Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have a sadness shield that keeps out all the sadness, and it's big enough for all of us.

If I've said this once, I've said it twice (this being the second time, or possibly third). When my days lose structure, my mind loses momentum and all of the thoughts I think collect behind my ear until they're spit out as drool and toothpaste.

I've been home since the beginning of September, adapting to the same routine I had during high school summers... only this time I'm getting married, so that sort of changes things. I wake up earliesh and eat Frosted Mini Wheats, which I used to think tasted like little baskets. But times change and tastes change and suddenly not buying the groceries means you will eat whatever is in the cabinet, from celery salt to candy canes.

Wash the Wheats down with weak coffee, peruse various Web sites (celebrity and otherwise), try to hit the gym at the exact time when the youngs leave for work and the olds are still in the middle of their morning naps. This particular gym, chosen for its proximity to my mom's house, serves as a source of mid-day entertainment for wealthy housewives who don't mind handing their children off to gym-employed strangers if it means three hours on the elliptical, and elderly people who have yet to realize that they are too fragile for leg lifts.

After that, well, sometimes I shower, sometimes I eat lunch, sometimes I write form-letter thank you notes for holiday hand towels and measuring spoons. And it's pretty much all down hill from there. Internet. Glue gun. Casserole. Law and Order rerun. Sleep. Repeat. (But to be fair, it is sort of blissful in its own way, and I will miss this unadulterated time with my mom when life becomes normal once again.)

My youngest brother fell victim to a nasty infection behind his ear, which brought him home from the dorms and into this den of early dinners and hapless DIY endeavors. (Thank you, Paul! You made the last two weeks really fun, and you're getting better to boot!) We went to see Where the Wild Things Are on Monday night, and while it could've been 20 minutes shorter (a little less dirt clod throwing, perhaps?), I really enjoyed it. After all, muted colors, a scrappy child, giant felt monsters with celebrity voices and a twee soundtrack is a formula for guaranteed cinematic success in my book.

It is raining.

If you watch Mad Men, you should be reading the Slate TV Club's reflections of the previous night's episode. It will make you slap the side of your head and think of everyone and everything, from neighbor Francine to Don's pajamas, in a new way. It also makes that dreamy, tipsy feeling one gets while watching Mad Men last that much longer, and that is fine by me.

And finally, if you live in Chicago (or can find the motivation to get there within the next few weeks), I suggest that you go see Mrs. Gruber's Ding Dong School. It's Robot vs. Dinosaur's latest show, and it runs through mid-November at the Gorilla Tango Theater in Bucktown. Full disclosure: I have one sketch in the show, but please don't let that deter you (rumor has it the show is insanely funny). I'll be there on Halloween; I'll save you a seat.

Want to know more? Read Don Hall's review here .


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