Brenda’s got a post up about her First New Year’s Resolution.
To waste more time. Yep. I love wasting precious time. In fact, wasting time may be the most subversive act left to us in a culture that is so fucking obsessed with both saving it and complaining, not to mention boasting, about never having enough of it.
I’m with Brenda on people being obsessed with boasting about not ever having enough time. Those boasters should make it their First and Final New Year’s Resolution to stop trying to sound so important. We all know everyone screws around in one way or another, so put a sock in it already.
I feel like I waste too much time.
I’ve been fantasizing about being so busy in the new year (where so busy equals so profitable) that if I complained to you about never having enough time and you’d remind me of what I wrote above that I’d tell you that you have no idea what you’re talking about because I am that busy so put a sock in it already.
It’s all a win/win for me.
Always striving for the win/win was my New Year’s Resolution long ago, and I’ve stuck to it.
I’ve caught myself wasting vast amounts of time over the last year. For example, just last night, The Skimmer and I watched The Hangover for a second time. That could only be described as a complete waste of time, when there were other, more important things that could have been accomplished.
Until you consider that during those two redundant hours, I got to see Bradley Cooper not only wearing that black suit again, getting ready to hit the Vegas strip, but also wearing that bloody shirt while sporting that pouty, busted lip again both at the beginning and at the end of the movie.
In retrospect, that was time well spent. Time very well spent. I might just spend some very well spent time again tonight. Win/win/win.
I wasted way too much time this past fall complaining about the guy who lives behind us who cut down all of the trees on his property. Even got told to Get Bent because of it. Which sort of made me laugh. Hadn’t heard that phrase in years and years.
The Skimmer wasted more time than I did, though, thinking about that guy. And he’s still wasting time thinking about him. Recently The Skimmer said to me, as we stood in the kitchen and looked out on the three, four foot pine trees the guy has planted that will take about three zillion years to grow as tall as the ones he had just cut down had already grown, “Since that guy likes cutting down trees so much, we should go cut one of his new trees down and use it for our Christmas tree!”
The thought of the two of us doing that, all dressed in black under the cover of night, made me laugh. And I actually would have loved to have done it. Seemed like poetic justice. But, then I imagined us getting caught, arrested and thrown in the slammer. How would I stay so busy where so busy equals so profitable with all that time on my hands?!
Time is money, people! Or will be, for me, in the new year.
One thing I truly wasted time doing this year were the times I told other people what they should be doing. I try not to do that often but I catch myself doing it often enough. Like I know what other people should be doing, how they should be behaving, when half the time I don’t even know what I should be doing, or I catch myself behaving in such a way that if I saw someone else behaving that way I would probably tell them they shouldn’t be if that’s the sort of person I was most of the time.
A few months after Blue Kid was born The Skimmer and I went to a wedding. I was exhausted. I hadn’t slept in twelve weeks, but I stuffed myself into my pretty pre-partum black dress and off we went, excited to be getting out of the house. We were talking with a group of people when I happened to look down and notice a run in my stockings. I said, in my post-partum daze, “Oh no, I have a run in my stockings.”
“Well, you should always bring an extra pair of stockings when you go out, just in case.” Said the beautiful, sexy, thin, tall, childless blonde ever so helpfully.
“Put a sock in it, Blondie.” Is what I did not say to her as I thought of something much worse to say to her but didn’t say that either. I just nodded and smiled and agreed that I should not only always plan to be, but should actually be perfect in every way, every day.
So, it is a total waste of time to tell others what they should do and how they should behave because have I ever, in the last seventeen years, taken an extra pair of stockings with me when The Skimmer and I have gone out? No. Just to spite her. And I hope she has a million kids now and each of them are ripping at her stockings at this very moment, even all the extra pairs she carries with her at all times.
You might say thinking spiteful thoughts is a waste of time.
Sure is fun, though.
Besides being so busy where so busy equals so profitable in the new year, I’m not sure what my other resolutions are going to be. If I wouldn’t have been so busy throughout the year doing all the things I should and shouldn’t have been doing, I probably would’ve had them all figured out by now.
One of the most time-consuming things is to have an enemy. The fox is mine. He wants to destroy my form of society -- a society of free geese, of Bantams unconfined. So I react in the natural way, building up my defenses, improving my weapons and my aim, spending more and more time on the problem of supremacy. This morning the wolf and the fox compete for my attention; I am a hunter divided against himself. Either animal could slip easily through my guard while I am thinking about the other. When I realize what a vast amount of time the world would have for useful and sensible tasks if each country could take its mind off "the enemy," I am appalled. I shot a fox last fall -- a long, lucky shot with a .22 as he drank at the pond. It was cold murder. All he wanted at that moment was a drink of water, but the list of his crimes against me was a long one, and so I shot him dead, and he fell backward and sank slowly in the mud.
The war between me and the fox is as senseless as all wars. There is no way to rationalize it. The fox is not even the biggest and meanest killer here -- I hold that distinction myself. I think nothing of sending half a dozen broilers to the guillotine. Come June, heads will be rolling behind my barn. Foxes are now carrying a disease called hardpad, but even that is insufficient reason for shooting a fox. My puppy, I presume, could pick up hardpad from sniffing around in the dooryard, and then I would have a dachshund that was not only hard-headed but hard-footed, too, which would try my patience. But if you were to solve the problems of disease by shooting the sick, you'd have to shoot Aunt Mollie when she got the flu. I have plenty of convictions but no real courage, and I find it hard to live in the country without slipping into the role of murderer. From where I sit I can see a piece of suet hanging on a crab-apple tree. A hairy woodpecker is digging away at it contentedly. The suet is from a steer we killed last fall -- I gave the order for the hatchet job. Imagine killing a steer to feed a woodpecker! (We also got 367 pounds of beef for our freezer, but I can't see that that changes the matter any. The fox and I are up to the same mischief; we differ only in technique.)
Hunters in this state killed 40,142 deer during the 1957 season. It was the third-highest kill on record. Maine is a bit touchy about its deerslaying and prefers to break the record each year. In 1951 the hunters tagged 41,730 deer, and that figure still stands as the one to beat. I don't know why people feel unhappy when the curve fails to keep going up, but they do. Even when we find something we'd like to reduce, such as highway fatalities, it doesn't always sound as though we had our heart in it. On the eve of every holiday, the National Safety Council broadcasts its prediction that such-and-such a number of motorists are "expected" to die over the weekend, almost as though it were a man's duty to go out and get killed in order to make the estimate come out right. I didn't shoot a deer, but someone brought me a hindquarter and it was good. A moose came to town right in the middle of the battle, and somebody shot him and cut his head off, leaving the meat to spoil. Everybody was stirred up about the incident of the moose: there is a heavy fine for killing a moose nowadays, but there is an even heavier assessment against anyone's wasting good meat.
Shortly after the close of the deer season, there was a lead editorial in the paper complaining that there had been a drop in out-of-state hunting licenses and urging that Maine get busy and appropriate more money for development, to attract hunters to the state. The theory is that if you shoot forty thousand deer one year you aren't getting ahead unless you shoot fifty thousand the next, but I suspect there comes a point where you have shot just exactly the right number of deer. Our whole economy hangs precariously on the assumption that the higher you go the better off you are, and that unless more stuff is produced in 1958 than was produced in 1957, more deer killed, more automatic dishwashers installed, more out-of-staters coming into the state, more heads aching so they can get the fast fast fast relief from a pill, more automobiles sold, you are headed for trouble, living in danger and maybe in squalor. If that theory is sound, Maine won't be in a solid position until we kill at least forty million deer and with a good prospect of making it fifty million the following year. But that would be the end of the wilderness, and without its wilderness Maine would feel awfully naked.
I emailed Jeddie about a month ago and wrote, "Jeddie? Baby? I want to do another song this year!"
I'm always wanting something.
So, we all got to it again. I did the vocals up here in Cleveland and through the magic of the Internets, Jeddie was able to download the files and do his thing. Which was everything. The uke (as he calls it) the bells, the whistles, knocking on that block of his, the whole arrangement! I think he really outdid himself this year! Make sure you play it on a good sound system so you can really hear all of his handy work. Truly amazing.
And once again, The Skimmer provided the beautiful and fun original artwork for our song. Fantabulous!
"I can't find my jingle bells! Do you have any idea where they are?"
"Did you look in the basement?"
"Did you look in the closets up in my office?"
"I'm looking there now, I don't see them!" I said, as I reached up to the top shelf at the exact moment Lego, our cat, jumped up inside the closet and boxes began to fall on my head at the same time I was desperately trying to bat a spider out of my face.