Tag Archives: standard time

Sure, you gain an hour, but at what cost?

7 Nov

blog image home alone 2

“And, really, what good is an hour when you have to come inside early because it’s dark out?” asked The Boy.  (Yes, he begins all his diatribes with “and” because he was raised in a very linguistically conscious environment where his mom started all her sentences with “yes.”  Even when she was going to say no.  Like, “yes, some families do go to Paris for Thanksgiving but we are not the Sarkozy’s.  We go to New Jersey.  Now get in the car.”)  As far as I’m concerned, The Boy doesn’t have to come inside at all seeing as how all he ever wants once he does come in is food and the internet.

Yet, I feel his angst because I know that these past few days have not been easy for him.  His mother (AKA: me, AKA: the driver, the yeller, the candlestick maker) in an attempt to maximize her bonus 60 minutes, tacked so many tiny extra chores onto the morning routine that we ended up leaving the house 3-5 minutes later than usual depending on whether you consulted the clock in the kitchen, the bedroom or the Master Atomic Clock at the US Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., which actually took a little while to find online so I may have lost some time proving that I was correct about the exact time (and, also, learning that there are 84 world time zones) but accuracy is important.  (Especially when I am the one who is right.  Everybody’s got time for that.  Everyone who is too young to drive themselves to school, that is.)

Before we knew it, my extra hour cost The Boy 15 minutes and the tardy count on his report card ticked ever so slightly higher (again) just because I needed to pick up wet towels off the floor or, at least, yell until the person who put the wet towels on the floor came over and picked them up.  Sue me.  Or, if you’re a Macaulay Culkin fan (and please say you’re not) emancipate yourself.  And take those stupid “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” DVD’s with you.  (Oh Joe Pesci, what were you thinking?)

Finally, you want to discuss loss of time?  Let’s talk about Sunday when The Boy spent hours and hours fiddling around with GarageBand and then made me listen to his new song starring The Boy on guitar and vocals, featuring The Boy on drums and bass with special guest appearance by The Boy on background vocals.  And triangle.  Yes, triangle.

Sure, I gained an hour, but right there was 4.5 minutes of my life that I can never get back.

Back to School

12 Sep

back to school

Here’s why I hate the first day of school:

First: I am not known for being quick.  To move.  To judge, well, who’s to say?  (Actually, I am.)

I revel in all things slow (side note: future NPR show- “All Things Slow”?)  Friends have been known to doze as I search for the exact word whilst in conversation (for example, “whilst”) while others have consumed an entire meal before I have properly plated my green beans opposite my cranberry sauce (Spouse, Thanksgiving 2008).

It takes about a week once school ends for me to fully develop my summertime groove- from switching bed linen to a higher, more luxurious  thread count, to picking berries to add to my morning beet smoothie (side note: future morning music show about ska-influenced music titled “Beat Smoothie”?) and then imagine, if you can, how disruptive deconstructing that groove can be.  You see now how the first day of school is overwhelming, at best, and, at worst, a total Weepfest (September, 2011).

Secondly: the paperwork.  Every year it’s the same.  Science lab rules, gym class rules, homeroom rules.  Where are the Stevie Ray Vaughn Rules rules?  Doctor’s information, emergency contact (where you ferret out true friends and then saddle them with caring for your sick child because the school cannot reach you at any of the contact numbers you provided- oops, did I leave off a digit?) plus an improved code of conduct- NEW for 2013-2014!  The “I will not wear sleepwear to school rule!”  (PS: I didn’t even know that wearing pajamas had been an option.  Oh, the Lifetouch pictures we could have had- complete with airbrushed option and crooked hair.)

Third: lunch.  The Boy has watched enough Food Network to now believe that only fresh basil and hand-hewned croutons are acceptable in a salad.  Who hews?  Of course, a PB&J is fine if you’re rushed (hello, it’s me) as long as the bread is stone ground whole wheat, preferably cold-climate grown.

Fourth: the clutter.  The constant jumble of socks and shoes and backpacks and lunchboxes.  And books and binders and paper and such.  All in front of the kitchen door.  You know, the door that we must fly out of right now if we are to make it “on time.”

Finally, about the quest to arrive “on time.”  I put quotation marks around “on time” because while “time” is more of a “concept” to me, previous employers have adopted a more literal definition of “time” and the “wasting” thereof plus the need to “show up on” it.  But, hey, we’re all different and both schools and workplaces benefit when tolerance is practiced.  Besides, who am I to judge?  Oh, right.  I’m the unemployed one.

Let’s not even discuss the switch to Standard Time where, from November to March, I am 59 minutes late for everything.  Oh sure, I eventually make up a few minutes here and there- mostly at doctor’s appointments because physicians have even broader definitions of “time,” “schedule,” and “appointment” than I do, but it’s not the same.

Plus the reason I am at the doctor’s office is due to some nasty germ that The Boy brought home from school anyway.

Then, from my scratchy-sheeted sick-bed, I will begin counting down the days until summer vacation again.

259 from today.

Actual length of our discussion: 59 minutes

11 Nov

When we recently set the clocks to standard time, my husband accused me of being “An Hour Squanderer” because I took a perfectly good hour- an hour that we could have spent planting garlic, stacking wood or making the love (Sure.  I would have gone for making the love but I stopped listening before he got to “garlic”) and, instead, wasted it by:

sleeping: 36 minutes

talking on the phone: 12 minutes

reading a WSJ article about the new Tom Waits CD (an even more insulting waste of time because “Tom Waits hasn’t been interesting in 20 years”): 10 minutes

enjoying a Reese’s peanut butter cup: 1 minute

and,

feeling bad about it (it was early.  In my defense, it felt like 9:30AM): 1 minute.

It’s all that Halloween candy lying around.  After it sits on the counter for a while, it begins to take on the role of fruit bowl and one feels virtuous in selecting a piece (or seven).

I counter spouse’s assertion and contend that I am a “Time Warrior” due to my ability to recognize time wasters and circumvent them.

Like just there- in the previous paragraph.  I could have used way more words to describe how having a 13-year-old who dawdles then hurries when getting ready for school in the morning ultimately takes longer which is why I must yell a full 5 minutes before we have to leave (for a full 5 minutes), or how being married to a guy who insists on arriving early for everything- not just concerts- but flights, dentist appointments and surgery too, ends up wasting time because we inevitably sit in some nondescript holding tank where I am forced to sigh and mutter- a lot.  And fidget.  Captain Punctual’s rigidity often results in my having to fidget as if I will never, ever be comfortable again all because I could have been home pairing socks instead of sitting here.  (Mind you, I don’t pair socks.  We go by thickness in our house.  But still.)

So I saved 157 words (see above) and said what needed to be said and I was succinct: “this sucks.”  Two words.  A time saver.  Brought to you by “The Time Warrior.”

P.S.: You’re welcome.

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