Sunday, November 18, 2007

Slugfest And The Day After ...

Warning: This post is about, essentially, nothing. It is the Seinfeld of blog posts. If you're reading this because you're bored, this post might render you irreversibly bored. Proceed with caution.

I had such high hopes for myself yesterday. A long, long list of things to do. Errands to run, chores to complete. I sat at my desk in the morning, running through my regular online morning routine, jotting notes to myself as more to-dos popped into my head, one of which was "Write Christmas letter."

So I did that. I didn't plan on writing the whole thing, but it just kept coming, so I just kept writing.

And then my productivity came to a screeching halt. (I had an emotional week. I think my brain just wanted to stop for a while.) I had other intentions. I looked outside at my backyard and thought about firing up the lawnmower for one last mow/leaf sucking. But it was grey. And cold. And I was warm, still, in my jammies, and, well, it's not like the leaves were going anywhere. I checked my local listings. Jacques Pepin was due up next on PBS, and, well, didn't I need to watch Jacques make a caramel cage? Of course I did. One never knows when one will be called upon to produce a caramel cage and if one is to learn the caramel cage-making technique, one wants to learn from a master.

And then America's Test Kitchen was on for an hour, and it's my all-time favorite cooking show, so I had to watch those back-to-back episodes, even though I had seen one before.

I dozed off at some point during the afternoon, but I won't count it as a nap because I had no nap intention. (Though is there anything better than crawling into bed in the middle of a cold, grey day and drifting off to sleep then waking up as sky is growing dark? I love that sleepyheaded feeling.)

My Netflix discs have been gathering dust on my coffee table for several weeks so I popped in I'm Reed Fish. Meh. The best thing about the movie was a song performed by one of the characters, but is that song available on the soundtrack? Noooo. I gave it two stars out of five on Netflix. I gave it three to start with, then thought about it, and knocked it down a notch.

I eventually came to terms with the fact that a) it's borderline pathetic to while away an entire day without leaving the house, never changing out of one's PJs, and that 2) I was hungry and had no attractive options on hand.

I ran through all the fast-food options in my head and decided that I didn't want anything from anywhere with a drive-thru which meant that I had to make myself slightly more presentable and venture into the brightly lit grocery store. Happily, there aren't many people in the grocery store on a Saturday night. (Because most people have lives.) I decided to buy soup. Canned soup. Progresso Lentil soup. I came home, heated said soup, and decided, after a couple bites, that it was wholly unsatisfying. But I ate it anyway. There were worse choices I could have made.

Like Cheetos. I bought a bag at the store, as over the past few days, I've found myself craving mac 'n' cheese (I make sen-frickin'-sational mac 'n' cheese), Ok-E-Doke cheese popcorn, and Cheetos. And now, Cheetos (and the entire realm of junk food) boasts 0 grams of trans fats. As if they're all now healthy or something.

I munched on a few Cheetos while my soup was heating. Ick. Cheetos are no longer the same. They tasted extra salty. I wasn't craving salty cheese. I was craving not-found-in-nature fluorescent cheese-like powder, thank you very much. So I decided that I must dispose of the Cheetos. And lest I pull a George Costanza and even contemplate pulling the Cheetos bag out of the trash later, I put the bag under the tap, doused the Cheetos, held the bag closed and shook it up, then poured the Cheeto water down the drain and tossed the bag of Cheeto mush.

Today, by contrast, has been rather productive. When I'm vacuuming window screens and then removing said screens to vacuum the space in between the screen and the window, you know I've hit my stride.

I actually put on clothes and makeup and left the house today. I did a bit of shopping. (Brandon's baby, I learned Friday, will be delivered, one way or another, by the end of the month, so I ventured out in search of a baby gift and found the most adorable thing EVER; I'll post a picture after I give it to him.)

In the local home-furnishings store I love so much, the owner/friend of mine said, "We saw your name in the paper today." Huh? She pointed toward her mom, who was behind the counter further back in the store. Her mom was waving the section at my mom and me. We walked back there and, yup, sure enough, there was an article of mine in a special section. It was this year's holiday cookie story, which I wrote back in July for a freelance client. I never know where my stuff is going to end up. I Google myself from time to time just to see.

"A celebrity in our midst!" said the mom.

"Hardly," I laughed, and started to browse again. It's a weird thing, attention. I think I want it, yet when I get it, I can't wave it off fast enough.

I managed to ditch my mom so I could buy an early Christmas gift for my parents, a Christmas decoration, which necessitated giving it to them in advance of the holidays.

(I spied it in a store last week and went back to buy it today. I told the woman at the store that the yellow snowman looked like my mom. "This looks like you mom?" she asked. "Well, the face reminds me of her. She has a sweet face. She's not tubby like a snowman," I said.)

So I took it over to their house. Them, actually. I took them over to their house. Three snowmen. They came as a set. I really only wanted the little yellow guy because he reminded me of my mom and yellow is her favorite color, but then I realized that the green snowman can be me and the red snowman can be my dad, because green and red are our favorite colors. Yellow Snowman is missing his black pipe-cleaner cane. I think I must have left it behind at the store.

From my folks' house, I stopped by my brother's house to take gander at the kids' Christmas lists. My niece's list takes up an entire notebook-paper page. My elder nephew's list is only slightly shorter, but more than a third of it is books. Real books. Even some George Orwell. I found my younger nephew with his head between his knees on the stairs.

"You OK, honey?" I asked.

"I'm contemplating," he said.

He had only managed to contemplate four things on to his Christmas list. I asked him if he thought he could have it done by Thanksgiving, so I could look at it then. He seemed to think that was reasonable.

When you were 13, did you have trouble thinking of what you wanted for Christmas? I don't remember having that problem.

Back home, I even tackled a PowerPoint that showed up in my mailbox for work. I try to never work on Sundays, but this is a last-minute presentation and I thought I'd try to make life easier on my co-worker tomorrow by getting a jump on things today. Airport layovers are annoying enough without having to deal with e-mailing files to clients. No, he should be able to get a cup of Starbucks for 14 smackers and enjoy his inevitable flight delay just like everybody else.

Tonight, I started watching The Hoax but have turned it off for the time being. Even Richard Gere can't make the '70s look good.

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