Tuesday, January 20, 2004


The famous Monday Morning has finally come. Never mind that it's actually Tuesday. A Monday Morning, when capitalized, in my lexicon, is a day when you actually start doing all those things you've been putting off. I'm always going to start my diet on Monday, start my exercise regimen on Monday, start getting to work early on Monday, start keeping track of my gas mileage on Monday.

Yesterday was the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and since I work in one of those sectors that is always taking days off (Academia, which outruns Banking and Government with its number of excuses to stay home), I spent the entire day lying in bed... except for the times I got up to eat cookies, and the three hours I spent watching television in the living room. I had actually gone out there to play Prince of Persia, because I had a headache from laying in bed too long, but my VCR is broken and the X-Box is connected to the pre-stereo television through the VCR.

See, there was this previously-viewed copy of The Sound of Music that I bought at Mediaplay for $4.99 on my birthday, and when I put it in the VCR it was chewed up and spat out. But in the usual Manners fashion, I just left it there on the television cabinet instead of throwing it away; along comes my uncle who winds the chewed tape back into the cassette and shoves it into the VCR to see if that fixed it; the tape became jammed in the VCR, and now we can't turn the VCR on, even though we took the cover off the machine and extracted the tape (and threw it the fuck away this time)... it just hums a little, tries to play a tape that is not in it any more, and then turns itself off. Hooray!

So, returning to the main thread, I spent all day yesterday in bed, as well as the latter half of Sunday, eating very little except these new frosted chocolate cookies put out by Mother's and the occasional brace of scrambled eggs or hunk of longhorn cheddar. In all that horizontal time this three-day weekend, I finished reading The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan, and watched a lot of videos scraped up from the bottom of the video box: three episodes of Jeeves and Wooster that I had quite forgotten I'd taped about four years ago (according to a news clip that made it on to the tape after an episode of Chicago Hope, which posited the possibility that an as-yet-unnamed White House intern may have had an affair with President Clinton), the entire run of Further Tales of the City taped off Showtime (except for about five minutes at the end of the second episode, the first tape ran out while Mother Mucca was telling Anna Madrigal that the man she was dating was actually her father), then The Age of Innocence (an absolute orgasm of Gilded Age costumes and sets), all three instalments of The Brotherhood series (perfectly dreadful grade-C films, horribly written and horribly acted, with no apparent purpose except to showcase gorgeous young men in boxer-briefs, and one just fast-forwards through the rest), and Wigstock (which requires no justification).

There is a kind of wisdom at work with all this laying about... when you've lain in bed for so long that you get a headache from laying in bed, then you've lain in bed quite long enough. It gets it out of your system, an exhaustive dose of leisure. And now I feel quite finished with laying abed, and am ready to get up and do things now.

So today is my Monday Morning:

Today I am going to not eat cookies, candy, cake, or pastry.

Today I am going to drink at least eight glasses of water.

Today I am going to do forty minutes of cardio at the gym.

Today I am going to pick up at least one thing off the floor of my bedroom and put it out of the way.

Today I am going to make phone calls when I think of them instead of putting them off until later and then forgetting about them.

Today I am going to do my work instead of putting it off until tomorrow, because God knows what tomorrow is going to be like.

Today I am going to do my best without expectation or guilt or any of those pointless time-wasting emotions.

This week is going to be a bit of a bear... our auditor is coming this week, so I have to spend a good deal of time and effort getting the financial records in order; also I have a big show coming up this weekend for which I have to confer with my co-host and do rather more than just plan an outfit and a song, and I haven't even done that much yet; and I have to get out a General Service newsletter this week. All this on top of all my usual busy-ness. But I'm sure I can manage so long as I stay focused on the thing in front of me and don't let myself put things off.

I think I've got to get out of the habit of waiting for The Perfect Moment to do things. I put off making phone calls until I feel fairly certain that the caller is not busy, and I never make phone calls before noon or after ten p.m. for fear of disturbing people, and there is no one time between those two cut-off hours when people are invariably at liberty and sitting idle next to their phones. I put off any and all room-cleaning activities until I have a whole day to devote to the project, and by the time I have a whole day to myself I'm much too tired to spend the whole thing cleaning a room. I plan to not go to the gym because I expect I will be too tired by the end of the day (and I usually am, too), but I also know I'll never get to the end of a work-day with the feeling that I'd just love to go walk three miles on a treadmill. And getting back into the habit of eating right and increasing my hydration is constantly subjected to provisions and conditions that will not come to pass unless I force them to... I'm always waiting until the cookies are all gone, but I still buy more, I always wait until next week to start drinking water, wait until next month to restart my daily prayer-and-meditation routine, next year to do this or that, next lifetime to do something else.

But there is no Perfect Time. Now is all we have. Today is all we get. Tomorrow is always a day away, and by the time it gets here it isn't tomorrow anymore, it's today.

And today I have to go to work. Right now, in fact. I'll talk to you... later!

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