Recently I went to Central Park with a friend to row boats and calmly float around in the 130 degree weather. Although I’d never formally rowed a boat in real life before, I’ve seen people row at the Summer Olympics games and it seemed extremely easy. While watching the teams compete, I took notes on the procedure required in order to move the boat:
When we got into the boat, all of my notes seemed like they didn’t apply to this situation. Somehow, rowing the boat seemed like an impossible task and regardless of how hard I rowed, I couldn’t seem to move the boat in the correct direction. Eventually I got a surge of energy and all of my muscles worked in harmony to allow me to steer the boat (which was a large 100ft oar-propelled yacht in my mind.)
After rowing for about 20 minutes we stopped to relax and that’s when I noticed a childhood friend who I’ve been trying to find for years…I saw Waldo and he was driving (steering? navigating?) a gondola! Just as I stared at Waldo, in awe of the celebrity who sailed in front of me, I noticed him take a gulp from a wine bottle that he had stashed away. At that moment, I cracked the age old mystery–Waldo keeps getting lost because he’s always drunk! For all of the naysayers, I’ve included a video for further proof:
Once I got a hang of the boat, the experience greatly improved and I wanted to row all day long. Since I’m so good at boat rowing now, I’m considering trying out for the US World Rowing Championship team and I think that I have a good chance of making it, as long as drunk Waldo steers completely clear of my boat!
Day-in and day-out I handle high levels of stress that [I like to think] is the same level of stress that my cousin, President Barack Obama, encounters when running the United States. In order to equalize this stress and avoid turning into an angry workaholic, I went on a one week vacation to Mexico.
My itinerary for Mexico was very simple:
Day 1: Arrive at hotel and unpack Day 2: Eat, read, eat, read, eat, read, sleep Day 3: Read, eat, read, eat, read, eat, sleep Day 4: Read, shop, eat, read, sleep Day 5: Read, sleep, play “Angry Birds,” eat, read Day 6: Eat, leave
This plan seemed flawless to me! During the first few days everything was going great! My travel mates and I had a great continental breakfast, then we went to the bar to order lots of creative non-alcoholic drinks. My favorite drink was the self-created “Bloody Transmission,” which was a fusion of a Shirley Temple and a Pina Colada. After this, we usually went to the beach, where I either listened to music, read books or destroyed my rods and cones in my eyes by staring at the sun.
We spruced-up our relatively uneventful routine each day by attending a show or visiting other restaurants on the resort (which proved to be a bad idea when I think I ate iguana thigh). As each minute went by, I felt as if I was in the most serene environment ever, but this feeling was rudely interrupted by…..a grain of sand.
I did not know that one grain of sand could affect my life the way that it did, but soon I came to realize that I should not underestimate the power of the sand. On day 4 I heavily lathered my skin with sunblock as if it was the first coat of paint primer and I plopped myself on the beach. Soon, a gigantic gust of “Hurricane Alex” wind blew a sandstorm of sand on my face. I dusted away the majority of sand, but one stubborn grain of sand insisted on making a new home under my eyelid. Hours later, I returned to the room and took a shower and that’s when the sand annexed the space under my eyelid as its own and created havoc like an angry tenant.
I tried everything to get the stubborn grain of sand out of my eye, but nothing seemed to help. Even though it felt like I had a needle stuck in my eye, I tried my best to handle the pain and act normally. As I ate dinner in the dining room, I realized that my injured, rapidly-blinkin eye made strangers think that I was flirting with them. Instead of running the risk of luring someone that I wasn’t fishing for, I returned to the room and began my eyesand removal treatment, which consisted of me repeatedly dunking my eye in a full cup of clean, spring water. To illustrate this process, I recorded the following video with my phone:
Unfortunately, this only resulted in me having a wet face and an even wetter room floor. The resilient grain of sand persisted. I repeated this process every 6 hours, until I decided that enough was enough and I wanted a doctor to surgically remove the sand from my eye.
I marched* to the hotel lobby and requested that I be taken to the nearest hospital. The concierge said that the nearest hospital is over an hour away and they probably wouldn’t be able to help me anyway. Instead, she generously offered to call a private doctor to assess my eye and make recommendations for $180 USD. I assessed my own situation and made an accurate recommendation for free:
Assessment: Grain of sand in eye Recommendation: Remove said grain of sand
This assessment and recommendation saved me $180, but did not solve my issue. Instead of continuing to whine about the sand, I learned to live with it and decided to enjoy what’s left of my vacation.
By Saturday, we returned to the US and I said farewell to the calm life that I lived for an entire week. Although we were back in the US, I still had to face the angry eyelid tenant who I brought back with me. I decided that I will forget about removing the grain and just take a nap. By the time I woke up from the nap, the grain was gone and I was able to see without pain!
In kindergarten, Ms. Pipkin would always end every story with a lesson, so I will pay homage to my teacher by doing the same. The moral of the story is: When little things start to annoy you, just go to sleep and those things will work itself out…..either that or, don’t hang out on a beach in the middle of a hurricane because terrorist sand grains will infest your eye sockets.
*marched=gently stumbled, because I couldn’t see where I was going