Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Consequences of a Midnight Nap

Laziness, or unemployment, or an unstructured life of freedom, or whatever you chose to call my current lifestyle, has perks and, admittedly, consequences.

Last night, I went to an indie show at one of the city's shabby-chic clubs for the hipster, Urban Outfitters crowd. I went to see Bishop Allen, a Brooklyn-based band that plays lovely, light-hearted fare. It's the kind of music everyone will like if they will ever hear it. It's pure indie pop, if such a genre exists.

Bishop Allen was headlining the show, and I should have known better. I should have. Not to be out-manuevered by this town's multitudes of indie kids, I decided to show up at the club at 9:30, knowing music would start at 10:00. However, I did not take into account that two local bands would perform first, and let's face it, Bishop Allen is not that famous. While crowded, it was not a sold-out show. I could have easily shown up at 10, 10:30, even 11 and been fine. I could have done many other things with my time.

I will say, I enjoyed the earlier portion of the evening, thanks in part to my roommate's impulsive need for chocolate. I goofed off with her as she packed for her trip, knowing in the back of my mind that I would be taking her to the airport at 5 a.m. the next morning.

Still, I went to the show, had a beer, sat around for a good three hours, met some random people, and waited for my band of choice. The first opener: great, a band I would see again for a cover price under $10. The second opener: oh God save us, horrible. A waste of my time. I had only one beer because I was driving and didn't want to spend too much money (alcohol can tear holes through my pockets). But more beer would have helped me suffer through that second band. (The name of which I can't remember. It is just as well, although I would advertise them as bad so my friends will know to avoid them. It's no loss, I suppose.)

Finally, finally, finally, Bishop Allen took the stage and were just as sweet and witty live as recorded, but it was past midnight. I did not get home until 2 a.m.

I woke up at 5 to take my roommate to the airport.

I went back to sleep and woke up at 9:30. I felt like I had the worst hangover of my life, and I had one beer. So I have learned that lack of sleep will produce a worse physical reaction than too much alcohol. But the band was worth it, I swear. They were.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Per Andrea's Suggestion: Laziness Continued

Andrea suggested I add this passage about writers and their lifestyles:

"Writers don't make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again, we don't work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel guilty about throwing the schmuck's book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man's stupid words. And for this, as I said before, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more."
-Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

I always take Andrea's advice seriously. Sometimes, like now, I just take it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Doing Nothing

I surprised myself with the title "The Lazy Editor," and for the next few months (or as long as I am unemployed) it is as accurate as a self-given nickname can be.

I am reminded of a scene from the movie Office Space. Peter, the anti-hero of this cubicle saga, has a conversation with his blue-collar neighbor about what he would do with a million dollars. While his neighbor would do "two chicks at the same time," honest Peter says he would do nothing. While Peter is an anti-hero, he has become the icon of a generation, and ultimately, his job at a tech company represents the fear of many a humanities graduate with little to no marketable skills.

We'd all love to do nothing, but that's not how the world works, right?

I'm going to prove you wrong, world. I'm doing nothing right now, and I plan on keeping it that way. I'm going to, as long as possible, avoid the trappings of a safe and secure Office Space existence. I've been there - trapped in a cubicle until 5 p.m. When I arrived at work, I looked forward to my 12:30 lunch break (which involved eating some frozen Indian meal in a black plastic bowl while chatting nonsense with co-workers with whom I had little in common). After 1 p.m., I'd anxiously wait for 5:00, when I would fight traffic for a half-hour and come home to a lager and some brainless sitcom (Bernie Mac and That 70s Show: high quality).

Now I do nothing. It's exactly what you'd think it would be, and not-so-great at the same time. Believe me - it's not the ideal you think it is. I try not to think of all the horrible things that could happen to me as I live without health insurance. And did I mention the total lack of financial security? All this to sleep in and avoid a day under florescent lighting?

The irony is that I don't think of myself as lazy. I believe I'm a hard worker, the kind of employee most employers want. (Emphasis on "most".) I believe I am not typical of my peers because I am diligent and dependable. I have marketable skills - good skills. Skills beyond those of an English teacher, the default profession of almost every English major. I was offered a job as a media specialist last week, and it was a good job. One I might possibly enjoy, but it was still an office job. So I turned it down.

Honestly, I want to live Peter's dream, even if it's for a little while. I just want to do nothing.

(Clarification: I am editing reports as a freelance contractor and living off the savings of my previous 40-hour-a-week job. I predict it will last me through Christmas.)