It is cool and grey outside this morning. It is Monday. School started in San Francisco today. I will be back at work next Monday. So, this is the last Monday that I can basically do whatever it is I want to do and all those things that we always say we will do all summer long because we have all this time to do all the things we never can get done during the other times that are not the summer time. In less than a month I will longingly think of entire days to do all these sorts of things and it will seem like so much time.
Today it does not seem like all that much time.
And I have all these things I
want to need to should could will do. Of course, I could have done them earlier/sooner/with more time to spare. But I did not, because during the summer there is always another day.
Until there is not.
And this summer was especially weird for me because I truly, for the first time that I can ever remember, had a total staycation. I was home all summer long. At first I found this depressing, and even a little embarrassing because, of course, the first question anyone ever asks a person in my profession in mid-June is: “So, where are you going this summer?” This summer I stayed home. I was kind of a housewife. For real. I did yoga everyday. I went to the gym most days. I kept my house really, really clean. I grocery shopped. I cooked a lot of amazing meals. Subsequently, I washed a shit load of dishes. I cleaned the cat box multiple times a day. I visited with friends. I went out to really good local restaurants. I drank a lot of wine. And a lot of beer. Oh hell, I drank a lot of margaritas too. I went to the park. I got my nails done. I went to museums. I wrote some. I read some. I did not see many movies, but I could have. I did not see much live music, but again, I guess I could have. I saw a few baseball games. I rented a garage.
Looking back on it, I feel like asking myself, what the hell I actually did to pass all this time (66 days, as of today, if you are wondering.)
My pal C was one of the best reminders of how to have a really good summer vacation – her basic philosophy is, “It is Mon/Tues/Wednes/Thurs/Fri/Satur/Sun-day so do whatever you want, because you can.” I like that. She fundamentally believes that there is nothing one should or should not do. Because it is summer vacation. Every time I hang out with her I am filled with tons of sensations of summer success.
My mom wanted me to write a book. Of course she did. She is my mom. I thought about it, like what I would write. I even sort of came up with a framework for a collection of essays. My mom and I would love it, I know. A friend from college who works in TV wanted me to write a pilot. I liked this idea because in spite of my best efforts to not be this way, I love the idea of getting paid inappropriate amounts of money for something I would like to be doing anyhow. Though it turns out that avarice might not actually be the best motivator – I found that I spent a lot of time thinking about what I would do with the success that would result from the unwritten pilot, rather than writing the pilot.
I still like thinking about it.
I was filled with the desire to find a new place to live this summer. For those who might not have worked this out, The Cowboy is here to stay now, and frankly, two large-sized humans, one large-sized cat, and one small cat with extra-large sized personality, make this space seem really small. In response to this I went on Craig’s List and started looking. It turns out, I am about as particular about living spaces as everything else. I felt like I didn’t really have that many specs – hardwood floors (really, who would live in a rental with carpets? Who would have a rental with carpets?), preferably not a ground floor situation, gas stove, light, no forced air heat, parking, closets, cats, close to Bart, not close to gangland – and then I realized that I did have a lot of specs. And it turns out that to get my needs met in my neighborhood, I would be paying $3-4K for a one bedroom apartment. This was clearly out of the question. The Cowboy said for that kind of rent, we had better be living on a beach. I thought about looking in Bali. In spite of the reality that there was no way I was going to find anything in a reasonable price range that met my needs, I developed a Craig’s List obsession that lasted for several weeks. I could not stop looking on the outside chance that “the perfect place” would somehow materialize if I were only diligent enough.
Then one day, in the midst of bargaining with myself: I could live with that kitchen… maybe I can convince them to take cats… six blocks uphill both ways to Bart might not be that bad… it is not that dark – I decided to look at garages. I mean, one of the big issues we were facing was that the Cowboy has to deal with parking in the neighborhood everyday – and parking is as rare as reasonable rent here. And the next thing I knew, we had a two- (maybe even three) car garage with a full work room. We have a man-cave. I think this will be a good thing. And, for the first time in more than a decade I will not be paying (at least directly) for storage.
So there is that.
I had all these movie I wanted to see this summer. I never really did. We finally watched The Hunger Games last night. The Cowboy was very disappointed. I thought it was alright. It certainly was better than the other two movies that I saw this summer: Magic Mike and The Dark Knight Rises. The latter led the Cowboy to declare that I am not allowed to pick the next movie we see. Perhaps ever. I honestly cannot even say the punishment is undeserved, or tell you which of the two films was the worst, they were both such total crap.
I did have a lot of baseball joy this summer. The As continue to entertain me and be the good time team with the good time fans that they always have. And they are winning some games, which makes it even better. Then there is also the Petaluma National Little League team with my friend’s nephew pitching, another friend is coaching, playing in the LLWS in Williamsport, which is completely awesome. These are times when being from a small town is really amazing. Go team! And on the Schadenfreude side of life, it has been fun to watch the Melk-down of the Giants superstar. There you go haters, have some karma.
I also watched the entire Tour de France and Summer Olympics. I am sporty like that.
In terms of travel, I did go to Vegas last week with A and her daughters and that was awesome. I mean, Vegas is kind of not awesome, so you make it awesome. Here is what was awesome: 1) it was hot and I am tan; 2) being able to be VIP and not deal with the riff-raff; 3) Cirque du Soleil “Love”… there are not words for how awesome that show is, simply put, it cannot be simply put. And being in the front row is especially amazing; 4) leaving Vegas as the weekend scenesters arrive. It was interesting to realize that I will probably endeavor to never be in Vegas on a weekend ever again in my life because I really got a little sick to my stomach contemplating the volume of people. And frankly, the whole 24-hour pool party thing seems really gross to me for myriad reasons, not all about infection potential. Maybe this is the sign I have been waiting for signalling middle age. Or it could just be what good judgment looks like. I am not overly familiar with either concept.
Today, on this grey final Monday of freedom I am going to try to get the course readers for my seniors completed. I already went to yoga, and I am going to go to the gym in a little while. I will probably go to the grocery store. I may do laundry, but will more likely take to Amy at the Wash-n-Fold. But all this will happen eventually.
I mean, after all, I have all day…
photo from here.