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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

"I don't want Tim to think I'm going over his head," I said to the Boss as I went over Tim's head and complained about him. It didn't exactly start out that way, but I was in a mood to complain and the Boss was the person I just happened to call.

"I should really take this up with him," I said, although I've asked and whined and pleaded for Tim to get me the time cards earlier in the week, so that I don't have to work around his whims. He wants the paychecks mailed Wednesday morning. If he had any good reason to wait until Wednesday morning to fax me the time cards, I wouldn't be as cheesed off about it. (I said that to the Boss as well.)

"I have no leverage to use against him," I said, when the Boss suggested I just mail the paychecks a day later. If the paychecks arrive late, Tim doesn't care. He has so much money that he saves his checks for two or three weeks before cashing them. It's the members of his crew, who make a third of what he makes and live from week to week, that would suffer if the checks were late. Then he'd just lend them money, and I'd have to do all the extra paperwork that would allow me to reimburse him. More work for me. No leverage.

"I don't mean to get you involved in this." Well, I think I meant that. But if I did, why did I bring it up? It was the frustration, mostly. I had to let it out, and the Boss was handy. My relationship with Tim would be better handled if I made my complaints directly, even if they're totally ineffective. At least the Boss promised to keep the hammer in his holster and use his patented feathery soft diplomatic skills when he brings the subject up.

When I phoned the Boss while I was doing payroll this morning, I honestly had no intention of complaining. I had a question about the jobs that were noted on the time cards, one that he could answer better than Tim. The rest just came out. Maybe he heard it in my voice, or maybe I couldn't keep it in. I would have been better off saying nothing, but the emotion got the better of me this time. I'm not very good at keeping it to myself when I feel overwhelmed.

16 May 03

The house and garage in the late afternoon shadows.

In spite of everything, I had one errand I was determined to get done today. I'm supposed to have the time between ten and noon to run my errands, even the personal ones, but only if nothing more important is going on. Usually, if I miss my window of opportunity, I'll just try again the next day. Today I was naughty. I got my hair cut and didn't get home until 12:15 pm. Scandalous! But I wasn't going to waste a halfway decent hair day. I hate to go to the salon on days when I look like Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill.

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Amarcord might not be the best Fellini film, but I've always thought it was the most accessible of the ones I've seen. Then when I watched it again tonight, I started to think it might be the best after all. It's an episodic, richly textured, somewhat idealized child's-eye view of life in Italy before World War II. The characters and settings are finely drawn, and there are some camera shots that are simply magical. It's a warm and beautiful slice of life, very funny and moving. It's the Fellini film that speaks most personally to me.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Lessons in Landscaping
"It's not victory I'm looking for, but some kind of equilibrium."

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If I make a mark in time
I can't say the mark is mine
I'm only the underline
Of the word