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Tuesday, August 28, 2001

In one day I've gone through all the ups and downs of working at home. If I worked in an office somewhere, I probably wouldn't have the chance to take a nap during the day. But if I weren't tethered to the Boss 24/7 via fax, I might not need a nap.

Just now the problem is that he's been away from his office (far away from here) for over a month. For someone who's so fussy about keeping his desk in order and having everything in its place, it's traumatic for him to come back off the road and try to resume normal operations. He keeps finding phone lists he needs me to update for him, and letters he's been meaning to have me type. And he doesn't mind faxing them to me from dawn until twilight.

Speaking of which, isn't it starting to get dark awfully early these days?

In the old days, I would have dropped everything and kept churning out fresh work until midnight. That would let him know I was faithfully staying on duty, but it would also keep me from having to get up early the next day and do these same things before my morning Dew.

Now I live in this wonderful house, with a yard I like to spend my evenings tending to (or at least sitting in). TiVo beckons me like a Siren, tempting me to sit on the lounge chair and watch Desert Bloom or Sweet Hearts Dance. (Also Bolt Yourself In, but that's another story entirely.) I'm reading the latest Jeffery Deaver thriller and having a hard time putting it down.

Last night was typical. I'd worked all day but let the heat get to me, so I sat out on the porch writing yesterday's entry. Then I spent a good two hours furiously combing through every box of photos in the house, looking for one that showed my great grandmother the way I remember her (i.e., old). I never did find one, so I overcompensated by posting too many pictures to accompany the entry.

So I was worn out and exhausted and really, really tired, and I hauled myself off to bed, but it didn't last long. It doesn't stay too hot to sleep in the house, but I must have been too keyed up, so I got up, turned on the light, and read a few chapters. This morning I could feel the effects of my night of insomnia, and I actually did nod off several times during the day — not something I could do (and get away with) if I didn't work at home.

Tonight the fax was still spitting out messages from the Boss when the baseball game started, but instead of jumping to attention, I found a way to ignore them. Well, I didn't exactly ignore them, but I didn't do anything more than organize them for tomorrow, and put them on my to-do list. And maybe make a few notes. And I remember calling him and asking about some of them. But that's all. The rest can wait for tomorrow.

This is a breakthrough for me, this business of not being a slave to my job even though I'm writing this while surrounded by piles and piles of paperwork that I really should be getting started on. I'm not even thinking about it. Really.


Yellowjacket drinking from my "bird bath."

Bolt Yourself In, whatever it sounds like, is a show TiVo taped from the Sunshine Network, a Florida sports channel. It was a tour of the Ice Palace, the arena in downtown Tampa, and a pitch for Tampa Bay Lightning season tickets. I once watched a show about a kids' hockey team, and I can only guess that's the reason TiVo would assume I'd want to see what was basically an infomercial. If I were to buy season tickets for any hockey team, it would be the Sharks, although San Jose is still too far to drive 41 times a season. Tampa is even farther.

Back in 1976 I was on the waiting list to buy season tickets for the California Golden Seals of the NHL, but they moved to Cleveland that fall. Yes, there was once an NHL team called the Cleveland Barons, but they eventually folded and merged their roster with the Minnesota North Stars (who are now the Dallas Stars). Even though the Stars are more or less the descendants of the Seals, I don't really feel any connection to them. They've certainly failed in a lot of cities, though, haven't they?

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