September 26, 2007: Lesson of the Day

Lesson of the day: Go poo before you leave for a three mile walk. Otherwise you may find yourself particularly uncomfortable from miles 1.5- 3, especially if you've just recently begun adding more fiber to your diet.


In The Middle

I’m regularly caught in the middle of things- things like arguments, meals, jobs, and the three inches of space Man-friend and Sophie, The Cat have left for me between them in the bed, but, due to my conveniently located office, I very rarely find myself in the middle of traffic. This pleases me. I laugh at people who tell me their daily traffic horrors because I, being so obviously wise, have chosen a career free of traffic jams. In fact, it was one of the major factors I considered when going into business for myself- to sit in traffic every day or not? Um, not. Also, I am the sort of person who drinks large diet sodas while driving. Traffic jams are not conducive to this sort of lifestyle. That being said, I have never properly learned to prepare for the occasional and inevitable jam. In fact, I have yet to find myself in the middle of a traffic jam that I am ready for. Even if I know I’m venturing out of a busy city at 5:00 pm or have been stuck in this same exact traffic jam sixteen times before, I still find myself surprised, bewildered and annoyed.

Now, I’m a perfectly reasonable human being and can understand that things like roadwork, rush hour, and accidents are all legitimate causes for traffic jams. When there’s a three-car pile up, I understand that life will slow down, if due to nothing more than the innate human need to pause at the site of the accident and gawk at the people being loaded into the ambulance. I also know that there are other traffic jams that appear to be caused by NOTHING. These are the absolute worst kind. If I’m going to be stuck between a tractor-trailer and a minivan moving only two feet in an hour, so help me god, somebody had better be going to the hospital.

This afternoon, I had to travel a significantly longer than normal trip for a photography assignment. Despite my disdain for driving anywhere that takes more than three minutes, the clients were paying me for my time, and that included travel so I couldn’t really complain. Since Mapquest had estimated the trip would take fifty-three minutes, naturally I budgeted only forty-one, taking in to account that Mapquest assumes I follow the posted speed limits. And I don’t.

I’ll admit that I saw the warning signs, “road work ahead”, “delays exit 71-75”, I just figured they were meant as warnings for someone else. Not until all of a sudden the car in front of me abruptly went from 70 mph to a dead stop in half a second and so did the car in front of that, and the car in front of that, and so on for the sixty vehicles in front of that one, did I realize that it was I who the signs were talking to.


And so it started. Twenty-five minutes of the most unsatisfying bumping and grinding I have ever experienced all in the name of progressing 2 miles. I already had to pee. And then the radio stopped working. As it turns out, this particular strip of highway doesn’t tune into any of the six radio stations I have programmed in my car so all I got was static. As I searched vainly through the frequencies, I began to feel sorry for the people who live in this part of the state because, not only do they not have the stations I like, but they apparently DON’T HAVE ANY MUSIC AT ALL.

I slumped down into my seat and braced myself for hell.

Finally, after 24 minutes of holding my breath to protect myself from smog-cancer and trying to hum along to static, I could sense the end nearing. Excited, it was the moment of truth. What had slowed us down so? Was it roadwork like they’d predicted or would I get to see blood and gore and smashed up economy vehicles? I was giddy with anticipation.

But, alas, it was neither potholes nor dead bodies. And then again, it was a bit of both. Because when I reached the magical point in the road where the cars go from no miles per hour to sixty-five in the blink of an eye, the only difference I saw, the only thing that could have caused the delays, were three construction workers sitting on the side of the road eating their lunches. They weren’t fixing anything. They weren’t merging traffic from three lanes to one. They didn’t even have any equipment with them. Not a single jackhammers or dump truck to be seen. In fact, I’m not sure if they were even equipped to do anything other than eat. They were just there, as if from out of the blue, phantom construction workers, with reflective clothing and the power to stop traffic.

As I, like the others before me, drove by slowly, mouth hung open in disbelief at the fact that this was what had caused the delay, it occurred to me that perhaps they don’t have strip clubs in this part of the state either and that this might be the only form of adult entertainment these people can find. A rush of sympathy once again ran over me.

Lesson Of The Day:
If you must drink Diet Coke while driving, wear a skirt and bring an empty cup.


I don't know about you but...

This is what I heard last night...

It might have just been because I had to wait an extra half-hour to watch "The Office" and I was annoyed, but I'm pretty sure this is his master plan.


A Letter To The Universe

Dear Universe,

Last year I told you I would like to work for myself and make enough money to support me and my child doing so. In the past year, you have made that wish come true. I have gotten enough steady graphic design, photography, and illustration work to pay off all my debt and be in a place where I can finally buy my kid brand name cereal. I am truly grateful, I want you to know that, really I am. So please don't mistake me for an insolent little prick when I tell you that I have another request... actually, I wouldn't even call it a new request, more like a little tweak in the original plan. Deep breath, here it goes:

I would like to work as a children's book author and illustrator. I want to do ONLY this from now on- no more graphic design, no more photography, just writing and illustrating all day, everyday, and make money doing it (which is the hard part). To be completely honest Universe, we both know this has been what I've wanted to do with my life since I was 3 years old. I should get some credit for that right? I mean, how many people really know what they want to be when they're 3? It is my passion. It's what I do. Everyday. I want to be able to wake up, kiss my kid, and draw. Universe, I believe I'm doing my part. I got a degree in art while everyone said "Honey, study something practical, like computer programming", I honed my craft, and I've gotten some experience in the field (yea for this!). I did the graphic design and photography while I worked on my style but now I'm ready. And so I need a little help from you no so I can do this full time.** Starting...


Also, I'd like to be able to eat whatever I want without getting fat, have a clean home all the time, never have to worry about money again, speak fluent Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese & that African language where they click their tongues, oh yeah, and own a house in Tahiti.

But if I can't have any of that, honestly, I'll be happy just to be able to write and illustrate all the time (for money). You should know that I'm not picky, I am willing to illustrate books that I haven't written. I'm willing to work in markets other than children's books. To make myself completely clear- I'd like to do this as an occupation, not a hobby (which means I have to make enough money to pay the bills, Universe. I have a kid to support here.).

Thank you.

Yvonne Page

**Oh yeah, and I would like to make lots of money doing it.