Friday, January 21, 2011

And so it begins

There is a fundamental problem with challenging oneself.  It requires you to actually do something.  Normally, “doing something” isn’t a huge problem for me - hell I do several dozen things a day.  I digest food, process oxygen, sleep, blink, even walk a bit from time to time.  That’s a pretty full day if you ask me.  But over the last couple of weeks, I have felt this odd urge to actually try to overcome my famous, and well deserved, reputation for laziness.

I started with a return to what many folks consider a form of physical torture.  Each day, at precisely three o’clock (give or take an hour), I prepare myself physically and mentally, then gather my meager belongings and trudge across the street from my office to a subterranean cavern full of cold steel racks and implements of torture.  There, in this dimly lit and poorly ventilated place, I attach myself to these metal devices and proceed to damage my muscles, in the hopes that they will become both stronger and larger.  I also stand on a belt, which rotates in a circular fashion, requiring me to run in place in order to remain in the same location.  That’s right, I run for twenty minutes, and yet I do not manage to escape from the Cavern of Pain.  It makes sense, in a twisted sort of way, if you think about it... or so I am told.

But that isn’t enough.  Nope, not for me.  My body may be breaking the shackles of rampant couch potatoism (albeit only for an hour a day, five days a week), but my brain continues to wallow in a morass of Netflix detritus and video game effluvium.  Now there’s a ten dollar phrase!  So what to do?  How can I stimulate my mind while not adding any extra time (which I have none of) or cost (which we can’t afford) to my days?  I’m glad you asked!

I have challenged myself to write every day for thirty days.  I tried it once before, working on some short stories and a three quarters outlined novel each day for at least one hour.  It fell apart after two weeks.  But, in the words of the bard, “Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more.”

I decided, rather than committing to any one of the many writing projects I have started and abandoned, that I would subject you poor schmoos (schmoo being an ancient Sumerian word loosely translated as “people who actually read the drivel carved into a blogstone”) to me, every day, for a month. 

What’s that you ask?  Can I possibly rant about something every day for thirty days?  Have we met?

Let’s be clear about something.  This is not a damned New Years Resolution.  I don’t believe in them.  If you need a special day on the calendar to decide to make a change in your life, you are doomed to fail.  The only time to make a change is now.  The last New Years Resolution I made was in 1987.  I resolved to not make any more bullshit resolutions.  I am proud to say that I have been true to that vow since then.

So, this is your warning.  It may get ugly.  We may discuss politics, racism, hatred, hope, the law, people on my bus, that strange fungus I found (don’t ask where, some things can never be unknown), my boys, my wife, my life... hell, we may even discuss your life.  In fact, by day twelve, you can pretty much count on that one.  You’ll be dazzled, disgusted, entertained, intrigued, enraged, bored, titillated, scandalized and wowed.  You’ll begin to wonder just how many run on sentences one man can write, and you’ll frequently wonder if the comma was intended to be used that often.  For the record, the comma, while only a passing amusement to many people, is a source of almost, dare I say, religious devotion, even obsession, for me.

So thanks for stopping by.  We’ll see you again tomorrow.


  1. I will introduce you to the semi-colon; it is a lovely little device that allows you to cheat on your comma.

  2. Adultery is a sin. My comma and I have, with respect, a deeply personal relationship.