Posted tagged ‘boredom’

“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.”

August 11, 2016

Here I am again, inside the house retreating from the heat. Today will be in the high 80’s on the cape and the 90’s in Boston and north of Boston. My friend Bill sent me the weather from Bolgatanga, Ghana where it will be cooler than here and rainy. What’s with that, cooler in Africa than here?

I could do a couple of errands today, but I won’t. I’m staying housebound by choice. I have food and drink, a semi-full larder, so I’ll be content and cool. I’m even considering baking something.

I hit a wall in watching the Olympics so last night I hunted for something else. It ended up being Cupcake Wars. I traded one boring program for a really boring program, but I’m guessing those cupcakes inspired me to think about baking today. This morning I’ve already watched women’s water polo. That wall is getting closer.

Yesterday I did two loads of laundry. They by themselves are not remarkable, but, for once, I didn’t leave any laundry in the dryer. I am known for leaving laundry in the dryer for up to a week. The clothes come out really wrinkled, but I don’t care.

Books are on the table in front of me as is the TV remote. They represent the day’s diversions, things to keep me busy, things to help the day pass.

When I was a kid, I’d be bored by the middle of August. I had done all the fun things several times, and they had begun to lose their luster. The afternoons were often too hot to do much. I remember being at the park and sitting in the shade. We played some checkers at the table and worked gimp. I remember painting a tray for my mother. We couldn’t play softball. Little kids couldn’t use the slide and seesaw because of the heat. The metal slide would have burned the backs of their legs. August is always hot and humid.

Every month I get a report from my electric company on my usage and how it compares to my neighbors’ usage. My sister in Colorado happened to mention her report to me as her husband, Rod, showed her they were the highest in the neighborhood. I said mine was too. We both decided we didn’t care. We want to live comfortably: cool in summer and warm in winter. I’m sending my next one to Rod so he’ll see they are not alone.

Tonight after midnight the Perseids meteor shower will begin, but the best viewing is after 1 AM or even later. There will be an unusually high number of meteors tonight anywhere from 160 to 200 meteors per hour. The suggestion is to lie on your back and look straight up. Drinking caffein to stay awake was another suggestion. I’m thinking iced coffee.

“One who has hope lives differently.”

March 13, 2016

Today is another pretty day, warmer than it has been. I have feeders to fill so I’ll go out for a bit later.

I think I have a virus. It’s manifested by cleaning places not usually cleaned. Yesterday I took everything off my desk, which included snow globes and small wind-up toys from collecting phases. I could have written a short story in the dust. I cleaned the desk and washed all the globes and toys. I threw away papers from piles on the desk top. I organized everything. Next I lemon oiled the antique child’s desk in the bathroom. It holds all the guest towels. The den was next and I threw aways papers from a pile on the table. I had no idea why I saved what I did. There were phone numbers without names, old receipts and cards from different holidays. I threw away so much it can no longer be called a pile.

Today I am going to clean the cabinet under the bathroom sink. It serves a variety of purposes including being a liquor cabinet. I haven’t seen the back of that cabinet in years.

My sister diagnosed my virus as boredom. I think she is probably right. I think boredom is the whole reason for spring cleaning. I’ve been shut up in the house because of freezing days and snow. I have gotten tired of TV and have spent too many days just sitting around and reading. I need to be doing.

I saw a purple crocus this morning, and there are now three yellow ones. The dafs are close to blooming. The garden’s winter slumber is over. Every day I see something new. With morning papers in hand I walk around all the beds to make sure I haven’t missed anything. The purple crocus is hope springing to mind.

“Can you go cazy without knowing you’re crazy?”

February 15, 2015

The Cape has the only blizzard. Everywhere else has a major snowstorm. The wind is the difference. It has been as high as 65 MPH here but is now slowing down. The snow has stopped in Boston. We will be the last holdout. Bitter cold is coming tonight. In Boston the wind chill will be -30˚. During the rest of the week the temperature will hover around 0˚.  At the storm’s strongest, 4 inches of snow an hour fell last night. This winter has jumped from the 9th snowiest on record to the third, and winter is far from over. They are predicting another snow storm for Tuesday but a small one, only a few inches. The last two weeks have been described as an historic event.

I find myself talking aloud. I suspect it has to do with being stuck in the house with only the dog and cats for company. Gracie is the best listener. She looks right at me when I’m talking to her. She could be thinking I’m crazy, but I prefer to believe she is intently listening to what I have to say.

My Sunday papers are somewhere near the driveway. I am having withdrawal. When I opened the front door, I figured if I could see the papers I’d go get them. I didn’t even see the driveway.

Gracie went right out this morning with no hesitation. She really must have needed to go. She squatted then started to head for the backyard to finish her business but thought better of it and ran right back up the stairs to come inside the warm house. She is sleeping now, exhausted from her few minutes in the snow.

What to do today? Nothing piques my interest. The laundry is still in the hall, but I’m not so stir crazy that doing laundry has any appeal. Maybe I’ll watch a movie or read a book or maybe I’ll just stare out the window with glazed eyes and slacked jaw.

“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”

February 1, 2014

This morning is already 41˚. That’s a hot spell, time for sunscreen. Gracie, my weather barometer, has been outside pretty much the whole morning. She comes in every now and then for water and to make sure I’m still here.

The feeders have lots of different birds today, even mourning doves and winter robins. Hopeful is the best description for a day like today. It’s nature’s way of reminding us that winter won’t last forever. There will be more snow, that’s inevitable, and chilling to the bone temperatures but soon enough every day will be in the 40’s and then the 50’s then climbing from there. Green shoots will start appearing in the front garden by the end of this month and will become a calendar of sorts. As they grow taller, we’ll be closer to spring. Once they bloom color fills the garden and spring finally gains hold. The air gets that smell of freshness, of growing things, of flowers and grass. Cold mornings give way to warmer afternoons. Some vestiges of winter hang around for a bit longer but that’s okay. I always think of them as a last gasp.

This has been a strange week. Little holds my interest, not even books I usually devour. I won’t even mention television. I haven’t seen anyone to talk to since Sunday; I don’t count the man at the dump or the woman at the pharmacy. We didn’t converse. I could be the main character in a last person on Earth book, soon to be made into a major movie. In my empty world, there would be no vampires or zombies running around trying to drink my blood or eat my entrails. I imagine blue birds singing and flying above my head sort of like in Song of the South or Cinderella. Flowers are always in bloom. The sun shines, and the day is perfect in the 70’s. Yup, I’m living in a Disney movie. I don’t know, though, how long I can go without people and conversation, but I figure I’d be talking to myself a whole lot, but I do that now. I usually direct my comments to Gracie who listens with a cocked ear but doesn’t ever answer. She’d be in the book too. I do have an ending for this book. There I am surrounded by blue birds, my faithful dog by my side as I walk through the park. All of a sudden I hear someone whistling a tune, yup, a happy tune. I stop and gasp, my hand in front of my mouth, and say,”Hello?” I hear, “Hello” right back, and it isn’t an echo. I am not alone. It’s a happy ending.

Now you can understand I really need to get out more!

“Nothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It’s awful.”

May 7, 2013

Some time during the early morning it must have rained but only a little as the driveway under the tree branches was dry. The rain has left the day cloudy, damp and quite still. Not a single branch, not even the smallest, is moving, and I don’t see or hear any birds.

When I went outside to get the papers, the morning had a sweetness about it. I could smell the garden and the flowers: scents made all the stronger by the dampness.

Gracie just chased Maddie but only because she’s bored. Maddie didn’t seem all that concerned. On days like today, Gracie is in for a while then out for a while; she pulls her toys out of the toy box then leaves them to go outside and bark. I left the front door opened because she loves watching the world through the storm door though my street is so quiet I can’t imagine what holds her interest. I think Gracie’s hoping for the unexpected.

We’re going to get our new dump sticker today and later Peapod will deliver my groceries. Sadly, those are the highlights of my day. Gracie and I must be suffering from the same ennui.

I used to drive my mother crazy at times when I’d complain there was nothing to do. I suspect there was really plenty to do, but I was just in one of those moods when nothing held my interest for too long, a lot like today’s mood, the one Gracie and I seem to be sharing. This morning I did the crossword puzzle but I didn’t do the cryptogram. I just couldn’t get my head to focus long enough to figure it out. That happens every now and then.

I know the sort of day I’ll have. There seems to be a routine for days like today: I’ll read a little, go through some catalogs, watch some programs I’ve DVR’ed and take a nap. I’ll sigh a lot.

“Between Ennui and Ecstasy unwinds our whole experience of time.”

December 29, 2012

Today is raw which was always my mother’s description for damp and cold. The sky is that grey-white color which means rain or snow or, in our case, a bit of both. The snow will start off-Cape tonight while we’ll get rain then the tail end of the snow storm will hit us and bring maybe an inch or two or even up to four.

I’m not going anywhere today. The outside world doesn’t look all that inviting. I do have to fill a couple of feeders, and I’ll put the new one out and maybe fold and bring up the clothes in the dryer but that last one is a long shot.

When I sit down to write Coffee, I am often at a loss as to what to say. Day-to-day, or at least my day-to-day, is so consistent it lends itself to ennui, to boredom. Didn’t she just write about that I imagine you’re thinking as you read about Gracie and the weather. Other days my mind is filled with all sorts of neat stuff. Some of it is imaginative, and it grows out of daydreaming or a TV program or a book I’m reading, and I share even though you might think it borders on the crazy, the very weird. Memories often fill my mind triggered by something I saw or even smelled. You have all been to Ghana with me so many times I wonder if you groan and say, “Not Ghana again!” On my sloth days you already know that I’ll be doing nothing except reading and eating the proverbial bon bons.

What brought all this on? Well, one of the blogs I have been reading for years, Letters from a Hill Farm, is closing down. Nan has decided, “To live my life without writing about my life.” That got me thinking. I have been writing Coffee since 2004, the year I retired. I wrote every day for several years then I started taking Wednesdays off, a sort of mid-week breather. After my coffee and papers every morning, I sit in front of the computer hoping I have something to say, something you’ll enjoy or remember or something you can relate to. Where am I going with this? Not away as I really like writing and I love my Coffee family. I just want to be reassured that on days like today when I have nothing to say you’ll still listen.

“I’d rather be a little weird than all boring.”

November 2, 2012

The morning is nearly gone. I slept in and then took my time reading the papers and checking my e-mail. All of it was a delaying tactic as I knew my mind was empty, devoid of original thought. The idea of filling a blank page was scary. What’s to say? The problem is I’m bored. I even thought about going through the cabinet hunting for my apple slicer, corer. The whole absurd idea of cabinet foraging is indicative of how far gone I must be. I remember summers when I’d whine to my mother there was nothing to do in the whole town. This is one of those moments. Sure, Gracie and I could go for a ride but what’s to see?  Maybe we should shop: the use of maybe tells you how really bored I am. Never do I use maybe and shopping in the same sentence. I suppose I should change my bed. Whoopee!! (which must be read with a tone oozing sarcasm). Maybe I should read those catalogs: the pile is high enough to be dangerous should it fall on one of the cats, but I know that won’t work. I’ve tried it before. The catalog ends up on the floor as soon as boring rears its ugly head. The house is dusty and, given my mood, will stay dusty. Cleaning is never the solution for anything.

My landscaper cleared the yard yesterday. I can see my grass, the driveway and the deck. All the leaves and pine needles are gone. I watched out the front door. Looking back, I realize that was the first indication of creeping ennui. Leaf raking and blowing will never be interesting yet I stood and watched.

TV last night sent me reading. I’ve started Stolen Prey, a John Sandford. I read three pages then put it down. Even mass murder couldn’t hold my interest.

The last two Walking Dead programs are on my DVR. I suppose I could watch zombies eating live people and live people killing zombies. Such fun is almost overwhelming to contemplate.

Well, this is it. I’ve finally run out of words.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

October 14, 2011

The day is still, one of those damp days which seems to smother movement. It’s warm, not even a sweatshirt day. I heard the rain earlier this morning, but I just nestled and went back to sleep. I swear it got light for a bit, but I think the sun felt overwhelmed by all the clouds and went back inside to mull over its future.

You know I love the rain, but a succession of rainy days tends to get dreary, to make me a bit lethargic. Yesterday we did errands, including Gracie’s favorite spot, the dump, but today only the laundry awaits. Nothing exciting there. Maybe I should add dusting. Nope, that doesn’t do it either. I do have a book, but that seems too easy: lying on the couch and reading. I guess Gracie and I will venture out to see what awaits us in the world today. You never know what you’ll find.

If I were a character in a Stephen King novel, I’d find something during the venture which I, in retrospect, would wish I’d never found. It might be the store with the strange man behind the counter, a man dressed in a black suit and wearing a fedora who might even have an unlit cigar hanging out of the side of his mouth. His store is filled with what looks commonplace, but he’s really offering time or place or a wish he’d grant which I’d come to rue later, too late I might add. Festivals are common on the Cape this time of year. This weekend  I can attend a scallop festival, an apple festival or harvest day at Bray Farm. It’s that last one which has the potential of Stephen King about it. A hay ride is always part of the day, and I’m thinking of scarecrows with hellish grins who move when you’re not looking or a trail leading to a place none of us recognize. There are chickens on the farm. I mean, really, what farm doesn’t have chickens. Chickens have beaks, and when a brood of hens join forces and attacks, none of us are safe. Oops, now I’m straying into Alfred Hitchcock territory. It’s the rain. It has my brain astir. My imagination is running amok. Where is my book? Gracie, the couch is mine!

“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”

September 27, 2011

This morning it was coffee and papers on the deck. The morning was warm and sunny. Gracie found a cool spot and fell asleep, sort of keeping me company. The birds were plentiful as I had filled the feeders yesterday. The deck, however, brought me a bit of sadness. Some of the flowers are dead as are a few of the herbs. The sun feels different and its shine is muted.

When I had finished the papers, I decided to go into the backyard and collect the branches which had fallen during the summer and the hurricane. After I dragged one huge branch I couldn’t even lift the whole length of the yard, I decided that was it for the day. I did find Gracie’s favorite toy and brought it back inside.

It doesn’t happen often, but I have been bored of late. I’m guessing it is the letdown after my trip. I start to read then get tired of my book and then look to find something else to do. The other day it was dust seldom if ever seen places. Today we’re going to the dump, a Gracie trip as it does nothing for me.

We rode down cape a bit yesterday as I was going to a shop which sells frames so I could hang a few of my favorite Ghanaian shots. The store has been replaced. I shrugged and figured it was all part and parcel of my boredom as even my errands come to naught. I went the back road home hoping the farm store would be open. It wasn’t even there. A squirrel has eaten a chunk from the pumpkin I just put by the front steps. I think I am in the middle of a conspiracy of sorts.

“His socks compelled one’s attention without losing one’s respect”

September 26, 2011

Today is perfectly beautiful. The sun is warm without being hot, the sky is blue and there is a slight breeze. All week the temperature will be in the low 70’s. I doubt it gets much better than this.

My right arm is peeling, a souvenir from my Ghanaian journey. On the way up-country to Tamale, I got quite the sunburn. I told Thomas, my driver, I had to sit backwards all the way to Accra. He told me I would be uncomfortable.

Every now and then I run into a day when I have absolutely nothing going on in my head. I stare out the window hoping for some sort of inspiration and am usually disappointed. The neighborhood has a barking dog at the moment, and that’s the only excitement, and I’m stretching the meaning of excitement by even using that word. I guess this will just have to be a stream of consciousness day.

When I was young, the tops of all my socks were stretched and hung down near my shoes. My mother told me not to pull on the tops to put them on my feet. I never listened, and I really didn’t care if they were stretched. I’m not even sure if I cared if they matched. I have a friend who only wears white socks, the same kind of white socks. He never minds losing one sock.

I can sew on a button so it stays on. Sometimes I sew it so well I can’t get it into the button hole. The button has no give. My clothes can be wrinkled or faded, but I won’t wear shirts missing buttons. I even have a box of buttons so I can through and try to match the missing one. I don’t sew anything else.

Crooked pictures drive me crazy as do candles leaning to one side or the other. The rug in the living room is an area rug. It came from Turkey, and I love it for its figures and its muted colors. I have this thing about the sides being placed exactly the same on each outside board. The dog is prone to bringing her toys to that rug and play on it. She also brings a biscuit to picnic on the rug. Both things drive me crazy, but I allow them and then go back and clean up and move the rug so it is even. I figure it’s a small thing in the realm of things.

I don’t always make my bed. Strangely enough I did when I worked, and back then I left for work by 6:20 each morning. I think the reason I don’t now is every day has the potential of being a nap day, and I’d hate to mess up a well made bed.

Well, it’s time to finish. My heart is pumping. Two dogs are now barking, and Gracie is going out to investigate. I’m not sure how much more excitment I can take!