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Monday, June 6, 2005

Let me list all the things that went wrong today.

What? You donít want to hear it? You donít want to hear about a day that started with a paper cut, featured yet another fight with the insurance company, and ended with the realization that my stereo speakers are shot and will have to be replaced? Yeah, well, I donít blame you.

In the midst of all this I got a call from Tim, asking my opinion about something thatís none of my business. And for some reason, he wouldnít take stuttering silence for an answer, so I fumbled my way through the most noncommittal response I could come up with. Iíve actually had some practice in that art, so I think I handled it well enough.

Heís throwing a surprise birthday party for his father (the Boss) at the Kennel next month. He plans to invite his sisters and their families, but that means he canít invite the Bossís girlfriend. For some reason, even though he and their mother have been divorced for two decades, these otherwise reasonably sane women canít tolerate Julie. Tim wanted my opinion, but he didnít specifically ask the question. What he said was, ďWhat do you think?Ē

Well, he doesnít really want to know what I think. What I think is that I donít want to put myself in the middle of this nest of cuckoo birds. What I think is that the three daughters should get over themselves and join the human race. What I think is that itís probably not going to be much of a party, and I should reschedule my vacation in case I get invited

What I told him was that instead of trying to keep Julie in the dark about whatís going on, he should sit down with her and explain what heís doing and why. Sheís the most reasonable person in this whole extended asylum, and sheís even offered various olive branches to the Bossís family (and found herself lucky to come away with all ten original fingers).

Itís not as if there will be a conflict between Julie and the Bossís ex (Timís mother), because the ex will not be invited. I didnít even have to ask. She and Tim havenít spoken in years. He refuses even to talk about her. Something happened between them that I donít even want to know about. He wonít say, and I wonít ask her. I know most families are more or less dysfunctional, but this one takes the cake and spells it out in frosting on the bathroom mirror.

6 June 2005

Galloping cloud.

But thatís not even one of the things that made my Monday so miserable. That was a pleasant diversion, amidst the paper cuts and the insurance battles and the speaker crisis. Thereís only one of those three I can handle, and the band-aid keeps falling off whenever I wash my hands. So thereís a fourth problem. Sheesh.

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Iíve been sampling the new summer reality shows, and I found one tonight that I like. Itís called The Scholar, and it puts ten high school seniors into a competition for a full-ride college scholarship. It has the Real World elements of (thanks, Bunim/Murray) of young people living in a house together, but these are intelligent, highly motivated young people. (Not a Puck in the bunch.) The challenges they face to get to the finals test not just their intellect, but also their problem solving aptitude, leadership and social skills. In the first episode, weíve already seen an unlikely winner take down the arrogant snob. So far, so good.

Recent recommendations can be found on the links page.

One year ago: The Call
"I'm nearly as likely to be asleep at two in the afternoon as I am at five in the morning."

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