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April 8, 2000

I had a productive few hours of packing this afternoon, but when I found myself walking around in circles with an old phone cord in my hand, trying to remember what I'd been planning to do with it, I decided it might be time to give myself a break. Breaks are good.

All of this work doesn't come naturally to me. This physical labor, it's not what I'm about. I'm all about slacking. I'm a true blue, dyed-in-the-wool slacker. Someone else will have to dye the wool blue, though, because I'm not up for it. I'm slackalicious. I'm slacktacular. I could qualify for the Olympic slackathon.

And when I do work, when I'm forced to work, I'm not good at it. At all. While cleaning out the garage, I had a hard time making decisions about how to sort and stack everything. I would empty a box into the trash pile, bring the empty box into the house, then take it out again to fill with trash. And I always seem to do things the hard way. I'll reach over a pile of neatly folded towels for an empty box to put them in, and then drag the box across the top of the pile, spreading the towels all over the floor. Apparently there are easier ways to do these things, but you have to have your heart in it. A little experience helps, too. Not having cleaned the garage or packed up towels since I moved into this place a dozen years ago, it's a double whammy. I don't know how to do it, and it's about twelve times more difficult than it should be.

Somehow, I'm convinced it will all get done. Even a hard core, dedicated slacker can be motivated by fear. I'm already in deficit spending because I'm paying double rent for two-thirds of this month. I don't have a choice. I have to be out of the Home Office and into Green Acres before the end of April. So, with the help and encouragement (and help) of my wonderful, wonderful (helpful) family, whatever must be done will be done. Most of it will be done at the last minute, of course, because that's the Slacker's Way.

The pictures here are of the Home Office itself, the very place I'm so eager to leave behind. But it's been home for a long time, and there are things I'll miss about it. My neighbor Grady, for one. He's the first resident of the other half of the duplex who has gone out of his way to be friendly to a shy introvert with poor social skills, and I value him for that. And while I won't miss the traffic on the city streets, I will miss the easy accessibility to theaters and shopping that I've grown used to here. I'll miss my daily walk up and down Sonoma Avenue, although walking on country roads has some appeal of its own. After a couple of weeks, this place will be another part of my past, just a footnote in the historical record. I leave it with few regrets.

So how did I spend my birthday? I spent too much of it sleeping in later than I should have, but I did manage to get through most of the clutter in the garage, and I filled a few boxes with things I won't be needing again before I'm fully moved. I even found time to watch a little baseball and do some reading. Mom took me out to lunch (chiliburger, but it's okay because I've lost fifteen pounds), and I got e-cards and messages from several lovely people, and phone calls from a few others. That's a pretty low-key celebration, but it's not one of the Big Ones anyway. Besides, most everyone was at a wedding today, and I absolutely believe that weddings are more important than birthdays. Especially when you've had as many as I have. Birthdays, that is, not weddings.

This morning I had a call from the Boss, who is once again camped out down the road a few miles at his ex-wife's house. He lost all the messages I gave him yesterday, so I had to find them and repeat them to him. Then I got a call from his wayward son Tim, whose first words were, "I'm in trouble."

I know this guy well enough not to ask what kind of trouble he was in. All I said was, "What can I do to help?"

He had lost the insurance certificate for his truck, and he needed me to find a copy and fax it to an unfamiliar number. Lawyer? Police station? I didn't really want the details, I just did it. Good thing for him I live at the office, isn't it? "Sorry to bother you on your day off," he said.

Neither of them, in fact no one in the Company, knows it's my birthday. I've told them many times when it is, but I just think that if it mattered to them, they would remember without my having to remind them every year. So I don't. And it's obvious that it doesn't matter to them, but that's okay. Really, I don't mind. I know when all of their birthdays are, though.

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Thanks to Sasha of I'd Rather Eat Glass for checking out these pages and saying some kind words in her entry today. In fact, everybody go read her journal, because I'm outta here. (It's my birthday, you know.)

Also, please read Patrick's magical entry for April 7.

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.