Breaking “Rule 27”: Blogging as Journal of the Mundane

Dickens began David Copperfield with, “I am born.”

Who’s to say that the daily-journal musings of the most ordinary blogger are not tomorrow’s great works of enduring literature? There will, perhaps, be a great nuclear fireball, leaving no library unscathed – and this, this record of the dull and dreary, day-to-day trudge through an essentially comfortable and dull-as-dishwater life will be what passes for escapist entertainment. “TV?” the denizens of this brave, new world will ask, quizzically. “What is that?” One may find the broken shards of graying Gorilla glass, and wonder upon its silent purpose. Archaeologists will marvel over the blurb on the back of a cereal box. Readers will be riveted by a charred scrap of grocery list.

That day is not today.

Rule 27” is the challenge for today – and I do not have the advantage of a nuclear winter to make the mundane appear fascinating. I’ll have to do that with my wit. Here, drink my beer – this one’s going to take coffee.

6:00 AM – I am awake. I am not sure that I want to be awake. My eyelids are glued shut; my tears have crystallized into something like polyacrylate, and if I roll or twitch an eyeball, the microscopic layer of skin cells between a thousand tiny nerve endings and the roughened inner surface of my eyelids will be ripped off like a sticky Band-Aid.  Breathe. I grope the nightstand, searching with my fingers for the tiny tube of Genteal gel. I unscrew the cap and rub a bit of it on my closed eyelids, gently, oh-so-gently, as I work them open bit by bit and let the gel seep under my lashes, into my eyes.

6:10 AM – I have made it through one night without bandage contact lenses in both eyes, and managed not to have a corneal erosion. This is worth celebrating, and I pour a huge mug of coffee. Cheers!

6:15 AM – I should walk. Or fix myself a healthy breakfast. Instead, I blog, and sip my coffee. I am a snail, curled up on an easy chair. Snails are not slaves to their Fitbits. Although it might be amusing to strap a Fitbit to a snail and see what happens.

7:00 AM – Snails don’t get anywhere fast. Neither do clouds. I watch the clouds: Fluffy, white sheep-clouds drifting by while Little Bo Peep sketches their pen with a pen. I am lacking motivation to move.

8:00 AM – I really do not feel like moving off this recliner, even though I feel guilty for procrastinating.

12:00 PM – I guess it’s my day to cook lunch. Normally, I like chicken and cheese quesadillas, but I can’t help wondering how many miles it’s going to cost me in 90° heat. I pull out the griddle. It says “saucepan,” and something about 4-6 minutes on each side, but there are eight halves and I’m short on time and patience. Griddle, it is. Even then, I can only fit six halves on it at a time. I preheat the oven.

12:10 PM – I throw the first six halves back into the metal tray and slide it into the warm oven while the last quesadilla crisps up on the griddle. I think I’ve found the nutrition facts, and I decide two is plenty, since I have not really logged any steps over the last two and a half days. While the last of the quesadillas are cooking, I mix up eight ounces of ruby red grapefruit juice and a whole cucumber. Why? Because I have three fresh English cukes in the fridge and this one’s a week old, that’s why. Cucumbers have almost no calories, anyway. Apparently, they’re all potassium, water, and trace amounts of B vitamins and a smidge of calcium. Other than that, they don’t have a lot going for them.

12:30 PM – Time to clean the kitchen. What a chore that must’ve been, back in the day. Why do people long for the good ol’ days, again? I’m grateful for modern electric appliances, a disposal drain, and most especially, a dishwasher. I remember my grandmother saying that she didn’t need a dishwasher; she had my grandfather. I’ve never seen a man so eager to buy his wife a dishwasher, and her want no part of it.

12:40 PM – Facebook. Questions about StepItUp USA are making me uncomfortably guilty, now. I have a responsibility as team leader… I also realize that this is going to be an incredibly boring blog post – I mean, even more than the subject would lead you to believe – if all I can say is, “I sat in the green, leather recliner all day. It is beginning to show signs of its age, unlike me…” I hear a little voice in my head echo back, “Probably because it just sits there all day, and doesn’t move unless you flounce – hard – into it.” I contemplate walking. Oh, the things I do for my readers.

3:00 PM – I never do anything by half-measures. Sometimes, that’s the problem. It’s either a half marathon or sloth-in-hibernation mode. I announce to my husband that I am off for a long walk. “A LONG walk?” he asks. “Yes,” say I. “I’m going to walk till I drop. What time is dinner?” I yell up the stairs. I don’t wait for his answer. He’s not really listening, anyway. Five miles or bust. If it takes me three hours. Maybe ten miles. Yeah, ten miles.

3:20 PM – Holy @#$%ing HELL it’s hot outside. It’s a mile from my house to what used to be the kids’ middle school. I make a mental note to tease them about what a chore it was to ride the bus. Weenies – they could’ve walked.

3:40 PM – I forgot sunscreen. This is gonna leave a mark. I’m going to tell everyone I spent the weekend in the Bahamas. Parasailing. I don’t think I’ll survive ten miles. MapMyRunBitch tells me I’m slower than my goal pace and need to speed up. I make a face and mentally tell RoboCoach to back off. “You’ve got this!” she gamely adds.

4:00 PM – I may be delirious. I swear, every time I get halfway around the track, there’s this older Asian man power-walking towards me. He tucks his chin down and pretends I’m not there. He hasn’t broken a sweat. Maybe he’s not there. Maybe I’m imagining things. The Indian cricketers smile. There are two little girls in the practice cage, and one of them’s got a mean pitch! I smile back.

4:10 PM – The water from the water fountain is cold, today. I’m not sure why. Last time, it was hot – as if the PVC pipe that carries it were just laying out in the hot sun. Today, it feels cold. Maybe it’s me; I’m burning up. My skin is glistening with sweat and red as a tomato. Anything would feel cold.

4:20 PM – Not too many walkers or runners at the park today. Not even that many families with kids at the playground. Did I mention it’s hot? I think about crossing the street to buy a Powerade at the gas station at the corner of Jones and Grant, but waiting at the light, I’d lose the pace. I’m going for a personal best. That, or a face-plant on the hot asphalt. It’s a tight race.

4:25 PM – I can now report that the restrooms at Matzke Park are clean. I think there’s a fan. I sit there contemplating Terri Schiavo, sharks, and death. I refuse to die alone in a park toilet of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and whatever happens to your heart when you go from 17 mph to 0 mph in a stuffy little room that’s probably 100 degrees. I will myself to leave. I’m so sweaty, someone’s going to think I peed my pants. It’s disconcerting to think that sweat would be pee on a colder day. At least I’m not an astronaut, having to drink everyone’s recycled pee.

4:45 PM – Home at last! I look at my fitness apps: S Health, MapMyRun, and Fitbit. Do they agree? Of course not. MapMyRun is generous with the miles – 5.25! – whereas Fitbit and SHealth agree on the number of steps, but short me nearly a quarter of a mile. All agree that I am over my 10K steps in less than two hours. Thank God there’s Powerade in the fridge. I can’t breathe. I should’ve stepped on the scales, but it would’ve been cheating. I try not to chug my water.

6:20 PM – My skin temp’s back to normal, but the back of my hand feels and tastes like someone rolled it in finely-ground salt. I have 12 ozs of Powerade and one liter of water in me. Time to hit the shower. I feel like a parched plant. It’s amazing how good a cold shower feels after a long, sweaty walk.

7:00 PM – It’s funny to see SparkPeople telling me I have more calories left to eat than I normally have budgeted for the whole day. That’s after a lovely dinner of filet mignon, one baked ravioli (leftover from a couple of days ago, and upcycled with more cheese and good time in the “sauna”), and a crisp mix of romaine, celery, carrots, daikon radish, and cucumber dressed with a splash of Mrs. Renfro’s Mango Habanero Salsa. Who needs dressing, at 90-180 calories, when they can drizzle on real flavor for just 15? This reminds me: I need to check the pequin pepper tree in the morning, to see if I can beat the birds to the many ripening nubbins of spicy goodness growing on its branches. If I’d had a drawer full of old knee-highs, I’d have put hats on them and cheated the birds of their bounty, but I am forced to play fair. It’s a metaphor for life; on the rare occasions I’ve been tempted to cheat, the universe has thrown a monkeywrench at my evil plans to remind me that’s so not me. I suppose I’m grateful for the reminders, but sometimes the universe is such a wet blanket.

8:00 PM – OMG, yes!! “Poldark” is on. Poldark – in the 1970s – and Robin Ellis were my first TV “crush.” I was forever a fan of Masterpiece Theater after that. This sound gives me joy:

I don’t know what the hell they’ve done to it, but I wish they’d bring back the original. It’s almost as good as this one – maybe better. I’m okay, though, with the remake of Poldark, played by my favorite vampire and featuring a cameo appearance by Robin Ellis. Oh, yes – yes, I’m very okay with that.

I’m going to wrap this up, now, and watch Sunday night TV with a little Halo Top chocolate ice cream (which I won’t share with @Mitch_M, because he got a bad batch and now won’t eat it – all the more for me!!!):


Sweet dreams!




Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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7 thoughts on “Breaking “Rule 27”: Blogging as Journal of the Mundane”

  1. Not sure whether I should praise masochism. Heatstroke, no sunscreen, dehydrating… all behaviors that are problematic.

    Maybe it’s just envy that I can’t do any of that. My lounge chair is red/brown/tan plaid; we bought a pair of matching rocking ones when our now 30 year old son was on the way – VERY long lasting. I’ve fixed a broken spring in one of the seats once or twice. The fabric is pristine (I velcro’d on the arm protectors – which are also pristine). Good stuff.

    My brain worked for the hour before I had to take a pre-church/choir nap – I think I may have made progress, but still no final words in the actual scene file.

    I wish I could bottle some of your energy.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…The okapi flies the empty nestMy Profile

    1. Well, on the days when I have such energy, I’d bottle and sell half if it would ensure me a comfy retirement – and a new recliner! (This one’s almost as old as my son, and the cushion’s worn thin.) Good news on your progress, at any rate! How was church/choir?

      1. I fear the day when SOMETHING will keep me from participating.

        It’s kind of funny, though – I tell the kids every once in a while that I’ve been married (41 years) longer than they’ve been alive – it startles them.

        There are 36 steps down to the crypt under the chapel, where we practice for an hour before Mass. Down isn’t a problem. Up is – I stop after every four steps and let the heart rate go back down. Accessible isn’t applicable! I leave the walker upstairs, and they let me park next to the handicapped ramp. And I sit to sing.

        I will quit when the voice goes – I hate little old lady cracked wavery voices. I tell each new choir director (we’re all volunteers) to let me know when that happens, if I don’t notice it myself first.

        So far, I can keep up. One day the director’s habit of never telling us what we’ll be singing ahead of time will get me – it does take me a bit longer to read and mark new music, and last Sunday was FOUR new pieces plus the psalm – two of them in complicated four-part harmony (which is one of the reasons I do this).

        I figure it’s good for the students at Princeton to SEE disabled people in their midst – they are the cream of the crop, but Princeton’s motto is ‘in the nation’s service,’ and they have to start somewhere.

        We will move to a retirement community soon enough; if we’re not close, I will lose this, but I think I’ve now been there five years, which is longer than anyone else! I’m reliable – always there unless I’ve given advance notice – and there have been times when I was ready to do it myself – and a student showed up. Fred and I did two part harmony and it was great fun.

        So, church/choir was fine. I crashed when I got home, of course. And made sure I had two naps before going. It’s that important to me – because each time might be my last.

        (Sorry for the logorrhea). (You don’t want to know what spellcheck offered for that.)
        Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…The new impostor syndrome: redefining the literary genreMy Profile

  2. Rule 27: “…Remember to share the experience with your readers – don’t just show them the steak, make their mouths water as they smell the perfect char and listen to it sizzle.”

    You’ve succeeded in making SURE that, much as I began my day reading the NYT and going online, that I do not SPEND my day here!!

    Thanks so much!!!

  3. Holly AND Alicia, interesting comments, both of you! Wish that we could store up energy. Maybe we can store up an attitude. Maybe. I’m relying on my attitude – or my memory of having one – more and more to get me up and going (usually outside). The question is always, which will go first? The body or the mind? I did make it out that day, eventually, Holly. Last night too, as I had to take out the trash, and will do so again shortly, as I have to roll the empty trash barrels back in!!

    1. Wouldn’t it be lovely if everything that “went” went at once? The mind, without the body, is impotent. The body, without a mind, lacks direction. And there comes a point where it’s a race against time , a toss-up as to which will win. (Spoiler alert: Time ALWAYS wins.)

      So, how do those trash barrels SOUND as they’re rolling back in? What does it smell like outside (not the trash – the “outside”)?

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