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

Day 31

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One of my consistent goals in life is to be a more understanding person.  Today I achieved three major milestones in that regard.

I had a coworker a while back who admitted to cursing at her children.  At the time, I judged her (firstly for cursing, secondly for admitting it).   This morning I totally got it.  Not that I cursed my kids– but I totally saw why people do.  This morning my daughter who for some reason cannot adjust to the tiniest time change– seriously, driving an hour east throws off her body clock– has been taken almost completely out of commission by setting the clocks forward.  Thankfully it was my wife who attempted to wake her and was greeted by a dirgeful chorus of I’m tiiiiiiiirrrrrrred, go awaaaaaaaaay, mwaaaaaaaaa, but it was I who had to pour her into the car and drop her off at school, along with her brother who has to be reminded every ten seconds that he’s supposed to be getting dressed.  His life is like the movie Memento.  He is literally distracted by everything.  On this particular morning, when I was anxious to get my day started, it was a combustive formula of whiny daughter and scattered son that allowed me to find the compassion for someone (again, not me) who would scream obscenities full volume, at their children.  I want to thank my children, whom I love very much and never forget how lucky I am to have them, for bringing me this closer to understanding the human condition.

I also understand why some people don’t like dogs.  My wife awoke to find her third (and penultimate) pair of shoes reduced to wet leather strips at the foot of our stairs, courtesy of our two dogs.  Both of whom are rescues which in my mind gives me the moral authority to do to them anything short of killing them and still be giving them a better life than they would have had (one of many reasons to get a rescue).  Then, on our daily hike– which for some reason both dogs hold their bladders the entire time until getting home no matter how long the hike is or how much water I give them– they were intent on doing their best “Cujo” impressions and lunging at every dog that came within eyesight of us.  This, despite wearing choker collars that they pulled so tight that their heads looked like furry, toothy balloons.  Anyone who sees us on the hike must think that their names are “Heel!!”  and “NO!”

I also came to understand why unemployed people are angry.  The reason is because they listen to talk radio.  I’m not sure which is the chicken and which is the egg, but anyone driven to turn on their AM radios because they have tired of the Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Pink and Cee Lo songs that play on a continuous loop in Los Angeles, will be lectured by Angry Men.   Today while flipping through the AM dial through report after report on the earthquake and the impending nuclear disaster, I happened upon a conservative talk station where every single host– and I was in the car today through about six of them– was furious at how big a deal the Left was making about the impending nuclear disaster (“the Left has poisoned science”).  My politics aside (they’re complicated, but basically I’m a moderate who’s correct on everything), I spent my day wondering why it was important to Conservative Radio to prove that the partial meltdown was actually a good thing.  In fact, as every other news station that wasn’t this Conservative radio station (ie: the Left Wing Media Elite) reported an escalating nuclear crisis in Japan, this particular radio station actually downgraded the situation as the day went on: it went from everybody in Northern Japan getting the equivalent radiation of a CT scan (without the benefits, I suppose, of getting a CT scan), to everybody in Northern Japan getting a set of dental x-rays.  I imagine if I turn on the radio later tonight it was be downgraded to so far that the radioactive leaks will be good for the people of Japan.

But that’s all backdrop to my day.  My actual day was extremely productive.  I spoke yesterday about the down days in story-breaking on sitcoms.  In fact, I have never worked on a sit-com where at one point I haven’t said, “well, we’re done telling stories about these characters” (which is a good thing that I didn’t run “Friends” or else it would have gone four episodes).  But alas, like most other things in life, a day of paucity is followed immediately by a day of bounty.  And today, was my day of bounty.  (And by that I mean I got a lot of meaningless errands done).

My hyperproductivity was spawned by three things: the need to make up for my relatively unproductive day yesterday, a bunch of time-sensitive naggy little things I needed to do, and most importantly, the fact that I wanted my wife to replace her shoes so that we could go to restaurants that require covered feet and my wife said she couldn’t get new shoes because she had a bunch of her own nagging errands to do.    I then took on doing both mine and my wife’s errands.  So, these are the things I got done today:

  1. Hiked dogs (see above)
  2. Worked out with trainer (so hard, in fact, that I stopped sweating just 20 minutes ago.  My trainer thought I was trying to show off in front of cute girl with Spanish accent).
  3. Had lunch with wife.  Bragged about my training accomplishments.
  4. Apologized to wife for mentioning cute Spanish girl (Must learn lesson of non full-disclosure)
  5. Went to Santa Monica to get Purim baskets (Jewish Halloween), this year’s theme: “$#*! the Astrof’s sent”
  6. Decided abandon potentially offensive theme and instead get Easter-colored sand pails for new theme “Have a Beachin’ Purim”.
  7. Went to candy store to get Beach-themed novelties to fill pails with (much easier than $#*!-themed novelties as it turns out).
  8. Stopped off at home, answered email from a man in Japan who has $30 million for me if I pretend to be somebody else’s next of kin.  (He assured me he’s honest, so I have a good feeling about this one).
  9. Went to pick up gift from tooth fairy for my son– a cool 3-D multimedia book about insects.
  10. Went to separate store to get back-up gift in case someone ruined surprise of cool insect book.
  11. Called wife to check in, told her about cool 3-D book.
  12. Learned that I was on speaker phone with my son when talking about cool 3-D insect book.  Had to lie about why I got a bug book (in addition to lying about tooth fairy).
  13. Picked up daughter from dress rehearsal of her play.  Daughter in great mood; she had a great day.
  14. Ruined daughter’s mood by asking too many questions about her day.
  15. Found out my wife never got her shoes
  16. Had dinner with dear friends, wife thankfully found spare pair of shoes.
  17. Wrote in my journal about my day.

So, there you are, all caught up with my super productive day.  Two more things I learned: 1) Sushi is only good because it has rice.  After being on this carb-free diet for three days (I know, congratulations, right?) I decided to try rice-free sushi which is basically the equivalent of eating… NOTHING.  And 2) For a guy– at least this guy– being at work is like being on vacation: you’re distracted from all the bad news of the day, the hate, the screaming, the radiation (good and bad).  I hope that when I go back to work I take that understanding with me.


Written by 100daysoff

March 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Good to see how productive you can be. Have a Beachin’ Day.

    Marc Rosenberg

    March 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

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