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Monday, July 24, 2000

Here's a prescription for a successful Monday: Survive it by having just one thing to do, something that takes the whole day, and then luck out by not being interrupted by too many phone calls. Simple as that.

We got a big check in Friday, so I knew what I was in for today. All of that money is owed, and I spent all Monday writing checks and getting them ready to mail. Usually I'm up and down, in and out of my chair, between the computer, the copier, and assorted filing cabinets and file boxes. Today I sat and wrote checks worth more than I'll see personally in the next eight years. A lot of money flows through my office, and hardly any of it gets to my own bank account. What does, doesn't stay there long enough to make much of an impression.

The process could be simpler, if the Boss weren't paranoid. He needs copies of every check and the invoice that goes with it. So, while in theory I could have got through the day without leaving my desk, I did tramp the well-worn path back and forth to the copy machine. Since that's about the only exercise I'm getting lately, it's probably just as well.

I've decided not to wait until all of the snacks and junk food in the house are gone before starting to diet again. I'm back on the Slim-Fast plan that served me so well last spring. Two shakes and one meal a day. That meal had better be something pretty substantial, though. Tonight: a taco salad and a small spinach, mushroom and garlic pizza.

I know, I know, cheese. But I don't spend a lot of my calorie allotment on cheese. I do love DiGiorno rising crust frozen pizzas, though, and since I refrained from the usual day-long munching on granola bars and mixed nuts, I gave myself a break. On the first day, I'm already making compromises. Oh, well.

Pizza without beer and baseball? I don't think so.

I am seriously thinking about going out and spending even more money I don't have for something I don't need. Why, if I were any more serious I would actually be doing it.

The crisis began last night when I settled in to watch the Giants play the Dodgers.

The problem wasn't that the game sucked and the Giants got shut out. The problem was that it was on ESPN2, a channel AT&T cable doesn't offer to those of us who live in the rural areas of Sonoma County.

By itself, this probably wouldn't prompt me to drastic action, but together with the grainy picture quality provided by the cable company, and the gaps in coverage (no History Channel, no Comedy Central, no Home & Garden), I might as well get out the plastic card while I still have some credit available. It's not as if I have to save money for my whirlwind social life or my expensive hobbies. So I'm seriously thinking (I said that already) about a satellite dish.

I just want a little Animal Planet now and then, so I can get away from the tedium of my petless existence. A little MSNBC so I can keep up with the latest developments in the Jon-Benet Ramsey case. A little Game Show Network, so I can see if Gene Rayburn looks any older, now that he's dead. Romance Classics, because ... well, never mind. Speedvision (I don't even know what that is, but doesn't it sound great?). BET, CMT and MTV2.

Is that so much to ask?

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