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Friday, July 30, 2004

I feel as if this week has been some kind of test, and I'm not at all sure I passed.

It can't just be that I'm so used to things going smoothly that I don't handle it well when there are bumps and curves to negotiate. I am sort of used to things going smoothly, and I don't react well to changes, especially big changes, or last-minute changes, no matter how small. I could have been happy going on with my job and my life the way it was, say, a year ago.

The trouble with that happy complacency is that my job wasn't going to go on forever that way, and as a consequence my life was going to be thrown into an uproar. The Boss reached retirement age this month, and although he has no plans to retire, it's a factor in the company's future. So is my own rapidly advancing age, for that matter.

The Boss's impetuous son Tim has great ambitions and isn't about to be held back by someone who doesn't like change. He acts like he's 25 most of the time, with a lot of productive years of hard work ahead of him. (A lot of the time he acts like he's 15, with no responsibilities at all. But that's another subject altogether.)

Too bad he's 41, isn't it? He's 41 and unmarried, and yet he talks about having five kids (all sons, to keep the business going, like a farmer who wants to breed boys to work in the fields).

Every day this week I've had to put aside whatever I was working on to react to the needs of these people. It's a good thing that the new directions they're taking the company include me, because otherwise I'd be even more overstressed and overwhelmed. The fact that I'm a ten percent partner (in a venture that doesn't even exist yet except on paper) helps keep me from bailing. If you think that's why they cut me in on it, you're right.

Today was another one of those days. I was supposed to be someplace at a certain time, but at the last minute I had to go someplace else at exactly the same time, to do something that I could have done yesterday if it hadn't just come to their attention today. So I had to rearrange the morning to accommodate what I had to do in the afternoon, which threw the afternoon into a tizzy.

The result is that I have to work most of the weekend just to catch up with how far behind I already was at the start of the day. If this is a test, I'm not doing all that well. I mean, I'm doing everything they ask me to do, but I'm losing sleep and losing contact with reality. I'm even a week behind posting journal entries, even though I've been back from vacation for nearly two weeks. That makes me feel even worse.

18 July 2004

Grebes (at Shasta Lake, swimming in the cove).

And tonight I was put to a different kind of test. SRT's production of "Into the Woods" is long, and tedious, and long. I think I have discovered my least favorite musical comedy, which I found neither funny nor musical. All the songs sound the same, the plot is a jumble, and the dialogue is so muddled and arcane that even if there's wit in there somewhere, it's not worth the trouble to extract it. If there had been one memorable lyric or hummable melody, I might have forgiven the rest.

I'm not too demanding when it comes to musicals. This one seemed to meander monotonously through a series of conflicting morality tales ending in an incomprehensible conclusion. And it went on forever. I was tired going in (part of the problem, maybe?), and I was exhausted coming out nearly four hours later. But I'm glad I saw it, because I thought I would like it and now I know for sure I don't.

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