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Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Yesterday I waited until after dark for my mail to come, and then I pulled the outgoing mail out of my box, so that it wouldn't go all soggy during the night. Sometime after that, the carrier must have finally delivered the mail that I found, wet and wrinkled, in my box this morning. Then today the mail came early, about one o'clock, before I was even finished preparing the mail I wanted to send out.

Besides a bunch of moist bills and a shriveled copy of National Geographic (with a polar bear on the cover), I got three CDs that I wasn't expecting. I don't even remember ordering them, but I must have, because they're what I would have ordered if I had a chance:

Richard & Linda Thompson's Greatest Hits. It was kind of weird to look at the track list and see that the first one was "Roll Over Vaughn Williams," since I'd just read Rob's entry about Ralph Vaughn Williams. (This is bleak music, by the way, gloomier than I remember it.)
Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, by Billy Bragg and Wilco, which somehow made me think of Kymm. This one made sense, since I have volume one.
Invincible Summer, by k.d. lang, which I would have bought because it's probably the only k.d. lang CD I don't already own.

I should check back and see what else I might have ordered and forgotten. I've been instructed not to buy anything for myself for the next month (and I might try to go longer than that), but none of my personal Santas would have given me any of these discs anyway.

It was a foggy, chilly morning, even when I went out on my daily errands after ten. But I was determined to get my Christmas shopping started, and I did find a couple of things I was looking for. These are items I researched and priced online and then bought in actual stores. It's a lot easier to shop when I know exactly what I'm looking for, and how much it should cost.

I also bought a space heater for myself. I couldn't wait on that, but it's sitting in the middle of the living room doing nothing this evening. The cord, alas, isn't long enough to reach from the couch to the wall, and the instructions are explicit about using a heavy duty extension cord, if any.

Why must there always be complications? That's not the same question as, Why can't everything go perfectly smoothly all the time? It's more like, Why can't a new endeavor progress simply and easily once in awhile? Or, Why are there so often problems that I don't foresee? Or, Why me???

So for one more night I'll turn the wall furnace up and watch Once and Again from under a blanket. There are worse (and colder) ways to end a Tuesday night.

Most of this day got away from me. I didn't feel a bit guilty about running around doing personal shopping on company time, because Tuesday is the day I have to work late. The time cards get faxed to me about six in the evening, and I spend the next couple of hours doing payroll, so that it's ready in the morning. I only mention this to justify my inattention to the Boss's needs for about half the day.

In fact, I had already worn myself out and dozed off in the loft tonight when I heard the fax machine spitting out the time cards, so I revived myself and went through the motions. It took longer than usual, since Tim hired two new employees. We don't run a large crew, but there's a lot of turnover. Personality clashes, you know. Somehow it's never Tim's fault that people can't get along with him.

What this does is drive up our training costs, our unemployment insurance rates, and the volume of paperwork someone has to do to satisfy the government. And my blood pressure.

But who's complaining? Working until almost nine gives me the excuse I need to slack off again tomorrow. That won't get the work done, but at least it'll delay the guilt until some time in the future when I'm up against a deadline I can't meet.

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