I know you are all watching. I can just feel it. But for any of you who missed this past week's episode of my life (sponsored by America Online!) I'll recap things for you. And if it really is not true that all of life is a stage, and if it turns out that no one is really watching, I'll be the first to say that some of my truly finest moments occur when I'm alone and thus sadly go unnoticed. I'm talking specifically about my twenty minute drive to and from work.
When I took a job in Stillwater two years ago one of my biggest concerns was the distance of the commute. In less than six short months I doubled the mileage I put on my car. And never having been one to enjoy the art of driving in the first place, the time spent on the road was not exactly appreciated. I soon realized I had to change my way of thinking, and my driving philosophy if I was to continue on in this particular position. And the change actually was easily attained- it merely happened by realizing that it isn't a race or a competition out there- the only goal is to reach your destination safely and in one piece. Now I actually take pride in the fact that I'm one of the few out there that abides by the posted speed limit. I try my best not to let the truly annoying behavior of many of the drivers out there to irritate me. If someone cuts me off, fails to signal, leaves their signal on for two miles, tailgates, or generally drives in an aggressive manner, I just let them pass on by and smile innocently. It also helps to have a good car stereo. I love to sing along to my collection of music. Besides the shower I sound best in the small confines of my car. And what is endlessly amusing is I will change the lyrics to the song playing on my car stereo to fit my driving situation. I ad lib such clever things as, "What the hell are you doing?" and "Geez your driving sucks..." to the tune of any numerous Dylan songs.
On this particular day I left my house at my normal time (6:45) and drove down Hwy 36 to Hwy 35 to Hwy 694 headed due east. Just about the time I passed the exit to White Bear Avenue I remembered I left my security card to enter the office back home. Because I'm such a dedicated public servant I usually arrive at work 45 minutes before most of my co-workers. I didn't want to have to sit in the lobby waiting for someone to arrive. So I did what I didn't want to do- I turned around and went back home. The best thing about my drive to work is all the heavy traffic is headed the other direction. Unfortunately on this morning I had to join this godawful traffic flow. Curses.
But the day went well. As I got home I had all but enough energy to fix dinner. It has also been a bit of a trying period in this department since my parents are on vacation in Seattle. Usually they make sure to stock my refrigerator because they don't want to see their youngest child starve to death. But I've been on my own for the past two weeks. I asked my friend for advice and she told me to go grocery shopping (even less enjoyed than driving) and to make sure to make a list before I scrambled through the experience. So I did, all the while drooling over the thought of my meal, venison steaks provided by my Quién Mas Sabé. On my list I had "salad fixings" which I thought would nicely compliment the steaks. I got home with the lettuce, with the peppers, with the mushrooms, only to discover I had no salad dressings. Damn. Nonetheless the steaks lightly peppered with Jalepeno pepper and grilled outside turned out perfect. Man those boys were tasty. I dearly loved 'em.
Properly fed my next project for the night was to caulk my bathtub. And I'm proud of the outcome which doesn't really look like some amateur performed the project. I discovered the perfect caulking music to be John Prine's Sweet Revenge, don't ask me why. Yet I was reminded that for every action in life there are reactions. Because I caulked my bathtub, I ended up burning my chest. Go figure: I read the instructions on the caulk which said to let dry for at least 36 hours. So I did it over the weekend when I knew my parents were out of town and I could use their shower. But because I look quite frightful in the morning before my shower I bypassed my weekly treat of a Cafe Latté from the coffee shop across the street. Instead I pulled out the french press my sister gave me for Christmas. The last time I washed it, the plunger part came apart and I wasn't exactly sure how to put it back together. Turns out I didn't do it correctly. After pouring the boiling water into the container, I pushed down on the press and boiling water squirted out all over the place but mostly on my t-shirt. Ouch.
Then I tried out my new batting stance in my softball game- an exaggerated Ricky Henderson type crouch to try to make them pitch the ball to me low. It was a crucial point in the ball game and the pitcher had just walked a couple guys. I come up with the bases loaded and he throws me two borderline pitches that the umpire calls balls. The pitcher goes ballistic, "How can I pitch to this guy?" he screams at the umpire. They bring in a new pitcher and I rap a line drive hit to left. I'm a ballerina on the ball field my friend says.