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9:19 am - Tues 12/30/03
Happy Frigging Holidays

Happy Frigging Holidays...

Have recently made a start on another writing book--Making A Literary Life, by Carolyn See--and was amused when I read her first chapter, titled "Keep It To Yourself".

To the best of my ability, I'm going to take that advice, because no one really wants to hear what I'm "working on" (Or more accurately, no one wants to hear how "I want to be a writer, but I can't seem to get started...").

It's just bragging, really--"Hey everyone, I'm a very creative guy!"--and how weird is it to be bragging about something I'm not even actually doing?

Better to just do whatever it is I'm going to do as a writer--if anything--then unveil it as a "fait accompli" somewhere down the line.


I'm pretty much over the holiday thing, but the holiday thing is not through with me just yet; year after year, I conveniently forget how the week or so after Xmas kinda sucks, what with returns (lots of returns), gift certificates, extra-surly customers with time on their hands, and a staff depressed and demoralized by too much holiday rush and too little down-time.

But I guess, in a way, we're about to get some "down-time"...

Borders has a special way of thanking its workers for all their effort during the holiday season (And I'm not talking about the William Wegman posters we got as a Xmas "bonus" this year instead of money); As of next week, available hours are being cut across-the-board (Being "full time", they're going "easy" on me--I'm only losing 5 hours per paycheck. Just Corporate's way of saying "Merry Xmas, Suckers!").

But whatever the indignity, I'll get through. I always have (This was my 12th or 13th Xmas retail season without a fatality, so I feel pretty good about that).


Well, after Lauren was in town for three days without calling me, I decided to take the bull by the horns and call her instead (I was paranoid that if I didn't break down and call her, she would never have called me. To be honest, I'm still wondering about that. But anyway...).

We got together the day after Xmas, and while dinner at Big Boy went well (I really didn't have much to say, and was instead quite content to hear about the new developments in her life), everything else was kind of screwed-up and annoying.

1. When she called to let me know she was at Wilshire and Vermont, I somehow got it in my head that she meant for me to come to her--Not completely unreasonable, since parking is so often an "issue" around my place, but still, that's not the way we've typically done things--so anyway, I ended up walking down to Wilshire, while she waited in front of my apartment.

2. She didn't want to go to Denny's, so I thought it would be fun to go to the Tofu House (Where I went with Mark and Jane when they came to visit). But turned out every Korean person in K-town was dining out that night (And that's a lot of Koreans!). And I was too hungry to wait, so we moved on.

3. After the Big Boy (Where I almost bought a Big Boy change purse, then realized I'd be a guy with a change purse, and thought better of it), we drove to Brad's place (I was still dogsitting at that point).

She didn't know the way, and I actually managed to misdirect her--Not once, but twice (After the second time, she understandably got a little snippy with me). Basically, I was busy talking to her and not paying attention the first time, so we ended up going "an alternate route", which disoriented me a little, and caused the second misdirection (I was never lost, exactly, but it was still embarrassing. I mean, this was after I'd been staying at Brad's the better part of a week).

4. So we got to Brad's, and I think she was pretty stressed at that point (In addition to the direction thing, she was freaking out that my bike was going to fall out of the trunk--we were riding in her rental car, with my bike tied up in the back--and starting to feel a relapse of the sickness that had kept her throwing up all through Xmas Day). So when we initially had some problems finding a parking space, she was ready to just drop me off and call it a night (I didn't know it at that point, but that would probably have been for the best). But we did find a spot eventually, just a block over from Brad's.

5. Once we got into the apartment, I felt like an idiot when I complained about how cold the apartment was; Lauren reasonably asked if I'd turned the thermostat on, and I had no response.

Obviously, I know what a thermostat is, recognize one when I see it, and know how they work (I may act like an idiot sometimes, but I'm not, in fact, an actual idiot).

The truth of the matter is that I had something of a phobia about messing with it--I don't know if Brad's the type of guy who keeps his apartment icy cold to save money, and I didn't want his heating bill to hit a record high on my account. I was also paranoid about forgetting to turn if off when I left (I didn't want him to come back on Sunday to an empty apartment with the heat blazing away.

Maybe that's kinda weird, but hey, that's me).

6. I had to walk the dog, so left Lauren to her own devices for the time it took to walk Nero around the block.

She had brought over the 5th season DVD set of Buffy for us to watch, but when I got back to the apartment, she had turned the tv on (She said that's all she'd done), and suddenly, I couldn't get the DVD player to work.

This just made me crazy with frustration; I'd been watching dvds and videos all week long with no problem, but all of a sudden, watching a fucking dvd was like trying to launch the Space Shuttle.

We both played with the various remotes, pushing this and that button in various combinations, to no avail; I ended up continuing to mess with it, between watching Paul Newman on Letterman, while Lauren dozed off.

To make a long story short, if that's possible at this point, what should have been just a simple, relaxing evening with this person I like ended up being a big fucking trial, making me feel frustrated and stupid.

Well, at least she did seem to enjoy roughhousing with Nero (Though to be honest, that made me kind of nervous; I don't really know Nero well enough to know how much of that he'd be up for without taking a chunk out of her, and was imagining the evening climaxing in a visit to the emergency room).

But so it goes.


Well, I've procrastinated on getting my new tags, which I should have gotten weeks ago.

One of the main reasons for said procrastination is that I need to get a new smog check, and I'm afraid they're going to tell me I didn't pass, and sting me for a big repair bill.

(Shortly after I bought the car, I had to take the car in, and it failed the smog check. I ended up having to pay around $300 for a fix; I actually cried as I walked away from the repair shop. It wasn't a happy time...)

But it's gotta be done, so I guess I should get off my ass and go do it while the doing's good.

Wish me luck.


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