Monday, June 22, 2009

I've also seen all three High School Musicals. What does THAT say about me?

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.


3carnations said...

I also like the random vacation day. Although with one "special day off" every week now, there is really no need to take random vacation days. I get one every week. Except without pay.

-R- said...

Did he get paid for Dirty Dancing: Havana nights?

Do you think you could be in The Neighborhood Giant's contacts so that you came up for him and FB then connected the two of you?

I have been disappointed by Target's clothes lately. Do they have cute new summmer stuff, or did you buy a lot of basics?

nancypearlwannabe said...

Sadly, I kind of loved Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. But not at the expense of Peter Sagal.

I haven't been to Target in like three weeks. The last time I was in I loved all the jewelry and sunglasses but hated all the clothes. I may need to revisit.

Sauntering Soul said...

I just tried on a skirt at Target this past Saturday. It was super cute on the hanger, but I looked like Jabba the Hut in it.

Courtney said...

I did not know that about Peter Sagal. I also did not know of your secret love for unnecessary movie sequels. :)

There is NO TARGET where I live. How will I survive the summer?

NGS said...

Yay for This American Life!!

lizgwiz said...

I have never seen Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. This does not make me feel unrelatably highbrow.

I watched about 10 minutes of the first episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager and switched it off in disgust, offended to my core. Why? Because they showed a marching band member wearing her uniform and hat for REHEARSAL (why do TV writers think that EVER happens!?) AND they showed her carrying a French horn case. Nobody marches with a French horn. Ugh.

My "check engine" light comes on occasionally, as well. I take the advice of more than one mechanic--is it driving okay? Then don't worry about it. I drove my last car for four years with its "check engine" light on. ;)

Stefanie said...

3Cs--The "without pay" part really is the only down side to that arrangement, unfortunately.

R--1. I don't know. Ira didn't ask.
2. That might be it (and an article Nabbalicious sent me today confirms that suspicion). I still think that's pretty shady of Facebook, though...
3. What I bought mostly qualifies as basics. I didn't like anything I saw there a month or two ago either. Either they got some better stuff in recently or I was in a less picky, more impulsive mood on Friday. I guess I'll find out when I see how often I wear the things I bought!

NPW--Hey, you're back! Glad to see you in comment mode again. :-) Oddly, the last time I looked at the jewelry at Target, I couldn't find anything I liked! Perhaps I should revisit that department and you should revisit the clothes.

SS--I hate it when that happens. If only we were shaped like hangers? (Wait. No. That's not a great solution either...)

Courtney--Oh noes! Obviously Mickey did not tell you that before he convinced you to move there, right? All bets might have been off.

NGS--That's pretty much what I say when I unexpectedly stumble across TAL when I'm flipping through the stations on a long drive. Who knew Ira Glass could make us do a happy cheer? :-)

Liz--There were lots of things that offended and disgusted me about that show. And yet? Every now and then I get sucked in. I can't explain it. I blame summer and its lack of anything better to watch.

As for the check engine light, it went off by itself again! Hurrah. I'm thinking I didn't screw the gas cap on tightly enough when I filled up the other night. I know that can cause the light to trip like that, and when it's happened before, it goes off on its own 30 miles later or so. Whew.

Miss Pants said...

Kate & Leopold is one of my father's favorite movies. Yes, my FATHER. He gave me his old DVD copy when he picked up the director's cut. (I couldn't believe they even have a director's cut!) After years of teasing him for liking that movie so much I can't believe how much I relate to Kate: "Yes, but Sunday is the day before the day I work," she replies, "so it gets poisoned." It gets so very poisoned.

I am happy I am currently employed but I have plenty to say about it and why it feels so damn poisoned! Just not in public. :-)

flurrious said...

I think that Facebook sometimes suggests friends based on both people being friends with a third. So, if I were friends with Liz and I were friends with you, but you two weren't friends with each other, then they'd send each of you a message saying, "you might like this person!" or whatever. I don't know why I think this. I'm not even on Facebook.

I have seen all four Karate Kid movies, and I am not ashamed.

Lara said...

I have never heard of a lot of the things you discussed in this post. Hrm. Maybe you are high-brow after all! (but not unrelatably so).

Is it weird that I bought a couple of songs from the HSM soundtrack?