I am a very boring guy

Recently I was asked this question: “Do you take weekends off to do some fun things? I hope you take a break once in a while.”

Here’s my rambling reply (with a few revisions):

Do I take weekends off to do some fun things?

No. Everything I do is fun to me. I enjoy building things. I enjoy exercise. I enjoy reading books, and I enjoy writing them. I enjoy going out to see a movie at the theater (mostly alone). I don’t pay for cable TV, because I can’t stand all the advertisements and news that is almost always depressing especially with Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Trump is nothing but a pile of vile orange turkey crap. Why let him ruin my day? If I watch anything on a TV, it is after 8 PM and it is always from a DVD.

In short, I enjoy life, because every day is a holiday to me and has been since I retired more than twelve years ago. Sometimes I go out to eat alone and sometimes with a friend or friends. I enjoy eating alone or with friends as long as the food is healthy and my definition of healthy food doesn’t match most people, because I’m a vegan and have been for thirty-five years. Most American’s would not go one day without meat, sugar, sodas, sugar, dairy products, or sugar.

Going out to dance would not be fun for me so I don’t do that. Going out to party is not fun to me, and I don’t go to bars because drinking booze or beer is not fun to me. Paying to go and watch a football game or any sports would not be fun to me.

Celebrating my birthday is not fun to me. Celebrating any holiday is not fun to me, because every day is a holiday to me. If I get through a day without pain, loss or an injury that is a good day and most of my days are good ones.  And even when I injure myself, I do what I have to do to treat the wound, and return to what I was doing when I injured myself. Since I’m a woodworker and have a lot of dangerous power tools, I do cut myself and all I do is clean the wound, pack it with cayenne pepper, bandage the wound, and get back to work. The cayenne pepper stops the bleeding, protects the cut from infection and blocks the pain from the cut so I don’t feel it. It also speeds up the healing process.

If I had to go back to work to a job with a boss, that probably would not be fun because during the 45-years I worked and had bosses most of them were tyrants and/or were incompetent, and I even hated a few of them. But since I retired, every day is a fun day just because I’m alive and healthy to enjoy it. I have no desire to spend money just to have fun. For instance, I have no desire to visit theme parks like Disneyland. To me, that is an expensive waste of time. In addition, even though I was once a gambler and card counter, I don’t gamble today. Even though it isn’t illegal, there is too much stress counting cards in a casino and avoiding getting caught. I did that for several years and always won more than I lost, but the stress wasn’t worth it.

I take and enjoy life one day at a time no matter what I’m doing. I see no difference between any official holiday and all the other days of the year. They are all equal to me. I think most people have been programed to spend too much money on official holidays, but spending money to make someone else wealthier, isn’t fun to me.

I enjoy listening to music and right now that music is from Grace VanderWaal or Angelina Jordan, the eleven-year-old Norwegian jazz singer. For instance, this video of Angelina singing is incredible and I never get tired of watching it.

Every time I watch this video, I have fun because of Angelina’s amazing voice. Wow!

And I’ve watched Grace VanderWaal’s first concert for her first concert tour so many times, that I have lost count. Every time I watch her first Austin City Limits Music Festival concert for her own fans, I enjoyed stopping the replay to scan the crowd looking for expressions of joy and there was a lot to enjoy. For me, that is fun. And Grace’s expressions of joy are fun to watch too. It’s obvious that she is having fun providing music for her fans.

I have a vast choice of things to do every day that I enjoy doing. The list is so long that I have to manage it so I don’t spend too much time doing one thing. For instance, I just got in from doing two hours of yard work and I enjoyed the results and the fact that it was also free exercise. Now I’m writing this post and when I’m done, I’ll work on a chapter for my next book.

Why pay someone to mow my lawn while my body rots? It is a fact that if we don’t use our bodies, our bones will become brittle and we will lose muscle mass. Why should I pay someone to do the yard work for me and then pay to join a gym and exercise when I can do it for free?

For those two hours mowing, trimming and cleaning the yard, I was constantly on the move and I think that counts the same as a two-hour walk. I know going out to drink and dance is fun to many people, but I don’t pay to go out and drink booze and beer and dance. That is not fun to me. I will probably never pay to go on a cruise and eat too much bad food and gain ten or twenty pounds because that is not fun to me. The only winery I want to visit is a castle in the Napa Valley called Castello di Amorosa. I wouldn’t visit it to sample the wine or buy any wine. I’d visit it to see the castle. I like castles, and that is one trip I wouldn’t mind taking.  I’m even willing to travel to Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Germany, and Portugal to visit their castles. I wouldn’t go for the food or the alcohol. Why is eating unhealthy food and drinking alcohol considered fun to so many people?

Yep, I’m a really boring guy because I don’t do what many people think is fun.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.





12 responses to “I am a very boring guy”

  1. I find you anything but boring. If anything, I think you are one of the most interesting people whose writing I have ever read and corresponded with. Whenever I think I come up with a great insight, you come up with an even better one. I have great respect for you as a veteran who understands the true nature of war as well as its emotional consequences. Right now I am spending a lot of time at home because I almost lost my vision. I had four eye operations and am just beginning to get my sight back—it is still not good enough to drive and teach, which I love to do. But, I still have lots to do. I am tutoring a few kids remotely and have learned to be greatful for the invention of the iPad and computers that have assessibity. I am doing things around the house that I never had time to get around to. I listen to audible books of classic novels and short stories and really appreciate more some of our great literature. At first, I was doing this to help some of the students I tutor who are in college, but then I began to listen on my own to, for example, all the works of Melville, Wharton, Hawthorne, etc.

    Now I truly understand what it means to be disabled. I have learned some people are understanding, but others do not understand. I have a wonderful doctor who understands me and he gave me his cell number to text him any time with a problem or question. I do not abuse it, but if I ask or describe something, he writes me back in minutes and always gives me a pep talk. I have learned to understand also that when your body heals, you must also try to have a better frame of mind to accept that your body heals in its own time and not yours.

    Of course, my wife and I have learned to live more simply because I have less money coming in. We eat now simple healthy meals because unfortunately, at the same time of my surgeries, she developed some significant health problems of her own. One of my homework assignments from the doctor is to watch TV to help my brain reprogram itself to my eyes. I am watching a lot of classic movies and many British programs that are so much better than our American junk. And like you, I am avoiding news because it is so depressing. I have to stay in a better frame of mind. By the way, my reprogramming is taking time because my 63 year old brain I consider to be an ENIAC computer when what I need is a super fast Intel chip running Windows 10.

    What people consider not boring in this society I truly realize—especially from what you wrote costs money. We are such a materialistic society and now I truly see how this materialism has made a lot of American not only economically sick, but also emotionally and physically sick. Unfortunately, this psycho who runs our nation is the embodiment of this sickness. He has turned America into one of the worst reality shows that could be imagines, except we cannot turn the channel or hit an off switch.

    To close, I truly am impressed by all you say, write and do. If there were more people like you, we would all be in a better place.

    1. Thank you.

      I recently started to use an inversion table to help my back but I’m thinking with more blood being supplied to the head, that might also help other healing taking place there.

    2. Beautiful! And more people like you would be welcome!

  2. Good on you, Susan! As you noted so aptly, it is difficult to ‘turn off the mind’ sometimes and if channeled properly, that’s one of the best resources available to us afflicted, peripatetic word-slingers.

    Lloyd: Reading at about page 450 or so in ‘Concubine’ this AM and find myself recurrently bemused at how you deftly and adeptly weave the inherent conflict between Western Christianity and Chinese Tao/Buddhism into your narative. It is, of course, one of the central points of cultural polar conflict between Eastern and Western cultures, as it always has been. I find myself wondering, also, about your own outlook on religion, since in addition to inserting a key thematic dynamic into ‘Concubine’, it naturally leads to some reflection on how much of that conflict draws upon your own personal religious orientations. I regard my own circumstances in that context acutely mindful of the fact that although my wife is Chinese-born and raised, she is one of those unfortunates who have been thoroughly digested into the Western Christian tradition, attends the local Chinese-Christian Church every Sunday, supports their social functions, etc., etc. For someone like myself, a student of the world with partisan loyalties to no single aspect (or system) of belief…least of all the singular Christian ‘mythos’…I find myself frequently perplexed by the fact that she (wifie) is a good little Christian, while I myself am firmly in the Schopenhauer/Nietzsche/Hitchens camp (although I admit to a very strong sympathy for spiritual philosophies, i.e. Taoism, Pacific Islands animism, etc.). The irony of that polar contradiction regularly presents itself as a thorn in my side that I wish were not there (I’d much prefer her to be Tao oriented, as it were…but alas!).

    By the way…on a closing and somewhat humorous note: The walnut handle on that pocket Colt revolver Hart kept with him at all times (in ‘Concubine’) must have been nearly worn away to a mere toothpick from all the recurrent grasping of it, LoL., that Hart so regularly resorts to while negotiating those ghost-deflecting warren passageways of fog-shrouded Ningpo and Canton. :)) I can almost see the resulting sentence form itself in my mind’s eye: ‘Mindful of the dire potential for imminant and fatal attack that the fog posed, Hart again reached into his pocket for the revolver…but was absolutely flummoxed to find that the handle was no longer identifiable as something that could be held comfortably in his hand. Could he use it as a club, he wondered?’ :))

    1. Ha! LOL

      When it came to religion, my mother was a revolving door fundamentalist. When I was born, she was in her Catholic phase so I was baptized Catholic and started going to school at 5 in a Catholic school with real nuns that carried knuckle busting rulers. When I was 12, mother dropped Catholicism and joined the Jehovah Witnesses. It only took a few months of sitting in the indoctrination that arrived each weekend with a pastor (and his young daughter) or whatever the JW’s called their walking programmers before I renounced all religion and walked out refusing to take part. My mother stayed with the JV’s to the end when she died at 89. After she died, I was cleaning out her house and found a box with dozens of different translation of the Bible, an audio version of the Bible and a video version of the Bible. After my dad died, who never joined any religion, my mother spent most of her waking hours studying all those Bibles. My mother lived with guilt and my older sister, who still lives, and I think she was molested by her Klucker Christian fundamentalist father. One thing I’ve learned about most if not all Christian sects and religions is that no matter how horribly you sin and abuse others, you are always forgiven so you can sin again and be forgiven again. If you want to be a horrible person like Donald Trump, Christianity is the religion join because of Christ dying on the cross for our sins. My Godfather and Godmother both cheated on each other but went to confession every week and the mass on Sunday. My Godmother even cheated with my father who cheated on my mother repeatedly with other women. My dad was an alcoholic who managed to stop drinking about 20 years before he died at 79. He also was a gambler, loved the horses and won more than he lost during his life. He knew how to handicap the horses.

    2. ‘Mindful of the dire potential for imminent and fatal attack that the fog posed, Hart again reached into his pocket for the revolver…but was absolutely flummoxed to find that the handle was no longer identifiable as something that could be held comfortably in his hand. Could he use it as a club, he wondered?’

      That’s a perfect sentence. I wish I had thought of it. It fits. In combat, everything we carry is a weapon and if we run out of ammo, we use our rifles as clubs. If one of our arms is broken and the shattered bone is sticking out, we were taught how to use that sharp bone point to also fight with.

  3. I read your words at the ravitch blog, and on your sites.

    YOU ,sir, are the least boring person I know. and what you say here “I find that when I’m immersed in writing my book, I travel there with the characters as if I’m there with them.” is the way all fiction writers feel. When I wrote my play, the characters lived with me.

    We writers cannot be bored… we have brains that won’t shut up!!!

    1. “We have brains that won’t shut up”

      Grace VanderWaal seems to have the same problem, and she even wrote a song about it. How does she do it – write and sing songs about things that so many of us of all ages have experienced?

      Grace calls this song “Escape My Mind”

  4. Still immersed in ‘My Splendid Concubine’, Lloyd. I found that despite all my academic studies in Asian history (at UCB, Berkeley), culture and so forth, all of my many months of experience in China…nothing fully prepared me for my own marriage to Kwan Oi-Lin, my own wife who originated in Chungking. It’s too bad I am no longer in the San Francisco area, as I’m sure we’d find many boring commonalities, judging from your own observations about ‘boredom’. I am at the moment on a two month writing sabatical myself, squirreled away in a lovely cottage at Gold Beach (OR), overlooking the stormy, moody Pacific, where I work on a new novel of historical fiction titled ‘An Arrow for Amaterasu’. ‘Concubine’ continues to amuse and entertain me each afternoon, after I’ve finished my 3000+ word quota for the day. Lovely sensory surroundings, of course. Don’t know why I waited so long to start reading some of your things. And Anchee’s as well, naturally. To paraphrase the immortal Leo Tolstoy ‘What is boreom but the desire for desires?’ Well spoken, Leo. 無聊是否定的空虛

    1. Thank you.

      Wow, 3,000 words a day. That’s a lot of writing.

      My quota is about 1,000 words a day for my next book, or two blog posts, or two book reviews that I post on Amazon or a combination of 500 words and a blog post. Just to make sure I don’t procrastinate too much, I set a goal to finish one chapter every 7-days or earlier. I wrote more than 2,000 words in the last two days for chapter 9 and still have more than four days to go to finish that chapter.

      I find that when I’m immersed in writing my book, I travel there with the characters as if I’m there with them. I can’t think of much that is more fun than that. I’ve traveled back in time, been all over the world, and even traveled to other planets without leaving my house. :o)

      Wait, I forgot. I wrote and published one blog post today so I only have to write another 254 words in Chapter 9 to reach my daily writing goal. I forgot. Thanks for helping remind me. I thought I had 754 words to go to reach my quota.

    2. You guys have the focus to finish. I do not.
      I get distracted by my art, and by my grandkids.
      I may never publish, but I do have an audience where I write at Oped News. If you go to my author’s page, and click on “Commentary” you can see what I do offer my audience there.
      I think I wrote over 3000 words today in the commentary thread here:

      I think you may find it a very interesting dialogue.

      1. Wow, 3,000 words. My goal is to reach 1,000. I think I reached about 1,600 today.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.