Friday, July 21, 2006

Working to Relax

It’s surprising how much work has to go in to not doing any work.

Twenty or so Los Angeles types trekked up to a rented house on Lake Arrowhead for the weekend with the express mission of being lazy. And it took some effort.

The work began before we left with SL hunting for where to stay, collecting cash and so forth. E-mails between the gang multiplied exponentially as we got nearer to going, with topics ranging from important things like carpooling and sleeping assignments to more important things like who snores and who was bringing a dictionary. Shopping trips were made for assorted foods, sunscreen and X-box accesories. And all this while we scrambled to get ahead in our various professions so as to justify the time off.

The day of departure I got up earlier than if I were going to work, hardly acceptable behavior for a vacation day. The vehicles were packed with luggage, cheesecake, board games (interested games), TVs, instruments, sleeping bags, and an inflatable raft. We then repacked it all to make room for the people. And off we went into the mountains!

You can’t waste time on video games if the atmosphere isn’t “just right.” And so it was that before relaxing with the joysticks DB and I spent an hour taking apart the movie projector and re-aligning the lenses for maximum clarity.

Relaxing could not have been done peoperly without unpacking, trips for groceries, and vacuuming up the ants by the Jacuzzi, along with myriad other little tasks.

Food doesn’t prepare itself either, and while a bunch of us helped, JB and SL took charge of ribs and curry respectively. I’ve been reliably informed there was also cooked breakfast, but I was engrossed in a game of Catan at the time so missed it. Kudos to whoever did that.

Dish cleaning is a universal constant that doesn’t stop for vacations. Apart from the evening meals there was an endless supply of snacks and drinks for an endless supply of people needing to nibble and hydrate, so there was a steady stream of people in the kitchen washing, drying and putting away.

All these things taken care of the first day; day two was assigned to be the begining of relaxation, so in the morning we promptly walked miles round the lake.

The Jacuzzi was put to good use, even though we never fully worked out the controls. I found it strange that the windows round the Jacuzzi, which would have allowed a view of the lake and forest, had been largely replaced by a floor-to-ceiling painting of a lake and forest. It was even more disconcerting that it depicted a roaring bear, which is exactly the situation you hope not to encounter when all you have for protection is the shorts you are wearing and a button that turns the jets on or off. I also had my first experience with a sauna. One hundred and ten degrees of body prickling heat and the occasional ladle of water splashed over the hot coals. They say it’s good for your skin which I can neither confirm nor deny as the skin I was wearing when I went in was not the skin I left with.

The one useable pool cue was loving life surrounded as it was by a dozen chalk cubes; like a sheik in his harem. I was soundly thrashed at three games before I gave up.

Then there was the Karaoke in motion that is Dance Dance Revolution. Swap your video game controller for an electronic dance mat and try to keep up with the steps indicated on the screen. No chance, but you certainly burn off some calories.

After a day of time playing games (all hail game of the year, speed scrabble), sitting on the dock of the bay, contorting DB into a shape that would fit him snuggly under the sink for sardines, reading, and talking about how much money was tied up in the Lake’s huge and pamperous houses, it was time to pack it all up, clean the house and go home! Where I for one collapsed in a heap of vacation exhaustion and looked forward to relaxing at the office.