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Thursday, January 17, 2002

The problem with spending the whole day plowing through my to-do list, item by item, is that it doesn't leave much to report. If you have your head down all day, you don't see what's going on anywhere but right in front of you. I can tell you that the pile of papers on the corner of my desk is smaller now than it was this morning, for the first time all year.

Let's face it, the weather isn't interesting unless it changes, and it's been the same, more or less, for eleven days in a row. I think I'm done with that topic until the river floods. At least there are some things I can rely on. Flooding is forever around here, so much so that the folks along the river don't even bother to worry about it until they have to move to higher ground. A couple of nights in a shelter, and then it's back home to dig out of the mud. Same thing every year.

But this year's flood is probably a month away. In about six weeks we'll have a primary election. Two years ago I was agonizing about who would get my vote for president. Somehow my candidate got the most votes but still lost, so I had to deal with a little crisis of faith in the process. This time around, I know only one thing for sure: I'll vote for anyone for governor who isn't the current governor. Since I don't even know who else will be on the ballot, I can't really talk about it yet.

We have a nasty little district attorney's race shaping up here in the county, with finger-pointing and name-calling. It seems a prominent murder case was mishandled last year, and it was thrown out when a tape turned up showing the key witness being coached. The challenger wants the incumbent to confess all the details and make himself look bad. Naturally, the incumbent would rather not say anything and wait for the state to complete its investigation, some time well after election day. This is just getting to the papers, so I don't yet know if I'll end up having a strong opinion about either one of these guys.

So, what to talk about? I didn't get outside in the garden today, except to refill the birdbaths. The bathers were mighty pleased with me. One sparrow spent half an hour in the water, getting fluffier and fluffier until I wasn't sure it would be able to fly away. It had to shake its feathers out for a long time before it could get comfortably airborne.

Didn't I promise my Thursday entries would get more interesting after Survivor ended? That's not happening, is it? Looking back, I wonder why I spent so many Thursday nights with those people. I think I know. I think it was better than spending Thursday nights alone. Whether you buy into the "reality" of the concept or not, these were real people, playing versions of themselves for the benefit of the cameras and each other. Besides, for the second time out of three, a basically decent person won. No Survivor guilt here.

Skipping Christmas took me a little longer to finish than such a slim book should, because it annoyed me so much that I kept putting it aside to practice "Earth Angel" on the keyboard. (Finally, I've found an easy arrangement of a song I like that makes it sound as if I really know how to play. Or will, after I've practiced a few hundred more times. Unless I lose interest before then.)

I did finish the Grisham book at last (okay, it actually only took a couple of days), and was properly manipulated by the wonderfully sappy ending that almost made the rest of the experience worthwhile. It's a good thing it wasn't any longer, or I wouldn't have made it.


Clouds low in the eastern sky

Disjointed. I came up with the title of this entry after I wrote it. It wasn't a goal to write something that wanders all over the countryside and never quite lands anywhere. This, believe it or not, is about as efficiently as my mind can function these days, and it beats thinking about spreadsheets and tax forms and bank statements, which is what my day was really all about.

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Latest recommendation:

Mike, Some Jingle Jangle Morning, January 16, Lions, Sharks and Policeman, Oh My!

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One year ago: Coming Undone
"I spent a whole night thrashing around in bed, clutching at the sheets and roaring and squealing like a calf being branded."

Two years ago: Howl
"I was a dyslexic beatnik poet in hell's dimmest coffee house."

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