Seneca and Shiznit
Life is very busy, and I’ve been reading Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life during 15-minute lunchtime pizza breaks, as a kind of guilty pleasure. “Be careful who and what you spend your time on!” says Seneca, with a righteous fervor that inspired Elizabethan moralists and continues to live on in the works of God-damned leech on society Anthony Robbins. “For when you look back on your years, and subtract from the total all the time you spent currying the favor of one, all the time you spent in idle tasks, you’ll find that the tally accruing to you is small indeed.”
Seneca was a giant hypocrite, spending lots of time in a busy, lucrative legal practice and writing entire books fawning on rich patrons. What’s more, On the Shortness of Life is written to one Paulinus, who managed all the granaries of Rome, and therefore had just about the most important and useful job in the whole freaking ancient world. Seneca exhorts Paulinus not to waste his time on dull toil, but to contemplate life, etc. So Seneca is definitely the spiritual ancestor of “Who Moved My Cheese?” and other glad-handing idiots.
But, who am I kidding: it’s more fun to get caught reading Seneca in the elevator at work than to be seen reading Jack London, or anything with a big submarine carrying Nazi gold or (god forbid) some elven chick with a sword on the cover.
“Oh, yes, I read ancient philosophy, don’t you know. Lofty thoughts, lofty thoughts.” I can’t believe I just admitted that.
Lydia likes to be put to sleep one way, and one way only: I carry her in my arms, put loud music on the iPod, and then I dance around with her for 30 minutes. Any less, and she screams like her butt is on fire when I go to put her down in her crib. I can’t complain (much); it’s impossibly sweet to see that peaceful face when I’m bouncing around to some goofy late-nineties big-beat track by the Propellerheads. Though she’s ruining all the badass tracks in my playlist: now, when I play Pepe Deluxe’s Salami Fever, all I see is my daughter’s sleeping face. Boy, is Lydia going to be embarassed when she brings dates home to meet us. “And then I’d dance around with you like this! ‘Change my pitch up! Smack my bitch up!’ Wait, come back, here comes the bridge! This part is dope!”