Monday, November 2, 2009

10,000 Word Vacation, Day 10

Sunday, November 1
Day 10

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to be home. I know that when people bitch about their vacations it's tough to relate, so please understand that I didn't have a bad time. Far from it, in fact. I ate a lot of good food, I spent time with my brothers, I got to drive around the Cape and look at the leaves change colors. Hell, I even had a genuine Field of Dreams moment last night when I played wiffle ball in the back yard with my dad. It was pretty sweet.

I feel the worst part of being on vacation is having to be away from home. I can't stand it. I thrive on familiarity - my wife basically needs to trick me to get me to eat at a restaurant we haven't been to yet. I really like the idea of having fun, eating out, spending money, not working - I just like the idea of doing all of that stuff, then going back to my home to curl up in the cozy covers and watch TV. I don't see what's so bad about that.

Some notes on the vacation, the flight home and the whole business:

Today wasn't so much of a vacation day as it was a travel day. I'm still enchanted with the idea of flight - by the way, since when did “flight” get changed to “plane ride?” That really makes it sound way less important. You know what you describe using the word “ride?” A haunted hayride. Orville and Wilbur Wright deserve better.

Anyhow, today's flight was way better than the one we took on the way out to New England. First of all, we only spent about six hours today on a plane, and we didn't have to go 1,500 miles out of our way just to get home. Magnificent. There's a lot to be said about flying into Los Angeles after dark. As you approach the city, you see billions and billions of tiny lights below you - they seem to go on forever, past the horizon and, conceivably, into the Pacific Ocean. You fly over the lights for a few minutes, then the pilot gets on the PA system and tells you that you're about 30 minutes away from landing. For those 30 minutes, you continue to fly over billions and billions of tiny lights. It's breathtaking, but not in the way that Elaine meant when she looked at that ugly baby.

---

As happy as I am to be home, I wish I had more time in Massachusetts to spend with my friends. I made plans and promises all week to see people, and I never had the time - or in the case of Julianne, I got a new phone and didn't her number saved on my SIM card so I couldn't call her when I was in Boston. It sucks. For the first time in my life, I put my family ahead of my friends, and I honestly feel awful about it. Not only did I not get to see my friends like I wanted to, I didn't even manage to do any of the shit I told my wife we'd do this week. We didn't go to Salem, we didn't go to Provincetown, we didn't go to the New England Aquarium. I'm a massive disappointment as a husband. I'm sorry, everybody.

---

I wish my mom would decide whether or not she wanted to be the type of person who gives good gifts or not. This week she bought me new glasses, which was awesome. She also gave the following items to me and my wife: a Cape Cod sweatshirt that was at least 20 years old, a broken lamp, a book that she alleges to have read about some woman getting murdered and three high school yearbooks. With the exception of the yearbooks, none of these things turned out to be even remotely useful. If only she would choose to give only good gifts or shitty gifts, I would know whether or not to get my hopes up when she says “Joshua, I got you something nice.” Although the nicer she thinks it is, the worse it usually turns out to be.

---

The great unsung hero of this vacation was one Mike Strauss. He stopped by our apartment a few times this week to feed the cat and let her know that we haven't just abandoned her to waste away and die of starvation. In addition to feeding the cat, Mike took some truly terrifying photos of her and put them up on facebook. It warmed our hearts to see pictures of our cat's brightly glowing eyes on the internet - that way we knew that she was alive, or that even if Mike had killed her, he had the decency to stage an elaborate, Weekend at Bernie's-type ruse. Weekend at Peepopo's.

---

The best part of going on vacation is coming home with souvenirs. My wife got some nice fluffy socks and a few nice books. I got a Larry Bird t-shirt and a cold. The nice thing about our souvenirs is that we both got one that was only for us, and the other we can share with all our friends. Most importantly, I found out that, given enough time, I'm capable of writing over 1,000 words a day, every day. I'm considering blocking off a couple of hours each day to write. I figure as long as I keep doing that, somebody has to publish it, right? I mean, it's a blog. A blog on the internet, guys. That's what people publish now. All I need is a literary agent. Ironically, before I start writing every day, I feel like I need a short break from writing. Much in the same way that a writer writes - always, a procrastinator procrastinates - always.

Thanks for reading. It's been fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

10,000 Word Vacation Day 9

Saturday, October 31
Day 9

I'm officially sick. I'm not sure what I've got - maybe it's swine flu, maybe it's regular flu, maybe I'm just plain sick. I haven't felt this sick in a while - not since February when my brothers came out to visit. What I'm saying is, they're Patient Zero and Patient Zero-A. It sucks. A sick Mousebed writer can mean only one thing - Clip Show!

---

I went to another of Tommy's football games today. He was the long snapper, which is a noble position. My wife and I showed up about a minute into the game, and Barnstable High scored just as we got there. It was really quite exciting. Just as the fourth quarter started, my mom showed up and sat next to my wife. She just started talking, like she does, and never stopped. My wife, in one of her more spectacular efforts, offered to give my mom a dollar - one American dollar - if she could pick her own son out of the crowd. Not only did she guess wrong, but she picked out a kid who wasn't shaped like either of her football playing sons.

---

One of the great story lines of this week with my family is my mom trying to find out how old my wife is. I'm not sure why she's curious - I guess maybe she thinks my wife is older than she is? Who knows. First she just came out and asked her how old she was, to which I wish my wife had replied “28. Now how much do you weigh?” Later, at the football game, my mom asked my wife what year she graduated high school, in an attempt to trick her into revealing approximately when my wife was 18. Slick, mom. Real slick.

---

One of the things I do when I'm sick is make horrible puns. I mean, one of the things I do when I'm not sick is make horrible puns, but it's way worse when I'm not feeling so hot. Most of the time I end up changing the name of a celebrity to describe something my wife or cat is doing. Tonight I called my wife Yawn-Claude Van Damme. Sometimes when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, my cat will jump up onto the bed and sit directly in the center, making it so that nobody can lay down in a comfortable position. When this happens, she is known as Bed Middler. Just say it out loud, it's pretty fantastic. When my wife goes to the bathroom I call her Mario Van Pee-bles, and when I go she calls me Pee-a Zadora. The cat's name often turns into something along the lines of Francis Ford Peepopo-la. We're seriously the coolest people we know.

---

My dad is great at telling long rambling stories that go nowhere and mean nothing. I guess this is something that everybody's dad does, as evidenced by the Shit My Dad Says account on Twitter. Today, as we were driving past the West Barnstable Animal Hospital, he offered up this story: “See the animal hospital over there? It's bigger now. You know why? It blew up. It just blew the fuck up. Some idiot lined up the electrical right over the gas main. Started leaking and bam! The whole place blew the fuck up. They had 20 minutes to get all the dogs out. I was driving by when the second explosion happened. Blew the roof clean off. You know, a hurricane happens and people are homeless, but the fucking animal hospital blows up and UNICEF comes in to build them a new one overnight. Sheesh.” The best part of this story is that I have no reason to believe that it is a lie, other than the extreme improbability of it. Some day, when I'm a dad, I'll tell all kinds of pointless, horrible stories that involve exploding dogs. My kids will love it!

---

Remember how yesterday my mom was going to take me to LensCrafters to get new glasses? And remember how she told me that I had an appointment at 8am? And remember how, for some reason, I believed her? Well, believe it or not, most of that turned out to be a lie. After what could be best described as a horrible night's sleep, my mom decided to wake me up at 7:10 this morning. I, in a textbook “too little, too late” moment, checked the LensCrafters website to see that not only did they not open until 10am, but you needed an appointment to get your eyes checked. I made the earliest appointment I could, which was at 1pm, a mere five and a half hours away. I was pissed. My wife and I went downstairs to find my mom in the living room. When we told her that she gave us the wrong time, rather than just saying “Oh, sorry, I should have checked,” my mom said “Oh, did I say eight? I meant nine,” WHICH WOULD STILL HAVE BEEN WRONG.

---

As my vacation winds to a close, I'm beginning to worry - as I always do when vacations end - that I've forgotten how to function as a member of normal society. Have I forgotten how to work? Do I no longer understand how to take public transportation? Can I still go grocery shopping without freaking out? I suppose I'll find out on Monday. Until then, all I can do is hope my flights are on time and my pilots don't have their laptops with them. I seriously can't wait to just get home, sit around with my wife, cook some dinner and watch something on the TV. I think we still have this week's Dancing With The Stars elimination show recorded. That'll be a nice little taste of normal after a week and a half of “fun.”