Tuesday, April 12, 2011

12 of 12: April

Heyyyy, 12 of 12! Credit to Chad Darnell, guru and gracious host.


7:34 - Up, suspiciously early for a sleep-in day. 

8:10 - Out for a run. Looking  a little hippy, there, shadow! What gives?

8:16 - Running down Triunfo Canyon Road, which I always call TRIUNFO! Canyon Road, emphasis on the TRIUNFO!

9:13 - There is nothing quite like the realization that you are shaving your legs with the equivalent of a bladeless twig, and that Target sells a six-month supply for like $7.

10:11 - If there was ever a question, this grocery list in progress is further proof that I am my father's daughter.

11:47 - Cramming my eighteen pounds of groceries into a single basket, as you do, because using a cart is so much lamer than hunchbacking it around the store with an overloaded basket. Obviously.

12:15 - Throwing together some Sweet Pea and Tuna Salad for a few days' worth of lunches, and listening to everything on my iTunes with a listened-to rate of exactly one. Recommendations: Find some hidden treasures, and follow up with a mint or twelve.

12:50 - Yesterday, I used the last of my Christmas gift cards to buy Tina Fey's new book. (Thanks, Brydon!) The problem, here, is that I have things to do, and now I don't want to do any of them. I just want to read hilarious and embarrassing, yet oddly uplifting, stories about growing up and becoming a TV writer.

1:25 - Speaking of things to do: Have I mentioned that I write book reports for work? Why did nobody tell me this was an option? Here, my thoughts on a surprisingly well-written zombie book.

6:13 - This is how Starbucks gets you: Just the right armchair, just the right afternoon light, just the right level of white noise, just the right kind of music to drown out via Frightened Rabbit on headphones, just the right kind of milk and sugar without ever having to buy more. If I ever get any writing done, it was probably there.

7:33 - It is, in my opinion, one of the great secrets of home cooking that roasted asparagus tastes an awful lot like potato chips. (Plus fish. And potatoes, which also taste like chips with the proper application of olive oil and salt.)

8:40 - Yes, this is our freezer. Yes, it is full of Drumsticks. No, it is not always like this. Yes, I had an intense conversation with myself about the importance of one Drumstick per day. Not two. ONE.

Happy twelfth, everybody!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Zen and the Art of Air Bed Maintenance

These days, I spend a surprising amount of time and mental energy on my bed. I don't mean while on my bed—I mean the bed itself requires a certain degree of involvement. When I moved to LA, I folded the seats of my VW Golf down and packed up the entire contents of my bedroom-to-be, including the brand-new queen-sized double-tall air mattress my parents had recently bought as extra sleeping space for their cabin. Nearly six months later, the air bed and I are hanging in there, still experimenting with degrees of firmness, concepts of object attachment, and the ideal conditions for avoiding puncture wounds (or not). I think I've learned a few things about air bed life:

- Inflatable things need, or at least cause, constant monitoring. Air bed ownership (borrowership) is a constant fact-finding mission. Is the bed losing air? Is the bed sitting on top of any cords? Is the bed too close to the wall, and rubbing against it? Is the air bed anywhere within the vicinity of pins, needles, or anything else that might cause it grief? Is the bed too firm or too soft, causing neck pain?  With the air bed, change is bad.

- Inflatable things get holes. It's hard to express the irrational sense of doom that came over me the first time my bed sprang a leak. It's not like I had no other place to sleep; there are no fewer than four full-sized couches, one love seat, and one totally unloved gigantic armchair in my house. But because air beds aren't made for activities other than being perfectly horizontal (more on that in a moment), the odds of detecting a leak before it's four a.m. and your head is resting on the ground are slim—and somehow, that particular exchange with gravity is, at that time of the night, the very worst thing imaginable. These days, the occasional hole isn't such a big psychological event (so far they've all been located on the sleeping surface, and easy to find—and I pray daily that the side seams never give out); outdoor stores sell air bed repair kits, but I've had plenty of success with a Sharpie to mark the hole, a glob of Super Glue to close it up, and a triangle of hot pink duct tape to keep everything in place and looking classy. Because I'm nothing if not the paragon of good breeding and high standards: my bed is, after all, a double-tall

- Inflatable things are not immune to mildew. When combined with a foam egg crate, mattress pad, flannel sheets, down comforter, two pillows, and a human being with functioning endocrine system. Ask me how I know!

- Inflatable things are not for sitting. This is perhaps the worst thing about having an inflatable bed: real mattresses don't "crush" around the edges, making them ideal for sitting on, say with a laptop. Like, to write. Or watch TV. Or read without putting one arm to sleep. Not so with the air beds, which will leave a person V-ed against the wall without a second thought, and then possibly spring a leak just for the sake of revenge. (Enter the ugly fold-up camp chair I also appropriated from my parents, which stands in for my beloved antique armchair but is simply not the same.) It's distressing.

- Inflatable things need love, too. Let me clarify something: I have a bed. A real one, a queen-size with a modern sleigh-bed frame and the world's most comfortable mattress. With springs and everything! I adore that bed, and I live daily with the bright and shining hope that we will be together again some day. In the mean time, let me also assure you that it is quite possible to get attached to an air mattress. With the right sheets and the proper level of exhaustion, that blissful moment of flopping (or, in my case, crawling gingerly, taking care not to stress the structure of the mattress; see above) down with a great sigh of "MY BED!" is absolutely possible. Never mind that it's a glorified pool toy. In that moment, it's the most glorious pool toy.
Some day, I imagine I'll be reunited with my beloved, sittable, non-mildewing, non-hole-prone bed, and I will be a grateful and slightly more happy-go-lucky girl on that day. However, I've developed a strange affection for the air bed. It's served me well. And in case of emergency, well, you probably won't see anybody else bringing their beds along.