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26 October 2002

I've pretty much had the "key" thing under control since I started carrying a handbag with a clip on it where you can clip your keys. For years--years and years--it was a daily ritual of looking for my keys...sometimes searching for it in my always oversized handbags. Tearing my hair out because I couldn't find my keys. Wandering around the house turning over things trying to find my keys.

Then I got The Bag. It changed my life.

It's the one part of my life today which is (most of the time) truly disciplined. When I get out of the car, I immediately clip the key to the inside of my bag. When I come in the front door, I immediately hang my key on the hook which is right in the front hallway. It has made my life so much easier.

It wasn't always this way. And it's not always this way now, but almost always. I remember once leaving my keys on a desk at Gemco, which I didn't realize until I'd finished buying about $200 worth of stuff and pushed the overloaded cart out to the parking lot, only to find I didn't have my keys. I returned to the customer desk to see if I had left them there when I was renewing my membership.

It was a little embarrassing because I had to describe the keys.

You see, many years ago, I worked for a typing service which was owned by a woman who also owned a tsatske store in "Old Sacramento," the touristy part of the state's capitol. She sold some quality clothing and jewelry, but also some junk souvenirs. A thing they stocked one year were novelty keychains, which could be personalized. They were from The Mustang Ranch, one of Nevada's notorious brothels. A huge round brass circle which says "When at The Mustang Ranch, ask for..." and then you would engrave your name.

Well, that Christmas she gave each one of us working at the typing service our own personalized keychains as a funny gift. It was a great size, making it easy to find blindly in the bottom of a cavernous handbag, so I have used it ever since. About 20 years now. I don't even think about what it says on it, until I had to describe it. Apparently the reason why the keychain was not in the lost and found drawer was that it had been the subject of great hilarity among the staff, and was being shown all around the huge warehouse.

After that I was even more diligent about remembering to clip the keys inside my purse when getting out of the car.

However, yesterday I was in a rush when I got home and somehow, what with carrying the mail in my hands and hurrying to get into the house, I bypassed the hook in the entry hall and put my keys....somewhere.

I didn't know they were missing until I started to go to work this morning.

It was going to be the perfect day. I was going to finally get caught up. When I left work last night, I even told Dr. G, "Don't you DARE call me with some project tomorrow. I am doing bookkeeping and I don't want to be interrupted."  He seemed a bit taken aback, but agreed.

I also had to make a run to the bank and mail off two packages for him at Mailboxes, Etc. It would be so nice. Ride my bike all over town (Walt was in San Francisco with the car).

But the keys were gone.

I searched the dining room table, the kitchen counter, the kitchen table and my desk. (You've seen pictures--you know that "searching the kitchen table" or "my desk" is no small task. I live by stacks and piles). In fact, I searched them all repeatedly, picking up this and that...surely they had to be somewhere. I looked in the pocket of my jacket, took everything out of my purse, hauled my slacks out of the laundry and checked the pockets of those. Nothing.

The keys just were not there.

The packages needed to get into the mail immediately. Dr. G wanted them delivered tomorrow (my god do you know how much it costs to get a package overnight 80 miles? $37!!!). I also had a bank deposit that had to be made. I didn't want to bike because I would have to go to two corners of Davis, then return home to continue my key hunt before I could go to the office. Time was really a factor here, so I decided to take the car.  I could drive the car because Walt had the car I usually drive (the keys for which were on the missing keyring), so I was driving David's old clunker car and the keys for that are on a separate key ring.

I stopped en route for lunch at a pizza parlor where they have the best salad bar in town. I was sitting there eating my salad when this woman who looked enough like Marta to be her twin passed by on her way to the soft drink machine. "I'll have to tell Marta about this person," I thought. The woman looked too young to be Marta--and her hair was a little different. Otherwise she looked identical.

I continued to eat my salad when suddenly Marta's "twin" stopped by my table to say hello. It was Marta herself, having just ordered a small pizza, so she sat down with me and we had a lovely, unexpected visit while we finished our respective lunches.  (She was pleased to know I hadn't recognized her because she looked "too young." -- and she'd recently cut her bangs, which is why her hair looked different.)

It was now later than I'd intended and I still had to find the keys.   I couldn't get into the office without them.

I returned home (I'd left the front door unlocked--you can still do that in Davis, some of the time, though it's probably getting to be a less wise thing to do). I decided I had to do this systematically. Instead of picking up piles and moving them back and forth, I should actually clean the house. So the kitchen counter got clean, and in the process I found other projects to do, which took up more time. I looked all over the dining room table, but no keys. Once again, I emptied my purse, looked under the laundry into the cushions of the reclining chair.

Finally, around 4 p.m., I started working on the kitchen table. This is the table I'd searched at least three times already, but just picking up piles and moving them. Now I was actually going to clean off the table, throw away the junk piece by piece...layer by layer.

And there, at 4:15 p.m., in the middle of a stack of things I'd moved several time already, were the keys.

By now it was too late to go to the office, so I've had an unexpected "vacation" day...but the trade off is that the bookkeeping still didn't get done, and I simply must work this weekend to get it all done.

BTW, you may have noticed a new link on my front page to "Funny the Foto."  I joined a new ring ('tho my application isn't active yet) for people who post photos every day.  Since I do, I thought it would be ideal, only it turns out that you can't link to a journal.  It has to be strictly a photo site, so I've set up a photo site where sometimes I will post the same photos I use here as "photo of the day," only in larger size, and sometimes (like today) it will be a different photo.   I don't know how long this project will last, but it seems to be a great  way to not only use my camera, but to keep a photographer's eye out for interesting photos to take.   They are supposed to be taken within 3 days of when they are posted (but I might cheat occasionally--not usually, but once in a while.)

Quote of the Day

The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.

~ James Thurber, in Edward R. Murrow television interview

Photo of the Day

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One Year Ago
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
That's how I feel today. One day on the job, and I already feel like I'm wearing 500 hats.

Two Years Ago
The Americanization of Emily
Once upon a time there was a little girl (ok, so she was pushing “senior citizen.” Let’s not quibble) who lived in the land of Oz and who decided to take a big trip over the rainbow and halfway around the world.

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Created 10/23/02