Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

From the Editor’s Perch

March 23, 2013
Do it.

Do it. 

Stop it.

Stop it.


Do It, Then Stop

Here is a ‘pleasure generator’:

It has been found that events of great pleasure in my day are either when I begin to do something, or when I stop.  For example, by the end of the day I’m tired and sleepy and there is nothing better than brushing and flossing and piling into bed, and then lying there in the dark to let my mind wind down and exult in the soft mattress and the warm covers with the cold and rain securely outside, and the calm rising up inside, while my dog licks my face and we talk.  I remember that I have money in the bank and food in the fridge, and a wife and a son and a dog and a cat, and a car that runs well.  After a while, I push off the dog and the cat hops up.  And I rub him, feel the mats I need to brush out, and we talk a while in the dark.  And then I push the cat off and roll over and fall asleep. A good half hour of pleasure.  Cost: very little.

Of course we all vary.  And on a scale of “Do it” versus “Stop it”, I would guess I come down fairly heavily on the “Stop it” side.

Perhaps this is why I am so reluctant to commit myself to something which is supposed to be fun and active, like a vacation.  A vacation can be hard to stop.  They are hard enough to start.  And just the planning can take us well out of our way.  Where’s the flexibility? And everybody knows that vacations can well get out of hand.  Just watch Harvard Lampoon’s “Summer Vacation” – which is only one of a very many cautionary tales!

But nearly everything can be made pleasurable by employing my “Do it, Stop it.” ‘pleasure generator’.  Probably even a Harvard Lampoon Vacation.  If you don’t like something you’re doing, then stop.  You’ll immediately feel better.  Or if you’re bored, then do something.  You’ll feel better eventually, and if you don’t, then stop doing it!  It can’t be simpler.  And if you can’t think of anything you’d like to do – then do something you don’t like to do… and look forward to stopping doing that.  It’ll feel great!  You can’t miss.  You might even want to go a little longer for a greater kick.

(Feel better?)

Really, this is a philosophy which always leaves the door open, and plays well with other(s)  philosophies and lifestyles.  “Do it, Then Stop” is a team player.

A lot of people would call people like myself a dilettante, or possibly a flaneur (Fr. trifler), or for the more modern, a ‘slacker’.  To this I would give two replies.  First a lot of people aren’t very happy.  L  And second, you can get a lot farther if you stop to rest.  (And maybe have a coffee.)  J  Anybody should understand that.

In the morning, when I wake, I lie there a while, thinking about getting up but not doing it.  You see the trick is to stop it – and then all of a sudden I’ve done it; I’ve sat up without thinking of it.  I sigh.  I love to sigh.  So maybe I do it a couple more times –  until I’ve had enough.  And maybe I’d enjoy feeling sorry for myself, so maybe I indulge myself in that for a few more minutes… casting myself as a great romantic figure, doomed by some higher ideal, like earning a living.

Then I leave the radio on while I prepare.  I sure am brighter than those knuckleheads who call in, and I enjoy the music.  But if I’m not, I can turn it off.  And my whole day goes something like this.  I make the commute interesting with coffee and a favorite radio show or music.  And then I finish the coffee and the radio and the driving and get to work, where it’s good to get out of the car.  It’s good to stop and stretch my legs.  Then I picture the work hurdles and jump them one by one.  It feels good to land on the other side of each one and to get something done.  Take a moment to look back.  Or maybe it feels good to place something else on the backburner.  Or maybe take something else off the backburner.  Whatever.  You get the idea.  And then I’m a little thirsty, so I slake it.  I look forward to lunch and then, when I’m done, I enjoy feeling satisfied.  I pat my stomach, and then back to work to enjoy a short conversation or two.  And then I enjoy passing my co-workers in good humored silence.

On the weekends, which is that big ‘stop’ at the end of the week, there’s nothing better than to start something.  You get the idea?  You’re always just playing one thing against the other.  Say I mess around in the soil and get my hands dirty, if it’s a nice day, or perhaps I fix something.  And then, when I’ve worked up enough of a sweat, it feels great to stop and treat myself to a beer.  Take a long shower and clean up.  Both of which make the wife happy…

(It is the weekend, after all…)

Or if I make a few extra minutes, I stop downstairs and try to capture a thought I’ve had swimming around in my head for a few hours.

Photos from Google Images

From the Editor’s Perch…

April 27, 2012

The New American Economy

On a recent trip to Florida for a wedding, I may have gotten a preview of our coming American life.  Changing demographics and current economic canvassing predict that we’re due to have a bumper crop of aging, underfinanced, citizens facing retirement soon.  These past couple years of economic woes appear to have tossed a lot of them out of their employment sooner than expected.  And it looks like, from my brief visit to the snowbird South, that a lot of senior citizens have decided to move to Florida as planned.  But rather than relaxing on the beach, they find that to make ends meet, they must find work in the service industries.  What does this look like?

Well, just about everyone who worked in the hotel we stayed at looked to be either middle-aged or pushing 60.  The bartender looked like he came of age in the 70s with Steely Dan and Credence Clearwater.  The group of men fixing some plumbing and wiring in the wall could have been old Shriners.  The waiters we suspected of being on work-release for older cons. Tatooes and shaved heads and Van Dykes, and on the whole, pretty grumpy personalities predominated.  Dropping a plate didn’t make ours miss a beat.  He just kept walking.  We generally got one shot at claiming his attention, and after that we were on our own.  The maintenance people felt like a squad of retired military or cops with large guts and veined legs.  And the waitresses were not a good advertisement for breakfast.  I got the feeling that these were people for whom life had not gone as they’d planned. 

When we arrived, it was dark and my wife couldn’t see much out the windows.  So she asked the taxi driver if “you have palm trees here?”  “That’s a stupid question,” he replied.  The bus driver wouldn’t tell our group we were headed the wrong direction.  It was the drunk in the aisle who felt the need to speak up.  And the guy down the street, mowing the sidewalk strip wiped his brow and had to catch his breath before making conversation.  Maybe they were just East Coast People: brusque variety.  Or maybe they were just old, and tired.  Whatever the situation:

‘Enjoy your vacation Carl,’ I’m thinking.  ‘You may be on their side of the counter sooner than you think.’

Photo by Carl Nelson

Work, work, work… with Rita Andreeva

October 21, 2011

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Editor’s Note:  Rita is being paid by the landlord $25.00/tenant to talk to the people in her apartment building about the cockroach problem.  What I’m saying is, you’re dealing with a professional here.

“First, I suggest getting a possum as a pet. Possums hunt cockroaches.  I tried to find some baby possums on craigslist, but no one has any. I’m sure they would be great – people have rats and ferrets as pets, so why not a possum. I would try recruiting some homeless bum to try to catch a pregnant possum.

No other animal likes to eat cockroaches. In fact, my cat made friends with them. When i caught some in a jar trap, Iris meowed, asking me to let them out, and when I wouldn’t, she tipped over the jar and let them out herself.

To make a cockroach trap:  get an empty bottle or a jar, put some peanut butter on the bottom, smear some butter on the inside neck of the bottle so the bugs can’t climb out, and put the trap wherever you see cockroaches. It works great, and it is completely free.

Tribal Rituals?

Sometimes I feel bad killing them – they act so intelligently. A couple of times a large old cockroach came to meet me and just sat there on the wall, right in front of my face, staring at me and wiggling his whiskers; I believe he was sent as an ambassador to try to make some sort of a deal, but, you know the saying, “don’t shoot the messenger”…
Interestingly, each time it was a large old male cockroach trying to approach me. That could mean that is possible that they have like an old wise cockroach like a shaman or something that attempts to communicate to humans. Or it could be some ritual, where the biggest and the bravest of males goes to take on a human. It could also be rule: like a cockroach tribe leader is asked to go talk to a human after a certain time of being a leader – that could be a way for them to keep the tribe from becoming a dictatorship and to rotate the leaders. There is, of course, another possibility – that those male cockroaches were attracted to me and were asking me out…”  – Rita

Drawing by Carl Nelson

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