Thursday, November 20, 2003


God, how I hate writing minutes. Boiling down all this jaw-jacking rigamarole into an organized exchange of ideas, trying to remember from my scattershot notes what was actually said, wishing I'd tape-recorded the damned thing, trying to find ways of indicating what was said without saying who said it. It's TEDIOUS.

But it's interesting how having a side-project to write makes the minutes so much easier to handle. Yesterday I was working on that set of meeting minutes that I have been chipping away at for a week — I'd write a few lines, become utterly disgusted with the entire thing, and then start playing The Sims or Rummy or surfing the net — when my coworker asked me to flesh out a newsletter article I had suggested a couple of weeks ago. It started off as a tirade about our members who are such patsies as to do the administration's work for them and then cry and moan because they weren't sainted or congratulated or even paid for their efforts, entitled "Don't be a Patsy" (other titles thought up in development were "Don't be a Schmuck" and "Get Off the Cross, Mary"), but then it developed into something much better, an article that managed to praise those idiot patsies while gently explaining to them that they're not doing anybody any good by doing their work for them, entitled "Don't be a Martyr." It was brilliant (I'm more than half tempted to post it here). And I was so high on the successful writing of the article that I breezed through the rest of those damned meeting-minutes in record time. I also managed to jot off a few letters while I was at it.

And now I have one more set of minutes to wade through, and this afternoon will be another meeting that I will have to write minutes for. It's a never-ending chore. Hopefully, though, I'll be caught up soon, and it won't seem such a weighty task. Getting behindhand on things is so very discouraging, and the farther behind you get the more discouraged you are, and the more discouraged you are the harder it is to catch up. It's a vicious cycle.

Then there are the other little chores I'm behindhand with, like setting up a new email system from our domain (so that I can put our new email address on the new stationery), ordering the new stationery (a simple operation but it requires me to haul myself out to the warehouse district of Berkeley with a sample and all the information, and I keep forgetting), getting our DSL account out of AOL and into SBC so we can proceed with putting the office on a wireless network (I believe it's called an "intranet"?), and getting my filing cabinets in order (a gargantuan undertaking).

Then there are the little chores in my life that I am terribly behindhand on: I need to get my oil changed, I need to have my brakes checked, I need to get my hair cut, I need to get my acrylics filled, I need to clean my room and finish my laundry.

It's all so boring and repetitive. I feel this terrible urge to fake my own death just so I won't have to face all this personal and professional maintenance anymore. I just want to retreat into a room, with bathroom en suite, complete with a television and cable and a well-filled computer and internet connection and books and magazines, with just enough warmth and fresh air that I won't have to wear clothes, where someone pushes a meal under my door at various intervals and comes in to clean while I'm sleeping or something. My nails could go all to hell, I'd only shave when my face itched, my hair could grow any which way it wanted, I'd have no need of a car or a job or insurance or bills or anything at all.

I would of course become bored unto insanity within a few days, but it would have been a nice little vacation.

What I really want in life is servants to do all of the boring work for me, accountants and lawyers to see that the money keeps flowing in and to make sure the servants get paid, a secretary to write my thank-you notes and wrap gifts and keep my calendar, live-in hairdressers and manicurists and mechanics. That's the whole allure of wealth, to me, aside from the ability to shop untrammeled by credit-card interest and overdrawn checking accounts: the ability to pay people to do all the boring tedious crap for you. Somone to handle the minutiæ of everyday life.

I want to be taken care of, without the messy emotional and physical entaglement of life-partnership.

But there we are back at the first and most resonating mistake of my life, having been born to the wrong family. If I had somehow managed to direct that stork up the hill into a nice Piedmont family, or one of those lovely third-world royalties, instead of into the crib of an ambitionless auto-mechanic and a trailer-trash parvenue, everything would have been much different. But the main difference would be that I'd have all of these things and still desire for more. It's human nature, after all.

Well, having babbled on pointlessly through another segment of my rapidly passing and hugely mismanaged life, I had better get back to the everyday boring crap that occupies my time, to return to working on minutes and agendas and other preparations for this afternoon's meeting.

In the meantime I shall fantasize about my life with servants.

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