Monday, July 05, 2010


One of the good things about having summers off (besides the napping and binging parts) is that it’s preparing me for my future career as a retired person. Having all these days in a row where I’ve got nothing I especially have to do is positioning me well, I think, for the time when my entire compendium of responsibilities amounts to little more than having to take the garbage out once a week. The fact that, in spite of this, I regularly manage to get up before noon is a good sign: I’m sure I’ll be one of those old guys who yells at kids to get off his lawn, but I’ll be up and out of bed in time to include kids on their ways to school as objects of my opprobrium.

It’s more difficult than you might think to fill up one’s days with stuff to do, especially when you don’t really have to do anything and most of the things you could do—home repairs, lawn care, etc.—are tasks you usually spend a lot of energy avoiding. I could hardly imagine making myself grade a big stack of student papers right now, either; on the other hand, thanks to the internetz, a person can easily consume a good two or three hours at a stretch just fiddling around—and that’s just on eBay. Begin poking around Huffington Post or the New York Times and there, you’ve almost used up your entire day.

Eating, of course, is another time-honored technique for whiling away the hours. What’s especially effective is to have your food in a different room—or even better, different floor—so you have to leave whatever your doing (poking around the internetz, usually) to get it. Then, just have a bite or two, put it back in the refrigerator, return to “work,” and so on.

Just as it’s possible, eventually, to use up 327 words, a whole day is dispatched, as well.


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