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Friday, December 28, 2001

While trying to get a jump start on making 2002 a better year, I keep running up against one thing. At midnight Monday, I can buy books again. And music and movies. Oo wee, oo wee baby. I have higher aspirations for the new year than to spend all my money making Disney, AOL and Viacom even richer, but that's where I'm stuck for now.

In a way, it'll be a relief to have lived through this one-year personal buying ban. I've learned that I don't need every new CD and video that comes out, and I already have more books than I can possibly ever read. My shelves are so full that they mock me with the futility of trying to live long enough to read even the first chapter of each book.

But when I log on to Amazon just after midnight and add that first item to my shopping cart, it'll be like coming home from a trip to a desert wasteland (or a warehouse discount store). I'm smiling just thinking about it. It'll be the less fattening equivalent of taking that first bite of a glazed donut. It'll be just about that sweet, too.

But wait! I must have better plans for the new year than spending money I don't have on things I don't need. Some kind of self-improvement program would be a good idea. Maybe I could lose all that weight again that I gained back during the holidays. That's always a good one, no matter what year it is.

No matter how many times I read through the course listings at Santa Rosa JC for the semester that's about to start, I can't find any classes that I want to take. At least, I can't make myself commit all that time to anything I've found in the catalog so far. I'm not sure if it's the courses themselves, or just the fact that I don't really want to work that hard.

I've already ruled out any computer classes this time around. What I should do is take the math placement test so I can get into the algebra course that's a prerequisite for most of the truly interesting classes. I can't take any other math classes, or any programming or science classes, until I get through algebra.

The class itself wouldn't be a problem, but I have a hard time forcing myself to show up at the exam room on a cold Saturday morning with a number two pencil. I'm not sure why I have to take the placement test just so I can get into a beginning class. I mean, it's been a long time since ninth grade, the last time I took algebra. I'm not thinking about starting at the advanced (or even intermediate) level after 37 years.

I guess I'll keep leafing through the catalog, hoping to run across something that lights a spark. Art appreciation, maybe, or cultural anthropology. No speech classes, I'm not into getting up in front of a group of students that are probably both a lot more committed and a lot younger. Ugh. I shudder just thinking about it. It takes me back to my most embarrassing moments in junior high.

Maybe I need to take one more semester off, or else sign up for one of those "community education" courses like quilting, or Portuguese. I see they have one called "Graceful Aging." Hmm...

Christmas Eve Day

Green fields and gray sky (earlier this week).

It was hard to shake the blues today, for some reason. Well, I know the main reason. It's a dark, wet Friday in the North Bay. It rained all night and all day, and my driveway is half under water. So many puddles surround my house that I feel as if I'm living on a particularly unpleasant island. They're promising three or four more days of this stuff. I think that's the heart of my problem right there, but at least that means it won't take much to lift me back up. One little ray of sunshine. Is that too much to ask?

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Latest recommendation:

Bitter Hag, December 27, Funny, But Not

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One year ago: Unstressed

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