December 20th, 2002


Liking Las Vegas

Friday. My time at the Orleans is up and I am at Elaine's with baggage. She's at work. I am about to shampoo her carpets with my steamcleaner, which I brought with me. I wonder if I try to hard...yeah, probably.

She did ask me to bring the steam cleaner if I had room, though. It wasn't my idea.

We saw a play last night, at the Las Vegas Little Theater, a place very like the playhouses I normally attend in the SLO area. The play was written, directed, and produced by a fellow Women's Studies major and friend of Elaine's, a person Elaine described as an "overachiever". I'll say she is. She's about 21 years old, beautiful, is active in lots of things - focusing on theater as well as women's studies, created and donates to a nonprofit organization that helps young women, teens, find their place in the world (as I understand it).

Her play was very much based on her life. I could and did find plenty of fault in it, but for a 21-year-old the whole thing is remarkable. Some good scenes, well-written, flow well, a simple stage set, good actors who all knew what they were doing, tied together with music that could have been better chosen and more refined but sheesh...I felt the play was over-written, could stand some editing, and much of the dialogue is more "writerly" than conversational, not the way people would speak. But watchable, complete, a story, a damned good piece of work. I thought about what I would say if I reviewed it - it would be difficult in my position as mom of a friend, but if I did not have that connection it would be a good one to review.

It was good, too, just getting to a play here. I have been wanting to do that. I just about always feel there is much more life and fulfillment in watching a play than in watching a movie, although the two can serve very different purposes.

I started on "Your Money or Your Life". I think the reason I resisted buying this book so long is that I did not want to read a lot of preaching. There certainly is a fair share of that. I have yet to get to the meat of it. Still, I am finding that I am already partway down the "right road" in my attitudes towards money and spending. Hardly there yet, but I am on one of the tributaries to the right river, to stretch a metaphor.

The belt on Elaine's vacuum is broken. I believe I will go out to get a new one. Then I can do this carpet the right way. Could I just do nothing and feel okay too? Yes no yes no I don't know.


Tonight Elaine started to look for the receipts so she could return some of the things she bought with the bonus money the other day. She couldn't find the envelope with the receipts in it. Panic. She looked through everything conceivable twice, went to her car, dug through it, nothing. In the process of looking, she gave me the book she had bought for me and I started leafing through it. Shortly after this, she made one of her obscure remarks: that one of the reasons she is sometimes rude is that it is "hereditary". She learned it from me and Mary, because it is how we act. I have no idea what this referred to. My looking through the book while she was frantically searching for the receipts? I don't know.

She has now gone out with Char to take some pix they planned to do a few days ago. I did more digging and found the envelope of receipts pinned to her bulletin board.

In the confusion I managed to start believing that the envelope's loss was my fault. That somehow, in steam-cleaning the carpet, I misplaced it or threw it away. I don't see how I could be that careless, knowing its value. Yet I was feeling guilty. So strange.

I was so relieved to find it that I called elaine's cell phone. she did not answer so I left a message saying where I found it, saying I would put it back there. I feel very very relieved.

There's always something, every time I come here. I can't seem to avoid some kind of misunderstanding with elaine or mary or both. Heaven knows I have tried. I wonder sometimes if I have some kind of fogger turned on, making things unclear sometimes.

The carpet looks good. The whole apartment. Took most of the afternoon. That got me thinking, of course. What would I do if I could do anything I wanted all day long? Would I want to go to stores, to shop? Would I lie in bed, unsure where the hours were? Would I be what I think of as productive? Would it scare me? I somehow think I'd be fine, because I spent several months without work after I quit SLO, and I worked on writing and organizing my life and I think those are good things. I did not need the "planner" label, I did not need any label. Maybe I will get my chance to find out.