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Friday, February 15, 2002

I thought I was having a good day today. It started with oversleeping by more than half an hour this morning, but really, on balance that's a good thing. When I need rest so badly that I sleep through the alarm, I'm healing myself the natural way. Then during the day I crossed some things off my to-do list (meaning that I actually did them, not that I just crossed them off, give me a break here). I even reconciled the bank statement on about the third try.

This afternoon I saw or talked to (or both) several people who matter to me, and that's always a good thing. Someone said something nice about me, and I never get used to that. It was all going so swimmingly, until after six o'clock. After the long weekend supposedly had begun.

Where I fall short — and this is a failing I freely admit — is going outside these four walls to get answers. I'm not good at making phone calls, especially when I'm not exactly sure what questions to ask, or of whom to ask them. I'm very good indeed at getting around making phone calls whenever possible. It's kind of squeaky, the way I'll dive deeply into old files to find something that one call would give me, but that's how I work best. The Boss knows this and works around it with me. Tim doesn't care.

And of course it was Tim who called at six tonight, at the start of a three-day weekend, because apparently the health insurance situation still isn't resolved. Our new employee filled out an application a month ago, and today he got it back. The insurance company said that he'd filled out the wrong form. They sent back the wrong form he filled out. They didn't send him the right form, the one they want him to fill out.

So first thing Tuesday morning I have to call the insurance company. I'm not sure what will come of it all, if we'll lose another employee or if I'll even be able to reach anyone who can tell me what's going on. I just know I have to make the call, because I don't want it to be any more my fault than it already is.

Urf. I hate this. I'll be obsessing about it from now until Tuesday, but I don't see any way out — unless I can find the answer somewhere else over the weekend. That's why I'll probably spend the next three days looking through all my insurance files, and noodling about online searching through the company's website. Anything to avoid making that call.

There was a curling match taking place at the Olympics this morning, but all we saw were news conferences. At least it was good news for a change. Three bits of good news: a pair of athletes whose performance was undervalued will get their due, action will be taken to minimize the chance this will keep happening, and (best of all) it's over, and relatively quickly.

Not that the media will let it go, at least not right away. But I think the focus will be more on the athletes currently competing instead of on the controversy over the judging of the pairs long program. We'll know for sure when the women's competition starts, for a couple of reasons. First, a U.S. skater is the favorite, and if the NBC spotlight isn't squarely on Michelle Kwan, something's wrong. And second, the skating should be so amazing that nothing can distract or detract from it.

Naturally, the Russians are disappointed that they will now have to share their gold medal status with the Canadians. And if it were a simple difference of opinion, or a matter of taste, I'd agree with them. The results on the ice Monday night should stand, unless there's clear evidence of improper conduct by the judges. After all, four judges who are not under suspicion voted to give the gold medal to the Russian pair. They are tainted in many people's opinions by the same uncertainty about their motives that cost the French judge her position.

If the International Skating Union truly wants to polish its image, it will do whatever it takes to clear up this cloud.


A sunset.

I've been trying to learn a little more about curling, about which I know even less than I pretend to. I tried the NBC Olympics site and found an excellent glossary of terms. (A "guard" is a rock between the hog line and the house used to prevent the opposition from hitting a rock in the house.) Also, I learned that curling rocks are made of rare granite from Scotland and weigh 42 pounds. The sport itself originated in Scotland in the sixteenth century.

The rules are all listed, but the strategy is something I'll have to learn by watching. NBC has three networks covering the Olympics. You'd think one of them could have covered the curling instead of the IOC press conference this morning.

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