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Friday, November 22, 2002

Next Friday I won't be able to do what I did today. Next Friday you'll have to stand in long lines just to get inside Best Buy and Target. Then when you do get in (it won't be me, I promise), you'll have to wait in more lines to get to the registers and pay. On the day after Thanksgiving, they make you wait to give them money, and you're glad to have the chance.

Not me, though. I don't shop on the busiest shopping day of the year. Today I just needed to pick up a few things, and the stores were nearly deserted. I was out on my morning errands, and almost no one else was shopping. I picked out what I needed and walked straight to the checkout counter, handed over my money and was out the door. It was over just that fast.

Don't tell anybody, but while I was in Target I bought two pairs of black sweat pants for myself. I know I could have got them for Christmas just by casually mentioning that I needed some. I couldn't wait that long, though. The one pair I've been wearing every night has a broken drawstring. There's barely enough elasticity to keep them up, even around my ample waist. I wasn't going to wait a month before replacing them.

At this time of year, I change out of my Levi's as soon as the sun goes down. That's usually when it starts getting cold, but today it was cold and gray all day. The sun never penetrated the heavy overcast. You could look outside and see nothing but white, except on the ground. The ground is green. That's how I know I'm in California and not New England or Minnesota or Denver.

The Boss appears to have no idea what day it is. Or maybe he has an idea, but it's the wrong one. He called me at five this afternoon to tell me he was leaving the office. He doesn't usually bother, but he also asked what my plans were for the holiday. I told him as much as I thought he could absorb, and he said he'd be thinking about me.

That's awfully nice and all, but don't we still have three working days next week? I was planning to put in full days Monday and Tuesday at least, and as much of Wednesday as I had to. Now I'm not so sure. I still can't afford to give up the whole week, but if I can sneak away for an afternoon I can get some real shopping finished before the crowds move in. I might even take in a movie. Wouldn't that be special?

Most likely he'll show up Monday ready to go full speed ahead as usual. By Wednesday he'll have forgotten that Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I'll have to remind him to call his kids and grandkids. I never take anything for granted, because I can't afford to. He can, because he has me.


Clouds in the afternoon sun (from yesterday, since the sun failed us today).

My latest discovery is a way to enjoy boring movies on DVD. I've already rented it and I'm about twenty minutes into it and nodding off to sleep. I could just take it out of the player and do something else, or I can push a button and watch the film with Spanish subtitles. It's a way to learn some new words and phrases and keep going to the end of the movie, in case it gets better.

This one tonight was The Mothman Prophecies. It's a psychological thriller with a few stylish camera shots, but I found it pretty hollow at the center. Not only did I not buy into the premise, but I really didn't care what happened to Richard Gere's character one way or the other. The one unbelievable revelation was that in Spanish, West Virginia is known as "Virginia Occidental." I would have guessed "West Virginia."

Supposedly it's "based on true events." It's based on true events in the same way The Real World is like the real world, in the way Survivor is a "reality" show, in the way the events in 24 take place in "real time." It's like calling professional wrestling a sport or Michael Jackson the king of pops.

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Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Houseboat Day 1: Thanksgiving
"Then we started drinking wine. I can't tell you much about the rest of the evening, but I'm pretty sure the dinner conversation sparkled."

Two years ago: Come Together
"But we're always orbiting the same star, even when we're out of conjunction."

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