Summer Vacation: A Recap

Today marks my final day of summer vacation. Tomorrow morning I will wake up at 4 A.M. to board a 6:30 flight to Washington, D.C. Please wish me luck. I’ll need it.

Back to your feature presentation:

I spent summer vacation back home in Los Angeles where the crazy never stops and the stories are plentiful. In honor of the time in my illustrious hometown, I’d like to compose– you guessed it– a list.

Things that happened in Los Angeles this summer:

1. I met Kevin Bacon in an elevator. As number 1 on my list, you would think this was the highlight of my summer. To the contrary, I hardly dwelled on this. I also use the term “met” loosely. A more accurate term phrase might be “stood in an elevator with Kevin Bacon.” If I were being totally truthful, I would also say that although he looked vaguely familiar, I had no idea who he was until the building security told me. The only reason this is number 1 on the list is that I can now say that I’m one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon and I really like that “six degrees of Kevin Bacon” anecdote.

2. I finished a novel. After three years, two notebooks, and nearly 300 handwritten pages, I completed the novel I began my junior year of high school. I’m now in the process of editing it. Hopefully, the editing won’t take another three years. At my pace though, it just might happen.

3. I drank a lot of coffee. This goes hand-in-hand with “I finished a novel.” That and the fact that I really like coffee. And visiting coffee shops.

4. I spent a lot of time at my local coffee shop. By “I spent a lot” I mean “averaged 10 hours a week there.” I sense a coffee theme.

5. I read books. I also bought roughly 50 books, many more than I actually read. My summer list of productive things to do mandates that I read one book a week. So I did, most of the time. Some weeks I didn’t manage to read a book, usually because I was slogging through Proust (French-English dictionary at my side at all times) or putting the finishing touches on my novel. In 15 weeks of summer, I read 15 books. I checked that off my list.

6. I pretended to be a housewife. At the beginning of the summer I thought playing the role of housewife for a couple months would be fun. I was excited to sit on the couch and watch Ally McBeal all day long (see below) in between chauffeuring various members of my family around Los Angeles. As it turned out, I’m not really housewife material. Yes, I can cook. Yes, I enjoy driving. No, I cannot clean or do dishes. I have limits. The real issue with my failed attempt at being a housewife is that I absolutely need to feel busy. My self-worth is wrapped up in my daily productivity. Bad day and lack of productivity are corollaries in my life. There is a deep-seated psychological reason for this, but that’s for another day.

Lesson: Housewife isn’t a career option for me.

7. I watched all of Ally McBeal. This habit of mine– thank you, Netflix Instant Play– didn’t contribute to my productivity. Early on in the series, the show seemed to resonate too much with me, particularly Ally’s character. The same thing happened with Liz Lemon of 30 Rock and Rory Gilmore of Gilmore Girls. I always identify with the neurotic women. After watching Ally McBeal, I even considered being a lawyer for a few minutes, something I told my parents I would never be. I also considered begging Robert Downey Jr. to date me, even after I spiraled into a deep depression when he and Ally broke up. After finishing the series in July, my life has returned to normal for the most part. The gigantic Sherlock Holmes poster of Robert Downey Jr.’s face at the end of my street has not been aiding this process.

8. I ate well. My grandmothers make delicious food. My parents make delicious food. I make my own delicious food. Moreover, I didn’t eat dining hall food.

9. I chatted with my grandmothers. Every evening at 5 p.m., my nana has her “drink” also known as bourbon and water. From 5-6 in the evening, my grandma and I often sit with her, rehashing the day and discussing relevant, highly important subjects like why early morning TV broadcasters are all women, why they wear sleeveless dresses, and why PBS programming has become so dull. Most of the time, though, we talk politics, which is Nana’s favorite subject. More on the grandmothers coming soon!

10. I made a lot of lists. I can’t help it. It’s a habit.

What did you do with your summer?

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