It's not that I dislike my job, but more often than not I find myself awfully annoyed by how much work gets in the way of the rest of my life. You know? I'm a busy girl! I've got a yard to pretty up! Friends to see! Concerts to attend! Books to read! A blog to ignore! Not to mention a couch that's almost losing its indentation of my ass, such has been the lack of time I've frittered away on it of late. Don't get me wrong; I'm aware that it's scary out there right now, and I'm thankful to have a job to inconvenience me. But surely I'm not the only gainfully employed one who thinks, every Sunday night, "Can't I please have one more day of weekend? Please?"
There's a scene in the not-very-good film Kate & Leopold in which Meg Ryan is blissfully entwined with Hugh Jackman on her patio. It's a Saturday night, and she asks what time it is, and when he says it's after midnight, she groans, "Ugh. It's Sunday." "But you don't work on Sunday," Hugh says, pointing out that she still has one more day of weekend left. "Yes, but Sunday is the day before the day I work," she replies, "so it gets poisoned."
I can totally relate. Lately I find myself prematurely depressed about the end of the weekend on Friday already. I know realistically that if I didn't have someplace to go every week day, I'd eventually feel directionless and bored. And yet, given the means, I'm quite convinced I could be rather content as a lady of leisure for a rather long time, in fact.
With that in mind, I gave myself a random vacation day today, and I have to say, the pressure to do something notable with vacation days is entirely overrated. I am a big proponent of the random vacation day, and I refuse to chastise myself for not making more of it. After a busy weekend, I was exhausted last night, meaning I got to bed at a reasonable hour and woke up just in time for Ellen. After that, I got sucked into an episode and a half of today's pre-season-premiere marathon of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which I probably would have watched the whole damn day had Grace not spouted yet another 7th Heaven-esque line about the power of prayer in deciding whether or not to have premarital underaged sex, at which point I remembered just how depressing it is to see Molly Ringwald and Josie Bissett as the parents of TV teenagers on a poorly written show that is simultaneously scandalous and annoyingly wholesome and I decided it really was time to get myself outside to transplant some day lilies.
Can I just say that, while taking a vacation day to do the things you didn't quite get to over the weekend is a fine idea, doing those things when it's nearly 90 degrees outside is maybe not? I realize it is still only June, and it's been, for the most part, a blessedly cool June thus far. But after the past few days, I can confidently say I am done with abysmally hot weather for this year. Should I decide to visit a beach or a water park this summer, I would appreciate an 85+ degree day that day. Until that point, however, pressing the "Hold" button somewhere in the low 70s would be A-OK by me.
So let's see. What else did I do with my impromptu three-day weekend (other than sweat buckets in my perennial beds, that is)? Well, I spent a day on the lawn of The Walker taking in the first big outdoor concert event of the summer. Although I am terrible at estimating the number of anything in large masses, I suspect there were at least 8,000 people at that event, and yet, shockingly, I did not see even ONE past date there. I did go to the event with two men I at one point dated, but that hardly counts as an unexpected run-in, obviously. One of those men was disappointed I didn't have any awkward run-ins. "I wanted to see one o' yer fellas!" he kept saying, in an amusingly uncharacteristic old man redneck tone. I'm sure more than one o' "my fellas" was there somewhere, but for once, I managed not to cross paths with them.
Also, I changed the battery in my trusty(ish) old Saturn (with the help of two boys, admittedly). And just as I was sighing with relief that my car's failure Friday night was just as simple a fix as the battery, the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. I'm still hoping it's just a glitch as it has been the last few times that light appeared and it'll shut off again midway through my commute tomorrow. Given that the practical things in my life have a way of punishing me when I splurge or spend frivolously, however, I remain more than a bit wary. You see, Friday night I went into Target for shower gel, blush, and toothpaste, and I came out with those items plus $109 worth of skirts, capris, and tops. The last time I spontaneously spent over a hundred dollars on clothing, my water heater died the next day. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I'm still terrified to buy anything else nonessential any time soon.
In today's requisite Facebook news, I would like to report that Facebook now thinks I should be friends with The Neighborhood Giant, who I have never searched for on the site and who is not in my address book, proving yet again that Facebook knows more about me than it should and perhaps the conspiracy theorists are right and CIA-type intelligence is behind this presumably harmless social networking diversion after all.
And finally, apropos of nothing and offered only as your interesting bit of trivia for the day, did the rest of you NPR nerds know that Peter Sagal (he of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me fame) is also a playright? And that his one big chance at a movie deal was for a film he wanted to write about an American girl in Cuba in the 1950s and the effect of the political unrest on her life there? It was a movie that got shelved for years, until, in true Hollywood form, it was reworked and retooled without any input from its original writer, and was eventually released as Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.
Selfishly, what is most disturbing to me about this story is not that Peter Sagal missed his big break and had his hard work turned into one of the most unnecessary and forgettable movie sequels ever made. No, it is that, as Peter relayed the opening portions of this story to Ira Glass on this week's This American Life, I immediately said, "That sounds like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights." He told a little more of the story, and I said, "That's TOTALLY Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights!" And when he he paused for effect before stating the title under which the film was eventually released, I beat him to the answer by crying out, yet again, "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights!"
I have a friend who has implied, more than once, that I am apparently unrelatably high-brow. It's a vision of me that I've always found baffling, and as such, I've disputed it repeatedly. With my embarrassing knowledge of this particular film, I think I can solidly rest my case finally.