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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Dream of Doing Nothing: My Mental Vacation

So I’m back from my weeklong break from reality—and no, I don’t mean that in the padded cell kind of way. It was merely my gift to myself for working like a crazy person to complete the latest draft of my new novel—a five (business) day mental vacation. Think of it as my Office Space “dream of doing nothing.”

Office Space:
PETER GIBBONS: What would you do if you had a million dollars? …I would relax. I would sit on my ass all day. I would do nothing.
LAWRENCE: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do shit.



God, I love that movie. One of the cinematic triumphs of our time. And in honor of it, I’d thought I’d share with you…

Ten Things I Did On My Mental Vacation:

1. Sleep.
I didn’t get up until I felt like it. Once my cat had to get in bed to nudge me.

2. Started reading my first Jodi Picoult novel. Picture me, a blanket, a glass of wine, snow outside the window and a book. Just because of that setting alone, I don’t think it’s fair of me to compare this novel to others I read while eating a bagel and thinking about work.

3. Starbucks. I got gift card for my birthday, so I gorged on nonfat Caramel Macchiatos and Skinny Vanilla Lattes. Yum.

4. Looked at houses on realtor.com. You can’t spend that much idol time in your house without wishing you had a bigger one. Only when you live in the land of our forefathers, it’s hard to find a home under 100 years old. I’m just thrilled if the kitchen isn’t in the basement (like mine is now—seriously).

5. Went to the gym.
I decided to give my fingers a rest from typing because it got to the point that I was writing so much, I’d wake up at night with hand cramps. So I hit the gym to focus on my legs and the elliptical machine. The result? I pulled a muscle in my foot. Great.

6. Watched “Changling” on OnDemand. Now, personally, I’m team Jen. But putting that aside, I thought this movie was very Law & Order like—in a good way.

7. Answered emails. If you sent me something during my “I’m writing and only responding to emergency emails” phase, you should have finally gotten a response last week. Sorry.

8. Watched a lot of HGTV. This corresponds with the aforementioned house hunting. I think I might kidnap Candice Olson to design my next place.

9. Spoke at my niece’s Catholic school. I know this isn’t vacation-related. But I had this event scheduled before I knew when my novel would be complete. So last Thursday I spoke to two classes of third graders. They were very cute, though I had to get used to constant flow of questions.

For example:
Me: “My name is Diana Rodriguez Wallach.”
First raised hand: “My mom’s name is Diana.”
Me: “I went to college at Boston University.”
Next hand: “Do you like the Red Sox?”
Me: “I write young adult novels for teenagers.”
Next hand: “Do you have any pets?”

You get my drift.

10. Went to the Philadelphia Flower Show. We got ten inches of snow on Monday, so my hubby took a snow day and we went to PA Convention Center to soak in some tullips. This year’s theme was Italy, and one display actually had a real gondola. Bellissima!

So now I’m back to reality: blogging, writing, stressing. The same-old, same-old. At least until my next vacation. Thanks Uncle Sam for that upcoming tax refund! I can’t wait to spend it on an island in the Caribbean. Ah, palm trees…


POP CULTURE RANT: Daily Show

Jon Stewart’s been dogging on Twitter lately. And while I too think it’s nuts that politicians were sending Tweets during the State of the Union. I also think it dates Mr. Stewart to have no idea what the technology is about. Isn’t his target audience college students? Because I’m guessing they all have twitter accounts. Come on, Jon, get with it! Send out some Tweets, and let us know what you’re doing “right now.” I promise I’ll “follow” you.

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