What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taken aback

I never thought much about the physical toll of spending most of my waking hours sitting on my butt editing, indexing, and proofreading.

Until about 24 hours ago.

It's three in the morning. I'm at my wife's office at the theatre because I can often get more done there in the same amount of time. I stand up to get a drink of water . . . and all of a sudden I can't sit down again. My lower back had totally seized up, and movement became impossible.

I do not understand the mechanics of how this kind of thing happens all of a sudden--although the chiropractor today said it is an inevitable result of what I do, and that it hardly happened all of a sudden. But what I mean by "all of a sudden" is without warning, no pain preceding it.

Not that there's sharp pain now. I just can't move. Well, not very well. The first step anywhere is virtually impossible.

But to avoid spending the rest of my life like this, I'm going to have to apply some ergonomic changes to the patent-pending LandonDemand work methods. I might be doing most of my proofreading or copyediting standing at a lectern and swaying back and forth like Al Gore doing the thorazine shuffle. I managed an hour or so ago to stack a bunch of coffee-table books I've worked on to elevate my reading space. I'm going to put a milk crate under the laptop so I can type standing up. Hopefully the printer cord is long enough to still reach the printer.

Class, I'm in a world of hurt, although I just managed to walk around the block with the help of an elephant-headed staff that my younger son bought for $5 at Universal Studios a few years ago on a band trip. Creeping around the neighborhood in the middle of the night in a light snow with an elephant-headed staff in my hand and a flask of Wild Turkey in my pocket in case I collapse in someone's front yard -- just to keep me warm until they wake up to go to work and call 911 or Animal Control. That's exactly what I need in this town: another dinger on the eccentricity scale. As if being a New York Jew book editor who works at home and sends his kids away for schooling and has been a skinhead and a longhair and everything in between in my time here weren't enough.

Well, I'm going to attempt to stand up and proofread some book about process biology. Or maybe try to write a short index, but that would entail sitting down (more; I'm sitting now). Something. But whatever I do, I'm supposed to stand up and walk around every 20 minutes or so. Wonderful. At age 48 I'm going to turn into the Mexican Jumping Czar.

I slept from 5pm to 2am earlier, and at this point I'm not looking forward to the climb back out of the bunker. Back to the chiropractor at 2pm today.

Wish me luck. Unselfinduced immobility is new ground for me.


moi said...

Although I feel your pain, I'm laughing at the image of the neighbors peeking through their curtains at you tottering along the sidewalk swigging hooch and shaking your good fist at the heavens.

czar said...

Sidewalk? I was just ambling right down the yellow stripe -- figuratively, as there are no stripes. Beginning about 9pm -- dog-walking time -- most nights I can make the 1/3-mile circle without a v-hikl to be seen.