SATURATION AND SLOTH
Today I emerged from about two weeks of sloth and television saturation. Because the holidays fell on weekends the week between was basically a non-work week. And because my boss was out of town until this afternoon he told me I didn’t need to worry about being in the office until then. So theoretically I could’ve spent most of today at the movies. Or playing. Except that after almost two weeks of non stop, torrential rain which trapped me in my house I pretty much couldn’t wait to get here. To work.
The last two weeks have been reminiscent of long rainy periods of torpor and paralysis not experienced since my teenage years. It was great to have the time off, but it was so fucking wet and dismal and crowded, because all the people in town for the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade were strewn between Santa Monica and my house, I couldn’t bear to get out there and deal with it.
I watched a lot of television. I mean a lot. Like I watched a “Tammy” marathon – remember those old movies with Hayley Mills and Debbie Reynolds about a backward girl who talks like it’s 1890. It was mostly because I was too lethargic to get off the couch and put in a DVD, but when I think about it that’s almost bordering on psychotic behavior. Still it could’ve been worse. I could’ve been glued to tsunami coverage which I had to take in in very small doses. As the number climbed higher it got more and more inconceivable – especially from this great distance. Looking at the pictures of the people and the devastation I got number than I already was. Tragic loss of life brings up a helplessness that makes me want to get numb, hence the Tammy marathon.
I cooked a lot utilizing the can goods and freezer food that I keep on hand in case of natural disaster. There was no sugar in the house so I ate a whole crate of Clementines – the seedless sweet tangerines that I really used to love a lot. I shunned any and all forms of productivity – no writing, no exercising, no talking on the phone, no cleaning other than doing laundry and the massive quantities of dishes. Oh! And no make up or brushing of the hair, and I pretty much went around dressed in my pajamas. Even running to the store to pick something up – just threw the coat over the p.j.s.
I did go out in clothes a few times...
On Wednesday the 30th when I went to meet Lady Euthanasia and Alison our rocking insurance agent to celebrate the arrival of M’s insurance card. She’s covered! Woohoo! We drank martinis at Lola’s and told each other about our exciting plans for New Year’s Eve. M wins. She was going to slip on her corset and fangs, pack up her bondage ropes and other fun stuff and go to the Laire de Sade. She’s a femdom and an excellent writer of dark fiction, gothic horror and horror/erotica. She’s also one of my most interesting and fabulous new friends of 2004!
My plan was to go to a friend’s house for dinner and champagne and try to stay awake until midnight. There was a magnum of Veuve, but no exotic bondage demos.
Miss Mia came up on the 30th for the sleepover her mother and I had been promising her since she was four. She’s now six and we had so much fun. She and I would’ve been very happy hanging in the house and watching the Princess Diaries and Hilary Duff movies, but her mommy is allergic to cats and she needed to get outside. So we went to the Grove, along with, oh about 20,000 other people. By the time we got there at about 5pm there were only about 200 parking places available on the eight floors in the massive parking structure.
The Grove has these remarkably handy parking space counters on each floor so you don’t have to drive around. You can see right when you drive in exactly how many spots there are and go to the floor where you’ve got a good shot at getting one. The day before, Dec. 29th, I arrived at the Grove at 1:20 in the afternoon, thinking that the small break in the apocalyptic rainfall would be a good time to go see a movie. When I got to the parking structure every floor was FULL according to the counters. Since I was stuck in the “going in” lanes, I took my ticket and then drove straight out the employee’s entrance and out of the parking structure and went back home. By the time I turned the corner to head home it was raining so hard I could hardly see out my window for the 4 blocks I had to drive home.
So when Mia and her mommy and I went to the Grove the next night, I was heartened to see that out of the thousands of parking places there were at least 200 for us to choose from. And it wasn’t raining. It was only freezing cold. Because this was a birthday treat Mia got to choose the restaurant and there was only an hour and a half wait to get a table, so we went and stood in line to ride the trolley that trundles between the Farmer’s Market and the Grove. That took about 45 minutes since not only were the occupants of all the cars in the parking lot at the Grove, but so were the occupants of the 100 tourist buses in the parking lot. And everyone wanted to ride the trolley. But it was what she wanted to do and that’s what we did and I kept my whining to a minimum. It's all about the good example. By the time we got to dinner I really needed a drink. When we got home it was jammies and face masks and tiaras and photos and then some Princess Diaries. And that was the most fun I had the whole time I was off work.
New Year’s day was a good time, but staying up till midnight the night before made me a tad less than perky and I procrastinated so long in getting up and going to the pig cookin' party I hda to skip the shower that might've revived me. I did manage to get some lipstick on and wore bright colors to balance my lethargy and lack of chat. E & Ig roasted a whole pig in La Cajachina out in the front yard and it was cold and gray so I spent most of the day huddling near the radiant heat from the coals on top (so that shower would've been moot because I smelled like charcoal fire after the first half hour). Oh, and I sipped on Guinness, Celebration beer and some other special brew that started with a “P” that they had on tap while waiting for the pig to be done. That gave me some of my chat back. At the halfway point when the box was opened so the pig could be flipped I almost decided to become a vegetarian because the pig’s little head was in there too. I said a drunken prayer of thanks to the animal that gave up its life to be my dinner on New Year’s day, or rather evening. It was one of the best meals I ever ate.
R. and I decided to go see Phantom of the Opera – we both love the play, it makes me cry. I can’t stand Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals but for some reason I love Phantom, so I loved the movie. But as time passed, inside me something went horribly wrong. It may have been the goat cheese tart and all the raw spinach with fresh poppy seed dressing combined with the black beans that I ate with the pig. It may have been all that beer and then the wine, but I blew up like Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka, and by the time we got to the theatre I wanted nothing more than to take my pants off and lay down in the fetal position across the stadium seats. Unfortunately it was too full of people for me to do that without infringing on my neighbors, and so except for one burp that slipped out and made R. laugh at me, the pressure continued to build. And then I cried like I always do at Phantom so by the end of the evening I just wanted to go home and be sick. I did and I was. All night and all the next day.
By Monday the news was starting to go into the whole bit about how the ground was so saturated it couldn’t take any more water and mudslides would be imminent. Consequently, I had to rethink my party plans for the National Championship game last night. I was supposed to go up to Malibu and watch with some friends, but I was visualizing the walls of dirt that often slide across PCH after this kind of rain carrying my car into the ocean as I toiled up the coast in downpour. Crazy thoughts and visions that seemed very real so I was relieved to hear from my friends that they were all throwing up with the flu and the party was off.
There are really no words to describe how wonderful it was to wake up this morning to no rain and patches of blue sky. I was up at 6a.m. and out the door at 7:30 on my way to the gym and work. It finally feels like the actual New Year. And I have two whole days to look forward to getting out of the house and coming to work!