Jeff Astrof has 100 days off. See how he spends them.

Day 17

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The days are ripping by.  With 17% of my time off (hopefully) behind me, it is clear that the only thing I’ve accomplished off my original to do list is to document what I’ve been doing.  Yesterday I decided that my days would be most productive if I split them into three: the first part dedicated to working out/fitness/dog-walking; the second part would be dedicated to cleaning the garage; and last third of the day would be dedicated to writing a new script.  The plan was perfect and almost impossible not to adhere to.  Here’s how it went:

My entire morning was spent at the Toyota dealership trying to get them to get my left front headlight from turning off after 30 seconds.  I arrived at Hollywood Toyota at 7:35 a.m., where Geørg Albodor7livøwitz, my service technician who sold me a $175 sphincter valve yesterday, told me he would need my car for the morning to check the headlight mechanism and hoped that I didn’t need a new flange tube decapitator which would be expensive (I know nothing about cars).  The good news is, Toyota would spring for my rental car which was coming right away.  Sure enough, 35 minutes later, a brand new Toyota Rav4 pulled up… to drive me to the Hollywood Budget car rental where I waited for another 45 minutes behind German tourists who I believe were looking for a car to commit suicide in.    At 9:45 I drove off the Budget lot in a well-worn 2004 Nissan Craptima.   This car was as stripped down as a car can be and reminded me of my first new car: a 1992 Nissan Sentra XE.  I remember test driving the Sentra when the salesman said to me, “You like wine?”  Me: “Uh, I guess.” Salesman: “Perf.  Say you’re driving through wine country and you want to smell the wine outside.  Check this out: you hit this button and the car takes the air from outside and sucks it into the car.  Now your car smells like wine country.”  I was sold.  Today I celebrated my inaugural ride in my rental car by flipping the same switch and getting the urine smell from Hollywood Boulevard to circulate throughout the car.  Perf.

With the first three hours of my day shot, the rest of the morning was spent at the gym with my sadistic trainer who doesn’t realize that all his hard work is being undone by my wife who splits a bag of kettle corn with me (calories per serving: 190, servings per bag: 70) right before bed.  That doesn’t stop him from trying to fight nature and nurture by having me do a draconian combination of 212 dips and push-ups along with a variety of lunges, squats and other bodily horrors.   I get out of the gym at noon, barely able to crank down the manual windows in my rental car, my entire first third of the day gone.  That’s when Geørg called me to tell me that my car was ready.  After three hours the technicians at Toyota cracked the riddle of why my light kept going out: it needed a new light bulb.  By the time I returned the Craptima and retrieved my Prius it was 1:30– a good way into the second third of the day.  I decided to have lunch with my wife which ended at 4, two third of my day gone with only the exercise part taken care of.

If this all sounds tedious it’s because it was– that’s my point: my day was robbed from me by the stupid little errands that my wife tells me about every day which I somehow thought I could overcome because I’m me.  My wife then picked my son up from gymnastics while I waited for my daughter to come home for her singing lesson.  As I mentioned before, there are certain things I’m unable to do with my daughter, one of which is homework.  Another, it turns out, is to be at her singing lesson.  My daughter is blessed with perfect pitch and incredible shyness brought on by anxiety.  What comes out when she tries to sing is a perfectly pitched whisper.  It turns out that me sitting across from her saying, “I can’t hear you” is not the cure for that anxiety-produced shyness.  In fact, believe it or not, it makes it worse.  As a last ditch effort, based on my own anxiety-induced asininity, I decide that I will sing the song as loud and as flamboyantly as I would if I were on Glee.  I do and I am greeted with a nasty glare from my daughter and an awkward silence from her teacher.  I excuse myself and go to the garage to put up a shelf.  It turns out, I’m good at putting up shelves.  On this new shelf I put the equipment used to build shelves and I sit in an old baby car seat and wait for my wife to come home to save the day.

And she did.  Effortlessly.  After getting almost nothing done on my list, and taking points off the board of my father-daughter relationship, I realize that the greatest thing that has come out of my time off is that I get to spend more time with my wife.  Last night– time I should have used to write, we sat on our couch together, watching tv and each polishing off 35 servings of kettle corn.  We then laughed for about ten minutes straight because I made a revealing face as I tried not to mock the sincerity with which she explained why this season of American Idol was the best so far.  (She will hate that I wrote that because she’ll think it makes her look like an idiot and she’s definitely not an idiot, she just has incredible insight into what makes a good season of American Idol).  She was the only person I would make that face for, and also the only person who would know exactly what it meant.

Anyway, what started off as a recounting of my day has somehow, once again, come back to my wife.  With any luck, tomorrow will go the same way.


Written by 100daysoff

March 2, 2011 at 7:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. awesommmmme! I want a Shawni!

    David Kopp

    March 2, 2011 at 7:56 am

  2. Craptima killed me

    David Kopp

    March 2, 2011 at 8:47 am

  3. Very funny. You should be writer.


    March 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm

  4. Very funny. You should be a writer.


    March 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm

  5. Lesson learned – it’s never about you, it’s all about your wife. Always. Very Funny. You should be a writer.


    March 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  6. LOVED it. The second paragraph killed me, especially the parallel b/w wine country’s wafting aromas vs Hollywood Blvd’s stench of urine.

    David Kantor

    March 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  7. I really like the “Shawni” character


    March 29, 2011 at 4:44 pm

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