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Thursday, June 2, 2005

Itís amazing how much work I got done today, considering all the time I spent on the phone. And Iím not talking about the calls I got after quittiní time. They donít even count against my on-the-clock hours. Theyíre actually me reward to myself for getting through the day.

As I was leaving the house for my morning errands, the phone rang. Iíd already put the answering machine on, but I made a split-second decision and picked up. It was the Bossís ex-wife, asking about her money. It always starts out about money, but then we get talking about Himself. She complains, then I complain. She grouses about his current girlfriend, and I keep still. Iím not getting into that muddle, because I like both of them.

She was married to him for twenty-odd years. (Well, I assume they were odd.) Iíve been with him (but not living with him, thank goodness) for nearly nineteen years. So itís not as if we donít have notes to compare. It doesnít actually do either of us any good, because thereís nothing we can do about it. But sometimes I get some insight from her, even advice once in a while. Today, for example, she told me to ask him for a raise. She seems to think heís vulnerable just now.

The money she was asking about this time wasnít her regular alimony check. Thatís due by the tenth of the month, although the Boss never pays on time. Sometimes she has to ask him for it, and sometimes I take the initiative to remind him. When he writes the check, he mails it to me and I mail it to her bank. I think this circuitous arrangement started because she was away from home so often (they have umpteen grandchildren, strewn up and down the California coastline). Nowadays sheís home more, but we still do things the old way. It doesnít matter to me; itís just one more item on my to-do list, one more thing to scratch off.

What she was looking for this time was a check to reimburse her for two of the grandkidsí birthday presents. He canít be bothered to shop, of course. So she does the legwork and he pays half. I donít think he gets to many of these birthday parties, but he always gets thank-you notes. I know this because he sends them to me to file. (No kidding. I have files for each his daughters, and everything related goes into them. When I get around to doing the filing, that is.)

By the time I was finished talking with the ex, the window of opportunity had closed on a nice, leisurely errand run. So I had to dash out to the post office and dart over to the bank, and then run people down with a shopping cart so I could pick up a few groceries and get back to work. That put me behind for the rest of the day, so itís kind of miraculous that I got so much work done. But I did.

1 June 2005

Speaking of birthdays, I'm not quite over Aiden's yet. He is, but I'm not.

Then this afternoon I had one of ďthoseĒ calls from Tim. It starts out with him asking me for something simple, like an update on the status of a particular job. But he can never resist asking me about the financial condition of the company. Itís a good thing I know what he wants to hear. Any time I say anything besides, ďWeíre in good shape,Ē I get into one of those endless, mind-numbing Q-and-A sessions. We came close to that today, but I managed to steer him away from it. Itís a good thing, or I wouldnít have got any work done.

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Okay, youíre in a six-game losing streak. Youíre behind 6-5 in the seventh inning, with one out and the tying run on third base. Moises Alou is up next. Thereís a short fly ball to center. Send the runner? Of course not! Moises Alou is up next, and heís already hit a home run in this game. The runner is thrown out easily at the plate, and the Phillies go on to beat the Giants, 6-5. Now itís a seven-game losing streak.

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One year ago: Debut
"He was poked and scraped and punctured and snipped. The nurses kept coming in and taking him off to experiment on, then bringing him back to the comfort of his family."

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