Issue #82 – “Daycrawlers” – January 30th, 2006

-Our nocturnal culture gets all the glory.  Putting in a late night at the office, pulling an all-nighter before an exam, partying until the brink of dawn – this is the stuff of legends.  But there is another side, an untold story.  There are a select group of twentysomethings, of which I am a part, who thrive during the daylight hours.  We are a group that doesn’t have an office or a classroom to go to.  Our time to shine is, well, when the sun is shining – but we do so from the comfort of own homes.  We are the self-employed, the unemployed, the writers, comedians, actors, and freelancers.  We may not have anywhere to go all day.  We may masturbate a lot.  And we may not have proper health insurance.  But we’re people, too.  Welcome to the world of daycrawlers.

-I’ve been a daycrawler since the summer of 2002, when I left Wall Street to focus on writing and stand-up full-time.  I quickly upgraded to a fully-equipped home office (i.e. I bought a stapler), and here I sit to this day.  In fact, when I’m not on tour, I’ve been known not to leave my apartment for days on end.  When I still lived with my roommate Brian, I used this fact as leverage.  I’d say, “Listen man, you left your dirty dishes out again.  I’m not threatening you, but just so you know, I’m gonna be in the apartment all week.  If you don’t clean up, there’s a chance my balls may graze your pillow.  A good chance.”

-When you’re in your apartment all day, you start to develop strange habits.  For instance, I like to sniff my tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.  I’m telling you, it smells fucking amazing.  Give it a whiff, you won’t be disappointed.  I’ve also become pretty adept at fending for myself in adverse situations.  Like when I chipped a tooth a few months ago.  I really didn’t want to drive to the dentist, so I just filed it down myself with a Swiss Army Knife.  What can I say?  Sniffing margarine makes you do crazy things.

-On the first of every month, like clockwork, I get a copy of Outside Magazine.  I don’t know why I get a copy of Outside Magazine.  After all, I don’t have a subscription.  One day, they just started sending it to me.  It’s quite ironic, too, because I rarely even go outside.  What I’d like to read, if it existed, is Inside Magazine.  Now that I could sink my teeth into.  Especially if it featured the latest advances in air conditioning.  To me, A/C is pretty much the peak of civilization.  As far as inventions go, the wheel was OK, the Internet, not bad.  But I mean, I think there’s gotta be room on the calendar for a holiday dedicated to the guy who invented air conditioning.  I’m thinking some time in summer.

-Anyone who’s ever suddenly been unemployed or who has finally gotten their first week off in a while, knows what those first few days outside the office are like: absolutely wall-to-wall packed with running errands.  I’ll be honest, I have no idea how people with “real” jobs run errands.  My entire life outside of my apartment consists of shopping lists, going to the bank, and getting home in time for the cable guy to fix my DVR.  Daycrawlers absolutely require DVR.  You want to know what’s on live on ESPN during the day?  Arm wrestling, professional juggling, and the Spelling Bee.  Believe me, it’s time to get worried when you actually take the time to Google “How do a lefty and a righty arm-wrestle each other?”

-In the end, working from home means being able to avoid my three least favorite things: tucking in my shirt, shaving regularly, and waking up early.  But us daycrawlers pay a price for such comfort by being consigned to a sort of twentysomething limbo.  Days off on holidays no longer have any meaning (even those dedicated to air conditioning).  Stationery and danishes are no longer free.  And calling a friend at the office and being told by his capable assistant that Mr. So-and-So is not available at the moment makes us second-guess our career choices.  Thankfully for me, though, such fleeting regret is easily dispelled by one glance at my facial stubble, one overt scratch of my balls, and a hearty whiff of margarine.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I work out 0-5 times a week, every week, no exceptions.  And so I’ve studied a lot of workout plans.  But I’ve finally found the one that’s right for me.  It’s called the “Whatever the Person Before Me Did” workout.  Here’s how it goes: whatever the person who used the machines or weights before you did, that’s what you do.  Lat pull-down bar already hooked up?  Lat pull-downs it is!  Bench already set at 150 pounds?  Looks like I’m benching 150 today!  The best part about this workout is that it combines exercise with laziness.  And you thought it couldn’t be done.

-It’s been a long time since I’ve written one of these, but here’s my latest list of people that irk, annoy, or otherwise piss me off:  People who send Evites that rhyme.  People who call their grandparents some weird nickname instead of “grandma” and “grandpa.”  People who always call me from a blocked number yet wonder why I screen them every single time.  Anyone who comes within fifty yards of me with a lit mother-fucking cigarette.  People who don’t write their names at the end of emails because they have an automatic email signature (i.e. Yo Karo, let’s get fucked up tonight you douche!  Kindest Regards, Joe Smith).  People who cry at movies they’ve already seen.  Really annoying people who complain about other people being really annoying.  People who insist on sharing dishes when eating Chinese food.  People who want to work out while on vacation.  The dude with the silver BMW in the tiny parking spot next to mine who hasn’t moved his car in three months.  People whose MySpace profile picture is an inanimate object or landscape.  And, finally, anyone who watches, tapes, supports, discusses, follows, votes for, or otherwise enjoys American Idol.  Phew!  That felt good to get off my chest.

-I want to give a shout-out to my sister Caryn, who celebrated her birthday last week.  My sis proofreads all my columns before I email them out, something she might be a tad overqualified for since she just got her Master’s degree.  But in my eyes, she really earned her stripes this past Thanksgiving Eve – the traditional holiday where everyone originally from New York returns home, goes out in the city, and gets absolutely hammercanned.  Usually this results in me missing most of the festivities the next day while nursing a five-alarm headache and getting made fun of by my sister.  But this year, I was a good boy and was back at my parent’s house on Long Island by 5am.  She, on the other hand, had five martinis, made out with the left wing on the New York Rangers, vomited in a diner, and passed out in the city.  The next day, as I spied my massively hungover sibling, unconscious in the next room and oblivious to the cranberry sauce flowing like water nearby, I thought to myself, “Wow…so THIS is what Thanksgiving is like!”

-And, finally, when I first thought about writing a column on daycrawlers, I was still living in New York, where it’s quite a novel concept.  But here in LA, nobody has an actual job and everyone’s around all day.  Here, the daycrawler is king.  Still, there’s one thing that daycrawlers everywhere complain about – the fact that our friends think that just because we work from home, we don’t actually do work.  Listen, just because I sat in my air-conditioned apartment today, flipping through Outside Magazine and looking at ads for Swiss Army Knives while watching juggling on ESPN, doesn’t mean I didn’t do any work.  This column doesn’t write itself you know.  Come on people, wake up and smell the margarine.  No, seriously, smell it.  Fuck me!