Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.
- Hal Borland
Breakfast: Oatmeal with bluberries
Lunch: sushi (yum!)
Dinner: herb turkey roast and artichoke
Sherman Lewis said "always bring a book," and he'd be proud of me today. I had a lot of waiting time in various places, and I spent it all reading "Gods and Demons"
TODAY I'm Listening to...
KGO Radio in the car. Listened to an interview between Ronn Owens and Grace Ann Walden, who leads walking tours around North Beach in SF, and who used to be the thorn in the side of David Gerrold when they had sparring fights on CompuServe (and she had no clue who he was because he used a pseudonym). I was reminiscing about those old fights as I listened to her voice today and wondered if she ever figured it out. She once scoffed that she had been published and doubted that he had ever appeared in print. At the time, David had authored some 20 science fiction novels.
Running around town!
Cold and Grey in the day, raining tonight.
OUT WITH THE OLD
19 December 2003
Its been kind of a weird day. Not in a bad way, just in an unusual day.
It started as I was rushing to head out the door to work, when I had a call from the office saying they didnt need me today after all. Im still in my training period, so that was fine. In fact, I was happy to have the extra time, but not quite sure what Id do with it, since it hadnt been programmed into my schedule.
With a few hours on my hands, I turned my task back to the Australia article and finished the first draft. My problem when I write long things like this is that I start really great but it all kind of peters out the longer I go on. This is >2,000 words long, so it had a long time to peter out. But Im letting it sit for a couple of days before I submit it. It probably wont be printed till after the first of the year anyway, so its not like there is any great rush, other than my own personal deadline.
With the article written, at least in first draft, I now had a basis for cutting the 60 "super special" photos down to the 18 that the editor was willing to work with. (In truth, I snuck in a 19th. Shhhdont tell him!)
They say that when you write something that you are passionate about, the thing you should do in editing is to throw out the thing you love best. Im not sure if that works for this article, but on looking at the photos objectively, I had to admit that it worked for the photos. One of the favorite photos that I took was of the horse standing in the morning mist of the field when we were on our farm stay...but you can find horses a mile from our house and if its a tossup between my misty horse photo and Peggys koala photo, I had to admit that the koala got the nod.
So a chunk of the morning went toward the article. I also did a little Christmas shopping and bought groceries for the dinner we are hosting tomorrow nightNed and Marta, and Martas family. Martas stepmother has invited us to share their Christmas Eve every year since Paul died and Ive always been too embarrassed to have them over to this messy house. But now that Im the New Neat and Tidy Housewife Bev, Im no longer embarrassed, so Im rushing to get all of my social obligations taken care of before I relapse.
I also had a phone call from someone who hasnt contacted us in years. It has been so long since we last received a call like this that there was a complaint that our area code had changed. It changed about 8 years ago, I think! It was a most interesting conversation. This person was always kind of a thorn in my side, so the lack of contact hadnt been upsetting to me. Todays phone call started the way all of our phone calls have startedwith news about the caller, everything that has happened in the last three years, talking exhaustively about things I (a) know nothing about and (b) have no interest in, while I patiently said "uh-huh" over and over again. At the end of the speech, my caller said "Well, it was nice talking to you. Have a wonderful Christmas, and hung up."
"Im just fine, thank you," I said to the dead receiver in my hand, remembering once again why this person has always bothered me. (Im wondering if Im now going to get e-mail from Char guessing, correctly, who the caller was!)
But other than the unexpected phone call, it was a lovely bonus few hours that I had not anticipated.
At 1, I met a friend for lunch at a local sushi bar. We live less than 2 miles apart, used to be very close, and havent seen each other in two years. There have been major, huge shifts in both of our lives since we were last together and it felt strange realizing that we have grown so far apart that we were unaware of these big shifts for each other. It was also sad to see that by 30 minutes into the lunch, we were groping for words and both surreptitiously looking at our watches. (is it time to leave yet?) Its not that we didnt enjoy the lunch, or that we no longer like each other, its just that we have definitely gone our separate ways. The biggest sign that we have so little in common now was that a mutual friend, whom we both loved dearly, was not even mentioned. I kind of held back, wondering if shed say "have you talked with.....?" but she didnt.
When we parted in the parking lot, it was a pleasant parting, but the whole experience had just been...different than I expected. Less intense than it had been three years ago. Out paths will probably cross again some time, but I knew that we had changed irrevocably.
Kimba had a vet appointment at 2:40 and there wasnt all that much time between lunch and her appointment, but too much to take her right away, and not enough to actually accomplish anything, so I just came home, read the Christmas cards which arrived today and sat down to send e-mails to those which came with e-mail addresses included.
One of them was from one of our foreign students who has just opened a B&B in the State of Washington with his bride of one year. I was so excited to hear his news that I spent time going over the web site for the B&B and sending him a long e-mail.
Suddenly I looked up and saw that it was 2:44, so I grabbed Kimba, threw her in the car and raced down to the vets office. The beauty of living in a small town! Even with "traffic" (such as it was), I made it there under 5 minutes, without speeding (good thing, too, since out of the corner of my eye, I saw a motorcycle cop sitting there looking to trap wayward motorists!)
Kimba got her nails clipped (she had developed doggie Vampira nails) and her anal glands emptied (she had become quite stinky lately) and got brought up to date on her vaccinations and given a clean bill of health. The vet gently mentioned that she was "a little overweight" (gee...ya think? If she were an opera singer, shed be a Wagnerian soprano!), and suggested weaning her off canned dog food. Kimba and I will discuss this. She will not be amused.
Again, there was not enough time to really DO a lot, because I had an appointment to have my hair cut at 7 p.m. This is such a weird thing for me. ("That sounds so trendy," Walt said.) Ive spent 30 years having my hair cut by Supercuts, taking whoever was the available person with scissors in his/her hands. But when I discovered Robbie a year or so ago I started going to him, and when he moved from the "walk in" hair salon to be the King of his own salon across the parking lot, I suddenly started talking about "making an appointment to see my hairdresser." Another new phase of my life
While I was doing unusual things, in dribs and drabs, Walt was having his own unusual afternoon. He was upstairs in our junk room clearing a path to the beds so that Jeri will have someplace to sleep when she comes home next week. He just showed me 1994 comptuer magazines that he thought he could probably throw out. The lead articles concerned compression software for DOS drives and how the Internet is becoming the preferred method of communication for some computer companies.
Somehow I suspect that we dont need that information any more.
Maybe next week well dig into the 1980 issues of Consumer Reports. I hear they have reviews of the new pop-up toasters and something odd called a mi-cro-wave..
When I look back over the day, I realize it was a day of moving on...I culled my 60 Australia "best pix" down to 18. We got rid of old stuff in the junk room. I lost a lot of hair. Kimba lost her toenails. And I realized that friendships are not always till death us do part.
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
Weight Lost to date: 48.6 lbs