Breaking Down the Fourth Wall

I’ve never been a good sick person. Then again, if you talk to most women, they’d say the same thing about the men in their lives. So really, I’m just perpetuating the stereotype.

Go, me.

In any case, a week ago I came down with a bad cold [I don’t know what the medical definition of “bad” is but I was sick and that was bad, so I’m sticking with it] and ended up staying home from work for a couple of days. My problem is, I’m too damn impatient to be sick. I don’t want to sit around coughing and sneezing when there are places to go! and things to do! and people to see!

I think this is why I fear death so much: I hate the idea of lying around doing nothing for the rest of eternity.

It was bad enough being stuck in the apartment for two days. I did have the foresight to drive to the office on Monday morning and grab my laptop, a move that enabled me to work from home for the better part of two days. I have to say, that was amazingly productive. Some employers fear their workers will be tempted by distraction at home, but for me the lack of everyday distraction – people tapping me on the shoulder to ask a question or stopping by to chat about their day – was a breath of fresh air. I like camaraderie, but I also enjoy actually getting work done. So in the end, the whole being-sick thing wasn’t a total downer.

And my timing was great. By Friday I was feeling much better. Not quite 100%, but a solid 87% or so. Just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend!

Naturally, Tara texted me Friday morning to let me know that her throat was now bugging her.

What was I just saying about timing…?

Sure enough, by that afternoon she’d come down with a similar case of the Dreaded Sickness. Which meant a change in plans for our weekend. We had been planning a visit to a state park/waterfall in Oregon and a detour through Stevenson to check out some property we found, but that’ll have to wait for another time now. Instead, I drove out to June Lake up near Mount St. Helens for some hiking while Tara stayed home and tried not to cough up a lung. Poor thing. It was cool and cloudy, only 52 degrees up by the mountain, damn near perfect hiking weather in my opinion. I had a great time. Did four miles in and around the lava beds surrounding the lake, then another mile and a half through Lava Canyon. That second hike is particularly beautiful, but always crowded with people, and Saturday was no exception. Not that you can tell from this photo, taken from the middle of a swaying suspension bridge connecting both sides of the canyon. It’s not an ideal spot if you’re the least bit leery of heights. Or of plummeting hundreds of feet to your death when a flimsy wooden slat breaks beneath your feet.

Lava Canyon, WA.
Lava Canyon, WA.

I drove home with the moonroof open and good music blasting from the speakers. Back in town it was much warmer – in the mid 70s. I stopped at Trader Joe’s to grab a few items for dinner, then made myself a couple of vodka sodas as a reward for the hike while Tara and I settled back to watch Concussion with Will Smith.

I should clarify, we didn’t watch the movie with Will Smith; Will Smith was actually starring in the movie. Though if he had been sitting there between us on the loveseat, I’d have totally talked him into rapping with me. “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” anyone? Would have been hilarious coming from a couple of guys well into their 40s.

Come to think of it, it’s probably a good thing Will Smith was not there.

Sunday Tara was understandably feeling a bit stir crazy, so even though she was still under the weather, we decided to venture out. Hit Music Millennium to check out their sidewalk sale, then McMenamin’s Kennedy School to see Deadpool with Audrey and her GF. I’d had zero interest in seeing the movie when it first came out, but ended up liking it far more than I’d thought I would. Probably because it never took itself even remotely seriously. Not only do the filmmakers spoof the whole superhero genre, but they often break down the fourth wall, too. That technique doesn’t always work, but when it does – Ferris Bueller comes to mind – it can really pay off. In this case, it worked. The film is raunchy and foul and funny as hell, and Tara is happy that Ryan Reynolds is in it, even though his face is hidden behind a mask most of the time.

Today is going to be pretty low-key. The weather is warming up [they’re telling us to prepare for 90 in a couple of days, absolutely thrilling news] so I’m planning on spending some quality time on the deck with a Kindle in my hand and a couple of Bloody Marys by my side.

In the meantime, can all you scientists get cracking on that cure for dying, please? Preferably have it done within the next 30 years or so if it’s to do me any good.

8 thoughts on “Breaking Down the Fourth Wall

  1. Mark, so glad to hear that you’re feeling better and that you were able to get outside and enjoy the fabulous weather! 52 degrees sounds AMAZING to me right now because we’re already experiencing very high temps and humidity. For the past three days it’s been in the 90’s – UGH!

    GORGEOUS photographs!*applause*

    I especially love the photograph on upper left hand side of the collage. Beautiful view!

    “And Tara is happy that Ryan Reynolds is in it, even though his face is hidden behind a mask most of the time.”

    Please tell Tara I feel the same way about Ryan Reynolds – ha!

    Hope you two had a relaxing Memorial Day at home!


    1. I passed that along to her, Ron. LOL. You two can bond over him now.

      Your hot weather made its way out here. It’s supposed to hit 100 both days this weekend. As you can imagine, I’m not too thrilled about that.

      Hope you guys have cooled off by now!


  2. I’m very productive at home. I’m convinced most jobs could be done in three or four hours a day once you eliminate the distraction of meetings and co-workers sending us off on mental tangents.


  3. My spouse is being forced to work at home during the RNC. I’m very interested to see how productive this is going to be!

    I though that lava canyon photo was the bomb in Instagram. Gorgeous!


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