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Saturday, April 2, 2005

Resisting the temptation to spend the day working turned out not to be so difficult after all. I got a rather nasty note from the Boss over the fax this morning, so I decided to check out for the day. The one thing I most wanted to get done would have required some input from him, and I didnít especially want to talk to him if he was going to treat me that way. The way he treats everybody else. No thanks.

The temptation to leave the house was a little stronger, but Iím still suffering from the long night of tossing and turning before my phantom DMV test. That kind of a night takes more than a day to recover from, and now, in my sleep-weakened state I have to face the shortest night of the year, the night we set the clocks ahead an hour. That always takes more than a day to recover from, too. Often it takes more than a week.

Besides, leaving the house would have meant spending money, and we have this rule in our family that no one is allowed to buy anything for himself the week before his birthday. The things I would have liked to buy arenít likely to be gift-wrapped for me by anyone I know, but I play by the rules. Besides, I didnít want to run into any family members out shopping, just in case.

Anyway, the temptation to spend money on myself wasnít as strong as the temptation to lavish my new grandniece with extravagant gifts. The trouble is, she wonít be born until September, so the incentive to do something right-now-today is less than compelling. Iím still getting my ideas together and trying to come up with something original. (In other words, not pink and/or purple newborn clothes, although Iíll probably buy some of those, too.)

Iím thinking maybe the Mulan DVD. Nobody else is going to get her that. Not until sheís five or six, anyway, and by then Disney will have taken it out of circulation. Yes, thatís a very tempting idea.

2 April 2005

Looking up through the branches of the dead birch.

So I stayed home and watched basketball. I would have watched racing, but the race was rained out. I tried to watch the Giants game, but it was being televised with the Aís announcers, so it didnít feel quite right. I would have watched a movie, but Iím still waiting for Finding Neverland, The Motorcycle Diaries and Spanglish to arrive from Netflix. So I watched basketball and read a Maeve Binchy book, the last one of hers (I think) that I havenít already read. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, out of the way of temptation.

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I was a devout nine-year-old the first time a pope died during my lifetime. That was Pius XII in 1958. I remember waiting for the white smoke, and I remember the ecumenical era of Pope John XXIII, during my years as an altar boy. It all mattered so much to me then that I can understand the outpouring of sadness all over the world today. Thatís all I can do, though—understand it.

Recent recommendations used to be found on the links page.

One year ago: Rummage
"Besides the clothes I took over for the garage sale, I also came up with a dozen or so CDs from my 'What was I thinking?' collection."

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