It’s Paula Poundstone’s fault I’m not writing

If I’m writing about not writing, does it mean I’m not not writing?

I tried to do an exercise from the What If? book today, but my mind just wouldn’t cooperate. It’s a good exercise, I think, but it calls for an early draft of a story, and I just don’t have one. I have some pre-drafts. I can’t seem to get to the draft stage. So I’m taking a vacation. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

My mind is full of other things and I think I just need to let myself focus on what I’m focused on. Like Paula Poundstone. Last July, Sally had a birthday, and at the time I looked for a concert she might like, since I’d just give her books or music and she’s always giving me the books and music that are overflowing on her shelves. I gave her a choice of several things, and she picked Paula Poundstone. Last night was the concert, and it was hysterical. At times I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. At other times I just laughed so hard tears were pouring out and yes, I peed a little a couple of times, but I’d prepared for that so it wasn’t a catastrophe. I can’t even explain what was so funny, except that she has a way of making anything sound funny. One of her shticks is asking audience members what they do for a living. It seems it was a medical audience – three therapists, a former nurse, and a physical therapist before we finally got to a guy who sells furniture – who’s married to a therapist. Since Paula is pretty famous for being maladjusted, she got a lot out of all the shrinks. And the Pop-Tart routine. And fiddlers, which is something Sally loves. So it was really good stuff, stuff we loved, and Sally had a great time even though she had some significant pain.

We had dinner first at Local Sprouts, a Unitarian restaurant. Of course there is no such thing as a Unitarian restaurant, but the chef and one of the partners are Unitarians and they’re all about local and organic and all those Unitarian buzzwords. The meal was good, I had a rice casserole baked in filo dough, and Sally had pollock on top of a slice of squash. We shared so we ended up having half each, and it was a lot of fun. Then the concert. And we even got a good parking space!

So now that I can free that from my mind (I really didn’t think it was going to happen, I figured Sally would cancel for some reason or I’d die or the concert would be cancelled) and all I can think about is cookies. And vetebrod.

So I’m giving in to it, I got my cardamom to make my real vetebrod instead of the stollen thing, and I have to get some booze to make fruitcake cookies and pfefferneuse. I’ve already got the oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry cookies packed up. I overbaked a batch, but they aren’t bad. And tuiles, they look nice and light.

I’ll give myself a pass on writing until I get bored with cooking. Then I’ll go back to it.


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