Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Productive Procrastination

This week I’ve been on spring break, and instead of plowing ahead with my dissertation as I’d originally intended, I’ve spent the last five days relaxing! It’s not been all reading and movie watching, of course – there’ve been errands to take care of, miles to run, people to see. I’ve gotten through some revisions, finished up a grant proposal, and made my way through a book or two.

But for the first time in a long time, I consciously chose not to fill my days with activity. And maybe for the first time in forever, I learned to embrace the mild boredom that came with it, and found myself enjoying where it took me.

I awoke yesterday morning filled with determination. I needed to get a bread machine. And I needed to get one now. Mind you, I’ve never baked bread before in my life. I’ve probably only ever opened a package of yeast once. And with poor results. But as I got out of bed, I couldn’t shake the feeling. It was do or die. Bread machine or bust.

This is where a lazy spring break will get you.

So, I did the only thing I could think to do – I went onto craigslist. After poring through dozens of listings, I came across one that looked promising.

Bread machine, three years old, used only a couple times. $10.

Even better, 20 minutes from my house.

I emailed the poster and received a prompt response. Four hours later, I picked up my sister and headed to northeast Philly to pick up my new treasure.

“Is anything wrong with it?” I asked the mother of two who was getting her house ready for sale.

“Nope,” she said. “I just hate to bake.”

Perfect, I thought. Exactly what I was looking for.

I gave her the money and she gave me the machine, and I headed off to the grocery store for yeast.

I didn’t end up baking any bread yesterday, but I did try my hand at these scones. I doctored them up a bit to make them even healthier (or less bad-for-you) than the recipe already was, but then countered that by substituting chocolate chips for the dried fruit (they were for dessert, after all).

I wasn’t convinced when I put them in the oven that they’d turn out, but when I brought them to a friend’s house last night for dinner and a mini-Lost marathon, they were met with rave reviews (including, from Brent, “this might be the best thing you’ve ever made”).


Today was another quiet day. As I was settling in to work on a chapter, Brent and I received some exciting news that sent me off on another short adventure out to the suburbs.

When I came home, I popped in the latest netflix arrival – Run Fatboy Run – to get inspired for tomorrow’s 18-miler with Natalie. (I was skeptical about this movie when it first came out, but more than a handful of people told me that it was worth seeing). When the movie’s over, I’m headed out in search of some new running tights.

I love spring break.

(By the way, the title of this post hearkens back to an article I wrote six years ago for my college newspaper, on a masturbation workshop for Bryn Mawr’s annual Sexual Health Week. It seemed fitting here, too.)


6 responses to “Productive Procrastination

  1. aron March 13, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I miss spring break!Good luck on your 18 miler tomorrow!!!To answer your question about dark running… I dont use my ipod, I wear a headlamp, I run on busier streets, always bring my phone… I do feel safer when I bring my dogs too… something about a 100lb rottweiler seems to keep people away 🙂 (even though she is the sweetest girl ever)

  2. X-Country2 March 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I loved spring break. Loved it.Good luck on your 18 this weekend!

  3. Natalie D March 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    So the movie inspired ya!! the bread machine sounds great! looking forward to tomorrow but I’m just nervous!!!

  4. I Run for Fun March 13, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Aahh…enjoy the time while it lasts. Sounds like so much fun. I love mild boredom.You’ve got me curious about the article now!

  5. Denise March 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Spring break sounds so nice!! We should all get it!I was just talking about craigs list with my husband. We need to put our furniture on there today.

  6. Kim March 14, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    They have masturbation workshops? Okay…LOL!Enjoy the rest of your spring break…get some more movies, books, work and being bored time in! Isn’t it exciting sometimes to be bored?

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