Yet Another Mental Health Day

7:15 AM: Dad wakes me for work, either forgetting that I told him I was taking Monday off after a busy weekend, or not having heard me tell him in the first place.

9:30 AM: The chirping of birds outside my window is unbearably loud, but there are worse alarm clocks.

10:05 AM: Finally saunter out of my room after checking e-mails, posting comments, playing games, and other daily web rituals. Pour a bowl of Corn Chex and ask my mom where my dad is going with the car. It seems he's off to give my aunt a ride to the hospital for some tests, then planning to visit some friends at a local garage to make an appointment to get my mom's car inspected. I don't know what impresses me more, the fact that he's back to his normal routine, or that he's taking a family member to the very hospital he himself was a patient at less than 8 weeks ago.

11:06 AM: After breakfast and more web surfing, which includes the unforgivable act of giving in to curiosity and checking my work e-mail on my day off, I head out mail some things at the post office, and fill up my car's tank at the gas station. An accident blocks one lane of traffic and extends the time quick local errands normally would take.

12:22 PM: After more time wasted online, including another visit to my work account, I resist the urge to take a nap and instead shave my head. It's been a few months since I last sported Lincoln Burrows length hair, but it's definitely going to keep me cool this Summer, and keep sweat out of my eyes on the treadmill.

12:58 PM: My dad is back from his errands and pressing my mom to go shopping with him; she feigns a few mock sobs at the sight of my buzzed scalp. She hates when I do that.

1:03 PM: As I struggle with some stubborn rakes to free the lawnmower from out shed, my dad asks if I can spare “ten minutes” to help him with something on my mom's car. I'm a little short-tempered, knowing what “ten minutes” can turn into when working on a vehicle, and wanting to get to a beach or a park while the weather is still beautiful.

1:18 PM: For once, my dad's estimate was correct, since all he wanted me to do was jack up the car and remove two tires so he could look at my mom's brakes. Satisfied that they were still in good shape and would pass inspection, he had me put the wheels back on, and I was free to resume my original tasks.

2:00 PM: The lawnmower definitely has been running too fast of late, and I've yet to get through one session without having to refill the gas tank before I'm done. I'm sneezing and coughing from all the clippings and dust I inevitably inhale, and looking forward to a shower to get rid of the accumulation of hair, grease, and grass I've built up.

2:45 PM: I can't believe how late it is. I've got a load of laundry running, and clouds are turning a good day to take pictures into a better day to see a movie. In looking for movie times, I get sidetracked again with my work e-mail, and realize I seriously need to get away from the computer.

3:35 PM: In checking some maps online, I've discovered a hidden park I've never visited, conveniently nestled in some back roads on the way to the movie theater. I should have time to take some pictures, and still catch the 4:40 Shrek Forever After.

4:11 PM: Back roads are tricky, and somehow I miss the park entrance entirely. It's a quest for another day, as I find myself at the theater with a row all to myself, room to put my feet up, and a tasty platter of nachos and cheese. It will either be the salt content, the grass clippings, the 3D movie, or a combination of those elements that I later blame a headache on.

6:40 PM: The movie wasn't bad, with some good laughs and a few tears, and a nice conclusion to the saga(if I believe they aren't making more of these). 3D definitely works best with computer animated films, and this was no exception.

6:43 PM: Geese! And goslings! Of course, the goslings are almost fully grown, and closer to teens than babies. I missed the fuzzy yellow baby stage this year, but these were still fuzzy and cute, even if they were larger and starting to take on the darker hues of their parents. At least I didn't bring my camera with me in vain.

7:30 PM: It's the earliest I've eaten dinner in years, which should make my dad happy. After dinner I hang the laundry I washed earlier in the day, and then check my work e-mail for what I hope will be the last time. Doing so tends to defeat the purpose of a mental health day.

8:40 PM: I start watching the third Mummy movie. Five minutes in, I didn't see anything wrong with it, other than a stylistic departure from its predecessors. Fifteen minutes in, I started seeing real problems. I won't finish the movie on the same night I begin watching it, and I'll save a more detailed review for my next WWW.

9:00 PM: The Good Guys. It's now the second episode I've seen, but the first with audio on its regular day and time(I watched the premiere on a Wednesday with closed captioning while on a treadmill). I'm still not sure, but I think I like this show about misfit detectives who often stumble upon larger crimes while investigating petty ones. Colin Hanks has become an absolute clone of his father at that age, and may his career and skills grow equally in the coming years. Bradley Whitford is sometimes a little too over-the-top as his partner, and some sequences like one in which he throws a tantrum and yells at a laptop because he can't work a “computer machine” are a little too much. I think the show also overuses the short-term flashback device(“XX minutes earlier”) even if it is intentional for laughs, but I can't be too critical of a Summer series that will probably be canceled in a few months. I'm along for the ride, and will enjoy it without getting too attached.

10:00 PM: Persons Unknown. I consider it “Actors Unknown” until Alan Ruck shows up. A small group of strangers wake up in a hotel in a deserted town, with no memory of how they got there. Each was abducted, and each has a reason to get home, be it a daughter, wife, or something else left behind. Not every person is forthcoming with information, and they all suspect one another. Meanwhile, a camera records everything for some unseen audience. Is this some new reality show? A knockoff of The Prisoner? Does nature abhor the vacuum left by LOST? This show doesn't have the characters that those shows did, at least not yet, but it is an intriguing premise and has potential. It's also a Summer series, so again I'm along for as long as it lasts. They probably should just plan these types of shows as short term-miniseries, to have the mysteries resolved within one season.

11:00 PM: I come up with the clever idea of writing about my “Mental Health Day”, and then discover I've used that title before. A new tag is born since this is now the third variation of that idea, and I begin breaking down my day.

12:13 AM: It's officially Tuesday. My Mental Health Day is over. I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do. I didn't finish watching that Mummy movie. I did spend over an hour writing a blog post, which kept me from getting bored and checking my work e-mail again. In less than 7 hours I will be awake again. In less than 9, I'll be back at my desk as though I never left, and as though the weekend never existed. In four days, there will be another weekend, another lawn, another band gig. Every day along the way there will be a blog post. And so, the cycle continues....



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