A Short List of Mistakes I’ve Made

The Artist At Work

1. Going into Credit Card Debt. I have like five or six credit cards. None of them are “maxxed out” per se, but they’re all close to the limit. Each one was opened with a Very Good Reason in mind– this car needs a new set of tires, this keyboard needs a new computer, this backyard needs a victory garden, this jaw needs a root canal and a crown, this writer needs a vacation, this Kickstarter really needs to be funded, this outfit looks cute, this car needs a new transmission, this writer needs another vacation but this time with his husband, etc. (okay, maybe I have more than five or six credit cards). On any given card, about the time half of the initial debt was paid, I started using them for stupid things, like books, or groceries, or craft supplies. So now I’m in debt. Badly.
4/5 ughs; would not recommend

2. Adopting poor posture at the computer. I was a grad student in my 20s. I studied linguistics and I wrote a lot of papers hunched over a keyboard. I made a lot measurements of the spectrograms of consonants and vowels while hunched over a mouse. I also played on the internet a lot, not entirely looking at porn, but again, often hunched over. My right arm will likely be unusable by the time I’m 45. Fingers crossed I have the kind of insurance that will pay for robot hands! But I probably won’t.
2 out of 5 ughs; probably won’t change my ways

3. Choosing tea over coffee this morning. I like tea, I really do. I love it, probably. Tea is great. Tea is my lifelong friend, with me as my beverage of choice since I was 14 (imagine a gay little fourteen year old know-it-all, in morning detention, pulling out of his satchel a tea cup, saucer, bottle of hot water, and a tea bag, then walking up to the Principal’s desk and asking if he had any cream). But in the last few years, I became a morning coffee convert after discovering the French Press Method (which is now declassé compared to the pour over, but I’m drinking Bustello, so whatever. I’m still just a dick, really). And, y’know, coffee shops—where I work as a writer—have coffee not tea.  So I’ve moved tea to the afternoon or evening, if at all most days.  Also, tea in the morning gives me indigestion. Yet this morning, I chose tea. Now I’ve got reflux.
5 out of 5 ughs; where’s the g-d- Alka Seltzer?

4. Whatever I Did To My Body That Made It Old. You just read about me getting “tea-reflux”, right? And my right shoulder basically hasn’t worked since I was 25. WTF did I do to my body to deserve these Old Man Ailments already? I’m only just now Not Young. I’m at least 30 or 40 years from being Officially Old. How the hell is my body crumpling already? What did I do? Why didn’t anyone tell me that sitting on your ass hunched over a computer for eighteen hours a day would be a problem? And are those hemorrhoids? Ack.
3 out of 5 ughs; get off my lawn

5. Something something Job Career. Something I’ve done or not done in my job or career has been a mistake. I’ve fucked something up. It’s not that I’m trying to be being vague about it (even though I am), it’s that there are so many ways I’ve done or not done something to fuck up my job or career that this is more a koan or axiom than a statement of specifics. Meh.
1 out of 5 ughs; I would rate it half an ugh, but that’s apparently not an option on this shitty blog

6. Ehm. But like…. I wonder if becoming a writer goes here? It’s haaard. And it makes my shoulder hurt. And it put me in debt because writers don’t get paid very well. And it forced me to become a coffee drinker. And it’s kind of an isolating career choice? Ugh.
4 out of 5 ughs; I hope this piece plays in Poughkeepsie