Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Working but not working

I'm often accused of being the busiest freelancer in all of Los Angeles.

Whenever headhunters or creative service managers call, I frequently have to decline because I am booked elsewhere.

I enjoy being busy, namely because it puts food on my table and keeps the hungry Accounts Payable folks from the University of Washington off my ass. Putting a kid through college is expensive, fill up those 529 accounts you young parents.

But after 10 months of solid steady work through the bulk of 2014, I decided to take a little "me" time. I didn't do any smiling and dialing. I didn't alert folks of my availability. And I didn't work the network.

Fortunately, the phone cooperated.

Of course I am cursed with an unholy relationship with my computer.

So instead of doing what I should have done, I spent the better part of the last three weeks, waking up early, drinking copious amounts of coffee and clacking away on the keyboard like some harried cub Metro reporter on a midnight deadline.

I should have rewarded myself with some down time. Gone off in the car on a road trip. Played some golf. Or read some books at the beach, where, sorry East Coast friends, it is still balmy and in the high 80's.

I didn't do any of that. Perhaps because there have been three untimely passings from my Chiat/Day family. Three unmistakable reminders that our time here is short. And there are no guarantees. So, I've recommitted myself to write more -- with the hope of getting another book published. Due in large part to the various emails and feedback I get from you.

"I love your blog."

"I wake up and read R17 first thing in the morning."

"You're a sanctimonious self-righteous, self-obsessed pig. Keep up the good work."

The routine is not at all unpleasant.

I shit.
I shower.
I don't shave, my beard is surprisingly white for a 44 year old man and has given me the look of a young Walt Whitman.
I make fast work of my online chess opponents.
And then I rattle off 1000 to 1500 words a day.
About 258 of them are actually usable.

At the end of the day I like to get some exercise in and have been walking from my house to very popular Baldwin Hills Overlook Stairs. I spotted the sign (pictured above) at a vacant storefront off Jefferson. And you know me, I'm a sucker for a good cheap laugh.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, you also can't beat the views from the top of the hill.

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