The Hectic Schedule of an Unemployed Writer

“So, Ross, you’ve been wearing that outfit all week…”

-Julie, on a Thursday

It’s safe to say Julie’s ready for me to be gainfully employed once again. Not because she’s sick of me spending her income on frozen waffles and legos, but because a job would give me a reason to take a daily shower, put on deodorant most mornings and change out of my basketball shorts & cut-off t-shirt combination.

It got me thinking that my handful of loyal readers probably wonder what the hell I do with my time every day. Obviously you all know I’m running a world renowned blog, and that’s some serious shit. But I’ll admit I have plenty of free time on my hands. So here’s a glimpse at my daily schedule:

7:15am: While half asleep, try to think of ways to delicately ask Julie if she can get ready for work in a quieter way. Or if maybe she can get ready in the living room instead of the bedroom.

7:15 – 8:15am: Get my 10th hour of sleep, obviously.

8:15am: Finally ready to start my day. After putting on the standard gray basketball shorts and cut-off t-shirt, I have a race against the clock: Can I get my dog outside before she pees all over the carpet? I currently have a 75% success rate with this task.

8:30am: Fire up the computer to see if I’ve received any emails from people offering me writing jobs. Quickly remember I haven’t sent out any resumes or writing samples so it would be really strange if someone did email me to offer a job.

8:35 – 9:45am: Get distracted by the internet—Twitter, espn.com, Bank of America (daily habit to check my bank statement to see if my old job accidentally direct deposited two weeks worth of salary into my account)

9:45 – 10:15am: Light breakfast to energize myself for the day….4 eggs, half pound of bacon, hash browns, 3 slices of bread, 6-8 pancakes (small ones). Leftovers go to the dog.

10:15 – 10:45am: Exercise time. Most days I go for a jog, and to stay motivated I reward myself by jogging to a fast food place that has awesome milkshakes. I like to think jogging to the milkshake place and back offsets the calories in the milkshake. This is the route I take to the restaurant.

10:45 – 11:30am: You’d think a shower would be in order after such a long run, but you’d be surprised how many days a week I get home from exercising, sit in front of my computer and completely forget about my hygiene. So this time is usually spent looking at emails again.

11:30 – 12:30pm: Finally, it’s time to be productive. This is the first writing session of my day. What that means is I stare at a blank screen for five minutes, get frustrated that I can’t think of anything to write, then toggle over to twitter or a sports website and read through a few articles. This goes on for the full hour usually. By the end of this first session, I just like to convince myself that I have a good idea and when I sit down for session two later in the afternoon, I’ll finally start to write it.

12:30 – 1:30pm: Lunch. Even though I don’t have a real job, I like to stay in the rhythm of how a real job works. This means a one-hour lunch break. That’s the law. I don’t make the rules.

1:30 – 2:30pm: This is when I do some studying for my eventual career as a TV writer. Over this one hour, I can watch three episodes of whatever sitcom I choose. Recently it’s been Workaholics and The League.

2:30 – 2:45pm: Sit on the couch and send Julie text messages about things I think she should pick up on her way home from work. Usually it’s simple requests like a fountain Diet Coke, 50 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or a fire extinguisher. You can imagine that this is Julie’s favorite part of the day.

2:45 – 2:50pm: Gotta go check the mail. If a major film studio hasn’t emailed me a job offer, maybe they’re old-fashioned and sent me the offer via regular mail.

2:50 – 4:00pm: Time to come up with new story ideas for future TV scripts. Rather than sit at my computer and try to use my imagination for this task, I like to  generate story ideas by sitting on my balcony and trying to create backstories for other residents in our complex who I can see through their windows. For instance, why does the lady across the courtyard from us have to shake out her rugs twice a day? What’s going on in her apartment that’s making things so dirty? My theory is that she’s running a cocaine packaging and distribution center out of her apartment and she’s constantly getting residue on her rugs. Someday soon I’ll test this by running underneath her balcony and opening my mouth up like I do during a snowstorm while she shakes out the rug.

4:00 – 5:00pm: Shit, Julie’s gonna be home soon and I’ve literally done nothing productive today. Time to break out the notebook and index cards to make it seem like I’m deep into the middle of outlining a TV or movie script. A nice trick I’ve learned: the messier I make the kitchen table with all of my writing materials, the harder it looks like I’ve been working.

5:00 – 5:15pm: Julie gets home and sees me “hard at work.” She asks if I’m gonna be done soon so we can take the dog for a walk and chat about our day. I pretend to struggle to decide whether I should keep working or call it a night. I tell her, “I guess five straight hours of this is enough for today. Sure let’s go for that walk.”

5:15 – 6:00pm: Ross, Julie and dog go for a family walk while Ross thinks, “Tomorrow, I’m gonna write all day long. No excuses.”

The End.

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Expanding Our Family: First There Was The Dog, Now Announcing Plans for Our First Child*

*I should make it clear that my girlfriend is absolutely not on board with this plan, yet.

Having spent the past two months raising a baby dog (a “puppy” as they call it in the canine industry) and starting to understand what parents have to deal with when it comes to raising a human baby, it would be completely natural for me to say I never want to have kids. How many men in their 20’s don’t daydream of a life without kids? That dream consists of a great social life where I can go out any night of the week and party, or I can take whatever vacation I want for however long I want. It consists of having time to myself, never spending a penny on diapers, tuition or bail, and never having a single Sunday of football-watching disrupted by a fussy baby or by having to take a kid to his soccer game (or God forbid, her ballet class).

I admit it’s pretty harsh and unrealistic to say I never want kids. But how can I meet myself halfway on this one? Well after some serious soul-searching, I finally figured out the perfect crime. When I’m finally ready for a kid, I will adopt a 17-year-old boy.

This plan will satisfy the need to have a child (my eventual need and my girlfriend’s eventual need, which is a long ways away), but allows me to basically continue with life uninterrupted.

Think about it. I get to experience the joy of having my own son, building a family, and watching him grow up (for a year at least, until he’s off to college). But I won’t ever have to change a diaper, explain to a heartbroken kid that Santa Claus isn’t real or talk to a child about masturbation. Better yet, I won’t even have to drive the little shit anywhere since he’ll come fully equipped with a license and (hopefully) his own car. Actually, it sounds like I just found my new designated driver.

This isn’t just a selfish proposition for my advantage. I’m completely unfit to raise a baby that is anywhere between newborn and 13 years old. I don’t remember what it’s like to be in that age range, and I have no idea what that age of human needs to survive. But a teenager? That’s right in my wheelhouse.

Here are my only concerns with this plan:

-Are there even any children that age available for adoption?

-Let’s say I wan this to happen in three years…would someone allow a 32-year-old unemployed writer to adopt a 17-year-old?

-One of the main attractions of having a kid is the chance that he grows up to be super successful in business, athletics, politics or terrorism. When my 17-year-old adopted kid becomes ultra succesful, will he feel enough of a family connection to give me a cut of his success? Should I go with a 14-year-old instead so I have more time to build that relationship?

-Is it gonna be weird if I’m pushing my 17-year-old around in a stroller in public places to try to attract hot women (as other men obviously do with their infants)?

-Will I be fit to raise this teenager by myself when my girlfriend inevitably leaves me after she reads about this plan for the first time?