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Monday, October 20, 2003

We're still a week away from setting our clocks back an hour, and yet the shadows already seem deeper and arrive earlier than a week ago. Today was warm enough, almost hot, but it still felt more winter than summer. It's something about the quality of the sun's warmth that I can't quite identify. It feels thinner, and more elusive. It's gone before I can even remember to enjoy it.

With all the big events coming up in the next few months, I'm thinking more long term than usual. Maybe that's another reason the days seem shorter. While I would ordinarily leave most of the work I did today for the last minute, these days I'm a little more ambitious. I don't want to get caught short. I can't afford to count up all the weeks and months until the next deadline, with the days going by so quickly all of a sudden.

My to-do list had nine major items on it at the start of the day. I completed three and added one, so it now has seven. That's a satisfying net gain, even if those tasks I completed were sort of a cheat. For one, I balanced the September bank statement, which should have been done a week and a half ago when it came in the mail. And I was ever so lucky that it balanced on the first try (for once) so I could cross it of my list right away and feel as if I'd made progress.

The other major hurdle I crossed (or jumped, I guess, because that's how you get over hurdles) was prepping for the audit. This really was a cheat, because last week when I was frantically cleaning the house I found all the paperwork I'd prepared for the previous auditor, the one who asked the wrong questions. My answers were right, and they still are. All I had to do was one summary sheet that the auditor requested and boom! Done.

And, of course, all that frantic house cleaning just a week ago means that I don't have to go overboard to make the place look neat and tidy when the auditor shows up Friday. I think I can get away with scooping a few things into the bedroom and closing the door. I can't use the loft, because I've already filled it with things I don't want to deal with.

If only I had more spare rooms, I'd never have to do any real cleaning. I'm close to the clutter saturation point, but the bedroom will do for a few hours Friday. Then I can start messing things up again.

18 October 2003

At the hour of sunset, but looking east, not west.

The one other thing I did today was finish the disbursements record for last month. That was a cheat, too, because all I had to do was add the service charges from the bank statement to the spreadsheet I'd already done. So I didn't cross that one off my list. Instead, I changed "September" to "October," because I need to get going on this month's check record.

I didn't want to take credit for something I've already done, since I just have to start over again. That's the trouble with the bookkeeping part of my job. There's no end or goal except to get through one month so I can start the next one. That's why the to-do list is so important. If I can cross something off every so often, I feel better about the whole thing.

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To be honest (and why not?), I wouldn't have watched The Next Joe Millionaire tonight if someone hadn't asked me to tape it. After watching the first episode tonight, I'm glad I can tape it without having to watch it. It was pretty much as unpleasant and depraved as I thought it would be. It's just not my cup of herbal tea. (Though it might well be yours, and who am I to judge?)

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Aerials
"The birds know, too. They let the cat get close enough then dart out of harm's way. Like base runners gauging the pitcher's move, they know how far they can lead off and still get back before being picked off."

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