm also suffering from something related to writer's block, like one of its in-laws that still allows you to spew a thousand words on any given topic, but you're guaranteed to hate all of them. I've created endless varieties of the same ten paragraphs this morning and, regardless of how I arrange the predicates, I give the sentences the same disapproving look I tend to reserve for people who have a sofa on their front porch.

Sigh.
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I haven't run since the Boston Marathon, but this afternoon I may bravely attempt One Mile to see how my weakest tendon is recovering. During my three-week trial separation from my sneakers, I've sampled several of the group exercise classes neatly typed on the monthly calendar I've always promptly discarded.

Regardless of what action verb is in the class description (Pump! Crunch! Kick!), every hour-long episode does nothing but prepare you for a situations in life that will require you to jump onto a low step. Repeatedly. With enough practice, I'll soon be able to hop onto a curb like no other, leaving potential assailants too stunned by my rhythm and coordination (Left foot only! Now switch!) to make a cape from my skin.

Unfortunately, last night's 5:30 class taught me that I'm a less-than-average jumper. It may be partially related to my still-healing Achilles and partially because I'm never going to excel at anything that makes you accidentally pee on yourself. The woman in the row ahead of me had calves the size of cocker spaniels, so I'm willing to stick with it, damp pants or not.
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Before I go back to staring at my blinking cursor and convincing myself that I just need to change fonts several more times, here's a present I made for you. Over the weekend, I designed a late-spring playlist with twenty songs that are on heavy rotation here in the Land of Dog Hair and Unwashed Dishes. The lala-powered player is embedded in the site, so clicky this link and you can play all the tracks while you work, operate heavy machinery, or assemble Swedish modular furniture. IT'S JUST THAT VERSATILE.

Finally, if there are days I don't write here for whatever reason, you can almost always find something on my Tumblr. If this site is an honest look at this tangled mess I call my life, the Tumblr is a direct link to whatever happens to be tapdancing around my corpus callosum. Today, it's been the cast of Saturday Night Live circa '75 and quotable lines from Wayne's World.

You're welcome.

20 comments:

SJB said...

You will one day be a curb master

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Whoa!

How'd you know I was gonna say thanks?

You just blew my - WAIT FOR IT! -

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

... mind.

MonsteRawr said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who suffers from writer's diarrhea. It all sounds so brilliant in my mind, and so, so lame on the screen. If it makes you feel any better, even your shit sounds pretty good.

Caroline said...

... "And Friday, I'm in Love!!!"

Caroline said...

... sorry, i couldn't resist!

Scribe said...

I'd rather dig my eyeballs out with razorblades than have writer's block. I used to work for a magazine and knew it was time to leave when I wrote the same headline and lead two (and almost three) years in a row. Love the blog and I look forward to every posting.

joy refurbished said...

Admittedly I am not a writer. In fact, my blog has very few words in it at all. However, I do have something I refer to as workers block. I sit at my computer (while at work) and try desperately to do something productive. Yet these days, more often than not, I end up staring at my screen and pondering the many questions of life. You know, things like how many lunges it will take to replace the cellulite in my legs with the type of muscle people in underwear adds have. Or if learning how to be a hacker is worth the trouble if it means that I can change my clock in and clock out times on the work computer.

Mike said...

I always have writers ... whatever it is.

Carebear said...

Hmmm... that's odd. I have a stack of uneaten Lunchables cold cuts and a wad of crushed foil wrappers here... The Andes mints are the best part - and I always eat them first.

Bitterly Books said...

I think you should refer to your problem as "critic's brain." That is, your writing hasn't actually suffered, but the way you look at it has changed.

The trick is to find something that lets you put aside your dignity just long enough to say "good enough" and hit the post/send/publish button (mine is Billy Bob Thornton saying "They can't all be winners, kid").

You might be pleasantly surprised by your audience's reaction, which helps put you back in stride.

Of course, your audience might also agree with your original assessment, but we don't think about that.

Patrick said...

As someone who has an achilles tendon issue, I "feel your pain - Bill Clinton." And I will tell you, that while we are always our own worst critic, your blog is refreshing, funny and always gets a laugh out of me...and that's not easy to do. So consider me one of your fans, even if sometimes you are not one of your own.

zlionsfan said...

Totally agree with Carebear. I can't imagine saving the Andes mints.

When I have programmer's block, I like to do things like read blogs or play on Facebook. Of course sometimes I end up forgetting that I was supposed to be leading back toward working at some point.

Also, my boss appreciates some part of the short-break approach, but not all of it (perhaps not the part where I am trying to remember where this particular squiggle is Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan), so it doesn't work all the time for me.

Plus programming, in some ways, is completely different. I think. We get to read every single word you publish; pretty much everything I do is behind the scenes, so you might see that something changed, but not know how I changed it.

So I really ought not to be able to empathize much from a professional standpoint. The few times I've tried to write, usually for some open competition a sports site is having, everything I write seems to be something Charlie Brown's teachers would say, and the competition is usually something like Ring Lardner, John Updike, and, um, other people who write very well.

I usually went with BB's approach. Then again, that's probably better suited to a) employed people or b) people with more talent. Nothing's panned out for me so far ...

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Yeah, writer's block sucks. I've had it with regard to my blog for a few weeks now and it makes me feel useless and guilty for letting down my half dozen readers.


And I'd like to second MonsterRawr, in that even your shit sounds good.

Tracer Bullet said...

I first read that as "Land of Dog Hair and Unwashed Dildoes." That was funnier, but I thought, "Geez, lady. Your life might be falling apart but you could at least keep your sex toys clean."

Natasha said...

"I'm also suffering from something related to writer's block, like one of its in-laws that still allows you to spew a thousand words on any given topic, but you're guaranteed to hate all of them."

Perfect description of a certain variety of writer's block which I'm sad to say I know too well.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

My God man......do you know how long I've been looking for a sweet list of tunes to play during Swedish Modular Furniture construction??? You are genius!

No, but seriously, writer's block is quite frustrating. An idea may come from the magazine stack or something you see on T.V. Just gotta wait it out, or write regardless of it having or point or subject or predicate.

Abecedarius Rex said...

Keep working, you, or you'll lose your beet ration.
Arbeit machs frei, damit!

emmysuh said...

Damn it, I wrote a really funny comment on this post the other day and then my computer aborted mission and I lost it. And now I can't recreate it. But I'm pretty sure it involved me accidentally calling you a douchebag. I'm sure you're sad I lost it.

Phil said...

The only jumping I'm ever willing to do involves either a diving board or a trampoline. Speaking of trampolines, I totally want one for my yard whenever it is I actually have my own property.