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Saturday, December 16, 2000

For a day when I accomplished next to nothing, yesterday felt like the busiest day ever. I slept fitfully the night before and woke up kind of buzzed. It was hard to keep from rocking back and forth at my desk all morning like a bobble-head doll. I tore out of the house earlier than usual and had the most frustrating shopping experience.

At the Plaza they have Sears, Mervyns and Macy's. You'd think that I'd find the one item I was looking for at just about any of them. I won't name it, but let's just say it's a common household item that's sold year-round and should be available in a profusion of variety at this time of year. I went from store to store and back again and, although I found the right department, there was always something wrong with the you-know-whats they offered.

And I wasn't being picky, even though it was for someone else and I'm usually much more careful about what I buy for others than I am for myself. There were certain criteria that had to be met, sure, but it wasn't as if I was looking for a six-foot yodeling iguana or a pearl-handled banana baller (although I think I passed by displays of both of those items).

I think that what I ended up with, after haunting the mall for the better part of the morning, is something this person will like, but it's not as wonderful as what I had in mind. And I should have been able to find what I had in mind.

I know if I go into those same stores in, say, September, I'll find it in every style, size and color, both electric and acoustic, cotton and acrylic, with and without the universal remote and matching ankle bracelet. PC, Mac and Atari compatible. Reversible, with automatic rewind and curly fries. And sprinkles.

But on December 15, not so much.

Despite the directions I gave him that should have landed him in Graton or Occidental, the auditor showed up on time and in a good mood. Well, sure, he does this every day. I'm the one being judged and evaluated (and penalized, if he finds something wrong; he probably gets a bonus).

The sad truth is that after all the buildup and the jangled nerves, it was a painless affair. He's a cheerful fellow who chatted amiably about my house (a favorite subject of mine) and other non-controversial topics (he offered to put me in touch with his gardener) while he sat in my living room and pounded on his laptop. (Computer, his laptop computer. Geez.)

While he was working I read journals. Since he couldn't see my monitor from where I sat him down, he probably thought I was working. I could no more have concentrated on work than I could have filleted a live ferret, but I wanted to give the illusion. He didn't ask, I didn't tell. He might have thought I had an awfully quiet keyboard, though, or else that I was typing so fast he couldn't hear the keystrokes.

He probably wondered why I'd try to swallow a chuckle or a guffaw every so often, but he didn't ask about that, either. Neither did you, but I'll tell you it was Pamie's entry, the second part, after the skillful segue, about driving in California vs. driving in Texas.

He found a 17-cent discrepancy, which he said was within tolerance and not reportable. That's it. After two hours, he was gone until next December, but now he has the right address and phone number, so it shouldn't be so hard to schedule future audits at a more convenient time.

Even though all went smoothly, and I knew ahead of time that it would, I was so keyed up when it was over that I couldn't sit still any longer. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, so I took the two pieces of stale bread I had and walked outside to feed the birds. Then I climbed up into the loft and slept for an hour.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about.

SuzanneToday is Suzanne's birthday. I've talked about my sister often enough here that you should know how I feel about her. She's an indispensable part of my life, the source of much joy and laughter, comfort and support. I admire the dedication she put into getting her early childhood education credential and the passion she puts into her job as a preschool teacher. The children at her school adore and appreciate her, and she has two sons of her own who are lucky to have a mother so devoted to them. I'm so grateful that she's a part of my life, not just for the things she does but for the person she is.

Happy birthday, Suzanne. I love you.

There are more words about and pictures of Suzanne on my bio page. (Ouf. I see that page hasn't been updated since May. I'll get right on that, as soon as I have time.)

I got a star for the top of the tree today.

tree from outsideshining star

I also got a skirt for the bottom, but it's kind of tacky.

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Latest recommendation:

Pamie, Squishy, December 15, So Scary, So Cute

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