Monday, February 6, 2012

Procrastination as an Art Form

Bless me, Jenny, for I am a procrastinator

Once again, I find myself procrastinating.  Being the best in the world at something can really have a dark side.  First, you never stop training.  It's just procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate -- all the time.  And second, the only thing you seem to get good at is your particular art form.  Like, developing my extraordinary gift of procrastinating means I now have piles of laundry taller than some people's houses.  I'm not proud of this.

I really should have a good 5,000 words written by critique group time Tuesday morning.  That would be nice, since right now all I have are 112,000 crappy words.  5,000 good ones would be what we call in the biz "a breakthrough," although sometimes we call it "actionable plagiarism."  At least that's what David Sedaris's lawyer called it, the big fink.  

But, in the above photo, Jenny Eckton, Gina James and I were running around this secret underground lair in Provo taking pictures when I could have, in fact, been working on those 5,000 words.

Procrastinating.  Big time.  We need a scripture.  They're great procrastination tools:

Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass;
Isaiah 48:4

You know, sometimes I think ol' Isaiah was looking right at me. What? I could have been there, in that gigantic vision. Do you wonder if those prophets saw, like, everything when God said, "Get comfy. I'm going to show you everything."? Like, do you think they saw Taco Bell and Oprah and Hip Huggers, and said, "Behold, I canst not puttest my finger upon it, but it seemeth to me that if one of these creatures stayed away from another of these creatures, she mighteth look better in the other creature. Yea, verily, and stuff."

I think it would have been scary, to be those prophets who saw mysteries like the Kardashians and reality television with no context for any of it.

Anyway, the reason Isaiah was talking to me was because I woke up Saturday morning with a neck as an iron sinew. Stiffnecked, as it were. That's a popular word in the Book of Mormon and it usually refers to someone who is misbehaving in apocalyptic ways. So far, no Horsemen have trotted through my dining room, so I'm assuming my stiffneckedness has more to do with the fact that I spent 12 hours on Friday driving to Utah County -- more ranting on that later -- acting as an extra in a production I'm still waiting to hear if I'm actually the star of, although admittedly my role as 'extra who walks with Jenny Eckton through lobby while stars do their acting thing and cameras roll' is beginning to impact my optimism for that big Hollywood break -- and then sitting on doll furniture chairs, sometimes for six hour stretches, between takes.

But it was worth it, for three reasons:

* It let me hang out with a zillion of my blogging and RL friends, and the friends of friends, and their friends' kids, and doughnuts.

* It allowed my son Jake to live his dream of being on an honest-to-goodness film set (since he came with me, or rather I brought him and only joined in the extra-ing because they were still finalizing my movie-star contract with my people).

In the above picture, Jake is practicing being a visionary.  I'm pretty sure Rodin's models for the Thinker series all said to him, "Yeah, I'll pose for now.  But what I really want to do is direct."  To those wonderful guys in charge, who let Jake hover around behind the scenes and watch how you put it all together: I love you like only the mother of a creative child can.

* It introduced me to the most delightful bathroom I've ever met.

This is the ladies room at the facility where the filming was taking place.  Notice anything ... unusual ... about the arrangements?

That's right!  It was refreshingly clean for a public restroom!

Oh, and there was that 'complete lack of stalls' thing, too.

What, as Rodin must surely have wondered, could they possibly have been thinking?  I took this picture, then showed it around to my fellow extras, and we decided it was a bold concession to the fact that women always visit public restrooms in herds.

So, for you men who have pondered this rather quaint if not kinda gross eccentricity in women, let me show you once and for all what really goes on in ladies rooms:

First, women remain fully clothed while having their pictures taken on the potty.  I can't tell you how many times I've been in the lah-tree-nay, working through the seventeen waistbands I'm usually sporting on a given day, when out pops a photographer, insisting that I wait to do my business until he's taken a few glamour shots.  Ever wonder why women have their legs crossed in photos?  Now you know.

Second, women share everything when they visit public restrooms together.  Look how thrilled Gina is to be able to see Jenny's magazine without it having first skidded across the floor into her stall.  Women are certain that bathroom floors are filled with such unimaginable horrors that most of us would rather walk through an acid bath on the way out of the restroom than take those public pee germs home.

And third, there are some crazy-donkey bathroom builders in Provo, Utah.  I know that doesn't really fit the list, but it had to be said.

Speaking of crazy-donkey behavior and Provo, I'm telling you once and for all, not another one of my friends is allowed to move to Utah County.  I'll go ahead and grandfather in those who are currently residing there, mostly because I understand that in terms of escapability it would be easier to drive out of Alcatraz than to extricate yourselves from any town between Lehi and Springville.  And Zeus help you if any part of the escape included traveling I-15, the most diabolical, bloody-minded construction project since the Tower of Babel. 

For reasons that may best be described as "suicidal" I make the trek from Stansbury Park to Provo at least three times a month.  I've done it so often I could drive it blindfolded, and in fact the last couple of times I've gone that's exactly how I've traveled.  Believe me, you do not want to see what lunacy is hurtling down that freeway all around you at warp 9.

(Why so fast? Because Mormons are always late to something, that's why.  S'what you get when you have so many children, 'getting ready to leave' involves rounding up enough shoes to stock Zappos.)

And say what you want about Tooele County -- no, I'm serious.  I love to hear non-Utahns pronounce "Tooele." -- when it comes to getting there, the directions are pretty straightforward:  Take I-80 west.  Sketch a friendly salute to the Great Salt Lake.  Take the exit that does not say 'Wendover.'  You're there.  I'll meet you at Virg's for lunch.

Stupid Utah County.  Think you're so cool?  Ha!

And now, I've added another hour to my procrastination résumé.  I'm telling you, I'm on a roll.  Oh, wow, I forgot.  My mom brought rolls to our Super Bowl nap yesterday.  Maybe I'll head downstairs, see if there's any ham, maybe a bit of brown mustard...

That's right.  I'm an artiste.


Stacy said...

I love Virg's. Yum. Fried fish makes me happy.

We were in Provo on Saturday. And Salt Lake, and most place in between. I'm still twitching.

Ness said...

Oh my hilariousness! There is so much awesomeness about this. Jake definitely looks in his element. Love that kid! Wish I could be down there to play with you guys! Someday :D

Christine Macdonald said...

Oh, how I know of what you speak when talking of procrastination. I'll get around to sharing about it. Eventually.

Kazzy said...

I will do my best to not take your UT Co pimp slaps personally (mainly because I agree about the traffic). Geez Louise!

You and Jake look like naturals!

Stef said...

HA! That bathroom really is interesting....really. Who designed that thing and....WHY? But it wasn't painted bad.

~j. said...

Jake just looks so . . . smart. Like, the smartest one of all.

What a blast it was to hang out and chat with you that night.

wendy said...

WHAT..superbowl NAP?? Blasphemy.
This was full of a lot of good stuff.
I'll just stick with the "Yea, Verily and stuff".

Maybe that bathroom was designed for moms and know, being Utah County and all.

Lara said...

We have a bathroom like that at our Wendy's! Well, the one that is two hours away. Sophia likes to use it with me, so I guess that's okay.

And procrastination. I've got that art form pretty down, myself. Yep.

J. said...

May I send the mountain goats inhabiting my laundry pile to your laundry pile? I'm hoping someone events cheap, biodegradable, disposable clothes soon.

J. said...

oops, I meant "invents" not "events"--to many nights of sleep deprivation have addled my brains.

Stepper the Mighty said...


You had me at doughnuts.