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Thursday, November 16, 2000

My clock radio comes on at seven every morning, playing the smooth jazz sounds of KJZY-FM. I almost never get up during the first half hour, and sometimes I don't get up until the radio clicks off at 7:59. That's when I know the Boss will assume I'm awake and showered and dressed and sitting at the computer, waiting for his first phone call of the day.

Today was different. Something, and I don't know what it was, made me snap to wakefulness at about 6:50. This never happens. As far as I could tell there was no unusual noise that could account for my waking up early. But I actually heard the radio come on, and I couldn't talk myself back down to the normal dozing state.

So I got up and got ready for the day. I wouldn't mind being up and going early every day, but that's not usually the way my body works. Somehow it just worked out that way today.

In the middle of the afternoon, I felt better than I have for at least a week. I was full of energy, not even slowed down by the lingering sore throat from yesterday. I put this remarkable surge to good use by getting through a couple of tasks that have been haunting me for most of the month.

The first was a small claims suit that the Boss wanted me to fill out for him. It was tedious typing, and it involved looking up dates and addresses, but it took less than an hour to get it done. It made me feel a bit ashamed that I've let it sit on the corner of my desk for so long.

Then I tackled the real monster, our small business certification renewal package. Being certified by the state has never landed us a job, or given us any other advantage, in the four years we've been in the program. We have to go through the process every two years, and it's tedious work, especially for someone who doesn't like to keep up on his filing.

I needed to locate three years of tax returns (corporate, personal and payroll), plus the returns from another company that lists the Boss as an officer. Unfortunately, the other company went out of business two years ago, and I don't have access to their accounting records. This will require a glib explanation (not my specialty), and it might even prevent us from renewing the certification, making this whole ordeal even more of a waste of time.

So I called the Boss and asked him how badly he wanted us to keep the certification. "It might get us a job some day," he said. And that was my answer. It never has, but it might. I filled out the renewal application the best I could, attached all the forms I could locate, and sent it off. Since my signature was on the form, I didn't lie about the now defunct "other company."

I have a feeling we'll be rejected, and I also have a feeling that in the long run it won't make any difference to the company except to make my life a little more unpleasant because somehow this will all turn out to be my fault. Crises have a way of springing up from the most unlikely sources. Life in the mad, mad world of the Boss is funny that way.

Something else that helped lift my spirits this afternoon was the sunshine that we've seen so little of all week. The temperature climbed into the sixties, and I was even able to have the door open and air the place out for awhile. It made me feel so much better.

Tonight my energy level is running down again. All that activity during the day was so unfamiliar that I was pretty much out of gas by early evening. That doesn't mean I'll get to sleep early; it just doesn't work that way. And I'd be surprised if tomorrow didn't bring one of those mornings when I drag my body out of bed at one minute to eight and reach the phone just as it starts ringing.

The best way to fall asleep is when it's silent and dark, but many nights I'm not able to ease into a restful mode with only my thoughts to keep me company. Often I read until my eyes get tired. Sometimes I fall asleep to the smooth jazz on KJZY. Last night it was Conan's interview with Maura Tierney, my new ER fave. Tonight? I don't know.

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