bunt sign

Tuesday, April 3, 2001

I've been sifting through the census data, not because I think I'll learn anything important, but just because I'm fascinated by statistics. I noted that Santa Rosa is now the fifth largest city in the Bay Area, behind only San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Fremont. 154,000 people live in my town. The city limits signs when I was growing up here said 17,000. That's a stunning explosion.

All my life (and we moved here when I was in third grade), I've thought of Santa Rosa as a sleepy little town, overshadowed by the real cities around us. To go to The City, you had to drive for an hour and cross a bridge. Now we're one of those real cities, but I still don't see that when I look around me. It's there, I know; I just don't see it.

We have a lot of people here now. What we don't have is the kind of diversity that the rest of the area has. Sonoma County hasn't achieved the racial and economic balance of the other Bay Area counties. In other words, we're still mostly (non-Hispanic) white (74.5%), and the cost of living here is skewed so that it'll probably stay that way.

I don't want to live in a place that discourages diversity. It's not intentional, just that this is increasingly a bedroom community for the cities to the south. The business we do have is less and less agricultural, more and more high tech.

This is my home, a real slice of paradise, and I like living here. Part of the reason for the high cost of living is that we've put some restrictions on development, so that the natural beauty of the area isn't obliterated in the name of growth. I have no desire to move, but there might come a time when I have no choice. I don't own property and I'm really lucky to be able to afford the rent on a livable place.

I'll take my spring back now, please. When I got up this morning, it was a ridiculous 35°F here in paradise. I had to turn the furnace back on, despite the level 2 emergency power alert status. And this second morning of the first work week under the new clock settings was worse than the first.

It didn't help that it was the phone, rather than the gentle strains of smooth jazz, that jangled me out of bed today. The Boss suddenly remembered we had to prepay one of our suppliers. Just yesterday I paid off the credit line (at his request). That leaves nothing in the company checking account until I can deposit a (post-dated) check on Friday. To pay this supplier, I had to find a way to cover the check.

I'm afraid I yelled at the Boss, in a whiny kind of way. "I'm never again going to pay off the credit line. I just have to borrow it back, and this time I don't think I can." If the new check posts before the payment is recorded, all kinds of mayhem ensues. Bounced checks, overdraft charges, loss of promotional interest rates. That kind of mayhem.

Then, natch, a big payment that I wasn't expecting showed up in today's mail, and I felt really stupid for making such a big deal out of it all. Things never fail to work out, whether I beat myself up over them or not. So why do I always take the low road? Just my obsessive nature, I guess. I want everything to go smoothly, all the time, and yet I always expect things to go wrong. How rational is that?

red flower

The wind blew most of the afternoon, but the sun was warm enough to get me out in a yard for awhile. I have to keep working at the weeds, or they'll take over. They're already denser than I imagined they could get, especially in the area just outside my front door.

That isn't where I pulled weeds today, though. I just didn't get that far. I dragged the container out of the garage and started yanking things out as soon as I got through the gate and into the garden. I have a couple of rosebushes that I took the trouble to prune, but they were being choked by wild grasses. Not any more.

But I still feel like a jungle creature when I step out the front door.

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Happy birthday, Eric.