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Saturday, February 18, 2006

There are two ways of looking at it. (And arenít there always? At least.)

The one part of the Big Project that intimidates me the most, the most complex spreadsheet that I have to create more or less from scratch every year, is done. I spent several hours today, skidding and sputtering but ultimately succeeding. Itís the hardest thing I every do, as far as work is concerned. I should feel a great deal of satisfaction that it lies behind me and not ahead. And I do, more or less.

But now comes the real work. I finished that spreadsheet with a little time to spare. Time that I could have devoted to some other part of the Big Project, for example. But I was so relieved to have the worst behind me that I didnít want to spoil the mood by getting myself into the middle of something thatís definitely going to take more than one day (or one weekend) to get out of.

So I stopped working and started resting. Well, itís Saturday, after all. Itís a three-day weekend (supposedly). And Iíve been tired so long I donít know what anything else feels like. Thereís a lot left to do, but what Iíve already done is enough for today.

18 February 2006

Clouds sneaking around the oak trees.

However I look at it, I canít be disappointed in what I didnít do, because Iím so glad Iíve come as far as I have. The single most difficult component is done. Whatís left is the rest of it, and itís the most tedious, repetitive, time-consuming thing I ever ask myself to do. Even though itís a long haul, itís less intimidating than what I did in a few hours today. I could get it done in a couple of days, I think, if I were really motivated. Or if I were really left alone.

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Thank goodness for Joey Cheek. At least one U.S. speed skater doesnít have a chip on his shoulder. Heís one of three members of the menís team that have won gold medals so far in Torino, and he added a silver tonight. The other U.S. winners can get all pissy in interviews, or ignore one another, or demean each otherís motivations. Cheek has donated all of the award money heís received for his two medals to the Right to Play organization, which brings sports (and hope) to underprivileged children around the world. His stated goal is to create awareness of the plight of children in Darfur in the Sudan. This is a real Olympian, not a prima donna. Thank goodness for Joey Cheek.

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One year ago: Resistance
"Eventually some kind of psychic friction drags me off to dreamland (although, as you know, I never dream)."

Two years ago: Altered Course
"I have to bend and bow and nod and smile and crawl through the brambles without complaining."

Three years ago: Fixing a Hole
"She probably put in some code for the pitiful look on my face, too. They're very thorough at the Saturn service department."

Four years ago: To the Post
"And no, 'curling highlights' is not an oxymoron."

Five years ago: Hey You Up There!
"I wadded up a clump of paper towels and picked up the body and flung it into the middle of the field between the garage and the road beyond."

Six years ago: Making Arrangements
"I could invite a family of nomads to camp out on my living room floor."

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