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Sit down at the computer. Type a sentence. Stare at the sentence for a bit. Delete the first word. Change the middle words. Realize the sentence doesn’t make any sense now. Control –A. Control –X. Regret. Control-Y. Re-read. No, the sentence really didn’t make sense. Delete delete delete delete. Stare.

Maybe I can write about….

  • My new bread machine.
  • How I convinced my husband a bread machine was a necessity.
  • How we bought the bread machine used from his ex-Home Ec. teacher
  • How my husband took Home Ec and he’s a better person for it.
  • The time my husband made himself shorts out of white velvet in Home Ec.
  • Bread recipes.
  • Why it’s bad to blog on an empty stomach.

Some chocolate would be good. I wonder if we have chocolate. I think we have chocolate Special K. Maybe that will suffice. Nope only Cinnamon Pecan Special K. Now all I can think of is a Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar. K-mart sells them. It’s right across the street. If I leave now I’ll be back in 10, maybe 15 minutes. And then I’ll be able to write.

Shreds of chocolate broke off the candy bar and melted into my t-shirt. I wonder if we have any Spray ‘n’ Wash.

Googling chocolate stain removal with household products.

Why are the measuring cups in the cabinet with the baking soda instead of in the baking drawer.  I wonder if Scott knows there is a baking drawer.

I’m pretty sure that cake mix is expired. I wonder what else in here is expired…. I bet there’s a way to feng shui the kitchen. I could use some increased chi. I wonder what chi actually is. Chi. Chai. Chai tea. Chai tea latte. I really hope that the shopping center expansion across the road includes a Starbucks.

Googling Shopping Center Expansion plus Starbucks.

No results. A girl can dream, I suppose.

A gingerbread latte would be awesome right about now. Maybe they’ll get the syrup soon. Maybe a cinnamon dolce latte.

OK, right, writing. Work.

The cursor blink is hypnotizing. It’s like a metronome. I can use it to keep rhythm with the song playing in my head. “We will we will ROCK YOU.” Blink blink. I’m rocking nothing. Still no words on the page. Maybe if I do some research.

Facebook. Facebook is research.

Nobody has updated in the last 3 minutes, bummer.  Twitter? Nope, nothing new.

If I finish writing I can reward myself with a drive to Starbucks.

Maybe I can write about ….

Things I have accomplished since I finished grad school.

1. Cleaned the entire apartment — even that space between the oven and the counter-top and underneath the microwave.

2. Organized my closet.

3. Experimented with three new recipes.

4. Convinced Scott to let me buy a bread machine.

5. Baked three loaves of bread.

6. Gone to the gym (making up for bread consumption)

7. Reversed the effects of an organized closet.

8. Planned a trip to Hong Kong.

9. Caught up on my periodicals — except that early-June issue of New York Magazine announcing the kick-off to summer. That just made me sad, seeing as somehow I missed summer this year.

10. Slept.

Two days a week for two years I ate frozen burritos at my desk for dinner.

I spent Sunday afternoons and many  weeknights with my nose buried in a book, vision blurred from too many hours of staring at a computer screen.

I typed approximately 1,438,893,201 words about scientific rhetoric, the publishing environment, marketing plans, budgets.

I spent approximately 1,294,398,312 minutes procrastinating.

On Tuesday, I proofread my final paper and hit send.

I’m at the end of a big game, and I’m running through that tunnel. I totally deserve a trip to Disneyland.

Totally.

My three-year-old nephew stayed with us this past weekend. We managed to send him home no worse for the wear. He had all ten fingers and all ten toes. We successfully got him to sleep at night. We only had one moment of panic that involved a diaper, a wet bed, and a stuffed elephant left out to dry on the patio.

We took him to McDonald’s and the park. We ushered him to the library and asked him to pick out what books he wanted to read before bedtime. We showed him how to skip stones in the river. We wore him out at Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum (all the photos we took there are a blur — he didn’t stop moving for 3 hours). We took him to Target (he likes the red circles, kudos to Target’s branding). We were invited by a firefighter in our neighborhood to come into the station and look at the trucks. We laughed as he tipped over at the weight of the helmet on his head.

We rode the train, and as it pulled up his eyes grew wide. He looked out the window and exclaimed, “Look, there’s houses! Look, a bird! Look at the park!” We waved goodbye after we got off at the station. I soaked in his unfiltered joy.

On Monday, when I boarded the train for the 33-minute ride to work, I counted the cars like I always do. A four-car Monday is a bad sign, it makes me anxious and a little superstitious. A five-car Monday is a good sign, it means I’m more likely to get a window seat. An all-by-myself-seat Monday means an awesome week is ahead.

As I stepped on board (a five-car Monday!), I still had a little three-year-old’s voice in the back of my head. “Look, a conductor! Look at his hat! Look, a window seat!”

I watched the world pass by, the familiar stops and houses just waking for the day, “Look, a car!” I listened to music and rested my head against the back of the seat. We pulled up to the last station and nobody sat down next to me (look, an all-by-myself seat!). I didn’t worry about the workday ahead, or deadlines or school. I didn’t think about much of anything at all, except the unusually cool August morning, the blue skies, the fox into a bush as the train approached.

What I learned from a three-year-old: Happiness is Riding the Train.

(Until someone who bathed in cologne sits down next to you.)

A memoir in 6 words:

No regrets. Just eat the chocolate.

Addendum: 8/23

Avoided wrap dresses on windy days.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18768430

A few weeks back I was scouring Pinterest for, well, not much of anything at all, I was just looking for a distraction as most of us who log into Pinterest at 11 p.m. on a work-night are, and I came across this:

*Cue choirs of angels and a spotlight from heaven*

But then I saw the price tag. Being on a shoestring decorating budget, I was crushed.

*Cue trombone in a Debbie Downer Wah-Waaaahhh*

Thus, after much obsessing, I e-mailed the husband at work on Friday with a cryptic: We must go to the thrift store this weekend.

Continue Reading »

Never am I busier than when I am procrastinating.

Which is why, on a Sunday morning, mere weeks before my big, scary, finalist of all final papers ever (until I decide to get another degree) was due, wide-eyed and hyper I approached my husband with a burning desire.

To make jam. Continue Reading »