Archive for November 20, 2007

Procrastination Station

November 20, 2007

Wow! I beat myself at my own game. I wrote this when I was packing for Mexico (a.k.a. happier times) and never published it. Please somebody give me a (large monetary) prize for winning the championship of starting things and not finishing them:

***

If there’s one thing I do well; maybe better than anyone I know, it’s procrastinate. The very best time to blog is when I should be doing something else; and the very best thing to put off doing is packing for a vacation.

I’ve been asking around to find out how long it takes my friends to pack for the average 5-day trip, and the answers some people give me make my jaw hit the floor. 1 hour? 45 minutes? 30 minutes? 20 minutes??? It takes me hours! And now I think I may know why…

My packing tonight has gone as follows:

5:30 pm: return home from work. Decide to start packing immediately and get it out of the way. Go get a First Aid kit out of the linen closet and become highly fascinated with it, doing a thorough inventory of what’s inside and reading all of the instructions on how and when to use each item. Toss it in suitcase. Get distracted, amble around aimlessly, and chat with roommate about her date last night.

6:26 pm: Decide I’m going to buckle down and pack and be done by 7:26 on the dot. Have several productive minutes of pouring face wash and moisturizer into smaller bottles. Get some sunscreen from beach bag and toss bottle on bathroom floor, thinking I should wipe the sand off. Remember I need a new camera battery. Store closes at 7, and it is now 6:40, so I go to the camera store and get a battery.

7:05-ish: Return home and make no effort whatsoever to pack. Test out camera battery, notice there are pictures I need to upload; upload pictures and look at all of them on computer. Start surfing web. Hit up MySpace.

7:20-ish: Decide now would be an ideal time to write a blentry.

And here we are.

***

I never finished this because I guess I eventually decided to finish packing. I did, after all, fill my suitcase with stuff and take it to Mexico and have a lovely vacation, so I must consider the evening at least a moderate success. And I can tell you with certainty that if you told me you had a plane ticket for me to go just about anywhere, I’d be home, packed, and back to the airport within the hour.

A Bowl of Awkward Soup

November 9, 2007

The other day for lunch, I walked over to the cafe at the building next door. Since it was a blustery 60 degrees outside, everyone who usually sits outside was sitting inside, and there weren’t too many available tables. I sat down at a 4-person table, propped up my little number on the edge of the table, and proceeded to wait for the dude to bring my soup. A minute later, a woman comes by and asks if she can sit down. Which I could completely understand if there were no other empty tables, but by then 2 more had been cleared, so I’m really not sure why she wanted to sit with me. She sat diagonal from me, and we exchanged an awkward glance/smile, then kind of both fidgeted around for a second trying to look occupied. I hadn’t brought a book, so I thought, OK, I’ll just write something in my moleskine. So I fished around in my purse for a pen… and fished… and fished… and no pen. So all I could do was hold my stone-age cell phone and poke at the buttons hoping it looked like I was doing something. It was soooooo awkward, you guys. And out of the corner of my eye, I could see that she was having the exact same problem. I kid you not, she literally sat there and just read a company memo over and over, sometimes folding it in half and then unfolding it, and a couple times turning it over in case any additional text had appeared on the back.

Y’all.

So the waiter brings my soup, and it’s great, because we have something to talk about!

“That looks good.”

“Yes, it does. (sniff, sniff). It smells good, too.” (Why did I just smell it? I am such a dork). What did you order?”

“Pizza.”

“Oh,… that sounds good.”

(Then about a thousand minutes go by in silence while I shovel soup into my mouth as quickly as possible and she reads the memo again)

“Wow, your pizza is taking a long time. I hope they didn’t forget about you.”

“Yeah, I hope not.”

(A billion minutes of uncomfortable silence and slurpy soup sounds)

(Guy brings pizza)

“Oh, that looks good.”

“Oh, yeah.”

(silence)

“Do you work in this building?”

“No, that one.”

(pause)

(pause)

(pause)

“Do you?”

“Yes, I work in this one.”

(pause)

“The food over there is terrible.”

“Yes, I’m glad we’ve got this place downstairs here.”

“Yeah, the food is always good here.”

“yeah.”

(years of silence)
(finally done with soup)

“Enjoy your lunch!”

“OK.”

(I run for freedom and don’t look back)

Old Grandpa Paddington

November 7, 2007

It’s officially Autumn, and in LA it’s gloomy and cold (60 degrees), and overnight I went from riding my bike everywhere and wanting to hike every day to having one desire in life: to sit in the house in sweatpants eating carbohydrates. Why, as a human, and in Southern California, do I instinctively want to hibernate? Were my ancestors bears? Maybe this is why when I asked my grandmother where her side of the family had originated she said she didn’t know. And here I took my family’s ignorance of our heritage to mean we’d been in America for hundreds of years; I never once considered my great-great-great grandfather may have caught fish with his hands and gotten his head stuck in beehives. Well, you learn something new every day.

If You Need a Place to Store Your Nuts, I’m Your Girl. (Wait…)

November 3, 2007

Greetings! I am on drugs. Because I got my wisdom teeth out today. It was fun at first, like when I first woke up and was so heavily drugged I was a ragdoll and things were funny, but now I’m sitting here watching everything we’ve TiVo’d in the last two months while my friends are at my friend Theo’s birthday party, and only one of my cheeks for some reason has swollen up to the size of a beachball, so I’m a half human, half chipmunk. And while I’m complaining, I would like to point out that two days ago I was snorkeling in Mexico.

I was there for my American friend Virginia (not to be confused with my British friend Virginia who also got married this year)’s wedding, and it was wonderful and amazing, and such a relaxing and much-needed vacation. I flew down and back with Rebecca and Mike, and we extended the feeling of being on vacation as much as we possibly could, starting with almost missing our flight. We somehow forgot that we were in Mexico, and a snorkeling tour that says it’s going to return at 1:00 will actually return when it’s good and ready; in this case, 2:30. And then we had to get back to the hotel, pack, and get to the airport for a 3:50 flight. As the clock ticked, Mike asked the boat captain when we might be heading back, and his answer was, “Chill out, man, Relax! Tranquilo! You’re on vacation!” We ended up making it — albeit still covered in salt water and sand and possible sea creatures down our pants, and with everything crammed willy nilly into our suitcases — and even had time for one last tequila shot in the airport bar before leaving Mexico for good (well, for now).

I’ll probably upload all my photos tomorrow while I’m lying around half-chipmunking it up, so I hope you enjoy them.

Speaking of snorkeling, in the water I saw one of the guide dudes come towards Rebecca with a scary-looking crustacean with way too many tentacles all a-kimbo. I saw her wave her hand like, “No, no, I don’t want to touch it,” but he grabbed her hand and shoved the thing at her. I swam away as fast as my flippers could carry me, and when he looked at me all, “ehhh?” I yelled, “PLEASE DO NOT COME NEAR ME WITH THAT THING.” I have very mixed feelings about oceans.

P.S. I wrote this yesterday but fell asleep before publishing it, and now I’m too lazy to go back and change all the “yesterday”s to “thursday”s, etc. Morning update: My left cheek is now even bigger than before, and my right cheek is still perfectly normal. Now instead of a half chipmunk, I look like half Dizzy Gillespie, mid-song. (I’ve also turned into a black male jazz musician on that side, too. Weird).