Procrastination In The Form Of A List And Some Brodsky

I'm just going to babble here, because my lunch made me ill, I have to go to a book club meeting tonight when I've never been to one before, I should eat more fruit and vegetables, I'm high on coke (the drink, not the drug), I'm sick of writing in the enforced formality required of me at work at the moment, I have pre-birdling anxiety, and I'm procrastinating. For simplicity's sake, I will deal with each of these in order in a numbered list (and while you're reading, check out the right-hand side, because I've left you with a lovely picture of a ribbon I was given at work, fo' shizzle):

1. Let's see... I ate a deep-fried chicken burger and fries for lunch. My heart laments my decisions these days and pleads with my brain for a little more power of veto. Why did I eat this deep-fried food for lunch when I have been promising myself the loss of five pounds and a hell of a lot more vegetable matter? Popularity. You, heard me correctly. I ate that crap for popularity. It's like smoking in high school. All the kids you want to impress head out to the butt lounge for a fag, and you follow along, knowing how much it would suck to slink sheepishly back to your locker and eat your cheese sandwich alone with your walkman turned to your community FM radio station, knowing that they play balalaika music on Tuesday afternoons and you aren't fond of it.

Anyway, a bunch of the co-workers were heading out to a cheapo restaurant for greasy food, and my actual intention was to head over to another place and grab a quick salad to go, but I found myself traipsing into the restaurant with the rest of them, justifying my behaviour with promises of further cementing my relationships with some of my co-workers. Sad? I'm trying to think of it as an important part of my relating to the rest of humanity, which inarguably is a skill I could stand to better, but I know the truth. I am clogging my arteries for short-sighted social betterment. I will flagellate myself psychologically and eat salads for a week, I swear.

2. I am going to a book club meeting tonight. I have never had an interest in going to a book club meeting, because I think that whatever most people have to say about books is shite, but I was in a good mood about a month ago when a co-worker asked me if I would go with her. We are going to be discussing Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, which should make this an interesting evening.

I once went to see Atwood speak in public at a charity event, and I was so put off by her behaviour that I nearly left in the middle of the thing. A young woman had asked an interesting and well thought out question during the discussion portion of the evening and was met with this response from the author: "write your own essay". I stopped reading her books for about seven years. This novel is the first of hers I've picked up in all that time.

As well as personally disliking the author, I got the distinct feeling that the novel was poorly planned and that she ended up rushing through the last fifth of it in an effort to tie up the loose ends before the thing grew to proportions that would limit her sales. With so many Canadian readers who think of Atwood as an absolute staple of intelligent reading, I am afraid to attend this evening meeting. I plan on keeping my mouth firmly shut. I don't want to suffer the internal shame of finding myself saying things I don't really mean just to grease the social wheels in a room full of people I've never met before, but I also don't need to go around sounding holier-than-thou by being contrary in a room full of people I've never met before.

3. I really do need to eat more fruit and vegetables. It is necessary not only because of my indulgence in the greasy kinds of food that I mentioned in point number one, but also because of my intestines and my skin and my general sense of well-being. It's all too disgusting to get into really, at least for me, who is trying desperately to recover from a deep-fried lunch she smartly washed down with a half-litre of coke.

4. Point three segued so nicely into point four! I am high on coke (the soft drink). I am very susceptible to it, because I rarely if ever indulge in it, and the combination of caffeine and liquid invert sugars has me jittery. Soon I will crash, though, and it is best that I finish typing this entry before that happens, so on to point number five. No looking back.

5. Yeah, the formal writing can get a little agravating, especially when someone wants you to use the word "utilize". I am deathly against this word. Say "use". Utilize is two syllables longer and an annoying attempt at sounding more official. Sorry to those who use the word and have had your feelings hurt, but now I have freed you from its tyranny. You are free. You are two syllables lighter now. You are nearly flying.

6. What if my lady bird does have her babies?! What if I walk in my apartment door tonight to find little birdlings in the lady bird's plastic cup nest? What then? I find new life alarming. Even when my plants grow new green shoots my little Responsibility alarm goes off. It means that I have to be vigilant about caring for something else when I can't even be bothered to feed myself anything but peanutbutter sandwiches for three days running. Aren't you alarmed? I am alarmed. There are five eggs in that nest at home. Five. That means five possible babies who would need new homes. Am I responsible for this situation? Technically, yes, I am, but I am avoiding pointing fingers until this thing gets cleared up.

7. I don't even remember what it was I was using this entry as an excuse to avoid anymore. I'm not even going to make anything up for you, not that I don't tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to you all the time. Let's skip it. I would leave off at point number six, but I hate the number six and am actually a little bit obsessive about avoiding six of most things, so you are stuck with this seventh pointless point. Kisses.



Photo by Judy Schmalz

"A list of some observation..." by Joseph Brodsky

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