Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lazier Than Thou

I am lazier than you. I say that not to boast or self-flagellate, but as a mere statement of fact. Before you argue with me over this point, I ask you this: are you reading this at work?

I am at home.

I stand behind my record. It is 12:31 on a Thursday and I am sitting on the couch, listening to music and wearing slippers. And why am I here? Because I am lazier than you.

I just finished eating lunch: pretzels, grapes and cottage cheese. I suppose I could have looked a little harder for something that resembled an actual meal, and as I counted out my pretzels I thought, "man, lunch is getting pretty boring," but I'm just too lazy to put forth the effort required to make lunch more interesting, unless it involves going somewhere and having someone else make lunch for me.

Yesterday I grabbed a tortilla and sliced up some cheese, but as usual couldn't get myself to take the next step and heat up the thing to make it into a quesadilla. Too much work.

I can count the number of times in he past 41 years that I've wanted to work harder than anyone around me on exactly one hand. They are as follows:

1) doing math in grade school, until we moved to Orange County and they couldn't figure out what to do with me, so they sat me in a corner until everyone else caught up and I had sufficiently lost interest in math.

2) Playing baseball, which I actually kind of sucked at, but worked incredibly hard at to become mediocre. The day it ended, on a bullpen mound next to the practice fields at Santa Clara University, my shoulder and elbow throbbing with pain as I bounced sinkers up to the plate, I thought, "Well, that's no big deal," but it was. To this day I feel inspired by baseball fields. Maybe I should take my laptop out to one?

3) Playing the guitar which, after an aborted attempt as a child, I suddenly became obsessed with at age 20. Because it wasn't indie enough to take lessons, my skills never progressed past the campfire stage, but I remember forcing my Stupid Americans bandmates Roger A. Hunt and the Frederick brothers to keep practicing, long after they wanted to quit for the night.

The band thing never panned out, because Hunt went to law school and the Frederick brothers moved away, but also because you're not supposed to play in a garage band into your 30s and 40s, unless you happen to have been born between 1946 and 1956, in which case you can continue to play, pretending to be relevant, long past your expiration date.

4) There was this one time I remember, in August of 1993, standing over the shoulder of this guy Bill, who was putting together my motorcycle 'zine, The Zealot, on his Mac at 2 in the morning. I remember thinking, "So this is what it's like to be passionately involved in some kind of work. How novel."

Unfortunately, that was the last issue of The Zealot, and was greeted with derision both from advertisers and from my former business partner, who left a bile-filled message on my answering machine, informing me in his exaggerated northern Kentucky accent that "awl the artwork belawngs to me. Ah own it."

5) Playing volleyball. See baseball, only add 15 or so years. We moved to San Francisco and volleyball ended. I was too lazy to look for a new team.

So that's it. Five times in 41 years. And note that three of the five start with "playing."

With this kind of history, am I motivated to become less lazy? No. I

n fact, if I was allowed, my perfect day would look something like this: wake up around 9:30 or 10:00, lay in bed reading, then get out of bed and do some more reading. Go get lunch, maybe shop for some CDs or books, come back, read. Sit down and attempt to do some work on the computer, only to spend two hours researching 1970s TV shows or emailing strange photos to Roger Hunt.

Walk around, read. Rinse, repeat. I've got this great mafia book I'm reading right now. It's about 800 pages long and all of these things keep getting in the way of reading it. Today I had to go workout, then had a bunch of errands to do. Then I had to go thank the construction guys down the street for retrieving Shack when he escaped (while I was at the gym). Later I have to get the oil changed in the Acura and take Shack for a walk.

So you see my pain.

It's too bad there isn't a way for turn reading into a lucrative -- and yet mostly immobile -- career. Yes, I go to the gym, but I have to convince myself, during the dangerous period spanning from the time I wake up to the time I arrive at the gym, to continue moving forward. It's easy when I have to drop the Jawa at school, because momentum has me out of the house, contact lenses in, clothes on, a mere ten minutes from 24-hour fitness.

Once I'm at the gym, it's no easier. I have to re-convince myself to continue, each step of the way. "I can just do some cardio today," I'll tell myself, and then, "20 minutes is probably okay for today," while I'm climbing away on the Precor. "There's a guy sitting at the machine I want to use. I won't do that one today."

Being lazy does not make life easier, because it's not sustainable in the adult world. It's a daily struggle to force myself to at least do enough to continue to appear to be functioning as a semi-productive adult.

It would be helpful if I could conquer my EDD (energy deficiency disorder), or rather ELD (excessive laziness disorder), but for now I'll have to make do with work-arounds, or coping strategies as they call them in the mental health professionals community.

I think Shack has the right idea. Run around like a crazy person for awhile, then sleep. Get someone to feed you, ignore all personal hygiene, look mournful all the time and people will rub your head and give you food. Is that too much for ask for?

I hope you enjoyed the links in the last post. I'm too lazy to put any in this one.


Anonymous zin gal said...

I am home, loving the quiet after the last couple weeks of chaos. Mother-in-law just went back to Indy and I am on the couch watching tivo'd shows from last week. Should be doing laundry or cleaning but that would mean getting off the couch.

Can't the kids just walk home from school? I don't want to have to go get them.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Ken Dunque said...

LER - You worked pretty hard demolishing my kitchen! That was an accomplishment.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous flush puppy said...

isn't it "thou"? though, what do i know. i don't have a masters in creative writing.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:38 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

you should get one. they're very useful and practical.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous the hammer said...

I must be doing something wrong. I typically awaken no later than 5:00 and am in constant motion until nearly midnight when I collapse once again. I never accomplish everything I need to do and leisure time is almost unheard of. I have my limited cherished time with my dear family and friends, but reading, working out, etc. are almost non-existent. Do we note some bitterness in this comment? Oops, time to cook dinner and then pick Shaman up at gymnastics.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Hypno Bedhead said...

I think I suffer from ELD. Do you think acupuncture will take care of that?

5:03 PM  
Blogger zelda said...

please rest for the hammer and while you are at it, for me too.

10:59 PM  
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