Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Do nothing day

It feels like I've been waiting for this day for a year. Somehow the summer I envisioned of chilling out, grieving and writing turned into the summer of running a million miles an hour. Which actually isn't too much different from any other summer, but the month and a half of non-stop travel really took it out of me. In hindsight, I would've made some different choices.

But finally things are slowing down and I'm staying in one place for more than a day and today was the ultimate prize--a day of doing pretty much nothing. I did get up in the morning to run out for emergency craving groceries so I could have biscuits with fresh blackberries that we picked last week.

I worked on the blog for a while, uploaded some more pictures, caught up on my bloglines and puttered for a while. Across the table from me were two of my favorite girls being unbearably cute:

After breakfast, we played some Chinese checkers. I don't play often, but I used to play with mom and Grammy when they tired of scrabble wars, or were willing to switch games to I'd have some tiny chance at winning. Jess hadn't played in years and needed a short refresher course. I helped her with her strategy and she improved quite a bit in just one game. I predict in another 4-5 games, she won't need me at all.

We spent the afternoon watching movies. This is always a risky activity because we are TERRIBLE at picking movies at the video store. The badness generally falls into two categories, boring/unrealistic plot (Deja Vu) or completely depressing.

First we watched My Brother, which came from the Indie film section, starred Vanessa Williams and the cover description promised "an uplifting tale" in which two brothers overcome impossible odds, blah blah blah. Right. After an hour and 40 minutes of watching the older brother make one stupid choice after another we get three minutes at the end where he comes back and they supposedly live happily ever after on the sale of the diamonds Isiah stole from some Italian mafia guys. Oh but the best part...the endless flashbacks where we get to watch their mom waste away from some terminal disease! Like I really need to see more of that right now.

Our other movie was one I pulled off the shelf without a second thought because it fell into the category of one of my major obsessions: horses. Ruffian is the true tale of the greatest filly in horse racing history, who not only was never beaten in a race, but actually led the field at every pole of every race she ever ran and set or equaled the track record every time. I actually read a book about Ruffian during my 'horse phase after Seabiscuit came out. So I'm not sure how it was that I completely forgot that she broke her leg in a match race with Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure and died.

But hey, until her leg snapped in mid-run with the up close gruesomeness only modern special effects can provide, I was really enjoying the flim.

Euthanized horse aside, the special features were really excellent and included the real footage of all Ruffian's races and interviews with her trainer, the sports writer who covered her the most, jockey and others.

In the evening there was more puttering on the Internet, dinner of leftovers from our recent bbq and cake. Even though we had a ton of sweets in the house from our party on Saturday, I had to make a lemon cake for Cory--standard payment and we sent him home with the pan. "How often do you make this cake?" he asked.

"Whenever we get our bikes worked on," I said. And it occurred to me that indeed, I haven't made a lemon cake for myself to enjoy since my birthday. I figured if I was going to violate the 'sweets in the house rule' then I would rather have my own cake so I formulated a quick exit strategy for the store bought cookies and cake leftover from the party and took them down to Kinkos for the staff to enjoy.

We played one more game of Chinese checkers before bed and I won by just two moves. As soon as Jess learns to look for sideways jumps, I'm a goner.

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