Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Play-by-Play of a Very Good Day

This was a lovely day. It was one of those spring days in Manhattan when the temperature of the air outside does not differ from the temperature of your body and all is in perfect equilibrium.

I woke up at about 8:30, which I think was quite respectable given that I went to bed at 1.

I went down and got my paper (the thievery seems to have subsided somewhat, though I was robbed some day this week...Tuesday?) and came back and rustled up a breakfast of (what else?) peanut butter and honey and an apple. While I ate I watched some of Raging Bull. I cannot seem to watch too much of this movie in one sitting. It had been sitting on my desk for a long time, making my monthly Netflix fee not worth it (unless you consider that I can rack up late fees like nobody you've ever met), because I just have not been in the mood for a boxing movie. And because everytime I remember that I need to watch it, I find that I have to be somewhere in less than two hours. Now that I've discovered I can only watch it in short bursts, I think it will finally get finished and sent home to make way for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

So then, with great pain, I worked on my paper for about an hour and a half, progressing from somewhere on page 13 to somewhere on page 17. I am very proud of myself, but I wish the whole process were not so utterly misb. Someday maybe I will not hate writing.

Then I must have made my bed, cleaned off the couch (which always manages to get bestrewn with various daily detritus), done the dishes, taken out the trash, and straightened up generally. Aren't I a good girl?

I must have then proceeded with paying bills and balancing my checkbook. Wow! Writing about how responsible I am is making me very pleased. I get things done! I am a productive member of the world!

Though I have some vague remembrances of "The Price Is Right." When did this happen? While I was cleaning? Or was it when I was going through papers, throwing away 27 items? I love the 27-item throwaway. Has anyone else heard of this? Is it from Flylady? I read about it somewhere and thought it might be just the thing for me. I am simply drowning in papers and am so overwhelmed at the prospect of going through them all. I just hope I am not accumulating at the same rate I am throwing away. You never know with me.

So then I hopped on the train to go to my Weight Watchers meeting, realizing that, such a hermit am I, I had not been on the subway since Saturday. I read the paper as I rode. The main thing I remember is a new book about the Mayflower (Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War by Nathaniel Philbrick) that I think my mom would really like. Mother's Day: check.

When I finish a section of the paper on the train, I leave it there for someone else to read. Before I subscribed to the paper I was always so pleased to come across an abandoned section. This is how I pay the world back.

Weight Watchers was okay. I gained a pound because I did not write down anything I ate this week and I did not care what I ate this week because I was mad. C'est la guerre.

Then I hopped on the 14 bus over to school and handed in a form so I can get enough money to go to India.

Then it was back to the subway and back to my paper. I did most of the crossword puzzle, though I got stumped on 16 Across, Surfer wannabe, which is hodad; 19 Across, Mediterranean resort Island, which is Ibiza (I should have known that!), and a few others. I must admit I took to the internet to find these last few. Ack! I've just noticed that I left a space blank. 22 Down: Malodorous Malaysian fruit...P-U-R-blank-A-N. Probably an I.

Then I came home and maybe this is when I did the 27-item throwaway. Or maybe this is when I cleaned and paid bills. At any rate, I know I ate lunch and maybe I watched some Raging Bull while I ate.

I had to leave again to go to my therapy appointment, after which I was supposed to go to the post office on 23rd between Park and Lex. I have just now realized that I completely forgot to go to the post office. I was lulled into a forgetful state, I'm sure, by my walk past the cloistered, lovely, untouchable Gramercy Park (you have to live on its perimeter to have access to it) and was dazzled by the post office's neighbors, which include Housing Works and Shakespeare and Co. I decided when I saw these glories that I would make an artist's date of the afternoon (see The Artist's Way by Julie Cameron if you don't know what I'm talking about). First I went to Housing Works and poked around the clothes and remembered one reason I want to lose weight: thrift shopping is so much easier when you are a few sizes smaller than I am and thrift-type clothes are my style. Then I mosied over to the books but was quickly drawn to the records. I picked a Kurt Weil collection and a record of Auden, Eliot ("dime for you and dime for me"), Thomas, and Cummings reading their poetry. Two bucks each!

When I left Housing Works I walked west to Shakespeare and Co. (this is when I forgot the post office). They had a copy of A Passage to India, which is what I was after, but it was $14 and I thought "I bet the Strand has a used copy for less!" So I walked down to 12th Street, through the throngs sunning themselves in Union Square, and was disappointed in my Passage to India search. Howards End and Maurice and countless copies of Where Angels Fear to Tread. But no Passage to India. But I did stumble on a book I'd seen among the things of a girl I'm going to India with and which I think may be a book our professor told us to read: Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta. I decided to buy it even though I'm not sure it's the right book.

I also happened upon a book by Kay Boyle called Plagued by the Nightingale. Boyle's name is very very vaguely familiar to me and when I read the back blurb, I felt like the book must be in the same vein as those of Shirley Hazzard and Anita Brookner: slim, distilled books with actual human females as their protagonists. Marilynne Robinson and Margaret Laurence come to mind too. Excellent twentieth-century female writers who are too overlooked.

At any rate, Plagued by the Nightingale was only 4 bucks, so I bought it too.

Having been thwarted in my Forster foraging, I tromped back up to Shakespeare and bought the $14 copy.

I made my way home, finishing my scripture reading (remind me to tell you about my fancy Book of Mormon reading process) and listening to a few songs on my iPod ("Go to Sleep Little Baby," collected by Alan Lomax; "Stay Well," sung by Dawn Upshaw; and the first movement of Brahms's 4th Symphony). Then I read a silly cat poem ("The Cats Have Come to Tea" by Kate Greenaway) and decided to read the first chapter of each of my three new books. I think the first one I'll go further in is the Bombay book. Though I can't end up reading A Passage to India on the plane to Bombay. Way too embarrassing.

Anyway, I spent 15 minutes expanding my pedigree chart (I have a many-greats grandma named Abigail Hildreth!), talked to my sister on the phone, and now "ER" is starting and I have to go!


At May 05, 2006 10:04 AM, Blogger Terri said...

It's Tedder, and I am so jealous of your fabulouso day.
N.Y. must be super-fantastic. I've never been, so, tell it Hi from me. And, what a fantastic writer you are! Send me some of your stuff. Already I am a HUGE fan of your talent! Seriously though. Send me something to read. Of yours. (hah. man, I think I'm funny... it SOUNDS funny in my head, but in writing, not so funny. -what the...???)
When you comin' a back to see all us gallies? I was talking to Lidder yesterday, and we decided that we really and truly need to have a "Reunion-Tea-Party~"
What do you think?
Invitations and all.

At May 05, 2006 10:18 AM, Blogger lily said...

The only thing I got from talking to you yesterday was your paper and your book that you happy I am to hear just all about it. I love how it all jumbled together in your brain, and the T.V shows that kind of weaved themselves in there somehow.
How is the paper writing going? I am so glad that you are getting it done... I will call you tonight!

Yes, Tedder and I got together yesterday and want to do a tea party or something when you are next in town. Her little girls are Super cute.
See you Lolly!

At May 05, 2006 12:26 PM, Anonymous emsumm said...


I am also very pleased to hear of your wonderous productivity--especially in regards to your paper writing. As for the rest, well, I wish I had paid my bills 'n' such yesterday...instead the task looms before me, but not ominously enough to be motivational. I'm a not-very-attractive bump on a not-very-attractive log these days, I think.

Do you remember when I randomly had a Forster Fest? I think I read everything _except_ Passage to India...

At May 05, 2006 1:17 PM, Anonymous Em said...

it's durian, the second-most revolting technically edible but phenomenally undesirable fruit on the planet; tasting of a combination of papaya and strong, raw onions. it's mildly less gawdawful if you plug your nose while tasting it, but not enough to make it worth the attempt. andrew and i furnished a durian for my go away party; i have no idea what made us think that would be a good idea. someday i'll post pictures of us flipping it the bird.

At May 05, 2006 1:24 PM, Anonymous Em said...

what a lovely day. sounds like a very nice "dime."
get it? ha ha ha i KILL me!

At May 05, 2006 1:27 PM, Blogger Lollygagger said...

Yes, I found out that what I thought was Unmanned Probe was Unmanned Drone...

At May 05, 2006 1:27 PM, Anonymous emsumm said...

I couldn't pass up the chance to write in because my word verification is: dysgrl

I'm reminded of a Beatles song:

dysgrl....wouldn't mind the pain...
would always feel the same...
if dysgrl got you back again...

of course their song was about a boy, but whatever.

Don't diss dysgrl, coz she's a superheroine of the most dysfunctional sort. she will blind you with her dysphoria...grrr...


At May 05, 2006 8:23 PM, Blogger Lollygagger said...

Tedder! I'm so glad you read me blog! And I'm so glad I read yours!

I want a tea party! I will be in SLC for sure in August, but maybe in May. Tea is better in May, but I'm trying to save money and am not sure that flying to UT twice in a summer is a good way to do that. Hm

At May 07, 2006 2:02 PM, Blogger Terri said...

Oh, Laudder!!!
I am so glad I read your blog too. -and thanks for the shout-out on your links to me. That is super-fantastically-sweet!!! But I am but a dork in the blog world. Artsy-fartsy doesn't equal a good writer for a blogger, ya know! But thanks 4 reading me crap!
Yeas!!!!!!! TEEEAAA!
We simply MUST. And I do think tha May is a better month to have tea parties... but, it is all a matter of logistics. If ya can make it happ that will be fab!


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