making a list, checking it twice

but end up eating chicken fried rice

It doesn’t matter how much you plan a day out. It never happens the way you want it to.

I worked diligently yesterday on the new Monks website, and I got my office (mostly) organized after the move, and I scheduled my audition for today and I made the phone calls I needed to make all so that when I got home I could do the following things:

1. fill allergy prescription
2. workout
3. clean the house
4. watch “friends”
5. continue cleaning house until finished (including most neglected back bathroom)
6. make and eat dinner (try that new pasta dish)
7. laundry
8. watch E.R.

My work day ended and I went to the parking lot to go home. I chatted with a couple of co-workers for a few minutes and then got into my car. I started to drive off when I noticed a whoomp noise that would continue over and over.

My tire was completely flat.

I flagged down one of the co-workers, who was kind enough to let me borrow his phone to have someone come out from the building to help me out. By the time I was off the phone he had already gotten my car jacked up and the tire was half-way changed. Since he had his hand in a cast it took three of us to get the job done. We also had to pump up the spare, since it was looking flat from lack of use.

I drove to the tire place, declared, “My tire is flat and I want to go home. Please help me,” and spent the next hour in the waiting room. But while I was there I knocked out number four on the list. As I was sitting there half an hour before “Friends” was to begin I was being very polite. “It’s okay. I can sit through half an hour of ‘Entertainment Tonight.’ Be polite.”

But when the top of the hour hit I realized the television wasn’t set to NBC. What is on CBS on Thursday nights? I don’t know. What’s on any channel? I haven’t watched another channel on Thursday nights since 1982! You just don’t do that! You watch whatever is on NBC and just accept it. Eventually we won’t have to watch Veronica’s Closet. One day we’ll have the Cosby-Family Ties-Cheers-Night Court combo again. Just keep hoping and praying.

My panic deepened as I looked around and saw there was no remote control. The television was on a shelf in the corner of the room. People were talking very loudly all around me. Friends was starting in minutes. I got one of the chairs from the waiting room and dragged it over to the television. I stood on the chair, jumped, and hit the channel button on the television. Then I jumped and hit the volume button. I moved the chair away from the talky people and sat down to watch my fluffy television show. Part of me felt a little guilty, sure. It was sort of rude to force everyone to watch the show, but no one really seemed to care. Besides, I sat through a ten minute Kevin Costner special on Entertainment Tonight. “The Most Eligible Bachelor.” I think I have an answer to that mind-numbing dilemma. It’s called Waterworld. It’s called Monotonous Acting Devoid of all Talent. It’s called I Like to Look Particularly Stinky in Any Film That Is Sort Of Set In the Future, Even If That Film Is Set About Fifteen Years Into the Future.

Anyway, I punk rocked the television, and we all ended up watching Friends. And you know what? These stuffy suit men who were all reading the newspaper with me during ET were actually giggling, chuckling and laughing during Friends. That Chandler. His charm is limitless.

Something about my cute girl pout made them fix my car without charging me and an hour later I was driving off. But I wasn’t on my way home. Remember number one on the list. So I drove to the pharmacy and handed the pharmacist my prescription.

“It’ll be about thirty,” she said.

“No, it should be twenty,” I said.

“Thirty,” she said.

“My insurance–”

“You can sit over there,” she said, pointing to a row of chairs.

“But I shouldn’t have to pay thirty–”

Minutessssss,” she hissed.


So I sat in the row of chairs and started to read about about allergies. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Safe with Julianne Moore, but if there’s ever been a book that makes me think Safe is a good idea it’s this one. Did you know that two million mites live in your bed? Did you know that every single poop that each of those mites make is what causes me to have sneezing fits? I’m allergic to mite poop. How sexy is that? It says that the best way for me to live without attacks is to have an empty, dust-free room with just a bed and plasticy sheets where I sleep by myself. It says I should get rid of my cats and have fish. It says that when I mow the lawn or garden or dust I should wear a surgical mask. It says that I should wash all of my sheets on hot every couple of days. It says that I shouldn’t wear any perfumes, or be around people with perfumes.

Basically, I should be a bubble boy.


“Yeah!” I jumped, trying to dodge her germs.

“Whenever you’re ready.” She held up my bag of drugs. “I don’t want to disturb your reading.”

smart ass.

“Thanks. That was fast.”

But it wasn’t. It had been forty-five minutes. I had been so worried about what I should do to my home to never sneeze again I hadn’t noticed so much time had gone by. I listened to the pharmacist’s instructions about my meds very carefully, and then drove home.

Chuy had called.

I returned his call.

“Dude, when do you want to get together to rehearse?”

Shit. I had a rehearsal with Chuy. Our show is Saturday.

Give me ten minutes. We’ll rehearse during the commercials on E.R.

So, instead of the earlier list, my evening list looked more like:

1. jack up car, remove tire, put on tiny one.
2. pump up tiny one that is now flat.
3. find tire place before it closes.
4. wait.
5. watch friends with new friends
6. after tire place closes, find car. look like they forgot you and then grin when they say no charge.
7. go to pharmacy.
8. read
9. clean house like madwoman
10. rehearse with chuy while watching E.R.
11. order Chinese food and have Eric pick it up on his way home.
12. kick laundry pile out of way to get another Coke.

Last night Eric got up while we were watching television. “Don’t worry about me. Keep watching television. I just want to go read about the hand. I’ve been waiting all day.”

He was so excited there was more about the hand he didn’t even want to continue our conversation. He just wanted more tiny wooden hand humor. He was giggling madly in the next room. And really, it filled me with a sense of satisfaction. Someone rushed home to read what I had written a couple of days ago. I felt like a real writer. Hopefully tonight, the playhouse will call and ask for an encore performance of Pan Left/ Pan Right, and then I’ll feel like an even realler writer. With good ritin’ skillz.

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