austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I sit and twiddle my thumbs 'cause I got nothing to do

Something I didn't realize was going to be weird in shifting from staying with my parents to staying in a hotel: I had no idea what to do with myself all evening. When I was with my parents, there wasn't any particular thought involved; I'd go to their home, maybe go around to the mall or the library or other places I'd hang out, come back, watch some TV, particularly channels like MeTV or the Military Channel that we don't have at home, hang out on the Internet, that sort of thing. But now that felt somehow like particularly wasting time.

I realized that pretty much all my hotel-staying was to use the hotel as a base from which to go do unusual things: attend conventions, see weddings, visit attractions, and so on. A hotel as a place to go back to after a day at work, in the same office I've been going to for really too long, that was novel. The only thing like it was a couple weeks back in 1999 when I was attending a NASA-sponsored program at the Goddard Space Flight Center, taking classes in computer programming during the day and coming back to an apartment at night, but even there the novelty of the daytime setting made it more like a vacation in tone than anything else. Going to the office to grumble about Microsoft ASP.NET and try to not get trapped in too eternal a conversation with the boss is different in kind.

But I did do some really ordinary things; for Saturday, for example, I went to the barber shop for an overdue haircut. My barber was shocked to hear my parents were moving, even though my father planned to be back up on Tuesday (he was taking his now ex-neighbor to get a haircut; the neighbor had been in Florida but had to come back up early because the doctors in New Jersey were better to him). Also he was amused my father had dug out an old giveaway of his, a plastic comb with the shop's name and phone number on it. It's not that old a comb --- from the area code it's got to postdate 1999 --- but he's gone over to giving out pocket calendars for years now, in case someone needs a pocket calendar now that iPods have been invented, so there was that odd nostalgic burst from the thing.

I also went to the Silverball Museum, my first visit in literally a week, and played a whole string of games along a single row, in order, which is the kind of thing I do sometimes in order (except for Medieval Madness as a guy was squatting it; I can play that plenty on my iPad anyway, plus it's at the local hipster bar if I want to play the real thing) to make sure I'm not just focusing all my attention on a couple of favorites. I also managed the kind of game on Doctor Who that I'd wanted to have in front of bunny_hugger the previous visit. So it goes.

Trivia: At the 1988 Calgary Winter Games, seats were provided for the athletes to watch the opening ceremonies following their own entrance, the first time this was provided. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: The Kind Of Motion We Call Heat: A History Of The Kinetic Theory of Gases In The 19th Century, Volume I, Stephen G Brush.


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