The Pleasures of Idleness

I understand there is pleasure in idleness.  I understand because OTHER PEOPLE tell me so.

Maybe it is something like sleeping.  I used to hear there was pleasure in sleeping, but I never fully believed it.  Sleeping is what happened when I ran out of energy, and it was done reluctantly.  Ever since I was a little kid, I felt when I slept, a portion of my life was stolen.  So I hated it.

Then I had kids.  The times I could lie down and JUST sleep were like gifts from the gods, and the greatest pleasure known to men.  Forget chocolate, all I needed was a bed.

Maybe idleness is that way too.  Maybe at some point I will enjoy it, cherish it, realize why other people love it.

Today is not that day.

I’ve been convinced — okay, Amanda Green yelled at me — that I need to take one and maybe two weeks between books.  I’m not fully convinced that this is why I got ill, but I sort of understand it.  Creating things is HARD and if you just go go go you hit a flat spot, and things that should be easy take twice as long.

So, having finished the second book of the year two months late (mostly because of the flat spot/autoimmune/massive ear infection) I am TRYING to take a week off.  The problem is that my brain doesn’t BEND that way.  I can wake up, think I am too tired and roll over, but the guilt of it won’t let me sleep.

I’m trying to keep the guilt quiet by doing Spring cleaning.  Where I came from, we did a huge cleaning Fall and Spring, the equivalent of turning the house upside down and giving it a good shake.  This meant if you slipped one or two weeks and didn’t clean, it wasn’t the end of the world, and the house was still effectively pretty clean.  It’s still hard.  I had to stomp pretty hard on the idea that keeps recurring that “short stories aren’t REALLY writing.”

I really seem to having nothing between stopped and going full force.  It’s a skill I’m trying to acquire.

Anyway, having decided to take a week off, I’m trying not to brain too hard on these posts too.  I hope you guys are okay with that.

There will still be posts.  Some of them might be odder than usual though.

And meanwhile, reward wrong thinkers, get free books!

124 thoughts on “The Pleasures of Idleness

    1. I think the only one of the list that I don’t already have is The Shadows.

      Dang it, I could have given someone else three extra entries, if I had known. (You get a referral URL; when someone else uses it to enter, you get three more entries in the stakes for the additional books.)

  1. Rest, recharge, then write more books and stuff once your noodle is condition to accept stories and stuff. 🙂

    1. Read some books. Preferably ones you have not read but will like; if you have none of those at hand, read old Nero Wolfe novels, or my books, or Agatha Christie; things you have read but like, not Gibbon or Macaulay which are going to require mental effort. Or garden, if the season is right and you have space and tools.
      What you need is mental rest while doing something that takes up time, is enjoyable, and requires no real mental resources.

      It’s all right to take a few days off, you know.

      1. To work effectively, one must be rested. So idleness, that is choosing to do nothing in order to rest, is a necessary preparation for work. It is, in effect, part of work.

  2. You need a break (and I don’t mean in your arms or legs). 😉

    1. Spring cleaning is definitely not a break for your body, especially if you have some serious allergy/immune response type issues. Please consider that investing in a vacuum with a good HEPA filter, etc. and maybe a cleaning lady (or crew) from time to time may be good for your health.

  3. I suffer from your problem, too. Woke up late today, and I’m going to be kicking myself for the lost couple of hours the whole rest of the day. When I’m working I’m going full tilt, and I hate being idle because of that.

    Anyway, try and enjoy the time off. It’ll be hard, but it might help with your health on the other end. Good luck!

          1. Pretty much any job I’ve ever worked had the same incentive plan: Do your work or get fired.

              1. To the company, perhaps, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to what the worker on the floor gets. This particular company ran by attracting college students with offers of earning better than average, structuring its pay system so that it didn’t actually have to pay that much to more than a few, then hiring a fresh crop when the students realized that they were being exploited.

  4. I really seem to having nothing between stopped and going full force.

    The Pulse Width Modulated Author? The ON and OFF varies, but ON and OFF. None of this amplitude modulated stuff, huh? If that is the case, some OFF time seems a Good Idea, lest something burn out.

    1. Well, then we just need to find her pulse width control and route the LFO to it so she gets varying length work and rest pulses.

  5. There’s an adage about taking time to sharpen your axe. Don’t make me have to tell it to you.

    1. I think that’s sharpen the saw. Number seven of Covey’s habits of successful people.
      1) Be Proactive
      2) Begin with the End in Mind
      3) Put First Things First
      4) Think Win/Win
      5) Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
      6) Synergize
      7) Sharpen the Saw
      But then again, you may be thinking of someone else’s list for success.

      1. I’ve seen/heard it both ways, but of late I’ve gotten the impression Sarah had an axe to grind.

      2. I knew someone in college who converted to Communism; I read an editorial by him where he talked about taking Covey’s book and re-labeling it “Sever habits of highly oppressive people”. I hadn’t read the book, but I could have sworn that “Learn to Say No” was one of the habits, and I thought “How is knowing your limits and insisting that you can’t take on every little obligation that someone wants to put on your shoulders exploitative of other people?” If anything, this one principle helps you from being exploited.

        Even seeing these seven, *still* can’t help but wonder: how do these things exploit others? Heck, how are they necessarily “Capitalist”? (Well, “Think win/win” and “Seek first to understand, then be understood” are almost certainly anti-Communist, because Communists generally “think zero-sum” and “Seek to force others to your understanding”, but still…)

        1. I get the feeling that person though up the *ahem* clever title first, and then went ahead without really knowing what he was railing against. SJW SOP.

  6. I can sympathize. Whenever I finish something, the immediate next thought that comes to mind is, “What should I do now?” And that’s not a question of confusion, but of prioritizing all the things that are still waiting to be done. Idleness? Is that a thing? I tried it once, but couldn’t get the hang of it.

  7. How was it Heinlein summed up a logical view of personal psychology? I think it was “give your subconscious what it demands with the least cost and damage to yourself.” So, relax as much as you can, don’t relax till you’re tensed up at the horribleness of relaxing and find you aren’t really relaxing anymore.

  8. Your own short fiction would surely count as writing but ghost writing my 1/15th finished book wouldn’t…just sayin’ 😉

    In all seriousness, write silly posts or even give us two weeks of guest posts (I even have two ideas, one of which you might even like) and spend every day playing with a fake snake (ie, 3-4 feet of rope) with the cats. We will all understand and if anyone doesn’t we can explain it to them.

      1. Heh.
        My biggest problem is to I married a workaholic. Which was a really good synergy (I really hate to word) for a number of years. She prodded me when I needed it, and I kept her from burning out. But since she became chronically ill, I exhaust myself trying to get her to rest!

        1. (I really hate to word)

          I’m with ya there, but these days there are things I want to do that just can’t be handled by good ol’ WordStar.

              1. Let’s not bring WordDefect 5.1 into this.

                I knew a fellow who said it was great and wondered how I knew it was the only word processor he had ever used.

                1. Actually, I was thinking more of EMACS which has a few chords where you need your nose unless you have a LISP machine keyboard.

                  1. Rob Pike of UNIX fame applied mouse chording when creating the Acme editor for the Plan 9 operating system. I’ve used a few 3D modeling tools which use that concept, as well. I found it less awkward than keyboard chording in some editors, but still a pain.

                    1. Given we’re in holy war territory (how did that not make the FAQ) I’d point out any editor requiring a mouse is flawed. Editing should be able to be done without coming off the home row with the entire hand.

                    2. cleaning up models in certain 3d apps is a sure path to carpal tunnel syndrome unless you do what i did and but a Nostromo game controller and program in the hotkeys.

          1. That is why my writing platform of choice is vim+tex+perl. Ain’t nothing we can’t do together (including creating Word XML files).

    1. I can fritter time away far too easily in lieu of sleep and productive activity. I do feel haunted by guilt about it but it doesn’t get me moving as readily as it should. I’m trying to improve!

      I don’t quite envy my workaholic friends, because I don’t think Sarah’s the only one I know who’s wearing down an already shaky health with it, but I do admire how much they get done.

  9. Rest, relax, recover. You are more important than your writing currently. Two books so far is good work. Many more stories to come as long as you recover. We can be patient and I look forward to “odd” posts. 🙂

  10. I’ve been convinced — okay, Amanda Green yelled at me — that I need to take one and maybe two weeks between books.

    It could be argued that reading a book an idle pass-time, but really? You there — don’t look at me cross eyed — I was told as much by a family member. (I was told it should only be done when everything else had been done for the day, and then only if you have any minutes to spare before sleep. I admit that I ignored this piece of advise.)

    While it is said that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, idleness does not necessarily mean doing nothing. It can mean doing something else which allows your mind and body to recharge.

    So to Our Esteemed Hostess: How about considering working on some aspect of your home, your garden, your art, or taking a day at the Natural History Museum?

      1. I hate to admit reading it, but maybe it’s time for some artists dates a la The Artist’s Way…she even has an eBook of 30 artists dates ideas.

      2. With the number of authors who frequent these phosphor dots it may be a dangerous thing to describe that what they produce is a pursuit of idleness.

  11. Since becoming a freelancer, I’ve learned that the boss is always there, whispering “You could be earning money right now.” It’s an effort for me to spend an entire day without doing any copy editing. I take breaks by grocery shopping, or doing the laundry . . . though I do manage to make time for reading and the occasional video.

    1. I haven’t become a freelancer, but I’d like to; because of this, I’ve attended several presentations about freelancing and have read a book or two.

      I remember at least one presentation that discussed this whispering, and also gave strategies to deal with it. Indeed, considering that one freelancer did so so he could have time to work on personal projects, dealing with that voice was mighty important! The strategy I remember most is “set goals, and if you achieve them, don’t listen to that voice.”

      1. Two good resources for you: one is Kris Rusch’s the freelancer survival guide. (It’s available for free as blog posts on her site, or in a coherent packcaged form as an ebook).

        Second, Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech, in which he gives a lot of sound business and life advice to a bunch or art school graduates. People really like quoting the “Make good art!” part, but they’re missing some of the really, really critical business parts of the speech when they do. Pay attention – and you’ll hear what a professional freelancer is trying to tell other artists before they become freelancers.

    2. Small law firm with an eat-what-you-kill compensation scheme tends to produce the same whisper, especially when you’re on “vacation” – as there was no “paid” vacation. As a result, when work came in on vacation, you would tend to be happy to take time out of the vacation to do the work to pay for it. It is a hell of a slave driver – far worse than any other (external) boss I’ve had.

  12. It’s a skill I learned after burning out hard several times by my mid twenties. I sincerely hope and pray to G-d you don’t learn it the way I did, by sitting doped up on the couch for weeks on end, waiting for bones to heal so I can start physical therapy. (Physical therapists did their best to beat it into me that I have to rest, before I can start therapy and get better. There must be a pause to let the injury de-inflame, before you can start rebuilding.)

    Nonetheless, it is a very good skill to have. The art of taking days off has meant I have a much happier life since, much less high strung, less stressful, less sick when the body crashes because I pushed it too hard, too far.

    Peter and I have a week off between every one of his books – we learned from the lovely Mrs. Correia, who advised me as an author wife to grab him for two weeks post book and have him start the honey-do list. Expect, she said, you’ll actually get a week before he starts sneaking off to write, because ideas breed quickly when they’re not writing.

    This time it’s actually been almost a month, not counting plotting work on a short story in an upcoming anthology or groundwork and research on a fantasy, daily blog updates, MGC articles… but it’s also been needed, because I’ve been halfway to useless with the whole shoulder in sling then physical therapy. He’s still getting writing in around the edges, but it’s “time off to care for an injured spouse.”

    We’ll both be happy when he’s back to full time writing with a little housework on the side, and I’m back to full-time working and caring for the house, with a little writing on the side.

    1. Whey protein shakes every day, like weightlifters drink. If you can stand it, it really does help build bones and muscle, even in us middle-aged women. Don’t buy anything too expensive, but read the ingredients.

  13. You could get totally silly and take a break reading a few of Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels. Assuming you’re well enough to take the pun-ishment.

    1. Oy, but stick to the first few. Not sure how far along I got in the series when I decided that the book I was reading was best left in the car trunk in case of getting Truly Stuck somewhere (whether roadside or motel) and having something to read… or burn, without feeling too guilty, if need be. I’ve had that car for nearly 20 years and a few years ago I finally tossed the remains of that book – further unread, and also unused.

      1. Agreed. One or two of his later ones are propping up cheap furniture upstairs. I keep meaning to replace that broken foot on the front of that sofa one of these days…

    2. The sad thing is, Anthony said the Xanth books sell so much better than his regular work that they’re his main income.

      1. The first three were good, the next couple were clearly to satisfy the demand (for the money) and then he seemed to discern a new series of questions to explore, but the writing to formula and belabored puns diminished my interest and I switched to reading food labels after the tenth or twelfth. Momentum only carries a series so far …

        1. I don’t begrudge any author grocery money as long as I’m entertained. And when you’re stationed in some unidentified pile of sand somewhere in SW Asia with no beer, no other gender company, and only occasional connections back state-side, even a book with minimal plot and horrible puns can bring a smile back.

    3. I have read the earlier ones, but I can’t imagine ever wanting to do so again. Anthony for me runs to “funny once,” and I really don’t care for his underlying attitudes. Since the start of the year I’ve reread a number of books I like, including the Chalion series.

      1. Ah, but are they light?

        When I go for light reading, I often resort to children’s books. Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon, for instances.

        1. What’s your criterion for “light”? I usually use it to mean “humorous,” and I’m cautious about humor: so often things that other people swear are funny bore or annoy me.

            1. The Sun Also Rises?

              Or, if sticking just to SF:

              Against the Fall of Night
              By the Light of the Green Star
              Creatures of Light and Darkness
              Lest Darkness Fall
              Lord Of Light
              Night of Light
              Virtual Light

              I shouldn’t need to list the authors.

            1. Secret vice, eh? Now I have something I can blackmail you with! Bwahahahahaha! Ha!

              Now let’s see, what do I want? I’ve always wanted to make a model airplane. Send me a handful of servos and some radio control equipment by this time tomorrow, or I’ll tell the world of your secret weakness for Carter Brow’s “Al Wheeler” cop novels!

              I’m not sure where I’ll release this information, though. I’ll probably just put it in the comment section of some blog….

          1. Generally mildly humorous, but children’s books tend to be light in every sense: the plots aren’t complex beyond belief, moral dilemnas are not front and center, etc.

  14. As my grandfather always said “A change is as good as a rest.”

    He was the type of farmer who would get up at all hours of the night to change the water on his fields… which meant setting a temporary dam in the creek at certain points to make the water spill over.

    My brother’s response to this philosophy, many years later was “So why don’t you rest, for a change.”

    1. There was a period when I was younger that, along with being a full-time student I was working a full-time job and had taken on a part-time job as well. Thing was, the part-time made the full-time job more tolerable as it involved a very different head-space, thus providing a pleasant contrast that made each job less onerous.

      1. That’s generally my pattern until I truly burn out: binge hard on food generation/preservation (depending on time of year), switch to editing, switch to creative stuff, then back to the food. Keeps me going longer, but the crashes tend to be fairly epic.

      1. Alas, he was dead by that time (Ripe old age, 83, etc) but Mom thought it was funny and wished she’d thought of it to tell him decades ago.

        He probably would have laughed.

  15. Everybody’s being so nice and supportive (including myself)!

    Enough of that!

    We demand entertainment! Dance, monkey, DANCE for us.

    (There, doesn’t that make you feel like taking a break, just to assert your independence?)

    1. You should trick that guilt by promising. to start a brand new trilogy the week after you finish this one: “In a hole in the ground there lived a moura encantada…”

  16. Okay, this is probably terrible, and takes liberties, so feel free to throw things.

    There once was a gal from Portugal,
    Who wrote stuff exceedingly well.
    She’d cry and she’d moan,
    and throw her cell phone,
    and finally write, “All will be swell.”

    Her friends all tried to console her,
    though she felt like she had a sore molar.
    But her characters went right,
    to her o’er whelming delight.
    Say “Bye-Bye” to her Sisyphean boulder!

  17. I’d suggest stopping to smell the flowers, but we’d probably come back and find that you had weeded the bed, re-set the edging, raked the mulch, and were in the process of checking every stem for aphids. (Or “why it took Alma two hours to cut a rose to bring inside last week.”)

    1. Things I have learned: trying to trim all the greenery bits off the cut-down tree so the remainder is easy to cut into firewood… is easier said than done the day after I did all my physical therapy exercise. I’m just going to sit on the couch a while…

      Oh! But I also learned that low-carb lemonade (two quarts water, half cup lemon juice, one spoonful of truvia, generous pinch of salt, stir and chill) isn’t sticky! If I’d known how much easier it is to deal with when spilled, I would have started making this stuff years ago!

      1. Embrace the power of the fully operational chainsaw! [grin] (Gas, 120V electric, or cordless). [Thinks about newly discovered dead tree standing in the far hollow, makes note to take gasoline to the barn to make more two stroke mix. Alas, it’s easy to cut down, so I can’t talk myself into cutting a check.)

        1. I’ve learned a few things about chainsaws over the years. Unless you want to have to buy a new one every year, don’t go for the little ones. Get yourself a large chainsaw, Stilh or Husqvarna, of the models that professionals use. Yeah, they’re run $500 or more, but they won’t burn up after cutting for only 5 minutes.

          Remember, the blades can be taken off the saw. Or vice versa. I forgot that one time and had the blade pinch on a 75 foot white pine I was felling. Figured it would come loose when the tree came down. It sure did, and promptly rolled under the trunk just in time to be turned into little pieces of metal. Call it a lesson with a $500 tuition fee.

          The chain cuts in only one direction. Make sure you put it on correctly.

          A sharp chain is a safe chain. A dull one won’t cut, will make you try to force it, and is more likely to heat, bind, or buck.

          There are some things you should never let someone else use: your wife/husband, your tractor, or your chainsaw.

          1. Added to the last: don’t hold a piece of wood when someone else is cutting. (10 stitches from that error). Also, even if the dogs are fighting over a stick, don’t try to cut one in two. Flying sticks can do an impressive amount of damage, but I had a really good doctor. 30+ stitches for that bonehead maneuver and a Heidelberg scar for my trouble.

            My big saw is a Husky 353, about a dozen years old with a 24 inch bar. I’ve felled a few trees, cut up a bunch more that I had someone else cut, and leveled several stumps. We have 13 acres in Ponderosa Pine; used to have a bit of Juniper, but that’s now firewood. Some of the Pondo has been a challenge to cut, but I’ve been able to work out something.

            I have a little Stihl that’s sort-of replacing my ancient 024 Stihl. Both are limbing saws, but the 024 needs a new ignition coil; Stihl’s replacement part is rather spendy, but the last time I looked, aftermarket coils were available. Time for the round tuit.

            1. I’ve worn out two cheap electric chain saws over the last 20-odd years.

              Once you’re run out of trees and shrubbery, they’re good for wooden fences. Screw trying to get the 4x4s all set to the same depth; just wait for the concrete to set, mark how tall they need to be, and lop off the excess with the chainsaw…

              Also, removing old wooden decking from trailers.

              “Are you sure that’s the right tool for that job?”

              “It works, doesn’t it?”

              1. That’s where my dad and framing carpenters collide. Dad is a cabinet maker, so he’s thinking in 16ths of an inch. Framers… tend to be less precise. Until they both had to work around someone who wanted things to the 32nd… Amazing what a common enemy can accomplish. 😉

                1. I’m more used to working in metal, down at thousandths. The people who built the Project House apparently used neither level nor square. Also, much of the lumber is odd nonstandard (even for 1942) sizes.

                  [twitch] I’m dealing with it just fine. [twitch]

            2. It’s amazing the amount of work you can get done with a 10″ electric chainsaw. Took out most of a fallen tree that way, and when I get a chance (that is, a couple of guys to tie and use a guideline), we’ll take out the privet tree. (Yep, privet tree.)

  18. Ah yes, Guilt. The gift that keeps on giving.
    At times, I am grateful for it. Much has been accomplished under its watchful lash.
    At other times, one’s soul is wracked with torment over our inability to do enough, (Or that’s how it seems to us).
    The trick is to use the nasty little monster, not be used by it.
    Not that I’ve perfected the knack, but I keep trying.

  19. I’m one of those who has to do something on Saturday mornings- the idea of just sitting around and doing nothing is kind of appalling personally. Mostly I build musical things- bass guitars, effects pedals, and amplifiers.
    Of course, I pretty much take a nap every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

  20. Laziness is a problem for me but I have also seen the problems caused by endless projects. My mother loves to be busy and she sometimes overdoes it.
    I’ve always enjoyed just sitting and thinking.

  21. You’ve earned some idle/rest time. I think you’ll find that it gives your creative well a little time to refill.

  22. You should write a cutting edge millenial novel to refresh your palate. Make it about a depressed young dragon in Los Angeles and call it ‘The Desolation of Smog.”

    1. Everybody in the world thinks they know LA. The rich, the famous, the glitz and the stars. They also think this whole place burned in the riots. But I was here; it was just a couple blocks, a hazy smudge of smoke only a little darker than the usual smog. The rest of the city didn’t notice or care, no more than it notices the latest glitz going on.

      Papa came here from Mexico, Running from the Aztecs who thought his feathers and scales would be perfect for their finery… and in human form, he was just another beating heart to tear out to their sun god, ’cause he wasn’t one of them. He thinks electricity and running water is the awesomest stuff ever, and wouldn’t trade this city for the world.

      Me, I hate it. I grew up here, and it’s all I know. Concrete and asphalt, and a few potted plants wilting in the heat. Dragons are supposed to live in caves in the mountains, deep in forests, you know? With greenery and rain. Even us quetzalcoatls, we came from tropical rain forests. I’ve seen videos of that, all national geographic, and walked through the exhibits at the zoo. I want to go see that, go breath some fresh organic air, instead of being trapped in this desolation of smog.

      And I’ve got just the plan…

        1. There is that d*mn Hun phrase that has been causing me so much productivity lately.

          I hate all of you and will buy beers at the first Libertycon after I make a sale 🙂

      1. That’s actually a good start. One of the things I like about C.J. Cherryh are so many of the stories are written from the alien character’s point of view.

        1. should have SEEN the freakout in Bel Air and Beverly Hills. It looked like the evacuation of Kuwait. Mercedes streaming down Stone Canyon Road stuffed with luggage and terrified elites, people shooting wildly into their own gardens….

  23. I have had several periods of idleness imposed upon me recently due to chemotherapy and the aftermath of rather devastating facial surgery. Do not attempt to feel sorry for me as I should be cancer-free following my third surgery coming up in June. Story too long to relate; but if you suspect cancer just go to MD Anderson and bypass the well-intentioned amateurs.

    The whole time, by the grace of God in placing me with an employer who had an option for short and long term disability insurance, I’ve been paid to sit around and watch TV (or harass fellow travelers on various blogs like this one). I’ve had to do this because of the drugs and post-surgical recovery making me non-customer-facing (in the case of the chemo last Autumn, one of the drugs produced daydreams that didn’t stop when I went to sleep as well as very vivid hallucinations).

    I was tired of not working in well under two weeks; but there were about 5 months last year and it’s looking like it’ll be about 5 months this year as well. Imagine getting bored with all the videos on Youtube, Amazon, Netfix, and Hulu, and (due to either chemo or painkillers) not having the attention span to seriously read any books or write any papers related to your hobbies, work, or religion. I had planned to upgrade my VMware certifications before they expired, study The Five Solas and write a short curriculum, and take over monthly reporting for several customers from a colleague who was retiring. None of that has happened (well, I did buy the hardware and set up a VMware test lab before I got too sick).

    I appreciate some people want a break from their currently overbooked schedules; but mooching and looting are not what I planned to do with my life. But I did get the free ebooks for being a wrong-thinker camp follower.

    1. “but mooching and looting are not what I planned to do with my life”

      That is, I’m dying to get back to being a producer. Not intended to reference anyone else’s situation or life choices.

      1. Understand perfectly! Peter stood two inches taller the day my commuter car died, and the royalties from his first two books were sufficient to buy a new-to-me car for commuting. To be able, after he’d been told he’d never work again, to support us – it was one of the best days he’d had since his back got broken.

        May you get back to that soon, too! 🙂

    2. The afternoon of the day I spent in the hospital after my operation was a scintillating cycle of reading — The 13 Clocks by James Thurber — and walking around the same square of corridors.

    1. First choice set: guided back country hunting or fishing trip, canoeing trip, or hiking the Pacific Crest or Appalachian Trail.
      Second choice set: Museums, zoos, natural parks (preferably before or after the main tourist season), or hike the 5K footers of New England.
      Third choice set: weekend hiking, fishing, camping, movie or show binge.

  24. Young relative needed a ride to a concert last night. Crunchy old Phantom ended up surrounded by screaming kids and listening to Palaye Royale at the Danforth Music Hall last night. The Phantom is not much use this morning, and I didn’t even get wasted at the bar during the concert.

    Point being, there are limits to strength. I hit mine a lot faster than I used to, and it takes longer to build steam again. Too much accumulated crap in the boiler tubes, I guess.

    But, I saw the same band a couple months ago at the Opera House. (Young relative is a fan.) Those kids were -tired- last night. Even 22 year olds can hit the wall. They looked like they needed a week off-tour at Mom’s house to chill out and stop the excessive drinking. Maybe eat something other than McFood.

    So yes, a week off between books to recharge the brain cells seems about right.

  25. “Forget chocolate, all I needed was a bed.”
    *GASP* Ms. Hoyt! A woman can NEVER forget chocolate! (unless you’re allergic, then that’s your problem)

  26. I believe Mr. Jerome said it best, “”I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours…”

    If you’ve never read Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, it might be a good choice for your week off (it’s easy to put down & pick back up again. I think you’d like it.

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