Monday, January 3, 2011


This is the last day of my enforced eleven day vacation from work (aka, "the company furlough").

Eleven days is a long time to be away from my desk, and I will be lucky if my plants are alive when I return tomorrow.  Ok, one plant.  Or stick.  It's really just a little chunk of bamboo in a glass container that sprouted leaves on top.  But the container it's in is really small and it dries out if I don't add water a couple times a week.  And I have been gone ELEVEN DAYS.  What if I killed it?

I am a little scared about going back.

What if I can't find my way through the cubicles? What if they moved everything, just a little bit, just to mess with me? What if they didn't but I convince myself they did? What if I get lost?

You know how I am always complaining about not having enough time?  How I would be so much more creative and accomplish so much more if I only had time and didn't have to work?  I'll bet you're wondering what I did with ELEVEN DAYS AWAY FROM WORK AND ENDLESS TIME ON MY HANDS.  Well rest assured.  I'll fill you in.

I got sick.  Cough, cough, sneeze, sneeze, since Christmas Eve.  I am starting to feel better, now that I have to go back to work.

Because I got sick, I didn't make it up into the mountains THIS ENTIRE TIME. Not even during the snowstorm, which is my favorite time to go participate in the weather because no one else is around.  But I didn't.  Hopefully they (by "they" I mean the mountains) won't be angry with me when I do go back, and try to kill me.  More than usual, I mean.

I watched TV.  Like, a lot of TV, every evening. I don't normally watch that much.  My brain has become the consistency of Jello, and I may have damaged myself.

I drank beer.  More than usual, even.

I ate too much "food", if you call the over-processed crap I have been putting in my mouth "food".  All of it bad for me.  Obviously.

I finally managed to break myself of the expectation that the toilet will flush all by itself as soon as I stand up.
    I actually kind of miss the automatically flushing toilets at work.  You go to the bathroom, and as soon as you move away, "FLUSH".  No touching the nasty toilet handle.  Then you go to wash your hands, and you just shove your hands under the spigot and the water comes on.  No handles, levers, pumps, or syphons.  Just water. It's pretty amazing.

    The problems occur when I go back to the real world and nothing works automatically.

    There is nothing quite as strange as catching myself staring at my floaties in the toilet wondering why they haven't gone away.

    And then I wave at it, trying to trigger the motion sensor.

    After 5 or 10  minutes, it finally occurs to me that I have just spent 5 or 10 minutes communing with my own feces, and that the little lever thingy there will make this whole problem go away.

    And so I manually flush the damned thing.

    I go to wash my hands, berating myself for forgetting yet again that I don't have motion sensors in my house, for crying out loud, and then I realize that I have been standing there berating myself with my hands hanging underneath the faucet and no water is coming out because I haven't turned it on.  Because there are no motion sensors in my house.

    So yeah.  It took ten and one-half days to rid myself of the habit of expecting my plumbing to be automatic, maybe even psychically linked to my brain, and tomorrow I have to go back to work.

    What did I do with my winter vacation?  Well, the most difficult part of my day involved thinking about pooh.

    I think my vacation came out all right.

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