Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weekend Update: July 4th Edition


I didn't have any major travel plans this July 4th weekend, so this will be just a regular old weekend update.

Thursday, July 3rd

12:00 noon - With stomach growling, regret decision to both skip both breakfast and lunch in the hopes of picking up something to eat after early 1:00 dismissal from work.

1:00 - Get out of work and skip all the way home. Note how bizarre it is to be walking home at this time with the blazing hot sun overhead.

1:15 - Experience severe bout of indecision over lunch options. Continue trek through streets of midtown, searching for something to eat that does not involve sitting, as you just want to go home and throw your work clothes in the hamper.

1:35 - Order chicken roll at Ray's Pizza. Take chicken roll back to apartment and ravage, picking bits of cheese out of the tinfoil and promising to make a return to the gym - at some point. Consider installing CCTV to thwart this kind of barbaric eating behavior.

Click Read more to continue.

2:00 - Head for Astoria to complete set of four July 4th-themed mosaic candle holders for sister. Make a mental note to stop at the dollar store to pick up some disposable gloves to avoid getting grout all over your hands.

3:30 - Kick yourself for forgetting to buy gloves as you begrudgingly stir grout and water in Pyrex measuring cup.

3:35 - Discover that, while you still hate grouting, you can get most of the mess off your hands by pouring Elmers glue on them and clapping your hands together.

5:30 - Kick yourself for leaving your excellent Nikon camera at David's apartment as you struggle to work your obsolete AA-battery-operated FujiPix camera in order to document your mosaic progress.

7:00 - Cringe over photos on laptop screen. Most are overexposed or grainy and dark. Vow to take a hammer to your obsolete AA-battery-operated FujiPix camera when you get your Sacred Nikon back from David. Photo editing software does little to salvage pictures for blog.

Friday, July 4th

10:00 - Head back to Astoria to work on mosaics all day, since Larry will be working and you have no friends. Significant lack of people in the streets as well as on the train. Fantasy version of New York comes true.

11:00 - Pick up a dozen donuts and coffee for your mother. Promise yourself that you will eat none of these donuts.

11:10 - Sit down at kitchen table with mother and make small talk. Open box of donuts and ask her, "So...which of these donuts are your least favorite," as a way to feel less guilty somehow.

11:15 - Eat double chocolate donut. Declare that "it was worth it" because this particular batch of donuts is fresh, not stale.

4:30 - Cringe at father's offering of liver and onions for dinner.

8:00 - Laugh uncontrollably while watching Keeping Up Appearances on PBS. Wonder if it is too soon to start a Christmas wish list.

Saturday, July 5th

12:45 - Leave apartment and head for Penn Station. Smile entire time because it is raining. This means that there will be NO screeching idiot beachgoers on the train at all today. You can taste the tears of their crushing disappointment and they are delicious. Enjoy blissfully quiet ride and pray for rain next weekend as well.

2:00 - Watch Larry try to troubleshoot his mother's broken digital phone system. Cringe as he yanks violently on the mass of tangled wires behind her desk. Tell him that the modem is not lit and discover the cable wire which was incorrectly installed by last week's technician and has fallen out. Pat self on back for trouble shooting the real problem. Wonder if you could have been an IT professional.

2:30 - Telepathically chant "hurry up, hurry up" to Larry, as we are likely missing out on all the good stuff at Dees Nursery July 4th Sale. You desperately need furniture for your naked deck, as well as a fence to block that snotty, anti-social neighbor next to you.

3:00 - Pull up to Dees and see that the manned parking lot is full. Make a U-turn and get behind the line of cars waiting to enter.

3:10 - Wonder how many little old ladies had to shoplift in order for Dees to implement their "No Pocketbooks" rule, which had the three of us walking back to the car in the rain to put Barbara's pocketbook on the front seat.

3:12 - Wonder if security will be able to thwart a smash-and-grab.

3:20 - Debate which size pot is most similar to the pots we already own.

LARRY: the small one
CHRIS: the big one, the other one is way too small

3:22 - Take several of both pots, arguing that "We need them anyway."

3:55 - Exit Dees. Note to self: If you trust some kid to pack the trunk of your car, he might just drop a wrought iron umbrella stand on top of the bag of potting soil and tear a hole in it. So make sure Larry is there to save the day.

4:00 - Go to Waldbaums. Stock up on heavy items because we are driving back.

4:30 - Go to IHOP with Larry and his mom. Drool over entire menu. Decide that it would be stoooopid to not get the pancakes with your omelete. Drown pancakes in syrup, despite looks from Larry. Note that IHOP makes very unappealing (nasty, undercooked, shitty) hash browns, as evidenced by the untouched pile on Barbara's plate.

6:00 - Leave Long Beach. Swift trip back interrupted by sudden wall of traffic which is caused by an overturned car. Extensive damage to high-performance Mitsubishi pretty much guarantees this was some douchebag showing off - with disastrous results.

7:00 - Unload car. Rush out to deck with flower pots to see whether or not you are wrong. Say nothing when this turns out to be the case.

8:00 - Bring crude compost pile of egg shells and coffee grinds kept in the refrigerator out to deck and mix with potting soil. Marvel over new hose reel.

5:00 a.m. - go to bed.

Sunday, July 6th
10:00 - Wonder how you're going to function on only 5 and a half hours of sleep.

10:30 - Take train back to Astoria

11:30 - Stop at bagel store for two sesame bagels and container of tuna salad.

11:40 - Wonder if there's some kind of relevance to that fact that your mother didn't sleep last night either. Promise to be quiet when she tells you she'd like to take a nap and turns off the TV and the lights.

11:41 - Say, "What the fuck" when the doorbell rings. Peek through blinds to see that it is an old neighbor, who's decided, "Hey, I don't need to call ahead, I can just drop by whenever the fuck I want and it's okay. And I'll bring the kid, too, because people love to have strange kids wander about their houses, randomly touching things and threatening to break them."

The last time this person visited my mother, I overheard him refer to himself in the third person. ("Should Jack go to the office everyday? Or should Jack be financially independent?")

Almost threw up on myself, I tell you.

11:45 - Whisper to mother, "Go hide in the kitchen," as we figure out what to do. She is not in the mood for uninvited company (Ever hear of calling ahead, people? What the fuck?) so we have to wait it out.

"I hate people," I say to my mother, just before crawling across the living room floor to see if this pest has left. She laughs at the insanity of this situation.

The Pest goes next door and rings my sister's bell, because patience is not a virtue for this person.

I do my best impression of a SWAT team member and bark, "Get upstairs, now!" at my mother. I take my bagels and tuna down to the basement.

My sister comes over (to see that my mother is OK) and the lies begin.

"Where's ma?"
"She's taking a nap."
"You didn't hear the doorbell?"
(angelic voice)"No...I was downstairs."
"Well, Jack is next door in case she wants to see him."
"Oh, I'll let her know."

Honestly, the things you have to do to just because you're feeling a little anti-social today.

And now I know where I get it from.

Eagle doorbell courtesy of Don Mintz

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