Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The town, it conspires against me.

Yesterday I watched a talk (on the internet, not in person) by Peter Sagal on the origins of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Before he began working for NPR, Peter Sagal was a playwright, and a few minutes into his talk he had this to say about writing: "Being a writer, there is nothing more important to me, nothing more precious to me, nothing more central to my focus than how, and for how long, I am going to procrastinate."

Cut to:

It is mid-afternoon. I am not procrastinating. I am writing.

Suddenly, there is a very loud and terrible noise outside, a sound that signifies hugeness and voltage.

The electrity in the entire town buzzes and shuts off.

Outside, someone yells, "Shit!"

The electricity buzzes and goes back on.

I look out the window, see nothing, re-set the clock on my stove, spend five minutes wondering what that was all about, and decide how, and for how long, I am going to blog about it.

I relate this story in the context of Peter Sagal's take on writing merely to stress that sometimes distractions are not 100% my own fault.


Katie said...

That single line was when I sent you that video clip. (I didn't finish the talk until yesterday night.) But, that said. YOUR TOWN IS WEIRD. Peer Gynt, Electricity. Christmas Carols. People yelling, "Shit!" I'm a good procrastinator, but I'd be bloody brilliant if I lived in your apartment! (That said, your town is very, very cute...but weird. Very weird. Like tv show weird. OMG. You could procrastinate by writing a tv show. I'm procrastinating by making this comment even longer.)

Ivan said...

not to mention the crazy angle of your floor... there's probably a heart buried under there or something.

Simon said...

The Peer Gynt thing really freaked me out. If there is one single piece of music you do not want suddenly to come out of nowhere, it's Peer Gynt. And it was LOUD. That pretty much blew my concentration. Which wasn't my fault either. This is a lovely town but very distracting.

P.S. Thanks Ivan, now when people pass by with their bass thudding I will think to myself, "Is that a car, or the heart under the floor?"

Katie said...

Which movement of Peer Gynt? I assume cause it was freaky it was In the Hall of the Mountain King and not Dawn. Cause Dawn is really happy and pretty...

Seriously though. I think that if that one show, Wonderfalls, had been in Niagra Falls and your town (don't ask me how) it would have made it. That's how awesome your town is. (But not good for concentrating, I'd agree, even though I've spent less than 72 hours total there in my entire life.)

Also, I never noticed your floor being crazy angled. That reminds me of an episode of How I Met Your Mother. If your floor is crazy angled, you should definitely play Hungry Hungry Hippo. And you should not read anything by Edgar Allan Poe for the remainder of your residency.

Katie said...

PS. I am now listening to the entire Peer Gynt Suite and wondering why it is so pretty.

Simon said...

Yes, it's the Hall of the Mountain King part. It partly creeps me out because Matt used it in the soundtrack of Alice in Her Own Personal Literary Hell, which I don't think you've seen. I can't remember which part it's in, but the whole thing is kind of disconcerting so I always associated it with EVIL.

But yes, Dawn is pretty! I should listen to the rest.

I'm happy you like my town. Please move here. Or get your parents to move here. Sadly, though, we do not have bartenders like the guy from Wonderfalls.

There is also an angled-floor scene in that show from back in the day... Mad About You. Obviously a tv show should be filmed in/around my apartment.

Matthew said...

"Mountain King" is used when Alice chases the rabbit down the hall, in the wagon. Sorry Katie P, I can't describe it better, you'll just have to see it some day. I actually own Peer Gynt on CD, but have never listened to the entire piece. :: digs it out for this week ::

I have always wanted to see Wonderfalls. The cancellation of Pushing Daisies broke my heart.

I miss How I Met Your Mother like whoa. I haven't seen ANY of last season, let alone this season.

Also the procrastination quote is perfect.

Anonymous said...

I think that this very funny post deserves a comment, but maybe I'll do it tomorrow.... I mean, why rush into this....Besides, I might get kicked out of the Procrastinator's Club if I posted something before next month.... If we ever had any meetings... or if anyone made a motion that wasn't tabled for later discussion, probably would be forgotten about anyway... Well... Write something today? - No, no, next week would be soon enough, I guess, perhaps, but I might be kind of busy then.... Oh, and what if it snows a whole lot? I might be trapped in the house and not have anything to do if I write a comment now, so... better wait a bit and see what happens... Yeah, next month would be good... I hope... But we might go to see the Titanic exhibit then, or not... If I really should do anything at all... well....