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Posted on 2009.11.30 at 15:45
Current Location: 75070

Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
Oh rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.

~ Alfred Tennyson, "The Lotus-Eaters"

I have a friend who is so lazy, when he fails to complete tasks he is responsible for he irrationally treats follow-up questions as if the asker were demanding secular prophesies from him. His boss: "You didn't show up for work - are you coming in today?" My lazy friend: "What am I, Nostradamus?"

I have another friend who has so little intrinsic motivation, that he will actively and eagerly argue with you that if you set out to fail at life, and succeed, you should be considered a success. He's been arguing in favor of it for so long, its not only his mantra, but his lifestyle.

Given my propensity for onanisic flagellantism I chose to walk a mile in their shoes rather than cavernously bray theoretical ruminations; their empirical eye is blind with apathy yet they attempt to establish themselves as rulers over the gaping entropic suck-hole they perceive life to be. Their words are only that, meaningless and without conviction, for their callow existence holds nothing more.

Therefore, this holiday weekend, I did nothing.

Nothing at all.

And found it to be magnificent.
The great error in Rip’s composition was an insuperable aversion to all kinds of profitable labor.

~ Washington Irving, "Rip Van Winkle"

One memorable day in particular, I arose from a near-geochronological slumber only to make it as far as my recliner where I sat until it was time to go back to bed. That was a perfect day. My four-days off work felt more like four months. It was as if an era had passed - as if I'd fallen asleep behind the wheel of H.G. Wells' Time Machine and awoke to an unfamiliar world, with only a hint of what was still lingering in the air.

I still summarily dismiss any notion that your area of responsibility is somehow governed by drunk seers making overtly vague predictions or that disfiguring your face so occupational armies won't desire you in an attempt to fulfill a gross misrepresentation of text implicitly designed to enact a bloodless coup of your soul is a good idea.

But I did thoroughly enjoy being as lazy as you. I really did. But now I hold a power over you. Until you've tasted the sweet nectar of success through hard work and attitude as I've tasted the bittersweet allure of aggressive indifference, your hollow words have no more strength behind them.

I did nothing and it was fantastic and incomprehensibly refreshing and it would've destroyed me had I let it. I don't know what animates your empty carcass, but your rotting flesh assaults my nostrils. Dying lonely and unhappy, even if that were my goal, is still dying lonely and unhappy. No matter how I present it to myself, in the end, I would still be a miserable, dead loser, and there's nothing you can say which would make me desire that.

Though from this point forward its going to be an uphill battle. It calls to me, and now that I've tasted blood I want more. But strength of character will win this battle, and if I must, will sate other desires to mask the din. But in having submersed myself in this adversity I've given myself a great advantage in that I will now be able to recognize the warning signs. Will you?

Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to unhinge myself from my responsibilities and experience your void. It was both distracting and comforting. Like freezing to death.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

~ Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"


Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2009-11-30 22:53 (UTC) (Link)
You really shouldn't talk about drax0r like that. He'll kick your fucking ass.
ehowton at 2009-11-30 23:02 (UTC) (Link)
The post wasn't about my friends (whomever they may be), rather entirely about myself. I'm sorry you missed that.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2009-11-30 23:04 (UTC) (Link)
I have a friend who...I have another friend who...The post wasn't about my friends, rather entirely about myself.
Stop posting about your imaginary friends that are extensions of yourself. You'll look less retarded.
ehowton at 2009-12-01 03:52 (UTC) (Link)
Tell you what I'll do - in setting up my exposition - that is, a vehicle for my stories, I'll use any goddamn tools I choose.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2009-12-01 04:23 (UTC) (Link)
You admit that you just put words together and that you talk out your ass? Got it.
thesweetestnote at 2009-12-01 03:10 (UTC) (Link)
i feel so guilty.
ehowton at 2009-12-01 03:42 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! Do I want to know why?
thesweetestnote at 2009-12-01 11:01 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so vain...
ehowton at 2009-12-01 13:06 (UTC) (Link)
You probably think this blog is about you. Don't you? Don't you?
thesweetestnote at 2009-12-01 17:48 (UTC) (Link)
Could be paranoia. Everyone is on to me! :O
irulan_amy at 2009-12-01 03:47 (UTC) (Link)
Well done sir. Lazy for the sake of laziness is a beautiful thing.
ehowton at 2009-12-01 04:02 (UTC) (Link)
Made even sweeter by it's infrequency.
drax0r at 2009-12-01 18:18 (UTC) (Link)

The funny thing is that this weekend I made an afternoon of taking the family out to the Christmas tree farm and chopping down our tree between hayrides through the woods.
ehowton at 2009-12-01 23:06 (UTC) (Link)
In a one-horse open sleigh?
dentin at 2009-12-05 18:59 (UTC) (Link)
I just posted a comment on a similar topic in another journal (private comment, sorry), and one observation in particular seems to describe this fairly well:

"Where most people fall down is in the maximization process. It's important to maximize long term enjoyment, not short; maximizing in the short term invariably leaves you in a position where you have fewer accumulated resources."

Lazy like you describe can, in fact, be as fulfilling as the sweet nectar of success. But it's a short term optimization that quickly rings hollow, and leaves you the same as when you started. Success, while often more effort for the same level of enjoyment, builds upon prior success, and each step makes it that much easier.

I live a largely carefree and easy life, with all of my basic needs trivially met and an entertainment budget that I'm quite happy with. That didn't happen because I sat on my ass.

It happened because I worked for $4.35 an hour cutting hamburger from the severed ribs of bovine backbones. It happened because I got 40 hours of sleep a week while taking a full engineering course load and working a full time job. It happened because while other people were partying, I was driving my motorcycle to work in -20 F weather at 3 in the morning for a six hour shift before taking my finals.

It happened because my idea of taking a summer off was to sit in my dorm room and write fifteen thousand lines of software, including my own from-scratch implementation of NDBM, the equivalent of the Unix C FILE library using raw system calls, and my own version of malloc. It happened because I packed all my shit in my $500 ford escort and drove 84 hours to get to the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus because plane tickets and shipping would mean I couldn't pay for classes.

My point is that I got where I got by busting my ass, not by being lucky or lazy. It would do most of my lazy friends well to understand this, as the most common refrains I hear are, 'how come my life sucks and yours doesn't?' and 'but you're different, you're lucky because of X'. The second one bothers me the the most, in that it's a bullshit cop-out. In the first, at least they're asking the question.
ehowton at 2009-12-06 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
It's important to maximize long term enjoyment
That reminds me, my retirement is seriously lacking.

My point is that I got where I got by busting my ass, not by being lucky or lazy.
I just shake my head at those who don't believe me when they ask. They want nothing to do with "hard work" or "the right attitude." Perseverance & sacrifice are words in a history book - it means nothing to them.

A lot of the employees at our client site who are in the process of onboarding with my outsourcing company have asked me about my company because I don't bad-mouth it. I've told them I've gotten out of it everything I've put into it. "What does that mean?" they want to know. "Be willing." I reply. "Be willing to do whatever needs to be done with a good attitude."

I might as well be speaking Greek.
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