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Monday, May 1, 2000

Who knew it would take just one day? One day out from under prior obligations, one day to settle into a new routine, one quiet day (a Monday even!) to feel comfortable, at ease, at home in my new house.

It's one of life's little miracles that enough turning points could turn the right way, on this one day, to make the world seem right again. It's not that everything went right, just that nothing house-related went terribly wrong. I was up and ready before eight. The morning paper had been delivered as promised, although I did have to walk out to the street to retrieve it from under my mailbox.

And for the first time since I've been in the new place, there was no one home next door. I could stomp around the house, turn the stereo up loud, argue vocally and stridently with myself, bang dishes and silverware together — all without thinking about my new neighbors, who obviously never think of me when they're yelling at each other over the dinner table or watching TV at full volume until after midnight.

I hadn't realized how much tiptoeing and pussyfooting I've been doing since moving to a house with a common wall. Until today, I've been keeping the volume on the TV in the family room at a barely audible level, when I've watched it at all. I still haven't played any CDs on the stereo system in that room.

I even hung a picture on that common wall today, which gives the room an even homier feel. I have a lot of wall space in this place, and I'm having a problem deciding how to fill it. I don't have the interior design sense it takes, and so there's a noticeable void in one corner of the room. I'm going to have to get some advice. Until I do, I'd rather leave the corner as it is than clutter it with something that isn't going to work.

As I was driving out to run my errands this afternoon, my heart quickened at the dark lump lying on the side of the road. Alas, it was merely a witless possum, an animal that's half dead the day it's born, and not my nemesis, the screaming peacock.

My own inertia jumped up and bit me on the ass today. (And if your inertia is that active, you should probably give it another name.) I had to find a notary and an overnight mail outlet, and instead of looking for one close to my new home, I lit out for the familiar one near my old place. It just seemed easier to go somewhere I was known, rather than introducing myself to new people and a whole new set of routines. I strongly believe in taking the easy way out whenever possible. Imagine my shock, then, when I got to my favorite mail center and found it had been sold. I had to double back and find a place near here after all.

So I drove about twenty miles out of my way to get to my new favorite place, a mail center just up the road from my house, run by two lovely lesbian ladies. Don't you love to go into a shop where they treat you as if they already know you? They wanted to solve my problem for me, and they did. I like being fussed over that way.

All this happened at the wrong time of day, though. When you live in the country, you might be at the mercy of the school bus schedules. And when you travel down a two-lane road just after school is out, you might have to stop at every driveway and intersection and wait for children to cross the road. Which is why it might take you an extra fifteen or twenty minutes to drive those two miles.

Not that I'm complaining, of course. Nothing was going to get to me today.

When I told the Boss I thought I needed a new phone for the office, he had a suggestion. He thought I should get a cordless phone, and not just any cordless phone but the very model he was using to talk to me at the time. It wasn't that he was so enamored of his phone that he wanted to share it with the world. The reason he wanted me to have that model was so that I could read the manual and tell him how to use all the special features. They'd seemed like such a good idea when he bought the phone, but he's much to busy / important / lazy to get into such details as how to use them, especially when he can con someone else into doing the research. I just wish it was someone with a little more free time on his hands.

I like the phone. I've been having fun programming it and changing the way it rings. I like carrying it around, even though it's never rung while it was in my hands. I haven't found any "special features" that a fifth grader couldn't figure out, though. However, you defeat the purpose of a cordless phone if you carry it around half the time, then put it down and forget where you left it. You end up running all over the house trying to locate that ringing sound. Or at least, I do. Imagine how dangerous I'd be with a cellular phone.

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Latest recommendation:

Jon Carroll's column, May 1, Lean, Mean and Mondegreen

Still catching up, here's one I missed while I was away: Karen, Thought Experiment, April 24, Poor Rudolph

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
One fine day, you're gonna want me for your notify list. Da doo ron ron.