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Monday, August 14, 2000

Well, isn't this great. The Boss disappears for two days, shows up Monday morning, and says, "I forgot to call you. It was on the top of my list, but I didn't get around to it." Makes me wonder what else was on the list — below calling me.

It seems he took his girlfriend fishing. More likely, she took him, because she's always trying to get him out of the office for a day or two. So while I'm sending him faxes that require his input and putting pleading messages on his voice mail, he's catching and (hopefully) releasing.

And he's leaving again Wednesday, for the rest of this week, so Tuesday should be just as action-packed as Monday. I'm still working on opening last Friday's mail, and he's giving me a week's worth of crises in two days.

Some of the things I did today could easily have been done last week, with just an okay from him. All he had to do was call me one time, and I'd have been able to execute contracts, order insurance certificates, sign change orders. But I couldn't do any of that without knowing whether the numbers were correct.

I have the legal authority to sign, as far as the State and the courts are concerned, but not the internal authority, without at least a verbal nod from the Boss. I try to get these things in writing from him, since he tends to forget.

Even when he offers me a raise (oh, yeah, that happens all the time), I write it down and have him sign it, so that when he gets a copy of my next paycheck his head doesn't spin around and fly off.

All of this would have been easier to take without the distractions. Both of the adults who live next door are home this week. She's on vacation, and he's on disability. School doesn't start for two weeks, so there are four people in that house, each trying to be heard by at least one of the other three. At all times. With the TV going in the family room and the stereo blasting in the fourteen-year-old's room.

And then there are the people who think nothing of driving through the parking lot, spraying dirt and gravel, peering in my window. I hope they get this place rented so that I only have to deal with one stranger invading my space, instead of every rusted station wagon and dusty pickup in Sonoma County.

Two pairs of prospective tenants showed up between six and seven tonight. I think I'm making points with the landlords by being so accommodating. I let them walk through my house, poking into the shadowy corners of my life. One young woman even lifted my toilet seat. She was carrying a container of soup from the Vietnamese restaurant on Sebastopol Road when she did that. I'm not sure I would've eaten that soup after touching a stranger's toilet, but that's just me.

Fred told me that the best prospect he's had so far is a single man with two boys, nine and ten, that he'll have just on the weekends. It's a recent divorce, and they sold the house, so he's been living in a trailer park. Amelia, Fred's wife, feels sorry for him, which may be the best thing he has going for him. Fred's take is that "everybody has problems."

rental adsThis is the ad that is drawing all of these people into my home at every hour of the day. It's the second one, the one that says "country." The ad above it, by some weird confluence of cosmic irony and pointless trivia, is directly across the street from the house I grew up in here. When I saw these two ads together, I got an electric charge out of it, very similar to the jolt I experienced last week when the dentist accidentally hit a nerve.

My car's in the shop tonight, and I'll be stranded all day tomorrow. There's really no reason to report this here, except that I took a photo of the entry to the mechanic's garage.


Ralph doesn't believe in overselling.

It's just a smog check, unless he finds something wrong with the brakes. They've been squeaking a lot, until about a week ago. Then they stopped. Ralph tells me that's a bad sign.

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Mamma where's your pretty little girl tonight?
She's tryin' to run before she can walk,
That's right.