Creature of Habit


Every morning I indulge in the same procrastination…er, I mean…pre-work routine.  I eat breakfast, drink a cup of coffee, and read a retinue of newspapers and/or news site headlines.

If there are no interesting headlines, I spend an inordinate amount of time engaging in headache-inducing staring contests with the cat.  Most days though, there are plenty of headlines to pique my interest.  I’ve noticed over time that I am drawn to those of a more sensational nature.

For example, this morning on CNN’s website, I found the following to be (perhaps) worth a second look:

Pastor Dances with Poisonous Snakes (video)

A note about videos – I generally never watch them especially those sent in by what CNN calls iReporters – amateurs who take videos on their cell phones and then send them in to CNN.  I won’t watch the poisonous snake video; I just liked the headline.

Here’s another one:  Lifeguard Fired for Aiding Drowning Man – This is an article that bears reading IF and only IF the headline actually has anything to do with a lifeguard being fired for helping a drowning man – a preposterous notion.  I am constantly amazed at how misleading headlines can be.

Dying Teen to 911: “Grandma Shot Me!” – sadly, this headline speaks for itself.  If I’m feeling morose, I will read on.

LeBron James Balloon Sculpture – I will look at this only if I am really irritable.  How is this news?  It might lead to a nasty email to CNN depending on how energetic I am and how badly I want to delay diving into The Novel.

27 Must-Sees on Earth – I am curious that there are only 27.  I am curious to see if I’ve seen any of them yet.

Cat Litter Linked to Suicides – How can I resist?  How could anyone resist this one?  Even if there weren’t incidences of suicide in my family, I would be curious.  I have a cat.  I am the one who empties her litter box.  Am I doomed?

Can Spanking Cause Mental Illness? (video) – again, a no-brainer.  The first thing that struck me was that it’s a video.  I am from the generation of people who were spanked as children – again, am I doomed?  Must find out…

I usually read several newspapers as well.  I start with our local paper in Toronto where I can read about the heat wave, the increase in violent crime – due to the heat wave (Canadians have very little ability to tolerate excessive heat), our grumpy mayor, and more on the heat wave…bored, I move on to The Globe and Mail which is a more nationally focused publication.

I can read about how people in Quebec are angry, people in Ontario are getting poorer by the second, the Prairies are either too hot or too wet to suit the farmers, Alberta is rolling in money but still complaining about something, and it is raining in Vancouver (it is always raining in Vancouver but somehow it’s still newsworthy).  The Maritimes are feeling left out  of something and as usual, things are rather quiet in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Either that or there are no reporters up there.  Oh, and Canadians are generally disgruntled with their prime minister but are not inclined to do anything about it.

From there, I head across the pond to England and The Telegraph. I don’t know why I chose The Telegraph; quite honestly, it’s a grumpy paper. Or, maybe Britain is just grumpy these days   Photographs indicate that David Cameron needs to eat more fibre and could someone please buy that man some more interesting ties?

I read the Mirror only for their snarky, sometimes extremely witty gossip section, 3 A.M.  Today in the Mirror: What is Cool – Scientists Discover Secret of Coolness.  Presumably, these were the scientists not working in Switzerland at the super collider discovering the Higgs boson.

After finishing this routine of news-gathering and caffeine-ingesting, I sit and stare at my computer screen for a bit, chewing my bottom lip and trying to figure out what else I can do to delay working.  Ah, I haven’t checked Facebook yet today…



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