Saturday, June 24, 2006

Workweek, Weekend, Whatever

It’s hot, smoldering, sizzling hot, the kind of heat that flashes images in my mind of NYC fire escapes draped with sweltering, dripping wet people avoiding the stuffy air inside their apartments, and that always reminds me that I would enjoy sleeping outside on nights like this, which, in turn, I then picture the older couple with the dog that lived in the upper apartment across the courtyard in “Rear Window,” and, of course, it goes without saying that I then reminisce of my grandparents’ giant sleigh bed they used to sleep in on summer nights like this… on the back patio. This is how my mind works, one track, straight out of town and it rarely circles back.

I think Summer made the decision tonight that it was tired of just being a daytime season like Spring and it wanted a little of the nighttime action Winter gets each year (well, not around here anyway, as Summer is a year-round resident). It’s one in the morning and 82 degrees, and I just now finished giving Matty his midnight bottle; rocking back and forth on the chair in his room while I fed him provided a much appreciated breeze on my face, it’s that stifling, and I feel bad for my brother and his newborn, as their house lacks a/c.

I’ve got the radio on in my office, which is somewhat relaxing, and it seems cooler when there’s music, as if to say that if the radio works, it can’t be that hot. The window’s open, fan’s on, I’m in as little clothes as legally allowed, and the night air outside is filled with crickets and the occasional June Bug smacking into the screen. I actually reached my workload goal for the day, surprise, surprise, so I thought I’d waste a little of everyone’s life by updating my site; note the various changes, including a Simpson’s quote generator to the left and the mild changes in the quotes above that.

Sadly, it took me 14 hours of the day to get here, aside from an hour break for dinner and some horseplay with Gnat in the “train room” (if you’ve been to my house, you know what that is), but other than that, I’ve been uncharacteristically productive, slowly scratching off items on the editorial “to do” list that’s been looming over me like the ecstatic weight of happy news at a funeral; you want to tell someone, anyone, but everyone’s crying, at least until the will’s been read.

I thought I would be up nearly all night easily, as I’ve got quite a load of work still ahead of me, so I started to heavily caffeinate myself early in the day in preparations for burning the midnight oil, and I’m working on the tail end of a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke right now. So, I’m not tired, but I should be; my caffeine high is complemented by the occasional blood-curdling screams emanated from the bedroom next to my office, from Kara’s mom, who talks in her sleep. It makes my heart leap from my chest sometimes, but when I realize that nobody’s being murdered, it’s funny and I’ll have to remember what she says to rib her about it over breakfast tomorrow morning.

So, I’ve got that semi-permanent caramel taste permeating my mouth, and my teeth are buzzing like a neon sign, but that’s probably just the acid quietly eating its way through the enamel on my pearly whites; right now my father is muttering to himself what he always says to me when I consider harming my teeth: “You’d better take good care of those, we spent a lot of money on them.” Meaning the braces of my early teenage years. But in my 33 years chattering away with my remaining 26 teeth (I lost two to make room for the above said braces and two wisdom teeth), only one of them has succumbed to a cavity, and as a kid, I would store them in a bowl of sugar for days as I plowed my way through a box of Twinkies, a gallon or two of Coke and/or other confectionaries that would make my dentist tear up his ADA credentials at the hopelessness of America’s dental future. I think that they might go the way of my metabolism; one day, they’ll just give up and fall out with very few warning signs. Maybe some cracking sounds, like breaking ice, and I’ll be gumming those Twinkies.

Thanks to a coincidental watershed of deadlines that all converge on each other Monday afternoon, I’m giving up my weekend for dead, but then again, what is a weekend to a guy who punches the clock at home and can make any given Tuesday into a Saturday? It’s a psychological ruse of the calendar, something we learned to cherish at a young age in school, when Friday meant school was over and Sunday meant you’d better get your homework done before bed. Same thing goes for the working stiffs, the nine-to-fivers, but there’s no summer to look forward to, so each day, each week, and each month blends into another so smoothly we should just abandon the regular calendar in lieu of a “working man’s” calendar: We could cram all 104 days of Saturdays and Sundays into three solid months of pools, beer, barbeques, and lawn mowers and then languish the rest of the 261 consecutive, continuous, uninterrupted days making a living. Imagine the production when you have nothing to look forward to but another day of work.

Okay, put down your torches and pitchforks, it’ll never happen.

Yesterday, you may remember, I was longing for something a little more exciting to talk about than Matthew finally pushing out his first tooth, and although that is pretty cool to watch my son develop, it doesn’t exactly make for good and riveting reading (or writing for that matter). As promising as the day began, it quickly bottomed out in a quagmire of mediocrity, as the 86,400 seconds droned by with little comment and nothing noteworthy. I guess I expected too much, but catastrophe loomed high on the horizon when my shower suddenly turned cold. Exciting. The pilot light puffed out! Exhilarations ensued. I had to Macgyver a holder that would reach a match into the bottom of the water heater, and without directions, I guessed the procedure to relight it. It was anticlimactic, however, as it really was quite straightforward. Nothing blew up and I didn’t need to scramble for the fire extinguisher or remember to stop, drop and roll.

The shot included in today’s smattering of disjointed and random stream of consciousness is what it looks like to be a fly on the wall in my office. Hey, don’t make fun of the pants pal; they’re warm and comfortable (you can see that it was cold and rainy when this picture was taken way back in February) and they were a gift from my wife for Christmas. As unflattering for me as this picture is, this is how I look on a good day, unshaven, disheveled and drearily disillusioned by the disorganization of a typical day as a work-at-home writer. Believe it or not, I’m living my dream, and if I could get a novel published (hell, if I could find the time to even write one of the dozen excellent ideas I have) I would have to come up with a completely new set of dreams as I would have achieved them all. If only I were rich with actual money and not just with the satisfaction of my current lifestyle.

Then again, if this image of me slouching away in my office smacks of a Bonnie Tyler song, I can assure you that this, right here, is where all the good men have gone, and, trust me, I am the hero she’s singing about: I change diapers, cook dinner, wipe drool from my baby’s chin, play with the dog, wash bottles, do yard work, fix cars, load the dishwasher and do all the laundry. Yes, I’m larger than life, Bonnie, fresh from the fight.

Gnat’s quote of the day: (Referring to one of her toys) “It’s not for you, old man.”


Tris said...

Where exactly is that Simpson’s quote generator to the left?

Tris said...

Eureka! The generator has been generated.


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