Brian B

Brian B
Thunder Bay, Canada
November 14
Devil's Advocate
The Sort of Company your mother warned you about
A Work in Progress. When not doing the devil's work, I'm the single parent of two great young men, living playing and working in beautiful Thunder Bay Ontario. That's at the western end of Lake Superior - the North end of Highway 61. from here, you can just drive all the way to New Orleans, though I have yet to do it.


Brian B's Links
JANUARY 23, 2009 8:29PM

10 Ways to Fight Boredom

Rate: 13 Flag

Rick suggested that I write "about boredom".

 My commitment to self is to post positive messages. If I wanted to be negative, I'd be a Republican,but, hey, as a Canadian, that choice is out. So might as well look on the bright side of life.

 Let me suggest, for your consideration, that boredom, like happiness, may be a choice. Boredom is a condition caused by lack of stimulation, or a lack of interest in activities. Wikipedia cites the first literary use as being in Charles Dickens' well titled Bleak House. Trust me, I read it so you don't have to. Gillian Anderson was  muchly photogenic in the mini series adaptation, but the book is an excellent doorstop.

 Thus, there may be an almost infinite variety of ways to combat boredom, but here are just ten that occur to me as I listen to CBC Radio 2 jazz on a friday evening:

  1. Exercise. Stimulating the body stimulates the mind.
  2. Read. It hardly matters what, so long as it is well written. The narrative of a thriller, the puzzle of a mystery, the intensity of a romance, the facts of a biography, the adventures of history, the challenges of economics - whatever you enjoy. Or explore a new genre. Stretch your mind.
  3. Listen to music. Really listen. Appreciate how the trumpet frolics around the piano line; soar with Aretha's anthemic pipes; contemplate a poetic lyric; investigate whether hip hop is less misguided than disco. Music too often these days becomes just noise in our ears. Rescue it.
  4. Talk. Talk to the children. Talk to the neighbours. Talk, really talk, to the people who pour our coffee, serve us at the deli. Talk to strangers.Marvel at their uniqueness. Debate whether this proves the existence of God. Betcha you won't be bored then.
  5. Cook. Creatively, not as a chore. Try something new.
  6. Bake, especially if you never baked. It worked for me.
  7. Go to an outdoor sporting event. You don't even need to be a fan. Unlike the antiseptic tedium of televised sports, there's so much going on at a live game. The crowd. The vendors. The scoreboard (if there is one). Maybe the odd dog wandering into the action.
  8. Sample an art gallery, a museum, a concert. Especially somewhere or something you've never tried before. Open your eyes and ears, drink it all in. Think about what you'd like to know more about, then investigate.
  9. Visit Open Salon. Savour the rich broth of this soup.
  10. Watch Battlestar Galactica. Friday night. 10 pm. Unlike most television, which panders to the bored with more boredom, BSG is a rare show, like Buffy before it (and a few others) which engages the viewer on many levels - allegory, narrative, character, sex appeal, dramatic tension, comic relief. each episode full of awe and shock, but leaving us wondering "how can they top that?" Tuning in next week to find out.

So, is boredom a choice?

What would you add to this list?

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Learn. Learn to dance, to paint, to sculpt, to play an instrument. Learn in an informal or more structured environment.

Volunteer to help someone that needs it. Opportunities are everywhere.

Meditate - spend time getting to know yourself.
Sometimes when I get bored, I streak, but then I drink some Windex and I stop.

(thumbified because when *I* get bored, you people get wacky comments)
Write. Write a note to all/any of those people who you've been meaning to drop a line to. Write a poem. Write a poem to your cat.
Sex. Enough said.
Take a walk.
Hey Brian, you really bumped it up several notches with this one! The intro made me laugh, and the list itself is well thought out, with variety and depth. I really like this piece. Bravo. Rated, as always. I hope you get lots of votes on this one, and I think it would make a great cover item. Editors? (And Natalie's items are excellent as well!) Thanks for the positivity, Brian.

(PS: Is BSG on tonight, or are they skipping a week?)
Nat - all good additions, though some might argue that mediation = boredom, I'm sure you could reply "learn to do it right". i oughta learn.

Jodi: still larfing here. Its possible my smile froze (cold again).

Ann: "sex"...what's that? I think I vaguely recall, but remind me - does it require another person in the room to qualify?

Rick: Thanks. Being Friday night, traffic might be against me, but I had a half hour free, was listening, got inspired... recognition is always a nice bonus, but tends to arrive when least expected.
My mother always told me that only boring people get bored.

You had a wise mother. Methinks anybody who follows a few of these suggestions would be anything BUT boring...
Oh yeah. I like your writing...and boredom? What's that? Not meditation for sure. Meditation is consuming in its openness, its movement to a different plane of existence. It can really be quite a high. Oh yeah.
Good suggestions all. But I'm going to add an 11. Accept that a certain amount of boredom is usually part of a part of a rich vital life. It's hard to find someone who's made a difference in civilization, who hasn't been willing to do at least some mind numbingly repetitive work. And the secret to meditation is to stop fighting the boredom, and see it as a kind of a gateway emotion. Suddenly the richness of the present moment just opens up. Boredom can be a positive thing too. Look how interesting you've made it!
thanks, Carol and Juliet. You two & Nat all ought come here & teach me how to mediate properly. Then hold online OS tutorials.
There's no excuse for boredom, Brian! There are too many things in this fascinating world to do. I'd add learn a foreign language, color your hair, play solitaire, redecorate your house, watch a movie and volunteer!

Great post, Brian! Time to go bake!
You have a really interesting and cool post here. I really liked the list. They all really work use them everyday.
Thank you for this informative and very possitive post.
This makes me laugh because when I was a kid and would tell my Mother I was "bored" she would respond "Well then, go to sleep!"
Pam: thanks for the nice additions.
Fireeyes: glad you liked it.
SwillingAway: you name reminded me I left off anything to do with savouring wine or whiskey...glad it made you larf.
Sometimes I think we mistake boredom for calm. Life can be so full of tasks to do that when there's a break in the action we don't recognize it.
Come read my BSG recap? hee hee Just kidding.

I like the list! I say also get out of the house! Take a class!

It's being bored at work that I fear the most. Which is why I'm trying to stick with jobs I love.
odettte...bored at work? Check out OS !
I'm with ya on everything but #7 and #10.
I remember boredom. It happened before I had children. ;-) I like this list. And I agree with really listening to music. It takes a lot of times to hear a song well and if there are lyrics- listen to those lyrics.

I'd also add -explore your town with a camera. Act like a tourist. I did this today and it was so much fun.
Alpha...have you tried BSG? trsu me, you won't be bored.
JJ: "Have kids" is truly a way to avoid boredom...
Brian B. Good read, great suggestions.
How can anyone be too bored for long?
You ask:`What would you add to this list?
Maybe a pleasant Granny to watch clouds?
Or, haul a few kindergartner to the seashore?
I'd snore. Granny could read to me some sonnets.
No take a Baptist comic who won't dunk Ya in the sea.
My desire is to not write goofy stuff. I'll learn Yiddish?
My, why, ~ to be on a lonely beach and consume poppy bagels.
Sit on a oak-board, float out to sea, be a loon birds, and be merry.
Oh, to be a land-lover, and swing clumsily as a monkey in the tree?
I'd be happy with a cup of aromatic sassafras tea. I 'd bark up a tree?
Maybe I'd read a poem? Wendell Berry's poem, The Sycamore Tree.
That poem gets into an interesting perspective. Meditate on Nature. I agree. Life is a poem. After a hour watching a tree. See a Blue Bird.
Everything emerge more fresh, if we doze-off in a tree? Oops. Care.
Go to Loon hospital and play Show & Tell? Get a bone caste signed?
Be careful. Life is entertaining. Smell Sassafras bark & poppy bagel?
Brian B. It's too much fun here. I agree with what You said to Julie Delio about her Mother.
I'm beginning to believe,
boring folk are interesting,
and can be CEO of the bored?
I know some folk. What Ya see?
That it. Visit a year later, the same,
and it seems 'um just stuck in a rut?
What Ya see is who and what they be.
Maybe if they told their best hid secrets.
Then, unstuck, unstuck-up, they'd be free.
I ask folk who got stuck to ride me piggy back.
Then, yell giddy-up, and pretend to speak Greek.
That's why I got two black eyes, a fat lip, and lost teeth.
I see somebody is playful today
as if up stuck in a tree is the way
you got that bone caste of which
you write. Can you scratch the itch?
Do your friends draw pink hearts on the plaster?
in hopes they can help you make it heal faster?
Brian B. Yes. I opt to not tell where it often itches.
That's compensation enough. Oh to allow a Mind
to wander to and fro, and hope no ones offended.
I love this post. I am struggling with what to do with myself when the ex has the kids. I am SO going to add your suggestions to my own list. Too bad Thunder Bay is so far from Oz. We could go talk to people together.
Arthur: as long as you play well
anything you comment is swell

jlynne: 'talking to people' works so of my best friends I met 10 or so years ago...she was waitressing. We struck up a conversation. Chatted each time we saw each other. Fast forward years later, she's now all grown up, we still chat, about our most important thoughts... all because I treated her like a person and she responded.

Besides the above, I recommend 2,3,4.

When I am bored, I love organizing my closet. It is very therapeutic and at the end you get the satisfaction of having solved some of the problems of the world ( your corner of the world).
Moana: but alas, for me, sleep comes not well when I am bored...
I need to employee of these items today. I'm on my third snow day and feeling a bit cabin feverish.
Alpha - how about more photography?