One of the nice things about freelancing is that you get to make your own schedule, which means less hours of staring blankly at a computer screen waiting for 5:30 and more time living your life. One of the not-nice things about freelancing is that invoicing, organizing, and following-up on jobs can eat up a lot of that free time. Thankfully AND CO is here to streamline those time-sucking chores and give you back your hard-earned minutes. As a new AND CO user, you will find yourself with more free time than you know what to do with. Below are a few useful suggestions for filling those sweet, sweet hours of freedom.
Freelancers, Conquer the Mother of All Puzzles
Look, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. You might literally run out of practical, useful things to do. When that happens, there’s this puzzle. It’s titled Wildlife and one can only assume that is because it depicts every single animal currently known to man and probably a few unknown to man.
With an absurd 33,600 pieces, it’s less a jigsaw and more a punishment of man’s hubris sent down from Mt. Olympus. More amazingly than that, all of the animals featured in this puzzle–from the majestic lions to the humble sloth to the bizarrely out-of-proportion crocodile–are pretty much just hanging out chilling by a waterfall, not killing each other like they do in real life pretty much constantly. Is it because the soft, healing light of some benevolent god is shining upon them? Or is it perhaps because in this depiction, humankind has obviously been extinct for centuries (Sun blocked out by a critical mass of vape shops, most likely). Seriously, no pollution? No factory farms? A Black Rhino still in possession of its horn? There is no chance humanity still exists in the future predicted by this puzzle.
What other secrets might it hold? Well for one, it foretells that you’ll soon be moving to a new apartment. At a completed size of 19ft x 5ft, there’s no way this bad boy is fitting in your studio, good thing you’re making so much more freelancing than you were at your office job.
Embark on a Literary Saga…While Learning a New Language
There’s nothing nicer than some leisurely reading for killing time. What about when you’ve got a lot of time to kill? Easy–do a lot of reading. If you’re looking for volume (and volumes), Japanese author Kaoru Kurimoto’s Guin Saga is a good place to start.
More precisely, book one of the Guin Saga (The Leopard Mask) is a good place to start–then you can begin chipping away at the other 129 installments. While that might sound like a laborious task, keep in mind we are talking about a story about “a mysterious warrior named Guin, an amnesiac with a leopard mask magically affixed to his head (above).” Six words: Leopard. Mask. Magically. Affixed. To. Head. Somebody apparently wrote 130 books about King from Tekken? And for some reason George R.R. Martin can barely squeeze out five in twenty years?
It’s a good thing that AND CO will free up unprecedented amounts of free time, because one small detail I forgot to mention is that only the first five novels have been translated into English. So start your Japanese lessons now, because around the time Guin starts battling the Ape people, you’re going to have a hard time putting these things down. Oh, and if you’re still hankering for more Guin after finishing book 130 (A Fathomless Future), there are another 22 “side novels” to go along with the series. Eat your heart out, Tolkien.
Achieve Transcendence, Avoid Teens
You may have had time for the gym before you discovered AND CO but you probably didn’t have time to train for a marathon, and you certainly didn’t have time to run the Self-Transcendence Footrace. The brainchild (or possibly sick prank) of Indian spiritual leader Sri Chinmoy, the race takes place over 52 days, covers 3,100 miles and is entirely limited to a single block in Jamaica, Queens. You read that correctly, participants in the race must complete an ungodly 5,649 laps around a block between 168th Street and 164th Place. For reference, if you were instead to somehow run from Jamaica, Queens to Kingston, Jamaica, you’d only have to cover about half that distance. For further reference, if you walked around that block once a day for fifteen years, you’d still have 171 more days of walking left before you completed this insanity (accounting for three leap years).
The intention was to create an opportunity for runners to “discover the limits of their capacities and to try to go beyond them”; apparently teaching the lesson that beyond the limits of our capacities lies a world of chaffed nipples and destroyed knee cartilage.
Perhaps most grueling of all, the block that the Self-Transcendence Footrace circles is home to Edison High School. This means you can look forward to the same high school kids heckling you day after torturous day as your legs gradually turn to jelly and eventually you forget to avoid that pile of dog logs on 168th street because life is a pale illusion and you are the same as the street and the poop and the high-schoolers and the entire universe is just a single block in Queens and soon all the pain and noise and searing heat blends together into a single deafening hum and…hey, maybe they’re onto something with transcendence thing.
Thankfully with the time that AND CO saves you, you’ll be able to join the other competitors in somehow abandoning all earthly responsibilities for 52 straight days.
Play a Board Game the Size of North Africa
Board games are a blast, but anybody who had a traumatic Monopoly experience as a child can tell you that they can be a bit lengthy. But now that AND CO is making invoicing a snap, why not round up a few friends and while the day away in a contest of wit and skill.
In fact, you’ll have so much time once you start using AND CO, you might as well try out The Campaign for North Africa: The Desert War 1940-43. This “war game like no other” is suggested for ages 14 and up, requires 8-10 players and has an average play-time of 60,000 minutes, or roughly 42 days of non-stop play (with time to sleep, eat and breathe factored in, it’s closer to 62 days). The map that the game is divided into thousands of hexagons onto which counters representing planes, pilots, supplies and everything down to individual foot soldiers are placed. Each player on a team plays a different role, including one who’s sole job is to be “in charge of all supplies”–ah, finally board game geeks can experience the simple joy that football players have known for ages: bullying the “equipment manager.” The game’s handbook describes it as a “logistically-oriented game, and its play requires not only a lot of attention to logistics, but, if you will, a logistically sound methodology.”Just in case you had mistaken it for something that could possibly be fun.
If a game of Clue required you to properly collect and store evidence, take statements from witnesses, file a police report, select a jury, and spend months negotiating with the defense for a settlement, it might still be more enjoyable and less time-consuming than The Campaign for North Africa. Still the ultimate Achilles heel in the design of the game is thus; if you are the type of person who wants to play The Campaign for North Africa you are most likely not the type of person who has seven friends to play it with *sigh* looks like Solitaire again…
But hey, at least you have the option thanks to your time saved using AND CO.