I started writing for FlipCollective 10 months ago and until recently I had been hitting my marks and getting something posted every week.
But then, as you may have noticed if you’re my mom, I went on an unintentional two-week hiatus.
Normally, I’m all about getting down to business, meeting deadlines and churning out words even if they suck, so why now was I failing to do this?
I told myself it had to be because I’d just moved to New York City from a small town in Maryland, and had gone from having nothing at all to do most evenings to residing in arguably the most exciting place in the country.
But was I really just getting caught up in my new lifestyle?
I thought about some of the things I did in my leisure time during those two weeks, to see if my time was being well spent. Here are a few of them.
1. Went to a festival in Little Italy to watch a cannoli-eating contest…but did not eat a cannoli.
2. Stared at about 800 girls while walking around, riding the subway, etc. Made creepy eye contact with at least two dozen of them. Talked to one, but only to tell her than in my expert opinion the spicy chicken udon at the café we were in was far superior to the ramen.
3. Ran three miles and only tripped over my own feet once.
4. Jogged past a basketball court, asked a kid if I could get one shot, knocked down a three-pointer and held the shooting hand “in the cookie jar” as I sauntered away.
5. Ate three pizzas, mostly while watching Pretty Little Liars.
6. Tried to imagine what reaction Jay-Z’s daughter is going to have the first time she listens to her dad’s song “Big Pimpin.’”
7. Using a hair tie, I fixed the inner-workings of my toilet so it would flush again.
8. Texted 18 people to tell them I had just Macgyvered the shit out of a toilet.
9. Texted four more about how hilarious it seemed that my phone no longer autocorrected to “Macyvered.”
10. Wondered each day on the way to work if anybody on the train noticed how much I was sweating after walking the three blocks from my apartment to a stop.
11. Browsed Amazon for 15 minutes and came very close to buying a book called Stop Sweating, Start Living.
12. Took three Internet tests to try and discern whether I have an excessive sweating problem or not. (Conclusion: I do.)
13. Talked extensively with my older brother about Ike Taylor’s huge forehead (five-head?) and his recently released rap song.
14. Went to a Mexican barber-shop to get a buzz cut. It took the man almost 30 minutes because he was getting all weird with straight-end razors and shaving off my widow’s peak, which I had never experienced before. Then, he asked me if I wanted a shave and I blurted, “Yes way, José.” So he gave me one.
15. Tipped heavily at a Mexican barbershop because I was fearful I might have offended them with my joke, because none of them laughed. (Maybe he really is named José, but if so he didn’t seem to find it odd I knew his name when he had not told me it.)
16. Stared in the mirror and felt anxious about how awkward it would look when my widow’s peak started to grow back in and was much shorter than the rest of my hair.
17. Looked at photographs on Facebook of this girl from college, Jenny Edwards, playing with dolphins in a bikini, and wondered how I could possibly fit her into an essay (mission accomplished) so that she would read it and maybe have an undeniable urge to fly to New York and start a whirlwind and sexually liberating romance.
18. Indulged in a bunch of caramel, apple, cinnamon and pumpkin-scented tastes and scents, but refrained from professing this on any of my social profiles.
19. Drank more scotch than I care to quantify.
20. Googled ‘Kate Middleton + Tits’ 18 times.
21. Sent Paul Shirley a 300+ word email with in-depth detail about how I had discovered I was standing next to Chuck Klosterman’s wife on a train.
22. Played my 10-year-old cousin in Words With Friends. Whipped his ass.
23. Watched porn.
24. Wondered what in the fuck had stopped me from writing a novel when I was like 12, and hadn’t yet discovered online porn.
25. Thought about what it might be like someday whenever I have a wife (lol) and not wanting to watch porn anymore, because it’ll feel like some kind of betrayal.
26. Wrote a really sophomoric first few lines of a novel, then went back to watching porn.
27. Went to a bar with my friends Lindsey and Gaby to talk about stuff we’d been writing.
28. Went to the bar more times sans Lindsey and Gaby.
29. Wrote four haiku about my junk after my friend Emily told me I should when I wondered what I should write about for FlipCollective that week.
30. Spent 15 minutes on Facebook examining the life of a kid I was friends with in college who used to slay mad women but had since found Jesus, gotten a tattoo of a Bible verse on his arm, and become engaged to a smoking hot woman. Five of these minutes were dedicated to wondering whether he had sexually test-driven his wife-to-be, or if he was going straight Tebow with it.
31. Wrote an essay about Halloween and sex for Cartel III, an e-magazine that will drop in October and can be acquired on this very website!!
32. Watched Junot Diaz speak at the Union Square Barnes & Noble and was knocked on my ass by his awesomeness. I walked home from this event and lamented how I would never be as great at writing as he is, just like I’ll never be as great with a basketball as Michael Jordan, or as great as Kim Kardashian is at famewhoring.
33. Checked out wedding photos on Facebook.
34. Checked out pictures of engagement rings on Facebook.
35. Read a story posted on (of course) Fox News about some ‘comedian’ who was all too proud of himself for waiting until marriage to have sex. And then I spent 20 minutes writing notes for an essay about why I did not wait for marriage.
36. Colored boxes in on a piece of notebook paper.
37. Laid in bed without sleeping.
38. Played video games.
39. Justified my physical weakness by talking with my roommate about how strange it is so many dudes weight lift when there’s no real benefit of doing so except vanity.
40. Got drunk and re-wrote my OKCupid profile.
Conclusion: I should spend my time more wisely.
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