Thursday, September 30, 2010

the vacation diary: days ten through seventeen

Yes, I'm really still doing this.  I need to finish something in my life, and here's where I've taken my stand.  Judge away.  I have taken the liberty of combining the last eight days of vacation because honestly I remember very little at this point.


Day 10:  Most of my nearest and dearest departed for their homes on Labor Day.  Ring got to travel back with Michelle's crew instead of her own and spent a night at Nana's without her parents--the first time she's done that.  Pinkie and Thumb (and Susan) looked sad and uncertain about it all as they drove away without her, but I think it worked out fine (or if it didn't, no one mentioned it to me).  We did a bit more family hanging out on Monday and shared our Christmas cabin research with some of the aunts and cousins, where it was met with excitement.  After the last car had rolled out heading towards Kentucky, I headed home to become a vacation slug once more.  I'm pretty sure the Gilmore Girls were heavily involved.

Day 11:  It's all a blur of tv and internet and living in a cave of laziness, which means it was a successful day. 

Day 12:  I resolved on facebook to do at least one useful thing on Wednesday, but it took a while to get there with my standard morning of sleep, tv, and internet.  Jess was home on Wednesday, but she went somewhere in the afternoon.  I forget where.  I was messing around on facebook and saw that Lisa had posted a photo of the first carpet tiles going down in our department, and I got really excited to see it in person.  I had some holds to pick up anyway, so I went to the library.  I got to see the progress being made on the renovation, and I ended up working for about an hour and a half.  I had also forgotten to fill in my vacation on my timesheet, so it was handy that I had the impulse to go in.  By the time I wrapped things up at work, I had to book it home to pick up Jess to head to church.  That felt like a normal Wednesday.  I continued work on the little baby hat while at church.  Jess had heard at work that Tropical Smoothie was having some sort of special that week in the evenings, so we went there and discovered that the special was in the afternoons, but I enjoyed our time there, nonetheless. 

Day 13:  The night before I made a plan with Jess to go to lunch and then to paint pottery.  Then I overslept because obeying alarms is for people who have to work.  We eventually made it to lunch--and missed any lunch crowd we might have encountered, if I'd gotten up on time--at Senor Tequila.  When we got to Firefly, Jess decided she would just watch me paint instead of painting herself.  I was working on a project that will eventually be a gift for a person who might read this, so I won't say more than that for now.  We didn't really have much of a deadline, but Jess was meeting some folks to go to a boxing class at 6:15, so we just needed to be home in time for her to change and drive back across the river.  Unfortunately, our late start combined with the fact that I'm the slowest pottery painter in the world meant that I really had to hustle at the end, and then various unfortunate traffic patterns around the greater Little Rock area almost made her late again, but she made it eventually.

Day 14:  I don't recall anything that happened early in the day on Friday, but the main event was my triumphant return to the movies.  I hadn't been to see a movie in the theater in forever.  I seriously can't remember the last time, but I'm decently certain it was in 2009.  Rob, Smon, Hailsey, and I went to see The Switch, and it turned out to be pretty good thing.  We had sort of stopped going to the movies for a while because it seemed like we were only seeing really bad ones, so it was kind of special for us all to see one that we didn't hate.  Jason Bateman redeemed himself with Robyn, who was still carrying a grudge from The Ex.  I'm glad they made up because I love Jason Bateman.  We laughed and had a good time and felt delighted that our good movie drought was over.  Everyone came over to my messy house afterward to talk about teaching school and lazy vacations and stuff.

Day 15:  Jess worked most of the day, so I did even less than normal.  At some point either on Thursday or Saturday I watched The Ugly Truth, which I had checked out from the library.  It was okay, I guess.  Nothing to write home about certainly.  I know there was a situation (because it's recorded on facebook) where I was having to choose between hunger and laziness.  I resolved it by venturing out into the world for some drive-through fast food.  I was also hankering something sweet and needed to to buy a birthday card.  I ended up going to Walgreens.  After some aimless wandering from cookies to candy to Halloween candy and back again, I decided that what I really wanted was s'mores, so I gathered up the materials for that.  Buying graham crackers at Walgreens is the least economical decision I made during the whole vacation.

Day 16:  Laziness was put on hold so that I could get to church way early, keep nursery, and teach four-year-olds again.  I fell in love with a beautiful little toddler named Christian, who really wanted his mother but settled for snuggling with me and occasionally crying gorgeous tears.  When I got to Bible class, I discovered that Christian's mother was the lead teacher who'd been out of town the first week.  While I was sitting in the floor with my four-year-olds, telling/reading the story of David and Goliath, I noticed that my back started hurting in a weird spot.  By the time class was over, it was getting difficult to ignore.  By the time we ate lunch at Cracker Barrel, I was in serious need of a bed.  I spent the afternoon alternating between the bed and couch in search of a comfortable position.  Shane had finally given me Gilmore Girls season 6, so I had some distraction from the pain.  I decided to forgo two car rides and an hour in a pew, and after trying every possible position in the floor, I found a relative amount of ease in the recliner.  Eventually I staggered to bed and slept uncomfortably.

Day 17:  Monday was meant to have been my first day back at work, but when I woke up, my back still hated me--though perhaps less than it hated me on Sunday.  I decided to give it one more day of resting to see if it would shape up.  Plus our department was closed for one final day on Monday to put things back in place after the great carpet upheaval.  I might have been able to handle sitting calmly at a desk in a comfortable chair, but I knew my back had no business pushing carts or lifting stacks of books, and I knew if I was mixed up in all that work stuff, I'd do something stupid.  So I stayed at home.  But since the laziness was sanctioned by my sore back, I felt even less guilt about my slug-like tendencies than I did when I was actually on vacation, which is why I finished season 6 of the Gilmore Girls in just over 24 hours and still got a full night's sleep.  At this point in the vacation, there was no more food left in the house--and cooking wasn't high on my list of priorities anyway, so I think I ordered pizza Monday night while Jess was at work.

And on Tuesday, I faced the music and went back to work--with a mostly pain-free back.  I still don't know what was up with that.  I'd like to be able to tell you that I went back to work rested and energized and eager to dive back into satisfying and important work.  But mostly I showed up and survived and started counting down the days to the next vacation.  I know you are too, imaginary readers.

Food consumed:  Aunt Donna made sloppy joes on Monday.  I hadn't tried one in years, as they have always been high on the list of things I don't eat, but I decided to give them another chance--since the reintroduction of sweet potatoes went so well last year, I've known that my taste buds had changed.  I actually enjoyed it, so the official list of foods I hate is down to just three, I think:  fish and cowboy beans and grits.  Actually there are probably more things on the list, but those are the three that I always remember.  At home during the week, I ate leftover spaghetti and leftover brownies and leftover pineapple cheese dip.  I'm pretty sure chips and salsa and pepperonis and crackers were consumed.  I might have eaten ice cream, and I think I made grilled cheese a time or two.  I can't remember what the name of the smoothie was that I had on Wednesday, but it definitely had orange and pineapple and strawberry and maybe banana.  I also had a sandwich there, but I don't remember what kind.  I had my usual fajita nachos with no beans at Senor Tequila and discovered that their fruit punch can't compare to Mexico Chiquito's.  Friday we ate at Great Wraps before the movie, where I reunited with the best curly fries in the world.  We also ate movie popcorn, which is a rare treat for me.  That night I went to Walgreens, I had a hamburger from Hardee's and microwaved s'mores, which were just what I wanted.  At Cracker Barrel on Day 16, they brought me green beans instead of cabbage, and the cabbage was important enough that I had to have it too, so I ended up with an extra vegetable to go along with my chicken tenderloins, so I ate a bunch and still got to take home chicken, green beans, cabbage, hash brown casserole, and biscuits, but I think I ate all the carrots the first go round.  Extra leftovers came in handy during the back drama.  For the second time, I had a spinach, bacon, alfredo pizza from Dominos, and it was a delight.  Please do not consider this an exhaustive list, but you get the idea.

Bright spots:
Day 10:  family time
Day 11:  Gilmore Girls
Day 12:  smoothie
Day 13:  pottery painting
Day 14:  Robyn, Smonica, Hailey (who hasn't earned her place in the middle, even in a list)
Day 15:  s'mores
Day 16:  sweet, pretty little babies who snuggle
Day 17:  Gilmore Girls

Thus ended the chronicle of the least interesting vacation ever taken.  You're welcome.

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