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Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Multitasking: Listening to Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, reading about Texas politics in the fifties and sixties, and writing this. I'm doing all that instead of typing a job proposal to the State of California that needs to go into today's mail, finishing the 1099s, and doing the paperwork so that the Company can borrow enough money from the credit line to prepay some bills and keep the suppliers happy. I have my priorities straight, right?

I think I'm okay, though. I took another look at the to-do list this morning, and as long as I'm not felled by the plague or something, everything should be handled in due course.

I have to stop pressing to get everything done at once, because it's literally eating at me. I spent a whole night thrashing around in bed, clutching at the sheets and roaring and squealing like a calf being branded. (Yes, I was alone.) It felt as if my belly was a blast furnace for half the night. The rest of it I was too exhausted to fall asleep. Not the best way to prepare for a productive day.

It has to be stress that's doing this to me, and it's all self-induced. Well, mostly. No, all of it, because even the calls from the Boss demanding instant gratification of his need to know some obscure bit of data could be handled with a simple "I'll call you right back." So he's not the one making me eat myself alive from the inside out. It's all me, and it's stupid.

So I'm dealing with it. I'm working on what I have to and what I can, taking breaks when the frenzy level reaches overload, and not trying to cram more into a day than I can get done.

Sounds so simple when I put it that way, doesn't it? It really isn't, and what I'm doing here is trying to talk myself into it. The perception is the reality, at least in this case. If I can convince myself, it becomes the truth. Act it, live it, be it.

When it's all done, I'll write a self-help book. In my spare time, of course, while I'm watching Letterman and surfing porn sites. Or something.

Step One: I took off for an hour yesterday afternoon to go to lunch with Suzanne. We ended up at the Italian place in Sebastopol where we went a few months ago, the place with the funny names for its dishes that make you point to the menu and say, "That." Good pasta, though.

But it wasn't our first choice. She'd heard of a place, also Italian (duh, it's Sebastopol), but we weren't sure where it was. It definitely wasn't where her friend told her it was, and we got halfway to Bodega Bay before we realized it.

So we doubled back, and to save time decided to go to the brew pub on Petaluma Avenue, because we knew for sure where that was. It was right there where it was supposed to be, but it was closed.

We decided to keep looking for the first place, because there are only so many main streets in Sebastopol, after all. It was right there, exactly as her friend described it, only on a different highway, the one that goes to Jenner. And it was closed. On a Tuesday? Or is January 16 a special holiday in Sebastopol?

Anyway, we backtracked again to a place we knew the location of, and it was open. Not even very crowded, being the only open restaurant in town and all. We had a lovely lunch, talked about family, work, stuff.

As bunched up as I'd been feeling, it was good to get out and unravel a bit. If I can stay loose like that, I won't be spending any more nights coiled up, ready to bounce off the walls. Because if I detonate, none of this work is going to get done anyway.

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