Even though "Cosmos" is over (and I am not yet done referring to it endlessly), I will refer to one of its delightful elements: the cosmic calendar.
The scientific TV series used a yearlong calendar to illustrate the history of the universe, showing how a fraction of a micron of one day represents everything that everyone who is alive now knows about. Deep.
While my calendar isn't full of supernovas and glacial ages, it does contain significant moments in time for a mere human girl: dentist appointments, story deadlines, birthdays. But there is one shining white, stretch on my desk calendar, unmarked by reminders, that yawns ahead like a vast white starlight-studded expanse of hidden pleasures, clear skies and no workie.
I'm not sure if I love vacations in the Go-Go's sense in that water-skiing montages only can express a fraction of my affection for getting paid not to work, but it's close. I will say I like it very much.
Earning lovely days or even weeks of paid time to frolic at your leisure is a great feeling. Not everyone gets vacation days, let alone a vacation. Never take those precious days for granted. Hug them. Kiss them. Love them.
In the case you don't have vacation time coming to you, or you can't jet off to scenic Bora Bora or Walla Walla, get ready to dig deep into your imagination and senses to create a pseudo-vacation that will make do until your two tickets to paradise arrive.
You can go on a vacation anywhere you go. Since it's now sorta-summer, the warm sun shines down on us a lot of the time, at least when it's not raining or tornado-ing.
The next time you feel the sun on your skin, close your eyes, focus on the orange-red color of the backs of your eyelids, and imagine the sun warming your arms is that of a tropical paradise, and not that beaming down while you idle in traffic on 422 (or 224 for Mahoning County-ites).
Next time you hear the call of a seagull, picture it being the one perched on a wooden post lining a beach, not two seagulls fighting over a french fry in the Big Lots parking lot.
That spilled kitty litter? That's sand of an exotic black-sand beach, known for its clumping and small brown "seashells."
Your Clinton-era car with the blown transmission? A speedboat, waxed to a high shine and blasting the "Miami Vice" theme.
Your back porch? The balcony of a mountaintop resort, with sweeping views of valleys speckled with wildflowers. Certainly not views of knee-high unmowed grass speckled with half-deflated basketballs and lengths of wild garden hoses.
For my vacation I'm aiming for perhaps a drive to Ocean City, or a visit to NYC to see Neil Patrick Harris in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (that's about as Broadway as I get).
I'm not sure what's gonna happen, but I know if I end up spending it cleaning out my sock drawer, it will be a sock drawer floating in the cerulean sea, filled with cotton-blend starfish.
Going on summer vacation? Tell me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.