bunt sign

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

When you're standing in line at the bank on the third day of the month and the first day before a national holiday, a fidgety toddler is everybody's baby (and everybody's problem). I was in such a line today, doing my best to keep the little one entertained. I had to pull out my best stuff, because we were there for a long, long time.

I was in a mellow mood about it all for the same reason the line was long and slow. Holiday tomorrow, and then I'm out of here. I have to leave for sure now, because I told the post office to hold my mail until a week from Monday.

Driving around town on the afternoon of July 3 is a less than optimal experience. People are just everywhere, going in all directions and basically getting in the way of someone who knows where he's going. I spent needless extra seconds waiting at stop lights just because the cars in front of me were being driven by people who didn't know enough to get out of my way. I don't know what the world is coming to. Sincerely.

The inconvenience of having a job kept interfering with my plans to get away from it. Instead of running errands that would help me get ready to be away, I was forced to run work-related errands. The aforementioned trip to the bank was the one that took up the most time, but not the only one.

As a result, I'm heading to the lake needing a haircut. That's bad, because the shampooing opportunities on a crowded houseboat are understandably limited, and I don't want to use more than my share of hot water. I carried a dollar-off haircut coupon with me everywhere I went today, but I never came close to a place I could use it. I guess I'll be wearing a hat most of the next two weeks.

I'm also showing up without much to contribute in the way of— well, anything really, except my presence, whatever that's worth. No sodas, no beer, no turkey jerky or malted milk balls. No dinners, no desserts.

Ah well, I'll take whatever cash I can come up with and whatever credit cards aren't maxed out and hope to have a few chances to use them. I don't think my presence alone is quite enough of a contribution. After eleven days, the value tends to start falling in the deficit column. It's not for nothing that I live alone, don't you know.

Or maybe you think I'm as charming and upbeat in person as I am here? Well, actually, I am. Just about that much. I am almost exactly who I pretend to be, for better or worse. I guess I wouldn't have been asked to go along if that weren't worth something, because it's for sure I can't drive stakes in the ground or tie knots. (Or repair major appliances.)

hit by Bonds, caught by Long

Fly out to the warning track.

I've spent long, thoughtful hours over the last few days deciding what to record on TiVo while I'm gone. Lucky for me, two of the telenovelas I've been riveted to ended their runs today, this very day. Grand finales are my favorite episodes. Sometimes I watch the finales of novelas that I don't even follow, just to see all the great payoffs. One of the two I watched today ended with a wedding, the other with a bullfight. (I didn't see that one coming.)

My intention is to leave the TiVo hard drive empty and not to have too much to watch when I get back. Since Netflix, I'm spending less time on TV anyway, and I don't need to record movies over the satellite that I'd rather watch in widescreen on DVD. Plus, if I tell TiVo to record too much, it'll start deleting the earlier programs before I get a chance to watch them anyway.

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