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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Writing Prompt: From Boring To Fascinating

By Marilyn Friedman

It's almost summer, and it's time to soak your tootsies in the pool and get those writing projects going. We have lots of amazing classes to help you--call 323-333-2954 to sign up before they are full!

Writing Prompt: Make a list of 5 boring or tedious things you do on a daily basis. Pick one and write for ten minutes about this activity so that it seems incredibly interesting. Then post your write in the comments of this blog!

Comment on this blog! What do you do every day that is tedious or boring? Write about it like it is the most fascinating thing in the world, and you could win a free class!


Writing Pad said...

I envy my husband. He leaps out of bed, somersaults into the shower, and wham bam 10 minutes later he is dressed and ready to leave. “Marilyn, it’s time to go,” he shouts.

I lean over the kitchen table, my hair sopping wet, the gray sacks under my eyes not yet hidden by a sponge paint cover up job. “What is that look of contempt on your face?”

“Because that’s what I’m feeling. Don’t make me late to work!” So I run to the bathroom to do the dirty work that is required for pleasant visual consumption.

It is nauseating to think of how many hours would free up in my day if I weren’t female and didn’t have to pluck, moisturize, apply eyeliner, and blow dry my hair. If I pooled the hours together over a lifetime, I might have time to read 100 more books or do a charity walk from Los Angeles to San Francisco or bake 500 cakes. But instead of learning how to fly small planes, you will find me every morning at 8:15 a.m., doing something of huge importance, stooping over the bathroom sink, aiming Mr. Tweezer and smoothing a cadre of lotions on my face that smell like oatmeal, my tools to help me maintain the illusion of youth and perfection.

The worst is the war that I wage with my hair. It is as high maintenance as a successful Hollywood producer. It requires three different kinds of styling products that I have to procure from three different stores at different ends of Los Angeles. It must be blown dry to a non-damp point immediately upon leaving the shower or I will be left with a head of frizz that resembles a dandelion seed head. To watch me with me fence with my hair is a sight to be seen. But without the graceful acrobatics of my giant flat brush, my hair would erupt in porcupine style flips in all the wrong directions.

I do all of these things as a service for myself, to those of you who have to look at me, and to the one in my life who gets ready in the morning faster than Superman can change out of his Clark Kent clothes in a telephone booth.


Celeste said...

Any housekeeper knows that just vacuuming can make an unkempt room look tidy. Especially with my vacuum, temperamental as it is. I brought it home, took it out of the box, and followed the instructions to put it together with no assistance. Now, if I run it back and forth and back and forth and back over the same square foot of carpet area enough times, eventually it will pick up something. Thats whats so charming about my vacuum cleaner, it has its own persona. It takes its time deciding when to work or when not to.

All of the excess pushing and pulling I do for minimum results has given me killer biceps. I could market my vacuuming routine as a workout video. A 700 square foot space takes about an hour to cover with my machine. Once you're finished you've done cardio and refreshed your home at the same time.

My vacuum comes with various attachments too. The attachments manage to fall off of the machine intermittently while in use providing the opportunity for
mid-workout stretches to the floor to pick up the attachments hook them back to the machine and start again with the back and forth and back and forth and back and forth motion.

Engel said...

It generally begins with a smell.

The untrained nose might not recognize it at first, a scent like a face they couldn’t place. Then they might inspect their shoe.

I know, however, right off the bat.

It usually happens around 8a.m. and again at 6. On a really good day, there’s a lunchtime treat too!

After the smell comes the chase. “Maaaaarrrs, I have to change your diiaaperr”, I sing as he toddles as fast as he can into any available corner. It’s all a big game.

A yoga teacher once offered in class, “what if you change the phrase ‘have to’ to ‘get to’ in all that you do?”

“Maaarss, I get to change your diiiaaperr!” I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

I swoop in and pick him up as he arches his back in protest. He gives in quickly though and nuzzles into position on my hip, his thighs clasping my waist, his arms around my neck. We walk to the changing table and I lie him down. And this is where the real excitement begins.

“Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” he shrieks as he flips his body over, stands up and starts throwing diaper cream, his comb, thermometer, and a stray toy onto the floor.

I get to gently flip him back on his back. I try to be sensitive because that’s how you raise sensitive children. “I’m so sorry you don’t like getting your diaper changed,” I begin as I try to relate to his anguish.

I begin undressing him, narrating each of my moves because that’s how kids acquire language. “Now I’m going to take off your diaper and get you a fresh one”. I avoid the word “dirty” because that’s how kids get a complex about their bodies.

I hold up both Mars’ ankles with one hand as I remove the cloth diaper with the other. Filled with gooey breastmilk poo and some undigested lentils! I get to wipe the remaining poop off his tushy to howls of objection. He kicks his legs attempting to break out of my grip. My wrists writhe. Finally, he succeeds and sticks his free foot smack in the middle of the soiled diaper. Awesome. I get to clean off his foot with another wipe and quickly toss the diaper in the bucket before he can stick any more body parts in the poop.

Half way there.

He meanwhile manages to get off his back and resume throwing things off the table. I just have to entertain him long enough to get a “fresh” cloth diaper on him and some pants. “Mars, what sound does a lion make? Does the lion go roooooaaarrr?” He laughs and I slide him back on his back. “Roooooaaaarr,” I say again and challenge myself to snap a diaper on before the giggle ends. Phew. He sits up and I give in and hoist him off the table and onto the ground. Who needs pants?

He toddles off to find an electrical socket without a babyproof plug in it or to stick his head in the oven. I get to go chase after him.

ALM said...

Folks, it's that time of day again-10 minutes have passed and I haven’t checked my schedule and you know what?! Good golly gee almighty I think it is POSSIBLE that I have forgotten what I have to do three Tuesday nights from now!! Could it be Art modeling or yoga, or going to bed early so I’m not cracked out for public speaking or MAYBE even dinner with our friends who we really like but who refuse to talk about anything REAL? I am going to look…here’s my phone, heavy and a little greasy from my face juice, I shall light the screen with the softest touch and… CONTACT WITH MY REALITY!! Here it is, Oh, boy, and the winner for three Tuesdays from now is (drumroll please) EARLY TO BED! Shit- well, may as well look at that whole week. Wednesday I have public speaking then that evening I will model and the next day I model twice with yoga in the middle and the next day speaking only then probably date night with the ole ball and chain and the next day is Saturday so of course I work at the restaurant and- WAIT! Hold EVERYTHING- I have Sunday OFF! Maybe we can see if Peter and Sybil want to get together and talk about nothing! But oh, I don’t know, is it our turn to cook? Maybe we should go to brunch but wait a minute can we afford that? Hm, hm, hm- let’s look at the next week, am I doing any cash jobs? Well Monday is public speaking, won’t see THAT money for a few more weeks and Tues is modeling at Disney then DreamWorks- checks “to be mailed” so no cash there but yes- Wednesday I am at Los Feliz drawing workshop at NIGHT after I come from speaking during the DAY so the cash from waitressing that I spend on brunch on Sunday can be replenished on Thursday so I will be able to buy good groceries even though I won’t see most of my money this week till GOD knows when.

I wonder what I have going on in Sept.? Well maybe I will just brush forward. Oh shit, HUSTON WE HAVE A MAJOR FUCKING EMERGENCY!! I only have 5 jobs scheduled?!? Am I doing enough? Am I networking? Are people forgetting about me?! Will I be able to buy organic that month? You know, maybe I can take some of this down time to catch up with a few friends but we can NOT go out to dinner because by Sept. I am going to be completely in charge of my finances and I will be cooking several healthy meals a week that I will pack for lunches and my friends will just have to come over here and have lentil soup and drink 7 dollar wine because that is definitely all I am going to be able to handle in Sept. because in Oct. Stacey and Michael are coming to visit and we are going to spend a FORTUNE! I can’t wait to take them to Pizzeria Mozza…how long before I can make a reservation? It is a month, I am sure it is a month. Okay well I better go back and put that in my calendar for- well, when do you think we should go? Thurs. night will be too soon because that is probably when they will fly in and it will be more fun to just relax at home, then Friday night will be pretty packed at the restaurant, but not as bad as Saturday night but then again Friday night we will probably still be a little out of it because we will surely get drunk on THURSDAY if we are just sitting on the patio and Sunday we will probably want to go to the ocean so yeah, you know I guess Saturday night should work great after all! Is 8 good? 9? You know let’s do 8:30 that should be perfect. Perfect. Perfect! Oh, my god my life is just going to be FUCKING PERFECT!!