Monday, June 30, 2008

Running on fumes

I’m exhausted.

Seconds after I revealed this to Liz, she said the same. I can only assume that she’s naturally lazy, and laziness is now a communicable disease. Thanks Liz.

It’s the work. We’re both still very much involved in the physical part of the painting business, as well as the project management and supervision, and then nights and weekends we spend our time doing what we can to keep everything moving forward – papers signed, certificates faxed, emails emailed, marketing marketed, accounting accounted. This makes our typical day begin at roughly 8:30am, pause for a few moments at 5:00 to catch our breath, and then dive into the mental strain for another 4 to 5 hours. I barely have the energy to remember to politely ignore the subway panhandlers instead of shooting them the kneejerk “your life is so much easier than mine, and you know it, and you know that I know it, and you know I can’t say that out loud, and I hate you for it” look.

“Free time” is quite different for us too, compared to the rest of the working middle class. Any time not holding a paint brush, clipboard, or mouse is devoted nearly exclusively to as horizontal of a position as we can manage, depending on the situation (too easy...moving on...). I have slept in my office twice in the past year. Liz started to laugh at me when I told her this, but lost consciousness midway through her third cackle.

It’s starting to affect our weekly admin meeting time too. This past Saturday’s meeting we talked about sleeping in bed for the rest of the day for a good 10 minutes, neither of us eager to get to the task at hand. And somehow our quarterly goals transitioned from a measurable dollar amount to a measurable REM count.

Oh yes, and I’d also like to bike 12,000 miles – no problem, right?

It’s been about a week since I’ve been able to document anything about the trip, basically because when I do have time, even the thought of typing wears me out. It’s two things: time and energy, not nearly enough of either. I’m still so wrapped up in running the business, reliant upon it as a steady income, that I’m so exhausted at the end of the day. I eat as healthy as I can on the go, which is a lot better than just a few years ago in college, but it’s nowhere close to what I know I should be eating (organic, raw, etc.).

So, I’ll be focusing on the things on my trip’s pre-planning to-do list that will directly address these, and put them before everything else right now:

1. Remove myself from the business ASAP, putting my income on autopilot

2. Wean myself off my current diet toward a raw-foods only one.

3. Begin regular exercise regimen.

This should take care of both problems: the time from the business, and greater energy from the diet and exercise. I’ve been through a liver/gall bladder cleanse before too, and I remember a giant boost of energy after that, so I’ll add that to the list as well:

4. Undergo 14-day gall bladder/liver cleanse

Case in point: Yesterday (Sunday) I woke up at 11:30 - SUPER late for me, usually a 7:30/8:00 riser – plus, I couldn’t find the willpower to move from that spot for another 2 hours. When I finally did, every step to the shower felt excruciating, and it took everything I had left not to crawl back in bed afterward. I remember triple-all-nighters in the architecture studio that were easier to deal with than my current 11 hours of rest.

I had to visit the corner store pusher man. Oh yes, my blood-coffee content is about .08 these days, requiring a refill at least every 3 hours…I know, I know, it’s just making things worse…but there’s… do…

And that’s how an hour later I found myself running across thousands of pounds of steel toward Brooklyn during a lightning storm. I’m lucky I live in a country that doesn’t believe in natural selection.

Soho to Brooklyn and back, across both bridges, literally through pouring rain for the final 20 minutes. And to depart from the sardonic narrative for a fragment of a sentence – it was fucking awesome. I’ve always had more fun dodging taxis on my bike than moving 6 feet over to the bike lane, so I felt right at home running in conditions any salient homo-sapien would have justified as gym-worthy.

I was able to sustain enough energy afterward to do my skanky laundry and get some groceries, that the decision was made…Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursday mornings I would run in the mornings, until I got a new bike.

As a side note, I was able to check out Olafur Eliasson’s waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge, as suggested by a client:

Clearly a dangerously insane man.

The structure is supposed to mimic the scaffolding you see on the streets every other block -- because that's what every New Yorker wants to see more of, of course. Maybe it’s because I grew up very close to ‘nature’, or that I’ve been to Niagara, but I thought it was pretty lame, at least the one (of four) that I saw, despite Olafur's esoteric spatial-temporal claims of impressiveness. Plus, it’s strategically placed where no one visiting the city on the famed bridge can get access to it, as was the intrigue of the “Gates” in Central Park a few years ago. There’s a much cooler one at Sutton Place Synagogue on E. 51st St I discovered recently:

The picture doesn't do it justice, it's huge up close. One of the few spots in the city that traffic noise is completely drowned out while still all around you. Pretty eerie, like crossing the Hudson to visit the other "New Yorkers"... (so which part of Manhattan did you say Hoboken is located?).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well this comment is long overdue. I actually don't know how to respond as I had about 10 different emotions reading through your blog. But first: Amazing. Absolutely amazing idea. You do realize you actually have to carry through with all this now? It's on the internet.

Second: What is up with those waterfalls? It's ugly. I have an immense amount of pride for the Brooklyn bridge it being worked on by one great-grandfather, the responsibility of my maternal grandfather and also my favorite place to run and spend New year's eve. I now understand the Parisians and the Eiffel Tower.

Where was I? Oh Third:

This is actually entertaining to read. You have talent my friend and are inspiring me to think of some great big all encompassing goal for myself (besides move to CT, snag a rich man, and have a baby). One can dream big.

Is the world truly ready for your sense of humor and rich opinions with such regularity?