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Friday, December 15, 2006

Early this evening I had just finished reading a book. I sat there in the recliner for a few minutes, soaking up the emotion, and then got up to close the blinds against the pitch darkness outside. As I walked across the room I heard a crackling behind me, then a rumbling, then a thump. The star on my wall had come loose from the tape and crashed onto the table below.

This, I thought, is a perfect expression of how I feel about the holidays.

Not that I wonít hang the star back up there, of course. Thatís part of it, picking up the pieces when everything falls apart.

Yesterday I thought Iíd finished my Christmas shopping once and for all. I still had to wait anxiously for some packages to arrive over the next week and a half, but I wasnít worried. Then today I got a card in the mail from a company that Iíd used, more than a month ago, to order one of the most important gifts Iím giving. Out of stock, it said. Sorry, it said. Oversold. Would I like to give them a call and find an alternative?

Well, no. Iíd like what I ordered a month ago to have arrived yesterday, but that didnít happen and wasnít going to. If theyíd emailed me this news, I would have had a few more days to figure out what to do. I was dismayed, to say the least. I was distraught at the thought of going out shopping again, after I thought I was finished. Dismayed, distraught and distressed.

After wallowing in these very useful feelings for a few minutes, I went on line and ordered a replacement from a different company. It cost twice as much, and the promised delivery period extends from December 21 to December 27, and it wasnít my first choice, but Iím satisfied. Or relieved. One or the other or both.

15 December 2006

The stockings were hung...

Now itís out of my hands. Iíll wait for the last remaining packages to trickle in. Last night I happened to look out on the back porch and noticed that a delivery driver had left something out there. Sometimes Iíve found packages clear out by the gate next to my mailbox. Iíve had them dumped in the middle of the driveway. I donít care where they leave them, as long as they get here. Even if theyíre late, Iím resigned. Whatever. Itís just good to know the worst is over, because Iíve had my doubts.

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Yeah, this is what we voted for. The Wall Street Journal says Bush is planning to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq. Not only is the American public overwhelmingly against it, but U.S. military officials in Iraq donít want it, and neither do Iraqi officials. Somebody turn the dial; the president has been listening to too much Fox News again.

For other journal recommendations, check out the links page.
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One year ago: Malfunction
"The tow truck driver took the key and started the car right up."

Two years ago: Swamp
"Iím getting nervous. Sometimes Iím feeling panicky, but then I lie down and it passes."

Three years ago: Long and Short
"Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been six weeks since my last haircut."

Four years ago: Plunged
"Nothing but love songs, all night long. That's how the voices of Whitney and Mariah have come to symbolize disaster to me."

Five years ago: Walking Tour
"In these times when polls show a frightening near-unanimity of public opinion on government policy, we can always count on Berkeley to be the first place to looks for cracks in the brick wall."

Six years ago: Sloshing Toward Bethlehem
"I don't have what you'd call 'design sense.' Or maybe you'd call it something else, but I still don't have it."

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