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Thursday, December 28, 2000

So last night, after a day when the goblin of gloom had me in its grimy grip, I went to work. No, not that. I set up my new bookshelves and CD racks. All the physical activity involved must have shaken loose some of the cobwebs, because I felt a kind of restoration that made the cares of the day fade a bit. (It also loosened up the stuff in my head and had me running for the Kleenex.)

I put on some mellow music with pungent lyrics (Jann Arden and Iris DeMent). I turned on a few extra lights, in spite of the energy crunch, just so it wouldn't seem so wintry dark in here.

I heated a southwestern rice bowl, and then decided I didn't want all that leftover pie taking up valuable refrigerator space. So I ate the last piece of pumpkin and the last piece of apple (this was huge, possibly intended to be two or more pieces). Now there's space for celery stalks and baby carrots again.

I looked for something else to clean up, but I wasn't ready to take on all the cookies right after so much pie.

This morning I got up feeling about the same physically, but better mentally. I wasn't going to let the world get me down, although it by gosh tried. They've blocked off the street again, the one I use to get to Suzanne's house (where I left my digital camera Monday). I could've gone the long way, but I just decided I could live without the camera for another day. There's no one home there all week anyway, so no one to visit with.

While I was picking up office supplies, I looked at the keyboards and mice at Office Depot. I want an optical mouse, so much that I almost bought one. And I need a new keyboard because this one sticks. I'd like to get one of those wavy ergonomic ones, maybe Internet-ready, with all the hot buttons. But it's company money I'd be spending, and since there is none at the moment, I stuck to the envelopes and paper clips I went into the store for.

This being the last possible day to get Jake's birthday present and send it with a chance to reach Iowa by Tuesday, I decided to brave the post-holiday crowds and see what was cooking at Best Buy and Crown Books.

That other deadline is looming, too, the one where I stop buying books, CDs and DVDs for myself on January 1. I don't know if I can keep that promise, because sometimes spending money on those things is the best cure for the blues, a chronic condition that seems to hit at the worst possible times.

The DVD selections were depleted, so I didn't spend as much money as I could have. The had Contact on sale, so I got that. I found Searching for Bobby Fischer, one of my all-time favorite movies, so I got that, too, because I'm sure that some day soon it won't be on one or another of my thirty movie channels day and night.

I considered other DVDs, but there wasn't anything I couldn't live without, especially at those prices. I was about to walk out without any new music until I remembered that I've been wanting Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia, so I added that to my pile while it's still on sale.

Oh, and I did remember to get a video for Jake. It's hard, finding something that a twelve-year-old boy would like, and that his parents will let him watch. And I've got another one, his cousin Nick, to think about next month. I ended up with a video of thrills and spills from the Gravity Games, snowboarding and the like. I hope he enjoys it. (Shhh! Don't tell him!)

At the bookstore I had the same problem. I wanted something Jake would read, so I went into safe territory, Gary Paulsen. Just because I'm into L.M. Montgomery now doesn't mean I would have wanted to get caught reading her at twelve. I remember giving the Gary Paulsen books to David when he was that age. A little wilderness survival adventure is always fun.

So I spent the afternoon wrapping (again) and writing notes and feeding the birds and ignoring the pile of work on the corner of my desk. I'll go through it tonight or tomorrow and do whatever has a dead-certain drop-dead deadline, then put the rest in order so that I can get at it next week. If I have it organized, it'll be a much less stressful ordeal when I finally get around to disposing of it.

One thing I couldn't ignore was the phone. Okay, I guess I could have ignored it, but it's not easy. At one point this afternoon, after it rang five times in five minutes and all I heard when I answered was a fax tone, I did leave it off the hook for awhile.

That is, I tossed it across the room and forgot about it. The silence was such a blessing that I didn't retrieve the phone right away, even after I remembered.

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