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Friday, June 2, 2000

I took a good look at my in-basket tonight at about five o'clock and realized, with my stomach sinking the way it does on a wooden rollercoaster, that this was not the start of my weekend. Five o'clock on Friday afternoon, it turns out, was to be the beginning of an intense flurry of catching up. Suddenly I was back in college, with a term paper due on Monday and no books checked out of the library (there being no Internet in those days).

It's happening to me more lately than it ever did in college. I didn't have to pull many all-nighters because I was organized then. I was focused, driven and uh, some other word that I can't think of. Lately my brain has been scattered, and I'm not sure of the cause. Physical pain? My upcoming vacation? New projects? Fallout from the move? I've never been the most together person, but recently my concentration has been. . . um, what was I saying?

I think my biggest problem is lack of sleep. I've been sliding my waking hours later and later, until I almost meet myself getting up in the morning. It takes too long for me to get started, and I have too many dead periods during the day, to get much accomplished. So I stay up later yet, trying to make up for time wasted, and suddenly it's tomorrow already and I'm another day behind. It's not as if I'm doing more than I'm capable of, just that I'm having such a hard time keeping on track.

The solution is simple. I have to get into better sleeping habits. That'll give me the energy to get more done, which will let me sleep better. If it sounds so easy, though, why can't I do it?

One week from today will be my last day before vacation. I'm planning to spend my time away from here putting my mind and body back in working order. I'm already halfway there, just thinking about it.




Just before my last trip to the dentist, I found myself at the grocery store with peanut butter on my list. (And you know how messy that can be.) For years I've been buying only creamy peanut butter, but this time, with the knowledge that Dr. G was about to pull my last wisdom tooth, I thought it was safe to go back to my beloved chunky style. I've been staying away from it because of the annoyance of having to pick the crushed peanuts out of the holes in the back of my mouth. It had taken me a long time to stop buying chunky peanut butter, because I consider it one of nature's perfect foods.

So I bought a jar of Skippy Super Chunk. I know many people choose Jif, but Skippy is my brand. And then I went to the dentist and he didn't get around to pulling the wisdom tooth, so I'm stuck using the chunky peanut butter even though the reason I bought it no longer exists. I'm managing to make the best of the situation. After all, I already had the worst wisdom tooth pulled in March. Some things are worth a little inconvenience.




Somehow I found myself at Best Buy this morning. They were still out of the DVD player I want (thank the ever-attentive Golds), so I rolled my cart over to the appliance aisle and loaded up the microwave oven I've had my eye on. It's a bit less sexy than a DVD player, but it still has lots of power, plus a rotating turntable and a twenty-dollar rebate. It also has features that I'll never use, such as something called multi-stage custom programming. If a recipe has multiple stages, I'm not likely to try it, let alone program it into my microwave. I rarely glance twice at any recipe that takes up more than one page.

another boxThe book on the bottom is The Idiot's Guide to Cooking Basics.

And what was the first use I put my new oven to? I had to try it out right away, you see, because to get the rebate you send in the UPC from the side of the box, and once you remove the sticker you can't return the product. That's one of those scams, like calling an 800 number to activate your credit card so that they have your home number on file in case they need to call you with a special offer at dinner time. No matter, though, twenty bucks is twenty bucks. Even with the rebate, this purchase pushes my new DVD player back until well after I get back from vacation, at least.

And what was the first use I put my new oven to? Merely one of the basics of single living. I softened up a couple of pieces of stale bread for my peanut butter sandwich. It worked great, too, but I have a problem with this sliced French bread I've been getting lately. I've never been the kind of person who cuts off the crusts, but I sort of resent having to eat a sandwich with two hands. This bread's crust is so rubbery that you can't just take a bite. You have to tear a bite off, and ordinarily pulling with one hand isn't enough. You need the extra leverage. It's like eating raw flesh (which I'm guessing you'd need two hands for as well).

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, concentration . . .




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Here's hoping that Patrick never runs out of stoplights.

I thought that a vacation would cure what ails me, until I read SecraTerri's account of what happened when she returned from hers. And I think she's in the lead in the worst boss competition.

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