Postcard from California

The hotel where I’m staying is alarmingly close to the Reagan Presidential Library. It’s nice, though. My room has a little private balcony that overlooks the pool. It does not, however, seem to have a phone that can dial the 800 number for my long-distance calling card. Heather at the front desk keeps telling me to call the phone company operators, who in turn have told me I need to check with the hotel switchboard operator who is… well, Heather. Who has made it clear that telecommunications is just not her thing. Three operators and Heather have concluded that I guess I’m not supposed to be dialing an 800 number from my room phone, which, by the way, has specially labeled speed-dial buttons not just for the taxi company and room service, but for the Reagan Presidential Library. At least I have internet access.

The last time I was in this part of California was in high school, when my grandma and I visited my great-uncle and great-aunt, who lived in Santa Monica and sort of never threw anything out in their house, which isn’t to say that they were filthy, because they weren’t, just a little crazy, like some kind of eBay bomb had gone off in their house, and the only way to deal with being around so much stuff was to feign interest in whatever object such as a candy dish or Avon bottle or novelty transistor radio shaped like a baseball or ziploc bag full of latchhook rug yarn happened to be close to you, and if my great aunt saw you touching or even looking at the random whatever, she would insist that you take it.

This trip isn’t anything like that, of course. It’s been so many years, though, that I am actually sort of gawking at the palm and citrus trees out here.

I have no idea what time it is. My Midwest laptop clock and the California clocks don’t agree. Is it 11:00? 1:00? 12:00 but then really 11:00 due to daylight savings but then, really, in non-California time, 1:00 a.m. Or maybe 12:00 now. Either way i need to sleep.

My excuse

I’m flying out to California today on business. Maybe an entry later if I can find wireless access. And haven’t passed out for lack of sleep.

A wake-up call for the ladies!!!

Three possible future relationship books for women, now that He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys is such a big damn hit:

He Can’t Come to the Phone Right Now:
How to Tell Whether It’s Really Him or Just His Voice Mail

Real Men Have Heads:
How to Avoid Mistaking Trees, Rocks and Other Large Objects for Boyfriends

He’s Choking, Dammit:
Why Men Sometimes Sputter, Gesture Wildly, And Start Turning Blue

Things I've learned after a week of very conscientiously counting POINTS™

1.) There are sixteen pieces of candy corn in an ounce of candy corn. One piece of candy corn is 0.125 POINTS™.
2.) At least twenty minutes out of my workday were devoted to the pursuit of that knowledge.
3.) The journal feature at Weight Watchers Online has tidy little fields where you can record your POINTS™ for your Morning Meal and your Midday Meal and your Evening Meal and your Exercise, but they really could stand to have a separate field for Alcoholic Beverages.
4.) Unless I’m supposed to call a vodka tonic a “snack,” that is.
5.) It’s a nice enough feeling to complete a whole day on your POINTS™ journal, to have filled in all the blank fields, and clicked on all the cute little glass-of-water and serving-of-fruit-or-vegetable icons, and tallied everything up, and ALL THAT, but I keep wishing something else would happen after that. Like when you’d clear two screens in Ms. Pac-Man and get to see a little cartoon.
6.) Yeah, you know what would be cool? A Missy Elliot video. Have “Gossip Folks” pop right up after you click on save. Do they even have a video for that? WW would probably have to edit out that “I heard Missy eat one cracker a day” line because, well, that’s not the sort of attitude they approve of, is it?
7.) Some of this was written under the influence of “snacks,” so I apologize in advance.

Love Your Whatever Day

I think I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I’m wearing a brace and everything. It’s not so painful that I can’t type, but it is just bad enough that I manage to talk myself out of typing lots of things, like blog entries about Love Your Body Day, and how, even though I’m all for their cause, I guess I’d rather this particular occasion of awareness be called Screw Sucky Media Representations Day, because, well, I know it’s just semantics, but a name like Love Your Body Day gets all up in your personal space somehow, like women at parties or guys at gay bars who feel compelled to tell you that your cleavage is very life-affirming. Or else it’s like having a Hug Your Children Day as a response to terrorism. If we need to have our most helpful and appropriate gut reflexes pointed out to us like this, what the hell does that say about us?

If you want to do more than just consciously emote Body Loving Feelings for ten minutes, and if you feel all horrible and guilty for reading this list and one by one ruling out most of the things on it, go and buy this Lynn Peril book and this Wendy Shanker book (and yes, I know she’s a spokesperson for this Love Your Body Day thing which I was just now being all contrary about, but that’s just how we Wendys work).

I would also recommend you get a TiVo so you can fast forward through all the self-esteem-withering commercials, although it can’t stop the atomic-particle-like torrent of eight hundred thousand product endorsements from a typical episode of America’s Next Top Model. Which–and I don’t know what you’ll think of me when I say this–is the show I was watching on Love Your Body Day.

No, really: it was the episode where the skinny girl cried and cried in the mirror about how ugly she thinks she is and the plus size girl cried and cried about how hard it is to be strong all the time. I thought it was great in ways I’d be happy to explain to you, as well as in ways I’m a little ashamed to admit. And then I didn’t write about any of it. Is it okay to say I really hate my wrist? I hate my fucking wrist.