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Thursday, July 18, 2002

It's just like starting over. Coming home to a totally empty refrigerator is liberating in a new and different way. It wouldn't be so wonderful if the refrigerator had decided never to be cold again, but getting over that hurdle left me with an opportunity. It's not that I've filled it with exotic gourmet items. In fact, right now it has the basics and not much else. Mountain Dew, mustard, yogurt, prunes and tapioca. Probably what everyone has in their fridge.

Before the disaster, the freezer was filled with stuff I knew I'd never use. I just couldn't bring myself to throw anything away. I kept pretending I was going to get around to using the frozen dinners that require more than one step. I knew in my heart that was too much like work and I'd eat them only in desperation. I was pretty sure I'd never get that desperate. (I also should learn to read labels before I buy something, instead of after I get it home and it's sat in the freezer for two months, and then I take it out and read the directions and immediately put it back forever.)

Now the freezer has items I know I'll use within a couple of weeks, like pot pies and four-cheese pizzas. I haven't restocked the frozen waffles yet, mostly because the empty shelves look so nice and uncluttered. If I'd known, I might have arranged years ago to have to throw everything away and start over. I always thought it would be a tragedy of sorts to lose all that food, not a chance to reinvent my lifestyle.

Somewhat the same thing happened with TiVo. Before I left for vacation I cleared it of all the recorded programs, either by watching them or just deleting the ones I didn't have time for. Then I made sure it would record almost nothing while I was gone. I got lucky when two of my favorite telenovelas ended the day before I left, so I didn't have those to worry about.

By now I've watched everything that TiVo recorded for me while I was away, except an episode of Adoption from the Hallmark Channel and an opera (Gounod's Romeo and Juliet) that was on PBS. I deliberately skipped several episodes of General Hospital, knowing I'd be able to fill in the gaps, since anything really important is shown over and over again as a flashback.

With both TiVo and the refrigerator, I hope to keep things sleek and clean as long as I can. I'm not the most driven person when it comes to staying orderly and organized, so I doubt this pristine state of affairs will last. But right now there are empty shelves in the fridge and plenty of room on TiVo's hard drive.

If only I could start over like that in other areas of my life. Wouldn't it be loverly if all the filing I've neglected just disappeared, and I could have a fresh start? I have so much unused software on this computer, I should just force myself to start uninstalling the extra stuff. And you know, if someone would just plow my whole yard under, I'd find a way to keep the weeds from growing back. Really I would.

Shasta Lake

The Anytime lumbers into port.

I had a breakthrough of sorts today. I threw the phone across the room. What, that doesn't sound like a breakthrough to you? I think that shows I'm back. It didn't feel as good as jumping off the swim platform into the lake, but it was plenty satisfying. I made sure it landed in the middle of the soft pillows on the sofa, but I think it really proved to that telemarketer that no means no. Or at least a dead phone line.

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