to go: 998.49 [ohshutup]
bell peppers are
lined up on the kitchen counter, next to the sink: two greens and two
reds, fat and waxy and ready for the knife. On the cutting board
nearby, half a purple onion has already been sliced into rings: the
sweet/acidic odor permeates our tiny apartment and clings to my fingers
like Avon hand lotion. Pretty soon I'm going to gore and julienne the
peppers, finish slicing the onion, quarter a handful of pear tomatoes.
Then I'll dump everything into
the big aluminum
bowl, to marinate in a bath of oil and vinegar and celery seed until
first ... I'm going
to download another blue-green textured background tile.
don't actually need
another blue-green textured background tile. I've already downloaded
43,897,621 blue-green textured background tiles today: enough to keep
*FootNotes* in textured background tiles for the rest of the millenium,
by my estimation. (Particularly since I only swap out the background
once a month, and then only if I actually remember
to swap it out.) The truth
is I don't even want
another blue-green textured background tile. I've been downloading them
for so many hours now, frankly, that I can't even tell the bluish-green
from the greenish-blue anymore.
yet ... I can't
quite bring myself to stop.
one more download, I tell
myself, and then I'll get off
the computer. I feel vaguely
sick and ashamed of myself, like a chocoholic who has gorged on
trick-or-treat candy for five days running.
pepper salad isn't
the only abandoned project niggling at my conscience, while I lollygag
on the Internet for the fifth day in a row. Behind me, the vacuum
cleaner stands in the middle of the living room, disembowelled and
forlorn. I leapt off the sofa and started vacuuming as soon as David
left for work this morning -- filled with all of that lovely,
optimistic *first-caffeine-of-the-morning* ambition -- but as soon as I
turned on the vacuum cleaner it began to spew huge, billowing clouds of
dust into the air. Within seconds, the entire living room was covered
with a layer of fine gray soot: David's guitar, the sofa, my stack of
photo albums, the antique Coca-Cola bottles sitting on the windowsill.
(It looked quite a bit like the hood of my Dodge Dart Swinger, the
Mt. St. Helens blew up.) Right away I suspected Full Vacuum Cleaner Bag
Syndrome. I unplugged the vacuum cleaner and opened it up to check the
bag ... and sure enough, it was stuffed almost to the point of
screaming. So off I went to look for a fresh #S7-3. I found the vacuum
cleaner bags exactly where they were supposed to be, under the kitchen
sink next to the Hefty bags and the laundry detergent -- I started to
pull one out, happy that we'd had the foresight to stock up -- but
while I was rummaging around beneath the sink, looking for the vacuum
cleaner bags ... I suddenly remembered bike shoes.
I planning to
look up bike shoes on the Internet this week?
yes. I do believe I
next thing I knew I
was sitting in front of the computer again ... pepper salad abandoned,
vacuum cleaner bags forgotten ... navigating the Performance
website trying to figure out how a Woman's 8-1/2 Extra-Extra-Wide
translates into cycling shoes. (Whut the hell is a "size 47,"
I'm not planning to buy shoes online -- The Great Nonrefundable Helmet
Fiasco last month taught me a valuable lesson about buying cycling gear
online -- but I want to at least do some research on the subject
especially before I invest in a pair of shoes more expensive than that
old Dodge Dart Swinger of mine.
what I told
myself, anyway: I'm just going to do a little "research."
only take a
hours and a second
pot of Sumatra Dark Roast later, I still haven't learned anything new
about bike shoes ... but I know everything there is to know about
bunions, alpha hydroxy skin creams, graves
of the famous (and the not-so-famous), cycling nutrition, cheap
phone cards, 'zine
directories, pet psychics, nubuck leather, Ruth M. Arthur collections,
the American Idol message boards and the difference between
progesterone and progestin. Plus I've ordered two new suits and a
couple of blouses, I've signed up for another doomed
writing project I don't have time for AND
I've fired off a bunch of Classmates.com e-mail to random people I
haven't seen in thirty years! (Won't my cousin Chellaigne be
to hear from *me*?) And of course I now own more blue-green textured
background tiles than any other human being on the planet.
amazing, isn't it,
how quickly we fall back into the old familiar patterns?
haven't spent my
entire vacation week plunked in front of the computer, of course. I
walked back and forth to the laundry room a couple of times, earlier in
the week. I went to the grocery store with David on Wednesday, and then
we went out and got cheap Chinese for dinner last night. And I haven't
been completely unproductive, either. I colored my hair. I burned a CD,
mostly twinkly Celtic harps and groovy Gregorian chants. I read half
a Stephen King I've only read twice previously. I talked to two out of
three Tots, and I almost talked to my mom. Still ... I haven't
accomplished a tenth of the stuff I promised myself I was going to do
during my precious week-off from work, and I'm feeling faintly
disgusted with myself as a result. I've had no motivation, no energy,
no self-discipline. Without the tether of a regular schedule, this
week, I've bobbed aimlessly around the Internet universe ... clicking
from one useless website to another until my eyes are burning and my
neck is aching and my mouse hand has shrivelled into a permanent claw.
I'm the lab rat who ignores the food button in favor of the cocaine
over and over again.
that these days,
of course, my drug of choice is Google.
the final blue-green
textured background tile finishes downloading to our hard drive, I
finally summon up the strength to click the Earthlink icon and sever my
connection to the cyber world. It makes the the familiar twinkle-twinkle-plunk
sound ... and I am unplugged.
to finish making
pick up one of the
green bell peppers, and my thumb pokes right through a soft moldy
spot in the skin. The pepper is rotten. On closer inspection, I see
of the peppers are rotten. (Jesus. How long WAS I on the computer,
anyway??) Disgusted, I dump them into the trash. So much for
pepper-and-onion salad! This was going to be the centerpiece of our
Friday night supper -- along with cold tarragon chicken breasts and a
nice little lemon sorbet I bought at Safeway earlier this week -- and
now all I'm left with are chicken breasts. And a couple of sliced
onions. And some interesting cheese that Jaymi and Joel sent us as an
anniversary present last weekend ... and a bag of that Arborio rice
that David likes so much ...
on while I look up
a chicken recipe on the Internet, OK?
only take a
throw a rock