The Medieval Bestseller
I read it somewhere on the Internet...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My day can be summed up by the following quote:
"Josh, I am going to kill you like I killed that squirrel."
~Jenny

This was said in jest, of course (although Josh, at this point of the day, was getting annoying). (Additionally, it's unsubstantiated whether or not I actually killed the squirrel)

My day wasn't that bad at all...in fact, it didn't really even approach being bad until about 4:30 p.m. when I was stuck on a closed freeway. But more about that later. Waking up for school today was a rude awakening for what it'll be like once I actually find a job. I doubt wherever I end up will put up with me lounging in my PJs until the late morning, when I finally get around to showering after a long morning walk. Needless to say, I was not happy when 6:00 a.m. rolled around. But I got up, got ready and made it to the alternative high school at around 7:45-ish, a little early before "class" was about to start. I was surprised to see two boys on time and even more surprised to hear that we were only waiting for two more, who ended up being at least one hour late (I was expecting six students total).

We hung out until everyone got there and then we had a little lecture/discussion on what culture is...I guess it lasted about an hour or so. I wasn't expecting the kids (all high school boys) to be very talkative, and couldn't have been more wrong. Sometimes I wondered if they'd ever be quiet! After the discussion we watched most of the Iranian film Children of Heaven, save about 10 minutes because we had to leave for our outing. Although I didn't finish the movie I can kinda predict how it ended, but I cannot figure out why the movie is named the way it is. It is, afterall, just about children and shoes (and nothing about heaven).

So at 11 a.m. we left to go to the Dodger game, obviously fitting into the week's culture schematic because the Dodgers play baseball, which is a part of American culture. Now in order to get to the game I was given keys to this fully-loaded Lincoln Navigator. Once I got in the car I realized this is the nicest ever car I have ever driven (debatable if it's the nicest car I've ever been in). Let me just put it this way...you know heated leather seats? Well, this not only had heated leather seats, but air-conditioned leather seats (which, as it turns out, feel akin to sitting on a metal bench). AND, I later figured out that there's this other button that automatically adjusts the height of the brake pedal (I was wondering why I felt like such a giant--even moreso than normal). And this car also was complete with DVD player (wish I would have known that and we could have finished the movie) and computer console complete with virtual buttons for virtually everything. The only thing is that when I got in and started it up, I thought to myself, "If I wreck this car, it'll be like having gone to Princeton twice-over in order to pay back the debt." It was a bit nerve-wrecking at first when driving it because it is so massive. I can understand why SUV drivers can tend to be horrible - you're sitting so far up above the road that seeing anything on the passenger side lower than the hood is next to impossible.

Taking the non-trafficky route that was recommended, we got to the game just before the national anthem and I bought tickets at the box office (it ended up being an ordeal to get 9 seats together). I was wondering who goes to baseball games in the middle of the day in the middle of the week, but the funny thing is that I ran into two of my fellow Sliders teammates, David and Diego, who said that they were there because they had the day off. By the time we got into the stadium, I realized why it was an ordeal to buy the tickets - every summer day camp program known to humanity was watching the Dodgers that day. So the place was swarming with elementary kids in t-shirt colors ranging from bright red to bright green to bright yellow to turquoise. The never-ending lines of these bright colors at the concession stands were miserable, at best. Consequently, the first time I was able to actually see the game (after buying tickets, food, etc.) was in the fourth inning, or just as about half the game had commenced.

The guy in the box office told me our tickets were in the shade, but upon finding our seats, that was not the case and it was clear that it wouldn't be the case for quite awhile. Seeing as how I forgot my sunglasses, I decided it was in order to break my long-standing tradition of not wearing hats and bought a Dodger cap (similar to this one, although my design is a little cooler). I wanted to protect my face and shield my eyes from the uber-bright sun. I greatly dislike wearing hats and, as such, learned that I don't really know how to go about wearing them. After my purchase I put it on my head, but then felt the need to go to the bathroom to make sure it was on ok. I noticed as I gazed in the bathroom mirror that my dad has been right all of these years - I do look good in caps. So I proceeded on, but then realized that the cap was a little loose, so I took it off and wondered how to go about tightening it. And then I thought that maybe I should tighten it whilst on my head for a better fit and I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to do that (even still, I don't think I really understand how to do it). Then, when I was fussing around with it, the back strap came off and I initially thought that I broke the hat until I realized that there's a snap back there and that's probably how one goes about adjusting these sorts of hats. I was going to ask someone in line (an adult, not one of the multitudes of children, because I was waiting for food at this point), but then I didn't want to embarass myself by essentially letting them in on the fact that I am a 28 year-old who doesn't know how to wear a cap. The long and short of it is that I finally figured it out and, when I did, I realized that my head was a lot cooler when wearing the cap. If only I wasn't constantly aware of the bill cutting off the top of my field of vision and the feeling of it on my head, it might be the way to go all the time! As it is, however, I feel like I should wear it again sometime just to justify the purchase, which I felt was exorbitant because I don't like hats in the first place. (so I'm wearing it as I write this entry)

Anyway the game was a pretty good one (definitely entertaining to watch) and the Phillies played fairly well for being as bad as I have heard that they are. It was actually tied for awhile and, as Terrence knows, I love a good tie so I was rooting for extra innings until I remembered that I was there working with teenagers who needed to get home at a certain time. There was no need to worry, as the Dodgers pulled ahead by one and won the game. Thus we went back to my sweet ride and I hopped on the freeway, going back as I came, using the expertly-chosen freeway route I was given by the school (for those who know/care, 118 > 210 > 2 > 5, then reversed).

All was well until I was on the 210 and came upon slowing, which eventually turned into stopping. Then I realized that I had been called by the school (phone on vibrate, so I couldn't hear it), so I called back and then learned that the freeway I was on had been closed, due to a fire on the side of the road. The problem was that by the time I found this out (there certainly wasn't any smoke or flames to indicate said fire), I wasn't really in a position to get off the freeway, since I was relatively close to the blaze and those exits were closed. So the only thing to do was to sit tight through it...for one and a half hours, listening to the boys sing wholesome and uplifting songs about Yogi Bear. At least, I reminded myself, if I had to be in stop-and-go traffic on a freeway, I was in a sweet car. Sure, it may have been hell on the environment, as the Navigator clocked-in with 11 mpg, but I was cooling down on those air-conditioned seats.

After taking about an hour and a half to traverse 3-5 miles, the closure opened up and we were free to go, as we passed no fewer than 30 fire-fighting vehicles and countless police cars on the side of the road. I got back up to a respectable speed and then somehow spaced out in seeing the sign for the 118 and consequently found myself getting on the 5N. Upset with myself (because I was totally ready two hours before to be done with the day), I braced myself as I had to wait a few miles for the first exit because you have to cross over this small hill. The worst was when Josh started saying, "Hey, where are we going?" and then started talking to his mom on the phone by saying, "My flawless counselor made a flawed turn on the freeway and now we're going the wrong way." Um, thanks, Josh, for ratting me out to your mom.

Finally I was able to get turned around and ended up taking a side street back to the school, which is where I may or may not have run over a squirrel that was debating in the middle of the street whether or not to get run over by a moving van or the posh Lincoln Navigator. At the very last second, which is how it seems squirrels always make their decisions, it ended up choosing to die in luxury. Allegedly. I mean, I didn't feel the bump of the squirrel under the tires, nor did I necessarily see any remains in my rear view mirror and, when we got back (at 5:45 p.m., two hours after I thought we'd return), there were no squirrel guts in the tires. So there is potential it could have survived.

And that, dear friends, was my day. I'm fairly pooped. Tomorrow I was thinking I could take them to some cultural museum. I googled cultural museum Los Angeles and somehow ended up at this museum's website and, although they invite us to "hop on over!", I think I'll pass and instead take us on a walking tour of Little Tokyo, followed by attending the Japanese American National Museum (which is a good museum and, conveniently, has free admission tomorrow), followed with some lunch and swimming in the afternoon.

I'll be crossing my fingers that tomorrow isn't as exhausting as today was, since I still have to plan out a game night for some middle school students on Friday.

- Jenny, 7/18/2007 07:45:00 PM

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