There’s a South Park episode in which Eric Cartman et al. get so sucked into an online video game that they end up practically leashed to their computers, shoving their faces with junk food and soaking up radiation from their monitors. The end result, before the denouement, shows them strung out from too much screen time, extra chubby and pimply faced.
Please, somebody, stage an intervention, because I have become one of those South Park kids.
I can’t seem to tear myself away from this computer—my husband’s big one, not even the little and cute version I call my own. I’m working on a revamp of my blog, which is turning out to be no small undertaking. I know what I want my new site to look like; I have it drawn on paper. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to make it happen out there, in the series of tubes.
Let me sum up my last week: there are a whole hell of a lot of web-related tutorials out there, and even though I have only read 0.000001% of them, it has been 0.000001% too many.
I don’t know what the link is between sedentary intensity and nonstop eating, but it’s real, let me tell you. Just tonight, since the kids have gone to bed, I have consumed one piece of carrot cake (my third since noon), one mug of sweetened tea, and a whole mess of popcorn.
Even worse, a triumvirate of puss sneaked up all stealth-like overnight and seized control of my forehead. These pubescent holdovers certainly happen to me (my kids poke their fingers at them and ask in their loudest voice, “What is THAT??”), but not usually so many at once. And not all clustered on my forehead, third-eye style.
I get like this sometimes. I think it’s my weird way of coping with the stress of starting something new and big and therefore oh-so-scary: I submerse myself in ridiculous amounts of research, attempting in vain to gain some sort of control (an illusion!) over the goal I’ve set for myself.
Actually, come to think of it, it’s not just one goal. More like four. Here are the projects I’ve given myself, now that my youngest has started preschool. As I have mentioned before, I am prone to overreacting:
- Write an autobiographical novel, tentatively titled Eleven Eleven: A Love Story, about yep, love. I’m so subtle.
- Write a nonfiction book, tentatively titled The Vintage Modern Life: An Old/New Philosophy for Living, which all started, really, from my affection for cast iron skillets. But it’s grown a bit since then; now it resembles a many-tentacled beast.
- Create a new website to hold this blog and some of the tiny bits that will one day (I hope) make up the above books, plus photos of my small attempts at art and design.
- Create a new paper collage for the header of my website, which is not such a huge project by itself, but to buy the wood for the header collage I had to buy a 4 x 8 foot piece of plywood, cut down kindly by Home Depot, so now I have several collage projects I am working on simultaneously.
Geez! Now that I see it all here staring back at me, I can only conclude I’m kinda nuts. But obsessively working on this stuff is better than obsessively looking for furniture on craigslist even though we don’t have any money to spend, which is what I would probably be doing otherwise.
I do need to confess, though, that crazy or not, my inner Queen Nerd is thoroughly enjoying this research phase. It’s the same part of me that thinks back fondly to my junior year in high school, when I nearly achieved total world domination in my Algebra II class, or the part of me that was a physics major for two years in college (which is hilarious now considering how my eyes cross when NOVA comes on TV). These days, I have a hard time remembering basic nouns when put on the spot (you know, when I’m speaking), so I guess it’s no surprise that delving into a new and geeky topic is having a Glory Days–esque effect on me.
Every day at lunch I’ve been telling my husband about a new technological tidbit I’ve learned: the changing face of fonts on the web, say, or the fallout from Google Panda. He says it’s good for my brain, all this mental stretching. Stretching is great, I agree, but this isn’t a few harmless yoga moves. This is becoming a slave to your StairMaster (something I would never do without the metaphor). Good for my brain or not, I gotta get out of here, this computer crazyland. I think it’s time I shift my focus to #4. Maybe the fumes from the glue will help clear my head.
© Amy Daniewicz