MY KINGDOM FOR
15 February 2003
In recent years, I've considered myself a relatively placid individual. I don't get
angry with much. I don't get too frustrated about a lot of things. Since I started
becoming more physically active, it doesn't bother me to park a few blocks away from a
destination and walk. I'm rarely in so much of a hurry that it makes me angry to get
caught in traffic. It's not really worth it to get upset about little things. Life's too
I knew it was too good to last.
Of course it could have something to do with trying to do 3 jobs at once plus have a
modicum of a social life, try to get exercise in and all that sort of thing--all the while
just about to push the "6" up into that age bracket. People my age are retiring,
not trying to work three different paying jobs--even if none of them is a full time
one--plus a couple of volunteer ones.
I kinda figured when I was caught in traffic downtown this afternoon, and just missed a
green light, causing me to pound on the steering wheel of the car and scream a 4-letter
word, that perhaps I was just a tad too tense.
It had been building all week. Having Dr. G gone for 2 days was a tremendous help (I
can't imagine what I would be like now if he had been here this week!) But he left behind
enough to do to keep me busy, and when his pile ran low, the psychiatrist added to it.
There was also The Puppetry of the Penis to review (I just found out the tickets
for that thing were $45 each. My heavens!), a feature article to get done, a family dinner
(I fear I didn't feel very charitable to my mother-in-law, whom I usually get along with
quite well, when she suggested that if I'd go bike riding a little earlier --than 5
a.m.?--I could have gotten off work earlier and she wouldn't have had to wait half an hour
for us to pick her up for dinner). There was nothing big, but a bazillion little things.
When Dr. G got home from his workshop, he had a full plate too and so apologized, but
gave me the sorts of little things he'd usually take care of for himself--appointments to
make...that sort of thing. We also had two major deadlines to make for the office and
another bazillion little things to juggle.
That started it. I spent yesterday on the phone and I don't think I talked to a single
person. Not one. I nearly threw the phone across the room at one point when I was
listening to my bazillionth voice mail. Take, for example, the people who are in charge of
licensing the new equipment we're about to install. I was supposed to call someone named Lynn and had
already called twice, leaving messages whenever she wasn't there, but of course she never
returned my calls.
Yesterday, I got the message that she would be out of town until Tuesday. Since Dr. G
wanted an answer before the end of the week, I followed her instructions to "dial #03
to reach an operator." Well. Wrong. #03 gives you yet another recording that says
"to enter your voice mailbox, enter the number; to hear this message again, press
#" If you press # you get that message again. There was no way on earth that I could
reach anybody at the licensing office.
Same thing when I attempted to make a medical appointment for Dr. G. I'd left a
message, which was not returned, and then when I called again, I got put through to
another voice mail message. It went like that all day long. I had begun to think I was
really in a Twilight Zone episode.
Then there was all the work that needs to get done before we fly to LA tomorrow,
including buying food for the dog, washing my hair, and finishing Chapter 13 for Dr. G's
book (which I haven't started yet, and which he plans to edit over the weekend).
My heavens--I'm so wound up I can't even think linearly to write this entry!
Anyway, let's just deal with today and my screaming fit in the car. I tried to finish
off the feature article before I went to sleep, but I just don't seem to have the staying
power I used to have. I got up at 3:30 and worked on it, but realized I needed some
additional information, which I obviously couldn't call anybody to get at that hour.
I did what I could and then went biking with Cindy, got breakfast fixed for Walt, and
did some more on the article. Once again I was faced with the realization of how very much
I hate writing. I love "having written" (someone famous said that--I don't
remember who), but the writing process, when it's for something that is going to be
published (unlike this journal) I die the death doing it. I enjoy "having
written" enough that I am willing to go through the hell that I do whenever I write
something, but it sure ain't a pretty sight sometimes. This was one of those times. I was
angry with myself for some things I hadn't done that I should have and didn't think of,
but knew it was too late.
I finally managed to get it all done and e-mailed to my editor, and within 30 seconds
was in the car, racing off to the office. Yesterday afternoon, I'd been juggling so many
things, going through voice mail hell on the phone, trying to get to the bank in time,
etc., etc., that the deposit didn't get made and needed to be made in one bank before
noon, and in another bank before the end of the day (to cover the money I was putting in
the first bank). I did manage to get the first deposit made and then raced back to the
office to get an overnight mail delivery ready to take to the post office.
I stopped at home en route to pick up a bunch of packages I had to mail here--mostly
packets of information about The Big Voice plus a videotape for people who are
considering having Steve and Jimmy do it at their theatre. I also had a few other things
to mail, including a CD for SecraTerri (that's a sneaky way of letting her know that her
CD is in the mail).
When I stopped at the office, there were several important phone calls to return first,
the big deposit to be put together to take to the second bank, and all the post office
stuff to gather up.
As I drove into the post office parking lot I thought "well, this won't be too
bad." It was only half full--unheard of. I expected to breeze in and breeze out, but
no. The line still stretched out to the door because, with seven stations for
clerks there was ONLY ONE FREAKING CLERK WORKING. And this was the chatty guy, so
everybody was taking forever to get through the line. (My heart is pounding again even as
I type this recounting of it)
Then off to the bank, getting stopped at the aforementioned stopight and screaming.
I found a parkng place 2 blocks away and went to get the deposit...but the envelope was
just gone. Nowhere to be found. Not in the box with the packages. Not in my purse. Not on
the seat. Not slid down between the seat and the door. Nowhere. This was a $12,000 deposit
and I totally freaked out.
I got in the car and raced back across town to the office, hoping I'd left it on my
desk, but it wasn't there. Not on the desk. Not on the file cabinet. Not on the floor. Not
on the ground where my car had been parked earlier. I was about ready to totally lose it
when I decided to tear the front seat of the car apart again and there, wedged UNDER the
seat--lord knows how it got there--was the envelope.
Back across town again, make the deposit as quickly as I can.
There is still a mountain of work that needs to be finished before Monday--and I'll be
gone all weekend, so what doesn't get done tonight won't get done. I left the lights on in
the office because I have to go back and at least straighten up, since the desk is a
To my amazement, however, the only thing I want to do right now is....go for a long
bike ride! So I'm about to pack up my camera, set the timer on the Palm Pilot for 60
minutes and just go ride and ride and ride and see if I can't get rid of some of this
stress that has me wound so tightly I feel like I could totally lose it very quickly.
(I should also confess that I was so stressed that I went through the Jack in the Box
drive-thru and had a cheeseburger and curly fries--and I don't even care. What's worse, I
didn't even taste them, I ate them so compulsively. If I'd had a movie of me shoving all
that food in my face as fast as I could, it probably would have done a lot toward helping
me not eat like that when I'm stressed.)