Monday, 17 November 2014

Forty days: Pt 30 (the habits of successful fuckwits)

The freelance lifestyle requires icy discipline and boundless energy and enthusiasm. These are not qualities I possess in abundance. This was my 'working' day:

8:00 Walk dog. There is nothing wrong with this part of the day. Leaves, trees, light drizzle, endless whippetty squatting and insistent licking of patches of old wee. Bracing.

8:30 Finish a Brussels Guide (= add all the addresses forgotten when 'finished' on Friday). Enjoy brief sense of achievement.

9:10 Instagram my new advent calendar.

9:15 Try and upload some pictures to a client’s website from shared drive. Totally fail. Repeat, fail. Hate shared drive. Fantasise about painful death by melting of shared drive. Try again. Fail again.

9:45 Enlist M to try and help me resize the misshapen dialogue boxes on my Mac. We fail. Do some light chat/complaining.

10:10 Look at Saturday’s work. Feel queasy. Shift 5 words around. Email a restaurant asking for pictures. Do not anticipate reply, ever. Look at Solange wedding pics.

10:20 Feed chickens to stop them shrieking. Delete 5 words.

10:30 Look at work again. Delete 5 more words. Go and click on a couple of links. Genuinely find self starting to open a gallery entitled "The History of Kim Kardashian’s bum" then stop in shame. Decide to keep this diary of the day to chronicle My Full Monday Shame.

10:40 Eat a chocolate digestive. Think about using Freedom but remember it is on the other computer. Check Twitter. Check Instagram. Look at words again.

10:50 Write a sentence. Decide I would work better from bedroom.

11:00 Get into bed. For the next hour try, really try to write. It is horrible. ‘I will give back the advance,’ I think several times. “Quickly, before  I spend it”. I dwell on all the problems the text poses me and all the embarrassment and the outstanding bits I really don’t want to write. Lacking anything else really to do, I just sit with my discomfort for a while. I chuck a sentence down now and then, whilst staring into space. Add a couple of words here and there, have a tiny germ of an idea. Brief shafts of light appear, occasionally and are then smothered.

12:39 Too hungry to continue. Break off in middle of laboriously trying to relate super important life epiphany in Lafayette Gourmet. Bet this is going to be easy to recapture. Make and eat pasta and watch a blast of The Missing, because abducted child drama is jolly Monday viewing. Let chickens out, watch them systematically massacre the herbs then put them back in again.

1:50 Go back to a whole other section, accidentally. Write a bit of it.

2:14 M interrupts to tell me a saucepan lid has fallen on her head.

2:16 Remember which bit I was supposed to be trying to write. Go back to it.

2:35 Saxophone starts. Feels like neighbour is playing inside my actual fucking head. Rage. Remember earplugs. Put in earplugs. Go back to paragraph.

2:50 B emails a picture of a cat wine bottle holder and an all caps diatribe against Monday. I reply in kind.

3:00 Stare into space with mouth open for 5 minutes. Imagine lying down and closing eyes. Try to dispel this vision. Only an hour left until it all goes to shit. Must. Concentrate. Look at Twitter. Look at Instagram. Hate self. Go back to work.

3:11 Decide paragraph is lame. Stare at it. Conclude it is still lame. Plough on, grimly.

3:27 Look at a Grazia slideshow of advent calendars.

3:45 Finish section. It is highly unsatisfactory and lacking in jokes, but it is done.

3:50 Do another five minutes. Count words. 1200. Could be worse. Look at Isabel Marant €350 leopard skin trainers.

16:00 Look at website of hotel I might review. Listen to neighbour's improvised saxophone accompaniment to The Cure and Dido whilst thinking dark thoughts.

16:03 Give up and await imminent arrival of children.

Please tell me yours? But not if you saved an orphan from a runaway train or fearlessly confronted a drug kingpin or landed anything on a comet. No one needs to hear that.


Ellie said...

7:30 Get out of bed determined to eat fruit and yogurt for breakfast.
8:00 Pick up breakfast tacos, with bacon in them. Eat 2.
8:30 Intend to spend half hour before work reading improving Nicaraguan novel in Spanish.
9:00 Go to work having spent half an hour texting a friend.
9:30 Decide half an hour of work is quite enough and will take "a short break."
10:30 Suppose that answering a work email or two is probably in order after spending a full hour looking at recipes for cake. Clear out the inbox, which had 3 things in it.
10:45 It is important to know as many ways to cook potatoes as possible, and I devote myself to this for some time.
11:15 Boss not in the mood to work. Comes in for chat about the weekend, which lasts a cheerful hour.
12:15 Spend 45 minutes doing work.
1:10 Walk home, make lunch including searing some extremely ancient brussels sprouts. Am proud of self, feel that I deserve plaque.
2:00 Back at work. Begin to cast about attempting to find something to do.
2:15 Internet goes out. Mild panic. Reduced to reading reports from 1979 to pass time.
2:30 Internet back. Celebrate with long bout of illicit Facebooking.
3:30 Boss in chatty mood. We look at bar menus, discuss restaurants, give up for day.
5:00 Home, determined to make dinner and a few light fixtures for remodel project.
5:03 Discover that somebody's got a Facebook thread where you upload a photo of yourself reacting to something awful. Must participate. Takes 20 minutes, can't work camera. Crop out three chins, post, wait for reactions. None.
5:30 Start dinner, pour large drink. Spend ten minutes posting very long comment on blog. Expect more of the same for the rest of the night.

Emma Burns said...

Wasted most of the day on the phone with tech support, trying to be able to do my job. Had a long conversation with someone only to discover 15 minutes in that she wasn't who I thought she was. Five minutes later discovered she wasn't the second person I thought she was either.

Gave up, mailed nephew's birthday presents, bought unwise quantities of unwise foods in grocery stores. Had a long conversation with a happy checker about why I'm dressed almost exclusively in royal blue. She advised dyeing my gray hair royal blue and recommended a good dye.

Walked dog in park. Did not let him devour any of the dogs he wanted to devour.

Now it's time to be done with work but I have hours more to do due to terrible tech problems and time-wasting.

Also I just made coffee at this late hour. See above re: unwise shopping and food choices.

ganching said...

Got up. Had words with Surly Niece about banging doors. (I was the banger). Go to meeting with lawyer. Shout at lawyer. Demand lawyer write some paragraphs for my report IMMEDIATELY. Go to work. Shout at anyone who tries to speak to me. Stop every ten minutes to eat very large chocolate. Seven hours later stop writing report. Put empty chocolate box in bin. Come home. Eat leftovers. Go to bed.

Sally said...

Put kids on school bus. Turn out the fattest pony in the world.

Went round the sheep on the quad bike.

Still wearing pyjamas.

Did some freelance crappery

Had lunch

Laid fire and put it on. Gave up. Still wearing pyjamas.

Lay in front of fire waiting for kids to come home from school.

The End.

I wore pyjamas all day with awful "care in the community" jumper over the top, woolly hat and welly boots.

Waffle said...

Sally - But you win anyway BECAUSE PONY.

Simon said...

0645: rise, get kids up, feed and clothe them.
0745: put kids on school bus
0830 - 1500: "work" (i.e. check twitter, check facebook, check mail, repeat).
1600: get kids from school bus.
1610 - 1730: chop vegetables for dinner, supervise 10yo doing maths homework, chivvy both girls into shower/bath and both girls plus son into doing a few minutes' piano practice. Prevent 5yo from watching TV because he hit another boy at school (although he claims boy hit him first with a tennis racquet). Sort through school bags and prepare them for the next day.
1800: dinner, spent mostly threatening 5yo if he doesn't remain seated at the table.
1900: give in and put 5yo to bed early while the older girls watch a CBBC documentary about a transgender boy.
1930: wife goes out to book club, kids go to bed to read, I slump in front of Men In Black 3.
2230: bed.

breakfastlady said...

My Monday too dull to relate but I spent a few minutes seriously considering buying my kids the Carluccios advent calendar at £11ty something each because so pretty and also because of my hatred of Cadbury's versions. If I had my way, the infants would still be thrilled to bits at the prospect of opening a door and finding a teeny picture of an angel. *hollow laughter*.

Sally, your life sounds just lovely.

Anonymous said...

I fumbled a big jar of powdered instant coffee (I know!) and tipped half of it down the gap between the sink bench and the oak dresser. Then launched into unplanned but necessary spring clean/archaeological dig down the back, mostly flat on my stomach.
Assembled the large collection of things waiting to be glued, and braved opening the super-glue to put them back together again. All seemed to stick, and not my fingers to each other very much.
This all distraction from programme planning for real work the next day. Ate mostly reheated leftovers for dinner, then yawned my way through choir rehearsal (although singing always makes me yawn, no matter how fresh or tired I am).
A good Monday!
Heather (NZ)

cruella said...

Very good seminar on gender in photography in the morning, accompanied by LARGE CHUNKS OF CAKE for the brief recess in the middle. I thought for a microsecond of sticking to my new sugarfree regime, but alas. Very good they were, the cakes.

Brief horror at when realizing I almost forgot important three o'clock deadline for a not very exciting text. Managed to get it in with 15 minutes to spare.

Did some translation work for husband who seems to think I can work without stern deadlines and looks. He has to rethink this in order to get what he wants from me.

Wormed my way out of choir practice, sent home, made soup from red lentils and coconut milk but without the curry. Crap recipe, teenagers ate it all anyway.

Wordfeud and book on China, then Homeland. Bed, wordfeud, lights out.


Anonymous said...

It is hard to write something you actively try to push to the back of your mind and forget. I wrote my entire Ph.D. thesis while actively trying not to think about it (Title: Unsuitable model system based on other people's sketchy results is unsuitable). You described the process very accurately. Needless to say I am not working as a scientist right now, although I did graduate just fine.

Please keep writing even if you hate the process, eventually you will have a text. That said, I will buy and read your book even it was copied and pasted in its entirety from your blog posts.

My day: Toddler slept through the night first time in months (life) - of course I lay awake for hours pondering why he has not woken yet. Answer: he is sick. Feel pity for him but also joyful that he is now napping with minimal fussing so I can write this reply.

anapestic said...

My signature (i.e., only) achievement yesterday was to finally put into garbage bags the remnants of a memory foam mattress pad that my greyhound had shredded into many, many, many pieces when I unwisely left it on the floor of my office. It had been there for one of my nephews to sleep on when my sister and her sons visited me at the end of July. Luna slept on it for a week thereafter and then decided that it would be better in many pieces and spent the next few weeks disintegrating it. Then the pieces spent two months lying about and being tracked throughout the house as a monument to the dog's industry and my apathy. Getting the bits into trash bags may be the best twenty minutes I'll spend this week.

I had a fairly lengthy list of other things I wanted to get done, but getting one item crossed off my list already puts me well above my average. Anything else would have seemed like just gloating.

Alan said...

Monday morning, to outpatients for an appointment with a consultant dermatologist who is to examine a suspect mole I have sported for 30 years but which my GP mistrusts. The consultant seems rather jaded and down, he examines the mole and declares it non-malignant. While I am happy at this news I feel that in some way I have let him down so search around for some others to show him, these also prove to be harmless. I end up showing him an area in the middle of my chest which was once home to a very large mole which was lost in a bizarre vacuum cleaning accident in 2011.

I was frantically cleaning a tiled floor with the large brush attachment. I was practically running when the brush hit a rug and stopped dead, I however kept moving and threw myself chest first onto the ridged hose which ran up my chest and, in the manner of a cheese grater, neatly removed the mole.

Whilst I was telling him this story the consultant seemed to rally a little but when I asked his opinion on whether I should have contacted the BMA or Dyson with my revolutionary methodology he seemed to slip away into his ennui once more.

Next up was Ikea to buy a wooden slatted venetian blind which they have inexplicably chosen to discontinue, despite the fact that it is still featured on their smug website.

A drive home through grey drizzle was rewarded with a job dropping into my inbox so I spent the rest of the afternoon amending the South Wales Christmas timetables for a well known bus company.

I’m really not sure how much longer I can maintain this crazy rock and roll lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

5.30 am Awoke in frantic semi-dream state which hinged around the utter horror of it being Monday/not Monday. Fuck, it's Monday. Scowl resentfully at husband's sleeping form.

5.35 am Blearily scroll through shitting massive mental to do list..hear elderly dog begin his siren call of "come quick because I can't hold it anymore" and leg it to the door in the nip to assist his wobbly exit in the nick of time. 50% success record, would be improved if I never stopped to do dressing gown.

5.45 am Shouted "hurry up!" a lot to furry shapes in the dark field and "you're not getting a bloody biscuit until you've done a wee, now jog on you cheeky bastards.." I swear less when I have my dressing gown on.

By 6 am, a cuppa and some gentle rocking has pushed me towards the last stage of Kubler Ross: acceptance and I move towards the shower where the blasting jets seem to give me permission to slash items off the to do list with wonderful abandon and little care for tomorrow.

7 am, slap on, game face in place, shit together and hated banana in hand, I spend 10 mins of utter bliss kissing noses and fussing silky ears. THIS IS THE BEST PART OF MY DAY!!!! Soppy Shire horse has decided I can't leave without proper cuddles and breaks out of his field to block my path every morning. Babe...

Heart melted, I can now cope with people asking me for antibiotics for their colds all day. Please may I also have a hoovered mole patient doing their best to be entertaining? As opposed to the usual problem with hoovers...oh my...


ps love your Kardashian shame!

Anonymous said...

I spent most of the day pointlessly brangling with a 2 yr old until I had the sense to put her one side of a baby gate and myself the other so I could sew a red pillow case to a t shirt to transform the 8 yr old into Superman. That was it for achievement.
Alan - I love your mole story and Ellie I want your job or Sally's. Maybe I'd be better at Sally's, you probably have to get dressed to go to work?
Waffle, the book sounds like horrible hard work but I'm loving having a post a day and we're all going to buy the book even if it's only 10 pages long and avoids the nasty stuff.

Anonymous said...

Shameful confession is treated movers, there to take to my ex pieces of furniture WHICH I STILL WANT, with imperious bitchery the hangover of which led to the sulky lighting of a candle meant as a gift for someone else.

Prior to this was mildly productive due to scheduled meetings involving others' agendas. After this ate a really conscientous lunch featuring cauliflower and pea shoots, which was bad, and which might as well have been a big plate of pasta since it sent me right to sleep. Slept through time alloted to read up for monthly discussion group, ate many chocolates 'to wake up before driving', arrived there without a thought in my head for the third month running. Late night Netflix and nap cursing.

Patience_Crabstick said...

A minute-by-minute account of a day in my cube is too boring to contemplate. For every three minutes of actual work, I probably spend 10 minutes farting around on social media. Yesterday was actually a bit exciting because I spent much of my time vicariously enjoying the monster snowstorm in Buffalo, NY (2 meters of snow fell in one day) while telling everyone who would listen that that's where I'm from.

Lola said...

Bought staples off Amazon. Wrong size. Bum.

buy Chanel bag said...

Even with my teeth chattering…I had a tough time leaving this enchanting and peaceful place behind. I’ll always have these photos to remind me of its beauty…and hopefully will have a chance to visit again.

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