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Sunday, December 30, 2001

Okay, now I'm ready. The tree isn't down, but the lights and ornaments are back in their boxes, and the star is retired for another year. I can concentrate on keeping the giant drooping plant from the cemetery alive, and the tree can go outside for the birds to perch on, if it ever stops raining.

It was tempting. I almost plugged in the lights again tonight, the way I have every day since the tree went up in my living room. This time I held back, though. I don't want to go into the new year with too many reminders of the old one. Good and bad, it's been a rocky journey from last New Year's to this. I'm ready now to buckle down and do what needs to be done to make the next stage a little smoother.

On a better day, I might have been tempted to keep the holiday spirit alive a bit longer. But looking out on the gray, wet sky makes me feel as if this season has run its course. It was fine while it lasted, but it's time to start looking forward. I need a clear head to face the obligations of the end of the tax year, and it'll be a lot easier to get rid of the mush in my head without the Christmas tree as a constant reminder of the December we've almost survived.

Undressing the tree was pretty much my only accomplishment today. I sat around watching football a lot. I was on the wrong side of most of the games in this week's pool, but at least my third place position overall kept me interested. There's no way I would have bitten my nails through the ending of a game between Seattle and San Diego if I hadn't had money on the line. (That one I got right, by the way.)

Even when I headed upstairs to get some reading done (I'm in the middle of Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger), I got sidetracked. A Jerome Kern songbook was lying next to the keyboard, and I spent a good hour in the middle of the day playing "Till the Clouds Roll By," using all the different synthesized voices. It sounded particularly good as a piano concerto, but horrible on the marimbas.

It did seem like an appropriate song for today, though. We're now due for another break in the weather along about Thursday or Friday.


Could I have missed one ornament while undressing the tree today?
That's a little mouse at the lower right.

I did think about going out today, maybe taking in a movie, but one glance out the window locked me inside for the day. I'm not afraid to go out in a storm, but without a compelling reason to get cold and wet, I'm fairly highly motivated to stay warm and dry.

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The bio page has been revised, but only slightly (no need to bother if you've ever looked at the old one). Even the two new pictures of me were originally used in entries. But more importantly, it's back online after a brief hiatus while I hid from the thundering hordes that were going to descend on my site after I did that newspaper interview. The hordes never exactly materialized.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Never Gonna Keep Me Down

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