No Fancy Name
Sunday, April 03, 2005
a saturday in the life of an incredibly boring person
The other day, kmsqrd did a Q&A post and one of the questions was "If you could/had to spend the day hanging out with another blogger (one you don’t already know), who would it be and what would you do?" For some unknown reason, she picked me. ME? Her answer was: "Though she doubts we'd be friends in real life, I'd want to spend the day with Julie at No Fancy Name. Don't ask me what we'd do, I hate that question." I left a comment that said something to the effect that since I'm the most boring person on the face of the planet, she would have to help come up with things to do. Then Parker popped in and left a comment that made me laugh out loud. He said, "Yes, but I get the idea that Julie would (a) go along with any number of "fun" suggestions, and (b) convince you (us) that she couldn't imagine any possible way she could've had more fun that day, even if it wasn't actually true. Maybe it's that she talks about so many *really different* things that she finds cool, that we figure she'd find a good time in nearly anything." I then replied that that was freakishly accurate. Just ask Mel, because many hours of driving, plus lunch and then coffee (with her), then many more hours of driving, resulted in one of the best days I've had in a long time.

But I digress. Yesterday was THE BEST DAY EVER. What with the blood-giving and the baseball and the passing out and the breakfast and the basketball. Okay, so maybe not the best day EVER, but a pretty good day nonetheless. See, I got to spend outside-the-office time with my buddies, which doesn't happen often. When it does, it makes me very happy. They're such nice people.

Anyway...I had an 8am appointment to give blood, but I couldn't sleep and was up at 6am. I took my laptop to the Peet's nearby and figured I'd spend some time working on my paper (which is due tomorrow and is in a sorry state) before going to the bloodcenter. I fiddled with it for a bit, then went over to the jabby place. I passed the iron test and was dutifully waiting in the chair when my heart filled with dread as I saw who would be doing the jabbing: a newbie. So new that she didn't even have her own nametag or badge—her name was written in black marker on her smock. I was momentarily concerned, but thought it would be alright because a) I have good veins and b) there's a permanent indentation of sorts where they always stick in the needle. I figured she'd follow along. Not so much. (Skip to the next paragraph if you're squeamish). She stuck the fat needle thing in and then paused. No blood, meaning she managed to miss a vein. But the needle was already in so she started moving my arm around and moving the needle around to try to hit something. It didn't really hurt but it was a creepy feeling and I made the mistake of looking over to see what she was doing and—I am not a squeamish person—it made me a little queasy. She finally (thank god) called someone over to help, and they angled the needle and hit a vein, and all was right with the world. I squeezed out my pint, got my cookies and juice and set forth on my next adventure.

The next adventure was a Starbucks run before baseball. I kid, I kid. Starbucks wasn't an adventure. But I was in a hurry because I had just found out that I absolutely had to be at the baseball game by 9am because I was going to be scorekeeper, and if I wasn't there on time, all hell would break loose. Again, I kid. There would be no hell breaking loose. But scorekeeping is a very stressful job. We're not talking about the actual change-the-score-on-the-scoreboard scoring...I mean the actual scorekeeping book, with scoresheets like this. I should probably stop here and mention that the game in question was between the mighty Cubs and the Los Altos Little League single-A minors. In other words, FIVE AND SIX YEAR OLDS. But you still have to score their games like real games, and there was plenty of scoring in this one: it ended up 21 to 20 after 4 innings (they hit the time limit) in favor of the Yankees. The mighty Cubbies lost on the extra point. Oh wait, wrong game.

My buddy Mary is the coach of the mighty Cubbies. Mary's kid is 12 years old and isn't even playing baseball, but Mary is such an excellent coach that she was recruited to coach this team. Last year she coached a t-ball team and this year got the call-up to the big time. We're all very proud of her. In fact, if "professional coach for little kids in all sports" was an actual profession, I think our company would quickly lack one creative director as she changed careers. All the while I was keeping score, my other buddy kept saying things like "you're going to blog about this, aren't you?" and "why don't you take a picture" (I did.) I was convinced she was making fun of me, so I kept saying "shut up!" a lot until our conversation deteriorated to "shut up!" "no, you shut up!" like we we in third grade or something. I still think she was making fun of me, which is why this post is so ridiculously long and pointless. You know, to make the teasing worthwhile. Something like that.

She had to leave the baseball game a little early, to start doing statistics for their boy's basketball game. I left the baseball game as soon as it was over, to go help her, because coach-buddy had to do coachy things with the kids before she could leave. When we all met up at the basketball game (and "all" means the extended posse of grandparents and other friends), we found there was no game as the opponent didn't show and thus forfeited. This meant that our team would play two and a half hours later—just enough time for me to get back home, putter around and then have to drive back. In other words, just not worth it. We decided we'd have breakfast/lunch (brunch, or leakfast, whichever you prefer) and the extended posse declined and dispersed. Then I passed out.

That was not pleasant. I'm not a big passer-outer, in fact I don't remember ever doing it before. I was just standing against my car, got really lightheaded, decided it would be a good thing to sit down and turned toward my car door. I completely lost all control of my body, flung my hand out (holding my keys) against my buddy's car door and just tumbled down. I laid there for a bit thinking "Now, this is nice. The dirt, the asphalt, not needing to stand up, oh crap did I just scratch the hell out of my buddy's door." They said I didn't, but I think I did. I think it's the kind of scratch/smudge that can be buffed out, though, which is good.

I eventually got up, and we went for food, which was a very, very good idea. After food, we still had plenty of time to kill, so I said "hey, isn't there some really great used bookstore in Palo Alto?" and we drove over to it. There wasn't time to shop or anything, I just wanted to see where it was and check it out. (It's Bell's Books on Emerson Street.) As soon as I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the smell of old books—which is a good thing. Since I was only an hour or so removed from the passing out, going up on ladders to really browse was not a good plan, so I was limited to things on the first few shelves. Not to worry, as I found an edition of Tennyson poems that had "Christmas, 1867" written in it (just $24, too). VERY cool, and I'm not even a big Tennyson fan. I knew this would be a great place to shop, another day. The bookstore is next to Mac's Smoke Shop, which is an old newsstand/cigar store with an eccentric fellow at the helm. My buddy stopped in for Beeman's Gum in multiple flavors (including Black Jack, blech) and I got some water, before we headed off to the basketball game.

The basketball game went something like this: after the 1st fifth (there are 5 periods, don't ask) it was twenty-something to 5 (we had the five), after the 2nd fifth it was forty-somehting to 8...and then I decided I needed to go home and take a nap because while I love the boy and want to support him, there wasn't going to be any sort of comeback, and I was very tired. I think I was yawning every two minutes. So I went home, found out the final score was like seventy-something to 18, and crashed hard until this morning.

And THAT'S why my paper isn't done. But I'm off to work on it now.

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