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Saturday, April 13, 2002

On the first Saturday after the time change, my personal tradition is to sleep as late as possible. Last weekend I talked about staying up for twenty-four hours to get ready for the change. This weekend it wouldn't be out of the question to stay in bed for twenty-four.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I woke up at eight this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I took advantage of the extra time and started working. In spite of the perfect weather and the need to pull weeds, I spent almost the whole day working, except for the two hours when Mom came by and we watched Memento.

The Company got a big check in the mail, which meant I suddenly had dozens of suppliers who could be paid. This was payment on a state job, late as usual, and most of the bills dated back to February. I needed to get checks written and ready to mail out Monday, about sixty thousand dollars' worth. That's a lot for a fly-by-night construction company.

And in the middle of watching the movie, I heard the fax machine roar back to life. The Boss was sending me a four-page letter to type. (I waited until after Mom left to do it.)

Because I hadn't been able to sleep in, I was a bit short-tempered and cranky all day. It got worse later in the afternoon, and several times I had to stop writing checks so I could slam my fist down on the desk and stomp around the room for a few laps.

In other words, if I didn't write a daily journal, this wouldn't be the kind of day I'd choose to write an entry about. The days are getting longer now, giving them more chances to turn out good or bad. There's a little of each in every day, none so good it doesn't have a few bumps but none so bad you don't find an oasis or two among the dunes.

The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and the birds were busy in all corners of the yard. As I walked in from getting the mail, I disturbed a group of goldfinches that had set up in the garden. One of them was sitting on a branch in the little oak, warbling at full throat the most melodious song, full of trills and sliding scales. It was an incandescent moment, gone in a heartbeat.

Maybe that's all I should have said about today.


The sun sets behind the eucalyptus grove on the left.

Memento was everything I was hoping for and more. I knew the basics: that it was a psychological mystery thriller told in an unconventional nonlinear way. I knew it was good, because everyone said so, but I didn't know how good until I saw it. I'll probably watch it again before I return it, and I might even buy it because I think it's a movie you could see a dozen times and never look at in quite the same way. As the mystery started to unravel, I cackled with delight as clues were revealed and the truth began to materialize out of the mist. If this had been one of the best picture nominees on Oscar night, it would have been my choice to win. And I say that having seen all five of the pictures that were nominated.

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Two years ago: Fantasia 2000
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