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Monday, February 19, 2001

Choosing not to celebrate Presidents Day in a country that believes (according to a Gallup Poll) that Ronald Reagan is its greatest president, and that Bill Clinton is better than George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, I also chose not to get any work done today. Or maybe it wasn't an active choice as much as a default condition, somehow related to the three glasses of wine I drank last night and the overnight storm that woke me up several times.

Whatever the reason, I overslept badly enough that by the time I was ready to start working, it was time to go get the paper. Since there was no mail today, that was my only excuse to get out of the house. And, what with dropping in on Mom to watch Port Charles with her, that killed another hour, so that by the time I got home it was lunchtime.

Then I remembered I hadn't even started on a journal entry. I didn't see any movies, and I didn't identify any new species here in the wild kingdom, so I wasted another hour or so trying to decide whether to search the dark recesses of my soul for some kind of dramatic revelation (like, I'm a lazy lump who can find a way to waste time, and then waste more time justifying all the wasted time), or just to throw together a few random moments from my less-than-electrifying weekend and hope that anyone who reads it would still come back and hope for more enlightening prose next time.

Obviously, soul-searching turned out to be too painful and time-consuming on a day after I've expended so much energy prowling the house all night, peeking out the window to see how high the puddles were getting, and listening with my ear to the laundry room ceiling, hoping not to hear anything but wondering what that eerie silence could mean.

So, the weekend: Suzanne fixed dinner for us yesterday. Mom hasn't been getting out of the house much, mostly because it's so frustrating for her, not being able to see through all the bubbles bouncing around inside her eye. But she'll put up with the annoyance if it means spending time with the family. David was away for the weekend, but Eric was visiting from Martinez, so there was an additional reason to go.

When Eric, John and I get together, we usually end up talking about sports. John's interest is pretty casual, but he has strong opinions because he has a way of seeing to the heart of a question and getting to the point, without all the peripheral interests that a truly involved sports fan brings to a discussion. Eric, on the other hand, has more knowledge about the intricacies of the games themselves, how they're played and who plays them, than just about anyone I know.

As for me, I read a lot. I bring to the discussion opinions that are synthesized from facts and ideas that I gather elsewhere. I've seen a lot of games, so I know the difference between good and bad play, and I can analyze the decisions players and coaches make. This is about the only area where my beliefs and attitudes are strong enough that I'm eager to express them.

It's definitely safer than discussing politics, and I'm not so sure of myself that I can make definitive statements and back them up without backing down. It's not that I don't have opinions, just that I can't help seeing more than just my own side to any question. I don't see issues in black and white as much in politics as I do in sports, probably because the magnitude of the topic grays out the edges.

my garden in the rain

In a way, I'm almost embarrassed to spend so much time thinking about games. Life presents us with so many opportunities to study real problems and formulate solutions, that the future of the XFL doesn't seem worth the time to debate. On the other hand, is Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich any more critical to the future of the planet than whether the Rangers overpaid to sign Alex Rodriguez? I wonder.

But it all made for lively dinner conversation, and there's a lot to be said for that, no matter what the subject. It probably tells us that the world's problems aren't affecting us enough to dominate our time and effort. We probably weren't going to solve global warming or the Hollywood writers' strike over tacos yesterday anyway.

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Al isn't a sports fan, but check out his entry about Hannibal and NASCAR.

Nance had a much more "interesting" weekend than I had.

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But whenever Monday comes, you can find me crying all of the time.