I was motivated enough by Michael Palin's Diaries to try to keep track of every day in 2009, and by every day, I mean the ones when I wear something other than sweatpants, a Kool Aid mustache and a light dusting of dog hair. I attempted to do this last year--going so far as to actually rescue a pleatherbound journal from the Borders sidewalk clearance table--but that lasted all of nine days. Maybe I just gave up or maybe at that point I was so busy cleaning up after Pigpen The Dirt Monster that the Lysol burns on my hands made it impossible to hold a pen. I'm not terribly upset because Oh Eight gobbled so much ass that I really don't care to recall it but there have been times I've regretted not getting my Pepys on. Right before I started college, a then-junior friend encouraged me to keep a daily diary and I wish I'd taken her advice. Of course now she's an unlicensed midwife who delivers babies on tarps but she seemed stable enough then.
Anyway, here's my first Palin-inspired attempt at highlighting some crap from last week.
1) Last Monday, my friend Tommy and I decided to spend the day at the movies because he was off from work for the MLK holiday and my sans job status means EVERY DAY is a holiday, assuming that your holidays involve eating unlabeled cans of tuna from the Dollar Tree and seeing if you can wash your face with your own tears. We scanned the paper and selected Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon, an excellent--if pretentious--double feature that we referred to as our pas de douche.
Speaking of Slumdog, a couple of weeks ago I got an e from a reader named Marvin who wrote "I've noticed that when I tell people I didn't like [S-Mill ], I might as well have told them that I dated Timothy McVeigh." I'm sorry (?) to report that I dug it. Did it have more cheese than my $12 concession nachos? Yeah. Did you have to suspend your disbelief high enough to brush against the theatre sprinklers? Of course. But the device used to unravel the story--the snippets of Jamal's life being recalled in the context of a quiz show--that appealed to the writer in me. Also, from now on I insist on using Anil Kapoor's pronunciation of "milliiinnaaaire".
After nixing My Bloody Valentine: 3D because our poorly equipped theatre offered only two of the promised Ds, we rounded out the evening with Frost/Creepy Prosthetic Jowls. I expected the kind of dry History Channel tedium found in things like A History of Burlap or Your Gums & You but I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it was. Odd as it sounds, it has more in common with sports flicks than with the rigor mortis of typical biopics (AND I'M STARING INTO YOUR WAXY DEAD EYES, THE QUEEN) with the two challengers, the build-up to the big double-breasted, clipboard wielding event and even a training montage, albeit the first one to include dramatic closeups of words being circled in a telephone transcript.
2) So here's something impulsive and foolish that doesn't involve the morning after pill. I'll be in London from February 8-13, solely because I found a direct flight from my closest major airport for $246. Read that number again and tell me that I was right to cancel my dental checkup for this because it's totally normal for your gums to bleed if you breathe too hard.
This will be my third trip to LDN and it remains one of my fave places in the world. I haven't been since '05--a biz trip for my last office job--when I spent the majority of my time in kitchen showrooms, feigning interest in faucet traps while gazing longingly out the store windows at people doing anything other than amassing a pile of soon-to-be-discarded catalogs of cabinet hinges.
This will be the first time I've traveled abroad alone and I think it'll be good for me to--as Tommy put it--"widen my circle of comfort" and no, that is definitely not a euphemism. He's right, but despite an exchange rate favorable enough for me to Super Size my Fish Fingers Happy Meal, I'll also be widening my circle of debt. SO if any of my British readers (or their employers) would like to hire me to write funny things and tell you about American customs like littering and Diabetes, I'd be down with that. Seriously, I would move there in one beat of my 220 volt heart.
I found a hotel on Venere.com that I can kind of afford which means it will be approximately the size of my microwave and operated by a nice man named Fagin, but I don't plan on being there except to fall facedown in my fetus-sized bed. I've got a full run of museums planned--I've never made it to the Tate Modern--a Robyn Hitchcock concert and an attempt at getting into the West Ham football match on Sunday since I've never been stabbed in the earholes either. That said, if anyone has any suggestions for restaurants or other things I may want to get into (LIKE HUGH LAURIE'S TROUSERS), leave 'em in the comments.
3) I discovered Keebler Cookie Crunch cereal this week because it was 2 boxes for 4 bones at the grocery store and I don't know whether to be proud or disgusted that it just took two oversized bowls for me to scarf all ten servings in Box #1. I gave my colon the day off today but look forward to cracking into its twin tomorrow, as well as inevitably going bald from malnutrition.
4) This trip means that I'm freaking out about money more than ever, to the point where I've considered unplugging my oven because all I use it for is storing my summer clothes and its green digital clock doesn't tick for free. On the tiny victories front, running doesn't cost a damn thing, thanks to my former job at the running store where I scored enough pairs of shoes to OD on overpronation control.
I'll be doing the Boston Marathon again in April and, for real, the first month of my training program has been a struggle. I have rated each run from 1 to 5 with FIVE being a night spent with Hugh Laurie eating a brand name can of Lobster Bisque and knowing that he's going to put out as soon as I clean the splatters out of the microwave and ONE being a still-frozen toaster strudel harvested from the dumpster and split with the mailman who can wear his eyebrows as a hat, suffice it to say that each effort so far has been a negative four. Until yesterday.
I did a hard 14 miler that edged closer to Bisque territory, despite the chilly temps that forced me to encase myself in spandex compression tights, an unflattering garment that makes me look like Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. Sometimes I hate that runners have to dress like assholes.
My standard route starts at my place and winds through Ye Olde Historick section of downtown where an overweight man with a stained leather apron pretends to be a blacksmith and a group of tourists from Ohio pretends to give a fuck. After five miles, the pavement is replaced with a worn dirt trail that circles around a stagnant fishing lake. I spend the better part of each winter doing long runs through the woods, trying not to trip over tree roots and playing my favorite game, "Guess Who Pooped Here?" So far, I've identified dog, deer, horse and human, the latter being worth the most points and the most shouted profanities at phantom shitters.
My overall pace was 7:55, so I rewarded myself by eating a Baconator. In the bathtub.
5) I gave in and started a Tumblr. I now Tumbl. You have no idea how much this makes me hate myself. Anyway, check it out, follow it, show it to your parents as an illustration for how much lamer you could be. Tumblr. Just writing that makes me feel like such a losr.
Update: Angela asked a valid question, namely "why did you start a Tumblr?" Easy. I adore this site and dig putting tons of lovingly selected words here but sometimes I have pics or links I'd like to share (or just keep track of) but don't always think they'd fit in. Thus, the Tumblr, which will be the 'net version of that dish you keep on your dresser where you throw loose change, ticket stubs, and painkillers.