|Procrastination (Tales of mere existence)|
|click image to open video page|
Procrastinators are people who always find an excuse to postpone the important things for later. In this chapter of "Tales of mere existence", we can see exactly that: the perfect example of a procrastinator.
This morning I got up and got ready quickly because I had to get a lot of stuff done. And sat down at my desk just started getting my stuff done and I spilled my coffee so I got a sponge to clean it up and I figured I’d take an extra minute to clean the whole desk because a clean desk could help me get my stuff done.
When I was finished I realized I hadn’t eaten anything and I didn’t wanna be hungry while I got my stuff done. So I went into the kitchen and I was out of cereal.
When I got to the grocery store I remembered a bunch of other crap I needed to get and I figured I was already there and so I did my shopping for the week so I didn’t have to worry about it while I got my stuff done.
When I got home I didn’t feel like cereal anymore and so I made an omelette and I did the dishes so I wouldn’t have to do them after I got my stuff done. And then, then I went out to get some oil from the hardware’s store because my desk chair is kind of squeaky and I didn’t wanna be distracted by a squeaky chair while I got my stuff done.
When I got back it was getting kind of late and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my stuff done today so I started watching "The Twilight Zone" marathon on TV.
I just have to make sure I get to bed early because I want to be well-rested tomorrow so I can get my stuff done.
STUFF= things (coll.)
TO GET SOMETHING DONE= This construction is used to express the idea that you pay someone to do something for you. Compare:
- I want to get my house painted (I’ll pay someone to do it for me)
- I want to paint my house (I’ll do it)
But in colloquial English we also use this construction meaning "to do something". So in this video, "I had to get a lot of stuff done" simply means "I had to do many things", or rather "I had many things to do".
DESK= a table used for working (at the school, the office, etc.)
SPILL= when you cause a liquid to fall out of its container.
SPONGE= /spʌndʒ/ a soft thing to remove liquid (like the one we use to rub ourselves when we’re having a shower). Be careful with the pronunciation. We use the vowel in HUT (not the vowel in SOCK!)
TO FIGURE= in this context it is used with the meaning of "I suddenly had this idea". But its most common meaning is "to guess".
THE WHOLE DESK = "all the desk". Notice that WHOLE and ALL often have the same meaning. The difference is the construction of the sentence: "All" goes before articles, possessives, etc. and "Whole" goes after them, for instance: "All my life" = "My whole life".
REALIZE= when you come to a conclusion through a mental process.
WANNA= want to (coll. esp. AmE)
I WAS OUT OF CEREALS= I didn’t have any more cereals because I had finished them all. "To run out of something" or "to be out of something" is when you don’t have it because you used all of it already (but you had it before!)
STORE (AmE) = SHOP (BrE)
A BUNCH= a few
CRAP= shit (not a nice word). Here it simply means "things" (very coll. and rude)
TO FEEL LIKE something= when you feel like something (or feel like doing something), you want to have it (or do it) because you are in the right mood for it and you think you will enjoy doing that at this moment.
TO DO THE DISHES= to wash them
THE HARDWARE’S STORE= the shop where you buy all sorts of little metal things (screws, nails, tools) and some other stuff too.
TO SQUEAK= to make an intense and loud high-pitch noise like when you open a rusty door which needs some oiling. SQUEAKY is the adjective that describes a thing which makes that noise.
IT WAS GETTING KIND OF LATE= The phrase "kind of" is very common in colloquial speech but, in fact, it doesn’t mean anything. Its exact meaning, though, would be: "a little, but not exactly".
BE ABLE TO= can. The verb "can" is only used to talk about the present (I can walk), about the past (I could see her) and about the conditional (if I could do it, I’d be happy). For the rest of the tenses we use the verbal form "be able to" (I will be able to do it / I have been able to do it). But we can also use it for all the tenses (I can do it = I’m able to do it / I could finish = I was able to finish).
A TV MARATHON= in America, especially on some dates (like Christmas) some TV channels show "marathons". That is a complete series of related programmes that go on for hours or even days. For example, they show on TV all the chapters of a series, one after the other, day and night, non-stop, that’s why they call it "a marathon". "The Twilight Zone" is an old and very popular TV series, and its marathon is already a classic, showing on TV almost every year and it goes on for 3 days! (notice that we say "a series", a singular word ending in –s)
TO MAKE SURE= TO BE SURE. Notice that "sure" is usually pronounced today with the vowel in FORK rather than with a diphthong /ʃɔ:/ .