Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Do I ...

Time once more for Mama Kat's Writer's Challenge. This week the prompt I am going to consider is:
2.) How do you stave off boredom?
(inspired by Jenn's Pen)

This is a question with a million answers for me. I love to read (sci-fi, mystery, science, magazines, just about any genre), I love to golf, I love to noodle on my computer, I love to read text books for graduate level math and physics, I love walking the streets and parks of town, ... So for me, the real issue is seldom how to stave off bordom, but rather how to make enough time to pursue all the things I love to do.

You will notice that nowhere did I mention a love of attending meetings in my list. That is because I don't. But in the current job, there seem to be more of them that any one person should have to suffer through. So, since I spend so much time in meetings, many of them prone to being as interesting as watching paint dry, let's modify the question to "How do I stave off boredom in meetings?"

Some further restrictions to make it harder to avoid boredom:
  • No handheld electronic devices
  • No hidden IPod masquerading as a hearing aide
  • No Richard Nixon mask to hide your face
  • No holographic movie projection system attached to your glasses
  • No hiring a sit-in to take your place

Method #1: A pad of paper and a Pilot G-2 pen should always be in your hand as you arrive for the meeting. That way you can doodle to your heart's content with the smooth feel of flowing ink. Even if you have no artistic skills what-so-ever, you can enjoy making caricatures of the other attendees.

Method #2: Multiple games of tic-tac-toe. Even more exciting if the person sitting beside you joins in.

Method #3: Make up new and exciting quotes by famous people that they never said. For extra boredom avoidance, the quotes should be splices of the actual quotes from real people. E.g. "I regret that I have but one country in which I am not so famous." - Patrick H. Berger. (The two base quotes for forming this spliced quote are givin in the first comment.)

Method #4: Count the ceiling tiles, count the number of holes in one tile, then use the results to calculate an estimate of the holes in the entire ceiling. For extra boredom avoidance potential, estimate the size of a tile and form an estimate of the areal hole density.

Method #5: Strangle yourself with your shoelace. This can be especially challenging if you are wearing slip-on shoes.


  1. The spliced quote is a combination from Patrick Henry and Hans Berger.

    I regret that I have but one live to give for my county. - Patrick Henry

    In Germany I am not so famous. - Hans Berger

    Thus we get:

    I regret that I have but one country in which I am not so famous." - Patrick H. Berger

  2. I love number two and four. That would certainly cure boredom. The biggest meetings I have are ones with Barbie and her trusty sidekick Thomas the Train. Maybe that's spliced activities then?

  3. Love the last one, this really put a smile on my face. Just saying hi from a very new blogger!!

  4. I am delighted that your PhD isn;t wasted ;-)

  5. LOL... I like that last one. Some of your solutions are too smart for me. I like being bored for the same reasons as you... gives me time to do what I like.

  6. We are so much alike. I, too, am rarely bored, but then I don't have to attend as many meetings as you. In my post. I mentioned carrying a small notebook ---one can always doodle or make lists of what you'd rather be doing. Since the answer is probably "anything" the list will be very long and take up the entire meeting.

    I recently read that tests show that people who doodle listen better and retain what they have heard longer. My teachers used to get on my case for doodling ---but I was just being a good student.

    Very humorous. Enjoyed your post.

  7. I'm pretty sure I've spent some time doing ceiling tile math. I hate math.

    Your quote idea is great. That could be a very fun game!

  8. Seriously great tips. And I emailed you a job app for Mr Poppins. Don't worry there are no meetings to attend. I try to please the help.

  9. I've use the ceiling tile calculation one before, but it wasn't at a meeting. We had ceiling tiles in our bedroom when I was married in another life...and yes, THAT "meeting" was boring. The bedroom was 19 x 12 (I still remember that). Not married to that dull fella anymore.

  10. I like method number 3.. that's hilarious. Maybe Mama Kat will use it as a writing prompt next week :) That could get real fun

  11. Oh man I love those ideas. I'll have to remember some of them for the next time I'm hit with boredom.

    I think my favorite is #3 althought the shoelace one is a means to an end of boredom i guess.

  12. You always crack me up even if you don't try!!! I am definitely a doodler so #1 would be a must!! #3 cracks me up though so I may have to try that one!!

  13. LOL I like the last idea best... you could also use a belt! Just something to think about!

  14. AWESOME!!! Those are creative and actually plausible (except strangling myself with slip-ons). Might I suggest visiting Black Hockey Jesus's site. You might like his writing too!

  15. Oh my gosh the quoting famous people is genius. I'm going to do that in my down would help if I knew famous quotes.

    ps Make up a writing prompt for next week and I'll throw it in! I got a lot of crap for making up the volleyball story last time...all kinds of people calling me a liar and such. I was all, "IT WAS PART OF THE PROMPT!!" Only you truly understand me. ;)


You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

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