Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Carpe Diem. Tomorrow.

sven_davis2Time is a flirt, the little bitch. Time says, “I’ll always be here for you.” And you come to believe it, and get used to it, and then suddenly you really need Time, and then Time is nowhere to be found. You panic, you scramble, and somehow you learn to cope without it. Then there’s a knock at the door, and it’s Time with a bottle of wine and some sweet talk, and all you can remember are the good days.

It’s fall, and fall is procrastination season. For one thing, school has started. School is where we encounter our first deadlines and decide how we will fight their power. Will we finish the assignments early and thereby defuse the tension? Prudent, but bo-ring. Procrastinators such as myself prefer to live on the edge, racing toward deadlines with steely nerve in a temporal game of chicken to see who will flinch at the last second. Sometimes due dates get extended, and we get a sense of relief the Prudentarians will never enjoy, but more commonly we find ourselves paying the price with an all-nighter. Though we may be criticized for our sub-standard work, we can hold our heads high and say, “Sure, but considering I did a two week project in one night, not too shabby!” It may not be the best way to get our money’s worth out of an expensive education, but it gives us time to focus on other important fall things, like ... the holidays!

As it turns out, the holiday season is just another series of opportunities to put things off. Before the end of the year the more afflicted among us will have slapped together a Halloween costume an hour before the party (“I’m a pot head, get it? Pot? On head?”), brought chips as a “potato side dish” to Thanksgiving, and purchased presents for the little ones at the big truck stop on route to the family homestead. After New Year, we can finally relax and send out our holiday cards. From 2009.

If your reading this column is itself a means of frittering away your day, that’s nothing compared to the procrastination that went into writing it. I enjoy writing, and yet I’m always slow to get started and looking for excuses to get out of my chair once I start. It’s a mystery to me. On the up side, my house is freaking spotless right now, because that’s one of my stalling techniques. I’ll also play ukulele, garden, cook, and call old friends. Right now I have a powerful urge to clean my keyboard with a Q-tip. But it’s nearly dawn and I just might finish in time if I can ignore my number one time suck nemesis: the boob tube.

Nothing in my life has vampired energy, creativity, and inspiration from my soul like TV. I used to sit and channel surf for an hour making sure nothing good was on (maybe a Star Trek TNG rerun I missed?), and then had to start the cycle again because it was a new hour. TV made my brain passive and dull and tired. The commercials made me depressed about how stupid advertisers take us to be. Yet I could not turn away, because 5 percent of TV is good and I didn’t want to miss it. Typical addict thinking.

Rather than develop some discipline, I got rid of the TV. I felt better but didn’t know if people considered me smug or stupid when I said I didn’t know who Urkel was. This was a pretty good era, productive and social. Sometime in the 90’s I got all evangelical and started up a little business called Final Fix Television Exterminators, where for a fee my team would go to your house and literally kill your television. There were different packages, ranging from “Goodbye Old Pal,” where we would surgically and peacefully snip out crucial electronics, to “Free At Last,” where we put on goggles, said a few words, and rammed the picture tube with a big iron bar. For an extra fee we’d bury it in a shallow grave or mount it on a spear in your yard “as a warning to other life-leeching appliances.”

We won that battle against passive entertainment, but not the war. My own computer, the very thing I use to write with, is now packed with creativity kryptonite. I no longer need to channel surf to find something I may like; it’s “on demand.” It’s hard to kill just part of your laptop, though I’ve considered having a friend install parental controls that limit my access to Facebook, Hulu and Netflix. And while they’re at it, solitaire. It cracks me up that we now have these amazingly sophisticated computers at our fingertips (“Brain the size of a planet ...”), and mostly we use them for solitaire. (I work in a big office building, and I see a lot of computer screens as I walk around. Take it from me, solitaire is king. It even outlived Tetris.)

Yes, I do realize all this falls under the category of “luxury problems.” From the point of view of the billions of humans on earth who don’t enjoy my level of health, wealth and safety, I may as well be bitching about how I can’t get the helicopter on my yacht started. I’ll have to learn to be happy with who I am, even if I’m only operating at 27 percent capacity. After all, procrastinators rarely turn out to become homicidal dictators or criminal masterminds, they ... my God, are you still reading this? Don’t you have anything important to do?

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by zahman, October 22, 2011
Finally I have justification for wasting all morning, or a large part of it, because I just wanted to catch up on the news!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?