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Saturday, July 1, 2000

When I was keeping just a paper journal that no one else ever saw, I would always try to make the first entry of each month something special. Something colorful and interesting. It's a chore, leading as narrowly focused a life as I do, to impress anyone, least of all myself.

So now all I do is change the color scheme. It's a compromise that works for me.

I wonder how long it'll take me to get tired of this layout, though.

I'm pleased with the amount of work I got done today. It's going to allow me to enjoy the rest of the weekend. I'll work a full day Monday and then take Tuesday off without guilt. If I don't think about it too hard, I won't remember all the little details that I forgot and all the humdrum tasks that I glossed over. For once, I'd like to be satisfied with what I did, rather than disappointed with what I didn't do.

The peacock started crowing before six this morning, so I had a chance to get an early start on my day. I don't know if all peacocks crow, but the one that resides behind my back fence does. You might mistake it for a rooster if it didn't crow all day and half the night. No rooster is that confused, as far as I know. Besides, this sound is what you might expect if a rooster had something caught in its throat. If someone had hypnotized Julia Child into thinking she was a rooster, she might make the same noise.

Nevertheless, P. Cock didn't get me up at six. I amped up the volume on my bedside wave machine and drowned him out with the sounds of the surf. That worked until my landlords Fred and Jerry showed up. Or at least until the sounds of their hammering penetrated my safe harbor.

They will apparently be here weekends and evenings, getting the place across the lot ready for Fred to move in. The old tenants, whom I never got to know except to say hello, were perfect, quiet neighbors. They moved out yesterday, and all day today there were trucks moving in and out of the driveway and dust flying everywhere. Nothing was heard from my noisy nemesis on the other side, though, so this might work out. For now, it's like living on a construction site. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I'm eager for Fred to sample the water here. He's the one who, when I was thinking about taking the place, offered me a sample of the water so I could have it tested. Pure well water, he told me. And he probably believed it. So did I, until I started using it. Now I have to change the Brita filter so often that it's going to be more cost-effective to bring in bottled water.

I want him to have to shower in it, as I do, and never feel completely clean. It's like bathing in a public pool, in the shallow end where toddlers pee freely. I want him to wash dishes in it, because when you have enough of it to fill a dishpan, you can really smell how bad it is. I want him to shave in it, because when you wet your face, especially right under your nose, the odor is powerful enough to send you reeling.

That's all. I don't expect him to do anything, but I want him to know what exactly he sold me here.

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What does a peacock have to be proud of, exactly?